Maintaining Roads and assessing the Authority Capacity

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By reading the developer diary and their comments, one finds that in V3 there are going to be two ways in which a country is able to maintain roads.

Maintaining roads in the first normal way (without using Authority, that is) will presumably require manpower (perhaps bureaucrat pops) working on them, materials and wages for the workers.

The other way of maintaining roads by using Authority has been described by some as a corvée system (unpaid labour). By the same logic then, maintaining roads should require manpower (in this case farmers or other workers not employed by the government as regular employees), materials (paid for by either the government, aristocrats or the peasantry) but NOT wages for the workers as in this case they perform unpaid labour. Also depending on the level of unpaid labour (whether it's too much time consuming or not) and because this other system of maintaining roads uses farmers instead of specialised government workers, said farmers would have less time working in the fields and therefore the overall production output of crops would be slightly decreased.

However, is this how it's going to work in the game? Read the following quote by a developer:
The reason why Road Maintenance uses Authority is because it's a decree (one of many different types) issued in a state to its population, and doesn't cost the government anything other than the Authority to ensure its people are following its directives. This is a pretty early-game solution to maintaining a good market connections in a few states at a time, more effective means of leveraging your economy to ensure cohesion between your states tend to emerge later in the game, freeing your Authority up for other things like suppressing your political opponents (or, you know, granting your people more rights, if that's how you want to go about it.)

An interpretation of the above quote suggests that there are two systems in which you can maintain roads, in the first manpower, wages, infrastructure and materials are taken into consideration and in the other system only "Authority" is taken into consideration. In other words an authoritarian government will maintain the roads by simply being authoritarian.

Now of course it could be that maintaining roads with Authority will indeed require manpower, infrastructure and materials, and that what the developer said ("doesn't cost the government anything other than the Authority") is simply a miscommunication or a mistake. I would greatly appreciate it if the developers clarified this small but highly important point.

Nevertheless if maintaining the roads with Authority simply costs the government 200 Authority points then I would like to know people's opinions on this system. Are you supportive of the idea that a government may maintain their roads not with the use of manpower, wages, infrastructure and materials but with X number of Authority points? If yes why? Considering that there already is a system for maintaining roads that utilises manpower, wages, infrastructure and materials, why does there need to be another second system that only uses X number of Authority points?

Of course all this raises an important question: where does this Authority come from?

From the limited information that we have it appears to come from (but not limited to) a Base Value, the fact that the government is oligarchical (+200 from Oligarchy) and the fact that the government is limiting free speech (+100 from Freedom of Conscience and +50 from Right of Assembly).

First, let's clear out something. How do leaders of countries maintain their legitimacy and enforce their will? Mainly by the interest groups and institutions (that are comprised by said groups) that support them and by how powerful these interest groups are. They could be the nobility, the Church, the military, the academia, the burghers. In fact Interest Groups already exist in V3, which is very good. And these interest groups support the leaders for various reasons with one of them being that they get privileges from their leaders. The aristocracy could get more autonomy on how they handle matters in their estates, the industrialists might benefit from high tariffs protecting their factories from competition and so on. Leaders also maintain their legitimacy and power though laws. But then again the interest groups enforce and follow these laws and at any point if they feel powerful enough can chose to ignore said laws. The number of interest groups a leader might need to maintain his legitimacy and power may be large or small. It depends on the power and influence of said groups as well as their relative power and influence to other interest groups that oppose the current leader of the country.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's continue.

My suggestion is that what determines what an authoritarian leader is able to do shouldn't be "+200 Authority from Oligarchy". It should be determined by the support they have from various Interest Groups. An authoritarian leader should be able to pass Consumption Taxes on Liquor because he has the support of the Clergy Interest Group which itself supports teetotalism and not because he managed to have an excess of Authority points because the government censors newspapers. The fact that the newspapers get censored shouldn't give +100 Authority points but instead lower the pop's consciousness and their political awareness.

A country should be able to maintain the roads with unpaid labour not because they have enough Authority points, but because the aristocracy supports such a measure as they benefit from unpaid labour as well and they consider it their ancient right.

A country should be able to suppress political dissidents not because they have enough Authority points but because the Interest Groups that support the government, hold social and moral values that consider persecution of political dissidents acceptable or at least tolerable.

