Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38565 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #885 on: September 30, 2019, 04:13:52 AM »
perilous laser
perilous laser

MY 2153.  Sheesh!  I guess the difference between a pure Conquer and a pure Build focus, is one gives you Lasers and the other doesn't.  None of my friends have Lasers either.  Well I hope my doubled defenders and my Sensor are enough for this.  I march another Synth from Morgan Industries just in case it isn't.  I will probably capture my 1st mindworm next turn, unless it dies attacking my Scout.  More likely I lose a Scout to gain a mindworm.  Then it'll need to heal, and to get back to where it can be useful.

connectivity
connectivity

MY 2154.  I set off an earthquake which joins the halves of my empire.  The bad news is I lose the sea passage connecting 2 oceans.  Also my independent Transport is joyously caught on a mountaintop city forever.

Santiago has not attacked my tripled up base.  I'm glad she's intimidated for now, but without a means to counterattack, she will eventually bring up enough force to wreck me.  I didn't capture the mindworm, it died when I tried.  I find that some factions capture mindworms easily with +1 PLANET, pretty much as though it's scripted to happen.  Others, not really.  Takes a number of tries, or maybe it's a number of years passing, before it starts to work.

Lal learns Industrial Base and trades it to me.  I go Capitalist.  Yeah I'm fighting Santiago's mindworms, but they haven't been a problem so far.  I could use the money, to complete some Recycling Tanks more rapidly.  It's the Morganic way!  Actually I quite often delay going Capitalist until I've cleared the fungus away from my cities, but I don't feel like I have that luxury right now.

MY 2156.  I, uh, lost 2 Scouts this year.  1 was because my finger slipped and I walked into fungus when I didn't mean to.  I was surprised when I couldn't actually kill the larva.  Well hey it clears up SUPPORT, but I didn't get any pods from that.

I spend 100+ credits to rush the rest of a Synth Rover, so that the other 3 Synth Rovers will complete without too much waste.  That was part of the point of going Capitalist.

MY 2157.  I pop a pod and get 3 mindworms in my face, all lined up in a row.  That's unusual.  Usually they surround you, but dead is dead.  Those mindworms will advance towards my cities.  I'm starting to wonder if there are good reasons not to go Capitalist.

MY 2159.  I research Ethical Calculus and go Democratic.  My income goes from 16 to 27.  Greed is good!

MY 2166.  None of my allies have learned E1 Social Psych.  Granted, both the Peacekeepers and the Free Drones are Build, Conquer factions.  Belatedly I remember I've learned C2 Planetary Networks and have Non-Lethal Methods available to me.  I design a Police Scout unit, which I don't have predefined lest the AI obsess over it.  The Spartans are moving forwards with a 2nd Laser Infantry, but I've blocked it off on a chunk of rock.  I've got a Recon Rover completed.  Something I picked up trading with the Hive.  All factions are known and Lal has been elected Governor.

MY 2167.  Umm... she ambushes me with an unseen mindworm, over some fungus.  Lesson learned.  I retaliate by destroying one of her Laser Infantry sitting on open ground.  Did she learn her lesson?

MY 2174.  I finally get Social Psych out of a supply pod.

Epilogue: the Spartans did a surprisingly good job of spamming me.  That's because they chose Extremist, giving them SUPPORT a notch better than my own.  I held out, but it was a drag.  Not getting Recreation Commons for such a long time, really threw me for a loop.  I didn't colonize very well, I only had 7 cities.  A mining site that I had started to prepare, they settled on instead.  Went I finally went up the road to see what was going on with it, that city was stacked with Rovers that were going to blow my Rovers away.  That pretty much put me off to continuing.

Once her Laser Infantry gained Rocky terrain, I had no way to dislodge them.  They couldn't beat me but I couldn't beat them, and the stalemate was taking place in my backyard, not theirs.  Meanwhile, other factions were expanding.  I was definitely not in control of this game and did not feel I was playing all that well.  Having to deal with the Spartans so early was definitely unbalancing.

Another quirk is nobody ever learned how to use Probe Teams.  They're all in C2 Polymorphic Software now.  It's a pure Conquer tech, so if one isn't a pure Conquer faction, one is at a disadvantage for learning it.  I think Build, Conquer factions are probably going to learn techs that are cross-listed, like C3 Neural Grafting.  That's valuable, you get the Command Nexus that way now, but Probe Teams are valuable too.  It's a weird dynamic, not having any idea what's inside someone else's cities.

My position was viable, just tedious and suboptimal.  At 1:30 AM I thought sleep sounded like a better proposition.  I'd also rather see the AI play the Morganites, to know if they're crippled now, or if this was a fluke / worst case.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 06:39:27 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #886 on: September 30, 2019, 08:58:52 PM »
MY 2178.  In a new game as the Hive, I've only just now learned C2 Planetary Networks.  Now I finally get to go Police State.  I actually developed a large empire based upon the Recreation Commons.  I had piles of land and 2 immediate neighbors, who I seriously out-competed for prime real estate.  They have had trouble deciding whether to stay allied with me or not.  The Data Angels are a short hop across a pond and want my head.  Everyone else is pretty mellow.  The University is sitting on the Monsoon Jungle and is supposedly the big power of the game.

The Morganites are in the game and allied with me.  I'll be watching the AI to see if they do ok as a pure Build faction.  So far they've managed to learn B3 Industrial Economics, E3 Ecological Engineering, and B4 Environmental Economics.  However they haven't started any of the Secret Projects associated with these.  They have only 6 cities.  That is similar to what other factions have managed.

