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Europa Universalis IV - Development Diary 1st of February 2022

Hello everyone, and welcome to another EUIV Dev Diary! Today we’ll be talking about more changes we’ve been doing for the 1.33 ‘France’ patch, one new concept that we’ve implemented called ‘Script Debt’, and the workflow behind bugfixing. So let's get started with my colleague @Ogele talking about the balance changes!

Greetings everyone!

As you all are aware we have no precise, official “regional focus” for this patch unlike the other free patches such as 1.29 “Manchuria Update” or 1.27 “Poland Update”. While it means we haven’t created mission trees for a region, this at least allows us to concentrate on balancing existing content, adding Quality of Life changes and fine tuning some other areas of the world.

Starting with China, we received your feedback and implemented some changes which makes the unification of China a less tedious process for the non-horde Chinese tags. One of them is the addition of the following government reform for every Confucian Chinese which gets released by the Celestial Empire:

chinese_kingdom.png


One huge problem with the released countries in China was that they tend to create hugboxes around them which prevented them from actually unifying China. In order to prevent this all the Chinese Kingdoms have a -100 Opinion penalty for fellow Confucian countries. At the same time, they also gain access to the Unify China casus belli, which received a substantial buff:

unify_china_cb.png


We were experimenting with giving every Chinese tag cores over the whole region, but this resulted in really awkward situations where a province had cores of like 8 different tags + these cores were too much of a freebie. By gaining the cores through occupation the process of conquering China feels more natural.

Here are some of the nightly results:

image (3).png


image (4).png

A natural occurring Qing, which we wanted to see too, sadly did not happen yet. However, we are pleased to see that a unified China is now more likely to happen.

Even if it happens through means we did not expect…

image (2).png

Apparently, in this timeline there was a Bengali dynasty in China…

Other changes we introduced is the inability for the Celestial Empire AI to make countries their tributaries, which have their capital in China, as it felt very immersion breaking to us when the Celestial Emperor blocked themselves in such a fashion.

We also made a small change to Korea too:

1. The Gyeongbok Palace no longer gives tech cost reduction. Instead, it now has the following modifiers:

gyeongbok_palace.png


2 .Their national idea “The Hangeul Alphabet” now gives -10% Tech Cost instead of -5%

3. The estate privilege “Inwards Perfection” gives now the following penalties / benefits:

inwards_perfection.png


It also ensures that the Korean AI is a diplomat or an administrator unless another nation holds one of their cores. This way you have an AI Korea which actually plays tall instead of blobbing into Manchuria, which wasn’t really liked by the community.

While we’re at the estate privileges: all privileges, which have modifiers scaling with the Crownland owned by the estate, now exempt the estate from the “Seize Land” action. This change allows you to have a little more control over who you seize the Crownland + makes these estate privileges a little bit more useful. Also, the “Increased Levies' ' estate privilege has been slightly buffed, giving now 33% increased Manpower Modifier at 100% Crownland instead of 25%.

One final balance change I want to address are the “Expand Infrastructure” and “Centralize State” features from Leviathan. Their goals were to enhance playing tall. While the idea was neat, we felt like these two buttons didn’t have the punch needed to be worth the attention. The issue with “Expand Infrastructure” was the relation of governing cost and manufactory slots: manufactories are useful in low dev provinces as they give a flat bonus, but a governing cost increase means a province is more expensive to hold which is why you don’t waste it for a benefit which could be accomplished by holding one additional 3 dev province with a manufactory. So the times where you would use this button would be if you want a province to have something like a rampart, which is a very niche situation at best. Because of that we have decided to give “Expand Infrastructure” some more power, which makes their cost worthwhile:

expand_infrastructure.png

I want to point out that this is NOT the final version. We will take the Beta feedback into consideration for adjusting this feature.

