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Europa Universalis IV

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by MoreEpicThanYou, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    What immersion?
     
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  2. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    You being snide? Really no reason to, Johanna. It's actually quite weird for me to read such a post from you.

    In opposition to games like Civ, EU has had more or less a somewhat clear threat of countries imploding when strained long enough. While using an abstracted economy, its interface, time flow, political mechanics, all that has a base in trying to approach its era in some semblance of simulation. Is it a good one? No, but it's the best we have. Civ plays completely different due to its time span lasting thousands of years longer than EU4, meaning that the distance from the individual pieces to the whole picture is much more abstracted. The thing is, the behavior of the AI and its expansion pace used to match the geopolitics of the time period, with ebb and flow and countries sometimes imploding. With the latest AI updates, the game has started making completely absurd peace deals that just don't fit the time period.

    Now, did the player after a certain level of play manage to do things that were completely impossible? Yes. But instead of fixing this somehow they doubled down on it and ruined the flow of the game. There were some checks that made massive empires feel real; at least more real than Paradox's competition.

    Now there's really no reason to play EU4 anymore over, well, Civilization.

    I don't want to play RISK. I want to play EU. And it's going in the wrong direction.
     
  3. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I haven't noticed a significant difference yet. I should note this is my first 1.24 game (or at least, first that I've played more than 25 years... I imploded as Taungu and ran into a wall of Ming as Jiangzhou). The last one was on 1.20 as France, and in that one I was the one who was expanding more than what was realistic.

    What I have seen is far better than EU3, where Austria and Bohemia were infamous for expanding like crazy, without consolidating their gains. And, sure, expansion is easier than in 1.5.1, when the aggressive expansion limit was 30, it was really easy to hit that, and coalitions were a dime a dozen, but on the whole I feel the limits to expansion in this game seem right. It's not like the 1.6 patch when they completely overcorrected for 1.5 and it was almost impossible to trigger a coalition. And manpower and money are still quite real limits. I have bankruptcy notifications enabled, and quite a few nations have gone broke in this game, including Portugal, Crimea, and Muscovy (and I didn't have any involvement in the Portuguese or Crimean cases). There may have been slightly more consolidation in the HRE and Italy than usual this game, but it hasn't raised alarm bells, as the Emperor is weak and Naples has done a very good job with diplomacy, almost always having clear advantages when at war. I do fear the French-Castilian PU, but that's due to good fortune on France's part.

    As for my game, the coalition war is over, and victory has been achieved! I played moderately defensively, keeping all my troops nearby, mostly in around southern Denmark, with occasional forays into northern Germany. My forts in Lubeck, Hamburg, and Schleswig were never taken, though Stade was. Concentration of force allowed me to win most battles - except when Bohemia and a couple of their smaller allies similarly combined force - and gradually whittle down their forces, with Hesse and Mecklenburg doing a good job of supporting my troops despite partial occupation of their lands. The Ottomans kept them distracted by invading Salzburg (who has most of Bavaria) with large numbers, Novgorod reinforced my main lines, and Lithuania was kind of pitiful and distracted by rebels, but didn't majorly mess anything up. And somehow, Holland did not get crushed - I guess my enemies preferred to invade my lands to theirs. They occupied Utrecht, and I eventually linked up with them by occupying Friesland itself. In the end, I took a bit of gold and gave Utrecht to Holland in the peace deal.

    In the meantime, Muscovy has collapsed, perhaps Permanently, and a Cossack horde has formed in southern Russia as well. Aggravatingly, though, Nogai forced Muscovy to give 8 provinces back to Novgorod (which had been occupied since the 1440s), but Novgorod subsequently gave half of them back to Muscovy :mad:. At around the same time, they released Estonia and Livonia as vassals, and sold two arctic provinces to me. I eventually realized this was to avoid Merchant Republic penalties for having more than 20 provinces. It throws a monkey wrench in my hopes for them eventually forming a friendly Mother Russia to my east, though. I still plan to stick with my longest and most trustworthy ally, but am not sure what it bodes for the east.
     
  4. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    Oh, I don't want to return to EU3. That was absurd.

    It's just that with the AI forcing so aggressive peace treaties, there's little to counter rapid expansion all over the world, stuff like a super Ming is to be expected instead of it breaking down, France usually conquers Spain, all that jazz. Infact, I very much welcome increased aggression and greed for the AI. I just want to see them imploding afterwards.That would be somewhat remniscent of a lot of historical map changes.
     
  5. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

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    I figured out I think over a year ago that it's a bad game that nobody should play
     
  6. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Even accounting for how politicised Steam reviews can get if TehGamerZ are angered, 23,000 people disagree with you.
     
  7. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    But you don't like anything, so it doesn't really count. :p

    I want to stress: the new AI was very welcome, because before it was useless and the game was just optimization after you became big enough, usually about 1600 AD.

