Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38169 times)

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Online bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #870 on: September 17, 2019, 12:12:48 AM »
I wasn't motivated at the time.  I just played through.  I only have the MY 2145 save.  I've definitely seen this before.  Plus, it might have been Miriam both times?

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #871 on: September 21, 2019, 06:41:16 PM »
Well I have my 1st evidence of a semi-serious and unintended problem with Clean Reactors and Pirate defense.  I made a Clean Synth Laser Foil design and specified it as a "2=Defense" unit.  The Pirate AI loves it as it only costs 30 minerals to build.  Actually that's what it costs me; they pay the discounted AI rate for Transcend.  From their perspective it's cheap.  As of MY 2288 they have 182 Active, 22 in Production, and 166 Lost.  A bit obsessive!  But it did keep me from sending any Foil Probe Teams out for quite awhile.

The problem is that unlike a lot of my AI vs. AI test games, this map has the Pirates in fairly close proximity to powerful enemies.  So they've been fighting a lot.  Some bases, they've stacked to the roof with these units.  Other bases, they've made the units and simply sailed away, leaving the bases totally undefended!  "We don' need no steenkin' defense", quoth the Pirate King.  At this point midgame, I've got the Maritime Control Center, and enough production and safety to finally send a few ships out and about.  I'm encountering complete cakewalks with some Pirate bases.  It's pretty boring.  Spammy as the Pirate sea base spread may be, I think if I had a handful of fast ships, I could take over half of their bases as complete walk-ins.  That's unacceptable.

Another problem is although they have Plasma armor, they don't know how to design a Clean Plasma Laser Foil.  It costs the same as the inferior Synth unit they're producing in abundance.  I provide a predefined unit with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.  However the Pirates focus on Wealth and they haven't learned that tech. They couldn't steal it from me because I've been vigilant with defense Probe Teams and not creating vulnerable sea bases.   They could have stolen it from the Peackeeepers or the Data Angels, but for some reason they haven't.    I think they're so in love with the Clean Synth Laser Foil, that they've neglected to build anything else of use to them, such as Foil Probe Teams.

Time to start a new game, with that unit snipped out.  What will be the next AI obsession?  I just keep adding units, then subtracting again when they don't work out.

I played that last game as the Hive.  I really don't know how to use their Probe Team capabilities, but at least they helped with defending against the Data Angels.  Being able to avoid all POLICE Penalties did prove useful for awhile.  I did Knowledge for awhile and enjoyed having no interruption to my usual use of police units.  I was also Green due to exploration and an alliance with the Gaians.  However after a time I had explored all of Planet, and the Gaians weren't particularly useful as an ally.  So I switched to Capitalist Wealth.  With +1 energy per square, I made much more money, and consequently my rate of research came out about the same.  So Knowledge in this case was useful more for the PLANET bonus it gave me, than the small increase in RESEARCH.  Eventually I had Gatling guns and figured I didn't need to be a mindworm oriented faction anymore.

In 1.35 all sorts of Conquer techs are bottlenecked by Discover requirements, to make the University have more control and power in the game.  Getting "Gatling superiority" is now a thing.  I happened to steal a prereq, D4 Applied Relativity, from another faction.  I think I researched D3 Intellectual Integrity and managed to build the Planetary Datalinks, so that pumped me with more prereqs.  Not entirely though, as the Gaians were the only RESEARCH oriented faction in the game.  They're split between Explore and Discover now, and they didn't make that much contribution to Discover techs.

I built about half the Secret Projects available.  That was the rate of production, money, and Artifacts that I could actually get done.  The other half were built by other factions, although nobody had a bunch of them like I did.  The play mechanic of having to choose which ones you really want, because they are so expensive, is holding up.

The Peacekeepers were the other dominant power of the game.  In fact on the graph, they're supposedly twice as good as I am, but I don't believe it.  I don't think the game weighs various empire factors appropriately.  No doubt they were doing well though.  The Pirates in contrast were doing pseudo-well, due to that problem of leaving half their bases wide open.  Well, better luck next game!

I was starting to make a lot of money.  A Tree Farm + Industrial Labs economy.  180 credits/turn.  A focus on Industrial Labs as an alternative or complement to Tree Farms, is new in 1.35.  I've lowered it to Tier 4, making it easier to get.  Research Hospital is also raised to Tier 4.  Especially for a POLICE suppression faction like the Hive, a Research Hospital is not that much of a deal, as I don't have a problem shutting my citizens up.  You can build some pretty big cities for only a few Police Scout or Clean Police units.

Wow, the Peackeepers really liked the new Cloaked Impact Squad.  54 Active, 3 in Production, only 15 Lost.  I didn't have to face those because my immediate land enemy, the Free Drones, was a runty weenie.   Every time he'd get uppity I'd take another city to shut him up.  I was in no hurry to absorb him, because I had the best land and he wasn't valuable in any way.  I was trying to work towards an invasion of the Peacekeepers, or maybe a rail to the Data Angels down south, although the latter wasn't a real threat.  Building my infrastructure gewgaws generally seemed more profitable.  I had just acquired B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering when I quit.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 06:57:34 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #872 on: September 21, 2019, 09:37:12 PM »
One of the problems with the clean reactor from the start is it makes support and power pretty much irrelevant.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #873 on: September 21, 2019, 10:00:12 PM »
No it doesn't.  You haven't played my mod enough.  A faction that doesn't have to build as many Clean Reactor versions of things at the beginning of the game, definitely has advantages over ones that do.  Clean Reactors take a lot longer to build.

It helps the AI, more than it helps the human player, and it's staying.

Power is mainly about getting +2 MORALE and Elite units.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #874 on: September 23, 2019, 06:02:18 AM »
frame job MY 2268
frame job MY 2268

Someone framed me!  The Data Angels?  I was going to come to blows with the Gaians eventually anyways, as I changed to Capitalist awhile back.  I'm just surprised this happened.  I know it's theoretically possible, but I don't remember it actually happening since forever.

I was in a titanic struggle for the Monsoon Jungle with the Free Drones for a long time.  They were spammy but I prevailed.  We began jockeying for it at the beginning of the game, with them taking most of it, and me only holding onto a corner.  The AI put up a bit of a fight.

After all the battles for Secret Projects, I managed to get 2 Artifacts home and cashed them for techs.  2 more are almost home.  I've got somewhat better tech than the competition, but several powers are nuclear capable.  I haven't paid attention to whether they've built any nukes.  I got Advanced Spaceflight so I could start building Orbital Defense Pods, but I don't feel that threatened yet.  I'm mainly just clipping fungus and building Soil Enrichers.  Consolidation after the battles I've had with my neighbors.  Every once in awhile one of them gets uppity.  I trash one of their cities, then they sign a Truce again.  I don't need anyone else's bases.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #875 on: September 23, 2019, 06:02:26 PM »
Whoah, new website style sheet.  I freak out.  Color scheme is decent.  Left sidebar window framing looks a bit wood tone, and I don't think that's an intended resemblance.  I'm now noticing that the top site banner makes Planet look like an evil pumpkin, so I figure this is a Halloween theme.  Sidebar window framing must be "pumpkin spice" or pumpkin DNA guts.  Let's cross-breed it with mindworms and call it good.

In MY 2279 I had a crash.  It happened during the AI's turn.  I replayed my turn from an AutoSave, then saved the game.  It crashed again, with the cursor spinning "busy" and then the whole game going down without a warning.  Started up the game, loaded the saved game, didn't have any further problem.  Guess it wasn't a memory leak if it happened twice.  Don't know what it was, but at least it was transitory.  I did have some other crash recently, but it doesn't happen very often.

Soon I'll have the Empath Guild and will vote myself Governor.  I've acquired Fusion Power, before anyone else.  My 1.35 tech tree has Discover imposing a lot of restrictions on key advances in technology, like Fusion reactors for instance.  Not everything though.  You can get nukes and missile launchers without any Discover stuff.


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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #876 on: September 23, 2019, 07:29:39 PM »
The sidebar framing is flames, I believe.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #877 on: September 23, 2019, 08:30:22 PM »
Hmm, if so, it's like flames encased in a cocoon of spider silk DNA.  Yep, flaming spider silk.  Going with that as a Research Hospital visual.  Something the Morganites coat an experimental patient's face with.

I'm wondering how I'm going to win my current game if I don't want to outright conquer everyone.  I'm going to make an Amphibious Missile Hovertank assault on the Gaians, as they actually have a coastal sea base somewhat near me, if I cross Believer territory to get to it.  It's a much longer route by sea, and I only have 2 sea ports on that ocean.  That will get the Gaians to sign a Truce.  Nobody's really worth invading though.  I grabbed all the bases that were actually good and worthwhile, sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.  I have a well centralized empire sitting upon that.

If I got Hab Domes, I could probably win a Diplomatic Victory pretty easily.  But even with +5 RESEARCH I think it's going to take awhile to get there.  Hmm, wonder what it costs to Corner The Energy Market?

Umm, just remembered that in my infinite wisdom about AI vs. AI play, I now require Global Energy Theory for Economic Victory to be possible.  Getting that, might be about as difficult as getting Hab Domes.  If only because I insist on sticking with Discover only research, to see how the AI would experience things.

In MY 2294 I learn C6 Retroviral Engineering.  In 1.35 it has B5 Bio-Engineering as a prereq, which in turn has D4 Gene Splicing as a prereq.  So it's something the University is more likely to discover than other factions.  I think it would be totally in Zhakarov's amoral character to liquidate any faction that's proving inconvenient!  That would be the nearby Believers.  They're weak, and the Hive is going to take them completely over eventually anyways.  I'd rather the Hive not gain those population centers, and I don't want them myself as they're too far away to be economically important.  If I liquidate enough factions with plagues, I can gain population supremacy and vote myself Supreme Leader.

For this to work I need to legalize atrocities though.  I became Governor 9 years ago, and I tried to pass a Global Trade Pact which nobody wanted.  Next year I can try to legalize.  I've found that legalizing is pretty random.  Especially in the early game, sometimes factions are into it, and other times they are not.  If they do legalize, then the drill is to completely wipe out 1 faction at a time.  You don't want anyone lingering who wants you nuked.  The game has ways of causing that to come to pass!

This turn I ran a few sabotage and Drone Riot missions against a Believer base that's just up a partial rail from me.  I've now got 5 Elite probe teams trained up.  That'll be enough to cause a lot of death if I pass things next year.

