Feedback specifically on build 1.09

Out today. How are people finding it? I’m finding this to be noticeably harder than earlier versions and am checking that’s the general consensus. I play on standard difficulty as a test but with a variety of approaches.

The players on this forum tend to be the more experienced, hardcore players so I would expect you to find it relatively easy, but hopefully still a bit of a challenge on normal difficulty, and quite hard at max difficulty.

Is 1.09 better than 1.08?


Yes, its harder to max out some simulations, also high tax way of playing is harder too - easier to lower simulation values with taxes.
Voter group happiness now is pushed closer to middle.

Its still easy to reach 100% popularity, education and technology though.

I suggested averaging voter approval - I think it would simply require dividing by sum of memberships, since its already normalized sum.
Also there are screenshots on how I easily reached almost 100% popularity.

Got a crash when I advance to the next turn (always 2nd term with 3 days to go as USA). Not sure what is causing it. Here is the save file:

The game seems a little harder. So far I like it. Wondering if maybe nuclear power can help reduce water shortages (desalination as a new policy?).

I would say that yes, build 1.09 is better than 1.08. But I would also like to point out that I think it’s too easy to raise the ethnic minority membership to 100%. Perhaps something in that equation needs to be tweaked. Also, does anyone else notice an odd bug when trying to adjust firearm laws? I can adjust the target strength of the policy, but it doesn’t seem to change, at least graphically.


Maxing out farmer membership is still an easy way to make everyone pretty darn rich. Some of the farmer income modifiers seem a bit excessive.

Yeah, the new build has better happiness distribution. I’ve been comparing happiness distributions between versions for the same save, and this is the best yet:

The compass is also looking more reflective (though that technically was never a problem, just a result of it only reflecting two out of many axes):

It’s definitely harder to get to a winning position, but not even close to difficult even at 150% difficulty. It just takes some extra turns. The thing I notice is that the game tends towards an average approval either fairly well above 50% or fairly well below- typically I am only around 50% voting intention early on, and then it’s smooth sailing the rest of the game.

This is a test game demonstrating what I’m referring to.

Maybe part of the problem is balance between membership influences changing the number of people within a group vs changing the strength of their affiliation with that group.

I also think it might be an idea to correlate more voter groups with each other, at least when those correlations are globally consistent. Maybe that could be conditional on other factors, to capture when correlations aren’t globally consistent. I’m not sure. But voting blocs do exist irl and the current distributions don’t appear to reflect that.

Part of the issue is also that happiness in general is too easy to come by. It’s kind of impossible to piss off the poor without being extremist, for example. Environmentalists are easy to please with very little spending in money or political capital.

I think another element is that the relationships between sim values and policies remains far too simple for balanced results- sometimes in terms of numbers of inputs, sometimes inputs chosen, sometimes the way the inputs behave. Work on the UI will make that progressively less problematic in terms of accessibility to resolve. But it’s mostly a lot of small things which I think probably warrant changing- the kinds of stuff that tends to fly under the radar even when mentioned on the forum because they are, taken individually, not significant.

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I’m aware that farmer group membership is too easy to enlarge or please, and will address this.
Actually today I found and fixed some bugs, and adjusted some data that will vastly (I suspect) improve game balance. Basicaly a bunch of negative events (such as school shootings) had some issues meaning they were never triggering. (huge hurricane is another), which means the game has currently been artificially easy…


Are we meant to be able to carry over save games? If I load up a save game it’s an instant crash to desktop with no error messages.

Definitely. Can you email me any save game with issues? (cliff AT positech dot co dot uk).
There are in \my documents\my games\democracy 4\savegames

It might be a case of me missing something, but I can normally hack any save game to make it work manually.

I’ve quite enjoyed the additional challenges to getting a good environment and bottom out unemployment. I could never hit the max value for either despite exhausting everything I could do in the game. (Which makes me wonder if cool new utopian futuristic policies for both are about to drop. I could name a few, and I do feel both are solvable on a long enough timeline.)

Whether or not that’s the case, the challenge is welcome, and it certainly offsets the motivation to slam hard on automation, or resist banning cars in cities. (I had to pile on every environmental policy at max to land at a 70% environment with a 95%-ish GDP)

I’m still noticing petrol and CO2 tax not displaying values, even though it appeared the money was still being calculated in the budget.

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For whatever reason every game as the UK gets credit downgrades constantly despite me shrinking and even eliminating the deficit. Always leads to a debt crisis and then the game just turns into Austerity Manager until I finally get voted out with half of expenditures going to debt interest. The only way to avoid this is to set starting debt to 0, which isn’t fun cause it just feels like cheating.

Also, I’ve raised the corporation tax by three percent and it triggered a corporate exodus immediately. I’ve never been able to raise it even slightly, or to move the labor law towards pro-union without triggering it.

Also been seeing a lot of bugs with sliders. I spent about 20 minutes on one turn trying to get the military spending slider to work as the USA.

Also, the tax on recreational drugs shows $0.00 income on maximum.

I also have criticisms of the USA starting out with legalized cannabis, the federal government has not made any move towards legalization. Some states have, but only 11 have legalized for recreational use and they are heavily hamstrung by federal law.

I think there is indeed a bug with the US military slider, I will look into it
The recreational drugs tax only brings in money if there are legalized drugs and some consumption. Check the income details button to see whats going on.

This bug was while playing as the US, which starts with legalized cannabis, which was why I mentioned the legalized status.

What does the income breakdown say? I just started a brand new game with the US, and immediately taxed recreational drugs, and then next turn I see this:

Is that not what you have? Is your version of the game the latest (1.10)?