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    Default New Information on Diplomacy

    They've just went live with a new video and blog post explaining some new details to the Diplomacy system.



    Diplomacy in Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – Part 1
    Brew up a bucket of tea and buckle in: this is the long read!

    Total War: THREE KINGDOMS isn’t just a new period for Total War. It represents a phase of evolution for a host of traditional features and systems that you’ll be familiar with from titles past. These include army composition and management, characters – who can now build relationships and form attitudes towards one another – buildings, technologies and much more.

    Diplomacy is a biggie, and marks the single most significant redesign of the system in Total War’s history. It’s the subject of our first THREE KINGDOMS campaign walkthrough video (which you can watch here), but we thought a wider-ranging explanation was in order as there’s loads going on under the hood – hence this blog.

    In brief, our aim is to enable the player to achieve a wider range of outcomes through diplomacy, via a system that offers more potential actions, a far more granular approach to deal-making, and a dash of intrigue thrown in for good measure. The result is something that enables you to execute more elaborate plans and become more of a puppet master than ever before.

    To support these new aims and features, we’ve essentially rewritten the diplomacy model and AI from scratch, in order to fully support – and exploit! – all the new tools available.

    Let’s start with the basics of diplomacy’s functionality and how they’ve changed.

    Diplomatic Attitude and Deal Evaluation
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Your diplomatic standing with another faction is still the key factor in determining whether they’ll deal with you, and defines which deals they’re willing to discuss. However, another faction’s attitude towards you is coloured by more than just your previous military and diplomatic form. AI Warlords also take into account any spy actions you’ve taken against them, your Warlord’s friendship or rivalry status with them, and how much of a strategic threat you pose. While AI factions in past games took note of your military strength, they now take into account how aggressive you are with your armies as well.

    So, your diplomatic standing defines which deals you’re able to offer an AI Warlord. You’ll unlock new types of deal as your faction rank rises, too. You begin the game as a mere noble, and will have to work through the ranks before you can make a claim to become Emperor, with each rank bringing new benefits such as advanced diplomacy options.

    When you propose a deal to an AI Warlord, he’ll consider what it’s going to cost you, and that cost can vary enormously depending on a host of factors. Diplomatic standing plays a big role of course, as well as your relative military strength. But a bunch of concepts new to Three Kingdoms play into the AI’s evaluation of a proposal’s cost.

    How much they actually respect and trust you plays an important role. Each AI Warlord can also identify a main threat to its existence. If you’re that main threat, certain deals will become easier, while others become harder. Likewise, if you and they share a common threat in the world, deals will be achieved on more affordable terms. Distance plays a part too; the further away a faction is geographically, the less relevant and valuable it becomes to an AI negotiator. He’ll also assess the diplomatic consequences of the deal you place before him. How will the rest of the world react to the deal? If a deal with you impacts his diplomatic standing with other factions, you can expect the cost to rise in line with the severity.

    Your Warlord now has a trustworthiness rating which can rise and fall in line with your behaviour, and this affects how much a Warlord respects you. Certain actions are viewed as treacherous – cancelling a ten-turn loan repayment for example, or breaking another major commitment. Some AI personalities openly oppose treacherous behaviour, and will feel duty-bound to declare war on you. And because interpersonal respect plays a part in diplomacy, a faction changing hands between one Warlord and another can be a major catalyst for change. Here’s an example…


    Scenario 1
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Han Governor Liu Biao forges strong diplomatic bonds with the Warlord Liu Bei. Their two factions trade, they lend each other funds from time to time, and trust builds between them.

    However, a great general under the tyrant Dong Zhuo, one that Liu Biao has met many times in battle and who is now one of his major rivals, becomes dissatisfied with his lot in life. He leaves Dong Zhuo’s service, and is subsequently hired by Liu Bei for his battlefield expertise.

    As time passes, the general fights side by side with Liu Bei, and the two form a powerful friendship. Liu Bei ultimately adopts the general as his son and heir. When Liu Bei passes away, the new heir steps up and assumes the mantle of Warlord, taking control of the faction. One of your major rivals is now in command of a faction with which you used to be close. Under his leadership, deals become more costly to achieve, and the diplomatic relationship begins to sour…


    The Negotiation Stage
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A key change for diplomacy is the introduction of more granular negotiation. Diplomatic dealings now take the form of haggling, and with more tradeable items, resources and pacts in your diplomatic armoury than ever before, you’re less reliant on pure cash deals.

