Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Graham Smith)

A logo, yesterday.

I really appreciate the efforts of the voiceover man in this launch trailer for the new Crusader Kings expansion, Rajas of India. He’s doing his very best to make the game sound exciting and dramatic, even as the camera pans slowly across colourful cartography and static menu screens.

Except, as we players of Paradox’s medieval soap opera know, this is> exciting. You don’t need to say it in a dramatic voice: Rajas of India adds the Indian subcontinent, three new religions, and a lot of new ways to commit lusty barbarism.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - Pallidum Treponema
Read the full patch notes here.

- Major map revisions and additions: East Africa, Armenia, Central Asia, Siberia and India
- Added Steam matchmaking support
- Added Steam workshop support
- Added diplomatic range, blocking diplomacy and councillor actions vs too distant characters
- Factions will now revolt as a single unified realm under a temporary title
- Added attrition for units that have been "out-of-supply" for too long (can't live off the land in neutral counties, etc)
- Added support to change window mode setting: fullscreen, borderless or windowed
- New unit type system allowing for more flexible unit types, including War Elephants, Camel Warriors and Horse Archers
- Blocked "North Korea Mode"; you now lose huge parts of all income and levies if your demesne is too big
- Save games are now compressed by default (can be toggled on and off)
- Major memory and performance optimizations

Edit: Since we've added several major new features in the patch, old saves are no longer compatible. There is however a workaround if you wish to finish your old save, or play with mods that have not yet been updated.

- Right-click on your game in your Steam Library
- Select Properties
- Go to the Beta tab and select the 2.0.4 version in the dropdown menu. New DLCs will not be available in this version for comaptibility reasons.
- To revert this, go to the beta tab again and select None in the dropdown menu.
Announcement - Valve
Save 75% on Crusader Kings II during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Crusader Kings II explores one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy. Medieval Europe is brought to life in this epic game of knights, schemes, and thrones...

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time

Product Release - Valve
Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India, all new content for Crusader Kings II is Now Available on Steam!

Rise up from the ashes of turmoil and anarchy to rule over a land fragmented into petty fiefs. Now is the time to take control. Now is the time for greatness.

Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India is the sixth expansion for the critically praised strategy/RPG Crusader Kings II and will focus on Eastern Persia and India. The expansion Rajas of India extends the map to the east, including the entire Indian subcontinent, and allows you to play as a Hindu, Buddhist or Jain ruler. Can you defend Dharma against foreign invaders and bring order to the subcontinent?

Crusader Kings II explores one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Strategy where medieval times is brought to life in this epic game of knights, schemes, and thrones...

PC Gamer

Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India releases this Tuesday, expanding the map of Paradox's medieval strategy sandbox to central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Not one to venture into strange, new lands unprepared, I met with CK2 lead designer Henrik F hraeus to learn everything there was to know about what lies in wait with this expansion. We talked about historical accuracy, India's religions and castes, and more. If you promise not to plot my untimely death, you can share in my findings below.

PC Gamer: I guess the highlight of the new expansion is the map expansion and the new religions. What can you tell us about them, in general?

Henrik Fahraeus: So, there are three new religions in India. They are in a new religion group, which is basically the Indian group: the Dharma. The Dharma Initiative.

PCG: I hope Crusader Kings never goes in that direction.

PCG: Europe vanishes. Reappears somewhere else.

HF: So we tried to make them as different and interesting as possible to play. Pretty obviously we re going to add a lot of events and decisions and stuff like that to make it feel like you re playing in India. So you don t have a tournament. You might have a tiger hunt, or something like that.

One thing I wanted to do myself is playing off the concept of karma and reincarnation. A baby is born. It has a scar, and it looks exactly the same as my grandfather s scar. So everyone thinks, hey, this is the reincarnation of Ashoka the Great. And as the kid grows up, it might acquire traits similar to the ones my grandfather had. And everyone will think it s the reincarnation. Of course, it s up to the player to decide whether that s true or not.

PCG: That s an interesting point that has been discussed in light of some of the events particularly one that you wrote for Sons of Abraham. There is sort of this tongue-and-cheek supernatural element to some of the newer content in Crusader Kings II. Is that a direction you guys are comfortable with pushing further? Have you ever been afraid that it might hurt the game s reputation for historical accuracy?

