Expanding Diplomacy: Bilateral Agreements (w/mock-ups)

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G S Palmer

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I like the idea of favors that are going to come with Federations, but I feel like they could be fleshed out more. Plus a lot of people seem to want more customizable diplomacy (especially vassal contracts). So here's an idea I've been bouncing around in my head for a while:

A New Diplomatic Currency
In this idea, empires would gain access to a new type of diplomatic currency called Leverage, which would replace favors. You would have a separate pool of leverage for each empire you had contact with.

Leverage would be a way of saying "hey, you owe me, so why don't you do this thing I want." Essentially, this would serve to turn diplomacy into more of a game mechanic as opposed to semi-random.

Refusing a proposal that has leverage behind it will cost influence. So if someone gains a ton of leverage on you, they can force you to do something you don't necessarily want to.

The leverage costs of certain of certain requests would be determined based on:
  • Opinion
  • Relative power/diplomatic weight
  • The diplomatic stance of your target
  • How much they care about the action you're proposing
You can gain leverage by:
  • Giving concessions during diplomatic negotiations (aka doing something they want without asking anything in return)
  • Assigning envoys to Negotiate
  • Giving an empire resources (how much you get would be calculated based on how badly you needed them). You can choose between giving resources with no strings attached (for an opinion boost, like how it works currently) or for leverage
  • Giving them generous terms during war settlements
Bilateral Agreements
Most diplomacy would now be conducted through the special Diplomatic Negotiations screen as opposed to the contact screen. This new screen would look like this (NOTE: all Leverage costs are purely used as examples):
upload_2020-2-7_17-1-6.png

Once in this screen, players would be able to propose actions that they will take (seen on the left of the screen) and request actions for the other empire to take (seen on the right). Each of these will have either a positive or negative leverage cost.

If the sum cost is positive, the other empire will need to use influence to turn the request down. However, if the sum cost is negative, then the other empire will actually gain leverage on the player for accepting.

Any accepted proposals will then appear in the central box as a treaty, which can be broken or renegotiated at a later date, although this can incur an opinion penalty.

List of Proposals
Here's a list of proposals and requests you can make. Each one is color-coded based on whether it can be proposed, requested, or both. Please suggest more!
  • Threaten War: used to gain a custom casus belli. For instance, you can demand that they abolish slavery or face you on the field of battle. If they refuse, you've got your justification to whoop their ass. Also, threatening war without asking for something in return can be used to farm leverage on weaker empires.
  • Cease Aggression: ask them to White Peace out of a war they're engaging in with someone other than you.
  • Revoke Claims.
  • Recognize Claims: the side who's claims are recognized regains some of the influence they spent (proportional to the diplo weight of the one recognizing) and has their threat lowered when conquering them.
  • Declare War: ask them to declare war on somebody you dislike. Perfect for proxy wars!
  • End Slavery for:
    • All Species
    • Primary Species
    • Citizen Species
  • Stop Purging:
    • All Species
    • Primary Species
    • Citizen Species
  • Give Tribute: a one time extortion of either pops or resources.
  • Become Tributary: since we're stronger than them, they really should be paying us taxes!
  • Cede Territory: give up systems that the other side has claims on. You can manage how much of it they/you give up. AI won't accept except in return for a Non-Aggression Guarantee.
  • Release Vassal: ask them to free one of their vassals.
  • Withdraw Support: stop fighting in a war their engaged in. Can only be asked of secondary players. Essentially, they'll withdraw their fleets and stop helping their allies.
    • This would be managed by a new Loyalty score for AI personalities, meaning more cowardly empires would no longer be willing to fight to the death for their allies.
  • Leave War: completely abandon an ally in war. Great for the UNG.
  • Betray Ally: switch sides in a war.
  • Support Claims: promise to join them in a war to push claims.
  • Divide Spoils: Agree to give them some of the benefits of a war you are currently fighting, such as splitting any of the claims you take. Usually in return for them joining your war.
  • Support Independence: exactly what it does now.
  • Guarantee Independence: again, what it does now, except now you can choose a timeframe, such as 10 years, 20 years, or indefinitely.
  • Galactic Community Support: replaces the Favors system of Federations. Now, instead of everybody being able to take a piece of the undecided voter pie, they'll go with the person who can throw the most leverage at them. Comes in both one-time and indefinite sizes, perfect for all your customizable vassal contract needs.
  • Comply with Galactic Law: politely ask a deviant empire to stop being such a criminal. Mixes well with the Threaten War demand for those who want to play the Galactic Police.
  • Swear Fealty: become a traditional vassal, who must join an overlord in their wars.
  • Transfer Vassal: self-explanatory.
  • Liberate Machines: change AI rights to full citizenship. Materialists and MEs.
  • Non-Aggression Guarantee: essentially a non-aggression pact, except now you can make it one-sided. Limited or indefinite.
  • Research Assistance: half of a research agreement. Now when you want to help out an ally who's struggling in tech, you can actually get something useful in return.
  • Leave Federation: helps you break up those federations that might be getting a little bit scary.
  • Pledge Defense: lets you make defensive pacts.
  • Join War: is one of your friends getting beaten up by a Fanatical Purifier? Well, now you can help them out!
  • Close Borders/Open Borders: in addition to doing it yourself, you can ask other empires to do it to people you don't like. Also allows you to customize whether it's for:
    • Military Vessels
    • Civilian Vessels
    • All Vessels
  • Denunciation: let them know that you're really unhappy with them. Big opinion debuff against them. Allows you to get mad when they refuse to liberate your people from the spice mines. You can also ask them to do it to someone else.
Things that will remain in the contact screen
The contact screen will be reworked to show the leverage you have on each other, and will look something like this:
upload_2020-2-7_18-10-15.png

