Global vs local mechanics

Global vs local mechanics

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Quaade

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First off, I´ve spent alot of hours in EU4, like 2677 many hours that I´ve enjoyed. I´ve been critizing many things about this and other PDX games and loved many things, which is shown by my use of this game since I keep getting back. However there is an issue I´d like to raise that dawned me yesterday, it´s something I raised at times at specific things.

Global vs local:

Global handling of a game seems like the majority of games, and many gamers tend to be quite... Passionate, when you argue that having more micromanagement could make the game more fun and realistic. However I also hear alot of players arguing against blobs, boredom after blobbing and how bad this is for the game... Actually this is kinda contradicting each other since you can´t make playing blobs more fun without having anything to manage and you can´t "control" blobs if there isn´t something in this management that goes wrong and becomes more difficult.

So what is the global aspect... I´ve raised the issues with rebels, factions and doomstack-armies, the latter which is common practice in all games rather than making it more micro... You win by having the largest army... And given, EU4 does it better with all their small modifiers, but I actually believe it could be better if they managed to put some more local emphasis into the game, and with the new state-mechanic I actually think they made it easier for themselves to do so.

The time it really dawned upon me was corruption, it´s nation-wide... But really? You handle India just aswell as Morroco and both are equally corrupted than Madrid... How does that makes sense? Wouldn´t corruption risk being higher in India and thus not locked to a nation-wide modifier? I get that there could be a nation-wide base-modifier, but why not a local one for each state. This might trigger those who dislike micromanagement, but I don´t think it would be that bad, and would also be a way to prevent blobs from getting too much momentum, solely because they conquer part of India, since they risk higher state-wide corruption and thus less manpower, tax and production than if they had Morroco.

It´s the same with armies, you never really have a reason to spread out armies apart from the attrition but whenever there is a war... You pull all your troops into one massive battle that decides it all, this on the other hands actually harms the game in that blobs always win and has been a major complaint, like with Ming, Otto, Austria, France... Because they are able to overwhelm the enemy with the sheer number of troops, so the strategy and tactical layer of this game becomes, roughly... Who have the biggest doomstack which imo is kinda boring playstyle that dates back to C&C.

Local mechanics:

So a few suggestions that could be made, which would increase playability as a blob, since you actually get to do something other than conquest, and those who dislike micromanagement and argue that they would rather make a WC, please remember that you guys have made complaints about how boring this is anyway. These suggestions might actually help balance the game blob-OPM in a sensible manner without feeling restrictive, they could make managing large empires a challenge while not being tedious...

This would provide something that could split an empire, which would also work for the AI, when you handle the empire poorly... But on the other hand, having a bit more micromanagement will also let players excel, since it adds strategy into the strategy game, players who are better at this would have an advantage and being the better and trying to improve is actually quite fun... Given, it´s not supposed to make all the difference, but in a pinch it should count as something that you just handled yourself a little better than your opponent, and I´d like this to be improved upon, perhaps in some of the same manner like states or tied to this.

Local armies:

instead of relying on global armies, and ending up with doomstack battles, you could make local armies sort of the manner in Vicky 2, or you could make states needed to have some sort of military representation. So that force limit is global, but you would require to spend some smaller armies in each state in order to decrease revolt risk in the state. This is something that is quite realistic, and if you added some mechanics like decreased maintenance for being in assigned state and increased outside you would prevent doomstacks in general but won´t disallow it in small bursts... You could even assign some sort of defender mechanism so that if you are loosing the war, the cost for spending armies outside assigned states could be decreased since most peasant having their land being razed would be more inclined to defend it.

Great Britain had difficulties managing their Indian holdings and pulling the entire army and fleet into a war in India was not an easy task and it had risks of being looked upon as an opportunity by either Spain and France since the troops were pulled away from the borders. Even more so, when no armies are present, revolt risk could rise since rebels and people with different opinions and beliefs would likewise see this as a moment of weakness. This in turn gives the player the choice, risk and consequences... You could pull the entire army into India to win this war shortly after, but at the risk of the war dragging out making revolt risk rise and giving other nations an opportunity to strike... Giving some strategical choice and risks that could be awarded or penaltized whether you could pull off your strategy well or not.

