Europa Universalis 4

Oooh, exciting! But screenshots are disappointing. (Yes, it’s early and just one view, but still.)

Background – I’ve played all the EU’s a ton. I pretty much never use the terrain map. Political map (IIRC) was pretty much the best.

I need to see

  • Province ownership/controlled
  • Armies and navies
  • Rivers (and what borders they effect)
  • And usually zoomed out

One of my disappointments with EU3 was that info was more obfuscated with ‘terrain-being-pretty’ main map. Not that I mind the pretty, but I’m playing a Strategy game, and I need the info first.
The point being, it’d be really nice if the ‘pretty terrain’ map had more of the info/usabilty of the political map. I don’t really see that in the EU4 shots.

Sure, but plenty of others are not. What believable course of events during a scenario that starts in 1450 can justify Japanese colonization of Cuba in 1480? Some ironclad limits are necessary to prevent historical games from generating into absurdity, and a 15th century Japanese crossing of the Pacific, navigation around South America, and subsequent establishment of a Caribbean empire qualifies as absurd. My hope is that Paradox’s recent discovery of the need for some pre-release polish will prevent such things.

Those situations really haven’t been possible/probable in the game for quite a while, Dave, but I do agree there was silliness in the vanilla release. :) EU3 sits at a pretty good spot for me in terms of plausibility and open-ended emergent gameplay.

The thing about Paradox, is that its historical view is basically that the most innovative and effective governments in the world were small German principalities.

Agreed, which is why I instituted my “never buy a Paradox game on release” policy as a direct result of EU3. After a series of patches, mods, and expansions, they become playbable. Until then, no–but perhaps that is starting to change. I hope so.

Ahh, yea, I can understand that. I think HOI3 was the nadir for them and a big wake up call. Their in-house releases since then have been getting progressively better at least, so hopefully things are moving in the right direction. CK2 was the best “out of the box” experience I’ve had from Paradox thus far.

I can’t wait for some UI screenshots.

I hope this will finally add alerts and things like new advisors becoming available to the message system so that it’s possible to pause the game when actual important stuff happens.

Overhauling the arcane ways province and trade income is displayed and calculated would be nice too, having to look up formulas and break out a calculator to tell if sending a trader, building a province improvement or even conquering a province would be profitable sucks.

The way information is displayed is what makes EU3 and most other Clausewitz engine games so hard to get into IMO. The event folder txts are pretty much required reading to play these games well.

This is exciting news, even though we all knew that EU4 would come along eventually. Thanks for the heads up.


Vanilla EU2 didn’t really have that much in terms of events and other gameplay mechanics to enforce history. There was SOME stuff, like the historical monarchs, explorers and generals a nation would get, that pretty much made sure the stage was set within reason, but other than that, you could pretty much do what you wanted. Within reason.
Stuff that was implausible historically was made … less likely by enforcement via game rules. For example, the tech groups made sure the south american “nations” would remain fodder for european colonizers and China wouldn’t be able to outperform europe. Stuff like that.

MODDED EU2, that was a different matter. Especially after the merger, AGC/EEP became basically a history-treadmill - the player was CONSTANTLY bombarded with events prodding him along a historical path.
This could be interesting, because you could learn interesting tidbits about some internal power-struggles going on in a minor german state in the 1620s or something, but it would often make the game borderline unplayable as anything else but a semi-interactive history book following the due course.
Still, I was extremely disappointed when they designed EU3 in a way that not only didn’t care about most of the history-enforcement out-of-the-box, but that even made it impossible to recreate, even via modding.

The addons brought back some historical flavour, but never to the amount of EU2, despite often much richer mechanics.

Personally, I’d hope for some optional gameplay rules one can enable or disable which essentially determine how far off-the-rails things can develop or at the very least solid support for modders to put that stuff into the game, but judging from CK2, at least the game could be pleasing to the eye (unlike EU3, which made me want to gouge my eyes out), slick to control and largely free of critical bugs.

TLDR: Good news. :)


Awesome. I don’t like history getting in the way of my game. I am fine with a historical set-up and some encouragements to reproduce history, EU3 had those, but otherwise, let it unfold.

This only happens in EU3 if the map cache is corrupted, deleting it fixes it.
IIRC it was a bug with colony distance calculation that allowed the AI to send colonists anywhere if they somehow got vision.

The other advantage to this is that if you wait a year or two, you can get the first three or four expansions that should have been part of the main game along with the main game for the same price as you would have paid for the main game had you bought it when it came out.

Which is nice.

Maybe it only happens NOW if the map cache is corrupted, but when the game was released, it happened constantly to everyone. There were threads in the official forums where we were trying to one up each other for ridiculousness. After expansions and patches, colonization started working in believable ways, which is exactly the reason I stopped buying Paradox games until after said patches and expansions get released. Perhaps this will change with their new focus on pre-release QA/QC.

That has been a nice plus, yup! I also don’t have to suffer through the frustrations of a release chock full of unrealized potential.


Crusader Kings 2 already bucked that trend, though, which makes me a lot more hopeful about the state of future Paradox in-house games.

Seriously, CK2 at release was just about all you could hope for in a new strategy game release. The expansion isn’t even all that necessary, though it does add some nice stuff.

Preview at RPS

Dev Diary #9 is up and it discusses the new Trade system in EU4. I think it sounds like a big improvement and could be a lot of fun.

Rob Zacny has a really good preview regarding his experience with EU4 at the recent Paradox convention.

Even as a fan of the series, I was skeptical the first time I heard about Europa Universalis IV. Europa Universalis III was still going strong on my hard drive, and I didn’t exactly see why I needed another just yet. Whatever improvements Paradox might make with EU4, they’d likely be marginal, a bit of extra polish and the odd tweaking, but not something worth getting excited about, right?

Then they let me play it. And everything I thought about EU4 went straight out the window.

Also, Dev Diary 19 was posted today which covers changes to Land combat. They sound like some real solid changes, IMO.

Fall can’t come fast enough…

Yeah I’m looking forward to this. It was sometime after Eu3 came out that Paradox really seemed to get it’s shit together, so I’m hoping they manage to inject a little of the magic they put in Crusader Kings 2 into EU4.