Follow-up Comment #2, bug #16305 (project freeciv):

Well spotted.

I suspect the difference in success probability between Diplomats and Spies
is unintentional. I think it's been there at least since this area was last
substantially modified in r9000, RT#11058
<>, in 2004. There's no
indication in that ticket that it was an intentional change.

Also, the help for the server option "diplchance" says "Base chance for
diplomats and spies to succeed." And all the other actions using diplchance
don't (obviously) favour the Spy.

On the other hand, the current help for the Spy does say "She can perform all
the functions of the Diplomat, but with a higher rate of success." This text
came in in r13997, RT#39541
<>. No indication in RT
of where that notion came from. (Daniel, if you're listening, do you happen
to remember?)

If this is fixed, I don't think the statement in the help will really be true
any more -- the only way spies have a higher rate of success is that they're
relatively stronger when in contention with other diplomatic units, I think.

Fixing this will make diplomats more effective at sabotaging improvements,
which could affect the balance of the early game. However, we don't seem to
have shrunk from rectifying similar unintentional but long-standing gameplay
issues in the past -- see for instance bug #14181 and bug #16080.

So, on balance, I think we should restore equality for diplomats and spies.

I don't think we should fix S2_2 clients to send B_LAST, as that'll give new
clients on old servers an unfair advantage. We could do so on trunk (but in
general sending foo_LAST over the network is a bit unpleasant -- see for
example bug #15743).


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