HF: I think that even most people in the historical accuracy corner are willing to forgive a sprinkling of this type of content in Crusader Kings II. I tend to justify it to myself by thinking of how religious and superstitious people were in medieval times. Magical thinking was the norm, not the exception. That said, in most cases we try to keep the door open for natural explanations. (As an aside, in the case of reincarnation, I try to keep an open mind. There is actually a surprising amount of scientific evidence for it. See Ian Stevenson, particularly his work on birthmarks.

PCG: What are the main ways the Indian religions will play differently from the existing ones?

HF: Right. Since the Indian religions are so tolerant and pluralistic, which makes them very different from the European religions, they won t have any heresies. And they re very tolerant of each other. There is some friction, but these penalties will be much lower. If I m a Buddhist ruler, and all of my vassals are Hindu, they will be fairly okay with that.

PCG: How hard is it to switch castes?

HF: It depends. It is fairly easy to take a step down; by marrying someone of a lower caste your children will be of that caste. It is much harder to become Kshatriya (which is the optimal caste for feudal lords); there is a decision you can take at any time, but it costs a lot of money and piety, especially if your Learning skill is low (it's easier to argue with the Brahmins if you know your Vedas).

PCG: How is marrying between castes handled?

HF: You are free to marry anyone, but children inherit the lower of their parents' castes. Of course, marrying "down" causes a loss of prestige, and vice versa.

PCG: Since the Indian religions don't have heresies, how will they interact with things like Moral Authority?

HF: Like Pagans, Moral Authority is not hugely important for the Indian religions, but low authority can trigger a number of negative province events temple corruption, death cults, and so on.

PCG: Historically, there were divisions among these more Asian religions. You had the Theravada and Vajrayana will those be modeled at all through traits and events, in lieu of heresies? You know, something like the Ashari and Mu'tazili schools for Muslims?

HF: Yes, absolutely. These sects or branches are represented as inherited traits Shaivist, Vaishnavist, Shaktist each with its own modifiers. Like religions, these can change when children are educated. In addition, there are many character modifiers for your "patron god," which you are allowed to change, of course.

PCG: Are the Indian religions more tolerant of is it all religions, or just other Indian religions?

HF: All religions, but to a larger degree with the other Indian religions.

PCG: Do they all feel roughly the same within the Indian religion group, kind of like the different flavors of pagan, or will they have more varied mechanics?

HF: So the way that we re representing these religions is that the Hindu are the more warlike ones. We know from historical sources that they raided their neighbors a lot. They will have kind of aggressive cassus belli, parallel to the Holy War CB but a little bit different. They will also have the caste system.

The Buddhists are the learned scholars, the gurus, of the three religions, so they will have a technological bonus. In reality, they were probably mostly concerned with theological and philosophical issues. But it seems natural, since they created these massive university complexes on the Bengal.

The Jainists are the peaceniks. They are more pacifistic than the other two, but also extremely internally stable. Vassals as well as the provinces will not cause much problem due to differences of religion, basically.

PCG: It sounds like the Jain religion is very powerful. I mean, Crusader Kings is a game about keeping your realm stable. That s almost a bigger challenge than dealing with your neighbors. And if they get huge bonuses to that, how do you balance it out?

HF: Well, their CBs will suck. They will basically not be able to attack anyone. So that s the downside.

PCG: Decadence for Muslims is going to be changed in the free patch along with Rajas. Can you tell us what you plan on doing with it?

HF: The way it works now is, characters acquire the Decadent trait. They sort of become decadent. And it s much more likely that they get this trait if they are unlanded. And it s much more likely if they are already Hedonists or Gluttonous or something like that. And then, you can no longer just imprison your family members for free. I just removed that whole thing. Instead, you can try to convince them negotiate with them about their behavior. That starts a little chain, and eventually, if they refuse, then you can imprison them.

So there will be fewer decadent characters, and more ways of dealing with them. It feels a bit unnatural that you would just exterminate your entire dynasty all the time.

PCG: With the addition of war elephants for India and camel warriors in North Africa, do you plan to use the new special troop system to give other existing cultures new things to play with in the future?

HF: Absolutely. That is the idea. This is just the start of the development of that system. One thing we didn't have time to add was special troop type attrition in different terrains. I still want to do that. For example, historically, the Mongols were stopped by the Mamelukes, because Mongol riders didn't fight well in the sort of gravelly, desert-type terrain. So camel riders kind of outdid them.

