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Spies for Essus

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Fafnir13, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 King

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    Followers of Essus seem to lack a bit of shiny that all other religions have, that being unique disciple units. Shadow Riders are certainly nothing to sneeze at, but are a few high attack power units really worth giving up on Typhoon, Ring of Flames, or any of the other useful spells and abilities that other religions bring into play? Players who choose to follow Essus wholeheartedly need something to make it worth their while.
    So, I am proposing we add spies. A spy is a 0 attack power disciple unit which has the special ability to move into tiles occupied by enemy or friendly units for a variety of nefarious purposes. In cities, they can be used to poison water supplies (adds to sickness), hamper construction (subtracts from hammers), incite dissidents (adds to unhappiness), and a number of other skills unlocked with various techs. For instance, some buildings in a city (like marketplaces, libraries, et cetera) can be by a spy once gunpowder is researched. The spy also has fulfills the very basic function of spreading the religion. Being able to do so in hostile territory is especially useful given that Essus retains the vanilla holy city ability of getting vision on cities where the religion has spread.
    Spies can also perform missions against units. Poisoning food supplies can damage by a small percent or add the diseased promotion (your choice). Bribery can even be attempted on the unit with lowest power, price varying based on the unit (loyalty prevents this).
    Performing a mission can consumes the spy. More can be built in the city with Nox Noctis or via an Undercouncil resolution that replaces the Nightwatch one. To aid the spy in carrying out its missions, it is invisible to most units much like Sidar ghosts.

    So...sound like a good idea? My hope is that it would make Essus worth following. Gives some direct damage and other unique ways of playing havoc with the enemy. Probably too much for the Mod at this stage, but I can always hope.
     
  2. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    yes please! spies would fit the CoE theme so well that it's actually weird that they're not in already :D
     
  3. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    this is a cross thread reference

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=7724911#post7724911

    It would be better, I think, if spies could recruit barbarians, (only those that would care for gold, so no animals or demons) but not other player's units. Bribery was taken out of vanilla civ a long time ago for a reason.

    Some of the spy missions seem like they would be too powerful, but I suppose if they cost enough gold, could be kept down to happening only periodically. In vanilla, I find all the sabotage very annoying.
     
  4. Jules.lt

    Jules.lt Prince

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    Spies already exist: they're called Shadows. You may want to add new functions to them, but I don't think that's necessary.
    (spying is a rather sophisticated thing, so it makes sense that it comes with a late tech)

    I think that the whole point of Esus was that it can work undercover, as opposed to being an official State Religion. If you ask me, Gibbon shouldn't even leave you if you change your State religion (but you should need the State religion to build him, to show some dedication at least...)

    I didn't know that the Esus holy city gave sight of cities where it's spread. That would almost make me want to build the thing, despite the annoying invisibility mechanic.
     
  5. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    In Vanilla civ, owning the holy city gives you the line of sight of any city that has your religion. In FFH, I don't think this is unique to Esus.
     
  6. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    I think it is.
     
  7. Bad Player

    Bad Player Deity

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    Some kind of spying themed thing to improve Esus (esp multiplayer as someone else pointed out) would be good I agree.
     
  8. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    Spies already exist. They're called spies. Firaxis did a whole bunch of cool work on them with the espionage points system, and the various different abilities.

    Why has FFH thrown all that away and not used spies? It seems silly.

    Bring back the default BtS spies! Themed and tweaked for FFH of course
     
  9. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    It is unique to Esus.
     
  10. Zobo

    Zobo Chieftain

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    Spies.. yes, the reason I don't play BTS.
     
  11. cabbagemeister

    cabbagemeister Please wait...

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    I thought BTS spies were incredibly boring, micromanagement-intensive, and not fun. I was happy that FfH cut them. I have no doubt that if they wanted to, Kael & Co could implement espionage in some devastatingly cool form, but in my opinion it would have to be VERY different from the BTS-style model.
     
  12. ExMachina

    ExMachina Warlord

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    I didn't care for the BTS system of espionage either. IMO the Espionage slider was a really bad idea, and the system of Espionage Points is a real pain in the ass to manage. However, I would like to see espionage added to FfH in some form, to give the game another dimension.
     
  13. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 King

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    Oh yeah, that slider...
    I've only played one or two vanilla games. Farthest I ever got was up to musketmen, at which point I got bored! Where are my uber promoted monstrosities ravaging the lands in the name of their dark god! Gah!
    Er...um...yeah.

