Silversweeeper

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Dev diary 54 - Beyond 13.0.0

The 13.0.0 update has been out for a bit over a week now, and given there hasn't been any serious issues reported (e.g. repeated crashes) I'm going to assume there is nothing that requires a hotfix. I still expect a bugfix patch to be a good idea, but I intend to take a decently (roughly a month, as things currently stand) long break prior to getting started on it, seeing as I both have other hobbies and want to take the opportunity to actually play some Tianxia (no, being a dev doesn't mean I get to do that a lot...) and as it's a good idea to wait a while to ensure there's time for bugs to be discovered and reported.

This is normally the part where I'd tell you to put bugs in the bug report thread, but that has been largely futile and I don't intend to bother. However, I intend to enforce what has been set forth in the disclaimer message mentioned in Dev diary 50, so if you want to make it less likely a bug ends up on the "To be fixed in a later patch" list you should include the start date (unless it is immediately apparent from any screenshots you post; put those in a spoiler if your post has more than one), and to make it easier to rule out certain issues you should also include the checksum and whether you have any other mods active (not counting the Tianxia content pack) or have modified Tianxia in any way since you otherwise waste my time on asking about those things and your time on a reply with that information. The bug report should of course also contain a description of the issue, steps to reproduce (if you know them), and anything else you feel is relevant (e.g. what you suspect to be causing the issue if you don't know for sure).

It is also possible some smaller improvements can be included in the bugfix patch (e.g. balance tweaks), so feel free to suggest such things (as with the bug report thread, I'm not going to bother to tell you to put suggestions in the suggestions thread, seeing as most suggestions end up here anyway). Larger suggestions are also welcome, but even if they're deemed feasible they're very unlikely to make it into the bugfix patch, and they might not make it into 14.0.0 if they're not within the scope of that.


What is the scope of 14.0.0? I'll tell you in a moment, but I need to address something else first.

In the past, I have been reluctant to discuss longer term plans, and though I still feel that that's been the correct decision it is basically impossible for me to speak about what the plan is for 14.0.0 without also giving a brief overview of the current plan for the next few major versions (which aren't something that'll get done very soon, considering how much stuff there is to do). However, I am going to make something very clear before I do that: This plan is subject to change, and it should not be taken as a promise in any way, shape, or form, particularly not when it comes to 15.0.0 and beyond. I'm also going to tell you right away that I'd not consider it remotely amusing to joke about it being a promise, so don't.


Well, what is the current plan for the next few updates? If you take a look at Dev diary 50, you'll find some screenshots showing off some not-so-random dates, intentionally chosen to correspond to...

- 14.0.0 - KAMAKURA
- 15.0.0 - GENGHIS
- 16.0.0 - YAMEN
- 17.0.0 - 1337 (sorry; I don't have a better name for this one)


14.0.0 - KAMAKURA:


Though Japan has been given attention in the past and is one of the two areas with the most historical characters outside vanilla (at a bit over 2.6k characters, it still loses to China by several hundred characters) it is effectively impossible for us to move past 1180.6.14 without working on Japan, seeing as the Genpei War starts the next day and some important players still are missing. Given the choice between stopping the day before this war and continuing a bit further to another major event, the latter seemed more appealing, particularly as it'd otherwise result in not being able to move history much further in the 15.0.0 update (since what's currently planned for that isn't something I feel is sensible to do alongside Japan).

Major features of this update:

- We'll be supporting start dates up to 1192.8.21 (the formal proclamation of the Kamakura Shogunate).

- The current historical Emishi, Yamato, Japanese, Wako (there's just the one), and Ryukyuan characters will be reviewed for issues and fixed if relevant.

- Hundreds (at the very least) of additional historical Japanese (and possibly Yamato) characters will be added.

- The current flavour and mechanics in Japan will be reviewed in detail, and changed as necessary.