PCG: Are you putting anything in place to model the fact that there wasn t a lot of interaction between Western Europe and the subcontinent?

HF: We re going to add a distance check to diplomatic actions. This is visible when you, for example, pick a councilor and send them to a job somewhere. You will see the provinces you can reach. And it goes for diplomatic actions, for plots, and for counselor jobs. So if I m playing in Scotland, I can see Indian characters. But I can t talk to them. That would be weird. Pointless, really. But I mean you can probably exploit it if you really have to. Go on a crusade, capture a province here, and then you can suddenly talk to them.

PCG: How far-reaching will this be? Will there be exceptions such as the Pope wanting to have a word with the Great Khan?

HF: It will be quite far-reaching. While we are at it, we also want to stop, say, Norse Pagans from marrying West African pagans and similar unlikely things. We are not planning any exceptions, but you will of course always be allowed to negotiate for peace if you are somehow involved in a distant war.

PCG: Are we going to be interacting with any of the areas north of India? Tibet and the Eastern Steppe are all on the map now, but they don t have provinces.

HF: No. We decided that, say, Tibetan culture is so different and interesting and their version of Buddhism is different. We would need to have almost an expansion on its own. Almost. It might be that we add it for free in the future or something.

PCG: You make it sound like the Timurids are still going to show up, which seems odd considering that whole area of the world he rose to power in is no longer occluded. Why would you not just have the Mongol successor states form on their own through gameplay?

HF: That's a really good question. The rise of the Seljuks and of Timur could indeed be seen as a form of historical railroading, which we always try to avoid if we can come up with more dynamic mechanics. So, what we're doing for Rajas of India is to make those events much more situational.

The Mongols will work pretty much the same, except they will show up here instead. There will not be much of a difference. Timur and Seljuk used to show up at the edge of the map. As it works now is they basically show up in a Turkish court somewhere if one exists. And then they exist as a courtier there for about ten years. And if they should die, their invasions will basically never happen.

If they survive, they will attack one of their neighbors like an adventurer. They will not attack their employer. They will attack outside of the realm. And they will tend to target their historical areas.

PCG: Will they get the same amount of event troops as they did before?

HF: Pretty much. Well, the first invasion is smaller now, and then there is a second step. If they succeed with the first step of the invasion, which is a duchy somewhere, they will get the huge event stacks. Because then, everyone will rally behind them. They've proven themselves.

PCG: And is it always going to be the same historical figures at the heads of these invasions?

HF: Yeah, they will actually be called Timur and Seljuk. And we added one more, which is Sabuktigin. He is basically the founder of the Ghaznavids. And the Ghaznavids basically ended up in that grey part of the timeline between 867 and 1066. So you wouldn't actually see them unless you played through from 867, but they were a huge actor. Especially since we added India, because they invaded into India and were kind of the scourge of the Hindus in India at the time.

We've also tweaked the CBs to have AI weights, so the Seljuks will tend to attack within Persia, maybe the Byzantines, and so on.

PCG: So the AI can actually be scripted to prioritize certain areas for conquest. Does that affect any other areas of the map? I know a few patches ago, there were problems with Muslims immediately going in for the kill on the Coptic Christians in Ethiopia, which was a bit ahistorical.

HF: Yeah, for example, the Golden Horde should stay in Russia, kind of. And the Ilkhanate will kind of stay in Persia to get these historical conquest routes going. I haven't done anything specifically for Ethiopia, but that's a thought. It would be really easy to do.

PCG: Can you tell us a little about the new areas on the map outside the Indian subcontinent?

HF: There s actually a fair bit down here in the Persian sphere that has been expanded along with adding India.

This is in, actually, Northern Afghanistan, centered around Kabul. This region was called Gondara or Kabul Shahi. That s new. They re Buddhists. And there was actually an entirely separate religion down in what s called Zabulistan. And the reason for that is that they worshipped a god called Zun. I love the name. I wish we could have added a religion. It sounds like something out of Ghostbusters but it s so tiny, and it s just been overrun by the Muslims. So we re just going to call them Zoroastrians.

There s a new culture here, which is the Pashtun or Afghan culture, which is part of the Persian cultures. Also the Balochi culture, which is new.

PCG: With all this expansion into Siberia, have you added a lot more provinces to the Empire of Tartaria, or have they just been stretched out horizontally?

