Vassal contracts are so absolutely useless

Vassal contracts are so absolutely useless

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durbal

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If all you'd get is 0.1 extra gold per month, then I'd agree it's a bad idea to waste a hook on that. But that doesn't make the mechanic itself bad. The mechanic works fine, in my opinion, it's just in this case you're considering using the hook on something unimportant.
That's what it pretty much always is. Outside of scutage (which you don't even need a hook for or to make concessions), modifying vassal contracts is a total waste. Yeah, here, let this guy have -15 opinion so he can be a pain in the ass during succession meanwhile I get a whopping what, maybe 0.5 extra gold per month? Utterly useless.
 
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Cavalry

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I get the other parts of vassal contracts can be useful, but the levy and tax differences are so minimal that they aren't worth the opinion hit.
think about a King vassal, that will give more. Otherwise it is not worth to squeeze your count vassal.
Also you can keep the hook, it will prevent the vassal joinning factions.
 

durbal

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think about a King vassal, that will give more. Otherwise it is not worth to squeeze your count vassal.
Also you can keep the hook, it will prevent the vassal joinning factions.
Weak hooks don't prevent joining factions.

King vassals don't give much more and if I'm at the point in the game where I have king vassals I then a) don't want them to have negative opinion modifiers and b) don't care about the extra 1 gold they give me.
 

TravlingCanuck

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Weak hooks don't prevent joining factions.

King vassals don't give much more and if I'm at the point in the game where I have king vassals I then a) don't want them to have negative opinion modifiers and b) don't care about the extra 1 gold they give me.
Sounds like you're in a situation where you value the opinion more than the gold. I don't see how that's a problem. There are other situations - more often than not, in my experience, after you've been on the throne for a few years - where the opinion hit is irrelevant because your vassals all love you anyway. In those situations, it can make sense to squeeze some extra gold out of the richer ones by hooking them into a more favourable contract.

I can't speak for others, but I use hooks to modify feudal contracts more often than for any other reason. If the opinion hit is important at the time, then no, or if the vassal doesn't make enough gold for it to be worthwhile, then no. But in my experience there are lots of other situations where it makes sense to build up my gold income by squeezing my richer vassals.
 
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It's really not as bad as it should be, in fact the Vikings are very helpful. They'll take the other duchies in the De Jure Kingdom of Wessex, which in turn allows you to holy war them immediately afterwards and add them to your domain. Saves a lot of time spent trying to fabricate claims.
To be clear, my sarcasm was directed at the "Grab scutage ASAP" advice, not the "Viking invasions are unbeatable" idea.

You can be damn sure I make full use of counter-attacks as Wessex to steal land via religious warfare that rightfully belongs to my neighbors. :)

That's how I conquered Ireland in my last Wessex-England game. The Irish greeted us as liberators. :p

I'll concede the point, though I can understand how the perception of them as "peasants" emerges in the forum given how quickly they become outclassed by men-at-arms as the game progresses, even if it's not wholly accurate historically (or even going by the description).
If it were up to me, there would be innovations (or perhaps buildings) that boost levy stats at least a bit.

In CK2, levies would have various troop types you could also find in retinues.
 

Wulf38

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One thing that bothers me about the vassal contract system is the way the tax thresholds are set up. If you look at the marginal differences between levels (assuming rightful liege):

Exempt -> Low: +2.5% tax, -5 opinion
Low -> Normal: +7.5% tax, -5 opinion
Normal -> High: +5% tax, -15 opinion
High -> Extortionate: +10% tax, -10 opinion

So Low -> Normal is the second biggest tax increase, and tied for smallest opinion difference. Normal -> High is the worst opinion difference, but the second smallest tax increase.

Going from Normal -> High taxes gets you 3/5 of the opinion penalty of going Normal -> Extortionate, in exchange for only 1/3 of the benefit. So settings taxes to High is a terrible deal except as an intermediate step on the way to Extortionate.

The main thing that has been dissuading me from ever raising my vassals' taxes is that I've been looking at what I'd gain from going Normal -> High and saying "that's not worth it". I might consider Extortionate taxes in future though, if I think I can get away with it.

