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Victoria 3 - Dev Diary #18 - Rank & Prestige

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Happy Thursday and welcome to a brand new dev diary for Victoria 3! Today we’re finally switching away from talking about economy and politics and starting on a string of Diplomacy-oriented dev diaries, of which the first is this one, where we’ll be covering Rank and Prestige, two interconnected mechanics that play a very central role in how diplomatic matters play out in the game.

Rank is a mechanic that also existed in both previous Victoria games, and is a measure of how glorious and influential a country is in the eyes of the rest of the world. What Rank a country has - be it a mighty Great Power or a largely irrelevant Unrecognized Power - is determined by two factors: Prestige (which we’ll be explaining below) and Recognition.

When talking about Recognition, it’s important to note that we are not talking about Recognition in the more commonly used term when applying to nations, that is, whether other countries recognize the nation’s independence and existence in the first place. Rather, it is a measure of whether the reigning (probably mostly European) Great Powers, as a whole, see the country as a potential equal, i.e. whether the country could potentially be included as a decision-maker in said system if they grew strong enough.

We’re not going to go too deep into this specific topic today (as we’ll return to it in a later dev diary), but the gist of it is that countries start the game either Unrecognized or Recognized, and Unrecognized countries have to gain or force recognition in order to properly climb the Rank ladder. The Unrecognized/Recognized system replaces the Civilized/Uncivilized system of Victoria 1 and 2, and a difference from those games is that being an Unrecognized country is purely a Diplomatic status with Diplomatic penalties - a country does not become inherently worse at constructing factories or fighting wars by virtue of being scorned by Metternich and his friends, though many countries with Unrecognized status do also start out on the lower end of the technological scale.

Though it has among the highest Prestige ratings in the world, Great Qing’s status as an Unrecognized Country severely limits its potential rank among the nations of the world
Qing.png

All in all, there are six different ranks that a country can occupy in Victoria 3, as well as a special seventh rank that only applies to Decentralized (non-playable) nations and so isn’t of any real interest to talk about today (please note that the names of some of these may be subject to change):
  • Great Power: These are the most powerful and glorious of nations and often have a global reach, getting involved in far-off conflicts. The most obvious example of a Great Power at the start of the game is Great Britain.
  • Major Power: These are regional powerhouses that often decide the course of conflicts in their home regions and may have a limited global presence. An example of a Major Power at the start of the game is the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  • Minor Power: These are regional powers that may be important for determining how a local conflict in their home region turns out but are generally irrelevant on the world stage. An example of a Minor Power at the start of the game is Mexico.
  • Insignificant Power: These are nations that generally do not even have the ability to influence the outcome of local conflicts and can be safely ignored by anyone other than other Insignificant Powers in their immediate vicinity. An example of an Insignificant Power at the start of the game is the Free City of Krakow.
  • Unrecognized Power: These are Unrecognized Powers that are powerful and prestigious enough to throw their weight on a regional stage, try to resist the demands of the Recognized powers and to be a potential candidate for recognition. An example of an Unrecognized Power at the start of the game is the Qing Empire.
  • Unrecognized Minor Power: These are Unrecognized Powers that generally lack the power to go up against anyone other than the weakest of Recognized powers, and will often find themselves at the mercy of Great and Major Powers and having to play them against each other to survive. An example of an Unrecognized Minor Power at the start of the game is the Kingdom of Nepal.

So then, what benefits do Rank confer? Generally, the higher a country’s Rank, the more Influence capacity it generates (allowing for a greater freedom in conducting diplomacy and signing diplomatic pacts), the more Declared Interests it can support (more on that next week) and the more Maneuvers it has in Diplomatic Plays (more on that in a few weeks). Rank also plays a key role in many other systems such as Subjects, Infamy, Diplomatic Actions and more, some of which we’ll get into in the coming weeks (I know I keep saying that, but bear with me, we’ve only just started on Diplomacy!).

