A small rant centered on mercenaries, developing and their influence on multiplayer

Jarvin

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Hello
In the light of @DDRJake 's newest dev diary, where he mentioned that in the future the dev team intends to nerf mercenaries, I'd like to play Devil's advocate and explain why, in my opinion, mercenaries are a must in game's current state.
But even though it was the dev diary which inspired me to write this post, these are ideas that I've had for quite a while, and I feel like even if the dev team were to abandon today's diary, this post would still be 'up to date'.

Edit 26.12: I realized after re-reading this whole post again that somewhere along the lines my main point might have been lost, so to make it completely clear. I DO NOT think that mercenaries should be the core of EU4's warfare. What I'm trying to highlight in this post is, that there are certain aspects of the game that need to be taken care of BEFORE mercenaries are nerfed, not after.



Now, to make something completely clear, I've been exclusively MP player for more than 2 years, hence I'll be focusing only on the MP aspect of the game, as I'm simply not knowledgeable enough about SP to make any valid points regarding it.

Alright, so to start off, the reason why, in my opinion, mercenaries should be left in the game as they are(or at most with minor changes) is there are other game mechanics that are in their own way broken/unbalanced or otherwise meaningful enough that mercenaries become a necessity for a healthy campaign. Specifically, these mechanics are(IMO): forts and terrain penalties, economy building and deving.

Economy
As it is, the time required to go from being an undeveloped country to a fully built one is ENORMOUS(for reference, it's a custom to develop every single one of your provinces to at least 20 development, as this threshold unlocks additional building slots, so assuming a country with, say, 8 average dev and 150 provinces it'd take him 1800 development clicks to get there).
I made a web-based save parser which can be used to portray the issue quite well:
upload_2018-12-18_13-11-27.png

This is an "improvement mapmode". It shows not current development, but how many times given province was developed in total.Each light green province in the map was boosted at least 10 times, dark green means an improvement of 30 and more.(this is a map from one of some recently played MP campaigns that I've watched closely. Shoutouts to @Distinct for creating that monstrous Russia that you can see there)
There are countries in that campaign which over the course of 200 years clicked the development button over 2000 times.

There are so many things that you need to do that at some point it becomes much better for player to not under any conditions go to war with anybody, because he still feels like his country is 'underdeveloped' and as it is right now. player wars in EU4 are extremely costly, and if both sides decide to do their best then unless there is a massive discrepancy in their strengths then it will usually also end up in both bankrupting.

Why is that a problem?
Because it's warfare that is currently the much more complex and arguable also more fun and satisfying aspect of the game, and as such the game should do all it can to encourage fighting wars, and this leads to my first suggestion:
1. If you want to nerf mercenaries, then at the very least make economy more interactive, give it some depth that current warfare system has; make it so that 'building up' your country is no longer about brainlessly spamming develop/build button over your entire country for a span of few centuries.
Currently mercenaries contribute positively to the game(or at least to its MP aspect) by giving the attacking side in a war a small advantage, by giving him a small window of time before the enemy fully mercs up aswell, where he can actually push into his enemy's territory and hope to force some good engagements and by giving the defending side in so called "ganks"(wars where one side is massively outnumbered by the other) at least some small chance to fight back.
If this is taken from the game, then something else needs to be added in return, otherwise a huge chunk of MP games will simply turn into a snoozefest, where nobody would ever want to start any war past a certain date, because going on the offensive means a certain death and being destined for irrelevancy.

Forts and terrain penalties

If mercenaries are to be nerfed, then so should be forts. As it is now forts are brokenly strong. They provide players with a possibility of nearly indefinitely delaying their opponent's attacks. Even with full cannon backline, AoR bonus against forts it still takes ages to take down a single lvl 8 fort. And you can have dozens of them spread all over your country, but most importantly, forts provide players with a possibility to fight their enemies in an advantegous terrain. And even though for some of you it might come as something rather natural, it's still not healthy for the game, because terrain penalties right now are simply far too strong. To give an extremely rough estimate -> one -1 in a battle translates into about 7-8% discipline difference(direct effects of a -1 penalty is that you deal on average ~~16% less damage, 32% for a -2 penalty). This, in turn, makes it so that it's at least very difficult to push against most countries, unless you have a massive numerical advantage.
Up until now, mercenaries were a huge help here. They allowed you to quickly assault some forts if your enemy didn't pay enough attention, or to have a siege stack which consists of ~~60-120k troops(depending on timeframe) that didn't eat too much attrition. Nerfing mercenaries, "making attrition more impactful" will in turn nerf declaring any offensive wars, as the attackers will now be practically bound to be completely drained out of their resources and lose unless they have massive numerical advantage.

