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Overview

Europa Universalis IV is the latest game in Paradox Interactive's long running Europa Universalis franchise. It was released for PC, Mac and Linux on August 13th, 2013. The game's time frame is set from 1444 to 1820. Like previous games in the series, any nation in the world active during its time frame is playable. As a sandbox game with no true goal, the player can conduct war, diplomacy, trade, and many other managerial aspects of running a country, though missions and events in the game, if accepted, push players towards strengthening their nation and expanding their rule throughout the world. Europa Universalis IV uses an improved version of Paradox's Clauswitz engine, and brings in UI improvements from Crusader Kings II.

Gameplay

The game is very similar to the previous Europa Universalis 3, but it takes all of the expansions from that game as a baseline for EU4. The game features the ability to play as anyone in the world, from one of the warring Daiymos of feudal Japan, to the Ottoman Turks, even to the Iroquois of North America. Some countries, however, are higher tier countries, which means that they have much more flavor, which includes decisions, events, missions and ideas than others.

The game can be played in many different ways, but all of them are dependent on one thing: the new monarch points system. This system has 3 different points, separated into Administrative, Diplomacy and Military. All 3 points are used for tech upgrades and ideas, but are also used for other things; Administrative is used to core provinces (make provinces officially part of your country) and improve stability, Diplomacy is used to spread your culture to other provinces and lower war exhaustion, Military to enact war taxes, give harsh treatment on revolting groups and recruit generals and admirals.

These monarch points are also tied into the Idea Groups. The Player will get their first group at admin level 5, and these groups will help them specialize their nation with bonuses. For Example, a player playing a colonization nation will probably pick the Exploration idea group, which allows them to recruit explorers to explore the oceans, and allows for colonists. A person playing in Eastern Europe, with very little colonization aspirations, might pick a military group such as Quality or Offensive. Some nations also have unique idea groups for themselves, which unlock based on how many regular ideas the player has unlocked as well as having traditions and ambitions, which are 2 ideas that a country has when starting with the ambition being unlocked when all 7 ideas in the nation's idea set have been unlocked.

Trade is one way to expand an empire, and it's one of the things that has been massively changed from EU3. There are trade nodes, which are static areas where trade centers. This trade can either stay there, or be sent upward (the trade ends at 3 nodes, however, which cannot be sent upstream; Venice, Genoa and English Channel). Individual provinces produce one out of the possible 29 trade goods, the only trade good that isn't actually traded is gold, which instead goes directly into a nation's income, though it also increases a nation's inflation, which can be brought down with inflation reducing ideas or the use of diplomatic monarch points. If the player has more trade power in the Wien (Vienna) trade node, they will want to collect from there, but they might also want to send up trade from Constantinople with their other merchant. Each node has trade value, which is how much a node is valued all together, and trade power, which indicates how much money each nation is getting (this can be improved by light ships as well as building trade buildings).

The colonization game is one way to expand, and it's one that hasn't changed much from EU3. Each nation has a colonial range (which is improved by Diplomacy tech), but no nation can explore Terra Incognita (land/ocean that is invisible) without explorers. Of course, the Terra Incognita goes away after it's been explored by someone in your tech group after 50 years, so a player can wait until then. You also have colonists, which you can send to a province. These provinces will continue to grow without the colonist there, so a nation can recall them and send them somewhere else, but they will do so much more slowly. Once a colony gets 1000 people, it is now considered a regular province, but instead of the nation getting tax money from them, they get tariffs, which are protected by big ships. Colonial nations with gold producing provinces will send treasure fleets back to the colonial overlord, as long as it's home trade node is downstream from the colonial nation, on a regular basis dependent on the amount of gold being produced, the more gold the more frequent and larger amounts of ducats being sent. As with trade, treasure fleets can be pirated by nations wanting to take a bit of gold from their rivals. As tariffs go up, either by the player spending administrative monarch points or events, often by the 1700's, a colonial nation with high liberty desire might declare a war of independence to govern themselves, which if they succeed will form a new nation that is based on a real nation today.

Warfare also hasn't changed much, but as of 1.2 each battle is much more deadly than it's ever been before. As opposed to Crusader Kings 2, the only army the player has is a standing one. Having a casus belli isn't required, but without it a nation gets -2 stability. The new feature that was added to impede a nation's ability to blob (get bigger) is aggressive expansion, which if left unchecked will lead to a coalition forming. It's an alliance that only works against one country, and can be joined by as many countries that meet the requirements. A belligerent France might get a coalition army against all of the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, England...

The UI has been much improved. It's easy to see what the player needs to do in order to succeed; the player now has a chart of missions to accomplish, which can give claims on provinces as well as other timed bonuses when all requirements are completed. If the player has rebels, they can be brought to a screen that will tell them how to deal with them and why it's happening. The economy works a monthly basis, instead of a yearly basis à la EU3.

Beginning with patch 1.18, Paradox began giving names to the patches. 1.18 was titled the "Prussia" patch. The current version, as of March 2018, of the game is 1.25, known as the England patch as it was released along with the Rule Britannia immersion pack.

Expansions & DLC

Like many of Paradox's grand strategy games, Europa Universalis IV has a number of DLC available for purchase, ranging from larger DLC like American Dream or Conquest of Paradise, which add significant new gameplay content, to smaller, purely cosmetic packs.

The game launched with one minor expansion, Purple Phoenix. This adds events to the ailing Byzantine Empire, and allows the restoration of the Theme system as well as many other events.

They also released The Star and the Crescent in the Digital Extreme Edition pack, an event pack for Muslims. This includes many things about such things as Pilgrimages, controlling the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and holy wars.

Their next was American Dream, which adds events to the USA.

Conquest of Paradise

The first major expansion for Europa Universalis IV, Conquest of Paradise, was originally slated for December 11, 2013, but was delayed until January 14, 2014. It features new national ideas for Native American tribes, new Native American and African tribes to play as, new Native American content, greatly expanded colonial and native politics and interactions, and finally an option to play with a randomized New World, allowing for a true Age of Discovery with a new seed every game for players to explore and conquer.

Wealth of Nations

The second major expansion is Wealth of Nations. The expansion focuses on trade and adds new diplomacy options and trade companies, such as the British East India Company. There is also the ability for trade wars and privateers to be dispatched to prey on trade. This DLC is released at the same time as a free content update that added the ability to create the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal and the Kiel Canal among other balance changes and selected improvements from Wealth of Nations. Also improvements to the Hindu religion have been included.

Res Publica

The Third Expansion is Res Publica. This is only a small DLC being released during the summer holidays of the developer to allow for paid content during this period. The main focus of this DLC is, like Wealth of Nations, trade and Trade Nations. The Netherlands is a major focus of this DLC adding new ideas and events to the game. Trade Nations will also gain the ability to add trade posts in other trade areas other than the home trade zone. New government types are also being added such as the Elective Monarchy and a Dictatorship. This DLC will crossover with update 1.7 and some features of this expansion will be added free to improve the vanilla experience.

Art of War

The Fourth Expansion, titled "Art of War", is the biggest expansion that Paradox has ever released. This expansion is being released with Patch v1.8 and contains "FreeLC". The update adds over 150 countries due to the overhaul that Paradox have done on the map. The map now contains more provinces in India, North, Central and South America, The Far East, The Near East and Africa. Wastelands have also been changed to help make a better experience. This increase in provinces is to reflect on a more realistic world at the time of the game.

The DLC mainly focuses on the 30 Years War and introduces new mechanics in religion. Religious Leagues are now a major system and are designed to create long wars between many nations as happened historically. The DLC also reduces the micromanagement of units by allowing ships to upgrade, automatic transport and an change to the Collage of Cardinals by making them based on provinces. The DLC also adds mothballing of fleets to the game which is hoped will help players in the economy as mothballed fleets require less upkeep.

A number of unit packs and a song pack were also released with this update.

El Dorado

This is the fifth expansion for the game, released in conjunction with the 1.10 patch.The focus of this update is the Nation Editor, which allows the player to create custom nations. This feature is aimed at increasing the already massive re-playability of the game. It also includes new game set up derisions such as 'Random Base Province Tax' and Random Nations.

The expansion focuses on Central and South America by introducing new religions and events for these countries. The expansion also changes the exploration of the Americas as Explorers can now be sent to search for great lost treasures, such as the DLC's namesake El Dorado and the other cities of Gold.

Common Sense

The sixth large expansion for the game, Common Sense was released alongside patch 1.12. The expansion focuses on the new provincial development system, where the player can improve their provinces base manpower, base development, and base tax through the use of monarch points. Common Sense also adds new depth for theocracies and other government types. Religions such as Protestantism and Buddhism have also had new mechanism put in place.

The patch that was launched alongside the DLC also introduces many new, free changes to the game. Both the fort/sieging systems and the building systems were completely reworked. The mission system was also changed to give more interesting rewards, such as a buff for a few years instead of just monarch points.

The Cossacks

The seventh expansion DLC release, The Cossacks focuses on Eastern Europe and the Hordes. The expansion provides greater depth in managing politics by adding Estates (The Church, Nobles, bourgeoisie, ect.) and changing AI interaction by deepening the users ability to control foreign relations. The DLC also adds new religion mechanics, new Horde actions and mechanics, an advanced culture change ability, Native Policies and new espionage ideas. This DLC was released at the same time as patch 1.14, one paid content pack and one paid music pack.

Mare Nostrum

The eight expansion DLC release, Mare Nostrum was released alongside patch 1.16 on April 5th, 2016. This expansion focuses on reworking parts of the naval game, such as allowing Barbary nations to raid European shores and adding several new naval mission types. Another major feature is the inclusion of the game timeline, which allows a player to watch the world change through their game.

The free patch released alongside the DLC including a reworked espionage system and a new mechanic called "Corruption", which effects various facets of an empire. A content pack was also released along with Mare Nostrum.

Rights of Man

The ninth expansion DLC, it was released on October 11th, 2016. Accompanying the release was patch 1.18, also known as the "Prussia Patch". Several major features were added in this patch, and one of the biggest was an overhaul to the technology system where countries embrace "Institutions" rather than simply having a flat penalty to technological advancement based on culture. Also included are ruler and military leader personality traits, ruler abdication, heir disinheritance, and Great Powers along with a few Great Power mechanics. Great Powers are the 8 strongest nations in the game. Also included are new mechanics for the Coptic religion, as well as new government types for the Ottoman and Prussian governments.

Mandate of Heaven

The tenth expansion DLC focused on east Asian, and was released on April 6th, 2017. The focus on Asia included new mechanics around being the Emperor of China. A position that includes a new form of government that can pass various decrees and imperial reforms, and is strengthened by making neighboring nations into tributaries. Tributaries are a new type of vassal that are protected by the Emperor, but must pay a yearly tribute to that country. Historical ages were another new feature that separated the campaign into different periods of time (i.e. Age of Discovery, Age of Revolutions) with various bonuses for which the player can strive.

Third Rome

The first Immersion Pack DLC was released on June 14th, 2017. Focused on Russia this pack added several small vassals to Muscovy's already large amount of small vassals. This pack added new goverment ranks unique to the Russian culture group, which includes a new ability for Russian empires, the Siberian Frontier, allowing for overland colonization without using a colonial idea, instead costing diplomatic monarch points, but without a month ducat cost. Iconography and Metropolitans were added as part of the Orthodox religion group. Includes unit packs for Russian nations. Several new provinces were added with the free patch.

Cradle of Civilization

The eleventh expansion DLC released on November 16th, 2017 along with the 1.23 "Persia" update. Focusing on near east, this DLC added many small nations to the area as well as adding Islamic Schools, allowing bonuses for Islamic nations to pick from, as long as they are friendly with the nation that grants the chosen bonus. Trade Policies was also added allowing nations with enough trade power to chose from 4 bonuses, with Islamic nations getting a fifth choice, allowing them to spread their version of Islam to provinces in that trade. Another addition is Army Professionalism, allowing standing armies with generals assigned to Drill, allowing them to gain bonuses on a 0 to 100 scale making them better at fighting while allowing the nation to earn bonuses, including an extra 20% siege bonus and half price generals and other military leaders. The concurrent patch added many provinces and small nations to the Persian area as well as the Arabian peninsula.

Rule Britannia

The second Immersion Pack DLC was released along with the 1.25 "England" patch on March 20th, 2018. Focusing on the British Isles this pack contains Naval Doctrines, allowing for fleet wide bonuses, with British culture groups having the exclusive Wooden Wall doctrine. Innovativeness granting bonuses for being the first to unlock each tech group or specific ideas. Adds the Angelic religion event allowing the religion to be founded, evangelized or not spawned at all. The simultaneous patch added provinces to the british isles as well as nothern France and the low countries.

Smaller DLC:

  • The Horsemen of the Crescent Unit pack
  • The Star and Crescent pack
  • The Conquest of Constantinople (music)
  • The Purple Phoenix expansion
  • The Winged Hussars Pack
  • National Monuments
  • The 100 Years War Unit pack
  • National Monuments II
  • Conquistadors Unit pack
  • Songs of the New World (music)
  • Native American Unit pack
  • Songs of Yuletide (music)
  • American Dream
  • Catholic League Unit Pack
  • Evangelical Union Unit Pack
  • Guns, Drums & Steel (Music Pack)
  • Guns, Drums & Steel Vol. 2 (Music Pack)
  • El Dorado Content Pack
  • Common Sense Content Pack
  • The Cossacks Content Pack
  • Sabaton Soundtrack (Music Pack)
  • Rights of Man Content Pack
  • Songs of Regancy (Music Pack)
  • Evangelical Majors Unit Pack

System Requirements

PC System Requirements

MinimumRecommended
OS: XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8OS: XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
Processor: Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+Processor: Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
Memory: 2 GB RAMMemory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon X1900, 512mb video memory requiredGraphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon X1900, 1024mb video memory required
DirectX: 9.0cDirectX: 9.0c
Hard Drive: 2 GB HD spaceHard Drive: 2 GB HD space
Sound: DirectX-compatible soundcardSound: DirectX-compatible soundcard
Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connectionOther Requirements: Broadband Internet connection
Additional: Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard and speakers. Internet Connection or LAN for multiplayerAdditional: Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard and speakers. Internet Connection or LAN for multiplayer

Mac System Requirements

MinimumRecommended
OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or betterOS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or better
Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
Memory: 2 GB RAMMemory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory requiredGraphics: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required
Hard Drive: 2 GB HD spaceHard Drive: 2 GB HD space
Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connectionOther Requirements: Broadband Internet connection
Additional: GLSL 1.3, OpenGL 2.1. Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard and speakers. Internet Connection or LAN for multiplayerAdditional: GLSL 1.3, OpenGL 2.1. Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard and speakers. Internet Connection or LAN for multiplayer

Linux System Requirements

RecommendedMinimum
OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTSOS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
Memory: 2 GB RAMMemory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory requiredGraphics: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required
Hard Drive: 2 GB HD spaceHard Drive: 2 GB HD space
Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connectionOther Requirements: Broadband Internet connection
Additional: GLSL 1.3, OpenGL 2.1. Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard and speakers. Internet Connection or LAN for multiplayerAdditional: GLSL 1.3, OpenGL 2.1. Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard and speakers. Internet Connection or LAN for multiplayer
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