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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
Once another empire is there you will make "contact" with them. Even if it is 'we won't talk' that is contact
That's entirely up for discussion, and should be brought up in the "Diplomacy Preliminary" thread (so I think I will), but there is no reason that if Empire A can detect Empire B, but Empire B cannot detect Empire A, that Empire A should be arbitrarily compelled to make diplomatic contact, thus revealing its presence to empire B.


Yeah! i figured out how to merge posts.
Removed the two following Posts to the diplomacy thread where they belong.
Seriously, this isn't a stream-of-consciousness topic.
-eleazar

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:28 pm 
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We need separate allegiances to each Empire for the planet. After the Great Democratic Republic of Humans nobly financed the liberation movement on Zantos III with no other goal than freedom from Sillicoid tyranny. The point wasn't to have them swan off to the Mrrsh. They were supposed to free themselves then join us. Throwing lots of BCs at someone does (or at least can) make them like you. Smuggling in lots of guns makes them like you a lot more.

So how would this work? Spy actions could attempt to increase or decrease the allegiance of a planet to any empire. This is easier if the you're affecting allegiance to yourself or the ruler of the planet, but you can for instance make them hate their probably next conqueror. Counter espionage is likely to detect increases in allegiance to a foreign power and suspicious will turn to the relevant empire. Decreasing loyalty to the current government on the other hand doesn't point to anybody.

Smuggling guns in is one of the harder spy actions. It's also the most negative diplomatically if you get caught. Each spy action allows a certain number (n) of potential revolutionaries (PRs) to be armed with better weapons which will be used if a revolt happens. So rebellions can have different combat effectiveness for some units. In a rebellion what weapons are used is obvious. Each year there is a chance that arms caches will be found by counterintelligence.

The spying player can supply guns up to the best quality they have, but can supply less effective weaponry. The only empire that has Personal deflector shields for instance might not want to supply then and make it obvious who's supplying the rebels. If the supplying empire declares to the potential rebels who they are or rebels use weapons only one empire could supply allegiance of the planet to that empire changes by: - (Allegiance to planet owner) * (factor based on effectiveness of weapons supplied). Getting an empire caught supplying guns lowers allegiance of the planet to that empire (because they think you're stupid getting caught).


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Aussie Mick wrote:
Espionage?
eleazar wrote:
Seriously, this isn't a stream-of-consciousness topic.
We welcome your opinions and ideas, but espionage is significantly off-topic here. The reason it's scheduled for later in the roadmap is so that it can be built around all the other game systems, not vice-versa, which means that we shouldn't be working from (very detailed) assumptions about espionage in this thread. If you like, you're certainly welcome to post all your ideas about espionage in the Brainstorming forum, making sure you familiarize yourself fully with previously established design, and other brainstorming related to the topic so that you're not just re-inventing the wheel/creating ideas that are ill-suited to FreeOrion.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:43 pm 
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BigJoe is right, but part of this is relevant to the thread.
Aussie Mick wrote:
So how would this work? Spy actions could attempt to increase or decrease the allegiance of a planet to any empire. This is easier if the you're affecting allegiance to yourself or the ruler of the planet, but you can for instance make them hate their probably next conqueror. Counter espionage is likely to detect increases in allegiance to a foreign power and suspicious will turn to the relevant empire. Decreasing loyalty to the current government on the other hand doesn't point to anybody.
We've already worked over some of these ideas pretty thoroughly in this thread. Originally what we were trying to do, is something like you are describing, but the conclusion was that giving individual planets a preference for various empires was too complicated and micromanagy for the player to manage or get a grip on. It could be hundreds of planets each with unique varying preferences for a dozen or more empires. Bleh.

