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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Mordred Viking

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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 --
Thanks for the comment. I do also take other platforms into account, like Facebook / Twitter / Discord and sometimes Reddit, and I try to track it over time so I can see where issues arise for larger parts of the community and prioritise accordingly. Town Hall isn't a bad idea, we got some really good feedback from the Ask Us Anything we did during PDX but they are more difficult to organise and takes developers away from development time.

Timing of them is also important, for example I am sure if we held one now, it would be completely dominated by the map changes freeze simply because it's on everyone's mind and other underlying problems might get glossed over.

I do like the suggestion though, will pass it on to Bjorn.
 
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Mordred Viking

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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 ?".
So, coming back to you already!

There was not a local version, but the developers thought it was a great idea so just added it :)

So, to answer your question- yes there is a local version as well as the national one which can be used in modding!
 
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Mindel

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for example I am sure if we held one now, it would be completely dominated by the map changes freeze simply because it's on everyone's mind and other underlying problems might get glossed over.
That you bring this up suggests that the dev team is already aware of the overwhelmingly negative reception the announcement about map changes has gotten. I would like to think that they would be receptive to feedback enough to reconsider their position in light of the response.

The justification that Johan gave about breaking saves was not an issue I've heard any complaints about in the past. In fact, I don't recall anyone saying "please pause development of this or that aspect of the game so that my saves don't become obsolete". So it feels like a convenient pretext concealing a deeper reason. And I would bet that saves will get broken by something else anyway.

The vast majority of complaints I've seen are about a different kind of breaking: game-breaking bugs, meaning ones that affect mechanics and AI. Map changes will almost never cause these, so they ought to be a simple way to make improvements to the game without disturbing the superstructure of mechanics. Shutting them off at this juncture really makes no sense.
 
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holyvigil

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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.

That is WAD. Mercanaries are intended to be worse later on and a choice between a professional army and a mercenary army is the intentional mechanic to do that.
 

lordgoof

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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"
Common sense and extrapolation. Play a unicorn mod I you want memes. Just keep them out of the base game where they don't belong.
 
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Korsan82

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Maybe the message about a newly built mosque which is a miracle should not be presented to you by a cardinal, but by a muslim scholar or imam. Adds immersion and so...
 
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blackkatemoss

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Just want to throw my support in for a few items:
-Please don't suspend edits to the map in terms of physical geography.
-Please tone down the impact(s) of mission trees. Personally, I'd prefer the reward(s) just to spawn a thematic event chain with minor modifiers.
-Please revert the naval/strait behavior to having troop movement blocked when the sea tile is secured by your navy (regardless of province ownership).

Speaking more generally:
Someone else already put it nicely (but I can't find them now to quote); this game doesn't need more bloat - there is a wealth of content in the game that has been essentially overshadowed and abandoned by new (typically worse) features. 'Support Rebels' has been displaying an erroneously low price (more noticeable when the unrest type is global, so typically not separatists) for many versions now which has developed a trend of players not using the mechanic.

The Religions have a ton of untapped potential that should be expanded on (protestant mechanics needs some help, very bland; Catholic and Islam are pretty fun in comparison, more like those; obviously coptic/animist need a facelift. Propagate trade is an awesome feature that simply is under utilized. Missionaries need to be able to do more.

Trade needs some heavy nerfing and the routes need some re-imagining.

Republics need to be re-imagined - Pirate Republics are fun but need an actual mode of play. Merchant Republics are awesome and can be left alone probably but bog-standard republics are very, very boring especially as they lose estates for the low-impact "factions".

Feudal theocracies use legitimacy/aristocracy ideas rather than devotion/divine strangely - I think the same is the case for "eastern plutocracy", I'm sure these cultural representations won't neatly fit eurocentric categorization but that is an example of where fleshing out would be welcome.

There is really a lot to be done in terms of flavor and expanding on previous features - there is nearly no need for new features like we saw in Leviathan.

