Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

A mix of deep gameplay and rich historical flavor, Aggressors: Ancient Rome lets you relive history as the ruler of one of the mighty civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean. Choose one of twenty available factions and conquer the world.
Solaristics
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Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by Solaristics » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:49 pm

I'm playing Athens and the Ptolemies diplomatic attitude bar is full ("admiration") and has been for many turns but every time I propose a treaty I get rebuffed with an I need to build more trust message - even for the most basic treaty request (city visibility, I think). Is this WAD?

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:50 am

Hello Solaristics,
welcome!

The attitude bar shows how they like you but it does not mean that they see any reasons to get in treaties. It might be the distance, it might be the fact that you are not strong enough or one of many other reasons AI consider. AI will eventually propose to deepen the relationship once they feel that you and the situation are worth it.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by Solaristics » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:04 am

Thanks for the reply.

What game play effects does the attitude bar have in that case? In most games I'm familiar with the more positive the attitude the more likely the AI is to make treaties and maintain treaties with you, and the more negative the attitude the less likely they are to make them and the more likely they are to break them or declare war.

Related to the attitude bar, when I mouse over it some bars on the tool tip are in red and some yellow. I've assumed the red are bad and yellow are good - is that correct? If so, it might make sense to make the overall bar yellow when positive and red when negative as at the moment it is a bit confusing to see the red bar full and to see that it in fact means "admiration".

Finally, on turn 2 of my game Spartan entered into a Federation with the Ptolemies. What calculations would be involved in that AI decision so early on?

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:37 am

Solaristics wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:04 am
What game play effects does the attitude bar have in that case?
The bar indicates how much certain player likes you but not how much they consider you as an equal partner. E.g. in today's world - Germany can consider Crete to be a good diplomatic partner, but they are not going to go to mutually equally military pact. The bar plays important role in the decision making however it is not the only thing taken into consideration.
Solaristics wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:04 am
Related to the attitude bar, when I mouse over it some bars on the tool tip are in red and some yellow. I've assumed the red are bad and yellow are good - is that correct? If so, it might make sense to make the overall bar yellow when positive and red when negative as at the moment it is a bit confusing to see the red bar full and to see that it in fact means "admiration".
The tooltip bars shows the most important changes of partner's attitude in last five turns. They do not (in sum) show the overall attitude because the attitude is formed for tens of turns.
Solaristics wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:04 am
Finally, on turn 2 of my game Spartan entered into a Federation with the Ptolemies. What calculations would be involved in that AI decision so early on?
Is this in the campaign map? If so, it is very rare to see so quickly formed superstates but it can happen. Things having the highest impact on these decisions are:
  • Attitude towards potential partner
  • Sharing the same friends
  • Sharing the same enemies
  • Be powerful enough to be worth to be a partner rather than enemy or insignificant player
  • The situation of the opponent - more players are in war with him the better (they will look for friends)
  • More allies you have, the better (the stronger you are judged by other players)

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by Solaristics » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:59 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

Sparta+Ptolemies did happen on the campaign map.

Just to confirm, on the tool tip the yellow are positive effects and the red negative effects on attitude?

With respect to the overall attitude bar, I'd be more interested to see their diplomatic disposition towards me with respect to treaties rather than how much they like me since that seems to be only partial information on which to make decisions. What's more, the response "need to build more trust" when rejected is misleading as that is not the issue in some cases at least and just creates player frustration.

(The idea of countries liking each other, which is prevalent in most games of this type, so I'm not singling you out, is a bit odd in any case: countries have interests, and where they align they partner and where they conflict there is conflict. People from different countries may like or dislike each other, but that is something different. Also, Crete is part of Greece and Greece and Germany are indeed in a mutual military defence pact! ;))

