VIET has four main “modules” that expand the game in different ways:
- Core adds trait tweaks, many localized titles, and various minor additions and tweaks to enhance vanilla gameplay
- Traits introduces new congenital and personality traits
- Events includes a whole slew of new flavor events (that do not require the new material from the other modules)
- Immersion includes new cultures, culture-specific game mechanics, history changes, as well as other gameplay, flavor, and roleplay additions and tweaks.
There is also a Defines module, which consist of tweaks solely for the defines.lua, mainly for balance. There are also a number of music modules available - the music modules can be used with VIET or any other mod, and does not require VIET. Additionally, there are customization options and compatches to further enhance your VIET game.
You can mix and match and choose which modules you like or don’t like. You can even leave out the Core module but have all the other modules, for whatever reason. For the most vanilla-like experience, I recommend the Core and/or Events modules. For an enhanced and flavorful experience that's still similar to vanilla, add in the Traits and/or Immersion modules.
Core consists of balance tweaks and flavor changes that, on a whole, do not really affect the vanilla experience at all.
One of the major parts of VIET is tweaking the existing traits. Ever wondered why gregarious characters have a bonus while shy characters get a malus? Or why Faqih or Hafiz characters never get any bonuses for their knowledge? This mod tries to ensure that previously only negative traits (such as shy) have a positive attribute, while some of the only positive traits (such as diligent) have a malus or two - this also includes lifetstyle traits and congenital traits. Additionally, lifestyle traits are more effective as to make them more important. The result is that there won’t be any more easy choices during events (before I made my tweaks, it was very easy selecting the “best” traits during events) - so choose carefully (or, better yet, roleplay)! All in all, though, I will try to minimize removing bonuses and maluses already present in vanilla - that is, if a bonus and malus was originally in vanilla, I will not remove or even change it even if I disagree with it unless if it is absolutely necessary.
Additionally, almost all traits will now have some effect on battles. I’ve always wondered why, for instance, a gregarious general wouldn’t increase his soldiers’ morale (being able to inspire and encourage them, for example), or a gluttonous general wouldn’t slow down his army somewhat. The effects from these normal traits are considerably less than the military education traits and are barely noticeable in comparison, but in a few cases they might make a difference on the battlefield.
Another part of VIET Core is the addition of many localized titles. Ethiopian Kings are now called “Negus”; Greek Douxes rule over a “Theme”; Irish Dukes are Kings, and Irish Kings are High Kings; and so on. Some of these you might never see in a game - there are even titles for, say, Druze bishops, for instance, and a few other obscure titles here and there.
The Core component also includes minor balance and flavor tweaks designed to improve the vanilla game without really significantly changing things. Holy wars are saner, for instance, and various “endangered” groups such as the East Africans won’t be wiped out right away.
Overall, the Core component is designed to be as unintrusive as possible. It can be run without or with any of the other modules and should be compatible with many mods, including Project Balance. It is also wholly optional, and isn’t required for any of the other modules.
Traits introduces several new congenital traits and a few associated events. AI always thought it was odd that there were more negative than positive congenital traits. VIET thus introduces many new positive congenital traits such as tall and agile, and even a couple of new negative ones such as absent-minded and wrymouth. Ultimately there’s more of a balance between the number of negative and positive congenital traits. Like all other congenital traits, the new ones can be inherited, and randomly generated courtiers also have a chance of possessing them. Additionally, the chances of inheriting congenital traits in general have been slightly reduced for most congenital traits in order to prevent some parents from having a whole pack of geniuses. The new congenital traits are:
- Melodious Voice
- Powerful Voice
- Calm Voice
- Imposing (Look)
Lastly, this module also adds in the trait tweaks from VIET Core.
Like all other modules, this part is optional and does not require the core component and is fully compatible with CKII+ and Project Balance. In fact, Project Balance has already integrated VIET Traits, although my version has a few minor (and relatively inconsequential) differences.
Events adds a whole slew of flavour events. These events are designed to give a bit more variability and diversity to gameplay. Traits will play an important role in many of these events, as many events require a trait to trigger, and certain options will only appear with certain traits.