MY 2295.  Only Chairman Yang wanted my plagues.  Only Domai would talk to me, and he said the matter was far too important for him to change his position.  So I will have to proceed with the previous strategy, of gradually depopulating cities by conventional attacks.  Eventually the Believers will lose another city, and I'll ask them once again for a Truce.  Wet, lather, rinse, repeat until they comply.  Meanwhile I've built a lot of Corporate Labs and am starting to build some Nanohospitals.  Maybe the future will just get her quickly and I can cakewalk this planet.

I just belatedly remembered that I can do orbital insertions now, courtesy of C8 Applied Gravitonics.  I bottlenecked it with D7 Unified Field Theory, which of course I discovered.  I don't have to sail to hell and a handbasket, I could just drop on some enemies.  Who is that worth doing to though?  Some of the factions have made a fair number of sea bases, which I can't just drop on.  I guess that's due to the Sea Colony Pod having a Clean Reactor.  Well that's fine / intentional.  Anyways, usual dropping drill is to take over cities containing Secret Projects.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 02:02:00 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #878 on: September 24, 2019, 02:22:17 AM »
MY 2296.  I destroy a small Believer outpost, while continuing to sabotage and kill anything inside larger Believer cities without actually taking them over.  Miriam finally agrees to a Treaty, not just a Truce.  However I think she surprise attacked me before, so her word may not be worth anything.  If she attacks next turn, I won't bother negotiating with her in the future.

I'm still using my old Fission units to conduct my wars.  They were adequate for overrunning the weak Believers.  They're probably enough to wipe the goofy Datatech outpost on my continent.  I've got 3 mindworms inbound to that, and my Elite Recon Rovers may catch up.  I don't think my small Impact air force can reach it though.  I've never bothered to make Super Formers, I just have old Clean Formers finishing all my terraforming.  Only thing they've got left to do is build all the Mines I didn't want.  Hopefully I've got enough Hybrid Forests and the Pholus Mutagen by now, not to have any serious eco-damage from that.  I mean I'm sitting on the Monsoon Jungle, no sense rocking the boat.

I contact Morgan because it's been awhile.  We're both Capitalist.  Maybe he got the memo that I've got Fusion Power and am orbital insertion capable.  Or maybe he got attacked by former allies and likes that I'm Capitalist.  Well he signed a Treaty, so one less troublemaker to worry about.  Not that he can do a darned thing.  He got stuck sharing a small island with the Data Angels.  The Data Angels colonized the nearby sea aggressively, and the Morganites did not.  The Data Angels are a pure Conquer faction, which probably explains their sea facing behavior.  In 1.35 I changed the Morganites back to a pure Build faction, which might explain their lack of sea growth.

MY 2298.  I complete the Cloudbase Academy.  It extends my air umbrella a bit, but my Impact Needlejets are currently useless against Gaian Isles.  I'm working on the Dream Twister though.

MY 2299.  The populous and sprawling Chairman Yang declares war on me.  We used to be Police State buddies but he doesn't like that I went Democratic ages ago.  We still don't share a front because he hasn't quite broken through the Believers.

I complete a Centauri Preserve in my capitol, only to see my first big mindworm pop.  Fortunately there is only 1 Locust, so it won't be a problem yet.  I design a AAA Trance 3-Res R-Laser Infantry for my defense.  This interferes with my intention to make a Marine Probe Team to steal a tech from the Gaians.  My capitol is the only city that is "finished", as everyone else is building expensive infrastructure.

MY 2301.  I complete the Dream Twister.  This makes it easy to attack with mindworms, even with -1 PLANET.  Gaian Isles are no longer immune to my Impact Needlejets.

MY 2302.  The Hive takes a small Believer base near me.  I destroy it in turn.  This does not deter them from making war on me.  We slog it out with peons for awhile, as I can't be bothered to make new units.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 06:11:18 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #879 on: September 25, 2019, 03:06:19 AM »
MY 2316.  Last year my attempt to Repeal the U.N. Charter failed again.  I only get to try the same measure every 20 years.  Even though I'm the Governor, and can propose measures every 10 years, seems the same measure has to wait 20 years.  If I had been willing to give a lot of technology away I could have bribed my way to it, but I wasn't willing.

This year however, sunspots have fallen.  I could commit atrocities and wipe out a heavily populated faction without being noticed, if I can act quickly enough.  The other factions have got nukes, but I've got 5 Orbital Defense Pods.  More than my victim has Planet Busters, and I can make more of them.  I'm in rail contact with the Hive so it makes sense to pick them as the victim.

I've completed Nanohospitals everywhere.  Basically, all the science buildings.  I've got Genejack Factories most places as well.  I doubt I'll bother with Robotic Assembly Plants.  I'm still Capitalist but currently not doing any eco-damage.  I haven't made any modern offensive units because I thought completing science buildings was more valuable.  Now I'll flood the Hive with some X units to put them out of their misery.  My first attacks will be genetic plagues, with the probe teams that have been sitting idle for a number of turns.

pwn

I'm surprised that a plague affects native life forms in the city.  Ok well that's some good genetic engineering!  This might be a cakewalk.

Where did the funky alternate website theme go?  Just when I needed some flaming silksteel spray...

