Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 55537 times)

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Offline Rocky

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #765 on: July 20, 2019, 11:14:24 AM »
It's interesting to hear about factions fighting back and causing problems.

I'd be surprised if a Demon Anything doesn't cut through defenders, provided you have a high PLANET rating to get the attack bonus.  Unless it's some kind of Trance unit with high Morale behind a Perimeter Defense and a Sensor Array.  I do routinely destroy Sensor Arrays before taking cities, because they're easy enough to build back.  I don't like destroying Perimeter Defenses although probe teams can do that.  Problem is, if they're not algorithmically enhanced they typically won't survive doing targeted attacks well enough.  So you have to just destroy everything, which is not usually what I want, if I'm bothering to take a city intact.


I wanted to take four bases from the Morganites which housed several Secret Projects. They were stacked to the brim with 3-Res AAA Trance units (plus the effect of the Neural Amplifier) Even without sensor arrays it was something like 8.00 vs. 16.00 in strength. (Demon Locusts and +3 Planet rating) I think I used around thirty or more missiles on those four bases (multiple ones on the AAA units) and then I still lost a number of Locusts trying to overcome the remaining defenders. In the end the losses were worth it as I finally got the Neural Amplifier and Space Elevator.

Next turn something happened I haven't seen the AI do before, at least in my games. I had two captured Morgan bases, both stacked with around 8-10 Locusts each. The Hive launched a volley of missiles on both bases until no locusts were left, made an orbital insertion, took them over, and because they were both population 1 bases the projects inside were gone forever. (Merchant/Nano Factory/Self-Aware) I was able to keep the other two with Amplifier/Elevator but not without taking a few hits. In one turn I think I lost around 20 Locusts and several other units.

« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 11:41:22 AM by Rocky »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #766 on: July 20, 2019, 04:52:47 PM »
Is this with stock AI or Thinker Mod AI?  I'm surprised if stock AI designed a Trance 3-Res AAA unit.  Trance 3-Res is a predefined unit type in version 1.32, but I never designed any AAA units.  If the vanilla AI did that, then it's quite a bit brighter than I thought, in the right circumstances at least.

Such a unit would be the perfect defense against a Locust.  Heck, I design that kind of unit myself all the time, if I think I'm going to be facing a Planet vengeance debacle.  You would have been better off with a ground attack with a Demon Boil.

I guess you're saying the Hive dropped on size 1 cities, which destroyed them?  Oops!  Interesting that they beat you to building the Space Elevator, or captured it from its original owners.  Just the other week, Jade Panther was complaining about the Hive being hopelessly weak.  Guess that's not always true!  But again, would need to verify vanilla AI or Thinker Mod AI.  If vanilla, well gosh, what glorious violence.

Launching a lot of missiles, even the stock AI will do that, if it has the missiles.  Missiles are quite expensive in my mod though.  They cost 120 with a Fusion reactor.  The cost drops to 80 with Quantum reactors, so is that what the Hive has got?

Offline Rocky

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #767 on: July 20, 2019, 07:15:37 PM »
I apologize for creating the wrong impression. I thought these units had trance separately as well, but after checking I found out I was wrong.

This is with the (stock) AI of your mod. I've attached a screenshot below. The other three bases had similar kind of defenses + lots of native life.

True, mind worms would have worked better, but I'm shuffling so many units around that transporting the mind worms from one continent to another would have taken a long time.

Now that you mention it; all human factions got Quantum Power around the same time. Around 15-20 turns after the screenshot below was taken the Hive launched the missile attack and they were indeed using Quantum missiles.

« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 07:44:11 PM by Rocky »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #768 on: July 20, 2019, 09:01:26 PM »
Ok, that makes sense.  The stock AI is quite in love with making various kinds of 3-Res units.  I have to convince it that Trance 3-Res is even mo betta.   :D  Missiles would be working as designed.  If the stock AI is allowed to reach Quantum Power, then it's going to make lots of annoying missiles.

Mindworms are indeed mainly limited by how long it takes to push them around.  Hence why I'm primarily a fan of using rails to invade on Huge maps.  I don't like loading and unloading Transports, nor pushing them around!

That said, Locusts are really useful for degrading a distant hostile empire in the absence of rails.  I tend to destroy Sensor Arrays and Formers while waiting for a rail to arrive.  Too bad pillaging with Locusts is a bit of an exploit.  You can attack Locusts with ground troops, even in the original game, but the AI doesn't.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #769 on: July 22, 2019, 02:26:46 AM »
peaceful keepers in AI only game 4th nuke
peaceful keepers in AI only game 4th nuke

Watching an AI only test game.  I think this is the 4th nuke thrown in the game.  Not sure if Lal threw all of them or not.

In other news, I experimented with having D5 Applied Relativity as a prereq for C6 Fusion Power.  I found this to be a harsh barrier to anyone learning the tech, as most factions don't pursue Discover techs.  Build techs are more common so I changed the prereq to B5 Planetary Economics.  That's also a prereq for C6 Orbital Spaceflight, where the nukes are coming from.  Without Fusion reactors, unit designs would stagnate with whatever I provided as predefined units.  With Fusion, the game moves along at a more appropriate pace.  Story-wise I liked the idea of D5 Applied Relativity as a prereq, but its effect on gameplay was profound.

I have not been able to consistently prevent the Pirates from obsessing about transport units.  I think I have lessened the problem, as I've gotten it to obsess about building various defensive foil ships, and also various armored transports.  The latter are still wasteful of Support, but at least they do more damage as they are killed.

I am experimenting with the Pirates having Build, Conquer as their research foci, instead of Explore, Build.  The problem is they keep getting in wars with everyone nowadays, despite their Passive personality.  This might be a side effect of getting everyone to build more armored foils as Defensive units, to stop them from obsessing about so many Synthmetal Sentinels on land.  The oceans are a lot more violent now, or at least they seem that way to me, watching it.  The Pirates' pursuit of Wealth is looking increasingly pointless and I might abandon it.  But, I haven't run enough test games to be completely sure of results, especially when changing the Fusion prereq turned out to have such a major effect.

Offline Geo

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #770 on: July 22, 2019, 08:04:30 AM »
I have not been able to consistently prevent the Pirates from obsessing about transport units.  I think I have lessened the problem, as I've gotten it to obsess about building various defensive foil ships, and also various armored transports.  The latter are still wasteful of Support, but at least they do more damage as they are killed.

Have you tried  armed predefined foils, able to carry a passenger? A bit like the IoD...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #771 on: July 22, 2019, 01:04:40 PM »
Have you tried  armed predefined foils, able to carry a passenger? A bit like the IoD...

It's not possible.  Weapons and the Transport module go in the same slot, you can have one or the other.  The Isle of the Deep is coded as a special case and you can have only 1 predefined unit with that property, hardcoded at that position in the unit list.

That said, I have never experimented with giving a unit a non-zero Cargo rating anyways.  You can do that, but the effects of doing it when it's not actually a Transport, are unknown.  I wonder if it can be hacked in-game by having a bona fide Transport in the same square as a non-Transport unit with cargo capacity?  Once the Transport is loaded, or if the non-Transport simply has more moves, then maybe units could be loaded onto the non-Transport.  That could lead to very frustrating buggy behavior if the player doesn't know what's going on.

Even if it works, a basic problem for gameplay, will be that such a unit is indistinguishable in appearance from a normal combat ship.  So unless all combat ships can carry 1 unit, and the AI is bright enough to make use of them instead of more traditional Transport ships... but it's not possible to have all combat ships carry 1 unit, as only predefined units can be given that property.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 01:38:46 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Geo

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #772 on: July 22, 2019, 04:44:50 PM »
Its perfectly possible as you just explained. The only drawback indeed is the graphic display.

You could define it as such: in #chassis, disable the cargo capacity of ships. And in #units, predefine a bunch of foils/cruiser units with the gun weapon and a cargo capacity. A bunch because you might want to predefine an number of 'gun' transports with the most common types of armor.

This way you'd mostly have a graphic consistency (normal gun foils/cruisers don't show a weapon graphic anyway).

To be honest, I never tested what happens if you put the cargo capacity at 0 in chassis, and try to predefine a unit with a fixed cargo capacity. Also, better reactors wouldn't increase cargo capacity of the unit.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #773 on: July 22, 2019, 05:11:15 PM »
In my mod, gun armed foils are very common, as it takes awhile to get Lasers or R-Lasers.  The game will design these units if I don't.  Predefining these units hasn't seemed like a great idea, because it seems to cause the AI to obsess about making lots of them.  Instead I designed some Laser and R-Laser units and specified them as "2=Defensive" to get the AI to obsess about those instead.

So, the game would be full of units that are indistinguishable from each other.  Feelings of crufty bugginess, are not something I want for my mod.  Generally speaking I will bear the guilt of that, meaning would-be players go "WTF?" and uninstall the mod.  There's not really enough verbal education bandwidth available for it to be otherwise.  I'm already asking players to deal with dozens of new things that are going on, but at least those aren't broken things, and shouldn't greatly try the patience of someone familiar with the game.

A further problem is it's not possible to design Fusion units with the stock game.  I can't just make an appropriate Cargo unit for every armor type, as my designs will be ignored once Fusion is discovered.

Scient 2.0 allows one to specify Fusion designs, but I'm not willing to require that patch.  That's an adoption and deployment issue.  SMAC just doesn't have a mechanism sophisticated enough to push mod content to users and ensure that "everyone" is using Scient 2.0.  Also, Scient 2.0 is now known not to be bug free.  It's crashing the game when it plays the Weather Paradigm and some other Secret Project videos.  That's just what's known; I don't know what bugs are unknown.  A mechanism for pushing Scient patches to users + installing mods would be best, but I'm not going to write that.  Too much work for $0 gain.

On the balance I think this idea is going nowhere.  It's the sort of problem better suited to binary patching, which I'm not in the business of doing.  I will continue with whatever predefined unit and research foci expedients seem to reduce the problem.  I probably can't solve it, but I think I can reduce it.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #774 on: July 23, 2019, 04:41:21 AM »
AI threatens me with chemicals
AI threatens me with chemicals

Look at this clown!  He thinks he's gonna gas me!

We had an early game skirmish over the Monsoon Jungle.  I made him give me one of his cities.  Time passed, then he took it back with a probe team.  We've been at war ever since.  I retook the city with a mindworm, then stuffed the approaches with doubled up Cloaked Scouts to prevent any further mind control.  It's been a stalemate since then as I don't have any weapons.  I could have brought up some captured mindworms since I'm the Caretakers, but I thought they were far more valuable as explorers.  I'll get around to wiping out the University eventually.  I'm more into building Secret Projects at present.  Other factions are starting to get C3 Applied Physics now.  Meanwhile I'm building a pile of probe teams, although the University doesn't have enough cities for me to steal all his techs without losses.  The Usurpers are still pretty far away and not entirely convenient to steal from, but I'm building a rail in their direction, courtesy of the Weather Paradigm.  I've occupied the Manifold Nexus and the initial purpose of the rail is to connect it to the rest of my empire.  Basically, I'm dominating the game.

I don't think I've ever seen the AI build X units unprovoked.  Zhakarov is not at war with anyone else.  I don't have any predefined X Marine units, although I used to.  This is a new game, and actually, I got rid of predefined X units quite awhile ago.  I wonder if those designs can persist in .tmp files somehow?  If not, then maybe it's just because I'm a dominant Alien.  I don't remember ever seeing the AI build X units in response to Aliens before though.  Maybe because they never got far enough ahead that the AI felt desperate?

What if it's because I bullied him at the beginning of the game?  Looking to get even.

Also amusing is that it's a Marine unit.  The AI does seem to like Marine units, and perhaps that's due to the way I organized the tech tree.  I deliberately made it easy to combine Marines with Lasers.  The AI will also attack coastal sea bases properly with those Marine units.

The Explore, Build, Conquer Pirates have built 10 sea bases.  They have built 9 Synthmetal Transports and 3 regular Transports, so that's not a problem for now.  The have built 20 Synthmetal Coastals and have lost 7 of them.  They're at war with the Data Angels.  They've built 12 Synthmetal Garrisons and 2 Synthmetal Police.  They are Fundamentalist Green Survival.

I've decided to quit this game.  For one thing, the AI factions are completely pathetic compared to me.  I suspected this, and proved it by turning on the Scenario Editor.  Just can't do anything to me when I get the Monsoon Jungle start.

For another thing, I tried putting Fundamentalist back to +1 POLICE.  I'm now thinking this is a bad idea, because it's making it way too popular with the factions.  Too many Fundamentalist Socialist factions.  Maybe the Pirates don't do as well now partly because of that obsession.  Democratic is going to get better in 1.33 because it'll only be -1 POLICE.  Maybe if I don't change Fundamentalist, I can get more factions to choose Democratic or Police State.

I will keep my eye peeled for more X weapons aimed at me in the future.  Try some more early game bullying.  I'm finding I can generally make the humans give me 1 city for free, before they start standing up to me.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 05:23:56 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #775 on: July 27, 2019, 07:16:07 PM »
I am beginning to think that Fundamentalist is the devil!   :wall:

The factions all want it to go make wars.  Then they suffer RESEARCH penalties and stagnate, except for some ones that have advantages that overcome it.  Like I've got the Free Drones doing Build, Conquer now, and they just steamroller supercontinents.  It's a bit frightening.  Actually the Spartans are doing just fine with a Conquer only focus again for some reason.  Maybe the beginning of my tech tree is just easier now.  The Data Angels also do fine with Conquer only, because they're getting free research from everyone else and need to beeline for Advanced Military Algorithms to get their free Covert Ops Centers.

But for others, it's a mess.  The Gaians want to go Fundamentalist and I don't want them to, that's what the Cult of Planet is for.  I tried giving them a secondary compulsion to pursue RESEARCH but it doesn't stop them from taking a -2 RESEARCH penalty from Fundamentalist.  Secondary compulsions don't mean much.  They're like a suggestion that might push the AI towards something, or not.  I got the Pirates making more money again by giving them an ECONOMY secondary compulsion, but it doesn't always work.

I'm working on nerfing Socialist, it's too popular.  Fundamentalist Socialist is this incredibly boring pattern that so many factions want to do.  I may end up with +1 GROWTH for Socialist and +3 GROWTH for Eudaimonic.

I'm experimenting with adding +1 INDUSTRY to Capitalist, but that makes it way too attractive.  Everyone wants it.  I threw -1 JUSTICE in there to compensate, but then that makes Capitalist look like it's on an equal moral footing with Fundamentalist.  Not sure I'm down with that.  <sigh> 

This is kind of turning into a mess, like when you pull on the thread of a sweater and the whole thing unravels.  But at least Conquer seems to be a viable alternative to Explore as far as early colonization is concerned.  Not sure why exactly, but may be due to the reshaping of my early tech tree.

I'm going to try getting rid of the MORALE bonus.  I think factions choose Fundamentalist because they want to fight better.  I think everyone should be denied that in the early game.