Instead we decided that a species as a whole should have preferences for one empire or another (we call that "allegiance"), which is on a scale big enough to be important. Individual planets can be messed with by adjusting their happiness making them more likely to rebel however.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:41 am 
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eleazar wrote:
BigJoe is right, but part of this is relevant to the thread.
Aussie Mick wrote:
So how would this work? Spy actions could attempt to increase or decrease the allegiance of a planet to any empire. This is easier if the you're affecting allegiance to yourself or the ruler of the planet, but you can for instance make them hate their probably next conqueror. Counter espionage is likely to detect increases in allegiance to a foreign power and suspicious will turn to the relevant empire. Decreasing loyalty to the current government on the other hand doesn't point to anybody.
We've already worked over some of these ideas pretty thoroughly in this thread. Originally what we were trying to do, is something like you are describing, but the conclusion was that giving individual planets a preference for various empires was too complicated and micromanagy for the player to manage or get a grip on. It could be hundreds of planets each with unique varying preferences for a dozen or more empires. Bleh.

Instead we decided that a species as a whole should have preferences for one empire or another (we call that "allegiance"), which is on a scale big enough to be important. Individual planets can be messed with by adjusting their happiness making them more likely to rebel however.


You're probably right that's a lot of crunching, but I still want to foment revolts to grab a system or too. So how about this, a basic allegiance to the empire, but if the owning empire did something horrible to the planet (e.g at war with the race present on the planet, slaughtered civilians there) that planet has a lower allegiance. Each turn there's a random +/- for each planet. That way if average allegiance gets too low you start getting the occasional production disruption or small revolt. Spies can subtract from the temporary allegiance of a planet, increasing the chance for a revolt. If there's a revolt that still has combat forces at the end of a turn it's a (really small) empire with allegiances based on being at war with their former empire. If you had spies on the planet before the revolt you have spies in the new empire.

Also the ratio of how much force the rebels could assemble to how much the empire has on the planet should effect the chance of revolt.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Aussie Mick wrote:
You're probably right that's a lot of crunching, but I still want to foment revolts to grab a system or too.
Espionage will be employed to increase the likelihood of revolt somehow, most likely by increasing the threshold at which rebel troops will begin spawning - for example, if the default threshold for riots is 20, and the number of troops produced is proportional in some way to (20 - CurrentHappiness), then espionage will be able to raise that threshold to X (probably limited by the infiltrating player's current espionage on the planet), and the number of troops produced would then be proportional to (X - CurrentHappiness).

It doesn't have to work that way, it's just an example - but the point is that having local happiness and collective allegiance will allow us to do pretty much anything we want with the system when it comes time to integrate espionage and ground combat into the system, without the need for local allegiance (which is much more complex than local happiness, because allegiance must be directed towards a particular empire).

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:42 am 
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Quick note.

I previously suggested that one of the advantages of high allegiance might be that military troops would be resistant to panic.

But i like this basic idea better. It's simpler, and more fun. Planets could spawn temporary "militia" ground troops based on population and the degree of allegiance whenever the planet is invaded.

EDIT:
On the flip side, the militia might help the invader if the planet had low allegiance.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:33 am 
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Yeah, I've been assuming that militia would help out the ground troops of all parties involved in combat proportionally to the allegiance to each side. Allegiance can have other benefits too, such as setting the target value for "security" (the ship equivalent of happiness, in terms of espionage defense, and presumably also plays some role when the ship is boarded), which makes them less likely to be captured/blown up at a critical moment by enemy spies, etc, which is why you always want high allegiance from whatever species is flying your ships.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:58 pm 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
My point wasn't that monopolar alignments are necessarily more complex than bipolar alignments, just that a great deal of the purported disadvantage of bipolar alignments actually applies to monopolar alignments as well, so the additional complexity of bipolar alignments is minimal, and therefore justified by the increase in gameplay value.
OK, so you concede a bipolar system is more complex, but it is justifiably so. I'll consider that progress. More on comparing the relative gameplay value later.

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Examples of short-term alignment tradeoffs aren't really relevant to the issue. In the short-term, no significant change can be made to a species' allegiance, so there should always potentially be options for increasing the happiness of your planets, which will make things better in the short-term.
I don't know. Surely there will be some options for increasing happiness. What exactly are you proposing to temporarily fix happiness problems?

