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Europa Universalis IV – Huge Balance Changes in 2020

Dev’s Diary


So let’s begin with what we talked about last Development Diary. We talked about some core issues that exist in the game right now, specifically Territory Corruption and Trade Companies. Both me and Johan felt over the vacation that we couldn’t take a full month and then not come with something for the next Diary.Instead of trying to fix something broken by putting duct tape over it we decided to just rip out the Max State modifier all together. The idea I’ve been going with was I wanted something that would slow you down and put you where you have to make certain decisions but not feel as strangling as the old system. I want the player to be able to build up his administrative infrastructure as the game progresses.

We’ve also lowered for now the autonomy of Territories to 90% and Trade Companies to 80%. I am looking a bit towards if I can make the Min Autonomy in Territories a bit more of a relevant and interesting feature. What we want is that you have to make decisions on not only where you expand, what you conquer but also how you organize that development you just gobbled up. Do you try and maximize to just have as many territories as possible? Do you want to focus on a set of core states? Do you try and extract as much as possible from the territories available to you? A humongous Great Britain expanding their way into India should have to make some interesting decisions in order to draw out the full benefit.

And since this feature was added last week UX have not fully caught up so the pictures you see here are extremely Work In Process and just me throwing something together.

So even though we’ve added a cost for actually having provinces dedicated to being Trade Companies now. We wanted to address them a bit more. First is that they are an old feature and when Local Autonomy was added as a concept to the game they were not updated to follow suit. What having the penalty of Trade Companies being applied through Local Autonomy means is that you can no longer “counter” the Trade Company penalty that existed before by simply building the base buildings since Local Autonomy is applied as a multiplier after everything meaning you only get 20% the benefit regardless. However Trade Companies still ignore Local Autonomy on Trade Power, the Local Autonomy Cap can be manipulated by the same Autonomy Modifier that Territories have and they still help you with heathen religion problems in those provinces. Together with these changes and the changes in Golden Century for Goods Produced the real economic benefit should start to kick in Mid-to-Late game.

But their pure benefit as land aside we also wanted to address why players would continent jump just to be able to have them. Which we decided to do by making everyone in the game capable of creating Trade Companies regardless of what Continent they happen to be on. Every trade node in the old world is now fitted with a Trade Company. We haven’t changed the trade system in itself but what this means in essence a Qing colonizing Great Britain can move their Trade Capital to the English Channel node, set up trade companies and force feed the Europeans products they don’t need for maximum profit.

The new rules for where you can create Trade Companies are as follows:


  • Province religion must be of a different religious group than the owning nation
  • Province must be considered overseas both from nation and any subjects of nation, not including tributaries.
  • Province must not be part of the HRE

So at the start of the game Portugal can create a Trade Company in North Africa, but Mamluks can not create Trade Companies in Arabia. You’ll probably find a thousand ways to abuse this but with the new balance and spirit of the feature I figure that it’s better to keep these rules simple and permit crazy things to occur.

Since Trade Companies are now weaker, especially because of the Local Autonomy, we also changed the Trade Company Investments. This in order to make their ROI not too crazy bad and tweaked some parts of it as a whole. You can no longer build more than one Tier 3 Investment in one Region. So pick one you want wisely. But the Tier 1 and 2 Investments have had their costs reduced to 200 and 400. The Governance Category has been buffed giving now instead +50% and +100% Manpower/Sailor buff and the Tier 3 giving +2% Marine FL as well to their -2% Ship Cost bonus. Why the other Investments were not touched more than their cost is because they all gave something that is not affected by Local Autonomy.

Now this is a lot of new Trade Companies we need to come up with names for and there are so many interesting alternative outcomes that players could try and accomplish. Our general idea for now to figure out a base of names that would fit for let’s say the European Colonial Nations would be inspired from Arabic terms of the regions imagining them having spread from the Arab world originally to Africans, Indians and rest of Asia. If you have a great idea for a name that would fit one of these new Trade Company Regions, it can include specific names for a culture or nation, feel free to write suggestions in the suggestion forum! Like the Heavenly Trade Company of Heroes for English Channel when you have the EoC.

We also have the Absolutism Cheese. As it often is pointed out Absolutism is the main culprit of Monarchies strength over Republics, it doesn’t help that it is a very exploitable mechanic. We do not want to nerf absolutism, nor change the core of the feature as it does what we want it to do. However, we will be addressing the cheese of how you generate it. And one of the cheesier and unintended ways to get absolutism quick without any major repercussions. The tactic of having all your rebels spawn, and then quickly reduce autonomy in every recently rebelled province made the mechanic kind of pointless. So now if you actively reduce autonomy in a province, it will also remove the recent uprising block for further rebellions.

