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Default Europa Universalis IV - Pre-order Deal

August 2nd, 2013, 10:46
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
That model is by far my biggest complaint about their games. $40 for the game, another $40 - $60 or so for all the inevitable expansions if you're buying everything new.
It's a question of economics. Since the games are very much of niche interest, Paradox can't adopt the pile em high, sell em cheap model, since they just wouldn't sell enough copies. With DLC and updates they've found a good way to increase the value of each of their relatively small customer base. If we want deep games designed for PC gamers we are going to have to get used to paying for them in one way or another.
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:01
From a business standpoint, I understand why they do it. As a a gamer, I don't always feel like the content added justifies their price point to me though.
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:05
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
I think giving players hands on control of battles would completely disrupt the difficulty/balance of their games. It would require a massive overhaul that I don't think is needed. After all, if they weren't profitable, they wouldn't be in business. I personally don't have a problem with the hands off approach because I can always get my fill of hands on elsewhere.
I don't think it would disrupt anything at all necessarily - and remember I'm talking about an optional component. There's no reason to expect balance or difficulty to change for the worse because you get a more tangible combat system - and it's not like EU games are known for being balanced.

Afterall - there's no way to balance the MASSIVE differences between the resources and power the various nations have. Anyone expecting a balanced game of EU are seriously kidding themselves. WAY too many moving parts for that to be even remotely possible.

But as I said, it's all good.

Some people don't even want the option of tangible hands-on combat - and I can't argue against that. It's just a matter of liking different things, I guess.

Also, again, I'm underlining the fact that they ARE profitable. It's actually what I think is kinda amazing, seeing as how I think they're not doing that much to justify it.

Doesn't mean they couldn't expand their audience a bit, though.
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:17
True, there is no balance of countries. That lack of balance between them is what creates the varying difficulties. A game as England is much different than a game as a small heathen country, even if all the pregame options are the same.

Expanding audience appeal is a double edged sword. I'm all for it when the game quality gets boosted from additional funds. Less of a fan when stuff gets dumbed down to reach the new audience (like vanilla WoW raids).

Maybe it's just me, but I think the hands off approach is harder than a hands on combat system. AIs are rarely capable of utilizing the combat mechanics to the fullest, giving human players a clear edge that developers tend to lazily address by artificially boosting CPU resources. The lack of mechanics in EU at least creates an illusion of a more even playing field to me (assuming similar countries at least).
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:34
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
True, there is no balance of countries. That lack of balance between them is what creates the varying difficulties. A game as England is much different than a game as a small heathen country, even if all the pregame options are the same.
Varying difficulties is putting it mildly, though, and there's just no way to get a "fair" balance at all. Which means you'll always be playing at a significant advantage or disadvantage - especially if you know how to exploit the mechanics.

This is just the nature of strategy games with this level of detail and this many moving parts. Heck, they have trouble balancing the simplest of strategy games - and you don't have to move much beyond Tic-Tac-Toe or Chess to find imbalance.

Expanding audience appeal is a double edged sword. I'm all for it when the game quality gets boosted from additional funds. Less of a fan when stuff gets dumbed down to reach the new audience (like vanilla WoW raids).
Obviously, I think this would add significant quality - and I still don't understand the problem with having it as an option.

Well, of course people would be complaining that working on a tangible hands-on combat system will take away from yet another iteration of the same feature.

I can't logically dismiss that.

Maybe it's just me, but I think the hands off approach is harder than a hands on combat system. AIs are rarely capable of utilizing the combat mechanics to the fullest, giving human players a clear edge that developers tend to lazily address by artificially boosting CPU resources. The lack of mechanics in EU at least creates an illusion of a more even playing field to me (assuming similar countries at least).
Certainly that's possible - and if you're worried about defeating the AI in combat - you could just play without that option.

That said, I'm one of those people who spent many hours of my life when I was younger beating the AI - thinking I was good at strategy.

At one point, it dawned on me that AI (at this stage and for many, many years to come) will always be defeated if you try at it. I realised that there's no competition and that it's a very simple matter of learning patterns and exploiting weaknesses.

So, today, I never play against the AI except as practice or to learn the mechanics. I never get excited by winning against the AI - because it's a given. It WILL happen - and the moment it happens - no matter how "challenging" the AI is - it will suddenly be stupid.

That's what people always bitch about in strategy games. They play until they learn how to beat the AI - and then they complain about how stupid it is - as if they were expecting an AI to be smart.

I find that somewhat amusing

But I digress.

