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Stalker0's State of the Mod - 1/11/2022

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Stalker0, Jan 11, 2022.

  1. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    We already have bonused based on being influential with another civ. However, I agree there could be more benefit to it. How about boost to gold output based on tourism output? The more tourism a city have, the more tourist arrive who spend money.
     
  2. youngsteve

    youngsteve Prince

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    Going back to Spies. I feel the choice of having your spy being a spy or a diplomat, is heavily weighted towards spying & causing trouble. Why cannot you gain votes in the world congress for every spy based as a diplomat, which would make it more worthwhile, or gain better relations with a civ than now. This would be of benefit to more peaceful civs/players. I think there is a policy that does this, but cannot remember it or never go down that path.
     
  3. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    What do you mean? Diplomats do exactly that. You can trade votes and improve relations. They also boost tourism.
     
  4. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I agree with @Hinin, there should be a balance of passive/active effects on spies. I don't like that the current system a) doesn't really hurt the host civ for your spies, except in very specific, military goals, and that 1 production sabotage option. b) i don't feel the success and speed of spy actions are tangible or accessible. Whether something succeeds or fails is a bit of a black box to me.

    I think adding some more passive play to spies is also a great way to get at @Milae's point about Tourism. Influence levels could increase the power of passive spy actions.

    Example:
    You have a spy that you send to an enemy city, you are prompted on its arrival:
    • Embed in the scientific community (siphons 3:c5science:Science, and an additional 3%:c5science: per turn per influence level with the target civilization per turn from the city)
    • Embed in the marketplace (siphons 5:c5gold:Gold / 3%:c5gold: per turn per influence level)
    • Embed in the arts community (siphons 2:c5culture:Science/ 3%:c5culture: per turn per influence level)
    • Embed with the tradesmen's guild (siphons 3:c5production: prod/ 3%:c5production: per turn per influence level)
    Then unlocked via some wonder or belief
    • Embed with the local cooperative (siphons 5:c5food: food/ 2%:c5food: per turn per influence level)
    • Embed with the clergy (siphons 3:c5faith:Faith / +5%:c5faith: per Influence level)
    Then Constabularies/police stations in the city could give a flat -25% modifier after the yield siphon is calculated.

    So with good :tourism:influence your spies could deliver a pretty nasty per turn yield debuff to a given city's economy (- 3/6/9/12 % before reductions from anti-spy buildings), depending on influence level. In a standard game you could have multiple spies in a given city, decreasing different yields, or stacking their siphons, and crippling a leader's main cities. England could start with 1 spy, and they operate at 1 influence level higher, capping at 15% yields.

    Then move advanced actions to a Great Spy that you move around the map like a GProphet to perform advanced actions on target cities. We could just implement a modified form of Tomatekh's Great Spies, and give him credit for that module, since any advanced spy action system would just be reinventing the wheel.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
  5. youngsteve

    youngsteve Prince

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    You can only trade votes if you have good relations. In my previous game as Arabia, the whole world hated me, & was virtually a non person, even though I had never taken a single city from any of them, except two CS which were warring me. Ironically four of them had ripped apart the big empires of Huns & Venice, but that was okay it seems. Every one of them was constantly sending spies to damage my cities, & in the end I just put Diplomats in all of them, but there was no advantage at all of doing this, so what you say was a waste of time in this case. Now if I could have have votes for each diplomat I might have at least put some of the votes in doubt.
     
  6. looorg

    looorg Prince

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    Sounds reasonable if you ask me. Willing to give that a try. If anything I would then suggest that the spy catching also changes form, as a set percentage that grows per turn to catch the spy from the police stations, constabularies and possibly some other buildings and or policies. As it is now it only does something when there is a payout or when the timers build up, run out or accumulate enough spy power/points (or however you like to see it). So if you want to make it turn based then also the spy hunting should be turn based as well. Not just -X% yield if you have a building. That isn't catching spies, that is just making it somewhat harder for them to operate.
     
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  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I'm on board with the concept that influence levels help your spying, anything to make tourism more fun and interactive.

    I do not think it should be a "siphon". We already see that issue with production disruption and well poisoning, anytime you allow a spy to siphon, what inevitably happens is that multiple civs gang up on a big civ and suddenly you have -30% to all yields in your main cities, which is simply not fun for a player.

    I recognize that duplicating yields is not the most realistic, but I think its far more enjoyable for players than a true steal.


    Similar to the notion of yield steals, I personally don't think spy catching is all that interesting or fun. It just adds randomness in a game that is very non-random most of the time. And it means more micromanagement, as now I have to send another spy on another mission.

    What I would be fine with is the notion that you get an "intelligence break" periodically. It doesn't kill my spy, but the opponent does get some nice benefit of their own for gaining access to some of my spy's intel.
     
