Paradox Development Studio is working on the next expansion to Europa Universalis IV and they're keeping it holy. The team will be deepening the religious mechanics to significantly overhaul their impact and meaning.
Protestanstism for example can be customised by 3 aspects by spending Church Power that accumulates. It also lets each nation name their own church, "like Church of England and so on."
Holy Sacraments would increase Discipline by 2.5%, while Adult Baptism boosts missionary strength by 1%. In total there will be 12 aspects we can choose from but only 3 can be active, and we'll need to use Church Power if we wish to change them in the future.
Buddhism is embracing its karma and our actions will swing us in either direction. "Karma needs to be balanced, because if it goes too positive or negative, you end up with penalties. If you go too positive you end up with penalties to your diplomatic abilities, and if you go too negative, you end up with penalties to your military abilities," explained the latest dev diary.
Starting conflicts will decrease karma, but coming to the aid of an ally will boost it. "While adding the Karma mechanic and its related events it also became clear that the game setup could benefit from splitting the existing religion into Vajrayana, Mahayana and Theravada."
"These three religions will all use the same Karma mechanic but don't all share the same events related to it and can in some cases have different event options in the events they do share."
Until now, Catholicism has been the dominant religion to use in the grand strategy thanks to its bonuses and being able to control the Papacy. Now switching religion can finally have bite in Europe. The next dev diary from the team will look at "subjects and how to interact with them".