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More elaborate espionage

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Vitruvius, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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    Spies can be used to:
    1. Sow discord between two civs making their relations deteriorate
    2. Sabotage, damage a building, making it useless for a few turns. (When caught leads to declaration of war).

    Diplomats shouldnt be just schmoozing. A city with a diplomat can improve trade route yield (more gold and science). cultural exchange (+ culture to the trade route). Diplomats improve relations gradually and wears off past grudges more quickly (counteracts spy's sow discord).

    Right now it feels like the only way to bring down a runaway is to go to war. Espionage should provide alternatives. E.g. you can sabotage space ship factories, key tourism buildings. You can sow discord and convince other civs to stop trading with him.
     
  2. ldvhl

    ldvhl ніщо

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    I'd also like to see the ability to steal Great Works/Artifacts.
     
  3. MKDELTA3

    MKDELTA3 Warlord

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    Helsinki, Finland
    I'd like to see some kind of option for creating unhappiness in the target empire.

    Some sort of extended surveilance option would be nice. Reveal tiles within range of 4 or so within the city.

    Maybe some options avaible only if you're at war with the enemy civ. Like revealing where their units are or sabotage and such.
     
  4. MisterBoomBoom

    MisterBoomBoom King

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    How about a spy being able to steal a nations UU or UA.
     
  5. Doktor Vic Tim

    Doktor Vic Tim King

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    And then you finally manage to get your Louvre theme bonus, and the very next turn every AI spy steals it with no problem while your spy keeps stealing the works of art you don't need.

    I hate to be harsh, but that is a dumb idea.
     
  6. ldvhl

    ldvhl ніщо

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    Not really, no. If you're that driven toward getting the Louvre theming bonus, build defensive structures and assign a spy to defend your theming city. And as problematic as it is to have your works/artifacts stolen, you also have the ability to do the same to others.

    I hate to be harsh, but your analysis is a dumb idea.
     
  7. Doktor Vic Tim

    Doktor Vic Tim King

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    Spies can still succeed stealing even if you have a high rank spy in your city, Constabulary and Police station. The biggest difference between stealing techs and art is that you still have your techs. And wouldn't someone wonder why an artwork for civilization A would suddenly be in civilization B? You can already steal artwork by taking the city the artwork is in.

    How is an analysis a dumb idea?

    The only, and ONLY thing I can see reasonable if if a spy could steal an artifact that belonged to your civilization that you did NOT trade (ie the other player dug it up in your territory marks it for being able to be stolen)
     
  8. ldvhl

    ldvhl ніщо

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    OK, stated simpler: just because you dislike an idea, doesn't make it dumb.
     
  9. Doktor Vic Tim

    Doktor Vic Tim King

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    So ideas can't be dumb, then? If you're not going to provide more points to why stealing artwork is a good thing, I suggest you drop this right now with the knowledge that my points were good enough to warrant calling my analysis dumb.
     
  10. ldvhl

    ldvhl ніщо

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    Likewise. Just because it's your opinion does not make it so.
     
  11. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    Of all the bad decisions the developers made with regards to Espionage (and they made a lot imo.), the fact that they downtoned "negative" actions at least was a good one. City State coops are awful enough as they are, great work stealing would be downright horrible. I vividly remember the "happy" days of civ4 where you could easily build a building over and over again ten times in the same town because AI kept sending spies in to destroy it. Fun? Not so much ...

    I'm all for more espionage options, but taking or destroying things should not be on the list. Getting information about other civs (like their army size, tech progress), getting informations about other civs (like location and identity of unmet civs or city states), getting information about locations of resources or natural wonders, establishing contact between you and civs you haven't met but target civ has met, and diplomatic options (influencing relationship between your civ and target civ, or target civ and third party civ) could all be added to the list to flesh out the system without having the frustration of major negative events.
     
  12. Doktor Vic Tim

    Doktor Vic Tim King

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    Perhaps... being able to see what an enemy can see? Though that could be crazy powerful. Another suggestion could be to temporarily enhance the surveillance view so you can see more of their city area (and a possible defensive army).
     
  13. jackboy900

    jackboy900 Chieftain

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    What if you could have spies that could co-operate so if spy a is in the Byzantine capital spy b is in the westernmost Byzantine City and spy c is in the easternmost city you could see their whole empire

    Another idea is to have a high alert system where you can sabotage or steal great work or kill pop/garrison but then to do so again in the same city for x amount of turns is suicide because the city is on high alert and has a 100% chance of being captured (you are told this upon moving a spy there as the spy who committed the crime flees the city) and if attempted again cause an empire wide high alert.

