What are old CK2 veterans' opinion of CK3?

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MarkFranz

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I liked CK2 because it's combine two things i love. Ability to roleplay and also decent combat and military system. CK3 improve on first, but get rid of second. To be fair, it's have some interesting things, like knights, but in general, it's just bad. Buidings with meme-buffs, statstacking on MaA and knights, what lead to funny things like 60 knights wiping 20k size army, what also includes knights and MaA. I tried to enjoy it, but i simply can't. So, i just gonna stick to CK2 and hope for some sort of "War" DLC.
In general CK3 is good game if you want to play Fortnite from the world of Grand Strategies. It's just not for me.
 
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NexusSix

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The game is aesthetically stunning but lacks the game play.

I feel the game could have had more meat on its bones ( events mainly) at release and as a whole i am disappointed. Northern Lords gave me 30 hours onto my 60 so my total game time is now 97 hrs. (602 on CK2) But even that is shallow and i find the game play too easy / restrictive. I am screaming for a earlier start date than 869 as well.
Maybe ive played CK too much ( i started at CK1 ) so maybe its unfair but I think CK3 is a very disappointing game.
 
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ToraktheNord

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Very nitpicky and probably unpopular opinion, but while I appreciate that event options show "Has Happened/Will Happen" with its respective outcomes, it feels a lot more mechanical to read. In some cases the tooltips are so bloated I don't even understand whats happening. Sometimes I just want to read for an option: "Get the harpoons!", the desc.: "[Player] attempts to kill the beast! - 65% Chance of Success" with a follow up event instead of a toast pretty much dismissing my success to an annoying notification.

Example for bloated option that doesn't even have Will Happen/Has Happened:

fffff.jpeg
 
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Kainser

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CK3 does certain things better but overall so is CK2 still a significantly better game. It is not just things that can be "fixed" with DLC either, there are some fundamental design decisions that I disagree with in CK3 (message settings etc.) that I doubt ever will be changed unfortunately.

Honestly if they just ported back the CK3 characters to CK2 and fixed the bugs they left unfixed in that game so would I be happy playing that for 5 more years.
 
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Kainser

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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.

Why? The only rational comparison is to compare CK2 as it is today to CK3 as it is today since that is the only choice you can make. "oh we made so much DLC for CK2!!" is no excuse for CK3 being lacking. Hypotheticals where you can only compare CK3 to a certain portion of CK2 are ridiculous.

For reference so did they manage to bring over everything relevant from EU3 to EU4.
 
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NexusSix

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I
Why? The only rational comparison is to compare CK2 as it is today to CK3 as it is today since that is the only choice you can make. "oh we made so much DLC for CK2!!" is no excuse for CK3 being lacking. Hypotheticals where you can only compare CK3 to a certain portion of CK2 are ridiculous.

For reference so did they manage to bring over everything relevant from EU3 to EU4.

This is spot on to be fair.
It actually irritates the hell out of me that they didn't include inventory and items. You know we will be paying $20 for that early 2022. I dont have an issue with Pdox DLC policy but when its a blatant - we haven't included it because we know its a DLC you will buy is a slap in the face. Especially when CK3 is hollow at Vanilla.
Also i just realised I dont actually play CK3 or CK2 I play "Viking Invaders" as my game map is basically Scandinavia, Northern Europe, Tip of Spain and Great Britian. Dont think ive ever ventured down to India or Africa or even the Holy Land. This is fine and great and im sure others are like me, but my point .... I dont need a huge map. Although i imagine it was easier to fit DLC around a completed map than expand a map around game code. I might be wrong but a big map from start feels more like an artists canvas to be filled rather than a big map because the player base wants it. Especially now we see the Flavor packs will add the detail to regions. Again this is great as i can ignore all of the India / Asia minor / etc Flavor packs but this in turn means less money from me this time around as i wont buy bits i dont play in.
 
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MatthewP

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Why? The only rational comparison is to compare CK2 as it is today to CK3 as it is today since that is the only choice you can make. "oh we made so much DLC for CK2!!" is no excuse for CK3 being lacking. Hypotheticals where you can only compare CK3 to a certain portion of CK2 are ridiculous.

