Welcome to the fifth and last development diary for Europa Universalis 4: El Dorado. Today we’ll be talking about the gold and silver mines of the new world and how to best secure that wealth for your colonial empire.
It’s no secret that the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Central and South America was primarily driven by a desire for gold and silver. The Spanish crown had sole rights to mine these precious metals in their colonies, which were then loaded onto well-guarded ships and sent back to Spain. Unsurprisingly, this floating wealth drew the attention of pirates and privateers, leading to the Golden Age of Piracy and the Pirates of the Caribbean that we all know and love.
In the El Dorado expansion, we represent this through a mechanic we call ‘Treasure Fleets’. For those that have the expansion, Colonial Nations with gold provinces will no longer gain the income of that gold for themselves, but instead will store it in a ‘Treasure Fleet Counter’ that counts up towards a certain sum depending on the size of the colony’s gold mines. Once the counter is full (usually about twice a year), the colony will send a Treasure Fleet. The Treasure Fleet travels downstream along the trade routes, passing each node between the Colonial Nation and its mother nation’s trade capital. If there are privateers present in these nodes, they will steal a share of the gold relative to their power in the node - so if privateers hold 50% of the power in the Caribbean, they will take half the value out of any treasure fleet that passes through there. At the end of the journey, any money that remains is given to the mother nation, who suffer some inflation depending on the amount of money relative to the size of their economy.
Nations who do not have their trade capital downstream of their colonies’ trade nodes will be unable to receive treasure fleets. In these cases, the colonial nation will simply keep the gold for themselves, paying just the usual amount in tariffs.
If you see a lot of your treasure going into the pockets of filthy buccaneers, we have given you a new way to stop them. To repel the privateers that are stealing your trade or seizing your gold fleets, we’ve added the option for your navies to go Pirate Hunting in the El Dorado expansion. Heavy Ships and Light Ships can be sent pirate hunting in a particular node, and will reduce the efficiency of all pirates in that node based on the amount of guns that the pirate hunting fleet can bring to bear. This gives you an way to combat piracy without having to go to war and gives Heavy Ships some use at peacetime besides sitting mothballed in port.
As a bonus feature in the free patch, we’ve majorly reworked province terrains and the terrain mapmode. Many parts of the world have had their terrain updated to better reflect reality. For example, Spain is no longer mostly desert, and Eastern Europe is no longer one big swamp. The map has also been tweaked so that it is much easier to tell the terrain of a province simply from looking at said province.
As part of this reworking, we’ve added four new terrain types:
Highlands: Hilled but deforested regions (such as the Scottish Highlands). The old Hills terrain has been modified to represent forested, more inaccessible hilled regions.
Drylands: Arid regions that can still support agriculture, such as southern Spain.
Farmlands: Densely populated and cultivated areas with rich soils, such as you’d find in northern Italy.
Savanna: Largely open regions with alternating dry and wet seasons, such as the African Savannas.
That’s it for the El Dorado dev diaries! Over the next week, we’ll be posting excerpts from the 1.10 patch notes, and Thursday the 26th of February the El Dorado expansion and corresponding patch will be released.