I am much better at colonization than everyone else and have got 15 cities.  Granted, the University is not far behind with 11 cities.  But, their research focus is pure Discover and I wonder whether they're doing worse than they should be, because of that.  Non-Explore arrangements for various factions are fairly new, and it remains to be seen if they hold up well.

MY 2279.  I'm neither winning nor losing.  The University has been sitting on the Monsoon Jungle at a great distance.  It seems my revamping of the Discover tech tree did empower them, at least if they sit on the Jungle and get left alone.  They keep completing Secret Projects, including the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  I've been in a Truce with them forever.  They're still too far away to fight with.

The Morganites are also doing well, and are also far away.  A pure Build strategy hasn't hurt them this game at least.  I wonder if that's because they didn't get violent neighbors.  They tend to research better tech than I do.  I'm allied with them, and I've often bought tech from them.

The University dominates the graph.  Everyone else is supposedly even after that, except the Cult of Planet, my runty neighbor.  Because I colonized better than them at the beginning, their empire was strung out.  Miriam took the extreme portion of it, which gave her a reasonable land mass empire.  I took 1 remaining city in that direction because the Cult was being uppity.  This "shield wall" of the fairly harmless Cult and Believers, has kept me from involving myself in any great conflict.  I've basically just sat back and built up.  I don't see a point in taking over any of my neighbor's cities, because they aren't worth anything.  I've already got all the well centralized cities I should need.

I did Police State Capitalist for quite awhile.  Then Police State Capitalist Knowledge.  Recently, Yang has become immune to any POLICE penalties, so Knowledge is actually a pretty good thing to pursue.  However when Wealth finally became available, I was seriously tempted by the doubling of my income.  I've been throwing the money into Happiness to try to grow faster.  I'm not sure if that's working.

I've also been using surplus money to buy enemy cities.  I'm not sure this has been successful.  I bought a remote Peacekeeper outpost, but Lal did not sign a Truce and after a few turns he bought it back.  I spent a lot of money to buy a Datatech city, and it remains to be seen if I can hold onto it.  Roze keeps sending Probe Teams at it, although I've been able to kill them so far.  She didn't sign a Truce either.

I made a bunch of Locusts to go mess with Lal.  Although they're -2 PLANET and can't do much damage, they can tear up Sensor Arrays and kill Formers.  I could start destroying Lal's infrastructure if I wanted to.  Lal's in a war with the Believers, with neither side having much of an advantage.  He hasn't sent any air force after my Locusts.  I could try to block his reinforcement of some city, so that the Believers can build up and stomp it.

MY 2300.  I find myself too irritated with this game to continue.  I've had a Secret Project from the Stone Ages that I got beat on, that's still going, and has accumulated 800+ minerals.  I've never been able to get any tech advantage to make any further project.  I finally cashed 3 Artifacts to try to get a boost, and that did get me the opportunity to try to build the Longevity Vaccine.  Which of course I wasn't going to spend 800 minerals on.  But Morgan beat me to it!  The University and the Morganites creaming me on Secret Projects is working as designed, but I've been off-balanced this whole game by it and didn't know how to cope.

The other major irritation is Probability Sheath is ridiculously expensive.  I spent a long time building Clean Police versions of those.  It probably put me behind some.  The cost needs to come down.  Although Fusion Power can be expected by then, one can't be certain of Genejack Factories.

Finally, I really didn't know how to increase GROWTH prior to getting Eudaimonia.  Going for Wealth was probably really wasteful.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 12:08:09 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #887 on: October 03, 2019, 03:11:19 AM »
New games as the Free Drones.  The University is in this game, so I get to see how they do again.  Hopefully they won't have the Monsoon Jungle this time, so that I can get a more fair comparison.  As of MY 2177 they have completed the Planetary Datalinks and are working on the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  That's on a Conquer tech path so I'm not quite sure how they're getting there, with only a Discover research focus.  If they were trading with the Cyborgs it might make sense, as they focus on Discover and Conquer.  However they disclaim contact with the Cyborgs, and I've never actually caught the AI lying about this.

Even more surprising, they were willing to trade Advanced Military Algorithms for my Neural Grafting.  The latter has the Command Nexus, so it wasn't a perfect trade on my part, but I couldn't resist.  I have 4 Artifacts so I think I can complete the Command Nexus before they can.

Morgan's serious mistake
Morgan's serious mistake

Morgan is also behaving weirdly about Secret Projects.  He wouldn't trade a tech for this, but he would take a rather modest amount of cash.  What's up with that?  The Weather Paradigm hasn't even been started by anyone yet.  Maybe I made a mistake turning Ecological Engineering into an Explore 3 tech.  Now it lifts Nutrient restrictions, not Mineral restrictions.  The Weather Paradigm is still a rather important Build tech though.  Maybe I need to review the weights that are put on various Secret Projects, because this AI behavior is weird.  Ordinarily they do not just give these capabilities away.

I had just gone Green, but I switch to Capitalist, because I need a lot of money to complete 4 Secret Projects.  I'm engulfed in fungus and this is actually a somewhat dangerous move.  However E3 Ecological Engineering does give me Fungicidal Tanks capability, so if I set other cities to building Fungicidal Formers, I may be ok.  I also have the Believers next door and they are Seething, so I hope they don't get uppity too soon.  I do have C2 Applied Physics already, so I can beat them off if need be, but I'd like to have the Command Nexus completed before they start causing trouble.

MY 2181.  4 Artifacts later, I've completed the Command Nexus.  The rest I'll have to win by simple foot races.  Other cities will crank out Fungicidal Formers and try to get my homeland safe from marauding mindworms.

MY 2184.  Well here it is, Miriam being Miriam.  I told her to bugger off.  She declared war.  At least I did get the Command Nexus done, but I've got a nation of untrained Scouts.  At least she probably doesn't have a good road infrastructure yet.

