In these days of Dawkins, Dennet and Flying Spaghetti Monsters, it is sometimes hard to remember an age before there were "Brights" and everyone was dim; when there was no "Talk like a Pirate Day" because people spoke that way all year round... the long centuries when people went to church and the Church went wherever a certain arthritic - but very holy - finger pointed; the finger of that fellow in the funny hat whose current incarnation looks a lot like Emperor Palpatine. Of course, at Paradox we still remember, and in Heir to the Throne we are giving the Pontiff of Rome his due by revising the whole Curia system. While bribery and cynical manipulation of organized religions sounds like fun in theory, the Holy See was a feature that did not see much use in EU3. Thus, you can no longer bribe cardinals. Instead, every Catholic country has an amount of Papal Influence that increases the chance of getting a cardinal elected in the first place. This reduces micromanagement while still allowing players to attain control of the Papacy by choosing the right national ideas, being narrowminded, maintaining good relations with the Papal State, etc.
Speaking of unpolished features, another aspect of the game we were never quite happy with - but for much the opposite reason - is the advisor system. It lacks interactivity. That's why we added a shiny new window where you can play God by creating an advisor of a specific type out of nothing. Well, nothing plus a certain amount of army, navy or cultural tradition. Cultural tradition is a new concept intended to reward players for playing the game in a civilized manner (i.e. not throwing tantrums or reloading when things turn sour.) Like with admirals and generals, the quality of the advisor is dependent on how much tradition you have at the time. (The hopefully Great Man will then be available for hire, as normal, in the advisor view.) Also to be found in the new window is another type of decision; cultural decisions. These are mostly intended to increase your cultural tradition by patronizing the arts. (I also like to patronize the arts, but my way does not cost money...)
Hmm, I believe that will do for today; here are the requisite screenshots!