Diplomacy and Influence
Diplomacy is the activity of achieving your goals politically. Your ability to make and get proposals passed will increase your ability to expand the power and reach of your empire. Diplomacy is a system of making proposals that effect changes such as changes in ownership of colonies and systems, providing line of sight over the enemies territory and more.
Diplomacy cards are for sale on a rotational schedule which updates regularly. Every diplomacy cycle the cards move 1 spot closer to the end of the line. The cost of a card reduces the further the card goes down the line. The number of cards for sale is dependent on the number of empires in game, and can be increased using the influence card, Open Forum, which increases by 1 the length of the influence card line.
Diplomacy cards can be bought for influence and used as cards in the diplomacy window for an additional influence cost. The three types of diplomatic cards are proposal, voting, and action. Proposal cards allow you to initiate a proposal that everyone can vote upon, voting cards allow you to exert influence on pending proposals and action cards are diplomatic actions you can take immediately.
When a proposal is made it starts with 1 support from the empire which proposed it (the initial support from the proposing empire can be increased by race trait (Charismatic) by 2, or by Senate building by 2 also). A clock will count up to 3 minutes in green as long as there is more support for than against the proposal. When the clock reaches 3 minutes the proposal will be passed. In order for a proposal to be effectively opposed an empire needs to raise equal or heavier opposition compared to the opposing voters to block the proposal being made; when this happens, the clock starts counting down. If the clock winds down to minus 3 minutes the proposal fails.
In order to support or oppose a proposition empires need to play their voting cards. Once an empire runs out of voting cards it needs to buy more in order to continue opposing and/or supporting propositions.
Diplomacy cards are usually bought for influence. Every resource that generates influence pressure will cause civilian structures to be built which individually generate up to 1 influence per 3 minutes. Every influence civilian structure also provides 2 influence storage space. Once this storage space is exceeded the rate inversely reduces compared to the ratio between influence storage space and stored influence. This means you can stock up more influence than your storage permits, but it reduces progressively. Having twice as much influence as you have storage halves the rate at which you gain influence, having 4 times as much reduces the rate by 4 and so on. Some cards have an upkeep cost which is deducted from the influence income rate.