Most interactions will now be carried out through the Diplomatic Negotiations window, but a few things will stay where they are, such as:
  • Declare war, rivalry, etc
  • Join commercial pact or Federation
In addition, there will be a new action available, called Renounce Ties. Is somebody getting too much leverage on you? Are you worried they're going to make you give up your happy slaver ways? Well, just hit that Renounce Ties button and it will cancel out all leverage you have on each other! (Warning: may result in them hating your guts for being a treaty breaker).

Warfare Settlements
Wars can also now be settled through the Diplomatic Negotiations screen. This will open up two unique options:
  • Make Reparations: If they attacked you but you won, you can now demand they pay damages.
  • Surrender Occupied Claims: want to gain a bit of leverage on somebody? Be a bit generous after thoroughly beating them and don't take everything they have, and in return you might be able to ask them for a favor later.
Mediation
You can now send a Envoy to a friendly empire to Mediate. This reduces the leverage cost of interactions between them and another empire that likes you but not them.

In Conclusion
And that's all! I've had this idea for a while, but didn't want to post it while the devs were on holiday. Since we just got the diplomacy Q&A, I figured now was a good time.
 
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Methone

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Something that occurs to me: On the mockup of the diplomacy screen, perhaps instead of just "435 vs 308" leverage there could be a visual like the War Exhaustion red/green bars?
 
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G S Palmer

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Something that occurs to me: On the mockup of the diplomacy screen, perhaps instead of just "435 vs 308" leverage there could be a visual like the War Exhaustion red/green bars?
Sounds like a good idea to me.
 

Aëron Dúrr

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I really love those ideas. Especially the many diplomatic options and the ability to mediate. Really good work.
Are you planning to turn those ideas into a mod if the devs don't use them? Because I really think the game needs those options.
 

G S Palmer

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Are you planning to turn those ideas into a mod if the devs don't use them? Because I really think the game needs those options.
I don't think I really have the skill necessary, and I kind of doubt that all of it would be possible within the mod framework, but if somebody else wanted to, they're welcome to of course.
 

G S Palmer

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Another thing that could come with this potential expansion would be a load of diplomatic events which can give empires "free" leverage on each other, finally making events live up to their initial stated goal of changing how you play the game. I suppose that could be part of the paid content while the base system and most of the demands/proposals would be in the free patch.
 

G S Palmer

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This could also serve as part of the foundation to build an espionage system on, with the ability to bribe foreign officials reducing the leverage cost of making demands on their nation.
 

Hertzila

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I'm of two minds about this. On one hand, I can see the value in making the diplomacy system more mechanically playable. But on the other hand, this seems to make it unnecessarily complicated and open to abuse. The latter might be intentional, but I question how fun it would be.

Three questions about the Leverage resource:
  1. What happens to the Leverage if you block an agreement? Does it disappear into the ether or return to your bank?
  2. Can you use your own Leverage instead of Influence to block another's when an agreement is sent to you?
  3. How much can you gather Leverage and use it in a single agreement?
My big issues come from potential player interactions. The AI side is just as well as right now I feel. I'm not sure how much this would increase interactions from the AI side, but it's not much to begin with and this would at least make them more interactable diplomatically, rather than just getting completely polarized.

