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Ask the Devs a Question: Europa Universalis IV

By on September 5th, 2012 7:04 am

Europa Universalis 4 | Ask the Devs a Question

Europa Universalis is a classic grand strategy 4X game series from Paradox Interactive. In fact it’s its flagship game and from where all started for them. I thought it was interesting to have an interview with the Europa Universalis IV devs to understand what can we expect from this new installment or something we can all learn from their experience. Paradox accepted the interview. The thing is, I didn’t play any Europa Universalis games to date so I thought we could do something different and fun this time.

The idea is to give the stage to you people who have been playing these games. The real fans and experts of the series. Or to people like me that never played these games but are fans of strategy games and that may have also an interesting question or two to ask. You have the word now, I’ll just be the messenger on this one.

Now, how do we pick the best questions? Well, we may have a vote in the comments or something. We’ll figure that as we go. If we can’t decide on all questions I’ll make the call. But that’s not the key here, the important part is to come up with a small set of great questions to ask the Europa Universalis IV devs so that we don’t waste anybody’s time with the interview and get the best information possible.

So, let’s get this show on the road shall we? Just leave a comment with your question. Thanks.

Check more on Europa Universalis IV (about, screenshots, video) on the official website.

If this experiment picks up we will do more of these “Ask the Devs a Question” initiatives in the future.

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  1. Halldor says:

    i have to say i have always wanted to play Europa Universalis, hearts of iron and now Crusader kings, did play hearst of iron and crusader kings 2 a little and realy wanted to like them but there is so much and its in real time, wish they would make these games as turn based then i would be realy looking forward to this release.

    • Towerbooks3192 says:

      I know that feeling mate. I love their depth and all that but it will be nice if they adapted those hex based table top strategy game’s combat system since its easier to coordinate attacks rather than estimating the time and hope your timing is right.

      Also trying to intercept marching armies is annoying at times. AI threatens to march to X province and you try to move your troops there, unpause the time and the AI will stop and march in another direction then you have to micromanage your troops again.

  2. Towerbooks3192 says:

    Here are some of my questions:

    Will the combat system be overhauled and unit variety will be introduced like in Hearts of Iron 3 you could decide what brigades your division contain (e.g. a mix of infantry and panzers while in this case could be archers,pikemen,etc)?

    Will the tech tree be overhauled as well, like the technologies won’t be generalised into categories like economic and military like in Crusader Kings 2 but more like Hearts of iron where you have specific techs?

    Will some elements of Crusader Kings 2 be added so that we will have more options with the ruler of the nation we choose to play like will we be able to pick who we will marry and could we assassinate our wife after we married her for her claim? (it would be nice for some elements of CK 2 like the interactions between the ruler and the people in his/her court to be added in EU IV so we will have more emotional attachment to our rulers and it would be nice to add internal problems while governing our nation)

    Will a custom game where it is possible to dominate the whole world without the time limit be added into the game?

    If the custom game is added, will it possible for one province minors to conquer the world? (e.g papal state or any of the minor italian one province minor be able to unite italy and conquer the world in a custom game)

    What will be the changes in building regional improvements?

    Will it be easier or even harder to reunite Byzantium this time? (my unfinished business in EU3)

    Will all the features of past expansions be retained like the shogun system of divine wind and the horde system?

    Will the regions be extended like lets say will you make Australia or Africa bigger so we will be able to settle more colonies?

    How will the espionage system be overhauled this time? Will it be more like Crusader Kings 2 or will we be able to make more devious plots like in Crusader Kings 2?

    My questions from the top of my head.will post as soon as possible if I could think of more and I apologize for the tons of questions

  3. kirth says:

    Hi there, i´ve lurking into this web for looooong time and never really posted :/

    I am a huge fan of grand strategy games and i yust post to say that the questions from Towerbooks3192 are really good ones.

    If i think of another ones ill came back to post them :D

  4. Morinauto says:

    I’ll limit myself to one sort of broad question. As a long-time player of EU3 and professional historian, One thing that always bothered me about EU3 was the lack of change in armies and the way war works over the course of the game.

