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  • DevDiary 29 – Political View

    Hello friends and welcome to the 29th DevDiary for “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign”! We were silent quite a while, but it was all for a good reason – thanks to the players that participate in the beta, we feel like we’ve made a great progress towards polishing and balancing the game the last few months.

    Today we will talk about the Political View (PV) of KoH2:S, where you can quickly see the most important information on a grand scale, needed for making strategical choices – where to find the things you are looking for, who are your potential threats and allies, where to expand next, what are the problems in your kingdom and the region, etc.

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    If you have played the first game in the series or other grand-strategies, this feature will probably feel familiar – we have not tried to reinvent the wheel, but rather make it as convenient as possible. To do so, we’ve spent quite a while iterating on what the most useful modes will be, what should be included on them and what indications should be toggleable by players.

    We’ve also had an additional goal – we wanted the Political View to be helpful and easy to use, but we didn’t want the players to spend too much time on it, as we felt that this will worsen their overall experience, robbing them from the beauty and atmosphere of the World View. Thus, we took the hard decision to limit the movement and attack commands of armies through PV and we added a possibility to have all those PV modes apply for the minimap as well, so that, combined with the minimap zooming feature, players can check out the most important things without even entering full-screen PV.

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    There are 12 different modes with custom legends to indicate what color-coding stands in each one:

    • Kingdoms – This is the most basic mode; kingdoms have unique colors, so that players can easily see their overall territories and their provinces.
    • Stances – This is probably the most important mode of all and a very convenient one to set for the minimap. It shows the stances of selected kingdoms – allies and enemies, sovereign or vassals, trade relations, royal ties, trade partners, non-aggression pacts, defensive pacts, invasion plans…
    • Relations – Also a very useful PV mode, which does not so much show the current active agreements between the kingdoms, but indicates the potential of such. As relations have a huge impact on diplomacy, through this view future friends or foes can be found and with proper actions, friendships can be strengthened and wars avoided.
    • Marriages – A simple mode, which helps players to find unmarried princes, princesses and kings, in order to try and arrange a royal marriage.
    • Stability – Low stability in provinces and rebel presence are indicated in this mode, mainly helping players to quickly oversee the internal problems of their kingdoms, but also weaknesses in foreign ones.
    • Trade zones – Trade centers and their zones are indicated here. Trade centers with larger zones can bring significant riches, so these are important to develop, protect, or, of course, conquer.
    • Religion – In this mode the religions of kingdoms and provinces are simultaneously indicated. As differences in kingdom and province religion can cause a lot of local tension, it is important to quickly see provinces in and around your kingdom with such religious differences, so that you can convert, possibly “liberate” or culturally influence them. Kingdom religions also have considerable effect on diplomacy and opinions, so players might have а different approach to kingdoms, depending on their religion.
    • Culture – Similarly to the previous mode, on this one provinces, that may turn out to be more or less problematic are indicated. As religions, cultures are also grouped into families and sub-families.
    • Loyalty – Gaining the population’s loyalty in your kingdom’s provinces is a hard, but important process. Through high influence and some cleric actions, loyalty can be gained even in neighboring provinces, which in terms can ease conquest or even enable diplomatic claims over foreign lands. In this mode players can quickly see which provinces are obedient to the king and which would rather be ruled by another one.
    • Province features – As resources are definitely among the most important reasons for conquest, this PV mode helps players to quickly find where they can get those precious settlements and resources they need for their planned buildings, upgrades and advantages. Color-coding in this and the subsequent two modes is always from the players’ perspective, marking in a different manner domestic and foreign provinces where specific features/goods/buildings are.
    • Goods – Here is shown where a specific good is produced, and where it CAN be produced, potentially. As goods can be imported by merchants, this mode can quickly help players find trade partners, which produce the goods they need.
    • Buildings – Similarly to the previous mode, here is indicated where a selected building is constructed, as well as where it can be constructed. This, for example, can be used to find out which are the enemy’s main army recruitment provinces, which in terms might be a good objective to try and siege or overtake quickly in a beginning of a war, to slow down the enemy’s “war machine”.
       

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    Each mode can be viewed with Kingdom or Province labels. The elements, that can be visualized or hidden, are towns, battles and armies – kingdoms’ armies, rebels, crusaders and mercenaries, with or without their nameplates, containing additional information. This way players can customize “on the go” their PV indications the way that fits their playstyle the most – some may prefer more information indicated simultaneously, others may not be so fond of that and prefer to have a neater view. In both cases, hiding or showing specific elements when needed is just a button-click or hotkey-press away.

