Simulating Citizens

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#211 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:17 pm

Krikkitone wrote:I am suggesting that Happiness be a Composite value like mineral production
It seems like it would be simpler and easier to understand and predict changes in current happiness if there is a "happiness meter" with a clear current and target value, rather than having the current and target happiness value be calculated from multiple other values.

If "happiness" is what a player sees, represented as a meter, describing the effects of a building or tech as "gives +X to happiness" makes it clear what the building or tech does. If happiness current and target and calculated from other, possibly hidden values, understanding how the changes in these underlying values happen and how they propagate to the actually visible happiness changes is harder.

Keeping happiness as a meter also means there doesn't need to be anything special done in the UI to display its current and target values, which is easier for the programmer.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#212 Post by RonaldX » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:23 pm

Krikkitone wrote: I am suggesting that Happiness be a Composite value like mineral production
=Allegiance of species to owning empire (which changes instantly when a planet changes hands) + 'Local status'

'Local status' would be a 'tracked value', ie its current value depends on its value last turn
'Allegiance' would be a composite value based of two other 'tracked' values..
Empire "alignment" (if the change in current alignment depends on what last turn's alignment is, then it Effectively has a target value)
Empire-Species 'alignment'/damage/status, etc. (which should be 'tracked' as well, damage comes and fades)
I kind of understand what you're getting at here.. there are elements of both calculation and tracking involved in both Allegiance and Happiness currently. Allegiance is a calculated value derived from a number of factors, some of which are tracked values.

Allegiance is the baseline of happiness, which is modified by local effects, you propose that Happiness should just be calculated based on the calculated Allegiance modified by the tracked value "Local Effects".

What we're getting at, though, is that if there is a significant change to a planet's "target" happiness, it doesn't necessarily immediately change the entire happiness level of the planet. If a planet has been bombarded for a long time and is utterly miserable, getting rid of that blockading fleet doesn't jump the planet's happiness back to 100% instantly.. Instead the "target" happiness of the planet goes to 100%, and then the "current" happiness slowly climbs (rate of change to be determined, but as an example say 2% per turn) until it reaches the target value.

In that sense, "current" happiness does need to be tracked because it represents public opinion gradually changing due to events.

I think you may be saying you want this entire concept of shifting current happiness to be integrated into a local effect. Aside from a different implementation programming-wise, the concept works the exact same way. I think it's more intuitive to have your local factors (some may be tracked) and allegiance define "target" happiness and then just have current happiness always be shifting towards the target value.

Your method would involve introducing a new local factor which would calculate how long it had been since a change occurred, and apply a relevant modifier which would then be calculated into the "current happiness" value, assuming I understand properly what you are saying.

-Ty.

Edit: Kind of a brainstorm, but the rate of change of "current" happiness towards "target" happiness would be an interesting field for tech upgrades or domestic policy, Media Blackouts, Secret Police, etc., could make your current happiness go up faster and down slower (towards target values).

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#213 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:31 pm

RonaldX wrote:I understand this now.. Racial preferences are essentially:
a) Bloodthirsty, Pacifistic, or Neutral
b) Expansionist, Developmental, or Neutral
etc.

With no (or limited, defined stages of) varying strength of feeling. A race won't be "Mildly bloodthirsty"
I agree that we shouldn't have racial preferences be described in terms like "prefers bloodthirstiness of 60". Rather, if a race likes bloodthirsty empires, if comparing to otherwise equal empires, the race should always like the more bloodthirsty empire more.

However I don't think we should rule out races being "mildy bloodthirsty" or "extremely bloodthirsty", rather than just all-or-nothing "bloodthirsty", without some consideration. Various storytelling reasons could motivate the need for having degrees of adherence to or importance of ethical or moral beliefs, and it could probably be useful for balancing the races as well.

That said, a five-step scale for species "ethos" ratings is probably the most we'd want or need. So, a species might be "strongly preservationist", "mildly preservationist", "neutral", "mildly terraformist", or "strongly terraformist"; or "strongly pacifist", "mildly pacifist", "neutral", "mildly bloodthirsty", or "strongly bloodthirsty".

