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KatoCatV

Second Lieutenant
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Jan 17, 2023
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The topic of the reformation of the military process is not new and is full of good ideas. The purpose of this post is to share your thoughts (of course, to find out your preferences).
1) The skirmish phase – formally it is present, but in the form of a requirement for the complete destruction of the enemy in battle.
How many units can get relevance if you return the phase to the full extent.
2) Morale – many players already know this attribute from other studio projects. But why isn't he here? This literally removes any obstacle to endless frontal attacks.
3) You are on a military campaign, you don't care about the love stories of the royal court. The events associated with the campaigns diversify the military narrative. Taking the city and dividing its wealth, dissolute ladies and greetings from gonorrhea, challenging the enemy commander to a duel, and so on.
 
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I would really like more player involvement in battles. Maybe just for when your character is directly involved in battle, to avoid spam, as either a knight or commander.

Maybe something like this:
Select an army you're leading, and pick a stance for it. Aggressive or Cautious.
If Aggressive, an event may pop up during battle, where you can make a risky maneuver, attempt to flank or surround the enemy, make a daring assault on the commander retinue or just order a mass charge, disregarding the lives of your troops.
If Cautious, an event may prompt you to form a strong defensive line, perform a feigned retreat tactic, trap the enemy, then counterattack...
Some of those options could appear in an event. There could be just one event to give you options, then maybe one follow-up to tell you how well you did. Just 1/2 events per battle wouldn't be too spammy, especially if they fire only when your character is leading an army.
These options would temporarily give boosts to specific units within your army, or isolate and weaken some enemy units. Of course, all options have a risk of failure. It depends greatly whether you can execute something well or not on your commander's skill. It can depend on the skill of enemy commander, and on terrain. You'd have to be more tactical when picking a field of battle. Flanking or surrounding the enemy is easier on open fields, than on hills or mountains. On the other hand, it could be detrimental to try and surround your enemy in open fields, if you're mostly fielding heavy infantry. As such, you'd have to be aware of your troop composition as well. All of this would also influence casualties in battle. A smaller force could fend of a larger army, if it took up defensive positions on a favorable terrain. Aggressive stance would cause more casualties and make battles more decisive.

Commanders and Knights could also have their own stances. Whether they want to passively lead an army, or get into thick of battle, it will influence troop morale, and their own survivability odds. Again, sometimes an event could fire up during battle, where you can go wild and show off your prowess, remain within battle formation or simply sneak away to safer parts of the field.

All of this would, in my opinion, give a significant boost to immersion and strategy. It would keep the players more involved in war, while not overwhelming them with too much complexity.

I'd also appreciate a rework of Rally Points. For me, this is the main reason why warfare is rather weak in this game. It's basically a cheat feature, allowing you to teleport your troops with ease, wherever you need to do battle. It's super easy and super effective, without any downside. Now, I'm not asking to have every vassal army raised in their own provinces, then spend half the war just gathering troops. Some middle ground could be found for sure.

Sieges could benefit from more interactions as well.
 
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I would really like more player involvement in battles. Maybe just for when your character is directly involved in battle, to avoid spam, as either a knight or commander.

Maybe something like this:
Select an army you're leading, and pick a stance for it. Aggressive or Cautious.
If Aggressive, an event may pop up during battle, where you can make a risky maneuver, attempt to flank or surround the enemy, make a daring assault on the commander retinue or just order a mass charge, disregarding the lives of your troops.
If Cautious, an event may prompt you to form a strong defensive line, perform a feigned retreat tactic, trap the enemy, then counterattack...
Some of those options could appear in an event. There could be just one event to give you options, then maybe one follow-up to tell you how well you did. Just 1/2 events per battle wouldn't be too spammy, especially if they fire only when your character is leading an army.
These options would temporarily give boosts to specific units within your army, or isolate and weaken some enemy units. Of course, all options have a risk of failure. It depends greatly whether you can execute something well or not on your commander's skill. It can depend on the skill of enemy commander, and on terrain. You'd have to be more tactical when picking a field of battle. Flanking or surrounding the enemy is easier on open fields, than on hills or mountains. On the other hand, it could be detrimental to try and surround your enemy in open fields, if you're mostly fielding heavy infantry. As such, you'd have to be aware of your troop composition as well. All of this would also influence casualties in battle. A smaller force could fend of a larger army, if it took up defensive positions on a favorable terrain. Aggressive stance would cause more casualties and make battles more decisive.

