Small change request: new policy canceling

I just started playing the Demo3 beta, and I’m having a blast so far, but one thing that is definitely annoying: you can’t see the effects of a new policy until you enact it, at which point the political capital is already spent. This means that if I want to make rational choices about what new policies to implement, I would have to memorize the effects of every policy in the game. When I decide to increase/decrease/eliminate an already existing policy, I get to see exactly what my changes will do before spending any political capital; it seems like enacting new policies should work the same way. Basically, I want a ‘Cancel’ button on the popup for a newly enacted policy that will refund the political capital cost of that policy.

Although I understand this POV, this is a deliberate design decision aimed to reflect the genuine uncertainty as to what will be the effects of a policy before it is implemented. it’s much easier for governments to get (vaguely sensible) ideas as to what will happen if an existing policy is adjusted, than it is to measure the impacts of a theoretical policy before it is in place. For example people in the UK argued endlessly about what the effects of a congestion charge for Central London would do, but nobody really knew until it was introduced.

Is there some degree of randomization as to the effects of a yet-unimplemented policy, or are those effects fixed and simply not displayed to the user? If the former is true, that’s really cool and I withdraw my comment. Assuming it’s the latter case, I have to say that I disagree with this for at least two big reasons:

  1. As a strategy game, this means that the only reasonable way to play is with a reference guide or lots of memorized information. This is, simply put, bad gameplay. It doesn’t make min-maxing more difficult to pull off successfully; it just makes it more tedious and forces you to consult out-of-game materials constantly.

  2. As a simulation/“role playing” experience, this still isn’t very satisfying IMO because it’s not always clear what a new policy means on a conceptual level. Take prisons, for example - I remember a discussion on another thread where people thought it didn’t make sense that more prison funding makes liberals happy. Your reasoning, IIRC, was that more prison funding doesn’t mean arresting more people, but having more resources per prisoner to devote to things like rehabilitation. That makes sense, but it isn’t obvious until I know both the name of the policy and the effects you chose to give it.

Basically, it seems like you are trying to approximate real world uncertainty over what a specific policy action will do by making the player uncertain what specific policy action they are implementing in the first place. Also, the more someone plays the game, the more they will remember what policies do from previous playthroughs, so this illusion of uncertainty will be very inconsistent at best and even the most avid “role player” will find it hard not to let this knowledge affect their decisions.

Besides, with all the complex interactions between variables in the simulation, I think there’s still plenty of uncertainty about what a specific policy will do until you try it, based on the unique circumstances and existing policies of your country at that moment. For example, I might know that some science funding-related policy will cost a lot of money and improve education, but I don’t know whether the effects of that education increase will be worth the cost of the policy. If a policy causes a direct GDP loss, but also affects things like health/education/traffic congestion/etc. that have indirect effects on GDP, it won’t be obvious whether that policy will have a positive or negative net impact on my economy in the long term. Factor in how all those changing variables might trigger crises/events, other policy changes I might make in the near future, etc., and there’s still a lot of uncertainty there. That type of uncertainty seems more analogous to real-world policy debates than clicking a button with nothing but a name to tell you what it might do.

Maybe add an optional setting for this? It may seem like a small design decision, but from a player’s standpoint it’s a massive quality of life issue. I stopped playing the beta as soon as I realized this was happening, because I thought for sure it was an oversight that would be patched in short order. It makes me feel like the biggest obstacle to success is not in the complex simulation, but in guessing what you decided to make each policy do; that is a much less satisfying experience.

One final analogy - this is a bit like a strategy wargame that hides all the unit stats from players until after they’ve used those units in combat. Sure, in the real world, there can be arguments about which side will win a battle and uncertainty about how strong the weapons are, but hiding unit stats even though they’re predetermined would be a bad way to simulate that uncertainty. Min-maxers would just have to look that information up on their own, and everyone else would feel like they were just picking random units and hoping for the best with only vague context clues to guide them. Strategy games are fundamentally about giving players a series of interesting choices to make, and choices are only interesting to the extent that the player has enough information to know what each option does. I should be torn between building footsoldiers and building tanks because I don’t know which one will end up being best suited to the situation, or because each one has its own advantages and disadvantages with no clear best choice, not because I have no idea what the difference between them is.

Interesting. It’s not a trivial thing to add (information before implementing a policy), because obviously the effects vary massively depending on where the slider is, but allowing you to cancel a policy for free might be the easiest solution, although possibly not very intuitive…I shall give it some thought…

I for one, like this idea much more and adds more depth and challenge. It’s an government simulation game, so if in a real life government that’s how it works, that how it should work in a government simulation game.

I am also in favor of free policy cancel without spending influence
if that cannot be done please consider vague hints at who the sponsors and opponents of the policy are

Might I suggest that a policy could be canceled on the first turn for a negative cost (you’d lose capital, but less than for implementation, to represent getting partway but stopping before actual full implementation - ie. a U-turn), and that cancel costs would then rise from this level over a few turns, until reaching a maxiumum (to represent that having something in place for a few years makes it politically harder to get rid of. But I understand that that might be bloody impossible to program, so I coul suggest that, at the very least, who gets a green bar from a particular policy, and who gets a red one, is probably the least you should get - it might be hard to figure out the effects of a policy, but who’s for it/against it should be within the wit of even governments, but it’s not always clear from descriptions (private prisons, for example, give me the impression that Liberals will hate them, but give them a boost in reality).

not sure if this has been patched, but I wouldn’t mind simply listing who supports and who opposes it. You can sometimes guess but it would be nice to know if a new tax will actually affect what I want.

While blind is interesting,for those of us not as savvy at government, it is a random crap shoot. My Policy advsiors should at least know if capitalists will like it.

i would say being blind to policy effects is a feature rather than a bug - to me the fun in the game stems largely from excercising that judgement factor - “given what i know about the world will this policy fly?” - in that sense D3 is a simulator as much as a game. a fun simulator.

I would like to know if my minister reccomends a policy or not.

i love the new cabinet shuffle (!) so the first thing i do when elected is go pick a set of ministers with the proper sympathies for my strategy.

By general knowledge i have an idea of what effects a new policy might have, but does that correpond to my ministers sympaties and supporters? and i know in theory i should be able to click around and figure it out (probably would have to write down a cheat sheet) but it would be extra nice to have that in the UI somehow. I have recieved the warning that certain policies are unpopular with ministers, but it is hard to act on that.

nice improvements. :slight_smile: