Influence Discussion

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Vezzra
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Re: Influence Discussion

#76 Post by Vezzra »

Oberlus wrote: Wed May 01, 2019 7:45 pmMy choice would be that Colonies AND Species should have opinions of every empire (player), but if that is not accepted then Colonies.
That presents major challenges, see my post above.

Without species-empire relations, how would you propose to go about the loyalty of ship crews (aside from tracking the loyalty of each single ship, which I assume you can see would be the equal to opening Pandoras Box)?
Acting on a colony inhabited by a communal-vision(*) species would affect all colonies with that species, while acting on a regular species would only affect the opinion of that colony.
(*) Non-communal-vision species could get that condition, or a similar one, through special techs like Unified Consciousness.
That's certainly an interesting idea, but I don't see how we could do that without having both species-empire and colony-empire relations, and the resulting complexity.

However, if you have some good ideas how to do both and still keep it KISS, I'd be more than willing to give it a try.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#77 Post by labgnome »

Vezzra wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 2:28 pmUnless we can figure out how to pull off 3) without things becoming too complex, I strongly prefer 2). Simply because the consequences of mistreating a colony would be much more severe than with only colony-empire relations. 1) would allow to contain negative consequences strictly locally. Without species-empire relations there is no allegiance of ship crews (unless you'd want to introduce ship-empire relations too, but I don't think we'd want to seriously consider going down that road!!!), something I hope we can all agree we definitely need to keep.
So what I was originally thinking of was a planet-level opinion mechanic that took the treatment of the species into account. However I don't know if that would be too complex. I however wasn't really thinking about the possibility of ship defection or how that would work. Maybe randomly as a function of average empire-wide happiness?
Also, the silliness of 2), while still somewhat silly, bothers me much less than the silliness of 1), but that's of course a personal preference.
I agree with this. I would like planet level opinion, but I think that species-level would be okay.
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Re: Influence Discussion

#78 Post by Oberlus »

Vezzra wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 2:28 pm
  1. No species-empire relations mechanic, but a colony-empire relations mechanic. This creates the silliness that you can cheerfully butcher species A on one colony, while other colonies of the same species in your empire still sing your praises (unless you decide to butcher them too of course). Meh.
Think of this:
Actual humans in a country can give a damn about what happens to humans in another country, or even in the same street, as long as they don't identify themselves with the ones suffering. I think it's quite reasonable to expect the same from planet to planet. Except for telepathic/unified/hive-mind/pacifist/preservationist species.
So we could go for option 1 (only colony-empire opinions) with special mechanics for special species (i.e., for certain species, the effects on opinion applied to one planet can or will propagate to other planets depending on a few and simple factors).
Examples off the top of my head, probably there's room for much refinement:
- Pacifist colonies will be affected by aggressive actions on nearby colonies (regardless of the directly-affected species/colonies).
- Communal-vision colonies will be affected by actions on any colony of the same species (regardless of the empire of each colony).
- All colonies of a given empire under the effect of certain propaganda/divulgation policies would be affected by certain actions on nearby colonies (they know about them and its public opinion is affected by the empire government actively disseminating the information they want to be known).
- Normal species (no telepathy, no communal vision, no pacifism, no special policies in place...) won't be affected by actions on any other colony.

Would this be less silly and not complex enough to discard KISS?

Vezzra wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 2:57 pmWithout species-empire relations, how would you propose to go about the loyalty of ship crews (aside from tracking the loyalty of each single ship, which I assume you can see would be the equal to opening Pandoras Box)?
Ah, that's harder to achieve, if possible.

Brainstorming incoming.

Edit:

Ship allegiance and its interaction with species or colonies allegiance:

If we could relate/link the ships to the colonies in which they were built (say, the pilots families are there), the allegiance of the ship could be propagated from the colony's allegiance.

What happens then if that colony is depopulated?
- Violently (concentration camps, extermination, etc.) by its own empire: ship revolts and becomes rogue (like monsters).
- Non-violently (evacuation, others?): ship is linked to another colony of the empire with the same species; if there is none, ship revolts.
- Violently by a foreign empire: ship is linked to another colony of the empire with the same species; if there is none, ship is linked to empire's capital.

