Stellaris Dev Diary #196: [REDACTED]

Stellaris Dev Diary #196: [REDACTED]

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SeraphAscending

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You just pointed out of everyone wants different things from the espionage. You will not reach a consensus, that's one, and two, forum dwellers are but a tiny fraction of Stellaris players. Even if you somehow managed to reach a consensus here, players from outside of the forum would not agree with this "consensus".
And you would be straight back to square one with people unhappy with the scope of the mechanics.

So your suggestion for the devs is "just do whatever, everyone will hate it anyway".
Not really constructive, i think.

As mentioned in some posts already, configurable espionage settings might be a good step. (Similarly to how Xeno-Compatibility can be turned on and off. Even though that had other reasons.)
So you can have the whole range of super disruptive assassinations and economy crippling sabotage to less disruptive means.
I mean, i can see why the devs wouldn't want that, since it would be essentially two different game modes that would have to be somewhat balanced seperately.
 
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Archael90

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The people are generally unhappy at having subdermal tracking implants forced upon them recording everything they're doing, but over time may grow to start agreeing to a degree that "it's keeping us safe!" and "if you don't have anything to hide..." as they are indoctrinated by the state's propaganda.

The Thought Enforcement edict, on the other hand, is explicitly changing your mind for you.

They're both intended to be relatively sinister and dystopian institutions.
This kind of actions would trigger riots, empire wide discontent, and rise of anti-authoritarian political parties. To simulate this, this ethic should decrease authoritarian ethic atrraction, or increase egalitarian one. Maybe after some time (5-10) years, happiness should change from -10% to +5%, because people used to it, and feel safe, but anti-edict parties would still be a thing.
 
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Dr. Zeto

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I'd love to see criminal heritages getting Boni for Espionage and being able to sell Intel data as a trading good. And if one could start revolutions in other empires
 
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The_Draco

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This kind of actions would trigger riots, empire wide discontent, and rise of anti-authoritarian political parties. To simulate this, this ethic should decrease authoritarian ethic atrraction, or increase egalitarian one. Maybe after some time (5-10) years, happiness should change from -10% to +5%, because people used to it, and feel safe, but anti-edict parties would still be a thing.
no, the thing on this point is to take away everyone who dosn't compare to the governments ethics, so it is made to force the pops to match governments ethics, and that makes pops unhappy, the "bad egalitarians" because of beeing forced to be authoritarian and the already authoritarians because of the "misstrust" of theyr government
 
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DanielPrates

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I really look forward to seeing the final version of this system. It sounds like it will add an interesting aspect if not fun to the game... except for one thing



That one have me worried. I obviously don't have a problem with doing the ruining. But I've never seen a game where I enjoy things randomly getting blown up or get destroyed in my backyard. Systems like that have a high inherent risk of giving the player a feeling of helplessness followed by frustration. So please keep this aspect in mind when designing this system. Fun and all things cool should be the name of the game after all.

If you can live with a game where the enemy destroys your fleets, bombard your planets and invade them, you can live with a game where their agents can explode your budings.
 
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mysticdueler

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Did you use EU3 or HOI3's systems? Or EU4's at their peak "AIs that take Espionage Ideas must be exterminated at once" state (when espionage was simultaneously very low value to the player, but spectacularly obnoxious in the hands of the AI)?

Ugh! I thought I had ridden myself of those memories! Thank you for dragging them back into the light of day! o_O;)
 

The_Draco

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If you can live with a game where the enemy destroys your fleets, bombard your planets and invade them, you can live with a game where their agents can explode your budings.
well, thing is, the enemy destroying the fleet, buildings and invade planets is visible longe before it does that, the blown up building from espionage is just visible as it explodes, so no "tomorrow there will be my factory blow up, i should do something to try to prevent this"
However, i think the best way for Sabotage would be a planet-modifier that decreases the ammount of a ressource (based on what was the target) produced on the planet for a vew weeks or a loss of an ammount of a specific ressource from storage, or more time to build a ship/building/district ... many options that don't trigger micromenagement and still is annoying if you don't have counterspionage to prevent this
 
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DanielPrates

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well, thing is, the enemy destroying the fleet, buildings and invade planets is visible longe before it does that, the blown up building from espionage is just visible as it explodes, so no "tomorrow there will be my factory blow up, i should do something to try to prevent this"
However, i think the best way for Sabotage would be a planet-modifier that decreases the ammount of a ressource (based on what was the target) produced on the planet for a vew weeks or a loss of an ammount of a specific ressource from storage, or more time to build a ship/building/district ... many options that don't trigger micromenagement and still is annoying if you don't have counterspionage to prevent this

Still nonsense, sorry. I think it goes without saying that if an active espionage mechanic is coming, there will also be a passive counterespionage - I doubt the idea of the mechanic is to have your things blow up without you being able to invest in some defense for it. I would be very disapointed if the only spy attack mechanic they are considering is a modifier. God damn it, yet one more thing to pursue min-maxing? Jesus. I woukd be much more interested in destroying a planetary shield or fortress or a fleet cap battlestation module prior to a war, for instance. And of course, there should be ways for me to defend against the same, such as an envoy building up my counterintel abilities.

