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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Xetfield

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You create developer logs too small. I didn't see any content this week. If you continue this way, the patch will come to 2020. I understood that. And it seems to be planned this way. In short, you save time by dividing a small amount of content a lot. I don't like this in general. If there was no content, the development log might not be available this week.

They already confirmed DLC in 2020 in order to be less rushed and more polished.
 

brantodb01

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I absolutely welcome the change from one time boosts to ongoing bonuses! However it seems you didn't change it completely, since the "Grant Monopoly on Textiles" privilege still offers two one time bonuses. Couldn't you limit it to ongoimg benefits without exceptions like these? That would make the system more homogeneous and prevent new types of "click this button every ten years".

mercantilism doesn't decay and so you build up/ reduce to match your play style, over the course of the game. So it's less a one time benefit and more a quick boost to a stat that will give you bonuses over the entire game. And I'm assuming it'll be the same for loyalty
 

ruzen

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Yes, the estate mechanic was one of the most tiresome things when you are focusing on your country. You have to check these map modes in order to put them into correct places: area, trade, simple terrain, grade goods, manpower map modes. Not to mention you have to think much more which I don't want to even mention since we finally getting rid of it.

Having said that.

Crown lands.

I know it's a new thing but how does the game calculate your lands? Does it count all cored provinces? or do we have to dedicate provinces in order to affect the total percentage? Another thing about this mechanic. Estates was a good mechanic in theory but the execution was wrong! So, when an area filled with amirs and rebel it needed to be a local problem. The global modifiers were too arbitrary. Global modifiers were one of the core problems; just because you couldn't control a certain group they are now causing worldwide problems or bonuses.

Having looked at the unfinished screens looks like once again they give a bunch of global modifiers. Which will turn them into clickable buttons in every X years! I'm not saying it will be a bad design but it shouldn't lose all the gameplay features it offered locally.
 

fr-rein

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one of the first things we did with Estates is completely remove their relationship with individual provinces
The death of direct province ties gives birth to a new concept in EUIV, that of Crown Land.

This is the single best change in EU4 in a while.
I have a few questions:
  • Any idea how it will work with "regional" estates like Cossacks?
  • Will you be able to reduce overextension by giving away Crown Land to nobles, redelegating control to them?
  • Will maximum cap of Crown land % or absolute amount of it held by non-estates (aka directly) be limited by administrative effectiveness or government reforms?
  • Will estates now develop land more actively in attempts to stay relevant in state?
Hope to see more plans on estates :)
 

zweihander

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What I would like to see is more interaction between different game systems, like between the Estates system and the Government (Reform) system. For example maybe choosing more constitutional government type/reform should limit the percentage of direct control over Crown Land.
 

Van Kasten

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@DDRJake I have four questions:
1) can Estates demand privileges when the Crown is weak?

2) when the game starts will there be any granted privileges to simbolyze the power of e.g. the nobles?

3) will there be different privileges based on culture and religion (or nation)?

4) how this mechanic will influence Disasters and Civil Wars un particular?
 

Huldunguldlu

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What effects will it have if estates hold a lot of your crown lands? Will this result in high base autonomy or something? Or will you loose money or manpower? And how does this new mechanic tie to influence, does influence still have nation wide modifiers so it has atleast some advantages to grant estates high influence?
 

PhoenixG

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Well I hope it's part of the free patch, or at least the base is. Else they just created an illusion that they make the old estates free just to let us pay for the new one. Which is a real bad one (as in money grabbing)
 

SPAMbuca

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is there any reason to have unassigned crown land before absolutism?

This

Also, I'm mostly concerned about this line:
  • Give +5 Unrest to random provinces up until you equivalent development the estates hold.
Which means according to a reliable source:
It gives +5 unrest, proportional to estate-held crown land. If Estates hold 80% of the crown land, then you eat +4 unrest.

I am not looking forward to have rebels spawn on random islands. How many provinces will it affect? If you have a global empire up to 500 provinces or more, how many provinces will be hit with the additional unrest? A set number or percentage? It will get even worse if you take that interaction multiple times. I assume the extra unrest from estates can't hit the same province already affected by the modifier.

It does however look like humanist will become even more vital because of this. Both humanist and quantity seem to be a must for each playthrough next patch.
 

DamonIsa

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Here's kind of a dumb question...

