This is a plea for our new Director, Dan, to make 2019 the year dedicated to FIXING DIPLOMACY!!! We all love this game, but we also all hate the diplomacy that is so embarrassing that even Civ 4 and 5 had better diplomacy…. Anyway, it's one step at a time, so I'm going to start off with Empires and Vassal Changes! Let me know what you think.
Fix vassals. Give vassals a bit of a stake within an empire. Give us options when creating our empire. Give our empire a bit of flavor. Is it a stable empire? Is it a slaver empire? Is it a protection racket? None of this exists currently, but well should. Here are my fixes.
- Give us a better subject screen with all of our subjects listed. When selected, several options appear similar to the choices we have to each type of citizen in our empire. The choices could vary so feel free to use your imagination here when creating your own ideas. Here's my list:
- Control the amount of income received through tributes. It could be zero, it could be higher. But give us a few options here, please. Each option could indicate the respect and status of that vassal. Vassals with zero taxes could be seen as true loyal contributors to the empire, while states who pay immense sums could be seen as less respected. So instead of a flat tax for all, let us say 0, 10%, 25%, 40%, 50% etc. Anything above 50% and the vassal becomes a "slave vassal" which gives other nations a war claim of "liberation!" on you, among other effects.
- Let the emperor determine each vassal's fleet allowances. So right now each nation has their own fleet limit, but just like in the modern world, we see "protectorates" like the USA determine how much military a nation is allowed to build. This seems fairly logical to me. If I have an untrustworthy vassal, I might deem it "illegal" for them to surpass a certain unit threshold.
- Lets throw in the option for the emperor to grant his vassal the right to declare their own wars. Granting a vassal this right will reduce their liberty desire, and make them feel like an important part of the empire. It would make it fun to become a vassal as a player, as it gives the player another road to explore aside from "breaking away." Maybe your best bet is to work alongside your emperor instead of against him? FOR THE EMPIRE!
- Let Vassals have their own agendas. So as the emperor it'd work like this. Popup appears: "Vassal Desires." You open it. The squid guy you hate says "FREEDOM!! NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!" You laugh and ignore it. The Bat race says "more land" you grin and say "Now that I can do…" and bam, you cause a war on their behalf, and give them the land they wanted. Now they love you a LOT more for doing that. Meanwhile the Squid guys hate you for… Once again… Ignoring them.
- Let the vassals have varying opinions on the empire. Strip out the dumb system of "Hey our force projection is higher than yours. This ruins our reputation with you! Grr!" Toss all of that. Replace it with a loyalty factor. So instead of "all fleet power of vassals combined vs yours" make it "all disloyal fleet power vs yours and loyal vassals combined" Additionally make it far more punishing to be in the negative. Like as soon as they see the opportunity, all the disloyal factions will rise up almost immediately against you. This could even be during wars, when it bites you the hardest…. Make it like this and I promise nobody will be screaming "vassals are OP!" Wannabe emperors will find out the hard way how hard it can be to "please everyone" equally.
- Let's make it interesting. Let's give the Empire an "Empire Stability" function. Stability could be influenced by basic respect/loyalty/liberty desire of your assets/vassals/slaves etc.
- Let's make vassals have relations with each other… This is historically accurate. Look at China and all the vassal wars they had. Look at the HRE. Look at… Tons of examples. Vassals don't always like each other. Why should they? What happens if you vassalize two rival factions? They wouldn't stop hating one another. Stability gets too low and suddenly bad things happen. On the flip side, if vassals like each other too much, and are both ambitious in their desire for liberty, that could also be bad for you.
- Let us decide how we treat their citizens. Not all Vassals are subjugated failed empires who we spit on. In many cases, both in the game and historically, you see vassals who willingly cooperate with their emperor. In some cases, even consider themselves as equal contributors to the empire. So for simplicity let's keep it real simple: Tributary -> protectorate -> vassal -> citizen of the empire. When a subject of the empire reaches "citizen" status, they SHARE the end game victory with their parent nation. This allows a vassal to benefit from working cooperatively with their parent, and incentivizes a parent to treat them properly.
Finally… Change the war score system for vassals. It's ridiculous that I can't meet my war goals because one of my subjects had a claim on a system and technically "I don't control it so ha ha sucks to be you." Extremely annoying. This needs to be fixed probably above all else, and should frankly be a hot patch instead of a DLC.
The director is dead. Long live the director! Long live Dan!
© Post "Fixing Empires and Vassals. Also RIP Wiz. Good Luck on Vicky 3." for game Stellaris.
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