Cornflakes_91 wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:01 am
Thus components of megastations can change relationship to each other, including war.
So how to handle that?
If it is handled for planets, then similarly for mega-stations (how do you decide if a second colony can come on the planet). It is also similar to the decision to build another, independant station in the same region as an existing base of another faction. As we don't know the level of details of the simulation, no answer make sense. As illustration, I give you one possible answer to your problem; don't look for holes or details that you are not happy with (but you are welcome to propose improvements for the sake of the discussion); it is not a final design as again, we don't know enough for it to be possible - just look if you think something like this is acceptable to create interesting behaviors:
The mega station is a graph, i.e. each component has defined neighbors. The decision to attach to a neighbor (or to initially build your sector of the station attached to an existing neighbor sector) is taken when both fractions agree that it is a positive contract, like any delivery contract. This is a decision for a profit against costs, including some risks ("trust" means loosing control) if the profits inclde the sharing of ressources.
The graph can also represent physical space coordinates if desired to render the shape and realistically limit which neighbors can be connected (and a maximum number of connection), but it is not necessary.
The connection to further neighbors in the mega station is optional and similar, as one fraction does not need to be connected to more than one other fraction to be inside the mega station; as more connection mitigate the risk of severance (see below) and is not very expensive, usually it is interesting to increase connectivity for all parties.
The shared use of ressources is again similar. I can decide to buy water from a faction which is connected (directly or indirectly) with my faction, and buyer and seller deal similarly as with all commerce dealings.
The severing of a connection is again similar - one fraction can decide it alone if the benefits (e.g. weaken the other faction you are at war with) > costs. For this reason, it is advised (and usual) to have several connections with the mega station, as in this case a single connection drop has few consequences for shared ressources. If a faction severes a connection to a neighbor, its own neighbors will probably take it seriously as a threat to the mega-structure that they all need, and may retaliate - therefore the cost of severance is not negligible.
So basically a long chain of cost incl. risks/benefit decision, without central authority. The cost of a connection must be low enough so that it is compensated with the savings in trade without space-transportation; sharing ressources to the point of not being able to function independantly
would be a resonable cost/benefit (due to the high risk) only in the case of several peaceful neighbors that have a very positive reputation with your faction!
From this you can add arbitrary complexity, like a cost for connection (I allow you to connect with me against payment) or taxes for goods/service transit, but this is probably out of scope from a basically space-based game where this is only a background ambiance...
This is only one possible, economically driven, way to realize it. There are many others, like a fully political one: a majority vote of members to accept a new member (each fraction vote according to benefit/cost) and a similar (2/3) majority vote to exclude somebody, with an automatic severance of all links to a faction that willingly severs one link without appropriate vote.