Reducing planet's population upon conquest

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Morlic
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Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#1 Post by Morlic » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:41 pm

Relevant PR: https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/2281

Invading enemy or native planets seems way too strong compared to peaceful expansion. Besides getting possibly a new species or weakening your enemy, conquering a planet will keep the current population alive - compared to early game 1 pop colonisation, this can easily mean 20+ turns of growth. In particular, the capture of an early native planet with high pop can snowball into a victory.

I propose that part of the population (between 80-90%) doesn't survive the conquest for balance purposes.

In the future, various effects could be added that affect that percentage:
- Certain techs
- Influence / Interspecies relations
- Policies
...
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:47 pm

The mythical future influence system is intended to resolve this sort of issue, with, eg. the planet being very unhappy and unproductive upon conquest for a considerable time in most cases. But until that actually exists, I wouldn't object to a conquest penalty. Or perhaps pop reductions for every turn there is a ground combat on the planet, or in proportion to how many troops are killed in the combat.

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Vezzra
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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#3 Post by Vezzra » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:53 pm

Morlic wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:41 pm
I propose that part of the population (between 80-90%) doesn't survive the conquest for balance purposes.
That's harsh, and only something I'd be fine with as a stop-gap solution. While that might help to alleviate the snowball effect of early native planet conquest, the effects on later game warfare would be very problematic, think of quick reconquests of colonies you lost to an enemy (it doesn't sound like a lot of fun if you'd end up with only 1 or 2% of your original pop in such cases...). Scorched earth tactics would become far too easy.

Otherwise, what Geoff said.

However, all that said, considering that the "mythical future influence system" is planned for this release cycle, the question is if it makes sense to put in such a stop-gap solution at this point. Unless these plans get changed of course and we need to postpone the influence system.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#4 Post by Morlic » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:20 pm

The numbers were chosen so the population after conquest will be only slightly higher than colonization, could cap at a certain minimum value (say, 3) to reduce impact of multiple captures and/or add tech to mitigate parts of the effect.
Also note that scorched earth tactics are already readily available through bombard weapons which are reusable and thus generally more efficient PP-wise in mid to lategame.

I don't see a fundamental issue with using a rather trivial stopgap solution before a complex system will be implemented (which I expect will take quite some time considering its scope and areas it could affect) - while it is active, it can work as playground / toy model to get a feeling for how harsh conquest penalties should be and how they impact gameplay strategy.
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EricF
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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#5 Post by EricF » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:29 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:53 pm
Morlic wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:41 pm
I propose that part of the population (between 80-90%) doesn't survive the conquest for balance purposes.
That's harsh, and only something I'd be fine with as a stop-gap solution. While that might help to alleviate the snowball effect of early native planet conquest, the effects on later game warfare would be very problematic, think of quick reconquests of colonies you lost to an enemy (it doesn't sound like a lot of fun if you'd end up with only 1 or 2% of your original pop in such cases...). Scorched earth tactics would become far too easy.
It's not too harsh if instead of thinking of that 90% lost as not 'killed' but instead 'displaced' and it takes time to rebuild infrastructure and so forth to fully utilize the population again. I would suggest marking Pops that were once part of your Empire as 'Friendly' and having a much lower 'displaced' reduction upon reconquest.
Maybe speed up the process by building an 'Alien Integration' building?

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#6 Post by Vezzra » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:43 am

Morlic wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:20 pm
Also note that scorched earth tactics are already readily available through bombard weapons which are reusable and thus generally more efficient PP-wise in mid to lategame.
But you still need to dedicate resources specifically for the purpose (Scorched Earth tactics). When invasions cause such high pop losses, the "Scorched Earth" effect is essentially a bonus side effect you get for free in case your enemy manages to take their colony back quickly.
I don't see a fundamental issue with using a rather trivial stopgap solution before a complex system will be implemented (which I expect will take quite some time considering its scope and areas it could affect) - while it is active, it can work as playground / toy model to get a feeling for how harsh conquest penalties should be and how they impact gameplay strategy.
Agreed. As I said, as a stop-gap solution it's ok.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#7 Post by Vezzra » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:59 am

EricF wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:29 pm
It's not too harsh if instead of thinking of that 90% lost as not 'killed' but instead 'displaced' and it takes time to rebuild infrastructure and so forth to fully utilize the population again.
I wasn't bothered by the "fluff explanation" implications (I mean, we have concentration camps and star killer weapons in the game!), my "too harsh" statement referred to the gameplay effects.
I would suggest marking Pops that were once part of your Empire as 'Friendly' and having a much lower 'displaced' reduction upon reconquest.
Maybe speed up the process by building an 'Alien Integration' building?
Interesting ideas, but that goes far beyond a trivial stop-gap solution and would be part of a more sophisticated approach. As such an approach should reasonably be based on the Influence, species/species and species/empires relations mechanics, these need to be in place first of course.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#8 Post by Voskhod_02 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:20 am

