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Possibility of bringing success chance back to espionage system

radziu93

Chieftain
Joined
Feb 12, 2024
Messages
14
I recently tried the new espionage system, and I must say I'm not a fan of spy operations always succeeding, to put it mildly. While at first not all rulers will target player, eventually most of the world will. With standard settings it's up to 11 civilizations with each having 4-6 spies mid game.. At least 2-3 in player cities, so even more than twenty in worst cases. And this new system does not have any form of preventing damage from happening. Only thing I can do is to declare war, which will only snowball the effect of everybody else hating me and using spies on me. Perhaps on highest difficulty levels AI don't concentrate like that, because players can't dominate in all fields, but as for more casual players, it's disaster. I mean of course not an actual disaster, but it is extremally annoying. I can't just focus on bulding my realm, because everyone constantly steal my Great Works, pillage tiles, steal technology etc.. and I can't do anything about it. At most I can set spy to always kill foreign spies, but why bother if the deed is already done. So then having agents as counter spies is also pretty much useless right now.

I wonder if anybody else also considers this as a big issue and would also like to bring back the operation success chance?
 
I feel the same. Sadly I will probably just play with it turned off, or use an older version of VP.


Edit: Also, the stealing of the great works is a poor decision. It used to be you could just keep them in your capital, then it was changed that they just copied them, now they steal them again including your capital.
This makes picking the great work option over the insta yield option the sub part choice as you won't be able to hang on to them for very long before they are stolen.

Like the OP said, the AI will tend to target the human who will usually be in the top three spots, which the AI will dump all it's spies on.
 
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The espionage system gets changed so often that personally, I've just about given up on knowing how its mechanics actually work in any given update. I still keep it on, to allow England, Statecraft and the related tenets to work as intended, but I can't say I'm able to use spies with any strategic foresight. Renaissance rolls in, I get a spy, I assign it somewhere (typically my capital or a city-state I want), and hope it does a good job. Whatever its job is.
 
Well I'll debate this. I completely hate chance to succeed mechanics. Nothing is more devastating then spending 90 turns to discover nothing happens. Or worse, your spy is dead. VP has a range of difficulties to choose. If something is too hard, your difficulty may be too high in general.

You also have your spies out doing their thing too. Send them on missions that make sense that will make up for the fact that spies will be attacking you. Stealing gold is a pretty good choice early game. Even faith siphoning is not bad against the FrontRunner. By mid game I'd say gold and science stealing are the best choices. A spy or two in your best cities buffing your specialist ain't bad either. The other choices aren't very beneficial IMO. But there's nothing wrong with stealing great works either.
 
The other choices aren't very beneficial IMO. But there's nothing wrong with stealing great works either.

Care to expand why you think this?

Great works are so limited, and spies aren't. The AI will tend to spy gang the human player causing the limited over time bonus of GWs to be removed.

It makes the insta bonus of great people way more worth while compared to burning them for something that will be stolen shortly after building it.
 
I think its a toss-up for me between vanilla & @Gazebo's re-work as far as faves. The new version is okay, I don't hate it, but OP has a point.

Civ 5 espionage has been underwhelming experience overall, and every system has felt somewhat disconnected from the actual world, this version perhaps the most in that sense. I have no appetite for further reworks though.

I think we could bandaid the current system by allowing envoys & great diplomats to have some kind of counter-spy function -- ie. park one in a city for boosted counter-spy value in that city. Civ 2 worked this way (albeit both the spies and envoy-equivalent units there were actual on-map units), so it has franchise precedence factor. Spies and envoys already both affect city states, just makes sense they should interact more directly.
 
Care to expand why you think this?

Great works are so limited, and spies aren't. The AI will tend to spy gang the human player causing the limited over time bonus of GWs to be removed.

It makes the insta bonus of great people way more worth while compared to burning them for something that will be stolen shortly after building it.
Yea I really meant that as an after thought. I completely recommend Gold/Science stealing foremost. Faith stealing for 1 round worked well for me against an aggressive religion last game. But I only choose to steal a great work if all of the other good options have been chosen. I'm not a fan of the ones that cause disruption to the Rival civilization.
 
Yea I really meant that as an after thought. I completely recommend Gold/Science stealing foremost. Faith stealing for 1 round worked well for me against an aggressive religion last game. But I only choose to steal a great work if all of the other good options have been chosen. I'm not a fan of the ones that cause disruption to the Rival civilization.
And this is only from player perspective, AI tends to steal Great Works most of the time, because it's the cheapest action now. Honestly I preferred when they stole my gold in earlier versions, because it's quick to earn back, and stealing technology also don't change your tourism/culture output. Also stealing GW will take random players' GW, it's not even related to those being in the city spy operates in.
 
If I remember well the spy congress proposal that was voted, a version without the missions should be also implemented.
 
