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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Choorus

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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
Did it though? While it does make sense for Burghers to control a high in trade power city province, it is much less so for the church and nobility, who effectively controlled almost all of the land apart from small royal domain. They still did so until 19th century, but with less and less say over politics. They kept the ownership, but started being taxed and lost power over the local populace. If a vassal has a concentrated domain and is powerful enough, then he would be best represented as a vassal rather than an estate. Estates by definition represent large, but dispersed groups of interest.
 

Synge316

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Love the changes. Shows the developers still have a passion for the game after so many years since release.

I know these are changes to the estates but are there any plans to overhaul the faction system uses by some Republic Governments too?
 

MatRopert

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I am not sure I totally understand this. whats the difference me having 100% crown land or 0%? I got that it changes the amount of influence the estates have but in this new setting what does it mean? if let say the nobles get 100% of crown land will they seize power imediatelly? would this affect income (since you have 0% crown land is that means that all taxes go to nobility's pocket instead of your own)?
As Jake mentioned, having high crown land will give the state some extra benefits, one of them being about absolutism cap and yearly absolutism gain.
On the other hand, if most of your land is owned by estates you will get penalties to absolutism and some autonomy growth as the land slowly slips away from your control.
Numbers are, of course, still very work in progress.
 

cristofolmc

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Can you tell us what the effects of estates owning land are? You hinted that youd want to take the land back but...why?

Ugh, I was looking forward to see how Estates are now dynamic, aka, THE DIET (PARLAMENT) MECHANIC. I do Hope that there is more to estates than this, and we get diet, estates missions, estates forcing you or asking you to do things that arent just clicking a button, like convert, conquer, colonize, create trade companies, etc. But so far this system seems much better basis to implement all that. Estates feel more of a core part of your country and not just random bonuses.

Can you explain where they get their influence from? From the crown land they own? Does this mean no more local modifiers from them? Id be kind of dissapointed if so. I hope there is a state provilege that gives trade centres city rights, and so in those provinces you get your income severely reduced in tax but you get a bonus on local trade power, based on their overall influence.

I wouldve still prefered a MEIOU and taxes system in which they get land dynamically without player intervention, and all theee of the esrates are present in every province. But oh well.


I get the impression from the overall tone that the estates are now meant to be your direct and constant enemy with privileges as little more than a plot to appease said enemy until you are strong enough to crush it completely. I'm not sure I like that idea. I would like to be able to benefit from working together with the estates. Absolutism was not build on crushing all opposition a lot of it was build on cooperation with the burghers (and sometimes clergy) against the power of the nobles i.e. helping one of the estates at the cost of another. Having all estates be only a direct and constant enemy that drains the full power of your land seems a bit revisionist and very simplified (and wasn't this redesign meant to be intellectually stimulating rather than always giving you the obvious right choice?).

Of course, I may be getting the wrong vibe here, and I'm not making final judgement here, just sharing what the feel of the DD seems to be: "Crush your estates and see them driven before you".

I didnt get that feeling. We dont know what the effects of estates owning big chunks of land are but they might not be so bad compared to the bonuses. And we do know there are bonuses for ruling and cooperating with them, such as privilege, the DIET, and events. So I suppose government forms like the British government will be taken into account so you dont wanna go absolutist and want to stick to history, having strong estates with loads of power. So if youre more of a naval trading colonizing power you may not need the benefits of absolutism and thus you may not want to go through the rebelions and disassters that going absolutist will provoke.
 

cristofolmc

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I hope you can roleplay and an english monarch having very strong estates and restraining your own power without having that big of a dissadvantage, but having perks that absolutists dont have.
 

CountCristo

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Seems it makes estates completely useless late game. Absolutism is a better bonus than anything these estates could give
That seems like a highly bold statement not knowing what the estates give. +1 monthly mil points like Jake mentions for example is pretty darn good. A similar Admin bonus (if there were one) would be more valuable than 10% admin efficiency to me.
 

brantodb01

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As Jake mentioned, having high crown land will give the state some extra benefits, one of them being about absolutism cap and yearly absolutism gain.
On the other hand, if most of your land is owned by estates you will get penalties to absolutism and some autonomy growth as the land slowly slips away from your control.
Numbers are, of course, still very work in progress.

Would the autonomy gain be universal or just for some provinces? and would it increase to a cap or keep going to 100%?
because if it's only for some provinces you could influence it throught territory and development changes so your states wouldn't gain autonomy but your territories already at 75% would.
 

LazyTitan0514

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That seems like a highly bold statement not knowing what the estates give. +1 monthly mil points like Jake mentions for example is pretty darn good. A similar Admin bonus (if there were one) would be more valuable than 10% admin efficiency to me.
With absolutism you could conquer more land to get more money and just buy level 5 advisors
 

RagingMonkey

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With absolutism you could conquer more land to get more money and just buy level 5 advisors

Maybe if you're purely a min-max conquer player. Not everyone is.
 

