The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.
This sounds rather good. I support this.Perhaps tune up the other stats up a bit or add some other positive effect, like an offensive advantage in espoinage, as a compensation?
Impressive, looking forward to the execution.-ðsžšåÞя©Â£ŠŘ§Ů½æØ¢Ã©-
Attn: Spymaster Utra, daughter of Roba,
Our operatives have provided information on the activities of the vile Paradoxians. Despite their attempts at secrecy, we have managed to acquire some intel. The images our agents have taken appear to be of crude prototypes that they are still refining, but we thought it best to pass this dispatch along now so you can better prepare for the future.
Agent Tiny Sorbet signing off.
-â€šŘ§© ŘŮ æ¢Ã£»£æ¢Ã -•
Hello and happy new year!
In Dev Diaries 193 and 194 we explored the mysteries of first contact, hidden information, and intelligence gathering through diplomatic means.
It may come as a surprise to many, but sadly there are starfaring civilizations out there with whom peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial diplomatic ties are simply not an option. Against these threats, it may prove useful to utilize the more intrigue-oriented members of your society, and turn to espionage.
Espionage and covert operations are a frequently requested feature that seem to be natural extensions of the intel system that we’ve described in the recent dev diaries. With the obfuscation of knowledge, naturally there should be systems to acquire that information.
Envoys and Spy Networks
Envoys will have a new diplomatic task available to them called Build Spy Network. They will take their place as the Spymaster of a network of covert operatives and agents that they will grow in power over time. Needless to say, the other empire will not be informed of your envoy's new position.
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Build Spy Network diplomatic action
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While an envoy is managing a Spy Network as Spymaster, the Network will grow over time - quickly at first, but slower as the Network gains in strength. Networks are far faster to build in large, sprawling empires, and if the target empire’s Encryption rating is much stronger than the spying empire’s Decryption, growth may also slow to a crawl. (Machine Intelligences have a natural knack for Encryption and Decryption, while Hives and psionic empires tend to excel at Counter Espionage.)
Unmanaged Spy Networks (those without an envoy directing them) pause all ongoing activities and rapidly decay.
Spy Networks initially cap out at a maximum level of 50. Several things such as civics or edicts can increase it, and if you have acquired (disposable) Assets within the target empire they also provide a boost - each Asset increases the Spy Network cap in that empire by 5.
Assets are useful pawns, hacked backdoors, deviant drones, or other resources that could come in useful to your Spy Network. An Asset could be a disgruntled Bureaucrat that's been passed over promotion one too many times, a faulty Pheromone Emitter that your operatives have found a way to manipulate, or even a Logistics System that you've hacked into. More details about the acquisition of Assets and their uses will be in a future diary.
Here’s a non-comprehensive sample of some civics, ascension perks, and edicts that have been updated during this espionage pass. Several new Encryption and Decryption related technologies have also been added. (Numbers are still subject to change!)
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Some civics lend themselves nicely to covert activities.
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Others can modify Counter Espionage, making the lives of enemy Spy Networks easier or more difficult.
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Tell us your secrets.
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More of the new Edicts.
Putting Your Spies to Work
Now that you’ve built up your Spy Network, what can you do with it?
Back in Dev Diary 194 we had a redacted value shown in the Intel breakdown tooltip - Spy Network level is that third hidden value alongside Diplomatic Pacts and Trust.
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No more redactions here.
While your Spy Network passively provides intelligence, you can also have them be more active. Your Spymaster envoy can send agents out, using the Network's bandwidth ("Spy Power") to run Operations within the targeted empire while they stay safely at their base.
Operations exist in the following major categories:
* Subterfuge - Information gathering and operations that improve the spy network itself
* Sabotage - Ruining things (physical or immaterial)
* Manipulation - Replacing the truth with your own improved version
* Provocations - Don't do these, they're bad
Most Operations also have a subcategory of Government, Diplomacy, Economic, Technology, or Military, matching the Intel Categories.
