This is a proposal for the Social Meters. I believe most of the interesting things we might want to do can be simulated with only 3 meters: Loyality, Happiness, and Health. Health is already part of the v.3 reqs. A meter to measure the defenses, or security of a planet will probably also be required, but is not under consideration here.
- Loyalty —effects likelihood of revolt
- Happiness — effects productivity
- Health — effects population growth
Another opinion-meter might be "Loyalty". Loyalty measures "does species X like empire X?" Loyalty is effected by the happiness of a species within an empire, as well as the compatibility of their ethos, and foreign policy. Loyalty is measured per planet, so each planet has a loyalty meter for every empire (including the one that owns the planet). Loyalty (like the other opinion meters) would move toward equilibrium among an entire species.
|If the Xav empire was conquered and divided in half by the Red and Blue empires, the Xav people would have a rather low loyalty towards the Red and Blue. Xav inhabited planets would be relatively easy targets for espionage (bonus for disloyal planets). Since loyalty is partially transmitted to allies, and inversely to enemies, the Xav would start to think well of the enemies of the Red and Blue empires. (issue: the numbers must be crafted so the results of 3 or more empires each at war with one and allied with another can make sense.) However, if the Blue empire acted compatibly with the Xav ethos, and treated them well, the Loyalty toward Blue would improve among the Xav— in both empires. It shouldn't be easy to turn loyal citizens taken from another empire into citizens loyal to their new home. While Blue spends resources trying to make the Xav happy, Red might build an invasion fleet and attempt to take the remaining Xav homeworlds, being unconcerned with their loyalty because they are slaves on planets under martial law. If Red succeeds at taking many of Blue's Xav worlds, but at great loss of Xav life, the Xav might spontaneously revolt from Red, and form their own empire, or if Blue had treated them well enough, join Blue.|