Next point is the “Centralize State” button, which has one big issue: it competes with much more useful and global “Expand Administration” button from the government tab. To make “Centralize State” more viable, we have decided to change its identity a little bit by changing the governing cost from a flat reduction to a percentage reduction. We also added some other bonuses to the centralized state:

centralize_state.png


Here are a few other balance changes we have done for 1.33:
  • Winter Palace’s modifiers have been reworked as they didn’t feel right for Russia and the seat of Peter the Great. Now it gives at level 3 the following modifiers:
  • winter_palace.png
  • Tibetan (just like Vietnamese and Korean) can now sinicize their culture and adopt a culture of the Chinese culture group. It should be noted here: we are using the Manchu way of doing this as the engine is way too outdated for dynamic culture groups unfortunately.
  • Syncretic religions now give the bonuses of the monuments of the secondary faith. Example: Oirat which has Sunni as Syncretic religion will be able to benefit from the Hagia Sophia.
  • Feudal Theocracies have access to the Divine Ideas Group instead of the Aristocracy ideas.
  • Muslim subjects will no longer enact “Guaranteed Dhimmi Autonomy” if their Muslim overlord has religious ideas.
  • Roman Empire’s ideas have been buffed to bring them on par with the ideas of the HRE.
  • Selling Crownland now requires you to actually have the 10% to sell.
  • Manpower, Sailors and Forcelimit granted by colonies are reduced by 25%.
That was all from my side! I wish you a nice week, and we will see you in the next DD!

Alright, now @Pavía again in charge, into the workflow for this patch. When tackling 1.33 fixes, we obviously gave priority to bugs being reported after the 1.32.2 patch was released, and those that didn’t make the cut owing to not being implemented in time. In the Content Design Team we also addressed and discussed some balance changes we wanted to make for this patch, specifically for the Eastern Asia regions, as @Ogele has just pointed out. But we found that as the bugfixing process was going well, as the ‘Songhai’ patch had been much less troubling than the previous ‘Majapahit’ one, we had some development time at our disposal to go back, and try to fix even older script-related issues.

That is what we called ‘Script Debt’, following the ‘Tech Debt’ concept that was also addressed in older versions of EUIV (for 1.30 patch there were a lot of issues addressed this way, if you recall). So we focused for a few weeks on cleaning up all these older issues that for one or other reason hadn’t been solved yet, and trying to have as few remaining legacy problems from older versions as possible. We also cleaned and simplified some scripts that were a bit convoluted, something that we’ll continue doing in future versions when possible (because for the next patch we’ll be more focused on creating new content, as previously said).

What are the actual results of this work? So we've solved around 40 older script issues for this patch. And regarding all the bug fixes done, I’ll show you some pictures and metrics, as they may speak better of it than I:

Bugs.png

progress.png

Here you can see that we’ve solved over 400 reported bugs, reducing the total count by at least 100 bugs and issues for this patch alone, which puts the EUIV bug-count lower than any GSG game has been in the last decade, according to our metrics (yay!).

So, what can you expect from the team in the next months regarding this topic? Apart from developing new content, we’ll continue addressing Tech Debt, Script Debt, and QoL improvements; you can help us by posting this kind of problems in the Bug Reports subforum, as we keep a regular track of it. And if you have any suggestions for improving the state of the game that are not bugs, we will continue tracking the Suggestions subforum in that regard. Listening to the voices of players is important for the Tinto Team at this point of the development of EUIV, as we’re trying to polish the game as much as possible.

To finish, when can you expect the 1.33 patch to be released? Well, the good news is that we’re pushing it as an open beta this evening! We’ll keep it open for a couple weeks, and then we will release the full patch later in Q1, after the testing is done, and we’re sure that we’ve solved all the issues appearing in the open beta.

By the way, we noticed that we have an issue regarding the Linux version of the game that we’re already trying to fix, so those users should NOT opt-in into this open beta.

You’ll be able to take a look on the changelog along with the release of the open beta. See you, and we will be answering issues raised in this thread during the week!
 
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Will Korean government get a fixed dynasty?
 
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Does the -100 opinion modifier effectively mean that Chinese kingdoms will never ally with one another?

If so, that seems rather unfortunate, as shifting alliances was a feature of warring states China. Although maybe this is the price that must be paid to get the AI to unify China.
 
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Does the -100 opinion modifier effectively mean that Chinese kingdoms will never ally with one another?

If so, that seems rather unfortunate, as shifting alliances was a feature of warring states China. Although maybe this is the price that must be paid to get the AI to unify China.
I feel like as long as they have a common enemy they hate enough, they will end up ally each other (but obviously only with a bit of effort).

