Dom2 - Idea: Racism makes real war more real

I was just toolin along on my bike and it occurred to me that in a game like Dom2, it’s easy to imagine an alliance going sour just because one of the partners decided that it would be all lol’s and gg’s to backstab an opponent. This is in stark contrast to reality.

Wouldn’t it be nifty to have a game with a built-in racism element? This is, of course, not a plug for racism. But imagine if Dom2 had some kind of counter that kept track of how friendly or aggressive you have been toward other nations. Attacking a friendly would cost you something metaphorically equivalent to losing the faith of your people–in fact, dominion itself would be a good candidate for this. I think this would suppress backstabbing-for-the-sake-of-it.

I got started thinking about this because I have yet to think of any Dom2 diplomacy more complicated than, “Say, how about peace between our nations for the next 10 turns?”

You open a big can of worms here. There are two very distinct schools of thought about dom2 diplomacy floating around. One school of thought believes the game is about free-for-all combat and the most diplomacy required should be vague peace treaties that neither side will respect. The other school of thought believes in complex diplomacies and honoring agreements, even disadvantageous ones, in order to facilitate complex diplomacies. The debates between both camps over which way is the “right” way to play dom2 tend to get a little heated.

Good points. I was only using Dom2 as an example–perhaps not a good one. I’m just wondering if some strategy game in the future might not want to use this technique to fashion a strategy game’s alliances into something more realistic.

EU and EU2 use a pretty good diplomatic system where your actions will affect other nations’ attitudes towards your nation, on a scale of -200 to +200. Piss off country A and thier attitude towards you will drop as will their allies’, but the attitude of their enemies will improve. It combines this with a ‘bad boy’ rating, where if you act in an unacceptable way, in terms of the times, everybody starts disliking you. It’s one of the best diplomatic models I’ve seen in a strategy game.

How about a multiplayer strategy game wherein the people making the decisions to ally, backstab, etc. are similarly scored as to their friend/enemy status? Humans won’t volunteer to score themselves as to their status with respect to their opponents if this means that they will suffer a penalty for breaking an alliance. It would have to be an involuntary system.