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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Vishaing

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Heh.

Hokay, so, I've never really liked the Idea System in EUIV. I think I've made that pretty clear, and although the NI system is not a huge dealbreaker for me, it is still something I don't like. I've spoken out against it before, however I generally don't like to criticize things without proposals on how to fix them, so I've sat down and here are my thoughts on the Idea System. I'll start with what I don't like, and then move on to my proposed changes.

"So what do you have a Problem with? And try to keep it short."
"inb4TLDR"
Fine Philip, I'll try to keep it short. I am fully aware that my complaints can get rather long-winded. I've tried to condense them into a series of bullet points with single paragraphs expanding on them. I have put all of the paragraphs into Spoiler Boxes because even restraining myself I still have a lot to complain about.

* The system uses an overly-simplistic One-Size-Fits-All approach.
This means every country plays pretty much the same as far as Ideas are concerned. Prussia invests in Quality in the exact same way, at the exact same rate, with the exact same (mostly) cost, and the exact same order as Britain, who is the same as Spain, who is the same as Vijayanagar, who is the same as the Ming, who is the same as the Cherokee, who is the same as the Uzbeks, who is the same as the Songhai, who is the same as Bremen, who is the same as Russia, who is the same as the Hojo. The fact that Ideas are identical across tech and culture groups is rather surprising, and disappointing, considering how much Paradox is focusing on Local Flavour in EUIV.
* It fails to capture the changing face of society.
Stemming also from the above, this means that societies do not change, ever, except to add new ideas. Previous investments never ever become obsolete except maybe through a random event giving you a negative modifier for a year or two. Investing in Quality in 1450 is identical to investing in Quality in 1810. Does the end of Feudalism change the way Ideas work? Nope, just a different government. Does the Reformation open up new possibilities to represent the birth of new religious schools of thought? Hardly, take your -5% Idea Cost and shut up. The Enlightenment? Just a couple of events you can get if you invested in Innovative and won't have to deal with if you haven't. It certainly isn't a massive Revolution in our understanding of the fundamental nature of governance and man's place in society, that would just be silly.
* Certain Ideas wind up being available ridiculously early.
Stemming also also from the above, without any anchoring to the state of the game, you can get ideas well before they historically became prevalent. The obvious example is Revolution and Counter Revolution, which you can get despite there not actually being any, y'know, Revolutions going on. It breaks immersion, and also detracts from the longevity of the game. There's nothing special waiting for you at the end of the game because you can get any Idea you want within the first half century if you want to and even the Unique National Ideas will all be unlocked before the half way point of the game.
* There isn't much actual strategy.
Choosing Idea Groups is only ever a brief moment of player interaction because Idea Groups are opened up so infrequently, and Idea Groups have, with two exceptions, no requirements, and no costs at all. Instead, the 'strategy' of the system comes about in saving up Monarch Points and then pushing a button. Maybe you might have a difficult choice of not pushing that button and spending your points on something else for a little while but that's unlikely because if you have that many points stored up you are almost assuredly saving for either techs or ideas and you'll be investing in the exact same number of Idea Groups eventually anyways. Because the cost of ideas only change based on a very small list of effects, there isn't even a choice between investing in something ahead of time or waiting until it is cheaper like there are with technologies.
* There is no actual choice between specialization and adaptability.
Because there is never any reason to not completely fill out an Idea Group, there is no such thing as a country with a 'moderate interest' in Naval Matters. There are only Nations with No Interest in Naval Matters, Nations with a full Interest in Naval Matters, and Nations that haven't finished developing their interest but are working on it and at some point in the future will have a full interest in Naval Matters. There isn't even really a choice between Specialization or Adaptability with respect to selecting multiple groups because you get enough groups to select a decent portion from all of the categories, and their bonuses are so general that there's considerable overlap.
* The Idea System cannot be reactive or adaptive.
Since Idea Groups unlock so infrequently you cannot play reactively, or adapt your strategy. One choice locks you into a certain path for the next several decades or so. This is both unrealistic and bad for gameplay because it means simple Luck can kill your ability to properly adapt to major changes in the game. If France spontaneously inherits Castile two weeks after Portugal started investing in the Exploration Line, Portugal is just SoL. In the real world the King of Portugal would, if necessary, dismantle their explorations to shift their focus to the quality of their army, but this is physically impossible in game.
* There is never any need for reform.
In Reality, states rose and fell. Aspects of the state would fall into decline and stagnation, and would require reform periods in order to get back on track. One Nation might invest heavily in their army and beat the crap out of their enemies, only for those enemies to invest heavily with newer techniques and turn the tables. Not so in EUIV. You take the Military Drill idea and you have a permanent +5% to Discipline which can only temporarily go away because of a random event that you have no control over. States don't see-saw back and forth through military quality as they advance. You don't get Prussia reforming their military and beating France, who reforms their military and beats Prussia, who follows up by reforming their military to match it. Eventually you have all of the bonuses, and unless you're going up against one of the magical countries who get magical ideas granted from on high to improve their armies you never have to worry about someone being able to one-up you. It isn't interesting, and it certainly doesn't reflect anything about history.
* Pre-defined Unique National Ideas break immersion and do not properly adapt to a changing environment. However above all else they Do Not Reward Good Gameplay.
I've already presented my case for why UNIs are bad for immersion several times before, so lets focus on the second part; Prussia gets (slightly less with WoN) super troops purely for being Prussia. This is not a reward for anything other than clicking on Brandenburg before pressing "Play". It doesn't even require learning any moves or combos the way selecting different characters in a Fighting Game does. There is even less skill and strategy involved then there is in advancing down the Quality Idea Tree first thing in the game. Despite the rewards of being Prussia being far greater than the Rewards of 99% of the other countries in the game, they require no greater skill to achieve. Unless you are in Multiplayer there isn't even a "It's Difficult to Survive" aspect because you're part of the Empire and will probably be friends with Austria. It doesn't even require you to attain a certain tech level and get a resource the way Unique Units in Civilization do. They are a spontaneous gift that you are given during the normal course of the game and which are then never taken away. That's not compelling gameplay.

