Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38260 times)

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Online bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #90 on: September 03, 2018, 12:09:26 AM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.17 to 1.18:

- Democratic: removed +1 ECONOMY bonus.  Raised EFFIC bonus to +2.  The game had too much easy money in it.  It made AI Morgan super powerful: it spent a mere 1000 credits to try to corner the energy market in mid-game!  I beat it, barely, but nobody should have a cheap shot like that available.  I've also felt for some time now, that it's hard to get EFFICIENCY in this game if you don't go Cybernetic.
- Intellectual Integrity: only had 1 prerequisite, E3 Monopole Magnets.  It is a growth=4, power=3 tech, so I chose C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory as the other prereq.
- Deep Radar: moved it back to Advanced Military Algorithms.  Got tired of needing to research Doctrine: Initiative to get radar for Needlejets.
- Repeal U.N. Charter: now available with Doctrine: Loyalty, which is when Nerve Gas Pods become available.  The use of chemical weapons is the main thing it pertains to, although it also covers obliterating bases and nerve stapling.  This only covers minor atrocities, and not the major atrocity of using a Planet Buster.  I see no reason for societies to wait a long time to make a decision about minor atrocities.  On Earth we made such decisions in the 19th and 20th centuries!  Most AI factions don't want to repeal the prohibitions anyways.  It takes some vote buying to pull it off, and getting the money together isn't easy for a warmongering, non-money-grubbing faction.
- Reinstate U.N. Charter: now available with Ethical Calculus, which is when Democratic politics become available.


The attachment limit per post is 5, and I eventually ran out of room at the top of the thread.  Consequently, this becomes the new home of version 1.18.  It was downloaded 21 times before I moved it here.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 08:47:49 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #91 on: September 03, 2018, 01:22:40 PM »
  I'll be incorporating those changes into my Merge of the Mods.  And starting a new game test.
            Note: now done.

  In my last test I found most of the gameplay to go well.  Had the Angels, Hive, Drones, University, Cyborgs, and Cult with me playing a custom faction.
  All the factions performed well, and in differing and interesting ways, except the Cyborgs, who seemed handicapped by being both non-agressive and interested only in research.  They had no motivation to build new cities or facilities and were lagging *way* behind everyone else.
However, that's from only two test runs with them in, so not exactly hard science.  I'll try them again with a different starting location.

  I know you've thought through most everything carefully, so I'm not going to argue for any changes on the (nonexistent) basis I know better.  Of course, there are some things I wonder about and would like your opinion on.
  First, some facility costs.  Several factions, including my own struggle with drones, even early on.  Perhaps making the Recreation Commons a bit cheaper might be a plus?  And in the same vein, reducing the maintainance cost of the Holo Theater?
  Second, since EFFIC is hard to obtain, reducing the cost of relocating the Headquarters might help a little bit?
  Third, would making Recycling Tanks a bit cheaper affect anything negatively?
  Fourth, certain very potent facilities and Secret Projects seem a bit cheap, considering what they provide.  Examples being: Command Nexus, Maritime Center, Empath Guild, Cyborg Factory, Cloning Vats, and the Cloudbase.

  And just as a jest: when's the full-color chart of your Tech tree coming out?  Or should I make that my next project?  ;lol
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 01:51:08 PM by Vidsek »
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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #92 on: September 03, 2018, 04:13:07 PM »
  In my last test I found most of the gameplay to go well.  Had the Angels, Hive, Drones, University, Cyborgs, and Cult with me playing a custom faction.
  All the factions performed well, and in differing and interesting ways,

How did the Data Angels do?  Based on my own games, I think they've become the runt of the litter.  I've got a solution in mind for them, but I haven't playtested it yet.

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except the Cyborgs, who seemed handicapped by being both non-agressive and interested only in research.  They had no motivation to build new cities or facilities and were lagging *way* behind everyone else.

What size maps are you playing on?  I've tested every Cyborg game so far on Enormous maps, and they've been the leading technical powerhouses of those games.  They've even kept up with the University, which surprised me.  You don't want an Aggressive Cyborg, they will nuke you!  They did it to me unprovoked in one game, there's a writeup about it in the Changelog.  When Miriam or Santiago wants to nuke you, it's ok because it takes a long time for them to get the tech.  When the Cyborgs want to nuke you, they get the tech quickly and do it.  So they are never, ever going to be put back to Aggressive.

My jury's out on whether Passive vs. Erratic creates different colonization behavior.  The Caretakers, Cyborgs, Gaians, Morganites, and the University are all Passive and in my games have been doing just fine.  Again, Enormous maps. 

What kind of geographic start did those Cyborgs have?  Any faction that gets bottled up too much behind some other faction's expansion path, does poorly.  Doesn't matter what faction it is.

Factions that start on islands often do poorly, although not as bad as in the unmodded game, because I made Doctrine: Flexibility have no prereqs.  It still takes time to research it though.  I haven't tried making Transports always available, because then players could use the Workshop to make warships available.  I don't want to enable that cheat.  Similarly, I don't want players to just start with Doctrine: Flexibility already known.

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However, that's from only two test runs with them in, so not exactly hard science.  I'll try them again with a different starting location.

