My name is Thomas Johansson, Besuchov on the paradox forums and I'm the project lead for Europa Universalis IV, the empire building strategy from Paradox Development Studio. With me are Niklas Strid our Lead Scripter, (Captain Gars) and Jimmy Rönn one of the programmers. All of us have worked on Europa Universalis IV from the start of the project.

EDIT: Since its a workday tomorrow and we have a packed schedule of updates and DLCs, its time to go to bed. This AMA is over, thanks a lot everyone its bee great fun :)

My Proof:

Comments: 348 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

pbacon3363 karma

I'm writing to say thank you to you guys, the whole team at Paradox. Back in 2002, my friend lent me a copy of EU II...resulting in my first all-nighter as I guided Castille to become a world power. I always remember that night because it helped steer my interest towards European history and the history of war. I even mentioned it in college apps and still credit it for helping at work (I work at a think tank- two weeks ago, I busted out some references to the Polish Sejm and the Partition of Poland thanks to a game a couple of years back)! From then on, I was hooked on European history, and for that I have to say thank you guys so so so much.

PDS_Besuchov29 karma

Thats awesome, its allways makes me happy to hear stories like this one :)

Minigrinch26 karma

1) Will you be adding a way to disable lucky nations for ironman mode (even if it disables achievements)?

2) Currently Admin and Diplomatic points both seem to be far more valuable than Military. Are there currently any plans to re-balance the three?

3) Coring times and over-extension as they currently stand seem to be unrealistic (OE has no relation to country wealth/size, causes global revolt risk), and don't seem to prevent blobbing as much as they should, until a sudden point when coring suddenly becomes unfeasibly long in comparison to just diplo-annexing. Is a rework or re-balancing possible?

PDS_Besuchov25 karma

1) Unsure 2) Depends on the country you play. If I play a landlocked nation that focus on warfare Im usually really short of mil points and swimming in diplopoints and vice versa if Im a trading or exploring power. A good strategy can be to pick an idea group of a point type you are not otherwise using. 3) Personally Im quite happy with the way the OE system work, that said rework and rebalancing is allways possible.

PDS_Besuchov23 karma

It's getting late here, thanks every one for your questions. Please visit our forums at, we read them and post even if its not with the same frequency as here :)

carpetano19 karma

When will be available the DLC with the music and sound effects from "Europa Universalis: The Musical", including the chorus "CASUS BEEEELLI" anytime you get a casus belli?

PDS_Besuchov13 karma

Dont know if its planned, it really should be though :)

MaskedTurk17 karma

What have revenues for EU4 been like so far, relative to your expectations and to other games such as CK2?

PDS_Besuchov51 karma

Exceeding expectations.

DancingEngie15 karma

Thoughts about piracy?

PDS_Besuchov58 karma

Like most people I like to get paid for my work so I can feed the family, buy beer and all other of life necesities. Its rather annoying that some people seem to feel that we should work for free. That said piracy exists and we just have to learn to live with it, we generally try to avoid annoying DRMs so the pirates dont ruin the experience for the paying customers.

Lord_Top_Hat15 karma

As someone who's never played any of the previous titles in the series can you explain the game for me?

PDS_Besuchov29 karma

You take on the role of the leader of a nation during the age of exploration. The game start in 1444 and you can control one of over a 100 countries in the world. You build your empire by building an army and a navy, negoiating treaties with other nations, recruiting explorers and try to find new continents to colonise and to find new trade routes.

Since you can take on any country in the world and since the game is fairly historical (and history isnt balanced) you get a completely different game depending on what you play. Portugal is well placed to explore while austria can compete for the throne of the holy roman empire etc.

orthogonality14 karma

I don't play the game (and my laptop probably doesn't support the graphics), so I've only seen screenshots.

But just from that little exposure, your world map is amazing. It looks great, and reasonably accurate, and from what I can tell, updates in "real time".

As a programmer myself (but not a gamer in any way), I'm envious of what you've done.

