EU4 - Development Diary - 9th of January 2018

EU4 - Development Diary - 9th of January 2018

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Firebolt

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2018 and EUIV


Greetings everyone! I hope all of you have enjoyed the holidays and had a wonderful New Year. Here’s for a new year with plenty of opportunities and fun from the EUIV team and me, Firebolt, Product Manager for EUIV! Just like Fogbound mentioned in the last Dev Diary, if you are eagerly waiting for details on what new content will will introduce to the game, this is one is not for you. I will leave that task to @DDRJake who will be back next week. But for those of you curious to know a bit more about how we organize ourselves to bring EUIV to you and our general plans for the year to come, please stay awhile and listen!


Role of the Product Manager
So what does a Product Manager do? My role is to make sure that we can deliver the best possible game to you whilst ensuring that the teams involved get the resources they need to do so.

In the case of EU IV, I work closely together with the core Product Team, consisting of the Game Director (DDRJake),the Project Lead (millenss) and the Product Marketing Manager who coordinates all the activities dealing with the marketing & sales department. It is in this constellation we discuss what we need to do for upcoming months/year (other people and departments are also involved depending on the particular subject at hand).

The Game Director is the one who is responsible for coming up with ideas for the expansion(s), the Project Lead works out when we can deliver these and the PMM is in charge of how we market the expansion in question. And I am responsible for the budget.

Normally we plan for what we want to do in the next 12 months (we also have a more long term vision of where we want to take the game).

This is an iterative process where we look at:

- the content we want to add to the game (i.e. what each expansion should be),

- what staff is required to do this (no of programmers, content designers, QA, marketing etc),

- the optimal timing of release and the cost of marketing to make you, the players, aware of the expansion (competing releases, campaigns such as the Paradox Weekend on Steam and various trade shows etc.),

- and finally the business case for all of the above.

When all of this is done I look at the budget requirements and compare that to my initial estimates and goals. Hopefully those match, or else I have to revisit and change the plans or I need to request additional funds from management, be it that the developers need additional funds to add amazing new features to the expansion or that we want to take over GDC with a ridiculously large booth. ☺

So, in a world of infinite money and time, I would say yes to most requests, but alas it is also for me to sometimes set tighter deadlines and/or budgets due to whatever constraints we may face. Normally we sit down and try to agree together on how to best proceed. But that GDC booth will probably not happen...but I can tell you what will happen!



“We should focus the next expansion to just about here!”


So what about 2018?

We are very happy and grateful that more of you than ever are playing EUIV. Without your continued support and feedback, we would not be writing these diaries. I just checked in the Wiki and this seems to be our 244th dev diary for EUIV which is quite crazy! So once again, thanks for being a fantastic community giving us both praise and critique, inspiring us to do even better. Our hope is that we can continue to bring you fun and exciting moments that you can share with your friends and with the community in 2018.


We had a busy 2017 with three expansion releases; Mandate of Heaven, Third Rome and Cradle of Civilization and two Patches; Hungary and Japan. While all performed well, Third Rome was the one that was met with the most scepticism. It was the one expansion that differed from our typical releases and, in hindsight, perhaps we did not explain the rationale for it well enough. We named it an “Immersion Pack” to distinguish it from our regular, larger expansions that usually cost around USD 20 (or the equivalent in your local currency).


So why did we introduce a new type of expansion? As you may know EUIV is on its fourth year now and some may wonder if we there really are more things that we can introduce to the game. Even though there may be as many opinions as there are players on the value of each expansion that we have released over the years, we believe that there are still aspects of the game that can be improved upon, fleshed out or just given a bit more attention.


And that was the exact purpose of the Third Rome Immersion Pack. We wanted to bring you more tightly themed content focusing on a specific area, in this case Russia, to give the possibility to delve deeper, try out a new nation or new strategies, i.e. “immerse” yourself a bit more into that particular region, all in the hope that we can bring you something that helps keeping the game feel fresh and interesting. We know that a more narrow scope may not interest everyone, but the ambition is that we can give some of you something to sink your teeth into without having to wait to integrate it into a full fledged USD 20 expansion. These larger expansions usually contain quite complex changes to the game mechanics and hence take longer to code, get tested and finally out to you.



Immerse yourself!


Something we learned from the release of Third Rome and your feedback on it, it is that we should have content that can be more universally applied eg: is available for nations other than just those focused on in the Immersion back in order to ensure that once you have finished playing that particular campaign, there is still value from the Immersion Pack regardless of where or what you are playing the next time. This means that even though some of the new content may be primarily constructed to be used in the region/country that the Immersion Pack covers, the basic mechanic should be possible and interesting to use elsewhere in the game.


So why am I spending time discussing Immersion Packs? Primarily because we do plan to release more Immersion Packs going forward, all themed around a region or a concept. It does not mean that we will stop releasing larger expansions, but they will be interspersed with smaller packs. The next DLC coming out will be an Immersion Pack...the question is what region or theme it will focus on? Suffice to say that it will be focusing on one of the most played starting countries and it is in Europe…I am sure that DDRJake will reveal more in next week’s Dev Diary! So stay tuned!


With those words I wish you all an excellent start to the new year and happy gaming!


