The best kittens, technology, and video games blog in the world.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Suez Canal mod for Crusader Kings 2

I've been playing with it for a while (see here and here), but Suez Canal was embedded in my personal supermod blob.

Now that I refactored the supermod a bit, I can release parts of it as standalone mods, so here it is on Steam Workshop.

If you don't like Steam Workshop for any reason, just use Steam Workshop Downloader.

Technical notes

Suez Canal is implemented as portage, which seems like it would be accessible to only religions which can navigate major rivers (Norse and Reformed Norse), but it turns out that's only true for portages between great rivers. Portages themselves don't have such restriction, anybody can navigate them just fine.

The mod won't work with mods that modify the map (like CK2+), but it's easy to make similar version for other mods. Here's the whole script creating this mod:

  • Find province IDs where you want to put the canal (between 939 and 1382 passing through 789) - the third one doesn't seem to matter
  • Copy map/adjacencies.csv into your mod and add line like 939;1382;portage;789;-1;-1;-1;-1;Suez Canal at the end (last ID and portage name don't seem to matter, just name it whatever)
  • Copy map/ into your mod, find ocean_region tag, and merge both sea_zones into one.

Suez Canal is totally historically plausible

In spite of common skepticism, canals connecting Mediterranean and NIle existed in antiquity, only closed in 767, and Venice considered rebuilding it in 1400s, so it's not outside realm of possibility that one might exist in CK2 timeframe. At least it's much more likely than a bridge connecting Ireland with Wales.

Now technically these were all Red Sea - Nile canals, not Red Sea - Mediterranean canals, but Nile is weirdly not marked as navigable river in game.

Gameplay reasons

Anyway, historical reasons are of secondary importance. In vanilla game there's whole chunk of map - India - which doesn't interact with anyone ever.

There are many reasons for this situation - super-stable Muslim blob (Abbasids or Seljuks depending on start date) stands between India and rest of the world (including between India and steppes/Khotan), Indians don't have good CBs to expand into Muslim world, the Muslim blob usually prefers easier targets elsewhere, and Indians can defend themselves from attacks by random Muslim dukes thanks to their ridiculous 769 era holy orders, four centuries before anyone else.

But mostly it's just geography. Even if you got alliance between someone Indian and someone on the rest of the map, getting troops is over is impossible for AI. Player can do that with some extremely contrived tactics (check all guides for Norse India for details), but even if you go to India, you'll just reverse the problem and you'll be playing in India and not interacting with rest of the world in any way. Maybe if you start in Persia you'll enjoy both maps.
This level of isolation is just bad gameplay. Now Suez Canal is not a magic solution completely fixing the India problem, but it's an easy way to at least reduce the problem somewhat.

Or even if you ignore India, it will make any gameplay in Middle East much more fun. Or you could just raid Mecca as Norse. Or expand into Silk Road as a merchant republic. So many new options which are now much more realistic thanks to the canal.


Anyway, enjoy. I'll probably release more minimods in the future, as I've done a lot of fun changes to the game (check my various AARs for details), and they just need disentangled into something publishable.

For that matter, check my other mods for CK2 and EU4 on Steam Workshop. There's already quite a few.

Feel free to include this minimod in any other mod you make, just put the credits somewhere.

No comments: