EU4 - Development Diary - 14th of September 2021

Hello and welcome to the 2nd Dev Diary for the content of the Sub-Saharan region. Today we will continue with West Africa and take a look at Songhai.


Songhai is the militaristic powerhouse, which will replace Mali as the dominant power of West Africa until its end through infightings for the throne and at the hands of the Moroccans invading from the North. As a result of that, the mission tree of Songhai focuses on militaristic advancement, the conquest of West Africa and the expansion into Maghreb (basically turning the tables on the Moroccans).
dd_son_mission_tree.png

The second and third columns are classic conquest missions. Although I like to avoid pure conquest missions, they are inevitable for a country which is famous for its militaristic expansion.
With that said, the second column focuses on the conquest of the western territories of West Africa until you knock at Mali’s doorstep. The mission “Take the Empire Title” requires you to be a stronger power than Mali by having a bigger military, more prestige, higher stability and more Power Projection than Mali. As a reward you gain the Empire title and a permanent claim on every province owned by Mali or its subjects.
The third column focuses more on the “miscellaneous” conquest targets such as the tribe of Air, the Maghrebi of the North or the important Center of Trade Jenné (I call them Jenné here for consistency sake with the game). Speaking of which, if you are at war with Jenné and siege their capital down they get an event asking them to try for a white peace through a marriage. If they decide so, you as Songhai get the following event:


dd_son_widow_event.png

This event is a reference to the peace Jenné gained through the marriage of Sonni Ali with the widow of the deceased ruler of Jenné. Songhai would also get a consort if they have not the Iqta reform active too.

With the mission "Contact with Maghreb" you gain the first claims on Maghreb and over the course of the two following missions you will conquer Maghreb.

Someone might now wonder why the fourth column looks so empty though, and there is a good explanation for it. If you finish the mission "Eliminate the Mossi Threat" you get the following event:

dd_son_choose_missions.png


You have the choice of either converting the traditional people of your country or tolerating them for who they are, and even become their protector. Either choice will unlock a different set of missions you can pursue. Unlocking the religious missions gives you access to these ones:
dd_son_religious_missions.png

The highlight of the religious missions is the mission "Invite Scholars" as it requests you to have invited any religious school scholar. The reward is that the invited scholar becomes a "resident of your country", which means you can always invite the scholar without having the need of a diplomatic relation with a country of the scholar's school (that was quite the mouthful...). "Convert West Africa" is quite self explanatory which is converting all of the provinces of the Sahel, Niger and Guinea regions (you are NOT required to convert uncolonized provinces though). The reward is a little bit unusual: every country, who has the "Same Religion" opinion modifier of Songhai will now also get a permanent increased +25 (value might change) opinion of Songhai - as long Songhai is in the Muslim religious group. Additionally, it gives permanent +1 Tolerance of the True Faith.

Meanwhile, the path of tolerance has these missions for you:
dd_son_tolerance_missions.png

While the religious missions are quite self explanatory, the tolerance missions are a little bit different, but at their core they mirror the religious path. With "Guarantee the Old Traditions" your Dhimmi estate will get a new estate privilege, which replaces the privileges "Guaranteed Dhimmi Autonomy" and "Guaranteed Religious Minority" with "Guaranteed Traditions", a stronger combination of these two privileges before:
dd_son_dhimmi_estate_privilege.png

Completing "Pagan Alliances" will permanently increase the opinion of all Fetishist countries of you by +25 (value might change). "Unite the Tribes" is the final tolerance mission. You must ensure that at least 35 owned provinces are Fetishistic and that you have a stable and tolerant empire (so basically, have stability, no rebels, +3 Tolerance of Heathens). Completing it will give you the following event:
dd_son_adjust_islam.png

dd_son_reject_islam.png

This concludes the alternative missions.

A few other highlights of the mission tree and for Songhai:
  • The right most column will focus on the economical part of Songhai. As Songhai replaces Mali, it is only fitting that they have also gold and trade related missions (the rewards are however not as explosive as Mali's used to be)
  • The left most column focuses on the modernization of Songhai, with the first mission giving you support for Feudalism in your capital + random province.
  • "Embrace the Glory of Battle" enables a decision, which at a price of 200 Mil Power, which reduces your Global Manpower Modifier by 15% and Manpower Recovery Modifier by -10%, but increases Discipline by 2.5%, Yearly Army Professionalism by 0.5 and Army Tradition by 0.5. This modifier is active as long your ruler lives and can be renewed with every new ruler.
  • "Modernize Songhai" disables the event "Comet Sighted" as your people will finally live in a more enlightened time.
Now one last thing before finishing the Dev Diary. In my very first Dev Diary (in which I made a lot of rookie mistakes, I admit it) I presented the content for Mali. Over the week it has seen some changes I think you all might like.

