Author Topic: Yitzi's unofficial SMAX patch 3.1e  (Read 7774 times)

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Offline Question

Re: Yitzi's unofficial SMAX patch 3.1e
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2014, 05:25:11 PM »
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Long-term, I'm not so sure about that.  Nutrients become quite powerful in the late game (earlier with mods), and farm+enricher+condenser is unquestionably the best for nutrients.  (Even with condensers nerfed somewhat, it's still enough to give a large advantage over forests+boreholes if not for requiring higher former time.)

Im not sure about that, considering that its important to get fungal pops at least until it causes global warming (which can be stalled with solar shades, although its funny how alien factions cant do that). Minerals are worth a lot more than energy because there are huge penalties for rush buying units and secret projects. Then again its possible this is different in MP.

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No, it's specifically designed to favor attacking in the field, but defending in bases.  The viable-in-most-cases options to take one filled to the brim with units are, while not quite bugs, unintended flaws in the game.

I'm not sure about that. If an attacker brings more artillery or altitude favors him, the base is screwed even if theres a huge defending stack, and there are a lot more bonuses for attacking than defending. With naval bases, stacking ground based artillery + AAA garrisons is enough to render it untakable compared to a land base.

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Not to a halt; you can always attack formers/crawlers, go after less-well-defended bases, or simply be a more military-focused faction (from faction ID or social engineering.)  It does limit warfare, which is a good thing (since SMAX loses a lot of its depth if it becomes just a war game).

True, but against the AI its more of a matter of getting that last annoying base out of the way which you cant do because of how long naval vs ground artillery duels take.

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Can't you just use transports, with warships to escort them?

Yes but the warships will be outshot by land based artillery. And once you land troops your success is dependant on whether you can bring more land based artillery on transports than the enemy, and since you are spending resources on transports and warships, that heavily favors him.

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No, it's quite easy if you don't go mostly forests.

If you dont have rainy tiles and dont have condensors yet to make tiles rainy, it will be very difficult to hit pop size 7. Moist + farm is going to be nutrients at best.

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Why are you sending them to other bases, if they're already homed to the bases that can afford to support them?

OK lets say you have 6 bases right? And one or two are your main production bases. So you make units in those, but you hit the support cap pretty quickly. You need to change their home base to the other bases that havent hit their support caps yet, but to do that you need to spend time walking the units over to set their home bases then walking them back to wherever you want them. It adds a potentially long delay to how quickly you can utilize the new units you just bought. This would be less of an issue if you could change home bases without needing to be physically at the new base to do so.

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Because you're trying to use it to speed up a biology lab, which is not a secret project.

But im not, i used it to speed up a secret project via the popup window. The issue is the game isnt carrying over resources correctly. E.G. Lets say a base is producing 50 minerals a turn and its also working on a 200 mineral secret project. I use a 200 mineral supply crawler to speed up the project, this is perfectly fine and intended. But the game decides to use 50 minerals from the base + 150 from the crawler then junk most of the remaining 50 minerals, instead of using 200 from the crawler than carrying over the 50 from the base. That doesnt really make sense...
 
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True, but artillery isn't meant to be such a huge part of the game that it becomes a major issue.

Artillery isnt a major part of the game? But it pretty much decides warfare till air power at least. If you dont have artillery, the enemy artillery can simply bombard your units at their leisure, dropping them to either 1% on land or 50% in a base.

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You misunderstand: The one from the project is not really there and does not cost energy to maintain or provide a grid bonus, whereas one that is built (even if it is later gotten from a project as well) costs energy to maintain but does provide a grid bonus.

Uh if the ones from the secret project dont cost energy to maintain, then why does the economy screen show that they do cost energy to maintain?

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Ah; I think the solution there is to weaken pop booming so they don't grow quite as fast (especially if you're going forest rather than farm/enricher).

Im not sure if thats a good idea, i dont think people want to wait 10+ turns hitting end turn just so that their bases can grow to use the newly terraformed tiles.

