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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Fun and Balance minimod for EU4 1.3.2

I just finished a nearly full campaign, and while it was enjoyable the game had so many bugs, balance issues, and random fun stoppers I feel obligated to just fix them and release a minimod for everyone to enjoy.

It's an extension of my previous minimod which just disabled coalitions as particularly annoying and buggy.

First - yes, it's for 1.3.2. 1.4 patch is basically an open beta for 1.5, so I wouldn't really recommend playing it unless you're really impatient for new features. I'm sure they'll fix a lot of them for the next patch. It's the same story with every major patch for any of Paradox games, so don't act surprised.

Here's download link.

What the mod does

Since EU4 changes from patch to patch so much I decided to do a small number of high impact changes rather than tweaking a lot of small numbers.

Less railroading:
  • No Burgundy inheritance event. Seriously, this was awful idea, and it will always be an awful idea. Other railroading events are bad, but this goes far beyond just bad. In case you haven't heard it yet - the event kills the king, kills the heir, then popup shows up with "oops, king died without an heir, what a shame, I guess France and Austria get half of Burgundy each for free now"
Workarounds for major bugs:
  • No coalitions. Between AE scaling, outright AE bugs, and lack of separate peace they're simply not fun in any way. I wish there was a less drastic way to fix them, but there isn't.
  • No core expiration. There are so many bugs related to this, it's best to just disable it completely. It also improves gameplay late game.
CB fixes:
  • I get it why they nerfed forced conversion since they were so abusable in EU3, but they nerfed it to the point where it's worthless. Peace cost of conversion now 25% of annex cost if you have cleansing of heresy CB, so you can finally have some proper religious wars in Europe. And you no longer get lower AE for taking provinces with this CB - it's really meant for forcing conversions, not as excuse to grab territory. (I tried modding it so that conversion is always 50% of annex cost, but it seems that game converts PEACE_COST_CONVERSION to integer so 0.5 is rounded to 0). It's probably still totally abusable, but I prefer abusable mechanic to not having religious wars at all. By the way unlike in EU3 force converted countries can happily flip back to their old religion next week even without rebels forcing them to.
  • Imperial ban CB down to only 10% AE on imperial provinces. It was completely ridiculous that you'd get full AE and then only a claim on a province, which would be unsellable since it's in HRE so you'd need to core it the hard way (since most of provinces which you can ban don't have any releasable cores like Venice, or lose them very fast like Burgundy). It's still way worse than in EU3 since you don't get a core, and not having a core hurts more.
  • +1 diplomatic relationship for everyone. The limit was low that no matter what gameplay you wanted it forced you to go for diplomatic ideas very early. I'm not sure if +1 is enough, but it's a start. Making vassals and/or royal marriages upkeep-free might be interesting (except that's not moddable as far as I know).
  • Culture conversion cost lowered from 25/bt to 10/bt. Culture conversion either needs to be drastically cheaper, or to have penalties for non-accepted cultures much higher, since in vanilla it's completely worthless regardless of circumstances. I think it might still be too expensive even after the cut.
  • Buildings no longer destroyed on conquest (except unique and level 5-6 buildings). It was either that or making them cost no monarch points. Maybe we should just do both, especially if we can come up with some dump for MIL points?
  • No war exhaustion reduction while at war (cost x100). It was really silly that instead of causing war exhaustion you were only causing the country to lose some monarch points, so WE never actually mattered during the war (it only caused long term tech lag). If you want to reduce war exhaustion, peace out first.
  • No extra time to core per province owned. If you can pay the price, you can core whatever you want.
  • Foreign support for rebels can increase RR from +3 to +6. It was far too weak. I'm not even going to talk about bugs where patriots want to secede back to the country they're rebelling from and such nonsense, which made already weak option even weaker.
  • Max power stored increased to 1500. Very often I waited for January 1st to have no or lower ahead of time penalty, but then I missed it since I was busy with other things and a lot of points got wasted over 999 limit. I doubt it will affect game balance much.

What the mod does not

There's a long list of things the mod might be doing, but isn't right now, including:
  • Manpower - It's annoyingly limited early game and extremely plentiful late game. I'm not sure how to balance that out by modding.
  • Pirates - they're just minor annoyances for no game value, but I guess I can live with that.
  • Naval attrition - it applies only to players not AI, it requires really painful amount of micromanagement for blockades, and for some crazy reason your supply range doesn't even count ports of your vassals or where you have ship basing rights. There are probably some balanced ways to deal with it, and it's not game breaking the way coring and AE bugs are, so I'll let it be for now.
  • Colonies and Economy - DLC for that is in open beta (also known as 1.4 patch), so you can just wait for it.
  • Other railroading events and bonuses - it would be nice to replace other events like Iberian wedding, Poland-Lithuania union with something more generic, which can trigger for most countries in certain circumstances rather than just for one specific country early game. And some bonuses countries get, especially Muscovy, are pretty ridiculous and would use some nerfing. Anyway, that would take a lot of fine balancing, and with EU4 being a moving target it is, there's not really time for it, so I only killed the most awful of them all.
Most of these changes - and a few more - will probably be just as necessary for 1.5.


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