Is the late-game Pope supposed to be nightmarishly strong?

Is the late-game Pope supposed to be nightmarishly strong?

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johnnythetreeman

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I was playing as a non-Christian Holy Roman Empire in the mid 1300s and owned pretty much all of western and central Europe. There are very few Catholics left, with the notable exception of the Papal States, who lost Rome to me earlier in the game, but somehow gained a few counties in North Africa.

I'm minding my own business and the Pope decides to declare a crusade for my lands. It is now the Pope and a few scattered counts against my 90k death stack. Surprisingly, he whoops my ass in every engagement despite being grossly outnumbered on unfavorable terrain with me having superior commanders and knights. It turns out that the pope's army of 50k is almost all men at arms, and because of how rich he is, he purchased almost all of the available mercenaries. Despite the fact that I also have a good number of men at arms that counter his, I can't seem to beat his tiny army of Vatican space marines unless I attack a small force that is separated from the rest.

Is the late game Pope supposed to be stronger than Genghis Khan? I'm the largest power on the map, yet he single handedly wins crusades against me. Honestly I don't mind since it is kind of hilarious, but is this supposed to be a feature in the game? Is he the secret final boss?
 
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Yeah he is supposed to be that strong, he gets income from literally every single Catholic temple holding on the map. Which he then uses to recruit every single mercenary he can get his hands on. So the more gold he has the more mercs he can buy, so if you leave it too long he's death incarnate. In my Roman Empire game the Pope already had 15k soldiers and it was only 1150AD.
 
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johnnythetreeman

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Yeah he is supposed to be that strong, he gets income from literally every single Catholic temple holding on the map. Which he then uses to recruit every single mercenary he can get his hands on. So the more gold he has the more mercs he can buy, so if you leave it too long he's death incarnate. In my Roman Empire game the Pope already had 15k soldiers and it was only 1150AD.
I'm of the opinion that paradox should nerf him, so that it more closely reflects the historical strength of the papal states.
 
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浅夜丶

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Because of this, after you defeated the Pope, there is no longer any challenge on the entire map, and no one else has enough troops to fight against you. The game loses its interest
 

johnnythetreeman

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Am I the only one who thinks this is kinda strange?

I mean, you do you of course, but still.
I was catholic for the longest time and I got bored. One of my vassals converted to Priscillianism and I decided to convert with them for a reduced piety cost since it seemed more interesting.
 

Deshiba

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I'm of the opinion that paradox should nerf him, so that it more closely reflects the historical strength of the papal states.
I'm on the opposite camp on this issue. If you nerf the pope you essentially nerf the late game raid boss. Sure it doesn't reflect history, but then again this is a game where I can form the scandinavian army at ~ 900 BC and completely demolish England in one fell swoop. It's not really supposed to be historically accurate.

Besides, you can "nerf" him in game as a player. The popes strength comes from the amount of catholics there are, if you conquer and convert catholic nations his power conversely decreases.

It might ruin your current playtrough, but in the next one you will be prepared :D
 
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The strength of the Pope is kinda the only reason why anyone would play Catholic, IMO, apart form roleplaying. Have you read some of the religion tenets? Like Pursuit of Power??? It's like Alexander's Bloodline in CK2. And it has no requirements. This game really is all about the heresies. The Pope needs to remain really strong to deter players from switching to powerful heretic tenets too early.
 
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The Italia region gets the Condiottieri innovation in the late game, which double the number of mercenary companies and reduces hire cost by 25%. So if you haven't eliminated the pope by then, he'll be nigh invincible.
 
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I for one like the end-game pope as a challenge to my pagan empire

But it could be a game rule, not default

Edit: How can someone disagree with a game rule for Battle Pope?
 
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The design of the mechanics around the Pope mean that he should be extremely powerful if Catholicism is doing well. It's unclear whether Paradox intended for the Pope to be able to hire every mercenary on the planet whenever he goes to war, but it's certainly the obvious natural outcome of the mechanics they designed.