More details on how to perform Operations (and how Assets can be used to improve them) will be the focus of next week’s diary. See you then!
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Especially hives and machines suffer from this. Is there any reason why they are locked out of the envoy and diplomatic weight increasing techs? Normal empires get 2 more envoys and 20% dip weight.Love it, though it feels as if the we don't have enough envoys problem will only increase.
Most of the time I need at least 2 envoys to keep my federation going, 1 to boost me at the GC, one to do the advertising task with other empires and now I would need at least 2 more to run 2 spynetworks.
Please increase the number of envoys. The spy agency is nice but there needs to be more.
Also would it be too much to ask for envoys to have traits?
Mercedes Romero being great at making friends so send her on good will missions.
Blorg, James Blorg, managing spy operations?
It makes the criminals unhappy , loyal citizens are fine with it.If tracking implants made people angry, it should decrease authoritarian atractivness, not increase. Its not that unhappy people being forced to authoritarian method are more likely to became authoritarians... or are they?
I do agree with some of your points, but this comment is way too specific and hard to understand for others.How much emphasis is being put on balance changes nowadays? Hiveminds and Spiritualists have been a joke since around 2.2 compared to the updated Synth Ascension and Machine empires. The game is still all about pop growth and will continue to be even with your (2nd attempt) of the pop and economy rework.
The truth is that Spiritualists and Hiveminds are a joke compared to a standard Materialist empire going for Synth Ascension. This has been the case since 2.2 and even with recent balance changes, has not changed much. The power gap is simply too large. And no, promises of "Spiritualists will be great at Espionage" and "Hiveminds will be good against Espionage" are not magically going to change this.
What the game needs is a big, a reasonable balance pass. You should consider knowledgable players who have been working hard on making their own balance mods. After all, having a game where all the different empires and playstyles are more or less equally viable should be your goal, don't you agree?
If you don't put more effort into balance, then players are going to play one round of Spiritualists or Hiveminds with Espionage, and then default back to Materialist.
And not just balance. The amount of content that is unaccessible for Gestalts is absurd.
They are locked out from starting on Habitats. They are locked out from starting as a Scion. Hiveminds cannot make any special Federation types. They are locked out from Horizon Signal event. That means Hiveminds can never obtain the extremely powerful Tomb World Habitability with 60% minimum habitability on any planet type. Hiveminds cannot compete with making as strong organic pops as non-Gestalt empires can, because non-Gestalt empires get rapid breeders + strong for free. They also get a new species event which can obtain tomb world habitability. And ontop of that you can easily incorporate cyborgs and psionics to your pop as non-Gestalt due to migration treaties.
The biggest joke is how you excluded Hiveminds from Necrophage. A playstyle like that has been requested for years!
Its about time that you treat players of different empires equally. Give Gestalts and Hiveminds equal amounts of content and anomalies.
Why is The Nivlac event Chain blocked for Hiveminds, but accessible for Rogue Servitors or Driven Assimilators?
Well if we look at China and what they're doing they definitely anger some people but on the whole it makes it easier to trend people towards people seeing things the government's way.If tracking implants made people angry, it should decrease authoritarian atractivness, not increase. Its not that unhappy people being forced to authoritarian method are more likely to became authoritarians... or are they?
If it looks like they're improving relations you could probably look at the relations and check to se if they increase or not, that might give it awayWill empires be able to figure out that you are spying on them, and will this harm relations? (purely talking about building a spy network in the first place here, I can imagine those provocations will be more likely to expose you)
How extensive will this be? Will it be a whack a mole situation where you're fixing random buildings that have been ruined, or is it something deliberate you can prepare against with counter espionage? Will resources be taken, or are those okay?Sabotage - Ruining things (physical or immaterial)
Can we turn allies of ours who hate each other into allies themselves so we can invite both of them into a Federation? Can we turn members away from their Federation, or weaken it?Manipulation - Replacing the truth with your own improved version