Diplomacy: The great "thinkbox" thread.

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hello everyone and especially StarDock dudes.

This thread is supposed to collect some ideas for StarDock dudes to use if they want.
All the posters, please think before you post if its a valid and actually doable feature before posting.


So here goes: I have been playing a lot of paradox games lately (especially ck2). That one has a diplomacy system too.
So does GalCiv2 (obviously) and many other games i have enjoyed playing.

The general problem, in my view, with every diplomacy feature on strategy games is that it is extremely difficult to create enviroment where the AI can have a "real conversation" with you.

All diplomacy features have been designed so, that its basically yes/no answers so that the game actually can react to things properly.
The real negotiation part is very much lacking, because it would be so hard to implement. Or would it ?

My hope for galciv3 and every game that has diplomacy is that on top of the classic style, there would be requests and promises.

It's still gonna be yes/no system but with the addition of those two components you get much more depth into it.
As a side effect, it would also make relationships matter more, because in current system's it doesn't matter how much someone likes or dislikes you. They join your war if they like you or declare war if the dislike you.

With those 2 components added, its not so simple anymore.

I give you couple of examples:

You ask your neighboring race to join your war that is not going very good. He likes you but in no means loves you (lets say in -100 to +100 scale somewhere like +60). Hes space is lacking some belts and he is having hard time with minerals (or whatever) So instead of asking some minerals from you he requests that if he joins the war and you win the war he will get that one juicy asteroid belt to his control, for his purposes only.

You promise that he will get the belt and you just earned yourself an ally to the war.

So the more he likes you, the less he is inclined to request, if he loves you like brother, he might even join the war for free, unless he has some very serious difficulties with some aspect of his empire.


You just started the game and theres this uncolonized planet that interests you whole lot. However, your scout spots another races colony ship nearby heading that way. You immediately contact them and request that they leave the planet be, your going to colonize it as soon as you just get there. They say no, we really want that planet. You respond that if you leave that alone i promise to give you money for the next 50 years as a compensation and on top of that you get my scout ship right now. They say no and your diplomatic relationship detoriates, because now they know you wanted that planet.

This example is important to work another way also, the AI should sometimes in certain situations request the same from you. All diplomacy should be two way street.


Also, breaking promises should cost you universal credibility. With bad credibility it should be very hard to make deals go trough because no one is gonna trust you to keep your promises, instead they would request something that you would hand over immediately, or even break diplomatic ties, wich then could be repaired given time of course.

Combat diplomacy should also be in every game that has a diplomacy feature.

There the requests and promises would be a bit different thing. I would just rather call it coordinating the war effort than nothing else.
It should be so that the both allies could coordinate and "discuss" their attacks, for example "get your spy's to disrupt their ship building economy in planet X, i will attack their research labs in planet Y".
Or "Lets both make a coordinated attack on their main fleet in position Z".

Of course the AI should have its own priorities and "views" how the war should be fought, different races have different tactics anyhow. So it depends much on that also how the AI will respond and what he will ask of you to do.


The system i'm speaking here would still be a yes/no system that would be possible to create in computer game like this one, yes its more complicated and yes it ties the diplomacy more direct way to the AI's and different races behavior because the races would have diplomatic relationship with other races too. But also creates something unique and very deep strategical experience.

It should also make things a bit more challenging for the player (a good thing!) because if the AI coordinates its efforts to destroy you better, it will increase the strategical decision making.


What do you think ?