Here's a scenario I'm dreading: Empire A has been playing well enough and has gotten to the point where they are one of the big kids on the block. Of course, they have been using Influence a lot to facilitate this. Empire B has been playing fine as well, but has also tied up an envoy to constantly "Negotiate" with Empire A. They now have enough Leverage on Empire A to force them to declare war on one of the Fallen Empires, way before they are ready for such a war, while also giving Empire B all their stuff. The rejection cost for that "agreement" would be 1000 Influence, which Empire A has no chance at all to pay, and even assuming going into the negatives was an option, it would completely ruin their game since they wouldn't have influence to do anything for a long while. But even if they could reject it at the cost of going into the negatives, if the Leverage doesn't disappear after a failed "agreement", Empire B could just send the exact same "agreement" the next day and this time, there's no chance Empire A could reject them at all. Even potentially worse would be if the empire Empire A was just forced to declare war upon was another player Empire C, since players most certainly would not pull any punches (at least without negotiating an out-of-table agreement).

Empire A can now only GG and leave the game, since their run is basically ruined. All this because Empire A didn't happen to glance at the diplomatic screen often enough and spot the mounting Leverage form Empire B, and press a single button.

It's fine to think up all sorts of powerful systems to the game and I absolutely agree that we need other fleshed-out gameplay loops and empire strength yardsticks besides warfare, but this feels like it has little counter-play options, aside from remembering to press a single button every now and then. It's potentially fun to use, but no fun at all to be the target of.
 

G S Palmer

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I'm of two minds about this. On one hand, I can see the value in making the diplomacy system more mechanically playable. But on the other hand, this seems to make it unnecessarily complicated and open to abuse. The latter might be intentional, but I question how fun it would be.

Three questions about the Leverage resource:
  1. What happens to the Leverage if you block an agreement? Does it disappear into the ether or return to your bank?
  2. Can you use your own Leverage instead of Influence to block another's when an agreement is sent to you?
  3. How much can you gather Leverage and use it in a single agreement?
My big issues come from potential player interactions. The AI side is just as well as right now I feel. I'm not sure how much this would increase interactions from the AI side, but it's not much to begin with and this would at least make them more interactable diplomatically, rather than just getting completely polarized.

Here's a scenario I'm dreading: Empire A has been playing well enough and has gotten to the point where they are one of the big kids on the block. Of course, they have been using Influence a lot to facilitate this. Empire B has been playing fine as well, but has also tied up an envoy to constantly "Negotiate" with Empire A. They now have enough Leverage on Empire A to force them to declare war on one of the Fallen Empires, way before they are ready for such a war, while also giving Empire B all their stuff. The rejection cost for that "agreement" would be 1000 Influence, which Empire A has no chance at all to pay, and even assuming going into the negatives was an option, it would completely ruin their game since they wouldn't have influence to do anything for a long while. But even if they could reject it at the cost of going into the negatives, if the Leverage doesn't disappear after a failed "agreement", Empire B could just send the exact same "agreement" the next day and this time, there's no chance Empire A could reject them at all. Even potentially worse would be if the empire Empire A was just forced to declare war upon was another player Empire C, since players most certainly would not pull any punches (at least without negotiating an out-of-table agreement).

Empire A can now only GG and leave the game, since their run is basically ruined. All this because Empire A didn't happen to glance at the diplomatic screen often enough and spot the mounting Leverage form Empire B, and press a single button.

It's fine to think up all sorts of powerful systems to the game and I absolutely agree that we need other fleshed-out gameplay loops and empire strength yardsticks besides warfare, but this feels like it has little counter-play options, aside from remembering to press a single button every now and then. It's potentially fun to use, but no fun at all to be the target of.
Leverage would be used up on every interaction, of course. Plus, most leverage would still be gained from agreements: some can be gained from events/negotiation, etc, but to really get a lot, you're going to need to make concessions. And no, you can't use leverage to cancel out an agreement. That would kind of nullify the whole point. As for how much you can gain in a single agreement, as much as you're willing to make concessions, I guess. Though bear in mind that your people may not be too happy about it.

