Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise – Dev diary 4: American Progression

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Besuchov

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It’s Friday again! Time for another developer diary (and the traditional Friday beers of course :)).
Last week I talked a little about what we’ve done with the tribes and the map of North America. This week I’m going to talk a little bit about what you can do with them.

One of the central ideas of Europa Universalis has been that you can take on the role of any country in the world. However, we are making a game that covers a specific 400+ years of history - a time when some nations, mostly European, leapt from feudal states to early modern proto-industrial, states, and that, in the process, formed empires that spanned the globe. It’s not surprising that when you want to squeeze all the nations in the world into this model you have to make a few compromises. One of those big compromises is that while you can play as any country in the world, some of them are much less fun to play than others. However, expansions allow us to take another look on these things and try to address them. This is not new to Europa Universalis IV – the Divine Wind expansion for Europa Universalis III let us try some new things with major Asian countries, for example.

My biggest problems with playing Native Americans, until now, was always that the gameplay choices that make Europa Universalis IV great were too few and too far between for the North American natives. They had fewer diplomatic options; no real tech possibilities… things didn’t get to be really interesting for the North American states until the Europeans showed up. And then you were just lucky to stay alive.
But, for example, the technology pacing needed to be that slow since the difference between Administrative technology 1 and Admin tech 2 is the difference between a tribal state and a feudal monarchy.

The idea we came up with was giving Native Americans their own tech progression, sort of in between the regular technology steps. First of all, we added the concept of native advancements. These are sort of like technologies or national ideas that are connected to a specific government type. They are grouped exactly like technologies, one for each power type, and you buy them with power points only they are much cheaper than the regular technologies. It has not been very easy finding the sorts of advancements we want but we are starting to find a good mix.

Some examples are:

Migration traditions
Gives decreased build costs since buildings don’t really follow when you move. (We’ll talk about migration in an upcoming diary, but this is a neat new option for small North American states.)

Smoke Ceremonies
Increases diplomatic reputation, and with more native states, diplomacy is important

Tribal AdoptionsIncreases army size, which is obviously very important because the Huron keep looking at us funny.

I mentioned buildings earlier, and another thing we’ve added to the Native Americans is their own unique building track so Native American tribes get access to cheaper buildings like the ceremonial fire pit or irrigation, for example. These buildings represent your tribe’s progress from a completely nomadic lifestyle to a more sedentary people.

These changes to technology and development, as well as other changes we’ll talk about soon, will allow your tribe to progress and advance until the point where you can (by maxing out the native advancements) transform your tribe into a more modern society and after that perhaps even creating a global empire of your own. Playing a Native American nation will still present a very big challenge, but it will be much more fun since you will have more to do – you will have to weigh the value of monarch points just like the Europeans do, and not just sit and wait for Armageddon to land on your shores.

progression.jpg

And just in case you missed it, here are the livestream hightlights:
[video=youtube;WvktvCQqwk4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvktvCQqwk4[/video]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvktvCQqwk4

P
s. Europa Universalis IV 1.3.2 Hotfix released - checksum d2a0
http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?736563-1.3.2-Hotfix-checksum-d2a0
 
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WeissRaben

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Great. Do the Natives still have that -2 to all MPs, now that they have different things to do with it? It's not a matter of slowing research anymore, after all.
 

Novacat

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This raises more questions than answers...

Does this tribal system also apply to Old World tribal governments, like the Steppe Hordes?

Do the Tribal ideas go away when you reform your government, or do they stay even if you do reform?
 

Tiax

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Do you intend to make natives actually fun to play, or will they remain just a novelty for those seeking a ridiculous difficulty, but with a few more bells and whistles than before?
 

Namm

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Doesn't look half-bad, but I'm wondering about the said progression from nomadic to sedentary... For many tribes it was the other way around: The population decline due to Old World diseases, encroaching Europeans and/or other native tribes and of course the introduction of the horse meant that previously sedentary tribes became nomadic (and stayed that way up until modern times).
 

Besuchov

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Only north american natives for this expansion. There is nothing stopping us from giving other cultures unique stuff in the future.

Yes they do. We are working on making the transition so that you still feel that you gained something.
 

Besuchov

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Do you intend to make natives actually fun to play, or will they remain just a novelty for those seeking a ridiculous difficulty, but with a few more bells and whistles than before?