/Firebolt
 

JKiller96

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Coffer

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So long as the content's value relative to the price tag is justifiable on at least the same level as a regular expansion, immersion packs are plenty good enough, and they have their place in the development timeline of the game. It wouldn't hurt if the next one had a slight bit more content relative to Third Rome, but I wouldn't mind too much if it featured about the same amount of content either.
 

Kapitän Blaubär

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Unfortunate. The Immersion Packs just do not have the right Content versus Price ratio. If the price is half that of a full fledged DLC, the content must be half that too. It really was not.

I'm not against the idea of Immersion Packs, but the next one should be closer to Mandate of Heaven than Third Rome in terms of content. Because, if we're being fair, the Mandate of Heaven was primarily focused on the China/SEA region with Ages to make it useful world wide.

I wasn't part of the outrage-storm during the Third Rome/Mandate patches, I didn't feel like it was enough to get pissed over. But I felt their sentiment and I agreed, Third Rome content was not enough. I'm still someone that buys the DLC/Packs on release and I will keep doing so but the Immersion Pack was almost inconsequential enough to forget about it altogether. I really hope you can deliver next time, as your quality has been great in the past I'm sure it'll be great for the future too.
 

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So England. (its the most played nation in the game).
 

Krebsig

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Iirc most of the Top 15 countries picked in 1444 are in europe, so it doesn't really narrow it down that much. I could see an Iberia, France or Britian Immersion Pack though.

Still, I personally hope for some more HRE love in the future.
 
Last edited:

Coffer

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Unfortunate. The Immersion Packs just do not have the right Content versus Price ratio. If the price half that of a full fledged DLC, the content must be half that too. It really was not.
New experiments bring with them valuable lessons. Don't assume they won't learn anything from the feedback, especially the lower sales.
 

Laaaaan

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eu4 team finally getting some organisation
oops i mean what of course i should accept ddrjake as our lord and saviour hahahahahaha don't kill me
 

Kapitän Blaubär

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New experiments bring with them valuable lessons. Don't assume they won't learn anything from the feedback, especially the lower sales.

I've mentioned that I hope they can deliver this time.

I'm still on the fence about a single nation being updated when the entire region feels outdated. There's more pressing matters than an immersion pack for a single nation.
With all the new governments being released the HRE is feeling mighty outdated. India still has got nothing going for them. Africa is still rough with literally just Ethiopia that has some flavour. Even the Maghreb is looking horrid if you're missing DLC since Raiding is gated content.

I don't know, the Immersion Packs are just too little content in general when you're looking at a global strategy game. The free 1.24 Japan patch added more tags and flavour to an entire region more than Third Rome ever delivered.
 

CheesySnake

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The Caesar

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I hope that it will be one about France. This region clearly needs it, the actual developpement of the region is underwhelming compared to what it was at the time but in exchange, it is too easy to manage the realm and to wage offensive wars compared to what it was in real life, especially in the early game. It would be cool to have a system where it starts as a very decentralised realm dominated by the vassals that you would have to "fight" to increase the power of the crows. That region really deserve some love, both for it and for the balance of power in Europe (in early game, France shouldn't easily be able to wage offensive wars but it should also be hard to conquer, and if someone manages to take full profit of the region, either a reformed france or a foreign invader, then you have a behemoth on your hands).
I hope some people like this idea
 
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HRErceg

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Seems we're getting an Britain immersion pack
 

Krebsig

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I hope that it will be one about France. This region clearly needs it, the actual developpement of the region is underwhelming compared to what it was at the time but in exchange, it is too easy to manage the realm and waging offensive wars compared to what it was in real life, especially in thé early game. It would be cool to have a system where it starts as decentralised realm with several vassals that you would have to "fight" to increase the power of the king. That region really deserve some love, both for it and for the balance of power in Europe (in early game, France shouldn't easily be able to wage offensive wars, and good luck conquering it, but if someone manage to take full profit of the region, then you have a behemoth on your hands).
I hope some people like this idea

So...like in the early days of EU4?
 

Subai

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As Kapitän Blaubär said the Immersion Pack was just too expensive. Tbh DLCs from Paradox are already quite expensive. Just think of what you could get for 20 or 15€ on Steam...
I bought every DLC nonetheless. But the 10€ for Third Rome were just too greedy and many people (and so was I) were really disappointed. Paradox really has to face this truth now. Otherwise they will run into the next shit storm no matter what they focus on in the next Immersion Pack. More content or less money. It's just that simple.
 

frolix42

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Nice to meet you @Firebolt.

My guess for the next immersion pack is France.

Since France is already a favorite, if I were playing the odds I'd guess Portugal. And I really hope we get improvements to the colonial game.
 
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SolSys

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Unfortunate. The Immersion Packs just do not have the right Content versus Price ratio. If the price is half that of a full fledged DLC, the content must be half that too. It really was not.
I imagine there would be a bit more content this time around, but the pricing would still be in the 8$~10$ due to the immersion packs integrating the unit packs as well**.

Edit: To clarify, I'd say part of the reason for the price complaints was because they failed to effectively communicate the inclusion of the Russian unit packs -- I mean, it is not even mentioned on the store pages :/


**Fun fact: The "original" immersion pack [Res Publica] cost only 5$ because the unit packs were sold separately.
 
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