All of the natives/primitives need to share indigenous ideas and reform mechanics - the way that NA natives right now are in a category of their own is a hot mess, just really feels like a different game in NA right now. Not everything was bad; having tribes be able to settle at any government type is fun/good. "Tribal land" being able to be occupied by colonizers is a decent idea that has potential (right now no one gets to even do it as they settle too fast). Totemism religion is good. But NA natives having a system that is entirely alien to Central/SA/Aboriginal natives is poor design. NA natives either need a reversion or the other groups need to be accomodated within the new NA style.

The Curia itself has a wealth of features and content but they are not implemented entirely well. The treasury especially is just empty flavor that has no organic grounding within the game. The treasury could be tied to reform desire, for instance (before the reformation) and then (after the reformation) it could function as
fuel for counter-reformation efforts. Really the way religion spreads during the reformation in Europe should be something that the players can indirectly and semi-randomly influence. Currently not only is it purely RNG-based (aside from the edict) but also players have learned how to crush the CoRs so that they never pose a threat for the player.

Revolutionary mechanics are headed in the right direction but could use more work.

Having non-European style culture shifts similar to reformation/revolution would be good for other places in the world. Think primitive disaster from colonialism, except it's not simply a disaster, it's a cultural event from history that deserves mechanics of its own. This could also have a version for implementation in India/China. Africa should have a cultural event revolving around the expansion of the slave trade. Yes, these would qualify as new features but I'd really encourage implementing them similarly to big events like the reformation/RLW/Revolution where it's a map-based crisis that is semi-random.

Holy Orders/Expel Minority/Concentrate Dev/Pillage/Centralize State are examples of bloat. I imagine we're stuck with them now so a rework on them would be very welcome.

TL;DR: bring old content up to speed and unify the design philosophy of the primitives.
 
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Tiax

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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.
I feel like this should be ringing alarm bells that the design is not a good one. Is EU4 really the sort of game that needs a "claim victory" button that launches a cascade of event messages like the end of Windows Solitaire? The game already becomes stale near the end, should we really be adding a design that obliterates any remaining opposition the player may have faced? Yes, it may be satisfying to press the button and watch the pop-ups, but what about after that? Is my game just over? You should strive to design capstone missions that *enhance* the last years of the game, not make them superfluous. Otherwise it feels like my reward for completing the mission is that my game is now boring and I have to go start a new one.
 
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That you bring this up suggests that the dev team is already aware of the overwhelmingly negative reception the announcement about map changes has gotten. I would like to think that they would be receptive to feedback enough to reconsider their position in light of the response.

The justification that Johan gave about breaking saves was not an issue I've heard any complaints about in the past. In fact, I don't recall anyone saying "please pause development of this or that aspect of the game so that my saves don't become obsolete". So it feels like a convenient pretext concealing a deeper reason. And I would bet that saves will get broken by something else anyway.

The vast majority of complaints I've seen are about a different kind of breaking: game-breaking bugs, meaning ones that affect mechanics and AI. Map changes will almost never cause these, so they ought to be a simple way to make improvements to the game without disturbing the superstructure of mechanics. Shutting them off at this juncture really makes no sense.

I guess the straw that broke the camel's back was that hotfix were a lot of saves were getting broken. Pretty sure it had nothing to do with new provinces being added but considering the headache that that situation was I guess that situation informed Johan's decision.
 
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FrogCrusher

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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.
Another cognitive bias. I did not say I wanted neither. Independently of my thoughts, I really dislike when someone says 'We' when speaking for itself, that's all.
The confirmation bias also brings this situation where the ones who agree with the title of the thread are more likely to come, giving the feeling that everybody is in agreement.
 
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KevinGM

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So, coming back to you already!

There was not a local version, but the developers thought it was a great idea so just added it :)

So, to answer your question- yes there is a local version as well as the national one which can be used in modding!
Thanks a lot for answering, and even greater thanks to the dev team to actually put the extra efforts to satisfy an unknown modder in his bedroom, absolutely made my day.

Really, really appreciate that. Trust me, it means a lot.
 
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Atlantians

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Anyone else notice that production efficiency doesn't effect gold mines?
 

Atlantians

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