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This is because sea tiles have a rockiness level like land tiles (though it isn't shown and doesn't have many consequences), and if it's not rocky it's considered open ground; the only reason it's psi and unarmed units only is that non-psi units with attack can shoot back and so it's a duel rather than bombardment.

My main concern is that psi units at sea become trivial since a single warship can one shot demon boil isles/sea lurks with ease.

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It depends on the rockiness of the square (which also affects the time taken to build tidal harnesses.)
That is very strange, shouldnt all sea tiles have the same rockiness level at least?

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This is because an air unit attacking another air unit with SAM (except maybe in a base, I'm not sure) is considered a dogfight, which has different rules.

Is there any reason why resonance weapons shouldnt work vs locusts in that scenario then, when used by air units? Same for artillery.

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As far as I can tell, they can't make artillery attacks.

Strange, if i select a artillery unit loaded on a transport, i can right click -> long range fire with no problems.

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That would be because they're not in flight and therefore get the open ground bonus...

I was wondering more along the lines of, why does an airbase count as open ground, but its not a big deal.

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This is because it's defending on the ground, not in the air.

If they are defending on the ground, shouldnt they be defending with the armor value instead? A plane on a ground cant shoot back.

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Reverse engineering refers to the exploit where you take that unit with missile launchers and change the chassis, armor, reactor, and/or abilities to get new units despite not having the tech for missile launchers.

Oh so you cant actually reverse engineer units with tech you dont have to get an advantage? Thats a dissapointment, i thought that was a feature.

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It is indeed drones-rules-8 related; you have 1 superdrone (bright red drone), which counts as 2 drones under rule 8, and only 1 talent, which is why it riots.

Why does The Hive have a super drone though? Also after taking into account police/psych/etc, the superdrone is turned into a normal worker (no drones visible at the end), so why is the hive still rioting at that point? I also dont get how the great collective has the same facilities and the same amount of psych, but is ending up with 2 drones and The Hive ends up with 0 drones.

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Can I have a screenshot of the amounts required?

See screenshot. This is on a small map which seems to get a growth bonus (the second pic is after switching to planned with +2 growth). It looks like small maps have a 10% growth and industry bonus and SE choices dont stack with those. So switching to planned is effectively +1 growth only on small maps. The +1 industry does nothing as it does not stack with the small map 10% lower mineral costs.  This also applies to faction bonuses as Yang's +1 growth and +1 industry dont stack with the small map bonus, and Gaians effectively have the same growth/industry as Yang (at least, at the start of the game). This makes everyone more powerful on smaller maps except for the factions which have growth/industry bonuses.



Offline Question

Re: Yitzi's unofficial SMAX patch 3.1e
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2014, 05:45:46 PM »
Theres also a bug with the way unit promotions work. Sometimes units get stuck and never promote at all despite winning countless battles. In this save, the trained missle infantry will not promote to veteran even after defeating 10 scout patrols which i spawned using the scenario editor...if i spawn a new unit though, that one upgrades to veteran just fine.

Not sure if bug : It still costs energy to upgrade to a new unit with lower or same mineral cost.

Offline Nexii

Re: Yitzi's unofficial SMAX patch 3.1e
« Reply #47 on: October 18, 2014, 08:29:29 PM »
Yea, I had the idea of support being more automated.  It's one of those tedious areas of the game that doesn't really add much strategic value.  The idea was that your support cap would instead be faction-wide, but still depend on base count.
Example - 6 bases @ 0 SUP - 6*2 = 12 units supported.
3 size-4, and 3 size-7 bases @ 3 SUP - 3*4+3*7 = 33 units supported.

It is a gameplay change though, as then low-M bases can continue to make troops when under siege.  It would also have to be determined how SUP cost would be distributed.  I assume on a % of total mineral production basis, with highest mineral base being chosen in the case of a tie.

The upgrade thing isn't a bug, you can set what that costs in alphax.txt

I think that +GROWTH/IND thing also affects AI on higher difficulties, and when you set N/row to values other than 10.  The game will round to the nearest # of rows.