    During the beta we’ve added a new feature – players can now not only configure which of the aforementioned elements is visible, but also whether they will be selectable. Some players prefer to select battles and armies from Political view and others prefer to stick only to the simpler province/kingdom selection, so we decided to leave that choice in your hands and let you configure the PV behavior for each element.

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    We’ll talk more about political view in our DevStream on Tuesday, October 4th, @ 3:00 PM BST / 11:00 AM EST and we’ll be happy if you can join in our conversation. We are easy to find on the map – the Twitch stream will be hosted on the THQ Nordic channel: http://twitch.tv/thqnordic and we’ll be grabbing responses from this post and playing the game live to show how Political View works in real-time!

    Until next time, we bid thee farewell. Go forth and conquer!


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    THQN Brad



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    Hello Dear Devs,

    I'm just here to wish you all of the health and happiness in the world! Pleasant work to you, Black Sea Games and THQNordic! We are eager to see this game a success!

    Thank You and Good Luck!

     

    Kind Regards!

    Yavor

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    Hey Devs,
    your game looks and sounds cool and interesting. Looking forward to play it! 🙂 In the last few months I lam loosing my big interest of your work. I hoped for a release in which years? 2020, 2021 and now 2022 is near the end. I'm not a professional in marketing, but I feel and I read of many players who would appreciate a approximate release date. Couldn't you give us a little insight of what is your plan for the next few months? Like two/three months on testing multiplayer, work on that. But for me it looks like a playable game and I don't get what you are doing. Isn't it an option to go for some DLCs? 

    I´d prefer a fix release date like June 2023 or a list of what to do. But your idea of "coming soon" annoys me after a few years of waiting. 

    Kind Regards and all the best for your work!

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    It's a good idea to switch focus away from the pure political mapmode so that we can enjoy the map details. In your competition game CKII I was using the political mapmode almost exclusively, even though I would have preferred regular mode. Having political options combined with the regular map sounds perfect. Hope you did it well!

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    The Available Marriage Options Map is new right? Or was it in KOH 1? Because I remember that finding a suitable wife/husband was PAINFUL in the original one.

     

    So far it seems more like a remaster/upgraded version than a sequel, and I absolutely love it!!! I love strategy games but I don't have the time to fully learn the most complex Paradox or TW titles, I love the "Easy/mild to play, hard to master" approach of KOH. 

     

    Keep up the good work!

     

    PD: Release date or we will take Jerusalem

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    4 hours ago, Carlos V said:

    The Available Marriage Options Map is new right? Or was it in KOH 1? Because I remember that finding a suitable wife/husband was PAINFUL in the original one.

    Really?  I thought it was super easy? Just look for the male crown for an available prince and a female crown for an available princess.

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    I miss playing these types of games and I have been saving money for this game but it's taking so long for them to release it. Now, I'm looking at getting Crusader Kings III instead as the reviews are really good and I think I will enjoy it but I'm just holding out a bit for Knights of Honour, but my patience is getting thinner day by day.  I have the money saved for KoH2 but that money might go to Crusader Kings III instead in the next few weeks. 

    Is there anyone here who is in the same situation as me? 

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    6 hours ago, Enigma said:

    Now, I'm looking at getting Crusader Kings III

    I'm playing CK3 right now.  It's...different.  Way too complicated, I think.  More of a relationship simulator than anything else.  Still, am giving it a try.

    6 hours ago, Enigma said:

    I think I will enjoy it but I'm just holding out a bit for Knights of Honour, but my patience is getting thinner day by day.  I have the money saved for KoH2 but that money might go to Crusader Kings III instead in the next few weeks. 

    Knights of Honour 2 is coming.  It is.  But I can't imagine it in the next few weeks, so go spend your money on CK3 and save up for KoH2 for when it finally comes out.

    Both games are different enough that you can play both.  They aren't mutually exclusive.

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    11 hours ago, Enigma said:

    I miss playing these types of games and I have been saving money for this game but it's taking so long for them to release it. Now, I'm looking at getting Crusader Kings III instead

    Is there anyone here who is in the same situation as me? 

