Automatic stabiliser suggestions and feedback

Basically read here: … ifficulty/
I am on the hunt for feedback on existing auto-balance systems as described, and suggestions for new, similar mechanics I may not have thought of…

I’m not sure this is what you are looking for, but I believe the reason the game is easy is that political objections are too weak.

Playing in the US, I can help my budget significantly by taking a chunk out of the military budget – and it’s not that big a deal politically. Truth is, the entire Republican constituency would write me off completely, on the spot. Nothing I could conceivably do would ever win me back their votes. And, on top of that, in real life military spending is spread around all 50 states very effectively, so even Democratic areas would suffer significant financial damage and whole communities would blame me for their problems. (I lived through something like that with a single base closing many years ago not so far from my town. The bitterness runs deep!)

Same if I raised taxes a percentage even a point or two. Or lowered social spending (this time it would be the Dems who would howl for the rest of my term.)

In real life, even opening the screen to think about adjusting abortion or immigration law would incite wild opposition. :slight_smile:

And in real life, as US president, I would arrive in office with campaign promises I HAVE to deliver on. If I am elected on a platform of stricter immigration law, I should pay double political cost if I don’t implement stricter immigration law… while the game also is not making me pay enough political cost for implementing the policy. So the “stuck between a rock and a hard place” situation is not really being modeled.

I think at the moment the problem is kind of two things.

The first is the one you’ve already highlighted. That is that the downsides to things are not very pronounced. Your economy might cause population, but there are a bunch of a relatively cheap green policies you can band-aid over that problem with. So it doesn’t really ever get to a point where your economy is hurt by your pollution. It is possible, and kind of easy especially on 100% difficulty, to get a country to a point where all six of the key indicators are at their optimal value. Full economy, full education, full health, no poverty, no crime and no unemployment. There aren’t really any trade-offs you have to make. In reality, a booming economy makes it harder to attract good teachers because they can make more money elsewhere, hurting education. Compare a list of countries with the best rankings on international education league tables and the ones with the highest GDPs. Australia and Austria are the only countries in the top ten for literacy and for GDP per capita, and Austria is 10 in both lists. There is no cross-over at all for the top 5. A lack of poverty also tends to mean no-one is rich (high equality), and that it’s harder to get low-skill labour, which can cause businesses to leave. Or developing technology leads to long-term unemployment because people don’t have the skills anymore to do the kind of jobs available. This is particularly bad for, say, old mining communities, where there are long traditions of certain types of employment that disappear. There should be more trade-offs, with greater impact, that make you choose between a great GDP and a great education and stuff like that.

Also, it becomes quite easy to establish a status quo that isn’t challenged. This is at least partially because your disaster style events aren’t really that bad. Most of their effects aren’t very harsh, and they don’t last very long. There are only a couple of exceptions. The result of these weak disasters is that they happen, and they might have a noticeable effect, but very rarely do they make me play the game differently. Unless it’s one of the few serious ones like bird flu, I don’t have to adjust any policies to account for them and I kind of just ignore them? They don’t affect gameplay at all. If done better, I think they would always be something that would require you to at least consider changing policies to account for them. But for that to happen, the events need to be more substantial and longer lasting. This is one of the things I’m looking at adjusting with my Disaster and Emergency Situations mod, to give disasters more punch to give you a sense of what I mean.

I hope some of this was helpful,


Yes agree, I think the events do need more punch…

Crime could quite easily be made into one. At the moment, I find it very easy to completely eradicate crime with some fairly modest law and order programmes and a concerted drive against poverty and unemployment - much easier than poverty, health, equality or education. There’s a plethora of hardcore law and order policies that I basically never touch, because if I do, the liberals flip out and assassinate me.

The balancing act modern governments have to do between security and liberties isn’t really present. It’s pretty easy to keep your fellow nations happy with foreign aid (aka Danegelt), and unless you’re really going to war with a given social group, you can usually keep them happy enough to stop them blowing you up. If I had to think more about terrorism, I’d probably have to look harder about what liberties I was willing to compromise.

One of the thing’s I’m most excited for about Elinor’s WIP Disasters and Emergency Situations pack is that terrorism goes from being an all-or-nothing game ender to a potential ongoing problem. Most real-life radical groups can only dream of assassinating a national leader - but they do blow up trains, carry out drivebys on political rivals, and so on. If I was faced with those sorts of problems, maybe I would oppress the populace more?