This probably should be its own thread (and it is now!), because, in my opinion, ideological pressure is really its own beast, and balancing it has to do with tourism. Happiness is just one of the yield effects that goes with it. That said, if ideological pressure uses happiness as its external forcing mechanism, then an empire's happiness needs to be low enough that the mechanism can actually be effective (whether that be through large unhappiness scaling, or by low empire-level base happiness). Some random thoughts about Ideological Pressure and Influence: I think the original goal for ideological pressure (and influence) was for tourism to have meaning outside of culture victory. If you don't build enough tourism, then you will face ideological unhappiness and if it gets bad enough will be forced to move away from your chosen ideology (and originally, you lost your bonus policies). I feel that right now tourism is almost entirely a yield that only culture victory cares about. No one is really emphasized to choose tourism based policies/buildings/effects unless they're pursing a culture victory, or it's an incidental effect (dig sites, holy sites, policies required to finish a tree, etc). As such, the culture (tourism) leader always has major control of ideological pressure. In BNW, it seemd like tourism was a super long term yield that needed to start in Ancient. The more you neglected your tourism (and influence with other civs) early game, the less choice you had of ideology late game as the other civs' ideological pressure rolled over you. This seems mostly gone now, which I'm okay with. I don't' think any of us want to see unmitigated long-term effects (see this happiness discussion), and Ideological conformity is also undesirable. How much more incentive does a civ need to have to improve their influence over another civ? Currently, there are rewards to trade routes, spy versatility and city capture. The trade route reward is good for people who don't care about ideological pressure at all, or want to boost the defense of common ideology civs (to the extent that growth is a reward nowadays). It less useful to civs seeking culture victory, as they will generally be sending trade routes to the civs they have the least influence with. The spy setup time reduction allows civs to move their spies around more frequently. This mostly only helps with advanced actions. Diplomats don't get this reduced setup time, so it doesn't speed up the diplomatic vote buying process (I really wish it did), and compared to the time it takes to steal a great work/tech, setup time is minimal. Rigged Elections/Coups, which would benefit from reduced setup time since the actions are meaningfully short in duration are obviously not part of this system. Edit: quickly moving a spy between cities provides a great way to gain information about what a civ's cities are doing/where their great works are, etc. Reducing setup time has a huge impact here. I don't know if the City Conquest reward has much impact. It affects population, not infrastructure, so the result is more citizens in your empire, more quickly, and more unhappy than if the city had come out of resistance with a lower population. Unless, of course, we're just puppeting everything at this stage in the game. In which case, the yields that the increased pop gives (puppets are still gold-focused, right) aren't meaningful anyway. None of these benefits are something that a non-culture civ would push tourism for. How much does a player even notice their effects when they occur incidentally? I like that Order's Cultural Revolution exists. It's partially a policy that gives tourism for players who don't want a culture victory, as it can be used solely to increase defensive ideological pressure between Order civs. This is more of a policy to help other Order civs stabilize if they're in danger of being overwhelmed by Freedom/Authority (it's actually detrimental if Order civs other than the culture leader takes it, when used for this purpose). What do you do if you're being overwhelmed by a different ideology? In this case, you're at low tourism output in general, and you most definitely do not want to send tourism to your fellow Order civs, and maximize tourism with your opposing Ideological influencers. Unfortunately, you may not have much time to play in this situation. Maybe this is atypical, but I've been in games where only half of the civilizations on the map even have an ideology by the time the game ends.