(Originally posted this in the generic “Democracy 4” sub-forum. Reposting to move it to Alpha Feedback, as well as go into more detail. For a tl;dr, read only the bold text)
Heya Democracy community. I just created this account, but I’m a longtime player of Democracy 3 and D3: Africa, and I’ve been following the game on Twitter (same username and avatar).
This suggestion is based on my experience playing the D3 games, and it appears to be playing out the same in D4 based on the pre-alpha Let’s Plays I’ve seen.
Something I noticed is that it is super easy to keep Socialists happy. Now, I speak from my own personal experience as someone who runs in socialist circles when I say that the ease with which the player can appease in-game socialists does not reflect reality on the ground. At least in the US and UK, the comrades are livid with the status quo. Meanwhile, in-game, Socialist mood is in the green.
Here is my proposal: Rebalance Socialist happiness to make it easier to piss them off, and bring it more closely in line with real life socialist priorities.
One easy way of doing this is to recalibrate the effect various public services have on Socialist happiness. Take, for example, the State Health Service policy, which I am guessing is based off the British NHS. A fully funded State Health Service would make Socialists happy (doubly so, as it also eradicates Private Healthcare). But, with the slider at and below a certain point (let’s say below All Major Operations), the bar goes from increasing the mood to decreasing it. And Socialists should be outraged if the slider goes low enough to generate income. Bottom line: If a public service (NHS, state pensions, schools, etc) is either underfunded or run for-profit, Socialists should be unhappy about it.
Another suggestion is to make Trade Union membership affect Socialist happiness. Unionizing workplaces is a huge priority for us, so it’d make sense that a nation with a low rate of unionization would make Socialist voters unhappy. Alternatively, buffing the impact of the Labor Laws policy on Socialist happiness could work.
A few other policies that could anger Socialists (if they don’t already at this point in the Alpha):
-National Business Council: Socialists would see this as the bourgeoisie using the power of the state for their own benefit.
-Enterprise Investment Scheme: Ditto.
-Minimum Wage when set too low: Socialists want a minimum wage that meets basic cost of living for all citizens. Just having a token minimum shouldn’t be enough to please Socialist voters.
-Any state-owned industry when set to generate income: An extension to my first suggestion for effect tweaks. The reason that some real-life socialists support nationalizing certain industries is because they believe that they are public goods that ought to be provided to everyone at little or no cost, and therefore are not supposed to be profitable. When the state runs it with the intent to generate profit like a privately-owned company would, many socialists will consider that “state capitalism,” and oppose it accordingly.
-Government policies that promote private space exploration, as well as the industry’s size: To quote Tim Curry in his Command and Conquer appearance, space is “the one place that hasn’t been corrupted by capitalism.” I know Cliffski loves SpaceX and Elon Musk, but you’ll not find many socialist fans of either.
Finally, the Socialist voters should be more militant than Liberal voters (that is, more likely to try to assassinate the player). In Democracy 3, I only ever got threatened by Liberals and Capitalists (and Women in D3: Africa). I want to see Red Guard Militias posing an actual threat (provided Socialist membership is high enough in the played country).