Bigjoe5 wrote:
...The point is that altering alignments scales isn’t a quick-fix, and it’s primarily the big decisions which are considered by the player with regard to alignment for example: “This tech will allow me to capture planets and enslave them more easily - this will make it more strategically viable to capture and enslave planets. Therefore, I will naturally do it more often, and my elitism alignment will increase. I want to increase the allegiance of my Warlords, so I should research this tech,” ....
I agree that's the way i'd like things to work. But bipolar alignments don't lend themselves to being regarded so generally, since too much capturing and enslaving can push a species from being acceptably disloyal to dangerously disloyal. Happiness patches alone shouldn't be able to deal with the problem, at least not indefinitely


Bigjoe5 wrote:
In addition, you have fully neglected to integrate species-empire alignment into your calculations, and it will probably be much more difficult to get many species to high levels of species-empire alignment, particularly since increasing a race's status will be a primary method of increasing its species-empire alignment. And species empire alignment will contribute either a third, or half of a species' allegiance, depending...
I think we can go with "half" each from the subjective and objective sides as a working figure until we have a reason to do otherwise.

But, yes i realize i haven't been dealing with with the subjective side of allegiance, and that will throw additional complications in the way. But the subjective side can potentially increase or decrease allegiance, and it works the same weather the system is bipolar or monopolar. Since i'm trying to highlight the differences between mono- and bi- polar systems i've left subjective allegiance factors out of the description.

So lest there be any doubt, i'm only talking about the objective side of allegiance in this post.


Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:
    * If you go to the Bloodthirsty, Elitist, Isolationist or Pacifistic, Egalitarian, Diplomatic extremes, 40% (2/5th) of the species would love your alignment, 20% would be indifferent, and 40% would absolutely hate it. So you have a full 60% of the species that wouldn't object to your alignment, and 40% that are probably impossible to win over.
    * The player that starts with (and plays) a Pacifistic Isolationist (Recluse) can only win the extreme loyalty of 20% of the species. 60% or 80% of the species would be indifferent to his ethos --depending on weather he takes Elitism<>Egalitarianism to an extreme or leave it neutral. If he goes to an extreme 20% will hate him.
I've considered these numbers before - I don't believe that this is a problem. In one sense, you're absolutely right. There will be no problem integrating most species into an empire - assuming there are no external influences. However, as the game progresses, and more and more of your opponents max out allegiance and happiness, your allegiance and happiness will be lagging behind. This means that

- since espionage meters will be increased greatly by the end of the game as well, even a planet with a happiness of about 60 will make a highly vulnerable espionage target, and could relatively easily become a site of espionage incited rebellion,

- due to lowered allegiance on some worlds, empires whose alignment scales are fully compatible with a particular species' ethos will easily be able to capture planets of that species in your empire, due to militia support.
If Neutral, or even moderately high allegiance is going to be a serious problem at some point in the game (and i'm not saying it shouldn't be), there are some additional problems with the bipolar system-- that it's highly inflexible, and boring. Which is a lead in for the second installment of the comparison between bipolar and monopolar...


Further Comparisons between the Bipolar and Monopolar systems

I think the there will be some common elements in the way savy players most frequently play--- no matter which ethos system (mono- or bi-) is chosen. A player chooses a species that has bonuses and an ethoi couplet suited for whatever basic strategy he is planning to employ. And so, because it fits his strategy, and because it will make his first and likely main species happy, he'll usually try to maximize the two scales that initial species cares about.

It also may be valid to stay neutral on 2 or more scales in a bipolar system, but i think that will be a less common strategy, and as nothing unexpected happens, i'm not discussing it here.

However, even in a bipolar system, a focused player could very likely leave the decision on which way to develop the third scale until later. For example a Bloodthirsty Isolationist, might stay neutral on Elitist<>Egalitarianism until he finds a species he want's to please that cares about that scale. Even more plausibly in a monopolar system, a player focused on an Exploratory, Diplomatic strategy, might wait to decide weather to tweak his strategy with a secondary emphasis on Diversity or Defenses.

The point is that you can have a specific plan, and follow it, without initally deciding what all your alignments are going to be. In fact that's probably a good idea, because you don't know what the alignment will be of the first species you meet that will have bonuses that make it the ideal complement to your initial species in carrying out your basic strategy.

