Espionage, and its Slider

Hickman888

Prince
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
323
Location
Texas
Thank you Leoreth for updating the spy experience and allowing spies to gain meaningful and consistent experience points. :)

I have a few other suggestions for espionage in the mod, to make it more accessible as a playstyle. But first, some background:

Not counting Great Buildings or National Wonders, a player can construct buildings to build up to a 125% modifier for :science: (Library, University, Observatory, Laboratory, Supercomputer), +125% for :gold: (Market, Bank, Warehouse, Department Store, Logistics Center), +175% for :culture: (Theater, Civic Square, Estate, Cinema, Broadcast Tower, Stadium; and I'm not counting Cathedrals, which are a whole other potential modifier), but for :espionage: we can only build up to +75% (Constabulary, Intelligence Agency).

We also don't have a national wonder to increase :espionage:, like we do with the National Gallery, College, or Bank.

After the introduction of the :espionage: slider at Arithmetics, at the end of the Ancient Era, the player has to wait all the way until Judiciary, at the end of the Medieval Era, to construct a building to boost :espionage: percentage in the city. And the constabulary is also locked behind the Jail, making it more inaccessible. So here are my suggestions:
  • Introduce a building in the classical era, maybe call it Listening Post (probably needs a better name), that gives a +25% :espionage: modifier, to give the player a feasible option in using the espionage slider in the first half of the game. Maybe it can also give 2 xp for spies.
  • Just like a city can choose to build :gold:,:science:, or :culture:, give us the option to also build :espionage: in a city.
  • For Spy units, a button that instructs the unit to "Fortify until fully prepared", until he has achieved the full -50% cost, would be very helpful.
  • For the Spy mission, I noticed that "Forment Unhappiness" causes 8 :mad:, deteriorating over the next 8 turns. Meanwhile, "Poison Water" causes 5 :yuck:, deteriorating over the next 5 turns. These two missions also have the same cost. This struck me as odd, because causing excess :mad: is always worse than excess :yuck:, and the former provides more of it, at the same cost. So I think poisoning the water needs to both cause more damage (8), and be cheaper than formenting anger.
  • Speaking of poisoning the water, we currently don't have a Alchemist 3 promotion for spy units, but we do have an Instigator 3 promotion. It would be interesting if we added an Alchemist 3 promotion, and using it to poison the water would cause that city to have the Plague for a few turns.
  • The Spy unit is a classical era unit that remains the sole Espionage unit for the entire game. I propose that he receives an upgrade in either the Industrial or Global era, the Agent. The Agent can start with an extra movement (because a base movement of 1 for the current spy is very low for the late game) and can also be stacked on each other in a single tile more efficiently without increasing their likelihood of being caught, to help bring more efficient missions to an intended target.
  • Another building in the global era, "Surveillance Office", or "Cybersecurity Office", can give an espionage boost, with power.
  • Introduce a National Wonder for :espionage:, the National Police Force, which requires a certain number of Constabularies to be built, and gives the target city +100% :espionage:, just like we have with the National Gallery, Bank, and College.
My last suggestion for :espionage: is a bit more complex. I recently completed a Domination game, and at a certain point, my primary obstacle was battling overextension. To help counter this, I began running the culture slider, not only to avoid Stability checks with researching a technology, but also to make my conquered cities have more of my culture, to reduce their instability cost. It struck me as odd that I was playing a Totalitarian regime, hellbent on conquering the world, but was also spending my treasury on the arts and culture.

I've also noticed that both the new Great Firewall project, and the Constabulary, give :) for running the espionage slider. This is great, giving the player another bonus for running the espionage slider. But in my humble opinion, giving extra :) should be the job of the Culture slider, not the Espionage. So to that end, I propose a new bonus for running the espionage slider:

"Military units in the city reduce the peripheral city penalty by 1 for every 20% in the :espionage: rate."

So a peripheral city with 5 units stationed in it, running an espionage rate of 40%, would reduce the peripheral cost of the city by 10. This new effect can be put on both the Constabulary, and maybe a new Global era building, Secret Police, or something a bit more non-descript if that is too overt for non-totalitarian civilizations. I think having military units reduce the peripheral instability should have some place in the mod, and I think this would be an interesting and engaging way to do it.

Deciding to use this suggested feature would force many interesting decisions from the player, to consider using it or not:
  • Every military unit stationed in a city is not being used elsewhere, to help capture another enemy city. That unit is also costing unit upkeep.
  • Running the :espionage: slider is, lets face it, usually not as rewarding as the :science: or :gold: sliders.
  • Constructing a specific building in newly conquered cities requires a certain dedication from the player, forcing them to choose between gaining more stability, or more yields in the new city
Thanks for reading this through, to those who did. :)
 

Dracosolon

Warlord
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
274
Location
France
Introduce a building in the classical era, maybe call it Listening Post (probably needs a better name), that gives a +25% :espionage: modifier, to give the player a feasible option in using the espionage slider in the first half of the game. Maybe it can also give 2 xp for spies.
Informant? Town guard? Courier? It's hard to think of a specific building as opposed to a role.

It struck me as odd that I was playing a Totalitarian regime, hellbent on conquering the world, but was also spending my treasury on the arts and culture.
Well fascism is the aestheticization of politics after all. ;)
 

Leoreth

Blue Period
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
36,170
Location
東京藝術大学
Some good points. I don't agree with all of them, but most are justified. In general however it is intended that espionage is a niche commerce type compared to science and gold, and should not be brought on equal footing.

I won't get to implementing any of this before the 1.17 release, because I have to draw the line for feature completion somewhere, but I will keep note of this for a later point.
 

BigSchwartzzz

Chieftain
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
58
Well fascism is the aestheticization of politics after all. ;)

I never heard that before. What an amazing quote! Just looked it up, apparently said by Walter Benjamin, a Jewish man that died in 1940. I wonder what else he would have said if he had lived just another six years.

E: This aged poorly.
 
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