PDS_Besuchov11 karma

Thanks :)

wolfister159014 karma

I love this game I really do the 100+ hours on Steam is a glaring reminder of that, but I have to ask. Is there a plan in the works for any music DLC packs in the future? Such as "Songs of the Iberian" for example? Don't get me wrong I love the music in EU4 it just would give it that much more flavor to hear music from these regions while playing. Also is it possible that we might get a 1399 start date like in EU3?

PDS_Besuchov15 karma

I cant really reveal whats in the DLC pipline but it would be a waste not continuing to build on the awesome score of EU4.

VaPlanter14 karma

I haven't heard much from you all since launch. How well do you think EU IV has gone so far (in terms of smoothness, player/fan response, overall sales, etc.)?

PDS_Besuchov22 karma

Its gone very well I would say. I cant comment on sale figures but I can say we are not dissapointed :) The reviews have been great, 85%, on metacritic and while there are some bugs to iron out I think its been the smoothest PDS release so far.

Lord_Weenis13 karma

Why are you making this game?

PDS_Besuchov30 karma

Europa Universalis has allways been at the core of the kind of games we make at PDS. EU3 came out in 2005 and we kept coming up with expansion ideas. Eventually we had a game that we felt was really great, but it became a bit messy in the way that a game gets when you add so many expansions on top of eachother so we figured it was time to go back and try to redo it in a way that kept the EU feel but made into a more complete game if that makes sense.

ParadoxInteractive12 karma

And here's a couple of questions previously asked in the thread on /r/paradoxplaza:

From Skellum: "I'm personally very curious as to how the missions will change from their current state, mostly imported from EU3 so that they feel both valuable and motivating for the player to pursue."

PDS_Besuchov19 karma

We actually tried to downplay the missions a bit in EU4 compared to EU3. It felt like the missions in EU3 became to much like a way to short circuit other game mechanics if you happend to have the proper missions, you either have to work to get a CB and then wait a long time to get cores, or you just lucked out and got a mission that gave you lots of cores for free. Now missions are more like a guide in directions you can take but you still have to fight just as hard for the objective as if you didnt have the mission.

Atm we're not planning any major changes to that.

Meneth28 karma

The issue is however that the quality of missions vary wildly; from defeating a stack of rebels giving 2 stability, to becoming the Papal Controller (impossible for most countries) only giving 5 prestige.

Overall the mission system is essentially... chaotic, with many of the missions being either near impossible to complete (E.G:, get to 125 relations with a guy you're at -100 with), or simply uninteresting (build yet another fort in a border province).

Especially missions that are near impossible to complete are annoying, as they can lock up a mission slot for decades at a time, sometimes even giving you only 1 or even 0 missions that are actually possible to complete.

PDS_Besuchov25 karma

Some of the missions needs rebalancing yes. The 2 stabilty for defeating a stack of rebels is allreay fixed I think.

realffagore11 karma

The potential to buy a province, is that something we could see? You can sell them, but the AI I don't think ever offers to sell land. The option to offer to buy land would be great, especially if the AI could be responsive to it.

What kind of things were cut out of EU4? I'm always interested to know how different the games we play could have been. If you guys can talk about that, that is.

PDS_Besuchov20 karma

The sell province feature is very hard to balance and is mostly there to allow players to trade stuff in MP. It has proven really hard to make an AI that understands the true monetary value of a province.

The AI might actually sell provinces these days, buts its rare and only if it has a province its cant reach from the rest of its country,

JoshuaIan11 karma

Hi guys, I LOVE the game. I'm a Lenape native guy living in Reading, PA (the Lenape province in game). Naturally, I love playing Iroquois. Do you guys have any plans for American native mechanics changes? Letting the game run on max speed for 150 years or so is fun and all, but, something more to do before the europeans arrive would be incredible.

I've always found it quite silly that there is no method for exploring or colonizing for native factions. I completely understand that they abide by the same rules the europeans do when it comes to colonization and exploration, but, there has to be another way. At the very least, the ability to communicate with the southern N. American nations like Shawnee, Creek, and Cherokee seems to be in order. It's just silly that you get knowledge of the Incas & Aztecs, but not the Shawnee. Right?