    For one example, at the start of the game’s time frame, Europe is dominated by feudalism and European warfare is characterized by feudal levies and mercenaries. No country can afford a standing army at that point, yet in EU3, standing armies are cheaper than mercenaries.

    Another example would be the late game where Europe is made of nations with nascent nationalism and powerful central governments. Historically, the Napoleonic wars were characterized by a few decisive battles and the occupation of a capital, which usually resulted in a surrender. In EU3, however, you still have to besiege every enemy province for a reasonable war score.

    All of that to ask: Will EU4 take any steps to reflect these changes over the course of the game’s time frame? Will there be a greater variety in the way the player has to manage their country based on the type of government, level of technology, etc.? (Examples might include calling feudal levies or commissioning a mercenary colonel to raise an army for you, or giving greater war score weight to capital provinces in centralized states in the late game)

  5. Jay says:

    Awesome ! Along with Star Lords, EU IV is my most anticipated title for 2013/end of 2012. Can’t wait for the interview.

  6. killias2 says:

    I’m a -huge- fan of PDS’s games, and I have been ever since I first played EU2. I’m Phystarstk on the Paradox forums. I wouldn’t say I’m active there, but I’m certainly.. present.

    In any case, here are a few questions I have about EU4:

    1. Combat – How much thought and effort are going into retooling EU’s combat? In a lot of ways, I feel like it’s the weakest aspect of the current EU3 model. For the most part, you win or lose wars before they even begin. From there, it’s largely whack-a-mole.

    2. AI – Will AI be given some love for EU4? Keep in mind, I don’t mean just a small series of updates. I’d like to see the AI really become more competitive.

    3. Coalitions – Following from the AI question, can we get more details on how coalitions work? I feel like a solid update of AI mixed with the right coalition system could, together, really fix a lot of the core issues with EU4. Issues like blobbing, exponential curve of ease, relative ease of World Conquests all serve to weaken EU3 as it goes on. However, if enemies worked together to stop common enemies, I think you could solve these problems naturally, rather than with a bunch of lame nerfs and fun-killing limitations. Question version: Can we learn more about coalitions? Will they help defeat blobbing and the easy end-game? Will the AI be capable of utilizing them effectively?

    4. Monarch system – My only concern with the Monarch system is that it seems to be taking parts of CK2 while leaving others behind. Obviously, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but I do worry about the distribution of what’s kept from CK2 and what’s different. For example, in CK2, you have a large impact on the capabilities of your monarch. You can decide how to raise them; you can choose their spouse (who also influences monarchical capability); you can improve your monarch once in office (even moreso in the upcoming CK2 DLC); and you can even, to some extent, pick your successor, which will be partially based on statistics. If the CK2 system of Monarchical power is lifted, but if you lack the same impact on monarchical capabilities, I think you’re creating a recipe for frustration.

    Short question version: Will the Monarchical system give you some influence over monarchical capabilities, a la CK2? If not, is there anything to prevent this being just a random event?

    Above all else, I’d like to hear more about the coalition system, how it works, what they think it adds to the game, and how the AI will be able to utilize it. If nothing else, ask that!


  7. BombayTaxi says:

    How did you choose the composer for this game and what sort of direction did you give him/her?

  8. Cláudio Fernandes says:

    My question – don’t know if it fits since the interview is for the devs, but here it is anyhow:

    I’m a sid meier’s Civilization player who has never played any EU games before. Can you explain the main differences between both games? Am I a potencial EU player?


    • Ofer says:

      +1 great Question

    • Towerbooks3192 says:

      Not an expert on either games but I must say I spent more than 20 hours in both Civ V and EU 3.

