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12.09.12, 19:41
Hello again folks, it's time for another dev diary on Legacy of Rome! Today, I'll talk about the new Faction system as well as the changes we have made to Plots and Ambitions. Like I mentioned last Wednesday, Factions are part of patch 1.07 and will be available to everyone free of charge.

Factions are, essentially, a kind of Plot; a Faction has a leader, a number of members, and a clear goal (for example, to Lower Crown Authority in the Kingdom of England). However, there are some key differences: Factions always target the liege, and they are always known to the liege as well as the other vassals. A vassal can lead up to two Factions, but be a member in any number of other factions, unless their goals are contradictory. If a faction leader dies, the most powerful remaining faction member automatically takes over as leader. When the leader thinks the Faction is powerful enough, he can issue an ultimatum to his liege. The liege can then either give in to the demands peacefully or refuse, which triggers a Civil War where all faction members revolt together in an alliance.


Currently, we have the following Factions:

Succession by Primogeniture in [Title] (used to be a Plot)
Succession by Seniority in [Title] (used to be a Plot)
Succession by Gavelkind in [Title] (used to be a Plot)
Elective Monarchy in [Title] (used to be a Plot)
Lower Crown Authority in [Title] (used to be a Plot)
Install [Claimant] in [Title]

The last two are of special interest, since they really change the dynamics of the game. AI vassals will no longer just declare wars for Independence, or revolt to install themselves on the throne. Instead, they will seek to gain enough support before daring to take such drastic measures. I.e. all members in an Independence faction will declare war together, and the war score will be determined by their mutual efforts. If they are lucky, other vassals can also ask to join them while the war is ongoing. We are considering adding some more factions, but the more we add, the trickier it is to get the balance right and the AI to pick the ones that make most sense. Factions are, of course, fully moddable, like Plots.


As a liege, there are several things you can do to suppress Factions: you can make the members like you more (of course), you can imprison or kill the members, and you can send your Spymaster to Scheme in a faction member's province, which can lead to events where the vassal is blackmailed, threatened or cajoled into desisting.

As a vassal, it is dangerous to be in Factions because the liege will not be pleased by your disloyal politicking. If you are not the leader, you can also find yourself dragged into an inopportune uprising when the Faction leader so decides. You can get other vassals to join your Faction in the same way the liege can suppress it; you can make them like you better, or send your Spymaster to "convince" them.

You can start, join, or leave Factions at any time without cooldowns or penalties; it's essentially just a declaration of support for a goal.

That's it for Factions. Another change in patch 1.07 is the separation of Plots and Ambitions in the interface. Characters are now allowed to have both a Plot and an Ambition. Plots are still mainly handled in the Intrigue View, but Ambitions, being personal, are now only selected in the main Character View; and there are more of them. We have added Ambitions for improving each of your basic skills (Diplomacy, Martial, etc), as well as one for decreasing the Decadence of your dynasty. While you have the Ambition, there is chance that various related events will trigger.


I should probably mention that, since they change the core gameplay, all of these features are available for all characters and not just the Byzantine Empire. That's it for now, stay tuned for more tidbits next Wednesday!