I got 1000 development, so I'm now a double empress, which gives me amazing bonus of freely accepted 3 cultures which don't exist any more. Much more useful was +5 to state limit.
In September 1479 I managed to pass first imperial reform.That's free CB on Deccan and France (holding imperial vassals like Byzantium doesn't count), -5% construction cost, and -5% development cost.
Then I passed second reform in October 1486, for +1 diplomat, and +1 diplomatic reputation.
That needed some proper celebration, which required some gold, and Mali had 3 mines, which I could conveniently get in a single war. Sadly I could only core coastal provinces, and only after that next tier, so it was long low level overextension.
On another upside, I got enough Muslims that I'll be able to embrace them into imperial cult someday. Like, my family has been practically running Sunni and Shia caliphates for about 500 years, we solved doctrinal disputes between Sunni and Zikri, and one of past caliphs was a Buddhist woman, so it all makes perfect sense.
I attacked Byzantium with the most useless CB, as that allowed me to break their alliances on day zero and get some power projection. Weirdly the "can transfer subject at half cost" ability I get from age bonus worked, even though CB disables the regular version. This time our fleets were about even, or at least we thought so, as neither side attacked the other.
Since there was no better way, I took over their two vassals as mine, and instead annexed my two old vassals to free some relations slots.
Elector Wales made elector Scotland a tributary, so that was another authority problem I'll need to fix. Right now they're losing so many wars I can't even intervene as there's nothing left to occupy.
Total monthly authority gain is:
- +0.53 from 159 princes (out of original 170)
- -0.10 from Scotland being Welsh tributary
- -0.02 from 2 heretic princes
- -0.02 from 5 provinces occupied by foreigners (3 by Deccan, 2 by France). There's actually 1 more occupied by Luxembourg, but since they're my tributary, that somehow doesn't count.
At current pace, unification should happen around 1560. Or around 1545 if I deal with Welsh problem.
Deccan declared war on Ming tributary Anxi, so they're having a fun war over there. I want to reach Ming, but current plan is to aggressively push around Africa. This requires expansion ideas finisher (or a lot of no-CB wars, or a lot of colonists wasting time instead of setting up colonial nations). Some quick calculations suggest I won't get border with Ming before 1550 or so.
I could do it much faster going through Central Asia. That feels like a distraction from my colonial plans, but I have spare force limit for another army or two. That won't be enough to challenge Ming, but I can attack various minors. That 3 development 100% devastation province I accidentally got might be quite useful for this.
The Aztecs started golden era. Probably because extra production I gave them in their capital as converter bugfix made it over 30+ dev province goal.
That's second golden era after Byzantium. AI presses this button as soon as possible, but requiring 3 age goals makes it pretty hard.
The Empire requires your gold
I couldn't choose "Prussian vassal" but I could choose "Prussian Vassal"
And they say capitalization doesn't matter
First tiny Colonial Nation of Brazil, with Caribbean in progress
I have no hope of getting any value out of them until I get full control over English Channel or Sevilla
My demesne, vassals, and tributaries (annoyingly same color)
Royal marriages blue
"Russian Russia" is not even part of Russia, it's Rus