My Mod Suggestion Thread

Hello! I’m new. This post basically introduces me; scroll past to the second post in the thread if you want to see my first suggestion. (Nationalist Arts Funding is going to be the first policy mod I’ll suggest.)

I don’t actually own the game yet, but I’m going to remedy that imminently. I bought and played with the first Democracy quite a lot, and enjoyed it. I even made some mods for it (strictly for my own use). I’m looking forward to writing new policies and problems. I’ll even rebalance everything to my tastes - some of the assumptions that the simulation makes don’t seem right to me, but would require painful alterations of the missions and so forth to correct. Fortunately, it all looks possible to fix! Democracy 2’s modding support is one of its selling points to me.

Unfortunately, since I’m going to end up altering just about everything that can be altered in the process, it’ll be hard to showcase my works. That doesn’t mean I won’t ramble about them. I’ll even offer up the less unbalancing stuff in greater detail here.

This won’t happen until I actually get the game properly though. I’ll trawl the demo’s files, but it just won’t be satisfying while I’m limited by the demo. I will nevertheless come up with ideas.

This thread is for those ideas. While they remain only ideas, they can be evaluated and possibly implemented by anyone reading, with their own weightings, tweakings, and rebalancings.

First mod suggestion: Nationalist Arts Funding
Kudos to the discussion at the following thread: (Policy Effect change proposals, and your thoughts) for giving me the idea. I wanted to hammer out and record my thoughts on various arts funding policies which a government might adopt singly or in a group.

Nationalist Arts Funding:
It is quite common for governments to sponsor art for nationalistic rhetorical effect. Efforts in this area can range from the patronage of a few artists known for their patriotism to being an important arm of an organized propoganda effort. It’s an inexpensive investment that can have lasting effects, but done to excess, will start to annoy liberals as propogandistic art becomes intrusive.
Very small improvement to relations with patriots
Increase in size of patriots voting group
Small decrease in approval from liberals
Tiny - 10 million to 100 million type range. It’s hard to imagine spending too heavily on this endeavor without crossing over into the territory of having a full-fledged propoganda department, and that should be a seperate policy.

Please note that the impact shouldn’t be too huge. This wouldn’t represent, on its own, an organized effort to control the nation’s artistic output. It represents the government putting a special focus on funding patriotic artists.

My next idea will also be good for making patriots happy. However, I see all through this forum problems raised with the GUI and ‘clutter’. Some kind of zoom function may be generally helpful in resolving it. I also see cliffski mentioning worries about complexity; I like the idea of an Advanced version, but I don’t think a new product is necessarily a requirement for it! Just make the basic game simple yet extensible (moddable). Then people will gravitate towards their own desired complexity through the installation of mods. This already seems to be the status quo; I’m not sure it needs changed.

Honor Guards
Highly nationalistic governments will occasionally hire very visible guards for their most prominent citizens and politicians. Although ostensibly intended to protect against assault and assassination, the benefits are not always proportionate to the costs. This is especially true when the equipment of an honor guard is chosen to be impressive rather than effective - impractical uniforms and outdated weaponry are common.
Tiny decrease in terrorism*
Improvement to relations with patriots
Assassination attempts less likely to succeed* (if this is in the game?)
Small - 50 million to 300 million type range, but this isn’t really a cost-effective expenditure at all.

*These should be only slightly linked to how much it’s funded. The lowest funding level on honor guards represents subtle, practical efforts to protect vital figures. The highest funding level on honor guards represents showy ceremonies surrounding said figures, or even important people generally (but not as permanent bodyguards, not to them). The funding level doesn’t determine so much how much protection is offered, as it determines how hard the government tries to publicize and aggrandize the protection to the media. The practical aspects of the policy are achieved at low funding. It may even be detrimental to proclaim your guard to the rooftops - flashy ceremonial guards may not be as useful to their clients as the secret service is to the US president.

Military Technology Research
Some level of military research is already accounted for in general science and military funding, but this represents a serious effort at constant modernization and bleeding edge research. Funding in this area thrills patriots, but disconcerts foreign nations, liberals, and even environmentalists. In actual warfare though, the advantages gained can be irreplaceable.
Well, your military fights significantly better than it otherwise might at any given size. Does Democracy 2 model this in any way?
Patriot voter block likes you a lot more
Liberal voter block likes you slightly less
Environmental voter block likes you slightly less
Foreign nations like you less
Perhaps this should produce a weak boost to technological advantage due to diffusion from military technology to the civil sector, but it shouldn’t be a cost-effective way of boosting technology at all.
High. This is expensive. How high? I have no clue what’s appropriate.

I seem to recall someone mentioning militia as an idea for a policy.

