Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #25: The Unifier Victory Condition

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #25: The Unifier Victory Condition

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LennartGS

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Hi there, this Age of Wonders: Planetfall Dev Diary is about the Unifier Victory Condition, a diplomatic victory that requires the player to have a high Reputation and good diplomatic relations with the factions on the planet.

The Unifier Victory is achieved when a player successfully takes control of the planet by means of its dormant planet-CORE AI, an autonomous sub-system of the shattered Star Union’s interstellar CORE (Conscientious Omnipresent Regency Engine). A planet-CORE AI is linked into imperial technology on its planet, including that used by the players. If a player can convince the planet-CORE to appoint them as Ruler of the planet, that player gains control of the planet and all of their opponents.

Governor.jpg

A Planetary Governor from the days of the Star Union

In order to appease the planet-CORE AI to appoint a player as planetary ruler, that player needs to launch the Planetary Unification Protocol operation, which requires late-game Research to unlock and costs a large amount of Influence.

The operation can only be launched when the player has the highest level of Reputation and the player or their Allies have annexed 3 Dwellings of NPC Factions they are at Peace with.


CallToWar.jpg

It might seem like a logical step to form alliances with many other players, but if a friend calls you into an offensive unprovoked war, you face a big hit in Reputation, which will set you back.

When a player launches the operation, they will become Victorious after a certain number of Turns called their Probation Period. The planet-CORE AI announces to all the players on the map that a probation period has been started by a player through an Event, and will reveal all dwellings that player and their allies own to all other players on the planet. The unification victory is cancelled if the player and its allies no longer control three dwellings they are at peace with, or the reputation of the player that launched the planetary unification protocols operation becomes negative. The unifier victory is closely tied to an empire’s Unity Capability.


Probation Period

When a Player is attempting the Unifier Victory and launches the Planetary Unification Protocol operation, they will go into a probation period while the planet-CORE AI determines whether or not they are fit to become ruler of the planet. The probation period lasts for a certain number of turns, depending on a variety of factors. The base duration of the probation period is 30 turns, but is modified as follows when the operation is launched


  • Each Dwelling the player owns: -2 Turns
  • Each player who is allied to the player: -2 Turns
  • Each faction who is allied to the player : -2 Turns
  • Each player who is at war with the player: + 4 Turns
  • Each faction who is at war with the player : + 4 Turns
  • Each other player with Planetary Unification Protocols active: + 4 Turns

After the probation period is started, it can still be modified by the player, as well as by their allies and their enemies, see Unifier Victory - Probation Period Changes. When there are 5 turns remaining on the probation period, the planet-CORE AI will go into Final Consideration Mode.

Integrated Growth Dwelling.jpg

Annexing three Dwellings is central to achieving the Unifier Victory

Probation Period Changes

When Player is attempting the Unifier Victory and has launched the Planetary Unification Protocol operation, they will be in their Probation Period while the planet-CORE AI determines whether or not they are fit to become ruler of the planet. During this time. the planet-CORE AI closely monitors them, and their actions, and the actions of others towards them, are all taken into account and can impact the length of the probation period. The number of Turns of the probation period can be adjusted in the following ways:

Player or ally loses a dwelling: +2 Turns
  • Player or ally gains a dwelling: -2 Turns
  • War with a faction started: +4 Turns
  • War with a faction ends: -4 Turns
  • War with a player started +4 Turns
  • War with a player ends: -4 Turns
  • Alliance with a player made: -2 Turns
  • Alliance with a player lost: +2 Turns
  • Allied player also launches Planetary Unification Protocols : -4 Turns
  • Non-allied player launches Planetary Unification Protocols: +4 Turns
  • The player’s reputation goes down a level: +2 Turns
  • The player’s reputation goes up a level: -2 Turns

Modifications to the probation period only count for the player who launched the operation and not for their allies. Therefore, if an ally of theirs starts a War with an enemy, no turn change will occur. The only exception to this is when an ally loses or gains NPC Dwelling. When there are 5 turns remaining on the probation period, the planet-CORE will go into a Final Consideration Mode.

