STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS
For a long time I've been annoyed at the Distant Worlds governments and unfortunately no mods have addressed it to my satisfaction. Yet I've never done anything about it as it seemed difficult and like too much effort, but recently I discovered that it wasn't all that difficult after all and I decided to do something about it. Both for my own sake and to give something back to the community that have made other mods I've enjoyed.
Here are the stats of all the Vanilla governments:
(note that negative disruption is actually a boost for leadership change)
I see many issues with this, but the first thing that springs to mind is how utterly horrid Corporate Nationalism is.
My testing revealed that the long-term effects of Corporate Nationalism, what I refer to as "degeneration", tops out after 8-9 years at 65% reduction to Science, Population Growth AND Development.
As a result, development was reduced to 55% for the capital world, and won't increase futher without ruins/wonders/special resources. I'm not quite sure about all the effects of development but I know it directly affects the world GDP income and has a sizeable happiness effect. Not sure about research but I think it also affects growth a little. Regardless the point is, this effect is hugely detrimental so the counter effects needs to be good but in vanilla these effects are in fact ALSO bad.
As for the other governments the two precursor governments are indisputably best at everything for either peaceful or war empires depending on type. Then comes the races governments which are typically better than anything else as well.
Lastly we have the conventional governments, which are clearly weaker but they are not really well balanced with each other either. At least there are some that I'd never consider myself, usually it's a contest between Democracy, Monarchy or Military Dictatorship.
Another strange thing with vanilla is the "Concern over own reputation", which is 100 for all governments (which might signify that they all the same internally) yet the two precursor governments are much reduced with the Way of the Ancients caring only 20 when logically they should care MORE than others as they are a society based on universal adherence to morality.
Regardless, my gameplay ideology is not that everything should be balanced, sometimes some things are just plain better and that's fine, but some of the governments are good only for intentionally gimping your empire and frankly I could definitely see them balanced a bit while staying within the lore as it seems some governments have been underrated significantly.
In this mod I'll try to emphasize the good sides of the bad governments and add a few new ones. Also I'll reduce the power a bit on some of the best ones.
If you have any thoughts on improvements by all means share, and for other modders feel free to implement all or parts of the mod or change it to your desire.
I'll go through the reasoning for all my changes but first here's a pic of the modded governments:
Feudalism -> Feudal Monarchy
It's described as a council of lords, yet there IS a leader so I decided to rename it "Feudal Monarchy" it entails a government where the monarch is mostly a figurehead compared to his lords who may equal or surpass him and the real power lies with a council.
In vanilla I never picked this government and I think it's one of the bad ones.
- I added a tiny corruption increase which makes sense for a heavily decentralized non-democratic government.
- Then I doubled the war weariness reduction as there generally is a militaristic outlook for feudal societies.
- I slightly reduced their internal concern about their reputation (Militaristic outlook)
- Added 5% income loss (hard to tax properly)
- Finally I buffed maintenance reduction from 10% to 30%.
This is needed to justify the large research penalty and it makes sense as many costs are handled behind the scenes by vassals.
This new version I could consider, but considering the research penalty I'd still usually not pick them.
Corporate Nationalism -> Communism
The name doesn't make sense, it implies either a corporation becoming the state or a state nationalising the corporations. Considering the description I think it's the latter, so I renamed them Communism.
The degenerative effect (-65% research, development and growth) is hard-coded so I can't turn it down, instead I'll have to try making the government marginally useful despite it.
I revamped this government completely, the main features are a reduction in war weariness, much increased maintenance reduction, an improvement to approval and very low concern for reputation.
While they may seem overpowered keep in mind that they are losing 65% of 3 core stats.
Despite this massive buff I doubt I'd pick this government for non-RP reasons. It might serve a niche where you have a big empire intent on conquest but not needing further research. Still not a great government usually.
This is a new government. I doubt much description is needed but basically it's a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
In many ways it works just like communism so I've locked it to Humans/Ketarov and given it the degenerative effects. They do make sense as Fascism can work wonders for a country and yet is usually detrimental in the long-term with little concern about economy or second opinions.
Gameplay-wise they'll differ from communism by having less maintenance reduction and better income/research (though still pretty bad) and an even lower concern for internal reputation with no concern at all about foreign rep.
This allows them to commit atrocities on almost the same scale as Way of Darkness and while I realize many people living under the thumb of the government would still potentially be moral there exists a thorough system of suppression, propaganda and misinformation which hides most things.
This is a new government. It's basically the sci-fi cliché with the MegaCorp. I was unsure whether to add it, and whether to give it degeneration or not, and whether to make it for humans as well or allow aliens.
While retaining some semblance of republican government, a corporate republic would be run primarily like a business, involving a board of directors and executives. They usually arise when a single, vastly powerful corporation deposes a weak government, over time or in a coup d'état.
Gameplay-wise, they lack war weariness reduction or maintenance reduction or approval but they receive a massive 50% boost to both research and income, though they'll eventually lose 65% of that... Still they get free control over revenue as everything is already theirs.
Monarchy -> Semi-Constitutional Monarchy
Yes, the name is quite a mouthful but more accurate. It can't be a Constitutional Monarchy as that's essentially a democracy and it can't be an Absolute Monarchy as that is called Despotism.
It entails a government where the monarch has significant power but is somewhat limited by a democratic power like a parliament.
- Reduced corruption by 5% (It's semi-democratic)
- Reduced leadership change to 20% from 50% (The monarch is not elected, it shouldn't happen too often)
I regularly used this government in Vanilla and I didn't think it needed much improvement, it's a happy medium.
Despotism -> Absolute Monarchy
Potentially an enlightened regime but often not. The Monarch has unrestricted power.
- Research speed set to -5% from -25% (While somewhat oppressive this type of ruler usually don't micromanage these things)
- Troop recruitment +25% from 20% (why worse than the other monarchy?)
- Slightly reduced likelihood of a coup.
- Slightly reduced internal reputation concern (propaganda)
I never used to pick this government but I think it's pretty decent now, yet regular monarchy might be prefered for lowered corruption.
Military Dictatorship -> Autocracy
Yes, I know other governments also can be autocratic but this is the real deal, a dictator without much of a claim beyond military power. Typically complete with a constitution that he's just ignoring.
- War weariness -60% from -50%
- Approval -15% from -20% (regime is disliked but there is still propaganda and suppression)
- Population growth reduced by 10%
- Research reduced 10% (second opinions aren't appreciated)
- 5% less income (bad environment for trade)
- Low concern for own reputation.
I guess it's no longer a very good government but it's good for war at least and the penalties aren't crippling.
A new government. Unlike the autocracy this is headed by a council of military leaders who are ignoring existing laws and doing whatever they want.
It tends to lead to heavy corruption but is pretty good for war.
A new government. This government does have rule of law and a constitution but it just so happens that in order to qualify for true citizenship you must have served in the military.
A bit like how Rome worked for part of it's history.
Also a good government for war, and less corruption than most.
A new government. It's a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme ruler. Since said god or deity is usually absent from decision making, a self-appointed or elected leader of the religion of said deity will rule instead through personal interpretation of the laws commanded by the god in that religion's written law.
They have a record 30% research penalty as new ideas need to be approved first, a loss to income due to lack of focus and maintenance savings from follower contribution.
They also have a reduction to corruption as they are supposed to be devout. I guess that's not always true though.
This remains a very powerful government but I guess it makes sense for a society where everyone voluntarily agree to partake in a group mind.
I did give them a 10% decrease to research as there might be too much consensus and agreement for optimal research.
Way of Darkness
Probably the best government in the game, at least unless you want peace with a limited military at least. In RP terms I guess it's actually a terrible government as it no doubt includes mind control and ruthless exploitation of their own people.
I nerfed most of their characteristics a little, but reduced leader-change likelihood (yet made such a change more disruptive) and I completely removed their concern over reputation. This is a government that cares nothing for morality no amount of atrocities will bother them unless it's committed against them...
Way of the Ancients
Hands down the best government for peacetime, I didn't really change that aspect but I sought to temper their power a bit as there is no need for them to be best at everything.
- Reduced corruption further 5% (Highly moral society)
- Added 10% war weariness (More dutiful than democracies but still won't like war)
- Reduced approval to 25, which is just slightly less than Utopia.
- Reduced pop growth from 15 to 10%
- Reduced research speed to 25% from 50% (They may value knowledge but they are not a technocracy..)
Last but not least I overhauled their concern over reputation. Seeing as morals/ethics is one of their primary issues and that they expect it in their own citizens their people would also expect it from the government. As such their concern for their own reputation increases from 20% (incredibly low) to 200% (maximum). They apply the same standard to foreigners, which also means the Ancient Guardians are going to dislike mass murdering empires a bit more.
Utopian Paradise -> Utopian Communism
Utopia is a very subjective term and it's not described what makes it a utopia, beyond being allowed freedom to the point of nigh anarchy. I figure it's a society that embodies the ideals of communism but where the people simply don't abuse it at all. Obviously only works for races with the right kind of psychology.
I didn't change much, gave them a 10% corruption reduction as it made sense, and reduced research/income 5% each. Lastly their concern for foreign reputation was set to 100% instead of 25% as I don't see why they would accept evil governments.
Republic -> Democracy
Typically republics are considered democracies. It's basically what the USA and most of the worlds democracies have. Elected representatives carrying out the will of the people, or their own interpretation of it, within certain limits.
The only change is that they value reputation more as the people is allowed to express themselves freely.
Democracy -> Direct Democracy
The people are allowed to directly decide many policies, there may be elected representatives but they have much less power as major issues need to be voted on and the representatives don't always get to decide what's major.
Only a few real countries have it partially implemented but with increased technology it becomes increasingly feasible to allow the people a direct role.
- 20% reduced corruption from 15% (increased oversight by the people)
- Approval reduced from to 10 from 20 (people feel entitled and like to complain)
- Greatly increased concern with both internal and foreign reputation.
It's a very powerful government but if a race can make it work I don't see why it shouldn't be.
I almost left it alone but reduced approval and income by 5% each due to their lack of focus on normal life concerns.
Mercantile Guilds -> Merchant Council
I almost named it Plutocracy but I decided it wasn't specific enough, and the "Guilds" part doesn't really describe the government.
It requires a specific race psychology to not devolve into being essentially like the Corporate Republic, but if it can be made to work I don't see why it wouldn't be powerful.
I added 10% war weariness as war is bad for business but left the rest alone.
That's it for now. I'm only partway through implementing the described changes but planning it was most of the work really and I expect I'll be done sometime during the week, I know I have plenty of time this weekend at least.
I'll of course also make new help files to display the changes. There'll be a version for Vanilla and one for Expanded Races (it's basically the same with the Banoserit government included).
I thought I'd share the idea now though, so if there are any concerns or people can point out I've badly screwed over some sort of balance they can tell me now before I'm finished..