Worst Case: Bipolar, BigJoe's 5 Couplets Only
What i described above just doesn't work with only 5 couplets. If you start out as anything but a Pacifistic Isolationist, and try to maximize for your initial species 2 scales, there's only going to be one additional ethos could possibly have more than a neutral ethos alignment to your empire. The Bloodthirsty/Elite and the Bloodthirsty/Isolationists can work together, as can the Diplomatic/Egalitarians with the the Diplomatic/Pacifists. the Pacifistic Isolationists has nobody else.

In other words, if you want to maximize allegiance, and want lots of species, there are only 3 valid strategies. And who wouldn't want the opportunity to collect more species if there are no ethos conflict to worry about?
    Bloodthirsty / Isolationist / Elitist,
    Diplomatic / Pacifistic / Egalitarian, and
    Pacifistic / Isolationism
The Pacifistic/Isolationist can't make anybody like him with the third scale, but he can use it to adjust who hates him.

In conclusion: this system is far to complicated if all it does is shove the player into one of 4 boxes (counting neutrality). In this scenario, it's not clear that the Egalitarian/Elitist scale does anything worthwhile, since the Bloodthirsty bloc and the Diplomatic bloc combine forces so readily.


Less Bad Case: Bipolar, all combinations
Admittedly the Bloodthirsty/Diplomatic combination seems pretty counter-productive. But maybe the other six are valid combinations. In fact they almost certainly are, since Egalitarian/Elitist is comparatively inconsequential, and should be compatible with any other strategy combining the other two scales.

So here's the break down if all 12 possible combinations are represented, and you max out the two scales of your initial species.
    * 4 of 12 won't care how you change the 3rd scale.
    * * 1 of 12 your starting species' ethos which will love you anyway.
    * * 1 of 12 the opposite of your starting species' ethos still hates you.
    * * 2 of 12 are neutral no matter how you change the 3rd scale.

    * 4 of 12 have the potential to go between neutral and max allegiance.
    * * This bloc is divided in half. You can make half love you and the other half indifferent, or anything in between.

    * 4 of 12 have the potential to go between neutral and minimum allegiance.
    * * Again, this bloc is divided in half. You can make half hate you and the other half indifferent, or anything in between.


Either Way...
With the Worse Case, or the Less Bad Case, either way, there's not much you can do (if anything) to refine you basic strategy to take accommodate a new species as a highly loyal part of your empire. Choose two scales to emphasize, and the lines are very strongly drawn. Even if you are willing to refine your strategy to accommodate new species (i.e. switch from Elite to Egalitarian), that has only a small ability to adjust which species could be loyal members of your empire.

The consequence of this is that the effectiveness of any particular strategy depends heavily on weather species of compatible ethos exist which have the complementary bonuses. Each time you play a strategy, only the same few species will be available as anything better than indifferently loyal members of your empire. Since making species with anything close to all the possibly useful EP, Ethos, and bonus combinations is prohibitive, species design would have to be very carefully balanced to avoid giving any ethos bloc an advantage.

:arrow: It's pretty much a straight-jacket. From the player's perspective, this isn't going to be an empowering system, its a system that strongly constrains what the player can effectively do.

Bipolar alignments are conceptually cool, buy they get in the way of the player, add at least some complexity, and overall have no advantage (that i can see) over monopolar scales besides the flashiness of a cool sounding but impractical idea.


Monopolar Freedom and Flexibility
In contrast, with several (6-8 sounds about right, i'll be describing a 7 scale system) monopolar "values" the players initial choice of a main species and basic strategy doesn't lock him down. If the player starts with an Exploratory and Diplomatic species and basic strategy, can quite plausibly add on a secondary emphasis to Expansion, or Defense or whatever according to the needs of his situation, or to accommodate a new species he's discovered.

While it won't be practically possible to give a strong emphasis to all the value scales at once, an emphasis on any combination of the value scales is possible. Thus these scales provide a more fine-grained measurement and response to the player's strategy. The player can design his own strategy to a much larger degree, and the species of the galaxy will react in with varying (but easily predictable) levels of allegiance.

