Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 5246 times)

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Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #150 on: October 11, 2018, 11:58:07 AM »
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  •    Thankee for this update!   Several of the changes look good based on my (time-limited) play testing of v. 120.

      I too found the AI wouldn't use some of those former varieties in distant past games, but do love basic fungicidal and super ones.

      I'll update my Yitzi/Growth merge and look forward to a game or few with it.  I am sorry I haven't been able to test enough to be much help to you, but so far you seem to have caught all the things I would have mentioned.  Rest assured that I will return some feedback.  Eventually.....;)
    All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #151 on: October 11, 2018, 10:19:26 PM »
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  • It's going to get harder to squeeze "need for improvement" out of this from now on, I think.  Some things are definitely subject to playtesting at this point.  Like is moving hovertanks earlier a game breaker, or not really that big a deal?  I can't answer that from my own experience because, after 6 months of this, I'm burned out.  I just don't sit down and think hey, I want to play a game of SMAC.  I'm told that's par for the course on any long project, that people get sick of their games.

    I did use the excuse of wanting to know the exact method of combat resolution, to play the very beginning of a game.  I started randomly as the Peacekeepers.  Got a Battle Ogre.  The Spartans showed up literally right next to me.  I was unfriendly and stomped them.  I uncharacteristically let my reputation drop to Faithful, because I had the Battle Ogre, and all these AI vs. AI test cases in my head where the Spartans end up being the dominant land power.  Kill them kill them kill them now now now!!!    So after performing that surgery I had luxurious unchallenged space to make a 20 city empire.  Then I decided I'd stared at enough combat resolutions to know I wasn't getting the answer I sought, and quit the game.

    So yeah, uh, if I get any external playtesting feedback on whether something is broken now, that would be good.  Cuz, uh, it's just not likely to be self-generating from here on out.  Psychologically, I'm working on my game programming language design, and on what my own 4X TBS title should be.  This has definitely been enough of a practice run.  I've definitely explored a lot of "the good and the dull".


    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #152 on: October 14, 2018, 06:29:19 PM »
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  • I cannot get this mod to work unfortunately not even after a fresh install.

    Update got it to work after some work.
    « Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 10:24:42 PM by vonbach »

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #153 on: October 15, 2018, 12:45:36 AM »
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  • What kind of work?  Anything about the mod itself?  All I've ever done is straight drop the text files onto a clean installation.

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #154 on: October 15, 2018, 04:37:26 PM »
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  • It turns out GOG was playing musical chairs with the file locations. I had to hunt them down after i  put it in the old location and messed that up.

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #155 on: October 15, 2018, 05:30:09 PM »
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  • Well, now you can try the not so crippled Believers, free of Mind Control!

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #156 on: October 15, 2018, 10:37:43 PM »
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  • I typically play as my own faction actually.Trying the money route to conquest. The Drones were tempting the Believers seem weak actually I'd add growth or support to them. Overall its definitely a new experience though. I like it.

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #157 on: October 16, 2018, 01:30:06 AM »
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  • I do agree that the Believers might be weak now.  I've worried, possibly even the weakest faction in the game.  However my AI test games have been inconclusive in this regard.  They've stomped various factions enough times to make me think perhaps they are not that weak.  My questions now would be whether they are too easy for a human to fight, or too onerous for a human to use to fight against others.  Immunity to Mind Control isn't a minor ability, it turns out.  It's very convenient when one wants to storm the map and not worry about cities being retaken by probes.  This has an important effect even on AI play, because that's the usual "comeback" strategy for a faction on the ropes... and it simply doesn't work.  Once the Believers start taking ground, they keep it!  It's just a question of whether they ever start taking ground to begin with.

    Nobody in my mod gets a SUPPORT bonus, and nobody will.  It has been democratized.  Everyone has to choose Police State, Fundamentalist, Planned, or Power to get SUPPORT.  Or someone can build the Living Refinery.  That's it, no other ways.

    Oh crap.  Just realized I said I gave the Believers +1 GROWTH in version 1.15, but didn't!  That's a flat out bug.  I even changed their Help entry to say they get the bonus, and they don't.  Well I guess there will be a 1.22 release.  What else will I put in there?  This isn't going to fundamentally change their performance.

    I wonder if giving them an extra Colony Pod would be too over the top?  Generally, only Aliens get 3 of them.  The excuse would be "lots of followers".  That could make them pretty terrifying in close quarters early game.  On the other hand, the AI might just misue an extra colonist and it might not matter much.

    Now I'm remembering I had this "new Believers" thing a few versions ago.  But I scrapped it.  Let's see what I came up with, it's a few posts back.  Ah yes here it is:

    proposed happy wealthy militant Believers
    proposed happy wealthy militant Believers

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #158 on: October 16, 2018, 03:14:57 AM »
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  • I was wondering about that +1 growth. Now it makes sense. You might want to check on the other factions too.
    Have you ever considered giving the Believers a PSI defense bonus? It seems like it might be appropriate.

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #159 on: October 16, 2018, 04:12:09 AM »
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  • I considered it, but I gave the Gaians the PSI combat bonus, as a unique ability.  If I start handing that sort of thing out to other factions, it waters down the Gaians' ability.  I don't particularly want the Believers to be any kind of "antidote" to Gaian mindworm tactics, nor to be especially gifted against the Cult of Planet or the Caretakers.  I don't think being gifted against native life that appears in the course of the game, is important.  If they want to trigger Global Warming and survive hordes of mindworms, they can build the Neural Amplifier etc. like anyone else.  Or seize it before it's destroyed.

    I don't think there's a setting for only PSI defense anyway is there?  PSI combat, yes, but I'm not seeing one for just defense.

    Offline vygov

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #160 on: October 16, 2018, 11:20:51 AM »
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    Oh crap.  Just realized I said I gave the Believers +1 GROWTH in version 1.15, but didn't!  That's a flat out bug.  I even changed their Help entry to say they get the bonus, and they don't.  Well I guess there will be a 1.22 release.
    Yes, +1 Grouth is not added. We are waiting for version 1.22.

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #161 on: October 16, 2018, 12:51:08 PM »
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  • Heres a thought have you ever thought about giving the Believers a bonus to defense rather than attack? It seems a better theme rather than the fanatic attack bonus.
    Make them a growth and defense powerhouse. Especially with no mind control.

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #162 on: October 16, 2018, 01:34:16 PM »
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  • Make them a growth and defense powerhouse.

    But that's the Peacekeepers, especially now as I have them.  Peacekeepers get +2 GROWTH, still have their extra Talent, and their relaxation of population limit by +2 citizens.  In addition I made them Passive, despite an Explore, Conquer focus, same as the Believers!  Lal is a pusillanimous wimp, and the payoff for this behavior is Diplomatic Victory.

    The Believers don't have any special benefit for sitting back and relaxing.  Although I'm willing to give them a +1 ECONOMY tithe, that hardly makes them into an optimal "sit back" faction.  I don't think they should be, in the sense that, I wouldn't want to create the Mary Sue of factions.  Generally speaking I'm willing to make factions better rounded because it helps AI play and is important if a faction starts out isolated.  The only faction I've really stuck it to in that regard, is the Spartans.  They pretty much need to find someone to overrun, because they have no advantages just sitting back building stuff.  This is pretty much why the Spartans are an Aggressive faction in my mod.

    The Believers and the Usurpers are the only other Aggressive factions in my mod.  I made the Caretakers merely Erratic because thematically, I wanted to see some contrast between the Alien personalities instead of them both being horrible cartoon cutouts of each other.  The Caretakers are now anti-Police State and the Usurpers are anti-Democratic.  Both can be Fundamentalist.

    My view is that now, there are lots of factions available if one wants to sit back and defend.  My Drones are good for it, with their +2 happy people instead of just +1.  The Pirates are good for it, and that's now how the AI plays them, being Passive and pursuing Wealth.  Aggressive factions are almost an endangered species, and I don't want to divest the Believers of their historic role in that regard.

    In addition to fixing the +1 GROWTH bug, I think I will give them +1 ECONOMY and kick it out the door.  Unlike most factions now, they start the game with a tech, Social Psych.  They can make people happy if they want to.  I'm leery of piling up too many bonuses for them too quickly, as it's not clear to me that they're all that weak compared to other factions.  I'd like to see humans playtest them with those 2 abilities before adding anything else.

    I'm realizing that my proposed Believers faction also had +1 MORALE.  I think I will skip that for now, but will consider it in the future if they're still not strong enough.

    « Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 02:03:13 PM by bvanevery »

    Offline bvanevery

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #163 on: October 16, 2018, 02:18:16 PM »
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  • CHANGELOG
    Changed from version 1.21 to 1.22:

    - Believers: added +1 GROWTH and +1 ECONOMY.  I said I gave them the GROWTH bonus back in 1.15 but actually failed to do so.  ECONOMY is to keep them competitive with other factions.  In essence it cancels the ECONOMY penalty when the AI chooses Fundamentalist.  Or a human player could go Democratic and make more money.

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #164 on: October 17, 2018, 09:23:21 PM »
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  • I thought I might give a little general feedback. The game plays quite differently.
    The game is significantly harder, at least it seems to be. The Moraganites are now
    a very powerful faction. Probe teams are very annoying and the AI seems to be better
    with their use. The early game actually feels early and feels like I'm going something other than waiting
    to the same old techs. Overall I like the changes so far its a new fresh take on an old game.

     

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