My general sense is that Paradox did not put a huge amount of thought into game balance after the first two hundred years or so - a lot of game systems seem to just go totally off the rails by the late game. So this might just be a case where they designed the Papal mechanics around the early game, and then ignored what the outcome is once he's built up a decent treasury.
 
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Deshiba

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My general sense is that Paradox did not put a huge amount of thought into game balance after the first two hundred years or so
I don't think this is a negative at all. This also means that they released stuff into the wild in a more unpolished form so that the player base can help them polish it in the desired shape. I think that's preferable to a completely polished balance scheme that the majority of players don't really want or care for.

I for one, am fine with the Pope being a menace.
 
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Zhetone

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I don't get how people think this is ok when it 1. completely ruins the dynamics of Crusades by making the Pope the central power in them (and often he wins them outright; I've seen the Pope take Galicia in a Crusade, which is absurd) and 2. makes them incredibly frustrating to defend against because even if barely anyone joins a Crusade the Pope piles tens of thousands of mercenaries onto boats to attack you.

How do people rationalize this? I've only seen people complain about it yet this thread is somehow full of people who think this is "a good mechanic"
 
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Deshiba

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1. completely ruins the dynamics of Crusades by making the Pope the central power in them.
I've had plenty of crusades fire and the majority of contribution is still from all the Catholics that join in. Is the pope strong? Sure. Is he an invincible juggernaut that single handedly commences in world conquest? Hardly.

2. makes them incredibly frustrating to defend against because even if barely anyone joins a Crusade the Pope piles tens of thousands of mercenaries onto boats to attack you.
I suppose, but is this a pope problem though? When the crusade is called you could hire every merc stack you can before it fires to prevent this from happening. Granted that I haven't been the target of a crusade, so I have no first hand experience in that regard.
 
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I was playing as a non-Christian Holy Roman Empire in the mid 1300s and owned pretty much all of western and central Europe. There are very few Catholics left, with the notable exception of the Papal States, who lost Rome to me earlier in the game, but somehow gained a few counties in North Africa.

I'm minding my own business and the Pope decides to declare a crusade for my lands. It is now the Pope and a few scattered counts against my 90k death stack. Surprisingly, he whoops my ass in every engagement despite being grossly outnumbered on unfavorable terrain with me having superior commanders and knights. It turns out that the pope's army of 50k is almost all men at arms, and because of how rich he is, he purchased almost all of the available mercenaries. Despite the fact that I also have a good number of men at arms that counter his, I can't seem to beat his tiny army of Vatican space marines unless I attack a small force that is separated from the rest.

Is the late game Pope supposed to be stronger than Genghis Khan? I'm the largest power on the map, yet he single handedly wins crusades against me. Honestly I don't mind since it is kind of hilarious, but is this supposed to be a feature in the game? Is he the secret final boss?
Bro, he just REALLY believes in the return of Jesus Christ, and he's not about to let you stop him having a front row seat.
 

Kinkness

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The design of the mechanics around the Pope mean that he should be extremely powerful if Catholicism is doing well. It's unclear whether Paradox intended for the Pope to be able to hire every mercenary on the planet whenever he goes to war, but it's certainly the obvious natural outcome of the mechanics they designed.

My general sense is that Paradox did not put a huge amount of thought into game balance after the first two hundred years or so - a lot of game systems seem to just go totally off the rails by the late game. So this might just be a case where they designed the Papal mechanics around the early game, and then ignored what the outcome is once he's built up a decent treasury.
This is my biggest peeve with CK3, and why I still play CK2 religiously.

The mid/late game of CK3 is an absolute joke when it comes to balance and design...

Take the number of easy to stack, and purchase realm buffs through basic buildings.. It's obvious the devs were like "yea.. that looks balanced" when it comes to small counties and kingdoms, but then never stopped to think past early game of what 30 buildings all giving +5 to MAA is going to be like....
 
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I've had plenty of crusades fire and the majority of contribution is still from all the Catholics that join in. Is the pope strong? Sure. Is he an invincible juggernaut that single handedly commences in world conquest? Hardly.


