I'm enjoying very much the improvements in the Ancestral update - the better graphics are amazing, I'm enjoying the more active AI and the culture-specific abilities for characters and it's fun to build my ruling family in the family tree, trying out the new intrigues.
I'm concerned about the effect of the family tree on the politics system. It doesn't seem difficult to acquire a large ruling family. Keep marrying family members when they come of age (giving them the first, free, promotion if they need a gravitas boost to marry), hire new members of the ruling party (then adopt them and marry them off) and your family tree keeps growing. This provides a plentiful supply of free generals and admirals who contribute their gravitas to the Influence of my ruling party.
In patch 19, if my generals were killed in battle or if I recruited several new armies quickly, I'd often need to hire generals from rival parties. Their gravitas would contribute to their party's influence. With more rival party members as generals, there was a bigger risk that a rival party leader would be killed in battle - a likely cause of secession. I liked that, for me it added to the challenge of the game.
With Ancestral, when the player has a big family in their ruling party, it's expensive to hire generals from a rival party and free to hire ruling family members. My generals and admirals are almost all from my ruling party and there doesn't seem to be a downside to this (I imagine that a rival party would be less loyal if their members were rarely appointed to senior roles in the army and navy). My faction gets bonuses from very high influence and there's no risk of civil war.
I wonder if other players agree that this is a problem. Maybe there are already constraints to having a large family which I've missed (of course, a large means tends to mean more political actions which themselves reduce the loyalty of rival parties, but this doesn't seem to be significant issue so far.) Of course, it's easier to identify a problem than suggest a solution. Perhaps there could be -2 to rival party loyalty each time we appoint a ruling party member as a general or admiral? Maybe there could be an increased risk of a new rival party emerging, if the player's family free expanded beyond a certain size? Other players might think of better ideas, if you see this as a problem.