I also have an alternate naming idea for the category: Extremist.  It does not imply religion.  It could apply to a Brother Lal that is way too full of himself about the necessity of U.N. bureaucracy, for instance.  Or a Santiago that thinks 5 year olds should be packing heat.  Zealous or Dogmatic might also work.

I'm going with Extremist.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 05:01:17 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #776 on: July 30, 2019, 03:36:32 AM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.32 to 1.33:

SOCIAL ENGINEERING:

- Fundamentalist: now renamed to Extremist.  It does not imply religion and is appropriate to the story of all factions.
- Extremist: removed PROBE bonus.  Removed MORALE bonus.  Removed JUSTICE penalty.  Increased SUPPORT bonus to +2.  This choice was way too popular with the AI factions, and it would cause their RESEARCH to stagnate.  I believe they chose it for the MORALE bonus.  They're going to have to do without it now!  This choice is deliberately less attractive, so that most AI factions won't take a RESEARCH hit.  Some will still do it however.  Notably, the Caretakers seem to like it for some reason.  Other factions are much more likely to flip back and forth between the new Police State and the new Democratic, and that is intentional.  I want the core of political struggle, to be mostly about battling between these 2 poles, with the occasional Extremist faction.
- Police State: added +1 PROBE bonus.  Removed SUPPORT bonus.  Reduced JUSTICE penalty to -1.  Being better with probe teams makes sense.  AI factions have been averse to a -2 JUSTICE penalty, and this makes it way more attractive to them.  Getting SUPPORT is now the province of Extremist factions; keeping the rabble in line is what you do in a Police State.  This is going back to a much earlier design sensibility in my mod, the idea of a "mix and match" system.  For instance, it is now much easier for a Capitalist Police State to arise.
- Democratic: reduced POLICE penalty to -1.  I want the AI to make police units and benefit from them.  Democratic was preventing many factions from doing so.  The AI isn't smart enough to make or not make police units according to its POLICE rating, so avoiding -2 POLICE is necessary.
- Capitalist: reduced PLANET penalty to -2.  Almost none of the AIs wanted to choose Capitalist as it was.  Now it's much more popular.
- Socialist: reduced GROWTH bonus to +1.  Reduced JUSTICE bonus to +1.  Reduced ECONOMY penalty to -1.  The AI factions liked this choice way too much.
- Knowledge: reduced RESEARCH bonus to +1.  Added +1 JUSTICE.  Added +1 PLANET.  Increased POLICE penalty to -2.  I want it to be possible to have a -5 POLICE rating.  Previously I have said that knowledge and research are morally ambiguious, but a POLICE penalty isn't ambiguous at all.  It should be consistent, so Knowledge is hereby a force of good and JUSTICE.  The Gaians are a research oriented faction nowadays and the University gets free Biology Labs, so it's not crazy to move the Eudaimonic PLANET bonus to here.
- Wealth: reduced MORALE penalty to -1.  Added -1 PLANET penalty.  This spreads out the damage to Planet.
- Power: reduced JUSTICE penalty to -1.  Added -2 GROWTH penalty.  A playtester pointed out that -2 JUSTICE has seriously deleterious effects on cities farther than 16 squares away from a capitol.  Cumulative JUSTICE penalties were overdetermining AI choices.  The AIs accept the GROWTH penalty, it's still a popular choice.  The story concept is people are being killed in wars and disappearances.
- Eudaimonic: raised GROWTH bonus to +3.  Removed PLANET bonus.  Triggering a pop boom without any happiness, has been about getting to Eudaimonic.  I don't want Socialist to be so attractive in the early game.  The PLANET bonus did not make sense with the Free Drone storyline.  I do not want it with Cybernetic like in the original game, as I don't think cyborgs make better gardeners or hippies.

FACTIONS:

