Author Topic: Rules for all Alpha Centauri PBEM and IP games hosted here  (Read 27636 times)

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Offline L29Ah

Re: Rules for all Alpha Centauri PBEM and IP games hosted here
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2016, 03:03:20 PM »
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  • The bug/trick list referenced by OP looks unavailable.

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    Re: Rules for all Alpha Centauri PBEM and IP games hosted here
    « Reply #46 on: July 22, 2016, 03:24:23 PM »
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  • I got an index instead of the article directly linked, but you want SMAC Bugs, Undocumented Features, Tricks, and Traps by - Bingmann if you're getting the index...

    Wait no, it just reloads that index.  Frustrating, and I've no idea what to do about it.  I'll try to get sisko on the case...

    Offline Nevill

    Re: Rules for all Alpha Centauri PBEM and IP games hosted here
    « Reply #47 on: March 02, 2017, 01:49:56 PM »
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  • 2. A player may not use build queue manipulation or other loopholes to hurry production at a cost that would be lower than directly hurrying the item that one intends to build.

    I can say that I have never completely agreed with that rule.

    I regularly swap production of units to buildings and back, because buildings can be hurried at a fixed cost, while unit costs are flexible depending on multiple factors, and I can't be bothered with counting how much I need to pay to hurry it partially.

    I often hurry the first 10 minerals separately to be able to hurry the rest at regular prices later, and I use buildings for that. It costs me 4 credits per mineral, while hurrying a unit normally would cost 5+ depending on the unit. It is technically a violation of the rule as stated, or at least a grey area, except who is going to tell me what the item I intend to build is? I can change production at any time.

    Retool penalty takes care of most of the abuse cases. If you hurry past 10 minerals and then switch, you are going to lose half of what you paid for. That's pretty fair, and generally not worth abusing. Therefore, it's only the cases where the retool penalty does not apply we need to be worried about.

    The one case I can think of when it might be abused is when a base has Skunkworks, which... I think eliminates the retooling penalty within a category? But the facility is useless otherwise, so if a player builds it, all the power to them.

    Essentially, I think the rule exists to protect the players from manipulations described in the Treatise on Hurrying by Maniac, which was known since 2004. However, since it would be hard to formulate precisely what the exact problem is (because there are multiple factors contributing to it), it was simplified to a more digestible form, which infringes on normal gameplay.

    Not sure what can be done about it. I suppose one can list the tricks that are definitely exploits (prototype hurrying to switch the production later, retiring the design to avoid the retooling penalty etc), but that'd have its own problems. I end up mostly ignoring it when I do not think what I am doing qualifies as an abuse.

    Kind of like with Rule 5.
    Quote
    5. A player is not permitted to make more than one social engineering change per line, per turn. For instance, one is not permitted to start the turn in wealth, switch to power mid-turn for the extra disbanded minerals, and then switch back to wealth that same turn, getting the refund.

    I know it exists for the sole purpose of limiting the effectiveness of Maniac Maneuver described above, i.e. to prohibit cheap hurrying by messing with the INDUSTRY stat. There is nothing else that can be exploited, so I switch back and forth between civics however much I want to (to estimate how much money/research I can make with various governments), simply making a note not to disassemble any units and/or not to use any crawlers while I am at it.

    Here's a thread with a lot more information on the former move thing - a really quick skim indicates I may have actually described it right...

    http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=4339.msg32979#msg32979

    You described it right, but the thread that you linked to describes something that I don't think exists in the game.

    There is a real problem where a former that was given a task some time prior and completes it this turn (greying out in the process) can be given another task the same turn, potentially doubling its effectiveness.

    You can have 12 formers planting a borehole per turn this way, as opposed to per every two turns.
    « Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 01:47:27 PM by Nevill »

    Online Kirov

    Re: Rules for all Alpha Centauri PBEM and IP games hosted here
    « Reply #48 on: March 03, 2017, 12:24:47 PM »
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  • I regularly swap production of units to buildings and back, because buildings can be hurried at a fixed cost, while unit costs are flexible depending on multiple factors, and I can't be bothered with counting how much I need to pay to hurry it partially.

    I believe that hurry costs are a feature and I don't think 'not wanting to be bothered' is a good enough reason for me.

    Quote
    I know it exists for the sole purpose of limiting the effectiveness of Maniac Maneuver described above, i.e. to prohibit cheap hurrying by messing with the INDUSTRY stat. There is nothing else that can be exploited,

    Off the top of my head, AI faction leaders judge you on the SE you have currently on, so there is an exploit which consists in setting 'Green' just to talk to Deirdre, etc. There's probably more.

    Of course, you can mess around with the SE screen as much as you want and then e.g. change specialist allocation to see how much money you would make. Just don't take advantage of any SE immediate effects, is all.


    You can obviously play the way you want, but multiplayer is multiplayer and rules are to be followed. You can also present your case for dismissing a rule for everyone, but I can't say I'm convinced with that rushbuild thing. Whatever you think about the rules and whatever you insist on, make absolutely sure that you follow the same rules as everyone else. The above is a default so you must clearly state that you offer an alternative. If that is complied with, I'm fine with whatever it is you want to do.

    Offline Nevill

    Re: Rules for all Alpha Centauri PBEM and IP games hosted here
    « Reply #49 on: March 03, 2017, 12:47:22 PM »
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  • I believe that hurry costs are a feature and I don't think 'not wanting to be bothered' is a good enough reason for me.
    I believe the same about the ability to change production.

    First ten minerals (or whatever is designated in the txt file) can be anything one wants them to be and can be retooled freely, regardless of what you are building. You can start a building and then switch production towards a different unit, it's the way the game was intended to be played.

    Are you saying that starting a building, hurrying it up to, say, 10 minerals, then changing production next turn to something else would be breaking the rule? Because if you aren't, then I don't see how starting the actions list above with  'building a unit' would suddenly become illegal. And if you *are* saying that... well. I wonder how any games where one switches production get finished.

    There is an inconsistency in the game mechanics that allows the first 10 minerals to be anything at all, and the game even has a separate ruleset for it, yet makes the hurrying costs different based on what you are building at the time.


    On the other hand, retiring the design to switch production to Stockpile Energy, and then taking advantage of there being no retooling penalty when you switch from Stockpile Energy is clearly an oversight/exploit.

    Edit: as for the change proposal, I think fitting the retool penalty in there somewhere might work if we agree on the principle behind the rule. This would definitely make the rules a bit more difficult to understand, though.

    Edit2: did a quick math estimate, and if you at any point hurried a facility, then switched production to a unit that costs more than 50 minerals, then you are in violation of the rule as stated, because you technically have hurried the unit for less. That's regardless of the retool penalty. I somehow doubt that was the intent.


    Edit3: I think simply limiting the exploits that enable Maniac Maneuver would be enough.
    a) If you use a supply crawler or an alien artefact to hurry a prototype, you must finish the construction of the prototype before switching production
    b) Retiring a design that is currently in production is not allowed.

    Also, I think the rules are missing one MAJOR bug. Retiring a unit design retires it from the game entirely, including the units of other players. I think that the use of this function should be prohibited because it does not work right. So the second rule may as well be this:

    b*) Retiring designs is prohibited. Players must use Obsolete instead.
    « Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 06:28:48 PM by Nevill »

     

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