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#214 Post by Bigjoe5 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:12 pm

The idea of races having specific ethical preferences which are more important or less important than other ethical preferences (even though the ideal alignment value is always one extreme or the other, in terms of increasing the allegiance of a given race) has been mentioned before, and is interesting enough to deserve consideration, but IMO, it makes it more complex and difficult to keep track of for the player without a good enough advantage to gameplay. It's a lot easier if a specific alignment value always corresponds to a specific bonus to allegiance for a race with a given preference, so I can look at my alignment scales and see "Xenophobic - 80, Bloodthirsty - 100, Eaxaw - 60" and know that the Eaxaw's allegiance towards me will add up to 75, the average of the combined ethical compatibility alignment and species-empire alignment. This isn't as important when you're only considering the present, and the allegiance values are all right there in front of you anyway, but it might end up being more difficult to get a feel for how actions will eventually end up affecting allegiance if some alignment scales are wighted more heavily than others for different races (though perhaps this could be a good thing).

On a different note, I mentioned earlier that the species-empire alignment meters might need a target value. Instead though, it might just be best if it has a growth rate, either positive or negative, which will just continue on until it reaches 0 or 100, or something changes. The growth rate, which is based on things such as how many planets of theirs are being enslaved in your empire, being at war with empires they love/hate, etc, could be broken down in the same way as max meter values, so the player could see exactly what is contributing to it, and there could also be events such as bombardment which alter the current value of species-empire alignment directly (and the alignment effects of such events would be made known to the player, and possibly stored, so the player can see how the history of events has altered his alignment towards a particular species).
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#215 Post by RonaldX » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:49 pm

Edit: Post irrelevant. Question answered below.

-Ty.
Last edited by RonaldX on Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#216 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:40 pm

Let me try and explain it again giving a total list

Empire-"Ethos" values.
Affects "Target" value (also known as a continuous effect)
Government/Civic Choices (a Monarchy would be pro-Elitist, anti-Egalitarian)
Diplomatic relationships (ie an Intelligence sharing agreement might be anti-Freedom/proSecurity)

Affects "Current" value (also known as a one time effect)
One time actions (bombing a planet, colonizing a planet, surrendering a tech)
?"Opportunities" ... a Random Event that lets you pick one option or another (ie escaped political criminal begs for mercy on galactic media... do you pardon them and make them part of your administration, or televise the torture of their family)


Empire-"Species" values
Affects "Target" value (also known as a continuous effect)
Status of that species in that Empire
Status of planets of that species in that empire
Status of that species HW in that empire [could include "status:destroyed"]
Diplomatic/propaganda techs/buildings
Diplomatic/propaganda spending
Random Events [including "opportunities"]
?Diplomatic relationships with empires that species hates/likes?

Affects "Current" value (also known as a one time effect)
Damaging planets of that species (damage includes starvation of planets under your control, as well as blockades)
Damaging HW of that species
Removal of that species from a world [if this is allowed]
Colonizing that species on a world (depending on how much that species likes that world?)
?Diplomatic actions towards empires that species hates/likes?


Local values
Affects "Target" value (also known as a continuous effect)
Building effects
Status of that world in that Empire (prison world/capital/autonomous/occupied..evacuating?)
Techs
Espionage settings targeting world
?Blockade of world?

Affects "Current" value (also known as a one time effect)
Damage to planet (damage includes starvation of planets, as well as blockades)
Espionage 'act' targeting world
Random Events


Allegiance would be calculated based on the first 2
Happiness would be calculated based on all 3 (or Allegiance plus the Last one)

So an example
Suppose the
Eaxaw Allegiance to Green=70
Eaxaw Allegiance to Blue=10
Planet X (a Blue Eaxaw world) ‘Local conditions’=0 (0 Target)

Planet X Happiness=10 (10+0)

Green seizes planet X in a bloody battle (-20 to ‘local conditions’)

New Planet X Happiness = 50 (70-20)
Since Local conditions has a 0 target, then over time “Local conditions” will move from -20 to 0

So Planet X Happiness will move from 50=(70-20) to 70=(70+0)

If Blue Builds a Pleasure Palace one system away (Target “Local conditions” ie Target Happiness +30 in all worlds of your empire within 2 systems), no effect (on planet X)

If Blue then gets planet X in diplomatic negotiations

Planet X Happiness=10 (10+0)
However since Target “local conditions” is 30, over time local conditions will become 30

So Planet X Happiness will move from 10=(10+0) to 40=(10+30)

Green then buys planet X back.