Commanders and Knights could also have their own stances. Whether they want to passively lead an army, or get into thick of battle, it will influence troop morale, and their own survivability odds. Again, sometimes an event could fire up during battle, where you can go wild and show off your prowess, remain within battle formation or simply sneak away to safer parts of the field.

All of this would, in my opinion, give a significant boost to immersion and strategy. It would keep the players more involved in war, while not overwhelming them with too much complexity.
I wonder what the impact on performance would be if every ruler has to make these battle decisions. (Gawd, what would that do to crusades?) Other than that concern, it's an OK idea.
 
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On the other hand, it could be detrimental to try and surround your enemy in open fields, if you're mostly fielding heavy infantry.
Every army in the game is 90% made up of rabble units aka "Levy" unless you're the player and have 100 gold/month with max tech. I'll never acknowledge a warfare rework as long as the "Levy" unit remains.
 
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It might be unpopular, but I'd rather have less direct involvement in battles. I certainly don't want events popping up asking me to affect the simulation in some highly contrived way. It's already weird enough in tournaments and there I basically just look at whatever has the highest percentage chance of success and go with that.

One potentially impactful improvement or change could be to have commanders be more meaningful and potentially have more of them in battle. Their personality should have effects, and no one personality should be obviously or significantly better than others. I wouldn't want to send a craven noble as a commander, but it shouldn't be clear that you always send a brave noble. There should be conflicting qualities that may matter more or less depending on enemy, terrain, etc. And if the commanders are disloyal, they should be able to break away with a part of the army or fight less well, providing reasons to keep your vassals and knights happy.

I also wholeheartedly agree with the people who want to see levies go away and be replaced with MAA everywhere and have vassals fight as allies in a war. I also agree on morale, though I worry if they AI could handle it.

But overall, I don't think making the game more tactical would be a good idea. That's a different kind of game or a very significant and costly addition. So anything that veers into that I would immediately nix if I were the game designer.
 
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I wonder what the impact on performance would be if every ruler has to make these battle decisions. (Gawd, what would that do to crusades?) Other than that concern, it's an OK idea.

No relevant impact at all, I am sure. Events could even be all previously scheduled at the start of the battle to avoid testing every day.
I am also an enthusiastic supporter of battle events that have the power to influence significantly the fate of the battle. They would add hugely to the narrative with the power to dramatically change the results of a battle.

Probably not a very popular idea here but as far as the battle mechanics, this is an issue that will never reach any sort of consensus among the players. The current system has for it the capability of anyone to mod the battles however she/he sees fit. Make them more deterministic, more random, change the impact of any unit type, of terrain, of buildings, etc.
Much more relevant for the game than changing the battle mechanics would be to improve significantly how the AI moves its armies around. Even if it meant to redesign warfare a bit adding ZOCs or whatever, thus limiting the choice of movements available. So, I advocate for a change at strategic level with meaningful events at tactical one.
 
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Completely agree with Prince Maslama, the fact levies exist means any rework not addressing it would be a band aid at most. Levies need to be reduced heavily as to stop the bloat of army sizes, not be actual Canon fodder, raising them should actually have an effect on your development and lands.

Money and mercenaries also need a rework in my opinion, i miss when mercenaries weren't a one and done before their contract runs out and you either extend or lose them. I miss when it was far more expensive because you had to constantly pay them off and if you don't they either stop supporting you or defect.

Another thing that needs a rework is how Vassal participate in wars, i genuinely believe the fact they cannot actually support their liege in wars directly is a huge missed opportunity and ahistorical. The mod Vassal to arms adds that feature and the game is far more challenging and interesting for it.

Also the current system is extremely limited when it comes to modding. Any rework to warfare needs to include improving that aspect as if it is heavily moddable we wouldn't need pdx to do much and the community could make their own tweaks and adjustments.

