Author Topic: More hostile diplomatic options  (Read 1044 times)

Constantine

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More hostile diplomatic options
« Topic Start: May 13, 2020, 02:07:49 PM »
At this time war is the only diplomatic status that can show that two realms experienced a fall out and consider each other enemies.

Positive relations are more nuanced. Peace is something generic. You can have peace with everyone. Alliance is heavily restricted. You can't be allied with that many realms. Federation is something unique.

I suggest to mirror this system to hostile relations:
Federation - Alliance - Peace - (Neutral) - Hostile - War - Hatred
Here we imply that realms who are hostile to each other are not in a state of open war but still consider each other enemies. Hostile realms will be able to arrest passing nobles, launch border raids and looting expeditions, get involved in underhanded activities (more options for spies and priests on hostile territory). War will be what war is now, with perhaps additional restrictions in time. I think realms should not be able to maintain War indefinitely and at some point revert back to Hostile for a while. The main difference of war vs. hostile would be that only during wars you can take over enemy regions.

Anaris

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Re: More hostile diplomatic options
« Reply #1: May 13, 2020, 02:24:45 PM »
Based on conversations on another recent thread, I've actually been considering something similar to this, but not quite the same:

Separate from the military diplomatic relations, have a set of cultural diplomatic relations. Something like

Brothers - Friends - Indifferent - Hostile - Enemies

They would have no mechanical military consequences (though they might have other mechanical consequences, at least in time), but would be a way to clearly indicate how your realm and another realm feel about each other.

To be honest, I'm not thrilled about the idea of allowing any kind of attacks on a realm without being at war with them. It complicates things, particularly when I've just introduced a mechanic requiring reasons for being able to attack a realm—which depends on having to declare war to attack a realm. Furthermore, I think it highly likely that 99% of the time, "hostile" would be used and seen as nearly synonymous with "war"—certainly, a realm having its regions attacked and looted isn't going to hesitate to treat that as an act of war.

And to be clear, you can already attack a realm you're neutral with by setting your men to Aggressive or Murderous. You can even loot them.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Constantine

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Re: More hostile diplomatic options
« Reply #2: May 13, 2020, 04:03:52 PM »
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To be honest, I'm not thrilled about the idea of allowing any kind of attacks on a realm without being at war with them. It complicates things, particularly when I've just introduced a mechanic requiring reasons for being able to attack a realm—which depends on having to declare war to attack a realm. Furthermore, I think it highly likely that 99% of the time, "hostile" would be used and seen as nearly synonymous with "war"—certainly, a realm having its regions attacked and looted isn't going to hesitate to treat that as an act of war.

If that is your concern, those attack options can be trimmed. It does complicate things but not in a bad way, i.e. it doesn't make anyone ragequit the game because he feels completely helpless.

My goal with this suggestion is not to allow players fight wars without a declaration. As you have noted, there are already legit ways to attack neutral realms without declaring a war anyway.

My actual goal is to give realms that can not sustain a real war due to low player count or do not feel like they are ready to escalate just that far an option to still engage enemies in a fun manner. The problem with the current system is there not being a middle option between Neutral and War. In my opinion it  is the reason behind most so-called "bs wars". The way the game woks, it just has to go from "we're fine" to immediately "we're gonna murder you". There's no "now we hate you" stage when you can mess with each other in a meaningful way.
This needs a lot of thought as to the spectrum of actual gameplay options hostile realms can have outside of proper wars with army on army battles. But I think it's worth it.

Anaris

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Re: More hostile diplomatic options
« Reply #3: May 13, 2020, 04:19:34 PM »
The way the game woks, it just has to go from "we're fine" to immediately "we're gonna murder you".

I think this exemplifies much of the cultural problem we've been trying to change for years.

"War" does not mean "we're gonna murder you" as in "wipe out your realm". It means "we have a grievance of some sort with you, and it can only be settled with armed conflict."

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My actual goal is to give realms that can not sustain a real war due to low player count or do not feel like they are ready to escalate just that far an option to still engage enemies in a fun manner.

Frankly, I think that any realm that legitimately cannot sustain a real war due to low player count is a very strong candidate for merging into another realm. That seems to me to be one of the points at which a realm is no longer viable on its own, and needs to start admitting that fact.

However, I would also question how many realms actually meet that criterion. I've seen far, far too many realms in my time—and this goes back well before the decline in the playerbase—that refused to go to war, citing various reasons that meant they "could not sustain a real war", when really they were just afraid there was a nontrivial chance they could lose. I'm not saying that's the case for anything specific you're referring to, just questioning that subjective criterion based on its historic application by players.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

Constantine

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Re: More hostile diplomatic options
« Reply #4: May 13, 2020, 07:02:57 PM »
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"War" does not mean "we're gonna murder you" as in "wipe out your realm". It means "we have a grievance of some sort with you, and it can only be settled with armed conflict."
Maybe, but I also don't think every unresolved grievance has to either be dropped or result in a war.

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Frankly, I think that any realm that legitimately cannot sustain a real war due to low player count is a very strong candidate for merging into another realm.
I'm not sure that always works.
To offer an example, if Nivemus merges with Sirion or Eppy, that will be a bloody behemoth of a realm spanning 25-30 regions and still remaining way below minimum density.

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I've seen far, far too many realms in my time—and this goes back well before the decline in the playerbase—that refused to go to war, citing various reasons that meant they "could not sustain a real war", when really they were just afraid there was a nontrivial chance they could lose.
I'm actually more worried about realms who want to declare a war but are clearly unable to pull it off on their own, like Eppy vs. Perdan. And even with support, they're unable to take over regions. So what's the point?
Maybe they wouldn't declare a useless war if they had other options of hostile interaction.

Anaris

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Re: More hostile diplomatic options
« Reply #5: May 13, 2020, 07:58:49 PM »
Maybe, but I also don't think every unresolved grievance has to either be dropped or result in a war.

I think that what I'm trying to get at here is that I believe you and I have different ideas of what "a war" really means.

I see War, in BattleMaster, as being any armed conflict beyond entirely incidental looting, particularly anything that has a specific reason ("They insulted our chickens!") and goal in mind ("Defeat their armies four times on the battlefield, and loot 400 gold from their regions").

It might be helpful if you would explain just what you do see War as meaning—and, if relevant and possible, why.

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I'm not sure that always works.
To offer an example, if Nivemus merges with Sirion or Eppy, that will be a bloody behemoth of a realm spanning 25-30 regions and still remaining way below minimum density.

To me, that's less an indictment of the principle I articulated, and more an indictment of how badly Nivemus has been mismanaged and permitted to fall into decay. Frankly, unless something can happen extremely soon to turn it around, I think it would be healthier to see Nivemus collapse entirely and its regions go rogue than any other easily-described fix I can think of.

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I'm actually more worried about realms who want to declare a war but are clearly unable to pull it off on their own, like Eppy vs. Perdan. And even with support, they're unable to take over regions. So what's the point?
Maybe they wouldn't declare a useless war if they had other options of hostile interaction.

I understand where you're coming from here, but...they do have other options. War does not require regions to be taken. It is an extremely open-ended diplomatic stance in that way. I'm not entirely sanguine about such things, but I've seen a number of wars declared in BattleMaster with no actual intention of ever setting foot in the enemy's territory—the declaration was simply to show solidarity for an ally, particularly in cases where the realms in question were very far apart. (This, I think, is another case where a purely cultural relations table would be helpful.)

Given the situation, and granting that we are both simply speculating wildly on this point, I think it much more likely that, if Hostile had been a valid diplomatic stance since before the start of the referenced conflict, Eponllyn and Perdan would still have wanted to be at war, and would still very much intend to take each other's regions.

It may be that there are situations where having a "Hostile" option would have changed the diplomatic landscape; however, given what I know about the situation on the EC, I frankly think it's quite unlikely that any of the major recent conflicts there fall into that category.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's desire...is your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

PolarRaven

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Re: More hostile diplomatic options
« Reply #6: May 14, 2020, 01:41:47 AM »
Have we considered removing the FEDARATED and ALLIED stances from the game?
It would certainly make "dogpiling" a realm MUCH more inconvenient.  (though likely still possible)
I am not sure how the battles would play out, but it would certainly be an interesting concept.