France starts the game as the second Great Power, just behind Britain in Prestige
France - Great Power.png

Prestige, as was mentioned above, plays a central role in all of this. Simply put, Prestige is what determines who gets to occupy what rank in the global pecking order. Unlike in Victoria 1 and Victoria 2, where Prestige was just one of three factors determining what Rank a country had, in Victoria 3 Prestige is the accumulation of all factors that makes a country more or less glorious. In order to become a certain rank, a country must meet the Prestige threshold for that rank, which is based on both how it compares to the global average and percentile-wise compared to the most prestigious country.

To explain what I mean by that, here is a look at the current requirements to be a Great Power:
  • Must be a Recognized country
  • Must not be a Subject of any other nation
  • Must have at least 3 times the average global prestige OR at least 75% of the prestige of the most prestigious nation

This means two things: The number of Great Powers, Major Powers and so on is not fixed to a specific number (as it was in Victoria 1 and 2, where you would always have 8 of each), and that the requirements to maintain and increase your Rank will change over the course of the game. A country might start as a Great Power due to their starting prestige, but then begin quickly falling behind due to economic and military stagnation, eventually being reduced to a Major Power even though their actual Prestige number never went down.

Persia is able to occupy a rank position above what its economy and army can support through considerable investment into the arts
Persia - Prestige.png

So, what is it that can give a country Prestige? The answer is… a whole lot of things! Here’s a look at some of these things, though it’s by no means an exhaustive list:
  • The Tier of a Country (whether it’s considered a City-State, Principality, Kingdom or so on) gives it a little bit of base-level Prestige. This is inherent to a specific nation and can only be increased by forming a new, more glorious nation.
  • Having a large Army gives Prestige, with more Prestige being given based on its ability to both fight effectively and look imposing.
  • Having a large, powerful and impressive-looking Navy gives Prestige to an even greater degree than the Army.
  • The total GDP (and thus indirectly level of industrialization) of a country gives it Prestige.
  • Subjects contribute Prestige to their Suzerain based on their military and economic might.
  • Being a global leader (first, second or third) in the production of a Good gives a country Prestige, with some Goods being more prestigious than others.
  • Building and supporting Art Academies (being a sponsor of the art) gives Prestige.
  • Successful undertaking of certain globally recognized projects, such as undertaking major expeditions to certain regions of the world or the construction of a canal can give a country a permanent increase in its Prestige.

That’s it for today, but we’re of course only getting started on talking about this part of the game, so next week I will return with another dev diary covering several different Diplomacy-related mechanics, namely Relations, Infamy and Interests.
 
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This comment is reserved by the Community Team for gathering Dev Responses in, for ease of reading.

Alfred Dreyfus said:
The starting GPs should be the same as Vic2. I think it was fantastic to see the 2 great powers of EU4 start as sick GPs at the start and watch them decline and go down in the tier list in substitution of the new 19th century great powers. Spain should be in the same tier as USA and Ottomans in 1836. And Prussia should go above them.
Great_Powers_1836.jpg



And please don't put the EIC as the 8th strongest "nation" in the game. It's insane. The EIC was by no means the 7th most powerful "nation" in the world in 1836. And I think it is a very bad decision gameplay wise too (EIC shouldn't have enough power to intervine in Europe in 1836, for example).
Click to expand...
The list isn't based on us manually ranking countries, it's based on how the game currently calculates prestige, which is a calculation that is likely going to change before release. I don't think the way V2 calculates it is necessarily correct either - Prussia was definitely not stronger than Austria in 1836 for example as far as my understanding of history goes.

Cypres said:
I dont think i like the idea of a government tier list like in eu4.
Even if it was waning, the idea that some crowns/nations are more prestigious than others was absolutely a thing in the 19th century, and it serves as a useful measure of what is a 'rank up' when forming a new nation.

vilkas622 said:
You mentioned ways to gain prestige, but are there still ways to lose it?
Prestige is calculated - if your economy or army shrinks, your prestige will go down. You can also get permanent and/or temporary increases/decreases.

Stein14 said:
As a German, I would contradict them. It is not for nothing that Prussia defeated Austria in EVERY war in which they clashed.
They did not fight any wars in 1836. Prussia grew stronger than Austria in the coming decades but their position in 1836 was not a terribly strong one. 1866 it's a whole other picture, but the game doesn't start in 1866.

