Victoria 3

I ended up preordering the grand editions at GMG also. It is actually 18% off.

The good news is after 12 year and probably 10-11 years since I last played Vicky 2. I’ve forgotten most of the mechanics. If memory serves me the main issue I had with Vicky 2 was less the systems than the bugs. It was definitely the case that capitalist AI was broken.

I am probably going to try it on Gamepass before I make a decision. Although, buying a Paradox grand strategy game and not playing it is part of my brand.

It won’t be on Gamepass on day 1.

Well, crap.

On the one hand, yes, on the other, you’re more clearly not the government (an abstraction that also failed in other ways), but a more nebulous spirit of the nation (or a force of history, except real).
In that sense, it’s up to you on why they invest and how enlightened or successful they are at maintaining their agenda, which is also moved along by messing with interest groups and parties.
It may still feel as too much of an abstraction, of course.

I think there is potential in the general approach to represent terrain, fortification, good and bad generalship, morale and other advantages. It’s just that, if you haven’t laid the groundwork, you might be the one stuck with inept generalship in any given war. Also, if the battles are “chunky” enough and if impact of rolling something like “blunder” is high enough, then the variance of wars can be as high as needed. It’s just that the variance from the starting balance of armies isn’t always in the player’s favour.

Beyond that, I hope that eventually the AI’s get decent at forecasting the outcome of a war with a given alignment of powers. Then they could use that estimate of the world state after the war to decide whether to jump in or not during the diplomatic play. I imagine there could be quite a bit of tension around who decides to back who. Since the player can’t rely on his army being 5x better than an AI algorithm could expect, they have to be even more careful about the diplomatic manuevers.

Overall though I am happy with the general approach, I think the UI around war could be improved a fair bit. I’d also like to see more player options to manage a front line, especially a very long one. It’s also not clear to me that the mechanics are modelling supply constraints in any reasonable way. Probably fodder for an expansion at this point.

I’m also a bit disappointed that changing production methods is free and instant. Building a low-tech industry should be cheap, but upgrading to modern methods should be costly enough to give someone pause. Especially if you just finished paying to upgrade to the previously “modern” technique.

Is it completely free? I know they had talked about there being a cost in the past.

Ya, i got the impression that upgrading required construction resources and additional resources (e.g. iron) from the stream.

Maybe I went too quickly through the stream? It seemed like they were changing production methods back and forth at whim, but I did jump around a lot. I saw a post on their forum where someone said it was free and instant, so I took that as confirmation.

I know that building takes quite a lot.

I could easily be wrong also. It is seems a bit strange they’d make anything free in a game which is so focused on resource management

I found this take to be pretty encouraging.

I’m going to level with you: I’m not a GSG player. I play strategy, sure, but grand strategy has always been a bit beyond me. I’m a fundamentally un-grand person; I spend most days dressed like a 14-year-old fan of Tony Hawk, I do not like olives or scallops, and I’m unable to predict the consequences of actions if they exist outside of, say, a 12 month timeframe. A game like Victoria 3, where the whole point is making decisions that have country-wide effects and outcomes years in the future, is essentially operating in a different language to any I understand.

I’m trying to learn new languages, though, so it’s not an unwelcome challenge. The problem is that previewing Victoria 3 is quite an advanced level to dive in, the Paradox GSG equivalent of being a live translator for a UN summit when you’re only just about able to read the French version of The Famous Five. In a presentation before I and others were let loose on the better part of a week with the game, it was claimed that Victoria 3 is the best yet for onboarding newcomers, with a deep and detailed tutorial system. And to that I say: kinda. Luckily, the AI in Victoria 3 is so advanced it’s better at playing the game than I am…

Gamepass update.

UPDATE 31/8/22: Despite earlier word to the contrary and a listing on the Windows Store, Paradox has clarified Victoria 3 will be exclusive to Steam when it comes to PC on 25th October - meaning it won’t be on Game Pass for the foreseeable future, at launch or otherwise.

Announcing the news on the Paradox forum, a community ambassador for the company explained, “After discussion with our partners it was decided that Victoria 3 won’t be a part of Game Pass or Microsoft Store.” Paradox offered no further explanation, only saying it “[looks] forward to sharing more details on our next partnership with Xbox in the future.”

Huh, I wonder what happened. Seems like Paradox is a good fit for GamePass since they make so much of their money on DLC.

I ended up trying Stellaris Console Edition on GamePass, discovered I liked playing from the couch and promptly bought a lot of Console Stellaris DLC I already owned on PC Stellaris. I can imagine there are a lot of other players that try out Paradox on PC GamePass, end up buying DLC and also getting excited about other Paradox games.

Who knows what marketing thinks. A lot of Paradox decisions seem dumb - like the recent raise of CK3 prices for DLCs that were already out for a while. Hard to imagine Victoria 3 being so popular it can suffer from being on gamepass. Maybe Microsoft didn’t pay enough.

Yep. I imagine they are a lot less confident of big DLC earnings on Victoria compared to their other games as well - both from the historical record of Vicky games and from a technical perspective - the simulation is so complex and interconnected there’s a lot less scope for adding extra mechanical flange without breaking things.

That’s a really good point, Aceris.

Today’s Dev Diary takes us through some of the iterations on core parts of the game while also serving as a high-level intro to those core parts of the game. Could be a good overview for someone who has avoided reading the more detailed dev diaries:

That’s probably the best Dev Dairy I’ve read of the bunch. It is a very nice overview, and it sounds like they’ve made numerous iterations.

The grand edition of the game comes with the first expansion. So PDX is certainly planning on making, expansion and I think they’ll do well if it is a good game.

For countries, like the US and Russia that have a ton of internal resources and plenty of arable land, I wonder if it will make sense to do trade.

Is there a cost to ship goods, other than cost associated with the trade buildings?. Also, did I see something that trade between countries had to go through ports, if so what happens to land locked countries?

I don’t recall how land routes work, but I do know for sea routes there is some kind of transport capacity that can limit how much you can trade. There may also be some kind of direct shipping cost but I can’t say for sure if that’s true.

US and Russia might be largely self sufficient on raw resources, although I think they are both lacking in dyes, exotic wood, and rubber sources, but it would at least be worthwhile for them to export goods. Russia will probably need to import a fair number of manufactured goods for awhile too.

This Reddit thread suggests so:

And on playing Switzerland:

Lots of informative stuff there.