A Paradox Christmas Carol

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

King

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Ebenezer Forumite looked about him for the Ghost, and saw it not. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate, he remembered the prediction of old Johan Andersson, and lifting up his eyes, beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him.

STAVE IV: THE LAST OF THE SPIRITS

The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently, approached. When it came near him, Forumite bent down upon his knee: for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery.

It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing visible save one outstretched hand. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.

He felt that it was tall and stately when it came beside him, and that its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread. He knew no more, for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved.

“I am in the presence of the Ghost of Victoria 2 Yet to Come?” said Forumite.

The Spirit answered not, but pointed onward with its hand.

“You are about to show me shadows of the features that have not been implemented, but will be implemented in the time before us,” Forumite pursued, “Is that so, Spirit?”


Air travel is a pain. Obviously your flight is going to be delayed in Arlanda meaning you have to sprint across Heathrow to make your connection, only to find that that flight is delayed too. Luggage is, of course, an option extra and arrives a day or two after you, if you are lucky. However it also gives you a lot of spare time you never thought you had. So I began to write a developer dairy. As it turns out there was no diary scheduled for this topic so I figured you can get it as a Christmas bonus.

What to do about Nations forming? This is one of those tough questions we need to think about, obviously we want Countries like Germany, Italy, Romania and Yugoslavia to form because they did. We also want countries like Scandinavia and other Pan-Slav nations to be able to form because people seriously talked about this. If we are really clever we could also add in nations like Grand Colombia, which did exist a few years before Victoria 2 starts. We starting thinking about this and bouncing about ideas and we remembered a little neat thing in In Nomina, the Union Tag. This country tag is linked to a culture group and this is just the thing we are looking for.

Step one, we reshuffle culture groups so they are now much smaller and more directly linked to the countries that did form in the Victoria era. Culture groups in Victoria 2 began by being very closely linked to the culture groups in EU3. On the face of it they were pretty much linguistic entities of peoples of a similar language. Could we realistically reshuffle these into smaller entities? We realised we could, sitting in the Germanic culture group are the Swiss. Who are themselves a multi linguistic culture. Representing the fact that being German did not make it easier to rule Switzerland, just ask the Habsburgs if you don't believe me. We also break linguistically very similar people down into separate culture groups, there is no English language culture group representing English speakers around the world and we go one further and split Americans into three separate cultures for game play purposes.

The result is that some culture groups are now looking a bit lonely but most, if not all, will have a Union tag associated with them so you can form the greater nation. Some Union tags already exist at the start. The Swiss culture group has already formed greater Switzerland and are fairly happy with it. The American Culture group has the USA as their Union Tag in play from the start, and we'll explain why later. So we make culture groups much smaller, like the Romanians will now be all on their own in a culture group, but will have the country Romania associated with countries of that culture, thus the states of Wallachia and Moldovia have the potential to form Romania. The same goes for the the German culture group, now condensed down to North and South German. The list goes on, but you see where we are going with this.

The Union Tags are defined as static countries, with set cores representing their territorial aspirations. Now I suppose you are wondering why don't we try to link these cores to where the people of this culture group live? Look at Germany, the German Tag's cores are the provinces that Germany holds in 1871. Now there are provinces there where Germans are not a clear majority and excludes provinces, in Austria, that have a German majority. The Italian claims on places like Dalmatia ignore the fact that some of these places hadn't even seen an Italian since Julius Caesar. While we could argue all day on the precise ethnic composition of Transylvania, but please let's not, however we cannot ignore the fact there are some fairly substantial regions there in the Victoria period were Hungarians were the clear majority. From this we conclude that the 19th century nationalists who drew the boundaries of these new nations totally ignored who was actually living there when they did, so we are going to do the same.

There are two ways you can form a Union Tag. Firstly is by being the the biggest baddest country in the culture group. You are a great power and no other great power has any influence there. You should be thinking along the lines of spheres of influence and province holding here. Spheres of influence can be won and lost on the battlefield, so if you as Prussia defeat Austria in war, you could perhaps get the South German minors out of the Austria Sphere of influence and into the Prussia one. Perhaps you may then need to fight France to remove their influence in Germany, or do you need to conquer the German cores, I don't know? However, once this is done it is time for three Hurrays for the German Emperor. The remaining German minors now get the option to join the new Germany (the AI is odds on to agree this, but a player has a few more options) Now the beauty of this system is that not only allow for a historic crack at forming Germany, but ahistoric possibilities like a powerful Bavaria supplanting Prussia to form Germany is also possible. Perhaps a collapse of both Austria and France will pave the way for Germany without war?

Onto the second way, via liberal revolution. Liberals who live a country of their culture type and the union tag does not exist, and are militant consider becoming Pan-Nationalist rebels. Their logic is simple, our country isn't liberal enough because the liberal voice is not being heard, if the country had a few more liberals then we would be heard. Our neighbour of the same culture group has liberals, let's join together for a louder liberal voice. When Pan-Nationalist rebels overthrow a government they offer the union tag to the most powerful country who meets the conditions. If they accept they become the Union tag and get the chance to inherit only those countries who have a liberal revolution in progress. Thus in 1848 it might not be worthwhile for Prussia to accept the German crown, but in 1859 it may just make sense for Piedmont to accept the Italian crown. Again we set up a historical option with flexibility. If you managed to take on all comers as Brunswick, why should you not form the new Liberal Germany? Note the USCA, also a union tag, does from time to time stage a comeback with this model, but probably won't last. What are the odds of that?

Now countries can revolt away from their union tag, This did of course happen, think of the CSA leaving the USA. Think of the collapse of the United States of Central America. In the aftermath of World War I, Bavarians seriously considered succeeding from Germany. Ukraine did have a brief day in the sun in the 1920's free from Russia, but that didn't last too long. Nationalist Rebels are always possible inside a Union Tag. People who feel that the current government does not represent them for what ever reason may turn to regionalism. You saw then and you see it today.

The final neat power of the union tag is it has some of the annexation restrictions lifted. They can annex countries who's culture is of their culture group and they have a core on the capital. Thus the USA, as the union tag of the American culture group, can annex the CSA to save the Union. The CSA on the other hand cannot do the reverse, all they want is to be left alone.

Now I have been a little sparse on the exact form of things take but that is because the decisions and events are still being scripted. So all in all things will firm up as we go along, but at least you get an overall idea of the concept.

Now I suppose you are wondering if there is a screen shot? Sadly the remaining Paradox staff do not understand the harsh unforgiving nature of the Calvinist God and instead choose not to work on Catholic holidays. I would pray for their souls but they are manifestly destined for eternal torment in hell anyway. Happy New Year everyone.
 

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I love you right. SOOO HAPPPY I AM :D.

May the others burn in hell for an indefinite amount of time.

oh, and

1st!
 

unmerged(63310)

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Nice! Well despite your holiday travails you have been quite busy on the forums these holidays King, appreciated greatly btw.

So this sounds very interesting, especially for modders wanting to perhaps do something completely different. Culture groups with smaller bases and union tags is nice although does this raise the number of cultures allowed in a state as official culture? Have to re-read to see if I missed where you said about that... I know a couple nations had more than 2 official cultures in Vicky 1 but not very many... that number would have to raise now I would guess unless official culture does not matter any more for full effectiveness of POPs.

I like the hints about spheres of influencing being possible to gain or lose on battle field and a bit about some of the consequences of that for unifying cultures.

How will this idea work in somewhere like India? The lines drawn for the various cultures there are as or more arbitrary than the Hungarian example and which cultures will get the union tag or how will that work? Same for some other parts of the British Empire...
 
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King

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Nice! Well despite your holiday travails you have been quite busy on the forums these holidays King, appreciated greatly btw.

So this sounds very interesting, especially for modders wanting to perhaps do something completely different. Culture groups with smaller bases and union tags is nice although does this raise the number of cultures allowed in a state as official culture? Have to re-read to see if I missed where you said about that... I know a couple nations had more than 2 official cultures in Vicky 1 but not very many... that number would have to raise now.

Depends on the size of the culture groups. These are in plain text files and fully modable of course, adding new countries is again fully modable so this system creates a huge ammount of flexibility for moders. For us, Culture groups will be as large or as small as they need to be. We are considering shunting alll the Indian cultures into a single culture group, creating an India Union tag and then having colonial nationalists being pan-nationalists. However this is still on the drawing board.
 

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King, any idea of what sleep is in Sweden? :D

Also great and awesome "sorta" AAR.

EDIT: Is Portugal considered by you guys to be inside the "Iberian/Spanish" Union Tag?
 

King

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King, any idea of what sleep is in Sweden? :D

Also great and awesome "sorta" AAR.

No idea, I am home in Scotland at the moment, luggage having finally arrived. :)

This is no AAR, this is a space station, no wait, THIS IS SPARTA, no I am doing it wrong, this is a bonus developer diary.
 

King

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King, any idea of what sleep is in Sweden? :D

Also great and awesome "sorta" AAR.

EDIT: Is Portugal considered by you guys to be inside the "Iberian/Spanish" Union Tag?

We have two choices here, both are still on the table. We can make a Spanish culture group with SPA as the Union tag and have countries like the Basque country and Catalonia to be revolters from that. The alternative is a an Iberian culture group and include Protugal in. It will depend a bit on time, what evidence we can find for a great iberia movement, and what seems the coolest.
 

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Very nice. About your reference to the spheres of influence, I'm guessing in the diplomatic negotiations, it will be similar to removing cores from your defeated enemy in EU3? But instead selecting provinces to move into your sphere instead of cores?

How does this system do in terms of balance? Does it allow all sorts of random new nations to pop up, or does it help the game stick to a [mostly] historical path with say Bavaria forming Germany instead of Prussia?

And also, what is the relation between dominant culture pops and their provinces in respect to the culture groups? So if [somehow] the French become the cultural majority in New Zealand does that mean New Zealand is part of the french culture group or just that the dominant culture group in New Zealand is French? I'm little confused... :confused::p
 

unmerged(91061)

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Great Dev Diary, I'm glad you made one on this topic even though it wasn't scheduled.
I think Paradox has made the right decision in adopting the "19th century nationalist" approach and ignoring ethnic populations in determining national boundaries; this is a contentious issue and in terms of the cost vs benefit of time researched vs depth it would add to the game, a prudent decision. However, modders have much more time on their hands, and thus the cost benefit of implementing population based Unification Cores improves substantially.
I am wondering if it will be possible for modders to create events that add cores to Union tags when an ethnic group in one area becomes the majority?
 

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Very nice. About your reference to the spheres of influence, I'm guessing in the diplomatic negotiations, it will be similar to removing cores from your defeated enemy in EU3? But instead selecting provinces to move into your sphere instead of cores?

How does this system do in terms of balance? Does it allow all sorts of random new nations to pop up, or does it help the game stick to a [mostly] historical path with say Bavaria forming Germany instead of Prussia?

And also, what is the relation between dominant culture pops and their provinces in respect to the culture groups? So if [somehow] the French become the cultural majority in New Zealand does that mean New Zealand is part of the french culture group or just that the dominant culture group in New Zealand is French? I'm little confused... :confused::p

Basically yes, spheres of influence are things that can be won or lost by diplomacy or on the battlefield.