MY 2198.  We passed through sunspots for awhile, and they lifted this year.  Zhakarov traded B4 Environmental Economics, which has the Planetary Transit System, not built yet.  I traded B3 Industrial Economics for it, with the Merchant Exchange already completed.  Why so blase about the Secret Projects?

MY 2199.  I ally with Morgan and learn that he's sharing the Monsoon Jungle with the University.  It can't end well.

Miriam and I are at a stalemate.  She's had Probe Teams and I haven't had them.  I've finally learned them now, but I'm more concerned with putting police units in my cities than probing her.  I've defended against her probes well enough by using doubled up units on favorable terrain.  I could choose Power to try to break through her lines, but the -2 GROWTH hasn't been attractive to me.  If I don't learn E3 Monopole Magnets soon though, my cities will be at size 7 and then it won't be an issue anymore.  Learning how to make Hab Complexes has proven to be quite a bottleneck in the past few games.  I wonder if I've made it too difficult.

MY 2217.  Despite all of the foregoing, I'm not winning.  Both the University and the Morganites out-compete me on tech and Secret Projects from afar.  At least I did get a few things: the Command Nexus, the Merchant Exchange, the Planetary Transit System, and the Weather Paradigm.  That's likely all I'm going to get though.  If it's like last game, I'll never catch up again.

The Believers hammer at me, from what I now learn is a substantial land empire.  They don't make any progress, because I have a superior understanding of "terrain traps".  I don't make any progress against them though either, and they won't sign a Truce.  However the tech is starting to shift in my favor.  I've got Plasma armor now and they don't.  I've almost got Impact prototyped and they don't have that either.  Maybe I will now crush them?  But it is wasteful crushing them, as their empire has no value.  The real long term enemy is the University.  They have already completed the HSA and are working on the Network Backbone.

Well, I'll either get them to beg off or I won't.  I suppose all I can do meanwhile is keep fighting.

MY 2223.  My advantage didn't last.  She's got the same armaments.  She put up a Sensor in an irritating place that I can't easily dislodge, as she always has units on top of it.  I've been doing the same thing to her, so our front is starting to look like WW I trench warfare.

Sometime later, I quit.  The game is a hassle!  The Hive and the Cyborgs started dropping Transport units on my back coast.  It wasn't enough to harm me, but it did seriously annoy me and cause me to divert forces.  They also mercilessly probed the hell out of the one sea base I established earlier.  Just wrecked it, over and over again.  Nothing I could do about it.  Sometimes I'd beat them back for awhile, other times they'd just wreck everything.  The last straw was when Miriam brought up Gatling Artillery and started winning the duels.  Yes I had Gatling capability as well, was just about done with a prototype, but I could not seem to extract myself from this stalemate.  I made a lot of money, enough to even rush the Neural Amplifier at one point, so it's not like my position was untenable.  But it was frustrating.  I'm not sure if I'm just doing something wrong, or I actually managed to improve the AI.

Strategically, I guess Miriam with a land mass behind her, becomes too powerful to just whack and tell her to beg off?  But if so, why wasn't it a problem last game, when I was the Hive?  I did exactly the some sort of "no I don't really want to fight you" strategy, although against the Cult of Planet.  The Believers were also my neighbor, but we never came to blows.  The Believers had a much better start and a much better tech base this game.  They seemed to match every advance I myself got.


« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 07:52:57 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #888 on: October 04, 2019, 01:19:24 AM »
what gives
what gives

New game as the Data Angels.  I got this small island start where I'm not even off my rock yet.  The Caretakers show up, and they say I've done horrible things to them!  This game I'm going to crank up the editor and try to diagnose, because I have no commitment to the game so far.

improbable claims
improbable claims

MY 2110 is the earliest autosave I've got.  We're not in contact and we've each only settled 1 city.  Yet the Caretakers have declared a Vendetta and think they need to Fight To The Death.

where is the 3rd colonist
where is the 3rd colonist

I can't find a 3rd Caretaker colonist anywhere.  There's no record in their unit list of having lost a unit either.  Does the AI only get 2 colonists, contrary to my expectations?  Or did their 3rd colonist get killed by a mindworm, and I am being blamed for it as an atrocity?

I am an innocent lamb
I am an innocent lamb

The game does not believe I have committed an atrocity.  In fact, it doesn't believe anyone has committed any atrocities, nor does anyone have any blemishes on their records.

symmetric settings
symmetric settings

I've got exactly the same settings towards the Caretakers as they have towards me.  Some of those would be sensible, like having a Vendetta.  I do wonder about willingness to Fight To The Death though.  And who marked this stuff as Permanent?

There are no Usurpers in the game.  Could it be that this happens not because of an atrocity, but a mistaken belief that I somehow have the role of the permanent Alien nemesis?  Then it would just be choosing inappropriate dialogue, misleading me into believing this has something to do with atrocities or framing.

If so, then I predict the bug occurs when there's only 1 Alien in the game.  Never with 2, nor with 0. 

One might expect this to occur between a Human faction an an Alien faction, but a previous game proves it can occur between 2 Human factions.  I was playing the Free Drones and the Believers thought I'd committed an atrocity, without ever having met them before.  I made note of it 2 webpages full of posts ago, but I wasn't motivated at the time to record additional information, make any saves, or do any diagnosis.  It was quite a bit later in the game and I was much more committed to playing the game at the time.

