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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:33 am 
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Sorry for the long delay in responding to this thread. <insert excuses here>

I've read through it, reading most and skimming over some, and have identified several points to comment on or that need a decision made. I've addressed these below. I'd like to consider these things decided so that the discussion can move forward.

I'm not sure whether this discussion is effectively complete, or whether it is worth making some new threads for additional discussion of specific issues or questions that remain unresolved. If there are remaining issues, I'd rather not continue this thread any further given its length and the number of mixed up issues it contains.


Issues:

:arrow: Distinction between happiness and allegiance

See: viewtopic.php?p=41908#p41908

The motivation for having species allegiances to empires and planet happiness meters was to avoid having an allegiance-like rating for each empire on each planet. That doesn't meant the happiness meters and allegiances need to be thought of, by players or designers, as measuring the same thing, though. If there are going to be two separate ratings being tracked, they should be made as distinctive as possible, beyond the locally-varying and shared-species-wide distinction... I don't see a need to make the distinction between the two to be only or primarily about "scale" or "locality" of things that can alter them.

Ways to do this could include describing them as different things about populations (species opinion of a particular empire vs. general mood of a population on a planet), or making the consequences of the ratings having various values be different.

Also, things that alter a planet's happiness don't need to be restricted to only act on a single planet. Happiness meters on planets that can and do vary from planet to planet depending on local conditions... But there could also be some contributions to local conditions, likely in the form of effects that alter the max happiness meter of planets, which act on multiple planets. This possibility doesn't make having the two sets of ratings irrelivant.



:arrow: The "neutral point" of happiness and allegiance / scaling of values

See: viewtopic.php?p=41911#p41911

While there are reasonable arguments for making scales for these ratings include negative values, I'd rather stick with the 0 to 100 scale for all meters unless there turns out to be a major problem with that implementation, and not attempt to fix it before testing it.

It's not established exactly how allegiance will be calculated, so it could be treated differently.

Happiness is a property of each planet, so it should work like standard a meter, with a min and max of 0 and 100, and a neutral point of 20, similar to the health meter. It's not perfect for this particular property, but being consistent with the rest of the design and UI is at least as important.



:arrow: Gifting resources to boost happiness of species in the gifter's empire that like the recipient

See: viewtopic.php?p=41912#p41912

I don't think we need to add this particular mechanism at this time. It can be considered later.



:arrow: Propeganda

See: viewtopic.php?p=41907#p41907

I don't think we need this particular mechanism at this time either. Propeganda would essentially be a way to buy alignment shifts with trade, but there should be numerous other more-interesting empire actions or properties that could be used to determine allegiance / alignment.

As well, ideally there won't be any reason for players to want to modify an empire's alignment to a particular number; more should always be better. This might mean NOT having any species that DISlike empires due to certain of their alignment ratings being high. Instead, species would only like empires due to high alignment ratings. If all of an empire's alignment ratings were 0 (assuming 0 is the minimum), then all species would likely have low allegiance and would strongly dislike that empire due to it not having high ratings in any of those species' preferred ratings. Most species would not care at all about empire ratings in alignment scales other than the species' particular interests. Balancing would need to be done by making it difficult for empires to have high ratings in many different alignment scales.

That said, there may be a need for a way to spend trade / money / influence to make species like or dislike an empire. This might be a good way to integrate into an espionage / leader / hero system. Whether and how this could work can be determined later.



:arrow: Paired opposite alignment scales

See: viewtopic.php?p=41932#p41932
See: viewtopic.php?p=42202#p42202

I agree that alignment ratings generally shouldn't be set up with paired opposite scales. Even if there are no other reasons agreed upon, it seems redundant and uninteresting to have two scales measuring essentially the same thing.

Assuming paired opposite scales are the norm also restricts alignment ratings to things that have natural paired opposites, but there are probably interesting possible alignment ratings that don't fit into a system where the lack of something is logically more of the anti-thing.

Perhaps most importantly, it seems preferable to keep it simpler for player to understand the benefits / drawbacks of alignment changes by making it always better to have higher ratings in any and any or all alignment scales.



:arrow: Nature and effects of civics

See: viewtopic.php?p=41965#p41965
See: viewtopic.php?p=41984#p41984
See: viewtopic.php?p=41992#p41992

An objection was raised to society / government "civics" settings that duplicate planet-level strategic choices, such as giving boosts to trade output to the whole empire instead of setting the focus or producing buildings to increase trade output.

This is a reasonable point, and we can have a general principle that, if "civics" or "social engineering" or "imperial values" or similar settings are included, they should avoid a) having consequences that duplicate existing player choices or b) being a simple toggle to define or control a property of an empire that could determined from or by what the empire contains.

This does not mean that there is definitely no place for civics-style choices and interface for players; each possible set of civics choices should be judged individually. Civic type choices could be useful to provide a level of control and investment that is intermediate between changing a single planet's focus, and completely changing the contents of an empire.

The details of this issue, and any other government discussion, are beyond the scope of this topic, or at least beyond the scope of what this already-huge topic can handle, and can be addressed later in a civics-specific discussion.



:arrow: Race Design

See: viewtopic.php?p=42009#p42009

As suggested, it is probably a good plan to design races so that their alignment preferences are at least somewhat consistent with any strategies that their preferences would encourage.



:arrow: Species status / rank / citizenship Levels

See: http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/User ... .28Rank.29
See: viewtopic.php?p=42012#p42012
See: viewtopic.php?p=42286#p42286

It was suggested that species be assigned a rank within an empire that will have various effects on allegiance or happiness.

I like this idea, but I don't think it's needed at this time.



:arrow: Chosing alignment scales

Various posts have discussed what alignment scales to include. An important issue is how the value of an alignment scale would be judged or calculated. A problem with several possible scales is that the relevant other parts of game mechanics haven't been designed yet.

So, I don't think we need to finalize all possible alignment scales right now. A few scales should be selected now, but this should be done with the expectation that more may be added later, and some might be changed or replaced or removed. Figuring out ways to implement settings or other gameplay systems so that they will be able to provide a useful alignment scale is beyond the scope of the current discussion.

This issue in particular probably needs a thread to resolve.