Diplomacy.jpg

Friends with the NPC factions, three defensive pacts. One war with a grumpy Dvar - Good conditions to kick off the Unifier Victory for our Commander Clickety Clak't

Final Consideration Mode

When a player is attempting the Unifier Victory and has launched the Planetary Unification Protocol operation, they will be in their Unifier Victory - Probation Period. Once there are only 5 turns remaining on their probation period, the planet-CORE AI will go into final consideration mode. During the final consideration each player will receive an Event notification each turn that a player is approaching the unifier victory condition and is about to win the game. The remaining turn number can no longer be reduced by Unifier Victory - Probation Period Changes, but it can still be increased to bring the planet-CORE out of final consideration mode.

UnifierVictory.jpg

Well done Clickety Clak't!
(We will have to do some work on the contrast of that text)

Together with the Doomsday Tech Victory, Unifier brings an integrated peaceful way to win Planetfall, addressing criticism that base-game Age of Woners 3 was lacking alternate victory modes.

The Unifier victories ties together both the PvE and PvP diplomacy systems and requires players who follow this path to carefully decide who they become friends with. The Unifier will have to walk a tight rope, invest heavily in influence and a defensive army for when rival try to stop you in the final phases.
 

Leyrann

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Haven't finished reading yet but I just want to get this out of the way - it feels really bad to be forced into an option with no positives when you're doing what should be the 'good' thing - making alliances with other players. I would say that agreeing to go into a war without CB should indeed give an influence hit, but that refusing to join your ally on the grounds of there not being a CB should only give a hit to your relation with that player, as your actions can be justified perfectly to other players; you refuse to back someone in an unjust war, no matter your relationship to them, because you're honorable.
 

Fenraellis

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So, presuming Integration level simply to have the dwellings acquired peacefully, and the following:

The base duration of the probation period is 30 turns, but is modified as follows when the operation is launched


  • Each Dwelling the player owns: -2 Turns
  • Each player who is allied to the player: -2 Turns
  • Each faction who is allied to the player : -2 Turns
  • Each player who is at war with the player: + 4 Turns
  • Each faction who is at war with the player : + 4 Turns
  • Each other player with Planetary Unification Protocols active: + 4 Turns
Would it be reasonable to presume a solo player launching this to have -6 from three dwellings, and -4 to -6(depending on if one has multiple dwellings of the same faction) from faction alliances? So, aside from wars, they would be starting with an 18 to 20 turn timer. Interesting.
 

Quark02

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So while it is in final consideration mode, and you gain a dwelling (get no time decrease), lose two dwellings and get pushed out of final consideration, would the gained dwelling affect you now (to push you back into final consideration)? Or would it not affect you at all?

The unification victory is cancelled if the player and its allies no longer control three dwellings they are at peace with,
How immediate is this? ie is it cancelled immediately when you lose the third dwelling, or do you have until the end of the turn to regain a friendly dwelling? This is especially important for the Classic turn mode.
 

Dr_K

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Interesting. I like that the unifier victory condition is more complex than the AoW3 beacons victory condition.

The operation can only be launched when the player has the highest level of Reputation and the player or their Allies have annexed 3 Dwellings of NPC Factions they are at Peace with.
Why you OR your allies, and not just you? I would assume it is due to the fact that annexing NPC factions seems like a more tedious process. However, depending on the number of dwellings on the planet and the general diplomatic landscape between the players, could this restriction be too harsh and completely prevent a unifier victory for any player at all?

Each other player with Planetary Unification Protocols active: + 4 Turns
  • Allied player also launches Planetary Unification Protocols : -4 Turns
  • Non-allied player launches Planetary Unification Protocols: +4 Turns
I kind of like the fact that you start at a significant disadvantage (all other things equal) if you start a probation period while an ally has also started their probation period.

  • War with a player started +4 Turns
  • War with a player ends: -4 Turns
Does someone else starting a war with you count against the timer? Or is it only if you initiate the war? The former seems more appropriate given the type of victory condition.
 

LennartGS

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So, presuming Integration level simply to have the dwellings acquired peacefully, and the following:

Would it be reasonable to presume a solo player launching this to have -6 from three dwellings, and -4 to -6(depending on if one has multiple dwellings of the same faction) from faction alliances? So, aside from wars, they would be starting with an 18 to 20 turn timer. Interesting.
Yes.. its some quite time some time to surive. Others still get a casus belli on you, so AIs will try to make things difficult. (AI still being worked on)

How immediate is this? ie is it cancelled immediately when you lose the third dwelling, or do you have until the end of the turn to regain a friendly dwelling? This is especially important for the Classic turn mode.
All events take effect immediately, to avoid ambiguity.
 