Planet X Happiness=100 (70+30).. it will move to 70 over time as the drugs wear off.


all this assumes that the Allegiance doesn't change but it probably would over time, and possibly due to the damage suffered by planet X, as well as it getting passed back and forth.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#217 Post by eleazar » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:52 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:The problem is that this doesn't allow a bloodthirsty species to get mad at you for slaughtering their planets. There are two solutions to this:

1, which has been the implicitly accepted solution recently, is to simply have such actions modify happiness directly, so that you still can't do anything useful with planets of that species. This seems kind of counter-productive, since the desired outcome of this system is that species can dislike empires that do bad things to them, and then bad consequences ensue. This solution skips straight to the consequences, without any allegiance-lowering effects in between, in this case, which makes it more difficult to understand for the player, since the player only expects riots and rebellions to happen on either
I'm not sure we need species to dislike empires that kill members of their species. But if we did include that i agree, this is not a good way to do it.

The grudge over slaughtered bretheren should factor into "allegiance" otherwise "allegiance" will have been defined in a rather counter-intuitve way.

Bigjoe5 wrote:2: Have two sets of imperial alignments. One set measures ethical compatibility, i.e. bloodthirsty vs. pacifistic, elitist vs. egalitarian, etc. The other tracks what the empire has done to specific species. So if the empire has gained a high Bloodthirstiness by destroying Eaxaw worlds, that will also correspond to a very low Eaxaw alignment rating, meaning that the Eaxaw will still dislike you for destroying their worlds, just not as much as a pacifistic race would, since they respect you for destroying stuff.

Thus, the best of both worlds is available: the user-friendliness and comprehensibility of alignment is combined with the ability for specific species to react predictably to actions taken against them specifically. In addition, only one value for allegiance is needed, current, with no growth rate, since it is calculated directly from alignment.
Labeling this measure as a "second imperial alignment" i believe unnecesarily confuses things. It's not really that similar to the original aligment scales.

Rather i think it would be more clear to think of "Allegiance" as consisting of several things such as:
Alignment/Ethos (mis)match
Rank
Diplomatic Treaties of interest to the species
and
Blood Greviances (being upset that members of your species were killed by this empire)
(posibly other things)

This may not be as simple as a "Allegiance" that consists only of Alignment/Ethos (mis)match, but if we have these things in the game, i don't see much use Alignment/Ethos alone to calculate citizen reactions. If we track Blood Greivances for some or all species, and Rank and soforth it will generally make sense to use all these together in calculating weather a species likes an empire.

Note that Blood Greivances are distinct from the unhappiness which occurs on a planet that has been bombed. I think that some ruthless species could be indifference to their members being killed elsewhere in the galaxy, but that every planet responds with unhappiness when it is bombed and partually slaughtered.

Note: i'm not married to the term "blood greivance", but it's the clearest i came up with.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#218 Post by RonaldX » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:00 am

Krikkitone wrote:Detailed example
I fully understand what you're getting at here.

The only significant difference proposed sets things up slightly differently in terms of what "target" and "current" values are defined as. In your system, a "target" value is the sum of any permanant effects, while "current" values are temporary effects which modify the target.

In the other system, a "target value" is the sum of all effects, while "current values" are just "where we are right at this moment", and the current value always shifts closer to the target each turn.

Quick example:
a) Humans have an allegiance of 75 to the Red Empire, and an allegiance of 30 to the Blue Empire, all factors totalled in.
b) On a given planet with no buildings, no other effects present, yadda yadda, owned by the Red Empire, there are humans whose target happiness level is 75, and the current happiness level is also 75.
c) The Blue Empire gains the world in a diplomatic exchange, no other factors from bombardment or anything else are factored in at all.
d) The Humans don't like the Blue Empire nearly as much, and the target happiness of the world drops to 30, however the current happiness of the world is still 75.
e) Each turn, the current happiness level of the world will drop until it reaches 30.