HF: There are more provinces here. That s been rebalanced. Tartaria is enormous. Turkestan is also bigger, the kingdom. There are some new cultures up here, you have the Karluk Turks, the Kyrgyz, there s a new Finnish culture.

PCG: Could you walk us through the map changes you ve made to Africa? It s not bordering the new areas, so I m curious why you decided to make it a focus for this expansion.

HF: partially by request, partially because there is a little Jewish kingdom there, and partially because we had a kind of vague idea that we would do a mini expansion in East Africa. But we eventually realized that people probably wouldn t buy it. So we re adding in that stuff for free. So we re adding in a new culture here: the Nubian culture. And a little Jewish kingdom.

PCG: If you re playing way across the map, in Ireland or something, how many new events or features will you see from this expansion?

HF: In Ireland?

PCG: Yeah, I m just curious how far-reaching it is, in terms of maybe having a Buddhist monk or something show up at my court randomly.

HF: Probably nothing, no. I don t think so. I want to focus on making these Indian religions feel different and special.

PCG: So previously, India was this place that was kind of right off the edge of the map, and you d have echoes of it in Europe. There was an event where you get a courtier from Hindustan, for example. Now that India is the edge of the map, we re bordering on East Asia and Indochina. Will we maybe see the same sort of thing, where there s just a chance for some of that to trickle across the imaginary line into Bengal or something?

HF: Maybe. There was a lot of interaction, historically, with China. Indochina, I don t actually know a lot about the interactions that went on across the border with Burma. We know for a fact that, due to the Silk Road and everything, the Indians interacted a lot with the Chinese. And also the Turks up there. So it s very likely that we will do something that pertains to that.

If we were to pull back the timeline another 100, 150 years, you would actually have China . They actually had some of these provinces during the Tang dynasty.

PCG: What have you guys observed in terms of adding this new subcontinent onto the map. As you've iterated an playtested, has anything cropped up that made you say, "Oh, we need to stop that from happening" or "that's really strange?"

HF: It's funny, but I was really surprised by how everything just worked. Because I was afraid that either the Indians would overwhelm the Muslims, or the other way around. Or that the Cumans would be too powerful with all of these new provinces and stuff. But it was fairly easy to balance that. There's a lot of impassible terrain between India and Afghanistan, as in reality. You have to go through the Khyber Pass. So that means that the AI is kind of appropriately prone to attack through there, because of how the cassus belli and war declarations work. So you tend to get a kind of natural border there.

PCG: At this point in the life cycle of Crusader Kings II, have you run into any barriers in terms of what you wish you could do, but the current engine or mechanics would have to be too radically changed to make it work?

HF: Yeah. I have a long list of stuff that I want to fundamentally change that is not going to happen in one of the expansions. I can't really reveal any of these, but I expect that if and when we do a sequel, that's when we'll do these changes. What I can tell you is that I'm not happy with the tech system. I'm still not happy with the combat mechanics, and how troop types are hard to separate from each other and use as single units.

Thanks to Henrik for improving his karma by sharing all this info with us. Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India releases on Tuesday, March 24.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Adam Smith)

Rajas Of India is the next gargantuan expansion for 2012-2013′s best strategy game, Crusader Kings II. Your date with the Rajas is set for March 25th, which should give you just enough time to buy something nice to wear and book a table at that fancy restaurant that everybody keeps going on about. I’ve already gathered a wealth of information about what to expect, as well as thoughts on the expanded map, and new faiths and cultures. The ten minute video below contains much of the same information, delivered directly from the mind and mouth of Henrik F hraeus, the man who made the Middle Ages.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
Crusader Kings 2 - Rajas of India

Crusader Kings 2's patch notes are usually an amusing catalogue of historical rebalancing. As of the next free update, for instance, "hordes will be more prone to head in the 'right' direction", and "becoming infirm will abort self improval ambitions". But, aside from the mild titillation of minor AI tweaks, the patch will also make more dramatic changes to the game. As of its release on March 25th, the map will be revised, the performance optimised, and the modding scene given a home on the Steam Workshop.

Also on March 25th is the release of CK2's sixth expansion, Rajas of India, which - as the title suggests - adds the sub-continent of India. You can find more details of this paid-for addition through Tom's preview, or by watching these highlights of a recent Paradox stream.

As for the update, you'll find the full patch notes below.

