Criminal Heritage rework

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GOLANX

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I wanted to express my views on how criminal Heritage would be reworked, some of these may already be coming in 3.0.

First criminal Heritage relies heavily on the espionage system, similar to the way void dwellers gain habitats if you don't have utopia, Heritage will have access to more of the espionage system even if you don't have nemesis. Criminal Heritage civic will be a hidden civic, in order to uncover it you must use espionage, you would see a laundromat civic (eg a front that isn't real) for their government if you don't have the Intel.

Second Criminal Heritage Branch Offices are hidden even to the host empire, Branch offices are established through the espionage system and as a result can fail, revealing them, any espionage event fail has the potential to reveal Branch Offices, this fail rate is affected by wether the host empire has discovered your civic, and the host can increase their counter espionage rating. Only known BOs can be expropriated from a host empire. Expropriation wars that defeat the CH will cause all BOs to be revealed and removed the CH will not be able to build BOs in the Victor's empire During the truce period, a Status Quo only closes BOs that are known to the host at the time, CH empire can still build BOs.
With the civic revealed other empires can use the investigation operation to find the Branch Offices of the CH. The CH has more operations it can run and will do so regularly increasing the chance they get caught.

Expropriation planetary decisions can be used to remove CH Offices without going to war, the CH will gain a cb when this happens. The planetary decision will cause a ground battle with the BO forces, if the host wins that office is removed, if the host loses the BO will dissappear and will need to be found again through the espionage system. Using the espionage system the CH empire can send armies to Planets their BOs are on to defend the BO, these forces cannot invade the planet on their own even in war, they will require forces from outside to invade and can join then.
 
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The Founder

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First criminal Heritage relies heavily on the espionage system, similar to the way void dwellers gain habitats if you don't have utopia, Heritage will have access to more of the espionage system even if you don't have nemesis.
I have no information that the Espionage System will not be a base game feature.
Stuff like becomming the Crisis/Custodian/Glactic Empire and other GC related stuff sounds like the DLC features. Maybe a few operations as well.
 

GOLANX

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I have no information that the Espionage System will not be a base game feature.
Stuff like becomming the Crisis/Custodian/Glactic Empire and other GC related stuff sounds like the DLC features. Maybe a few operations as well.
With the Intel system rework in the free update some of the espionage system will have to be free, My guess for what it's worth will be that only the basics of expanding the espionage network and most of the intelligence gathering systems will be part of the free part where sabotage and provocation will be locked behind the DLC, CH would need to have more than the free systems that I speculated on entails, the CH should have sabotage and other tricks so they are constantly running operations and running the risk of getting caught, I want empires to be able to beef up their counter espionage systems to catch CHs and that wouldn't work if the CH doesn't have the desire to run that risk
 

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Okay, apparently I was wrong. Espionage is not part of the Free Update, but only DLC content? What the heck?
 
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GOLANX

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I just saw that too, very wtf moment, it destroys my entire rework idea if true, if normal empires can't use espionage they can't catch the Criminal Heritage empire.

Also think about it, Enigmatic Engineers is getting reworked to be centered around the espionage system, without the espionage system that perk will be even worse for players that only have Utopia (which is required for that AP), are they really going to try another DLC content that requires you to have another DLC?
 

The Founder

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I asked the question how getting Intel on Unfriendly empires weill worked on the Main Forum:

My only hope that maybe we still get Spy Networks, just without the whole Asset and Operation side to use it?
Or there was some other change they have not shown us?
 

RedCyber

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I just saw that too, very wtf moment, it destroys my entire rework idea if true, if normal empires can't use espionage they can't catch the Criminal Heritage empire.

Also think about it, Enigmatic Engineers is getting reworked to be centered around the espionage system, without the espionage system that perk will be even worse for players that only have Utopia (which is required for that AP), are they really going to try another DLC content that requires you to have another DLC?
Intel will require a spy network so if espionage is not apart of base game that would not make any sense, its likely some forms of espionage will require nemesis but other then that. I like the idea of a criminal heritage rework as it would fit nicely with the new update coming out
 

hart30

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I believe the only free spy operation will be to gather intel. It would be enough to hide branch office, so they only can be removed, after the culprit is discovered.
 

