Leaders

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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labgnome
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Leaders

#1 Post by labgnome »

So I have been thinking about Free Orion lately and something that occurs to me is that soon we may want to decide what if any system for leaders we would want to implement. I would like to open the discussion on leaders and how we would like them to work in Free Orion.

For my own take on what I think leaders should look like, if anyone remembers the Game Pax Imperia, it had a fairly simple leader system that I think could be adapted to our needs. From what I remember leaders were generated by planets, and could be promoted to various positions. Leaders also had positive and negative traits that could grow as you progressed. I think similar mechanics would fit nicely within Free Orion.

For our needs I think that we could use four types of leaders:
  • Administrators: generated by planets. Each inhabited planet has one administrator. Provides bonuses to planets.
  • Governors: promoted from administrators. Each inhabited system can have one governor. Provides bonuses to ships and planets in a system.
  • Admirals: promoted from administrators. Each fleet can have one Admiral. Provides bonuses to ships.
  • Envoys : promoted from administrators. Envoys carry out influence projects.
Each colony will generate a random level 1 administrator type leader once it is established. Administrators can be dismisses at any time until you find one you like. Each administrator will start off with two positive traits and one negative trait. These traits will grow every 5 turns as the leader levels up, with one random trait growing each time. Positive traits will grow better and negative traits will grow worse when they level up. Each leader has a maximum level of 10, and each leader trait can be grown a maximum of 5 times.

Governors would be promoted from administrators and be housed in a "governors manor" building. You will have a limited number of governors manors you can initially construct with the ability to build more with new technologies and possibly policies.

Admirals would be promoted from administrators and be carried in "command module" ship-parts. You will have a limited number of command modules you can initially construct with the ability to build more with new technologies and possibly policies.

Envoys would be promoted from administrators and be carried in "diplomatic shuttle" ship-parts. You will have a limited number of diplomatic shuttles you can initially construct with the ability to build more with new technologies and possibly policies. Envoys will be needed to be transported to the location you want to carry-out the influence project. For projects targeting an empire the envoy must be at the capitol.

For leader traits I would like to propose the following system:
  • good/bad foreman 10% production (planets) & 10% hull points (ships) per level
  • good/bad academic 10% research (planets) & 10% sensor range (ships) per level
  • good/bad diplomat 10% influence (planets) & 10% stealth (ships) per level
  • good/bad fighter 10% defense (planets) & 10% weapons damage (ships) per level
  • good/bad planner 10% stockpile (planets) & 10% fuel efficiency (ships) per level
Each trait covers a planet-based ability and a ship-based ability. Leaders would have 3 traits, with two good traits and one bad trait. They would start off at +10% or -10% and could go to +50% or -50% as the leader levels up.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

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labgnome
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Re: Leaders

#2 Post by labgnome »

Governors and Agents

This is an alternative proposal I thought of after spending some time playing Civ VI. Maybe we could use a system similar to their governor system. I think that might be more appealing to people who might not want to contend with potentially hundreds or even thousands of leaders floating around.

Basically there would be two types of leaders: Governors and Agents, and either will be necessary to conduct influence projects.

Governors
Governors would have a set maximum number, be locked through the tech tree (the new themed tech tree). You would have one governor for each technology theme, each unlocked at a different tier. Also telepathic species would start off with their own special governor. Giving a maximum of seven. Your governor's species portrait is determined by whichever species holds the capitol at the time you get that governor. Governors can be assigned to any populated planet you own or any unclaimed native planet. Governors effect all planets you own in that system. Each governor will have a unique promotion tree
  • The Executive: tier 1, Mech theme, increased production output, bonus to supply, extra bonuses from gas giants
  • The Surveyor: tier 2, Crystal theme, extra happiness from lithic species, bonus to infrastructure, extra bonuses from asteroid belts
  • The Programmer: tier 3, Cyber theme, extra happiness from robotic species, increased influence output, counts as an extra agent
  • The Geneticist: tier 4, Biotech theme, extra happiness from organic species, bonus to population, special bonuses from metabolism specials
  • The Technocrat: tier 5, Energy Theme, extra happiness from phototrophic species, increased research output, extra bonuses from star type
  • The High Cleric: tier 6, Void Theme, extra happiness from self-sustaining species, less happiness from other species, special bonuses at malus to population
  • The Psionic: unlocked at game start, telepathic species only, extra happiness from telepathic species, special bonuses to telepathic species
Agents
Each Governor would have a number of agents at their disposal. Agents travel at your maximum travel speed from their governor's location to their destination. Agents can be assigned to any planet you have information on. Multiple agents, up to a certain limit, can work on an influence project to make it go faster. Some influence projects will require a minimum number of agents working on it. Agents performing "counter influence" projects can counter the appropriate type of influence project being performed. The number of agents assigned to either side of the project or its counter-project determines ho "wins". Agents can be "recruited", "turned" or "assassinated".

