This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for Vanilla.
Through westernization, a country not in the western tech group may gain access to the knowledge of Europe. Westernization is a difficult process and will severely disrupt a nation for years or decades, rendering them vulnerable to domestic turmoil and external attacks.
Starting the westernization process requires the following conditions be met:
- One of the country's core provinces must be next to a western tech group neighbor's core provinces.
- All provinces connecting to the western tech group neighbor must be cored.
- One such neighbor must be at least 8 tech levels ahead (summed across all three tech types).
- No overextension.
- Steppe Hordes must reform their governments prior to westernizing.
- Natives of North America must be also Reforming the Government before westernization.
As soon as westernization is started, the following effects happen:
- The country is upgraded to the Western technology group, dramatically lowering technology costs. Note that this will also lower the Monarch Power cap to 999.
- Stability drops by 3.
Westernization costs Monarch Power equal to 2000 modified by the tech penalty of the country's technology group prior to westernizing. For example, westernization of a Eastern tech nation (technologies cost 120% of normal) will require 2400 power points in total. This is not paid all at once; rather, 10 points are drained from each Monarch Power type each month if possible and added to the progress.
During the westernization process, the country has the following effects:
- +5% revolt risk.
- +50% advisor cost.
- Westernization events giving a choice between losing 120 points of progress or another penalty (100 Diplomatic or Military power loss, rebels ...) occur every year.
- Pagans may get an event to convert to Christianity, which gives access to useful decisions and removes the "Colonial Conquest" casus belli against them.
If rebels break the country, Westernization will be canceled and all progress lost.
The above effects are removed once westernization is fully completed. In addition:
- Western units are available once a nation has fully westernized. All of the country's existing infantry and cavalry will be changed to a western unit type automatically.
When westernization is finished, it will be truly finished, and no rebels can change that fact.
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The first encounter with the European powers usually happens when reforming the government is already possible. This gives a huge boost to the current technology levels (not the cost of technology). The new technology levels after the government reform depends solely on the neighboring European country. This implies that buying technology prior to this is technically a waste of monarch power.
An additional side effect of reforming the government is that it immedietly unlocks at least three idea groups, where excess monarch power can be spent. Additionally, hitting the Westernize button will cap the monarch powers to 999; any excess monarch power is lost. If all three native idea groups have been completed, then a generally good idea is to save as much monarch power before reforming the government as possible, as technology difference is greatly reduced independent of the current level. A few methods monarch points can be spent on while waiting for Europeans to show up without technological and idea advance:
- Cores:: It is absolutely top priority to have cores everywhere, as both reforming the government and westernizing requires the country to have 0 overextension.
- Change culture: When westernization process starts, the country has to face country-wide revolts. Having low amount of different culture provinces ensures that Patriot rebels don't show up.
- Stability: It is always a good idea to keep a high stability, which is even more important when westernization is started. Waiting for European shows up also means spending administrative power for +3 stability is a feasable solution.
- & Inflation & War Exhaustion: It is a good idea to reduce both if excess monarch power is available.
- Harsh treatment: Crush the rebellious locals if you have to.
- Military technology: As there is no other good long term investment spending military power. It can give a competitive edge against the fellow natives, and also allowing more of the previous methods of spending administrative and diplomatic monarch power.
In short: Unlock native ideas to be able to reform the government. Spend the monarch power only if the monarch power cap is close. Reform the government when Europe shows up.
After the government has been reformed you can dump the monarch power on ideas and buildings. Additionally based on the difference of the new technology levels and the European neighbors level, a few decades of wait may be necessary, to let them get 8 technology levels ahead of you. A couple of methods to dump the amassed monarch points at this point:
- Buildings: Reforming the government unlocks the western building types and immediately destroys all of your native ones. This may result that you are unable to upkeep your forces and face a decreased income, until western buildings can be built.
- Ideas: Pick any three that you wish. Usually Religious (helps stability and the inevitable religious change); Exploration (to keep expanding the realm before more Europeans show up); any military idea (to have a chance fighting rebels and foes during westernization) are all good ideas. This also boosts the currently unlocked national ideas.
- Stability: Having as high stability as possible is important as always.
