Trading Places: Europa Universalis Expansion Announced

By Graham Smith on January 27th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Who is the richest of them all?

As the second coolest person at RPS, I’ve spent many hours in Europa Universalis IV, attempting to conquer Venice as that lovable nation state, Austria. If you’re only as cool as the third or fourth coolest person at RPS, you might not know that Venice is valuable because it’s a centre of trade.

If you’re not as cool as me, you might also not know why Europa Universalis IV’s new expansion pack, Weath of Nations, is exciting. It’s because it expands the games trading mechanics to include privateers, trade companies and conflicts.

In its current incarnation, I’ve never quite got to grips with how the trade system works, but I like the sound of the changes. As well as dominating trade by fightin’ in public, you can now do it by fightin’ in secret, covertly instigating conflicts among your competition. You can also outsource your fightin’ by hiring pirates to damage enemy ships and mess with their trade routes. Finally, you’ll also be able to form an East India Company to expand your trade empire to the far east.

Paradox haven’t released a trailer or screenshots of the new expansion yet, but this explains trade as a general concept:

Denholm Elliott!

It’s the sneakin’ around – fightin’ and sneakin’ should never be spelled or pronounced with their ‘g’ – that suits me best. Europa Universalis is an anecdote generator, about providing cool people like me with stories they can regale their similarly cool friends with. The best stories always involve sneakin’.

If you’re not much on personal wealth, any feature of the expansion that impacts the core systems of the game will be released as a free update to the existing EUIV. Which is nice.

As the coolest person who writes for RPS, Adam will return from Paradox with more information about Wealth of Nations later this week.

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38 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    I know this joke is probably very old, but you did the right thing sending Adam to preview this add-on.

  2. Didden says:

    Best Paradox game trailer yet to be honest…

    • RaveTurned says:

      I thought the CK2 Old Gods EXTREME release trailer was pretty good.

    • Graerth says:

      Are we already abandoning our dear friend Jazz Boatman?

      =(

  3. amateurviking says:

    ‘Nenge! Nenge Mboko, from Cameroon? Do you remember me? It’s Lionel Joseph!’

  4. soulblur says:

    Hmm. Trade in EU4. I have to admit, I haven’t quite gotten to grips with it either, despite playing a lot. Never sure how to dominate a trade good, for example – something which is actually really important. I don’t think the system makes it particularly clear.

    At any rate, this should help countries like Hansa and Venice be a bit more flexible, which is nice.

    • MrThingy says:

      Likewise, the Trade map still bewilders me. Apparently you don’t need a merchant in your capital trade zone… but you can… and it might help… or it might not… or you could forward trade… or collect trade… but it depends… sort of… maybe.

      It’s all a bit magical to me.

      • MichaelGC says:

        I’ve read where forwarding is best if you don’t have a lot of provinces (or lightships) in a node.

        So why my income plummets whenever I test that out is beyond me! Oh well, I never did have a head for money…

        • gi_ty says:

          Trade so far is pretty straight forward. It all comes down to trade power. The more provinces you own in a trade zone with more trade improvements the more trade power and thus more income per node. Just click on the crate icon it will show all the trade zones and your trade power. As far as forwarded trade only do that at nodes you don’t have any trade power at. It is always better to collect if you can forwarding is only for excess merchants. Also light ships provide huge trade power boosts but make sure you put em in port if you go to war.

        • Zamn10210 says:

          The key thing to get is that using a merchant to transfer trade power just affects which DIRECTION you push trade in from that node (you choose the direction you want from the trade mapmode). The AMOUNT of trade you push depends on your provinces in that zone and your light ships protecting it, with be merchant only having a small effect.

          So you want to forward in nodes leading to your capital where you DO have a lot of power from provinces and light ships.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Thankyou Zamn10210 & gi_ty: I’ve probably misunderstood somehow, as that all seems to make perfect sense! So, I will give these notions a try – although as it’s me, the next stop will no doubt be the Debtors’ Prison…

  5. Cinek says:

    Finally an expansion pack that’s worth buying for someone who doesn’t give a crap about Americas.

  6. Gothnak says:

    I destroyed Venice in my playthrough but started with Tuscany instead. Austria keep coming over and causing trouble, so i ally with them against everyone else and they go away again.

    Pity i thought that taking the ‘colony’ upgrade would be good before i understood how they worked.. Instead of ending up with a thriving colony in the states, the furthest i could get was a barren outcrop on the edge of North West Africa.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Rio de Oro gets such a bad rep but it really is lovely this time of year. Please come and settle here, we only need 100 more colonists then we can core it and forget about it and go and grab the Ivory Coast.

  7. BobbyDylan says:

    Awesome!

  8. MichaelGC says:

    I always play as France. For me Austria is approximately as “lovable” as a rabidly-enraged leprous porcupine…

  9. Canisa says:

    I wonder if South East Asian player countries can ever get the opportunity to form a West Europe Company?

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Or imagine if East Asian nations had discovered America while they were looking for an eastern route to Europe. Instead of the West Indies, the Caribbean would be called Eastern Europe.

      Or explorers from India landing in Central America, assuming it was Spain and referring to the natives as Spaniards.

  10. JamesTheNumberless says:

    Oh cool another expansion… Wait, it makes trade *MORE* complicated??!?

    I love the trade mechanics in EUIV but I wish it was easier to keep tabs on than having to open up the finance tab every few months, check my trade income, then cycle through the trade nodes to find where the latest unexpected loss or gain has come from. I find that the only approach to trade that doesn’t become a chore is just to collect from non-home nodes which is sub-optimal. Compared with tax and production there’s rather a lot of micromanagement involved in trade income… Still the game does an amazing job of being so large scale and yet avoiding tediousness, so it’s only a little gripe – maybe something solved by being able to put more trade data on the ever-present parts of the UI

    • Cinek says:

      Complicated?! You should try EU III. This one is easy.

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        Not terribly helpful, EUIII might be more complicated but that doesn’t make EUIV any less. I didn’t say it was hard, I would just like to have more indicators when things are affecting my trade. For example I’d like a summary of how many rival lightships are protecting trade in each of my nodes – something like the way the game shows you hostile sieges. Surprise trade fleet movements have caught me out too many times and cost me months of lost trade income.

  11. SaintShion says:

    I didn’t understand the trade mechanism fully until I completed an Aztec campaign where I conquered the New World and funneled all the money from the east indies east to Mexico, and west around the cape of Africa, directly into my capitol in the Caribbean, as 90% of my funding was trade money, and using light ships and vassals to host my ships. I had near 1500 ducats of trade in total, completely strangling Europe of trade funds.

    The key to learning how to trade in EU4 is realizing where the trade flows, and where you are most likely to get money from trading. Collecting trade outside of your capitol isn’t terribly efficient, and unless you are a Merchant Republic, not going to get you much. They recently added a new Western European trade node to allow any European country to collect trade from any part of the new world outside of Brazil, so it’s a lot easier now, and allows the Northern Europeans to monopolize more of the New World.

    To learn trading, start as Brazil or Castille. They are set up to win using the Seville trade node for West indies to Africa, and using the New World to collect from the Western Europe trade node. Place merchants at key locations where others are trying to divert funds, and throw light ships at the node. Most of the lucrative trade is the Americas and Africa/India/West Indies.

    Until you’re a Merchant Republic or a Colonial power, trade is fairly basic. Collect in your home node, channel one or two of the nodes up the stream with some light ships to get a bit more cash into your home node. Once the world is your oyster, you will have to study where money flows, and how you can push more in your direction.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      I tried it both ways as England/GB, with the entire Chesapeake Bay node in my control. Collecting directly from the node made me far more money than trying to forward it all towards London – even though I was also dominant in the North Sea.

      Playing as Russia in my current game I’m surprised by how powerful trade is turning out to be – without the need for a huge navy and high diplomatic tech I can funnel diplo points into trade buildings… Of course, now I’m westernizing (1660) and everything is bound to go tits-up.

  12. DThor says:

    Sigh. I want so much to be cool like you. Sure, I’ve played endless hours of Civ, but we all know that’s for people that think CoD is great fun and don’t know how to properly pronounce ‘grognard’. I should absolutely love this game but every time I fire it up I sit there and stare at all those different map display options and I don’t know WHAT TO DO! Apart from some obvious things like setting a goal to arrange a marriage and arranging a marriage to make it go away, I don’t get any feedback, positive or negative, that I’m awesome or I’m frittering away days watching other countries get rich and powerful. Some YouTube videos (tediously) show a train of thought, but since this game is so awesomely deep that path may or may not apply to another country or time. It’s like someone handed me a saxophone when I was 5 and said ‘play baby, play!’. Anyone have any suggestions? It’s the lack of feedback in the game I find most frustrating, tons of data, just so little ‘you know you suck, right?’.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I loaded up EUIV, started a game as Spain, looked at the screen for 5 seconds, then closed it and started the tutorial. I haven’t really progressed beyond that. I suspect that it’s not so bad once you get into it, but you’re right that it can be daunting at first. Then there’s stuff like the AGEOD American Civil War, which someone who’s into that kind of game admits pretty much requires a full command staff to play effectively.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Definitely have a bash at the tutorial, apart maybe from the last section which (if I recall) is basically just ‘Playing The Game as Spain’. After that, maybe try starting a game as France in 1444. (The whisper on the grapevine is that France is very newbie-friendly! Yay.) It certainly is very easy to push England back across the channel, and I found focusing on that to begin with a good way to get started.

      PS I don’t know how to properly pronounce that word. I’m assuming it doesn’t rhyme with ‘mallard’. :P

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        I subscribe to the idea that Muscovy are a good newbie nation – you have a nation next door that are ripe for the taking and a bunch of smaller ones around to annex. A cool objective in trying to form Russia, plus you can’t really do much about trade or naval power very early on and it isn’t crucial to your success. Then as you progress you have tons of options for expansion and alliances but the sheer size of your territory (not to mention the harshness of the winters) helps you defend and means it isn’t necessarily the end of the world if you lose wars or territory. As a newbie player I’d also want to stay away from the added complication of HRE politics (or having the HRE as an enemy – as France will)

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      As an EUIV obsessive and a fan of Civ since Civ 2 was new, I don’t get why there is so much animosity between some EU fans and some Civ fans. They scratch different itches. But Paradox are dead right about the boats ;)

    • gi_ty says:

      Personally I prefer playing smaller countries. I would say try Brandenburg or another minor country. Get yourself some allies and please them right off the bat though. I say this because with a small country and modest goals you can see your progress more effectively and every territory gained required you to do it. Even if through the whole game you only manage to become a regional power it can still be fun, and it makes diplomacy so much more important. Basically ally with Austria as the first thing you do when you start a new game and you can play any country in the HRE with minimal risk and sneak a territory every now and again. This will keep your focus small and more directly rewarding while also learning without being so overwhelming..

    • DThor says:

      Thanks for the comments, I have been more or less keeping it “small” and not playing Everybody Wants to Rule the World as my background music. I guess I just need to keep hammering at it and at some point the penny will drop. I can tell there’s a massive well of playability there despite the small game size, which appeals to me a lot. I would characterize my frustration not with having too many options, it’s a lack of a structured tutorial / hint system that gets you through a larger percentage of the data mining. Civ has perhaps not quite the depth of this, but the tutorials pull you in quickly and don’t let go. This reminds me a bit of Arma.