Europa Universalis IV Development Diary 24: The Heir of Rome

Europa Universalis IV Development Diary 24: The Heir of Rome

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Welcome to the 24th development diary for our empire building game Europa Universalis IV and today we turn our eyes to one of the most interesting nations and a favorite because of its location and variety – The Ottoman Empire.

Ottoman Possibilities

When your story begins in the Grand Campaign, the Empire prospers under the rule of a line of committed and effective Sultans. In fact, we take our starting date from the dramatic Ottoman victory over an alliance of Christian monarchs at Vama in November, 1444. The Ottomans have flourished economically due to their control of the major overland trade routes between Europe and Asia. The Ottoman Empire is one of the most powerful states in the world – a multinational, multilingual empire.

Will you be able to reign and expand your empire over three continents? Will you be able to become a dominant naval force, controlling much of the Mediterranean Sea as well as become a major player of the European continental political sphere? Will you become the only power with a just claim to the title of universal ruler?

Or will your military and bureaucratic structures come under strain after a protracted period of misrule by weak Sultans. Will you fall behind the Europeans in military technology as the innovation that fed the Empire's forceful expansion became stifled by growing religious and intellectual conservatism? And will the discovery of new maritime trade routes by Western European states allowed them to avoid the Ottoman trade monopoly unless you take over the trade routes?

Choose, and choose wisely. Let the game begin.

Most players make an immediate move to eliminate Constantinople, the capital of a now tiny and irrelevant Byzantine Empire. Turkish missions push you in this direction, too, and it’s a natural opening act (once the Western border is secure). Taking this rich city means controlling all traffic to the Black Sea, greater ability to limit European land incursions into the core Turkish provinces in Anatolia, and a chance to move the capital to the greatest city on earth.

But Turkish expansion is a double-edged sword no matter which direction you go. If you continue to move into Europe, you will add Orthodox and Catholic provinces to a realm already teeming with non-Muslim citizens. Expand west to consolidate your holdings in Asia and you risk alienating Muslim rulers that would be better as allies. And to the South you have the Mameluks, a potential rival for power over the Levant.
The Ottomans start in 1444 with a lot of assets, some in the form of ideas and missions we’ll get to in a bit. They also have a navy that competes only with Venice for power in the Eastern Mediterranean, a starting Sultan of great ability and – for the moment – military superiority to or parity with the European monarchs that wish to drive Islam of the continent.

Ottoman Dynamic Historical Events
As a major power throughout this period, we have written quite a lot of events for the Ottoman Empire, but there are two event series that truly stand out.

The Provincial System
The Empire contains numerous provinces and vassal states, and many were under the control of Beys, provincial governors that ruled over these districts as a general would on the battlefield. Historically, this worked well to keep the Empire running smoothly with local initiative to handle local problems in a land too varied for a one-size fits all policy. But it also depended on a Sultan that knew how to rein them in. In Europa Universalis IV, local Beys, especially in far-off provinces, may demand more autonomy in form of a Provincial System to stay loyal to the Sultan. If they are given too much autonomy, though, you might have problems with corruption of the Beys or revolts from unhappy soldiers that don’t respect the system in place. But then suppression has its own cost if the Beys band together to simultaneously rise against the Sultan...It’s a balancing act that comes into play if the Empire grows too large.

The Janissaries
The Janissaries were the heart of the Ottoman army, and through reforms and granting them more and more rights, the player as Sultan may build up his Janissaries into the elite infantry they represented historically. But beware! Granting them too much power might lead to their decadence, or worse, becoming a threat to the Sultan. Palace Coups or revolts might follow, and in the end, disbanding them might be the only alternative. Can you risk weakening your army in the short term while you find new sources of power?
Both of these event series represent the core problems facing the Ottoman Empire through this period. With a strong Sultan, you can make up for more inefficient government or a slightly weaker infantry, since you can spend your Monarch Power Points to shore up problems caused by a multinational, dispersed and devolutionary government. But a series of weak rules in an Empire that needs to constantly reinforce its legitimacy will face grave repercussions.

