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Monday, February 24, 2014

Fun and Balance minimod for EU4 1.5.0

Warm Fuzzy Furry Thoughts ...... by recubejim from flickr (CC-SA)
Here's updated version of my minimod for EU4 1.3.2, now with a few more balancing features.

For the impatient, here's download link. Now all the explanations.

Less Bullshit

I have very little tolerance for bullshit and AI cheating so:
  • no Burgundy inheritance event
  • no naval attrition due to time spent at sea (what you'd normally get at diplo tech 22) -  AI has 0% naval attrition anywhere, which is the cheatiest of all its cheats and gets on my nerves. You'll still get 1% out of supply range and 6% at open sea - there's not that much abuse potential here (even though AI abuses its lack of attrition all the time), and it will save you a lot of time in micromanaging blockades on the other end of Mediterranean sea.


Huge number of rebalancing changes here. They make non-gamey expansion slightly easier, so some people will like that, others won't. Super-gamey expansion is not affected much.
  • No coalitions due to outraged attitude, leaving just coalitions by special events and missions. It's hard to imagine but AE in 1.5 is even worse than in 1.3.2 (reconquest of your cores now gives AE, WTF?), so it's totally hopeless and our only choice is to disable this completely. Hopefully 1.6 will balance it to the point where we can reenable them.
  • Overextension events scaled down a bit at 101%-200% OE, but you'll get more of them over 400% OE. This doesn't make OE much less painful on average, just smooths this extreme 101% discontinuity, and not even that much.
  • Vassals will buy provinces from you just like in 1.3.2. OE limit is set to 50% after-buying just like for other AI. It was 25% before-buying in 1.3.2 which amounts to approximately the same.
  • Coring time does not depend on your size.

Correction for extreme nerfs

Some game features got inexplicably nerfed to the ground:
  • Republics get a choice of 3 random rulers with minimum of 1/1/4 etc. not fixed at 1/1/4. Keeping the same ruler doesn't give any bonuses, but doesn't lose republican tradition. Basically like in EU3. This makes republican rulers slightly better, and significantly more consistent than kings (can't have 0 or 6 in any skill). Republics suffer from so many downsides due to lack of royal marriages, lack of PUs, it's completely ridiculous that they should suffer from 3 points on average worse rulers than monarchs on top of that.
  • Steppe Horde bonuses increased to +100% manpower, +100% land force limit, -50% land maintenance. A bunch of tests show that they're still far weaker than in EU3, and their civilized neighbours don't have much to worry about - they'll mostly fight each other and rebels (who normally destroyed all hordes by reducing their manpower to 0). It sounds like much, but I tested far higher numbers in observer mode, and even then hordes weren't much of a threat. I miss EU3 here.
  • Cleansing of heresy gives you 25% cost for forced conversion, so you can convert any country - but you don't get any discount whatsoever on demanding provinces. Use that for cleansing heresies, not as an excuse to expand. Hopefully with this reformation in Europe will get a lot more interesting. There were many exploits with this in EU3, so there could still be some here, but that's no reason to kill the feature completely.
  • Imperial Ban now costs only 10% AE as it should so emperor has sensible way to kick Venice and Burgundy from imperial lands (even when these lands have no other cores). It still doesn't give cores like it did in EU3, just claims. That nerf was just ridiculous, the CB affects less than 10 provinces in the whole game and is extremely narrow, and emperor should be able to do take imperial lands back.

Rebalancing minor features

And here's a bunch of changes meant to make the game more interesting without affecting the balance too much.
  • Can't reduce War Exhaustion while at war, period. It's supposed to be War Exhaustion, not damage to diplo point pool. I'm tempted to disable this completely, but for now you can reduce it if you're at peace. This has far reaching implications since a lot of events trigger based on WE like in EU3, but EU3 had real WE, and vanilla EU4 just doesn't have any ever.
  • Protectorates disabled due to all the bugs they have, and because they're such a bad idea anyway.
  • Culture conversion was ridiculously overpriced at 25/basetax. Even at much lowered 10/basetax it's probably still overpriced.
  • Accepted cultures follow single 10% threshold instead of 20% to accept 10% to unaccept thresholds, so it's much easier to predict which cultures will be accepted regardless of order of expansion.
  • Non-accepted cultures now get +5 RR instead of puny +2 RR. Now that should be significant pain in the butt for bigger empires, since they'll have ton of non-accepted cultures. Does not affect same culture group.
  • Rebel support gives up to +6 RR instead of + 3 RR. Remember, AI gets cheaty revolt risk reductions, so it's still probably not as good as you think, except against you.
  • +2 diplomatic upkeep, so you can have some real diplomacy without having free magic upkeep from your special nation (France, Austria etc.), or without rushing to diplo ideas as first group.
  • Buildings level 1-4 don't get destroyed on ownership change.
  • Can store 50% more monarch points to reduce micromanaging around ahead of time penalty.
  • Cores and claims expire 2x slower. Now that core expiration bugs are hopefully fixed, this isn't necessary, but all events that give only claims are useless enough as is, this will make them slightly less useless.

Ideas for the future

There's a bunch of things I considered but didn't add this time:
  • more OE rebalancing so OE is slowly worse as it grows, not everything is perfect at 100% OE, then instant rebels everywhere at 101%, and these events just need to be toned down a bit
  • early game manpower is really painfully low, but it's not obvious how to rebalance it without making it excessive mid/late game
  • maybe restoring geographically limited coalitions for truly excessive aggression (not just sensible levels of expansion), with some sensible ways to deal with them; unfortunately other than outright disabling them modders aren't given much control over them
  • do colonial nations work well? they could be disabled if they don't, and protectorates sure don't
  • crusades and excommunications are nearly useless now, they could use some improvement
  • reformation is very weak if player doesn't support it, could be made stronger and less predictable
  • pirates are just pointless annoyance, unfortunately I don't see any way to turn them off
  • diplomat travel time could be faster, many negotiations require multiple round trips to get everything you want done, and that requires huge amount of waiting
  • moving capital to another continent really should be possible if anyone really wants to do so
  • monarch points are really unbalanced, some tweaks could make it better
Anyway, enjoy the mod: Download.

EDIT: Original version did not correctly disable protectorates, updated version uploaded and links above point to fixed version now.

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