Solution to ease of game (and increase opposition) over terms?

Many people have written here about how, as the game goes on, it gets easier and easier to win election.

The real-life phenomena that I think is missing is this: Opposition consolidates. Whatever you are for, the rest of the opposition melds around.

Here are some real life examples. Consider how McCain and Romney supported a health care plan much like what Obama implemented. But the GOP, opposing Obama, rejected it. In game terms, this would mean that factions like Seniors, Patriots and Religious became sympathetic to Capitalists, too. In reverse, the more dovish Democratic Party was angered by Trump’s reaching out to North Korea, even if it would have clearly defended Obama in that case. Here, again in game terms, Liberals (who in the game oppose courting oppressive leaders) are backed by socialists and youth in rejecting these actions.

I am not sure if the game mechanics can support the fix I’d suggest, which is the following:

  1. The more one faction is disapproving, the higher membership it gains.
  2. The more disapproving factions there are, the more they compound each other’s growth
  3. Cynicism (and/or disapproval) amongst all voters (either factions or simply “everyone”) grows in proportion to the first two factors.

The third one is perhaps the most feasible. It reflects the idea that even if a minority (say, religious" action is very upset and represent the opposition, they get more airplay and sympathy. It would reflect how the overall public mood is influenced by whoever is in opposition.

cliffski, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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we sort of have this in the game already but it might be too subtle. Its not implemented the way you suggest, but more through the extent to which people have to be happy to vote for you.
As an example:

In a 2 party game, at the game start, everyone with happiness > 50% votes for you. Everyone else votes for the opposition (if they vote),as a basic rule.

Over time, if you are winning, the game adjusts that 50% point. So it might end up at 55% or even 60%. This is done to reflect the fact that the opposition party stance is assumed to have moved closer to your party, so a 50% happiness is no longer enough, as the opposing party is no longer the diametrically opposed position to yours.

This is in the game but we do not show what those levels are. If you are really obsessive you might note the point at which voters change color to support a party n the parties screen moves over time, but its invisible.

I think its probably too subtle right now. And we need to tell the player. Maybe a report that says “The opposition is noticeably moving its policy stance to be closer to your own” or whatever…

Another thing which could be looked at is that real humans focus more on the things they are annoyed about than what they are happy about. Game voters hold all their opinions in equal balance.

An example of how this plays out is that I played Spain yesterday, was hated by religious voters who represented 73% of all voters on voting day, and got re-elected. I had enough popularity from other categories to get people to vote for me despite how offensive I was to their religion. This is not realistic, real voters would have forgotten that I was doing a good job of looking after the poor, the self employed, the environment etc. and fixated on how much I was stepping on their religious beliefs.

I’m not sure exactly how to model this in game, but voters need to be more naturally discontent, more inclined to focus on what they’re unhappy about than happy about.

Final note, I know I picked on the religious in this example, the same would be true of any other voter group. If I had gone the opposite route of implementing state religion and treating LGBT communities badly then any liberal voters should be off limits to me.

So halve happiness increasing links and double happiness decreasing links, or something like that.
So if it was +20% to happiness now its +10% happiness
In same way what was -20% to happiness now is -40% happiness.

Also complacency is completely irrelevant in game - way too slow and too weak.

Divisive policies (makes one group happy in expense of other group) would be much more divisive.

Well as raxo mentions, complacency is a thing already in the game, but it may well be too slow, and too weak. I am well aware the game has a ‘too easy late game’ problem, an its definitely true that complacency isn’t something I tend to worry about in my own playthroughs so yup, it definitely needs ramping up.

The actual changing of stuff like this is easy, its the multiple playthroughs to check it works ok and doesn’t break anything else that takes time…!

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That’s what we’re here to help with :slight_smile:

Funnily-enough, one way to potentially “fix” this problem is less to focus on making the late-game harder than on making the early-game easier, then ramping up difficulty across the board.

One thing I wish was a thing was a longer honeymoon period. The player is, presumably, elected with a plurality of the votes. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in power in the first place. So the starting opinion of everyone should likely be a lot higher, but degrade quickly as the honeymoon period in the eyes of the public opinion fades.

I know the honeymoon period’s there for political power, but it’s not for the public. So when booting up most nations at 200% difficulty, the player confronts the “You have been elected to lead your nation!” screen followed by seeing 0% approval of everyone.

Another way to do this would be for the public to consider less their raw happiness vs the 50% marker, and more how happy they are compared to when you started the term. Example: if I’m the president of the US and things aren’t perfect in the country (but are significantly-better), I might get voted in for a second term even if the doctors are still striking, because I ended the race riots, illegal immigration, social disorder, and cybercrime.

IE the public doesn’t just go “50% or bust”, they go “make our lives better or gtfo” if that makes sense? Low expectations if the country’s in the shitter, that raise over time.


Yup, I understand what you mean, but am very wary of changing such a fundamental mechanic in the game, because so many other things are currently intertwined with this.
Although I think this can be achieved by changes to complacency. I changed this slightly today to allow complacency to rise faster, and to have a bigger impact each term.

So with the current (next patch) figures:

If a voter groups happiness is >= 60%, it rises by 1.5% per turn until it reaches a cap, which is 10% per turn, and a total lifetime cap of 75%

So basically if you keep a voter group super happy in the first term, they will get a -10% complacency adjuster to happiness in the second term.

(In fact… just replying to you has made me realize this is bugged, because that 60% value INCLUDES complacency from previous terms… So a theoretical term 4 with maximum complacency has a -40% effect, meaning it can never be >60% and is therefore capped at 40%… not 75%. I will fix this…)

Anyway… this is all a boost from the current version which has a mere 1.1% rise per turn capped at 6% per term.


Can complacency work in other way too?

  1. It would increase approval rate so you don’t start with <40% of popularity after election (should be enough so you would actually win that election).
  2. There would be initial happiness boost, that quickly decays to nothing after game start (5 - 10 turns).
  3. There would be weak happiness boost for persistently very unhappy voter groups - weaker than complacency reduction of high happiness.

I posted some more about this here:

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Honeymoon should be - for lack of a better term - more violent. Shoot up at the beginning and give you a chance to do one big thing, then plummet. If you win again, you get another strong (but smaller) short-term boost. And so on through the terms.

Being fiscally conservative - that is trying to reduce expenses over time is much harder that being fiscally liberal.

When you are increasing spending you can convert most of people to wealthy socialists - they don’t care about taxes and debt crisis unlike Middle Class Capitalists.
Also there is no bureaucracy situation - at max level it should be like -50% to Everyone opinion and be extreme damper of department effectiveness.

That is bureaucracy would effectively lower all ministers effectiveness and experience.

But is this unfair? In the real world conservative policies are more popular in theory than at the voter roles. The major exception is taxation, and that popularity is fairly featured.

I mean its too easy to go full Venezuela currently.
Like absolute disregard for debt and inflation when you have socialist policies.

Have you seen the US’s debt?

Yes its bigly yuge :wink:

USA being USA can afford it tho.
I think it would eventually become unsustainable above 200% - 300% debt/ratio ratio.

That’s not my point. The point is that while a few people don’t like the debt, aside from some specific rhetorical moments, it’s not unpopular… or to put it more correctly, it is more popular than gutting defense, healthcare, entitlements, etc would be.