Europa Universalis IV Review - It Ain't Broke

Europa Universalis IV Review - It Ain't Broke

If a world conquest simulator sounds fun, EU4 is the game for you.

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I played the demo, and I've put a lot of time into crusader kings 2.

I didn't like the lack of characters and dynasty... it was one of the best parts of CK2 for me.

On the other hand, it does have a lot of stuff you can do, and you can actually look at the laws you've passed, unlike when you pass the turnip act, or pants act, or the hole in the wall act.

Ralen-Sharr:
I played the demo, and I've put a lot of time into crusader kings 2.

I didn't like the lack of characters and dynasty... it was one of the best parts of CK2 for me.

Well, the lack of dynastic emphasis makes sense from a historical perspective, after all, the Early Modern era was really a time of transformation from medieval feudalism, to bureaucratic nation states.

The paradox games are rather faithful representations of their respective eras, instead of just treating every timeframe as a texture repack of the same generic board game. The Middle Ages were a time when diplomacy meant the personal relationship between some dudes, and a "country" was whatever list of territories a sovereign dude happened to possess.

The Early Modern era was not.

The trade system can't be worse than the one is Europa universalis 3.

I pre ordered it knowing that it would be good but still worrying about it being buggy on release, nice to know that isn't the case.

Going by the dev diary's the game seems to pretty much fix everything that annoyed me about Europa universalis 3, unless those fixes create all new issues only rome 2 still has a chance to become my game of the year.

Well i have decided to play, for an hour or two just to get the feeling for the game. I believe it is now 5 hours later, and i had to eat 3 hours ago so.... i say, huge success.

I love the gameplay. The only issue i have is with the lag at the end of each month (no, its not the autosave, that one is even longer :P)

But yeah, i have a bunch of new stuff to learn.

For example, dont make too many royal marriages - they eat up all your diplo points.
I have yet to discover the intricacies of trade streaming, i thought i understood them.... but it didnt work out the way i predicted.

Thing i love the most? Less randomness. YOU control core gain, YOU control religious conversions.

And the game gives you a lot more feedback than before. Relations for example, give not only their values, but also decay. When making alliances/marriages you get to know why they accept/refuse. Also love the "rival, friendly, outraged etc" relation status feedback, now i know what THEIR plans are.

Im still not so keen on westernization though... the way it works now is - dont make any advances in technology if you want to be any good, because then you get to westernize sooner. Instead of "i want to be advanced, so i will concentrate on technology" you have to game the system so you can even the scales sooner. I see the reasoning behind the rule, but i think it should be more flexible....

Europa Universalis II is one of my top 5 games of all time. It's sheer scope and accessibility are second to none in terms of really grand strategy. EU III just didn't feel as welcoming or as user friendly. A similar comparison can be made vis a vis Hearts of Iron II and III.
That being said, first impressions of EU IV look good. Though 1444 does seem a bit too late to start. Those halcyon days of the 100 Years War really should be enjoyed in all their butt kicking glory.

i had a quick play with it last night and i enjoyed it but ill properly get into it once i have my CK2 game ready. as a side note. even though i preordered EUIV it did raise an eyebrow when i noticed the converter was a $10 dlc. wasnt long ago they would give that stuff away.

normally i wouldnt even bother to mention it being a grand strategy game but its one of the best looking ones ive seen too. functional and pretty :D

now we just need a converter for ck2 > eu4 > victoria 2 > hearts of iron 3 :D

wombat_of_war:
i had a quick play with it last night and i enjoyed it but ill properly get into it once i have my CK2 game ready. as a side note. even though i preordered EUIV it did raise an eyebrow when i noticed the converter was a $10 dlc. wasnt long ago they would give that stuff away.

normally i wouldnt even bother to mention it being a grand strategy game but its one of the best looking ones ive seen too. functional and pretty :D

now we just need a converter for ck2 > eu4 > victoria 2 > hearts of iron 3 :D

We have a converter for CK2 to EU4 at least. I used to export my game where the roman empire took back most of it's old territory and started following the norse gods while catholicism is protected by a barely surviving HRE with orthodox being pretty much extinct. This with sunset invasion enabled so now the Inca and Aztec empires are humongous in the americas, with good tech and tons of troops. With the coalition system, you can get some interesting "enemy of my enemy" scenarios as well. I used it to side with the Inca's when they attacked the Aztecs. *chuckles*

If only we had a converter for EU4 to V2 now.... xD

Halyah:

wombat_of_war:
i had a quick play with it last night and i enjoyed it but ill properly get into it once i have my CK2 game ready. as a side note. even though i preordered EUIV it did raise an eyebrow when i noticed the converter was a $10 dlc. wasnt long ago they would give that stuff away.

normally i wouldnt even bother to mention it being a grand strategy game but its one of the best looking ones ive seen too. functional and pretty :D

now we just need a converter for ck2 > eu4 > victoria 2 > hearts of iron 3 :D

We have a converter for CK2 to EU4 at least. I used to export my game where the roman empire took back most of it's old territory and started following the norse gods while catholicism is protected by a barely surviving HRE with orthodox being pretty much extinct. This with sunset invasion enabled so now the Inca and Aztec empires are humongous in the americas, with good tech and tons of troops. With the coalition system, you can get some interesting "enemy of my enemy" scenarios as well. I used it to side with the Inca's when they attacked the Aztecs. *chuckles*

If only we had a converter for EU4 to V2 now.... xD

the byzantine empire following the norse gods? sounds like the varangian guard made quite the impact :D

wombat_of_war:

Halyah:

wombat_of_war:
i had a quick play with it last night and i enjoyed it but ill properly get into it once i have my CK2 game ready. as a side note. even though i preordered EUIV it did raise an eyebrow when i noticed the converter was a $10 dlc. wasnt long ago they would give that stuff away.

normally i wouldnt even bother to mention it being a grand strategy game but its one of the best looking ones ive seen too. functional and pretty :D

now we just need a converter for ck2 > eu4 > victoria 2 > hearts of iron 3 :D

We have a converter for CK2 to EU4 at least. I used to export my game where the roman empire took back most of it's old territory and started following the norse gods while catholicism is protected by a barely surviving HRE with orthodox being pretty much extinct. This with sunset invasion enabled so now the Inca and Aztec empires are humongous in the americas, with good tech and tons of troops. With the coalition system, you can get some interesting "enemy of my enemy" scenarios as well. I used it to side with the Inca's when they attacked the Aztecs. *chuckles*

If only we had a converter for EU4 to V2 now.... xD

the byzantine empire following the norse gods? sounds like the varangian guard made quite the impact :D

Not the byzantine empire, literally -THE- roman empire(the culture is roman). It has it's own unique national ideas as well which is quite fun. Should be interesting when I get to the point where I can clash with the chinese empire in the east. Check this screenshot taken almost two decades after the start to see what I mean:

Though varangians are also playable in this conversion(I set them free so I could vassalize them at some point), they are sadly orthodox because for some reason you can't convert them back to the norse religion. Also persia is zoroastrian.

Halyah:

wombat_of_war:

Halyah:
We have a converter for CK2 to EU4 at least. I used to export my game where the roman empire took back most of it's old territory and started following the norse gods while catholicism is protected by a barely surviving HRE with orthodox being pretty much extinct. This with sunset invasion enabled so now the Inca and Aztec empires are humongous in the americas, with good tech and tons of troops. With the coalition system, you can get some interesting "enemy of my enemy" scenarios as well. I used it to side with the Inca's when they attacked the Aztecs. *chuckles*

If only we had a converter for EU4 to V2 now.... xD

the byzantine empire following the norse gods? sounds like the varangian guard made quite the impact :D

Not the byzantine empire, literally -THE- roman empire(the culture is roman). It has it's own unique national ideas as well which is quite fun. Should be interesting when I get to the point where I can clash with the chinese empire in the east. Check this screenshot taken almost two decades after the start to see what I mean:

Though varangians are also playable in this conversion(I set them free so I could vassalize them at some point), they are sadly orthodox because for some reason you can't convert them back to the norse religion. Also persia is zoroastrian.

Wait, what?!

It's quite literally back to being the Roman Empire, SPQR and all.

How does following the Norse Gods affect the gameplay? Is it just like any other religion with maybe an extra percent here or there on some stats?

Loving it so far. The interface is immaculate. The tech & ideas system forces you to make some difficult and irreversible choices about the path of your country. The battle system is much improved, even though I don't think it's changed much from EU IV. It makes wars a fair bit more exciting.

There are a few minor niggles, mostly in coring and diplo-annexing being altogether too easy. I've seen AI Denmark completely annex the Kalmar Union states and grab Bavaria. Also, the Steamworks multiplayer is unstable. EUIV hasn't really broken the Metaserver curse, forcing groups to use Hamachi. Hopefully just teething problems though.

This is definitely an improvement over EUIII. It's cut out a lot of the unnecessary bloat and focuses on a real depth of play.

Halyah:

If only we had a converter for EU4 to V2 now.... xD

Oh yes. Personally I'd like to see it have an impact on province stats - population, industry (turn each manufactory into one factory perhaps). Make it so that investing in EUIV has an impact on V2 :D. I hear the CK2-EU4 converter translates building level into base tax, not sure about the buildings themselves.

Abomination:
Wait, what?!

It's quite literally back to being the Roman Empire, SPQR and all.

How does following the Norse Gods affect the gameplay? Is it just like any other religion with maybe an extra percent here or there on some stats?

Well if you reform it in CK2 like I did, it becomes its own pagan religion in EUIV. It has it's own modifiers, but so far seems to have had the generic animist/shamanist decisions. The vision quest and the other one. So compared to the abrahamic religions they're a tad lacking in events and the likes in EUIV. Granted that's my impression of pretty much every religion in the EU series, even for the big ones once christianity's protestantism and reformation events are over. The rest comes down to how others react to your religion. Though looking at the religion tab and seeing protestantism and so forth branded as heathens is worth all the effort that went into setting up this playthrough and then converting it. Anyway one of the modifiers affects the.... army force limiter I think it was. I forgot how much, but it wasn't a bad one. SPQR especially can literally start chugging the We Have Reserves trope if you go for quantity ideas on top of all their other bonuses. So yeah the empire restored with the right religion is basically an endgame boss if you don't piss off so many that they start coalitions against you(which I've avoided by playing nice and avoiding baseless expansion).

The other reformed religions has their own modifiers, but I don't recall what they were or what the abrahamic ones were either. It's mostly a lack of events thing.

MammothBlade:
Oh yes. Personally I'd like to see it have an impact on province stats - population, industry (turn each manufactory into one factory perhaps). Make it so that investing in EUIV has an impact on V2 :D. I hear the CK2-EU4 converter translates building level into base tax, not sure about the buildings themselves.

Yeah I'd love to see population stats for provinces. I don't need the exact numbers of how many live there, but some sort of pie-chart showing how many of one culture is living in a province would be awesome, especially if there were some sort of migration in the game. Though that might be my love of Victoria 2 having these things showing through...

And no they don't translate into base tax. Appearantly they wanted it to, but it caused balance issues appearantly so they dropped it. Which I can understand as CK2 ai is -horrendous- at upgrading their buildings. I've tested it countless times by giving them a bazillion gold to see if they use it. They don't. At all. So yeah... :(

Anyway if paradox doesn't make a converter for EUIV to V2 then the community eventually will I'd guess. They did for EUIII to V2 and I've used that one. Tended to have some rather.... hilarious results to put it mildly.

Halyah:

And no they don't translate into base tax. Appearantly they wanted it to, but it caused balance issues appearantly so they dropped it. Which I can understand as CK2 ai is -horrendous- at upgrading their buildings. I've tested it countless times by giving them a bazillion gold to see if they use it. They don't. At all. So yeah... :(

Anyway if paradox doesn't make a converter for EUIV to V2 then the community eventually will I'd guess. They did for EUIII to V2 and I've
used that one. Tended to have some rather.... hilarious results to put it mildly.

Well that's a shame. I loaded my HRE game in EU3 to V2, it had some weird results for my colonies. I like to max out everything. Population, industry (past 5000), and cash (600 mil as England).

And yes, I wish they'd just invest, damnit, progress. EUIV AI seem a bit better in that regard.

Halyah:
snip

How does the converter work in terms of cores? Are all provinces you start the game with automatically cored, or only if you have a "de jure" claim on the province?

Also cultures. Are all cultures inside your empire/kingdom/etc. accepted, or only your own?

