"They say: 'You're not funny.' But these times really aren't funny. There is really nothing to laugh about." -- Pierre Bourdieu
A senate system for Republics (like Rome) would be awesome. There can be different factions: Bureaucratic/Military/Mercantile each with faction leaders generated like Monarchs are (so you can see their exact stats at any given point) and then the national leader to be elected from among them depending on which faction has the power in the Assembly/Diet/Senate or whatever.
Advantages: Since leaders now have bigger effects, you could manipulate the senate and select the exact leader you want from among the faction heads.
Disadvantage: Senate's approval would be required for things like declaring a war, signing agreements etc...
Ehh, less power for republics?
I feel whats needed is the other way around. I was a proponent of a new EU3 expansion giving Republics what HTTT gave monarchies; unique mechanics letting them be potentially stronger, because as it stands right now, only time I want to switch to a Republic is to avoid decades of regencies if say a young heir dies, and I go back to Monarchy ASAP.
Its a HUUUGE drawback. Legitimacy is easy to keep up, and gives big bonuses. ALOT of early expansion is driven by royal marriages. Finally, monrachies enable PUs, the best form of rapid expansion in the game. Republics dont even come close. They need much more to be competitive.Legitimacy and royal marriages carry their own drawbacks (low legitimacy and succession wars, respectively). Not having access to a monarchy-specific game feature and a minor diplomatic option isn't exactly a drawback.
Republics are rather late-game developments anyway, when PUs matter far less. The reason why countries didn't switch to republics was that the ruling power didn't want to lose power, and this could be simulated by giving the player himself less power, so he'd have an incentive to actually fight against turning into a republic.
Too cool for a signature.
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As far as succession wars go I have not seen a single one despite having clocked roughly 2000 hours in EU3. On the flip side I've inherited quite a bit of territory over the course of that time.
In any case, it helps to distinguish the two forms of government:
Monarchies can be extremely powerful but are very random in nature
Republics are much less dependent on luck but miss out on the powerful options monarchy brings
I feel this is a pretty good dichotomy in terms of gameplay. Both have their benefits and both have their drawbacks.
It's still not enough reason to say republics are OP. They both have definite advantages, but it depends on play style and the type of game you want to play.