- Major map revisions and additions: East Africa, Armenia, Central Asia, Siberia and India
- Added Steam matchmaking support
- Added Steam workshop support
- Added diplomatic range, blocking diplomacy and councillor actions vs too distant characters
- Factions will now revolt as a single unified realm under a temporary title
- Added attrition for units that have been "out-of-supply" for too long (can't live off the land in neutral counties, etc)
- Added support to change window mode setting: fullscreen, borderless or windowed
- New unit type system allowing for more flexible unit types, including War Elephants, Camel Warriors and Horse Archers
- Blocked "North Korea Mode"; you now lose huge parts of all income and levies if your demesne is too big
- Save games are now compressed by default (can be toggled on and off)
- Major memory and performance optimizations

- Added opinion malus for holding a character in prison.
- Added opinion malus for former lovers.
- Characters can now have up to five lovers at the same time.
- Tweaks and improvements to many events and decisions.
- Scripted civil wars in history files should now work properly. When scripting civil wars, defender must always be added before attacker for them to work properly.
- Now possible to revoke honorary titles. Revoking an honorary title with a positive opinion modifier will anger the previous holder.
- Added support for multiple lovers.
- Impregnation of lovers is now handled in the code.
- Updated all events to use the new scripting logic for friends, rivals and lovers.
- Characters will no longer get 'Marriage Ties' opinion bonus towards their spouse.
- Fixed a bug that was preventing vassals from being able to be called into war under certain CBs that were scripted to allow it.
- CBs that call other vassals into a revolt will now automatically call all vassals when war is declared.
- Sons asking for titles can now start an adventure for one of your titles if refused. Especially common among Muslims. (event 37000)
- Timur and Seljuk now arrive in a more involved fashion and need to survive before they launch their great gambit
- Children can no longer pick up the religion or culture of a guardian if the guardian does not share the religion or culture of his employer
- The Nestorians are no longer a heresy, and have their own holy order (The Order of St Addai)
- Added the Messalian heresy (Nestorian)
- Made the Paulician heresy (Orthodox)
- You can no longer usurp the sole primary title off of someone with a different religion if he has any holdings within it
- You no longer get an opinion bonus from your vassals for defending against rebels, adventurers and the like
- You can no longer call allies to help you defend against peasant, heretic and religious rebels
- Added a decision to conscript merchant ships if playing a ruler with overseas holdings
- Reduced piety gained from battles
- Increased piety cost of Muslim Invasion CB
- Whether a character is too insignificant for anyone to care if you execute them is now determined by whether they have any titles, claims, or titled close relatives
- Children, incapable characters and prisoners can no longer join factions
- The decision to acknowledge bastards as your own now works again
- Becoming infirm will now abort self improval ambitions
- Characters now lose the ambition to get married upon becoming eunuchs or homosexual
- Cathar women can now have the same career ambitions as men
- Can no longer reform the Orthodox religion, instead one has the Decision to restore the Ecumenical Patriarchate
- Events can no longer make tech points negative
- Fixed a rare crash related to loading savegames with events referring invalid characters
- Cathar vassals no longer have negative opinions for liege or liege's heir being female
- Expelling holy orders now blocks further Decisions towards them
- Holy Orders can no longer ask for the right to build castles in the lands of vassals of someone who has expelled them
- If a Holy Order is your vassal when you expel it, it will be set free
- Added missing decision to expel the Bektashi Order
- No longer possible to hire holy orders that you've expelled
- Reduced the number of standing troops of the Knights of Calatrava and Santiago
- After a successful decadence revolt, the new ruler only gets weak unpressed claims on vassals who choose independence
- Increased chances that vassals will choose independence after successful decadence revolts
- Doubled the Prestige that newborn characters get from their dynasty at birth
- Doubled the Prestige you get from the dynasty of your spouse when marrying
- Added missing de jure capitals to the Kingdom of Anatolia and the Duchies of Spoleto and Latium
- Added a prisoner age check to event 50010
- Added updated flags for titles within the Arabian, Mali and Byzantine de jure empires
- Fixed a couple of location triggers in Christian monastery events.
- Fixed bug in bookmarks reading of files
- Fixed duchies names not showing properly in de-jure duchy map mode
- Added Camel Warriors retinue type to Arabic culture
- Fixed crash bug when units die of attrition
- Tweaked max attrition just so slightly
- Improved the Sons of Abraham version of the heresy appearance event (SoA.4000)
- Strengthened adventurers in general
- The king of Jerusalem is no longer allowed to vassalize the Knights Templar or the Knights of St John if they are too powerful already
- Tweaked the cultural conversion events a bit, mainly to improve the special Mongol conversion factor
- Corrected the terrain in many provinces
- Fixed a bug where saves where primary title was dynamic didn't have CoA
- Fixed a bug that if the primary title was dynamic the character was not auto selected after loading
- Fixed a bug where kicking someone out of the lobby would make that character unselectable
- Fixed a bug where selecting a player in the outliner would sometimes navigate to an incorrect province
- Fixed a bug where map borders were not correctly loaded when going into multiplayer
- Fixed a bug where map names were not correctly loaded when going into multiplayer
- Cash, Prestige, and piety commands can now be used with values smaller than 1
- Text field cursor position fixed in multiple cases
- Fixed a bug where children would lose their guardian upon reload
- Fixed a bug where only a single opposite trait would be removed
- Famagusta is no longer an Abbasid vassal in 867
- Loot bar regrows more slowly now
- Fixed an issue where event flags would sometimes not clear properly after tournaments, feasts and similar events
- Fixed the triggers for a number of minor events where people could get the event even if they didn't have the correct religion
- Fixed broken trigger for the Decadent Warrior achievement
- Cut "succession wars" and all (mostly obsolete) mechanics to do with vassal revolt risk
- Jews can now also hire the Abyssinian and Nubian mercs
- Fixed a nasty bug where whole Patrician families could be genocided on succession
- Added events for the rise of the Ghaznavids
- Added a negative opinion modifier for vassal kings vs their emperor liege
- Improved or fixed religion triggers in many events
- Improved localization for a number of older events
- Minor tweaks to effects for many events
- Added a special decision to form the HRE
- Events are now saved and loaded from saves
- Compressed saves are now saved with meta data to improve performance
- Localisation of other languages now defaults to English
- Flags now appear and disappear when you're the correct height above the ground
- Saving the game with a dynamic title now saves the correct COA and automatically reselects the character you played upon loading
- Some minor changes to the save games format to improve backward compatibility
- Save games list now show if the save is unsupported
- Added equal-opportunity tumbling of courtiers for women and homosexuals.

