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Unitless Espionage Model

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Atwork, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Atwork

    Atwork Immortal

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    617
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA.
    This is a very rough outline….obviously the numbers are quite arbitrary and the details are raw….I appreciate your feedback!


    In this proposed system, there will be two different forms of espionage available to the player.
    1. “Espionage Operations”: a system based on options provided to the player, accessed by simply clicking on a city and then choosing the “Conduct Espionage” option. A new screen opens (like the City-State diplomacy screen) and the player then has a list of options with correlating costs. Espionage Operations become available with the discovery of Writing.

    2. “Information Gathering”: a passive system based on investment of money. Operates similar to bribing of City-States. The extent of information available to the player is based on the size of the investment, which deteriorates over time. There are 3 levels of investment available to the player. Information gathering does not become available until a new tech, “Real Politiks” is discovered.

    3. Espionage Operations & Information Gathering features will increase in future eras. However, the cost is always dependent on the era and infrastructure of the target civilization, offset by infrastructure built by player.

    Example, although Espionage Operations and Information Gathering costs more in modern era, if the target civilization is the ancient era, then it will be extremely cheap to conduct operations or gather info from that civ. Conversely, if a classical civ is attempting to conduct operations or gather info from a modern civ, then it will be extremely expensive (if not impossible).

    4. The cost of Espionage Operations & Information Gathering investments depends on several factors including: the era, the particular operation, the level of investment, and the “counter-espionage” infrastructure that the target civilization has constructed. This counter-espionage infrastructure also helps determine the rate of success of Espionage Operations & whether or not the player’s nationality is revealed following a successful or unsuccessful operation.

    5. In this system, there would be NO need for an actual "spy" unit.


    More details below….


    WRITING:
    Allows “Espionage.”
    1. Player would click on a foreign city.

    2. After clicking on city, options would pop up -- talk to owner or “Conduct Espionage Operations”.

    3. If player selected Conduct Espionage Operations, player would enter a screen that looks like the City-State screen. Diplomatic info would be available in the screen. Also, a list of options would be available along with the corresponding gold cost.

    4. With discovery of Writing, options for espionage missions would include:
    a. Spy tiles adjacent to selected city;
    b. Spy inside selected city – see selected city’s city screen, including production, but not number of turns remaining.

    5. Note: there is a base 10% chance that espionage missions will fail and/or that the nationality will be revealed (two separate rolls of the dice).

    6. Note: Palace provides following benefits to counter-espionage: additional 15% chance that foreigners’ Espionage Operations in the city will fail and/or the nationality of offender will be revealed (local effect).



    MASONRY:
    1. Player can build “Walls” – 10% chance that foreigners’ Espionage Operations in the city will fail and/or nationality will be revealed. (Benefit to counter-espionage obsolete with Economics.)

    2. New Espionage Operation --> reduce city defenses. Player can reduce city defenses by 10%. (15% points with Real Politiks, 20 % with Radio, & 25% with Black Ops in modern era)



    CHIVALRY:
    Player can build “Castle” – additional 10% chance that foreigners’ Espionage Operations in the city will fail and/or nationality will be revealed. (Benefit to counter-espionage obsolete with Economics.)



    REAL POLITIKS (new tech):
    requires Banking & Printing Press.
    1. Player may build a “Police Department.”
    a. Has a local effect, making all foreigners’ Espionage Operations in the city cost an additional 15%.
    b. Also, there is a 15% increased chance that foreigners’ Espionage Operations in the city will fail and/or the nationality will be revealed.

    2. Player gains the option of “Information Gathering.”
    a. Player can select a civilization to gather info from through the ‘Espionage screen.’

    b. Info Gathering operates similar to bribing City-States in the following ways:
    i. Information Gathering is a tiered system, such that the information available from the selected civilization depends on the initial investment.

    ii. If player invests in highest level of info-gathering, then he would also obtain the info provided at lower levels of investment. For example, if a player invests enough to reach the 3rd-level of info gathering, then the player would also obtain the benefits of the 1st and 2nd levels.

    iii. The investment deteriorates over time so that the less info will be available over time.

    c. Note: more information at each level of investment becomes available with discovery of new technologies and upon entering new eras. However, the cost also increases and deteriorates more quickly.

    3. Through Information Gathering, the following levels of information would be available upon discovery of Real Politiks:
    Level 1: Demographic information – can access the demographic info of selected civ.

    Level 2:
    i. Technological information – 1 turn after the fact, player informed that the target civilization has researched a technology and what that technology was. Example: “Last turn, X discovered Economics.”
    ii. Also, player will be informed when target civilization has built the first of a new military unit. Example: “X has built its first musketman.”

