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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labgnome
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Re: Influence Discussion

#31 Post by labgnome »

As per feedback here is a revised list of proposed influence projects with descriptions.
ProjectDirectionTypeTargetDescription
InvestigationExternalEspionagePlanetreveals the buildings on the planet
InfiltrationExternalEspionageEmpire/Planetsreveals the planets the empire has
ReconnaissanceExternalEspionageEmpire/Fleetreveals the fleets the empire has
Covert Research OpsExternalEspionageEmpirereveals techs the empire is currently researching
Covert Production OpsExternalEspionageEmpirereveals the current production of the empire
Covert Influence OpsExternalEspionageEmpirereveals the current influence projects of the empire
Steal TechnologyExternalEspionageEmpiregives you one random technology the empire has
ProbeInternalEspionagePlanetreveals all foreign influence projects
Top Secret ColonyInternalEspionagePlanethides a colony from sensors and infiltration
Counter EspionageInternalEspionageEmpirecounters espionage projects
Building DestructionExternalTerrorBuildingdestroys building
Fleet DestructionExternalTerrorFleetdestroys fleet
(Metabolism) Mass-DestructionExternalTerrorPlanetreduced pop by 0.5 per turn
Sabotage ResearchExternalTerrorPlanetreduces planet's research output
Sabotage ProductionExternalTerrorPlanetreduces planet's production output
Sabotage InfluenceExternalTerrorPlanetreduces planet's influence output
Disrupt ResearchExternalTerrorEmpirereduces their empire's research output
Disrupt ProductionExternalTerrorEmpirereduces their empire's production output
Disrupt InfluenceExternalTerrorEmpirereduces their empire's influence output
Supply RebellsExternalTerrorPlanetincreases number of rebels on planet
Support RebellionExternalTerrorEmpireincreases number of rebels in their empire
Suppress RebellionInternalTerrorPlanetreduces number of rebels on a planet
InquisitionInternalTerrorEmpirereveals all foreign influence projects effecting your empire
Counter Terrorism OperationInternalTerrorPlanetcounters terror projects effecting planet
Counter Terrorism ProgramInternalTerrorEmpirecounters terror projects effecting empire
Incite RevoltExternalPropagandaPlanetreduces happiness by 1 per turn
Primitive Diplomatic MissionExternalPropagandaPlanet (Native)brings planet into your empire
Diplomatic MissionExternalPropagandaPlanet (Moderate Tech Native)brings planet into your empire
Advanced Diplomatic MissionExternalPropagandaPlanet (High Tech Native)brings planet into your empire
Moderate Technological UpliftExternalPropagandaPlanet (Native)applies moderate tech special
Advanced Technological UpliftExternalPropagandaPlanet (Moderate Tech Native)applies high tech special
Foreign EmbassyExternalPropagandaEmpireincreases happiness (and possibly opinion)
Covert MarketingExternalPropagandaEmpire (War)decreases happiness
Promotional MarketingExternalPropagandaEmpire (Peace)decreases happiness
Subversive MarketingExternalPropagandaEmpire (Allied)decreases happiness
Cultural MarketingExternalPropagandaSpecies (Native)brings known, unclaimed planets into your empire
Promote (Species) ColonizationInternalPropagandaPlanet (Outpost)creates a colony of the species
Support (Species) ValuesInternalPropagandaSpeciesincreases species happiness
Conserve (Metabolism) EnvironmentInternalPropagandaMetabolismincreases happiness of multiple species
Conserve (Planet Class) EcologyInternalPropagandaPlanet Classincreases happiness on multiple planets
Cultural PromotionInternalPropagandaEmpireincreases happiness
Counter PropagandaInternalPropagandaEmpirecounters propaganda projects
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Oberlus
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Re: Influence Discussion

#32 Post by Oberlus »

labgnome wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:16 amSome might be better as policy cards. But I am thinking more that there will be influence effecting policy cards, like research or production effecting policy cards.
Not sure I understand you (mind my English :roll:).
I see researching techs and building stuff will unlock/allow certain policy cards, that in turn (when active) will bring in a gameplay effect.
Also, other techs/buildings apart from the ones that unlock/allow a given card, could affect their operation (improving or worsening it), if that makes sense.
But I don't see what does this mean regarding the fact that some influence effects will be better represented by policy cards than by influence projects.
What do you mean by "influence effects"?
Gameplay effects related to influence. Things like espionage, sabotage or propaganda. I call them "effects" (instead of "project", "policy", "focus") when I'm not distinguishing about the specific implementation through any of the available mechanics.
I don't think that any of the proposed influence projects would count as self-exclusive.
Hmmm... You may be right. I would make all (or most) empire-wise projects policy cards. And I would create more gameplay effects that can be mutually exclusive (like more production + less happiness versus better happiness + less production).
So I suppose as a general proposal is that the "conservation" policy might provide a slight, probably flat, research bonus on its own, but also enable you to engage the respective influence projects. Not having it active would mean you wouldn't get the influence projects or any effect from them.
Still, I have prejudice against influence-fueled stuff giving you more research or production, but I haven't really thought of all the implications and can't say it is really bad, so I will refrain from objecting to that for now. Regarding this conservation projects/policies, I don't see the relation (fluff-wise) between conserving your ecology and getting more research.
Why do you keep bringing up policy cards?
Because you keep saying all influence effects are influence projects, and I disagree.
I assumed it was a well-known enough sci-fi trope for most people to get what I was referring to
I might be more ignorant than you could expect :wink:
Basically it would apply the moderate tech or high tech special to the planet with natives in question. This is primarily assuming that high-tech natives will be the easiest to get diplomatically, and thus making those planets easier to obtain.
I myself have a hard time seeing this as a useful addition: I first give them better defence spending influence, then I spend more influence to assimilate them peacefully (which makes the tech. uplift go away). I might as well invest all that influence from start in the assimilation project. Or conquer them military.
[policy cards with bonus and malus]
Where and when did this discussion happen? I don't completely hate the idea, but I am a bit concerned about the execution. Especially if policies are supposed to take over the boosts we currently get from technologies. So far the only thing I knew for sure about the policy cared is that they would work like in Civ VI, and they don't come with any malus there.
The discussion (or rather the loose comments on the subject) are spread among several places. In a quick search I found this post of yours in which you are suggesting some interesting maluses to couple with some bonuses, so maybe you are not strange to the idea of the malus.
Can you specify your concerns regarding its execution?
Can't say anything about Civ VI, I haven't tried it.
So the concept I have for Mass Destruction is that it would remove 0.5 population per turn until the planet is depopulated. You would have the option of using Counter Terrorism to remove Mass Destruction. My thought is that projects should take more then one turn to finish in general. If the project is successfully countered, it can be started again. Countering projects would remove applied effects, not act preemptively. Currently I have no ideas about making projects more or less "powerful".
I like this. Some more things to be decided / explicitly state: what decides if the project is successfully countered? what are the rules for that? I think that is relevant because if we run into a gameplay scheme in which countering external influence is a matter of repeating counter-propaganda projects and that's all, the influencing empires may prefer to focus on more military.
I must admit I really don't have a vision of what will be the gameplay with influence in place, and hence some of my concerns might be out of place.
There were proposals for influence costs in the Influence and Happiness topic, which I think we should work off of first before starting over from scratch.
Keep in mind that most of those proposals are Krikkitone's. Whatever he has written in this thread is for sure based on, and takes into account, what he read and wrote in the linked thread.

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labgnome
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Re: Influence Discussion

#33 Post by labgnome »

Oberlus wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:29 pmNot sure I understand you (mind my English :roll:).
I see researching techs and building stuff will unlock/allow certain policy cards, that in turn (when active) will bring in a gameplay effect.
Also, other techs/buildings apart from the ones that unlock/allow a given card, could affect their operation (improving or worsening it), if that makes sense.
But I don't see what does this mean regarding the fact that some influence effects will be better represented by policy cards than by influence projects.
I do not understand.
What do you mean by "influence effects"?
Gameplay effects related to influence. Things like espionage, sabotage or propaganda. I call them "effects" (instead of "project", "policy", "focus") when I'm not distinguishing about the specific implementation through any of the available mechanics.
I still do not get what you mean. From my understanding, the influence focus will just be to generate influence. Policies will be for all kinds of boosts, possibly including influence, but their own separate thing. The only "influence effects" would be influence projects.
Hmmm... You may be right. I would make all (or most) empire-wise projects policy cards. And I would create more gameplay effects that can be mutually exclusive (like more production + less happiness versus better happiness + less production).
I presume you mean the internal ones? I don't think most of the external ones would do good as policies.
Still, I have prejudice against influence-fueled stuff giving you more research or production, but I haven't really thought of all the implications and can't say it is really bad, so I will refrain from objecting to that for now. Regarding this conservation projects/policies, I don't see the relation (fluff-wise) between conserving your ecology and getting more research.
Unless I completely misunderstand policies, they will not be "influence fueled" any more than anything else. So this does not make sense to me.
I myself have a hard time seeing this as a useful addition: I first give them better defence spending influence, then I spend more influence to assimilate them peacefully (which makes the tech. uplift go away). I might as well invest all that influence from start in the assimilation project. Or conquer them military.
I will admit this idea is half-fueled by role-play on my part. The cultural library building is a nice bonus to research though. However we could make it so that it costs less influence to uplift a planet than to just assimilate them in their primitive state. Alternately we could buff the specials so that it would allow you to basically create buffer states between yourself and an expanding empire.
Where and when did this discussion happen? I don't completely hate the idea, but I am a bit concerned about the execution. Especially if policies are supposed to take over the boosts we currently get from technologies. So far the only thing I knew for sure about the policy cared is that they would work like in Civ VI, and they don't come with any malus there.
The discussion (or rather the loose comments on the subject) are spread among several places. In a quick search I found this post of yours in which you are suggesting some interesting maluses to couple with some bonuses, so maybe you are not strange to the idea of the malus.
Can you specify your concerns regarding its execution?
Can't say anything about Civ VI, I haven't tried it.
My first concern is that you could wind up with a lot of policies that interfere with other policies. IE: one policy that gives a bonus to research and a malus to production while another policy gives a bonus to production and a malus to research. Not knowing how policies will be organized I con't speak as to weather or not these will always be organized in a way that doesn't create that kind of interference.