Okay, I think that's it.
....For now....
"Well that sure was a lot of Complaining. You think you can do better?"
Yes Philip, Yes I do. Now sit down, and hang on, Here is my 7 Point Plan to fix all of the above.

1: Idea Groups are Dead
The biggest problem with the system is that the Ideas are trapped in lines that can only ever be completed in Order. There is no flexibility at all. So we're getting rid of Idea Groups in their current form. Yes, Idea Groups are dead, long dead and gone, buried somewhere no one will find their terrible design ever again.

Instead, Ideas now exist independently and are selected independently. The base Cost to adopt an Idea is still 400. Some other gameplay elements might change the cost of certain ideas. Having a Military Reformer for instance should decrease the cost of Military Ideas by a percentage that scales with their skill. Furthermore, You do not Unlock Idea Slots, you can take "As Many Ideas as you want", or Rather, as many as you can afford.

Now this is not to say that all of the Ideas will be available at the very start of the game, for several reasons. You see, much like two of the Idea Groups do now, each Idea can have its own Trigger Entry, which will need to be satisfied if you are to invest in it. These Triggers can require anything, a particular Monarch Skill, a Tech Group, a Culture, a Tag. Whatever you want.

Rather than needing to invest in your Navy as a Landlocked Uzbeks to get a boost to Discipline, you can go straight for Discipline and use your extra points, god knows you'll need them with the Horde MP penalty, to invest in some Cavalry Specific Ideas.

Ideally, the cost of the Idea would be able to be set on an Idea by Idea basis. At the very least, I would like the ability to apply cost modifiers with the same syntax and flexibility that I would use to apply MTTH modifiers for events. That way we could make investing in Cavalry cheaper for Hordes and Poland, and other similar things to help direct history while keeping it open to change.

2: The Weight of tradition
"So you can just buy as many ideas as you want?!?!" I hear Philip asking with incredulity. "That's such a broken system, you need to limit it!!!!" He follows up with. Fortunately, I agree. "Plus you've nerfed Admin Tech if it doesn't unlock new Idea Groups." He finishes off with. Again, I agree, so here is the Limit I am applying;

* The Cost of an Idea is increased by 5% per Idea you already have.
* Certain levels of Administrative Tech provide a global reduction to Idea Cost of roughly some Percent which is a multiple of 5.
* (Maybe) Certain levels of techs provide a reduction to the cost of ideas in their category of roughly some Percent which is less than 5.

