Europa Universalis IV: Developer diary 31 - A Point of Honor

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Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
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Welcome to the 31st Development Diary for Europa Universalis IV, and this week we talk about the nation of Japan and introduce the Scoring System we will be using in the game so that it is clear who has bragging rights once the game is over.

Japan itself has been dramatically overhauled. We designed a new unique system for Japan in the Divine Wind expansion for EU3, but it never really worked well. We also learned quite a lot about designing for Japan while making Sengoku, and the development of Japan in EU4 has been based on that knowledge and many of the same alpha researches as we had for that game.

We have also redone the map completely, with greater attention to the historical divisions of Japan. Japan is now about 28 provinces in EU4, with the provinces of Hokkaido and Sakhhalin uncolonized in the 1444 start date. These 28 provinces are divided among about twenty different Daimyos in Japan, including the famous ones like the Date, Tokugawa & Uesugi.

Daimyos & Shogunate
Japan proper – the royal seat if you will - is a government form called a "Shogunate", which has the advantage of four extra diplomatic actions before taking a diplomatic upkeep penalty. The Shogun’s vassals (the rest of the Japanese lands) are called daimyos, and have the government form "Daimyo", which gives them +0.50 to their Land Morale and a 10% bonus to Infantry Combat Ability.

A Daimyo has some advantages that a regular vassal doesn't have. A daimyo can always declare war on another daimyo without the Japanese overlord being called into the war. This makes it possible for a daimyo to rise through military power and expansion, perhaps dominating the island chain, while always facing the risk that Japan might choose to smack them down.

Uniting Japan.
Since Japan was historically united under a single shogun during the period of EU4, we need to have ways for that to happen. Since they effectively vassals, the ruler of Japan can always annex all their daimyos diplomatically or military, giving them a decision to change from the Shogunate into a monarchy, from which it can change into more efficient forms of government as technology progresses.

A daimyo can form Japan if the Shogunate has fallen and the Daimyo controls 15 provinces. This transforms them into a Feudal Monarchy, and all remaining daimyos change to monarchies as well.

We have a rich selection of events for Japan and its daimyos. In fact, the total amount of Japanese events exceeds many of those allocated to what we usually consider Tier 1 countries. These include events like Nanban Boeki (the trade with those overseas barbarians) and the establishment of the Terakoya schools.

National Ideas.

Japan and its daimyos all have the same Japanese idea group. They start with a 10% discount on regaining stability, and a 25% bonus to troop discipline.

Their National Ideas are:
  1. Tosen-Bugyo: +25% tradepower in your home nodes and in nodes where you control the majority of provinces. Established in 1434, this administrative office served as the foreign ministry for a still very isolationist nation, and guaranteed that Japan had privileged status at home.
  2. Higashiyama Culture: +1 Yearly Prestige: The 15th century Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa promoted new forms of Japanese culture, including the celebrated tea ceremonies and flower arranging that gave samurais less bloody fields for competition.
  3. Reformed Land Holding: +20% Manpower: The land reforms of Hideyoshi in the mid 16th century required a census and restricted the travel of most Japanese peasants.
  4. Sankin-Kotai: -2 Revolt Risk.: Designed to prevent daimyos from getting too powerful, the warlords were required to split their time between their home provinces and the royal court at Edo. The costs and time associated with this movement from one place to another effectively crippled the independence of the daimyos.
  5. Sakoku: +25% Defensiveness: As part of Japan’s policy of isolationism from the pollution of foreign lands, no foreigner could enter and no Japanese could leave the kingdom under penalty of death.
  6. Bakufu Chokkatsuchi: +15% Tax Income: The expansion of the Shogunate’s power under the rule of Tokugawa included his conquest of territory throughout Japan, greatly increasing the Shogun’s access to wealth and manpower.
  7. Shinokosho System: +1 Yearly Legitimacy, 25% Heir Chance: The rigid Japanese understanding of class structure meant that every person had a place within the Four Professions (scholars, farmers, craftsmen and traders)
When Japan has unlocked all their National Ideas, they get a 25% boost to the power of their infantry. Japan is designed to be relatively stable, able to recover from major crises and, most importantly, a strong infantry nation.


Scoring System

Over the last decade, we’ve often been asked about how our games have “winners”. We firmly believe that most of our players are happy to just enjoy the sandbox, but if we want to push them to excel and to take on new challenges, it sometimes helps to give them a metric to use. What is the incentive to attack another strong nation if you can decide for yourself that you are “winning” without that?

And some of our games do have pretty defined goals that establish why opposing other players is a good idea, like Hearts of Iron, where the object is winning a great war, or Sengoku, where you need to become the Shogun. Others, like Crusader Kings and Victoria, have ways to compare your performance in one game with how you did in another.

Europa Universalis has always been rather more open ended, and this poses a different challenge to us as designers since it means looking at a game we know well in new ways.

The way we have solved this is a scoring system. The higher the score you have, the better you have performed, and in a multiplayer game, the top scorer is the clear winner (though we expect debates about who was the most duplicitous ally to continue).

So how does the scoring work? This is again where our division of the game into Administrative, Diplomatic and Military components comes in handy. Every month you get points, depending on your rank in these three different fields. The top 10 nations in each field earns points, with the number of points dependant on your rank in each category. You can never lose your score - your points will not go down and there are no penalties for falling behind - but if you are outside the top ten, you get zero points that month.

Your administrative rank is based primarily on your monthly income, your administrative technology level and number of provinces, plus minor factors like stability, prestige, legitimacy, outstanding loans, etc.

You diplomatic rank is derived from your fleet size, the number of subject nations you have (vassals and personal unions), strong countries you have allied with, your diplomatic technology level and your merchant power.

Your military rank depends on the size of your armies, your total manpower, the number of leaders you have, your military technology level and the quality of your troops.

As you can see, there are ways to block a powerful country from accumulating points if lesser countries get together.


And please hear our Call to Arms & sign up here for glory, gratitude and in-game rewards in Europa Universalis IV! ;)

While waiting for the game - download the songs the songs Empire Borders, Casus Belli & Prestige here:!


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