Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38165 times)

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2018, 04:21:37 PM »
I started a new game as the University.  My goal was the opposite this time: what's it like to play with the best research speed possible?  Is the University overpowered now.  Well the basic and firm answer is no.  Yes I've had some technical advantages, but research on Enormous maps at least, is still darned slow even with the University.  My starting position was ok, but I found myself in the shadow of the Hive very soon.  They were aggressive and sent plenty of units my way, which I had to deal with.  I fought a defensive war successfully, but it was definitely a constraint upon me.  I really couldn't move in the direction of the Hive, and build Secret Projects I needed, and tour the oceans to pick up pods.

Ocean touring pretty much stopped happening entirely.  The Caretakers were on the water and usually violent.  They even took my few sea bases with foil probe teams.  It was trivial to take them back the same way, and mostly just gave me an opportunity to steal from them, although they really only had a map at that point.  Putting out a few sea bases as bait for long distance probes, is an effective way to infiltrate a violent enemy.

I deliberately accepted a period of Truce with the Hive once, even though I was starting to have the military advantage.  He was fighting the Caretakers on the other end of his large empire, and I wanted to give him the opportunity to withdraw all those units facing me and send them to the Caretakers.  It worked!  We did eventually go to war again, with far fewer units coming at me the next time.  The Caretakers are slowly getting crushed by the Hive, but the Hive has slipped a great deal in the overall faction rankings.  I'm considered stronger, neck in neck with 2 other factions in a 2nd tier of strength.  I think the Pirates are considered the best.

The various POLICE penalties in the Social Engineering choices are proving to be effective at constraining my behavior.  Going to -1 POLICE is doable, ala Free Market.  You still get 1 unit as police, just no nerve stapling.  I did this for quite a long time, just Free Market, no other social engineering choices.

Going Democratic is a hard choice because it guarantees at least -2 POLICE.  That means no more police units to keep people happy, so I waited quite awhile before I did that.  Democratic Free Market Knowledge is the worst POLICE rating at -4, which gives 1 drone per military unit away from your territory.  It's irritating, but I don't think it's unrealistic.  I actually think a bunch of academics would be the least likely people to want POLICE looking over their shoulder.

I never bought the idea that corporate capitalist regimes are averse to using POLICE.  Just look at the USA, we've got free speech and all of that, but we've also got the prison industrial complex.  I think I read that we incarcerate more people per capita than any other nation.  This is why Wealth imposes a MORALE penalty, not a POLICE penalty, and Free Market only gets a mild -1 POLICE penalty.

I have pursued a pure Discover research focus.  I've noticed an interesting phenomenon: I get all kinds of non-Discover techs anyways, like various Conquer or Explore techs.  This is not because my research speed is so amazingly fast, as I initially supposed about research factions played by the AI.  It's because the Discover techs are extremely "thin and vertical" in the tech tree.  The Discover techs aren't always fed by another Discover tech, because there are not enough of them to do that.  So the techs you get can become pretty random.  Since there are more Conquer techs than anything else, and after that more Explore techs early in the tech tree, that's what you end up with.  I'm ok with this behavior for now, not sure that I'll do anything to change it.

I managed to build The Virtual World.  I didn't have any real competition for that.  I was surprised that I didn't get Gene Splicing for a long time, which gives Research Hospitals and The Human Genome Project.  Eventually I did get it, possibly from The Planetary Datalinks, and did manage to get the HGP done.  This delay with a pure Discover focus, demonstrates how it's pretty close to pure blind research!  But you eventually get things that other factions aren't going to get, because they don't try to Discover.

Surprisingly, an AI that focused purely on Discover might do just fine, simply because of the randomization effect of discovering other techs.  I may test this, changing the University to pure Discover and see how it plays.

