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Magister Agricolarum

New Spy Attacks

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So, as I was about to spy on one of my opponents in CN:TE, I noticed two new spy attacks:

-destroy land

-sabotage IRS efficiency

(Screenshot here: http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x113/ma...um/TESpyOps.jpg )

Now, I assumed I knew what "destroy land" meant, but I was clueless about "sabotage IRS efficiency," so, I tried it. This is what I got:

You have just conducted a spy operation against the nation of [redacted]. In the attack your spy efforts were successful as your spies were able to target the enemy Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and change their national tax rate to a level of 20%.

Is there a change in the works that will only let us change tax rate once per day? Otherwise, I'm not sure I see the value of this spy attack. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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I have always wondered, have you thought about having Incite Government Propaganda and Incite Religious Propaganda affect happiness even if they have the corresponding wonders?

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I have always wondered, have you thought about having Incite Government Propaganda and Incite Religious Propaganda affect happiness even if they have the corresponding wonders?

That would defeat the point of those wonders :s

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That would defeat the point of those wonders :s

You could make it like triple the cost if the defender got that wonder

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Rather than change the preferred government, it should change your actual government. Although it would be rather weird to spy someone into a dictatorship (lol), at least it'd be more useful than lowering your enemy's happiness by 1.

EDIT: WOW, forcing a tax collection after a DEFCON change.. that's brutal in nuclear wars. :P

Edited by Viluin

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Rather than change the preferred government, it should change your actual government. Although it would be rather weird to spy someone into a dictatorship (lol), at least it'd be more useful than lowering your enemy's happiness by 1.

EDIT: WOW, forcing a tax collection after a DEFCON change.. that's brutal in nuclear wars. :P

Forcing a collection after a tax rate change is brutal too. From 30% to something like 23% could be a ton of money.

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Rather than change the preferred government, it should change your actual government. Although it would be rather weird to spy someone into a dictatorship (lol), at least it'd be more useful than lowering your enemy's happiness by 1.

EDIT: WOW, forcing a tax collection after a DEFCON change.. that's brutal in nuclear wars. :P

The 'Incite Government Propaganda' is often under-estimated.

It allows a nation to perform the 'Incite Government Propaganda' spy operation on a nation currently in anarchy, forcing them to wait another 2/3 days to switch out.

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The 'Incite Government Propaganda' is often under-estimated.

It allows a nation to perform the 'Incite Government Propaganda' spy operation on a nation currently in anarchy, forcing them to wait another 2/3 days to switch out.

So now you can literally force people to collect in anarchy? That's interesting.

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So now you can literally force people to collect in anarchy? That's interesting.

Collecting in anarchy is not that big of deal though, collecting in the time frame in which the "Forces Depleted" 50% penalty exists is what is more important ;)

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Holy super-powered spy attacks, Batman!!

The sabotage IRS attack will be absolutely killer, I think. Incite Gov. Propaganda on a nation 18 days inactive would be ugly too, but jeez

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Additionally the spy operations of Incite Government Propaganda, Incite Religious Propaganda, Sabotage IRS Proficiency, Change Threat Level, and Change DEFCON Level now require the defender to collect taxes before changing the individual settings that these spy operations effect.

the IRS one seems very powerful then. I assume an exorbitant spy cost is associated,

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Yeah, even a jump down to a 20% tax collection rate would be a loss of 1/3 of my bill collection. That could easily be $50 million for larger sized nations, all for a single spy op..........

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Yeah, even a jump down to a 20% tax collection rate would be a loss of 1/3 of my bill collection. That could easily be $50 million for larger sized nations, all for a single spy op..........

Well, this spy-op would generally only be used in wars. You'll probably be in nuclear anarchy anyway.

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I dunno, doing it to a random nation with too few spies by a nation with a CIA could be relatively safe. And even if this were only used during wars, in a 2 week war you would normally be able to collect at the end without any real penalty (provided you have the warchest for it) beyond what you lost in the war. With this spy op... that is extremely unlikely.

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the IRS one seems very powerful then. I assume an exorbitant spy cost is associated,

All still being tweaked.

At first it was pretty cheap and you could spy with down to 10%... after some testing that was very overpowered, so it has been reduced to 20% as a bottom limit and the price has been ramped up.

Extra spy ops for nations at war is also currently being tested in TE... so keep the feedback coming.

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Okay, wow, no. I can see what you're trying to do with the whole making spies somewhat useful, but these are some horribly overpowered changes.

