The last few months have been incredibly busy for the art team, and our artists have created a staggering amount of work, with around 600 brand new 2D assets including event pictures, government reforms, and missions to support the content that was added for Domination and the 1.35 patch.
Here’s some of our favourite examples:
Ottoman mission art:
Japan mission art:
Ming mission art:
new event art:
But it’s not only 2D, as always we present a new unit pack that will be part of the Domination expansion.
We found that pretty much every major power is already outfitted with at least one unit pack, so we had to look elsewhere. We settled on the French appanages and revolters in the West (sure to interact with great powers such as France and England) and various Asian minors in the East (to oppose the great powers of China and Japan).
As always we go through quite a lengthy research and concept process before we even open up the 3D software. There’s so much information out there and it’s important to really grab the essence of what makes a certain culture or era unique.
France itself is pretty well-covered with unit packs, but fortunately the one thing that the French had in abundance was a broad range of different fashions and uniforms.
Veterans from the days of the pre-order bonus might already notice that some of these units cross-over with the Hundred Years War Unit Pack. If you have that DLC active, the Burgundy tag (for example) will continue to use the original Hundred Years War unit for Tier 1 before switching to the new Burgundian units for 2, 3, and 4. Other Burgundian-culture countries (such as Lorraine) will use all 4 tiers of the new Domination units regardless.
The Walloon units are used by countries like Liège and Hainaut, as well as their Flemish cousins. Their Tier 1 is based heavily on artefacts from the Gravensteen Museum in Ghent, including the very distinctive helmet. As Wallonia was ruled by Spain for much of this era, we drew inspiration from units under Spanish control for the Tier 2 and Tier 3. Their third tier specifically is based on grenadiers of the Walloon Guards, a unit raised in Spanish service during the early 1700. Their final unit is based on Belgian flanquers of the Netherlands infantry, who fought with distinction in the Battle of Waterloo.
The Burgundian units are used by countries in Eastern France, such as Burgundy, Lorraine, and a handful of other minors. We went with a closed sallet for the Tier 1 helmet to complement the heavy armour. The blackened steel cuirass and c*cked hat of the Tier 2 is archetypical of cavalier officers in this era, and of course we had to use a ruff, which I think is criminally underused in EU4. The next tiers are based on elite grenadiers of the French army, complete with bearskin bonnets. Finally we have a unit based on the Old Guard, the most prestigious veterans of the Napoleonic Grande Armée.
The Northern French units are used by countries like Orleans and Champagne (as well as Normandy and Brittany, if you don’t have the Rule Britannia DLC). This kettle helmet with a neck bevor was a good match, and we liked the hybrid brigandine with cuirass visually. Dragoon hats are severely underused in EU4, so we went with a soft cap to avoid rehashing the old tricorn once again.
The southern French cultures use these units. The cloth orle on the helmet was adopted by crusaders to cool down hot armour in the Holy Land, and its usage was brought back to Europe, especially in warmer climates of the mediterranean. We enjoyed making more use of the dragoon aesthetic, even using the hussar jacket and impressive bearskin for the final tier.
The Ainu are close neighbours of the Japanese daimyos, and the indigenous people of the northern Hokkaido island. Their impressive beards and bold patterned clothing makes them stand out, and as hardy outdoorsmen they are keen users of natural materials, with wooden quivers, straw hats, and even salmon leather shoes. However, in later eras they adopt some technical advantages from their Asian neighbours, such as lacquered jingasa helmets and Tanegashima muskets.
The Filipino units are used by the many small countries that start in modern day Philippines. Of course in reality the Philippines was a highly diverse land, and so we chose different elements from across the archipelago. Hidden inside wooden sheaths, they have fearsome Visayan Binagon blades. The moro armour and salakot hat are also interesting historical elements that we included. The final tier is reminiscent of the Filipino soldiers in Spanish service towards the end of the EU4 era, and their straw hats are a nod to the iconic republican soldiers who fought for independence towards the end of the 19th century.
We were fortunate enough to have a Filipino colleague who helped us with these designs:
Hello! Ryan here, aka @ransomyu on the forums (don't bother looking, I'm just a lurker) and as Paradox' first (I think?) Filipino hire, I was delighted to be asked to consult on these Filipino units. My first Paradox game was CK2 but I fell in love with EU4 when I realized you could take one of the precolonial Philippine polities and essentially rewrite history by ensuring the islands were never colonized by European powers. Doing so with these newly designed units will make it a little bit more exciting!
As previously mentioned, the Philippine archipelago is a rich tapestry of different cultures, languages, and traditions. For example I have Kapampangan and Tagalog roots, but was essentially raised in (Imperial) Manila. So when I helped do the research on what units could represent the entirety of the Archipelago, I defaulted to suggesting what was most popular in the national imagination and mythology. So for example while Lapu-Lapu is Bisaya, he is the stand in for Filipino anticolonial aspirations, and features heavily in any media that aims to depict precolonial Philippines.
I hope that any Filipinos that play EU4 will be super pumped to try out the new DLC and join me in my quest to insert as much Filipino flavored content into Paradox games as humanly possible!
The Bai culture revolters, such as the Kingdom of Dali, receive their own units too. Their Tier 1 is equipped with a Guandao polearm and they wear an intricate and highly-detailed leather armour. The later units have inspirations from both Tibetan and Chinese cultures, and white dress synonymous with Bai traditional clothing.
The many cultures of south of China also receive their own unit pack to contrast with the Ming units. Their Tier 1 armor is early Ming dynasty Song-style armour, with curious interlocking scales. The armor was often adorned with intricate engravings and embellishments, making it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The conical helmet used by Tier 3 is in fact also a form of armour.
And finally, behold the 1.35 loading screen: Mehmed II of the Ottomans, pictured as his bombards tear down the Theodosian Walls and his Janissaries storm Constantinople in 1453.
That’s all from me, let us know what you think of everything! Next week we will show the achievements we have created for this update, see you!