Far as artillery I've never found it that strong, since its damage per turn is limited.  You can reduce that by modding also though.  Same with the land vs sea artillery bonus.  And sea invasions should be costly, historically it has been very hard to invade island nations.  In fact I kind of like this aspect, with raising disabled.  The downside of being on an island is that you don't get as many bases.  So I think it can even out.

I wouldn't underestimate E heavy strategies.  Commerce can triple E with multiple pacts and global trade pact, and early facilities double economy/labs again.  Also E/sq tends to surpass M/sq (moreso at +2 ECON, but also with HF, echelon).  So E facilities have more value, and M has the really big downside of polluting also.  I think the balance is about right.  Somewhere around 3:1 or 4:1 rush costs is okay.  Of course you can mod terraforming to make some types give more E/M, for more interesting specialization.  I've been trying borehole at 0/0/8 and forest at 1/3/0.  You then can have 'unit' bases and 'science/economy' bases.

But yea, the whole talk about booming being overpowered, I personally don't buy it - at least with default terraforming values.  I put condensors earlier (Gene) and still don't see how it's that useful.  You foremost need the drone control and enough E production for it to be worth it.  By the time you get all that a base will have naturally grown to a decent size.  I considered modding such that Condensor is available from the start - but keeping the 2N/sq cap until Gene.  This way dry terrain could at least get to 2N in the early game.  I think there's still a bug where condensor squares ignore the N cap.  Afaik only bonus resource tiles should exceed the cap, even then that could be debated.

Offline Yitzi

Re: Yitzi's unofficial SMAX patch 3.1e
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2014, 02:51:49 AM »
Im not sure about that, considering that its important to get fungal pops at least until it causes global warming (which can be stalled with solar shades, although its funny how alien factions cant do that). Minerals are worth a lot more than energy because there are huge penalties for rush buying units and secret projects. Then again its possible this is different in MP.

Why is it important to get fungal pops until it causes warming?

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I'm not sure about that. If an attacker brings more artillery or altitude favors him, the base is screwed even if theres a huge defending stack, and there are a lot more bonuses for attacking than defending. With naval bases, stacking ground based artillery + AAA garrisons is enough to render it untakable compared to a land base.

I think the intent is to make land bases as hard to take as naval bases; the "bug" is then that land bases can be taken with sufficient artillery even if the defender has similar amounts of artillery.

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True, but against the AI its more of a matter of getting that last annoying base out of the way which you cant do because of how long naval vs ground artillery duels take.

Yeah, it can be annoying if you're going for a quick conquest victory.  (But if it's just one last base, you should be able to swamp them with units anyway.)

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Yes but the warships will be outshot by land based artillery. And once you land troops your success is dependant on whether you can bring more land based artillery on transports than the enemy, and since you are spending resources on transports and warships, that heavily favors him.

No, you can bring non-artillery units and attack the base.  It'll require a tech or combat or production advantage, of course, but a strong defender's advantage is good for the game.

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If you dont have rainy tiles and dont have condensors yet to make tiles rainy, it will be very difficult to hit pop size 7. Moist + farm is going to be nutrients at best.

Moist+farm is 2 nutrients.  A person eats 2 nutrients.  So you won't grow that fast, but you can eventually hit pop 7.  Obviously a few rainy tiles will help a lot, as will crawlers or eventual condensers.

But yes, growing fast in the early game is supposed to be difficult.

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OK lets say you have 6 bases right? And one or two are your main production bases.

And the others have less minerals, but still produce 2 or 3 units each, enough to fill up their free support.

"Main production base" in wartime does not mean "produces 90% of your units until you hit your free support cap and then nobody produces any units".  It means "these bases are producing units full-time, and spending perhaps a third or even half of their production on support".

The game is designed with the assumption that free support is a boost, not a hard cap.

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But im not, i used it to speed up a secret project via the popup window.

And then you want to use those sped-up minerals on a bio lab.

You're trying to use carryover minerals to speed something up in a way that would not be possible without carryover minerals.  That is not supposed to be possible, and indeed it is not.

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The issue is the game isnt carrying over resources correctly.

It is; there is a hard cap on carried-over minerals equal to the base's production.