I have wondered if the bug has anything to do with stale old game settings in my own environment.  Am I the only one who experiences this?  I suppose I'd need to start an official bug thread once I've collected more evidence.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 01:38:18 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #889 on: October 04, 2019, 02:36:15 AM »
New game, myself as the Morganites.  I've had a very isolated development, just pure Build by myself.  Some turns ago, I popped a pod and got the comm frequency for the Believers.  She declared war on me.  MY 2152, I pop a pod at sea and get the comm frequency for the Cult of Planet.  He thinks I've committed atrocities against him!  There are no Aliens in this game, so there goes that theory about why the presumed bug occurs.  I'm not willing to abandon my game to diagnose, so I'm attaching the saves I've got for later perusal.

As of MY 2304 I'm still playing this game.   I'm Democratic Green Knowledge and playing as a PLANET faction because I started with the Manifold Nexus.  I built most of the Secret Projects but a few have slipped by.  I'm 1 of 3 dominant powers.  Everyone is at war with me, and I don't think anyone ever liked me.  For a long time nobody liked anyone else either.  I was isolated and left alone for a very long time.  The Pirates and the Believers were at each other's throats for a very long time, but they have a Treaty now.

connecting to the enemy
connecting to the enemy

I'm slowly building a causeway to the Believer Monsoon Jungle.  I expect that once we connect, I'll summarily crush them.

Although I could have mounted an air and drop campaign much earlier, the Believers had so many units in their homeland that it didn't seem advisable.  Instead I built up my infrastructure and ran around the map with Locusts.  Generally I tear up enemy Sensors and Formers, to make it easier to attack everything else.  I also experimented with cutting off Gaian cities in their border skirmish with the Spartans.  I also tried to prevent the Believers from completing nukes, Conventional Missiles, and advanced prototypes by destroying infrastructure, but it didn't work.  Eventually I got bored of that and just used the Locusts as escorts for Probe Team missions, since they provide pretty much perfect air cover.

It takes the AI a very long time to come up with an answer to a Locust invasion, particularly when I have the Neural Amplifier.  The Believers managed to kill my Locusts in a ground assault once, when their units were cut off and had nowhere else to go.  Otherwise they've been totally ineffective and helpless.  Same with the Pirates.  The Gaians did finally expel my 1 Locust once they got Missile Needlejets.

Despite my extensive degradation of the Believer homeland, they have nevertheless come up with new Conquer techs pretty regularly.  I had to go steal them.  I wonder if the Global Trade Pact has anything to do with it.  I agreed to it, but with all the Vendettas maybe I don't benefit from it as much as I'd think.  I've generally not been able to just take 1 city and get someone to sign a Treaty, because I started so far away from everyone else.  I've done dozens of fly-ins of size 1 sea bases with my Locusts, but that hasn't caused anyone to quit fighting.

I think I've got production superiority.  Many of my cities have completed Genejack Factories and I don't think anyone else has that tech.  I'm currently building a round of modern Photon units for defense.  I've had a few Synthmetal units defending my empire the whole game.  The one time the enemy did land on my shore, I beat them off with some artillery and a few spare captured mindworms.  Isolation is definitely cheap as far as unit production goes.

The Believers actually proposed to Repeal the U.N. Charter not that long ago.  I agreed!  No one else did.  I couldn't bribe anyone because they're all at war with me.  So no gassings.  Hmm, do Sanctions still sting if I'm at war with everyone?  Maybe I'll look that up.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 05:47:43 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #890 on: October 06, 2019, 06:48:32 AM »
who am I to stand in the way of progress
who am I to stand in the way of progress

MY 2327.  The Believer alliances are falling apart.  They've gone back to war with the Pirates.  In this state of desperation, they have proposed atrocities.  I comply!  I could make Plague attacks on anyone now, but my goal is to take over and subdue the Believers.  I need the votes that their cities will give me, and it's not a good idea to inflict atrocities on a 2nd faction.  So, any Final Solution will have to wait.  I have the Empath Guild, and Eudaimonia has given me size 16 cities, but Miriam has Deidre and Domai as allies.  Between all 3 of them, they can still vote me down.

Many factions have nukes, and I'm starting to build Flechette Defense Systems in all of my cities.  I have not launched an Orbital Defense Pod yet, as I don't have any Aerospace Complexes.  I've been pursuing a terrestrial war of mostly mindworms, spore launchers, and railroads.  I am Extremist Green Knowledge Eudaimonic, which gives me +3 SUPPORT with my faction bonus.  I can field a lot of mindworms.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #891 on: October 07, 2019, 01:18:15 AM »
MY 2337.  Did you know that if you build the Space Elevator, you can build all the orbital facilities at any base, even if you don't have an Aerospace Complex?  I didn't know that.  That makes it a pretty serious endgame capability.  I might have to raise the price on building it!

I've built only 1 Aerospace Complex the whole game, in my capitol, and only for the purpose of launching an Orbital Defense Pod.  Which didn't end up happening because suddenly it was time to compete for the Space Elevator.  I'm #1 on the graph, double the power of everyone else, but the Free Drones and the Pirates both think they're still in the game.  The Free Drones actually came up with the Space Elevator tech themselves, shortly before I did.  That might be because I stayed Extremist longer than was warranted.  Once I conquered all of the Believer's Monsoon Jungle homeland, I just spread my units out across all the bases, so really didn't need buckets of SUPPORT anymore.

I'm building a raft of ODPs to ensure no one can nuke me.  I've also built a few Drop units to try to take over the very few far flung Secret Projects.  However I haven't put a great deal of effort into it, nor have I looked at what I really need to do.  I make a lot of money and possibly could just buy some bases, so I've made some Drop Hovertank Probe Teams as well.  It'll probably turn out to be ridiculously expensive though.  I wonder what Cornering The Energy Market is going to cost?  I haven't learned Global Energy Theory yet so I don't know.

