Simulating Citizens

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#301 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:14 pm

Krikkitone wrote:You do realize that of our 4 scales only 1 is truly different right?
my Freedom v Security and your Acquisition v. Expansion
In that case I feel mine is better since it doesn't require a new thing to be kept track of, and it is potentially broader
It doesn't require keeping track of something which the game otherwise wouldn't keep track of, but it does require a game system which hasn't been at all discussed, and which I'm opposed to - the ability to switch governments in the middle of a game. Plus, there are no real in-game factors which actually affect it besides these "civics", whereas everything I've proposed ties in with aspects of the game which we all agree should be present, and which have an obvious, direct effect on strategy.
Krikkitione wrote:Same with my Unity v. Diversity and your Diplomacy v. Isolationist/Xenophobia
Mine encompasses broader aspects besides just diplomacy. (although admitedly it leaves diplomacy behind when you and your neighbors all have the same species... but that can be modified by modifying the Civics that affect those alignments)
It may encompass something broader, but that just means that it will overlap with elitism vs. egalitarianism. All of mine are distinct.
Krikkitone wrote:Note: "The" diplomatic strategy should depend on your environment, if you are surrounded by all 24 of the different Ethoi, then the diplomatic strategy will consist of you leading one group of allies to crush another (ie some empires you "get" as friends when your actual friends conquer them.)
Woah, hold on - nobody said anything about there actually being 24 distinct ethoi in the game. I've developed 6, and provided explanations for how they develop strategy. Plus, I describe in relative detail exactly how the diplomatic path would lead to victory, either sole-survivor, or tech (the fewer victory conditions, the better, IMO - I'm hoping that even tech victory won't be necessary - but the more distinct paths to those victory conditions the better; the players are always in direct conflict, since they're all going for the same victory condition, or the same few victory conditions, but the dynamics of how each player gets there, and interacts with other players trying to get there different ways is extremely interesting).
Krikkitone wrote:Also, if there is going to be some sort of "Elected Galactic President Diplomatic Victory" Then it needs to be a multi-player win (ie If I vote for the winning side, I 'win' too.... otherwise there is no reason to do Anything but abstain, because a vote for someone else is a vote for a loss. Perhaps the one Actually elected gets a large point bonus.)
Joint victories are lame.
Krikkitone wrote:Also, Especially for Alignment I think the "Civics" option is probably the best. (Some "Civics" options should be more flexible than others..ie more Temporary Settings, others should be Harder to change ie Anarchy, massive loss of Efficiency or Happiness that slowly builds back up.)
You are right in that Ethos Alignment should probably be something that doesn't change often over time, and I think that having the "Persistent" effect (Target or growth rate) dominate (by having Alignment relate predominately to Civics that affect Actions rather than directly to Actions) would be a good solution.
Species-Empire Alignment can be dominated by the "Current" effects (ie this is where the 'you killed someone' shows up..ie when the someone is us.)
The thing I don't like about these "civics" is that they affect factors which should already be explicitly affected by the player's overall strategic choices. A boost to Trade income? I'm playing an espionage race, so I already have Trade bonuses and lots of planets set to Trade. I'd like to see the strategic game sufficiently well-developed that these "civics" would be totally superfluous with the player's general strategy. IMO, these "civics" are a cop-out for games in which various strategic paths are inadequately defined to begin with, so they add the ability to change government settings to create an artificial distinction between various strategies.

At any rate, I've updated the wiki with those things I mentioned above.

Also, regarding happiness, happiness will require a current value, a growth rate and a target value. Growth rate would be the combined values of allegiance growth, and target value would be allegiance modified by target local conditions. Current would be allegiance modified by current local conditions. Presumably, it would help this significantly if local conditions went from -50 to 50, so that local conditions could actually have an effect on happiness which is equal to the values of the meter. I'm still not convinced that this is a whole lot simpler than happiness target being set to allegiance by default, then modified by other effects in the same way that all the other meters are, and there's just a current value which is dependent on where the current value was last turn and the growth rate of the meter. Yeah, it makes the target drift a bit, but I still feel like it would be easier to figure out with a meter. Either way would be fine with me, and I suspect the determining factor will actually be whether or not we want allegiance to affect happiness immediately upon changing, or whether we want a gradual change in happiness following a sudden shift in allegiance, since this is a gameplay issue, and therefore significantly more important than how the numbers are displayed to the player.
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#302 Post by Krikkitone » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:43 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote: Plus, there are no real in-game factors which actually affect it besides these "civics", whereas everything I've proposed ties in with aspects of the game which we all agree should be present, and which have an obvious, direct effect on strategy.
I was talking about the fact that they were all measuring conceptually the same things.
which 2 do exactly (Elite v. Equal and War v. Peace)
1 does closely (Diversity v. Unity compared to Diplomacy v. Isolationist)
and only the last is totally separate
Freedom v. Security / Expansion v. Appropriation

Using "civics" helps keep Alignments from jumping around a lot due to individual events. (ie Battles for the War v. Peace)
And is definitely something that should be in the game for several reasons
1. Overarching strategy... greater efficiency for reduced flexibility (the Civic applies to ALL of your worlds, wheras you have incredible ability to fine tune Resource outputs)
2. Story/Feel (why have multiple species... why not just set your worlds to Trade and research primarily espionage pics)

However,
The 3 that are the same could use almost the exact same effects as yours. (things that affected Growth Rate would affect Target instead)..
For mine I'd add the modifications
Unity Peristent factor (Target or Growth)
% of population of this species
% of population of most populated species in the empire

Diversity Persistent factor (Target or Growth)
# of species in the empire

For the fourth (Freedom v. Security) if we are sticking strictly to stuff "currently" in the game

Security boosters
Espionage Defense
Failed Espionage attempts
Troops on worlds currently in any level of rebellion (to maintain your 'Freedom' rating, liberate worlds that start generating rebels)

Freedom boosters
Liberating worlds


PS in my system the Conqueror would be Elitist Diversity, and the Warlord Bloodthirsty Unity
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitione wrote:Same with my Unity v. Diversity and your Diplomacy v. Isolationist/Xenophobia
Mine encompasses broader aspects besides just diplomacy. (although admitedly it leaves diplomacy behind when you and your neighbors all have the same species... but that can be modified by modifying the Civics that affect those alignments)
It may encompass something broader, but that just means that it will overlap with elitism vs. egalitarianism. All of mine are distinct.
.
It Doesn't overlap with Equal v. Elite. "Unity" species are unhappy that other species/empires exist/have to be dealt with, not that they are high status*. "Diversity" species are just Fine with other species/empires as slaves or vassals.

*Admitedly this makes Equality Unity and Elite Unity hard to distinguish if Equality and Elite are ONLY about Species... but expand it to
1. Worlds in the empire (Capital v. non capital)
2. Members Within the same species (Civics such as Monarchy v. Democracy)
And suddenly it provides additional flexibility
Bigjoe5 wrote: I suspect the determining factor will actually be whether or not we want allegiance to affect happiness immediately upon changing, or whether we want a gradual change in happiness following a sudden shift in allegiance, since this is a gameplay issue, and therefore significantly more important than how the numbers are displayed to the player.
.
The point is that Allegiance is a very Minor value, its Primary impact is in Happiness, so if
Event X should Not have an immediate effect on Happiness, why does it have an immediate effect on Allegiance (or Alignment)?

Essentially a non-immediate but still fading effect of a one-time 'fading' event is a complicated Game mechanic and therefore should be eliminated if at all possible.

(It also promotes the advantage of excess happiness as a buffer...in case there is some massive bad event, you have some ability to handle it.)

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#303 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:06 pm

Krikkitone wrote:Using "civics" helps keep Alignments from jumping around a lot due to individual events. (ie Battles for the War v. Peace)
And is definitely something that should be in the game for several reasons
1. Overarching strategy... greater efficiency for reduced flexibility (the Civic applies to ALL of your worlds, wheras you have incredible ability to fine tune Resource outputs)
2. Story/Feel (why have multiple species... why not just set your worlds to Trade and research primarily espionage pics)
Balancing also keeps alignments from jumping around a lot due to individual events. Nobodies arguing that if civics are in, they shouldn't affect alignment, but I am arguing that they shouldn't be in, and either way, nothing we decide right now should be dependent on them.

As for your two points, that's exactly what the ethos system is trying to accomplish, isn't it? I feel that if the game is designed well, there should be no need for an artificial add-on like civics at the end.
Krikkitone wrote:However,
The 3 that are the same could use almost the exact same effects as yours. (things that affected Growth Rate would affect Target instead)..
For mine I'd add the modifications
Unity Peristent factor (Target or Growth)
% of population of this species
% of population of most populated species in the empire

Diversity Persistent factor (Target or Growth)
# of species in the empire
I had actually considered including factors very similar to this in Diplomacy vs. Isolationism, but consider that these factors both

- affect how easy it is to have multiple species in your empire, and
- are affected by having multiple species in your empire.

Something should affect the same thing it's affected by, otherwise there are weird feedback loops. It's essentially the same reason we want diplomatic actions to affect happiness instead of allegiance, and for diplomatic statuses to affect allegiance independently of a species' allegiance to the other empire. This scale is a lot simpler and more clearly defined if only diplomatic relations with other empires are involved. Plus, Xenophobic empires have an advantage that they can capture lots of enemy planets and enslave them without provoking unrest (of their main race), which gives them more distinction from Warlord empires, who like to colonize all their own planets.
Krikkitone wrote:For the fourth (Freedom v. Security) if we are sticking strictly to stuff "currently" in the game

Security boosters
Espionage Defense
Failed Espionage attempts
Troops on worlds currently in any level of rebellion (to maintain your 'Freedom' rating, liberate worlds that start generating rebels)

Freedom boosters
Liberating worlds
Failing at something should never alter a current alignment value. As eleazar said, all the actions which affect alignment should potentially bring the empire closer to winning the game. This is actually why there are no factors that affect current Appropriation vs. Expansionism, because having a colony captured from you, whether it was colonized or appropriated, would have to give a bonus to expansionism so that there would be an equal and opposite effect for capturing a planet vs. having a planet captured from you, which would be ridiculous.
Krikkitone wrote:It Doesn't overlap with Equal v. Elite. "Unity" species are unhappy that other species/empires exist/have to be dealt with, not that they are high status*. "Diversity" species are just Fine with other species/empires as slaves or vassals.

*Admitedly this makes Equality Unity and Elite Unity hard to distinguish if Equality and Elite are ONLY about Species... but expand it to
1. Worlds in the empire (Capital v. non capital)
2. Members Within the same species (Civics such as Monarchy v. Democracy)
And suddenly it provides additional flexibility
And complexity. I don't see the appeal.
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#304 Post by Krikkitone » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:58 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:As for your two points, that's exactly what the ethos system is trying to accomplish, isn't it? I feel that if the game is designed well, there should be no need for an artificial add-on like civics at the end.
Well Ethos is a racial pics based strategy option(may be minimized throughout the game based on altering the population of your empire..possibly genetic engineering techs)

"Civics" are strategy options that can be changed throughout the game. Not as easily as changing production/research queues, and not on a world by world basis like economic focus.
Best comparison is diplomatic relationships
Bigjoe5 wrote: I had actually considered including factors very similar to this in Diplomacy vs. Isolationism, but consider that these factors both

- affect how easy it is to have multiple species in your empire, and
- are affected by having multiple species in your empire.
How Happy your people are with a certain circumstance does not affect the circumstance (unless the circumstance is happiness)
There are no wierd feedback loops
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:It Doesn't overlap with Equal v. Elite. "Unity" species are unhappy that other species/empires exist/have to be dealt with, not that they are high status*. "Diversity" species are just Fine with other species/empires as slaves or vassals.

*Admitedly this makes Equality Unity and Elite Unity hard to distinguish if Equality and Elite are ONLY about Species... but expand it to
1. Worlds in the empire (Capital v. non capital)
2. Members Within the same species (Civics such as Monarchy v. Democracy)
And suddenly it provides additional flexibility
And complexity. I don't see the appeal.
see above... all I'm saying is that without those, Equal Unity and Elite Unity are basically equivalent to Neutral Unity... you said only 6 of the 24 Ethoi were particularly useful, I'm saying 2 of the 24 might not be particularly interesting, unless there are other distinctions.

Instead the whole Unity v. Diversity helps properly distinguish between

1. We like other species as slaves, Elite Diversity
2. We like other species as equals, Equal Diversity
3. We don't like other species. (or dealing with the empires that make them up), Unity+anything else
Bigjoe5 wrote: Failing at something should never alter a current alignment value. As eleazar said, all the actions which affect alignment should potentially bring the empire closer to winning the game.
Well... for the 'bipolar' Alignments I can agree on that
For the Species Alignments I disagree (that is probably what is meant)

Perhaps "Building spies" or "Spending on spies" would be a 'Security booster'
Or Discovering Enemy Spies



PS one serious problem with the Expansion v. Acquisition... Expansion encourages you to
1. Capture One planet of a non-starting species
2. nuke all other planets of that species
3. recolonize them..potentially with the exact same species

That seems like a Bad idea, hence Unity v. Diversity being a better mechanic for limiting 'foreign species'... so that you only nuke a planet when you don't want that species in your empire... at all.


