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I have 30 hours in now. I've lost my first game and I'm into my second now. On the whole, it is a great game. I spent 60-70 hours in Imperator Rome so I was able to slip right into this pretty easy. But if you are not familiar with Paradox games like EU, Stellaris, and CK2 there is a TON of details and a steep learning curve to climb. The tutorial does a good job of teaching the basics. It's 20 minutes well spent. So here is my tips based on what I've seen:

  • Remember above all else you are playing a King/Queen, NOT a Kingdom. You have to roleplay the part. That might not sound like a distinction but you will find it is.
  • The objective is the survival of your House first. Conquering and the 4X's are a means to an end rather than the end itself. 
  • NPC ARE the game. Interact with them as much as you can.
  • Intrigue  is a big part of the game.  Hooks and plots are very useful
  • Knights: you NEED them. They make the difference between battles won and lost.
  • Pay attention you who your counselors are. When they screw up it hurts.

Also I don't know what the hardest start is but Alto Aragorn in in the running. You only weaker neighbor is an ally AND your cousin. The Islamic counties are all stronger than you and will go to war with you really quickly. 

I know several of you guys are playing. What are your thought? 

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I've probably put in a similar amount of time, but I think I'm either about to put it down until a major balance patch comes along, or get deep into the modding scene (difficult but not impossible with the MS Game Pass version). The fundamentals of the game are good, and it's easily one of the more mature Paradox games in terms of its release state - not that that's saying much. The good thing is that I don't think it's any specific new mechanic that's fundamentally broken, it's just that the numbers (such as fervour loss/gain, religious/heresy conversion rates) seem way off in terms of balancing, to the extent it feels like they launched it with the same numbers they put in on the first pass and never bothered iterating on them for balance.

However, the more I play, the more the problems are evident and I just can't ignore them for much longer. War and Religion are obviously the two biggest themes of the game, but sadly they're also the most broken currently. The 867 start date is a complete write-off (to the extent it's hard to believe it was tested at all), and 1066 is merely tolerable with cracks widening into chasms as each game progresses. War simply consists of the AI bum-rushing your capital, even from the other side of the world, and they spam boats to run rings around you because they'll happily do so and pay for it despite being hundreds in debt, all the while your allies twiddle their thumbs. Crusades? Forget any long term impact, they're there for you to get a share of the loot (~1000g on average is no joke) and game the Crusader trait. Within a year the newly-formed Crusader Kingdom will have flipped back to the old religion because the bloody peasants somehow convince the Queen (and it's always a Queen) that spontaneously converting to Islam is a good idea. Cue the next crusade targeting them in a vicious cycle.

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@Humanoid I agree it's done some things that defy history and logic. In my Alto Aragon game I ended up with a marriage alliance to a Welsh petty king. I was also allied with the other Catholic Houses in Spain. When the war with the Islamic states started I called all the allies and shortly after 200 some odd Welsh troops showed up. A game like this cannot be historically accurate but should at least be historically authentic. There is no way such a campaign would be within the means of a Welsh king. Nor would it be prudent to throw his soldiers and levies into a foreign war outside a papal crusade. That should not have happened. 

The problem is navel transport in this game is free and easy. In reality moving a medieval army by sea would be a huge and expensive undertaking.  Naval movement and just army logistics overall are flawed. 

I didn't experience any strange religion changes like you mentioned. That would be immersion breaking in the extreme. Definitely something that needed to be patched.

I will say compared to Imperator Rome, CK3 is MUCH better out of the gate. And being a Paradox title the game we are playing now will be much more refined a year from now. 

For my second game I decided to go big: the Byzantine Empire. It is much easier when you have money, armies, and well established dynasty. But there is a LOT to do. You spend a lot of time on pause keeping up with everything. I'm in a plot now to murder the Fatmid Sultan because his heir is much more favorably disposed to us. And I have a hook on a Seljuk Emir on my border. In a pretty good place right now. 

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I found something rather important I didn't know about. When you start a new game on the lower right there is a Game Rules box. Click that and you can customize away some of the annoying and historically inauthentic things the games does. For instance you can limit diplomatic interactions to rulers within a reasonable distance. You can also make cultural and religious conversions rare and painstaking (as they should be). The game's defaults are sort of "anything goes" which I didn't like. I hardly noticed until Venice became Orthodox in my last game. WTF? The freaking Pope is just next door!

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I enjoyed the hell out of CK2, but I think I'm firmly in the camp of waiting a long while before I get CK3.  Pretty much wait for the next years updates and balances..and the assortment of DLC expansions to come out and be on sale.. ;)

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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5 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

I found something rather important I didn't know about. When you start a new game on the lower right there is a Game Rules box. Click that and you can customize away some of the annoying and historically inauthentic things the games does. For instance you can limit diplomatic interactions to rulers within a reasonable distance. You can also make cultural and religious conversions rare and painstaking (as they should be). The game's defaults are sort of "anything goes" which I didn't like. I hardly noticed until Venice became Orthodox in my last game. WTF? The freaking Pope is just next door!

I'd go even further and recommend the more rules mod so can you tweak things even more

Just quit another game because I randomly ended up failing upwards again and I lose interest with multiple kingdoms or an empire. Going to go with my old CK2 standby of making an immortal but sterile count or duke in some slightly out of the way place and seeing how long I can last.

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Free games updated 3/6/19

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Second best mod behind coloured education icons. ;)

 

I'm out again after a short-ish India game. The last straw was that the AI exploits a bug where if multiple titles are held, each with their own custom inheritance law, it bypasses Partition for that title, and that way realms are artificially kept together on succession. For example, if you hold the Kingdoms of England (primary) and France and have two sons, normally the firstborn would get England and the second France. But if you assign a custom inheritance law for France even if it's the same law as the rest of the realm anyway, France will also go to the firstborn. So just assign the Male Preference law to all your titles and voila, effective instant Primogeniture. The AI doing this particularly sucks if you're playing an intrigue character and are trying to split up your enemies via murder.