    (EDIT: Also, as an inserted preface, I'd like to stress that I write these things because EU4 is my bloody waifu. I want to enjoy it again. I want it to feel more real, even if it was only ever meagrely so.)

    But doing so, they made the game feel like a board game. Moreso, that is. It's more challenging by far now, which makes people upvote it, because it used to be too easy, even on hard. But the setting seems more like a skin pack than ever... Mind you that a lot of the people that upvote the changes are heavily enfranchised players (as per the Paradox player base is) that, for example, routinely break peace treaties to trigger certain disasters they want to happen, so that they can optimize their expansion during a specific part of the game's timeline. Is this what the game is designed for? Because that's what Paradox has attempted to balance for. Well, that and multiplayer, where intelligent players usually actively counter when something in their region goes too far.

    Because, again, in my last couple of games, France either took over Spain or Spain took over France due to this AI. With no threat of stability problems or coalitions, because that's not how Paradox has balanced it. This is completely absurd to see so often.

    Of course, I might be unlucky.

    Anyways, I don't care about these upvotes, because the recent balances has made the game different by fixing the difficulty without intervening in the core issues; a game I have invested probablytwo thousand kr into partially because I want to support the game and get it further updated and detailed - so I can play the closest thing to a simulation of that time period available on the market. But with the update, AI expansion is completely insane all over Earth, or at least it has been in my own recent games, and I might just be unlucky. But don't delegitimize my investment into this franchise, a franchise where the competition/alternatives are nil. Sure, I can revert to an earlier version, but then I a) have wasted a massive amount of money, and b) I don't get to appreciate the vast amounts of future content, which I have supported the development for.

    The thing is, I believe a large part of the player based doesn't care about immersion. Not really... Kind of not really. They care about the game because the coating used to express some form of authenticity. The thing is, the enfranchised players have become so because with the learning curve of Paradox titles. Initially, when you first play vanilla, it actually feels like a somewhat legitimate representation of the period, even with the "mana", so the flavor actually matters. They keep playing, even after getting absurdly good, because it's immensely gratifying to not longer suck (as when you sucked, you matched the AI's slow expansion, ebb and flow, regularly losing provinces, all that) and start doing absurd things in a game that your brain has already recognized as a simulation-y game. It doesn't make sense geopolitically, but within the game mechanics, which your brain recognize take into consideration a lot of social factors, stability, prestige, aristocratic meddling, masterfully planning a war top down, at least superficially enough for it to differ from Civilization. For a lot of players, this still holds true with the recent balances. But it doesn't work for me. There is suddenly a disconnect between what felt as mastering the politics of an intricate system to playing arcade.

    Yes, yes, I might just be unlucky, I know that. But I didn't start ranting about these things before France took Spain, well, for the Nth time in a row. I didn't want to play through and see if there were repercussions, because there weren't the other times. EU4's games are incredibly long, and now I'm wasting time on it.

    Can you promise me I'm just unlucky? Should I sink my sparse free hours outside my work into another game, will it not become nonsense? If so, I'll shut up and only return if the game is still insane. I type all these things out of bitter love, after all...

    Also, how am I supposed to introduce my newbie friends to this? Will they feel enfranchised beyond the introvert puzzle solving that the game indeed still masters? Will they care about the setting?

    Anyways, and this is actually quite damning; there are a few solutions:

    - Balance it in such a way that the AI will succesfully punish stuff like Superfrance (I can and will do it myself, but you know, immersion), again, if I'm just not unlucky (although it's just one example; I consistently saw plenty other stupid things go unstopped)
    - Return the AI Aggressiveness slider, which used to be a component in EU.
    - Perhaps add some slider that increases the world's revolt risk, make separatists more of an issue (perhaps even make them cheaper to buy than currently balanced, and have the AI do that).
    - I could find a mod. Infact, I actually found one. It adds a "crumbling" feature where nations tend to collapse as they get larger, and only gain more "crumble" over very slow periods of time. The issue is that, well, the game mostly just reverts into itself pre-AI changes, player-lead absurdity included, with the added "feature" that Ming, Spain, Ottomans always collapse. :( And the AI became awful at colonizing because it's afraid to do so when crumbling. Seriously, I'll shut up if this mod gets better. I can live with taking a user-made solution. I only write all these things because I want to enjoy the game again.

    (Also yes I know there's some irony in that Spain and Ottomans naturally "collapsed" during our history in a sense, but I want some variation for EU. Ebb and flow. There's a reason you can fabricate claims.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  8. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    I'm a fan of Third Odyssey, where the Byzantines up-sticks and sail to the New World. Then you don't need to worry about Europe for 100 years or so and Europe is coded to be bad at colonising. :)
     
  9. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    That's absolutely hilarious. Perhaps I should just play with strange mods for a while. Embrace the arcadey feel with the (honestly quite good) administrative mechanics of the base game.
     
