Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3 – New paths to world domination

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3 – New paths to world domination
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Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

With the new Sphere of Influence expansion, players have the ability to create and manage powerful power blocs, be they trade alliances or military alliances. Economic and social mechanics have become even more detailed, and the interface has become more convenient. How all this affects the gameplay and whether it is worth expanding the game with new DLC, we will tell you in the review.

 
  • Developer: Paradox Development Studio
  • Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Platforms: PC
  • Release date: June 24, 2024

Well, it’s time to talk about Victoria 3 due to the release of a serious DLC, which will be useful to talk about in more detail. Do you even know what the project is? Imagine: you are sitting sleepless at a table littered with maps and reports, and are trying to decide the fate of an entire country. This is how you feel in Victoria 3. It’s not just “click and win” – you have to think with your head, and how.

The game covers the period from 1836 to 1936. A century that changed the world beyond recognition. And now you find yourself in the very center of this whirlpool of events. The industrial revolution , social upheaval, world conflicts – all this is now your headache.

One of its most compelling aspects is economic. The guys from Paradox did not simplify things and again did everything in an adult way. We have to juggle production, trade, and manage the workforce. Sometimes you feel like either an economist or a magician. One wrong decision and this entire structure could collapse. It’s very difficult to figure it out; it takes dozens of hours just to learn the basics.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

There is also a social system. This is a completely separate song. You have a bunch of different populations, and each one wants something different. Give reforms to some, stability to others. As a result, you also have to sit and think: “How can I please everyone and not destroy the country?”

Since its release in October 2022, Victoria 3 has evolved quite a bit. And finally, on June 24, the new addition Sphere of Influence was released, to which this material is dedicated. Here I will try to briefly, almost summarily, tell you what the DLC is and whether it’s worth getting into it at all.

So, as is often the case in Paradox projects of this kind, the release of a new paid add-on goes hand in hand with the advent of a new free update to the game to version 1.7, which was codenamed Kahwah – in honor of the tea of ​​the same name from Central Asia.

Update 1.7 Kahwah and the Sphere of Influence expansion were released simultaneously on June 24th. Those players who own the Grand Edition of Victoria 3 or purchased the very first Expansion Pass can simply upgrade the game and gain access to the Sphere of Influence. The rest will simply receive the update, and the DLC will be able to be purchased on Steam if desired.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

1.7 brought a whole bunch of balance changes to Victoria 3, the essence of which will not be easy to understand without context. For example, the British and Japanese intelligentsia are now constitutionalists by default rather than republicans. The starting military formations for Greece , Serbia, Two Sicilies, Tuscany, Spain and Portugal have been fixed so that they no longer start with units that they cannot recruit. For the uninitiated, it’s like white noise, right? Okay, let’s move on.

With 1.7, the game’s performance has improved slightly, the visual side of the project and sound have received an upgrade. Also, the interfaces have changed greatly . A full-screen registry of buildings has appeared, as well as tooltips with tables so that you can immediately get help on unclear issues.

New map modes have been added to the game: Religion Overview, which displays the major religions in each state, and an improved Culture Overview, which visualizes the second and third largest cultures through color mixing. On top of that, notifications about government interactions have been added, and tips and dashboards now include charts for public needs. There are still a lot of changes, most of which are aimed at improving the user experience.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

As for Sphere of Influence, this expansion gives players who control great powers or ambitious major states exciting opportunities to create their own power bloc. You can choose one of five identity pillars for your block: Trade Union, Sovereign Empire, Military Treaty, Ideological Union, or Religious Convection Bloc. Each offers a unique path to world domination.

Take the Trade Union for example. This option, available to all players with update 1.7, automatically unites the members of your block into a customs union under your strict leadership. Yes, this is the same functionality that the customs union pact previously provided.

But now, as a block leader, you have additional benefits: free trade routes without unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and access to the Internal Trade group of principles. These principles not only improve market access for all members of the bloc, but also promote infrastructure development. What about “Foreign Trade”? Oh, it opens the door to new methods of producing shopping malls and allows trade routes to be established without having to be interested in a specific region.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

If you dream of creating a real empire, then your choice is “Sovereign Empire”. This path allows you to subjugate other block members, turning them into vassals. The Vassalization and Member Exploitation principles groups give you the tools to effectively manage your empire. But be careful: overexploitation can reduce the cohesion of the block and lead to undesirable consequences…

It’s worth paying attention to the “Military Treaty” if you prefer an armed approach. This identity allows you to add free military objectives to any diplomatic games of your block members. You can choose the “Defensive Cooperation” path, prohibiting wars between bloc members, or go the “Imperialism” path, reducing dishonor generation and forcing all members to participate in your diplomatic games. The strength of your block will directly depend on your ability to project power.

