Paradox Interactive is priming the next major update for its superb medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings 3, and the studio is now ready to begin sharing details on some of the new features it'll bring - starting with winter.
Winter, as Paradox explains in its latest developer blog, is intended to make the world of Crusader Kings 3 an even harsher place, and will gradually blanket the world in snow - a change clearly visible on the map - as the seasons progress and temperatures plummet.
Paradox says winter will arrive in three different variants - mild, normal, and harsh, all easy to spot at a glance - and will affect all parts of the map just as you'd expect it to in the real-world. Mild and normal winters will be fairly common in central Europe and parts of southern Europe, for instance, while harsh winters are the norm in the likes of Sápmi, Mongolia, and Himalaya.
In gameplay terms, winter causes armies to lose supplies over time, with the harshest conditions proving the most costly each month, and armies will also suffer more fatal casualties during battles as the weather grows more extreme.
Paradox notes winter will also have interesting interplay with Men-at-Arms. Some, such as heavy cavalry units, will perform considerably worse in the cold, suffering hefty penalties, while others, including Tibet's Mountaineers, will get significant bonuses while fighting during winter. Players are warned to think carefully about the units they deploy when they know they'll be battling on terrain particularly susceptible to harsh weather in the winter months.
If you're curious to see - and hear - more of Crusader King 3's winter effects in action, Paradox has provided a selection of videos in its latest developer update.
Other changes coming to the game as part of its free 1.3 update include adjustments to Ireland, which will enjoy a number of new baronies. As Paradox explains, "The baronies in Ireland were a bit too large, making the emerald island have a significantly less holding density than its neighbours, England and Scotland." Similar tweaks - some increases and a few reductions - will also be made to the Italian peninsula, which should "make Italy more representative of its historical impact and more fun to play in."
Crusader Kings 3's 1.3 update will be accompanied by the game's first significant DLC drop, which Paradox is set to reveal as part of next month's Paradox Insider livestream event. It's scheduled to air on 13th March, and proceedings kick off on Twitch at 7pm UK time/11am PT.
In case you missed it, Crusader Kings 3's 1.2 update arrived in November, introducing the game's excellent Ruler Designer feature.