My second concern is that not all players will enjoy having to take a malus with every bonus they want, especially if this is meant to replace the current system of tech-based bonuses. People in general like getting rewarded for their experiences, and I don't know that forcing them to always take a penalty with a bonus is good game design.
I like this. Some more things to be decided / explicitly state: what decides if the project is successfully countered? what are the rules for that? I think that is relevant because if we run into a gameplay scheme in which countering external influence is a matter of repeating counter-propaganda projects and that's all, the influencing empires may prefer to focus on more military.
I must admit I really don't have a vision of what will be the gameplay with influence in place, and hence some of my concerns might be out of place.
So this has me leaning more and more towards having most of the counter-projects target planets, so you have to put more work into countering them. However I think that might wind-up being a lot of micro-management, especially later in the game.
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Oberlus
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Re: Influence Discussion

#34 Post by Oberlus »

labgnome wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:39 pmI do not understand. [...]
I still do not get what you mean. From my understanding, the influence focus will just be to generate influence.
For some reason, you and me are unable to understand each other, as if we were speaking different languages sometimes. Therefore, I'll refrain from discussing with you anything that isn't objectively relevant. Peace!
I presume you mean the internal ones? I don't think most of the external ones would do good as policies.
Yes. And agreed.
Alternately we could buff the specials so that it would allow you to basically create buffer states between yourself and an expanding empire.
That won't work. Given our understanding problems, it would be useless to try and explain why. Maybe a native speaker could intermediate.
My first concern is that you could wind up with a lot of policies that interfere with other policies.
Yes. Wouldn't it be great? :D

See this comment from Vezzra (in the same thread where you were suggesting possible maluses):
Vezzra wrote: Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:32 pm
Geoff the Medio wrote:Policy cards could also have negative effects when the policy is adopted, which isn't currently acceptable for techs.
I want to emphasize the importance of that feature of policy cards. This is something we currently only can accomplish by attaching such negative effects to buildings which the tech unlocks (because then the player is able to switch the effects on/off by building/destroying the building). Which is fine for some cases, but probably only a not very pretty workaround in others. Buildings are, after all, not really intended to be built and destroyed frequently to switch on and off certain effects you (temporarily) want to have in your empire.

With policy cards, having techs that provide empire wide positive and negative effects can be handled much better.

labgnome wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:39 pmNot knowing how policies will be organized I con't speak as to weather or not these will always be organized in a way that doesn't create that kind of interference.
Not interferences but choices to make: you want more production or more research? and then you pick the policy that goes for your interests. Sincerely, I don't see the problem anywhere. But let's halt this discussion until someone puts together a complete policy-cards/government/civic/whatever system.
My second concern is that not all players will enjoy having to take a malus with every bonus they want, especially if this is meant to replace the current system of tech-based bonuses. People in general like getting rewarded for their experiences, and I don't know that forcing them to always take a penalty with a bonus is good game design.
If you can only add, and never subtract, you have less strategic choices to make. I don't see the problem when a game is offering me to choose between balanced and unbalanced outcomes (e.g. same research than production vs more research than production vs more production than research). But I understand that the subjective perception dominates over plain mathematics, so we could try and offer the same mathematical solution at a different perception: the malus is removed from the policies and applied by default, and not having the policy gives you a bonus equal to the intended malus. Thus, you still have the malus when you pick the policy but you don't understand it as a malus but as the absence of a bonus. Everybody happy then?
I see this is more complex to explain than other subjects for which you and me can't understand each other, but I'm sorry I can't make this easier to understand.
So this has me leaning more and more towards having most of the counter-projects target planets, so you have to put more work into countering them. However I think that might wind-up being a lot of micro-management, especially later in the game.
Yes.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Influence Discussion

#35 Post by Krikkitone »

An attempt to clarify

Influence effects->anything Influence causes an effect on.
So:
influence output
anything affected by Influence projects
Spies (if they are buildable movable objects)
Policy cards (which will presumably cost some influence to change/implement)

Another clarification: for natives the idea is

Primitive: easy to conquer. hard to diplomatically admit, poor benefits from admitting..only access to a different species
High tech: hard to conquer, Easy to diplomatically admit, good benefits from admitting, a high tech developed world+access to that species

So the cheapest influence way to deal with a primitive world (and the one that gets the best benefits) to Uplift it, and then Diplomatically capture it


Back to OP
what I would see influence affecting..and how techs would affect it

1. Maintenance (based on size, shape, species, and ships of the empire)-unpaid maintenance leads to planets that rebel and ships that desert
Techs would reduce the maintenance

2. "Government" (Which policy cards you have, and how many slots you have... both of which should require influence to change)
Techs would open up new Policy cards, and new Governments, possibly make change easier
(higher tech policy cards+higher tech Governments should have a higher base cost to implement

3. Diplomacy (making agreements, increasing diplomatic strength, diplomatic "conquest" of natives)
Techs would allow new agreements, and greater ability for Influence to get turned to diplomatic strength (greater max and/or conversion factor), it would also allow uplift and/or more efficient diplo "conquest" of natives.

4. Espionage (Sabotage/Information from enemy)
Increase ability of spies to counter each other, and opens up certain projects (including more advanced versions)

5. Internal Happiness boosts (overall/per species, etc.)
(mostly though policy cards)

6. Internal Economy
(mostly through policy cards)

7. Species Engineering
(Influence should be spent to change one species into another/another version)

Also re: policy cards... they aren't Required to have a malus, but it is OK if they do (they are one of the only things where Malus+Bonus makes sense, because you can turn them off)
Last edited by Krikkitone on Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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labgnome
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Re: Influence Discussion

#36 Post by labgnome »

Oberlus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:27 am
Alternately we could buff the specials so that it would allow you to basically create buffer states between yourself and an expanding empire.
That won't work. Given our understanding problems, it would be useless to try and explain why. Maybe a native speaker could intermediate.
I mean it might not work at all, it was merely an idea. I do like the concept of making the specials stronger. Both moderate and high tech natives are feasible to get through invasion in the early game. This is something I am not sure that we want, especially if we are going to make them better grabs. However, if we are still going to re-work weapons we should probably wait until that happens so that the numbers can be adjusted properly.
My first concern is that you could wind up with a lot of policies that interfere with other policies.
Yes. Wouldn't it be great? :D

If by "great" you actually mean frustrating then yes. I don't want to have to worry about messing up my setup every time I want to switch policies. Policies will probably already come with either a cost for switching, and upkeep cost or both. I think there is already enough strategic consideration, without throwing direct interference into the mix.
If you can only add, and never subtract, you have less strategic choices to make. I don't see the problem when a game is offering me to choose between balanced and unbalanced outcomes (e.g. same research than production vs more research than production vs more production than research). But I understand that the subjective perception dominates over plain mathematics, so we could try and offer the same mathematical solution at a different perception: the malus is removed from the policies and applied by default, and not having the policy gives you a bonus equal to the intended malus. Thus, you still have the malus when you pick the policy but you don't understand it as a malus but as the absence of a bonus. Everybody happy then?
I see this is more complex to explain than other subjects for which you and me can't understand each other, but I'm sorry I can't make this easier to understand.

I am not suggesting that you should always only get bonuses, just that you shouldn't always have to take a malus. Remember that policy cards will already be a strategic choice as you will have more cards than policy slots for the cards, so even with policies that only give bonuses you will have to choose which bonuses you want to take. I'm not totally opposed to taking maluses, just the idea that you should always have to balance a malus. My personal take is that earlier game policies should come with either small bonuses or a bonus and malus, and that later game policies don't need a malus and can come with bigger bonuses. That way you get to be improving as you progress through the game,and are encouraged to swap out older less good policies for better newer policies.
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Oberlus
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Re: Influence Discussion

#37 Post by Oberlus »

labgnome wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:53 pmyou shouldn't always have to take a malus.
Agree.
Krikkitone wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:13 pm...
Agree on all your points.

Edit to add some value to this post:

____

Re: influential conquest:

Incite Revolt (External, Propaganda, targets empire's planet): reduces happiness by 1 per turn
Primitive Diplomatic Mission (External, Propaganda, targets native planet: brings planet into your empire

So, in order to conquest an enemy empire's colony, you would first incite a revolt on the target colony, make it native and then bring it into your empire with a diplomatic mission.

