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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Ehzyr

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Will the "dissolve monasteries" ability for the Anglican religion change from just giving you cash (which is a little vanilla if I'm honest) to interacting with this new mechanic and reduce clergy crown lands?
 

klingonadmiral

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I hope HRE members won't be able to break the power of the estates just like that. The Reichskammergericht was tasked with protecting the rights of the imperial estates and had full authority to revoke whatever centralization efforts some ambitious duke had cooked up.
 

FleetingRain

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Uho I missed that. It would be rather stupid to have for instance a very absolutist regime give away land to its non existent estates because of conquest lol.

It would be much better for new lands to not change the proportion of crown lands imo.

They will get land proportional to their influence, so if you are absolutist they may as well get nothing.
 

Dakka

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Easily the best DD I've read in years. Good work, devs!

I am curious, though, as to what has become of the estate disasters, ideas influencing estate loyalties, and other mechanics tied to (or had influence on) the old estate mechanics.
 

TheDarkMaster

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Is there anything about making a high direct control rating undesirable? Especially for large nations in the early game or with highly decentralized government forms? It certainly makes a lot of realistic and thematic sense if nations cannot be highly centralized before they get administrative government forms and even those would still have a lot of estate controlled lands, just with few privileges, until the age of absolutism starts.
 

Dakka

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@DDRJake in regards to gaining new land empowering the estates, could that have diminishing returns for them dependent on your absolutism? I think it would be fitting for a truly absolutist state to gain land and not have any real impact on the strength of the estates. This way it would lead to, say, a revolutionary empire or absolutist monarchy who has already centralized their government to stay centralized, while a large state that hasn't centralized will continue to struggle and have an even harder time centralizing than their more centralized peers.

IE 0 absolutism state gains land, 10% estate influence gain
100 absolutism state gains land, 0% estate influence gain
50 absolutism state gains land, 5% estate influence gain
 

master_kong

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I have mixed feelings about these changes. Love the crown lands and finally linking them with absolutism but disappointed that estates in provinces are totally gone :( I understand you wanted to get rid of micro fatigue coming from that but instead of completely removing it you should've make it dynamic. Put that pie-chart in province level too and make it dependent on some modifiers like high development, high trade power, production factors favor merchants; manpower, fort factors favor nobles; tax, wrong religion(maybe) factors favor clergy etc. You could even represent specific estates such as cossacks or rajputs better this way as well.

Besides this way estate rebellions wouldn't have to be on random provinces. And we could nudge the province pie-chart with current dynamic events related to estates.
 

Adam.sloth

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I'd love it if the Estates changes were tied to the late-game more.

I understand they are connected to absolutism but what would they do in revolutions?

Remember the French Revolution? Estates played a HUGE role there, especially the burghers. I think it would be a great mechanic to somehow model how burghers take over the country and demand more freedom and (economic) liberalism.

Today, late-game feels a bit boring when you are a major country. This would steer things up a bit.

You could, e.g., keep your absolutism + nobility but would be under revolutionary pressure from the burghers.
 

cristofolmc

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I'm curious how this will interact with governments using factions. Assuming you don't have an either / or situation of course

I want to think they've put off the release half a year later because they want to do a good job for once not have loose nots. So I suppose they will use those extra months to get all the other government types, and features, and events, tied to this new system. So you dont have the parliament doing its own thing independently, the factions another thing, the estates, absolutis, government reforms...etc.
 

withche.07

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If you have 0% crown land ownership i.e. the estates own 100% of the land, every province you own will gain 5% unrest from you seizing land. If you own 95% of the land, the game will give random provinces 5% unrest until at least 5% of your total development has been given total unrest (i.e. if you have 20 provinces, each with 5 development, it will give it to exactly one province).
Thanks for explanation, its not totally random as I assumed. Good. Liked it. :)

Can't wait to see the privileges for tribes and the dhimmi
And Cossacks!
 

PikaPilot

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This is already a much better system than the one we have now. The estates were the perfect mechanic to introduce domestic politics into the game, and this rework finally makes good on that potential.
 

PhoenixG

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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.
What are the benefits of having estates. Currently what I see now is you just want to purge them from your land and suffer temporary of the unrest. There must be some plus side to it.
 

Sunbro BigBoss

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This is not a very deep explanation of the mechanics but it sounds fun. But I am worried about "Additionally, developing your lands directly will increase your direct share of Crown Land, while acquiring new provinces will boost your Estates' share". Won´t this lead to OPM being screwed since they will often go from 8 development to 200 by just eating a few of their neighbours? You will never be able to catch up with developing your land that way. Plus not a single nation will bother developing their land for have more crown land for themselves, unless having estates have too much crownland is so crippling that you gotta stop expanding for a few years and just remove crown land from them.

Their share for conquests would scale based on influence, so as long as you can keep them down it wouldn't be that much of an issue. Additionally an OPM benefits much more from developing, since the same amount of monarch points spent would yield a proportionally higher amount of Crown Land.
 

DamonIsa

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That's probably the weakness I see at this system so far.

Looks like enacting policies for the Estates all lower Absolutism. Which is a non-starter for most players. Absolutism is just too valuable and having more is always the right choice. So something that kneecaps it hard needs a big benefit to make viable.

I don't think the likes of a sack of Ducats or extra Manpower or something however is going to be considered worth that trade.

Unless there's a reason to tank Absolutism to make it viable. I can't imagine what.
 

$ilent_$trider

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Well, Absolutism shows up on the latter part of the game. So I assume most people would use estates freely and then start scaling them down when AoA draws close.
I agree with @DamonIsa absolutism is just TOO goo nowadays. I think unrest and disloyalty of the estates should increase as the absolutism increases unless you make some sort of "deal" with one or more estates at the expense of the other(s)