(1-NS) sphere of influence rework (amended)

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enraged_emu

Chieftain
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Problem: It's ridiculous that you can propose sphere of influence (SoI) over a city state even if you have zero influence with that city state. Or conversely, it's very annoying when you have an overwhelming amount of influence with a city state, yet another AI proposes SoI before you can and steals the alliance. Finally, once SoI is unlocked, it renders diplomatic units useless since the AI will keep spamming SoI until the majority of city states are claimed.

Amended Solution: SoI can only be proposed by the civ that is currently the ally of the city state. Once SoI is ratified, the civ with the most influence at the start of the next world congress session becomes the permanent ally of the city state.

Reasoning: If you have an overwhelming amount of influence with a city state, it will be very easy to have the most influence by the next world congress session and win the permanent alliance. If your influence isn't much higher than the AI, proposing SoI will be risky since the AI might end up with more influence than you and steal the permanent alliance. By only allowing the current ally to propose SoI, it encourages you to declare SoI once you are ready (i.e., have a lot of influence compared to the AI). In addition, should an AI propose SoI over a city state, it allows you to counter this by spamming diplomatic units. This will make diplomatic units extremely relevant.

Solution (user interface update): Once you win SoI, the city state icon color should turn purple. Currently, the icon colors of red, orange, green, and blue show that the city state is angry, afraid, friendly, or allied. It would be very convenient to have a special icon color for SoI, and this color could be purple.

Thoughts?

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Old Solution: In order to propose SoI, you should be required to have 1,000 more influence over the next closest AI. For example, if you have 1,200 influence and the Shoshone have 150 influence, you could propose SoI because 1,200 - 150 = 1,050 >= 1,000. However, if the Shoshone have 400 influence, you would not be able to propose SoI since 1,200 - 400 = 800 < 1000.

This old solution was changed since a static amount of influence would not scale well with difficulty levels.
 
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nekokon

Prince
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Aug 9, 2017
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I'm in with this, but would like a small change: SoI can only be passed (not proposed) if the civ proposing it can keep their influence high enough.
This is to prevent diplomat bombing right before proposal, and allow other civ to have time to counter (by actively try to gain influence after knowing the intent/proposal) and proposing civ can also counter-counter this by spamming diplomat or use military means (killing off other's diplomat or blocking off said CS). All those extra works would be rewarded by another mean of saving your votes for other more important proposals.
 

Sylphid

Chieftain
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Sep 18, 2022
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I think the idea of a CS having to be your ally before you can SOL is a reasonable idea, but I think a static amount more influence is just not viable, as it scales very poorly with difficulty levels.
I think this is a good proposal, with this caveat. Maybe instead the requirement is to have been allied with the city state over a consecutive number of turns that scale with game speed and difficulty?
 

beginner_

Chieftain
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Mar 10, 2020
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Problem: It's ridiculous that you can propose sphere of influence (SoI) over a city state even if you have zero influence with that city state. Or conversely, it's very annoying when you have an overwhelming amount of influence with a city state, yet another AI proposes SoI. Finally, once SoI is unlocked, it renders diplomatic units useless since the AI will keep spamming SoI until the majority of city states are claimed.
I see this as a feature not a bug. Maybe because of low level I play at (king) but usually if you can get enough votes through religion you can then dominate the WC simply by SoI one city-state after another.
 

Zanteogo

King
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Nov 13, 2015
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We talked about something similar to this, where the SoI was awarded to whoever had the highest influence by the next session.

This seems like a reasonable solution.

SOI right now is annoying. It's a tool to snowball a diplomatic victory, and tends to be the focus of congress after it comes available.

Perhaps we need a counter proposal with this?
 

balparmak

Prince
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Sep 20, 2015
Messages
544
We talked about something similar to this, where the SoI was awarded to whoever had the highest influence by the next session.

