Since releasing the version 1.2 update for Sins: Trinity/Diplomacy, a lot of work has gone into a substantial redesign of its gameplay. When we first released Trinity last year, we’d overhauled the diplomatic and relationship systems in the hopes of giving players the ability to be a virtual puppetmaster that would make Machiavelli proud.  Unfortunately, we fell short of that design goal, and while a number of good improvements did pan out, the diplomatic aspects ended up feeling pretty lackluster.

While diving deep into a redesign of Trinity’s additions, it became apparent that a number of areas needed to be rethought including: pacts being too mundane or exclusionary to some races, the AI not factoring relations into decisions better, basic envoy abilities that were not useful, and a mission system that the AI couldn’t cope with. In this three part journal series, I’m going to go over some of the major changes that will be included in the upcoming version 1.3 update.



Rethinking Diplomacy

Relationships

At the core of Trinity’s diplomatic system is its relationship factors, a series of categories that let you know what affect your actions have on the galaxy and what other players think of you. This system works quite well, but can be subject to wild swings that make no sense: players may be well liked one moment by another faction, only to be hated the next. Similarly, it can be difficult to gain enough relationship with another faction to access any of the pact bonuses.

To improve the relations system, we took a harder look at each factor and what was included as part of its value. For starters, Racial Inclination (which indicates how much each faction likes one another at the start of a game) has been made a bit broader - even between factions of the same race. Additionally, Military Actions are now updated constantly and based more on what a player is destroying (i.e., frigate vs capital ship vs planet). In fact, destroying a player’s enemies is now a sure way to make them like you. Diplomatic Actions has been changed substantially too, so that it will now look at a player’s entire web of relationships. In game terms, this means that each player will look at who your friends and enemies are, and weigh that information accordingly, which should lead to some good rivalries.

In the next journal article, I’ll go over the changes to the Mission system that Sins uses and how the AI will look at missions differently.


Comments (Page 1)
on Jun 22, 2011

on Jun 22, 2011

sounds really sweeet

on Jun 22, 2011

I'm glad that the diplomacy AI is getting a look over.

on Jun 22, 2011

Now the game will get more re-interesting. a chance of me re-playing this game since I kinda slow down.

on Jun 22, 2011

Huzzah!!! I would love the AI to ally up on their own in v1.3 so I could actually play alliances off each other.

on Jun 22, 2011

About time, at least the devs know that their diplomacy system isn't living up to the hype.

On a related note, DesConner is going to be even more pleased.

on Jun 22, 2011

Great to see the diplomacy system getting renovated.  I echo boshimi's sentiment of hoping AI teams will form their own alliances.  Also (and I don't know if you will actually answer questions) will the process of the AI evaluating your allies make them more likely to ally with each other?  It always bugged me that you could be close allies with X and Y but they would still be at war with each other.

on Jun 22, 2011

Diplomatic Actions has been changed substantially too, so that it will now look at a player’s entire web of relationships. In game terms, this means that each player will look at who your friends and enemies are, and weigh that information accordingly, which should lead to some good rivalries.

You mean I won't be able to ally with all the players in the game and just let them fight it out. No!!!

on Jun 22, 2011

Wow, Awesome, I wasn't expecting another update after 1.21 ! That's awesome !!!!

I'm in a hurry to hear more about changes ! Stardock and Co. are truly amazing !

on Jun 22, 2011

Retsof90
Great to see the diplomacy system getting renovated.  I echo boshimi's sentiment of hoping AI teams will form their own alliances.  Also (and I don't know if you will actually answer questions) will the process of the AI evaluating your allies make them more likely to ally with each other?  It always bugged me that you could be close allies with X and Y but they would still be at war with each other.

It depends on how things play out in the game, since it's based on a number of factors. But if two players both hate you and like each other enough besides, they will probably both try to kill you as they grow closer in relationship. 

on Jun 22, 2011

sounds pretty sweet

on Jun 22, 2011

This looks like it will really change thing's in preparation for Rebellion. I also wonder while were on the pact subject are you thinking of spiecial pacts for the Rebel factions in the up coming rebellion

on Jun 23, 2011

I noticed when I'd be allied with an AI I'd be off killing 2 other races while it would continue to send pitiful fleets to their deaths, then I would become hated because I wouldn't support a dumb idea. Moreover, the AI had issues following simple instructions such as attack and defend, it appeared to act sluggishly if at all, lending to the defense of planets that have have already been lost. Will the new patch address any of these issues?

on Jun 23, 2011

Great news guys!

[e digicons]:')[/e]   

on Jun 23, 2011

Wraith767
I noticed when I'd be allied with an AI I'd be off killing 2 other races while it would continue to send pitiful fleets to their deaths, then I would become hated because I wouldn't support a dumb idea. Moreover, the AI had issues following simple instructions such as attack and defend, it appeared to act sluggishly if at all, lending to the defense of planets that have have already been lost. Will the new patch address any of these issues?

It'll depend on how much the AI likes you and the other player. If you're allied with the AI and it hates the other guy, it'll try to do what you ask. If the AI likes the other guy too, it probably won't (though the new system makes it harder for this to occur).  Essentially when the AI decides it will do something, it puts that into its mission stack and will try to accomplish the task when it can/if it can.  This has been changed a bit so that the AI will weight player requests higher the more they like them.

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