That's basically where i'm coming from.Bigjoe5 wrote:I wonder now though, if it would be more interesting to make diplomatic contact only occur if two players both own objects which are present in the same system. My first impression is that it would be awfully limiting, actually...
I'd not consider it "limiting" so much as giving the empire wants to stay hidden some advantages. Though we might tweak things so that an empire can at least detect the presence of a colony in an adjacent system. And of course the lonely empire can build a SETI broadcast beacon, which may or may not reveal a location, but should at least provide a phone number.
Sure, we can't make something cool just by telling the player that "this is cool", but there are some significant game consequences we could hang on First Contact without boxing players in a corner. Here's the idea in a little more detail, though i admit there are rough spots. Let's just assume a MoO2-like species=empire setup, which isn't true for FO, but makes the explanation simpler (and glosses over parts i haven't figured out. yet.)Bigjoe5 wrote:My feeling about diplomacy is that it should be very non-restrictive. Sure, it may not make much sense for two empires with completely different species and cultures to just be able to communicate instantaneously, but it's certainly the simplest way. I'm not sure how a system that reflects the cultural significance of "first contact" could be achieved. It might also be unwise to have such discord between what is really significant to the player, and what he is told is "significant" by the game, or by his citizens; the player expects to find other empires, so it's not a huge surprise when he finds one.eleazar wrote:I'd rather do something a bit different from either, that plays up the classic sci-fi significant of various First Contact scenarios. This old post, and the following have some ideas, but they don't really take into account FO's disconnect between species and empire.
In general i'd like to see, First Contact provide both players some choices, including the choice not to initiate contact. Just having planets within a certain proximity shouldn't cut it, especially if one or more of the parties wouldn't otherwise know that the planets are inhabited.
That being said, there might be room to add some interesting features to first contact, if it could be done in a very simple way that adds strategic value as well, and provides significantly different options than could already be achieved through ordinary diplomacy and espionage...
When 2 space empire meet for the first time, they can't communicate except in the simplest ways, and they have no means of guessing what the other will do. That's what this special First Contact dialog is for. Both sides choose an option without knowing what the other side picked.
- * Ignore
* Attack (initiates battle unless the other self-destructs)
* Attempt to Communicate
* Self-Destruct (colonies probably can't do this)
Why choose "self-destruct" or "attack"? Because,
- * If you don't know a species/empire's language, your espionage is severely limited.
* If you can capture a ship (or grab sufficient wreckage) you can make progress on learning that species' language, without giving it a chance to learn yours. It may require multiple ships to provide enough data complete the language.
* Capturing a planet would be enough to learn the language, but the speed that you learn it may depend on how friendly the citizens are.
* Self destruct is for those who absolutely don't want to risk the other empire learning their language, or who think their attack would fail.
Geoff's general idea about stealing techs is that you never get the whole thing, you might steal a lot of progress on a certain tech, but you need to put in some of your own RP to use it. Capturing ships, wreckage, and colonies would work the same way for the "language Foo" tech. You would need something to start. Wreckage might be worth a few RPs, a captured ship would be worth more, an unfriendly colony worth even more, while a happy captured colony, as well as a cooperating planet or ship could provide the whole thing in one turn.
So this shouldn't be just another hoop the player has to jump through, but a potential "weapon" players might wield against each other. It doesn't really get in the way (unlike some of the other ideas i linked to in my previous post), unless one of the empires wants it to get in the way. And hopefully it subjectively increases the mystery in meeting an unknown ship around an uninhabited star, by making it more significant and unpredictable, and recalling to mind some of the coolest moment in sci-fi.