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DevDiary 10 - Traditions

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Hello friends, and welcome to the 10th DevDiary for “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign”! Last time we talked about character skills and in this diary we will take a look at traditions, which are very interlinked to them and can even be abstractly considered as “kingdom skills”. We will explain how these two features are connected, how traditions are gained, and how they affect the game.

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First of all, in KoH2:S the player does not take the role of any of the knights, nor really the king or his dynasty – knights, kings and dynasties rise and fall, and with their death their skills are also gone, but the game continues. Introducing this new feature for the series, the traditions, we wanted to offer an additional way for players to strategically shape the strengths of their main avatar in the game – the kingdom itself – and also to create long-term progression players are motivated to make. As almost everything else players do is more or less temporary, we felt that such a permanent component of their progression is much needed in our game. Yes, we already had the knights’ skills and province development, but knights perish, dynasties fall, and thriving provinces can get overtaken or separated from the kingdom one way or another.

The second important thing we wanted to consider and represent well is that KoH2:S is not a civilization game. We want to capture a specific and rather short moment of time, the High and Late Middle Ages, and, debatably, we think that technological / development tree wouldn’t be very fitting for that goal. We’d like this feature to allow the players to boost their kingdoms in all possible aspects and how believable would it be to let you invent things like agriculture, stock farming, literacy and so on in that period, when they were all invented thousands of years before that? That’s why we crossed out this type of “inventions” and technological tree off our list.

Kingdom traditions represent the knowledge of nations, built over the ages and are less of a “invention” and more of a “focus”. Unlike provinces or knights, they cannot be forcefully taken or destroyed by enemies. Once adopted, they endure even in the harshest crise and are only lost if a player prefers to replace one of them with another. An additional advantage they have is that their effects spread kingdom-wide and can provide bonuses to all provinces and knights.

Thus, they are harder to acquire than skills. To each skill there is a corresponding tradition and, similarly, adopting them requires spending some gold and books, but this is the easier part. In order to gain a tradition, a kingdom must additionally have at least one knight that has mastered the corresponding skill (at level 3). In that regard, the kings are the quickest “gateways” to traditions, since each skill they learn is directly acquired at the maximum level. As a final requirement, there is a limitation to the number of traditions that can be acquired – in game terms, tradition “slots” become available with the progression of a kingdoms’ prestige, a statistic that represents the overall progression and stance of a kingdom and that we will probably discuss in more details in another DevDiary. A kingdom right now can adopt up to eight traditions, though we are still experimenting with that number and at what point and cost each slot will be available.

AAA_DiaryImage02_Devblog10_1.thumb.jpg.bb81b0674bd3ddfb034fa183b4b93316.jpgSimilar to skills, traditions can provide a wide range of effects and can be improved on through a cost of gold and books – their maximum level is 3, too. Some of them can provide statistical boosts, others – access to new actions, plots, or even more specific abilities like what kind of siege equipment can be constructed within a kingdom. They also boost knights’ abilities and some of these bonuses are restricted either to classes, governors, kings, etc.

There is one very specific and powerful combination – traditions boost knights that have mastered the corresponding skill. Once again, we will illustrate this with the “Cavalry tactics”, since we gave it as a skill example in the previous diary. When this tradition is adopted, it makes the cavalry squads larger, which is a bonus, that applies to all cavalry squads in the kingdom – those led by knights, regardless of their classes and skills and even those stationed in garrisons. However, if the tradition is improved to level 2, marshals that have mastered the skill will gain an additional combat tactic from this tradition – “Chase and kill”, useful in pursuing retreating enemy troops. At level 3 of the tradition, these marshals will get another new tactic – “Shock charge”, especially valuable for those of them that lead considerable number of heavy cavalry units.

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AAA_DiaryImage04_Devblog10_3.thumb.jpg.b4c9f5b65179d3b07f84c345f93f61bc.jpgSuch combinations can be done in many aspects of the game and provide significant benefits in a chosen directions. What makes this strategy even stronger is that once a tradition is adopted, it is always available for learning by knights of that kingdom, so in this way players can ensure that they will be able to make the desired “combo” and no longer rely on random affinities of knights to learn that skill. In result, by choosing their traditions, players can define the biggest strengths of their kingdoms and build a long-term strategy, regarding what skills they want always available and boosted.

