<< Portico: Europa Universalis III updates

5/17/2006

Europa Universalis III updates

The official Europa Universalis III forums have a weekly development update that tends to dangle little delights in the form of screenshots and brief commentary from lead programmer Johan Andersson. This week's was a modest shot of the monarch info screen, but the post describes how the nation tag system has been replaced by something much more friendly to modders.

The amusing thing about the official forums is that the fan hopes for the game are so eager and enthusiastic in light of the obvious fact that the game is already very far along. All the hopes for a Victoria style POP system, trade route economy, or guerrilla warfare are being expressed against the backdrop of a game that is less than a year away and already in beta. Most of the basics have already been established and I doubt that many major socioeconomic, military or political mechanics have yet to be resolved. So these threads are mostly wishlist things, but on a higher order than those threads that complain about the shorter time frame mostly because Byzantium won't be available.

So is this sort of thing pointless? Of course not. Vain wishes are part and parcel of the anticipation. The discussions encourage enthusiasm and, since the developer interference in discussions is minimal, these aren't expectations being encouraged by the designers - so disappointment will be kept to a minimum.

I'll admit to being a sucker for Paradox based almost entirely on Europa Universalis. Sure, I love Crusader Kings, but it's not like Victoria and Hearts of Iron are familiar friends. And the less said about Two Thrones, Crown of the North and Diplomacy the better. And I'm not alone. The Europa Universalis II forum has more threads than any other of their games, and more than HoI2 and CK added together.

Like all official communities, the EU forums are best handled in small doses. Threads can degenerate into debates over which Balkan tyrant controlled what tiny province in 1600. Sometimes there is too much being made of too much historical minutiae - a single anomalous case being held up as justification for a major change in game mechanics. But the loyalty to the developers is mostly thoughtful, the fanboyism mostly held in check, but the enthusiasm entirely genuine.

1 Comments:

Anonymous oldciver said...

having participated in some of those debates of minute cases I found A. That the majority of posters were quite aware of the need to balance the desire for accuracy in detail with the need not to overcomplicate the design to handle a small group of exceptions. and B. They were informative on their own.

5/24/2006 01:44:00 PM  

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