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Thread: Europa Universalis IV Developer diary 16 - Vive la France!

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    Studio Manager Paradox Dev Team Johan's Avatar
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    Europa Universalis IV Developer diary 16 - Vive la France!

    Welcome to the 16th development diary for Europa Universalis Iv and today we will focus on the great nation of France. Or as they are popularly known on the forum by experienced gamers: the big blue blob. France is the country that you either love to play or love to hate, because even though it starts in a somewhat weak position, more often than not, this is the power that can make a player’s life miserable once it gets its act together.

    French Possibilities

    Not that you need to be reminded where it is, but France extends from the Mediterranean Sea in the South to the English Channel and the North Sea in the North, and from the Rhine on the East to the Atlantic Ocean on the West. From its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon") and these natural borders, including the Pyrenees and Alps, both give it clear definition and a rich homeland from which to dominate Europe.

    France doesn’t open the Grand Campaign in command of these vast lands. In 1444 she is still divided, with major chunks of territory to the north and southwest controlled by the hated English, much French territory is still under the rule of vassals or petty princes, and both Brittany and Burgundy command valuable strategic property.
    Still, by 1500, a skilled player will have done as the French did and banished most of these worries away – or at least weakened them. France comes to the table with a ton of assets.

    First, its immense land size and wealth means that it will always be a major player in the land wars on the continent. Though it starts in a bit of a hole with a large military it can just sustain, before long France is rolling in money with easy access to a number of rich trade nodes. Wealth means more buildings and more soldiers, and France can be rich enough to exceed its military cap. France can move south through the Alps to Italy, cross the Pyrenees to dominate Aragon, or keep a strong iron heel in Germany to prevent anything coming at her from that direction. With a large population and many cities to draw from, reinforcements are rarely an issue.

    Second, it has three sea borders, so it can even play a strong naval game, with major fleets ready to go almost anywhere. Western ports are good home for explorers, so though it won’t get the early jump that Portugal and Spain have, France can focus on a colonial empire if its chooses to do so.

    Not to mention the fact that a naval France has a chance to eliminate England more easily than other nations since all it has to do is control the English Channel and establish a foothold.
    So, like its southern neighbor Spain, France is a land full of options for the player, enhanced by clear natural boundaries, a mostly cohesive culture and tons of manpower.

    French Dynamic Historical Events
    France has two major historical event series that delve deeply into topics that people should be familiar with if they know anything about the history of this era:

    Wars of Religion
    The rise of Protestantism in Europe led France into to a bloody three decades of civil war known as the Wars of Religion. With major noble families on both sides of the religious schism and the country crawling with unemployed mercenaries, France would not be spared the violence that was consuming Europe. Blood reigned off the battlefield as well, with The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, seeing thousands of Protestant Huguenots murdered in 1572 on the order of Catholic leaders.

    In Europa Universalis IV, the French player can experience the Wars of Religion at any point between 1550 and 1570, if less than 80% of the country has the state religion.

    You can expect the usual religious uprisings, of course, but the Wars of Religion were international in scope. As Protestantism expands through parts of Europe, leaders of Catholic nations feel threatened. In an effort to counter the growing power of Protestantism, they may choose to form La Ligue Catholique, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, directed at the eradication of Protestants in France. The League was used not only to defend the Catholic cause, but also as a political tool in an attempt to usurp the French throne. European politics is always so much fun.

    The formation of the La Ligue catholique will increase tension and neighboring powers may decide to intervene. Should your capital fall, you might even wonder if Paris is worth a Mass after all.

    The French Revolution & Napoleon
    y the late 18th century, a combination of bad harvests, rising food prices, and an inadequate transportation system hindering the shipment of bulk foods from rural areas to large population centers led to hunger and malnutrition in France’s cities. The kingdom was near bankruptcy because of France’s financial obligations, largely because of the enormous cost of previous wars and a tax system that subjects the lower classes to a heavy burden while leaving the wealth of the nobles largely untouched. Meanwhile, the royal court was isolated from, and indifferent to, the hardships of the lower classes. Other resentments and middle class aspirations were given new focus by the rise of Enlightment ideas in earlier decades. All these factors contributed greatly to the destabilization of French society and lead up to the Revolution, a Republic and, eventually, a new French monarchy founded by its greatest general.

    In Europa Universalis IV, Revolution & Napoleon can happen after 1750 if France is in poor financial shape or is suffering from high war exhaustion, and especially if demands for economic and social reforms have been turned down.