AAA_DiaryImage05_Devblog10_4.thumb.jpg.69a21b1517c4d5c99dfb45deb4d46cd0.jpgTo summarize it, we are trying to make that systems as something unique in KoH2:S and offer the players interesting choice and many possible strategies to explore. Skills are the path to traditions, and traditions, the path to skills; they work both as a boosting mechanic, shaping the strengths of a kingdom, and give an opportunity for interesting combinations as well.

We will talk more about Traditions in our DevStream on Thursday, September 3rd, @ 4:00 PM GMT / 12:00 AM EST. The Twitch stream will be hosted on the THQ Nordic channel: http://twitch.tv/thqnordic and we’ll be grabbing responses from this post as well as answering questions live during the stream.

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on that topic and always read and look into your feedback. Does the tradition system sound interesting to you? Do you think it would be too challenging for you to choose a favorite tactic and achieve it, or maybe it is just the opposite – do you think that even more complex system and tech-tree is more suitable for such game?

Next time we will look into another class of knights. We’ve already talked about marshal and it is time to share more about the strategical benefits and gameplay possibilities of merchants.


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Do traditions relate to a nations culture and religion at all? For example are some tradition types more expensive to purchase if your nation is Islamic or Catholic, French vs English? Or do all traditions have the same base cost and are simply large boosts to skills? 

If you did not choose to include this can you comment on why not?

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Hello there, dear Devs,

I don’t have any questions. I just wanted to wish you best of luck on your project at hand!

I sure hope that we will get to experience the game until the end of 2020!

Stay healthy, stay safe!

And congrats, Ivory Knight! 🙂 

Best Regards!

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Just now, Yavor said:

Hello there, dear Devs,

I don’t have any questions. I just wanted to wish you best of luck on your project at hand!

I sure hope that we will get to experience the game until the end of 2020!

Stay healthy, stay safe!

And congrats, Ivory Knight! 🙂 

Best Regards!

Thanks, I had to leave work to do this lmfao!!! These traditions sound nice! But the theme of my comment is that I am worried they will feel too close to simple skill buffs, and not feel like they relate to the country/culture in any meaningful way. Just because they stay with your country for a long time, doesnt mean they fit the history of your country/culture in a way that makes sense.

For example would it make sense that a Viking country get some sort of heavy cavalry tradition? Dont get me wrong I am not opposed to that, but I think there should be some mechanic which guides but doesnt force a player to go in a particular direction? What you think Yavor?  

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Well, Ivory, I agree that players should have the freedom to do whatever they want, balancewize, with their own deck of knights. However I also think that some kingdoms should have not the penalty, but increased tradition buffs for some of them, for instance the calvalry tradition should go smoother for the mongols and arabs, giving them an extra edge. For instance if a viking faction decides to go the cavalry way, they could totally do that, but if a mongol kingdom tries that, it should go much further, with greater buffs, or perhaps different sort of additional buffs. What I have in mind is that there should be a greater depth for traditions, with regards of culture. Slavic and norse nations should be have infantry buffs by default, arabs and mongols - cavalry, and these should stack with the traditions, chosen by the player. Just for the sake of historical realism.

Also I just got back from work, I'm tired, and I confess, I haven't read all of the devblog. I think that the game is far from ready for lauch, and I think that I should get off the hype train for a while. It's not doing me any good...

I hope you all had a wonderful Summer, and I hope the Autumn days will bring us all good news!

Regards!

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22 hours ago, THQN Brad said:

 

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This screen looks similar to KOH 1 but also shows the traditions that the kingdom has. Does this mean if you click on one of other's kingdom you will see their traditions? I hope not 😄 

It looks to me from this screenshot that the player gets access to more traditions with increasing their Prestige points. So the more you grow the stronger you become.

Is this working the same way for the AI? And how does the AI chose their traditions? Is it based on a historical relevance or is random? Would it be possible for the player to see other kingdom's traditions by espionage? 

 

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Does the cost of getting a tradition (or knights skill and similar) scale up with "kingdoms development" or is it a fixed price in gold/books?

 

Also, @Ivory Knight the king in the image with town of Cagliari looks kinda like you.