I try to release these events in groups of at least 3-10 (though sometimes more) with each update, so new events are added constantly. Each group of which will revolve around a certain theme. For instance, one group of events might focus on childhood events; others are specific to Muslim Republics; yet other might be for pregnant characters. This way, different parts of gameplay will receive more events - so you don’t have to only deal with drunk vassals every feast, for instance. Of course, this part is entirely optional, so those who don’t want their game ruined by the new additions don’t need it if they so wish.
This module is fully compatible with Project Balance and CKII+ and should also be fully compatible with almost every other mod, and does not require the other modules and can be used on its own.
Immersion, the last module, revolves around several new additions to gameplay, particularly in enhancing cultures and roleplay. New features are designed to have minimal impact on vanilla, although they are much more substantial (and interesting) than that of the previous modules.
Several new cultures are included in this module, ranging from the Nubians to the Cumbrians and the Tajik. There are also melting pot cultures, including the Sicilian, Siculo-Arabic, and Griko (Siculo-Greek) cultures. Dynasties, characters, and provinces have thus also be changed in order to accommodate these new cultures. Like all other features, I will not add tens of hundreds of playable cultures simply because - small cultures like the Cornish will not make the cut (my rule of thumb is if the culture inhabits an area of about 5-6 counties, or 2-3 duchies, or one kingdom, it can be considered for inclusion (with slightly stricter requirements for melting pot cultures)). There are also plenty of cultures that can spawn via events - Jews through the Mediterranean and Middle East, and Indians in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea, for instance.
Another important part of this module is the introduction of culture or religion-specific mechanics and tweaks. For instance, a minor change would be that Irish rulers can only choose between gavelkind and elective succession (as occurred historically). Major region-specific changes includes features such as Byzantine dukes being able to claim the imperial throne for themselves, or Turkish lords being able to conquer the ERE and establish a Turkish Empire. There are also new features for pagans, to make up for TOG's neglect for non-Norse pagans. However, once again, I do not want these changes to be so drastic; I try to keep things as close to vanilla gameplay as possible - most regions will get only a limited amount of changes and mechanics, and I will try to keep these as balanced as possible. As a general rule of thumb, I try to add nothing more substantial than Legacy of Rome.
This module will also include other minor gameplay features and additions, such as some changes to provinces and characters for historical accuracy (including new titles ranging from titular titles such as the Principality of Antioch to new republics like Brugge and Yemen), more substantial balance and flavor changes compared to the Core module, new ambitions, decisions, honorary titles, and religions, as well as other tweaks and minor additions - but, again, not too much that it overwhelms vanilla CKII. Of course, this part is entirely optional, so those who don’t want their game ruined by the new additions don’t need it if they so wish. This module has a normal version for vanilla and a Project Balance compatible version that includes a few extra elements.
Besides the main four, there are also several other, smaller modules.
Assets contains most of VIET's localization and art, and is required for all and any versions of VIET and combinations of modules (except the music modules).
Defines consists exclusively of changes to the defines.lua, and is mostly balance tweaks, though it includes a few other changes as well.
Music modules add new music to the game. Over 100+ new songs are available for download, and they are 100% compatible with ANY mod or combinations of mods (i.e. VIET is not required).
VIET includes a number of customization options to help you tweak VIET the way you want it. There are in-game customization options that can be accessed via the decisions menu, as well as out of game customization options that require you to change or edit files - this section concerns the latter.
Currently, these are the available customization options:
- Childbirth Mortality Rate: allows player to adjust the likelihood of mothers and their newborns dying when giving birth
- Jewish Khazars: Turns all Khazar characters from the 867 start onwads Jewish (instead of Tengri Pagan)
- More vanilla music: Increases the chances you'll hear vanilla music.
- Portrait Backgrounds: more portrait backgrounds
- Portrait Fix: fixes for those who do not have ALL the DLC portraits
- Portrait Options: further options for customizing portraits, such as different skin tones for Berbers (note that some options will NOT work if you don't have certain DLC portraits!)
- War and CBs: options and/or guides for tweaking wars and CBs