The Proposed Balance changes thread

Ok, here are some initial thoughts having looked at someone’s savegame:

Effect of health on retired voter membership is way too strong
Effect of technology on retired voter membership is way too strong
Effect of high levels of air travel on CO2 is not high enough
Effect of most policies that reduce oil demand are too strong

Any thoughts on these? I’ll add more as I see more feedback. Feel free to suggest other changes.

I think the impact of technology and education in general is just to strong. Tweaking the time until technology and education has an effect on GDP and productivity (and as such again on GDP) would make both less powerful.

Reducing unemployment is too easy and too quickly to achieve. Building infrastructure or subsidizing farmers is too powerful here or/and not expensive enough.
In general, many policies come very cheap and/or taxes bring much too much money.

Just a suggestion: Introduce some mutually exclusive groups that add up to 100 percent. Eg. retired people + workers + youth = 100 percent. Then there should not be a 100-percent-group any more.

I quickly reached a stable equilibrium in the simulation, the rest was just tweaking and doing some optimization here and there. Couldn’t you implement more/stronger events that destabilize the simulation? For example an event that leads to massive expenditures and as such new debts, like the financial crisis? Give the player to decide between to bad effects, e.g. the option to either pay large sums to save banks (or other major industries) and boost expenses or let them go bankrupt and accept a meltdown of GDP growth and productivity.

In contrast, there is almost no way to get rid of the negative “internet crime” effect. Maximizing intelligence is just not enough.

Police force and prisons don’t seem to have any group against the polices - unless I’m missing an indirect link…

Seems like both of those should negatively effect the liberal approval rating?

Really? I would have thought that building more prisons, which would reduce overcrowding and allow for more rehabilitation of prisoners would be a popular move with liberals? I guess what is lacking in this area is any indication of how tough sentencing is, which would affect both overcrowding (and thus theoretically re-offending) and also popularity with conservatives/liberals…?

yeah, I’m not sure - it doesn’t really fit into any category but someone should be against it(prisons and/or police) - the prison description even says some people are for bare, stark cells…

Personally, I am against both… I want small police force and lower cost prisons.

I like the game so far. I especially like the way the abortion law slider is not linear. I would suggest making more sliders work this way (non linearly) to prevent min/maxing policies. It makes sense that as you increase funding, the effectiveness per dollar would go down after a certain point.

yup, agreed, I definitely need this sort of thing for some of those policies affecting parents/retired people to stop those groups getting so big :smiley:

or you don’t have to add someone against it but maybe the costs of to much prisons has to be more steep.
i think there are more things that should become more expensive a lot quicker. Like maximizing state health care would definitely cause pressure on your expenditure. It would raise the expenditure even more in future terms because of the inefficiency that the state health care creates.

I agree heavily with what zalon has said, though internet crime I believe can also be tackled using internet censorship. I would add, however, that I’ve found no way to deal with tax evasion other than lowering taxes. It seems like there should be some kind of law and order policy or effect that allows you to target tax evasion.

I think broadly the game is quite susceptible to min/maxing. Most policies I find I either cancel/never implement, or have maxed out. Taxes are about the only exception. Public Services is a good example, as I will usually max as many of the education funding as I can afford because the positive effects are so strong and just not implement the religious related ones because they’re more trouble than they’re worth. There’s no policies I want 60% of; they’re all just really good or really bad. It was very much true of D2 and it still feels true here that the economy is by far the most important factor, and the positive effects of the high technology and high productivity events are almost game-breaking. Once you have those, you can raise tonnes of money through taxes without having to have too high taxes, and that means you can just pay to fix all of your other problems. The game is interesting when you have limited resources and you have to choose between the things you’re implementing and what you want to address and how. Once you’ve got those events by min/maxing the education/productivity related policies, you don’t have to choose anymore.

Similarly, once you can afford it I can’t really see a reason not to max out your police and healthcare funding. The police have no negative effects, and lots of positives, and the negatives for healthcare are very small in comparison to the benefits, and can be easily counter-acted with other policies.

Throwing money at problems in real life doesn’t work because after a certain point the returns just get smaller and smaller. I don’t know if there’s a way these diminishing returns could be implemented into D3, but I think this could be an answer to min/maxing. You generally wouldn’t want to max out policies because the marginal returns on that final billion pounds are so small, so you’ve got to find the sweet spot. That sweet spot will then depend more on your specific circumstances, and how much an extra few percent in education is actually worth to your current situation.

Xietanu has good points…

Maybe implementing a slider that both provides diminishing returns as you add more funding and is also cost prohibitive to max out(because of the diminishing returns) would help. State schools for example - there should be no limit to the funding allowed but the first $1 put in should do more than the second or third.

All very good points. Democracy 3 actually has support for more complex equations to control individual policy effects, but to be honest, I don’t use that extra complexity and flexibility in many places yet. I agree on the min/max thing for some (not all) decisions, and this is something that I agree I do need to look at. There are definitely some linear equations in there that should be more subtle curves.

Ok here is an example of how I think I can address the min-max thing. The graph below shows the before and after effect of the state schools policy on education. The red line is the old effect, the green one the new one, so with this new equation, the first dollars spent are more effective than the later ones, and hopefully make for some more interesting trade-offs. If I verify this is working right in0game, I may change a number of equations to work with this kind of curve.


also can you lower immigration, it is unbelievably extreme and i have the max amount of immigrants coming to Britain for its GDP so i have to have max border controls because otherwise racial tension and unemployment become really high and because of the border controls the liberals get really annoyed and are trying to kill me. also can you cut down on the ridiculous amounts of recessions in the game, i have had a continuous amount of recessions piling on top of each other and the global economy effectively no longer exists. finally can you add a policy? i really would like to see a nuclear fission research/nuclear power policy and i also found that the “internet crime” issue cannot be dealt with unless you lower your tech which i dont want to do, can we have the ability to activate internet watchdogs or internet police please?

Decided to pre-order the game last night and play for an hour or two before going to bed. Now it’s 4.50 in the morning, whoops!
Really enjoying the game so far, and decided to to share my initial thoughts.

  1. The amount of retired people needs to be reduced drastically. I’m in my third term as Chancellor of Germany and the amount of retired people has been at 100% for quite some time now.

  2. I started with 85% difficulty rating and game feels far too easy. Don’t know how easy it is to make it harder but i’d recommend 30% increase in difficulty across the board so one wouldn’t have to play with maximum difficulty level to have some challenge.

  3. The national population should be dynamic, i noticed the the population of Germany didn’t change at all during my game time. It would be great if it was more dynamic and change depended on health care rating and immigration.

  4. There could be some things to send money on. For now there are some expensive ideas/laws i have not implemented but due to the chaotic nature of the economy i’m somewhat hesitant to do that. So i think maybe there could be some laws that cost initial money rather than/in addition to quarterly costs. Right now i have 2.5 trillion saved up and nothing to spend it on and i’m making 112billion profit each quarter. I’m very strict about keeping my budget balanced and not going into the negative so being able to spend the money i have piled up every now and then would be good. Some things that money could be spent on: Stockpiling oil- Spend x amount of money to increase the Oil Supply(), it would give boost to it next time you end the turn and then continue to decrease/increase as normal. Building infrastructure- Spend money to boost your Tourism() by building hotels/tourist attractions and other things like that. It could be fun to also be able to invest some of the money from your reserves and make even more money (or lose it when global economy goes bust) This could either be lump sum or policy idea with monthly cost, doesn’t really matter. But it should only be possible if you don’t have any debt.

  5. Similar to last point, i recommend option to Give Temporary Tax Breaks(*), instead of tweaking every individual tax you can issue a tax break that reduces all taxes (and thus your tax income) by, let’s say, 50% for a year (4 turns) and increases the opinion of Socialists, Liberals, Self Employed, Poor, Farmers, Capitalists, Middle Income, State Employees, Retired, Trade Unionists and Wealthy.

  6. More Foreign Policy ideas to enact. There’s not very many at the moment and to me personally that’s the most exciting policy group. I’m sure i’m not the only one to feel so. Few recommendations - Host International Conference()- boosts your foreign relations for a certain duration (Costs the lump sum of, let’s say, 300million). Intervene in a foreign conflict() - Greatly reduces your foreign relations and boosts the opinion of Patriots and maybe Conservatives and reduces the opinion of liberals. Also slightly increases production and/or gdp due to military industry. And also reduces the membership of Patriots (Due to them getting killed in the war).

  7. It should be harder to get rid of Religious People, in my current game i managed to almost wipe out that population group in 1-2 terms in office. Religious people in general are not very adept to changing their views so easily.

