Reviewing the new rare earth rules

This is a follow up to this post: Comparing oil and rare earth metals

I was glad to see this touched on, but very little has actually changed. I decided to torture test the new system by running my technology up quickly, then like either an inexperienced player or real politician I ignored multiple warnings, let the crisis get truly established, then overreacted to compensate for a late reaction.

The only real change is that the crisis clears up a lot faster when the player reacts than it used to. I spent 3 or so turns worth of PC to implement and max out rare Earth mining and green electronics, and within 6 or so turns the crisis had cleared up. Honestly though, the “Rare Earth Metal Prices” blue button isn’t very useful in its current form. It receives inputs with no outputs until the crisis triggers, then it has one trigger to the crisis. It seems like an unnecessary middle man unless more changes are coming, otherwise the inputs to the blue button could simply input to the crisis directly.

The other issue is that none of what I mentioned about private industry reacting to the high prices is present. The only outputs of the crisis are the hardships of crisis prices. It feels a little frustrating to reiterate this, but companies don’t exclusively chase subsidy, they will chase any dollar (pound/euro/whatever) regardless of the source. If rare earth metals are expensive enough then producers of high tech gadgets will find ways to be more efficient with or without a government program to collect on. If a product can be sold for a high enough price then the mining industry will find ways to deliver more of it to market with or without a juicy government subsidy.

Unfortunately I found the changes to rare earth metals to be disappointing because the changes really didn’t change anything.


Well, I think that the information is more clear now, and that the crisis is easier to solve, as it would be in real life. Should foreign relations be affected due to extractive mining and the exploitation of the poor? Should CO2 emissions go up due to rare earth metal trade?

I think that the changes that you would like to see, would require the modelling of the mining industry. I think that it will always be a competition between playability and complexity. And while complexity is good, we are not making a 1:1 sim of real life, so somethings will have to sacrificed for the sake of playability. Maybe if some aspects of the Industry Sim mod from D3 can be added, it might make things more realistic?

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