Looting Mechanic

stellaris 5 - Looting Mechanic

So I was looking through this sub and saw several posts about the economic catastrophe that conquering planets on high difficulties is. Even on normal difficulty the economic disruption caused by trying to integrate newly acquired planets is immense.

The basic reason is quite simple, you have the same or almost the same level of production as you did prewar only now you have to stretch it to cover the newly acquired territories. These territories are always resource drains due to the recently conquered and other resource production penalties that inevitably make it impossible for them to be self-sufficient let alone contribute to the glory of their new overlords. So unless you have a lot of spare production of almost every resource this is going to tank your economy.

NOTE: I am talking about regular empires here, no purge antics like shoving 1000 pops onto Work Camp/Battery Planet.

To solve this problem of conquest not really being worth the hit to your economy I thought, "Why not make a Looting Mechanic" This is historically how a lot of conquering empires paid for their conquests, by plundering the built up wealth of the new lands they conquered in order to pay for these lands' integration until they could become productive and contribute.

My basic outline for how this would work is as follows:

  • Each planet has a built up stockpile of resources equivalent to one year's production of all resources as of the last monthly tick.
    • For example let's say a planet produces 50 food a month the total amount of food that can be looted then would be 600. If the next month the production increased to 60 then the stockpile would correspondingly increase to 720 food.
    • Additionally resource silos increase this stockpile by the equivalent of one year's production per silo, so now it's a more interesting decision as building a resource silo on a border world( or any world for that matter) would be making it a more valuable raiding target.
    • This stockpile is drained upon you occupying the planet and the exact amount you get is dependent upon empire type, see below.
    • The stockpile rebuilds itself over time starting from when the planet is no longer occupied. This process will take somewhere between 5-15 years.
  • Different ethics and different empires would loot differently and have varying bonuses and maluses to the amounts of resources they can loot
    • Looting Policy types (names are not overly important and numbers are not hard suggestions)
  1. Loot, Pillage, Burn: The planet is ravaged, and everything that is valuable is taken and recovery will take generations. Resources Looted +100% (this gives double the stated resource stockpile Ex. 200 alloys instead of the listed 100 alloys), Collateral Damage and Pop Damage are extreme, Devastation +75%, the planet suffers a massive 80% production penalty to all jobs for 15 years.
  2. Wide Scale Plundering: We will take what we desire, the weak suffer what they must. Resources Looted +50%, Collateral Damage and Pop Damage are extensive, Devastation +60%, the planet suffers a substantial 50% production penalty to all jobs for 10 years.
  3. Resource Requisitioning: In order to continue prosecution of the current conflict, certain steps must be taken to acquire additional resources. No bonuses to Resources Looted. Collateral Damage and Pop Damage are nominal, Devastation +40% the planet suffers a +30% production penalty to all jobs for 5 years.
  4. Looting Discouraged: We must win the hearts and minds of our enemies if we are to have lasting peace, even if they have lots of really shiny things just lying about… Resources Looted -25%. Token collateral and pop damage. Devastation +10% the planet suffers a +10% production penalty to all jobs for 5 years.

The goal of this suggestion is to give a means to offset the economic cost of conquest with the new economic system 2.2 brought. Especially since conquest at this time has almost no near or medium term economic benefits, only long term once the planets have been reorganized and the happiness penalty from recently conquered goes away. I also think it would give a lot more interesting choices to players about how they conquer enemy planets.

Do we want to milk the cow or butcher it so to speak i.e. if you want to conquer a neighboring empires planet it is probably best not to plunder it if you want it productive. Or alternatively if you just want a single planet for a chokepoint system it might be worthwhile to also plunder the enemy's planets while he learns the error of his ways.

This is just an idea I've been thinking about for a while so let me know what you think, if you have your own ideas or think I'm a raving lunatic please share and comment.

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