You won't always be seeing empires made up of a core of the same few blocs of species, because any few species could become the loyal core of an empire. It just probably won't be practical to make all species highly loyal. The number of effective species-based strategies that the player can employ and needs to counter vastly increases, because species don't strongly divide themselves into blocs.


EDIT: i've updated my alignments wiki page with better definitions and a provisional short list of the best 7.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:04 am 
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On the bipolar-monopolar comparison.

In terms of Blocs, the number of blocs you get is roughly comparable to the number of alignments you have. With 7 monopolar alignments the system will naturally be fine grained, it would also happen for 7 bipolar alignments. (not to mention that yours are practically only 4.. military (+defensive), Exploration(+expansion), diplomacy, diversity, experimental

A few things, a player should be unlikely to stay neutral at a given bipolar alignment unless they are trying to. Their 'normal' game actions should cause it to shift one way or another. So a alignment that they "Don't care about" is probably Not going to stay neutral their game strategy Should tend to shift it one way or another. Now they can be open to Changing that alignment later, but it will have already been at something other than basic.


Also this is being based on the Assumption that the player will want to max on the two scales their species has.... What if the players desired strategy is more middle of the road, what if they only plan on maxing one stat, or just Slightly going one way or another.

"Maxing" an alignment Should be the result of suboptimal gameplay (until ethos are taken into consideration)
ie maxing Blood thirsty should be a bad idea...maxing Pacifism should be a bad idea to

You should have to give something up to achieve strong alegiance from your starting species.
Eleazar is assuming the monopolar system will do that because he is basing it on resource investments into areas
but a bipolar system needs those 'investments' as well.

Finally, why should they Only be bipolar or monopolar? Somethings don't make much sense as bipolar ones (Tech v. Luddites?) others are real stretches to exclude the bipolar (a species that hates war should be just as possible as one that likes it, one that likes slaves should be as possible as one that hates slaves)

Essentially do Both. make all scales 'bipolar' but for some of them there is no species on the opposite side. (which means there doesn't need to be any strategic disadvantages to bottoming out that score.. because no one will want to do it)

So here's my list

Diplomat/Isolationist
War/Peace
Equal/Elite
Expans/Development (building out v. building up)..this is an important strategic decision in empire builders and encompases the Military v. Defense of eleazar's list.

monopolar
Tech/ [Luddite]* no species is Luddite

Non-Alignment Ethos
Xenophobia v. Xenophilia (how this species reponds to the Empire-Species alignments of Other species)

Every possible combination of those should be viable strategies (except possibly the Xenophobic-Diplomats), and that gives you
9 Xenophiles
9 Xenophobes
32 alignment +alignment species

That should involve sufficient 'fine grained' control so that for any Pair of species, each having 2 Ethos, the Ethos could interact in the following ways
1. They could both match (Easy add)
2. They could both be opposed (Don't)
3. They could match in one and be opposed in the other (still get a decent amount by balancing one species v. other)
4. They could match in one and have the other on separate scales (OK add, but you are now slightly more constricted)
5. They could be opposed in one and have the other on separate scales (possible, a bit complicated)
6. They could both be on separate scales (OK to add but you are now much more strategy constricted)


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:52 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
In terms of Blocs, the number of blocs you get is roughly comparable to the number of alignments you have. With 7 monopolar alignments the system will naturally be fine grained, it would also happen for 7 bipolar alignments.
If you can find 7 good, interesting, non-overlapping bipolar scales i'd love to see it.

The issue of blocs is somewhat different from the issue of the number of possible combinations. 4 bipolar scales (like you are proposing) would have 24 possible combinations, and a 7 value monopolar scale would have 21 possible combinations. Either way that's plenty i think. But the bipolar scales still have the problem of blocs. Any alignment choice you make starts quickly narrowing down your other choices. The numbers for 4 bipolar are similar to the ones i broke down in my previous post. Once you choose to try to max two values, a full 3rd of the other alignments are incapable of having better than neutral ethos allegiance toward you empire.


