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Europa Universalis IV - Development Diary 3rd of May 2022

Greetings everyone!

Today I want to present to you the upcoming content for our Northern Europe Focused DLC. Yes, you heard it right, the next Immersion Pack is about the Baltic and Scandinavian countries!
Sorry to everyone who was wishing for an Atlantis DLC :p

But before I get started with it, I want to share with you what we learned from the Origins DLC and the free content alongside it, so you can get a general idea of what the design of this DLC and Patch 1.34 will be like:
  • Branching missions are quite a success, and players are appreciating the flexibility of this new design. Because of that, you can expect that we continue with this philosophy for the Baltics.
  • Gaining Development from buildings was an interesting experiment. Although it was not as overpowered as many players have claimed, its snowball effect is definitely not something we will continue with.
  • Special units are one hell of a problem child to balance around. The Cawa units have shown that they have their niche, but they never really made it to become something of a backbone of your forces. While this is not necessarily tragic in Ethiopia’s case as the Cawa fulfill their role, it shows that we should dare to be more experimental with it.
  • The Mali experience is probably the most polarizing one in EU4 - you either love the punches given to you by the game, or you absolutely despise the rebel spam. In all honesty, we do enjoy having tags in the game which are more painful to navigate with. With that being said, in the Baltic DLC we want to have a similar on-the-edge experience for one of our nations, but not in the form of rebel spams. How this can be achieved - and if it will be achieved in the first place - is still an open question though.
  • The estate privileges and the new formables which came with the free content patch have been received very positively too - especially the Religious Diplomats. So we want to continue this trend of adding region specific content to the DLC, while more common additions - like estate privileges or government reforms - will be part of the free patch.

Speaking of the free patch: I know that there are people who do not care too much about the content of the Immersion Pack. Because of that, the end of every “Mission Tree Dev Diary” will also have a section addressing free content or balance changes concerning countries outside of the DLC’s scopes for Patch 1.34.

With that being said, let’s get started with the content reveal! But first, as usual, take into account that this content is currently under development and unpolished, so there will be placeholder art, typos, tweaked numbers, etc. before the release version.

“Where some states have an army, the Prussian Army has a state.” - Mirabeau

“Prussia was hatched from a cannon-ball.” - Napoleon Bonaparte

“I promise the chastity of my body, and poverty, and obedience to God, Holy Mary, and you, to the Master of the Teutonic Order, and your successors, according to the rules and practices of the Order, obedience unto death.” - Oath sworn upon admission into the Teutonic Order

As you can guess, the first dev diary is about our favorite space marine nation, the Teutonic Order, and to some extent, Prussia.

Requested by Duke Conrad of Mazovia in 1225, the Teutonic Order conquered the land of the Old Prussians, converting them to Christianity while the Prussian lands got Germanized over the two centuries. As the Teutonic Order was eventually conquered and vassalized by the Poles, secularized into Prussia and inherited by the Hohenzollern, the mission tree of the Order is less about recreating history and more about the “what if”.

And the many question marks of their mission tree show it:
Teutonic Mission Tree.png
The Teutonic Mission Tree has only 6 missions you can do from the get-go, which handle the very basics of the Order’s needs: gain protection from Poland, ally (and vassalize) the Livonian Order, build to force limit and of course handle the Prussian Confederation - which has become its own little disaster:
Prussian Confederation.png
Note: the way it works is still the same as it is right now in EU4. Just the first event which gives your burghers a ton of land has been moved from a random event into one triggered by the disaster. Without the DLC you will have a decision to end the disaster, while with it the mission “Handle the Confederation” will finish it.

The mission “Seek Imperial Protection” is about joining the HRE. As you are surrounded by Poland and Lithuania, it is only natural that you want to find a way to protect yourself from these two.
Join HRE event.png
The Emperor will of course receive the corresponding event to it too.
Join HRE event Emperor.png
Note: The Emperor will receive this event if you join the HRE through the HRE menu instead of the event - and they can kick you out if you are on the Emperor’s bad side.

The Emperor will most likely choose to accept the Order in the Empire - but under the heavy restrictions that internal wars within the Empire are forbidden. Of course you can choose to reject this…
Joined the HRE.png
A lot of guides will probably have to be rewritten now as the HRE is no longer a viable expansion path in the early game.