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:10 am

Solaristics wrote:Just to confirm, on the tool tip the yellow are positive effects and the red negative effects on attitude?
Yes.
Solaristics wrote:With respect to the overall attitude bar, I'd be more interested to see their diplomatic disposition towards me with respect to treaties rather than how much they like me
It is part of it. If you are in long-term alliance (or long-last war or having war with player's ally, etc), it has an impact on the overall attitude bar and you can also see it in tooltip as one of the factors of attitude recent change.
Solaristics wrote:What's more, the response "need to build more trust" when rejected is misleading as that is not the issue in some cases at least and just creates player frustration.
I agree on this one with you. The reason should be more clear.
Solaristics wrote:The idea of countries liking each other, which is prevalent in most games of this type, so I'm not singling you out, is a bit odd in any case: countries have interests, and where they align they partner and where they conflict there is conflict. People from different countries may like or dislike each other, but that is something different.
This is not how people like each other but what is the "trust" between countries based on their mutual history, treaties, lows, etc. Indeed this is a real thing in diplomacy.
Solaristics wrote:Also, Crete is part of Greece and Greece and Germany are indeed in a mutual military defence pact!
That was an hypothetical example (in case when Crete was an independent state) but I am sure you got my point:)

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by Solaristics » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:28 am

Thanks for clearing that up so quickly. The root of my confusion was thinking the attitude bar measured trust (which is correct) but then getting a message telling me to build more trust even though my trust was at maximum (and also not realising that the trust metric is not the only thing that is taken into account for treaties).

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:36 am

You are welcome Solaristics. I created a note in our tracking system to change the message. I hope you will have fun:)

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by Sillyflower » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:23 pm

PavelK wrote"in today's world - Germany can consider Crete to be a good diplomatic partner, but they are not going to go to mutually equally military pact"

Hmm - they have actually because Crete is part of Greece which is in NATO as is Germany. Luxembourgh also has a mutual, reciprocal military pact with the USA through the same treaty.

Sorry Pavel - I could not resist :lol:
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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:02 am

I am sure you got my point;)

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by dejvid2 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:35 am

pavelk wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:50 am
Hello Solaristics,
welcome!

The attitude bar shows how they like you but it does not mean that they see any reasons to get in treaties. It might be the distance, it might be the fact that you are not strong enough or one of many other reasons AI consider. AI will eventually propose to deepen the relationship once they feel that you and the situation are worth it.
If we are talking about a full blown defence pact then whether you are powerful enough might be a consideration but making cities visible is essential for trade. Refusing to make your cities visible is tantamount to declaring a trade blockade - something which is done in the real world only when you really hate the rival state but aren't quite ready to go to war.

Given that Aggressors makes trade very important it seems curious to make trade so hard to initiate. It is also makes the early stages of the game especially hard. One of the key problems with 4X games is that they are unbalanced in that the early stages for any difficulty level are very challenging but as you expand and develop your tech level the game becomes a walk over so that final victory becomes an anticlimax. Having the AI impose economic sanctions against all and sundry in the early stages of the game exacerbate this problem.

In my latest scenario I have tried to solve the problem by having states already set up with cities visible already set and the routes to potential trading partners as already known. No dice!! Very quickly the AI did cancel all treaties.

Making cities visible should be the default mode for AI diplomacy unless the AI has reason to fear imminent invasion for that particular power.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:26 am

Yes but that is just partially true. To establish trade route, you need to see just one of the partner's cities and similarly the partner one of yours. Refusing to make cities visible has its reason - you don't trust the opponent enough to show how many cities you have, how big they are and where they are. It wouldn't make sense to meet a new nation and suddenly see all his cities.

In Aggressors, trade is very important but you should be able to survive even without trade (in most of the cases). Trade is a "booster" as it should be. If you sign peace with a faction, you won't initiate any revolts in their cities, you will have peace with their allies (and ideally have war with their enemies), they will pretty quickly make the first step and reveal their cities.

AI decisions are in NO way dice. It is based on quite a few number of factors starting with attitude, distance, history, your behavior, allies, enemies, trade, etc. If you set in game editor just the treaties (and havent changed the attitude itself), it is just a matter of time till it gets to the state it was before.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by dejvid2 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:15 am

If you run out of a key commodity your army may mutiny and unpopularity can push your cities into rebellion so not being able to trade can be disastrous. It may be the standard Mediterranean scenario makes most states sufficiently self-sufficient that that is not too great a problem but I deliberately make scenarios so that states need to trade. (Living in Britain as I do with the prospect of a sudden disruption of trade hanging over our heads, I don't agree you can do without trade in the real world).

Unless a state is a close neighbor they are no real threat. The distance is too great to mount a serious invasion and using influence would be prohibitively expensive in gold and influence. You seem to be saying that the AI can't be bothered with treaties with far off places. But far off places are no military threat but, despite the transport costs being a little higher, none the less valuable potential trading partners.