So what can be done about it?
I, for one, would suggest leaving mercenaries as they are, or maybe at most slightly changing them, by taking away the diplomatic-offensive +50% mercs policy, removing +20% mercs avilable modifier from professionalism and decreasing the base mercenary cap from 20 to 5-10. But assuming that Paradox does actually want to go through with it, there are few things that IMO should be done to balance it out(and frankly, some of them I would suggest even if the dev team abandoned their current ideas for next patch completely)

2. Significantly nerf countries' capabilities to build forts - there are few ways in which this can be done. It might be something simple like increasing their maintenance or simply nerfing base siege phase time. One of the more interesting ideas that I came up with recently(shoutouts to Sunday Wars Universalis ^^) is that each fort could reduce its owners' FL by respectively the amount of troops that it has in garrison, multiplied by, say, 1.5
This would force players to put a lot of effort into thinking where to place their forts, or even whether they need forts at all. Those, who decide to have a lot of them, would then be punished by having their army significantly weakened.

3. Significantly increase supply limits - I personally feel that it's slightly ridiculous, that in a game where(at least at late stages of the game) you need to have at least 100k regiments in your "cannon stacks" to make sure that they don't get wiped in contact with enemy and most provinces at that time have a supply limit of about 40-50, attrition is to be made 'more significant'.
While I do understand and support the overall idea that the game should be requiring for the players when it comes to resource management, as it is right now, EU4 simply provides no tools for players to deal with attrition.
You are practically forced to eat permanently 5% attrition on all of your "cannon stacks".
Due to current army UI being simply bad, and not helping at all when it comes to big scale wars you are also bound to keep losing men due to attrition after any sorts of bigger battles, as managing 20-50 stacks of 40k troops is simply impossible with how the game works right now. Which leads me to another suggestion

4. Improve army UI - there are a lot of things that could really help. It would be, for example, really great if after some huge engagements there was a button, which would allow you to automatically turn a, say 960/0/80 stack into 2x 80/0/40 and 20x40/0/0(according to your templates). It would be also great if there was some way of sending multiple stacks into a distant region without having to separate click different goal provinces for every single one of them(again, even if it is somewhat easy at early stages of the game, it's completely impossible to pull off in late game, where you may have over 50 stacks of troops)

This still, however, doesn't do anything to the issue with terrain penalties that I mentioned at beginning, so:
5. Nerf terrain penalties - the reasoning for that is above. What I meant by 'nerfing" here is that IMO every single current terrain penalty should be reduced by 1, so for example mountains would go to -1, forests, hills, marshes etc would go to 0.

I know that some of you(especially among the SP community) would have huge problems with that last suggestion. I understand that, and frankly I feel that if I was playing SP then I wouldn't want this to be added into the game either. And this brings my final proposition:

6. Introduce custom gameplay settings - long has the conflict between the "SP" and "MP" parts of EU4 community lasted, where both sides felt like the dev team is trying to only satisfy the other one, effectively making both unhappy. The truth is, that it has come to a point where it's no longer possible to develop a game which would satisfy both parties' needs. Looking back at what some of the last DLCs and patches added to the game, as a MP-only player I feel like there was a lot of stuff added(for example. huge boosts to India, army professionalism, recent idea groups revamp) that I maybe would've liked if I was playing playing SP, not MP, and then I see a lot of SP players arguing that they feel like PDX is focusing on MP aspect of the game too much.
I feel like this has come to a point where the only way to satisfy both parties is by giving them bigger control over how their game is going to look like. Similar systems have already been(or will be) added to HoI4 and CK2, and the way I see it could work in EU4, is that simply players(or hosts) would be able to choose from a variety of settings when creating a new campaign such as "mercenary FL%", "attrition cap", "base dev cost" etc.
Even if it wouldn't fix all problems that currently EU4 faces, it would still be a huge step in a right direction(IMO).


