Author Topic: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map  (Read 3483 times)

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Offline Mart

Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2018, 06:54:50 PM »
...
I hate random events.  The bad ones are way worse than anything the good ones give you.  I have rage quit many games due to random events, and have gone through long periods of time playing the game option "No Random Events".  This particular one hasn't bothered me in quite a long time, and I have to wonder why it is doing so now.  I have the Planetary Energy Grid.  That's an energy bank in every single city.  It doesn't seem to be proof against this random event at all, as I've had this happen in a game before while having the Grid.

...

Just had a thought, it is "Energy Market Crash." Are you running Free Market? I do not know this, but maybe this particular random event just often happens when FM is selected. And may have not be remedied by Energy Banks, as it is not overload.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #61 on: March 10, 2018, 08:20:25 PM »
Well yes indeed I was running Free Market for 1/2 of the game, and all of the time the 2 crashes happened.  Maybe you're on to something.

I similarly noticed that when playing the Free Drones, I only got the Drone revolts where they join another faction, when I was in a Free Market.  Maybe that's an artifact of the effects of FM on my faction, in that game.  Or maybe it's actually coded into FM, that Free Drones don't like Capitalism and will readily revolt against it.  Anyways it was a severe PITA and caused me to stop playing the Free Drones so much.   Of all the factions I've played, it's the one I had the least experience with, until recently.  I do have several AARs about the Free Drones, but they might be text only.  I definitely remember doing a lot more Democratic Planned economies at some point.

Tough to NOT notice that Green's AARs were in what our circle came to call "monsters"

The only kind of "monsters" I've done so far are monster maps.  I do have a lot of text AARs about those, from about a year ago.  Then I thought better of bothering and went back to Huge.  Nowadays I'm realizing they offer something to explore that even a Huge map does not.  But I'm not crazy enough to go larger than 4X Huge anymore.

Offline PvtHudson

Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #62 on: March 14, 2018, 11:11:08 AM »
...maybe this particular random event just often happens when FM is selected...
No. I never use Free Market, and I've had market crashes.

To bvanevery: you cite 'no challenge' as a reason to not use sane map size. As I see it, you seek for strong AI opponents ('challenge'), and are averted by micromanagement and sheer number of bases and units ('too many mouseclicks'). So skew the game the way you need it: apply AI-beefing tricks, starting from satellite-boosted AIs, and cut on map size and amount of 'stuff'! 'Quick conquer grants me victory' you say? Take measures against early rushes, starting from upping intrinsic base defence. And is this easy victory concern true at all on maps larger than Small? While you conquer closest neighbor, others can run away with infrastructure and SPs, as you very well know. How experienced player finds balance between military and infrastructure is of great interest for less experienced ones. Also I once again second BUncle and appeal to add Antimind to the mix. Don't fix on 'standardness' of vanilla game, SMAX hasn't be so boring!

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #63 on: March 14, 2018, 05:13:42 PM »
I'm not sure what needs to happen to SMAC to make it a challenging + interesting game for me now, after all the time I've spent with it.  One answer is I need to get on with writing my own 4X TBS game.  Another answer is to do these very long winded AARs, which provides diversion from the core problems of the game.  Acts of reportage take over.  However I think at some point, I will have done reportage and for the amount of time spent, what further role could that possibly have in my life?  I feel like right now I'm on a sort of death march to "bang out one good one" so that I can say I've been there, done that.  What would I explore in a game that I haven't explored in the one I'm currently playing?  Maybe something cantankerous with a lot of nukes, deliberately eschewing the kind of "build everything with Formers" approach I usually do.  But I feel like I'm running out of choice in this game.  I may very well have seen it all.

What I like about the current game on Giant maps, is I simply have no option to do certain things.  I can't just steal techs, if someone is too far away.  I can't just invade them.  At least, not yet, in the absence of orbital insertions.  I've been playing a very long time and still don't have that enabling capability.