Are you testing them with AIs vs. AIs and you not actually playing the game yourself?  I never do that.  All my test games, are me playing against 6 AI factions.  I don't choose where anyone starts.  So, all factions are inherently calibrated against my own play style.  I wonder if your play style is substantively different than mine somehow?  Oh, and sanity check: you are playing on Transcend, right?  Anything less than that, well IMO any faction is allowed to do poorly.

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  First, some facility costs.  Several factions, including my own struggle with drones, even early on.  Perhaps making the Recreation Commons a bit cheaper might be a plus?  And in the same vein, reducing the maintainance cost of the Holo Theater?
  Third, would making Recycling Tanks a bit cheaper affect anything negatively?

I think those are reasonable ideas, as long as the cost reductions aren't by much.  If they become a powerful bargain, then whoever researches those techs first gets a major advantage.  I'm forever annoyed that when I conquer something, I have to build a Recreation Commons and a Recycling Tank, that these always get destroyed.  But I don't think these should pop into existence basically for free.

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Second, since EFFIC is hard to obtain, reducing the cost of relocating the Headquarters might help a little bit?

A cost reduction is reasonable, but I don't think players should be able to get an insta-capitol wherever they want.  Now that you mention it, I do wonder why the AI can take so long to build a new one when their old one gets trashed.

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Fourth, certain very potent facilities and Secret Projects seem a bit cheap, considering what they provide.  Examples being: Command Nexus,

It now costs 300 and used to cost 200 in the unmodded game.  So no, this will not change.  Your view, or my view, on what it's worth and how much it costs, has to be balanced against all the people familiar with unmodded SMAC who expect things to be the old way.  I'm not driving the cost of this one off a cliff.  Aside from the fact that I don't personally think it's warranted, I can envision a lot of unhappy people gnashing teeth at me for an egregious change.  The next logical tier would be 400, which is double the cost in the regular game.  You put double cost in front of someone who thinks it should be the old way, and they're gonna say, how dare he!

In general, bear in mind that you're paying for these things by having to do the research.    Nobody starts the game with the ability to make a Secret Project anymore.  Nobody starts SPs at all until they get to Level 3 techs.  SPs chew up at least 6 Alien Artifacts.  I can tell you, the hit on your hoarded pool of Artifacts is noticeable, and IMO appropriate.  Nobody gets Supply Crawlers until late midgame, you don't have any substitute for Artifacts.

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Empath Guild,

Well the big debate is, is it really as powerful as some people say?  I put it way later in the tech tree.  You don't get it until late midgame, and you have to seriously earn it, there are so many techs in the way.  The cost went up from 200 to 300.  There are people who think this is the worst most grossly unfair SP ever.  My question is, are they a bunch of whiners?  Like the Command Nexus above, is it worth doubling the cost of this thing?  That said, the Command Nexus now comes from a Level 4 tech.  The Empath Guild comes from a Level 6 tech, and I have noticed it seems "cheap" by that point in the game.  I'd like to hear why this thing is supposed to be so godawful evil, to be deserving of this continual ire and elevation of importance on the part of some.  If I do nothing, well it's not like Deirdre is couging it out early game.

It's given by Homo Superior, a C6 tech.  Its peers are: Universal Translator (400), Longevity Vaccine (300), Nano Factory (400).  I'm inclined to say the Longevity Vaccine is too cheap, the Nano Factory is too expensive.  The UT, eh, don't care much, could cheapen it.

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Maritime Center,

Doctrine: Initiative is a C5 tech.  The MCC costs 300; it is "Command Nexus for ships" plus a movement bonus, which is actually more significant IMO.  What are its peers among Level 5 techs?  Hunter-Seeker Algorithm (300), Neural Amplifier (300), Pholus Mutagen (400), Supercollider (300).  I don't think the MCC is any more powerful than those.  While we're looking at this, I'd say the HSK is too cheap.  The PM might be too expensive, it's only another lifecycle bonus + eco-damage reduction.
 
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Cyborg Factory, Cloning Vats, and the Cloudbase.

They're all Level 7 techs, they come late.  Costs are 400, 500, and 400; note that Cloudbase cost was raised.  Peers are Network Backbone (500), Living Refinery (400), Self-Aware Colony (500), Dream Twister (400).  Of those, Living Refinery is clearly too cheap.  +2 SUPPORT is a huge bonus.  That's going to 500 right now.  Cloning Vats, it's already 500.  Not sure if it should be more.  I could see raising Cyborg Factory and Cloning Vats, but should either get 450 or 500?  Not sure.  Dream Twister, well it gives a 50% PSI attack bonus, which is large.  Mabye 400 is too cheap.

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  And just as a jest: when's the full-color chart of your Tech tree coming out?  Or should I make that my next project?  ;lol

Who the heck has a printer to scroll print such a thing anyways?

More seriously, I just counted 86 active techs in the tree.  Let's say you insist on printing this on one 8.5"x11" piece of paper.  Let's say it's possible to specify 0.25" margins left, right, top, and bottom in a portable way, and I don't know that it is.  That's an 8"x10.5" working surface.  Let's say you allocate 2" wide cells, 4 per row.  You will need 22 rows to cover all the techs, implying less than 0.5" height per cell.  I suppose it's within the realm of the doable, if you are satisfied with just text, boxes, and connecting lines.  If you want icon artwork, that's going to be a tight fit.  Feasibility of that is left as an exercise to the reader.