We had sunspots for a long time and I've been preparing for an invasion of the Hive.  I went Green for fear that my eco-damage might be getting severe in one of my cities, and I need it to produce The Ascetic Virtues uninterrupted.  I may not actually get that as Sparta has been working on multiple copies for awhile, but I will try.  Also to lower my POLICE to -3, which is "a drone for more than one unit away from territory".  Basically a Republic in Civ II terms.  That should be sufficient for taking the nearest Hive city.  I'm nearly done building an internal rail network, and will soon be driving a rail head into the Hive.  I thought I had enough Gatling Speeders to wipe the Hive, but we actually had enough border skirmishing, that I never even crossed into Hive territory the whole time.  Lotta Hive spam to keep killing; then my units get wounded and I have to bring them back to heal them.  Consequently, I've also been building a wave of mindworms to break through some of these unit slog stalemates.

Yep, the University is not overpowered.  I'm doing fine locally, but the Spartans and the Pirates have become rather strong, with nobody to constrain them.  The Caretakers are dying, and I don't think the Usurpers are doing much better.  The Believers are the runt civilization, having been eradicated early by Sparta and restarting somewhere else.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2018, 03:59:08 AM »
I think the Social Engineering choices are basically working and may not need any more revision.

I do seem to have a ridiculous amount of Efficiency, as a Democratic Green Knowledge Cybernetic faction.  That's +2 +1 +1 +2 = +6.  Problem is, there are only so many bonuses you can give a faction.  It's inappropriate to give Cybernetic people more Economy, I think.  I like the thematic choice of saying that going all cyborg is actually bad for talking to Planet, and making Eudaimonic the mildly pro-Planet choice.  I mean, Paradise Gardens are a Deirdre sort of thing in my view.  So I'm not giving a Planet bonus for now, which is a pretty significant change from the standard game... if Future Societies were significant anyways, and for the most part they weren't.  Now they're mid-game choices and you're expected to juggle 4 Social Engineering choices.  I will definitely await actual playtesting feedback, if I get any, before changing it again.

I guess there's the completely unused "give a TALENT" social engineering advantage, but I'm reticent about that.  Sounds overpowered.

I've found it is actually possible to get to -5 POLICE.  That would be Democratic Free Market Knowledge Cybernetic, resulting in -2 -1 -1 -1 = -5.  I chose Green primarily to avoid Planet problems, secondarily because it lets my army tromp around more.  I did succeed in building The Ascetic Virtues, even though competition had it in progress.

Yang is hapless now.  He spends most of his time exterminating the Caretakers, also a weak faction in the standings.  This tussle occupies the immediate large lands to the northeast of me.  Every once in awhile, Yang pipes up and declares war on me again.  So I take 1 or 2 more cities to shut him up.  Then I get back to research and infrastructure.  I've got Photon armor available now, what's he gonna do?  Heck I should make some cloaks while I'm at it, Photon also gives you cloaks in my mod.  The general principle is, put "interestingly different" techs earlier, put boring techs (bigger guns, bigger engines) later.

The real contenders are the Pirates, the Usurpers, and the Spartans.  They are far away and I don't have the logistics yet to take them on.  Lotta water separating us.  I did complete The Maritime Control Center at the last minute, but previous experience on Giant maps, is pushing ships to a distant enemy is extremely painful, even with the MCC.  I've quit games from getting tired of all the pushing, so I won't try it this time.

I've built Industrial Labs and Research Hospitals almost everywhere.  Most cities are working on Hybrid Forests.  I'm filling in the empty patches of my interior with brand squeaky new settlements, since there's a lot of naturally spread forest to take advantage of.  I figure I've certainly got the Efficiency to be quite large.  I'm just naturally filling out the corner of the continent that was contested between Yang and myself.

