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Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts

 
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Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 5:44:30 PM   
ScottenChi

 

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Don't want to complain, but I find the Mutual Defense Pact (MDP) to be a fairly useless game mechanism.

I normally do not use them, but in my current game I am surrounded by both friends and enemies and needed some help against the latter. I have found that MDP's draw you into wars you cannot get out of.

Example: I have a MDP with the insects. The monkeys declare war on the insects and I am forced to declare war on the monkeys. 2 years later: the monkeys and insects declare a true. But the monkeys will not accept peace from me! I have been draw into a war I did not initiate, and now I cannot stop it.

I have read several posts here that say "Do not join Mutual Defense Pacts".... so why do they exist? It seems to me that this game feature is not very effective, at least not for human-controlled empires. I would prefer a "full alliance" option that allows war and peace to apply to all members of the alliance.

Your thoughts?
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RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 5:53:43 PM   
lando005

 

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Agreed the political system in this game needs some improvement. I had a situation arise where war broke out between myself and one of my neighbors, we both had mutual defense pacts with another empire and yet when the fighting started our mutual ally sided against me. An alliance sounds like a great idea

(in reply to ScottenChi)
Post #: 2
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 5:54:57 PM   
mSterian

 

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That pretty weird actually.
Are you sure it wasn't a protectorate? Because I think protectorates work differently. Something like, the more powerful one protects the weaker one or something like that.

Anyway, I'm not that sure how mutual defense pacts work either.
I would have expected for the empires in a mutual defense pact to always be at peace/at war with the same factions all the time.
Of course, you can refuse to go to war along with an ally but that breaks the mutual defense pact and lowers your reputation.

Also, look at the bright side. For the duration you were in mutual defense with that empire you had +10% trade bonus with them. You also raised your reputation when you honored your pact with them.
But the weird thing is, how much lower is your relation with those monkey in comparison to your insectoid friends that they wanted to make piece but you can't?
It might be your own undoing that your relations with the monkeys is so low.
Also, you can just declare war but not initiate any offensives against the monkeys.

But maybe a matrix games employee can shed more light on this matter.

(in reply to ScottenChi)
Post #: 3
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 6:24:06 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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The MDP should not just require you to help your allies, but should also make it much more likely that they will help you in wars. You should be able to request them to declare war on anyone that is at war with you for a cost of zero.

Regards,

- Erik




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(in reply to mSterian)
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RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 7:30:18 PM   
mSterian

 

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So Erik, what you are saying, is that MDP doesn't help the player make peace with factions that are at peace with other MDP members. BUT.. it does help you to get MDP partners to declare war on your enemies.
Is that what you're saying?

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
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RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 8:27:04 PM   
Fenrisfil

 

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It's more of a mutual offensive pact!

The main problem is that these pacts benefit the weaker faction more and usually that is the AI and not the player. It *is* handy to be able to get the other factions support for 0 credits however and I believe you also automatically get military refuelling rights.

Perhaps the problem is that some players see this as a big "I'M BEING PEACEFUL" sign and that's not really their purpose. Like in real life, peaceful nations stay neutral while the nations that make mutual defensive pacts get busy with things like escalating an assassination of a minor noble to a world wide war causing 37 million people to die. That is how mutual defensive pacts work on Earth, so why should it be different in space?

Well, there is one major issues and that is that all peace treaties have to be negotiated individually. It would be preferable if something was in place so that when a faction tries to make peace any other faction with a MDP linked to either negotiating faction is automatically offered peace too.

Personally I use them sparingly. There is almost no point making pacts with factions on the other side of the galaxy and making them with especially weak nations (basically anyone who you can only offer protectorate status to, but can offer you a MDP) is never going to be a lot of use to you. So I restrict them to factions with comparable strength that are relatively nearby. It usually works out to no more than 10% of factions(so for my usual 30 faction game it's 3 MDPs at most, prior to the Shakturi turning up anyway). This way I usually only get dragged into wars which are worthwhile (i.e. either I can profit from taking their colonies or they already hate me anyway).

< Message edited by Fenrisfil -- 8/1/2013 8:29:07 PM >

(in reply to mSterian)
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RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 10:36:37 PM   
garfield666

 

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i know next to nothing about mdp, but i know that archduke ferdinand, heir to the austro-hungarian throne was quite a major noble

(in reply to Fenrisfil)
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RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/1/2013 10:53:25 PM   
ScottenChi

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

The MDP should not just require you to help your allies, but should also make it much more likely that they will help you in wars. You should be able to request them to declare war on anyone that is at war with you for a cost of zero.


Oh, I think you are correct - zero cost Declaration of War. I think that after the monkeys and insects made peace, I immediately went into the diplomacy screen and the value was greater than zero. But now I open up my save I find I can request my allies go back to war with the monkeys.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 8
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/2/2013 2:05:52 AM   
ASHBERY76


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The funniest bit about MDP is your allies getting peace treaty with your enemies 5 mins after the great alliance wars start.I would also advise never pay the A.I to go to war with anybody as they are not obliged to do anything but get peace the next day and laugh at getting 100,000for nothing.

(in reply to ScottenChi)
Post #: 9
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/2/2013 2:42:06 AM   
Icemania


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I currently avoid MDP's entirely and agree the MDP mechanic could be improved.

Ashbery, perhaps there should be a minimum period before peace can be declared in such cases e.g. a year or two perhaps.

Fenrisil, I like your idea about mutual peace declarations i.e. when a faction in an MDP declares peace, other factions are also offered peace also. Ideally peace should be a group (i.e. all factions within the MDP) decision.

Another suggestion others have made previously is that perhaps the best available technologies can only be traded when an MDP is in place. Outside of an MDP trading is then limited to older technologies only.




< Message edited by Icemania -- 8/2/2013 2:43:01 AM >

(in reply to ASHBERY76)
Post #: 10
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/2/2013 4:57:31 AM   
flight2q

 

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Not sure about details on how MDP work in DW, because I avoid them since they are so poorly done in general. But.. the kind of things I typically see in other games and don't like are:

1. Faction initiating a war against pact holders does not seem to consider the strength of the pact.

2. Your ally declares war and insists you be involved. That's not a MDP.

3. The one you are both at war with offers peace to you; if you accept it angers your ally if your ally did not already make peace; no way to check the status before choosing.

4. Game values declaring war way too high compared to the usual level of involvement and risk.

5. Lack of softer methods, such as the ability to not declare war but still prioritize shipment of strategic resources to ally in a war. (I.e., if opponent does not like this, then must resort to an unrestricted warfare notice.)

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/2/2013 3:36:50 PM   
Plant


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MDP is a bit funny in that you don't have to help your ally, untill they ask you to declare war, and vice versa.
un
I don't particularily mind if they ask you to declare war and later make peace leaving you all alone. You made the choice to enter the war, though it is a bit funny that peace is made seperately, though it might feel a bit wierd if diplomacy was changed so making peace of one faction will end the war for all.

You also create a wierd situation if you have a MDP with both sides of the war.

That said, a MDP is fairly close to an Alliance. In real life, military alliances get made and dropped at a shocking rate. it's only in the last 60 years or so that there were some stable alliances.

(in reply to flight2q)
Post #: 12
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/2/2013 4:53:07 PM   
Shark7


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MDPs have their uses.

1. As Erik said all you need to do ask for no cost.

2. You can also convince allies to put trade sanctions on other empires, which works to your advantage in breaking potential MDPs between AI empires.

3. Empires with MDPs are more likely to trade tech, if you so desire.

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'When in doubt...attack!'

(in reply to Plant)
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RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/4/2013 3:53:40 PM   
Yarasala

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

The MDP should not just require you to help your allies, but should also make it much more likely that they will help you in wars. You should be able to request them to declare war on anyone that is at war with you for a cost of zero.

Regards,

- Erik




In my current game one of my mdp allies requested me to join in his war (against faction 1), and I was already at war with another faction (faction 2). I did so, but when I now look at my only other mdp ally there is no option to go to war against faction 2, only for zero credits against faction 1. Is there a reason for that?
This ally has no treaties with either faction and both are furious towards him.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 14
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/6/2013 5:37:37 PM   
lando005

 

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I also didnt realize that MDPs reveal all known space and empires of the other party to you. was a little confused right after I signed an agreement with an empire and the entire galaxy was suddenly explored. Kinda takes all the fun out of it. It becomes much harder to savor the moment and now my exploration ships seem kinda useless.

(in reply to Yarasala)
Post #: 15
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/6/2013 6:47:58 PM   
dostillevi

 

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My take on politics and war in DW is that it is much more of a grey area than what you see in most other strategy games. You can already attack and even destroy assets belonging to other empires without declaring war, and there is absolutely nothing that says you have to attack when you do declare war. I understand it to be more of a political statement about who is on what side of an issue rather than an overtly aggressive move with the intention of invasion and conquering. With a large number of races in the game I see huge mutual defense pact groups form, but with a few members who hate each other and eventually declare war, thus forcing everyone in the MDP to pick a side among friends. Eventually I expect this repeated side picking to settle down into established allies and enemies that might be different than what you would expect based on racial biases alone, and eventually it should lead to more prolonged violence and larger scale war.

Consider real life. Many countries are constantly on the verge of war and go through periods where they fight and where they declare cease fires, often with very little loss on either side. This is mirrored in many ancient tribal societies that were constantly "at war" but rarely killed each other. DW does, in my opinion, a decent job of managing realistic interactions regarding war.. you just have to change your expectations away from the deterministic politics that most games use.

A little out of left field for this conversation, it might be helpful if the game was able to determine key assets belonging to each race.. I find that my mining facilities in other race's territories are worth a huge sum if I trade them away, but they are typically nearly worthless to me in a practical sense. However I undoubtedly do have a few facilities that mine rare resources that are critical to my empire, and it would make sense for feuds to erupt over rights to such scarce resource planets.

(in reply to lando005)
Post #: 16
RE: Disappointed with Mutual Defense Pacts - 8/17/2013 11:05:24 PM   
lando005

 

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Is there a way to tweek MDPs so that if I agree to wone that doesn't automatically introduce me to all known empires and systems?

(in reply to dostillevi)
Post #: 17
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