Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

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

#46 Post by labgnome » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:46 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:12 am
labgnome wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:51 pm
[stability] would be constant across the sector, but vary between different sectors based on the distance from the capitol/core sector. This I think will only greatly encourage small, compact empires, and will discourage distributed empires.
If that is true, that would be good. Currently, there is little to none profit from playing compactsmall empires. Although that must be look at once influence upkeep is in place.
I think influence upkeep,if done correctly, will do enough to encourage smaller empires. I am more concerned on the compact vs. distributed dynamic. I think this could make distrusted empires non-viable again.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#47 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 am

labgnome wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:46 pm
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:12 am
labgnome wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:51 pm
[stability] would be constant across the sector, but vary between different sectors based on the distance from the capitol/core sector. This I think will only greatly encourage small, compact empires, and will discourage distributed empires.
If that is true, that would be good. Currently, there is little to none profit from playing compactsmall empires. Although that must be look at once influence upkeep is in place.
I think influence upkeep,if done correctly, will do enough to encourage smaller empires. I am more concerned on the compact vs. distributed dynamic. I think this could make distrusted empires non-viable again.
While i think there should be strategies for small (tall) empires, the idea for sectors here should be a universal method for doing regions and stability handling so it can be the default mechanism to do this.

I was also pondering "more interesting" ways of control than just a fixed-euclidean-distance (control projection especially), but all I could think of have too many (micro)management issues. So having a lot of trouble with a sector just because it is far away from the capital and no way of fixing that is definitely off the table for this proposal. Like labgnome I hope that expansion in count of imperial planets should primarily be moderated by influence upkeep mechanic and not the shape of your empire.

Note though that distributed empires like the typical Sly one's need another base mechanism - if you need to make every isolated planet a control planet the design is wrong. That was why the initial proposal was always talking about stability of planets inside of a supply group.
I think there will be a "Frontier Space First" policy which will help with stability with planets which are not inside the supply of one of your planets (so you need to commit yourself by choosing this policy). This policy will help with stability and increase imperial stockpile extraction limit.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#48 Post by Krikkitone » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:10 pm

One way to both privilege small empires and control rapid expansion of number of Sectors is to have increasing number of sectors have a non linear influence maintenance cost OR a stability cost (more Sectors= a less stable empire... although the worlds will be more stable because they are all closer to a Sector capital)

So "shape of empire" depends on where the sector capitals are.. "size" means you can afford a greater number of sector capitals
Last edited by Krikkitone on Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

#49 Post by labgnome » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:10 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 am
While i think there should be strategies for small (tall) empires, the idea for sectors here should be a universal method for doing regions and stability handling so it can be the default mechanism to do this.
Something I agree with as well. I want to see sectors as a mechanic not a specific strategy.
I was also pondering "more interesting" ways of control than just a fixed-euclidean-distance (control projection especially), but all I could think of have too many (micro)management issues. So having a lot of trouble with a sector just because it is far away from the capital and no way of fixing that is definitely off the table for this proposal. Like labgnome I hope that expansion in count of imperial planets should primarily be moderated by influence upkeep mechanic and not the shape of your empire.
So I will say that I am against a fixed-euclidean-distance for sectors, as it strikes me as a counter-intuitive as opposed to jump-range. If supply is not the way we want to go for edge-cases, we could again follow Stellaris' example and allow the players to choose which systems go to which sector. Personally I think that the supply of the sector capitol would be sufficient.
Note though that distributed empires like the typical Sly one's need another base mechanism - if you need to make every isolated planet a control planet the design is wrong. That was why the initial proposal was always talking about stability of planets inside of a supply group.
I think there will be a "Frontier Space First" policy which will help with stability with planets which are not inside the supply of one of your planets (so you need to commit yourself by choosing this policy). This policy will help with stability and increase imperial stockpile extraction limit.
I was thinking "Frontier Spirit" for the name of the policy, that would give extra stability to frontier planets. I'm not sure about the stockpile thing, as I don't play around with the stockpile much, so I don't know if it would do better as part of the same policy or it's own policy.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#50 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:41 pm

labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:10 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 am
I was also pondering "more interesting" ways of control than just a fixed-euclidean-distance (control projection especially), but all I could think of have too many (micro)management issues. So having a lot of trouble with a sector just because it is far away from the capital and no way of fixing that is definitely off the table for this proposal. Like labgnome I hope that expansion in count of imperial planets should primarily be moderated by influence upkeep mechanic and not the shape of your empire.
So I will say that I am against a fixed-euclidean-distance for sectors, as it strikes me as a counter-intuitive as opposed to jump-range. If supply is not the way we want to go for edge-cases, we could again follow Stellaris' example and allow the players to choose which systems go to which sector. Personally I think that the supply of the sector capitol would be sufficient.
I also find jump-count-distance more intuitive than fixed-euclidean-distance. But if jump-count-distance introduces too much management I should ignore my gut feeling. Meddling with starlanes changes jump-count-distance. This could be legitimate (e.g. you change the galaxy so you have better control of planets). This probably leads the user to want to move neighboring sectors, which leads to the user wanting the neighboring sectors, which leads... (and this is not what we want). Of course we could counter this by making establishing/moving sectors expensive so that you will refrain from it if it gives you only a small advantage.
Not that researching a +1 in supply capacity might make you rearrange your jump-count control planets. This does not happen too often so it might be ok. But what about building space elevators(?). Rearranging sectors every 40 turns is OK IMHO. Rearranging sectors every 10 turns is not ok.

Euclidean distance has some problems of its own that I need to think through which were no problems (or different problems) with supply. E.g. what does it mean if a planet is part of a sector but is not supply connected. Especially what happens if supply gets cut off (this is also a question for jump-count-distance) by enemies.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:10 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 am
Note though that distributed empires like the typical Sly one's need another base mechanism - if you need to make every isolated planet a control planet the design is wrong. That was why the initial proposal was always talking about stability of planets inside of a supply group.
I think there will be a "Frontier Space First" policy which will help with stability with planets which are not inside the supply of one of your planets (so you need to commit yourself by choosing this policy). This policy will help with stability and increase imperial stockpile extraction limit.
I was thinking "Frontier Spirit" for the name of the policy, that would give extra stability to frontier planets. I'm not sure about the stockpile thing, as I don't play around with the stockpile much, so I don't know if it would do better as part of the same policy or it's own policy.
The thing here is how you define frontier planets and how much commitment you want of the player. Planets which are not supply connected to your shipyards are tightly coupled to imperial supply (as they probably get +5PP even if they are on research). The fluff also fits: stability comes from being well supplied - the only way to supply disconnected planets in game mechanics is via imperial stockpile. If things are tightly coupled it makes sense to make a single unit out of it.

If you count all non-sector planets the reasoning might be different.
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Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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

#51 Post by labgnome » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:41 pm
I also find jump-count-distance more intuitive than fixed-euclidean-distance. But if jump-count-distance introduces too much management I should ignore my gut feeling. Meddling with starlanes changes jump-count-distance. This could be legitimate (e.g. you change the galaxy so you have better control of planets). This probably leads the user to want to move neighboring sectors, which leads to the user wanting the neighboring sectors, which leads... (and this is not what we want). Of course we could counter this by making establishing/moving sectors expensive so that you will refrain from it if it gives you only a small advantage.
Perhaps a stability, or stability growth, penalty for newly added planets to a sector. Maybe with some fluff explanation about "transitional government". This could be addition to having it cost influence to add planets/systems to a sector. If you made this transitional government cool-down period 10 turns that would at least discourage re-arranging your sectors that often.
Not that researching a +1 in supply capacity might make you rearrange your jump-count control planets. This does not happen too often so it might be ok. But what about building space elevators(?). Rearranging sectors every 40 turns is OK IMHO. Rearranging sectors every 10 turns is not ok.
My impression is that the supply boosting techs (or policies) shouldn't re-arrange sectors because they will be evenly distributed. IE: if there is a System X in Sector A, near to Sector B. Let's say that A's capitol has 5 supply and B's capitol has 3 supply. If you get a supply boosting tech both A & B get +1 supply, so System X stays in Sector A, since Sector A's capitol would now have 6 supply and Sector B's capitol would have 4 supply. Sector A would keep a +2 supply advantage over Sector B. So I am not worried about techs or policies that boost supply as they stand currently, they should not re-arrange sectors passively. The only way to muck this up would be to have techs or policies that only boosted supply on some planets and not others, but so-far I can't think of a good reason to do that.

Building space elevators sets the supply to a specific number, +3 if I recall correctly, with any species bonus applied on top of that from what I've observed. So a space elevator could be a way to rearrange your sectors, but that would be a deliberate act on the part of the player, so as long as we explain how sectors work well enough to them, that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Also it strikes me a much more manageable since all planets with a space elevator get their supply boosted to the same number. Really it then becomes a matter of which one of the controlling species has better supply (assuming they're not both the same), which is already the case.