So to sum up, thank you very much for reading through this small rant. I wrote this rather spontaneously, without having any specific plan for what I want to write in mind, so I sincerely apologize if I made some mistakes somewhere.

There is one very important thing that I want to stress on. I am fully aware that some of these changes simply wouldn't suit some part of the community. As I stated at the very beginning, I play MP exclusively. I can't, and I'm not trying to speak for the SP community here.

Thanks! And if you have any questions or would like to add something, please do!
 
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Distinct

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Wowie looks like whoever played this Russia was extremly mana efficient! Show us the manpower mapmode!

Kappas aside, Jarvin is correct that the state of mercenaries cannot be discussed in a vacuum. Shoutout to @Jarvin for making clausewitz, best MP tool in the bizz.

Because forts are so incredibly strong, due to always giving the terrain advantage to the defendor (on top of the hidden defendor's advantage - with the targeting mechanics), the entire MP warfare meta is entirely based upon never bein the attacker in battles.

This is achieved through assaults + mass mercenary spam. Without sufficient mercs to handle the attrition on the cannon stacks and to assault, the agressor will not be able to win.
 
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Sauron44

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I think the root problem here is the fact it's impossible to finish a war quickly with small gains.
That means every kinda even war gets dragged out to infinity because getting 25% of WS in peace is not worth a 10 year total war.
If one even manages to get to 50% Warscore.
 

Serenade

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Excellent discussion, but I would like to add on the following which I think would improve the game going forward:

1. Avoiding the all-in glass cannon strategy and the bankruptcy meta. Currently the best war strategy is to all-in no matter what and completely disregard your economy, because a sustainable army (green balance when at war) represents perhaps only a third, if not less, of your country's true military strength. Failing to all-in means guaranteed failure against a foe who does, and he wins relatively cheaply, taking at most 10-20% of his loan cap. I would like for economic decisions to be relevant when at war, instead of simply recruiting your entire army to max strength always. The best method to do so would be to make manpower more relevant, while still providing the minimum amount of mercs required for vanguards and assaults. To avoid glass cannons (recruiting all your manpower day 1 and throwing them at your opponent to blitz them down) from being too powerful, I also suggest increasing the malus for being over force limit to make the all-in strats bankrupt much faster.

2. Preventing stalemates due to defender tile bonus being too strong. As Distinct has mentioned above, the warfare meta revolves around not being the attacker in battles. This results in the best offensive strategy of a war being to turn the defender tile bonus against the defender of the war by quickly assaulting a border fort which covers the wargoal, and baiting the defender of the war into bad offensive battles. Neither side can afford a disastrous offensive battle, and would not commit their entire army into such a battle, resulting in protracted stalemates until one side bankrupts or makes a bad mistake. A full scale war could last for over 30-40 years in-game time, taking an entire session of gameplay and maybe 40-60% of a country's loan cap jus by staring at each other across a river. This is not particularly interesting or fun. Weakening forts and reducing the defender tile bonus would go a long way, as would making economy more relevant because now one side is forced to blitz but take bad battles while the other side only has to hold for maybe 10 years.

3. Being able to force more significant partial victories. Currently stab-hitting requires you to be at 50% warscore, and even then you can only stabhit for 25 warscore of things. Considering a full scale war against a similarly strong opponent requires commitment to taking 40% of your loan cap, this is a terrible deal most of the time which results in many players preferring to create massive alliances which gank and partition weaker players. The alternative is for every war to be a war where you take 100% from your enemy and try to kill them. Finally, the "call for peace" mechanic is currently completely bullshit because players who are losing the war by -99% can reject any peace deal above 49% at no cost, even beginning his bankruptcy cycle early while winner is forced to either accept a smaller victory, sit and take war exhaustion, or clear the loser's rebels to get to 100%, resulting in many house rules enforcing victories when the winner has call for peace. I suggest stabhit rules to be amended for players to be able to stabhit for their current warscore any time past 50% rather than only half of it.
 