- Some new flavour and mechanics will be added in Japan. One thing will be fairly large, but considering how much there already is most things will probably be on the smaller side.

- Ryukyuan flavour will be added. Some of it will be Three Mountains references, but not all of it. Suggestions are most definitely welcome when it comes to non-Three Mountains stuff.

- All current Tianxia decisions/events/etc. will be reviewed to further optimize/polish/balance/etc. it. This is not meant to include major addition, but it is possible there will be some larger changes in places.

- A number of new religions will be added and brought up to at least the current minimum level (i.e. they'll get a holy order, SRS, access to a DW society, a unique Doctine (unless there's nothing that's both unique and appropriate), crusade weights, etc.). I'll talk more about this in the next dev diary, and will not comment on anything related to this prior to that point.

- Access to various government (CI, etc.) types will be adjusted. This will be the topic of the second dev diary from now. As with the above, I don't intend to comment on this prior to the relevant dev diary.

- If time permits, some of the things from 17.0.0 will potentially get done here (moving anything from 15.0.0 or 16.0.0 is less feasible). I suspect time will permit, seeing as the amount of historical characters to deal with will be pretty large and "breaks" to work on something else tend to be nice.


15.0.0 - GENGHIS:

Exactly what will get done as part of this update is a bit up in the air as it quite naturally will intersect with vanilla to a greater or lesser extent. If we decide to make smaller changes, this update will be small, while if we decide to make larger changes it could be quite substantial.

A very rough guess is that some or all of the following might be included:

- Support for dates up to 1227.8.18 (the death of Genghis).

- Mongol wars (probably not including wars fought by Yuan), possibly including ones waged on the vanilla map.

- The Mongol Empire and its successor states (not including Yuan, for the most part). Let's just say vanilla has done some... interesting things.

- Mongol mechanics.

- Nomad mechanics. Due to the government being very hardcoded there are things that can't be changed without changing all Nomads, and some of those hardcoded things could be a pain to deal with if we try to do something else than what vanilla has done, so just what changes we'll make is hard to say (though I can tell you right away that it is unlikely we'll make nomads better at blobbing).

- Nomad flavour.

- Historical nomads that aren't the Mongols.

- The Tengri religion.

- The Nestorian religion.

- The Manichean religion.

- Tibet.

- The Bön religion.

- Tibetan Buddhism.


16.0.0 - YAMEN:

As the area that's currently got the most characters and one of the areas with the most mechanics, it isn't sensible to do too much else alongside China, so it needs to have a dedicated update.

Expected content:

- Support for dates up to 1279.3.19 (the Battle of Yamen, i.e. the end of Song).

- Wars relevant to China (including Yuan).

- The current historical characters in China will be revisited.

- New historical Chinese (Han, Bai, Yi, etc.) characters will be added, including some very far back (e.g. characters relevant to the Three Kingdoms) and some later on.

- Characters relevant to China that weren't added before will be added.

- Current Chinese flavour and mechanics will be revisited.

- New Chinese flavour and mechanics will be added, including several societies.

- Chinese religions will get more flavour.

- Viet and Cham characters will be worked on.

- The Thanist religion will be improved upon.

- Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists will get more flavour.

- If time permits, some things from 17.0.0 might be moved here.


17.0.0 - 1337:

All (non-vanilla, non-Africa) areas and religions not worked on previously will likely be worked on here (it's possible the update will be split if it turns out to be very big), and we should fully support every start date up to 1337.1.1 here. It should be noted that a good number of historical characters in SEAsia already are in the game (we've probably missed some) and that they primarily are Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim, so while the area can be improved and the pagan religions definitely should get more flavour the area isn't in a terrible spot as far as historical rulers and their religions goes (we have unfortunately been forced to use fictional placeholders in many area here). As previously mentioned, it's quite possible some areas here will be worked on as part of 14.0.0 or 16.0.0 (15.0.0 is much less likely). At present, I'd say it's unlikely Shattered/Random World or the EU4 Converter will be included in this update.