Again, in a game like EU - with the insane amount of options available to you - there's no such thing as balance. You can, of course, pretend that you're playing a balanced game - but you're not. It's humanly impossible (or all BUT impossible) to balance a game with that many moving parts.

Adding a tangible hands-on combat system won't change that. It might be one more way to exploit the AI - but it's but a drop in the sea. Also, it might just bring some much needed tangible feedback to the experience. Oh, and you can turn it off in the options
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:45
I see your point. Adding it as an option, rather than making it the base combat system, does have advantages. I was solely approaching it from a complete change pov. My only concern then would be time/effort taken away from main game. If they can do it easily and cheaply, wouldn't bother me. Who knows, maybe I'd enjoy it more.

I suppose balance was a very poorly chosen word. Even if it wasn't set up to historically represent countries, the more mechanics in, the more things the AI can be bad at. I remember showing Dom 3 to a friend who complained how hard it was till they learned some basic magic, then complained how easy it was. Introduced them to CBM and MP and the game got both harder and more enjoyable for them again. Impossible to code all the creative things human players come up with.
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:48
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
I see your point. Adding it as an option, rather than making it the base combat system, does have advantages. I was solely approaching it from a complete change pov. My only concern then would be time/effort taken away from main game. If they can do it easily and cheaply, wouldn't bother me. Who knows, maybe I'd enjoy it more.
Maybe a lot of people would

I suppose balance was a very poorly chosen word. Even if it wasn't set up to historically represent countries, the more mechanics in, the more things the AI can be bad at. I remember showing Dom 3 to a friend who complained how hard it was till they learned some basic magic, then complained how easy it was. Introduced them to CBM and MP and the game got both harder and more enjoyable for them again. Impossible to code all the creative things human players come up with.
Yup - and it's just a matter of how much you believe balance can exist as is, in a game like EU.

If you think the illusion is convincing - I can understand not wanting one more risk of upsetting that.

Personally, I'm not seeing balance in a whole lot of strategy games - and I've made my peace with that long ago
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:55
Too much understanding of the numbers and systems Illusions work best when you don't go poking behind the curtain.
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August 2nd, 2013, 11:56
I know

Turning off my brain and closing my eyes are things I suck at - and I've often regretted that!
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August 2nd, 2013, 12:02
I don't think you want balance in a game like EU though.
The game is somewhat sandboxy, so you make your own goal. You can plat as Munster and try and unite Ireland as your main goal. If that works, then you try and get Scotland maybe. Or you could play as Brittany and try and conquer France. OR you could play as Castille and make your country Spain.
You could instead be a country which focuses on the New World …

The idea is that you decide your difficulty level. If you try playing as Brabant or Liege, chances are you'll be engulfed by France… If you play as France, you have a good chance of uniting France and maybe become even stronger.
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August 2nd, 2013, 12:52
Personally, I like the way battles work, mostly hands-off.

As for the DLC model, Paradox has the best model of all. The original game will provide you hundreds of hours of enjoyment as it is, out of the box. DLCs expand on this, adding new features. Not only that, but even if you don't buy the DLC, you get a free patch that gives non-DLC buyers a big chunk of what the DLC adds as far as gameplay features go (I'm talking specifically of CK2, as the whole DLC thing wasn't known in EU3 time). So even if you never buy a DLC, the core game you bought still gets improved (and I'm not talking bug-fixing, but real new features added, for free).
Even more, when you play multiplayer, every player gets the features of the host, so if the host has DLC A, B and C, and you only have A, when you play multiplayer with the host, you play with A, B and C.
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August 2nd, 2013, 13:10
I don't think Paradox has bad DLC/expansion policy but I also think it's far from great.In nomine (second expansion for EU 3) and Semper fi(first expansion for HoI 3) where more large patches than expansions.I also feel that some DLCs for CK II(Sword of Islam for example)should have been part of original game.
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August 4th, 2013, 00:04
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Some people don't even want the option of tangible hands-on combat - and I can't argue against that. It's just a matter of liking different things, I guess.
My experience from the franchises that allow optional hands on combat (Total War and Imperialism) is that you tend to end up with one of two consistent outcomes:

1) Hands off results that are so crappy compared to how a human player would do that they arent an option.
2) Hands off results that are so good that there is no reason to play the battles.

And that it ALWAYS has the following effect:
- Substantially slowed down campaign gameplay.

This isnt that much of a deal in Total War as the game is about the battles (and that is where they pour considerable man-hours). Imperialism battles were OTOH just tedious.

