Initial feedback (balance)

I played D4 right after playing D3 and I really like the new version!

Some observations, after playing at 150% difficulty (primarily about the balance that will probably be significantly changed prior to the full release):

  • winning elections is super easy. This aspect can be just ignored, as it looks like no matter what I do I am getting closer to the 100% approval rating. Dramatically raising taxes? No problem, the folks seem to be happy about it. I had to focus only at the budget balance and GDP growth.
  • There should be some mechanism to make sure that the approval rating has some degree of gravitation towards a reasonable level, and pushing the approval away from it should be harder and harder (e.g. getting 99-100% should be basically impossible).
  • I wish the difficulty level was one of the factors defining the approval level of each group, literally shown when the player selects some group, as any other influencing factor. So, at higher difficulty, there would be a bigger negative adjustment to the approval level. Besides there might be two difficulty sliders in settings - one for money management, another for the approval level.
  • the difference in interest rates across credit ratings is too big, which creates a huge snowballing effect - the debt costs are sharply going up if the rating goes down (sending the country in a sort of game-over debt spiral) or the debt costs are sharply going down if the rating goes up (making the game an easy win). I understand that the mechanism reflects reality to some degree, but I think the difference in debt costs for different ratings should not be that huge to make the game more interesting.
  • most policies are probably too cheap, creating disproportional net benefits vs underlying costs. Boosting the GDP and bringing other upsides is too easy. Huge changes can be made in just one term.
  • at the same time many policies seem to have prohibitive power costs… or possibly I was not good at pushing my power points up.