:arrow: How alignment / allegiance values grow or change or are determined

*Many* posts in this thread have addressed the issues of how to calculate alignment or allegiance values, whether there should be current and/or target values and how the two are related and determined. I don't have a good sense of all the suggestions, but I'll probably settled on something before it needs to be implemented. I think it's been discussed more than enough already, so I don't really think another thread will add much.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:18 am 
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Stuff i don't comment on, i agree with.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: Distinction between happiness and allegiance

See: viewtopic.php?p=41908#p41908

The motivation for having species allegiances to empires and planet happiness meters was to avoid having an allegiance-like rating for each empire on each planet. That doesn't meant the happiness meters and allegiances need to be thought of, by players or designers, as measuring the same thing, though. If there are going to be two separate ratings being tracked, they should be made as distinctive as possible, beyond the locally-varying and shared-species-wide distinction... I don't see a need to make the distinction between the two to be only or primarily about "scale" or "locality" of things that can alter them.

Ways to do this could include describing them as different things about populations (species opinion of a particular empire vs. general mood of a population on a planet), or making the consequences of the ratings having various values be different.

I can understand why this sounds bad theoretically, but we've kicked it around quite a bit, and it seems to work, with the minimum complexity. Before you throw out the idea that the main distinction is "scale", i think you need to propose an alternative is some detail, so it can be compared on a more concrete level.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: The "neutral point" of happiness and allegiance / scaling of values

See: viewtopic.php?p=41911#p41911

While there are reasonable arguments for making scales for these ratings include negative values, I'd rather stick with the 0 to 100 scale for all meters unless there turns out to be a major problem with that implementation, and not attempt to fix it before testing it.
I expect the math could work either way. My argument is in these two cases including negative values communicate the concept more clearly. "-10" is much more obviously "slightly unhappy" than a positive number on a 0-to-100 scale. The vast majority of meters indicate something tangible, and thus negative values would be absurd, but these are different.


:arrow: Propaganda
I see this as something that should be considered with either diplomacy or espionage, depending on how it it laid out.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: Species status / rank / citizenship Levels

I like this idea, but I don't think it's needed at this time.
Fair enough, leave it for consideration later.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: How alignment / allegiance values grow or change or are determined

*Many* posts in this thread have addressed the issues of how to calculate alignment or allegiance values, whether there should be current and/or target values and how the two are related and determined. I don't have a good sense of all the suggestions, but I'll probably settled on something before it needs to be implemented. I think it's been discussed more than enough already, so I don't really think another thread will add much.
Most of the discussion about how imperial actions effect alignment scales presumed bipolar scales, and IMHO isn't entirely relevant for monopolar scales. The need with bipolar scales for the player to be able to move the scale back and forth or even halt it's movement introduced complexities which aren't relevant to a monopolar scale. I have a couple simple ideas as to how it could work which i didn't introduce to the discussion because it was kind of pointless when the bipolar/monopolar question was open.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:49 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: Paired opposite alignment scales

See: viewtopic.php?p=41932#p41932
See: viewtopic.php?p=42202#p42202

I agree that alignment ratings generally shouldn't be set up with paired opposite scales. Even if there are no other reasons agreed upon, it seems redundant and uninteresting to have two scales measuring essentially the same thing.
It's not two scales measuring the same thing - it's one scale measuring something, with different species having preferences potentially on either extreme of the scale.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Assuming paired opposite scales are the norm also restricts alignment ratings to things that have natural paired opposites, but there are probably interesting possible alignment ratings that don't fit into a system where the lack of something is logically more of the anti-thing.
In which case, having a lack of something would decrease the alignment scale. I don't see a problem with that, and that's already how some of the proposed bipolar alignment scales work, for example, Pacifism vs. Bloodthirstiness, Security vs. Freedom and Diplomacy vs. Isolationism, where Pacifism is a lack of Bloodthirstiness, Freedom is a lack of security, and Isolationism is a lack of diplomacy. One could also argue that Egalitarianism is no more than a lack of Elitism, but status hasn't been adequately developed for that statement to be made confidently.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Perhaps most importantly, it seems preferable to keep it simpler for player to understand the benefits / drawbacks of alignment changes by making it always better to have higher ratings in any and any or all alignment scales.
Strategic interest is created by giving the player multiple options, all of which are objectively equal, but some of which are situationally more advantageous at a given time. The fun is in divining the most advantageous course of action at any given time. "More of this one vs. more of that one" is a less interesting strategic decision than "more of this one vs. less of this one"; in the first situation, "more of this one" has only an unclear and indirect relationship to being able to acquire "more of that one", and the weighing of the two options is therefore less interesting and will be largely dependent on which one the player can acquire more efficiently. When "more of this one" comes with the hard definitive inability to have "less of this one", the decision is more interesting because the strategic tradeoff itself is more clearly defined.

So while a single monopolar alignment scale is easier for the player to understand than a single bipolar scale, two monopolar scales are more difficult to understand and less user friendly than a single bipolar scale, because the tradeoff between them is so much less clearly defined. A clearly defined relationship between two choices increases the significance and fun of choosing between them.

Understand that the limited-resources tradeoff is what makes the relationships between these scales so obscure. The limited resources tradeoff isn't present between bipolar scales, because the resources you expend to increase an alignment scale are offset by the resources you gain as a result of that action. For example, you spend resources on attacking other empires to become Bloodthirsty, but the resources you acquire from your conquests offset that. You spend resources to increase security on your planets, but the extra resources you protect from enemy spies offset that. Because bipolar alignment scales have only the inherent bipolar tradeoff and no limited resources tradeoff, the strategic relationships between bipolar scales are much, much clearer than the relationships between monopolar alignment scales, which must be regulated via limited-resource tradeoff.

I hadn't entirely thought this through before, so I accepted eleazar's statement that
eleazar wrote:
[A monopolar system] has no type of relationship, consideration, or mechanic that is not present in a bipolar system.
This is not the case; the limited-resource tradeoff is specific to the monopolar system. The bipolar system uses the far clearer mutual exclusivity relationship instead.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: Choosing alignment scales

Various posts have discussed what alignment scales to include. An important issue is how the value of an alignment scale would be judged or calculated. A problem with several possible scales is that the relevant other parts of game mechanics haven't been designed yet.

