The estates are factions within the nation that influence domestic politics. Estates play an expanded role compared to vanilla EU4. All estates will now have a more open influence on your country, as well as their own interests. The effects they can have on your country can vary depending on their power, from issuing demands to giving bribes and gifts, as well as causing revolts and nasty modifiers, or replacing your government form with another. Although each estate has their own goals and interaction, there's one thing they all have in common:A drive to increase their own power.
NOTE:THIS FEATURE'S DEVELOPMENT IS UNFINISHED AND MAY BE ALTERED LATER
Estate influence is a measure of how much power the estate has over the nation's government. From time to time, you will get events regarding an Estate attempting to influence your ruler, which can be good, or bad. Their frequency depends on the relative power of that Estate compared to other Estates, which is based on two things:The amount of development they have influence over, and the amount of upper-class population they have influence over, the latter being more important.
Estate loyalty is a measure of how willing the estate is to aid in the nation's government. Unlike vanilla EU4, it is no longer automatically ticks up or down over time, and instead is either gained, lost or "spent" on goodies through events. If you play your cards right, you could end up building up a lot of good faith and loyalty among your estates, allowing you to "cash in" during troubled times when you really need them behind you. Aside from having their own treasuries, estates also have their own "monarch points," though specifically only one type. In the same way that you can spend monarch points to pressure them to act in your interest, they spend monarch points on YOU to pressure you to act in their interests. If they are loyal, you can "spend loyalty" to get them to use these monarch points in your favor.
Estates will tend to demand more privileges when they have few and demand fewer privileges the more they have. They will also demand privileges more often the larger your country's population is, as greater distances and a more complex state make it easier for them to leverage their power and influence to gain special advantages.
Note that privileges are not a uniquely negative arrangement. Privileges empower the estates, which in turn allow them to more powerfully benefit your country (if they see fit). For instance: (as of version 2.5) having a privilege that reduces taxes on an Estate's income by 60%, will mean less money for the State; but it may also mean that the estate in question is able to build more buildings over time.
Every Estate will give you corruption depending on their autonomy and privileges. Thus, if you want to expand your country, you will have to accept that your Corruption will also grow the larger and more autonomy it has, and take measures to prevent high Corruption.
Greater nobles Edit
Main article: Greater Nobles
Nobles possessing a great amount of influence in their provinces and country, predominately controlling mostly rural provinces where they have developed out of Lesser nobles. They will add +0.25 autonomy in every province where they are present. They appear when Lesser Nobles promote themselves, which is influenced by Autonomy, Lesser Noble wealth, and amount of their privileges. Their focus is exerting control in the matters of state, which means that they can easily be a thorn in the side to any ruler as much as they could be a great boon.
Lesser nobles Edit
Main article: Lesser Nobles
Nobles whose state in society does not allow them to constantly intervene in the matters of state. In a healthy country, they would generally be considered to outnumber the Greater Nobles. They will add +0.05 autonomy in provinces where they are present, and will mostly appear in rural provinces that are not eligible to be controlled by Greater nobles. Their focus is to improve their own status, which they will be trying to achieve by different means, from upgrading your provinces to requesting privileges, to attempting to upgrade themselves to Greater nobles by using their resources. In the end, they are much easier to control than Greater nobles, but also offer less benefits from cooperating with them
Main article: Burghers
Urban city dwellers, ranging from traders to artisans and craftsmen. They will emerge to control any province which has a significant amount of Urban population compared to Rural. Unlike the nobility estates, they do not have a levy to speak of, and are more concerned about being able to make a profit without getting robbed than matters of state. Thus they will focus on improving their own provinces and requesting privileges from the state. Cooperating with them is likely to bring you benefits in terms of growing cities and allowing you to extract more from them, but making enemies among them will result in your economy being significantly hampered, as well as slowing the development of your state.
They will be particularly upset about wars where your country either attains a high war exhaustion, or those that lead to high Province Trauma, especially near cities.
Many countries in MEIOU will start the game with a rather weak State, and with Estates having accrued a substantial amount of power and influence. The player (representing 'the State') will generally want to lower estate power and revoke their privileges (or at least decide which ones they get to keep ). A significant part of the early game may be spent on these internal power struggles, rather than expanding externally.
Whenever a privilege is revoked, the estate's reaction may reach from toothless (simply accepting the decision) to devastating (losing 3 or 4 stability). Whether the estate reacts negatively is pretty random, and does not depend on loyalty; but the strength of their reaction depends on the amount of influence they wield. Therefore lowering estate influence may be necessary in order to revoke privileges safely.
Estate influence is in turn mostly determined by the amount of autonomy each Estate has in its provinces. This means the various methods of lowering autonomy are also methods for reducing Estate influence: improving communication efficiency in far-flung regions, improving the level of absolutism (centralization), and idea groups, and so on. Importantly, several Estate privileges increase the autonomy of their provinces as well. Revoking these first is generally a wise move, as it will make future revocations progressively easier.
In the end, it's important to remember that Estates in MEIOU&Taxes are neither a blessing nor a curse. They may limit the player's grasp over his country, but they provide impressive resources, and their contributions to rural and urban infrastructure can greatly benefit your country. Deciding how you wish to use your Estates, and which privileges you will let them have, are important strategic decisions. Some of these privileges may have significant additional benefits!
Promoting Lesser Nobles and Demoting Greater Nobles Edit
These two interactions are similar, but opposite in purpose. Promoting Lesser Nobles takes a portion of them and provides them with a new title; becoming Greater Nobles. This will cause some provinces owned by the Lesser Nobles, to flip to being owned by the Greater Nobles. And this in turn leads to a reduction in Lesser Noble influence, and an increase in Greater Noble influence.
The Demote decision is similar but achieves the opposite effect (Greater Nobles losing power in favour of Lesser Nobles). However, it's obviously a less popular decision.
Together this set of decisions allows controlling the influence of both Noble estates somewhat. E.g. when dealing with a strong Greater Noble estate, it may be worth demoting a portion of them first, before trying to revoke privileges. It will come at a significant loyalty premium, but does not lead to stability losses. Dealing with two Estates at half strength may be easier than dealing with one very powerful Estate and one weak one!
Greater Nobles PrivilegesEdit
The Greater Nobles are capable of accumulating the most privileges of any estate, many of which have far reaching consequences.
- Ban Commoners from Officer Corps - Reserves the right for nobles to serve in the officer corps of your armies before commoners. Because this privilege overlooks whatever merit or military aptitude that commoners might have, it reduces army tradition gain and military tech gain.
- Establish Ceremonial Officer Posts - Creates positions among your army's high ranking officers and general staff for untrained nobles who wish to have the prestige and esteem of high ranking military service, but who aren't necessarily qualified for the task.
- Allow Relaxation of Estate Levy Obligations - Shrink estate responsibilities in providing manpower for their nation's armies.
- Repeal of Yield Tax - Allows nobles to avoid some of the taxes that would normally be due when pertaining to rural and urban production.
- Tax Exemption - Exempt nobles from paying taxes that would normally be due to the crown.
- Exclude Commoners From Cabinet -
- Generate New High Courtier Titles -
- Establish Noble's Criminal Court -
- Moderate Expansions of local autonomy for Greater Nobles -
- Significant Expansions of local autonomy for Greater Nobles -
- In M&T 1.2x, the Estates function the same as in vanilla, and you won't have access to them unless you have the cossacks DLC.
- In M&T 2.0, the Estates will be available to everyone regardless of whether they own the DLC or not, but these who have the DLC will be able to interact with them through the game interface rather than decision.