The real issue is the logistics focus. Maybe, thought counter-intuitively, we could forbid sector capitols from using the logistics focus. That way you can't use the focus to change-up your sectors willy-nilly. Although if we do introduce the transitional government penalty that might be enough to discourage this.
Euclidean distance has some problems of its own that I need to think through which were no problems (or different problems) with supply. E.g. what does it mean if a planet is part of a sector but is not supply connected. Especially what happens if supply gets cut off (this is also a question for jump-count-distance) by enemies.
IMO sectors absolutely should be supply connected. However, if we are going to have sectors be euclidean-distance based we still need a way to decide edge-cases, unless we specifically want gaps between sectors. As sectors are supposed to provide benefits to the players I don't know that we would want to introduce potentially frustrating gaps inside of their territory. Now, if we do want to eliminate gaps this introduces similar problems to jump-range based sectors, but potentially even less intuitive for the player to grasp. The only existing mechanic I can think to base these edge cases off of would be detection range, but this carries most of the same issues as supply-range. Personally I'd only use euclidean distances if we wanted to use non-sector based distance restrictions for buildings, however you have said you don't like that idea.

Now, iff we are going to allow supply-disconnected systems to be in the same sector, I would not use any of the proposed sector capitols that boosted logistics or defense, and maybe production, and preclude any sector-wide troop effects. My reasoning for this is that euclidean-distance based supply-disconnected sectors would be communication-based rather than logistic-based. It would represent an administrative division based on communication range rather than supply range. However this potentially limits the utility of sectors in general.
The thing here is how you define frontier planets and how much commitment you want of the player. Planets which are not supply connected to your shipyards are tightly coupled to imperial supply (as they probably get +5PP even if they are on research). The fluff also fits: stability comes from being well supplied - the only way to supply disconnected planets in game mechanics is via imperial stockpile. If things are tightly coupled it makes sense to make a single unit out of it.

If you count all non-sector planets the reasoning might be different.
So I would count all non-sector planets as frontier planets. It's simple and strait-forward. Planets are either in a sector on on the frontier.

I would give the Imperial Palace it's own sector, (to borrow nomenclature from Stellaris) the "Core Sector". I'd also restrict all "build once per sector" buildings to being built inside of actual sectors, which is why I proposed a basic, "vanilla" sector capitol building so that sectors can be built from the beginning. Also, I might set effects like extra planetary troops or stability to be based off of distance to the Imperial Palace. Frontier planets should be less stable and less defended than sector planets by default. They should be easiest to grab-up militarily and through influence projects.

Now mind you I do like the idea of "Frontier" themed policies that specifically target frontier planets for their own special benefits. The whole idea of space as "The Final Frontier" is an appealing sci-fi trope. Maybe "Frontier Prospecting" for a production-boosting policy, "Frontier Exploration" for a research boosting policy, "Frontier Adventurers" for an influence-boosting policy, "Frontier Outposts" for a troop and/or defense boosting policy and "Frontier Traders" for a supply or stockpile boosting policy.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#52 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 pm

About jump-range-distance sectors:
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:41 pm
Of course we could counter this by making establishing/moving sectors expensive so that you will refrain from it if it gives you only a small advantage.
Perhaps a stability, or stability growth, penalty for newly added planets to a sector. Maybe with some fluff explanation about "transitional government". This could be addition to having it cost influence to add planets/systems to a sector. If you made this transitional government cool-down period 10 turns that would at least discourage re-arranging your sectors that often.
First: knowing about "newly added planets to a sector" requires backend changes - one must track the sector a planet belongs to (and the state of the cooldown/the turn the change happened). This is possible, but more work.

I am not sure I like the the stability and stability growth penalties.