As always, it is likely that there will be some tweaks to non-focus areas in other versions (e.g. historical wars being added, important bloodlines being added, and anything that's copy-pastable (or close to it) being added in multiple places).


That's all for today. I may or may not post the next couple of dev diaries (the one about new religions, and the one about governments) prior to work beginning on the bugfix patch, though as the things to be mentioned there are not going to be included in the bugfix patch and it's unlikely any work will have been done (due to me being on a break from modding) they'd have to be more along the line of "This is (roughly) the plan" than "This is what has been done" in that case.
 
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Santander

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Well, I'm very much looking forward to all this.
 

Silversweeeper

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You guys should update the threadmarks, right now only the first 48 out of 54 dev diary have those.

The only one that can do that is LumberKing, and he's extremely busy right now.
 

Silversweeeper

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May I ask if it is due to Tianxia related work, IRL problems or reasons unrelated to those?

Not the first one. Anything more than that isn't my place to say.
 

Higakoryu

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Historically, Tennos abdicated quite often, because a small child could better handle the rituals and be complacent to power brokers, so therefore I suggest that the Tenno be able to abdicate when they turn 16, as many IRL Tennos abdicated as teens.

Also, I think the Tenno's word deserve a little bit more bite to it, namely, he should be able to at least excommunicate and grant claims.
 

Higakoryu

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If this faction achieves its objective the Tenno regains the empire and implements Imperial Administration, Primogeniture, Unrestricted Vassal Wars, Controlled Realm Inheritance, and Duchy Viceroyalties. Any ongoing Permanent Regency for both the Tenno and the ex-Shogun instantly ends, and all non-baron vassals of the ex-Shogun are transferred to the Tenno. Additionally, all kingdoms held by the ex-Shogun that aren't his new primary title are destroyed (with the ex-Shogun getting strong inheritable claims), which means that the ex-Shogun will find it somewhat hard to re-consolidate and attempt to create a new Shogunate.
Wait, why not Chrysanthemum Throne Succession?
 

Silversweeeper

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Historically, Tennos abdicated quite often, because a small child could better handle the rituals and be complacent to power brokers, so therefore I suggest that the Tenno be able to abdicate when they turn 16, as many IRL Tennos abdicated as teens.

Abdication is tricky to handle, seeing as not every Tenno abdicated at all, not every Tenno that did abdicate did so at a young age, not every Tenno that did abdicate did so of their own volition, and that those that did often wielded significant power behind the throne (which we currently have no way to model). Also, it'd go against CK2 convention (voluntary abdication is not a thing elsewhere), it'd quite possibly be rather broken (an "elective" succession law doesn't give any opinion bonus/malus due to "Opinion of predecessor", so you could e.g. execute all of your prisoners (assuming the council was on board with it/didn't have a say) without putting your heir in danger due to upset vassals), and making the AI use it sensibly would not be straightforward (and no, making it a player-only thing would not be a good idea).

Also, I think the Tenno's word deserve a little bit more bite to it, namely, he should be able to at least excommunicate and grant claims.

Given that the Shinto religion kind-of doesn't have a leader (the Tenno's position and power has varied a lot historically, and having him be the leader in the mod is partially to ensure that he keeps his religion at all times and that we have a very straightforward way to grant/block access to stuff he should/shouldn't have access to) and is very loosely organized, the first one seems inappropriate (and, unless you're Zealous, it would be easy enough to render an excommunication impossible or null and void, seeing as you have a decision to become Buddhist...). If I remember correctly, you'd also not be able to excommunicate at will since I believe "Cannot interact with self" comes into play and you thus need someone else to ask you (or we'd need to create something special to handle the Tenno), which would make it rather uninteresting for the Tenno.

