Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise expansion– Developer diary 1

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Studio Manager, PDS
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Mar 6, 2001
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So, the time has come to announce the first expansion for our empire-building game Europa Universalis IV. As you all know, Europa Universalis IV is a game where you can play any country in the world. However the main focus has always been on Europe (hence Europa Universalis ), but now the time has come to move that focus a little, across the Atlantic. It’s time to do the Conquest of Paradise!

Finding Paradise
Are you ready to explore a brave new world? Personally, a lot of the fun in playing Europa Universalis is the first X in the term ‘4x’, eXploration and sending explorers out to discover new continents. If you play a nation in Europe close to the sea, you will send out an explorer to find America or the route to India. However, when it comes to true exploration, as opposed to real world explorers, you as a player have an advantage - because you would know where you should go to find a new continent. Most Europa Universalis IV players, unlike most 15th century explorers, have a rough idea about where America is - so some of the excitement in exploration is lost.
Therefore, in Conquest of Paradise, you as a player will have the option of completely randomizing the new world. We wanted you to have the option to really explore a brand new continent. So for the first time ever in a Paradox Development Studio game, you can now choose to discover a completely randomized American continent. Therefore, when Columbus sets sails across the ocean, he might just find some nice islands that he can use as a stopover on his route to India or something completely different…

The Inhabitants of Paradise
Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise will have some interesting new options for America’s original inhabitants. Another aspect of having the design focus on the game in the old world is the fact that the pacing of the game is optimized for the old world powers. The downside of this is that while it can be a lot of fun and a big challenge to play the Native Americans, you might find that it takes a very long time between those satisfying clicks to get a new technology, a new idea or even to create buildings.
To address this, we are adding lots of new and interesting things for the Native Americans to do in this expansion. We want to make the gameplay between the tribes more exciting and to help you maneuver yourself into a better position, should the pale barbarians come across the sea. The expansion makes it possible for you to play as a Native American nation and create an empire in early America. If you take on the role of a Native American tribe in Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise, you will have some interesting new tools in the expanded Native American gameplay mechanics, new tribes, a chance to form federations with your peers, new events, ideas and buildings. We´ll tell you more about this later on ;)

Conquering Paradise
It’s time to explore a more interesting America. In Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise, managing your overseas colonies is going to get a bit more interesting. When you send lots of people across the sea in the age of sail, controlling them might not be the easiest thing in the world. With this expansion, your colonies in the Americas will take on a new form; the larger ones will actually become free nations that serve as your colonies. They will have a limited independence and you can get money and trade power from them, but they will also live their own life, colonizing, fighting Native Americans and maybe even rebelling and striving for liberty from their motherland. You can squeeze them hard if you want, but then you might get into trouble down the line (or you can just change sides and play as a colony).

DLCs and Free stuff
Naturally, we at Paradox Development Studio are continuing the model used in Crusader Kings II. So in addition to the expansion, we are working on lots of completely free gameplay features (in addition to bug fixes, of course).
Even if you don’t buy the expansion, you will get completely new map modes, more playable nations, colonial nations and much more. Also, don’t worry about MP: just like in Crusader Kings II, if the host has the expansion – everyone in the MP session can use the gameplay features of Conquest of Paradise.
We will reveal more in-depth information about the brand new gameplay features weekly up until the release on December 11th, so be on the look-out!

And a picture of Columbus discovering...something

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I can't decide if I should reply with a selfrighteous "finally!" or with some sexualized comment to express my excitement.
I definitely like the idea of colonies being represented as nations. I'm interested in just how dynamic they're going to be. The issues in Vicky2 spring to mind...
Johan's twitter reaction to this post makes me wonder if this is an elaborate ruse before the true reveal.
Johan's twitter reaction to this post makes me wonder if this is an elaborate ruse before the true reveal.

nah, this is it... something I've wanted since the earliest design of eu3.! I'm just excited as hell about it.
Interesting, to say the least... I don't care much for a randomized world, but I do appreciate the colonies having possibilities to become more independent. Yay Paradox!
I'm... a tad worried, to be honest. Has Paradox ever featured a 'random map generator' in their flagship products? The closest thing I can recall would be the "Fantasia" scenarios of EU 1 and 2, and those were rather hollow.

Perhaps more importantly, how will this mesh with static features such as the Trade Node system? If Columbus just finds some islands in the sea... will there be a trade route directly from the Far East to Europe, across the Pacific rather than around Africa? If so, this could radically change some strategies (which would be a plus).

Will it be possible to play these new and improved natives without scrambling the New World part of the map?

I mean, the new colonial type (a sort of vassal) is an incredible idea, and so are the new possibilities that will open up for playing as native Americans.... the randomized new world is completely out of left field. I love the concept, since if I get tired of playing the world "as-is" I can try a game with a generated new world and get a really different experience.

Will the AI also get these abilities when they control the natives?

Very, very impressive.

Oh, and fix Hochelaga please! :p