Every nation needs to be scripted first so, there will be no random new nations as such, so the new nations appearing will be controlled. If you look at Germany in 1836, it will be divided up into to two spheres of influence, Prussia in the North and Austria in the South. These two countries are in poll position to form Germany. Now both Bavaria and Hanover are fairly large German states so you can put those two next on the list of candidates to form Germany, it will be a struggle because they first need to dislodge one of the two big players. Every other German minor has the potential to form Germany but the setup being what it is have an uphill struggle to do it.

For culture and provinces they are like Victoria 2, we'll pick a real example here. Large numbers of Italians move to New York, it could be that Italians become the largest single culture in New York province. However Greater Italy does not claim New York as part of the Italian national home, instead these pops will be steadily assimilated into the American Culture group because that's who rules there.
 
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King

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Great Dev Diary, I'm glad you made one on this topic even though it wasn't scheduled.
I think Paradox has made the right decision in adopting the "19th century nationalist" approach and ignoring ethnic populations in determining national boundaries; this is a contentious issue and in terms of the cost vs benefit of time researched vs depth it would add to the game, a prudent decision. However, modders have much more time on their hands, and thus the cost benefit of implementing population based Unification Cores improves substantially.
I am wondering if it will be possible for modders to create events that add cores to Union tags when an ethnic group in one area becomes the majority?

Well to be honest the idea was there will be a decision to form Germany, it wasn't going to make exciting reading. It was only when we began to think about how this decision was to be scripted that we hit upon the Union tag and it became a cool idea for a Dev Diary. You can tank SAS and BMI for the rest.

add_core is an event command so it is more than possible for modders to take that route if they wish. We are not going to do that for various reasons. The main one is we do not feel it is historic.
 

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Wow King, this is really amazing. The amount of thought and detail that is going into this is astounding. I can't wait to see a beautifully woven game, keep up the good work!
 

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Wow King, this is really amazing. The amount of thought and detail that is going into this is astounding. I can't wait to see a beautifully woven game, keep up the good work!

Absolutely agree. This will defintely be one of the most comprehensive grand strategy games ever made if you guys keep on this course. My only hope is that it isn't a buggy, unbalanced mess like HoI3 [not that I didn't have some fun with it though].

Keep up the great work and thanks for the quick answer, King. :)
 

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Simply marvelous! :D
Question: Will it be possible to represent the Zionist movement with this model (more diplomatic route to independence, major cultural migration before the creation of the nation, major monetary investment in the region in preparation, etc....)?
 
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A bonus DD.

So beautiful :'(

So... where's Irish? In the British culture group? Or off on its lonesome?

Three american culture groups? :eek: Is the USA union for all of them? Is that even possible? I tried it in EU3 and the game seemed uncertain how to handle it.
 

King

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A bonus DD.

So beautiful :'(

So... where's Irish? In the British culture group? Or off on its lonesome?

Three american culture groups? :eek: Is the USA union for all of them? Is that even possible? I tried it in EU3 and the game seemed uncertain how to handle it.

Maybe the dev dairy wasn't clear as it could. I ment there are three American Cultures, Yankee, Dixie and Texan with the USA as the union tag for the culture group. Our current idea with the Irish is they are part of the British culture group with the UK as the Union Tag, but there is of course an Irish revolter defined at start.
 

Emp_Palpatine

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Amazing indeed. Lots of good news and ideas.

Nice to hear also that countries can secede in dire situations. I must say seeing a defeated Germany having to fight a secessionist Bavaria and Rhineland (these one were also quite serious in their independence will) will be a must have.

By the way, how will Belgium be simulated? Will you add a wallonian culture or stick with Vic1 type?
And also will france pops be splitted among more locals culture united in an union tag or be the Vic1 thing?
 

CatalanNation

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We have two choices here, both are still on the table. We can make a Spanish culture group with SPA as the Union tag and have countries like the Basque country and Catalonia to be revolters from that. The alternative is a an Iberian culture group and include Protugal in. It will depend a bit on time, what evidence we can find for a great iberia movement, and what seems the coolest.

Catalonia, yay! That was actually my Christmas present. :p