I'm not sure why it's set up this way, instead of something like a flat +5% tax / -10 opinion per level.
 
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Riamus

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That's a good point. It would make sense to either be a linear increase in tax per decrease in opinion or else have the opinion penalty grow faster than the increase in taxes (or levies) since even if it's the same percentage, that first 10% isn't as bad as the next 10% even though it's technically the same amount. Consider your reaction to the government asking for 10% of your income vs 20% vs 30% (US, 20% is around the average, I believe). At 10%, it's "fine, whatever." At 20%, it's "Grrr. If I have to." At 30%, it's "Are you out of your mind? Heck no!" Not quite a linear progression. ;)

As far as the final max amount, I think it is okay. 25% of income at -35 penalty. Any more income tax than that and you'll beggar your nobles. And considering other opinion penalties, I can see -35 being about right. It's just the progression that could use some work.
 
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do you just not play the game with eyes?
I spy with my little eye....

2020_10_18_2.png


Sure looks like someone took the time to build stuff to me.

And this is what the county starts out as at the 867 start:

2020_10_18_1.png



I've never held that county or built buildings in it myself. And while that level of construction might not seem impressive, I picked this county for a reason.

It's on a part of the map that is fairly impoverished, with bad terrain, bad development, bad tech, and plenty of warfare. And the AI still managed to build four items for the holding.


What about later in the game? This is from my last game:

2020_10_18_3.png


Sure as Hell doesn't look like it did in 867 when I started that game, does it? If you can read the interface, you can tell a bunch of counties in southern France that have decent buildings, because they don't look like mottes from three centuries ago.
 
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Niko92

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I pretty much only use hook to add forced partition to vassals. I maybe sometimes use hooks to increase taxes/levies but most of the time don't bother since the gains are much less than the opinion hit imo.

For the other "special" options in contracts I don't even bother. I just feel like there's never a reason to use them from a ruler's perspective.
 

durbal

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Sounds like you're in a situation where you value the opinion more than the gold. I don't see how that's a problem. There are other situations - more often than not, in my experience, after you've been on the throne for a few years - where the opinion hit is irrelevant because your vassals all love you anyway. In those situations, it can make sense to squeeze some extra gold out of the richer ones by hooking them into a more favourable contract.
And then succession happens. Hope your 0.2 gold per month really mattered.
 

durbal

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That's a good point. It would make sense to either be a linear increase in tax per decrease in opinion or else have the opinion penalty grow faster than the increase in taxes (or levies) since even if it's the same percentage, that first 10% isn't as bad as the next 10% even though it's technically the same amount. Consider your reaction to the government asking for 10% of your income vs 20% vs 30% (US, 20% is around the average, I believe). At 10%, it's "fine, whatever." At 20%, it's "Grrr. If I have to." At 30%, it's "Are you out of your mind? Heck no!" Not quite a linear progression. ;)

As far as the final max amount, I think it is okay. 25% of income at -35 penalty. Any more income tax than that and you'll beggar your nobles. And considering other opinion penalties, I can see -35 being about right. It's just the progression that could use some work.
You really consider 25% of income with a -35 penalty to be fine? Unless that guy has like 8 holdings this amounts to so little, and if he does have that many then you can be sure he's gonna join a faction at succession or as soon as you're in an offensive war for a bit too long.

And let's not even begin talking about the joke that is the levy portion of vassal obligations, but that's a problem partially caused by MAA being ridiculously OP.
 

hdo

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On that note, does your liege ever refuse modifications to vassal contract? Playing as a vassal the first thing I do is give my liege 0.x more tax in return for guaranteed council rights, and I have never been refused. This is mind blowing since I could be a one county count and I still can be on the council and reap the benefits. As a steward I'd be making twice as much gold than I would have as a vassal with low taxation. So to me this is very immersion breaking that my liege would agree to such unfavorable terms proposed by a weak, single county count.
 