    Another feature is copy design/building/farming/training

    Design: you double great writer/artist/musician Gen until one appeares

    Building: you halve production required for every building in that city

    Farming: double food from farms/plantations until you have the same population as that city

    Training: you can produce units that they have twice as fast

    Technique: level up all units once and gain great generals/admirals twice as fast

    Skills :gain all other gp excluding those already mentioned twice as fast
     
  14. cinattra

    cinattra Warlord

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    In the old games you could build spies. Spies should not be able to be bought and should have to be built.

    I honestly don't mind spies being able to destroy buildings if the cost of such actions is higher than a more mundane action. Maybe it should be the cost of the building or something that the spy is trying to destroy? I can't remember how it was done in the past games. The cost could go up depending on whether or not the city had spy catching buildings.
     
  15. RedThree

    RedThree Chieftain

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    I have the feeling that everyone agrees that there is definitely a lot of room for improvement, but there is also a lot of room for disastrous balance problems.

    As of right now, the goal of espionage (not diplomats) is to bring one Civ closer to another by stealing a tech OR by taking away CS influence and adding your own in. This is all a function of evening the playing field and "catching up." The core idea can translate to other yields.

    [This is just some half-formed ideas, take what you will from them]

    Leveling would be a function of how long you have been sitting in a particular civilization and the risk would escalate the longer you have been there.

    Level 1 - Yield Theft

    Production/Gold/Science/Culture/Food/Faith would be focused on, and remove X amount from base value(not much, single digits) and add 25% to your capitol's value. Maybe the equivalent of a single tile. This would inhibit your opponent's yield in a particular area while increasing yours ever so slightly. It would take some serious number crunching to find the correct values to make it well balanced. Obviously, the longer you stay in the City, the higher the odds of your spy being captured.

    Level 2 - Intel
    Add visual intelligence to the equation. After successfully sitting in a particular City and focusing on a particular yield enough, you then get some visual intel as to what's going on.

    For example, if you were a faith based spy, you would see what their missionaries see.
    Gold - Cargo ship/caravans
    Culture - archaeologists
    Production - workers
    Food - Food resource tiles (Sheep, Cattle, Fish, Wheat, Bananas) and anything passing through
    Science - See their current tech tree and queue

    Level 3 - Sabotage

    After spending an immense amount of time focusing on a yield, and spying on therir movements and somehow still not getting caught, it all culminates in a single sabotage "bomb." Perhaps the spy is consumed? Not sure what the best ideas are, but something along the lines of:

    Faith - Equivalent of a great prophet hitting the city. Dramatic drop in current religion in favor of YOUR religion.
    Gold - Trade routes are seized for X amount of turns. Start with half number of
    Culture - a particular great work is flagged as a fake and now produces NEGATIVE tourism. Will need to be isolated in the empire, or traded away.
    Food - Starvation trigger for X amount of turns, (or maybe a Barbarian Rebellion erupts)
    Production - Seize all production for X amount of turns, OR reset production on a project.
    Science - Steal Tech or Reset current project.

    Counter Espionage
    I imagine counter espionage would be an umbrella type counter increasing odds of catching a spy in any area and the formulas would want to include that if there are multiple spies in one city, the odds of being caught are increased.

    I would hope the mechanic could be instituted so it only happens once or twice a game and isn't a dramatic "ARGHHHH" moment that hits every 10 turns.
     
  16. GoStu

    GoStu King

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    Stealing Great Works strikes me as a HORRIBLE mechanic. Great Works, by necessity, are scattered all through your empire and can't be piled up in one city behind your best spy or spies. The player will never have enough spies to defend every place they have Great Works unless they're playing very tall and can be satisfied using slots in Wonders. Even if the odds of theft were low and made lower by defensive buildings, the sheer number of attackers possible would mean that sooner or later, your stuff's getting stolen. Then your odds of getting it back are terrible.

    Think of all the times you've reduced a rival to a broken city or two in a corner. Now imagine those guys with bugger-all else to do just sitting and trying over and over to loot your great works. They'll routinely send spies to their demise trying to steal your techs, but that's not too bad because they're so far behind that they're still out of the game. Now imagine they're looting your great works faster than you could possibly take them back. The only option would be to kill them, and that's currently diplomatic suicide. Sounds like an exercise in sobbing frustration.
     
  17. mdl5000

    mdl5000 Warlord

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    yeah I always thought it funny in Civ4 that spies usually trained to steal documents or pass along notes somehow had access to enough explosives to DESTROY AN ENTIRE MINE

    I appreciate efforts to improve espionage, but like others have said, if all you're doing is creating an invisible land unit then it's not really a spy anymore...
     
  18. Ll1442

    Ll1442 Chieftain

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    I like your thinking. So basically you should be able to gain something from the civ u are spying. whether its visual display, food, production etc.

    I also though the discord was interesting, but considering multiplayer, u should rather be able to make false intrigues, as the other thing should not work between players.
     

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