DevDiary 34 - Update 1.4 - Catholicism and Diplomacy
Hello friends and welcome to DevDiary 34 for “Knights of Honor II: Sovereign”! Our next update is coming live tomorrow, so we are excited to share with you the new features and changes we’ve prepared.
Two of the aspects we’d like to build upon most are Diplomacy and Religion, as they are essential for the game and we have plenty of ideas of what we can add or improve there. Since this is a major endeavor, we’ve decided to split it into several updates and for this one we started with Catholicism – the most widespread religion in the game.
One of the biggest triumphs for Catholic kingdoms is having a royal court cleric becoming the Pope. As it was, that already provided huge bonuses, but most of them are passive and remained in the “background” for players – automatic conversion of loyalty and religion of provinces, fame, books and religion production, diplomatic benefits due to other kingdoms’ reluctance to meddle with the Pope’s home kingdom, culture, influence…
Still, what seems most fun to players are the actions one can perform while the Pope is in their court. Thus, in this update we’ve added “Arrange Peace Talks”, providing a serious diplomatic power in the Catholic world. It allows forcing a Catholic kingdom to offer white peace to its enemy, through the Pope’s influence. Another new action is “Ask for Absolution”, valuable when a friendly kingdom is excommunicated.
We added plenty of new opinion and relation changes, related to crusades, Papacy and Catholic clerics, which makes playing and interacting with Catholic kingdoms more immersive and adds more depth to players’ decisions. Some of those changes aimed to balance powerful strategies like having a cardinal too early in the game, donating gold to the Papacy to easily increase the relations with it (as if it was a standard kingdom) and exiling clerics just to receive and accept a new one later one.
The main focus of the diplomacy changes we’ve introduced is also giving more control in the hands of the players to refine their strategy. “Form vassal” is an important new action specific to kings, enabling them to separate an unloyal province they do not want as part of their kingdom and “convert” it to a newly formed vassal kingdom. As in some cases hard to control new lands can be more of a burden than an advantage, this action introduces a viable strategy to still benefit from conquering them.
Another new action comes for the Diplomat class – “Bolster influence”. It works similarly to clerics’ “Bolster culture” and can be helpful for things like quick expansion, strengthening diplomatic relations and ultimately for claiming the Emperor of the World title.
A new diplomat puppet spy’s opportunity gives a new way to handle annoying defensive pacts and invasion plans against your kingdom, which can sometimes even turn your friends into foes.
There are many other smaller improvements, like new UI indications for influence and truce duration, relation, opinions and crown authority changes making interactions more immersive and removing some unpleasant results of situations like ending up in truce with kingdoms due to the leader of your alliance signing peace with the enemies.
Besides Diplomacy and Religion, there are other very significant changes as well. We’ve vastly increased the availability of special units, spicing up the gameplay when playing with more kingdoms and when new territories are conquered. Merchants also received a new action – “Entice mercenaries”, enabling players with strong economies to rely less on mercenaries appearing in their lands and to instead call some to aid them from foreign lands.
Finally, we’d like to mention the addition of a “Search” feature in the “Royal Library”, which we hope to aid newcomers but also to be useful for advanced players that want to know every nook and cranny of the game. The help module already had hyperlinks and convenient ways for players to jump into currently important topics from tooltips and interface elements, but it is now much easier to directly and independently find information on topics one is interested in.
We’re excited for all of you to jump in and explore these new changes to the game. Please feel free to post any of your thoughts or feedback once the patch has released. Also, for a full list of all changes, please refer to the Patch notes that will be posted with the release. Happy conquering!