I suppose, but is this a pope problem though? When the crusade is called you could hire every merc stack you can before it fires to prevent this from happening. Granted that I haven't been the target of a crusade, so I have no first hand experience in that regard.
I really don't even know how to respond to this because of how absurd your logic is, people will really say anything to excuse bad game design
 
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Karlington

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The strength of the Pope is kinda the only reason why anyone would play Catholic, IMO, apart form roleplaying. Have you read some of the religion tenets? Like Pursuit of Power??? It's like Alexander's Bloodline in CK2. And it has no requirements. This game really is all about the heresies. The Pope needs to remain really strong to deter players from switching to powerful heretic tenets too early.
Honestly, Pursuit of Power is even better than the Alexander bloodline. :) The bloodline gave a once-in-a-lifetime invasion. PoP gives that, as well as -50% Tyranny gain, and unlimited use of the Conquest CB for duchies and counties, and all you pay is -10 Vassal Opinion, which probably isn't that big of a deal by the time you are strong enough to found or reform a religion.

Making Ambitious a virtue isn't bad either, and negates the Vassal Opinion penalty if you have that trait.

(It also gives -50% Title Creation Cost, but much like Vassal Opinion that's a pretty minor thing at that point of the game.)
 
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I really don't even know how to respond to this because of how absurd your logic is, people will really say anything to excuse bad game design
Just look at how people defend CK3 as being "light years better" than CK2...

Even though CK3 is literally a completely broken, unbalanced mess of mechanics which barely function together well, where 90% of the mechanics are stripped, away or watered down.

Now I'm not saying you're wrong for liking CK3, but to say its "light years" better than Ck2 as CK3 supporters love to claim is just.. laughably sad comment..
 
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Rider_of_Doom

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The design of the mechanics around the Pope mean that he should be extremely powerful if Catholicism is doing well. It's unclear whether Paradox intended for the Pope to be able to hire every mercenary on the planet whenever he goes to war, but it's certainly the obvious natural outcome of the mechanics they designed.

My general sense is that Paradox did not put a huge amount of thought into game balance after the first two hundred years or so - a lot of game systems seem to just go totally off the rails by the late game. So this might just be a case where they designed the Papal mechanics around the early game, and then ignored what the outcome is once he's built up a decent treasury.
Even in the first bookmark the Pope can be hilariously insane and I had to give up three games as Halfdan because of that yesterday. The Catholics successfully conquered Jerusalem first and then - directly after that - the Pope called for a Crusade for England after that in each game. I could have fend off every kingdom in the world but not the Pope. It was 40-50 years into the game and the Pope landed with 10k-12k troops on my coast and half of that were mercenaries with a ton of MaA on top within that stack. Even with all my raid money I made in the meantime, there weren't enough mercs left I could hire to fend off that stack (especially since it was surrounded by a group of 2k-4k stacks). Overall the Crusade had around 24k units each time and half of that manpower came from the Pope himself. Sure, I could always convert to Christianity or play as Sigurdr and conquer the Isles later to prevent that but that would not feel right. After all, Halfdan and Ivar are described as "easy" by Paradox.

And even if I could somehow defend myself in that circumstance: Five years later he would knock on my door again because the CD is way too short.



During release the Crusaders were stuck in an endless loop of fighting for Jerusalem since the State always converted to Islam. Now, without that, the Pope was unleashed and can just go ham whenever and wherever he wants. If he can already throw a doomstack onto you in the first bookmark, I do not even want to imagine a lategame Pope. But only if you are on the receiving end. If you dare to play as Catholic yourself, the Pope becomes as intelligent as a pile of dirt during Crusades until you declare war against him. Then he suddenly gets his brain back. And even if you stomp the Pope from the map and wipe out every Catholic in the whole world, he will still call Crusades and spawn troops until he eventually runs out of gold. The whole system needs to be reworked. It is poorly implemented and full of annoyances.
 
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