I also agree with sreckom92's idea of making the battles far more character oriented with your decisions actually mattering. To avoid the idea of annoying spammy events we could have options were you could choose to either auto resolve these decisions or just not see them or better yet add more than just 5 battle events, make them varied and diverse unlike the travel or court events.

I get the concern of performance but i refuse to believe there aren't ways to optimize such a system or something similar and just leave the current terrible system the way it is.
 
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It might be unpopular, but I'd rather have less direct involvement in battles. I certainly don't want events popping up asking me to affect the simulation in some highly contrived way. It's already weird enough in tournaments and there I basically just look at whatever has the highest percentage chance of success and go with that.

One potentially impactful improvement or change could be to have commanders be more meaningful and potentially have more of them in battle. Their personality should have effects, and no one personality should be obviously or significantly better than others. I wouldn't want to send a craven noble as a commander, but it shouldn't be clear that you always send a brave noble. There should be conflicting qualities that may matter more or less depending on enemy, terrain, etc. And if the commanders are disloyal, they should be able to break away with a part of the army or fight less well, providing reasons to keep your vassals and knights happy.

I also wholeheartedly agree with the people who want to see levies go away and be replaced with MAA everywhere and have vassals fight as allies in a war. I also agree on morale, though I worry if they AI could handle it.

But overall, I don't think making the game more tactical would be a good idea. That's a different kind of game or a very significant and costly addition. So anything that veers into that I would immediately nix if I were the game designer.
Personally, I was referring to events not only during the battle itself, but rather the events of a military campaign.
"Your mercenaries have started looting-what should I do, my lord?"
"Dysentery again, my lord"
"We can get supplies in neutral territory, just talk to the local lord"
"These pilgrims want to join our crusade"
"Bring me a donkey with a chest of gold, we will take this city"
 
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:D Military rework thread, huzzah! These are always good fun and a bit frustrating in equal measure.

Fun because holy hell is there room for improvement no matter which way you slice the current situation, frustrating because the warfare mechanics are a sad combination of fundamental (and thus very sensitive: they really can't be specc'd too much towards any one player type) and kinda old code (which means it's a bit more rickety and thus both hard & risky to make systemic changes at all). I've got uhh. A not-insubstantial number of proposed designs for this area and they generally run into the same rocks time and again.

... aaaand there's the additional fun lil cherry on top that warfare mechanics essentially have to be free. There's no way to even consider a two-track system with them that wouldn't be pure hell for everyone involved, dev & players alike. Free is good, we like making free stuff (I mean... I like making free stuff, I assume other people do too), but paid stuff pays the actual bills so if we're making a DLC, it needs to have paid content to get approved, and that paid content needs to be worthwhile for the people who buy the DLC that subsidises the free patch that goes with it.

:| Warfare changes generally imply a fairly large overhaul to put in a patch which means we'd really need one helluva set of paid features to pay for the development of such a thing, and that's difficult to conceptualise because they'd need to be core enough to add value but not so core that they make it a pay-to-win affair, and not so peripheral that they're just kind of bolted on to the side. It's a difficult tightrope to walk, which is why we've so far not done so.

Ok, buzzkillery out of the way, let's move on to some fun stuff.
The topic of the reformation of the military process is not new and is full of good ideas. The purpose of this post is to share your thoughts (of course, to find out your preferences).
1) The skirmish phase – formally it is present, but in the form of a requirement for the complete destruction of the enemy in battle.
How many units can get relevance if you return the phase to the full extent.
2) Morale – many players already know this attribute from other studio projects. But why isn't he here? This literally removes any obstacle to endless frontal attacks.
3) You are on a military campaign, you don't care about the love stories of the royal court. The events associated with the campaigns diversify the military narrative. Taking the city and dividing its wealth, dissolute ladies and greetings from gonorrhea, challenging the enemy commander to a duel, and so on.
Honestly all excellent points. Skirmish is, to my mind, critically under-utilised given how much of medieval warfare this actually covered vs. pitched battles. As a devoted fan of weird remote mountain people I find it very, very frustrating that you can't defend tiny isolated pocket realms by refusing to engage in pitched battle.