A lack of offensive units does have its drawbacks.  I can't believe this one badly wounded Silksteel unit took out like 5 peons I threw at it, including some cheap R-Laser Gravships I'd been using to dispose of enemy mindworm larvae.  I guess all the conventional forces in my mod are seriously overpriced.  I haven't wanted to make them, and neither has the AI.  The dominant weapon of the future battlefield is the mindworm.

MY 2320.  I learn Super Tensile Solids and begin building Habitation Domes.  The X Impact Gravship Hovertank is the mainstay of my abusive units now, with Amphibious Gravship Hovertank Probe Teams bestowing the plagues and other mayhem.  The Hive's exterior lands are gone and I'm now penetrating into their main territory.  They don't have anything that can stand against me, they're pretty helpless.  I expect they'll be obliterated and I'll have a game winning population by the time sunspots are lifted.

Genetic Plagues are horrible!  I just dropped a size 12 city to size 3 with 1 hit.  I suppose that's what happens if you haven't learned anti-Plague techs and haven't built any Research Hospitals.  If the Hive falls this fast, I might consider giving the Gaians the same treatment.  I'd feel bad for these people if I wasn't the amoral University, working on advanced tech the whole game.  It should be cake by now.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 05:07:21 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #880 on: September 25, 2019, 04:30:17 AM »
It was a Fall equinox stunt.  I'm surprised you've managed to miss that I do that with the themes every equinox and solstice.

I've put you in the 'funky alternate website theme'.  -You can change back with the last thingy at the bottom of the right column.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #881 on: September 25, 2019, 06:17:39 PM »
Could be that I didn't happen to be using the forum on the various Equinoxes.  Yeah I'll keep this theme for a bit.

In MY 2231 I became bored of the slaughter.  I had all but wiped out the Hive, with them only having 1 base containing the Maritime Control Center.  I had very few conventional units to attack it with, and wearing down the defenders was taking a rather long time.  For some reason the base cost an absurd number credits to buy, like 13K.  I've got a hefty income of roughly 1K/turn, but I don't have that kind of time to sit around saving up.

Due to merely building a Robotic Assembly Plant in 1 city, and my Capitalist Knowledge merely -1 PLANET demeanor, I got enough eco-damage to cause global warming.  This disrupted my round the world rail network.  The Free Drones had also disrupted it some, doing a large troop movement towards the Believers during the sunspots.  The sunspots still hadn't abated, so I couldn't vote myself Supreme Leader.

I also wouldn't have had the votes anyways.  Despite wiping out the Hive, the Gaians still had enough population due to sea bases to deny me the vote.  That meant I'd have to invade them.  Which means that having waited around to do it this long, was pointless.  I could have done it eons ago.  I've done enough unit pushing this game and don't care to do any more.

I'd say that requiring Discover in order to get genetic warfare, was a success.  It shouldn't be easy to end the world in this way.  However I think requiring Discover to get Fusion Power is a failure.  It stunts AI development enough that they can't pose any serious challenge in the late game.  I will amend that.

I also need to reconsider the expense of weapons and armor as the game progresses.  It turns the mindworm into the only practical weapon.


« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 03:01:05 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #882 on: September 27, 2019, 01:51:54 AM »
MY 2212.  I'm playing as the Cult of Planet.  Despite having a Network Node and a Biology Lab in almost every city, I got a network overload and lost my accumulated research.  I just want to complain that the game is grossly and clearly unfair that way.  And there's nothing I can do about it, short of turning off random events.

I'm sitting on half of the Monsoon Jungle.  The Cyborgs are on the other half and we're peaceful.  The Pirates are nearby and allied.  The Peacekeepers are on my eastern border and were at war with me for awhile.  But the land they grabbed wasn't as good as mine, so I managed to hold them off with Synthmetal and Recon Rovers.  Eventually they got tired of fighting and signed a Treaty.  I figured I'm competing with some bigger problem on the map, not them.  Either the Hive or the Usurpers.  The latter has expanded freely onto a southern supercontinent I think.  I sent some Isles down there to check it out, but they're getting chewed up by the local defense boats.  When they're gone they're gone.  I've all but cleaned out the northern hemisphere of supply pods.

I dominated, but I ended up quitting that game.  I played until just before the Fusion era.  I had a large, well centralized land mass.  I was in the process of completing Industrial Labs and Research Hospitals everywhere.  I enforced my will with a large corps of Locusts.  Mainly I wanted everyone to stop fighting me, to leave me alone so I could grow and win.  So I'd knock off a base whenever anyone got uppity, then sign a Truce.  I was putting more effort into eroding the Usurpers at a distance, since I can't win Diplomatic Victory without the Aliens gone from the game.

I decided not to bother with Hybrid Forests, but instead to build modern garrison units.  I lowered the costs on pre-Fusion weapons and armor, because they were a bit absurd, back from a time when it was easier to get a Fusion reactor.  However my changes weren't showing up in my actual game in progress.  ECM Trance Photon Garrisons were costing me 200 when they should only cost 120.  I figured this would be generally true of the "late Fission era" units, which is the main reason I quit.

