Time to Pay Your Dues! The Reaper's Due Expansion Arrives for Crusader Kings II
The Black Death's bell tolls and the once prosperous nations of old have now fallen. Crusader Kings II: The Reaper's Due is the latest expansion of the popular Crusader Kings II grand strategy game by Paradox Development Studio. Announced only a month ago on July 21, 2016, the expansion will be available tomorrow, August 25th. This is great news for the game's fans, as it also heralds the release of patch 2.6.
Reaper's Due is set to feature a vastly improved epidemic and disease systems, as well as a wide selection of new minor features. The expansion DLC centers mostly around the Black Death -- an outbreak of bubonic plague that historically killed roughly a third of the population of Europe. It will also feature new nicknames, executions, and events.
Releasing along with Reaper's Due is patch 2.6, which will be a free update to anyone who owns Crusader Kings II. The changes made in this patch alter many features of the game, as well as add a few new minor features and options. Below you can see all the new features added or changed in both The Reaper's Due DLC and the latest patch.
The Reaper's Due features
- Symptoms: characters no longer simply become ill through an event, but instead receive one of a variety of symptoms (Cough, Fever, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Headache, Chest Pain, Rash, Cramps, Abdominal pain, Fatigue, Malaise) and over time it will either evolve into a full-blown disease, or will simply pass.
- Court Physician is a new minor title which you can give out to a well-learned person which makes them responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses in your court.
- New death screams.
- Epidemics can now spread along the Silk road when present, and are more likely to spread to rich and coastal provinces while being less likely to spread to poorer inland areas. They will cause depopulation on provinces even after it has died out, reducing tax incomes, levy/garrison sizes, and supply limits.
- The Black Death is larger and more deadly and gets a chance of major outbreak to occur 200 years into any game, regardless of start date. After a major outbreak has happened the disease becomes endemic and may break out again, but likely on a smaller scale.
- Ways to defend against epidemics: seclusion of a character's court in his castle, or building Hospitals (new holding type similar to Trade posts or Forts) to increase the disease defense level.
- Prosperity system: as opposed to Depopulation, provinces which have not been besieged, raided, or ravaged by disease for a long time will begin to Prosper, and gain certain bonuses- such as extra tax income and faster replenishment of levies. Independent dukes or higher can set one of their Demesne provinces to be their Crown Focus for additional yearly increase and events.
- New narrative events such as The rise of a Prophet of Doom, A general belief that the dead have returned to walk the earth and attack the living, or Panic based on a solar eclipse, or the quest for Eternal Life.
- New maimed traits (One-handed, One-legged, One-Eyed, Disfigured, or Mangled) to replace the generic maimed , and some associated portrait frames. The health penalty from most of these traits is replaced by a Severely Injured trait with penalties but will be lost after some time has passed.
- New targeted decisions: recruit prisoners, ask vassals individually to end their wars with each other, ask characters to leave their court and ask their vassals to return to gavelkind succession.
- 50 new nicknames: 'One-Eye', 'the Frog', 'the Cannibal', 'the Hideous', 'the Resilient', etc.
- Interactions with prisoners: Humiliate, Torture, Mutilate, Bad poetry and Consume (if cannibal).
- 31 execution methods, including Hanging, Crushing, Sawing, and Bear.
- Reactions events to the death of lovers, friends, and rivals.
- Events around cats.
Patch 2.6 features
- Call to arms: automatic call of allies into war, introduced in patch 2.5, will be reverted. Declining a call now has very serious consequences.
- Game rules: in-game configuration of some defines, without requiring to use a mod. Some options will disable achievements.
- A new map mode for diseases.
- Revised succession screen, with an epitaph of the departed character and brief introduction to the new one.
- New decisions for defensive pagans.
- Devout warriors to defend against an enemy of a different religion.
- Ancient worship to ask your ancestors for help or advice with some part of your life.
- New traits for Germanic pagans: improved versions of the Viking trait (Ravager and Sea King), Valhalla-bound equivalent of Crusader for great holy wars.
- Norse Shieldmaidens warrior women as bodyguards or commanders.
- More female advisor options: close relatives of a ruler with high stats, and talented woman arriving in court.
- Flanders is now part of the kingdom of France, and the AI king of France will no longer create the Kingdom of Aquitaine unless needed for Francia Empire creation requirements.
- Tweaks for nomads of Horse Lords expansion:
- Pillage becomes a toggle rather than an action, to make it easier.
- Nomad agitation modifier when conquering an empty province from a horde, until a castle is built.
- Silk road has been updated and extended to add new branch.
- New targeted decisions: break non-aggression pacts and cancel tributary status of tribute-payers.
- Character finder: new icons to indicate whether characters will move to your court and if they are outside of diplomatic range.
- Continue button on the launcher to load directly into your latest save game.
- Some modding suggestions.
- A combination of game optimizations, resulting in a 30-50% speed improvement, and with far smaller annoying pauses:
- Uncompressed saves are smaller, which reduces compression and write times.
- Saves are saved more efficiently.
- The processing of things is done across the year rather than at the end of each year, avoiding the noticeable pause.
- The map rendering is faster.
- Some unnecessary map or UI refresh triggered for non-outdated things are removed.
- Several computations that were single-threaded are now multi-threaded.
- Some performance-intensive computations are improved.
- The number of randomly generated characters is reduced, and unnecessary characters are eliminated more aggressively.
Crusader Kings II is available now for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. The Reaper's Due will be available August 25, 2016.