What if a planet switches the sector because an enemy disrupted a supply line for a single turn? That would amount to 11 turns of cooldown that seems arbitrary and harsh.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
My impression is that the supply boosting techs (or policies) shouldn't re-arrange sectors because they will be evenly distributed.
Yes, I also think this will not passively re-arrange sectors.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
Building space elevators sets the supply to a specific number, +3 if I recall correctly, with any species bonus applied on top of that from what I've observed. So a space elevator could be a way to rearrange your sectors, but that would be a deliberate act on the part of the player, so as long as we explain how sectors work well enough to them, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
I also do think thinking about a sector and its neighbors this is not really a problem. You have to do that knowingly and you know what the result will be. What I am afraid of is ripple effects. But as stated that can be maybe balanced away by a change cost.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
The real issue is the logistics focus. Maybe, thought counter-intuitively, we could forbid sector capitols from using the logistics focus. That way you can't use the focus to change-up your sectors willy-nilly. Although if we do introduce the transitional government penalty that might be enough to discourage this.
Yes, forbidding sector capitols from using the logistics focus would work. Not sure I like it. Before starting to think about reach stability, I actually thought that would be one decision one could make - to commit or not commit a planet to supply for a better control in exchange.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
if we are going to have sectors be euclidean-distance based we still need a way to decide edge-cases, unless we specifically want gaps between sectors.
That is much less of a problem with euclidean-distance than with jump-count-distance. Having a planet in the same minimal euclidean distance from multiple control planets will be happening a lot less than with supply based distance. It is probably so rare that it could be solved unambigously (e.g. by control planet id). But measuring euclidean distance is a lot harder for a player than counting jumps, so the UI should offer a projection of the change of sectors.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
Now, iff we are going to allow supply-disconnected systems to be in the same sector, I would not use any of the proposed sector capitols that boosted logistics or defense, and maybe production, and preclude any sector-wide troop effects. My reasoning for this is that euclidean-distance based supply-disconnected sectors would be communication-based rather than logistic-based. It would represent an administrative division based on communication range rather than supply range. However this potentially limits the utility of sectors in general.
Yes, I also have that feeling that those effects should only apply to supply-connected systems. It should be OK though if not the whole supply connection is inside the sector. The main question is what is the benefit to a supply-disconnected planet from the sector. This needs to be answered especially if a system gets disconnected by an enemy - it would not be OK that a troop bonus simply vanishes just because there is an enemy fleet along your supply-line (same reasoning applies to jump-count-distance).
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Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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

#53 Post by labgnome » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:14 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 pm
First: knowing about "newly added planets to a sector" requires backend changes - one must track the sector a planet belongs to (and the state of the cooldown/the turn the change happened). This is possible, but more work.
Though not a programmer, I assumed that some kind of back-end change would ultimately be necessary to accommodate sectors. But I don't know how other programmers feel about it. You could possibly do it as a temporary "transitional government" special applied to the planet.
What if a planet switches the sector because an enemy disrupted a supply line for a single turn? That would amount to 11 turns of cooldown that seems arbitrary and harsh.
This is a valid concern. I do agree that it seems a bit much and you blockades should work differently than intentionally transferring planets to a sector. If we do it through the application of a special, maybe have a disruption caused by a blockade apply a different "unrest and confusion" temporary special, that would have a shorter cooldown time or smaller penalty. The unrest and confusion special could exclude the transitional government special, giving it priority.
Yes, forbidding sector capitols from using the logistics focus would work. Not sure I like it. Before starting to think about reach stability, I actually thought that would be one decision one could make - to commit or not commit a planet to supply for a better control in exchange.
I mean if we are going to keep this KISS we will probably have to sacrifice something we want to make it work. But like I said, a stability penalty might make that unnecessary.

That is much less of a problem with euclidean-distance than with jump-count-distance. Having a planet in the same minimal euclidean distance from multiple control planets will be happening a lot less than with supply based distance. It is probably so rare that it could be solved unambigously (e.g. by control planet id). But measuring euclidean distance is a lot harder for a player than counting jumps, so the UI should offer a projection of the change of sectors.
I think that is something highly dependent on star density and thus galaxy creation. Some galaxies will see almost no stars in gaps between "kissing" sectors gaps and others will see at least one in every gap. And that's even assuming that star placement will allow for consistently touching sectors. Overlapping sector ranges is the only way to avoid gaps in all galaxy configurations and those have all the same problems as the jump-range counterparts, just potentially more confusing. I think the UI for jump-range supply-dependent sectors would be much easier for the player to grok.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
Now, iff we are going to allow supply-disconnected systems to be in the same sector, I would not use any of the proposed sector capitols that boosted logistics or defense, and maybe production, and preclude any sector-wide troop effects. My reasoning for this is that euclidean-distance based supply-disconnected sectors would be communication-based rather than logistic-based. It would represent an administrative division based on communication range rather than supply range. However this potentially limits the utility of sectors in general.
Yes, I also have that feeling that those effects should only apply to supply-connected systems. It should be OK though if not the whole supply connection is inside the sector. The main question is what is the benefit to a supply-disconnected planet from the sector. This needs to be answered especially if a system gets disconnected by an enemy - it would not be OK that a troop bonus simply vanishes just because there is an enemy fleet along your supply-line (same reasoning applies to jump-count-distance).
What I was meaning, and IMO the KISS solution, would be that sectors get none of those benefits, not that they be restricted to supply connection in a sector. However I do think that my suggestion of an unrest and confusion special that is applied to the planet might solve the issue, if it prevented the loss of sector troops. Although I could see a legitimate argument that troop strength should suffer for supply disconnected planets as they cannot be reinforced by your empire.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#54 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:38 pm

labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:14 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 pm
First: knowing about "newly added planets to a sector" requires backend changes - one must track the sector a planet belongs to (and the state of the cooldown/the turn the change happened). This is possible, but more work.
.. You could possibly do it as a temporary "transitional government" special applied to the planet.
No. I would also have to track the sector capital's planet or system id somewhere. That pretty much should not be tracked in FOCS IMHO (I am even not sure it is possible to do that in a meaningful way). So I think that should be done in C++.

And yes, backend changes are necessary for full-feature sectors (UI etc). But having a FOCS only prototype for the first iteration eases the pain a lot.
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:14 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 pm
Having a planet in the same minimal euclidean distance from multiple control planets... is probably so rare that it could be solved unambigously
I think that is something highly dependent on star density and thus galaxy creation. Some galaxies will see almost no stars in gaps between "kissing" sectors gaps and others will see at least one in every gap. And that's even assuming that star placement will allow for consistently touching sectors. Overlapping sector ranges is the only way to avoid gaps in all galaxy configurations and those have all the same problems as the jump-range counterparts, just potentially more confusing.
Yes, I thought overlapping sector ranges would be the gold standard. Also we could determine the mean distance between systems at galaxy creation time and set the sector reach for fourth times that value (and/or make it a configurable property in the first iteration).
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm
Although I could see a legitimate argument that troop strength should suffer for supply disconnected planets as they cannot be reinforced by your empire.
In that case the troop bonus could be high to begin with and an attacker would maybe starve out that troops before invading.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#55 Post by labgnome » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:32 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:38 pm
labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:14 pm
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:17 pm
First: knowing about "newly added planets to a sector" requires backend changes - one must track the sector a planet belongs to (and the state of the cooldown/the turn the change happened). This is possible, but more work.
.. You could possibly do it as a temporary "transitional government" special applied to the planet.
No. I would also have to track the sector capital's planet or system id somewhere. That pretty much should not be tracked in FOCS IMHO (I am even not sure it is possible to do that in a meaningful way). So I think that should be done in C++.

And yes, backend changes are necessary for full-feature sectors (UI etc). But having a FOCS only prototype for the first iteration eases the pain a lot.
I am not a programmer, so I was just trying to think of a simple way handle the issue. I will say even if it requires back-end changes, I do like the idea of using specials to prioritize different penalty effects.

As far as a FOCS only implementation goes, I suppose the question is how many issues do you think we need to solve before we move to back-end changes. So long as we have something functional as a proof-of-concept I think that back-end changes should be a non-issue.
Yes, I thought overlapping sector ranges would be the gold standard. Also we could determine the mean distance between systems at galaxy creation time and set the sector reach for fourth times that value (and/or make it a configurable property in the first iteration).
You still run into the problems of how do you decide what system goes to what sector in the overlapping regions.
In that case the troop bonus could be high to begin with and an attacker would maybe starve out that troops before invading.
I would be perfectly okay with that.
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Re: Influence, Control, Loyalty, Sectors (WIP)

#56 Post by Oberlus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:32 am

I'm still not convinced that we need sectors at all in FreeOrion (I still don't see how they can help reduce or simplify the management of anything in the game).
And reading your discussions I think now it is even more complicated than I expected. This and the species values, I think won't see light in any foreseeable time (I hope I'm wrong).

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

#57 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:41 am

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:32 am
I'm still not convinced that we need sectors at all in FreeOrion.
Me neither.
One thing I hope: disconnecting a sector from its control planet should have strategic implicitions/ speed up mopping up defenseless empires. E.g. capture the sector capital (which usually increases stability on all sector's planets) and incite revolution in the sector instead of having to capture all the sector's planets. Or directly take over a whole sector by means of paying influence.

