What are old CK2 veterans' opinion of CK3?

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Cronus865

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I have billion hours yada yada. You can compare base game CK2 without DLC or what it was like on launch to CK3, and how CK2's mods right now alone blow CK3 out of the water, and it might be unfair to compare things like that to what CK3 is right now. All I know is that today in 2021 when I open Steam and see both games, I go with CK2 which is all that matters to me and CK3's improvements don't fill it's shortcomings. Yes, like most Paradox games CK3 will get better after a couple of years, but we're not there yet. That doesn't mean I think CK3 is bad by any stretch, it's probably the best vanilla game Paradox has released, it's just unfortunate that CK2 exist because it's obviously going to get compared to it, and I just simply have more fun with CK2 right now.
 
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King Anund

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I like it a lot, even though it can and has to be improved in several of its aspects. It is definitely more immersive and personal. Visually it is gorgeous and the character portraits (if we could call them so) are also very beautiful and make things more personal. I also love how in CK3 the AI marries its characters better so that there are less kings married to lowborns and more interesting scenarios come out of it. Mechanics also feel that are more well thought out and fit into each other very well, unlike in CK2 which sometimes felt like a Frankenstein monster, made of different pieces which didn't fit much.

However some things should be improved, mostly in depth, flavor and new mechanics. I personally miss that in CK3 there are only 2 start dates while in CK2 we had 98.727. I liked to start my games in different eras and see different famous people of the Middle Ages in them. I can understand that most people seem to play only the first start dates and so the resources for the rest could be spared by a business point of view but the work was already done for CK2 so it shouldn't take as long. Also I miss a lot of mechanics, mainly the College of Cardinals, as I think the Church and its influence is underrepresented in Crusader Kings, but probably it would be introduced in the future and hopefully with more of a meaningful mechanic than was in CK3. The succession line in CK3 is a little bit wonky in comparison to CK2: people that shouldn't be part of it are sometimes put inside like mothers or half-brothers which have no connection to the original holder of a title.

All in all, CK3 has been that such and improvement that when I have tried to return to CK2 for things that I love I don't feel as engaged to it. Hopefully, it will gain depth as Development continues for the following years.
 
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x4077

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My veteran opinion is that there was zero reason for the QoL features of CK2 to be just left out of CK3 altogether. It won't matter to me one iota how much more content gets put into CK3 in the upcoming patches and DLCs, if the game remains as annoying and painful to play because of the lack of UI features I'll keep going back to CK2 or to other games altogether.
 
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LFA

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One of the aspects of CK3 that I feel is not so often brought up is how "easy" the game is, and more importantly, how easy it is to get claims.

In CK2 it could often take a lot of time to fullfill your objectives and it seems to me that the pace was overall slower (which isn't a bad thing)
In CK 3 whichever character you start with, you can generally, and very quicky balloon from a duke or small king into an emperor with a tight grasp on their vassals, or even from a count to a powerful vassal able to challenge his liege without any real problem, all in a matter of 20 years or so.
I feel like there is less of a need to meticulously and carefully plan ahead as well as be very keen to seize any opportunity that would present itself.
In summary, whatever your starting situation, it feels like you always have a quick and easy way to victory. And almost always a variety of ways to get ahead immediately.

Like I've mentionned the multiplicity of easily available claims really helps in that regard. Why would you spend time marrying your way into usurping your liege when you can easily inflate into a strong vassal and forge a claim with an almost immediately available forge-claim-on-liege perk ?
As a matter of fact you can easily do both at the same time, just to be sure, if you want.
The forge claim councilor mission is quick and reliable in CK 3 when it was anything but in CK2
The Focus system allows you to relatively quickly grab the perk necessary for your ascension and immediately put them to use, whereas the equivalent system from CK2 was less gamey, slower and more random, requiring time for your character to properly blossom into competence into whatever area you chose.
Vassals it seems are much tamer and don't really give you any trouble for being constantly at war. As long as you make sur to not anger anyone with tyranny, and redistribute a bunch of your conquests you can basically go on 30 year long unstopable expansion periods without any real protest from your vassals before you have to consider slowing down if you want to accumulate good will to be transferred to your successor.
Also seems like levies reinforce much quicker

In my opinion, CK 2 was rythmed by expansion or opportunity grabbing periods and slower times where you would more or less watch the time fly while you plan your next hit or wait for it to come to fruition, getting busy with other busy work and less important tasks in the meantime.
CK 3 gives you the opportunity to do pretty much everything you want, immediately and easily. And whatever your objectives are, all paths are generaly viable (although some will be more effective than others depending on the situation of course)

On top of that, several mechanics having been severely dumbed down (raising levies and embarking, personal levies vs vassal levies) and some of the features being straight up removed instead of being improved upon (papal curia, artefacts, societies) and CK 3 feels a little shallow to me compared to its older brother. Kind of like it's lost some of its flavor or cachet.