Governors can recruit new agents from planets they are assigned to that you own through a special influence project if they are not at their maximum number of agents. Governors can recruit 5 agents at tiers 1 or 2, another 5 at tiers 3 or 4, and yet another 5 at tiers 5 or 6. The exception to this is The Psionic, who starts off able to recruit 10 agents and does not get more through technology. This gives a maximum of 100 agents.

One Governor or two agents can turn a rival agent to your empire. To turn an agent you must know their location and send at least two agents to their location.

Agents can be assassinated by other agents, either through an assassination project or through project/counter-project combat. To intentionally assassinate an agent you must know their location and send at least one agent to that location. Once at the location you must being the "assassinate agent" influence project. Otherwise you can kill agents through beating them in "combat". When this occurs an agent on the losing side is picked and eliminated. If there are multiple agents on the losing side this is determined at random.

Acquiring Planets through Agents:
Planet are acquired through sending agents to them. For every three agents you send you increase your relationship with that planet. Sending a governor counts as sending to agents (except The Programmer, who counts as three).

For peaceful integration of native planets:

At three agents you can perform the "establish first contact" influence project, which creates the First Contact Monument building on the planet, this also prevents anyone else from establishing "first contact" with the planet in question. At six agents you can perform the "establish relations" influence project which creates the Interstellar Embassy building. At nine agents you can perform the "integrate planet" influence project that brings the planet into your empire.

For subversive integration of native and rival-owned planets:

At three agents you can perform the "infiltrate planet" influence project, that applies the Infiltrated Planet special. At six agents you can perform the "replace leadership" influence project that applies the Replaced Leadership special. At nine agents you can either perform the "assimilate planet" influence project if it is an unclaimed native planet, or the "subvert planet" influence project if it is owned by a rival empire. Either project will bring the planet into your empire.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

Uriuk
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Re: Leaders

#3 Post by Uriuk »

looks similar to "Planetary Focus", but with more micromanagement

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labgnome
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Re: Leaders

#4 Post by labgnome »

Uriuk wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:13 am looks similar to "Planetary Focus", but with more micromanagement
Fair enough.

I don't know that completely I agree. I think tying them to influence projects makes them more interesting than micromanagy. However I am definitely open to ideas on how to change things up, or even completely alternate proposals. I do want to have leaders give bonuses to incentivize using them. I can see how that might be a bit too similar to the existing planetary focus system. That's part of why I tried to include more "interesting" things like happiness from species of different metabolisms, or getting bonuses from things like asteroid belts.

Namely, what I am wanting is a way to make influence projects more interesting, and I was thinking having some kind of "leader" system could do that. I was thinking about how leaders could basically be "influence units" that are used to do influence projects. Namely coming from the sentiment that people don't want peaceful native planetary acquisition to be "just do an influence project" to get it. So this most recent go-around I was thinking of something like Civilization's envoy system where you have to send multiple envoys to a city-state to become suzerain.

