Crusader Kings 2 expanding eastward

Crusader Kings 2 [official site] is secretly Crusader Kings 5 or 6. The specific number isn’t important; the point is, Paradox’s alternate history generator has grown in all directions since release. The timeline covered has expanded, the map is much bigger, there are more cultures and religions, and you can join a cult and give birth to the antichrist.

There wasn’t an official expansion announcement at PDXCON, the media event and fan gathering that I returned from yesterday, but today game director Henrik Fåhraeus published a post discussing some future changes. The playable world is getting bigger, again: “the Himalayas and the vast Tibetan plateau” are opening for business.

It’s not clear when or in what form this change will arrive, but it’ll include new cultures and religions, as well as the extra provinces that currently fall in one of the map’s empty ‘Wasteland’ areas. Over to Henrik:

“I’ve never been happy with the way the eastern edge of the map feels like the edge of the world when, in fact, it should be a dynamic hub connecting at least four major civilizations (China, India, the Steppe Nomads and the Islamic world.) Well, the time to do something about that is now! In our working build, we have added the necessary provinces, new cultures (Bodpa, Tangut and Nepalese), new religions (Bön and Khurmazta), and title history for the entire region.

“The Bön religion is a pagan faith which functionally has many similarities with the Romuvan and Buddhist religions: It is very hard to convert, has access to Gavelkind, and unlike other pagan faiths it can not be reformed (though this might change in the future.) Instead, it starts off with the ability to designate heirs, just like Buddhists. It has also got a Patron Deity system like that of the Hindus and the ‘defensive’ Pagans.”

I just started a new game of CK II. I reckon I might be physically incapable of playing it after spending a weekend talking to people about its wonderful ways. There’s so much that I haven’t even touched, despite Steam telling me that I’ve been playing for more than a thousand hours. I’ve barely even touched Republics and haven’t died from half the diseases now available. What kind of feudal lord am I supposed to be?

So I’ll be tinkering with old things, but there’s a little more to see in the pile of new things.

“In addition, we are looking over the great Muslim conquerors (Sabuktigin, Seljuq and Timur) to make sure they usually rise, toning down the Indian Holy Orders and making them creatable (rather than existing from the start.) We also plan to add or expand on adventurers for more generic conquests into and out of the subcontinent especially.”

Making sure great conquerors rise. All part of the job.


  1. Zorgulon says:

    CK2 has gone so far beyond the scope of high-medieval Europe, I wonder if we’ll see it spreading all the way across Asia.

    Tibet and the Himalaya are all well and good, but it’s more filling out the conspicuously unplayable areas rather than truly spreading eastward.

    The only way to truly make the eastern edge of the current map a hub is to go all the way into China and Southeast Asia. That might require too much overhaul of existing elements (e.g. the Mongol horde will have to go east as well as west) to work.

  2. GrumpyCatFace says:

    Oh Paradox… when will you just release the uber-game we all want, and get it over with? Could charge $100 out of the gate, and be done with all this piecemeal.

    I’m sure this is much more profitable though, sadly..

    • Superpat says:

      There’s something to be said about the beauty that arises from iterative design though.

      I have the feeling china would be something they would keep for ck3 though. It would make for a good large expansion like old gods or rajahs and nobody would accuse them of doing it sim style

      • tasteful says:

        ya i imagine it’s frustrating to be a prospective new player and face hundreds of dollars in total cost, but it lends itself really well to baller progressive/iterative game design. so much fun bein a paradox fan

      • Imperialist says:

        I dunno. Id rather a product that evolves over time, rather than having EVERYTHING right out the gate.

        Besides…it would take much longer to build a comprehensive version of what we want the end result to be, with little or no feedback as to what works and what doesnt (without beta testing). Just like the under-the-hood goings on in a typical Clauswitz Paradox game, there are ALOT of variables to consider. Id rather them make a polished and functional base to build upon than a big Jenga tower full of features ready to crumble as soon as someone pulls the “Major Update” block out of it.

      • Baines says:

        I don’t know that they’d “save” China as a selling point for a new Crusader Kings. Years ago a Paradox dev said that the company took the relatively weak (compared to their other titles) sales of Sengoku as evidence that Asian settings just weren’t as profitable a target as Western world settings.

        Any real “Crusader Kings 3”, in the form of an actual new game and not just a repackaging of CK2, is going to end up with less content than the current Crusader Kings 2. A CK3 will probably end up putting focus back on Western Europe, even if it has some of the other world mechanics built in from the start this time.

        That not only means that China will probably be seen as a fairly low priority for the base CK3, it may also probably be seen as a low immediate priority for a CK3 expansion.

        • napoleonic says:

          There’s a prevalent myth among wargamer nerds that the masses are crying out for East Asian wargames. It’s not true, but the forums are always full of it.

        • kromeboy says:

          I think that the problem with Sengoku (my problem with Sengoku) is that it is a really limited in scope and non deep enough to play compared to Victoria II.

          The setting is ok, but is the Paradox title with less replayability

    • kromeboy says:

      I prefer this iterative style financed with DLC to let say something like Football Manager that is the same kind of slow iteration with a 55€ release every year.

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    Drib says:

    When do we get an expansion to the wholly unconnected Americas, and the varied religions and cultures over there?

  4. Captain Narol says:

    Good thing that they are adding Tibetan Plateau, India will feel less like an island separated from the rest of the game, and there will be more interactions between the eastern powers.

  5. wackazoa says:

    I cant help but get the feeling this is all to create more things to do for when youve conquered the whole of europe and the middle east. Its unfortunate, since as complicated as it has always seemed, it has always been fairly easy to steamroll your neighbors, and their neighbors, and their neighbors, and their….. So instead of making that kinda of thing barely possible, and even less possible to hold onto, they just make more map, or more occult stuff to tempt your brain with (although the occult stuff makes world domination even easier).

    Oh CK2, you are a fun game to waste hours with, yet your so shallow you hurt my brain. Bring on the Steam summer sale! I need to pick up an expansion or two.

  6. Waznei says:

    I think is time for CK3. This is just too much. I started a game recently after some months (and +500 hours of playing!) and I had a hard time just finding myself.

  7. ramshackabooba says:

    If they add a far East dLC I hope it’s as a separate map, one that goes from India to Japan.

  8. McCool says:

    This article made my heart skip a beat with its misleading title!

    I thought for a moment that Paradox had finally done the inadvisable and announced a China expansion, which would not only be another huge drain on the game’s engine but would use up every resource the devs should be using for the last DLC or two to make the game in general richer.

    Crusader Kings II is not expanding eastward! The easternmost edge of the map seems to be staying the same, they are just filling in a gap in the map as-is.

  9. dkfgo says:

    For me, the only concern here is performance. They can add China, the Americas and the goddamn moon for all I care. In fact, the possibility of playing as an amerindian and conquering Europe makes me feel good in my tummy.

    “Go play EU4”, “The Game is called Crusader Kings”, naysayers will naysay. These people simply dont know about the joys of things such as a meticulously planned eugenics program.

    • Cropduster says:

      I remember hearing that they’re now struggling to add new stuff to the game in a way that doesn’t totally tank peformance, and that we might not be looking at much more DLC for CK2. This could just be a final thing to tie up some loose ends.

      But I agree it would be awesome. There’s so many great areas to play in in EU4, like South East Asia, Indonesia & Central Africa that I’d love to see get the CKii treatment.

  10. Neutrino says:

    Stop adding more pointless geography and occult fluff and add some actual mechanics to combat, logistics and trade ffs!!

  11. goodpoints says:

    Breath rather than depth once again. How quaint the ways of Paradox.