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Colour Sphere Politics


Altheus
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As a way of giving of giving more reasons for war and making colour spheres more relevant how about the following:

Colour Sphere Claims: Having nations only being able to get their colour bonus if their alliance has put in a successful "claim" to their sphere, with claims being a limited asset. The number of claims could be number of nations in game/200 rounded down. Whilst 1 claim enables the biggest 50 nations of an alliance to claim their colour bonus, 2 claims enable 100, 3 claims enable 150 etc. etc. So even if everyone coordinated perfectly (never going to happen) at best only 1/4 of nations in the game could get a colour bonus at any one time.

Claims could get divvied up amongst the colour spheres evenly with any fractions handed out to the biggest spheres in order of membership size.

Claims would be won by size of alliance membership, with two complications: 1) any alliance can put in more than 1 claim, but doing so acts as a division of their membership number. So as way of example a 90 member alliance could put in 3 claims, which would in effect reduce their membership score to 30, but if they still won it would be worth 3 claims which would worth a colour bonus for 150 alliance members. 2) any alliance can put in 0 claims at all, effectively therefore being a Grey alliance. I could also see this being used as a particularly cutthroat peace term, likely to cause plenty of bad blood and therefore good to stoke more vendettas.

One addition (although have mixed feelings about this) would be to create a new in-game treaty called colour sharing in which alliances have the option to pool membership numbers for claims or extend in-game protectorates to do the same. This might be in danger of inciting peace rather than war however

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i.e. at time of writing they are 8251 nations, so 41 claims. That's 2 claims per colour + an extra one for each colour sphere other than Lime (due to currently being the smallest) When the game hits 8400 nations Lime would get it's 3 claim.

As a hypothetical say Pink had 4 major alliances which consisted of A: 80 members, B: 60 members, C: 30 members and D: 20 members. If each alliance put in 1 claim each (which I suggest is the default in-game if not selected) then alliances A, B & C would each get a claim worth colour bonus for 50 members each. Alliance A notices however that it could do better and puts in two claims. That divides it's "claim strength" to 40, still enough to win so Alliance A now gets 2 claims (enough for all it's members) Alliance B still gets one and Alliance C has it's nose put out of joint by now having no claims at all.

Lucky for Alliance C they've got big friends elsewhere on Orbis and so start a war against Alliance A for the express purpose of getting their claim back. Alliance C + friends win, but then get greedy and instead of forcing Alliance A to drop 1 claim via peace terms they tell them to drop all their claims.

So now Alliance B, C & D get a claim each whilst Alliance A aren't claiming, which of course leaves Alliance B with a decision. Does it now stick in 2 claims and risk Alliance D's ire or just stick with the one claim to avoid Alliance A's fate?

All hypothetical of course but hopefully it shows how the above might help promote conflict, war and politics over peace

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I'd rather see something similar to this be enforced via the treaty system we have ingame now. Color spheres become a bit redundant when you have the opportunity to add mechanics based on actual spheres now. I had an idea couple of days ago but I've not had time to flesh it out or post it yet.

Also claims should scale the bonus not the amount of members it covers. A system like this would advantage low member high built alliances who'd only need a single claim to cover their membership. Overall it seems like an over complicated version of color stocks with no real advantages over it.

Also the inability to "force" alliances to withdraw claims through actual warfare seems like an oversight. It would be better than leaving it to the politics side, otherwise people would have no assurance a war waged and won would result in a withdrawn claim and its unlikely that would spark as many wars as you'd want it too.

 

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22 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

A system like this would advantage low member high built alliances who'd only need a single claim to cover their membership. Overall it seems like an over complicated version of color stocks with no real advantages over it.

I don't think that's true. It would actually advantage alliances with membership numbers around the breakpoints (i.e. 50, 100, 150 etc.) and would disadvantage small, elite alliances who weren't close to having 50 members. That's because claims are based on membership numbers not nation strength. 

 

29 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

I'd rather see something similar to this be enforced via the treaty system we have ingame now. Color spheres become a bit redundant when you have the opportunity to add mechanics based on actual spheres now. 