Morale, I can see why we don't have it. It tends to result in punishment spirals and ups the amount of ping-ponging you need to do vs. opposing armies. At the same time, not having it does mean that, as you say, full frontal assaults with devastating losses are just kinda... fine? There's no penalty or cost to pay for them (which also feed backs into skirmishing being under-played). I feel like, for the style of warfare we've got right now, a mechanic for war exhaustion or certain battles having knock-on effects at home would be perhaps more what I'd want than strictly army morale, though then we can't really go whole hog with that with the levies:MaA situation as-is because it'd likely disproportionately punish levy-heavy armies and thus the AI.

Events. Dear gods would I like to write warfare events. I believe the idea was that, when you're doing army micro, you don't really want events popping up in the way all the time — especially if they occur at a critical junction whilst manoeuvring and cause a frustrating battle as a result — and though I think that made sense for release, I think everyone in the community would be happy to just game rule this'un. If you're fussed, you turn 'em off, if you're not, you don't. The question is really just when we'd make them, with the most natural answer being "as part of a warfare DLC!", and the unfortunate retort there being that, as mentioned above, a warfare DLC is sadly a bit of a tricky proposition.
I would really like more player involvement in battles. Maybe just for when your character is directly involved in battle, to avoid spam, as either a knight or commander.

<snip>

All of this would, in my opinion, give a significant boost to immersion and strategy. It would keep the players more involved in war, while not overwhelming them with too much complexity.

I'd also appreciate a rework of Rally Points. For me, this is the main reason why warfare is rather weak in this game. It's basically a cheat feature, allowing you to teleport your troops with ease, wherever you need to do battle. It's super easy and super effective, without any downside. Now, I'm not asking to have every vassal army raised in their own provinces, then spend half the war just gathering troops. Some middle ground could be found for sure.

Sieges could benefit from more interactions as well.
Probably not at that level of micro, but yeah, something for setting stances (or at least seeing what your commander might roll in battle) would be good. Warfare is very divorced from characters and even much in the way of player agency atm in a way that's just quite sad IMHO.

Rally points: I wasn't particularly involved with them pre-release, but I believe that they originally were implemented a bit differently, with costs/restrictions as ye'd imagine. It turned out quite awkward, even with a few variations: either the AI can't handle it or it's frustrating for the player or it adds a layer of cumbersome identical micro to the start of every war, or a combination thereof. The current version was intended to be the one with the least friction, so it hurts the AI the least, it's the least frustrating/tiresome for the player, but as ye say, it does just basically work like a cheat. If given the chance I think we probably would adjust it somehow.

Sieges: hard agree, they're very rote and they really don't have to be, as they're one of the places in warfare with the least variables to track and so the most open to content shenaniganery.
I wonder what the impact on performance would be if every ruler has to make these battle decisions. (Gawd, what would that do to crusades?) Other than that concern, it's an OK idea.
After the "characters on the map", I don't think it will be more critical
A good rule of thumb is to assume that whatever you want to do, the performance implications will be about ~5 times worse than you assume, because you've definitely forgotten edge cases that Code'll need to check every time. ^^' At least, uhhh, that's my experience. It doesn't always hold true but it pays to be pessimistic about this stuff and be pleasantly surprised rather than optimistic and have to rework a bunch of stuff because your design turns out to be based on something that'll make the title 30% slower overall.

Also, a small point of error: there being large performance hogs in the title doesn't mean we can be more flippant with other areas, I'm afraid it's the opposite. Performance is a constant battle of improvements & reclaimed processing power vs. new stuff slowly weighing everything down, so if you can make a saving, you do, because you need those little bits to add up if you don't want to deal with the title running absolutely glacially 1.5y from now when another DLC or three's worth of obscure content checks have been dumped onto its plate.

Not that uhhh. Any Paradox game would ever struggle with speed in the late game. No sirree.
Every army in the game is 90% made up of rabble units aka "Levy" unless you're the player and have 100 gold/month with max tech. I'll never acknowledge a warfare rework as long as the "Levy" unit remains.
There are so many claims against levy that it is a matter of honor to fix it
I also wholeheartedly agree with the people who want to see levies go away and be replaced with MAA everywhere
Real-talk: I don't think we're ever removing levies. As with everything core to warfare, such a change would be like... a major & fractal risk to most of the title, except even more so than usual here, because how much of the title is set up and balanced (such as our balance is) around constant levy growth, around the AI and most players guessing a stack's strength by its number, around the fundamentals of them being the basic system for troops and MaA being an auxiliary one. And, yeah, players who are quite good at martial stuff will just rely entirely on MaA, but the AI doesn't and neither does most of the playerbase. It is, I'm afraid, a distinct minority who understand combat mechanics well enough to be able to either avoid levies entirely or even really utilise them well.