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TravlingCanuck

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On that note, does your liege ever refuse modifications to vassal contract? Playing as a vassal the first thing I do is give my liege 0.x more tax in return for guaranteed council rights, and I have never been refused. This is mind blowing since I could be a one county count and I still can be on the council and reap the benefits. As a steward I'd be making twice as much gold than I would have as a vassal with low taxation. So to me this is very immersion breaking that my liege would agree to such unfavorable terms proposed by a weak, single county count.
No, they don't. For simplicity reasons, every step along the tax / levy scale and every box seems to be treated as equivalent. So as long as you'e offering as much as you're asking for, they accept.

Which is a bit ridiculous. To alter the deal, you'd think you'd need to make it more attractive to your liege, not equally attractive, i.e. give up more, even if you treat each option as equal. Or maybe tie this to opinion, so that at high enough opinion they'll take an equal swap, at lower levels of opinion they'll take an unequal swap in your favour, and at negative opinion they won't accept an offer you initiate at all.
 
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Karlington

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You really consider 25% of income with a -35 penalty to be fine? Unless that guy has like 8 holdings this amounts to so little, and if he does have that many then you can be sure he's gonna join a faction at succession or as soon as you're in an offensive war for a bit too long.
I think the numbers are fine. And of course a single vassal isn't going to amount to much unless you just started the game as a very small duke. :D


And let's not even begin talking about the joke that is the levy portion of vassal obligations, but that's a problem partially caused by MAA being ridiculously OP.
Ok, so take advantage of this: reduce the levy requirements to reduce the opinion penalty. On top of this, use Scutage contracts to exchange levies for more gold. It's quite possible to get significant amounts of gold this way when you do this to your vassals (note the plural - changing the contract of a single vassal is not going to mean much in itself for a semi-large realm).



You also seem to be operating under the mistaken assumption that the AI doesn't build anything, but that was patched a while ago. The AI builds stuff all the time now, as shown in the post by @Secret Master. :)
 
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Zhetone

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you can say what you want and claim AI builds things but I've got hundreds of years into a 1066 save and seen 4k supply limit all over western/central europe. I don't care about your anecdotal evidence when I've seen it in literally every save
 
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Gibusghastly

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As I see it, the way you're supposed to handle your vassals' contracts is to exchange higher taxes for lower levies or vice verca. You're only supposed to exchange hooks for unfair contract changes is you're the vassal since vassals are the ones who don't suffer any consequences for unfair contracts in their favor and the only use for exchanging hooks for contract changes as a liege is to change vassals' contracts back if they use hooks to change them.
 

durbal

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As I see it, the way you're supposed to handle your vassals' contracts is to exchange higher taxes for lower levies or vice verca. You're only supposed to exchange hooks for unfair contract changes is you're the vassal since vassals are the ones who don't suffer any consequences for unfair contracts in their favor and the only use for exchanging hooks for contract changes as a liege is to change vassals' contracts back if they use hooks to change them.
So why are those options even there? Extra pitfalls for the AI to fall into?

If vassal contracts exist solely to put them on scutage then why even bother making graphics for the other options? They're false choices.
 

Karlington

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you can say what you want and claim AI builds things but I've got hundreds of years into a 1066 save and seen 4k supply limit all over western/central europe.
a) Were these saves started after the patch that adjusted the AI building issue?
b) Aside from supply limits, did they build things? Did you check this by clicking on their actual holdings and seeing if they had built buildings or not?




I don't care about your anecdotal evidence when I've seen it in literally every save
"I don't care about your anecdotal evidence because I have lots of anecdotal evidence of my own" might not be as strong of a rebuttal as you think. ;)
 
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Zhetone

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a) Were these saves started after the patch that adjusted the AI building issue?
b) Aside from supply limits, did they build things? Did you check this by clicking on their actual holdings and seeing if they had built buildings or not?





"I don't care about your anecdotal evidence because I have lots of anecdotal evidence of my own" might not be as strong of a rebuttal as you think. ;)
every game I played after the latest patch the AI doesn't build and armies can't be over 4k or so without getting massive attrition because the AI is terrible
 
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