So, I don't think we need to finalize all possible alignment scales right now. A few scales should be selected now, but this should be done with the expectation that more may be added later, and some might be changed or replaced or removed. Figuring out ways to implement settings or other gameplay systems so that they will be able to provide a useful alignment scale is beyond the scope of the current discussion.
I would normally agree with this, but since it was argued that getting an adequate number of bipolar scales would be difficult or impossible, I felt compelled to develop a few in detail. So figuring out ways to implement other gameplay systems to provide a useful alignment scale is relevant only insofar as it proves that it is, in fact possible and within the scope of the game to provide an adequate number of interesting scales. The purpose of this page was less about predicting and determining which scales should end up being included, but primarily about describing how interesting relationships between different empires are born of bipolar alignment scales (and the descriptions deliberately take into account situations where there are uneven amounts of each type of empire in the galaxy, to explain that the utility of such a system is not restricted to only the rare galaxies in which there are just the right amount of each type of species/empire). I've yet to see how such political intrigue can be created with a monopolar system, and in my eyes, this is a large advantage to the bipolar system.

eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: Distinction between happiness and allegiance

See: viewtopic.php?p=41908#p41908

The motivation for having species allegiances to empires and planet happiness meters was to avoid having an allegiance-like rating for each empire on each planet. That doesn't meant the happiness meters and allegiances need to be thought of, by players or designers, as measuring the same thing, though. If there are going to be two separate ratings being tracked, they should be made as distinctive as possible, beyond the locally-varying and shared-species-wide distinction... I don't see a need to make the distinction between the two to be only or primarily about "scale" or "locality" of things that can alter them.

Ways to do this could include describing them as different things about populations (species opinion of a particular empire vs. general mood of a population on a planet), or making the consequences of the ratings having various values be different.

I can understand why this sounds bad theoretically, but we've kicked it around quite a bit, and it seems to work, with the minimum complexity. Before you throw out the idea that the main distinction is "scale", i think you need to propose an alternative is some detail, so it can be compared on a more concrete level.
There's a post of mine immediately below the linked post stating the alternative, which is that the difference between allegiance and happiness is primarily that allegiance must be directed towards a particular empire, and transcends imperial ownership. Scalability of happiness is also important, but there is a distinction between making it scalable, and definitively defining it to be of a smaller scale.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
:arrow: Gifting resources to boost happiness of species in the gifter's empire that like the recipient
I could see this issue becoming fundamental to the discussion at some point in the future, but unless that actually happens, I also don't see a huge need to go out of the way to discuss it at the moment.

Most of the things you listed are essentially peripheral aspects of the system that can be discussed later. The issue of paramount importance right now, I believe, is the issue of monopolar vs. bipolar scales; I still feel very strongly that bipolar alignment scales would be much better and more interesting than monopolar alignment scales, and I don't think that all the consequences of this decision have been discussed in adequate detail.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Perhaps most importantly, it seems preferable to keep it simpler for player to understand the benefits / drawbacks of alignment changes by making it always better to have higher ratings in any and any or all alignment scales.
Strategic interest is created by giving the player multiple options, all of which are objectively equal, but some of which are situationally more advantageous at a given time. The fun is in divining the most advantageous course of action at any given time.
I believe i demonstrated that many of the "options" of the bipolar scales previously discussed are illusory. See "Further Comparisons between the Bipolar and Monopolar systems". I also note that you never addressed any of the points i made there, except to say that a 4th bipolar scale was needed. You've added the speculative "Freedom/Security" scale since that post, but the points i've made are still substantially valid even if you assume a 4th bipolar scale. It's certainly not clear that there will be sufficient choices in the game to drive a "Freedom/Security" scale, but it's possible.

But even if you are right that bipolar allows more strategically interesting choices, for this ethos/alignment we should emphasize simplicity even more than normal, since the player, will have no experience with this kind of system.

Bigjoe5 wrote:
"More of this one vs. more of that one" is a less interesting strategic decision than "more of this one vs. less of this one"
Maybe, but it's also a more complicated decision, with (on average) twice as many ramifications to consider.

Bigjoe5 wrote:
So while a single monopolar alignment scale is easier for the player to understand than a single bipolar scale, two monopolar scales are more difficult to understand and less user friendly than a single bipolar scale, because the tradeoff between them is so much less clearly defined.

Understand that the limited-resources tradeoff is what makes the relationships between these scales so obscure. The limited resources tradeoff isn't present between bipolar scales, because the resources you expend to increase an alignment scale are offset by the resources you gain as a result of that action.
I couldn't agree less.
Limited-resource trade-offs are inherent in most 4X decisions, if that's too obscure for the player he shouldn't be playing a 4X.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:34 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Perhaps most importantly, it seems preferable to keep it simpler for player to understand the benefits / drawbacks of alignment changes by making it always better to have higher ratings in any and any or all alignment scales.
Strategic interest is created by giving the player multiple options, all of which are objectively equal, but some of which are situationally more advantageous at a given time. The fun is in divining the most advantageous course of action at any given time.
I believe i demonstrated that many of the "options" of the bipolar scales previously discussed are illusory. See "Further Comparisons between the Bipolar and Monopolar systems". I also note that you never addressed any of the points i made there, except to say that a 4th bipolar scale was needed. You've added the speculative "Freedom/Security" scale since that post, but the points i've made are still substantially valid even if you assume a 4th bipolar scale. It's certainly not clear that there will be sufficient choices in the game to drive a "Freedom/Security" scale, but it's possible.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your point there was essentially:
eleazar wrote:
...this system is far to complicated if all it does is shove the player into one of 4 boxes (counting neutrality).
Right? So then, I constructed a big huge wiki page describing how an adequate amount of variety is created by four alignment scales and eight ethoi, partially taking into account variations in proportion between empires of various strategies, and variations within and between strategies corresponding to those eight ethoi. Is the variation I described inadequate/unconvincing, or do you have another objection that I didn't address?

