At moments in history, opportunities present themselves to improve our empire. This system was created by Hipfot, Skodkim, Spatzimaus, and VeyDer, with additional contributions from me.
- Historical significance.
- A way to enhance or reform society.
- Ethical decisions.
Opportunities in society present moral choices, such as:
A. Invest in compassion, artistry, and conservation.
B. Invest in ruthlessness, militarism, and resource exploitation.
C. Let local authorities decide A or B, with less cost and effect.
When creating new opportunities your A/B categories don’t have to be like the ones above, so long as the choice is clearly distinct. The categories here are based on the paragon/renegade morality systems from Bioware games. Ideally neither choice is strictly “good” or “evil.” There should always be one “locals handle it” option, in case the central government cannot invest in the opportunity. Specific numbers are not critical at this stage and can be balanced later.
Good luck in life such as meeting someone interesting, getting an unexpected raise at work, and winning the lottery is fun and exciting! Bad luck like unexpected breakups or getting fired is frustrating and depressing.
We play games to have fun! Opportunities are therefore designed to feel like good luck. The benefits are clearly visible, while the downsides are hidden in the background with economic and accounting concepts. For example, consider an opportunity where we invest 150g in +3 science per turn.
- +3 per turn.
- Balanced with higher tech costs: gains
- All players have the same opportunity rate: externalities
- Unpredictable place and time: risk
- Forgo other choices: opportunity cost
- Early expenses for late income: time value of money, return on investment
None of these downsides are specifically stated on the opportunity popup window, to make them feel so fun and powerful. We only see a gold cost for a per-turn bonus.
Even if the trigger of an opportunity has a negative aspect, like protests, the outcomes can be positive: reducing crime or improving education. It’s an opportunity to improve society. The central government can invest in this opportunity to get better results, or let the local authorities handle it with fewer resources, lower costs, and lower rewards
Say we’re in the Medieval era on standard game speed. We get 1 opportunity every 25 turns, at a random time during those 25 turns. It works like this:
- Each turn has a rising chance of an opportunity.
- If the chance happens:
- Run an opportunity.
- Block future opportunities.
- Continue incrementing the chance.
- When the stored chance reaches 100%:
- Reset chance to 0%.
- Unblock opportunities.
For example, if we’re at turn 100 in the Medieval era, things might go like this:
– 20% chance randomly happens this turn.
– Do an opportunity.
– Block future opportunities.
106: 25%: blocked
123: 92%: blocked
124: 96%: blocked
– Reset to 0%.
– Unblock opportunities.
128: 8%: chance opportunity occurs
129: 16%: blocked
130: 20%: blocked
131: 24%: blocked
… repeating …
The increase in +% chance per turn depend on era and game speed. For normal speed these are the current timers:
This means that in the Industrial era we will always have 1 opportunity every 15 turns. It randomly occurs earlier or later in that 15-turn timeframe, but the average remains constant. After 60 turns we’d have precisely 4 happen.