Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations – Dev diary 3: Naval Improvement

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Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations – Dev diary 3: Naval Improvement

Welcome to the third EU4:Wealth of Nations Dev Diary. Last weeks theme was some of the improvements to the trading side of the game. This week I am going to cover more of the naval side of Wealth of Nations. The main focus of this expansion is trade but as you know navies and control of sea lanes is one of the most important factors in dominating trade.

With the Wealth of Nations expansion we are adding the option of using privateers as a way to damage the trade of your opponents. This is added to allow you to hurt an opponents trading empire even if you can’t outcompete him at a certain point. Your light ship fleets now have the option of going on a Privateer mission just like going on a Trade Patrol mission, there are however some major differences. First of all the ships that go on a Privateer mission will raise the Jolly Roger, they will still be your ships but you can clearly see what they are up to. These ships will not give trade power to you but to the Pirate faction. The Trade Power they get will be a multiplier on what they would be worth on a Trade Patrol, so its a great way for a smaller nation to hit above its weight and also, while they keep a lot of money for themselves some of the loot will be sent back to you. There are however risks, if you send out privateers other nations will get upset and the people you steal from will get a Trade Conflict Casus Belli against you. There are other consequences as well as we have added a bunch of new historical events that triggers based on privateers.

New Blockade Mechanic
As you probably know, in EU4 if you place at least one ship outside an enemy province it will be considered under blockade. We felt that it was a bit strange that to fully blockade a country you placed one ship outside every port no matter how big or small. As one of the free features in this expansion we are changing the blockade system. Instead of fully blockading say the city of London with a lonely frigate, each ship now has a blockade value currently base on the sail speed of a vessel (more maneuverable ships catch more smugglers) and a blockade efficiency modifier. To fully blockade a province your blockade efficiency needs to match the base tax of the province, so its easier to blockade a small fishing village but harder to blockade London. These values can change between now and release, but you get the idea. We have also added an onmap interface that quickly shows that a fleet is blockading and to what percentage.

Detach Obsolete Ships
Another one of the small free features that makes life as an EU4 player a bit easier is the Detach Obsolete Ships button. It is active on fleets where you have ships that are older than the newest model and if you click it, said ships will separate into a new fleet for easy scrapping.

5 new ships
Speaking of ships, we noticed that there was a lack of certain shiptypes in the technology tables so we decided to add some new ones, these are:
- Great Frigate (Next after Heavy Frigate)
- War Galley (Between Galley and Galleas)
- Galiot (Between Galleass and Chebeck)
- Brig (Between Flute and Merchantman)
- Trabakul (Between Merchantman and East India Main)

We’re adding these ship-types in the free part of the expansion but if you buy WoN you get cool new models for them as well.

Trade patrol behaviours
Personally I hate when you find yourself at war with a bigger naval power and they quickly sink your trade fleets. As a free part of the expansion we are adding the option of setting your trade fleets to automatically return to port at the outbreak of war. After the war is over though, they will return to whatever they were doing at the start of the war. Since its an option, you have a choice to make, is your trade-fleets strong enough to fight of possible attackers or should they always hide at the outbreak of hostilities.

That was it for this week, next week I’m planning to write a bit about Trade Companies.