EDIT: now of course there are also plenty of improvement on various aspects of the game like some people have pointed out that's undeniable.
But some of the changes I'm just really not a fan of even after giving them time.
The main point of this post is that I believe that slowing down the game's pace significantly would create much more room to develop various playstyles instead of map painting. Like involvement in societies (if they come back) managing your real/vassal/familly/court, having a more extensive and slower approach to scheming and diplomacy. And more side occupations of various nature (religion, hunting, warfare training, children education etc etc, whatever you could think of)
 
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Rifal

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A resounding "Meh"
 
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klopkr

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CK3 is a straight upgrade on the roleplaying aspect of the game.

Combat not so much.

It's obviously still missing a coat of paint but that'll come eventually.

The best part of CK3 though is moving past all those annoying quirks of CK2. No more weird emperor nomads, Heresy flips, Stat creep, Half implemented government types, ancient bugs, and dated icons.
 
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Voy

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Member of the 2012 gang here. It's not bad at all. CK2 is not as complex as some people think it is. In fact, I'd argue that CK3 has a more complex system overall, it's just lacking some parts of CK2 that surely will come back in with a price tag attached.

CK3 got mad potential and the biggest problem for me right now is that CK3 still got too much that is purely CK2... like the database that got negligible adjustments on the port but otherwise remains the mess it always has been. They gotta do something about that, but in our hearts, we know that they won't.
 
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Weyird

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Dunno if I count as a veteran, only have about 500hrs in CK2, but I'm really loving ck3.
There could be more to it, yes, but overall I can't go back to ck2 anymore. I find the sequel better in most ways.
 
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Kazanov

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I have like 3k hours of Ck2 and Achievement-wise i ended 126/161, i say ended because i archived CK2 on my "old gsg" game list on my steam library a month ago. Ck3 is amazing and has an incredible potential, i like the graphic/sound improvements and even if i heavily disliked the first DLC i can say that i have a lot of faith on the future of the game.

Yes, CK3 has made many things very easy to cater the nu-gamers, but you can always use the game rules to make the experience more difficult and there are some mods out there that even add more rules if you need it. The game will be better than CK2 in a year tops.
 
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Dan the cynical barbarian

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I think you are forgetting how barren CK2 was when it first came out. CK3 is not nearly in the same state. I mean, what exactly is missing from a India playthrough in the current version of CK3 that you would have got when Rajas of India came out? A mostly useless caste system? That's about all I can think of
It is amazing that Paradox doesn't need to pay to have this level of white knighting and boot licking. Paradox was a very small company and with a lot less resources when CK2 launched and CK1 had not exactly been a best seller. CK2 became their best selling game and during the years paradox grew in size and resources as well. The minimum you could expect is that CK3, a sequel, would be that it was equal in mechanics and content of CK2+DLCs but hell they didn't even bother to include basic stuff like Tributary states or the more flavored CK2 assassination system at all so they could sell them again as DLCs latter.
 
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MateuszS

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What I noticed and don't really appreciate:
1. UI is flashy and chaotic
2. Game is noob-friendly. Yes, noob-friendly, with lot's of information to get by simply hovering cursor here and there, internal opposition easy to ignore and claims/claimnats easy to get. I don't ask for Dark Souls difficulty level, but I see difference between CK2 and CK3.
3. Reformation is shallow even in comparison to pre-HF standards
4. Realm laws are virtually non-existing and easy to pass
5. Aside doctrines and tenets (and holy sites) religions and faiths are all the same
 
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It is amazing that Paradox doesn't need to pay to have this level of white knighting and boot licking. Paradox was a very small company and with a lot less resources when CK2 launched and CK1 had not exactly been a best seller. CK2 became their best selling game and during the years paradox grew in size and resources as well. The minimum you could expect is that CK3, a sequel, would be that it was equal in mechanics and content of CK2+DLCs but hell they didn't even bother to include basic stuff like Tributary states or the more flavored CK2 assassination system at all so they could sell them again as DLCs latter.
If fans and consumers actually pushed back against Paradox anti-consumer practices we wouldn't need to pay more money on DLCs than the game itself to have a complete and proper experience
What I noticed and don't really appreciate:
1. UI is flashy and chaotic
2. Game is noob-friendly. Yes, noob-friendly, with lot's of information to get by simply hovering cursor here and there, internal opposition easy to ignore and claims/claimnats easy to get. I don't ask for Dark Souls difficulty level, but I see difference between CK2 and CK3.
3. Reformation is shallow even in comparison to pre-HF standards
4. Realm laws are virtually non-existing and easy to pass
5. Aside doctrines and tenets (and holy sites) religions and faiths are all the same
Yes, CK3 outright downgrades on CK2 mechanics like religion, laws, internal mechanics and reformations because they are probably going to re-sell it as DLCs in the future
 
