Since releasing the version 1.2 update for Sins: Trinity/Diplomacy, a lot of work has gone into a substantial redesign of its gameplay. When we first released Trinity last year, we’d overhauled the diplomatic and relationship systems in the hopes of giving players the ability to be a virtual puppetmaster that would make Machiavelli proud. Unfortunately, we fell short of that design goal, and while a number of good improvements did pan out, the diplomatic aspects ended up feeling pretty lackluster.
While diving deep into a redesign of Trinity’s additions, it became apparent that a number of areas needed to be rethought including: pacts being too mundane or exclusionary to some races, the AI not factoring relations into decisions better, basic envoy abilities that were not useful, and a mission system that the AI couldn’t cope with. In this three part journal series, I’m going to go over some of the major changes that will be included in the upcoming version 1.3 update.
At the core of Trinity’s diplomatic system is its relationship factors, a series of categories that let you know what affect your actions have on the galaxy and what other players think of you. This system works quite well, but can be subject to wild swings that make no sense: players may be well liked one moment by another faction, only to be hated the next. Similarly, it can be difficult to gain enough relationship with another faction to access any of the pact bonuses.
To improve the relations system, we took a harder look at each factor and what was included as part of its value. For starters, Racial Inclination (which indicates how much each faction likes one another at the start of a game) has been made a bit broader - even between factions of the same race. Additionally, Military Actions are now updated constantly and based more on what a player is destroying (i.e., frigate vs capital ship vs planet). In fact, destroying a player’s enemies is now a sure way to make them like you. Diplomatic Actions has been changed substantially too, so that it will now look at a player’s entire web of relationships. In game terms, this means that each player will look at who your friends and enemies are, and weigh that information accordingly, which should lead to some good rivalries.
In the next journal article, I’ll go over the changes to the Mission system that Sins uses and how the AI will look at missions differently.