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THQN Brad

DevDiary 03 - The Royal Court Part 1

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Hello friends, and welcome to the third entry of the “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign” DevDiaries! In this one we will take a look at one of the most emblematic features for the KoH series – the royal court. We love both the atmosphere it creates and the “deck-building” element it adds to the gameplay. The royal court plays a fundamental role in our game, thus it’s not much of a coincidence our teaser trailer had the concept front and center!

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With this feature we are not trying to make a realistic depiction of medieval rulership. Think more of the famed King Arthur’s Round Table – the king is the central, most important figure, and by his side stand the most capable and trustworthy knights. Dynasties and the royal family also play an important role, but we’ll tell you more about the royal family in a future DevDiary. For now, let’s focus on the knights.

 

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The royal court consists of the king, who is now always a member of your court (unlike in the previous game), and up to 8 more knights, which you can recruit during the course of the game. Each knight has a class, which defines his strengths and abilities and thus they play a completely different role:

UI_Icon_Class_Marshal.png.6272beb0b5b82bbfec5b314832f75977.pngMarshals: These are the most efficient army leaders and they are good at solving matters in one way only – by force. Marshals can lead bigger armies compared to other classes and usually focus on skills that improve their troop’s capabilities in battle.

 

UI_Icon_Class_Merchant.png.f8a1914dc3fcb8651a96880d1fef0fe8.pngMerchants: Building, development, diplomacy, espionage and war – besides other things, they all require a lot of gold. Merchants are the best knights to take care of this need by exploring profitable trade opportunities with other kingdoms.

 

UI_Icon_Class_Diplomat.png.3c6474ddc48e4e8fdf833df5e02bb01c.pngDiplomats: Regardless the strength of a kingdom, it needs allies to ensure its safety and to prevail against strong enemy factions. Diplomats’ function is to make important friends and help bury the hatchet of war with enemies, before all Hell breaks loose.

 

UI_Icon_Class_Spy.png.eefdcdb1cff8fd68ca7a624b1e39e03a.pngSpies: The usage of cunning spies is more of an offensive function. They can infiltrate enemy kingdoms, corrupt and build networks of puppets in their royal courts, and then create chaos. Kingdoms can shatter from within as a result of their actions.

 

UI_Icon_Class_Cleric.png.01b9f8b9197075101332485a559baaa6.pngClerics: A strong clergy improves the stability of the crown and calms the people, halting the spread of heresy and foreign religious influences. Clerics are also the ones to keep and protect the ancestral knowledge and wisdom.

 

In the first game there were also Builders and Farmers, but since these turned out to be underused, we decided to skip them and instead focus on a smaller, but significant, number of classes. For example, a new feature for knights is the ability for each knight to be appointed as governor of a province, making that province become part of the Royal Lands. This increases the benefits your kingdom receives from a province and is another area where a knight’s class can play a role – different knights boost different aspects of a province, e.g. gold income and production, defensive capabilities, etc. We will share more details of the classes in upcoming DevDiaries where we have time to dig deep into their unique features.

Of course, all that aid doesn’t come for free – knight wages are certainly not trivial. Players should also be careful with their actions and keep the crown authority high. Who knows what disasters might befall a kingdom whose knights lose trust in the rulership of their king and decide to serve another…?

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With the choice and usage of knights, players open up different possibilities to craft and shape the strategies of their kingdoms to fit their playstyles. Whether you like to overwhelm your enemies with a dreadful army, destabilize their kingdoms through espionage, influence them culturally and wait for their rulers to beg themselves for your wise rulership, or buy your way to victory with economic dominance over Europe – it is all up to you. We’re trying to make the number of combinations and different ways you can leverage your Royal Court quite expansive, and we’re excited to see how players try different strategies with the tools at their fingertips.

We will talk more on this topic in our DevStream on Thursday, February 6th, @ 3:00 PM GMT / 10:00 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.

So, jump right into the discussion and share your thoughts in this thread, or join our Facebook and Discord channels and talk there too. Do you find royal court management interesting and challenging? What were your favorite knight strategies and combinations from the first game? Share with us what is your preferred playstyle in grand strategies and what features you find most enjoyable.

Next time we will focus more on the art of war – Marshals and armies. Until then, we bid thee farewell. Go forth and conquer!

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Clearly there is allot more to be said about the abilities these royal court knights will have so I wont ask any question about that. But in the first game one could spend books to increase the court members level, is their a similar boosting that can be done in KOH2? Or do the court members have personal leveling over time?

Edited by Ivory Knight

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25 minutes ago, Ivory Knight said:

But in the first game one could spend books to increase the court members level, is their a similar boosting that can be done in KOH2? Or do the court members have personal leveling over time?

It's quite more .. hmm ... complicated (in a good way!!) than that 🙂 ...

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that one notice " the king has no heir"   meaning that i will lose one of my marshals was so bad that almost my main concern was for king to always have the child, i hope that KOH 2 will have at least that much attention to the details in game, if not more, 

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5 hours ago, THQN Brad said:

1)>>These are the most efficient army leaders and they are good at solving matters in one way only – by force. Marshals can lead bigger armies compared to other classes and usually focus on skills that improve their troop’s capabilities in battle.<<

2)>>influence them culturally and wait for their rulers to beg themselves for your wise rulership, or buy your way to victory with economic dominance over Europe<<

1) So will every class be able to have an army (in KoH it was only Marshals who could)?

2) Stating this, could one win the game without ever recruting Marshal or having to participate in a battle? 🤔

 

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13 hours ago, THQN Brad said:

They can infiltrate enemy kingdoms, corrupt and build networks of puppets in their royal courts, and then create chaos

Does this mean that the Spy could infiltrate in other kingdoms without being hired as a knight?

13 hours ago, THQN Brad said:

influence them culturally and wait for their rulers to beg themselves for your wise rulership, or buy your way to victory with economic dominance over Europe

This sounds really good! Would it be possible to diplomatically vassalize other kingdoms?

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7 hours ago, DoVlaLegend said:

1) So will every class be able to have an army (in KoH it was only Marshals who could)?

 

They said that traders will be able to lead armies. 

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Alright, I have a small issue with the court system in the original game. The concept is great but it was very limiting in the original KoH.

First and foremost, it has limited spots. We had only 10 spots to fill in merchants marshals spies and clerics, and now we have a new class we need to account for, the diplomats. The issue here that it is not a royal court, it is not me picking up the best of the marshal to make him my military advisor, it is not about picking the best clergyman to make him my moral compass, nor is it about choosing the best merchant to tell me what trade routes are the best for the kingdom. NO. If I want to make an army, any kind of army, even a small contingent to clear out a very small rebel group, I had to have a spot on the royal court. If I have 10 lucrative trade routes, I can't send a merchant to each one, otherwise I will have nothing but merchants. Etc. And I really don't think that there was a kingdom, no matter how small it was, with only 10 men taking care of all it's aspects, let alone 8 men including the king as you mention in KoH2. So please tell me that I will be able to have marshals to lead my armies outside the royal court, and I will be able to hire a merchant to take care of a trade route without filling one of the 8 spots you mention in the royal court. OR, tell me that the royal court will have at least 20 spots, which is the minimum that can reasonably sustain a kingdom.

 

The second limitation in the original court system, the SPIES, yes the spies. After couple of hours playing, it was clear that, if I'm optimistic, after the first hour I can't trust anyone I appoint in the royal court, he will most definitely be a spy from another country. Which led me to develop a strategy where I recruit a marshal as the very first thing I do in the game, even though I need the money for other things. And afterwards, I only wait for the king to have more than one prince and then use the extra princes to fill the royal court with what I need, merchants, clergymen, etc. Sometimes, this meant limited income from the trade, having to limit my expansion since I have only two armies. And any loss in the court will take long time to recover.

The idea of the royal court (or maybe we should call it royal council as it is more suitable since I don't think there was a royal court in history with 7 men in it) is a great idea indeed and adds a very nice of interaction in the game, but it should not limit the game play, it should not stop the expansion.

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6 hours ago, Taha said:

The idea of the royal court (or maybe we should call it royal council as it is more suitable since I don't think there was a royal court in history with 7 men in it) is a great idea indeed and adds a very nice of interaction in the game, but it should not limit the game play, it should not stop the expansion.

This is a very good issue. The Royal Court would normally "come with the land", and the king should choose his advisors between many noblemen, merchants, generals etc. If we could have a list with their talents (like the royal family) and characteristics (like the foreign kings descriptions on the Poltical View), it would be more realistic and much more interesting.

They should also come to age and eventually die or retire, and we could have the option to dismiss or arrest them, not just exiling - exile should be kept as punishment, but a exiled cleric or marshall could very well become a rebel or a bandit (this distinction should be noteworthy too),  taking their troops with them.  To hire lesser-knights (off the Royal Court limits) as town-marshalls (with smaller armies), emissaries (below Dimplomats), scouts (below Spies, but able to look out other territories), province traders (below kingdom Merchants) would be very good too. 

Another big issue is the role of female characters. Regent and Mother Queens were always very important , and their skills should be considered in the absence of the kings, not to mention when the queen is the real ruler (this should be an option too!), and, of course, legendary warriors like Jeanne d'Arc and Matilda di Canossa (both queen and warrior). 

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Couple of questions and comments;

1. Would the maximum number of Knights be 8+1(King) or 7+1(King)? If I recall correctly, in KoH it was King (1)+8, so 9 slots total.
2. The Diplomat is a new profession. What is the job of the Diplomat? Increase opinion? Fabricate claim? Persuade alliances?
3. Now that other Knights can lead armies, what will be the benefits of this?

  • Merchant: Lower wages for armies?
  • Spies: Larger line of sight in fog of war?

One issue that I found with KoH is that 9 is too few. I suggest you up that to 15, but significantly increase their wages the more you hire.

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On 2/4/2020 at 8:51 PM, frujin said:

It's quite more .. hmm ... complicated (in a good way!!) than that 🙂 ...

Also thanks allot for all the shoutouts and question answering in each dev diary Twitch stream!!! Soo far Ive been mentioned in everyone so far!!!! Super exciting listening in on them! 

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