For myself I find the prospect of "influence units" interesting, but I don't want something that's just more ships but made from influence, rather then production. That's why I was thinking of having the units be "leaders". Stellaris (dear lord that game gets plugged here) has a leader system that adds a lot of immersion, but might not be applicable to Free Orion. Namely, I have thought about how a "Stellaris-like" leader system would look for Free Orion built off of existing mechanics, and it got really cumbersome and complex really fast. So I have been looking to other games that also have leaders to look at how they do it. I liked the simplicity of Pax Imperia's system, but that didn't seem to get a response of any kind, so I assumed that it didn't strike a chord with anyone. More recently I was inspired by Civ VI's leadership system with it's governors, who each have distinctive personalities.

Maybe there is some other option.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

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Oberlus
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Re: Leaders

#5 Post by Oberlus »

labgnome wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:18 pm I do want to have leaders give bonuses to incentivize using them.
Additions to the game should add new mechanics, not more layers to the same mechanic.
Giving bonuses is like the most common and less diversifying addition you can make.
Giving bonuses in novel ways, with conditions different to any existing mechanic, that would be something interesting.

If what Governors provide (bonus from asteroid belts, to production, to certain metabolisms) could be done also with a building, then it's not very interesting/novel.

Agents are something else. I haven't thought of this enough and don't have a complete idea of what you propose, but it looks like materialising into universe objects the actors of influence projects, and reminds me quite a bit of typical diplomats/spies from other games. I think I would prefer a object-less implementation for further differentiation from ship management. It wouldn't make influence projects more interesting to me, just more cumbersome.
people don't want peaceful native planetary acquisition to be "just do an influence project" to get it.
Are you saying people want "send a ship to do an influence project" or "do influence projects and optionally send a ship to boost them"?
Don't include me in that people.
I prefer to emulate the "many envoys to a single city" thingy with influence projects of variable strength: invest more IPs, get faster/stronger influence.

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labgnome
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Re: Leaders

#6 Post by labgnome »

Oberlus wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:44 pmAdditions to the game should add new mechanics, not more layers to the same mechanic.
Giving bonuses is like the most common and less diversifying addition you can make.
Giving bonuses in novel ways, with conditions different to any existing mechanic, that would be something interesting.
Heard.
If what Governors provide (bonus from asteroid belts, to production, to certain metabolisms) could be done also with a building, then it's not very interesting/novel.
Well I don't know that that in and of itself should be a deal-breaker, as I think we could script a building to do just about anything we wanted effects wise. However I do agree with your general point. After all a lot of bonuses from policies or technologies can also be done with buildings.

So a few things do make governors different from buildings. Governors are mobile, so they can be (and are meant to be) sent to different locations, without the extra steps of demolition and re-building. The other is the combinations of effects they do produce is currently not seen with buildings. Although I haven't quite worked it out in my head the details of this system most of these would come form a promotion tree each governor would have, meaning that each time you played you could choose to get a different combination of bonuses from each governor. Plus governors can do influence projects and recruit agents.

I suppose I could do them as "advisers", make all of their effects empire wide, and not give them a location. However this makes them a lot like policies or technologies.
Agents are something else. I haven't thought of this enough and don't have a complete idea of what you propose, but it looks like materialising into universe objects the actors of influence projects, and reminds me quite a bit of typical diplomats/spies from other games. I think I would prefer a object-less implementation for further differentiation from ship management. It wouldn't make influence projects more interesting to me, just more cumbersome.
I can see that. I will say the main problem agents units solves is the question of where you are allowed to perform influence projects. There doesn't seem to be any consensus as to what kind of constraints we might want to put on that. With agents, the constraint is clear, you can do projects where you have agents.
people don't want peaceful native planetary acquisition to be "just do an influence project" to get it.
Are you saying people want "send a ship to do an influence project" or "do influence projects and optionally send a ship to boost them"?
I don't know, and I imagine I might get a different answer from different people if I asked them. But the sentiment I recall is that "just doing an influence project" to get native planets was considered boring. I was trying to be accommodating to that sentiment. Personally I don't consider either of these solutions to be any more interesting.

