EU4 - Development Diary - 6th of October 2020

EU4 - Development Diary - 6th of October 2020

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Welcome to another Europa Universalis IV development diary. Today we’ll talk about some major game-balance changes that we are doing regarding the naval game in 1.31.

I’m not really all that great at writing long detailed development diaries, but as this one is filled with gamebalance changes, I hope you can bear with me.

First of all, we have changed the amount of Sailors you get from each development from 30 sailors to 60. This will make the amount of sailors you get scale better through the ages.

Secondly we also change the amount of sailors each ship requires, and to make them require more sailors for more advanced models. Galleys now go from 60 sailors to 180 sailors for an Archipelago Frigate, while a Three Decker will require 900 sailors.

We also made galleys more powerful in combat, by reducing their default engagement width to 0.5 instead of 1.

Speaking of naval engagement width, it now starts at 5-25 depending on tech at start, and goes all the way up to 75 at the end of the game, scaling more like land combat does. At the same time, we reduced the naval engagement width by 20% in coastal sea zones.

Two other aspects that changes by technology as well for the naval game is maintenance, which will increase over time just like it does for amies as you advance through technology, and most importantly that more advanced ships will become far faster, with the most advanced ships being 50% faster than the earliest model of the same type. Galleys however, only increase speed by 25%.

All of these fixes are there to make the naval game have more of a natural progress in quality and cost that is not just more guns on a new ship.


One other thing that will make you happy is that we changed the support mechanics for leaders, so now there is one pool for naval leaders and one for land leaders. If you have more than you can support in naval leaders it will now cost you diplomatic power and if you have more than you can support in land leaders, then it will cost you military power as all leaders did before. This will give you more leaders overall, and make it possible for you to have naval leaders as well.

View attachment 637905

Another change we are doing is making your naval power matter as much as your army power when it comes to the Liberty Desire of your overseas subjects. So if you don’t have a strong fleet your colonial nations will definitely start considering independence.

We introduced marines with 1.30, but they were a bit too weak and situational, so they are getting one major change in that their penalty has been changed from +25% shock damage taken to only +10% shock damage taken. We also increased the amount you get from naval ideas from +5% to 10%.

Finally, we also made it impossible for nations to slave raid on any territory that they have a truce with, so now you can actually protect yourself efficiently against the raiders.


Next week Groogy will take you through why hedgehogs are holy.
I am very excited to see some naval changes to hopefully balance that out better than the current deathstack of heavies etc. I am curious though with the separation of Admirals and Generals, what will determine the actual limit for each? Will those limits stay equal per your total of allowed leaders or change at all?
 
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And why should I bother with navies now that they are more expensive both in terms of sailors and ducats?
Yes, ironically the naval update could result in making the navy less useful than it is now.

I love navy early game. Depends of course on the starting nation, maybe I have played too much in the English/French, Scandinavian or Batlic regions.
Naval superiority: Before artillery, it is good for cracking coastal forts. Negating the -2 malus for sieges, even turning it into +1with a flagship (+1 with the Age of Ref bonus later) and the possibilty of naval barrage. Troop movement via transports. Saves time and resourses, often it is possible to catch weak enemy stacks in coastal provinces. Blocking straits or preventing hostile fleets from blocking my troops. Etc.

In the end it is a question of costs and effectiveness.
Atm it is: AI is bad with battles, very bad with sieges and horrible with naval warfare.
I just need (10/0/0/15), better (15/0/0/20) to rule the waves at this stage of the game. This is some investment in money and sailors. But in my experience it pays out.
Marco once claimed, he beat Threedeckers with Early Carracks. I haven't done anything likewise impressive, but it is possible to outplay the AI with a fairly small fleet and lagging behind in Dip Tech.

So the evaluation of a naval update in SP is largely dependant on the question:
What will the AI do with it?
My interpretation of the Emperor update is: The devs don't care much about AI vs human player.
So the naval update will be (again) kind of grab bag. Even if some changes look interesting, sensible or appropriate on paper, AI handling might ruin everything.
 
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Will you increase the siege penalty on non-blockaded forts? If they can be supplied by sea they be able to hold out for much longer.
 