    Crusader Kings III is a much more expensive matter, if you buy the DLCs as they release. Paradox Interactive is about releasing lots and lots of DLCs for their games, especially for the Crusader Kings series. Also they offer subscriptions (!) for their DLCs, but you don't keep any DLC when the subscription runs out, no matter how long it goes. If you want to reward this abuse of FOMO and this nickel and diming, then CKIII is your game.

    Other problems with Paradox games are that new DLCs are released insufficiently tested. Paradox have achieved the worst rating for a DLC on Steam because it was such a disaster.

    Just FYI, for CKII they released 65 DLCs.

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    1 hour ago, redsimon said:

    Crusader Kings III is a much more expensive matter, if you buy the DLCs as they release. Paradox Interactive is about releasing lots and lots of DLCs for their games, especially for the Crusader Kings series. Also they offer subscriptions (!) for their DLCs, but you don't keep any DLC when the subscription runs out, no matter how long it goes. If you want to reward this abuse of FOMO and this nickel and diming, then CKIII is your game.

    Other problems with Paradox games are that new DLCs are released insufficiently tested. Paradox have achieved the worst rating for a DLC on Steam because it was such a disaster.

    Just FYI, for CKII they released 65 DLCs.

    But you don't have to buy the DLC to play the game. I don't have any of them.

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    On 10/5/2022 at 8:06 PM, Lighthope said:

    Really?  I thought it was super easy? Just look for the male crown for an available prince and a female crown for an available princess.

    Indeed and this would be in relations mode I think. I rarely used diplomacy map because relations map already had icons for trade, war, non aggression pact, allience and crowns for princes and princesses. 

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    14 hours ago, Lighthope said:

    I'm playing CK3 right now.  It's...different.  Way too complicated, I think.  More of a relationship simulator than anything else.  Still, am giving it a try.

    Oh yes it is called medieval soap opera. That is the main thing I dislike about it and CK2 also. I wish it is more state oriented rather than person oriented. 

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    On 10/5/2022 at 3:45 PM, Carlos V said:

    So far it seems more like a remaster/upgraded version than a sequel, and I absolutely love it!!! I love strategy games but I don't have the time to fully learn the most complex Paradox or TW titles, I love the "Easy/mild to play, hard to master" approach of KOH. 

    I fully agree. I once tried EU4 and well it is a shame how complicated it is. I don't feel like playing hours just to learn the basics.  I also dislike how 1 wrong thing, it doesn't even have to be your fault, and it is practicly game over and you can basicly restart the game. So it looks like a sandbox with plenty of options but not really. You really need to follow instructions who to ally and when. 

    Edited by CroatianKnight
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    8 hours ago, CroatianKnight said:

    I wish it is more state oriented rather than person oriented. 

    I hear Europa Universalis is like that.  I tried to play it but couldn't even read the bloody font!  It was too blurry for me.

    8 hours ago, CroatianKnight said:

    I also dislike how 1 wrong thing, it doesn't even have to be your fault, and it is practicly game over and you can basicly restart the game.

    Yeah, I hear it is pretty unforgiving.

    8 hours ago, CroatianKnight said:

    I don't feel like playing hours just to learn the basics. 

    That, too.  KoH is much more easy to get in to.  Just wish it had more depth to it.  That's a tough balance to do, however.  Easy to learn, but once you learn have a lot more to do.

    I think maybe Civilization does this pretty well.  Maybe.  Crusader Kings definitely does not.  Too high of a learning curve, but lots to do.  Knights of Honour is on the other end.  Easy to pick up, but not a lot of depth.

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    17 hours ago, Lighthope said:

    But you don't have to buy the DLC to play the game. I don't have any of them.

    That's the thing, they make the base game really bland. For example religions and cultures are almost exactly the same, there are no proper mechanisms for Crusades and Jihads, just one type of government...

    Everything else got added via DLCs.

    Besides, even though you do not NEED DLCs, the way the company tries to prey on FOMO of (potential) customers is disgusting to say the least. I expect Black Sea Games and THQ Nordic to be much better in this regard, they have no track record of releasing an endless wave of DLCs.

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    47 minutes ago, redsimon said:

    I expect Black Sea Games and THQ Nordic to be much better in this regard, they have no track record of releasing an endless wave of DLCs.

    Outside of Knights of Honour, I am unfamiliar with the company.

    Do they release DLCs at all?

