(6-CP) Espionage System Overhaul

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azum4roll

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Let's get this out of the way.

Background​

I guess everyone should know that we want to change the Espionage System in some way. In the Espionage Direction polls, opinions were diverse and it was mostly inconclusive what people wanted. So I'm here trying to come up with an idea that vaguely satisfies the poll results.


Overview​

  • Back then I proposed to somewhat base coup success rate on how long the spy has stayed in the CS. This proposal expands on that idea and removes the concept of "success rate" as a whole. Missions are guaranteed to succeed once the spy has stayed for a certain time, but cannot be done before then.
  • You have to decide to perform "tactical" missions many turns before they're completed. Usually you do those to weaken a city you want to conquer, but in the ~30 turns it takes to complete the mission, you would have already captured it, wasting spy time. This will be changed to be instantly completable once the requirements are met.
  • City security is complicated and unintuitive. I'm removing the sliding mechanic and the double-dipping components. With carefully written tooltips, it should be clear what it does, what increases/decreases it, and by how much.
  • Spies passively gain benefits just by being stationed in a foreign city.
  • (Active) missions are strong and always succeed, but take a while to prepare for, with various requirements. You also risk getting caught, losing all passive benefits and having to start over again.
  • Counterspies shouldn't feel bad to use. You can also switch between missions without having to move it back and forth.
  • Experience is somewhat balanced between CS Spy, Major Spy, Diplomat and Counterspy. Spy level is also useful in all 4 aspects, so there's no incentive to avoid using low/high level spies for certain functions.

Proposal​

CS spying​

Coups - removed.
Election rigging - same as now, but with a new "streak" system: the Xth consecutive successful rig increases your influence by X times the normal value. Now this is strong and players will need to reassign spies to tackle this instead of just sending a couple of diplo units to reflip. Other civs' influence decrease stays the same.

The streak system only starts when everyone has at least one spy. Before that, rig influence is the same as now.

Number of votes per turn is nerfed from (Spy level)^2 to (Spy level), to give other civs a chance against England. (1/4/9/16 -> 1/2/3/4)

Coup quest - removed.

City spying/Diplomat (Capital only)​

Establishment time is removed.
After arriving, the spy starts gaining Network Points (NP) per turn, based on the spy level, city security, cultural influence level, tech/policy difference and counterspy presence (more on that in the Counterspy section).

NP per turn formula (can't be negative):
SourceValue
Base20
Spy level (Recruit = level 0, Agent = level 1, Special Agent = level 2, England has +1)+10 each
Cultural influence+10 if Familiar, +20 if Popular, +30 if Influential
Technologies they have but you don't+2 each, capped at 10 Technologies
Covert Action+10
Counter-espionage network-10
Counterspy level (with Counter-espionage network) (Recruit = level 0, Agent = level 1, Special Agent = level 2, England has +1)-10 each

The number is then reduced by 1.6% per Security, capped at -80% at max Security.

This updates every turn.

Spy passive: gain information about the city (and its surroundings) and some yields when certain amounts of NP are accrued.
500 NP or more: reveal city screen (buildings, worked tiles, governor focus, specialists, great works, yields per turn, production queue, etc.), 3% :c5science: Science per turn of the city is added to the empire :c5science: Science per turn.
800 NP or more: reveal 1 tile around the city (owned only), 5% :c5science: Science per turn of the city is added to the empire :c5science: Science per turn
1200 NP or more: reveal 2 tiles around the city (owned only), 7% :c5science: Science per turn of the city is added to the empire :c5science: Science per turn
1700 NP or more: reveal 3 tiles around the city (owned only), 10% :c5science: Science per turn of the city is added to the empire :c5science: Science per turn
2000 NP or more: reveal all tiles owned by the city, 10% :c5science: Science per turn of the city is added to the empire :c5science: Science per turn

At 500 NP or more, also receive a notification if the city starts construction on a Spaceship Part, non-repeatable Project or World Wonder. This does not count as an intrigue.
Spy owners also get a notification if a spy mission has been performed in the city, and that no other missions can be performed in the next 15 turns. This does not have an NP requirement.

