Crusader Kings II: Conclave Expansion Announced

I like to think of Crusader Kings II [official site] players as those shopfolk in comedies who painstakingly stack vast pyramids of cans, only for our hero to breeze through and trash it. So they start over. Then our hero returns. Restart, return. And again. That’s you, CK2 players. That’s you and new expansions coming along just as you’ve managed to get your kingdom running smoothly. Hey look, here comes the Conclave expansion, ready to make councils interfere with your rule. Pick up your cans, Canno.

The official word from Paradox is:

“Conclave, the newest expansion for the game, will give your vassals some bite to go along with your bark, as the council that governs your realm will now demand some say in how you rule. Powerful dukes, regardless of competence, will require a seat at the table, and those left on the outside will be more likely to plot against you.

“Keep your council happy, and the mighty vassals will resist the pull of faction and civil war. Dismiss their interests, though, and you may find yourself trying to hold together a council at war with itself.

“Balance councillor skill and power to keep your dynasty safe and strong. Ignore powerful underlings at your peril, or simply buy their loyalty with favors. Conclave makes the royal council a force unto itself.”

Yeah, good luck with that. More details on all it adds are over the announcement. As ever, the expansion will be accompanied by a patch bringing new things too.

Conclave is due in “early 2016”. Hey, that’s now! That’s right now! Is it out? A: no.


  1. Collieuk says:

    They are making it difficult for themselves to release a sequel. Imagine all the features that will be missing due to all these expansions they keep adding. Then again maybe the third will leave out much of the extra micromanagement they keep piling in and make the game fun. Every time I think about playing the sodding game they go and add more content! Maybe I’ll wait for Crusader Kings 2 The Complete Edition before getting stuck in. Could be waiting until 2020 mind…

    • ribby says:

      How easy or difficult would it be for them to stick most of the DLC they’ve put into CKII into CKIII?

      Also perhaps from their PoV it’s not worth creating a sequel unless there’s major mechanical changes and additions they want to add. They can keep working on the game with additional content and keep making money

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        Bluerps says:

        As far as I know, this is pretty much their position on this, yes – no CK3 until they want to do something that is completely new.

      • Sobric says:

        I’m hoping for a CK II style sequel but with a slightly different setting and incorporate some of the deeper mechanics from some of the expansions. I think late republican/early imperial Rome would be interesting.

        • BobbyDylan says:

          I think Victoria 3 is the game due after HOI:4, but I’d just as well take a Rome2

      • MaxMcG says:

        Civ 5 had the same problem when it first launched. If rumours are true, then Civ 6 will likely be in the same boat later this year.

        Still, it only meant that I kept playing Civ 4 as well as Civ 5 and I’ll likely be playing each of Civs 4, 5 and 6 at some point this year.

    • darkath says:

      For that matter EU4 had all the features of EU3 and more. They changed what they were unhappy with, but kept a lot of basic mechanics, events etc.

      But then HOI4 is something completely different than HOI3, but has still as much content if not more.

      So it depends, maybe CK3 will be an entirely different beast, or they will build it starting from the foundations laid down by CK2.

      But they probably will never go CA on this and release an inferior sequel.

    • RabbitIslandHermit says:

      I think EU3 had an Ultimate Edition or some such. Then they announced Divine Wind….

      • Fanbuoy says:

        Yeah, EU3 has the incomplete Complete Edition. The ultimate edition is called Chronicles. It’s confusing, but while I think that the naming is unfortunate, I prefer that to them thinking that they can’t add any new good ideas, simply because of nomenclature.

  2. Anthile says:

    Sounds pretty lame to be honest. I expected something like playable theocracies. I guess the focus on internal matters and the implied coalitions are supposed to make blobbing more difficult but I can see it being really tedious.
    I don’t know, it’s certainly not something that gets me to install the game again.

    • arienette says:

      I think many would say you’re looking at it wrong. CK2 isn’t a game of military conquering, not at its best.
      It’s a feudal politics simulator, and this seems to back a lot of that up.

      • Llewyn says:

        Indeed. The problem has been that for a long time (I haven’t played for a year or so though) the most effective way to play CK2 was through military conquest. Hopefully things like this help shift that balance.

        • RabbitIslandHermit says:

          Yeah, I haven’t played it in a while either but ever since everybody got Empires it seems like it’s become progressively easier and easier to blob. I’m kind of skeptical of Paradox expansions these days because they’re endless and sometimes add shit that breaks other shit, but this looks like it could be a good expansion.

      • Anthile says:

        Right, the problem is that the AI is already mostly insane and will often start wars and plots for no good reason. Cleaning up after your dukes is already quite tiresome. Giving them even more opportunities to be spiteful bastards is not something I look forward to, let alone want to pay for. Although I don’t mind expanded diplomacy options.