Also I finally figured out which of my predefined units were clearly superfluous, and I got rid of those.  It's the end of the month and time to kick the version out the door.  I think it's been tested well enough now, and continuing that game wouldn't have taught me anything new.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 04:46:27 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #883 on: September 29, 2019, 05:29:48 PM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.34 to 1.35:

FACTIONS:

- Cult of Planet: now an Explore only faction.  The only Build tech they actually need is B1 Doctrine: Loyalty to get Extremist.
- Cyborgs: now a Discover, Conquer faction.  Removed Information Networks starting tech.  Removed bonus starting tech.  They don't particularly need Explore for anything.  Conquer is ok for early colonization spread, will help fend off aggressive neighbors, and helps with PROBE warfare.  Conquer has made the AI quite a bit tougher and the other buffs are not needed.
- Gaians: now an Explore, Discover faction.  This fits their faction abilities and their lore.
- Hive: now a pure Conquer faction.  Planetary Networks is now primarily a Conquer tech, so the Hive can beeline to Police State.  They don't need facilities to make people happy, as they can ruthlessly suppress everyone with +3 POLICE.  They don't need mindworms for anything, nor do they really need to Build anything.  Conquer is adequate for early colonization spread.
- Morganites: now a pure Build faction.  They're anti-PLANET and Explore isn't actually helpful to them.
- Peacekeepers: now a Build, Conquer faction.  Explore has evolved to be much more about mindworms than about colonization or making citizens happy.
- University: now a pure Discover faction.  The Discover tree has been redesigned to be more favorable to them.

BUILD TECHS:

- Doctrine: Loyalty: now a B1 tech.  Set growth=0, making it a pure Build tech.  It no longer gives the Punishment Sphere.  I didn't have enough Tier 1 Build techs.  I'm not opposed to making Extremist available quickly, as most factions don't like it.  This will help the Cult of Planet get it.
- Centauri Empathy: set wealth=2 because the JUSTICE bonus can be worth money.
- Clean Rover Formers: moved to B2 Ethical Calculus, due to changing prereqs.
- Skunkworks: moved to C3 Neural Grafting.  A Skunkworks saves on minerals costs so is partly a Build tech.  Also a playtester said he was having trouble getting prototypes built.  C3 Neural Grafting is easy to obtain in practice.  Probably because it's multi-category so shows up high in the research weights as valuable or probable.
- Technology to allow 3 minerals in a square: now set to B3 Industrial Economics.  It's a pure Build tech and appropriate for minerals.
- The Planetary Energy Grid: moved to B4 Planetary Economics.  This is a better lore fit.
- Engineer: moved to B4 Planetary Economics.  Environmental Economics had too much stuff in it.  It still removes the energy per square restriction, so it's still important.
- Wealth: moved to B4 Planetary Economics. 
- Planetary Economics: now a B4 tech.  Set wealth=5 and growth=2.  The Planetary Energy Grid is really valuable.  The Engineer gives a small amount of happiness but is rarely used.  I need more Tier 4 Build techs.  I want the Planetary Energy Grid to come at Tier 4 so that I don't have to stress about whether to build it or individual Energy Banks.
- Environmental Economics: set wealth=4 as it no longer gives the Planetary Energy Grid.
- Thermocline Transducer: moved to B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.  I want this to stay at Tier 5. 
- Hybrid Forest: moved to B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.
- Bio-Engineering: now a B5 tech.  It now has D4 Gene Splicing as a prereq, making Discover a requirement to get Genejack Factories.
- Empath: moved to E6 Homo Superior.  I want all the woo in the Explore part of the tree.  I want Eudaimonia to be something the Free Drones would aspire to, and they are not woo oriented.
- The Empath Guild: moved to E6 Homo Superior, to go along with the Empaths.
- Homo Superior: keep wealth=3.  Version 1.33 was supposed to set wealth=0, but didn't.  Empaths give money, and winning the Governorship with the Empath Guild is worth a lot of money.
- Eudaimonia: set power=0 as it no longer gives the Empath Guild.

HAPPINESS:

- Police State: moved to C2 Planetary Networks. 
- Non-Lethal Methods: moved to C2 Planetary Networks.
- Planetary Networks: now a C2 tech.  Set growth=3 as it gives happiness.  The voiceover is Chairman Yang talking about the human race being more nihilistic.  Although the Biogenetics voiceover also features the Chairman, this is a better lore fit, and it's a better prereq for E3 Monopole Magnets.  This frees Biogenetics to be used for something else.
- The Human Genome Project: moved to E3 Centauri Genetics.  It will keep AIs from trading mindworm tech.  Lore-wise at least it's talking about genetics, even if worrying about human and mindworm genetics at the same time is a bit freaky.
- Punishment Sphere: moved to C3 Cyberethics.  In a year's worth of testing, I have not found any circumstance where building a Punishment Sphere is worthwhile in the early game.  Cities just aren't going to get big enough to warrant it.  It's useful in the midgame when conquering distant cities that one doesn't want to obliterate.  It happens to be a lore fit for Cyberethics.
- Hologram Theater: moved to C3 Cyberethics.  The AI obsesses about building this when it's totally unnecessary, so I want it delayed.  I also don't want this and the Virtual World in the same tech.  If they're together, the AI will try to build Hologram Theaters while it is still building the Virtual World, which is stupid.
- Hab Complex: moved to E3 Monpole Magnets.  If it comes later, some AI cities will stagnate at size 7.  It also can't be in a pure Explore tech, or non-Explore factions will fail to discover it.
- The Ascetic Virtues: moved to E3 Monopole Magnets.  The voiceover is Chairman Yang talking about overcoming Yin-Yang dualism.
- The Planetary Transit System: moved to E4 Environmental Economics.  This will keep the AIs from trading Tree Farm and getting access to unlimited energy.

