A comment on Pride Of Nations - playing as Japan (1850GC)

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unmerged(331852)

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I must confess that I'm finding PON to be really frustrating - and it's not through lack of playing (I'm up to 46hrs played already according to steam).
I love the feel of the game, the attention to detail, the crisis system and the economy (simpler than Vicky thank god) but I'm wondering whether the attention to historical accuracy is a double edged sword.
I don't want to recreate history - i might as well a book on the time time period what I want to do is create realistic counterfactuals through normal gameplay.
Using Japan as an example. There is nothing that you can do other than... end turn, end turn, build small thing and repeat. There is no real trade until you get a tradeship (at least a year), no colonisation until Perry etc. Its rather boring for 3 game years (which at my current speed of playing has been about a week of real time).
What I'd like to be able to do is explore other options - Could a similiar event to Perry have occued earlier? What would have the social impact been (civil war..) etc.

Am I being unrealistic? Can I expect the game to move in that direction with future updates? What do you all think?
 

BulMaster

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With regards to Japan, as far as i am aware the devs are adding other ways for it to westernize. Also you can turn off some of the historical limitations in the options and do a WC.
 

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I must confess that I'm finding PON to be really frustrating - and it's not through lack of playing (I'm up to 46hrs played already according to steam).
I love the feel of the game, the attention to detail, the crisis system and the economy (simpler than Vicky thank god) but I'm wondering whether the attention to historical accuracy is a double edged sword.
I don't want to recreate history - i might as well a book on the time time period what I want to do is create realistic counterfactuals through normal gameplay.
Using Japan as an example. There is nothing that you can do other than... end turn, end turn, build small thing and repeat. There is no real trade until you get a tradeship (at least a year), no colonisation until Perry etc. Its rather boring for 3 game years (which at my current speed of playing has been about a week of real time).
What I'd like to be able to do is explore other options - Could a similiar event to Perry have occued earlier? What would have the social impact been (civil war..) etc.

Am I being unrealistic? Can I expect the game to move in that direction with future updates? What do you all think?
To be clear you can export not import. So you can trade by this definition.
 

Generalisimo

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Japan is a very small nation in 1850 that is closed... the whole idea of playing with Japan is that... not to make it the new industrial monster in 1852... ;)
If you want a more open game, then choose another faction.
You have to understand the constraints your faction has... ;)
 

deoved

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But what if i have railroads in every province in 1858 and massively produce man-goods and mech-parts? Why i must wait for Meiji Restoration of 1868? Why my middle class and new mlitary elite cant overthrow feudals?
 

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But what if i have railroads in every province in 1858 and massively produce man-goods and mech-parts? Why i must wait for Meiji Restoration of 1868? Why my middle class and new mlitary elite cant overthrow feudals?
...and why you will want to do that with Japan?... ;)
It's like loading a game with Korea, building two factories... and now wanting to change your government to a more advanced one because you've built two factories...
 

deoved

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...and why you will want to do that with Japan?... ;)
It's like loading a game with Korea, building two factories... and now wanting to change your government to a more advanced one because you've built two factories...
Because Japan now(in my game) industrial nation, it has relatively large middle class, new industrial upper class, it national consciense changed. And yet it ruled by aristocrats. Heard anything about French Revolution?
 

PhilThib

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There were plenty of nations ruled totally or partially by Aristocrats (Britain, Prussia or Russia just to name some) that were industrial powers too...so where is the issue?
 

Spricar

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So far i don't see real issues with japan. In my game I'm in early 60s and everything went as it should. The only thing that bothers me is Okinawa as I don't know how to acquire it...
 

unmerged(331852)

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Hi all and thanks for all the comments. I want to stress that this isn't a whinge thread. I love this game and I want to offer constructive comments that perhaps may be taken on board to make it even better.

I suppose I am looking at this from two perspectives; 1. gameplay 2. history.

