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Old Feb 16, 2012, 11:16 AM   #1
The_J
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Espionage - General discussion/unstructured info

How the espionage will work, what options you'll have, etc., etc. is not yet clear, so let's gather here what we can find about it .


Spoiler:
  • 'Espionage Overview'; activities are 'Establishing Surveillance, Counter-intelligence, Rigging Election.
  • 'Coup' button is available for Bucharest.
  • Looks like an espionage button in the top-right corner next to the social policy button.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pouakai View Post
http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/121/1218810p1.html

Spies can steal technologies

Spies can rig elections, which appears to boost your favour in city-states while penalising others

Spies can initiate coups.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotaku
Then you get spies. Perhaps the most exciting new feature in Civilization V: Gods & Kings is espionage, a returning mechanic from previous Civ games that, like religion, has been given a new coat of paint. Once you have access to spies which happens during the Renaissance era, Beach explains you can use them to invade your opponents' cities, steal technology, and even start revolutions.

Gods, Spies Take Center Stage In Civilization V ExpansionYou could do this in previous games. What's unique about the spies in Gods & Kings is that you can use them to crack open the brain inside your computerized opponents, revealing the AI's deep, dark secrets.

"If you have a spy lurking in the right place and in the right time, all of a sudden you'll get these deep dark secrets," Beach said. "The AI might be planning an attack on you 15 turns down the line."

That's right: The AI is sophisticated (and nasty) enough to plan a betrayal 15 turns in advance. And you can use your spies to find this out. Your spies can also level up, boosting their information-hunting skills. Eventually, you'll not only be able to find out when the AI will betray you, you'll be able to uncover exactly which city it plans to invade.

You can then use this information in the new diplomacy system. You can confront a computerized opponent about its future betrayal, or you can tell a third-party and ask them to get involved.

You can also send your spies into city-states, rig elections, and try to build alliances, old-school style.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamespot
Espionage returns as well in Gods and Kings, and it mimics the options available in Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution. Spies weave a web of intrigue, and though they never appear as units on the map, there is a special panel used to assign missions. These include stealing technology, working on counterintelligence, and listing what's inside an enemy city. In single-player, spies can even report on the future military operations of AI opponents. If you learn that France is going to invade Spain, you can blow the whistle and give Spain a heads-up, which will have serious diplomatic consequences.

Unlike in Civilization: Revolution, spies are not trained by a civilization. Instead, they are awarded at certain intervals along the timeline. Should one of your spies get captured or killed, you'll have to wait a set number of turns before you get a replacement. "It's almost like an executed spy is in time-out," Beach said, adding that your new spy will start back at level one. Spies can also be used to sway the influence in city-states by rigging elections or attempting a coup.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamer.nl (google translation)
Do you not feel like long, boring conversations about world peace, then you can also use in God & Kings of espionage in a different way than usual. It is still possible for technologies to steal your enemy, but in addition you can now use spies to actually spy. So you can soon put a spy in a city, which you then such information about the strength of the opposition, but also when the AI ​​will attack and which city is the target. The more successful spy missions you perform, the more detailed the information.

It gets even more interesting when you get this information not only used for an attack to capture. According to the makers can also use this kind of knowledge to your enemy (or perhaps friend) to confront. The consequences will turn out different every time, but the fact is that the alliances can change during a game properly. Especially if your other civilizations can warn of impending attack by a friend or foe.

Spies also affect the so-called City States (introduced in Civ V). There because they can infiltrate and ensure that your influence gradually increasing. It is even possible that they overthrow the current regime by a rebellion and a new government to begin to install on your side. If you opt for the strategy through the UN World to seize power, this is an excellent opportunity.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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I'm curious, how does that affect MP games? If we play on non-AI games? Espionage seems completely obselete?
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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Only on the intention to attack in 15 turns. All the other espionage options still seem valid.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKingOfBigOz View Post
I'm curious, how does that affect MP games? If we play on non-AI games? Espionage seems completely obselete?
Quote:
Only on the intention to attack in 15 turns. All the other espionage options still seem valid.
Yeah, you can still determine military strength, steal tech, mess with City States and stop other spies from doing the same. And probably more. It seems it'll be quite useful in multiplayer as well as single player.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 01:22 PM   #5
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I have never once thought espionage was integrated well into a strategy game. It is always all out of proportion with history, and from a gameplay perspective seems impossible to balance. It always seems way way to strong, or worthless. And frequently the actions themselves are poorly balanced so everyone is always doing 1 or 2 of them and no others.

I remain highly skeptical. I thought the Civ4 espionage was atrocious and a huge waste of resources that could have been better spent on a million other things.