This has a number of effects. First off, you can't just take all of the ideas and expect that to be at all economical. You will need to carefully consider what Ideas you want, however if you truly want to, you can exceed your "Idea Quota" in a similar way to how you can exceed your Leader Cap and Diplomacy Cap, or how you can invest in a Tech ahead of time. If you feel the benefit is worth the cost, go ahead, but be careful, because it is easily possible that you could invest in so many ideas that you literally cannot choose a new idea, potentially leading to a situation where you unlock some fancy new ideas that you want to take, but are prevented from doing so because your country is buried under a mountain of tradition.

This can then factor into how a country Westernises. As their tech falls behind they will stop getting the cost reductions above. However once they Westernise, they will be able to rapidly advance their technology, which will then give them a number of Cost Reductions very quickly. They can then invest in several ideas for a very low cost, representing how their society will rapidly change to fit into the new social paradigm represented by Westernization.

This also means that newly born countries can go through a flurry of social change. When The Netherlands declares independence from Spain, they will start without ideas but with enough tech that they will probably be able to invest in several ideas for a very small cost, allowing them to quickly "Catch Up". Furthermore, they may be able to invest in better ideas for the reason immediately below.

3: The Changing Face of Society
"You were whining above about how some Ideas get unlocked really early, well isn't that even worse in your system?!?!" God Philip, just let me finish.

Just as Ideas can have other ideas as their requirement, they can also have certain tech levels as requirements. Ideally, this would be organized in the Interface into Idea "Epochs" to keep things clean, but that isn't really a priority for me. As such, as your tech progresses you will gradually unlock more and more ideas. Now, unlocking "Modern Theocracy" will give you access to National Ideas associated with a Modern Theocracy. Unlocking "The Constitution" will get you access to a host of new ideas revolving around Constitutionalism. Now the Enlightenment can actually be a massive revolution in thought and a fundamental shift in the way your Nation is Organized! Or at least it can come with a host of fancy new ideas that unlock considerable bonuses!

This also plays into the system above. If you invest in a lot of ideas ahead of time, you may gain a serious competitive advantage, but only in the short term. See, the later Ideas will generally be more powerful than the previous ideas, and will not necessarily require having the previous ideas to be taken, although having the earlier ideas may help in other ways which I will describe below. Likewise, newly created nations can invest straight into the fancy pants new-fangled ideas without getting bogged down with centuries of Tradition.

It also means that, by having later game ideas with much higher bonuses, we can actually have the game properly represent how Europeans started to pull forward way ahead of the rest of the world in the late game.

This will also factor into Westernization. Right now, there is an extreme disparity in the number of pips given to Unit-types across the different tech groups, with anyone who isn't Western getting screwed in the late game. The only remotely decent argument in favour of this is the idea that this disparity represents the fact that non-western Countries did not have the military and social structure that European States had. But shouldn't that lack of Social Structure be represented by the things that are supposed to represent social structures? IE: Ideas?

Unfortunately in EUIV as it is now that isn't possible, because every country can unlock the "Quality" idea the moment they hit the appropriate tech level to choose their first idea slot and there are never any more advanced ideas that can supersede the original quality tree. Under my system, that is no longer the case, meaning we can actually make the Unit Pips balanced, and have the lack of Military Structures instead represented by lower tech preventing access to some of the more advanced ideas.

This will allow Europe to still pull ahead, however that pulling ahead will require actual investment and strategic choice and, y'know, Gameplay. It can also be expanded to give countries access to some modern ideas ahead of time if they border a Western Nation or have Western Influences. These could then be used as a sort of "Westernization Lite" as it were, providing a greater degree of choice in how your nation reacts to Europe. Ideally we could even have some ideas enable different Unit Types, allowing us to expand the Unit Type system to allow divergent paths without letting countries just switch from one to another at the push of a button, but that's more a criticism of the Unit Type System so I'll talk about that more if I ever get to Military Matters.

4: Upgrading Ideas
As said above, ideally we will be able to modify the cost of each individual idea based on a number of different factors such as Culture Group, Tech, Currently adopted Ideas, etc. However I would also like to introduce a concept of "Upgrading" Ideas to the game. Essentially, adopting certain ideas will make certain other ideas no longer have an effect, however having that previous idea will provide a cost reduction to the subsequent idea.