But the key point is that it ought to be possible to establish trade with everyone who doesn't actively hate you. If you feel that the AI should be cautions about revealing all their cities then change reveal all cities to reveal just the nearest cities.

[Sorry, "No dice" is an idiom. It is when you have taken pains to ensure something will happen but this gets sunk by some detail - in this case AI paranoia. Even though I had set up the AI with a city visible treaty with potential trading parties it promptly tore those treaties up before any trading route could be established. The idiom is from the USA. On occasion the police would build a cast iron case that someone had organized gambling but then the judge would throw out the case because the police did no include dice in the evidence.]

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by dejvid2 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:08 am

I should of added that the trade system is really excellent. Rather than selling/buying from a impersonal market as I have in encountered in games I've played in the past the direct negotiation gives the game a nice ancient feel. That's why I find it a pity that it doesn't function in the early stages of the game when it is most useful.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:48 pm

I agree that it could be a bit more difficult in custom worlds to start trading but all the players should always get at least one of each mines and quarry (which should cover its basic needs). The creation algorithm also checks that each player has enough food to supply at least his starting cities (so there should be no food shortage).

I am sure you can do without trade in the real world, especially in the ancient world when trade routes were not as efficient as today. Trade is always something comfortable but the state should be able to handle its basic needs by itself. Of course if you are preparing a war campaign or got into a resource crisis (disaster, etc.) trade is always something what helps a lot.
You seem to be saying that the AI can't be bothered with treaties with far off places. But far off places are no military threat but, despite the transport costs being a little higher, none the less valuable potential trading partners.
That is not what I meant and neither how it is implemented. Treaties are vastly dependant on the actual attitude of the player towards the opponent.
The whole "city visibility" treaty is a matter of trust indeed and I can hardly imagine that such an information would be given to someone you don't trust. You can still establish a trade route if you mutually see at least one city of the business partner.
On the other hand, it might be a good idea to create a new city "action", which would reveal this city to a selected player (something like "Open city"). This way it will be entirely in your hands to just find one of the cities of the business partner and if there is a way how to get from one city of yours to one city of the business partner, trade route is established.
Even though I had set up the AI with a city visible treaty with potential trading parties it promptly tore those treaties up before any trading route could be established.
Once a city is revealed to a player, it is never hidden again (aka the trade route can still be established to that city).
I find it a pity that it doesn't function in the early stages of the game when it is most useful.
Well that is basically how it was. The trade was definitely not thriving that much in 1000BC like it was in 100BC. I would say that this is natural and not only the absolute amount of traded good but also percentage of what is available and exported (vs locally created) was constantly increasing over history .

Thank you for the explanation of the idiom. I really didnt know this:)

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by dejvid2 » Sat May 04, 2019 3:11 pm

Thanks Pavelk - your reply was very helpful. I had made sure that in my scenarios at least one of the factions would know routes between factions but a trade route requires both factions know the route. By checking exchange maps I have ensured that the conditions for trade routes will exist whether the AI factions like it not.

but

That I have to force the AI to provide the conditions for establishing trade routes shows that the AI has a blind spot - they ought to suss out that this would be valuable to do without prompting.

In any case, why do trade routes require both trading parties know the route? The Phoenicians were famous for trading with lands whose inhabitants had no idea where these traders came from.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Sun May 05, 2019 8:39 am

Hello dejvid2,
you got a point. It would make more sense to be able to trade even when only one player knows where to transport the goods. In such situation the overhead costs (of the player who is just trading without trasporting) would be much higher. I will think about it.
Thank you for pointing it out.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by dejvid2 » Sun May 05, 2019 1:51 pm

I hadn't thought about the transport costs. Would there really be extra costs? But if you make the trading route possible, I'll be happy with whatever you decide on that score.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by pavelk » Sun May 05, 2019 6:36 pm

Well, it would be logical that if someone buys goods, it would be cheaper to buy it locally than buying it after it is transport.

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Re: Ptolemies never accept Athenian treaties

Post by dejvid2 » Sun May 05, 2019 9:04 pm

I agree there should be an extra cost proportionate to distance. My question was simply whether only one player knowing the route would increase those costs. But If the trade route exists. I'll happily pay the extra if you so decide.

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