1. Mali has discovered Fezzan, Mamluks and the path to Mecca (see image below)
dd_son_mali_pov.png
2. Mali's privilege "Controlled Gold Mining" has seen some rebalancing (btw, in the code the modifier already affected Goods Produced and not Production Efficiency. Just the tooltip was messed up last week and I didn't notice it.... so yeah, sorry about the misunderstandings). Again, the values are nowhere near final but it is getting there.
dd_son_gold_privilege.png

3. Mali previous "Abu Bakr" missions have seen a rebranding, changing the name to Ko Mamadi, the Madinke (Mali) version of Muhammad ibn Qu. (Abu Bakr was originally used because of consistency with the achievement name. In hindsight, this was a dumb decision of mine)
dd_son_mali_missions.png

4. The final Mali mission with the 15k Ducats requirement and its reward have been completely replaced. Now it only requires you to have 3 Level 3 Advisors and Monthly Income of 50 Ducats.
The reward is the following event
dd_son_mali_pilgrimage_route.png

I would like to talk more about it in this Dev Diary, but I think it is bloated enough already. The pilgrimage summed up is recreating the pilgrimage Mansa Musa did a century ago, but this time you have the choice to go on an alternative route, which goes through Europe. The pilgrimage takes around 5 years to complete and every ~100 days your travelling group visits a region where you enjoy the hospitality of the local people there. You can decide to leave a donation or move on. If you decide to make a big gift, the greatest nation of the region will receive this:
dd_son_mali_gold_donation.png

The rate of inflation has been lowered significantly and the AI is more inclined to refuse if the event would put them over 15 Inflation. The ducats you get are currently 1 year of Mali's Income and the Inflation scales with the Percentage of trade income compared to your total income (values might change later). Although I will miss the bankruptcy pop-ups, I have to admit that this design is much healthier for the game overall, and that a total crash of a continent does not belong in the base game.

That's it for today. I hope you enjoyed the Dev Diary. Next week we will explore the Horn of Africa. Until then I wish you all a good time!

**********

Mordred Edit; If you are interested in hearing more about the freeze on map changes, please check this thread! https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/eu4-no-mapchanges-and-whys.1490842/
 
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It seems the team listened to at least some feedback from the readers. Hovewer, the question remains: did Johan changes his stance on not having new provinces? Many people expressed how the reason map updates were scraped was, at the very least, strange and questionable, and also expressed love for the map updates in general
 
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I can say for myself: without map update with new tags/revolters and etc, I'm probably not bothering with buying this DLC.

I know they are part of the free update but the point remains.
 
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I wish this kind of interactive approach to missions were taken long ago. Good to see at least some nations getting such interactive trees
 
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I will repost this every single time until @Johan himself refers to it and notifies all of these problems will be looked upon. I want my favorite game to be back.