eleazar wrote:
But even if you are right that bipolar allows more strategically interesting choices, for this ethos/alignment we should emphasize simplicity even more than normal, since the player, will have no experience with this kind of system.
Creating a system that interacts in an easily understandable way with the rest of the game is at least as important as making the system itself simple. I believe that the bipolar system is superior in this regard.

eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:
"More of this one vs. more of that one" is a less interesting strategic decision than "more of this one vs. less of this one"
Maybe, but it's also a more complicated decision, with (on average) twice as many ramifications to consider.
Is it? On its own, perhaps - but a limited-resource tradeoff interacts in more complex ways with the rest of the game. A one-or-the-other tradeoff on the other hand, is essentially self-contained, and interacts with the rest of the game the way a cpp file with no publicly declared classes interacts with the rest of the code.

eleazar wrote:
Limited-resource trade-offs are inherent in most 4X decisions, if that's too obscure for the player he shouldn't be playing a 4X.
In one sense, you're absolutely right, but in another sense, that just illustrates my point even further. The limited-resources trade-off is already inherent in most 4X decisions. Adding another layer of limited-resource tradeoffs to all of the player's decisions in the form of allegiance doesn't add anything to gameplay. Adding new choices for the player that use the limited-resource trade-off does, of course, add something to gameplay, and it's fine to do so provided it doesn't push the game beyond an acceptable level of complexity. However, giving already existing choices a double-layer of limited-resource-tradeoff significance is of questionable value; it makes the decision of where to divert resources more complex, and that's about it. It doesn't add anything new to the decision-making process, just more of what's already there - more numbers to juggle, more factors to weigh, more foo to optimize.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:44 am 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Even if there are no other reasons agreed upon, it seems redundant and uninteresting to have two scales measuring essentially the same thing.
It's not two scales measuring the same thing - it's one scale measuring something...

Fine, then it seems redundant to have two "numbers" measuring the same thing.

If we need one species to dislike an empire for being a certain way, and another species to like the empire for being that way, then we can do this by making the species respond differently to a single number. However, I am not convined either way about whether such opposing reactions will be necessary, despite strong a argument against them (which is the potential to require micromanaging the number to be at a target value to balance the opposing species reactions).

Quote:
"More of this one vs. more of that one" is a less interesting strategic decision than "more of this one vs. less of this one"

I disagree with that assertion, however even if it is taken to be true, player actions need not only alter one alignment scale. With a single number in each "scale", a single player action could increase the empire's rating in one scale and decrease it in another. With a pair of opposite-meaning numbers per "scale", a change to one would be mirrored by an opposite change in the other, possibly in addition to similar mirrored changes to another pair of numbers which is confusing to explain and understand and makes any decision about an action much more complicated to judge.

Overall, I still see neither necessity nor benefit to paired opposite alignment scale numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:
But even if you are right that bipolar allows more strategically interesting choices, for this ethos/alignment we should emphasize simplicity even more than normal, since the player, will have no experience with this kind of system.
Creating a system that interacts in an easily understandable way with the rest of the game is at least as important as making the system itself simple. I believe that the bipolar system is superior in this regard.

eleazar wrote:
Limited-resource trade-offs are inherent in most 4X decisions, if that's too obscure for the player he shouldn't be playing a 4X.
In one sense, you're absolutely right, but in another sense, that just illustrates my point even further. The limited-resources trade-off is already inherent in most 4X decisions. Adding another layer of limited-resource tradeoffs to all of the player's decisions in the form of allegiance doesn't add anything to gameplay...

Yep, you've said all this before, and and the opposite is still utterly self-evident to me. No point in reiterating my previous responses, since apparently they won't convince you. Time for the fat lady to sing.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Even if there are no other reasons agreed upon, it seems redundant and uninteresting to have two scales measuring essentially the same thing.
It's not two scales measuring the same thing - it's one scale measuring something...
Fine, then it seems redundant to have two "numbers" measuring the same thing....

Geoff, it does sound like you misunderstand somewhat how a bipolar scale was supposed to work. If not, you are explaining things rather confusingly.

There aren't "two numbers". A bipolar scale is more clearly thought of as a scale from 100 to -100 (though you might want it compressed to 0 to 100). Each end of the scale gets an alignment label, for instance "Bloodthristy" and "Pacifistic". A bloodthirsty act would most the number toward one end of the scale. A species would react based on how close the number is to their preferred end of the scale. Granted you could get the same effect with two numbers on two scales that were inversely related, but it's unnecessarily confusing to talk about it that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:35 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff, it does sound like you misunderstand somewhat how a bipolar scale was supposed to work. If not, you are explaining things rather confusingly.

Apparently I have. Several posts earlier in the thread, such as this read as though there are two "scales" in a pair of opposites. The use of "bipolar" certainly makes more sense if used to describe a single number that ranges from -100 to 100, and I can see how doing things that way would make sense, unlike having two numbers per scale, which just seemed pointlessly complicated.

Regardless, my previous points still stand:
* If we need one species to dislike an empire for being a certain way, and another species to like the empire for being that way, then we can do this by making the species respond differently to a number on a scale that ranges from 0 to 100.
* A single player action could increase the empire's rating in one scale and decrease it in another. Thus there can be tradeoffs between two numbers moving in opposite directions when chosing an action, and not just tradeoffs between moving one number up or another number up.
* Some things empires could be rated in won't necessarily have a natural opposite thing to put on the other end of a scale.

Additionally, having a -100 to 100 scale (for example) implicitly indicates to players that it is bad to have an empire that is in the negative side. However, I think the intention was to make a species preference for either side of the scale equally likely, and thus it to be neither "good" nor "bad" to move an empire up or down the scale other than due to the resulting reaction of species. This is somewhat confusing.

If, however, we use a scale that ranges from 0 to 100, with more always being better in terms of species reactions, then this mechanic and its implications are clearer to players: more is always better.

If however, as suggested above, some species have a negative reaction towards an empire that has a higher rating on a scale, then using 0 to 100 would be somewhat confusing. However I suspect it might be less confusing to have a species like an empire less as a rating grows higher than it would be to have a species like an empire more as a rating grows more negative.

