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View Full Version : Are there any multi-player strat games which allow for interesting diplomacy?



riadsala
19-11-2011, 11:53 AM
Thread title sums it up. I'm thinking of games like Dominions3, Sword of the Stars, Neptunes Pride, etc. Games that work well multi-player and require player interaction beyond just attacking everybody.

The one area (IMO) all the above games falls short is diplomacy. Although you can create alliances in the game, at the end of the day, there can only be one winner, so they all encourage a backstabbing mentality. Which is fine for something like Solium Infernum, it fits the theme perfectly. But for some of the other games, I wish they would allow for non-zero sum trading and alliances, so we get richer dynamics.

Thoughts?

Fumarole
19-11-2011, 05:14 PM
The Diplomacy expansion for Sins of a Solar Empire introduces some interesting elements. I've only played it singleplayer but it certainly presents more options for players to pursue victory.

riadsala
19-11-2011, 05:30 PM
The Diplomacy expansion for Sins of a Solar Empire introduces some interesting elements. I've only played it singleplayer but it certainly presents more options for players to pursue victory.

I'm a big fan of Sins, and think that Diplomacy is a great, and underrated expansion to the game. But, it's not quite what I was referring to in my post.

I guess the type of thing I'm thinking about would require a game which placed the emphasive on the rank ordering of players at the end of the game, rather than just one winner... but you'd need to somehow persuade players to adpot a similar mindset. Does that make sense?

Am trying to think of a few historical examples, but sadly my history isn't great. But here goes:

Imagine if the cold war had gone the same way as most multiplayer strategy games (in terms of diplomacy). Towards the end, when it was obvious that the US were winning, you would of seen NATO fall apart and everybody declare war on the US in order to deny them a cultural victory.

Heliocentric
19-11-2011, 07:34 PM
SotS with the progression wars scenario,you are just coming through. In 80 turns you are away again, taking best path means knowing when to kill and when to make peace.

Kelron
19-11-2011, 09:10 PM
I struggle to see how this would work except as a more persistent game like an MMO. If you're playing competitive strategy game, you're playing to win, and you have nothing to lose by going all out for the win. SI sees some jockeying for 2nd place, but I think it's hard to encourage players that their rank matters beyond winning or losing.

Where you do encounter this kind of diplomacy is in MMOs like EVE. No one can win the game, and people have goals beyond immediate dominance over everyone else. Lots of people operate under a kind of feudal system - a major alliance with the resources to conquer large regions of space will allow smaller alliances to occupy the less profitable areas in exchange for tribute and mutual military assistance.

R-F
19-11-2011, 09:11 PM
Europa Universalis 3 / Victoria 2 / Hearts of Iron 3 are ALL this.

QuantaCat
19-11-2011, 09:33 PM
Europa Universalis 3 / Victoria 2 / Hearts of Iron 3 are ALL this.

I agree for EU3. The key here is that time is endless, or sortof atleast. So whatever you do, you always have to think of the consequences, and there never is "just one enemy" to beat or just one step to take. The world is too large for there to never be any obstacles if you go for military conquest.

Take my game where I played Japan, for example. My goal was it to conquer china and the immediate area, which I did, quite succesfully. Then the mongols mounted an attack force and took most of what I had recently taken back, because I was constantly warring, and never building up.

Kelron
19-11-2011, 09:35 PM
The Paradox games slipped my mind, I've never played any of them multiplayer. How many people do they support for a game?

Cooper
19-11-2011, 09:44 PM
Defcon in diplomacy mode...

riadsala
20-11-2011, 01:03 PM
The Paradox games slipped my mind, I've never played any of them multiplayer. How many people do they support for a game?

I didn't even know you could play EU3 multiplayer. If so, I'm even more tempted to buy it . (then play a few SP games, before trying to set up a RPS game :) )



I struggle to see how this would work except as a more persistent game like an MMO. If you're playing competitive strategy game, you're playing to win, and you have nothing to lose by going all out for the win. SI sees some jockeying for 2nd place, but I think it's hard to encourage players that their rank matters beyond winning or losing.

Well, it would require some careful game design and interesting mechanics, but I think it would be possible... there are plenty of mechanics that could be borrowed from "eurogame" boardgames that do similar things.

You'd need a situation in which it isn't clear who has won until the end of the game (to discourage the Risk-style "everybody attacks the player who's currently winning" sitatuion)

Also, non-zero sum trading, so there is an advantage of being in an alliance (an advantage beyond simply not being at war with everybody).

But you'd need to retain some way of making risky wars, changing sides, etc worth doing. Otherwise you'd the game would be a bit dull.

QuantaCat
20-11-2011, 08:33 PM
Yes. It works as an MP game. I even have a personal copy and a LAN copy for me on steam. Fun times!