Diplomat passive: gain information about the player when certain amounts of NP are accrued. Also grants +20% :tourism: Tourism towards the player, a positive opinion modifier*, and allows buying votes from them. Number of votes available to be traded depends on spy level.
Diplomat NP rate is unaffected by counter-espionage network and city security.
200 NP or more: reveal tech tree and policy/ideology tree, start receiving intrigues
500 NP or more: reveal all military unit types and counts, trade routes with the player generate +20% :c5gold: Gold for both players
800 NP or more: reveal all trade deals and true approaches with all players
New UI is needed for these (design up to sponsor discretion).
Note that AI can't benefit from some of these, so I added extra benefits on each level.

Spoiler *Details about the positive opinion modifier for having a Diplomat in a player's Capital :

  • If the player is a vassal, not resurrected, and vassal treatment level is worse than DISAGREE (voluntary) or CONTENT (capitulated), zero bonus.
  • If the player currently has a penalty for getting caught spying, or breaking/ignoring a spy promise, zero bonus.
  • Otherwise give +20 modifier.
  • Add +10 if primary DEFAULT victory pursuit is Science Victory, or if the civ has a UA with science bonuses. (Diplomat means no Spy in Capital stealing Science/tech)
Spoiler List of intrigues :

  • *Target is planning a sneak attack against another player (unchanged)
  • *Target is building up an army (unchanged)
  • **Target is plotting against another player (unchanged)
  • Target has bribed someone else to war
  • Target has agreed to a co-op war request with someone else (not the spy owner), against another player (new, against humans only). This is the "Planning War" equivalent for humans.
  • Target's military might has risen by 20% of the average military might of all players over the last 10 turns (new, against humans only). This is the "building up an army" equivalent for humans.
  • Target has started construction on a Spaceship Part, non-repeatable Project or World Wonder in any of their cities (new, used to be in target city only). City name is not given.
  • Target bought/sold votes from/to another player (new). Details are not given (need 800 NP to check).
*These intrigues rely on Military Operations which the shadow AI for humans doesn't have, thus unavailable if the target is human.
**Shadow AI doesn't have the Deceptive or Planning War approaches, so this is also unavailable if the target is human.

Intrigues ignore NP requirements, e.g. you don't need 800 NP to discover your target is plotting against someone else

If the spy leaves the city, it loses all NP accumulated.

Spy missions​

Spies can also perform missions. There is a button on the Espionage Overview that brings up the mission selection menu, available once the spy arrives at the destination. Each mission costs a different (but constant) amount of NP.
Missions can be selected without the prerequisite or NP amount met. In that case, the mission is shown in a different colour (sponsor's choice) and a notification is sent on the turn when all requirements are met, reminding you that your selected mission is ready. You can then choose to perform the mission or not, through the same menu (ideally clicking the notification also brings you to that menu).
A mission with all requirements met can be immediately performed through the same menu.

Missions ALWAYS succeed, but the performing spy may be identified (triggers diplomatic penalty, and counts as a casus belli if that is ever implemented; spy does not automatically leave the city) or caught (spy returns to hideout after 5 turns), or both.
Spending NP on missions does NOT reduce the reward/intel levels that are already unlocked.

Mission cooldowns:
Target city is blocked from being hit by the same spy mission for 15 turns once it's hit by one. The missions coloured in RED below also block each other.
The same spy is blocked from performing missions for 15 turns after performing one.

