Real life. It always catches up to us. The past year I've been pretty busy but I worked on the mod whenever I had the time. Update 0.4 is a a culmination of that and it changes quite a few things, especially under the hood.
In the past I tried to balance the economy a bit more to make industrial goods have more demand. This caused a massive shortage in a few key industrial goods, so that was scaled back. Still, that persisted with a few key RGOs. So I went back to get the data. The first problem is how you balance the economy - there's two ways it could be done. Overproduction or underproduction.
If there's a missing good in the market, you can increase its production. Underproduction is very noticeable for the player and can be very frustrating too, so it's tempting to just increase production so there's nothing missing ever. Overproduction has the major downside, however, of creating rampant unemployment. This translates into militancy which in turns ends in rebellion. It's one of the reasons of massive socialist support and massive rebellions happen late game. It also ends with pops travelling all around looking for work - with a massive performance impact if that's widespread enough.
To avoid overproduction goods need to be slightly under-produced. The market fluctuates, of course, so a slight underproduction guarantees that in case of temporary overproduction the market it's not too bad on the pops. Underproduction means someone, somewhere, is going to starve. Some country is not going to get all the resources they need, and can't do everything they want, and that can be the player.
Would you describe that the world works in a way that people are out of jobs because of overproduction? In the end, the most realistic choice is underproduction. Someone, somewhere is going to lack access to goods. That also drives competition and that is good - a big part of colonization was competition for resources and markets to feed an ever growing industrialization. The problem is that it is way more noticeable for the player and if not done properly, it snowballs in a massive underproduction. That's the problem that version 0.3.9 had.
For version 0.4 I made several tests and tweaked and the values. There were problems of severe overproduction of coal and iron in the early game while underproduction of basic food RGOs while late game it was the opposite, for both.
So I did the tests and ran the numbers.
I'm still testing but I can't possibly cover everything. In that player feedback is really important - to know if there's a big problem. Just remember: some under-supply is expected. For one the economy is highly variable and one of the main influencing factors are wars. In that area everything I do is mostly a snapshot of a particular time - in a few cases I accompanied the economy every ten years, which is something I should do again for the current version.
If you are curious about the full results, you can take a look here: Full test list.
There's 2-3 recent tests that are not included. Usually when a test failed (crash, had to be stopped too soon, etc) it was not accounted for (in the spreadsheet) but the number was "burned off" - that's why you will see missing test numbers. Along the way I also started recording more goods and more data - that also reflects on the data you can see.
Finally, to change things up a bit, I added two events for good and bad years in agriculture. They are rare events but can have some impact. The bad events can temporarily diminish RGOs and diminish production, causing pops to move (a reason to emigrate besides war and politics!). In the future I'd like to do events for strikes, general strikes and other such events, maybe even use the "workplace events" to change things up for specific RGOs.
Economy was the elephant in the room. With that out of the way, the next under-the hood work was in the ideology department. The first thing is a dynamic Two-Party system, which kicks in for any country with first past the post and either appointed or two-per-state reforms in the Upper House. What it does is suppress radical ideologies and boost conservative and liberal support among the people. It doesn't prevent socialism from rising - and that's a pretty common thing to happen - so it can turn in a 3-party system. It does keep conservatism competitive for longer.
The UK, for some reason, keeps dropping from "appointed only" in the upper house. Still didn't manage to pin-point the reason but that doesn't involve popular pressure as that was taken care of - (primary) pops in the UK and the US won't push for an end of the two-party system.
That's not all of it though. There's a fundamental change on how pops "pick" ideology. One example is how pops looked at fulfilled needs and militancy. In vanilla an aristocrat would be more socialist if pops in his provinces were not getting all their needs or if they were more militant - but that doesn't make much sense. The problem - the main problem - was that all pops did that. They all looked at the poor strata to define what ideology they would pick. The result is that they all had similar ideologies. Almost no variety.
The new version made them much more selfish. Pops look at their own strata and at themselves when defining what kind of ideology they support - sometimes they need a certain amount of consciousness to look the strata as a whole or at other stratas to define what ideology they pick. The result is the image above - a lot more variety than what it is. Pops now have different interests, a lot of times conflicting, and that creates interesting and more realistic scenarios.
Finally, radical ideologies got some love too. Autocracy NV and Totalitarianism have a bigger effect and one crucial effect makes more sense now. In the past, in vanilla, all pops had a -50% (up to -90%) malus for radical ideologies (fascist, communist, reactionary) if they were under 6 militancy. That's a pretty big malus and while that makes sense in, for example, a democracy, that meant that, immediately after succeeding in a revolution, the pops that supported it could drop below 6 militancy and immediately stop supporting the new government they put in place. The new rules make it so the malus won't happen in radical governments as long as they match. So for example fascist ideology doesn't get the -50% under a fascist government, but communists still do and need to get above 6 militancy to lose it.
The third and final thing I'd like to talk about are CBs and colonies. CBs have been reworked so you can't really declare (most) wars without having at least 1 military score - and the treaty port CB (Punitive Expedition) needs a country with at least 10 ships, 10 military score, Naval Plans researched, 250k pops and a Naval Base built.
"Demand concession" and the "establish protectorate" CBs also got reworked so they have tech requirements - you can conquer any state as long as you have the right techs. Here's a list of requirements:
Those are the most important changes for CBs and they are important to keep in mind when colonizing.
Speaking of which, colonizing now woks a bit differently. The free "scramble for africa" CB exists only for colonies in Africa that have no colonizing powers - if say, France owns part of the Ivory Coast, no country can use the Scramble for Africa CB on Ivory Coast territory. France gets a special CB to conquer the place. That means that Lagos give the UK claims on Nigeria - it's not impossible for another country to conquer a state there, but you are going to spend infamy for that. Hopefully, that will help with border gore. It doens't guarantee that, but it helps.
As a final note, there's also a new thing when organizing a colony. You get an event and you have a few options to direct RGO production. This means that colonies are now a source of needed RGOs for you - if you are missing tobacco, you can get a colony to produce that. They are appropriate, mind you, and done with research for climate and modern and past production. That means that you can't conjure coal in a place there are no coal veins. You can't grow tea in Chad. Some colonies will have more options, even mineral goods, some will have less. That can come with a cost, though.
That's just the tip of the iceberg though. There's much, much more and you can find the details in the changelog - from bug fixes, to tweaks to events and decisions. For a final word, here's some fun with numbers:
The new release has 69 new events and 22 new decisions. The mod currently has 2015 decisions and 2548 events.
There's a lot for the future and not enough time to talk about it. This is already bigger than it should be so see you all a next time!
Possibility to recover old empires, unite a nation and witness anti-colonial sentiments rising.
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