Policy optimization

One feature I’ve noticed in this game is that most of the time, if something is worth doing, it’s worth over doing. There aren’t many policies where I don’t just slide the bar all the way to the right.

One thing I would suggest would be adding more incremental cost for policy change. The brackets of up to 10%, up to 25%, and over 25% are a good start. This is quite a change from Democracy 3 when any adjustment had the same cost. We need more of this, with stronger cost increases. Currently, I’m inclined to save enough PC to only have to change things once. 36 PC? Good, I only have to touch secularity of education once. 32 PC? Good, I only have to touch tobacco tax once. Adding more brackets to this system, and having greater escalation of cost would make players more inclined to even attempt balance rather than sliding the bar over. I might even say throw in an up to 5% cost bracket for very minor adjustments.

Have new policies start at minimum, with a requirement to spend PC to get them higher. Politicians do sometimes get over the push back by implementing things as limited trials, which quietly become not so limited later.

And the big thing we need, is more diminishing returns. Currently, this is well implemented with taxes. Most of them have a GDP modifier with a curve that turns into a cliff. This is good. Combine this with the potential red bubbles, and I now have motivation to figure out how to optimize my taxation to maximize revenue without trigger backlash. Not all policies will be able to have something so pronounced, but many could have impact curves which get shallower towards the top end so I see less benefit from a flat cost increase.

Now, once those diminishing returns are in place, increase the top end of what I can spend on every policy. Currently I feel like I’m on a leash, I run into the top cost of most things without over spending myself. Give me the freedom to make the mistake of over spending. Give me enough rope to hang myself with.


All fantastic ways of rebalancing for more complexity and difficulty, though I’d say one would still need the means to stabilize the state in the first term to achieve the initial win, so perhaps some policies are more appropriate for complicating and recosting than others. The low tech solutions you kind of need early could have this system, but the individual steps of initiating and scaling them would be lower, equalling the cost they have now.

This would also elongate the game which isn’t a bad thing as for me the game’s about 4 terms long.


I know I keep getting back to this point, but I think the game balance is largely centered on voter opinion being based on a snap shot of current conditions and not accounting for recent change. Voters looking at recent change would make the first re-election more manageable, as even somewhat unhappy voters could be convinced that the country is on the mend, while at late game happy voters would start to forget what you have done for them.


This also has the effect of massively constraining starting scenarios. Every country needs to be at the sweet spot where things are bad enough you’ll lose the election for doing nothing, but not so bad you can’t get over the victory threshold in one term.