Imperator: Rome Developer Diary - 11th of May 2020

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Trin Tragula

Design Lead - Crusader Kings 3
Paradox Staff
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Aug 1, 2003
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Hello and welcome to another Development Diary for Imperator: Rome :)
Today I am here to talk about Rebellions in the Hellenistic and Republican era, as well as some changes that we are making to the game to accommodate a more historical outcome.

Rebellions in the era of Imperator: Rome


The aftermath of a great deal of Rebellions?

In many ways the era in which our game is set is as much associated with the crumbling of Empires as it is the rise of Rome. Not long prior the Achaemenid Empire was crushed by Alexander the Great, and only a few decades ago his empire then broke apart into pieces, with small regional rulers carving out their own countries from within the empire.
Likewise Rome itself faced local rebellions in various parts of the Empire, both while it was growing and in regions that had been under Roman rule for some time.

Rebellions are something we consider separate from the grand Civil Wars, where the goal was not to carve out a new realm but for Roman politicians and generals to further their ambitions against the Republic itself. Such wars, in which every citizen was supposed to pick a side, we have the Civil War mechanic in the game.
While there is perhaps room for improvement here it does in our opinion reasonably well portray things like the Civil Wars of Sulla or the Dynastic Wars in the Seleucid Empire.

Rebellions in the game on the other hand we have been less happy with. Up until now the rules for a Rebellion have been that once you have a high enough number of people living in disloyal provinces, all such provinces revolt at the same time, in one huge war.
This does perhaps seem to capture the way Alexander’s empire broke apart all at once after his death, but perhaps not for the right reasons. While monarchies are famously unstable on succession, with many rulers spending the first time in power ensuring the loyalty of the provinces they inherited, it is doubtful that all the unhappy people would revolt in a coordinated way throughout your empire. There are very few such grand revolts to find in this era, or even other historical eras.

The gameplay implications were also odd. It meant that expansion in itself was a good way to lower the risk of revolt, since the more land you owned, the more provinces would need to be disloyal before the rebels would dare try their luck.
Rather than a number of small fires that can grow into big ones unless you put them out across a huge realm rebellions are currently either nonexistent or giant wars of independence for all the oppressed peoples in your entire empire.

Changes Rebellions in the Menander Update


With the changes coming to how you handle cultures in the Menander update. With each culture in your empire having its own happiness rating within your country, making all of its pops more or less happy with your rule we are now able to offload more of the rebellion mechanic unto pops, but we don't want to do this by having entire cultures revolt together. This simply does not match the historical reality most of the time, and it is also not very enjoyable to play.
Instead we want rebellions to be affected by things like cultural happiness, but ultimately depend on the happiness of your pops, as they exist in your provinces. When the people of a province has had enough they should rebel, with the possibility of said rebellion growing if more nearby provinces join the independence war.

In the Menander Update Rebellions have been reworked to this end. The national rebellion progress bar has been removed completely and instead the loyalty of each province, dependent on the happiness of the pops living there, is what determines when a rebellion breaks out. The rebels will not wait for a better time to strike, once their patience is up they will declare independence and take their chances.


(Campania declares independence)

Just as before the main contributing factor for province loyalty is unrest, and unrest still comes from the unhappy pops you have in the territories within each your provinces. Together with the cultural happiness changes described in last week's diary this means that if you treat a culture wrong you may well still see the pops of that culture coming out in Rebellion, but it also means that province that is being particularly harshly taxed will have a much shorter patience, and may well rebel from that alone.

When a province revolts it will form a new country, with the local culture and religion that was dominant in the province as its new state culture and state religion. This new country will immediately be thrown into an independence war, with the goal of securing its future independence. Should more provinces in your empire rebel, they will join the ongoing war if they are of the same culture, or start new individual ones if they are not.

While an independence war as a rule starts as a small revolt it can still grow into a bigger rebellion with more and more provinces throwing off the yoke and joining the ongoing war. This is especially likely if the reasons for the unhappiness that caused the revolt was tied to the low cultural happiness of a culture, rather than something more local.


(another province joins the independence war)

Lastly the independence war itself has been updated, instead of a supremacy war, where the way to get a ticking war score over time is to defeat as many as possible of the opponents troops, an independence war now uses a new war goal specific to rebellions.
The rebels are still the aggressors, but they war goal of the independence war is now capturing and holding the rebel capital (consequently it is the capital of the original rebel country that must be defended if more countries join a rebellion). Overall what this means is that in order to put down a rebellion the old owner must bring the fight to the rebels, and the rebels themselves will be able to succeed by just defending themselves, rather than by annihilating all forces of their old oppressors.