The Goldfinch said:
This looks wonderful! One questions:
I hope gaining enough prestige does not automatically release a subject country like in Vic2?

As a side note, I think those art academies have slightly too high Impact on prestige. Perhaps it could be modified to some sort of broader cultural influence resource? Like, what language is being spoken on parties, whose theatre plays are being discussed, etc.

Anyway I LOVE the idea that prestige is now combination of military and GDP. Wonderful decision
All numbers are very much non final when it comes to things like how much prestige art academies give.

Lucododosor said:
So can a nation "jump" from unrecognized power straight to great power?
If they gain recognition while having enough Prestige to qualify, sure.

mariuspdv said:
Won't the "average prestige" system cause problems as small nations are annexed in the first years, pushing the average way up and throwing many countries out of GP status?
There's built-in things in the system to prevent this, basically there's an normalizing effect based on how many countries are on the map so that numbers don't get radically shifted due to too few or too many nations.

Luckierexpert said:
My major question is what is the process of getting recognised? As the Qing, could I defeat the UK in the opium wars to gain recognition (as Japan sort of did by defeating Russia in the 1900s) or is there a system underneath for determining whether you're recognised or not?
This is something we'll go into in a later dev diary, but we've definitely looked at the Russo-Japanese war as inspiration for (parts of) the mechanic.

johns781 said:
It would be simpler to just have it be based off of percentage of total prestige
That seems like it could make the problem of too few/too many nations worse, as it might be much easier to have 10% of all prestige if there's 20 nations than if there are 200. Though prestige would scale up to the greater size of countries, so it could work, but what we have now works quite well as it is.

Vohen said:
Can a nation go from recognized to unrecognized?
If not through a game mechanic, can it be done with scripting?
It's possible, yes.

EntropyAvatar said:
If one nation really runs away with it, does it still make sense for others to be viewed as Great Powers? Let's say a nation has more than 3x global average, but less than say 25% of the leader, should it still be considered a GP?
The intent is to try and avoid a runaway scenario where there is just one Great Power left due to the impact that would have on various diplomatic mechanics. I think if we want to simulate a power rising above the other Great Powers we should think about adding a rank above Great Power instead.

CaptainChiffre said:
Having dynamic requirements for Great Powers and such sounds very nice.

Now, if hypothetically every country would be recognized, free and all had the exact same prestige, two things:
1. What would be the tie breaker, to determine the actual order of ranks?
2. Would all countries be Great Powers since all of them would be within the 75% of whoever makes rank #1?
1) GDP is tie breaker for two countries of the exact same prestige.
2) If everyone had the exact same prestige everyone would be a Great Power but due to the various normalization mechanics built into the game, this basically cannot happen short of some extreme modding.

Just to re-emphasise, those rankings are not final and probably not really correct. For instance, the US probably shouldn't be #5 and the EIC probably shouldn't be #8. Whether Spain should start as a Great Power or a Major Power is something where I haven't really made up my mind honestly.

Master of Commerce said:
thinking the same, almost doubting if it are trolling values to lure people like us in the commenting section
A bit more realism plz prdx and the game will be an outright hit
They are WIP values, as indicated by the WIP images placed on the screenshots. Final balancing of all values isn't done until close to release. In fact, one thing will often do during development is to set overpowered values to things on purpose, so we can see how it feels to play with and gradually adjust down. The reason we do this is that setting values on a feature too low from the start can lead to testers ignoring the feature and it being more or less forgotten about.

MasterPaw said:
what would be the tie breaker if they have same prestige and gdp? :)
Exact same GDP is virtually impossible since it's a big value that scales down to 5 decimals but if it happened against all odds then country tag index would be the tie breaker.

Mr. Wiggles said:
How many country ranks there will be?
There are 7 currently, but they're completely moddable so there isn't really a limit to how many there can be.

Alfred Dreyfus said:
Glad to hear, I was specially worried about EIC being #8

About Spain, I think it clearly fits more in the tier of USA and Ottomans than the tier of Two Sicilies.