- Angels: changed description to "PROBE TEAM actions cost less".  This is easier than trying to put an exact number on it.  That's difficult to do because most factions are at 150% of the cost of the stock game now.
- Believers: set research foci to Build, Conquer.  They seem to colonize at the beginning just fine with this, and it increases the liklihood of them turning their +1 ECONOMY bonus into something useful.
- Cyborgs: may not choose Extremist politics.
- Cult of Planet: now chooses Extremist politics.
- Data Angels: set research focus to Conquer only.  They colonize just fine without Explore as a stimulus.  They don't actually need Explore techs as they will get free techs from everyone else.  What they need is to beeline to C4 Advanced Military Algorithms to get their free Covert Ops Centers.
- Free Drones: set research foci to Build, Conquer.  Reduced JUSTICE bonus to +1.  They colonize just fine without Explore as a stimulus.  In fact with these settings they're awfully deadly, clearing out supercontinents full of enemies.  They may be overpowered, and they have plenty of abilities, so JUSTICE is reduced to try to balance it.
- Gaians: set secondary compulsion to RESEARCH.  The Gaians have free Biology Labs and are a research oriented faction.  I don't want them to be Extremist like the Cult of Planet, as that's redundant.  Knowledge now gives a PLANET bonus, so I don't need to tell the Gaians to pursue PLANET to pick that up.
- Hive: added +1 PROBE.  Lowered probe team costs to 125.  Does not suffer POLICE penalties in any social engineering choice.  This was implemented by giving IMPUNITY to Knowledge and Cybernetic, as they only have POLICE penalties.  If that changes, this will have to be reworked.  The Hive is given these new abilities because it lost +2 SUPPORT from Police State.  This hurts them more than any other faction, and they need stuff to make up the difference.  They can now easily research and make war at the same time, unlike any other faction.
- Pirates: set research focus to Build only.  Set secondary compulsion to ECONOMY.  ECONOMY makes them more likely to pick Democratic and Wealth.  They seem to favor Green over Capitalist, which is fine.  A Build only focus results in a much tighter grouping of sea bases, almost to the point of becoming a smallpoxing strategy.  They nevertheless seem to spread out sufficiently, I suppose because sea colonists are fast compared to land colonists.  They do not appear to need an Explore stimulus to colonize appropriately at the beginning of the game.  They also manage to learn the techs they need, such as Doctrine: Initiative, even though it is not a Build tech.  I suspect this is because Conquer is a broad research category, and Explore recently became broad in the early game as well.  Build is narrow, so probably a certain number of non-Build techs are picked up randomly, but not too many.
- Spartans: set research focus to Conquer only.  They are colonizing in the early game just fine with this.  It helps them get to C4 Advanced Military Algorithms and Power faster.
- University: now starts the game with D1 Information Networks.  May not choose Extremist politics.  They have not proven to be an especially strong faction, and now the early Discover techs are much easier for everyone else to obtain.  This will help them get to Secrets of the Human Brain first.

BUILD TECHS:

- Doctrine: Loyalty: set power=0, wealth=4, and growth=3, making it a B2 tech.  Extremist is now about getting +2 SUPPORT.  It doesn't give MORALE or PROBE bonuses anymore.  Punishment Spheres make drones go away.  Has B1 Centauri Ecology and  D1 Information Networks as prereqs.  Since Extremist harms RESEARCH, the latter is to block factions from learning Extremist until they at least know how to build a Network Node.
- Technology for economic victory: now set to B9 Global Energy Theory, which is when Orbital Power Transmitters are gained.  The Morganites can get a +4 ECONOMY very early in the game, and this seems to make Cornering The Energy Market exceedingly cheap.  I have seen the Morganic AI do it multiple times, typically by the late 2200's, and typically costing 1200..1800 credits.  Delaying Economic Victory gives the AI factions more time to develop their economies.
- Global Energy Theory: now a B9 tech.  I wanted a fairly straightforward Build path to reach this, and I did not have enough earlier Build prereqs to leave it where it was.
- The Longevity Vaccine: moved to B6 Bio-Engineering, as in the original game.  Better lore fit.
- Bio-Engineering: set growth=3 as the Longevity Vaccine can make people happy.
- Clinical Immortality: moved to B9 Matter Editation, as in the original game.
- Matter Editation: set power=3 and growth=3 as it gives Clinical Immortality.

EARLY DISCOVER TECHS:

- Biology Lab: moved to D3 Gene Splicing.  It's valuable for early research and was too easy to obtain.  This gives more of an advantage to the University and the Gaians, who have free Biology Labs as a factional ability.
- Gene Splicing: set power=3.  Biology labs provide a lifecycle bonus.  I've gone back and forth about whether mind worms are conquer techs or not, but they're clearly the best early weapon in the game. 
- Hypnotic Trance: moved to D2 Secrets of the Human Brain, as in the original game.  This tech didn't give anything other than a free tech, and I didn't like that.  E2 Centauri Empathy still gives Green economy, so it is still worth researching.
- Secrets of the Human Brain: set power=3 and growth=3, as Trance is a mindworm combat abiltiy.  This tech is no longer a pure Discover barrier and will be far more researchable by other factions.
- Hologram Theater: moved to D3 Optical Computers.  This tech didn't have anything to offer besides a Secret Project, and I don't like that.  It's also too easy to get Hologram Theaters as is.  Since D2 Secrets of the Human Brain is no longer a hard research barrier, it shouldn't be that difficult for non-Discover factions to research Hologram Theaters.
- Research Hospital: moved to D4 Cyberethics.  This tech has no lab facility, and in my experience, nobody can afford to make Research Hospitals earlier in the game anyways.
- Cyberethics: set power=3, wealth=3, and growth=3.  Knowledge now gives JUSTICE and PLANET bonuses.  The former can be worth money, and the latter is worthwhile for both exploratrion and combat.

CONQUER TECHS:

- Foil Chassis: raised cost to 4.  Speed was raised in version 1.27 without raising cost.  I suspect having it super cheap, exacerbates the problem of the Pirates building piles of Transports for no particularly good reason.  Raising this by itself doesn't end the Pirate problem, but it does seem to make it occur less often.
- Heavy Transport: moved to E3 Monopole Magnets.  Was giving away too much stuff too early.
- Deep Pressure Hull: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.  Was giving away too much stuff too early.
- Adaptive Doctrine: set growth=0.  It now only gives military abilities.
- Soporific Gas Pods: moved to C7 Retroviral Engineering.  I've had it here before.  It's not a perfect thematic fit, but it's ok as far as when the ability is bestowed.
- Technology to allow 2 special abilities for a unit: now set to C3 Neural Grafting, as in the original game.
- Neural Grafting: now a C3 tech.  Set wealth=3.  Having 2 abilities in 1 unit saves on SUPPORT costs.
- Advanced Military Algorithms: set wealth=3.  It gives a SUPPORT bonus.
- Self-Aware Machines: now a C8 tech.  I want this as a prereq for E9 Biomachinery.
- Mind/Machine Interface: now a C7 tech.   There are too many C6 techs.
- Retroviral Engineeering: now a C7 tech.  There are too many C6 techs.

