I frequently find myself playing the game at regular speed and watching events unfold in the neighboring kingdoms, plotting how I could take advantage and by the time my plotting is ready (whether it is engineering a casus belli, assassinating somebody or something else) more often than not the target either changed / disappeared or some more interesting event is taking place (crusades !). Also playing in "watch mode" let's you take the time to read the bios of all the "interesting characters" and learning a lot of stuff.
A second 4-5 hour session yielded the same result.
I bought it on sale to play with my SO, and we are both avid gamers, but this was rough. I doubt we'll manage to get into it one day.
Stellaris on the other hand was a lot "simpler" to pick up.
Brilliant game, though.
It's not like HN has a mandated theme, it's just a bunch of people interested in somewhat similar stuff.
Nevertheless, CK2 is an amazing undertaking. I never really played CK2. I used to play KOEI's Nobunaga's Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Those games are focused on relatively short spans of history, and there are not nearly as many "characters" as you can play in CK2. So when I compare, between CK2 and KOEI's games, the amount of effort given in historical research, in trying to find interesting historical figures for people to play as, and in coming up with all the different game mechanics for the characters' stories, it's just unfathomable.
This sentence makes me shiver
Regardless, we don't have to speculate since the site is open-source. You can see the sorting algorithm, and a breakdown of it, here. It's just number of votes and time decay.