As such, adopting a system of Military Drill in the Late Medieval Period will provide a small discipline bonus. There will be subsequent Military Drill ideas for the later periods that provide steadily larger Bonuses, and adopting these later ideas will remove the previous bonuses. Fortunately, having the previous idea in the chain will reduce the cost of the next idea by half.

Thus you'll have a distinct strategic choice in whether you adopt the idea early when it is just starting out and then upgrade it thus spending more Points in Total but having benefits throughout the entire run, or saving up and investing straight into the advanced ideas, at the risk that not having the previous idea weakens you too much to survive.

Remember that obsolete ideas will still provide a cost increase to subsequent ideas, albeit perhaps a reduced increase. Adopting ideas early or waiting will be a legitimate strategic choice that can have serious consequences long after the choice is made.

5: Idea Sets
"But now what do we do with those capstone bonuses? It made it fun to finish an idea group!" God Philip, just shut up.

First off, I disagree with the statement that the Capstones were anything fun. They unlock at the same time as the last idea so I don't see why they are anything special when the same thing could have been achieved by just doubling up on the bonuses for the last idea. In fact, that's essentially what it is.

However under my new system, the Capstones can actually be interesting. Since there are no Idea Tracks like in the current game, instead we can have Idea Groups or Sets. Each Idea Set will have a list of other Ideas that Compose the Set, and a set of Numbers with attached Bonuses. If you have enough ideas from the group, you will unlock the Bonus associated with that number, and since each set can have bonuses for different numbers of ideas, you can gradually unlock an Idea Synergy. So for instance, investing in a number of Land Based Ideas will start to gradually unlock the Set "Grand Army", which will provide considerable bonuses.

On the other hand, there can be Idea Sets based not on having specific Ideas, but on having a certain number of ideas from a certain category. Having 3 or more Military Ideas for instance can unlock the "Martial Tradition" idea that gives a boost to Army Tradition.

Alternatively, there can be Idea Sets drawing from Ideas in multiple different categories, a "Jack of All Trades" Set as it were. This system can even be used to apply Penalties for having ideas that conflict with each other.

Oh by the way, Ideas rendered Obsolete by upgrading will stop counting for this. If you want to keep your sets, you'll either need to stick with your Old 'n Busted Ideas, or lose those sets while you go through a Reform Process to get the New Hotness. But hey, that's what it takes to stay competitive.

6: Unique National Ideas and Friends
Ah Unique National Ideas, something I hate completely in their current form but like the basic idea of. Here is the changes I would implement. First, Unique National Ideas are chosen just like normal ideas. In some cases they might be cheaper than normal ideas (or even free, with their only cost being an increase to subsequent idea costs), however most of the times they will just be more powerful than an equivalent generic Idea. If there is such a generic idea that is related to one of the Unique Ideas, then taking the Unique National Idea will prevent them from also taking the generic idea. There's only so many times you can reform your drill until you get into diminishing returns after all.

In addition, by merging Unique Ideas into the core Idea system, it means we can add greater flexibility to how they are adopted, their requirements, what countries have access to them, etc. For instance, the subject I love to harp on; Prussia's Ideas. In Real Life, Prussia was able to adopt their impressive military standards by having a string of talented military minds at the helm of the state, and because they were a small and largely homogeneous state surrounded by larger powers with a history of being a Military Frontier, the title "Margrave of Brandenburg" derived from the concept of a March after all. On the other hand, Austria was unable to implement the same reforms because they were a large multi-ethnic state with a large army drawn from several diverse nationalities.

In EUIV all of that is completely ignored. Austria has crappy armies not because of the socio-economic factors and the situation of their nation, but because Austria, Prussia has super armies not because of a string of talented individuals working with an already military focused small nation, but because Prussia. In all honesty, despite my personal distaste for the Prussian Royal Family, I can't help but feel this is rather insulting to the people who actually worked rather hard to carry out these reforms and which in game happen by Magic.

