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Direct Link To This Post Topic: 3. Diplomatic Missions in Illyriad
    Posted: 26 Feb 2010 at 17:46
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS IN ILLYRIAD

INTRODUCTION
Diplomacy is a powerful tool.

And by "Diplomacy", we mean the fine - and eternally practiced - arts of:
  • Scouting
  • Spying
  • Theft
  • Sabotage
  • Assassination
... and even more cunning Diplomatic strategies....

All your Diplomatic Missions come from your Town's Consulate.

Inside this building, your Diplomatic Corps works tirelessly to make your enemies' lives more miserable, and your own future more secure.

However, there are a variety of Diplomatic Technologies you need to research to unlock the full power of your Consulate, and you will find the full list in the Research Tree (Diplomacy Tab) ingame.

The pre-requisite technology for building a Consulate is Negotiation.  This technology also allows you to join an Alliance, should one offer.

SCOUTING
Scouts are sent to other locations and report on troop types and numbers they see there.

Basic scouts will report on the exact numbers of troops present at a location (including reinforcements from abroad).  The Scouting technology unlocks Basic Scout Units.

Advanced scouts are not only able to ascertain the troops present, but can also work out where other troops belonging to that Town have been sent (if there are any abroad).  The Master Scouts technology unlocks Advanced Scout Units.

SPYING
Spies are sent to other towns and report on the buildings and research they see there.

Basic spies will report on the buildings and building levels at a location, as well as the resources present.  The Espionage technology unlocks Basic Spy Units.

Advanced spies are not only able to report on the buildings and resources, but can also eavesdrop on conversations and generally wangle their way into the town's fabric, bringing back information on what technologies are currently being researched at that location.  The Spymaster technology unlocks Advanced Spy Units.

THEFT
Thieves are sent to other towns and will attempt to steal what they can - and bring it back to your city!

Unlike military units on a Raid mission, thief units can enter inside the city and get right at the heart of the storehouse - so they not only steal basic resources but also some of the more advanced resource types.  Thieves can not steal resources that are protected by a defending players' Vault.

Basic thief units are capable of stealing smaller items such as Wood, Clay, Iron, Stone, Food, Books & Beer.  The Theft technology unlocks Basic Thief units.

Advanced thief units can steal everything the Basic thief units can, plus Swords, Spears, Bows, Saddles, Leather Armour, Chainmail and Platesteel. The Thief Mastery technology unlocks Advanced Theft units.

SABOTAGE
Saboteurs are despatched to other towns, and cause damage to the research and building queues of their target.

Basic sabotage units will completely destroy all progress towards the next building to come out of the city.  The Sabotage technology unlocks Basic Saboteur units.

Advanced sabotage units will destroy all progress towards the next building (as Basic Sabotage units) but will also delay the next research project on the research queue. In addition, the Advanced Saboteur unit has a chance to damage the second buildings and research items on the queues at the same time. The Master Saboteur technology unlocks Advanced Sabotage units.

ASSASSINATION
Assassins are despatched to other locations, and cause health damage to army commanders at their target.

Basic assassin units will cause damage to the health of a single enemy commander.  The Assassination technology unlocks Basic Assassin units.

Advanced assassin units cause substantially more damage to the enemy commander than the basic unit, and have a chance of poisoning multiple commanders on the same mission. The Assassin's Guild technology unlocks Advanced Assassin units.


BUILDING DIPLOMATIC UNITS
Building Diplomatic Units Requires that you research the technology that unlocks the unit.

Once you have that technology researched, you go to your Consulate's Production Tab and choose the number of units you wish to build.  You can see the hourly Gold upkeep cost of each of those units, the number of units currently at home, the number of those units out and about in the world, and the time to build each unit.

Once built, units can be sent on a mission to a target of your choice.  You can choose the target either:
  • from the Consulate's "Move" submenu, or
  • by left-clicking the target on the World Map, and selecting "Send Diplomatic Mission"
When they get to their location they will attempt to carry out their mission.


MISSION OUTCOMES
There are multiple possible outcomes to a diplomatic mission - it's not simply "success" or "failure". 

For example:
  • Your mission might succeed totally and be undetected - leaving the target player knowing what happened to his stockpile of resources or his building queue (or whatever the mission objective was) - but he will know nothing else about the mission or who sent it.
  • Your mission might partially succeed - ie the objective was completed (sabotage etc), but your agents were captured; or conversely, if the objective was failed but the agents you sent escaped capture.
  • Your mission might totally fail, and your agents are never heard from again.
The outcome - success or failure, capture or escape - is "weighted chance-based".  This means that it's based on a random percentage chance, but the percentage you need to succeed is weighted on a variety of factors, including the:
  • strength and number of the units carrying out the mission,
  • strength and number of the units defending against the mission (but only if the defending player has the Counter-Intelligence technology researched),
  • size of the target city (smaller towns have a higher chance of detecting strangers from afar)
  • level of the Consulate of the player who sent the mission (ie the 'training' of his or her units)
  • level of the Consulate of the defending player's Counter-Intelligence agents (ie the 'training' of his or her units)
Even after all these factors have been taken into account, there's still a chance (no matter how large, or small) that the mission will either be undone - or completely succeed against overwhelming odds!

Once the success or failure of a mission has been decided, then the "weighted chance" is calculated again to see whether the mission was detected and captured, and once more to see whether the captured agents were interrogated or not (if the defending player has the Interrogation skill).

DEFENDING AGAINST DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS
There are many possible defences against diplomatic missions.

Ensure that you have the Counter Intelligence skill trained and that you have diplomatic units at home of the same diplomatic type (scout, spy, thief etc) that you are defending against.  It takes a thief to catch a thief, and having units at home to defend will help skew the chance-based outcome in your favour.

Consider defending your city in some other way - for example, by using defensive Runes and Glyphs from the Runes school of magic.

Bear in mind that smaller towns have additional natural defence against hostile Diplomatic actions.  The larger (more populous) your city is, the less likely it is that the comings and goings of foreigners will be noticed.  This certainly isn't an argument in favour of keeping your town small, but it does help newer players to get their feet on the ground.

Of course, there is the time-honoured "a good offense is the best defense" strategy.  If hostile diplomatic units are inbound to you and you know where they came from (or have a good sense, at least) then send a counter mission!  You know that many of your enemy's diplomatic units are on their way to you... and that means they're not at home, defending...



Next Guide: 4. Armies


Edited by GM Luna - 03 Jul 2012 at 18:38
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