Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 6388 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #195 on: October 29, 2018, 05:00:10 AM »
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  • I still don't know how to play my own mod.  I did a test game as the University.  Once again I demonstrated that the hefty bonus of a free Biology Lab in addition to the traditional Network Node, doesn't matter nearly as much as you'd think.  Sure you soar through all the initial techs, and it might be a great way to rush someone near you.  But in the early midgame on a Huge planet, almost everyone was at parity with me.  The Pirates, Data Angels, Drones, Peacekeepers, and Gaians were all doing fine.  The Morganites were slightly runty compared to others, but positionally they were fine for the moment, as next door neighbor Deirdre wasn't attacking them.

    I had lots of allies and peace, except for Deirdre.  Who proceeded to send a foil probe team across the board and take over one of my sea bases!  And then Svensgaard, my newly made ally, took that over.  So I don't even get to liberate my own base.  It's like allying with the Soviets in WW II.  The whole point of me putting that base there in the 1st place, was to constrain Pirate expansion into my waters.  I quit.

    I made some more changes for 1.24.  I split out all the strength 3 armors into different C3 techs that are discovered in parallel.  I made Lasers and Synthmetal Armor into C2 techs.  Marines and Marine Detachments come at C3 now.  Progenitor Psych is now C1 and it's how you get Nerve Gas Pods.  I figure if you have to talk to Aliens, you should be able to kill 'em!  Ecological Engineering and Advanced Ecological Engineering take over for getting more food and minerals out of fungus squares, instead of some more conquesty rampaging techs they were previously associated with.  These changes seem to test fine, to the extent I played them.


    Offline Vidsek

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #196 on: October 30, 2018, 09:59:03 AM »
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  •    The near parity sounds like you've gotten *something* right so far, and made winning the game a proper challenge.
      Your latest changes all sound good to me.

      I'm looking forward to merging 1.24 with Yitzi's.  I may have some time soon to game test a bit.
    All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #197 on: October 30, 2018, 04:01:28 PM »
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  • I've now embarked upon a profound rearrangement of weaponry.  Lasers will be strength 3 and will be a C3 tech.  Resonance Lasers will be strength 2 and also a C3 tech.  Since mindworms and spore launchers come at C3 as well, this means nobody's going to have the usual offensive weaponry for quite awhile.  One could use probe teams at C2, or nerve gas at C1!  Or just have a rockfight with a lot of scouts and scout rovers.

    Part of what's driving these changes, is I've been pushing all the "interesting" gewgaws as early as I think they can reasonably go.  Like why wait around for Marines or Marine Detachments?  They will now be C2.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #198 on: October 31, 2018, 04:22:29 PM »
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  • CHANGELOG
    Changed from version 1.23 to 1.24:

    - Command Center: moved back to C1 Doctrine: Mobility.  The Tier 1 and Tier 2 techs have increased in number, so any Tier 2 tech can take a surprisingly long time to acquire.
    - Information Networks: changed it from a D2 to a D1 tech.  Set power=0, wealth=0, and growth=0.  It doesn't provide these benefits.  Even with "bread crumb" settings, the AI factions can easily take 150 years to research this tech.  Making it Tier 1 should alleviate that, because some factions will discover it earlier, it can be popped from a supply pod, and it will be perceived as less valuable to trade.
    - Progenitor Psych: changed it from a C2 to a C1 tech.  Set growth=0 as it doesn't grow anything.  Tier 1 techs can be found in supply pods, so less concern about not being researched.
    - Nerve Gas Pods: moved to C1 Progenitor Psych.  If you have to talk to the Aliens, you should be able to kill them!
    - Social Psych: set wealth=0.  It doesn't provide wealth.
    - Doctrine: Mobility: set wealth=0.  It doesn't provide wealth and isn't needed as a Build prereq.
    - Centauri Ecology: set wealth=3 and growth=4, making it an E1 tech.
    - Industrial Base: changed it from a B2 to a B1 tech.  Need more Tier 1 techs.
    - Synthetic Fossil Fuels: set wealth=4 and growth=3, making it a B2 tech.
    - Free Market: moved to Synthetic Fossil Fuels.
    - Doctrine: Flexibility: set wealth=0.  It doesn't provde wealth.
    - Biogenetics: changed it from a D1 to a D2 tech.  Set power=3 and wealth=0.  In addition to a lifecycle bonus, it increases resistance to genetic warfare.  It doesn't provide wealth, and it wasn't actually a prereq for Synthetic Fossil Fuels in version 1.21.
    - Field Modulation: changed it from a C3 to a C2 tech.
    - Ethical Calculus: set wealth=3.  Greater EFFIC from Democratic and Children's Creches can add up to a lot of credits.  It's also the only advanced Politics that doesn't penalize ECONOMY.
    - Adaptive Economics: set wealth=3.  The INDUSTRY bonus is definitely a form of wealth.
    - Adaptive Doctrine: changed it from a C4 to a C2 tech.
    - Marine Detachment: moved to C2 Adaptive Doctrine.
    - Amphibious Pods: moved to C2 Adaptive Doctrine.
    - Applied Physics: changed it from a C1 to a C3 tech.
    - Laser: now has attack strength 3.
    - High Energy Chemistry: changed it from a C1 to a C3 tech.
    - Plasma Steel Armor: moved to C3 High Energy Chemistry.
    - Perimeter Defense: moved it to C3 High Energy Chemistry.
    - Resonance 3 Armor: moved to C3 Bioadaptive Resonance.
    - Resonance Laser: now has attack strength 2.
    - Comm Jammer: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.
    - Pulse 3 Armor: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.
    - ECM 3-Pulse Probe Team: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.
    - Ecological Engineering: now gives +1 NUTRIENT in fungus squares.
    - Centauri Genetics: set power=4 and growth=3, making it a C3 tech.  No longer gives +1 NUTRIENT in fungus squares.
    - The Citizen's Defense Force: moved to C3 Centauri Genetics.
    - The Command Nexus: moved to C3 Polymorphic Software.
    - The Neural Amplifier: moved to C3 Neural Grafting.
    - Ecological Engineering: added Rover Former predefined unit to help AI.  The Speeder chassis is not in the path of this tech, but since it's an E3 tech, I figure it's ok to research it by now.
    - Fungi Rover Former: removed.  It is expensive.  Combining fast Rover Formers to lay roads, and slow Fungicidal Formers to clear fungus, is a better strategy.
    - Submarine Probe Team: added Deep Radar ability.
    - Centauri Psi: no longer gives +1 MINERAL in fungus squares.
    - Advanced Ecological Engineering: now gives +1 MINERAL in fungus squares.
    - changed many prereqs

