Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations expansion– Developer diary 1

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Veta

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Aug 14, 2013
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Another concern:>

Please consider looking at buildings. In the Tall vs. Wide thread it was basically established that tall empires are basically useless. Acquiring more territory is vastly superior to improving the homeland. If buildings were both more expensive and more powerful there would be a strategic choice in spending MP's to expand versus spending them at home on infrastructure.

It would be nice if a 20 province heavily upgraded european power could compete with a 50 province no infrastructure power for example. Englands approach to its colonial empire is another good example.
you don't need to spend MP to expand though. the main opportunity cost of expansion is cash and manpower, with a trivial amount of points spent on war exhaustion, peace terms, generals and the infrequent non-vassal-annex manual coring.
 

Morgan Wight

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you don't need to spend MP to expand though. the main opportunity cost of expansion is cash and manpower, with a trivial amount of points spent on war exhaustion, peace terms, generals and the infrequent non-vassal-annex manual coring.

For the early game this is largely correct, but once you're big (doesn't take long!), this gets completely inverted, with MP becoming the only relevant cost. Rotating theaters into never-ending peace deals, being over the diplo limit on vassals, and trying to clear expansion/exploration/diplo ideas, these various activities place a tremendous strain on your diplo points such that you scarcely advance the tech line. I honestly do not see how optimal expansion will ever be able to accommodate diplo policies. At least military policies should be easy enough!