Any factor affecting happiness is applied to the "target" happiness of the world, even if it is just temporary. The "target" happiness of a world can change from turn to turn as internal and external events occur to alter it, meanwhile the "current" happiness is going to be in a state of constant flux towards the target value until it reaches it.
eleazar wrote: Labeling this measure as a "second imperial alignment" i believe unnecesarily confuses things. It's not really that similar to the original aligment scales.

Rather i think it would be more clear to think of "Allegiance" as consisting of several things such as:
Alignment/Ethos (mis)match
Rank
Diplomatic Treaties of interest to the species
and
Blood Greviances (being upset that members of your species were killed by this empire)
(posibly other things)

This may not be as simple as a "Allegiance" that consists only of Alignment/Ethos (mis)match, but if we have these things in the game, i don't see much use Alignment/Ethos alone to calculate citizen reactions. If we track Blood Greivances for some or all species, and Rank and soforth it will generally make sense to use all these together in calculating weather a species likes an empire.
This answers my question from my previous post, and I am also inclined to agree with Eleazar. Ethical compatibility (aka alignment/ethos mismatch) should be the first factor in allegiance, further modified by other allegiance-altering events/treaties/techs. This collects everything relating to allegiance into a single location and drastically simplifies it to the player.

Allegiance = A composite value determined by "everything that would cause an entire race to love/hate your entire empire"

-Ty.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#219 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:15 pm

eleazar wrote:Labeling this measure as a "second imperial alignment" i believe unnecesarily confuses things. It's not really that similar to the original aligment scales.
I disagree; I think it's very similar. Ethical compatibility alignments take everything that affects allegiance which is related to a species' objective reaction to imperial actions and puts it on a few different scales from which part of the value for allegiance can be derived. Species-empire alignments take everything that affects allegiance which is related to a species' subjective reaction to imperial actions, and puts it on a single scale per species from which the rest of the value for allegiance can be derived.

They are actually almost identical in terms of what they do for gameplay, which is to combine as many allegiance-modifying factors into a single value from which allegiance can be derived, and it has all the same advantages as the original alignments.
Rather i think it would be more clear to think of "Allegiance" as consisting of several things such as:
Alignment/Ethos (mis)match
Rank
Diplomatic Treaties of interest to the species
and
Blood Greviances (being upset that members of your species were killed by this empire)
(posibly other things)
Since "Alignment/Ethos (mis)match" is actually a value that is determined by many factors which affect alignment (but would otherwise affect allegiance directly, if there were no alignments), it makes sense to bundle up the rest of those factors into the species-empire alignment.
This may not be as simple as a "Allegiance" that consists only of Alignment/Ethos (mis)match, but if we have these things in the game, i don't see much use Alignment/Ethos alone to calculate citizen reactions. If we track Blood Greivances for some or all species, and Rank and soforth it will generally make sense to use all these together in calculating weather a species likes an empire.
That's precisely the idea, except that all of those things are rolled up into a single convenient value for the player, much as all of an empire's other allegiance-relevant actions are tracked by the ethical compatibility alignment scales.

Right now, it's a bit hazy what the relative importance of allegiance affecting factors is. Can I get a bonus to allegiance of 100 for matching ethical compatibility alignments perfectly with the species ethos? Can I only get a bonus of 50, and the rest has to be made up by other factors? How do I know what I'm supposed to do to max out allegiance?

When it's derived entirely from alignments, it becomes much simpler: Half of the allegiance value is derived from ethical compatibility alignment, and half is derived from species-empire alignment, and it becomes clear that all the player has to do is get the growth rates of the alignment meters in the green (or red, depending on which end of the scale he's going for, I suppose) and keep them there until he becomes really Xenophobic, Bloodthirsty and Eaxaw friendly, and this can be helped along the way by specific actions which affect the current value of the meter directly rather than the growth rate. It's really a very understandable way of tracking allegiance, IMO.
Krikkitone wrote:[explains in great detail what his proposal is, but not why it is better than what we've been discussing]
You've been spending a lot of time telling us what your proposal is, but not why it's better than what we've been discussing. It would help if you could explain some of the advantages of your system.
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#220 Post by RonaldX » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:06 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:Labeling this measure as a "second imperial alignment" i believe unnecesarily confuses things. It's not really that similar to the original aligment scales.
I disagree; I think it's very similar. Ethical compatibility alignments take everything that affects allegiance which is related to a species' objective reaction to imperial actions and puts it on a few different scales from which part of the value for allegiance can be derived. Species-empire alignments take everything that affects allegiance which is related to a species' subjective reaction to imperial actions, and puts it on a single scale per species from which the rest of the value for allegiance can be derived.

