We had a pleasant chat with Carlos and Josh about their Magna Mundi mod for Europa Universalis III
26 March 2007 | By Import
Strategy Informer: Please tell us to whom are we speaking with?
UBIK: Hello, my name is Carlos, I hail from Portugal. I am 34 and own a small IT consultancy business in Lisbon. In Magna Mundi I am one of the Project Administrators (the other being Sharp, of course!) and I am responsible for several of the core systems of the mod.
SHARPALIGNMENT: Hi, I am Josh (SharpAlignment on the Paradox forum), I am a project administrator/co-founder of the Magna Mundi mod. Professionally, I am a Network Admin and a Coldfusion programmer. I am responsible for coding several of the core systems in Magna Mundi along with integration of the work from our multiple contributors.
Where did the idea for this mod came about?
SHARPALIGNMENT: Originally, Carlos (Ubik), and myself were working on separate projects that dealt with the exploration/colonization system in EU3. Since we were both tackling a similar portion of the game, and we liked each others ideas, we decided to merge our efforts. The result was the New World Mod. We decided after its release to expand the mod to cover all areas of the game, and that was the foundation for Magna Mundi 1.0.
UBIK: For me, it all started as a way to change what I perceived as a weakness in the original game. Game balance was a bit off the tracks, exploration & colonization being the most preeminent examples. So, I started on my own, making an exploration & colonization module for the game.
With the success of our first release, we got ambitious and decided to do an all encompassing mod. Thus, the birth of Magna Mundi.
What changes will this mod bring to EUIII? Which changes do you think are crucial?
At a glance our aim is to turn the game more historically plausible, to add depth to the game and to increase the difficulty level of the game through a better abstraction of the real world.
The current version, Magna Mundi 2.1, brings a large number of changes to the vanilla EU3 experience. I believe these are the most important aspects of the mod:
Increased Challenge - Magna Mundi has increased the challenge of vanilla EU3, through core changes to the combat, siege, recruitment, badboy, and war exhaustion systems. It is more difficult to play as an aggressive country in our mod, which is one of the things that many find appealing.
Historical Flavor - Magna Mundi tries to involve the player through the use of event chains that are based on history. These event chains are designed to give the player options while still providing a unique feel to each country.
Military Specialization - Magna Mundi features military specialization triggers that give each country a military specialty. This system is also used to limit abuse from all cavalry armies and other balance issues.
AI Only Events - AI (non-player) only events are used to help guide the actions and re-actions of the non-player countries, to better match history. These events help push ai countries toward more historically accurate situations, such as the formation of Russia, conquests of the Ottoman Empire, formation of Spain, and to better represent the Holy Roman Empire.
Exploration/Colonization - Magna Mundi tries to better match the historical exploration and colonization patterns of the major countries by restricting early game exploration.
As we understood, this mod will be optional for play once installed?
Yes, Paradox has provided a great tool that allows for players to use modification without messing up the core game.
How is the development going and when can we expect to see its release?
UBIK: The development is going very well. We just ended a development cycle with the release of version 2 of Magna Mundi and we are now on the planning stages for next release.
From my perspective, now that we have streamlined most of the game subsystems, what the mod lacks are more events - stories that happen to be History. I am currently working on a new module that will affect most of the Mediterranean nations called “Pirates of the Barbary Coast”. It has its roots in History and it will be historical until its historicity conflicts with gameplay.
SHARPALIGNMENT: Magna Mundi is fairly mature already, but there is a lot planned for the future. I am currently working on a new economic model for the game that will change the penalties for aggressive economic action from the current system of reducing trade effectiveness to a system of generating badboy for aggressive trade actions. I believe this, coupled with several other changes, will better represent the mercantile trade theory of the era.
Users of Magna Mundi can also expect more country specific event chains and an expanded advisor system in the next version.
Strategy Informer: Want to add a final word?
UBIK: I would only say to any prospective buyer that Europa Universalis III, with its modding capability, is on its own the best grand strategy title on the market, bar none! For those who crave for a more in-depth experience, where History, challenge and playability go hand in hand, you should definitely give Magna Mundi a try!
SHARPALIGNMENT: I would like to thank the team of contributors and beta testers who have contributed to the creation of Magna Mundi, this includes Sakura, Daboese, Duke of Earl, Pierreluc, LarsM, Marquoz, TwoBases, Dornski, Vasco, and Arkengate.
I would also like to thank the folks at Paradox for continuing to make great games, and for their ongoing support of the community. They have been very responsive to the needs and desires of the community.