    Level 3:
    i. Major Building information – player informed when target civ is within 5 turns of completing nat’l or world wonder & informed of the location.
    ii. Also, player will be informed when target civilization is beginning to build the first of a new unit. Example: “X is beginning to build its first rifleman.”


    4. Player may build National Wonder, “Scotland Yard.”
    a. Global effect
    b. Must have Police Department built in the city.
    i. Increases foreign civilizations’ cost to Espionage Operations & Information Gathering by 15%.
    ii. 15% increased chance that foreigners’ Espionage Operations in all cities will fail and/or the nationality will be revealed



    INDUSTRIAL ERA :
    Upon entering new era, new spy missions and information gathering capacities are added to reflect increased importance of “Industrial Espionage.”
    1. New options from “Conduct Espionage” list:
    a. After paying to enter city-screen of target city, player will now see how many turns until production completed.
    b. Player may hinder production of item for 1 turn. Cost is dependent on whether unit, building, or wonder – and it would be expensive.
    c. May repeat consecutive turns. However, cost of conducting action in same city increases by 25% each time throughout the game.

    2. Additional benefits from Information Gathering:
    Level 1:
    i. In addition to demographic info, player will now discover what technology the target civilization has researched 1 turn after completion.
    ii. Also, player will now also be informed when target civilization has built the first of a new military unit.

    Level 2:
    i. Player will now discover what new technology the target civilization is beginning to research.
    ii. Also, player will now also be informed when target civilization is beginning to build the first of a new unit. Example: “X is beginning to build its first rifleman.”

    Level 3:
    i. Player will now be informed when target civ is within 10 turns of completing nat’l or world wonder & will be informed of the location.
    ii. Player will now have access to target civ’s military demographics. Example: a complete breakdown of the # of each unit – 6 rifleman, 5 frigates, 4 cannons, etc…



    RAILROAD :
    May build National Wonder, “Security Bureau”
    1. Global effect.
    2. Must have police station built in city.
    3. All foreigners’ Espionage Operations & Info Gathering costs additional 15%.
    4. Also, within all players’ cities, there is a 20% increased chance that foreigners’ Espionage Operations will fail and/or the nationality will be revealed.



    MODERN ERA:
    Upon entering new era, new spy missions and information gathering capacities are added to reflect the changing role of espionage.

    1. Note: Base percentage that nationality will be revealed following successful or unsuccessful Foreign Operation decreased by 15%

    2. New options from “Conduct Espionage” list:
    Player will gain the ability to conduct “Black Operations” in selected foreign civilization.
    i. CIV4 style options: stir dissent, assassination, destroy buildings, etc…..or best, a whole new set of options.
    ii. Player must be Level 3 invested in info gathering within the target civilization in order to engage in black-ops.


    3. Additional benefits from Information Gathering options:
    Level 1:
    i. Demographic info.
    ii. Player will discover what technology the target civilization has researched, now on the turn it is completed. Also, now, the player will now learn what tech the civilization is researching next.
    iii. Player will not only be informed when target civilization has built the first of a new military unit, but also when target civilization is beginning to build the first of a new unit.

    Level 2:
    i. Player will now be able to access the strategic resource info of the selected foreign civilization.
    ii. Player will now have access to target a complete breakdown of foreign civ’s military demographics.

    Level 3:
    i. Player will now be informed when target civ has begun construction of a nat’l or world wonder & will be informed of the location.
    ii. Player may conduct Black Operations from the “Conduct Espionage” set of options.



    ELECTRONICS :
    May build National Wonder, “Intelligence Agency”
    1. Global effect.
    2. Must have built Security Bureau in any city.
    3. Players’ own Espionage Operations costs are reduced by 15%.
    4. Also, players’ chance of success in conducting Espionage Operations increased 15%.
    5. Cost of Information Gathering reduced by 15%.



    COMPUTERS :
    1. Adds option, “Steal Technology” to Espionage operations.
    2. Must have Level 2 espionage investment.



    SATELLITES :
    1. Can see all target civilization’s land including units thereon.
    2. Must have Level 3 espionage investment.



    GLOBALIZATION
    :
    May construct World Wonder, “International Security.”
    1. Player must have built Security Bureau & Intelligence Agency.
    2. Players’ own Espionage operations costs are reduced by 15%.
    3. Also, players’ chance of success in conducting Espionage operations increased 15%.
    4. Cost of information gathering reduced 15%.



    DIPLOMACY CONSEQUENCES:
    If a foreign spy is caught conducting Foreign Operations and the nationality is revealed, the player should have the option of: 1) diplomatic immunity; 2) making a public declaration; 3) closing borders and ending trade relations; 4) threatening war upon next violation; 5) declaring war.