EXPLORE TECHS:

- Non-Lethal Methods: moved to E2 Biogenetics.  I need this ability to mix into predefined units farther down the tech tree, and it was too difficult to do it from a Tier 3 tech.
- Biogenetics: set wealth=0, as it no longer gives a SUPPORT bonus.
- Children's Creche: moved to E3 Intellectual Integrity.  Can't overload E2 Biogenetics, and it will also make E3 Intellectual Integrity more attractive to different research foci.
- Intellectual Integrity: set power=3 and wealth=3.  Children's Creche gives a MORALE bonus and a substantial JUSTICE bonus.
- Centauri Empathy: set power=3.  No longer gives NUTRIENT bonus in fungus.  Green economy gives +1 PLANET.  This allows the capturing of mind worms, and they are the best weapons of the early game.
- Technology to allow 3 nutrients in a square: now set to E3 Centauri Genetics.  E2 Centauri Empathy was giving away too much stuff, and I don't think it's wrong to make the players work for nutrients a little harder.
- Aquafarm: moved to E3 Centauri Genetics.  It's pointless to build until nutrient restrictions are removed.
- Progenitor Psych: now an E3 tech.  Now gives +1 NUTRIENT bonus in fungus.  I thought it was boring having early research wasted on this.  Aliens will now usually contact humans, not the other way around.  It will be a prereq for Resonance weapons and armors, a completely different research path from conventional weapons.
- Hab Complex: moved to E3 Monopole Magnets.  Lore-wise this is fine, as the Planetary Transit System video is about humanity expanding like a gas.  This will make it easier to do other things with Intellectual Integrity.
- Empath: moved to E6 Eudaimonia.  It's now a better lore fit, and that tech is more about wealth as well.
- Centauri Meditation: set wealth=0.  No longer increases ENERGY production in fungus.  No longer has Empath giving an energy bonus.
- Bioadaptive Resonance: set power=3 and growth=4, making it an E4 tech.  It's more mindworm oriented.
- The Empath Guild: moved to E6 Eudaimonia.  This fits with Empaths also being moved to E6 Eudaimonia.
- Eudaimonia: now an E6 tech.  Set power=3 as it gives the Empath Guild.  Now increases ENERGY production in fungus.  I prefer having Future Society choices consistently available at Tech Tier 6, and for this one to be wealth oriented.
- Psi Defense: moved to E6 Homo Superior.  I think it's a useless tech, but in case someone finds that it isn't, this is a good home for it.  The tech icon artwork is appropriate for a defensive tech, as opposed to E7 The Will To Power which looks like an offensive tech and gives Psi Attack.
- The Neural Amplifier: moved to E6 Homo Superior.  Now costs 50.  I tried putting it at E4 Bioadaptive Resonance, but it just feels like too much of an advantage too early.
- Homo Superior: set wealth=0.  It no longer gives the Empath Guild so there's no money or minerals to be made here.
- N-Space Compression: now an E9 tech.  Set power=3, wealth=0, and growth=4.  The Tectonic Missile is more about expanding land than it is about conquering.  The Fungal Missile is a kind of mind worm attack when the reactor is big enough, so it's proper to think of it as an Explore tech.  This tech no longer gives the Living Refinery so there's no wealth.
- The Cloning Vats: moved to E9 Biomachinery.  This is a better fit for the lore, and this late in the game, I don't think permanent population boom makes that much of a difference when it happens.  The late game secret projects are also tremendously much more expensive than they used to be.
- Biomachinery: set power=4, wealth=0, and growth=5.  It gives the Cloning Vats and no longer gives Clinical Immortality.
- Matter transmission: set power=3 and growth=4.  It no longer gives the Cloning Vats.

ORBITAL ATTACK VIEW

- Graviton Theory: now a C8 tech. 
- The Cloudbase Academy: moved to C8 Graviton Theory.
- Orbital Defense Pod: moved to C8 Graviton Theory.
- Sky Hydroponics Lab: moved to E7 Advanced Spaceflight.  The Orbital Attack View screen will not activate until this facility is available.  Unfortunately that means abundant food has to become available before everything else.
- Advanced Spaceflight: set power=3 and growth=4, making it an E7 tech.

PREDEFINED UNITS:

- Sea Formers: renamed from [sic] "*Sea Formers", and now available with B2 Industrial Base.  For some reason this unit wasn't getting designed until midgame, typically in the late 2200's.  Even in vanilla SMAC, the problem exists.  In original SMAC the tech for this unit is set to Disable, which implies that something else triggered the design of a Sea Former.
- Super Slider Formers: moved to C7 Retroviral Engineering, due to prereqs changing.
- Rover Formers: new predefined unit available with B2 Industrial Base.  I used to worry about players getting free prototypes "too quickly" but I don't consider that a problem anymore.