Edit: tho I would like to see intel attacks that aim at reducing empire-wide or planet-wide stats, a sort ot "sow dissemt" type of thing. Actually I want it all. Blow ships, blow buildings, kill pops. Poison their atmospheres. Make everyone think their own emperor is a hen-teaser.
 
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Shaeliss

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Agrarian species from an Ocean World Agrarian Idyll vs Natural Engineers Industrious Reptilians: who wins?
 
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Pale Blue

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Still nonsense, sorry. I think it goes without saying that if an active espionage mechanic is coming, there will also be a passive counterespionage - I doubt the idea of the mechanic is to have your things blow up without you being able to invest in some defense for it. I would be very disapointed if the only spy attack mechanic they are considering is a modifier. God damn it, yet one more thing to pursue min-maxing? Jesus. I woukd be much more interested in destroying a planetary shield or fortress or a fleet cap battlestation module prior to a war, for instance. And of course, there should be ways for me to defend against the same, such as an envoy building up my counterintel abilities.

Edit: tho I would like to see intel attacks that aim at reducing empire-wide or planet-wide stats, a sort ot "sow dissemt" type of thing. Actually I want it all. Blow ships, blow buildings, kill pops. Poison their atmospheres. Make everyone think their own emperor is a hen-teaser.

Bad rng stuff happening that can be prevented by you investing in another rng mechanic is exactly what a lot of people dont want. It is what other games did with espionage and it has never worked in one of those games.
 
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grommile

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Still nonsense, sorry. I think it goes without saying that if an active espionage mechanic is coming, there will also be a passive counterespionage
So, uh.

The first thing that has to happen for the enemy to bombard my planets is a declaration of war (either by me or by the enemy). Then, enemy fleets (clearly visible on the map) have to evade or defeat my fleets, blast past my static defences, and reach my inhabited systems.

So it's all very visible and very interactive.

Sabotage defence is low visibility and low interactivity.
 
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DanielPrates

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So, uh.

The first thing that has to happen for the enemy to bombard my planets is a declaration of war (either by me or by the enemy). Then, enemy fleets (clearly visible on the map) have to evade or defeat my fleets, blast past my static defences, and reach my inhabited systems.

So it's all very visible and very interactive.

Sabotage defence is low visibility and low interactivity.

"So, uh" .... yes exactly. Guess our differing point of view is only about what is fun or not. No need to explain the whole obvious DoW bit, we have no disagreements about how the game is. Besides if I wasnt clear, I DO think spy defense should be low visibility/interaction. It is you who is saying that just because active intel attacks could be micromanaged, that spy defense also has to be. I dont think that. In effect i shudder to imagine that now there may be "spy" buildings and another job tied to it. But it all spy attacks are mere modifiers, without even the chance to target and damage a specific crucial battlestation.... during war or not.... the devs are missing an oportunity. To compare that to your initial post: you, on that scenario (you are minding your business and an unknown rival covertly blows up one of your stations) you would have found that a unfun, gamebreaking mechanic. I would not. So, uh, there.

Well, guess we will have to wait and see. It is not clear yet. @Pale Blue mentioned (correctly imo) that it has been tried before and failed. Maybe 10000th time is the charm.
 
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Shaeliss

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So, uh.

The first thing that has to happen for the enemy to bombard my planets is a declaration of war (either by me or by the enemy). Then, enemy fleets (clearly visible on the map) have to evade or defeat my fleets, blast past my static defences, and reach my inhabited systems.

So it's all very visible and very interactive.

Sabotage defence is low visibility and low interactivity.

Low visibility is kind of the whole point ("the dagger in the back" versus the full frontal assault), but I wouldn't say low interactivity. You don't want that fleet to bust down your door, you invest in a fleet and/or static defenses and/or better tech. You don't want saboteurs to cause you grief, you invest in Encryption, and Counter Espionnage, and (most likely) in Enforcers (they seem like the most likely candidates to counter sabotages) and Deep Space Black Sites and possibly in keeping your pops happy if high Happiness pops are less likely to join the enemy espionage efforts, and possibly manage Crime (if it does play a part in espionage). That looks like interactivity a plenty to me.
 
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DanielPrates

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Low visibility is kind of the whole point ("the dagger in the back" versus the full frontal assault), but I wouldn't say low interactivity. You don't want that fleet to bust down your door, you invest in a fleet and/or static defenses and/or better tech. You don't want saboteurs to cause you grief, you invest in Encryption, and Counter Espionnage, and (most likely) in Enforcers (they seem like the most likely candidates to counter sabotages) and Deep Space Black Sites and possibly in keeping your pops happy if high Happiness pops are less likely to join the enemy espionage efforts, and possibly manage Crime (if it does play a part in espionage). That looks like interactivity a plenty to me.