Doing so might be technically possible with enough time and budget, but personally, and as one of the folks on the team most likely to advocate for warfare mechanics, I do not see the gains to be had from this vs. the huge technical, design, and onboarding risks.

I'll also say that I think they get kinda scapegoated as the root cause of simplicity in warfare because they're visible. Warfare suffers because we can't easily make adjustments to it, with the one exception being MaA. MaA are the most interactive element and therefore the one that players have the most agency over and which we can tune the easiest, which means they just shine significantly brighter than the rest of the system. If someone were giving me the scope to make a mid-sized warfare DLC, I think the approach I would want to take wouldn't be to remove them, it'd be to give them relevance and purpose by expanding areas of the system other than MaA, which is what we really struggle with atm.
It might be unpopular, but I'd rather have less direct involvement in battles. I certainly don't want events popping up asking me to affect the simulation in some highly contrived way. It's already weird enough in tournaments and there I basically just look at whatever has the highest percentage chance of success and go with that.

One potentially impactful improvement or change could be to have commanders be more meaningful and potentially have more of them in battle. Their personality should have effects, and no one personality should be obviously or significantly better than others. I wouldn't want to send a craven noble as a commander, but it shouldn't be clear that you always send a brave noble. There should be conflicting qualities that may matter more or less depending on enemy, terrain, etc. And if the commanders are disloyal, they should be able to break away with a part of the army or fight less well, providing reasons to keep your vassals and knights happy.
Strong agree in principle.

In practice there is the cautionary case of CK2's combat tactic mechanics, which kinda did this (though not too focused on personality traits) but was very obfuscated. A tiny, tiny minority of players understood it and how to game it, but the vast majority didn't really know it was there or pay attention to it. Not that they couldn't, necessarily, just that it could feel very random if you didn't know the precise weights/triggers for what-did-what, and moreover was just not really telegraphed in the UI.

Personally, I don't think that's a dealbreaker, not every mechanic inspired by the same things has to be identical to any given predecessor, but it is sadly not as automatic a gain as we might hope.
have vassals fight as allies in a war
Another thing that needs a rework is how Vassal participate in wars, i genuinely believe the fact they cannot actually support their liege in wars directly is a huge missed opportunity and ahistorical. The mod Vassal to arms adds that feature and the game is far more challenging and interesting for it.
It's certainly ahistorical, no disagreement there, as this is entirely a gameplay thing. As I understand it, the reason we have it set up like this is so that the AI can at least attempt to make rational decisions: basically when they look at likely targets, they need to know the relative strength of that target, and if that strength may or may not include particular allies is part of that evaluation. Vassals in the equation complicate that significantly and make it significantly easier for those estimates (especially for defenders) to be way off the mark.

There's also a design concern about making it harder to attack large realms, especially blobs that just do not need the extra defenders, but I think that's probably significantly easier to solve, we've just not had a reason to.