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          gritz says:

          That’s something I’ve often wondered about. I haven’t really sunk my teeth into a Paradox game since EU3, and I remember the later expansions introducing lots of interesting features and fixes, but I also remember the AI not really grasping how to make it all work.

          Have Paradox gotten better with that? I would think with adding a big new complex feature every few months for several years would make that impossible.

          • teije says:

            Haven’t played CK2 for a year, so can’t speak to the most recent expansions of it. However, just gave EUIV another 100-hour whirl with the most recent DLCs and the AI is pretty solid. Not great, but pretty good at assessing alliances and when to attack the player. Still, a skilled player can roll over it but that’s always been true.

    • C0llic says:

      Exactly. CKII is a medieval soap opera, not a more complicated EUIV.
      That really is key to enjoying the game, rolling with the punches, getting back up when you lose everything. It’s fun to try and forge a massive empire, but so, so hard to hold on to it for too long.

  3. Chiron says:

    I hope this feeds into the Factions mechanic, that always felt a bit underwhelming and obtuse, with no clear reason for half of the ones that started up and no way to actually influence them or stop them bar murderisation and bribery.

    Sounds like this could be good though regardless.

  4. Rhodokasaurus says:

    The stories that Crusader Kings makes are always more interesting than trying to “win”. That said, paying for content that’s going to make it harder to get stuff done is a hard sell. Probably want to see this in action first.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Harder to get stuff done only if you ignore the new mechanics. The description suggests that if you play it right, you should have more tools to gain power.

      But yeah, as with all things, I like to wait for reviews and a discount. I think I’m perpetually one or two CK2 expansions behind.

      • thetruegentleman says:

        This isn’t doesn’t seem like something the game needs: Dukes are only useful as a source for troops, but they’re rarely worth the trouble they can cause when the king dies, which is the main problem with them. What’s the point of spending even MORE time keeping them happy if that threat remains? And what more could the dukes possibly give to make dealing with them worth the trouble?

        What the game really needs are more ways to ensure the primary heir can smoothly transfer into power, and more events were siblings seem to have complicated relationships with each other: close siblings should conspire with each other, rivals should conspire against each other, and non-heirs should either try to prove themselves to daddy or act up out of spite if they feel they are treated worse than others.

  5. Arathorn says:

    If this expansion is as fun as the trailer, I think I’ll pass.
    Still think the trailer with the bearded vikings was their best.

  6. badmothergamer says:

    I’ve clocked over 1200 hours in CK2. Alice’s description of us is pretty spot on. :)

    I’m excited about this expansion. Horse Lords didn’t do anything for me and Way of Life added some good features, but some annoying ones as well. I’m more excited about the non-military diplomatic options as well as the childhood education stuff than I am in dealing with even jerkier vassals.

  7. Anonymous says:

    With the experience from the last expansions, I hope they can avoid breaking the game too much. Or who are we kidding? that they can at least make it playable again within a few months of releasing it.

    • teije says:

      They always do fix it up – my rule is to wait 2 patches before playing after an expansion.

  8. pack.wolf says:

    The first paragraph describes my feelings to a T. But just having finished the Accursed Kings series of books the word Conclave is bound to feel exciting. Benedict XII ftw!

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    Bluerps says:

    Sounds interesting!

  10. carewolf says:

    Let’s hope they don’t break the game too badly again, or at least take less than a few months to fix it again.

  11. Arglebargle says:

    Used to have 4 or 5 copies of different versions of CK2 mostly to continue to play interesting lines. Down to only the last iteration now.

    This info means I should make another copy.

  12. C0llic says:

    CK II is such a good game, I feel a little guilty when I haven’t played it in a while, or left a game unfinished.

  13. xyzzy frobozz says:

    I really look forward to CKII expansions.

    In fact, I look forward to them more than most full release games. That said, there have been a couple that I have skipped (Rajas of India, Sunset Invasion) simply because I’m not interested in playing as a Raja, or having Europe invaded by Aztecs.

    This expansion is exactly t he sort of expansion I’m interested in – one that introduces new mechanics.

    Cannot wait! I have been playing “computer games” since the late 70’s (yeah I’m THAT old), and CKII is one of my top five games of all time.

    Bring on the ‘spansions!

  14. LacSlyer says:

    CK2 and EU4 are the only games that release DLC that I buy instantly without even looking at what I’m buying. And I’ve never been disappointed with it.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Same here. Well, I normally wait for a special for the majority of them.

      These are the only games where I know I will buy all the DLC eventually. Most games I tend to skip them.