- Family view now uses a larger siblings box if character's religion does not allow secondary spouses or concubines.
- The "Threats" tab in the Intrigue View is now filled with appropriate characters
- Added an "Adventurer Threat" alert (replacing the old "Angry Vassal" one)
- When choosing educate character for a child, a suitable guardian will now be pre-picked (for the cases where you don't want to bother to pick one yourself).
- Added a new tab to dynastic view that shows friends, rivals, in-laws and lovers.
- Religion/Culture filter in character finder now actually filters by religion/culture instead of religon/culture group.
- Pressing the skull icon will now navigate to the killer (if he is known)
- Court tab now shows councillors as well
- Improved a lot of title and culture colors
- Added opinion modifiers to the trait tooltip
- Fixed tooltips for trigger 'has_guardian' and 'has_regent'
- Corrected the tooltip for the trigger 'any_claim'
- Pressing on red character skulls now navigates to the murderer
- Character view now shows the correct piety icon for the selected character
- Expel Jormsvikings was missing localisation

- Much less likely to plot against characters they have a high opinion of.
- Much less likely to form factions against characters they have a high opinion of.
- Improved guardian selection logic.
- More prio on converting demesne provinces over vassal provinces.
- Less willing to marry young male characters to older women.
- Will now detach and move away if their parent stack is suffering severe attrition.
- Will now keep attrition-free event troops mostly consolidated instead of spreading them out.
- Now takes terrain and unit quality into account when determining whether to run away from enemies.
- Smarter about when to assault if there are enemy troops nearby.
- Better at determining who to attach to in war.
- Better at coordinating with allies in war.
- Will no longer declare suicidal faction independence wars that only have a fraction of their liege's power.
- Now smarter about when to hire mercenaries in a war.
- Less willing to fold to independence, pretender and antiking factions.
- Will now never fold to a very weak faction.
- Will stop more plots.
- The Hordes will now be more prone to head in the "right" direction.
- Will now execute dynasty decisions.
- Smarter about title revocation.
- Will not start claimant factions for old women, or a parent of the current ruler.
- Muslim characters are more likely to pick up the 'Gain a Title' ambition.
- Foreign rulers are now generally quite willing to take on wards as hostages

