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DLC icon Conclave.png Conclave
Conclave banner.jpg
Release date / Patch
2016-02-02 / 2.5

Store: Expansion
Store: Content pack
Crusader Kings II: Conclave expansion feature spotlight by CK2's game director Henrik "Doomdark" Fåhraeus.

DLC icon Conclave.pngConclave is the 9th major expansion for Crusader Kings II. It was announced on 2016-01-07.[1] It was released on 2016-02-02[2] alongside patch 2.5.

The main intention of Conclave is to "increase the challenge mid-to-late game".[3]

Description[edit | edit source]

Conclave will give your vassals some bite to go along with their 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.

DLC features[edit | edit source]

New council mechanics, making it more than simply a privy council:[4]

  • The most powerful vassals strongly desire a council seat, or will threaten a civil war.
  • The council has power to vote on changes to realm laws, declaration of wars, etc. But this power depends on the council laws, which can limit councilors' power and influence. Tribal rulers enable council laws by increasing tribal organization in order to feudalize, and nomads always have all of the council laws enabled.
    • To avoid thousand of pop-ups, council members adopt certain pre-defined stances, which will dictate how they align themselves (yea, nay or abstain) with the decisions the ruler takes: Loyalist , Pragmatist , Glory Hound , Zealot , or Malcontent .
  • Under some governments, councillors cannot create or join factions except during a period of "discontent" after succession or tyranny.
  • Regencies are reworked: the regent is put as a position on the council and will vote instead of the young ruler, who doesn't have the option of going against a council vote.

Favors, as a new kind of relationship than family, friendships and rivalries, which:[4]

  • Can be gained through fulfilling the ambition of a vassal, giving a sum of money, accepting support request from a liege...
  • Can be used in many ways: get a council member to vote your way for one year, accept a marriage, invite to court, educate child, keep a character out of factions or get them to join a faction, asking liege to press a claim, blocking liege from using the Realm Peace or asking him to enforce it, ...
  • A character can only owe another character at most one favor at a time. It is usually not possible for two characters to owe each other favors.

Revised education system, replacing the guardian's traits related events:[5]

  • Younger childhood (0-11): a childhood focus can guide the development of the child, impacting the likelihood of certain new childhood traits. Child’s attributes now grow randomly with some genetic influence from the parents. Educator’s (guardian, parent, liege or regent) traits will now very rarely affect the child’s development.
  • Adolescence (12-15): an education focus can be chosen, guaranteeing that the character will receive an education trait of the category of the focus on reaching adulthood. Childhood traits increase or decrease the chances for a higher level education outcome.

Laws have been reworked:

  • A new set of laws (council laws) dictates what the council can and cannot vote on.
  • Crown authority is gone, having been split into constituent parts
  • Obligation laws now shift between taxes and levies, instead of defining the level of burden
  • New realm laws such as Status of Women

Other changes:

  • Insignificant ambitions are removed (get married, ...) and ambitions now actually alter the flow of gameplay in a significant way: become king allows a slight chance of successfully fabricating a claim on a kingdom. New ambitions include: ask for council position, build a war chest, ask liege for title, and ask for land for an unlanded son.
  • Non-nomadic rulers can create a mercenary band of their own to increase their wealth. (Nomads can already do so as long as Horse Lords is enabled.) However, the band will use a percentage of a holding's levies, and mercenary captains may grow ambitious. The most common sizes will be in between the nomadic mercenaries and the smaller pre-defined mercenary companies.

