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Developer Diary #94

Developer Diary #94

Greetings all!

Before @Trin Tragula continues with a further look at the Cultural Integration feature, I’d like to inform you of the accompanying release to the 1.5 Menander update – the Epirus Content Pack.

Now, for those of you with long memories, you’ll remember that the Epirus pack was something we offered as a pre-order bonus to those eager to get their hands on the game. There’s been noticeable demand from those of you who missed the opportunity to purchase this post-launch, so we’ve decided to make this available for purchase.

Given the progress development over the last year or so, we’ve ended up with a lot more interesting things we can add to content packs, so I decided that we’d augment the Epirus pack with a series of new mission chains.

@Chopmist has been secreted away in his laboratory creating these for you, and will lead you through them in detail next week!

As a final note, I’ll confirm that those of you who pre-ordered the game and received the Epirus pack last April, will receive the new missions without having to purchase any new content.

Now back to @Trin Tragula and Culture!

So since we last wrote about the upcoming overhaul for culture in the Menander Update we have been hard at work implementing our ideas. Today I can show you more on how things have been shaping up and what you can expect from some of the things mentioned only in passing in the last diary.

As we talked about in the first Diary about our rework of the Cultural relationship you have with your pops the most important thing that the Menander update brings is that a culture will now have an associated Civic Right – regulating what pop type the pops of that culture can at most promote to. Pops can exist above their allowed level but in these cases they can only demote.
Additionally the number of pops that demote when land changes hands, and the speed of assimilation have both been reduced.

Additionally, if a culture has the Civic Right that allows promotion to Citizens or Nobels, it is considered an integrated culture and will make use of the same Happiness as your country’s main culture does.
Changing Civic Right is normally instant (but the promotion or demotion of pops to match their new right can take quite some time) but when integrating a culture it takes a longer period of time your stability decreases. Integration will also prevent you with some choices (events) for choices and challenges that the integration process itself entails.
Each integrated culture reduces the total happiness for all integrated cultures (including your own primary culture) this means that you may want to limit yourself in how many cultures you give equal rights as Nobles or Citizens.

Cultural Decisions

What are Cultural Decisions?
Cultural Decisions are essentially Rights and Privileges that you can grant to individual cultures in your country. As a rule these cost stability to enact and will change the happiness, output or individual pop happiness for pops of a specific culture. There will also be an associated negative national modifier for a limited time, during which your society is adjusting to the newly granted right or privilege. During this adjustment period you cannot grant the same right to another culture.

There are 3 groups of decisions, depending on if they selected culture is your own primary culture, an integrated culture or if it is a non-integrated culture.
Which decisions make sense to take for each culture will depend on the circumstances in your campaign. You may find that granting privileges is mostly worth doing for the larger and more influential cultures in your country, while some others only make sense for the smaller ones.

As always numbers should be taken with a grain of salt since balancing is an ongoing process while we play with the new features.

Non-Integrated cultures will be the vast majority of peoples you control for any country of reasonable size.
Cultural rights was not a binary thing in the era covered by the game. Some peoples would often have different rights than others. The decisions for non-integrated cultures range from some that let you regulate what you get out of their pops (Right to Enter Legal Contracts) to those that increase their happiness (Right of Inheritance).
There are also some that can be useful for actually assimilating another culture, such as founding a settlement in their lands or granting rights of intermarriage.

Integrated cultures are those that have risen to almost the same status as your country’s primary culture. These are part of the ruling classes but rather than having a long history in your country they have been integrated through the process described earlier.
Since integrated cultures are rarer, and more closely tied to your state, the decisions they have access to are a bit more powerful in what they do.

Examples of decisions for integrated cultures range from idealizing their culture, or employing them as administrators to rule other cultures in their group (reducing their efficiency but also increasing the happiness for those they help you rule), you can also grant one of their communities self rule as a Client City State (or feudatory).

The Primary culture is the one that your country’s ruling class all came from originally. For most countries this is the culture that is the most numerous at start, though there are some notable exceptions among the great empires, especially among the Greek Successor Kingdoms.
Primary culture decisions tend to have a wider effect than those for other cultures. Here you can decide to do things like Abolish the Census Tax for all Citizens and Nobles, permanently increasing Primary and Integrated Culture Happiness while also reducing the output of your elite.
Some decisions also have a secondary effect that affects the characters in your country, such as making trials more likely to succeed against characters that are not of your primary culture, or allowing adoption and the rise of families from outside of your primary culture (this is now off by default).

As you have likely seen in the prior screenshots, the culture interface itself which was just a mockup in the last diary has now been worked on quite a bit. It aims to give a good overview of all you need to know to handle the cultures within your country.
It allows sorting and filtering all cultures, shows the current pop type right as well as the current pop type distribution within any culture in your country.
You can also see and enact cultural decisions, or change pop type right.

Being able to see where each culture or religion is dominant has been possible since release via their respective map modes. But seeing exactly where one culture starts and the other stops, or where there are large minorities of a culture is something that the map mode up until now has not supported very well.
In the Menander Update we have added functionality to show only one selected culture, highlighting all places where pops of that culture exists in minority as well as where they are dominant.
This will allow you to better see where pops of a culture or religion exists and can help guide your decisions for how to deal with that culture in terms of Cultural Decisions, as well as for planning military expansion, appointment of governors, etc.
In the culture interface there is also a button on each culture in your country open this map mode with that culture selected. This way you can even see the location of minority cultures that are not dominant in any part of the map 🙂

Apart from its gameplay use I find the culture interface and map mode useful because it shows all the minorities that exist around the world at any point in time for various historical reasons. We have also taken this opportunity to once again update minorities worldwide, and make the starting map a more interesting place.

Here is what Carthage looks like with different cultures select in the culture map mode.

That was all I had to talk about today about the changes coming to cultures and how you deal with them. 🙂 The system is still being tweaked and worked upon, but it aims to make the pops in your country a lot more interesting to deal with.

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