They are actually almost identical in terms of what they do for gameplay, which is to combine as many allegiance-modifying factors into a single value from which allegiance can be derived, and it has all the same advantages as the original alignments.
I think this is a difference only in categorization and not in actual function.

Your suggestion, if I understand it correctly:
Allegiance = Average of:
- Ethical compatibility (determined by imperial alignment vs species ethos)
- "Species-empire alignment" (which is the catch-all for all other factors affecting allegiance to a specific race, ex. genocides, diplomacy, etc.)

The previous method:
Allegiance =
- 100% Ethical Compatibility (determined by imperial alignment vs species ethos)
with additional modifiers (other factors affecting allegiance to a specific race, ex. genocides, diplomacy, etc.)

The only major difference is that your suggestion has one additional drop-down to explain what the components of "species-empire alignment" are to the player, while the previous version would have them listed as direct modifiers to the allegiance value (whose baseline is entirely determined by ethical compatibility, and could concievably equal 100% on it's own (if you are doing everything exactly the way a given race would want you to, for a long period of time))

Depending on how you work the math, none of which has actually been determined yet, these are functionally almost identical, and I'd prefer the second one as it is simpler to derive, and the effects of modifiers can be directly shown as affecting allegiance, rather than affecting a component which is then averaged into another component to form an allegiance value.

I can understand the point of growth rates and target/current allegiance values. That would make allegiance work identically to happiness, and I see how that would be intuitively understood by the player. No problem with that.

-Ty.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#221 Post by eleazar » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:20 pm

OK, a big long reply to various points on the last 3 pages.
Geoff the Medio wrote:To clarify, I think you're both proposing that there be three tracked numbers:
1) species-empire "allegiance"
2) planetary local target happiness
3) planetary local current happiness
Well, depending on what factors we include in "allegiance", it may need separate target and current values. Some proposed factors make more sense if they fade.
Geoff the Medio wrote:I also note that alignment ratings on "how empire treats species X" would also let species consider their opinions of other species when determining their opinion of empires. Most species would be indifferent or mildly opposed to bad things being done to most other species, but particularly friendly or hateful species could have "ethos" that strongly likes or dislikes empires for doing good or bad things to specific other species.
That seems a little too involved to me. I think it's enough to worry about what species think of empires, and how that reflects on your empire. Especially since this is something that neither you nor I see as being used for most species, IMHO this can be dropped in favor of more generally useful features.

Also since empires are the active entities in FO, species never actually do anything to other species, all you would have is static species prejudices. Since it's intended that players can make their own species, and ideally import species other players have made, giving each species an innate hate/likeing for other specific species, wouldn't tend to balance well.

Krikkitone wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote: Presumably it shouldn't take many turns for a planet that loved its old rulers but completely disagrees with the actions of its current rulers to become unhappy with the new rulers and begin rebelling.
It should be Instant... (when you take over a world, once you push out the official military, the 'rebel military' should continue)
I agree that the desired effect is an immediate bump or depression to the current happiness unless the planet likes both empires equally.

I would implement it by comparing the species allegiances to the two empires. The adjustment to happiness would be proportionate to the difference in allegiances. This is a one-time reaction to the planet changing hands, which would tend to make that turn (as you would intuitively expect) the time most likely to see dancing in the streets or riots.

Bigjoe5 wrote:A species' ethical preferences will be either extreme (the more bloodthirsty the better, or the more pacifistic the better) or neutral (it doesn't matter how bloodthirsty or pacifistic you are). Species won't have a preference for a "Bloodthirstiness of 60" for example, where anything more or less than that is sub-optimal.
Agreed.
Bigjoe5 wrote:A single value for alignment which is only modified by events seems adequate, and in the case of certain alignments, such as bloodthirstiness vs. pacifism, the value would gradually and steadily move towards pacifistic if no warlike action is taken.
Good idea. I was wondering how we would do alignment scales where one end was pretty much represented by an absence of certain kinds of actions.

