Diplomacy(and Espionage?) update speculation, suggestions, and wishlisting

Diplomacy(and Espionage?) update speculation, suggestions, and wishlisting

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Greetings, while I am sure that the Dev Team for Stellaris probably already has many of the features for the Diplomacy Update planned out, and maybe even implemented into some sort of prototype build, I just want to get my ideas out there.

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so let's start small with internal politics:
1) more factions; besides the current basic factions for each Ethos, there should be factions for:
Each sector(though not all pops in a given sector will join their sector's faction; for example if they are of a minority Ethos they will prioritize lending their voice to that faction)
Factions derived from Civics(miners or merchant guilds, byzantine beaurocracy, and exulted priesthood would create a faction drawn from pops that work jobs related to the fluff of those Civics)
Niche/single issue parties(these would likely come in and out of existence throughout the game as the issues they represent come in and out of relevancy, probably linked to events; Leviathan hunters, anti-AI activists, pro-ascension path radicals, support for or against a current war or intervention in someone else's, support for a royal family member's claims to the throne,and lobbyist employees of megacorp branch offices).
and finally Xenophobic factions should be split up by species; because they shouldn't be willing to work together, and would have slightly different demands, and will hate if one of the other xenophobe factions get their way.

and sense factions would now be more numerous, and you'd likely start the game with at least 1 of them already active(sense some civics generate them, those who don't have any civic based ones should just get one of their primary ethos, and maybe a niche faction dedicated to exploration and colonization), we can return to the system where unhappy factions give a malus to influence production, sense there would be more factions to counter them with.

2) Sectors; as mentioned above, each sector should get a faction dedicated to it, likely lead by their local governor.

sectors being based on galactic "geography" like that one dev dairy a while back suggested but wasn't implemented would likely be a good move here, so now Sectors that rebel/gain independence, or sufficient autonomy to become a vassal state, would have secure borders.

due to the increased number of Governors you'd need to make this work, maybe that could be a risk/reward for some authority types; democracies automatically generate("elect") governors for free in sectors but you can't change them manually, and Imperial families generate family members who are either governors or military commanders on a regular basis(though each of these royals generates their own niche faction(or subverts another faction that they lead) to back their claim, so be careful where you assign them), new leader traits would need to be added to help give these faction leaders some flavor, preferably with ones that give both positive and negative bonuses; such as "inspirational" which would boost productivity of worlds they govern, but also make then draw more of their citizens to their sector faction then normal, thus making it more important to meet that faction's demands and increasing how dangerous a rebellion would be if one broke out.

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on to external politics:

1) Fist Contact: members of the Dev Team have said they want to expand on First Contact in the past, and it makes a lot of sense for it to come with diplomacy; it should be a series of event chains that are effected by the ethos and civics of each side, and should be triggered automatically when the two meet, how it goes down will effect starting opinions between the relevant empires, or even trigger a contact war if you really mess up(or one side is an exterminator type), and will cause a increased pull towards Xenophobia or Xenophilia depending on if things went wrong or not.

of course special subvariants should exist for Fallen Empires no risks of miscommunication here, they already know how to talk to you after all, but this will still give you an opportunity to get the xeno-phobia/philia boost if they're your first First Contact.

2) maybe add a "diplomat/ambassador" leader type? would function more for boosting opinion/trust and how likely they are to agree to some treaties or trade deals, but also would be for espionage actions, and maybe something extra for federations. and maybe for interacting with your Factions as well so this type of leader still has something to do in xenophopic/isolationist empires

3) the previously mentioned megacorp lobbyists would likely be controlled by their parent megacorp to some degree, likely just a policy or diplomatic option, and pretty limited due to only pops who are employed by Branch Office buildings would be part of that faction anyway.

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Federations:

the Devs have spoken a lot about wanting a Federation rework, with comparisons to EU4's HRE being common, usually referring to the Federation leader slowly consolidating power and eventually vassalizing and integrating he other members.

while I do think that that should be an option(in fact, my ideas for new factions would allow the integrated member states to still "exist" in the form of a faction that overwrites Sector factions; making managing rebellions both easier by reducing the number of parties to placate, and more dangerous by being bigger, this could apply to recently integrated vassals as well, but those would go away over time while federation member factions would stick abound until actively removed), I think that each member continuing to be independent should be an equally valid tactic for Federation play.

I also think that a new Authority type might be needed to represent such centralized Federations, with new civics that focus on either giving bonuses to member states at their own expense(example: "Arsenal of Democracy"- all member states get -10% fleet maintenance cost, while this Federation gets +5% to their own fleet maintenance costs per member state), or Civics that leech off of their members to enrich themselves(example "Federation R&D institute" +10% to all research production, but each member state reduces their research production by -5%), with these kind of Civics giving a plus or minus to convincing new members to join.

also determining who is Federation leader prior to such centralization is also something that needs addressing, maybe when a Federation is first formed, the founding members will vote on the rules of a constitution, perhaps after a grace period of a few months with a galaxy wide alert to allow more then just the two initial founders to join and partake in the writing of these laws; investing influence to try and get things their way.

options for federation leadership I can think of:
1) rotation; the way federations worked when the game first came out, each member state takes turns being the leader.
2) to the greatest; the way federations work now, the most powerful(as determined by a mixture of military, economic, and technological power) member becomes federation leader and only transfers that power if someone else exceeds them/they fall behind. they may reform into the Federation Authority type and thus become unable to loose this status, but only under unanimous vote of member states and have completed the diplomacy traditions tree.
3) security council; like rotation, but only the founding members ever get to be part of it.
4) neutral HQ; a sector is granted independence under the Federation Authority type to act as permanent Federation leader, and will have all the technological advancements that the member states have unlocked at the time of its creation(including ones unlocked via Ascension perks like mega structures and interspecies breeding), this sector is chosen in a process similar to the galactic market, but instead of trade value it will look at habitable worlds(especially Gaia and Ecumenopolis due to their 100% habitability), mega structures(especially the Stellar Assembly, Ringworlds, and Habitats), and maybe relative distance from all member states(will try to be centrally located). The player may choose to switch over and play as this Central Federation HQ, though in Multiplayers this likely should be disabled.
5) the Founder; the nation that made the initial offer to found the federation is made premiant leader, they may reform into the Federation Authority type at any time if they wish
6) claim the throne; if you have finished the domination traditions tree and spend an obsessed amount of influence, you can make yourself the despot of the federation leadership.

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and on the subject of Espionage:

things I'd want:

1) subversion and propaganda; basically making pops in other nations drift towards your ethos to cite a separatist movement that you may or may not back in their war for independence(if their sovereign even bothers to fight them, they might just let them go), and they might even just flip over to being your vassal or puppet afterwards.

2) hidden information; the current inferior/equivalent/superior status can stick around, but you should be able to spend resources to make yourself look better(paper tiger to scare off attackers you can't beat) or worse(to bait attacks) to outsiders, who in turn can spend resources to see through that deception. listening stations would provide a boosts to likelihood of discovering nearby enemy secrets, while jamming stations will help hide yours.

maybe stealth technology as well? though honestly that feels like a bit to much.

3) something to do with crime? Crime syndicates should have espionage be their biggest asset in galactic politics at least.