First, I want to say how overpowered the IRS operation is. With it, you can potentially lose 1/3 of your collection in one fell swoop.

The next worse thing would be anarchy, right? Well, the only way to get into anarchy is to get defeated in glorious battle, unless nukes are flying of course. Even if you are being attacked by 3 people, it is entirely possible to stay out of anarchy if you're decent enough. After X number of days you're automatically out of anarchy as if it never happened.

The closest thing that compares to the IRS spy operation is naval blockades (as far as its effect and permanency). Those are pretty hard get a chance to pull off against someone who building their navy every day during war. It can definitely take more than a week for this to happen for even someone in 3v1, so it kind of makes sense to have blockade penalties last until collection, just for the amount of effort and time you need to put in to get to that point.

Going back to the IRS operation, how do you make someone lose up to 1/3 of their collection? Oh, just win a single spy operation. What? Seriously? Oh, and it even stacks on top of other income penalties such as anarchy, >5 days peace mode, and naval blockades! Bonus!

The IRS operation causes something close to a gimp anarchy effect that you can't get rid of and stacks with other income penalties, yet only takes a single spy operation to pull off. You don't have to go through the effort of going through someone's entire army or navy to do it either. Seriously, the IRS operation is way too overpowered in its current form.

Now, making certain spy operations last until collection is also overpowered, especially because all it takes is one successful spy operation to do it. Really, doing successful spy operations is almost as easy to pull off as firing cruise missiles, and that's even if you are outmatched.

I can make my nation pull itself out of anarchy from being defeated in combat after 3 days without having to do anything really. Should I not be able to do something even simpler such as change my nation's religion, DEFCON levels, tax levels, et al to something I want at the same time? Those would be child's play to pull off compared to pulling an entire nation out of anarchy.

If you want to make the spy operations last for longer than just that day as they are/were, make it last for a certain number of days. Making any effect last until someone collects should only be reserved for things that actually take some effort and time to pull off.

I do, however, like the additional spy operations per active war. It only makes sense that people should be able to at least spy on everyone who they're at war with at least once.

Edit: Also, those extra spy operations should be reserved for those who they are at war with to prevent potential craziness, but leaving their normal 2 free to do with what they wish.

Edited by C2Talon

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Okay, wow, no. I can see what you're trying to do with the whole making spies somewhat useful, but these are some horribly overpowered changes.

First, I want to say how overpowered the IRS operation is. With it, you can potentially lose 1/3 of your collection in one fell swoop.

The next worse thing would be anarchy, right? Well, the only way to get into anarchy is to get defeated in glorious battle, unless nukes are flying of course. Even if you are being attacked by 3 people, it is entirely possible to stay out of anarchy if you're decent enough. After X number of days you're automatically out of anarchy as if it never happened.

The closest thing that compares to the IRS spy operation is naval blockades (as far as its effect and permanency). Those are pretty hard get a chance to pull off against someone who building their navy every day during war. It can definitely take more than a week for this to happen for even someone in 3v1, so it kind of makes sense to have blockade penalties last until collection, just for the amount of effort and time you need to put in to get to that point.

Going back to the IRS operation, how do you make someone lose up to 1/3 of their collection? Oh, just win a single spy operation. What? Seriously? Oh, and it even stacks on top of other income penalties such as anarchy, >5 days peace mode, and naval blockades! Bonus!

The IRS operation causes something close to a gimp anarchy effect that you can't get rid of and stacks with other income penalties, yet only takes a single spy operation to pull off. You don't have to go through the effort of going through someone's entire army or navy to do it either. Seriously, the IRS operation is way too overpowered in its current form.

One thing you are overlooking is the happiness increase from having a lower tax rate (assuming non anarchy) which means it is not going to be 1/3 as the lower your tax rate, the happiness increases and then so does your income per person, you don't recover all you lose of course, but you recover some. The value is of course random, you aren't going to be slapped with 20% every time.

As mentioned though, it's still being tweaked, the lower bound percent and the cost of the op still is still being tested and will likely be modified before it is rolled out in Standard, feedback like that above is being taken on board.

Now, making certain spy operations last until collection is also overpowered, especially because all it takes is one successful spy operation to do it. Really, doing successful spy operations is almost as easy to pull off as firing cruise missiles, and that's even if you are outmatched.