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:Another issue is how to modify current happiness when planets change hands, which Bigjoe5 is suggesting to determine by the difference in target happiness, whereas I suggested to use the difference in "allegiance" to the original and new empires. This decision probably isn't very important, though, and would probably have to be re-evaluated after trying one in-game anyway.
In the rare case in which a species has higher allegiance to Blue empire, but higher happiness in Green empire, due to Green's techs and buildings, it wouldn't make much sense for happiness on planet X to go down when Green captures it from Blue (although one could argue that this should be the natural consequence of a planet being captured by an empire to whom it has lower allegiance, even if happiness will rise eventually).
I would argue that this rare case example shouldn't happen. To keep things as understandable as possible there shouldn't be tech and buildings or other factors that modify happiness on an empire-wide scale. There should just be 2 categories:
1) Allegiance: This is collective. the sum of all the reasons a species as a whole has to like or dislike an empire.
2) Happiness: This is local. With the sole exception of "allegiance" is should be made up of only local (not empire or species wide) factors.

Otherwise we are back to having a three-layered system (like some of my earlier proposals) with a empire-wide happiness layer between allegiance and local happiness. But it's not needed, any really necessary collective attitude modification can be put into allegiance.

Geoff wrote:However I don't think we should rule out races being "mildy bloodthirsty" or "extremely bloodthirsty", rather than just all-or-nothing "bloodthirsty", without some consideration. Various storytelling reasons could motivate the need for having degrees of adherence to or importance of ethical or moral beliefs, and it could probably be useful for balancing the races as well.
I don't see a point in nailing this down yet, any conceivable system could work either way. My original goal for the ethos/alignment system was to give each species a unique personality. I'd like to see each species with a unique ethos. So if we have only a few alignment scales (for instance 3), i'd consider extreme/mild ethos distinctions more useful than if we had around 6 or 7 scales.

RonaldX wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:Detailed example
The only significant difference proposed sets things up slightly differently in terms of what "target" and "current" values are defined as. In your system, a "target" value is the sum of any permanant effects, while "current" values are temporary effects which modify the target.

In the other system, a "target value" is the sum of all effects, while "current values" are just "where we are right at this moment", and the current value always shifts closer to the target each turn.
I suspect i am the least savvy of anyone here in the formulas/math department. But i've been envisioning things differently than either of those two, like this for what it's worth.

* The target value is the sum of any permanent effects.
* The current value tends toward the target each turn.
* Any temporary effects directly modify the current value.

Thus temporary effects cause immediate spikes in happiness which fade off. The player takes note of them when they occur , but he knows the effect will diminish from there. He doesn't have to worry about how many turns later the temporary effect will peak, since the effect is at it's greatest at the beginning.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#222 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:24 pm

RonaldX wrote:Depending on how you work the math, none of which has actually been determined yet, these are functionally almost identical, and I'd prefer the second one as it is simpler to derive, and the effects of modifiers can be directly shown as affecting allegiance, rather than affecting a component which is then averaged into another component to form an allegiance value.
It may be simpler in that there are fewer steps, but I don't think that it would be any easier for the player to grasp. Admittedly, there isn't the same obvious need for species empire alignments as there is for ethical compatibility alignments, since displaying "+2 to Eaxaw allegiance" is no more ponderous than displaying "+4 to Eaxaw alignment", whereas displaying "+2 to Eaxaw allegiance, +2 to Trith allegiance, +2 to...." is significantly more annoying than "+4 to Bloodthirstiness". However, I still think that rolling up all the other allegiance factors into alignment will make allegiance as a whole something that is a simpler idea to the player, since

-the species' objective ethical opinion of my empire, plus
-the species' subjective reaction to my actions for/against them

is easier to wrap one's brain around than

-the species' objective ethical opinion of my empire, plus
-the species' "blood grievances" against my empire, plus
-the species' status within my empire, plus
-the species' reaction to diplomatic actions for/against empires towards whom they have high/low allegiance, plus
-etc.
I can understand the point of growth rates and target/current allegiance values. That would make allegiance work identically to happiness, and I see how that would be intuitively understood by the player. No problem with that.
Actually, I was suggesting something a bit different than that. Allegiance, the way I describe, would not have a target value or a growth rate, only a current value which is based entirely on alignments (this is another advantage to having species-empire alignments - allegiance itself can be easily reduced to a single value).