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #199 on: November 01, 2018, 09:22:23 AM »
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  • Made a small mistake.  The ECM 3-Pulse Probe Team unit is now giving away the 3-Pulse armor prototype.  This wasn't previously an issue, because Plasma armor used to be a prereq.  Now it isn't.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #200 on: November 07, 2018, 02:45:10 PM »
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  • CHANGELOG
    Changed from version 1.24 to 1.25:

    - Heavy Artillery: moved to C1 Doctrine: Mobility.  Naval artillery is available with C1 Doctrine: Flexibility, so this is parallel and equalizing.
    - Information Networks: set growth=2.  Although it doesn't provide this benefit, a "bread crumb" is needed to ensure it is researched by someone.   Few factions have a Discover focus, but many have an Explore focus.  Someone needs to research it, as supply pods do not necessarily produce this tech.
    - Biogenetics: set power=2.  Although it does offer a lifecycle improvement and increased resistance to genetic warfare, neither are immediately useful.
    - Perimeter Defense: moved to C2 Doctrine Loyalty.
    - Deep Pressure Hull: moved to C3 High Energy Chemistry.
    - Heavy Transport ability: moved to C3 High Energy Chemistry.
    - Skunkworks: moved to B4 Industrial Automation.
    - Clean Reactor: moved to B4 Bio-Engineering.
    - Single-Sided Surfaces:  set power=4 and wealth=0.  Changed it from a B4 to a C3 tech. 
    - Cloaking Device: moved to C3 Single-Sided Surfaces.  Now allowed for Probe Teams.
    - Improve fungus squares: now available with B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering, instead of C5 Centauri Psi.
    - changed various prereqs
    - special tech flag 000000010: changed comment from "Improves Probe Team success rate" to "Improves Probe Team base morale".  The former is wrong, the latter is right.  Removed this flag from all techs.  Command Centers, Bioenhancement Centers, Cover Ops Centers, Secret Projects, Social Engineering choices, and inherent faction advantages already offer plenty of ways to buff up a probe team.

    - Comm Jammer: now available for Combat units only.  Not for probe teams, terraformers, or other non-combat units.  The AI is quite happy to use ECM probe teams offensively.  When combined with armor they are surprisingly difficult to kill, as probe teams defend as combat units.  Such units can even be used as garrisons with no support cost paid on them!  Removing ECM reduces this exploit somewhat.  There's no way to take away probe team armor.
    - Hypnotic Trance: now available for Combat units only.
    - Dissociative Wave: now available for Combat units only.
    - Blink Displacer: now available for Combat units only.
    - Polymorphic Encryption: now not allowed for Probe Teams.  It's nonsensical: probe teams fight, they never get subverted.
    - Clean Reactor: now not allowed for Probe Teams.  They don't require support anyways.
    - Algorithmic Enhancement: turned off "Allowed for Terraformer units", and turned off "Allowed for Combat units".  Neither makes any sense.  A probe team is considered a Noncombat unit with regards to Abilities.