I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the mod but, for what it's worth, it rather sounds like it's essentially just turning on brownian motion mode: lots of people randomly bumping into each other and whatever wars the AI is getting into are going to be based off of requirements that are intrinsically false. Any challenge there is gonna be purely because there's more armies on the field to fight, because the AI will keep putting 2+2 into a calculator expecting to get 4, making decisions as though the answer is 4, then unexpectedly coming back with 28.
I am also an enthusiastic supporter of battle events that have the power to influence significantly the fate of the battle. They would add hugely to the narrative with the power to dramatically change the results of a battle.
Preach. Though I certainly see SectorsAreOkay's points about not wanting too much emphasis on a tactical element/micro vs. more strategic play, I think there's a lot of room for at least some narrative events in battles, as long as they aren't a mainstay. :) Getting an event for every minor skirmish whilst you mop up stacks, bad, getting an event because a major battle is about to turn into a Hastings or a Manzikert, hell yeah.
Probably not a very popular idea here but as far as the battle mechanics, this is an issue that will never reach any sort of consensus among the players. The current system has for it the capability of anyone to mod the battles however she/he sees fit. Make them more deterministic, more random, change the impact of any unit type, of terrain, of buildings, etc.
:( Alas, there's the rub. It's not hard to design a combat system that really suits one player, a small group of players, or a specific type of player, but it's actually pretty hard to make something better for all/most parties, and the system is core enough that we can't just focus in on the people who really want more detailed warfare because everyone else has to interact with it too.
Much more relevant for the game than changing the battle mechanics would be to improve significantly how the AI moves its armies around. Even if it meant to redesign warfare a bit adding ZOCs or whatever, thus limiting the choice of movements available. So, I advocate for a change at strategic level with meaningful events at tactical one.
Yeah, I have a mixed relationship with ZOC. On the one hand, I feel like there's gotta be a better way, on the other, it's tried'n'true & moving from no/little ZOC to lots of ZOC did work well enough for Stellaris. Past the uhhh, initial reception.

AI improvements always relevant whatever we do.
Money and mercenaries also need a rework in my opinion, i miss when mercenaries weren't a one and done before their contract runs out and you either extend or lose them. I miss when it was far more expensive because you had to constantly pay them off and if you don't they either stop supporting you or defect.
Strong agree, they lack character at the moment and they really don't have to.
Also the current system is extremely limited when it comes to modding. Any rework to warfare needs to include improving that aspect as if it is heavily moddable we wouldn't need pdx to do much and the community could make their own tweaks and adjustments.
Also fair and valid: for what it's worth, we feel that frustration within the team too. As I've gone into a bit in this post and elsewhere, it's not easily doable so Code isn't too keen to try considering the risks and time involved, which means that even in-house there's not much Design can do to shore stuff up. If we can't tweak it, link back to it, or affect it as it happens, then we can't make content for it, and warfare is just about the least adjustable thing in all of CK3.
I also agree with sreckom92's idea of making the battles far more character oriented with your decisions actually mattering. To avoid the idea of annoying spammy events we could have options were you could choose to either auto resolve these decisions or just not see them or better yet add more than just 5 battle events, make them varied and diverse unlike the travel or court events.
EP2 had, at a very rough count, around ~180 travel events, and there were somewhere around ~100 hold court events in EP1. Repetition with both isn't really a problem of volume, it's a problem of cycling: if you do something all the time, you will run through the content it has a lot faster than something you do only occasionally, which affects how events should be written for that type of event pool. :) We generally refer to this as content depth vs. system breadth: if you make ten events for a system a player engages with once every lifetime or two, the narrow breadth of the system means it's actually somewhat deep, but if you make 200 events for a system they engage with constantly, well, expect those events to start to repeat fast.

Breadth isn't always something you specifically choose, often it's just something you deal with, but it informs how much time can be spent on making a pool feel meaningfully deep and if those events are worth making at all. Warfare is something you do all the time, so any event content made for it should expect to be fired quite often unless it's really, really specifically designed in such a way that that's not possible.

I actually think travel and hold court are two very interesting systems to pick for this, because to my mind travel kinda makes it work — the events are either enjoyable if you've the time or inoffensive if you're in a rush — whereas hold court is disproportionately annoying because the core system has a lot of breadth which drastically reduces depth which makes it super prominent when an event is harsh, or too jokey, or just feels demeaning. Stuff that wouldn't be that bad as a rare yearly gets unduly stressed and that makes it actively much more offensive. I wasn't actually on travel as a feature at all, but all the same my feeling is that it's fairly emblematic of the team learning its lesson from how hold court turned out.

There's also event specificity, where if you make 5 events that are really tailoured to a player's situation then that's cool but they generally won't see them, they'll see the 2 events you made that were more generalised and are thus available to be triggered. If you make too many events that aren't at all specific then the pool will feel generalised and unresponsive, if you make too many events that are specialised then you functionally reduce pool depth and put much more strain on the events that do trigger to carry the load.