- Mind Worms: set AI plan to "0=Offense", like a Spore Launcher.  I'm wondering if this setting is for units that are only good at offense, and that's basically true of mindworms.   Also note that they cost 4.  The CHANGELOG for version 1.30 says I changed it to 5, but I didn't actually change it in alphax.txt.  Oops.  Meanwhile, 2 playtesters said they liked the cheaper mindworms.  So for now, I'll keep it.  I do worry that it has become the One True Weapons platform, but I'm willing to give it more playtesting.  I do think Isles and Locusts have correct costs now.  The AI obsessed about Isles when they were cheaper, and I didn't like that.  The AI does build some Locusts, and I sped them up in 1.32, so there's no reason to cheapen them.
- Spore Launchers: now cost 4, to match the Mind Worms.  This is what they cost from versions 1.17 through 1.29.

- Battle Ogre MK1: now has Particle Impactor as main armament.  R-Lasers don't do enough damage for the amount of wounds taken.  My Ogre attacked an enemy Scout on open terrain and was nearly dead afterwards.
- Battle Ogre MK2: now has Chaos Gun as main armament.  It needs more punch.
- Battle Ogre MK3: now has Soporific Gas Pods.  It needs more punch.  Note that this unit doesn't have the Blink Displacer ability.  I'm not sure when I removed it, but it's intentional, as Blink Displacer isn't available until D15 Threshold of Transcendence.

- Slider Probe Team: moved to C7 Retroviral Engineering, due to prereqs changing.
- Sub Probe Team: new predefined unit available with C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.  The Deep Pressure Hull is to mess with a human player, as the AI will probably cheat and ignore it.
- Foil Probe Team: moved to C2 Polymorphic Software, due to prereqs changing.
- Probe Team: moved to D2 Secrets of the Human Brain, due to prereqs changing.

- Cloaked R-Laser Speeder: new predefined Offensive unit available with E4 Bioadapative Resonance.  Cloaks are now on an Alien-oriented part of the tech tree and are not readily available otherwise.
- Cloaked Laser Speeder: removed, due to prereqs changing.

- Trance R-Laser Foil: new "Defensive" foil available with E4 Bioadaptive Resonance.  Note that "2=Defensive" is not a naval AI plan, it is a land plan.  The AI likes to build excessive numbers of Synthmetal Sentinels, to the point of exhausting all available Support.  This isn't good for any faction, and is particularly bad for the Pirates, as the land units can't walk anywhere while at sea.  Specifying "Defensive" sea units, seems to distract the AI from building so many defensive land units, and also benefits the Pirates because they're building stuff they can at least somewhat fight with.  At sea, the AI doesn't really use these units defensively, it pretty much goes on offense, so it's good to have a weapon on them.  I didn't add a Cloak because I think the AI cheats, so it just adds expense.  A cloak could be more challenging for a human player to fight, but these units are mostly needed for AI vs. AI combat.  The AIs make large numbers of various kinds of foils and have big ocean fights.  I think this is because the predefined foil units have stimulated the land powers to make more foils than they otherwise would.  They go to attack the Pirates if the Pirates are in the game, and the Pirates respond in kind.
- 3-Pulse Laser Foil: new "Defensive" foil available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.
- 3-Pulse Foil: new "Defensive" foil available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.  The AI will obsess about this unit instead of Synthmetal Foils.  Since it survives better than Synthmetal, that's an improvement.
- Synthmetal Foil: new "Defensive" foil available with C2 Adaptive Doctrine.  The AI will obsess about this unit instead of Synthmetal Sentinels.  Since foils will actually go somewhere, do something, get killed, and thereby free up support, that's an improvement.

- Trance 3-Res Police: new predefined unit available with E4 Bioadaptive Resonance.  Uses Non-Lethal Methods.  This is to get the AI to make police units.  I've done Scout Police before but the AI didn't make good use of them.  A police unit should be specified with an AI role of "2=Defense" to keep it in a base, but a Police Scout is not a good defensive unit.  The game does not design new units based on predefined units, so many police unit designs are needed, with different technologies and costs.  The game also tends to override and delete older unit designs.  I suspect the designs are less likely to be overridden, if the most advanced units are put earliest in the predefined unit list.
- 3-Res Police: new predefined unit available with E4 Bioadaptive Resonance.
- 3-Pulse Police: new predefined unit available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.
- Plasma Police: new predefined unit available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.
- Synthmetal Police: new predefined unit available with E2 Biogenetics. 