With low visibility he meant low GUI usage. Like dont needing to go planet by planet clicking and toggling and building things. And I agree. On the deffensive level that is.

Your suggested way to build up spy deffense is great, and also what I imagined.

But how about ACTIVE espionage? Besides the mandatory generic actions, do you agree with me that some specific objects (stations, buildings if even only some, districts etc) could and should be target for damage or destruction? It would follow that the rival empires could do the same to you and that would not be a fun mechanic. Thats the point of the discussion.
 
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Shaeliss

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I think everything should be a valid target, but more "critical" infrastructures/personnel should be harder targets to hit, you give your target an auto CB on you that would give you severe damage if you lose the war when you sabotage them, repeated hits would become harder and harder as the target starts taking precautions, and possibly an entirely new set of "security" policies/decisions (more security = harder to hit, but upkeep going up and up the tighter security is) so you could determine what would be critical to *your* empire, and a "multiple responses" options to a completed sabotage (with a scaling price/mitigation and price/Intel on whom exactly ordered the attack), and for the attacker who got caught, an option to reduce diplomatic damage if they "retire" (read: throw under the space bus) some of their military/diplomatic personnel/leaders (loss of military resources) whom obviously went rogue and acted on their own.
 
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DanielPrates

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I think everything should be a valid target, but more "critical" infrastructures/personnel should be harder targets to hit, you give your target an auto CB on you that would give you severe damage if you lose the war when you sabotage them, repeated hits would become harder and harder as the target starts taking precautions, and possibly an entirely new set of "security" policies/decisions (more security = harder to hit, but upkeep going up and up the tighter security is) so you could determine what would be critical to *your* empire, and a "multiple responses" options to a completed sabotage (with a scaling price/mitigation and price/Intel on whom exactly ordered the attack), and for the attacker who got caught, an option to reduce diplomatic damage if they "retire" (read: throw under the space bus) some of their military/diplomatic personnel/leaders (loss of military resources) whom obviously went rogue and acted on their own.

Fully agree. It is the kind of thing I am expecting to see.
 

Kommunist Fried Chicken

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Sadly, psionic empires'(Wizards) bonus seems not enough to compare to other two type empires'(Gene monsters and Intelligence toasters) amazing pop growth speed, and the producing ability advance it bring.

And, can the attacker(in the intel war) do something with Counter Espionage? Like "Counter Counter Espionage Operation". In hoi4, in the late game, each country have a lot of counter espionage points, and other country can do nothing to it, this makes single a operation need more than half a year though I get a high level network in enemy(it is too long for WWII), it makes no sense and little fun. So in hoi4, Spy plays a much more unimportant place than the fact.

I don't think it is a good idea to make a impenetrable shield, especially in the skippable part(Agent can't destroy fleets directly, can they?).

I hope Spy can play an important role in Stellaris, useless things bring less happy. And it may ruin all your effort, for little players choose pay more attention on it
 
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HugsAndSnuggles

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Egalitarians are pretty good at accumulating Diplomatic Weight from their happy pops. Fleet power does tend to overshadow it later, however.
That's great and all, but what good is pop happiness (and slightly better diplo weight), really? Stability doesn't provide that much of a boost, and can be kept at a reasonable level by other means, even if you enslave the hell out of xenos. What good are "happy" specialists if they produce only a fraction of what xeno slaves can, while demand huge compensation to boot? How do you defend against authoritarian neighbour who is dead-set on turning your capital into another slave pen? By using diplo weight?
Every election egalitarians have to "sacrifice" random specialist, making a mess of things (and in case of democracy getting tiny unity payoff, provided you fulfilled another "bring nation to glory by enabling slavery" mandate).
They plain lose to authoritarians in influence bonus (factions come a lot later, after all).
Sure, you are more likely to get odd refugee, but it only means that someone else managed to get a planet full of those - something you cannot do, because you're worse at production - while you have to be content with scraps.

I just don't see a lot of positive sides, when it comes to actual gameplay, you know.
(sure, egalitarian xenophobes are a thing, but that's not, exactly, what I would call "egalitarian gameplay"... not to mention, they have hard time keeping that stability up if they enslave everyone)
 

Archael90

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no, the thing on this point is to take away everyone who dosn't compare to the governments ethics, so it is made to force the pops to match governments ethics, and that makes pops unhappy, the "bad egalitarians" because of beeing forced to be authoritarian and the already authoritarians because of the "misstrust" of theyr government
No, this is not about government ethic, but about spies of hostile states and the general security of the population.
If your statement is true, then spies that mach government ethic (and this also would means it is only for authoritarians), would be not "taken away", only people "taken away" would be loyal citizens but with not matching ethics.