Before we begin, the content you will see here is by no means finalized, as always your feedback is greatly appreciated and cherished!
Playing Europa Universalis is all about building up your nation, growing and expanding your borders. It’s all about the struggles and the thrills of each conquest, fighting at the edge of bankruptcy or measuring your moves carefully. However, Ming does not really suffer from these issues at the hands of a player due to the fact that it starts as the nation with the highest development and strongest economy in 1444 and until 1.35 it was regarded as a fairly relaxing experience for most players. Surely there are some minor obstacles early on, but in general the playthrough was not at all challenging and thus many players steered away from playing the Great Ming, despite it having a not-insubstantial amount of flavor in the form of events, factions and later the Mandate of Heaven mechanic, the latter of which ended up being a bit of a pain to manage. All this unrealized potential is what we seek to tackle by giving the Ming, its offshoot Chinese Warlords as well as the Jurchen tribes and the Qing lots of new missions, events and more!
The Ming will see many new additions, mechanics and cool-stuff-in-general with 1.35:
- A brand new, fully-fleshed out mission tree
- Accompanied by a new Estate - the Eunuchs
- New tough challenges as you struggle to curb the influence of the Eunuchs and prevent your (historical) collapse
- Over a dozen new Reforms that interact with and are complemented by various missions (yes we tweaked the gain and loss of Mandate)
- New Decrees that interact with and are complemented by various missions
- New Flavor events integrated in the mission tree - as well as independent from it
- Deep modability and new functions added to the Mandate mechanic
- A new great project that spans several provinces
So let’s take a look at the tree!
(Note; Icons are a WIP!)
The Ming historically were rulers of unprecedented magnanimity, wealth and the ambition to match their huge domain. However, in 1444 the starting ruler sadly fell short to live up to his predecessor’s abilities, represented in the game as a 1/1/1. The Great Ming Empire lies stretched and continuously tormented by hordes in the North and West, waning influence with its tributaries in the South and no say in the affairs of Japan. During the game, you may also suffer from floods and earthquakes which historically kickstarted (and ended) the Ming Dynasty and will rapidly corrode the growth of the Mandate. Their impact can be alleviated by constructing certain buildings and completing a couple relevant missions.
The starting situation of the Great Ming is represented and explained in a start-up event:
Note; missions, art and descriptions are not final!
Autonomy in the provinces of the Empire will increase, at a minimum of +25%. This autonomy will persist and you will have the ability to reduce and eventually eradicate it, as you reign in the various external and internal elements that threaten the Empire. This will not be an easy task.
The second obstacle, and arguably the one that gave my colleagues the biggest pain to deal with, is the Eunuchs Estate. A powerful body of advisors near the Emperor who will gain and lose power depending on the state of internal affairs as well as the abilities of the Emperor himself.
Eunuchs will offer a vast array of very powerful Estate privileges, most of which will scale with their internal power in the form of crown land controlled as shown below:
Note; Yes, they will start with nearly 60% crown land while you will start with only 15% to better represent the grip of power between the starting ruler of the Ming and his Eunuchs.
Note; Icons are a work in progress!
You won’t be able to reform your country anywhere near as fast if you do it by crushing the influence of the Eunuchs, BUT if you do lean on them too much, the accumulated cost of fighting their inevitable corruption will become overbearing, difficult to manage and you will collapse. It is up to the player to strike the perfect balance between manipulating this double-edged sword.
Moreover, I took the liberty to give this new Estate a unique disaster, unlike other Estates’ similar predicaments. This one will hurt a lot more and its solution is considerably harsher than other Estate Disasters. When other Estate Disasters require you to lower influence and enact a national decision in order to end the disaster, the Eunuch disaster will have its decision fundamentally altered. Much like other estates, it will end when the reigning estate’s influence falls low enough. However, every time you enact the national decision available during the disaster, Eunuchs will:
- Lose 1 random privilege so as to lower their influence
- Spawn a special large stack of rebels, every province this stack of rebels sieges will lower your mandate considerably
- cost you stability (which is required to enact this decision)
This loop continues until the estate’s influence is either low enough or they have no privileges, so you best steer clear from the disaster!
You will also be able to interact with the estate via missions and events, unlock new privileges (that do not cost yearly corruption) etc.
Before we move on, be aware that the AI is instructed as to how it will utilize and play around with the Yearly Corruption but Ming still explodes relatively frequently as it used to!
Let’s take a look at some of the new missions, their requirements and more importantly, their rewards!
The idea behind Ming, given that it starts at the size it does, is that every single external mission (without exceptions) will offer a diplomatic path / solution. You are already plenty big and if you don’t want to conquer directly (or even indirectly in most cases) you will not be forced to do so!
Something I wanted to implement based on feedback from 1.34 is this new “Event Insight”, a small summary of what the event is about and what its reward alludes to so as to give you some info before clicking it.
Before we move away from this mission tree, I should note that the second half of it, while largely inspired and based on the labors of Ming Emperors, is available to any Chinese Warlord who takes up the Mandate of Heaven, more details on that further down.
As mentioned earlier, 1.35 will introduce vast changes to the Mandate, so let’s tackle some of the biggest ones here:
(Note; W I P)
The Mandate now houses over 10 new Reforms inspired and heavily based upon actual reforms between the 15th and 19th century that the game covers.
- Most of the new reforms can be completed at random order
- Some are unlocked via the mission tree (that is common with the Chinese Warlords)
- 2 of them are mutually exclusive with each other
- Some may require a certain number of reforms passed (yay modability!)
- Some require the country to move in a certain direction ( idea groups having been picked with alternative requirement, certain missions completed etc )
- (Nearly) Every reform now impacts both the Emperor and their subjects, both tributaries and non-tributaries.
- To account for the heightened number of reforms (and decrees) we increased the rate of Mandate growth and decay
We wanted to explore interesting rewards with the Mandate so we took the liberty and added new and interesting bonuses to some of the reforms, such as the ability to grant New Coordinator Offices, which work much like Holy Orders: The Buzhengshi, Anchasi and Du Si:
Moving on, new Decrees were also added as we can see in the picture above.
Some of my favorites:
As with reforms, I wanted decrees to play an integral part in the gameplay around missions and events. So, decrees:
- May now be required to be active by some missions
- Will have their bonuses altered or increased by some missions
- May themselves be requirements for certain reforms and vice versa
All these new additions are fully scripted and we very much look forward to seeing what you come up with!
As I mentioned before, the Chinese Warlords, Jurchen tribes, Manchu and Qing will receive new content.
The various new Chinese trees for Qing-related tags are split into 3 branches
- The unique content of a nation which varies between Ming- |Qing/Jurchen/Manchu|-Chinese Warlords
- The Emperor of China branch which deals with internal matters and administrating China
- A third branch unique to the Qing only
The Chinese Warlords, meaning the releasables of Ming will also have their own little mission tree which will help them unite the Chinese lands and take up the Mandate of Heaven, which will then unlock the ‘Emperor of China mid-section of their tree (the bottom second part of the Ming tree):
The missions are partially dynamic in terms of their requirements/rewards based on your capital's location
The Jurchen / Manchu will have access to newly redesigned missions that will follow the historical path of the Jianzhou but will be available to all regional tribes:
From subjugating neighbouring hordes, to knocking on the gates of the Great Ming by publishing the Seven Grievances. Along the way, powerful flavored bonuses, new cool rewards and historical immersion amount to a fun playthrough:
Every choice will have a different impact at the ‘Reforms of Nurhaci’ event later in the game! Nurhaci’s stats are random but heavily weighted to be really really good across the board. As a general he will serve as a 3/6/5/3 with a special new unique General trait inspired by his real life title of ‘Dragon-Tiger’ granting +10% Movement Speed and +10% Cav Combat Ability (more about new traits in a future DD). Lastly, as an advisor, he’s a level 3 Discipline Advisor at -90% of the cost and will also offer a flat 100 Mil Power.
Upon taking the Mandate of Heaven you will unlock the Emperor of China part of your mission tree which is common between all of the tags (Ming, releasables etc) upon taking up the Mandate.
Forming Qing will offer brand new and freshly reworked missions. The first branch will be inherited by your tribal days. The second branch is the common ‘Emperor of China’ part and finally the third branch contains missions exclusively available to Qing:
Many of these missions will feature very interesting rewards as shown below:
Some cool rewards of the Emperor of China Branch available to either Ming, Qing or any Warlord with the Mandate:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through 2023’s first Dev Diary! I hope you are just as excited to delve into the new content as we were while making it! We will be back next week to talk about the new content we have created for… The Ottomans! Cheers!
PS: Special thanks to the Chinese modding community for valuable research sources!
PPS: A special episode of Chapel Comic for you today!