Also, a possible idea for Equality v. Elite
Equality boosters
% of population at "Citizen" level
# of species at "Citizen" level
Elite booster
% of population below "Citizen" level
# of species below "Citizen" level

The key difference is allowing your starting species to be set at something other than "Citizen" level.
So As the Blue Empire with Humans on Turn 1, you can set the Humans to "Slaves"... implying that your entire population (except the infinitesimally small upper class) is slaves.
[You wouldn't be able to set anyone to anything Above citizen until there was a sufficient amount of population below Citizen]

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#305 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:14 pm

Krikkitone wrote:Well Ethos is a racial pics based strategy option(may be minimized throughout the game based on altering the population of your empire..possibly genetic engineering techs)

"Civics" are strategy options that can be changed throughout the game. Not as easily as changing production/research queues, and not on a world by world basis like economic focus.
Best comparison is diplomatic relationships
Civics are both superfluous and inferior to the ethos system we've just spent 20 pages developing.

Consider a situation in which a player really needs to just change his overall strategy. I'm not saying that this should be a common occurrence, or that the player will ever make this decision lightly, but it's certainly possible, for example, for a player to want to switch from a diplomatic strategy to a reclusive or warlike strategy in mid-game, if his diplomatic strategy just isn't working.

There are a lot of interesting factors that make this difficult and engaging for the player, but not very many things that will actually have to really change in his empire. There's no real sense that his empire is transforming into something significantly different, and that's the sense I want to achieve when the player switches from one strategy to another.

So let's suppose we throw civics into the mix to give the player this feeling. What does the player do to switch civics? He hits a button, and waits an arbitrary number of turns before the resource production or happiness penalty or whatever wears off, and then he's successfully transformed into a whole new empire with a completely different government. That's really not a significant, rewarding or strategically interesting transformation sequence at all.

Now let's suppose we use ethos instead. Not a tacked-on government click-switch, but a cohesive and interesting system which is strongly and effectively integrated into the game itself. What does the player need to do to completely switch from one strategy to another? He needs to

- acquire a species that will produce the resources he needs to follow his new strategy
- please that species by acting according to its ethos (which will need to be compatible with his new strategy)
- fill his empire with that species
- dispose of his old species somehow (or enslave them, if he needs their resource bonus for some reason, or is otherwise strategically compelled to keep them, perhaps because replacing them would be too difficult)

Now that is a significant, rewarding and strategically interesting transformation sequence: completely switching out your old species for one that will support your new strategy. It's a difficult, but potentially rewarding process. The player will have to use all his ingenuity to figure out how to make this switch, but if he ends up succeeding, his new strategy will be far more effective than his old one was (that's why he's switching, right?), and he could potentially come back and win the game.

Suppose a Tolerant empire’s strategy isn’t working out, and he really needs to switch to Reclusive.

There are a lot of interesting possibilities for how he could achieve this goal. He could, for example sell his planets into slavery to a Conquerer empire, in exchange for some planets or colony ships containing Reclusive species, and some Trade-boosting or espionage related techs. He could then use that species to colonize some planets way out on the galactic rim where nobody has yet expanded (using colony ships enhanced with extra fuel tanks). They'd be way, way out of resource supply range, but that also means that they're out of range to be infiltrated by spies (they have really low allegiance to him, and therefore really low happiness, but because he was a diplomatic empire, the species-empire alignment keeps him above the riot threshold), and way out of anyone's detection range. While he's setting up out in no-man's land, he's also busily making his preparations in the galactic core. His empire appears to be weakening very quickly, and that's because it is. He's trading most of his planets and ships for resources, and it doesn't look like he's colonizing or building any more. Some empires have their eye on his capitol so that they can capture his stockpile. Little do they know that he has moved his stockpile to a massive worldship on the outer edges of his empire's resource supply range. Eventually, his homeworld is the only planet remaining, and several empires are converging on it to capture it, and take over the imperial stockpile (which they still assume is on the homeworld, and burgeoning with all the resources they traded him for his planets). Just as they are about to do so however, some mysterious ships of unknown origin appear and completely destroy the colony, subsequently self-destructing (ostensibly so that the empires who were about to capture the stockpile wouldn't discover their identity and take vengeance). In fact, he player has destroyed his own homeworld to protect the fact that his stockpile was no longer present and that his empire is still in existence.

Now, the player is presumed eliminated, and his stockpile is en route to his new little batch of colonies out in no-man's land. How will he survive? Eventually, the other players are bound to expand out that far, and find his little empire, and learn of his deception, or one player will destroy all the other empires, to find that he hasn't achieved a sole-survivor victory. How will the player manage? How will he even know what's going on in the galactic core? Before he retreated into seclusion, the player traded away several colonies to other empires. Little did those empires know that he had actually infiltrated those worlds with his spies before trading them away, and now he himself is sitting on the outer rim of the galaxy, building up his own power, and watching.


That is a real transformation. If all the player had to do was create some colonies really far away, then feign his own defeat, that would still be interesting, but not nearly as interesting as when the player has to find an interesting way to acquire a new species, colonize the area exclusively with them, and then find a way to get rid of all of his old species. That factor makes it a much more epic transformation.


However, this example still derives interest only secondarily from the species-swap, so I’ll give you another:

A Reclusive empire is not having an easy time of it, since the galaxy is full of Warlords who are constantly expanding outwards, and have really happy planets. There is only a single Conquerer empire in the game, and he’s having a rough time of it too, mostly because he’s the Reclusive empire’s only espionage target. The Reclusive empire decides that switching to Conquerer is the best option, since there will be no other Reclusive empires to pick on his slave worlds with their spies, and Warlords don’t really make significant use of spies either.

One possible path for this player is to abduct some of the Conquerer species and start to colonize various planets in his area with them. If the Conquerer race has a significantly different EP, this will be easier, obviously, because he will be able to use the empty planets in his controlled systems. Once he has done that, he will raise the Conquerer’s status and turn his original race into slaves. This will increase the Conquerer race’s allegiance sufficiently to tide them over until the player actually starts conquering. And he will start conquering. He’ll start by sneaking in and finishing off the rest of the old Conquerer’s empire, snatching it out from the jaws of the Warlords due to his great espionage advantages within that empire. Now, the Conquerers are starting to really like him, and he has a variety of slave races from the old Conquerer’s empire that he can use for resource production, as well as his entire old empire as a slave race.