If I get done with all of that and still don't have enough to do, I could make a shell of sea bases in the vicinity of my capitol.  It's inland but quite near water, basically 1 city away is water.  I have a few sea bases in shallow water, but I wasn't naturally gifted with lots of shallow water.  I'd have to raise it all manually.  I do have Advanced Ecological Engineering, which is required for raising or lowering land in this mod.  You also need it for Boreholes.  I figure those are big engineering projects, they shouldn't be easy.  I like the idea of putting the brakes on "boreholes everywhere" people unless they've put time into getting The Weather Paradigm.  Then they can get started substantially earlier.  Otherwise, natural terrain features are going to be a barrier until late midgame.

Maybe once I don't need money to build stuff anymore, like Secret Projects at the last minute, I'll just put most of my budget into Labs and get techs a lot faster.  We'll see.  I think I just achieved tech parity, having stolen the last missing tech from Santiago.  That was easier with my Maritime Control Center accelerated foil probe teams.  Even so, it has taken a long time for Santiago to get anywhere remotely near me.  I have no idea how big she is, and my last probe is going to try to steal her map.  It's a long open ocean journey to get to a new base of hers.

Nobody has discovered Orbital Spaceflight or Supply Crawlers yet.  In theory, maybe I could have.  In practice, I went pure Discover and wanted Digital Sentience, which I got.  These are all Level 6 techs, and don't come into play until late midgame.  You don't get to make Sky Hydroponics Labs anytime soon either.  Those are *way* later.  The Cloudbase Academy is way later too.


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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2018, 01:38:58 AM »
impressive contempt for human life
impressive contempt for human life

Mission Year 2350.  Santiago nukeing the Pirates really took me by surprise.  I didn't think the AI was much capable of that sort of thing.

hands on buzzers doh
hands on buzzers doh

Sextant Cove was vaporized.  Looking at a previously saved turn, the city had no strategic importance and merely contained a bunch of Transports.  Nor did the Spartans have a decisive nuclear inventory, they just had that 1 nuke.  I don't see how this profits Spart and I suppose I can expect *that* from an AI.  Both Sparta and the Pirates have 1 nuke in production, with 20+ turns to complete either.

I'm only now working on my 1st nuke myself.  I could have it done in a few turns if I want.  I only discovered Supply Crawlers recently and have been throwing them at Secret Projects I needed to complete, then prototype units.  With this wakeup call, I've switched my research focus from Discover to Conquer.  I have the prereqs for Advanced Spaceflight, which confers Orbital Defense Pods and The Cloudbase Academy.  However my experience in a previous game is it still can take forever to get it.  Being the University I do have the option of dumping nearly my entire budget into Labs, so perhaps I can speed that up.  I hope I don't have to sweat too much too soon, as I'm hoping that Santiago's next nuke is directed at the Pirates again, not little old me.  And that the Pirates will likely return the favor. 

I'm also starting to build submarine carriers, on the idea of hiding some missiles out in the deep ocean and building a retalliation strike force.  Previous gameplay suggests that it's best to eliminate the enemy in 1 turn, then deal with the mindworm hordes and flooding.  Also one needs to have sea minerals available, as minerals will reduce to near zero as a hybrid forest economy is flooded out.  This time I've taken that precaution, so to the extent I've built anything at sea, I've built mining platforms.  I'm 95% land empire though.

I find that I'm questioning my decision to make Fusion engines come so late in the tech tree.  Some techs are prohibitively expensive and near useless without them.  For instance, I put hovertanks pretty early hoping that would jazz things up.  However at current prices I'd probably not use them for more than recon units.  It also becomes not straightforward to retire weapon designs.  Sure I might want the biggest and baddest weapons, but they're costly, and thereby tempt me to keep less expensive designs around.  This creates a lot of clutter in the workshop, a side effect I didn't anticipate.

The problem is that factories are also coming rather late in the game.  With my pure Discover focus, I haven't learned any factory technologies yet, and I'm substantially ahead of my adversaries on tech.  So it's starting to seem like everything will be painfully expensive for a very long time, which I'm not sure is all that much fun.  Also I wonder if the eco-damage will become prohibitive from factories once I do get them.  Or from supply crawlers: I'm starting to work all my rocky squares to make mines.  Well, I'll play on for now.  I do have a production route forward with supply crawlers.

