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:
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.