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Number of spies too restricted?

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Tomice, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Anyone else having the feeling that he'd like a few more spies? I do :D

    Especially on larger maps with 10 players or more, I feel like I have too little influence on the world. Only in the very late game with 3-4 spies it feels a bit more right. Most of the time the 1-2 spies/diplomats you have change so little that the whole system feels pointless.

    What about starting with 2 spies and generally having one spy more per era?
     
  2. agc28

    agc28 Warlord

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    Hmm. Alternatively, can someone teach me how to add spies by modifying the policy data files? That would be a good change to the useless CounterIntelligence policy in the Rationalism tree.
     
  3. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I like the existing number, it feels right, it avoids too much micromanagement. If you wanted to make spies more significant (and I don't think that is desirable) then increase the power of spy actions. But having do mess around with 6-8+ spies seems like too many.

    Choosing what to do with spies should be a bit tough: you shouldn't have enough spies to do everything you want. With more spies I don't think this would be the case. And I would worry about "congestion" effects on city states election rigging if there were 30-40+ spies in the world.
     
  4. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    I don't really have a set in stone view on spies but, the ability to know what each of your competitors are doing is pretty important in most games. Therefore having at least as many spies as there are major civs in the game sounds fair. I'm not sure about the numbers of spies allocated in games any larger than standard so I can't be sure if it isn't already close to that now.

    The influence of spies over CSs is marginal compared to the overpowered 'buying of favours' ability used in the vanilla diplomacy mechanic.
     
  5. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Just to clarify: I'm talking about 1 spy more per civ (available early) , not 30-40.
     
  6. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    You mean MAJOR civ , as in England or Russia not MINOR civ like Budapest or Sydney?
     
  7. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Major! Meaning 8 total on standard maps. Or 1 more for me as player. So we'd get 2 renaissance, 3 industrial, 4 modern, ...
     
  8. Delekhan

    Delekhan Prince

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    The spy system seems fine quantity-wise right now. One thing I don't like too much is how EVERYONE gets more spies when a single player advances in era.

    Also, didn't GEM have a national wonder that added 1 more spy?
     
  9. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I'd be fine with a national wonder or a policy that added a spy. I don't think we should start with more than 1 by default without a UA effect.
     
  10. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Working on some the policies yesterday I too was looking for a way to add a spy or two via policy and after seeing that it is possible I made this comment on the issues page:
    So while we may be able to give them through policy, I think it may be better to go down the building route, like the Intelligence Agency. The code is already in place to add spies with buildings, it is just another column in the Buildings table.

    The question could now be: what building and when does it become available?
     
  11. Delekhan

    Delekhan Prince

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    The building would most logically be in the late Industrial, early Modern era. That way it gets built in the modern era most of the time if a player chooses to use it.
     
  12. stackpointer

    stackpointer King

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    We could grant spies through a policy that grants a dummy building with that field. Wouldn't require anything particularly complex.
     
  13. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Thx for looking into it! Just one thing: by the modern era we have 3 spies anyway. IMHO gameplay would benefit most from an additional early spy. Later on, the number was not so bad anyway.

    Sorry to not give more precise suggestions, I'm without pc until tomorrow evening.
     
  14. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    @Tomice

    Without PC but with snow skis!
    Which is better?:mischief:
     
  15. jwerano

    jwerano Wonderstacker

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    I agree with this. Especially when it comes to tech stealing spies feel insignificant. It would be best to just increase the strength of their effects.
     
  16. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Well, right now everything just hurts :p
     
  17. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    But why should it be easy to know what is going on in every other country? I would say precisely the opposite: spies are more interesting and meaningful if you can only know what is going on with some other civs, if there is a real opportunity cost to assigning a spy to task X because you don't have enough to do all the tasks you want. You should have to think about which civs to monitor; assigning spies should be an actual strategic decision. If you have enough spies to cover everyone then the number of spies is no longer a meaningful binding constraint. Its like strategic resources: we made them more interesting by restricting the number of them.
     
  18. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    A similar question might be: Why is easy to know what ANY country is doing?

    We get given spies simply because of a timeframe and those spies seem to be able to just set up shop in the opposing capital and send back reports almost effortlessly.

    The mechanic as it is now is a simplistic one, what I suggest only adds the number of cities that may be spied.
    Of course there are other ways of checking out what the opponents are doing, but they seem a bit like cheating. Have you moved the map to look at the other cities and seen some of the wonders in a state of building progress? No units are used and you can see 'such and such' is building e.g. the Pyramids. It is all a bit gamey.
     
  19. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    I'm fine with the number of spies as is. I do think their stealing a tech time needs to be reduced. It's very long and sometimes doesn't even payoff if your spy gets caught. I'd like to see it have a short time but give you a small tech benefit. Let's say if it normally took about 10 turns to research a new tech, then a spy stealing a tech should be around 20-25 turns with the benefit not being giving you a new tech but instead providing some research points towards a tech of your choosing making that new tech cheaper to research for you. Similar to how a research agreement works except you would get to pick the tech. There would also be higher risks in your spy getting caught since it would have more tech stealing attempts. Not sure if a change like this is possible to make however.
     
  20. Delekhan

    Delekhan Prince

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    I think the spy tech stealing rate is fine as it is. It's a very powerful effect that costs virtually nothing, other than the opportunity cost of rigging a couple of CS elections.

    Spy stealing makes tech beelining a more viable strategy, and it's already really good if you ask me.
     

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