Species Opinion System Discussion

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labgnome
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Species Opinion System Discussion

#1 Post by labgnome » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:53 pm

From discussions here, here and here there has been talk of doing an opinion system for species. I would like to propose a system for species opinion here. Everything is up for discussion and I hope this stimulates everyone. My hope is that this is a relatively simple and easy to understand system. Everyone interested's feedback is appreciated.

Every species has an Opinion of every empire. This Opinion ranges from 0 to 100. The starting base Opinion is 50.

Base opinion can be effected by how planets are acquired. If a planet is acquired peacefully through an influence project this raises the base Opinion by 10. If a planet is acquired aggressively through an invasion this lowers the base Opinion by 10. This effect stacks for every planet of that species acquired by either means.

If there are no active effects and Opinion > 50, Opinion will decrease by 0.1 per turn. If there are no active effects and Opinion < 50, Opinion will increase 0.1 per turn. If there are no active effects and Opinion = 50 then Opinion will remain constant. This way the default target Opinion is 50.

Target Opinion can be effected by planets inhabited by a species experiencing harassment or assistance from a species in your empire. Every instance of harassment decreases target Opinion by 10. Every instance of assistance increases target Opinion by 10. Multiple instances of this stack.

Target opinion can also be effected by influence projects. Terror projects targeted at the species and their planets will result in decreased target opinion. Propaganda projects targeted at the species and their planets will result in increased target opinion.

Species will have favorable and unfavorable policies based on their species values. If there is a favorable policy active, Opinion will increase by 5 per turn until it reaches 100. If there is an unfavorable policy active, Opinion will decrease by 5 per turn until it reaches 0. The effects of multiple favorable and unfavorable policies stack.

Opinion and Stability/Happiness are related to each other through the following pattern: Target Stability = Base Stability + 2 x ( Opinion - 50 )
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#2 Post by Oberlus » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:09 am

Some comments:
labgnome wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:53 pm
This Opinion ranges from 0 to 100. The starting base Opinion is 50.
Consider [-100..100] to make more evident to the user when the opinion is negative or positive (irrelevant in terms of internal game mechanics).
If a planet is acquired peacefully through an influence project this raises the base Opinion by 10. If a planet is acquired aggressively through an invasion this lowers the base Opinion by 10.
Warlike species could or should work different, or work the same way and then have other effect about increasing opinion on empires invading planets.
Also, when you say "base opinion can be affected by", you mean just Opinion, right? Because Base Opinion is just the starting value, a constant, and you also have a TargetOpinion mentioned later.
This way the default target Opinion is 50.
Target Opinion can be effected by [...][
Correct me if I'm wrong: So we have a Base Opinion (the starting value), an Opinion (the current value) and a Target Opinion (which at start it is equal to the base opinion but can be modified later).
Every instance of harassment/terror (assistance/propaganda) decreases (increases) target Opinion by 10.
Target Opinion, not Opinion. So, harassment/assistance has an slow but deep effect: starting at Opinion=TargetOpinion=50, after 5 turns of harassment we will have Opinion=49.5 and TargetOpinion=0. If that is right, then that Empire won't be able to be liked by that species unless it is able to stop harassment and apply some assistance or propaganda for 10 turns to move TargetOpinion to 100, and apply a policy that they like to get +5 per turn to Opinion.

Up to here, this systems seems to me rather broken, mostly because of that TargetOpinion being so easily and deeply modified by small actions.

What about keeping TargetOpinion=BaseOpinion=0 (or 50 in a 0..100 range) and only work on Opinion?

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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#3 Post by The Silent One » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:26 am

Forgive me my bluntness, but my immediate reaction is that species/empire relations is a complicated, barely fun and hardly intuitive game mechanism, which also seems unneccessary to me because it overlaps at least somewhat with the proposed stability mechanism.
What is this game mechanism trying to achieve? Taking planets by influence or invasion doesn't have to be balanced by species opinion. If an empire has great influence, taking planets by influence may just be simpler than by invasion. If we should need to find a way to punish aggressive military expansion, we can use stability instead.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#4 Post by labgnome » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:43 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:09 am
Consider [-100..100] to make more evident to the user when the opinion is negative or positive (irrelevant in terms of internal game mechanics).
I actually like this better. However I wanted to keep it consistent with the other meters in Free Orion that are all positive. I really would rather have -100 to +100, with bad opinion being negative and neutral opinion being 0.
Warlike species could or should work different, or work the same way and then have other effect about increasing opinion on empires invading planets.
Also, when you say "base opinion can be affected by", you mean just Opinion, right? Because Base Opinion is just the starting value, a constant, and you also have a TargetOpinion mentioned later.
I don't know that warlike species should automatically like having their own planets invaded. This is about opinion about their own planets, not other species planets.

