EU4 - Development Diary - 13th of August 2019

Good day all, Tuesday is here once again as it often is, so let's dive into another Dev Diary for the upcoming European Update. Last week we were all about how you can project your power externally, so this week let's look more internally, with focus on Estates.

Back in April we had a dev diary which was largely an expunge of thoughts on the Estates feature, where it's been and we still want to take it. Let's get a recap on our thoughts from then:

Firstly, the busywork element of Estates should be removed, or at the very least reduced. our Grand Strategy games are about creating , without sounding too pretentious, intellectually stimulating experiences, and the current methods of interacting with your Estates are not up to par with this.

Additionally, the actions done through the estates should be more impactful. I've said it quite a few times before, but I'll say it again, when a Diet is called, perhaps there should be...a Diet? Impactful is an easy word to throw around with various different meanings being drawn from it, but in Estates' cases, the existing interactions often make little change worth noting outside of their influence and loyalty, which has limited meaningful effect on your nation until hitting crisis point where they can seize control of your nation through disaster.

On another note, making the Estate UI more accessible would be a boon. Currently, much of the hands-on actions are somewhat buried as menus within menu

Over the past few months we've been pondering how we can make such aspirations a reality, and today we'll share where we are with that.

As mentioned last week, and will continue to be mentioned, any numbers seen and especially interfaces seen, are not in their final form

13th DD no Estates.jpg


As teased earlier, one of the first things we did with Estates is completely remove their relationship with individual provinces. This interaction with estates was always micro intensive, deeply confusing for new players, caused a lot of issues with 1444 setup for many nations (Nobles eating all my gold provinces) and scaled fairly terribly into the late game. It was not without its charms: assigning individual estates to individual provinces could have a nice internal management feel, but it was not an action that lent itself well to the expansion loop of the game. It was hard to feel excited about the estate allocation to your newest 20 provinces, while a tall player would have little interaction to be done throughout the entire game.

The death of direct province ties gives birth to a new concept in EUIV, that of Crown Land. Every nation with Estates has their Crown Land to manage. Much like how previously Estates started with a share of provinces, now they own a certain percentage of Crown Land. There is 100% of Crown Land which is divided between the various Estates, and the nation's own full control.

13th DD French Crown Land.jpg

Pie-chart, coder art flavour. The French have yet to reign in their nobles

Estates' portion of Crown Land will heavily affect their influence, as well as many of the interactions you have with them. Conversely, your nation's control over Crown Land is of grave importance: If you want to be a strong, absolutist state heaving into the Age of Absolutism, you'll want to wrestle control away from your estates, and giving up all of your crown land will have negative effects of your control over the nation.

You have many avenues of influence over Crown Land. Firstly, there are three direct interactions available in the Estate Screen.

  • Sale of Titles
    • Sell 5% Crown Land to the Estates based on Influence for 1 Year of Income
    • +5% All Estate Loyalty
  • Seize Land
    • Gain 3% Crown Lands, estates loses based on their influence
    • -10% All Estate Loyalty
    • Give +5 Unrest to random provinces up until you equivalent development the estates hold.
    • Spawn rebels fitting for the most influential estate type.
  • Summon the Diet
    • [REDACTED]
    • [REDACTED]
    • [REDACTED]
Additionally, developing your lands directly will increase your direct share of Crown Land, while acquiring new provinces will boost your Estates' share, based on their current influence. Highly influential estates will see it as their right to enjoy the lion's share of new lands.

Another big change happening here are with the interactions one has with the estates. I'll refer to an excellent post from the aforementioned dev diary.

So here are my thoughts on Estates: atm they are unnecessary button clicks that u can do every 20 tears to get free monarch points, also as some governments (like hordes) the best play is to just remove them entirely. I think they should be a lot more impactful, once your nation get's bigger, since they were what helped kings keep big empires together in Europe.

We don't want Estates to be the monarch point and advisor generating buttons that you hammer every couple decades, but in reality, it's how a lot of people use it. Heck, it's how I use it, so what's to be done here?

