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Welcome to another developer diary for EU4. This time its about country customization - our efforts to make each country truly unique.

We added National Ideas as a feature to the series in EU3. It was a great concept, because of how it added visible differentiation to countries, and we were really happy with the results. In EU4, we have revitalized the idea system to more properly represent the differences between countries. Our new design for ideas is something that should be satisfactory to the historical crowd and to those who prefer more of an open-ended game.

Idea Groups
Instead of choosing national ideas when various techs are gained, you now have slots for idea groups. Idea groups consist of seven ideas and have a bonus for getting all of the ideas in a group. Picking ideas within a group has to be done sequentially – you can't leapfrog from an early idea in a group to a later one, but you can choose from any available group at any time. You are not forced to buy all ideas in one group before getting ideas from another group.

You have eight possible slots for ideagroups, which is given from various technlogy levels. What makes the game more interesting though, is that when you have selected an ideagroup, you are basically stuck with it. You have chosen the path for your nation. Investing into a full idea group takes quite a while, and can cost several decades worth of power.

There are sixteen possible idea groups you can choose from in EU4, each with seven different ideas in them, and a bonus. They are Plutocracy, Aristocracy, Innovativeness, Religion, Espionage, Diplomatic, Offensive, Defensive, Trade, Economic, Exploration, Naval, Quality, Quantity, Expansion & Administrative. Remember – you can only have a maximum of eight of these, so half of the idea groups will never come into play for your country. You veteran players may notice how many of these idea groups parallel the tracks that used to be domestic policy sliders.

Each of these idea groups use one specific monarch power for buying ideas., To increase in offensive ideas you will be using military power and exploration uses diplomatic power, for example.

National ideas
Every country also has something we call National Ideas, with the most important countries having a set of unique national ideas. Major countries including the Mamelukes and England have seven unique ideas granting them specific abilities. These ideas are not something you spend power on to buy, but, instead, you gain one of these ideas for free for every third idea you buy normally from an idea group.

Every nation also starts with a national tradition: two abilities which define the history and heritage of the country. As we see here, Sweden starts with 5% better infantry and 25% cheaper mercenaries. Countries also have what we call “national ambition”, which is a bonus given when you have gained all seven of your national ideas. This bonus is also unique for each country.

Interface
To make the game more comprehensible and transparent, ideas are represented by icons that correspond to their effects.
Every time this effect is active or needed for display purposes (like in describing country modifiers or religious bonuses) you will see this icon. That way you can tell at a glance the impact your ideas are having on your national evolution.


Next week, we'll be back to talk more about .. lets see… something on the isles..

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Chilango2

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A question.

Could you explain the tension between these two statements further?

You can't leapfrog from an early idea in a group to a later one, but you can choose from any available group at any time. You are not forced to buy all ideas in one group before getting ideas from another group

What makes the game more interesting though, is that when you have selected an ideagroup, you are basically stuck with it. You have chosen the path for your nation. Investing into a full idea group takes quite a while, and can cost several decades worth of power.

My guess is that while you can switch to a different idea group, you can't for a few decades? Or something?
 

unmerged(63836)

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Interesting, but still very scarce information. Not a big fan of country specific ideas - that's pretty deterministic, and silly to be honest. Do Swedes for example had it in their genes or was it written in stars that they would always get cheaper mercs? Shouldn't it depend on how country developed throughout the game instead? That's quite disappointing and simplistic mean to simulate history.

Also, would player be really stuck with once selected idea group? How about reforms, sudden changes of policies, or revolutions?

Plus, 17th century Musketeer would look much, much better without bayonet. I know that technically they were used in latter part of the century, but they became widespread in 18th century. Date is 1579 - that just looks wrong. ;)
 

Nikolai

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Will some idea groups be mutually exclusive? Like quality/quantity?
 

Seli

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A question.

Could you explain the tension between these two statements further?



My guess is that while you can switch to a different idea group, you can't for a few decades? Or something?

To me it sounds like you can choose idea-groups, which you can develop further. But in contrast to the National Ideas in EU3 you cannot change a group after it is chosen. For example, once you have picked the exploration track you cannot change it for administrative after you explored all you want.
 

Legolas

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Am I right in thinking that in other words, you could say that each country has 8 slots for ideas, with a new slot unlocking every which technology level, and can choose from among 16 ideas, with each idea having 7 levels with different effects to it? And an extra bonus once you reach the maximum level? That makes it easier to understand in my head.

Do you gain national ideas when you buy every third idea at all, or only on ideas 3 and 6 in each idea group?

I really like the fact that, as it seems, government technology levels have names. That's something I really missed from EU2 in EU3, as it added a lot of flavour to the game.
 

ashandresash

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I like the mix between sliders and ideas that you've made here. And fixed groups or paths are good too in order to make your game more strategical, as well as to achieve that customization in your own country (or your opponents and allies). It's maybe the only thing I missed in HoI3 from HoI2... paths to military doctrines, giving that historical flavour.

Good move, indeed ;)
 

Ciccillo Rre

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The system sounds beautiful and will for sure make the game different for each country, but it looks a little bit convoluted from this explanation! I am sure though it will be easy to grasp when the game comes out!!!
 

GregElSho

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My guess is that while you can switch to a different idea group, you can't for a few decades? Or something?

My guess is that you unlock the groups but aren't forced to unlock all of the ideas within before unlocking another group. You can spend your points on whatever available group you fancy.
But you can't take idea 6 of any group if you only have 1 and 2 already. So you're forced to take them in order, but not in a single group at a time.
If I make sense.
 

Yeekim

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Instead of choosing national ideas when various techs are gained, you now have slots for idea groups.
...but it seems the number of available slots still increases only when techs are gained...?

Also, I am undecided on determinism in having nation-specific tradition and ambition... could these be turned off as a choice, perhaps?
 

Johan

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KonradRichtmark

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A question.

Could you explain the tension between these two statements further?

My guess is that while you can switch to a different idea group, you can't for a few decades? Or something?

I don't see any contradiction. What he means is likely that you can develop several idea groups simultaneously if you want, but you can't rid yourself of an idea group to free up the "slot", should you run out of slots.
 
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