  10. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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  11. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I can't promise you aren't just unlucky, not having played a game where I wasn't France or France didn't PU Spain since... 1.17? 1.15? Something like that. But I can see the point about maybe it should be a little easier to collapse. One particular change I didn't like was the "Increase Autonomy" introduced in 1.12, where of course the primary use is to reduce revolt risk after annexing a province. And the AI uses it; humans use it. But unless you have other serious problems - negative stability, high war exhaustion, or low legitimacy - it allows you to essentially bypass revolts after annexation, and in turn makes it easy to keep provinces, and by saving you manpower, makes it less likely you will be worn down by post-conquest revolts and thus attacked by another country - or be forced to allow a nation to break free, whether the newly conquered one or another that breaks free later. All you lose in exchange is a bit of revenue that you didn't have before the war anyway.

    Initially I resisted using it, although I've gradually grown used to it now. Sometimes it isn't even the manpower or risk, just not having the hassle of rebels popping up. But that does make a country more resilient.

    Similarly, spending diplo points to reduce war exhaustion has always seemed gamey to me, at least with its all-at-once reduction. I still almost never use that, and when I have it has been when it is a real uphill struggle as a small country, like in my ill-fated Taungu game. I'd be more okay with, say, an option to spend 1 diplo point per month to reduce war exhaustion by 0.02 per month (and thus, to have a more realistic gradual effect, by expending government effort on shoring up support for the war) Another complaint about war exhaustion is how it goes to zero if you lose a war (or at least, if an AI loses a war). It eliminates the admittedly-also-gamey EU3 exploit of imploding a country by driving their war exhaustion up and then white peacing (you can still sort-of-implode them through invasion, but you have to plan to leave some rebel stacks to have much luck), but it also doesn't stand up to reason that war exhaustion should fall so quickly. Have Revanchism to counteract it somewhat, sure, but it shouldn't go away all at once, and makes countries more stable, even if by design.

    Finally, the -100 revolt modifier for 10 years after a revolt is perhaps a bit overpowered. Yes, a breather is kind of nice, and suppressing a revolt should discourage future ones for awhile. It was annoying in EU3 when you'd defeat a revolt, move your troops, and have a revolt in the same place 2 months later. But -100 for 10 years is a big reduction and again insurance against implosion. I would be interested in it being a reduction that starts high, but diminishes over time, and is percentage-based, not absolute. So reduce any positive revolt risk by 100% in the first year after a revolt, 90% in the second year, 80% in the third year, etc. until it's back to baseline. It would still give you a breather, but would also add a bit more urgency when it comes to getting your house back in order.

    So I suppose I agree that it is perhaps a bit too difficult to implode, and has become at least a little more difficult over time since EU4 was released.
     
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  12. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    You don't happen to be able to code a mod with your solutions or know a mod that does so?

    I'd do all of it but, well, I suck at modding and don't have the time.

    Or maybe I do. I don't know how easy it would be.

    I really like all of what you're suggesting. It honestly sounds awesome. It won't even punish newer players, in a sense, because they rarely use those mechanics. I myself feel it's way too easy to just overextend (not in the literal game term) into oblivion as a human player. I think you can take too much punishment and recover easily.
    At least the AI is somewhat capable at dogpiling, at least more than before, but them getting the stable territory instead of me isn't really the solution...

    If anything it's pleasant to hear I've been unlucky. Of course, Spanish France/French Spain was just one example of the mega blobbing that's been going on, but... well... Maybe I should give it another try...

    I do think one should add the mechanics, however.
     
  13. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I may have the technical abilities, but I've never looked into modding Paradox games so I can't say for sure. And time is definitely a limiting factor. Realistically, the two pools of time I could draw it from are other side projects, or what I currently spend on playing EU4.

    Not sure if there's a mod like that already. While I'll occasionally view or even try out mods I see from the Steam library page, my knowledge of EU4 mods is a shadow of my knowledge of Civ4/3 mods.

    All that said I'm still enjoying my Swedish game, even if my HRE gambit failed spectacularly. I managed to have 4 of the 7 electors voting for me, thanks to being Catholic and thus eligible, and almost the entire HRE being Protestant or Reformed. Bohemia was still Emperor, but looked likely to lose the next election. So I sided with the Catholic League during the war, which was a pretty smooth victory. What I didn't realize was that when the Catholic League won the war, all electors would have to be Catholic as well, and none of the 4 who were voting for me were Catholic. Thus Bohemia was left with both remaining electors, and has only appointed electors who are favorable to them. I have good relations with exactly one Catholic nation in the HRE (out of about 7 overall), and thus will not be becoming Emperor anytime soon.

