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The Battle of Polytopia update for 27 January 2022

Diplomacy!

Share · View all patches · Build 8090674 · Last edited by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community
This build has not been seen in a public branch.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for! Years of planning, re-designs, delays, and development have led us to this momentous occasion - Diplomacy! Well, the beta for Diplomacy, at least. You see, this new technology adds some fairly large changes to the game and how it operates, and we wanted to put it into an extra long beta test period so that you, our wonderful fans, can give it a try and tell us what you think so that we can make it the best it can be!

What Sorts of Changes?

We’re going to take a deep dive into all that the Diplomacy tech has to offer, as well as other changes that we’ve done with this update. If you'd like to just get into the beta, instructions to do so are at the bottom, but we encourage you to read the post first.
This is going to be a long post, so be ready.

AI Improvements


As you can see by this picture, AI tribes now have opinions of you, with modifiers explaining just why they hate you. We couldn’t make a new diplomacy system without something like this, because otherwise you’d be unable to make informed guesses about how to best appease a tribe you want to become friends with. The AI are fully equipped to use the new Diplomacy systems as well, and will totally gang up on you if you’re winning or will pity you if you’re not. You can tap on those colored bubbles to give a more detailed explanation of what they think of you, just like you can tap the colored name bubbles on other menus to bring you to this one.

Besides teaching them to use the new Diplomacy systems, AI are now overall smarter, as they’ll use their units more effectively, defend their cities better, manage their economies more robustly, and overall be more challenging, even without Diplomacy!

The New Stuff

Right, now onto the fun stuff that you’ve been dying to read.

Peace Treaties:


Before we get to the Diplomacy stuff, let’s talk about the big change to the “Shields” tech (besides the name change to “Strategy”). “Peace Treaties” are exactly as they sound, you can offer an enemy empire the opportunity to become friends with you indefinitely until either one of you cancels it.

What benefits does this provide?

  • The two of you can’t attack each other or perform any sort of hostile actions, such as occupying cities, converting units, etc.
  • Your units' movements aren’t hindered by their units, and vice-versa (also known as “Zone of Control''). You can also use their roads as if they were your own for the purpose of movement.
  • Your Embassies will make double the income, but we’ll talk more about Embassies in a moment.

These benefits allow you and them to gang up on tribes who might be winning (or ones you just don’t like), as now you don’t have to worry about hostilities between you and your new friend(s). Of course, at some point, you’ll have to kill them in Might or Domination, but until then, may your friendship be legendary! Note, the recipient of a peace treaty request doesn’t need the Strategy tech as well, only the person sending it.

But what if you don’t like your friend anymore? You can totally cancel a peace treaty at any time, but be warned, any units of yours in their territory will be destroyed and you’ll be unable to move any of your still-living troops that turn. This way, there’s no exploitative backstabbing, and the betrayed gets a chance to do something about it.

Our hopes for Peace Treaties:
This is the heart of Diplomacy, the ability to make friends and use them to help take down larger foes. Sort of a catch-up mechanic for smaller tribes that lets them work together, even if it's ultimately temporary. We want Peace Treaties to be viable, especially in FFA games, and something that is genuinely mutually beneficial to both parties. This is also something that we don't want exploited, so please tell us if you find ways to use them to be unfriendly to your friends. :)

And now, for Diplomacy!

If Strategy has peace treaties, then what does Diplomacy have to offer? A combination of things, as a matter of fact. The Diplomacy tech allows for new options involving both peaceful and hostile interactions with your fellow tribes.

Capital Vision


The moment you research Diplomacy, you’ll be able to see the location of the Capital city of any tribes you’ve encountered. This will also take effect if you meet someone new, so you can always see what they’re up to and where your ultimate goal is, allowing for some interesting tactical decisions. Researching Diplomacy will also improve the insight you have on other tribes, showing their relationships with their friends and enemies. These little abilities are primarily for the next thing, though.

Our hopes for Capital Vision:
This is important because you can't really place an Embassy in a city that you can't see, so we made sure you could see it. We also like how it shows you your objective if you're going for a more militaristic victory, letting you peer into the fog of war and get intel that can be useful. Concerning the other passive benefit, we like Diplomacy revealing more about your opponents and their relationships with others. You might not be diplomatic, but you can still get some nifty insight on your opponents just by researching this tech.

