"they don't want you" should not be a random factor that you don't know... if your peaceful trading runs across a colony of native fo-klingons, they should hate you and therefore be very hard to assimilate (ie they will be a hole in your empire for hundreds of turns)..on the other hand if your peaceful trading federation runs across a colony of native fo-ferengi, they will be fairly easy to assimilate.labgnome wrote:I think you're making a bad analogy here. Personally I like things like the theory techs, as I think they cover this quite well. Even if a theory is wrong or otherwise a dead-end, the time researching it is rarely ever completely fruitless. In fact more often it's not so much a theory or line of research being a dead-end, as it not having "practical" applications at the time. For along time the idea of "atomic" matter had little to no application, but it wasn't wrong. Similarly theories like the aether, while not correct, research looking for it wasn't fruitless and modern electromagnetic theory wouldn't exist without that research. I actually like there being a good number of theory-only techs with minimal or no application.Krikkitone wrote:Research and construction are just as unrealistic for 100% success...
spend X on a battleship and you get it...no cost overruns, industrial accidents, impurities in the materials, etc.
Research even more so....10 million scientist-hours and 10 trillion$ of equipment and hyperspace tech is yours... no failed theories about whether hyperspace is even Possible in this universe/academic fads/lucky discoveries, etc.
We simplify those to predictability because it is a strategy game.
Combat preserves some randomness... but the randomness is limited, at a certain point the odds give you a 0% chance of loss/victory in a battle.
Influence should be the same....it could depend on the odds, but the odds should depend on the resources .. including time .. you put in.
Even more-so with construction. Aside from rare accidents or intentional sabotage (which sounds like an influence/espionage mechanic to me), when an entity, especially a government, allocates the resources and manpower to build something, it gets built. Now weather or not it works as intended, or if it's intended function actually winds up being useful are different matters, but I think simulating that gets into levels o micromanagement that we've so-far been trying to avoid. Also Free-Orion doesn't use money so no cost-overrun (at least as we understand it), and the supply connection can be disrupted halting a project.
See this is where I think you and I see things fundamentally differently. I don't think their should be holes just because you don't want them, I think their should be holes because they don't want you. To me the whole idea of acquiring a planet solely though an influence project with a guaranteed result seems like it's just invasion, but without having to bother with ships.Krikkitone wrote: Its perfectly reasonable for there to be "holes" in the empire.... but those holes shouldn't be random. Those "holes" should be the species that hate your empire for good reason*, and it would be Way to expensive/time consuming to absorb them.
*ie you should know how much it will Probably cost before you start... before you start trying, just like you know fighting a 100 ship battle will probably have you losing if you bring 50 equivalent ships, but a pretty guaranteed win with 500 equivalent ships.
I don't want another mechanic that's basically just "push the button and get a reward". I like having things like not-immediately useful research and efforts that don't have guaranteed success, because while less rewarding on a surface level make the game more interesting and I believe make the choices of strategy more meaningful.
I think you should have to go through a couple of dozen "useless" techs to get Trancendance, because if you try to beeline for that victory, that lack of practical application should put you in the position of having to put hat off so you can research enough weapons or defenses to hold of a conquest oriented empire. Likewise if your going for peaceful acquisition over conquest, you should have gaps that you don't necessarily want, and then be faced with potentially having to deal with that when faced with superior numbers or technology.
I actually like mechanics that don't have a guaranteed or immediate reward because they're more interesting and make my choices as a player feel more meaningful as the game progresses.
Of course if you were a warlike empire it might be reversed... you could send a shuttle and easily get the fo-klingons to join your great conquest, but you would probably just invade the fo-ferengi (because you are warlike, and trying to 'absorb' them would take way too long).
In both cases
-there is the random nature of which species is on the world (which determines the "base" chance/min turns/min cost)
-there could be Some randomness in the project itself..ie 1 "project" has a 10% chance of success... but if you fail, you can do the second project has a 20% chance of success..so the randomness would eventually go away
-then there would the randomness of the actions of other empires....maybe they spend some time and influence trying to assimilate the world as well so you are competing with them... Or maybe they can spend influence on "ensure independence" that keeps other empires from assimilating the world.
So with the randomness of
-nature of the natives
-Maybe some inherent to the project itself
-action of other empires
That seems plenty
....also your original proposal was basically the same...
If a diplo shuttle can be used once every 20 turns and has a 10% chance of success, then you just spam shuttles at a world every 10 turns and it Eventually will become part of your empire... practically guaranteed.
The only way there will be permanent "holes" in your empire is if
1. you give up
2. the odds of success get worse every time you try and eventually reach 0...and never recover.
There could be "temporary" holes in your empire (where temporary means it will be gone in 10,000 turns) with another method, and I think that is more reasonable.