Game Balance Tweaks (V1.42)

After a bit more faffing about, including some stress testing, there are some balancing tweaks and changes I’d recommend. Relevant policies are in bold for ease. Where necessary, I’ve added justifications for the change.


The Nuclear Weapons prerequisite is no longer necessary with a Nuclear Weapons policy now included.

Foreign Aid should reduce Global CO2 Emissions, and Immigration Demand, while increase Global Economy. This accounts for decarbonisation programmes for developing nations, the improved quality of life abroad reducing immigration push factors, and investments abroad boosting foreign economies.


UBI should be an opposite to Unemployment Benefit. While the two could technically exist simultaneously, realistically UBI would replace employment based benefits. UBI should also reduce Private Pensions at the same rate as State Pensions do, since people would have less need for saving to a pension pot.


Worker Dividends at the minimum setting seems overpowered. Requiring all businesses to have some level of employee-owned shares doesn’t strike me as quite the overhaul the current impacts suggest.

The effect of Unemployment on Productivity seems backwards. Shouldn’t lower unemployment increase productivity, since there are more people in work? At the extreme, the current set-up would suggest a nation would achieve maximum productivity when everyone is unemployed!

Sunday Trading Laws should reduce Working Week rather than GDP directly. For sure, GDP would be reduced, but as a result of shops being open for one fewer days.

Strikes should be dependent on Trade Unionist happiness as well as percentage. “0-(Trade Unionist*TradeUnionist_perc)” works well. Having lots of TU members won’t lead to strikes if they’re all happy as Larry.


Financial Transaction Tax should be negatively influenced by Limit Automated Trading.

Wealth Tax should have a small increase on GDP to match the research that it encourages wealthy to spend and invest rather than save.

Income Tax should be negatively impacted by Unemployment, and positively influenced by Population and Wages.

The Mortgage Tax Relief should have an initially positive effect for Youth happiness to account for first-time buyer/Help to buy schemes governments have. This would decrease for high values of the policy to simulate providing tax breaks for larger home owners annoying young people.

I wonder if voter groups’ happiness in general should correlate with their income. If a group sees their incomes rise, that should surely make them happier, no? This could vary for different groups (Capitalists, Poor, Middle, Wealthy perhaps influenced the most).


Food Price should increase Poverty. I know that Food Crisis already does, but a direct influence would better simulate the gradual increase in poverty rising food costs cause.


With a Press Freedom policy, the General Media Censorship policy is now redundant, since no press freedom by default means there is a general media censoring. I’d move the effects of GMC to the very low end of Press Freedom. Also, I’ve trialed adding a Fake News effect to Press Freedom >0.9 (the logic being, maximum press freedom means no regulation for truth and more accurately maps the USA).

Very High Judicial Independence should mean the “Pick Judge” dilemma never comes up; since if the judiciary is completely independent, the player shouldn’t get to pick!

I managed to trigger the Alcohol Abuse Situation despite Alcohol consumption being 0. Go figure.

Maximum Gun Controls makes Farmers unhappy, since they can’t hunt/protect their farms from pests etc. Including a reduced effect for “Strict Controls” also fits nicely, as some rural non-farmer citizens may disapprove.

The effects of Prison Regime should be proportional to prison population. No prisoners = no benefits to Education etc.


Clean Fuel Subsidies drop as Electric Car Transition increases.

I can’t figure out why Oil Demand increases when Ban Low MPG Cars > 0.5. Also, Bus Usage should increase Oil Demand less as Electric Car Transition goes up.

I’m also going to do a separate thread for Nationalisation policies, as there’s a lot more there, and it’s more open to discussion.


I won’t go line by line through your suggestions, as I like some, and don’t have enough info to comment on the others, but some thoughts of mine are:

Perhaps cultural attitudes towards guns should affect the level of happiness/unhappiness (as done for the USA, harder to implement stricter gun control, more unhappiness) and a policy to provide an alternative to using guns to hunt pests (which might be a uniquely US or European perspective), such as insecticides, pesticides, etc.

Oil demand could be going up since bus and rail electrification is not modelled in game.

I do intend to go through line by line at some point but thought I’d look into the Oil Demand issue.

The Ban Low MPG policy has this as the equation…

In other words the impact of the policy is influenced by the inverse value of the Electric Car Transition… so if there is no electric car transition it looks like this:

and let us say that electric car transition is at 66%

And of course if the Electric Car Transition is at 100% then there will be no change to oil demand.
I think the equation just needs to be tweaked so that it is always reducing oil demand… :slight_smile:

Edit: I got stuff wrong. the tl;dr is that I didn’t bracket the proper values.

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