Diplomacy with unfriendly Empires - And decaying Agreements

Diplomacy with unfriendly Empires - And decaying Agreements

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Spaceception

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Barring any possible announcement during PDXcon, and following a similar vein of the Espionage thread, I was wondering how Diplomacy should work when you're dealing with unpleasant Empires. Right now, it's either they like you, or don't. But this doesn't happen in real life, and limits your options in the game, to the point that if RNG isn't kind, your budding megacorp can't put down much, if any, branch offices; because either everyone hates you, or by the time you find a friendly Empire, another one got to them first.

Within current game diplomatic options, I see this (possible examples):


Rivals can't hold things like

  • Defensive pacts
  • Migration treaties
  • Research agreements
  • A Federation
But can hold
  • Commercial pacts (Unless you're a megacorp, or you can, but branch offices are disabled. Thoughts?)
  • Non-aggression pact. But it may be interesting to introduce things like border skirmishes despite having this, and proxy wars, so you aren't directly fighting.


Unfriendly/Wary empires can't hold

  • Defensive pacts (unless there's a mutual threat)
  • Migration treaties
  • A Federation
But can hold
  • Research agreements
  • Commercial pacts (even if you're a Megacorp)
  • Non-aggression pact

Neutral Empires can't hold EDIT
  • Nothing
They can hold everything, but Federations require more work to keep them in.



Now, what are some diplomatic functions - in real life, or other games - that are missing, which could fit in Stellaris?

I also think the effects of a diplomatic agreement should change based on your relationship with a given Empire. So a non-aggression pact with a rival is a bit different than one with a friendly Empire.
 
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Methone

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Friendly reminder that since 2.0 no empires ever take on the Threatened attitude regardless of how threatening your empire is.
 

Spaceception

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Friendly reminder that since 2.0 no empires ever take on the Threatened attitude regardless of how threatening your empire is.
Isn't there one for fear or something like that (or is this it), because I remember this thread about adding fear as a mechanic like trust https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/should-the-ai-empires-fear-you.1161476/

And on the topic of trust, it could get reworking as well. Maybe Rivals can eventually reconcile, or at least become less hostile over time, with Xenophiles/phobes gaining bonuses or maluses to that.
 

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Isn't there one for fear or something like that (or is this it),
There used to be. Slaving Despots would say something like "Anything you hear about is just backhanded slander. We respect your empire and your people." to try and placate you.

It used to happen pre-2.0. And then it didn't.
 
Decaying agreements

Spaceception

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In Stellaris, you can hold agreements and alliances for decades, or even more than a century without much issue. But this results in static diplomacy; unless you happen to change ethics, or declare rivalry on the wrong/right Empire.

This suggestion is three-fold: Rework how your Empire changes over time, let agreements decay over time, and add a proper mechanic to negotiate/re-negotiate agreements. Not by just giving them resources.

As your Empire changes its ethics, as well as the Empire you're allied with, you'll eventually drift apart, and break off most/any deals made. But this will also give you new options for aligning yourself with other Empires who now share your ethics.

Changing policies, declaring rivals/war on certain Empires, etc, can all affect the strength of an agreement. Similar to trust, there can be a base decay, affected by those factors. And a base growth towards your similarities. The strength of an agreement doesn't just extend to how likely it is that you'll keep it, but also its effects. So a decaying commercial agreement can make branch offices more expensive to create/upkeep for example.


There are a number of questions though:
  • Like adding mechanics for keeping agreements by changing your Empire, or forcing your ally to change according to common ethics/policies. This could be important of the integrity of Federations as well. And there could also be brute force ways of keeping the integrity - like in the case of mutual threats, or dominion over some other Empire.
  • How to maintain agreements with Empires who aren't cordial/friendly.
  • How the base decay of agreements, and trust relate to each other. And what changes will be needed towards trust so that it doesn't remain static?
  • How the Diplomacy tree will change.
Anyway, those were just some initial thoughts.
 

Spaceception

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With Origins being teased today, I wonder how these ideas could impact it.

Common ground
Evidently, the name suggests that the other Empires will share your ethics. But it'd be interesting to maintain the integrity of a Federation throughout the early game as you explore and make contact with others, and even more interesting if they didn't share ethics (what happens if they meet better friends?). Also, what happens if the Federation stars to decline?

Hegemon
It'd be good if your subjects weren't all happy to be under your rule, and you had to maintain integrity by balancing diplomacy and brute force. Also, making sure that they don't gain too much power and try to usurp you as leader (if that's possible).

Lost Colony
There could be interesting effects if the ethics for these Empires differ, like in the case of the UNE and CoM. Would they engage in diplomacy from having a common home, or butt heads figuring out who's better? You may have an easier time striking deals since you're the same species, you share language, and even some culture, but you could have a harder time maintaining them for long. Rivalries could have interesting effects too.
 

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Opinion modifiers

I think opinion should change these things: How trust growth is affected; how trust decline is affected; how much work you need to put in to maintain agreements; and maybe how well gifts do. The lower it is, the less opinion you gain from them. So instead of gifts, you send envoys out. I'm not sure how these will work in Federations (looking forward to next week), but evidently, you have a limited number. Is it the higher their opinion/attitude, the less envoys you need, and vice versa? This limits how many deals you can make, and makes it an important/limited resource to use, like influence.

But just dumping envoys on an unfriendly Empire doesn't make for interesting interactions. So any ideas on what to add?
 

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Right now, it's either they like you, or don't. But this doesn't happen in real life, and limits your options in the game, to the point that if RNG isn't kind, your budding megacorp can't put down much, if any, branch offices; because either everyone hates you, or by the time you find a friendly Empire, another one got to them first.
Actually, as things stand it's extremely easy to bribe your way to good relations with the majority of empires. The AI will try to bribe you too, so I assume AIs also sometimes exchange 'gifts' for relations purposes. So it's actually worse than you say: it's not that everyone either likes you or they don't, but rather everyone likes you if you bribe them enough, so diplomacy can become trivial.

I would have a look at the Starnet AI mod to see what can be done to make the AI more pragmatic about its diplomacy. (Starnet maybe takes it too far into realpolitik, but there are some interesting ideas in that mod.)
 

Spaceception

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Actually, as things stand it's extremely easy to bribe your way to good relations with the majority of empires. The AI will try to bribe you too, so I assume AIs also sometimes exchange 'gifts' for relations purposes. So it's actually worse than you say: it's not that everyone either likes you or they don't, but rather everyone likes you if you bribe them enough, so diplomacy can become trivial.

I would have a look at the Starnet AI mod to see what can be done to make the AI more pragmatic about its diplomacy. (Starnet maybe takes it too far into realpolitik, but there are some interesting ideas in that mod.)
You're right, and raise a good point (which I bring up in my latest post here). Bribery needs to get the nerf bat, and replaced with something better. So I brought up Envoys... even though we won't learn what those do until next week.

I actually subscribed to that one earlier today, I'll be trying it out soon.