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Victoria 3 - Dev Diary #4 - Goods

Happy Thursday and welcome back to yet another Victoria 3 dev diary, this time on the subject of Goods! Goods are a core economic feature of Victoria 3, just as they were in previous Victoria games, and come in a wide variety of types. Also, as in previous Victoria games, the manufacturing of Goods (by Pops in Buildings) is how the vast majority of the wealth in Victoria 3 is created.

Fundamentally, a unit of Goods represent a quantity of a certain type of natural resource, manufactured good or intangible service and come attached with a price tag. This price varies both in base (a single unit of Tanks is pricier than a single unit of Fabric) and in actual market value, as the prices of Goods change depending on supply and demand.

A selection of goods that are bought and sold in the British Market.

dd4_1_2.png

There are four broad categories of Goods: Staple Goods, Luxury Goods, Industrial Goods and Military Goods. Of these, Staple/Luxury Goods are mainly consumed by Pops, and Industrial/Military Goods are mainly consumed by buildings, but there are no hard rules here - you will find Buildings using Luxury Goods and Pops purchasing Industrial Goods when and where it makes sense for them to do so.

Staple Goods are everyday goods that Pops need to live, such as food to eat, wood to heat their homes, and clothes to wear. Staple Goods tend to be purchased in vast quantities by poor and middle class pops, with richer pops generally eschewing them for luxury variants.

Grain - possibly the most Staple of all Staple Goods!
dd4_2_2.png

Luxury Goods are the things that Pops do not necessarily need but definitely want, such as fine foods, luxury drinks like Tea and Coffee, or fine clothes made from chinese silk. Luxuries tend to be more profitable to produce than Staple Goods, but depend on having a customer base with money - a poor factory worker isn’t going to be buying a whole lot of mahogany cabinets.

You can never have too many painted Ming vases, I always say.
dd4_3_2.png

Industrial Goods are goods such as Iron, Coal, Rubber and Lead whose main purpose is often to be converted into other, more profitable goods. Securing a steady supply of vital Industrial Goods is crucial to Industrialization and growing the GDP of your country.

Tools are essential to the operation of many industries.
dd4_4_2.png

Military Goods are goods such as Small Arms, Ammunition and Warships that are used by military buildings to arm and supply the armies and navies of the 19th century nations. The more technologically advanced the army or navy, the more complex (and expensive!) Military Goods they will need.

I’m told that soldiers tend to perform better if they’re given ammunition for their guns.
dd4_5_2.png


We’ll be returning to the topic of Goods in later dev diaries when discussing related mechanics such as Markets, Pop Needs, Goods Substitution and Cultural Obsessions... but for now, I bid you adieu for a while, as next week Mikael will provide you with a dev diary about something we’ve been teasing for some time now - Production Methods!
 
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Wizzington

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This comment will be used over the next few days to collate and collect Developer responses.

Simply looking at the variety of staples, it seems that Victoria 3 will be able to much more closely reflect the variety of, and competition in, international trade in the era. Very nice!

Also, do all non-food staples have luxury variants, or are there some staples that rich pops will consume equally or in even greater amounts than poorer pops?
There's for instance Luxury Furniture, which is a luxury variant of Furniture (shocker!) and which Pops of a certain wealth level will start shifting to buying from regular Furniture, eventually (at a high enough Wealth level) eschewing regular old Furniture altogether.

What's the difference between silver and gold coins? Is that to indicate the relative price of the good in the market?
The coins tell you how expensive the good is in relation to base price in the particular context (market, state region etc). This way you can for instance see quickly at a glance that your steel factory is having trouble because the Steel it's producing has a very low price.

How many goods are in the game?
Around 50 at the moment, though this may not be final.

Will there be a way to subsidize certain goods so it will be easier for your pops to buy them?
There are a number of ways you can interact with goods (more on that later) but at the moment we don't have an ability to direct subsidize one particular good. There are other ways to lower the price of a good though, such as subsidizing buildings producing it or importing it in greater quantities.

What I really liked is the option to show on the map the potential, production and consumption on the map. Hopefully Vic 3 will have more map modes than recent paradox games. One thing I would like to improve is that the market price graph was more detailed in relation to values.
Something that our UX designers have put a lot of time into is showing contextual information, in this case by allowing you to see heatmaps of production, consumption and potential production while viewing a particular good (which is extremely useful as it tells you things like where you can get coal).

Wooooo!!

Question: How moddable are goods? I'm assuming one can add or subtract goods as needed, but what are some examples of what else can be done with this system?
To give an example, we have a variety of different farms (rice, grain, millet etc) which all produce the 'grain' good (but might vary in efficiency and have different secondary production methods, more on this next week). It wouldn't be hard at all for a modder to actually break these up into different goods which can all be used to fulfill pop food needs according to what's locally available in a market.