As for the second, with the Tenno's power often being very limited due to a Permanent Regent (and the like) his ability to grant claims of his own volition would be limited as a result, and it'd thus not be straightforward to implement (and, again, he'd probably not be able to make use of it to grow his own power due to "Cannot interact with self"). Also, a powerful Tenno should desire a peaceful realm and generally frown on vassals seeking to grow their power base, and granting claims would be counterproductive if that is the goal, so I'm not convinced it is a mechanic that'd be sensible.

Wait, why not Chrysanthemum Throne Succession?

The dev diary you quoted was written several months before that succession law was added...
 
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Higakoryu

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How do you exactly "throw Thuan Thien into a lake"? (Does it involve a golden turtle?)

Also, allow the owner of Thuan Thien to claim the Kingdom of Dai Viet or the Empire of Vietnam?
 

Silversweeeper

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Imperial Japanese coronations seemed to have been pretty spectacular events, and I think that adding those to Tianxia would add substantial flavor to a Tenno run.

It's been a while since I looked at just what the coronation entails there, so I don't remember much about the specifics, but how flavourful it'd be would really depend on how varied it can be made without losing something important, since if you get the exact same series of events a dozen or so (assuming an early start and no immortality) times during a campaign they'll start to feel a bit repetitive. It'd also be necessary to determine how the coronation would work with the whole government mess in Japan (as what makes sense if the Tenno is absolute might not make sense if he is very much not) and what benefits it'd have (it would have to differ from Catholic/Fraticelli coronation benefits since those assume a rather different situation).

I won't rule it out completely at this point, but there could be other things that'd be more interesting for the Tenno, and -- seeing as the Tenno already is a pretty unique experience (he's got a unique government type, a unique succession law, special treatment in both the FotK and the WotRS, has a couple of unique decisions, is involved in most of the Japanese government mess, gets to pick a regnal name, starts with a whole bunch of unique artefacts, etc.) -- he might not really need to be more unique and time might be better spent on stuff that is more widely available in Japan (or elsewhere, seeing as Japan as a whole is doing fairly well, too...) since basically everyone else is playing the "No, you can't ever be the Tenno!" experience.

How do you exactly "throw Thuan Thien into a lake"? (Does it involve a golden turtle?)

You'll get an event if you possess it suggesting that maybe you don't want to hang on to it. I don't think it currently features a turtle (golden or otherwise), but maybe a more explicitly supernatural event is something that can be added...

Also, allow the owner of Thuan Thien to claim the Kingdom of Dai Viet or the Empire of Vietnam?

That seems rather excessive and rather too powerful for an artefact that's not too difficult to get (compared to the Deed to the Dragon Throne, which requires someone to pull off something incredibly dangerous). It could also be not-so-fun if you lost control of Thuan Thien due to e.g. looting (or someone else got it in the first place), and it would of course make throwing it in a lake a terrible idea as someone else then can find it and claim the title(s).
 

Higakoryu

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You'll get an event if you possess it suggesting that maybe you don't want to hang on to it. I don't think it currently features a turtle (golden or otherwise), but maybe a more explicitly supernatural event is something that can be added...
On that matter, some years ago the turtle in Sword-Returning Lake, the purported original one in that story, have died from his home lake being polluted, and his corpse is now a museum display. Maybe it would be feasible to add an event, when the province is too devastated, where you can take the corpse of the Golden Turtle as an artifact, in exchange for some negative modifiers?
 

steveconnell

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Note sure if this is a bug but just wanted to flag this up.
For the Hwarang society I took the decision to reflect traits and picked patience as the trait I wanted to achieve as I have the 'wroth' trait I wanted to remove. Having 300 devotion I sought help from the Hwarang. After a little time I received the 'kind' trait instead of losing 'wroth' or gaining 'patient'. However I already had 'kind' as a trait.
 

