Europa Universalis IV – Development Diary 3 – Your envoys are awaiting your orders!

Europa Universalis IV – Development Diary 3 – Your envoys are awaiting your orders!

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Showing developer posts only. Show all posts in this thread.

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.123
31.086
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
Welcome to another development diary about Europa Universalis IV (EU4)! This time we're talking about the envoys you have at your disposal.

Throughout the Europa Universalis series, envoys have been resources you could spend to take certain actions in the game. “Envoy” is a word we actually use quite a lot internally, but probably not as much when describing the game to you all before. Still, you know what we mean. You would get a colonist and send him to make a colony. Get a missionary and send him to convert the heathen.

In Europa Universalis IV (EU4), prepare for the fact that the envoys and how they are used have undergone major changes. In Europa Universalis IV (EU4), envoys are not treated as resources and will, to a larger extent be persons at your disposal that take actions by your command. It's a subtle difference, but we'll clarify it shortly.
Envoys are still used to make alliances, create colonies or take spy actions, but it quite different ways.

First of all, as we mentioned in the last development diary, the spies and the magistrates has been cut with a sharp blade. You can read about the reasons here. (Link to previous devdiary)
We are absolutely keeping the diplomats, colonists, merchants and missionaries in EU4, however you will see that their behavior will change.

Monetary cost for envoys have been removed
In a move that may surprise some people, we have completely removed the monetary cost for the envoys. We've done this for a few reasons. .
First of all, removing the cost means that we can simulate the abilities of poorer or smaller countries being able to do things on the same scale as others. So a vast Portuguese colonial empire is more likely to happen. This was difficult to make possible in the old model - unless you gave country-specific price reductions or made the cost irrelevant for richer countries.

Secondly, removing the monetary cost removes the consistency issue that existed in Europa Universalis III (EU3) for newcomers to the games. Having some envoy actions (diplomacy, magistrates) cost nothing while the others required some cash could be confusing.

Finally, removing the monetary cost reduces the number of ways the AI has to screw up handling money. This means fewer potential ways for the player to exploit the AI and fewer drawbacks for the AI when it looks at its options. We hope this will make the game more challenging for you as a player.

Your number of envoys will be your limit
All of this adds up to the only limit on your envoy actions being the number of envoys you have at your disposal. Therefore you should not be limited by the amount of money you have. But it also means that if you have three diplomats, you can only have three diplomatic actions going at once. More on this shortly.

No connective between diplomats/colonists and leader recruitment
We have removed the connection between diplomats/colonists and the recruitment of leaders. It was never any actual restriction for the player and with the other changes it made sense to change it.

Envoys are now separate entities
The biggest change for you is the concept that envoys will no longer be a resource that accrues value that increases every month. All envoys are now entities that are assigned to a mission and sent on the mission, similar to how you give your court members tasks in Crusader Kings II. And, while the envoys are on their missions, they will not available to do anything else than the mission you have assigned to them. We feel that it will create more interesting strategic decisions for you as a player.

Because if you only have two diplomats, what will you do? Do you want both of your diplomats out on missions, or do you want to keep one at home?
Missions also take time to perform from start or end, so this naturally keeps your envoys occupied for a certain point of time, especially since their travel time is also taken into account.Envoys becomes less an object you need to spend and more active participants in your national policy.

The Diplomats
Some of the diplomats actions will still be instant, but quite a few will now be missions that the diplomats are assigned. Diplomats will also do some of the actions that spies did previously in EU3. We promise, we will go into detail on new aspects of the diplomats and their actions over several development diaries before the game releases, so stay with us!

The Missionaries
The missionaries will work as before, in that you give them a mission to convert a province to your chosen faith, and they have a chance every month to succeed. The only difference is that the amount of missionaries you will have at your disposal will limit the amount of activity you can do in parallel.
This hard limit on simultaneous conversions will make religious ideas a more important option for anyone that is interested in conquering a lot of people of another faith.

The Merchants & Colonists
The merchants and colonists will perform actions similar to EU3, but we'll go into detail regarding those later ;)

So when you use envoys in Europa Universalis IV (EU4), it will be more about strategic choices of where to use them and when to use them, instead of simply putting them to work as soon as you can afford them. In our testing so far, this has proven to be a rather dramatic change, and one that is greatly appreciated by the players. So we really hope you will enjoy envoys!
This was all for now, next week we will talk about the budget and the new economy system.

Here's a screenshot showing some new stuff... :)

attachment.php
 

Attachments

  • pic_for_3.png
    pic_for_3.png
    2,4 MB · Views: 50.729
Last edited by a moderator:

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.123
31.086
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.123
31.086
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
A good change, but i wonder : Is there number is fix? Or it will change in function of your number of provinces/technology/something else?