I'm not sure about this, doesn't it make turn order a major factor, as in the civ last to play will have more information. People find it exciting to snatch a CS but I don't like the proposing civ not getting the benefits. Alliance requirement as suggested by Stalker feels much smoother
 

Rekk

Emperor
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I'm not sure about this, doesn't it make turn order a major factor, as in the civ last to play will have more information. People find it exciting to snatch a CS but I don't like the proposing civ not getting the benefits. Alliance requirement as suggested by Stalker feels much smoother
True. This is felt is a somewhat lesser effect with the Alliance Requirement, since the last player can snatch an alliance on the turn before the Session in order to propose it.

The main problem, I find, with Sphere of Influence (and other proposals that are used mostly to garner more votes) is that you can only propose it if you are already among those with the most votes. That is, it's a win-more mechanic.

By kicking off a race, you allow other players to improve their position if they work at it.
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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So any change to the SoL has to pass the following litmus test:

"If SoL is changed, how does a player win DV on high difficulties?"

SoL is the main way I am able to secure CS allies longterm against the endless horde of AI influence. without it, I just can't hold that many CS, certainly not enough to get a DV victory. So any change to SoL HAS to take this into account, or its a non-starter to me.
 

Rekk

Emperor
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So any change to the SoL has to pass the following litmus test:

"If SoL is changed, how does a player win DV on high difficulties?"

SoL is the main way I am able to secure CS allies longterm against the endless horde of AI influence. without it, I just can't hold that many CS, certainly not enough to get a DV victory. So any change to SoL HAS to take this into account, or its a non-starter to me.
In this case, you would burst out to an Allied Status on the turn before WC? Conversely, since the AI can do this as well, it keeps them from arbitrarily stealing the one CS nearby to you that you can keep yours through diplomats alone.

Why is win-more a bad thing? Every decision you make is to win a little bit more.
Win-more effects only occur when you are already winning. If every decision you make is win-more, then it sounds like you quit the game as soon as you are no longer winning. I think it's a reasonable goal to try to have more effects that allow players to try to push themselves forward when they aren't winning.
 
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CppMaster

Deity
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Nah, I don't win at start of the game, but I try to make choices to make me closer to win. And if later I'm actually winning, then those choices are called "win-more".
 

nekokon

Prince
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So any change to the SoL has to pass the following litmus test:

"If SoL is changed, how does a player win DV on high difficulties?"

SoL is the main way I am able to secure CS allies longterm against the endless horde of AI influence. without it, I just can't hold that many CS, certainly not enough to get a DV victory. So any change to SoL HAS to take this into account, or its a non-starter to me.
You simply have to out-influencing the AI, one CS at a time. That's exactly how DV was and still is.
Can't expect to have nothing better than other AIs and still win the game (by spamming SOI on CS you can't compete normally and hope other civ don't care enough to veto)
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
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You simply have to out-influencing the AI, one CS at a time. That's exactly how DV was and still is.
Can't expect to have nothing better than other AIs and still win the game (by spamming SOI on CS you can't compete normally and hope other civ don't care enough to veto)
Fair enough. Now realistically, if the AI is actually playing intelligently...there really shouldn't be a time when the AI loses this fight. Influence is almost purely a gold/money thing, and the AI simply has more of that than the humans, especially when you consider 2-3 of them.

However, that said, we already see the AI loses production races because its not as optimal as human players at "burst production"....so this miiiiight still work. I would be willing to try it, and then just unratify it if the AI just dominates every race.
 

azum4roll

Deity
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SoI can only be proposed by the civ that is currently the ally of the city state.
Is this part still necessary if the permanent ally is determined at the turn of the congress?
 

pineappledan

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Amended Solution: SoI can only be proposed by the civ that is currently the ally of the city state. Once SoI is ratified, the civ with the most influence at the start of the next world congress session becomes the permanent ally of the city state.
Having both these changes together adds complexity. Starting the race that freezes it at the voting phase seems like the more fun ability of the two, so I would focus on that.
 
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