Mission list:
NamePrerequisiteEffectNetwork Point costIdentify chanceCaught chance
Steal a TechnologyTarget must have at least one technology you haven't researched
Capital only
Gain one technology the target has researched that you haven't.1500 (Scaling with game speed - need more on slower speed)50%20%
Steal a Great WorkTarget must have at least one Great Work in the citySteal a random Great Work in the target city.1000100%40%
Arm the local populaceTarget city must be unhappyTarget city enters resistance for 2 turns.
(3 + Era number) Rebel units spawn around the city.
No :tourism: Tourism is generated in the city for 10 turns.
150030%30%
Sabotage rural infrastructureTarget city must have at least one pillageable improvement on a resource tile that's not a FortificationAll improved resource tiles owned by this city are pillaged.
Each road/railroad also has a 50% chance to be pillaged.
Does not affect Fortifications.
150050%70%
Target city defense"Strengthen local defenses" mission not activeAll Fortifications owned by this city are pillaged.
City is blockaded, cannot perform :c5rangedstrength: ranged strike or benefit from extra :c5strength: strength from buildings for 3 turns.
150080%70%
Sabotage city productionTarget city must be producing something (not Process).Completely remove all progress towards the current :c5production: production.
Reduced production is capped at 10 turns of current city :c5production: Production.
Does not undo investments.
100020%10%
Spread heresyTarget city must be producing :c5faith: Faith-50% :c5faith: Faith per turn in the target city, and the lost amount is added to your global :c5faith: Faith pool.
-50% Pressure emitted by the target city.
Lasts 15 turns.
100020%10%
Kidnap specialistsCapital onlySpecialists produce -1 :c5greatperson: GPP in the target city.
Specialists produce +1 :c5greatperson: GPP in your :c5capital: Capital.
Lasts 15 turns.
100030%10%
Steal from national treasuryCapital onlySteal 20% of :c5gold: Gold* (scaling with game speed - lower percentage on slower speed) from the target empire.100030%20%

*Note: this doesn't count as instant yields for calculating Great Merchant bulb.

Spy on Major X Times Quest
Unchanged. Performing a spy mission against the target counts towards quest completion.

Security​

Security is a per-city value that affects the NP rate of foreign spies acting in the city. It's capped between 0 and 50. Max Security cities can give a massive -80% NP rate. This number is updated constantly.

Security formula:
SourceValue
Base10
At least one player doesn't have spies+1000
England+15
Empiricism+12
Bletchley Park+10 global
Public Works+5 each
Piazza San Marco+10
Constabulary+15
Wat+20
Police Station+10 +1/:c5citizen: Population (+10 more with Police State)
National Intelligence Agency+10
Great Firewall+50
Every time the city is hit by a spy mission+2 (scaling with game speed, less on slower speed)
:c5citizen: Population-2 each
:trade: Trade Routes from/to this city-1 each
Excess :c5unhappy: Unhappiness-4 each

It's intended that this usually stays close to 0 at spy unlock and only increases if you really focus on anti-espionage buildings/policies. As such, security warnings are removed.

Counterspying​

You can send spies to your own cities as counterspies. Counterspies have their own set of missions. You can switch missions at any time, but it triggers a 5-turn cooldown before you can move your counterspy/switch missions again.
Moving counterspies only takes 1 turn.
Counterspy missionEffect
Establish a counter-espionage network-10 to foreign spy NP rate in the city, and an additional -10 per counterspy level.
Makes your presence known (since it's shown on the UI anyway).
Strengthen local defensesBlocks the "Target city defense" mission.
City :c5rangedstrength: Ranged Attacks are 30% stronger, and an additional 10% per counterspy level.
Makes your presence known (since it's shown on the UI anyway).
Chase down foreign spiesIdentify chance of foreign spy missions raised to 100%.
Kills all caught foreign spies.
Gain 50x counterspy level :c5science: Science when you kill a foreign spy, scaling with era.

(QoL) For the first two missions, a notification is shown to the owners of every spy in the city once the mission is chosen.
"{City} has established a counter-espionage network. Spies in the city gain Network Points more slowly."
"{City} has decided to strength its defenses. Its ranged strike is stronger, and spies in the city cannot perform the 'Target city defense' mission."
There should also be notifications when these missions stop being active. I'll let the sponsor decide the wordings (I'm no good at this).

For the "Chase down foreign spies" mission, the counterspy acts in the shadows and other players will not know its presence.
(UI) The mission tooltips need to remind players that the identify chance may rise to 100% if there's a counterspy present.

