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Dev Diary #83 - Agitators and Exiles

16 9 (13)

Hello again! Last week we announced that the Voice of the People Immersion Pack will be released alongside the 1.3 Update on May 22nd and included in the Grand Edition of Victoria 3. Following on from that, today we’ll be going into depth on Agitators and Exiles, the central mechanical features of the update. 

As I teased in the previous dev diary, Agitators are populist firebrands who lead Political Movements to support their ideological goals in your country. They might be the only avenue towards moving your country in a direction opposed by your political elite, allowing you to leverage their support to enact laws that would otherwise find no support. Alternatively they might be dangerous dissidents who oppose the very foundations of your rule, leading the people to revolt against the state. Agitators are a free feature included in the 1.3 Update but various bells and whistles, primarily the historical Agitator characters, will be exclusive to the Voice of the People Immersion Pack.

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Lenin is one of the historical Agitators that can appear in your game. Depending on conditions in Russia when he becomes politically active, he might either remain there and immediately agitate for a communist revolution or first spend some time in Exile.

Voice of the People will include over 60 historical Agitators that can appear throughout the world in your game, but regardless of whether you own the Immersion Pack you will also see “unscripted” Agitators emerge. There are three ways that an Agitator can appear your country:

  • They can appear randomly, with a frequency based on your country’s literacy rate

  • They can appear through scripted Events

  • Exiled characters can be invited to your country as Agitators

When Agitators appear in your country, their Ideology is determined both by the many factors that already influence which Ideology characters receive and also by whether they would have laws to agitate for. For example, the Feminist ideology supports Women’s Suffrage, so if you already have this law you will not get Feminist Agitators. Agitators are intended to be opponents of the status quo, fighting alongside the people for the change they want to see in the world.

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Giuseppe Mazzini begins in Exile, and here has decided to take up residence in the Papal States where he was shocked to discover its suboptimal non-republican mode of government.

Agitators always support a Political Movement. When an Agitator arrives in your country, they will immediately look for an existing movement that they will support - either because their personal Ideology favors it over the current law in that category, or because their Interest Group wants it and it does not conflict with their personal ideology. If there are no Political Movements that an Agitator will support, they will instead create their own, rallying the people to their cause regardless of whether any of the powers that be approve of their methods. When creating their own Political Movements, Agitators will be heavily biased towards reforming whichever law in your country is most detestable to their personal Ideology. For example, a Nihilist Agitator entering a country with State Religion is very likely to create a movement in opposition to that law. This makes some Agitators more dangerous to the status quo than others - Radical Agitators for instance strongly desire a republican form of government, making them especially dangerous in monarchies.

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Through Events, Agitators will take a role in enacting laws, supporting revolutionary movements, and influencing elections.

Between the free 1.3 Update and the content exclusive to Voice of the People, we have written over 350 new Events for Victoria 3. Many of these Events are aimed at improving the variety of content you’ll experience while your country is passing a law, having an election, or dealing with a brewing revolution, and we’ve focused on prominently including Agitators in as many of them as possible.

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The movement for women’s suffrage will now emerge from Agitators leading your Pops in Political Movements rather than Interest Group Leaders gaining a Feminist Ideology.

Now that we have Agitators in the game, we’ve updated some existing content to make use of them, often in places where we were instead relying on Interest Group Leaders. In places where the content was much more thematically appropriate to popular movements rather than political elites, we shook things up a bit so that Agitators get created and involved instead or as well. For instance, the Votes for Women and the Springtime of the People Journal Entries and related Events now make extensive use of Agitators.

In 1.3 Agitators will join Political Movements that can boil over into Revolutions. In the future (no promises as to exactly when), we would like to overhaul our Nationalism/Secession systems and also give Agitators a role in national liberation movements. For this reason many significant and interesting figures that might have been solid Agitator candidates like Gandhi or Cao Futian haven’t been included in 1.3, as we feel we can do them more justice at a later time.

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Here you can see which Exiles are looking for a new home. For ease of use, you can sort by Interest Group and by whether your country is able to accept an Exile. You can also helpfully see what kind of Political Movement the Exile will join or create when they become an Agitator in your country.

Exiles are characters with no nation, who have left or been forcibly ejected from their home country and are seeking new opportunities to spread their political Ideology. This pool of Exiles is populated when other countries (or indeed, you yourself) decide to boot a character out of the country, so all of these Exiles have a story to tell and a home that they have left behind.

Countries have a soft limit on the number of Agitators that can be active at once. If you are at or over your limit, you cannot invite more Exiles to your country and new Agitators will not appear. In 1836 you’ll have 2 at most, if you’re a Great Power, else you’re limited to 1. Later in the game, Society techs will unlock additional potential for Agitators. Labor Movement, Political Agitation, and Mass Propaganda all increase your capacity for Agitators. This means that as the game progresses your internal politics will become increasingly divisive and there will be more competing demands from Agitators and the people they inspire.

There are also some restrictions on which Exiles you are able to invite:

  • Devout Agitators must always share your state religion. We don’t want Buddhist Theocrats agitating for a Protestant Theocracy!

  • On a similar note, if you have the State Religion law all Exiles you invite must share your state religion.

  • You cannot invite Exiles with cultures that are discriminated against in your country. This limits historically implausible scenarios where characters travel vast distances to become major political figures in societies that would likely not accept them.

  • If you have Closed Borders, you are entirely prohibited from inviting Exiles.

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Victor Hugo’s exile took him to some very exciting places, such as the Channel Island of Jersey where he was expelled for criticism of Queen Victoria. He then moved to the much worse island of Guernsey instead. I have absolutely no bias when it comes to the Channel Islands.

Just as you can invite Exiles to your country, you can also send characters into Exile. Just like with inviting Exiles, Exiling a character also has some restrictions on its use:

  • If you have Protected Speech, you are entirely prohibited from Exiling characters

  • If the character is not an Agitator, their Interest Group cannot be Marginalized, in government, or Insurrectionary

  • You can never Exile your ruler or heir

You’ll notice that these rules absolutely allow you to exile Agitators belonging to Interest Groups that are part of your government.

Exiling a character is not “free”. You are not able to simply remove any character that is not to your taste on a whim without consequence. Like all Character Interactions (more on that soon), there’s a cooldown for using it. But more importantly doing so can create Radicals in your country. You’ll get extra Radicals if you have the Right of Assembly law, and slightly fewer if you have Censorship - but notably no additional Radicals if you have Outlawed Dissent. You’ll also get extra Radicals if the character in question has high Popularity.

An interesting quirk of Exiling a character is that if they have the incredibly boring Moderate Ideology, they will inexplicably develop political opinions that are hostile to the government that Exiled them. No idea why they’d do that.

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Agitators who return home might be met with a hero’s welcome or steely-eyed disdain, depending on how things have changed (or not changed) since they left.

When a character is Exiled, we store their home country and use this in Events, such as the above. For the modders out there, this is accessible using the home_country scope. You as the player can also use this for your own nefarious purposes, as you can Repatriate Exiles to your Rivals. It can be very satisfying to wait for an opportune moment of weakness and send a Radical Agitator that you have safely harbored in your progressive Republic back to your rival’s ailing Monarchy to cause trouble.

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Finding suitors for your monarchs and heirs can help improve relations with nations that share your religious faith.

Character Interactions are … well they’re what they say on the tin, a new way to interact with characters accessible through the right-click menu or by pressing the Interactions button at the top right of the character panel. These interactions can entail anything from Exiling a dissident to finding that character a suitably distinguished spouse. The full list of Character Interactions coming in 1.3 is presented here:

  • We’ve converted the Grant and Remove Command interactions for rulers into Character Interactions, as well as Retire Command for ordinary commanders.

  • Royal Marriages! Available for free with the 1.3 Update.

  • Owners of Voice of the People can use the Grant Leadership Interaction to promote an Agitator to an Interest Group Leader, which replaces their Agitator role.

  • Owners of the Voice of the People can use the Grant Command Interaction to promote an Agitator to a General, which does NOT replace their Agitator role.

  • Owners of Voice of the People can have their monarch Abdicate the Throne under certain circumstances, such as the monarch’s advanced age.

  • Though we had previously said that Exile Character, Invite Exile, and Repatriate Exile Interactions are exclusive to owners of Voice of the People, this is something that we have re-examined following the community discussions on the topic. After some internal discussions in the team, we have decided that these interactions are too much a core part of the Agitators mechanic and thus we will make them part of the free update.

  • Owners of Voice of the People have access to some France-exclusive Interactions related to the struggle between the different dynastic Houses. We’ll talk more about that next week.

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Personally I’m quite partial to Sublime. Post your favourite text editor on the Forum and argue passionately about which is superior!

Character Interactions are extremely moddable, and use the same essential scripting norms that we use in Journal Entries, Decisions, etc. You can create your own interactions, define when an Interaction is visible, the circumstances of use, its effect, a cooldown, AI weighting, etc. If for instance you wanted to create a Character Interaction that allows you to target a politician for assassination, it would be relatively easy to write some script that allows you to select an appropriate target for your devious machinations.

And that is all I have for you today. Next week I’ll be back, alongside my Content Designers, to talk about the historical content exclusive to France coming in the Voice of the People Immersion Pack. See you there!

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