The New Worlds: EU IV – Conquest of Paradise

By Adam Smith on November 4th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Sunset Invasion is the only expansion I don’t use in my regular Crusader Kings II campaigns. It’s not that I object to a spot of alternate history – that’s what the game generates – but the Aztec assault never felt comfortable, partly because it’s a triggered event rather than emergent possibility. It was with a degree of trepidation that I read the press release about Europa Universalis IV’s first expansion, with its suggestive title, Conquest of Paradise. I needn’t have worried – this is a form of alternate history but it sounds fantastic. In short, to make exploration more unpredictable and exciting, EU IV will gain the ability to randomly generate a New World rather than having players discover the same old Americas time and time again.

Paradox have a great deal of experience when it comes to simulating worlds but it’ll be interesting to see how broad and accomplished their world generation tools are. Could we find an icy archipelago, an immense desert continent, a unified empire?

…in Conquest of Paradise, you as a player will have the option of completely randomizing the new world. We wanted you to have the option to really explore a brand new continent. So for the first time ever in a Paradox Development Studio game, you can now choose to discover a completely randomized American continent. Therefore, when Columbus sets sails across the ocean, he might just find some nice islands that he can use as a stopover on his route to India or something completely different…

Of course, it wouldn’t be right if the infinity of new worlds were only of interest to those who were discovering them for the first time. There’ll be much more to do as a resident of those lands when the expansion lands.

Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise will have some interesting new options for America’s original inhabitants. Another aspect of having the design focus on the game in the old world is the fact that the pacing of the game is optimized for the old world powers. The downside of this is that while it can be a lot of fun and a big challenge to play the Native Americans, you might find that it takes a very long time between those satisfying clicks to get a new technology, a new idea or even to create buildings.

To address this, we are adding lots of new and interesting things for the Native Americans to do in this expansion. We want to make the gameplay between the tribes more exciting and to help you maneuver yourself into a better position, should the pale barbarians come across the sea.

The expansion makes it possible for you to play as a Native American nation and create an empire in early America. If you take on the role of a Native American tribe in Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise, you will have some interesting new tools in the expanded Native American gameplay mechanics, new tribes, a chance to form federations with your peers, new events, ideas and buildings.

On paper (or on screen, to be exact) this sounds like a heftier expansion than any of the CK II DLCs, Old Gods aside perhaps. Randomly generated worlds are an enormous change for Paradox grand strategy, an entirely new set of machinery bolted on to the existing engines. I didn’t expect this one at all.

Release is December 11th.

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33 Comments »

  1. Faldrath says:

    That sounds rather interesting, and I’m keen to try it out.

    However, I do still have a faint hope that one day Paradox will do an expansion that makes EU4 more like EU2 – something with tons of historical events (not necessarily deterministic ones) that makes it easier to “feel” like you’re playing a different culture. While I love EU4 as a game, I miss the history learning tool that EU2 was.

    • froz says:

      Finally someone who feels like me about that!

      While EU 4 is fantastic and EU 3 was not so bad, I really miss EU 2 historical events. There were tons and tons of them. There are some events like that in EU 4 but it’s not the same…

    • Laurentius says:

      Same here. After i completed four games in EUIV i went back to check again EUII with AGCEEP and man, those historical events are so good. I mean there many things i love about EUIV, dynamic diplomacy is probably biggest advantage over older version but there at least three things that EUII did better. EUIV has (like EUIII) enourmously underpowered fortress, magical reinforcemnts are out of whack and lack of historical events. Sure when iwas playing EUII i was often annoyed by these historical events like whole 16th century of religous wars for France but with govermantal sliders gone and lack of historical events EUIV has lost this acomplishment that was based on internal struggle (only westernization came as a chalanging internal thing). Now, unless you really fuck things up you won’t feel these struggle that often lay in transition from medieval monarchy to modern absolutism and how often these internal struggles were tougher then wars with foreign powers. I played in EUIV as Burgundy in one game, yes there was a couple of “Trouble in the Lowlands” events but there were nothing in compariosn to EUII with AGPEEP.

    • Yglorba says:

      I strongly disagree. What I want out of a game like EU is something that lets me explore alternate history; scripted events get in the way with that, and I always hated how rigid it was in previous installments. Obviously I love the idea behind this expansion.

    • pdxjohan says:

      Technically, we have more historical events in EU4 than we had in EU2..

  2. sventoby says:

    Love this idea, Earth is becoming a boring setting for grand strategy.

    • BTAxis says:

      Agreed. I like Paradox’ grand strategy games for what they are, but they’d be much more interesting to me if the subject matter were more fictional. I don’t much care about the historical setting.

      • SillyWizard says:

        I dunno about their other series, but they make mods for that for CK2.

    • ruzvelt says:

      What I would love is the way to create Westeros and the seven kingdoms. Then I’d like a mod that takes the old world out of the picture.

      Basically I want Paradox to make Game of Thrones: The Game because I don’t think anyone else is up to living up to the standard

      • tormos says:

        there’s a mod for CKII that literally does this and it is the best thing in the history of all things.

        • All is Well says:

          Relevant link here.

        • ruzvelt says:

          I’m aware of that, and I’m thinking of buying CK2 solely for this purpose. I tried it and I didn’t really like it, somehow it didn’t click with me. Although, things that I didn’t like about it are a good fit for Game of Thrones game. Ultimately, I’d like to play Victoria 2 as Brann Stark.

  3. 18Rabbit says:

    for the first time ever in a Paradox Development Studio game…
    Which means it will be cool but broken horribly at release and then patched up.

    Sounds interesting at least.

  4. sandineyes says:

    This is a great idea! I am a big fan of the exploration mechanic in EUIV. I don’t know how it was in the past with Paradox titles, as I am one of the people who started out with CKII, but it seems that Paradox is pretty darn good at adding in content that is at the same time very compelling, and yet doesn’t make the base game seem incomplete without it.

  5. Bluerps says:

    Two additional bits of information: Colonies will also get new mechanics, so that large colonies will turn into free nations that serve their original country, and the random New World will be independent of the other changes the DLC will introduce. I am excited!

    I also like alternate history, but dislike the Sunset Invasion. However, the reason that I dislike it is not that it is not dynamic, but that it introduces another horde that usually gobbles up a large part of the western part of the map. Instead of all the kingdoms of Spain, the British Isles and Scandinavia, there is often only the Aztecs. I have nothing against big nations, but I like the diversity of all these kingdoms more.

  6. RaveTurned says:

    Overall it does sound very exciting. :) My only concern is what this means for exporting saves from EU4. Clearly translating a randomised American continent to Vicky 2 isn’t going to work too well. I think the only hope for that particular case is if Paradox have long-term plans for new Vicky and/or HOI games that support the new randomised map elements.

    • Leb says:

      There hasn’t even been any word of an EUIV to Vicky 2 converter. At this point we are just as likely to get a Vicky 3 !

      I think Paradox is enjoying the influx of new followers of their games that came on with Ck2 and are getting better and better at making the games accessible. I won’t be surprised if we end up with a Vicky 3 or HOI-IV, or EU Rome, fleshed out with the new engine, intuitive interface etc etc…

      • Discopanda says:

        They keep saying that EU Rome 2 isn’t going to happen anytime soon. I hope they are filthy liars :(

  7. DonJefe says:

    I don’t know about this one. It’s not just the “Sunset Invasion”-feel, but more the fact that they are changing the geography. Hmmm.. I guess I’ll still buy it, but I am skeptical.

  8. SillyWizard says:

    Yay! More American-Indian-focused video games! In every genre! Also: movies. Pathfinder was such a disappointment, in the Last Samurai “the only warrior capable of defeating white people is a white dude” vein. Bo-ring!

    Err, back on topic, this sounds neat, though I haven’t yet picked up EU4 (still obsessed with CK2; I got a late start). How does EU4 play? Is it a game of setting up colonies around the world and trying to building the strongest/wealthiest trade situation?

    • Bluerps says:

      Both can be big parts of a campaign, yes, but it depends on which nation you play, and how you play it – colonies are more important for Portugal than Bavaria, obviously. Some nations in Europe usually focus on other aspects of the game, like dealing with the HRE (which has its own special mechanics in EUIV, in contrast to just being one Empire-level title of several in CK2), or conquering Asia. Non-Europeans can also be played, and those also do not colonize very often.

    • Llewyn says:

      How does EU4 play?

      Even though I did pick up EU4 fairly early I’m still wondering the same thing. I love CK2 but I just find myself completely unable to get going with EU4 at all – I start it up, pick a country, spend half an hour staring at all the information in bewilderment and then quit again :-(

      • SillyWizard says:

        Ha ha, amusingly that’s how my first several attempts at CK2 went. Once I figured out (with the help of a Let’s Play or two) that it’s a game about building your prestige while maintaining your dynasty, and that really there’s a pretty limited number of things you can be doing at any given time, it all sort of clicked into place and became brilliant.

        Here’s hoping EU4 becomes similarly relatable.

  9. Erithtotl says:

    I’ve never been comfortable with the ‘science coefficient’ used in these games. They imply something inherently better about Europeans than other cultures that made them ‘destined’ to be the pre-eminent world powers. Plus I think it makes for very restrictive gameplay (you will always be technologically backwards as the Chinese). For centuries China was way ahead of the West in technology.

    This inherit tech deficit has always kept me from playing non-European powers. There should either be an option to turn off the tech coefficients, or there should be cultural choices that let you change those values over time so that you are not irrevocably stuck with inferior science. These decisions could have stability and other consequences so they are not free and automatic choices.

    • Fiyenyaa says:

      There are; you can get yourself into the top tech group via decisions. It’s entirely possible to have a Cherokee nation with Napoleonic-tech army by the end of the game.

    • Locust says:

      Every nation has the option to westernise if they’re next to a nation with the Western technology group. Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Mongol/Horde countries have a very easy time of doing this and can very easily stand toe-to-toe with the Europeans – I ruled the entirty of Indonesia and North America as Japan.

      The issue isn’t the technology, it’s the lack of flavour and anything to do for non-European countries, especially apparent in African and American countries – this expansion is at least fixing the latter, which is a fantastic step in the right direction.

    • Laurentius says:

      “Plus I think it makes for very restrictive gameplay (you will always be technologically backwards as the Chinese). For centuries China was way ahead of the West in technology.”

      I think this is actually very bad example, i haven’t played as China in EUIV but i played in EUIII and EUII, western tech group made you discover things faster but China makes up for it by it enormous income, i never lagged behind european countries in technology and always completed my games with tech maxed out.

    • SillyWizard says:

      I’m not comfortable with the suggestion that you should have the option to Westernize your empire when playing as other civilizations.

      Diversity is good!

  10. King in Winter says:

    Ooh, interesting. I wonder though how they’ll handle trade routes and trade regions with randomized New World to the west. The incoming trade routes on the map would offer a big clue where to explore to find the most interesting landmasses…

  11. WHS says:

    I haven’t played EUIV yet, so I don’t know if it makes sense in that game’s context, but they ought to randomize disease transmission. Maybe European explorers will trigger destabilizing New World pandemics, as in real life–or maybe the explorers will bring a new bug home with them, clearing out the Old World instead.

  12. bstard says:

    On a side note another Paradox DLC comes nov 18th, for the games of games, for CK2. EU4 was nice, but got Meh quick.