There's a common experience among Europa Universalis 4 players, which is that of loading up the game, picking a nation in Eastern Europe or Asia, and then getting completely stomped by the Ottomans. This massive empire, the popularisers of the funky fez, will stomp you into the dirt like a cigarette. I've got some bad news for players who already fear the Ottoman advance: they're now even stronger than they used to be, as one player has proved by conquering the world with them in 73 years, without resorting to the popular speedrun tactic of starting as a horde.
The player, Trisolarian, carried out a blistering advance across the early modern world, with their entire world conquest taking from 1444 to just 1517. If you're wondering how they managed to conquer the world so quickly (it's not uncommon for it to take players until 1821), let me tell you. The latest EU4 DLC, Domination, has given the Ottomans a particularly problematic perk. That is the ability to make Eyalets. Eyalets, which Wikipedia drily describes as 'a primary administrative division of the Ottoman Empire', manifest themselves in-game as somewhat autonomous vassals.
While the Ottoman player doesn't actually 'own' the land as such, it will change to the subtle green of the empire and contribute to your force limit, manpower and sailor pools, and give you some cash. The biggest advantage is that, like subjects of a centralised Holy Roman Empire, they don't take up a diplomatic relations slot. Their liberty desire, which stacks with normal vassals, is calculated independently, too, meaning they're far less likely to rebel. While they don't join your war by default, you can call them in for a trifling maximum of 20 favours.
Did anyone ask for an Ottoman Empire capable of creating a vassal swarm? I don't think so, but Paradox has seen fit to give us one anyway, making this behemoth of a nation even more intimidating. Trisolarian even reformed the Roman Empire along the way, or, as it is called in this game, Devlet-i Rûm. For reference, in a previous run, they conquered all required territory for that by 1472! They were also able to proclaim themselves the military hegemon, typically something that happens in the mid to late game, by 1478.
As you might expect, Paradox buffing one of the most powerful nations in the game has garnered mixed reactions. One commenter, Ok-Doubt2564, wrote "damn, and I thought Ottomans were OP before 1.35". "Post-1.35 Ottomans seem like a blast to play," another commenter, Ikuinen-piina said. Even if you're not quite at Trisolarian's level, the new buffs make playing the Ottomans even easier than before. "I did one run where I did a lot of mistakes due to not understanding the new mechanics well. Still took all of the Mediterranean coastline except Italy, France and Spain before 1480", Kmonsen wrote, going on to say "it is really, really OP".
It turns out that the Domination DLC is true to its name. Even now, nearly a decade after its release, EU4 is still adding new ways for players to catapult their nations to the forefront of the world stage. I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone else can somehow beat that record and smash a world conquest out before 1500. The Ottomans are a completely different beast in this latest update, and well worth taking a look at. If you're up for a real challenge, you could also give Wallachia, Serbia, or Albania a go.