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Senate Event Types and Scenarios


Lorne
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Admin has a up a specific thread for proposals, but I wanted to toss one up to talk about general concepts for proposals and what you see being meaningful to the game (and perhaps under what conditions).  For example right now in peace time, a proposal where you trade income for cheaper military is unlikely pass because no one is incurring military expenses right now and everyone is saving for the next war.

To begin with, I'll advance the hypothesis that alliances tend to having the following states:

At Peace

Aid slots are used for tech dealing.  

Trade circles focused on income maximization.  

War slots unused or used for low intensity conflict where a cheaper military is not a major concern.

Infrastructure is being bought or maintained.  

 

At War

Aid slots are being used to move cash and troops.

Trade circles may remain income focus or switch to war based ones.

War slots used of course.  People may fight (military hardware is a major concern) or may turtle (at that point they actually prefer their opponent has to spend more to defeat alert them).

Infrastructure is being burned, repurchased only if needed to maintain a certain strength or such, but generally allowed to burn.

 

As for individual nations, it seems the big divides are if you're buying infra and thus more worried about cost or if you're sitting at 8999 or whatever and bills are a big concern.  Beyond that of course you're either selling tech or buying it.  

 

So basically it struck me that things that matter to people are infra costs, infra upkeep, military costs, and really big bonuses that make it worth their time to do something.  For all others, keep the status quo.  

 

Anyway all that aside I see I was trying to brainstorm scenarios for designing events that would pass or fail while adding alliance based drama to the game.  I've considered some specific scenarios below, but feel free to scroll past them to the tl;dr.

 

Resource Benefit Alteration

Clearly you can go all over the map with this.  Land price goes down, infra price goes up.  Tech price goes down, land price goes up.  Infra upkeep goes down, military prices go up.  All kinds of combinations here.  

 

My initial thoughts on these is centered around the fact that only a couple of trade circles are consider good ones by the community and most of us are in one of them.  So the voting will be vote down proposals unless they make those main circles better based on the idea people don't want to have to redo trades monthly.  

 

The way I see these being really meaningful are war costs increase or decreases.

 

Wars in this game are typically decided before they star.  Side A has the numbers and the median nation size needed to kick Side B in the face.  Wars are declared, nuclear weapons are fired, Side B loses.  

 

What might be interesting here is if a proposal popped up that required redoing trade circles to a nonstandard one, but if you did that you netted a sizable military bonus, either cost reduction or damage bonus.  If passing this has no other negative impacts (such as infra cost increases, etc), it likely passes.  Side A nations may opt not to aggressively redo trades on the ground that they're winning and redoing trades is lazy.  B though might embrace this as a means to get their warchest burn down for 30 days or do some extra damage since they're planning a long resistance.  The issue I see here is balancing, Side B still needs to lose the war because it is bad game play for a random number generation to be able to disrupt a coalition war that took months to plan (unless the war is a 51-49 split, at which point maybe A deserves to lose for not bringing enough guys to the battlefield), but it still needs to be something where Side B can get some benefit.  

 

Anyway I can also see people using this for soft power.  How parties not at war on this vote may have post war consequences.  If Alliance X is at war on Side B and really wants this proposal to pass, but Alliance Y is on the same team and wants to be friendly with Side A post war, clearly you have a voting issue.  So if you're not in the war, how you vote will impact on how your teammates view you post war.

 

Infrastructure Cost Vs. Upkeep

New nations and nations who just were hammered in a war (or are in a war but for some odd reason feel the urge to rebuy, perhaps as they sit in peace mode to rearm) want a lower infrastructure cost because they'll spend much more buying infrastructure than paying bills on it.  Larger nations though who are happy where they are just want their bills to go down.  So it seems logical to have some events out there that raise one cost and lower the other.

 

During Peace: My suspicion is during peace ones that lower upkeep but raise cost will be the ones that pass (if any pass at all).  That benefits your big nations who have the most strategic important to an alliance.  Overall I think during peace these events will just be No votes and pushed on to the scrap heap.

 

During War: Once you're at war and all your infra is burned away or you are rebuilding and no one in your alliance has a large infra bill, clearly you want the  reduced cost and who cares about the bills.  In a war your stuff gets blown up so you won't pay many bills of it.  In peace, set it up so your 20 day collect is right when the event expires, you never pay the higher upkeep rate but buy at the reduced rate.  However the alliances on your team who aren't at war and still have a tier that has >10,000 infra don't want their bills going up for 30 days.

 

I think this has some interesting soft power arrangements.  Say Alliance X and Alliance Y are on black.  X is sitting around watching the grass grow.  Y just finished off a nasty war.  An upkeep increase/price down event comes up.  X and Y are friends, so the Senator from X has a decision to make, reduce X's profits for a month and help Y or damage the relation with Y for personal gain.  If X votes no, maybe Y holds a grudge, downgrades a treaty, who knows.  If you have a scenario where X, Y, and Z are on black with both Y and Z needing to rebuild, maybe they band together and try to rally others to kick X off the sphere.  Of course this only happens if you have the right timing and the right mix of powers for this event.  

 

Infrastructure Pure Benefit

This is basically the above, only no negative.  Upkeep drops, cost stays the same.  Or vice versa.  These seem to be nice bonuses and will always pass.  The only scenario I can construct where these are interesting is:

 

Alliances X and Y are on the same team.  Alliance X is trying to cozy up to Alliance Z (off color).  Alliance Y and Z are enemies.  Alliance X has few nations buying infrastructure, but Y is busy buying infra to rebuild or build up more nations.  So as a favor to Z, X votes against a proposal that would drop infra cost on the grounds it hurts Y while dealing minimal in game damage to X and helping X with a political goal.  Same could also apply if Y is rebuilding, an upkeep cost reduction event pops up and Y has a reason to want to see X's bills go up.  

 

These seem worth having in game, you just need to have the random number generator balance these between teams to a degree.  If say black gets six of these in a row and red gets nothing, it skews the growth curve heavily to one side.  One other thing to consider, have the ones that reduce purchase price pop up more frequently than the upkeep reduction ones.  This helps new guys who are building and makes rebuilding cheaper which in theory makes wars happen faster because you can rearm and get back in (or grow to relevancy quicker).  

 

Military Cost Increase or Decreases

Pretty much the same logic as above here.  Since military is not a big ticket item in peace time, during peace time proposals that drop military prices but raise the price of something else will almost always fail.  In war, depends on if you're fighting or not and who you want to have fond feelings for you post war.  Events that make something cheaper but add no cost to anything else will always pass, everyone loves freebies.  

 

Other Economic Events

Income goes up, crime goes up.  Happiness goes down, crime goes down.  Whatever you want there.  My personal thinking here is that alliances will have their senators vote for ones that help big nations and vote against those that hurt big nations.  The big guys are your strategic asset.  

 

One obvious thought here would be to pick a color as the small nation color and the little guys hang out there to get the bonuses and have trade circles with each other.  I'm not sure if this would happen in that I can't ensure that say Pink will get pro small nation proposals with any regularity.  Perhaps not worth the time to make your alliance multicolored.  Likely this will occur more if people see pro small nation events are a regular occurrence and thus if you put your small nation on one color they can see an average benefit of X dollars each month due to proposals helping them.  

 

 

tl;dr, end of the day, how I see the Senate right now is that matters during the war and post war rebuilding if certain events pop up.  During peacetime though, you protect your big nations and vote accordingly.  If small nations experience significant penalty due to that or could get a significant benefit, the community likely moves to make a sphere the small nation color.  All because fundamentally you look after your big nations and the only time you really lack high infra big nations is the war or right after.  

 

So the first question of course is, does the community like that?  The Senate is just a war and postwar tool with a fairly unified policy the rest of the time.  Good enough, that plus the 30 day lockout on changing makes sanctions more useful, and we're done here.

 

Alternatively do we want to try to make the Senate matter more the rest of the year and stir the pot more.  At this point I descend into conjecture and this is where we need a bigger input from community minds.  

 

Extreme Events

An example here would be a really significant boost to your income but a really severe increase in military costs.  We have something like this on black with +3 happiness but +25% nuclear costs and it was voted down because no one wants to reduce their nuclear ability on black.  But I can't help but wonder if that was +8 or +10 on happiness and most of black feels pretty secure, do you vote for it?  At what point exactly is the risk worth it?  

 

A clear early issue is that it unbalances the game, because if only black gets it we'll be raking in the cash for 30 days.  The random number generator gives us a couple of those in a row and we're rich.  On the other hand maybe that's good.  Maybe the other colors should resent us and plan to tag team us to grind some of that profit off us.  Grudges aren't determined by the fact I made fun of someone on IRC, they're decided based on dollar and cents in that one color has been having a great run and is now a problem to the other colors collectively.  So arguably this could cause the treaty arrangement to shift more and more and instability is good.  

