Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Diplomacy - How it could work
02-26-2010, 10:18 AM
Here's my idea for a diplomacy system:

In Star Trek, diplomacy with different species is highly dependent on the species' racial traits. For instance, you don't approach a Klingon speaking words of peace, even if peace is your goal; you don't tell a Vulcan to do what his gut tells him; you don't compliment a Tellarite, etc.

The best way to keep players from always choosing diplomacy is to make it as difficult, or more difficult to maneuver, as it should be. Each species at the entry levels will have two easy to distinguish traits from a list of five. Their dialog will alternate between these two traits. LtC would have three, Com four, and Cap five, etc. Selecting the correct response type will put you in the next tier of diplomacy. Selecting the wrong one, however, will drop you down a level, until you've once again reached the first. Dropping from the first level of Diplomacy initiates combat. Combat can be initiated at any level by selecting "Raise shields and arm weapons."

Diplomacy, just like combat, should require "kits." Higher levels will have more traits to choose from. Gaining access to these traits would mean collecting and equipping the correct kit. Kits could not swapped out during diplomacy. Instead, diplomacy would have to be halted and start over each time a kit is swapped out.

Bridge Officers could play an important role in diplomacy as well. If a player is uncertain how to respond to the dialog they've been sent, they could turn to a Bridge Officer that has the trait "Counselor" or "Diplomat" for advice. There would be a limited number of times the Bridge Officer can assist.

Suggested Traits:
Argumentative
Aggressive
Conciliatory
Diplomatic
Financial
Logical
Insulting
Passive-Aggressive
Threatening
War-like

To incorporate the system into exploration, simply come up with 20 generic dialogs for each trait, and randomize them while generating random traits for each new civilization.

Here is a short example of a diplomatic mission:

Commander, we're being hailed by a Klingon Warbird.

Onscreen.
Raise Shields and Charge Weapons. (Enter Combat)

I am Commander Korig of the Klingon Warbird Quv'vegh. This planet has been claimed by the Klingon Empire. I order you to withdraw before I turn your crew into Targ meat.

Argumentative - This planet has been in Federation Space for generations. Your people have no right to claim it.
Conciliatory - We'll be happy to withdraw from your space, but we need something from the planet first. Can we work something out?
Diplomatic - Neither of us wants a fight, Korig. Why don't we just sit down and talk this out?
Insulting - You mate with Targs!
Threatening - Raise Shields and Charge Weapons! (Bluff)
War-like - I look forward to the glory I will receive facing you in battle!
Raise Shields and Charge Weapons. (Enter Combat)

You're bluffing, PetaQ! Your Starfleet garbage scow couldn't clean the outside of my hull!

Argumentative - Your records are in err! Starfleet doesn't haul garbage!
Conciliatory - I admit my ship isn't as tidy as it could be, but we're getting off subject.
Diplomatic - I suspect there's a reason you haven't fired on my ship, yet.
Insulting - (End Communication.)
Threatening - After I drop your shields, I'm going to beam your ship full of tribbles and leave you there.
War-like - Insulting me only exposes your fear! A true warrior would have fired on me by now!
Raise Shields and Charge Weapons (Enter Combat)

Commander, the Quv'vegh is hailing again.
Onscreen.
Raise Shields and Charge Weapons. (Enter Combat)

You insult my honor, and expect to live to tell tales of it? Today is a good day to die!

Argumentative - Tomorrow will have far better conditions for death.
Conciliatory - It may be a fine day to die, but I'd really rather not.
Diplomatic - You can hardly face the Undine I've detected on the surface alone. We should fight them together.
Insulting - You have no honor for me to insult!
Threatening - I will destroy the Undine on the surface by barraging them with pieces of your ship!
War-like - If your honor is lost, regain it by fighting a worthy opponent at my side! There are Undine on the surface. We will wipe them out together!
Raise Shields and Charge Weapons. (Enter Combat.)

Bridge Officer Assist
Captain, you don't want to appear too weak, but you don't want to insult him again, either. I recommend appealing to his Warrior nature.

War-like - If your honor is lost, regain it by fighting a worthy opponent at my side! There are Undine on the surface. We will wipe them out together!

Very well! We will fight the Undine together, and if you prove yourself a worthy ally, I may just let you live!

Beam to Surface.

A simple, elegant diplomatic system like this would add dimension to the universe, without taking away from those who just want a Star Trek combat simulator.

*note* Not all situations would call for a Diplomatic solution. The Federation is at war with the Klingons. However, this does not mean that there would never be negotiations before combat with Klingons, nor would it be compulsory. Diplomacy would be inserted in a case-by-case basis, primarily targeting Exploration missions.

***UPDATE ON TEAMING!!!
Teaming, rather than round-robin or a simple vote, would work by increasing the number of potential correct responses beyond that available in a single kit at the player's current level. Each player would need to have their own kit equipped with the proper response choices. When a challenge came up, the players would need to counsel together to determine who had the appropriate response package equipped. That player would need to choose the response in order to move up the ladder, at which point the cycle starts over again.

Whaddya say Cryptic? The system is yours, free. Just give me a nod in game somewhere.

Please sign if you want a system like this!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-26-2010, 10:26 AM
Brilliant. I love it. Cryptic I hope you hear this. Most missions should have this, but make it hard so that we have to pew pew most of the time, but for the times we get it right, we should be rewarded with a different mission set up (his example was perfect, instead of pew pew'ing the klinks then fighting the Undine alone, like we always do, having the klinks as back up for a successful diplomatic encounter would be great).

This plus exploration and I am going to play this game for a long time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-26-2010, 10:28 AM
I like it too. And since Cryptic surprised the hell out of me by listening to people in regards to DP and other issues, I'm going to support their implementing some sort of system like this.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-26-2010, 10:39 AM
I like it. Gives the pew-pew-kill-everything captains the option to just kill them and gives me the option to make witty comebacks and mess with the enemies before dealing or fighting. Could even possibly have an added benefit of a "Psych-out" debuff where the enemy captain is more afraid of you or makes brash decisions, like popping CDs at the wrong time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-26-2010, 10:44 AM
OP's suggestions reminds me of how negotations took place in the old Starflight PC Games (which is what exploration should be as well), where you had varried stances from Friendly, to "sucking up", to Aggressive.

And part of the diplomatic moments can use a faction-system like Everquest had, where you go from hostile to being best friends.

Of course, there needs to be a negative system where if your working with the opposite faction, shooting their ships or people, would end up acting as negative points.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-26-2010, 10:46 AM
This is basically the Bioware conversation system used in the old republic I & II and mass effect I & II. It's simple and does a lot to add "flavor" to the game. I'm sure they are going to use that system in TOR as well.

I don't care if people cry "Cheaters! They're copying bioware!"

The first "diplomacy mission" was a joke. You were given different converstation "trees" but they ALL led to pew pew.

I'd love to see a diplomacy skill, a bluff skill, etc. with hard numbers that you increase over time. The better you are at diplomacy, the better you are at talking your way out of the fight. The mission objectives shouldn't just be "destroy all enemy patrols". We should have the option to TALK in certain cases and be REWARED for it. Sure, Kirk loved to blow up stuff, but he DID do dimplomacy from time to time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-26-2010, 10:47 AM
Good ideas, OP. I like it. Anything to make it feel less "canned" is okay by me.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-26-2010, 10:52 AM
Another very interesting diplomacy system, thanks to the OP.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-26-2010, 10:55 AM
If this system were implemented, what Traits would you like to see?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-26-2010, 10:58 AM
Not too shabby at all. I like it! THUMBS UP for a great idea.
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