EU4 - Development Diary - 7th of September 2021

Hello there!

After the summer break, I am honored to present what the new content will be about!

But first, let me introduce myself as it is my very first time to write in the official forums instead of just lurking here.
I am Ogele, a content designer from Germany, who joined around the time of the release of Leviathan, and as such I got directly thrown into a lot of script bug fixing. Prior to joining, I was (and still am) a modder for EU4 - the one or other might know me already as Comrade Flan on Steam. Oh, and if somebody wants to complain about the bugfix of Fars' color: that was me - so to all the fans of Yellow Fars, I am sorry for your loss.

With that said, it's time to move to the actually exciting new stuff for the new Content Pack which will be focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Today I start with the presentation of one of the famous realms of Africa - Mali
dd_mali.png

Before diving into the mission tree I want to say that this is all still work in progress. As such, everything still is subject to change.

Mali is a realm which has outlived its time of glory, and is spiraling into irrelevance during the timeframe of EU4. Starting prior to 1444 with the death of Mansa Suleyman Keita, the brother of the famous Mansa Musa, Mali has been facing civil wars and poor leadership. As such, Mali has not a good time starting in the game as they will have to face the Disaster Decline of Mali.

dd_mali_disaster.png
dd_mali_disaster_event.png

Icon and event picture are not final.

While the modifiers themselves are not the end of the world, Mali will have to face a series of events:
dd_mali_disaster_monthly_events.png

There are a few more disaster related events, but I think these will suffice.

Now the question is: how do you end this disaster? Well, the mission tree has the solution

dd_mali_mission_tree.png


The mission tree is split into three parts: Reconquest of your former borders, dealing with the Disaster and a little bit of colonization. The most right side of the tree is the one you will focus the most in the early game as its rewards remove some of the disaster events, making the Decline much more bearable. They will remove the Pretender rebels spawning on every new monarch, make the estates loyal for your cause and remove the estate rebellions and will finally ensure that provinces, which are core of other nations, remain loyal to you instead of revolting. At the same time, the missions in the middle part will push you into conquering former territory back, giving permanent claims over Macina, Jenné, Timbuktu and Songhai. An additional bonus of the missions is that each conquest of a new territory will grant you +1 Stability as long you have the disaster active. Also, while you conquer after your heart's desire you will fire these events through the mission tree:

dd_mali_jnn.png
dd_mali_capital.png
dd_mali_son.png


With the Restore the Empire mission you can finally retake your status as an Empire, and if you also finish the mission Handle the Kaabu you can finally put an end to the Decline as you have clearly proven that Mali has recovered from the disaster. Restore Mali Authority will end the disaster and gives you -15% Stability cost and -0.05 Monthly Autonomy. After dealing with the disaster, it is time to step into Mansa Musa's footsteps and try to outperform his generosity. But first you will need to get the income for that, and because of that the missions following handling the inner troubles will focus on developing the main sources of income, which are Gold and Ivory. Completing the mission Gold and Ivory will allow you to use a brand new estate privilege and will fire an event, which is beneficial for every owner of ivory provinces:

dd_mali_estate.png
dd_mali_ivory.png


Now that the gold question has been solved you can now relive the history and make a pilgrimage to Mecca. By ensuring that the owners of Ankara, Kairo and Mecca have the "Sent Gift" opinion modifier, you can complete the mission Show Generosity and get an event which allows you to invest into Mecca, either adding a Great Mosque and making your own Ulema happy or adding a Counting House and making your own Dhimmi happy.

Finally, it wouldn't be a Mansa Musa experience if you don't crash the economy of a whole country. With the final mission Dominate Europe's Trade, which requires you to have a strong trade presence in either of the European trade nodes and having 15,000 Ducats without any loan will, you can unleash the sheer amount of gold you have hoarded upon Europe!

dd_mali_dear_god_have_mercy_upon_your_soul.png


If you wonder what the result will look like... well... here you go. Poor Genoa will never financially recover from this

dd_mali_oof.png

While I am at it: I want to point out that this effect is still in balancing phase, and that it has only 10% of the effect for player countries and their subjects. While I like to add rewards which make you feel good, I don't want them to be an auto-win against other players. Of course you can argue that it is an auto-win against the AI, but it must be considered that you have to be a economical behemoth already to get this mission done. Also, it is very satisfying to see the pop-ups coming over the year of AI trade countries declaring bankruptcy.

Now to some other smaller highlights for Mali:
  • The colonization missions are based on the legend of Abu Bakr. Because we didn't find many evidences for the existence of his journey to the new world, these missions will describe him more as a legend then as a discrete fact. The missions will revolve about travelling west and founding an own colony in South America
  • The mission Connection to Maghreb enables a decision which allows you to purchase a province in Europe for 2000 Ducats. You have a choice of 5 provinces here, which are all near Italy or Iberia
  • The mission Choose Direction will enable a mission which is either focused on converting your land or on tolerating the traditions
That's all for today! There are a lot more things I would love to talk about, but I think I am stretching that dev diary more than enough already. With that said, next week we will take a closer look at Songhai. Until then, have a nice week!
 
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no new achievements for Mali?? please? I want a motivation of playing mali on ironman.
As i recall, achievements are presented in one of the last dev diaries. So it's a little early to say there aren't any.
 
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We are not planning at changing the map more in EU4's lifecycle. I am tired of people's savegames being broken.
No map changes?! Man that is the #1 reason I look forward to dev diaries… Players can always go back to an older patch to finish their saves, so why use that as an argument to not implement map changes? It’s also one of the main free features, which is thus also cut.
Terrible development imo!
 
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I have to agree with the sentiment that mercenaries need a hotfix, the problem is that the cost of 5.00% army professionalism is too much mid to late game. When you can "slacken recruitment standards" for manpower upfront, then it makes sense to lower it to between 3.00% - 2.00% army professionalism.

Additionally, the stacks should be shrunk. The tradeoff is army professionalism and total cost for convenience of building an army across the globe rather than transporting them. Maybe variable Army professionalism based on size will be better. Either way the sizes need to be tuned down quite a bit.

Additionally the army composition is bad. Player combat meta should be considered. Early to mid game cannons are just used for sieging having a few in each army for forts. Mid to late game, since cannons can fire from the back row, it's better to have a 1:1 ratio of infantry to artillery and to phase out calvary entirely.

Until calvary can attack around infantry (encircling irl) to attack the back row of cannons. Then, it makes no sense to include them late game. (This leads to a bigger point about inconsistency in 19th - 15th century combat. The "Rock, Paper, Scissors" of Infantry, Artillery, Calvary needs to be embraced in its entirety ingame. It's true, calvary eventually became obsolete to counter artillery (i.e. canister shot, explosive mortar rounds). However, this should occur in the final military techs.

Finally, the merc stacks should be divisible to supplement divisions, much like (Hesse) Hessian Grenadiers in the American revolutionary war.

Here's a video explaining the problem better than I can:


Hopefully, this comment is seen and it's advice can be taken to heart.
What if besides changing the size and composition of mercenary companies we would change how slacken recruitment works. I would keep the cost being 5% professionalism but it will give you a modifier for something like 5 or 10 years for a certain % increase in max manpower and manpower recovery speed and maybe a certain amount of actual manpower instantly, but not the 2 years worth of MP that we get now, but something like half a year or one year. Also, you should not be able to spam slacken recruitment as much as you like. It was always very strange to get this amount of MP just in a click and being also able to spam it and get ridiculous amounts of MP in one day. Maybe we should put like a limit on having a max of 3 modifiers active at once. This will also make the war game more interesting and balanced. You will have to pay more attention to how many and bloody wars you can afford. In the start and early mid game the MP is a factor around which one usually plans around, but when getting to a certain max MP the manpower in combination with how slacken works right now basically allows to forget about MP. This is not realistic as even big empires should be bound by manpower. Yes, those countries should be more flexible with their MP, but not being able to completely ignore it and being able to chain big world wide wars indefinitely. Also, this might make it worth to go revolutionary more often late game for some "levée en masse" type of bonuses to MP like it was for historical revolutionary France with their draft system.
 
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I'd like to be able to properly explain my disdain in great lenght, but it's really hard to do as my english vocabulary and grammar is quite limited, so i will get straight to the point.

Multiple time, throughout multiple Dev Diaries, months, even now, years, question about modding have been asked, but never ever answered.
This Gold Depletion modifier look really neat, but we're only presented with a National version of it. As a modders, it does raise the question that i already asked, "will a local version of it be available ?".

I don't except a yes, neither will i be hateful if i get a no.
I just want an answer.

Afaik, some of the new members at Paradox Tinto are old modders themselves. So please, now that you are behind the scene, if you can't give us an answer, can you at least tell us why? Why is it impossible to get a "yes" or a "no"? For the thousands of hours i've spend modding this game, the hundreds of euro i've paid for multiple version of it, all with multiple DLC each, so i can have an account here and play with my friends. Is it too much asked to get answer? Am i being impertinent by asking for 3 or 2 letters?

It's nothing for you. But it's a lot for us. Because it show, that behind that whole debacle the last expansions where, you, even just a little, still care.

So please.

Will a local version of the "Gold Depletion" modifier be available, as to allow the possibility of certain province to never deplete, regardless of who actually own it?
 
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I really hope there are more wasteland provinces added to West Africa, it is boring being able to expand so easily in any direction. Would make for more strategic play.
I'd rather see all Wastelands removed in EU4 to become playable provinces, even if they come with drastic Supply nerfs/penalties that make it extremely difficult to become a productive province, that also incurs penalties for most average to large-sized armies passing through. There was no such thing as a Wasteland where no one went, in world history, but some areas were more risky to travel through than others, and these areas should be wide open/available yet pose a risk.
 
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Our plan is several regional missiontrees and a fair bit of unique ones.
If you open up Ethiopia for an edit, this is a good time to also review/update the entire Coptic religion's effects. It could be argued, that the only way to properly start a Coptic religion game start, is to start as Ethiopia from a positional standpoint. The other Coptic nations are either too small or poorly located strategically in their geographic position, to make for a "fun game" other than playing in Very Easy mode with AI dumbed down.
 
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Since this update/content will greatly affect Gold Mining and (apparently) Goods Produced buff/nerfs for gold-producing provinces (after the PDX Dev acknowledged that the original plan to nerf Production Efficiency does not affect Gold production) -- I thought this post to discuss Mining tech to be an overdue discussion point for Johan and the PDX Dev's, and this probably needs its own individual post at the forum, but since we're digging a hole with mining nerfs to Europe, let's actually discuss some real history here.

1698 was the start of Steam tech used to increase efficiency in mines in England.
Early 1700s, steam tech is implemented with machinery in the nations of France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. And to be clear, these were mining efficiencies for more than just gold, but any/all mines that could benefit.

Reference this Wiki page (yes, I know, Wiki is probably only 75% accurate on these history pages, but this is the quickest "Easy Button" to read vs a 200+ page book on the subject for the forum).
Steam Power During the Industrial Revolution

And please don't take this comment as trying to turn the tail end of EU4 into a "Steampunk Era" but this entire shift in the Industrial Revolution is not being implemented in the game-we-have-now. Any/all provinces in Europe, especially, should be considered for a buff of some sort, whether tied into existing buildings, or event-driven, but the provinces that produce: Gold, Copper, Iron, and Coal -- should all hold potential for Goods Produced buffs once we get to around 1700 in the game.

Since PDX is opening up a massive Gold production nerf in this Mali experiment, I thought it high time to counter that the Mining Industry in general, is not well portrayed in the game. Production efficiencies (not game metrics, but real life efficiencies) were exponentially different for European mines of this period, vs those in Africa or the Americas. The amount produced per "Development" point is not reflective of that in current game. If you raise a point of Production in an Americas province, or an Africa province, or a European province - you basically get the same exact production boost, but that wasn't reality. Reality - Europe's mines were much more efficient, and thus a contributor toward why the metals industry, and tech advances in general, were at a faster pace in Europe vs the rest of the world, especially at the time of the Industrial Revolution and beyond.

How to portray this shift in game? Well, as stated, one simple way would be to buff European mining provinces based on either a time-triggered event in the year 1700+ timeframe, or some other method. The intent was not to make a counterpoint, but to bring balance to the discussion of the mining industry and effects that could be game-changing as these new content decisions are tabled.
 
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Maybe a better way than having a stupidly powerful event, which in fact does less damage to the player because it would be too strong otherwise, would be targeted attacks with this. Give a powerful Mali with this mission the option of a targeted strike against it's rivals as an espionage action. Imagine, Mali is rivalled with France. In a move to cripple the French economy Mali smuggles literal shiploads of money (At the cost of say several times the yearly income of the target country.) into France, causing the collapse of the French economy, resulting in massive inflation, but also unrest and stability hit, since well, the economy has just kinda collapsed. This would make more sense, is likely more balanced, and would give Mali an unique mechanic.
They didn't use Bitcoin in the Middle Ages. Governments/nations would SEIZE money coming on shore if not well-intentioned. The importation of money was viewed just like we view imports of drugs in the modern age - governments did not let this stuff get by.
And what would happen in the Real World if literally "tons of money" arrived on shore and the local government in France seized the shipment, and then transported it off to Paris? It would get melted down, put into bars and put to storage in national vaults, with the nation of France then considering when it would "stamp" new coins of their own mintage with this "free gold" arriving on their shores.

If anything, the reverse would be true - Mali would have wasted a fortune in gold by essentially gifting the French the economic power to mint new coins at will for their national needs, to include military expenditures. France - enriched with such an unintentional gift, could form an expeditionary army and launch it to crush and subdue/vassalize Mali.

That's more toward reality as to what would occur with an influx of gold. Remember - national minting clearly showed the brassage stamping of the originating nation. So, Mali isn't stamping French coins, they're stamping Mali coins, and those are easily distinguished and "seized" by local authorities quickly back-tracing where the money is that arrived on shore.

Again, we're talking about physical minting practices and the reactionary effects of local authorities of that era, not some ethereal crypto coin activity that stealthily arrives on shore.
 
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I guess the Paradox CEO resigned just in time so she wouldn't have on her resume the fallout from Mali firing the event and the stonks going negative BRRR.
Actually, the resignation of the Paradox CEO was the 2nd such resignation in recent news, as the Chief Marketing Officer had resigned just prior in August, as this news link discusses.
 
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crashing the economy... that will be fun to watch if someone manage to pull it off in MP
I've stated this in separate forums, but I don't think any long-time EU4 players will ever allow it to happen for one of 2 reasons:
1. The Multiplayer game setup will likely be modded or set up to allow the players to refuse a Mali start by any human players, thus eliminating the possibility of this from the time of Game Setup.
2. Even if a Multiplayer game has commenced, with one of the human players as Mali, the other players will know they must prevent this future event, and are more likely to form an "everyone except Mali" Alliance and wipe Mali as a coalition (seizing provinces, breaking it down to a useless nation). And afterward, getting on with a more normal multiplayer game.
 
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Thank you all for your comments so far. I know several of you have expressed concern about how Paradox have listened to community feedback from Dev Diaries in the past and with due respect, that was before my time. My process is to let the thread build for a day or two so that all perspectives (and timezones) can be represented. I then create a detailed summary of the salient points raised, create a report and send to the developers. I do the same on a weekly basis around general sentiment here, on Twitter, Discord and Facebook - my goal is to keep the dev's as well informed as I possibly can, and have been doing this since Leviathan (I joined the team 2 weeks prior to its release).