My current game indicates that a better game would simply eliminate certain options and capabilities.  So that the player doesn't have "infinite options to go in every direction" and dozens of ways to whip the tar out of opponents.  I don't miss supply pods for instance.  They're such a crutch.  I do end up feeling a certain sameness about the map though as result, that everything is the same.  So many minerals, energy, and nutrient resources here or there, none of it of any great consequence.  The Civ series ended up developing the concept of strategic resources and I think that was a wise move on their part, that something on the map should be genuinely special.  We have a few things, like The Manifold Nexus and the Monsoon Jungle, but mostly the map is pretty much the same.  Where are the Himalayas?  The parts of the map that make it not easy to get from A to B?

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #64 on: March 14, 2018, 06:45:36 PM »
A buncle challengetm for you, then: give us the anti-bvanevery AAR on the tiniest map the game will let you play.

It's extra-funny if you find a clever anti-bvanevery narrative voice, from full-Sam Kinison to full-Mr. Rogers.  It's extra less-work-than-usual for you being easy for a screenie to show everything nice and big, it's naturally a fast/short game, even if you play around not going for victory soonest, and I would be extra-pleased with you for having a game go at the notion and writing that there girldog up like a vulgar term.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #65 on: March 14, 2018, 08:13:34 PM »
If only I was getting the nerd points for it to be worth it.  I do intend to complete the current AAR, as I don't forsee anything being able to stop me from doing so.  But after that, I think I'll be taking a break, in pursuit of other things.  I'm at web page 5, reply #74 now, after 4 days of solid play.  This can't be rationalized as a productive use of time.  Only as reaching a goal, and once that goal is met...?

I've got 9 upvotes on Reddit for my current AAR.  I had 10 upvotes when I checked earlier.  My Pirates AAR has held steady at 13 upvotes.  Ok so Reddit isn't much of a crowd, whatever.  Looking at forum views here, "Does Miriam Suck?" has 655 views, "The Pirate Kingdom" has 512, my current one "Continental Consciousness" has 381.  I think content authors call this problem "the long tail".  How long does content have to sit around somewhere until it is noticed?  "Santiago vs. Random", a text only AAR I did a year ago, has 1537 views.

I'm not seeing a pattern that producing more of these things does any good.  Rather, more content just buries the old content.

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #66 on: March 14, 2018, 10:39:40 PM »
There could be a diminishing returns problem, yes - though Reddit tends to bury everything fast, doesn't it?  And we're a better archive?

On the previous thing, you'd get buncle pointstm and I'm saying please.  Please consider the small investment in pleasing me. ;nod :D ;)

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #67 on: March 15, 2018, 02:26:05 AM »
I shall, but I have to consider the time and timing, compared to all the other things I need to be doing.  I definitely can't sustain my current level of output.  Right now I'm just trying to cross the finish line.

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #68 on: March 18, 2018, 01:15:09 AM »
On another challenge, I could teach you how to make custom factions - my basic competence is in the art and the creative elements, and I've taught every other art-modder SMACer active in the wider community in the last ten years except Kilkakon.  Now, I'm not all terribly competent at the .txt stats stuff, not since AcEdit stopped working on the last two Windows, but I can point you at the basic information and you're definitely an order of magnitude ahead of me at that sort of programming-ish stuff, and I can find you someone to coach if you have any questions or get stuck, if that's needed, which I doubt.

Interested?  I do think custom factions might freshen the game for you, and you have a real gift for GIMP and are a pretty good writer...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #69 on: March 18, 2018, 04:34:47 AM »
Seriously, those skills need to be going into my own game effort.  Lately I've been scratching my head about how to navigate on globes.  Looked at a lot of different kinds of projections today.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #70 on: April 22, 2018, 02:11:51 AM »
A month later, I'm deep into completely reshuffling the tech tree.  I haven't added any techs, but I've moved all sorts of relationships between things around, trying to make the names for things "mean something" and have logical coherence, at least in my own mind.  I wonder if when I'm done and the dust settles, if anyone will think my take on "what these words mean" is any kind of improvement?  Or will it not matter.  We shall see.