I cannot believe they are modeling "technology stealing" something that has only even been possible for a few decades in a game that doesn't have simple tech diffusion. Tech diffusion is a much more realistic and historically important thing to model. Not to mention the fact that you move through the tech too quickly now anyway, so if they don't increase the costs people are going to be curing cancer in 100AD.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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There is a greyed out 'view' button. Maybe this has something to do with 'establishing surveillance'.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 06:09 PM   #7
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Obviously, balancing is the most crucial thing. Asymmetric warfare is a good addition as long as it doesn't mess up the balance with conventional warfare. I like the "Time Out" aspect. I think that might work and hasn't been tried before. Regarding the ability to find out the AI's plans, I'm OK with it, but it obviously only will work in Single Player, which is unfortunate. Still, ability to find out unit positions, building production, etc. will certainly be valuable in multiplayer instead.

I have been advocated for the "Elections" option for awhile, so I'm glad about that. The ability to influence city-states through spies has always been a part of history. Before they completely overhauled United Front, I had suggested this exact system with United Front boosting espionage towards City States. Basically, espionage is most fun when it's a Cold War type situation.

Given that Espionage starts in Renaissance, I wonder if Social Policies have been changed at all to reflect this. I could see something in Patronage, Commerce, and the aforementioned Order as possibilities.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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I am intrigued by the potentially Machiavellian aspect to spy missions. As others have mentioned, I too found Espionage a game breaker and turned it off in Civ4.

I hope the "steal technology" really turns into a "technology espionage" that either slows opponent research, or helps speeds yours up, rather than BOING! you have a new tech, which was always silly. The Soviets didn't BOING! you have a nuclear weapon, their own research was assisted through espionage. Getting extra beakers seems a more realistic approach.

That said, the interplay with city states and so forth might make the new espionage a winner. I anxiously await a tryout...
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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Is it me or does the ability to steal tech seem overpowered?
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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Depends on its effectiveness and cost to you. It's always been finicky. It was overpowered in Civ2, underpowered in Civ3, I don't remember ever using it in Civ4 so I can't tell you. The cost of losing a spy seems much higher this game, so I could see it possibly balancing out.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Is it me or does the ability to steal tech seem overpowered?
Depends how they do it. I'm iffy at the moment, it has the potential to go either way.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 07:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis XXIV View Post
Depends on its effectiveness and cost to you. It's always been finicky. It was overpowered in Civ2, underpowered in Civ3, I don't remember ever using it in Civ4 so I can't tell you. The cost of losing a spy seems much higher this game, so I could see it possibly balancing out.
But in all of those there were other ways to acquire techs--through trade or intimidation--but now spying would be a pretty unique way to acquire techs without research.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 08:13 PM   #13
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Leaving aside trade agreements? Yeah, true. But I actually see that as a positive, not a negative. In Civ3, you could buy a tech from someone or you could pay even more to get the same tech without the cash going to the Civ.

I could see it being useful in a situation where you need a tech you don't have time to research and it is worth potentially sacrificing 50-100 turns of hard work developing your spy.
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Old Feb 17, 2012, 08:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Is it me or does the ability to steal tech seem overpowered?
I agree with Helming in fact I always hated spies in all versions of Civ
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Old Feb 17, 2012, 09:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKingOfBigOz View Post
I'm curious, how does that affect MP games? If we play on non-AI games? Espionage seems completely obselete?
Not if spies can see your city queue, or allow them to see what is going on in your empire.

It may not give you information as when and where, but those who know something maybe up can expect the worst.
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Old Feb 20, 2012, 08:34 PM   #16
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OMG finally you can ask AI's "are you attacking me?????"
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 01:10 AM   #17
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Seems as if being at war with a CS doesnt affect the location of the Spy. I can only assume that it is infact Bucharest that have declared war on this screenshot and the spy can still perform the coup making it all even more interesting. Having an ally being removed by a spy in the middle of a war can be quite a loss.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 01:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis XXIV View Post
Depends on its effectiveness and cost to you. It's always been finicky. It was overpowered in Civ2, underpowered in Civ3, I don't remember ever using it in Civ4 so I can't tell you. The cost of losing a spy seems much higher this game, so I could see it possibly balancing out.
Civ3's espionage had one overpowering aspect however.

You plant 1 spy in the capital and you have detailed readouts of their troop strength. That's data that hasn't been replicated since.

As I mentioned in the other espionage thread, I have always preferred menu driven espionage system over clicky vanity spies being moved around the map.

Maybe it's just me being more attuned to the spy genre of adventure games from the 90s like Floor 13 where most everything is done via menus. I also feel espionage is a hands off thing, and moving spies seems unseemly.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 03:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexters View Post
As I mentioned in the other espionage thread, I have always preferred menu driven espionage system over clicky vanity spies being moved around the map.
I agree with this. CiIV espionage while useful was tedious. Having to run your spy across a continent for 20 turns just to have the mission fail was unnecessary. I am looking forward to seeing how it is implemented in G&K.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 04:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camikaze View Post
There is a greyed out 'view' button. Maybe this has something to do with 'establishing surveillance'.
I'm assuming that, once "unlocked" (most likely, as you said, with 'establishing surveillance'), you will be able to view the details of the city. That could be very useful. I wonder if you will be able to see the details on the game map. For example, if you have surveillance in Athens, will the city banner for Athens display like your own city banner with construction, population growth, etc?
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