And this is only from player perspective, AI tends to steal Great Works most of the time, because it's the cheapest action now. Honestly I preferred when they stole my gold in earlier versions, because it's quick to earn back, and stealing technology also don't change your tourism/culture output. Also stealing GW will take random players' GW, it's not even related to those being in the city spy operates in.
I was thinking about this and I'll still stand behind the stealing of great works (as a final choice) Again what we are trying to do is counteract all of the Espionage that is happening to you. So stealing a great work will make up for the fact that one of yours has been stolen.
 
I was thinking about this and I'll still stand behind the stealing of great works (as a final choice) Again what we are trying to do is counteract all of the Espionage that is happening to you. So stealing a great work will make up for the fact that one of yours has been stolen.
My main issue isn't with stealing itself, but with complete inability to protect myself from it. And how can I counteract if average number of civs stealing simultaneously is like 6 out of 12, if not all of them?
If I remember well the spy congress proposal that was voted, a version without the missions should be also implemented.
If so, how do I switch to this version?
 
Care to expand why you think this?

Great works are so limited, and spies aren't. The AI will tend to spy gang the human player causing the limited over time bonus of GWs to be removed.

It makes the insta bonus of great people way more worth while compared to burning them for something that will be stolen shortly after building it.
Spies aren’t limited, but network points are. It’s not something the opponent can spam over and over again. Now if people think it’s too cheap that’s a fair feedback, vhf just noting you don’t just get steals all the time. Inthink each one class the same as a tech steal..and I would probably want more tech over a couple more great works
 
My main issue isn't with stealing itself, but with complete inability to protect myself from it. And how can I counteract if average number of civs stealing simultaneously is like 6 out of 12, if not all of them?

If so, how do I switch to this version?
A counterspy in the capital will reduce the network points the enemy spy gets, which slows down how often they can hit you with spy missions. It’s not a direct defense but that option does exist
 
Since we are talking spies. Can somone tell me what the most effective way to level them up is?

Also is there a consensus on best use for spies?

Ive always used them to get more city state allies. But that was out of laziness of learning the mechanics and optimal play.
 
Since we are talking spies. Can somone tell me what the most effective way to level them up is?

Also is there a consensus on best use for spies?

Ive always used them to get more city state allies. But that was out of laziness of learning the mechanics and optimal play.
You can either choose to send them to a CS to rig elections or send them as a Diplomat.

They will level much slower as a spy in CS but I tend to recommend this early game, especially if you are a warmonger and not building Envoys.

As a Diplomat they level very fast. But this may have little use early game for their direct benefit. But using it for the sole purpose of leveling is a valid option.

Late game is when you'll tend to want a few diplomats. I don't think their experience effects their ability as a Diplomat (correct me if im wrong) so I recommend cycling them out. Make them a diplomat until their maxed with experience and then swap with another one.
 
Oh, ick. That's a horrible change. Zero chance I update from 4.2.7 now.

RNG is never fun but making spy missions always succeed is just going to make the late game nothing short of hell, when it's already quite the hard sell for me to see to the end. RNG may not be ideal but I think it's very definitely the lesser of two evils. Unstoppable ephemeral spies sounds neither fun nor realistic to any degree (obviously compromises have to be made since this is a game, but this doesn't sound like a compromise that's to the player's benefit in any way).
 
You can either choose to send them to a CS to rig elections or send them as a Diplomat.

They will level much slower as a spy in CS but I tend to recommend this early game, especially if you are a warmonger and not building Envoys.

As a Diplomat they level very fast. But this may have little use early game for their direct benefit. But using it for the sole purpose of leveling is a valid option.

Late game is when you'll tend to want a few diplomats. I don't think their experience effects their ability as a Diplomat (correct me if im wrong) so I recommend cycling them out. Make them a diplomat until their maxed with experience and then swap with another one.
Why are they not useful as a diplomat in early game? Can they not steal tech?

And thanks for the info.
 
Why are they not useful as a diplomat in early game? Can they not steal tech?

And thanks for the info.
To my knowledge all diplomats do is the "Shmoozing" effect. Which is giving you a positive modifier for relations.

Oh and they also give you access to some more trade options, which aren't very beneficial early game. Diplomats are more of an end game tool for the civs you can't immediately destroy. (To be honest if they have some more uses I'd like to know.)

This is why the devs expertly made diplomats gain the most experience. It's a bit of a trade-off in the early game. Yes, you can get the quick experience but while they are at Diplomat in the early game it's not really helping you.
 
Late game is when you'll tend to want a few diplomats. I don't think their experience effects their ability as a Diplomat (correct me if im wrong) so I recommend cycling them out. Make them a diplomat until their maxed with experience and then swap with another onone.
Experience doesn't help relations but it does net more delegates for world congress trades.
 
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