This thread is exploring the design space for influence, rebellion and region-based effects. And it I think it has been quite fruitful.

It relates to influence/upkeep in a way: influence upkeep per control planet - buildings/focus/effects once per sector

Of course it could also be directly: influence upkeep per building/focus/effect
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Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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

#58 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:43 am

labgnome wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:32 pm
Yes, I thought overlapping sector ranges would be the gold standard. Also we could determine the mean distance between systems at galaxy creation time and set the sector reach for fourth times that value (and/or make it a configurable property in the first iteration).
You still run into the problems of how do you decide what system goes to what sector in the overlapping regions.
In the overlapping regions the closer control planet "wins".
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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

#59 Post by LienRag » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:39 pm

labgnome wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:51 pm
I don't want to have to set the autonomy of each sector I create and keep tack of that. There is already the planetary foci to keep track of. If there is a sector-level autonomy mechanic I'd prefer it to be more automatic. Plus you would need a whole UI just to set sector autonomy if it's going to be done individually.
Then you don't want my Nomes, because that's their core feature, that's what they're designed for.
The idea is that when an Empire gets short on influence, it can choose to reduce its costs by giving more autonomy to some Nomes, carefully choosing which ones since there's probably gonna be a cost for that.
(if planets cost more influence the farther they are, giving autononmy to farthest Nomes will maximize the savings, but it will expose the most fragile Nomes to enemy action, covert or not)

And if/when it recovers, it can begin to slowly retake controls of autonomous or semi-autonomous Nomes, at a high Influence cost.

This both emulates the historical process of Ancient Egypt (and of basically all feudal Empires, so being quite intuitive for most players) and gives a more interesting imho way of handling influence, both for defenders (who now have choices about how they will defend) and for the attacker (who doesn't just pay influence to win planets, but has to push his targets into making mistakes and then exploit these mistakes).


By the way, this illustrates that my Nomes and your Sectors are so far not the same thing...
And while I do like the term Nomes, since AFAIK Ancient Egypt political structures are close to what I'm talking about, the subjugation level of historical Nomarchs being variable with time and quite subtle (they usually more or less worked together while being in disagreement to what their subjugation level actually was, to the extent that I'm not sure Nomarchs actually needed to officially revolt when Pharaoh power declined, they just self-appointed their successors and stopped sending tributes), if you really care enough about a working name to be hostile to it, feel free to call them Zhous, Fanzhens, Daos, Marches, Rajs, Prants, Jans, Duchies, Hans, Cuiges, or Bailliwicks if you'd prefer!

And of course as long as we have different proposals for our Sectors/Nomes/Whatever we need different names to identify clearly which ones we're talking about!
labgnome wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:51 pm
This is still something I very much dislike. Galaxy size is highly variable, and so any system for sectors should be able to accommodate large galaxy sizes.
Indeed it should accomodate large Galaxy sizes, but as I understand it different Galaxy sizes are meant to produce different game experiences, so I don't see the point of having Galaxy size bearing no consequences to the way one has to plan his Nomes...

The idea with Nomes (as with basically any game concept) is that the player can't have all the Nomes that he'll want for his Empire, and because of that has to make some hard choices, plan carefully, and adapt his strategies to the possibilities at hand.
The fact that he'll be more constrained in large Galaxies makes for a different game experience, which is more a feature than a problem imho.

Actually, I am fairly confident that FreeOrion should follow the very simple design principle that Sulla (one of Geoff's inspiration source apparently) described in his Civilization review: A BIGGER EMPIRE IS BETTER, BUT IT IS HARD TO GET BIG.

If you despite that insist on having large numbers of Nomes in large Galaxies, there can be a parameter in the game settings before a new game that lowers the growth of the skyrocketing price for Nome Capitols (it needs to be exponential, but the constant that will be exponentiated doesn't need to be set in stone, and this will change a lot the resulting curve).

Note that conquering enemy Nomes is another way to have your Empire grow without too much hassle... It will balance differently the choices between early conquest and slowly building one's forces, as it'll cost much more to build Capitols after conquest than before.

Note too that since there seems to be a consensus towards using supply as a way to define Nomes' reach, at late game (with high supply) a small number of well-positionned Nomes can cover a great number of planets...
labgnome wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:51 pm

This. I think that @Ophiuchus and I are on similar pages in that stability/happiness/loyalty should be based on distance to the sector capitol. You seem to be proposing, if I understand correctly that it would be constant across the sector, but vary between different sectors based on the distance from the capitol/core sector. This I think will only greatly encourage small, compact empires, and will discourage distributed empires.

