I am Trin Tragula and this is the first development diary for Update 1.25 - REDACTED. Some of you may know me from previous diaries that have dealt with research, the historical setup and most of all map changes to various regions. This time is no different, I am here to tell you about a region that has received more work in the, as of yet unnamed, update that we are currently working on.
The region around the English channel has been revised before, both in Update 1.12 (Low countries) and 1.16 (France and the British Isles). Still there were some issues with it and detail is lacking a bit when compared to some more recently revised regions like Scandinavia or Hungary (also originally revised in the same update but later updated). For 1.25 it was therefore time to once again focus on overhauling this part of Europe.
As we plan to do in all future regional updates we have also added new texts to the startup screen for interesting countries that lack them in the overhauled region.
While Ireland has long been an English subject on paper the actual authority of the crown was in many ways a legal fiction in 1444. In practice direct English rule has collapsed and does not extend beyond the small piece of land known as the “The Pale” around Dublin.
While the particulars vary the Anglo-Norman earls, peers under the English kings, are in practice independent by most definitions of the word and have become as Irish as the population the govern.
Receding English influence has also allowed many of the older Gaelic clans to thrive and the island is home to several strong Irish kingdoms.
With the English Kings preoccupied with the Hundred Years war in France and internal squabbles over even their own succession the Irish independence seems destined to last. Should England manage to stabilize and be able to focus on the Emerald Isle once again however they risk losing this freedom quickly. Even so Ireland would likely be an unruly region to control.
In the 1.25 update we hope to better show how the various minor states in Ireland thrived as English rule grew weaker and weaker. We hope the new setup will better show how diverse the Island was and offer the player to lead one of the many clans or earldoms of Ireland to perhaps put up a stronger resistance to the English threat or fail and at best hope to rule as an English vassal.
All Irish tags (new and old) will be given individual national ideas, and the old group set will be repurposed (and partly rewritten) to be a reward for uniting the Island.
Playable Tags in Ireland:
- Munster (New) - Independent Irish Kingdom
- This tag represents the MacCarthy Mor, leader of the MacCarthys and the hereditary Gaelic Kings of Desmond. Named Munster to avoid confusion with the Earls of Desmond.
- Ormond (New) - Independent Irish Earldom
- In 1444 this tag represents the Butler family, the earls of Ormond.
- Offaly (New) - Independent Irish Kingdom
- Central Ireland was divided between many minor clans in 1444, most of them Gaelic. When it later fell to English conquest this is one of the primary regions subject to English settlement. In 1444 in EU4 this province is ruled by the Faly O’Connors, but they were really just one of many minor clans in this region.
- Tyrconnell (New) - Independent Kingdom
- The O’Donnel kings of Tyrconnell are another native dynasty to Ireland with roots going hundreds of years back.
- Leinster (Old) - Independent Kingdom
- In 1444 the Kingdom of Leinster is ruled by the Kavanagh dynasty since the 12th century (the kingdom itself dating many hundred years further back). While close to the Pale Leinster has a history of strong opposition to the English crown and has often been a force beyond its size in Ireland.
- Clanricarde (Old) - Independent Earldom
- Another Anglo-Norman dynasty the Burke family rules their part of Ireland in the name of the English king. In practice however they are just as independent as their neighbors and are.
- Kildare (Old) - Independent Earldom
- Much like other parts of Ireland the FitzGerald Earls of Kildare are for practical purposes rulers of their own lands but their close proximity to the Pale means they have a closer relationship with the crown and they have often worked more closely with the king.
- Thomond (Old) - Independent Kingdom
- The Kingdom of Thomond remains one of the most independent Gaelic kingdoms on Ireland in 1444. Far from the direct reach of the English crown their problems are more related to their immediate neighbors than a distant king.
- Sligo (Old) - Independent Kingdom
- In 1444 Sligo is ruled by the Sligo O’Connors. Much like the Faly O’Connors their hold over the region was not as absolute as we show it in the game.
- Desmond (Old) - Independent Earldom
- The Earldom of Desmond (not to be confused with the Kingdom of Desmond, a tag we call Munster) rules the richer parts of south-eastern Ireland. Their ties with the crown are not as close as those of their kinsmen in Kildare.