As for the politics, the Hive came to understand my inherent military superiority, and eventually offered me a Treaty without me even having to take over any more of his cities.  I think it had something to do with consistently wiping out all the units he sent my way, and then not having any more to send.  The Usurpers offered me an alliance for reasons mysterious to me, as Marr was Noncommittal about it.  I took it, but I doubt it'll hold as he's now Belligerent towards me.  We don't have compatible political values, as in my mod, Marr fixates on Power.  He and Santiago would have gotten along just fine, if she hadn't nuked Svensgaard.  Nobody actually likes my politics, it's a burden.

I've been harassing the Caretakers' paltry sea bases off my west coast.  My sea bases occupy the good continental shelf area, and hers are just out in useless water.  These are relics of her probe team operations against my sea bases back when I didn't have the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  Every time I'd retake a base, its population would drop to 1 and she'd get a sea colonist to go settle somewhere.  She'd just do it nearby, not anywhere terribly useful.  These sea bases have been launch platforms for needlejet incursions, but aside from shooting those down easily, I think her hands have been busy with the Hive nearly exterminating her from the other direction.  Nowadays I just harass her with 2 locusts of Chiron and call it good.  These sea bases are a liability, and if I'm to do any heavy duty land raising it'll be with my own sea bases first.  These are prime candidates for extermination, but I'm not ready to commit atrocities against the Caretakers yet.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 08:06:29 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2018, 01:47:16 AM »
that was quick
that was quick

MY 2351.  Got pretty much the best case, immediate progress.  Ok off to build a nuke shield!

MY 2355.  The Caretakers offer a Treaty and I take it.  Guess they didn't like locusts in the face.  I contact the Believers and they sign a Truce. 

MY 2361.  I complete Flechette Defense Shield in all my cities.  I have 1 Orbital Defense Pod launched.  I've also got 1 nuke.

aarg its nukes me hearties
aarg its nukes me hearties

MY 2363.  Svensgaard retalliates!

AAAARRRG!
AAAARRRG!

The Nano Factory is no longer part of this world.  At least Svensgaard had more brains than Santiago about taking out something valuable.  It really makes me think I should wrestle various Secret Project cities away from Svensgaard before they're obliterated forever.  Problem is, I'm not sure how I'd pull that off.  I think they're far away and at the dead center of the strength of his empire.  Really expensive probe teams maybe?

I think I'm also in a better position to wrestle away the Governorship now, since both Santiago and Svensgaard are now universally reviled.  However I have to wait a few years for the election to be available again.  I made the mistake of trying to install myself in 2350.  Svensgaard easily outvoted me at the time, even with me having the Empath Guild.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 08:06:23 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2018, 03:27:59 PM »
some like it hot
some like it hot
MY 2369.  Sparta nukes the Usurpers!
Elvis like jelly doughnut
Elvis like jelly doughnut
What is their goal?  Maybe they don't have one, it's just from being "aggressive".

MY 2370.  I bribe Yang with The Will To Power to win the election.  I then propose a Global Trade Pact, seeing as how Svensgaard and Santiago will be permanently at war with everyone due to their atrocities.  Unfortunately everyone votes against me.
but they are just little insects
but they are just little insects
MY 2371.  Sparta nukes the Hive! 
frying ants with a magnifying glass
frying ants with a magnifying glass
I think I see what the AI is doing.  It's drawing everyone into a state of permanent atrocity.  If the 2 recently nuked factions do indeed retalliate.
tough to train at high kelvin
tough to train at high kelvin
MY 2375.  Pirates nuke Spartans!
there was an earth shattering kaboom
there was an earth shattering kaboom
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 08:06:15 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2018, 05:25:20 AM »
MY 2395 now.  There have been more nukeings, but I won't bother with screenshots anymore as they're not terribly different from before.  There's less animation variety trying to capture these fission explosions with a manual screen capture keystroke.  I've got some great purple clouds from earlier games, from bigger bombs exploding.

steaming magma tubes
steaming magma tubes

Here is 1 unusual screenshot however.  I'm wondering if the peak of this volcano gets double bonuses?

