In developing this next generation, the focus is on modularity and hierarchy.
What do I mean?
Characters will be much more independent from an individual house than in the past, and much more emphasis will be upon the loyalty and fiefdom aspect. For example, a noble will have greater control over his subjects. But, it will be possible to have independent actors as well.
In the past, orders have been very structured (year x do one thing, year y do another). Most types of actions will either be real time, or capable of doing at anytime but only being revealed at results time. Only the more tactical types of orders (like military actions) will be relegated to the old structure.
Tying this all together is loosely what I call “authority.” The concept here is that any character (including the pope) can take actions through issuing a “warrant” (a one way demand) or a “bond” (an enforceable contract.)
The goal is to ultimately get the game mainly focused in the dynasty building aspect. Creating a web of relationships between players that allows for varied gameplay styles.