A few comments I don't feel like shaping into a paragraph:eleazar wrote: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.
* Assuming alignment scales are morals-based, many "common, day-to-day actions" like exploring, researching (excluding special cases), making colonies on uninhabited planets, or building ships (excluding special cases) wouldn't be relevant to any of the scales.
* Diplomatic actions like starting or ending war, signing open borders or trade agreements or initiating technology exchanges or demanding tribute aren't really "day-to-day actions".
* Not all actions would have to affect more than one scale if they affect any; some would be only relevant to one scale.
* Since buildings are supposed to be fairly significant and can be scrapped or "undone" more easily than a tech (which can't be unreserached) it's reasonable to make many of them have multiple moral implications that affect multiple scales. The buildings an empire contains could significantly impact its overal alignment position: Using Bioresearch Labs, Secret Police Compounds or Public Network Hubs would imply a lot about an empire and would be reasonable ways to change one or more of its moral alignment scales.
Alignment scales won't be quite as interesting for story purposes if some species can't have negative reactions... But even if species never dislike and empire for being higher on a particular moral scale, players will still have the choice of content types to use, and those choices can take into consideration the moral alignment effects associated of that content. This scheme doesn't fall apart just because no species ever, or in a particular game, actively dislikes an empire for being high on one of the scales. So, I still think we can decide later when creating or balancing content whether to include any species with active dislikes, and can pick "moral" scales for their greater interest without loss of flexibility.eleazar wrote:Moral scales pretty much need to be bipolar, or else it's not much of a moral choice.