This would also mean, that smaller nations have more of a chance of defending against blobs, since blobs would be less inclined to use a doomstack against them due to increased cost and revolt-risk, in turn making wars more interesting and even for the smaller nations when you don´t constantly gets overwhelmed, it would lead to more local and even battles, when you advance you would have to defeat the next local army against a somewhat equal army of yours unless you invest the extra into the battles, but in turn with the mentioned risks. The choice of trying to achieve a swift victory and peace against failing this and risk a few years of set-backs and revolts as you can´t put armies in use against rebels at once.

Rebels:

Instead of having rebels spawn and rely only on provinces, they could make it state-wide where each province makes up the state-wide revolt risk. Rebels would then try to gain and control this state first and when they achieve it they would shortly after create a government and make them able to strike deals with other nations, gettin subsidies and now, condottieri along with it. Also, by switching the rebels out with a "nation" you would need to negotiate a peace with them, either losing it or making a compromise like giving them some freedom in the form of vassalage or you could win over them lowering revolt risk for a while.

Now this might sound huge, it´s actually less tedious than the whack-a-mole rebels you see now, since they could spawn with a smaller army and when they create the "nation" they would be allowed to build more troops and gain aids from other nations. So basically, if you have the time and army nearby rebels would be easy to manage, but having a war where you pull all your troops away and don´t handle rebels early on, they will grow into something less able to be handled. In turn this would also aid in splitting up blobs anyway since they too will be subject of having to win a rebellion that has gained enough momentum to create a "nation" which you could aid yourself.

Corruption:

Already mentioned this, but goes with it anyway... Corruption could and should also be global, which could effect the base-line of each state depending on which state and condition they are in, it could either be better managed than the global corruption or worse, which in turn could have an effect on your global corruption so having one badly corrupted state against a non-corrupted state would even out the global.

Suggest yourself:

You could use this in many other aspect, likely that I have not thought about before, like having religious conflicts in states instead of globally which has the chance of spreading globally to the nation. Perhaps having some changes to trades so that you could set up where states would send trade towards... There´s a bunch of small tweaks that could be made without ruining the game or fundamentally changing it but improve on current mechanics.

But basically, by using local management and limiting global management, you could make it more fun playing the blob, make it more fun to play against blobs and in general make the game more strategical and fun... This is a strategy after all ;-)
 
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Thrake

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I don't think a game needs micro to allow for tall or anti-blobs mechanics. The exemple I like is EUIII teching mechanic which you must be familiar with. As I see it, if you are a small country sitting on rich lands, your high income will allow you to tech up faster than if you expand in poor provinces that would not increase much your income but increase the cost to tech up. No micro, but it gives disincentive for growing larger with penalties depending on which land you take so it's more complex than a fixed penalty for growing.

Estates is an interesting mechanic too I think in that it could be micro-ish but in practice I just set a new estate in conquered provinces and pretty much don't touch it for the rest of the game so in a playthrough I do it regularly but I don't spend much more time on it wether I have 1000 provinces than 10. It is not very good at promoting tall though, but it's an exemple of local gameplay that isn't much micro (in my view at least).

I don't think rebel and states would change much overall; if powerbalance is really biased than all you would need is to just leave a state for a months or two, stackwhipe and then go back to state while a smaller army manages the whole thing. Also, the opportunistic aspect of France DOWing GB when it completely leaves mainland undefended is a matter of AI scripting (which should certainly be there, but I guess it's not because it would require a deep rework of the AI not to commit all its forces and take into account risks,... which goes much farther than just telling France: if GB is at war with Vijaya, DOW GB once its fleet leaves Europe).

I'm pretty sure that independance wars can in the actual rules spawn independant states at war with the former owner. I remember seeing it something a while ago, and it would use a special CB that allows full annexation regardless of cost. Or maybe it got changed with the rebel changes?
 