Patch features[edit | edit source]

Some patch 2.5 features have been described in developer diaries prior to the expansion announcement, as well as in patch 2.5 announcement thread:

  • More complex diplomacy system, where royal marriages create non-aggression pacts that can be re-negotiated if the arranger dies. Alliances are now stronger, but more rare, as they must be negotiated atop an existing non-aggression pact.[6][3]
  • Combat mechanic changes[7], including shattered retreat over several provinces, less damage during battles, improved AI, and reinforcing armies in friendly territory.[3]
  • Reduction of the "positive opinion inflation" of vassals vs their liege, by cutting many important positive opinion modifiers in half.[3] During non-elective succession, primary successor inherits 50% of temporary opinion modifiers from subjects of previous holder.
  • Sounds: death sound differ depending on age, gender, and violence of reason for death. New ambient sound for technology view.
  • Faster loading of saved games: new continue button from the lobby, and vanilla history no longer gets executed while loading a save.
  • Defensive pacts may form against large realms whose actions are seen as threatening. (Called “coalitions” and “infamy” on release[8], renamed in patch 2.5.2.)
  • Support for ^Ctrl + Left click on dynasty map mode, to breakdown realms into sub-realms.[9]
  • New functionality that allows to interact with province owner by right-clicking with special keys pressed.[10]
  • Redo of law screen, that now has multiple tabs.[11]
  • Malcontents now tend to gang up into fewer but more powerful factions.
  • Modding improvements, including among others modable era screen, new scopes and triggers.[12]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The codename for the expansion was "Zeus". It was used to conceal the real expansion name on Steam depots, and is still visible in game files, via the "ze_" prefix, and some has_dlc = "Zeus" triggers.
  • The patch went through a private beta testing phase, following a call for beta testers done months earlier.[13]
  • An advanced press release of the DLC was sent to some youtubers to allow for some pre-release let's play streams.
  • After initial release of patch 2.5, significant negative feedback on coalitions, infamy and shattered retreat was raised by part of the community. Paradox acknowledged that "a lot of comments concerning the new Coalition mechanics and the intricacies of “Shattered Retreats” merit [their] immediate attention".[14] They also shared clarifications on coalitions along with tips for managing expansion.[15]

Dev diaries[edit | edit source]

Main article: Developer diaries

All developer diaries about the Conclave expansion and patch 2.5.

No. Title and Link Description Date
1 A Farewell A farewell from Magnus. 2015-09-29
2 What we do! Detail about the size and organization of CK2 team. Teaser for new pacts system. 2015-10-06
3 Birken about CK2 Project lead express what he likes in CK2 and its future direction. Teaser for new shattered retreat system. 2015-10-13
4 The QA team on CK2 QA team size and day-to-day work. Teaser for new dynasty map mode. 2015-10-20
5 The Move Moving to the new office. New functionality that allows to interact with province owner by right-clicking with special keys pressed. 2015-10-27
6 A Captain's Duty Captain Gars (Usermod Coordinator) improvement for the modders, including among others moddable era screen, new scopes and triggers. 2015-11-03
7 Rules of Engagement New diplomacy system including alliances and non-aggression pacts. 2015-11-10
8 Trade-offs Project lead inquiring about society perspective on soft-limits, like vassal or demesne limit. 2015-11-17
9 It's just a flesh wound! Combat mechanic changes including: shattered retreat like in EU4, new damage calculation and improved AI. 2015-11-24
10 Looking at Laws Redo of succession law screen that now has multiple tabs. Screen-shot of inheritance tab. 2015-12-01
11 Stopping The Snowball New infamy mechanism based on ruler aggressive actions and correlated coalitions. 2015-12-08
12 Conclave is announced Information about the aim of the new expansion: making mid-to-late game harder. Changes to internal politics, including new council mechanism and reduced positive modifiers. 2016-01-12
13 Power to the Council New council system and related favors and realm peace mechanism. New regency system based on council decisions. 2016-01-19
14 Homeschooling New education system and presentation of the new laws mechanism. More details on the use of favors. Enhanced dynamic mercenaries. 2016-01-26
15 It's Coming! List of new achievements and change-log for patch 2.5. 2016-02-02
16 The Near Future Upcoming changes to coalitions and shattered retreats. 2016-02-04
17 Post Launch Further improvement for the Conclave mechanism and next song button. 2016-02-09
18 The 2.5.2 Patch Changing the defensive pacts (previously coalitions) and threat (previously infamy) mechanism to make them more plausible. Timed seduction block in case of rejection. 2016-02-16
19 No news is good news Current patch notes for patch 2.5.2. 2016-02-23

References[edit | edit source]