The changes to diplomacy
Gods and Kings adds to Civilization 5 diplomacy, embassies, religion, espionage, ideological blocks, and addresses some imbalances.
Civ5:G&K addresses imbalances with the AI (artificial intelligence, computer player). The AI does not dislike you anymore if you are just "trying to win the game the same way as" the AI itself. The AI does not mind so much anymore if you settling closely when the empire borders are already clear and settling is just about closing gaps. Whether the AI considers you a warmonger depends now whether you have started the war or not, this seems to be related to conquering cities and city states. Additionally, the AI forgets things more easily so that wars do not tend to run forever. Other balancing changes concern the research agreement, it now requires Education instead of Philosophy and both civilizations must be now friends.
Gods and Kings brings embassies to Civilization 5 diplomacy. Embassies are available from the Classical Age and reveal the capital of the other civilization. Embassies are required for agreements like Defensive Pact and Open Borders. Embassies also allow access to the intrigue menu that is part of espionage. Espionage is an important factor in the late game when religion ceases to be important.
Religion is now a major factor that the AIs consider in the relations to other civilizations. There are dangerous beliefs like the Holy Warriors belief which you or the AI do not want to have at the border. However spreading a religion can have a positive effect. Religious prejudices fade away starting with the Renaissance, and the preferred social politics get more important.
After the Renaissance, civilizations can from three social policy trees: Freedom, Order, and Autocracy. This puts each civilization into an ideological block, and splits the world into something we had during the cold war area: Western block versus Eastern block.
After the fading of the religious prejudices, espionage becomes a major part of diplomacy. Spied out attack plans can be whispered to other civilizations, who won't be too about about the civilization that planned the attack. Of course, if you catch an civilization planning to attack you, you can confront this civilization with it.
Additionally, diplomatic agreements can be renegotiated or renewed instead of just ending them after a certain number of turn.
Espionage is a new element in how civilizations interact in Civilization 5. Espionage is done by spies. A spy is given to each civilization as soon as the first civilization has entered the Renaissance. Another spy is given in every new Age. Later another spy is given by the National Intelligence Agency, and England gets another bonus spy. Spies know what wonders other civilizations are building. Spies, unlike in previous civ games are not units, you can move across the map to target cities, but they act more in secrecy, like in the real word. Spies are controlled via an Espionage Menu.
In the espionage menu, you can give spies orders. You can move the spies to foreign, own cities, or to city states. Spies need a certain number of turns to move to a city and start operating fully there. Moving spies to good targets is tricky, but a measure the potential helps. Ed Beach: "Potential is calculated based on the Science output of the city (obviously, higher is better), as well as the defensive buildings [like Constabulary, Police Station, and the Great Firewall] contained in the city, which can slow down a spy quite a bit. Once you’ve established 'Surveillance' in an opponent's city, the potential will be displayed, so you can make a more educated decision about staying, or redeploying somewhere better." When the spies are in a target city, they act automatically or manually via the espionage menu. Spies have different actions in foreign cities, city states, and your cities. Spies, depending on the action, act either automatically or manually through the espionage menu.
In foreign (AI) cities, the spies steal technologies automatically as soon as they arrive there. The spies can also steal the plans of AIs as soon as you have establish surveillance there. The plans show up in the intrigue menu. With surveillance, you can also view the city, if you order it.
In city states, spies can rig elections, so that you gain more influence, and other civilizations lose influence, there. Spies can rig elections, as soon as they have moved to a city state. However, Spies rig elections more effectively the longer they are in a city state. It takes some time until the effect of rigging an election is noticeable. Spies can also be ordered to throw over the government in a city state. If successful, you gain the city state as an ally, immediately.
Spies can not only die by counter-espionage, but also when an action fails. A dead spy will reappear after some turns. When a spy reappears, all the experience the spy gained by successful actions is lost. Spies have three ranks of experience: Recruit, Agent, and Special Agent. The more experience a spy has and the longer the spy is in a city the more effective the spy is in terms of chances of success and costs. With more experience a spy can, steal technologies faster, and can rig elections and throw over governments more effectively. The success of these actions depends on how strong your influence on a city state is and how strong the influence of the current ally is. Only one spy can rig elections in a city state, if there is more than one spy in a city state then the one with the most experience will rig the elections. More experienced Spies can spy out more details of plans you can find then in the intrigue menu.
The intrigue menu shows all the plans from computer players you have spied out or you got from other computer players like:
- Leader X builds an armada and plans a surprise attack on Y
- Leader X wants to attack Y
- X plans an attack
- X starts an attack
- X starts an attack against city Y
- X builds an invasion armada to attack another civilization
- X plans against Y
However, the true intentions of a computer player can only be known as soon as 15 turns in advance. The intrigue menu is not available in multiplayer, as there are obviously no computer players in the game.