For reference so did they manage to bring over everything relevant from EU3 to EU4.
Why? To avoid setting yourself up for disappointment. Of course you can compare whatever you want, and it makes sense to compare the current products to decide which one to play today.

But if you expected ck3, on release, to be a deeper and more complete game than ck2, and were therefore disappointed, it’s because you were setting yourself up for disappointment with an unreasonable expectation. The eu3 comparison is relevant: eu3 had 4 expansions; ck2 had 15. Yet eu4 and ck3 likely had about the same amount of dev time before release to implement things.
 
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grzegorz444

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My general impresion and main difference i found IMO: CK3 is dynamic. Fabricate claims via Pope or own bishop, a lot of charcters interacion, there is a lot to do during game. Also AI is active
Compare to CK3 unfortunately CK2 is currently quite boring IMO, has a lot of flawour but gameplay is form a past
Love CK2 mods, AGOT, HIP but the last time I played on August 31

Also I am very grateful for the optimization of CK3 my 7 years lod laptop after some basic upgrade works even better with CK3
 
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Jagarundi

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For me it's a disappointment. I think one of the biggest problems is that the vassal system is entirely borked. Vassal opinion basically doesn't matter at all, because a vassal that is your best friend and confidant will give you no more troops than a vassal that hates your guts. Also, factions almost never fire, and if they get close, you can just execute a few criminals and all your problems will go away. Moreover, because vassals give such a small amount of troops (and only poor quality troops) kingdoms are ridiculously weak in CK3.

In CK2, the amount of troops a ruler got was partially determined on how much their vassals liked or hated them. A king with only 1 or 2 counties in his demesne could still be an effective ruler if his vassals liked him. And if some foreign power invaded, they'd receive a large opinion bonus so that the realm would actually rally against the invaders. Thus, even a kingdom stuck in gavelkind could still have a reasonable amount of power, depending on the ruler and situation. (The reverse was also true; a vassal who hated you might not give you any troops).

In CK3, a king with one or two counties is probably weaker than almost all of his dukes, and even some of his vassals' vassals. And if a Viking invades, intent on taking all the territory in the kingdom, his vassals will not lift a finger to help save their territory or send so much as one extra soldier to the battlefields. Who cares that they are about to lose their territory as their villages are burned and their daughters forced to be concubines? Their vassal contract says they will contribute 25% of their levy, and that's that. Since all Catholic kingdoms are stuck in gavelkind and vassals are worthless, it leaves the Catholic kingdoms pathetically weak. It also means that the player, who manages succession so that they don't lose all their titles, will very quickly become overwhelmingly powerful without even really trying.

The lack of start dates is also frustrating. I have never liked playing the 1066 start, since Europe is pretty much dominated by the HRE and Byzantines, but in CK3 the only other start date available is 867. But 867 in CK3 kind of sucks. The vikings are overpowered and, since there's no conversion mechanic, they'll never convert. So unless you conquer all of Scandinavia, you're stuck with annoying raiders for the entire game. And thanks to the new technology system, you're also stuck with a small demesne, a crappy succession system, and, depending on your culture, may not have access to your cultural troops for the next 200-300+ years.
 
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Before the release I was afraid that Ck3 will be a simplified trash but fortunately it's not that bad. AI still manages to sometimes overthrow me and it's not that easy to avoid civil war when you have a succesion. It's much better situation than for example in another recent paradox release - Imperator where they simplified game so much that during 120 hours of gameplay I had only 3 civil wars and they were no threat whatsoever.

Main thing that Ck3 is doing wrong compared to Ck2 is easiness in fabricating claims. In Ck2 there was a small chance each day and if you were out of luck your chancellor could sit on a province many years without providing any claim. That encouraged searching for other ways to expand - mainly marriages and claimants. Becouse of that the game had proper medieval feel to it where marriages are the main way to expand, at least in christian Europe.

