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The social engineering screen.

Social engineering represents the ideology of your faction and the characteristics of its society. Indicators show the cumulative effect of your faction's characteristics and selected policies on society. Every faction starts at zero, with modifiers from:

  • Faction characteristics
  • Policies
  • Secret projects
  • Other variables

These are computed into the final result. Consult the table below for more details.

Society indicators[ | ]

  • ECONOMY: Represents the raw strength of your society's economy. Increasing this value will increase your energy flow.
  • EFFICIENCY: Represents your society's ability to function without waste and mismanagement. If this value falls too low, your bases will begin to lose energy to inefficiency (see article for details). Also affects the number of bases beyond which extra drones begin to appear (bureaucracy, see article for details).
  • SUPPORT: Affects the support costs of military units. The lower your score here, the more of your units you'll have to expend minerals to support.
  • MORALE: Affects the training and determination of your military. A higher score here translates directly into morale upgrades for your units.
  • POLICE: Represents your society's tolerance for police control and restrictions on personal freedom. A high score allows you to use military units as police to suppress drone riots. A low score will cause increasing tension when your military units are away from home.
  • GROWTH: Affects your population growth rate. The higher your score, the fewer nutrients your bases will need to grow. At +6 Growth, your bases will grow each turn if they have at least 2 excess nutrients.
  • PLANET: Represents your society's sensitivity to the ecology of Planet. A low score indicates that ecological damage will occur more quickly
  • PROBE: Affects your vulnerability (or strength) on security issues. A high score will help prevent enemy probe team attacks.
  • INDUSTRY: Represents your manufacturing strength. A high score reduces the number of minerals required to build units and facilities.
  • RESEARCH: Affects your technological progress. A higher score will increase the rate at which you make breakthroughs.
-5 Two extra drones for each military unit away from territory Labs research slowed by 50%
-4 ECONOMIC PARALYSIS Each unit costs 2 to support; no free minerals for new base. -3 Morale; + modifiers halved Extra drone for each military unit away from territory Labs research slowed by 40%
-3 -2 energy each base Murderous inefficiency Each unit costs 1 to support; no free minerals for new base. -2 Morale; + modifiers halved Extra drone if more than one military unit away from territory NEAR-ZERO POPULATION GROWTH Wanton ecological disruption; -3 Fungus production Mineral costs increased by 30% Labs research slowed by 30%
-2 -1 energy each base Appalling inefficiency Support 1 unit free per base; no free minerals for new base. -1 Morale; + modifiers halved Cannot use military units as police. No nerve stapling. -20% growth rate Rampant ecological disruption; -2 Fungus production -50% cost of enemy probe team actions; enemy success rate increased Mineral costs increased by 20% Labs research slowed by 20%
-1 -1 energy at HQ base Gross inefficiency Support 1 unit free per base -1 Morale One police unit allowed. No nerve stapling. -10% growth rate Increased ecological disruption; -1 Fungus production -25% cost of enemy probe team actions; enemy success rate increased Mineral costs increased by 10% Labs research slowed by 10%
0 Standard energy rates High inefficiency Support 2 units free per base Normal Morale Can use one military unit as police Normal growth rate Normal ecological tension Normal security measures Normal production rate Normal research rate
1 +1 energy each base Reasonable efficiency Support 3 units free per base +1 Morale Can use up to 2 military units as police +10% growth rate Ecological safeguards!; Can capture native life forms +1 probe team morale; +50% cost of enemy probe team actions Mineral costs decreased by 10% Labs research speeded by 10%
2 +1 energy each square! Commendable efficiency Support 4 units free per base! +1 Morale (+2 on defense) Can use up to 3 military units as police! +20% growth rate Ecological harmony!; Increased chance of native life form capture! +2 probe team morale; Doubles cost of enemy probe team actions! Mineral costs decreased by 20% Labs research speeded by 20%
3 +1 energy each square; +1 commerce rating!! Exemplary efficiency! Support 4 units OR up to base size for free!! +2 Morale! (+3 on defense) 3 units as police. Police effect doubled!! +30% growth rate Ecological wisdom!!; Maximum chance of native life form capture!! +3 probe team morale; Bases and units cannot be subverted by standard Probe Teams!! Mineral costs decreased by 30%! Labs research speeded by 30%
4 +1 energy/sq; +2 energy/base; +2 commerce!!! PARADIGM ECONOMY!! +3 Morale!! +40% growth rate Mineral costs decreased by 40%!! Labs research speeded by 40%
5 +1 energy/sq; +4 energy/base; +3 commerce!!!! +50% growth rate! Mineral costs decreased by 50%!!! Labs research speeded by 50%
6 POPULATION BOOM: +1 Citizen each base per turn as long as the base has at least 2 excess nutrients.