GOLANX

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I believe the only free spy operation will be to gather intel. It would be enough to hide branch office, so they only can be removed, after the culprit is discovered.
In the dev diaries it seemed like gather intel, and expand the network would be categories and not singular operations, steal technology might even be in the intel category given enigmatic engineers change. Investigate would be its own operation, it won't necessarily reveal all Branch Offices either, a fail will cause you to find nothing, although you would probably get a bonus for next time, a success will find 1 or 2, enough to act on, a critical success will reveal many branch Offices, the Criminal Heritage empire will know how important espionage is to its system and will likely focuses on increasing their espionage and counter espionage values to reduce they chances the enemy empire gets a critical success, the goal is to have a cat and mouse game between the 2 empires and they will have plenty of tools to play, war isn't necessary to play the game but can be more final. Expropriation can remove all branch Offices and protect you for 10 years, you could conquer them and eliminate their BOs that way, or Vassilize them and gain all their intel.
 

hart30

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Counter espionage wont make it into the game. A later dev diary stated, that they removed that feature. I also dont believe that they would develop great new mechanics just for the criminal heritage civic. Due to this i believe the maximum we can get is that criminal branches ate hidden at start, but all together revealed, if the victim empire gathers enough intel against the culprit (as intel is reduced over time and an empire probably only can focus in gathering intel about 1-2 empires at once, it would be difficult to find the criminal heritage one and keep an eye on them to prevent branches from appearibg in secret again). Once revealed the crime branches only would be able to shut down by reducing the crime on planets, while the crimelevel would not matter as long the branches stay hidden.
It is basic, i know, but maybe even this was a too advanced mechanic for the devs to develop for a single civic. Maybe syndicate empires will only receive some minor spy buffs.
 

GOLANX

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Counter espionage wont make it into the game. A later dev diary stated, that they removed that feature. I also dont believe that they would develop great new mechanics just for the criminal heritage civic. Due to this i believe the maximum we can get is that criminal branches ate hidden at start, but all together revealed, if the victim empire gathers enough intel against the culprit (as intel is reduced over time and an empire probably only can focus in gathering intel about 1-2 empires at once, it would be difficult to find the criminal heritage one and keep an eye on them to prevent branches from appearibg in secret again). Once revealed the crime branches only would be able to shut down by reducing the crime on planets, while the crimelevel would not matter as long the branches stay hidden.
It is basic, i know, but maybe even this was a too advanced mechanic for the devs to develop for a single civic. Maybe syndicate empires will only receive some minor spy buffs.
They didn't eliminate counter espionage they merged it with decryption which they did say got removed, devs said that they wanted to have a modifier to measure the encryption skill against but didn't think having 2 defense modifiers was a good system and simplified it down.

Your not necessarily wrong about devs not wanting to go that deep but if they take even a few of my ideas I'm happy. Keep in mind I also said they would have expanded access to the espionage system, it could be valuable as cross promotion between DLC which would be reason enough to add more depth.
 
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Toybasher

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I remember an idea someone had where Criminal Syndicates are disguised as a normal megacorp or they merely start disguised as a normal megacorp, and you have to figure out that they're a criminal syndicate when crime starts skyrocketing for no reason. (Ideally if they're still disguised, they will try to make a commercial pact before opening up a criminal branch office so it's less obvious.)

Then a long event chain starts to get rid of them if you want.

It is a bit silly it blatantly says they're a criminal syndicate, and you can even see the illegal business they're opening up on your planet. They're criminal, above the law. You shouldn't be able to just know this right away without investigation.

Currently it basically says "You met a criminal syndicate!" "The criminal syndicate just opened up a criminal branch office on your planet! Look, you can even see they're making illegal scrapyards and drug labs!" which makes them very underwhelming and easy to get rid of.

I wholeheartedly support a buff or rework to criminal syndicates since currently they're too easy to stop and don't feel fun to play as or against.
 

The Founder

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It is a bit silly it blatantly says they're a criminal syndicate
They are not. But neither is the "Shadow Council" advertising they are "secretly running the State".
Figuring that out is part of First Contact Procedures, wich are much more detailed in 3.0. So any argument about you having "no right to know" flies out the window by that point.
Authority and Civics are how the Empire actuall acts, not how it claims to act (to it's own people or even in official communicaiton).

Stellaris is plain not designed for "hidden information" Gameplay. It is one of those things that needs to be accounted for extremely early in design or not at all. So I see little chance for it being retrofitted.

They're criminal, above the law. You shouldn't be able to just know this right away without investigation.
Knowing something is not as important as:
a) needing to do something about it
b) being able to do something about it

Against most Megacorps, there is no need to do anything. The Branch offices are purely beneficial.
Against the fringe casses (like Religious Megacorp trying to convert your population) the counter is to simply not sign a Commerce Pact (wich carries it's own Ethisc attraction effects).

It is nice that you know there is a Criminal Branch office. The real questions are:
1. Do you actually need to do something about it?
2. Can you do something about it?

Ironically the problem is not doing something about it by accident. It is damn hard for me to choose to keep the Criminal Branch office. When fighting crime, it is too easy to accidently drop to 0, Blocking Criminal Branch offices from forming or removing the ones you already have.
This is the part my rework Idea focusses on: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...me-for-the-good-of-criminal-heritage.1466031/
Different Levels of crime, allow much more finetuning of the response (inlcuding avoiding rebellion while keeping the Criminal Branch office).
 

Tamwin5

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Two big issues with Criminal Branch offices being hidden:
1) Branch offices cause direct effects on a planet, causing crime, creating jobs, creating trade value. So you either need to completely overhaul how the actual branch office works or it's just obvious one is present.
2) Branch offices are mutually exclusive, so any other megacorp would be able to see if a branch office is present.

It's also important to remember that with the new branch office changes, branch offices buildings can be gotten at 0 (with a tradition), 10, 40, and 80 pops, as opposed to the current 25, 50, 75, 100 model. As such you will have more buildings and cause more crime on planets.
 

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Examples of Operations

Gather Information
(Subterfuge) is one of the simplest Operations, requiring an Infiltration of 20 or higher to initiate. Your spymaster will send their operatives out to, well, covertly gather information. After a relatively short period of time the spymaster will deliver a dossier containing the intelligence to you, which might grant a bonus to current Intel level or provide an Intel Report granting increased Intel on a category for a time period.

It’s not the most glamorous of missions, but should rarely backfire in a spectacular manner. Since Intel decays slowly (currently set to 1 point per year), the Gather Information Operation provides a fairly consistent way to learn more about the galaxy.

Assigning an Asset to the mission will skew the results towards the Asset’s interests, significantly increasing the chance of getting an Intel Report targeting the empire’s Government, Diplomacy, Military, Economy, or Technology.

Assets

Each Asset has two categories they excel at - one of each from Subterfuge, Sabotage, or Manipulation, and Government, Diplomacy, Military, Economy, or Technology. When an Operation is initiated, you can assign the Asset to be part of it, and for each category that matches, the Asset will make completing the mission easier.
I realize this is from diary 197 and is a bit old but it does imply that same facets of the government may be hidden from public knowledge, whether they kept it or the extent of the features we won't know until 3.0 please hold judgment on that feature until then, even if the criminal nature of the empire is revealed in the first contact procedure it doesn't invalidate the rest of the rework. I also did not mean for it to be hard to sus out their true identity, merely that it would take the bare minimum of effort as you would normally learn about another empire and the secrets they keep from you.
The ability to use front organizations is a very criminal empire thing to do, the Drug Cartels don't plaster Drug Cartel on their door, they pretend to be something else like a laundromat that can be used to launder dirty money into legal bank accounts, adding a front would add a good amount of flavor and would help the criminal empire go longer without being detected

Stellaris is plain not designed for "hidden information" Gameplay. It is one of those things that needs to be accounted for extremely early in design or not at all. So I see little chance for it being retrofitted.
The whole 3.0 update is about hiding information and the methods you use to uncover it
Knowing something is not as important as:
a) needing to do something about it
b) being able to do something about it
A. Robbing you and increasing crime, stealing your tech, sabotoging you, blissing your hard working slaves out on drugs these are all good reasons to do something about it
B. Adding the ability to expropriate without war gives a significantly improved tool for being able to do something about it.
Knowing is what keeps these mechanics from being exploited in a manner that invalidates either party.
It is nice that you know there is a Criminal Branch office. The real questions are:
1. Do you actually need to do something about it?
they aren't there for sunshine and rainbows, they are there to hide from the sun and well yes rainbows that's the extacy they have been selling your people.
2. Can you do something about it?
We have been here you can fight crime and use investigation to find them then use one of the expropriation methods to remove them.
Ironically the problem is not doing something about it by accident. It is damn hard for me to choose to keep the Criminal Branch office. When fighting crime, it is too easy to accidently drop to 0, Blocking Criminal Branch offices from forming or removing the ones you already have.
This is the part my rework Idea focusses on: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...me-for-the-good-of-criminal-heritage.1466031/
Different Levels of crime, allow much more finetuning of the response (inlcuding avoiding rebellion while keeping the Criminal Branch office).
Im not opposed to different levels of crime but if Joaquin Goozman was stealing purses I wouldn't be worried about the cartel, the cartel Bribes officials and hides their operations it doesn't resort to parking anywhere and not paying the tickets. Theoretically I would add an organized crime modifier that would hide the extent of crime in your systems so that the branch office can't be nullified, they may need to perform special actions to do this but they should not be able to be removed through enforcers alone, you can mitigate the impact but you can't remove them for that you need to expropriate.
 