Embassy


This is an Embassy, a solely diplomatic building that can only be built in other tribes’ capitals. You’ll be able to build an Embassy with any tribe that you’re not currently at war with, and any Embassies you have built will be destroyed if either of you attack the other, so it’s for peacetime only. Embassies provide you monetary rewards for friendship, encouraging you to keep your allies close. It will also make cutting ties with your allies much harder, as the rewards can be very lucrative. And yes, they can send you an Embassy as well, for further rewards!

What does it do?

  • Reveal the surrounding 8 tiles around the capital, as shown in the picture.
  • Make +2 Stars every turn for both you and them, These rewards are doubled if you have a peace treaty with them (up to +4 Stars total a turn).
  • Function as a positive diplomatic modifier for AI opponents, making it easier to ally with them.

Tapping on any enemy unit or city, or finding their information from the score screen, will allow you to build an Embassy. You can’t build an Embassy if they’ve lost their capital, but can if they’ve retaken it. Your Embassy will be destroyed if the city it is in is captured, encouraging you to keep your allies safe.

Our hopes for Embassies:
Embassies are meant to be a "fully peaceful interaction" that you can do with friendly tribes, and are designed to benefit both parties more or less equally. We want Embassies to be powerful enough to warrant building them to strengthen a friendship (and yourselves), but also not so powerful as to be OP. The perfect Embassy is one that provides benefits so good to both of you that it both lets you accomplish your mutual goals, but also really makes you think about who you're allying with. This is something we want a lot of feedback on.

Cloak


And now, the fun part of Diplomacy, the Cloak. Cloaks are infiltration specialists trained in the arts of subterfuge and clandestine operations with two new abilities - Stealth and Infiltrate, and we’ll talk more about how those operate in a moment.

Here’s their stats:

So, Stealth (which is inherent to the unit and not a separate trait) works as you would imagine, it renders them 100% invisible to enemy units, but won’t take effect until you first move them, so your enemy can snipe them the moment they’re trained or if they've performed an action such as exploring a ruin. The only way to reveal them is to attempt to occupy the same space as them with one of your units, so it’s possible to “bump” into one. If you do, you’ll be given a chance to attack them, to which they have no defense. Cloaks are also unique in that their Stealth and Infiltrate abilities will also apply if they're put into a boat, but that boat can't be upgraded (no stealthy Battleships, thank you).

Infiltrate is the big ability, though, which can only be activated by attacking an enemy city with the Cloak. This will consume the Cloak, but will spawn 3 Daggers for free! You can’t use Infiltrate on any cities that are currently under siege, nor can you use it the same turn that the Cloak has become invisible (such as its first movement). Cloaks also have no attack against enemy units, and can be seen by your allies.

Our hopes for Cloaks:
Diplomacy isn't just about being friends with others, but also screwing with them. Cloaks are meant to be a high risk, high reward infiltration unit, one that is strong enough to offset the difficulty getting them to their target. We want you to feel adequately rewarded for being able to sneak one into the heart of their territory, either using them to scout out enemy positions or for a critical strike on some undefended city with a swarm of Daggers. We also don't want Cloaks to be super hard to counter, but they can't be too easy to spot, either. While we know that Diplomacy might not be the best tech to get in small player games, like a 1v1, we would like Cloaks to still be worth getting, something that can turn the tide of a fight if used effectively. This is something we want a lot of feedback on.

Dagger


Daggers are rebels incited to action by the Cloak, ready to fight against their former nation with fervor. They can only be trained by using a Cloak’s Infiltrate action on an enemy city, and can easily be used to disrupt an enemy or even capture their undefended cities! Daggers won’t spawn on mountains without Climbing or water without Sailing, and will prioritize land before water. Daggers spawned on the water will be made into boats for free, which can be upgraded like any other. If there isn’t space to spawn, Daggers will decide to give up the cause and simply go home, not materializing at all.

Here’s their stats:

“They’re as strong as a Warrior? That seems lame,” you might say, but if you’ll notice, these zealous experts in guerilla warfare have the “Surprise” ability, much like Cymanti Phychi, which means that they won’t be retaliated against when they attack. They also don’t need support from cities, and outside of the cost of the Cloak, are effectively free. This gives them a lot of flexibility, as they can be used to whittle down stronger units, work as cannon fodder, and even capture cities!

Our hopes for Daggers:
Daggers are meant to be the big reward for clever use of a well-placed Cloak. Something that can snipe undefended cities, weaken more fortified strongholds, or just serve as a diversion for an unprepared enemy. They're agents of chaos, and we hope that they are worth the hassle of maneuvering a Cloak into enemy territory, while also having fun counterplay if you're ever unfortunate enough to have some spawn in your borders. Are they too strong or not strong enough? We'd love to know.