Hum. I didn't approach things that way, actually. I always thought that distance to the Imperial Palace would be an important factor for influence upkeep costs, I don't know where I got this idea.

Anyway, though that's what my Nomes do, it's not their core feature and they probably could work without that (though I do think that it makes for both a more intuitive approach and a more interesting strategic play). The only point I'm adamant about is that distance from other Nomes should not be a factor (i.e., if you have Imperial Palace - a lot of nomeless space - Nome A, building Nome B in the nomeless space between the Palace and Nome A should not bring more control over Nome A).

I'm not proposing that stability/whatever should necessarily be constant across a Nome, and distance from the Capitol is indeed an interesting criteria to bake into stability calculation (as are Species-to-Capitol relations, number of settled planets in the Nome, and other factors). What I'm saying is that the part of the Stability value that depends on distance to the Imperial Palace should be constant across the whole Nome (i.e., that's not the planet-to-palace distance that matters, but the Palace-to-Capitol one).

I didn't really think about distributed Empires, that's a fact. More on it when I'll reply to Ophiuchus' remarks on the topic.

labgnome wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:51 pm

Then maybe it's not a decition we should have in the game. In order to adhere to KISS design principles we cannot have everything we would like in a game.
Well, I was not the one to introduce Policy and Influence mechanisms into the game, so I'll let you decide.
But policy and influence gameplay without any asperities seem boring to me, and my Nomes are a way to create those asperities.

labgnome wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:51 pm

Firstly there is more to influence projects than just espionage, there is also propaganda and terror projects. Also,here again you seem to be making things more complex than they need to be. I also don't think that proximity to the capitol should preclude the ability to perform influence projects. Now if we do adopt sectors, sector targeting influence projects should be a thing, and maybe planet targeting projects that target planets inside of a sector should cost more or take longer, but you should still be able to do them.

I haven't read the 23 pages and counting about "Simulating Citizens" and am only at the beginning of your topic about Inluence discussion.

From what I understand there'll be "influence", which are Empire-wide actions (basically, if your citizens are happy that makes other Empire's citizens receptive to your good will - I know that there'll be more complex mechanisms but still mostly Empire-wide) and "Espionnage" which are targeted actions.

Though I think the basic concepts are sound, I am VERY wary that it may lead to a very tedious gameplay if everybody has to defend himself permanently against invisible enemies.

So yes I do think that strategic ways of countering enemy influence rather than having only tactical ways to do so on a turn-by-turn basis is a very important feature to implement.
Imho, giving a player a choice between controlling less territory but secure from enemy Influence/Espionnage (by having Nomes close to his Palace) OR controlling much more territory (and the corresponding resources) but exposing them to enemy Influence/Espionnage (by building his Nome Capitols further) is a good implementation of this necessary design concept, and if you don't like it please provide a better strategic counter-measure mechanism.

In the same way, making a clear difference between what happens Inluence-wise in Nomes and in Frontier Space adds a lot to the gameplay imho.

Oh, and to be clear: the Imperial Sector should NOT be a Nome, and as such should either be entirely immune to Influence/Espionnage or be subject to very specific ones.

labgnome wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:46 pm
I think this could make distrusted empires non-viable again.
The very objective of Influence mechanisms is to make distrusted Empires non-viable... :mrgreen:

Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 am
So having a lot of trouble with a sector just because it is far away from the capital and no way of fixing that is definitely off the table for this proposal. Like labgnome I hope that expansion in count of imperial planets should primarily be moderated by influence upkeep mechanic and not the shape of your empire.
You're definitely right on point here, and I confess that I didn't think about that before reading your comment.
On the last part of your answer, I'd say that though different Empire shapes should definitely be possible, they shouldn't be indifferent; so the fact that choosing a particular shape would have consequences is not necessarily a bad thing.
So in addition to "Frontier Spirit", maybe adding a "Seeds of Greatness" policy that would allow for more scattered Nomes across the Galaxy? One would need to choose between "Frontier Spirit" and "Seeds of Greatness" but hard choices are the hallmark of great games!

But on the much more crucial first part, I'll have more trouble to answer.
The most important part of it is "with no way to fix it" though. And giving faraway Nomes more autonomy is clearly a way to mitigate it in my original proposal. It would expose them to enemy influence but sending fleet in their sector of the Galaxy would be a way to fix that new problem.
The above-mentioned policy is another option to "fix it"...

