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News for nerds

Like any grand strategy game, systems get real complicated real fast in Crusader Kings 3, so it’s little wonder that Paradox Interactive has taken player feedback on board to introduce a raft of changes for the game’s first major patch. And seriously, there are a lot.

One of the major changes in patch 1.1 addresses a technique the community has dubbed North Korea mode – essentially a way to conquer the world by ignoring domain limit penalties and holding enough counties to make up for the reduced levies and income. As many players deemed the strategy overpowered and unrealistic, it’s now been patched out, and the penalty for being over the domain limit has been increased from a 90 per cent reduction of taxes and levies to a full 100. On top of that, vastly exceeding the domain limit for over a year will deactivate all buildings until your domain limit is lowered. No more world domination for you.

Another common complaint voiced by the Crusader Kings 3 community was the apparent abundance of bastard children in the game, which many players discovered when exploring their save files in debug mode. The patch adds more restrictions to see if characters are willing to cheat on their partners, while the intrigue event “confused heritage” is now being restricted to players only – “as the AI was going a bit wild with it and turning everyone into bastards unnecessarily.”

There are also a huge amount of AI changes in the patch that should make foreign armies significantly less annoying during war – the AI is being discouraged from taking to the seas when a land invasion is possible, they will now consider the White Peace option more frequently, and there are dozens of changes to make AI tactics… well, a lot smarter. The AI will no longer bother you with offensive call-to-arms if you’re already the primary defender in a war, but should you ignore their requests the rest of the time, you could be in trouble. Denying call-to-arms will now cost you fame instead of opinion, a more valuable resource that will likely prompt players to think twice before signing up to a bunch of alliances. “Denying offensive wars has a small impact, but denying defensive calls has a massive impact,” the patch notes say. Choose your friends wisely.

Paradox Interactive rather cryptically says it’s also given the AI ‘dancing lessons,’ which I can only assume means armies are less likely to flit around all over the place when deciding on a target. Or maybe feasts are about to get more lively.

And, as ever, there are a bunch of fixes: the bugged witchcraft event Grand Rite, which was supposed to supernaturally boost character stats, has now been fixed. Elsewhere, you will no longer be malnourished or obese for life, and the pope will no longer accept cannibalism (publicly at least). If you’re a seasoned Crusader Kings veteran, the full patch notes are definitely worth a read, as there’s something there to please everyone – and a lot of truly amusing bug fixes.