- Tyrone (Old) - Independent Kingdom
- The dominant Gaelic kingdom in the north Tyrone is ruled by the ancient O' Niell dynasty. Tyrone was for a long time the most dominant state in the north.
- Ulster (Old) - Independent State
- In 1444 this province was home to a larger number of clans, many with close ties to their Scottish counterpart. In EU4 it is ruled by the Maggenis dynasty.
In 1444 Scotland remains a strong regional kingdom, supported by the King’s of France in the south. While the Clans remain influential in Scottish politics, and would likely assert their independence if they felt it threatened, the Kingdom is unified in a way the Irish lords could only dream of. During their time on the throne the Stuarts have strengthened their rule and their defences against the English to the south, while hungrily biding their time to reclaim the last remains of Norse rule in the form of the Norwegian Jarldom of Orkney in the north.
Scotland has not received any new playable country tags in the 1.25 update but the region has been broken up into more provinces to give the Scottish kingdom a bit more depth and staying power. In the South two provinces have been carved out to show that the Anglo-Scottish border is in fact not flat and hard to defend. The addition of the West and East March provinces instead allows Scotland to fight an invader before they reach the farmlands around the capital
The Highlands have also been broken up, ensuring that a resurgent Highlander kingdom will be stronger and stand a better chance of surviving.
While England was updated once before after release we felt that it was simply not up to date with regions like Denmark or Germany, and that it was too easy to overrun the island of Great Britain for a naval invader. England is arguably one of the historical winners of this period and while England never saw much in the way of foreign invasion it was the scene of two great civil wars.
In update 1.25 England and Wales have been given a thorough rework with many provinces carved out of the existing ones or redrawn to better reflect both the political and economic realities of the time. The Isle of Man has also been made its own province, a naval base in the Irish sea for whoever manages to get control of it.
- Mann - Revolter in the Isle of Man province.
- In 1444 the Isle of Man is an English possession but it was once a kingdom of its own with roots in the now defunct Kingdom of the Isles.
Another “winner” in our timeline was France. The great kingdom that dominated European politics for centuries before imploding to internal unrest and rising reborn as the Revolutionary Empire of Napoleon, ready to reshape the politics of the continent completely.
In 1444 France is the scene of the Hundred Years war, a long conflict over who would rule the populous lands of the Kingdom. The recently concluded treaty of Tours has seemingly restored peace to the region but its stipulations have yet to be carried out in their entirety as England seem reluctant to surrender Maine to the French king.
The 1.25 update have not brought any new countries into being in France but we have revised the French map, especially in the north.
Normandy and the region around Paris are now more detailed, allowing for a less one-sided early campaign between England and France once conflict flares up again. We have also taken the opportunity to shift some of the French development towards the more populated north to better represent the historical economy of the region.
The huge province of Bourgogne has also been broken up to represent the Burgundian border castles such as Semur, with their capital in Dijon receiving an Inland Centre of Trade.
In 1444 the Low Countries are already one of the greatest economic centers of the European continent. Politically many of the states are dominated by the Dukes of Burgundy but under their rule they enjoy considerable autonomy and in time the northern parts would historically form the United Provinces of the Netherlands, an iconic power in the Europa Universalis timeline and a great mercantile and colonial power.
We have felt that when this region was last revisited it was perhaps done so a bit conservatively and this time we have been less concerned with keeping the status quo.
The province of Holland has been broken in two, as has Gelre and Friesland. The Province of Limburg (forever plagued by trying to accomodate the fact that the majority of the county of Limburg would become separated from the city itself in this timeline) has been removed entirely in favor of a separate province for Upper Guelders. The borders have also been redrawn to hopefully better reflect the many border changes in this region during this period in history.
While the development of the Low Countries region was always high (indeed even in 1.24 it is higher than all of England) it has been increased slightly again to better reflect the economic power of these cities. Utrecht, Friesland, Gelre and Holland have all grown by one province each while Brabant, though it remains a powerful force in the region, has lost both a province and a sizable amount of development.
That was all for today! From Ireland to Burgundy we hope that this overhaul will make for a better experience and that it will also make for a more accurate representation of this central region to the developments of the 1444-1820 period.
Next week’s developer diary will be written by @DDRJake and should shed some more light on what kind of update we are making as well as the upcoming Immersion Pack that will go along with it.