In the most recent Dev Diary, Paradox bring us an update on cultures. More specifically, a way for us to influence those cultures, without changing them entirely.
Previously, you could only add new traditions to a culture to fill out any empty tradition slots you may have. If you wanted to change anything regarding your culture, you would have to create a new one. Which begs the question. What if I want to keep the culture I already have? Or why can I not replace that one tradition to make my culture perfect?
Fret not. The cultural head has gained the ability to change, or ‘reform’ if you will, their culture in order to change it without the need to create a new culture. The cultural head cannot replace everything mind you but may change the ethos, the martial custom, and any tradition. If you want to change any of the remaining pillars you’ll have to create a new culture, either by diverging or forming a hybrid. Do note that you need to own the Royal Court expansion to reform your culture, similar to creating a culture. Even without the DLC, you can always add new traditions to fill out any empty slots.
The reasoning for what you are able to change this way is twofold. First, changing heritage or language for an existing culture felt a bit off. While a language, in reality, does evolve over time, that is something we don’t really represent in the game, which makes it weird to simply “replace” a language. And you can’t really change your heritage in the same vein as, say, a tradition.
Secondly, Paradox wanted to make sure that you still have a valid reason to create a divergent culture. The two approaches are slightly similar in functionality, but it is important that both reforming and diverging a culture serves different purposes and that the distinction between the two is clear.