Sadly in Ck3 you have a simple progess bar and succes is guaranteed - you just have to wait a while. Fabricating claim is so quick that you can fabricate claims constantly and wage wars without stopping. That completly destroys marriage aspect of the game.
At some point I realised that I naturally stopped doing marriages for claims becouse there is no point in doing that. You can have more that enough claims through fabrication and overpowered perks. With first perk from stwardship tree you can easily fabricate claim on the suzerain's title and with more advanced perk from learing you can for example buy claim on kingdom of Sweden for few hundred piety.

I remember in Ck2, playing long game in Byzantine Empire. How I struggled to get claim on Imperial title becouse the Basileus wasn't so eager to give me his daughter. I had to search for proper marriages and think more about how to strenghten my dynasty. It was challenging and interesting. Meanwhile in Ck3 you can just turn your brain completly off and don't care about any dynastic stuff. Just pick meritocracy perk and you can have claim to Byzantium at the start of the game, no marriages needed, nothing. With fabricate claim action just blob mindlessly and then take throne without much effort. That's it. There is no soul in this game becouse of that. It's still fun but it lacks something important.

Culture is also changed through councillor action which have progress bar. In Ck2 where changing culture was more random and natural I was happy from each turned province. When it's just a matter of clicking somewhere and waiting it doesn't give me even a fraction of that joy and thrill.

Im outraged by a warning about predicted battle result which is displayed when you order a march towards enemy. I have information about numbers of troops and their quality, why the hell games needs to tell me the predicted result of the battle? I hate things like that, treating player like an idiot. I got used to it by now but still when I think about it I get angry. I would like to turn that thing off in settings but there is no such option. In general settings are rather disappointing in Ck3.


I miss portraits a little but I must admit that those 3D models look great. They should still have portrait borders becouse without them it's hard to know who is who and what rank - there is mod for that but I think it's a no brainer for the base game.


Hooks system and searching for secrets has potential and I like it. But playing intrigue game has a one frustrating element - when you send spymaster to search for secrets he every few months inform you that there is no more secrets to be found. Constantly getting this event is really annoying. I don't care that there are no secrets there, I want spymaster to stay in that court and spy until I say otherwise! It may be silly but that is the main reason behind me not even bothering to search for secrets anymore. Meanwhile when Court Chaplain finishes converting the province we don't get a pop up and it's easy to miss it.

Many years of playing paradox games conditioned me to immediately hit space when something happens. Somehow in Ck3 I constantly end up unpausing game for example on succesion. We need message settings!

Feudal contracts are also a nice change but it's disappointing that it works for whoever clicks first. As long as we have a hook or propose an equal echange the other part of the contract has nothing to say in the matter. It works against AI but it's a problem in MP where for example on succesion there is a race. I as a suzerain have to click lower taxation just to take away some rights from my player vassal, meanwhile he needs to click higher taxation to gain for example council rights. Whoever click first wins. I think it should work more like a reasonable decision of two parties.

Succesion laws are a major step backwards. When you have many titles then every one takes laws from your main title. For example there is no situation from Ck2 when for example in one kingdom you had agnatic and in the second agnatic-cognatic so on the succesion your kingdoms got divided between your daugher and your brother. Gender laws and normal laws are always unfied with your main title. Exemption is some special laws that can be added to the certain title like for example scandinavian elective - those keep to that title but then again removing them it's just a matter of prestige - just click, spend prestige and you have elective monarchy removed from the title! No approval from lords needed, noone cares that you abolished centuries old tradition.

Vassals have only liberty, independence and claimant factions. There are no factions for succesion laws. So as a vassal there is no way to push for elective monarchy.

In Ck3 your Court Chaplain is a bishop who controls every temple barony in the realm. The did this to make a conflict with the bishop more impactful but I miss the possibility of making your younger sons a bishops so I dislike this change.

There is no way to give Holy Orders lands like you could in Ck2. They only get baronies on foundation and through events but you can't give them land through diplomatic action. In Ck2 I liked to create Holy Order state on the border with the heathens - in Ck3 it's impossible. Even in debug mode when I try to give land to Holy Order then Grand Master just abdicates becouse he can't hold lands other than baronies.