As you can see in the aforementioned examples everything is connected and linked with pops. Everything (or at least most things) should be connected with pops, their loyalty, their radicalism, their needs, their wealth, their economic interests, their social interests, their ideologies, their religions, their beliefs, their cultural and social values, the Interest Groups they form, the institutions they create, the laws they enforce and follow.

Are Base Value, Oligarchy, National Supremacy, Freedom of Conscience and Right of Assembly as well as the various decrees that a government may enact with Authority such as Road Maintenance and Consumption Taxes and in general the entire system of Authority, all connected and linked with pops? It seems not entirely, but of course we probably need further clarifications from the developers again.

And if Victoria 3 does indeed take into consideration pops when increasing Authority points (such as +200 from Oligarchy) and when enacting decrees which consequently decrease Authority points (such as Maintaining Roads) and I am simply wrong for assuming V3 won't do that, one might ask: then why does the Authority Capacity system even exist?
 
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I think specifically the maintain roads decree represents early game dirt roads and that it will not be viable for when you start getting railroads. Maintaining a dirt road requires only labor and some simple tools you can assume subsistence farmers have access to to work their farms. By the time you run out of subsistence farmers you should have more advanced infrastructure unless you have done something very wierd, tons of industry and dirt roads sound really suboptimal.

The decree is also really expensive in terms of authority. Not really viable except in a few key states.
 
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We don't know if the Maintain Roads decree is supposed to represent only the simplest of dirt roads that can be maintained with simple tools. Also simple dirt roads weren't the only type of roads, especially in early 19th century Europe. Cobblestone roads as well as other more elaborate type of roads existed as well. One could also assume that bridges are represented in road maintenance too.

But even in the case of simple dirt roads that can be maintained with simple tools by the peasantry, shouldn't the manpower, materials and lost work-hours be taken into consideration? The dirt roads need peasant pops to maintain them. The peasant pops need tools to maintain the roads, meaning they have to buy them if they don't already own them or repair them more often as they're used more often (normal work in the fields plus maintaining roads). That is, the pops need to buy goods from the market. Finally as I already mentioned, maintaining roads means the peasantry has less time working on their own fields (especially if the work is labourious), leading to slightly decreased production.

The decree is also really expensive in terms of authority
Yes, but the question is should maintaining roads with unpaid labour be determined by an excess of Authority? My point is whether that should be the case or not and I've made a few examples in my original post.
 
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Yeah, it seems very counterintuitive to the very idea of the game (at least, what they presented at the convention). They are pushing this "everything is connected in the greater economy" design philosophy (see: ports and railroads now needing laborers and materials) so to have a way to just "will" the roads to a better state via some vague authority seems very at odds with this core design...
 
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By reading the developer diary and their comments, one finds that in V3 there are going to be two ways in which a country is able to maintain roads.

Maintaining roads in the first normal way (without using Authority, that is) will presumably require manpower (perhaps bureaucrat pops) working on them, materials and wages for the workers.

The other way of maintaining roads by using Authority has been described by some as a corvée system (unpaid labour). By the same logic then, maintaining roads should require manpower (in this case farmers or other workers not employed by the government as regular employees), materials (paid for by either the government, aristocrats or the peasantry) but NOT wages for the workers as in this case they perform unpaid labour. Also depending on the level of unpaid labour (whether it's too much time consuming or not) and because this other system of maintaining roads uses farmers instead of specialised government workers, said farmers would have less time working in the fields and therefore the overall production output of crops would be slightly decreased.
Couple problems I have with this paragraph:

1) We're talking about dirt roads here. What materials should be used, exactly?
2) Corvee labor was usually something like 2 or 3 days out of the year, per person. That really should not badly impact output, especially given the seasonal nature of peasant work.

With this in mind, I think the answer is yes, it will just be Authority used. Skipping down to the next place I have an issue with in your post:
Of course all this raises an important question: where does this Authority come from?

From the limited information that we have it appears to come from (but not limited to) a Base Value, the fact that the government is oligarchical (+200 from Oligarchy) and the fact that the government is limiting free speech (+100 from Freedom of Conscience and +50 from Right of Assembly).

