Europa Universalis IV: Developer diary 27 - An offer you can't refuse

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Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
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Dec 14, 1999
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Welcome to the 27th development diary for Europa Universalis IV.* Today, we look into the shadier parts of diplomacy.*As we mentioned in one of earliest dev diaries, we’ve removed spies, but there are some actions that we still consider as “covert”, so we have spy actions, but no spies.
Now, we have diplomats perform these tasks, giving another option for this precious resource.* *

Spy Ideas
If you are really committed to the idea of espionage as an arm of national power, we have an idea group oriented around the spy activities. This group falls into the Administrative Power track of ideas, even though it uses diplomats.
The bonus for having all seven ideas is a +50% bonus to rebel support efficiency.

The seven ideas in the spy group are:

  1. Privateers: +33% embargo efficiency. You can always embargo your rivals, but this idea adds some extra bite to that policy choice.
  2. Vetting: +30% defence against enemy covert actions. You can’t have good espionage without good counter espionage.
  3. Rumourmongering: Allows Sabotage Reputation, a special covert action that will be discussed in more detail below.
  4. Efficienct Spies: +10% more efficient covert actions. Considering the relative scarcity of diplomats for most countries, you might want to get a little more bang for your buck.
  5. Shady Recruitment: 33% less relation penalty for being discovered. It’s unfortunate when your spies are found out, but some sorts of characters are just expected to be a little bit unsavory.
  6. Destabilising Efforts: Allows Sow Discontent, a special covert action that will be discussed in more detail below.
  7. Espionage: Allows Infiltrade Administration, a special covert action that will be discussed in more detail below.

If you choose to assign your diplomat to a covert action, then you can expect that diplomat to be out of commission until that task is complete. These sorts of things take a little longer than sending a marriage proposal or declaration of war.*There are two basic covert actions that any nation can do, and three others that require specific ideas from the spy idea group.

Fabricate Claims
A diplomat can always be sent to another neighbouring nation to fabricate a claim on a neighbour province. We don’t want island nations to miss out on all the fun, you can also fabricate claims on province that share a seazone with one of your provinces.

Fabricating a claim can take up to two years, and each time your diplomat gets discovered, the progress of the claim drops by 10%.* Once you have a claim on a province, you have a legal reason to start a war – a casus belli. All these claims are removed once peace is established.*Claims allow you to select the targeted provice as a wargoal, and for five years after taking a claim in a peace deal you get a 50% reduction on core creation for that province. You just fought for this patch of land! The world will more easily recognize your hold on it.

Infiltrate Administration
You need to have the 'Espionage' spy idea to take this covert action.

So long as one of your diplomats is present in the enemy capital, the fog of war is lifted over their country, letting you see everything within their territory.* As soon as the diplomat is discovered, he is sent home and the fog is returned.

Sow Discontent
You need to have the 'Destabilising Efforts' spy idea to take this covert action.

So long as one of your diplomats is present in the enemy capital , the target country gets more expensive stability costs, and a higher chance of revolt.* A country can only be targeted by either one Sow Discontent at once.

Sabotage Reputation
You need to have the 'Rumourmongering' spy idea to do this.

So long as one of your diplomats is present in the enemy country, all neighbours, enemies and rivals of the targeted country gets a opinion penalty towards the target. This will make it more difficult for the target to recover its reputation from recent expansions or betrayals, to make alliances and to enter other diplomatic agreements. A country can only have one sabotage on them at the same time.

Support Rebels
This is a covert action that can be done by any country.

If there is a rebel group to support in a targeted country, then you can select that group, and start funneling money into it. You can only support one rebel faction in each country, so you have to select which one to back.

The provinces where the selected rebel faction is likely to spawn and/or have control over get a boost to the revolt risk. You decide how much money you want to pour into the faction, and the more you spend, the quicker they will reinforce their armies.

Rebel Changes
And while we’re talking about rebels, we’ve made some rather dramatic changes to how the red and the black work in EU4.

First, rebels can now spawn from rebel-controlled territory, which means that rebellions grow in strength if they are left alone. Just because you defeat one rebel army in the field that doesn’t mean you can let the hotbed of anxiety sit around occupied by malcontents because you have a more important war to fight. Rebellions can represent an existential threat if ignored.

Second,*only Pretender rebels will keep an army around if it has been defeated in battle. In other words, there will be no more ping-pong battles chasing insignificant rebels across Brittany. Because pretenders represent an actual major challenge to your leadership, they get the chance to retreat and rebuild until destroyed. Peasants will just scatter if they lose.