Spy Experience​

Current experience amounts:
Major city spying: +20 for successful mission (identified or not)
Uncovering intrigue: +25
Rigging election: +15 if successful
Coup: +50 if successful
Killing a foreign spy: +50

Proposed experience amounts:
Major city Spy/Diplomat: +1 every turn
Counterspy: +2 every turn
Spy mission: NP cost / 50 (identified or not)
Uncovering intrigue: +15
Rigging election: +20 if successful

Spies need more experience to level up in slower game speeds, if it's not already working that way.

Buildings​

Constabulary
+15 Security
-1 :c5unhappy: Unhappiness from Distress
+25 :c5science: Science and :c5culture: Culture in this City when you identify a foreign Spy, scaling with Era

Wat
All Constabulary stuff
+20 Security Level instead of +15
Otherwise same as current version

Police Station
Requires Constabulary
+10 Security
+1 Security per :c5citizen: Population
-1 :c5unhappy: Unhappiness from Distress, Poverty, Illiteracy and Boredom
+100 :c5science: Science and :c5culture: Culture in this City when you capture or kill a foreign Spy, scaling with Era

White Tower
+40 :c5gold: Gold and :c5science: Science in this City when you identify, capture or kill a foreign Spy, or perform a Spy mission, scaling with Era
+25 :c5gold: Gold and :c5science: Science in this City when successfully rigging an election, scaling with Era
Otherwise same as current version

Bletchley Park
Requires completion of Rationalism
Free Research Lab
All Scientist Specialists gain +1 :c5science: Science
+200 Spy Points
+1 Level to all new and existing Spies
+10 Security in all Cities
All Diplomatic units gain Invisibility

National Intelligence Agency
Requires Police Station
+100 Spy Points
+10 Security (local)
-1 :c5unhappy: Unhappiness from Distress in all Cities
+100 :c5gold: Gold and :c5science: Science in this City when you identify, capture or kill a foreign Spy, or perform a Spy mission, scaling with Era
+50 :c5gold: Gold and :c5science: Science in this City when successfully rigging an election, scaling with Era

Tenets​

Each ideology has a tenet that buffs espionage in some way.
Freedom - Covert Action: Receive 100 Spy Points. +50% :c5influence: Influence gain/loss when successfully rigging an election. +10 Network Points per turn for Spies stationed in a foreign City.
Order - Double Agents: Receive 200 Spy Points. Gain 125 :c5science: Science when you identify a foreign Spy, scaling with Era.
Autocracy - Police State: +3 :c5happy: Happiness from Courthouses, and +10 Security from Police Stations. +100% :c5production: Production towards Courthouses and Police Stations.


EDIT 1: Added details about what counts as an intrigue (and thus is accessible with a Diplomat and will grant XP), and details about the Diplomat opinion modifier.
EDIT 2: Removed new CS quest (coup quest is removed without a replacement). Removed bonus NP against policy lead. Lowered some mission NP costs. Added more era-scaling rebels. Tabulated the NP gain numbers.
EDIT 3: Increased base, Constabulary and Wat security values so there's some incentive to build these buildings. Bet people won't bother with them if security still stays at 0 after completion.
EDIT 4: Added a new intrigue type against human players only.
EDIT 5: Added some game speed scaling for missions. Generally the espionage system should be game speed independent, but some rewards are worth more in slower speeds. Also added another new intrigue type against human players only.
EDIT 6: Nerfed vote counts per turn for higher level spies, and stopped England from accumulating rig streaks before everyone has a spy.
EDIT 7: Added a notification to notify spy owners that some mission has been performed in a city.
EDIT 8: Changed how cooldowns work (see section "Mission cooldowns" for details).
EDIT 9: Clarified the counterspy section. Added notifications and tooltip specifications. Spies only need 1 turn to travel to own cities.
 
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anything that removes coups has my vote over anything that doesn't
 
Spending NP on missions does NOT reduce the reward/intel levels that are already unlocked.
If you are at, say 1650 NP, then cash in a mission for 1500 NP, I understand that you will keep the 2 tile reveal and 7% :c5science:. However, will you still be 50 NP away from the 3 tile reveal and 10% :c5science:, or do you need to go from 150 NP back up to 1700 NP?
 
