For The Glory: EU IV Contains CK II Save Game Converter

By Adam Smith on July 30th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Paradox have sounded the news bugle to announce that Crusader Kings II, the game that has continued to expand and consume my days throughout 2013, is refusing to abdicate its crown. A polite ruler would step aside to make room for the next in line to the throne, but CK II has never been polite. It’s a devious, murderous omnicidal lord and it will never die. Today’s grand strategy news is this – Europa Universalis IV will couple with Crusader Kings II via a save-game converter.

Fans of Crusader Kings II will be able to maintain the empires they have established and guide them through the age of exploration in an all-new strategic experience, continuing their personal stories of expansion and conquest.

There’s a very good chance I won’t be playing anything else ever.

The one possible flaw in this glorious news-diamond is contained in the following lines:

Players who pre-order Europa Universalis IV will be given a free copy of critically acclaimed strategy/RPG Crusader Kings II, Paradox’s hit title of diplomacy, dynasties, and double-dealing set in the Middle Ages, to add to their own library or to give to a friend. Early adopters will also receive a new Saved Game Converter for Crusader Kings II, which will read the details of a saved game from a Crusader Kings II and convert that into a game that can be played in Europa Universalis IV.

A free copy of Crusader Kings II is a fine thing to bestow upon somebody you love. But what of those who don’t pre-order? Will they be denied access to the converter for the rest of their days? Not a chance. I’m seeking clarification as to what form the tool will be available in post-release. In the meantime, I’m not going to say that it’s wise to pre-order EU IV, but I have spent a great deal of time with various pre-release versions and reckon it’s already the best in the series. More on that soon.

Paradox are demonstrating the feature on Twitch.tv this evening at 11am PDT (6pm GMT, 7pm BST, 8pm CEST).

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86 Comments »

  1. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    Ah, shit. Life: over.

  2. Premium User Badge

    LegendaryTeeth says:

    It’s been nice knowing you guys, but I’m never going to need to read about another game again. Thanks for everything!

    • iniudan says:

      Come on you still need Victoria 3 and Heart of Iron 4. Through I admit, Heart of Iron is one I don’t see how to covert to it and have an enjoyable game.

  3. bstard says:

    Why is PI pushing this pre-order so hard?

    • darkath says:

      I’m pretty sure the more people preorder a game and praise it afterwards, the more it will sell after release.

      That’s just my theory here, but people that preorder are likely to be more emotionally involved and spread the word. But it can be a double edged sword if your game happen to be craptastic.

      Also it builds loyalty to the brand and/or the company.

    • Didden says:

      They are in business. Gaming isn’t free. Unless…erm… its free.

      • bstard says:

        OK, not free, spreading word. But those things will also happen after a, what I still think of, a normal release. A normal release that will later on generate DLC profits, which are now given away ‘free’. Well.. if the game is as good as beta testers say it is.

        • darkath says:

          One more thing, with all the steam sales going on, publishers need to add incentives for people to buy the game at full price and not wait the eventual halloween/christmas/spring/summer sales with everything at -50%/-75% or the midweek sales, or the weekend sales, or the deals of the days.

    • Isair says:

      Paradox has been working pretty hard on removing their repution of buggy releases. I’m guessing they’re pushing preorders to convince people not to hold out for patches.

    • warthog2k says:

      Possibly even that the bulk of EUIV pre-orders will already have CKII, so will gift it to their mates.
      Think of CKII as a gateway drug, priming a new generation of PI Vassals and generating more sales of EUIV.

      Only just picked up CKII (Sat) and have since spent more time watching YouTube tutorial videos than actually playing. And enjoying every minute… Fascinating game!

  4. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    And again RPS makes me look up CKII tutorials hoping that I’ll finally be ready to play a proper game.

    • Skull says:

      Haha exactly this. I bought CK2 recently and I get completely stumped in places on what is going on. I half watched some tutorials on YouTube and it seemed simple enough but when I try to conduct things, it doesn’t take long for everything to fall apart.

