Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon expansion announced

The next expansion for Crusader Kings II [official site] will introduce China as a power offering potential riches or ruin depending on how you play the cards. Paradox today announced the Jade Dragon expansion, “coming soon”. It’s not properly adding China to the world of Crusader Kings II, mind, rather as an “off-map influence” accessed through a “China screen” with the pertinent options and information. No, that’s not nearly as fun.

Paradox give this brief summary of the expansion:

“Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon allows you to interact with China for protection and technological marvels — and possibly face their wrath in the form of rebels or full-scale invasions. New gameplay features including a new Tributary system, Chinese Mercenaries, and much more will make the Transoxiana and India regions come alive with new surprises and challenges for even the most seasoned despot. Flatter the Emperor with gifts of gold or concubines. Ask favors from the mighty prince. Stay on the good side of his appointed marshals on your borders.”

Hit the expansion’s page for more details.

Paradox don’t give any idea of a release date. However, they tend to launch CK2 expansions a month or so after announcing them so I’d guesstimate perhaps early October. They’re quiet about a price too; I’d expect the usual £10.99/14,99€/$14.99.


  1. GrumpyCatFace says:

    Why not add China? Is that another paid DLC?

    • Scobie says:

      Probably because adding more provinces and characters would strain the game to breaking point.

    • Aetylus says:

      And because playing a big strong stable empire is not what the CK2 game mechanics work well for… it probably wouldn’t actually be that fun for players.

      • Jannissary says:

        The Eastern Roman Empire persisted for the entire span of CK2 and yet they are represented within the game. Pretty stable, if you ask me, and even though I don’t find it terribly fun to play as them, they were an important part of the geopolitics of the era and their inclusion is pretty important.

        It’s not about whether it’s “fun” or “too stable.” China isn’t going to be added because it’s too big for Paradox to graft onto a Western European feudalism simulator. The game already creaks tremendously under what it’s got, and they’re not so naieve to believe that China can just be added on as an appendage to their already existing game.

    • ggggggggggg says:

      if you want a china-themed ck2 experience try playing as the celestial empire of california in the after the end mod. its based on the romance of the three kingdoms and fun as hell

  2. Captain Narol says:

    What a cunning way to add China politically without adding it materially…

    I wonder if it will work well, but I am curious to try. It’s fascinating how CK2 is now a totally different game from the one it was at release !

  3. Zorgulon says:

    I have to say that China always felt like a conspicuous absence ever since they first expanded the scope eastwards. It’s true that the game could barely handle a whole new region with its own unique culture and rules. But they’ll have to be pretty damn compelling mechanics to make this a worthwhile addition if China isn’t playable.

  4. teije says:

    I’ve bought every bit of non-cosmetic DLC for CK2 (and others from PDX), but this seems very meh. Reading the dev diary on the forum didn’t change that sentiment and I’d rather they left it out. China just becomes a Wizard of Oz behind the big screen.

    • Catchcart says:

      I’m kinda on the same page. Best case scenario it might redeem the also very meh Indian experience from Rajas. But then it sounds like it probabaly should just have been a tick-box-feature of that DLC rather than it’s own thing.

  5. Cropduster says:

    Anything to make India more interesting to play in I guess, but this certainly doesn’t seem the most exciting dlc ever.

    CKII has done much better in releasing good worthwhile expansions than EU4 or HOI4 imo, but this one raises concern.

  6. wombat191 says:

    Hmm sounds a bit like the Aztec invasion DLC but with more options

  7. emptyfile says:

    Eh, seems pretty weak.
    But then again there’s not much else to cram inside CK2.
    After 13 DLCs the only thing left to do is rewrite core parts of the game, like they do with EU4, which would be a damn shame as I consider CK2 to be a perfect medieval strategy game, the best game Paradox ever made and the only game that felt complete at release.

  8. RegisteredUser says:

    I wouldn’t begrudge Paradox their infinite DLC machinery so much if they didn’t basically do the thing where once they stop doing DLC for the current iteration, they immediately turn around and go “Oh and btw, now that we stopped making additions for this guy, we would like you to know its a horrible, old, outdated game and the epic, infinitely better sequel is coming out in less than a year already! Be sure to get that instead!”
    I mean – I can’t enjoy any vanilla versions, because I know they will get this slaughter of DLCs on top eventually, but then when that’s done, I cannot enjoy those, because they give me no reprieve before they present the much improved, totally better next one.
    Do they just want me to stop caring altogether and stop bothering? Because that is exactly what they did to me with EU IV.

    • wackazoa says:

      MY only issue is that once they make, say CK2 “complete” and move onto CK3 will they include all the things from CK2? Or will the take the EA Sims style approach and just make the base game and start adding things again. I never played EU3, and though I own HOI3 just haven’t played it much (bought game and all DLC for $5 in a Steam sale) so unfortunately I cant speak for those.

      But that is the major complaint for games like the Sims, wherein you make a game and add a bunch of DLC to make it “complete” and yet in the sequel you strip it of all the extras just to sell me the DLC again. If Paradox doesn’t want to be compared to EA then they need to be careful of how they move forward with CK3 and beyond.

      • Beanbee says:

        They 100% won’t.

        I don’t have a link, but from an interview (might have even been here), they will only move on when the engine can’t meet their ambition without intense rewrites. And then yes, it will be feature poor vs. CK2, but will likely be built on around something that CK2 could never do. E.g. HoI and it’s complex materiel system.