    When you approach a Warlord and propose a deal, you’ll get a positive or negative evaluation figure, indicating how much cost he attaches to it. The idea is to balance the scales with different offers until you reach a positive figure of at least +1, which ensures he’ll sign. Here’s an example of how it can work in practice…


    Scenario 2
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Liu Biao approaches Cao Cao and proposes a trade deal. It turns out Cao Cao is very keen to sign the deal, indicated by a +8 figure in the diplomacy UI. As it only requires a minimum positive figure of +1 to seal a deal, this gives Liu Biao some positive-sentiment wiggle-room to play with. Maybe there’s more he can get in return…

    He browses Cao Cao’s list of owned Ancillaries, and spies a fine, fast horse. He proposes that Cao Cao throw in the horse as well, which subtracts 7 from the overall evaluation total, leaving it at +1. In short, Cao Cao places a high value on his stallion, but a trade deal with Liu Biao just outweighs it.

    Liu Biao makes the offer, and it’s accepted. Their factions are now trading to mutual benefit, and as a bonus, Liu Biao now has a fine new charger to ride into battle. Or maybe he’ll gift it to one of his generals in order to increase their satisfaction level…

    So, when you’re requesting a deal with an AI Warlord and their first response is a negative figure, this doesn’t mean they’re unwilling to do the deal – if it’s beyond their consideration, you’ll get a flat “No!”. A negative figure indicates that the Warlord perceives the offer to be valuable to you and wants you to make it worth their while, and they of course arrive at this figure according to the factors mentioned above.

    With such an offer on the table, a new button will appear marked Make This Work. This is a down-to-brass-tacks shortcut which tells you what the deal is worth to the other Warlord – thus giving you a baseline to work from in the negotiation.

    You might ask a Warlord for Military Access to his Commanderies, for example, which he places a very high value on. You make the request and it appears with a -12 value attached in the negotiation panel. You then click Make This Work – the value balances up to +1, and a demand for 4500 gold appears. This is the sum you’d need to pay him in order to sign a Military Access agreement. If that’s a bit rich for you, here’s where you begin the haggling process. By adding further offers, such as food, territory, payment by instalments or something else entirely, maybe you can drive down that lump sum to something manageable, or even do away with it altogether in lieu of an arrangement that’s less costly to you, but equally valuable to him.


    Vassal States
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Vassal mechanics have expanded significantly. The relationship between a Vassal State and its Lord is now multidimensional, offering many new benefits for both owning vassals and becoming one. There’s also a burden of responsibility, and a healthy dose of relationship management for a vassal lord to attend to.

    The core benefit for a vassal lord is that his vassals pay him a healthy percentage of their gross income each turn. In turn, he’s expected to protect them militarily. Therefore, if a faction declares war on a vassal, it also declares war on the vassal’s lord. And that protection is reciprocal: if you declare war on a vassal lord, its vassals will join the war against the aggressor. This makes military actions against a lord with multiple vassals a potentially very dangerous prospect.

    It also means becoming a vassal needn’t be a bad thing, and while it can be forced, it can also be a choice – you can actually offer to become a vassal for another faction. If you’re small, militarily weak and threatened by your neighbours, becoming a vassal for a larger power grants you those protections. You still function as a faction of course – vassalage is not a form of slavery – but with certain limitations in place. You’ll pay the tithe to your lord each turn, and if you wish to initiate a war against another faction, you’ll have to negotiate permission with your lord. If they agree, they will join you in that war. As a vassal, you can still engage in trade and general diplomacy with other factions, enhancing your empire in spite of your status.

    Moreover, being a vassal lord does not mean your vassals are subservient to you in all matters. Diplomatic standing is still important – if your standing with your vassal/s drops below a certain threshold, they’ll declare their independence, which puts you in a state of war with them. But a vassal can also approach its lord and negotiate for liberation; cutting a deal for their independence instead, a far more diplomatic solution to regaining solo status.

    A lord can choose to grant independence to their vassal which, as you might expect, brings a huge benefit to their diplomatic standing. Even better, granting your vassal independence, then inviting them to an alliance you’re part of – essentially liberating them, elevating them, and treating them as an equal – will please them beyond compare.

