Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

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Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#1 Post by Ophiuchus » Sat May 11, 2019 9:48 am

I like a lot 4xel wrote in Random ideas about diplomacy and happiness, especially about happiness.

So here my own vision of how influence and happiness could work together. As my personal spice i will throw in sectors (which i think would have a lot of extra benefits).

So influence basics:
  • influence is a imperial, stockable resource, so you generate and spend influence points (IP)
  • you need to spend influence points to change policies
  • the basic unit of influence is: switch the focus of a planet - so switching the focus costs 1 IP
  • an empire should be able to change the focus of all planets every five turn or so. This also means a linear connection between the number of colonies and influence generation/growth
  • influence probably serves as upkeep and as a central bottleneck to moderate expansion speed
(Note I am talking about orders of magnitude of IP here - could be a fourth or five times as much as well)

edit1:
Happiness basics:
  • happiness (or stability or loyalty) is a planetary meter
  • low happiness will be the underlying mechanic to trigger revolts
  • planetary effects can be guarded by a certain minimum happiness (e.g. production options and defense)
  • dedication can be used to increase happiness (e,g, using a policy)
Loyalty high level proposal
  • Loyalty is a re-branding of happiness which shifts the focus from population contendness to the focus of loyalty to the owning empire
  • Loyalty interacts with species-empire opinions. To keep it simple opinion effects loyalty but not the other way round. For a start opinions would also only effect max-loyalty (feature only if species-empire opinions get implemented)
  • There may be some empire-wide meter defining minimum loyalty for stability (Optional feature)
  • Loyalty on outposts is meaningless/not measured/does not have effects. This could get re-purposed later on.
  • Loyalty is high on a newly colonized planet
  • Loyalty is low on a newly annexed planet
  • Military fleet presence over low-loyalty planets might keep revolts from happening or mitigate results
  • Loyalty on tightly controlled planets is high. Being close to empire loyal planets which are powerful and influenceable increases max-loyalty.
  • Rebellions on a single planet are boring - if an uprising starts whole systems, regions or sectors for an empire become a threat
edit2:
Control high level
  • Imperial Control is a system level value measuring the control the empire has over the system
  • Imperial Control gets created by your capital and can be "refreshed" or generated on other loyal control planets (e.g. sector capital planets)
  • The further a system is away from control planets, the lower the imperial control
  • Planets compete for control of other systems. High supply planets are able to enforce their control over a higher number of neighboring systems
  • Disloyal planets with high supply strive for independence
  • Competition between one's planets cuts an empire into regions/sectors
  • Check for rebellions happen on a regional level, if loyalty is too low in a region, the whole region becomes part of an uprising
  • One can shape regions/sectors by e.g. maintaining sector capitals which cost influence point upkeep
Control details (still fuzzy)
  • In order not to add more meters, control is a derivative function based on supply
  • Imperial Control is calculated for each of an empire's system (each system where the empire provide supply)
  • Imperial Control is generated on your capital and other "control planets" (e.g. those with a sector capital building)
  • Imperial Control on a control planet is double the planet's supply
  • Control progresses along your supply lines and decreases by one per hop
  • If local supply is higher than remote control, the planet pushes itself its control into regions
  • Control is calculated by first calculating supply. Starting with planets with highest supply mark the system as a control region with..., these flood neighboring systems with
  • Loyalty of a planet is decreased by the difference between the control in the system and the planet's supply if the planet's supply is higher than the system's control value
  • Placing your first few colonies should not cause rebellions
  • Distributed empires still work
  • Not clear if disconnected supply groups should lead easily to rebelllions
TBC...
edit1: added happiness and loyality
edit2: still adding control (its fuzzy)
Last edited by Ophiuchus on Mon May 13, 2019 10:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyality, Sectors (WIP)

#2 Post by labgnome » Sun May 12, 2019 11:46 pm

I'm not so sure I like the idea of yet another stockpile. I think one stockpilable resource is more than enough. For instance, why do we want influence to have a stockpile? Will planets with the stockpile focus also stockpile influence? Will we have a second stockpiling focus for influence? I personally don't think there is a good reason to introduce two new meters at once to keep track of.

I'm also not so sure how useful it would be to set influence around switching focus, as I don't know that it will be relevant to everyone's playstyle. Personally I rarely switch planetary focus, I usually set that to what I want and jut leave them. Maybe I am just weird but I suspect this might not be a good basis for influence.

