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In Civilization III, if you're doing particularly well, your people will sometimes voluntarily suggest that you add an upgrade to your Monarchical/Despotic/Presidential/Chancellor's/Comrade's Palace.

You can go from a dinky cave on a hilltop to a grandly posh domicile such as this: enter image description here

What triggers the ability to upgrade your palace?

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Great question, I often wondered myself! –  Ragnar Jun 15 '11 at 6:05
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I always thought the palace is funded by your people when they are happy, so if you ensure e.g. "we love the king/emperor/dictator" celebrations, no war weariness, high luxuries/happy faces buildings/wonders and so on, you get higher probability of palace being constructed. –  acalypso Jun 15 '11 at 7:04
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Opulence...you wants it. –  Ian Pugsley Jun 15 '11 at 13:00
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's a CivFanatics thread about it in which they conclude... nothing. Most people seem to think that it is somewhat like modern day achievements, triggered by certain events like building a wonder or winning a battle. Others claim it is solely score based, although that seems unlikely since it would be so easy to prove if it were true. And it seems that there is some randomness associated with it as well. Maybe the triggering event makes it so that you have a % chance to get the upgrade each turn, since some people report having received multiple upgrades in the same turn.

In the end, it seems that this is one mechanic that has never been fully understood.

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