    At the other end of the spectrum, a lord can choose to annexe a vassal, at which point the vassal’s territory, armies and characters become wholly owned by the lord and part of his faction. This carries a penalty however – it’s a dishonourable thing to do, and will be seen by all other factions as a major act of treachery. Even more so if the lord has already pledged never to annexe that vassal as part of a prior negotiation!

    In a situation where a lord has multiple vassals and annexes one of them, the lord will suffer massive diplomatic standing penalties with all their other vassals. It’s wholly possible that some – or all – will declare immediate independence from, and enter a war against, their former lord. And who would blame them, fearing they might be next in line to face a hostile takeover from an honourless lord?

    The benefits to owning a stable and carefully managed network of vassals can be great. With the income they collectively generate for you, there’s less reliance on funds generated by your own infrastructure, perhaps freeing you to pursue your other civic goals.


    Diplomatic Actions
    Three Kingdoms offers a significant range of new diplomatic actions. Rather than overwhelm the player with a screenful, we’ve bound them into distinct categories: War and Peace, Trade and Marriage, Alliances, and Diplomatic Treaties.

    War and Peace
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    War and Peace does what it says on the tin: all formal declarations of war and peace reside here, including support actions, such as requests and offers of military support. And there are plenty of new options in the mix, not least those regarding vassals. These are broadly covered in the Vassals section above.

    You can now sabre-rattle a Warlord, by issuing a war ultimatum. It’s a useful tool for getting what you want, but should only be employed with due forethought. Threatening a faction that is twice as powerful as yours militarily, for example, is going to get you into hot water tout-suite. And unlike more civil negotiations, the other Warlord will keep his cards close to his chest. Threaten a faction with war, and the AI Warlord’s evaluation numbers will be hidden. Unlike other forms of negotiation, you have to make your best guess as to the outcome, blind to the true numbers. If they reject your demands, war it is.


    Trade and Marriage
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Alongside the usual cash requests and offers, you can now request regular payments, or offer regular payments in return for something. These are fixed-term deals that expire after 10 turns, and broaden your options considerably. How many times have you desperately needed a truce with another faction, but can’t persuade them without a wad of cash you just don’t have? Now you can pay them in instalments… assuming they trust you to stick to the agreement, of course. It also means you can lend money, with payments returned in instalments.

    Food, which is critical to public order and military supplies, is also now tradeable. And provided you have the storage infrastructure to cope, you can actually stockpile it. It’s a vital resource for all factions, and some factions have little or no farmland of their own – which of course implies new forms of leverage. Here’s another example…


    Scenario 3
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Ever the artful governor, Liu Biao has been negotiating food-trade deals with other Warlords, and developing grain storage building chains in each of his Commanderies in order to stockpile. He currently has 60 surplus food; public order is at an all-time high, and his patrolling armies are few but well-provisioned. But how to expand his army count? He needs a new revenue stream.

    He approaches the Warlord Yuan Shao, whose holdings have remained modest and profitable, but with no farms of his own, he struggles with food provision. Yuan Shao has approached Liu Biao several times before in order to secure food trades, and his northern Commandery is threatened by Dong Zhuo, who has been using his armies aggressively. Liu Biao spies his opportunity.

    He offers Yuan Shao 50 food in order to become his vassal. It’s a big ask of course, but with vassalage comes a pledge of military support – support which Yuan Shao sorely needs. He agrees to the deal, and becomes Liu Biao’s vassal.


    Trade agreements can also be arranged via the Trade and Marriage menu (of course!). Individual regions can also now be traded, which is one of the most effective ways of gaining long-term access to specific mined resources, agricultural lands, or towns. And you can now use Ancillaries as bargaining chips to swing deals, or as trade items in their own right. Many of these are practical – such as weapons, armour and mounts; some are merely ornamental but valuable, and some grant unique abilities or skills when given to a character. Some are legendary in nature – such as the unique weapons and armour of the legendary Warlords of the Three Kingdoms period.

    And yes, you can arrange marriages. When a marriage proposal is made, you can decide where the couple will reside – with your faction or with the spouse’s. This can be a useful way of acquiring a specific character for your faction, which can benefit you in a number of ways.

    And that’s all for now! We’ll be back soon with the second of our diplomacy videos, in which we’ll be focusing on alliances, coalitions and diplomatic treaties, along with another blog to elaborate on those features in detail.
    There seems to be major changes as well as some often desired old features.