This example combines brilliant opportunism with a bold strategic shift to complete the transformation from Reclusive to Conquerer. In this case, the necessity to switch races is of primary significance, and creates a lot of interest for this strategic switch.

Compare this to civics:

Essentially the same bonus (increased production of a specific resource, maybe espionage bonuses), essentially the same penalties (a period of decreased production and allegiance/happiness), but how the change is implemented is incredibly different: a change of civics is the press of a button. Changing out an entire species is a myriad of interesting decisions that force the player to think of interesting and creative ways to make the transformation. There's no need to have two separate gameplay elements that have the same effect (changing species vs. changing civics), and since the act change of species, as well as its consequences and advantages, and the numerous interesting ways it can take effect, serve to create incredible strategic interest and are fully integrated into the game, it's a no-brainer which one is superior.

This is what I mean when I say that civics choices are superfluous to ethos. The fact that we have designed this ethos system, and have allowed for all the interesting strategies that come with it, means that our game is too good for some tack-on government-change options.

When you change from democracy to dictatorship, do you feel that an incredible change has taken place in your empire? I know that if I got rid of my entire starting species and replaced it with a completely different species, I'd feel like there was significant change in my empire. I felt that way to a certain extent in MoO2, even when all my new colonies and ships and troops were still of my original race, and there was no ethos to distinguish species from one another. How much more will the player feel it in FO, where you can really make a different race your own, and build new colony ships, and even military ships with them on board, and where the shift in race is supported by a whole shift in strategy?

So what I'm saying is, switching species does the same thing as switching civics, only better, so we don't need civics.
Krikkitone wrote:How Happy your people are with a certain circumstance does not affect the circumstance (unless the circumstance is happiness)
There are no wierd feedback loops
That wasn’t what I meant. Take diversity, as an example. You want to raise the allegiance of your species by incorporating more species into your empire. But the new species prefer Unity, so they don’t like you for that. Basically, diversity vs. unity should be a part of the player’s strategy that’s already balanced against species having different ethoi, so there is no need for it to ever actually be part of a species’ ethos. Also, multi-species empires and diplomacy are two very different aspects of the game, even if they are conceptually similar, so mixing them into a single alignment scale is a bad idea.
Krikkitone wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote: Failing at something should never alter a current alignment value. As eleazar said, all the actions which affect alignment should potentially bring the empire closer to winning the game.
Well... for the 'bipolar' Alignments I can agree on that
For the Species Alignments I disagree (that is probably what is meant)

Perhaps "Building spies" or "Spending on spies" would be a 'Security booster'
Or Discovering Enemy Spies
So I advertise to everyone how good my spies are? No thanks.
Krikkitone wrote:PS one serious problem with the Expansion v. Acquisition... Expansion encourages you to
1. Capture One planet of a non-starting species
2. nuke all other planets of that species
3. recolonize them..potentially with the exact same species
I don’t see a problem with this, and this is a predicted effect of that alignment scale.

Consider that when coming across a new species in an empire with which you’re at war, you always need to decide whether or not you want that species in your empire at all. If you do, you capture it and can start making colony ships with that species. If you don’t, you can just bomb all their planets.

Remember that for the Warlord, it’s easier to bomb and start from scratch, since he has good bombing technology/space combat bonuses, and poor ground combat tech/picks. This means capturing that one planet is an important decision for him, and it becomes a strategic project - figuring out how to capture that planet, even though bombing and moving on would be a whole lot easier for him.
Krikkitone wrote:That seems like a Bad idea, hence Unity v. Diversity being a better mechanic for limiting 'foreign species'... so that you only nuke a planet when you don't want that species in your empire... at all.
It seems to me that the player will nuke a planet and recolonize when it’s more efficient, and will capture the planet when it’s more efficient, and that different empires with different techs and picks are likely to find different paths more efficient. Expansionism vs. Appropriation isn’t about limiting foreign species at all - it’s about creating variety in the types of decisions that will have to be made when the player is acquiring a new species.

Krikkitone wrote:Also, a possible idea for Equality v. Elite
Equality boosters
% of population at "Citizen" level
# of species at "Citizen" level
Elite booster
% of population below "Citizen" level
# of species below "Citizen" level

The key difference is allowing your starting species to be set at something other than "Citizen" level.
So As the Blue Empire with Humans on Turn 1, you can set the Humans to "Slaves"... implying that your entire population (except the infinitesimally small upper class) is slaves.
[You wouldn't be able to set anyone to anything Above citizen until there was a sufficient amount of population below Citizen]
Yeah, that's a good idea, actually. Although an elitism bonus for having species above citizen should exist as well, since there's no guarantee that the player will have higher ranked species just because he can.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Factors which Increase Current Elitism

* Moving a species further away on the status scale from the highest ranking species in the empire. This includes raising the status of the highest ranking species

Factors which Increase Current Egalitarianism

* Moving a species closer on the status scale to the highest ranking species. This includes lowering the status of the highest ranking species

Factors which Increase Elitism Growth

* Having species in the empire which are more than one level lower on the status scale than the highest ranking species

Factors which Increase Egalitarianism Growth

* Having multiple species sharing the highest which has been bestowed by the empire
Alternatively, these rules could just work as-is, and the player doesn’t get an elitism bonus for having slaves if there are no aristocrats, which also seems fairly reasonable. It's hard to say right now which is better.
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#306 Post by Krikkitone » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:01 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote: So what I'm saying is, switching species does the same thing as switching civics, only better, so we don't need civics.
OK significant Differences

1. Switching species has a massively different Feel than switching civics...("disposing" of the old species involves Xenocide or Mass Slavery..something that should cause some significant problems with certain strategies... How do you switch from Conqueror to Pacifist Egalitarians....No really Are you going to please them by liberating them and enslaving your warlord race??)

2. The "Species" options+Effects you have are limited by your neighbors (and the way This game has played out); the "civics" options+effects you have are limited by your Technology (and the game designers who made those techs). Civics options can be part of Game pacing...Species options are just luck

The Only way I could see this working as a viable 'strategic options' is if you had some way of altering a Species Ethos.

BTW, If we don't have "switchable governments" in the game, then we shouldn't have governments Period. Instead of a "democracy" just get +Sci+Trade+diplo and Equal Ethos and be done with it. If "governments" are a property of a certain species then they should be absorbed into race pics
Bigjoe5 wrote: You want to raise the allegiance of your species by incorporating more species into your empire. But the new species prefer Unity, so they don’t like you for that. Basically, diversity vs. unity should be a part of the player’s strategy that’s already balanced against species having different ethoi, so there is no need for it to ever actually be part of a species’ ethos.
Species don't always have incombatible Ethoi

The idea is if you have a unity species you won't want to add other unity species, wheras a diversity species will want to add other diversity species and neutral species...They might also want to add unity species, as slaves.