The mission “Defeat Poland”, which can be finished by either conquering 4 provinces of Poland or by defeating 3 Polish armies in battle, will unlock the rest of your mission tree.
Prussian Path.png

Crusader Path.png
You have the choice of two rather big paths for your country. You either can choose the Prussian path, which is the more historical (as historical as it can get with a Teutonic Order repulsing their doom) choice, and the Crusader path, which will let your order become more zealous in the Catholic faith than ever before, but the idea of a “Prussia” or “Reformation” becomes alien to you.

Let us start with the Prussian one. Taking this path will change your mission tree substantially:
Prussian Path mission tree.png
The Prussian path is mostly focusing on, well, becoming Prussia, and its role within the HRE, an improved military, Enlightenment and eventually crushing the Revolution. So if you take this path then expect to have a more long term campaign as your missions will mirror the ones of Brandenburg’s Prussia.

You might notice that there are still Branching Missions left even after taking one path. These missions are your “Path of Expansion” basically, as your Teutonic Prussia does not need to have goals of expansion like its historical counterpart had.

Completing the mission “The Order and the Empire” will grant you yet another choice of what path you want to follow:
HRE Diplo Path.png

HRE Conquest Path.png

Prussian Kingdom Path.png
If you take either of the two HRE paths (Holy Roman Diplomacy and German Conquest) and the Emperor forbid you to declare wars on HRE members until you become Prussia, you will get the following event:
Bishopric of Prussia.png
You will form a Catholic Prussia within the borders of the HRE, becoming a Teutonic Bishopric, a new government reform for a Catholic Theocratic Prussia.

Now let us go through the three different paths swiftly:

The German Conquest path has missions which are all about the pure conquest of Germany.
HRE Conquest Path missions.png
To be frank, there is not much to tell you about these missions as they are your classical “seek and conquer” missions in the HRE you are all familiar with. “An Empire of Iron and Blood” is, you guessed it, the final mission which basically asks you to conquer Germany. It is basically a glorified “Form German Nation” decision, but you get a nice +25% Governing Capacity modifier in your capital if you have one of the Prussian government reforms as your government type, at top of forming Germany (you receive this triggered province modifier as your final reward in all three of these paths).

The Holy Roman Diplomacy path is a little bit of a different story though:
HRE Diplo Path missions.png
Unlike the conquest missions, in the Diplomatic missions your goal is to actually become the Holy Roman Emperor yourself and unite Germany not through iron and blood, but through letters and words. In order to achieve this you will need to be elevated to a higher position than just the one of a simple bishopric. Fortunately, the mission “Subjugate Brandenburg” will help you with that. By vassalizing Brandenburg, you get the mission reward which enables a casus belli against the Emperor as well as three decisions, which you can use to transfer the electorship from your subject to yourself.
Gain Electorship decisions.png

Gain Electorship war.png
Purchasing the Electorship will require you to offer 6000 Ducats to the Emperor - while having no deficit nor loan. Requesting the Electorship will require you to be best friends with the Emperor, which means 190 opinions and 80 trust with the Emperor. The Emperor will also gain a substantial amount of favors with you, so keep this in mind. Gaining the Electorship through war is also an option as you can see in the image above. Finally, what is missing out is a decision which you can see when you become emperor and you have an elector as your subject, which allows you to usurp the Electorship, transferring it from your subject to yourself.

The mission “Become an Elector” will instantly elevate you to the rank of a kingdom - an Archbishopric of Prussia so to say.

Of course being an elector alone won’t make you an emperor though, so eventually you have to secularize your country. If you reach level 4 of the government reforms, have 2 stability, reach tech 10 and Protestantism has spawned, you are able to complete the mission “Secularize Prussia”, giving the following event:
Form Prussian Monarchy.png
Additionally, the mission will also disable all rebels spawned from seizing land from the Clergy.

The final missions of this batch revolve around the Religious League War, becoming the Emperor of the HRE, and eventually revoking the privilege of the HRE.

But what if you don’t want to deal with the HRE whatsoever? What if you always wondered “what would have happened if Prussia was neither inherited by the Hohenzollern or remained a subject of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth?”

For that we have the final path, which is the one of the Prussian Kingdom:
Prussian Kingdom Path missions.png
These missions will set you on a conquest spree against Poland and Lithuania over and over. While they seem like another bunch of familiar conquest missions, they do have their highlights though. The mission “Push into Ruthenia” unlocks two unique estate privileges which stand in direct opposition to each other:
Orthodox Ruthenia event.png
The “Issue the Anti-Heresy Act” is a simple Clergy privilege which increases your missionary strength against heretics by 2%, while decreasing the Burghers Loyalty Equilibrium by 10%.
The Burghers’ privilege “Grant Orthodox Autonomy” on the other hand is a little bit more intriguing.
New Burghers estate privilege.png
Coptic has been added here because Orthodox and Coptic faiths have this “Tolerated Heresy” relationship with other Christian denominations. In the context of the mission it might not make much sense, but from a gameplay perspective I think the privilege should behave the same for both.

