This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game.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. (Trade companies do not count).
- All provinces connecting to the western tech group neighbor must be cored.
- One such neighbor must be ahead in technology (summed across all three tech types) by a base of 7 increased by the tech cost penalty for the technology group, rounded down. For example, Muslim tech nations must be 9 technologies behind (7 * 140% = 9.8) while Sub-Saharan nations must be 14 technologies behind (7 * 200%).
- No overextension.
- Steppe Hordes must reform their governments prior to westernizing.
- You must have a Stability of 0 or higher.
- Natives of North America must also Reform the Government before westernization.
As soon as westernization is started Stability drops drastically.
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 an Eastern tech nation will require 2000 * 1,2 = 2400 power points in total.)
If available, each month, up to 10 points are drained from each Monarch Power type and added to the progress.
The maximum amount of points per Monarch Power drained each month is reduced by 1 for every 15 gold of total monthly income, down to a minimum of 1 point per Monarch Point type. Thus, powerful countries with a high income will westernize more slowly.
During the westernization process, the country has the following effects:
- +10% 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.
During westernization, reactionary rebels can spawn and demand the cancellation of the westernization attempt.
- If these rebels break the country or if their demands are accepted, Westernization will be canceled and all progress lost.
The effects during westernization are removed once it is fully completed. In addition, the nation's technology group will change to western.
When westernization is finished, it will be truly finished and no rebels or player action 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. 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 feasible 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, many decades of wait may be necessary, to let them get 24 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.
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 national revolt risk by +10%
- Adviser costs (including maintenance) increases by 50%
- 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 up to 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 there's 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 the number points drained by westernization each month, modified by tech group.
- The westernization of a Chinese tech (160% tech cost) nation with a monthly income below 15 gold will drain 10 points of each monarch point each month.
- If it generates 7 per month, it will need to cover the remaining 3 per month from its initial stockpile.
- This translates to 200 Monarch Power modified by the tech group, or 320 that need to be stockpiled.