GOLANX

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Two big issues with Criminal Branch offices being hidden:
1) Branch offices cause direct effects on a planet, causing crime, creating jobs, creating trade value. So you either need to completely overhaul how the actual branch office works or it's just obvious one is present.
2) Branch offices are mutually exclusive, so any other megacorp would be able to see if a branch office is present.

It's also important to remember that with the new branch office changes, branch offices buildings can be gotten at 0 (with a tradition), 10, 40, and 80 pops, as opposed to the current 25, 50, 75, 100 model. As such you will have more buildings and cause more crime on planets.
I think they should leave telltale signs of their existence, you still won't be able to expropriate them without discovering them. I would turn off any alarms for crime caused by crime until it gets to a certain level, they bribed your officials so they won't raise alarms I'd also give them the ability to sway the governor and give him the corrupt modifier.

Other Megacorps are a problem, I would prefer they use different slots so this issue doesn't trigger but I doubt that's doable, either way knowing the telltale signs does not mean you can expropriate and remove the BOs.

It's one thing to know the Sinaloa Cartel is operating in your country, they leave behind plenty of telltale signs, catching them and stopping them is something else, how much do you spend on finding the Cartel? how much do you spend on policing? do you lock the addicts in a prison (Penal Colony)? These are the resources you use and what you use and how you use it and when you use it are up to you.

Also don't pretend like they are doing you a favor they are not. if they corrupt enough they will have armies on your planets and will reduce your stability to nil so that they can invade and turn you into a Subsidiary that no longer has the ability to expropriate their BOs
 

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The whole 3.0 update is about hiding information and the methods you use to uncover it
But all this information is hidden about other empires - not your own.

And all the information "gated" behind espionage was either:
a) Not avalible at all before
b) was unreliable to begin with (like the relative power)

I guess we will know more tomorrow, after the Patchnotes are released.
 

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But all this information is hidden about other empires - not your own.

And all the information "gated" behind espionage was either:
a) Not avalible at all before
b) was unreliable to begin with (like the relative power)

I guess we will know more tomorrow, after the Patchnotes are released.
Patch notes were released, but were very unhelpful in this reguard. Criminal Heritage was only mentioned as giving a bonus to espionage spread. And I think one of the BO buildings may have been reworked to focus on espionage as well

Hiding the information about BOs in your empire is essential for the rework, if it is not possible then yes the main part of this rework would not be possible, I'm not going to declare it dead unless I have proof though.

Not sure what you were getting at with the second paragraph, the existance of the BO is gated behind the espionage system, you can still see the effects on your planet just like you can see whether that empire you just met attacked you and vivisected one of your pops will tell you this empire is likely Militarist or Xenophobic. .
 

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Hiding the information about BOs in your empire is essential for the rework, if it is not possible then yes the main part of this rework would not be possible, I'm not going to declare it dead unless I have proof though.
It is not impossible - just a realy bad idea to work in that late.
Unless you also start hiding the crime score from me, I would still be able to find it. It would just be a major annoyance having to go through all my planets manually to notice where crime is increased.

Also we do have one asnwer now:
Spy Networks are a Free Feature
Operations - and all as far as I understand - are a DLC feature
 

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It is not impossible - just a realy bad idea to work in that late.
Unless you also start hiding the crime score from me, I would still be able to find it. It would just be a major annoyance having to go through all my planets manually to notice where crime is increased.

Also we do have one asnwer now:
Spy Networks are a Free Feature
Operations - and all as far as I understand - are a DLC feature
This is why I suggested an organized crime modifier that criminal BOs would create that hides a level of crime from the host, you wouldn't be able to counter it either but it wouldn't be dangerous to your stability, if you discover the BOs then that hidden crime is revealed and countered but it will not go away completely unless you expropriate the BO. How it would work specifically would require a better understanding of the code than I currently have and some balance testing