Victoria 3 dev diary: Opium Wars “can break out in any country”

Victoria 3 dev diary opium wars - Paradox dev diary video screenshot showing an in game map of the Indian ocean and trade zones

Victoria 3 – Paradox Interactive’s upcoming return to its popular industrial-era grand strategy series – will feature a “series of journal entries and events” to simulate the 1839-1860 Opium Wars – but, instead of being tied to China (where they happened in real-world history), the Opium Wars “can break out in any country, so long as the conditions are correct”, Paradox has revealed.

Detailed in the studio’s latest ‘Monthly Update’ Victoria 3 dev diary video on YouTube on Tuesday (watch it below), China reportedly begins the game “in the midst of” the Opium Wars events – grappling with the game’s ‘Cultural Obsession’ mechanic, representing increased demand for opium in China – but the event line can theoretically trigger in any country in the game.

The news came alongside a basket of other updates to flesh out Victoria 3’s much anticipated plethora of in-game economic systems, including details on how construction, shipping lanes, customs unions, trade policies, and tariffs will function – as explained to camera by Game Director Martin Anward, QA Manager Paul Depre, and Content Design Lead Daniel Tolman.

Construction, Anward says, functions as an always-running “capacity” of your country, rather than a purchasing action by the player of each individual piece of construction. You’ll allocate your current construction capacity to multiple projects, which will trundle along to completion alongside one another.

Acquiring, and later upgrading, the ‘Construction Sector’ government building will give you more capacity to build more things at one time.

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Victoria 3’s shipping lanes system also gets some more details added, with Anward explaining these “port to port connections” come in three flavours: “trade routes, supplying overseas armies, and maintaining connections to overseas states”.

Shipping lanes run on ‘convoys’, he adds, which are a nationwide resource, generated by your ports, and can get more effective during the game as you use technology to upgrade them from clippers to steam ships.

Victoria 3 dev diary opium wars - Paradox reveal artwork for Victoria 3 showing the game logo in a cloudy sky

Paradox Interactive announced Victoria 3 in May 2021, and hasn’t yet revealed a release date for the game, nor when it will be available to pre-order.

Still, you can get caught up on Paradox’s latest grand strategy with our Victoria 3 release date guide – or read our interview with the developers. Alternatively, Charles Ellis’ entreaty to Paradox not to leave war behind in Victoria 3.