Ottoman National Ideas
The Ottoman Empire starts with a 10% bonus to its army discipline, and creates core provinces 33% faster and more cheaply.
  1. Ghazi: +33% Religious Unity & increase manpower when fighting religious enemies.
    Ghazi is a title given to great Muslim warriors, analogous to Khan or Caesar or Johan. It was also a term given to Ottoman warriors that spearheaded Turkish invasions and raids into non-Muslim land. Fight the enemies of Muhammad, and the nation will rally around you.
  2. Timariot System: +15% cavalry power.
    The Timariot Sipahi cavalry were, with the Janissaries, an elite core of troops within the Ottoman army. Tightly connected to the bey system, Timariot soldiers were given land in return for service, ensuring their loyalty.
  3. Autonomous Pashas: -3 Max War exhaustion.
    Powerful and respect governors and generals became known as Pashas. It came with great honors and responsibilities and those given control of territory within the empire became great lords that would work hard to preserve their privileges.
  4. Ottoman Tolerance: +3 Tolerance Heretic, +3 Tolerance Heathen.
    As was customary in many Muslim empires of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, non-Muslims were not forced to convert not were they regularly harassed beyond the occasional higher tax. In Europa Universalis IV the Ottomans have a much lower chance of religious revolts because of this tolerance.
  5. Law code of Suleiman: +10% Tax Income.
    Suleiman is one of the great rulers of history – a soldier, a lawmaker and a reformer. In fact, where the West knows him as Suleiman the Great or Magnificent, in his homeland he is called The Lawgiver. A central part of his reforms was re-examining the taxation of Turks, especially taxes levied on Jews and Christians, taxes for manufactured goods and anti-corruption measures.
  6. Tulip Period: +10% Trade Income.
    Named for the high priced flower that became a symbol of refinement, the Tulip Period was an early 18th century attempt to Westernize the Empire. A strong viziers and a time of peace allowed the Ottomans to focus on new trade relations and greater experimentation with foreign art and architectural styles. It was also a decade of decadence and distraction, in the eyes of many Turks, and subsequent failures on the battlefield ended this period of innovation and garden parties.
  7. Imperial School of Naval Engineering: 20% cheaper ships.
    Always a major naval power in its region, the Ottomans didn’t found a proper naval academy until the 1770s. Naval engineering was one of the centerpieces of the curriculum.

When the Ottoman Empire has reached it full capabilities and unlocked all of its National Ideas, it also get a +20% bonus to manpower recovery speed. With these ideas, they are a really expansionist military country, that have far fewer problems with holding a realm with diverse religion. Lower war exhaustion and stronger religious unity in the early game will help greatly with the rapid growth the Ottomans need to keep from falling too far behind its Western neighbors.


Bonus Detail: Westernization

Experienced players are now thinking about how to goose the Ottomans so they can remain a dominant military and technological power. As you know, the Western tech group gains knowledge faster than others, and as the Ottomans do not belong to it they will eventually trail them.

In the original version of Europa Universalis III, you could sometimes get a random event (if the stars aligned) and you could upgrade into a better technology group. With later expansions this was transformed into a set of complex decisions and events that worked fine for the power user that understood all the consequences, but had severe drawbacks for new users and the AI. Westernization should be an option, but it should also be a clear statement of policy, not something you stumble or exploit your way into.

In Europa Universalis IV, Westernization is a completely defined feature, integrated in the technology system. If you don't belong to the Western technology group, you will now always see whether you have the chance to “level up”.

To start the westernization process, you need to have a neighbor of the Western tech group that is a fair number of levels ahead of you in technology, and you also need to have +3 stability. When you start the process, your stability drops to -3 and all your monarch power is wiped. You have switched to the western technology group, but you paid a heavy price for undoing centuries of tradition.

Then, each month, your progress towards being fully Western goes either forward or backwards. It can never go below 1%, but when you reach 100% you end the process, and get western units as well. So how does the progress work? Well, every month, your current stability is added to the progress. And there are fun events giving you -1 stability or hurting you somewhere else. Westernization should not be a decision taken lightly, especially for large empires. Your nobles and people will often resist and you may need to slow down your progress from time to time to avoid larger pains.

And yes, as a New World nation you can switch directly to western once the Europeans show up, but you have a fair amount of catching up to do anyway.
 

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unmerged(471099)

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Ryukyu Diary when?

On a more serious note, it sounds like you guys devoted a lot of effort to making the Ottoman Empire truly unique among great powers. I think you succeeded :happy:

And it seems like you guys redrew and renamed the Anatolian provinces. Will the Ottomans still suffer from gamey strait blocking tactics?
 
Last edited:

shakeled1

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So does a combination of being fully western and fully impious mean you a western muslim nation has the technological edge on western christians?
 

Projekt 919

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and i half thought (based on the title) that this was a Byzantine DevDiary. Although they aren't the heir of rome per say, but rather the last remnants of Rome itself.
 

Alerias

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I'll show you tiny and irrelevant, you smug Mohammedan-philic son of a steppe nomad's camel! Nobiscum Deus! :angry: :p Wish there was a bit more about Byzantium, but eh :)

I certainly like how the Ottomans' perks seem double-edged in some ways, that should be interesting.

Their ideas seem really strong, and generally well representative of what you'd expect from the country. Probably one of the strongest mix we've seen so far, assuming the player plays somehow historically to maximize it's strengths.

No complaints from me about westernization, that system seems excellent.
 

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and i half thought (based on the title) that this was a Byzantine DevDiary. Although they aren't the heir of rome per say, but rather the last remnants of Rome itself.
Mehmed II proclaimed himself 'Kaiser-i Rum' after conquering Constantinople. And he did not stop there, he actually pushed those claims and went for southern Italy, among many other things.

