Developer Diary 18 – Great Powers and Rank

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King

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We have already talked a bit about Great Powers, so let me give you a bit more about it. Being a Great Power in Victoria was fun; you got this cool silver thingy round your flag. It was something to aspire to. However, there was no pressing gameplay reason to be a Great Power. We felt that the era was very much about competition between the Great Powers. We made a conscious design decision to make acquiring the status of Great Power something you would want to achieve, and once you have the status of Great Power it would become something you would want to fight to keep.

There are now 4 classes of country in Victoria 2. These are uncivilised, civilised, powers of the second rank (ranks16-9) and Great Power (top 8). The top 16 countries have the ability to colonise. Essentially the Great Powers will be willing to share Africa with second ranked countries like Belgium and Portugal. Since prestige is part of your ranking, and colonies give you prestige, securing second rank status is a useful springboard for those aspiring great powers.

Dropping out of the top 16 is something that just happens, but losing Great Power status is something much more major and therefore runs under different rules. Should you drop below rank 8 you have three choices. First up do nothing and take a hit. Secondly, you have 6 months to get your standing up and get yourself back into the top 8. The final option is launch a Great War. A Great War is classed as having 2 Great Powers on both sides and if you are in a Great War you are obviously a Great Power. Thus launching a desperate war, without being certain of victory, is a strategic option for you. Our goal is to create a historical sand box. We are not going to force you into World War I, but what we will do is a give you a logical reason to plunge Europe into war when you are not certain of victory.

Losing your Great Power status is bad for your country, not only do you lose your nice Sphere of Influence, but people get angry about the decline of their country and gain militancy. Minorities get even more militant; why remain part of some average country when you can go it alone? If Austria did not exist, you would have to invent it. Losing Great Power status is even worse if you have a multinational empire; we are trying to give you something to think about here.

We have already talked about the Sphere of Influence in the previous developer diary. So, let’s move on and talk about how you get one. The first route is war. You can demand that a non-great power is moved into your sphere of influence. You can also demand that a Great Power transfer countries into your Sphere. Thus, as Prussia you can invade Austria and demand the transfer the South German minors into your SoI. Now, no territory would change hands, but it would help fulfil some of the perquisites for forming Germany. Thus you can find ways to ‘win’ wars without needing to paint the map your colour. Again we come back to our historical sand box model, where the historical result can be a good result.

So how about peaceful ways of expanding your Sphere? Great Powers accumulate influence points, which they then send to non great powers. We have set up a system similar to the intelligence interface in HoI3. You assign priorities to various countries and then influence is sent to them. Influence can be used to increase their opinion of you. This is separate from the relation value and is a description of your long-term relation with the country. This goes from being hostile to being in your sphere of influence. One use of the accumulated influence is to increase their opinion of you, once you have enough influence points you can take a country that is hostile to you and make it simply opposed. However, as their opinion increases you gain additional options that you can use against other Great Powers. You can reduce their influence in a country; make it harder for them to gain influence for a while, even reduce the country’s opinion of them. However, the most useful one of all is if you have a lot of influence in a country and they have a high opinion of you, you can persuade them to leave another country’s sphere (also neatly making them available for you to pick then up in your sphere.) Thus, there are ways to gain countries in your sphere through diplomatic means. The Ottoman Sultan may be listening to the British early on in the game, but perhaps Germany will be the one to displace them late game?

Well, there is our first delve into the wonderful world of Great Powers. Our aim is two part, first to give you game reasons to do historical things. The second is to give you a nice in-game challenge; which country can you make a Great Power?
 

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Very nice! :) Though I'm a bit confused about the difference between opinion and relations.
It also seems like there are in fact 8½ positions for great powers due to the 6 months rule. There's room for one power to be in limbo (or if it's very close to the 8th power that usurped it's position perhaps they'll be switching back and forth?).

Does the Sphere of Influence have any military or economic implications, or is it just diplomatic?

According to the last diary it constitutes an inner market.
 
Last edited:

Macs

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Sounds nice. The six months time to recuperate is a good way to deal with 'sudden' changes in the 8th position.

Oooh, nice.

Does the Sphere of Influence have any military or economic implications, or is it just diplomatic?

For economic reasons you should have a look at the last Dev Diary. They become part of your SoI market. Military.. who knows, maybe they generate a new kind of casus belli if others meddle with them or perpahps they are more inclined to join an alliance with you?

Edit: The difference between opinion and relations is probably something along the lines of trust and relations in EU3, I suppose. I have to admit that 'hostile' etc. sounds more like relations, though.
 

Alex_brunius

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Military.. who knows, maybe they generate a new kind of casus belli if others meddle with them or perpahps they are more inclined to join an alliance with you?
Yes that sounds logical. Id defenatelly want a casus belli against someone if they influence away nations from my sphere.
 

King

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Very nice! :) Though I'm a bit confused about the difference between opinion and relations.

Relation is the good old -200 to +200 relation value that you see in Paradox games and its effect is the same. Alliances, DoW things like that. Opinion is a more long term value that measure how a country sees a Great Power. This influences what influence actions a Great Power can do in a country. Specifically in relation to other Great Powers. If they have a higher opinion of another Great Power you will not be able to do anything nasty to that GP.
 

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So opinion only applies to great powers?
 

Alex_brunius

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Two things im curious about:

1.) Do the nations themself have anything to say about whose sphere they end up in?

2.) Is it more difficult to persuade powerful nations to join your sphere (like for example the second rank nations)?
 

King

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So opinion only applies to great powers?

Yes, it is a descriptive term that every non great power has in relation to each of the Great Powers
 

King

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Two things im curious about:

1.) Do the nations themself have anything to say about whose sphere they end up in?

2.) Is it more difficult to persuade powerful nations to join your sphere (like for example the second rank nations)?

No, they are not great powers. If you want a say in these kinds of things become a great power.
 

kaspar42

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So I guess that the Great Power game is mostly about keep earning prestige?
How are you going to avoid that the standard answer to avoid losing GP-status becomes beating up a random neighbor for battle-prestige?
 

Trin Tragula

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How are you going to avoid that the standard answer to avoid losing GP-status becomes beating up a random neighbor for battle-prestige?

Imho that doesn't seem unrealistic?
Looking at the screenshot military might makes up for much of the score as well though. Time to have an arms race ;)
 

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I am wondering if the "destitution to 9th place event" won't fire a awfull lot of great wars... I mean there is going to be a huge number of time where two countries will be very close in 8th and 9th place thus firing lots of those (fun) events...

Won't that create too many wars ? (Just wondering not sure at all)
 

King

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So I guess that the Great Power game is mostly about keep earning prestige?
How are you going to avoid that the standard answer to avoid losing GP-status becomes beating up a random neighbor for battle-prestige?

We aren't, if you had read the developer diary we want people to risk war to keep thier GP status.
 

Macs

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On the screenshot: I see an 'Call Ally' button as a diplomatic action. Thank god that's in!

There is a 'Decrease Relation' button. Why would you want to do that? Can you only DoW a nation if your relations are low enough or something? Same for opinion.

And I hope some of the non-self-explaining options like 'Expel Advisors' or how 'Gunboat Diplomacy' works will be explained in a future diary?
 

Trin Tragula

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About arms races. Is there any incentives for the top great powers to compete, perhaps for the first spot?
This would make sense for the naval race, etc.