    Perhaps I should have sided with the Protestant League, as my 50,000 troops may have tipped the balance. But it wouldn't have necessarily been better; if Austria had gotten the Emperorship back, I'd have even stronger alliances to fight when expanding into the HRE than I do with Bohemia. And at least Bohemia was kind enough to give me a Pommeranian province in the war, despite our being rivals.

    It's also interesting playing a more balance-of-power game, and having a random New World. The trade routes didn't line up favorably for Sweden, with no equivalent of St. Lawrence Seaway to North Sea, but I do like the exploration aspect, and the natives beating up on Castile's colonies has been an interesting twist, and one that helped persuade me to settle in an area without any native kingdoms.

    Map of Europe:

    Spoiler :


    Allies are Novgorod, Lithuania, Ottomans, Hesse, Mecklenburg, and Holland. Rivals are Poland, Bohemia, and Great Britain. Enemy (but not rival) is France, who controls Castile. They were my ally until they decided to rival me :(. Thankfully the Ottomans were happy to re-align after the League War.

    Also could get an alliance with the Golden Horde. They've been reinventing themselves the past couple decades, and are allied with Nogai as well. I would do it, except that I need more diplomatic relations slots.

    Novgorod is lucky that the north remembers, in this case who our friends were when we needed them most to gain independence. And that we appreciate Finland being safe. They are allied with our Polish rivals, and in a contest with our Lithuanian allies over who can hate the other more (they'd both be at -300 or worse if it were possible to go below -200). Their strategy is questionable as well; they annexed Pskov in 1585, and started 1590 by re-releasing them as a vassal. But just as they've always been willing to help us, we've fought by their side when they've found themselves fighting Muscovy.

    Hungary is unlucky. Poland and the Ottomans declared separate wars on them about a decade ago and took land, and Poland got even more land in the League War. The only bright spot is that the Rector of Ragusa is a diplomat.

    Qara Qoyunlu has done unusually well, which I credit to having never fought the Ottomans. And to the east, off the map, Transoxania currently dominates Central Asia, despite having recently lost a war.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  14. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    That Neapolitan invasion of Africa looks interesting
     
  15. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    Yeah, they have Punic War ambitions. They managed to get the rebel situation under control, and Sardinia has taken the city of Tunis, as of 1600. No other big changes; most countries needed some time to recover after the League War.
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Defining immersion as a pseudo-historical self-inconsistent set of preferences causes the term to lose any meaning it could possibly have. And you are necessarily doing this, as the argument you present weights history differently depending on the mechanic you consider, ignoring or changing standards on whim. If we define "immersion" in that framework, it's a useless term indistinguishable from preferences.

    The game's core mechanics are concentrated on rewarding expansion the most. Making the AI game throw in the context of such a model is neither historical (no sane leader intentionally undermined his own utility curve) nor defensible in pure gameplay terms (opposition in a game should play the same game, not a different game).

    As for those of us who know a thing or two about 5000+ hours of play,

    Spoiler :
    I do not perceive this as a "simulation-y" game like you describe...in fact given the game's core mechanics I see that assertion as a farce. I don't "see intricate systems of history". I see game mechanics, and I play with how they work. I expect the AI to do the same, because those are the rules. I play the game that is, not the game I want it to be. And when I see arguments about how the game "should be", sometimes I agree and sometimes not.

    When those arguments self contradict (annoyingly often), I always disagree. Irrational logic shouldn't drive game direction.

    Halfway decent players didn't use this willy nilly even when it was implemented. Now that it lowers absolutism once you hit that era, using it or reduce war exhaustion comes with a punitive downside that makes these options situational at best.

    I'd go so far as to say that players who spammed raise autonomy in new conquests didn't/don't know what they're doing. It's situational. In my 1.19 three mountains run I actually lowered autonomy for most of the early game, and only raised it in end-game for convenience. Starting 1.20 and later, raising autonomy in the last two eras is nearly a false choice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  17. Daedwartin

    Daedwartin Emperor

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    As a rule, you use it only in a situation where you know that you will not be able to handle the rebellion the province will create without putting yourself in serious risk of being attacked by an stronger neighbor you stand a very poor chance against or even defeat the rebels period. If you by the age of absolutism can not do this, your only excuse is basically you are dealing with rebels spawned by an disaster you physically could not avoid due to RNG preventing you from getting an heir or intentionally triggered for some bonus(court and country or the english civil war for example), where it is not so much the size of the rebels, but the fact that you have to fight off a flood of rebels which can attrition you down. Even then, it is not a good idea

    That or it's the age of revolutions and you are intentionally trying to lose your capital in order to cheese into becoming a revolutionary republic, but want to control which rebels can spawn. Even than still not a good idea.
     