DISCOVER TECHS:

- Biology Lab: moved to D1 Biogenetics.  It is appropriate as a Tier 1 tech, as it provides an absolute +2 to LABS output.  This is useful for small cities at the beginning of the game.
- Biogenetics: now a D1 tech.  Set power=3 and tech=4.  The Biology Lab is an Explore, Discover, and Conquer tech.
- Information Networks: set power=0 as it no longer gives the Probe Team module.  This makes it a pure Discover research barrier.  Only the Discover oriented factions will get past this anytime soon, although it could be popped from a supply pod.
- Secrets of the Human Brain: set power=0 and growth=0, as it no longer gives Hypnotic Trance.  This makes it a pure Discover research barrier.  Only the Discover oriented factions will get past this anytime soon.
- Knowledge: moved to D3 Intellectual Integrity.  The University is weak and needs to get to this sooner.
- The Planetary Datalinks: moved to D3 Intellectual Integrity.
- Intellectual Integrity: now a D3 tech.  Set power=3, tech=4, wealth=3, and growth=3 as it gives the Planetary Datalinks.  The voiceover is Zhakarov talking about what people choose to believe, rather than what the evidence shows to be likely or possible.
- Research Hospital: moved to D4 Gene Splicing.  They aren't that useful earlier, compared to building lots of Biology Labs and Network Nodes.  The AI never builds them early.
- Gene Splicing: now a D4 tech.  Set power=0 as it no longer gives the Biology Lab. 
- Thinker: moved to D5 Pre-Sentient Algorithms.
- Pre-Sentient Algorithms: set growth=2 because Thinkers provide a little bit of happiness.
- Corporate Lab: moved to D6 Sentient Econometrics.  It's expensive and partly a Build tech.
- Sentient Econometrics: now a D6 tech.  Set tech=4 and wealth=3 as it gives the Corporate Lab. 
- Nanohospital: moved to D7 Unified Field Theory.
- Unified Field Theory: set wealth=0 and growth=3, as it now gives the Nanohospital and no longer gives the Corporate Lab.

UNIT COSTS:

- Needlejet Chassis: now costs 13.  It was still not quite cheap enough to be practical.  This is calibrated so that a Fusion Missile Needlejet costs 50.  Any lower and it would cost 40, which I don't want.
- Chaos Gun: now costs 14.  The jump in cost from Missile To Chaos was rather large.  This is calibrated so that a Fusion Chaos Needlejet costs 80.  Any lower and it would cost 70, which I don't want.
- Phaser: now costs 18.  The weapon progression has been too expensive, making mindworms the only really practical weapon of the game.  This is calibrated so that a Fusion Phase Needlejet costs 100.  Any lower and it would cost 90, which I don't want.
- Silksteel Armor: now costs 7.  This is calibrated so that a Fission Silksteel Sentinel costs 50.  Any lower and it would cost 40, which I don't want.  Silksteel is very likely to appear and be used extensively in the Fission era.  It was made expensive to stop Fusion units from being too cheap, but the jump in cost was too severe.
- Photon Wall: now costs 9.  This is calibrated so that a Fission Photon Garrison costs 70.  Any lower and it would cost 60, which I don't want.  It's quite possible to be using Photon armor in the Fission era, since both Photons and Fusion Reactors are Tier 6 techs.   It was made expensive to stop Fusion units from being too cheap, but the jump in cost was too severe.

COMBAT:

- Doctrine: Flexibility: set power=3 and growth=4, making it an E1 tech.  I need more Tier 1 Explore techs.  The combat prowess of a Foil without a Laser armament is pretty low, especially when Synthmetal Armor is available so early.
- Hypnotic Trance: moved to E2 Progenitor Psych.  This branch of the tree is a better fit for psi techs.  It makes the ability available to E4 Bioadaptive Resonance later, so I don't have to change its predefined Trance units.
- Trance Scout: moved to E2 Progenitor Psych.
- Repeal U.N. Charter: moved to C2 Planetary Networks.  More thematically appropriate than Doctrine: Loyalty.
- Applied Physics: now a C2 tech.  The game was taking too long to get into a shooting war.
- Laser: now has Offense=2 and Cost=2.  This matches Tier 2, and I don't want an early shooting war to be trivial.
- Nerve Gas Pods: moved to C2 Applied Physics.  It needs at least Offense=2 to be effective.  It also makes it easier to hand wave the prereqs, as Biogenetics becomes appropriate.
- Plant Fungus: moved to E3 Centauri Genetics.  It doesn't come up very much as a combat strategy, but if it does, this is a better lore fit.
- Cyberethics: now a C3 tech.  Set power=4, tech=0, wealth=0, and growth=3.  The Punishment Sphere is useful for conquering distant cities that will never produce substantial research.  This tech doesn't have any major character doing a voiceover, just a quote from St. Augustine.  Other techs had Zhakarov doing voiceover and are better as Discover techs.  This is surplus and can be repurposed. 
- Adaptive Doctrine: now a C3 tech.  Amphibious Pods have not proven terribly useful or important at Tier 2.  The Pirates nowadays are not especially violent and do not need to gain their free Marine Detachments quickly.
- The Command Nexus: moved to C3 Neural Grafting.  This will prevent AIs from trading dual abilities.  It will also cause fierce competition for the Command Nexus since Neural Grafting is an Explore, Build, Conquer tech.
- High Morale: moved to C4 Advanced Military Algorithms.  It's been here before.  The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm will prevent AIs from trading it.  I'm tempted to delay it substantially or make it more expensive, but it'll stay here for now.
- The Neural Amplifier: moved to E4 Bioadaptive Resonance and now costs 40.  It's powerful, but no more than other Secret Projects at Tier 4.  I want Homo Superior to go back to giving the Empath Guild.  It will also keep the AIs from trading Resonance techs.
- Heavy Artillery: moved to C4 Nonlinear Mathematics.  The AI was obsessing about building Laser Artillery and it's not effective.
- Superconductor: now has D4 Applied Relativity as a prereq.  Now a prereq for C6 Fusion Power.  This makes Discover a requirement for getting better weapons and Fusion reactors.
- Nanominiaturization: now has D4 Pre-Sentient Algorithms as a prereq.  Now a prereq for C6 Retroviral Engineering.  This makes Discover a requirement for getting genetic warfare.
- Retroviral Engineering: now a C6 tech.
- Orbital Defense Pod: moved to C7 Advanced Spaceflight.  C8 Graviton Theory has D7 Unified Field Theory as a prereq, making it difficult for non-Discover factions to research.  ODPs shouldn't require exotic physics to make.
- Advanced Spaceflight: now a C7 tech.  Set power=4 and growth=0.  It now gives the ODP and does not give Sky Hydroponics Lab.  It has 2 Conquer prereqs and is a prereq for 1 Conquer tech.

NUTRIENTS:

- Nutrient effect in mine square (0 or -1): set to 0.  The AI obsesses about building Mines on top of Farms.  There's no way to change this behavior at the .txt modding level.  What I can do, is take away the penalty for doing so.  Hopefully this benefits the AI more than it benefits a human player.
- Progenitor Psych: set power=3.  No longer gives NUTRIENT bonus in fungus squares.  Hypnotic Trance is a combat tech.  Previously the NUTRIENT bonus was given because this tech wasn't giving anything of value.  Now it does, so no need to give too much at once.
- Centauri Psi: now gives NUTRIENT bonus in fungus squares.  This keeps the total fungus bonuses the same as the original game, although now the food is coming later.
- Technology to allow 3 nutrients in a square: now set to E3 Ecological Engineering.
- Aquafarm: moved to E3 Ecological Engineering.
- Ecological Engineering: set wealth=3 and growth=4, making it an E3 tech.  It now lifts nutrient restrictions and does not lift minerals restrictions.  E3 Centauri Genetics was giving away too much stuff, so I put growth stuff here.
- Soil Enricher: moved to B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.  Better lore fit.
- Sky Hydroponis Lab: moved to C6 Orbital Spaceflight.  I don't think the extra food can be a game winner because the Cloudbase Academy is not available for awhile yet, nor are Hab Domes.  B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering is a prereq, so there's thematic continuity.

PROBE TEAMS:

- Probe Team module: moved to C2 Polymorphic Software.
- Probe Team: moved to C2 Polymorphic Software.  A prototype delay is not worth bothering with.
- Foil Probe Team: moved to C2 Polymorphic Software.  A prototype delay is not worth bothering with.
- Cyborgs, Hive: reduced PROBECOST to 120.  Changed faction description text to "PROBE TEAM actions cost 20% less".  Since PROBECOST=150 is the base cost for most factions, it's easier to state it this way.
- Data Angels: changed faction description text to "PROBE TEAM actions cost 33% less".  They have PROBECOST=100.

NEW UNITS:

- Clean Scout: available from the beginning of the game.  When the AI starts with excessive fungus, it makes plain Scouts and runs out of SUPPORT.  This unit can help, and it's not doing any harm.  It's the cheapest combat unit that doesn't require SUPPORT.
- Clean Synth Speeder, Synth Police Wagon: available with C2 Planetary Networks.  The Speeder versions cost the same as the Infantry versions.  Synth Speeder not included because the AI obsesses about it and runs out of SUPPORT.
- Clean Synth Police Wagon: available with C3 Neural Grafting.  The Speeder version costs the same as the Infantry version.
- Clean Recon Rover: available with C3 Adaptive Doctrine.  The AI obsesses about building Synthmetal Laser Squads, and this rover costs the same.
- Clean 3-Pulse Police, Clean Plasma Police, Clean 3-Pulse Laser Foil, Clean Plasma Laser Foil: available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.  C3 Neural Grafting is now a prereq, which enables units with 2 abilities.  The AI likes to attack with its Foils, so it's good to put a weapon on them.
- Clean Trance Scout, Clean 3-Res R-Laser Foil: available with E4 Bioadaptive Resonance.  The 1st costs the same as a Clean Scout.  The AI likes to attack with Foils, so it's good to put weapons on them. 
- Cloaked Recon Rover: available with C4 Nonlinear Mathematics.  This sort of unit has been available before.  In a previous release I was trying to maintain a purity of the Alien tech tree, but now I'm more inclined to make Tier 3 Conquer techs have equal numbers of subsequent Tier 4 techs.  It's cheaper than the Cloaked R-Laser Speeder and should be enough to destroy Formers and other weak units.
- Cloaked Impact Squad: available with C5 Superconductor.  It's cheap, prereqs allow for it, and it should be quite annoying to the human player.