I suppose it could be landscape oriented.  A row could be conceptualized as 5 cells, 2" wide, with a little blank space between them already built in.  18 rows would be needed, again implying less than 0.5" height per cell.  A tradeoff has to be made on cell width vs. height, one way or another.




Online bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #93 on: September 04, 2018, 12:09:47 AM »
Staring at this for a bit, I'm going to do the following:

Recreation Commons - drop build cost to 30
Recycling Tanks - no change, stays at 40.  Getting a food, mineral, and energy is valuable.
Hologram Theater - drop build cost to 50 and maintenance cost to 2.

A maintenance cost of 3 is really hard on a civ.  I've noticed in many games that if I build too many Research Hospitals, I go bankrupt.  I've been leery of Hologram Theaters for simlar reasons.  That and just being cheap about well, uh, I'll take over that Virtual World I didn't build, any turn now.   :D  Somehow it never happens and I end up having to build the damn things, and I don't like it.  Just to make it less of a sharp stick in the eye, would be a reason to lower the cost.  I do think Research Hospitals should stay as is though.

For relocating a HQ, the build cost is only 50.  I'm thinking it shouldn't be any cheaper than the price of, well, Netflix. 

I'm finding other things to change.  Like, a Skunkworks is too cheap.  6 to build, 1 to maintain.  Should be at least as much as a Research Hospital.  Bumping it to (12, 3) and calling it a day.

A Genejack Factory only costs 10 to build and 2 to maintain.  Why so cheap?  Yeah, ok, you get drones.  Still too cheap.  Making it 12 to build, 3 to maintain, same as a Tree Farm.

Robotic Assembly Plant, Quantum Converter, Nanoreplicator, are not in a good progression.  Their maintenance costs are 4, 5, 6.  Changing their build costs to match: 24, 30, 36.

Why is the maintenance on a Subsea Trunkline so godawful expensive?  It's 4, same as a Robotic Assembly Plant.  Dropping it to 3.  I could have really used the extra cash after the planetwide deluge!

Paradise Garden, why 4 to maintain?  It's a late game facility that costs 12 to build.  Is this some kind of tax on the successful?  Screw that, dropping maintenance to 3.

Ok, I've eyeballed the base facilities quite a bit now.  That's what I found to change.

I've noticed that sometimes the Datalinks display incorrect Maintenance costs.  Not sure why.  The Budget stuff that you get from hitting F3 seems to be correct.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 01:14:05 AM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #94 on: September 04, 2018, 07:15:32 AM »
    Quick response and through!   I wasn't in any sort of a hurry, but thank you :)

  Bear in mind that I've not played past early mid game as yet, so much of the Tech tree is a semi-mystery to me.  Nor have I seen what the factions are like with a full head of steam up.

  My map is an Enormous (oh gods, could it be merely a Huge?  I so don't want to count tiles...).
  Anyway, it is quite large, with lots of ocean, but no truly vast expanses.  One large continent, two medium, and several large, but enriched, islands.  A few smaller islands and some scattered atolls, the last for nice sea bases, give some places for expansion but arn't intended as starting spots.
  The base map was random generated with the settings I have in alphax, but I extensively renovated it to even out the advantages/disadvantages of the landmasses.  The sizes and arrangement of them was partly inspired by the early advent of sea transport in the AI Growth mod.
  Overall, it's a fairly lush world, rather wet and rugged, with probably too much food, minerals, and energy, but my thought was to not bottleneck those and instead see how the factions would hobble themselves.

  To remove some of the random variance from the testing, Unity pods do not give artifacts, monoliths, or resource bonuses (the latter two I placed sparingly and evenly distributed).  They do give credits, completing current production, occasional tech and comm, angry wildlife, and rude tectonic events.
(one of my fond .exe editing wishes is being able to set all of the pod results, and their %/frequency).
  There was still the real possibility that the AI would dump factions on one of the lesser islands, or in a crappy starting location.  Plus the very real possibility that factions would dither about deciding where to settle, loose part or all of their units, and so on.   To forestall that I run the game as a scenario, place the factions on excellent (and pretty much equal) spots, and start their first base there.
I can switch around which landmasses each is on in later games to see if that makes a difference.
  Yeh, yeh, sounds like an experiment conducted at CERN, eh?  Um, well....I *am* a scientist....sorry..

   Oh, and insanity check, I was playing on Thinker level, because the first game I played on Trans the wildlife was brutal to several factions.  I will tone down the critters a tad and go Trans from now on.
   And yes, I play the custom faction (which isn't OP, just different) and don't mess with the six regulars through the editor.

   Also, long ago I found the Artifacts to be way too much of a crutch in getting Tech once you had Network nodes, and never thought of them as raw materials, hence my banning them from the pods.
A matter of playstyle, true, but do you think it affects the function of your mod as intended to eliminate them?  If you don't go the Scenario route, I'm not sure you always get the opportunity to set what the pods puke out, either...

   Since my test conditions were so different from yours, no real comparison or conclusion about the faction performance is valid.
But within my tests, the Angels were formidable, Yang quite effective, Domai all around excellent, the Cult capable in relatively harsh landscapes (ok, I might have thrown him a curve ball just because he did so well in regular games, and I don't much like him...soo not scientific :D), Zak and Deidre average good, and the Cyborgs slow starters in the early game.
  Further tests will hopefully remove some of the inconsistencies, tho I despair of evening out every difference between Yitzi and non-Yitzi.  Of course, that's actually the point of what I'm doing: seeing how your mod works under Yitzi parameters.

  Now, as to the facility costs: as I mentioned, I don't have a good feel for your tech tree yet, except maybe the very earliest part, so my questions were just questions.
  I don't see any reason to balk at your answers and reasoning, and I'm going to go with your conclusions, and the adjustments in your second post. <urk...more editing....><no, no, it's all good ;)>
  Actually, you've clarified some things I was unwittingly confused on, so you have my thanks again.

  Finally: who says you have to have the *whole* tech tree on one sheet?  I was thinking of doing it like I did the original one, on four (or even six) sheets that you just tape together.  If you set them up right, the worst is that you might have to trim the margin off a couple of them.
Changing titles and such, matching fonts, and drawing in all the go-to lines between them would be the hard part for old-school, paper and colored pencil me  ;lol
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #95 on: September 04, 2018, 02:33:22 PM »
   Oh, and insanity check, I was playing on Thinker level, because the first game I played on Trans the wildlife was brutal to several factions.  I will tone down the critters a tad and go Trans from now on.

I think you may have identified "the problems".  As I said before, Thinker is likely not a favor to the AIs and could conceivably harm the Cyborgs.  But the other major point: if you're playing with Abundant native life, it is certain that some factions are going to be harmed.  They can't handle it, it's an AI crippler.  However much it may seem to be a challenge for you the human player, it is far worse on them.  I gave up ever doing Abundant native life about a year ago.  Played a lot of games where I kept seeing the same thing happening to at least a few of the AI factions.

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Also, long ago I found the Artifacts to be way too much of a crutch in getting Tech once you had Network nodes, and never thought of them as raw materials, hence my banning them from the pods.
A matter of playstyle, true, but do you think it affects the function of your mod as intended to eliminate them?  If you don't go the Scenario route, I'm not sure you always get the opportunity to set what the pods puke out, either...

My mod doesn't depend on Artifacts for anything.  In the past I've played many games with no pods at all, because getting all the Artifacts from them is indeed a crutch.  Having beefed up the AIs though, I worry less about that lately.  I mean, the AIs did nuke my 2 best cities last game, causing me to quit out of boredom!  Granted that's more about atrocities than pods.  I used 5 of my Artifacts that game to get a jump on tech, which barely got me Neural Grafting and the ability to build the Neural Amplifier at a time when I desperately needed it.  The rest of the Artifacts got used for Secret Projects.  I would probably have been a lot more grievously harmed if I hadn't had the Artifacts and hadn't built the NA.

I would suggest you play more games on Transcend before deciding just how negatively you feel about Artifacts.  One thing I do notice, is the AI doesn't seem to do anything with them.  They sit around in bases forever, it seems.  Some of my Artifacts have been captured from taking bases.

I could not endorse a mod as "my work" that doesn't allow players to have Artifacts at all.  It should be their choice.  You can of course call anything your own work, in that regard.   Reducing the frequency with which Artifacts appear, is another way to go, if you have control over that.  Just remember, Secret Projects are consuming at least six Artifacts nowadays in my mod, and there are no Supply Crawlers for a long time.  I think this really cuts down on Artifact abuse.

I don't endeavor to get rid of things when I make a mod, much as I may dislike them as game mechanics.  The most obvious pet peeve IMO would be the Probe Teams, since I don't know how to balance them.  Their ability to buy out cities full of military units is ridiculous!  To be honest though, once I took the +2 PROBE away from Fundamentalist, the game seems calmer about probe teams.  I don't seem to be getting hammered as much anymore, which is fine by me.  They can still just completely ruin your game because you forgot to bring them along though.

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I don't see any reason to balk at your answers and reasoning, and I'm going to go with your conclusions, and the adjustments in your second post. <urk...more editing....><no, no, it's all good ;)>

Unless you're in a hurry, I'd suggest waiting a week until I issue an official 1.19.  It would save you some typing.  I can't in good conscience do things any faster than once per week at this point.  Trying to put a fig leaf on looking chaotic and indecisive.   :D  That's not what happened here, of course.  I proceeded very methodically and stably, issued 1.18... then you brought up a whole new axis of concerns that were worth addressing, that weren't even on my radar.

This morning I'm pondering the Secret Projects.  My attitude towards making changes there is conservative.  They're all worth something... there's a slippery slope of getting dragged into raising all their costs.  At some point it becomes "I'm punishing you for building any Secret Projects."  Which is not fun.  I like ticking off my Secret Projects and don't want the game to become some huge PITA that way.

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Finally: who says you have to have the *whole* tech tree on one sheet?

I do!  I find the idea of scotch taping several sheets together to be kind of crass.  But you can go that way if you want, of course.  At least if you did do that, the techs are all in very clearly defined Levels of power.  I was very methodical about that.  Looks like the widest part of the tree is Level 5 with 11 techs.  On an 8.5" x 11" sheet, that's something less than 1" height per tech, progressing sideways in a multi-page portrait layout.  I'm going to guess it will all fit on 3 sheets of paper, in columns per Level, tweaking and zigging on the last sheet for the endgame.