  18. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    I repeatingly underline that the game's simulationary qualities are mostly experienced through it being the best example of its kind. It is merely pseudo-historical, but the ebb and flow in earlier versions due to expansion-checking mechanics (compared to other 4X games) made it resemble historical geopolitical developments much more than today. The checking mechanics weren't potent enough for the player. I wanted to be kept in check, but I could live with it. I cannot live with the current situation for reasons outlined below.

    I am unsure what you think I have logical problems with here, but I might refer to the above. The problem is that few games offer the package that EU4 does. It promises an intricate pseudo-simulation of a massive historical period. Contrary to many other 4X games such as Civilization, its mechanics are defined by an inherent inbalance between starting points and real issues with collapsing as time progresses. The vast majority of its creative elements point to its historical inspiration, with many mechanics directly lifted from historical examples. As the game has been further developed, individual regions or even states have had special features or flavors given to them from its setting. You cannot ignore this component of the game, and the way they market the game, the way they design the game progression, special events, forcing the formation of the Netherlands to happen as much as possible, is all based on the historical setting the game covers, it promises a new player to experience an expansionist global period ruling a nation throughout it. When they changed from pure ducat spending to the power system, people were up in arms. It was denounced as "mana" and seen as destroying immersion by a lot of people. Of course, the reason they implemented power was to try and emulate developments that weren't measurable in cash, eg how a philosopher adds administrative power.

    Now, here's what I'm unsure about. I think you say immersion is set at a specific level. Ie there's a certain expentancy from each individual, and that I therefore have no objective preferences, and that I'm therefore being illogical. Is this it?

    If so, you're being unconstructive and honestly lack an understanding of yourself. Would you be happy with paying 200 dollars for a complicated Excel arc you're then allowed to solve? If yes, I don't know what to say, and if no, you yourself have preferences with Paradox's use of creative coating for this game. Now, you more look at it as a complex arcade game, and that's fine, but the game was perfectly acceptable to me at an earlier version. This was because that the game, in spite of having some poor checks on unreasonable expansion, still had 90% of the world - the world outside your area - keeping itself checked. Yes, this was a reasonable source of immersion. This was a version of the AI they could perfectly keep available today, between their numerous options in the game setup menu, but they didn't. If score was an issue, they could add a hefty penalty, as they already do in different difficulty settings. Let's move a little onwrads.

    And no, you're awfully mislead if you believe that "logically", if immersion if preferential, the only thing that counts as an objective argument is numbers. And that the simulated world is all about best use of numbers, also on the AI's side. Just no.

    Which plays completely different whether you're a new or an old player. With experience, you learn to manage expansion with little instability, meaning that the ebb and flow is different for a new player than for an accomplished one. As a new player, this is not what happens to your fledgling nation, and you may even collapse.

    What they did with the AI change was make the game more interesting for more experienced players, keeping no features to let it remain the same - features that were present in previous EU titles such as AI aggression, and which is present in many of their other games.

    This is not an unreasonable wish from my end and I think your phrasing of my argument isn't fair at all. You don't seem to be able to discern between different levels of immersion because to you the only argument that counts is the numbers:

    This is nonsense. You retroactively applied ingame logic to the real world. Noone pressed an Alliance button with a tic next to it. And that's not what I'm doing either. I never equated the game to real world history. I demonstrate semblance to it, and so do the game mechanics, and earlier, AI expansion had superficially geographic semblane to real world developments, now it doesn't. So instead of failing its simulation on several levels, it now fails on many, many more. So if we go by this nonsense you wrote:

    It baffles me that you can't see the difference between a lot of elements granting some form of immersion to fewer elements granting some form of immersino. This is not lack of logic, this is you that can't read.

    This I agree with, but as I outlined above, instead of fixing the immersion issues, they doubled down on making expansion too easy for everyone, making it less remniscent of the product they're marketing.

    So you've seen the Matrix and calculated how to use EUIV to play Risk. Or, well, how to do an Excel arc ingame. You've spent 5000 hours on the game and found out how to do this. Well, good for you, and good that they've improved the AI to make your game experience better. You've made it past the inexperienced look into the game, seeing the nuts and bolts behind it, and you spend your time mastering those instead of experiencing the setting. But equating your experience to everyone's is bizarre.

    My arguments do not self-contradict. It is fair for me to have a simple demand, and it is fair for me to expect a somewhat consistent product, especially when it's persistently updating as it is under the concurrent marketing they've always done.

    Like, what am I even supposed to do with your assertion that the game's simulation-y qualities are farcical? Do you believe the AI should be attempting the same thing as you? Aren't you aware of how much it goes against what Paradox is selling the game as?

