EU4 - Development Diary - 6th of August 2019

Good day and welcome to another Development Diary for EU4's upcoming European Update + Expansion. After enjoying a plethora of maps, missions and other content work from our esteemed content designers, I'm here to turn our attention towards the mechanical changes and additions we can look forward to in said European update.

We're going to start with Mercenaries. Not too long ago, I penned a dev diary outlining our ambitions with mercenaries

I'll take this moment to draw attention to the fact that the UI and numbers are far from final

6th Aud DD macro.jpg


In the upcoming Euro update, the old method of recruiting mercenary units one by one in individual provinces is replaced by the action of hiring Mercenary Companies. Mercenary Companies are complete armies of pure mercenaries, as such will not consume from your manpower pool. They can be recruited in any of your core provinces, where they spawn at full strength, but with low morale.

Mercenary Companies come in two flavours: Local Mercenaries and Foreign Mercenaries.

All nations have three bands of local mercenaries available for recruitment, ranging in size from small to large, capped at a minimum of 2 units and a maximum of 40, depending on the development of your nation. Other than the fact that all nations will have local mercenaries available for hire, there is nothing special about them.

6th Aud DD company available.jpg


Things get a little more interesting with foreign mercenaries. Across the world, there will be foreign mercenary companies, tied to a province of origin; the Free Swiss Guard from Bern, the Flemish Company from Vlaanderen, the Raiders from Navajo etc. These companies come with their own General who is loyal to that unit and that unit only. They also can have different costs and modifiers on the unit, depending on which company you hire from. These companies can spawn and despawn over the course of the grand campaign, but no matter how much you want any particular mercenary company, you can only recruit Mercenary Companies within your trade range. So while you may feel confident invading a colonial Portugal, know that they may well have a far larger pool of Mercenary Companies to draw upon.

6th Aud DD Frisians.jpg


So let's take a closer look at the mercenary units themselves. They are typically more expensive than your standard nation's armies, although those costs compared to the current 1.28 mercenaries are likely to be reduced. This is largely due to how Mercenaries will no longer have unlimited manpower, able to feed themselves with coins and bandage wounds with solid gold. No, from the upcoming European update and going forward, Mercenaries will have their own local manpower, unique for their army

6th Aud DD local manpower.jpg


Not to belabour the point, but UI and numbers shown and discussed here are far from final

Once you hire, for example, this Cossack Host, they will replenish any lost souls from their own unique manpower pool until, eventually, they will be completely exhausted and no longer able fight at full strength, leaving them liable to be wiped out in battle. Our intention here is for mercenary companies to be the muscle you flex in times of war and conflict, rather than the go-to permanent standing army for all nations. To this effect:

Make mercenaries always stay at 100% maintenance

We added this and are quite happy with the results. If a nation chooses to rely heavily or exclusively on mercenaries at all times, they will certainly be footing the bill for them.

As for when you terminate your deal with any Mercenary Company, they will leave your nation and your command like all other units, but will not be available to hire by your nation for 10 years. If, in time of great war, you may find yourself at a disadvantage if you have exhausted your access of mercenaries against a foe who has many other companies at their disposal.

You may notice that the Local Manpower for a mercenary army replaces certain actions in the UI. While mercenary regiments can still be consolidated, they fight as a single unit under their leader. They will not accept being lead by another leader or army and cannot be split, nor merged with another. In the event that their leader dies, they shall elect a new leader from within.

6th Aud DD dead leader.jpg


In playtesting, this has lead to it feeling rather chunky, when manoeuvring multiple stacks which cannot be merged together, as they can have different arrival times and movement paths. We are looking into a better way to manage such stacks of armies, and as inconsistent arrival times has been a bugbear for some time, it seems a fitting moment to address it.

Some other points about Mercenaries which warrant bringing up here:
  • Hiring a Mercenary Company won't prevent another nation from hiring from that company too. We didn't want to create a situation where the player who clicks fastest gets those juicy Swiss mercs.
  • Mercenaries will use your nation's military stats, then apply any of their own modifiers on top of that. We did not want to echo the situation in EU3, where mercenaries would end up clearly spending all your money on booze because they were too drunk to fight well.
  • Mercenaries will be hired through the macro builder rather than through the provinces. This should help reduce click fatigue, but also necessitates some work on the Macro Builder, which we'll address in a future DD.
  • With Mercenaries no longer being a bottomless source of manpower, base manpower is likely to increase for all nations, likely by increasing the base amount development gives and/or boosting the value of manpower buildings.
  • Mercenaries are to use unit models fitting for their origin.
  • All changes above are going to be part of the free update.

This is a major change to system that has been largely untouched since EU3, and it won't be until 2020 that this update hits the shelves. The system is likely to get some refinement based on playtesting and feedback. Early results show a lot more involvement with Mercenary Companies, especially in multiplayer. Hearing "Oh bollocks he hired the Swiss" down the microphone certainly evokes much glee, but we shall continue refining the system. We shall be back with more about Mercenaries, as well as the content that goes hand in hand with the system, as development continues.

As ever, comments and feedback are welcome in the thread. Next week we'll be tackling another large change coming in the European Update.
 