The idea that reducing autonomy gives you absolutism was intended as a feature where you enforce your rule in a region and then have to deal with the people not being as happy with that as you might envision through your enlightened rule.

Last thing before we move on to the next category. Missionary Maintenance cost is now very lowered but still with a similar formula. It is now:

0.5 * dev^( 1 + local autonomy * 0.75)

Naval Game

You’ve probably already seen our teasers about some new stuff coming that deals with naval. But first I want to talk about a core part about naval that needed some tweaking first and fix some things that were in essence broken. What I am talking about is Naval Combat. For a long time people complained in Multiplayer games that if one side picked Naval Ideas but the other side didn’t it was a foregone conclusion who would win the combat. And of course if you have a better navy you should win but the result of those combats were so skewed that something had to be wrong. So I think I started digging around while we were working on the Golden Century Immersion Pack to figure out what was wrong and try to fix the underlying problem instead of just nerfing Navies to the ground.

The issue you might or might not already know about, I’ve talked quite openly about it, is that ships when they hit 0 morale means that they stop shooting, but they do not retreat from the engagement. This means you’ll have a totally useless heavy ship occupying three slots just soaking up damage to eventually die and do a morale hit on the entire navy. In the end if one side can outperform the other side in Morale damage you will end up in an “equilibrium” where the losing side will just keep having their ships sink. And they’ll do this without doing anything as they are at such a low morale when entering the battle that it instantly hits 0. This is why you would see battles where 50 British Heavies could defeat hundreds if not thousands of ships.

So the new mechanic we are adding to Naval Combat is called Disengagement Chance and does basically what it says on the tin. Every combat tick after firing and casualties have been calculated the ship will try and disengage from the combat if their morale hits below 0.5 morale. The base value of this chance is 3% but can be modified by national ideas, like part of the reworked Portugese National idea “Legacy of the Navigator”.

To help explain what is happening in the combat the team have done some small visual upgrades for the combat interface. We now show three columns for each type of ship and are in order, Ships present, Ships Engaged, Ships Disengaged.

Also since I started talking with the community about this problem several have asked me to describe how the combat is evaluated and I think the best way is to make a little bit of a pseudo code summary here for people to dig through.

Populate Engagement with Ships until Engagement Width in this order:
Heavy, Galley, Light Transports
Ignore Disengaged Ships.

For Each Ship in Engagement
If previous target is about to die
set previous target to null
If has no previous target
Pick a random target with best score from the enemies engaged ships
Base chance to be picked of 10
Add random integer of 0 to 5
If of same ship type, increase chance to be picked +5
If morale is zero or below, reduce chance to be picked /10
If damage is less than 50%, increase chance to be picked *2
BaseDamage = 0.025 + 0.025 * (2 + Dice + Combat Modifiers)
Damage = BaseDamage * ShipCannons / TargetHull
If Galley type multiply damage with 2
WeaponEffect = 0.05 * ( ArtilleryFire – TargetArtilleryFire )
Damage *= 1 + WeaponEffect
Damage *= ShipCombatAbility + LeaderBonus

MoraleDamage = Damage * CountryNavalMorale / 3 * ShipStrength * 0.25
Apply Splash Morale Damage to 3 random targets, 10% of MoraleDamage
If ship Morale is 0 or below, multiply Damage with 10
Damage *= 0.03
Damage /= DurabilityModifier
Damage *= ShipStrength
For Each Ship in Engagement
If Ship Morale is below 0.5
Throw a 100 sided dice, if it is less than ship Disengagement Chance

Now the second part of Naval and a push to make it relevant. Making Blockades Sexy. So starting with the impact that Blockades have we’ve done some changes. Blockades we feel already have a real hard hit on you as it is already with the -50% Goods Produced, -75% Local Trade Power and +0.1 Monthly Devastation which itself will cause even worse stuff also long term for the provinces. So we didn’t want to make these penalties even harsher. What we want is to make them be more impactful for the nations embroiled in this war of supremacy over the seas.

  • Blockades now work more like looting where you in essence siphon off income from the nation
  • Blockades and Looting is an actual visible expense for the country being blockades or looted.
  • The Waroverview UI now shows the economical impact on each country from blockading or being blockaded instead of a blockade percentage.
  • Blockades no longer have the Goods Produced or Trade Power maluses

With this we’ve also lowered so you only need 50% of the ships you needed previously to siege the same amount of development.

