[tab=30]Today our humble offering covers some of the possible Diplomatic Actions and Trade Deals that can occur between Empires. As most of you may know, the basic diplomatic model used in our previous games work quite well and we will use something similar in Stellaris. All Empires will have opinions of all other known Empires, and different actions, events and internal politics will often affect that opinion. The ethics of each Empire will of course play a heavy role here, as pacifist Empires will react quite differently to aggressive wars than would a xenophobic militarist one.
[tab=30]In Stellaris trade between Empires is a very direct affair. Players can create two-way deals lasting a set amount of time, and our ambition is that most diplomatic actions should be available here as tradeable objects. For example, you can offer another Empire a monthly payment of Minerals in exchange for Military Access and updated Star Charts for a period of 5 years, or receive a vital supply of the rare Garanthium resource by offering a nonaggression treaty as well as a guarantee of independence should the other Empire feel threatened. If you want to simply gift or demand something you can leave one side of the trade-deal blank, and the AI will react accordingly.
[tab=30]However, these kinds of trade deals will only happen between equal Empires and as most rulers know, it is better to gain something without having to give up something else. This is where more static diplomatic relationships come into play.
[tab=30]A Tributary is forced to pay a set amount of their income to their Overlord each month and is most often established as the result of a lost war. The Overlord will not automatically defend them in wars, so the Tributary is caught in quite an unfortunate position until they have the military strength to either demand an end to their servitude or declare a war of independence.
[tab=30]A Protectorate is a subject protected by a (to them) technologically superior Empire. The Protectorate gains a major research-bonus to all technologies that their Overlord has already researched, and is automatically converted to a Vassal when having progressed far enough technologically.
Any pre-FTL species that is technologically enlightened is automatically created as a Protectorate under whichever Empire granted them the ability to space-travel. The Overlord in turn gains political Influence each month and the eternal gratitude of a bright-eyed new member of the galactic community.
[tab=30]A Vassal is the most controlled type of subject-Empire. They will automatically join their Overlord’s wars, aggressive and defensive, and they have no autonomy when it comes to foreign policy or diplomatic relations. A vassal also run the risk of a full diplomatic integration by their Overlord.
[tab=30]All types of subjects have a Liberty Desire expressing how content they are living under their Overlord’s rule. If a subject’s Liberty Desire becomes very high they have a chance to start a war for independence, often waiting for an opportunity when they sense weakness (a taxing war, a larger uprising, a galactic crisis etc.). The Liberty Desire is a compound of a few different parameters but the main ones are the subjects opinion of the Overlord, the total military strength of all the subjects relative to the Overlord as well as if the subject can find someone who supports their cause.
As you would expect from our other games you are able to support the independence of another Empire’s vassal. Doing this will greatly increase their Liberty Desire (assuming the supporter has a fleet rivaling their Overlord) and may cause them to rebel. If they do, the Empire supporting them automatically joins their war for independence. You are also able to guarantee the independence of a smaller Empire, automatically entering the war on their side should they be attacked.
[tab=30]We’ve also added another vital diplomatic action to ensure that we can realistically model the complicated diplomatic interactions going on between advanced nations; the insult. Make sure to clearly express your feelings towards your enemy by insulting them, instantly lowering the opinion between your Empires greatly.
[tab=30]That was all for this week. Next dev diary will be written by Doomdark, expanding further upon War & Peace.