Maybe having some very expensive Capitol types ("Ansible centers"? "Emperor-emulating Supercalculators"?) able to immunize the Nome from the distance-induced stability problem, or to just mitigate it? We can have the "ansible centers" mitigate it and the more expensive (and maybe policy-conditioned) "Emperor-emulating Supercalculator" immunize from it maybe?

And yes, as far as I understand them (I never tested them), fully distributed Empires are something entirely different and imho should not have Nomes, avoiding their costs and being devoid of their benefits.
Ophiuchus wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:41 pm
I also find jump-count-distance more intuitive than fixed-euclidean-distance. But if jump-count-distance introduces too much management I should ignore my gut feeling. Meddling with starlanes changes jump-count-distance. This could be legitimate (e.g. you change the galaxy so you have better control of planets). This probably leads the user to want to move neighboring sectors, which leads to the user wanting the neighboring sectors, which leads... (and this is not what we want). Of course we could counter this by making establishing/moving sectors expensive so that you will refrain from it if it gives you only a small advantage.
I can't say about Sectors, but Nomes are political structures: one planet doesn't go from one to another just because its supply changed.
Having Frontier planets integrated in a Nome as supply progress is very coherent with the concept, but planets would take a long time to switch from Nomes if they ever do.

So planets should remember for how long they've been in their Nome, and switching to a closer supply should take at least a (non-linear) fraction of this time. In the meanwhile, if they're at peace they stay in their Nome, and if they're blockaded by enemy ships they are just planets cut from their Nome Capitol, not planets belonging to another Nome.

Planets cut from ALL Nomes are a different thing: it can be interesting to have them slowly revert to Frontier status, and it will make for interesting Influence tactics ("Poor Scyllors! The mean Ugmors at the Capitol have abandoned you in these dire times? We TOLD you that you couldn't trust these bags of dirt! Come join us, we'll never treat you that way...").

Maybe a rule about how, when Empire policies change (which means political ripple effects) all Nome planets have their allegiance recalculated, and if ALL the planets of a Nome are within supply range of other Nome capitols the Nome disappear and the planets are reassigned to nearby Nomes?

And yes I know that it can create some race conditions, but starting from the Nome closest to the Imperial Palace and spiraling from that there should be no more ambiguities.

The now obsolete Nome capitol would change status (like Ancient Ruins get the tag "Explored", it'll get the tag "historical monument" or whatever), not count towards number of Capitols for skyrocketing price purpose, and give a +1 permanent bonus for Stability/Infrastructure/Defense/Influence while probably taking a temporary hit to Happiness. I don't know whether they should keep the specific boni of the Capitol type though (these boni should never apply to other planets once a Nome capitol is decomissionned, but to the decommissionned Capitol planet I can't say).

Planets of the former Nome should take a hit to Happiness according to the autonomy loss that it provokes (if they lose autonomy in the process) and of course if they get further to the new Nome Capitol, if the new Nome Capitol Specie isn't to their liking, and so on.
To be clear, I think they should take a temporary hit more severe than the permanent hit that new conditions provide for (the "boiling frog" effect).

Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:41 am

One thing I hope: disconnecting a sector from its control planet should have strategic implicitions/ speed up mopping up defenseless empires. E.g. capture the sector capital (which usually increases stability on all sector's planets) and incite revolution in the sector instead of having to capture all the sector's planets. Or directly take over a whole sector by means of paying influence.
Yep, that's the idea...
At least the "strategic implications" part. I'm not against mopping up defenseless empires but that should be crafted with care (not removing defenders ability to exchange territory for time).

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

#60 Post by Ophiuchus » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:53 am

LienRag wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:39 pm
By the way, this illustrates that my Nomes and your Sectors are so far not the same thing...
Hm. For me these are basically a Variant. But if you want to further your nomes you should open another thread. Because this thread is about fleshing out my sector proposal.
LienRag wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:39 pm
Indeed it should accomodate large Galaxy sizes, but as I understand it different Galaxy sizes are meant to produce different game experiences, so I don't see the point of having Galaxy size bearing no consequences to the way one has to plan
..
At least the "strategic implications" part. I'm not against mopping up defenseless empires but that should be crafted with care (not removing defenders ability to exchange territory for time).
If influence upkeep is not enough to control growth we could add a loyalty modifier which gets distributed evenly between all sectors. So having more sectors will lead to lower loyalty, restricting the usefulness of having many sectors.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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