But we didn’t stop there, we wanted to also make shipping troops across the pacific or atlantic to not be the easiest breeze but give naval oriented nations a small edge here. We’ve increased the attrition troops take when being transported in the open sea to 10%, it is still 1% while you are along the coast. Together with the Mercenary changes meaning Manpower is a much more precious resource than previously. Instead there are now a special unit type any country can build if they pick Naval ideas, called Marines. These do not take attrition at sea, they use sailors, they have +200% Disembarking Speed and ignore crossing penalties. However they do take +25% more shock damage.

These can be perhaps as a part of a larger offensive or to more easily conquer distant islands and coasts. But their intent is to live on your transport ships and be filling situational roles they are better suited to than your conventional army.

Portugal, England and Great Britain have uniquely higher marine forcelimits but we also listened to your feedback and added easy access to Marines for Netherlands, Venice & Castille. The rest have to take naval ideas or a policy to have access to it. Which you really want to already, if you are aiming to be a relevant naval power anyway.

Together with the Marines and the Blockade changes, we felt there needs to be ways to defend yourself against that. So the Coastal Defence buildings were added.

Coastal Defence which is unlocked at Dip Tech 5


  • +50% Blockade Force Required
  • +100% Hostile Disembark Time

Naval Battery which is unlocked at Dip Tech 12

  • +100% Blockade Force Required
  • +200% Hostile Disembark Time
  • +5 Hostile Fleet Attrition
Land Warfare


Even if we’ve focused a lot on the Naval stuff we have also done quite some tweaks to facilitate now that you do not have access to the infinite manpower pool known as Mercenaries anymore. First a little quality of life thing though.

All Special Units are now recruitable through the Macrobuilder. They take time to build and are proper “constructions” with costs. Units such as Streltsy and Cossacks who are spawned through their respective Government Interactions are spawned for free and immediate. With this since this will make Banners act more like normal units, they start at full strength when built.

Next is some new Manufactories available to the player. These use up the same slot as a Manufactory but will not give you the bonus goods produced. These buildings are designed around giving you something interesting to put except always manufactories in almost every single province. These buildings for the game are excellent money sinks that give you something that does not immediate money back which also means that this might mitigate late game run-away economy. These buildings are:

Ramparts and unlocks at Adm Tech 6

+1 Fort Level
+15% Local Defensiveness

Soldiers Households and unlocks at Adm Tech 15

+750 Local Manpower
Double if has Grain, Fish, Livestock or Wine province

Impressment Offices and unlocks at Dip Tech 7
+250 Local Sailors
Double if has Salt, Fish, Naval Supplies or Tropical Wood

Another thing tweaked to help you retain your manpower in long drawn out wars is Army Professionalism and Army Drill. First I need to cover that Drill Decay Modifier has been renamed to Regiment Drill Loss to better explain what it does fully. It prevents all losses of Drill on your regiments including the loss you get from casualties.

Now the Army Professionalism modifier has been modified to include a scaling -50% Regiment Drill Loss when full. This results in that every two soldiers you lose, you only lose Drill worth of one. Drill have had their defensive bonuses increased, to -25% Fire/Shock Damage received at 100% Drill, meaning you will lose a quarter less of your normal troops if you can maintain the professionalism of your army.

Together with Merc changes this should make it important for countries to try and maintain high drill to have their manpower reserve last as long as possible.

Portuguese Ideas

I did mention the new Portuguese National Ideas, so figured I should probably label those out for people.

sunk_ship_morale_hit_recieved = -0.33
disengagement_chance = 0.05
afonsine_ordinances = {
global_trade_goods_size_modifier = 0.1
case_de_india = {
global_trade_power = 0.1
land_before_faith = {
global_colonial_growth = 15
the_bandeirantes = {
merchants = 1
royal_absolutism = {
build_cost = -0.15
yearly_absolutism = 0.5
por_royal_military_academy = {
defensiveness = 0.1
artillery_power = 0.1

Government Reforms

And to end things with we will go through the vast amount of new Government Reforms we’ve added. Some of these might be something we’ve mentioned in a dev diary here and there but this can be seen as a complete list of what we’ve added so far. I’ll first start with @Meka66 overhaul of the Theocratic Reforms.

When government reforms were first introduced in Dharma, Theocracies were sadly a little neglected when it comes to government reforms; having only 5-tiers, equal to the number that Tribal governments get.

However, I have now spent a degree of time fleshing out Theocracy government reforms, adding 3 more tiers and a total of 27 all-new reforms! These reforms will be available both to 1.30 patch and Dharma owners and will make the Theocratic playstyle a little more flexible. There are a number of new and interesting reforms available to Theocratic nations, so I’ll just go through and talk in detail about some of my favourites.