What about foreign empires successfully bribing (or whatever) a ship?
- Ship is linked to a colony of that empire with the same species, or to the capital if there is none.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#79 Post by Vezzra »

labgnome wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 3:08 pmSo what I was originally thinking of was a planet-level opinion mechanic that took the treatment of the species into account.
Which basically means a system/mechanic that in one way or another tracks both species-empire as well as colony-empire opinions. You can only take "treatment of the species" into account if you somehow keep track of said treatment against a species.
However I don't know if that would be too complex.
Yep, that's the crucial question. Hard to give a definite answer without trying it out first, but as I said, judging by past design discussions I'm not overly optimistic that a combined system (with both species-empire and colony-empire relations) can be done without it becoming too complex.
I however wasn't really thinking about the possibility of ship defection or how that would work. Maybe randomly as a function of average empire-wide happiness?
That would create the silliness of your Human crews starting to defect together with your Abbadony crews because you cheerfully butchered those annoying Abbadony colonies, although you treated your Human colonies like the darling princes they are all the time. Meh.

Mistreatment of a certain species should only affect crews of that species.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#80 Post by Vezzra »

Oberlus wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 3:12 pmActual humans in a country can give a damn about what happens to humans in another country, or even in the same street, as long as they don't identify themselves with the ones suffering.
Sure, but if we try to meaningfully model such detailed dynamics, the resulting complexity will dwarf even the complexity of a combined species-empire/colony empire relations mechanic.

We don't try to implement SimEmpire, as interesting such a game would be. ;)

We need to stick to the more obvious and general dynamics where the Abbadony in your empire are most certainly going to be very upset if you start slaughtering the population of one of the Abbadony colonies, and will start hating the empire for such an atrocity.

Of course you can argue that we can't just assume word of that slaughter will get unhindered to all Abbadonis, especially if the government tries to keep that info contained. To that I'd say, you also can't expect to keep such horrendous and large scale mistreatment of a certain species within your empire completely under the covers, at least not so easily. Both extremes are not very realistic, where realism shouldn't be relevant anyway.

Unless you want to introduce complex game mechanics which allow us to model all the intrinsic workings of how treatment of a certain part of your empire (e.g. one colony of one of your species) affect the rest of your empire (the affected species reacting the strongest, other species reacting based on their values and their relationsship with affected species, reaction of species, ship crews and colonies based on distance, form of government, freedom of communication and travel, countermeasures you put in place to contain potential repercussions to your actions etc.), we have to seriously compromise here.

In the end it boils down to the question what gameplay effects do we want to have in the game the most, and what can we pack into the respective mechanics before things get too complex. We won't be able to get anywhere near something "realistic", all that relationship stuff is far too complex and nuanced in reality.
I think it's quite reasonable to expect the same from planet to planet. Except for telepathic/unified/hive-mind/pacifist/preservationist species.
In that case you need some means of keeping track of your treatment of a specific species anyway (regardless how you want to do that more specifically). Might as well go all the way then anyway, as I don't think that will be much more complex.
- Pacifist colonies will be affected by aggressive actions on nearby colonies (regardless of the directly-affected species/colonies).
Not really relevant for this specific discussion, because something like that should be done regardless (either bad treatment of a species is going to affect other peaceful minded species in your empire, or bad treatment of a colony is going to affect other colonies).
- Communal-vision colonies will be affected by actions on any colony of the same species (regardless of the empire of each colony).
- All colonies of a given empire under the effect of certain propaganda/divulgation policies would be affected by certain actions on nearby colonies (they know about them and its public opinion is affected by the empire government actively disseminating the information they want to be known).
Again, in for that you need mechanics in place that allow modelling all these cases, in which case a combined species-empire and a colony-empire relations mechanic will be needed anyway.
- Normal species (no telepathy, no communal vision, no pacifism, no special policies in place...) won't be affected by actions on any other colony.
Well, that's not what I'd prefer, honestly. Actions that can alter a species/colonies opinion of your empire shouldn't be so locally restricted, that sounds just too easy and boring for me.
Would this be less silly and not complex enough to discard KISS?
IMO your suggestions are already on a level with a combined mechanic, so hm. If we want to find out for sure, we'd need to come up with actual models, rules, formulas for the relations mechanics (basically like we did for the tech tree).

The first and most difficult thig will be to determine what influences/affects what in what way and how strongly.
Brainstorming incoming... [snip]
Intersting ideas, but same as above: that all is already on the complexity level I'd expect for a combined mechanic. If you want that level of detail, you need to come up with a ruleset than is both simple enough to be still KISS, while covering all cases you want to model. You certainly enjoy challenges... ;)

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Re: Influence Discussion

#81 Post by labgnome »

Vezzra wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 3:46 pmWhich basically means a system/mechanic that in one way or another tracks both species-empire as well as colony-empire opinions. You can only take "treatment of the species" into account if you somehow keep track of said treatment against a species.
I'm mostly thinking about rebellions, and wondering if we could make happiness contribution to rebels and opinion contribution to rebels mostly independent. That way what you do to a colony will generate unhappiness. You could leave some effects on the level of planet only only effecting happiness, while others would be species wide effecting opinion. I'm still trying to think of a simpler way to have different planets of the same species go into rebellion at different times that would be minimally complex.
Mistreatment of a certain species should only affect crews of that species.
You're right about that.

On the subject of KISS, we have already implimented the stockpiling mechanic which some people feel is a departure form KISS. I suppose we could ask weather or not this is actually is a bridge too far. As we continue to add new elements to the game it will get more and more complex anyways. I while tracking species and planet opinions might be complex, it does sound like it would make some level of intuitive sense and be understandable to the player. The ultimate issue in this sort of discussion, I think, is what makes Free Orion a better game vs. what the design team can do. If it won't contribute more then other options to the gameplay experience or is too difficult to implement then of course we shouldn't.
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Re: Influence Discussion

#82 Post by Oberlus »

labgnome wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 4:43 pmOn the subject of KISS, we have already implimented the stockpiling mechanic which some people feel is a departure form KISS.
You could open a poll on that matter. I myself can't see the complexity there, nowhere. I was involved in the extensive discussions regarding the Imperial Stockpile development and I can't remember anyone saying it was away from KISS. The concerns/complains of some players were regarding its interaction (overriding) to the supply mechanics.
Therefore, I don't think that is an argument to go against or in favour of the stuff being discussed here.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#83 Post by Oberlus »

Vezzra wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 4:30 pmyou need some means of keeping track of your treatment of a specific species anyway
Yes.
What I tried to sketch in that post is exactly that: a way to track treatment of species using only colony-empire allegiance/opinion, because I think it can allow for a simpler mechanic than having both species-empire and colony-empire allegiances, and a more versatile mechanic than only species-empire, without the silliness you pointed out with a too-simple_colony-empire_only_mechanic.

Two general cases when you affect a colony with a given species (regardless of possible policies, species values, etc.):
- This species does not care about what happens to other planets of the same species (so opinion effects are not propagated).
- This species do care about what happens to other planets of the same species (so opinion effects do propagate to other colonies of that species unless the effect is hidden somehow).
Pacifist colonies [...]
Not really relevant for this specific discussion, because something like that should be done regardless (either bad treatment of a species is going to affect other peaceful minded species in your empire, or bad treatment of a colony is going to affect other colonies).
[...] a combined species-empire and a colony-empire relations mechanic will be needed anyway.
I think it is relevant in the sense that they interact, and particularly in that I was trying to show a way to get such versatile mechanics with only colony-empire allegiance stats (instead of only species-empire or both species-empire + colonies-empire), which I think I did.
- Normal species (no telepathy, no communal vision, no pacifism, no special policies in place...) won't be affected by actions on any other colony.
Well, that's not what I'd prefer, honestly. Actions that can alter a species/colonies opinion of your empire shouldn't be so locally restricted, that sounds just too easy and boring for me.
If you mean that affecting the allegiance of a colony should ALWAYS affect other colonies regardless of anything else, I disagree with your vision.
If you mean something else, I can't follow you here. What I propose is a way to allow for both situations to happen: affecting only a single colony (when the involved species, empires, government-types, active policies, neighbourhood, etc. make it reasonable) and affecting more than just the one colony (when the idem makes it reasonable).
IMO your suggestions are already on a level with a combined mechanic, so hm. If we want to find out for sure, we'd need to come up with actual models, rules, formulas for the relations mechanics (basically like we did for the tech tree).
Agree. I will devote some time to that (if no one else does it first).
Re: cre allegiances
If you want that level of detail, you need to come up with a ruleset than is both simple enough to be still KISS, while covering all cases you want to model.
Probably I missed something, but re: this stuff about crew's allegiance, I can't see any cases that were left out of the above proposal. I mean, once the allegiance ruleset is done for colonies, then we have it automatically for crews.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#84 Post by Krikkitone »

OK regarding allegiance in Species v. Colony, there seem to be a few different issues

1. What is measured
2. How it is tracked

As for #1 I think the agreed idea is

If you do something bad to a species on one colony, you should have increased likelihood of revolt from other colonies of the same species.
You should probably also have increased likelihood of revolt from that individual colony
(there might be some disagreement on degree, but that seems to be agreed)

The issue is how to track this and other factors.
#2
You need to track
-what species you do bad (or good) things to
AND
-what planet you do bad (or good) things to


For that there seem to be 2 basic models that would allow you to do that

Colony-Empires values Every colony has a value for every empire. Whenever you do bad (or good) things for a colony OR bad (or good) things to a colony Of the same species the Colony-Empire value changes (works because colonies only have one species, unless its evacuated in which case values should probably be reset)

Pros:
-there is only one type of number
-can work for diplomacy (my colonies will have an opinion of my allies and enemies, and that will impact my choices)
-can make a planet happy/unhappy with me even if I don't own it (ie I bombard a planet it gets more unhappy with me)
Cons:
-there is a LOT of numbers one for every colony for every empire (fairly complex)
-there is no easy summary (I can't look at one number and get an idea about how likely to revolt my empire is...or how unhappy they would be if I declared war on Empire X)


Colony-Owner value and Species-Empires values each colony has a value for its Owner (aka Happiness), and Each Species has a value for every Empire
Whenever the Owner does bad (or good) things to a colony its "Happiness" will change
Whenever any empire does bad (or good) things to a colony the Species-Empire value dor that colony's species changes

Pros:
-Easy to look at a Species -Empire Summary with all Species and their Empire Relations (which doesn't tell me the Happiness on each individual world, but most of the other "happiness determinants" would likely be empire-wide and displayable in an "Empire Happiness" screen... then you would only have to llok at a few special planets where events happened)
-covers most events
Cons:
-2 different types of number (which mean almost the same thing, just from different perspectives) and would have to interact
-You lose "how a colony I don't own sees me" (outside of working with through species) which means a different method is needed for diplomacy
-Some unusual situations when I do something to a colony that is not mine
ie If I bombard a colony, its "Happiness" should not go down, because its owner is not doing the bombing
If I invade a planet, it then "forgets" everything the previous owner did for that planet (so they don't get credit for the good things they did after they 'liberate' it
[there are some workarounds, but that is the issue]


Any thoughts?


( I personally think the first model ends up being too unplayable with more than a dozen colonies... and instead we should go with the second model, and figure out how to work in diplomacy / bombardment/ conquest-liberation through that)
I also think we should not use "Happiness" but "Loyalty" instead...Happiness going up when you get bombarded sounds stupid..but Loyalty getting a temporary boost if a foreign empire is bombing you --so you're more likely to resist if they conquer you--makes sense.
And loyalty better describes our effect... I don't care that the people are living fullfilling lives, as long as they are not revolting.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#85 Post by Oberlus »

Krikkitone wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 8:35 pm Colony-Empires values [...]
Cons:
-there is a LOT of numbers one for every colony for every empire (fairly complex)
-there is no easy summary (I can't look at one number and get an idea about how likely to revolt my empire is...or how unhappy they would be if I declared war on Empire X)
Possible solution to this: show neither the numbers nor the summary, just the allegiances to your empire and to the current owner (if it's not you).

Arguably, there is no need for them:

Currently we can have hundreds of planets in a single empire, each with a different species, happiness, environment, etc. (and so each being good or bad for certain tasks) and we can play with (manage) them relatively well using the Objects Window. There we can see our colonies allegiance (or loyalty) to our empire, just one number per colony. Certainly not a big deal to add a single extra column to the Windows Object panel when we already have many.

On the other hand, we don't need to "manage" the colonies of foreign empires as a whole. Whenever I want to do something to/with foreign colonies, I (we?) usually use the galaxy view to select the colonies that will be the targets of my actions, because spatial relations are very, very important here (I want to conquest colonies connected to my supply, defensible by my fleets, etc.; even if I want to just blockade sensible colonies, their position with respect my own colonies will be determinant), so I almost never use the Objects Windows to check anything related to foreign colonies. May we assume the same will stand true for actions other than military, such as influence-conquest, terror, sabotage or espionage? Perhaps this actions may target further away colonies (say espionage/sabotage targets deep within enemy space, which could imply more time scrutinising the galaxy map), although never targets out of sight.

I imagine that whenever I'm interested on knowing how much a foreign colony likes my empire, I can check that number, a single one. I could be interested on knowing the allegiances of a colony to the rest of empires only if that is relevant to my chances of turning them into my empire, but that could be solved by making such chances only depend on their allegiance towards you and its current empire (would this be possible? I don't know, but GalCiv2 did this and I can't remember having any trouble with it; unfortunately, I don't have any machine that can run that game to refresh my mind).

Regarding species, since we will never be conquering a whole species, we don't need to know the allegiance to my empire of a whole species. Even when we are talking about special species like Communal-Vision or whatever, we will be influencing/terrorising/spying/whatever individual colonies, isn't it?

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Re: Influence Discussion

#86 Post by Krikkitone »

The problem is the lack of useful information over your whole empire/sections of it without species-empire information.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#87 Post by Oberlus »

Krikkitone wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 12:46 amThe problem is the lack of useful information over your whole empire/sections of it without species-empire information.
Maybe I'm missing your point. But what about filtering the Objects Window to show only your colonies and order them by increasing happiness/loyalty? You then could see what colonies are on the verge of revolt, and also what species are on the verge of revolt (the ones in the colonies on...). Whenever a specific species (as a whole) is at risk of revolt, all/most of their planets will be in the first positions of the list.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#88 Post by Krikkitone »

Oberlus wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 5:32 am
Krikkitone wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 12:46 amThe problem is the lack of useful information over your whole empire/sections of it without species-empire information.
Maybe I'm missing your point. But what about filtering the Objects Window to show only your colonies and order them by increasing happiness/loyalty? You then could see what colonies are on the verge of revolt, and also what species are on the verge of revolt (the ones in the colonies on...). Whenever a specific species (as a whole) is at risk of revolt, all/most of their planets will be in the first positions of the list.
I guess that would work, especially if there was an empire+species "Loyalty" screens where you could see what Opinion effects were applied to the large groups of Colonies....

So

Empire Loyalty Screen: +20 Loyalty to all my planets
Holosuites +10 Opinion on all of my colonies
Execute Dissenters Policy +10 Opinion on all of my colonies (-30 Opinion of me on all other colonies)*
etc.

Species Happiness Screen:
Eggassem: +10 Loyalty to Eggassem colonies
Eggassem Superiority policy: +20 Opinion to all Eggassem Colonies (-30 Opinion to all other Colonies)
insufficient Industrialization levels: -10 Opinion to all Eggassem Colonies
etc.

Then you could look at individual Colones to see that list as well as "Local events"
ie
You bombed us: -40 Opinion (+0.1 per turn)
DisneyPlanet building: +30 Opinion
olosuites +10 Opinion on all of my colonies
Execute Dissenters Policy +10 Opinion on all of my colonies
Eggassem Superiority policy: +20 Opinion to all Eggassem Colonies
insufficient Industrialization levels: -10 Opinion to all Eggassem Colonies
At War with the Trith Empire: -30 Opinion (-2 for war x 15 Opinion of Trith)

*This indicates we may want some type of separate Security ranking (so opinion can go down, but rebellions don't happen...ie Brutal repression would be -30 Opinion and +40 Security...Opinion would stay over time, Security would only apply while you owned the world, and could easily be disrupted-ie Security could go to 0 if combat actually broke out on the colony..ie once a rebellion starts it gets big fast)

OK so

lots of numbers to store, but
-Default is to only display Opinion of the Owner (aka Loyalty) + My Empire (when I am looking at other Empires' Colonies)
-Breakdown of "contributing Factors" that apply Empire wide+Species wide in a separate Screen

I Really like this model (especially the Diplomacy aspects... Diplomacy is anything that makes Colonies Outside your empire have a good Opinion of you, so if those Empires do nice/bad things for you it makes them happy/unhappy)

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Re: Influence Discussion

#89 Post by Oberlus »

Krikkitone wrote: Mon May 06, 2019 12:12 pmif there was an empire+species "Loyalty" screens where you could see what Opinion effects were applied to the large groups of Colonies [...]
Empire Loyalty Screen [...]
Species Happiness Screen [...]
Now I get your point.

Then you could look at individual Colones to see that list as well as "Local events" [...]
Ah, yes, and this information would be shown in the Happines/Loyalty meter in each colony when hovering the pointer on it, the same you can see the different modifiers on other meters.
we may want some type of separate Security ranking (so opinion can go down, but rebellions don't happen...ie Brutal repression would be -30 Opinion and +40 Security
Hmmm... Or, to avoid having another meter (or indicator or whatever this is), we could have a variable MinimumHappines/Loyalty (MH) to about rebellion/revolt. There could be a default MH for "regular" species, and species with certain traits (Species Values, special types of species like Hive-Mind...) or under certain circumstances (Policies, kinds of Government...) would have modifiers applied to MH. Species that can't never revolt, say Exobots, would have a MH=0, or -1, no matter what. This MH value would be shown along the rest of Happiness/Loyalty modifiers (one more line), and the GUI would show the meter itself with different colours depending on whether the Happiness is well above MH, too close to MH or already under MH, with planetary icons to warn about colonies in trouble.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#90 Post by Vezzra »

Oberlus wrote: Sun May 05, 2019 6:54 pmWhat I tried to sketch in that post is exactly that: a way to track treatment of species using only colony-empire allegiance/opinion, because I think it can allow for a simpler mechanic than having both species-empire and colony-empire allegiances, and a more versatile mechanic than only species-empire, without the silliness you pointed out with a too-simple_colony-empire_only_mechanic.
That's basically one viable way to implement the concept of a multi-tier colony-species-empire relations mechanic. But regardless if you opt for a model where you use a dedicated species-empire opinion meter, or go for tracking each colony individually only and have colonies of the same species influence each other, you'll end up with something considerably more complex than if you forgo the colony-empire level of detail, so to speak.

Which approach would give you the best "gameplay value/complexity ratio" is difficult to say, there are probably pros and cons to both, as Krikkitone showed in their post.

Don't get me wrong, having both colony-empire and species-empire relations certainly offers the most versatile mechanic, I completely agree with that. But I suspect that might turn out far more complicated than expected... as I said, we'll only know for sure once we actually give it a try, so feel free to go ahead. ;)
If you mean that affecting the allegiance of a colony should ALWAYS affect other colonies regardless of anything else, I disagree with your vision.
Well, not "should always" as in I don't want anything to ever be able to counteract such effects. More like: if I have to choose between having that as an "always" effect vs. "not having" that effect, I'd opt for the former. I'd rather have the good/bad things I do to a colony to affect the entire species of that colony than only affecting that colony and not the species.

Of course, having a more fine-tuned system where the effects/consequences of the good/bad things I do to a colony propagate to the rest of the species of that colony based on all kind of circumstances/factors which can strengthen or hinder that propagation is the best option. If the resulting mechanic does not get too complex.
Probably I missed something, but re: this stuff about crew's allegiance, I can't see any cases that were left out of the above proposal. I mean, once the allegiance ruleset is done for colonies, then we have it automatically for crews.
I don't think you can just apply the ruleset for colonies to ships, at least I don't think that would be practical. For one, the things you (can) do with ships is very different from what you usually do to/with colonies. Secondly, usually you'll end up with way more ships than colonies in a typical game, so I'd want something simpler for ships - tracking the "loyalty" of each single ship (or the "opinion" of each single ship of each empire!!!) sounds scary, to be honest.

Your idea of tracking the "home colony" of each ship and tie their allegiancy to that home colony would be one approach to handle this. But even that is already quite complex IMO.

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