Europa Universalis IV pre-order

From the same developers as Crusader Kings II. If you’ve conquered Europe in the Middle Ages, have a try at conquering the whole world in the Age of Exploration. Europa Universalis IV is now available for pre-order. If you own the previous version on Steam, you’ll also get a 10% discount.

Pre-order trailer: E3 2013 Europa Universalis IV - Pre-Order Trailer - YouTube
Casus Belli, the musical: Europa Universalis IV - The Musical: Casus Belli - YouTube

quill18 has an in-depth preview of the game as well as its differences from the previous version:

[link to first video in playlist]

It looks like the team has learned a lot from Crusader Kings II. The interface looks much cleaner and less cluttered. The revamped trade system looks especially interesting. I anticipate there being trade wars or even actual wars for control of critical trade nodes.

The last Europa Universalis game simply lost me. I felt so lost by the learning curve. Crusader Kings has a pretty steep one, and I think there’s a ton I still need to figure out in it, but I found some more resources to help quickly.

I’m sure I’ll dip my toe back in down the road at some time.

It’s not just the learning curve either. I feel like there isn’t much depth to it either. Maybe that’s just because I haven’t played it well enough to see it though. It’s fun going through and having stories develop, but I dunno if that’s something to pre-order for or wait for a Steam sale for.

I say this as a fan of Paradox:

Do not preorder their games. Do not buy them on Day 1. Do not buy them in the first month. Sometimes, do not buy them in the first year. They’re a great company, but they tend to release utter dogs and patch them later.

Crusader Kings II was actually playable when first released, with a working tutorial no less. Paradox is probably throwing as many if not more resources at developing EUIV, their flagship product. On other other hand, if experience with CKII is any indication, you can probably get EUIV with all the DLC (and you know those are coming) at heavily discounted rates in the next year or so.

I couldn’t grasp EUIII when I first tried it. After some time with CKII however, I went back to EUIII and found it, if anything, easier to run than CKII. The effects of changing the sliders and such are less immediate, since you’re running a nation rather than a dynasty. Also the whole budget thing with the mint & inflation and monthly & yearly cashflow was rather counter-intuitive. EUIV will be getting rid of all that, which should make for a better game experience.

There’s a long series of developer diaries that do a good job of explaining how EU4 will be different than EU3 and other design decisions.

The changes in trade and income are enough for me to want EU4. Plus, I think the new ruler mechanics will be good. In short, trade simulates a flow of wealth across provinces that can be tapped into. Countries can manipulate that flow. Income will be on a per-month basis, instead of the complicated monthly vs yearly mess they had before. Rulers will accumulate points in admin, diplo and military categories that you spend to take admin, diplo or military actions.

I typically buy Paradox games as early as possible, simply because I like their games and game support and I want to support the company. But they do have a history of releasing buggy games. (Crusader Kings 2 is a recent counter-example.) The also have a history of putting in years more of development work on already released games and giving it away free to game owners. So I don’t think it’s unwarranted to wait a year after release to buy a game from them, but don’t let it slip off your radar.

For what it’s worth, they declared EU essentially complete back in January or so, and everything since then has been testing. They’re doing a fairly extensive two month closed beta before the release. They seem to have applied their CK2 experience to the development here. Everything has been enough to convince me to preorder, which is something I’ve never done before for a Paradox game.

This is interesting: Each month has a different pre-order bonus associated with it:

But if you pre-order early, you’ll get the bonuses for subsequent months. I’m sure that these are cosmetic add-ons that don’t affect gameplay, but it’s seriously tempting to pre-order especially given what they’ve shown of the development of the core game.

How long does it usually take before paradox games start getting their extreme sales like I got for ck2?

Paradox tends to have sales with the release of major DLC. The sale includes the base game and all DLC except for the newly-released content. For CKII, this has been every three months or so. Obviously, the longer you wait the bigger the bang for your buck.

They’ve announced the final pre-order bonus, a save converter from CK2 to EU4. Very cool!

As a result of pre-order bonuses, I currently have one Steam code for EU3 Chronicles (the previous game plus all expansions) and will have one for CK2 vanilla in two weeks time. I own both games already, so they’re of no use for me. If somebody wants one or both, PM me. Priority will be given to non-August join dates.

They’ve released some documentation about the game, if you’re curious or undecided.

EU4 manual (pdf)
EU3 vs EU4 differences (thread that links to pdf)

Here’s a Let’s Play preview series, by quill18 playing as England:

This was not true of their last 3 games: Crusader Kings 2 (18 months ago), Sengoku or March of the Eagles. I’m pretty sure it won’t be true of EU4 either.

If it’s any encouragement, they have paid a lot of attention to the tutorials this time.

There’s also an in-game helpful hints feature.

Is it confirmed/denied if it is always online like the SimCity debacle?

Not sure where this suspicion may have arisen … Paradox games never require you to be online to play solo, in fact they don’t even require the Steam client to be running (except of course to install, patch, and play MP).

Completely denied. Steam is required, but only, as mentioned, to install, update, or play MP. Once installed, it is even possible to copy the installation files to another directory and run that. Many players do this to continue running an old version (e.g., when a new version breaks a mod).

The demo is out, for those of you interested. A description of what is included is at the Paradox forums. I’m downloading now and looking forward to it.