- −10% Construction cost
- +25% Domestic trade power
- −5% Technology cost
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +10% Production efficiency
- +5% Ship durability
- +10% National manpower modifier
- −10% Idea cost
- +10% National tax modifier
- +10% Infantry combat ability
This close connection to Ming China was to remain until the downfall of the Ming in the mid-17th century - as was Korea's subordinate status in the relationship. As followers of Confucianism, Koreans viewed China as being at the heart of the Korean world, and Joseon Korea came to be in some ways even more sinicized than China itself - a 'little China'. For their part, the Chinese viewed Joseon Korea as the 'country of courteous people in the East.' For as long as Ming remains the undisputed claimant to the Mandate of Heaven, the maintenance of these strong bonds will remain vital to the survival of the fledgling Korean kingdom.
The achievements of the first century of Joseon rule were considerable. In the early 15th century, the border regions of Gyeongseong and Yukjin were taken from the Manchu, allowing the Koreans to unite the territory which would form modern-day Korea. There was also a flourishing of academia and knowledge. In particular, the hangul alphabet was introduced in 1446. Unlike the Chinese alphabet, it was designed to be both easy to learn and easy to adapt to the Korean language, making its use far more convenient and allowing a far broader section of society to read scholarly texts. Further notable progress was made in the fields of agriculture, gun powder and the codification of the law, and major efforts were made to survey and recorded the geography of the land.
However, threats to the Korean kingdom remain from both within and beyond its borders. At home, Korea's peasants remain poor, and both peasant uprisings and insufficient tax receipts are likely to become a problem if nothing is done to rectify the situation. Furthermore, although the upper class of yangban elites has for the most part been united, the cracks in this façade are already beginning to show and could erupt into factional strife at anytime.
On the foreign front lie threats aplenty. To the north await the warlike Manchu - although presently divided, should they come to be unified under a strong leader, an invasion of Korea might follow swiftly. Similarly, across the sea to the east lies Japan, a nation of warring daimyos and would-be shoguns. Korea must be vigilant, lest a united Japan seek to expand its power across narrow channel of the Korean Sea. Finally, although Korea basks in the shadow of the Ming Empire, woe betide the Joseon prince who wakes the dragon!
- Main article: Korean missions
- Main article: Korean events
Korean events focus on their historic internal affairs and potential expansion into Manchuria.
Found Hall of Worthies
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Bring the brightest scholars in the nation together under one roof.
Korea is a nation with a challenging start, plagued with internal instabilities. Should a player overcome these obstacles, Korea can prove especially rewarding as a "tall" nation, focusing on maximizing their core lands. They begin the game with an excellent ruler (6/5/5) which helps get an early start by improving development - the extra monarch points also don't hurt when trying to curb internal dissent! Close to Alaska, Korea is poised to contest control of the New World; close to Ming, a bold ruler can expand south and west.
Korea begins the game with very few immediate expansion routes due to start-game truces and a border with Ming. Because of this, its best to begin by dealing with the Plight of the Peasantry by saving up monarch points to develop all provinces in the Korea region to at least 6. Because Korea starts with an excellent ruler, spending monarch points on raising stability once is not a bad idea as it allows them to begin obtaining prosperity, which lowers development cost and will be vital when developing institutions.
One important thing to mention is the new nation So in Tsushima/Daema island. So obtains an event early on that allows them to switch to a pirate republic. If this happens, make sure to send at least one galley to hunt pirates in the Nippon node as it will reduce the egregious effects of raiding on your prosperity. Alternatively one could simply restart the game and wait until So chooses to remain a monarchy.
After developing all provinces to 6, the player can choose to either continue developing for Renaissance or expand into Manchu. If choosing the tall route, it is a good idea to revoke all land from the estates at this time as it will make your life much easier when dealing with the Literary Purges.
Expanding into Manchuria is relatively easy: make a few alliances with the tribes in the region and backstab them in the peace offer by not offering land. Remember that since 1.29, coalitions in NE Asia are much more serious, so improve relations with outraged nations to prevent a massive coalition from firing.
Manchuria presents a large culture (Jurchen) that you should accept. Although the Korean mission tree attempts to persuade Korea into culture converting Manchuria into Korean culture, this is very tedious to do, not only because the Manchurian land has much higher development than Korea, but also because of Korea’s Confucian religion, which decreases harmony by a lot when attempting to convert the religion of provinces.
Further Expansion Routes
At some point in the early-mid game, it's advised to take out Japan as they will steal a significant portion of the Nippon node with their superior development and province density. Its much easier to take on Japan when there are a few larger daimyos remaining as it will lessen the number of capital forts in the area and also reduce the vast Japanese galley navy.
In addition, Korea is an excellent colonizer as they can reach Alaska for a chance to spawn colonialism. From there, expansion into Mexican gold is easy and the money from the Mexican, Californian, and Rio Grande nodes can be brought back to Asia. Indonesia is also ripe for taking as Korea, and they will stand no chance against a player who has developed institution and is on time with technology.
Of course, Korea can also expand into Ming easily because of the more reliable Mingsplosion introduced in 1.29. Hangzhou is an important node that connects Nippon into either Indonesian trade or into Beijing. If Korea is to expand into China, it is highly recommended to form Manchu even for a casual run as getting a cultural union on the extremely developed Chinese region is huge, especially once high level manufactories are unlocked. Because of Korea’s small starting development and the fact that they begin with 2 Jurchen provinces, Korea can swap their primary culture to Jurchen without even needing to destate Korean provinces. Forming Manchu will also free Korea from the Peasant Revolts or the Literary Purges, so the player will not have to deal with them.
Important things in the Mission Tree
There are several notable missions in Korea's tree, other than the ones required to get rid of Korea's penalties brought on by events. One is the "Fire the Hwacha!" mission that grants a hefty 25% Fire Damage modifier for 20 years, useful to pop when going up against a major enemy. The other is the "Defeat the Shogun" mission that grants a modifier in Hanseong that gives a national -5% development cost - Korea needs all the development cost modifiers it can get. The other two permanent modifiers from "The Hermit Kingdom" and "Korean Self-Reliance" comes very late game and give mostly minor modifiers in a time when money and rebels are less of an issue.