In other news, centralise state is an even more unenticing prospect. The flat -20 on governing cost of the state was just about ok, but now it's only worth using if the state has at least 200 dev to get the same value on reduced governing cost. The state maintenance reduction and prosperity gain are redundant - if you've got that much dev in that state, when you centralise, you're likely to be producing enough money from the state to nullify the state maint cost, as well as having full prosperity on it already.
 
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As usual, amazing (since the beginning of the diaries of this new patch). Just as usual, I am still going to repost the updated community balance list; very glad to see at least one of the points (centralize state mechanic) tackled!

MAJOR PROBLEMS
  1. The institution system is balanced horribly, and is one of the most game world defining problems of the games that last until 1600s and later. It basically results in African tribes being on equal technological foot as European powers - the entire globe is equal in technological advances. Only the Printing Press institution is spreading at a correct speed; the pace of the rest of them is extremely fast, seriously concerning and due to change. The cardinal institutions sharing speed is also way too high - many magnitudes higher than the usual speed; one wonders if this is working as intended. All in all, while the institutions rework was a step in the right direction, it touched the system of the institutions, but did not touch the details - which in this case is spread speed. Not all countries are supposed to get all institutions until 1821.
  2. Colonization is broken. The speed of colonization is hilarously too big, resulting in the entire world - including the American and Brazilian interior as well as African inner lands (!) - being completely colonized by the year of 1700. One could argue that Central America was conquered very fast by the Spanish - and it was; right now it is represented by being able to directly conquer the Mesoamericans instead of colonizing (it would work well if only the AI would actually declare war). The Africa issue stands on its own, and it's amusing that the African-themed expansion doesn't have anything to stop the colonization of interior Africa by the Europeans. If Europa Universalis is anything else than a glorified 4X game, fixing the entire issue of colonization should be one of the priorities. This post has great amount of additional suggestions: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...-trade-diplomacy-and-quality-of-life.1453724/
  3. The mercenaries scaling is broken. Lategame mercenary armies are too big; they need to be capped, or balanced in a different way. The mercenary effect on Army Professionalism is also worth to be looked at, as a -5% penalty every mercenary company hired is exactly the same when one hires a 5K or 100K company; also there is no extra Professionalism hit when one doesn't disband mercenary companies after the end of the war. The fix could be, for example, a constant drain of Professionalism depending on Force Limit filled by mercenaries.
IMPORTANT BALANCE PROBLEMS
  1. The historical direction of the game has been heavily discarded over the number of patches and updates; while the game should obviously be a sandbox, some features added in previous paid DLCs (!) are completely forgotten. Manchu forms much more rarely than before; Prussia and Mughals almost never form. Zaporozhie is a not very amusing joke, being nowhere to be seen ever, despite very unique mechanics it possesses. The Middle-East is very much not working correctly as well. Persia almost never forms, and thus the Ottoman Empire, after dealing with the Mamluks, never have a strong rival on the other side of their territory, leaving the fight to the Habsburgs and usually-declining Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The whole area of Persia seems to be extremely border-gorey, with no nation being able to unite the rest and form Persia. Lack of mission trees in the Middle-East may be related to this issue. Fixing old content is a great way to make the game feel fresh without having to create actual new content!
  2. The conditional military access allows for seriously ahistorical gameplay. Every time the concept is mentioned on the forums, the majority of the responders usually denounces the idea. Getting rid of it is not completly necessary, but limiting it would be much appreciated; for example, it could only work for the same religion, so the Ottomans could not go through entire Europe to siege Paris. In this example, they would have to either ask for the access, or wage war against the HRE to get to France.
MINOR PROBLEMS
  1. Catholic colonies are at this moment bugged; because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, they do not declare wars on anyone, as opposed to the Protestant colonies.
  2. The downfall of Mamluks is not represented properly. If a proper Disaster would be added, the Ottomans could be toned down a very little, allowing them to take on the Mamluks without the (very) many bonuses the Sublime Porte has, preserving their "boss" status while enabling a more historical outcome of having the peak of their power in the 16th-17th centuries.
  3. The hegemons mechanic is useless at anything that is not a world conquest. The bonuses could be scaled down and the requirements could be toned down and made relative, so for example Great Britain could become a naval hegemon naturally over the course of the game, much like in history.
  4. Many missions are outdated. It is not about the entire mission trees (although the power creep is real), it is about such missions as Spanish cultural conversion of Grenada, which is now broken (ineffective in cost to reward). There are more examples, including:
    • Missions on the Indian subcontinent often require high estate loyalty/influence, which was not adjusted to the estates rework.
 
