marvingardns
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"Diplomacy" Engine

Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:51 pm

I will be very very curious to see how the diplomacy element of VGN is supposed to work... in theory. To me this will make or break the game. Diplomacy has been the weakest link in every campaign-based game since the beginning of computer wargaming... pointless, random, dull and completely unrealistic.

I can only hope that VGN's diplomacy engine is abstracted as brilliantly as the tactical battle resolutions of previous AGEOD Athena-based games. I had always thought that 'bargaining' with an AI is one of the most pointless and idiotic things you can imagine. Isn't that why I send diplomats in the first place? To negotiate in my place and in our best interest?

I'd like to see something where, as a leader, we can contact embassies abroad to open negotiations on issues in our national interest. We set the mood or tone the embassy should take and, like all diplomacy, it will take time as an abstract bargain is struck. Our embassy reports that this the agreement that has been reached that must be approved.

At that point we can accept or reject it or counter-offer and have the opportunity to sweeten the pot or tighten the rhetoric.

In short, the diplomacy aspect of the game should parallel the means by which we wage war in Athena games. With a four strokes of the mouse, I have either won control of a territory with a general and 60,000 men set in aggressive stance, or a diplomat has won control through a 'cooled' negotiating stance and hard bargain that he negotiated and I accepted (and my Congress has ratified).

Success of negotiations could depend on numerous factors as elegantly factored in as the tactical battle resolution has:
- Use of special envoys with leaders similiar generals (special skills, political cost, seniority, peerage, etc.)
- Use of military attaches to collect passive intelligence
- Holding special "Congresses" to resolve matters of great international importance
- Special conventions on unifying weights & measures, unifying railroad guages, maritime law, border regulation, religious freedom, freedom of the seas, self-determination
- Negotiating reductions in tariffs, recognizing favorable trading privileges, release of hostages, dispatching military advisors, recognition of dissident parties
- Natural and historical objectives and obstacles to diplomacy (Russia and the Dardanelles, England and the security of Flanders, traditional Anglo-Portugeuse friendliness, Monroe Doctrine, France and Germany over the Rhine frontier, England and her naval security)
- Special skills (and flaws): speaks Turkish, philanderer, drunkard, right-wing zealot, anti-Catholic, persuasive, Islamophile, Jewish, Francophile, Estate to Entertain with, etc. etc. etc.

How great is that? No tapping on a counter to bump the amount of cash to sweeten the pot or giving or taking away items until the AI likes it. Just good abstract resolution of the little details... just AGEOD style I like. Let me focus on the bigger picture, you generals and diplomats handle the details. My imagination will do the rest.

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arsan
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Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:57 pm

Interesting ideas! :thumbsup:

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Evans
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Sat May 02, 2009 3:12 pm

A very interesting and new approach - I like it :)

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Hohenlohe
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Sat May 02, 2009 5:11 pm

A good approach... :thumbsup:

greetings

Hohenlohe :coeurs:
R.I.P. Henry D.

In Remembrance of my Granduncle Hans Weber, a Hungaro-German Soldier,served in Austro-Hungarian Forces during WWI,war prisoner, missed in Sibiria 1918...

el_slapper
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Fri May 15, 2009 10:18 am

mmmmh, problem is, how will the IA cope with it?

The thing is, each country has to decide how to allocate resources. So, I am playing France, Britain is IA. Britain Ia has to decide wether it needs to allocate resources on myself, on other great powers, or to ally with countless smaller ones, or to focus on German states.....

What criterion shall the IA apply there? And, once decided that it definitively needs to befriend with Spain, how will it choose its ambassador? How will the Ia decide of the importance of a congress? How will the IA determine the value of a specific convention?
C'est bien d'avoir un point de vue sur tout. C'est mieux d'avoir une vue sur tous les points.

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Generalisimo
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Fri May 15, 2009 1:20 pm

el_slapper wrote:mmmmh, problem is, how will the IA cope with it?

The thing is, each country has to decide how to allocate resources. So, I am playing France, Britain is IA. Britain Ia has to decide wether it needs to allocate resources on myself, on other great powers, or to ally with countless smaller ones, or to focus on German states.....

What criterion shall the IA apply there? And, once decided that it definitively needs to befriend with Spain, how will it choose its ambassador? How will the Ia decide of the importance of a congress? How will the IA determine the value of a specific convention?

Of course, there are a lot of interesting ideas on marvingardns's post, but the suggested system is way too complex.
Anyway, I am sure you will still be surprised by the posibilities that VGN offers you. ;)
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Sol Invictus
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Fri May 15, 2009 2:48 pm

Diplomatic AI has always been the Achilles Heel of strategy games and I can certainly understand why. It must be extremely difficult if not impossible to program an AI to come anywhere close to being able to pull off the crafty tricks that we devious humans can. The best system I have ever seen is the EU series and it is certainly far from perfect. I think the best that we can hope for is a system that can appear to make a bit of sense and avoid the most egregious errors. We certainly will not get a silicon Machiavelli and shouldn't expect one.
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ham
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Fri May 15, 2009 3:10 pm

What do you think of "Civilization" series as diplomatic AI ?

