Why are people so obsessed with landless play

  • We have updated our Community Code of Conduct. Please read through the new rules for the forum that are an integral part of Paradox Interactive’s User Agreement.
Let me stress and underline here, that I'd rather wait a year or two longer, than to get stuff earlier and have it only on a superficial level. To decide on one single thing and do it justice, that was imho the right call. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Yes, the thing that has given me great confidence in this game (and the fact that unlanded play would be included) has been observing the really great decision-making process and priorities the developers have shown the past year and a half. I see the commitment to developing strong fundamentals and systems above everything else, and that's how you have to approach a game like this to truly make it deep and extensible over time. They're doing a great job.
 
  • 12
  • 2
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Reactions:
This is intriguing (for next year, perhaps?):

Nice to know you experimented with it, if I understand correctly (which I may not have done, of course!)
I think that means they discussed what to do together and decided that republics and imperial were too much scope to be combined in one project. They probably have plans for how to do republics and they wouldn’t have meshed efficiently with their plans for Byzantium. I sincerely doubt they began any implantation of republics before deciding to do landless instead.
 
  • 5Like
  • 4
Reactions:
Landless play isn't for me, but like Wokeg said and other suggested, you can't really do Byz (or for that matter any future expansion east) if you have a requirement of feudal land holding in-order to rule/be playable.

I'm hopeful landless play isn't too large of a part as its a part of the game that feel is already quite saturated for content (those areas being role-play and event generation), but I'm very glad its going to be a part of the Expansion as it gives me a lot of hope (hype?) on the scope and thoroughness of imperial mechanics.
 
  • 4Like
Reactions:
It is like asking why play as barbaric undeveloped Norse instead of Byzantium emperor.

Paradox usually designs such disadvantageous scenarios with extreme upsides if you play your cards right.

If playing landless character would have similar gameplay mechanics which could potentially make your Dynasty much more powerful over the course of 6 centuries, then why not?
 
  • 3
  • 1
Reactions:
Outside of specific things like Byzantium, imo it's just because people think something would sound cool without thinking of how it would even work with gameplay.

Like leading a mercenary company sounds cool in concept but when it's using CK3 warfare and essentially all you'll have to do is fight one war after the next it starts sounding awfully boring instead.
 
  • 10
Reactions:
Outside of specific things like Byzantium, imo it's just because people think something would sound cool without thinking of how it would even work with gameplay.

Like leading a mercenary company sounds cool in concept but when it's using CK3 warfare and essentially all you'll have to do is fight one war after the next it starts sounding awfully boring instead.
To Paradox's credit it does seem like they are approaching landless gameplay in a realistic fashion, albeit one I think is going to disappoint to a lot of the people who have been advocating for this. The DLC seems like it'll still be quasi-landed, similar to how ck2 family estates worked for republics, and will be limited specifically to Byzantine "vassals" and these roaming adventurers. It's not like they're totally overhauling the courtier system to make every possible character playable, with corresponding mechanics to go along with it (ie non inheriting kids, spouses, regents, barons, etc). That addresses my primary concern in the original post, so I'm not that worried about this introducing game breaking errors.

However, I am a little wary that people's disappointment with what is actually offered is only going to cause them to advocate for even more resources poured into increasingly marginal features. You are already seeing people talk about how they want the next thing to be playable barons, or playable spouses, or all kinds of other things that might sound cool on paper, but would distract resources from more impactful future additions to the game. While I personally don't care about Republics and nomads, I recognize those were very popular expansions in ck2, and I can see how the proposed "landless" mechanics lay the ground work for future features. However, there is so much more stuff from ck2 I think the game would benefit from. We still don't have conclave mechanics to flesh out the council, or any in depth interaction with the Papacy (which should really function as one of the final "bosses" of the game), both of which would add much more depth and replayability compared to being able to roleplay as a baron. I don't really think Paradox is going to go in the direction many people want, for the reasons I laid out in the original post, but I am mildly concerned that these landless mechanics will be a bit of a sunk cost that pushes them to invest more and more time and money into bringing it up to the expectations of the most vocal members of the fan base.
 