Had a bit of a scare when a storm destroyed all of my Orbital Defense Pods.  No nukes came my way though.  Other factions don't have much inventory, and they've been using it up on each other.  I suspect Sparta's AI pattern is to try to rope all factions into retalliatory atrocities, so that it's the new diplomatic norm.  I'm the only human faction that hasn't nuked anyone yet.  I don't think the aliens have nuked anyone, they've merely been nuked.

I finally got some Genjack Factories and Robotic Assembly Plants.  I've definitely shifted too many minerals out of the early game, with removing Supply Crawlers, Fusion Power, and possibly delaying factories as well.  Something has to go back in.   I'm going to look at shifting factories earlier.  I really haven't gotten much chance to use my new mineral output much yet.  I've got 50..90 minerals coming out of various cities, and minimal eco-damage in only my most productive city.  No hordes of mindworms, just the occasional big stack with 1 solo nearby.  Easy to kill with the Elite units I've had around forever.

Mild flooding has started, but nobody's hurled enough nukes to really ruin things yet.  I couldn't propose solar shade due to sunspots.  Only a small amount of coastline eroded, no big deal.

I'm working on the Space Elevator.  I think I may do piles of Sky Hydroponics Labs and eventually declare Diplomatic Victory.  I may bombard the Pirates with fungus missiles to ruin their ability to make stuff.  Or not, we'll see.  But it's a good use of the mod, to strike very long distances with missiles.  I probably now have the production capacity for it, even with fission warheads.

In unrelated news, I've figured out how to solve the problem with the Cultists.  I'm going to give them IMPUNITY to Fundamentalism.  The excuse will be, they have abundant experience with native biology.  I'll remove their SUPPORT bonus and see how they do.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 08:06:07 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #51 on: June 21, 2018, 08:05:16 PM »
I've quit the University test game.  I was working on The Space Elevator and had completed lots of Hab Domes.  Didn't play any more than in my last post.  I've made changes to the Cultists, and have moved Genejack Factories earlier in the tech tree.  I want to playtest these changes so that I can kick a version 1.10 out the door sooner.  I've already learned what I wanted to learn about the University: they are not overpowered under the new rules.  At least on an Enormous map, it still takes a long time to research anything.  I'd say the game was coming down to a 2 power finish, between myself and the Pirates.  We were about equally rated on the graph, and it wasn't clear exactly how I'd decide to beat them.  Everyone else was way behind.  That said, Sparta had a nasty habit of tossing nukes, often destroying Secret Projects in the process.  Perhaps they could have absorbed the Usurpers and made it into a 3-way finish.

Next up, I will play some kind of Builder faction, and put the Cultists in the game to see how they do with my new changes.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2018, 09:50:31 PM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.9 to 1.10:

- Cult of Planet: gave IMPUNITY to Fundamentalist social engineering choice.  Cannot make Democratic social engineering choice.  Can now make Free Market social engineering chioce; deeply cynical, yes I know.  Cult leaders are capable of that.
- Cybernetic Consciousness, University: changed to pure Discover focused factions.  Discover techs are so "thin and vertical" in the tech tree, that when prerequs for Discover techs haven't been researched, non-Discover techs are researched at random.  Thus, it is not necessary to have a secondary research focus.  It is better to have them make every effort to research Discover techs.
- The Living Refinery: moved it from Biomachinery to B7 Industrial Nanorobotics.
- Biomachinery: changed it from a B6 to a B4 tech.  Between supply crawlers, genejack factories, and fusion power, I removed too many minerals increasing or minerals cost reducing techs from the early tech tree.  Need to put something back in.
- Changed various dependencies to fill holes in the tech tree and keep research foci more pure.