Would be nice if this process cold be done in a single action/projects instead of two (say "Overthrown Local Government" or something like that), if there is no problem with this.
___

Foreign Embassy (External, Propaganda, targets Empire): increases happiness (and possibly opinion)
Is the point of this one to raise foreign empires' opinion of your empire in order to forge alliances or the such?
Some points:
- Usually happiness is at maximum in most planets. With influence in place (external empires or own government causing unrest on the population) this won't be true. Anyway, this project might be only seldom useful to raise happiness.
- Any kind of gift you give to your enemies should be able to raise their opinions on you. So not just boosting their happiness, also giving them influence (for them to spend on whatever they want), research, production, planets, ships, as well as raising their production, research, influence output or population growth. Giving presents like planets or ships through influence projects won't be nice, so forget about those for now. But the others (boosting their own output or giving them your output of R/P/I), should be possible?

___

Covert Marketing External Propaganda Empire (War) decreases happiness
Promotional Marketing External Propaganda Empire (Peace) decreases happiness
Subversive Marketing External Propaganda Empire (Allied) decreases happiness

Differencing these three seems unnecessary to me. Just one project for this effect, and less items in the influence projects list.

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labgnome
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Re: Influence Discussion

#38 Post by labgnome »

Krikkitone wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:13 pm An attempt to clarify

Influence effects->anything Influence causes an effect on.
So:
influence output
anything affected by Influence projects
Spies (if they are buildable movable objects)
Policy cards (which will presumably cost some influence to change/implement)
I would still differentiate policy cards from influence effects, after all plants and ships will be costing influence, and I don't think we would call them influence effects. Also I do think that policy cards should definitely take over bonuses from technologies for the most part, so in that case the would be effecting production and research.
Another clarification: for natives the idea is

Primitive: easy to conquer. hard to diplomatically admit, poor benefits from admitting..only access to a different species
High tech: hard to conquer, Easy to diplomatically admit, good benefits from admitting, a high tech developed world+access to that species

So the cheapest influence way to deal with a primitive world (and the one that gets the best benefits) to Uplift it, and then Diplomatically capture it
I like this and it's very much what I am going for. I do think we might want to consider extra bonuses for moderate tech and high tech natives. Perhaps giving them technology unlocks like the ruins specials. If we go the self-contained themes rout maybe make them a good way to spec into other themes. Another possibility is having high tech species that can build ships possibly give a free shipyard.
1. Maintenance (based on size, shape, species, and ships of the empire)-unpaid maintenance leads to planets that rebel and ships that desert
Techs would reduce the maintenance
I am going to disagree and alternately suggest that governments should be what sets your maintenance costs. That way say, for example: a military dictatorship has a lower upkeep for their ships than a democratic federation, while the democratic confederation has lower upkeep for the number of species than the military dictatorship. Now I am in favor of having "better" governments require researching the right technologies. So say for another example: the democratic confederation could get an even lower upkeep for the number of species by switching government types to being an egalitarian federation.
2. "Government" (Which policy cards you have, and how many slots you have... both of which should require influence to change)
Techs would open up new Policy cards, and new Governments, possibly make change easier
(higher tech policy cards+Governments should have a higher base cost to implement
So my thoughts are that switching governments could be done through a very expensive "Reform Government" influence project, with a cost based on the size of your empire in number of colonized planets, number of systems and number of jumps away from the capitol of the furthest colony. As to avoid crowding the influence project screen, and to avoid confusion I would suggest that instead of the switching taking an influeince cost
3. Diplomacy (making agreements, increasing diplomatic strength, diplomatic "conquest" of natives)
Techs would allow new agreements, and greater ability for Influence to get turned to diplomatic strength (greater max and/or conversion factor), it would also allow uplift
I am hesitant about locking most diplomatic choices behind technologies, outside of maybe the "diplomatic conquest" of natives. I don't want to have to research how to trade planets or technologies or how to ask them to ally with me or declare war on a 3rd party. I think most diplomatic interactions should be available as soon as you can engage in diplomacy at all.

I think some kind of opinion mechanic would work better. That way instead of being able to share supply, or trade technologies just because you researched the technology you would have to build up trust between your empires. That way you still aren't able to do everything off the bat, but won't shoot yourself in the foot regarding diplomatic options just because you forgot to research "forming military alliances" or something. Opinion can be based off of things like sharing the same government and policies and possibly having the same species. The more in common you have the faster your mutual opinion should grow. Opinion should also be effected by weather or not and how recently you have engaged in battle or tried to do harmful influence projects on each other. Battles should probably hurt influence the most, followed by terror projects, espionage projects then propaganda projects. The more recently this has happened the lower the opinion should be. Empires with too low of an opinion shouldn't be able to form treaties or alliances with you, while letting the opinion go low enough will cause them to declare war on you.
4. Espionage (Sabotage/Information from enemy)
Increase ability of spies to counter each other, and opens up certain projects
I would wait until we work out a leader system before creating agents. I could see agents being a "leader" type alongside admirals and governors. I could see them being an interesting mechanic but I also don't see them as necessary to implementing espionage actions as an influence projects. I do think we should at some point consider adding a leader mechanic to the game, but I would wait until we have both influence projects and governments in the game, as both will interact with any leader mechanic we create. I do have some thoughts myself on a leader mechanic but I don't want to derail this topic.
5. Internal Happiness
(mostly though policy cards)
Here I will slightly disagree and say that I think that this should include influence projects. I could definitely see a mix of both. However I think that I would like for influence projects to be the primary way to manipulate happiness, both your own and another empire's over policy cards. Good propaganda should at least be nearly as effective as good policies at keeping the populous happy.
6. Internal Economy
(mostly through policy cards)
I agree here. I think that focus based outputs like research, production and influence should be handled through policy
7. Species Engineering
(Influence should be spent to change one species into another/another version)
This is an interesting possibility. Again Stellaris does this, but I don't know weather or not there is a KISS way to implement this. Some people seem to like this so maybe this is something we should keep in the back of our minds. I am thinking that weather or not species modification is done/allowed might work best locked behind a policy, with the same for terraforming or exobots (with my proposed changes), making it more of a choice between the three.

Right now species modification occurs (at least according to fluff) through growth techs that open-up more hostile planet classes to colonization by species. Maybe instead of getting whole new species, which I could see being potentially very complicated and confusing from multiple angles, there were "augmentation" projects for the species in your empire that would unlock new planet classes for them. Say something like:
  • "Basic (Species) Augmentation" would unlock adequate environment planets for the species in question.
  • "General (Species) Augmentation" would unlock poor environment planets for the species in question.
  • "Enhanced (Species) Augmentation" would unlock hostile environment planets for the species in question.
Perhaps we could make increasingly hostile planets cost more influence, thus increasing the upkeep for further augmentation. This would however require a major re-working of how growth currently works, and I don't know if it's more or less feasible than creating modified and/or new species in-game. However I did want to venture an alternative proposal.
Also re: policy cards... they aren't Required to have a malus, but it is OK if they do (they are one of the only things where Malus+Bonus makes sense, because you can turn them off)
I think we are totally on the same page here. I think that a malus is okay sometimes but not necessary. I can even see something like a conditional malus/bonus situation where the policy acts as a bonus if the right conditions are met but acts as a malus if they are not.
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labgnome
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Re: Influence Discussion

#39 Post by labgnome »

Oberlus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:30 pmWould be nice if this process cold be done in a single action/projects instead of two (say "Overthrown Local Government" or something like that), if there is no problem with this.
Agreed, however the only way I can see for that to work is if we had some kind of "opinion" mechanic. While not completely happy, I would be satisfied with the two-step process in initial implementation as a test ground for flipping control of planets. One way to make it shorter would be to have any planet that "goes native" get the high tech natives special making them easier to grab up diplomatically and harder to take back militarily.

I already talked about an opinion mechanic on the empire level, but it could also apply on the species and planetary level. One way it could work is to have each planet have an opinion of each empire, that is averaged into the empire's over-all opinion of each other empire. However you could target a specific planet to effect their happiness and opinion of your empire and their current empire. Once the opinion is low enough of the current empire's and also high enough of your empire's they fall under your control. This could still result in an intermediate period where they go native, but they would swatch over after enough time. Mind you this would be an additional mechanic and I don't know if going into it would derail this topic entirely, but those are my thoughts.
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Re: Influence Discussion

#40 Post by Oberlus »

labgnome wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:04 pmthe only way I can see for that to work is if we had some kind of "opinion" mechanic.
I think it can be done for imperial colonies the same it can be done for native colonies: once happiness gets to zero the planet becomes yours.
Why you need opinion here?

