Author Topic: jacking up Borehole and Condenser cost  (Read 253 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: jacking up Borehole and Condenser cost
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2019, 11:30:54 PM »
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  • but with ++GROWTH AI can popboom with creeche and only one: demo, or planned.
    So most AIs boom at simillar stage player can.

    Makes me wonder if AI factions have been pop booming all along even with the stock binary, and I never noticed.  But if so it doesn't trouble me, because it's what I'm used to and balanced my mod against.  There's less early GROWTH in my mod, because my Democratic gives +1 ECONOMY +1 JUSTICE (aka EFFIC) -2 POLICE.

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    With increasing terraforming cost you make these features super boring ( takes forever )

    In general regarding "super boring", let's remember that you prefer Standard maps or smaller.  I play on Huge.  Not larger than that lately, but never smaller.  I play on empires that are filling up the world with a lot of terraforming over time.

    I never built Condensers and Boreholes.  About 2+ years ago I did some heavy duty Condenser and Borehole games on really big maps, I forget how large.  Checked that sort of "been there, done that" off my list.  Never really saw them as being all that beneficial compared to a good foresting, Hybrid Forests, and Mines worked by workers in the cities with the Hybrid Forests.  It never helped me against the AI factions in the stock unmodded game, at any rate.

    The only reason I've revisited the question of Condensers at all, is because Thinker mod is doing it.  Otherwise to me they just don't have any point.  They never fit nicely on squares, you're always irrigating a bunch of rocks or something.  I know I want my forests on the Flat Moist ground to improve their mineral content.  I'm very much in the "forest and forget" school of thought on terraforming. 

    And I haven't built a single Borehole yet, despite Thinker mod's goading.  Heck I often don't even get around to building Mines anymore.  I find that the fungus becomes edible, somewhat mineral laden, and energy rich.  I build Genejack Factories nowadays, but I really don't build Robotic Assembly Plants or any more advanced factory.  I find the eco-damage penalties are prohibitive for a human player.  So I just don't do it.  I hand terraform every single square of my empire, and I do not like having a global flooding ruining all my work.

    Yeah, Boreholes, great way to get in eco-damage trouble.  Eco-damage for a human player is severe on Transcend.

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    and useless for the player

    I already think Condensers and Boreholes are kinda useless for the player.  I figure for food, well, I just made Soil Enrichers 25% cheaper.  That's like all those Civ games where you put your farm on top of a farm, I forget what that was called.  Farmland?

    For minerals, I don't use 90% of the Rocky terrain I've got available to me as is.  I've played games where I've put supply crawlers everywhere on those, it usually just makes you have to rebuild a bunch of stuff due to fungal pops.  What's the point?  Tree Farms and Hybrid Forests will be along soon enough.  Lately, in late game I just plant fungus on top of all that Rocky terrain.  It's a better use for it.

    So that leaves energy.  Do I care about energy?  I'm really Meh about energy.  I've crawled my capitol to get all the energy to the +100% labs and so forth.  I think that gets really boring.  I've experimented with crawling the oceans for energy.  I probably should have just gone ahead and won those games by outright military conquest.  What's the point of all this stuff?  It all feels like churn to me anyways.

    The game has twice as much crap in it as it needs to.

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    and crippling for the AIs.

    I never saw the stock binary build any meaningful Condensers or Boreholes at all.  Even on Enormous or Giant maps with all the time in the world to do it.  Traditionally, these are mostly human exploits.

    24 turn Condensers didn't cripple a darned thing for Thinker mod.  It slowed it down a bit.  36 turn Condensers moved to Advanced Ecological Engineering is still subject to playtest. I hope it helps.  I predict it'll merely slow down the monstrosity, not stop it.

    Slowing things down is important because it gives a human player time to do something else.  Like invade your sorry Condenser slinging ass from halfway around a Huge world.  I can't in good conscience just have all these giveaway buffs for the AI, stacked one on top of the other.  Planet itself is supposed to be restraining this crap and that isn't meaningfully applied to the AI at all.