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Me_

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This is like 80% of what I expected to happen and I like it. A welcome surprise is the fact that companies have their own manpower. I like this idea very much.
 

SPAMbuca

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Interesting way to change the meta. At the very least, it seems like quantity becomes more important (again). What happens with ideas that increase the amount of available mercenaries? Will they have more companies to choose from?

Will the composition of available mercenaries change over the ages? As in, less/no cavalry in the later stages of the game.
 

RMS Oceanic

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Now that's a big shakeup.

Will manpower be tweaked to reflect that Mercenaries are now effectively divorced from your standard armies, to avoid someone like the Ottomans buying a big stack to recover after Byzantium+Skanderbeg got a lucky stackwipe?

Can we see how some ideas (like administrative and quantity) are altered by this?
 
B

By_Science!

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This looks like a really good change-but I suspect that you'll be worse off if you're playing as the Ming. Would they have less access to mercs now? o_O
 

SPAMbuca

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I'm actually interested to see what the AI does if they lose their armies now. If the AI loses a war, they usually merc up. This change would probably stop the AI from what it usually does which was an annoyance to players. However, I wonder how it will work out in practice. Since mercs can't be split up, the AI would not be able to carpet siege and will run out of options after the available merc companies are wiped out. How much debt is the AI willing to take to recruit these new companies?

Won't large AI nations be depleted for a longer time now if you deplete their manpower pool and wipe their available merc companies?
 

Lavilledieu

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Will you address the other source(s?) of inifinite manpower? Manchu banners for example. Maybe let them work with a small manpower pool like the mercenaries, and let them gain some manpower from looting?

This is also looking great. It might be weird though that all countries of all sizes have the same amount of local mercenaries. Would be cool to make it increases in some way other than blobbing.
 

Praiokles

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Instead of letting different countries hire the some company, or blocking that company, give the option to "steal" them after a certain amount of years for a little bit extra gold.

Or just give companies more armies to hier out. If everyone can Switzernaries it's only a nice make up, but doesnt solve the problem of everybody getting all the mercs.

And you could make it reallistic by giving the option to pay a company to NOT fight against you.
 

Thorfindel

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Mercenaries will use your nation's military stats, then apply any of their own modifiers on top of that.
@DDRJake, Two questions, related to each other:
1. Does 'own modifiers' refer to the company-specific modifers, or to ideas like 'Mercenary Discipline +5%'?
2. What happens to national ideas with ideas specific to mercs, like the aforementioned 'Mercenary Discipline +5%', if companies also use the nation's military stats?
 

RMS Oceanic

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Here's a thought: Do rivalries and war status affect which mercenaries I can hire?

If the Ottomans are fighting Poland-Lithuania who owns Zapohorizie, does that mean they can't hire that Cossack Mercenary Stack?
 

rscain42

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Nothing like getting a new dev diary at 1 in the morning on my birthday.

Anyways, as a player who doesn't use mercs much, I hope this new system gives it that added touch of flavor that makes using mercs fun/enjoyable. I'm also hoping this is a free feature... I'm sure there's plenty of other mechanics like [redacted] and [redacted] to go into the [redacted] dlc.
 

fr-rein

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What is the difference between Local and Foreign Mercenaries? EDIT: For example, aside from generic stacks, will countries get unique mercs available only to them - like Cossacks to PLC?
Can two different nations recruit same unique local mercenaries?
How mercenary companies are created?
Can you affect their creation?
Can an African nation hire Swiss mercs to fight off Europeans for example? And if yes, will tech level gap affect mercenaries?
Can we hire mercenary fleets?

Side-questions:
Will Lisowczyky become a mercenary band?
What changes it may mean to Cossacks and Pirates?
Will we be able to hire pirates as mercs?

Very unrelated question:
Will Ruthenian names, especially for Zaporozhia, get fixed because there is huge discrepancy between games they get in game and historical names? The one on DD is another example of that.
 
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Anmity

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How will mercenary armies actually look, composition-wise? Would be a shame if some of them weren't worth paying for due factors like too much cavalry and stuff. Is there some kind of formula or entirely random? Maybe it depends on where you buy them too?
 

rimworld inbox

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  • Mercenaries will be hired through the macro builder rather than through the provinces. This should help reduce click fatigue, but also necessitates some work on the Macro Builder, which we'll address in a future DD.
You may notice that the Local Manpower for a mercenary army replaces certain actions in the UI. While mercenary regiments can still be consolidated, they fight as a single unit under their leader. They will not accept being lead by another leader or army and cannot be split, nor merged with another. In the event that their leader dies, they shall elect a new leader from within.

does not compute
 

cristofolmc

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@DDRJake, Two questions, related to each other:
1. Does 'own modifiers' refer to the company-specific modifers, or to ideas like 'Mercenary Discipline +5%'?
2. What happens to national ideas with ideas specific to mercs, like the aforementioned 'Mercenary Discipline +5%', if companies also use the nation's military stats?


Well theyve said your armies get your military stats. So mercenary only modifiers like +5% discipline are likely to disappear. Now they will have their own army modifiers like you can see on the screenshot.
 

Xetfield

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How the number of mercenary company's manpower is calculated? Can player or AI affect it?

Will administrative ideas be rebalanced entirely?