  8. Few more things should be explained in the Manual, mainly about the options when creating a new game- For example what exactly does checking/unchecking “Monarchy” option mean in the game? What exactly do the Innate Liberalism/Socialism sliders do? And what exactly does the difficulty slider change? And the Political Apathy one? And what do hurricanes and earthquakes do and how often do they occur? Also does checking anything other than “No limit” in the term limit option mean that game simply ends after the term limit?

  9. Possibility for election fraud. When you know that you might lose the upcoming election you could turn to some “special measures” for a bit of a vote boost. This policy idea would guarantee a certain % of extra votes in the upcoming elections, let’s say 5-10% or whatever is a good amount. But it would have drastic consequences and your popularity would be greatly reduced amongst all population groups. The effect would be smaller for Patriots maybe. It would also greatly reduce foreign relations. This means that you might win these elections but you have to work extra hard to make sure you don’t lose the next elections after this because the devastating effect from election fraud to your popularity might mean you wont win the next elections even with fraud.

  10. More dynamic opposition. Right now it feels that opposition is just some random number in statistics that has no real effect on anything. Don’t really know how to improve that in a way that doesn’t require drastic game-play changes. But perhaps it should be possible to assign not only name but also political view (Liberal, Socialist etc) to your own and opposition party which would make that political group much more likely to vote for the party that supposedly represents their political ideas. For example when you are The National Front and the opposition party is The Socialist Coalition then you have to work much harder to get Socialist votes than they do but are much more likely to get Patriot votes.

  11. It’s too easy to max out health and education and almost completely wipe out crime. Positive effects to those ratings should be reduced from all policies.

  12. Too many state employees. In my game at the moment i have 57% people working for the government.

  13. Popularity effects of the Abortion Law could be tweaked a bit. It feels to me that there’s no point of every having it on anything else but “Limited Circumstances” because then it provides a nice boost to your relations with Religious and Liberal groups and doesn’t hurt them with anyone. Changing it to something else seems much less beneficial and i’d only ever change it for the role-play purposes. If combined with the idea #3 abortion law would directly affect the population growth and therefore be much more important of a choice.

  14. The cabinet of Ministers seems bit confusing to me and i don’t quite understand how to handle them. They seem to constantly be unhappy/disloyal with me and keep leaving. Why does a very loyal minister all of a sudden become very disloyal? And also what determines the maximum political capital you can have saved up? Don’t think they need any changes, just bit more explanation in the tutorial/manual.

  15. The playable nations are all very big and successful nations with more or less similar starting situation and when playing them, they don’t feel very different from one another. Perhaps it would be fun to add, if not more then just one nation that has very different starting stats, such as Russia or China that are also huge but much more poor and less free and with smaller average life span. Or India which is the world’s biggest democracy with big and poor population and so-so economy. I’m sure there will be mods that add nations (If that is moddable), i might even make one myself because it seems like fun. But it would be good if there was one in base game aswell for people who want a bit different challenge and don’t know where to look for mods.

The policy ideas that have (*) after them are supposed to be repeatable ones that don’t appear on the main screen with all other policies but can only be enacted once per your term in office.

I’ll probably get additional ideas when i play some more but I think that is enough for now. Thank you for reading my wall of text and hopefully you get something useful out of it.

Hi thanks, lots of cool ideas there!, hopefully today’s patch (1.02) will make the game a bit harder for you and also fix some of those issues, but there is definitely more balancing and tweaking to come…!

Yes more countries to play - especially less prosperous and/or stable ones, would be fantastic.

Looking forward to that modding guide.

Great work so far Cliff; cheers!

Initial thoughts from 1.02:

The difficulty is now a lot better, and it has made the game much more interesting. I’m now getting involved in individual voter groups a lot more, and having to think about consequences much more carefully. I’m also finding it much harder to just fix everything; even in games where I’m successful, it constantly feels like everything can fall apart if I’m not careful.

The effect of the diminishing returns is quite noticeable too, and means now that I’m not just dumping all my money into one solution, and instead looking at a variety to find to best answer.

I’ve not noticed so much super weird demographics stuff too, though it still seems very easy to end up with an awful lot of state employees.