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So combat width is down to 0.5 for galleys. Meaning that you can have 6 galleys against 1 heavy.
AKA in 1444 you have 72 cannons for galleys against 40 cannons of your heavy. This doesn't seem balanced
Or am I forgetting something?
Seems perfectly balanced actually, look up the ship types, early carracks and even carracks weren't really dedicated warships they were transport ships that were sometimes repurposed as large fighting vessels. If you look at naval battles early in this period the fighting ships are galleys. Well at least in the vicinity of Europe. We may be running into a problem with projecting what was the fact in Europe unto the rest of the world.
Good point. According to Wikipedia.
By 1759 the Royal Navy had expanded to 71,000 personnel and 275 ships in commission, with another 82 under ordinance.
So much for 100k Sailors...
A lot of that will be support structure too.
Please try to balance it a little, we don't want always superior England no matter what. It would be nice to make some mechanics to alternative actions if your fleet is weaker to make some damage control
We'll always have superior england as long as buildings are on a province level rather than a state level and Britain has way to many provinces and way to much development for their real life position in 1444.
Effectively doubling the power of galleys? Isn't that a bit too much of a buff? Especially for the Ottomans and their 100+ galley fleet :O
Not really, galleys were the main fighting vessels early in this period.
Ottoman buff.
Well the Ottomans are suposed to be powerful, let's just hope they direct that power in a direction where they can put that power to use, like invading the mamluks or trying to invade naples. Instad of blobbing into Russia which I find they do most of the time.
Wouldn't that the "merchant marine" basically just be transport and trade ships.
Heavy ships especially early on in the period were often repurposed trade or transport ships.
 
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But it's also ridiculous that you can just end up in a war and then decide you'll build 50 heavies at once and then go from having no navy to the largest navy in the world overnight.

Navies should be something that the player is actively have to maintain and build over time, not something that they ignore until the very moment they need it and then just flash-build. It also completely and utterly destroys the very idea of a decisive naval conflict when you can rebuild your entire navy basically overnight (waiting a few years for your navy to rebuild is basically nothing).
While I totally understand and get where you are coming from, I don’t know if you can really change anything, without making that part of naval warfare utterly infuriating. I have no idea how you could go about balancing gameplay and realism in this way though.
 
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Will there be changes to fleet upgrading? I already struggle to get a fleet up (I usually start as some minor) because of the cost early, and the other costs I have. And when I finally have a navy, they get outdated and I would have to repay everything. I know that upgrading them like units do doesn't make much sense (a ship was a massive investment, and you cannot simply replace them), and it makes sense having to rebuild the new ships, however, I cannot imagine that an older ship was 100% useless. Maybe some of the cannons on the old ship (who did get renewed with time) could be fitted onto the new ship. Maybe the ship got sold to some guy too poor to buy a new ship,... It doesn't make much sense IMO that to upgrade a ship you have to pay the recruitment cost.
With scaling ship maintenance, this gets even more painful because if you decide to not immediately upgrade your ship, you are paying higher upkeep for the same old design.
So please, consider making upgrading ships different from the recruit price.
 
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Having to build ships just to keep your vassals liberty desire down will be annoying.
 
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This is not true, while amphibious capacities of galleys were definitely their main advantage and a reason for their widespread use, another reason for using during age of gunpowder was because galley fleets (which were also more expensive to maintain) had superior capacity in naval warfare before mass produced iron cannons become available in early 17th century. Simply put, a galley fleet was able to bear more cannon towards a singular direction with much faster speed and agility. When you consider that roundships had 8 to 12 cannons in their broadside in 16th century, on much longer platform, several galleys next to each other had more firepower on their bows.

Also while galley's low frame is a disadvantage in boarding, it's actually an advantage when it comes to sinking roundships because they were able to shoot their cannons at more critical water level of roundships. Another point to consider is because galleys could shoot their cannons towards the direction they were moving towards, regardless of wind conditions, their formation was much more offensive while roundships are necessarily defensive because of their inability to chase and fire at the same time. Genoese and Venetians (and indeed Ottomans and Spanish) used "heavies", that is roundships, in Mediterranean but only as support vessels because of their cargo space and their ability to defend naval areas as floating fortresses. Roundships only started to surpass galleys in combat ability because a galley was limited in its cannon amount due to its inherent limitations in size because of being powered by oarsmen. While galleys could only carry up to 7 or 9 cannons on their bows roundships started to carry upwards of 30 cannons on their broadside thus surpassed galleys in combat ability. Galleys became obsolete because they couldn't become bigger without becoming too slow and too expensive in terms of manpower.

In short, galleys were the most effective ships in utilising the limited amount of cannons the states at the time could produce, they became obsolete when cannons could be mass produced thus naval warfare became more about having as many cannons on ships as possible. A good comparison on land to how galley warfare was fought in 16th century is line battles of 18th century, which became obsolete because of higher firepower of breachloaded rifles and machine guns.

If you do have an interest in the warfare of the area and capabilities of galleys, I thoroughly recommend Guilmartin's book "Gunpowder and galleys".
This doesn't explain the 2 Venetian flagships launched in the early and 16th century of well over 100 guns. Galleys were slower than their sailing counterparts and if galleys didn't engage in action quickly tended to suffer from fatigue especially on the free oarsman galleys of the Christian nations. There's no advantage of firing close or at the waterline and this wasn't effective in galley combat anyway, the cannon in galley warfare was a disruptive shock weapon typically unleashed only once or twice in each ship to ship engagement, once as the ship picked a target and then as close to the ram impact as possible.

Its rare to see galleys armed with as many as 7 or even 9 cannons, something only really seen on flag galleys and the later galleass, typical galleys would only be armed with 3 to 5 depending on their size, with one large gun down parallel to the keel flanked by up to two pairs of smaller calibres either side for balance, and if its a 5 gun ship the outermost gun would be fairly insignificant poundage.

The downfall of the galley was much more linked to rigging improvements than that of the ease of production of guns, the various models of galleass were major parts of naval history, with the first ship designed with scientific principles being a galleass, these largest style galleys could quite comfortably have a crew of well over 1000 men and would be used by some nations into the mid 18th century, falling out of fashion with the rise of the Xebec as a nimble sailor, although with galleys being maintained as part of fleets for difficult coastlines.

"Heavies" were not used as support ships, or in strictly defensive roles, while there was a period of galleons and later designs being used to support fleets these were in no way warships, they were very clearly simple sailing cargo ships, something the galleon and other round ship styles was originally developed to be as part of the Italian merchant shipping. The "heavy" style ship was an offshoot of these rounded hulled cargo ships.
 
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Having to build ships just to keep your vassals liberty desire down will be annoying.
I doubt it will be REQUIRED to keep LD down, just like you don’t HAVE to have higher Dip Tech (though it certainly helps). We’ll have to wait and see what the numbers look like.
 
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Because player Mamluks would have an instant game over after they lose one war to the Ottomans. It wouldn't be fun. However, the mechanic would have to limited to where either you are the Ottomans, or they're both AI.
There at least used to be an event where, under specific circumstances (I don't remember the exact details, but I believe Venice also had to do certain things), the Ottomans could get an annex CB on the Mamluks, allowing the Ottomans to annex them in a single war.
 
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master_kong

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Maybe a separate professionalism mechanic just for the marine troops representing navy professionalism? So we wouldn't have to worry about ship attrition while drilling(wouldn't be fun also) and having a more experienced navy would still be represented via navy tradition alone.
 
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Beagá

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Having to build ships just to keep your vassals liberty desire down will be annoying.
"Switzerland... Keep quiet... Or else"
 
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klingonadmiral

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They have already stated in previous Dev Diaries that Ming is outside the scope of this current patch/update
It is a massive issue though. In Manchu it was said that they targeted for an about 66% chance for Ming to collapse, since 1.30 it happens maybe in 10% to 20% of all games. And a stable Ming is uniquely problematic because it turns half of Asia into a no-go zone.
 
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Kapi96

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Not really, galleys were the main fighting vessels early in this period.
That's fine early on, but they're buffed for the entirety of the game. Will have to see how it works in practice but I wouldn't be surprised if they're at least a match for, if not better than, heavies even in the late game. Unless late game heavies were also buffed and/or late galleys were nerfed.

Although the worst thing about this buff is the huge difference in cost. Heavies cost over 10 times galleys in monthly maintenance yet galleys will be more effective in battle? That seems a bit ridiculous. Surely either heavy maint should be reduced or galley maint increased to make them a bit more balanced. As it is choosing galleys over heavies will be a complete no brainer. Why pay more for a unit that's less effective in battle?
 
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