    Modernly, if a foreign spy is caught conducting Black Operations and nationality is revealed, player should have the option of declaring the offending nation, “a rogue state.”

    All these options should have diplomatic consequences…..


    What’cha think?
     
  2. THE ONLY

    THE ONLY Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Thus far the list is acceptable.
    I would like to have an option of having a chance to capture the princess while in the city. If the mission is succesful then the spy gets to leave the city with the princess, more money if he makes it with her to his nation. LIKE IN civ 3 option of killing the king, regiside. would be epic to have that wish come true.
     
  3. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    California
    I've always been torn with espionage - I don't really like the "just throw money at it" implementation, but the alternatives are fairly poor as well.

    As for your specific ideas - I like how they're structured, but the three tiered system seems a bit complicated - especially since each level repeats the same benefits, just with higher percentages. Perhaps some differentiation from level to level would give the system more depth?
     
  4. Atwork

    Atwork Immortal

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
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    617
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA.
    Agreed. I always envisioned a system structured around spy units, that could be promoted to the point of being super-agents, like little James Bonds or (gulp) Bin Ladens. But, the unit-less system has advantages and all the desired espionage options can be accomplished without requiring a unit. Modders have suggested this alternative because aspects of the coding could be raided from other systems such as the City State system, which would make implementation a bit easier. Also, moving units around the board just to eventually lose them was frustrating and seemed like a waste of time -- especially if the unit were highly promoted.


    The idea is that information that originally required Level 3 operations to gather will eventually require only Level 2 or 1 operations. Just as a poor example, it was an incredible feat for Marco Polo to have traveled all the way to China and to have returned to Europe with such incredible information about the East. But, now, just about anyone has access to all sorts of information about foreign places just by being internet savvy.

    So, as I described it, with Real Politiks, a Level 3 operation will let a player know when a wonder is soon to be built, but in the Modern era, a player will actually be informed when production has begun. This reflects several facts. First, info traveled slower in the past, populations were less mobile, leadership circles were more closed, etc. Modernly of course, our intelligence agencies can obtain a lot of real time info by tapping communication lines, via satellites, etc.

    Modernly, a sophisticated and advanced civilization such as the U.S. has a pretty good idea re: the military capacities of other nations and the info is fairly widely available. Again, this fact is represented by the mechanic that makes it so the player will have more and more insight into a target civ's military capacity over time, even if the player maintains the same Level of investment over time.

    In the end, I think the Level design is about game play. I didn't want espionage to be OP in the early game so that it would be easy to abuse. But, I also wanted the importance of espionage to be reflected with its growing usefulness and potency over the course of a game. By the modern era, the end game is very much being decided, and a player may need all tools at his disposal to hold off another civ long enough to get back in the game or hold off a rising civ. In that vein, a player that is willing to invest in Level 3 espionage against a target civilization would have some very powerful info gathering and operational tools available. However, the player might also be facing some powerful counter-espionage infrastructure. This reflects the sophistication of modern intelligence operations on both sides of the equation (offense and defense).

    However, the game should also reflect the great expense of maintaining sophisticated intelligence operations. Neither info gathering nor operations should come cheaply at any era. As a real life modern example, the Defense Security Service's budget is about half a billion dollars per yer -- and that's just one small agency within the much much larger intelligence apparatus of the U.S.


    Absolutely. These ideas are very raw and need a lot of fleshing out. The more ideas, suggestions, and feedback the better!
     
  5. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    This seems quite like the BtS espionage system. So it seems a generally good idea, although it would appear to let you do a fair bit without too much effort going into it.
     
  6. Atwork

    Atwork Immortal

    Joined:
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    I dunno, I think it's a fairly big divergence from the BTS system.


    Yeah, the player no longer has to build spy units, move them around, sit them in a city turn after turn hoping they're not caught, conduct a mission, and then move them back out from the capital to start the process over.....in that way, the player doesn't have to give much effort.

    Here, the effort would be budget related combined with the strategy of deciding where best to direct investments in info gathering & conducting successful and advantageous operations weighed against the probability and consequences of getting caught. And efforts would related to tactical decisions as the player conducted espionage operations in coordination with ground troops movements.

    It would function and unfold very differently (especially pre-modern era. It also relates to technology and eras differently.....the tiered system of investment in info gathering is different.....the fact that BTS style operations (pillaging, poisoning, etc.) wouldn't be available (if at all) until the modern era and with several conditions attached is very different.

    On the whole, a very different system.
     
  7. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Okay, that sounds reasonable. A more economic focus is quite a good aim, and reduced necessity of micromanagement for the same effects would also be good.

    I don't really know how similar it is to the BtS system, as I've never played BtS. It just sounded like it. ;)
     

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