  • 3Like
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
Reactions:
While I personally don't care about Republics and nomads, I recognize those were very popular expansions in ck2,

I'm pretty sure I've seen one of the devs, possibly Wokeg, say more than once that in CK2 almost no one actually played Republics or nomads, (or in the later bookmarks for that matter)which is why they chose not to dedicate resources to it in favor of other things and areas that people do play in. Which is why Northern Lords was the first expansion, because Vikings are actually super popular to play as. So Republics and nomads are really a popular feature to request, but not actually use. Which is why play stats are so important. If you just listened to the loudest voices on the forums, Europe would be a content wasteland, empires would break up the moment they form, half the games CPU usage would go to accurately modeling every possible Byzantine intrigue and succession crisis, half the coding time would be spent on accurately modeling every possible kind of diarchy that ever existed, the Iron Century would be the only bookmark, Republics and nomads would be the first major focus of a game called Crusader Kings, and confederate partition would be simultaneously inescapable and taken completely out of the game.
 
  • 6Like
  • 5Haha
  • 2
Reactions:
Genuinely cannot understand why so many people specifically want something that removes the vast majority of features from the game they paid for. I was replying to some guy on reddit who was talking about everything you could do with landless characters, like lobby for court positions, or embezzle money, or visit relatives at court, or fight as a foreign mercenary. The issue is that none of this is really game play, it's just a list of scenarios where you're sitting and watching the AI NPCs play the game instead of you. The thing that makes the game interesting is that your character and the ones you interact with have agency in the world, because they have land and power. Without that you are just passively existing in someone else's world. Without an army to conquer land and a family name that is worth marrying into, there's really nothing left to drive the game forward.

Maybe it's hypothetically possible to design an entirely new game play loop for landless characters, but this would take such a huge investment in time and resources to do well, for something that will ultimately not be a core part of most people's game. What's more significant though is the potential to cause huge amount of bugs by introducing extremely complicated systems that interact with every other system in the game and has to be accounted for and then updated every time any new feature is added. As it is, the various DLC features already cause a decent amount of conflicts when they interact. For example, it's very easy to have grand weddings glitch out if one of the betrothed gets given away as a hostage. That breaks the current wedding, and also might block you from hosting any grand weddings until the glitched betrothee happens to die. Even if you completely avoid using the hostage mechanic yourself, the AI's access to it opens the door to possibly unavoidable bugs when you are trying to do something completely different. Mechanics for landless courtiers would be like that times 1000. It would be something that is maybe relevent for 5% of the game, but could easily end up breaking the other 95% because of how these systems are integrated together. This wouldn't even be paradox's fault, it's just a natural consequence of the kinds of edge cases you get in software development.
It's because the new playerbase paradox is trying to attract and succeeding at doing so wants to roleplay and landless is a cool thing for roleplayers imo (I'm not a roleplayer and wish they would focus more on mechanics tho so idk)
 
  • 4Like
Reactions:
Genuinely cannot understand why so many people specifically want something that removes the vast majority of features from the game they paid for.

People have probably already played the content they paid for and are looking for a different experience. I'm not sure what's the confusion here. It's also not going to remove existing content so they can go back to it whenever they want.

Also in terms of RP this has tremendous value. It's not just about starting as a nobody, but in coming back from a fail state.
 
  • 3Like
  • 2
  • 1
Reactions:
Was hoping to get to the thread before the video trailer went live but I got poked with questions so I'm afraid y'all will have to forgive me for not giving a detailed reply.

Imd: it has indeed been a lot of technical work.

View attachment 1080943

Very much agree.


Firstly, thank you (I think I'm very rambly and a little boring much of the time but y'know what, I'll take the compliment).

Secondly, man I wish I had PR training. Every now and then Community or someone senior will poke me about a forum thing and I have a mini heart attack wondering if I've broken my NDA or something. Generally it's more like they're interested in how a conversation turned out because they're lurking, but I'm as skittish as a goat.

Through the power of sufficient complaining I do actually get a half an hour on a Monday for forum replies nowadays, which is nice. It. Sometimes takes a bit more than half an hour if I've got time, and if I'm swamped then it's not mandatory, but it's rather pleasant to have a window for it. Still not part of my job officially, just an allowance that's made.

The forums are important, they're where our most dedicated and longest-running fans hang out, and if we have them then we should use them and make time for using them.

More or less how it shook out: we were looking to partner stuff with admin play that'd offer good value for money without taking away too much focus. We went through a few potential iterations, many would have risked doing two things mediocrely rather than two things well (y'know, admin gameplay and republics, it's a bit much), and adventurers seemed like the most sensible option since so much of the stuff they require we'd have to do for admin anyway.

Victory lap well earnt.
Don't worry about PR skills.
At least you come across to me like an honest, well meaning bloke unlike the usual PR people whom just repeating the same lines since left school.
 