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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #96 on: September 04, 2018, 06:41:36 PM »
Note: I'm lowering Industrial Automation from a B5 to a B4 tech.  This has caused a fair amount of reshuffling of the Build part of the tech tree.  I would not advise starting on your tech tree printout project just yet, unless you have a way of doing it automatically.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #97 on: September 04, 2018, 09:57:12 PM »
I've now stared at the Secret Projects long and hard.  Here are my changes, subject to playtesting, or a debate that says I picked a "wrong" price for them:

Now 300: Universal Translator.
Now 350: Maritime Control Center, Xenoempathy Dome, Pholus Mutagen, Nano Factory
Now 400: Planetary Energy Grid, Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, Empath Guild
Now 500: Cyborg Factory, Cloudbase Academy, Living Refinery, Nethack Terminus
Now 600: Cloning Vats, Clinical Immortality, Space Elevator

Others are unchanged.  At this point, I'm pretty sure that's deliberate on my part, not an oversight.  Feel free to debate anything I didn't change, except the Command Nexus, which is staying at 300.  A test question I asked when contemplating this stuff is, "If the enemy built X instead of me, would I lose sleep over it?"  If the answer is "yes", price goes up!  If "no", price stays the same or goes down.

Also noteworthy: I'm moving the Planetary Energy Grid to Planetary Economics.  For one thing, the name match-up sounds a lot better.  But mainly, Morgan was building the Grid too early IMO.  Like, I should have a chance at it myself! and not have to be Morgan to do so.

Living Refinery is moving to N-Space Compression because the video shows space.  Earlier I said game mechanics overrides narrative and just accepted the wart.  But on further contemplation, possibly due to other changes since then, I don't see a problem moving it.

I might move the Cloning Vats even later in the tree than it already is.  Need to stare at it a bit.


Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #98 on: September 04, 2018, 10:03:45 PM »
  Fortunately, the Tech chart is barely a concept yet.  Better (just for me) would be to have each tech as a separate little piece that I could move around, either as paper or virtual.  Too much work, I'll make do.

  Transcend....uh huh, much better for the AI.  At least on food and materials, they have 7 units per row, so what costs you 40, only dings them for 28.  I forget what other bonuses they get.
Not that that bothers me, I'll still whup their butts.  Probably....well, or die trying.  If they can come back as a lone colony pod to settle in some godsforsaken wilderness, why can't we?

  Actually, the major, almost only, source of hostile wildlife seems to be from popping the pods.  Perhaps restricting the variety of what they produce increases the likelihood of fungus blooms and worms?  Seems that way to me.
  Since the AI doesn't seem to use artifacts to get tech, at least very often (and I've come to that conclusion on my own as well), one can just choose to not abuse them that way.  At the least, it might make you feel better about yourself and enjoy the game more.

  As of now, I've only made the changes you mentioned to the alphax I'm using in current tests.  I'll wait for the official to update the stock one.

  Meanwhile, I'll try to think up other things that'll make you reconsider whole chunks of the game  :D
I know, deep in your heart, that you enjoy doing this more than making a few bucks to buy food.  (and of course, who of us wouldn't eat vacant lot weeds and rats before letting the electricity be cut off, eh?  I hear even fig leaves are edible).

   Btw, being an Archaeologist, among other things, I sorta love crass :)  At least when it means ancient tech and basic make-do cleverness.  Actually, scotch tape seems disturbingly high tech to me, I fondly remember the days when glue was queen :P

   Addenda: the Secret Projects look properly covert to me.   And do remember to rest your eyes occasionally between all the staring.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #99 on: September 05, 2018, 08:29:38 AM »
Not that that bothers me, I'll still whup their butts.  Probably....well, or die trying.  If they can come back as a lone colony pod to settle in some godsforsaken wilderness, why can't we?

So you believe.  It's actually been possible for the AI to nearly whip me at times.  Of course, that typically revealed an egregious bug in my modding, har har har!  Seriously though, 1000 credits for Cornering the Energy Market cannot generally be allowed.  Spartans with Elite troops before even getting Advanced Military Algorithms couldn't be allowed either.

Quote
  Meanwhile, I'll try to think up other things that'll make you reconsider whole chunks of the game  :D

It's been a violent cascade today, but I think I've got it righted now.

Quote
I know, deep in your heart, that you enjoy doing this more than making a few bucks to buy food. 

I don't make any bucks.  I buy my food with food stamps.  In a sense, Uncle Sam is funding half of this mod work.  The other half would be my sweat equity repairing my own car that I live out of with my dog.

Quote
(and of course, who of us wouldn't eat vacant lot weeds and rats before letting the electricity be cut off, eh?  I hear even fig leaves are edible).

Recently I've learned the joys of eating luffa.  It is a prodigiously productive plant!

Quote
Btw, being an Archaeologist, among other things, I sorta love crass :) 

I took my required archaeological area course for my B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology.  Chose Mesoamerica.