    Spies as imagined in this post would be regular units you can build which get special spells and abilities costing gold and consuming the unit. Maybe not consuming the unit unless a percent chance of failure occurs, much like older version of Civ and Alpha Centauri used.
    Even if they only have a couple abilities, like spreading the religion in hostile cities and causing some unhappiness, they would help spice things up for Essus followers.
     
  14. Verdian

    Verdian King

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    I had an idea for a unit a while ago that I thought could act as a spy for the Council of Esus while still retaining its anonymity. I wanted something that was away from the generic "spy" type unit, and called it an Orphan.

    It would be an HN unit that could travel enemy borders and not be targeted (much like the old Gypsy Wagons). It would have zero strength and be unable to attack. You could get Orphans three ways. From a rioting city, from a city with a high crime rate, or from a city with CoE in it. This was so the player never knew who owned the unit, even in MP games (a unique unit to CoE is obviously from the CoE civ). The percentage for them to spawn would be cumulative, and signifigantly higher in cities with CoE.

    The Orphan could be placed in cities, and while there would create a building called "Street Gang" or "Slums" or “Beggars” (again, like Gypsy Wagons). While there, the owner of the unit could see what the city was producing and other specifics of the city. The crime rate would also be slowly increased by the unit. If the owner of the unit was CoE, there was a chance that the religion would spread to the city. Orphans would randomly be killed based on the crime rate of the city (Too low, they get arrested. Too high, they get killed). They would be zero maintenance.

    Basically, it was a way to spread CoE, spy on the enemy, and hinder your opponents by raising the crime rate. Of course, right now the crime rate does not do very much...

    The idea of children being manipulated and corrupted by the CoE appealed to me. :mischief:
     
  15. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 King

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    Children of Essus. Literally children. Eyes seem to reflect a deep and shadowy abyss beyond human knowledge. Were they born this way? Did they see too much? Or perhaps they were shown in a deliberate attempt to make them what they are. The followers of Essus are truly an insidious lot.

    Can't say I'm with the whole tie-in to crime rate (a rather wasted game concept at this point), but I like the concept of children being used in such a way. They would be the perfect spies.
     
  16. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    I dont think crime rate is wasted, I think it has something to do with the spread of Esus.
     
  17. Verdian

    Verdian King

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    Slightly off topic for a moment, all crime rate does right now is trigger a few events. I am fine with crime rate only triggering events (usually negative), and Kael has stated that he wants to keep the crime rate mechanic simple. An Orphan unit (I like the name "Children of Esus", too) would be a way to tap into that, and the CoE can already increase crime through the Undercouncil. I just thought this would be a nice additional way to use the system.

    Right now my main problem with the Orphan as I stated it is the randomness of their demise. But if they are created randomly, and cannot be attacked, there needs to be a way to get rid of it.
     
  18. Skitters

    Skitters Prince

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    Perhaps having the CoE faith would allow you to see the production of cities from all Orphan/Children of Esus units - not just your own? Just to give CoE a little boost?

    As a form of combat against, perhaps casting Inquisition would have a chance of "dispelling" (/rehabilitating) the Children of Esus unit?
     
  19. Bitwise

    Bitwise Warlord

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    Maybe Shadows could have missions they can use in rival cities, but only if you have CoE as a state religion. Things like Poison Water Supply (+1-5 unhealthiness), incite riots (+1-5 unhappiness), Sabotage (-100 :hammers: to current productio) and so on. Missions require gold to use, maybe base to cost on the crime rate of the city so that crime-ridden cities are cheaper to operate in.
     
  20. Brokenbone

    Brokenbone Prince

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    I do like the idea of an Esus themed gypsy wagon, except instead of sucking away culture, it sucks away a little gold and creates a "Criminal Underworld" building of some sort. Maybe it's just as invisible as a Shadow, maybe it can be killed by Revelation or something, or noticed if walking through territory that the Dies Dei "lights up." Might be a decent enough way to spy, that is, click the city your little gangster is in and peek at what's going on. No, not as sophisticated as BTS espionnage or giving a look at tech plans and whatnot, but still fits a crime & gold theme.

    Maybe they siphon a gold coin for every 10% of crime rate in the city, incents the city owner to build courthouses, dungeons and other crime reduction stuff. *shrugs* Maybe the little gangster unit creates progressively worse levels of crime building, anything from Beggars, to Street Gangs, to Smugglers, to Crime Family, each with worse problems (or to the owner, benefits).

    All probably modmod territory though, that sort of thing. Fun idea at least.
     

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