The objective is to make them fun to play. Prospering for the full 400 years will still be very challangeing.
 

Teije

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Very intriguing, will this still allow natives to use the regular technology "tree" before European contact?

I hope this model of smaller, more culture-specific advancements are made accessible for African/S American nations in future DLCs.
 

Stratagyfan101

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Do you intend to make natives actually fun to play, or will they remain just a novelty for those seeking a ridiculous difficulty, but with a few more bells and whistles than before?

My guess and hope is that you will still most likely get roflstomped when the Europeans arrive, but you have more to do in the mean time.
 

Novacat

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Only north american natives for this expansion. There is nothing stopping us from giving other cultures unique stuff in the future.

Wow, thats dissapointing. This really seems like a mechanism that could work for all tribal governments as opposed to just north native americans, although the tech bonus might be a bit overpowering depending on the tech group, perhaps having slightly tweaked idea trees depending on which technology group your in.

Fun fact: If the North American tech penalty remains at +150%, Native American ideas would reduce it to +50% which would give them the same tech penalty as Indian tech group, which would mean you could advance in tech pretty briskly. This would actually make Native Americans even more viable to play than Steppe Hordes, because endgame Native Americans infantry gets 32 pips.

Yes they do. We are working on making the transition so that you still feel that you gained something.

The problem is that, with Steppe Hordes, reforming and westernizing removes all your Steppe Horde specific bonuses and it feels like you havent really done anything to close the gap between yourself and the Europeans because Steppe Horde ideas are terrible compared to, say, the Russian horde beating down your door with +125% Manpower and +50% Forcelimits...
 
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Orinsul

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Looks awesome.

As to the roflstomping thats being discussed.
Will there be anything to allow them to lose their original land without being annexed? As tribes historically were driven west, And it would give the player some weasel room. Maybe becoming a vassal in exchange of giving up the developed provinces.
Or some better idea.
 

Fishman786

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I'm looking forward to finding out how the natives are going to expand. All that uncolonised land was a big problem in EUIII.
 

InnocentIII

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You guys aren't asking the obvious question: if I play a native, North American tribe, can I feed my vassals?! :D
 

Elfryc

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Interesting news, thanks for this new DD, Besuchov!

Two short questions, however:

1) I'm surprized to see this new tab with a Native warrior in the contry tabs.
Shouldn't this replace the technology tab, or do Natives keep a technology tab, for example in case they westernize? (I undestand this may be work in progress, but this 11th tab is quite suprising, because implying it was re-made :huh:)

2) New units, new illustrations for advancements, etc.: this looks just great and beautiful. I'm even surprized to admit it, but they get well in the "European GUI" with gold and embellishments.

But are we allowed to think there could be (please, see how I'm careful!) new illustrations for the real immersion-breaking pictures (clearly speaking: events and advisors) when playing another country than a European one?

Just as examples:
+ for events linked to war or religion: Native warriors pictures replacing 18th century European soldiers, or a native ritual instead of a Christian bishop? After all, no need to change the content of the event, only the illustration to get much more immersion!
+ new illustrations for advisors (no more white wigs of Native advirsors).

Couldn't such immersion-friendly pictures appear with either Conquest of Paradise or (why not?) the New World unit DLC.


P.S.: I don't remember these questions about pictures and illustrations have been asked before--sorry if I missed that!
 

LiberiusX

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For many tribes it was the other way around: The population decline due to Old World diseases, encroaching Europeans and/or other native tribes and of course the introduction of the horse meant that previously sedentary tribes became nomadic (and stayed that way up until modern times).

This...I hope it is just an oversight on their part.

My guess and hope is that you will still most likely get roflstomped when the Europeans arrive, but you have more to do in the mean time.

I hope this is the case, and it sounds like it will be.

I'm not going to feign interest in the NA tribes part of this expansion. As we progress through the dev diaries I find myself less interested in purchasing it. Hopefully, the devs spent just as much time on fleshing out the colonial vassals as they spent on NA tribes. That, and possibly the random New World, is what will convince me to buy this. IMHO, the ignoring of the CA and SA centralized civilzations in favor of the NA tribes, is a step in the wrong direction.
 

anomalacaris

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Jan 17, 2013
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Nice!
And this opens up a whole can of w.. I mean, possibilities.
For one, we can design a proper dawn of civilization mod with migrating tribes and Sumerians being the only settled people at start.