Espionage

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Oberlus
Cosmic Dragon
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Espionage

#1 Post by Oberlus » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:15 pm

RULE_SHOW_DETAILED_EMPIRES_DATA set to false (currently used in MP games at o01eg's server) makes the server not reveal to you the stats and effects of enemy techs you (or your allies?) haven't researched.

Neat examples by Magnate in this issue.

Magnate in GitHub wrote:Turn 92 was the turn I researched plasma cannon 1, and my client then immediately showed me the accurate status of Oberlus's cannons. Before that turn I had seen that they were plasma cannons, but not what level.
[...]
I've noticed my enemies' ground troops and hull points regenerating faster than the tooltips said they would - obviously they have techs that I don't.
Regardless of the issues this have for current version of FO, I see this very interesting for espionage (currently absent in FO mechanic beyond exploration and detection, but expected to get into it sometime after Influence).

Some context to help me clear my mind:
Espionage could be used as an alternative to exploration, to figure out the location and composition of enemy fleets, or the location of relevant buildings, that are outside our detection range or strength. This is interesting but just a tweak for exploration mechanics. I expect something else from the word espionage.
In this suggestion about stealth, initially focused on combat, it is suggested to tailor how well you see enemy fleets depending on the difference on stealth and detection of the involved empires:
Oberlus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:04 pm
The Silent One wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:41 am
Oberlus wrote:A third way could be to only reveal part of the fleet
Or maybe that a fleet is there, but of unknown empire and/or composition.
Ah, yes, yes, yes. Degrees could be something like: undetected, "something is there" (some "unknown fleet" symbol in map), "a fleet of X structure (mass) is there" (fleet symbol only reports total number of structure in the system), "a fleet of N ships with X structure is there", and fully detected.
Now, this thing about RULE_SHOW_DETAILED_EMPIRES_DATA brings in new ideas. Detection/Stealth contest is not about knowing what techs the other empire has, and that information is strategically key. So something, Espionage, could be used for that purpose: allow you to find out the real stats/effects of objects within your detection or objects in fleets/systems/planets that you inspect via an espionage project (or policy or whatever fits better), if you have better Espionage than your target. In effect, this would be the ability to override "RULE_SHOW_DETAILED_EMPIRES_DATA=false".

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