Well... the point of this suggestion is to make colour spheres relevant again, although to be straight I'm not against adding more reasons for conflict so additional reasons that are nothing to do with colour spheres could be complimentary.

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18 minutes ago, Altheus said:

I don't think that's true. It would actually advantage alliances with membership numbers around the breakpoints (i.e. 50, 100, 150 etc.) and would disadvantage small, elite alliances who weren't close to having 50 members. That's because claims are based on membership numbers not nation strength.

Isn't the bonus from the claim the same? If so then requiring only 1 claim to cover your alliance vs 2 or 3 means you'd have an advantage.

Even if you are correct, which I'm not sure you are, it shouldn't be setup to to advantage either setup, so its holds to my point.

24 minutes ago, Altheus said:

Well... the point of this suggestion is to make colour spheres relevant again, although to be straight I'm not against adding more reasons for conflict so additional reasons that are nothing to do with colour spheres could be complimentary.

Considering Alex nerfed treasures to be completely useless, anything would be better than how it is now. Just think color spheres are an outdated mechanic, would be far better to make colors cosmetic and then rework a system  around the ingame treaties.

 

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16 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

Isn't the bonus from the claim the same? If so then requiring only 1 claim to cover your alliance vs 2 or 3 means you'd have an advantage.

One successful claim= colour bonus for 50 members. So 50, 100 & 150 member alliances would all hold an advantage over a 25 member alliance because they could all split their claims into chunks of 50 and still have twice the claim strength that a 25 member alliance would have.

 

16 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

Considering Alex nerfed treasures to be completely useless, anything would be better than how it is now. Just think color spheres are an outdated mechanic, would be far better to make colors cosmetic and then rework a system  around the ingame treaties.

No denying that as they stand colour spheres (like alliance region, national religion etc.) are mainly just cosmetic, but that doesn't mean they have to stay that way if they can be used to improve the game, right?

 

Actually, one big problem is that it's very harsh on newly formed alliances. Hence the idea of "claim sharing" treaties in-game (maybe protectorates could include claim sharing as part of their package?)

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3 minutes ago, Altheus said:

One successful claim= colour bonus for 50 members. So 50, 100 & 150 member alliances would all hold an advantage over a 25 member alliance because they could all split their claims into chunks of 50 and still have twice the claim strength that a 25 member alliance would have.

Oh, I see what I was missing.

This is completely unbalanced and doesn't really make much sense. Membership count isn't the sole metric that displays power nor is it an indicator of ones ability to defend their claim. This forcefully creates an advantage to one specific type of alliance over others.

Who has claims shouldn't be decided on some arbitrary statistic, it should be decided based on who can defend it militarily.

Not a good idea.

 

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1 hour ago, Sketchy said:

Who has claims shouldn't be decided on some arbitrary statistic, it should be decided based on who can defend it militarily.

The fact that it needs defending is the actual point. If it's not defended it can be taken away by force, in the short term by knocking nations into beige and in the long term by stipulating no colour claims in peace terms.

 

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1 hour ago, Sketchy said:

This is completely unbalanced and doesn't really make much sense. Membership count isn't the sole metric that displays power nor is it an indicator of ones ability to defend their claim. This forcefully creates an advantage to one specific type of alliance over others.

Of course membership count isn't the sole metric to display power, but that's missing what the idea is. A small, powerful alliance (because of nation strength, better allies etc.) could force/persuade/"claim share" with more numerous alliances to preserve their colour bonus, thereby providing the possibility of more politics and sometimes more war.

Of course that'll cause friction between elite and mass member alliances but we want more of that right?

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21 minutes ago, Altheus said:

The fact that it needs defending is the actual point. If it's not defended it can be taken away by force, in the short term by knocking nations into beige and in the long term by stipulating no colour claims in peace terms.

 

Beige provides a larger color bonus than normal color bonuses do.

And having the viability of your entire mechanic be dependent on politics is a bad idea. Especially since there is no way to "take" a claim for yourself. You have to fight and beat every alliance larger than you to get in first on some arbitrary queue, and then convince them to relinquish their claim, and then hope they don't just reclaim it back right after peace is offered, forcing you into a state of perpetual war.