      I think the main problem is warfare, the in game tutorial is far to vague and when I send men to fight other men, I can’t tell at a glance who will win and what the best tactics are. In Total War and Civ I know right away as soon as I see the enemies army what my chances are but with this…I send a bigger army than my enemy’s over and wait a few days for the defeat screen to come up. At least tell me why I lost. Also sieges make little sense, I siege a town and when it is over, the land doesn’t become mine? It really is quite confusing, but the problem is, I don’t think it is, just the way the information is displayed is not helpful in the slightest.

      Still loving the diplomacy side of the game and I really can’t wait for it all to click in place so I have another time killer in my library.

      • Golwar says:

        CK2′s warfare is honestly as simple as it can get. Usually the bigger army wins, there are rarely any exceptions. You can get trashed if the opponent had a stellar quality or tech advantage or you morale is too low right from the start. But as mentioned, those are rare.

        Only get into combat when your morale bar is filled or at least equal to your opponents. Tech barely plays a role and only Mongols with their masses of cavalry will overwhelm your greater numbers.

        So if you really lose, watch your ongoing battles and don’t just wait for the result. There you can watch all details of the battle. The numbers of any side including all leaders. Simply reduce game speed and follow the combat flow. It really can’t leave any questions open why you lost, if you carefully observe what happens.

        • Skull says:

          Thanks for addressing that specific point. I am guilty of sending my men over to find the nearest enemy army and then forget about it until the results screen shows up. I do tend to take very heavy losses and outright defeats in fights where I outnumber them though. Is this something to do with formations? (I never touch that section).

          • Golwar says:

            Well you can’t really afford to ignore ongoing battles. It can always happen that your enemy will get some additional support, turning the tides to his favor.
            Formations aren’t really important imho. I never change anything there. Besides picking commanders of my own choice, when really decisive battles are expected.

            Most imporant for warfare isn’t how you treat a specific battle, it matters that you make the right choice when and where to attack. It often benefits you NOT to go straight for the next enemy. There are always situations that you can use to improve the odds in your favor.
            If there are multiple wars or multiple factions involved, wait till they weaken each other, if you can afford to wait. If the enemy has one who huge army, wait till he loses some strength by an assault etc.

          • Leb says:

            main things other than numbers are terrain (river crossings & mountains will eat you alive if you are attacking the AI) and generals

            Set up some generals with high martial, don’t attack over rivers, and u should be good

          • varangian says:

            You may be falling victim to a significant imbalance (though I suppose it’s not that unfair as we’re supposed to be smarter than the AI) in information available to the opposing sides. Whilst the AI seems to have perfect information about your dispositions and intent – witness how an AI army marching to a given province will turn on a dime the very second you send a stronger army marching off to the same province – you can often be surprised by previously invisible reinforcements arriving. So the 5000 guys you were fighting suddenly become 10000 guys halfway through the battle. Turning the speed down to minimum is a good idea as soon as combat starts thought even then I’ve been caught out.

          • revan says:

            Also look to position your armies in hilly counties and have a river between you and the enemy when you are defending. By the same token, try to avoid attacking in those conditions. In the case of river attacks, use shift key while directing your troops to attack the enemy. That way you can order your army to attack from the county where there are no rivers. Also a good way to draw the enemy out of a strategically favorable position or force them to break a siege is by attacking and besieging something very important to them.

            These tactics may not matter on lower difficulties, but on harder they can become crucial.

      • DonJefe says:

        The army is divided into 3 flanks if its big enough. Those flanks will need leaders. Their martial ability (plus special abilities) determines their effectiveness in leading a flank. If you have better commanders of your flanks then you have a shot at overcoming a superior army. Unless the army is a lot bigger than yours… Then you can only hope to do as much damage as possible before your inevitable defeat.