When players select the Westernize button, their monarch power becomes capped at 999, but existing power exceeding 999 are kept for one action for each monarch power category. So imagine that a player has 2000/2000/2000 monarch power. Immediately after westernizing, all three monarch power categories are highlighted in red, but still at 2000/2000/2000. The player then spends 400 military power to purchase a technology. They now have 2000/2000/999 as their monarch power. Thus, before westernizing, players should spend excess monarch power but save a slight amount above 999 which they can use to purchase newly available technologies or new ideas.
Hitting the westernization button has a massive effect on the country's peace. One has to be prepared to face both internal and foreign threat, because the country becomes about the most vulnerable one has to face during the gameplay. The country has to face several immediate effects:
- Drop of stability by 3
- Increased nation wide revolt risk (by +5)
- Adviser costs (including maintenance) increases by 50%
- Technology group becomes Western
- Monarch power income reduced to zero or negative
The most shocking is probably the last one. The UI does not detail it, but the process starts to drain 10 monarch power from each and every monarch power pool every single month. If you are already at 0 monarch power from one type, it drains as much as the country produce, and the westernization process is slowed. If the country goes into negative monarch power, due to an event, then the pool is restored to 0 first (while the westernization process is slowed) and then it keeps draining all of the monarch power income into westernization. This means that one has to reserve monarch power enough for keeping up full speed of the westernization, and also for any decision which requires monarch points.
Additionally, if the country's religion is pagan, one of the events likely to fire is to change to the religion of the western neighbor. If the decision is accepted, the changed religion reduces the religious unity to 0, adding up the revolt risk even higher. While it is easy to defeat peasant and reactionary rebels, religious rebels are reluctant to give up. There is no turning back to the old religion, therefore they are simply ruining the country, but can never make it back to the pagan religion. Therefore focus should be on reactionaries.
It is also worth to note, that the constant revolts do not slow down the process of westernization, unless the reactionary rebels break the country. Also, rebel occupied provinces stop providing manpower and income, therefore decreasing the self defense capabilities of the country. This means that rebels basically increase your vulnerability to outside enemies for the duration of the process.
How to effectively defend yourself from outside and inside enemies? There are a number of things to ensure swift and painless transition:
- Stockpile monarch power! Not only for the speed, but remember to stockpile for boosting stability and crushing revolts. (See next section.)
- Have full manpower before the start of westernization. Even then, it may not be enough.
- Stockpile money! The positive revolt risk reduces income in itself. Occupied and looted provinces provide even less. Don't be afraid to take loans if necessary, however having a supply is better than living on loans.
- If you have enough money, it may be worthy to hire better advisers, even while their cost is increased.
- Theologian adviser tends to be very good help reducing revolt risk by 3.
- Have mercenaries if you need. After exhausting manpower pool, mercenaries are a very good solution, IF you have enough money.
- Have the right ideas and decisions! Anything that reduces the revolt risk is a good thing.
- Have religious ideas, if you have to face conversion. Its better be done fast and quickly. Also try to convert provinces adjacent to already converted provinces. Religious rebels are very unlikely to pop in state religion following provinces, and the additional tolerance helps with the revolt risk.
- Have high legitimacy or republic tradition! Low legitimacy means increased revolt risk, while low republic tradition means high stability costs. Legitimacy is rather hard to increase if you are playing as one of the North American natives. Because neither your neighbors, nor the Europeans would enter royal marriage with you. If theres a chance, even a newborn republic is better than being struck in low legitimacy hell. Also, your prestige is likely to be very low due to defeats and losses, decreasing legitimacy even lower.
- Do not buy technologies, unless you still have plenty of monarch power. Keep in mind that the ruler may die, and the stockpile may not be enough, lengthening the whole process.
Stockpiling Monarch Power
Assuming constant Monarch Point generation and no extra credits or debits of Monarch Power during Westernization, a minimal-length Westernization will require 66.7 Monarch Power be stored before starting for every point of Monarch Point generation below 10 of that type, modified by tech group. For example, a Chinese tech (160% tech cost) nation that generates 7 per month will need to cover the remaining 3 per month from its initial stockpile, which translates to 200 Monarch Power modified by the tech group, or 320 .