Summary: Swedish developers Paradox Interactive have consistently released the best grand strategy games, and headlining them all has been the Europa Universalis franchise. In this interview, Jakub digs deep and asks specific questions about changes to gameplay in the upcoming Europa Universalis III.
Johan: We've added several options for the players to consider during peacetime. First of all, there are a few more provincial upgrades to consider. There are also a few more things to evaluate and consider in the government setup, with selecting national ideas and government forms. You have advisors that you can appoint to your court to give benefits depending on your needs. You can also send spies on missions to instigate revolts, ruin reputations, destroy trade and other non-open warfare tactics against an opponent. The interaction with the Pope and the Emperor is also something to do during peacetime. Of course, there's the old options of trading for income, colonise for new territories and negotiate diplomatically that was in the old game as well.
FiringSquad: Will capitals move in the new game? They presented some problems in the first two, like if a capital province such as Paris was encircled, successive wars against France would be easy, though you could never annex the province until the entire country was conquered.
Johan: Moving a capital is something that did not happen very often in history, and thus, the options for it in EU3 will be fairly limited.
FiringSquad: What kinds of improvements can we expect to naval gameplay, to reflect its historical importance? Will we see anything like blockades?
Johan: The original Europa Universalis games had blockades in them. However, there are three main improvements to the naval aspect of the game in EU3, which makes the importance of a navy much bigger. First of all, the naval warfare algorithm has changed, and there are individual ships of various types as frigates, ship of the lines, galleons and galleys. Secondly, we have changed the effects from blockades to severely cripple income from blockaded coastal provinces, and at the same time give part of that income to the country blockading. Finally, due to troop recruitment becoming extremely slow in colonies, and the fact that colonies can be seized without peace negotiations, a nation without local naval supremacy in a war, may lose their colonies.
FiringSquad: Is there a change in emphasis on history vs freedom in EU3 compared to previous titles? For example, if the player develops the Ottomans or Poland as centralized states rather than decentralized as they were historically, will they still suffer late-game stability and decentralization events?
Johan: All these major event series depend heavily on situational triggers now and will strike countries that fulfill them. So a Poland that has become a strong centralized state will not go down the historical path.
Johan: What we can do with the map and graphics gives us a greater range of options for the player, which gives a more rewarding game experience. For development, our new 3d engine makes almost everything easier to develop on, with the map being a major advantage. In our old engine, making a single border change required a full rebuild of files, taking a few hours of manual work and a few hours of processing power. With our new engine, itís a simple bitmap change, and a minute extra to recalculate map files when starting.
FiringSquad: Are there any changes to trade or religious conversion?
Johan: Nothing major there, you still send out merchants and missionaries.
FiringSquad: In the past you have mentioned that the Pope and emperors will be given more of a role in EU3, can you elaborate? Will the Caliph see such treatment?
Johan: When it comes to the Pope, it is all about who has control of the curia. The controller of the curia is the country that is controlling the largest amount of cardinals. Stealing control of cardinals is something most catholic players will focus on, if they are going down the devout religious nation path. As a controller of the Curia, you gain some very nice bonuses. The Caliph is not simulated in the game, only the Emperor and the Pope.
FiringSquad: Is there anything else you'd like to add? Thanks for your time!
Johan: It is not many months left.. Soon you will all be able to play the greatest game in the world.
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