As far as declaring war on a FE, that would obviously cost a massive amount of leverage, so not just anybody could do it. The leverage cost of the "Declare War" demand will scale with both power and the empire's opinion of the person you want them to declare on.

And yes, sometimes this would end badly for the player. Sometimes you get outmaneuvered and lose. Honestly, I'd say that's more of a feature than a bug.

And lastly, there'd probably be some manner of notification if somebody gets an especially large amount of influence on you, so it wouldn't catch you totally by surprise. Also, you wouldn't really have to worry about having to "press a single button every now and then"; if you Renounce Ties with an empire, it's going to have major, long-lasting repercussions on your relations with them, and neither side will be getting much leverage on each other until they manage to patch it over.
 

Hertzila

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Leverage would be used up on every interaction, of course. Plus, most leverage would still be gained from agreements: some can be gained from events/negotiation, etc, but to really get a lot, you're going to need to make concessions. And no, you can't use leverage to cancel out an agreement. That would kind of nullify the whole point. As for how much you can gain in a single agreement, as much as you're willing to make concessions, I guess. Though bear in mind that your people may not be too happy about it.

I get that doing an agreement successfully would use up Leverage, but what about when it's blocked?
Why couldn't you use Leverage to block another's Leverage? If both of you have been stacking Leverage against one another, it feels like it would be natural to have this sort of "A tries to flex diplo-muscles against B, B flexes right back" back-and-forth. Unless it's intended to be notably hard to block Leverage, which to me feels too volatile.

And yes, sometimes this would end badly for the player. Sometimes you get outmaneuvered and lose. Honestly, I'd say that's more of a feature than a bug.

To me, this feels too non-interactive to count as "being outmaneuvered". I mean, to put it hyperbolically, one player just sends an envoy at another player and then does nothing until the critical Leverage is gained, then forces them to do something monumentally stupid. I might be greatly overestimating the trouble you could cause with this, but this seems more like what an espionage system would do (a false-flag operation, in this case), but with none of the actual espionage.

And lastly, there'd probably be some manner of notification if somebody gets an especially large amount of influence on you, so it wouldn't catch you totally by surprise. Also, you wouldn't really have to worry about having to "press a single button every now and then"; if you Renounce Ties with an empire, it's going to have major, long-lasting repercussions on your relations with them, and neither side will be getting much leverage on each other until they manage to patch it over.

Since relations matter pretty little between players (especially with this system likely abandoning diplo-actions needing certain relationship values), that Renounce Ties button is a big non-issue between players. As long as a player keeps remembering to press it, they can shut down another player completely, with little direct downside, or at least no downside that wouldn't already be a thing. Unless the player promises to keep it with an off-the-table agreement, no reason to give your rivals or enemies ammo.

For AI, this system would probably work fine. A bit too complex if you ask me, but fine. It's the player vs player actions and the interactions at that level that worry me.
 

G S Palmer

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I get that doing an agreement successfully would use up Leverage, but what about when it's blocked?
Yes, that would use up leverage as well. You just have to use influence to justify to your people why you didn't agree.
Why couldn't you use Leverage to block another's Leverage? If both of you have been stacking Leverage against one another, it feels like it would be natural to have this sort of "A tries to flex diplo-muscles against B, B flexes right back" back-and-forth. Unless it's intended to be notably hard to block Leverage, which to me feels too volatile.
If you can cancel out leverage with leverage, what's the point of having it? People don't just trade money for money constantly: the point of currency is to exchange one thing for another, different thing of similar value.
To me, this feels too non-interactive to count as "being outmaneuvered". I mean, to put it hyperbolically, one player just sends an envoy at another player and then does nothing until the critical Leverage is gained, then forces them to do something monumentally stupid. I might be greatly overestimating the trouble you could cause with this, but this seems more like what an espionage system would do (a false-flag operation, in this case), but with none of the actual espionage.
Maybe you would also have the opportunity to do an emergency refusal on a proposal that counts as a Denounce Ties, but with the drawback that other empires will then view you as a truce-breaker.
Since relations matter pretty little between players (especially with this system likely abandoning diplo-actions needing certain relationship values), that Renounce Ties button is a big non-issue between players. As long as a player keeps remembering to press it, they can shut down another player completely, with little direct downside, or at least no downside that wouldn't already be a thing. Unless the player promises to keep it with an off-the-table agreement, no reason to give your rivals or enemies ammo.
Actually, apparently relations will matter now, since certain interactions will require positive or negative opinions. You could also introduce some other penalties for it, such as your own people viewing you as unreliable leaders, or other empires being unwilling to interact with you do to your unreliability, increasing the leverage cost of actions against them.
 

