Europa Universalis IV Launches New Expansion; Crusader Kings II Rewards Cannibals

A new Europa Universalis IV [official site] expansion, named Rights of Man, is out today. This means that people who pay £15 can play with expanded diplomatic options as a Great Power. As is the traditional Paradox grand strategy way, a big update has launched alongside this expansion with fixes and additions for all.

Look, if I sound half-hearted, it’s because I’m reading the notes for a Crusader Kings II patch Paradox also released today, and that has the lot: cats, fraudulent mystics, and cannibals finding human heads in their beds. EU4 is a let-down on the japery front.

Anyway, so, Rights of Man. It brings newbits including special new diplomatic abilities for Great Powers, monarchs and leaders having personalities and traits granting bonuses, being able to give subject nations “more specific instructions” with wars, and a grab bag of other features that make it seem a pretty general-purpose expansion. It’s £14.99/19,99€/$19.99 on Steam.

The free EU4 update launching alongside Rights of Man brings hundreds of fixes, tweaks, and additions to all players. Look, I’m sure a lot of these are very meaningful to EU4, but as patch notes they’re not much fun. “Nationalist rebels will no longer demand provinces outside their own culture,” anyone? No?

In contrast, check out the delightful patch notes for Crusader Kings II v2.6.2. Right out the gate they’re strong, with some cracking-sounding additions to the recent plague-y expansion, Reaper’s Due:

– More Cat and Dog events
– Suicide event chain, with special outcomes for immortal characters
– Added new event chain, Play Chess with Death
– Added new event chain, Mask of the Red Death
– Devouring the Head of a religion not your own may give Sympathy towards it. You are what you eat.

What a strange and wonderful game CK2 is. The scale and focus of its historical simulation is pitched perfectly for these weird things. I like to imagine space aliens discovering old patch notes and trying to decipher what this ‘Crusader Kings II’ was.

– Added special text for cannibals who find a human head on their bed
– Mystics bringing promises of eternal life are more likely to be frauds
– Fixed an issue were a reincarnated character would mess up the dynasty tree
– Regrowing lost limbs now removes phantom pain
– Zoroastrians and Messalians can now seduce their close family members
– You can no longer appoint yourself as a Shieldmaiden
– WoL event about your hunting dog maiming someone now has a neater tooltip
– Children and other characters unfit to lead troop will no longer lead siege defense

What a game! I’d like to see a game jam where people design games backwards from CK2 patch notes, creating a game to accomodate these odd and disparate tweaks.

“I started playing again for the first time in ages a couple of weeks back,” Adam tells me to add to this post, “and my first character died, bleeding from his eyes. Felt like coming home.”

Sounds about right.

Try harder next time, Europa Universalis.

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24 Comments

  1. Faldrath says:

    I was actually thinking that there have been so many expansions for CK2 and EU4 that it might be time for a new Wot I Think. Wot I Think 2.0? I Wot Thought That, Now This Is Wot I Think? New Wot Think I Now? …

    I’m sure you guys can come up with something better. But think about it! Wot.

  2. Premium User Badge

    AculAlHazred says:

    Serious question: I have bought CKII a while ago, and have been wondering if it makes sense to play the basic game, without any of the countless DLCs bought. Could someone advise me which ones are essential, or at least very good, since i don’t want to buy the whole DLC collection for 260 (!!!) euros?

    • arienette says:

      Most DLC that isn’t cosmetic simply unlocks the option to play as a group of people. ie. you can’t play as an Indian ruler unless you buy Rajas of India.

      DLC that makes a mechanical difference include Legacy of Rome (retinues), Sons of Abraham (College of Cardinals), Way of Life (life focus) and the new Reapers Due.

      Two DLC (old gods and charlamagne) introduce new earlier start dates, but you shouldn’t worry about that or playing as a non-Christian ruler until you’re more familiar with that game.

    • Joriath says:

      It’s difficult to remember which DLC added which features, the CKII wiki – searcheable through browsers – is quite useful though.

      but off the top of my head, and having not played for a while, I’d recommend the Charlemagne, Old Gods and Sword of Islam DLCs, simply because they expand the timeline and allow you to play Muslim characters. The Rajas of India allows you to play as characters there but I haven’t actually played any, so can’t really comment on its value.

      I have quite enjoyed the Reapers’ Due, even though the epidemics make the game a bit harder as you try to keep your dynasty alive. In a couple of games I played after release I lost two dynasties within 100 years due to unfortunate epidemics killing off my family members through disease or famine. It certainly expands on diseases, though if you’re just getting to grips with the game it might be a bit punishing.

      The Way of Life was focused more on events and roleplaying, if I remember correctly, and I think the Sons of Abraham added some events to different religions, particularly Judaism. They’re good fun but not critical to any extent.

    • Cropduster says:

      Well Paradox are pretty good when it comes to updating the base game alongside the expansions, so you’ll actually be playing a fairly up to date version, you’ll just be limited to European Catholic rulers (which is a pretty good place to start from).

      I’d say definitely get Way of Life; it adds a lot of great functionality regardless of who you’re playing. Sons of Abraham adds some fun stuff for Catholic and Jewish rulers too.

      Conclave and Reapers Due are in a similar boat, they’ll affect you whoever you play as, but Conclave was pretty contraversial and might add more complications than you want if you’re new to the game (although I loved it personally). I haven’t played much of RD yet so I can’t speak with much authority.

      As for the rest, just grab them as and when you want to play as something different tbh, for instance, Sword of Islam unlocks Muslims, who have a load of unique mechanics behind them, but are pretty tough to play as because of it. Charlemagne unlocks tribal governments, Old Gods Unlocks Pagans etc.

      You can probably skip Sunset Invasion altogether.

    • P.Funk says:

      Luckily very little of the DLC is actually necessary to play as a Christian ruler as you’d see in a modern youtube video, the original point of CK2. Most of the DLC content is integrated into the game and you simply don’t get to interact with it except as nations who are your opposition.

      Most of the DLC is just faction specific gameplay unlocks, totally unimportant aesthetic packs, and a little bit of quality of life stuff, like Way of Life. The more recent DLC do seem more meddling, like Conclave which basically they messed with some mechanics to suit so it kinda sucks to not have it and Reaper’s Due, but CK2 is perfectly playable without the DLC. As mentioned above getting retinues is helpful, but again not important.

      The good news is that they’ve added a lot of options to now disable things, like shattered retreat which is really annoying and a total change from the game as we’ve known it since 2012.

    • Premium User Badge

      AculAlHazred says:

      Thanks guys, that’s really helpful :)

    • Rwlyra says:

      Only get the DLCs on sale. I think Old Gods and Legacy of Rome are the most mandatory ones, Conclave/SoA/Way of Life to get later and Sword of Islam/Rajas/Reapers/Charlemagne/Horse Lords up to taste.

  3. SamD says:

    Tragically despite the great feature list this is going to be the first DLC for EUIV that I don’t buy instantly. £14.99 just seems too much for DLC such as this no matter the feature set. I complained bitterly about the Beast Lords DLC for Warhammer: Total War being around the same price and that actually had a new separate campaign and entirely new army roster (although both were admittedly fairly mediocre).

    The previous DLC for EUIV Mare Nostrum for £10.99 was the only one I’ve bought where I actually felt ripped off and this seems to be following a worrying price inflation trend.

    Conversely I picked up Reapers Due for CK2 for £7.50 and felt entirely happy with that purchase and what I received.

    Is it just me that feels £14.99 is too much for this?

    • slerbal says:

      Sadly it’s too much for a DLC for me right now. I love EU4 but that feels way too much given there are several other games I really want that are about the same price for the whole game. £11 for a DLC was already right on the edge of what I was willing to pay. This will have to wait until I’m either feeling unreasonably flushed, get super tempted by some cool thing in it or it is on sale.

      I get that Sterling is worth nothing at the moment, but that doesn’t mean any of us have more of it…

      • Aetylus says:

        Yeah, I love EU4, but the DLC just seems overpriced for what it is… some mechanical adjustments. I’ll pick them up on a 75% off sale at some point, but can’t justify paying full price for them. CK2 on the other hand seems to have got it right…

    • ross-g says:

      It’s only £12.79 on GMG if that changes things?

      Generally I’d agree that many Paradox feature DLCs just don’t feel great value for money… if it were £14.99 for the collection (feature DLC plus cosmetic unit pack and additional music) then it would be a more tempting proposition.

  4. P.Funk says:

    I really wish they’d stop meddling with CK2. I want the game to stabilize under a single set of core mechanics that basically only get slight balance tweaks. It was one thing when they were merely adding new faction gameplay that was effectively firewalled from the other game content, but now its so sweeping that a 2012 player wouldn’t recognize it.

    I think the best of CK2’s balance and mechanic changes (meaning the ones that come from free patches in sync with DLC) are long since past. I’m not really enjoying any great improvement in gameplay anymore if I’m not buying the DLC (and even if I am frankly).

    We’re nearly out of 2016 and the game launched in 2012. I’d like to be able to use a set of mods that don’t get broken and probably stop being developed out of frustration. I worry the game will be a buggy mess until the end of time rather than being a kind of perfectly balanced and tweaked classic that got just the right amount of ongoing development and patching.

    • TheOx129 says:

      If you haven’t already, I’d recommend diving into the game again. I never really had the same issues with balance or mechanics changes that a lot of folks seemingly did, but from what I’ve seen, the 2.6 patch brought a lot of folks who feel the same way you do back into the game. I think the ability to alter game settings and turn off controversial mechanical choices like shattered retreats made a lot of people happy.

      I’m a bit confused by your modding comments, however. CK2 modding is easily the healthiest it has ever been, and most of the major mods get compatibility patches within a few days after a new patch.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    To be fair, EU4 getting rid of technology groups is a huge deal. Since the first game, the technological progress of nations was fixed, with the western powers always edging ahead of all other nations technologically, which is a weird bit of historical determinism in a series where very little is pre-determined.

    Should allow for a lot more madness.

    • Cropduster says:

      I agree, the whole ‘get a western neighbor asap’ thing felt pretty arbitrary at the best of times. This should make eastern games (which contain some amzing starting nations) much more interesting.

      I think these games are at their best when they scrap the historical determinism from the outset. It always dogged hoi3 and vicky 2, and I’m glad they’re leaning a little more sandboxesque.

      • ThePuzzler says:

        I notice there’s a ‘lucky nations’ toggle in the setup options, where you can decide to disable some of the game’s bias in favour of France, etc.

        But I think I prefer to have some bias towards historical events. Going to war with Russia as Poland means something to me. If I win, that seems impressive. If Nogai conquers Russia, and I then defeat Nogai, what does that signify? I’d never heard of Nogai before I played EU4.

  6. SirRoderick says:

    PI has terrible patch notes. The full notes are listed here: link to forum.paradoxplaza.com
    Check the spoiler if you’re interested.

    Quite a lot of changes, including two new government forms (Prussian and Ottoman) that add bundles of flavour to those nations. Tech system and inheritance upheavals add to it as well, I am really happy with it personally.

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