The other highlight of this path is the “Fortify the Borders” and “Fortify Dnieper” missions which give a modifier to up to a limited number of fort buildings in the highlighted provinces, which makes the maintenance of a fort virtually non-existent.
cheap forts.png
Your missions will give you claims in all of Poland, Moldavia and Ruthenia. In other words, you become the Prussian equivalent of the PLC.

But enough of Prussia for today. Let us talk about a more Catholicism orientated Teutonic Order playthrough:
Crusader mission path.png
With the Crusader Path you return to your original purpose, which is Christianizing the pagans and heathens, but also to crush any kind of heresy you encounter. If you want to paint the political map with your name and the religious name in yellow, this path is perfect for you!

The most left-part of your mission tree will focus on expanding into Russia, ending the Third Rome and healing the Schism between Catholic and Orthodox faiths, though as you are not the Papal Authority but just an Order of crusading knights, your version of the “Healed the Schism” might be not as convincing.

The second and third columns are all about mad conquest into the east, pushing into Hordes territory and converting the steppes. The highlight here is the mission “The Ruthenian Plains”, which unlocks a new government reform for you!
crusader order.png
Your ruler gains a new, fancy title too!

While your Holy Order is conquering eastwards and facing more and more hordes, your fourth column of missions evolves and adapts your military to the environment of the steppes. Each military mission is about either reforming your military by achieving certain amounts of Army Professionalism (or Army Tradition), by winning battles, and later on by recruiting more cavalry units.

The military missions give a permanent modifier which makes your army more and more proficient at using cavalry. The next military mission will then replace the previous perma-modifier with a stronger one until you complete the mission “Establish a Great Cavalry” which gives the final version of this modifier:
mounted crusaders.png
In easier terms: the more you are fighting the hordes of Central Asia and the more you crusade the steppes, the more your army becomes reliant on horses. And these military missions are basically “leveling your cavalry up”.

Eventually, with the mission “Crusaders of the Steppes” your Order will reflect the changes they did undergo through:
Steppesdust Crusaders.png

Holy Horde.png
On a final note: razing works a little bit differently for a “Theocratic Horde” such as your Teutonic Holy Horde. You can only raze heathen and heretic provinces, and you gain 1 Devotion for each 3 development razed. Additionally, because you get this reform rather late, the decrease of the Monarch Power starts at base tech 12 instead of 3.

That was all for the Teutonic Mission Tree!

Finally a quick word for something we want to address in the Free Patch of 1.34: with the buffs of Catholicism, the religions of Protestantism, Reformed and Anglicanism have fallen off a bit in their attractiveness.

Because of that we have decided to not necessarily buff these religions, but to add more appealing options to them instead:
Anglican buffs.png
First thing: Anglicanism Aspects have been reworked. The Mercantilism and Cash actions have been combined into one. Then, Divorcing your Consort will now grant 12 ADM/DIP/MIL power per missing stat (so this means the worse your consort the more monarch power you get from divorcing, so a 6/6/6 gives 0 monarch power while a 0/0/0 would give 72 in each category). Marrying a Local Noblewoman will increase your chance of a new Heir by 100% for 15 years (you can imagine how this works). The Stability action now grants some Legitimacy (or its equivalent).

The new aspects are ‘Encourage Innovativeness’, which increases said Innovativeness Gain by 50% and Reform Progress by 15% for 15 years (hover of the aspect to read its tooltip, there you can find the values given). Then ‘Deport Heretics’ is kinda self explanatory. It also increases Settler Chance by 10% and Religious Unity by 10% for 15 years. ‘Reformation Diplomacy’ is a little bit of a “Religious Diplomats, but for the Reformation”, and ‘Militarize Religious Icons’ gives some army quality. However, ‘Militarize Religious Icons’ costs 200 Church Power instead of 100 like the rest.

That was it for today! Changes to Protestantism and Reformed confessions will be addressed with the next Dev Diary, as well as the content for the Livonian Order.

Until then I wish you all a nice week!
 
