While I really appreciate the lack of war pressure (-5 Morale per war), I thought it was "no -5 if you formally declare war". I later realized it was no war pressure at all. I thought one would still suffer war pressure, if they were declared upon, or were invaded or surprise attacked.
That's good and bad.
now some of the historic maps will be easier to play, like where germany gets declared war by 5-7 countries, previously would struggle for resources - now is on even footing.
On the other hand, you have no geopolitical punishment except trade embargo. Previously, In world map games, we could change the tide of a war by uniting against them. Now, its only neighbours who can do anything at all. This weakens diplomatic options and flavour in the game.
I would suggest: if someone have wars with more than, say 3 nations, they can start having war pressure like before.
2ndly, more often than not, you have one person pulling the weight of the coalition. Its rare that you have 3 player coalition contributing 33% each. Most will try to get themselves carried So, while you believe expansion penalty curtails further Dominationists, it also delays the game unnecessarily.
Also, the argument of Factories in core provinces alone, I feel is not fair. a) having factories closer to borderlines helps your war machine nation move faster, especially if you are on island and expanded into a mainland - your supply chain becomes very vulnerable, again not fair to those who start at disadvantages, and are unable to go further. Remember, pure defense nations do not win games, they just allows you to barely survive.
Lastly, every time we expand by even a single province, our resource requirement to feed the population (non-combatants, citizens) remains the same, but the yield per population keeps falling, further it is. You just said
"you only need 30% morale to keep a province", That's a very militaristic way of thinking. What about Economic Strategy?
What is the point of expansion then? Not just to gain provinces, but to gain resource, fund your war machine.
Well it is basically not intended that your far away provinces reach 100% morale, so it is not needed to have morale boosting buildings completely negate the maximum possible penalty. It is enough if you can keep the morale above 30% so they don't revolt. But the morale boosting buildings should be enough to at least keep your core territory at 100%. In your core you only need to negate the expansion penalty and you are helped in that by your neighbor province morale influence.
The province at 30% still eats similar amount of daily food, consumes materials, and energy. So, just to feed that sustainability demand, we need to build production buildings just so you can keep them fed, and then build a stockpile.
Please remember, economic success also contributes to your total points - as the score formula was based at 104 morale average points, unless this also changed.
While military sense dictates, solo player needs >50% of the map, and coalition needs >75% of the map, when you factor in economics - solo player would need about 60-65%, 80-85% for coalition of the map due to low morale pulling points down.
unless all the resulting effects of these changes were also addressed, it makes things more difficult to comprehend.