Paradox Interactive released The Cossacks, a previously announced expansion pack for Europa Universalis IV.
As per Paradox Interactive tradition, there’s also a free patch released at the same time which allows people who only bought the base game to experience some of the new features.
The DLC includes the announced improvements to diplomacy, espionage and colonization as well as some cossacks-specific mechanics (we’ve written about the promised content of the expansion in November). According to the more detailed changelog, the free content includes changes in the way mercenaries work, redesigning of the trade goods system and a change in how annexation works: the remaining armies of a conquered country become rebels fighting for independence instead of standing down. The patch also contains many tweaks to balance and AI as well as bug fixes and improvements to the game’s modding capabilities.
Europa Universalis IV now also contains leaderboards which, like the achievements, are available only for those who play in Ironman mode (only one savefile per game, automatic saving when quitting). This change might make scoring more important as the feature was usually disregarded by Paradox fans.
You can find The Cossacks for Europa Universalis IV here, on Steam.