GAMEBREAKING PROBLEMS
  1. Pillage capital and concentrate development resulting in giga dev cities.
  2. The American tribes mechanics are still broken, including development issues as well as tribes reforming into monarchies/republics in the 1500s.
  3. The AI still does not handle the government capacity correctly, releasing nations here and there. A proper fix is much needed!
  4. Colonization is not playing correctly this patch and definitely needs to be looked at. This is because of the problem with American tribes as well, because the tribes reforming and gaining all their tribal land results in a coastline covered in uncolonizable provinces.
MAJOR PROBLEMS
  1. The institution system is balanced horribly, and is one of the major problems of the games that last until 1600s and later. It basically results in African tribes being on equal technological foot as European powers. Only the Printing Press institution is spreading at a correct speed; the pace of the rest of them is seriously concerning and due to change. Besides the too fast spread, some are reporting that a part of the problem is because of the AI, that prioritizes the technology over ideas and other monarch power sinks too much.
  2. The mercenaries scaling is broken. Lategame mercenary armies are too big; they need to be capped, or balanced in a different way. The mercenary effect on Army Professionalism is also worth to be looked at, as a simple -5% change every mercenary company hired is off-balance when we hire a 5K or 100K company, or when we don't disband them after the end of the war.
  3. Favors are unbalanced, despite the 5-year band-aid fix. They allow for way too much diplomatic forced action.
  4. The AI.
    1. The AI's usage of mercenaries is broken, including total chaos in the decision making when to get them and when to recruit more regular troops, or getting mercenaries without considering Professionalism, leading to loss of it instead of slackening recruitment standards.
    2. The AI generally fails in regard to buildings (is incompetent economically), and has many bugs related to combat, as seen in post #9 (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...ven-major-problems-list.1477366/post-27581985). Since most of the problems are easily moddable out of the existence, they might be not really difficult to be rid of, and thus Paradox notice on this issue is advised!
IMPORTANT BALANCE PROBLEMS
  1. The conditional military access allows for seriously ahistorical gameplay. Getting rid of it is not necessary, but limiting it would be much appreciated; for example, it could only work for the same religion, so the Ottomans could not go through entire Europe to siege Paris. In this example, they would have to either ask for the access, or wage war against the HRE to get to France.
  2. Burgundian Inheritance often results in France declaring war on Austria with all of her allies. This effectively always destroys France from that moment on. The conditions should be changed, so France can fight toe to toe.
  3. Council of Trent is surprisingly working correctly, but the balance is horribly off. The tradeoff between the two sides (conciliatory and harsh) is the difference in price paid from the Curia Coffers; however, at that point of the game, the Coffers are flowing with money, making the choice utterly one-sided.
  4. The Middle-East is very much not working correctly. Persia almost never forms, and thus the Ottoman Empire, after dealing with the Mamluks, never have a strong rival on the other side of their territory, leaving the fight to the Habsburgs and usually-declining Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The whole area of Persia seems to be extremely border-gorey, with no nation being able to unite the rest and form Persia. Lack of mission trees in the Middle-East may be related to this issue.
  5. Centralization of states mechanic is currently not worth it in any situation as long as the Expand Administration mechanic exists.
  6. After the rebalance of navies, galleys are effectively winning over heavy ships not only in interior seas, but in oceans as well. This 'rebalance' requires to be rebalanced again.
MINOR PROBLEMS
  1. Many missions are outdated. It is not about the entire mission trees (although the power creep is real), it is about such missions as Spanish cultural conversion of Grenada, which is now broken (ineffective in cost to reward). There are many more examples, including:
    1. Missions on the Indian subcontinent often require high estate loyalty/influence, which was not adjusted to the estates rework.
  2. Manchu forms much more rarely than before, and Prussia almost never forms. Mughals never form. Zaporozhie is a not very amusing joke, being nowhere to be seen ever, despite very unique mechanics it possesses.
  3. The heir claim increase speed during a regency has been reported to be too high, resulting in new rulers never being lower than 'good claim'.
  4. Rivalry is working in a strange way. Why would a nation on the other side of a continent rival you?
  5. Many areas of the interface need work on to be accessible to the player, like information how Revolution works, or what is the "Too high influence with the Holy Father" when excommunication is unavailable.
 
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I really, really like the choice between the religious and the tolerance path. I would love for other mission trees to be designed this way, with actual choices that make for different playthroughs :)
Also, it is great that you responded to the feedback on the last diary so quickly.
 
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i like the idea of missions 'branching' into mutually exclusive paths depending on a choice chosen, i think it captures some of the dynamic nature of the old mission system that people have been missing

my only suggestion for that feature would be for there to be some way for players to see the branching paths in full with their requirements and rewards from the mission interface so they can make a more informed choice when given the event
 
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I'm really liking the remade Mali pilgrimage! It feels a lot more dynamic and interactive than simply letting gold all of a sudden rain down everywhere between Iceland and Istanbul :) The choice between paganism and Islam for Songhai also feels really good! I hope the AI:s choice between the two routes are almost 50/50 instead of heavily favouring one over the other.
 
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Will the stance towards not adding new provinces be reviewed? I think the feedback to the decision indicated that a majority would rather see new provinces added for the underdeveloped regions and it really wouldn't do Africa justice to have an expansion done on its current map.
 
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Nice very excited i have a suggestion if you dont mind

if the horn of africa development is not yet finalised @ajsieg has created very high effort quality threads on the ethiopian somali states which i believe would be great use , especially for adal which nearly wiped out the Abyssinian emperor and established alliance with the ottoman empire and received troops plus ajuuran which defeated the Portuguese navy and liberated the Swahili coast of pate mombasa and kilwa


also an Update is needed for Ethiopia as it gets a overpowered event giving +25% morale and +5 discipline , which makes sense if adal too gets the event as it received far greater help from the mighty ottoman empire
 
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Nice, I like these African mission trees.

How strongly do AIs pursue their mission trees? I don't mean for these particular tags, but in general. I don't remember if that topic has ever been talked about.
 
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IcerMakerBuilder

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Have the stance on map change been reverse or are there will still be no new provinces and tags? The reason for it was kind of ubiquitous as what does "I am tired of people's savegames being broken" mean? I mean you already have to update for the new patch already and you can always revert back to the old version if you need to complete a campaign. Is this an excuse for tidying up Eu4 and getting ready for Eu5 or are the dev team really intimidated by the playerbase? And as I recall there was no issue with Leviathan's launch regarding the map changes.
 
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