I mean, even Two Sicilies being a 'Major Power' seems a bit off. Maybe the solution would be to add another tier (for example 'Medium Powers') for better granularity?

1) Great Powers: United Kingdom, France, Russia, Austria
2) Major Powers: Prussia, USA, Ottoman Empire, Spain
3) Medium Powers: Netherlands, Belgium, Sardinia-Piedmont, Two Sicilies, etc ...
4) Minor Powers: Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, etc ...
5) Insignificant Power: ...
6) Unrecognized Power: ...
7) Unrecognized Minor Power: ...
Click to expand...
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was by far the strongest Italian power in 1836, and also the most industrialized one. As with Prussia/Austria, don't confuse the 1830s with later decades.

Traps4life said:
So is there a certain optimal balance/ratio to maintain between certain aspects of prestige? In Vic2, we had prestige spam, where someone would just take cultural techs and use prestige events to push them into being a GP regardless of the other two factors. Will there be anything that would say, cause diminishing returns for one aspect of prestige if it is much higher than the others? If I just built a bunch of art academies and got prestige that way while having a navy staffed by three guys in a dingy, and an army that has shoes for weapons, would the art academies give me less prestige as it goes up higher than the other aspects?
There is nothing like that right now but it's for sure on my to look at list, as yeah, I don't think a country should really be able to be a Great Power on art alone.

toegut said:
Tell me which of the reigning Great Powers in 1836 considered the East India Company as its equal?
A country under the dominion of another is largely subservient to its overlord in diplomatic matters. If someone wants to mess with the EIC they're also forced to deal with Great Britain, so their Recognition status is largely irrelevant under these circumstances.

But what really matters is what happens if a Subject nation gains its independence. If EIC decided to mount a rebellion against the Crown and successfully became an independent Major Power in the Indian subcontinent, would the Great Powers treat it with some modicum of respect or would they be considered irrelevant other than as a ripe target for exploitation? The game mechanics argue that the former makes more sense.

And to be clear, if an Unrecognized country is Puppeted and subsequently Released, its status as Unrecognized remains.
 
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Alfred Dreyfus

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The starting GPs should be the same as Vic2. I think it was fantastic to see the 2 great powers of EU4 start as sick GPs at the start and watch them decline and go down in the tier list in substitution of the new 19th century great powers. Spain should be in the same tier as USA and Ottomans in 1836. And Prussia should go above them.
Great_Powers_1836.jpg



And please don't put the EIC as the 8th strongest "nation" in the game. It's insane. The EIC was by no means the 7th most powerful "nation" in the world in 1836. And I think it is a very bad decision gameplay wise too (EIC shouldn't have enough power to intervine in Europe in 1836, for example).
 
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The game looks better with every passing week, i cannot wait to place my preorder :oops:
 
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Looks really interesting, Are there set formable countries, or is it more similar to the form a new kingdom decision in ck3?
 
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I don't know if you guys are ready to talk about it (probably not) but how will Westernization affect Rank and Prestige. For example, if Japan is Westernized by 1900, will it gain rank to for example, a Major Power based on technological advancement. Another question is does winning wars against Great Powers affect prestige? Japan again is a good example, going to war with Russia in 1905 and winning a lot of international prestige for doing so. So if Mexico wins a war against France, how will it affect it's prestige?
 
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The Goldfinch

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This looks wonderful! One questions:
I hope gaining enough prestige does not automatically release a subject country like in Vic2?

As a side note, I think those art academies have slightly too high Impact on prestige. Perhaps it could be modified to some sort of broader cultural influence resource? Like, what language is being spoken on parties, whose theatre plays are being discussed, etc.

Anyway I LOVE the idea that prestige is now combination of military and GDP. Wonderful decision
 
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Imagine becoming a great power alone by your cultural superiority thanks to numerous art academies.
 
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Why will the tier of a nation not change unless a new nation is formed? Or will this simply mean the kindom of mexico has to form the empire of mexico to go up in rank (while still only mexico is written on the map)?
 
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So can a nation "jump" from unrecognized power straight to great power?
 
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