    I sincerely do not hope that you're a game designer. The whole point of procuring a game is to get the dopamine flowing, getting an emotional response from the player that's intended through play. Often, a large part of this is procured through graphics and mechanics that correlate to whatever the game is simulating, and it applies to you too. Often, this component of game design means that you, as a game designer, have to realize that the customer's experience is highly "irrational", ie emotionally based. Sid Meier experienced this when testers didn't understand how a unit with 5 strength against 4 was as powerful as 25 against 20. I'm not like that, no. But you insist that I'm being self-contradicting when I ask for a basic degree of semblance from the only product on the market that tells me that's what it's all about.

    You appeal to "logic" by pointing out that the game has numbers in it and it's about working those numbers well, and that the AI should too. Well, wow, nice job, you figured out that most games have rules. You say the degree of realism is preferential. Neat. But I actually have a point about my own "threshold" of realism.

    The increased AI difficulty wasn't even for you. It was for the middling player, honestly at the level of my own skill, who was sick of winning after 1600, something that was always a problem. It was also a problem to me, as I outlined. They made it so it was more challenging from then on, which is fine in the abstract. It solved some problems for my experience while plummeting the rest of it.

    If we return to the point that you believe that my immersion was due to preference, I want to reiterate that you play the game in a coating that matters for you. And I'd add that you, as a person able to do a world conquest, is one of many subsets that Paradox markets for, their game sustained with at least a semblance of promise of looking akin to the colonial period. Every single game mechanic in the game is made around this fact. And these mechanics mean different things for different players at different levels.

    The trick about designing a good game is to design it as such that you take into consideration the players' different preferences. The more bases you cover, the more succesful you are. EU4 is already an incredibly narrow game, but it covers a large group of different people. Some people only like to play majors. Some people only like to play exotic countries. Some players like to play as their homelands. Some people like to rise from minors. Some players play the same over and over again. Some players never play the same nation once. And this is just the geographical situation of the initial game. Games also appeal to different people; some want simulation, some want an arcadey feel, some want to play a game as an Excel arc, some want instant combat and gratification. EU4 succeeds as a game because it does a certain thing very well, but it still covers a wide base of different players, even in spite of its serious case of player introduction inertia.

    Point is, my demand is perfectly legitimate. It's not illogical. It's not absurd. It matches several years of development and releases from Paradox. And solving it is simple. Make less aggression an option.

    You're awfully mislead if you believe that "logically", if immersion if preferential, the only thing that counts as an objective argument is numbers. And that the simulated world is all about best use of numbers, also on the AI's side. Now I'm going to do an assertion, and if I'm wrong you're welcome to tell me, but your way of playing the game is in the vast minority of the game's players. Most people care about the world's creative elements.

    Infact, most people probably still feel immersion from the game as it is right now, but don't have enough historical knowledge as I do.

    But I didn't treat it like that. I asked for solutions that I could personally use; an aggressiveness slider or a mod that changed the game rules into being more resembling of the real world. And as I said in the posts, either thing would please me.

    So if you just step away from it all, I want to reiterate what my own point was before and still is, something you have had no appreciation for in your weird post: I feel that the new AI is too aggressive when taking into consideration the game mechanics' inability to punish this. This can be solved with an aggressivenes slider, which can have two options, the old and the current one. This is an easy fix that would keep me playing and buying. Or players could help me with a mod - and you know what, I think I found one. But I wanted to write this post because of your insinuation that I was being unreasonable; a position I actually find incredibly toxic in this context, not for my sake, but for others.

    I want to add that I would use the old when introducing new players to the game because the current AI is way too punishing for new players.

    But hey, 5000 hours. Good for you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    25,654
    Hardly. At best you can simply prefer one arbitrary flagrant anti-history implementation over the other. Early patch coalitions were a travesty for example. They resembled Napoleon era coalitions, but blocked separate peace unlike any coalition ever. They also created magic war score shields and caused BS like "Ayuthaya and Sweden band together to help defend Ceylon" levels of lulwut.

    Aside from that, the most serious "checking mechanic" was straight up ruler stat RNG, and that's hot garbage from a historical perspective too.

    Whatever you're describing, it's not EU 4. Not in patch 1.24, and not in patch 1.5.

    Forcing NED formation is an example of the kind of flagrant ahistorical garbage railroading the game didn't need. NED "declaring independence" while being a promoted culture and held by France or an adjacent contiguous empire is junk. Claiming that is historical is factually wrong - history depends on causality. Railing an outcome without that causality is objectively not historical. Using the game's implementation of NED revolt event sequence as an example of something historical is a textbook example of self-inconsistency.

    No. I am saying that asking for historical events to happen without the historical situation that allowed for people making those choices is necessarily and objectively ahistorical. Any time someone does this, they are asking to violate history because history happened. It's self-inconsistent.

