Europa Universalis 3


Paradox released the demo for EU3 yesterday and I am pleasantly surprised. I have always loved the concept of Paradox strategy games (EU, Heart of Iron, Crusader Kings) and have consistently bought them with the hope that maybe this would be the one that would pull me in. Their historical detail, depth, and accuracy are without question, but they have always lacked a bit in execution for me. Penetrating the myriad interface screens and popup messages felt bewildering and eventually became a chore.

After a few hours with the demo I can safely say EU3 is a huge step in the right direction. The interface is much, much improved. The different palettes and interface screens seem more intuitive and are better laid out. The map is beautiful and has a nice clean design. I was finally able to feel like I was playing EU without having to constantly fight interface design and layout. (Caveat: It does help that I can play at an included 1920x1200 resolution - previous Paradox games were capped at 1024x768).

I think i am going to be ordering a copy today. Anybody else try out the demo and have impressions?

Edit: Link to demo download page

Haven't done the demo yet, but am looking forward to it now.

It'd be awesome if they get this one right ( finally ).

Don't tempt me! Augh! I already have too many games and still unopened ones from Christmas... I think I'll give the demo a shot this weekend I guess...

We've had an earlier thread on this - the Collector's Edition and the regular have been available for pre-order for several weeks. I think this is gonna be a wonderful game and I'm hoping the stuff I'm seeing holds together.

Expect a lot of patches, though. That's typical for Paradox games. Still lots of fun.

I have preordered it almost a month ago, the first time I ever done such thing. Can't wait for it, hopefully it arrives next week. After that, bye bye sleep! And after several days I will start waiting for the first patch

Yep! The demo looks tasty. I did spot one graphics bug, but no big deal. Text appearing below a line rather than above it. I like the new menu system and I'll mess with the demo when I get a chance.

When does the full game drop?

wordsmythe wrote:

When does the full game drop?

Next week, according to gamespot. I am mildly interested.

My preorder CE arrived today from Sweden. It had a customs form on it, printed in the moon language they use over there. Kind of cool.

Very nice manual and the strategy guide is actually substantial. Nice poster backed with a province map of the world, a soundtrack cd in addition to the game, and a bunch of reflective Paradox stickers to top it off.

I'm gonna fire it up now.

Couple of years into a game. Appendix A in the manual lists the big changes made in the game from EU2 to EUIII, which is a convenient way to get into the game if you played it's predecessor.

The game now has a so-so 3D map, in the same mold as Civ4's. Zooming in looks a lot better than zoomed out. It's functional, but nothing to write home about. I'm glad they put it in, however, it's better than the old way of showing the map features.

The game goes from the end of the Hundred Years War to the start of the Napoleonic Wars. You can pick any date the start.

There are no more fixed events. Rulers have random lifespans. While there likely will be a Protestant Reformation or the creation of the United Kingdom, they probably won't occur at the same time as in the real world. The events occur when your actions, and the actions of other players/countries, line up in a particular way. So they have gone away from the "deterministic" events that provided so much weirdness in the earlier games.

Combat has been completely redone. It's based on Regiments and individual ships, whose performance is partly determined by how militaristic your country has been in the past - your military tradition, as it's called. Armies will be small compared to EU2 and leaders scarce.

You have court advisors with bonuses who you can hire. They aid in the development of new technologies and government advances. There are different types of governments you can switch to at various costs and benefits. You can develop up to 10 National Ideas which greatly affect your course in the game. These are things like Bill of Rights, National Bank, Quest for the New World, Scientific Revolution, etc.

Diplomacy is greatly expanded, and espionage has been added. The Holy See can be influenced through the seven Cardinals who advicse the Pope. The Holy Roman Empire is in play as well, both are sort of diplomatic mini-games.

And if you didn't like EU2's convoluted menu system, or it's cryptic sliders and options, that's all be redone with tooltips and explanations. All the information you need is displayed in multiple places, and new pull-down and pop-up lists allow you to quickly see all your armies, ships, pending builds, traders and the like. You can click on an army or ship in the list and go right to it. The UI is much better.

So the game is as promised - a lot more accessible. The manual is solid and the CE has a great hint book. I'm enjoying it and will keep you updated, especially after the first combat I get into.

So the game is as promised - a lot more accessible. The manual is solid and the CE has a great hint book. I'm enjoying it and will keep you updated, especially after the first combat I get into.

Please do.