We actually turned this into a guiding principal of designing the Estate screen and their interactions. We were not to have any interactions which the user would return there on a regular pulse to repeat. As such, all old Estate interactions have been removed, and we have instead introduced a system of Estate Privileges

13th DD Noble Priv.jpg


13th DD Burghers Priv.jpg


Once again, all numbers and Interfaces are far from complete. You won't be seeing a screen full of ??? on release (well, I certainly hope not)

Rather than actions with cooldowns that you demand or bestow your Estates as before, these Privileges are meaty interactions that you can choose to take with your estates. They will impact on their Influence/Loyalty/Crown Land Share and come with a variety of effects, often wide reaching, long lasting and more often than not, impacting on your maximum absolutism. When the age of Absolutism comes around, you may well consider revoking these Privileges to gain absolute control over the state (Although if your ambitions are Revolutionary, you may have other plans...)

Each Estate type have their own Privileges and many of the old functions of estates are accounted for. The nobility, for example, can give you added military power per month if you're willing to guarantee them precious crown land, while the Rajputs will enable the direct recruitment of Rajput Regiments, in exchange for permanently increased influence. While such Privileges can be revoked, much like seizing the crown land away from them, you will invoke their ire, and should be done when you have either sufficiently appeased the estates through other means, or are ready to deal with their rebellions.

We'll certainly be back to talk more about these Estate changes as development on the upcoming European Update continues. As ever, questions and comments are welcome in this thread, and next week we'll go on to talk about another sizeable change of a more Ecumenical variety.

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MadLane

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Estate changes is awesome, but one thing i think Paradox forgot is to improve the AI in developing provinces, this is at the time 100% broken, if you even play normal and use the console to give 1000 of each power to an AI nation they will not use it to dev provinces, it will just stay there maxed out.

As someone that play a lot more single player and not much if at all multiplayer, having AI improvements would be the best thing i could ask for.
 

holyvigil

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Estate changes is awesome, but one thing i think Paradox forgot is to improve the AI in developing provinces, this is at the time 100% broken, if you even play normal and use the console to give 1000 of each power to an AI nation they will not use it to dev provinces, it will just stay there maxed out.

As someone that play a lot more single player and not much if at all multiplayer, having AI improvements would be the best thing i could ask for.

They don't do this intentionally.

I can answer why as well. The nation's do develop their countries but it is capped so that WC does not get out of hand, nations are not able to push institutions, and so that certain areas like Germany do not have a disproportionate amount of development.
 

Blackwhitecavias

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2) If i am conquering new provinces how will the % be calculated for assigning newly acquired provinces be made, if i own (the crown owns) 95% of all land and 3%, 2% &1 % is split between estates, i am the most powerful surely i should get 95% of the newly conquered land?.....not the 3% "most powerful" estate should get X% (>3%)... just because - or if so how is this weighted?.

..And yes i like to be expansionist...early...so am trying to work out how or if this will quickly stop expansion....

i.e if the estates ALWAYS get a higher % of conquered land than you regardless of their % share of land vs you (see above), then it is an additional thing to manage/slow down conquest.

Because the more you conquer, faster, the more power you give your estates (if its weighted against you).
BR,

I am of the opinion that it is realistic that the estates get more of the new lands than you. When you conquer land this land will still have the previous estates ruling it (which are merged with your own in game so your own estates get more power, but irl they would form a different faction of nobles/clergy/burghers which was already in place), taking over a country shouldn't result in you just taking away lands from present estates without facing the penalties (if you want the estate share of lands to go down you have to take the penalty)
 

TheDarkMaster

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I am of the opinion that it is realistic that the estates get more of the new lands than you. When you conquer land this land will still have the previous estates ruling it (which are merged with your own in game so your own estates get more power, but irl they would form a different faction of nobles/clergy/burghers which was already in place), taking over a country shouldn't result in you just taking away lands from present estates without facing the penalties (if you want the estate share of lands to go down you have to take the penalty)
The big thing I'd like is if I had the choice. Maybe I want to take the extra separatism, stability loss, and administrative inefficiency to take the land for myself. I could also choose to leave the existing administration in place for a smoother transition, but less control and a potentially problematic power block down the line (inability to convert religion/culture and the locals might demand extra rights/privileges). Maybe I want to favor a specific minor estate to give them more power in the land share. Or I can just let my estates divvy up the land for a mix of both at the risk of making my estates too powerful while also making them and my armies happier.
 