  • 2
  • 1Love
Reactions:
Landless gameplay itself isn't sexy, but it's foundational. I see it like travel in T&T - travelling in and of itself isn't that exciting, I'm not excited to play a game where I move on the map and sometimes an event pops up asking me to fight a knight. But travelling as a system allows for many other much more exciting mechanics.

I would be with You if I would see some clever and brilliant use of mechanics added in previous DLC like court, struggle or travel. But I don't - actually it looks that dev team is still working on basic element of the engine they sold me a couple of years ago. So call me a skeptic, but I don't see landless play to actually improve my experience in any major way just like happen with all DLC to date.

As I understand it - landless play just like everything else is targeted mostly at RPG people - so I predict the system would be barebone and hardly interacting with other systems of the game, it would not add new strategic choices or allow for some new clever tactics in current gameplay, except for (possibly) removing "gameover" if you lose your last county.

I'm software engineer too and when I see a developer say something like "look, we designed a system that allows something to spread around the map" I really began to worry.
 
  • 5
  • 4
Reactions:
I would be with You if I would see some clever and brilliant use of mechanics added in previous DLC like court, struggle or travel. But I don't - actually it looks that dev team is still working on basic element of the engine they sold me a couple of years ago. So call me a skeptic, but I don't see landless play to actually improve my experience in any major way just like happen with all DLC to date.

As I understand it - landless play just like everything else is targeted mostly at RPG people - so I predict the system would be barebone and hardly interacting with other systems of the game, it would not add new strategic choices or allow for some new clever tactics in current gameplay, except for (possibly) removing "gameover" if you lose your last county.

I'm software engineer too and when I see a developer say something like "look, we designed a system that allows something to spread around the map" I really began to worry.
Landless mechanics are crucial for playing in any government type that isn't feudal. The Byzantines, Merchant Republics, Nomads, Theocracies, Holy Orders, and, one day, China, all would require landless gameplay to be accurately modelled, as they either have non-hereditary governments and/or don't have any hereditary landed vassals, so you'd need to be able to lose all your land whenever you weren't the ruler anymore.
 
  • 9
  • 1Like
Reactions:
Landless mechanics are crucial for playing in any government type that isn't feudal. The Byzantines, Merchant Republics, Nomads, Theocracies, Holy Orders, and, one day, China, all would require landless gameplay to be accurately modelled, as they either have non-hereditary governments and/or don't have any hereditary landed vassals, so you'd need to be able to lose all your land whenever you weren't the ruler anymore.

So it should be in the game 3 years ago when we actually get a chance to play Byzantines, Nomads and other places where it apply.
What I worry about is whether it would offer any unique strategic challenges - or is put into the game primary for role-playing purposes? Because from my perspective, strategic gameplay is getting worse with every expansion. And previous big systems added to the game were not really exploited to their full potential either.
 
  • 7
  • 4
Reactions:
Travel is clearly going to underpin disease spread coming in the next expansion. It’s also clearly going to underpin landless play of all types. It will certainly underpin trade and merchants and nomads whenever those come.

Landless play will allow you to lose titles and climb back up again (admittedly the difficulty needs to be tuned up for that to be realistic). It will allow for a dynamic Byzantine system, and later China (maybe even some of the Arab empires if what people tell me about history is true). It will allow for Republics at some point.

Idk what else to say. People say they want systems. Here they are. How would this not change and enhance the strategic gameplay? It fleshes out systems to behave in more complex ways for the player to navigate both as a player and as an opponent. Systems they need to strategize around how to manipulate to their advantage. Is that not adding strategic gameplay?

I’m starting to feel like the phrase “strategic gameplay” is a dog whistle for “military and war” - which, that’s fine to want, it definitely needs an improvement, but let’s not act like increasing the depth and variety of government systems is not expanding strategic gameplay. CK is not EU with optional roleplaying elements, it’s about politics and political systems more than it is about war.

I genuinely do not understand how anyone can think strategic gameplay is getting worse when Clans just got completely overhauled, power sharing and regencies were just added, and we’re staring down epidemics, legitimacy mechanics, and imperial government types coming in the next few months.

The biggest issue is that it’s too easy to ignore all this strategy in favor of “men at arms go brrrrr”, which makes the case for hitting warfare with the nerf bat more than anything. Right now it makes more sense to do a war to fund a taxation tour rather than the other way around, which just doesn’t make sense - which makes a tour feel like meaningless flavor instead of a strategic choice.
 
