Give "Defensive Wars" a greater ability to engage in defensive warfare & diplomacy

  • We have updated our Community Code of Conduct. Please read through the new rules for the forum that are an integral part of Paradox Interactive’s User Agreement.
Nov 22, 2020
918
3.887
The "Defensive Wars" policy should be worth considering for everyone, rather than being used as a penalty for Pacifists. Unlike the other two War Philosophy policies, "Defensive Wars" only takes away options and features while not adding any. It limits gameplay, rather than enhancing it. It makes the affected empires passive, rather than encouraging activity with a thematic focus.

The suggestions below should enable "Defensive Wars" empires to actually dedicate themselves to defensive wars. Rather than sitting idly by while the galaxy is burning and the aggressors grow ever stronger, "Defensive Wars" empires would be able to take up the mantle as galactic peacekeepers. In addition to having the desirable effect of making the "Defensive Wars" policy more enjoyable, these changes could also slow down snowballing - in ways that arise organically from the gameplay, with no risk of coming across as artificial penalties.

Suggestions
  • The "Defensive Wars" policy should have distinct implications for Influence and diplomatic relations.
    • Alternative A: "Defensive Wars" swaps the Influence effects of "Declare Rivalry" and "Guarantee Independence".
      • Guarantees of independence would become a source of Influence for Defensive Wars empires, while aggressive posturing (declarations of rivalry) would hurt their Influence. Credibility matters.
      • If the Defender of the Galaxy ascension perk was to also remove the cap on the number of guarantees of independence (currently 3), it would open up very interesting mid- and late-game possibilities for Defensive Wars empires.
    • Alternative B: "Defensive Wars" policy halves the Influence cost for these diplomatic relations:
      • Defensive Pact, base cost 1.0
      • Guarantee Independence, base cost 0.5
        • If the Defender of the Galaxy ascension perk was to also remove the cap on the number of guarantees of independence (currently 3), it would synergize very well with this.
  • The "Defensive Wars" policy should facilitate a greater ability to participate in defensive wars.
    There are a few different designs whereby this could be achieved.
    • Alternative A: "Defensive Wars" grants the ability to pledge to support the defenders in any war declaration by the target empire.
      • This alternative could be achieved by an entirely new diplomatic action, either limited to "Defensive Wars" (in which case it might replace declarations of rivalry) or made cheaper for empires with the policy.
      • This alternative could also be achieved by adding this feature to rivalries, possibly limited to empires with the "Defensive Wars" policy. Rivalries grant a "Humiliate" casus belli and cheaper claims, but these options are normally not available for "Defensive Wars" empires. It would not be outrageous if "Defensive Wars" empires got another benefit.
      • Depending on what is considered most appropriate, this alternative could involve the peacekeeping empire(s) joining the defenders, or being on the defending side in a separate, simultaneous war.
      • The wargoal involved could be "Humiliate", or a new wargoal that removes claims and/or forces the aggressor to adopt the "Defensive Wars" policy (until they eventually switch back from, but it would keep them calm for the next 10 years and some of the upset Militarist pops just might switch to Pacifist).
    • Alternative B: "Defensive Wars" grants the ability to join ongoing wars on the defensive side.
      • This could be accomplished via a "Peace enforcement" casus belli against empires in offensive wars, which would circumvent the prohibition against war declarations.
      • This could also be accomplished via a new diplomatic option for intervention.
      • Possible limitations to this could include that the defending empire must be losing the war, that the defending empire cannot be a genocidal war, and so on.
    • Alternative C: "Defensive Wars" increases the cap on the number of guarantees of independence (currently 3).
 
Last edited:
  • 19Like
  • 4
Reactions:
I like the idea too - it would encourage a bit of "moral fibre" to AIs and hopefully players.

It just needs a reasonable cool down or limitation of its use so that it can't "permanently" be used between the same empires. Maybe it needs to be costly for the original empire defending. E.g. They have to accept a costly amount of unity and influence, to accept "the help", that way, repeated wars would "wear them down" into a point where they can no longer accept a intervening empire. Or maybe a interventionist can't be join until the war exhaustion is beyond 50% and when they do join, war exhaustion of the defender is increased.
 
