Civilization: Beyond Earth Walkthrough: Diplomacy

Civilization: Beyond Earth Walkthrough Listing

Diplomacy is a feature of Beyond Earth for human and AI players alike. That said, there are more options available when conducting relations with AI players, as humans can make up their own minds while chatting. This article will therefore focus more on the options available when talking to AI colonies.

The Basics

Diplomacy comes into play the moment a second colony appears on your map, and there will always be at least one. AI colonies always begin in a neutral frame of mind in regards to your colony, and your actions towards them, your other neighbours, and the planet at large, can either build or destroy your diplomatic stance. What pleases one colony may infuriate another. 

Factors that can change diplomatic relations for the better include:
  • Establishing Trade Routes
  • Making Deals
  • Offering gifts
  • Responding positively to requests for aid
  • Not harming Aliens
  • Sharing the same Affinity
  • Honouring promises
  • Establishing Cooperation Agreements and Alliances
One the flip side, factors that can damage diplomatic relations include:
  • Actively hunting Aliens
  • Going to war against another colony as the aggressor
  • Repeatedly going to war
  • Denouncing another colony
  • Making Demands
  • Spying on another colony with Covert Agents and getting caught
  • Settling new cities too close to foreign borders
  • Establishing expeditions too close to foreign borders (or in foreign borders, if you have Open Borders)
  • Clearing Miasma near foreign borders (this is typically only damaging if the colony is of the Harmony Affinity, however)
  • Breaking promises
Diplomacy is, in short, a rather sticky affair, and it’s really easy to destroy relations with a colony if you don’t watch what you’re doing.

The Deal screen. Here you can offer resources in exchange for the goods and services of other colonies.
The Deal screen. Here you can offer resources
 in exchange for the goods and services of other colonies.
Diplomatic Status

There is no better gauge of how a foreign colony feels towards you than how they act, or react, during the game. That said, you can get a rough idea of how a foreign power regards you by opening up the Diplomacy menu (click on one of their cities) and looking at the top-right corner of the menu. Here you’ll find your current diplomatic status with the foreign colony, and if you hover over the status you’ll see a small breakdown of things that are both right and wrong between the two of you.

There are five different tiers to your diplomatic status relative to other colonies, and they’ll fluctuate often throughout the game, depending on the factors listed above. They include:
  • Neutral. Meh. The other colony doesn’t think much about you one way or the other.
  • Friendly. The other colony is happy to make your acquaintance, and will ease up on trade conditions. They’ll also be much more likely to agree to Open Borders, Cooperation Agreements, and Alliances. Note that Friendly colonies may still declare war on you if you seem vulnerable, or if you’ve caused trouble for them in the past.
  • Guarded. The other colony finds you a little questionable, but they don’t outright hate you. Trades will be a little more expensive, though you typically won’t find yourself at war unless you do something really bad.
  • Hostile. The other colony hates you. This usually only happens if you’re a horrid warmonger and press too many buttons. Trade deals are incredibly expensive, and declarations of war are common.
  • Afraid. The other colony fears you so much, typically because you possess a ridiculous amount of military power. They’ll respond favourably to Demands and trade offers, but they’ll stab you in the back if you show the slightest sign of weakness or decay. Be wary.
One colony invading another by sea during a state of war. Blue is gonna lose this one. (Trust me, I was there.)
One colony invading another by sea during a state of war.
Blue is gonna lose this one. (Trust me, I was there.)
DECLARE WAR

The first option you receive on the diplomacy menu is the one you want to trifle with the least: Declare War. Declaring War will put you at a state of heightened aggression with another colony, one that will not end until a) One side agrees to unfavourable terms put forth by the other, b) Both sides simply agree to stop fighting, or c) One side conquers or destroys all of the cities possessed by the other side. More than two colonies can fight in a war, sometimes resulting in world-wide skirmishes that can wreak havoc on everything you’ve built.

The following unique conditions are set into play whenever you Declare War on another colony, or if they Declare War on you:
  • All Trade Routes and other trade agreements between the two colonies are immediately severed.
  • Your units can now enter enemy borders without an Open Borders agreement, and vice versa.
  • Your units can now attack their units, similar to attacking Aliens. If a unit participating in combat with a melee unit cannot attack, it is either outright destroyed (Colonists) or captured (Workers).
  • Your units can attack enemy cities, and vice versa. If a city is captured, it can be annexed (turned into a city of your own), puppeted (made into one of your cities, but given limited autonomy), or razed to the ground. All three will result in negative Health.
  • Your units can Plunder enemy improvements and Trade Routes, and vice versa. Plundering yields significant resource gains, and can heal the Plunderer.
States of war can be exited by the diplomacy menu. Depending on how the war is going, however, the other side may want some significant concessions before they give in - and they may not be willing to give in at all. Typically it takes several dozen turns before foreign powers will even consider giving up on a war.

It’s possible for other colonies to request your aid in wars. You can either turn them down flat, agree, or offer to do so after ten turns of preparation. Failing to go to war after ten turns when you’ve already agreed to do so can have some serious diplomatic repercussions.