Also, this system can be elaborated on further. Not only can there be Unique National Ideas, but Unique Cultural Ideas, Unique Religious Ideas, and Unique Tech Group Ideas. To really have fun, you can even have Unique Provincial Ideas! How much fun would it be if conquering Constantinople as the Ottomans actually allowed you to start implementing a series of reforms to represent how the Ottoman State merged their Turkish customs with the laws of the Eastern Roman Empire? How about replacing the Ottoman Idea that gives them a flat Religious Unity Boost with a "Promote the Patriarch" idea that reduces the Religious Unity penalty for having Orthodox Provinces, with you eventually having the opportunity to 'upgrade' this Idea to eliminate the penalty entirely. Add another similar Idea for the Pope to extend the reduction to Catholic Provinces. How fun would it be for Austria (Or Spain) to get access to Ideas related to their possession of the Netherlands, or the Crowns of Bohemia and Hungary, ultimately becoming a unique motley of different Ideas?

Also: Unique National Ideas will count towards Idea Sets, so don't worry about being disqualified from "Grand Army" because you are playing as Prussia.

Also Also: If a Unique National Idea has an equivalent Generic Idea, you will always be able to upgrade that Generic Idea into the Unique one. So Prussian Drill might have much stricter requirements than the normal Military Drill Idea. If you adopt the Generic Military Drill to survive, that won't permanently lock you out of getting the Prussian Drill Idea. I may hate Prussia, but I'm not that mean, and I understand that if those requirements are based on Monarch Skill then you are still at the mercy of the RNG.

Also Also Also: Ideas should be able to have "Potential" blocks which will include conditions. If those conditions are not met, then the Idea no longer applies any effects save for still increasing the cost of subsequent ideas. If Sweden loses Finland they should lose their Finish Cavalry, but that won't necessarily mean they can just go in a new direction without cost. This could also be applied to Prussian Drill ideas so they lose their impact if Prussia becomes a large Multi-National Empire, to represent how difficult it is to maintain such standards in such a situation. Ideally we would be able to "Tier Down" the effects, but I'll take what I can get. Worst Case Scenario I implement a series of triggered modifiers.

7: "Great" Ideas
Let's make adopting ideas early more aggressive! With the cost system I am suggesting, it generally favours waiting to upgrade your ideas until their cost is reduced by advancing technology. So this is a system designed to give further incentive to adopt them early, beyond just needing to stay competitive.

"Great" Ideas are ideas flagged as such and will have a block in their definition which can include some extra bonuses. If you are the first country in your Tech Group to unlock the Idea in question, you get a boost to something! Most of the time, this boost will be a boost to Prestige, or a Reduction to Prestige Decay, something to properly represent that your Army, or Navy, or Economy or whatever, is regarded as something especially "Grand", however in some cases, they may receive some extra practical bonuses. So adopting Military Drill before anyone else in your Tech Group might give you a +7% to Discipline rather than just +5%, for instance.

This is a minor point, but I think it could make the game more fun. Essentially it is a combination of the Idea System I am proposing and the "Great Wonders" system from Civilization.

Conclusion
And those are my 7 points to make a better NI system. The primary personal focus is as always to get a more flexible system that can be more meaningfully modified, however the added flexibility provides several potential interesting gameplay additions, including the possibility for much more interesting Unique Ideas and custom Ideas for the Rest of the World.

I also stand by my points that it is both more realistic and better able to dynamically model certain aspects of the time period which are currently rigidly defined at game start. It provides a more interesting number of choices for Westernization, helps bridge the gap between unit types across tech groups while still letting Europe Pull ahead appropriately, and has vastly more nuanced strategic choices.

So, Thoughts?

**Philip should not be considered to be a metaphor or allusion to any persons real, dead, futuristic, fictional, historical, or imaginary. His views do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the Writer(s) of this post and should not be considered to be an homage, reference, parody, or satire of any views or arguments real or straw-manned.
****This Post was made possible by a Grant from the Public Broadcasting Society, and from Donations from Readers Like You.
******Not Really.
 
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Scotsman_01

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+1 But I doubt that Paradox would be interested in re hauling such a central part of the game. Though, after what they did with policies, we could be surprised.
 

Giacomo1405

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Your improvement are very well thought and could improve the game a lot...
but i fear there is little hope to see them in the base game, and they are almost impossible to mod...
great ideas, though...
 