There is the additional problem of deploying a mod, both in the present day, and getting people to use it in the future.  If one only modifies alphax.txt, that can make things easier.  However I've made tiny changes to the Hive and the Believers, so far.  From other archived posts, I've gathered that the AI behavior can be changed somewhat by tweaking some settings in the faction files, so I don't rule making out yet more tiny faction changes.  I will playtest for awhile before doing that, and ultimately all this work will lead to another AAR, to demonstrate the many results.

Another deployment problem, is whose work to write against?  I've written against plain vanilla SMAC.  My reasoning is that Yitzi patch is yet another deployment complication that I'm not prepared to solve yet.  Also, I'm not sure how many things in Yitzi are nice to have, really useful to have, or crucial.  I do know that the AI does not play any better in Yitzi, against myself in single player at least.

This may seem a bit OT from The Giant Pirate Kingdom, but there is a method to my madness.  The main one being bumping my own AAR work.   8)  The secondary one being that in my new extensive mods, Planet Busters are going full orbital ICBM.  You got 'em, you can make things die anywhere on Planet.  Up to a certain planet size that is; I'm not going to worry about planets larger than 256x128.  If someone wants to play on bigger planets than that, they can change the settings themselves.  The main tricks are to increase missile speed and also give it range, so that over a few turns at most, anything on Planet can be hit.  Max speed is 99 so I'm thinking a range of 3, meaning 3 turns until it needs to return to base, can hit anything on a 256x128 map.  It's only 128 squares to anywhere on such a map, so you could even go "the long way around" and hit yourself!

So, nukes that trigger Global Warming and cause everyone to drown, except the Pirates, will totally be a thing.  Having said that, I already played a non-AAR Pirate game, that I commented on elsewhere, where mere chemical weapons triggered quite the catastrophe.  I had to quit.  My early Pirate civilization couldn't survive the massive onslaughts.  Yep, chemical weapons used against humans do eco-damage.  Planet cries in anguish for Humanity, go figure.

Offline ih8regin

Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2020, 02:12:27 PM »
Just had a thought, it is "Energy Market Crash." Are you running Free Market? I do not know this, but maybe this particular random event just often happens when FM is selected. And may have not be remedied by Energy Banks, as it is not overload.
This is irrelevant. This particular event has a chance to happen if you are in the lead or second in the lead, you have 1000 credits or more, and you're playing IIRC Librarian or higher. Maybe there were other conditions for it to have a chance to proc, but there is NOTHING in the game to counter this event. Apart from stopping being the leading faction, or always having less than 1000 in your bank, meaning no subversions especially far from home. Same for meteor event that wipes you a city, but that thing also had city number restriction. The wiping satellites event is at least global, even if the AI is rarely to build a mineral or energy satellite to ever get affected by it.

The only kind of "monsters" I've done so far are monster maps.  I do have a lot of text AARs about those, from about a year ago.  Then I thought better of bothering and went back to Huge.  Nowadays I'm realizing they offer something to explore that even a Huge map does not.  But I'm not crazy enough to go larger than 4X Huge anymore.
Frankly, I'd rather you not run maps this huge. The problem is 256 in coordinates, which is exactly enough to roll over a byte-wide integer number, which were pretty common in the age of low memory like in '95. I recall you having a problem with an interceptor hitting some air unit which crashed your SMAX - while playing your 4X huge map, this can quite be the result of an uncovered bug with short integers. I'd advise you tone your 4x huge map down to 120x240, or 124x248, just to not reach 256. This might also solve some problems with AI placement.

On a side note, I have once played a very huge map in line of "4X huge", with a SSC as Morgan. Won with Transcend, but mostly because only Sparta ever arrived at my doorstep to pester with their sea bases and occasional noodle. Should there be more crowded around my lil' energy park, I might have been overrun instead. Therefore I believe that running on too big maps is detrimental to AI instead of being beneficial.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: The Giant Pirate Kingdom - 256x128 map
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2020, 02:39:14 PM »
Well that takes some of the mystery out of Energy Market Crash beatings!  I really really hate how it tells you to build more energy banks, when I have the Planetary Energy Grid.  Completely deceptive and disingenuous.

I have an actual thread about the map generator in the Modding forum I think.  I'll necro it.

 

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