EUIV - Development Diary - 29th of October 2019

EUIV - Development Diary - 29th of October 2019

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Hey! So me and the team are finally back and recharged after a great PDXCON and it's finally time to get going with development diaries. So what I will be covering today is the result out of what we call "Polish Weeks" here at EUIV. These days are dedicated specifically by the team to fix issues and generally improve the game. So today's development diary is me distilling down a somewhat shy of 200 known issues we've fixed but also the Spending/Budget AI work that our programmers have been working hard at.


So during these Polish Weeks @Duplo and @mikesc have been working hard on improving the economy of the AI.
While evolving, Europa Universalis 4 became more complex, with a wider range of possibilities both for the AI and the player to use. But this continuous new complexity was not always addressed with the appropriate amount of love while defining the AI interactions with the new mechanics.During the polish time, we monitored the behavior of the AI related to ducats, collected data and plotted colorful charts - like the one below. Our ambition is to make the AI spending their precious ducats in a smarter way, better evaluate its priorities and generally take more reasonable decisions - you heard me, heretics?

All the various things the AI could spend money on are now categorized, and the items in each category run to get the priority based on a normalized desire score that is calculated depending on the nation current situation, the benefit of such an investment, the current availability of money and the trend of the income. The AI will not go anymore accidentally in debt because of badly timed checks on the available budget.
Our goal is to make the AI more competitive towards the player, and this starts with the economy the AI has available to them. Among of the things you should see improve is besides the AI having more money generally available and doing better are features such as the religious conversion being manageable by them.

Something this work by our awesome coders do is also make all of this a lot more exposed meaning modders can tweak how the AI deal with it's economy way more than they ever could before. However it is still quite strict as it would otherwise impact the performance too much.

aicharts.png
Colorful charts about AI spending ducats, taking/repaying loans and going into dramatic bankruptcies. Those KPIs helped us (and are still helping) noticing weird behaviors in a glance while refactoring and refining our AI.

So now let's start of strong with what bugs we've been working on and talk about Chartering Trade Company AI. If you are one of the players not wanting to see a non-colonial Papal States buying land in India, the AI will now only consider to do this if they have access to colonists. The players themselves are not affected by this change and can keep using the feature like normal.

Yuan and Qing unintentionally got locked behind the "Empire rank" mechanic meaning you needed Common Sense in order to form both. That's now fixed with equivalent requirements if you don't own Common Sense so you should always be able to form them.

A quite old bug or oversight was the fact that the Wars of Religion in France didn't even acknowledge that the teachings of Calvin was a thing. This making it quite annoying if you wanted to play a Huguenot France. So these events have been reworked and improved to work better accounting for the Reformed faith. For starters siding with the Protestant movement within France won't make you Lutheran anymore.

warofreligion.png
As an example previously this option would force you to become Protestant if you were Reformed, together with some other technical changes in other events the disaster should work way better now. And when I showed the Content Designers the image above they were unhappy with the text so they might revisit the content again and not only have them fix up the script.

And speaking of the various Christians denominations, we've tried to stop all the ways we could find for you to make the Pope escape his True Faith. We've fixed becoming Anglican, No Religion Pope, releasing through demanding unlawful territory and Bankruptcy Pope. But I'm sure you'll find other ways to to make his holiness become Fetishist yet again.

A thing that have annoyed a lot of people is when they've promised land to their fellow ally AI and then when you all come to the peace table he goes like "Nope don't want any, but I'll still hate you for not giving me anything". The AI will now be a lot more agreeable depending on the situation and not feel betrayed when he tells you he literally wants nothing.

reasonableai.png
I've promised Augsburg to Munich, but Austria managed to snipe it before and such I am left without anything to give him but he understands it wasn't my fault.

Moving on to governments. You can no longer hold lottery elections to elect strongmen for your dictatorships. This fixes a case where you could perpetually stay as a dictatorship through the sortition reform. Now when the first dictator takes power he will use his powers to abolish elections and you'll lose whatever reforms that gives you the lottery mechanic.

Another government reform fix we also made sure to fix is so Native Americans can't get unique governments like English Monarchy anymore. You should start seeing a lot more United States of America as we've fixed a bug causing the American Revolution to never come. We've tried to make how the AI picks Government Reforms to be generally a little bit better, from how Tribes become Monarchies/Republics to having the AI favor certain picks like their own unique governments etc.

All missing modifiers have now been added to the Nation Designer. The missing ones being but not limited to Artillery Fire, Possible Banners, Monthly Piety, May Explore and Power Projection from Insults. Our goal is always to keep all modifiers available to the player for when he designs his nation.

modifiers.png

The Propagate Religion exploit where you created multiple CoR's will no longer work, when you stop the Propagate trade policy it will deconstruct the CoR in the region and stop the conversion. We've also fixed an issue with the gain you get from razing provinces never get reduced when you get passed military technology level 8. The cap instead of 20 is now at 5 monarch points.

For Colonial nations we've fixed a bunch of problems. For instance granting a CoT to a Colonial will no longer decrease the level of the Center. But not only that there were a bunch of ways to circumvent the protection of the overlord. So someone on the Americas could attack your poor subjects but you would be locked out of actually helping them in their time of need. Now the Overlord will always be able to enforce peace on their colonial nation despite if they have a truce with the attacker or not. This only applies if the colonial nation is the defender.