REMOVED UNITS:

- Super Slider Formers, Slider Probe Team.  They come too late in the game to be useful as Fission designs.
- Cloaked Scout.  Trance Scout is always a better choice.
- Clean Synth Foil.  The AI obsesses about this.  Attrition is horrible due to the weak main Gun.
- Clean Synth Transport.  The Pirate AI obsesses about producing it.
- Clean 3-Res Foil.  It tries to attack with its Gun and usually dies.  Attrition is horrific.
- Trance R-Laser Foil.  Attrition is horrific.  The cheaper 3-Res R-Laser Foil is better for attrition.
- Clean Trance 3-Res Transport.  The AI fixates on building these.  Attrition is high. 
- Clean 3-Res Transport.  The AI fixates on building these.  Even though in my game vs. the AI they didn't get killed, the AI really should build something of more use.
- Clean 3-Pulse Transport.  With the other kinds of Clean Armored Transports gone, I assume the AI will find a way to obsess about this one.  So it needs to go as well.
- Clean 3-Pulse Foil.  The AI likes to attack with units that only have a Gun, which gets them killed.
- 3-Pulse Laser Foil.  The AI should not build units that aren't Clean, unless they're particularly useful.  This one will probably be designed by the AI anyways.  Other units do the "2=Defense" trick so this is not needed as a distraction.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #884 on: September 30, 2019, 03:33:00 AM »
perilous neighbor
perilous neighbor

So here in 1.35 I have a bit of a bad situation.  Getting put right next to Santiago wasn't pleasant, but I was handling it.  I don't have any weapons, or any Command Center for training, but I do have Synthmetal Armor.  Being able to get that really early, is working as designed.  It's so that a militarily weak faction like myself can fend off an aggressor.  It worked pretty well, I've bounced 1 Scout that tried to attack my city.

Problem is, I think Santiago is also sitting on the Manifold Nexus.  Although in principle they could have acquired E2 Centauri Empathy and gone Green, it's highly unlikely.  Their research focus is Conquer only, and this is only MY 2142.  They haven't had that much time to wander around.  Even the Explore factions can take a lot longer to discover it than you'd think, because there are now a pile of low tier Explore techs in the tree now.  It's rather broad at the beginning.  It's not completely impossible though, because the Gaians and the Caretakers are in the game.

Anyways, Santiago has mindworm capture ability.  That's a problem.  A mindworm can walk through any defense I've got.  Hopefully the AI is too stupid to make effective use of them, and I can defeat them with Scout spamming tactics.

I have more SUPPORT and probably spread faster than Santiago.  I could switch my research focus, but I'm stubborn about trying to feel what it's like for an AI player.  So I will stick to pure Build, which is new in 1.35.  I honestly don't know if that was a completely good idea.  It might not be.  I worked awfully hard on a lot of things this month, and there was a point at which I just needed to kick this out the door with no further testing.  It might prove to be a problem for the Morganites, although that won't be determined this game, because the AI is not playing them.

I tried to make an easy kill of that lead base earlier, with a couple of Scouts.  Well, I got wiped by many more Scouts.  So the AI isn't completely dumb about what to do.  I begged off, worried about hunkering down, connecting up, building a Synth wall, and expanding away from the Spartans until I've got a better setup to come at them.  I could seriously use a Recreation Commons, as then I could just grow and spam Scouts with my existing cities.  No such luck so far though.

It's a bit more difficult to get Probe Team technology now, and that could have consequences.  On the other hand, it's easier to get Lasers.

MY 2144.  The AI used its mindworm improperly, walking it right onto plain ground in front of my city.   It could have waited a turn, then attacked from the fungus next to the city.  Their loss is my gain!  Simultaneously they're trying to front with Scouts, but my cities have well armored defenders.  I've also completed a Sensor for 1 of the cities, so they have no chance there, absent another mindworm.  I'm beginning to conjure my own Scout spam and will try to push them back.

MY 2145.  I bounce an attacking Scout.  Another mindworm approaches, although it's just a larva.

MY 2146.  The mindworm moves into the same stupid place in front of my city and I kill it.  At least for now, I happen to have founded my city in a lucky spot.  I have a natural kill zone.

MY 2147.  Domai comes wandering up to me.  He's useless for tech, but he sells me Lal's comm frequency.  Lal trades me Doctrine: Mobility and signs a Pact.  I start building Command Centers.  Santiago is in trouble now!  Still could use a Rec Commons though.

MY 2148.  I learn Centauri Empathy and go Green.  Maybe it's not as hard to learn as I thought.  I check Santiago's faction profile and see that she's Extremist Simple Survival though.  That confirms she's got the Manifold Nexus AFAIAC.  She's put a 3rd mindworm in front of my city to be slaughtered.  If she would only attack the other city that's completely vulnerable to fungus, she'd have a much easier time of it.  And I'm not likely to learn Trance any time soon, because that's hanging out in E2 Progenitor Psych lately and isn't a Build tech at all.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 03:56:02 AM by bvanevery »

 

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