I am not trying to sound defensive here, but more to hopefully show that processes have changed - Leviathan was a wake up call and we are reacting to it as such.

So far, the big talking points I have seen raised here are;
- Discontent regarding the freeze on map changes
- Concern about the impact of the final mission for Mali (it goes too far and is too severe).
- Highlighted privilege is too powerful - especially combined with virtually unlimited gold mine development and no depletion
- Goods Produced, not Production Efficiency modifier
- Want more bugs fixed / balance changes first
- People want Scandinavia / South America (this was already heard loud and clear from our Twitter poll)

Now I know this is not each and every point raised, nor is this everyone's opinion - that would be impossible to represent. Instead these are points we can take to the developers and say "this is where we want to see action". This is also not my final report I will be sending to the developers (I tend to go into more detail), I just wanted to let you all know that you are being heard.

We welcome your critiques, but please keep it polite.
Mordred,
It may be stating the obvious, but a point of clarification should be made when you present this feedback/data to the Paradox leadership and Dev's --

- That your feedback data is primarily based on responses to the Original Post/Dev Diary and successive Paradox employees' statements in this thread, and are a combination of emotional and analysis-based responses from what the Player Community has read in those Paradox postings.

However (and this is a Suggestion), if Paradox were to conduct more toward a "Town Hall" event/post where you simply provided an open mic/responses to a general question of "What do you want to see improved in EU4?" - as example, you would then begin to receive more of a broad response trend to such a general question, thus leading to a more macro assessment of the game from the Community's perspective.

I see this as a weakness in current Paradox practices, that there are these packaged announcements, and then the Player Community chews on it and spits out a response (for better or worse), but then that combination of emotional and analytical response feedback is an isolated data set to just the isolated points raised by Paradox in the Dev Diary or otherwise. If you were to conduct more broad surveys such as this, or have some "Town Hall" equivalent with an Open Mic to have players post their complaints/suggestions, you may gain even more insight to where the Player Community is at right now. The other benefit to Paradox for conducting a more regularly scheduled "Open Mic" event where any complaint/suggestion is on the table, is that you gain more insight to where the community currently is for their appetite for what has worked, and what hasn't, in EU4 at a macro/meta level and then helps frame the big-ticket items to consider for an EU5 game of the future (especially if you had a Town Hall event for that itself - to ask for feedback for what to Sustain vs Improve for an EU5 build). I realize there is a Suggestion Thread here in the EU4 Forum (and I've placed several Suggestions there recently), but this is about something different, to gain more of the pulse of the "here and now" state of the game according to the EU4 game community. If you already do these sort of events - well, I missed it, but I would still hope this helps influence such events to be more of a regular schedule, with a very transparent system of showing the event's comments, and your post-event data compilation much as you did well for this DD post.
 
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It's a sad state of affairs when the devs have no idea what the players want with their game. This is the same as free nukes for Poland. A weird dream you had one night sure but this Is just ridiculous to implement. We want normal interesting somewhat historical and then plausible trees. Not LOL meme buttons.
 
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I speak for the majority. I play multiplayer regularly. you are probably the only person that wants this sort of meme alt history mali with nukes shit.
How did you find the time to know the majority-opinion among 25k daily players? (https://steamcharts.com/app/236850). Did you have time to actually play the game inbetween asking around ?
I'd be very surprised if "i don't want any memes" is more than like a 50-50 or 60-40 opinion even among the max few 100 people on the forum ... (and likely a LOT lower elsewhere)

Let alone claiming frog is "the only one"
 
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This Gold Depletion modifier look really neat, but we're only presented with a National version of it. As a modders, it does raise the question that i already asked, "will a local version of it be available ?".
I'll ask.
 
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