- Added support for multiple lovers.
- Can now block minor titles from being revokable.
- The faction power level at which you get a warning alert is now scriptable.
- Now possible to script vassal_opinion, liege_opinion and sex_appeal_opinion into modifiers.
- Now possible to mod whether character interactions require a character to have their cost in prestige/piety on hand to use the interaction.
- Now possible to mod out character interactions entirely through defines.
- Added new define NOT_SPOUSE_FERTILITY_MULT that governs impregnation chance between non-married lovers.
- Added new define MARRIED_LOVERS_FERTILITY_MULT that governs impregnation chance between married lovers.
- Added triggers num_of_lovers, num_of_spouses, num_of_consorts, is_lover.
- Added scopes random_consort, random_lover, any_lover.
- Friends and rivals can now be added and removed with add_friend, add_rival, remove_friend and remove_rival.
- is_friend and is_rival now check correctly against rival/friend rather than high/low opinion.
- pacifist in religion groups is now called ai_peaceful.
- pacifist=yes in religions now denotes religions with decreased aggression and stable realms. Only works on Jain religion if player does not own Rajas of India.
- pacifist=yes in script now checks if character belongs to a pacifist religion.
- Can now script AI conversion behaviour for religions & religion groups.
- Added MAX_JOINED_FACTIONS to defines, sets how factions a character can be a part of (including led ones).
- Added scriptable static modifiers for characters of different ages(0-15, 16-19, 20-29, 30-49, 50-69 and 70+).
- Added allow_join to factions, this restricts whether characters can join factions.
- Added peace_piety_gain for religions
- Added designated heir functionality
- Added flag 'feminist = yes' to religion scripts (defines that a religion is not prejudiced against female rulers).
- Added trigger 'is_lowborn'
- Added trigger 'num_of_dynasty_members'
- Added the ability to change the name of piety for religions.
- Added real_tier, lower_real_tier_than, higher_real_tier_than triggers. These work like a regular tier check except that they ignore temporary titles.
- Added peace_piety_gain for religions
- Added designated heir functionality
- Mercenaries have now been moved to their own script file
- Implemented scriptable troop types.
- Fixed portage crash bug.
- Support for ocean to ocean rivers.
- Added a 'character_modifier' to religions
- Added a 'character_modifier' to cultures
- Fixed feminist flag that can be used in religions to make em not care if ruler/heir is female.
- Added character_modifier for religions
- Can now define ranges of sea zones to make life easier.
- Can now define seperate oceans to help the pathfinding.
- Added trigger 'has_overseas_holdings'
- Added 'Player' text promotion
- Added trigger 'is_within_diplo_range'
- Added 'de_jure_counties' console command (shows a map mode)
- Added a 'manifest_destiny_invasion' CB for various special cases
- Fixed some issues with marriage texts, the 'on_marriage' action and modding
- Added effect 'copy_random_personality_trait'
- Added 'reincarnated' trigger
- Added effect 'set_reincarnation'
- Added event target 'reincarnation'
- History action 'add_matrilineal_spouse' now has been fixed
- Added error logs for incorrectly scripted birth and death dates
- Added handling and error logs of incorrectly scripted mothers and fathers (fixes certain crashes)
- Added 'secondary_event_pictures' to religions and culture
- Added trigger 'can_copy_personality_trait_from'

- Color table for converter is now in 0-255 range instead of 0-1
- Color table for converter can now script per CK2 title tag as well
- Key provinces of Europe is now scriptable
- Border provinces of Europe is now scriptable
Product Release - Valve
The Saxon Unit Pack and Finno-Ugric Unit Pack, all new content for Crusader Kings II are Now Available on Steam!

The Saxon Unit Pack adds seven new, unique unit models for Saxon rulers.

The Finno-Ugric Unit Pack adds seven new, unique unit models for Finnish, Lappish, Komi, Samoyed and Mordvin rulers.

PC Gamer
Crusader Kings 2 - Rajas of India

Crusader Kings 2 models the hopes, jealousies and paranoid plotting of around 30,000 unique actors, scattered throughout the troubled hierarchies of medieval Europe. From their varying positions of power, they marry, breed, wage wars and bump each other off with splendid selfishness. It's a pioneering sort of grand strategy soap opera, and it's about to get thousands of extra cast members.

