[DLC/MOD REQUEST] The Path of the Peacemakers

https://phoenixpoint.canny.io/feedback/p/dlcmod-request-the-path-of-the-peacemakers

WARNING: This is a long one :wink:

While I have absolutely no objection to the concept of inter-Faction war, as my response to this shows ( [MOD-REQUEST] Stop the faction war on each other ), I do find the Faction War as it currently stands both irrelevant in game terms and pointless.

I get that it’s probably designed as a way of thinning out the Factions in the mid-game but it goes nowhere! It simply peters out, and can actually be completely ignored – I simply left the idiots to duke it out amongst themselves and got on with the job of saving the world. Maybe that’s why my ODI was so high – I don’t know – but it felt utterly irrelevant to me.

So I propose a DLC (or a Mod if someone has the chops) called THE PATH OF THE PEACEMAKERS, which gives PP the option to try and delay or even stop the War, at a significant cost in commitment and risk/reward. It would break down into a series of Story Panels & Missions:

PANEL 1: WE ARE THE PEACEMAKERS - Triggered by the first Declaration of War – PP is given the option to declare itself the Peacemakers, dedicated to preventing a War. This gives PP a +5 Attitude boost from all Factions except the Declaring one (where PP gets -5 Att), and triggers the DLC stream below

MISSION 1: HOLD THE LINE – Triggered by the first Haven Invasion – When the first Haven is invaded, this triggers a HOLD THE LINE Special Mission located between the Invading Haven and its Target. Set on a random Scavenging map, PP must prevent the Invaders from exiting along PP’s baseline. If they do so, the invasion is cancelled and ALL Factions gain a +5 boost in Attitude to each other and PP. If they fail, all Factions lose -5 Att to PP, but the Invaders’ Strength is reduced by the number of casualties inflicted by PP.

PANEL 2: I’M A SCIENTIST, GET ME OUTTA HERE! – Triggered by Mission 1 – At the conclusion of Mission 1, PP gets a message from Dr Jay Gee: a Biologist currently imprisoned in the Invaders’ Haven. He thinks he has discovered the reason why everyone is getting so aggressive, but he’s being held under house arrest and his research is being suppressed. He needs PP to break him out of the Haven so that he can complete his research.

MISSION 2: SAVE JAY GEE! – Triggered by PP accepting Panel 2 – PP must mount a Rescue Mission to break Dr Gee out of the Invaders’ Haven. If they succeed: the Haven’s Faction Att to PP drops -10 and you unlock Research 1.

RESEARCH 1: DR GEE’S DISCOVERY – Triggered by Accomplishing Mission 2 – A new Research task which reveals that samples of drinking water from the Invading Haven is contaminated with weird Alien viral DNA that increases testosterone levels and boosts human aggression. He thinks it’s coming from the Haven’s water supply – an old, run-down reservoir in the mountains above the Haven.

MISSION 3: FOLLOW THE WATER TRAIL – Triggered by Research 1 – PP must mount a recon-in-force to the Reservoir. There, they find the weird Pig Pipeline from one of the Exploration Panels, guarded by a heavy force of Panda Nasties. They must clearout the Pandas to destroy the Pipeline.

PANEL 3: FOLLOW THE PIGGIES – Triggered by Accomplishing Mission 3 – PP is now given a choice. Do you immediately follow the Pipeline to its source, without resting & recuperating your Squad, or do you simply destroy the Pipeline and abandon the site?

  • FOLLOW THE PIPELINE: Immediately go to Mission 4.
  • DESTROY THE PIPELINE: Immediately increase the Invading Faction’s Attitude to ALL other Factions & PP by +10. Then reset to Mission 1 (Panel 2 will randomly rename its Scientist when another Haven mounts an Invasion – in fact it’s obviously easier in programming terms to randomly name this scientist from the beginning, but I couldn’t resist ‘Dr J. Gee’ :wink:

MISSION 4: THE LAIR OF CTHAAT – Triggered by Following the Pipeline – PP’s battered & weary squad is now thrown into a dark Lair mission, where they have to follow the Pig Pipeline through the Lair to the Pool of Cthaat, a dark Spawnery wallowing in the watery Hole, from which multiple Pipelines are sprouting. They must destroy Cthaat to Accomplish the Mission.

PANEL 4: ERADICATING THE SOURCE – Triggered by Accomplishing Mission 4 – PP broadcasts its discovery to the world: “Your water is being contaminated by the Pandoravirus. If you wish to survive, follow the Pipeline from your water supply to its source and destroy it.”

  • The Invading Faction gains +30 Attitude to PP and +25 Attitude to all other Factions.
  • ALL other Factions gain +10 Attitude to PP and +20 Attitude to all other Factions.

AT THE END OF THE DLC STREAM:

THE REWARDS OF SUCCESS: All Factions automatically reset their At War Levels to 125%

THE PRICE OF FAILURE: All Factions attitude to PP drops by -25%

Now, most of that should be achievable within the current programming parameters of the game. I’ll leave those who know how the system works to figure out how to make the rest work.

If the Devs don’t take up this suggestion for their DLC 4 or 5, I would be happy to provide the scriptwriting expertise to any enterprising Modder who wants to take up the challenge. I think it provides both an interesting rationale for the sudden spike in aggression we see in the Factions, along with an engaging way to de-escalate the tensions, which feeds into the whole ethos of the game.

