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Europa Universalis III Beta Report

December 2nd, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

The first Europa Universalis III Beta After Action Report has been posted at the official forum. It’s worth a look if you want to see somebody having fun with a game the rest of us won’t see for six weeks.

The preview build that I have on my desk is clearly way past obsolete, since a lot of the things discussed in this AAR weren’t working in that build. Military tradition is the big one. In the new EU, you don’t get historic monarchs or leaders as you move through the campaign. These will be generated randomly based on a number of factors. For military leaders, the big one is Military Tradition. As you fight battles, you build up Land or Naval tradition which you can then “spend” to recruit a general or admiral. The greater your tradition is, the better chance you have of hiring a strong leader. Other policy settings will affect how quickly you accumulate “tradition”, but it does mean that a France constantly at peace won’t just stumble upon Vauban.

If you check the recent screenshots, by the way, you can see how much better looking the game is.

Even though I am eagerly awaiting EU3, I still have serious misgivings about the end of the Pageant of History design that made the first two games in that series so memorable. Conquering the Aztecs with Cortez or Kazan with Ivan the Terrible will now only be possible if you start the game at the right date. I fear that this could be one of those instances where a completely defensible design decision diminishes the very thing that set the series apart.

Of course, it could also be brilliance. I’m all set to order the Collector’s Edition, in any case.


5 Comments so far ↓

  • baby arm

    “It’s worth a look if you want to see somebody having fun with a game the rest of us won’t see for six weeks.”

    If you’re getting impatient, Paradox has an updated beta available right now for the press. And final review copies are expected to be ready December 11th. At least that’s the plan.

  • Troy

    I didn’t notice the updated beta at the FTP, but if they are this close to release I may give it a peek. Thanks for the tip.

    I still want the Collector’s Edition, but I’m not sure why.

  • Eumel

    Personally, I’m optimistic about this shift of paradigms. Triggering historical events on a set date often leads to logical problems. If the factors that lead to the event are nor present in your game, then it all makes little sense. The new system might lead to widely divergent lines of alternate history, but for me, this would certainly increase the fun. Where EU2 seemed to be on rails sometimes, the new system means way more control for the player — if it is executed properly, of course. This new “rule-based events” design is also more likely to attract bugs. Testing such a game is presumably quite a challenge.

  • Troy

    The loss of historical events isn’t too big a deletion for me, and I totally understand the game design logic behind it, as well as the logic behind the randomization of generals and monarchs.

    My point is mostly that the EU series has always been tightly connected to its historical process, even in the original which had very few historical events. I wonder if the game can give me the same thrills knowing that it is general Sanchez and not Cortez.

    Crusader Kings was able to escape this by making all the random figures individual personalities, so the new world was deep and convincing. I will miss Suleiman, even if EU3 is another great game in an already great series.

  • Eumel

    I can only speak for myself here: I don’t mind the fictional names. One could make a point for retaining original explorers/generals in the game. However, what if the rise of a general was tied to a certain monarch or the formation of a certain state? A whole new can of worms…

    For me, the a consistent logic behind what’s happening means a more immersive experience. If that means Cortez has to be sacrificed, then so be it. I’m certainly not much of a history geek — that might play a role too.