Far more rebels will reinforce their armies and behave more intelligently in battle. Rebels now take their base morale and technology from the country they rebel from, unless they have a foreign supporter, in which case they use their sponsor’s stats. This means that militarily advanced countries can destabilize lagging neighbors in ways beyond simple conquest.

Different types of rebels have different morale, so peasants are easier to shatter, while a noble army fights for longer. It’s important to have these sorts of distinctions so you can decide which rebel threat to deal with (if you have more than one, and you often will).

In general, our goal was to make rebels more of a challenge while still minimizing micromanagement. So your decisions are now more high level ones about managing potential rebel threats (as discussed in an earlier diary) and choosing which army or province to suppress first instead of playing whack-a-mole with 7000 farmers that keep running away.

We also removed the limit on how often you can negotiate with rebels, as you sometimes may want to give concessions before its too late.



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Wow, late night (here) post. I like it (mainly because it takes my mind off more pressing news).

I particularly like the idea of rebel controlled territory producing more armies. Is this going to be represented by them actually training armies as a normal country would, or just spawning armies automatically in their territory? Also, will the funding of those rebel groups by outside powers help the rebels recruit more, or just the initial stack(s)?
I especially like the Rebel changes, those seem awesome.

I'm not so sure about the spy actions, I guess we will have to see them in action before judging. ;)
"Rebels now take their base morale and technology from the country they rebel from"
Even in case of colony rebellion ?
I would suggest that peasant (or low level) rebellion in colonies have a penalty on technology. After all, if some natives rebels against your trade post/colony, they would still use spears and bows. Natives would not switch instantly to firearms and cannon as soon as you land.
Later in the game, independance or nobles rebels could use the same technological level (aka all the wars of independance in the Americas).
do nobles have their own cultures? like german nobles in estonia. this would add flavour and different options
I like the new concept!

Although, from the screenshot, funding a rebellion only causes +3 revolt risk?! By EU3 standards, that would be worthless. Does it scale depending on how much money is thrown at the rebel scum?

What benefits are there from funding non-secessionary rebels (not interested in forming their own country), like nobles, peasants, etc?
You can't spawn privateers anymore from coastal provinces? In a way, it was a nice way to augment your naval power a bit by holding up an enemy fleet that may happen to be in port there, especially useful if you want to prevent that fleet from reinforcing another fleet you're going to engage and you have insufficient fleets of your own to do the job. Of course, privateer fleets shouldn't be as powerful as conventional fleets anyway (they never used powerful naval units like ships of the line, AFAIK, maybe mostly frigates or less).
DD wise - it all looks interesting.

Map wise - i know you dont wanna hear it, but your Balkan sucks. Id volunteer my time to fix the shape of things >.< Its like 15 mins of work to match provinces to geography and rivers and stuff.

I was looking for this particular DD for a long time!!

The thing I like the most is

Amazing job, the whole 'Rebel with a cause' system adds a lot of immersion and strategy, expanding it is the best thing you could choose imho!

Please keep up the good work!!
i would make a mess of balkans' geography just to troll balkanites
Such as switching Serbia/Macedonia/Slovakia (Slovenia, of course, is a province near Krakow and entirely unrelated), misplacing Transylvanian cores and adding copious amounts of spelling mistakes?
Nah, I think Paradox should attempt to correct the map as much as possible, while players should accept that provinces, province values and province names can be changed slightly according to game needs.
Loving the sound of the more detailed rebel-supporting system, and the spawning rebels from rebel lands. :)
Excellent! I also like the fact that the diplomats now do the covert missions too. Why? Because it will make those diplomats even more precious to you. In EU3 prioritizing the use of your diplomats seldom became an issue.

There will be soooooo much interesting strategy in this game. Hard choices here I come. :D
Rebel supporting looks good, just as promises that rebels would become a real danger rather than an annoyance.

There was no map whining lately, so something had to be posted, a certain quota met, or else they would think weve gone away into some dark corner. Never!

I like how Balkan posters pointing out map mistakes are being frown down upon, while - say Dutch posters complaining about setup of Lower Countries are not.

Still, it seems that devs fixed a problem of Hungary bordering Ottomans via carpathian vedge between Moldavia and Wallachia - definitely an improvement.
This map is confusing. It looks like the area of modern day Belgrade (the confluence of the Danube and Sava) is in the province of Bosnia. Am I looking at this wrong?

Nop, youre looking at it correctly, according to that map i live in Bosnia XD Province of Nis is even worse, far worse.