The attachment limit per post is 5, and I eventually ran out of room at the top of the thread.  Consequently, this becomes the new home of version 1.10.  It was downloaded 17 times before I moved it here.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 09:27:33 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #53 on: June 24, 2018, 04:04:55 PM »
Played a game as the Data Angels where the Believers had several sea bases around an otherwise unoccupied Monsoon Jungle.  They came down to my northernmost sea base and took it over with a foil probe team.  I couldn't do anything about it because I didn't have a ship in the base to come out to kill the foil.  So for a few turns I watched it approach in the fungus.  I disbanded the defense to make it easier to take back, and moved my sea former out of the way so it wouldn't be captured as well.  I figured, ok, Miriam has just made it easier for me to steal from her, no problemo, will recover it soon.

Boy was I wrong!  She kept sending massive numbers of ships down.  I built so many ships and so many foil probe teams, and she just kept destroying everything as I sent it.  Her horde was unending, and there was seemingly no ship formation I could use, where she would not exhaust me.  The amount of my production she chewed up, as well as the number of mouseclicks, was sheer ridiculous.  Eventually I did take the base back, then tried to push a fairly substantial flotilla northwards to steal more from my tormentor.  All the ships get killed, leaving only the foil probe teams.  I think the AI probably just cheats about those, as it seems to always just zero in on them no matter where they are, like in the fungus, or how they've been positioned.  I quit the game in frustration, this was way too tedious to deal with.

I guess this is what coastal artillery is for, to keep such hordes at bay.  Straight battling in the ocean is just a recipe for despair.  The AI does not get tired of this, and you do.  The AI had not achieved +3 SUPPORT yet, in fact she was just Fundamentalist Simple Survival.  Lots of size 7 cities though, she was really spamming those units out.  Maybe I could have out-spammed her if I put everything in my civilization into the task, but naval spam is a tedious way to make progress.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 04:31:40 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #54 on: June 25, 2018, 09:51:27 PM »
I have begun an After Action Report featuring Domai of the Drones.  I'm doing well enough, and the rules are stable enough now, that I will likely finish this AAR.  My writing policy is to wait until "well after the fact" before posting what has happened, so that I'm more likely to summarize everything in an interesting manner.  Screenshot after screenshot of "nuke porn" isn't very interesting, I decided.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2018, 03:19:51 AM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.10 to 1.11:

- Simple economy: lowered the GROWTH bonus to +1.  Other economic choices give 3 bonuses and 2 penalties, in a sense a "net 1" bonus.  A Simple economy shouldn't offer better than that. 
- Free Market: reduced PLANET penalty to -1.  Now it gives the same number of bonuses and penalties as Planned and Green.
- Wealth: removed MORALE penalty.  Added -1 PLANET penalty.
- Hab Complex: moved from E4 Bio-Engineering to E3 Monopole Magnets.  It was taking too long to get past size 7 cities on Enormous maps.
- Bio-Engineering: moved to B4 Biomachinery slot, taking over Biomachinery's role.  This restores Chairman Yang's narrative about Genejacks.
- Intellectual Integrity: changed from an E3 to an E4 tech.
- Ascetic Virtues: moved to Intellectual Integrity.
- Biomachinery: changed to an E7 tech.  Now it makes The Cloning Vats available, instead of Nanometallurgy.
- Changed various dependencies to fill holes in the tech tree and keep research foci more pure.
- Troop Slider: removed.  I don't think it's helpful in an age of mag tubes, and it gives away a free Hovertank prototype.
- Troop Crawler: removed.  I don't think it's helpful and the AI doesn't know how to use it.
- Slider Probe Team: removed.  It gives away a free Hovertank prototype, and I haven't seen the AI actually build one anyways.
- Cruiser Probe Team: removed.  It gives away a free Cruiser prototype, and I haven't seen the AI actually build one anywas.

