Yes, it is CRAP. I seriously doubt the AI is smart enough to do anything like that anyway. And I'd also argue that doubling the strength of a planetary invasion is WAY out of proportion for how much it should be allowed to help. I don't care if this is James Bond working together with Jason Bourne, no stupid "agents" should be a deciding factor in any PLANETARY scale invasion, ever. So I don't see the point, other than that it added a bullet that Stardock could put on the expansion's feature list.
Wow, bitter much?
No, it doesn't take just spies to double an invasion's effectiveness. It requires: at least one morale building on a +approval tile on the target planet and 800 bc to pay for Information Warfare.
It also helps if the planet already has a low approval. But it made taking a capital with 16 billion people possible with an invasion of 6 billion or so, with worse soldiering bonuses than the defenders.
Also, considering how much I paid for some of those agents (all the cheap ones having been used to stop enemy agents), I should get some benefit for using them strategically.
It adds needless complexity, micromanagement, and brings very little to the game, other than a moronic money-sink for out of control powerful economies.
Because I totally said it was exactly as it should be and didn't require any improvements, right? I especially did not say that I think it needs the 2.0 overhaul, right?
I think the last expansion claimed it was "fan built" on one of their (decieving) advertisements for the expansion. Whatever that means, I don't know, maybe it means the devs played the game. Once.
I never really noticed the advertising. Fans beta tested it (and bought into the beta testing by preordering), but it wasn't fan-built. It was Stardock built. I don't believe such an advertisement exists.
I'm sure the devs play the game - I know Frogboy plays it frequently when developing an expansion, and makes changes during his playtests if things aren't doing what they should.
The question you shouldn't be asking isn't whether they've played the game at all, but what they see in the new espionage system that you do not.