... which is all a very long-winded trip into some basic design theory as a way of saying: if you don't like travel events then you won't like warfare events, at least not in the format you've suggested them.

On auto-resolve, I'll say that I've often heard it said that a system which the player can automate to have the same experience as playing with it on is a system that probably wasn't worth the time it took to make.
Personally, I was referring to events not only during the battle itself, but rather the events of a military campaign.
"Your mercenaries have started looting-what should I do, my lord?"
"Dysentery again, my lord"
"We can get supplies in neutral territory, just talk to the local lord"
"These pilgrims want to join our crusade"
"Bring me a donkey with a chest of gold, we will take this city"
;_; The dream.
 
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Thank you Wokeg for an almost DD-sized reply to this thread. I know you speak partly in "official" manner, and partly from your personal thoughts, but It is in any case very nice and promising to hear that any kind of warfare improvement could be on the radar.
 
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I don't think we're ever removing levies.
Can you atleast make them a bit more relevant so AI armies are slightly more challenging during the late game?

Things you can introduce without having to uproot the entire system:

1. Have tech/buildings influence the stats of levies. This will allow levies to scale with the strength of MAA as time goes by. Culture should also affect the stats of the levy unit. Maybe Turkic cultures have a levy unit with high rate of pursuit to reflect the fact they fought mostly on horse back. A Norse levy has higher toughness etc. Hopefully superficial stuff that doesn’t break the system we already have.

2. Allow us to choose the type of armaments our levies have access to, which will advertently increase the battle effectiveness of levies. This can be a modifier to the levy unit or something more trivial that doesnt require massive amount of development.

Anything that can make levies more relevant (preferably with more flavour) in the game would be a plus.
 
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Thank you Wokeg for an almost DD-sized reply to this thread. I know you speak partly in "official" manner, and partly from your personal thoughts, but It is in any case very nice and promising to hear that any kind of warfare improvement could be on the radar.
^^ Happy if any of it's of interest!
Can you atleast make them a bit more relevant so AI armies are slightly more challenging during the late game?

Things you can introduce without having to uproot the entire system:

1. Have tech/buildings influence the stats of levies. This will allow levies to scale with the strength of MAA as time goes by. Culture should also affect the stats of the levy unit. Maybe Turkic cultures have a levy unit with high rate of pursuit to reflect the fact they fought mostly on horse back. A Norse levy has higher toughness etc. Hopefully superficial stuff that doesn’t break the system we already have.

2. Allow us to choose the type of armaments our levies have access to, which will advertently increase the battle effectiveness of levies. This can be a modifier to the levy unit or something more trivial that doesnt require massive amount of development.

Anything that can make levies more relevant (preferably with more flavour) in the game would be a plus.
:) Honestly, you've hit the nail on the head for the type of improvements I would like to make to levies. Removing them adds a whole bunch of uncertainty, but making them better over time, or perhaps allowing a slight speciality tied into some aspect of how a realm functions ("I have Rock levies that I know will do well against my large Scissor levy-having neighbour but suck for conquest against all these lil Paper levy micro-realms that I want to eat up"), stuff like that is working with the system to improve it and make it something worthwhile to engage with, not ripping it out wholesale and hoping nothing too vital comes along for the ride.

It's still then tied up in the whole mess of how feasible is a combat rework DLC, how much could we accomplish in just an unsupported patch, when would we do this and instead of what, which tweaks or micro-features can we make as an on-going thing without some wider framework that'll meaningfully improve things (stuff like stationing), all the usual mess, but it's at least technically and design-wise feasible and when there's as many frustrating blocks as here, I'll take that lil W.
 
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Maybe people are forgetting that levies are all men and boys and women in disguise who have been pulled out of farms and breweries and have had swords shoved into their hands.

Raising levies should have significant impacts on the places they come from. I'm not talking about e.g. lowering development. I'd like to see something more impactful. If there's been any thought around building an economic/trade system into the game. then this could be where raising levies might really have an impact.

...I've used the word 'impact' too much. Never mind....
 
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Thanks @Wokeg on the detailed answer, explaining and detailing your ideas and the real world constraints on this matter. Quite insightful.