Thanks again guys. It took me a long time to even think of a question to ask you - that's how good I think this game is. Not even mad about losing over 100 hours of my life since the 13th.

PDS_Besuchov12 karma

I agree with you there, I really want to do something to make life for non europeans more intressting in the future.

Black-Velvet10 karma

Hello and thank you for the AMA

  1. What are your thoughts on current game state?
  2. What are the areas that you think need most improvements from your personal perspective
  3. What more can be done against player blobbing ?

Thank you for your time!

PDS_Besuchov7 karma

  1. Its fairly good I would say but we have made lots of improvements in the internal version that you will see soon. That said I still play the retail version when I play for fun at home :)
  2. Preformance and some multiplayer issues.
  3. We can keep balancing and improving the AI. Its a delicat task though, people want to conquer so you cant make it impossible.

ThisIsPiff9 karma

  • So, who do you want to see on the Iron Throne at the very end?
  • A few weeks ago /u/sleepingpie shared this mousepad he got at a press event San Francisco. Where can I get one?
  • Favourite non-Paradox game?
  • What's your favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger line? (What? It says "Ask us anything!")

Tack på förhand!

PDS_Besuchov12 karma

Daenerys Targaryen, the only true queen after all...and she has dragons

They are in a very limited supply Im a afraid, but if you happen to be at the same hotel where we have an event, come and say hi and maybe we have something for you to :)

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."

patrik248 karma

Hi PDS. Huge fan of your games. Loving EU4 so far but I got to ask, is there any chance of EU:Rome2 ever coming up? Just drop me a hint here (I know you discussed on the above comments that you can't discuss future project yet but please..)

PDS_Besuchov11 karma

There is allways a chance. I allways felt that EU:Rome is a game with potiential.

Stoycho8 karma

Looking in the forums i've notice that more and more people fall in love with CK II even with EU IV out /most of them even rated higher than EU/ .. is that something that surprise you or not ..

PDS_Besuchov17 karma

I really think its great that so many people are discovering CK2 even with it being 1,5 years since release. I hope that EU4 will have the same longeivty. Atm EU4 has about twice the amount of concurrent players as ck2 and it we can keep this up I hope that the games can recruit new players for eachother :)

MChainsaw8 karma

Regarding music, wouldn't it be cool if the music changed when you went to war, giving you a more intense war-like soundtrack to really get you in the mood for battle? Then when peace is signed it changes back to the regular. Maybe not everyone would want it, but it could be an optional DLC.

PDS_Besuchov4 karma

There is an amount of that in the game allready, each song has triggers that incluences when its likely to be played.

Ruuh8 karma

Is there any change from EU III or an unchanged feature that you consider a mistake now, after exposing the game to an enormous amount of players?

PDS_Besuchov9 karma

Its really to early to tell imo.

Salacious-7 karma

What is the most unusual metaphor you can come up with to aptly describe the experience of playing this game?

PDS_Besuchov22 karma

Roleplaying an imortal 15th century dictator :)

branimir19996 karma

Are you guys going to do like an Ultimate edition where you get all of the DLCs when they come out for free but costs like, a lot more than the standard game? That would help me so much because I need to ask my parents every time if I want to buy something (I am not old enough to have my own account) and this is a pain in the back to do.

PDS_Besuchov6 karma

Thats more a sales department type question, not really sure whats planned there.

CaptainViking6 karma

Are you planning on making any more Gustavus Adolphus Stout?

PDS_Besuchov6 karma

I sure hope so, I want more :)

CandyCorns_6 karma

One thing I've always been curious about has been the software development side of the games that I really like (I've logged in many, many hours for Crusader Kings II).

