Tech trading/cash sending only allowed with empires within sensor range


I’ve been discussing this idea with a friend, and we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s potentially the Best Idea Ever ™. I would imagine it’s a relatively straightforward change to make (just a simple check of the map when loading each empire’s summary screen) and it could have a few major benefits. Behold the bulletpoints!

  • It would make the middle starting positions more desirable- corners are great tactically, but awful for trade. Starting in the middle surrounded by people is no longer a death sentence because people will rely on you to get tech, and you’ve got more options than anyone else.

  • Adds a new level of diplomacy- do you trust your neighbour to broker a deal with a player you can’t trade with directly? Have your neighbours imposed a trade embargo on you- and is it worth trying to break through their lines to establish contact with someone else?

  • Adds to the tech/trading system as prices are likely to rise as a tech gets further from the empire which developed it. Economics!

  • Trade missions would be fascinating. Two players want to trade, but a hostile player is in the way… so they send two fleets in to meet in the middle of his territory, conducting the trade they need before they’re destroyed.

  • It could be worth a half-suicidal run through someone’s territory just to set up an embassy somewhere in another empire… which people could then threaten! You might keep embassies even when relations were getting a little tense in case things change and you want to trade with them again. You would get situations where people pay either tech or money to someone to allow a fleet to pass through their space.

  • It’s harder to cheat! A player starting with multiple accounts can’t necessarily use them to help each other.

I mainly love the ideas of embassies, trade mission, cutting off trade routes between two empires as the precursor to an attack… and also the idea that two different areas of the galaxy could develop tech in entirely different ways. One bit could have a major arms race that isn’t reflected elsewhere- the tech wouldn’t just be spread out homogeneously like it is now.

For something that I imagine would be a relatively minor change in terms of coding, this would have an utterly transformative effect on the game. So many benefits! If you need players to test out a game with this mechanic in place, I’m sure I can get some volunteers together. :smile:


This could also address the issue of balance in games where people start going AFK or quitting. At the moment, if your neighbours go AI, you’ve got a huge advantage over the other players. With this tweak implemented, you’ve still got more opportunities to expand than someone with human neighbours BUT your trade options are cut down significantly- if you’re surrounded by AIs, you’re going to have to break through and re-establish trade with a human player pretty quickly or you’ll fall behind on tech.