Idea groups

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For the ideas of individual countries, see national ideas.
For the ideas of American natives, see native ideas.

As a nation develops technologically, it unlocks the ability to gain additional idea groups. Investing into a full idea group can take a long time and cost several decades worth of power. The act of choosing at any point of time a certain idea group over the other and advancing in it represent the time and focus nations choose to spend historically along certain administrative, diplomatic, and military specializations.

Mechanics summary[edit]

Each nation can have up to 8 idea groups from a pool of 19 groups (only 18 are shown as 2 idea groups are government type exclusive). Idea group choice is only restricted by the requirement for a balanced mix of groups; a new group must not have its affiliated All power costs.png monarch power be in the same category as more than 50% [1] of the total idea groups composition the nation holds at the time. This limit can be turned off in options before starting a game and works on Ironman. There is no restriction on the groups themselves and any nation may pick any group at any point in the game. That being said, AI nations have had weights assigned to the idea groups to simulate random but somewhat historical idea picks.

Each idea group itself consists of 7 ideas. Advancing within an idea group is done sequentially and each unlocked idea enhances a certain aspect of the nation. Unlocking the last idea in the group also unlocks the group bonus.

Unlocking new slots[edit]

New idea group slots are unlocked with the advancement in Administrative tech.png Administrative technology as described below:

Administrative tech.png Administrative tech level 5 7 10 14 18 22 26 29
Idea unlock Number of idea groups 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Abandoning idea groups[edit]

Abandoning an idea group can be used to free up an idea slot if it no longer serves the nation and there may be others more suitable groups that do so. It is important to note, however, that doing so will result in losing all the given bonuses from said idea group and will only refund 10% of the All power costs.png monarch power points invested in the group[2]. Discarding idea groups will also impact the number of Ideas a nation has towards unlocking National Ideas and Ambitions.

Due to the low refund rate and the importance of monarch power points, picking an idea group should be done with its future usefulness to the nation in mind. However, this option should not be disregarded either as it is extremely useful in the right circumstances. For example:

  • Primitives can take only the first 3-4 Exploration ideas, get a colonial border with a western power, then drop Exploration for something else. Some would benefit more from the Expansion idea group; but Expansion doesn't allow Explorers or long-range island-hopping. They could even opt out of colonization altogether after getting the border they needed.

Technology cost reduction[edit]

Each unlocked idea grants a Technology cost.png −2% Technology cost reduction. The reduction can result in up to −14% for a fully unlocked idea group (without accounting for further reductions that may be applied from the ideas themselves). The type of the reduction depends on the affiliation of the idea group; for example, the Espionage idea group.png Espionage idea group grants Diplomatic technology cost Diplomatic tech cost reduction.

Policies[edit]

Main article: Policies

Policies become enabled when a pair of 2 idea groups are fully unlocked. Picking a Policies.png policy provides a bonus to the nation at the monthly cost of 1 monarch power per policy (type of monarch power used depends on policy affiliation) if the limit is overwhelmed (base: 1 policy of each type can be picked for free) . Once picked, a policy cannot be canceled for a duration of Time Icon.png 10 years. There is no restriction on policy composition and a nation can activate up to 9 policies at a time, 3 per type.

Idea cost[edit]

Unlocking an idea has a base Idea cost.png idea cost of All power costs.png 400 monarch power[3] (the type of power depending on the idea group).

The base Idea cost.png idea cost is modified by the following:

Idea cost.png Conditions
−25% for the AI at very hard difficulty
−10%
  • as TengriTengri with ProtestantismProtestant or Anglican.pngAnglican as secondary faith
  • as ShintoismShinto with “Selective Integration” isolationism level
−7% as ConfucianismConfucian country harmonized with Mahayana.pngMahayana
−5%
  • with a ruler which has the Idea cost.png ‘Free Thinker’ personality
  • with ‘Mughal Diwan’ government with assimilation bonus for the Korean culture
  • as Mahayana.pngMahayana country
  • as ProtestantismProtestant country with “Individual creeds” aspect
+0.2% as Nahuatl.png Nahuatl countries for each point of doom
+20%
+25% during the Janissary Decadence Disaster.png disaster
+50%

Ideas and policies:

Idea cost.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
−10%
  • Aztec traditions
  • Farsi traditions
  • Great Ming traditions
  • Incan traditions
  • Rostov traditions
  • Andalusian idea 4: Legacy of Ibn Arabi
  • Antemoro idea 2: Sorabe
  • Aymaran idea 1: Legacy of Tiwanaku
  • Bahmani idea 7: Great Madrasa of the Deccan
  • Bengal Sultanate idea 4: Attract Sufi Scholars
  • Cherokee idea 4: Cherokee Adaptability
  • Colonial idea 4: Free Thinkers
  • Daimyo idea 2: The Bun and the Bu
  • Date idea 3: Renga Group
  • Deccani Sultanate idea 2: Promote Deccani Regional Identity
  • Greek idea 7: Greek Enlightenment
  • Hamburger idea 5: School of the Johanneum
  • Hessian idea 2: Marburg University
  • Hojo idea 3: Reform the Administration
  • Imagawa idea 3: History of the Imagawa
  • Korean idea 6: The Kyujanggak
  • Leonese idea 4: School of Salamanca
  • Madyas idea 1: Hinilawod
  • Maravi idea 1: Fresh Perspectives
  • Mesoamerican idea 1: Olmec Legacy
  • Mexican idea 4: Casa de las Campanas
  • Milanese idea 1: Renaissance Prince
  • Moroccan idea 2: Sufi Marabouts
  • Mughal idea 3: Ibadat Khana - House of Worship
  • Native idea 2: Storytelling Tradition
  • Navarran idea 6: Royal Basque Society
  • Northumbrian idea 6: The Literary and Philosophical Society
  • Orleanaise idea 6: Calvin and Molière
  • Polotskian idea 3: Cultural Center
  • Savoyard idea 5: Savoyard Flexibility
  • Shawnee idea 4: Shaawanwaki Identity
  • Takeda idea 5: Koshu Hatto
  • Thüringian idea 6: Weimar Classicism
  • Tibetan idea 7: The Pale Earth School
  • Toki idea 6: Innovation Over Tradition
  • Trebizondian idea 3: Legacy of the Alexiad
  • Tsutsui idea 7: Tradition and Innovation
  • Uesugi idea 7: Denoku no Ji
  • Welsh idea 6: Prifysgolion Cymru
  • Full Humanist
  • Clevian ambition
  • Granadan ambition
  • Transoxianian ambition
  • Humanist-Trade: Exchange of Ideas
−5%
  • Italian idea 1: Italian Renaissance
  • Malayan sultanate idea 4: Classical Malay
  • Swahili idea 4: Indian Ocean Melting Pot
  • Tuscan idea 1: Birthplace of the Renaissance

Several missions, decisions and events grant modifiers that affect idea cost.

National ideas[edit]

Main article: National ideas

Every country has seven national ideas. These ideas do not cost any monarch points but instead are unlocked; one national idea is unlocked for every third idea bought normally from an idea group.

Many nations have unique national ideas while a large number of others have national ideas based upon a common geographic region or a shared culture. The rest of the nations, who lack unique NIs or don't share a common NI group, draw their national ideas from a common generic set of ideas.

National tradition
Every nation also starts with a national tradition: two abilities which define the history and heritage of the country.
National ambition
Countries also have a “national ambition”, which is a bonus that is unlocked when a nation has gained all seven of its national ideas. This bonus is also unique for each country.

Administrative power.png Administrative groups[edit]

Administrative power is required to unlock ideas within these groups.

Administrative idea group.png Administrative

Mercenary cost.png Organized Mercenary Payments
−25% Mercenary cost

Core-creation cost.png Adaptability

−25% Core-creation cost

Mercenary maintenance.png Benefits for Mercenaries

−15% Mercenary maintenance

Interest per annum.png Bookkeeping

−0.5 Interest per annum

Available mercenaries.png Mercenary Recruitment

+25% Available mercenaries

Possible advisors.png Administrative Efficiency

+1 Possible advisor

Administrative technology cost.png Civil Service

−10% Administrative technology cost

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+5 Number of states

Associated events: Administrative idea group events

Economic idea group.png Economic

National tax modifier.png Bureaucracy
+10% National tax modifier

Construction cost.png Organized Construction

−10% Construction cost

Inflation reduction.png National Bank

+0.10 Yearly inflation reduction

Interest per annum.png Debt and Loans

−0.5 Interest per annum

Autonomy.png Centralization

−0.05 Monthly autonomy change

Land maintenance modifier.png Nationalistic Enthusiasm

−5% Land maintenance modifier

Production efficiency.png Smithian Economics

+10% Production efficiency

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

−20% Development cost

Associated events: Economic idea group events

Expansion idea group.png Expansion

Colonists.png Additional Colonists
+1 Colonist

Merchants.png Additional Merchants

+1 Merchant

Global settler increase.png Faster Colonists

+20 Global settler increase

Fort maintenance on border with rival.png Factories

−50% Fort maintenance on border with rival
−20% Center of trade upgrade cost

Diplomatic relations.png Additional Diplomats

+1 Diplomatic relation

Colonists.png General Colonization Law

+1 Colonist
+5% Settler chance

Trade power.png Competitive Merchants

+20% Global trade power

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

Can fabricate claim overseas in trade company regions
+5 Number of states

Associated events: Expansion idea group events

Humanist idea group.png Humanist

Religious unity.png Tolerance
+25% Religious unity

National unrest.png Local Traditions

−2 National unrest

Tolerance heretic.png Ecumenism

+2 Tolerance of heretics

Years of separatism.png Indirect Rule

−10 Years of separatism

Max promoted cultures.png Cultural Ties

+2 Max promoted cultures

Improve relations.png Benevolence

+30% Improve relations

Tolerance heathen.png Humanist Tolerance

+2 Tolerance of heathens

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

−10% Idea cost
+0.25 Yearly harmony increase

Associated events: Humanist idea group events

Innovative idea group.png Innovative

Prestige decay.png Patron of the Arts
−1% Prestige decay

Innovativeness gain.png Empiricism

+50% Innovativeness gain

Technology cost.png Scientific Revolution

−10% Technology cost
−10% Institution embracement cost

Possible advisors.png Dynamic Court

+1 Possible advisor

Institution spread.png Print Culture

+25% Institution spread

War exhaustion.png Optimism

−0.05 Monthly war exhaustion

Leader(s) without upkeep.png Formalized Officer Corps

+1 Leader without upkeep

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

−25% Advisor costs

Associated events: Innovative idea group events

Religious idea group.png Religious

Missionaries.png Missionary Schools
+1 Missionary

Stability cost modifier.png Church Attendance Duty

−25% Stability cost modifier

Missionary strength.png Divine Supremacy

+3% Missionary strength

Tolerance own.png Devoutness

+2 Tolerance of the true faith
+2 Yearly papal influence
+0.25 Monthly fervor
+0.5 Yearly devotion
+10% Church power

Prestige.png Religious Tradition

+1 Yearly prestige

Missionary maintenance cost.png Inquisition

−50% Missionary maintenance cost

Cb on religious enemies.png Deus Vult

Permanent casus belli against neighboring heathens and heretics

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

−25% Culture conversion cost

Associated events: Religious idea group events

Diplomatic power.png Diplomatic groups[edit]

Diplomatic power is required to unlock ideas within these groups.

Diplomatic idea group.png Diplomatic

Diplomat.png Foreign Embassies
+1 Diplomat

Diplomatic relations.png Cabinet

+1 Diplomatic relation

Diplomat.png Grand Banquets

+1 Diplomat

Improve relations.png Benign Diplomats

+25% Improve relations

Diplomatic reputation.png Experienced Diplomats

+2 Diplomatic reputation

Province war score cost.png Flexible Negotiations

−20% Province warscore cost

Diplomatic technology cost.png Diplomatic Corps

−10% Diplomatic technology cost

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

Lowered impact on stability from diplomatic actions

Associated events: Diplomatic idea group events

Espionage idea group.png Espionage

Spy network construction.png Efficient Spies
+50% Spy network construction
−10% Advisor costs

Diplomat.png Agent Training

+1 Diplomat

Foreign spy detection.png Vetting

+33% Foreign spy detection

Aggressive expansion impact.png State Propaganda

−20% Aggressive expansion impact

May fabricate claims for subjects.png Claim Fabrication

May fabricate claims for subjects
−25% Cost to fabricate claims

Embargo efficiency.png Privateers

+25% Embargo efficiency
+33% Privateer efficiency

Yearly corruption.png Audit Checks

−0.10 Yearly corruption

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+50% Rebel support efficiency

Associated events: Espionage idea group events

Exploration idea group.png Exploration

May explore.png Quest for the New World
Allows recruitment of explorers & conquistadors

Colonists.png Colonial Ventures

+1 Colonist

Colonial range.png Overseas Exploration

+50% Colonial range

Global settler increase.png Land of Opportunity

+10 Global settler increase

Global tariffs.png Viceroys

+10% Global tariffs
−20% Envoy travel time

Expel minorities cost.png Free Colonies

−25% Expel minorities cost

Naval force limit modifier.png Global Empire

+25% Naval force limit modifier

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

Can fabricate claim overseas in colonial regions

Associated events: Exploration idea group events

Influence idea group.png Influence

Income from vassals.png Tribute System
+25% Income from vassals

Liberty desire in subjects.png Additional Loyalist Recruitment

−15% Liberty desire in subjects

Diplomatic annexation cost.png Integrated Elites

−25% Diplomatic annexation cost

Diplomatic relations.png Buffer States

+1 Diplomatic relation

Diplomatic reputation.png Diplomatic Influence

+2 Diplomatic reputation

Envoy travel time.png Postal Service

−25% Envoy travel time

Vassal forcelimit bonus.png Marcher Lords

+100% Vassal force limit contribution

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

−50% Unjustified demands

Associated events: Influence idea group events

Maritime idea group.png Maritime

Notes:

Not available for primitives.


Naval tradition from protecting trade.png Merchant Traditions

+100% Naval tradition from protecting trade

National sailors modifier.png Merchant Marine

+50% National sailors modifier

Global ship repair.png Sheltered Ports

+10% Global ship repair
−10% Sailor maintenance

Naval force limit modifier.png Grand Navy

+50% Naval force limit modifier

Ship costs.png Ship's Penny

−10% Ship costs

Leader(s) without upkeep.png Seahawks

+1 Leader without upkeep
−25% Admiral cost

Blockade efficiency.png Naval Fighting Instruction

+50% Blockade efficiency
+25% Privateer efficiency

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

Ships can repair when in coastal sea zones

Associated events: Maritime idea group events

Trade idea group.png Trade

Trade power.png Shrewd Commerce Practice
+20% Global trade power

Merchants.png Free Trade

+1 Merchant

Trade range.png Merchant Adventures

+25% Trade range

Trade efficiency.png National Trade Policy

+10% Trade efficiency

Merchants.png Overseas Merchants

+1 Merchant

Trade steering.png Trade Manipulation

+25% Trade steering

Caravan power.png Fast Negotiations

+25% Caravan power

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+1 Merchant

Associated events: Trade idea group events

Military power.png Military groups[edit]

Military power is required to unlock ideas within these groups.

Aristocratic idea group.png Aristocratic

Notes:

Enabled by most monarchies (except the Plutocracy reform), theocracies, steppe nomads, and the Noble Elite republican reform.


Cavalry cost.png Noble Knights

−10% Cavalry cost
+10% Cavalry combat ability

Military technology cost.png Military Traditions

−10% Military technology cost

Autonomy.png Local Nobility

−0.025 Monthly autonomy change
+0.10 Yearly absolutism

National manpower modifier.png Serfdom

+33% National manpower modifier

Army tradition decay.png Noble Officers

−1% Yearly army tradition decay
−1% Yearly navy tradition decay

Diplomat.png International Diplomacy

+1 Diplomat
+1 Leader without upkeep

Available mercenaries.png Noble Connections

+20% Available mercenaries

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+1 Leader siege

Associated events: Aristocratic idea group events

Defensive idea group.png Defensive

Army tradition.png Battlefield Commissions
+1 Yearly army tradition

Morale of armies.png Military Drill

+15% Morale of armies

Land leader maneuver.png Improved Maneuver

+1 Land leader maneuver

Land maintenance modifier.png Regimental System

−5% Land maintenance modifier

Fort maintenance.png Defensive Mentality

−10% Fort maintenance
+20% Fort defense

Reinforce speed.png Supply Trains

+33% Reinforce speed

Land attrition.png Improved Foraging

−25% Land attrition

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+1 Attrition for enemies

Associated events: Defensive idea group events

Naval idea group.png Naval

Notes:

Not available for primitives.


Naval leader shock.png Boarding Parties

+1 Naval leader shock

Galley combat ability.png Improved Rams

+25% Galley combat ability

Naval leader fire.png Naval Cadets

+1 Naval leader fire
−33% Morale hit when losing a ship

Navy tradition.png Naval Glory

+1 Yearly navy tradition

Sailor recovery speed.png Press Gangs

+25% Sailor recovery speed

Heavy ship combat ability.png Oak Forests for Ships

+20% Heavy ship combat ability

Morale of navies.png Superior Seamanship

+10% Morale of navies
+10% Global naval engagement

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+10% Ship durability

Associated events: Naval idea group events

Offensive idea group.png Offensive

Land leader shock.png Bayonet Leaders
+1 Land leader shock

Recruitment time.png National Conscripts

−10% Recruitment time

Land leader fire.png Superior Firepower

+1 Land leader fire

Prestige from land battles.png Glorious Arms

+100% Prestige from land battles

Siege ability.png Engineer Corps

+20% Siege ability

Land force limit modifier.png Grand Army

+20% Land force limit modifier

Discipline.png Esprit de Corps

+5% Discipline

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+5% Recover army morale speed

Associated events: Offensive idea group events

Plutocratic idea group.png Plutocratic

Notes:

Enabled by most republics (except the Noble Elite reform) and monarchies with the Plutocracy reform.