It's true that genociding 80-90% of the population of the planet would already be harsh in terms of ethics (hell, even the Nazis in Poland and Russia did less than that) but in terms of gameplay, it would greatly nerf military-based expansion strategies as highly developed planets would be turned to sparsely populated, useless, wastelands. I think that a 15 to 40% population loss should ensue after a military conquest, while being modified by factors such as the numbers of troops involved (for example, 10000 attackers vs 2000 defenders would only have a small impact on the population due to the fact that the "battles" would be glorified skirmishes, while a 50 million invasion force clashing with a 35 million strong defending army would cause Stalingrad-like levels of mayhem in many great population centers), the weapons used, relations between races (races hating the hell out of each other would be more brutal against the civilian population) and political systems.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#9 Post by Jaumito » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:50 pm

Maybe you could just make conquered planets subject to "psychic fatigue" (that thing you get from conc camps) for a few turns. Just change the activation condition, parameters, and fluff text.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#10 Post by EricF » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Fluff explanations aside, what I really meant was that not having 90% of the population immediately available after conquest is not unreasonable. There would be enough death, displacement, unrest, disgruntlement, chaos what have you that it should take some time (maybe considerable depending on other social factors) to fully utilize a planets Industrial/Scientific capacity again.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#11 Post by Vezzra » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:54 am

EricF wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:58 pm
Fluff explanations aside, what I really meant was that not having 90% of the population immediately available after conquest is not unreasonable. There would be enough death, displacement, unrest, disgruntlement, chaos what have you that it should take some time (maybe considerable depending on other social factors) to fully utilize a planets Industrial/Scientific capacity again.
Absolutely, and having mechanics that ensure this are definitely planned. As Geoff already mentioned above:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:47 pm
The mythical future influence system is intended to resolve this sort of issue, with, eg. the planet being very unhappy and unproductive upon conquest for a considerable time in most cases.
Aside from that, having more/more sophisticated "collateral damage" upon military conquest (loss of infrastructure, loss of resource production, loss of pop etc., destruction of buildings) is also something that has been suggested and discussed in the past, and something I'd like to see in the game. Ideas like incorporating factors as the amount of troops involved, the amount of turns planetary combat takes (once/if we make planetary combat a potentially multi turn thing), species-species relations etc. definitely sound very interesting.

Of course, all that is beyond a trivial stop-gap solution, which is what has been proposed by the OP.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#12 Post by alleryn » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:31 am

I am a little wary of this idea as it stands (even as a stopgap).

I do find early native conquest snowball highly problematic. But i would suggest an alternative method to curb this.

I think that it is important for military conquest to remain a viable strategy in the early-mid game in order to maintain some approximation of species-balance. Some species are naturally more inclined to war and others to peace. Take for example, a three player game Eaxaw vs Gysache vs Gysache. Given relatively equal starts, the Eaxaw cannot hope to compete if the empires stay on peaceful terms.

My thinking is that the Eaxaw's strategy "should" be to go on the offensive early against one of the opposing empires, hoping to claim the capital and gain enough value out of the conflict to hope to come back against the other empire, which surely has noticed the war and is making advances of their own, etc.

Also, the latest (i think) added species, the Fulver, are built around early aggression using their Fuel and Stockpile advantages to create deep bases and build forward Shipyards. If we are to maintain interesting tactical variety like this in species(es), then i would suggest that it is important not to limit conflict(which is by its nature a lose-lose proposition at least at the start)'s upside.

Of course, coming back to the original point, which i think is mostly about invading native planets (i'm not so convinced about the enemy part of
Morlic wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:41 pm
Invading enemy or native planets seems way too strong compared to peaceful expansion
since one would usually expect reprisal from an enemy), here there is no enemy and what's more, native planets (apart from the Moderate/High Tech versions) have no defenses and can often be taken with very little industrial investment (considerably less than establishing a colony 'normally').

So something ought to happen here, be it making Moderate Tech natives the default, capping the native planets' population at some low number (even 1), putting guard ships in orbit of native planets, ...

I mean i could live with the plan if you go through with it, but if natives are the real problem (and i think they are), i think there are alternatives that are more pinpointed at natives and don't limit overall tactical diversity as much.

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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#13 Post by labgnome » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:58 pm

So as someone who likes native species and having a diverse empire I don't think I like the idea of penalizing the only way to diversify your empire before we establish mechanics on how to otherwise integrate new species into our empires. I especially don't like the idea of loosing a significant portion of the population of a planet from invasion. I think that acquiring natives should be a good option, and should be a better option than just colonizing.

I think that an alternative, and this might be off-topic, solution is a re-working of the happiness mechanic to have more penalties for low happiness. This has been proposed before and if we really think we need a stop-gap would be a better solution.

Basically we raise the "general contentedness" level to something higher, having it take longer to get to that point, while also having minimum happiness levels for things like establishing colonies, constructing buildings and building ships. This way you could not take full advantage of a conquered planet for a while. Maybe something like the following:
  • Happiness < 50, cannot produce troops
  • Happiness < 40, cannot found colonies
  • Happiness < 30, cannot build ships
  • Happiness < 20, cannot construct shipyards
  • Happiness < 10, cannot construct other buildings
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Re: Reducing planet's population upon conquest

#14 Post by Krikkitone » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:40 am

Definitely have collateral damage (including to population) from ground combat

However, I think if unhappy population -> rebels -> ground combat -> collateral damage

Then you don't need a massive 80-90% per round of conquest, you could have it depend on the amount of troops.. or even just 10-20% (if colonies are in rebellion for 5-10 turns you lose 70% of the population)

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