    This can cause your nation to enter a period of radical social and political upheaval in France, where the absolute monarchy that has ruled France for centuries can collapse. An epic transformation occurs, as feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges evaporate under a sustained assault from political groups, masses on the streets, and peasants in the countryside. Old ideas about tradition and hierarchy–of monarchy, aristocracy, and religious authority – can be abruptly overthrown by new Enlightenment principles of equality, citizenship and inalienable rights. Events such as The Reign of Terror or The Execution of the King might follow. And an officer by the name of Napoléon Bonaparte might just appear to take the reins.

    There are, of course, lots of other dynamic historical events, including the construction of Versailles, and the exploratory missions of Samuel de Champlain.

    French Missions & Decisions
    France’s national decisions from Europa Universalis III to enable and disable the Edict of Nantes, amongst others, have been kept intact. As with other countries that start fragmented, French missions are mainly focused on uniting the kingdom and establishing its natural borders.

    French National Ideas
    France traditional power gives them +10% extra income from their vassals, and a +15% manpower boost.
    1. French Language in All Courts: Allows relations with 2 additional countries without upkeep.
    2. Estates General: 10% bonus to tax income
    3. Elan: 33% bonus to Morale and 10% faster morale recovery.
    4. Native Trading Principle: Native attacks severely reduced
    5. Vauban Fortifications: 40% bonus to Defensiveness.
    6. The Philosophes: 10% cheaper technology.
    7. Liberty, Egalite & Fraternity: +2 tolerance to heathen and heretic religions.

    When France has all of its national ideas, they get a +10% bonus to discipline. A fully powered France is clearly a military superpower, with bonuses to almost every major land attribute. The extra tolerance of foreign faiths and reduction of native attacks means that France has unique advantages in building an overseas empire.

    Click image for larger version

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    Bonus Detail #1: Harsh Treatment
    One of the things we wanted to do with Europa Universalis IV was to have more meaningful choices, including more interaction with rebels that are not just defeating their armies in the field. We have mentioned the issue of rebel demands before, so today I'll introduce “harsh treatments”.
    In provinces with revolt risk, you now have the option to spend Military Power Points to reduce the chance of revolt for a time. This will cost 5 power per base tax point, and reduces the revolt risk by 5, including the minimum revolt risk. Think of “harsh treatment” as sending in military police or government goons to round up troublemakers before things get out of hand. It’s not a permanent solution, but if you have the Military power to spare.

    Now you can use Military, Diplomacy & Administration power, as well as using missionaries to reduce the chances of revolt, or even eliminate the source of rebels entirely.

    Bonus Detail #2: Morale recovery.
    Morale now recovers much more slowly than in early Europa Universalis games, though there are ideas that can make it recover more quickly. Running army maintenance at low levels is, of course, a severe risk in that it can now take up to a year for a depleted army to raise its morale to the maximum level. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at maintenance costs as a place to keep your budget down – just don’t expect your men to be ready as soon as they reach the front.

    Ps. And a new Europa Universalis IV Interview with King is live at GameReactor!
    Last edited by Regina; 11-01-2013 at 11:37.

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  2. #2
    Early French Revolution? Glad to see that element is not removed from EU3 despite the earlier ending date! I wonder if there will be a generic "French" Revolution event that allows any nation to eventually invade all of Europe as a Revolutionary Empire.

    You jelly Chris?
    Last edited by Fredmonroe; 12-01-2013 at 06:25.

  3. #3
    Professional Kangaroo Boxer The-King's Avatar
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    Love to hear that France has the potential to have a strong naval game.

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    Banned Iwanow's Avatar
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    Well. french language in all courts, should be late idea, because at XV century, latin was the most popular language at all courts. so

  6. #6
    Really like the way envoys have names, and are much more personal than just a number (something I thought they might become until I noticed this recently) this will also help narrative AARs as key figures within government are already named and ready to be written about. I like the changes to Morale recovery however i'm a little concerned that it might make it very easy to have an army wiped rather than just retreat, but then it also means the army your fighting has slower morale regeneration so it might not be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanow View Post
    Well. french language in all courts, should be late idea, because at XV century, latin was the most popular language at all courts. so
    Latin and French, but it also makes a degree of sense because you have to (atleast early game) have to maintain all your relations with your 'petty princes' and I'm 100% sure the french dukes would speak French. So just imagine those extra diplomatic relations early game are to make it easier to talk to your dukes but then late game the French language spreads more and is spoken in more court courts. That's at least how I determine it in my head.

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    Banned Iwanow's Avatar
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    I suppose the diplomatic relations upkeep means for vassals, PU's and allies... Which does make france quite OP, with 2 additional aliances or vassals, or PU's, or something else. Anyway historicaly it does make little sense, france in XV century, was not centre of all affairs in europe.