At Tier-2, players will be able to set the divine mission of their state to be to civilize those unfortunate primitives who do not yet follow the one true faith; granting a bonus to Native Assimilation and greatly reducing Native Uprising Chance. Combining this with Native Trading Policy will make your colonies stable and secure while always finding new followers amongst the native populace.

But why should your holy state be confined to perform its duties on land when the sea is rife with piratical heathens? Coastal Holy Orders will be able to take a number of reforms specialised in focussing their divine efforts to protecting the seas.

Monarchies and Republics have a long list of unique or regional government reforms, so I took some care to grant a few unique reforms to certain religions and cultures. Certain Asian nations will be able to integrate the Sohei Warrior Monks into their nation to greatly increase the capabilities of their armies.

One great weakness to the Monastic Order government as oppose to Leading Clergy is that Holy Orders are locked to rank-1. However, at tier-6 of the reform tree, Monastic Orders will be able to choose from an array of reforms that will allow them to freely switch government rank like any other nation, and unlock a few perks and mechanics previously unavailable to Theocracies.

At Tier-7 one must decide the nature of how faith interacts with your state. While the rest of the world considers separating the two, you know that we are all one people under the divine. This tier can grant some bonuses to conversion, or a Humanist Theocracy may determine that all people are equal under God.

At the final tier of reforms, the state decides how it interacts with the world and it may decide that the world will never be true and righteous so long as it is misguided by other states. By enacting One State Under God, you will gain a permanent warscore cost reduction against nations following other faiths. However, perhaps instead of uniting people into one faith, you focussed instead on the spread of your religion by force?

By enacting The Global Crusade, players will gain a permanent CB against foreign religions and will be able to force their religion through war even on countries from other religious groups.

Combining this reform with the age bonus gained in the Age of Reformation, you can spread your religion to some quite large nations. Here we can see I’ve spread the reformation into the Ottoman sultanate.

Here’s a fun little out take of where one of our Beta’s managed to make a Warrior Monk Pope. I’m so sad I have to fix that though.

Now to the full list of new Government Reforms that we have added. We have in total added 69 new Government Reforms.


Austrian Archduchy

-0.33 Liberty Desire from Subject Development
+5% Nobles Influence

Austrian Dual Monarchy

+2 Num Accepted Cultures
-2 Unrest
+2 Monarch Diplomatic Skill
-33% Promote Culture Cost

Legislative Sejm
Available for nation with Elective Monarchy
+1 Monarch Admin Power

Integrated Sejmiks
Available for nation with Elective Monarchy
-5 Years of Nationalism

Stratocratic Administration
Republican version of Prussian Monarchy
-0.02 Monthly war Exhaustion
+0.05 Monthly militarized Society
-0.075 Monthly Autonomy change
-0.5 Republican Tradition
-10 Max Absolutism
Generals become Rulers

A better variant of Nepotism for Italians.
+5% Tax Modifier
-30 Max Absolutism

Protectorate Parliament
Enables Parliament Mehcanic
-0.05 Monthly Autonomy Change
+5% Land Morale
-20 Max Absolutism
-0.5 Republican Tradition

Military Dictatorship
-0.075 Monthly Autonomy Change
+10% Land Morale
-10 Max Absolutism
Generals become Rulers

Board of Admirals
Need full naval ideas and is not a pirate
+1 Leader Naval Fire
-0.5 Republican Tradition
Admirals Become Rulers

Imperial Diplomacy
Available for Free Cities
+2 Diplomatic Reputation
+1 Diplomatic Upkeep
Will make the Emperor like you move

Municipal Self-Defense
Available for Free Cities
+25% Land Forcelimit
+5000 Manpower



For Revolutionary Nations
+0.1 Girondists Influence
+2 Accepted Cultures

For Revolutionary Nations
+0.1 Jacobins Influence
+0.25 Republican Tradition


For Revolutionary Nations
+0.1 Imperial Influence
-20% Culture Conversion Cost
-25% Harsh Treatment Cost

Legislative Assembly
For Revolutionary Nations
+1.5 Yearly Revolutionary Zeal

National Constituent

For Revolutionary Nations
+15% Improve Relations
+1 Diplomatic Upkeep

The Feuillant System
For Revolutionary Nations
-10% Stability Cost
-0.1 Republican Tradition

The Two-Chamber System
For Revolutionary Nations
+1 Free Policy
+0.15 Republican Tradition