        Re: sieges. When you win a siege in a war it helps change the war score in your favor. But that doesn’t mean that you keep that castle/bishopry/town after the war is over. If you win the war you only win the area or title that the war was originally started over – regardless of what other counties you may besiege.

        • Skull says:

          This pretty much addressed my problems, especially in regards to sieges, so thank you for taking the time to answer! But should I bother with formations all the time, or only with a large enough army? For example, if two armies fight with the same amount of men, would the army organised into formations/flanks win the battle? Or does commander experience and traits play a much major part?

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            HighlordKiwi says:

            Open up the army formation screen and click ‘auto-balance’ then select the 3 generals with the best military rating. I’ve never worried about anything else except…
            - Defensive bonuses for terrain (esp. mountains) and river crossings can be punishing.
            - You can teleport generals around if they aren’t currently fighting, so before each fight put your top 3 men on the case.

            EDIT: One more thing, you can rush sieges but unless you outnumber the defender about 10 – 1 it is prohibitively expensive in manpower.

          • DonJefe says:

            Yeah, what Kiwi said. There is more to it than that if you want to go into detail, but as long as you are new to the game I wouldn’t bother with it. The “auto-balance” button does the trick.

            One more point about the sieges: You have to remember that you “sue for peace” to end the war. So the two parties agree on an outcome. You have to have a “casus belli” (loosely translated as “justification for declaring war”) before you can start and therefore you can’t end up with more territories than what your “casus belli” stipulated or it will be seen as unjust/tyrannical and piss off everyone around you. The losing side will therefore never agree to giving up more than what the war was originally about.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        After months of thinking the same thing, it’s now my belief that parts of the game are just really badly designed, from a user experience perspective. The game makes no real effort to hide its complexity whatsoever nor guide you in the right direction. But then this is probably true of every strategy game.

        That said, compare this with Civilization, which is probably every bit as complicated but makes every effort to guide you.

        • derbefrier says:

          yeah that’s been the biggest barrier for me with the game. I have about 20 hours in it but I still feel like i have no control over whats going on in the game. I am getting better but CK2 has to be one of the most user unfriendly games i have played in a while. I finally got intrigue down i think but i over did it and after taking over half of Ireland, had just about every family member that wasn’t a direct heir( along with everyone else, people dont like you when they catch you trying to kill people over and over) extremely pissed and lost it all pretty quick and got thrown in prison along with my male heir dying mysteriously and ending up with a little girl as my heir by the end. I lost everything I went from petty king of Ireland to some assholes vassal in a matter of a year or so. Losing seems to be the best teacher in this game as I do a little better each time.

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      cairbre says:

      I feel your pain.

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      Martel says:

      I found that stumbling through the mechanics and the surprises of losing everything was in itself pretty damn fun. Just don’t think of it as a game you have to “win” and enjoy the journey. You lose, start over.

      • grechzoo says:

        exactly, i read guides and watched hours of tutorials, but my first time playing the game was still foreign and confusing.

        but the second time…was disastrously fun. and the third time i still got destroyed, but i realized it was one of the best games i have ever played. the stories seriously stick with you, and you think about how things could have been different if you did that or that.

        failure is just as much fun and interesting as success in the game.

        learn what you can from vids and guides, then jump in and trust that after the first fumbles, you will grab the ball and run for miles.

        Tutorials by SeeKayEm, or Eviscerator03 will do you well. then jump in head first and trust the current.

        • Moth Bones says:

          The first time I played the first CK I didn’t realise that Reputation was something I wanted LESS of, with jolly consequences for my boy-duke, who conquered the whole of Scotland, lost it again and went mad over the space of about six years.

          I don’t know why, but I still haven’t been able to get into CK2.

      • Turkey says:

        It’s fun to stumble around with the game part, but wrestling with the UI is frustrating. I spent a good chunk of yesterday just trying to find the button that would give control of some land to a vassal.