    Second part is up:


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This is the second part of our close-up look at Diplomacy in Total War: Three Kingdoms, and like the first part, is accompanied by a video which you can watch here. In this one, we’re looking at how faction alliances work in the game, and how their functionality has expanded from previous titles.

    (If you didn’t catch the first video and blog, which deal with core Diplomacy functionality, you can enjoy them here and here.)

    So! Pop-history time. In the wake of the Han Dynasty’s steady collapse, the Three Kingdoms period was characterised by a series of shifting coalitions and alliances that formed, drifted, collapsed and reformed anew, as China’s warlords pursued their various agendas, and the country tacked the winds of change towards ultimate unification. This is something we deemed vital to reflect in Total War: Three Kingdoms’ gameplay, so we’ve made some pretty fundamental changes to the way alliances work, and moulded them into two distinct forms: Coalitions and Military Alliances. While they share many common features, they offer different levels of choice, control and commitment.

    So what do they have in common? Well, the main elements are increased diplomatic standing with other members, and decision by consensus. Any major action which affects the alliance – such as taking it as a whole to war with another alliance, or inviting another faction to join for example – requires a vote. You’ll see this represented onscreen as a yes/no prediction for how each member Warlord is likely to vote, and naturally a majority is always required for success.

    An important consequence of alliance voting is how it can affect the attitudes of voting members. If a Warlord proposes an action to his alliance, the result of the subsequent vote affects the attitudes of the voters in line with how they voted. If the outcome matches the way they voted, their attitude will improve towards the Warlord who proposed the action. If the vote doesn’t go their way, their attitude will fall. So, sometimes it’s worth lending your support to an initiative you’re not entirely comfortable with in order to keep your relations with other alliance-members strong.

    We’ve also approached alliances with the intention of making power-groups more easily identifiable and more elegant to achieve on a technical front. In previous games, joining an alliance required individual treaties between individual factions – so an alliance of 3 factions would require 3 individual treaties. Now when a faction joins a coalition or military alliance, either through application or invitation, they become part of the group and automatically become allied with each other. You can then group the diplomatic faction list by alliances, so you can easily see who’s in a coalition or military alliance with who. Plus, when alliances are formed, they are assigned a suitably lofty title, such as the ‘Sacrificial Tree Alliance’, or ‘Thundering Sky Coalition’.

    Alliances also affect how you use your armies. Armies are now dependent on military supplies to ensure factors such as morale and replenishment remain tip-top, and while being in friendly territory improves supplies, campaigning in enemy territory reduces them. Extrapolated to extremes, this means that striking deep into enemy territory for long periods will erode an army to uselessness over time. In short, the system places more realistic limits on an army’s effective range. Both coalitions and alliances enable you to increase this range, as a fellow-member’s territory is treated as friendly for the purposes of gathering military supplies. Coupled with the fact that you’ll gain campaign line-of-sight over alliance-member territory, alliances therefore create staging opportunities against enemies that lie further afield.

    A coalition is the looser form of the two arrangements, and less binding in nature. Coalitions are easy to sign up to early in the campaign – you only need a moderate diplomatic standing with another faction to form one – and they’re fairly ephemeral. While you’re in a coalition, your diplomatic standing with all members improves, and any factions you’re at war with will lose diplomatic standing with your coalition buddies. Over time, this can help to create more like-minded factions, in terms of their attitudes towards the world around them. However, coalition members have no major contractual duty towards one another. There are no specific terms of mutual defence for example – if a faction declares war on a faction that is a member of a coalition, they declare war only on the faction. But, by the mere fact that your standing improves over time with other coalition members, it becomes much easier to curry military support with individual member-factions in the event you’re attacked.

    This is where military alliances differ. If a faction declares war on a member of a military alliance, he can treat it as a private war and duke it out as normal, or he can call on all alliance members to join the war. And crucially, they are duty-bound to join. It’s not an option for them; it’s basically part of the EULA for joining a military alliance, and the thing that makes a military alliance a far more binding form of commitment than a coalition. A military alliance essentially grants you a cast-iron guarantee of group defence in times of war. As you might expect, this makes the cost-to-entry that much higher as well. You need to be of Marquis rank or better to sign a military alliance with another faction, and you need a considerably higher diplomatic standing than you would to sign a coalition. After an alliance is formed however, factions of any rank may request to join, or be invited to join by a member-faction, which then goes to a vote.

