Questions about Crusader Kings 2

So I've watched a few let's players doing runs of this game, and it basically always boils down to three key things, at least from what I've seen:

1. Breed like crazy.

2. Go to war based on claims to take over more land.

3. Equal parts yell/laugh at the insanity of the random mechanics regarding the weird events in the game.

And frankly, I find that kind of boring? I mean, there seems to be entire other aspects of the game revolving around education and learning, but nobody ever seems to actually play those routes?

Are they viable? Because I bought the game during a sale, but I'm frankly not very interested in running around spreading some random variation on insane religions across the world, at the tip of a bloody sword.

I'd honestly like to see if the developers put in enough variation on how you can advance, to account for things like economic/political "victories", and perhaps intellectual bloodlines and things like that.

So, is it at all viable (not easy, just viable), to try and play the game as an agnostic/atheist family, who focuses on learning and infrastructure, and uses those traits to establish a powerful dynasty, instead of just being a religious meathead who is good at wholescale slaughter?

Because I mean, the game SEEMS to be incredibly detailed, just nobody ever seems to actually, you know, play it any way other than bloody conquest.

You definitely can. The thing is that the zanier stuff is great for Let's Plays and Streamers, you can get a lot more mileage out of "I just married my horse, killed the Pope and became the head of Shia Islam!" then you get out of a subtle, courtly intrigue playthrough.

The learning paths in the game are great if you want to get better techs and involves some of the better plot lines for side quests (you get things like finding the Necronomicon), so try that if you think it is cool. Besides going bloodlust crazy in war, a common way to play the game is to get high intrigue and then start plotting against everything around you. A common self-imposed challenge is to start as some random, one province count in a large empire and work your way up to Emperor by fabricating claims, betraying your lieges and seizing fruitful marriage opportunities.

In essence, CK2 is pretty much a sandbox and you can play it in a lot of ways. Crazy carnage is one of those ways, but you can get pretty far without ever raising a levy if you want to. Or you can become a crazy satanist and start sacrificing your courtiers to the Devil, while reading the Necronomicon and trying to make yourself the new religious head of Catholicism.

Well the thing is the game doesn't really have a victory condition (I have over 200 hours played and never actually finished a campaign). The loss conditions is to die with no heir/territory, which is incredibly hard to do. Yeah you can play the game in a way to you eventually conquer the whole world, but that's not that interesting. Also holding more territory has a very strong diminishing return and pass a certain point will be more trouble than it's worth.

For religion, you can't play without one (although you can play a character who privately doesn't believe), that's pretty historically accurate, religion was one of the pillar of any society and you weren't getting very far if you picked beef with it. You can try changing religion, but that's not very easy since everybody who still follow the old religion will opposed to changing.

As far as advancement, technology will slowly tick upward over time, but you can't advance that much faster than the rest of the world, so it's a bit of a minor aspect (and all bonus are just % based). You can build new infrastructure (even building wonder and such) but those are mostly money sink after a certain level, the bonus they give are rather limited. You can also develop your land to have more holding (castle, cities, temple) but this is a very slow process, heavily dependent on RNG.

Also if you need quite a few DLC to make the game work, the bare version is missing a ton of feature that makes the game interesting.

I tried CK2 for a couple of days but I could never get into it. I just couldn't see the point. You can try and conquer new lands, but you can't directly control that many and you are required to hand them off to vassals and then continually struggle to keep control for seemingly little purpose.

Meiam:
Well the thing is the game doesn't really have a victory condition (I have over 200 hours played and never actually finished a campaign).

Yeah that's why I put victory in quotes, implying it was just a phrase, not literal. I basically just was curious if the devs made it where choosing "any route other than bloody conquest" is actually viable for the basic concept of the game. Namely taking over more territory and establishing an empire/bloodline.

Meiam:

Also if you need quite a few DLC to make the game work, the bare version is missing a ton of feature that makes the game interesting.

Well considering the DLC for that game totals up to over $200 now, if I have to have all that to make the game "work", then fuck that game. I'm not forking over that much cash for a game I'm only marginally interested in, but not even that much.

Drathnoxis:
I tried CK2 for a couple of days but I could never get into it. I just couldn't see the point. You can try and conquer new lands, but you can't directly control that many and you are required to hand them off to vassals and then continually struggle to keep control for seemingly little purpose.

Yeah I had the same issue with Stellaris, it just seemed like a huge headache, and not terribly fun. But there are little bits here and there that seemed interesting, and I do like strategy games to a point. I thought "hey why not." But it seems like it's going to just be a bust purchase for me. Something I never actually play because it just seems too tedious to be enjoyable.

So, this isn't for everyone... but I found the game much more enjoyable to cheat in. It let's you do some of the more wacky stuff without needing to do any of the boring stuff. I also find certain mods, the Game of Thrones one for example, have a lot more of the absurd and dramatic stuff happen much more often. Not to say the OG game doesn't have some moments.

Happyninja42:

Yeah I had the same issue with Stellaris, it just seemed like a huge headache, and not terribly fun. But there are little bits here and there that seemed interesting, and I do like strategy games to a point. I thought "hey why not." But it seems like it's going to just be a bust purchase for me. Something I never actually play because it just seems too tedious to be enjoyable.

