Hello there! My name is Alex and I’m part of the QA team working on Victoria 3! I’m a relatively recent addition to the team, having only joined around March this year. Despite that, it has already been an incredible ride to see the game progress since then! Enough of that though, because today the topic at hand is something you likely have heard a lot about in previous dev diaries but that still deserves its own introduction: Cultures and Religions. As you probably already know from one of our very first dev diaries, pops have a series of aspects that define and group them. These include where the pops live, what profession they have and what building they work in. On top of that, pops are also defined by their cultural and religious background.
When hovering a culture you get all kinds of data you might find useful, like in this example of the Japanese Pop culture (not to be confused with Japanese pop culture which would much later take the world by storm) tooltip
Cultures and religions in Victoria 3 are closely related and a central concept of what makes the game work. At their core, both of them work by having a set of traits that define how closely-related different cultures and religions are. These traits are what determine if a culture or religion will be accepted or discriminated against based on the different laws you might have in your country. As an example, both Catholicism and Protestantism have the Christian trait, meaning that they accept each other under the Freedom of Conscience law – which requires a shared trait between the religions - but not under the State Religion law – a law under which only pops of the state religion are accepted. The last alternative is of course the Total Separation law which accepts all religions no matter what traits they have..
The world has many cultures and traditions to get to know and learn more about.
Cultures work slightly differently. For one, you have descriptive traits such as which language a culture generally speaks, i.e. lusophone or hispanophone. You also have a special kind of trait called heritage which generally describes very broadly where a certain culture originated from geographically. Some laws specifically require cultures to share a heritage with the primary cultures for them to be accepted, such as National Supremacy and Racial Segregation. There’s also Cultural Exclusion which requires at least a single trait to be shared for the culture to be accepted. Finally, Multiculturalism accepts all cultures regardless of traits.
Maybe your ideal run is to achieve prosperity as an independent Greenland where the Inuit culture gets to decide its own destiny.
Closely tied to cultures and religions are the concepts of taboos and obsessions. Both of these affect, either negatively or positively, how much Pops are willing to pay for and consume certain goods. As such, both taboos and obsessions only apply to consumer goods as opposed to military or industrial goods (so no tank obsessions, sorry). Obsessions are tied to cultures, for instance the French culture being obsessed with wine or the Nepali with tea. As you might have guessed, taboos on the other hand are tied to religions. Importantly though, they still manifest themselves culturally. Every culture has a religion tied to it and “inherits” the taboos from that religion. This means that a catholic turkish pop will still have a taboo against wine and liquor for instance.
The Nepali know Tea is the superior hot drink and not that bitter bean juice people call coffee.
Another difference between obsessions and taboos is that while taboos don’t change throughout the game, obsessions are more fleeting and can emerge organically or be removed in case something significant happens, like the Opium Crisis for instance. If a certain good is abundantly available in a market, the Pops in that market have a small chance of becoming obsessed with it.
A prominent leader of the Comanche, Puhihwitsikwasu, or Iron Jacket for the uncultured Europeans, gets some impressive culturally defined clothes and headdress.
Cultures and religions touch on most of the game’s mechanics in one way or another as can be seen from previous dev diaries. From mechanics related to secessions, migrations and unifications all the way to discrimination, political strength and conversion/assimilation. Cultures are also tied to visual changes such as the appearance of characters. When playing Victoria 3, you will often be thinking about cultures in one way or another. On top of all that, it might interest some of you that cultures and religions are very easily moddable to do what you want. Below you can find a quick Blorg culture mod I made with some details like localization files omitted. All in all a very simple process!
I’m fully expecting someone to make a “Blorg invasion from Outer Space” total conversion alt history mod now.
As you can see, the modding itself is very simple, even though I glossed over a few details like localization files and properly defining cultural traits as well as actually creating a Pop with the Blorg culture, but all of that is very straight forward.
That’s all for me folks! Exciting times are ahead of us and I’m looking forward to having you all play the game when it’s finally time. Until then maybe I’ll see you at our first upcoming stream next week or maybe even at PDXCON? Either way, next time Mikael will tell you a bit more about The Journey so Far!