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Dimka2010

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Hello!
Could you increase the desire to establish relations with the Emperor and request entry (or enter) into the HRE from countries that have 1-3 provinces, and on their territory there are eternal (blue) claims from large countries. If this big country with claims is Great, then the desire to enter the HRE is even greater.

I know that this is not historical and no one has entered HRE like this, but it is quite in the spirit of the mechanics of our game, when such small countries have almost no comparable allies in power with a large country that has claims to their lands and the only chance to survive somehow is to enter HRE and get the protection of the Emperor.
Please think about my offer.
 

PtY

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Well, we have that 'problem' all around the game. And because of it the heretic opinion penalty works differently than the heathen opinion penalty, OFC. Historically, the relations between the Anglican branch and other Protestant confessions was not so smooth, as can be seen in some differences held with the Church of Scotland, or all the internal problems between the 'officialists' and the puritans before the Great Ejection of 1662.
Thanks for the reply. For Anglicanism, I was only suggesting a removed or heavily reduced heretic opinion modifier between Anglicans and Protestants, not Anglicans and Reformed countries. The Church of Scotland is correctly represented as Reformed in the game's history files, so the conflicts between the Churches of England and Scotland would still be reflected by regular neighboring heretic opinion penalties under my suggestion. The Great Ejection is represented by tolerance of heretics, and was again a dispute between Anglicans and Calvinists rather than Anglicans and Lutherans. A more granular treatment of heretic tolerance would be nice, but I'm guessing it would also complicated to implement.


A multi-tiered heretic opinion penalty, though, would be an excellent addition to the game. There are already multiple instances where EU4 either papers over different treatments of heretic faiths - Protestantism was viewed as a threat to the Catholic Church, whereas Calvinism was often seen as a threat to Europe's entire ruling class, both secular and ecclesiastic - or adds one-off representations of them, as it does with heretic opinions for Orthodox Christianity.

A better way to handle this would be 3-8 tiers of heretic opinion, with heretic faiths transitioning between defined base penalties by event. For example, Orthodox might start with heretic_opinion_2 with other Christian denominations for -10 opinion; Protestantism might start with heretic_opinion_4 with Catholicism for -20 relations and, after the Council of Trent, could move as high as heretic_opinion_8 for -60 relations or as low as heretic_opinion_0 for -0 relations. Orthodox-Catholic relations, meanwhile, would remain at heretic_opinion_2 for -10 relations independent of the Council of Trent. (In this example, heretic_opinion_n are defines; modifiers to heretic opinion would still modify all base heretic opinion penalties equally.)

More simply, you could implement three heretic opinion defines: tolerated, regular, and extra bad. Tolerated heretics would have a tolerated base penalty, regular heretics would have a regular base penalty, and Protestant/Reformed countries would be recategorized as extra bad if the number of harsh concessions taken in the Council of Trent is greater than the number of conciliatory concessions taken. (They would be recategorized as tolerated if the Council went mostly conciliatory.) Modifiers to heretic opinion would only apply to a particular category of heretics, though.
 
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andredz

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I am happy to give buffs to Anglican which has been weak for a long time.
However, I think that divorce should not be given a buff but a similar buff on another feature.

I don't know much about the monarchs of England/Great Britain, but I believe the only kings of England/Great Britain who have ever given divorces are John and Henry VIII. Divorce is neither a feature of the Anglican Church nor of the British monarchy. Features that belong to Henry VIII personally, including the dissolution of the monasteries, should be changed.
Yeah, it is quite jarring to have a divorce buff mechanic tied to the Anglican church. :p I don't think it is a bad mechanic per se, but it is very weird to have it tied to Anglicanism.


I also don't get why it gives rather than costs points.
 
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xXxUrMumxXx

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I think the tech-group change on dehording is based on religion, not culture.

But the obstacle is that you can't actually become a horde proper: From the developer diary, the Holy Horde reform is still a theocracy. Horde lite. Diet horde. Horden't.
In my testing I was still Catholic, so doesn't look like religion has any bearing on it, it appears that its only culture thing. Regarding Holy Horde reform - yeah, I don't become proper horde, but I don't really need it. The only thing I need from Teutonic "horde" is Horde ideas, which are unlocked by reform even tho I am technically still a theocracy. cav to inf ratio is not needed since I already have 100% of it and other bonuses don't give any merit to cavalry. I also don't plan to use any of horde reforms since I am going to switch to kingdom later, to form poland and get aristocratic.
 