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MatthewP

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It is amazing that Paradox doesn't need to pay to have this level of white knighting and boot licking. Paradox was a very small company and with a lot less resources when CK2 launched and CK1 had not exactly been a best seller. CK2 became their best selling game and during the years paradox grew in size and resources as well. The minimum you could expect is that CK3, a sequel, would be that it was equal in mechanics and content of CK2+DLCs but hell they didn't even bother to include basic stuff like Tributary states or the more flavored CK2 assassination system at all so they could sell them again as DLCs latter.
This argument plays out over and over again. Clearly comparing ck3 to ck2 at release is a cop out. But so, equally, is comparing ck3 to ck2 with 10 years of dlc. A reasonable expectation was for ck3 to be substantially better than the first and not miles behind the second. I think it hit that expectation pretty solidly.
 
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But maybe I am being too hard? I was about to start another run with CK2 and decided to first stop by and ask: ARE YE FELLOW OLDTIMERS OF CK2 ENJOYNG CK3?
Yes, we are. I'm an old CK2 great fan (I had most of dlcs) and I think (what I wrote many times here) that in my oppinion CK3 despite being at a very early stage of development is already a better game than CK2 because of
1) fantastic mechanics of stress which forces you to role playing to much bigger extent than in CK2
2) increased difficulty level thanks to very difficult access to primogeniture. Many people will disagree with me, but very early primogeniture in CK2 vas either ahistorical and too easy. Partition in CK3 is also much more playable than in was in CK2 (i.e. than gavelkind there).
3) because there are finallly alliances! Alliances in CK2 didn't actually exist. AI never wanted an alliance unless is was losing a huge war what was very odd. Now alliances do exist and are a very imprtant facet of the game. Of cource they are very overpowered.
And because of some other minor improvements.
 
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I am enjoying ck3, but I feel that ck2 is the better game across the board in every aspect (except character portraits) currently. There is some definite 2,500 hour playtime bias.
 
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This argument plays out over and over again. Clearly comparing ck3 to ck2 at release is a cop out. But so, equally, is comparing ck3 to ck2 with 10 years of dlc. A reasonable expectation was for ck3 to be substantially better than the first and not miles behind the second. I think it hit that expectation pretty solidly.
I would agree with you on that if basic features of CK2, that are significant, like Tributary states and a proper assassination system were not missing completely and others like Realm laws being a downright downgrade from Base CK2. Also no one forced Paradox to released 10 years worth of DLC for a single game, they did it because it made them a lot of money.
 
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I would agree with you on that if basic features of CK2, that are significant, like Tributary states and a proper assassination system were not missing completely and others like Realm laws being a downright downgrade from Base CK2. Also no one forced Paradox to released 10 years worth of DLC for a single game, they did it because it made them a lot of money.
This is just reiterating that you think ck3 should be compared with the final version of ck2. Obviously I still disagree. It’s true no one forced paradox to release ten years of dlc. But again it seems we disagree, since I am very glad we got the terrific game ck2 turned into rather than the bland, Incomplete one it was on release. I hope they release ten years of equally good dlc for ck3.

edit: I would also observe that you seem to resent paradox for iterating on a game for ten years, and you seem to resent them equally for releasing a new game which has not been iterated on for ten years and therefore has fewer features.
 
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CK3 works smoothly on a technical level and is probably PDX’s best “day one” game in years, but that technical quality is probably the best I can say about it.

On the other hand, CK2 has much more flavor, personality, and replayability than CK3. Unfortunately CK3 is also rolling out new DLC and updates so slowly that it may be years away from it catching up to CK2.

Question for anyone that played both games for 100+ hours: did your CK3 characters/families ever have lives and stories as interesting as those from CK2?

In my experience, it’s not even close.
 
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I think CK2 undoubtedly has more content but I can't bring myself to go back to its ancient, unwieldy UI (which looked and felt clunky and dated even for its time of release), or go back to to 2D portraits (the awesome 3D models with the DNA system just breathe so much life into the game).

I always expected CK3 to have less content on release, it is what it is. At least you can play literally anywhere on the map rather than being arbitrarily locked out like CK2 without the DLC, even if the flavor and content isn't there yet. I fully expect CK3 will be the better game when it's all said and done, I'm a bit surprised at how they're taking their sweet time with it (really expected we'd have more than 1 flavor pack by now, but the first major xpac isn't even in sight).
 
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