Investment pools don't have to be a problem

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Of the game mechanics that have been revealed to us so far, one of the more controversial ones is the investment pool, which lets the player build factories and other buildings using the money of your capitalists and aristocrats. This is different from Vicky 2, where capitalists choose for themselves what factories to invest in with their money unless you were playing a planned economy.

While I understand the investment pool from a gameplay perspective as it makes the player always involved in their economy, a core aspect of the game, valid criticisms have been raised regarding the investment pool's ability to accurately depict free market capitalism. Realistically you would think a capitalist economy would be more inclined to produce goods based on their profitability while a planned economy would produce what the government (the player) wants it to. For example the player might want to bolster artillery production in their country as it would be useful for them in war (as was often the case in Victoria 2) while a capitalist wouldn't necessarily make the same investment in peacetime when artillery demand is low.

I think a potential solution to this problem would simply be to prevent the player from downgrading buildings in more capitalist oriented economic systems. According to one dev response pops can leave the building they're working in to take higher paying jobs, which potentially solves some of the problems people have with the investment pools. In my mind, this means that you can build however many artillery factories you want; as long as the artillery factories aren't running a profit, pops will find their way into other workplaces that run higher profits and as such pay higher wages. A factory running a deficit will eventually have to close unless subsidised.

If you repeatedly try to build artillery factories or other unprofitable buildings with your investment pool it will eventually run out, and as the money in investment pools indirectly comes from dividends paid out by profitable factories the player would be incentivised to produce profitable goods instead, much like your capitalists would if left to their own devices. By making the player unable to downgrade buildings they would be unable to force workers into less profitable industries of the players desire. When it comes to subsidizing factories to keep them from failing I hope that subsidies are never more than just enough to keep the factory open. A factory running a good profit should offer higher wages and attract more workers than a failing, subsidized factory so that there is some restriction to the players ability to dictate what is produced.

As for people concerned with microing larger economies I don't think making players of big countries always pick laissez faire economic systems so that AI does investment for them is a good mechanic and I would rather see efficient macromanagement tools than pop investments that happen only under certain economic systems.
 
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Although I will miss the idea of a pure laissez faire economy, the devs had to take a decition on what to do with its AI and viability, they pulled up a middle ground solution and I can respect and go on with it. Since Wiz stated today that the player is not the government per se but the "spirit of the nation", I can see the player having the first word on how factories are built being an acceptable solution. The player is given an investment, now he is the one to decide whether building a furniture or beer factory, since he couldn't logically further subsidize the factory he is the one to blame when that first decition is wrong, capitalists lose their money and become angry (according to how they have described the game). You could say the player is acting as one of those capitalists for the first step only, but the market is free to develop that step further. If factories are upgraded by the caps themselves, I can see no problem with micromanagement, in Vic 2 the deal was not building the factories but keeping up with the accelerated late game worker growth.
 
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Plopping down buildings is not player agency -- it's micromanagement. And I say that even as someone who doesn't mind micromanagement. I just think that if you're trying to come up with ways to increase player agency, having the player click around on different shapes on a map and click a button to make heavily-abstracted-buildings-not-buildings appear then the problem isn't player agency, it's the gameplay itself.
 
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Plopping down buildings is not player agency -- it's micromanagement. And I say that even as someone who doesn't mind micromanagement. I just think that if you're trying to come up with ways to increase player agency, having the player click around on different shapes on a map and click a button to make heavily-abstracted-buildings-not-buildings appear then the problem isn't player agency, it's the gameplay itself.
They already said they are working on automation mechanics to help players with micromanagement
 
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Another simple thing would be to restrict which buildings we can build with the Investment Pool based on some factors that would realistically impact the decision making of the investors (profitability and other concerns, like Aristocrats prioritizing agriculture over heavy industry and mining).
 
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They already said they are working on automation mechanics to help players with micromanagement
I don't care so much about micromanagement as much as I do about plopping down buildings essentially being the same in all economies.
 