1. gameplay.
Ignoring historical accuracy, it seems strange that 1 of the 8 playable nations is so restricted at the start of the grand campaign. It wouldn't be so much of a problem if there wasn't 3 years to the Perry event. Development is limited, colonisation is limited, diplomacy is limited - what is thereto do other than economic management for 4-5 hours of real life?? Would it have made difference in the timeline if the grand campaign started in 1853 for example? As a comparison, look at the start date selection in EU3 where you could start at a fixed period or move the time forward. I know that there is the arguement that if I don't want this I should choose another faction but all the factions should be equally exciting/playable from the start. Would it have been better to have the 'lesser'great powers as the selectable nations dancing around the true greats?

2. history.
I remember discussions on the EU2 forums about historical accruracy vs gameplay, linear vs sandbox. Do people want a game that slavishly adheres to history or do they want a game that they can influence. By that I don't mean Bhutan conquering the world but there should be flexibilty to create a completely different world. It should be possible for territories to move from occupied to core over time. It should be possible to wage wars of conquest.
If you look at Japan, other than historical reality who is to say that Japan couldn't westernise earlier. The driving factors that created the Perry event were there in 1850 (and earlier). Who's to say that the VOC / EIC or indeed the 1849 expedition couldn't have forced a similar event. People have commented on declaring war and annexing Okinawa but that in itself is ahistorical.. If you can't modernise earlier, you shouldn't be able to fight offensive wars. The same is true for almost all the events. If you turn off the historical colonisation (and there's another option as well that I can't remember), how well does the game play - there's a tag when you click it says that it hasn't been tested so I've been a bit leary about committing to hours of gameplay for the UK to automatically win in 20 years..

As an aside. How long (real life time) is it taking people playing as Japan to get to the Perry event and are they satisfied that that time is well spent as compared to playing any of the other countries?
 

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I like the fact that all nations aren't created equal in the game as this was the historical reality.

Each nation has their own specific challenges, strengths and drawbacks.

It definitely was one of the things I was and still am excited about, about the game.
 

Acularius

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On the other hand, by the time Perry comes along and the events that lead you on the 'enlightened path' to westernization... you economy should be rearing to go pretty much... Everything in the black at least, and can easily ramp it to green by turning on a couple of mines and such.

Westernization isn't a flick of a switch unfortunately, and even though Japan did it at a furious pace, it still took them awhile to become a respected power in their own right.
 

deoved

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On the other hand, by the time Perry comes along and the events that lead you on the 'enlightened path' to westernization... you economy should be rearing to go pretty much... Everything in the black at least, and can easily ramp it to green by turning on a couple of mines and such.

Westernization isn't a flick of a switch unfortunately, and even though Japan did it at a furious pace, it still took them awhile to become a respected power in their own right.
I agree. But your actions must have some weight. They must have power to speed up boshin war and break off feudalism, maybe in 1865 or 1863.
 

Herbert West

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There were plenty of nations ruled totally or partially by Aristocrats (Britain, Prussia or Russia just to name some) that were industrial powers too...so where is the issue?
Ask the Meiji Emperor, he seemed to get it.

His (Vorlends) example basically ripped Japan out of the closed semi-middle ages, kicking and screaming, into modernity, built a, for such a country, huge inudstry and a completely and utterly new social class, all of which are strait in the face of the Shogunate, and yet, no reaction. No landowner unrest, no disenfranchised nobility, no call for recognition from the new classes, nothing, because god of the machine did not trigger an event.
 

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Basically, I think what is trying to be said is that trying to rush history because you know what happens, what works, what is 'best' (i.e., modern industrial) is not quite what the goal is. The goal is to play to gain prestige. In Victoria, this was gained through being powerful, so everyone modernized and industralized and built a large army, pretty much the same plan for every nation.

In PoN each nation is designed for a different feel, you are not to play Japan like you are playing Great Britain in 1850. It simply was not the Japan of 1868 (when the revolution happened, 18 years after the start!) in 1850.

In PoN you play the nation, you do not convert the nation. For Japan, in 1850, you are the Tokugawa, promoting the Feudal regime of Japan of isolationism. Until forced out of it (in fact, a Japanese player should do their most to remain feudal, as this gets you prestige) this should be your goal.

The goal is prestige, playing Japan like another country should not get you prestige.

Quite possibly Japan needs greater depth from 1850-revolution representing gaining prestige for doing things the Tokugawa would do, and losing prestige if you modernize without pressures.
 

deoved

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What? How can i get prestige as a backward feudaul nation(by self forcing to greater backwardnes) on a modernist world scene where Great Powers look at me up down and treat uncivs as they like? It is nonesense!

p.s. How many prestige north korea have?
 

McNaughton

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What? How can i get prestige as a backward feudaul nation(by self forcing to greater backwardnes) on a modernist world scene where Great Powers look at me up down and treat uncivs as they like? It is nonesense!

p.s. How many prestige north korea have?
Well, prestige in Pride of Nations is to play your nation as they were meant to be, not how you think they are the most efficient. This gets players to do things that are not necessarily in the best economic/military/political long-term interests in the name of racking up prestige points.

You gain prestige as Great Britain for doing things Great Britain would have done, same with France (different rules for Imperial and Republican France), and all of the other nations. This means that you are restricted in some ways, to play under the rules that the rulers of the time faced, given the situations. A ruler had very little means at which to change the nature of their society, even the great reformers were limited in their ability to 'change their nation'. So, your goal is not to convert all nations into the 'perfect ideal' of a modern, literate, democratic society, but rather to play your nation along the goals of its current state (i.e., can you do better under the historic situation than the leaders of the time?).

Otherwise, why play a particular nation if you are just going to follow one single strategy? To play as Russia, your goal is not to become literate and modern through kind and gentle means, but, to expand ruthlessly and keep your population under control through harsh means. Basically, a good player for Russia makes plays 'Brilliantly Backwards', as in they are able to keep their country corrupt and confused, but actually win the game through skill and cleverness (i.e., crushing revolutions that keep on appearing due to your harsh measures, not avoiding revolutions by becoming democratic and kind).

That is the goal here, not to convert your nation, but play within your nation's logical limits. The goal of prestige is to encourage you to play a nation the way the nation is meant to be played. You can choose which battles to pick, which things to give in on, but you cannot direct everything from the ground up (i.e., you are not starting from scratch, but actually dealing with a nation with hundreds/thousands of years of history behind it).
 

Pocus

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We are upping (significantly!) the odds of having a non colonial crisis (but this can't affect closed country as 1850 Japan). Once you are not closed anymore, then it is a good way to gain prestige, and for Japan this follow the historical trend that they felt (the Emperor, the country, the nobles) that they could show to the western powers they were no longer the medieval kingdoms of old. But again, PON is a long game and you just can't expect to lead the prestige race before being well into the Meiji era, while having taught the Western powers some lessons with several crisis. Admittedly though, 1850 Japan is not always thrilling, each turn, so we are looking at this problem.
 

Spricar

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We are upping (significantly!) the odds of having a non colonial crisis (but this can't affect closed country as 1850 Japan). Once you are not closed anymore, then it is a good way to gain prestige, and for Japan this follow the historical trend that they felt (the Emperor, the country, the nobles) that they could show to the western powers they were no longer the medieval kingdoms of old. But again, PON is a long game and you just can't expect to lead the prestige race before being well into the Meiji era, while having taught the Western powers some lessons with several crisis. Admittedly though, 1850 Japan is not always thrilling, each turn, so we are looking at this problem.
the only solution is by adding some internal problems, economic or political ones. I'm in 1864 and I have already had a ton of historical Japanese events, but they don't have any effect, they are there just for flavour.
 

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There were plenty of nations ruled totally or partially by Aristocrats (Britain, Prussia or Russia just to name some) that were industrial powers too...so where is the issue?
The issue is that industrialisation brings social upheaval. Railways and canals totally changed the political, cultural and economic landscape of these countries. Ultimately the old aristocrats were replaced by or became capitalists. I'm sure you know the why behind all this, but it's worth repeating that a modern industrial economy is fundamentally incompatible with a feudal social structure.

Also, turns taking ages to process is a bigger problem overall. Fixing that would probably make this situation better.