Thorful: Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods Dev Diaries

Crusader Kings II is rolling out the pagans, and the game is changing not just by the nature of the idols it worships, but also in a few fundamental game mechanics, game events, and in the start date, which has rolled back to the ninth century. The Paradox team have taken some time to explain these decisions in a series of development update videos, which you can see below.

These changes should have a major overall impact on the game, as we saw with Sword of Islam. Who wouldn’t want more pillaging options in their life?


  1. Honsou says:

    Since they changed the plot mechanic I find it hard to get back into. Before that, it was a brilliant game (and still is, im just…anal).

    • JonathanStrange says:

      Plot Mechanic? I’ve been playing CK2 pretty consistently since its release and have only found it to be steadily improving with each major patch and piece of DLC. Sure there are annoyances here and there, but the majority of those I’ve only noticed after having already put 100 hours into the game and there’s certainly nothing that’s keeping me from jumping back into CK2 for more.

      For me at least this DLC is probably among my most anticipated upcoming releases. After my previous campaign of starting from the Kingdom of Navarra and eventually uniting all of Spain under the banner of the Empire of Hispania, I’m eager for a few new mechanics and challenges to play around with.

      • bstard says:

        There’re our frends the Ubbadids in the south of Spain, waiting for you to deconquistador the peninsula ;)

  2. Gap Gen says:

    Better not try to teach them new skirt.

  3. DonJefe says:

    I like the idea of the reformation of the pagan faiths with a religious head. Albeit counterfactual, It gives the pagan religions a fighting chance against the Catholics.

  4. Sheng-ji says:

    This pretty much addresses my one and only tiny complaint about the game, in that I feel it starts too late – I love the so called dark ages and could actually go a little earlier again to the breakup of the Roman Empire but this has made me really rather happy this morning!

    • bstard says:

      CK2 is about feudalism, and this was ‘invented’ in the 10th century, maily in Francia. 867 is already a bit too early.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        I understand that, but the roots of feudalism were planted much earlier – Jumpng into the story at the battle of hastings feels like the discovery of how to manage your patch of the world has been done for you.

        I want to start with nothing but the echos of Rome and build my society, not start with a fully functioning ready made one, does that make sense?

        • bstard says:

          It very much does make sense. But then the question is: is this something that can be made? Dont get me wrong: I’d love a game that would be able to handle history from Catalhuyuk up to today, in all its diversity. But I fear thats a bit too much to ask.

        • Adriaan says:

          Yeah, those were my thoughts as well. Love that they’re going a bit further back now. I don’t doubt that, as they mentioned, solid sources/information on stuff like the slavic tribes from around that time are sketchy if existant at all. It’s part of what makes them so interesting to me, but it makes a historical representation difficult ofcourse.

          • Morte66 says:

            I could like a Dark Ages game with a smaller map, just Western Europe, running from the end of Western Rome to the arrival of Western Islam. This could cover the early stages of feudalism and christianity.

            Treat Byzantium as NPCs (like the Mongols) who invade Italy at one point.

      • Captain Joyless says:

        On the contrary, “feudalism” was invented by 18th-century monarchs trying to justify their power.

        Go read some of the actual literature. I recommend “Fiefs and Vassals” by Susan Reynolds, for example. The fact is we don’t know what these social institutions really were or how they really worked; we only know what commentators in the immediately following centuries thought, and we bring a lot of our own assumptions to the table.

        Which is fine for a game, and CK2 is mostly a great game. But let’s not pretend it’s at all historical as a matter of social, legal, and political structures. There are any number of insane abstractions that are completely out of place, WHICH IS FINE, because it makes a good game regardless. But it is not a history lesson.

  5. tigerfort says:

    I have nothing to say about CK2, but per this article by Adam I do think Jim needs to try harder.

  6. benab says:

    Just in time for those of us watching Vikings and getting inspired to pillage English monasteries.

  7. chiablo says:

    I read “Old Gods”, and assumed it meant “Elder Gods”. I got really excited until I watched the videos and realized it was just boring pagan stuff, not Lovecraftian lore.

  8. Herkimer says:

    Lindisfahrne is going down so hard.

    Soooooo hard.