If you like the idea, please vote for it on Canny: https://phoenixpoint.canny.io/feedback/p/dlcmod-request-the-path-of-the-peacemakers

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wait a moment with this narrative… so heavy Panda force wait there to guard some pipeline instead of wiping out haven supplied by that pipeline? From my understanding Panda’s are not so devious in guerilla tactics. At least not inland. :slight_smile:

Second argument are descriptions of ODI events. I will not spoil here anything writen there but for me it is sufficient reason for factions goint to war. So pipeline story don’t make it for me. :slight_smile:

If you will change those spawneries which sit in watery hole to some psychic emmiting spawneries and change missions from some pipeline camps to some scavenge places with terror sentinels channeling that psychic power guarded by some small Panda force… then maybe it could make some sense. But I’m not sure of it.

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Well, since I recall having a very long and heated debate with BoredEngineer, for whom the ODI explanation did not work at all, there are opinions on both sides here - as usual :wink:

That said, I’m not wedded to the detail of any of this - I just think we need a DLC/Mod which a) clarifies what’s causing the Factions to be so aggressive to one another and b) gives the player some agency in slowing down or even stopping the Faction War.

2 Likes

I did the same as you, I saw no reason to get involved. However, I think it’s a problem of game mechanics, rather than narrative. The problem mechanics wise is that there is no reason to care about individual havens. There are way too many havens to even keep track of them and there are no mechanics that would make any particular haven important to the player. I suggested something in this regard here Diplomacy and base management overhaul proposal (sorry for plugging in).

As to the narrative, I think what happens is entirely predictable and convincing.

The factions hold opposing and irreconciable visions for the future of humanity, this is clear from the start. Coexistence is impossible.

It’s kind of like the Thirty Year War. That ended in the Peace of Westphalia because eventually the warring parties realized that none of them could prevail over the others. Incidentaly, our World Order is still largely that of the PoW, as the European powers exported this coexistence model to the rest of the world during the times of the colonial empires. As convinced Westphalians (after all, it has worked for us for nearly 400 years… It even carried us through the Cold War, which could have well concluded in an extinction event) we view peaceful coexistence as the obvious optimal solution. However, the world of PP is a post-PoW reality, in which coexistence is a very difficult proposition.

All this to say that it’s not that an explanation is need for what happens, rather the opposite is true: something imaginative and radical would be needed to prevent it…

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I agree (see my post here): [MOD-REQUEST] Stop the faction war on each other

But the thread this post was in, along with several others on the subject, demonstrates that many people don’t have a similar understanding of history and are very put off by the idea of a pointless faction war.

I argued quite strongly in another thread that an alternative explanation is simply that the Pandoravirus is driving humans mad, but that was also pooh-poohed in some quarters. So this suggestion is an attempt to both bridge that immersion gap and to provide those people who hate being forced to stand by and tacitly condone our degeneration into genocide with an opportunity to actively try and stop it.

Since it doesn’t seem to be getting much traction on Canny, though, it may well be that this is less of a problem than the threads I’m referring to led me to believe.

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I think this is/was Snapshot’s intention, right? Like, I don’t think I’m even guessing, wasn’t that confirmed somewhere? I might have dreamt it though lol.

My problem with it is that I don’t think it’s very strong narratively, though. Especially since before the ODI buff you could keep the global level at around 0% (speaking from experience) and still have factions declaring war on each other. Obviously, if the ODI has barely gone up you will have had very few of the ‘creeping madness’ narrative texts which makes the start of the war feel really contrived. Basically for me the escalation usually goes as follows:

Step 1 - Insult your rivals’ latest tech
Step 2 - Don’t interact with them again for a month
Step 3 - ???
Step 4 - Genocide

I haven’t played a campaign since the patch and DLC but from the sounds of the changes to ODI levels this problem may now have been mitigated as you’ll presumably escalate through the madness narrative much more steadily. Y’all would know better than me though, I started replaying UFO:EU to tide me over til the DLC and now I’m too into it to go back to PP til I’m done lol.

EDIT: Typo

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Very good post!

Yeah, I don’t see that either.

Individuals are going crazy, but it’s not ideologically driven…

Which is good narrative fodder I think. Three extremely opposed ideologies trying to share a ruined world on the cusp of inevitable doom, robbed even of their own minds by a global mental plague. Lovely little Lovecraftian negative feedback loop right there. Absolutely hopeless from the outset. Very good, very cosmiche. 9 Elder Stars out of 10.

Which just made it all the more painful for me that the catalysts for genocide were just a couple of bitchy comments about cars and dogs and pointing out how the birds have gone weird. Could and should have been waaaaay more tragic. I would have put some midgame event in that makes it seem like some level of cooperation is about to be achieved, only for it to go horribly, horribly wrong. Defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory, and everyone hates each other for it.

Of course, the idea that the wars are started frivolously may be entirely intentional, and not at all invalid if so, just not my preference. It’s like the old rhyme that I just made up goes; “Want more care? Make more despair.”

EDIT: Typo

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Yes, absolutely. I just think that the tragedy should emerge organically. That is, the player should have an interest in specific havens/their leaders so that when it happens there is some drama, some incentive to get involved. Some hard choices as whether to protect vital havens and risk war with the attacking faction…

2 Likes

I think this is a cool little mission set.

If you want to stop the faction wars just defend the havens being attacked and the wars grind to a halt.

Ideological wars are grounded in dogma, “Believe what I believe or I’ll kill you”, in that sense they’re pointless by nature.