    You see, I don't want them to be one-and-done with Knights of Honour.  I think it has the potential for expansions.

    We can have a Diplomacy Pack that greatly expands diplomacy.  We can have an African and American Pack which lets us expand to those lands.  There is a lot of potential here that should not be left unexplored simply because some people can't control themselves when it comes to buying DLCs.  Buy them or don't.

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    12 hours ago, Lighthope said:

    I hear Europa Universalis is like that.  I tried to play it but couldn't even read the bloody font!  It was too blurry for me.

    Oh yes the text is blurry a bit and the UI was, for me, very overwhelming. I just got lost in all of that. 

     

    12 hours ago, Lighthope said:

    KoH is much more easy to get in to.  Just wish it had more depth to it.  That's a tough balance to do, however.  Easy to learn, but once you learn have a lot more to do.

    Indeed I wish that too! Easy to learn but still has depth. 

     

    11 hours ago, Lighthope said:

    You see, I don't want them to be one-and-done with Knights of Honour.  I think it has the potential for expansions.

    We can have a Diplomacy Pack that greatly expands diplomacy.  We can have an African and American Pack which lets us expand to those lands.

    I completely agree that KoH has potential for dlcs. Especially when it comes to expanding diplomacy or maybe even allowing to play as Papacy. Or maybe even dlc about naval warfare or naval range.  Or maybe fixing some of the provinces although mods will probably do that.

    As for map expansions it would be interesting to see as you said Africa and America (one of kingdom advantages did mention 'new world' I think in knights of honour I) although I would first like to see all of Scandinavia and Iceland. It is kind of weird how map almost reaches Sahel but not Iceland.

    Also maybe dlc for more religions or new starting dates. It has potential! Of course not now like 20 dlcs but a few of them would be lovely. 

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    12 hours ago, redsimon said:

    That's the thing, they make the base game really bland

    Yes it sometimes does feel like they do that on purpose. A few is ok but yeah eu4 has like entire wave of dlcs. It is really a lot! But again one doesn't really need to buy all of them. Yes some can't control themselves in buying things but I think out of all things they buy dlcs are probably the most benign thing. Although I will probably not play eu4 again because of reasons I said before about it being complicated. 

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    I see Latium as a formable nation which is very interesting and I have not expected something like this! I did hope for Rome to be formable so I wonder is Latium basicly restored Rome? Or just first step at it? I wonder can Byzantium restore Rome? Are there any other formable nations? I think there are but did not expect something like Latium at all. 

    What do you all think? What would be your guesses? 

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    Hello, don't know if my comment got posted cause i don't see it on here but I have a question. 

    I noticed there were no black characters in the last game. Will there be any black characters in this game? 

    Thanks 

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    13 minutes ago, ndt113 said:

    Hello, don't know if my comment got posted cause i don't see it on here but I have a question. 

    I noticed there were no black characters in the last game. Will there be any black characters in this game? 

    Thanks 

    There probably will be because I think I have seen "African" as culture on cultural map. There were no such characters in the first game because the map did not extend that south. In this game the map is extended more south and east than in the first game. Kind of sad they did not include Iceland or at least extended the map a bit more north too.

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    So far, the game feels a bit more like a remake than a proper sequel to KoH. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I think the formula was good, plus the original wasn't massively popular so it should feel pretty fresh to most. What held it back, in my opinion, was a lack of marketing, challenging AI and campaign multiplayer.

    I do hope it will get more of a marketing push closer to release, as I haven't seen a lot of that yet - the dev diaries are very informative, and thus much appreciated, however, their target is hardly the larger audience, but rather those that already closely follow the game's development. As for AI, we will have to wait and see... In fact, I would personally be very interested to see a dev diary on the topic - both AI in the world map and on the ground, during battles. Multiplayer seems to be in from the start, so I think that is certainly a big improvement over the original and has the potential to attract a lot of new players to the franchise.

    Other than that, a lot of positives and I wish the game and devs lots of success!

     

     

    Edited by ReptilePZ
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    Also I noticed that on youtube video for this dev diary many people complain about the map and how bad some provinces are. Is there any hope they get fixed before release of the game? I too can't help but notice that some areas are just bad. For example Spanish border with Portugal is just complete fantasy. Some of the borders are just iconic you can't mess it up. Like Silesia, Prussia and Papacy. Currently the political map is so confusing to look at even though the map visals are definitely a good thing. 

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