I wholly believe that this is what you've been told to tell us, but, with all due respect, we all know it didn't fall into you, as a community manager, to make the decisions that are very quickly turning EU4 into a pile of gunk. It's easy enough to believe a claim that there is no such plan, but it's hard to believe the ever so cryptic "higher-ups" won't have some newfound joy in changing the "we have no intention" into "we're considering it", perhaps even into a "yeah, we're doing it". Perhaps not for EU4, but maybe EU5. Or CK3. Or the eldritch horror that is Imperator.I'm not quite sure how to respond to most of this for several reasons, one of which is that I really need to go to bed. Your opinions are noted nonetheless. But I will address the last point at least because it's an easy one. We've said over and over that we have no intention whatsoever to make this anything but optional. I'm not sure how many times more I can say it. If you already own most content there is not any real reason for you to consider this option.
The vast plethora of issues that have been mentioned in the previous 8 pages aside, calling this a solution to the entry barrier just doesn't work. Many people, myself included, will instantly leave a Steam page the moment they see a hint towards some sort of subscription. Further, I've bought EU4 - my first pdx game - back in the Common Sense era, and ever since then, countless of times, there were better, simpler suggestions to lower the entry barrier that don't raise red flags for people, and they were all ignored, when it would take merely one to mitigate the issue:
-Bundling for cheaper big purchases: There is a bundle including the most popular DLCs, but that's it;
-Integration of old content: Not charging for 3 year old content (a good chunk of it so broken that Johan himself called "a mistake" in cons) by moving them to basegame;
-Price cuts in old content: Or at least lowering the entry barrier by not making people spend hundreds on the DLCs that have very little persistent impact;
-Making the base game free: Complete removal of entry barrier, anyone with remote interests in single player eventually caves in to the DLC purchases (provided they're good, that is; worked out for CK2, but hard to say if it'll work out in the game that spawned Golden Century);
-Shuffle DLC content for better modularity so we can actually tell our friends that the game doesn't force you to buy DLCs to be enjoyable;
Look no further than Reman's video back during the price hike drama, which holds up better than ever: