Paradox Interactive has kicked a hornet’s nest of hype with their recent announcement of Crusader Kings 3. Their vision for the game is to deliver a much more enjoyable, visually stunning and fun to play distillation of the Crusader Kings experience. A big part of that revolves around taking old ideas and making them new again.
The core of this issue lies with the idea behind the series, namely the story that you tell as the player, through your created dynasty. The wars you fight, events that are formative in life, and just the general ickiness of living in medieval times, it’s all important. The developer has also said in previous developer diaries and other updates that they’re looking into making a pretty substantial overhaul for combat and other areas beyond the story. Making warfare more engaging and rewarding could help a fair bit with this.
But with the new developer diary, we’re seeing something else that the developer is working on. The creation of characters, and the stats they have, is being tweaked in a pretty big way in Crusader Kings 3. Diplomacy, Martial, Stewardship, Intrigue, and Learning are all still key stats, although how they apply is being altered. Now, all of the different traits, stat scores, and other elements are being rolled into a skill tree system.
Yes, I Said Skill Trees
Skill Trees in Crusader Kings 3 are being used primarily to apply perks to your character. These buffs each tie into the core stat they’re associated with and allow the player the chance to refine the focus of their character. The new system will also have more impact based on your choices. For example, your relations with your vassals can be either peaceful or hostile, and each path has benefits. One perk called “Fear Tax” increases the levy contributions of vassals if you spend your political acumen compelling them more forcibly.
Check out the full developer diary from Paradox Interactive down below. Crusader Kings III is set for a Steam release in 2020.
Crusader Kings 3 builds on the massive and complex lineage of the previous games in the series by pushing for innovations on older mechanics. But not content to just refresh the trappings of running your dynastic family in medieval times, Crusader Kings 3 wants you to get more immersed in the story you’re telling.
Crusader Kings 2‘s roleplaying aspects are one of the least fleshed-out areas of the game. Sure, players can embellish the tale in their head, but the representation of that headcanon in-game was always very lacking. Another area that players often complained about was the practice of bundling improvements to the core gameplay depth into paid DLC. For example, the expansion which added new options for developing dynastic stories, Way of Life, was a paid DLC. It has almost reached the point where the perfected form of the base game is reliant on spending extra cash on DLC with the older games in the series.
In this sequel, Paradox will bundle many of more refined ideas into the base game from the start. Growing character stats with new perks, events, and traits is being further augmented with Schemes. The previous scheming system is being replaced by a new system that allows players to also choose divergent paths in their politics. If you choose to Sway or Seduce a vassal or rival, it can have vastly different consequences.
It all sounds really fun to the aspiring medieval tyrant in me.