I found Stellaris more enjoyable than CK2, and was actually interested enough to play a couple games through to victory, but tedious is a very apt description. It's just quite a poorly designed game and they don't seem to have any idea what to do to fix it. It had the terrible forced AI controlled sectors at launch, and when I played it 8 months ago they'd removed that and added a horrendous new population system for planets that made it 10 times more finicky to get anything done the way you wanted, and made multi species empires impossible. Things that should be simple and painless like queuing up jobs for your construction ships are ridiculously time consuming since the cost is calculated at time of queuing so you need to keep coming back after every job to start the next or face exorbitant influence costs. The biggest drawback to expansion is your own real life tedium, because you need to constantly go back and set up the next building every time you get a new population. You can't just queue up a plan and deal with other things, no you need to keep going back to each planet again and again, constantly reorienting yourself as to what your goal was for each samey planet.

I've given up hope that it will ever be a good game, no matter how long they spend developing it.

Happyninja42:

Well considering the DLC for that game totals up to over $200 now, if I have to have all that to make the game "work", then fuck that game. I'm not forking over that much cash for a game I'm only marginally interested in, but not even that much.

You don't need every DLC, most are cosmetic/song and quite a few of them only unlock playing as different region/religion (muslim, india, mongol)

The only one that really enhance the basic experience are conclave (you have a council made of vassal in your realm that you have to deal with, ie internal politic), way of life (you can specialize your ruler in different area and get bonus and mission) Charlemagne (let you create empire), monk and mystic (society you can join for mission and bonus), legacy of rome (private army), reaper's due (disease), holy fury (bloodline, better crusade and randomized world). They usually go on sale between 50 and 75% off.

As for stellaris, I'm not sure what to say. I don't find the micro to be that complicated, you can queue stuff for your construction ship fairly easily and the only time the cost is important is early game where you don't have many planets to deal with. Planets can become tedious when you have 50+, but by that time the game is usually over (I tend to control about 1/4 of the galaxy by end game so maybe if your trying to fully control the world it'll get tedious, but then you can automate planets/sector). My only micro issues with the game is that when planet become full you're only choice are to manually kick out every new pop or stop growth altogether (at a heavy economic price) but that also only happen late game. I have 450 hours in that game and I'm just about to start another one, so I certainly wouldn't say it's a bad game.

Happyninja42:
snip

So, I think the issue is mostly that you're watching streamers. Streamers have an incentive to play in particular ways, either ways which are seen as as demonstrating unusual skill or which are exciting and dynamic. Blobbing (conquering a large area) is generally seen by most players as a mark of achievement or accomplishment, so it's not surprising that streamers gravitate towards it.

Personally, I never expand that much in CK2. The upper limit for me is either an empire rank title or special decision-formed title I like the look of. If I hit that, I'll typically try to spread my religion or dynasty without actually taking more territory. This can still involve war (particularly, pressing claims) but I find it keeps things more interesting and lets you keep the political game going a bit longer.

As far as I'm concerned, the only "essential" DLCs are conclave and way of life. Most of the DLCs which add new playable government types or religions (beyond this being incredibly bad practice) lean heavily towards conquest compared to the base game. Thematically, horse lords is my favourite DLC for example but it is also a one way ticket to blob city, home of the map painters.

From what we've seen, CK3 looks set to expand a lot on the roleplaying and politics side of the game, so if you enjoy the concept of CK2 but are finding those elements lacking it might be worth keeping tabs on CK3's development.

Meiam:
My only micro issues with the game is that when planet become full you're only choice are to manually kick out every new pop or stop growth altogether (at a heavy economic price) but that also only happen late game.

You can just let planets become overpopulated. Heck, for egalitarians this is the intended playstyle. At 150% housing usage, the population will just stop growing on its own and yet will still give migration bonuses to other planets, removing the need for manual resettlement.

The downside is needing a lot amenities to offset the problems of overcrowding. It's not an ideal or overpowered playstyle, but it can work.

Also, if you have the policy which allows population controls, then stopping growth on a planet does not come with economic penalties, just a small cost to stability which is easily compensated. The egalitarian faction don't like having population controls allowed, but unless you're playing an egalitarian empire it shouldn't be a problem.

evilthecat:

Meiam:
My only micro issues with the game is that when planet become full you're only choice are to manually kick out every new pop or stop growth altogether (at a heavy economic price) but that also only happen late game.

You can just let planets become overpopulated. Heck, for egalitarians this is the intended playstyle. At 150% housing usage, the population will just stop growing on its own and yet will still give migration bonuses to other planets, removing the need for manual resettlement.

The downside is needing a lot amenities to offset the problems of overcrowding. It's not an ideal or overpowered playstyle, but it can work.

Also, if you have the policy which allows population controls, then stopping growth on a planet does not come with economic penalties, just a small cost to stability which is easily compensated. The egalitarian faction don't like having population controls allowed, but unless you're playing an egalitarian empire it shouldn't be a problem.

Unemployment cause problem so overflowing planet are not a good idea if your not egalitarian, also I'd much rather the pop be somewhere else working than bumming around on a overflowing planet. The 5% stability malnus is a pretty big deal on large planet and you usually don't have 100% stability on most planets, also if you stop growth that means you lose the population that would have been created, so that's the bigger economic hit.

Meiam:
Unemployment cause problem so overflowing planet are not a good idea if your not egalitarian, also I'd much rather the pop be somewhere else working than bumming around on a overflowing planet.

The point isn't to have unemployed pops, but to overfill available housing and actually have more pops working on each planet. This has a pretty serious cost in terms of stability, but it can be offset by better living standards and amenities. The point is that eventually you will hit equilibrium and no more pops will grow on those planets, but you still have emigration from those planets (boosting growth on planets which are still developing without the need for resettlement).

 

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.