Reman

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Hello


If mercenaries are to be nerfed, then so should be forts. As it is now forts are brokenly strong. They provide players with a possibility of nearly indefinitely delaying their opponent's attacks. Even with full cannon backline, AoR bonus against forts it still takes ages to take down a single lvl 8 fort.

Agreed, forts are insane in EU4. Strategy games in general have a problem with endless sieges, for example Civ games make field armies trivial compared to city defenses, and the Total War games often devolve into an endless series of siege assaults. Forts in EU4 should prevent instantly overrunning a country, but not much more than that. Each fort layer shouldn't need over a year to take down, as it becomes unbelievably tedious.

Hello

3. Significantly increase supply limits - I personally feel that it's slightly ridiculous, that in a game where(at least at late stages of the game) you need to have at least 100k regiments in your "cannon stacks" to make sure that they don't get wiped in contact with enemy and most provinces at that time have a supply limit of about 40-50, attrition is to be made 'more significant'.
While I do understand and support the overall idea that the game should be requiring for the players when it comes to resource management, as it is right now, EU4 simply provides no tools for players to deal with attrition.
You are practically forced to eat permanently 5% attrition on all of your "cannon stacks".
Due to current army UI being simply bad, and not helping at all when it comes to big scale wars you are also bound to keep losing men due to attrition after any sorts of bigger battles, as managing 20-50 stacks of 40k troops is simply impossible with how the game works right now. Which leads me to another suggestion
!
Agreed again. I tried making pure 40k cannon stacks go alone with infantry stacks 1 province away, but even with a high degree of attentiveness my artillery was sniped often enough to change strategies. Tanking attrition with 80k stacks is the better play because enemy armies won't even approach them. This leads to wars becoming a comical race between the AI's self-sabotage and my hemorrhaging manpower pool + bank account.


Hello

5. Nerf terrain penalties - the reasoning for that is above. What I meant by 'nerfing" here is that IMO every single current terrain penalty should be reduced by 1, so for example mountains would go to -1, forests, hills, marshes etc would go to 0.
Disagree here. A -2 to rolls is approximately a 25% reduction in damage dealt which is noticeable without being overbearing. The easiest option to deal with them is to simply go around to forts that are in less defensible terrain. If a nation has made it so every approach is covered by mountain forts, I'd say they deserve to have that defensive boost. Only a nation with more resources or a better army would be able to brute-force their way in, as it should be.

Hello

6. Introduce custom gameplay settings - long has the conflict between the "SP" and "MP" parts of EU4 community lasted, where both sides felt like the dev team is trying to only satisfy the other one, effectively making both unhappy. The truth is, that it has come to a point where it's no longer possible to develop a game which would satisfy both parties' needs. Looking back at what some of the last DLCs and patches added to the game, as a MP-only player I feel like there was a lot of stuff added(for example. huge boosts to India, army professionalism, recent idea groups revamp) that I maybe would've liked if I was playing playing SP, not MP, and then I see a lot of SP players arguing that they feel like PDX is focusing on MP aspect of the game too much.
I feel like this has come to a point where the only way to satisfy both parties is by giving them bigger control over how their game is going to look like. Similar systems have already been(or will be) added to HoI4 and CK2, and the way I see it could work in EU4, is that simply players(or hosts) would be able to choose from a variety of settings when creating a new campaign such as "mercenary FL%", "attrition cap", "base dev cost" etc.
Even if it wouldn't fix all problems that currently EU4 faces, it would still be a huge step in a right direction(IMO).
I can see where you're coming from, but why not just make a mod? If you're not going for achievements then this is a better option than insisting the devs spend resources on a minor UI convenience.
 