First, let's clear out something. How do leaders of countries maintain their legitimacy and enforce their will? Mainly by the interest groups and institutions (that are comprised by said groups) that support them and by how powerful these interest groups are. They could be the nobility, the Church, the military, the academia, the burghers. In fact Interest Groups already exist in V3, which is very good. And these interest groups support the leaders for various reasons with one of them being that they get privileges from their leaders. The aristocracy could get more autonomy on how they handle matters in their estates, the industrialists might benefit from high tariffs protecting their factories from competition and so on. Leaders also maintain their legitimacy and power though laws. But then again the interest groups enforce and follow these laws and at any point if they feel powerful enough can chose to ignore said laws. The number of interest groups a leader might need to maintain his legitimacy and power may be large or small. It depends on the power and influence of said groups as well as their relative power and influence to other interest groups that oppose the current leader of the country.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's continue.

My suggestion is that what determines what an authoritarian leader is able to do shouldn't be "+200 Authority from Oligarchy". It should be determined by the support they have from various Interest Groups. An authoritarian leader should be able to pass Consumption Taxes on Liquor because he has the support of the Clergy Interest Group which itself supports teetotalism and not because he managed to have an excess of Authority points because the government censors newspapers. The fact that the newspapers get censored shouldn't give +100 Authority points but instead lower the pop's consciousness and their political awareness.
Disagree. The Authority system needs to distinguish between authoritarian and liberal systems. Liberal states will also be trying to make their IGs happy, but should not have high Authority for obvious reasons. Instead, its the system itself and the structure of the state that allow for Authoritarian actions. IGs shouldn't be irrelevant in this mechanic, and they're not: only by keeping Interest Groups happy will you be able to maintain the current structure of your state. Otherwise, you will either have to reform or risk rebellion/civil war.

And let's take your example with the Clergy Group. Let's say they don't like me because I've done actions that are contrary to their will. When I suggest doing a liquor tax or passing a bunch of blue laws, are they going to oppose me on that because they're mad I gave women the vote or something? No, of course not. They will support me because they are teetotalers, as you said.
A country should be able to maintain the roads with unpaid labour not because they have enough Authority points, but because the aristocracy supports such a measure as they benefit from unpaid labour as well and they consider it their ancient right.
Okay, but what about the peasants? The ability to enact corvee labor (without incurring the negative penalties associated with going over the Authority limit) should take them into account too.
A country should be able to suppress political dissidents not because they have enough Authority points but because the Interest Groups that support the government, hold social and moral values that consider persecution of political dissidents acceptable or at least tolerable.
The Tsar should not lose his ability to lock people up and send them off to Siberia just because the nobles are miffed at him. Having the nobles pissed at him might lead to his overthrow, but that's a different mechanic.
As you can see in the aforementioned examples everything is connected and linked with pops.
No, absolutely not. If you're just looking at POPs, then well run liberal states with happy IGs would have plenty of Authority and no one would bat an eye when the President suspended habeas corpus across the country.

Authority should be derived from the structure of the state. The structure of the state ultimately, though, comes back to POPs indirectly, because if you're not keeping them happy the structure of your state will be hammered into a different shape.
 
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Vohen

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On acquisition of authority, I'm giving it a pass for now because we simply don't know what effect these laws have yet.
It could very well be (and hopefully is) that each law has effects on pops depending on all sorts of factors.
We haven't been given details on laws yet, I'll refrain my thoughts until we do.

On decrees, however, I'm in complete accordance here, saying it will have no cost besides authority points is quite concerning.
As I was saying in the other thread, I had interpreted authority to be simply a way for the executive to bypass the legislative (the IGs influences, for all we know), which would be alright as a mechanic by itself, but if the process in which decrees take effect is completely removed from the simulation, it becomes simply "spend points, get effect".
 
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We're talking about dirt roads here. What materials should be used, exactly?
That depends on what Goods are going to be available in Victoria 3 and we don't know all of them yet. If for example Basic Tools is going to be a Good in V3 then the pops that maintain the roads should require an amount of Basic Tools. These materials could either be paid for by the government, the aristocracy or the peasants themselves. That would depend on the exact type of unpaid labour.