I'm going to give the demo a go tomorrow after work. Looking forward to it. I'm glad to hear it sounds like the interface has been redone - I didn't stay long with EU2 because I always felt like I could never find what it was I was looking for. Navigation should not be that much work

Nice first impressions Robear. Gogo!

Thanks for the impressions, Robear. If you continue on with the bug-free play, I'll have to purchase this now as opposed to my self-imposed 3 month Paradox waiting period.

On the official forums they are saying that the first patch will be available tomorrow. I ordered from Paradox last week - hopefully it will show up sometime this week.

What I did was to summarize that Appendix A. That gives context. Really, the game feels like it's been cleaned up and tweaked, but because everything is in a different place, it's a bit hard to see what's actually changed.

Bug-free? I hope so, but this is Paradox we are talking about. I've spotted one text display bug that did not repeat or cause me any problems (one word displayed on top of another, so they looked like a pile of sticks). No crashes yet, no real weirdness. I've had to click twice to make a few windows go away - I think that's something else processing at the time. That sort of thing, nothing big yet.

Since I'm playing Britain, I expect not to get into combat for a while unless the Scots come howling over the border. I did take Quest for the New World as my new Great Idea; I'm waiting for January so I can produce a few Caravelles and send them out to look for colonizable areas.

Got any screenshots? I'm itching for a 4x game, and I'm torn between this and Space Empire V.

On a side note, Best Buy is selling this for 34.99 the week of the 28th, with a $5 gift card to go with it. There is also a $10 off any PC game over 29.99 in the latest issue of Gamepro, or you can find a copy of the coupon online at

This isn't really a 4x, not in the way I usually think of them, but I'm really enjoying it so far

As for the good-old Paradox bugs, the only thing I've noticed so far is some clipping of shadows and the same text-overlap Robear mentioned. It's annoying, but it sometimes goes away if I open and close the window. Sometimes.

I was never able to get into EU2 despite my best efforts - I always got the feeling of wandering through a GUI maze. I think this game improved it many times - it's very slick, and I don't have much difficulty finding what I need.

I'm playing as Portugal, and generally trying to keep the Sunni Muslims from taking over my African provinces while keeping buddy with England. One good thing to note - while it's nice to have a big strong ally when you're a small country focusing on Diplomacy and Trade, they WILL drag you into war. Having casus belli for such occasions can save you plenty of grief.

I'm not very far in yet, but really enjoying what I've played thus far. I think if you're looking for a deep but accessible game, this may be a good one to try out.

Just arrived. It's a beauty, the whole package is simply lovely (Collector's edition).

OK, here are first impressions: I didn't like the map at first, but it's easy to get used to. Interface is hugely revamped, and is much easier to navigate. Sending colonists, traders etc. takes just a bit of figuring out, but basically everything is quite intuitive. Province frontiers could be more pronounced, but it's just a minor quibble. Overall, the gameplay feels smoother - the notifications about alliance offers etc. are less intrusive, sometimes even hard to spot (but easy to get used to). So far I'm playing as Castille and liking it very much.

One more thing: you don't need a CD in the drive once you install the game. Nice that Paradox still hasn't gone the way of heavy copy protection.

Dezlen wrote:

On a side note, Best Buy is selling this for 34.99 the week of the 28th, with a $5 gift card to go with it. There is also a $10 off any PC game over 29.99 in the latest issue of Gamepro, or you can find a copy of the coupon online at

Thanks for the heads up! I can't seem to find the coupon on though. Where am I missing it?

It's under the Video Game deals section in the thread
"Gamepro Best Buy Coupons $10 off any game $39.99+ & more (with scans)". It is currently on page 3.

So I restarted a game after the patch install and picked the 1453 start date, because England was fighting France and Brittany for Gascony and Calais. This way, I could check out the war engine.

England was outnumbered in Gascony even with 12 regiments, but only had a few regiments in England itself. Brittany had also invested Meath with a regiment of cavalry. England had about 9 regiments worth of ship transport, so I built 6 regiments (2 cav, 4 infantry) and waited. The French proceeded to chase my Gascony force all around SW France.

Finally, I took the first three regiments and sailed for Meath, thinking my 12000 guys in Gascony could knock around a bit. I fought a sea battle but delivered the men to Meath and drove off the cavalry. I came back to England, had another sea battle on the way, and picked up the rest of the men, with commanders. Thus prepared, as the French themselves besieged Calais and sent men to Meath, I set out to rescue the Gascony garrison.