Last edited:
  • 13
  • 6Like
  • 2
  • 1
Reactions:
Genuinely cannot understand why so many people specifically want something that removes the vast majority of features from the game they paid for. I was replying to some guy on reddit who was talking about everything you could do with landless characters, like lobby for court positions, or embezzle money, or visit relatives at court, or fight as a foreign mercenary. The issue is that none of this is really game play, it's just a list of scenarios where you're sitting and watching the AI NPCs play the game instead of you. The thing that makes the game interesting is that your character and the ones you interact with have agency in the world, because they have land and power. Without that you are just passively existing in someone else's world. Without an army to conquer land and a family name that is worth marrying into, there's really nothing left to drive the game forward.

Maybe it's hypothetically possible to design an entirely new game play loop for landless characters, but this would take such a huge investment in time and resources to do well, for something that will ultimately not be a core part of most people's game. What's more significant though is the potential to cause huge amount of bugs by introducing extremely complicated systems that interact with every other system in the game and has to be accounted for and then updated every time any new feature is added. As it is, the various DLC features already cause a decent amount of conflicts when they interact. For example, it's very easy to have grand weddings glitch out if one of the betrothed gets given away as a hostage. That breaks the current wedding, and also might block you from hosting any grand weddings until the glitched betrothee happens to die. Even if you completely avoid using the hostage mechanic yourself, the AI's access to it opens the door to possibly unavoidable bugs when you are trying to do something completely different. Mechanics for landless courtiers would be like that times 1000. It would be something that is maybe relevent for 5% of the game, but could easily end up breaking the other 95% because of how these systems are integrated together. This wouldn't even be paradox's fault, it's just a natural consequence of the kinds of edge cases you get in software development.
People want things based on their half-formed ideas, not reasonable thought.
It's like with republican in CK2. So many people wanted them, but when they got added, noone would play them because they were not interesting at all.
 
  • 4
  • 1Like
Reactions:
Idk what else to say. People say they want systems. Here they are. How would this not change and enhance the strategic gameplay?

Because it doesn't. This game is not developed around strategy and strategic choices, this game is developed around roleplay and character choices. After two years I just played as Bohemia (with a custom ruler) and got to empire of West Slavia with my first ruler on the hardest difficulty. All those new systems are irrelevant for strategy, they changed nothing: they do not make things harder, they do not make choices deeper, they do not even make things easier. If you don't roleplay, they are just flavor and become annoying after few hours because they repeat same events constantly.

Remember: designing a component system is not the same as solving client's problems. They designed new systems but as You said Yourself below, they don't know how or don't want to use them to enhance the experience (at least for people like me, who do not care for roleplaying).

I’m starting to feel like the phrase “strategic gameplay” is a dog whistle for “military and war” - which, that’s fine to want, it definitely needs an improvement, but let’s not act like increasing the depth and variety of government systems is not expanding strategic gameplay. CK is not EU with optional roleplaying elements, it’s about politics and political systems more than it is about war.
The biggest issue is that it’s too easy to ignore all this strategy in favor of “men at arms go brrrrr”, which makes the case for hitting warfare with the nerf bat more than anything. Right now it makes more sense to do a war to fund a taxation tour rather than the other way around, which just doesn’t make sense - which makes a tour feel like meaningless flavor instead of a strategic choice.

Maybe we have very different definition of strategy, but in my book the thing you described is called "noob trap", not "interesting strategic choice". Again: a tour You just described IS meaningless if You do not roleplay, You realize that Yourself. Same as the royal court or placing travel on the map. And they got old very quick because there is very few events that repeat again and again.

From my perspective CK3 is not a grand strategy game anymore, it is a medieval sim game. I understand there is big market for this kind of game, but I feel like I was fooled into buying the game and voice my discontent here about the lack of difficulty or REAL meaningful strategic choices.
 
  • 4
  • 4
  • 1Like
  • 1
Reactions:
Travel is clearly going to underpin disease spread coming in the next expansion. It’s also clearly going to underpin landless play of all types. It will certainly underpin trade and merchants and nomads whenever those come.

Landless play will allow you to lose titles and climb back up again (admittedly the difficulty needs to be tuned up for that to be realistic). It will allow for a dynamic Byzantine system, and later China (maybe even some of the Arab empires if what people tell me about history is true). It will allow for Republics at some point.

Idk what else to say. People say they want systems. Here they are. How would this not change and enhance the strategic gameplay? It fleshes out systems to behave in more complex ways for the player to navigate both as a player and as an opponent. Systems they need to strategize around how to manipulate to their advantage. Is that not adding strategic gameplay?