Also, again, I'm underlining the fact that they ARE profitable. It's actually what I think is kinda amazing, seeing as how I think they're not doing that much to justify it.

Doesn't mean they couldn't expand their audience a bit, though.
To sum it up:

- They found a niche (that isnt your cup of tea) and they cornered it.

- Going in the directions I get the feeling you want would put them up against competitors with superior resources and experience in designing those game elements.

- The games have evolved fairly significantly between generations. The difference between EU2 and EU3 are bigger than those between different iterations of TES games. Ditto for V1 and V2 as well as CK1 and CK2.

And I do smell some irony in you complaining about a company not making their games more accessible instead of sticking with their hardcore fanbase
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August 4th, 2013, 12:29
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm underlining the fact that they ARE profitable. It's actually what I think is kinda amazing, seeing as how I think they're not doing that much to justify it.
Milking their core audience for every last penny via DLC probably helps. Crusaders Kings II ruler designer alone is five euros and it's a very simple thing that should have been included in the basic game. The cost of all - currently available - DLC for CK II is at least one hundred euro.
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August 4th, 2013, 14:30
Originally Posted by Gan Anim View Post
Milking their core audience for every last penny via DLC probably helps. Crusaders Kings II ruler designer alone is five euros and it's a very simple thing that should have been included in the basic game. The cost of all - currently available - DLC for CK II is at least one hundred euro.
I disagree.
Why should the editor be part of the game? The core game is feature complete as it was released, and you don't have to buy any DLC to have 100+ hours of enjoyment (plus the very awesome user created content, like the Game of Thrones mod).

I have all the DLC for CK2 (except some cosmetic ones), I think I paid in total, about $15 for them. If you can wait for Steam sales, usually you can buy the game and the DLCs for like 50-75% off (or more, I think I paid $1 for the $5 ruler designer, which I haven't even used yet in my 300+ hours of CK2)
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August 4th, 2013, 16:37
Yes the editor should be part of the core game. It's a very basic feature. Especially considering the RPG aspects to CK II and its focus on personalities. It's like releasing an RPG where you can only play pregenerated characters unless you pay and extra five euro for the character builder.

And now that I think of it the The Old Gods expansion is fifteen euro on steam but the Norse units and Norse portraits retail separately for a two euro each. If anyone thinks that isn't milking it than they're seriously delusional or the marketing director of Paradox.
Last edited by Gan Anim; August 4th, 2013 at 16:47.
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August 4th, 2013, 23:50
Originally Posted by Gan Anim View Post
If anyone thinks that isn't milking it than they're seriously delusional or the marketing director of Paradox.
Nonsense. Perhaps if you played some of Paradox's games more attentively you'd understand better how marketing works - like if you don't sell a lot of copies you need to charge a higher price to make the same amount of money. The way Paradox have chosen to do that, through DLC, is surely better for most of their users than charging a higher entry level price. If you want to moan about exploitative marketing look elsewhere, it's not hard to find examples.
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August 5th, 2013, 00:28
I've made reasonable examples of Paradox's exploitative DLC practices and it's you're prerogative to disagree Roq, but I can't see any less eye to eye with you here and let's avoid flame bait bullshit like "perhaps if you played some of Paradox's games more attentively" m'kay?
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August 5th, 2013, 00:55
Originally Posted by Gan Anim View Post
I've made reasonable examples of Paradox's exploitative DLC practices and it's you're prerogative to disagree Roq, but I can't see any less eye to eye with you here and let's avoid flame bait bullshit like "perhaps if you played some of Paradox's games more attentively" m'kay?
You haven't given any reasonable examples. And if you are talking flame bait, this is a good start: "If anyone thinks that isn't milking it than they're seriously delusional or the marketing director of Paradox."

You need to appreciate that companies are in business to make money, but not only that, they need to make money to invest it in their next game. That hasn't always been easy for independent companies such as Paradox, Stardock, Larian etc which is why they were forced into releasing games in a somewhat buggy unfinished state. Furthermore all these companies put a passion into their games that is rare in the industry and clearly aren't in the business just for the cash.

In the light of all that your complaints just amount to moaning.
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August 5th, 2013, 01:27
Personally, I'd rather have a higher entry price point with some of the DLC content included in the base game instead of their current model. The EU series is my favorite Paradox offering, but I can't justify buying it new knowing there's going to be 3 or 4 DLC/mini expansions coming. Just makes more sense to buy it as a complete package bundled at a better price imo.
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