Halyah:

wombat_of_war:

Halyah:
snip

snip

Not the byzantine empire, literally -THE- roman empire(the culture is roman). It has it's own unique national ideas as well which is quite fun. Should be interesting when I get to the point where I can clash with the chinese empire in the east. Check this screenshot taken almost two decades after the start to see what I mean:

Though varangians are also playable in this conversion(I set them free so I could vassalize them at some point), they are sadly orthodox because for some reason you can't convert them back to the norse religion. Also persia is zoroastrian.

That is so awesome. Keep us updated on how it goes! I really want to see you take on China/India and invade the americas.

So by and large, what would you folks say the biggest changes from EU III are? I played the hell out of EU III, and am just curious what some of the big changes are before I go buy EU IV

JonB:

That is so awesome. Keep us updated on how it goes! I really want to see you take on China/India and invade the americas.

India is shattered into several small states so taking on that area would be like a giant stomping a dwarf flat at this point. China is another story... Technologically I'm superior, but getting troops over there is a nightmare even if you steal land to function as a port. Thankfully I have ports with easy access to the indian ocean so I cut down on ocean travel a fair bit... except when I need to transport my boats over there since my main boat producing provinces are core imperial territory. Then again once china has rebels and enemies to contend with.... Japan is easier pickings now that the Takeda's quite literally and irrevocably seems to have taken out the shogunate and destroyed any dream of a united japan. >.>

The coalition against the aztecs led to victory though. I got nothing out of it despite being the reason the coalition won. x3

Fat_Hippo:

How does the converter work in terms of cores? Are all provinces you start the game with automatically cored, or only if you have a "de jure" claim on the province?

Also cultures. Are all cultures inside your empire/kingdom/etc. accepted, or only your own?

After I had converted, I don't think I had any non-cored territory what so ever so I'm not convinced that De Jure is needed, but I haven't seen a proper clarification of this yet either. Releasable nations and vassals are decided by your crown authority as well so that plays into it too. As for cultures they work the same way as they normally do. You have the main one(roman in my case), accepted ones if they're big enough and everything that isn't accepted due to being too few. So I only have one accepted culture per game mechanics and thats my primary one because all the others are too small compared to my nations size.

MammothBlade:

Well that's a shame. I loaded my HRE game in EU3 to V2, it had some weird results for my colonies. I like to max out everything. Population, industry (past 5000), and cash (600 mil as England).

And yes, I wish they'd just invest, damnit, progress. EUIV AI seem a bit better in that regard.

I've no idea why the AI doesn't just upgrade like crazy if it suddenly gets an abundance of wealth. One would think it would, but it doesn't. It keeps at it as slow as ever. It could be it lacks the tech level I suppose. I'm not sure if I've tested that one, but I'll try someday if I can remember it.

Korsgaard:
So by and large, what would you folks say the biggest changes from EU III are? I played the hell out of EU III, and am just curious what some of the big changes are before I go buy EU IV

If you go to the paradox EU IV forums, you should be able to find a list of differences in a pdf file made by paradox. I'd give you a link, but I don't have it as I never saved it...

So, I had a good run of this in the weekend and I've even taken my hand to modding a few things (like making conversion actually possible, done by giving TEMPLES a base increase to local conversion chance - temples are destroyed when someone else captures a province so the whole deal is balanced)... and I'm loving it.

Even playing the non-European powers is great fun, managed to create the second Siamese Empire and even caused China to fracture back into 3 kingdoms after an alliance with Korea, the local Hordes and some of the western Indian tribes.

I like the new "infamy" mechanics rather than the previous flat one of EUIII... now only people who are close to the borders of the provinces you take in war are "alarmed" by your expansion. Those on the other side of you don't give a damn... until it's too late! Brunei doesn't care right now that I just took everything directly South-West of and including modern day Hong Kong from China. But now I've got incredibly high military and naval tradition so my generals are second to none and I have my eyes on their Muslim lands and their island I can easily blockade. Being an island only works defensively if your navy is stronger than the person invading you.

Of course it's probably all going to be pissed away when Europe comes knocking - or maybe I'll sell a province to them, form an alliance and Westernize ASAP.

Korsgaard:
So by and large, what would you folks say the biggest changes from EU III are? I played the hell out of EU III, and am just curious what some of the big changes are before I go buy EU IV

The single largest difference, in my opinion, is the replacement of all the bajillions of sliders in EU III with the points system of EUIV. It makes expansion, tech, and national ideas much more accessible. The old infamy system is dead and gone, folded into the diplomacy system as an "aggressive expansion penalty" - which feels much less arbitrary and strange.