My intent with agents was to allow for "units" that worked differently from ships. They would basically materialize and dematerialize from location to location and would not interact with ships. They would only interact with each other and governors.
Don't include me in that people.
Well it's good to know that it doesn't represent a consensus. I have just seen the sentiment echoed a few times and no opposition to it, so I thought that there was some general or emerging consensus on the issue. I'm actually fine with "just doing an influence project" and don't think that either option I've presented here is "more interesting".
I prefer to emulate the "many envoys to a single city" thingy with influence projects of variable strength: invest more IPs, get faster/stronger influence.
I'm not completely opposed to the idea, but I could see having "slow" and "fast" versions of influence projects cluttering-up any menu we create for them, besides being fairly redundant.

Here's an off-topic completely sideways proposal:

What if you had a definite number of influence projects you could do at a time, but could choose how much of your influence budget to allocate to them? Continued in the influence discussion topic.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

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Re: Leaders

#7 Post by Uriuk »

Will your agents divide into dark and light sides of Force?

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labgnome
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Re: Leaders

#8 Post by labgnome »

Uriuk wrote: Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:05 am Will your agents divide into dark and light sides of Force?
What?
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

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Re: Leaders

#9 Post by Uriuk »

labgnome wrote: Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:29 am What?
I mean Sithxs and Jedis.

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Oberlus
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Re: Leaders

#10 Post by Oberlus »

And he means "what does that have to do with this leaders stuff?". I'm beginning to clear my doubts regarding your possible troll status.

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Re: Leaders

#11 Post by LienRag »

labgnome wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:36 am To intentionally assassinate an agent you must know their location and send at least one agent to that location.
This is one very interesting idea, especially if :
- There is a very small number of agents so having one assassinated is a real loss (not a crippling one, but one that the player has to account for) / assassinating an enemy agent is a real success (emotionally rewarding and useful in the game).
- Assassination attempts are not cheap, one cannot just spam assassins to see who they can catch.
- There is no way to actually know for sure where an enemy agent is, one has to guess (espionage projects may narrow the choice, but never give the full answer).
- There are logical reasons that educates guess about the location of enemy agents (which of course would allow for bluff too) like hints (this planet has suspicious revolt tendencies, there probably is some enemy agents nearby) and known rules (with his technology level there are only two roads he could have sent his agent from his Capitol to my Empire, so he probably established his secret base in that Mu Ursh neutral planet).

Bonus points if one has to guess which Empire sent the agent to make the assassination successful (one doesn't poison a Replicon nor hack into the core OS of a Human).

If some of you remember the boardgame Junta, it's how assassination works there, making it one of the funniest game mechanisms of a very funny game.


The whole discussion about influence/espionage¹ makes me very wary that like Diplomats/Spies in Civilization it will be either "military ships that are not military" or "uncounterable surprise effects", but this proposition is a genuinely different game mechanism with a lot of potential.
I'd really like to see it implemented one way or another !
Even if Agents are finally implemented in a very different way than it is proposed there...



¹That I only follow remotely for now since I don't have better ideas than you have and am not sure exactly of where you are going.

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drkosy
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Re: Leaders

#12 Post by drkosy »

I like both of the ideas :) Maybe they could be connected: You have to buy leaders for influence points and can than choose how to train them: As Administrator (boost planets or systems), as Admiral (boosts one ship or one fleet) or as Agent.
The training must cost some effort, maybe RP (because the Administrator is trained in science lab) or PP (because the very special desk have to be produced) for a period of time. After training you could use them, e.g. to hunt other Agents...

Maybe Administrators and Agents could be treated as planetary perk like "gaia special". Ships with "passenger booth" (maybe internal slot) could transport them.

That mechanism would prevent from spawning agents like crazy, because they are expensive and must be transported (one booth per agent).

The Administrators and Admirals could be implemented to balance serios drawbacks by bad starts (e.g. increase pop on bad environments) or boost fleet attack. For Admirals you need at least one "capital ship" with "commando bridge" for them to work. They could boost alls ship stats (damage, hull, scanning range, fuel etc) but only one per Admiral and only one Admiral is omitted per fleet.

I like to know what you think about my ideas :)

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