So, the Stellaris 2 beta is quickly drawing to a close, as the next and final destination on the dev roadmap is diplomacy. I hope that internal diplomacy will be just as important as external diplomacy, and the former is what I will primarily focus on right now.
So, as we know, factions are a bit lacking. There's 9 pre-determined factions, one for each ethic (with the exception of xenophobe, which has 2), each of which has the same list of demands for every empire for every game. All you have to do is to satisfy those demands to the best of your ability, which will get them to shut up and give you influence and pop happiness. It's pretty dull.
What I would prefer instead is a procedurally generated factions, each with up to 2 ethics points, a special faction trait, and a list of demands unique to that faction. In addition, they can demand for more things, including certain edicts to be passed or opposed, certain civics to be adopted, for certain species to be put down, treated equally, or given special treatment, and many other things I haven't even thought of yet. These demands would usually be related to the ethics of said faction, either related to an independent ethic of the faction or some combination of the two, but not necessarily.
Additionally, demands would be more specific and tailored to your current situation. Instead of just wanting you to go to war more often, a militarist faction may want you to attack a particular empire with a particular wargoal. A xenophilic faction would like to improve relations with a certain empire. Some demands can transcend ethics and appear on any faction, like constructing 3 more alloy forges. You get the drift. Also, if a certain demand is fulfilled, that may go away, and new demands may pop up with time. Adopting a faction would only change one of the ethics of your choice, assuming they have two. In addition, you can select which of your current ethics are replaced.
In short, I would like to see factions become more varied, have more specific demands, and be more dynamic.
Now on to edicts. Currently, edicts are too simple. You pay a one-time starting fee of some resource, no matter how long the edict lasts. The only thing you have to worry about is the cost of the edict and how long it will last. Obviously, that's pretty unrealistic. I propose that instead of edicts having a set time limit on them, instead institute a monthly fee on them based on all the current modifiers of edict cost. Moreover, they cannot be manually disabled and can last indefinitely. However, they can still end at the end of any month, and if this happens, it cannot be re-instated for another 10 years. The likelihood of an edict ending is based on a new mechanic called edict strength. Edict strength is improved by ethics, civics, empire modifiers, ruler skill, ruler traits, faction approval, and the Executive Vigor AP. Edict strength is weakened by ruler traits, empire modifiers, and faction opposition. Edict strength can wax or wane over time, based on empire events, who is currently ruling, and faction size.
Let's say you're currently using volatile motes for the explosive ammunition edict. The pacifist faction doesn't like that motes are being used for military purposes, and thus opposes this edict. This faction is also the largest in your empire, and your current ruler is very inexperienced and not very good at enforcing edicts to boot, even for someone at their skill level. As a result, this edict is weak, and it gets repealed in under a year. On the flip side, consider the healthcare edict. The current ruler is level 10, they have a talent for enforcing edicts, no faction in their empire opposes it, and it is backed by the most influential faction. This edict is very strong and persists for decades, if not centuries.
Ruler skills or traits aren't necessarily good for edict strength, however. If the ruler is part of a faction that disapproves of a certain ethic, then their skills or traits start to work against said edict. Nothing to worry about if the ruler is inexperienced and has less charisma than a mosquito, but if the ruler has been in the game for 2 centuries and can charm the world's most chaste nun into bed, then there's a problem. Edict strength can be seriously hurt or boosted based on the current ruler's allegiance.
In summary, edicts should not have set lifetimes or costs, but should instead live or die based on who wants it to do either.
What do you think of these suggestions?
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