Also, there is an existing influence discussion going on right now. Why do you want to start a new topic?
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyality, Sectors (WIP)

#3 Post by Oberlus » Mon May 13, 2019 7:59 am

Influence will be produced much like any other resource: by colonies with the Influence planetary focus, and some buildings with flat (applied to all) or pop-based (only to influence-focused colonies) bonuses.
Right now, in Geoff's branch, Influence is a storable resource (you can stockpile it). Any influence produced and not consumed is stored. IMO, this is desirable, if we are basing colony and ship upkeep on Influence, because otherwise a shortage of Influence would be much harder to avoid with strong effects that might piss off many players.

Not to be confused with the Imperial Stockpile or its planetary focus. The stockpile planetary focus does not produce anything, it only allows to get faster the previously stockpiled PPs.
labgnome wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 11:46 pm
I'm not so sure I like the idea of yet another stockpile. [...] Personally I rarely switch planetary focus, I usually set that to what I want and jut leave them.
All this is more or less set in stone, unless someone points out exploits or micromagement alerts or something apart from personal preferences without trying it first.

Re: the new thread, let's see first. I expect Ophiuchus is going to present a more or less complex and complete proposal. Talking about different proposals in the same thread might be messy.

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Re: Influence, Control, Loyality, Sectors (WIP)

#4 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon May 13, 2019 10:22 am

labgnome wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 11:46 pm
I'm not so sure I like the idea of yet another stockpile.
Geoff implemented stockpilable influence points. For me this is a given ATM, so I base my concepts on it.
(And see the Oberlus explanations above about what stockpile actually means in this concept; also there is only one stockpilable resource in the game currently, so i think you should use "another stockpile" instead of "yet another stockpile")
The good part here is that you can save some influence up instead of having to spend it every turn.
labgnome wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 11:46 pm
Also, there is an existing influence discussion going on right now. Why do you want to start a new topic?
There are a thousand ideas in the other topic(s) (also i think no developer ever answered there) and if i throw in my ideas it will muddle everything even more. This is not a general brainstorming topic, but i want to flesh out a personal consistent vision of what that stuff could be.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyality, Sectors (WIP)

#5 Post by Vezzra » Fri May 17, 2019 2:30 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:59 am
All this is more or less set in stone, unless someone points out exploits or micromagement alerts or something apart from personal preferences without trying it first.
Actually, regarding Influence (and all related ideas/mechanics) nothing is "set in stone" yet, as there haven't been any final agreements/decisions in the plethora of design discussions about these topics. Just a lot and lot of ideas and thoughts, concepts, etc.

If Geoff already implemented an approach, then I'd rather see that as trying things out, and to do so he'd have to make some decisions, even if nothing is final yet.

Of course, as project lead it is his prerogative to make final decisions and forego further discussions about certain aspects (like making Influence stockpileable or not). However, in that case I hope to get a proper statement from him.

Regarding the "stockpileability" of Influence I have to admit I hope we can rethink the decision to make it stockpileable. Personally, I think it should not be stockpileable. Besides going against natural expectation (stockpiling something like "Influence" doesn't make any sense to me, TBH), this sounds like something with high potential for exploits (stacking up Influence and then swamp your neighbors with a concentrated effort to destabilize their empires by Influence projects - doesn't sound like fun).

The problem of immediate negative consequences if you have a shortage of Influence is supposed to be mitigated by having those consequences taking effect in a very delayed way. If you have an influence shortage on one turn, nothing bad will happen immediately, but some stats/meters (like "Happiness"/"Stability") will start to change. Only if the influence shortage lasts too long, and those affected meters change too much because of this, bad things (like reduced resource output of colonies, shipyards not working anymore, unrest, defection of ships etc.) will start to happen.

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Re: Influence, Control, Loyality, Sectors (WIP)

#6 Post by Oberlus » Fri May 17, 2019 7:30 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:30 pm
Regarding the "stockpileability" of Influence I have to admit I hope we can rethink the decision to make it stockpileable. Personally, I think it should not be stockpileable. Besides going against natural expectation (stockpiling something like "Influence" doesn't make any sense to me, TBH), this sounds like something with high potential for exploits (stacking up Influence and then swamp your neighbors with a concentrated effort to destabilize their empires by Influence projects - doesn't sound like fun).
What about stockpiling warships and then swamp your influencing neighbour with a concentrated effort to conquer its influence powerhouses and whatnot? In this game, for certain POV, everything is about accumulating more than the others and then using the advantage against them.
Also, if you stockpile influence, you are not putting it to a purpose (e.g. expanding and getting more PPs for warships and troopers).

Re: the non-sense, the influence is going to be rather abstract concept that covers lot of things, and some of those things could be stockpilable in some sense, like favours, fear, admiration, reputation, as well as more material stuff like exotic goods, drugs and rare raw resources... So I don't have an opinion regarding sense to make it stockpilable ot no, and the same happens about gameplay.

Without influence stockpile, the delayed negative consequences (which will be delayed with and without influence stockpile, probably?) can still be a big problem if you don't have enough influence per turn to counter the influencing neighbour while you take measures to stop the source of influence, because you are a non-influence-focused empire against an influence-focused empire that can keep the high influence spending while you can't. With influence stockpiled, you can have some savings to help you keep up with the cultural ounslaught until you shut some mouths up. But then, what if the influencing empire did also save influence in advance? So the same problem can happen in both cases, and I think the same solutions could be applied to both cases (like putting some kind of limit on how much influence you can spend per turn on depending what kind of projects, like the mentioned influence conquest).

This said, I would be happy with either way (stockpilable or not).

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Re: Influence, Control, Loyality, Sectors (WIP)

#7 Post by labgnome » Sat May 18, 2019 5:25 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:30 pm
Regarding the "stockpileability" of Influence I have to admit I hope we can rethink the decision to make it stockpileable. Personally, I think it should not be stockpileable. Besides going against natural expectation (stockpiling something like "Influence" doesn't make any sense to me, TBH), this sounds like something with high potential for exploits (stacking up Influence and then swamp your neighbors with a concentrated effort to destabilize their empires by Influence projects - doesn't sound like fun).
Influence being stockpilable seems very counter-intuitive to me as well. Not to mention that while I'd like to play an influence game I can definitely see the problems of stockpiling for an influence-rush. In addition I'd like to say that I'd rather have just one more meter to worry about rather than two.
The problem of immediate negative consequences if you have a shortage of Influence is supposed to be mitigated by having those consequences taking effect in a very delayed way. If you have an influence shortage on one turn, nothing bad will happen immediately, but some stats/meters (like "Happiness"/"Stability") will start to change. Only if the influence shortage lasts too long, and those affected meters change too much because of this, bad things (like reduced resource output of colonies, shipyards not working anymore, unrest, defection of ships etc.) will start to happen.
This I think is the best approach. Shortages of influence should not have too much of an immediate effect, but should build up over time. Influence should not work like production.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#8 Post by labgnome » Sat May 18, 2019 5:36 pm

Re: Loyalty and Control.

Although I'm on the fence about re-branding happiness. I think that is we went with Vezzra's stability suggestion of "stability" we could cover both with a single meter instead of two, and keep things much simpler. I don't necessarily think that two separate meters are necessary for the effects you are describing. I think both could be covered by stability and still give what I presume is your desired result.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyality, Sectors (WIP)

#9 Post by Vezzra » Sun May 19, 2019 1:44 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 7:30 pm
What about stockpiling warships and then swamp your influencing neighbour with a concentrated effort to conquer its influence powerhouses and whatnot? In this game, for certain POV, everything is about accumulating more than the others and then using the advantage against them.
All the more reason to make Influence work differently, when we already have game elements/mechanics in place that allow for stockpiling of means to attack/overthrow/conquer your enemies.

Aside from that, warships work very differently from Influence projects. They have to be strategically/tactically deployed, once we get the mechanics and balances right an empire with (numerally) inferior forces can defeat a superior force if their ships equipment counters their enemies ships equipment effectively, and/or deploy their forces cleverly. It's after all a definite design goal to get away from the doomstack against doomstack dynamic, where basically numbers count most.

The same applies to mechanics that will allow for conflicts carried out by "Influence means": it shouldn't become basically a game of numbers. If Influence is stockpileable that will become very hard to achieve, as the "things" Influence abstracts are much less "tangible" (so to speak) than armed forces.
Re: the non-sense, the influence is going to be rather abstract concept that covers lot of things, and some of those things could be stockpilable in some sense, like favours, fear, admiration, reputation, as well as more material stuff like exotic goods, drugs and rare raw resources... So I don't have an opinion regarding sense to make it stockpilable ot no, and the same happens about gameplay.
Well, of course, the ideas behind our primary base resource types (production/industry, research, and now influence) abstract very broad concepts, which makes it basically possible to explain almost everything with a proper fluff explanation.

Actually these concepts are so broad that there are even overlaps: after all, you can view your armed space forces as one factor/aspect of "Influence" - think "gun boat diplomacy". Threatening an enemy with superior military is certainy a way of "influencing" them. ;)

That said, the basic concepts of "industry", "research" and "influence" aren't equally "suitable" or "well-fitted" for both "tangible" and "intangible" things. Production or Industry related stuff tends to encompass more of the tangible things (processing tangible resources like minerals into other tangible things like ships, buildings, etc.), while Influence encompasses more of the intangible things (propaganda, effective organization, handling and manipulation of relationships, etc.). Which is why, IMO, intuitively it makes more sense to have stockpileable industry, but non-stockpileable influence.

Again, that said, I've never been a fan of the Imperial Stockpile idea anyway. My preference would be to just remove the concept of stockpiles from the game entirely. It works well enough without it, and makes a lot of things simpler and easier, which serves the KISS purpose.

Regarding the effects of an influence shortage: sure, with influence stockpiling you can further delay negative effects - in certain situations. As you pointed out, it also allows an enemy to sustain Influence based attacks longer, making it easier to drain your influence capacities, so this is a zero-sum game. And it's only one means to achieve further delay - if we feel that influence shortages lead to negative effects to quickly, we can always tweak things so the effects are delayed even more. We don't need to resort to influence stockpiling for that.

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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#10 Post by Vezzra » Sun May 19, 2019 1:54 pm

labgnome wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:36 pm
I think that is we went with Vezzra's stability suggestion of "stability" we could cover both with a single meter instead of two, and keep things much simpler. I don't necessarily think that two separate meters are necessary for the effects you are describing. I think both could be covered by stability and still give what I presume is your desired result.
Absolutely, that's the idea anyway. I definitely do not want to suggest two separate meters, basically just renaming "Happiness" to "Stability". Simply because I think it will make fluff explanations far easier.

The basic concept is a stat that represents how "willing" the pop of a colony is to cooperate with the owner of the colony. You can try to model that with a stat that abstracts the "contentness", or "happiness" of a population, but that is a bit limiting when it comes to strategies where you try to press a population into submission by force - enforcing cooperation by military means. That's a bit hard to explain/model with a happiness stat. Trying to model that with a stat that abstracts the "stability" of a colony sounds easier - you can achieve stability/cooperation by doing things that makes people happy, by propaganda/brainwashing them, or by forcing them into submission.

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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#11 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun May 19, 2019 6:12 pm

labgnome wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:36 pm
Re: Loyalty and Control.

Although I'm on the fence about re-branding happiness. I think that is we went with Vezzra's stability suggestion of "stability" we could cover both with a single meter instead of two, and keep things much simpler. I don't necessarily think that two separate meters are necessary for the effects you are describing. I think both could be covered by stability and still give what I presume is your desired result.
vezzra wrote: basically just renaming "Happiness" to "Stability"
If you read my concept carefully you will notice two things. Control is a system value not a planetary one, so it operates on a different scale. Second and more important I do not use the term meter. That is because i do not intend to use a another meter for implementation.

What I imagine is a derivative function (for simplicity of supply) on a system level very much like the supply networks.
The most probable implementation is that "stability" (aka loyalty aka happiness) value gets computed by taking local power (supply), distance and power (supply) from the relevant control planet into account. So control does not really exist outside the calculation of happiness. But it is important to have a name for concept. That concept I call "control".

I am sorry that you guys misunderstood, the concept is not detailed out so much yet. I hope i will find time next week to give more info...
Hope this info gives some context though.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#12 Post by Krikkitone » Sun May 19, 2019 9:35 pm

I think the basic concept is good, but we need to simplify the description

So

Stability: primary planet based meter for results (ie rebel/not rebel, etc.)

possible components of stability...all likely depend on planet status and imperial policies

Military forces present (security/suppression)....can rapidly change easy to lose...but easy to reach max fast

Policies+status by themselves

Long term "loyalty/allegiance/opinion" which should apply to multiple different empires so it can be tracked even through ownership changes (may be per planet or per species)

Regional supply/building based effects

Influence maintenance (if unpaid)

Influence projects (foreign and domestic)

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