Last edited:
  • 2Like
Reactions:
I like the idea. The peace enforcement casus beli, sounds maybe a bit complex. but I do like the idea.
it might also be worth to add a new kind of diplomatic stance such as "protective", this is where the influence reductions are currently located iirc.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:
I like the idea too - it would encourage a bit of "moral fibre" to AIs and hopefully players.

It just needs a reasonable cool down or limitation of its use so that it can't "permanently" be used between the same empires. Maybe it needs to be costly for the original empire defending. E.g. They have to accept a costly amount of unity and influence, to accept "the help", that way, repeated wars would "wear them down" into a point where they can no longer accept a intervening empire. Or maybe a interventionist can't be join until the war exhaustion is beyond 50% and when they do join, war exhaustion of the defender is increased.
I think a good chunk of influence (300+) would be good. Alternatively, maybe make influence cost dependent on the defender's war exhaustion. or like the difference in war exhaustion between attacker and defender.
Now that I think about it, a base cost of lets say 500 influence modified by the difference might be a good idea. The more desperate the situation is for the defender, the easier it is to get involved.
 
  • 3Like
Reactions:
Now that I think about it, a base cost of lets say 500 influence modified by the difference might be a good idea. The more desperate the situation is for the defender, the easier it is to get involved.

Nice idea, a base of 500 that reduces by % of the remaining war exhaustion ^^. There even could be a tie into the ascension perk "Defenders of the Galaxy" somewhere. What it would be, I don't know. Maybe a even higher opinion bonus if matched with a Defensive War policy.
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions:
I am sceptical about the defender having to pay an Influence cost for the assistance, since the protector would be joining the war after deciding it is in their own interest to do so. Having someone do that usually does not require much persuasion, and a (massive) Influence cost would be the opposite of that. That being said, I would like the ability to invite more empires into an ongoing war, for both sides in the war and regardless of War Philosophy policy, but that is beyond the scope of this thread which is just about making the "Defensive Wars" policy less passive/boring and more active/enjoyable.

However, I agree that limitations for a "Peace enforcement" casus belli can be good. For instance, the casus belli would be less justified if the defender is currently winning the war. Requiring a rivalry could be yet another potential requirement, which would also have the nice touch that "Supremacist" stance empires might be especially affected (since that diplomatic stance removes the Relations requirements of rivalries).

A nearly equivalent alternative to adding a "Peace enforcement" casus belli could be to allow "Defensive Wars" to impose an inverted "Guarantee Independence" on a specific target empire. If the target empire declares war on anyone, the "Defensive Wars" empire joins the defenders of that war. The peacekeeping empire would essentially strongly discourage the target empire from further aggression. This could perhaps be done as a change to rivalries, since the "Humiliate" casus belli is currently not particularly useful to empires with the "Defensive Wars" policy.

(As for potential related changes to the "Defender of the Galaxy" ascension perk, perhaps it could remove the limit on the number of guarantees of independence? This could make the ascension perk much more relevant and impactful on gameplay, and it would synergize greatly with "Defensive Wars" offering a reduced Influence cost to guarantees of independence. And perhaps the "Galactic Contender" ascension perk could then similarly remove the limit on the number of rivalries.)
 
  • 1
  • 1Like
Reactions:
I am sceptical about the defender having to pay an Influence cost for the assistance, since the protector would be joining the war after deciding it is in their own interest to do so. Having someone do that usually does not require much persuasion, and a (massive) Influence cost would be the opposite of that. That being said, I would like the ability to invite more empires into an ongoing war, for both sides in the war and regardless of War Philosophy policy, but that is beyond the scope of this thread which is just about making the "Defensive Wars" policy less passive/boring and more active/enjoyable.

However, I agree that limitations for a "Peace enforcement" casus belli can be good. For instance, the casus belli would be less justified if the defender is currently winning the war. Requiring a rivalry could be yet another potential requirement, which would also have the nice touch that "Supremacist" stance empires might be especially affected (since that diplomatic stance removes the Relations requirements of rivalries).

