Stellaris Dev Diary #194: Intel

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(assuming envoys are used for intel reports)

This is what i think of envoys as spies:

Morvran Voorhis often said he didn't need a sword to win a war. There was much truth in those words. At its core, Voorhis's strategy relied on spies, saboteurs, and provocateurs. There was little honor in it, perhaps, but none could deny its effectiveness. In preparation for war, Voorhis sent his enemies dozens of letters, the contents of which were full of clichéd ultimatums and hollow threats. What mattered most, however, was that his emissaries have a thorough look around and report back their findings... When war eventually broke out, Voorhis already knew precisely where to find enemy camps and supply lines, where prisoners were being held, and which enemy officers to intimidate, which to bribe... And of course, which of them were best dealt with by an assassin's blade

Even in the Witcher they know that a letter may help you win a war more than armies :D
 
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O.K., I am in love with the idea of this. Fog of War is one of my favourite mechanics in Strategy Games. I hope Isolationist Empires and the Inward Perfection archetype will now have a truly 'isolated' feel, too. It would be super cool to just live in a galaxy, devoid of any knowledge of the outside, just focusing on yourself...
 
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So we can create a romulan empire like empire in Stellaris which tries to be mysterious and tries to hide anything and dealing with that empire can be a huge mess?
Enigmatic Engineering should give a huge boost to general mysteriousness
 
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While all of this is quite nice and all... I'm mainly left wondering if we're stuck with the current issues with pops and planet micromanagement till this expansion drops. Personally i find these reworks as long overdue already, the base game has issues which seem to have finally started being addressed and i care most about this... Rather than new fancy features and yet another DLC.

Pardon my negativism but i just want to sit down, enjoy Stellaris together with my wife and not have to worry about lag, excess micromanagement, useless AI and broken crisis.
 
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I hope this allows criminal megacorps to hide their deviousness (aka branch offices on your planets) aswell. It would be very cool, if you need intel on your own planets in order to detect such branch offices. If you do not have sufficient intel on your planets, you should not be able to see the reason why the planet is unruly or why the crime is rising so you cannot enact the correct countermeasures.
Additionally, intel on your own systems could allow for the detection of cloaked ships and pirates. Especially dealing with pirates is very annoying for me and it would be extremely cool if you could prevent them from spawning by investing enough in intelligence.
 
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Lorenerd11

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Except for falen empires AI rooms should be random. Currenly the Ai uses the room designed for their personality during first contact. If this stays he case in the new system you will see at a glance that his empire is a purifier or federations builder etc. without intel.
I think AI personality type is one of the things you don't need intel for.
 
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Yeah, but that's true of almost any origin: have second species - syncretic, habitat/tomb/gaia/ring habitability - you know what. Has gateway in home system? Has relic world/machine world homeworld? Is necrophage? Three capitals right next to each other even if you don't know they are in a federation? And as soon as one can see planet modifiers for homeworld, all the other become known as well. Origins should be at lowest level of intel.
Their planet exploded so they're probably Doomsday, but we don't have the intel yet to disprove gremlins. ;)

Remains to be seen how it plays but from what we've seen so far if you choose to go to war with bad intel and lose because of it...well that's on you! That's a fun consequence of play and makes the game more strategic. Do you go to war now based on stale intel, do you wait to gather more intel first meaning you might need to decide where to pull assets from (assuming envoys are used for intel reports) etc.
My main worry is that keeping track of what intel is stale will get tedious late game or on larger galaxies. Juggling intel on a small galaxy with ~6 large empires is very different from a huge galaxy with ~30 small empires. Will have to see how the map fog of war works.

A second consequence is that unless the AI cheats, it might negate some of the recent AI aggressiveness improvements in 2.8 since the relative fleet power won't be known anymore without an intel investment (which we don't yet know how easy it'll be to get intel on multiple neighbors at once). So the galaxy could become less visible but also more static.

On the bright side, notifications will be a lot quieter without the constant diplomatic agreement changes between foreign powers from across the galaxy!
 
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Los logotipos o banderas de cada imperio respectivo dan una idea de cuán grande es cada imperio. ¿No sería mejor ocultar los logotipos o al menos reducir su tamaño hasta que no sepamos más sobre el territorio dominado por cada nación?
 