Meanwhile in Europe, some random Emir successfully took Rome in the first few decades of the game. The Pope, who easily had more men and more gold than his conqueror, responded by calling a Crusade for Jerusalem. Then one for Syria. Meanwhile, that Emir (who wasn't particularly strong) just quietly continued gobbling up the Pope's lands over the next decade or so essentially unopposed (presumably the Pope's men were preoccupied in the Holy Lands), and around 50-100 years after the game started there is no longer any Pope. Yeah, no one in Catholic Europe cares even slightly about Rome falling, big brain move by the Pope there.

My intention was to play in India to let me avoid most of the stupidity that is the game's broken religion system (since all my neighbours are some variant of Hindu, religion becomes irrelevant), but it does get kinda dull because there are no interesting special mechanics that apply to India. It's just the vanilla CK2 experience of fabricating claims and installing the occasional claimant. Time to take a break.

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In my world it's 1390 and the Eastern Roman Empire is in fine shape. The progeny of the Makedon line rules from Egypt to the Urals. I did NOT like how they handled the Byzantine Empire though. It starts and plays no different than any other feudal kingdom.  In both start years it was a well established and unified political entity. 

OK, this game is fun. Mostly. But the more I play it the more the cracks begin to show. The problem is I have read too much history. This isn't history it's a computer game. S--t is going to happen that would not and could not happen in real life. Like Venice converting to a different faith. But being a student of history I find that extremely immersion breaking. Like Humanoid's experience where the Pope loses the Papal States and calls for a Crusade to Jerusalem. If he called for a Crusade to retake Rome that would make perfect sense. 

The eastern cultures need to be better fleshed out too. These are radically different peoples and cultures than Europe but they all play the same in game. That really needs work. Maybe I'm being too critical here. Imperator had the same problem. Everything felt very "Roman". Now a year later there are Greek and Carthaginian culture packs and other from mods. 

Another thing I like about I:R that I wish CK3 took example of was combat formations. In I:R you could set your order of battle. If the enemy puts skirmishers in front you counter with cavalry in front. Heavy infantry in phalanx you counter with skirmishers on the flanks. That kind of thing. I'd like CK3 to give us more control over the battles. 

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There will probably be a separate DLC for most of those issues 🤑

I don't know what is going on my game. I did exactly what I said I was going to do and am the immortal Duke of Socotra. I changed it so my fertility was in the negative but somehow I now have 2 new kids. I thought maybe the wife was cheating but I had made her sterile too and it said I was the father in the save file. I'm totally confused on how two characters with 0% fertility could reproduce, twice. 

Free games updated 3/6/19

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3 hours ago, ShadySands said:

There will probably be a separate DLC for most of those issues 🤑

I don't know what is going on my game. I did exactly what I said I was going to do and am the immortal Duke of Socotra. I changed it so my fertility was in the negative but somehow I now have 2 new kids. I thought maybe the wife was cheating but I had made her sterile too and it said I was the father in the save file. I'm totally confused on how two characters with 0% fertility could reproduce, twice. 

T'aint natural I tell ye! He's in league with Lucifer I tells ye!

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7 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

T'aint natural I tell ye! He's in league with Lucifer I tells ye!

This actually wasn't far from what happened.

I kept digging because I couldn't just leave it be and it's the result of the witch Grand Rite event. Changed the event to stop this from being possible and started over.

Edited by ShadySands

Free games updated 3/6/19

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CK2 is such a great game, that I've played far, far too much. More developers should make Grand Strategy games with RPG flavour.

However, I couldn't really get into CK3 right away, so I'm gonna wait for a few patches before I start playing. Right now it doesn't really feel any better than CK2, despite some welcome changes.

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The first patch comes out today. And it's a big one. The patch notes are north of 15k words: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2020/09/28/crusader-kings-3s-patch-1-1-culls-excessive-bastardisation-and-other-ai-quirks/

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And now I'm waiting for the patch for the patch. Generally welcome changes - unsurprising when there are 998 documented changes - but they did manage to spectacularly break claim inheritance so that women don't inherit claims at all, and therefore completely breaking the concept of marrying for claims. Y'know, the actual proper historical way to get claims instead of gaming conveniences like fabrication. Plus they didn't fix the super frustrating levy replenishment bug.

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1.1.2 hotfix just released, looks like it resolves the issues that were stopping me from playing. Nice that they're willing to do these smaller fixes after having to wait so long for some key ones previously. And nice timing too as it's a long weekend here.

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in other paradox news Imperator Rome is getting a complete overhaul with the next patch. New UI new game mechanics and it sounds like a lot of elements from crusader kings three are going to be introduced there. Also in stellaris we have a new DLC to look forward to. Well, you can count me in on both of them.

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On 10/10/2020 at 3:59 PM, Guard Dog said:

in other paradox news Imperator Rome is getting a complete overhaul with the next patch. New UI new game mechanics and it sounds like a lot of elements from crusader kings three are going to be introduced there. Also in stellaris we have a new DLC to look forward to. Well, you can count me in on both of them.

Well maybe I will pick up Imperator if reviews are better after the patch

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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58 minutes ago, Chilloutman said:

Well maybe I will pick up Imperator if reviews are better after the patch

It is a much better game now than it was a year ago. It was clunky, buggy, and seriously unbalanced when it first rolled out of the gate. It has been considerably streamlined and is much better for it. 

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