1. Technology cooperation
I thought about balancing technology arrangements because strong races usually have too many impact to his economy with technology arrangement. For example if strong race is producing 1000pts of research and weak race only 100pts then is stupid idea to give this same bonus to their production.
For example the 10% bonus give a special bonus for strong empire like a total production of cooperated weak race!
The proposed solution is this same bonus for both races as percent from average production from both races:
At this case it was:
1000pts+100pts = 1100pts/2 = 550pts; 10% is 55pt per each race -in result races has bonus depending from his partner reserach production:
If partner is weak, this race have 1000+55pts production (5% more).
If partner is very strong, bonus is higher: 100+55pts (55% more).
2. Joint venture / common research
Joint venture is project to faster research with two or more races - all research points are add together for each races:
If partner is weak, this research points are 1000+100 pts bonus (10% more) = 1100pts.
If partner is very strong, bonus is higher: 100+1000pts (900% more) = 1100pts.
But one condition: both research production is this same technology.
Joint venture is extremal good solution but have two disadvantages:
* both players must research this same project
* other races can steal this technology (or "advancing") much much easier
Stealing technology "advancing" / progress
Advancing is a technology research progress, like a house production (foundations, walls, roof, fashion).
So, only in one space-4X game was possible to steal research points. It is good solution, because enemy agents can steal complete technology or only a parts of technology - "advancing" of project.
This can be research points needed to develop new (not next or current!) technology.
For example my enemy is developing a "mining complex" when I'm working with "space cannon". After stealing I can finish research a mining complex much easier, because my agent stole 30% of this technology (and I have 30% less to complete it).
1. Economy arrangement
This same effect with races cooperation like technology arrangement but with money.
In FO is few goods produced by players: money, food, minerals, technology, ships, planets, research and production points.
At many games (especially Civilization, Space Empires) is possible to create a standard trade between empires, for example: '1000 kT food for technology' or '20 production points for minerals per turn' or '10 money for nothing per turn'.
This is good solution and can generate new exciting trade arrangements between players... or black market.
* production points can be taken from all planets production: if total production is 2000pts and empire give 20pts (1%) so per each planet production is lowered by 1%.
In critical time the good idea is loan. The most safe proposal is loan a money. Money can be automatically paid turn per turn with some percent, created by lender. But war between lender and borrower can hold paid.
4. Black market
This is the place in which you can buy or sell everything!
The black market can be 'pirate commonwealth' which can attack ships, planets, steal technologies from destroyed ships, steal resources from attacked planet and give a loans of course. Pirates can be paid for attack on other races too.
On some games players decide to attack others without war declaration. It is no system to control it. Good system is add official "non-aggression pact" with 3 turn for cease-fire before attack. Of course breaking "non aggression pact" and immediate attack is still possible, but create a problem: how to control it at multiplayer game, between human players?
Maybe good solution is create a negative impact for all arragements between NAP-breaker and other players: -5% and +0.2% per each next turn.
Leave the game (Play without me!)
For me this is most important problem for multiplayer game when one player leave his race, game, and kills balanced game for other players.
Look on situation: these are three human races with equal power at map like A- B - C. The player C resigns from game: the player B can attack C planets and easy to capture them (C does not build a fleet or defence, does not attack at B territory). After that plater B have 2x more planets and is a winner. For me this is problem. Really big problem with unbalancing game (only AI will fight to end). There are some proposals to protect game against this situation:
1. Only AI will fight to his end
AI will order the race when second turn will be without player's order.
All exiting races planets are at protection of new owner. Owner have full access to all planetary production/research etc, etc, but not to the fleet (fleet mast be paid by new order in each moment, but not paided fleet is transferred to pirates by 5% ships per turn). Protection is in public messages so all races know what happens and can react.
3. Protection with rebellion
Additionally some planets are in rebellion mode, planets lose some constructions, and production/research is smaller by 50% (but growth 10% per turn).
3. Full access
All planets and planets of exiting player have new owner - change "side".