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Lots of interesting and promising stuff that i am looking forward to test.

on the topic of estates that scale with landshare: is there any intention to tweak the numbers for the special unit forcelimit ones? Even with perfect crownland setup more then 35% of rajputs is not really possible. If you consider in tricky wars one easily goes 150-200% of FL it makes it even less of the total army. Same is also kinda true for cossacks but they have an extra privilege to aid them (although i dont think thats a good way to handle it)

Another remark is that there isnt one successful brandenburg in your tests forming a prussia. I hope you consider and find a way to give bb a better success chance without crippling AI poland.
 
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Is a particular reason why the -100 opinion penalty for Chinese kingdoms is based on being Confucian and not, say, being another Chinese kingdom, or a nation with a capital in China, or a nation holding a lot of Chinese land?

There are many variant criteria that could be used. I don't see why religion is the most natural one to pick. If a Chinese kingdom somehow gets out of being Confucian, then it loses the penalty with its peers, which seems odd.
 
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Is a particular reason why the -100 opinion penalty for Chinese kingdoms is based on being Confucian and not, say, being another Chinese kingdom, or a nation with a capital in China, or a nation holding a lot of Chinese land?

There are many variant criteria that could be used. I don't see why religion is the most natural one to pick.
Confucianism is really the native Chinese government ideology. Any non-Confucian wouldn’t really have a reason to reunify china, as they wouldn’t recognise China as a distinct entity.
 
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Starting with China, we received your feedback and implemented some changes which makes the unification of China a less tedious process for the non-horde Chinese tags.
These changes to China look promising.

It also ensures that the Korean AI is a diplomat or an administrator unless another nation holds one of their cores. This way you have an AI Korea which actually plays tall instead of blobbing into Manchuria, which wasn’t really liked by the community.
Does this work if Korea takes additional provinces in either a defensive war or in a revanchist reconquest war? I can see Korea's AI personality becoming increasingly unstable and becoming militarist more often if either scenario happens. Otherwise, it's good and interesting idea.

While we’re at the estate privileges: all privileges, which have modifiers scaling with the Crownland owned by the estate, now exempt the estate from the “Seize Land” action. This change allows you to have a little more control over who you seize the Crownland + makes these estate privileges a little bit more useful. Also, the “Increased Levies' ' estate privilege has been slightly buffed, giving now 33% increased Manpower Modifier at 100% Crownland instead of 25%.
I like both of these conceptually. The seize land exemption especially looks promising.

One final balance change I want to address are the “Expand Infrastructure” and “Centralize State” features from Leviathan. Their goals were to enhance playing tall. While the idea was neat, we felt like these two buttons didn’t have the punch needed to be worth the attention. The issue with “Expand Infrastructure” was the relation of governing cost and manufactory slots: manufactories are useful in low dev provinces as they give a flat bonus, but a governing cost increase means a province is more expensive to hold which is why you don’t waste it for a benefit which could be accomplished by holding one additional 3 dev province with a manufactory. So the times where you would use this button would be if you want a province to have something like a rampart, which is a very niche situation at best. Because of that we have decided to give “Expand Infrastructure” some more power, which makes their cost worthwhile:

View attachment 801186
I want to point out that this is NOT the final version. We will take the Beta feedback into consideration for adjusting this feature.

Next point is the “Centralize State” button, which has one big issue: it competes with much more useful and global “Expand Administration” button from the government tab. To make “Centralize State” more viable, we have decided to change its identity a little bit by changing the governing cost from a flat reduction to a percentage reduction. We also added some other bonuses to the centralized state:

View attachment 801187

Here are a few other balance changes we have done for 1.33:
  • Winter Palace’s modifiers have been reworked as they didn’t feel right for Russia and the seat of Peter the Great. Now it gives at level 3 the following modifiers:
    [Winter Palace picture]
  • Tibetan (just like Vietnamese and Korean) can now sinicize their culture and adopt a culture of the Chinese culture group. It should be noted here: we are using the Manchu way of doing this as the engine is way too outdated for dynamic culture groups unfortunately.
  • Syncretic religions now give the bonuses of the monuments of the secondary faith. Example: Oirat which has Sunni as Syncretic religion will be able to benefit from the Hagia Sophia.
  • Feudal Theocracies have access to the Divine Ideas Group instead of the Aristocracy ideas.
  • Muslim subjects will no longer enact “Guaranteed Dhimmi Autonomy” if their Muslim overlord has religious ideas.
  • Roman Empire’s ideas have been buffed to bring them on par with the ideas of the HRE.
  • Selling Crownland now requires you to actually have the 10% to sell.
  • Manpower, Sailors and Forcelimit granted by colonies are reduced by 25%.
I don't own Leviathan, but all of these look like positive changes.