I guess you could say that he was following the Byzantine missions :laugh:
 

generalolaf

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The Ottomans are going to be the best tier-1 power to play. I can't wait! :D
 

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Welcome to the 24th development diary for our empire building game Europa Universalis IV and today we turn our eyes to one of the most interesting nations and a favorite because of its location and variety – The Ottoman Empire.

[*]Ghazi: +33% Religious Unity & increase manpower when fighting religious enemies.
Ghazi is a title given to great Muslim warriors, analogous to Khan or Caesar or Johan. It was also a term given to Ottoman warriors that spearheaded Turkish invasions and raids into non-Muslim land. Fight the enemies of Muhammad, and the nation will rally around you.
Nice
 

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My fear nwo is that EUIII situaton wher western units completely devastated everything else, repeat itself. In EUIII you had no alternative, basically, westernize or die. Hope it will be changed with new system.
 

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Ghazi is a title given to great Muslim warriors, analogous to Khan or Caesar or Johan. It was also a term given to Ottoman warriors that spearheaded Turkish invasions and raids into non-Muslim land. Fight the enemies of Muhammad, and the nation will rally around you.
I lol'd so hard after reading this.
 

Projekt 919

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:p I am well aware of Ottoman regnal titles, but noone took the Ottoman Empire's claim (or anyone else's post-byzantium claims like Russia's, Fascist Italys, The Pope's, the Holy Roman Emperors.......) seriously.
 

Thracian

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[*]Imperial School of Naval Engineering: 20% cheaper ships.
Always a major naval power in its region, the Ottomans didn’t found a proper naval academy until the 1770s. Naval engineering was one of the centerpieces of the curriculum.
[/LIST]


i graduated from this school irl :p
 

Blaaat

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Ghazi is a title given to great Muslim warriors, analogous to Khan or Caesar or Johan.
I'll be extremely disappointed if the Lux Stella event doesn't involve the option "And his name shall be Johan" :p
 

Zenith Darksea

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Sounds very good. I do have a couple of questions. Firstly, what is this Provincial System? It sounds like some kind of new gameplay mechanic, but I'm not quite sure from reading this dev diary what form it will take. Secondly, will the Ottoman AI actually tolerate non-Muslim provinces, or will we still get to the point where all of Greece and the Balkans are Muslim by the year 1500, like in EU3? Will it actually be worth it for the player to refrain from converting every province in the empire to Islam, as was the case for the Ottomans in history?
 

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:p I am well aware of Ottoman regnal titles, but noone took the Ottoman Empire's claim (or anyone else's post-byzantium claims like Russia's, Fascist Italys, The Pope's, the Holy Roman Emperors.......) seriously.
From a modern day perspective, that may be so, but in the 15th century it definitely wasnt like that. Ottoman approach to Byzantine legacy was quite pragmatic, for example, among other things they claimed, they also claimed title of defenders of the Orthodox (or something like that) which was a smart move that gave them authority to interfere (meddle politically) into all Orthodox realms (since they just took out the center of religion, and there was no other until Russia). And even later on, Russia was recognized as continuation of Byzantines (or Rome) by many eastern countries, it was the westerners who didnt care for it (naturally), for instance, in English Russia is always called "Tsardom", not "Empire", unlike Germany, Spain, Sweden etc.
 

SteveTR

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Hmm... Kinda expected a Papal DD. Oh, well...
This DD actually made me more interested in the game.
 

Filip de Norre

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Hopefully the AI will be able to do great things with the Ottomans as well. The Ottomans were on of those, it's fun to play and they have a vast potential, but very rare to see the AI becoming anything with them. Would be fun to play as Austria, and really fear the Ottomans from mid 16th century to 1700. Looks fine so far, but hard to tell without seeing them in action.

The westernization feature definetely looks like an improvement. How long will a westernization take in general? It's improved by stability, and you get stability from your monarch powers (AFAIK), but those are depleted when you set on the course. 3+ stab is 3% a month, giving 36% a year, being about 3 years. But how quickly will you improve your stability to 3 when you have to start at rock bottom? And do you get positive effects from the westernization before it's complete?
 
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DanubianCossak

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Cant wait to start modding! Im trying to figure out how i can break that Hudavendigar monster province into a number of smaller ones.

edit: too bad it wasnt zoomed out a bit more.
 

Will Lucky

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I was expecting Byzantium :D. Nah its a good diary all the same, I do like having the occasional game as the Ottomans in their quite nice starting position.
 

No idea

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I am outraged¡ the heirs of Rome? The ere is Rome and i will show it in my first (well, second) playthrough. The byzzies will rule again¡

Ps. Regarding westernization, it seems really hard to get for large empires. your stability has to be positive to get westernization going, but with a large empire going from -3 to just 1 takes one or two decades, and if there are events that lower your stability on the meantime it can be even worse. Of course, we still dont know how much it takes for a monarch to get enough points to get an stability point. Perhaps it is quicker than in eu iii
 
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