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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Welcome to another Europa Universalis IV development diary. Everything is going fine with the development of Leviathan, as we are working on polishing content at the moment.

We have talked about some major improvements to playing tall in previous diaries, with possibilities of stacking manufactories and concentrating development. Today we will talk about something that synergies nicely with both these features.

Centralizing a State

The final new Playing-Tall option is the ability to Centralize a State. This action reduces the administrative cost of a state by as much as the value of 20 development points.

Centralizing States costs 100 Government Reform Progress points and takes five years to complete.

This interaction is available both through the state interface and through the macrobuilder.
eu4_26.png


Never Mothball
A small thing that might make the top 3 of some peoples requested lists, and may be completely ignored by others is a small toggle for individual forts to never mothball.

We are adding a small checkbox in the province interface that if enabled, that fort will never mothball when you mothball every fort in your country from the military screen. This is something you may want to use when you may want to save money on lots of forts, but never risk it with the important forts next to France.
eu4_25.png


Canal changes
With the new monument mechanics, we moved the old great projects system to be using the new monument code internally as well, which gives a few benefits, in that you can upgrade them as well. Each upgrade takes about 10 years further, and about 1000 gold each. We are also making the canals available from an earlier technology as well, from admin tech 26 to admin tech 22.

Previously the canals, besides opening the paths, gave a +20 trade power to the location, now instead they are giving these.

  • Tier 0 +10 Trade Power to Location, and +1% Trade Power to the Controller.
  • Tier 1 +20 Trade Power to Location, and +2% Trade Power to the Controller.
  • Tier 2 +30 Trade Power to Location, and +3% Trade Power to the Controller.
  • Tier 3 +50 Trade Power to Location, and +5% Trade Power to the Controller.




Next week we’ll be back and talk about colonial nations.
 

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Tall players asking if Johan knows what Tall play is when they themselves dont ever explain what tall play is except that nerfing ide play is somehow beneficial for it in some abstract manner. I legit have never seen anyone ever say what tall play is since to some recreating the historical borders of a nation like Britain is tall play while to others playing Lübeck and expanding 5 provinces in total from 1444 to 1821 is tall play.
 
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Tall players asking if Johan knows what Tall play is when they themselves dont ever explain what tall play is except that nerfing ide play is somehow beneficial for it in some abstract manner. I legit have never seen anyone ever say what tall play is since to some recreating the historical borders of a nation like Britain is tall play while to others playing Lübeck and expanding 5 provinces in total from 1444 to 1821 is tall play.
Tall play is simply defined as deliberately refraining from expanding you territory any further, despite having the means and opportunity to do so.

So a Tall mechanic is any mechanic that:
A gives the player a way to improve his strength by interacting with the territory he already has instead of conquering further.
B gives the player something meaningful and useful to do do while not actively expanding or recovering from previous expansion

Tall play cannot be defined by an absolute number of provinces or number of development, it's not about the outcome it's about the process.
 
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So, we need to rebalance some numbers?

So I figure you already had many suggestions, but I honestly had to stop reading after page 8.
This is true, in a sense. It's more about affecting different things.

- For for centralize development, moving development around differently as others have noted: from state provinces to one state capital, reducing the dev cost in the other provinces.
- For centralizing a state: reducing government cap linearly doesn't make it tall play. Doing it percentually would work, because it favors concentrated development.
- Adding a building slot for some fixed government cap cost: a fixed cost doesn't favor tall play, it's equal for all. Adding a % cost on the government cap on global level would work.

You seem to be reading the suggestions, so I'm sure that any (feasible) proposals will be taken into account. I think the main takeaway from the - sometimes too harsh - backlash here is re-evaluating the thought process internally to tall versus wide. It really seems like either no one actually thought about "but wouldn't this also benefit wide play equally or more?", or the definition of 'tall' play has become "wide but more pyramidy" in the eyes of devs.
 
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Johan you guys could always just experiment with a new mechanic behind closed doors for a week or so. Test out an idea you may have. if it's proving to cause too many issues with other mechanics axe the idea and try something else. We would rather have more meaty updates and wait longer than getting a couple small buttons to press and forget about. Also I posted it to a previous dev diary but how about something like this to create a more immersive change that should be low risk for you?

I have a couple relatively simple addition suggestion if the focus is on playing tall.

1, attach a bonus and negative based on your manpower. I think of something like goods produced. If you have lets say 100% of your max manpower then you should be getting 10% extra goods produced (As the non conscrited guys would be working on the fields and factories). If you are tapped on manpower then it's minus 10% goods produced as there are not enough hands on the fields. 50% is where you would have no bonuses or penalties.

2, make manpower more spendable during peace. If you are playing tall then you are most likely will be at 100% manpower most of the time. Maybe give some options of spending a % of manpower to dev up or give temporarly bonuses like building cost reduction (it's meant to further demonstrate how nations sometimes uses their military for construction projects besides the events we already have)

3. increase the chance of getting deving up events while at peace. Also create a chance to lose dev in provinces that are occupied (devastation is a good mechanic but it's not really having any trully lasting effect when in history a devastated land could take over a hundred year to recover)
This. So much this.
If we have to have more buttons it should be something where you want to focus on going one path or another.
I play England a lot and sometimes I go for complete non-intervention on the continent and sometimes I try to make an early EU with GB ruling Europe.
During the "peaceful" playthroughs I always wish that there were other ways to use my resources other than just going to war.
 
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worst dlc :/
I really hate when Johan works, give someone else
 
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So, we need to rebalance some numbers?
You really need to rethink what the centralize state option costs and does. Right now it is filling the exact same spot as "Expand administration". Both directly convert reform progress into GC. This means that one "choice" will always be strictly better than the other, making it not really a choice. If you make this feature cheaper or stronger "Expand adminiatration" will instead be a dead button.

So essentially either the currency you pay with needs to change, which wouldn't benefit tall play anymore, since reform progress (via lower average autonomy) is the only advantage tall play has stat wise, or the reward needs to change. State maintenance, %gov cost modifiers, crown land, absolutism, dev cost, etc. are all options to consider.
 
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I am generally confused about the purpose and reasoning behind the first mechanic in this dev diary. Johan could you please explain the logic behind adding this, as in my view it does not add anything to the game, and it is totally unrelated to playing tall.

The game already has the expand administration button in the government reforms screen, which does exactly what this new mechanic does but cheaper and instantaneously. In the current patch I would have to expand administration 20 times for the cost to be 100 reform progress which is the cost outlined here.

This all goes without saying that gov capacity is more of an issue for expansionist states then tall ones, so I fail to see how this function contributes to playing tall at all.

Fundamentally you are adding a pointless mechanic that doesn't do anything new, which doesn't contribute to the aims of playing tall, and for which there is already an existing mechanic in the game that does this better and cheaper. You can do much better than this and you shouldn't need feedback via the forums that this idea is not a sensible one and does not add anything to the game. You really really need to go back to the drawing board for this.
 
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You really need to rethink what the centralize state option costs and does. Right now it is filling the exact same spot as "Expand administration". Both directly convert reform progress into GC. This means that one "choice" will always be strictly better than the other, making it not really a choice. If you make this feature cheaper or stronger "Expand adminiatration" will instead be a dead button.

So essentially either the currency you pay with needs to change, which wouldn't benefit tall play anymore, since reform progress (via lower average autonomy) is the only advantage tall play has stat wise, or the reward needs to change. State maintenance, %gov cost modifiers, crown land, absolutism, dev cost, etc. are all options to consider.
Thinking about it a bit, maybe there should be some sort of bonus for you if you are below gov capacity to promote tall play. After all gov capacity meant to demonstrate how well is your administration working. Of course the bonus should scale so the closer you are for the cap the weaker the bonus is. At 0% there would be no bonuses and going over the limit gives you the already known penalties.
 
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EUIV devs:
- What if we are out of touch? What if our crusade against map painting is harmful? What if our years of adding new mechanics to punish players for expansion is wrong?
- No..it is the playerbase who are wrong!
 
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One thing I’d really like is for the button clicks to really mean something. So tall players get a nice shiny button that works out only for them but actively gimps wide players. the same for vassal loving players, and the other gameplay styles
Yes!
Working towards different styles I think would be great. Although I think only the wide style would see much use. I think of the colonist missions for that kind of thing. Either you go hardcore with getting as many people there as possible or you have a way to not worry about the uprisings.
I love having just a ton of vassals, but other than the Strong Duchies there hasn't been too much to help focus on vassal play.
I guess we now have Stateless Society to encourage vassal play...
 
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This. So much this.
If we have to have more buttons it should be something where you want to focus on going one path or another.
I play England a lot and sometimes I go for complete non-intervention on the continent and sometimes I try to make an early EU with GB ruling Europe.
During the "peaceful" playthroughs I always wish that there were other ways to use my resources other than just going to war.
When faced with periods of prolonged, boring peace with nothing trivial to minmax, I move on to another activity until I can restore my attention span and resume play.
 
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IndigoRage

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What if we are out of touch? What if our crusade against map painting is harmful? What if our years of adding new mechanics to punish players for expansion is wrong?
I'm not sure how you got that from this DD. There hasn't been a new anti-map painting mechanic in some time. There was the move to governing capacity but that was kind of a lateral or positive move for blobbers.
 
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Tiax

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Still a better dev diary than victory cards...
 
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Rashie

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When you have two mechanics doing what amounts to the same thing using the same resource as a cost, one of them becomes not worth clicking at all.

It's not just the balancing that needs a rethink here, but what the button does in the first place. We already have a mechanic in the game for getting more GC from excess reform capacity.
 
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grandadmiralbob

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This isn't an attack, in fact it makes me kinda sad. My hours are measured with a 5 digit number, so I'm no longer a noob at this game. But please make EU5, and stop adding to EU4. Let her go out beautiful, instead of tacking on a bunch of petty bonuses and buttons.
 
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PtY

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I think an underappreciated element of the problem here is the long term design choice to accommodate and even encourage extremely wide play, up to and including literal world conquest.

This isn't to say that's a bad thing - although it's very much not to my taste - but to point out that it makes designing features for tall play difficult. If playing wide is both cost-effective - which it must be for world conquests to be possible - and more efficient in military and economic terms than tall play - which it likely has to be for extremely large empires to be fun rather than tedious to create in the first place - then there aren't many viable mechanics left to make tall play interesting, let alone competitive.

The types of internal mechanics that make tall play fun - parliaments, factions, religious and cultural sectarianism - would either be toothless or would prevent wide players from conquering as effectively as they can now. Likewise, the types of asymmetric military and diplomatic gambits that tall countries utilized historically are weak or absent altogether in EU4. Tech gaps tend to be small thanks to ahistorically rapid institution spread; it's hard for tall countries to insulate themselves from unwinnable wars against military rivals with vastly larger manpower pools; the list could go on.

There are probably ways to fix all of this even within the technical limitation's of EU4's aging engine and core systems (many of these solutions are present in other Paradox games), but in my extensive experience as a player and limited experience as a modder, most would entail making sprawling, populous, diverse empires inherently unstable; prone to overreach and collapse; and all but impossible to homogenize.
 
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