The "Intelligence" Espionage System - Draft 1.0

Could do the same thing with luxuries and monopolies. Give the info on what resources they have to trade, but Hide their number of copies from the trade screen. Give who controls what monopoly, but hide their control %
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 :c5influence: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.
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.
I understand rig rates perfectly well, and making it so that there are more incentives to have spies move around less is very much one of the points of this proposed system. You will have 2 more spies in total an era earlier in this version, and much less incentive to move them around.

You ran an England game recently where you tracked how much raw influence per turn your rigs and coups equated to, and it confirmed my already-held conviction that spies already give far too much influence. If city-state espionage stayed the same, but the rest of these changes were implemented, city-state spies would become insanely powerful. They already need a nerf as it is.
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.
That's only shown in Transparent Diplomacy.
I like the direction of this proposal. It is strange that so much information about other players is publicly available in the game (demographics etc.), and using spies to get that information is the most natural implementation of an espionage system.

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.

Other possible benefits of spies:
- Depending on the level, the spy gets visibility not only on the city tile, but also on the tiles around it (like the effect of the current extend visibility mission)
- In a city-state, the amount of influence the contender has is only shown if a spy is present
Ultimately 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.
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 disadvantage
"My friend, you declared war on my other friend. I hate you now."
"But you didn't say they're your friend!"
"You should've spied on them to learn about that."
Yeah, that makes perfect sense :rolleyes:
You can always ask "how they feel about Other Friend" in the diplo screen before declaring war.
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. It would be impossible to tell if someone likes you.

Instead things like Wonder Progress, techs, policies, military, gold, luxuries, city queue, vision of units/cities, vote trading, etc. are more than enough options that are also pretty easy to add.
Techs: not very useful unless you learn the exact techs instead of the number of techs.
Policies: you can already sorta guess the tree with tile yields/unit promotions. AI can't do it.
Military: this is useful, but AI already knows?
Gold: you can check this in the trade screen anyway.
Luxuries: you can hide the exact number of luxuries, but why?
Others are already in the game.
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.
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.
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.

I think that the existence of defensive pacts and friendships with a player is information that would be publicly available… in that country. This is the exact kind of information that diplomats exist to collect and convey to their mother countries. thus, it would be stuff a lvl 1 spy or diplomat could instantly gather and make available as soon as they are set up in that empire. It would be unthinkable in any point of history not to send spies to gather information about a country you had plans to invade. It makes perfect sense that there should be a heavy incentive to spy on a player you plan to declare war on, and the AI should do this too, if it doesn’t already.

Diplomacy relations: wars can be determined from the map, DPs and DFs are exactly the kind of info that makes this intel spying worth doing. Open borders is useless info to the player, but sure, why not?

Policies and Tech: I like @InkAxis’ idea of changing it to More/Similar/Less policies or techs than you. Unless you have a spy giving you the exact number, it could say “Behind in Technology” if the AI is more than 2 techs behind you, and “Ahead in technology” if they have more than a 2 tech lead on you. Same with policies, but make it more than +/- 1 policy. Policies can also tell you exactly what branches they have adopted. It would be cool if spies/diplomats also told you what tech they were currently researching, but that’s extra UI stuff to add in.

Demographics: Unchanged from Proposal. Civ icons and amounts for best and worst remain hidden unless you have a spy with that player. Re: what to do with the column showing your own ranking, maybe it could be locked until you have a vision of at least half the players, including yourself. on standard 8 players that would require 3 spies, which is something all players have by renaissance era (2 from medieval +1 on era from renaissance)

Military unit list: not sure how hard it would be to give access to this info to players. This is info the AI already has and uses for its own decisions; it would be nice to give players access to it too.

City, Wonder, and Population Info: All of this is Available with enough scouting/vision, but it would be nice QOL info to have for summarizing and saving you some recon.

Gold, Luxury, and Monopoly info: there is no point hiding gold from players because they could diss out that info from the trade screen. It would be useful to hide/uncover luxury info, however, because it would tell you how close any civ is to a monopoly, and what monopolies they already have at what % control.

Diplomat Trade options: Allow you to trade votes, Broker Peace deals, and pay someone to go to war. Sounds like a good suite of options to me, and nice situational incentives for diplomats
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I don't think you should need to spy on your ally to get some of this information. Military, sure I can see that, but demographics, city/wonder/population and gold/luxury/monopoly seem like you would know that if you have a good relationship. So some carve out for diplomats gathering the same info as spies, but only if you're allies, would be good.

How to determine if you're "allies" I guess is open to interpretation. I would say at least Defensive Pacts would make you allies. Friendship is more easily broken, and too low of a bar. Open Borders is sort of in between: you trust their army enough to let it into your territory, but you don't have any military obligation to them.
Declarations of Friendship and Defensive Pacts are events that are declared to the international community for the purpose of forming blocs and dissuade enemies.
Yeah it's a declaration of friendship. It's public.

I think this system's overall idea is a good one, but surface level international relations are public and should be public. That's war, defensive pacts, declarations of friendship, and denouncements. and then for city states: allies, friends, pledges of protection, and war.

everything else is fair game for being spy locked
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