To restate, the "problem" of perception is essentially that a negative rating is implicitly bad, and increasing a rating that can only be positive is implicitly good, but the latter is less strong an implication than than the former.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:27 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Before you throw out the idea that the main distinction [between happiness and allegiance] is "scale", i think you need to propose an alternative is some detail, so it can be compared on a more concrete level.

The descriptive aspect of my proposal is that "happiness" is the opinion of the popultion of a planet about the universe in general, and is not direct towards any one empire. This opinion is heavily influenced by the local conditions on the planet, but might also depend on nearby events or more remote or nonlocalized aspects of the current situation. "Allegiance", conversely, is the opinion of a species about a single empire. This opinion does not vary from place to place, and is common to the entire species.

The practical aspect of my proposal is that effects that modify happiness meter are normal effects, with normal conditions for scope, and the effects are not restricted to only act on a single planet each. Each planet will / could still have a unique combination of effects acting on it, including some effects that act only on a single planet, but some effects will act on multiple planets. This means a species could be given a happiness boost as a trait, or an empire could research a tech or find a resource that makes all its planets happier, or a building could make all planets within some range happier, in addition to a single planet being happy because it's well fed or unhappy because it was bombed or attacked or there is a plague spreading on it.

The actual consequences of allegiance or happiness aren't really affected by my proposal, but these consequences haven't really be well defined so far in this thread anyway.

What has been suggested or I thought of now for what allegiance and happiness actually do includes:
:!: Not necessarily a lot of different things, despite all the following ideas.
:idea: Rebel troop generation on a planet occuring if the planet has low allegiance to its controlling empire and low happiness. Rebel troop production rate would depend on one or both as well.
:idea: If a planet rebels, presumably by having too many unopposed rebel troops for too long, it can offer to join another empire, or be convinced to join another empire at some cost, with the cost or preferred empire depending on allegiance to that empire or comparatively between empires, and/or distances.
:?: Rebel troops could also destroy buildings, but I think that's better left to espionage.
:idea: Riots, halting or reducing production, could occur if a planet has low happiness but high allegiance to its owner.
:idea: Or, "riots" and lost production could be the result of "rebel" troops being on a planet that has high allegiance to its owner, since the troops are just unhappy, but not disloyal.
:?: Species rank would interact with happiness or allegiance to give bonuses or penalties to productivity. Perhaps slaves would be productive regardless of allegiance or happiness, but aristrocrats would not work unless happy. I've been very hesitant to add any such dependence between happiness and productivity given all the other things that interact with resource meters directly and indirectly, but putting it into a rank system might make it less objectionable.
:?: Races might also react differently to different happiness or allegiance levels, including some races productivity being unaffected, and other races productivity strongly affected.
:idea: Ease of conducting espionage on a planet could depend on happiness of that planet and/or the allegiances of its species to its owner and the empire conducting the espionage.
:idea: Allegiance or could determine a planet's willingness to endure a blockade without surrender.
:idea: If migration is ever added, happiness and allegiance could influence intra- and inter-empire population movement.
:idea: If there are inter-empire trade routes of some sort, allegiance to the other empire could affect the value of the trade route.
:idea: Ground troops of a particular species could fight better if they have high allegiance to their empire, or very low allegiance to the empire they're fighting.
:idea: Ground troops of no particular species could fight better on planets that have high allegiance to the troops' empire.
:idea: Very happy or very unhappy planets might be more prone to generating great artists or leaders than would medium-happiness planets.

I stopped re-reading this thread to find these ideas after over an hour and eight or nine pages, so there might be more ideas that were posted.

Semi-off-topic-aside: it occurs to me that rank would probably interact with food distribution.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:43 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Fine, then it seems redundant to have two "numbers" measuring the same thing.

If we need one species to dislike an empire for being a certain way, and another species to like the empire for being that way, then we can do this by making the species respond differently to a single number.

...

* If we need one species to dislike an empire for being a certain way, and another species to like the empire for being that way, then we can do this by making the species respond differently to a number on a scale that ranges from 0 to 100.
That's exactly what I'm saying. If you are extremely Pacifistic, your Bloodthirstiness alignment will be 0. There's no separate scale for Pacifism, it's just what the low end of the Bloodthirstiness scale is labeled as. One number, not two, and species with different preferences respond differently to that number.

"Increasing Pacifism" and "High Pacifism" are 100% synonymous with "Decreasing Bloodthirstiness" and "Low Bloodthirstiness", respectively, although that's probably not clear from the wording I used on that wiki page.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
However, I am not convined either way about whether such opposing reactions will be necessary, despite strong a argument against them (which is the potential to require micromanaging the number to be at a target value to balance the opposing species reactions)
I don't believe that will be a problem. The player will never be inclined to try to hold his alignment at a specific, single target value, because of two things:

- External forces that affect and are affected by allegiance (bombardment, espionage, etc.) are unpredictable to the player, such that an alignment of 80 on a given scale is never obviously and indisputably better than an alignment of 81.

- The strategic value of a small, specific action should always outweigh its effect on the alignment scales, and alternate methods of increasing citizen happiness should be available to the player, such that unfavourable citizen reactions caused by an imbalance in the alignment scale will be overpowered by the advantage given by the action that caused that imbalance.

The player will make large-scale strategic decisions with their effect on his alignment scales in mind - those decisions are what will determine the viability of all those smaller strategic options, which will cumulatively have a large effect on the player's alignment scale. The interest is in making sure that the large-scale decisions increase the viability of small-scale decisions that push the player's alignment towards the desired value. The same applies when the player has a "target" region that isn't at one of the extremes of the scale. He should design his overall strategy to move towards his target for a time, while getting himself in a suitable position to change his policies and patterns of action upon approaching his target region.

However, even if target micromanaging was a problem in a bipolar system, this is still not an advantage for the monopolar system, because micromanaging targets will be just as much of a problem with monopolar alignment scales (assuming conditions that make micromanaging bipolar scales a requirement). The player has several alignment scales, and more is always better, when considering only that alignment scale. However, when the rest of the game comes into it, actions which increase the desired alignment scales aren't always going to be the best actions to help the player win the game, so the player is going to want to hoard as many resources as possible for other means, and expend only what he absolutely must to maintain his alignment at a level which pleases his citizens.