Normally if I run a Custom Nation, because it's Custom there's absolutely no provinces started in Estate Control, contrary to most nation starts that are bigger than one province. How will that impact the Crown Land sort of system? Does this mean that Custom Nations (and I suppose OPMs and a couple of off examples like Cherokee in the New World) will start with 100% Crown Land?

Is it going to be possible (or start off that way) for OPMs to have Crown Land given away, and for Custom Nations will there be a way to rejigger the Crown Land percentages on spawn before the game starts?

Unrelated Issues: Right now Absolutism is far too powerful and useful in game. There's no reason to want to reduce it ever as it's a strictly "more is better" to the point where things that cap out Absolutism with a penalty (like English Constitutional Monarchy) is seen as an unacceptable state. Considering quite a few of those example features had reduction of Absolutism is there going to be a reconsideration of Absolutism mechanics?

I for one would like to see something done with it kind of akin in spirit to the Army Professionalism line. Where there's good reason to max out, and also potentially good reason to minimum it (for the Merc bonuses). No idea if that's something you can't talk about, but it'd be a welcome consideration and would make some of those Short Term Bonuses trading Absolutism Cap less terrible seeming.
 

Malario

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First of all I love this change, it seems a great step forward from removing the mandatory estate allocation which was indeed a massive pain, or even the headache that was starting estate allocation. (Why are you in my trading city nobility?) Also this seems to be a very flexible and easy to grasp solution, because though I can see the influence being a percentage between 0-100 having it all be in a pie chart is just...neater.

I am going to echo what some others have said here in that I would love to know what the advantages of Crown Land are. In the game at the moment having a land not be in a estate means the autonomy cap is lower which is just good news. So Im wondering if the increase in crown lands would see a scaling bonus to: Land force limit (the move from bastard feudalism to standing armies), national tax rate (Lets seize that monastery real quick) absolution gain/cap (since the feel seems to be kill the estates for that bonus) stability modifier (Im just going to assume countries with less powerful factions are more stable). Of course these might all be way off the mark and it might instead be something like crown authority ties to autonomy minimum and everyone becomes old ming with 50% autonomy, which tbh I wouldn't mind.

I am also interested in the disasters as it seems that it will be a lot harder for an estate to achieve total control, if only because the influence seems to get divided up between estates. I imagine the trigger will be a value such as 50% or 80% Of course what this disaster will now be is unclear and I would love to know. I also agree with an above comment and would like to know how the Government Reforms now work, Nobles of the Robe or Administrative Clergy spring to mind. Those reforms now seem to be covered by estate interactions (which I love btw) so perhaps creating some new reforms which are more area specific?

As a personal want I would love the ability to interact with other nations estates or absorb estates when you conquer land. Perhaps have a situation where you can mitigate the inevitable rebels that pop up by giving concessions to the local nobility. Also inter country estate interactions would allow funky stuff like: The foreign shenanigans in Poland and Sweden when they had very powerful parliaments, the English (and I am sure many other cases) offering the crown to a foreigner, or the British Raj using the local nobility to assume control. It would be probably be too broken and open to abuse and I know that most of what I just mentioned is covered by events but with the rework of events I think it would allow a certain conflict that is missing at the moment.
 

Me_

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What will be the new use of the former estate space in the province view?
 

Caligula Caesar

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Well I hope it's part of the free patch, or at least the base is. Else they just created an illusion that they make the old estates free just to let us pay for the new one. Which is a real bad one (as in money grabbing)

Almost everything you have seen here is free. Some of the privileges are paid content, but they are a minority.

3) will there be different privileges based on culture and religion (or nation)?

Of course.

4) how this mechanic will influence Disasters and Civil Wars in particular?

We have some very funky stuff for making sure that spawned estate countries use the right provinces - e.g. see the current Brahmins version here:
Code:
    #For each province bordering another country, the neighboring provinces with the highest weights are added, until (share of land ownership * total development) is reached. From all these tries (It will do 32 of the highest weight border provinces at most), the result with the highest total sum of weights is then selected and these provinces then become the new country.
    province_independence_weight = {
        factor = 1
        modifier = {
            factor = 0.1
            NOT = { religion_group = dharmic }
        }
        modifier = {
            factor = 2
            religion = hinduism
        }
        modifier = {
            factor = 2
            OR = {
                has_province_modifier = brahmins_alienating_merchants
                has_province_modifier = brahmin_orthodoxy_enforced
                has_province_modifier = brahmin_fort
            }
        }
        modifier = {
            factor = 0.5
            NOT = { is_state_core = owner }
        }
    }