    Boreholes, well we'll see what the Thinker mod AI will do.  I know it'll build a 40 turn Borehole, without Super Formers.

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    You are not taking into account exponential growth, 8 turns for mine and you are already collecting minerals, you use them to build more formers/crawlers to crawl even more minerals.
    While meantime AI will build borehole for many turns, without any returns while former is eating support and there is risk it will get destroyed before it finish.

    Which is great, perfect, fantastic.  Abusive exponential strategies should be punished mercilessly.  The game shouldn't be a GET RICH QUICK pyramid scheme because you followed the One Golden Path to absolute victory.  I think your Formers should be killed by mindworms.  Specifically, Planet is supposed to be doing that job.  And it doesn't, for the AI, so....

    If Formers getting killed is ever really a problem, and I predict it won't be, then Induktio could write the magic code where he puts a Trance Scout on top of his construction site.  Or the magic code where more Empath R-Laser Speeders get built to take out enemies before they get to stuff that needs to be protected.  Or the magic code where 12 Formers show up and finish the job in 6 turns.  I use big Former fleets to do big jobs all the time.  Why shouldn't the AI?

    Or simplest of all, the magic code where he builds Trance 3-Res Formers instead of the usual Formers.  I know he can write that code, his overhaul of the unit design is one of his prouder achievements.  And if he couldn't write it, I could put it in my mod as a predefined unit when Boreholes become available.  Then he only has to use it.  Of course, armoring up your Formers costs more, and that's the point.  You gotta pay for stuff, bear costs, not just have an unlimited ocean of free giveaways.  Trance actually costs 1 in my mod, it's not a free lunch.

    In my mod you can build Clean Formers if you're so worried about support.  Clean Reactor comes in the same tech as Genejack Factory, so you shouldn't be worrying about this.  You should have plenty of minerals and not even care about support at that point.  But if you are worried, I was really nice and dropped the cost of a Clean Reactor to 1.  I don't think they're all that valuable by the time they're available in the game.  I experimented with having them available much earlier in the game, specifically to help out the stock AI with the running out of minerals problem.  But the stock AI was too stupid to take advantage of it, so I returned it to a more traditional place in the tech tree.

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    Want to nerf borehole? Change it to 4 4 from 6 6, way less powerful

    It's an option, but not what I'm playtesting right now.  It lacks aesthetic grandiosity.  The (0,4,8) idea doesn't have this problem, it's equally grand.

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    and you don't cripple ai

    There's no evidence yet that the AI is crippled in any way by cost changes.  Remember, the stock game doesn't even build the damn things except once in a blue moon.  I have many AAR writeups of vast games played where the stock AI didn't do it.

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    and make it super tedious/useles for the player.

    Ok, how many Boreholes do you personally build per game?  And how many Fomers would you estimate you build?

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    Terraforming ecodamage is non issue, just build tree farm + hybrid forest.

    BS!  "Just" build those things when Thinker mod AI is racing ahead as fast as it is?  There's no time.  The total eco-damage giveaway they get, puts them so far ahead of you in tech and productivity it's not even funny.  You'll sit around building Hybrid Forests as it starts to build Sky Hydroponics Labs.  Which is saying a lot in my mod, they do not come early like in the stock game.

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    You don't really need food from condensers before hab domes,

    Glad you think so.  Good reason to require Advanced Ecological Engineering.

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    With Ytzi patch I used to have 4 4 boreholes and condensers that didn't provide any extra food, only rainfall ( possible with Ytzi patch ). Now when AI can utlize them, I see no need to nerf these.

    That's good evidence but I'm never going to require Yitzi patch for my mod.

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    Play on standard map, buildup phase is way shorter - less tedious,  more options - you can rush instead of building up,

    Rushing is pretty much the only strategy that matters on a Standard map.  Compared to a Huge map, everything on Standard is "close quarters battle".  I think against an AI, it's a baby game.  I'll change my mind if I see Thinker mod actually defending itself, but in the February release, its defense was worse than stock binary.  I'm still playtesting March release per my other thread, and I haven't started fighting yet.

    Quote
    no need to cripple AI.