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E.G. Lets say a base is producing 50 minerals a turn and its also working on a 200 mineral secret project. I use a 200 mineral supply crawler to speed up the project, this is perfectly fine and intended. But the game decides to use 50 minerals from the base + 150 from the crawler then junk most of the remaining 50 minerals, instead of using 200 from the crawler than carrying over the 50 from the base. That doesnt really make sense...

If you set carried-over minerals to 50, and it's producing 50 minerals a turn, it should carry over all 50 minerals.  You're right that junking the stuff it produced that turn doesn't make sense, and if you have a scenario like that I can use a savegame to fix the bug.  But the case under discussion was where you have 100 minerals already on the project, so that it only needs 100 more; in that case, it will carry over the 50 minerals from production but not the 100 minerals extra from the supply crawler.
 
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Artillery isnt a major part of the game? But it pretty much decides warfare till air power at least. If you dont have artillery, the enemy artillery can simply bombard your units at their leisure, dropping them to either 1% on land or 50% in a base.

Not at leisure, because you can advance on them and attack them.  They need other units to defend their artillery, so the artillery alone isn't deciding warfare.

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Uh if the ones from the secret project dont cost energy to maintain, then why does the economy screen show that they do cost energy to maintain?

Savegame, please?  Or even screenshot of both the base in question and the economy screen?

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Im not sure if thats a good idea, i dont think people want to wait 10+ turns hitting end turn just so that their bases can grow to use the newly terraformed tiles.

There should be plenty of other things to do besides hitting end turn.

If someone wants bases to grow every turn, they can reduce terraforming times to match, but I don't think that will produce a very good game.

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My main concern is that psi units at sea become trivial since a single warship can one shot demon boil isles/sea lurks with ease.

This is true, and is on the list to make changeable.

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That is very strange, shouldnt all sea tiles have the same rockiness level at least?

I'd think so, but that's not how it works, and there doesn't seem to be a consensus that it's a bug; it's on my list to make an option to change it.

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Is there any reason why resonance weapons shouldnt work vs locusts in that scenario then, when used by air units? Same for artillery.

Because one of those different rules is that resonance doesn't work; it's on my list to make changeable.

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Strange, if i select a artillery unit loaded on a transport, i can right click -> long range fire with no problems.

I get a message "ground units may not bombard from the sea".  Savegame, please?

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I was wondering more along the lines of, why does an airbase count as open ground, but its not a big deal.

Any square that is flat (not sure about rolling) counts as open ground.

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If they are defending on the ground, shouldnt they be defending with the armor value instead? A plane on a ground cant shoot back.

Good point.  Ok, then I'm not sure why the rule is that it defends with attack value but no bonus.  If you want, you can start a poll about whether it's a bug, and if it is I'll fix it.  (If not, I've got a combat rework planned eventually.)

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Oh so you cant actually reverse engineer units with tech you dont have to get an advantage? Thats a dissapointment, i thought that was a feature.

You can, but it's generally considered an exploit (albeit one permitted in most MP games, not sure why), not a feature.

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Why does The Hive have a super drone though? Also after taking into account police/psych/etc, the superdrone is turned into a normal worker (no drones visible at the end), so why is the hive still rioting at that point? I also dont get how the great collective has the same facilities and the same amount of psych, but is ending up with 2 drones and The Hive ends up with 0 drones.

Ok, let's go through the full list of what happens in each base:

-The Hive is size 17, so at Librarian difficulty that means 14 drones.  However, there are only 13 non-specialists; without drones rule 8 the extra drone would disappear, but with drones rule 8 it instead turns one of your drones into a superdrone, so that now you have 12 drones and 1 superdrone for a total of 14 (superdrones count double for most purposes), as the base should have.  Your rec commons, hologram theater (from the Virtual World) and research hospital remove 5 drones, but your genejack factory adds one for 8 drones and 1 superdrone.  Your two police units (you might want to consider a third) remove 3 drones each (1+1 for nonlethal methods+1 for +3 POLICE), leaving 2 drones and 1 superdrone.  The longevity vaccine removes 2 more drones, leaving only the superdrone, and the human genome project adds a talent, leaving you at 1 talent and 1 superdrone for -1, i.e. it riots.  (I'm not sure what you mean about the superdrone being turned into a normal worker at the end; which drone rules code are you using?)

