So, I was sort of toying with the idea that Brad planted in my head way way back, about an AI which remembers how you played last game and doesn't just forget about your misdeeds in previous games. But on the other hand, doesn't forget about some classic turning points in previous games.
So let's say that you play your first game against an AI called, well let's say Steve. Steve takes note of your diplomatic dealings in the first game, and decides that you're a pretty honourable player.
Next game, though, you're playing as the Drengin and you're just out to enslave the galaxy, including Steve's empire. Steve isn't too thrilled about that:
"Look, I can be more use to you as a collaborator. Let's share the glory, okay?"
- "Hmm. A tempting offer. If I can trust you, that is."
- "Nope. Don't take this personally. I'm just playing the role that I've been given."
- "All right then. But don't tell anyone else about this. It'll be our little secret."
The next game, things aren't going so well for you. Depending on your past dealings with Steve, he might open with any of the following:
"Look, I've proved that I can be trusted. Let me help you out."
"So, it seems that the tables have turned. Don't take it personally, but I think I'll just sit back and watch while your empire is crushed."
"You proved that you are as good as your word. So I'll let you help me rid the galaxy of the rabble. Deal?"
The thing is, this sort of breaks the immersion a little bit. You're no longer simply dealing with an in-character emperor, but the AI player pulling their strings. Which is why I suggested in the title that it'd be optional. You could turn it off when you want to try a different play style, and turn it back on when you want to have Steve judging your actions and trustworthiness like a real player would. Except, Steve doesn't need to take breaks, nor does he drop connection and pop back in five minutes later profusely apologising for the disruption. He's always there when you need a buddy for what you do every night - try to take over the galaxy!