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Re: Influence Discussion

#41 Post by Krikkitone »

labgnome wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:52 pm
1. Maintenance (based on size, shape, species, and ships of the empire)-unpaid maintenance leads to planets that rebel and ships that desert
Techs would reduce the maintenance
I am going to disagree and alternately suggest that governments should be what sets your maintenance costs. That way say, for example: a military dictatorship has a lower upkeep for their ships than a democratic federation, while the democratic confederation has lower upkeep for the number of species than the military dictatorship. Now I am in favor of having "better" governments require researching the right technologies. So say for another example: the democratic confederation could get an even lower upkeep for the number of species by switching government types to being an egalitarian federation.
Well anytime I'm saying tech has this effect, I'm including policies/governments unlocked by that tech

I think some techs Should decrease maintenance all by themselves, and some should unlock policies or buildings or governments that reduce maintenance costs.
labgnome wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:52 pm
3. Diplomacy (making agreements, increasing diplomatic strength, diplomatic "conquest" of natives)
Techs would allow new agreements, and greater ability for Influence to get turned to diplomatic strength (greater max and/or conversion factor), it would also allow uplift
I am hesitant about locking most diplomatic choices behind technologies, outside of maybe the "diplomatic conquest" of natives. I don't want to have to research how to trade planets or technologies or how to ask them to ally with me or declare war on a 3rd party. I think most diplomatic interactions should be available as soon as you can engage in diplomacy at all.

I think some kind of opinion mechanic would work better. That way instead of being able to share supply, or trade technologies just because you researched the technology you would have to build up trust between your empires. That way you still aren't able to do everything off the bat, but won't shoot yourself in the foot regarding diplomatic options just because you forgot to research "forming military alliances" or something. Opinion can be based off of things like sharing the same government and policies and possibly having the same species. The more in common you have the faster your mutual opinion should grow. Opinion should also be effected by weather or not and how recently you have engaged in battle or tried to do harmful influence projects on each other. Battles should probably hurt influence the most, followed by terror projects, espionage projects then propaganda projects. The more recently this has happened the lower the opinion should be. Empires with too low of an opinion shouldn't be able to form treaties or alliances with you, while letting the opinion go low enough will cause them to declare war on you.
That's sort of what I am thinking of with the Diplomatic Strength... except you must invest influence into it instead of it building up all by itself(and efficiency would be based on similarity between empires, it would degrade while you are at war)

I would only put a few advanced agreements in actual techs, like Advanced Research Agreements (sharing all techs), Unify Empires /Share Victory
(and Uplift)
labgnome wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:52 pm
4. Espionage (Sabotage/Information from enemy)
Increase ability of spies to counter each other, and opens up certain projects
I would wait until we work out a leader system before creating agents. I could see agents being a "leader" type alongside admirals and governors. I could see them being an interesting mechanic but I also don't see them as necessary to implementing espionage actions as an influence projects. I do think we should at some point consider adding a leader mechanic to the game, but I would wait until we have both influence projects and governments in the game, as both will interact with any leader mechanic we create. I do have some thoughts myself on a leader mechanic but I don't want to derail this topic.
I was thinking of "spies" more as "Influence Ships" Things you could would spend influence on and then move around to do activities (adding some of the "combat fun" to influence hopefully)
labgnome wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:52 pm
5. Internal Happiness
(mostly though policy cards)
Here I will slightly disagree and say that I think that this should include influence projects. I could definitely see a mix of both. However I think that I would like for influence projects to be the primary way to manipulate happiness, both your own and another empire's over policy cards. Good propaganda should at least be nearly as effective as good policies at keeping the populous happy.
I'd agree with some projects, but Good Propaganda would just be a Policy (ie + X happiness (max or per turn) on all planets, increase maintenance by Y factor)
labgnome wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:52 pm
6. Internal Economy
(mostly through policy cards)
I agree here. I think that focus based outputs like research, production and influence should be handled through policy
7. Species Engineering
(Influence should be spent to change one species into another/another version)
This is an interesting possibility. Again Stellaris does this, but I don't know weather or not there is a KISS way to implement this. Some people seem to like this so maybe this is something we should keep in the back of our minds. I am thinking that weather or not species modification is done/allowed might work best locked behind a policy, with the same for terraforming or exobots (with my proposed changes), making it more of a choice between the three.

Right now species modification occurs (at least according to fluff) through growth techs that open-up more hostile planet classes to colonization by species. Maybe instead of getting whole new species, which I could see being potentially very complicated and confusing from multiple angles, there were "augmentation" projects for the species in your empire that would unlock new planet classes for them. Say something like:
  • "Basic (Species) Augmentation" would unlock adequate environment planets for the species in question.
  • "General (Species) Augmentation" would unlock poor environment planets for the species in question.
  • "Enhanced (Species) Augmentation" would unlock hostile environment planets for the species in question.
Perhaps we could make increasingly hostile planets cost more influence, thus increasing the upkeep for further augmentation. This would however require a major re-working of how growth currently works, and I don't know if it's more or less feasible than creating modified and/or new species in-game. However I did want to venture an alternative proposal.
I realize Species Engineering isn't in, but it was one of those things that if it was in would be ideal for influence projects (ie spend this much for all planets with Species X to become planets with Species Y... or possibly on a per planet basis)

That doesn't have to even be a change from the current system, maybe just a more enlightened high tech mechanic than concentration camps. (we don't like this species, so instead of killing them we comvince them to get the bodies of species we like)

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Re: Influence Discussion

#42 Post by labgnome »

Oberlus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:27 pmI think it can be done for imperial colonies the same it can be done for native colonies: once happiness gets to zero the planet becomes yours.
Why you need opinion here?
Firstly, because when you get native planets diplomatically their happiness does not go down. You actually want to get happier planets anyway. So letting the planet go native for a while might not be the worst idea.