Yes, this about Opinion. Basically, opinion before other other opinion effects are applied.
Target Opinion, not Opinion. So, harassment/assistance has an slow but deep effect: starting at Opinion=TargetOpinion=50, after 5 turns of harassment we will have Opinion=49.5 and TargetOpinion=0. If that is right, then that Empire won't be able to be liked by that species unless it is able to stop harassment and apply some assistance or propaganda for 10 turns to move TargetOpinion to 100, and apply a policy that they like to get +5 per turn to Opinion.
So starting at Opinion=TargetOpinion=50, after 5 turns of harassment, you would have Opinion=49.5 and TargetOpinion=40. Harassment and assistance will come form species traits. So for instance Eaxaw will generate economic harassment, and each planet within 5 jumps counts as 1 instance of harassment. So having 1 Eaxaw planet within 5 jumps would produce the effect as above, while having 2 Eaxaw planets within range will give you TargetOpinion=30. You could move a species that generates assistance (let's say we give that trait to Cray) and so having 1 Cray planet in range and 1 Eaxaw planet in range would give you TargetOpinion = 50. If you wanted to raise target opinion more you could institute a propaganda influence project and raise to TargetOpinion=60 or whatever the project raises it to.
Up to here, this systems seems to me rather broken, mostly because of that TargetOpinion being so easily and deeply modified by small actions.
Well then let's try and fix it.
What about keeping TargetOpinion=BaseOpinion=0 (or 50 in a 0..100 range) and only work on Opinion?
I can see that. However if we are going to work out an opinion system we need to work out how it effects stability/happiness. But maybe we should work out just opinion mechanics first then work out the relationship between Opinion and Stability/Happiness.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#5 Post by labgnome » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:09 pm

The Silent One wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:26 am
Forgive me my bluntness, but my immediate reaction is that species/empire relations is a complicated, barely fun and hardly intuitive game mechanism, which also seems unneccessary to me because it overlaps at least somewhat with the proposed stability mechanism.
What is this game mechanism trying to achieve? Taking planets by influence or invasion doesn't have to be balanced by species opinion. If an empire has great influence, taking planets by influence may just be simpler than by invasion. If we should need to find a way to punish aggressive military expansion, we can use stability instead.
No problem. The feedback is appreciated.

Basically the idea of an opinion mechanic grew out of discussions about influence projects, and specifically how to manage who gets control of a planet when multiple empires are competing through influence for it. The idea has been proposed under other names like "loyalty" or "allegiance", with somewhat different connotations, but the same general idea, a measure of how much a species "likes" an empire. After discussion about KISS and what already has groundwork laid out a species level opinion was generally agreed upon. Something else immediately brought up is that this mechanic should effect happiness/stability.

However there hasn't yet been discussion on just how the mechanics of opinion should work. Particularly the fact that what an empire dose should effect opinion, but with little idea of just exactly how that should play out. So I wanted to create a discussion to work out the details.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#6 Post by The Silent One » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:48 pm

Basically the idea of an opinion mechanic grew out of discussions about influence projects, and specifically how to manage who gets control of a planet when multiple empires are competing through influence for it. The idea has been proposed under other names like "loyalty" or "allegiance", with somewhat different connotations, but the same general idea, a measure of how much a species "likes" an empire.
If the question is how empires can compete over control of a planet through influence, shouldn't it rather than the species target the specific planet('s population)? If it targets a species, that will affect many planets with a probable tendency to unbalance quickly.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#7 Post by labgnome » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:27 am

The Silent One wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:48 pm
If the question is how empires can compete over control of a planet through influence, shouldn't it rather than the species target the specific planet('s population)? If it targets a species, that will affect many planets with a probable tendency to unbalance quickly.
Honestly I'd suggest reading over the Influence Discussion topic yourself, it's hard to communicate what all went into the discussion about opinion in a TLDR version.

Basically it was first set that opinion should be either on the planet level or the species level, and then species level won out. Both had issues and most people were more willing to deal with the issues of species level opinion than plant level opinion. Also, there is apparently already an existing framework for species level opinion.

Now the influence project to get a planet does target the planet, but opinion works on a species level. I'm honestly fine with opinion working on a species level or a planet level but I don't want to re-hash that same discussion again over here. If you really want to try to convince people to change their positions go ahead, but I'm not interested in getting involved in that particular conflict, so you're on your own. I'm fine with whatever we decide, but I thought this was largely settled at this point.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#8 Post by Oberlus » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:58 am

My TL:DR version of all that discussion is that species-empires opinions seems a bit too complex for what it gets for the game, and that something simpler is the way to go. I suggested using only one stability meter and work on that for influence conquest, so that you can't get a planet if you are not actively working on getting that planet (instead of all planets of that species).
I mean, I agree with The Silent One.