(An independence war in action)

What about the problems of monarchs on succession? Since I used it as an example above I will add that in monarchies provinces now take a small one time hit to loyalty whenever succession occurs.


Another problem with the old rebellion system is that unrest plays too many roles. Unrest mainly comes from unhappy pops living in a territory, and its main effect is to reduce the loyalty of the province that territory is in. This much is something we like.
But unrest also has a number of other effects such as reducing manpower, taxes, etc, often the very things that the low happiness of your pops have already caused.

In the Menander update we have streamlined unrest a bit. It will now almost only come from one source: Unhappy pops.
Unrest will also no longer have any effect on the economy of a territory in itself at all. When you see unrest in a province what you see is how rebellious it is. Currently it does still have an effect on things like assimilation, migration and conversion however, this is subject to change still.


(unrest as it currently stands in the internal build)

Existing things that affected unrest directly have now all been converted either to something that affects happiness or other things when that makes sense.

What about subject countries?

We will get back to subject countries in a future diary. For now I will say that when a rebellion breaks out a subject country of the right culture can join the independence war just like rebellious provinces can, given the right circumstances. The new independence war goal is also available for all subject countries against their overlord, with its focus on the aggressor surviving by defending themselves, rather than by defeating all armies of their former overlord.

That was it for today!
I hope that you will enjoy these changes, which we are now busy trying out and balancing. As usual any numbers you see in the text or in screenshots are to be considered work in progress. :)
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Good change!

When a new province of the right dominant culture joins an independence war, do they always establish themselves as a new tag, or is there any opportunity for them to fall under the remit of an existing rebel tag?
A couple of questions:

1.) will other nations have any covert decisions to increase unrest in a region to try and break up big empires?
2.) How are tags handled with the rebellion? Say a rebellion in the Averni breaks out wanting rebellion for that gallic tribe but then it snowballs to include other gallic tribes? would Gual be released or all the various tribes?
3.) why is this thread not sticked but last weeks still is :p
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Does this mean that the largest a rebel country can be is a single province? And if more provinces rebel they will become new countries themselves? It seems like there should be some way for an entire region or governorship to rebel, that way if successful, they are a big enough country to have some survivability. I guess a swarm of rebel countries presents its own challenge.

Is there any chance for a decision to let us play as the rebels? I could imagine it being quite fun to play an Antigonid rebel state.
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If this is going to work the way I'm reading it will, that's awesome. Games with global happiness make no sense at all, so going to a province by province is awesome, as is the idea that if surrounding provinces are also upset it feeds it's self. I'm excited!
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Does this mean that the largest a rebel country can be is a single province? And if more provinces rebel they will become new countries themselves? It seems like there should be some way for an entire region or governorship to rebel, that way if successful, they are a big enough country to have some survivability. I guess a swarm of rebel countries presents its own challenge.

Is there any chance for a decision to let us play as the rebels? I could imagine it being quite fun to play an Antigonid rebel state.
The way I understood it is that provinces of the same majority culture will unite in a single country.
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Wouldn't it make sense to tie at least some economic factors to unrest, since even loyal demographics wouldn't have been as productive if the society as a whole in their region was rebellious. It would also create more of a "critical point" after which a province becomes economically worthless, rather than it being completely linear with unhappiness, which I think could enhance gameplay.
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Interesting DD.

1- The vassal states could ally each other before going to a war for independence?
2- How will inspiring disloyalty in an enemy governor work?
3-Can we help a vassal or enemy territory to become independent?
4- Besides the casus belli of independence, will there be any more?
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Theses changes sound great. After 1.4 I haven't seen any rebellions, so it's great to have them back and even better than before.

Can other nations declare war on these new rebel states as they can on a revolting state in a civil war? This leads to some kind of race against the rebels/revolters, as they are usually an easy target. But is this supposed to work like that?
In the example above when Campania deflects from Rome and a third nation attacks Campania, I would prefer that it should start 2 wars, one with Campania and one with Rome.
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If a big enough portion revolts, will you have enough warscore to take them all back at the same time? Or will you have to have multiple wars to restore your territory?
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