mechanical_Critter

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I am of the opinion that it is realistic that the estates get more of the new lands than you. When you conquer land this land will still have the previous estates ruling it (which are merged with your own in game so your own estates get more power, but irl they would form a different faction of nobles/clergy/burghers which was already in place), taking over a country shouldn't result in you just taking away lands from present estates without facing the penalties (if you want the estate share of lands to go down you have to take the penalty)

You say 'it is realistic', so I'm expecting an argumentation over past events, but I'm left a bit dry here, lol. Absolutists regimes didn't took too kindly to the nobility or otherwise estates of those they conquered, they would be in fact a strong argument to put these into crown lands straight away (disregarding the proportion of estate lands altogether).
But your argument is for balance purposes, I guess? And that stinks, if you do that it's just once again equalizing good play with poor play for no reason. Either way I don't think it'd be satisfactory.
 

DamonIsa

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Though in the reasoning side of it there is a particular point of interest I could see in the kind of behind the scenes political BSing to explain it.

Typically (at least in my studies of history) it's not the ruler of a nation who is necessarily pushing for war (A few notable examples who are infamous asshats in history like Napoleon aside). Usually it comes from political blocks within the government itself. Border nobles who want to expand their territory or neutralize some foreign rival for local resources. Clergy who are looking to expand their diocese or shape policy in general, merchant concerns with trade interests, etc. Power blocks pushing for conflict that ultimately cannot just be ignored.

Be it Crusades of various kinds, wars in Italy, conflicts between colonial powers over the wealth flowing across the oceans, etc.

At least, my loose memory of such things. Which does suggest Estates pushing wars (It would actually be kind of interesting to see Estates do that in system. Estates able to take an action to justify a war/fabricate claims like Nobles for Bordering Provinces, Burghurs for Centers of Trade in regions you have trade power, Clergy for provinces with other faiths... I dunno... I could see the potential and it wouldn't make me cringe), and through pushing it, expecting proper spoils for their efforts.

But that's just spitball BSing on my part, and trying to potentially tie an interesting mechanic to it (Similar to how Deus Vult will let you pick your moment against nations when they're weak through the Religious War Casus Belli, getting your Estate to set up a war immediately, for a price). Well... interesting to me at least. Sometimes something so monumentally dumb you couldn't predict it would come to pass and you need to strike now, not in a year from now when you can fabricate a claim, etc. And an interesting balance point against the No CB hits.
 

Xdevo

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Existing privileges were typically something negotiated for by the conquered party, not something automatically given when lands were conquered. Usually the nobility of the conquered state were also the military leaders and major supports of the previous warring state prior to its annexation, giving them back all of their land was not all that common, unless they specifically gave up a lot of their rights in exchange, or were in open revolt with their previous liege in support of the new ruler. Clergy should only be maintained if the land was same religion when it was conquered. Burghers are the only group that realistically could be said to have said to continue rule after conquest of heathen land, and they still typically had to request rights, usually during a siege of their cities.

States were typically at their most stable while they were actively growing, in large part due to the fact that conquered lands could be given to the elite of the nation. The rulers didn't have to deal with greedy nobles demanding an ever increasing share of the pie if they could just increase the overall size of the pie. Its not until an expanding empire is stopped do the internal issues eventually creep into play, at least for the most part.
 

