This Week: Still Crusaderin’, Old Gods Style

Despite all my best intentions, I’m still playing Crusader Kings 2. I went on vacation for three weeks, and it really helped to get away from my computer for a while. But the whole time I was looking forward to playing again. What’s more, I bought The Old Gods when it was on Steam Sale, so when I got back, I could finally experiment with the new game mechanics and teach those arrogant Christians a lesson!

So far, Old Gods is amazing. I love the mechanics: You get to conquer other rulers, invade countries and even subjugate entire nations without any reason other than “because we can”. All the easy conquering is balanced out with the Gavelkind succession rule. As a Pagan ruler, you cannot change that, so you’ll either have to make sure you assassinate all male children but one, or live with the consequences of losing a lot of titles as quickly as you’ve gained them. Other than that, though, playing Pagan seems easier to me than playing Christian rulers before.

The other ideas in Old Gods are really neat, too. The Viking’s Blot replaces the Great Feast, and it is a great way to gain Piety and Prestige. All you need to do is sacrifice your prisoners to the Allfather Odin. Yeah, Pagans don’t play around. Where is your blessed virgin now?! For a neat little prestige kick, you can also raise a runestone, either for yourself or your forefathers.

Medieval cruelty seems to be the theme of Old Gods. There is the option, for example, to take concubines. Either you choose them from your court, or ask some other ruler nicely if you can borrow one of theirs. Ahem. Or.. you can imprison the wife of your worst enemy in war and then make her your concubine, because what is she gonna do about it. The game almost taunts you with these possibilities. It’s like you have to do it, simply because you can. There is a great deal of role-playing potential in these simple mechanics – is your ruler the nice type, to withstand temptation? Or does he wildly give in to them?

Joining the Varangian Guard is a prestigious journey for young Norse. When my first son came back with such great success, his brother wanted to do the same and left one year later. However, he must have acquitted himself rather poorly. He returned in shame, castrated and blinded. I totally freaked out, and no doubt his wife did too, after she had waited for him all these years. Old Gods, man. Pretty gruesome… but awesome!

Sometimes A lot of the times, in Crusader Kings 2, funny things happen. In our Old Gods Multiplayer, Scotland suddenly turned into a Republic! As far as I could tell, the Queen was fighting the rebellion of one of her dukes; and for some reason, her capital city was in one of the rebelling counties. Which turned her into a Prince Mayor. Okay, I really don’t get it, but after the war was over, Scotland remained a Republic, and has been ever since. They’re electing their rulers now and all wear fancy Venetian clothing. ^^

On another note, I have at least dropped Crusader Kings 2 long enough to peek into Guild Wars 2 again. I know I’ve been a bad player these last few months; I hardly participated in any of the Living Story events. I really, really appreciate what ArenaNet is doing! But unfortunately, me and my little group aren’t even through the main storyline yet! Yes, I’ve admitted it now, we’re SLOW. But I still love the game and plan to get back to it the coming week. I got tons of achievement chests as well, with cool weapon skins, and there’s this new wallet which is ingenious… so there are many cool things to come back to. See you next week!

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