- Cruiser Transport: new predefined unit available with B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.  It has a Deep Radar, which for some reason the game doesn't ever want to design itself.  It also takes the 3rd position in the predefined unit list, formerly occupied by the plain Transport.  The game likes to wipe out old unit designs.  I suspect this is less of a problem, if the most advanced units are placed earliest in the predefined unit list.
- Trance 3-Pulse Cruiser Transport: new predefined unit available with C5 Nanominiaturization.  This is to try to get the AI to use armored Transport designs.  The AI for the Pirates will build obsessive numbers of unarmored Transports, which have almost no combat value and quickly exhaust Support.  I can't seem to stop the AI's obsession with feeling a need to transport stuff, but I can at least get it to build armored transports, which do more damage when they are destroyed.  A lot of different designs with different costs are provided, because one can never be sure in what order the AIs will actually learn the techs.  Many of the designs will be successively wiped out.
- Trance 3-Res Transport: new predefined unit available with E4 Bioadaptive Resonance.
- 3-Res Transport: new predefined unit available with E4 Bioadaptive Resonance.
- 3-Pulse Transport: new predefined unit available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.
- Plasma Transport: new predefined unit available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.
- Synthmetal Transport: new predefined unit available with C2 Adaptive Doctrine.
- Transport: now occupies the very last position in the predefined units list, to try to curb the Pirate AI's obsession with it.

- ECM 3-Pulse Sentinel: removed.  The game always seems to cancel this design, and it will build ECM 3-Res units on its own.  Those aren't quite as good at repelling fast units, but they're well rounded, more cost effective, and the AI mostly makes Infantry anyways.
- Synthmetal Skirmisher: I designed this unit but then deleted it.  When a Speeder only has a Gun, putting Synthmetal armor on it doesn't cost extra.  However the AI gets obsessed about building large quantities of them.
- Marine Probe Team: I designed this unit but then deleted it.  It's only likely to be useful against the Pirates.  They may not be in the game, and even if they are, they may not be an AI faction's enemy.  It is more likely to be a burdensome cost than a benefit.
- Cloaked Probe Team: I designed this unit but then deleted it.  I think the AI cheats and ignores the cloak.

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 1.33.  It was downloaded 113 times before I moved it here.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 06:47:59 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #777 on: July 31, 2019, 04:23:54 AM »
I decided to test the Extremist play style with an additional twist: Punishment Spheres!  How bad is cutting your research in half really?  We shall see.

Random opponents.  I drew the Caretakers.  They might be the most powerful faction in the game when played by a human.  When the AI plays them, ironically they tend to obsess about Extremist and choose it readily.  I don't know why that would be, but there it is.  Most other factions don't like it so much.

Caretakers learn Extremist MY 2151
Caretakers learn Extremist MY 2151

I started on a small island.  Nevertheless I was Unsurpassed for quite some time.  I did a "Gun Foil spread", with the objective of capturing lots of Isles so I could fish for Artifacts.  Other factions seem to be catching up now.  The Usurpers are immediately east of me on a supercontinent.  They're gonna get trashed!   

It took a surprisingly long time to learn Doctrine: Loyalty.  It's a Build 2 tech now.  It's throttled by D1 Information Networks to keep the AI factions from learning it before they know how to make a Network Node.  Despite having directed research, it's just not easy to beeline to it.  Directed research offers weird choices at times, that don't seem to be based on what could be researched next, but rather the category of whatever you last researched.  I think a human Build-oriented faction would actually get to it faster.  Oddly enough, I was getting near to finally researching this myself, but I bought it from the Hive.  They are an Explore, Conquer faction, so there's no particularly good reason why they would be learning it first.  Yet they did, go figure.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #778 on: July 31, 2019, 04:39:29 AM »
Caretakers go Extremist MY 2153
Caretakers go Extremist MY 2153

It took a couple years to save some money to make the switch.  Now I'm Full Metal Extremist.  I've got SUPPORT and other factions don't.  All my little minions!

productivity in the despotism
productivity in the despotism

I did a round of probe team spamming before I learned Doctrine: Loyalty.  I didn't want to build Recreation Commons or Network Nodes, and I don't have any other facilities to build.  In 1.33 a lot of facilities are now Tier 3 techs, and I haven't learned them yet.

I surmise that the Caretakers are really unpleasant about the future of Planet.  It's not natural to want to make yourself subservient to an indigenous fungus hive mind, so people have to be tortured into it.  I'm making the Usurpers look good!  Who knew that they were the good guys of the game?  Of course being so good, they will have to die.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #779 on: July 31, 2019, 05:39:12 AM »
complete terror MY 2165
complete terror MY 2165

MY 2165.  I complete the last Punishment Sphere.  I've made lots of Sea Formers in an effort to boost my population.  However, 3+ food and Aquafarm are now given by E3 Centauri Genetics and I don't have it.  I get breakthroughs every 38 turns.  I don't think anyone else has researched it yet.  I know the Gaians haven't.  I have lots of Artifacts, but I would have to build Network Nodes to pop them, and I don't want to do that.  I'm thinking the Spheres are not at all helpful to my cause, but hey, I wanted to try this!

I'm building lotsa Command Centers.  That will be fine for defense, although nobody is trying to invade me.  I don't have an offensive weapon yet, and to my knowledge, neither does anyone else.  I do have captured mindworms.  Lots of them, if I can bring them to the same place, but I'm still removing all the supply pods from Planet.  Well I suppose this will all work out eventually.  It's certainly not a blitz though.

 

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