Europa Universalis 4

Hey Paradox fans! A new EU! yahoo! oh wait, I sill have to try EU3. I have it on Steam. One of these days…

The next one, it’s been announced today, is due towards the end of 2013. Euopa Universalis IV benefits not only from the hindsight brought about in the five years since the last game’s release, but also developers Paradox’s growing success with other “grand strategy” titles like Sengoku and Crusader Kings II. So in addition to the expected advances - like a prettier 3D map (that now reflects seasons) and improved trade system - there are things learned directly from CKII’s surprisingly broad popularity, like a greater emphasis on “personality” (ie the relationships between the 4000 historical rulers in the game) that’ll be reflected in EUIV’s idea of “Monarch Power”.
Paradox Development Studio manager Johan Andersson tells Kotaku that CKII’s success - it seems to have become something of a watershed title for the team - has taught the developer a few other valuable lessons, which are being applied to Europa Universalis’ development (and which necessarily weren’t as important with the studio’s previous games). These include a greater emphasis on making the game “look better”, how to “streamline interfaces without dumbing anything down” and, perhaps most importantly, the importance of spending time polishing a game before release.
Paradox will also be paying closer attention to actual history this time as well. Andersson says that rather than simply letting players loose on the world and allowing stories to unfold entirely by themselves, they’ll be continually confronted with events (the game’s miniature quests or important decisions) that are unique to that nation and appropriate to the culture and time period (as opposed to the more generic events generated previously).

edit: beaten. I looked before doing the thread and there was nothing about it, I suppose I should have refreshed once more before posting.

  • Take your own decisions: Nation building is flexible: decide your own form of government, the structure of your society, trade politics and more. The possibilities are endless.

  • Use your Monarch Power: Experience the new system of monarch power where your spread of choices is influence by the caliber of the man you have at the top. Do you have a warrior King? Then it is time to make war.

  • Experience history coming to life: The great people and personalities of the past are on hand to support you. Thousands of historical events guide you, with unique different flavor depending on the country you play. Have more than a thousand historical leaders and over 4000 historical Monarchs at your disposal.

  • The world is now your playground: Players can enjoy over 300 years of gameplay in a lush topographic map in full 3D. Lead any one of more than 250 countries that originally existed during the game’s extensive time span.

  • Experience the all new trade system: The trade system adds a new dimension to the great trade empires of the period. Seize control of key ports to expand your trade, support it with your powerful fleet and the wealth of the world will flow to you.

  • Bring out your diplomatic skills: Deeper diplomatic gameplay, with coalitions, threats, fleet basing rights and detailed support for rebels. Introducing unilateral opinions, a country may dislike you, but you can be neutral towards them.

  • Engage in Multiplayer: Battle against your friends or try co-operative multiplayer mode that allows several players to work together to control a single nation for up to 32 players. Featuring hotjoin, improved chat, new matchmaking server andsupport for a standalone server.

  • Create your own history & customize your game: Europa Universalis IV gives you the chance to customize and mod practically anything your heart may desire.

Very nice!! Thanks for the updates…erh…both of you! I LOVE EU3 so this is right up my alley.

Edited my post to point to this one, as TurinTur’s got some details. Thanks TT!

I’m really excited about this.

Looking forward to it, although I can’t say I’m surprised.

One of the things I’m excited about is just how cleaned up Paradox games have become over their past few releases. CK2 in particular is so much easier to deal with compared to the popup bombardment and clunk you still get in EU3 (despite making some big improvements there, with Divine Wind).

Damn, do I really have to wait over a year before this comes out?

Damn, they do know how to milk this stuff! :)

That said, I always liked the EU series - though I stopped playing them seriously with the first one. I hope they’ll one day expand upon the combat system and make the game less about sliders and more about the tangible. I also own all the HoI games, but they’ve all been pretty much unplayable due to insane AI/balancing/UI issues, and by the time they’re fixed up - I’ve moved on. But I do ADORE the concept of Hearts of Iron - especially the dream of playing an entire campaign in multiplayer.

From today to the release date, I’m sure they will release a pair of expansion for their successful CK2, so you will have something to play with.

OMG yes! Loved EU3 to death, can’t wait for this! :D

I’m all over this. Love EU3 and this is going to improve on it!

These include a greater emphasis on making the game “look better”, how to “streamline interfaces without dumbing anything down” and, perhaps most importantly, the importance of spending time polishing a game before release…

Paradox will also be paying closer attention to actual history this time as well. Andersson says that rather than simply letting players loose on the world and allowing stories to unfold entirely by themselves, they’ll be continually confronted with events (the game’s miniature quests or important decisions) that are unique to that nation and appropriate to the culture and time period (as opposed to the more generic events generated previously).

I’m cautiously optimistic about EU4 for these two reasons. EU3 when released was horrible and drove me away from Paradox games. I stopped buying them until multiple patches, an expansion, and mods to fix the historicity appeared. I remember my very first game of EU3, when Pommerania, Holstein, and Hannover colonized the Caribbean and the east coasts of North and South America by 1480. Japan joined them shortly thereafter. Yeah, not fun.

I’m all for some realistic constraints, but I also have no interest in a straight-jacket style game like the older EUs were. Hopefully they strike the right balance.

yeah it was wacky when released. But I think they got the message, the quality control is much better now.

That sounds more like you having issues with the game design (less historic stringency than in past EU games) than pure big bugs.

That’s true–why play a historical game if historically plausible outcomes are impossible? Japan in Cuba in 1480? Holstein ruling everything from New York to South Carolina in the same time period? Ridiculous. Changing history in a believable fashion is the draw of these types of games.

Part of the problem is that we already know way more then the people at the time did. So the game has to create ways of limiting us in using our knowledge. Thats why I’ve always enjoyed games covering the period that allowed at least the option of a different world to discover then what was historically found. Games like Seven Cities of Gold, Imperialism, and even Colonialism make our historical knowledge of what is out there and where useless.

As for EU4, I guess I’m pessimistic. EU3 is pretty damn comprehensive and right, meaning they are going to be changing things to change them in order to justify a new game. Hopefully that turns out, but HOI3 didn’t.

All true, and good points as usual, Sarkus.

I found EU 1 and 2 to be too deterministic, and at times felt as though I was wearing a straightjacket. I like the CK2 approach - start the world off historically, and have the A.I. act as historically as possible, but let the player veer off the road if he or she so chooses.

I don’t think the AI should “act as historically as possible”. It should be believable in what a nation can do with the resources it does have, so nothing about a small nation conquering a full continent of their own, of course, but historicity for historicity sake is boring, and even unrealistic. These games should be a “what if”.

Many say this, but I never had that problem. Any nation I played could be developed in any way I wanted. Prussia as a colonizer, world conquest with Poland, unificaiton of India and turning it into a great power, and anything else you could imagine were all doable. The rest of the world played out believably, but you could go as far off the rails as you wanted, and that’s a model I like.

I guess it always comes down to the tension between ‘believably’ and ‘historically’. In theory, lots of outcomes that are very, very far from history are believable. I think the problem is partly that the game simulation can’t model all the factors that in reality would keep some impossible outcome from being realized. The other factor is that even if it were a perfect simulation, some possible outcomes just feel very weird (since we are deeply rooted in what really happened). Then there is the endless potential arguments about which outcomes are in the first category and which are in the second.