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Geek Culture / So Let's talk about Paradox Interactive Grand Strategy games...

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Joined: 3rd Jul 2008
Location: Equestria!
Posted: 11th Dec 2014 23:04
So, i'm somewhat assuming you reading this have some understanding of paradox's grand strategy games, but i'll try to explain (might be messy.. TLR down at bottom xD)

So, I'm a big time of Paradox's Grand strategy games, started playing Victoria:Revolutions, then tried hears of iron 3, never got into it; Then Victoria 2 came out and it was.. Really bad compared to Vicky Rev
then CK2 came out, great game - different, but really good.
Tried EU3 - didnt get into it but saw the potential.
Got EUIV - loved it.. and slowly grew to really hate it.

So, why do I like Victoria: Revolutions but hate V2?
Why did I see potential in EU3 but didnt get that into EU4?
Well, let's start with Victoria.
I love victoria, while a bit functionally lacking, it's combat is the greatest; The fact that you can bring in armies of different flanks, and throw the tide of battle, the fact that every unit counts; You can bring in navies to bombard the troops, thus giving you an edge - the combat in V:R was really great.
Then along comes V2 and then completly throw the Dugin system (basicly your units became really powerfull if stationary, thus making border stacking essential) out the window, didnt include attack from different sides and replaced the somewhat static numbers vs numbers (static bonuses vs static bonuses) for a.. Risk-like system (you have a Dice of 6, and add bonuses like leader fire to that) which really just feels... There's too much chance involved; I dont mind some chance in it, but if basicly the whole combat is based around the idea of chance, then i really dont appreciate that.
Borderstacking is gone, because you no longer get that massive dugin bonus. and thuse begins the doomstacking. IT's now more effective to stack all troops into one stack and run around with that.

Another essential part is that in Vicky:Rev you HAD to capture land, as you went along into enemy territory. If you have adjacent controlled land that you controlled, you can always retreat to that; But if you're in the middle of enemy territory, then you cant, thus your army stuck will die.

In V2 they threw that system out too, now you can retreat from anywhere(further making doom stacking more viable)
So, as of that I can safely say that the combat in V2 is INCREDIBLY dumbed down from V:R, which I completly hate.
That said, the politics and diplomacy is vastly improved and the population controll aswell. Most of the game is definitly better, but considering that most of the game is spent waging war you would expect a good fleshed out war system. But sadly, there isnt.

In my opinion, V2 is unplayable due to that, which is sad.
Let's move on shall we, to EUIV

Europa Universalis, the bannerman of Paradox Interactive.
While the timeframe (1400 - 1800) is GREAT and I LOVE the colonisation timestamp in that game, everything is.. Lacking.
There's no politics, basicly no diplomacy - nothing to do aside from war and colonisation - in Victoria you build factories and maintain a industry, in EUIV you.. build armies and.. then wait and.. it's just - no content. Aside from war. And then, in EUIV they took the war system from Vicky2 and made it even more shallow. There's almost no strategy involved in EUIV aside from wether you stand on a mountain or not. If you don't then numbers win, with a bit of luck. Unless they got a better leader then you; But even then, numbers most often win.
While in Victoria:Revolutions you could definitly win a 1:10 encounter, provided you had the dugin - and most of all the placement of your other troops. If your 10 000 soldiers got attacked by 50 000, then you send in another 10k from a adjecent province and gained that surrounded modifier, you had as said, the ability to use bombardment for shore provinces and placement was overall a LOT more important.
and even in EUIV there was a lot more depth; Provinces actually held numbers of citizens, aside from "base tax" , and the world was a bit more dynamic in the numbers sense, but in EUIV they've simplified more aspects (dont get me wrong, I like some of the changes)

So I guess what i'm saying is that I currently see Paradox going down a route I absolutly hoped they wouldnt; They seem to be trying the casual approach. They're simplifying their games and offering up depth to approachability. I believe this is due to the fact of Paradox's "recent" success and growth, but it does sadden me. My favorite company, Paradox, is becoming what I did NOT want. I came to paradox for their niche and complex games and i've found that they're not filling that gap anymore.

It's a bit sad to see, a great company deciding to cater to the masses, instead of their core fanbase.
I'm genuinly scared of them screwing up HOI:IV, while I found it hard to get into HOI:III, I certanly hope they keep the depth; and don't remove the politics and intruige that i did find the other games in the series had. I genuinly hope they only make it more approachable in the sense of visual information, and that they keep the complex nature of it.
But I guess I might be hoping too much.

Phew, that's the end of my massivly messy rant-...

Whose eyes are those eyes?

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