Also we don't know yet if Road Maintenance represents only dirt roads. It could also represent bridges, cobblestone roads, etc.

2) Corvee labor was usually something like 2 or 3 days out of the year, per person. That really should not badly impact output, especially given the seasonal nature of peasant work.
That would depend on the exact nature of corvée labour which varied from place to place.

Also let's not forget that this is merely one of the many decrees that one could enact. Are the other decrees only going to use Authority and nothing else?

its the system itself and the structure of the state that allow for Authoritarian actions
The system itself and the structure of the state is held together by interest groups that support it and have a vested interest in its survival. The interest groups that support the state are also the ones that allow for Authoritarian action. If all said interest groups stop supporting the government because they don't approve of his authoritarian actions anymore, then the current structure collapses and a new regime takes over.

IGs shouldn't be irrelevant in this mechanic, and they're not: only by keeping Interest Groups happy will you be able to maintain the current structure of your state. Otherwise, you will either have to reform or risk rebellion/civil war.
My entire argument is that Interest Groups (which are comprised of pops) should be relevant to pretty much everything.

Otherwise, you will either have to reform or risk rebellion/civil war.
Indeed. I think I made it clear that a leader should keep the Interest Groups that support him happy or at least not disloyal.

are they going to oppose me on that because they're mad I gave women the vote or something? No, of course not. They will support me because they are teetotalers, as you said
Correct. I don't understand why you think I'm in disagreement with that.

Okay, but what about the peasants? The ability to enact corvee labor (without incurring the negative penalties associated with going over the Authority limit) should take them into account too.
Of course. These are just mere examples to illustrate that pops should be taken into consideration in decrees/laws.

The Tsar should not lose his ability to lock people up and send them off to Siberia just because the nobles are miffed at him. Having the nobles pissed at him might lead to his overthrow, but that's a different mechanic.
I didn't say that he should lose that ability. Of course he should be able to do that even if the Interest Groups that are part of the government dislike that. And as you said that should be possible to lead to a coup or a rebellion.

If you're just looking at POPs, then well run liberal states with happy IGs would have plenty of Authority and no one would bat an eye when the President suspended habeas corpus across the country.
Interest Groups are comprised of pops. In a liberal democracy it is very likely that most of the Interest Groups that support the government are going to be very unhappy if the President does something quite authoritarian like suspending Habeas Corpus.

Authority should be derived from the structure of the state
Again the structure of the state is held together by the interest groups that support it. If a king for whatever reason loses the support of all the interest groups that support him, then he can really do anything. The structure and the laws are ignored, a revolution or coup occurs and the regime changes rulers.

The structure of the state ultimately, though, comes back to POPs indirectly, because if you're not keeping them happy the structure of your state will be hammered into a different shape.
This is why I make a point that before, when and after a ruler enacts a law, the Interest Groups (pops) should be taken into consideration. And I'm trying to find out if the Authority Capacity system is going to take them into consideration and by how much.
 
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That depends on what Goods are going to be available in Victoria 3 and we don't know all of them yet. If for example Basic Tools is going to be a Good in V3 then the pops that maintain the roads should require an amount of Basic Tools. These materials could either be paid for by the government, the aristocracy or the peasants themselves. That would depend on the exact type of unpaid labour.
As I've said elsewhere, the tools aren't going to go away just because a peasant needs to spend a couple of days leveling the roads. Yes, there will be some depreciation but I don't think its worth modeling.
This is why I make a point that before, when and after a ruler enacts a law, the Interest Groups (pops) should be taken into consideration.
We haven't gotten a dev diary on laws yet, but based on screenshots I'd say they most definitely are involved.
And I'm trying to find out if the Authority Capacity system is going to take them into consideration and by how much.
Based on what we know, I'd say only indirectly. Interest Groups influence your laws, which in turn determines your Authority Capacity.
 
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Also let's not forget that this is merely one of the many decrees that one could enact. Are the other decrees only going to use Authority and nothing else?
That's probably my biggest concern.
Let's say it's fine for roads to only require points and nothing else whatsoever to maintain, but what about other decrees?
I know they haven't explained decrees yet, but from the sample they did explain (road maintenance), it's not big leap to consider.
That's why further clarification would be so useful right now.