Wizzington

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Hello everyone and welcome back to yet another development diary for Europa Universalis 4. Today's dev diary will be all about a single feature called Estates. Estates will be one of the flagship features in the yet unannounced expansion we've been teasing you about for a while now. Something that has been repeatedly requested by many of our fans are 'peacetime mechanics' and 'internal politics', and Estates represents our biggest push in both of those directions. Designing internal politics in EU4 is tricky because the fundamentals of the game are about warfare and diplomacy, and adding Victoria-level depth to the internal simulation would clash with those fundamentals, but with features like these we're hoping to strike a balance between EU4's external focus and the desire for more internal mechanics and flavor.

Estates (Expansion Feature)
The Estates feature, appropriately enough, adds Estates to your country, representing powerful interest groups in your country. The well-known Three Estates of Clergy, Nobility and Burghers are all represented, but in addition to these, there are also a number of special Estates that only appear in certain nations. Eastern technology group countries that control Steppe territory will get Cossacks as an Estate, and Muslim countries will get a special called Dhimmi that represents something like the Millet system practiced in the Ottoman Empire. Each Estate has a level of influence, loyalty and territorial control. While we are aware that calling for example Cossacks an 'Estate' is a bit of a misnomer, we felt that the system would be much poorer for excluding power groupings that fall outside the traditional Three Estates.

Territory
Countries can grant control of provinces to an estate, increasing the Estate's loyalty and influence, as well as giving certain local bonuses, at the cost of increased minimum autonomy in the province. Not all Estates can control any province - the Burghers can only control provinces with a certain amount of development, while the Cossacks can only be granted Steppe provinces. Certain Estates, such as the Nobility, expect to control a minimum percentage of your country's non-overseas development, and will have their loyalty steadily eroded if their expectations are disappointed.
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Influence
Influence represents the overall pull that an Estate has in your country: Their ability to help or hinder you. The more important Estates have a base level of influence, and also gain influence depending on certain circumstances in your country (For example, the Clergy's influence increases in a Catholic nation due to the Catholic Church's power). Additionally, Estates gain further influence by controlling territory.
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Loyalty
Loyalty represents, quite simply, how loyal an Estate is to the current regime. It is most easily increased through giving Estates control of provinces. Taken together, Influence and Loyalty give the Estate a country-wide effect: A powerful and loyal Nobility will be a boon to your ability to wage war, while loyal Burghers will make province development cheaper across your empire. If angered, they will have the opposite effect, with the Nobility refusing to provide levies for your armies and the Burghers suddenly disinterested in investing in your development projects. In addition to hampering your country, disloyal Estates will stir up unrest in provinces they control, and just might rise up to challenge your right to rule.
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Factionalism
No matter how loyal they are, an Estate that grows too powerful is ultimately a danger to the state. Estates with an influence level above 90% are at risk of seizing control, with generally bad consequenses for the nation as a whole: A Nobility in control will grant themselves autonomy and privileges at the expense of the crown, while the Burghers seizing power can result in a fragmented nation of virtually independent city-states. The power of Estates can be reduced by revoking provinces they have been granted, but this will naturally anger them, and might result in the Estate rising up to seize power through military means. As such, it is crucial to keep your Estates loyal while ensuring none of them grow too powerful, which can be a tricky prospect when their interests openly conflict with each other.
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Interactions
One way to try and keep your Estates a bit more loyal is, of course, by listening to their advice and complaints. Interactions are special actions that can be taken towards Estates. For example, the Call Diet action allows you to assemble your nobility and let them weigh in on how you should rule the country. If you're lucky, what they want will align with you want, and everyone walks away happy... but if it turns out that their advice goes completely against your carefully laid plans, you have to choose between doing it anyway or upsetting them even further.

Moddability
One last topic I wanted to touch on with Estates is moddability. The Estates feature has been made extremely moddable, with the ability to not just add and more Estates, but ability to customize almost every single aspect of the feature: Loyalty, Influence, Interactions, country/province effects and which provinces can be granted to which Estate are all fully moddable, and the system supports dynamic naming of Estates based on which country they are in, so that in Poland the Nobility will be named 'Szlachta' and the Clergy in Muslim countries are called 'Ulema'.

Well then, that was a lot of words about Estates. Next week we'll be talking about cultures and what is truly in a name.
 
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Wizzington

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Are estates monarchy only? Or do republics have both estates and parliaments?

Estates are for nearly all countries, countries with Parliaments do not have the Nobility estate though.
 
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Atlantians

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This is amazing! All hail great and powerful @Wiz!

Next week we'll be talking about cultures and what is truly in a name.

Culture! :D

Yay!

I hope you look at my post with its suggestions regarding culture interaction and the acceptance mechanism. :D
 
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zeredek

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so... Factions 2.0? Please let the interactions not just be "throw points at the problem until it goes away"
 
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DaDerpyDude

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Wait so you can create a second HRE by letting the Burghers take control? I am looking forward to the Burgers taking control in the US and creating a second HRE!
 
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