Krikkitone wrote:
(not to mention that yours are practically only 4.. military (+defensive), Exploration(+expansion), diplomacy, diversity, experimental
First, that's 5 not 4. And secondly, i'd argue that exploration and expansion though slightly connected are distinct strategies. Similarly a turtling empire that has awesome planetary defenses needn't be confused with the empire that believes, "the best defense is a good offense". Sure an empire might emphasize both of these values that you list as similar, but he might just as well only emphasize one of them.

Krikkitone wrote:
Also this is being based on the Assumption that the player will want to max on the two scales their species has.... What if the players desired strategy is more middle of the road, what if they only plan on maxing one stat, or just Slightly going one way or another.
I explained my assumption in the post. I'm assuming that trying to max the two scales of their initial species will be a very effective and common strategy. I specifically mention that other strategies could exist. But didn't you and BigJoe just warn me a few posts back about the dire vulnerabilities that would occur to an empire that included species with neutral ethos allegiance?

Krikkitone wrote:
"Maxing" an alignment Should be the result of suboptimal gameplay (until ethos are taken into consideration)
ie maxing Blood thirsty should be a bad idea...maxing Pacifism should be a bad idea to
That is indeed is a possible, at least if you ignore the allegiance benefits. Weather the additional allegiance accrued will usually (or ever) justify emphasizing a value too far, is a question i don't think we can really answer now.

Anyway it doesn't really change the validity of my argument. Substituted "strongly emphasize" for "max" and you get essentially the same results, except the numbers are a bit more scattered.


Krikkitone wrote:
Finally, why should they Only be bipolar or monopolar? Somethings don't make much sense as bipolar ones (Tech v. Luddites?) others are real stretches to exclude the bipolar (a species that hates war should be just as possible as one that likes it, one that likes slaves should be as possible as one that hates slaves)

Essentially do Both. make all scales 'bipolar' but for some of them there is no species on the opposite side. (which means there doesn't need to be any strategic disadvantages to bottoming out that score.. because no one will want to do it)

So here's my list

Diplomat/Isolationist
War/Peace
Equal/Elite
Expans/Development (building out v. building up)..this is an important strategic decision in empire builders and encompases the Military v. Defense of eleazar's list.

monopolar
Tech/ [Luddite]* no species is Luddite

Non-Alignment Ethos
Xenophobia v. Xenophilia (how this species reponds to the Empire-Species alignments of Other species)

Every possible combination of those should be viable strategies (except possibly the Xenophobic-Diplomats), and that gives you
9 Xenophiles
9 Xenophobes
32 alignment +alignment species

This ethos stuff is relatively new territory, it's not something players have encountered much in other games. So we need to emphasize KISS even more than we do in other parts of the game. We want the maximum gameplay coolness from the minimum of rules and complexity. Having ethos made up of a bunch of different things (like you are proposing) was my original idea, way back when i wrote my multi-species thing. But it's not a good clean design. There's no reason we can't make an interesting and effective ethos system using scales that all work the same way. Using different kinds of scales simply complicates things. We don't need accurately simulate every kind of alien personality that we can imagine. Real "Xenophobia" doesn't work as a regular ethos scale? Fine. Goodbye Xenophobia. If we try to do everything cool we'll push the finish line back faster than we can make progress.

Questions:

* Do you mean something new with "War/Peace" or is it the same as "Bloodthirsty/Pacifistic"?

* "Expans/Development" doesn't strike me as really opposites. I had it on my bipolar list at one point, but rejected it later. You can have high expansion and high development or low expansion and low development. It's not innately really any more of an opposite than any other two random strategies, like "Industry/Technology".
-- unless you have some sort of definition that actually make them real opposites?

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:57 pm 
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I made an open office spreadsheet where you can play around with bipolar or monopolar alignments and see how all possible ethoi react. It has a graph which may not show up in all versions of excel.


You can download it here:
http://www.jwbjerk.com/dl/freeorion/mon ... r2.ods.zip

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:26 am 
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More Thoughts on Rank

Here's an idea for a counter-balance to granting a species high "rank" which works sensibly weather or not you have any other species in your empire.

