Influence mechanics brainstorming

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

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LienRag
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#31 Post by LienRag »

Vezzra wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:11 pm
The idea was to make the "colonize everything" approach not a no-brainer. Currently, although you aim for multiplanet systems early on, eventually you'll start to colonize every system and all planets within you borders, as even lone small planets give some small benefit. Not colonizing everything is usually not a good idea.

Incurring IP costs on a per-system basis would discourage that approach. It would not be optimal anymore to colonize everything. You'd only colonize systems if you can expect a net benefit. And you'd only colonize that single tiny planet in that system that has nothing else if there is a good reason for it (a special on the planet, you need the supply range, it is a strategically important location, it provides a strategic resource of whatever kind...).

Wether we want that or not is another question. I don't want to advocate that idea that strongly, I merely find it interesting. If the majority doesn't want it/doesn't think it's a good idea, I'm fine with that. Just wanted to explain what I think was the idea/reasoning behind the suggestion.
If "that idea" is stopping colonizing everything to be a no-brainer, there is no way to advocate this idea too strongly : it's the core reason for the Influence upkeep mechanisms (that, and managing the snowballing effect).

If, though, "that idea" is per-system upkeep, I find it interesting indeed, as it would make the player think more about his colonization options.
But it is true that it would drive the player's strategy in a specific direction, which is not necessarily a good thing.
I have no idea whether your proposal of choosing between two policies to have a per-system upkeep or a per-colony upkeep would solve the problem.

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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#32 Post by Ophiuchus »

Vezzra wrote: Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:19 amWell, bringing in troop ships, but waiting for the planet to rebel first and only then landing them doesn't sound like less micro, unless I missed something
With atrition you would have to constantly send troop ships there possibly ad infinitum. For reinvasion you only have this once.

So probably we can agree that both are bad ideas. So lets scrap benefits from reinvasion.
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Oberlus
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#33 Post by Oberlus »

Maybe we don't need sending troops or a rebel meter.

Lets make the rebels be a malus to planetary troops (accounting label "Rebels", "Discontent citizens"...), proportional to the negative stability.
No troop-sending. No extra meter needed.
  • Lack of influence reduces stability on random planets.
  • High stability gives minor bonus to output.
  • Low stability gives major malus to output.
  • Zero stability means no production.
  • Negative stability causes a malus to planetary troops proportional to stability (for -X stability -> -cX troops).
  • If planetary troops goes down to 0 (sum of troop bonuses and maluses) when stability is 0 or lower, planet becomes independent.
Stability (S) thresholds for bonus and malus could be as follows:
  • 0-10: output is TargetMeter*S/10 (so stability 5 = -50% output)
  • 10-20: output is TargetMeter
  • 20+: output is TargetMeter*S/20 (so stability 30 = +50% output, 40 = +100%)
I dunno why, but I think it is a good idea to have that interval without output modifiers (10-20).
Stability sources would be rebalanced so that "normal" case is 10 or 15, with preferred focus +5.
This would open up the path for the happiness strategy, that was a thing in MoO2: you could go for happiness bonuses to get a boosts of research/production output.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#34 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Oberlus wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:48 am
  • Negative stability causes a malus to planetary troops proportional to stability (for -X stability -> -cX troops).
  • If planetary troops goes down to 0 (sum of troop bonuses and maluses) when stability is 0 or lower, planet becomes independent.
That's functionally basically the same thing as the "rebel troops" meter...

With a "rebel troops" meter, each turn there would be a ground combat, during which the planet's troops would be reduced by however many rebel troops are present, and (in theory) it's a bit clearer / easier to display how many rebel troops are present each turn, since there's a meter and associated icon to show it with.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#35 Post by Krikkitone »

I don’t think stability should give output bonuses.

instead
When stability is negative
-output meters don’t grow
-rebel troops are generated
-“suppression” project becomes available which uses production to siphon troops from supply connected worlds to this one

If all your troops are killed by rebels, planet leaves your empire

if stability is positive you get things like defense v. enemy influence/spies

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Oberlus
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#36 Post by Oberlus »

Geoff the Medio wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:43 am That's functionally basically the same thing as the "rebel troops" meter...
That's the idea, without an extra meter, and without allowing micromanagement of troops to compensate for attrition (the issues commented in the thread).
With a "rebel troops" meter, each turn there would be a ground combat, during which the planet's troops would be reduced by however many rebel troops are present, and (in theory) it's a bit clearer / easier to display how many rebel troops are present each turn, since there's a meter and associated icon to show it with.
There are plenty of icons for each planet already. If we can reuse and not add a new one, that has its advantages.
A warning sign in the planet when there are rebels (as when there is low stability), and in the impire influence meter when there is deficit, which can be clicked to be sent to a system with influence deficit, could make it almost as clear as with a new meter.
However, a new meter in the planets is not that bad.

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labgnome
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#37 Post by labgnome »

I will say that I like the idea of high stability giving output bonuses. I however dislike the idea of stability being reduced on a random planet.

I think that stability should go down empire-wide and rebels be generated at random locations. That way it not only makes sense, but that way large empires will have large rebellions and small empires will have small rebellions.
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Vezzra
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#38 Post by Vezzra »

Ophiuchus wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:23 amWith atrition you would have to constantly send troop ships there possibly ad infinitum. For reinvasion you only have this once.
Unless reinvasion magically removes the reasons why the colony became unstable and rebel troops generated in the first place, not really. The colony would become unstable again, rebel troops generated, the colony would rebel, and you'd have to reinvade again - potentially ad infinitum.
So probably we can agree that both are bad ideas. So lets scrap benefits from reinvasion.
Sounds reasonable.

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drkosy
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#39 Post by drkosy »

This would open up the path for the happiness strategy, that was a thing in MoO2: you could go for happiness bonuses to get a boosts of research/production output.
I like that idea :) Maybe stability should only be connected to happiness. Missing influence reduce happiness on random planets. If the happiness is below 5 (just to give a number) rebels are created. This could as well happen as you take an colony by invasion. But you should have the chance to get extra troops on that planet. MOO2 solved that by the "unload troops" option...

Like MOO2 happiness could benefit the output if above some critical meter, e.g. 20.

The game mechanics would be the same as you are discussing, but influence would just work more inderectly, which is what I would expect for influence...

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labgnome
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#40 Post by labgnome »

drkosy wrote: Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:54 amI like that idea :) Maybe stability should only be connected to happiness. Missing influence reduce happiness on random planets. If the happiness is below 5 (just to give a number) rebels are created. This could as well happen as you take an colony by invasion. But you should have the chance to get extra troops on that planet. MOO2 solved that by the "unload troops" option...

Like MOO2 happiness could benefit the output if above some critical meter, e.g. 20.

The game mechanics would be the same as you are discussing, but influence would just work more inderectly, which is what I would expect for influence...
Stability will be replacing happiness as a meter so stability will be directly iimpacting outputs. No need to have effects be mediated through yet another meter.
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drkosy
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#41 Post by drkosy »

Stability will be replacing happiness as a meter so stability will be directly iimpacting outputs. No need to have effects be mediated through yet another meter.
Interessting to know how the word tree works than...

In principal it's just a name but why not keep it "happiness" :wink:

I like happiness more, because there could be technologies like e.g. VR-Network that could raise happiness but doesn't fit with stability. At the moment no tech like that is in the game but I think later on that could be an option. :idea:

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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#42 Post by Oberlus »

drkosy wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:35 pm In principal it's just a name but why not keep it "happiness" :wink:

I like happiness more, because there could be technologies like e.g. VR-Network that could raise happiness but doesn't fit with stability. At the moment no tech like that is in the game but I think later on that could be an option. :idea:
Happy has the specific meaning of being pleased.
Stable is more general and conveys better the cases where you have your population displeased but willing to cooperate (e.g. thanks to oppression policies). You certainly don't make people happy by enlaving them, but a slave world could be very stable.

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Vezzra
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#43 Post by Vezzra »

drkosy wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:35 pmIn principal it's just a name but why not keep it "happiness" :wink:
What Oberlus said.

"Stability" basically includes "Happiness". We could make a more sophisticated and complex mechanic and try to model the various factors that contribute to stability separately (happiness, police forces, etc.) and have them influence the "Stability" meter which in turn influences other stats.

For the sake of staying true to KISS, we try to avoid such complex mechanics. So, in this case, everything that impacts the various factors which would in turn impact Stability, directly impacts Stability. Meaning, your "VR-Network" would be a means to raise Stability by trying to make the pop more happy. A very different, oppressive means to achieve the same would be by trying to suppress dissent.

The difference between these two approaches would be that trying to make the pop happy also makes the species of the pop like your empire more (because you treat them nicely), but probably works slower. Sending in the troops to force the pop to comply probably works faster, but will make them like your empire less (because you treat them not so nicely).

With a mechanic that keeps track of the different factors that impact Stability, you would have the VR-Network raising Happiness, and sending in the troops raising, lets call it "Intimidation". Higher Happiness in turn would lead to higher Stability, and also improve the opinion the pop's species has of your empire. Higher Intimidation would also lead to higher Stability, but lower the opinion the pop's species has of your empire.

Advantage of such a system: you just need to decide for all mechanics (actions, events and whatever else factors) how they impact Happiness and Intimidation, and the "Happiness/Intimidation" mechanic would take care of how these two influence all other game mechanics. Disadvantage: more complicated, and you'd also have to take care of how Happiness and Intimidation impact each other, and that will get tricky and messy very quickly.

With a mechanic that only keeps track of Stability (meaning, effectively, which works with less layers of different interlinked factors), both the VR-Network and sending in the troops will directly raise Stability, but the VR-Network would also directly increase species opinion, while sending in the troops would directly decrease species opinion.

Advantage of such a system: less complicated, you avoid a web of different factors that depend on/impact each other (the tricky mess mentioned above), but you have to maintain for each relevant game mechanic which other game mechanic/factors they impact and how.

For a game like FO which aims for KISS, the latter option is the way to go. For a game that aims for a more sophisticated, complex simulation of such mechanics, the former is the way to go (Paradox grand strategy games like Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings, Stellaris etc. would be an example for this).

It basically boils down to how many different game mechanics your game has. If the number of different mechanics isn't too high, having less "layers" is more reasonable, otherwise you're just adding complexity without much benefit. However, if you have a lot of different interlinked game mechanics, having more layers is important, otherwise you very quickly end up with an unmaintainable nightmare of a multi-dimensional matrix which keeps track of how each mechanic/factor affects/impacts each other mechanic/factor.

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drkosy
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#44 Post by drkosy »

"Stability" basically includes "Happiness". We could make a more sophisticated and complex mechanic and try to model the various factors that contribute to stability separately (happiness, police forces, etc.) and have them influence the "Stability" meter which in turn influences other stats.
I see, the change is quite larger that it seems :) So stability will be similar to construction witch includes things like energy. Sounds interesting, especialy if it really changes outputs. For construction it only influence some defensive structures which wasn't critical for me.
At the moment you don't have to care about happiness. That's why you don't have to care about the prefered fokus of a species. That could change with stablity and the mechanics behind. That could give the chance to get more different species, because the prefered fokus gets more important.
you'd also have to take care of how Happiness and Intimidation impact each other, and that will get tricky and messy very quickly.
I think that could be true for causal gamers, but as 4X fan I really like to think what to do. So I look forward to it :D

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drkosy
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Re: Influence mechanics brainstorming

#45 Post by drkosy »

Because this is a brainstorming threat, I like to brainstorm a bit :wink:

I just thought: Why not making something like leaders in MOO2. They effect not the whole empire but only one planet / system / fleet and can be financed by influence. Maybe they even take some influence points as maintenace cost.

Whatever "they" is could be very flexible. Maybe just a policy to select or leaders like MOO2 or something really different.

I think that could give you more varieties in gameplay. Maybe it could used to compensate drawbacks from bad luck on game start :?:

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