Approval is a number that represents how the population on a particular planet feels about your regime. The higher the number, the better the people like you.
Factors That Impact Approval Rating
Approval begins at 100%, but is impacted by several factors.
Factors that decrease approval:
- tax rate (non-linear)
- number of population on a planet (non-linear. Above 20B so big it doesn't pay off to have more pop than that)
- long-time debt
Factors that increase approval:
- races's morale ability (including starting abilities, abilities from various technologies and various trade goods)
- mining morale resource
- certain planetary improvements
- Planet Class (in TA the bonus is a flat +10% added at the end if Class 11 or higher)
How approval is calculated (DL 1.5 and DA 1.8)
There's so called base morale, that's used in most calculations of approval on a planet. Base morale ranges from 100% to 10% and purely depends on the amount of pop on a planet: the higher the pop, the smaller the base morale, up to 25 B pop, where it stops dropping. The decrease is also non-linear: going from 6B to 9B drops it (numbers from memory) from 90% to 80%. Going from 18B to 22B pop drops it from 50% to 20%.
The main problem with base morale is it multiplies ALL things that give morale bonuses (but quality of the planet and morale bonus from colonization event). So if you have morale ability 300%, on a planet with base morale 10%, only 10% of those 300% will be used in approval calculation: approval will be increased by 30 points. The Virtual Reality Center that gives 40% bonus will give only 10% of that bonus (or 4 points to approval).
Now add to that the malus from taxation level, that's also non-linear, (check the Tax Rate // fTaxModifier at bottom of this page), and the morale ability cap, that after the multiplication with base morale can't exceed 100% (DA feature), you quickly end with very low approval.
Since penalties from high pop are so severe, the rule of the thumb was developed: only one farm per planet (13B pop overall). If you have morale ability 300%+, then maybe two farms (20B pop overall, 13 B pop on planets class 10 and lower)). The SQRT (pop) in formula for calculating money revenue from pop on a planet strongly supports that rule.
Impacts of Approval Rating
Approval's main impact comes as your civilization develops more advanced forms of government. Some of the government types require a minimum general approval (Approval Rating found on the Economy tab on the Finance management window) in order to switch to them. Generally, the more beneficial the government, the higher the required approval rating. Even after you have managed to switch governments, if you have a Interstellar Republic, Star Democracy, or Star Federation you will also be subject to periodic Senate elections. Winning control of the Senate (by possessing a majority of the seats) means that you enjoy a political party bonus. Lose control of the Senate, however, and you stand to suffer a political party penalty. Some advanced governments also require a vote in order to go to war. However the game (DL 1.5 and DA 1.8) does not keep track of approval history. It is enough to increase it on the week before elections happen, win elections, and increase taxes again for next 51 weeks.
Approval rating also impacts planetary population growth as follows:
- Approval from 1% to 19%: population decreases 10% per turn
- Approval from 20% to 40 %: population is static
- Approval from 41% to 75 %: population increases according to formula given in the population page (given sufficient food).
- Approval from 76% to 99%: 25% bonus growth
- Approval 100%: double population growth
Some players reported they had lost a planet because of its low approval (below 30%, where an "unhappy face" icon pops-up) - planet defected to a minor civ. This could not be repeated with the latest DL 1.5 and DA 1.8.
Actual Formula for Approval Rating (DL case)
Approval (fMorale) uses the following components:
fMorale = fCivABilityFactor + fBaseMorale * (1 + fImprovementFactor) + fPlanetMoraleBonusFactor - fNegativeTreasuryFactor + fPlanetQualityBonus - fTaxModifier
fBaseMorale: Base Morale starts at 100. Population then decreases that base morale. The higher the population, the lower your base morale.
fCivABilityFactor: The player's Morale Ability is multiplied by the base morale, then the result is taken to the 0.75 power. In other words, fCivABilityFactor = (fPlayerMorale * fBaseMorale) ^ 0.75
fImprovementFactor: Planetary improvements such as Entertainment Centers are added up as a bonus relative to the base morale. For example, if your base morale is 80 and you build an entertainment center that adds 25% to morale, then you would get an extra 20 points for this.
fPlanetMoraleBonusFactor: MoraleBonusFactor is based on what things are unique about the planet such as from events.
fNegativeTreasuryFactor: NegativeTreasuryFactor comes into play. The longer you are in debt, the more of a negative impact it has.
fPlanetQualityBonus: If the planet class > 10, you receive 10 points for planet quality bonus.
fTaxModifier: The player's tax rate affects approval as well. It is a non-linear progression. At first, the tax modifier is simply the tax rate to the 1.02 power. Example, a tax rate of 20% would result in -21 points to your approval. But this modifier grows. At 70% it is to the 1.1 power meaning you lose 107 points. This number is then divided by 200.
- During the early beta of GalCiv, the approval rating was very straightforward. For every 100 million colonists, one unit of "desire" was created. If that desire wasn't filled by either the player's natural ability or planetary entertainment, that desire went unfulfilled and that 100 million colonists would be categorized as unhappy. Take the number of unhappy colonists divide it by total colonists and you have a nice, straight forward, easy to understand formula. It also would have meant dumbing down the game and taking out a lot of neat elements and so it eventually evolved into this.
- As complicated as this looks, it's actually fairly straightforward: As your population grows, they have needs. Their expectations are magnified by your tax rate. Fill their needs with entertainment and/or a high morale ability and you are fine.
- Population growth is currently capped at 200k per turn, so that higher levels of approval DO NOT have the population growth documented in the manual.
Rough Numbers (Dread Lords)
1. Base Morale ->fBaseMorale<- (is referred in-game as -??% From Population in the Approval's Tool Tip of each planet -see Colony Management-).
(Careful, in the Formula above its a +??, in the In-game Approval's Tool Tip its -??%, we will show the two sets of numbers)
Population in billion // fBaseMorale (In-game "-??% From Population" in Approval's Tool Tip)
- 1 b. // 99 (-1%)
- 5 b. // 91 (-9%)
- 10 b. // 77 (-23%)
- 15 b. // 60 (-40%)
- 20 b. // 40 (-60%)
- 25+ b. // 20 (-80%)
Population over 25 billion will always have a Base Morale of 20 (-80%) (note that in Dark Avatar, this is 10 (-90%) instead, and the other fBaseMorale values are similarly lower)
Tax Rate // fTaxModifier
- 1% // -1
- 10% // -10
- 20% // -21
- 30% // -33
- 40% // -48
- 50% // -68
- 60% // -90
- 70% // -163
- 80% // -192
- 90% // -347
- 100% // -398