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I think AI personality type is one of the things you don't need intel for.

I think it would be extremely cool to have the ability to hide that you are a fanatical purifier or a determined exterminator or slaver. This would not only allow for suprise attacks, but id like that for roleplay purposes aswell- especially in multiplayer.
 
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Juggling intel on a small galaxy with ~6 large empires is very different from a huge galaxy with ~30 small empires. Will have to see how the map fog of war works.
If there are 30 small empires the rule of snowballing applies - you snowball, then they become pathetic relative to you, you wont need intel to know you can steamroll them lol.
 
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First, someone at PDS is a fan of Westword, so thumbs up on this.

Overall I like the idea of this, but I think we are getting a pretty early view of this. There is definitely a lot that needs to be worked on. There are many interactions with information in the game, of which a number have already been pointed out in this thread, that need to be considered.

Intel Categories
Information is split between different Intel Categories, such as Government, Military, Diplomatic, Economic, Technology. Categories can have different Intel Levels as well, ranging from None to Full. The Intel categories and their levels are what determines what information you have access to. Here are some examples:
  • Low Government Intel (Intel: 10) would reveal basic things like empire name, authority, ethics, capital location.
  • Low Military Intel (Intel: 40) would reveal starbases and relative military power.
  • Medium Government Intel (Intel: 40) would reveal civics and origin.
  • Medium Diplomacy Intel (Intel: 50) would reveal the opinion breakdown and let us see which diplomatic pacts they have with other empires.
I like breaking this up into the categories, but I am not sure there right information is being revealed at each level. For Government, origin should maybe be earlier, and ethics and capital location later. There is a SciFi trope of the mysterious alien race with unknown homeworld and a lot of effort goes into finding it.

Edit to fix formatting.
 
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I see some issues with this. The victory screen, which shows the exact amount of tech points another empire has for example. Or in military/economy wise if u want to know the exact power there u just go into the trade screen and max out the ressources the other empire is able to trade. This is already used to see, if someone with inferior fleet would be able to fastproduce a overwhelming fleet just by looking at the alloys per month and what is at stock.
 
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Please provide also an information HOW OLD intel data is or since when it is outdated!

Will we also have intel pacts with other empires then?

And most important: What about AMD? ;)
 
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Please provide also an information HOW OLD intel data is or since when it is outdated!

Will we also have intel pacts with other empires then?

And most important: What about AMD? ;)

We already have an intel pact in the form of the active sensor link, I hope and assume that this aspect will be expanded with more options.
 
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I think it would be extremely cool to have the ability to hide that you are a fanatical purifier or a determined exterminator or slaver. This would not only allow for surprise attacks, but id like that for roleplay purposes as well- especially in multiplayer.

Something reminiscent of the Tau - Dark Eldar "cultural exchange" that took place when they first met would be very cool
 
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If ur intel gets "stale" over time, will u still be able to declare a subjugation war? Because then u theoretically would be able to vassalize an empire that in reality does not fullfill the condiditons to be vassalized. Or u if it only is possible if that empire still fullfills the conditions u would not need to gain new intel. Because then u still could tell if they become stronger.
 
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Low Government Intel (Intel: 10) would reveal basic things like empire name, authority, ethics, capital location.
Can we consider that capital location should be revealed at higher intel levels? I assume that most empires would consider the location of the capital or homeworld sensitive information. Perhaps a policy choice to hide location at the cost of some trade value? (Cole Protocol)
 
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I really like some of these ideas about being able to mask the fact that you're a Fanatic Purifier or otherwise nefarious empire in order to launch a surprise attack, or lull them into a false sense of security.

This may be out of scope for what you're trying to achieve here: but what about false intelligence? Some things you could do with that:

- Trick a weaker enemy into thinking you're weak, thereby goading them into attacking you (perhaps you want to avoid fighting them and a defensive pact ally)
- Trick a dangerous rival / enemy into thinking you're stronger than you are, to prevent them from attacking you before you're ready
- Hide the fact that you're a Fanatic Purifier to lull a victim into a false sense of security before a surprise attack
- Perhaps fool an empire into signing a Commercial / Research agreement with you by making them think your economy / tech is stronger than it is (obviously this wouldn't last that long, as they'd figure it out, but maybe it'd get you some temporary bonuses).
 
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