Pyzayt

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Paradox - Hire G S Palmer now. Looking at his post is just... So much yes.
 

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If you can cancel out leverage with leverage, what's the point of having it? People don't just trade money for money constantly: the point of currency is to exchange one thing for another, different thing of similar value.

.
Blocking leverage with leverage, thematically and fairness wise makes more sense though.
If both parties have leverage on each other it would makes sense if it just zeroed out, till only one party had leverage.
In your money example if one party owes the other 50 while the other owes them 70 it makes more sense for the other to just owe them 20 and cancel out the 50 they each owe each other.
If i have more leverage on someone than they have on me then logically they shouldn't be able to force me to do anything as i can just force them not to do it.

I assume under the current system you could already zero out your opponents leverage in the diplo screen by just adding all their leverage into the deal and canceling it out with your own leverage.
 

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As brilliant as I think G S Palmers suggestions are, it should be possible to use your leverage on someone to cancel out his leverage on you, as Xenith_Shadow is suggesting.

The best solution would probably be to just zero out leverage automaticly. By doing so it wouldn't be possible to have leverage on someone if he has leverage on you and it is possible to decrease the leverage someone has on you by "earning" leverage on your own.

A other option would be to add a positive opinion buff to empires you have leverage on as a sign that you have earned their trust. In this case leverage shouldn't zero itself out as it shows how tight the bond between to empires is.
But instead you should have the option to decide if you want to use leverage or influence to block a demand as in one case it would worsen the opinion the other empire has of you.
 

G S Palmer

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As brilliant as I think G S Palmers suggestions are, it should be possible to use your leverage on someone to cancel out his leverage on you, as Xenith_Shadow is suggesting.

The best solution would probably be to just zero out leverage automaticly. By doing so it wouldn't be possible to have leverage on someone if he has leverage on you and it is possible to decrease the leverage someone has on you by "earning" leverage on your own.
You're probably right.

A other option would be to add a positive opinion buff to empires you have leverage on as a sign that you have earned their trust. In this case leverage shouldn't zero itself out as it shows how tight the bond between to empires is.
But instead you should have the option to decide if you want to use leverage or influence to block a demand as in one case it would worsen the opinion the other empire has of you.
I do like that idea. Gives a bit of a trade-off to using your leverage.
 

Tamwin5

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Bit of a necro, but this idea still has tons of merit, should be seen again, and I have a lot of discussion to add on.

To start off, rather than having a special "Negotiate" assignment for envoys, any envoy assigned to improve relations while already at max relations will generate leverage instead. Also, envoys assigned to harm relations will remove leverage that empire has on you, at twice the rate improving envoys do (does not require max hurt relations). This gives a reason to hard relations beyond just needing it to rival people.

I'd also like to see a difference between just done deals and ongoing deals. A done trade deal might be "non-aggression promise for 10 years in exchange for declaring war on rival", while an ongoing would be "non-aggression promise for as long as you are at war with rival". An ongoing deal would have some conditional terms, which if any end the deal ends with no penalty, and non-conditional terms, which if any end count as deal-breaking and thus come with penalties. There would likely be some restrictions on which types of actions can be conditional or non-conditional. Leverage spent on ongoing deals would be in a cost per month, making imbalanced ongoing deals quite expensive.

When you receive a "forced" offer (one using favor), you have four options.
  • "Of course we will." - Go along with it. Doing this will grant you 10% of the leverage cost back to you, so if they spend 200 leverage to make you go to war, you get 20 leverage on them. It's not a ton, but constantly forcing demands on people makes them think you owe them a little more in return.
  • "We just can't do that, hopefully they understand." - This is the refusal by spending influence. cost scales based on how much leverage is spent of course. Relatively minor opinion penalty, like probably 20.
  • "They are in no position to demand, with how much they owe us." - This is a refusal spending leverage. The cost to refuse is equal to twice the leverage spent, meaning this isn't an efficient use of leverage, but someone you've completely dominated you can effectively ignore any requests they make. Same minor opinion penalty as above.
  • "This is the final straw." - refuse demand and renounce ties. This is so that you can't be forced into a suicidal action (like attacking an FE, or becoming a vassal) with no way to say no. Doing this comes with an even larger opinion penalty than a normal sever ties, and possibly scale the other penalties as well.
Using the "renounce ties" action comes with severe diplomatic repercussions. You get a massive opinion penalty with the empire you severed ties with, and a moderate penalty with every other empire in the galaxy who doesn't have terrible relations/is rivals with them. For a period of 10 years, you suffer -20% leverage gain and -20% diplomatic weight, and neither you or the other empire can gain leverage on each other. After that period, you suffer a permanent -20% leverage gain on that empire (or semi-permeant, maybe with a very expensive diplo option to "forgive severed ties"?).