As a software developer myself, here are a few questions I have:

  • In your experience, what have been the challenges of bringing a game like EUIV to fruition? Including Steam, platforms, modding API, etc.
  • What sorts of languages and software engineering styles make up your code base?
  • Any fun perks to being a project lead on a game as compared to any other software project? :-)


PDS_Besuchov8 karma

The biggest challange is handling the amount of data and the large amount of potential outcomes our variety of complex features gives. Most our problems, from balance to mp and preformance comes from that. Steam, platforms and modding are more a limited technical problem, It can be complex but once you have a good system for it you can make it work, once you have a handle on all your features someone comes up with a new one :P

The best perk of being lead on a game is the fact that Im working on a project that I like. Also, Its the only job in the world that lets me combine programming, history and games :)

ferrazoli6 karma

Related to being hired at PDS, is swedish language required?

PDS_Besuchov9 karma

No, you have to be prepared to move to Stockholm though.

VaPlanter6 karma

  1. One of the features I really enjoyed in Crusader Kings II was that options you took led you down a string of events. It felt like you were apart of a story in history with more depth. Has there been any talk of adding something like this to events or missions in EUIV?
  2. Any date for when the next DLC might be announced (I miss the weekly dev diaries)?

PDS_Besuchov7 karma

I do like events that pulls you into the story. There will be more events, just not sure they will be like the ones you mean i CK2. We will have more events at least.

Cant give you a DLC date yet.

_Magean_6 karma

Cheers to the game developers who have been giving me such great moments of playing since 2007 :)

1) First, a question about how you work : do you hire historians to do the research job ? Creating scenarios, especially for Victoria 2, must be an INSANE job.

Well, since a lot of people are asking about the future of EU4, I'm joining in :

2) I like the thematic DLC approach you have for CK2. The overall improvements are included in free patches, while people who are more interested in specific cultures can buy the DLC. Others don't have to, but still enjoy a regularly updated game. I'd like to know if you're going to use it for EU4. I mean, not only small DLC adding a few eye-candy things, but for example, overhaulings of parts of the world that didn't receive as much love as others... And yes, I've primarily the New World in mind. :) I'd love to see a fragmented Mesoamerica with lots of provinces, rival city-states, all of that providing an interesting game until the Europeans come. Then, disease events and so on... But also the possibility to survive (like reformed pagans in The Old Gods). That would be awesome.

3) I've the feeling that religious conversions in EU4 are quite unbalanced. Or maybe not unbalanced, but non-plausible. The Ottomans can basically convert all of Greece and the Balkans to Islam very quickly. And if Austria destroys them, then Greece will end up catholic 25 years later. That's a bit too fast. At least, culture conversions are expensive in diplo points, so you have to choose carefully when doing one (and they also take only a few years to complete, that's too fast). But active missionaries are not so expensive, so when you've got one, why not use him ? That's too easy. Nations who choose the religious path can convert extremely easily, and others do it fairly easily. Only high tax base provinces resist.

So the question is : is it something you plan to work on ? Or do you have more pressing concerns for EU4 ?

4) Since you've playtested EU4 for dozens of hours... Do you often see the French Revolution event chain firing ? The late game can often be a bit boring because everything is done, no real challenge left, so these events can spice it up. But, from the txt files of the game, the requirements are pretty hard to meet. Even an AI hardly goes into such a bad shape with a major power.

Speaking of revolutions, the American one is, IMHO, too easy to crush for a player who garrisons his colonies.

I'm ranting, I know, but EU4 is great. An excellent sequel.

PDS_Besuchov4 karma

  1. No but most of us have history as a big intrest. Our scripters do an awesome job on research and also we get great help from volonteers on the forums. Also by now we have made quite a few historical games, when making EU4 there is no reason the reresearch the entire world when we allready did that for the previous game.
  2. We will definatly do bigger thematic DLCs.
  3. We are constantly balancing the game, rebalancing religous conversion is not at the top of the list though.
  4. Ive seen Revolutionary france in several of my handsoff games so it does happen.

xLord_Blazerx6 karma

I love Paradox and the games churned out so far, you guys are just awesome for hearing and participating so much with the community. That being said, How exactly would a person go about to get hired at PDS?

PDS_Besuchov10 karma

Get an education that teaches you programing or art or some thing else that is of use in gamedevelopment and send an application. We are currently looking for experienced C++ programmers.

SoldierBobMcBob3 karma

Do you guys ever just play the games for fun anymore after spending so much time on them at work?

PDS_Besuchov8 karma

Its hard to play your own games and not just scribble notes on things to improve, makes it harder to relax. Ive played more EU4 this close to release than I can remember having done with any of the previos games though, and Ive at PDS since 2004.

Araoth3 karma

1.When i played as Bohemia i found out that forming HRE as non-german nation is rather annoying as all the province infrastructure I inherit disappear. Is there a plan to fix this?

2.I loved how the province names in CK2 changed names according to owner, is there any plan for this in EU4?

3.If there will be earlier start date (1399 for example) do you plan adding Hussite Wars? Because I sure missed those in EU3!

4.What's your favorite czech game?

5.Are you fans of Ice hockey? And if so, what team do you love the most? :)

PDS_Besuchov4 karma

  1. That shouldnt really happen
  2. It would be a cool idea, but there are so many potentential province names....
  3. It was a really important event so if we did an earlier start date we would have to include it.
  4. Bohemia Interactive is the only check game dev firm I know of, they do make cool games when they are not locked up in a greek jail ;)
  5. Not a sports fan really, Ill let Niklas answer that one (since the other sports interested eu4 devs are on vacation ;) )

MChainsaw3 karma

What was the first commercial game you worked on?

Do you ever feel the desire to develop games of completely different genres from grand strategy or are you perfectly content with those?

(Oh, and these questions are directed at any and all of you)

Thank you for your contributions to the world of great things!

PDS_Besuchov8 karma

Hearts of Iron 2, my first task at Paradox was fixing bugs in the ledger :)

I really like history and making historical games, and also its easier since someone allreay wrote the story for you. Id really like to make a modern day game or a space game though.

SoldierBobMcBob3 karma

Does eu4 have a whole royal family tree sort of thing going on in the background that determines who your leader and heir are, or are they just random? If there is a family tree, why doesn't it carry over from ck2?

PDS_Besuchov4 karma

There isnt any family tree. There are monarchs and heirs and the dynasty they belong to. The advance family tree is a unique feature of ck.

someguyupnorth2 karma

Why did Paradox move away from using the type of soundtracks that they did in EU2 and compose their own music instead? Not that I don't appreciate the effort that the team puts into the music, but part of what made EU2 so memorable was the inclusion of music written by historical artists.

Keep up the great work, I love these games!

PDS_Besuchov3 karma

We like the idea with specially composed music better.

TalkingBackAgain1 karma

Will Europa Universalis IV be available on the Apple Macintosh platform?

PDS_Besuchov4 karma

It is available on MAC via Steam.

kjfc1 karma

Is it possible to mod in non-Latin letters in the game?

PDS_Besuchov1 karma

Should not be impossible.

comped1 karma

Is there any plan to release a non-steam required version of the game? One in a box which I can buy at a gaming store?

PDS_Besuchov2 karma

If there will be a boxed version in english (there might be one in germany) if will be steam wrapped. Using the steam installer and steamworks makes the deployment process so much easier and lets us focus an making the game better.

bomberatirantes1 karma

  1. EU IV is a streamlined EU III (with all expansions) with some reworked mechanics. Mechanics that represent something new are a bit scarce. Do you plan on adding new systems (for example, a more dynamic civil war using Ming's factions) to the game experienced players can still find a challenge or is making things more transparent and flavor a higher priority?

  2. Why did you decide to compose your own music instead of using historical music?

PDS_Besuchov5 karma

I would say that we actually have some pretty radical changes from EU3, especially the monarch points (yes they could have had a more sexy name ;) ) and the way they turn the entire game from a game of nuding and waiting to a game where you take decisions. Still we are looking at some rather radical new features in the future.

Not sure why we did it the first time but now we have such an awesome composer so why stop? :)