      Civ lets you choose the premade civs with their own UU,UA or UB while EU 3 let you choose between any country that existed during that time period or which year you want to start (e.g spain is divided into Aragon and Castille while starting at a later date would enable you to pick a united Spain)

      Civ has a set victory condition like Diplo,time,science,domination,cultural while EU 3’s goal is what you choose your goal is going to be like choose a minor italian province then reunite italy or reunite Spain and get to race others in conquering the new world. EU 3 had missions where you could choose to follow or not and would serve as the long term goal of your nation and would range from something as little as improving relationships with nations near you or something as big as forming the Pentarchy for Byzantium (capturing the holy cities of the different religions)

      In civ you could easily field troops and it would only cost production and gold to maintain it while in EU 3 you have to be careful about the troops you field and sometimes you could not sustain a large standing army as it could easily cripple your economy. Also in EU you could not place defenses as fast as you could in Civ. So if you are in a war while you haven’t fielded any troops, you are good as dead since it takes lots of time to train troops.

      Civ is TBS while EU 3 is a pausable RTS so its like a TBS but you have to time the movement of your troops compared to just moving them to a particular square.

      In Civ, all civs have a sort of equal start since you start with just a settler but in EU your advantage depends on the nation you are playing (e.g playing as Castille would give you more tax revenue and its easier to have a standing army compared to playing a little province like the Papal State.)

      Battles in Civ are something like advance wars where you got a siege unit, a range unit and melee units and you could apply tactics like bombard with siege or range then send in the melee ones while in EU 3 you could recruit only infantry, cavalry and later on in the game artilleries and its more about having the numbers, the right general and the right balance of infantry/cavalry/artillery.

      I have just stated some of the differences of both and I apologize if my descriptions of EU never gave it justice. It is a nice game however it is not for everyone and it has a high learning curve compared to Civ games and its not something you can just jump in and out of like a casual game. It takes a bit of patience to play EU or any paradox grand strategy games and I must say it is one of their simpler and easy to learn titles compared to something really hardcore like victoria and hearts of iron.

      EU 3 is a rewarding game and hopefully everything will be fixed or overhauled in EU 4 since there are aspects in EU 3 that didn’t work very well like Merchants and Center of Trades.

      • Cláudio Fernandes says:

        Many thanks for the input!

        By your description it seems fun, i just didn’t get how/when the game ends and you win or lose. You choose you mission at the beginnig of the game, and the missions differ from who you are as a country/province ?

        • Towerbooks3192 says:

          Game ends at a set time period (i think somewhere during Napoleon’s time. There is no true winning goal like in Civ, its basically making the most of what you have and see where you are going to take your nation. Like I said you could set a goal for yourself like unifying France/Spain/Italy/British Isles/etc to forming the Pentarchy, colonizing the new world to World Domination.

          As for the missions, I think it is preset depending on the nation and I guess there are common ones like increase relations with nation x to exclusive ones like Castille’s finish the reconquesta by driving the last moors out of Spain and Byzantium’s Pentarchy.

          Lastly, the obvious way of losing is getting conquered. If you were unable to conquer the whole world by the time the game ends, I think your performance will be evaluated by points.

        • Towerbooks3192 says:

          Oh yeah I forgot to add,its my unfinished business since I began playing EU 3. Restoring Byzantium to its former glory is one of the most challenging things you could do in the game. You only have 2 provinces and you must recapture your core provinces and try to restore the glory of the Byzantine empire. It is a herculean task because the Ottoman empire holds most of your core provinces and they have 2 allies which are capable of fielding a decent size army and could be dragged in by the ottomans anytime.

          If you try capturing your greek cores, you will feel the wrath of Venice which protects those provinces.

      • Adam Solo says:

        Many thanks from my part also. I’m a Civ veteran but never played EU games. I have a much better sense on what to expect now.

        From what I understand Civ is more sandbox, more free to play while EU is more mission-based, history-accurate. That’s why Civ is not considered a grand strategy game while EU is.

  9. HectorOfTroy says:

    Hi all :). Can you ask them Adam if they will ever make combat more tactical and more in depth?

  10. Adam Solo says:

    Thanks for all your questions. I’ll assemble the ones I think are the best, merging some that overlap, and send to Paradox. Should have the answers in a couple of weeks or so.

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