Oh no, espionage is coming! :(

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A2ch0n

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Yeah that seems completly useless. It should completly destroy the starbase.
Agreed. But destroy should here be the form of "destruction" you have after a fight with a fleet. It should basically be deactivated and the timer for it's regeneration should be increased by a good amount to give you a window to act. A complete destruction is most likely not a good idea, because it would make the system unclaimed again and thats really unpleasant for the player.

Another option i would personally like (and thats the same system i would use for a megastructure sabotage if it ever will be implemented) is that the starbase is set to a "destroyed" state, that doesn't recover on it's own, but keep it's actual upgrade level (a citadel stay a citadel) but you get an extra button similar to a deactivated gateway or a destroyed megastructure you can find and repair it in a single step for a certain (far lower) cost and a certain time. This would open up windows, make it very usefull and in addition would fit the theme.
 
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Kayden_II

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I would've changed the title in order to replace "espionage" with "sabotage" since that's the annoying stuff Paradox was warned about to implement, but they've done it anyways.
 
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sillyrobot

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You do have a fair few options to disincentivize spies from picking on you. Police State will help a lot to keep spies away from your goodies, Transcendence is extremely powerful both on offense and defense, and Enigmatic Engineering will keep tech thieves from targeting you. People have to go out of their way to get Codebreaking to counter your Encryption.
We'll have to see both the full range of modifiers (does empire size come into play? That'll hurt me big time) as well as how the math works out for Codebreaking vs. Encryption. If it is based on Archeology and there's a roll of 1d10 + Codebreaking - Encryption, a small Encryption surplus is helpful in slowing things down, but won't prevent anything.
 

A2ch0n

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does empire size come into play? That'll hurt me big time
It will, that was already said in a DD and from some devs. And your math is most likely correct with a slowdown but no prevention. But in addition there will be a higher chance for a critical failure of your mission. It's not a guarante for a failure but i think that is good! If not, espionage would be made completely useless against a defending player. And that shouldn't be the case, especially if you're spy focused by yourself as attacker.
 

Alucardvincent

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In most cases for you as a gamer is not that relevant. In the other hand you may end surrounded by a probably cheating AI, people is sold what THEY CAN DO “oh Cool I can do that!”, but they are not thinking the AI may be doing that to you too ALL TIME for no reason.

It will, that was already said in a DD and from some devs. And your math is most likely correct with a slowdown but no prevention. But in addition there will be a higher chance for a critical failure of your mission. It's not a guarante for a failure but i think that is good! If not, espionage would be made completely useless against a defending player. And that shouldn't be the case, especially if you're spy focused by yourself as attacker.
And that maybe bad, if you are playing 100% defensive and 0% aggressive what’s the point of all this? Yet in most games AI is constantly using this sort of operations against you, so if the risks even are very very low and not zero, with AIs constantly vs you, from time to time BINGO! They will screw you.
 
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I was about to prebuy after seeing a cool YT promo for nemesis, I was about to prebuy until I saw the “espionage” thing; sadly I read it will come with the new patch anyway :(
I think the free patch only includes "gather information" operations, which don't actually affect the empire in question. It's just a new way of learning what they've got; I'm not a fan of espionage and sabotage mechanics myself, but I do think this is a better system than what we have in version 2 (which is essentially clairvoyance).

Personally, I'm planning to just enjoy the extra envoy and not worry too much about my neighbors' secrets unless they're particularly hostile. Maybe that'll go badly for me; we'll see.
 
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A2ch0n

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In most cases for you as a gamer is not that relevant. In the other hand you may end surrounded by a probably cheating AI, people is sold what THEY CAN DO “oh Cool I can do that!”, but they are not thinking the AI may be doing that to you too ALL TIME for no reason.


And that maybe bad, if you are playing 100% defensive and 0% aggressive what’s the point of all this? Yet in most games AI is constantly using this sort of operations against you, so if the risks even are very very low and not zero, with AIs constantly vs you, from time to time BINGO! They will screw you.
There is only a limited number of envoys. The AI hasn't enough (even with the new ones coming wth Nemesis) to spy against any empire. They will most likely choose the biggest threats for them. Depending on your playstyle, that can of course be you. But even then the number of their successfull operations will be fairly low if you play defensive. After all they need still envoys for other diplomacy like harm/improve relations and the GC. Only a spy focused empire (most likely with psionic ascension), a player, or a syndicate will have the edge against you. And those empires definitely deserve to have success because they build around that mechanic.
Espionage is a kind of warfare after all. Of course a more secretive one with a manipulation focus.
 
