Goodmorning all, (I'll be posting a lot to day, just got back from a buisness trip, sorry for the flood)
THe problems are that an offer-counteroffer system is open to manipulation of the AI AND micromanagement, you might be able to eliminate the micromanagement of manipulating the AI, but you only do that by making the AI more easily manipulatable.
This is why I propose no Offer/counter offer.. instead, Offers are generated by the game.. if both sides accept then it becomes active.
The only problem i see with the game generating offers is that it leaves very little room for the more complex organic offers some people have been discussing. The game itself can't possibly foresee all the secondary clauses you might want to add. Since secondary clauses seams to be a largish part of what many people are discussing, there would need to be some way of re-injecting user involvement into the way that the game generates offers on it's own.
Well the game would generate its proposals based on input you were giving
ie I want X.... [things I want to get in the diplomatic proposals]
I will take Y.... [things that I don't particularly want, but are things I'm willing to take]
I will give Z........ [list of things I am willing to give up]
For resources those have a minimum to get and a maximum to give. ie I will give up a maximum of 3 minerals /turn (at x value /mineral) and I want at least 5 food/turn (at x value/food).
for each put a
Max I'm willing to pay to get it
Minimum I'm willing to give it up for
(depending on if you will be giving or getting it)
so you would be setting the limits of what you would accept or reject
For 'Third party' type treaties, if you put them in your 'wish list' they would probably get proposed to the other person anyways (unless the other player specifically allowed or forbade them)
Otherwise the idea is good and significantly reduces the ability to manipulate, but it at the same time reduces the variability and responsive nature of the treaties themselves.
One more thought, if treaties are proposed by the game, what is left for empire negotiations?? what motivations do we have to enter the diplomacy screen?
Here you don't, not in terms of proposing a treaty to another player and waiting for their replay. Because the computer can't handle negotiating with the player, without the computer
1. acting like a human/user unfriendly computer and therefore a potentially annoying jerk/subject to micromanagement
2. acting like a user friendly computer and therefore easily manipulatable
and one last thought, Doesn't this qualify as having the game play itself for the user? I thought we were trying to avoid implementing things where the game itself did things like this on behalf of the user, on the grounds that if it's annoying enough to prefer to have the game do it for us it' s probably not the right model in the first place.
anyway, I think it is a good idea, but it might do with a lot of further thinking.
Best wishes Robbie Price.
Well this is my thought, looking at a simple negotiation. I have a large Mineral Surplus and another player has a Tech that I want.
Assume I am Willing to pay 100 Minerals for it
Assume the other player is willing to give it up for 10 Minerals (since they lose nothing)
If I offer the other player 15 Minerals, should they take it?
What if they counter offer wanting 80 Minerals? should I take that
That depends on what the other player Thinks they can get out of me.
Now the process of bid-counterbid is complicated if I feel I know how much they want for it minimum, and they know how much I am willing to give for it.
If they think I will pay 120 for it, why should offer 100. If I think they will give it up for 5, why should I offer 10.
Basically, it comes down to
Worse Deal v. No deal at all
(they try and get me to raise my price by threatening not to sell it to them, hoping I won't call their bluff, because they want it... unless they Really don't want it at those prices)
Essentially each side is trying to threaten to not make the deal in an attempt to get the other side to offer more
This 'waiting/bluffing game' should not
1. be played out within a single turn by the players (since that would make turns too long and result in an annoying AI)
2. Be automated for the AI-AI and Not the AI-Human or Human-Human
The way I see this is not so much automating as simplifying. After all in FO's economy there are only two things you can set on most planets, the rest is "automated". But it is automated by a simple mechanism.
From a player's perspecive in my system you immediately get "the best deal you can get" this turn every turn for everything that is in your wish list for which a deal is possible. If you reject the deal, then the deal next turn will be better (unless the other side also rejected it in which case it may be worse/better/the same/ or just not offered) But to try and make the deal better you gave it up for a turn.