Tanh

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Since Jake stressed the developers intent of reducing the number of clicks this week again,
We don't want Estates to be the monarch point and advisor generating buttons that you hammer every couple decades, but in reality, it's how a lot of people use it. Heck, it's how I use it, so what's to be done here?
I am wondering if the developers are planning to work on reducing the number of clicks from other sources as well?
For me the three largest sources of click fatigue are the following:
  1. Vassal interactions
    In particular handing provinces away to subjects is absurdly click-heavy. If we could have that as an option in the macro builder and we simply were allowed to click on provinces on the map, I would be thrilled. You could use the same system to make transfering occupations easier.
  2. Religious conversions
    If you want to spend your resources well, having to pause the game and essentially click on every province you want to convert individually is a nuisance. If there was a way to automate that (with some additional options like "only convert cores", "local missionary strength is >= 2%", "missionary cost per month lower than 5 ducats", etc.) it would be great.
  3. Selecting individual provinces in a peace deal
    In the late game, selecting individual provinces is tiring. I would like to see an option that allows us to demand entire areas (as you can in Imperator: Rome) and a full annexation button.
Are any more quality of life changes that reduce click fatigue planned or even some changes to the three interaction types above?
 

dynalon

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  1. Vassal interactions
    In particular handing provinces away to subjects is absurdly click-heavy. If we could have that as an option in the macro builder and we simply were allowed to click on provinces on the map, I would be thrilled. You could use the same system to make transfering occupations easier.
  2. Religious conversions
    If you want to spend your resources well, having to pause the game and essentially click on every province you want to convert individually is a nuisance. If there was a way to automate that (with some additional options like "only convert cores", "local missionary strength is >= 2%", "missionary cost per month lower than 5 ducats", etc.) it would be great.
  3. Selecting individual provinces in a peace deal
    In the late game, selecting individual provinces is tiring. I would like to see an option that allows us to demand entire areas (as you can in Imperator: Rome) and a full annexation button.
Complete agreement; those are probably the most cumbersome parts of the UI to deal with.

WRT peace deals: I have been thinking that a drop-down menu "cede province to..." in the peace deal interface might be a possible improvement, as well. Allow the war leader to first select the recipient and then use the already implemented interface to assign them any province that the war leader, the recipient itself, or nobody occupies to said recipient. That way, you only really need to transfer occupations if you're a secondary participant and explicitly want to allow the war leader to decide who to give the province to, while still having the ability to block anyone (both in a joint war and a separate war) from taking a province by keeping the occupation.

A Full Annexation button is absolutly necessary not only for the clicks itself, but also to avoid the whole "check EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN PROVINCE in the list to find the one unfinished colony in the FoW" calamity everytime you annex a colonizer.

WRT conversions: This is more of a mechanical and not a UI complaint, but I'd still like to add that the current autonomy-based cost function heavily favours state-flashing every single province that you want to convert, but not fully core, even if you disregard the +1 missionary strength edict, which adds a couple more clicks per conversion and makes it necessary to work with the world map instead of the Religion tab.

A genuine UI complaint about conversion: Is it really to ask confirmation when starting to convert a province? It's not like sending a missionary has any immediate, irreversible effects.
 
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Battlex

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Estate changes is awesome, but one thing i think Paradox forgot is to improve the AI in developing provinces, this is at the time 100% broken, if you even play normal and use the console to give 1000 of each power to an AI nation they will not use it to dev provinces, it will just stay there maxed out.

As someone that play a lot more single player and not much if at all multiplayer, having AI improvements would be the best thing i could ask for.
ive totally seen development by ai, when they forgot to have dev modifiers you had really funky 30 dev native americans, and no this wasnt via the seven cities event chain
 

Battlex

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At least, my loose memory of such things. Which does suggest Estates pushing wars (It would actually be kind of interesting to see Estates do that in system. Estates able to take an action to justify a war/fabricate claims like Nobles for Bordering Provinces, Burghurs for Centers of Trade in regions you have trade power, Clergy for provinces with other faiths... I dunno... I could see the potential and it wouldn't make me cringe), and through pushing it, expecting proper spoils for their efforts.
You can get a core on a heretic neighbour that has provinces of your religion via event, and also 'burghers demand trade war' event.
 

MatRopert

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May 11, 2018
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  • Battle for Bosporus
Will Republican Factions be seeing a rework too? As it stands Republics remain arguably the worst major government type in the game.
As it stands those governments are always gaining the benefits of having 100% crown land, having no estates to share it with.
That design is not final yet, we are exploring some options but nothing we can share at the moment.