HOI4 Dev Diary - The Intelligence Agency

Hi everyone! Today we will start going through the Espionage features announced at PdxCon in greater detail. First off is the hub of everything - Your Intelligence Agency.


The Agency
The Agency is something you need to construct on game start if you plan to involve yourself in the shadow war that will be running now. We recommend at least an investment in defence eventually to help protect yourself even if you do not plan to dedicate resources to offensive operations. Notice that I said ‘construct’? The Agency will take up several of your factories for a while to be created. Civilian factories is the closest we have to a money budget so we felt this was the most appropriate cost to use. When you decide to make the agency you are free to name it (a historical name will be suggested) and you can also pick from a mix of historical logos as well as generic made up ones (surprise - a lot of agencies did not advertise themselves to heavily).

Screenshot_1.png


In the Agency you can recruit Operatives (more about them and what they can do in a future diary), work on cryptology (also a topic of a future diary) and upgrade the different branches of the agency as well as update training or develop new gadgets to help your Operatives.


Branch Upgrades
Just like the creation of an agency it will cost you some industry time to develop its capabilities. The time is always the same, but the cost itself can vary with how powerful the option is.

Screenshot_2.png



Lets have some examples of the many options:
  • Naval Department - This is one of the basic branches that improves your intelligence gathering in that field. It will ensure that you get the most out of any naval intel you get.
  • Passive Defense - This boosts your agencies counterintelligence rating which together with Operatives help you defend against enemy Operatives.
  • Invisible Ink - Improved ways of sneaking intel back through letters or other ways through writing. It means your Operatives will be generating more intel when active somewhere.
  • Suicide Pills - Captured Operatives will now have a final way out limiting leaks of intel to the enemy
  • Diplomatic Training - Operatives learn to operate among high society and politics and would no longer dream of ordering their Martinis stirred. This one helps with missions such as diplomatic pressure and control of foreign trade (yup.. future diary)
  • Cryptology Department - this sets up a department of math wizards and crossword puzzlers. Why shall be covered in a future diary ;)

The Spy Master
If you have enough upgrades and are in a faction you can become the faction’s Spy Master.

Screenshot_3.png


This is the logical path for people who want to lean heavily into espionage to get the most of it. There can only be one spy master per faction and the main advantage of being a spy master is that it will let you run a lot more Operatives (how many depending on the size of your faction). We felt it was mostly historical that only the really big nations truly invested in this, but the most important reason was balance. A lot of spy systems in games fall down on the fact that people can spam you with agents so you either end up super annoyed or the system needs to be toned down to where it’s no longer impactful and fun. In a historical HOI game given this rule, we have then set us up with 3 potentially powerful agencies: Allies, Axis and Comintern.


See you all next week when we take a look at further espionage topics :)
Rejected Titles
  • HOI4 - Mirai Nikki
  • This dev diary will auto-destruct after being read, please stand back.
  • Popping pills & blowings stuff up with government funds!
  • Renamed to iAgency for the Mac version
  • The Department of Ungentlemanly Warfare (™)
  • There is no department called Military Intelligence because we don’t do oxymorons
  • We didn’t manage to make the icon for Commando Training be a man being hit in the nuts, but based on our research 50% of the training seems to have been this.
 
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Oahkoah

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Can you upgrade all branches of the agency or are some mutually exclusive? Looks great so far, I like the idea of building up some offmap things for your nation.
 

podcat

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Can you upgrade all branches of the agency or are some mutually exclusive? Looks great so far, I like the idea of building up some offmap things for your nation.
None are mutually exclusive altho some depend on technologies

I like the idea of building up some offmap things for your nation.
To be perfectly honest this entire feature is just there to lay the groundwork for the Luxemburg focus tree - all about expanding underground! ;P
 

CameraGenie

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  1. Is the French-Italian border still (ahistorically) unfortified at game start?
  2. Will Italy still join the war in 1939? Will Germany still do Around Maginot immediately after Danzig ornWar?
  3. Does France still start with 3 research slots? If Italy gets four at game start, so should France.
 
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Big Dead One

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Ultra time!

Anyway, if you discover enemy operatives, can you turn them into your double agents (like the British did with German agents)?
 

podcat

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Ultra time!

Anyway, if you discover enemy operatives, can you turn them into your double agents (like the British did with German agents)?
We'll be covering agents in the future :)
 

podcat

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Will there be some kind of automation option in case you don't want to be heavily invested in spyops game?
Let the Ai go spy master and get a couple of upgrades in defense + leave your operatives on defense to protect yourself from others.
 

Voigt

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mhm 5 to 8 civilian factories for only 30 days seems nothing, atleast for Germany or USA. Since you have atleast one hundred civs, as Germany maybe even much more, depends on how the occupations system changes.

Here again you talked about the three big faction of Axis, Allies and Comintern, but I still ask, what about the Co-Prosperity Sphere under Japan? They are quite limited in their civ count.
 

Liquid Ghost

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Will any country start with an already developed agency? Will there be any modifier to reflect the historical USA's insight into Japanese intel?

Can you elaborate on the whole Spy Master thing? What does it entail? Will it be complex enough that a player might be chosen in a multiplayer game to take care of it much like Air Controller?
 
Last edited:

Nobody987

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Let the Ai go spy master and get a couple of upgrades in defense + leave your operatives on defense to protect yourself from others.
Thanks for the reply.
So I guess some similar system will be in place where you can choose what your spies can do, like mission checkboxes in hoi2? Mostly asking for situations when you are expected to be spy master (Germany, USSR).