Gameplay balance - Character opinion

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Gameplay balance - Character opinion

Post by firelordzuko on Wed May 15, 2013 3:20 pm

A common complaint in the official forums seems to be that (pre 2.1) it was way too easy to have +100 with everyone in your realm, and, (post 2.1), way too hard. Since the complex interpersonal relations are in my opinion the most complex part of CK2, and everything else is based around them, that seems to be a pressing concern after immediate bugfixes. Obviously, the balance is hard to strike without playtesting and the mod introduces several factors the basegame has not been tested to run with, but this is my current take on the matter, posted on the forums a few days ago. Keep in mind that I have not actually tried the new versions first-hand, so it might be entirely redundant. If so, feel free to delete.

I have to admit to not yet having updated to the latest version since I am determined to conquer the world in my 2.0.6 game. So, I might be off about the updates to the opinion modifiers.
However, it seems from what I've read that you have increased the opinion maluses attached to negative traits. I'd say this is the wrong path. For one, I have always liked the opinion modifiers Vanilla's traits give one -- don't forget that they have lots of play-testing. Furthermore, a character's opinion of another should rarely reach the extremes of -100 / +100.
One thing that has always annoyed me about this splendid mod is the ludicruous amount of triggered modifiers a character has for sitting around and doing nothing. Not only does it mess up the interface, but also it is way to easy to get one's vassals to love one. This seems odd to me: even if you are a strong ruler, a philosopher debating with the greatest thinkers of Christendom, a master of intrigues (which should by right give an opinion malus, shouldn't it?), an excellent general and so on, you can still be a ruthless, excommunicated, kinslaying, greedy little bastard. However, since you are such a competent rulers, your vassals will at most be mildly dissatisfied with your rule. "Hey, try and be a little nicer next time you murder your brother, alright? Otherwise, good job." Hence, I propose that most of those static modifiers be unified into a general modifier based on an amalganation of your (state) diplomacy, martial, and stewardship stats. It would be a little complicated to code, I'm sure, but nothing compared to what you have done already in this mod. Another point in favour of this is that you can thus balance lack in one of those skills by excelling in another -- you might be an awful general, but you can be sweet-tongued enough to make your vassals give you all the troops you want anyway, or a good enough steward that you can find manpower where everyone else would be destitute, or at least make up for it with mercenaries. Or you might be a boistering oaf, but such a brilliant strategist that the common folk and knights of the realm flock to your banner anyway for glory. You might not know a thing about managing your accounts, but you can always trust on being a good diplomat and, if it should come to blows, hold yourself in a fight. On the contrary, if you are mediocre in everything, you get little to no bonuses since everyone is going "meh." Or, if you are an inbred little shit on the (Iron) Throne, you're pretty much lost, even if you have all the seven virtues and insane learning.
The erudite / ignorant modifiers and Master of Intrigues I'd say should remain (with the possibility of a -5 general opinion for the latter, since your vassals and courtiers are not going to like it if you plot against them). Erudite rulers shouldn't be exempted from the maluses of being bad diplomats, fighters, and stewards, since this is still Medieval Europe. You can be a great thinker and masterful theologian for all you want, but that doesn't mean that it endears your vassals to you. On the contrary actually, and that brings me to my next point.

In keeping with the recent proposal to increase the attention on the own court, skills should be included. One example that springs to mind is competition for a position on council: two grey eminences with the same liege should have a mutual opinion malus plus hostility with each other and the acting Chancellor. Of course, this needs to be modified by being ambitious / content or "become X" ambitions. In the same veins, characters with high intrigue might have an opinion malus because they always suspect each other of plotting against them (I'm thinking Littlefinger and Varys from ASoIaF here). A wrothful or paranoid character should have worse opinion maluses with his own courtiers, who have to face him every day, than with some distant vassal who sees him only relatively rarely.

I was going to write some more examples, but I forgot all of them after hurrying to offer some Wagner-themed event suggestions for The Old Gods. Do correct me if I've completely misunderstood the changes made in 2.1 onwards.
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Re: Gameplay balance - Character opinion

Post by Solo on Wed May 15, 2013 4:01 pm

I was thinking yesterday that maybe a good first step towards rebalancing all opinion traits would be to halve everything and then work from that point from smaller touches.

Playtesting is also something I thought about, and that the dedicated forum opens up as a possibility (not something you can set up in the official thread without everyone jumping on it like it's another release).

Either way with the upcoming building overhaul (I'll let Grallon make a post about it in here if he wants to have a debate around it but I know there's at least one aspect that will work better with suggestions from players) we'll have to work on gameplay balance at several levels so it's probably when we'll have to make a good look at everything and put the focus on it for some time.
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Re: Gameplay balance - Character opinion

Post by idib816 on Thu May 16, 2013 11:36 pm

I think that with each version we are getting closer to a correct balance. It will take a few more versions, but it's starting to get there.
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Re: Gameplay balance - Character opinion

Post by Mixxer5 on Sat May 25, 2013 10:09 pm

Personally I think that TPaT is easiest mod available... I'm usually having relations circa 100 with most of vassals (as long as they have same religion and culture). My main problem in this case is fact that either I've 100 with everyone and no problems at all (so I'm conquering everything I can), or everyone actually hates me (or at least joins factions against me). It results with never ending revolts in big realms- once I was deposed as Byzantine Emperor, just to be backed for throne by... same people that overthrew me. I think that perfect solution for factions would be using system from CK2+, while opinions needs simply balancement. Also, if someone is backed by faction to the throne, he should agree for that. It leads to very ridiculous situations sometimes (i.e.- being overthrown for own mother...)
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