Recently Conquered Pops should be a bigger issue.

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Lord of Pancakes
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Apr 7, 2018
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By default there are a few statuses that can be applied to pops when they've been conquered, the ones of importance are the below:

Pop Recently conquered is applied - unless the pop was a slave or undesirable then that flag is applied instead (if they were made a resident or citizen - not 100% sure what happens if you save a pop from purging and turn them in to a slave ... quite the emotional rollercoaster I guess). It appears as a little corner icon over the pop in game.

Given the massive economic potential of free pops, this has always made conquest (particularly early on) a very easy way to massively boost your empire's power level. I can annex the world of an alien democracy, as a xenophobic autocrat, for example, and immediately put it's people to work - in exchange for what amounts to a small stability hit usually. This is greatly outweighed by the extra income from an even moderately compliant/stable world.

In my opinion this minor happiness debuff needs to change and I see a few possible ways to do it:
  1. Greatly increase the modifier effects.
    • 1648506681001.png
    • I've added in these modifiers to hit unity income, now. (other modifiers could be increased crime/deviancy & reduced output, for example),
    • What this amounts to is +1 unity upkeep if biotrophy/slave/worker (employed or unemployed), +3 unity upkeep if a specialist and +5 unity upkeep if a ruler pop [only possible if the pop retains full citizenship].
      • The tooltip looks a bit dodgy, as I didn't overwrite it with a custom/tidied up string, but only the relevant effect will trigger on the relevant stratum pop.
      • 1648506860676.png
      • Can see 1U and 3U upkeep on a worker and a specialist, despite what the status message says.
    • This allows the pop to continue to work, but it will carry a heavy unity upkeep cost on you if you conquer too much.
      • Below we see the aggregate cost of annexing 1 world (using the above *example* values) - 43 unity per month.
      • 1648507224658.png
      • When combined with the "enhanced" deficit effects coming in 3.4/situations (hopefully there is something good for unity too) we could see excessive conquering leading to "unity-bankruptcy", in turn paving the way for revolutions/separatism/partisan movements.
    • It could be possible to halve the remaining time (or reduce it by X days, repeatedly) using a planet decision (e.g. costing influence or CGs/energy etc) - triggering a script that reduces the remaining days [get days outstanding, clear modifier, do some maths, issue modifier again at lower value], letting you "invest into the annexed people" to speed the process along. Traits like unruly or docile could also factor in to this potentially,
  2. Use assimilation Mechanics for pops that do NOT share your governing Ethics.
    • Create a dedicated "Cultural assimilation job" and have it only fillable by pops with "recently_conquered", with the pop with the recently conquered flag also generating/filling that job.
    • This would be similar to #1 (in that the job could consume unity in it's "production") but the pop would also essentially be locked off from working.
      • This could be mitigated by letting any pops that share your governing ethics continue to work (and not need to undergo assimilation).
      • In other words, If you had 10 pops, and 5 were spiritualist workers, 5 were materialists (and you were a spiritualist)
        • the 5 spiritualists would work as normal - with a +1 unity upkeep,
        • whilst the 5 materialists would be barred from working a normal job, instead forced to work in "cultural assimilation" until the recently conquered flag clears.
  3. Scripted colony modifiers (more performative than using pop modifiers, directly?)
    1. Add unity upkeep = #recently conquered pops, then ban recently conquered pops from being relocated offworld or auto-migrating till the status clears
    2. Everything so far is pinned to pop modifiers this effectively does the same as 1 and 2 but handles all unity costs in the colony scope, for possible ongoing performance gains (with a larger initial calculation to figure out the number of pops on the colony to work out colony unity upkeep).
  4. Situations
    • We still don't quite know what's in store with situations at time of writing,
    • But (along with the approach in #3 above) it should be possible to create a situation "Assimilate the pops of [System x]
      • Which will consume unity at X rate each month, with some options to give them extra food or consumer goods, or use armies to break their spirits to move the situation along faster.
      • Maybe with some random events. E.g. if the annexed pops are predominantly spiritualist you could get a "[conquered species name] cleric speaks out" event - and you could manipulate the situation to your favour based on your choice (with a weighted chance for it to go for you if your government is spiritualist too, or against if not).
      • There could be various events for different ethos and civics or authorities (e.g. if you are a megacorp and annexed a bunch of pops from a communal parity, you might have a very hard time getting them to obey you - unless you offer long-term labour concessions, making those pops [or colonies] less productive for decades - or risk worker strikes/riots).
This might also be a good place for factions to help.
  • Factions with high approval could speed up/cheapen the burden of assimilating pops sharing their ethics.
  • So even if you are not a spiritualist, if your spiritualist faction approves of you, they might make it faster to assimilate conquered spiritualist pops - or at least make "spiritualist-related" events (for example) in situations more likely to roll in your favour, to use the cleric speaks out event example from #4, above, again.
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It seems fun, but I think we still have to see how the changes in overlord will change the earliest way of conquest: subjugation + integration. If it will make it significantly harder, that will make early conquest significantly more expensive (having to use claims all the way to the oponent core worlds), which might make this too much.
Otherwise, extra unity costs for recently anexed pops seems thematic, as long as it also affects the ones from recently integrated forcefully subjugated empires.
not 100% sure what happens if you save a pop from purging and turn them in to a slave

I got the +happy "thanks for saving me" only.

Create a dedicated "Cultural assimilation job" and have it only fillable by pops with "recently_conquered", with the pop with the recently conquered flag also generating/filling that job.

Reeducation Center is something we honestly do need.

Send any political opponents there -- trade losing some pop-months of productivity for increased happiness over time and better faction approval.


In some of the Civ games, a newly conquered city is generally useless until you've spent some time with your units occupying the city to suppress dissidents.

Since these are space people with space ships, maybe you spend time with your navy cleaning up pockets of resistance in the system (similar to piracy perhaps) as well as time with your assault armies on the ground. (For a pre-FTL primitive planet, you only need to use the armies.)

In terms of time scale, perhaps the "Indoctrination" mission for primitives would be reasonable? It checks back every year or so to see if the planet has converted enough to be a part of your empire.
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