I actually need to go steal Nanometallurgy from the Free Drones.  They're building the Living Refinery and only need 7 turns to complete.  The stealable surface area of the Free Drone empire is quite large, as they've gobbled part of the Cult of Planet, but they're also on the opposite end of the map.  If it weren't for orbital insertions, I'm not entirely sure I'd get there in time.  I've got 1 Cruiser Probe Team being escorted by a hovering Conventional Missile, a bit of a cheat but eh.  3 others are moving from a different direction in a more traditional manner, with a Cutter ship in front of them to scan for enemies.

I've dropped a Probability unit in the fungus near one of the Free Drone cities.  I'll have 2 Drop Probe Teams available next turn.  I believe they halt their movement when they land, so that's 2 turns before they can steal.  I complete a tech next year, so it is possible I might learn the tech myself.

I am now Democratic Green Wealth Cybernetic.  I haven't quite given up my mindworming ways.  A volcano erupted a few turns ago, so I'm a little concerned about Global Warming.  I'm not doing any eco-damage right now, but I don't know about other factions.  Miriam is the only Capitalist, and she lost all her serious minerals producing land cities to me.  She's got some sea bases, but I blew up their Mining Platforms eons ago.  Since she won't sign a Truce, I'm going to plant fungus on what's left!  I've got some armored Sea Formers that I don't need for anything else anymore.

MY 2338.  I researched it myself, so no need to steal.  I've built very few Supply Crawlers this game, but I did have 2 spares, so they got the Living Refinery started.  I rushed the rest with cash and still have 1000 credits in the bank.  Yep I'm rich!

I've realized that if I make a bunch of Drop Transports, I can invade Domai with my existing mindworm forces.  I can put 3-Res armor on them for no additional expense, in case of enemy mindworm attacks.  I've made a couple of Probability armored ones for a spearhead, but they take longer to make.

tiptoe through the tulips
tiptoe through the tulips

I've got a pretty good contingent of defensive units built up next to the city with the Planetary Energy Grid.  They don't even know I'm here!  The city is lightly held, so if I can bring up some Drop Transports full of mindworms, I'll have this.  I seriously doubt I can just buy it, it'll be ridiculously expensive.  I switch to Knowledge in anticipation of my mindworm attack.

well orbital is like dialed to Eleven
well orbital is like dialed to Eleven

Belatedly I'm realizing the target city wasn't that far away.  It's just barely outside of the reach of a conventional air drop.  In principle I could have ferried units over with a Locust escort.  In practice, the Pirates were attacking me until only a few turns ago, when I took 1 of their sea bases next to the Monsoon Jungle and got a Truce out of them.  I was so busy dealing with Pirate spam for so long, that I never really thought about where the Free Drones really were.  Oh well, this will still work!  But yeah, uh, maybe stop any more Drop Transport production.  They'll be useful for giving the Gaians the same treatment at least.

chewy fungi ocean strands
chewy fungi ocean strands

Turns out the Believers can eat sea fungus just fine.  It's still a little less food than kelp, and it's minerals free.  I anticipate I'll have the Manifold Harmonics eventually, if I haven't won the game first.  Fungus bases will be good for me then.  I still haven't committed any atrocities, even though they're legal.  I haven't even nerve stapled anyone, although my current government does prohibit it.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 02:23:16 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #892 on: October 07, 2019, 03:32:30 AM »
MY 2339.  I can't believe these jerks are learning techs I don't know!  I'm freaking Democratic Green Knowledge Cybernetic with a 30-30-40 budget, I should be trashing them.  Instead they actually rival me in research.  What gives?  I completed the Living Refinery, but meanwhile they learned Self-Aware Machines.  Their previous project didn't abort, so they're threatening to complete the Nethack Terminus in 2 turns!

They finally noticed my sneaky stack.  Thanks to a jerky Believer Foil Probe Team that decided to attack one of my Drop Hovertank Probe Teams on land.  The unit was merely wounded, but that was enough to keep it from being able to access the rails and do any subterfuge.  Fortunately I have 2 such units, so I've got 1 to do whatever I'm going to do next.

A mindworm larva and a Probability Garrison are next to me.  I took the precaution of making these Drop Trance units, because in previous games I've seen the AI likes to obsess about mindworms, even if they're not very strong or big.  Especially with the Neural Amplifier, they can't even hope to scratch me.  I'm more concerned that the jig's up at my target city and they'll start garrisoning.

With heroics, I think I can complete the Nethack Terminus in 2 turns.  I'd have to disband some obsolete units, like the Formers from the beginning of the game, to get the project started.  If I really have to push it, I could disband some good units, like spare mindworms or whatnot.

My 1 Probe Team is only Commando and I don't think I can rely on it to do a precision strike on the production of the project.  Also it's currently the only Probe Team I've got in range to steal.  I have the Conventional Missile escorted Cruiser Probe Team approaching, but I was right that it wouldn't get there in time.  I sent the other 3 teams back to a port because I didn't think they'd be needed, and they didn't have a guaranteed safe escort.  Likely they'd just get picked off.

I steal the tech without incident.  And after scraping up every single bit of old Scout, Synthmetal, obsolete artillery units etc., I made it with 300 credits to spare.  Take that Domai!
;morganercise  :bot: ;domai;
I kept all those things around in case of a Global Warming mindworm apocalypse, but it has never happened, and nowadays I've got lots of spare mindworms and spore launchers.

I take over a Believer sea base off the coast of the Monsoon Jungle and finally get a Truce out of them.  It won't stop me from planting fungus on their other sea bases though.  It may be an exploit, that ruining their terrain improvements isn't regarded as an act of war.  But we're only in a Truce, and if I park my units on those spaces, they do deprive the enemy of their use.  So I'm willing to do the exploit if we're in a Truce.  It also works during a Treaty, but I think that would be cheating.