Deal

When at peace, two colonies can trade resources with one another and make other diplomatic arrangements. These are done via the Deal menu. Depending on your overall diplomatic standing with the colony, you may have to offer more or less resources on this menu to get what you want. Generally speaking, the better your standing with another colony, the less resources you need to offer.

Whenever trading via the Deal menu, all items offered in a Deal are shunted to the bottom of the menu. It’s typically wise to choose what you want of your opponent, then select ‘What do you want for this?’ to see how many resources they’re expecting in return… or to see if they’re willing to trade at all.
  • Gain / Spend Favors. Favors are an intangible resource unique to Beyond Earth. They’re typically received for doing something for another colony, and can be used to gain clout with that colony in future transactions.
  • Energy. You can trade either lump sums or ‘per turn’ amounts of Energy. Note that you cannot cancel ‘per turn’ arrangements, save by engaging the other colony in war.
  • Science. Similar to Energy, you can trade Science ‘per turn’. The same conditions apply here.
  • Strategic Resources. Any strategic resources you’ve developed and gained can be used in trades. Unlike other Civilization games, resources traded in this manner are lost forever, not temporarily loaned.
  • Open Borders. When Open Borders is active, units can move freely through foreign borders without triggering a state of war. Open Borders lasts for 25 turns before requiring renewal.
  • Alliance. If you have a good standing with the colony (Friendly status, basically) you can offer an Alliance. This is a form of protection, ensuring that the other colony will come to your defence in times of war. Alliances are broken if you are the instigator of a war. Establishing an Alliance will automatically grant you Open Borders with the other colony if you don’t have it already, and lasts 25 turns.
  • Cities. Yes, you can trade cities. Don’t expect to do this very often, though - it typically only comes up if you’re trying to end a war.
  • Other Players. It’s possible to use diplomatic clout to convince your trading partner to react in certain ways to other colonies. This option is used to either begin or end wars.
Demand

Feelin’ rough and tumble, eh? Demand is a one-sided form of Deal in which you ask for something but offer nothing in exchange. Making Demands won’t typically work if you don’t have an overwhelming military advantage over your trading partner, and it will always affect your relationship for the worse.

AI players can make their own Demands, though they usually take the form of humble requests instead. Agreeing to their terms will improve your relationship with the colony; refusing usually won’t hurt things.

The Discuss screen. Here you can have more cordial discussions regarding a variety of topics, sans resources.
The Discuss screen. Here you can have more cordial discussions
regarding a variety of topics, sans resources.
Discuss

In addition to straight trades, it’s possible to Discuss a variety of topics with trading partners. How they react to your requests will depend on your overall diplomatic standing, and whether or not they fear your military. Discussion topics include:
  • Stop using covert operations against us. This pops up if you’ve caught one of their Covert Agents in your cities. This may or may not stop such behaviour.
  • Don’t settle new Cities near us. This is more likely to work if they haven’t already founded a city near your borders. If they have, well, tough luck.
  • Shall we establish a Cooperation Agreement? Cooperation Agreements are tacit, near-Alliances that tell the world your two colonies are diplomatically close. Though informal, Cooperation Agreements will prompt the other partner to support you in most things - though they’ll expect the same in return. Failing to assist Cooperation Agreement partners will have serious consequences for your diplomatic standing.
  • Shall we declare war against… Ask the colony if they’re willing to help you against another colony. The answer is going to be ‘No’ unless you have really strong relations.
Diplomacy Tips

So that’s diplomacy in Beyond Earth. Looking for some more help? Here are some strategies you might want to employ. They will prove more or less successful depending on your difficulty level, as negotiations get much stickier as the difficulty climbs.
  • Until you have overwhelming military might, don’t Declare War lightly. You’ll quickly gain a reputation for being a warmonger, and nations will team up to take you down.
  • Don’t Demand anything unless you have overwhelming military might, either. You’ll get turned down, and take a hit to diplomatic relations for no good reason. 
  • Walk a diplomatic tightrope with players that have a different Affinity. It’s remarkable how much more likely it is for war to erupt between colonies with differing Affinities, and unless war is your goal, you should maintain good border relations whenever possible.
  • When in doubt, open Trade Routes with foreign powers. They will never view this in a negative light.
  • Whenever asking what a colony would accept in exchange for goods or services, lower the asking price just a smidge. For example, if they want five Energy per turn, offer four instead. You’ll usually get away with the trade. That said, make sure you scan the items they ask for thoroughly, to make sure you don’t accidentally trade something you’d rather keep.
  • Honour your promises. If a foreign power catches you doing something they deem bad, they’ll ask you to promise not to do it again. Assuming you make such a promise, keep it. Your relations will take a serious hit if you break a promise. This can be especially difficult to track if you set your Workers and Explorers to wander the map automatically, as they’ll cause diplomatic faux pas without a second thought.
  • If there are more than two players (including yourself), always try to make one of the others into an ally. You do not want multiple colonies ganging up on you in a war, especially if they’re direct neighbours.

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