The Paradox company knows how and loves to make global strategies for every taste. For fans of the Middle Ages, she offers Crusader Kings III, for fans of World War II – Hearts of Iron IV, and for those who dream of flying to the stars – Stellaris. Each of these games has its own flavor, but one series – Victoria – has always stood apart, and in the third part, this concept has not changed. The release date of the novelty has not yet been announced, but the developers have already told about some of the ideas – we have collected their ideas for you in this material.
Events in Victoria 3 start in 1836 – shortly before the beginning of the reign of the British Queen Victoria, who sat on the throne for 63 years! It was in honor of her that the Victorian era and this series of games were named. But the matter will not be limited to one XIX century – everything will end in 1936. That is, a very turbulent hundred years of human history await you: first – the times of the struggle for the colonies, then the next in turn – the First World War, and at the end – the coming of Hitler to power in Germany. It is far from the fact that all these events will take place – a lot will depend on you, a kind of “spirit of the country”, who has taken over one of a hundred and a half states. The list contains a variety of options – from the dwarf Germanic principalities, in which the border is visible from the capital, to the huge British Empire, in which the sun never sets.
There are many numbers in Victoria 3, but after a couple of hours of playing you will probably learn to understand them.
In general, Victoria is traditionally not so much about the war as about the country’s development, economy and geopolitics, which distinguishes it from many other global strategies. This time, the developers are trying to make a game in which forceful methods of solving problems are optional. Firstly, because it is quite possible to overtake the rest of the world, simply by developing the economy and making the state attractive to migrants. Secondly, a lot can be achieved without sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers into battle, but using alternative methods such as diplomacy. By the way, compared to the second part in Victoria 3, this component is clearly prettier, turning into a kind of mini-game.
So, imagine that the Russian Empire wanted to annex Galicia, which is still owned by the Austrians. Of course, you can start a war, but Austria has an ally – the recently reunited Germany. It is far from the fact that you will win in a conflict with two neighbors. It is then that diplomats will enter the arena. They will not only make claims to Galicia, but also ask for support from other great powers. Next, the most interesting thing will begin – the auction, during which everyone will try to offer potential allies a bigger jackpot. For example, the UK can promise to open its market for its goods, and France – support on the issue of the disputed islands. Of course, opponents, too, will not sit back and put forward counter-proposals. After the end of the negotiations, their participants will decide whether to support someone or withdraw themselves. If you can find strong partners, you will get Galicia without firing a shot. If not, you will have to retreat or start a war.
Alas, the hostilities in Victoria 3 themselves have not yet been shown to us, but some conclusions can be drawn now. There is no doubt that many countries will have not only a standing army, but also the ability to mobilize citizens. And successes or failures in battles will depend not so much on the number of troops as on their equipment. A small army armed with machine guns can easily deal with a crowd of thousands of savages who have only spears and shields in their hands. Of course, in order for the soldiers to receive machine guns, it will take a lot of work – they need to be researched, and then also produced, which requires a strong economy.
The physical map in Victoria 3 will be as realistic as possible (for a strategy, of course).
The economy in the game, like domestic politics, is directly related to the so-called population groups (in English Pops). Each such group includes people united by a common culture and religion, as well as by the level of education, wealth and other parameters. The number of all groups is different – there are few aristocrats in any country, but poor illiterate peasants in 1836 make up the absolute majority of the population. Over time, the groups will change, for example, the development of a network of schools will lead to the fact that the uneducated will decrease, and the revolution may end with the elimination of the nobility or its transfer to the category of officials. All these changes will affect the country as a whole. In particular, an increase in literacy will lead to an increase in the number of skilled workers that factories need like air.
Factories, mines, farms and other enterprises are the backbone of the economy, which is traditionally given a lot of attention in Victoria. There are about fifty goods in the game, each of which is important in its own way. Without paper, administrative buildings will not function, without coal, railways will stop, and without luxury goods, the discontent of the wealthy will begin to grow. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the economy works like a clock, acquiring what is missing from other countries and selling its goods abroad – preferably according to the “buy cheaper, sell more expensive” scheme. Just don’t think it’s easy, because not every neighbor will like it if you flood their stores with inexpensive and high-quality goods, thereby killing the local industry. The fight for the markets will unfold serious – and some Portugal may close you access to itself, if he deems it beneficial. It will not be easy to get the ban lifted – it is possible that, as in real history, this will require declaring war.
There are scarce goods in every regional market, and if you arrange their supply, you can make good money
However, people need not only goods – the richer and more educated your citizens are, the more intangible requirements they have. Some want freedom of the press, others – the opportunity to legally gather for meetings, and still others – the transformation of the monarchy into a republic (or vice versa). Each group has its own wishes, and the player will have to maneuver between them, somewhere making concessions, and somewhere showing rigidity. The main thing is not to overdo it, because excessive pressure can end in a revolution. Fortunately, it will not lead to the end of the party – no one forbids to continue to rule revolutionary Russia, Germany or Argentina. Experienced players will surely provoke an internal crisis themselves in order to try themselves in the role of Lenin. Although with the proper skill and dexterity, you can create something unusual and without great shocks. How do you like the idea of an absolute monarchy in the United States? Or a clerical state in Spain, whose army will try to bring the “light of true faith” to the whole world?
Of course, the main thing for developers is realism, so it won’t be possible to make a republic out of the Russian Empire in a couple of years. This will require a long and painstaking work – the adoption of new laws, the promotion of the necessary groups of the population and the displacement of the unwanted from the “feeding trough”. We will have to build schools, abolish serfdom, hold elections, allow the poor and women to vote, limit the power of the monarch, and only then, after many decades, finally proclaim a republic. Moreover, this decision and all others have consequences. Automation of production will lead to an increase in unemployment and the number of dissatisfied. And limiting the role of the state in the economy will close the ability to “manually” create factories – now the capitalists will be engaged in them, not the authorities. However,
The authorities have very low legitimacy. Maybe because the government does not represent the winners in the elections?
Many of the mechanics that will appear in Victoria 3 are still unannounced, but we have no doubt that this will be a deep game, which is not for nothing dubbed a “society simulator”. Yes, such a simulator can scare off unprepared players, so the authors set themselves a goal – to make it so that even beginners can master the basics of gameplay. Of course, to become a real master and win for tiny Greece, you will have to try, but everyone can lead Russia to wealth and prosperity. For those who want something more difficult, there are alternative goals. For example, conquering the world (which is real, albeit very difficult) or forcing all competitors to open their markets for your products. You can also turn your state into a world center of culture or revive some great empire of the past, like Byzantium. Choice of whom and how to play is yours. The main thing to remember is that in Victoria 3 almost everything will be possible.