        • grechzoo says:

          yeah, getting used to the interface is hard, even after docs and vids watched, you still need a good few hours to find your way.

          push past the initial headache. it 100% worth it.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Ah, yes. CKII is in my group of games which I find very interesting and deep and I really want to play them, but whenever I try I hit a wall and can’t go much further.

      Right next to AI: War, Democracy 2, and Dwarf Fortress.

  5. Jomini says:

    “EU IV Contains CK II Save Game Converter”

    If you pre order that is.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Will have an answer on the alternative shortly.

      • Jomini says:

        Official word from Paradox is here:
        http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?704709-Crusader-Kings-II-Save-Converter-Announced-for-Europa-Universalis-IV&p=15856067&viewfull=1#post15856067

        “The converter might release as a separate dlc later on, but we can´t promise that it will be available on release day if you don´t pre-order before August 13th since it is a bonus dlc!”

        • lordcooper says:

          I’m almost certainly going to end up preordering this game, but that’s a bit twatty of them.

          • grechzoo says:

            you dont believe them right?

            they will leave it off the store for one day, then stick it up. they are simply trying their best to call your bluff on a pre-order.

            there is no way in hell this wont be available extremely soon after launch. its coming as sure as the rain.

          • lordcooper says:

            Oh, I don’t have a problem with it being delayed for non-preorderers. My issue is with them being charged for it.

          • Malarious says:

            Well, it’s a bonus pre-order DLC — they’d be ripping off the people who pre-ordered if they offered it for free the day of release. It’ll probably be cheap, like $1.99 or so.

          • nearly says:

            I don’t know about ripping off the people that preordered by not charging for the tool, but isn’t it a bit of a slap in the face to their other customers that might have actually paid money for CKII rather than receiving it and the tool for free simply by buying the newest game rather than both (or both games AND the converter)?

      • Takeda says:

        Any info on how it will work for Trade republics?

        • iniudan says:

          Would guess that Merchant Republic will become Trade Republic, while most inland republic will become Noble Republic.

    • fish99 says:

      Pretty scummy thing to do in my books.

  6. grechzoo says:

    Im sure it will be like their usual DLC, prices at around £2-5 after release.

    Still it seems nice, however im only just getting stuck into CKII and all of its amazing and dazzling brilliance.

    Will probably wait until the hardcore paradoxians get some youtube guides on it and explain it to me before I take the plunge.

    Still looking forward to your Wot I Think Adam, especially in regards to how EUIV compares to CKII, having a different but equally brilliant strategy game in reserve for when CKII needs a rest would be extremely exciting.

  7. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Finally, the mighty blobs of nations shall transform into even mightier and bigger blobs of nations! ALL HAIL THE BLOBS!

  8. Golwar says:

    Don’t fret Adam, the converter will be an optionale DLC for sure. EUIV pre-order seems like a great deal so far.

    But there is one thing that I didn’t like: Events being a DLC now too.
    “Star and Crescent” is being described with:
    “50 new Muslim themed event pictures, as well as several new events for the Muslim nations”

    I liked how they separated gameplay improving addons and cosmetic ones, with music, graphics etc.
    But if they really start selling events for different regions now, that’s going a bit too far.

    • RutigerP says:

      Ugh, that is disappointing. At least we can always rely on the vibrant modding community to do the same thing for free.

  9. Conor says:

    YES.

  10. BTAxis says:

    Sooo… can you actually win in this one yet?

    • RutigerP says:

      Nope. But Paradox games aren’t for winning – play Civ or Total War if you want a fancy victory screen (or underwhelming win window in the case of Civ V)

      • darkath says:

        Apparently there will be a score used to rank countries at the end of a game, akin to what’s used in Victoria 2. So in a way you’ll be able to “win” the game by being 1st.

        • RutigerP says:

          Yeah, all of the Paradox games have had this I think. But in my mind a highscore is different from having victory conditions in a grand strategy game. Though to correct my earlier comment I should mention that the Hearts of Iron games had explicit victory conditions. But yes, journey > destination

    • Takeda says:

      It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey.

