What's diplomacy for?


Mar 26, 2022
In CIV IV and V diplomacy used to have a great impact: you had to carefully think which religion to follow (specially in IV) as that would grant good relationships with the empires that follow the same religion as you do. Then in V things got better with the chance of communicating that your troops were "merely passing by" or that your spies heard something about one empire planning to attack another one. Let alone all you could do in regards to the World Congress. V's WC was fantastic!

But in VI diplomacy feels empty IMO. More like a tasteless game that some serious business that might end up giving you the game or on the contrary, making you to loose the game. I always find myself thinking why would I reject this embassy? Why I'm accepting it? What would I win/loose by doing so? The answer: nothing...

Is it because I'm still playing on kinda lower difficulty? (nº5) Has actually diplomacy got worse? What do you think? Am I doing something wrong? Are there any mod to improve this?
For the Embassy, it allows the sender to enjoy an additional level of diplomatic visibility with the receiver. I believe it is useful to play around if you intend to use theological combat, either refuse them so your Apostle are better, or do not send them so your Apostles are weaker therefore more prone to yield a Relic if you built the Mont Saint Michel.

It has no use for War since delegation or embassy are removed.

So far, I see diplomacy more as a tool to dupe the AI more than an immersive mechanic. I know if I send a delegation on the turn of meeting, the AI will be more prone to like me, and even more if I let them enjoy Open Borders. 90% of the time, it is enough to trick them into the Friendship state and lock them into it until the end of the game, meaning they are no longer a threat to me (no Surprise War). It is also additional Diplomatic Favor from Alliances (therefore, more Gold), and better Trade Route under Wisselbanken and/or Democracy. From there, I know I can safely not care about their feelings anymore, as it doesn't matter anymore (only heavy warmongering, or the Ideologue agenda will make them hate me now).

There is no surprise anymore, even more if we take their primary agenda meaning you know exactly what to expect from them. We no longer "explore" the AI and their behavior. Dido's Carthage is no longer tending to be the deceiving AI like Dido's Phoenicia, telling us everything is fine until her elephants shows up from the Mountains right next to our borders. Since, even if we have no diplomatic visibility with her, we know right away if she likes us or not in the diplomacy screen, just not the reason yet. She is not hiding those red negative numbers to us. Or even betraying civilization like Napoléon's France that is willing to break our friendship the turn he knows he can safely conquer us with no problem since Declaration of Friendship cannot break anymore.

The diplomacy feels worst to me because of those. Even the Leader's screen feels less immersive. The cutscenes are gorgeous, but we are no longer in a meeting with them discussing about trade and diplomacy, where England ask you about its trade agreement spontaneously and nevrotically. Now, we are a spectator enduring their dramatic reactions like Victoria asking us why we dared to start on a different continent or Harald asking us why a landlocked civilization didn't put all its Production into Galley or something.

But I guess the problem is global. There is no one bad thing among good things that need to change and fix the whole Diplomacy. I believe most diplomacy related mechanics are good except for 1 or 2 bad or weird details, but they add up. The accumulation of all those details manages to give the whole Diplomacy gameplay a bland, indecisive and uninteresting taste to the formula.
Does the AI still care about who you're friends with? For instance, In previous Civs if you traded or had good relationships with an AI's enemy, they wouldn't be friendly towards you. And also, unlike preivous civs, it's quite easy to be friends with the AI. Just a delegation and they turn friendly and the, DoF. In CIV IV, it was a constant work to carefully think with who you should trade, to whom give tribute, and things like that. But, just be friends of the whole world in VI and that's all, there's nothing to think about or any kind of strategy to follow it seems...
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But, just be friends of the whole world in VI and that's all, there's nothing to think about or any kind of strategy to follow it seems...
Yes, that's exactly how it is in VI. Or you can leave a civ or two out of your friend's circle to have pillaging safaris at will and without anyone else giving a toss about it.
AI with no DoF with you will get angry at you if you start taking cities of another civ you both are at war with, they are not programmed to see this as your attempt to help them but to universally consider that you are warmongering.
If you take and liberate a City State previously conquered by another AI, you'll get positive diplo from everyone including the AI from whom you just liberated that CS. It's bonkers.
FXS really did not put much heart into coding diplomacy this time.
We should go back to Civ IV diplomacy. I think the voiced leaders is honestly overrated and unnecessary and the money put towards hiring voice actors could be put towards something else for Civ VII. Also, CIV IV diplomacy they would say some funny ass stuff.
I think diplomacy in VI took a step back from V. I agree in V the AI seemed to be affected by your diplomatic decisions (if you denounced someone they hated, they'd like you for it and commend you). In VI, it didn't seem to matter. As the expansions were released for VI, I kept hoping that this would improve but it never did.

CIv IV probably had the best diplomacy but V was fun too.

The one thing I always wished in V and VI is that there would be an advisor or pop up to warn you were doing something (making an trade agreement, declaring war, etc), that may trigger anger in another civ (ally or a strong rival, etc). It was hart to keep track of everyone's relationships so I invariably would do something that would anger someone I was trying to befriend. That would be one wish for VII I suppose.
In unmoded game with "science bug" I use diplomacy only to bankrupt AI quicker by selling them anything they want to buy.
Does the AI still care about who you're friends with?
The AI starts to care who you befriend with, if they are at war or denounced that civilization. Yet, the negative modifier is manageable if you really work (like the +10 from giving free stuff), and I believe it is less likely to denounce a friend of yours if you are friend with them. For example, Persia tends to not accept my DoF, but will if I am friend of his friends.

It also means once you start to befriend with some, it always spiral into befriend with everyone, the only exceptions are the AI that dislike everyone.
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