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I really enjoy this concept.  If you entirely conquer a kingdom, are you able to absorb any of the traditions that they had acquired during their reign?  Also, can the tradition advantages of one nation be shared with vassal kingdoms?  Or does each kingdom have to earn their own traditions and skills.

On the topic of vassalage, will vassalage be different at all from the first KoH?  

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If there are only 30 skills available in total I think that having 8 traditions is too much. Off the top of my head I would say that maybe around 10-15% of the skills should be atainable at the same moment as tradition. So if there are 30 skills in total, only 3-5 should be possible to hold as tradition at the same time.

The system itself looks fine at first glance, I can already imagine myself specializing in all the economic skills as Venice. It feels like it would help with replayability for the same kingdom where you just choose different traditions each time you play it.

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4 hours ago, Field Marshal said:

Does the cost of getting a tradition (or knights skill and similar) scale up with "kingdoms development" or is it a fixed price in gold/books?

 

Also, @Ivory Knight the king in the image with town of Cagliari looks kinda like you.

My GOD!!!! Maybe, it is awfully close forsure!!!! Ill have to ask them. 

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Thanks for Dev Diary:) One thing I noticed again is the look of the buildings in the castle (4th picture) who still kinda look randomly placed and in my opinion worse than they looked in knights of honor.. Same thing with the farm. Ive mentioned that before some time ago. Is it still something thats being worked on or is this how you wish it to look? Either way, very excited for the release in the near future:)

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Dear Devs,

The Kingdom Traditions indeed sound like a cool mechanic with many ingame implementations! I would only wish to see these buffs, skills and tactics in use in an actual tactical battle. Do you think that we would soon have a devdiary about battles? If so I would be thrilled to learn all about it, as battles were my favorite part of KoH 1!

Thank you, as always, and stay healthy and safe!

Regards!

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On 9/2/2020 at 3:43 AM, frej said:

Thanks for Dev Diary:) One thing I noticed again is the look of the buildings in the castle (4th picture) who still kinda look randomly placed and in my opinion worse than they looked in knights of honor.. Same thing with the farm. Ive mentioned that before some time ago. Is it still something thats being worked on or is this how you wish it to look? Either way, very excited for the release in the near future:)

Yeah, I think there should maybe also be some improvements with the look of the royal court. Since it is part of the UI, tough, I guess they will fix it later.

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For the prestige:

Will you tell us a little more about that in the DevStream? No details but just the basic idea of how prestige is being acquired, reduced and calculated? Or maybe what your general ideas are that you discuss and try out? Are there any other effects on the gameplay, for example on diplomacy?
I am very intrigued about that feature and was a little worried that it may get too complex and complicated but it sounds really smooth and relaxed. So great idea there!

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Oh My God! Thank You so much, dear Devs! You’ve gone out of your way to make portraits for me and Ivory Knight and for that we are forever grateful!

Sir Yavor looks amazing, and Sir Ivory Knight, congratulations as well, you beautiful, beautiful Knight! Looking forward for having you in my court!

Of course I am with you in every Twitch stream, I’m just not a registered Twitch user, so I can’t chat, but by the Crown and the Ring, I am watching you! (I have moral issues with Twitch)

Once again, Thank You so much, dear Devs, for caring for Your fans!

Have a great Autumn and as always, stay safe!

 

Regards!

Sir Yavor

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On 9/2/2020 at 3:43 AM, frej said:

Thanks for Dev Diary:) One thing I noticed again is the look of the buildings in the castle (4th picture) who still kinda look randomly placed and in my opinion worse than they looked in knights of honor.. Same thing with the farm. Ive mentioned that before some time ago. Is it still something thats being worked on or is this how you wish it to look? Either way, very excited for the release in the near future:)

I agree absolutely regarding the look of the buildings and castles. Also why are there no harbors, coastal castles are too close to the sea.

However, I must notice from the picture above that the image of the royal court member has improved so I guess they will improve the looks of the castles as well.

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Sorry if this was already addressed, and I know it's just an artwork: spacer.png

BUT: Viking helmets had no horns! I know back then when the first KOH was developed it was still not common knowledge that those helmets with horns are pure imgination.

Now with the that "Viking hype" that shows like Vikings and The Last Kingdom created, should know it better! 😉

Edited by Bora

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