Stellaris

Gestalt Consciousness and Factions (Moods and Subroutines)(Medium Length)

stellaris 7 - Gestalt Consciousness and Factions (Moods and Subroutines)(Medium Length)
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So, I can't take much credit for this idea, as I saw it recently on the PDX forums – however I don't recall seeing it discussed much, so I thought I'd develop a bit.

So, the idea is that this design would allow factions to be incorporated into the Hive Minds and Machine Intelligence as a mechanic players had to manage. My design uses this to not only bring them in, but provide some unique alterations to differentiate them.


Hive Mind 'Moods'

For biological Hive mind, the idea is that factions represent various moods ore desires of the collective, and while it acts with a singular will, these moods push and pull on its actions.

For me, there are five moods:

  • Hunger – Has agendas concerning resource production/storage, habitability, planet variety, overcrowding, and amenities
  • Isolation – has agendas regarding non-aggression, peace, first contact, federations,
  • Fear – Has agendas regarding warfare, leviathans, army size, fleet capacity, bombardment, leader lifespan, purging
  • Ignorance – has agendas about research agreements, secret knowledge, complex drone percentage, leaders, deviancy
  • Pride – Has agendas regarding subjugation, rivalries, empire size, genocide, population traits, and bio-engineering

Each mood corresponds to some basic survival instinct or emotional desire an individual might have. As a hive mind, these factions would appear at the beginning of the game, and develop new agendas as the hive mind expands (either by pop growth, empire sprawl, or fleet power).

Unlike normal factions, there moods are not linked directly to pops – so Gestalts still enjoy the benefits of not worrying about pop happiness or political power. Instead, Moods are a bit more temperamental to keep elevated, and provide influence based on their satisfaction. Depending on your hive minds governing civics, traditions, ascension perks, empire species traits, and diplomatic relations, some moods may dictate a larger share of influence than others. Also, I'd recommend changing the name Influence to 'Willpower' for Hive Minds, to better reflect this linkage.

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Finally, in addition to influence gain, I might also recommend that Hive Minds gain bonus Unity from high mood fulfillment (in lieu of standard faction happiness gains).

Overall, this gives Hive Mind Empire players some aspect to manage that can shift their role playing decisions – in this case, your moods are now representative more of your biology, and of the current events and development choices.

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Machine Intelligence "Subroutines"

For Machine Intelligence, factions are now refolded into 'Subroutines', which represent semi-autonomous software algorithms within the Intelligence that shape the Intelligence's actions and goals. While the MI can act unilaterally through its units, these subroutines serve as the MI's means of self-assessment, and parallel thinking apparatus that help it consider probably courses of actions.

Also, for simplicity, there are five subroutines

  • Logic Processing – has agendas regarding research agreements, secret knowledge, first contact, observaton
  • Risk Assessment – has agendas regarding fleet power, leviathans, bombardment, purging, warfare
  • Continuity Mapping – has agendas regarding resource production/storage, peace, strategic resources
  • Sentience Evaluation – has agendas regarding rivalries, federations, leaders, Subjugation
  • Compatibility** (rogue servitors/driven assimilation ONLY) – has agendas regarding amenities, consumer goods, species diversification

Each subroutine is linked with the distributed software processes in all of the MI's pops. While MI Pops don't have happiness or ethics, this system leverages a pops assigned job or trait to determine the weight of one routine or another. For example, MI Empires that have a disproportionate number of calculators and/or pops with the logic engines trait will find that the Logic Processing Subroutine has a greater impact on influence gain than others. Also, some civics and traditions might impact these as well; so a MI Empire with Warbots civic and Prosperity Tradition will, at that time, gain more influence from Risk Assessment and Continuity Agendas, than from other subroutines – all else being equal.

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The result is that Machine Intelligence Empire Players need to consider carefully what traits their empires have, and preemtively adjust their empire development in order to maximize their influence gain. I might also recommend that in addition to influence gain, Subroutine fulfillment also come with a bonus/penalty to colony deviancy – representing the MI's ability minimize errant glitches. Finally, I'd say that iNfluence for MI's be relabled as 'Bandwith.

Anyways, that's my thoughts.

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