Priorities[ | ]

While some of the modifiers are self-explanatory, some require additional explanation:

  • Efficiency brings with it diminishing returns, as inefficiency is inevitable due to distance from headquarters. It's much more important to keep it above negative values, than maintaining a very high efficiency rating: At -2 the losses from distance are doubled, while at +5 the losses are reduced by only 65%. Efficiency is much more important when it comes to drones, as it defines the base limit above which you get one extra drone per base. An efficiency of -4 generates one extra drone for EVERY base you have at Standard Planet size (3200 squares), regardless of difficulty or efficiency rating. -3 creates the baseline limit (4 at the two easiest difficulties, 3 at the two middle ones, and 2 at the two highest) that's multiplied for every point above -3 (i.e. at 6 efficiency, ten levels above the baseline you get a 40 base limit, 10 x 4, at the easiest difficulty). With a large territory and faction, losing efficiency can have murderous consequences, in the form of drone riots every turn.
  • Morale is highly context-dependent. In peacetime, although a -3 penalty seems crushing, it is easily minimized to just -1 with a command center, naval yard, or aerospace complex. Combined with bioenhancement center, you always get a +1 morale upgrade even at the lowest morale values. Similarly, focusing on morale just for the +3 modifier might result in waste, as combining any of the above with the bioenhancement center will result in all units being produced at Elite morale levels at +2 Morale already. In wartime, the situation is a little different, but the real dealbreaker is anything below -1, as combat modifiers are halved at that point.
  • Growth is rendered irrelevant if you have The Cloning Vats.
  • Probe rating is only a problem if you do not control The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm (which autokills probe teams whenever they try to perform an action on your forces) or if you're not playing The Lord's Believers (who have a lite version of the Hunter-Seeker as a faction bonus).

Politics[ | ]

The Politics social category allows you to choose your basic political system.

Choice Frontier Police State Democratic Fundamentalist
Efficiency -2 +2
Support +2 -2
Morale +1
Police +2
Growth +2
Probe +2
Research -2
Negation Human Hive
Preference Human Hive Peacekeeping Forces
The Data Angels
The Lord's Believers
Aversion Peacekeeping Forces Human Hive
Manifold Usurpers
University of Planet
The Cybernetic Consciousness

Frontier[ | ]

Frontier politics represent the informal governing arrangements made in early colonies, before populations reach levels requiring more advanced forms of government. Frontier politics provides no bonuses or penalties.

  • Prerequisite: NONE

Police State[ | ]

Police States use oppression to keep their citizens in line, and allow their leaders great power over military decisions. But oppression of this type also decreases economic efficiency.

Democratic[ | ]

Democracies allow citizens to participate in government, and forego oppression and the stability it confers in favor of growth and efficiency. But citizens remain suspicious of large military deployments, and civilian oversight creates large military bureaucracies, so military support costs increase.

Fundamentalist[ | ]

Fundamentalist politics unite a society behind a strong, dogmatic religion. Evangelizing the populace can create loyal, even fanatical military forces, and tends to immunize citizens against (other forms of) brainwashing, but technological research tends to suffer under the continual assaults on intellectual integrity associated with such regimes.

Economics[ | ]

The Economics social category allows you to control the way your economy is managed.

