The Sims Medieval: Latest Crusader Kings II Expansion Out

Important decisions for a ruler.


Few games would boast of allowing that, perhaps only cracking a nervous joke in patch notes addressing the bug’s removal, but it’s a proper listed-in-the-trailer feature of Crusader Kings II‘s latest mini-expansion. Way of Life launched yesterday, injecting a little more personality into your pawns. WoL lets you give characters a “focus”, a passion in life that they’ll follow and pursue. Some folks like gossip, some are happiest when hunting, and some, well, some really want to marry their cousin. CK2 is basically a weirder, stabbier, and more difficult version of The Sims anyway, right?

The focuses to pick from are: rulership, business, hunting, war, family, carousing, seduction, intrigue, scholarship and theology. I imagine there are reasons to pick a focus other than carousing, but I can’t say any spring to mind. Queens and kings put Andrew W.K. to shame with their partying, you know, though I imagine their agony aunt columns weren’t nearly as good. Focuses tie into new game events, which number in the hundreds, and WoL brings exciting new diplomatic options like “duel” and “banish to monastery” too.

I am just so tickled by how Sims-y this is. I don’t play CK2 myself, but I do enjoy hearing people’s stories about the weird and horrible things that happened to their families. It is a lot like hearing Sims tales, only the murder is a little more direct.

Way of Life is £5.59 on Steam or £5.99 direct from Paradox, who sling you a Steam key anyway. I don’t know, maybe you want to give Paradox more money.

Patch 2.3 launched alongside the expansion too; notes are over here.


  1. X_kot says:

    Awww, Alice – when I started reading the title of your article in my RSS feed, I got excited at the possibility of another iteration of the ill-fated The Sims: Medieval. Like so many things in life, my hopes were immediately dashed after the colon. :(

    • Caelyn Ellis says:

      The colon is the dasher of many hopes.

      The Sims: Medieval was pretty groovy. I like how it’s the toy castle and model knights to original’s doll house.

    • All is Well says:

      I hope CKIII will have a mini-Sims module where you can view and decorate your court and look at all the little courtiers, servants and family members milling about. It’d be great for showing the various events that take place, like assassinations, too.

      Edit: Well maybe not decorate. That’d be a bit much.

      • X_kot says:

        That could be neat – maybe something more akin to the throne room evolution in Civ II? I didn’t much care for decorating buildings in Sims: Medieval since they would look more or less the same. But it might be fun to design your family’s castle in CKII and develop it as you acquire new titles and technologies.

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          How about a throne room whose decorations collectively acted as a trophy case.

          Got married?
          A wedding wreath.

          Got excommunicated for marrying a heretic?
          The written message delivering notice of excommunication in a nice wooden frame.

          Assassinated the Pope in retribution?
          The Holy Miter.

  2. Brinx says:

    Completely forgot that this was coming out. Time to start a completely inbred dynasty, I guess.
    (Also make a custom count and seduce as many wives of kings and emperors as I can.)

  3. FlopsyTheBloodGod says:

    If you really really love Paradox they’re now selling a “Crusader Kings II Limited Edition: Royal Edition” for £253.

  4. 2late2die says:

    Andrew W.K.?? Woah! I haven’t heard that name in a while. You’re dating yourself Alice :)

    Edit: Hmmmm, didn’t realize that guy was still doing stuff. Whoda thunk it!

    • daver4470 says:

      If you really have some free time to kill, google “steev mike conspiracy” and learn about how Andrew W.K. may not actually exist, but is instead a “concept” created by shadowy music industry figures. Because apparently that’s something that matters to someone with the will to write about 75,000 words on the topic.

      Fantastic rabbit hole of crazy, if you’re inclined to enjoy such things.

  5. Flavour Beans says:

    CK2 has a new expansion pack? It seems Paradox is trying to insure that Christmas week at my parents’ involves me huddled over my laptop in the guest bedroom, getting my carouse on.

    • Mr.K says:

      Thanks for reminding me to install CK2 on my laptop before heading to my parents’!

  6. sinister agent says:

    Ah, cousins don’t really count. That was normal even up to last century, and biologically there’s no more a risk of problems than with any other random stranger.

    Should make for some entertaining stories, though. And I suppose in some ways it could actually make the game less complicated, at least in terms of keeping track of everyone. Pity I can’t play CK2 anymore, as it devours my life.

    • Lagran says:

      biologically there’s no more a risk of problems than with any other random stranger.

      Eh, a handful of times? Sure. Repeated cousin-cousin (or other close but not sibling or parent/child couplings) marriage? That’s how you end up with the Habsburgs of Spain.

      • Tssha says:

        Not to mention the famous Habsburg Harelip.

      • sinister agent says:

        Or worse: a christmas with my family.

        If you’re from Irish farmers, never research your family history. Forty people with about six names, everyone marrying everyone forever. It’s a wonder we’re still here at all.

    • elasticman says:

      Marriages/affairs with cousins have been in the game since day one, as far as I’m aware. The ‘relatives’ this trailer is referring to are rather more … proximate… than cousins.

  7. Wednesday says:

    This is actually really welcome. I’ve been playing CKII since it was released. It’s easily one of my favourite games, and when it is at its best, it can produce gaming moments unrivalled. It also, however, can be shockingly dull, with literally nothing to do but wait for something to happen. This gives you a bit to do in the downtime.

    Crusader Kings II isn’t complicated, its not intuitive, unusual and honestly a bit obtuse. It has always been crying out for more, not more content, just more to do.

    • fantodant says:

      I agree for the most part, though I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s “dull,” as there are always other people to watch while nothing’s happening to you. This may just be my pound-for-pound favorite game ever, but my biggest general problem with the game (as opposed to smaller ones like not enough CBs and only being able to use Holy War for a duchy) has always been a lack of direct control over your character’s actions. Hopefully this will improve that some!

  8. varangian says:

    This sounds like fun although it may be a while before I can play it as I’ve only reached 937 in an Old Gods campaign which, through a quirk of succession laws in Spain and the vagaries of childbirth, has had me managing a line of queens for a change. I think I’ve noticed a bit of bleed through from Way of Life in the update that came before I started as I married off on of my courtiers to a woman with an attribute I’d never come across before, that of ‘Master Seductress’. Which presumably made him a happy man.

    Anyway can some CK expert clue me in as to whether this bit of DLC is compatible with the others, i.e. can I play Old Gods + Way of Life or does it only work with the base game. Hopefully the former but the Paradox web site (and the Steam store) doesn’t say anything one way or the other about that.

    • wwwhhattt says:

      You can play with any combination of the earlier DLC’s, so you’re bound to be safe with this one too.

      • varangian says:

        Thanks, I’ve just come back from the Steam store as there’s a sale of older DLC at the moment so I stocked up on portrait and unit bling and the Rajas expansion. Shall have to go back and add this as well.

  9. derbefrier says:

    Will have to pick this up the next tine I get the urge to play this. I don’t play ck2 a whole lot but when I do manage to get sucked into it I always have fun.

  10. Mortomes says:

    My favorite patchnote: Jews no longer want boar meat for their feasts.