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Generalisimo
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Fri May 15, 2009 3:18 pm

ham wrote:What do you think of "Civilization" series as diplomatic AI ?

Some kind of trades that you can make with the diplomatic engine are just an exploit IMHO. ;)
"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon."
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marvingardns
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Tue May 19, 2009 1:26 am

Well I could have hoped that a diplomatic system as I have suggested would not be complicated by virtue of "logic" or "cunning," but simplistic by virtue of "randomness." Foreign policy is subjective despite all the 19th century's pretensions (and perhaps the UN's pretensions) that foreign policy is 'objective.' That said, pretensions of 'subjectivity' can justify a certain amount of randomness to such a diplomatic system (albeit consistent randomness). Not everything the AI has to do is logical and with reason.

Did it ever make sense that the Kaiser would so relentlessly pursue a navy? Or that France and Russia would clash over who has rights to the stewardship of Church of the Holy Sepulchre? Etc. etc.

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RELee
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Tue May 19, 2009 2:20 pm

marvingardns wrote:Did it ever make sense that the Kaiser would so relentlessly pursue a navy?


Absolutely, yes! Prestige was so very, very important to the time period, and what could have possibly been more prestigious for the time than owning more battleships than your rivals?
Image

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Adlertag
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Tue May 19, 2009 5:59 pm

marvingardns wrote:Not everything the AI has to do is logical and with reason.


That's why specific events (historical or flavour) can add some spice to the game.
So replayability will be another interesting game feature.
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husky1943
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Tue May 19, 2009 9:33 pm

Randomizing the diplomacy (too much) would make the frustration level spike as well. Perhaps the diplomacy could be balanced by the two countries interests. While europe might desire to colonize many countries, Asia might want industrialization, while Africa might want capital investment or freedom. These interests could be put in balance to see how the AI would react to negotiations. Of course, I would have no idea of how you would program that.....
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Hohenlohe
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Wed May 20, 2009 10:11 pm

RELee wrote:Absolutely, yes! Prestige was so very, very important to the time period, and what could have possibly been more prestigious for the time than owning more battleships than your rivals?
Image


To have more modern battleships aka dreadnoughts than your rival... :D

greetings

Hohenlohe, who can't wait for this game... :thumbsup:
R.I.P. Henry D.



In Remembrance of my Granduncle Hans Weber, a Hungaro-German Soldier,served in Austro-Hungarian Forces during WWI,war prisoner, missed in Sibiria 1918...

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RELee
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Thu May 21, 2009 5:32 am

Hohenlohe wrote:To have more modern battleships aka dreadnoughts than your rival... :D

greetings

Hohenlohe, who can't wait for this game... :thumbsup:


Aww. Did you notice I posted the Schlesien or is your being from Munich a happy coincidence? :cool:

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Hohenlohe
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Thu May 21, 2009 6:28 am

RELee wrote:Aww. Did you notice I posted the Schlesien or is your being from Munich a happy coincidence? :cool:


Hello RELee, yes I noticed that you posted the Schlesien dreadnought.She was in their time one of the most modern ships as I know. I will take a look on the wikipedia file to get more information.
It's no coincidence that I have Munich as my location, because I live there since 1984 and I feel myself as a Munich citizen although the Bavarians regard me always as socalled "Zuogroasta" like an immigrant from Northern Württemberg aka as a Suebian. But this is dependant on the strong local patriotism the Bavarians often have although they are very friendly to foreigners aka tourists not only at the Oktoberfest.

greetings

Hohenlohe, who is proud of his suebian origins... :D :coeurs:
R.I.P. Henry D.



In Remembrance of my Granduncle Hans Weber, a Hungaro-German Soldier,served in Austro-Hungarian Forces during WWI,war prisoner, missed in Sibiria 1918...

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Padreigh
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Mon May 25, 2009 11:06 am

I just hope that the Diplomacy AI isn't too random and offers enough possibilities to actually influence AI countries.

In other games, I am so sick of getting random declarations of war from countries that
1) don't share a border with me
2) have an army which is a bad joke (Fear our valiant 500 Militiamen, Deutsches Reich!)
3) I actually have to search for on the map for several minutes
4) were "bestest friends forevah!" until they suddenly changed their mind


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squarian
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Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:17 pm

Padreigh wrote:In other games, I am so sick of getting random declarations of war from countries that
1) don't share a border with me
2) have an army which is a bad joke (Fear our valiant 500 Militiamen, Deutsches Reich!)
3) I actually have to search for on the map for several minutes
4) were "bestest friends forevah!" until they suddenly changed their mind


:mdr: :thumbsup: That sums it up nicely, Padreigh. Ah those fond EU2 memories, playing Sweden and suddenly finding myself at war with Genoa.

Resolved: We want a Diplo system which isn't so rational that we can manipulate it shamelessly but isn't so random that it defies historical plausibility. All in favor say aye.

(p.s. How exactly do these idiot spammers get around the registration window?)

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arsan
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Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:24 pm

squarian wrote:(p.s. How exactly do these idiot spammers get around the registration window?)


It seems they are not so idiot after all :bonk: :D
But, being positives, they are a great way of rediscovering old threads you didn't saw back then ;)

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