That’s all that’s in the Diplomacy tech! We hope that these additions will make the game much more dynamic, especially in FFA-style matches, but you might find some use in a 1v1 if you get creative. :)

Any other changes we should know about?

Yes! Here’s some of the more important changes:

Mints

For a long time, we’ve wanted Forges to make Stars instead of Population, and now we’ve done it! To differentiate them from other “modifier” buildings, Forges have now been renamed to "Mints" and will now make +1 Star per adjacent Mine, allowing tribes like Xin-Xi and Vengir to get some more tangible economic benefits from their mountains.

Windmills

With the population removed from Forges, we decided to buff Windmills by providing them +2 Pop per adjacent farm instead of simply +1. The new Windmills are going to be the source of some very large cities.

Knights

Our speedy Knights have gotten a nerf, they now have 10HP instead of 15. This means that while they were glass cannons before, they’re even more so now, so don’t expect them to hold up well defensively. Their damage output hasn’t been changed, though, but you’ll still have to use them more carefully. We did bring their cost back to 8 Stars to compensate.

Chop Forest

Guess what? We put it back to 1 Star! Yep, we hated what happened when we put it at 2 Stars in our last Balance Pass, and have reverted that entirely. We feel that it’s now in a good spot and won’t be dominating any more metas.

Algae

Cymanti Algae has also been reverted, and will make 1 Population again. We agree it was a little too much.

And One Last Thing!

We have some more changes that should be added to this update very soon, such as some improvements that benefit esports and other fun stuff, but they couldn't be finished in time. We'll have another post ready for next week when these things are added to the beta.

Why Do You Need Us to Test It?

While we are more or less solid on what we want this update to add and aren't looking for any more huge changes, there’s always room for improvements.

Here’s a few questions to help get you started: “Are the Cloaks strong enough?”, “How does this affect Quetzali and Imperius?”, “Can peace treaties be exploited?”, “Are Embassies worth it?”, and other such questions are the sorts of things we’d like to hear about. We might make changes to the game during this beta period, as we tweak values and make small adjustments based on your feedback! Or, who knows, maybe we got it right on the first try! ;)

How Do I Get Into the Beta?

We’ve added a lot more beta testing slots for both Android and iOS, but sadly can’t make it unlimited, so it’s first come, first served. We can’t promise you that your old games will be safe after you upgrade, so please finish those before opting into the beta. You will also be unable to play with people who have not updated to the beta yet. You can opt into the Android beta from Polytopia’s Google Play Store page, and into the iOS beta by finding Polytopia on the Testflight App, or by going to these links.

Android:
https://play.google.com/apps/testing/air.com.midjiwan.polytopia

iOS:
https://testflight.apple.com/join/LjTQNqua

We recommend that you test on Steam, though, as that’s much easier and has unlimited space. Just right-click on Polytopia, go to “Properties”, click the “Betas” tab, and use the password "TestDiplomacy" to get access.

Expect issues with stability and new sorts of bugs, and please report any that you find. Note: The beta is currently only in English.

We look forward to what you have to say about Diplomacy! We’ve opened a #diplomacy-discussion channel on our Discord just for Diplomacy discussion, and we encourage you to talk about it there!

Go to the Discord by clicking this link:
https://discord.gg/polytopia

Changelog

Here’s a proper changelog, for those of you who like changelogs.

Diplomacy Features
-Shields tech renamed to Strategy
-New Peace Treaty option added to Strategy
-New Diplomacy tech after Strategy
-New Capital vision ability that reveals other players' capitals
-New Embassy building, which is built in other players' capitals and produces income for both tribes
-New Cloak unit, invisible while moving, infiltrates enemy cities
-New Dagger unit, spawns when a Cloak infiltrates a city,
-New Tribe Info screen with more detailed info about your opponents

-Improved AI players

Balance Adjustments
-Knight hp down to 10
-Knight price back to 8
-Forge replaced by Mint that produce 1
/ adjacent mine
-Windmill produce 2 pop / adjacent farm
-Clear forest reward back to 1*

Have fun!
-Zoythrus

Changed depots in knights-internal branch

View more data in app history for build 8090674
The Battle of Polytopia Depot Mac OS X Depot 874391
The Battle of Polytopia Depot Windows Depot 874392
The Battle of Polytopia Depot Linux Depot 874393
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