This is the micromanagey balancing act the player will have to perform with one monopolar alignment scale. Now you would probably be correct to say that if the player is already focusing on a strategy that complements his species' racial picks, he'll already be well above the riot threshold, and doesn't need to worry about micromanagey balancing of the alignment scale. However, let's suppose now, that the empire brings a secondary race into his empire, whose ethos doesn't really correspond to his strategy. He's not going to want to spend any more than the absolute minimum of resources to keep that species happy, so the player will be forced to micromanage actions that correspond to that species' ethical preferences. Now let's further suppose that the empire has only enough resources to barely keep all of the alignments that correspond to his species' ethical preferences at a level that just brings his planets' happiness above the riot threshold - not an uncommon occurrence for empires with lots of different species (because creating such a situation for such empires is one of the main points of the system). Now, he has to carefully balance every single action to make sure that he's spending just enough resources on actions corresponding to the appropriate alignment scales. This is starting to sound more and more like the problem stated above (which is the potential to require micromanaging the number to be at a target value to balance the opposing species reactions).

Whatever means are employed to fix this problem should apply equally well to a bipolar system.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Quote:
"More of this one vs. more of that one" is a less interesting strategic decision than "more of this one vs. less of this one"

I disagree with that assertion, however even if it is taken to be true, player actions need not only alter one alignment scale. With a single number in each "scale", a single player action could increase the empire's rating in one scale and decrease it in another. With a pair of opposite-meaning numbers per "scale", a change to one would be mirrored by an opposite change in the other, possibly in addition to similar mirrored changes to another pair of numbers which is confusing to explain and understand and makes any decision about an action much more complicated to judge.

...

* A single player action could increase the empire's rating in one scale and decrease it in another. Thus there can be tradeoffs between two numbers moving in opposite directions when chosing an action, and not just tradeoffs between moving one number up or another number up.
Yes, player actions need alter only one alignment scale. Unless you think the spaghetti mess you just described is a good thing, in which case we're coming at this from completely different angles.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Overall, I still see neither necessity nor benefit to paired opposite alignment scale numbers.


There are a few benefits to a bipolar system:

Politics: I've gone over this in detail on the wiki, and it's really difficult to see how monopolar scales can provide similarly interesting results, since as far as an "Exploratory Researcher" is concerned, there's no difference between a "Militaristic Diplomat" and a "Defensive Expansionist". That seems kind of boring - putting in the effort to give empires "character" is a lot more interesting if it actually influences an empire's relationship with other empires.

Character, Race Relations, and Story: Allowing different races to have opposing ethoi makes the game seem more dynamic and interesting. There's more conflict, more clashing ideologies and values. It creates a stronger role-playing experience when you can really try to crush the empire that tramples all over your values. In the campaign mode especially, there's a lot of potential for ethos-driven campaigns if some races can actually be ethically opposed to the actions of a particular empire. Starting a campaign against an elitist totalitarian for ethical reasons is interesting and potentially very fun and immersive. Starting a campaign against another empire because it doesn't do enough exploration is ludicrous in comparison.

Direct Tradeoff vs. Limited-Resource Tradeoff: I appear to be having trouble convincing people that adding extra layers of the limited-resource tradeoff to an already existing set of options doesn't add anything to gameplay besides complexity. Honestly, I don't see what else it adds. The choice is already there. The tradeoff is already there. Now, you're just complicating things by saying "now you have to balance resource consumption against these alignment scales". Why is that fun? The limited-resource tradeoff is great as far as the basic mechanics of the game are concerned, but extra add-on features should have as simple (though not superficial) a relationship with the rest of the game as possible. A mutual exclusivity relationship is possibly the simplest relationship that can exist between two options, and since it's essentially self-contained, it also has an extremely simple relationship with the rest of the game. Conversely, using the limited resource tradeoff means that every time you make a decision about your alignment scales, you'll have to go juggle numbers elsewhere to make everything work out. That's not fun, IMO.

It's worthwhile to note however, that even if I can't convince anyone of this, the previous two points are also very important, even though I see the mutual exclusivity tradeoff as one of the main advantages of the bipolar alignment system.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Some things empires could be rated in won't necessarily have a natural opposite thing to put on the other end of a scale.
I disagree. Even in the current four bipolar alignment scales, the low end of the scale tends to be characterized by a lack of a particular kind of action. Pacifism is the lack of Bloodthirstiness, Isolationism is the lack of Diplomacy, Freedom is the lack of Security, and Egalitarianism is, for the most part, the lack of Elitism (though that can't really be said with any confidence until more details of rank are worked out). By using only monopolar scales, we would be restricted to using only scales that have no natural opposites, or moreover, we would be restricted from using the natural opposites of the scales we put in. If we used Militarism, we couldn't have any races that like Pacifism. If we used Diplomacy, we couldn't have any races that liked Isolationism. That would really be much more limiting than using bipolar scales would be.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:46 am 
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If I understand correctly now, the entire difference between "monopolar" and "bipolar" systems is whether or not a species can dislike an empire for being rated higher on an alignment scale. If so, describing the systems as having "monopolar" and "bipolar" scales seems misleading, as there's nothing different about the alignment scales themselves between the two systems. Rather, the difference is in the species reaction(s) allowed to empire ratings.

If that is the case, I don't think we need to immediately make a decision about whether to include species disliking empires due to alignments. It should be relatively easy to make the type of reactions of species to empire ratings be determined as content, so that it can easily be modified during balancing and play testing.

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
* A single player action could increase the empire's rating in one scale and decrease it in another. Thus there can be tradeoffs between two numbers moving in opposite directions when chosing an action, and not just tradeoffs between moving one number up or another number up.
Yes, player actions need alter only one alignment scale. Unless you think the spaghetti mess you just described is a good thing, in which case we're coming at this from completely different angles.
I don't consider a single action modifying an empire rating in more than one alignment scale to be or result in a "spaghetti mess" and do think it would be a good thing to have.

There's nothing especially difficult to understand about a single order or event making an empire higher in one scale and lower in another, or higher in more than once scale. Consider Alpha Centauri's social engineering system, in which a single choice would increase some faction ratings and decrease others.