Quote
At least when it means ancient tech and basic make-do cleverness.  Actually, scotch tape seems disturbingly high tech to me, I fondly remember the days when glue was queen :P

Various things like obsidian are nothing to laugh at.  You can tear a horse's head off with one of those obsidian clubs the Aztecs used, it's been demonstrated (on a dead horse).  I hate, hate Ancient Astronaut Theory more than all the other ridiculous conspiracy theories that people come up with.  It's a bunch of people who can't wrap their heads around copper saws, sand, and water.  You've got people's cultural biases as to why they don't understand this stuff, and also their ignorance or stupidity.  Sometimes the ancients took pains to tell us how it was all done, and people still goof it up for centuries.  Seen this one?

sandslide640
sandslide640

3 guesses what the "sprinkling water out of a jar" thing is about, if you need that many.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #100 on: September 05, 2018, 01:10:15 PM »
  Yeh, who'd have guessed the ancient Egyptians knew about "greasing the skids"?  :D
I wonder who the twelve guys standing behind the statue are?  Sidewalk supervisors?  I'm sure the Egyptians had those as well.

  I'd been wondering if you were coming up with all these great ideas on your own.  Smart dog, eh? 

  Swiss Chard is another crop that's almost a free lunch.  Little care, lots of good quality food.  Winter hardy.  Don't forget bugs for that all important protein input.  I'll try to get the recipe for the absolutely scrumptious fried crickets that I had in Cambodia.  Crickets are much less crunchy than grasshoppers.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 01:26:12 PM by Vidsek »
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #101 on: September 05, 2018, 04:04:09 PM »
  Yeh, who'd have guessed the ancient Egyptians knew about "greasing the skids"?  :D

It's not grease, though.  It's water.  The intent is the same.  At the right level of dampness, friction on sand is greatly reduced.  Not that hard to discover or contemplate either, when walking along a beach when the tide has gone out.

Quote
I wonder who the twelve guys standing behind the statue are?  Sidewalk supervisors?  I'm sure the Egyptians had those as well.

I figure just supervisors.  You know, supervising!  Important stuff!

Quote
I'd been wondering if you were coming up with all these great ideas on your own.  Smart dog, eh? 

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not actually copying these game design improvements off an Egyptian scroll.  Despite the popularity of the ancient 4X TBS game of MEHKUT, where one levels up various degrees of chariot warfare.

Quote
I'll try to get the recipe for the absolutely scrumptious fried crickets that I had in Cambodia.  Crickets are much less crunchy than grasshoppers.

I have wondered about the palatability of various things.  Scorpions from the Southwest USA, apparently, are one of the most awful things you can eat.  But you can do it to survive.  Saw it on a survival show called "Fat Guys In The Woods".

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #102 on: September 09, 2018, 03:34:42 AM »
      Minor update:  Currently playing another game test of the Yitzi-AI Growth Mod frankenstein.
  Transcend level, fairly large map (which I think is the same size as your Huge Planet), tho I am still placing the starting bases manually.  Native life is normal abundance, pods produce everything except monoliths and resources (tho I could change that to no restrictions).
  Factions are Angels, University, Drones, Cyborgs, Gaians, and Cult.
  I'm made all the changes from your v. 1.17 alphax.txt that you've noted in this thread, but not, of course, the ones that you are currently testing and haven't posted.  I did change Aki Zeta-5's Cyborgs from passive to erratic.  Currently, about 30 turns in, all the factions are running neck and neck on development (and matching me) with no contact or conflict as yet.

  Now it's back to get another century on it to see what happens when they encounter each other.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #103 on: September 09, 2018, 05:53:17 AM »
I'm very interested in your results with an Erratic Consciousness.  (That doesn't sound right.)  It's too late for Aki in my game!  She will die.  That said, I think she's tried to start the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, which surprises me given the mickey Roze has taken out of her.  I doubt Aki has any chance at the HSK before I build it myself.  I need it to go settle Marr's hash.

I wonder, who can stand up to Marr now?  Lately, I haven't seen anyone manage it on land.  I've seen factions do it at sea, especially Svensgaard.  A long time ago, at the beginning of all of this, someone complained about me defanging the Alien monsters.  I stuck to my guns because I hate the way they are in the unmodded game, as do some other people I've run into.  I thought defanging them was better than eliminating them.  And yet here we are, many months later, and at least one of the Alien factions is still powerful.  Perhaps Directed Research is worth that much.  Or perhaps it's DR combined with Aggression.

I could test that theory.  Do some Caretaker only games, see if they get slaughtered or not.  Recently I seem to remember them getting slaughtered.  In the unmodded game, the Caretakers are actually Aggressive.  I didn't like that, I wanted there to be more of a "sort of good guy" dynamic.  Umm, maybe I went too far... seems I made them Passive.  Gosh who else?

Morgan and Svensgaard are Passive.  They're doing great.  They're also deeply at war, this whole game.  Morgan did great last game too, although that's because I chose to leave him alone for a long time.  So there are circumstances where Passive does work.  Svensgaard has his moat, so it'll probably always work for him.  For the others, is it about quality of the land start?  Morgan I think started on a big island up north.  I've not managed to steal his map so I don't know for sure.

University is Passive.  They were getting creamed my previous game, by the Usurpers and also the Cultists.  They almost died.  Then I flooded the world in a chemical holocaust, and they were given Second Life!  So much so, that they eventually nuked me.  They did!  Passive my foot!  Evidence is that water slows invasions down and helps factions survive.