Quaade

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I don't think a game needs micro to allow for tall or anti-blobs mechanics. The exemple I like is EUIII teching mechanic which you must be familiar with. As I see it, if you are a small country sitting on rich lands, your high income will allow you to tech up faster than if you expand in poor provinces that would not increase much your income but increase the cost to tech up. No micro, but it gives disincentive for growing larger with penalties depending on which land you take so it's more complex than a fixed penalty for growing.
I am familiar with it, it did have some other adverse effects and never really did counter it good enough... But it´s a valid point :) Just thought they went away from that for a reason, and did like the idea of investing on the map, like when you conquer part of india rather than using global sliders :)

Besides, one could argue that a OPM can tech up faster than blobbers, since they don´t spend adm and dip on annexing provinces and vassals... But in all honesty, I do miss some parts of the sliders, which is why I´m sort of happy with the new corruption... Just wish for more use of sliders for colonies and and missionaries, currently it´s only all or nothing unless you run a deficit and are low on cash...
Estates is an interesting mechanic too I think in that it could be micro-ish but in practice I just set a new estate in conquered provinces and pretty much don't touch it for the rest of the game so in a playthrough I do it regularly but I don't spend much more time on it wether I have 1000 provinces than 10. It is not very good at promoting tall though, but it's an exemple of local gameplay that isn't much micro (in my view at least).

Yeah, I think I missed typing that in... Had the idea of setting up states with factions, like having a middle-state between say, vassal croatia and setting up croatian nobles to rule the state... And might even make it less micromanagement and to me make more sense than granting provinces around the nation... However, it doesn´t demote playing tall, if you make state-wide bonuses less than province-bonuses, then a small nation would get more effect from using factions on provinces rather than states... Just a thought :)

I don't think rebel and states would change much overall; if powerbalance is really biased than all you would need is to just leave a state for a months or two, stackwhipe and then go back to state while a smaller army manages the whole thing. Also, the opportunistic aspect of France DOWing GB when it completely leaves mainland undefended is a matter of AI scripting (which should certainly be there, but I guess it's not because it would require a deep rework of the AI not to commit all its forces and take into account risks,... which goes much farther than just telling France: if GB is at war with Vijaya, DOW GB once its fleet leaves Europe).
Yeah AI improvements would be necessary... Had the idea from HOI4 where unit at the borders were recoignized as a threat in order to gain trade-deals... A system that AI could recoignize both weakness in form of manpower and absence of armies... Really I want a system that punish prolonged removal of armies from an area... When I blob I leave swathes of land without armies... Why? Well... why not, since there is no use for them in most areas...

The rebels however, I thought it could especially bring some suggestions of religions along and give some state-wide tension... So instead of having religion based as a percentage of a province, which I guess PDX would never do, they could do it state-wide so that state that suffers from religious conflict would have increased revolt risk in that regard. Making choices on states could be interesting and conquering Morroco and trying to convert it could lead to a local conflict that is better reflected than rebel spawn currently, at least in my mind :) So a state suffering from 80 % would have a religous conflict and if the nation goes below 80 % that would trigger a disaster, or if rebels gain a stronghold.

I'm pretty sure that independance wars can in the actual rules spawn independant states at war with the former owner. I remember seeing it something a while ago, and it would use a special CB that allows full annexation regardless of cost. Or maybe it got changed with the rebel changes?
They can spawn independent states, after 5 years and only in the provinces that they have control of, which is quite easy for both AI and player to circumvent... Saw AI having independency rebels for 10-20 years because they tagged behind it and lifted the province siege and it never came close to the timed condition... This could make it a little more involved, but should probably allow them to "freely" take their core lands after an occupation of a few months, the rest is dealt through peace, so they can only gain more provinces if they win the war.

And yes, it was thought to be a special CB where you could decide to vassalize or annex... Perhaps even give a small decrease in AE to vassalize them instead... It should of course be balanced so it´s not too much of a hassle when you don´t have the time to manage them... But there has been plenty of times that I didn´t needed to care for rebels during wars, since I had 5 years anyway, this way they would have the chance to grow stronger which also would mean they could decrease the spawn size (many complaints by others), while not simply stackswiping them when you finally get to them 4 years after.