Dev Diary #79 - What’s next after 1.2?READ FULL FORUM POST
Hello and welcome to the first Victoria 3 dev diary after the release of update 1.2! With this update now out, we feel that it’s a good time to return to the Post-Release Plans we outlined in Dev Diary #64, check what’s already been done and go over what further changes and improvements we have planned for the game in future free updates such as 1.3, 1.4 and beyond. In the Post-Release Plans Dev Diary we outlined three key areas of improvement for the game: Military, Historical Immersion and Diplomacy and these are very much still our main targets, but are now being joined by an Internal Politics section. The Other section is also still there for anything that doesn’t fall neatly into one of the four categories.
For this dev diary, I’ll be aiming to give you an overview of where we stand and where we’re heading by going through each of these four categories and marking on each one with one of the below statuses:
This is a part of the game that we now consider to be in good shape. Something being Done of course doesn’t mean we’re never going to expand or improve on it in the future, just that it’s no longer a high priority for us.
This is a part of the game where we have made some of the improvements and changes that we want to make, but aren’t yet satisfied with where it stands and plan to make further improvements to it in future updates such as 1.3, 1.4 and so on.
This is a part of the game where we haven’t yet released any of our planned changes/improvements in either 1.1 or 1.2 but still plan to do so for future updates.
This is a planned change or improvement that is newly added, ie wasn’t present on the list in Dev Diary #64.
Just like in the original Post-Release Plans dev diary, we will only be talking about improvements, changes and new features that are part of planned free updates in this dev diary. So then, let’s get to the categories and see where we stand! For each point in each category that isn’t new to this update there will be a sub-point detailing our progress on the point so far.
Adding the ability for countries to set strategic objectives for their generals
The ability to designate Strategic Objectives were added to the game in update 1.2
Addressing some of the rough edges in how generals function at the moment, such as improving unit selection for battles and balancing the overall progression along fronts
While there are still rough edges in the military system and we undoubtedly will continue to tweak the precise balancing here, we consider the specific issues with front progression and unit selection for battles largely resolved in update 1.2
Improving the ability of players to get an overview of their military situation and exposing more data, like the underlying numbers behind battle sizes
We have made a number of improvements to army visualization in 1.2 and added breakdowns for factors such as battle sizes, but we have more work to do when it comes to giving players a good overview of wars and making multi-front wars easier to manage
Increasing the visibility of navies and making admirals easier to work with
Some improvements have been made here, such as removing the restriction on naval invasions using Generals from different HQs, but we still consider navies an area of the game in need of improvement from a visibility and usability standpoint
Finding solutions for the issue where theaters can split into multiple (sometimes even dozens) of tiny fronts as pockets are created
We have mitigated this issue in update 1.2 by auto-closing small pockets and improving battle province selection but the issue still persists (particularly in wars with a large number of small countries) so further improvements are needed here
Experimenting with controlled front-splitting for longer fronts
Some internal design work has been done on this, but it’s very tricky to get right without worsening the front splitting issues - it’s still very much a high priority for us nonetheless!
Adding a system for limited wars to reduce the number of early-game total wars between Great Powers
Solving the issue of armies going home after Generals die during a war by adding a system for field promotion
Ensuring the American Civil War has a decent chance to happen, happens in a way that makes sense (slave states rising up to defend slavery, etc), and isn’t easily avoidable by the player.
The ACW is now more difficult to avoid, and when sparked over the issue of slavery, should now create a historically plausible CSA (note that there may still be unintended cases of a ‘fake CSA’ appearing due to a non slavery related landowner revolt, which isn’t covered by the above fixes)
Working to expose and improve content such as expeditions and journal entries that is currently too difficult for players to find or complete
The Journal Entries that we wanted to make easier to complete and/or more visible have been tweaked in the intended way (though we will undoubtedly continue to make minor balance adjustments to them)
Tweaking content such as the Meiji Restoration, Alaska purchase and so on in a way that they can more frequently be successfully performed by the AI, through a mix of AI improvements and content tweaks
Significant improvements have been made to the AI’s ability to complete Journal Entries such as Tanzimat, Manifest Destiny and so on, though it still struggles with others like the Meiji Restoration and so further work is needed.
Ensuring unifications such as Italy, Germany and Canada doesn’t constantly happen decades ahead of the historical schedule, and increasing the challenge of unifying Italy and Germany in particular
The Unifications now occur in a way that is more ‘on schedule’, but we still want to change them so that they mechanically behave in a more historically plausible way
General AI tweaks to have AI countries play in a more believable, immersive way
Significant changes have been made to the diplomatic AI in both 1.1 and 1.2 but this is an area that is going to continue receiving attention from us for some time, particularly when it comes to making the AI less opaque in its reasoning (for example, explaining why they sided against you in a diplomatic play despite good relations)
Adding more country, state and region-specific content to enhance historical flavor of different countries
The ability to expand your primary demands in a diplomatic play beyond just one wargoal (though this has to be done in such a way that there’s still a reason for countries to actually back down)
Adding additional primary demands was added to the game in update 1.2
‘Reverse-swaying’, ie the ability to offer to join a side in a play in exchange for something
More things to offer in diplomatic plays, like giving away your own land for support
Trading (or at least giving away) states
Foreign investment and some form of construction in other countries, at least if they’re part of your market
Improving and expanding on interactions with and from subjects, such as being able to grant and ask for more autonomy through a diplomatic action
Allowing peace deals to be negotiated during a Diplomatic Play instead of only having the option to give in
(Moved from ‘Other’) Making it more interesting and ‘competitive’ but also more challenging to play in a more conservative and autocratic style
We have made some changes here, such as locking laws behind regressive distributions of power and changing GDP to not unfairly favor manufacturing economies but this is still an area where we want to do more
Improving the mechanics of law enactment and revolutions to be more engaging for the player to interact with
Adding more mechanics for characters and giving the player more reason to care about individual characters in your country:
Adding laws that expand on diversity of countries and introduce new ways to play the game
Making it easier to get an overview of your Pops and Pop factors such as Needs, Standard of Living and Radicals/Loyalists
Update 1.2 added new overviews for Pop Needs and better explanations for the reasons behind radicals and loyalists
Experimenting with autonomous private-sector construction and increasing the differences in gameplay between different economic systems (though as I’ve said many times, we are never going to take construction entirely out of the hands of the player)
Autonomous private-sector construction was added to the game in update 1.2
Ironing out some of the kinks with the late-game economy and the AI’s ability to develop key resources such as oil and rubber
While the economic AI is definitely going to continue to receive improvements, the specific issue of the AI never developing these key resources should be fixed
Improving Alerts and the Current Situation widget to provide more useful and actionable information.
Just as last time we shared these plans, the above is not an exhaustive list of everything we want to do, and I can’t give an exact timeline for any of the individual points or which precise future update they will be a part of. This list also still only covers changes and additions that will be part of free updates! We are planning to continue releasing dev diaries like this updating you on our progress after each major update to the game.
That’s all for today’s update, I hope you found it informative! Next week we’ll dive right back into regular dev diaries as we start going over the details of what we have in the works for Update 1.3, though I’ll note that we won’t be ready to talk about the release date for that update. See you then!