I can make my nation pull itself out of anarchy from being defeated in combat after 3 days without having to do anything really. Should I not be able to do something even simpler such as change my nation's religion, DEFCON levels, tax levels, et al to something I want at the same time? Those would be child's play to pull off compared to pulling an entire nation out of anarchy.

If you want to make the spy operations last for longer than just that day as they are/were, make it last for a certain number of days. Making any effect last until someone collects should only be reserved for things that actually take some effort and time to pull off.

Two of the ops requiring you to do this are minor ops that have been seldom used, if people have their govt/religion changed, many will still probably just ride out the war until they wanted to collect anyway and still ignore that potential penalty because it is small.

The others, Defcon/Threat Level/IRS switch, are to help make war effects have an actual immediate impact.

Just because you can ride out Anarchy and wait for the effects to pass, doesn't mean that is a great thing. Currently you can ride out a war, absorb the effects, tax stack living off your warchest, rebuild, and collect down the track, dodging any income penalty the war may have cost you, apart from the money spent it can be like the war never happened.

Now it is possible that the war will have some additional consequences if you need to change these settings, and more decisions will have to be made, do I collect now and take the short term hit, or do I try and ride it out with non optimal settings until the war is over etc...

I do, however, like the additional spy operations per active war. It only makes sense that people should be able to at least spy on everyone who they're at war with at least once.

Edit: Also, those extra spy operations should be reserved for those who they are at war with to prevent potential craziness, but leaving their normal 2 free to do with what they wish.

That is how it works yes, you get 2 ops per day you can use on anyone, and for each war slot, one extra op which can only be used on a nation you are at war with (defensive nations can still only be spied on twice in one day).

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One thing you are overlooking is the happiness increase from having a lower tax rate (assuming non anarchy) which means it is not going to be 1/3 as the lower your tax rate, the happiness increases and then so does your income per person, you don't recover all you lose of course, but you recover some. The value is of course random, you aren't going to be slapped with 20% every time.

It will be about 1/3 of your total collection if the tax rate is 22% or below. Because Intelligence Agencies only work if your tax rate is 23% or higher.

Two of the ops requiring you to do this are minor ops that have been seldom used, if people have their govt/religion changed, many will still probably just ride out the war until they wanted to collect anyway and still ignore that potential penalty because it is small.

I don't mind this change here, as it is still only 1 happiness anyway.

The others, Defcon/Threat Level/IRS switch, are to help make war effects have an actual immediate impact

The Defcon / Threat Level switches already have an impact even if it only currently lasts 1 day. Imagine conducting a Defcon switch at 12:00:01 AM server time. That means that all Ground Attacks conducted on / by the spied nation for that day will have different odds than normal. That is a potential 24 Ground Attacks that the outcome could be altered by that single spy op. How is that not an immediate impact?

That is how it works yes, you get 2 ops per day you can use on anyone, and for each war slot, one extra op which can only be used on a nation you are at war with (defensive nations can still only be spied on twice in one day).

An extra spy op per war slot? Now that is an interesting update. And because a defender can still only be targeted twice a day, the defensive measures are still in place. It means that a defender with a large warchest can create a little extra havoc without being able to succumb to more spy ops.

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It will be about 1/3 of your total collection if the tax rate is 22% or below. Because Intelligence Agencies only work if your tax rate is 23% or higher.

Regardless of Intelligence Agencies, when you lower your tax rate, your happiness rises, giving you more income per person, you just get less of that income personally, because you are taxing less. So when the tax rate goes down, it is not 20% of what your income was previously, it is 20% of your new, higher income as your citizens like the lower tax rate, so it's not a flat one 3rd.

In some situations, you actually get more money from a lower tax rate than a high one.

The Defcon / Threat Level switches already have an impact even if it only currently lasts 1 day. Imagine conducting a Defcon switch at 12:00:01 AM server time. That means that all Ground Attacks conducted on / by the spied nation for that day will have different odds than normal. That is a potential 24 Ground Attacks that the outcome could be altered by that single spy op. How is that not an immediate impact?

The thing you highlight is that, it is just one day, and the thing about DEFCON switching is in the past, it has always taken your opponent to DEFCON 4, it wasn't 'random'.

Now with this update, it is random, albeit weighted slightly towards the higher end, but there is now both more chance you will get your opponent into DC5, and more chance that you will only spy them into a DEFCON 2 or 3.