    - Light Artillery: new predefined unit to help AI.  Available with C1 Doctrine: Mobility.  Without this cheap (1)-1-1 unit, the AI produces excessive numbers of (1)-2-2 units.  They cost twice as much and are no better at artillery duels.  To keep this unit from being produced excessively as well, it is given an AI Plan of 3 = Reconnaissance
    - Heavy Transport Foil: new predefined unit to help AI.  Available with C3 High Energy Chemistry.
    - ECM Synthmetal Probe Team: removed.
    - ECM 3-Pulse Probe Team: removed.
    - Synthmetal Probe Team: created as new predefined unit to help AI.  Available with C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.  The AI never uses armored probe teams defensively, so it's on a Speeder chassis to be used offensively.
    - 3-Pulse Probe Team: created as new predefined unit to help AI.  Available with C4 Silksteel Alloys.  Speeder chassis.
    - Submarine Probe Team: removed Deep Radar.  It no longer has Neural Grafting as a preceeding tech.
    - Battle Ogres MK1, MK2, MK3: set unit cost to autocalculate.
    - Battle Ogre MK2: set weapon to Missile Launcher and armor to Photon Wall.  I got the old version of the MK2 on turn 46 of a test game.  It was clearly overpowered.
    - Battle Ogre MK3: set weapon to R-Bolt and armor to 12-Res.  Added Blink Displacer.

    Offline Brunost

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #201 on: November 11, 2018, 02:09:34 AM »
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  • Hi, bvanevery.  I`m interested in playing with a merge of your mod and Scients v2 patch. Is Alphax.txt the only file I will need to edit? If so, what parts of your alphax file do I need to change in this case?

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #202 on: November 11, 2018, 02:19:10 AM »
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  • I've never personally worked with Scient's patch, so I am not familiar with its version of alphax.txt.  The general drill with these sorts of things, is to acquire a "visual diff tool" such as WinMerge.  Put the 2 different versions of the file into the tool, then look at the visuals of what's diffferent.  For clarity: you want to compare stock SMAC alphax.txt to Scient's version of alphax.txt.  That way, you learn what he changed, and how it would likely affect some other mod like mine.

    For millions of laughs I'll try this exercise in a moment and tell you what I find. 

    You might be grumbling about the need to haul out a diff tool to play something.  "Exactly".  This is why I don't support patches in my mod.   It would greatly increase the work I'd need to do with each release.  The "slick" answer to this would be some kind of automated script, and content installer, but the SMAC community hasn't made it to such sophisticated tools yet.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #203 on: November 11, 2018, 03:18:50 AM »
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  • Good news!  It looks like Scient's version of alphax.txt is limited to minor capitalization and punctuation changes, and a few descriptions edited for clarity.  There is an optional reactor size in the predefined units section.  I've read that getting rid of that doesn't matter.  I think you can drop my files on top of a Scient 2.0 installation and call it a day!  You will lose his nice clarifying descriptions but otherwise it won't matter.  I could even poach those description tweaks to the extent that they matter.

    Offline Brunost

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #204 on: November 11, 2018, 04:14:47 AM »
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  • Exellent, bvanevery. I did fool around with WinMerge yesterday and it`s a nice tool to work with. In the end I will try as you suggest and just drop your files over the Scient v2. Too easy to resist:)

    I had a session yesterday with the Scient 2.0 patch but it became quite boring. Playing as the Angels I ended up on a semi-large island all alone with almost no encounters until late in the game. As always I ended up with a troubled relationship with everyones nemesis, Charman Yang, but he gave in to a truce shortly after I sunk some of his navy outside my shores. Usually he continues on with no mercy, so this was a rather unlikely behaviour from him. The "weak" factions ended up eradicated quite early in the game(as always) and the usual suspects was the only factions left (Spartans, Hives etc). So definetely your mod is needed in the mix.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #205 on: November 11, 2018, 05:10:01 AM »
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  • Yeah in my mod the Hive is ok but he's not the toughest kid on the block.  I'm not sure who is now.  It depends on your play style and how big a map you start with.  The factions I find myself actually worrying about are the Pirates and the Morganites, because they seem quite capable of keeping up "peacefully" with me, or even getting ahead of me.  On Huge maps at least.  On Standard maps, I can almost guarantee that 2 factions are going to get "runted", stuck behind some other faction with insufficient room to grow in.  They will not likely punch their way out, they will shrivel up and die.  That's why I recommend Huge maps, but lately I've done testing on Standard maps to get to the violence faster.

    Offline Brunost

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #206 on: November 11, 2018, 09:46:47 PM »
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  • I feel that the maps generated in SMACX have a big impact on how interesting games will be, and it`s often a hit or miss. I`ve read somewhere that maps on regular SMAC is a bit better in that regard. Apparently the developers did something in the code in SMACX in order to make free space on the maps for the invading aliens. In my games I never include the alien races and I`m not sure how this affect the map generation with that setting. On big maps tough it often seems like there`s a lot of empty landmasses and the human factions are often squeezed together. I think I`ll have to look into this and maybe see if i can make a custom map or use a ready-made one.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #207 on: November 12, 2018, 12:06:18 AM »
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  • Or you can just try my mod and see if my newer arrangements of continent, water, and island ratios work out for you.

    Offline Brunost

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #208 on: November 12, 2018, 02:53:40 AM »
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  • Or you can just try my mod and see if my newer arrangements of continent, water, and island ratios work out for you.

    That didn`t cross my mind. Thanks for the reminder ;b;

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #209 on: November 12, 2018, 03:04:32 AM »
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  • Remember, per the README, it is intended to be played with 30%..50% land mass.  I made sure there was still plenty of water for a Pirate should one happen to show up.  This can work because the land masses are more "continentally".


     

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