Gaians are Passive.  Don't recall a recent test game.


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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #104 on: September 09, 2018, 06:40:58 PM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.18 to 1.19:

- Data Angels: no longer needs infiltration to gain techs known to 3 factions.  Removed free probe teams from starting units.  The Angels kept getting whipped by everyone else and needed to be tougher.  Infiltration on any large map is difficult, and the AI seems to forget to infiltrate even when it can.  The AI probably used the 2 free probe teams badly, getting them killed quickly.  This means the AI starts with basically no advantages, especially on larger maps, and that's why they get creamed.  A human can use the probe teams to much better effect, as they can pop pods on flat / rolling ground and then get out of the way.  However, the impossibility of infiltration is still quite noticeable on a Huge map.  Having the equivalent of the Planetary Datalinks from the beginning of the game is a powerful ability, so the free probe teams are removed, to keep the Angels from becoming overpowered.  With their new ability, they will research Planetary Networks and gain probe teams much quicker, so they don't need them at start.
- Cybernetic Consciousness: changed to Erratic personality.  Playtester Vidsek, said they were doing poorly, and they also performed poorly in one of my test games, so perhaps Passive wasn't a good change for them.  I'm not going to make them Aggressive again, because I don't want a research powerhouse getting early nukes and then nukeing me!
- Caretakers: changed to Erratic personality.  Previously I made them Passive, which might be affecting their competence, and is also a thematic mistake.  They expect to be at war with the Usurpers.  I wanted them to be nicer with humans, to have a contrast, but they shouldn't be singing kumbaya.

- Centauri Empathy: now increases NUTRIENT production in fungus.  In the unmodded game there are 2 techs that grant this bonus: Centauri Ecology and Centauri Psi.  Now I have 2 techs as well: Centauri Empathy and Centauri Genetics.  I'm making the 2nd food available a lot earlier because my psi unit tech sequence is different than the original game.  I repurposed Centauri Genetics earlier in the tree, so there isn't an appropriately themed tech later.  My Centauri Psi is used to give a minerals bonus, comparable to what Centauri Genetics does in the unmodded game.
- Matter Transmission: no longer increases ENERGY production in fungus.  The original game doesn't do this.  A long time ago I added this to free up Temporal Mechanics for other uses.  I might have mistakenly moved the bonus twice.  The original game only had 3 techs that gave this bonus: Centauri Meditation, Secrets of Alpha Centauri, and Temporal Mechanics.  Now I also have 3 techs that give this bonus: Centauri Meditation, Secrets of Alpha Centauri, and Secrets of Creation.

- Centauri Genetics: set wealth=0.  It has no Build application.
- Advanced Military Algorithms: set growth=2.  Deep Radar is useful for exploration.
- Industrial Automation: now a B4 tech.  Supply Crawlers were coming too late in the game.
- Single Sided Surfaces:  now a B5 tech.
- Centauri Psi: set wealth=3.  It was supposed to be set that way a long time ago, because it gives a mineral in fungus patches, and the Pholus Mutagen makes more minerals possible without eco-damage.  But somehow that change didn't actually get made.
- Neural Grafting: set wealth=0.  The only "no additional cost" abilities nowadays are Deep Radar for sea and air units, and Heavy Artillery.  It can't really be said to be cheapening unit costs anymore, so not really a "wealth" tech.  Rather, you can pay to pack more military capabilities into a single unit.
- Organic Superlubricant: set wealth=2 and growth=3.  Hovertank formers can work on fungus and rocky terrain much more quickly, so counts as both wealth and growth.  Hovertanks can explore and colonize faster.
- Nanominiaturization: set wealth=2.  The Nano Factory cuts unit upgrade costs by 50%, so counts as a "wealth" tech.  Nanominiaturization is also a prerequisite for Industrial Nanorobotics, so this removes a non-Build research barrier.
- Homo Superior: set wealth=3 because the Empath Guild can win the Governorship, which is worth a lot of money from commerce.
- Industrial Nanorobotics: set power=0 because the Living Refinery has been moved elsewhere.
- N-space Compression: set wealth=3.  The Living Refinery is now available here.  Also, raising land instantly with missiles is an important Build capability after a planetwide flood!
- Unified Field Theory: now a D7 tech.
- Cyberethics: now a D8 tech.  The Network Backbone removes the penalties of D6 Digital Sentience, and I don't want it to be available too quickly.
- Biomachinery: now an E8 tech.  The Cloning Vats remove the penalties of Power and Thought Control, and I don't want it to be available too quickly.
- Nanometallurgy: now a B8 tech and set power=0.  SUPPORT bonus from Living Refinery is considered Build, not Conquer.
- String Resonance: now a C8 tech.
- Sentient Resonance: now a C9 tech.
- Matter Compression: now a C9 tech.
- Super Tensile Solids: now an E9 tech with set growth=5.  It now gives Habitation Dome.
- Secrets of Alpha Centauri: set power=0 because it no longer gives the Telepathic Matrix.
- Temporal Mechanics: now a C10 tech and set growth=3.  It now gives Clinical Immortality.  It already mistakenly had wealth=3, but this is correct now.
- Applied Gravitonics: now a C11 tech.
- Matter Editation: set power=0.  It doesn't have any Conquer application.
- Singularity Mechanics: now a C12 tech.
- Controlled Singularity: now a B13 tech.
- Threshold of Transcendence: now a D14 tech and set power=3 and growth=3.  It now gives the Telepathic Matrix. 
- changed various dependencies to purify the Explore, Discover, Build, and Conquer research paths.

