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EU4 - Development Diary - 21st of May 2019

Hey folks, it's time for another EU4 dev diary! My name's Mike, and like my good colleague @Caligula Caesar I've been part of the EU4 Content Design team since December. We've been working on a solid chunk of Europe, and it's time to start showcasing some of this work. As @neondt has mentioned before, we've had a lot of suggestions and feedback from the community, and through further earnest exchanges we've refined the map further.

But, before we get to the end, let's talk about the process quickly, because I know that's what you truly crave.


This image is what was used to pitch the idea of what would end up becoming the revised province layout in northern Italy. As you'll see in a moment, it differs from what we ended up with in a couple of ways- Como was added later, along with a split in another North Italian province. Province 5 was originally conceived as a separate Aquileia province (since the country still exists as a releasable in Friuli, it was tempting to see what could be done with it) but that idea was eventually discarded in favor of a new Trieste province.


Southern Italy developed much closer to what the original draft envisioned. The southern half of the Italian Peninsula has only a few additions, Avellino being the one that probably sticks out the most. The island of Sicily received a bit more attention, with the island's three provinces turning into five instead. Its new divisions were guided a little bit more by game design priorities than historical divisions, as historical divisions like Sicily's real province of Trapani had sizes and shapes that would have really stuck out like a sore thumb in EU4.

Unlike the northern Italian proposal, the southern Italian one was nearly implemented as-is. The biggest difference is that “Agrigento” had its name changed to “Girgenti”, which seemed more accurate for the period. Conversely, several proposed name changes to pre-existing provinces were not implemented, as they just didn't seem necessary upon review.

“Show us the new map already!” I can hear you guys politely demanding. Fine, fine!


Three new countries were added to the map as independent states. In the far north is the Prince-Bishopric of Trent, an Austrian country in control of an Italian province. To the west lies Saluzzo, nervously wedged between Savoy and France. In Romagna, Bologna is now an independent republic coveted by its neighbors.

Alongside these three countries are a couple new potential revolters. Padua and Verona now have cores on their respective provinces and can break away from Venice if the stars align, and Spoleto now exists as a core in Spoleto province, in case the Papal State's control of Central Italy ever starts to fall apart.

If we zoom in a little, more details reveal themselves.

northern italy.png

As the conversation linked at the start of this post highlights, Como originally was not considered, but after some discussion it became apparent that the inclusion of it (or at least something north of Milan) was called for. Thus, Como's complete contours now complement the comprehensive composition of that corner.

The creation of a separate Bologna province also prompted a revision of the remnant of old Romagna province; the old province's capital is now Ravenna, and Ravenna was taken by Venice in 1440 or 1441, so Romagna now starts off under Venetian rather than Papal control, although the Papacy does retain its core on the province. I'm sure this is fine and will definitely not be a source of tension between the two countries.

southern italy.png

Southern Italy was implemented essentially as described above. Sardinia received some attention and now includes Arborea as its own province on the west side of the island, but other Sardinian giudicati were not included primarily for the sake of balance- Sassari province in northern Sardinia has only 3/3/2 development as it is, and splitting that in two would create provinces with as little development as an Uzbek province in the Steppes.

Aside from the obvious mapwork, there is one other thing we added to southern Italy:


And there you have it! Next week, we'll be talking about missions.
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One more change that you can see (one of my favourite changes to the Italian map) is the rejigged impassible mountains - now there is a direct connection between Savoy and Piedmont, and some more impassibles have been added in the eastern Alps to add a bit more strategic value to the mountain passes. This adds a lot of fun to northern Italian play :)
Any changes to any of the formation decisions, beside adding formable Two Sicilies (e.g. provinces required for Italy, Sardinia-Piedmont and Tuscany)?
Gorizia (city) is quite misplaced.
I see that Sicily was also split from one area to two areas. Given that there is a tendency to increase the number of areas in regions which get a revision, do you plan to increase the state limit/max number of states somehow?

I often try to state some "historical" core of the countries that I play (e.g. western half of the Roman Empire, when I form it as France). This is getting complicated when further areas are added without an adjustment in max number of states.

edit: if I see it correctly, the number of areas (neglecting Trieste area and Trent) went from 12 to 15, which a quite substantial increase of 20%.
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Cool update to the map! My highlights are a Bologna tag and new impassable terrain in the mountains!

Also kudos to @Ofaloaf for going into the decission making process! Tidbits like
would have really stuck out like a sore thumb in EU4
splitting that in two would create provinces with as little development as an Uzbek province in the Steppes
give valuable and enjoyable insight into the actual designing of the game. So thanks for sharing!
Any changes to any of the formation decisions, beside adding formable Two Sicilies (e.g. provinces required for Italy, Sardinia-Piedmont and Tuscany)?

Yes! We're looking at a lot of country formation decisions and revising them so that they require fewer specific provinces but a greater number of total provinces in the relevant parts of the world. We might talk about this in more detail at a later point.
I am sorry but is this a Joke?

Perugia does not exist?
Bologna is not a vassal of the Pope?

Then why Urbino exists and is a vassal of the Pope??

Since Urbino had the same relationship to the Pope as Perugia and Urbino, this choice is not motivated and by far one of the worst you could do for the Italian Peninsula.

Bologna a Republic? Well, even Wikipedia paints a more correct picture, so no excuses for this wrong choice.

And why make Spoleto a releasable nation? Why not insert Perugia too in the province right north? Perugia was still a vassal of the Pope, while Spoleto was a very old Duchy. So it made more sense to make Perugia releasable.

Why is Siena still a great circle with its capital near the sea while Siena itself is very much inland??

I sincerely hope that the Lazio-Campania state is no more, but since you have not mentioned it, I am out of hope.

But seriously, I want to know why you chose Bologna to be independent, Urbino to be a vassal and Perugia to not exist!

But even if I want to know your answers, I remember that you designed pirate nation to be better at administering land than Merchant Republics because reasons.
This all looks terribly good I must say. Speaking as someone with rather little geographical knowledge of the area im not really going to weigh in on if a city needs to be a millimetre or so to the right or left or whether the inclusion of province x demands the inclusion of province y. What I can say is that from a purely gameplay perspective the changes done look to flesh out the region adding a far more interesting start in Italy, or attempt to control the region as an outside power.

It looks to be a slight buff to Venice but as you point out the inclusion of a papal core will likely result in the two big boys of Italy not being buddies, which I think allows for some interesting alliance web options. The passes are brilliant and I am going to enjoy holding them.

What I would be interested to learn is if Saluzzo is independent. I am assuming Trent is a vassal of Austria from your wording but wouldn't mind confirmation on this as that has interesting implications as Austria will now fill up its dip slots even faster.

Overall another great map update, can't wait to hear about missions next time and see what other exciting map updates you have for us in the future.
Seems like a very good improvement. And this time, no extremely dubious choices have been mase like Passau being a vassal. Or making provinces that were owned by a certain country during almost the whole timeline, but not implementing that nation (Fulda anyone?).

With that, pls pls pls revise some of the changes made in the Hre. If you want Passau to die quickly, place (permanant) claims. And give provinces to their owners. All those opm will quickly die in the hre, so no worries about it being an opm festivity. Just make sure that the AI doesn't transfer ownership back when the emperor asks for it. Also, it is not that two pms are much stronger in the hre anyway, the effect of +1 province is minor. There are better ways to make certain states more powerful than the opms. And the ahistorical map start will then at least be fixed.
It looks to be a slight buff to Venice

No, it’s not. Remember the 20 province cap for Merchant Republics? That will mean that Venice will not expand that much in the hands of the AI and in the hands of a player you’ll start to get penalties sooner, which is not fun.