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    Will the League of Public Weal be represented in any way?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_the_Public_Weal

    Aristocratic reaction to the continued centralization of France during and after the Hundred Years War. Several of the vassals revolted, with the Burgundians secretly behind the rudder of the League. Part of the Burgundy's demise in 1477. Perhaps have it as an event where under certain conditions (France keeps centralizing, annexing vassals, etc.) the French vassals can become free, but if they lose they become vassals again and if Burgundy is involved, it would be severely weakened helping its demise. Would be a nice speedbump for France on the way to becoming the Hexagon.

  9. #9
    Plotter who lurks among you Checco's Avatar
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    Nice DD !
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    1. With England having 5(?) provinces on the continent in 1444, is there any chance they can hold these against France? In the screenshot I already see a 30k doomstack of France. It was always a no brainer playing England to get rid of these lands e.g. by selling them and go for an isolation policy.

    2. Can the War of Religion happen as well when France has protestant or reformed state religion? What if they conquered 20% muslim territory?

    3. I really hope the revolution is a more generic event and not specific to France. The triggers were so narrow, I have never seen it happen in a grand campaign game. Take the chance to spice up the late game, in the 18th century players usually achieved their aims long ago and want a new challenge.

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    Sounds really great! I still have never been France (the eternal enemy!) in EU3, but EUIV France tempts me (I may even conquer England! Or work with them to carve Europe between us). The morale changes seem much better. However one concern I have is it may favour the attacker.

    Example: I am Austria and have been waiting for build up and attack France. France has a massive army but doesn't keep upkeep at maximum so money isn't a big problem. I could then put my maintenance up to maximum and wait. At 100% morale I attack and blitz France. They won't have time for their troops to be ready and may lose because of that.

    I would like a pop or some kind of notification that if a rival/near power raises their maintenance of their troops while out of war. That way I see the when my rivals gets ready for war and can respond. Could also lead to misunderstandings. Ie if France gets ready to attack England, Austria may learn about France's efforts. It may think that it is Austria who will be attacked and want to draw first blood. Just an idea welcome to constructive criticism.


    P.S. I really like the solid borders over the checked style.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwanow View Post
    Well. french language in all courts, should be late idea, because at XV century, latin was the most popular language at all courts. so
    It's also for game reasons, so France can afford having so many vasalls at game start.

  13. #13
    I'd love to see gigantic Wars of Religion, AGCEEP-style. It was so lovely to fight against French Catholics and French Protestants in bloody long wars. I think a Rome-style rebel system would really shine in this case

    Another great feature would be to separate state and ruler religions, it'd make the Wars of Religion more interesting, and turn 16th-17th century England MUCH MORE impactful. Your Catholic ruler died and has a Protestant heir? Good luck, fella.
    Will our empire borders hold?

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    Yes! The borders have changed finally. I like this new design much better. The Civ5-style borders made the map a whole lot harder to read.

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    Sergeant Skefrep's Avatar
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    Well, according to what I've read, France will still be an interesting choice to play in EU IV. But I've seen the same mistakes on the map.

    There's still a big problem with your Poitou :


    And why do you always want to put Vendée in Britanny ? Even if I like bretons, we've never been a part of their duchy, our borders are nearly what was Lower Poitou.

  16. #16
    1. Is there any chance we see the Franco-Ottoman alliance this time? In EU3 it was practically impossible to form as either nation while in reality it was established as early as 1536 and lasted for almost the whole game...

    2. Will a revolutionary France be more aggressive than in EU3? It never came close to the expansion it historically achieved - mostly because it didn't try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antiscamp View Post
    Yes! The borders have changed finally. I like this new design much better. The Civ5-style borders made the map a whole lot harder to read.
    I like everything about this DD, but the boarder change I'm not so sure about. Don't have the same good atmosphere of the older striped boarders it seems. They looked more old fashioned in a way, made me feel good. Might be more practical though....

  18. #18
    Pan Celticist Demi Moderator RedRalphWiggum's Avatar

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    Hm, I've got to admit, this seems like it could make France a little overpowered. Having said that, it's only speculation and means nothing til I've actually played the game.

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    France being describes as an hexagone is 99% a 20th century thing. First passing mention of it in the 19th century, true, but the "hexagone" thing was a pejorative word to describe France after it had lost its colonies (along with the "the smallest France" denomination for instance). Now it is not pejorative anymore, of course.
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    I'm glad to see King say that people expect quality in Paradox releases. Never again do I want to see something like EU3 4.0 with the change country tag bug (like forming Prussia) or 5.0 (the 1 GB savegames). Never again.
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