    I think you are confusing crippled for constrained.  Crippled is when you see an AI get stuck with their starting cities, no minerals, no expansion.  I call it "vapor locked", as after a phenomenon in old cars.  And the March development release of Thinker mod is crippled somehow.  Observed with 3 factions in my current test game.  Has nothing to do with anything I did.  All that crippling happened before any Condenser was available.
    « Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 11:48:35 PM by bvanevery »

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: jacking up Borehole and Condenser cost
    « Reply #16 on: March 18, 2019, 02:19:34 AM »
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  • Boreholes are like chicken pox
    Boreholes are like chicken pox

    MY 2238.  Domai has got a Borehole now.  He doesn't have the Weather Paradigm, so I know he paid at least 60 turns for that.  This settles the question of whether Thinker AI will pay for 60 turn boreholes.  It will.  Complaining about Formers getting killed is a hand wave / totally invalid argument.  Obviously the Drones have terraformed the crap out of all the land around where the Borehole was built, for miles and miles around.  No mindworm is just going to wander up.  Now if a fungal pop took out some Borehole construction, I would consider that excellent.  And I know that's not really going to happen, because the game cheats like a mad dog on AI eco-damage.


    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: jacking up Borehole and Condenser cost
    « Reply #17 on: March 18, 2019, 07:21:01 AM »
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  • Well I quit my latest test game.  Among other things, I conclude that I need to test more expensive supply crawlers.  It's really hard to put any kind of brake on the way Thinker mod AI abuses stuff.  I think every tool in the toolbox is going to be required.

    I will try changing

    Code: [Select]
    Supply Transport,     Supply,         0,10, 8, -1, IndAuto,
    to

    Code: [Select]
    Supply Transport,     Supply,         0,10, 30, -1, IndAuto,
    At this value, an infantry chassis Fusion supply crawler costs 50, same as an Artifact.  The fission version costs 80.  That's harsh but I don't see a way around it.  Fusion reactors come almost immediately after you get supply crawlers in my mod, and I can't have that reducing the cost to 30.

    Offline Induktio

    Re: jacking up Borehole and Condenser cost
    « Reply #18 on: March 19, 2019, 12:59:28 PM »
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  • > insist on playing on the biggest map sizes and the highest difficulty level

    > complain about the AI growing too big

    Well, some things are hard to solve. But many drastic cost/value changes will mess up the AI strategy for sure.

    After a quick glance, it looks like the eco damage is calculated in function 0x4E9CB0 "base_minerals". Equalizing the eco damage between AIs/humans would probably require rewriting that function, so that's where the relevant code is. I don't see implementing that myself as any kind of priority now though.
    « Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 02:07:09 PM by Induktio »

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: jacking up Borehole and Condenser cost
    « Reply #19 on: March 19, 2019, 03:05:39 PM »
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  • > insist on playing on the biggest map sizes

    Huge is hardly the biggest map size.  It's the size at which the game is not about immediately rushing your enemy in close quarters.  Your new faction placement algorithm aside, which seems to enjoy putting opponents into cage matches.

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    > and the highest difficulty level
    > complain about the AI growing too big

    Why should I change my standard of what's been an appropriate level of challenge for 20 years?  There's a difference between the AI being smart and the AI being given large gifts.  Jacking up costs is about taking away the gifts, closing the exploits.

    Quote
    Well, some things are hard to solve. But many drastic cost/value changes will mess up the AI strategy for sure.

    Actually there's still no evidence for this.  For instance in my current test game, the Morganites have the Weather Paradigm.  It's almost business as usual for them.  The Gaians don't, but they have Industrial Automation which gives both supply crawlers and Thermal Boreholes.  They're still the leading faction of the game.

    Quote
    After a quick glance, it looks like the eco damage is calculated in function 0x4E9CB0 "base_minerals". Equalizing the eco damage between AIs/humans would probably require rewriting that function, so that's where the relevant code is. I don't see implementing that myself as any kind of priority now though.

    Well if you've found it, that's good to know.  Why is it a rewrite?  Why isn't it just inserting a "5" where there's a "3" ?

     

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