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Most of operations seem useless, but the extort favors one seems pretty good while also not being too annoying to be the victim of, and the crisis beacon is beautiful and would be fun to pull off. Steal technology seems like it can have different and somewhat powerful effects depending on how it resolves, but it can also be blocked off by an ascension perk if a player really doesn't like it. The good (if underwhelming) news is that everything else seems to be too minor to really be annoyed by. Of course this also means that espionage itself might end up as more of an afterthought than anything else.
 
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Espionage is a kind of warfare after all. Of course a more secretive one with a manipulation focus.
Stellaris' espionage has a key qualitative distinction from other types of conflict: an empire that is subject to covert ops is almost completely passive in that process.

In a literal war, you can prevent your enemy from taking and breaking stuff by building fleets and fortifying starbases. In regional politics, you can assign envoys and give gifts. In the Galactic Community, you can spend favors. But in the espionage system, your defensive options are extremely coarse: you can focus on research and edicts that boost your Encryption, but (as far as I can tell pre-release) if you suspect some specific empire is going to do some specific thing to you, there's not really anything you can do to prevent that outright.

Of course, this is why the devs were conservative about what kinds of impact the system can have. The ability to destroy a starbase outright using this system would be infuriating, and I would probably avoid buying this expansion if it had such invasive consequences.

I was honestly really appreciative of Stellaris' lack of covert mechanics up until this point. If espionage is to be introduced, I'm glad it's limited in the ways it is. I don't want to be subjected to catastrophically nasty surprises, and I don't want to cultivate paranoia in order to protect myself from them; I'm grateful the devs were sensitive to those interests.
 
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Alucardvincent

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Stellaris' espionage has a key qualitative distinction from other types of conflict: an empire that is subject to covert ops is almost completely passive in that process.

In a literal war, you can prevent your enemy from taking and breaking stuff by building fleets and fortifying starbases. In regional politics, you can assign envoys and give gifts. In the Galactic Community, you can spend favors. But in the espionage system, your defensive options are extremely coarse: you can focus on research and edicts that boost your Encryption, but (as far as I can tell pre-release) if you suspect some specific empire is going to do some specific thing to you, there's not really anything you can do to prevent that outright.

Of course, this is why the devs were conservative about what kinds of impact the system can have. The ability to destroy a starbase outright using this system would be infuriating, and I would probably avoid buying this expansion if it had such invasive consequences.

I was honestly really appreciative of Stellaris' lack of covert mechanics up until this point. If espionage is to be introduced, I'm glad it's limited in the ways it is. I don't want to be subjected to catastrophically nasty surprises, and I don't want to cultivate paranoia in order to protect myself from them; I'm grateful the devs were sensitive to those interests.
This

Exactly my fears, people is hyped and seems my post is not popular because they (as usual with espionage) it is sold as stuff YOU CAN DO “cool I can do this and that with my enemies hehehe” (and so far in trailers I had not seen anything super cool that may justify my worries).

But people are not considering you will be victim of the same things constantly by your neighbors a usually cheating AI for no reason.

Even when you can have defense measure for me is annoying to waste time resources, technology, perks, this and that… when you can be devoting that to other important things of your empire.

And even implementing those defensive measures; if the odds are very low but not zero, BINGO the AI would be screwing you from time to time.

Really for what I have seen from ASpec videos I see nothing super cool and I have more reasons to think this will make the game more annoying.
 
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A2ch0n

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an empire that is subject to covert ops is almost completely passive in that process

ut people are not considering you will be victim of the same things constantly by your neighbors a usually cheating AI for no reason.


I for myself are very aware, that this can happen to me. But thats a prize that i'm willing to pay, especially because i will have a strong focus on epsionage myself. And the target beeing passive against it is the real deal in this. On the other hand i for myself rarely go to a offensive war and for me is a warmongering empire neighbour that i can't befriend or weaken the real problem.

So i would say it depends on your style of play. In the actual state is espionage sadly aniways to weak to have a real impact it seems. There should be more different operations with more impact. I've already posted before what sabotage starbase should do i.e. And in addition, parallel operations should be a thing again. Maybe it's not with bandwidth but with a AP or civ that improves the number of simultaious operations from one to three or something.