Alignments would also have no target values - only a growth rate and a current value. The current value would be modified by the growth rate each turn, and by events, in exactly the same way the current value of any meter would be. The growth rate would be determined in a way very similar to target values for meters; it is not affected by events, but only by the current gamestate, i.e. objects, treaties, wars, maybe status, etc. The alignment will continue shifting by the same amount each turn until it reaches the extreme value. If growth rates are very slow, then in the early game, the empire's alignment will be more flexible, around the middle range, and able to potentially gain mild support from just about any given race relatively easily. Later in the game, the player will be more committed to the specific alignments he has chosen, and will be focused on increasing allegiance primarily of species in his own empire. In this way, the alignments of an empire will gradually be cemented over the course of a game, and will be very difficult to change in the late game.

This is better than having a target value, IMO, because in this case, if player has an elitism of 100, and changes some of his policies so that his elitism growth rate is 0, he'll stay at 100, because that's the alignment he chose for the majority of the game. This growth rate of 0 however, would correspond to a target value of 50, meaning that he would be able to get a significant drop in his elitism levels much more quickly, if such a target value existed. I think that making the decision to commit to a particular alignment should be significant and have long-lasting, not-easily-reversible effects, and this is accomplished by having just a current value and a growth rate for alignment, rather than a target value (having species-empire alignments also makes this a way to make the decision to align/alienate one's empire with/from a species more important and difficult to reverse).
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Krikkitone
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#223 Post by Krikkitone » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:33 pm

Advantages of "Composite" Happiness as opposed to "Tracked" Happiness

1. A Gradual change in alignment (slowly becoming more pacifist as you don't do war things) has Instant impact on happiness
[the alternative of "Allegiance=>Happiness Target", and "Alignment v. Ethos=>Allegiance Target" means that Happiness will always lag behind Allegiance/Alignment changes that are gradual... which Should be there.. George and Pacifist/Bloodthirsty species slowly forgetting the 'George Massacre at Centauri' which made george and Pacifists hate you and Bloodthirstys love you]

2. A Sudden change in Empire ownership gives a sudden change in Happiness due the change in the allegiance component

This can be simulated in the other model but only by putting in special rules for changing ownership, but in the composite system it is direct and immediate

This means that
"Target Happiness" and "Current Happiness" are not values, because Happiness this turn does Not depend on Happiness last turn. (although Happiness This turn depends on values that depend on the values that Happiness last turn depended on)
Just like the population of your empire this turn does not depend on the population of your empire last turn..instead you get the pop of your empire by adding up the pop of all your planets, each which is tracked from one turn to the next Individually

Happiness because "Our species likes the current Owner" (Allegiance) should be tracked seperately from Happiness due to "things are great/lousy here" (local conditions)

This is because ownership can change suddenly, and so a separate set of Allegiances need to be used.

Just have
Empire-Ethos value (Tracked* value for each value-empire combo, depends on Empire actions/states that go with/against the particular Ethos..including diplomacy)
Known for all known empires

Empire-Species value (Tracked* value for each value-empire combo, depends on Empire actions/states that go with/against the species itself..including diplomacy)
Known for all Known species with Known empires

Allegiance (Composite... of Empire-Ethos v. Species Ethos and Empire-Species)..some effects, mostly displayed for simplicity of those that don't want to do the math/look up species Ethos to combine the last two.. which should be very simple, ie Adding
The player would know the Allegiances of all Known species with Known empires

Local conditions (Tracked* value, things that happened to this world)
The player would know the "local conditions" of their own worlds and any enemy worlds they had sufficient intel on

Happiness (combo of the previous two).. determines rebellion/espionage vulnerability
The player would know the "happiness" of their own worlds and any enemy worlds they had sufficient intel on


So a change of Ownership means that a different Allegiance value is used this turn than was used last turn, so the "Happiness change" is instant

*Tracked meaning that it is meter like (value this turn depends on value last turn... so it has a 'target' that the 'current' slowly moves towards...although temporary events may knock it away from the target)

I don't think alignment should only move over the course of the game... I think you the "change" in the current should be towards a target at say ~2-5% of the difference (with say a minimum movement of +-0.1 if there Is a difference.)