Jarvin

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Disagree here. A -2 to rolls is approximately a 25% reduction in damage dealt which is noticeable without being overbearing. The easiest option to deal with them is to simply go around to forts that are in less defensible terrain. If a nation has made it so every approach is covered by mountain forts, I'd say they deserve to have that defensive boost. Only a nation with more resources or a better army would be able to brute-force their way in, as it should be.
Hey. Thanks for answering
So:
Point 1. -2 is 32% not 25%, which can be easily proven with some super simple maths
upload_2018-12-18_16-46-44.png


And I seriously fail to see how literally dealing only 2/3 of your base damage output as 'okay'.
Against AIs, maybe. Against actual human players this difference will realistically make you lose every single engagement that you take with this penalty unless, yet again, you have a massive numerical advantage.

Point 2. It isn't exactly possible to keep avoiding taking bad engagements.
There are few regions in game where mountains are literally everywhere, like Persia or Ethiopia
There are regions which are barely accesible due to being separated by mountains from other regions like Spain or China
It has always been a rather significant issue for MP games that Asia proper was separated from Europe by Persian mountains. It is NOT possible to comfortably fight there. Even if you somehow manage to win one -2 engagement, you need to win like 10 more to be able to get to the other side.

Even a -1 engagement means(though that's some simplification obviously) approx. 6-8% discipline that your enemy has over you effectively. And currently it's very difficult to not be forced to take such battles. Forests, hills, jungles, they are everywhere.
I can understand wanting to leave river crossings in(hence I didn't suggest removing them) they actually do provide some strategical depth into the game(to a certain degree), where players are forced to maneuver to avoid getting a -1 battle, leader maneuver has importance here etc.
 

Reman

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Hey. Thanks for answering
So:
Point 1. -2 is 32% not 25%, which can be easily proven with some super simple maths
View attachment 431696
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume the left column of your chart is the die result, but you represent the base 15 as a +3, so a roll of 0 becomes 3, 1 becomes 4, etc. Then your middle column would be the result with the -2, and your third column is the percent difference between the first and second columns. Then you average the percentages? Doing this overweights the impact of the smaller results. A better way is to compare the average base damage:

Capture.PNG


This has an effective average diceroll of 4.5, but even this underestimates base casualties because it doesn't take into account general pips, which are always nonnegative. I'd say the average roll is closer to 5 or even 6. An average roll of 5 would mean a -2 has a -25% impact on rolls, not ~33%.

Point 2. It isn't exactly possible to keep avoiding taking bad engagements.
There are few regions in game where mountains are literally everywhere, like Persia or Ethiopia
There are regions which are barely accesible due to being separated by mountains from other regions like Spain or China
It has always been a rather significant issue for MP games that Asia proper was separated from Europe by Persian mountains. It is NOT possible to comfortably fight there. Even if you somehow manage to win one -2 engagement, you need to win like 10 more to

There's something to be said about reducing the amount of some types of defensive terrains. I think the devs could eliminate half the river crossings in the game and there would still be far too many. Maybe Ethiopia should be considered highlands instead of mountains? I'm not familiar enough with the geography of the area to know.

But if you're attacking into the Alps or the Pyrenees, why shouldn't a significant advantage be required? Turning the -2 into a -1 would trivialize a lot of the geography of the map.
 

Jarvin

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View attachment 431725

This has an effective average diceroll of 4.5, but even this underestimates base casualties because it doesn't take into account general pips, which are always nonnegative. I'd say the average roll is closer to 5 or even 6. An average roll of 5 would mean a -2 has a -25% impact on rolls, not ~33%.
I don't think if it's correct to attempt to calculate the average dice roll, Each time a dice is rolled should be treated independently, and if you want to get an actual comparison of how penalties work, then you need to take all possible dice outcomes into consideration. Feel free to check that in game(though that would be rather tedious to test, wouldn't it)
There's something to be said about reducing the amount of some types of defensive terrains. I think the devs could eliminate half the river crossings in the game and there would still be far too many. Maybe Ethiopia should be considered highlands instead of mountains? I'm not familiar enough with the geography of the area to know.
But if you're attacking into the Alps or the Pyrenees, why shouldn't a significant advantage be required? Turning the -2 into a -1 would trivialize a lot of the geography of the map.