- High Morale: moved back to E4 Intellectual Integrity.  This makes it thematically appropriate for Intellectual Integrity to be a prerequisite for Bioadaptive Resonance.  Centauri Meditation was previously being used for that, and it was becoming a prereq for too many things.
- Soporific Gas Pods: moved back to C5 Bioadaptive Resonance.  It's boring for humans having Progenitor Psych empty, especially if there are no Aliens in the game.  However, it's a bad idea to put anything interesting or worthwhile in it.  Anything made available, the Aliens get at the beginning of the game.  So we just have to live with a boring tech.   
- Skunkworks: moved to B5 Single-Sided Surfaces.  It saves mineral costs when building units, which makes it a Build tech.
- Neutronium Armor: moved to C8 String Resonance.
- Sky Hydroponics Lab: moved to E8 Biomachinery.
- Orbital Power Transmitter, Nessus Mining Station: moved to B8 Nanometallurgy.
- Habitation Dome: moved to E9 Super Tensile Solids.
- 12-Pulse Armor: moved to C9 Matter Compression.
- Transcend citizen: moved to D14 Threshold of Transcendence

- Universal Translator: lowered cost from 400 to 300.  Getting 2 free techs is not that exciting.  That's just 2 Artifacts linked to Network Nodes, and it takes at least 6 Artifacts to build a Secret Project!
- Nano Factory: lowered cost from 400 to 350.  Repairing units in-field is not that exciting.  Reducing unit upgrade costs is nice, but who actually remembers to do that?  I just disband them in cities to get the minerals.
- Xenoempathy Dome: raised cost from 300 to 350.  Zooming through the fungus is a powerful conquest capability.
- Maritime Control Center: raised cost from 300 to 350.  Zooming through the oceans is a powerful conquest capability.
- Pholus Mutagen: lowered cost from 400 to 350.  A lifecycle bonus and lowering eco-damage is not that exciting.  The fungus combat bonus is interesting but I haven't found it to be a big deal in practice.
- Planetary Energy Grid: raised cost from 300 to 400 and moved to Planetary Economics.  It's worth an awful lot of money, and in test games I've found that Morgan is building it too early.
- Hunter-Seeker Algorithm: raised cost from 300 to 400.  Being able to attack and defend without fear of probe teams is a powerful conquest capability.
- Empath Guild: raised cost from 300 to 400 and set ai-infra=2.  It's a game winner.  Aside from winning by Diplomatic Victory, gaining the Governorship is worth a lot of money from extra commerce.
- Cyborg Factory: raised cost from 400 to 500.  It's a powerful conquest capability.
- Cloudbase Academy: raised cost from 400 to 500.  It's way powerful for conquest, wealth, and growth.
- Living Refinery: raised cost from 400 to 500 and moved it to B8 Nanometallurgy.  It gives +2 SUPPORT, which is hugely powerful.  The video for it shows that it's a space tech, so it was a bit annoying not having it in the space part of the tech tree. 
- Nethack Terminus: raised cost from 400 to 500.  Too cheap in its peer group.
- Cloning Vats: raised cost from 500 to 600.  Not only does it give permanent population boom, but it removes penalties for Power and Thought Control.  That's powerful!
- Clinical Immortality: raised cost from 500 to 600, set ai-infra=2, and moved to Temporal Mechanics.  Like the Empath Guild, it's a game winner.  Winning the Governorship is worth a lot of money from extra commerce.
- Space Elevator: raised cost from 500 to 600.  Cheap satellites are way powerful.
- Telepathic Matrix: moved to Threshold of Transcendence.  It's a sort of "I don't have to do anything anymore" capability, more appropriate for sandboxing than the game itself.

- Recreation Commons: dropped build cost from 40 to 30.
- Hologram Theater: dropped build cost from 60 to 50 and maintenance cost from 3 to 2.
- Skunkworks: raised build cost from 6 to 12 and maintenance cost from 1 to 3.  Why should it be cheaper than other "serious" facilities?
- Subsea Trunkline: dropped maintenance cost from 4 to 3.  You really need some sea minerals after a planetwide deluge!
- Paradise Garden: dropped maintenance cost from 4 to 3.  It's an advanced tech, how hard can it be to maintain a garden?
- Genejack Factory: raised build cost from 10 to 12 and maintenance cost from 2 to 3.  That's the same as a Tree Farm or Research Hospital.
- Robotic Assembly Plant: raised build cost from 20 to 24.  Same as a Hybrid Forest.
- Quantum Converter: raised build cost from 20 to 30.  Not enough of a progression in factory costs.
- Nanoreplicator: raised build cost from 32 to 36.  Not enough of a progression in factory costs.

The attachment limit per post is 5, and I eventually ran out of room at the top of the thread.  Consequently, this becomes the new home of version 1.19.  It was downloaded 24 times before I moved it here.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 04:18:28 PM by bvanevery »

 

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