A nearly equivalent alternative to adding a "Peace enforcement" casus belli could be to allow "Defensive Wars" to impose an inverted "Guarantee Independence" on a specific target empire. If the target empire declares war on anyone, the "Defensive Wars" empire joins the defenders of that war. The peacekeeping empire would essentially strongly discourage the target empire from further aggression. This could perhaps be done as a change to rivalries, since the "Humiliate" casus belli is currently not particularly useful to empires with the "Defensive Wars" policy.

(As for potential related changes to the "Defender of the Galaxy" ascension perk, perhaps it could remove the limit on the number of guarantees of independence? This could make the ascension perk much more relevant and impactful on gameplay, and it would synergize greatly with "Defensive Wars" offering a reduced Influence cost to guarantees of independence. And perhaps the "Galactic Contender" ascension perk could then similarly remove the limit on the number of rivalries.)

My thought process was, how would you stop an empire being perpetually protected because the Defensive Wars policy would need a couple of limitations but then this is is still weaker than a defence pact which is a two way pact, this is purely one direction, so it maybe it doesn't need anything? Just that maybe such a "protective" empire can only protect a singular empire at a time or be engaged in one at a time, or some other limitation? The reaction then probably being the "protective" empire would likely become the target instead or the aggressor might wait until that empire is busy to declare. So it would govern itself that way?

I'll take back my previous comments then, I think you have a really good idea as it is and I think "Invite to War" - during a war is a missed opportunity in the game for more complex diplomacy and actions.
 
Last edited:
Can you elaborate?
I'd rather that the defensive wars only policy not be "well you can actually join wars", and I dislike how even now the "unrestricted wars" policy doesn't actually give you all the war options. Furthermore, the ability to join wars in the middle is a pretty big change to how war works in stellaris: if it was added I think it should be allowed for both sides and be a more comprehensive system.

I'm a really big fan of giving the defensive wars only policy some buffs, as there is currently no reason to pick it besides the pacifist faction demand (and pacifists could use a buff too honestly). Cheaper independence guarantee and defensive pacts makes perfect sense, and is a real incentive for a non-pacifist to consider the policy.

I'd also change it so that unrestricted wars policy gains the liberation CB, and liberation wars only gets some minor bonus. Maybe reduced war exhaustion gain, since you know you are fighting for a noble cause? Bonus to governing ethics attraction, since you are trying to spread it (or at least posturing as such)? Depending on the bonus, it might make sense to give it to "defensive wars only" policy as well.
 
  • 1Like
  • 1
Reactions:
I really don't get how getting more CBs is supposed to make a empire Pacifist, I wouldn't mind your idea as a special peacekeepers civic that may involve Pacifist ethics. If Defensive wars is to be good then it should make it easier to play Economics and Diplomacy to get what you want, not to consume manpower and Material fighting wars your empire doesn't particularly benefit from.
 
  • 1
  • 1Like
Reactions:
In a recent game I had an early war: my first and at the time only ally got attacked by another empire and I prepared to send my fleet to support him, since I joined due to defencive pact.
But just as my fleet was near the border, the machine intelligence on the other side of my empire decided to join this war.

I checked just in case, but it really did not declare a second war, but joined the ongoing one, because they were invitet by the one who startet the entire thing...
So that is already a thing in the game (playing in the unity-beta).

Of course they propably disliked me for the border gore I createt as I tried to get some good systems which they also wantet, but the fact remains that war invitations are a thing and should wherefor also be applicable to the scenario of the peace enforcement-war.
 
I'd rather that the defensive wars only policy not be "well you can actually join wars", and I dislike how even now the "unrestricted wars" policy doesn't actually give you all the war options. Furthermore, the ability to join wars in the middle is a pretty big change to how war works in stellaris: if it was added I think it should be allowed for both sides and be a more comprehensive system.