If you are at, say 1650 NP, then cash in a mission for 1500 NP, I understand that you will keep the 2 tile reveal and 7% :c5science:. However, will you still be 50 NP away from the 3 tile reveal and 10% :c5science:, or do you need to go from 150 NP back up to 1700 NP?
The latter. You chose the instant reward over the longterm one.
 
I personally would just remove teh coup quest, and not revamp it in this proposal. To me that should be seperate, afterall we are already changing so much with spying, no need to also throw CS quests into the hopper.

Once the spy system settles down you can introduce a new quest as a replacement. Taht's my recommendation.
 
a positive opinion modifier (+20) if never caught spying on them
Current Diplomat Opinion Modifier:
- If vassal, not resurrected, and vassal treatment level is worse than DISAGREE (voluntary) or CONTENT (capitulated), zero bonus.
- Base bonus is +15.
- Add +10 if primary or secondary default victory pursuit is Diplomatic Victory, or if the civ has a UA with diplomacy bonuses.
- Add +10 if primary DEFAULT victory pursuit is Science Victory, or if the civ has a UA with science bonuses. (as of next version)

I'm okay with reworking this but there's more to it. :)

Also, most diplomacy penalties are temporary. Exceptions are capturing an original capital or Holy City, attacking a civ you resurrected, and nukes. All of those except attacking a resurrected civ can be removed under specific circumstances, as well. I would rather have it be "if the player doesn't currently have a penalty for getting caught spying, or breaking/ignoring a spy promise".

Uncovering intrigue: +15
Will non-diplomat spies still uncover World Wonder intrigue in the city they're spying on, and receive this bonus?

Also, currently spies and diplomats alike learn about third party war bribes if they have any surveillance established in any of either party's cities. Should this be added as a type of intrigue? How should this be handled?


EDIT:
The high NP costs for taking actions and the benefits for sticking around longterm are an incentive to stay longer.

Target city is blocked from being hit by spy missions for 15 turns once it's hit by one (add icon to Espionage Overview).
This, however, doesn't synergize very well. Turn order gives an enormous advantage here as the spy actions are instant, and it's a disincentive to keep a spy in a city for a long time, as the cooldown could easily get triggered every 15 turns, nonstop. This could make many of the options impossible to use.
 
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Current Diplomat Opinion Modifier:
- If vassal, not resurrected, and vassal treatment level is worse than DISAGREE (voluntary) or CONTENT (capitulated), zero bonus.
- Base bonus is +15.
- Add +10 if primary or secondary default victory pursuit is Diplomatic Victory, or if the civ has a UA with diplomacy bonuses.

I'm okay with reworking this but there's more to it. [IMG alt=":)"]https://forums.civfanatics.com/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

Also, most diplomacy penalties are temporary. Exceptions are capturing an original capital or Holy City, attacking a civ you resurrected, and nukes. All of those except attacking a resurrected civ can be removed under specific circumstances, as well. I would rather have it be "if the player doesn't currently have a penalty for getting caught spying, or breaking/ignoring a spy promise".
Edited the proposal based on this extra info.

Will non-diplomat spies still uncover World Wonder intrigue in the city they're spying on, and receive this bonus?

Also, currently spies and diplomats alike learn about third party war bribes if they have any surveillance established in any of either party's cities. Should this be added as a type of intrigue? How should this be handled?
I didn't know that counts as an intrigue, to be fair. I added a global version as a new intrigue (any city building a wonder triggers it).

Only diplomats should learn about third-party war bribes, since that's player level. Should count as an intrigue.
This, however, doesn't synergize very well. Turn order gives an enormous advantage here as the spy actions are instant, and it's a disincentive to keep a spy in a city for a long time, as the cooldown could easily get triggered every 15 turns, nonstop. This could make many of the options impossible to use.
Without a cooldown, it's easy to be ganged up on. Do you have any idea how else to avoid that?
 
This system would open up a lot of interesting choices and strategies. On the flip side, it would be very difficult to teach the AI how to use it properly and how to select cities/missions for their spies.
 
This system would open up a lot of interesting choices and strategies. On the flip side, it would be very difficult to teach the AI how to use it properly and how to select cities/missions for their spies.
Why? Shouldn't it be easier now that everything has instant effects? AI is only bad at predicting the future.
 