You also can't give lands to your Head of religion but at least in works when you use console.

Creating your herest or reforming religion is a nice feature but rather shallow and in the end underwhelming. Main issue is that there are no unique events and flavour to most of the tenants. For example choosing that cannibalism is a virtue doesn't really alter your gameplay and there is no events for that etc. It's just simple matter of not considering it a crime and opinion bonus. I expected more. Same with carnal exaltation.

I said that cusomisation of a heresy is a good thing but then again it somehow takes away the feeling of uniqueness when playing certain religion. I mean there is no charm anymore in playing Zoroastian religion when you can take any faith and just make a heresy that allows unlimited incest.

Another, after too easy claim making, thing that seriously harm gameplay and balance in Ck3 are rally points. You can just set one on the border with an enemy and have doomstack there in no time, then just do blitzkrieg and be done with a war. In Ck2 gathering troops from whole realm took much more time and had a proper medieval feeling to it. Also it was really good balance measure against big blobs. Smaller stacks could be intercepted and an enemy who mobilised quicker could even win a war before a big blob mobilised fully. They say that In Ck3 mobilisation takes more time depending on the distance from the capital but it's still not long enough. In Ck2 becouse of clunky mobilisation of big blob you could win even when being at serious numerical disadventage. In Ck3 it's impossible. Blob always wins unless you have OP men at arms and perks from martial tree and the enemy doesn't.


From the things that were in Ck2 and are not in Ck3 I miss antipopes, Cardinals and stuff like that the most. I would like to know how my head of faith is elected and be able to influence that so there won't be no name lowborns as head of religion. Recently adventures made a comeback in first content pack but there are limited to norse characters while in Ck2 If I remember correctly, every idle courtier could just gather troops and try to carve the realm on his own or press his claim.
 
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b333

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Why? The only rational comparison is to compare CK2 as it is today to CK3 as it is today since that is the only choice you can make. "oh we made so much DLC for CK2!!" is no excuse for CK3 being lacking. Hypotheticals where you can only compare CK3 to a certain portion of CK2 are ridiculous.

For reference so did they manage to bring over everything relevant from EU3 to EU4.
That's the only choice you can make.

CK2 without 10 years' worth of DLC still very much exists today, you can make a new Steam account right now and play it in all its "oh you can only play feudal catholics btw" glory. It's always amusing to me when people talk as if DLC is just baked into the game, as if CK2 improving is only a product of time passing rather than money invested. The game people in this thread are fawning over is not just one that's 10 years old, it's one with over 100$ worth of paid content which you have to, you know, pay for. Even today, were you a new player looking to get into the franchise.

This thread is about the perspective of the "veteran CK2 player" so by all means, we can discuss the merits of CK3 vs CK2 with all its bells and whistles. But why is it the "rational thing to do"? CK3 like any new game does not only seek to satisfy the hardcore fanbase of the previous game.
 
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oakshield

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I agree with what's being said about easy claims, guaranteed councillor task success over time, lackluster vassal management and experience, no politics, simplified laws, information/pop-up/message spam, super stable empires, OP perks, rally points blitzkrieg, easy to get great genes in a few generations, the level of information the player has access to is ridiculous high, diplomatic range is broken when it comes to crusader states, generic religions and cultures that are basically the same, anti-QOL, excessive clicking and so forth...
I'll add that there are a bunch of really important bugs that need fixing and that every patch is introducing more bugs than good features.

It just seems that this is being designed with the intention to be a super casual and easy experience and to get more intricacies out of it you have to handicap yourself in some way shape or form or choose to play a certain way. I don't see that changing unless some core mechanics are reworked, I see just underused "flavoring" being added and more spam being created, like the poet and duel features which were introduced.