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:PS one serious problem with the Expansion v. Acquisition... Expansion encourages you to
1. Capture One planet of a non-starting species
2. nuke all other planets of that species
3. recolonize them..potentially with the exact same species
I don’t see a problem with this, and this is a predicted effect of that alignment scale.
The problem is the last one....I capture a Psilon world bomb it and colonize it with Psilons.... ?????
Why, that is a stupid bit of micromanagement...can I capture it, and Then kill all the Psilons on it and recolonize.... if not, Why Not?
If this Ethos makes it in, then there needs to be a button "declare as new colony" which takes a world and reduces its pop to 1 and meters to 0 and makes an "acquired" colony a "colonized" one.
What about if I kick all the Psilons off and recolonize it with another race..is it acquired or expansion then?

Or... perhaps I need more Acquired Planets... I need to build more colony ships, give them to my neighbor (make him pay if he doesn't want my gifts), and as soon as the neighbor colonizes with them, take them...???? stupid micromanagement again

Two Human acquisition players can Easily short circuit the whole system by saying I'll give you a colony ship now send the colony ship into my territory, colonize this world with it and then give me the planet... I'll do the same for you.

The whole thing is VERY messed up for minmaxing

It would be a LOT better to just make Expansion->"Pure Race", Acquisition->"Mixed Race"

So if you wanted to stick with the "pure race" (instead of expansion) it means getting worlds and replacing the natives with 'your' race (either by bombing out before conquest, death camps after acquisition, or eviction..or just colonizing it with your race first). If you stick with "mixed race" (instead of acquisition) you can acquire a race and spread it or directly acquire multiple planets of that race... whether through military ships, colony ships, or trade shouldn't matter.
Bigjoe5 wrote: Consider that when coming across a new species in an empire with which you’re at war, you always need to decide whether or not you want that species in your empire at all. If you do, you capture it and can start making colony ships with that species. If you don’t, you can just bomb all their planets.
But why if I DO want that species in my empire do I have to bomb thier planets and recolonize instead of just capturing them.
Bigjoe5 wrote:It seems to me that the player will nuke a planet and recolonize when it’s more efficient,
.
It should NEVER EVER EVER be more efficient to Nuke a planet and recolonize it on the Same turn with the EXACT SAME Species.



TLDR
Strategy shifts that consist of changing the species makeup of your entire empire don't feel right in most cases, are too random in accessibility, and involve much too massive of a shift.
also
You should never have to remove a species from a planet just to put it there again. (Expansionist micromanagement)
You should never have to be selling a colony ship+uncolonized planet to get a colony. (Acquisitionist micromangement)

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#307 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:39 pm

Krikkitone wrote:OK significant Differences

1. Switching species has a massively different Feel than switching civics...("disposing" of the old species involves Xenocide or Mass Slavery..something that should cause some significant problems with certain strategies... How do you switch from Conqueror to Pacifist Egalitarians....No really Are you going to please them by liberating them and enslaving your warlord race??)
You didn't read my first example, did you? It was good... the player traded all his planets for resources, then destroyed his own homeworld with unmarked ships before it was captured.
Krikkitone wrote:2. The "Species" options+Effects you have are limited by your neighbors (and the way This game has played out); the "civics" options+effects you have are limited by your Technology (and the game designers who made those techs). Civics options can be part of Game pacing...Species options are just luck
That's part of what makes it really interesting. The best strategy and the best way to go about that strategy is always dependent on which empires you're around. All strategic options are fundamentally situational.
Krikkitone wrote:The Only way I could see this working as a viable 'strategic options' is if you had some way of altering a Species Ethos.

BTW, If we don't have "switchable governments" in the game, then we shouldn't have governments Period. Instead of a "democracy" just get +Sci+Trade+diplo and Equal Ethos and be done with it. If "governments" are a property of a certain species then they should be absorbed into race pics
This is probably going to need its own thread - definitely, in fact, because I don't want to rule out the possibility of some sort of government system that can be as elegantly integrated into gameplay as the ethos system. Regardless though, nothing we decide here should depend on a gameplay mechanic that's as far from being agreed upon as governments are.
Krikkitone wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote: You want to raise the allegiance of your species by incorporating more species into your empire. But the new species prefer Unity, so they don’t like you for that. Basically, diversity vs. unity should be a part of the player’s strategy that’s already balanced against species having different ethoi, so there is no need for it to ever actually be part of a species’ ethos.
Species don't always have incombatible Ethoi

The idea is if you have a unity species you won't want to add other unity species, wheras a diversity species will want to add other diversity species and neutral species...They might also want to add unity species, as slaves.
Why should this be mixed in with a diplomacy alignment, and how does it affect the player's strategic options (in the context of affecting diplomacy as well)?

Krikkitone wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:I don’t see a problem with this, and this is a predicted effect of that alignment scale.
...
I have an idea. Let's get rid of that alignment scale and stick with just the three that we can (mostly) agree on. Appropriative vs. Expansionist did create some interesting strategy, but nowhere near as much as the others, and it seems like it would be subject to abuse. Security vs. Freedom simply doesn't tie into very many gameplay elements, and seems like something that is conceptually very similar to Elitism vs. Egalitarianism. Having just three alignment scales is fine.

The only ethoi that made use of Appropriative vs. Expansionist were Warlord and Conquerer, which are conceptually very similar ideas as well, and can be rolled into a single Warlord ethos (Bloodthirsty + Elitist), which leaves 5 distinct ethoi - all we need for now, IMO.
Krikkitone wrote:Strategy shifts that consist of changing the species makeup of your entire empire don't feel right in most cases, are too random in accessibility, and involve much too massive of a shift.
I find this to be an odd statement. A shift in your entire strategy is extremely significant, and it should require some significant imperial management to pull off properly. It's also hard to tell why you think that there are cases where pushing a button to change your government "feels right", but having to make a massive shift in the composition of your population for an equally massive change in strategy doesn't.

Edit: Also, the fact that a particular alignment scale, such as Appropriative vs. Expansionist won't work as a paired alignment doesn't mean that something similar can't eventually be added later; an unpaired alignment scale can effectively be the same as a paired alignment scale, as far as the internal code is concerned - the only difference is that a species can only prefer one end of it, and that disadvantageous things can lower the scale. (So for security vs. freedom for example, there could be species that prefer security, but no species that prefer freedom, since failing at something, in this case spying, would lower the security level.) In other words, the alignment system will be moddable to include unpaired alignments, and it will be easy to add them to the official version, if so desired.
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#308 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:52 am

Bigjoe5 wrote: That's part of what makes it really interesting. The best strategy and the best way to go about that strategy is always dependent on which empires you're around. All strategic options are fundamentally situational.
"Luck" should determine the Viability of strategic options. The Availability of strategic options should be determined by the game rules and as a key part of pacing.
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:BTW, If we don't have "switchable governments" in the game, then we shouldn't have governments Period. Instead of a "democracy" just get +Sci+Trade+diplo and Equal Ethos and be done with it. If "governments" are a property of a certain species then they should be absorbed into race pics
This is probably going to need its own thread - definitely, in fact, because I don't want to rule out the possibility of some sort of government system that can be as elegantly integrated into gameplay as the ethos system. Regardless though, nothing we decide here should depend on a gameplay mechanic that's as far from being agreed upon as governments are.
I was merely... initially.. pointing out that Civics provide an excellent way to "Smooth" the effects on Alignment, allong it to be based more on Persistient (ie predictable) effects [Target or Growth Rate] rather than Current effects.
Krikkitone wrote:Strategy shifts that consist of changing the species makeup of your entire empire don't feel right in most cases, are too random in accessibility, and involve much too massive of a shift.
I find this to be an odd statement. A shift in your entire strategy is extremely significant, and it should require some significant imperial management to pull off properly. It's also hard to tell why you think that there are cases where pushing a button to change your government "feels right", but having to make a massive shift in the composition of your population for an equally massive change in strategy doesn't.[/quote]

Let me clarify
There is "overarching strategy" which includes strategic shifts within it. (the overarching strategy may change as well)

Shifting your population would involve an Incredibly massive change in strategy because it is not really easy to reverse.
Shifting the economic focus of your worlds is not as large a shift in strategy since it is fairly easy to reverse.

"Civics" would be between those scales, much harder to change than the focus of a world, but much easier than changing your entire population.

Bigjoe5 wrote:I have an idea. Let's get rid of that alignment scale and stick with just the three that we can (mostly) agree on. Appropriative vs. Expmacy alignment, and how does it affect the player's strategic options (in the context of affecting diplomacy as well)?ansionist did create some interesting strategy, but nowhere near as much as the others, and it seems like it would be subject to abuse. Security vs. Freedom simply doesn't tie into very many gameplay elements, and seems like something that is conceptually very similar to Elitism vs. Egalitarianism. Having just three alignment scales is fine.
I agree, at least as a 'bare bones', the system can be expanded later

With Those 3 you have 12 ethoi

A few points on them
there are 3 ways to "get" things
Build it (Peace and/or Iso Ethos)
Take it (War Ethos)
Beg it (Diplo Ethos)

Assuming your military might is linked to your productivity, and your diplomatic ability linked to your Trade

Peace+Diplo...Trade>Tech>Prod; 'Tolerant' you get everything you need (including defense) from your allies.
Peace+Iso....Tech>Prod+Trade; Wall off and Tech up.. build it all yourself
War+Diplo...Prod+Trade>Tech; Alliance builder (you and your buddies beat up other empires, you get the biggest cut) you have a small core that you build everything else comes from other empires willingly or not
War+Iso...Prod>Tech>Trade; Warmonger (your only relation with other empires is to take thier stuff... you need a big military, and it can't be too far behind)

for dealing with other races

War+Elite: Slave Catcher
Iso+Elite: lesser Slave Catcher*
Diplo+Elite:Slave Trader
Peace+Elite: Wimp Slave Trader*
War+Equal: Liberator
Iso+Equal: reluctant Liberator*
Diplo+Equal: Democrats (Rebel Leader)
Peace+Equal:Wimp Democrats*

*Because these are less able to get other species, they may use the Equality v. Elite as an 'Internal' measure instead. (see below)

As for the Freedom v. Security, it can be merged into Equality v. Elite...
IF you can have variation of Elite v. Equality with a single species empire (the idea is that you can have only one species and lower it below citizen and become more elite)
An Elite single species empire (with that one species as slave or worse) would like be a dictatorship with high security effects. (like the rebel supression you get for slaves)
An Equal single species empire (with that one species as a citizen..as high as it goes) would be like a democracy with high 'freedom' effects. (like the additional Allegiance for citizens
and IF there was some special mechanism for Group minds (the main reason I thought it should be separated)... ie a Group Mind doesn't have the freedom<->equality relationship at all. So "Enslaving" a group mind species wouldn't do anything, unless there is a different species higher than them.


Side note: as for "shared wins" there should be some way for two players to merge their empires so that they do get a shared win (it should cut seriously into their victory points and require significant diplomatic/political investment on both sides to get their populations to accepti it... but That should be the way to achieve the 'sole-survivor' win purely diplomatically ie fuse all empires into one)
Last edited by Krikkitone on Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#309 Post by RonaldX » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:34 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:Now let's suppose we use ethos instead. Not a tacked-on government click-switch, but a cohesive and interesting system which is strongly and effectively integrated into the game itself. What does the player need to do to completely switch from one strategy to another? He needs to

- acquire a species that will produce the resources he needs to follow his new strategy
- please that species by acting according to its ethos (which will need to be compatible with his new strategy)
- fill his empire with that species
- dispose of his old species somehow (or enslave them, if he needs their resource bonus for some reason, or is otherwise strategically compelled to keep them, perhaps because replacing them would be too difficult)

Now that is a significant, rewarding and strategically interesting transformation sequence: completely switching out your old species for one that will support your new strategy. It's a difficult, but potentially rewarding process. The player will have to use all his ingenuity to figure out how to make this switch, but if he ends up succeeding, his new strategy will be far more effective than his old one was (that's why he's switching, right?), and he could potentially come back and win the game.
This would still all need to be done if the race didn't like your new form of government. I don't see how this example proves that civics are a cop-out. Balanced properly they can accomplish 95% what you want to do through ethos with about 5% of the math involved. The difference is that it's vastly, vastly simpler, and while it's easier to use and understand for a player, it isn't as interesting.

Question: How powerful do you intend to make racial preferences? From the way you make it sound, it will be virtually impossible to use a conquest strategy if you start with a diplomatic race, or vise versa. In that case, a neutral race will be obviously and always superior due to their inherent flexibility. If I can't make a strategic shift without repopulating my entire empire, I would consider that a terribly broken mechanic, not a "fun and interesting" one.

-Ty.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#310 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:25 pm

RonaldX wrote:Question: How powerful do you intend to make racial preferences? From the way you make it sound, it will be virtually impossible to use a conquest strategy if you start with a diplomatic race, or vise versa. In that case, a neutral race will be obviously and always superior due to their inherent flexibility. If I can't make a strategic shift without repopulating my entire empire, I would consider that a terribly broken mechanic, not a "fun and interesting" one.
Because of how allegiance is calculated, it will still be possible to keep a species above the riot threshold without enslaving them, even if your empire's alignments are completely opposed to that species' ethical preferences. This requires keeping a very high species-empire alignment for that species, which will likely require spending Trade on propaganda. These planets will have low allegiance and happiness though, which will make them easy targets for invasion and espionage. In addition, in the late game, when espionage meters are higher (and happiness meters are supposed to be higher to compensate, due to the gradual increase of alignment values), it will take a very small amount of espionage to incite riots and even rebellions on such planets.

If all your planets are easy targets, this makes it extremely difficult to win the game. So yes, it will be virtually impossible to use a conquest strategy if you start with a diplomatic race. There's nothing broken about that at all - if you plan on using a conquest strategy, pick a race that likes conquest.

Neutral races, if they exist, will not be obviously and always superior. If being ethically neutral is always an obvious advantage, it will be balanced by costing a lot of racial picks. However, being neutral isn't always an obvious advantage. If the race you're using likes your overall strategy, you're essentially getting "free" allegiance from that race just by playing your strategy. A neutral race would have its allegiance fully determined by species-empire alignment, which would be balanced by a corresponding increase in the difficulty of increasing that alignment. This means that the main advantage to having a neutral race (flexibility) comes into play only when you switch your overarching strategy.

As Krikkitone says:
Krikkitone wrote:There is "overarching strategy" which includes strategic shifts within it. (the overarching strategy may change as well)

Shifting your population would involve an Incredibly massive change in strategy because it is not really easy to reverse.
Shifting the economic focus of your worlds is not as large a shift in strategy since it is fairly easy to reverse.
So smaller strategic shifts within your overarching strategy are possible, and in fact inevitable as the game progresses.

Fairly large shifts in strategy within the one overarching strategy are also possible, for example, switching allies, declaring war on a particular empire, choosing whether to expand out into everyone else's territory, or to stay primarily in a small core empire (lots of dangerous baskets vs. one safer basket), choosing what buildings to construct and which espionage projects to enact and in which location. None of these things require the player to change his species, because they are simply variations on his overarching strategy.

If the player does want to change his overarching strategy, it may or may not be advantageous to switch species, depending on how far along in the game he is, and whether or not his current species would actually object to the new overarching strategy.

Nothing is forcing the player to switch out his entire empire if he doesn't think it's strategically appropriate, even if he is choosing to change his over-arching strategy. The fact remains however, that a particular strategy is enhanced by having a species in your empire that is ethically compatible with that strategy. There is nothing broken about the fact that a player will try to obtain some of a species which will enhance his strategy, and will try to figure out an advantageous way to get rid of species that detract from his strategy. It is a natural, comprehensible, intuitive part of gameplay.

In addition, actually changing your overarching strategy should be extremely rare.
RonaldX wrote:I don't see how this example proves that civics are a cop-out. Balanced properly they can accomplish 95% what you want to do through ethos with about 5% of the math involved. The difference is that it's vastly, vastly simpler, and while it's easier to use and understand for a player, it isn't as interesting.
Are you proposing that we eliminate the idea of ethos entirely? Because as long as there are species with different ethical preferences, there will always be potential for a situation in which the player will be at an advantage if he chooses to switch out his entire species. Civics don't accomplish anywhere near 95% percent of what ethos is supposed to, even if we're only talking about this particular situation, and even more so when you consider the sum of all the reasons we have this system. Civics have neither the feel, nor the strategic intrigue that ethos has. Also, what math is involved in switching out one species for another? There's a lot of logical and strategic thought, yes, but not a whole lot of math. Nowhere near as much math, for example, as in MoO2, where you had to move each population point manually, keeping track of how many freighters you have left, as well as the current and max populations of each system. All potential methods of replacing your citizens in FO will be extremely macro and will not require manual movement of colonists. If you want to replace the population of a particular planet for example, you can exterminate the population, then send in a colony ship with new colonists. Not a whole lot of math, but a lot of good strategic thinking about how you can make the shift in a more advantageous way.
RonaldX wrote:This would still all need to be done if the race didn't like your new form of government.
Then what's the advantage of adding civics on top of this?

Unfortunately, no time to comment on anything actually relevant to the topic right now. :roll: More later.
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#311 Post by RonaldX » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:02 pm

It should never be advantageous for a player to have to repopulate his entire empire. The penalties for doing so should VASTLY outweigh any advantage you get for doing so. The entire concept of a 99% population shift in an empire to juggle a few bonuses or allow you to attack an enemy instead of just bargaining with him strikes me as ludicrous.

I think that the concept of racial ethos is being carried on far past the necessary point of complexity. A warlike race should be capable of winning a research victory as your primary population. It might not be as easy because you don't have a research bonus, but it should by no means be impossible. On the other hand, a diplomatic race should be perfectly able to pursue a victory by conquest, albeit they may need to produce more ships to beat out a warlike enemy's superior pilots or craft.

It might be time to take another look at how powerful you plan on making racial bonuses, and how huge an impact on happiness ethical compatibility has that this discussion even comes up.

-Ty.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#312 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:17 am

RonaldX wrote:It should never be advantageous for a player to have to repopulate his entire empire. The penalties for doing so should VASTLY outweigh any advantage you get for doing so. The entire concept of a 99% population shift in an empire to juggle a few bonuses or allow you to attack an enemy instead of just bargaining with him strikes me as ludicrous.

I think that the concept of racial ethos is being carried on far past the necessary point of complexity. A warlike race should be capable of winning a research victory as your primary population. It might not be as easy because you don't have a research bonus, but it should by no means be impossible. On the other hand, a diplomatic race should be perfectly able to pursue a victory by conquest, albeit they may need to produce more ships to beat out a warlike enemy's superior pilots or craft.

It might be time to take another look at how powerful you plan on making racial bonuses, and how huge an impact on happiness ethical compatibility has that this discussion even comes up.

-Ty.
Ethoi =/= Bonuses
A warlike species may have research bonuses and crappy pilots/troops (best way to keep them happy is to use your superior tech to condct short victorious wars)
A diplomatic species may have excellent pilots/troops and terrible diplomacy (best way to keep them happy is to use your military to extort things from other players)

Ethoi=Liking it
Bonus=Good at it

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#313 Post by RonaldX » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:40 pm

Krikkitone wrote: Ethoi =/= Bonuses
A diplomatic species may have excellent pilots/troops and terrible diplomacy
That doesn't sound counter-intuitive to you? I understand the logic, I just absolutely disagree with it because it makes no sense in the context of a 4x game. Why pick a diplomatic race that's bad at diplomacy? Why pick a warlike race that sucks at war? If your race is going to pidgeonhole you into a given strategy (or else that race rebels and you have to genocide them and repopulate with a different one), then why on earth would I want a race that "likes" a strategy that they can't effectively enact? As Joe said:
So yes, it will be virtually impossible to use a conquest strategy if you start with a diplomatic race. There's nothing broken about that at all - if you plan on using a conquest strategy, pick a race that likes conquest.
Well, apparently, "liking" conquest doesn't imply proficiency.. So essentially the game is going to have a handful of races that are actually useful in that their citizens like what they are good at, and the rest of them are just filler that can't be effectively used.

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Re: Simulating Citizens

#314 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:19 pm

RonaldX wrote:
Krikkitone wrote: Ethoi =/= Bonuses
A diplomatic species may have excellent pilots/troops and terrible diplomacy
That doesn't sound counter-intuitive to you? I understand the logic, I just absolutely disagree with it because it makes no sense in the context of a 4x game. Why pick a diplomatic race that's bad at diplomacy? Why pick a warlike race that sucks at war? If your race is going to pidgeonhole you into a given strategy (or else that race rebels and you have to genocide them and repopulate with a different one), then why on earth would I want a race that "likes" a strategy that they can't effectively enact? As Joe said:
So yes, it will be virtually impossible to use a conquest strategy if you start with a diplomatic race. There's nothing broken about that at all - if you plan on using a conquest strategy, pick a race that likes conquest.
Well, apparently, "liking" conquest doesn't imply proficiency.. So essentially the game is going to have a handful of races that are actually useful in that their citizens like what they are good at, and the rest of them are just filler that can't be effectively used.
Races will be designed so that all species of a particular ethos will have racial picks which support the strategy which is implicit in that ethos. Anything else would be poor design. [edit]Races will be customizable anyway, but our goal should be to try to maximize the use of pre-defined races, by making them very well designed.[/edit]
RonaldX wrote:It should never be advantageous for a player to have to repopulate his entire empire. The penalties for doing so should VASTLY outweigh any advantage you get for doing so. The entire concept of a 99% population shift in an empire to juggle a few bonuses or allow you to attack an enemy instead of just bargaining with him strikes me as ludicrous.
That seems like kind of an arbitrary statement. You're still thinking in terms of getting rid of a particular species in a way that doesn't assist you in acquiring the new species or adapting to your new strategy (i.e. you're thinking that losing population is inherently inefficient). In addition, you're talking about being "allowed" to do things in very binary terms. Nobody isn't "allowed" to do diplomacy, or attack an enemy. It simply might not always be the best available strategic option. The player has the freedom to do whatever he wants, including switching out the main species of his empire, should he choose to do so. This option isn't going to go away if ethos disappears, and ethos certainly never "forces" the player to make this decision, especially for a small strategic shift, or a temporary deviation from the overarching strategy (a pacifistic race having to attack another empire, for example, or an isolationist compelled to do trade). Only a significant change in the overarching strategy will result in the player considering making huge reforms to his empire, and those reforms will include switching to a different species, which you seem to think wouldn't be any fun at all. Can you please describe a situation in which the player is strategically compelled to switch his main species as a result of a massive strategic shift, and doing so would be monotonous, tedious and/or boring, or involve a lot of math?

Also, switching out your empire's population isn't a component of the ethos system itself, so I don't see how you can think that the ethos system is getting too complicated. It simply interacts with the rest of the game in complicated ways. That's what we want for strategy - simple systems that interact with the rest of the game in complicated ways, like the pieces on a chessboard.
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Re: Simulating Citizens

#315 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:46 pm

RonaldX wrote:
Krikkitone wrote: Ethoi =/= Bonuses
A diplomatic species may have excellent pilots/troops and terrible diplomacy
That doesn't sound counter-intuitive to you? I understand the logic, I just absolutely disagree with it because it makes no sense in the context of a 4x game. Why pick a diplomatic race that's bad at diplomacy? Why pick a warlike race that sucks at war? If your race is going to pidgeonhole you into a given strategy (or else that race rebels and you have to genocide them and repopulate with a different one), then why on earth would I want a race that "likes" a strategy that they can't effectively enact? As Joe said:
So yes, it will be virtually impossible to use a conquest strategy if you start with a diplomatic race. There's nothing broken about that at all - if you plan on using a conquest strategy, pick a race that likes conquest.
Well, apparently, "liking" conquest doesn't imply proficiency.. So essentially the game is going to have a handful of races that are actually useful in that their citizens like what they are good at, and the rest of them are just filler that can't be effectively used.

There are 4 options (assuming any "IT" is a key part of the game that provides benefits towards wining the game)

1. Good at it +Likes it.... "IT" will be a key part of how you win the game

2. Good at it + Hates it..."IT" will be done in minimal amounts to support the way you Actually want to win the game (The military bonus pacifists that maintain Peace through Superior firepower so they can tech up safely... what they want to do)

3. Bad at it + Hates it.."IT" will not be done, instead use something from category 1 to get the benefits of it (get your allies to defend you or get tech from your conquered foes)

4. Bad at it + Likes it..."IT" will be done a lot, other bonses will be necessary to strengthen it (You have terrible military ability but like war, but you have research bonuses so you have a high tech warmachine instead of a high skill warmachine)

In any game there is
1. The primary way you are going to win it (Conquest to absorb competitors, Diplomacy to absorb competitors, Tech win)
2. The "supporting" strategies, things that MUST be done (How will you get Tech/Defend yourself/get Territory... build, beg, or take.)

If you hate something but are good at it, then that is ok as a Supporting strategy
If you like something but are bad at it, then you need other Suporting strategies (ie I have a diplomacy penalty but I like diplomacy.. so I use my military and production bonuses for extortion.. my diplomacy is at the point of a gun.. I fight short wars and offer 'protection' to get things from empires whose people hate me. Indeed this might be an ideal strategy because they either have to take on my formidable war machine, or face the unhappiness of thier own people. This leaves me with a number of weak vassals so concerned about maintaining a lid on thier population that they can never challenge me, and so they keep paying me tribute, which my people like.)

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