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.

eu4_anniversary_livestream.png
 
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Bandua_of_Gallaecia

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One thing i would like seeing changed is the National Idea unlocking timing.
Right now, as an European you can realistically finish all your national ideas by ~1550, which is very immersion breaking since the national ideas should (and attempt to) represent the historical progress of a nation from the Late Medieval Ages to the Industrial Age, yet as it stands most nations reach their supposed late-game potential in the early-mid game.

National ideas could also be a more organic way to mimic the shifting balance of power between nations than the Lucky Nations feature.
Those who peaked Early on and then declined such as the Ottomans and Spain, should have powerful ideas early on and weaker ones later on, meanwhile nations who peaked later in the game like Brittain and Prussia should get the powerful ideas later on.
But this would only work if they were still unlocking ideas up to 1750 - 1800, which is definitely not the case.

So i see 2 options, increasing the number of unlocked Group Ideas to unlock a national idea from 3 to ~5
Or/and making/synergizing with some other mechanic to unlock national ideas, so that more primitive nations have a better chance at unlocking theirs, since they unlock Group Ideas far slower (especially if you do make the requirment 5 instead of 3).
 
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Arilou

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Does Sweden finally get a Peasant's Estate?
 

Choorus

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This feels very MEIOU & Taxes-inspired, and I'm alright with this.
Well both vanilla and M&T draw on history and such privileges and lack thereof were the real granular unit of authority moving between the various groups of influence in the state. It is only logical that both vanilla and M&T reach the same conclusions at least to some degree. I would love the Communication Efficiency concept being adopted by vanilla for example.
Also some supply mechanics would be invaluable to the experience, so the conflicts start very local and only later become truly global. This issue is particularly pronounced in the multiplayer, where too often 15th century Hundred Years War sees Napoleonic-style interventions from the Ottos, Castillians, Poles, Swedes and whoever else feels like it.
 

wkscrombie

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I really like the direction you’re taking this in. I might be in the minority in that I’m going to miss interacting with the estates on an individual province level— I wanted that to matter more/make it feel more meaningful, not less— but having each control a dynamic percentage of the realm’s total influence seems far more interesting (not to mention realistic). I hope you put in plenty of ways for estates to interact with each other (say, for two to align themselves together if the third becomes too powerful) and for the crown to have options in which it aligns itself with/which support or defy royal power. Internal politics is by far the dimension of EU4 that feels most lacking to me; this seems a great foundation to build upon, making that no longer the case.

Also, again, I may be in the minority here, but I really hope that estates still do exercise some influence over individual provinces. Maybe make that a pie chart thing, too— burghers getting proportionally higher influence in cities with higher development— and give them dynamic events to reflect this, such as burghers gradually adding production development to provinces they have a high influence in or the nobility (maybe getting a heightened share of influence in provinces with grain, livestock, wine, or other agricultural bases) doing the same thing with manpower.
 

Praetorian44

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Looks a lot like a certain mod I know of ;)
 

Ixalmaris

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Sounds very MEIOU (which is good).

Will your state crown law % affect tax and production efficency?

I do like that conquered territory mostly goes to the estates. That could give blobbers an additional challenge.
 

wkscrombie

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This looks amazing - will it apply to merchant republics? Always felt a bit hamstrung with the guilds/aristocrats and traders... So little interactivity and meagre bonuses. Basically just ignore it unless one group gets too much influence. Can we get this to apply to them too? Or give them their own interactions?
I’d love for factions to be integrated (for all tags) into the estate system to give greater depth to internal politics. Seems another great avenue for increasing gameplay depth that is unfortunately currently quite shallow.
 

wkscrombie

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Does anyone remember if there is gonna be a rework of thirty years war in this expansion. I think I read it in one of previous dev diaries but im not sure.
Dunno about the Thirty Years War, but they’ve mentioned the Italian Wars. I’m still holding out for mechanics to represent the War of the Spanish Succession/War of the Austrian Succession.
 

PrimeYuri

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So basically it became from something you have to actively keep in check, every few years gain benefits and give to certain lands to certain estates to give certain bonuses (like burghers to trade centres) to something that is now passive, have only to do something before age of absolutism and will be most likely be hindering you through most of the time. Could be me, but I don't think I will like it. Off course will have to wait to see.
 

wkscrombie

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One thing i would like seeing changed is the National Idea unlocking timing.
Right now, as an European you can realistically finish all your national ideas by ~1550, which is very immersion breaking since the national ideas should (and attempt to) represent the historical progress of a nation from the Late Medieval Ages to the Industrial Age, yet as it stands most nations reach their supposed late-game potential in the early-mid game.

National ideas could also be a more organic way to mimic the shifting balance of power between nations than the Lucky Nations feature.
Those who peaked Early on and then declined such as the Ottomans and Spain, should have powerful ideas early on and weaker ones later on, meanwhile nations who peaked later in the game like Brittain and Prussia should get the powerful ideas later on.
But this would only work if they were still unlocking ideas up to 1750 - 1800, which is definitely not the case.

So i see 2 options, increasing the number of unlocked Group Ideas to unlock a national idea from 3 to ~5
Or/and making/synergizing with some other mechanic to unlock national ideas, so that more primitive nations have a better chance at unlocking theirs, since they unlock Group Ideas far slower (especially if you do make the requirment 5 instead of 3).
Yeah, the same thing has bugged me for a while. I’d be surprised if this update touches that, though. Seems very much beyond its scope.
 

Nikicaga

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Oooooh I like most of the changes but I really dislike Estates not owning provinces directly. It added to the historical corectness and immersion of the game, especially early on
 

MateuszNH

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O my god, it's amazing preface to huge polish rework, including stuffs like spisky zastaw and maybe some interaction between countries rather than just clicking

It's risky change and people may not like it, but if u make it properly then it'll be amazing. At this year u may rework like half of all mechanics. Why earlier dlcs weren't that cool ?
 

-Leonidas-

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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

It's a one time benefit the sense that you will keep it when the privilige is revoked, while the Manpower Bonus in the first example will be cancelled as soon as the privilege isn't there anymore. Unless your Mercantilism and your treasury will be reduced after revoking, but I would regard that as unlikely.
 

Warp Drive

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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...)

Sounds a lot like the custom system MEIOU and Taxes uses. They modeled the system with a lot more detail than the live version at the time, but it was still not very user-friendly, in that it wasn't immediately visible.

Also, the makers of the mod heavily tied the estate privileges to corruption, adding an extra layer of both realism and decision making.

Awesome improvements! Respect for taking game design seriously and professionally!