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Republic of Mercury

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In my testing I was still Catholic, so doesn't look like religion has any bearing on it, it appears that its only culture thing. Regarding Holy Horde reform - yeah, I don't become proper horde, but I don't really need it. The only thing I need from Teutonic "horde" is Horde ideas, which are unlocked by reform even tho I am technically still a theocracy. cav to inf ratio is not needed since I already have 100% of it and other bonuses don't give any merit to cavalry. I also don't plan to use any of horde reforms since I am going to switch to kingdom later, to form poland and get aristocratic.
Why do you think being Catholic means religion doesn't affect it? Test it again with the same culture but with an Islamic religion, and see what tech group you get. Anyway, I was never saying you couldn't do most of what you said you would do, just that you wouldn't get the Cossack estate, which you originally said you would, including in the post I replied to.
 

Aramenian

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@Ogele
Will any new cultures be added to the game?
For example:
Kashubian
Old Prussian
pom.jpg

Could you please improve the borders of the Teutonic provinces?

pomerania.jpg

Mapka_4_Herzogtum Preußen_Kreise.jpg

Will any of these countries appear on the map in 1444?
Bishopric of Warmia
Bishopric of Dorpat
Bishopric of Courland
Bishopric of Ösel–Wiek

Would it be possible to add two formable countries to the game?

Carantania for the country of Cilli and Lutici/Veleti
for Lusatia.
 
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That One Sevie

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To mirror what happened historically to the tuetons, i feel that any germanic nation who takes the Teutons or Prussia as a vassal/PU should have a mission to declare Prussia to be their primary title, thus taking on this expanded tree.
 
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Testeria

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it's only for eastern tech group and christian religion. Starting as TO you need to become horde and than reform government while beeing christian to switch group from western to eastern

So what does "Is not nomad" actually mean?
 

Paw_San

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Hi Ogele,
What do You think about relocation option for defeated Teutonic Order(e.g. to Black Sea region)? IMHO It would be nice alternative to secularisation of monastic state (AKA converting into Prussia) and to some degree historically probable:

Option for resettling a weakened Order would be great as well. Here is excerpt from Polish Public Radio website, about such ideas:

"From the end of the fifteenth century, there were proposals to transfer the Teutonic Order somewhere in southern Europe, to Podolia, in order to defend the Polish borderlands against the attack of infidels, later there were plans to transfer the order to Cyprus or the Crimea. "


Source: Albrecht Hohenzollern – ostatni mistrz, polskieradio24.pl
Maybe in Polish mission tree or as an decision for Poland?
 
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agonistes

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Thank you all for all your feedback! Before going into the comments you guys have made I want to add an important note to the DD which I forgot to mention:
The Teutonic Order's mission tree is the most flexible one of the mission trees we already have done for the DLC (3 others are already finished). It is our experiment to see how the community's reaction to mission options of alternative history without forcing it on you.
With that being said, I also want to stress out that such flexibility with alternate history missions will be mostly reserved for the nations which were no "Historical Winners" in the DLC - such as the Teutonic Order was for example.

So when we eventually get to the nations which have a known history within the timeframe EU4, and did not get conquered by others within the first 100 years then please expect a more grounded mission tree. We will still have some branching missions implemented in them, but not to a level as the ones of the Teutonic Order.

That's a good idea!

Also another interesting idea, though the incident system might be a little bit unpredictable for a Teutonic playthrough. But we will consider turning the process of joining the HRE as the Teutonic Order into an incident. No promise given though.

Regarding the privilege, there could be a world where some of the older missions of nations, which have been historically known to not care much about their Orthodox subjects, could receive this as a reward too. This requires some internal discussion with my colleagues though.
AI Prussia is actually happening more frequently too, yes. But to our surprise it is formed by Brandenburg. The Teutonic Order still dies to Poland way more often than not.

1. I have to admit, the UI is definitely not the prettiest here. We will definitely add an event at the beginning which let the player know what to expect from these overwhelming amount of question marks, but I won't make a promise if we can improve the UI for the mission with patch 1.34.
2. No. We didn't want to interfere too much with Brandenburg in that regard, so the Neumark event has been left untouched.
3. Good point. I think there might be space for Gotland in the mission tree. And if not the purchase of it could become a decision instead.
4. Funnily enough that was actually an idea we toyed with internally. We decided to put this into the Teutonic Mission Tree as a set of decisions first in order to see how the community feels about this idea first though before we invest precious programmer time into turning this into an actual HRE mechanic.
From the looks of the reactions from you guys, however, it seems like it should become an actual mechanic indeed.

