The open beta for the Victoria 3 update 1.2 is now available, and even after keeping up with the grand strategy game’s ongoing series of dev diaries, it’s already feeling like a surprisingly transformational patch. Victoria 3‘s latest update covers the changes the dev team is making to the user experience, which includes all the menus, tooltips, and other interface features that keep you abreast of what’s going on in the complex world of the 19th century.
Patch 1.2 takes aim at several of the specific issues I flagged in our Victoria 3 review, such as clarity about pop needs, radicalisation, and trade route usage. It also gives players control over the alert messages that appear in the bottom-right corner of the screen, which can quickly become overwhelming as a playthrough picks up steam.
The trade routes panel now lets you look at a list of all the trade routes in a particular market, and you can filter this to only show routes you own. You can also sort this list by country or by goods, the way it works in vanilla.
Update 1.2 is also making it much easier to see at a glance what your pops want, which goods they’re spending the most money on, and what’s pushing them toward either the loyalist or radical side of the political spectrum. The new population screen shows how much they’re paying in taxes on income, dividends, and consumption, and makes it easy to see which of the goods they buy are above or below the average price.
There’s more information available at a glance in the Victoria 3 construction panel as well, and some clever rearrangement has made it so that tooltips can be placed less obtrusively. There’s also a new interaction that lets you reset all your production methods to the baseline, which UX designer Henrik Hansson explains is particularly helpful when you absorb new states.
Another terrific addition to the Victoria 3 UX in patch 1.2 is indicators for the inputs and outputs for each production method. Hansson says this was inspired by the Visual Methods mod by FUN, which the Victoria 3 team liked so much that they’re adapting a version of it into the base game.
You can opt into the 1.2 beta now by right-clicking Victoria 3 in your Steam library, clicking ‘Properties’, and selecting the “1.2-beta – Open Beta for 1.2” branch in the drop-down menu under Betas.
Check out our Victoria 3 beginner’s guide if you need a bit of help getting started with Paradox’s latest historical strategy game.