The numbers depend on similar things like EU3.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.123
31.086
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
So does tech, decisions, NIs and whatever concept may replace sliders influence the number of envoys available, but not the rate they are generated anymore (as they are not spendable resources)?

yes.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.123
31.086
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
This looks like a good change, and more realistic and dynamic. I take it then that conducting diplomacy with your neighbors will take far less time than sending a diplo halfway across the Earth? I always found how all diplo actions regardless of distance between you and the target always took the same amount of time.

Yes.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.123
31.086
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
Looks like Venice needs to be buffed, it doesn't have any historical fleet names! :)

Like everyone else I seem to believe that DD4 needs to be Envoys 2 and actually explain how we get them/how many (and how that number is genrated) you can get/replace them/whether they have any personal skill (like advisors) that influences the action chance.

Merchants
Base Value: +2
Merchant Republics: +1
xxx: +1
xyz: +1
etc..
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
Or still two-colour, but just one colour per country instead of two - so the Franco-Castillian border would be dotted blue and yellow, the Franco-Burgundian border blue and purple, and so on.

This quickly gets tricky though as many countries share a few number of colors.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.123
31.086
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
Will some diplomatic actions be instant? Like declaring war?

Are all envoys the same or are some better than others? Do each envoy have certain amounts of skill, like one merchant being better (in general and/or something specific) than another merchant, and so on with all of the different types of envoys.

same skillz.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
Why wary? In Divine Wind, Magistrates were presented much in this way, and ended up being solely a "nerf system" meant to hamper large (ie, player-sized) realms forthe sake of hampering them, without bringing anything to the table. But in fact, an Empire with 100 provinces should have VASTLY more diplomatic power than a 10 province small kingdom.

Must say I disagree. The limit magistrates put on buildings we're rather realistic. It makes sense that an Italian OPM had most buildings in his one province, and makes equally sense that a Russian Empire didn't have all buildings in all provinces.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
It doesn't make much sense either that the Russian Empire would have the same number of buildings as the Italian OPM just spread out more. If the player has the vast resources to construct buildings in every province, then why not? It would involve a vast investment on the players part.

You could still scale it so that say an OPM would get 5 and 50-province Russia 10-15. Just not 50.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
Wow this is cool. A question though, is the name for an envoy randomly generated each time you send an envoy?

I believe a name is picked when you get a new/additional envoy.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
I just noticed Austria owns Styria on that screenshot, 20 years ahead of the EU3 date for unification, in Nov 1444.

Pretty good change IMO.

Are you talking about the screenshot in the first post? Because that is from 23 November 1444...
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
but Paradox need only extrapolate backwards from Victoria II's data.

I think you're wildly underestimate the time and effort this would take. For example, in EUIV I added the country and province of East Frisia and it took me one and a half day to set everything up "correctly" (I say this knowing that when released someone is gonna scold me for it not being correct) - most of that time being spent on the two history files.

Also, lets not forget that when a modder adds/changes something it's usually a part of the game that he/she knows a lot about and is interested in. When we do it we can't cherry pick to the same degree, we need to implement it everywhere - which means that we need to tackle subjects or parts of the world we're not experts on. And that always takes more time and effort.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
If, on the other hand, the issue is that Paradox can't be expected to do the research necessary to create accurate start dates, then why is my suggestion of not including minorities on day one not acceptable?

Because it's not professional. As long as we have start-at-any-date as a feature we need to support all major features through-out the game. When that's not feasible - like Victoria II or HoI3 - we have to stick to a small amount of bookmarks.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
It's not like there isn't precedent for that sort of thing though, armies and navies are automatically generated rather than placed based on their historical locations/sizes. This is, I assume, for the same reason of researching army locations being too time-consuming.

Yes, to some degree (although many of the systems in EU is abstracted in a way that it would give weird results if we gave countries exact historical armies), but while you can generate the number of troops you get you can't really do that for religious minorities.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
Sorry, I have to jump in on this argument. It is simply ridiculous to imply that you would get "weird[er] results" with exact historical armies, than we do now with navies.

Not it's not. Because most armies through this period where not standing armies, which is what we use in the game. Which means that at a certain date in history you could find two countries of similar size - one at peace with only a few garrison troops and the other with 50,000 men raised for war. Instead when generating them, one would get 10,000, the other 12,000 - and we have a working game. Not to say that the generating mechanisms can't be improved, and I hope to get time to rebalance some of the bookmarks for instance.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
If you want to continue to discuss religious minorities - do so in a separate thread as this one is the Dev Diary for envoys - and this discussion has gone off-topic a long time ago.