Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise Dev Diary – Random free stuff!

Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise Dev Diary – Random free stuff!

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Besuchov

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Every time you start making a new game, you begin with a design where you try to imagine the best game you can make. Then you make a plan and start working on it, making tweaks and changes to the plan as you go along (first contact with the enemy and all that). As you get nearer to completion, the number and scale of the changes you can make gets smaller; it all becomes about making sure the features you actually put in the game work, so you can’t risk doing anything too large.

However, as you get nearer and nearer a complete game, you get more and more time to play something that is actually the complete game. As you get better at the game, you start to come up with ideas - new ideas that will completely change the balance of the game, ideas that would probable break everything if you put them in on the week of release.

In the old days, these ideas had to wait for sequels or just something people did on their own time, weekends etc. Back in 2006, we tried to gather up the cool ideas we had and made an expansion. We saw it as a bit of an experiment - but it really worked out well and gave new life to games like Victoria 1. Today, with CK2 and EU4, we've refined this process to a point that we actually don’t stop developing a game on release, but keep working on it. The process of updating the existing game and making expansions and DLC has become an integrated part of our development cycle.

This has made it so that it’s actually more fun to work on a released game. If used to be more fun at the start of the project, when everything was possible, but when you can continuously play the game, you can come up with things you want to improve and then do them. Some of the new stuff ends up in a paid-for expansion and some of the stuff comes in free patches (often the patch that accompanies a major expansion could be a mini-expansion in itself).

Sometimes the lines between what should be a paid feature and what should be a free feature becomes a little blurred, but we try to operate on the principle that as long as people keep having more and more fun with the game without expansions they will keep playing and hopefully buy enough expansions so that we can keep working on our games for years to come.

So, what are the ideas the come into the free part of this expansion. Here are some examples.

New trade routes
During the course of our big office MP campaign, we realized that the way the western trade nodes were configured made it too easy to block off trade from India or America simply by owning say Iberia or Britain. To fix this, we added a new trade node in the middle of the Atlantic called 'Western Europe', and the only province connected to it is set to be 'coastal' so your ships don’t suffer any attrition. This trade node takes in trade from Africa, the Caribbean, the Chesapeake Bay and another new trade node called Gulf of St Lawrence. Western Europe, in turn feeds, Seville, Bordeaux, London and Antwerp. This creates a lot of interesting new strategies. As England you can trade from India and make sure a good share of that gets to London just using your Merchant fleet. The Gulf of St Lawrence also creates different options for getting your trade from the Americas - Do you trade in the direct Atlantic route and compete in the western Europe node, or do you try to push trade the northern route via St Lawrence to the North Sea, instead where you bypass Western Europe and need to compete with Scotland and Norway (also an interesting option for a Hansa that wants to go to America).

Protectorates
When we started to mess around with trade and from our playing experience we also realized that one very important factor when you go out and conquer these days is trade power. Quite often the trade power from conquering primitive states is much more valuable than the actual provinces. From that realization (since we were already on the subject of playing as primitive nations from our work on Native Americans) we came up with the concept of protectorates. You can no longer vassalize a state that is very much behind you in tech, instead you can make it into a protectorate. This has the effect that you get to take half of their trade power. However, it’s not only useful for the imperialists. The protectorate status also functions as a guarantee from the advanced state as well as giving the less advanced state a small boost in tech progression.

Africa
It's not only the Americas that have gotten an upgrade in this expansion; there are some changes to Africa as well. New countries like Ajuuran, Mombasa, Mogadishu, Malindi and Sofala will make for a much more balanced and interesting gameplay for those that try to dominate the trade to India.

Climate and trade winds
These were things that we had introduced in earlier games in some form but weren’t really a priority for EU4. Now we got a chance to do them properly. Trade winds are wind patterns that helped explorers and trader to cross the Atlantic. In the game, they affect colonial and trade range and are represented in the trade map mode. The trade winds are fixed at the moment, so they are not present in the Random New World since they would make no sense. For climate, we have gone over the world map and made sure that the climate is where is supposed to be we have tweaked the effects to be more useful (or challenging).

New trade good
Cocoa is now in the game, very important :)

New visuals
One focus in Europa Universalis IV has always been to make it easier for the player to get the information needed to make decisions. In this expansion we've added a couple of new map modes and climate and terrain graphics for example.
Then of course there are all the little balance changes and bug fixes that always make it into these thing, more about that in the coming patch notes. And finally, we have produced a lot of new ideas for the next big update if people still want to keep playing our game :)

Europa Universalis IV Conquest of Paradise devdiary.jpg

Bonus material:

Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise - Project Lead Interview
[video=youtube;HSAw_1jqFKI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSAw_1jqFKI[/video]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSAw_1jqFKI

Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise - Developer Multiplayer Session 2 Highlights
[video=youtube;jbdnxtYQJ_U]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbdnxtYQJ_U[/video]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbdnxtYQJ_U
 
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TheBloke

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Hmm, not sure how I feel about not being able to vassalise nations far behind in tech. Well, if protectorate does all that vassalisation does, except gives TP instead of Tax %, then it doesn't matter so much.