  8. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    The current system has spy actions that really hurt an enemy civ, or really benefit you. I don't like that split. I think spies should hurt other civs a little to help you a little.

    a 3-12% yield siphon for 1 type of yield in 1 city sounds pretty manageable to me, unless you're super small and tall, where 1 city is a big piece of your total empire. With multiple enemy spies in a city, that could stack up to 30%+ negative yield modifiers. Ouch! but, My proposal was also that constabularies/police stations would soften that steal by a lot. With a constabulary, a 12% siphon is reduced to 9%.
    I think some counterespionage is a good idea. I think the current happiness reduction and surveillance missions work just fine. There needs to be a place and a use for spies in your own cities, as G said, he can't code that placement option out.
    There could be a dichotomy of two options for spies in your own cities:
    • Work with local law enforcement / establish overt surveillance: Reduces the unhappiness and % per turn yield steal from enemy spies in a city, acting like a free constabulary.
    • Create a sting operation / counterespionage: gives a small chance (1% per level) that you will catch any enemy spies in the city. Advanced actions from enemy Great Spies in this city have a 50% chance to Fail.
    So you choose between a guaranteed happiness and yield boost in the city, or a chance of medium-term reprieve from damaging spy actions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think you just made my case for me. Are you really okay with your TALL capital having a -30% on yields? Because that WILL happen if you allow a system where spies can stack and apply negative penalties. Even if its not -30%, is a -15% to your science capital okay? I mean hell the fact that my capital has a constant growth penalty all the time nowadays from well poisonings is thoroughly unfun, this would be even worse.

    People don't like other civs applying penalties to them that they cannot control. Sure reducing the damage with a police station is nice, but its still this negative penalty that lingers like an albatross around your neck.

    I'm all for some great spy performing a revolt or something, as that's a big event and the expenditure of a key resource, but not just a constant nagging penalty that lets the entire world collude against you and destroy your yields.
     
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  10. looorg

    looorg Prince

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    If there is no risk in the reward then why not just replace the entire spy thing with having an espionage process you can run in your cities? I agree that spy hunting isn't all that interesting but then that is cause there really is no ui for it. Sending your own spy to your city and then selecting one of four options and then waiting isn't really all that interesting. Most of the time you don't know or see if this thing is even working or not. You have your counterspy yet the AI seem to run circles around them so it's a question of if it is even worth in. Possibly even less so now that it's not even actual yields that are being stolen (with the exception of production sabotage). All the other yields are just calculated ghost yields conjured up from nothing. Doesn't hurt you, the spy gained something.
     
  11. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think the UI part is one of my issues. So Trade Routes for example are mostly fire and forget, though you have the risk of pillaging on occasion. If spies were units I could somehow hunt or kill on the map (like TRs), than I could get behind the notion. But just having a random % chance that a spy dies behind the scenes, that's not interesting, its just frustrating.
     
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  12. Histomen

    Histomen Chieftain

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    Personally I find late game as you said a little lack luster with me quitting games by turn 350 or 300 on epic because i already either know im going to lose or win.
    What really sets this game to beyond the gameplay mechanics is the AI you all worked hard on. Its what really keeps everything incredibly fresh and exciting.

    The Good-
    VP, 4uc, and more wonders have turned this game into a variable rich playground to have fun in.
    The AI, sometimes surprise even humans with their acuity and sudden decisiveness when they know they have the advantage.
    Alot of Civs have very wide spread mechanics that allow you to make different long term plays that feel rewarding to plan around.
    The game always feels like a reflection of choices and not a reflection of things you had no control of as i felt in much earlier versions of VP.
    Domi victory feels the most balanced its been ever.

    The bad-
    Balancing is difficult when everything is so strong. As the current game is I feel as though certain Civs can always stand out as usual consistent contenders. I dont know if thats confirmation bias from my perspective or not but i always see an Akisa or Moctezuma with a successful war campaign, which yes is their specialty, but their advantages from it usually set them apart for the rest of the game.
    Wide CV with Holy sites and stupas Wltkd tourism surges seem to make CV an autopilot win.
    Science victory is very risky vs other passive civs since the AI seem to pull techs out of their ass at times.
    Strategic resources are such a spot of constant trial and error in terms of AI assumed value.
    Starting resource distribution is still a little bit rng but i think communitas is a great improvement from previous map generators.
    Okay so i say this with a slight fear of it getting nerfed but City states ability to have quest after quest after quest of city conquest quests reallllllllllllllllllllllllllly can make you snowball out of nowhere with early domi civs. Im talking level 5 boats or land units before you're even close to Knight or longswordmen.
     