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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#9 Post by labgnome » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:27 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:58 am
My TL:DR version of all that discussion is that species-empires opinions seems a bit too complex for what it gets for the game, and that something simpler is the way to go. I suggested using only one stability meter and work on that for influence conquest, so that you can't get a planet if you are not actively working on getting that planet (instead of all planets of that species).
I mean, I agree with The Silent One.
So what happens if two empires are doing the same influence project on a planet? Plus, part of getting planets peacefully is that you get to keep stability, that is something I very much want to keep. Also, something I had forgotten to mention earlier, what about ship/fleet defection? Not to mention all the talk that gone into species liking or disliking their treatment by an empire. I don't think that can be handled by stability alone.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#10 Post by The Silent One » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:13 pm

labgnome wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:27 pm
Not to mention all the talk that gone into species liking or disliking their treatment by an empire. I don't think that can be handled by stability alone.
This belongs into a simulation game, not a 4X game.
labgnome wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:27 pm
So what happens if two empires are doing the same influence project on a planet?
Quick mockup below with a not-very-thought-through (UI) suggestion. Blue empire is the colony founder and has largest percentage of loyalty, owning the planet. Green has finished some, purple less influence projects that have brought them some loyalty points. If happiness is high, green and purple will lose loyalty each turn, if happiness is low blue will.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#11 Post by Oberlus » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:29 pm

labgnome wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:27 pm
So what happens if two empires are doing the same influence project on a planet? Plus, part of getting planets peacefully is that you get to keep stability, that is something I very much want to keep. Also, something I had forgotten to mention earlier, what about ship/fleet defection? Not to mention all the talk that gone into species liking or disliking their treatment by an empire. I don't think that can be handled by stability alone.
I suggested (in one of discussions you linked above) A way to do It. (I'm on mobile phone right now, won't search for it). Also for fleets.
The Silent One wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:13 pm
Quick mockup below
That needs a meter for each empire.

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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#12 Post by labgnome » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:56 pm

The Silent One wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:13 pm
labgnome wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:27 pm
So what happens if two empires are doing the same influence project on a planet?
Quick mockup below with a not-very-thought-through (UI) suggestion. Blue empire is the colony founder and has largest percentage of loyalty, owning the planet. Green has finished some, purple less influence projects that have brought them some loyalty points. If happiness is high, green and purple will lose loyalty each turn, if happiness is low blue will.
I mean this doesn't really do what we want without opinion per-say, it just uses a different name, with maybe some slightly different implications. It still dosen't accomplish the goal with stability alone.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#13 Post by Vezzra » Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:35 pm

I need to chime in here, because I'm surprised that the distinction between opinion/loyalty/allegiance and happiness/stability is called into question suddenly. These are two very different concepts and meters, and we most certainly need both. Otherwise, how are oyu going to model e.g. keeping a colony stable not by making the pop happy, but by enforcing compliance via oppressive measures (like a strong presence of occupation troops?).

Trying to cover the stability/allegiance thing with only one stat will severly constrain the possibilities here.

Not to mention that if we go with only one stat, the discussion if to track that on species or colony/planet level is moot, you'd have to track on colony/planet level of course.

This really comes totally out of the blue for me - did I miss some important discussion and change of design decisions...? :?

Last thing I know, having species-empire relations (and species-species relations too, btw) tracked on species level on the one side and stability/happiness tracked on colony/planetary level on the other side has been already decided and agreed upon...? :?

And what was the design decision in the Opinion and Stability thread about?

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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#14 Post by labgnome » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:01 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:35 pm
This really comes totally out of the blue for me - did I miss some important discussion and change of design decisions...? :?
I'm honestly just a sidelined as you are by this. Unless the talks happened on github I don't think you missed anything.
Last thing I know, having species-empire relations (and species-species relations too, btw) tracked on species level on the one side and stability/happiness tracked on colony/planetary level on the other side has been already decided and agreed upon...? :?
I did too. Although I was thinking more of tracking species-empire and empire-empire relations. I was thinking of tracking species-empire relations as a way to gauge your internal affairs and empire-empire relations as a way to gauge your external affairs.

While my initial proposal for opinion/allegiance/loyalty mechanics might not have been the best, I still wanted to see if it was a starting point for building a system for the game.
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Re: Species Opinion System Discussion

#15 Post by The Silent One » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:40 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 3:35 pm
This really comes totally out of the blue for me - did I miss some important discussion and change of design decisions...? :?

Last thing I know, having species-empire relations (and species-species relations too, btw) tracked on species level on the one side and stability/happiness tracked on colony/planetary level on the other side has been already decided and agreed upon...? :?
I wasn't following the opinion discussion closely, and unaware that a final decision has been made. If that's so, that's that.

But: species-empire relations seem like a bad idea to me. Probably the worst mistake of MoO3 was that little of the player's actions seemed to have any effect on the game, and I'm doubtful it will be different with the SER. I really have difficulties to imagine how this abstract and simulation-like concept will turn into something fun, where the player has to make significant decision that have a noticable impact.

If someone can explain to me how strategies around SER might look, how they envision how SER will add to the gameplay, please do.

(Much rather, we should have empire-empire relations at some point.)
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