    Noting the above, the constraints of a game model's mechanics limit the degree that historical events should happen outright.

    No, any criteria you set as a source of immersion will result in anticipations inconsistent with what actually happened in the game. Feel free to show me criteria that proves that assertion wrong, if you succeed you will be the first person in hundreds.

    My position is that immersion is necessarily preferential and necessarily at the individual level. However, when someone states "I hate fruit because I like apples", by any standard usage of the English language they're objectively wrong. The "I accept ahistorical mechanics and situations because it's a game but reject actual history not happening" is identical in logical utility to the apples example.

    The problem is that immersion is variant between individual *and* the source is, as typically stated, inconsistent within the context of a single individual. It's not a credible basis to consider when designing a game when people can't even be self-consistent about what they state gives them "immersion".

    No, my position is that the real world has real world rules. Historical leaders acted according to them. The game has game world rules. Nations in the game should act according to those.

    Purported acceptable semblance threshold per earlier posts is self-inconsistent. Disliking non-historical borders while accepting flagrantly ahistorical underlying mechanics self-contradicts. It's odd to call my position "nonsense" for pointing this out.

    No making up immersion as you go. Set your criteria and see if it actually applies consistently. It won't.

    By using "immersion" as some kind of standard that should drive development, it is your argumentative position that is doing this, not mine. I'm demonstrating that not everyone's immersion is the same.

    The game markets more than just historical simulation. The ability to world-conquest exists *by design*, stated multiple times by Johan in addition to the obvious implicit intention (achievements). Using how the game markets itself is not a point in the favor of arbitrary immersion thresholds.

    There is no "point about own threshold" unless that threshold is actually defined by criteria. My assertion is that the AI should play the game it's in, not some other game. So far this has not actually been refuted.

    Making the AI play badly on purpose (it already plays badly enough without making it so intentionally) by making it play a different game *is* absurd. More reasonable might be to ask for different mechanics, but you are in effect asking for a different game at that point...different from every patch of EU 4, not just recent ones. WC has always been possible and expansion has always been optimal, even in 1.0.

    However, you have yet to give coherent reasoning for why the AI is "too aggressive", when optimal play is actually more aggressive by any reasonable standard of measuring country strength. What you are in effect stating is that you want a different game than EU 4. Perhaps a modder could do this, if one could actually define self-consistent standards to apply to mechanics in such a mod.

    This is a pretty interesting assertion. Some people have more historical knowledge and still aren't self-inconsistent. By the "historical events" standard (the one you're using as a basis for making the AI less aggressive!), some nations aren't nearly aggressive enough. Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, Mughals, Qing, Taungu, Aq Qoyunlu, Russia, Delhi and Ottomans all *routinely* fall short of their historical largest territory game to game (Ottomans and Delhi occasionally manage something comparable). Britain in AI hands accomplishes its historical conquest amounts in this period virtually never...but you're making a blanket assertion the AI is too aggressive on the basis of history! That is not self-consistent.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  20. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,132
    Location:
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    OK I do have plenty of points to walk you through, but since you've missed a core argument twice, I started this post by outlining very simply that you had to step back and read a summation. Because you consistently misread what I'm telling you, often countering what I say with points I've already given, and that as though I haven't explained them to you. So this was less of a quote war initially, but due to me wanting to cover your poor understanding of what I'm typing, it ended up more long-ish. So sorry for being so long without direct quotes, I have to go to a shop before it closes.

    I never claimed any version of the game was a real simulation. We agree that the game isn't.
    I'm well aware the game doesn't handle real history well. We agree that the game isn't.
    I'm claiming different people have different thresholds as what counts as immersive (something you stressed to me, too, but it seems like you don't realize the quotes you're using posit this). We agree on this. So when you say this

    I question whether you've acually read what I wrote.

    The point is that the game utilizes a creative coating that matters in every level of the game, also at yours, because I assume you play it over doing Excel sheets.
    Therefore immersion matters.
    And to me, the base game mechanics were borked and got more borked instead of fixed, and your example about Netherlands, for example, would be my ideal game. But it doesn't exist on the market, therefore I bought EU4 and a number of expansions for it, because yes, they do design it so world conquest is possible, but the reason they do this is to cover all the bases of their consumers. World conquest is not for everyone.

    There's a simple concept in game design called piggybacking where game mechanics build upon the players' preloaded knowledge and assumptions, which EU4 exploits massively in order to sustain its complexity and numerous interactions what basically amounts to a computer-carried board game.

    This is an example:

    In Magic, this creature can return from the dead. It makes sense because it's a zombie. That it necessiates a zombie you control to reanimate is done for gameplay purposes. It's shorthand they use to allow to allow more complex gameplay. But if it was a unicorn, and the thing needed to reanimate it was a troll, the story wouldn't mesh in your head. The complications in the puzzle becomes grokkable and interesting to the player because there's a layer of creative that speaks to you. This is the basic principle, and while everyone's immersion isn't the same (what you seem to think I don't believe), the coating matters.