With the odds of the switch only being to DC2 or 3 increased (as, the chance of that was zero previously) the existing short term 1 day effect of a defcon switch had the potential to be greatly reduced, which is one reason why the decision was made to enhance this operation as well, to force a collection before switching if your DEFCON system has been infiltrated.

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It will be about 1/3 of your total collection if the tax rate is 22% or below. Because Intelligence Agencies only work if your tax rate is 23% or higher.

Nice catch. Here I was going to post numbers, but completely forgot about Intelligence Agencies. Now my numbers will be extra accurate (and saddening), heh.

One thing you are overlooking is the happiness increase from having a lower tax rate (assuming non anarchy) which means it is not going to be 1/3 as the lower your tax rate, the happiness increases and then so does your income per person, you don't recover all you lose of course, but you recover some. The value is of course random, you aren't going to be slapped with 20% every time.

Not even -1% tax rate of a large nations income can even be close to made up with +2 happiness. There's a reason everyone's at 28%/30% tax rate after all.

Here, have some delicious numbers for what I would be collecting at each tax rate. Multiply this by the number of days inactive I might possibly be when this spy operation happens. Then tell me this is not overpowered:

***DATA REMOVED***

All from just one easy spy operation. Anarchy is the next closest penalty, but we all know that one only lasts a few days. I would honestly feel sorry for anyone who would have to put up with that. The problem is it's dealing with percentages, so the bigger you are, the more you lose.

The government change comes in second if I go from the best government for collecting to the worst at 1,051,864.69 per day of inactivity. All the other spy operations don't even come close, not even destroy money reserves at 1 million, since that only happens once. Some would argue infra/tech/land/whatever makes you lose more because you end up having to replace it, but I'm just talking about what would happen at the next tax collection.

Two of the ops requiring you to do this are minor ops that have been seldom used, if people have their govt/religion changed, many will still probably just ride out the war until they wanted to collect anyway and still ignore that potential penalty because it is small.

The others, Defcon/Threat Level/IRS switch, are to help make war effects have an actual immediate impact.

Those already have immediate impacts as they are. I don't know about you, but being in DEFCON 4 when wanting to be in DEFCON 1 during war kind of hurts, since all your attacks and defenses are impacted for that day. Now, with the soon to be "you have to collect to change them," you're just going to make that "turtling" tactic more a necessity than anything.
Just because you can ride out Anarchy and wait for the effects to pass, doesn't mean that is a great thing. Currently you can ride out a war, absorb the effects, tax stack living off your warchest, rebuild, and collect down the track, dodging any income penalty the war may have cost you, apart from the money spent it can be like the war never happened.

Now it is possible that the war will have some additional consequences if you need to change these settings, and more decisions will have to be made, do I collect now and take the short term hit, or do I try and ride it out with non optimal settings until the war is over etc...

I don't know, here I thought naval blockades and getting rode to collect in anarchy at 19 days inactivity were cool enough consequences for war, but I guess this new and easier to use super blockade that can be used outside of war is cool too.

Also,

In some situations, you actually get more money from a lower tax rate than a high one.

This only really applies to very small nations that have nearly zero improvements and/or wonders.

Edit: Hit the reply button WAY too early. Will edit when finished...

Edit2: Okay, fixed post...

Edit3: Removed data for kicks.

Edited by C2Talon

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The government change comes in second if I go from the best government for collecting to the worst at 1,051,864.69 per day of inactivity. All the other spy operations don't even come close, not even destroy money reserves at 1 million, since that only happens once. Some would argue infra/tech/land/whatever makes you lose more because you end up having to replace it, but I'm just talking about what would happen at the next tax collection.

Did I not already mention that these spy ops are still being tested and revised? Your input is great, because all the testing in TE is still limited because obviously even at the high end in there we are dealing with vastly different numbers than at the high end in Standard, theres just no need to panic thinking this is the finished picture and it will be rolled out right this second.

All spy ops are being reviewed and updated, the suggestion box was scoured for ideas, as well as some other ideas that have been tossed around. The caps on Tanks/Infra/Tech are being updated, an op to destroy land has been added, the cap on destroying money reserves will be rising in Standard to a max of 5%, capped at $10milllion.

In step with the raises in the caps, the spy op costs are also going to rise, it isn't going to be a case where you can spend $200k and destroy $10million worth of money/tax collection, if you want to cost your opponent a ton you are going to pay through the nose and with that the price of failure is going to be steep.