Zander

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I think there are a lot of interesting ideas here. (Though I have some reservations, especially about some of the concepts in Unique Ideas.) However, it does also seem like it would be a true nightmare to balance. One of the big upsides of the current system is that when it comes down to it the idea groups are only being balanced against each other, rather than every single idea being balanced against every other one.
 

V1ribus

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I like this quite a bit, put it in here so it's lodged properly..
 

BBBD316

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I like it, also the ability to RP through the ideas rather than be forced to take what is probably the better idea groups is good too.
 

dharper

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I like what I'm seeing here. There's definitely a missed opportunity in the EU4 idea system.
 

Dr. Dan

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It seems very interesting. Excuse me if I missed the answer to one of the questions you proposed; How does one lose the permanent bonus they've gained once they've selected one of your suggested ideas?
 

Savoyer

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Nice idea, but you see that a system like that will make EUIV go Victoria II-ish almost, which I approve but is hard to rework. The Dev of EUIV are kind dumb in some sense, making stuff so 'traditional' and linear.
I just think that EUIV is the worse and gameyest game that paradox made. Is low-tuned, 'dead'. I like to play it, but the HISTORICAL essence is gone. Is forced up to up. CKII it's amazing, Victoria II is the best game I ever saw and then... There is EUIV, the retarded of the family. It could be the best game but... Is just a Add-on compared to Vic and CK. Honestly. They simply ignore the amout of complains we do about idea system, tech system, Government mistakes, Historical Mistakes and... The game it's all conquest. There is almost no reward in been a Patron of Arts or a Science Country. Merchant countries and the essence (and diference) about Republic, Monarchies, Confederacies, Empires, Theocracies and Ecclesiecies(*).
 

Sky_WKing

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Nice idea, but you see that a system like that will make EUIV go Victoria II-ish almost, which I approve but is hard to rework. The Dev of EUIV are kind dumb in some sense, making stuff so 'traditional' and linear.
I just think that EUIV is the worse and gameyest game that paradox made. Is low-tuned, 'dead'. I like to play it, but the HISTORICAL essence is gone. Is forced up to up. CKII it's amazing, Victoria II is the best game I ever saw and then... There is EUIV, the retarded of the family. It could be the best game but... Is just a Add-on compared to Vic and CK. Honestly. They simply ignore the amout of complains we do about idea system, tech system, Government mistakes, Historical Mistakes and... The game it's all conquest. There is almost no reward in been a Patron of Arts or a Science Country. Merchant countries and the essence (and diference) about Republic, Monarchies, Confederacies, Empires, Theocracies and Ecclesiecies(*).
Agreed. TBH EUIV is a sick man that requires complete organ transplant to cure. Changes to one aspect of the game aren't going to fix much. It will still be a map painting game, yet without the delicate military/tech system as HOI, and still lack "focal gameplay features" that make CK or Vicky unique.

Back to ideas. So explain me, briefly, how you can avoid players from choosing all the "best" ideas. By "best" I mean discipline buff, extra diplomat, extra relations, and coring cost reduction, those without which you simply cannot compete. With a more flexible system I suppose the players are even more prone to follow a pre-determined "optimal" idea picking procedure. Right now to get some desirable buffs you have to spend points on less useful (or useless) ideas first. Clearly nobody likes the "blind research" approach since that will make the game so RNG-based.
 

saegoto

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great idea

btw

The Dev of EUIV are kind dumb in some sense, making stuff so 'traditional' and linear. (...) Is low-tuned, 'dead'. I like to play it, but the HISTORICAL essence is gone. Is forced up to up. CKII it's amazing, Victoria II is the best game I ever saw and then... There is EUIV, the retarded of the family. It could be the best game but... Is just a Add-on compared to Vic and CK. Honestly.
 

Pornek

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1. That would just encourage cherry picking. 'Philip wants +1 diplomat, +5 diplorep and + 2 relatiosn as Austria. Luckily Philip doesnt need to get reducing of WE and fabricating claims, since he plays a diplo annex game'. It would be heavily imbalanced.