On the side aspect you mentioned about the repetition of events, while informing us the travel system has 180(!!!), aren't most of them locked behind very strict triggers, thus making most events inacessible in bulk under the most normal conditions? The fact of the matter is that between normal travels and pilgrimages I believe I haven't seen more than 20 events... maybe it's my mind playing tricks on me but that is how it feels.

The events about a wheel breaking and poisonous plants already became a constant feature of the travelling system, tbh... At the very least, one thing you could code, would be only allowing an event to fire once per travel.

As for the events inside the royal court and with 100 of them, why don't you prevent the same event from firing for 30 years, for instance? In this way variation would increase, for sure.
 
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Thank you for your response wokeg, it's good to know someone at the dev team understands the issues with the system and are pushing to improving it.
 
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I don't think we're ever removing levies. As with everything core to warfare
Thank you for your insights. I just wanted to drop by and propose an alternative, as someone who doesn't like the current levy system. I'm not suggesting that removing them is the answer, because it isn't. The system is quite fine actually, if we just see it as a baseline to go from. My only problem with them is that they're not regionally bound, can be teleported around over huge distances, and never evolve throughout the game. Worse, they don't make sense for some cultures, like the Mongols or Byzantines.

A possible solution, in my view, is to convert levy and levy obligations into a currency of sorts, like manpower. You could still raise that manpower directly in the most basic form, aka levies, you know, farmers with pitchforks and all that. Just like now. Maybe not as granular, more like in small chunks of 100 or so, but the idea is that levies as a system remain.

But going from there, what if you could use that "manpower" currency and create better units from them, like Longbowmen, Spearmen, Siege Engineers etc.? That would model how levies historically evolved, when better equipment became available, the state sponsored equipment, mandated regular training etc.

The groundwork is already there, as we have the ability to create our regiments and train units for money. It even takes up a currency of sorts: regiment/unit capacity. Just that in the new system it wouldn't cost money and regiment/unit cap, but money and manpower capacity, the latter being limited by the amount of levies you have available (and maybe also some resources, if we ever go down into some trade and resource content further down the line)

Another system is also there, and pretty much not prominently utilized: special troop contingents. Those are pre-defined groups of several of units, usually special starting armies, event armies, holy orders or mercs. They exist outside of the current dual system of levies and MaA. I think that system has a bit of potential here, if we combine it with the MaA/army system.

Right now, we havy levies as a separate group, MaA as separate group, and special troops as extra groups. Let's combine them instead! If we could access the "army group" system and use our manpower to create our MaA, and then organize our MaA into such continegents of troops, that would solve a bunch of issues and still stay within the boundaries of the current mechanics. I'd even bind manpower to geographical regions (which the game already has in the background afaik), not unlike Imperator: Rome, where provinces had one troop continent per area to be used/customized and raised.

Such a system would actually allow for historical empires to use more professional armies in the later eras of the game, armies that are stationed around the empire (and not have all of them spawn at a rally point), like the Byzantines did throughout their history with their Themata.

As a matter of balance, better units would need to be much more expensive than they're now. I'd go further and look to the Total War series, which introduced the "Supply Lines" mechanic. It increases the upkeep of all troops the more armies you have, for the sake of balance. Could be an idea here, too.

And if we think in terms of paid content, army traditions for individual army groups could be a thing (like character memories, just for armies, and they'd provide some buffs and prestige etc. based on what the army did over the centuries), or some sort of troop designer (blatantly stolen from HoI4), to allow customization of units and allow for better/different equipment or something.

Just wanted to drop that off here, hoping some of those thoughts might spark a good idea or two. And again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on that matter. It is very much appreciated!
 
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The poisonous plant event triggers so frequently you’d think that your party is living off of that for the entire journey
That, and also my realm is just full of all manner of gross peasant soups for my guy to try out.

Wokeg, I do appreciate the depth and breath discussion, about how deeply situantional events are cool but also make the remaining generic events have to pull more weight. I do like the idea of safeguards to limit repetition of the same event within X period of time. That would probably also require a design that's comfortable with sometimes having no event at various stages of a scheme or activity though. Like sometimes, instead of an event during hunting where a vassal is one again shifting though wild herbs, you'd sometimes just get a blurb saying "you're closing in on your quarry" and the hunt round continue to progress.
 
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