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Art Theft should be more difficult and counter-spies should be more useful

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by JamesNinelives, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    Given how much time and investment it takes to generate great works, why are they so easy to steal? I'm willing to accept a hit to production, gold, or science - even great person points. However it requires a great person to generate one work of writing, art, or music; loosing them really hurts!

    I'm not saying art theft shouldn't be possible - it's fun when you're the one doing it. But it seems to strongly favour the thief. What's the point in having theming bonuses in cities other than your capital if putting great works in those slots is liable to get then nicked?

    On a similar vein, counter-spies should be more effective at catching spies. If they're not effective at doing their job, why bother using them? Diplomats, spies in enemy cities, and spies in city-states are all effective and give regular rewards. Spies in enemy cities can give a diplomatic penalty if they get caught, but there's always at least one civ who hates you anyway so stealing from them doesn't cost you anything. In fact, it may even provoke your enemy to declare war on you (which makes them look bad, and allows you to fight them without triggering defensive pacts).

    I get that spying should favor those trying to catch up - and it does. I regularly have tech stolen from me even when I'm not in the top spot. But even a tech only takes 5-20 turns to research; because generating great people scales over time great works are effectively very difficult to replace. I feel like I shouldn't even bother trying to protect my great works, because on average I will end up with more of them trying to steal other people's instead.
     
    saamohod, Voremonger, legoras and 8 others like this.
  2. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    I have other problem that AI don't have great works in non-capital cities (you can't steal them from the capital, right?)
     
  3. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    Yeah, you can't steal from the capital. And it's true the AI doesn't always have great works to steal.
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    If you have any cultural focused AIs at all they generally do. Also once you have landed the thief, you can see their cities to look if they have any GWs. You don't have to wait for the thief to finish, if you don't see any works, move on.
     
    CppMaster likes this.
  5. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    Indeed. Art theives can pick their targets. Whereas security guards (counter-spies) at art museums have to wait around just in case a thief shows up, but don't even catch them most of the time. What were they doing, taking a coffee break?
     
    a3kov and Delvemor like this.
  6. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Yeah I find stealing great works a lot more effective than stealing techs. In my current games it's 9 turns for a level 2 spy to steal art, but 36 for a level 3 spy to steal a tech.
     
    Recursive, DeAnno and JamesNinelives like this.
  7. Delvemor

    Delvemor Chieftain

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    I don't remember my counterspies catching up anyone outside of my capital. After a while it will happen in the capital eventually, but sending a counterspy to another city will never result in catching up an enemy spy previously detected there. Furthermore, as JamesNinelives said, the spies just get much more value from offensive actions or from rigging elections, as they will reliably succeed there.
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  8. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond Prince

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    I think a level 3 counterspy should have 95% (or even 100%) chance to protect a city from any spy action.

    On the other hand I'd be ok to allow GW stealing in capital.

    Currently if you choose to counterspy, that means you do not use your spy for other juicy actions. So counterspy decision should matter more, hence the 95% protection at lvl3.
     
    legoras and CppMaster like this.
  9. ICanHasName?

    ICanHasName? Warlord

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    Kinda makes sense since a counter spy only has a 1/city count chance of being in the right city anyway. It should give a big bonus when they are.
     
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  10. Revolutionist_8

    Revolutionist_8 Prince

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    I also support stronger counter-spies, at least level 3 ones should be really efficient.
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  11. Tugboatspotter

    Tugboatspotter Warlord

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    I never liked the stealing of great works.

    If my capital falls to a mighty empire then fair enough. Some two-bit-thief snatching away my precious is a kick in the teeth.
     
    JamesNinelives, vyyt and Bromar1 like this.
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Personally I am the opposite. I wish counterspies died in a fire and spy strength was adjusted accordingly. You also have 2 buildings specifically designed to weaken spying, I don't need to use one of my precious spies on top of that. I also hate hate hate hate losing spies to counterspies, its too swingy.
     
  13. Zanteogo

    Zanteogo King

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    I hate how great works can be stolen. It's probably the worst part of Vox to be honest. I have brought this up several times and have been told:

    "Sorry, it's staying"

    and

    "Blame Firaxis for how they designed spying" (when though it was Vox that added theft in the first place, I think G means how simple it is and how counter spying works)

    Because of this I never put any of my great works outside my capital unless I have no other choice.

    I have played games with spying turned off, but then it hurts civs that depend on it (England), it causes snow balling (Tech leaders can't be stopped) and things like your agents seeing civs marching troops towards a city is gone, and that's a nice feature.

    I have asked for an option to just turn off great works thief, and have been outright told no. If I had the skill I would create a mod mod, but I don't so I live with it.
     
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  14. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    You have a skill to get the skill, so no more excuses ;)
     
    a3kov and vyyt like this.
  15. Zanteogo

    Zanteogo King

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    Ya I wish.

    I mean, with some effort I could mange a mod mod that tweaks thing like units stats and such. Turning off theft but keeping spying.. again, I wish.
     
  16. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

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    Spy code is a complete mess. Implementing such an option may be difficult.

    I think the frequency of thefts could use a nerf.
     
  17. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think its less a nerf and maybe a code review. One of the things that seems "odd" is that thefts seem very insensitive to the city's star rating. If I try to spy in a city with .5 star....I'm looking at 100 turns to steal, but the thefts still go along at 5-10 turns. I am wondering if there is a mistake in the code somewhere so its not factoring that in like its supposed to.
     
    Skidizzle, AndreyK, DeAnno and 6 others like this.
  18. Vhozite

    Vhozite Chieftain

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    Question about this: when I send a thief to steal a GW in a city, the message says “we can’t steal GWs because they have none, or there are no slots in our empire”?

    Does this mean they don’t have any to steal at all or does it mean they don’t have any in that city? They way the message is worded I always assume it was the former.

    On topic: My thoughts on this are pretty similar to the OP. GW stealing is faster than tech stealing but also more powerful; you take a GW from someone else and gain one yourself. It’s basically retroactive capture of a great person using an easily replaceable spy.

    I also find the state of counterspies to be a bit lacking. You have to keep them in a city where there is enemy spy activity but they do nothing outside of the one turn where they kill the enemy spy when they try to do something. A kill that isn’t even guaranteed. I feel like a bunch of times I’ll get a notification of an enemy spy, I move a counterspy into position, and then I spend the next 50 turns wondering if they are still there to kill or they moved on.
     
  19. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

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    None in the city, not none at all.
     
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  20. tothePAIN

    tothePAIN King

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    I'm pretty sure that your counter spy has to be the same level as the enemy spy to have a decent chance at capturing the spy. So its tricky sometimes, because a lvl 1 spy in the capital just won't do anything.
     

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