But power is not only strength, but the ability to use leverage. As a power bloc leader, you can expand your global influence by influencing countries in which you have interests. Maintain diplomatic pacts, help in wars, accept or discriminate cultures, create economic dependence through external expansion or trade – all these tools will be in your hands thanks to the Sphere of Influence.

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Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

Expanding your bloc can be done peacefully through a diplomatic invitation or, if that doesn’t work, through a diplomatic demand. But since the strength of any block lies in its cohesion, you will have to maintain common values ​​throughout the block, otherwise internal divisions can destroy everything you have built.

And now all members of power blocs can erect majestic statues symbolizing their power. These monuments are not only impressive, but also provide a number of benefits for the state. And as a block leader, you can customize the statue’s appearance, block logo, and block name to reflect your vision of a brighter global future .

Of particular interest is the mechanics of foreign investment. By managing a small but ambitious country, the player gets the opportunity to invest in the development of other states, which opens up completely new strategic horizons.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

The decision to allow foreign investment into one’s country becomes a serious dilemma. On the one hand, this could accelerate industrialization, on the other, it could potentially lead to a loss of economic sovereignty.

It is remarkable to see how wealthy industrialists begin to build factories abroad, using cheap labor and gaining access to new resources. This creates a complex web of economic connections between states, giving the game an almost frightening realism.

Update 1.7 adds even more depth to these mechanics. It becomes possible to build luxurious mansions for the aristocracy and financial centers for capitalists. These buildings may own businesses in other regions and even countries, creating an even more complex economic picture.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

One of the most intriguing new mechanics is co-op ownership. It is now possible to experiment with different economic systems, allowing workers to share in the profits of businesses. This opens up new ways of developing society and makes us think about how history might have changed if such ideas had become widespread in the 19th century.

State-owned enterprises are another interesting new development. It becomes possible to directly manage certain industries, which gives more control over the economy. However, this is a double-edged sword: profitable enterprises fill the coffers, while unprofitable ones can lead to serious problems.

The possibility of nationalizing foreign enterprises adds spice to the game. Making such a decision is always fraught with risk, because it can lead to a serious international conflict. But sometimes the risk is worth it, especially if the country is under excessive economic influence of foreign powers.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

Victoria 3’s lobby mechanics add another layer of complexity to the political and diplomatic aspects of the game. Lobbies are interest groups within a country that have a certain relationship with other states. This attitude can range from a desire for close cooperation to a desire for competition or even military conflict.

What is particularly interesting is that lobbies can form in response to various diplomatic catalysts. This could be the conclusion or breaking of a pact, a revolution, joining a power bloc, or even just a certain choice in a game event. This approach makes political life in the game more dynamic and unpredictable, forcing the player to constantly adapt his strategy.

The lobby’s influence on geopolitics can be quite significant. They can facilitate the conclusion of diplomatic pacts or, conversely, increase support for military tension against a certain country. Moreover, the power of the lobby’s influence directly depends on the weight of the interest groups supporting it. We have to balance between supporting “useful” lobbies and restraining those that could harm foreign policy plans.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

Lobbies can now provide the player with certain abilities or make demands. It becomes possible to finance lobbies in other countries, which opens up new ways to expand their influence abroad.

In addition to all of the above, the Sphere of Influence DLC significantly expands the mechanics of interaction between overlords and subjects, as well as between members of power blocs, which allows players to more finely manage relations between countries with a special status.

Overlords receive a wide range of tools to control their subjects. They can regulate economic relations, distribute conquered territories, share technology, and even provide a certain degree of market autonomy.

On the other hand, subjects are no longer just passive participants in the game. They can turn to the overlord for help. However, such requests often influence a new indicator – “Desire for Freedom”, which reflects the desire of the country’s elite for independence. This indicator depends on many factors, including economic ties, prestige and diplomatic relations.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3

The expansion also introduces the ability for other powers to support the independence of subjects. This opens the door to complex diplomatic games, where great powers can interfere in the relations between overlords and their subjects, potentially triggering wars of independence. Meanwhile, players will have the opportunity to secure regions of interest to them from encroachment by other powers in advance.


Victoria 3 continues to delight fans of grand strategy games , and the new addition Sphere of Influence is no exception. It offers players exciting mechanics to create their own power blocks, providing new, unique paths to world domination, adding significant variability to the game, but at the same time, even greater complexity. If you are a dedicated fan of Victoria 3, I dare to suggest that such a rich toolkit is just what you need to further deepen the gameplay.

Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
Review of DLC Sphere of Influence for Victoria 3
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