Absolute Power of the President
For Revolutionary Nations
-5% All Power Costs
+1 Election Cycle

A Revolutionary Council
For Revolutionary Nations
+10 Max Revolutionary Zeal
-1 Election Cycle

Revolutionary Principle
For Revolutionary Nations
+0.1 Girondists Influence
+10% Land Morale
+15% Manpower

Equality Principle

For Revolutionary Nations
+0.1 Jacobins Influence
+2 Tolerance of Heretic
+2 Tolerance of Heaten

Imperial Principle
For Revolutionary Nations
+0.1 Imperial Influence
-10% AE Impact
-10% Province Warscore Cost

Equal Electorate
For Revolutionary Nations
-2 Unrest
+10% Tax Modifier
+33% Female Advisor Chance
+0.1 Jacobins Influence

Three Social Classes
For Revolutionary Nations
+10% Administrative Efficiency
+0.1 Girondists Influence

Military Electorate
For Revolutionary Nations
+0.5 Army Tradition
+1 Land Leader Fire
+0.1 Imperial Influence

President For Life
For Revolutionary Nations
-0.5 Republican Tradition
+1 Monarch Admin Skill
+1 Monarch Military Skill

Government For People
For Revolutionary Nations
+20 Max Revolutionary Zeal
Become Rev. Empire
Does what it says. Needs Imperials to have high influence


Mission to Civilize

+35% native assimilation chance
-50% native uprising chance

Mission on the High Seas
+20% sailors modifier
+25% naval forcelimit
+33% capture ship chance

Mercantile Tithe
+5% global trade power
+10% burghers influence
+5% burghers loyalty

Divine Nobility
+1 yearly army tradition
+10% nobility influence
+5% nobility loyalty
Monastic Breweries

Catholic exclusive
+75% production of grain
+50% production of wine

Integration of the Sohei
Japanese/Eastern exclusive
+5% discipline
+10% infantry combat ability
+10% mercenary manpower

Embrace Conciliarism
Papal State exclusive
-50% cost to appoint Cardinals
Partial Secularisation
-10% idea cost
+5% institution spread

Clerical Commission
Theocracies only
-1 unrest
+1 diplomatic relations

Divine Guidance
Theocracies only
+20 max absolutism

Theocratic Democracy
Theocracies only
-1 unrest
Enables parliament (requires Common Sense)

Regionally Elected Commanders
Monastic Orders only
-1 unrest
Enables parliament (requires Common Sense)
Removes Tier-1 restriction

Open Public Elections
Monastic Orders only
-10% stability cost
+20 max absolutism
Enables Theocrats vs Militarists mechanics (requires Res Publica)
Removes Tier-1 restriction

A Dynastic Order
Monastic Orders only
+0.1 yearly devotion
+1 land leader fire
-20% harsh treatment cost
Generals become rulers on monarch death
Enables royal marriages
Removes Tier-1 restriction

Lords of the Sea
Monastic Orders only
+0.1 yearly devotion
+15% naval morale
+1 naval leader fire
Admirals become rulers on monarch death
Removes Tier-1 restriction

Church and State
+1 free policy
Soul and Body
+2 accepted cultures
God and Man
+1 missionaries
+1% missionary strength

Organising Our Faith
Pagan only
+1 yearly absolutism
+0.1 yearly devotion
One State Under God
Non Pagan Only
-30% warscore cost vs other religions

The Global Crusade

-40% enforce religion cost
Enables Global Crusade CB; allowing force conversion on Heathen countries
Using the “Release Nation” peace option will release a country following your religion

The Many Fingers of God
+2 tolerance of Heathens
+2 tolerance of Heretics

Priestly Autonomy
Pagans Only
+250 governing capacity

Proclaim Religious Head
Pagans Only
-20% warscore cost vs other religions
+1 diplomatic reputation

All Under Tengri (Tengri exclusive)
+15% cavalry combat ability
+25 cavalry-to-infantry ratio

Barbaric Despoilers
Available to Steppe Hordes or nation with Great Mongol State Reform
+33% Raze Power GainUnified Horde Identity
Available to Steppe Hordes or nation with Great Mongol State Reform
+2 Horde Unity

Black Army Reform

Available for Hungary
-15% Mercenary Maintenance
+2.5% Mercenary Discipline
-10% Nobles Loyalty

Crusader State
CB On Religious Enemies
+15% Manpower Recovery Speed

United Cantons
-150 Governing Capacity
+1 Free Policy
+50% Mercenary Manpower
-30 Max Absolutism

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