Silversweeeper

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Note sure if this is a bug but just wanted to flag this up.
For the Hwarang society I took the decision to reflect traits and picked patience as the trait I wanted to achieve as I have the 'wroth' trait I wanted to remove. Having 300 devotion I sought help from the Hwarang. After a little time I received the 'kind' trait instead of losing 'wroth' or gaining 'patient'. However I already had 'kind' as a trait.

It appears the wrong sub-chain is connected to the patience and kindness paths at present (they're instead kindness and humility, respectively). It should be fixed in the bugfix patch.
 

Silversweeeper

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How did Wu Zetian's bloodline "stack improperly" with the Tang one before this patch?

Her male descendants passed it on, which they shouldn't be doing since it should behave like any other (hypothetical) Chinese Imperial bloodline founded by a woman (i.e. matrilineal transfer only). This resulted in every Tang emperor descended from her (which would be all Tang emperors on the throne after her, assuming we don't count Later Tang (related through adoption from outside the Li family) or Southern Tang (claimed descent from Taizong of Tang's son Li Ke, which would be a different branch of the Li family and thus irrelevant even if it is assumed to be true)) getting twice the expected bonus from bloodlines, resulting in (among other things) many of their vassals having a higher opinion of them than they should, which naturally would help them keep their realm together (historically, they didn't ever fully recover after the An-Shi Rebellion, and while we won't railroad their collapse they certainly shouldn't be getting extra help to keep things together).
 

Higakoryu

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Her male descendants passed it on, which they shouldn't be doing since it should behave like any other (hypothetical) Chinese Imperial bloodline founded by a woman (i.e. matrilineal transfer only). This resulted in every Tang emperor descended from her (which would be all Tang emperors on the throne after her, assuming we don't count Later Tang (related through adoption from outside the Li family) or Southern Tang (claimed descent from Taizong of Tang's son Li Ke, which would be a different branch of the Li family and thus irrelevant even if it is assumed to be true)) getting twice the expected bonus from bloodlines, resulting in (among other things) many of their vassals having a higher opinion of them than they should, which naturally would help them keep their realm together (historically, they didn't ever fully recover after the An-Shi Rebellion, and while we won't railroad their collapse they certainly shouldn't be getting extra help to keep things together).
Huh, now I noticed it, China in game never seems to do Tangplosions. How stable is China supposed to be?

So where can I find the Wu Zetian bloodline now?

How are adoptions handled in Tianxia? Speaking of adoption, IIRC people discussed having the Tenno adopted a successor from one of the Minamoto-ed (forgive me for lack of a better word) branches of the Imperial House, so can a Minamoto be adopted back into the Imperial House? And can we Minamoto away entire branches of the Yamato house, as opposed to individual characters?
 

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Huh, now I noticed it, China in game never seems to do Tangplosions. How stable is China supposed to be?

Under a decent (not necessarily great) emperor and without any major issues (e.g. massive Black Death outbreak, successful foreign invasion, or widespread devastation)? At least as stable as any other realm (possibly more so, if they can manage to get a Mandate rating above Average). Under a less good emperor and with something major going wrong? It should be reasonably likely for them to get widespread popular uprisings that risk causing the loss of whole kingdoms, Independence factions, claimant factions, and/or Takeover factions, and if things start to go poorly they can easily get a lot worse due to many parts of the Mandate calculation being affected and that fuelling other things (e.g. a disease outbreak results in devastation, hurting the Mandate rating and leaving China weaker, meaning a foreign invasion might succeed, which hurts realm size (and possibly adds more devastation), which hurt the Mandate more, which might cause a popular uprising, which might cause yet more land to be lost, which hurts the Mandate again, which leaves the emperor weak enough that an Independence faction issues an ultimatum...).

Based on the observer games I've run, it's possible for things to go in a lot of different ways even looking at the same start date. Sometimes China gets really unlucky (e.g. they get civil wars due to failed revokations/imprisonments and things spiral out of control) and collapses (or gets taken over by another dynasty, that may or may not be able to get things back under control quickly enough to avoid the same fate). Sometimes it is neither successful nor unsuccessful. Sometimes it grows noticeably (even though I keep JD CBs off) and remains stable.

