Wizzington

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Hello everyone and welcome back to yet another development diary for Europa Universalis 4. Today we'll be talking about another major feature for The Cossacks expansion: Diplomatic Feedback. Something that has long been requested by players is the ability to communicate better with their AI allies. Though we've done some work on this in the past, it's been focused entirely around how they behave in war, leaving the day-to-day workings of diplomacy largely opaque to the player. The purpose of the Diplomatic Feedback feature is to add just this: The ability to communicate with the AI diplomatically, and tell them just what it is you want from them.


Diplomatic Feedback (Expansion Feature)
Diplomatic Feedback adds a new tab to diplomacy, predictably called 'Diplomatic Feedback'. Depending on whether you have selected your own country or a foreign country, this tab fills a number of different functions:

Provinces of Interest
While viewing your own country in Diplomatic Feedback, the interface will show you a list of your provinces of interest. Provinces of interest are provinces that you do not own but consider rightfully part of your country, and always includes any cores you have on others' land. AI allies who value their alliance with you will know to avoid taking these provinces, and will know to give them to you in a war, but if what they consider rightfully part of THEIR country happens to the be same land you do, this will naturally cause some friction in the alliance, and may ultimately lead to it breaking. You add and remove provinces of interest by simply clicking on the map. While viewing other countries, you will be able to see their provinces of interest but (naturally) won't be able to change them.

AI countries have two different types of provinces of interest: Provinces of vital interest and provinces of strategic utility. Provinces of vital interest are provinces they will actively seek to conquer, while provinces of strategic utility are provinces they will not actively go after, but won't mind taking if opportunity presents itself in a war. Player countries only have provinces of vital interest, as no player is ultimately going to let their behaviour be fully governed by what provinces they flag, and thus the distinction becomes meaningless.
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Manage Attitude
Where viewing your own country in Diplomatic Feedback lets you play around with provinces of interest, interacting with other countries is where the vast majority of the feature comes into play. Opening Diplomatic Feedback on another country gives you access to a whole new range of tools, Manage Attitude among them. As the name implies, Manage Attitude lets you set your own attitude towards a country to either Neutral (to show that you don't particularly care about them), Friendly (to show that you want to ally them), Hostile (to show that you want to conquer them), or Threatened (to show that you fear them).

Setting your attitude allows other AI countries to understand your intents towards that nation and react accordingly: Your subjects will fabricate claims on countries you are Hostile to, nations that you have set as Neutral won't pester you with alliance offers, nations that you have set as Friendly but have a low opinion of will know to improve relations with you if they're interested in an alliance, and rivals of countries you feel Threatened towards will be a bit more likely to form an alliance with you. There are some limitations on managing attitudes: You can only be Threatened towards a country if they are a realistic threat to you, and once you ally a country you will simply have the 'Allied' attitude, as that is when the Trust and Favors system comes into play.
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Trust and Favors
Diplomatic Feedback also reworks how Trust works, and how allies are called into wars. Instead of being a semi-hidden value that is applied almost everywhere, Trust is now solely a measure of alliance strength going from 0 to 100, with 50 being an average level of Trust. Trust is no longer accumulated simply by being allies and helping each other in wars, but is instead something you raise by spending Favors. Favors is a value between 0 and 100 you have towards each ally signifying how much they are in your debt for previous good turns. Favors accumulate over time at a rate depending on how powerful you are compared to them: If France is allied to East Frisia, France will gain favors with East Frisia much faster than vice versa. You also gain Favors from helping allies in their wars and giving them land in your wars.

Favors can be spent on a number of different things: As mentioned above, they can be spent to Increase Trust to increase the stability of the alliance, making it more likely to last over the centuries. You can also spend Favors to tell an AI country to Prepare for War: This tells them that you intend to call them into a war soon, and makes them raise maintenance and avoid declaring any wars of their own for 2 years. During those 2 years they will also be more likely to honor offensive calls from you.

Naturally, this cuts both ways: The AI will also accumulate Favors with you, and will expect you to repay those Favors by helping out in *their* wars. You can tell your AI ally that you are unwilling to join their offensive wars, but don't expect them to like it: While this setting is enabled, you will not accumulate any Favors with them, and they will place a significantly lower value on your alliance and are likely to drop you the moment a better offer comes along.
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Calling Allies
Another important use of Favors is for calling allies into offensive wars. No longer will your allies be willing to join your wars simply out of the goodness of their hearts: To entice an ally into fighting for you, you will have to either spend Favors or promise them land. Spending Favors costs you a chunk of your Favors, but means that you do not have to take that allies' wishes into account when signing the peace. Promising land, conversely, does not cost you any Favors but means that the ally is expecting to gain something out of the war.

Each participant in a war has a War Contribution score based on how much they have participated in battles and sieges, and your ally will expect a share of the spoils roughly equal to their contribution: If they do half the work, they expect to get half of the spoils taken, assuming there are that many provinces that they actually want, and disappointing them will result in a significant Trust hit. They will not be upset if the war is lost or otherwise ends in such a way that you yourself do not gain anything. Naturally, you cannot call an ally into a war promising them land if they do not actually want anything from the foe. Since you are now either spending Favors or promising land, the 10 year cooldown for calling an ally into an offensive war has been removed.
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Finally, just a note: If you do not have the Cossacks expansion then attitudes, trust and calling allies will continue to work exactly the same as it did in previous versions.

That's all for today! Tune in again next Thursday when we'll be talking about recruitment and shipbuilding.
 
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spinoza013

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nice


by which I mean potentially fantastic
 
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Wizzington

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So, this means that small country starts should be done without Cossacks? I assume using France as your war machine won't work anymore...

You can still do it, but you have to earn Favors with them (by actually helping in their wars) or be prepared to give them the lion's share of the peace deal.
 
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MiniaAr

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So I guess EUIV will not be EUIV anymore,..... again! :p

You can still do it, but you have to earn Favors with them (by actually helping in their wars) or be prepared to give them the lion's share of the peace deal.
Wiz, will you consider removing the 10 years period to call an ally to Offensive wars with this new system? This seems redundant (and the new changes much better)
 
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Wizzington

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Will the AI know if you are actually helping in a war you were called into?

Yes, based on your War Contribution relative to strength of your country, so a small country that goes all-in and wins a war for a large country will get a huge amount of Favors, for instance.
 
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Reverend Belial

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I love this change. It'l be nice to have allies that actually help for once instead of inexplicably refuse to help me because they're afraid of me (you'd think that would make them MORE likely to help...)
 
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Barnham

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I really like this direction. Above everything that this brings on a gameplay level, it feels like a good change for those of us who like role playing non-back-stabbing nations. And maybe this will reduce the risk of your powerful allies, whom you've helped over the last two centuries climb the ladder, from wanting to backstab you!
 
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Wizzington

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Great! But what are other 3 icon at diplomatic screen? Sendig pigeon, talking, and seeing map..

Diplomatic Actions, Show Opinions and Diplomatic Feedback.

The eye/map is for switching view back to own country.
 
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