MY 2340.  I complete the Nethack Terminus.  I also take the one nearby Gaian sea base, that I took from the Believers originally, and then the Gaians took it from me, back at the beginning of the game.  The Gaians finally sign a Truce.

My non-combat Drop Transports can't drop next to enemy units or zones of control.  My reinforcement plan is temporarily ruined.  I guess I could go bother the Cult of Planet and see if I can get a Truce out of them.

This is strange.  I feel like the Year Counter didn't go up.  Should be MY 2341 but it isn't.  Well maybe I missed something.  I bribed a Spartan city and got them to sign a Treaty afterwards.  I took a Cult of Planet city with the hovertanks on the Drop Transports from last year, but they wouldn't sign a Truce and talk about executing me.  Weren't they the ones who thought I had committed atrocities against them?  I could just wipe them out.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 04:22:38 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #893 on: October 07, 2019, 09:00:56 AM »
MY 2348.  I learn Global Energy Theory and begin building Orbital Power Transmitters.  The cost to Corner The Energy Market is 189K!  Pretty absurd.  I wonder if I change my government, does the cost go down?  I've also got Quantum Power so really don't need any more tech.  I'm currently Democratic Green Knowledge Cybernetic.  I'm really not fighting with mindworms anymore because it's too tedious shipping things over with the Drop Transports.  I've moved all my hovertanks over there and one of these days, if Domai would just stop spamming me, I'll take another one of his cities and get a Truce out of him.  It didn't happen last time because I suffered the "multiple unresponsive dialogues" bug when I took the base.

Oddly, when I select more ECONOMY choices, my income doesn't say it will change.  Maybe that's because only Santiago has a Treaty with me.  Being almost dead, they're economically worthless.  Maybe I can bribe my way to peace.  This year I spent all my money rushing the Manifold Harmonics though.

I suppose I still need Habitation Domes, so best to stick with my government for the moment.

MY 2349.  I complete the Manifold Harmonics, and realize that I'm better off with my +3 PLANET rating with that.  It gives the maximum minerals and energy bonuses.

I sacrifice some hovertanks to take another of Domai's cities.  I can't get him to surrender because he had a unit next to the city, triggering immediate conversation and the dialogue bug.

MY 2350.  I begin Clinical Immortality.  Diplomatic Victory?

I just noticed that the Pirate AI has chosen Police State Capitalist Survival Eudaimonic.  They only take half penalty for MORALE.  Wealth + Eudaimonic would be -2 MORALE, halved to -1.  They prefer Eudaimonic only and halved to 0.  I think I'd rather them take Wealth and avoid Eudaimonic, if they're so allergic to MORALE penalties.  I suppose I'd have to change them to have Impunity to Wealth.  Or I could make them Immune to MORALE penalties.

MY 2351.  I wage a full offensive against the next Free Drone city, killing every single unit in the field surrounding the city, so that there will be no communication with Domai when I finally take the city.  It works and I don't get the dialogue bug.  I contact Domai directly and get a Truce out of him.

The only remaining malcontent is Cha Dawn.  He lobbed a Conventional Missile at a Unity Transport that's been sitting in a landlocked sea since the beginning of the game!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 04:06:07 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #894 on: October 07, 2019, 04:35:59 PM »
MY 2352.  I learn B10 Quantum Machinery, but E8 Super Tensile Solids continues to evade me.  Looking at the weights I recently gave it, it seems I made it a pure Explore technology.  That's too much of a barrier and echoes the difficulty with E2 Adaptive Economics at the beginning of the game.  I'm going to regard Hab Complexes and Hab Domes as partial Build technologies from now on.  You definitely increase your minerals and energy output by increasing the size of your city past a limit.

Now arguably, that could always be true of any increase in population, so why even distinguish?  Indeed at times I wonder.  But Hab Complexes and Hab Domes are big, noticeable effects, so I feel justified at least in this instance.

Actually upon further contemplation and analysis, for every single Happiness tech in the game, I've found some excuse to incorporate a wealth weight.  The only holdout was lowly Social Psych.  I've decided that one has to fall as well.  The new regime shall be that happiness is primarily considered Explore / growth, but that it is also secondarily considered Build / wealth.

I rush Clinical Immortality.  I had to wait a few turns to get the minimum number of minerals to rush without a severe penalty.  I have 2000 credits remaining afterwards.  I've begun the Bulk Matter Transmitter, but again I have to wait a few turns to make the minimum minerals.  I could have some other base cough out a Supply Crawler, but it won't be much faster and I can't be bothered.  I still have plenty of things to spend money on.  I could upgrade some of my garrison units to Quantum reactors for instance.

The Truce with the Pirates has expired.  We'll see if they attack.  If so, I'll take another city from them.  I still haven't committed any atrocities, even though they are legal.

I have built 30 Orbital Power Transmitters and I have a few more in progress.  I think a city can only use as many OPTs as it has population, so 16 would have been enough right now.  I'm switching production to Sky Hydroponics Labs in anticipation of eventually getting Hab Domes.  Once I've got 30 or so of those I'll be pretty much done.  I've got 14 Orbital Defense Pods.  No other factions have built a single satellite.  The only thing that could mess me up is a solar flare and a lot of hostility, but I have refrained from atrocities.