It seems like it’d be interesting, to have the government encouraging and equipping militias. I can see some beneficial effects. It wouldn’t work too well for controlling general crime, but it would likely reduce violent crime at least.

It’d make the Vigilante Mobs issue worse though - you’d be arming people, training them, and then encouraging them to band together for defensive purposes. It’d be a cause for vigilante mobs.

It’d probably be hard to implement. The political capital cost would be high. I don’t know how the cost to disband would be - probably high as well, since once formed, the militia groups wouldn’t want to disband.

I don’t want to work this out into as full an idea as the other several in the thread. It would feel like I was stealing ideas.

Besides, I wonder how much of what I propose is outdated because of things others have made, and changes in the game between the demo and the full version?

Pollution as Trespass and Vandalism:
Some property-minded environmentalists have proposed that treating the air over one’s property as owned would do a great deal to fight pollution. Restitution would be required for any damages resulting from pollution, and even proving pollution itself would be unlawful trespass. While it is hard to assert that such a scheme would represent a distortion of the market per se, opponents point out that strict enforcement of such a scheme would be harder on industry than even draconian restrictions on pollution.
Improvement to air quality (slightly better than pollution controls)
Damage to GDP (worse than pollution controls)
Reduction of oil demand (fossil fuel power plants now untenable)
Reduction of carbon emissions (fossil fuel power plants now untenable)
Environmentalists approve of government more
Wealthy approve of government less (this is a libertarian environmental decision grounded in property rights, deflecting criticism from capitalists, but it still badly injures many business concerns and will inspire vociferous opposition from their owners)
Cheap imports will be more of a problem (many products are now nearly impossible to produce domestically)
Are you joking? The cost of putting it into place is nasty - at least, it is for a debt-phobe like myself who thinks cutting into GDP is terrible. But if a cost must be assessed, something moderate. Higher than pollution controls, if only due to all the legal snarls of implementation, but the government will recover some (probably sizable) portion of their expenditures from fines levied on lawbreakers.

Note: This policy should be extremely sensitive to severity. For instance, at the lowest end, it should be something like “symbolic laws” and have little or no effect, except to annoy wealthy people. At the most extreme end, it should be something like “absolute enforcement” and thus inflict the full pain of using an 18th century policy in the 21st century. An example run of it might be, “symbolic laws”, “sporadic enforcement”, “obvious targets”, “proactive enforcement”, and “absolute enforcement”.

Just some things I’m definitely going to do once I’ve bought the game, if patches and so forth don’t have these fixed.

Liberals should -not- like the child benefit. That isn’t to say they’d be opposed… It just doesn’t make sense that it benefits them.
I’m also going to strip the socialist happiness modifier off of legal aid. There’s nothing about socialism which implies you should subsidize those already charged with a crime, ja? And I’ll add a small conservative unhappiness modifier to it as well. Of course, the poor will still like it. What? Not everything the poor likes has to be something that socialists necessarily like.
I need to find something to replace smokers with, if that’s possible. In practice, the ideological liberal sorts oppose tobacco regulation more than smokers themselves (who tend to see it as a disgusting habit).
I may link the happiness of the drinkers group to drug law. Just a little bit. They can be the self-destructive types that health workers can’t stand. It won’t be a major effect though - a conservative drinker with children should still oppose loosening drug laws.
I’m going to link conservatives to drug law, negatively. Their little blurb mentions it but their happiness doesn’t actually take it into account.
Can the cost of something go up exponentially? Jury trials only in exceptional cases would be really, really trivial to fund. Widespread, still not too bad. If requested, danger zone. Universal? That’s budgetary ouch time. Realize that many court cases are trivial, then apply the time and expense of a jury trial to each and every one of them. Also, once you start moving into universal jury trial territory conservatives should oppose jury trials and crime should increase slightly. These effects would be due to clogging up the courts.
Rural development grants do too much to GDP. It doesn’t make sense. They’re a pretty blatant distortion of the market, they should not be profitable to undertake. For one thing, they divert employment away from profitable market activities into government programs. The ripple effect is just not as big as Keynesian theory says it is.

yes you can have power equations for effects, so you can have the kind of thing you describe.

Cheers! Thanks for the clarification!

I’ve a good idea for a new event thing. Currently there is the Legal Scandal which is more likely to happen if you don’t provide legal aid and jury trials. On the flipside, perhaps a Jury Nullification event would help weaken them. When it happens, it’s like the inverse of the legal scandal, upsetting conservatives, and maybe even making crime (but not violent crime) go up for a while due to criminals thinking they can get away with it. Can the system be set up so that an event will never happen without a policy being active, but is more likely to happen if another policy is present? That is to say, can legal aid contribute to jury nullification without risking that the event will be triggered when you’re not using legal aid at all?