Sure it's of course moddable. And it will be the first thing i'll try out after playing some days with the original system. But a mod is never the same like a original feature.

So i would suggest to wait until release. Players (like you and me) have obviously a different view and opinion about the topic espionage and the only thing we can do is to wait and check the system as well share our opinion, what we did.
 
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bunkerman

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I for myself are very aware, that this can happen to me. But thats a prize that i'm willing to pay, especially because i will have a strong focus on epsionage myself. And the target beeing passive against it is the real deal in this. On the other hand i for myself rarely go to a offensive war and for me is a warmongering empire neighbour that i can't befriend or weaken the real problem.

So i would say it depends on your style of play. In the actual state is espionage sadly aniways to weak to have a real impact it seems. There should be more different operations with more impact. I've already posted before what sabotage starbase should do i.e. And in addition, parallel operations should be a thing again. Maybe it's not with bandwidth but with a AP or civ that improves the number of simultaious operations from one to three or something.

Sure it's of course moddable. And it will be the first thing i'll try out after playing some days with the original system. But a mod is never the same like a original feature.

So i would suggest to wait until release. Players (like you and me) have obviously a different view and opinion about the topic espionage and the only thing we can do is to wait and check the system as well share our opinion, what we did.
well now imagine after a couple weeks of playing with espionage you will want to go back to non-espionage based builds, but the AI will still spam you with espionage, wouldnt an option at game start to disable espionage be nice ?
 
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A2ch0n

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well now imagine after a couple weeks of playing with espionage you will want to go back to non-espionage based builds, but the AI will still spam you with espionage, wouldnt an option at game start to disable espionage be nice ?
No. As i said, it's a prize that i'm willing to pay. From now on, it's a part of the game. I have to live with that. Same as you.
 
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bunkerman

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well i am definitely not gonna live with it :D, either i find a way to mod it out or ill just not play the game :D not like i have been playig much in the past couple months anyway :D
 
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We'll have to see both the full range of modifiers (does empire size come into play? That'll hurt me big time) as well as how the math works out for Codebreaking vs. Encryption. If it is based on Archeology and there's a roll of 1d10 + Codebreaking - Encryption, a small Encryption surplus is helpful in slowing things down, but won't prevent anything.
It seems like size will only be relevant against a Criminal Syndicate empire, with their Disinformation Centers increasing the Infiltration cap for your empire. If you have 10+ planets with Disinfo Centers on them you either need to go to war or eat it.
well i am definitely not gonna live with it :D, either i find a way to mod it out or ill just not play the game :D not like i have been playig much in the past couple months anyway :D
Sabotage effects are pretty underwhelming. I wouldn't stress about it. The only truly powerful tool in the spymaster's toolkit is tech stealing.
 
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Ixal

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I am not quite up to date with the espionage stuff and haven't watched the streams. So the big question from me is if covert ops can fail?
If they can fail if the targets encryption is just too high then you can have stronger ops like destroying a starbase etc, as, even though its passive, the target still has a way to defend itself against it.

But if covert ops can never fail and it just takes a very long time to succeed, then the ops can't be that strong as eventually all possible ops will happen no matter what the target does.
 

lilsaihah

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I am not quite up to date with the espionage stuff and haven't watched the streams. So the big question from me is if covert ops can fail?
If they can fail if the targets encryption is just too high then you can have stronger ops like destroying a starbase etc, as, even though its passive, the target still has a way to defend itself against it.

But if covert ops can never fail and it just takes a very long time to succeed, then the ops can't be that strong as eventually all possible ops will happen no matter what the target does.
Covert ops cannot fail; the worst they can do is stall out.
 

sillyrobot

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Covert ops cannot fail; the worst they can do is stall out.
Standard archeology has some form of critical failure where the scientist is killed. It's not common enough to rely on though. If the same mechanic is used without tweaking, Encryption would need to get at least 5 over Codebreaking before the stall out was certain.
 

Azhcristokos

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The ability to destroy a starbase outright using this system would be infuriating, and I would probably avoid buying this expansion if it had such invasive consequences.

Yeah, that alone would be enough to prevent me from ever buying Nemesis. I want espionage to be developed, to allow empires more agency in resisting espionage, and for operations to be meaningful...but the ability to randomly destroy my citadels would be awful.
 
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