It should also be noted that the Mingsplosion (or Tangsplosion, or whatever) outcome isn't necessarily what you should expect. China has collapsed in such a fashion at several points historically, but several dynasties have ended in other ways (e.g. Sui fell to a fairly short civil war and was immediately succeeded by Tang, while Song fell to foreign invasion (a long time after things started going poorly for them)), so factions overthrowing the ruling dynasty or foreign invasions putting another dynasty on the Dragon Throne are also outcomes that you could expect when China is doing poorly. Also, sometimes a dynasty has managed to endure for a long time after things started looking grim (e.g. Tang not collapsing close to the An-Shi Rebellion and Song enduring well after the Jingkang Incident and the Treaty of Shaoxing), so it's not entirely unreasonable for China to sometimes survive a setback or crisis under the same dynasty (and possibly even the same emperor, even of getting rid of a bad one certainly might help).

So where can I find the Wu Zetian bloodline now?

I'm unsure if it's still around in 769. The only person who could pass it on is Princess Taiping, and I'm unsure if either of her daughters are in the game (and, considering Princess Taiping died in 713, her daughters would be too old to have children by 769, so you'd need to find one of their daughters (if they had any) or even matrilineal granddaughters (if they had any) to pass it on any further). Much like the bloodline for Wen of Sui, it's mainly there for completeness' sake as things stand, and if you want to get a Chinese Imperial bloodline into your dynasty in the early starts you should probably try to matri-marry some distant member of the Li family instead (or maybe someone from the Sakanoue clan...).

How are adoptions handled in Tianxia? Speaking of adoption, IIRC people discussed having the Tenno adopted a successor from one of the Minamoto-ed (forgive me for lack of a better word) branches of the Imperial House, so can a Minamoto be adopted back into the Imperial House? And can we Minamoto away entire branches of the Yamato house, as opposed to individual characters?

We don't have them (though certain historical characters are scripted to get the dynasty they were adopted into where relevant), and I don't really think they should be added, both because we can't add them where they might be relevant in vanilla (e.g. for Roman culture characters) since we don't mess with vanilla to that extent and because they undermine large parts of the game (the risk of game overs due to your dynasty dying out, the risk of getting a bad heir (or a heir in the wrong kind of marriage, or a heir with an unwanted religion, etc.), bloodline inheritance, etc.). I'm quite aware that they were a thing in the Far East, but some concessions need to be made to balance and overall gameplay.

I have considered the specific case of the Imperial Family adopting back Minamotos (and Tairas), but it has been quite rare historically, it'd risk causing unwanted issues (e.g. someone's heir being adopted, or even a ruler), it'd make the Tenno's already rather powerful (at least if the Regent isn't meddling) succession law even stronger (just adopt someone good if you don't already have a decent heir!), and it'd of course get very messy to handle cases where someone is a (male line) imperial descendant but not part of the correct dynasty (e.g. descendants from matrilineal marriages, bastard dynasties, or scripted descendants that took other surnames (e.g. Ashikaga)), and I currently feel it's not really worth doing or would have to be severely restricted (e.g. only allowing it to be used on your own children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, and nieces/nephews, and only if they're not in line for any titles).

Regarding cutting off entire branches of the Imperial Family at once, it makes sense to do that, but it's somewhat messy from a scripting perspective since those descendants potentially could include the Tenno himself if his dynastic parent is alive (at least, I don't believe the decision prevents targeting your own ancestors if they're alive) and just which descendants should be affected could be messy in other cases (e.g. if a kinswoman of the Tenno is matrilineally married to a kinsman of the Tenno and you make the kinsman a Minamoto, what happens to their children? If the children are married to other members of the Imperial Family, what happens to any of their children?). It might be doable, but I'm unsure if it's too much trouble for the benefit it'd bring.