I'm a really big fan of giving the defensive wars only policy some buffs, as there is currently no reason to pick it besides the pacifist faction demand (and pacifists could use a buff too honestly). Cheaper independence guarantee and defensive pacts makes perfect sense, and is a real incentive for a non-pacifist to consider the policy.
I really don't get how getting more CBs is supposed to make a empire Pacifist, I wouldn't mind your idea as a special peacekeepers civic that may involve Pacifist ethics. If Defensive wars is to be good then it should make it easier to play Economics and Diplomacy to get what you want, not to consume manpower and Material fighting wars your empire doesn't particularly benefit from.

Then how about the alternative I suggested above?
Not a new casus belli, but rather an upgraded version of the "Guarantee Independence" mechanic. Basically, the ability to discourage a limited number of specific potential aggressors by threatening to support the defenders of any war they start (either by joining the defending side, or by the creation of a separate war of the aggressor versus the empire(s) that have warned them against going to war).

Rivalries are currently weird for "Defensive Wars" empires. They cannot use the "Humiliate" casus belli to declare war and they cannot take advantage of the -20% claim cost unless the target empire declares war on them, and the latter often involves cheesy jailbaiting of the AI into thinking you are a more attractive target than you really are. Changing the effects of rivalries for "Defensive Wars" would be sensible, especially if the AI is made less easy to cheese into declaring war - which may happen soon, as the military AI will be a focus in patch 3.4. Having "Defensive Wars" rivalries trigger defensive wars with the "Humiliate" wargoal against warmongering rivals would not be a huge leap from the way the game is currently designed and played.

(A really simple alternative would be to just have "Defensive Wars" reduce the rivalry cap from 3 to 0, and increase the guarantee of independence cap from 3 to 6.)

A nearly equivalent alternative to adding a "Peace enforcement" casus belli could be to allow "Defensive Wars" to impose an inverted "Guarantee Independence" on a specific target empire. If the target empire declares war on anyone, the "Defensive Wars" empire joins the defenders of that war. The peacekeeping empire would essentially strongly discourage the target empire from further aggression. This could perhaps be done as a change to rivalries, since the "Humiliate" casus belli is currently not particularly useful to empires with the "Defensive Wars" policy.

(As for potential related changes to the "Defender of the Galaxy" ascension perk, perhaps it could remove the limit on the number of guarantees of independence? This could make the ascension perk much more relevant and impactful on gameplay, and it would synergize greatly with "Defensive Wars" offering a reduced Influence cost to guarantees of independence. And perhaps the "Galactic Contender" ascension perk could then similarly remove the limit on the number of rivalries.)
 
Then how about the alternative I suggested above?
Not a new casus belli, but rather an upgraded version of the "Guarantee Independence" mechanic. Basically, the ability to discourage a limited number of specific potential aggressors by threatening to support the defenders of any war they start (either by joining the defending side, or by the creation of a separate war of the aggressor versus the empire(s) that have warned them against going to war).

Rivalries are currently weird for "Defensive Wars" empires. They cannot use the "Humiliate" casus belli to declare war and they cannot take advantage of the -20% claim cost unless the target empire declares war on them, and the latter often involves cheesy jailbaiting of the AI into thinking you are a more attractive target than you really are. Changing the effects of rivalries for "Defensive Wars" would be sensible, especially if the AI is made less easy to cheese into declaring war - which may happen soon, as the military AI will be a focus in patch 3.4. Having "Defensive Wars" rivalries trigger defensive wars with the "Humiliate" wargoal against warmongering rivals would not be a huge leap from the way the game is currently designed and played.

(A really simple alternative would be to just have "Defensive Wars" reduce the rivalry cap from 3 to 0, and increase the guarantee of independence cap from 3 to 6.)
I'd be totally down with a "stand against" or "declare threat" action that acts as a mirrored guarantee of independence. I'm not sure it should be locked behind defensive wars only policy, but it definitely should be available to them. Why would a militarist empire be unable to say "You're a threat, and if you attack anyone we'll fight for them"?