 

The flip event where would be say a minor happiness penalty but significant military savings on multiple items also seems interesting.  Going back to coalition warfare, if Side B knows Side A is about to beat them up, but Side B is primarily on black and black suddenly gets a really good military event, maybe you say "Hey lets take that bonus and launch a preemptive strike.  We're going down no matter what, might as well do max damage on our way down."  Of course if Side A's primary color gets this event right as they're gearing up for a war, Side B is really going to take it on the chin in a heavily unbalance conflict.  Although based on median NS versus median NS, balanced conflicts are not exactly a big thing currently anyway.  

 

Arguably one idea here is to make the extreme income events fairly rare so the odds of some sphere chaining them together is rare, but the extreme military events somewhat common to increase the odds of them provoking a war or popping during one.  

 

Helps Big Nations/Hurts Little or Vice Versa

I think the only time these are ever contentious is when an alliance or alliances on a sphere have no big nations for whatever reason but want to harm an unfriendly alliance on the same color who does have big nations.  These can be pop up in peace time but will rarely matter as people will alway vote to help/protect big nations because they tend to have them during peace time.  

 

The Top X Alliances Get Something:

I understand we used to have one sanction per color so you moved around, tried to run people off your color, things of that nature.  I really am starting to like the idea of using the Senate here for that mechanism.

 

Stepping back to the extreme event idea, the obvious reaction to those events is you and your close allies/bloc maters get on one color, run off everyone remotely hostile and sit there to enjoy the spoils of those events for only yourselves.  

 

This type of event though is a potential counter to that idea.  Because lets say you have six alliances in a bloc and they all camp out on black.  So they all get that +10 happiness event, but three of those six will forego events such as "The Top 3 Alliances have been recognized as key organizations in stabilizing this color, all nations in those alliances with at least 30 days of seniority get +3 happiness."  So if the extreme income events are rare but these lesser Top X bonuses are more common, it gives everyone an incentive to be in the Top X.  

 

They can also vary in scale.  Top 3 get +3 happiness, Top 5 get +2 happiness, Top 10 get +1 happiness.  Gives you can incentive to be near the top, but does trickle down a somewhat reasonable amount.  

 

You could also have these matter if lets say a Top 3 get X event pops.  One of the Top 3 on that color is on Side A, the other two are on Side B.  Each of these three has a Senator.  The fourth Senator is a Side A alliance and the fifth is neutral.  Side A would likely pressure its two senators to vote No, because one Side A alliance benefits from this but two Side B alliances do.  It benefits the A coalition if that one alliance forgoes this.  The Side B senators vote for this.  Now it is down to lobbying that fifth senator for a vote.  

 

Alliances Under X Get Something

Just to be fair and not leave anyone out in the cold, you can also have an event come through where alliances under say 50 members (or the median member count for the team), under the median team NS, or under the median team total NS, get something for all their members who have over 30 days seniority in that alliance.  This of course can be political if you have a bunch of hostile micros on your team or what not.  

 

Top X Nations on a Team Get Something

This are arguably meaningful.  Lets say you have an event where the Top 50 nations on black get something and 25 of those 50 belong to Alliance X.  However if Alliance Y wasn't on black, 37 of those 50 would belong to Alliance X.  Then you run off Alliance Z and now X has 48 out of 50.  If these events pop with either frequency or magnitude, it becomes worth X's time to run off Y and Z (the war will cost --- billion, but with the bonuses their additional nations get as an alliance they'll make it back in --- months).  Alternatively you have cold wars to build up your guys and take the Top 50 via economic development (neutrals who never have strength drops just became really unpopular all of a sudden).  

 

Plus it leads to alliances and wars.  Alliance X on black goes to Alliance R on red and says "Hey you help me kick off Y, and Z black and I'll you run off M, N from red.  Plus we can go bring in Alliance O from orange and promise to help them with E and F."  

 

Wonder Purchasing Events

I figure most of the time people would either pick the option that benefits the big nations (WRC cost goes down, FAC cost goes up).  Given how much wonders matter to midtier nations though I think you generate events that hepl or hindered midsize folk working to collect all the wonders.  How much these matter, I'm not sure.

 

As a tl;dr of all that, basically if you have meaningful events that can seriously hurt or harm an alliance, as opposed to a certain size of nation, they will be meaningful and lead to color politics.  Ones that impact nations will not as people protect their strategically important ones at the cost of others.  Events that have a significant impact on military capabilities may impact war timing and relations between coalitions.  It could lead to a preempt, it could lead to Side A pumping the brakes because Side B just picked up a big bonus (and now Side B has time to lobby for allies and shore itself up).  

 

Now the question is how others feel on that logic and how much we want the Senate to matter (and flirt with the risk of an imbalance).  

Edited by Lorne
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