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Campaign AI / Diplomacy Suggestion

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Right now I really don't like how wars are started, alliances are made, and countries make peace with each other. First, because the diplomatic options available to the player are very limited, and second (and more importantly) the current systems reliance on using relations points solely for war decisions. If you know of anything written about how the devs imagine campaign war/diplomacy to be handled in the long term let me know, but i assume what they have currently is the base they intend to build upon and that makes me very nervous. 

Control here means the ability of players to engage in diplomacy with other countries without solely relying on pop up events. 

Relations reset after a war but can quickly deterioriate again. The VP system gives the AI a way to bow out of a conflict but there currently is no way for the AI to make an evaluation ask itself whether it has the naval or economic strength to fight yet another war, the end result is suicidal wars and rapid snowballing. 

I'm going to describe in detail how I think countries should "think" about wars. Diplomatic options are mentioned but the main focus is to get the AI logic on diplomacy first, and then build diplomatic options around that. 

Fleet strength

Define a function for fleet strength [FS] a linear function of warship displacement. For example: 2.5x[BB displacement]  + 2x[BC displacement] + 1.5x[CA Displacement] + 1.25x[CL displacement] + 1x[DD/TB displacement]. The coefficients can be adjusted as needed. As a potential future enhancement consider sub modifiers to the displacements [Tech level, gun caliber, etc.] 

Define fleet strength ratio [FSR] of country 1 to country 2  as the ratio of the fleet strengths [FS[1] / FS[2]] 

War Fervor

The AI's decision to issue ultimatums is a function of three variables: The relational status [as it currently exists], The SR, and a third variable called war fervor. 

War fervor is a score that represents the general enthusiasm of the country for fighting a war.  By default, war fervor increases incrementally when at peace and decreases incrementally when at war, but other factors can change the score. I'll describe how war fervor goes up and down and then describe how the AI makes checks for the decision to go to war. 

What affects War Fervor

Battles: Inflicting damage on an enemy in battles can give boosts to war fervor and corresponding decreases to enemy war fervor. Generally more war fervor is lost from damage received than gained from damage dealt, and two sides that maul each other equally [relative to their navy size] reduce the war fervor of both sides. 

Being blockaded or having insufficient trade convoys will boost the rate at which war fervor declines when at war. 

War fervor will generally bottom out for a country that loses a war, and the rate of growth of war fervor is suppressed when significant economic damage is done. The numeric check for whether this is taking place is; 1. GDP relative to what the developers target by default 2. GDP relative to the current or target level of other countries. 

War Fervor's effect on the AI 

Now define a function that converts the diplomatic relations, the FSR, and the war fervor of a given country into a probability that said country will make an ultimatum to a target country.  You can do this in a few different ways but here is an example:

If War Fervor < -50, there is no chance of issuing an ultimatum
If War Fervor [-50,-25) and  (FSR < 2 or relations > -50) then there is no chance of issuing an ultimatum. \
Else the probability is (0-15%) where it is 0% at the two thresholds above and approaches 15% as FSR approaches or exceeds 5 and relations approach -100

If war fervor [-25,0) and FSR < 1.5 or relations > -25 then there is no chance of issuing an ultimatum. 
Else probability is (0-25%) where 0% is at the two thresholds above and approaches 25% as FSR exceeds 5 and relations approach -100, 

etc. Notice that as war fervor increases, the FSR needed to start a war goes down and the relations below which a country is willing to war go up. A country at higher war fervor will be willing to declare war against a country it really hates even if its fleet strength ratio is unfavorable, or may issue ultimatums to countries it doesn't have particularly negative attitudes towards if its FSR is sufficiently high. 

Affect on the Players

War fervor represents a countries enthusiasm for war, not necessarily the players. At low levels of war fervor the player will get events favoring good diplomatic relations, technology, and economic growth. At higher levels the player will get events favoring increased naval budgets and making hostile posturing to other countries. Going against your countries war fervor by trying for wars when your fervor is low or trying to maintain a peace when war fervor is high will increase unrest. 

Affect on peace negotiations

For the AI to continue a war with a sufficiently negative war fervor gradually increases unrest. For the player this can result in a revolution [at a sufficiently low unrest] The option to offer a peace deal either for the player or the AI is available well before the point of no return is reached.

Peace negotiations as they currently do allow the player to demand territory, ships, and reparations, (or other changes to diplomatic status when these things become available) Demands can only be made up to a certain limit based on differences in fleet strength, unrest, and war fervor. Two sides that maul each other may end up ending with a white peace since neither is in a position to demand anything and both sides will eventually be tired of fighting. 

Demanding a huge amount of territory or ships from a defeated enemy will decrease your diplomatic standing with non-beligerents, and increase the likelihood of future coalitions being created against you. 


I recommend not having alliances as a thing [except in terms of temporary co-belligerents in a war]  until bilateral diplomacy is refined and in a state that the developers consider near finalized. 

TLDR; just copy paradox games. 

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