Secondly, because opinion tells the colony who, if anyone, to go to. Bad happiness just means that they want to leave their current empire. It doesn't mean they want to join yours. Plus opinion will be necessary if multiple planets are running Incite Revolt on the same planet. For example: if two empire's both want a 3rd empire's planet of Mu-Ursh. Should the planet of Mu-Ursh want to join the empire that started the project earlier, the one the finished it first, the one that's closest, or the one that already has more Mu-Ursh planets, or to neither? All of those are potential factors to consider. Opinion would help sort all of that out in a way that makes the decision strategic and the outcome dynamic.
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Re: Influence Discussion

#43 Post by Krikkitone »

It seems if we are looking at influence, we really need to look at the main systems it will affect.

Happiness/Allegiance

Diplomacy

Espionage (important as a type of "influence combat"..although it doesn't Need to into the other two directly)

[I don't think Policy cards are As required for a main system initially.. although they should tie into it]

I'll try and put together a (hopefully) simple base proposal for the first two
Last edited by Krikkitone on Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Influence Discussion

#44 Post by labgnome »

Krikkitone wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:02 pmWell anytime I'm saying tech has this effect, I'm including policies/governments unlocked by that tech
I get it. It just wasn't clear the way you put it.
I think some techs Should decrease maintenance all by themselves, and some should unlock policies or buildings or governments that reduce maintenance costs.
I will say I'm in favor if it mostly being governments, and not in favor of techs that decrease maintenance by themselves. I can potentially see one-time-only buildings that would reduce upkeep. Basically wonders. I am not completely opposed to policies; I don't want too much overlap between the functionality of governments and that of policies, and I am a bit concerned about too easily doubling-up upkeep reduction. Keep in mind we want to reduce the snowball effect that currently exists in the game so we don't necessarily want too many ways to reduce that upkeep. Personally I'd keep it governments in the beginning and see if that works well enough.
That's sort of what I am thinking of with the Diplomatic Strength... except you must invest influence into it instead of it building up all by itself(and efficiency would be based on similarity between empires, it would degrade while you are at war)
Well I could see you also being able to invest influence through external projects to get opinion to grow faster. However I do think opinion should grow on it's own even if slowly. The exception of course being the xenophobic species,who should get a mutual reduction in opinion over time.

I would go with number of battles fought and the time since then rather than a general "at war" state. That way more intensive wars make opinion take a harder hit than less intensive ones. A small border skirmish shouldn't completely destroy hopes of a good relationship in the future. On the other hand it should be hard to forge good relations after a fairly major conflict.
I would only put a few advanced agreements in actual techs, like Advanced Research Agreements (sharing all techs), Unify Empires /Share Victory
(and Uplift)
I could see that. Maybe make the diplomatic victory only available for the most advanced governments.
I was thinking of "spies" more as "Influence Ships" Things you could would spend influence on and then move around to do activities (adding some of the "combat fun" to influence hopefully)
So one thing that hasn't been settled is exactly what will count as in-rang of influence. I'm thinking it could be both supply and vision. If that's the case that would make scouts and stealth ships more valuable as they would allow you to do long-range influence projects. I'd still reserve actual agents for a leadership mechanic.
I'd agree with some projects, but Good Propaganda would just be a Policy (ie + X happiness (max or per turn) on all planets, increase maintenance by Y factor)
I was referring to the propaganda projects. Unless we are going to go with a different naming convention, I would suggest calling a happiness boosting policy something different from "Good Propaganda" to avoid confusion with the propaganda projects.
I realize Species Engineering isn't in, but it was one of those things that if it was in would be ideal for influence projects (ie spend this much for all planets with Species X to become planets with Species Y... or possibly on a per planet basis)

That doesn't have to even be a change from the current system, maybe just a more enlightened high tech mechanic than concentration camps. (we don't like this species, so instead of killing them we comvince them to get the bodies of species we like)
In theory I could see that, but I'd suggest an an internal espionage project, say something like "Covert (Species) Replacement". :twisted:
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Re: Influence Discussion

#45 Post by labgnome »

Krikkitone wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:52 pm [I don't think Policy cards are As required for a main system initially.. although they should tie into it]
Same here. I think that an influence mechanic can stand on its own without having to get into governments and policies.
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