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Old Mar 02, 2005, 11:36 AM   #1
microbe
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Trading Reputation

If you often wonder why AI would "almost" sell you a tech for 500g but would "never" do so if you add 1gpt, you should read on. In my opoinion, this is one of the most important game mechanisms that you have to know to play this game at the higher levels.

Note, this article describes what I think the game mechanism is from my experience in playing various games and incomplete testing. There are certain things that I haven't specifically tested but believed thus it is possible that some of them are completely or partially wrong. Feel free to correct me if you find any mistakes.

What is trading reputation?

First let's define "gpt deal". As far as trading reputation is concerned, "gpt deal" isn't an accurate name as you could risk trashing your reputation even if you are not paying gold-per-turn. A more accurate name is "rep-risky deal". A deal is rep-risky if any of the following is true:
* You pay per-turn (resources, gpt, RoP) goods for hard goods (techs or lump sum gold) from the AI.
* You export resources to the AI (even if the AI only pays per-turn goods)
* MA/MPP is involved.

But unless explicitly stated, we'll use the more common term "gpt deal" in this article to refer to rep-risky deals.

Trading reputation decides whether AI is willing to make gpt deal with you. It has the following characteristics:
* Your reputation starts with clean.
* Each AI has a record of your reputation separately.
* An AI views your rep as "trashed" if any of the following is true
- You had a gpt deal with this AI before which got terminated prematurely for certain reasons (see the next section).
- The AI knows or knew another AI with whom you had a broken gpt deal, and those two AI are NOT currently at war (that AI who you betrayed might have been destroyed). This is similar to what your foreign advisor says about "xxx is a known lier and betrayed our friend yyy".
* Once an AI thinks you have a trashed rep, it would be less willing to or never make any gpt deals with you anymore. Note the "less willing to". Although your rep is shot, you could still possibly make gpt deal but would have to pay a lot more. I think it depends on how big gpt payment you avoided in the broken deal. Practically, once you break a gpt deal you'll never be able to make such deal again.

How do you have a broken deal

Your gpt deal could get broken and trash your reputation if any of the following things happens before the 20-turn deal ends:
* You declare war on that AI (including MA/MPP).
* You are exporting resources and could no longer do so for the following reasons:
- the resources are lost, depleted or disconnected.
- the trade route between you and the AI is cut (AI capital isolated, harbor is destroyed, the AI through which the route goes declares war on you or the other AI, etc).
* You break an MA or MPP.

Cases that do not trash your rep

There are certain cases that a prematurely terminated gpt deal does not affect your rep.

1. The AI declares war on you

Of course you get no rep hit if the payee decides to end the deal by itself. It's often (ab)used by players to avoid huge gpt payment by deliberately tricking the AI to declare, such as asking the AI units to leave our territory. The key is to make sure the AI would declare (decided by relative power and its attitude), and that you could defend your territory until you could make peace.

2. The deal involves an MA and the target AI is destroyed

If you have a gpt deal with A in which you have MA against B. If B is destroyed before the 20-turn period expires, the deal ends immediately but your rep isn't affected. It's often (ab)used by players to sign an MA when the target AI is about to die, and get money back as soon as the AI is destroyed.

3. The AI you are paying gpt is destroyed

It doesn't include the case if you are paying resources.

4. The deal involves AI exporting resources but not you, and the AI cannot export resources anymore (pillaged or trade route is cut).

For example, if you have 120gpt for saltpeter+ToG from an AI, and the AI's saltpeter is pillaged, the trade ends and you get no rep hit, because it's the AI who cannot execute the trade, not you. It could also be used as exploit as you can disconnect your own capital and stop the gpt payment. The only thing you need is to include AI resources in the deal.

5. The deal involves both AI and you exporting resources, and the AI's resource is cut but trade route is fine.

I have not thoroughly tested this. I tried cutting my own capital off and it gave a rep hit, but not sure what happens if cutting AI capital off.

What to do if your rep is trashed?

Sometimes it's just unexpected or unfortunate that your rep is trashed even if that's not your intention, but don't panic, you can still do gpt deals with a trashed rep.