I'm curious, will services be considered Goods that require a pop to be produced? (like for example, in the first picture I tought that the "tools" Good was more like workforce, or something akin to that, so what I mean is that you could have serveces that are considered luxury services, like entertainment etc.)
At the moment, Services is a single good that is non-tradable (meaning it can only be bought and sold locally) but it would be easy to split it up into different kinds of intangible goods if we wanted to.

Well, I was hoping to subsidize my bread so that nobody would go hungry. Or have to eat cake.
You can do this by importing cheap foreign grain or subsidizing your agriculture, we did discuss having a direct way to subsidize goods but we felt the mechanics we have did the same thing in more interesting ways.

Wondering if there are tractors in the game, as vic 2 simulated them with a production bonus when the invention and research was finished... if there are tractors as goods instead of bonuses could we have a Soviet Union shifting massive amounts of resources to building tractors to improve agriculture and thus making farmers more productive. Does this also apply to specific tools in general needing to be consumed by farming pops or mining pops to be more productive... idk if it would be done by slowly over time a pop wants more machinery by getting used to it, for example British ppl getting used to drinking tea as the game progresses... or is it through a different mechanic like inventions that give bonuses to production.

Thank you its looking good so far, I want to know more about in depth economics and how pops react to a players decisions
Tractors are a thing.

Could we have an option to instead show the % of how (un)profitable a good is instead of just a silver/gold (maybe bronze as well) coin icon? There shouldnt be to many Vicky 3 players that dont like numbers and percentages and prefer pictures...
The Bronze/Silver/Gold is essentially that but with an icon slapped on top of it. Should be trivial to replace with text in a mod :)

Is there a limit to the number of goods that mods can add? It is painful working with the 64 limit on my regional market mod for Victoria 2.
Strongly doubt there is a technical limit or atleast not one so close to the base game number.

Has the idea of more than one good per province ever been explored? Past or present...
There are no such limits in Victoria 3. A state can contain potentials for every single building in the game if you were inclined to create such a super-state. There is no such state in the game, but it would be technically possible under the systems we have.

Is there a limit to the number of goods that mods can add? It is painful working with the 64 limit on my regional market mod for Victoria 2.
Nope.

Oh. I somehow thought all those different farms would produce different goods. Though I guess it makes sense to keep things simple.
The farms do differ in their potential production, it's just that they all produce some grain as their main good.

Reminds me of the weird things that happen to markets when you load a Vicky 2 save.
At the current version of the game the economy isn't fully initialized with all values until a few weeks in (very much like in Victoria 2), though this is something we're working on and absolutely plan to have fixed for the eventual release version. It has to do with how many circular and interconnected effects there are in the game (for example, a drop in grain price due can lead to pops increasing their wealth level, which results in them buying more grain, which raises the price of grain again) which all needs to be properly accounted for during game initialization.

Do subsistence farms produce Grain for sale in the market? Or are their profits abstracted as direct money generation?
They produce a small surplus which is sold in the market, but most of their labor is simply self-sustaining.

Can factories produce more than one good? I see that the glassworks produces porcelain but it seems that glass will also be a good in the game, going from reporting from when the game was announced.
There's no hard limit on input/output num goods so yes it can produce more than one :)

What determines the wealth levels? Are the pops in these levels static or do they change over time?
The Wealth of a Pop changes along with their ability to consume. That is, if their total income exceeds their total expenses, the magnitude of the difference determines the growth in Wealth and vice versa. So Pops that are paid a higher wage, or whose basket of goods is relatively cheap, increase their demand for quantity and variety of goods over time. This relates to Profession only insofar that higher-tier Professions tend to get paid more, but a Machinist in a profitable industry might well develop higher Wealth than an Engineer in a failing one.

Will certain pops have aversions towards certain products? Such as Muslims towards alcohol?
Taboos, yes. These work like Obsessions but in reverse - it doesn't eliminate the consumption of certain goods but it minimizes it.

On a technical level, how's the potential stuff work? For each state, is there a list of potentials for every good, or is it calculated based on various factors and not directly set? Just curious about the workflow of adding new goods is, not just in getting something to show up in the game but integrate it as a usable option.
Havn't looked at the details but I'm 99.9% sure resource potentials is scripted per state-region :)
(The 0.01% comes from vague memories of discussing alternative solutions during development)

How do population affect trade good production? In V2, high pop regions produced vastly more amount of the goods that sparsely populated ones. This system couldn't represent high productive regions that weren't massively populated, for example cotton in India vs the USA.
In Victoria 3, Pops require buildings to be productive and vice versa. So for a region to be a major producer of a certain trade good, it requires a large workforce to work the buildings producing it. If a region is just highly populated but not well developed, the Pops sustain themselves off the land in Subsistence buildings, which occupy all otherwise undeveloped land by default.