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eleazar
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Rank, Aristocrats & Slaves

#224 Post by eleazar » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:04 pm

Rank, Aristocrats & Slaves
I've alluded to these ideas a lot, but i don't think i've developed them much in this thread, or indeed since i was much less sure of how (if at all) these ideas would fit into the game.

The idea of slave/prison planets appealed to me as an intermediate option between assimilation and extermination. With the idea that planet could have different levels of loyalty, it gave players a way to "lock down" planets to keep them from rebelling, while still getting some production from them. In its simplest form players would have something like a check-box for each planet to "enslave" or "free" it.

But then i ran across an old discussion that mentioned the racial statuses in DaveBaby's defunct COW project. I thought the idea was pretty cool in itself, but suspected it would be superfluous to the game. But as this thread progressed, it became more clear to me that a macro way to favor certain species and thus increase their allegiance would be very useful. Since slavery is more or less the opposite of having a high, favored position, it seems best to make these two extremes part of the same system.

So imagine a scale something like this, or perhaps with fewer levels:
  • +3 overlord
    +2 aristocrat
    +1 elite
    0 citizen (default for starting species)
    -1 associate
    -2 servant / subject (default for conquored species?)
    -3 slave
    -4 vermin
So the general idea is that you can increase the allegiance of a species by granting them a higher rank, or you decrease a species ability to cause havok by assigning them a lower rank. But obviously there should be some kind of trade-off. You can't just promote all your member species to "elite" to get allegiance bonuses for free. So how do you balance it? Two posible methods occur to me, which could be combined.

1:
Build disadvantages and advantages into each level of rank. So for instance high ranks might increase allegiance but decrease production. And low rank decreases allegiance while increasing the difficulty of rioting/rebelling. Though it's not clear that you should care about low allegiance if the species can't do anything about it. I'd also really like to see a production penalty to low rank species, since (at least for humans) freedom tend to correlate strongly with productivity, especially of the creative kinds. Though i don't want rank to apply bonus/maluses to specific types of productivity, as in: low rank increases mining, high rank increases research. This would tend to ballance the species strangely in that a species with a mining bonus would be univerally a good candidate for slavery.

2a:
Alternitively, for each step up a level in rank, a different species would be required to take a step down in rank. In other words, the sum of all ranks must be zero or less. After all, how can you have aristocrats, if you don't have servants? The downside is that it seems a bit like an exploit to allow an empire with 20 planets of Zlug, and 1 planet of Plibly, to promote the Zlug up and rank because the single Plibly planet is down one rank. The single Plibly planet is unlikely to harm the empire much even if it rebels. On the other hand other Plibly in the galaxy (if any) will resent the empire that degredates its Plibly. And if the empire wants to keep the Plibly small, it couldn't take much advantage of the Plibly's production bonus and likely different planet-type preference.

2b:
Or there might be only one rank above "Citizen", and it would only be possible to promote a species if all other species were at rank -1 or lower. Less exploitable perhaps but also less interesting.


"Vermin" is a special status where the empire is actively exterminating the species. Functionally it cuts off all food shipments to the planets of the species, thus leaving them to starve if they cannot supply their own food. Appling this rank can raise some very strong resentments.

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#225 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:44 am

Krikkitone wrote:Advantages of "Composite" Happiness as opposed to "Tracked" Happiness

1. A Gradual change in alignment (slowly becoming more pacifist as you don't do war things) has Instant impact on happiness
[the alternative of "Allegiance=>Happiness Target", and "Alignment v. Ethos=>Allegiance Target" means that Happiness will always lag behind Allegiance/Alignment changes that are gradual... which Should be there.. George and Pacifist/Bloodthirsty species slowly forgetting the 'George Massacre at Centauri' which made george and Pacifists hate you and Bloodthirstys love you
Presumably, a gradual change in target happiness would be slow enough for current happiness to continue along with it on the same turn, so there would be no noticeable lag between small, gradual changes in allegiance/target happiness, and current happiness, unless a particularly drastic action was taken which significantly raised or lowered allegiance, in which case it could be argued that a delayed or gradual effect on happiness would be more desirable than an instantaneous shift.
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