1. renegotiate peace treaty

If you can renegotiate peace treaty with an AI, you can include a gpt deal and AI would accept (probably with a bit prenium for the peace treaty itself).

2. MA

If you broke a deal with A, and want to make gpt deal with B, you could MA with B against A and B will forgive your betrayal to A.

RoP reputation

RoP reputation is a related topic but quite independent of trading reputation. It decides if AI is willing to sign RoP with you. Your RoP rep is trashed if you declare war on the AI while you have any units with attack/defense value (including boats) inside AI territory, regardless of whether you actually have RoP deal with the AI. Trading and RoP reputation is maintained separately and does not affect each other.

Peace treaty reputation

Well, there is no such a thing. It means if you sign or renew a peace treaty and declare within 20 turns, you do not incur a rep hit, unless by doing so you break a gpt deal (within the same peace treaty or not).

So you could attack an AI, sign peace and get several cities, and break it immediately without a rep hit. However, many consider it an exploit.

AI attitude

Last just to point out a common misunderstanding. Trading reputation has nothing to do with AI attitude. "AI being furious with me" says something about its attitude, but it would possibly still happily trade with you.
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Last edited by microbe; Mar 19, 2005 at 03:16 PM.
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Old Mar 02, 2005, 11:39 AM   #2
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Thanks microbe!

What I have always been looking for. Reputation is a difficult matter.
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Old Mar 02, 2005, 04:25 PM   #3
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Cool article Confirmed much of what I felt intuitively.

If only I was intelligent enough to get the big words...

Question for you. I've jumped into a couple of emperor or so games late and everyones whining about "our crappy rep", yet I've been able to do gpt deals. If I understand you correctly, this is a function of AI 1 hates AI 2 more than me?
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Old Mar 02, 2005, 05:46 PM   #4
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Great stuff Microbe!
Quote:
Originally Posted by microbe
This is similar to what your foreign advisor says about "xxx is a known lier and betrayed our friend yyy".
It seems to me that it would be a good idea to try and help the AI trash their opinions of each other by cutting their trade routes if you can.
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Old Mar 02, 2005, 06:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral Kutzov
Question for you. I've jumped into a couple of emperor or so games late and everyones whining about "our crappy rep", yet I've been able to do gpt deals. If I understand you correctly, this is a function of AI 1 hates AI 2 more than me?
Not sure. I don't seem to have seen this. Maybe you can post a screen shot or tell me the exact words?
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Old Mar 02, 2005, 08:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Not sure. I don't seem to have seen this. Maybe you can post a screen shot or tell me the exact words?
This is all fuzzy memory, but in one of the Jumpmasters games (A or C, IIRC), the long term players were depressed about bad rep, but I had no prob doing gpt. I'll see if I can find something specific for you to work with.

Edit: Been looking, can't find an example. If I have a senior moment and remember where, I'll be back (insert CA governor voice over...)
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Old Mar 03, 2005, 10:03 AM   #7
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I think the moderators should put this piece in the introductory section of the "War Academy".

It would save many people the frustration of wrecking their rep. I can remember a game awhile back where I was having good success on a arch. map and it almost tanked my game when I started a war and my trade routes were cutoff. By not clearing more fog first and only having one main trade route was a painful mistake.

Is helping wreck an AI's rep considered an exploit? I have never purposely attempted to wreck an AI's rep this way.
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Old Mar 03, 2005, 04:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whomp
Is helping wreck an AI's rep considered an exploit? I have never purposely attempted to wreck an AI's rep this way.
You'd usually have to hurry for that purpose...