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deezee

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People who are unhappy with the investment pool really have two issues. First, it may create micro, especially for large countries in the late game. Second, it makes it harder to model potential conflicts between the interests of the capitalist class and that of the nation.

Starting with the second one, which is a bit of a more interesting question, one way to handle it is to have the capitalist class have "preferred" buildings based on their own interests. When the player uses the investment pool to build non-preferred buildings, which represents the nation using either formal regulation, red tape, or informal pressure to influence investment, this will offend the capitalist interest groups (represented either by a direct cost in Clout or else by making capitalists less happy).

The cost here should depend on the stated ideology of the country - in relatively statist countries, capitalists may be a little annoyed but will shrug their shoulders and say that's a just part of doing business. Meanwhile capitalists that are backing a laissez faire government that claims to represent their interests would be outraged if this happens often. Of course, there would have to be corresponding bonuses for laissez faire governments as well, possibly through a general increase in spending efficiency for private investments. You could even use this mechanic to represent different classes of capital owners desiring different things.

For the first, the devs are going to have to build an AI routine to manage investments either way, since non-player countries will use it. So while it might be discouraged if building is a key part of the gameplay loop, it shouldn't be too much work to just give an option to automate.
 
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My perennial problem in Vic2 was that either I pick laissez-faire after 1860 or I play Uruguay. In fact, if I were successful, after 1900 I would pick laissez-faire even as Uruguay. (No offense intended to the plucky democracy). If the devs think this system will be an improvement over the previous state of affairs, then I'm willing to give it a shot. We don't know how it will work in practice yet anyhow.
 
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I don't care so much about micromanagement as much as I do about plopping down buildings essentially being the same in all economies.
Why would it be a bad thing? "Plopping down buildings", as in "the player selects from a list of available buildings and clicks the build button" is a fundamental low-level mechanic that should be the same for every economy. Differences can and should come on another level: you can select only some subset of buildings to build with private money (only the profitable ones, only the ones that enrich landed elites etc.), the effect of buildings varies (who pays for maintenance, who gets the profits, how you get part of the profits etc.), you have separate pools of money to spend on government buildings and on private buildings, so you have to choose carefully (if private buildings are unprofitable they would shut down and bring tax revenue down, if they enrich the owners too much their interest groups will get more control over the government; if government-controlled buildings are run for profit, you won't have enough strategic resources and will probably have high unemployment, etc.), there are tons of ways to make different economic systems distinct without making distinction on such a low level. Imagine if in HoI4 some ideologies could only control the divisions by hand, and other ideologies could only use frontline plans automation. That would make them distinct, to be sure, but would it be a good thing?
 
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"Plopping down buildings", as in "the player selects from a list of available buildings and clicks the build button" is a fundamental low-level mechanic that should be the same for every economy.
Nope.
 
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The flavor concerns don't bother me. It's certainly less immersion-shattering than, for instance, a CK ruler suddenly declaring that he has reformed their ancient, ancestral ways into a new religion where he is the chief representative of god and people saying "sure, sounds legit" instead of "look at the crazy person," or an EU ruler taking one look at his newborn baby and saying "uggh, 0/0/0? disinherited" or even the annual massacre of the Anarcho-Liberals that was late-game Victoria II. I'm perfectly happy to take it as you representing the "spirit of the nation" guiding the capitalists to invest in tank factories instead of flooding the market with clippers in 1920.

I am extremely worried that it will resemble the nightmare that was playing as a state-capitalist large country in Victoria II (I remember the time I decided to play as China in order to westernize and drive out the foreign devils...only to westernize, realize that my party options meant I would have to build every single factory in every province in China, and immediately quit).
 
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I am extremely worried that it will resemble the nightmare that was playing as a state-capitalist large country in Victoria II (I remember the time I decided to play as China in order to westernize and drive out the foreign devils...only to westernize, realize that my party options meant I would have to build every single factory in every province in China, and immediately quit).
That's really subjective, for some player that is the best part.
 
