Final Crusader Kings 3 developer diary deeply discusses modding & AI performance

In the last developer diary before its launch, the Crusader Kings 3 team went deep into AI improvements and legacies, as well as streamlined modding in the game.


Crusader Kings 3 is only a handful of days away with the launch at the start of September. With it comes a vast new grand strategy in which kings, queens, and rulers of every other kind will engage, befriend, betray, and interact in other ways through the passage of time and generations. Crusader Kings 3 promises vast improvement in its scope, and with it comes a final developer diary before launch on two of the most important matters: ruler AI and modding.

Paradox Interactive launched the final developer diary for Crusader Kings 3 on its YouTube Channel on August 28, 2020. In this latest developer diary, the Paradox devs take a deep dive into legacies, AI, and modding in the game. Opponent AI in a strategy game can make or break the immersion it. Crusader Kings 3’s AI has been carefully balanced and developed to provide a gameplay loop in which the world’s characters truly feel like they’re sensibly alive, acting with, against, or benign of the player based on their own needs and wants. Matters like coercion, murder, subterfuge, and seduction were carefully crafted to ensure the game and its actors stand as little chance as possible of breaking.

Also, important to much of the Crusader Kings community is modding, which is heavily addressed here. Crusader Kings 3 was made from the ground up to be modular and this aspect of the game was influenced by developers that actually came from the modding scene. A massive amount of elements in Crusader Kings 3 were placed in nicely defined and organized smaller tidbits to ensure that small mods would be easier to create, as well as include in a collection, without breaking the game or calling for a ton of compatibility work. Even the user interface (UI) and graphical user interface (GUI) are written in a way that makes them far easier to adjust, learn, and play with as opposed to learning a distinct programming code to figure them out. The overall result is a game that can be tweaked on the small scale or outright overhauled with custom graphics and changes if the modder so wishes.

All of this put together makes for an overall grand strategy game that is proving to be an incredible evolution of what came before it. We’ll find out for sure when Crusader Kings 3 launches on September 1, 2020, on Steam. Stay tuned for further information and coverage, and be sure to check out our hands-on preview of Crusader Kings 3 to see our impressions of what was playable so far.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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