Debt Crisis balancing is completly broken

I’ve been a big fan of Democracy 3. And been eagerly waiting for Democracy 4 to come to steam. But one thing i’ve noticed is that Debt Crisis has been rebalanced to not be as harsh on deficit spending, a balance change i don’t inherently mind. But the way it is implemented right now is absolutely broken it actually ruins the challenge of the game.

The changes that have happened
Basically in D3, you would hit the debt crisis in the US within 2-3 years if you did not balance your budget. But as of D4, this debt crisis requires a lot more deficit spending to trigger.

I managed to trigger a debt crisis 4 years into my playthrough by completely abolishing all taxes except minor taxes. I also gave full funding the State Health Services and the School among other social services. I managed to double the nations total national debt. Multiplied the deficit spending by 20 times. And by the time I actually got the debuff from the Crisis, all the policies I had implemented were more than enough to compensate for the global debuff.

This is 12 years after my election. Quadrupled the national debt, and running with a 2.38 Trillion $ Quarterly deficit. And the debt crisis is having no tangible effect on my approval.

Whilst I don’t mind the developers lessening the effects minor deficit spending has on your country. You should not be able to run a tax-less society for 10+ years with full state services under any circumstances. It completely destroys the fun of trying to balance the budget, when you know not doing so has no real impact on your chances of reelection.


Yeah, I made thread, where I said that you can eventually abolish taxes.


I am aware that this needs balancing. I think one of the issues is that the USA has a special cheat enabled whereby it is the worlds reserve currency. This allows it to get away with a much worse debt situation than other countries.

Clearly I overdid this a bit :smiley:
I will rebalance this soon.


France doesn’t have that “cheat”, but it was extremely easy to do so in first term as France is already Socialist.
Did it on default settings.


Yikes. I think that the impact on GDP is possibly a bit low. I guess a debt crisis should really totally destroy business confidence and foreign investment. Its a tough one to get right, but it certainly needs some balancing I agree.


Taxes reduce GDP.

I guess total GDP reduction from debt crisis should be bigger than taxes can usually take collectively.
Also Everyone should be angered much more.

Also GDP being on floor means nothing if you subsidize everything anyway.


Cliff, I just want to make a suggestion. Instead of increasing the GDP impact, I would actually suggest adding a connection between debt crisis and inflation, and buffing the impact of inflation. Since a debt crisis leads to a loss of confidence in a currency, it tends to trigger a massive selloff which can then massively increase inflation and destroy a currency’s value. So a debt crisis should increase inflation. In turn, at very high levels, inflation should have quite a strong negative impact on business confidence and foreign investment, and perhaps even foreign relations since it will strain ties with international debtors who, in many cases, tend to be represented by governments (central banks, pension funds, etc.)

Furthermore, since this is disliked across the board in society, inflation should therefore have a scaling effect on the “everyone” group happiness. So at very high levels, it should massively reduce everyone’s happiness. I would suggest even adding a negative impact on stability at very high levels of inflation.

TL;DR: Debt crisis should massively increase inflation. High inflation should have a much higher impact on business confidence, foreign investment, foreign relations, and negative opinion impact across the board. An impact on stability at high levels of inflation should also be considered.


Inflation also should effect Everyone income, not just Wealthy income.
Hyperinflation situation should have absolutely destructive effect on Everyone income, and maybe affect Self Employed, State Employees and Capitalist income too.

This way you would have >95% Poor people even if you have all income boosters active with maxed out inflation simulation and hyperinflation situation.

Amount of people with <0 income should increase Extreme Poverty situation.
Amount of people, who have <25% minimum income required to be 100% Middle class should increase Poverty simulation.

This way once warning about debt crisis triggers you would have to cut spending back to manageable level (like Greece) or else you will melt like Venezuela, or other countries with hyperinflation problem.

Inflation effect could go from 0% to 100% quadratically over 5 years to give time.
Also it should push up Hyperinflation crisis so it ends at 100% few years later.

Voter happiness also should be affected by difference between original disposable income and actual income.
If income is reduced by >100%, then approval is reduced by 50%
If income is increased by >200%, then approval is increased by 50%
Unchanged income would be 0 point. This would be curve, that increases, but increase is slowed down.
Poor -> Middle income has no multiplier to approval change.
Middle Income -> Wealthy would have 0.5x approval multiplier - more money doesn’t make them much happier.
Wealthy -> Middle income has no multiplier to approval change.
Middle Income -> Poor would have 2x approval multiplier - their life got destroyed.


This is all very interesting and excellent analysis. I’ve been looking at the equations this morning.

It looks like Hyperinflation really does cause mayhem, it knocks GDP, and biz confidence (which will then knock GDP more), international trade, accelerates a corporate exodus and rockets up the food price, which will affect the poor. (I think hyperinflation doesnt need a specific effect on the poor, as this should be handled through the food price).

So hyperinflation is pretty bad (arguably could be tweaked worse), I think the problem is, its just not happening. If I check user-stats I see that in the latest version I see 251 cases of hyperinflation vs 1,242 debt crisis, so only 20% of debt crisis are leading to hyperinflation. I reckon that should maybe be twice as high…

I do definitely agree that everyone should be upset by hyperinflation (the inconvenience, the impossibility of imports, the loss of savings) and also that we should add a stability impact from high inflation, and also from hyperinflation.
(Currently hyperinflation is partly caused by instability but does not affect it).

I’m going to do a test playthrough ignoring all debt with:

A negative impact of Everyone from hyperinflation.
A negative impact on stability from high inflation, and also from hyperinflation.
A link where the debt crisis pushes up inflation with a delay.
A negative impact on foreign relations caused by debt crisis at a high level

Hopefully that works out quite badly, if so, I’ll put these changes into todays update/


With current implementation it seems that if you max out helicopter money and quantitative easing disposable income will be bigger for poorest people even if you have hyperinflation.
Since hyperinflation doesn’t go all way up you could add truly disastrous effects that appear on top - reachable with debt crisis.

Hyperinflation by itself is not enough to trigger corporate exodus.

Before inflation

After inflation

Newest update made debt crisis and hyperinflation only marginally more annoying.
Game is much more challenging when you try to minimize expenses.


I took this to the absolute feasible limit. This is a UK playthrough after more than 100 years in power.
as you can see in the top left the debt stands at over 1,000 Trillion pounds and yet there are no negative effects. GDP, Health and Education are all maxed out, Crime, Unemployment and Poverty are all effectively zero. I’ve tried literally everything to get me to lose but every election is 100% majority, eventually I just set the term limit so I could retire.

I guess the socialist route needs more mapping out because currently its just completely broken.


Haha that’s actually insane. This reinforces my suggestion to Cliff on how to address this. Hyperinflation and debt crisis should render you unelectable, which would be more representative of reality. I mean could you imagine a government that caused hyperinflation and a spiraling debt crisis getting re-elected? I certainly can’t. Therefore, they should both have an exponential negative effect on every single voter group in the game, not just the “everyone” group, with inertia. So maybe the negative effect isn’t very high when the situation is just getting started, and only rises slowly, which gives you time to address it and potentially fix your election prospects. But if you leave either situation unchecked and they keep rising, at very high levels (80-100%) they should have extremely high negative impacts on all voter groups. This ensures a rapid drop in popularity for you, so you basically are guaranteed to lose the election.


Well maybe we should just wait 100 years to see how supposedly innacurate you think the game is then! :smiley:

Yup, definitely needs balancing, but I do want the rebalancing to seem real, and not too gamey. At the very least, hyperinflation should devastate the happiness of the self employed (who are presumably being paid in wheelbarrows of cash now) and the wealthy (whose bank balances are now worthless) as well as just upsetting capitalists as currently seems to be the case… (and also maybe destroy tourism and international trade due to the huge hassle of dealing with such a rapidly collapsing currency)


I have to agree that hyperinflation should nuke everyone’s income, not just the wealthy. I mean, forget governments, hyperinflation destroys regimes.


@cliffski will debt crisis be able to trigger hyperinflation (very long inertia time, maybe 10 years) and max it out?

Currently some situations like hyperinflation can’t be maxed out at all.