We are considering expanding the slots of available estate privileges, but we did not make a final decision on this one yet.

Yes. As a Holy Horde (and as a Crusader Order) you have access to all the reforms which are exclusive to Monastic Orders only.

...I think I can now see why Endgame Tags have been introduced into the game.
Jokes aside, Teutonic Order -> Poland is, although very cursed, a valid strategy to get insane numbers of cavalry combat ability. Bonus points, your knights turn into Hussars!

1. It will probably be rebalanced a little bit before release. But the idea of the Holy Horde is mostly presented in the modifiers instead of the values themselves.
2. Sounds like a good roleplay idea for a few more events following up after becoming a Holy Horde.
3. We will consider it to either add this as their starting privileges or allowing them get it through other means.
3. a. In all honesty, this privilege is, from a script perspective, just a copied version of the Guaranteed Dhimmi Autonomy. In other words, you can mod one of such privilege rather easily for any religion (or even culture)
4. We did consider adding a mission for the Holy Land, but in the end we decided against it because we wanted to limit the amounts of claims you would get to Eastern Europe mostly, with the Carpathians, the Caucasus and the Ural mountains as natural borders.
5. There will be no map changes in 1.34.

Holy Horde will receive some rebalancing. For the 25% Cav to Infantry modifier on it, yes, it is an overkill, but this is mostly for custom nations actually.
Although... I am sure if somebody wants a Custom Nation Holy Horde they will probably choose Cav to Infantry stuff in their ideas anyway soooo... yeah, this will be addressed.

An approval from @Johan

Sounds like a neat idea for the sake of immersion. I think this can be added quite nicely to this interaction.

Yes, we did. The PLC is rather unimpressed by the new Teutonic Mission Tree.

Well, completely custom special units will not be a possible thing for EU4. However, our programmers did a wonderful job by turning the majority of hardcoded aspects of special units such as their modifiers into static modifiers, and have made it possible that every special unit can be modified further through country modifiers.
While we will never have completely custom special units for EU4, it is at least the closest we can get to make them as moddable as possible.

It's a Teutonic Order only government.

No, we do not plan to rework it. However, we could take a look at the AI chance of how they pick their choice.
EDIT: Well, I took a look into it. I misunderstood the original post. The incident is now fixed and is guaranteed to happen as long you have a Monarchy Prussia in the HRE.

Good point regarding the Anglican stuff. We will keep this in mind.

Plans? Well yes, there are. But we have nothing concrete to show for it though.
So for now the Monarchy government reform levels will stay like this.

Thanks, we will correct this in the localization.

Well, taking the Crusader path will kick you out of the HRE as you are now in a position where you are no longer in need for the protection of the HRE.
But this could maybe turned into an event instead where you get asked to leave (and gain a diplomatic benefit from it) or enjoy Imperial Protection at the cost of being obligated to the HRE... well, we will think about it.
For now you will leave the HRE, but you are free to rejoin.

Very rarely. While it is not entirely impossible for them to join the HRE, the likelihood for it is like 1/20 cases.
Probably even lower when Poland strikes first and disconnects them from the HRE.

I might not have asked for it, but I am definitely appreciated it. Your suggestions are more than welcome and will be implemented into the text.

Good to know, that's why we the devs love our History loving fanbase. I correct this in the DD accordingly.

To be fair, being an Elector is a massive boon as you influence who becomes the next Emperor, and as such you have influence over the political direction of the HRE.

I think the Siberian Frontier would be a lovely toy for some other alternate history path, but not for the Teutons.

They stay Western.

That's actually a more tough question than you might think. While we like to give players freedom in the way they play, it conflicts heavily with the immersion part of the alternate history mission path. After all, Crusades - especially in the style of the Teutonic Order - is a Catholic thing.
For now there is no backup option.

For now they are the "failure mode" as you describe it. However, a Prussian Merchant Republic in form of Danzig does have its appeal...

They can stick with the Teutonic Bishopric, even if they are Protestant.
However, I forgot to mention that a Protestant Prussian Theocracy gets access to
 

agonistes

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I'd rather not see TO joining HRE become an incident. Right now its not guaranteed, but you can work for it. *Work* being the key word. An incident would make it either guaranteed or a dice roll, or, if there is an option to reject it, possibly hurt relations with Austria.

Not being able to join the hre can significantly alter a playthrough. Isn't that a good thing?