Those already have immediate impacts as they are. I don't know about you, but being in DEFCON 4 when wanting to be in DEFCON 1 during war kind of hurts, since all your attacks and defenses are impacted for that day. Now, with the soon to be "you have to collect to change them," you're just going to make that "turtling" tactic more a necessity than anything.

I mentioned above, that spying DEFCON will now be random, so it won't be all about DEFCON 4 any more, there is a solid chance that a new defcon switch will not be as effective as it is currently is, if your opponent is only in DC2 or DC3, and as such it was added to the list of ops that would force a collection to switch it.

Things like a government/religion switch in the past cost the user pretty much nothing, (I do want to point out it is your desired govt/religion which is changed, not your actual govt/religion) at the higher levels sure, these two will hurt more, but a) they will cost more to perform and b) these two spy ops (govt/religion) can be nullified by those who they hurt most by having the appropriate wonders.

Some of these ops are obviously going to be worth less at some levels, and very strong at other levels, thats going to be the case no matter what the tweaks, the last thing we want is for all these ops to be completely worthless for 95% of the population and only worth doing once you hit the top 5%...

A balance is needed though, and it will be found before anything is rolled out in Standard.

This only really applies to very small nations that have nearly zero improvements and/or wonders.

This is incorrect, it may well be correct in the top 5%, but in certain situations, it is by no means limited to "very small nations that have nearly zero improvements and/or wonders."

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All spy ops are being reviewed and updated, the suggestion box was scoured for ideas, as well as some other ideas that have been tossed around. The caps on Tanks/Infra/Tech are being updated, an op to destroy land has been added, the cap on destroying money reserves will be rising in Standard to a max of 5%, capped at $10milllion.

That is going to be fun to play with >.< I am glad I have a lot of land/tech so that no one will be able to pull that off against me. Nothing like losing 20M a day in a gang bang to spies, in addition to other costs of war.

Some of these ops are obviously going to be worth less at some levels, and very strong at other levels, thats going to be the case no matter what the tweaks, the last thing we want is for all these ops to be completely worthless for 95% of the population and only worth doing once you hit the top 5%...

With the way they currently are priced (base cost + modifier) this is how they will remain indefinitely. If the base cost was removed so that smaller natinos could actually afford a spy op then small nations might be able to effectively use spies, but when a spy op costs at least 200k (I think that is the cheapest one) most nations below 2000 infra are not going to have the ability to have the spies OR money to really use spies.

This is incorrect, it may well be correct in the top 5%, but in certain situations, it is by no means limited to "very small nations that have nearly zero improvements and/or wonders."

Unless there has been a fundamental and unannounced game change in the past years probably 99% of the nations that read and post on these forums will be large enough for the 28%/30% tax bracket to be the most ideal.

I strongly am against the requirements for collection for especially defcon swaps, since in a nuclear war this basically ensures that a defender will want to full scale turtle, as their AF and navy will be easily destroyed by those attacking it (due to the way AF in particular works, defcon is a huge impact). A far better way to "fix" defcon swaps is to allow only the movement of two levels per day, so a switch to five would still take two days to get out of (ie if you are in defcon 1, you can switch to either defcon2 or defcon3 in one day). Being forced to collect to fight back is going to only encourage turtling, especially in nuclear wars where your collections will be completely wasted.

Edited by ender land

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Alrighty, what will be tested over the next several days in TE is the following;

1. The DEFCON Switch/Freeze has been split into two separate ops.

This essentially halves its power, doubles the cost, and doubles the number of spy ops it uses.

So, there is one spy op to try and switch opponent defcon just as you had before (except it really is random, not just DC4)... and one spy op to try and freeze an opponent in their current defcon until they collect.

It is possible to do both in one day, but if you do, that's your two ops done and it locks out all other ops for the day.

2. The IRS switch has been reduced to a 1-5% reduction in tax rate, so those at 28% can only go as low as 23%, and those at 30% can only go as low as 25%. In addition, the price has also been tweaked, and the cost of this spy op will be multiplied by the number of days your opponent is inactive.

So, if you want to mess up their tax rate for a 19 day collection, the spy op will cost 19 times as much as if you want to mess up someone 1 day inactive.

This is going to mean large risk/large reward if your attempt to mess up a big stack fails/suceeds.

Again, these are not final figures/ops, and will be tested early and often during this round of TE to see how they go.

More feedback from those anticipating changes in standard, and those using the ops in TE, will continue to help shape the face of the spy changes.

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