Available mercenaries.png Tradition of Payment

+10% Available mercenaries
+2.5% Mercenary discipline

Morale of armies.png Abolished Serfdom

+10% Morale of armies

National unrest.png Bill of Rights

−2 National unrest

Merchants.png Free Merchants

+1 Merchant

Goods produced modifier.png Free Subjects

+10% Goods produced modifier

Caravan power.png Free Cities

+25% Caravan power

Manpower recovery speed.png Emancipation

+20% Manpower recovery speed

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+10% Institution spread

Associated events: Plutocratic idea group events

Quality idea group.png Quality

Infantry combat ability.png Private to Marshal
+10% Infantry combat ability

Army tradition.png Quality Education

+1 Yearly army tradition

Cavalry combat ability.png Finest of Horses

+10% Cavalry combat ability

Ship durability.png Corvettes

+5% Ship durability

Morale of navies.png Naval Drill

+10% Morale of navies

Naval attrition.png Copper Bottoms

−25% Naval attrition

Artillery combat ability.png Massed Battery

+10% Artillery combat ability

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+5% Discipline

Associated events: Quality idea group events

Quantity idea group.png Quantity

National manpower modifier.png Levée en Masse
+50% National manpower modifier

Manpower recovery speed.png The Young can Serve

+20% Manpower recovery speed

Regiment cost.png Enforced Service

−10% Regiment cost

Land maintenance modifier.png The Old and Infirm

−5% Land maintenance modifier

Supply limit.png Camp Followers

+33% Supply limit modifier

Garrison size.png Conscripted Garrisons

+25% Garrison size

Land attrition.png Expanded Supply Trains

−10% Land attrition

Idea bonus.png Bonus:

+50% Land force limit modifier

Associated events: Quantity idea group events

Events[edit]

Main article: List of idea group events

Idea group events are pulse based events. They occur at regular intervals (5 years) based on the nation's idea groups (not all groups are on the same interval).

In addition, the choice of ideas also has some influence in how often an event may happen, known as MTTH; meaning they can increase or decrease the likelihood of a certain to happened in over other events in their pulse group.

AI preference[edit]

The AI is dynamically determined according to the current conditions of the country.[4] To decide which idea group it should take, the AI employs a "weight system": each idea group is given a certain weight and the higher this weight is for an idea group, the higher the chances that the AI will choose it. The AI will never choose an idea group with a weight of 0.[5]

Idea group Base weight Weight modifiers[6]
Aristocratic idea group.png Aristocratic 0.45
Plutocratic idea group.png Plutocratic 0.4
Innovative idea group.png Innovative 0.3
  • ×2 has a Steppe Nomads government
  • x2 has at least 20 provinces
  • x2 has at least 50 provinces
Religious idea group.png Religious 0.9
Espionage idea group.png Espionage 0.75
Diplomatic idea group.png Diplomatic 0.67
Offensive idea group.png Offensive 0.94
Defensive idea group.png Defensive 0.77
Trade idea group.png Trade 0.7
Economic idea group.png Economic 0.85
  • ×1.5 has at least 5 inflation
  • ×1.5 has at least 10 inflation
  • ×2 has a Steppe Nomads government
  • x1.3 has at least 20 cities
  • x1.3 has at least 50 cities
Exploration idea group.png Exploration 0.75
Maritime idea group.png Maritime 0.41
Quality idea group.png Quality 0.49
Quantity idea group.png Quantity 1
Expansion idea group.png Expansion 0.48
Administrative idea group.png Administrative 0.96
Humanist idea group.png Humanist 0.9
Influence idea group.png Influence 0.5
Naval idea group.png Naval 0.31

Footnotes[edit]

  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: MAX_IDEA_GROUPS_FROM_SAME_CATEGORY = 0.5,
  2. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: ABANDON_IDEAGROUP_REFUND = 0.10, -- The part of the idea group spent that will be refunded upon abandonment.
  3. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: PS_BUY_IDEA = 400
  4. It is still possible to revert to the old system by changing "AI_USES_HISTORICAL_IDEA_GROUPS" to 1 in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua. Note, however, that the AI will never use historical idea groups in a custom/random setup.
  5. The weights and their modifiers are defined in /Europa Universalis IV/common/ideas/00_basic_ideas.txt at the bottom of each idea group (ai_will_do).
  6. Multiple valid modifiers will stack
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