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Recently Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio put out a small update for Europa Universalis IV, initially saying it didn't really do much. However, after users did some digging, they had to release a statement about upcoming subscription plans.

Initially, the update notes said they were "running a few experiments aimed at reducing the threshold for new players to access the full EU4 experience" and that they didn't want to disclose what as it would "interfere with the test". Not long after the post, a user replied to show subscriptions mentioning a "monthly payment" for DLC access.

Paradox then ended up releasing a statement on it that "Yes, we want to test a subscription model for EU4" however to be very clear they also said they will not be "replacing the current model or changing how anything works now. We are simply adding another option". So you can either buy the DLC, or sub to perhaps access everything.

There's no getting around the fact that Paradox games end up with a lot of DLC. Looking at Europa Universalis IV, to buy all the DLC individually on Steam right now would cost around £254.94.

That's a pretty ridiculous sum. However, it does mean their games get supported and updated often with new free features for everyone for a long time after release. Still, it's a lot of extra content and quite intimidating for newer players and even plenty who've owned it a while and play it. That's who their target is with this of course, people interested but don't want to pay a big sum.

Full details of it haven't been released, their statement to clarify it only mentioned a limited amount of people will be given the option while they experiment with it and figure out things like the right cost. You can see their post about it on their official forum, along with the statement too.

What are your thoughts on their idea?

As a reminder, you can actually pick up Europa Universalis IV plus a ton of DLC super cheap in The Humble Europa Universalis IV Bundle.

Hat tip to Anastiel.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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shorberg Jan 23, 2020
For anyone on the fence about buying eu4; the Humble Bundle currently going contains everything that is "essential" and basically everything else that adds mechanics and features. The big thing lacking is the cosmetic stuff, which is really just there to throw some extra money at the developers. Currently going for about €17 for the full package.

The upcoming DLC (and accompanying free patch) is going to absolutely huge and might well land on that list as well eventually, which might be good to know. Then it will cool down for quite a while.

If anyone wonders about the essentials, it differs a bit on play-style and as such opinions are a bit varied but it generally boils down to:

  • Art of War

  • Common Sense

  • Dharma

  • Wealth of Nations

Some of these "essential" features also trickle down into the base game so these get less and less important as time goes on.
vlademir1 Jan 23, 2020
Quoting: EikeActually, I heard my favourite let's players (Gametube) talk about this problem today: One said when he sees such a list of DLCs, he's got no idea what he needs and what not... and goes back to playing some DOTA. :D

Quoting: Eike...imagine you didn't follow the game grow, then you're sitting in front of a ridiculously long list of stuff and no idea what actualy are these "half-a-dozen “real”, game-altering, DLC packages" you might want.

So a bit of an illustrative related personal anecdote here. I picked up Cities: Skylines back when it first came out in 2015 and played for quite some time loving every minute of it. Before the first DLC came in I was finished with the vanilla experience and moved on to other media content intending to come back once the game had been expanded via DLC. Time-lapse to early 2019 when YouTube randomly starts recommending me Cities: Skylines videos and reminds me I was intending to play more of it.

At this point I start looking through the list of DLC and the related bundles. None of the bundles are just the essential game mechanic DLC. I don't need all those radio stations, as I typically turn off game music and have other stuff (documentaries, podcasts, et al) playing in the background. I don't need all the visual aesthetic stuff until and unless I get tired of the vanilla ones because I'm playing that much.

Doing my due diligence I try to find what are the DLCs I expressly need for added game mechanics. Every list I find is outdated, an abandoned incomplete WIP or includes at least some of the content I don't care about. After two weeks of collating data from various lists I finally have an essentials list and start pricing it only to realize I'm going to break my gaming budget for the year if I buy all those and I need all of them to play with the added interesting stuff I've now seen which makes me want to play again.

In the end I just shrugged and went off to play a mix of as yet unplayed backlog games and my standard gotos of the last decade, current Minecraft modpacks and Dwarf Fortress and didn't bother with the game I was really in the mood to play. If I'd had the option to drop $20 to $50 and play with all the DLC and mods I'd want for a couple months before canning the sub and going off to other games I'd have at least had the chance to play what I wanted to when I wanted to (ok, I did play a week of vanilla around a month later, but that just reminded me why I felt done when I did). I've had similar experiences with other Paradox titles previously as well *looks sidelong at Crusader Kings II.
Philadelphus Jan 24, 2020
That's a pretty ridiculous sum.

And the usual response, of course, is: "Yes, if you buy it all at full price." (This isn't directed at you Liam, by the way, since I know you enjoy Paradox games, it's a response to this criticism in the abstract.) Pretty much anything later than the two most recent expansions will regularly go on sale for 75% off; apply that to the price and you get £63.74 (or about $83.5 USD for my own convenience). And of course, if you drop all the cosmetic DLC that price would drop another $20 at least. Now compared to all the $10 indie games running around out there even I'll say that's not exactly cheap, but in terms of what you get I think you'll get a lot more than 8× the playtime out of it if you like that kind of gameplay. I actually have bought most of EU IV & DLC full price—but I've also put 1,154 hours into it and expect to put many more in the future once the big game-changing Europe update comes out this year, so my actual cost-per-hour is less than $0.28/hour, making it a better deal than almost any other game in my library (and most forms of paid entertainment out there).

Um, actually on topic, I've occasionally thought that it would great to be able to just pay a subscription service to Paradox. They'd get a moderately more stable cash flow (especially if they did the usual thing of offering discounts the longer you subscribe for), and if I just got DLC I was interested in as it came out without needing to buy it (perhaps with a small discount, again, for subscribing) I'd be pretty happy. Realistically I'll probably end up buying anything they put out for the games I play anyway, eventually (I don't play all games equally at all times). Like other have said I wouldn't want that to be the only option, but I think it could potentially work as an option.
mahagr Jan 25, 2020
EU4 DLC used to be 66% off on sales, but now they are only 50% off (in EU at least), which is crazy for everyone who is just starting to play the game.

Humble has basically all the DLC (except for one which you don't need) for just $17, which is a must-take deal if you ever consider playing the game. To be honest I'd rather have them to bundle all the old DLC into heavily discounted price instead of having subscription service -- or the subscription price should be something like $15/year (or less) to be worth it.

I've only played about 500 hours of the game as I usually don't find any time to play, but this is my favorite game, too. I have all the DLC which is included in the bundle except for Res Publica, though I've not paid the full price for any of it, I just don't think it is worth for me as I just do not have the time. I also own almost every other Paradox game, though I've got those mainly from bundles.

What I'm trying to say, I'm happy Paradox to keep on supporting their games, but in the past they've made the games unplayable if you don't have most of the DLC. I agree that this should be changed, but IMHO it should be done by lowering the prices of older DLC by grouping them together with discount (Steam allows you to play only from the missing stuff) as every other game tends to do. I guess that subscription service would be cool, too, but it should be the value option by either offering all the games or having very low subscription fee or most people wouldn't even consider using it. This is especially true as I believe EU4 will shortly have the fate of CK2.
Philadelphus Jan 26, 2020
Quoting: mahagrEU4 DLC used to be 66% off on sales, but now they are only 50% off (in EU at least), which is crazy for everyone who is just starting to play the game.
Huh, you're right: the base game is 75% off now, but all the DLC are only 50%. That does change the math a bit. :(
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