Its unbalanced and unfair, and ultimately this doesn't really do much to help spark warfare, as the primary mechanic isn't actually enforced via warfare, color bonuses aren't super significant on their own, certainly not up against the often multi-billion dollar war bill.

You need a mechanic that is enforced in the war system and not by politics

Edited by Sketchy

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2 minutes ago, Altheus said:

Of course membership count isn't the sole metric to display power, but that's missing what the idea is. A small, powerful alliance (because of nation strength, better allies etc.) could force/persuade/"claim share" with more numerous alliances to preserve their colour bonus, thereby providing the possibility of more politics and sometimes more war.

Of course that'll cause friction between elite and mass member alliances but we want more of that right?

There is already plenty of political friction. Politics is in most cases the barrier to actually getting to war. What is needed is an economic incentive large enough to justify investing in a war, both economically and politically. Wars are expensive, most alliances aren't likely to start a war over a measly 3% color bonus. 

And this still doesn't address the fact this system is by default balanced in favor of one type of alliance over the other. You are proposing an uneven starting playing field and then saying "well those guys have to fight to get what the other guys start with arbitarily".

I'd recommend going back to the drawing board on this one. Its fundamentally flawed.

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47 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

There is already plenty of political friction. Politics is in most cases the barrier to actually getting to war. What is needed is an economic incentive large enough to justify investing in a war, both economically and politically. Wars are expensive, most alliances aren't likely to start a war over a measly 3% color bonus. 

And this still doesn't address the fact this system is by default balanced in favor of one type of alliance over the other. You are proposing an uneven starting playing field and then saying "well those guys have to fight to get what the other guys start with arbitarily".

@ Political Friction. There aren't a lot of dimensions to the political friction though other than being the king of the hill. It'd be good to add more aspects to the political game.

@ Military Incentive. Yep, that's a real problem although it's out of the scope of this suggestion. Alliances-wide wars are very costly for the benefit they bring. Although you could say the same about any suggestion designed to add conflict. 

@ Uneven playing field. Well... yes, but unfairness can be a good source for conflict. You could say that it's not fair that all nations can't get nukes from day 1 but it doesn't stop it happening. It's a matter of working out what unfair things are good for a game by leaving ways in which they can be overcome. 

@ Beige nations. Nations can't stay on Beige and alliances can't choose to be Beige. Hence that's not an issue.

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2 minutes ago, Altheus said:

@ Political Friction. There aren't a lot of dimensions to the political friction though other than being the king of the hill. It'd be good to add more aspects to the political game

I disagree. Politics don't need to be expanded on mechanically, they are player driven by nature. The current political stagnation is from a lack of mechanical incentive to do war, among other factors. 

6 minutes ago, Altheus said:

@ Military Incentive. Yep, that's a real problem although it's out of the scope of this suggestion. Alliances-wide wars are very costly for the benefit they bring. Although you could say the same about any suggestion designed to add conflict. 

I mean, I think that is a flaw of the suggestion then. The original color stocks provided an economic incentive to do war, which in turn incentivized people to do war. This suggestion seems to be trying to do that, just not as well as it could or should.

8 minutes ago, Altheus said:

@ Uneven playing field. Well... yes, but unfairness can be a good source for conflict. You could say that it's not fair that all nations can't get nukes from day 1 but it doesn't stop it happening. It's a matter of working out what unfair things are good for a game by leaving ways in which they can be overcome. 

That is a false analogy. If every player could purchase nukes from day 1, that would in fact be equal, just stupid.

Unfair things are inherently bad for the game. Limiting the options alliance leaders have for how to build their alliance, arbitrarily, removes variety from a game that already lacks it.

Also that assumes its not possible to come up with a solution that doesn't inherently disadvantage one alliance type to the benefit of another. We already had that in Color stocks, which while it had some flaws, was balanced and served its purpose.

16 minutes ago, Altheus said:

@ Beige nations. Nations can't stay on Beige and alliances can't choose to be Beige. Hence that's not an issue.