  11. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Even if this is pre-order deal only . Modders will not have hard time figure in this out.

    But if this is true, well its a dick move.

    • Takeda says:

      True, they should make it free for anyone who bought CK2 at full price or any of it’s DLC’s. ( I mean they got money either way)

  12. nimzy says:

    Rome Universalis II

  13. Ysellian says:

    I wish they would give the converter to anyone that already owns CK2 or make the pre-order more appealing by giving me a coupon for their store :P

    • Takeda says:

      you do get a 10% discount for preordering if already own an other EU game.

      • Golwar says:

        Or simply pre-order your Steam key on GMG and pay even less.

      • Ysellian says:

        Ha thanks, only skimmed the message but 10% is a good amount.

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    Anthile says:

    If you make it to the end date in CK2 you will be most certainly emperor of some sort anyways. I wonder how many people will be using this in non-gamebreaking ways.

    • darkath says:

      Switch between dynasties as you play. When you feel you are too strong, take another underdog, bring him to glory, then switch again. Eventually what you built with your own brains will become your toughest adversary.

    • Vinraith says:

      This has always been my problem with save game converters for Pdox games. It sounds like a good idea and all, but in practice you’ve usually broken history so badly by the end of a single Pdox game that carrying that breakage forward another 400 years has little appeal. Better to reset and break history anew!

  15. Premium User Badge

    Skeletor68 says:

    Idle Thumbs are doing an entertaining playthrough right now. Check it out on their youtube channel.

    Hail King Vanaman I of Ireland, and his oft-abused servant Ragnar…

  16. ainokmw says:

    I’m glad. They had a converter built in for the original CK -> EU2. Of course, my wife is pretty intense about these things, so she also played with the modded EU2 -> Victoria converter, meaning she should play with one country from 1066 until 1919. She would usually conquer the world.

    I do hope it’s less problematic than the original converter though. I’m optimistic though because CK2 uses “de jure” duchies and kingdoms to keep natural territories a bit more aligned. Usually by the end of a run of the original CK, the map was a convoluted, fragmented mess, with the only two powers being your dynasty, and the Golden Horde rampaging across the east.

    I’m excited, though.

    • Leb says:

      While I’ve never played Ck1 – the problem you described is quite accurate of CK2 a lot of the time

  17. kalirion says:

    So, um, what’s the difference between the CK and EU series then? It can’t be much if there’s a saved game converter.

    • iniudan says:

      EUIV focus is actually the most balanced of Paradox game, it focus on nation (so your playing a country instead of the leader of a dynasty), got bit of intrigue (focus more on action toward overall politic and economy, instead of directly at someone), bit of economy (which is a lot more then CK2, but still pale compared to Victoria series), bit of warfare (If you want all out warfare go Heart of Iron series, but warfare mostly on equal footing to CK2, except less backstabbing, but more politic and economy involved in the warfare, has able to negotiate peace treaty and do thing like blockade trade, has there is actually a trading economy in game)

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      CK is about managing your character and assuring their dynasty’s survival through rather personal interaction with the nobility (vassals and affiliated) of Medieval Europe, while in EU you’re controlling an entire nation anywhere in the world on the bigger governmental level.
      EU4 is the first to be influenced to this degree by CK2, with the leader characters whose personalities influence the actions of nations with more autocracy-oriented government structures, so it might turn out to scratch spots similar to CK2 though you won’t have thousands of characters that might prove to be your downfall.

    • Entitled says:

      They aren’t even in the same genre. They are convertable because they use very similar maps, but that’s about it, they are both entirely differently faithful presentations of how their respective eras worked politically.

      EU is your default grand strategy game, where you play as a nation state. Like you click on Spain, then basically *you are Spain*, go ahead and conquer Portugal, don’t get conquered by France, and colonize the new world before others. Take care of international diplomacy, and don’t get a bad reputation.