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  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    • I think it should be possible to get to 100% steal reduction.
      • Constabulary and Police Station (-25% each, total of -50%)
      • your own spy in the city (15/25/35% based on level)
      • global reduction modifiers from policies/wonders (total of -50%)
        • -15% global on NIA
        • -15% on Empiricism Rationalism policy
        • -20% global on Great Firewall
    • You will have your own spies stealing in other cities, and giving those yields to your capital, counteracting the negative effects of enemy spies in your own cities
    • You can kill enemy spies, so you can control them to a certain extent. multiple spies in 1 of your cities can be countered by 1 of your own spies.
    • It's not helpful to look at the big % steals on influential/dominant civs, because you aren't going to send spies to those cities anyways. If you are dominating a civ that much culturally, they probably don't have much to steal anyways. It’s also a game-ending, hard thing to get up high, and bigger %s seems commensurate to that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
  14. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Right now, we have this dichotomy between spy actions that really hurt a civ, like rebellions and poison the well, or things that only benefit the player, like gold/science "steal". I think that's baloney. Spies should hurt a bit AND help a bit. How can they rubber band people if they can only help or only hurt, but not do both? They need to leech off the leaders, or else they aren't doing their job.

    To your broader point. I completely disagree that spies shouldn't hurt people. If they are supposed to be a rubber-band mechanic that pulls leaders back in, then they damn well better do that. There should be ways to mitigate and counter them, sure, but they need numbers that pose a legitimate amount of hurt, to look and feel impactful, before you start talking about mitigation.

    So, YES, I do think a combined 27% of 1 yield type steal from 3 enemy civs that are :tourism:Popular with you colluding against you is a good place to start. Actually I think a 4% scaler might be an even better place, since everyone can build constabularies to reduce that to an effective 3% right away. A Tall civ that prioritizes counterespionage/mitigation can cover their own cities' steal reduction with their own spies and constabularies immediately, reducing 27% down to 13% with minimal investment. Spies are a limited resource for the enemy AI too, and if they converge on a single player like that, then the tools exist for that player to soften that while still giving enough leech to be tangible before the tools to completely lock the stealing come out in the late game.

    TL;DR - it sounds to me like your "case" is that you want to make spies so weak as to be ignorable (you don't want them to affect turn-by-turn play above a noticeable level), but also you want spies to be uncounterable (you want to disable placing defensive spies). That doesn't sound good to me at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
  15. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    If the balance is "you can remove the mechanic", then that doesn't sound very balanced. Also while influential is tough for sure, its not hard at all for many civs to be popular against you in the late game, especially if your going more science over culture. And I think we can all agree that culture doesn't need to be any stronger or more mandatory.

    I don't get how smashing my yields to bits is actually going to increase my enjoyment of the game.
     
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  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    ... That's how espionage has always worked. You counter enemy spies by "turning them off". I would ask what you would even plan to do with all the wonders, policies, and buildings that do exactly what you are describing as bad, but the only consistent argument is that you want them all removed. Yet I've never heard you make an argument for removing Great Firewall or Police Stations before this; it certainly never came up when you made a large post about the new Spy System

    In BNW and until the spy rework, constabulary, Empiricism (policy), NIA, etc. made "enemy spies X% less effective", and this translated into making them trigger spy actions less often. There have always been enough of these combined bonuses in the game to make enemy spies >100% less effective, but most of the big global bonuses are exclusive wonders or require certain policy choices, and they unlock in Atomic or later, meaning you have lots of time where Spies make an impact before 1-2 players manage to neutralize spies in their own lands.

    In this new per-turn, passive system, 25% less yields per turn stolen from spies in this city is a lot more precise than 25% "less effective spies". Because advanced actions were so variable, they kept the explanations too vague to properly convey what they did.

    Lastly, even if spies are turned "all the way off", as you put it, they would still generate GSpy points, and by extension Advanced Actions. GSpies being units on the map means they have to be countered some other way.
    No. We don't agree on that. You started a poll where the community voted strongly in favor of having tourism give more bonuses. You can argue this is a bad place to implement tourism bonuses, but to say that people agree with you that cultural influence is already too good is patently false.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022
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  17. azum4roll

    azum4roll Emperor

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    To prevent multiple spies ganging up on a single city, I suggest reducing efficiency of spies if there are more than one spy (including foreign spies and counter-spies) operating in the same city. Something like 2/(1+n) yields for each foreign spy when there are n spies in the city. Counter-spies additionally have a small chance to kill foreign spies each turn.

    The UI when your spy finishes establishing at a foreign city should state how many spies are already operating in the city.
     
  18. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Edited: Never mind, I see Hinin made a separate thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
  19. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    in this example I was not speaking of tourism, but actual culture. In this model, going more science and less culture could greatly increase your penalties because enemies will have more influence levels.

    Heavy culture play is already practically mandatory, this would further increase that need.
     
  20. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    Is there a way to make tourism more impactful, without making culture more important? It won't be easy, because those are very tied up.
     

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