As a general question since more explicit and implicit development cost reductions are being added with these changes: is there any concern about development cost being too cheap now overall? In my recent EU4 games, I've been able to easily double my average province development as most great powers and OPMs (especially free cities) are still getting to 30+ or 40+ development relatively early in the game.

It seems that development cost went from being relatively low with few sources of cost reduction when it was introduced to being far too cheap now thanks to myriad, often passively obtained sources of cost reduction. To my eye, the obvious solution is increasing the base cost for developing provinces and ensuring that "tall" countries have more and greater sources of cost reduction than "wide" countries.
 
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Somentus

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"Muslim subjects will no longer enact “Guaranteed Dhimmi Autonomy” if their Muslim overlord has religious ideas."
Yay, thanks for that!

Also, why is this patch called the 'France' patch, if you say that there's no official "regional focus", and all the regional stuff we've seen so far is related to Asia?
 
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iClipse

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I'm liking everything I see that's written in the dev diary, but I'm not entirely sure I like the results of the nightly runs all that much. China unified is good. France constantly being eaten hurts my soul. India always results in one or two big blobs, which is kinda unfortunate. While the Korea changes seem great for a player, for an AI I feel it'll be: "play tall for a while, until you get eaten by whatever neighbor that got to blob". An update to their NI's might be in order (fort defense in traditions?), but I feel it's a result of EU4 game's design in general, so it'll be hard to fix. Either you get bigger, or you get eaten.

Regarding suggestions, maybe we can post some here as well, since they are often so small that's almost daunting to make a thread for them?

A few small ones from me:
1) Make a notification for being able to seize (crown)land. Yellow when it's possible, green when it's possible without rebellions.
2) Make a notification for diet.
3) Add a hotkey to automate armies (like drilling: 'j')
4) Make said automated armies a little bit smarter. Now they don't check that if they add their stacks would actually improve a siege status by running towards it. For example: A 10k infantry stack will go and join another 10k stack on a fort without actually improving the siege status. Make the stacks check:
A) If there already is a siege going on there
B) If yes, is it progressing? If no, it can walk to the province
C) If it's progressing, would adding this stack to the sieging stack speed up the siege process? (due to cannons, or a general) If yes, it can walk to the province. If no, it should try and find another target
5) Make automated armies check if they're black-flagged. If yes, they should try to walk to your own territory first.
 
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Mindel

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I would suggest also making Chinese kingdoms always set all Chinese provinces as being of vital interest. This situation is a textbook example of what the vital interest flag was intended to model in the first place.

In fact, this alone may be enough to produce the dog-eat-dog results we want. I think it would be a better approach than imposing the -100 opinion penalty for fellow Confucians. The religion criteria feels a bit contrived; one based on land ownership of the Chinese heartland seems more natural.

It would, for example, make Chinese kingdoms hostile to any Christian Western colonizers who come in to snatch up parts of the Chinese coast. As they should be.
 
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lainling

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Very much hoping that with the changes to the region, we'll get an achievement inspiring a good Tibet run. A Confucian Dai Viet achievement would also be appreciated, as it looks like a very interesting tag but the existing achievement for them is Buddhist-exclusive and relatively short.

Other wishlist achievements in the area would probably be a more difficult Ming achievement (current one is relatively trivial) or an achievement requiring the player to use the new "play as a released Chinese Kingdom" option and reunify China.
 
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nephilim2k

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Does the -100 opinion modifier effectively mean that Chinese kingdoms will never ally with one another?

If so, that seems rather unfortunate, as shifting alliances was a feature of warring states China. Although maybe this is the price that must be paid to get the AI to unify China.
not neccessarily, but they'd need good relations for doing so! (not an impossible feat with a -100 malus, but not easy either)