Thorfindel

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As Jake mentioned, having high crown land will give the state some extra benefits, one of them being about absolutism cap and yearly absolutism gain.
On the other hand, if most of your land is owned by estates you will get penalties to absolutism and some autonomy growth as the land slowly slips away from your control.
Numbers are, of course, still very work in progress.
I generally get the impression that even with this rework, Estates are still a nuisance best kept at 0% influence/Crown Lands. I've always had this same impression with the current mechanics, which I'd only use to get my 150/200 mana every 20 years. The nuisances (unrest, negative effects if loyalty is below 40%) would generally outweigh the bonuses, barring a few exceptions (Dhimmi/Rajputs/etc). Could you or @DDRJake maybe share an example where it's benificial to the player to play a game with the Estates being more than a hurdle?

EDIT:
+1 monthly mil points like Jake mentions for example is pretty darn good
This is actually a neat example in itself. @CountCristo, could you reference that mention? EDIT2: nevermind, found it. My bad, it's in the OP.
 
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mechanical_Critter

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That seems like a highly bold statement not knowing what the estates give. +1 monthly mil points like Jake mentions for example is pretty darn good. A similar Admin bonus (if there were one) would be more valuable than 10% admin efficiency to me.

it's not. +1 adm is a really good bonus, and Clergy estate does about 60% of that. But admin efficiency is in general much better, and does not solely affect adm expenses.

Personally I don't think that makes estates useless late game. While absolutism is (softly) capped at 100, max absolutism isn't, and you can stack it way above. So maybe there are some strategising that could be made where you try to get a very high absolutism cap, then spend the "extra" on prized estate compensations (like this +1 adm). Would be interesting, and introducing tradeoffs with other "moving parts" of the game (like gov reforms)
 

DominusNovus

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(Although if your ambitions are Revolutionary, you may have other plans...)

Is that an indication that we might actually have an alternative to absolutism coming to us?
 

Infante Pedro

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I'm cautiously optimistic about the overhaul of estates, although I do like being ahead in tech early from free monarch points.

My question is, is there any fix to the AI which currently does absolutely nothing with estates? Especially since they seem to be getting more bonuses, the use of estates seems more important than ever, and it wouldn't be fun to simply stomp the AI because they're incompetent at handling estates as they previously have been.

As a side note, the penalties to absolutism are a decent way to nerf the bonuses late-game (although I'm still waiting for an absolutism overhaul to represent how countries without lots of absolutism had other avenues of success that even outstripped Europe's absolutist states), but a large portion of players don't play much if at all past 1610, making the estates have all upside and no downside. In a way it's similar to the endless "republic or monarchy" debate.
 

Tibi088

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This seems like a great improvement.

My problem is with expansion. At this timeperiod conquest of a territory ment that you got the annexed territiries nobility as well - at least in Europe. So if you conquered a territory that the nobility had almost complete control ower than those nobles would and up in your country and would significantly bolster the strength and influence of the nobility. Actually even more so because you could give some of the crown lands of the territory to your own old nobility/estates increasing the estates influence even further.

In colonial territories its even more problematic. The british conquering India or parts of it will have to deal with the local estates as well. they wont become nobles and burghers but remain the indian version. This too could/should be represented.
 

cristofolmc

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As Jake mentioned, having high crown land will give the state some extra benefits, one of them being about absolutism cap and yearly absolutism gain.
On the other hand, if most of your land is owned by estates you will get penalties to absolutism and some autonomy growth as the land slowly slips away from your control.
Numbers are, of course, still very work in progress.


Will there be benefits from having high estate loyalty as before? The bonuses from the privilege dont seem to be scaled with influence or land ownership or anything :( I want there to have benefits to have powerful estates.
 

Romulus81

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I’m very excited for the new expansion! Love the current state of the game and I think This will be awesome. It seems like the devs have been very responsive to player feedback on the forums, and with that in mind:

While not strictly relevant to this expansion, I still think that Ming and colonial nations could use some changes. Ming is far too stable, especially lategame, often surviving at 0 mandate for years making it difficult to make them explode even as a player, let alone for the ai. Further, Manchu always gets eaten by Korea, buffing them could help to weaken Ming more and maybe allow Qing to form, which I’ve never seen.

Secondly, colonial nations don’t gain independence nearly as consistently as one would expect. By 1821 most of the America’s were independent. As it stands there are so many ways to stack liberty desire reduction that the power of colonizers never makes their colonies willing to revolt. Colonies declaring independence more often (and getting it) would dramatically change late game politics and better represent historical developments.