Great Collective has 18 population, meaning 15 drones; because there are only 2 specialists, that's 15 drones and no superdrones.  11 psych is enough to make 5 talents; because there are only 16 nonspecialists (not enough for 15 drones and 5 talents), 2 of the talents cancel with 2 of the drones for 13 drones and 3 talents.  As before, facilities remove 5 drones but add 1 for a total of 9, and police remove another 6 for a total of 3.  Secret projects remove 2 drones and add a talent, for a total of 6 talents and 1 drone.

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Can I have a screenshot of the amounts required?

See screenshot. This is on a small map which seems to get a growth bonus (the second pic is after switching to planned with +2 growth). It looks like small maps have a 10% growth and industry bonus and SE choices dont stack with those. So switching to planned is effectively +1 growth only on small maps. The +1 industry does nothing as it does not stack with the small map 10% lower mineral costs.  This also applies to faction bonuses as Yang's +1 growth and +1 industry dont stack with the small map bonus, and Gaians effectively have the same growth/industry as Yang (at least, at the start of the game). This makes everyone more powerful on smaller maps except for the factions which have growth/industry bonuses.[/quote]

Yes, the interaction between small maps and growth/industry bonuses is a potential problem, but I'm not sure how to deal with it.  (It's not a question of stacking, by the way, it's that reducing 9 minerals/nutrients per row by 10% isn't enough to bring it down to 8, so it stays at 9.)  I think, though, that increasing minerals and nutrients per row to 11 will cause it to be 10 on small maps, giving the normal results (though what effect that will have on other gameplay factors is another question.)

Theres also a bug with the way unit promotions work. Sometimes units get stuck and never promote at all despite winning countless battles. In this save, the trained missle infantry will not promote to veteran even after defeating 10 scout patrols which i spawned using the scenario editor...if i spawn a new unit though, that one upgrades to veteran just fine.

I'll put it on the list to investigate and fix.

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Not sure if bug : It still costs energy to upgrade to a new unit with lower or same mineral cost.

That depends on how you set the upgrade cost formula.

Yea, I had the idea of support being more automated.  It's one of those tedious areas of the game that doesn't really add much strategic value.  The idea was that your support cap would instead be faction-wide, but still depend on base count.
Example - 6 bases @ 0 SUP - 6*2 = 12 units supported.
3 size-4, and 3 size-7 bases @ 3 SUP - 3*4+3*7 = 33 units supported.

It is a gameplay change though, as then low-M bases can continue to make troops when under siege.  It would also have to be determined how SUP cost would be distributed.  I assume on a % of total mineral production basis, with highest mineral base being chosen in the case of a tie.

It would also mean that you can't leave your highest-mineral bases support-free for building projects or the like.  And of course there are other effects of home base, such as the morale penalty for riots...

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I think that +GROWTH/IND thing also affects AI on higher difficulties, and when you set N/row to values other than 10.  The game will round to the nearest # of rows.

Indeed.

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But yea, the whole talk about booming being overpowered, I personally don't buy it - at least with default terraforming values.  I put condensors earlier (Gene) and still don't see how it's that useful.  You foremost need the drone control and enough E production for it to be worth it.  By the time you get all that a base will have naturally grown to a decent size.  I considered modding such that Condensor is available from the start - but keeping the 2N/sq cap until Gene.  This way dry terrain could at least get to 2N in the early game.  I think there's still a bug where condensor squares ignore the N cap.  Afaik only bonus resource tiles should exceed the cap, even then that could be debated.

It's clearly intentionally programmed in, so it's definitely not a bug; whether it's good design is another question.

And I would agree that booming probably isn't overpowered; it has a number of detrimental effects on the game (such as making the optimal number of formers too high and making surplus nutrients past 2 too unimportant in the midgame), but "overpowered" probably isn't one of them.

 

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