A major component of this idea is the premise that reputation value can be made more important throughout the game (or less, depending on how institutionalization is progressing) to distant empires. As opposed to immediate neighbours. (who'm generally always should be more or less concerned with your reputation as a neighbour...)
I would like to see the optional development of galactic institutions
Think of it as a founding of the UN, the prelude and the aftermath.
1- Galactic Sovereignty: All races are out for themselves
This is the intitial stage at the beginning of exploration.
It is a state of political realism; there are no rules in galactic politics except those agreed upon.... for as long as you trust the other to keep his word.
Reputation is local and hardly relevant to anyone except immediate neighbours.
2- Galactic Council: In the face of conflict between sovereign empires there is need for Diplomacy (at least for the peacefuller races) (Meeting of Nations with nonbinding votes (unenforced ordinances))
Political realism, treachery and backstabbing are dangerous and unreliable tools. The more peaceful races realise this and seek to provide a Galactic forum.
A place where diplomacy can be conducted, where reputation matters. (since everyone knows eachother and .... gossips...)
Reputation becomes a concern at this stage; though not a very pressing one.
3- Galactic Institution: In order to arbitrate conflicts neutrally an institution is created which serves as the forum of galactic diplomacy. (Council of Nations with binding votes) (enforced ordinances, e.a. if you disobay a council law you are thrown out; trade with council races reduces; war's against you can be declared easily)
The Galactic forum has been given teeth and a rod to smash unruly children with!
The more aggresive members grumble but dare not withdraw because of the great benefits membership offers; the great risks upsetting this community and institution brings.
Reputation is very, very important in this stage.
If only they could find common ground amongst each other against this institutional behemoth......
4-Galactic (Political) Union : Economies & Politics have become so interwoven that war has become unthinkable. The only way forth is unity. But who will lead this body of nations? --> Diplomatic Victory for election winner.
The final voices of opposition have fallen silent and a new political reality has dawned.
Who will be found worthy of the honour of leading this galactic government??
Reputation is very, very, very important in this stage.
Revolting seems far fetched but is not entirely within the realm of fantasy yet; unless a (really) strong leader is elected ofcourse
This allows the Galactic Diplomatic setting to grow; the New institution can be created and destroyed only to be reborn again.
Aggressive races will despise it, but will they be able to resist it?
It is the brainchild of more peacefull (civilized?) and diplomatic races..
Such a body would also be uniquely qualified to serve as a rallying banner against an extra-galactic invasion
Ofcourse in some games there might be no such body to rally under.....
What will become of the galaxy then, I wonder....
Addendum 1 - Territorial Disputes (Cyprus Style ):
Colonization in claimed systems is a political faux pas in DW and rightly so.
There are many strategies for resolving these issues but the more interesting and perhaps realistic is the possibility of creation an independent "buffer" state to govern the contested territory. (with strong links to both claimants)
This is thus a possibility for the intergalactic diplomacy enhancement proposed in this topic. An intervention by the Galactic Council (whatever it would be called) to maintain the peace and find an agreeable solution. (Give to A, Give to B, make independent, Become protected Council territory?)
This would open up an entirely new strategical approach.
-Will you play the peacefull liberal dove that aims for socio-economic dominance?
-Will you play the machiavellian prince of terror (sociopath!!) that shrewdly manipulates his opponents?
-Will you play the hawkish militairy genius that conquers his opponents through clever use of force & Diplomacy?
Ofcourse nations would also have the option to undermine the Galactic peacekeeping body thusly.
Historical precedent is the annexation of Austria, the intimidation-dismanteling and semi-annexation of Czecho Slovakia. The Cyprus conflict between Greece & Turkey.
Also: The vassal State of Transylvania between Hungary & the Ottoman Empire.
Modern example is the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina between Bosnia & Serbia
Many others probably
Addendum 2-Casus Belli & Just war
This part is mostly aimed at stages 2 and beyond and presumes the existence of an instellar forum or community of some sort.
Having developed relations with races in the galaxy reputation has become more important.
This means that war is not an activity that can be waged on a whim or because of a perceived slight anymore without hurting reputation.
This is the advent the Casus Belli & Just war doctrine.
When does not harm reputation?
- Formal Declaration of War because of the nessecity of expansion / resources (a refusal to share by someone for example)
- Self defense
- Appropriate use of force (sparing civilians; don't enter into total war)
- Using diplomacy first and force second
- Diplomatic Subjugation
What harms reputation?
- Surprise Attacks
- Total War
- Harming Civilians
These mechanics are already present in DW though not very "prominently".
The interstellar community would be a great way of pointing out to the player & confronting him with his "anti-social" behavior.
PS: Some of you may notice it is influenced by the development of the European Union / United Nations; though it is also rooted heavily in political science. (which aptly uses "game" theory to model these things) (game theory: e.a. I help you, you help me, we build trust. Or I help, you deceive & hurt me, I learn not to trust you etc....)
Any thoughts or comments???
< Message edited by Bartje -- 5/11/2010 8:00:29 PM >