For FreeOrion, this would allow an interesting and useful combination of rating changes to be associated with any given action or event. For example, producing a slave labour camp might make an empire more productive/developed but less equal/free.

...

As for what alignment scales to include, I'm thinking there are two types of scale we could include: scales that rate an empire's progress or development, and moral or ethical scales that aren't directly connected to development. Developmental scales could include things like exploration, research, industrial output, or military strength. Moral scales could include things like diversity and equality, freedom of expression or movement and security or control, environmentalism and use of terraforming, use of various biotechnologies, use of artificial intelligence and automation, trustworthiness or honourablity, and diplomacy or isolationism. Some possible scales are developmental and moral, including military strength.

My intial preference is for moral scales over developmental scales. It seems that having species have different moral positions on various issues would be a more interesting way to distinguish them than making them more or less fond of exploration or industrial output. As well, many science fiction stories deal with moral issues of this sort.

Having non-developmental alignment scales does not mean that species can't be designed around a particular type of development, however. Bonuses to various developmental activities, including resource output, can be given to species as well.

Notably, Alpha Centauri in particular has an interesting mix of moral philosphies in its initial seven factions. These philosphies are not generally directly about development factors, although the factions themselves are still often associated with a particular style of development which does tie into their moral philosphy. The University is good at research, and its moral philosophy encourages searching and use of knowledge without hinderance from moral opposition to some technologies. The Hive is good at production and growth, and its moral philosphy encourages a strong control of the population to maximize productivity.

So, is there any reason to prefer developmental scales over mornal ones? Based on wiki pages, most of Bigjoe5's suggested alignment scales are morally interesting and not specifically related to empire development. eleazar's suggestions seem to be mostly about empire development, and not as much about moral issues. Is this an intentional or accidental difference, or am I seeing a distinction that isn't really there?


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
So, is there any reason to prefer developmental scales over mornal ones? Based on wiki pages, most of Bigjoe5's suggested alignment scales are morally interesting and not specifically related to empire development. eleazar's suggestions seem to be mostly about empire development, and not as much about moral issues. Is this an intentional or accidental difference, or am I seeing a distinction that isn't really there?


I think you illuminated the fundamental distinction between the two types.

Monopolar, balance on resource distribution costs= developmental

Bipolar, balance on which species you wish to appease and which you want to piss off=moral


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:07 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
If I understand correctly now, the entire difference between "monopolar" and "bipolar" systems is whether or not a species can dislike an empire for being rated higher on an alignment scale. If so, describing the systems as having "monopolar" and "bipolar" scales seems misleading, as there's nothing different about the alignment scales themselves between the two systems. Rather, the difference is in the species reaction(s) allowed to empire ratings.
That's entirely correct.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
If that is the case, I don't think we need to immediately make a decision about whether to include species disliking empires due to alignments. It should be relatively easy to make the type of reactions of species to empire ratings be determined as content, so that it can easily be modified during balancing and play testing.
That's true - a monopolar scale is essentially a bipolar scale with no species who prefer the lower end. I suppose the whole thing could be coded and tested before we really make a decision, and at that point it would be easy to have only bipolar scales, only monopolar scales, or any combination of the two, if desirable.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
I don't consider a single action modifying an empire rating in more than one alignment scale to be or result in a "spaghetti mess" and do think it would be a good thing to have.
Retaining the independence of various alignment scales was the motivation for eleazar's monopolar system, and the reason all of his scales are developmental is so that they have no natural opposites (which moral scales obviously do), and therefore a single action can reasonably be expected to affect only one alignment scale at a time. I don't thoroughly agree with his reasoning, but I'm still dubious about the additional gameplay value that would be added by having actions affect multiple alignment scales.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
There's nothing especially difficult to understand about a single order or event making an empire higher in one scale and lower in another, or higher in more than once scale. Consider Alpha Centauri's social engineering system, in which a single choice would increase some faction ratings and decrease others.
We have alignment scales specifically to avoid that (or more accurately, to identify and categorize specific effects on species allegiance, so that one action isn't "+5 to Eaxaw allegiance, +5 to Trith allegiance, -5 to JiKoor allegiance, etc" but rather a simple "+5 to Bloodthirstiness"). A single choice may increase some species' allegiance towards your empire and decrease that of others, but it does so because those species have different reactions to a single changed alignment value (in a bipolar system, that is - AFAIK, it wouldn't be possible the way eleazar envisions monopolar systems, because he created them to avoid that very situation). That being said though, I'm not averse to testing the implications of a system in which a single action may affect multiple alignment scales, but I think it will ultimately be more desirable to have actions affect only a single alignment scale, to codify and categorize the impact of an event on species allegiance more effectively.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
My intial preference is for moral scales over developmental scales. It seems that having species have different moral positions on various issues would be a more interesting way to distinguish them than making them more or less fond of exploration or industrial output. As well, many science fiction stories deal with moral issues of this sort.
I agree, and this is one of my reasons for preferring bipolar scales. Moral conflict facilitates interesting story aspects.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
So, is there any reason to prefer developmental scales over mornal ones? Based on wiki pages, most of Bigjoe5's suggested alignment scales are morally interesting and not specifically related to empire development. eleazar's suggestions seem to be mostly about empire development, and not as much about moral issues. Is this an intentional or accidental difference, or am I seeing a distinction that isn't really there?
Yes, as above, this is intentional, and the distinction is there because eleazar doesn't want to include scales with inherent opposites (that any species would reasonably be expected to like). His are designed so that "more is always better", and an action that directly increases one alignment scale will never directly decrease another.

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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Retaining the independence of various alignment scales was the motivation for eleazar's monopolar system...

You (Bigjoe5) have advocated having a single action affect a single scale with a tradeoff resulting from the preferences of some species for one end or the other, but I don't recall eleazar talking much about that. I may have missed or forgotten it, though. As far as I do remember, and as you wrote at the end of your previous post, the main motivation for eleazar's system, in which species never dislike an empire for being rated higher in an alignment scale, was to ensure that a higher rating in an alignment scale is always better.