I think a very harsh, and sadly true, answer to your last question is: "Because the game needs it".
EU4 doesn't portray history realistically atm, it never will and I don't think if it even try to do so.
Even if EU4 can take inspiration from history, it should still put fun and enjoyability over historical accuracy.
I would love to explain further why -2 penalties aren't "fun", but then I would be simply repeating my points from the first post.
 

Serenade

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To summarize Jarvin's argument:
Die rolls from 0 to 9 are equally likely, therefore I average the percentage dmg reduced in each case --> result: 32% less dmg

To summarize Reman's argument:
On average I roll 4.5, and when I roll 4.5 I deal 26% less dmg.

I think Jarvin's logic is better here because -2 to dices does indeed have the biggest impact when you roll a 0. In fact, the impact when you roll a 0 is much further (-66%) from the mean of 4.5 than if you roll a 9 (-16%). I think Reman's argument underestimates the impact of mountains on lower dice rolls by assuming the average dice roll.
 

Reman

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I don't think if it's correct to attempt to calculate the average dice roll, Each time a dice is rolled should be treated independently, and if you want to get an actual comparison of how penalties work, then you need to take all possible dice outcomes into consideration. Feel free to check that in game(though that would be rather tedious to test, wouldn't it)

The difference in our analyses comes from the final statistic we're calculating. I'm averaging the base value, while you're averaging a percent. Averaging percents is generally dangerous in statistics and should be avoided if possible.

When I use 4.5 as an "average" roll, I'm using it as a statistical simplification. Taking the average of the base damage of all possible rolls will still be 27.5 for a mountain and 37.5 for flat terrain.

I think a very harsh, and sadly true, answer to your last question is: "Because the game needs it".
EU4 doesn't portray history realistically atm, it never will and I don't think if it even try to do so.
Even if EU4 can take inspiration from history, it should still put fun and enjoyability over historical accuracy.
I would love to explain further why -2 penalties aren't "fun", but then I would be simply repeating my points from the first post.
Fair enough. If moshpit MP games degenerate into stalemates where both sides wait for the other to go bankrupt, I could see why you'd want to reduce the roll penalty. Why not mod the game to do so?
 
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jdavis86

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Regarding #3, completely agree it causes late game headaches.

Personally I wish they'd further abstract artillery.

Huge lumbering artillery armies are not fun for the player, break immersion, and don't represent the period the game covers.

In practical terms I'm not sure how the developers could improve the system. Here are some ideas:

1) Make artillery much more expensive, or limit the amount available to a national value tied to copper and iron.

2) Cap the back row to some number less than combat width. Or create a new stat similar to inf/cav ratio.

3) Get rid of artillery units all together. Replace it with some system connected to iron/copper production, supply limit, and General skill.
 

schiegfried

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Hey, this is my reply towards Jarvin explaining why mercenaries in the current (vanilla) game are broken beyond recovery and how the current war system needs a rework.
I played EU4 multiplayer for the last 3 years straight and pretty much ignored singleplayer. Meaning, I too will focus entirely on the aspect of multiplayer.


Economy:


It’s true; the current economic system doesn’t have that much depth. But the last patches changed it for the better, for example the centre of trade rework. That’s the direction EU4 should continue to advance towards, meaning that upgrading your own lands is a viable option too, instead of just mindlessly conquering, killing rebels and clicking on the coring button. I prefer “minmaxing” the economy of my country instead of mindlessly “deathwarring” into irrelevancy, after all this game isn’t a war simulator and was never meant to be one.


This leads me to the next point:


>Because it's warfare that is currently the much more complex and arguable also more fun and satisfying aspect of the game, and as such the game should do all it can to encourage fighting wars(…):


How is warfare the most satisfying and “complex” aspect of the game? Every noob can build up armys and charge into the enemy, the level of minmaxing in a war scenario is far lower than in a peace scenario, especially in today’s multiplayer.
Where is the skill in building up 40 infantry mercenary templates, taking out maximum loans and spamming them until either you or the opponent goes bankrupt? Where is the skill in reinforcing your one giant battle by force marching in, hoping that you get the better rolls and your 6:6:1:3 general doesn’t die mid-battle?
To make it worse, fighting wars in EU4 got worse with time. Since you can no longer pull out your troops effectively mid battle, wait for the next month and send them back in, it’s now even more one-dimensional.


