Over the reading week, I figured out what I will do with my independent project. While it has not changed from my idea to mod Europa Universalis IV (EU IV), I nailed down what I want to try to accomplish. I am going to mod in a Nine Years’ War (1593-1603) disaster event for England.
Just in case you need a refresher on what EU 4 is, I will reiterate what I wrote back in September. EU4 is one of the numerous grand strategy games by Paradox Interactive. The game allows users to control a historical nation in a sandbox environment from 1444 to 1821. Unlike other strategy games such as Civilization and the Total War series, there are no victory conditions, meaning that players often choose their own end goals in a campaign. While players can choose whether to become a military, economic or colonial superpower, mission trees provide players with minor rewards for following the historical path of a nation.
Multiple factors guided my final choice for the mod’s setting. As I wrote back in September, I think the best choice for a mod in the confines of our class is one that either adds a historical event to the game or expand upon one that is currently lacking flavour. Working on the Nine Year’s War allows me to accomplish both. In the current state of the game, the Nine Years’ War event is one pop up that briefly summarises the life of Hugh O’Neill and spawns a moderate size of rebels in Ireland. While I feel that in a game with a scope the size of EU IV, the current implementation would be adequate, it is currently the only Irish event in the game. Additionally, due to the way the game’s mechanics work, England is able to fully conquer and convert the Irish population without any repercussions or issues by the mid-1550s. By working on this mod, I hope to not only create an engaging experience but also provide greater insight into the rebellion and how the Stuarts colonized the island in the aftermath. If all goes to plan, it will be a great starting place for further expansion by myself or other modders.
My mod will be utilizing EU IV’s disaster mechanic. In-game, disasters are largescale crises that represent calamitous and often violent crises. While many disasters are generic civil war rebellion or revolution events, certain nations have disasters based upon historical emergencies. The mechanic works on a series of prerequisites that determine if a player can get the disaster, how fast the player is progressing to activating the disaster, and if the disaster is activated, how the player can end the event. Additionally, if certain conditions are reached, players can delay or ultimately bypass the disaster. For example, during the ‘Age of Discovery’, it is possible for England to get the ‘War of the Roses’ disaster. The disaster activates at any point during the ‘Age of Discovery’ if England does not have an heir to the throne. Now, the disaster has not started, but if certain conditions are met, monthly progress will begin to fill up, and if it reaches 100%, the disaster begins. The monthly progress conditions for the War of the Roses disaster are:
- 0% has a ruler with the modifier ‘Low Fertility’ or the ‘Infertile’ personality, and it is the year 1455.
- 0% has a legitimacy of less than 90%.
- 5% is not ruled by the York dynasty.
- 5% is not ruled by the Lancaster dynasty.
- 5% has a stability of less than 1.
- 5% has a ruler with an administrative skill of less than 2.
- 5% has a ruler with a diplomatic skill of less than 2.
- 5% has a ruler with a military skill of less than 2.
However, at any time, monthly progress will halt if England gains an heir, has a regency council or becomes a lesser partner in a personal union. If the disaster progress hit 100% and begins, an event fires that explains the civil war, allows players to pick which house to support and various rebels spawn across the state. Following the beginning of the disaster, subsequent monthly flavour events related to disaster are activated if certain conditions are met.  Much like how the disaster began, under certain conditions the rebellion will end. In the case of the War of the Roses, England must have a stability of 1, have no rebels or rebel-controlled provinces, have an heir or no longer be a monarchy.
Overall, I think the disaster system is a good fit for the Nine Years’ War. At this moment, I have a rough sketch of how I want the disaster to work, and I have just finished coding the disasters’ starting conditions. Now I am working on writing out and coding the various events that will appear during and after the disaster. Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I will try to explain the Nine Years’ War in greater depth, the coding process and how I plan for my disaster to operate!