2. Not much to say here other that you need to implement an entire new system of how ideas are acquired to balance 1.

3. Same as 2 regarding balance. It also sounds awefully similiar to EU III. I dont want to argue about the pros/cons of that system here, however you have to accept that a game might evolve/change with new iterations of it. Going back in that regard is probably not what the devs want. Additionally unit pips are getting rebelanced next patch.

4. Thats an intersting idea and I like it. I see another balance issue though. Take best suited ideabonus, stomp and get bigger, take even better idea bonus since its cheaper.

5. So like WoN policies, but with your flexible approach ? Encourages cherry picking even more.

6 & 7. The same issue with cherry-picking.

Part of the gamebalance is that you have to take the ideas in a linear fashion. You have to pick 'crap' ideas in order to get the good ones. Your idea would totally streamline the game into take the best at the best given time, without any real downside.
What I agree on is it is rather sad, that the player cant make an Austrian trade empire due to the way national ideas are locked.
 

nephilim2k

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Why not add in a "custom" idea option. Pick sections from various different ones.

Say you want the -5% tech cost of innovative, the missionary from religious, the colonist from expansion etc. Have it so you can have a custom group and it uses up one of your NI slots.
 

General Baker

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OP, can you format your opening post so the headings are of a different colour, or in some other way have a visual divide between numbered points? Else it just looks like one huge mass of white block text!
 

crusaderking

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Wow. Simply wow. I have been thinking along the same lines, but not to this detail. My interest is in making EU4 more of a nation-building and institution-building game in an era of great changes in society, technology and thought. Let's hope that the policy feature is flexible enough to be modded to accommodate your ideas. I hafta say again - Great work!
 

EnemyDrums

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This is a great group of ideas in itself. However I think it will take at least 2 years from a team of 10 to implement this. Think about all the research, design, coding, balancing, event scripting, etc. Not to mention it will need a complete rebalancing of all other gameplay mechanics. At that point it's not EU4 anymore but EU5 or something else.
 

DicRoNero

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Because there is never any reason to not completely fill out an Idea Group
There is at least one: in my last complete game (gone up to 1800s) I delayed finishing Religious (up to late 1600s, as 'Witchcraft act' becomes obsolete after 1700) to retain 'Achieve religious unity' mission availability, while BROT wasn't something I really needed, so I could play just fine without the finisher. Should I advance that far in any of my future/current games, I'll do the same.

So: :p
 

neaiskink

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bah, the AI will not be able to manage it. surely.
the stricter the rules, the better the AI.

I think if your suggestions would be adopted any decent game could happen only in multiplayer, you would kill singlepayer.
 

crusaderking

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Nice idea, but you see that a system like that will make EUIV go Victoria II-ish almost, which I approve but is hard to rework. The Dev of EUIV are kind dumb in some sense, making stuff so 'traditional' and linear.
I just think that EUIV is the worse and gameyest game that paradox made. Is low-tuned, 'dead'. I like to play it, but the HISTORICAL essence is gone. Is forced up to up. CKII it's amazing, Victoria II is the best game I ever saw and then... There is EUIV, the retarded of the family. It could be the best game but... Is just a Add-on compared to Vic and CK. Honestly. They simply ignore the amout of complains we do about idea system, tech system, Government mistakes, Historical Mistakes and... The game it's all conquest. There is almost no reward in been a Patron of Arts or a Science Country. Merchant countries and the essence (and diference) about Republic, Monarchies, Confederacies, Empires, Theocracies and Ecclesiecies(*).
Can't agree more. All the other frills seem to be a nod to history while ensuring that they don't remove the focus from conquest. As Sky_WKing said, it lacks that uniqueness that CK, Vicky and HoI have. It seems more like these games were stripped down to provide the basic minimum that all three of them share - diplomacy, conquests and events.
 

WeissRaben

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1. That would just encourage cherry picking. 'Philip wants +1 diplomat, +5 diplorep and + 2 relatiosn as Austria. Luckily Philip doesnt need to get reducing of WE and fabricating claims, since he plays a diplo annex game'. It would be heavily imbalanced.
Why should Philip's Austria need to learn to reduce WE, if they do not go to war, ever? Of course, they will receive a brick in the teeth as soon as war arrives, wanted or not, but what compels anyone in the nation (be it the burgers, the aristocracy or the monarch) to work on something that they do not need nor can see needing?