King of the who?

Europa Universalis IV getting another expansion, Rule Britannia

PC/Mac/Linux •

Here’s the deal, folks. Apart from the recent release of The Room: Old Sins and Meteorfall, the App Store has been about as exciting as a Swedish art-house film. There’s nothing thrilling out there at all (this will change on Thursday, but I can’t talk about it until then), so I’ve been spending much of my time on Steam instead. Nick talked me into playing Factorio, which has been consuming most of my waking minutes and has been the main reason the site was dead yesterday [great job, Nick! One less day to edit this idiot’s work is a blessing -ed.]. I’m also considering dredging up my old nemesis, Europa Universalis IV. It’s about time I forced myself to learn how to play this damn game, especially with another new expansion just announced: Rule Britannia.

Here’s the deal with EUIV. I’ve owned it since it was released (as well as EUIII) and have tried at least a dozen times to wrap my head around it by going through the tutorials. Yet, by the 13th or 14th different menu that I’m trying to remember, I see Civ VI sitting in my Steam library and realize I know how to play that, and EUIV gets shelved. One of these days I’ll break through and actually play a full game. The fact that every major Paradox series (Crusader Kings, EUIV, Hearts of Iron, Stellaris) should be in my wheelhouse, yet I can’t seem to wrap my head around any of them, haunts me every time I see them staring at me from my Steam library. One day, you’ll all be mine.

Anyway, for those of you who aren’t dumb and have figured out EUIV’s mind-bending menu system and strategy, the newly announced expansion is called Rule Britannia and, if you can’t guess, has a lot to do with Britain. The expansion includes all new decision trees for England, Scotland, and Ireland as well as a bunch more:

  • New British Missions: New exclusive decision trees for England, Scotland and Ireland, embedded in our new Europa Universalis IV mission system.
  • Industrial Revolution: Highly developed provinces may produce coal in the late game, fueling higher productivity and greater wealth.
  • Innovativeness: Earn rewards for being the first nation to unlock new knowledge, including lower power costs.
  • Naval Doctrine: Adopt a general strategy for your fleets, giving you bonuses to ship maintenance, trade power or battle performance.
  • Anglicanism: A new Protestant faith can appear in England with new bonuses and religious choices.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Help your lagging allies or subjects by promoting the spread of institutions in their realms.

There’s no release date yet announced, but we do know that the expansion will be a paltry $10 when it does launch.

The fact that all of this is getting added to a game that is already so full of stuff I can’t wrap my head around it isn’t intimidating at all. Nope, not one bit. I’m sure this is the expansion that finally unlocks everything that EUIV has to offer. Oh, wait, is that Civ VI over there? I’ll be right back.

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Notable Replies

  1. js619 says:

    Wait, what’s happening Thursday? FEED ME, @Neumannium, FEED ME!

  2. Mum’s the word.

    I might be too busy playing the new CIv expansion on Thursday to post about it, too. So sad…

  3. That’s a hell of a tease. Roll on Thursday!

  4. js619 says:

  5. OK, I might be overselling it a bit.

    It’s not life changing, just something exciting about a game on the App Store, which hasn’t happened in a while.

    Calm down…deep breaths…

    (wait, the Civ VI expansion is only for Windows? The fuck! [goes on rampage])

  6. athros says:

    Aspyr is doing the port work for the Mac - they just got the Fall patch out, and are now working on the expansion.

    Also with EUIV, the trick is to know that you can influence things, you can dip into and out of the systems, but ultimate control ala traditional 4X’s isn’t really a thing. You really have to have a plan and roll with it. Build up some stuff in this province, ship some things over here, Oh look, I’ll just stop and take Orleans and then tell France to go suck eggs or whatever it is they do. It also depends on the nation choice - they all have pros and cons. Small nations are small and usually get crushed (LITHUANIA FOR HRE - not the best time), large nations have all the weight of inevitability when it comes to certain things.

    Also, picking a good nation to start with is key. When I started (gosh, so long ago) I started with Ottomans to learn the combat mechanics, since 3/4ths of the stuff they want are combat focused (take these provinces/cities), learning trade and colonization I went with Portugal and so on. Pick something you want to learn and go with it - not every nation can be awesome at everything, unlike those traditional 4X’s.

    My problem is, until Civ6 hit the iPad, I had given up the Civ series for EUIV. Now…splitting time is hard.

  7. Ah, good old Europa Universalis…

    I remember that the original came with a map and I put it under the glass top of my executive desk to always have the map visible. Yes, I played it that much. We even played a few LAN games. Good times…

    When is it coming to iOS!?!

  8. athros says:

    I dream about the day that’s possible.

  9. The fact that every major Paradox series (Crusader Kings, EUIV, Hearts of Iron, Stellaris) should be in my wheelhouse, yet I can’t seem to wrap my head around any of them, haunts me every time I see them staring at me from my Steam library. One day, you’ll all be mine.

    I hear you and mostly agree with you -but with one exeption.

    I played EU 1 and EU2 extensively. The idea of hundreds of provinces and the great art and tons of events (back then it wasn’t tons but yeah) blew my mind. Also I could play as OPMs (One province minors and some of them are really obscure)) and do reasonably well. But the games weren’t all that complex back then (also I was a student back then lots of spare time cough).

    Also EU made me read up a LOT about late middle ages and renessaince nations, duchys, international relations and stuff. The game jumpstarted my interest to amass knowledge in the covered history-period.
    By the time Hearts of Iron 2 rolled around I was beginning to be steamrolled by the Paradox TOTAL SPREADSHEET DESTRUCTION MACHINE™ and since then had problems to catch up (even if I own EU3 Complete, HoI3 and EU4 (steam sales be damned))

    But Stellaris? Stellaris is a totally other beast. I may know my way around the old Paradox Games so it helped a bit for starters but overall I find Stellaris a much more fun alternative. And easier to grasp too I believe. The games play differently but I find Stellaris is much better to learn/stumble/fumble along then the other games. Different preferences maybe (I love sci-fi) but Stellaris doesn’t front-load everything like EU and HoI do.

    So if you only have limited time but want to go for the paradox experience try starting out with Stellaris.

  10. Fair enough. I went into it by starting the tutorial and the real-time aspect made me assume right away it was basically EU in space, so I shelved it until I had more time. I’ll give it another go.

  11. In some aspect yes, at the end of the month you get your income much like in EU (minerals and energy as well as the science ressources) and research is progressed. But everything else happens on a touch & go basis.

    Also that most things are counted in months is helping a lot to wrap your head around it…just think of 6 months as 6 turns in Civ and it isn’t all that bad…and don’t be discouraged by 60 months research projects…just ramp up your science ressource generation. :slight_smile:

  12. The fact that games like Total War Rome and Civ 6 made their way to mobile is a statement that it COULD be done…but if it is a financially wise move?

    But Stellaris on the go? Hmmm…it isn’t like that I am listening way too much to the Stellaris OST on the go, why not go for the whole experience? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  13. athros says:

    There is a lot more going on in the background for EU4. The real time aspect, modelling of units, AI actions the works. It would take a considerable amount of work to try and stuff that into iOS and be maintainable. A straight port would not work most likely.

    Total War Rome (and expansions) have limited numbers of units on the field at any one time for the realtime combat, along with a heavily limited 4X module.

    Civ6 is turn based, and synchronous after a turn is taken. Aspyr is also a company based on doing Mac (and now iOS I hope) ports and has a really good relationship with Fraxis, even though everyone complains about the speed of their patching.

  14. There are limited units on screen but I thought maybe the ai processing power needed for the utilization of them units is somewhat compareable to the background stuff being computed in EU (no dev experience here - just idiot musings)

  15. athros says:

    There’s a lot more modeling for EU4, and not just around units. The AI would be comparable for unit movements and the like, but you also have economies running, trade, colonization, conquest, actual diplomacy, and something like 100 AI’s. It’s a lot more intensive than EU4 overall.

  16. Sorry to scoop you, Dave, but TouchArcade posted their weekly “new games to our forums” column and clearly your big Thursday announcement is about the imminent release of “Dominoes Board Game Classic?”

  17. I can’t believe they broke the embargo, those bastards!

  18. This is a total aside, but does this bother anyone else? It’s like people bitch that they’re behind, as if they’re doing it on purpose. Wouldn’t Aspyr’s bottom line be better if they were putting out expansions and patches as quickly as the windows version? I assume so.

    I’m guessing it’s not that easy to turn the Firaxis code into Mac-code, although I have no idea what it takes to actually make it happen. Perhaps it isn’t that difficult and I’m just a loon, but I like to think they’re doing the best they can and I’m quite happy that I have Civ on my Mac, even if it’s a bit older than the windows version rather than no version at all.

    /soapbox

  19. athros says:

    Based on what I’m reading on CivFanatics, especially with the iPad version, my guess is Aspyr isn’t doing the usual port job of:

    1. Drop in Code
    2. Write a layer to interface between that code and the OS in question (Unity does this in some ways, especially on Mac)
    3. Minimal Optimization per OS.

    Instead, it looks more and more like they’re actually doing code work to make the game better/more optimized on Mac/iOS, and it shows in late game turn times. They’re not fundamentally altering anything. Crossplay might be problematic because of their code work (As another aside, can anyone with the Mac version try cross play with PC players? I haven’t seen anything there yet). I’m also guessing they went into Rise and Fall work right after the Fall patch was converted.

  20. Yeah, the way the game works in the late game is pretty incredible. My ipad doesn’t get warm, the battery doesn’t drain ridiculously fast, and the time between turns is relatively short. I have the graphics turned up to retina as well. I’d say the iOS version is pretty incredible and might be better optimized than the Windows version (I only say this because the fan on my PC goes crazy when playing Civ VI, but I do have the graphics cranked way up so it’s not really a good comparison).

  21. In the Steam Mac Discussion Board, Aspyr said yesterday that the x-pac won’t be ready for Mac until End of March. I cannot express how disappointed I am with Aspyr.

  22. athros says:

    I’m pretty sure they’re doing the best they can to get things ported over correctly, within a budget. They’re sacrificing time to do it, but you generally can’t have all 3 (good, fast, within budget). Considering it took them 4 months (I don’t actually know the time frame for the PC Patch, the Mac patch hit 11JAN so I’m guessing) to get the Fall patch out for Mac, a month later is progress, and tells me they have a solid framework for porting. Considering their Civ4 and Civ5 work, Introversion work, and other properties I’m likely forgetting about, this is pretty excellent.

    Is anyone else doing port work for Mac that is more than a WINE patch and maybe an optimization tweak? (Here’s lookin’ at you GOG). Most of those run like complete crap, causing people to proudly and loudly exclaim “This port work is shit!” and “They should be boycotted!” but you have the port pretty quickly. Hell, even some “native” Steam Mac games run like complete garbage on my brand new iMac, and they’re supposed to be native (which means Unity and Unity’s compat layer for C# and Mono barf).

    Obviously, I’m hoping that it comes to iOS just as quickly, but I’m primarily an iOS gamer. Judging by the excellent work they’ve done with Civ6 on the iPad, I’m hopeful for the future.

    Now I’m going to go have a shot and get off the soapbox.

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