I don't think the mediation feature really makes much sense as you described it. I do think it would make sense for diplomatic deals/arrangements to be hosted somewhere, where deals hosted in your space give cheaper usage of leverage. A third party venue would allow the two groups to meet on equal terms... provided the third party plays fair. What I'm not sure of is how a third party would be selected, and how exactly they could interfere in the outcome. An easy interference would be the option to favor one side, giving them cheaper leverage costs, the same as if it was in their space. Doing it this way also would also be invisible to the party discriminated against, leading to some interesting arrangements. Perhaps you can set up a diplomatic deal with someone to make them favor you in a hosted deal?

Peace in wars should ideally use a similar mechanic. With the exception of a total surrender, peace conferences would almost certainly be in a third party. Peace deal negotiations would give a temporary truce of ~6 months or so, although negotiations can break down earlier and hostilities resume. For a peace deal, I'm not sure how things would work, because I don't want just the empire who is ahead to unilaterally decide what they take (unless, of course, totally victory), but it's hard to give the loser power and keep it balanced. A way to do it might be for the empire with advantage to propose a deal, and then the defender can select items they don't want and suggest alternatives that could fill that slot (although can the empire with advantage just say "no" and go back to one of the original proposed items?). Of course if either side doesn't like the final deal they end up with, they can refuse it and go back to war, but ideally that should come with some cost/penalty to prevent just stalling a war with a temporary peace conference (although if your enemy was making outrageous demands in the peace conference, it would reduce/eliminate that cost or penalty). For a peace conference I'm not sure how much the third party should be able to interfere, or what tools they should get to be able to do so.

The only last thing I can think to mention is that for the galactic community, it should be like 10x harder to effect the vote of someone who proposed an action, and also a little harder to effect the votes of someone on the council (beyond just the increase diplo weight they get). This could lead to interesting things like proposing legislation you don't want, solely so that if it gets voted up people can't stop you from voting no on it.

Hopefully that's everything?
 
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Spaceception

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(or semi-permeant, maybe with a very expensive diplo option to "forgive severed ties"?).
I like this, and the idea of having more Dynamism with Empires over time. Empires change their minds over time, and I've made allies or enemies a couple times after countering or working with them before.

Another important thing that seems to be the case, is that it doesn't look like you have to repeal a Resolution first before getting its opposite. Because once one passes, the other one is still active in the queue, and isn't grayed out and moved to the bottom, or outright removed. This is especially obvious with the Militarist/Pacifist and Materialist/Spiritualist trees.

We also need a wargoal/diplomatic option to split a Federation or snag members. We shouldn't have to entirely rely on RNG to create a galactic spanning Federation.
 

Pyzayt

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We also need a wargoal/diplomatic option to split a Federation or snag members. We shouldn't have to entirely rely on RNG to create a galactic spanning Federation.

There is one for Hegemonies.

Really though, other Federation types don't really fit to have a "You must join without a choice" clause.
 

Spaceception

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There is one for Hegemonies.

Really though, other Federation types don't really fit to have a "You must join without a choice" clause.
Well I did add-on a Diplomatic way, you could merge or convince individual members towards joining your Federation. But could the Martial alliance gain its own CB?
 

TimeMask

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on sidenote, shouldn't this type of system also include possibility for demanding a pop being purged or enslaved or having better conditions? Like would definitely make sense for xenophobic empires demanding other empires that allow purges to destroy their enemies and demanding better rights with their own xenophobic allies for their own species or spiritualist empires demanding weaker empires to ban robots?
 

Ragnarok Ascendant

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Apr 10, 2020
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This is exactly the sort of system that would make diplomacy more meaningful. It gives you means of diplomatic pressure, lets you actually impact the galaxy as a broker of pacts...
Why this wasn't implemented with Federations in the first place, I have no idea.