Jolly Joker

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@Lennart

Okay, I have a question. Unifier victory in AoW 3 can be made more or less difficult by adjusting the number of beacons necessary to win. Since you can have only one beacon per race, needing a couple of them also means that you need to have a sufficiently big and happy population from as many different races.

Now, on first look it might seem that "annexing 3 dwellings they are at peace with" might fulfill the same role here, but reading everything I'm not so sure. Is that "necessary number" adjustable?
I mean, we are talking about a game with a complex layer of tactical combat and while I have no problem with peaceful victories I also think it should be VERY tough to obtain.
 

Ridixo

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Nice space-roman toga your character gets when become governor. The more i know of the game the more i like it. Also i think you are doing a great job designing this game with all the reactions to Age of Wonder 3 in mind. I really like that game, but if you keep improving Planetfall i will have a new favorite.
 

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Sounds pretty difficult to achieve this type of victory. Most players will prefer more aggressive ways to win, imao. In competitive games at least.
 

BBShockwave

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Humm, seems this will be hard to pull off, unless they changed the AI rulers logic... In AOW3 when you start to enter the endgame and started to light beacons, usually your allies suddenly decide to turn on you after the second one or so. Here, I wonder what will stop the allies and neutrals from declaring war to you? Maybe there will be some diplomacy options to keep them interested in an unified victory.
Also, defending 3 NPC dwellings - likely located all over the map - will make the 30 turns pretty tough considering the enemies will come at all of those places.
Nice, we have our first Assembly hero portrait too! Interesting how he seems to be wearing some horned bone helmet? And so this is where some people got the Psi-Fish info from! Curious what those look like! :D
 

Technogremlin

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The syndicate leader seems to be wearing some sort of skintight blue headgear. Don't know what that is. Maybe the inner layer of a dune stillsuit?

The assembly guy looks awesome
 

BloodyBattleBrain

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Humm, seems this will be hard to pull off, unless they changed the AI rulers logic... In AOW3 when you start to enter the endgame and started to light beacons, usually your allies suddenly decide to turn on you after the second one or so. Here, I wonder what will stop the allies and neutrals from declaring war to you? Maybe there will be some diplomacy options to keep them interested in an unified victory.
Also, defending 3 NPC dwellings - likely located all over the map - will make the 30 turns pretty tough considering the enemies will come at all of those places.
Nice, we have our first Assembly hero portrait too! Interesting how he seems to be wearing some horned bone helmet? And so this is where some people got the Psi-Fish info from! Curious what those look like! :D
If nothing else has changed, then ticking allied victory on should mean your allies choose to help you!
 

Damkac

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The syndicate leader seems to be wearing some sort of skintight blue headgear. Don't know what that is. Maybe the inner layer of a dune stillsuit?

The assembly guy looks awesome
Syndicate leader looks like Vision from Marvel :D
 

HousePet

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I'm wondering how map size and dwelling generation rates come into this.
Sometimes 3 dwellings would be easy to get. Other times it might not be possible.
 

Thrake

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Why you OR your allies, and not just you? I would assume it is due to the fact that annexing NPC factions seems like a more tedious process. However, depending on the number of dwellings on the planet and the general diplomatic landscape between the players, could this restriction be too harsh and completely prevent a unifier victory for any player at all?
Shouldn't a diplomatic victory condition incentivize diplomacy?

I'll also join @Jolly Joker and hope that the amount of dwellings necessary for the win condition could be modified when generating a new map, and/or scale the probation lenght.

It looks good, it involves diplomacy but pretty much begs for being bullied, so that should be more interesting than just allying everyone around and... Not doing much until the victory screen :)
 

LennartGS

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I'll also join @Jolly Joker and hope that the amount of dwellings necessary for the win condition could be modified when generating a new map, and/or scale the probation lenght.
We''ll look into this - not as easy as it seems there is a dependency coming from the RMG; it might be difficult to guarantee larger numbers on a map as each dwelling eats up a sector and has margins around it.
 

BloodyBattleBrain

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One thing to remember is that, from what we have seen so far, the total city count is going to be notably less than in AoW3, which also means the total dwelling count.

I'm making logical leaps here, don't quote me!