One big part of why the war system is so one dimensional and boring is mercenaries. Money, if you didn’t “deathwar” yourself into irrelevancy before, isn’t a problem at all in vanilla. The loan limit in relation to the monthly income of a nation is enormous. You can even keep taking loans, even if you already run a deficit which can only be rebalanced by declaring bankruptcy. Since money isn’t an issue, the cost of mercenaries isn’t either. In the early game it might be rewarding to have a real army and not just 40k stacks of mercenaries running around, but after 1500/1550~ regular troops and manpower are no longer the war winning factor. You win your wars by having a bigger mercenary pool than the opponent, since you can bleed out his manpowerpool by fighting constant battles. That’s literally all the depth there is in current vanilla EU4 multiplayer wars.


Suggestions:

1. Give the economy more depth. I know that this is harder than it may sound and I am generally glad for the recent changes towards the EU4 economy.


2. Nerf mercenaries. These units shouldn’t be ghosts which get recruited from nowhere. Every mercenary dying should slow down the economy of the country from where the mercenaries came from. Look at historical mercenaries for example, after the 30 years war, the biggest mercenary fuelled war I know of, the entirety of the HRE was devastated through plundering by and the recruiting of mercenaries.


3. Make it harder to archive economical dominance. Money doesn’t matter after 1600 in multiplayer. Many multiplayer groups went on to nerf trade goods and income so that economies get less inflated. Make inflation hit much harder, trade much more complex and let taxation have more positive and negative consequences.


Fort and terrain penalties:


Forts in their current state are, outside of mountains, extremely weak. You can simply circumnavigate the whole purpose of forts, being to protect you from outside interventions and halting an enemy’s attack, by investing 50 military power to buy a breach in the walls and to sit on it with a 40k mercenary stack. You don’t bleed manpower; you don’t invest much into taking the fort. A fort outside a mountain province doesn’t give you a deciding defending advantage; it sometimes even punishes the defender. By sieging your lands, the attacker can take out even more loans while crippling your economy and loan limit.

After this point the attacker may snowball from here, while the attacked slowly bleeds out. It is immensely hard to repel an attack in current EU4 multiplayer, even if the attacker is the same strength. If the attacker doesn’t make crucial mistakes in reinforcing his army, or by attacking in bad positions, the attacker in EU4 will win by default.


Suggestions:


1. Slightly buff forts. If you don’t change mercenaries, make it so that only regular troops can siege forts for example. Give them their purpose back.


2. Make bankruptcies occur earlier and make them less devastating. A country in multiplayer EU4 usually doesn’t recover after declaring bankruptcy once, if he doesn’t have a long truce with most of his neighbours. At the same time loans are way too common and fix too many issues with financing your “deathwars”.






I know that I will get hated for this, but lets be real: EU4 isn’t a war simulator and there are way better options out there if you want to war as much as possible.
 

Yevardian

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I prefer “minmaxing” the economy of my country instead of mindlessly “deathwarring” into irrelevancy, after all this game isn’t a war simulator and was never meant to be one.

Hahahahaha... what game are you playing?

I know what people are saying, but you'd need a radically different basegame to make peace interesting in EU4.
 

schiegfried

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Hahahahaha... what game are you playing?

I know what people are saying, but you'd need a radically different basegame to make peace interesting in EU4.

Please explain to me then how your EU4 Mp should be then. I dont see any joy in building up my nation over several hours or weeks, just so then some random coalition can deathwar me into irrelevancy. If you just want strategic wars/battles, there are many other titles out there.
 

Jarvin

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Updated the post with a small correction. Will post it here too
" I realized after re-reading this whole post again that somewhere along the lines my main point might have been lost, so to make it completely clear. I DO NOT think that mercenaries should be the core of EU4's warfare. What I'm trying to highlight in this post is, that there are certain aspects of the game that need to be taken care of BEFORE mercenaries are nerfed, not after."