“Don’t you go to Goa,” a wise band once sang. Well, eat my dust, Alabama 3. I’ll go wherever I please, up to and including Goa. But fair enough, I can’t afford the airplane ticket. I’ll have to just play strategy game Europa Universalis IV’s upcoming Dharma expansion, which is reworking the Indian provinces on September 6. It’s adding ruthless European charter companies to the region, as well as monsoons, the caste system and a bunch of “scornful insults”.
As you can see via the medium of chess analogy, the expansion is all about competition between Indian lords and encroaching European powers. There’ll be new mission pop-ups for Indian rulers, a refreshed estate system, and new castes of people, including brahmin with which to calm unrest. Meanwhile trade companies will grant bonuses to any province that houses them, but this will also greatly benefit the foreign power that runs the company.
If you get sick of dirty Europeans, however, you’ll be able to send them a “scornful insult”, which is like the regular diplomatic insults that already exist, except this one is deeply personal and tailored to the recipient. “Your wooden teeth look like a stable door, English idiot.” That’s probably not one of them. I just liked the sound of it.
You can see all the new or updated features on Steam or on Paradox’s store page. But if you want more, Fraser Brown previously spoke to Paradox Person Jake Leiper-Ritchie for us about the Dharma expansion in finer detail. For example, the developer explained that Europowers will be able to buy land outright in the expansion, but within limits.
“Buying provinces has been requested and discussed before,” says Leiper-Ritchie, “but we had to put it in such a way that you can’t just throw money at people to win the game.” That means there will be a cap on what they’re willing to give you, regardless of how much money you’re willing to burn. Their opinion of you will obviously matter as well, and if they’re an empire, they simply won’t sell to you at all. Rude! But also probably very smart.
There’s also a free update alongside the expansion, as usual with Paradox add-o-boxes. It’s called the Mughal update and “will include a more detailed map of the Indian region, a renewed Estate system, and a new approach to Policies.” The Mughals are excellent people and have lots of money, which you’d know if you lived in a castle with them for four days.
All in all, it looks like more things to strategically click on and more reasons to say: “Hmmm”. It'll cost you £15.49/$19.99/€19.99. So go on, head off to India if you like. Sorry I can’t join you. Because if there’s one thing I know, I...