CK2's sixth expansion, Rajas of India, will grow the map by 50% and add 400 new provinces, each with their own cabal of commanders, advisers, vassals children to be traded for political advantage. The rulers of India are mapped to three regional religions, which convey unique socio-economic boons upon their adherents, affecting their war-readiness, stability, and research competence. There's a new set of regional events to reflect the local festivities of the era, new jungle terrain and, inevitably, war elephants. It's plenty to be getting on with, but the most impressive thing about the expansion so far is how much of it Paradox are giving away for free.

That massive map increase will be free to everyone with a copy of CK2, for example. You won't be able to play as the new leaders and factions, but you will be able to meet, barter with and assassinate them. The free update also expands Africa with additions to Abyssinia and Nubia - the remnants of a planned future mini-expack that the designers decided to release as a bonus. That's in addition to Steam Workshop support, Steam multiplayer support, and smaller fixes that the CK2 community have been asking for, like a borderless windowed mode.

Evidently, Paradox are keen to keep their players playing - it's one of the reasons they love making big, brainy sandbox strategy games with lots of replayability. The free stuff encourages further playthroughs, which encourages more stories, which are inevitably shared online, creating a positive wave of word-of-mouth endorsement from which Crusader Kings 2 has particularly benefited. "We want to maintain interest in this game," says designer Henrik F hraeus, "keep it alive, keep it evolving and see what we can do with it."

India was a natural evolution for CK2, he explains. The feudal systems of medieval Europe fit comfortably with India's politics at the time, which made it easier to adapt existing systems to the new nation. There are differences, of course. The expansion should offer a more stable and peaceful starting scenario than central Europe. "The really cool thing about India is that it's such a pluralistic and tolerant society for its time," says F hraeus. "Even in these medieval times with the holy warring going on in the rest of the world, these three old religions of india, the Jain, the Buddhists and the Hindus. They were used to living together, and had been living together for a thousand years, basically, in more-or-less peace."

The Nair are the most peaceful of all. Harmonious internal relations make up for a lack of battle-nous. Hindu territories, meanwhile, are good in a ruck and have access to a wide range of creative Cassus Belli (land and title claims that are used to instigate wars), but are hampered internally by the warrior caste's relationship with the ruling classes. Buddhism's progressive musings on the nature of the soul and infinity manifests as a potent research boost that'll let you grow your society quickly.

To reflect India's tolerant nature, you'll be able to flit between religions more easily than the vanilla game. "I might want to start out as a Hindu ruler and conquer stuff," F hraeus suggests, "and then I switch over to become a Buddhist to research, and I might end up with the Jain to have a peaceful, stable realm, so my vassals love me."

The Buddhist belief system also introduces reincarnation, a particularly interesting addition given CK2's focus on succession. "I want to do really cool things about reincarnation, but I'm not sure how much we're going to be able to do," F hraeus says.

"I want a kid to be born, and people will think he's the reincarnation of a previous ruler, probably one of the better ones, and then maybe he will actually take on some of those personality traits."

I ask if there will be room for players to fabricate reincarnation claims to bestow advantage on your offspring, but the team are worried about presenting the concept in such cynical, power-grabbing terms. "It's a little bit dangerous, we're always stepping on toes. Hindus and Buddhists take this really seriously. I'm not sure if we want to do that."

CK2's rapid expansion - compounded by fantastic community mods - makes it an all-consuming pastime for avid fans. It was a tremendous story generator on release way back in 2012, and all the expansions have had to do is add neat new story beats to play with. Rajas of India's religions should do that nicely, and the extra map space will only make the formerly-squashed Eastern factions more viable. It's out in Spring.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Adam Smith)

I don’t think anyone at Paradox expected Crusader Kings II to spread into India with quite as much gusto as it will this March. The next expansion adds around 50% to the world map, with almost 400 new provinces, three new religions and a continent’s worth of new events, including the possibility of chained ‘reincarnation’ plotlines. As always with these generous chunks of DLC, a free patch will be released alongside the expansion and it will contain a surprisingly hefty amount of content, including the entirety of the expanded map, and Steam matchmaking and Workshop support. While it may not have the immediate appeal of the Old Gods to many (Vikings vs Buddhists anyone?), Rajas is the biggest expansion since. More details below.>



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