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Juanvito

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If investment decisions are completely disconnected from the simulation, that's a problem.
 

CassalettIV

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If in a laissez faire economic policy I...
...can only build as long as there's only enough investments
...can't subsidize that factory
...can't close/open factories
...can't upgrade it (maybe unless it's only with the pool money)
then I see that economy as the game having way more control than me, so it isn't taking the full laissez faire experience out. As much as I dream with a smart capitalist AI, other than the AI (other nations) who I'd imagine is simpler to do (they don't expect it to be that good like the player does), I don't think the devs have plans to work on an AI, it being harder and possibly less viable than Vic 2. Just thoughts from what we have been able to see.
 
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Rhazzaz0r

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The problem I see is that AI investor pops building their own buildings is not a solution to the micromanagment issue, as a lot of people claim, in my opinions. Just because I want to play the USA as an absolut monarchy with a planned economy shouldn't force me to have to micromanage everything and playing an anarchist Luxembourg with a laissez-faire economy shouldn't force me to sit there on speed 5 observing my economy.
I think the differences should be in how the money is accumulated (state or pops) and if the political power is with the people or the government as in theory I should be able to "play" as both since I am the country and not the pops or the government. If the mechanics of the game are well set-up then this should lean to very different gameplay loops and scenarios and also should be quite imersive. Just because I can use the money from investors doesn't mean I have the freedom to spend it on anything, the respective interestgroups should be very demanding in such a society and punishing if I igonre them.
If we can tell our monarch which ruling party to elect and to side with the rebels in a rebellion then I don't see a reason why we shouldnt be able to influence the investors in which buildings to build.
 
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Ololorium

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Because the entire argument is that in some economies the player should not be directly placing buildings himself at all.
1) Why do you think so? It would make sense if the player was the government, but the player is not the government, Wiz specifically stated that.
2) Why do you think it will make the game better?
I understand that "that's how it works in Victoria 2 and Victoria 2 is a good game", but not every single aspect of a good game is necessarily good. The system in Victoria 2 railroaded the player into state capitalism early on and/or for small countries and into Laissez-faire in the late game and/or for large countries. It wasn't a good thing. Poorly scaling mechanics that become very boring or very tedious depending on scale and force the player to avoid them are not a good thing. We shouldn't introduce them in a new game just because they existed in an old game and sort of made sense flavor-wise.
 
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Leoreth

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Plopping down buildings is not player agency -- it's micromanagement. And I say that even as someone who doesn't mind micromanagement. I just think that if you're trying to come up with ways to increase player agency, having the player click around on different shapes on a map and click a button to make heavily-abstracted-buildings-not-buildings appear then the problem isn't player agency, it's the gameplay itself.
Micromanagement is bad, and the game should offer solutions to hand off micromanagement to the AI when desired.

None of that should be tied in any way to the economic system. I should not be forced to go laissez faire because I am Russia and do not want to manage all my states. That makes no sense. I do not want to make the decision for my economic system based on how much the micromanagement annoys me.

It should be based on what I think is best for my country, or which ideology I want to roleplay as.
 
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durbal

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1) Why do you think so? It would make sense if the player was the government, but the player is not the government, Wiz specifically stated that.
2) Why do you think it will make the game better?
I don't care about whether the player is the 'spirit of the nation' (whatever that means) or the government. I care about gameplay, and if the core gameplay loop is clicking around different areas on the map and plopping down buildings no matter what economy you have then it's not very interesting gameplay.

It will make the game better to have capitalists build their own factories because then the player would have more interesting challenges to work with in order to direct their country to whatever goals they want. It's much more interesting to try to mobilize for war, for example, by improving factory working conditions to get rural workers to urbanize and subsidizing steel costs than just plopping down an arms factory. Having capitalists build their own factors could then turn them into powerful actors you'd have to interact with at an individual and group level -- some of which could become powerful titans of industry and become heavily involved in national affairs. It seems like a missed opportunity to not have people like Rockefellers or Carnegies appearing.
 
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