    So when you say

    Well, you're right, and it goes beyond my own preferences, and you constantly seem to claim I'm not aware of this. A game as per being an abstraction of a real life setting always inconsistencies with the real world. But if we follow through with your logic, there's no reason for the developers to even try. Your construction about fruit and apples sounds good, but it actually doesn't compute in regards to what I say, because it doesn't follow the structural logic at all, but it may have to do with the fact that you're completely unable to understand what I'm saying to you.

    The primary graphical interface between the game and the player is the political map. The political map looks weirder now than it used to. Therefore it breaks immersion for some people.
    You claim that this is a problem for my argument, because I ignore a bunch of other factors in regards to the game design. I don't. I, as well as you, have a threshold of certain elements that makes the game more interesting than a really complicated Excel puzzle. The world conquest matters to you because it's in the setting presented; it naturally follows from a common imaginary of nations doing warfare.

    It's not hating fruit while eating apples. It's a wrong construction, and smells more of you trying to present yourself logically than actually recognizing what I'm saying. So let me help you a little, huh? This is what you're criticizing:

    The basket of fruit is an apple, an orange, a fish and a hot dog. I like fruit, but honestly minds the fish and the hot dog, and dislikes the hot dog more. You like both fruit and meat, good for you. Paradox replaces the orange with a second hot dog, and replaces the fish with a pear. Now, the basket is less interesting for me, and I present my issues with that, and you tell me I'm irrational because the meat I disliked was in it to begin with.

    We can also do a couple of rephrasings, but that's a much more appropriate metaphor than your pretense logic.

    (If you want to interject with a counterpoint that I can just buy fruit from another company, that's the issue - Paradox is the only place I can get fruit.)

    Paradox as a company serves a large number of people, and there are people with proper historical knowledge such as you and me, some of these people don't care, some do but don't mind much, some have no knowledge but don't care, some have no knowledge but cares. And it's perfectly fine for me to seek more historical authenticity from a game that markets itself as such (that you're able to do a world conquest is intentional design, yes, but it's also only a subset of design principles they're doing, especially going by their marketing). That you disagree with my personal preference is fair. This is not what I find toxic. What I do is your pretend-logic that just doesn't compute with neither my argument, nor how game design matters.

    You have one good argument.
    It's true that EU4 has been balanced around geographical expansion. But the expansion present is very different between people with 20 hours and people with 5000 hours. Paradox has to serve them both. If we go by your logic, do you seriously believe that the AI should be balanced to actively attempt world conquest, and routinely doing so? It's just playing by it's own rules, you know.

    Or do you recognize that the creative coating matters?

    As I said, the political map is your primary interaction with the largest amount of game mechanics. When it starts looking weird, some people may be rightfully upset. Think about what people felt about Bohemia in EU3. They fixed it.

    If we ignore your quirp about me being self-inconsistent - I can't help that you don't comprehend a simple point I've told you three times - this is an interesting quote from you:

    I actually like that the AI is more aggressive. I just dislike that it is so without real chance of collapse when it expands. I've actually written this point elsewhere, as many other things you claim I don't believe.

    I'd like to ask you, upfront: Does the setting matter to you? Would you have played the game if it was named Unicorn Wars and was set in space? Would a world conquest have been as interesting if it wasn't set in the time period? Or, to phrase it another way, do you recognize that you, yourself, need a certain amount of immersion to have the game work for you? That the immersion has to hold up in certain areas to be interesting while not being as important to you in others?

    Would you have started playing EU to begin with if it didn't have the coating? Has your experience of immersion changed since you saw its Matrix? Did it change as you learned more about history than a base interest? Because the game tries to appeal to all of these groups. I imagine you have been incredibly distant from what it actually feels like when you first start with this game. Going by your logic, you'd like to have the AI do world conquests itself because it plays by the game rules then. If so, Paradox shouldn't listen to you, if they want to keep selling their game.

    I like that the AI is aggressive, but recognize that this was a retrospective fix from Paradox's side. I wrote the original rant because during my last number of games, France took over Spain or the opposite, and Ming always became uber, both without the possibility of collapsing. This is fine to happen sometimes. But after so many games I just got a bad taste in my mouth, not because I couldn't handle them, but because why is this happening in my EU4 game consistently? Elsewhere, I was told I was unlucky, and I have accepted that, and has found a mod to make the massive expansions happen, then collapse. I've yet to test it properly to recommend it, though. I don't mind Hapsburg Spain, and it could have existed, its just weird that something similar has done so consistently in my games.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018

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