The technical aspect is the only really positive change, the engine's pretty good and the speed doesn't slow to a crawl. The 3d chars are kinda cool, except for the beauty traits which makes everyone look the same.
The mods are also being cranked out really quickly which helps keep the game alive, I'm not sure but it seems it is easier to mod this then ck2 and I rarely if ever find a conflict between mods, you can see that there are very few mods that are released just to make other mods compatible between them.
 
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dehen

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I would say ck3 is about as good as I could have expected. It's a much better designed game than ck2, but not nearly as deep and varied as end-of-life ck2.

All the systems are much better thought through, and things are much better integrated into those systems. Stress is a great mechanic to encourage RP as the current ruler, while still allowing flex. Lots of the lifestyle perks feel really powerful, and encourage me to think of the game in terms of lifetimes ("my next ruler needs to be theological so I can reform easier"). Hooks, dynasty perks, and generalizing the HF reform mechanics to all religions... it's all good and feels more unified and less juryrigged than ck2.

Ck2 had way more events and local flavor though by the end. Ck3 sort of has that I:R problem where things feel samey across the map. West Africa feels about the same as Scandinavia. I sort of expected this though. But it leaves me anticipating the flavor packs way more than the large DLCs. As far as DLC, I hope one of the early ones is focused on court power/drama/intrigue, because of all the systems ck3 focused on, they mostly ignored that. We really need some systems to fill that space.

I'm still playing ck3 over ck2 though.
 
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CK 3 has a very solid foundation to work upon. Yes it is not as good as ck II, but considering its great foundation its bound to get there soon.
 
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BoomKidneyShot

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There's a few QoL changes that the game really needs. Having to click through several times to get from the recommended character page to freely pick anyone, and not being able to change the start-date between 867 and 1066 in that screen is really annoying. Along with the Game Rules not saving any changes I want, or "search templates" for characters for marriage or granting titles. Those really make the game nicer to play, IMO, and I don't know why the game lacks them.
 
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Torredebelem

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Well.... what the title says.

Took a decade or so to perfect CK2, but it paid off: it is now one of the most complex and interesting games ever. It was a long process though. Buy every year or so a new fantastic improvement would come. It was a real joy to follow it.

When CK3 was announced I thought "well, as long as they keep and build upon what already exists, instead of just doing a makeover of the vanilla features and start ALL OVER AGAIN with vikings one year, judaism the next year, india the next year... " It seems that it is happening just like that though, so that put me off. I bought it, fiddled a bit but could not reaaly force myself to go past the sueface. My plan is (or was) to wait for a few years' dlcs to let it grow more, otherwise it feels it does not compete with fully developed ck2.

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, I am enjoying CK3, while giving you reason in the part that it lacks lots of detail CK2 has. As a platform to build upon however, CK3 beats CK2 without troubles.

As of now, the game has some great game mechanics - the Stress one is a classic! - and is very well designed but is bland, its huge map lacking content to make each region feel unique. For instance, playing in Europe or in India, it feels just the same.

As a tool to generate new emergent stories however, it is very well done, even if lacking mostly on the events department. The game sorely needs more events that address the mechanics it has and turns them and their abstraction of reality into an emergent story that can be experienced by all the players, independently of where they started. Also missing are regional events that turn playing in different areas a unique experience. Right now and with the Northern Lords expansion, the Vikings have their own geographical area covered. Now we must wait for the rest of the map, one expansion at a time. There is however a golden frame on events for CK3, never seen in other Paradox titles: They are well thought out, presenting plausible choices that are situational in nature - so, it is not a matter of picking the same choice every time - and many of them have a dynamic way of appearing and displaying their dilemma and options.

The interface shines in the characters generated - specially with mods (do try Human Phenotype Project) - but all the windows are a bit large, the elements there displayed are large too with the result of taking up too much space on the screen. Also gone are the days when interface art that turned the game more unique by being different wherever you played. Now, all the interface art is similar and more than just a bit uninspired. Still in the interface department, there are also some QoL features that need to be introduced as they represent a step back when compared with CK2.

The new DLC about Vikings came with lots of content and is in my book a total winner. I am very curious what will PDX do with the bigger DLC in the near future.