MY 2355.  I finally learn Super Tensile Solids.  I'm not sure if my editing of alphax.txt helped with that.  Of course now we are in sunspots.  Once those end, I'm sure I'll have the votes for Diplomatic Victory.  I'm unlikely to amass enough money for Economic Victory in the meantime, as the cost is currently 208K.  I'm currently Democratic Green Knowledge Eudaimonic and make 1.5K/turn.  I never did manage to get any Treaties with anyone, so if that would have made more money, then oh well.

The usual alternative to waiting out sunspots in these circumstances, is a total Conquest victory.  On this map, that would be a lot of unit pushing!  I will settle for wiping out Cha Dawn, as I run out of other things to build.

Completing the Bulk Matter Transmitter, fortunately did not trigger any fungal pops or Global Warming.  I've been pretty aggressive about building Centauri Preserves, as who knows when I might want to conjure a Locust corps of doom?

« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 10:08:15 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #895 on: October 08, 2019, 01:43:24 AM »
MY 2356.  A small amount of Global Warming has begun, mostly triggered by the Free Drones.  Their PLANET rating is merely 0, but with their size, I guess that's enough to do a little damage.  I feel less guilty about plowing under everyone's Mines and Mining Platforms now.  I'm putting more effort into undermining the Free Drones specifically, which is awkward because they are farthest away.  My slowest ships continue to pick on the Believers, who have to be on their last legs of production by now.

MY 2359.  The Pirates make a surprise attack.  We're still in sunspots, so I might as well make total war on them and take as many population centers as possible.  I begin making Quantum Tachyon Skybases, which should make pretty short work of them.  I was going to flood the world with Gravship Formers, continuing the campaign of planting fungus on all the factions in Truce, but that will have to wait.

I learn Biomachinery and begin the Cloning Vats.  I disband a couple of Fusion hovertanks from the Free Drone front in order to rush it.  I have 2K credits remaining.

Last year I started taking over the Cult of Planet's few remaining pathetic cities with probe teams.  I captured an Artifact from an earlier hovertank conquest and finally got it home last year.  This year I cash it and get N-Space Compression.  My 1 Skunkworks city is currently busy with Neutronium Armor so any Tectonic Missiles will have to wait.  They could be useful, or at least amusing, for messing with the Pirates.

MY 2360.  I remember that one of my captured Believer cities has a Skunkworks in it.  I start on a Fungal Quantum Missile.

MY 2361.  I mind control the last Cult of Planet city, eliminating them.  No more undeserved hate!  I have 4K credits remaining.  I switch to Thought Control as with the Cloning Vats, I don't need the +2 GROWTH of Eudaimonic.  I have few probe teams but they'll be sent towards major Pirate population centers away from their capitol.  Hopefully I can take over major cities at a reasonable cost.

MY 2362.  Even with +2 PROBE from Thought Control, a size 9 base that's 12 squares from Safe Haven costs 4909 credits to subvert!  Guess I'm trying somewhere else.  Conventional attacks will eventually bring it down, but there are an awful lot of spam Plasma Laser Foil ships to clean up.

A size 8 sea base 50 squares from the capitol, "merely" costs 1700 credits to subvert.  That's at least within the range of economic reason.  Granted, I do make 3K credits/turn, but there are an awful lot of bases to deal with.  My takeover brings a lot of Laser Foils with it.  They can help clean up the spam.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 10:05:13 PM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #896 on: October 09, 2019, 04:35:30 AM »
MY 2368.  Well I just couldn't take it anymore.  I quit.  The only thing preventing me from declaring Diplomatic Victory was the sunspots.  Turn after turn pushing Skyforts around, just to wipe out extremely feeble Pirate unit spam.  I can see why the Copter got invented, with its multi-fire capability.  Problem is, it's too unbalancing.  None of this would have been a problem without sunspots.  I'd be long since done.

Economic Victory seemed somewhere between impossible to extremely undesirable.  First, I was going to need 300K credits.  Yes I could probably have changed my budget around, but that's a lot of money.  I never could make any Treaties because of the damn sunspots, so that's a lot of money not coming in.  Second, even once one starts to Corner The Market, one has to wait 20 more turns!  I thought playing the game for an additional 40 turns was a pretty ridiculous idea.  Even a nuclear apocalypse would be quicker than that.

Thought Control and probe teams weren't all that useful to me.  I had more than enough military output to crush anything I wanted.  I didn't actually want anything further, I just wanted to be declared the winner.  I don't need minor population centers, that just becomes another city I have to level up.  I didn't want to wipe them out either.  I didn't commit a single atrocity, even though they were legal.  There just was no need for it, as my population growth was absolutely crushing the other factions on votes.

Tectonic Missiles were somewhat useful for scooping Pirate bases out of the ocean.  However they weren't entirely useful, as one has to work from adjacent land.  In some cases I didn't want to ruin my own land to do that.

Fungal Missiles actually improved Pirate bases, especially those I had scooped out of the water.  So it was not a good degradation strategy against them.  And I don't think I can fire them against someone I have a Truce with.  That was everyone else.

Using Formers to turn Free Drone Mines and Mining Platforms into patches of fungus, was a reasonable strategy.  Especially since I had the spare Former capacity.  Something to do when my own lands are already finished.  The Free Drones, and to a lesser extent the Believers, spent plenty of time marching mindworms all over my own land during the Truce.  I could do that sort of thing on steroids if I wanted.  Build a bunch of clean armored cloaked units and put those bitter little pills everywhere, smothering the enemy to death.  I might try that sort of thing in a future game.

I built a fair number of Thermal Boreholes, but never suffered any eco-damage from them.  I was way ahead of the curve on environmentally friendly facilities and Secret Projects.

I spent most of my day rebalancing the cost of weapons and armor in the late game.  They were excessively expensive.  A unit can't cost so much that it's simply not worth buying, compared to a mindworm.