      CK is more of a role-playing simulator of medieval dynastic relations, it’s basically “The Sims: Game of Thrones”. You are the head of a dynasty, for example, let’s say you are Guilhem de Poitou, Duke of Aquitaine, a vassal of the French King, Philippe I Capet. Your primary goal could be either to usurp the title of the french kingdom from the Capets through a plot, or to start a rebellion for independence of the southern Kingdom of Aquitaine ruled alone by the Poitou dynasty. Meanwhile, you have to keep your own occitan counts and barons in check, so they won’t likewise rebel against you, and you have to find appropriate marriages for your children, possibly so they might inherit further lands.

  18. revan says:

    Oh boy! Time for my Norse dominated Empire of Britannia to conquer the continent. Empress Gyla “the Accursed” will be pleased to introduce the French to her ‘benevolent’ rule. Many candidates for the blot I foresee.

  19. Premium User Badge

    soulblur says:

    I think this does mean I have to preorder. Curses! Although, it’s not as though main Paradox titles get that much cheaper quickly. They tend to retain value on Steam at least.

    The mighty Scandinavian trade empire shall reign over all!

  20. Morte66 says:

    Oh, those bastards.

    Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.

  21. Premium User Badge

    cairbre says:

    Any recommendations on what kingdoms/places total noobs should play.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Ireland is pretty much the commonly used Isle of Noobs. Small region, not much competition from anywhere outside, and High King of Ireland is one of the easier goals to work towards.

    • revan says:

      If you’re new and choose someone in Ireland to play, don’t start in 867 AD. If you do, chances are you will face powerful pagans from Jorvik or Jylland. Or if you menage to cobble together Irish Kingdom, those pagans usually start “prepared invasions” (ie. huge numbers of angry Vikings descend on your shores).

      Starting in 1066 AD is a good point in time. England will leave you alone early on, and you can concentrate solely on Ireland.

    • Isair says:

      For CK, Ireland is the obvious choice, but Castille could also work if you want something more active.

      For EU, Portugal is good, since you won’t have to do any combat and Muscovy is good because you won’t have to do anything besides combat. The Ottoman empire, England and Castille are also pretty good, on account of being very powerful and in pretty good locations.

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        cairbre says:

        Being from Ireland thats great cos thats where I wanted to play but I was playing as Connacht because I come from there but never seemed to make any progress.

        Was thinking of starting out in Leinster next time. I just liked the idea of the west taking over the rest of the country.

        • revan says:

          I’ve played as Connacht myself. It was my second game. Tricky part is conquering your first neighbor. I remember me besieging his castle and him (can’t remember the name, it was the county south east of Connacht) besieging mine. We had about the same number of men and it was a race. After beating him, it was easy to dominate the rest of the island.

  22. Mr Bismarck says:

    “Fans of Crusader Kings II will be able to maintain the empires they have established and guide them through the age of exploration in an all-new strategic experience, continuing their personal stories of expansion and conquest.”

    Hnnnnnnnnngg. I think I just did a sex wee.

  23. theleif says:

    Three Moves Ahead recently did a really nice podcast with Fred and Shams from Paradox:
    http://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/meeting-of-the-minds

  24. dolgion1 says:

    Do you see it coming? In the future, we’ll have save game converters for CK2 -> EU4 -> the next Victoria -> the next HOI -> East vs West. If Paradox create new franchises for previous eras in human history, we’ll have the actual game that Civilization was always deceiving to be.

  25. TC-27 says:

    This sounds awesome…sounds like I will be able at long last preserve the Eastern Roman Empire well into the 19th Century (and perhaps further if/when Victoria 3 comes out with a EU4 saved game converter!).

    Some of the CK games I have played would make some proper interseing EU start date scenerios – my last game had myself and a bunch of Catholic kingdoms hanging on around the edge of the Mediterrian after the Mongols had curb stomped the HRE and France.

    On yeah and goodbye life outside my computer room.