JoãoII

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Now with the steam november promotion I wanted to take the opportunity to buy a dlc pack, do I need the expensive ultimate pack or does the empire pack already have all the dlcs that are mandatory for the gaming experience?...
 
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Terixis

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The empire bundle is the one with all of the DLC expansions. The ultimate bundle has everything else too, mostly sprite packs and music packs.

Note that the empire bundle does NOT come with the digital extreme edition upgrade pack which is the purple phoenix, sword of islam, and american dream DLC. All of which are very minor but are gameplay content if that's what you're after.
 
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Wixelt

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What about DLCs that energy?
 

annulen

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Now with the steam november promotion I wanted to take the opportunity to buy a dlc pack, do I need the expensive ultimate pack or does the empire pack already have all the dlcs that are mandatory for the gaming experience?...
Technically, all DLCs are optional. Certain DLCs are required to play for colonial customly designed nation, or using random new world, but other than that game is playable with no DLCs at all.

Most important DLC is Art of War, it adds a lot of stuff which is very useful, and not all of it is strictly related to war (though war is certainly very important aspect of the game). Other than that, priorities may be different depending on which nations, religions and regions you are going to play. BTW, there are quite a few "DLC tops" on youtube etc, where authors review of DLC features and provide their own order of priority.

Note that starting from base game and adding DLCs with features you want to try out is very easy, but if you have experience with playing full game, it can be hard to go backwards, as you will be missing a lot of tiny buttons here and there which you've used to use in the past.
 
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annulen

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Also, there are DLC recommendations in game - when you select country on map it shows what DLCs you don't own would be helpful and why. However, these recommendations can be incomplete (e.g. right now if you select Madyas you are not suggested to buy DLC for becoming pirates), and they don't say anything about mechanics which are not tied to particular countries.
 
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