Are Obsessions Nation-, State-, Pop-wide? I mean, will all of the UK be obsessed with tea or the Two Sicilies with coffee? Or can it be for example that only the wealthy pops in Paris (and not the rest of France) get obssessed with a specific good?
It's cultural. So if French people become obsessed with Wine, then all French people will demand relatively more Wine regardless of which country they live in, though this will be moderated somewhat by its availability.

And what elements do provoke cultures to become obsessed with certain goods or to consider them taboos? Availability, price? Events? Or, in other words, if I want to make a playthrough to liberate India, how can I make tea a taboo for the English to make them GTFO there?
Mechanically, availability and the nature of the goods. Luxury goods are more likely to become "fashionable" than Staples, and certain goods might have other intrinsic properties that could make Pops, shall we say, a bit overly enthusiastic about consuming them. But yes, events can also play into this.

Will the governments / private individuals be able to transfer populations? It was quite possible for an investor in 19th century to buy undeveloped land somewhere, then bring in slave workers and start up a plantation/mine/factory. Likewise in the 20th century certain governments also moved whole populations (certainly enough people to constitute an in-game POP) to work and live in various places.

Also - how will this balance of "large workforce means high production" be affected by growing efficiency of manufacturing when new technologies / machines are introduced?

Will buildings have individual levels of mechanization/efficiency (i.e. cloth factory A has invested in new looms, so they now produce more but are indebted, whereas cloth factory B has not and produces less per employee but is debt free)?
This will be covered in much more detail in other DDs on the mechanics of Migration, Production Methods, and Slavery. But for now suffice to say that yes, the population will move around within certain bounds to take new jobs, although development of low-populated areas can take some time and work to pay off.

Pops themselves can actually come in any sizes, from a single working stiff to 100,000 Workforce + 300,000 Dependents or more (for the tech nerds: yes we've repeatedly had to find workarounds for overflowing integers when doing arithmetic involving Pops, as the numbers can get astronomical) and can migrate or switch workplace in similarly variable chunks, no artificial limitations are imposed whereby a Pop is too small or large to move.

Are pops considered one unit? Or do individuals move and join different pops and/or create a new pop for their type?

They act like individuals when necessary (so you don't get the likes of a million chinese artisans swapping goods at one time)

Does this mean that all natural resources (metals, oil, coal, etc. etc.) will be in historical places? So all players will know from the start that, say, Texas, Alaska and South Africa Cape will very valuable real estate?

Could we perhaps have some game mode where natural mineral resources placement is at least partially randomized? For example if suddenly diamonds or gold is found in Iceland in 1870s - this can lead to a whole new strategic balance in North Atlantic (for example US - UK competition for control over resources). Or what if oil was found not in Ploesti but in Szeged - would this have made Austria-Hungary more competitive in early 20th century - etc., etc.
Some resources like Gold are somewhat randomized if I remember correctly. Will probably be expanded upon in a later dev diary about Resources :)

Are pops considered one unit? Or do individuals move and join different pops and/or create a new pop for their type?
Yes, individuals inside a Pop merge with suitable Pops in their destination, and bring their "share" of their properties along with them. So if a part of a poor but literate unemployed Laborer splits off to move to another state, and finds another Laborer Pop of their own culture and religion there that they can merge with (and there's an open spot available for Laborers in the target Pop's workplace) then they will merge with them. The Literacy and Wealth they bring with them (among other properties, like Radicals or Qualifications) will then modify the target Pop proportionally.

It's all pretty technical and most of the time near-invisible on an individual Pop level, but by being judicious in simulating this stuff we get some very interesting emergent effects like brain drain, itinerant oppressed demographics, geographic wealth shifts, and so on.

Victoria 2 also has this sort of mechanic which ended up allowing otherwise impossible assimilation (e.g. if some colonial state has native farmer pop, sufficiently small number of primary culture farmers moving there would just end up being merged into that non-primary culture pop). Does Victoria 3 handle that sort of situations more gracefully?
Pops of different cultures and religions cannot merge in Victoria 3. Assimilation / Conversion splits off part of the Pop, changes the culture/religion, and only merges it if it can find a suitable Pop to merge with.

You're the dev here, but I always wondered why don't Paradox's games just simulate a month or two of gameplay (obviously, without war declarations and such) before game start. You usually have to sit idle for some time waiting for all the values to properly initialize anyway, so why not do it behind the scene? Maybe it's what is happening in Vic 3 already though.
Vicky 2 did actually do this to some extent, and it was the approach we used in early Vicky 3 development as well. It has the downside that since everything is interrelated with the economy, anything you change in history scripts would be out-of-date as the game starts - for example, if I tell the game to make some Wealth 12 Clerks in Missouri at game start, but then the economy runs a few months in the interim, those Clerks might end up Wealth 10 with half of them turning into Farmers before the game starts.

So at this point in development it's preferable to us to ensure the scripted setup is adhered to at game start, even if that makes for an economically unstable early game. At release we will likely do some limited behind-the-scene iterative pre-ticking (instead of trying to compute an economic equilibrium between this many agents which would be, well I don't want to say impossible, but probably a bit overkill for a video game) but we need to limit what can happen as a result of that - for example we wouldn't want Pops to engage in economic migration prior to game start.

----

With regards to discoverable resources such as Gold and Oil, they are not totally randomized but rather distributed throughout the world in potential quantities based on our research of actual deposits discovered today. Discovery chances are based on technologies, so it's also influenced by who controls what part of the world.

From a design perspective we don't actually care if a player wants to pre-emptively capture a part of the world before they would realistically know that part of the world will contain a valuable late-game resource. You wouldn't realistically be able to know in 1836 what technologies would eventually lead you to the capacity to develop Automobiles by the turn of the century either, but we're not hiding or randomizing technology progression for realism's sake.

That does not mean all regions with potential for Gold or Oil will be guaranteed to manifest that potential by end-game, even if they did so in actual history. If you want to try to pre-empt historical development you do so at your own risk. Personally I think it's more fun to see and react to the economic, political, and diplomatic shake-up of one of these discoveries than to use my knowledge of history strategically to win more, but for those who feel differently it's very easy to mod the removal of potentials from regions that didn't manifest it before 1936 - even impose historical discovery dates if you so wish.

---


 
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Bonglord69420

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Looking good, thank you
 
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I like that intangible services are considered goods. That could make late-game economics and politics more interesting, rather than just being a more-more-more continuation of the 19th century system. In 1836, most people, including the middle and upper classes, will be mostly focused on having enough food in their bellies and nice clothes to wear. As production increases dramatically and new social trends emerge, they will start to focus on more sophisticated desires.

Also, Goods Substitution and Cultural Obsessions sound intriguing.
 
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madpower1000

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Nothing Better than a Dev Diary on a slow Thursday!
 
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Simon_the_digger

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@Wizzington I found that the biggest thing that sets the victoria 2 economy apart from other strategy games is the high-speed, survival-of-the-fittest competition between factories.

Having to adjust your economic circumstances to make sure your industries were economically viable was huge, and flavorful. Struggling to get a new industry off the ground because of another producer making them cheaper, or a different industry using the raw goods was VERY cool.

My biggest fear by far is that this will be lost in Victoria 3; is high-pace competition (for consumers to buy goods and input goods alike) and factories putting each other out of business going to be on the table in Victoria 3? And if so, to what degree, if any, is it toned down from Victoria 2?
 
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Simply looking at the variety of staples, it seems that Victoria 3 will be able to much more closely reflect the variety of, and competition in, international trade in the era. Very nice!

Also, do all non-food staples have luxury variants, or are there some staples that rich pops will consume equally or in even greater amounts than poorer pops?
 
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KaiserArg

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Did you guys think of a way to reflect how some goods only became accessible to Europeans with the invention of new technologies?

For example, meat from South America only began to be exported to Europe around 1880 with the introduction of the refrigerator ship. It would break the immersion to see meat from Uruguay available for consumption in Russia in 1836
 
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Ferrous Will

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What do the different colors mean in the first picture (purple,orange,green)?
 
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Spartakusbund

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I notice Porcelain is consumed by levels 15-99 POPs. Is this because it’s impossible to reach level 100?
 
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General_WCJ

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Still have no idea what the gold and silver coins mean, 1 pile of coins means its cheaper than average, 2 means more expensive than average, Does gold mean much more expensive than average, or am I missing something
 
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Wizzington

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Simply looking at the variety of staples, it seems that Victoria 3 will be able to much more closely reflect the variety of, and competition in, international trade in the era. Very nice!

Also, do all non-food staples have luxury variants, or are there some staples that rich pops will consume equally or in even greater amounts than poorer pops?
There's for instance Luxury Furniture, which is a luxury variant of Furniture (shocker!) and which Pops of a certain wealth level will start shifting to buying from regular Furniture, eventually (at a high enough Wealth level) eschewing regular old Furniture altogether.
 
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Wizzington

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What's the difference between silver and gold coins? Is that to indicate the relative price of the good in the market?
The coins tell you how expensive the good is in relation to base price in the particular context (market, state region etc). This way you can for instance see quickly at a glance that your steel factory is having trouble because the Steel it's producing has a very low price.
 
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