A thing improved is all sources of yearly absolutism. We've had a bunch of 0.1 Yearly Absolutism all over the game which is pretty useless, it means you'll get a single worth of Absolutism in the span of a decade. So all of these have been upped to 0.5.

upload_2019-10-29_9-4-52.png

We've also noticed that the Mission UI could be quite taxing on some people's machine so we've optimized that interface quite a bunch which will help on some of our larger mission tree's but also potentially for any mod that extends on this system. Another similar UI problem that we've dealt with is the macrobuilder for when you hit +1000 provinces which could cause a bunch of problems.

Some other issues I just want to give quick mentions are:
  • Vassals Integration cost is now affected by Power Cost modifier
  • Fixed a bunch of Institution Spread issues
  • Pirate Republics can no longer spawn out of Pirate Republics
  • Gold can now spawn in Africa when playing with RNW
  • Firearm Incident is fixed which should make Achievement more plausible
  • Unify Culture Age Objective now work.
upload_2019-10-29_9-27-13.png
Oh what's this I wonder?

So this was just some of the things we've fixed, and we have so much more that we need to work on. We are already aware of several issues the community wants us to address and improve but in same style as we did with the QoL features we want to give you the oppertunity to highlight to us what you think is most important. This will be done in a more structured way compared to last time and if you are interested in contributing please head over to @StarNaN's thread over here.

Next week I'll be talking about some of the Quality of Life features we've implemented, some of these being entirely new features almost on their own.
 
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RMS Oceanic

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Would these QOL adjustments mean the AI will stop spamming the manpower/force limit buildings and focus on workshops and manufactories?
 

Khaine ashbring

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And speaking of the various Christians denominations, we've tried to stop all the ways we could find for you to make the Pope escape his True Faith. We've fixed becoming Anglican, No Religion Pope, releasing through demanding unlawful territory and Bankruptcy Pope. But I'm sure you'll find other ways to to make his holiness become Fetishist yet again.
Maybe you could add a nation the Pope would form if he turns protestant or Reformed? Seeing a papal states who are protestant in all but the state religion is quite weird, especially if rebels start to trigger but he still can't become protestant.
 

KanzlerMaxVonBaden

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Maybe you could add a nation the Pope would form if he turns protestant or Reformed? Seeing a papal states who are protestant in all but the state religion is quite weird, especially if rebels start to trigger but he still can't become protestant.
It was quite common that almost all of the population followed another religion than the ruler or ruling class, no actual Pope would convert to Protestant even if all of the peasants are heretical.
 

Khaine ashbring

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It was quite common that almost all of the population followed another religion than the ruler or ruling class, no actual Pope would convert to Protestant even if all of the peasants are heretical.
Maybe but you'd think those rebel peasants and nobles would establish some kind of secular state once they were done looting the Vatican.
 

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Groogy

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Would these QOL adjustments mean the AI will stop spamming the manpower/force limit buildings and focus on workshops and manufactories?
Can't say for sure yet, so far they've worked on the technical stuff it's up for me to later on tweak and try and find a good war/life balance for the AI ;)

Maybe you could add a nation the Pope would form if he turns protestant or Reformed? Seeing a papal states who are protestant in all but the state religion is quite weird, especially if rebels start to trigger but he still can't become protestant.
No the Pope is sort of special in the game so we'd prefer to keep him Catholic. Do you often see a Pope with all of his provinces being wrong religion and him unable to convert them?
 

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Anything regarding regulating the expansion of colonial nations outside their regional borders?
 

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Also, not sure if it exists but can you attach fleets the same way you can attach armies?
 

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Maybe but you'd think those rebel peasants and nobles would establish some kind of secular state once they were done looting the Vatican.
Hmm yeah, that could be indeed a fun dynamic. But after that happens, I'll suggest that the Pope flees to another theocracy like he usually does. This way could also work if his holyness goes revolutionary, something that's locked rn for him. Weird tbh, since the Revolutionary Republic of Rome was a thing.
 

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Speaking of the nation designer, could you please add the CKII religions that are already part of the game? Or is that meant to be locked behind the converter DLC?
 

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No the Pope is sort of special in the game so we'd prefer to keep him Catholic. Do you often see a Pope with all of his provinces being wrong religion and him unable to convert them?
Yup, many times only Rome is catholic, probably because it's hardcoded from being converted by a CoR. I saw it flip Protestant due to an event once though, made it great for Byzantium when I converted it without the -5% Missionary Strength. ;)
 

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It looks like we can finally get to the main menu without restarting the game. All in all some good fixes, now we just need to tackle some things that got broken because of recent changes.
 

Wenceslaus II.

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It's a loading screen which is already in game?
At the top it says 'resetting gamestate', so that probably means we won't get a CTD when trying to access the title screen anymore.
 

firezatswill9

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No the Pope is sort of special in the game so we'd prefer to keep him Catholic. Do you often see a Pope with all of his provinces being wrong religion and him unable to convert them?
After the horrendously implemented changes to religious conversion, and ESPECIALLY on the current patch where the AI does not convert, the answer is a resounding YES!
 

Blobhemian

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It's a loading screen which is already in game?
"Resetting gamestate"

I'm quite confident that this means it will be possible to go back to main menu without restarting the game.

Overall a very pleasant dev diary to read, it highlighted pretty much all of the immersion breaking issues that I could quickly think of, and I assume this together with catholicism rework will also solve the overly potent reformation in Europe. Now if only institution spread in the late game was rebalanced a bit more for the AI, so that 17th–18th century world could be a bit more believable ;).
 

Groogy

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Speaking of the nation designer, could you please add the CKII religions that are already part of the game? Or is that meant to be locked behind the converter DLC?
Which one specifically are you thinking about? The Norse is available to you. Are you thinking like the Heresies from CKII? They get generated on the fly by the converter and doesn't exist in the eu4 files.