    The exceptions to this rule are Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu. They’re both able to sign coalitions and military alliances right from the start of the game.

    It’s by no means impossible to solo your way through in Total War: Three Kingdoms, and indeed you’ll ultimately need to stand alone when you ascend to the lofty status of Emperor. But to ignore the benefits of coalitions and alliances would be a failure to exploit the leg-up they can give you in terms of inter-factional relations, group defence, and crucially, in combating other powerful, multi-factional alliances which inevitably rise as the campaign progresses. The AI isn’t shy about signing coalitions and military alliances of its own, and you’ll see major power-blocks forming as other faction’s goals and interests align.
    Last edited by PointOfViewGun; December 03, 2018 at 10:27 AM.
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  2. #2
    Anna_Gein's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    So far I do not see any change except the ability to trade food. Which is not something I like.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_Gein View Post
    So far I do not see any change except the ability to trade food. Which is not something I like.

    Correct me if I am wrong.
    New Stuff:

    Increased vassal interactions - Guarantee autonomy (own vassals), support independence (other vassals), call vassals to war or not, vassals can conduct diplomacy but must ask liege for permission to declare war

    Trade food and trade ancillaries

    Ability to see AI valuation of the deal piece by piece

    Quick Deal and Make This Work - QoL improvements

    Abdicate Emperorship - Either doing it yourself or demanding someone else do so. Not a lot of info about emperorship just yet.

    Negotiate Peace as Alliance - Can now get peace between alliances rather than just between single factions.

    Returning or Improved Stuff:

    Ultimatums - Actually enforced now, and more of a gamble since you can't see the AI valuation when doing so.

    Payments over time - Money and food

    Arrange Marriage - Can choose which faction the couple joins.

    Trade Territory - Self explanatory

    Annex vs Confederate - Can annex vassals, but carries diplomatic penalty with other factions. Confederation does not and doesn't require vassalship, but the characters can then join other factions if they want.


    Basically taking a bunch of things from Paradox games, which I'm all for. There's a bunch of other stuff for characters, settlements, and factions that wasn't specifically mentioned in the video because it's not part of diplomacy, but the video showed it offhandedly. I'd recommend watching PartyElite's video that was linked in the main thread for all that stuff. .

    I like the ability to trade food. It both makes sense and is something fairly important in retellings of the Three Kingdoms.

  4. #4
    Daruwind's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    I'd recommend watching PartyElite's video that was linked in the main thread for all that stuff.
    Exactly. We got comfirmed a lot stuff (ambushes, population, resources, army supplies, region trade in next diplomacy part 2)

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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Basically, they took in all of the stuff that people liked in previous titles along with demands from players and put it in this game.
    While in the past diplomacy was somewhat limiting; the primary problem was getting the AI to agree unless you paid a king's ransom for it. Another problem is when you had a clear victory and the faction chose to fight for a needless death. For me, the issue was never a lack of toys, but whether or not the AI will play with those with you.
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Honestly I think the bigger info bomb is that characters have traits now that affect who they like and dislike. You can see in PartyElite's video that Liu Biao has three traits, and each come with a "likes this" or "likes that".


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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    I think that is just a transformation from a faction base game to the character based game. In other games, it was similar traditions, ethnicity (culture), religion etc...
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    Exactly. We got comfirmed a lot stuff (ambushes, population, resources, army supplies, region trade in next diplomacy part 2)
    We've had much of this in previous titles, e.g. lots of diplomatic options in Empire: Total War. The million dollar question is -- will it actually work this time? A deeper game is welcome of course, but it needs to be proven in March.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    Basically taking a bunch of things from Paradox games, which I'm all for. There's a bunch of other stuff for characters, settlements, and factions that wasn't specifically mentioned in the video because it's not part of diplomacy, but the video showed it offhandedly. I'd recommend watching PartyElite's video that was linked in the main thread for all that stuff. .

