Okay, I'll be straight forward about this. I like Paradox, and I love this game. Note: I LOVE THIS GAME.
But, since this game gets so much positivity from its community; I'm going to try and point out all the downsides of this game.
First of all, DLC wh***ing is outright ridiculous. I need to pay an extra dollar or two just so my ruler can be black? What th-
I can understand DLC for maybe Ruler Designer, Rajas of India, and other major additions to the game; for the sake of income. But, the excessive amounts of pain it brings me to need to pay extra money for my temporary levied troops that wander around the map to look like soldiers with holes in their shields rather than soldiers with regular shields, is getting out of hand.
Secondly, it's the sad fact- admittedly, following most grand strategy games- that multi-player is broken. Broken, oh- so, so broken.
Crashes will kill that grin on your face at your victory of restoring the Roman Empire with your buds, and the multi-player seems to be intended for small groups of friends rather than the public community.
Thirdly, is the obvious broken AI during wars. Sure, it's amusing when your enemies have insufficient boats or none at all; and thus they're unable to take that island of yours that they declared war for, and thusly lose the war by default, but sometimes it's just stupid.
Maybe there should be advantages to holding enemy territory in long-term wars, too; like temporarily ruling over those lands as you hold them, generating a fraction of the income you normally would. Seems fitting in large-scale long-term wars.
Lastly (Though I could go on if I really wanted to), is the fact that as an Emperor/King/anyone ruling over a collection of vassals, /your vassals hate you and want to bring you down/.
I get it; vassals are usually supposed to be ambitious, and I understand that they don't form factions when they have positive opinions of you, but..-
When it comes to common sense; I find them lacking. When given the choice between working with their current liege, or breaking away temporarily for the sake of independence; only to be conquered shortly afterwards by another ruler and possibly losing their lands, culture and very religion, they'll take the second option. Why? I don't know.
In conclusion; I can't stress how much I love this game, honestly. Don't get me wrong. It's worth buying, and playing, and I really wish there was a neutral button for 'Do you recommend this game?'. But, one or two of these issues need to be at least somewhat addressed, and I would not recommend buying this game at full price.