The money doesn't matter


Just bought the game from Steam. It’s fun and well made. But after a while I noticed something that made the whole game feel pointless.

The money doesn’t matter. If you keep getting debt, sure, there’ll be a Debt Crisis event, and it affects the whole population negatively a bit. But that doesn’t really lead to anything, the country won’t default or start shutting down services, “loansharks” just keep shoveling money in. I tried it out, I was running successfully a country that has 0 income on its own. No taxes at all, no money from any policy. Debt was the only source of money. I had a good 70-90 % voter approval while the budget had no other income than ever-rising debt. The credit rating was the lowest it could be. But nothing happened. Kept going like this for 20ish turns until I realised nothing really was going to happen and I got bored. Needless to say, global recessions and such had no effect on my governing because it didn’t matter if my debt per turn was 20% higher or lower.

It kind of took the point out of playing. I could implement all the monorails and space programs I wanted, because it doesn’t matter at all what they cost. It was a fun game before I noticed this, hopefully this will be fixed in a patch one day :confused:


well, i found that through the debt crisis and lots of debt your gdp will suffer, and when the gdp suffer basically everything suffers. but i get where you are coming from , a lot of game aspects only matter if you want to mold the country into something you want it to be, so if you dont care that its in debt it looses that gameplay aspect.


I’m actually fairly sure my GDP in those every-turn-reports was a complete green bar. The society was perfect by those 6 measurements it gives: No unemployment, no poverty, no crime. Perfect education, health and GDP.

Granted, I did play properly first to get to those stats. But once I removed all the income from my nation, none of those measurements took a hit.


Just picked this up and started messing with it.

One of the things I noticed right off is that it uses current population numbers for the US, but not current fiscal information (or anything close to it).

Income of $1 trillion, debt of $3 trillion? I don’t think so. Income of $2.5 trillion, deficit of $650 billion to $1 trillion, and debt of $17 trillion is correct. Of course with those starting numbers it would probably be impossible to win even on the easiest difficulty.


I’ve not played like this yet but on a small scale getting a downgrade was always a pain in the neck for my productivity. Didn’t you eventually loose an election because of this? The core mechanic of the game isn’t really to make a good country but to get re-elected. There isn’t a win state but there are two: voted out of office and assassinated out of office.


Nope, didn’t lose.

I’m not objecting to the core mechanic of getting elected, that seems to be working pretty well in my opinion. I’m kinda complaining about the money: Just saying, in real life, if a country was running a crapload of debt constantly without the slightest hint of trying to improve, loaners would eventually stop borrowing. No one keeps borrowing and borrowing to someone who obviously isn’t even trying to ever pay it back. It’s too easy to create an utopia when you take the factor of money out of the picture.

Preferably I’d like to see the debt flow slowing down or stopping when the debt gets gathered too fast or too high. At which point I’d be needed to rebalance the budget, to make cuts, to modify my policies to fit the situation of less money to borrow. Those budget cuts could obviously result in increased poverty, unemployment and crime and such, but isn’t that what would realistically happen to a country if it defaulted?



I tried it like you said and got the same results. I would call it an exploit . . . i suspect your presidency doesn’t get terminated because you are playing (as i was) with assasinations off. (turns out this is not necessary)

i remember from d2 (previous version of this game), if you breached a certainl debt level you got hit with a default and you lost the game. I think this is not happening in your game because technically it is an assasination.

hmmm, with further testing with assasinations on, i got to the election (playing uk) by borrowing almost %100 of govt expenses. I cranked up a police state to prevent getting assasinated and it seems to have worked.

while i don’t mind “pretending” that i have to balance the budget to play the game, you are tottaly corrcect, there needs to be a sovereign default that automatically kicks in at some level (like borrowing 50% of your expenses or some debt to gdp ceiling)


Thanks for taking the time to test it. I’m sure the game devs have their hands full right now :slight_smile:


Man I wish I never read this thread. Basically the game is ruined for me now. The limits of capital power is an important mechanic on paceing the game, but the money is suppose to be the balance. My first successful (2nd attempt) game where I managed to make Canada a pretty nice place and wun to elections, I struggled to keep in surplus. This limited what and how much I could do. I also constantly worked at removing all the red negative events.

After reading this I started a new game, where I spent the first few quarters cancelling or reducing to minimum all taxes. Then I started implementing socialist stuff at max cost, building up to an impressive 800 Bn deficit. Ironically enough, the Captialists wanted to assassinate me for this. Mainly due to the Debt Crisis event I guess, but it did NOT offset the advantage of having no income and all possible costly social programs.

After having made heaven on earth, I started to add taxes to see if I could manage to get back in black (surplus) before my 2nd term was up. But that proved to be impossible, I had dug to deep a hole for myself.

TLDR; Game is broken, income serves only to keep the “Debt Crisis” event away, and it is not scary enough.


I must agree. I played on 200% and sometimes (especially germany) it is hard to avoid the debt crisis. And if you drop into there is no way back. Which is partially ok, since debt crisis is not a light thing (not do it home). But then it dosnt matter, since you can keep debt crisis and still win election after election. What i wish for:

Foreign help progra. Which will help us with one time big value help, which we can pay in next term. Just to dig out of the hole.
No more cash. At some point, with debt big enought there should be just no more money, since our obligacion as worth as much as WC paper. And our spendings are obligatory cut! Some policies could be excluded for that (like arms for policy is less fluid).

So with perma debt crisis more and more obligatory cuts -> less support, this debt social utopia no longer possible. At some point we will either be not reelected or assasinated. Which is kinda sad, but would be acceptable game over. And very educational.


I like this game because it makes me wonder why its problems doesn’t happen in real life.

In this case I guess once 100% of your GDP is used to pay your debt interest, your country turns into a ponzi scheme, meaning you can only repay loans by getting more loans. Obviously people will stop lending you money way before this happens.

I looked at the numbers for Greece and in 2011 the debt was 170% of GDP with interests at 40%, meaning 68% of GDP was used to pay interest. So the average citizens would have to pay 68% of his income in tax without receiving any service in exchange. That has got to hurt your popularity somehow !

I think the foreign help package is a great idea. You have to cut spending by a large amount in exchange for a large amount of money at low interest rate. Otherwise you can’t borrow anymore, leading to even bigger cuts.