    I like the ability to trade food. It both makes sense and is something fairly important in retellings of the Three Kingdoms.
    Thank you zoner16. It makes sense to me now.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptoss1 View Post
    Honestly I think the bigger info bomb is that characters have traits now that affect who they like and dislike. You can see in PartyElite's video that Liu Biao has three traits, and each come with a "likes this" or "likes that".
    It is already present since Attila. I am glad they are keeping it. I like it a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    Basically, they took in all of the stuff that people liked in previous titles along with demands from players and put it in this game.
    While in the past diplomacy was somewhat limiting; the primary problem was getting the AI to agree unless you paid a king's ransom for it. Another problem is when you had a clear victory and the faction chose to fight for a needless death. For me, the issue was never a lack of toys, but whether or not the AI will play with those with you.
    It is mostly a matter of tweaking and how the AI measure its strength compared to others faction. In Shogun 2 the AI was pragmatic and willing to submit as vassal in order to stay alive. At least until Realm Divide kick in and destroy diplomacy.
    Last edited by Anna_Gein; November 20, 2018 at 08:45 AM.

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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_Gein View Post
    It is mostly a matter of tweaking and how the AI measure its strength compared to others faction. In Shogun 2 the AI was pragmatic and willing to submit as vassal in order to stay alive. At least until Realm Divide kick in and destroy diplomacy.
    Well, experience modding AI behavior as taught me is that it 'ain't" that simple. The fact that CA has done little from game to game to resolve that issue tells me that they aren't sure about creating more dynamic decision making. As I said initially, it is a positive step to finally have greater and more realistic choices. The next questions did CA create a dynamic enough AI capable of handling all of those choices.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    To be honest, the trade ancillaries part looks quite absurd. Using objects and animals (like that stallion in the introduction video) is not very appropriate for diplomatic negotiations, but I guess it fits well in the role-playing theme of the game. At least it's not as edgy as that childish (and not funnily self-sarcastic, like in Medieval II) dialogues between heroes, in the middle of the battle. I really hope there is an option to toggle it off. Anyway, although the narrator implies otherwise, most of these "brand new additions" existed in older games, like Medieval II. Even the extremely advertised "haggling" feature was present back then (Very Generous, Generous, Balanced, Demanding, Very Demanding) and in a more immersive way (in my opinion), until it was inexplicably removed in Empire. The protectorate improvements, the 2d models (replacing the awkwardly ugly 3d gorillas from Rome II) and the more practical interface seem like the most enjoyable changes, although they have generated a disproportionately passionate hype-train. I suppose that, following the release of the Pirates of the Caribbean DLC, we are now officially in the excitement phase for the Three Kingdoms. In Rome II, the marketing history was remarkably similar, with a siege (Carthage), an ambush (misty pine forest full with wolf-wearing barbarians), the slightly controversial pre-order announcement and a bit more than three months of hysteria before the 3rd of September.

    No doubt that the reworked AI sounds hopeful, but I remain skeptical, until objective reviewers confirm the company's claims. I remember the McKinlay video, which actually explained the AI mechanics in a deceivingly detailed way, until the bitter truth was exposed to Total War fandom. Let's just say that the 14th Rally Point didn't age well. Even the much praised skirmish between Macedon and Rome is now widely suspected to have been nothing more than a multiplayer match, specifically designed to disorientate public opinion.

  12. #12
    Anna_Gein's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    Well, experience modding AI behavior as taught me is that it 'ain't" that simple. The fact that CA has done little from game to game to resolve that issue tells me that they aren't sure about creating more dynamic decision making. As I said initially, it is a positive step to finally have greater and more realistic choices. The next questions did CA create a dynamic enough AI capable of handling all of those choices.
    CA is terrible at balancing stats in its own game. In general a huge issue with diplomacy was how negative relations buff stacks up during a war. The AI would hate you more with each turn spent in war, with each military operations, etc. Just by decreasing them you can correct a bit the suicidal AI behavior.

    A common mistake done by CA was its over-enthusiasm into making the AI remember past interaction. It often made diplomacy static. Relations with AI factions becoming ever more friendly or ever more hostile (to the point of suicide).

  13. #13

    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    To be honest, the trade ancillaries part looks quite absurd. Using objects and animals (like that stallion in the introduction video) is not very appropriate for diplomatic negotiations
    This is something I specifically asked for back in the expectations thread and am actually really happy about, so I feel I need to disagree.

    The Three Kingdoms and honestly a lot of East and Southeast Asian history in general sees objects and animals used as bargaining chips or tribute in diplomacy. This is something that exists to this day in business deals. It's a sign of respect or submission, but it tended to go a long way when negotiating between people and still does.