I'm playing as poland right now, as politically as I can. My only war has been an allied war with Austria against Ottomans and Crimea, but I've managed to annex Teutonic Order, Mazovia, Brandenburg, and Pommerania anyways. Hungary is trying to stir up trouble. I'm in personal union with Lithuania, trying to form the Commonwealth, but getting to administrative tech 10 is a huge pain.

JonB:

Korsgaard:
So by and large, what would you folks say the biggest changes from EU III are? I played the hell out of EU III, and am just curious what some of the big changes are before I go buy EU IV

The single largest difference, in my opinion, is the replacement of all the bajillions of sliders in EU III with the points system of EUIV. It makes expansion, tech, and national ideas much more accessible. The old infamy system is dead and gone, folded into the diplomacy system as an "aggressive expansion penalty" - which feels much less arbitrary and strange.

I'm playing as poland right now, as politically as I can. My only war has been an allied war with Austria against Ottomans and Crimea, but I've managed to annex Teutonic Order, Mazovia, Brandenburg, and Pommerania anyways. Hungary is trying to stir up trouble. I'm in personal union with Lithuania, trying to form the Commonwealth, but getting to administrative tech 10 is a huge pain.

Thank you! It sounds like an interesting shift for sure - one thing I noticed is that in your description of your play-through as Poland, you mention that you annexed a number of countries - in EU IV are you able to incorporate counties at once? I hated how in EUIII you were forced to nibble away at other counties, even when you got a 100% victory score over a two or three province nation, ensuring you had to go to war again if you want to absorb the rest. Did that change?

Korsgaard:
Thank you! It sounds like an interesting shift for sure - one thing I noticed is that in your description of your play-through as Poland, you mention that you annexed a number of countries - in EU IV are you able to incorporate counties at once? I hated how in EUIII you were forced to nibble away at other counties, even when you got a 100% victory score over a two or three province nation, ensuring you had to go to war again if you want to absorb the rest. Did that change?

It hasn't changed, but you will be able to do more than just "nibble away" at them.

The thing is there are 3 things you need to do to a province in order to make sure it's really "yours", you can only do one of these at a time and in some cases can only handle doing it to one province at a time.

If you were to take an entire nation over there would be the serious issue of overextension by lacking "cores" on those provinces, cultural differences and religious differences. Which means increased chances of riots, reduced income and there's a chance the nation you took over can just re-form again.

Wars between empires are long rivalries, the way I have found is best is to just "break" the nation up first. Usually an empire is comprised of many smaller nations and it costs far less war score to break the empire up into little independent nations than try and take a massive bite out of it in the first place. This allows you to declare war against lots of little places and annex them whole rather than waiting for truces to expire before you can take another bite from a big empire.

Divide and conquer.

Korsgaard:

JonB:

Korsgaard:
So by and large, what would you folks say the biggest changes from EU III are? I played the hell out of EU III, and am just curious what some of the big changes are before I go buy EU IV

The single largest difference, in my opinion, is the replacement of all the bajillions of sliders in EU III with the points system of EUIV. It makes expansion, tech, and national ideas much more accessible. The old infamy system is dead and gone, folded into the diplomacy system as an "aggressive expansion penalty" - which feels much less arbitrary and strange.

I'm playing as poland right now, as politically as I can. My only war has been an allied war with Austria against Ottomans and Crimea, but I've managed to annex Teutonic Order, Mazovia, Brandenburg, and Pommerania anyways. Hungary is trying to stir up trouble. I'm in personal union with Lithuania, trying to form the Commonwealth, but getting to administrative tech 10 is a huge pain.

Thank you! It sounds like an interesting shift for sure - one thing I noticed is that in your description of your play-through as Poland, you mention that you annexed a number of countries - in EU IV are you able to incorporate counties at once? I hated how in EUIII you were forced to nibble away at other counties, even when you got a 100% victory score over a two or three province nation, ensuring you had to go to war again if you want to absorb the rest. Did that change?

It's easier to peacefully annex somebody now. During my first playthrough I managed to greatly expand my territory without declaring war on anybody but you can still piss people off with it. Particularly if you annex HRE members :)

 

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