But disappointing that you can't specifically choose to make a nation a Protectorate, for a unique benefit, i.e. choose vassal or protectorate with different purposes for each.
 

TheBloke

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Trade winds are cool! Though sailing into a trade wind exploring TI with the new max-one-TI-explored is going to make it even more annoying :p Please do remove that..
 

roplox

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Awesome things even for those who (For some reason or Just Can't (A shame)) won't buy the expansion!
 

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Africa stuff looks great!

Could you use this opportunity to confirm a question we've been asking for a while - what is the status of Tariff income in non-Americas colonies?

It is unclear if Tariffs are the same outside the Americas, or if they have changed? Johan made a statement about "Tariffs are gone" which I assumed to mean only in Americas, but others might think globally? I know we will see Patch Notes soon (when? today? :D ) but would be nice to learn a bit more about that if you have a moment to respond..
 

MichaelM

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Protectorates
When we started to mess around with trade and from our playing experience we also realized that one very important factor when you go out and conquer these days is trade power. Quite often the trade power from conquering primitive states is much more valuable than the actual provinces. From that realization (since we were already on the subject of playing as primitive nations from our work on Native Americans) we came up with the concept of protectorates. You can no longer vassalize a state that is very much behind you in tech, instead you can make it into a protectorate. This has the effect that you get to take half of their trade power. However, it’s not only useful for the imperialists. The protectorate status also functions as a guarantee from the advanced state as well as giving the less advanced state a small boost in tech progression.
I guess that more or less answers the request from Arming the Native Americans?. Great Britain can make the Iroquois into a protectorate for trade power and use them to help fight the USA if necessary.
 

Teije

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A nice list of changes for 1.4. Looking forward to it.
 

TheBloke

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I'll make my usual Dev Diary statement! :) Please can you make all this moddable, if it's not already (in future hotfixes etc.)

For example, related to protectorates: allow us to mod whether a nation becomes a vassal or protectorate (change the tech level factor or whatever decides it), allow us to change it back to pre-1.4 behaviour if we desire (so we get vassals everywhere), make sure there are new triggers and actions relating to protectorates, ideally allow us to configure exactly the differences between protectorate and vassal.

The more moddability the more we can do with your hard work to extend its use! Thanks :)
 

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Will protectorate status ease westernisation and is there a way to achieve it diplomatically?
 

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Bloke - Edit your posts, instead of multiposting :p
 

Moridin997

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But disappointing that you can't specifically choose to make a nation a Protectorate, for a unique benefit, i.e. choose vassal or protectorate with different purposes for each.
This.
 

Novacat

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This leaves more questions for Protectorates than it answers...

Will protectorates be able to pursue an independant foreign policy? IE, declare war on its own?
Will you be able to annex protectorates?
What other differences are there between Protectorates and Vassals, aside from money vs trade power?
Will protectorates join your wars?
 

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What happens if one of your protectorates attack another? Does this cancel the protectorate status of the aggressor, or are you not obliged to defend protectorates against each other?

In a similar manner, will colonial nations respect their parent nation's alliances and PU:s when declaring war on other colonial nations? It would be rather annoying if New Spain attacked French Lousiana while you were playing as Spain and had allied/PU:d France only to have them dragged into a war against your colony and, by extension, against you...

Oh, and how will monopolies work with colonial nations? Will the parent nation and its colony share the benefits, or will it be impossible to get monopolies on New World goods as a parent nation?
 

ANO1453

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LOL, Cocoa :) That is nice, although I never expected to see Cocoa in Europa Universalis (was it an important trade good in the era? I don't know) it should make for some variety.

As for the Trade, I was just looking for the screenshot where that node is shown. I wondered what motivated such an approach. It is not a very elegant design to have a super node, but I understand the issue. It is safe to assume there is still an Indian Route which avoids the supernode (via Mauretanian Coast), in the same way Gulf of St Lawrence avoids it?
 
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Dr. B

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Paradox make games and keep them up with care. I have never seen good customer support like this with any other games, it is really something to be proud of. I will go and pre-order CoP now.
 

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Excellent info. Could you confirm if releasing vassals are now playable in Ironman, or is that just colonial states?
 

newtlord

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LOL, Cocoa :) That is nice, although I never expected to see Cocoa in Europa Universalis (was it an important trade good in the era? I don't know) it should make for some variety.
For anyone who doesn't know, cocoa, with an "a", is the plant from which chocolate is made.