I read and commented on many threads linked with the "magistrate question", since DW, and I just find we have very opposing views on this matter. My view is that money is supposed to represent the magistrate, and that if you can fully upgrade a country like Russia before the end of the game, then the problem is that you have too much money. Therefore, we shouldn't rely on magistrates to slow a country development. This feature is basically one of the things that makes me enjoy more IN than DW, because you were more free with this expansion.
Now, I understand the game is, especially since DW, focused to use the magistrates, but poor them, I don't like them. I know I could just make the basic modifier to 999 per year, but that would disbalance the game, wouldn't it? So I'm just asking if, retaking the torch of the anti-magistrate crusade (sorry, wrong game, I'm not in CK2), if we could make an option to disable them and replace their effect by something else.
... Or if you could convince me of the absolute necessity of magistrates in this game, I would be happy to read your comments, but I sincerely see nothing.
To avoid little country being eaten alive? Adjust diplomacy.
To restrain large country? Give them less money to spend or increase the military budget.
To simulate the fact that a country is built near a central zone? Just give some modifiers to provinces near wealthier.