My 9000 guys were ready to rescue the remaining few thousand of my men, but first I figured I'd grab Gascony back and hold it. I sent off the the 12K men, who took the province quickly by assaulting the city. Then I sent my navy off to the Channel to deal with a Brittany fleet.

That's the last of my successes. As it turns out, troop quality, morale, type and leadership are incredibly important. The French were ahead of me in most of those and repeatedly handed me my head, even when I outnumbered them. Which was not for long. Both my armies in France went down to defeat, and my navy was caught by the forces of Brittany and 8 of my 9 ships were actually sunk in a monstrous battle.

I stopped the experience there.

In battles, there is an attack each day by each side, the first five being based on the shock value of the units, the second five being based on fire (this order established in the recent patch is opposite of the manual). These values are adjusted by the type of the unit, it's size, leadership, terrain and morale. The ships are lined up by name in the display; armies are lined up in one or two lines and regiments fight specific opposing regiments. More advanced armies get better formations and tactics, but you don't control the fight, except to enter it, and withdraw if you want. Not a bad system but I must learn how to weigh the odds better so as to win the fight before entering it.

Reading these great impressions is killing me! I am still waiting for my pre-order from Paradox.

I played the demo for a while last night. I chose England and decided to unify the island (at Scotland's expense of course.) After a several year war I had occupied all of Scotland's provinces and sieged each major city into submission. Once I had done that.. I wasnt sure what to do. I figured I'd get a 'you conquered Scotland, congrats' and posession of their provinces would go fully to me, but that didnt happen. Eventually I sued for peace and demanded they become vassals and give me several of the provinces I had taken.

After that I just disbanded most of my army and sent colonists to the new world which didnt really work out due to the time limit on the demo. I havent decided on the game yet. Any idea how to better complete a war? That might help me decide

polypusher wrote:

After that I just disbanded most of my army and sent colonists to the new world which didnt really work out due to the time limit on the demo. I havent decided on the game yet. Any idea how to better complete a war? That might help me decide.

So far I feel it works just like in EU2, i.e. demand all their provinces (except the main one, of course) and make peace. After the peace expires (EUIII now even has a handy icon telling you so), just siege the last province and annex. Or you can diplomatically annex them, which means making good relations, being in the same alliance, them being vassals and I guess having royal marriage as well. The game lists the requirements for you, actually. It isn't as lengthy as it sounds, took me just a few years to completely annex Granada (3 provinces) when playing as Castille. One more recommendation: hiring general/admiral for your army/navy makes quite a difference in battle.

Man, I suck at this game

I'm just starting to get the hang of using my merchants - it dawned on me earlier what Trade Centers actually are. I've been so strapped for cash I'm having trouble building improvements, but I have been marrying off plenty relatives for good relations. I take it an explorer is needed in order to explore the Terra Incognita (white area)? I want to start colonizing the New World (as Portugal) but my navies just sort of hang around in the Atlantic. At present, I have a working alliance with Castille and England, and I suspect pain from the Sunni Muslim African nations - I'm hoping a Catholic pact will force them to leave me be until I get the hang of combat.

Yeah. If you got the CE, read the strat guide about using traders. Apparently, when you send one and it competes away another merchant, it's used up - you need a second one to take the now-open slot. So send at least two at a time for best effect.

Don't spend all your cash on improvements, and prioritize by the provinces that give the biggest payoffs. Save some cash for emergencies, of course - loans are nasty.

In order to explore, you need an explorer and several Barques. Then for land forces, you hire a Conquistador and give him some troops, and ship them over to the new land to explore there. You can't get explorers or conquistadors without the Quest for the New World advance.

I need to play more to learn more. The combat system changes really threw me; I need to find a new way to gauge opponents' strengths.

Grapes and Sugar = $$$. I've started greedily looking at my neighbor's territories for their delicious and profitable production. Must resist, at least for now

Tradition makes a huge freaking difference. It's like night and day, and with my relatively small tradition combat just isn't working out for me. I think I'll stick with trading and exploring for this game. I'll most likely start a new one soon and take all my gained knowledge and try for competence.

I kinda wish I had gotten the CE, but didn't see it at Best Buy. I don't think the manual is particularly helpful - I wish there was a fully linked guide in-game. I was a wiki being started over on the Paradox forums, but it's still in it's infancy.