I'd argue the main benefits of a rivalry is actually the +0.5 monthly influence, and not the CB or claim cost reduction (although both are nice). So I wouldn't prevent defensive wars only empires from having rivalries. Increasing the number of independence guarantees is another fine buff, but I think the cheaper guarantees are better (no reason you couldn't have both though!).
 
  • 4Like
  • 2
Reactions:
Adjusted the original post to include the ability to pledge beforehand to support the victims of any aggression by empire X, as an alternative to a "Peace enforcement" casus belli.
 
I'd be totally down with a "stand against" or "declare threat" action that acts as a mirrored guarantee of independence. I'm not sure it should be locked behind defensive wars only policy, but it definitely should be available to them. Why would a militarist empire be unable to say "You're a threat, and if you attack anyone we'll fight for them"?
Militarist don't need many excuses to go to war, so why are they soo restricted with CBs. Defensive wars if they were to use it are trying to throw their weight around to prevent conflict.
I'd argue the main benefits of a rivalry is actually the +0.5 monthly influence, and not the CB or claim cost reduction (although both are nice). So I wouldn't prevent defensive wars only empires from having rivalries. Increasing the number of independence guarantees is another fine buff, but I think the cheaper guarantees are better (no reason you couldn't have both though!).
I think Rivaling an empire is a very aggressive move that invites war which is counter to Pacifist ethos, not to say non Pacifist might use the policy and goad empires into war and play the victim card. Imo defensive wars policy especially when paired with Pacifist Ethos should give influence for not rivaling empires. I would additionally kind of replace rivaling for Pacifist, so that it's more a sign of distrust than aggression. Pacifist can't exactly use claim cost reductions but claim cost reduction on your territory is pretty aggressive posturing. For a Pacifist the focus is more on making alliances, Puffer Fishing, espionage benefits and maybe getting territory back if they get into another war (or the alliances part in that anyway).
 
I agree that declaring rivalry feels like aggressive posturing that is thematically and psychologically incompatible with what the Defensive Wars policy should represent. What if the Defensive Wars policy gave Influence for guaranteeing the independence of other empires, rather than for declaring rivalries?

It is not only much more in line with the spirit of the policy, it may actually also promote a pacifist agenda. If there are two other empires that dislike each other, guaranteeing the independence of both would actively discourage them from going to war with each other. Guarantees of independence help cool down interstellar relations among other empires, similar to how declarations of rivalry facilitate aggression via aggressive alliances (war invitations).

Similar to how aggressive posturing (rivalries) are a way for imperialists to project strength and gain diplomatic leverage and "respect",
guaranteeing the independence of others is what Defensive Wars empires reasonably should be doing to achieve the same effect.
 
  • 5Like
  • 1Love
Reactions:
"Pacificst" and "if country X ever attacks, I go to war with country X" is not what I think it should be.

Even the reduced influence for defensive pacts is iffy. Again, you are a society that wants to avoid going to war.

Reduced influence cost to guarantee your independence?

Reduced war exhaustion when defending?

Increased unity?

Increased influence generation, together with a doubling of the cost of defensive pacts and guarantee independence?
 
  • 1Like
Reactions:
"Pacificst" and "if country X ever attacks, I go to war with country X" is not what I think it should be.

Even the reduced influence for defensive pacts is iffy. Again, you are a society that wants to avoid going to war.
I think "Defensive Wars" should be regarded as separate from the Pacifist ethic; as something that other ethics also can and might want to pick. My "agenda" with this suggestion thread is that the "Defensive Wars" policy should be a more viable, fun and interactive playstyle than now, ideally on par with the other two War Philosophy policies, within the constraints of the policy's name and description (i.e. only defensive wars, as "violence is a last resort to ensure the integrity of our nation"). The Pacifist ethic has its own additional limitations (the faction gets unhappy if you are in a war at all, even if it is defensive), but those are in addition to what Defensive Wars currently means and should mean, and not necessarily a normative standard that should be applied to everyone else who would use Defensive Wars. There should be different kinds of "Defensive Wars" empires.

In my opinion.
 
  • 3Like
Reactions: