The Let's Play Archive

Master of Magic

by nweismuller

Part 79: Wizard Attitudes and Diplomacy

nweismuller posted:

Having more than a certain number of towns acts as a continuous downward pressure on diplomatic relations, and is so a 'provocation'. Freya is Lawful, and so hostile actions against her (including having too many towns) she takes more harshly. (Horus also takes things more harshly, being Maniacal, but all the shared books we have, on top of white magic in general, has helped offset that.) Once Freya allied with Tauron, Tauron was easily convinced to join in the war against us, since he didn't like us much and had no treaty to stay his hand. The alliances between Freya and Tauron with Horus will likely make the peace with Horus very unstable- sooner or later one of them is likely to ask him to join in the war with us, and at that point he's likely to enjoy the chance for blood. Reiska can probably eventually give more details on how exactly diplomacy works.

I think I posted on this before to some degree, but I'm happy to cover it again (in more detail now that we're nearing endgame and all):

First off, the AI's concept of "rightful territory" consists of a 2-square radius around all cities they control, and every land square that is on the same continent as their fortress city.

Each AI keeps track of each other player's diplomatic standing with them on a scale of -100 to 100 diplomacy points (DP). Positive values are friendly. DP changes have somewhat diminishing returns both ways as follows:
On a turn in which no other modifiers to DP happen, relations will gravitate by 1 DP toward their natural state (base value), which is determined as follows: Such DP "drift" is not subject to personality modifiers or diminishing returns.

An AI's Core Reaction is determined by five factors: In essence, the Core Reaction is a modifier used in tandem with the current DP to determine how an AI player actually treats you.

There are four temporary variables that play into AI reactions as well: the Treaty Modifier, Peace Modifier, Exchange Modifier, and Cold Shoulder Modifier. All of these have a base value of 0, and will gravitate by 10 points back toward 0 every turn. Every diplomatic exchange you make with an AI applies -10 to all four of these modifiers. If the exchange was unsuccessful, the modifier for that specific category gets an additional -20. If the sum of the Cold Shoulder Modifier and Core Reaction falls below -100, then the AI wizard will refuse to talk to you at all. If you have the Charismatic retort, then your Treaty and Exchange modifiers have a base value of 60 instead of 0. A diplomatic exchange where the AI feels it got the better end of the deal increases your DP by 5 (typically by giving up a spell with a higher research cost than the one you received).

Breaking any kind of agreement (wizard's pact, alliance, or peace treaty) imposes an immediate 40 DP penalty on top of the permanent -5 penalty to Core Reaction. Rejecting an offer (or counter-offer) made by an AI player carries no penalty.

The AI will only accept a Wizard's Pact if your current DP is at least 11. When a Wizard's Pact goes into effect, there is an immediate gain of 20 DP, and relations between the two wizards will improve by 1d3 points per turn (subject to the usual modifiers). When under a Wizard's Pact, you are agreeing not to attack each others' garrisoned nodes, Towers of Wizardry, or cities, either directly or indirectly. Moving forces to a wizard's home continent does not explicitly violate a wizard's pact, nor does (I think) attacking the wizard's units that are not garrisoning one of those three strategic objectives. Being within the 2-square radius of one of their cities is a violation, however.

The AI will only accept an Alliance if your current DP is at least 51. When an Alliance goes into effect, there is an immediate gain of 20 DP, and relations between the two wizards will improve by 1d6 points per turn (subject to the usual modifiers). When under an Alliance, you are agreeing not to attack each other under any circumstances (except global enchantments). An active alliance halves all totals needed to succeed in diplomatic exchanges. It is considered a violation of the alliance to move any of your units into the other player's "rightful territory."

The AI will always ask you to abide by the mutual defense clause inherent to an alliance; in other words, if an AI player is at war with another AI player, she will always ask you to help. You can ask the allied AI player to declare war on your enemies as well; 25% of the time, she will do it without question, and 75% of the time, she will demand a random spell which you have researched and she has not in exchange. If you refuse, she will not declare war, but no other penalty applies.

The AI in general will only accept a Peace Treaty when she is losing a war. When a Peace Treaty goes into effect, there is an immediate gain of 40 DP (subject to the usual modifiers). The restrictions of a Peace Treaty are the same as the restrictions of an Alliance, but without the benefits. Peace treaties last for 1d8+7 turns.

If you unilaterally break a Wizard's Pact or Alliance, you immediately lose 12 DP and you also incur an Oath Breaker penalty. If you violate a Peace Treaty, you incur an Oath Breaker penalty, but there is no other penalty beyond that imposed by the act by which you broke the peace treaty.

If you threaten to attack an AI player, one of four things can happen:
All threats apply -50 to all four temporary modifiers and an immediate loss of 30 DP modified by the personality modifier to Core Reaction.

The AI assesses the threat you pose by totaling the gold and mana upkeep of all units you have on their home continent (any land tile contiguously connected to their fortress city). Threat Value is calculated as -(G + [M/2]), where G and M are the sum of all your units on their home continent's gold and mana upkeeps, respectively. Paranoia is calculated as -(T*15)/(G + [M*2]), where T is the Threat Value as detailed previously, and G and M are the sum of all their units on their home continent's gold and mana upkeeps, respectively. If the threatened player has no units at all on their home continent, Paranoia is set to -50. If Paranoia + DP + Personality Modifier + sum of Oath Breaker penalties is under -150, the AI will declare war on you.

When you end turn with a unit within 2 squares of an AI wizard's city, this is considered a grave territorial violation under all circumstances, and there is a 10% chance you'll lose (1d10/2) DP. If you have an active wizard's pact, alliance or peace treaty, you will always lose this amount of DP on the first turn of violation, and if the situation is not corrected by the end of the third turn, you break the pact/alliance/treaty with all penalties normally associated. This penalty is not cumulative; being within multiple cities or one does not matter.

Let's move on to specific things that will reliably produce DP penalties, all of which are cumulative:
Various spells will also produce DP penalties, either immediately on casting, every turn for their duration, or both:
Capturing another wizard's city or attempting to attack their fortress city, regardless of the outcome, automatically declares war.

But there are more ways to lose DP! Every turn, each AI player rolls a d20. If the result is a 1, then the AI compares its military strength to yours; if your military strength is double or more theirs, you lose 10 DP. ("Military strength" is scored by adding together the total gold upkeep and two times the total mana upkeep of all of the wizard's units.) If your strength is less than double theirs, the chance of losing 10 DP is reduced proportionally (so if you're equal strength, it's 50%, and so on).

Also every turn, all AI players together roll a single d4. If the result is 1, they check their mutual paranoia against the size of your empire. The specifics of this check vary based on the game difficulty and the selected landmass size at the start of the game. nweismuller is playing on Normal difficulty with a medium land size; therefore, with 11-15 cities, a 2 DP penalty is assessed each paranoia check, with 16-20 the penalty increases to 5 DP, and with 21+ the penalty is 10 DP.

AI players will never declare war on you before turn 100. After turn 100, there is a chance every turn that an AI wizard will declare war on you if your DP with them is currently negative.


AI wizards can have one of 6 personalities, which have the following effects:
I previously discussed more detailed aspects of how the game calculates AI hostility in this post.