I also got rid of the Clean Plasma Laser Foil predefined unit, because the Pirate AI loves it way too much.  I think that obsession literally drove them to ruin.  They built hundreds of the things, instead of more important or valuable stuff.

Their other main obsession seems to be building Isles, although that might be more rational.  Even my R-Bolt units weren't especially effective against Isles, although they did do the job.  I just think for the extra cost, they weren't obviously better than a Tachyon Bolt.  Well, maybe having the Dream Twister had something to do with it.  +50% for that, and +30% for +3 PLANET, gives me a baseline +80% attack.  What's the difference between that and +105%?

I've probably now finished whatever will go into 1.36.  However I will stick to the monthly release cycle.  Who knows, subsequent games may reveal "just one more thing" to throw in there.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 05:00:10 AM by bvanevery »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #897 on: October 09, 2019, 05:43:11 PM »
I'm making a beta of changed files for version 1.36 available, because I don't expect I'm going to make any further changes.  I'll probably sit on it for 3 weeks and then release it as 1.36.  People can download these 2 files, drop them on top of a 1.35 installation, try them out, and give feedback if so inclined.  Or not!  I probably won't come up with anything that "needs to be done" on my own though.  Well unless I find there's yet another predefined unit the AI obsesses about way too much.

Summary of changes:
  • Made Hab Complexes and Hab Domes much easier to research.
  • Made late game weapons and armors cheaper.
  • Removed Clean Plasma Laser Foil unit because AI obsesses about it.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #898 on: October 14, 2019, 10:16:00 PM »
That's weird, 2 downloads of alphax.txt, which I imagine is legit interest.  Compared to 553 downloads of readme_mod.txt!  Some kind of scraper bot?

For the 2 people who expressed passing interest, I decided that the Punishment Sphere needs to go back to B1 Doctrine: Loyalty.  In my current game as the Cult of Planet, I still haven't learned E3 Cyberethics and I'm in midgame now.  The Cult has a pure Explore research focus, so that just shows there are a lot of Explore techs in the early tree.  I never intended a Punishment Sphere to be a difficult tech to obtain.  I don't actually need it, as the Spartan cities I'm conquering don't have large enough populations to warrant it.  But since I am trashing the Monsoon Jungle and could in principle get big populations, I think it should be available if I want it.  The cities are definitely far enough away to warrant such suppression.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #899 on: October 21, 2019, 07:49:27 PM »
I played a game as the Cult of Planet for awhile.  The University started on top of the Monsoon Jungle.  The Spartans arrived and quickly wiped them out, becoming a sort of southern superpower.  Except of course for the fact that I'm the only one who is truly awesome, har har har!  The Data Angels were close to the Spartan sphere of death and got reduced to 1 city for most of the game.  The early demise of 2 research factions, made this into a strangely tech stagnant game.  There wasn't much to steal.  Also keeping my Explore focus as I did, I simply never got certain things, like B4 Environmental Economics.  I could have cashed Artifacts but chose not to, preferring to preserve my lead in building Secret Projects.  I built almost everything that became available, and I eventually took the Citizens' Defense Force from the Spartans, rounding out my collection.  And the whole Monsoon Jungle, after building a lot of rails to get there.

Yang was my western neighbor.  Although he had a decent empire size, he was never a credible threat to my mindworms.  In the earlier part of the game, whenever he'd get uppity I'd just take a city from him, then call a Truce.  The Usurpers were south of the Spartans and it took me a long time to make a rail connection to them.  By that time I didn't want to develop any more cities, I just wanted to wipe everything out.  So I started making X Missile Rovers.

Yang got uppity again, so I called a Planetary Council session to Repeal the U.N. Charter.  Surprisingly the remaining factions were either in favor or abstained - the Data Angels had recently been killed by the Usurpers.  So then I was attacking both Yang and Marr with X Missile Speeders, having a pretty darned easy time of it, and building that wonder technology the Hologram Theater in my bases that were getting on to size 7 or 8.  Yeah with no Tree Farms, you get a bit crunched for happiness stuff.

At this point it was pretty clear that my victory was academic.  I hugely dominated the graph.  Domai on some far shore had done nothing of note and never produced Secret Projects.  Yang only had land cities and would soon be gassed into oblivion.  Followed by a land campaign to kick the Usurpers off the southern continent, and maybe some sea weirdness to wipe out their extensive sea bases.  I though lifting them out of the water and turning them into land bases might be fun, since I had the Weather Paradigm and probably enough Formers to do it.  But whatever, doesn't matter, was just a sandbox at that point.  And it was pretty slooooowww building those rails, pacifying more cities, knocking off more cities...

I quit, because I didn't see that I'd learn anything about my 1.36 beta from playing any longer.  Time to kick the official release out the door.  It's earlier this month, but that's ok.  Further development definitely has to be playtester driven, because I think I fixed everything.  Well, maybe some test game in the future will reveal that the Pirates still obsess about some silly prefab ship.  But I'm just not bothering with any test games for now.  Others can play some games and hopefully let me know what it was like for them.

Six Ages by A Sharp, has been released for PC finally.  They made King of Dragon Pass, which IMO is the only other good game that's been made, aside from SMAC.  KoDP was not quite 4X, although it did have a bit of an expansion and conquest element to it, within a sort of limit / cap.  KoDP is more of a RPG, and has the best narrative elements of any game I've ever seen.  It's arguably a unique development in gamedom, although if anyone wants to point out something "vaguely similar" they're welcome to do so.  I've never seen such, and I've been waiting a long time for the sequel.  Six Ages is gonna get my gaming time for awhile.  It's available on GOG, DRM free, for $20.


 

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