Imperator - Development Diary - 11th of March 2019

Imperator - Development Diary - 11th of March 2019

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Hello and welcome to another Development Diary for Imperator: Rome!

Today we will return once again to Diplomacy and the various ways you have to manage Expansion and Foreign Relations. We will also make a return to internal management and Tyranny before a small tour of the starting situation in the Horn of Africa.


Aggressive Expansion
aelots.png

As described before Aggressive Expansion is a measure of how Aggressive and threatening your country appears in the eyes of the world. It is built up through war declarations and taking land, and it’s main effects are on foreign relations and the happiness of foreign pops and subject states under your control.

For a country with few foreign pops however, Aggressive Expansion is a far more lenient mechanic. In history even the most inward looking country would not have been indifferent to rapid expansion. In order for it to not be inconsequential even to a power with no foreign subjects, we have therefore added a general increase of all power costs by 2% per point of Aggressive Expansion above 50, as well as a decrease of happiness for same culture by 0.5% per point.

Peace-Time Aggressive Expansion Decay

A very aggressive country will never be popular, but it will also not necessarily be hated forever. In addition to its normal reduction over time we have added a decay rate for Aggressive Expansion when a country is at peace. The rate of decay is based on their current total accrued Aggressive Expansion. This means that a country that has been expanding very aggressively will be able to gain some additional decay, an increase that will dwindle as Aggressive Expansion approaches more reasonable levels.

On top of this further Aggressive Actions will generate less Aggressive Expansion the more you already have, as further Aggressiveness does not change the already very bad expectations the world has on your country.

Diplomatic Stances
stances.png

Diplomacy is not all action. Some things are best achieved by having a thought through foreign policy to reach the goals of a country over time. In Imperator you will have the ability to set a Diplomatic Stance for the country you control, which is a general foreign policy approach that your diplomats will pursue. The stances are all focused on different goals and their effects help you achieve those goals eventually.

Changing the selected Stance costs Oratory power, and gets more expensive each time the same ruler does so.
The Diplomatic Stances are:

Neutral Stance:
  • +1 Diplomatic Relations

This stance is what most countries start out with and lets you keep your options open. The extra diplomatic relation slot is useful for all manner of diplomatic initiatives. Especially since the base number of relations was reduced in favor of this.


Appeasing Stance:
  • Aggressive Expansion Decay +20%
  • Improve Relations Cost -25%
  • Opinion of Allies +25
  • Opinion of all others within Diplomatic Range +10

This stance is useful for when you have already expanded and want the world to consider you a potential friend again, and not just an eventual enemy.


Mercantile Stance:
  • National Commerce Income +25%
  • Create Trade Route Cost -25%
  • Opinion of others using the same stance +30
  • Opinion of others within Diplomatic Range +20

This stance allows you to focus all of the states diplomatic efforts on making profitable trades, and making others accept your trade offers.


Bellicose Stance:
  • War Score Costs -20%
  • Fabricate Claim Cost -10%
  • Opinion of Neighbors -20
  • Opinion of others within Diplomatic Range -10

This stance focuses on territorial expansion and finding reasons to expand your empire.

Subjugative Stance:
  • Integration Speed +25%
  • Loyalty of Subjects +10
  • Opinion of Subjects +20

This stance focuses on your subject states and how to tie them closer to your country.

Tyranny
tyranny.png
Where Aggressive Expansion represents the image of your country among foreign countries and foreign pops, Tyranny is a value related to how your country has dealt with its own people, it is increased through actions where the state reaches further than is expected of it. Imprisoning characters, forcing governors to change their governor policies, and forcing issues through the senate with barely any support, are all actions that increase the Tyranny of a country.

The more tyranny you accrue the less your core citizens will think of you, and the less loyal your governors and commanders will be. Being tyrannical also has its upsides however. The senate will be less likely to have the courage to oppose you in a Republic with a lot of Tyranny, and tyranny is necessary for transforming such a state into a permanent dictatorship. Tyranny also discounts the price for using tyrannical actions such as imprisonment or executions, and it increases the output of Slave Pops.


Character Interactions
autonomy.png

While we have talked about many of the available Character Interactions in the game before we have also kept adding more of them as we go. Here is an overview of some newer interactions that you may or may not have heard about in previous diaries:

  • Hold Games: Every 5 years your ruler can hold games for a bit of money, in order to increase their popularity.
  • Reward Veterans: Cohorts that are loyal to a successful and ambitious general can be a great problem, for a cost of power and money you can try to win some of them back to the state.
  • Give Free Hands: Give an employed character free hands to do whatever they can with their position until revoked. Increases the Loyalty and Corruption over time. As Corruption increases how much state income goes into a characters wages this may be a costly thing to do. Costs loyalty to revoke.
  • Grant Stipends: By generously increasing the pay for a certain family you can increase the loyalty of the head of that family. Very handy if a scorned family has raised an army against you.
  • Gladiatorial Debut: In extreme circumstances it may be worth the gamble to allow a prisoner to fight for their freedom. This will undoubtedly be popular, and is not unlikely to get them killed but may end up with them set free.
  • Grant Capitulatory Honors: Much like holding a Triumph this is a way to heap honors and money unto a general with many loyal troops, useful to possibly get even a disloyal and dangerous general loyal enough to make them part with their army.
  • Proscribe: Confiscate the money of an imprisoned character. Their entire family will lose loyalty, and you will gain tyranny.
  • Exalt Clan Chief: Allows a tribal ruler to bestow favors upon one clan chief who will become more loyal. Other clan chiefs will lose loyalty.
  • Grant Clan Autonomy: Disloyal clan chiefs can be allowed to take a part of a tribe with them and part ways with your state. This will make one of your provinces independent, with the clan chief as a tributary ruler. Increases loyalty of remaining clan chiefs.
  • Attempt to Buy Off Mercenary: Sends an offer to a mercenary company for a sum of money for abandoning their current employer. The employer will be allowed to surpass your bid.

And with those words on internal and external (mis)-management, tyranny and aggressive expansion, we turn our attention to one of the southernmost parts of the map. :)


Punt:
allhorn.PNG

By following the nile upwards and southwards we end up in the region today known as the Horn of Africa, known by the Egyptians for centuries as the land of Punt. This region is peripheral to the Imperator map but nonetheless it possesses resources to matter. Beyond the population of the Ethiopian highlands itself the coastline towards the red sea and gulf of Aden is home to a number of important trading ports for the trade with Egypt, Arabia and India.

As is often the case in the regions we cover there is a lack of good sources when it comes to the exact political situation and there has been some use of extrapolation and speculation to arrive at the setup we have.


The Ethiopian Highlands:
ethiopiaterrain.png

Politically the Ethiopian highlands at the start of Imperator are divided. Eventually the kingdom of Aksum, possibly an heir to an even older kingdom known as D’mot, would rise to be the local hegemon, uniting most of the plateau shortly after the end of our game. In 304 BCE however the region is far from united and there are no clearly dominant countries here.

Starting Countries:
ethiopiapolitical.png
  • Alut: Where the Blue and White Nile converges into one great river lies the kingdom of Alut, with its capital in the region in between the two great Nilotic tributaries. Compared to Kush, the country that controls the only route north, down the nile, this is a small and unimportant kingdom. If Alut is to prosper it will either have to be at the leisure of Kush, or through striking their northern neighbor when a moment of weakness arrives.
  • Boras: Small Tribal Kingdom on the Atbara river. On the border of the richer capital regions of Aksum and Kush, Boras is left with the land in between, an excellent starting point for a hostile takeover of one, or both of the other two. A likelier outcome however is that Boras will be high priority land to be conquered by either local hegemons.
  • Aksum: Small kingdom in the northern highlands of modern Ethiopia, bordering both Upper Nubia and all of the other Ethopian states. Would eventually grow into the hegemonic Axumite Empire.
  • Adoullia: Small kingdom in northern Eritrea, neighboring Aksum.
  • Gwanara: Kingdom on the Ethiopian Plateau, eventually conquered by Aksum.
  • Yeha: Kingdom ruler by the city of Yeha, the old capital of the kingdom of D’mot. Controls most of the eastern part of the Ethiopian plateau.
Horn of Africa:
hornterrain.png

The coastline of modern Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somaliland was well known to the ancient authors, mostly because this is an area of important ports for the Indian Ocean Trade network. While trade was the reason for their existence it would be hard to call any of these small Republics and Monarchies rich.


Starting Countries:
hornpolitical.png

  • Avalita: Small trader kingdom around the city of Avalites, near modern day Zeila. While this is one of the larger states in this region it is far less powerful than the Arabic states just across the strait.
  • Mundia: Small salt exporting city state on the horn.
  • Mosylon: Small pearl fishing port on the Somaliland coast, and an entrepot for trade with India, Egypt and Arabia.
  • Oponia: Small city state, almost on the very tip of the horn. Like the other Macrobian Republics it is frequented by Greek, Egyptian, Phoenician, Indian and later Roman Merchants, yet this entrepot is also extremely vulnerable to barbarians, drought and any other dangers that come with being a small city state with few protectors.
 

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Joccend

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Love it! Diplomatic Stances are a nice feature.

Also, RIP Pritannia tomorrow due to that primary culture happiness...
 

Nc-Rm

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I'm really loving the new stuff. 6 weeks only until release and we're still getting new features :)
 

Es57

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What I find the most exciting in this DD is that we finally get a properly one-eyed Antigonos !
 

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In the dev clash that small string of provinces at the southern coast of Arabia seem to be wasteland. Wasn't there settlements there back then, let alone today when desertification has gone further than it was back then?

There also seems to be quite some choke points in Ethiopia, which is historical afaik.
I wonder if the provinces in Punt can produce those sea shells used to make purpur dye.
 

Andrzej2

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Im not sure about AE affecting primary culture happiness. It doesn't make much sense for people to be angry becouse of expansion of their state. If anything they should be happy as long as they are winning.
 

Wagonlitz

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To many armies in the first picture I hope this is not a thing.
Now, Pritannia is one of the bigger dogs int he dev clash, so they will have more than a normal country. But that amount of armies does seem like it's comparable to what e.g. Rome has in the dev clash.
 

fëanor89

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we have therefore added a general increase of all power costs by 2% per point of Aggressive Expansion above 50, as well as a decrease of happiness for same culture by 0.5% per point.
I honestly don't get the logic behind these two new AE effects besides making it more punishing, since they both directly affect your government and your people. IMO the 0.5% per AE point decrease of happiness for same culture is especially immersion breaking, given that for many polities included in this game war was regarded as one of the most positive and honourable activity (just think about Sparta, the Germanic tribes and Rome itself). On top of that, many wars were very popular beacuse of the enrichment oppportunities.
Where Aggressive Expansion represents the image of your country among foreign countries and foreign pops, Tyranny is a value related to how your country has dealt with its own people
But now AE affects you government and pops as well.
 
Last edited:

Joccend

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I honestly don't get the logic of these two new AE effects besides making it more punishing, since they both directly affect your government and your people. IMO the 0.5% per AE point decrease of happiness for same culture is especially immersion breaking, given that for many polities included in this game war was regarded as one of the most positive and honourable activity (just think about Sparta, the Germanic tribes and Rome itself). On top of that, many wars were very popular beacuse of the enrichment oppportunities.

But now AE affects you government and pops as well.
I like the power cost increase, but I agree that the happiness decrease for your pops is a bit weird. Maybe change it based on your culture?
 

Lord Lambert

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In order for it to not be inconsequential even to a power with no foreign subjects, we have therefore added a general increase of all power costs by 2% per point of Aggressive Expansion above 50, as well as a decrease of happiness for same culture by 0.5% per point.
Oof, the SirRogers nerfbat has been swung.
 

Fallofthepurple

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My takeaway here is - aside from how excited I am to play as Axum - that you finally gave that one dude his eye-patch and i no longer have to read complaints about it.
 

Maldazar

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Few questions/things that got me worried:

1. Is Aggressive Expansion global? Because imho it makes no sense a country right next to you feel the same amount of aggressive expansion as a country in India (while you are in iberia) since they probably don't even know of your existence... It seems global and this is honestly a step back from other games if it is so.

2. It seems like some of those modifiers from aggressive expansion are purely a way to stop expansion for the sake of stoping expansion, and not adding a specific layer of gameplay to it other then waiting for it to come down. And specificly the own pops happyness, which, given the time in which empires were forged and people liked the expansion, also makes little sense... and actualy, the fact that rome is conquering egypt should not necessarly make gauls unhappy, it should be a culture based modifier, so: aggression towards gauls should make gauls (other civs AND pops in your country) unhappy / less whiling to do anything, so more expansive to use power on to convert etc.

In general the game feels like it has lots of numbers/modifiers for the sake of numbers/modifiers, I would like to have those numbers feel more 'alive', more based on what could be a logic representation of reality... so: Be aggressive against gauls and they might bind together (your own gauls and the ones in other countries) to attack you, but people in India will honestly not care at all, even if they are in your empire, since lots of them, even being in your empire, might not even know that gauls exist...
 

Dsingis

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Oh, I'm looking forward to the Pritannia implosion hehe >: )

Although from a gameplay balance perspective it makes sense for AE to also lower your citizen's happiness, I wonder what the real world reasoning would be. I mean, take the romans for example. They loved when Rome expanded. Why would your own people be unhappy if some unwashed barbarians are being subjugated?
 

EU3NOOB

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Sir Rogers seems to be right buggered...

But if he's smart he could maneuver himself and maybe only lose MOST of his mainland territories.
 

AcidJiles

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Will we be able to tone down the effects of AE if we want a looser game or maybe up assimilation so its effects are less? Thanks
 

Saman Wilson

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My takeaway here is - aside from how excited I am to play as Axum - that you finally gave that one dude his eye-patch and i no longer have to read complaints about it.
HAHAHAHAHA. I died when I saw this. Hey I'm happy too, it goes both ways lol.
But that one dude was hell of a man, now hopefully, fingers crossed, they fix Demetrius too.