It is if the whole mechanic is based around a  color bonus. If I interpreted you correct, your logic is that X alliance beiges enough people to lower their "member score" weakening their claim on the color. But this puts those nations in beige at a higher bonus, and then when they get out, the alliance will have the people to just reclaim the color

This is an overly convoluted proposal, that doesn't significantly help any of the issues its supposed to address, and is a net negative for the balance and variety of the game.

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6 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

I disagree. Politics don't need to be expanded on mechanically, they are player driven by nature. The current political stagnation is from a lack of mechanical incentive to do war, among other factors. 

War comes from politics, if you can provide incentive to declare war for political reasons then you are increasing the chances of player driven wars. Don't make the mistake of treating war & politics as two separate things.

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Although your point of the cost to benefit ratio of war vs. the colour bonus is very valid. As it stands it wouldn't be worth starting a war over. To fix we'd need to either make war less costly (outside the scope of this suggestion) or increase the benefit of the colour bonus so it is worth it.

 

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1 minute ago, Altheus said:

War comes from politics, if you can provide incentive to declare war for political reasons then you are increasing the chances of player driven wars. Don't make the mistake of treating war & politics as two separate things.

That isn't it though, you are mistaking economics for politics.

This suggestion doesn't bring any earth shattering changes to the way politics is conducted. It essentially serves as a optional substitute to conventional reps.

This adds 0 political reasons for people to declare war. The motivation for declaring would be a purely economic one, and a poor one at that.

People already have a large number of political reasons to declare war (they also have a large number of political reasons not to in many cases). That isn't the issue. The issue is economic incentive to declare war.

Politics is the only reason right now anyone would have to declare a war, besides just for fun.

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4 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

That isn't it though, you are mistaking economics for politics.This suggestion doesn't bring any earth shattering changes to the way politics is conducted. It essentially serves as a optional substitute to conventional reps.This adds 0 political reasons for people to declare war. The motivation for declaring would be a purely economic one, and a poor one at that.

Same as before, economics feeds politics which feeds war. Fundamentally disagree that this isn't political. If an alliance is in opposition to another alliance because they have a claim they want then that's fundamentally political.

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Just now, Altheus said:

Same as before, economics feeds politics which feeds war. Fundamentally disagree that this isn't political. If an alliance is in opposition to another alliance because they have a claim they want then that's fundamentally political.

Over time spheres will naturally divvy up colors among their group and the color spheres will mirror the political climate, rather than change it. At which point it won't create any more tension than what already exists in the current political climate. 

This is rather off the beaten path from my original criticisms which are all far more important. This is unfair, unbalanced, needlessly slanted towards a single alliance type, isn't enforced mechanically in the war system, making it too involved in the political side, nullifying its primary purpose which is to as I understand it, motivate war.

In order to do that, this needs to be built into the war mechanics. Claims should be taken by conquest, not given at peace. The equivalent would be to add an ingame form of paying reps, then argue that doing so will cause alliances to declare more wars in the hopes of getting reps. Reps already exist in the meta, have a precedent, and can be extorted from people upon victory if those people allow it. This adds nothing to the political climate that we don't already have, and it doesn't provide any incentive to go to war that is compelling enough.

The only thing is really serves to do is unfairly unbalance the game in favor of specific alliance types for literally no reason other than a poor balancing of an idea. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Sketchy said:

In order to do that, this needs to be built into the war mechanics. Claims should be taken by conquest, not given at peace.

Hmmm, that is a good point. At which point Claims start looking a lot like Treasures. Maybe the solution is to increase the importance and interaction of Treasures in regards to colour spheres. You have suggestions?

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1 hour ago, Altheus said:

Hmmm, that is a good point. At which point Claims start looking a lot like Treasures. Maybe the solution is to increase the importance and interaction of Treasures in regards to colour spheres. You have suggestions?

Well Treasures were intended to be a replacement for color stocks (I'm not sure what the rationale was, I was away for like 2 years). Until recently treasures had a flat 2% bonus each, but a group of alliances merged into "Treasure Island" and stockpiled like 15+ treasures and made billions so Alex nerfed them to be completely useless, rather than trying to find a replacement mechanic.

So I doubt rebuffing treasures is on the table since they'd just be "exploited" in the same way so I doubt Alex would do it.

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I suppose a simple concept could be something along the lines of a "Victory Bonus".

Each successful victory(beige) gives your alliance 1 victory points, and subtracts 1 from your opponent's alliance if they are in one.

Each victory point would be worth 0.001% Income boost for the alliance. So, 1000 victory points, or 1000 successful beige's would equal a 1% income boost.

Those numbers would need to be tested to make sure they are balanced, short term and long term.

In addition to the victory bonus, color bonus could then be dictated based on how dominant you are compared to people on your color.

Color Bonus = 5% * Your Victory Points/Total Victory Points of Alliances on Your Color

So essentially, your color has a 5% bonus (or more/less for balancing if needed) which is spread across the alliances on the color based on victory points.

This way winning against any opponent increases your dominance over your color, but winning against people on your color is more effective. This creates some cold war opportunities and can bypass political roadblocks preventing you from fighting the powerful alliances on your color (which is likely to happen).

This is the simplest solution I can think of atm, only one without any clear holes I can see.

You could cut out the middle man completely and just have a color bonus, and increase it to like 10 or 15% or something, and not have a victory bonus. I think having both would be better to promoting war in general, not just color conflicts.

 

Edited by Sketchy
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On 31/12/2017 at 4:29 PM, Sketchy said:

Well Treasures were intended to be a replacement for color stocks (I'm not sure what the rationale was, I was away for like 2 years). Until recently treasures had a flat 2% bonus each, but a group of alliances merged into "Treasure Island" and stockpiled like 15+ treasures and made billions so Alex nerfed them to be completely useless, rather than trying to find a replacement mechanic.

So I doubt rebuffing treasures is on the table since they'd just be "exploited" in the same way so I doubt Alex would do it.

I think what you can do with treasures is held back by being allocated to nations rather than alliances. I understand the reasons, but any of the obvious fixes to stop their abuse (restricting them from being captured outside of colour sphere, only one per alliance) don't really work whilst their allocated to nations who don't automatically have the same colour sphere or continent as their alliance and can take their treasures with them when they move alliances. 

But if Alex did change treasures to be held back by alliances rather than nations then we'd need a system for determining when an alliance had beaten another alliance enough to have captured their treasure, which feels a bit artificial 

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On 31/12/2017 at 4:29 PM, Sketchy said:

Well Treasures were intended to be a replacement for color stocks (I'm not sure what the rationale was, I was away for like 2 years). Until recently treasures had a flat 2% bonus each, but a group of alliances merged into "Treasure Island" and stockpiled like 15+ treasures and made billions so Alex nerfed them to be completely useless, rather than trying to find a replacement mechanic.

So I doubt rebuffing treasures is on the table since they'd just be "exploited" in the same way so I doubt Alex would do it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I suppose a simple concept could be something along the lines of a "Victory Bonus".

Each successful victory(beige) gives your alliance 1 victory points, and subtracts 1 from your opponent's alliance if they are in one.

Each victory point would be worth 0.001% Income boost for the alliance. So, 1000 victory points, or 1000 successful beige's would equal a 1% income boost.

Those numbers would need to be tested to make sure they are balanced, short term and long term.

In addition to the victory bonus, color bonus could then be dictated based on how dominant you are compared to people on your color.

Color Bonus = 5% * Your Victory Points/Total Victory Points of Alliances on Your Color

So essentially, your color has a 5% bonus (or more/less for balancing if needed) which is spread across the alliances on the color based on victory points.

This way winning against any opponent increases your dominance over your color, but winning against people on your color is more effective. This creates some cold war opportunities and can bypass political roadblocks preventing you from fighting the powerful alliances on your color (which is likely to happen).

This is the simplest solution I can think of atm, only one without any clear holes I can see.

You could cut out the middle man completely and just have a color bonus, and increase it to like 10 or 15% or something, and not have a victory bonus. I think having both would be better to promoting war in general, not just color conflicts.

 

Can see what you're getting at. If nothing else it would make allliance-wide raiding very attractive (and almost guarantee that neutrals become/stay extinct) People will have different views on that.

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