Choice Simple Free Market Planned Green
Economy +2
Efficiency -2 +2
Police -5
Growth +2 -2
Planet -3 +2
Industry +1
Preference Morgan Industries Manifold Usurpers
Manifold Caretakers
Gaia's Stepdaughters
The Cult of Planet
Aversion Gaia's Stepdaughters Morgan Industries The Free Drones

Simple[ | ]

Simple Economics describes the informal, ad hoc economy which develops in the early years of planetfall, before more organized economic systems can be put in place. Simple Economics provides no special benefits or penalties.

  • Prerequisite: NONE

Free Market[ | ]

Free Market Economics turns market forces loose in your society. Unfettered market economics can produce great wealth quickly, but in the context of Planet's fragile emerging economies can also lead to extremes of pollution and ecological damage. Also, citizens rendered suddenly poor by the actions of unscrupulous moguls may revolt against their energy-fattened masters.

Planned[ | ]

A semi-market economy kept in check by fierce governmental regulation, Planned Economics promotes stable industrial and population growth, but sacrifices efficiency.

Green[ | ]

Green Economics strive to integrate sentient progress with the needs of the biosphere. Green economies use resources efficiently and tend to avoid the excesses of industrial development which could provoke Planet's native life, but population growth necessarily suffers for lack of space.

Values[ | ]

The Values social category allows you to set major priorities for your society.

Choice Survival Power Knowledge Wealth
Economy +1
Efficiency +1
Support +2
Morale +2 -2
Probe -2
Industry -2 +1
Research +2
Negation The Cloning Vats The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm (defense only)
Preference Spartan Federation
Nautilus Pirates
University of Planet
Aversion The Data Angels The Lord's Believers Spartan Federation

Survival[ | ]

Survival is of course the all-encompassing first priority of early human or Progenitor space colonies. "Survival" as a priority provides no special bonuses or penalties.

  • Prerequisite: NONE

Power[ | ]

Leaders seeking Power build strong, well-paid military forces to enforce their will. But Economic and industrial infrastructure may suffer from bloated "defense" budgets.

Knowledge[ | ]

Leaders seeking Knowledge and intellectual enlightenment will pour resources into research and education. They will also tend to promote the free exchange of information, which increases efficiency but also carries greater security risks.

  • Prerequisite: Cyberethics

Wealth[ | ]

Leaders seeking Wealth will concentrate on building economic and industrial infrastructure rapidly. They achieve rapid growth and development, with possible side effects being decadence and moral decay.

Future Society[ | ]

Future Societies show speculatively how society may evolve in the far future.

Choice None Cybernetic Eudaimonic Thought Control
Economy +2
Efficiency +2
Support -3
Morale -2 +2
Police -3 +2
Growth +2
Planet +2
Probe +2
Industry +2
Research +2
Negation The Cybernetic Consciousness
The Network Backbone
The Cloning Vats
Preference The Cybernetic Consciousness The Free Drones

None[ | ]

None, or no Future Society, simply means that your society has not yet evolved to a far future society. No bonuses or penalties apply.

Prerequisite: NONE

Cybernetic[ | ]

In the far future, citizens may turn many of the tasks of governing society over to artificially intelligent computers, increasing efficiency and freeing individuals for more creative tasks. But will workers displaced by computers sink into despair, poverty, and possible unrest?

  • Prerequisite: Digital Sentience

Eudaimonic[ | ]

Perhaps the most pleasant to contemplate living in, this far future society takes its name from an ancient Greek word for fulfillment and happiness. Eudaimonic society encourages each citizen to achieve happiness through striving to fulfill completely his or her potential. Population, Economy, and Industry all experience healthy growth. Violence fades as society grows more tolerant and just, and even when this society's hand is forced it often shoots to subdue rather than to destroy.

  • Prerequisite: Eudaimonia

Thought Control[ | ]

The ultimate in "Big Brother" methods, Thought Control effuses subtle neurochemical triggers into the atmosphere to render its population obedient, loyal, and resistant to outside ideas. But significant resources are required to maintain this level of control.