I’m starting to feel like the phrase “strategic gameplay” is a dog whistle for “military and war” - which, that’s fine to want, it definitely needs an improvement, but let’s not act like increasing the depth and variety of government systems is not expanding strategic gameplay. CK is not EU with optional roleplaying elements, it’s about politics and political systems more than it is about war.

I genuinely do not understand how anyone can think strategic gameplay is getting worse when Clans just got completely overhauled, power sharing and regencies were just added, and we’re staring down epidemics, legitimacy mechanics, and imperial government types coming in the next few months.
Totally agree,

Landless is something that was interesting for several reasons: RP of course, but not only that, far from it... the technical blockage of "you have no more land, game over" was a huge thorn in the side, and the republics and nomads of CK2 had to create "false lands" to comply with this principle, complicating the code with systems that were sometimes inefficient. Not to mention the huge elephant in the room: a player with a powerful and numerous dynasty and many heirs could find himself with a gameover just because a revolt had stripped him of his only title - forcing players to multiply the number of 'backup' titles. Even though the principle of "a vast empire, fewer personal domains for more vassals" was an interesting aspect of CK2 !

Furthermore, every time a particular system for China or the Byzantine Empire was mentioned, the problem came up again: "impossible to do in a game based on the feudal model !", so we talked about the need to set up alternative systems and develop the game before considering China, and here we are!
The development seems all the more logical: travel, then more flexibility in what a character can or can't play, then the imperial administration... everything seems to build itself, and all the better because each system is based on the previous evolution to develop itself - far from the thousands of independent and 'one shot' systems that quickly became useless in previous titles.

So I don't understand why this simplistic explanation of "Landless play is for roleplay, it's a waste of code time that could be used for real mechanics". Landless IS an implementation for more mechanics, more strategy, it's opening up a crazy field of possibilities, as well as being a useful addition now and not in three DLCs using it properly.
 
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1Like
Reactions:
Because it doesn't. This game is not developed around strategy and strategic choices, this game is developed around roleplay and character choices. After two years I just played as Bohemia (with a custom ruler) and got to empire of West Slavia with my first ruler on the hardest difficulty. All those new systems are irrelevant for strategy, they changed nothing: they do not make things harder, they do not make choices deeper, they do not even make things easier. If you don't roleplay, they are just flavor and become annoying after few hours because they repeat same events constantly.

Remember: designing a component system is not the same as solving client's problems. They designed new systems but as You said Yourself below, they don't know how or don't want to use them to enhance the experience (at least for people like me, who do not care for roleplaying).




Maybe we have very different definition of strategy, but in my book the thing you described is called "noob trap", not "interesting strategic choice". Again: a tour You just described IS meaningless if You do not roleplay, You realize that Yourself. Same as the royal court or placing travel on the map. And they got old very quick because there is very few events that repeat again and again.

From my perspective CK3 is not a grand strategy game anymore, it is a medieval sim game. I understand there is big market for this kind of game, but I feel like I was fooled into buying the game and voice my discontent here about the lack of difficulty or REAL meaningful strategic choices.

The issue then is balance, not focus. Tours aren’t bad because they’re “role play content” - they’re bad because the price is too high for them to be used strategically. The distinction between “strategic” and “role play” you suggest is not some kind of intrinsic quality or categorization. If they changed the pricing on Grand Tours tomorrow, it would become viable as a strategic choice.

You want to say the balance of the game needs work? I agree. But stamping every element you can currently ignore in the meta as “role play content” is short-sighted and close-minded. If it has costs and benefits and you have a choice in using it, it could be used strategically (and despite being overpriced, I find dread tours remarkably effective as a new ruler for instance). What needs to happen to make it actually strategically interesting is for it to be balanced better.

At that point any system could be “role play content” by your definition. Are we calling levies “role play content” because they’re completely worthless in the meta? “Oh wow, look at this guy, playing Medeival Sims collecting levies from his vassals”

Again, if your issue is “the game is too easy and imbalanced and doesn’t provide enough interesting choices to the player” - say that. I’d agree 100%. But saying you don’t want to see more systems you have arbitrarily declared to be “role play content” is counterproductive - every system that has costs and benefits can be strategic if implemented right. If you don’t have faith the new systems will be balanced right, that’s understandable too, but what makes you think whatever system or mechanics YOU want would be different?

P.S. landless play would allows the devs to ratchet up the difficulty as it provides a cushion to new players and prevents them from bouncing off a hard game when things go poorly all of a sudden
 
  • 9
  • 2Like
  • 2
Reactions: