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Like its predecessor, Victoria II allows for the player to take control of and manage a 19th century nation-state including its political, diplomatic, economic, military, and technological aspects.
The decision to create Victoria II was influenced by voting on the Paradox Interactive forums and debate within the company. The CEO of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester, publicly announced his belief that the game would never see a profit while other members of the company such as Johan Andersson were confident it would be profitable. To this end Wester promised that if the game did indeed make a profit he would shave his head and post the pictures onto the forum. This belief stemmed from the first game's lackluster sales numbers. It was revealed in a German interview with Frederik that 70,000 copies would need to be sold in order for Victoria II to be profitable. On 17 June, Jessica Chobot from IGN shaved it off for him.
GameplayVictoria II spans the globe from 1836 to the start of World War Two with over 200 playable nations. Like its predecessor, Victoria II focuses on internal management, covering the industrialization and social/political changes in a country with dozens of different government types. The game gives a lot of importance to the economy of a country by having a complex market system with over 50 types of goods and factories. While warfare is a component of the game it is not the primary focus as in other Paradox Interactive games such as the Hearts of Iron series.
Nations' populations are divided into cultures, religions, and occupations. There are several different population groups or "pops" including aristocrats, officers, clergy, capitalists, clerks, craftsmen, soldiers, laborers, and farmers. Victoria II introduces two new groups, artisans and bureaucrats. As in other Paradox titles, like Europa Universalis, historical missions that are micro-objectives in the larger game have been added. There are thousands of historical events and decisions as well. These events and nationalist forces can lead to the creation or disintegration of nation states.
Victoria II contains a number of changes and improvements from its predecessor. The interface was streamlined when compared to the original game, which was described by producer Johan Andersson as, "the interface God forgot". Automation of various tasks has been added, including trade and population promotion. The education system has been overhauled by having clergy educate people of the same religion, and each population group now has their own literacy levels. Education and literacy's importance is reflected in the vast technology system that contains thousands of inventions. Additionally, the functioning of ideology in the game was tweaked such that population groups are more sensitive to changes in their country's situation, as well as inclined to agitate for specific levels of political and social reforms.
The economic system in Victoria II attempts to simulate the flow of resources in a world market. Every province in the game produces a resource in resource gathering operations or RGO's. Some resources, such as wheat, are demanded principally by your population. Other materials, like iron, are consumed by industry, but are still tradeable.
The production and unemployment system from the original Victoria has been revised to better reflect market forces. Whereas, in the original the state provided the funds for resources and the player possessed a wide range of options with which to build their economy, provided they have access to the proper raw materials. All resources can be collected or produced by industry. The game also has a cottage production system simulating pre-industrial economies.
Victoria II contains a deep political simulation reflected in the dozens of different types of governments, a new sphere of influence system, gunboat diplomacy and a new election system with coalition governments and senate.
The diplomacy in Victoria II is similar to that of other Paradox titles. Each country has a relation value of –200 to +200 which represents how much they like each other. Diplomatic and in game actions shift this relationship around and it feeds into computer calculations of what it will do. However, Paradox Interactive has expanded parts of this system. War goals from Heir to the Throne, an expansion for Europa Universalis III have been integrated. It functions as peace option. You can add more war goals as the war progresses, although this does affect your population. Failure to achieve a war goal will increase population's militancy, which can lead to revolts. When the time for peace comes you will know what your opponent wants and your opponent will know what you want. Then it is up to you to decide if you are going to give in or pursue victory. This creates two kinds of wars, limited and total.
In the game controlling a Great Power get special diplomatic options not available to other countries. Great Powers do not just influence how a country sees them; they have the added ability to use their influence on other countries to change their perception of other Great Powers. The struggle for influence that the Great Power wage around the world is not a simple bilateral basis but occurs with each other inside countries, giving an added dimension to diplomacy which was not present in the original Victoria.
Warfare is regarded as a lesser priority than politics and economics in Victoria II, though follows the basic pattern used in other Paradox grand strategy games, with armies moving between provinces and engaging enemy armies and capturing enemy territory. The basic combat system is a combination of the systems used in Europa Universalis 3, Europa Universalis: Rome and Hearts of Iron 3. A key component to combat is "frontage": the number of units in an army at the front line, which decreases as technology improves to simulate the change from roving armies to the continuous trench lines of World War 1.
Several aspects of the military have been changed from Victoria. The base unit has been reduced from a 10,000-unit division to a 3,000-unit brigade, which is no longer raised from a national manpower pool but directly raised from a provincial soldier POP, to which the brigade remains connected. A new aspect to the military is reconnaissance. This is a value that gives a bonus (or penalty, if low) to capturing provinces and defeating enemy armies; in prolonged combat, however, the reconnaissance value drops. Units such as cavalry and aeroplanes have high reconnaissance values and are intended to be used as scouts.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Victoria II, IGN
- ↑ Paradox Interactive Updates 2010 Release Dates, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ Victoria II System Requirements, Victoria2.com
- ↑ A small note from a guy who didn't vote for this project, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ Template:De icon Im Gespräch mit Paradox Interactive, Making Games
- ↑ Jessica Chobot shaving Frederik's head, Twitpic.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Victoria II Announcement, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ Developer Diary 3 – Design Philosophy, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ A Paradox Christmas Carol, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ Victoria II interview, Youtube
- ↑ Developer Diary 11 - PoPs & Issues, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ Dev Diary 4 - The Economic System and why it may seem a little similar, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Developer Diary 9 – Diplomacy, Paradox Plaza
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Developer Diary 12 - Military, Paradox Plaza