This dev diary digs into Victoria 3’s National Market system. Markets are what drives the game’s dynamic economy by determining a rational price based on supply and demand for all trade goods in every state throughout the world.
Expanding your national market in Victoria 3 to encompass more territory means more raw resources for your furnaces and more customers for your manufacturing industries. As your industrial base grows, so does your demand for infrastructure to bring goods to market.
By default, every country is in control of its own market which is typically, but not always though, centered on its capital state. Every state connected to this market capital - overland or by sea through ports - is also part of the market. These states all have a variable degree of Market Access representing how well-connected they are to every other state in the market.
As discussed in the Goods development diary, all goods have a base price. This is the price it would fetch given ideal market conditions: all demand is fulfilled perfectly with available supply, with zero goods produced in excess of demand. When determining prices for goods across a market’s many states we start by determining a market price.
This is based on the balance between a market’s Buy and Sell Orders, with the base price as a baseline. The more Buy Orders than Sell Orders the higher the price will be and vice versa. Buy and Sell Orders submitted to the market are scaled by the amount of Market Access the state has. This means a state with underdeveloped infrastructure will trade less with the market and rely more on locally available goods.
In Victoria 3, a single unit of goods is produced and immediately sold at a price determined by how many consumers are willing to buy it at the moment of production. When this happens prices shift right away along with actual supply and demand, and trade between markets is modeled using Buy and Sell Orders. This more open economic model is both more responsive to sudden economic shifts and less prone to mysterious systemic failures where all the world’s cement might end up locked inside a warehouse somewhere.
This lack of goods stockpiling, in turn, implies that Victoria 3 moves away from the fixed global money supply introduced in Victoria 2. The main reason for this is simply due to how many limitations such a system places on what can be done with the economy in the game.
All of these factors mean that economy will have much more versatility and depth in Victoria 3 compared to its predecessor, which will, surely, make for more interesting playthroughs.