    It should be stated that we aren't dealing with diplomacy between nation states. This is diplomacy between warlords (and sub-warlords i.e. vassals) whose territories are essentially extensions of their own person. Some, like Han Xian (from the video), are nothing more than bandit chiefs in fancy hats, but even gentlemen and military officers weren't immune to flattery and bribery. Flattery and bribery is essentially what this was, just appended on top of a diplomatic negotiation.

    To be sure, none of this is along the lines of "I'll give you this horse for this province." It was more used to break a stalemated deal, add an extra cherry on top as a sign of goodwill, or show one's power by demanding even more on top of what was considered to be normal. These aren't ordinary objects either. They were usually treasures, heirlooms, or famous items that would add prestige to a given individual. Even people, including renowned craftsmen, scholars, artists, or strongmen were used in this kind of gift trading.

    So in this case, I think it's very appropriate so long as it's balanced correctly. Which I guess could be the tagline of this entire video. "Great, if it works!"

  14. #14
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_Gein View Post
    CA is terrible at balancing stats in its own game. In general a huge issue with diplomacy was how negative relations buff stacks up during a war. The AI would hate you more with each turn spent in war, with each military operations, etc. Just by decreasing them you can correct a bit the suicidal AI behavior.
    A common mistake done by CA was its over-enthusiasm into making the AI remember past interaction. It often made diplomacy static. Relations with AI factions becoming ever more friendly or ever more hostile (to the point of suicide).
    I do not know if I agree with the underline portion. I see no problem with remembering past transgressions or friendly acts. The notion is the problem, but rather the execution which results in what you stated in bold.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    This is something I specifically asked for back in the expectations thread and am actually really happy about, so I feel I need to disagree.

    The Three Kingdoms and honestly a lot of East and Southeast Asian history in general sees objects and animals used as bargaining chips or tribute in diplomacy. This is something that exists to this day in business deals. It's a sign of respect or submission, but it tended to go a long way when negotiating between people and still does.

    It should be stated that we aren't dealing with diplomacy between nation states. This is diplomacy between warlords (and sub-warlords i.e. vassals) whose territories are essentially extensions of their own person. Some, like Han Xian (from the video), are nothing more than bandit chiefs in fancy hats, but even gentlemen and military officers weren't immune to flattery and bribery. Flattery and bribery is essentially what this was, just appended on top of a diplomatic negotiation.

    To be sure, none of this is along the lines of "I'll give you this horse for this province." It was more used to break a stalemated deal, add an extra cherry on top as a sign of goodwill, or show one's power by demanding even more on top of what was considered to be normal. These aren't ordinary objects either. They were usually treasures, heirlooms, or famous items that would add prestige to a given individual. Even people, including renowned craftsmen, scholars, artists, or strongmen were used in this kind of gift trading.

    So in this case, I think it's very appropriate so long as it's balanced correctly. Which I guess could be the tagline of this entire video. "Great, if it works!"
    I could not agree more. This is a "character-driven" game. This is especially true if you play the "Romance" version of the game. That being said, I was under the impression you were trading horses as a resource. I want to raise a mounted unit, then you would need horses.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    I could not agree more. This is a "character-driven" game. This is especially true if you play the "Romance" version of the game. That being said, I was under the impression you were trading horses as a resource. I want to raise a mounted unit, then you would need horses.
    I think those just come with the regular old trade deal, like in previous Total Wars will just give each of you access to the other's resources while value is generated by market price and quantity produced. Not sure if they're going to do the Shogun 2/Tomb Kings thing again where you need certain resources for certain buildings and units. I'd like if they did.

    This is more like you're giving the faction leader one of the best horses you have as a personal gift on top of an existing deal to sweeten the pot.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    To be sure, none of this is along the lines of "I'll give you this horse for this province." It was more used to break a stalemated deal, add an extra cherry on top as a sign of goodwill, or show one's power by demanding even more on top of what was considered to be normal. These aren't ordinary objects either. They were usually treasures, heirlooms, or famous items that would add prestige to a given individual. Even people, including renowned craftsmen, scholars, artists, or strongmen were used in this kind of gift trading.
    Well, from what I understand about how this option is implemented, we are talking exactly about "giving a horse for a province" feature. Unless I am missing something, you are referring to the common practice of gift-exchanging as a way to underline the friendship of the two parties and to ratify the treaty, a widespread custom that was not limited to the Far East (for example, the Achaemenid monarchs always used to offer a present to a grateful foreign emissary, following fruitful negotiations). After all, presents were present in Total War games, at least since Medieval II and Empire (if I remember correctly, the options available were horses, china and jewellery), so any claim about it being a new feature is misleading.