Quote:
...and the reason all of his scales are developmental is so that they have no natural opposites (which moral scales obviously do)...

You said earlier that your "bipolar" scales, which are mostly moral scales, don't really have opposites, since one end of them is usually just the lack of the behaviour that characterizes the other end. In either case, as emphasized in my previous post, the primary (only?) difference between the proposed systems is whether or not species can dislike an empire for being higher on an alignment scale.

Quote:
...and therefore a single action can reasonably be expected to affect only one alignment scale at a time.

Whether or not a single action can affect more than one scale is completely independent of whether species can dislike an empire for being higher on a scale.

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
There's nothing especially difficult to understand about a single order or event making an empire higher in one scale and lower in another, or higher in more than once scale. Consider Alpha Centauri's social engineering system, in which a single choice would increase some faction ratings and decrease others.
We have alignment scales specifically to avoid that (or more accurately, to identify and categorize specific effects on species allegiance, so that one action isn't "+5 to Eaxaw allegiance, +5 to Trith allegiance, -5 to JiKoor allegiance, etc" but rather a simple "+5 to Bloodthirstiness").

You misunderstand / I wasn't clear. In Alpha Centauri, the "faction ratings" I'm taking about are not like the proposed FO allegiance. Rather, they are the set of numbers that determine the cumulative effect of all social enginerring choices. Ratings include efficiency, industry, support, economy and a few others. Having higer ratings gives bonuses to the functioning of bases, and having lower ratings can give penalties. Picking any social engineering choice (other than the default) gives bonuses to some ratings and penalties to others. For example, picking green economics gives a bonus to efficiency and ecology, but a penalty to growth.

Quote:
A single choice may increase some species' allegiance towards your empire and decrease that of others, but it does so because those species have different reactions to a single changed alignment value...

That's roughly the same as what I'm suggesting, except that the species' allegiances would sometimes change because more than one alignment scale changed. ie. a species' allegiance depends on all the alignment scales it cares about, and an action that changes more than one scale could affect several species' allegiances through the different scales it alters.

Quote:
...I think it will ultimately be more desirable to have actions affect only a single alignment scale, to codify and categorize the impact of an event on species allegiance more effectively.

It's still possible to summarize the effects of an action on all species' allegiances even if those allegiances depends on multiple scales and an action can alter multiple scales.

Quote:
[Moral conflict facilitating interesting story aspects] is one of my reasons for preferring bipolar scales.

Again, the scales aren't relly different; just the allowed empire reactions are.


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 Post subject: Re: Simulating Citizens
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:50 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
If I understand correctly now, the entire difference between "monopolar" and "bipolar" systems is whether or not a species can dislike an empire for being rated higher on an alignment scale. If so, describing the systems as having "monopolar" and "bipolar" scales seems misleading, as there's nothing different about the alignment scales themselves between the two systems. Rather, the difference is in the species reaction(s) allowed to empire ratings.
Thats true, but i'd explain it this way:

The difference between monopolar and bipolar is the number of ends of the scales that may be desirable.
* With Monopolar, increasing the alignment is always desirable. Increasing the alignment only increases your bonus modifiers. (of course it's not always the best strategy to use your resources to increase an alignment)
* With Bipolar depending on strategy and circumstance either end, or an point in-between, may be preferred. Changing the alignment will always has both positive and negative effects to different species' allegiance.

This is why i make the claim that monopolar is simpler. When considering an action that effect a single alignment (and thus multiple species' allegiances), you don't need to figure out if the beneficial alignment shifts outweighs the negative alignment shifts. A level of the decision tree is eliminated.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
* A single player action could increase the empire's rating in one scale and decrease it in another. Thus there can be tradeoffs between two numbers moving in opposite directions when chosing an action, and not just tradeoffs between moving one number up or another number up.
Yes, player actions need alter only one alignment scale. Unless you think the spaghetti mess you just described is a good thing, in which case we're coming at this from completely different angles.
I don't consider a single action modifying an empire rating in more than one alignment scale to be or result in a "spaghetti mess" and do think it would be a good thing to have.

There's nothing especially difficult to understand about a single order or event making an empire higher in one scale and lower in another, or higher in more than once scale. Consider Alpha Centauri's social engineering system, in which a single choice would increase some faction ratings and decrease others.
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Retaining the independence of various alignment scales was the motivation for eleazar's monopolar system, and the reason all of his scales are developmental is so that they have no natural opposites (which moral scales obviously do), and therefore a single action can reasonably be expected to affect only one alignment scale at a time. I don't thoroughly agree with his reasoning, but I'm still dubious about the additional gameplay value that would be added by having actions affect multiple alignment scales.

SMAC's "social engineering" system is one of my favorites, even more than Civ IV's Civics, though the rosy glow of more distant memory may be involved. However, what i think about this isn't quite what BigJoe remembers, though i have some concerns, and the confusion is very understandable.

A scenario where the player makes a big macro-level choice (like switching a social engineering / civics option), seems to me perfectly acceptable to alter more than one alignment. These are relatively rare and well-defined choices, it doesn't seem excessive to involve more than one alignment.

On the other hand if many of the common, day-to-day actions (like fighting, exploring, diplomacy, whatever) are effecting multiple alignments then i think we haven't planned things out very well. These sorts of things should have a single, obvious alignment effect, if they have any.

The aspect of alignment scales independence that i was specifically concerned about was the results of alignment: i.e. species allegiance shifts. I didn't/don't like that with bipolar all alignment shifts make some species like you more and another group like you less.


Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
My intial preference is for moral scales over developmental scales. It seems that having species have different moral positions on various issues would be a more interesting way to distinguish them than making them more or less fond of exploration or industrial output. As well, many science fiction stories deal with moral issues of this sort.
I agree, and this is one of my reasons for preferring bipolar scales. Moral conflict facilitates interesting story aspects.
Sure that was my original preference too-- see the beginning of this thread. But cool-sounding features don't always work out as hoped. Moral scales pretty much need to be bipolar, or else it's not much of a moral choice. And bipolar scales have all the downsides and limitations that i've previous detailed. I'd rather go with a more flexible, simple, and robust mechanic than one that tries to tell more of a story, but gets tangled up in it's own implications.

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