All in all, with mods to fix game balance issues - there are plenty - and add more options and events, CK3 is now the Crusader Kings game I play, in spite of its 7 years of expansions and also in spite of a very extensive mod I developed that implemented a host of features I considered missing.

Everything taken into account, can't go back anymore.
 
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Kapi96

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It's not great. It's prettier than CK2, that's about it. There's a serious lack of depth at the moment. To be fair both CK2 and CK3 suffer from lack of reasons to continue a long term game. After a couple centuries there's not much point in going on. Just more of the same really. In CK2 though there was always that desire to start a new game as another character, or another region, or another culture or religion. I don't feel that in CK3. What's the point of doing the same things all over again without any meaningful differences? Once you've played a Viking game and a non-Viking game you've pretty much done it all already.
 
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Torredebelem

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[...]Stat creep[...]
Stat creep? With the new Gods one can pick by decision in Northern Lords we can see Stat Creep already in action in the first DLC... Hopefully that is not repeated in next ones or we will have the same Stat Creep we had in CK2 pretty fast.
 
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oakshield

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There's a few QoL changes that the game really needs. Having to click through several times to get from the recommended character page to freely pick anyone, and not being able to change the start-date between 867 and 1066 in that screen is really annoying. Along with the Game Rules not saving any changes I want, or "search templates" for characters for marriage or granting titles. Those really make the game nicer to play, IMO, and I don't know why the game lacks them.
Try this mod for in-game searching and saving filters: https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=2346680183
It's still in development and lacking the trait search but that's on the way. You can use the advanced search by using the hotkey C or use the vanilla search by going through the little menu at the bottom.
 

Kazanov

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For me it's a disappointment. I think one of the biggest problems is that the vassal system is entirely borked. Vassal opinion basically doesn't matter at all, because a vassal that is your best friend and confidant will give you no more troops than a vassal that hates your guts. Also, factions almost never fire, and if they get close, you can just execute a few criminals and all your problems will go away. Moreover, because vassals give such a small amount of troops (and only poor quality troops) kingdoms are ridiculously weak in CK3.

In CK2, the amount of troops a ruler got was partially determined on how much their vassals liked or hated them. A king with only 1 or 2 counties in his demesne could still be an effective ruler if his vassals liked him. And if some foreign power invaded, they'd receive a large opinion bonus so that the realm would actually rally against the invaders. Thus, even a kingdom stuck in gavelkind could still have a reasonable amount of power, depending on the ruler and situation. (The reverse was also true; a vassal who hated you might not give you any troops).

In CK3, a king with one or two counties is probably weaker than almost all of his dukes, and even some of his vassals' vassals. And if a Viking invades, intent on taking all the territory in the kingdom, his vassals will not lift a finger to help save their territory or send so much as one extra soldier to the battlefields. Who cares that they are about to lose their territory as their villages are burned and their daughters forced to be concubines? Their vassal contract says they will contribute 25% of their levy, and that's that. Since all Catholic kingdoms are stuck in gavelkind and vassals are worthless, it leaves the Catholic kingdoms pathetically weak. It also means that the player, who manages succession so that they don't lose all their titles, will very quickly become overwhelmingly powerful without even really trying.

The lack of start dates is also frustrating. I have never liked playing the 1066 start, since Europe is pretty much dominated by the HRE and Byzantines, but in CK3 the only other start date available is 867. But 867 in CK3 kind of sucks. The vikings are overpowered and, since there's no conversion mechanic, they'll never convert. So unless you conquer all of Scandinavia, you're stuck with annoying raiders for the entire game. And thanks to the new technology system, you're also stuck with a small demesne, a crappy succession system, and, depending on your culture, may not have access to your cultural troops for the next 200-300+ years.
The biggest mistake of the devs so far is buffing the already overpowered Vikings because is a good reddit meme and an easy cash-grab., the Northern Lords DLC would have been good if they released it AFTER one or two DLCs that balanced the current problems CK3 has.

But such a mistake could be fixed by the next DLC.
 
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