Possibly weird behaviour I’ve noticed on the terrorism side, however, is that now it seems like even groups that are mostly indifferent to you can be sources of terrorist plots? Playing as the US, I had a big problem with liberal terrorists even when their approval of me was 30-40% (not great, but not awful). Not sure if this is a change due to 1.02, but wasn’t something I noticed before the patch.

All around, my initial impression is very much that it’s much better balanced. I’ll play some more and see if anything else jumps out at me.

Bird flu needs a SERIOUS change!
just playing as Britain, my GDP was excellent when bird flu hits, first it tears apart my healthcare, i loose a third of my health, then because of the health loss my productivity goes down by over half meaning i loose my high productivity modifier, then i get a uncompetitive economy - the modifier that Britain starts with that i got rid of a term ago causing my GDP to crash and burn making me loose all my money and go into one trillion debt!!! RAGE!!!
can you please limit the effect of bird flu on health as in real life it doesn’t do what you have made it do cliff, thanks
sorry for yelling - it was VERY irritating…

I’d like to suggest a reduction in the effect of GDP on environment. It seems that a country with positive GDP has no chance of eliminating an asthma crisis, even with a national monorail system, pollution controls, well funded rail system and good health service. Maybe I’m missing a relevant policy or something.

The effect of GDP on enviroment is way too high. In a game where I had great GDP the only way to keep asthma crisis away was to complete cut down road maintainance to a minimum, put everything in public transportation up to maximum und have every enviromental law available implemented.

On an unrelated note: There should also be more policies to decrease organized crime over a long time like special police units, wiretapping should influence it a lot (The Wire, anybody?), something like crown witness programs with witness protection and maybe funding for prosecutors or something like that.

The game as it is now is too easy.

And it is not only because I played Democracy 2 before.

As France I canceled all Welfare Policies aside from “Childcare Provision” (and “Welfare Fraud Dept.”), and I still had the “Socialist”-Voters opinion at maximum! Pretty unreal.
On 3 games (Germany, UK, France) I did as much as I could against religious voters (mostly as side-effects of my pro-science, pro-liberal policies): once I even received the “Darwin”-Accomplishment for eradicating them. While there usually where some (up to 122 or so) “Crusaders of the Lord” armed extremists for some quarters, they never attempted to kill me (… I never saw the threat get “red”.)

In D2 I was probably killed by extremists half a dozen times until I had learned my lesson. And in one or two scenarios I could not win at all: never managed to get re-elected, no matter how hard I tried.
In D2 I more than once had the “Island invaded”-event right before elections, that would kill my reputation with patriots and the general public - it was almost if I was triggering it with my standard playstyle.
In D2 until the first reelection I usually managed to set the country on the right course, but that often reduced my voters opinions to the level, where my reelection was threatened (- or my life was threatened by extremists as already mentioned). So I had to learn how to calm the people with some policies between the things I really wanted to do, and delay some until after the election etc.

I haven’t had any of these challenges escalate in D3. I just go instantly for the “ideal” policies, and not much bad happens along the way. Even in the case where I get additional “red” situations (“Internet crime”, “Cyberwar”, “Tax Evasion” etc.) it does neither derail my election, nor does it bankrupt the state.

Make voters react more to introducing and canceling policies.
Make it harder to gain a budget surplus - in a global downturn it should be almost impossible to have a surplus.
Don’t have policies that are “all positive”… - every policy should have considerable “negative” side effects in terms of voter groups.

Edit: Ok - after having played all scenarios I can say that only the US scenario required a few tries: in all other scenarios I was able to stay in power and alive right from the beginning. (I’m firmly in the socialist / liberal quarter in all my playthroughs).

BUG Report / Crashes: sometimes I hear the sound for unlocking an achievement while D3 seems to freeze: two times I had to use the taskmanager to close D3. A third time after waiting for a minute while using shift-tab and/or task manager the program continued suddenly by showing the achievement (- this time the “flip-flop”, which obviously was triggered while I was once again reversing the pollution standards policy for the 3rd time from max to min and vice versa). In other playthroughs I had crashes / freezes after the election, when the “continue” button didn’t appear - but if I remember right these freezes where also accompanied by the accomplishment-sound in the background, so there possibly was an undisplayed achievement window, which I couldn’t click-away. Maybe you can have a look into how the program finds its way back after triggering an accomplishment, or make the accomplishment-window always show “on-top”, or let it trigger only at the same time when quarterly results are displayed or something like that.