Uzur of Ili, Emperor of India: Part 13: Thoughts on new CK2 mechanics (for the last few versions, not just 2.2)

Tribal economics:

* tribals make ridiculously little money from their lands - Byzantine 1-counts make more money than large tribal kings
* this is an major problem, as upgrading provinces requires a lot of money
* fortunately there is second source of major income - coastal raiding. Unfortunately it's only available to the Norse. Everybody else is screwed as you can only raid direct neighbours (at least now you can raid other Pagans at will), and that's literally worthless unless they're civilized, and even if you're lucky to border a few it's a fairly slow trickle of gold, and big risk of losing your men with no boats to withdraw to quickly
* exchange rates are really poor - if you build tribal market town (level 2) for 75+150 gold, then convert to castle, it will convert to castle town (level 1) which costs just 100 gold directly - especially annoying since feudal rulers have far more money - so I think the right strategy is to rush hillforts and skip market towns
* using prestige as resource is a great idea
* except your best source of prestige is coastal raiding, only available to the Norse, which also gives gold so you have both or neither
* of things you can spend it on - buildings have fairly poor exchange rate (700 prestige tribal - 100 gold feudal), and tribal armies need fairly significant gold upkeep, which you probably won't be able to afford unless you're Norse
* wars between feudals are self-funding as long as they're going well - sacked holdings and ransomed prisoners are worth a lot of gold - but sacking tribal holdings gives you basically nothing, and tribals can't afford any meaningful ransoms, so tribe vs tribe wars are money sink for everybody

Going feudal:

* mechanics are extremely punitive for trying to go feudal gradually, you have to go all in and that's ridiculously unaffordable - I guess that could be a legitimate design decision
* seriously, they are extremely punitive - tribals pay no taxes, you lose tribal allies (and get really tiny vassal levy instead, and that only if they like you) even just to go to high tribal authority, every wrong holding type in your demesne gets -75% levy and tax penalty, and as long as you're tribal, your feudal vassals are at zero crown authority and hate you
* even once you go feudal, you only have one holding per county so you still need 1100 gold per county to build city and temple
* it seems way easier for feudal lord to expand into tribal territory and turn it feudal gradually
* but you can't pull a reverse one, by conquering feudal territory as tribal and using that to help you - you can't move capital to different holding type (well, there are exploits...), and you get -75% levy and tax penalty for wrong holding type

Elective gavelkind:

* actually works better than expected
* you have basically zero control over who gets elected, your vassals will vote for whomever they feel like even if they love you - supposedly they nerfed elective that way too
* it's still fairly glitchy, maybe I've been quite lucky so far as glitches I've got weren't too bad
* +2 demesne limit for tribal at least does something meaningful, unlike +30% (rounded down, and applied before half of modifiers, so +0 usually, or +1 at best) for being gavelkind

Levies:

* vassals as allies is not as bad as I thought - they're dumb as hell, but at least they use full levy instead of 10%-ish numbers you'd get otherwise after all the recent nerfs
* vassal levy nerfs got really ridiculous
* it doesn't nerf blobs at all - now that rebellions use temporary title with no de jure territory they get hit with vassal levy nerfs way harder than blobs - and blobs were limited more by stability than by smaller countries around them
* as tribe you have very low retinue limit as it's per holding (and you have 1/county, not 3-4/county like feudals), and you can't afford any retinue anyway now that it costs money all the time
* as tribe you can't afford mercs, as they got way more expensive in recent nerfs, that makes a lot of sense since you get tribal armies (hired for prestige) and councilor-raised armies as replacement for mercs - except tribal armies and councilor armies don't reinforce and autodisband on peace - should they really?

Vassal limit:

* fuck that shit
* feudal kings can have vassal dukes, but you can't afford to create duchies, your multicounts definitely have zero chance of being able to afford to create duchies, and your multicounts will gavelkind just to fuck with your vassal limit
* even if you have duke vassals, rebellions against them count as another vassal to screw you
* it's just making the game worse, and I can think of no redeeming qualities
* as additional entry in fuck that shit category, if you're over your vassal limit, vassals can go independent on succession - which would be tolerable if you got claims to get them back, but you don't
* and let's reiterate - EU4 low diplo relationship limit were literally the worst design decision EU4 ever made (even the universally behated scaled truce timer would make some sense if they actually applied to country you got stuff from, not everyone) - repeating similar bullshit here is not appreciated

Attrition:

* when you stack defensive Pagan homeland, arctic, severe winter, and long travel time, you'll lose 80% of your army in time it takes you to move from one Suomenusko province (even one already occupied by you) to another - attrition makes sense to a degree, but they overdid it way too much
* you can plan around winter penalties in Europe where travel times are short - in steppes there's no way in hell, it takes one season to move to a province, then another season to move back

Muslims:

* Muslims are ridiculously stable and decadence is easier to keep at 0% than ever - that needs some serious nerfing
* they also have best inheritance system, best CBs, best crown laws, and generally no downsides
* the only bad thing about playing Muslim is when you're a vassal and your liege is totally OP

Marriages and diplomacy:

* I'm pretty sure it's a bug in files, but it's such nonsense that Pagans can't marry other Pagans
* Everybody starting the game with no female family members kills all diplomacy for Pagans for the first 20 years - it's just all in war
* Diplomatic distance makes sense in theory, but it's extremely painful since you can't filter characters to just ones you can interact with in character search

Plots:

* Removing assassination button sucks - what makes it a lot worse is that plots outside your realm are still awful. Let's say you want to murder Caliph. You have 20% plot power, so that will never fire, and nobody will join you as you're infidel. You can't join other people's plot against the Caliph, or ask other foreign rulers who hate the Caliph to join, or throw money/prestige/etc. for greater plot power etc.
* The game really needs more available plots than just murdering someone

Other stuff:

* there isn't really that much new stuff you can do as tribe, I thought they'd add more events, decisions etc. I guess the DLC was really about playing as Karlings, not playing as tribes.
* the game has so few available ambitions, it really needs more
* Indians getting holy orders even at earliest start date feels really weird

What's missing:

* non-Norse tribes absolutely need more sources of gold
* maybe allow armies to carry loot so you can go further looting than just the next county
* maybe raiding non-Norse troops could get movement bonus, to let them escape easier?
* there really needs to be some kind of raid CB against civilized people (Game of Thrones mod have these for Dothraki raids, pirate raids, slave raids etc., as well as whole slave trading mechanic) somewhat similar to existing embargo CB - if tribe wins, it gets gold, but not any territory - that's fairly easy to mod, as mods already do that
* and analogous CBs against other tribals for prestige farming without territorial conquest
* I'm not sure if they want slavery in game, they probably don't (it's literally worse than incest) even though that was huge part of tribal economy of these times. Slavery was something that feudal Catholic Europe managed to eradicate fairly successfully, so it's much less necessary in 1066 start date (it was still widespread in the Muslim world until 19th century British Empire made them stop), but in early start dates, that's pretty much how tribal chiefs made money
* Game of Thrones mod handles these things reasonably well
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