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Sunday, September 07, 2014

Fun and Balance mod for EU4 Extended Timeline

Anabel Leocádia Moreira Pinheiro by Márcio Vinícius Pinheiro from flickr (CC-NC-ND)
The most common request I'm getting for Fun and Balance mod is using it with other mods.

Unfortunately EU4 does not make it easy to run multiple major mods together (to be fair, pretty much no game does, good support for a single mod at a time is already pretty good).

This could always be achieved with manually merging files, and some people did just that, but that's fairly tedious, especially to update it every single time new version comes out. Even for vanilla Fun and Balance it was a bit of a chore to update it for every EU4 hotfix.

Fortunately I already wrote parser for Paradox mod file format, and one thing led to another and Fun and Balance is now a set of transformation scripts I can apply to any mod I want with little effort.

This isn't completely trivial, since some things that make sense in vanilla don't make sense in mods, but progress from applying hundreds of edits with text editors (and hoping I made no typos on the way) to just selecting which mod I want as base, and which features I want to include with a script like this is an amazing improvement.

So the first release - Fun and Balance for EU4 1.7.3 and Extended Timeline v0.10 (here's direct download in case Steam Workshop doesn't work, like on OSX).

Here's Fun and Balance download.

Included features

The following changes from Fun and Balance mod for vanilla are also included in version for Extended Timeline:
  • no truce scaling
  • diplo annex cost 15/bt to 1/bt
  • max active policies 5 to 10
  • policy cost 0
  • rebel support gives +6RR
  • no westernization slowdown due to income
  • accepted culture gain/loss threshold both at 10%
  • monarch point pool up to 15000
  • building mp cost 5 (in mod this is modified by era)
  • moving trade port cost reduced to 100dip
  • culture change reduced 40->15 (instead of vanilla 25->10 reduction - it makes sense for this to be higher due to longer timelines, but baseline cost was crazy high already)
  • double core/claim expiration time
  • no protectorates
  • vassals can fabricate claims
  • vassals will buy provinces up to 50% OE
  • no vassalization base tax cap (just regular quadratic penalty)
  • no WE reduction at war
  • double diplo relations limit
  • positive stability gives 0.7% missionary strength (I'm not totally sure this is needed in either the mod or vanilla these days, it made a lot more sense a few patches ago)
  • revolt risk due to non-accepted culture +4RR
  • revolt risk due to lack of religious unity up to +5RR scaled
  • EU3 style elections - 3 random candidates, 30% republican tradition cost for reelection, no skill gain from reelections
  • buildings not destroyed on ownership change
  • return subject cores CB
  • peasant war conditions made more reasonable
  • faster AE decay
  • annexed vassal opinion capped at -100
  • cleansing of heresy CB gives 25% forced conversion cost instead of discount on conquests
  • imperial ban CB at 10% AE for banned provinces
  • improve relations mission gives meaningful reward
  • no naval attrition
  • reduced religious center penalty to conversions from -5% to -2%
  • HRE member religion change affects IA
  • bad events due to high OE scale smoothly with OE instead of having sharp 101% OE cliff
  • no Burgundy inheritance
  • Burgundy capital in HRE
The following are excluded:
  • always display policies if at least one (mod uses different policy system)
  • form Byzantium decision condition fixes so Ottomans and HRE can do it, extra reformable countries (this would need redoing due to extended history)
  • partial westernization (mod uses different tech groups)
  • extra religious conversions, religious conversion rebalance, and pagan coring modifiers (mod has very different religions)
  • holy site system (this could totally work, I'd just need to go through all of mod's religions and select good holy sites for them)
  • advisor cost increase slowdown (already rebalanced by mod to support playing up to 9999)

Technical notes

Because of the way EU4 loads mods alphabetically, mod name " Fun and Balance for Extended Timeline" starts with a space so it can override files in "Extended Timeline" mod.

Automated build process throws away all comments and formatting in affected files (except defines.lua where it keeps them). I want to make it smarter, so it only does that in changed portions of a file instead of entire file, but that's future work.

Building Fun and Balance versions for other mods - or customizing version of the mod for your experience - is now relatively straightforward - especially if you know a little Ruby.

Build system is not Fun and Balance specific in any way - it could easily be used for other mods, it could probably even be used with other Clausewitz engine games with minor modifications.

If there's any other mod you want to use with Fun and Balance, but you don't know how to use build system, feel free to ask me and I'll take a look.

I did something similar before with Concentrated Vanilla mod for Medieval 2 Total War, but that was messy pile of regexp hacks instead of the much cleaner parser-based approach I'm using here.

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