It's not uncommon that the AI get that task done on their own (by ROP-raping in the first place)
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Old Mar 07, 2005, 09:13 PM   #9
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What about if you give a resource to an AI civ for free? If that trade is cut somehow would you still get the rep hit?
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Old Mar 07, 2005, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cierdan
What about if you give a resource to an AI civ for free? If that trade is cut somehow would you still get the rep hit?
Yes. A more common rep hit I've heard of is having the resource demanded and losing the trade route.
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 08:05 AM   #11
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Even rep is shot,we can trade per turn for per turns:e.g I traded AI 30gpt for Wines,it's allowed by AI.But I can't get Wines+Gold(Lump Sum).If I traded AI 20gpt+200g,it can still get wines.
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Old Mar 11, 2005, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plarq
Even rep is shot,we can trade per turn for per turns:e.g I traded AI 30gpt for Wines,it's allowed by AI.
This kind of trade is not the topic of this article as it doesn't affect your reputation even if you break it.
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Old Mar 13, 2005, 05:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whomp
It seems to me that it would be a good idea to try and help the AI trash their opinions of each other by cutting their trade routes if you can.
Yes!
I will cause multiple AI-AI wars!
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 09:03 AM   #14
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Interesting article. However, there's a glitch.

I'm trading with the Aztecs. I give wines for spices. In the middle, there are the Greeks at war with me, but i have a sea route to reach the Aztecs anyway. At a certain point, cultural expansion of some greek cities claims all the coastal tiles available. Nor me not the Aztecs have the ability to trade via proper sea squares. The trade route is broken. But my reputation remains intact.

Could it be that, when a route is broken not by your fault, your reputation isn't ruined?

Then, do you have an answer for this?
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 01:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tR1cKy
I'm trading with the Aztecs. I give wines for spices. In the middle, there are the Greeks at war with me, but i have a sea route to reach the Aztecs anyway. At a certain point, cultural expansion of some greek cities claims all the coastal tiles available. Nor me not the Aztecs have the ability to trade via proper sea squares. The trade route is broken. But my reputation remains intact.
A save exactly before the trade route got broken would be interesting to see.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 03:59 PM   #16
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Well, not 100% sure on this (but 99%), but I think that you get away w/o a ("major"?) rep hit in case the deal in question involved per-turn-deliveries only and is abandoned for what reason ever before the natural 20-turns expiration.

So say you have a
spice(11)---wines(11)
deal going and someone (a barb or whatever) pillages a road in the middle of the trade route which breaks down the connection, you don't get rid of the ability to sign such deals again (so no rep hit per definition).
However, if this deal inluded upfront stuff, like
spice(11),IronWorking---wines(11)
(you *get* the tech)
your rep will be trashed in cause of the interrupted trade route.
Of course, if you gave a way upfront stuff and accepted per-turn-donation only, the other side would be to blame.
So in case the trade route is somewhat risky, make sure you don't get a lump sum of gold, WM, worker, com or tech within the deal. This seems similar to the ROP rule (could even break a plain ROP by war declaration and still sign ROPs *if* you don't ROP-raped; dunno if that also applies to plain MPPs that get canceled by war declaration).

btw, slightly off-topic:
plain trade embargoes don't seem to hurt your rep in case your embargo-buddy leaves the stage before the deal expired
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 04:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microbe
A save exactly before the trade route got broken would be interesting to see.
Alas, no save available.

When the treaty broke, i was sure that my rep was thrashed. Only some turns later, when seeing that someone would like to accept gpt for a tech, i realized that my rep was in fact still intact.

Probably the question is resolved by Grille (thanx dude!). My treaty was luxury<->luxury and nothing else, and so its explanation fits in.

EDIT: i'm not sure the affordable deal was gpt for a tech, but it was something that required a clean reputation in order to be signed.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 04:48 PM   #18
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You sure the civ you could so deal with was not at war with the AI that you had the broken deal with (or they didnt know that AI yet)?
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 03:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grille
So say you have a
spice(11)---wines(11)
deal going and someone (a barb or whatever) pillages a road in the middle of the trade route which breaks down the connection, you don't get rid of the ability to sign such deals again (so no rep hit per definition).
This is discussed in the article, and you get a rep hit.

Resources are special. Even if you trade resources for per-turn deal, the trade is risky as far as reputation is concerned. This is why someone demanding your resources could break your reputation if the trade route is cut.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 11:21 AM   #20
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If our boat is in the AI's territory to start a turn and you move it out, declare and move it back in is that ok?
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