I think your underestimating how powerful spy levels are to rig rates. In such a system, I would likely never ever want to move my spy from a CS once I placed it. Likely you would need to increase XP rates for spies to ensure that switching them isn't so incredibly costly.Yes, one of the things I set out to do with this is also weaken spies in city-states. Since you will get more of them, they need to be made weaker or else they will inflate CS influence.
Could also look at reducing the amount of influence for Rigs, and lowering Coup success rates, so they require <50 influence difference between you and the leader for any decent success rate.
Another thought I had is that rigging could just be removed entirely, and spies in CS make your diplomatic actions 25% more effective in that city, so they aren't just passive influence generators.
Alternatively, the spies in major civs start to give yields at lvl 3, so spies in City-states could give the extra % for diplomatic actions, and start rigging at lvl 3, and get rid of coups entirely. That would match the investment and timing of major faction spies.
That's only shown in Transparent Diplomacy.A thought: You could still have all the opinions visible, but you need a spy to get the breakdown
All these diplo modifiers currently have a value in parentheses at the end. We could hide that value unless you have a spy with them.
This in turn raises another key question: can the AI operate as effectively without this information? Small advantages to human are acceptable, but will the AI go back to declaring pointless wars against much stronger opponents, without being able to divine their strength as they do now? Thats really all that matters to me -- I haven't poured over every detail but it strikes me that this one aligns VP with more realistic information exchange and uncertainty, and I always enjoy ideas that move us in a thematic/realism direction, as long as the AI is not left at a major disadvantageUltimately the key question with this model is "are people willing to have less info than they do now to give spies a niche?" At some point you start to question whether its better to just have spies be a CS thing entirely.
Defensive pacts should be public knowledge, however. The intention behind a DP is to deter potential attackers by making it public that someone else would join the war and defend the attacked side, not to lure others into starting a war against a seemingly weak opponent.
There is a balance to be struck between information that is important enough to make spying necessary and information that is so important it should never hidden from players under any circumstance. I think you two are being too cautious; it sounds like you’re only prepared to let spies uncover fluff information that players can’t do much with anyways, and keep all the important things players need ungated. If spies give intel then that intel needs weight. That means we need to reserve the potential for players to make bad decisions if they don’t have the info that spies provide.No, I think DPs, friendships, and other diplo statuses are obviously off the table, other than revealing a sneak attack which is already possible. The AI relies very heavily on that info and so do humans.