EU4 - Dev Diary - October 1st 2015

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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.
zYKIYBO.png


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.
WZWYh59.png


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.
NyOiQol.png


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.
tYqr4hn.png

wBU6WcF.png


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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Wizzington

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

This will not happen.
 
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Wizzington

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How will OPMs deal with more than one estate expecting to control a minimum of development?

They only start demanding territory over a certain number of provs, with different numbers for different estates.
 
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Trin Tragula

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- all muslims without tech group and geographical restrictions?

Currently everyone that aren't western tech gets them. Note that in India the Hindus where essentially granted Dhimmi status either openly or de facto despite being nowhere near people of the book. Sometimes pragmatism just wins out ;)
 
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Wizzington

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What happens to Celestial Empire?

Keeps faction system, does not get estates.

Merchant Republics lose their factions if the new expansion is enabled and get estates instead.
 
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- so if eastern tech country that control steppes will westernize cossacks would auto-abolish or turn in nobility/burghers?

- all muslims without tech group and geographical restrictions?

- will you update accordingly some of the old events that mentioned certain concerned and demanding estates?

- Cossacks disappear if you Westernize.

- All non-Westernized muslims.

- Likely.
 
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Ho will the Estates interact with already existing systems:

Will advanced governments (namely Absolute Monarchy/Enlightened Despotism) curb the power of the estates, considering that they were highly centralized governments than the basically feudal systems in place in 1445?

Will a powerful Burgeoisie increase the ticks for the Revolution disaster? Because that's what happened in 1789.

Will Prussia have Junkers?

Will the Estates be available for Republice government types? One problem I have with most non-revolutionary Republics (especially the Merchant Republic) in the game is that they can blob into rural areas were there should be a rather strong nobility without suffering any penalties.

We will try to hook it into existing systems as much as can be done without becoming unwieldy.
 
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Wizzington

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Why would you want to give any land to the clergy with those stats?

They are disloyal in that screenshot. Giving them land would make them more loyal and change to positive modifiers, but also make them even worse if they become disloyal again. It's a balancing act.
 
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This is my biggest concern with this system: that it may end up feeling detached from others. Most decisions, events, missions and other systems (eg. religious ones, Dutch Republic, Elective Monarchy, even basic stuff like legitimacy or republican tradition) could in theory be linked to estates, and I hope that a lot of them will. It's already a bit weird, when I see e.g. potentially important religious decisions, like church taxes, have no effect on Fervor and Church Power (or vice versa) and Factions not being linked to missions in any way.

Yes, I'm aware of this and plan to schedule some time for general integration of systems in the not distant feature.
 
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Great work !! Just one question. Why is the interaction button only present for the Nobility estate and not the other two? Thanks.

There's only a single interaction scripted at the moment. More will be added.
 
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Wizzington

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Proper integration would be awesome. Just on those few pages there are many ideas that would make the game a lot deeper and a lot more fun. Government types, disasters, westernization, etc. But this could be complicated:

The problem is the DLC model. Making it a DLC features would realy create 2 very different versions of the game (if strong integration is implemented). That would be hard to manage I guess. Making it free with the patch would be ridiculous, it's a lot of work that deserves to be paid. So besides changing the DLC model, I don't see any good solutions.

It is entirely possible to integrate DLC systems with non DLC systems, we do it all the time. You can write different event effects if you have DLC or not, etc.
 
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Wizzington

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Will Estates function differently based things like government type? Say a Feudal Monarchy would have to provide more lands for the nobility, for example?

Yes, governments will influence the way estates work.
 
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Will merchant republics have stronger than normal factions? Their faction system was pretty powerful and was really the only thing keeping them even somewhat viable after their ten billion nerfs.

Merchant Republics are by FAR the strongest government form even without the factions.
 
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Will Poland Elections be taken care with the use of Nobility Estate or still be by donating Legitimacy? Will it be possible (achievement maybe) to finish Polish historical flavour and getting Absolute Monarchy with Jagiellons on the throne?

I would like to rework the way elective monarchy works, but don't have any solid plans there yet.
 
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Holy hell this is.....yeah, this is too great to put to words.

One thing that hasn't been questioned yet: will the estates gives us goals? Historically, a powerful nobility would want to pursue claims while burghers increase trade and have colonies and priests to keep the religious unity of the country. Will stuff like that affect the opinion of the estates for you? Or will it be purely based on random events and granting land?

It's something we're discussing but have yet to implement.
 
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