Empires Update Dev Diary 5


#1

Hello everyone, and welcome to the final Dev Diary. Yes, I know this has been a while in the making, but I thank you for your patience with this.

In response to previous dev diaries, players have requested that we look into methods to simulate the effects of war on a nation, to prevent people just shrugging off huge battles without any consequences. However, this was not the only thing we needed to be aware of:

One of the considerations we have had with this is trying to present a system that is applicable, yet abstract. In the same way that the National Focuses are an abstract representation of your nation’s interests, such a system would need to follow similar lines. There are a lot of potential events that could occur that it becomes quite difficult to model all these possible stories with anything that’s very explicit about a certain aspect of a nation.

Another consideration is the issue we have had over people attempting to write war stories. Some players have been able to collaborate and write a semi-coherent story, while others have quickly devolved into disputes and longer term feuds. War is such an important part of a nation’s history, which we wanted to remove some of the areas of dispute to help players write such stories.

Finally, we needed to keep it simple. A system that’s overly complex will simply not be used, or updated, by the community. We needed to provide something that is fundamentally easy to understand and check by other members of the community. We want this to be as player driven as possible, with staff oversight only needed if things go badly wrong.

With these things in mind, we have devised a system that we hope will flexible enough to allow for its usage in a variety of settings, while still giving something concrete.

What this system WON’T do is give players the ability to just declare war without the other player’s consent. Wars are by far the biggest source of issues in the RP community. Do not attempt this without everyone agreeing to partake in the war.

WARS STILL REQUIRE THE CONSENT OF ALL PARTIES. YOU CANNOT FORCE SOMEONE ELSE INTO A WAR.

Nation Health Scores

Nations will have two “health” scores: Economic/Manpower reserves and National Morale:

• Economic/Manpower Reserves: 26 + (4 x Economic National Focus)
• National Morale: 10 + (2 x Cultural National Focus)

These are to simulate the two most important factors affecting a nation during wartime, the ability to put armies in the field and the willingness of a country to continue fighting. Both of these are important for a nation to maintain should they wish to stay in the fight.

Q: Why are you using the National Focus’s, rather than National Development? Surely that’s a better representation of our economic potential against each other?
A: It’s a good point; however, it presents scaling issues and can complicate the maths more, particularly longer term. The Focuses are easier to interpret and use than Development in this case. The use of Focuses also allows players who are newer get into the system quicker, without immediately being out-competed by the veteran players, so the sacrifice has been made.

These scores persist both in peace and wartime, as to ensure that battles have long term consequences. If you take a horrendous defeat on the field, you’ll be feeling it for some time. I’ll explain a bit more about peacetime further down.

Battles

Of course, wars wouldn’t be wars without battles. In order to simulate them, we will be using a dice roller to decide the outcomes. This removes the “discussion” over tactics employed by players, which has a habit of being less than productive conversations.

These rolls will be done in the Discord using Roll Bot. This allows for a relatively simple command to give you your roll. Roll Bot will be put in, hopefully by the end of the weekend with all the necessary permissions sorted.

When two armies fight, such as a battle or a siege, they will need to roll the outcome of the fight, using the previously mentioned (d10 + National Focus) we’ve discussed in Dev Dairy 1 link

In this case:

-r d10 +(National Focus)

Is what you would be rolling for your fights. When you are fighting battles, you will be using your military focuses. When these are rolled, the results of the dice take effect on the health scores:

• For Economic/Manpower Reserves, simply subtract your opponents result from your value. Even in victory, men and equipment are lost; you’re just making the opposing side lose it faster.
• For National Morale, work out the difference between the roll results. If you lost the battle, subtract it from your National Morale. If you won, you add it. This is to simulate the surge in support a nation will have following a massive victory when losing the war, bringing them back into the fight.

When a nation hits 0 in either their Economic/Manpower reserves or National Morale, that nation has lost the war, and peace talks will commence. Of course, nations can bow out much sooner than that if they so wish, but if they hit 0, that’s it.

As a final note on wars, if multiple nations are participating on the same side, each nation taking part has their own health bars active. There is no combined/sharing of these stats. 2 on 1 conflict will stand a VERY high chance of the single combatant losing. Allies are by far the most important asset in a war, more so than the best army in the world will ever be.

Peacetime

These scores will persist even during peacetime at the beginning of the month. To prevent a “peace and reset” scenario, these will recover at a set rate over time. At the moment, this is set at:

• National Reserves: 5 + Economic Focus per month.
• Morale: 1 + Culture Focus per month.

These tick up slowly, meaning recovery from a massive war takes time. You may start a war before either category has been refilled, but you go to war with that lowered level from the outset. If you engage in constant warmongering, you’ll quickly find yourself unable to sustain those conflicts.

Please also be aware, that the above mentioned recovery will NOT occur while a nation is at war. You must be out of war for AT LEAST 1 real month for these effects to start taking effect (for example, 2nd of September to 2nd of October). This is again to prevent players from declaring peace out, allowing the month to tick over, then restarting, or deliberately dragging out the war.

Player Responsibility

All of this will be the responsibility of the players to update and keep track of. As staff, we know the system, but it will be up to you to make sure you’re up to date and doing the maths. It’s also very easy to spot if players make a mistake.

A couple of thoughts to be aware of:
-Those that focus down military, will be more likely to come out on top in battles, which, IMO, they should. However, this does not mean that they will win the war, as the randomness of the dice is the biggest factor at play here.
-Morale is far harder to predict regarding how many fights you have left than your Reserves. It is possible, albeit very unlikely, for a nation’s morale to be obliterated in a single battle and vice versa. However, it does recover more rapidly.

P.S. I’ve also included a table you can use, to save you all a little time:

Points spent: 1 2 3 4 5
Economy (Max Total) 30 34 38 42 46
Culture (Max Total) 12 14 16 18 20
Economy (Recovery) 5 6 7 8 9
Culture (Recovery) 2 3 4 5 6

Alright, that is it. I’m sure some of you might have been expecting something else, I am happy to answer questions on aspects you want to clarify.

The full ruleset is currently being written up at this point, but I don’t envision it taking too much longer, now that all the core mechanics have been done. :slight_smile:

-Siil