Dev Diary #35 – Decisions & Expeditions
Good evening and welcome back to another Victoria 3 development diary! This time written by our Content Designer Veronica. Today we will talk about two topics that are intrinsically connected: Expeditions and Decisions.
The Victorian age was also the age of exploration. Campaigns were sent to explore the farther territories of the world and discover their hidden mysteries. Scholars turned their attention to uncharted territories and promises of glory and fortune; numerous papers and conferences were produced on behalf of science and this era set the foundations for modern studies.
But these expeditions were not without peril – many failed, and not all of them returned. This, we also wanted to represent.
In Victoria 3, you will be able to take a Decision to go on an Expedition if you fulfill the requisites for it: namely having an interest in the region and, sometimes, a special technology. For instance, exploring the African rivers without protection against malaria may not be the greatest idea. Apart from that, any country can decide to embark on this adventurous enterprise.
Dr. Livingstone, I presume?
But what is a Decision? A Decision is a specific option that you can take when you meet the requirements, thus triggering an important or special event. They don’t require any completion conditions because you’ll only be able to take them when you already meet those. Some Decisions will allow you to go on an Expedition, like in this case, but many others trigger historical events, like the Grand Exhibition or the Decision to build the Canals that we saw last week.
Some, but not all, Decisions will also add a Journal Entry so you can track how the event is going, like the surveillance of the canals. Others just fire an immediate event because it’s not an ongoing circumstance, so you get to see the immediate results.
The decision to trigger the Grand Exhibition will give you a Journal Entry and a countdown to make it as great as you can. You can do so by special exhibition events, going on expeditions to retrieve important artifacts or by researching new technologies that you can showcase to the world. Of course, we also take into consideration everything you’ve achieved up to that point, so you can still trigger the exhibition after having completed all expeditions and your findings will be taken into account and displayed.
Once you take an Expedition Decision, a starting event will trigger setting up the preparations for the journey. If you decide to go on with it, you’ll be asked to choose a leader and a budget, then a Journal Entry will be added to your game with a progress bar that indicates, well, the progress of the expedition. Also, bear in mind that the leader’s skills and traits may also play a part in the success of the group and how they face the events they encounter. A drunkard leader may delay your expedition while entering a nervous breakdown because they miss their addiction – or they could even lose their vice.
The expedition Journal Entry will keep track of your advances with a progress bar, and will trigger different ending events depending on your results. A high progress means a successful expedition, while getting a high peril before reaching the end means a more grim completion event, regardless of your progress.
Expeditions use two main variables: progress and peril. When you reach a high enough progress the expedition will complete successfully; however, a high peril will mean that the expedition may be lost or even die. You’ll be able to control how these variables progress through your decisions during the expedition events: every month you’ll receive an update on how your expedition is doing where you’ll act as their leader and choose how they should proceed. Sometimes, however, the expedition will go on peacefully and you’ll receive a progress event instead that increases both your progress and peril by one point. You’ll also get an updated map location on where your expedition is at the moment, so you can see them advance (or not).
If an expedition fails you can repeat it as many times as needed, and you may even encounter a lost leader or find out about the fate of the last group. However, once you complete one, you cannot go on the same expedition again.
Will you choose the safer option and risk staying behind or will you venture into the white fog and accept its perils?
Some expeditions have special mechanics. For example, in the Antarctica Expedition you’ll want to reach the Pole before your competitors, so you may feel inclined to take riskier options to ensure that you get there soon. You may also find traces of previous lost expeditions, and you can always take advantage of the resources left behind.
There’s also the possibility of finding a previous expedition that you had already sent and that failed to come back – not only in Antarctica. However, the state in which you find them may vary.
There’s a limited amount of available expeditions that we have added to the game, all of them inspired by the most famous campaigns of the Victorian age: the African rivers, the North American Trails and Antarctica.
Surviving always has a high price, especially in the most dangerous latitudes.
And here we have an example of a special event that gives you something for your exhibition, at the cost of delaying your expedition, since the first option gives you no progress:
During your travels, you may find animals you’ve never seen before and, with the adequate technology, you’ll be able to photograph or even film them.
Of course, completing a successful expedition will give your nation a prestigious reputation, and will definitely help its leader’s popularity – but, as you can see here, there are many other benefits of going around and exploring the world, like getting brand new material for your exhibitions.
So remember to choose carefully your expedition and its leader, and keep an eye out for peril while trying to not get left behind!
And that was all for today! We’ll see you again next week with another Development Diary, this time on Construction, by our GD Martin Anward 🙂