The attachment limit per post is 5, and I eventually ran out of room at the top of the thread.  Consequently, this becomes the new home of version 1.11.  It was downloaded 18 times before I moved it here.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 07:33:16 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #56 on: July 02, 2018, 07:29:57 AM »
I finished my first COMPLETE game of this mod, after 2 person months of full time work on it. I wrote an After Action Report about it with lotsa screenshots. I played as the Free Drones on an Enormous 80x160 map. I crushed everyone except the Pirates. They insisted on fighting me instead of immediately capitulating. I was going to corner the energy market anyways, but in Mission Year 2316 I belatedly realized I could invoke Diplomatic Victory. I could have done it in 2309 because I was the Governor. D'oh!

What does this game say about version 1.11? Are the Drones overpowered, or am I just that good? There aren't really any "weak" factions anymore, I took care of that. So I can't just, say, pick Morgan to make life harder on myself. I should probably play another game with myself as "whatever", let the AI play Domai, and fill out the rest with random opponents. I expected Santiago to do much better, as she has dominated many test games I've played. But in this one, she was summarily crushed by the Believers. She must have gotten a really lousy start right next to them.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #57 on: July 03, 2018, 04:31:21 PM »
I started a new game as the Data Angels, with the Free Drones explicitly included, and 5 other random opponents.  They ended up being the Caretakers, the Usurpers, the Gaians, the Pirates, and the Cult of Planet.  The Cultists wiped out the Drones immediately!  So they are in no way invincible or inherently badass.  I think the pattern is, any faction that starts in sufficiently cramped space, in the shadow of another faction with a better land start, is toast.  Except possibly the Aliens, who might still be able to threaten wherever they start.

I started right next to the Gaians.  We both had superior quantities of land available to us, so no need for immediate war.  The Gaians however put Gaia's Landing right next to me though, and I think they might have gotten their 2nd colony pod killed somehow.  That takes talent when you're Planet friendly!  I wish I could fix the stupidity of the AI's opening game at times, but I don't know of a way.  When I infiltrated, I saw that they were very nearly "mineral locked" on this 1 city.  I expanded around Gaia's Landing, cutting it off to either side, so it came to be a bulge in my own empire.  I allowed the Gaians to exist peacefully, even doing a Democratic Green society for awhile.  It's a viable choice, as you get +2 ECONOMY so 1 extra energy every square, but you get a GROWTH and a SUPPORT penalty.

Eventually Deirdre stole something from me, unprovoked.  I cancelled our Pact and went Free Market.  Much later, Deirdre declared war on me.  By that time I was totally built up with all sorts of mindworms, spore launchers, and gatling troops for this coming day.  Full rail network and probe teams protecting every city.  I hit Gaia's Landing with something like 10 pieces of artillery and 10 mindworms, it was a total cakewalk.  My speed of conquest will likely be limited only by how fast I lay rails.  I'm so confident in my built up forces that I'm not even building new units for now, I'm building Tree Farms that I just stole from Deirdre.  I will continue my campaign until I obtain her Secret Projects, which include The Weather Paradigm and the Planetary Energy Grid.  Then I'll see whether she surrenders or not.

I've been building a bunch of Network Nodes.  A major characteristic of my mod right now, is that D2 Information Networks is a "pure" Discover tech, a really serious barrier to anyone's progress.  If there are no Discover factions in the game, as in this one, then nobody's getting that tech for a long time.  This might be a problem.  Am I inhibiting AI growth with this policy?  The intent was to hide The Virtual World behind a series of successive Discover techs, and that works.  But the Human Genome Project is also in there, from D3 Gene Splicing, and I'm not sure I like that.  Maybe I should move it to an Explore tech.

The Build research path is similar in that "you must reseach Build" to get stuff, but it's not quite as severe as Discover.  Svensgaard has had no problem coming up with Secret Projects from Build.  I can't get to him to infiltrate him.  He's on the other side of the Enormous 80x160 map, past a significant water choke point.  Every time I try to sail foil probe teams through it, his ships destroy my teams.  I will have to come through in force, or eventually get past the Gaians, build a rail, and settle a new port city over land.