Why? Shouldn't it be easier now that everything has instant effects? AI is only bad at predicting the future.
part of the possible difficulty is that thre is no mission durations anymore....but there kind of is. You have to leave a spy in a city to build up points, and if leave teh points are all gone.

Now in terms of going "ok I am doing stuff in this city, do I want to use a mission right now?" I agree that's easier.

But in terms of "I have a spy in city X, should I move it to city Y", that is likely harder.
 
part of the possible difficulty is that thre is no mission durations anymore....but there kind of is. You have to leave a spy in a city to build up points, and if leave teh points are all gone.

Now in terms of going "ok I am doing stuff in this city, do I want to use a mission right now?" I agree that's easier.

But in terms of "I have a spy in city X, should I move it to city Y", that is likely harder.
Every city has a score of "how much it's worth by sending a spy/diplomat to it" (since you need it to determine where to send your spy to at start).
Now how much is the stockpiled NP worth? The AI should be able to weigh staying vs switching vs mission.
 
The missions all have very different effects, and we need a valuation of all those effects compared against each other. Should an AI focus on stealing science, or great works, or faith... or should it use diplomats, or go to a city-state? We would need a combination of leader flavors and strategic considerations (am I behind in terms of science? do I want to go for a CV?) For some missions, like the "steal faith" missions, it's also hard to predict how strong they'll be before arriving in the city.
It's not impossible to teach the AI that, but it's difficult.

btw the AI isn't very good at using the current system either, and an improvement would be nice (but again, not easy to implement).
 
I'm not up to date, and reading whole op is like a nightmare for a player who didn't pay the attention to that part earlier, so I have to ask, if the system was reworked earlier? I can see some Spy points, I can see new missions window. I feel like lots of things has changed since I played last time, and I'm getting deeper into that and then bam! Another rework. Can you in few simple words explain to me why previous reworks are bad and have to be replaced with some new system?
 
I'm not up to date, and reading whole op is like a nightmare for a player who didn't pay the attention to that part earlier, so I have to ask, if the system was reworked earlier? I can see some Spy points, I can see new missions window. I feel like lots of things has changed since I played last time, and I'm getting deeper into that and then bam! Another rework. Can you in few simple words explain to me why previous reworks are bad and have to be replaced with some new system?
There was no rework. Spy Point is just a quantitative way to describe "number of spies", since the old integral system had big jumps between CS numbers and didn't consider number of major civs. Every 100 Spy Points give you 1.6 Spies in Standard settings.

One problem with this congress system is that the proposer has to put every detail in the proposal for the sponsor(s), but voters might not need to care about it, like the UI details.
 
Edited the proposal:
  • Removed new CS quest (coup quest is removed without a replacement). It can be proposed later if needed.
  • Removed bonus NP against policy lead.
  • Lowered some mission NP costs.
  • Added more era-scaling rebels to the Arm the local populace mission.
  • Tabulated the NP gain numbers.
 
It looks like huge rework. I admire the input in creating this proposal. Lots of work and think-tank. I suppose this could be a base for something more detailed in the next congress or even later. But it looks like a solid base.

I would only ask for a detailed info, tooltips etc. so every player, not only pro, could understand how it works during the game :)

Were some of these ideas tested outside official version or all of these must be coded from scratch?
 
Edited proposal: Increased base, Constabulary and Wat security values so there's some incentive to build these buildings. Bet people won't bother with them if security still stays at 0 after completion.
 
Edited proposal: Added a new intrigue type against human players only, replacing the "building up an army" intrigue which relies on MilitaryAI for humans only.
 
Some nitpicks:
Rig election multiplier should have a cap so it doesn’t become the biggest influence source.
NP cost and effect/cooldown/yield amount cap durations should scale with game speed.
Steal gold should have some cap from many complaints in the past.
Security from missions should have some decay mechanic (maybe removed after xx turns of no missions)

Bonus stuff for Spy points:
Maybe some NP/Security bonus for leftover Spy points?

Other than that this looks very promising!
 
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