    However, I suspect that these so-called ancillaries are much less symbolic. As CA had mentioned earlier, special objects and animals matter a lot more in the battlefield, as appropriate for a game that heavily leans towards the Warcraft trend, than they used to be. Instead of Dong Zhuo donating prestigious ornaments marking the gratitude of the imperial authority, we should imagine something like Xu Chu trading his naval mine (+80% at piercing his opponent's armour during heroic duels) for that bow that rained tiny meteorites upon the enemy soldiers.

  17. #17

    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Well, from what I understand about how this option is implemented, we are talking exactly about "giving a horse for a province" feature. Unless I am missing something, you are referring to the common practice of gift-exchanging as a way to underline the friendship of the two parties and to ratify the treaty, a widespread custom that was not limited to the Far East (for example, the Achaemenid monarchs always used to offer a present to a grateful foreign emissary, following fruitful negotiations). After all, presents were present in Total War games, at least since Medieval II and Empire (if I remember correctly, the options available were horses, china and jewellery), so any claim about it being a new feature is misleading.

    However, I suspect that these so-called ancillaries are much less symbolic. As CA had mentioned earlier, special objects and animals matter a lot more in the battlefield, as appropriate for a game that heavily leans towards the Warcraft trend, than they used to be. Instead of Dong Zhuo donating prestigious ornaments marking the gratitude of the imperial authority, we should imagine something like Xu Chu trading his naval mine (+80% at piercing his opponent's armour during heroic duels) for that bow that rained tiny meteorites upon the enemy soldiers.
    In previous titles, presents were just lump sums with different names that you could use only if you weren't asking for anything in return. What we're talking about here is the trading of actual ancillaries, items and people from your personal treasury and household, which were previously just continually accumulated and occasionally equipped on your generals. The ability to trade them is indeed new.

    Again, keep in mind that this is diplomacy between two people first and foremost. This isn't giving the diplomat a present just to cap off the meeting. This is offering treasures you've acquired to another warlord to spice up a deal. While the monolithic Han Empire of days past might not think too much about receiving a huge mace, no matter who it used to belong to, in the current chaos, an upjumped bandit chief like Zhang Yang would probably be incredibly interested in acquiring the mace of the famous Xu Chu as a symbol of his strength and importance. There's a lot of meaning and value in offering someone like Liu Biao imperial regalia, or giving ancient books to Kong Rong.

    Sure, in gameplay terms, we'd probably be interested in what these items do for us stat wise as we usually have with ancillaries, but these kinds of trades happened a lot during this period, including my favorite story of a talented but uppity musician passed between three different warlords in the hopes that someone would kill him, and the added flavor of being able to negotiate vassalship and alliance deals with imperial treasures is one I think is well suited to this game. Especially since you can then give said items to your generals, which is probably very useful for keeping them loyal, given how much they've talked up the satisfaction mechanic.

    The Romance adds several more stories that are even more along the lines of what's being shown here, with Dong Zhuo giving the warhorse Red Hare to Lu Bu to get him to rebel and kill his superior and adoptive father Ding Yuan, and Sun Ce's trading of the imperial seal for his autonomy and an army, so being able to relive that is probably pretty important to the target fanbase.

  18. #18

    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Second video and blog post added.
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  19. #19
    Anna_Gein's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    I do not know if I agree with the underline portion. I see no problem with remembering past transgressions or friendly acts. The notion is the problem, but rather the execution which results in what you stated in bold.
    I think we are in agreement. The idea to make the AI remembering past interactions is great but its implementation by CA have generally been poor.

    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    Second video and blog post added.
    The second video link is not working

    You need to copy LG_Xy960Lqo to make the link work.
    Last edited by Anna_Gein; December 03, 2018 at 10:24 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: New Information on Diplomacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_Gein View Post
    The second video link is not working

    You need to copy LG_Xy960Lqo to make the link work.
    Fixed.
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    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/group.php?groupid=1930

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