It would decreases the allegiance of all other species-- that don't have equal rank or higher in your empire. In essence the trade-off is higher allegiance for one species at the expense of the allegiance of all other species.

So if the Red Empire grants it's only species, the Blaarg, "overlord" status, it roughly corresponds with Germany proclaiming the Aryans the master race -- even if Germany was populated entirely with Aryans. It's a mark of special favor towards the Blaarg, and all other species realize that if they ever ended up in the Red empire, at best they would be second class citizens.

It's a great way for the player of a mono-species empire to counter the multiple bonuses of a multi-species empire. Which i think is more interesting than simply exacting a production penalty. This probably shouldn't be combined with the production malus idea. A single-species, high-rank empire is already at a production disadvantage compared to a decent multi-species empire of the same population, since the multi-species empire probably has multiple production bonuses.

With this idea, there still would need to be some sort of numerical limitation on how many species can be granted high rank. It might be possible to give multiple species high rank, or even to give more than one species the highest rank... but it shouldn't not be possible to give all species high rank, because that would erase the counter-balance.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:50 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Examples of short-term alignment tradeoffs aren't really relevant to the issue. In the short-term, no significant change can be made to a species' allegiance, so there should always potentially be options for increasing the happiness of your planets, which will make things better in the short-term.
I don't know. Surely there will be some options for increasing happiness. What exactly are you proposing to temporarily fix happiness problems?
- Giving gifts to an empire towards whom your species has higher allegiance
- Just enslave the planet, and it won't rebel

That seems adequate to me, though if it's desirable, we could definitely have some happiness-altering buildings and techs.

eleazar wrote:
I agree that's the way i'd like things to work. But bipolar alignments don't lend themselves to being regarded so generally, since too much capturing and enslaving can push a species from being acceptably disloyal to dangerously disloyal. Happiness patches alone shouldn't be able to deal with the problem, at least not indefinitely
Hmmm can it? What is "dangerously disloyal" other than a situation where you're just not willing to fork over enough gifts to another empire to keep your planets' happiness above threshold? Happiness patches can deal with the problem indefinitely, but it's quite expensive, and you'll probably lose because of it. Enslaving your planets also works indefinitely, but has the added downside that your planets are now vulnerable to other forms of espionage, even if rebellions can no longer be (easily?) incited by enemy spies. And of course there needs to be a way to deal with enemy spies directly as well - more on that later.


eleazar wrote:
I think we can go with "half" each from the subjective and objective sides as a working figure until we have a reason to do otherwise.

But, yes i realize i haven't been dealing with with the subjective side of allegiance, and that will throw additional complications in the way. But the subjective side can potentially increase or decrease allegiance, and it works the same weather the system is bipolar or monopolar. Since i'm trying to highlight the differences between mono- and bi- polar systems i've left subjective allegiance factors out of the description.
Just leaving out the other half of allegiance isn't very productive, since when you say that "X number of species can't have more than neutral ethical alignment towards you", you're really saying that "allegiance can't exceed 75", which is something a bit different. In addition, this also means that you neglect to calculate the effects of actions that affect both ethical compatibility alignments, and species-empire alignments. For example, an elitist empire can't have high allegiance from all of his species, since some of them will have to be enslaved, which will lower species-empire alignment. What I’m getting at, essentially, is that the subjective side of allegiance will also play a different role in each system, and that it greatly affects the difference between the two systems. As such, I’ve made sure to keep the species-empire alignments in the equation when describing the strategies that are created by a Bipolar alignment system

eleazar wrote:
Further Comparisons between the Bipolar and Monopolar systems
Alright, we clearly need another Bipolar alignment scale. As such, I have created one, as well as some (perhaps premature) game mechanics to go with it:

Security vs. Elitism

Krikkitone brought this one up before, but since there was no clear idea of what would affect it and how it would interact with the rest of the alignment scales, we got rid of it. To revive it, I've had to come up with game mechanics a few points ahead of where we are on the roadmap, but that's OK, since regardless of how it's actually implemented, there is a clear need for some sort of counter-espionage mechanism, and whatever mechanism that is can end up affecting this alignment scale. For now though, here's what I'm going with:

Planets and ships can be put in a state of "basic security". This allows the player to see the current values - but not the max/target value and affiliation - of all espionage meters on the planet or ship, which also gives him knowledge of how many espionage meters are attached to the planet or ship (alternatively, the player might just be given the sum of all current espionage meters on the planet). Planets in a state of basic security are less productive than open planets, and there might be some penalty to ships for being in a state of basic security as well, though I think the cost in trade of maintaining it should be adequate for ships.

If the player has a planet in a state of basic security and there are espionage meters on the planet, then he can initiate "active purgation", which will lower all the espionage meters on the planet at a greater rate than they can recover. There might be some penalty for planets and ships that are in a state of active purgation, but again, the cost in trade will probably be adequate.

With this new scale, there are 24 possible ethoi, 8 of which I think are appropriate combinations. I've taken the time to compile a short summary of the relationships between these ethoi; it certainly doesn't seem to me like the player is being shoved into any small number of boxes - instead, there is a great deal of strategic variety within each overall ethos-specific macro-strategy, and there could presumably be hybrid strategies that combine some of the aspects of these various strategies.

In this scenario, there are some things you can do to incorporate a new species as a highly loyal part of your empire, but it won't always be common, and certain species simply aren't compatible with certain types of empires. If a species with compatible ethos and complimentary bonuses isn't available, that doesn't mean your strategy is shot - sure, you don't get that advantage, but you also don't have to put in the effort to get that advantage, and can focus your resources on getting other advantages.

This system makes species of the same ethos mean different things to different empires. It might not be as easy for empire A to integrate species X into his empire as it is for empire B, but that just means that empire A can divert his resources elsewhere and get other kinds of advantages over empire B. Yes, some empires can potentially be at a disadvantage due to the proportions of different types of empires and species in the galaxy, but it's not like that was ever going to not be the case, or that it's suddenly a significant problem now.

You can say that Bipolar alignments "get in the way of the player", but what are they supposed to do? They're supposed to create interesting restrictions for the player to work around, interesting problems for the player to solve. An "empowering" system that focuses on giving the player freedom to please whichever species he wants, as long as he doesn't spread his resources too thin is a boring system because there's nothing really special about playing in a particular way - it won't make it any harder/easier/more interesting to get a particular new species as opposed to a different one, it won't create interesting political relationships with other empires playing in other particular ways, and it won't really give the player's empire a distinctive personality.

I've updated my alignments wiki page with an explanation of how the 8 ethoi interact with one another to create strategic and political interest, as well as permitting strategic variety within a particular macro-strategy - not a shove-player-into-box system at all, IMO.

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Last edited by Bigjoe5 on Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:34 am 
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I like that concept. (it was what I was trying to get at)

I still think that they should use Target values instead of "Growth Rates" but I think those Ethoi would work well.

I think the other 16 might work also, especially with things like 'humane conquest' for a Bloodthirsty Egalitarian race
or
Free Isolationist, that actively attacks those it suspects of spying on it. (since it can do some war but can be at peace with other empires...just not anything more than peace)
or a NK strategy (Secure Isolationist)... great for Standard 4X Play... Rapid Expand, Solidify and develop, take out enemies one by one.

I can See Elitist Free being a problem... they have some extreme Espionage vulnerability.. possibly if they were master spies (that covers both their espionage defense and gives them offense) Then thier productivity should begin to allow them to win an espionage battle. (they have more+better spies on the offense, and more/slightly worse on the defense). ie more Elitist Free empires gives you a espionage heavy game (just like more Secure Egalitarians give you a low espionage game.. and more Xenophobics gives you a military heavy game). Perhaps they spend their extra productive Trade to keep their slaves happy rather than on security system... ie the Happy Brainwashed Slave Empire (so they have very little reason for revolt)

etc.

I think they all can work in a number of different strategies

Note: I do think incorporating at least Xenocidal as a possible Ethos (but not Alignment) and possibly also Xenophilic Technological, Environmental (proTerraforming) would Also be useful for a better 'story effect'. (ie to give species the proper feel)


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