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
- 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 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
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
- Supply is used as a measure of power
and reach. E.g. if the capital supplies your planet directly, that means it can exert a lot of influence on the planet
- The base for reach (and shape) is euclidean space (so the starting sector is circle-shaped) and constant in the galaxy. The reason for using euclidean distance is that distances between systems is constant over the whole game and we need to prevent ripples of micromanagement in case e.g. starlanes are removed or added. The reach should be set so it is a typical three/four jump distance.
- In order not to add more meters, control is a system level derivative function based on supply of control planets.
- 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
- Implementation idea: base loyalty meter maxvalue is max(0, imperial_control - local_supply); imperial_control is
- Imperial Control is meaningful only for empire systems with planets (each system where the empire provide supply).
- Imperial Control is spread from your capital and other "control planets" (e.g. those with a sector capital building)
- Control progresses along your supply lines and decreases by one per hop
- Placing your first few colonies should not cause rebellions
- Distributed empires should still work
- Not clear if disconnected supply groups should lead easily to rebelllions
- Looking at the values and the way meters usually work it might make sense to revert the happiness meter: "Instability". So instability would start with zero on your imperial capital and newly founded colonies and might increase in time. Also for getting a measure of instability you can simply sum up the current values in a region
- Implementation idea: illoyalty meter maxvalue base is SCALE*max(0, supply(local-planet) - control(control-planet, local-planet)) - where control-planet is the relevant control-planet (the one with the highest control to the local-planet). Control is supply(control-planet)-distance(control-planet,local-planet)
Sectors are supply-connected regions of space inside an empireThis needs some rework since I switch to euclidean distance base - also what happens if a system is controlled by an enemies fleet?
- Each sector is build around a control-planet
- Maximum reach of a sector is a fixed galaxy-wide euclidean distance on the map
- Each system is part of at maximum one sector
- If a system is inside the reach of one control planet, it belongs to that sector. If a system is in the reach of multiple control planets, the system belongs to the sector which has the highest control (with the highest max-control if control is tied). If there is still a tie, it is semi-independent and does not belong to a sector and may influence events in all competing sectors. If it is not inside the reach of at least one control planet it does not belong to a sector.
- Sectors are visualized by showing sector borders and system level
- Visualisation in a prototype could be done instead via adding a field effect per planet (each sector gets a random colour).
- Sectors could be used long-term as a more granular management unit than systems (e.g. for leaders, and once-per-sector buildings, special focus available only on control planets)
edit1: added happiness and loyality
edit2: still adding control (its fuzzy)
edit3: decide control is only excerted from control planets, added "Instability" variant
edit4: added sectors
edit5: use euclidean map distance instead of supply for reach