Or finally secure the Governorship.  Cha Dawn is strong, the IMPUNITY to Fundamentalism definitely works for them.  There were times on the graph when they were claimed to be the strongest.  Now they are in the same tier of strength as all of us, meaning we're all doing well.  Except Domai, who was eXterminated.  Anyways, he's Governor.  In our 1st election, which I didn't call, the votes were deadlocked between us.  In our 2nd election, he beat me out by a small margin.  There aren't enough human players in this game to bribe, so there was nothing I could do about it.  People have hated me for awhile, so I can't win Governor.  There was a time when Cha Dawn and Svensgaard were fighting, and that's when I should have called an election.  But I didn't, I forgot.  It was a mistake.  Oh well.

Once I crush the Gaians, I may have the raw population to win an election.  I concentrated on Explore forever, eventually obtaining my goal, the Ascetic Virtues.  I built Hab Complexes before that, so I've got a lot of cities that can get big.

That has to be done a somewhat slow, old fashioned way though, just growing.  I've taken a lot of GROWTH bonuses out of the social engineering table, so I'm not even sure that Pop Booming is possible from the table right now.  For a single player game, one can eventually discover The Cloning Vats, so I don't think it's a dealbreaker issue.  But I do wonder if the original impetus for the mod, the very thing that makes it "SMACX AI Growth mod", will turn out to be ultimately misguided.  Time will tell.

In 1.11 I changed Simple economy to merely +1 GROWTH, as I thought +2 GROWTH was way too good for not having researched any tech.  A rational change, needed to be done, but now only +3 GROWTH is possible from one's social engineering choices.  That would be Fundamentalist, {Simple or Planned}, and Eudaimonic.  The easiest fix would be to abandon the realistic "Wealth decreases population growth" idea, change all the game design text to protect the guilty, and put a +1 GROWTH under Wealth.

Alternately, I could put +2 GROWTH under Eudaimonic.  However, GROWTH is only useful for a time, and I don't like the idea of "watering down" Eudaimonic's benefits that way.  I suppose I could just allow Eudaimonic to award 5 benefits instead of 4, recognizing that GROWTH isn't the equal of various other benefits.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 05:27:51 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2018, 11:02:15 PM »
I'm probably going with change Wealth, and move The Human Genome Project to an Explore level 3 tech.  There will be a 1.12 release but I need to playtest what I've got, and see if I find anything else that needs fixing.  I've quit that game with Roze.  I was doing great but once I have a bunch of changes I want to make, it's time to test those.

Offline JMN4444

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #59 on: July 06, 2018, 10:12:31 AM »
Thank God Free Market is no longer overly Crippling! Rather than that -3 PLANET and a Whopping -5 POLICE, the penalties have been toned down to a rather respectable number. Those penalties really threaten a faction both internally and externally (And we mean by externally, we mean these folks  ;deidre;  ;cha;.).

 Also another thing that I appreciated is that you removed the PLANET penalty for ;miriam;.

I see no reason why a PLANET penalty should be necessary since it just seems rather bizarre to think that the Christian faction would end up having that. It was even stated in The Bible that God made us the caretakers of Earth since the beginning (I'm pretty sure the Believers know that, being devout Christians and all), and yet in the end, the last folks who truly believe in God (Should others not go Fundamentalist as well) tend to innately rape the planet in the beginning harder than a no economy model ;morgan; ???? Also at the same time, it would put them at the mercy against ;deidre; and ;cha; should such unfortunate event befall upon them.
God shall punish the wicked at the hour of judgement! He shall henceforth pour his HOLY CLEANSING FLAME at the UnBEAKlievers and IMPURE SOULS! CLEANSE thy SOUL, or be CLEANSED by the WRATH of GOD! BEAKlieve, or PERISH!

 

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