Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38378 times)

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Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #210 on: November 18, 2018, 07:06:31 AM »
The one issue I have with the governments is Fundamentalism still seems weak.
If theres one government that has +growth it should be them and not Democracy or at least more than Democracy.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 08:45:13 AM by vonbach »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #211 on: November 18, 2018, 12:54:53 PM »
Per my avatar, Fundamentalist gets +1 SUPPORT, +1 POLICE, and +1 MORALE, at the cost of -1 ECONOMY and -1 RESEARCH.  This fits the "3 benefits, 2 liabilities" scheme of all Political, Economic, and Values social engineering choices.

This is entirely comparable to my version of Police State, which gives +1 SUPPORT and +2 POLICE, at the cost of -1 ECONOMY and -1 EFFICiency.  From a gaining or losing abilities standpoint, they are a choice, an equal trade.

You might be feeling weakness because the Believers do not have +2 SUPPORT as a faction advantage anymore.  Excessive SUPPORT is a game killer and I don't allow anyone to obtain it easily / gratis anymore.  You have to make choices on the SE table and you have to take the negative consequences of those choices.

Unless you have IMPUNITY to some SE choice, and even then, it'll only be for that 1 choice.  The Hive has IMPUNITY to Police State.  The Cult of Planet has IMPUNITY to Fundamentalist.  No research penalty!  The Believers don't have that, but they do have +1 ECONOMY, which cancels half of the penalty you get from Fundamentalist.  Also if the Believers don't go Fundamentalist, they can make money.  Consider that +1 ECONOMY is what the Morganites get in the stock game.  No other faction in my mod gets +1 ECONOMY.  Morgan gets +2 ECONOMY so he can really make money.

Fundamentalist doesn't give any PROBE benefit anymore and that's by design.  If you had a probe team heavy play style then yes, you would definitely feel that it's weaker than the stock game.  I have nerfed the propensity of AIs to take over everything with probe teams, by taking away its ability to have a gigantic PROBE rating.

I don't think Fundamentalist is weak, and I've done a lot of playtesting by now.

If you think the Believers are weak, that's a different issue, one that I've worried about and struggled with.  Nowadays, they can make money and they are immune to enemy mind control.  Those aren't trivial abilities, as only 1 other faction has an ECONOMY advantage, and no other factions are immune to mind control.  Of course, the latter probably doesn't seem like that big a deal compared to the stock game, because Fundamentalist Believers would have a +3 PROBE rating anyways, which gives the same ability.  But you can be Democratic Believers and still have that ability, and make money, in my mod.

I don't think the Cult of Planet is weak.  You may not be used to them as "the other Fundamentalist faction".

The Aliens have always had a propensity to go Fundamentalist.  Their directed research is still a major advantage, even though I've nerfed them in other respects.  I don't think the Aliens are weak.

Other factions may go Fundamentalist as a matter of circumstance.  I don't think it's been harming them.

Myself, I've done Fundamentalist and Green a fair amount.  My Green gives +1 ECONOMY, so that cancels the -1 ECONOMY of Fundamentalist.  Similarly, SUPPORT bonuses and penalties are canceled.  I've done similarly with Police State and Green.
 



Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #212 on: November 18, 2018, 02:04:29 PM »
I have no problems having to go police state for +Support.
The main issue I have is having to go planned Democracy to have
+Growth which is silly. Never mind the fact that planned economies
actually shrink growth (just look at Europe or the USSR). Fundamentalist should
have a +Growth in there somewhere. If theres anything that should give Growth its that.
Its penalties are very high. Both Police State and Democracy are simply better.
I was thinking something along the line of a hybrid of Democracy and Police state
offering growth and population control at the cost of research.

I usually play custom factions actually. Usually based on one of the main factions just modified.
Believers do ok in most of their games.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #213 on: November 18, 2018, 03:15:54 PM »
But my Believers get +1 GROWTH, and they do not get that bonus in the stock game.  With Eudaimonic that gets them to +3 GROWTH.  Now you would have to choose 1 of {Democratic, Simple Economy, Planned} to get to +4 GROWTH.  Then build a Children's Creche and you're pop booming.  I have deliberately made it an effort to pop boom, it is not a giveaway.

The Cult of Planet does not get a GROWTH bonus, and unlike the Believers, they are not allowed to use Democratic.  They have a number of advantages, but this is one of their disadvantages.  They are unlikely to give up their IMPUNITY to Fundamentalist.  They would have to get a pop boom by making people really happy, or by building the Cloning Vats.

The Hive gets +1 GROWTH, same as the stock game.  They cannot choose Democratic.  Their bonus makes up for that, so they can pop boom just fine.  They have to choose either Simple or Planned economy, and Eudaimonic, and Children's Creches, to get a pop boom.

My mod actually did pass through some versions where Fundamentalist was giving a GROWTH bonus.  However, I eventually needed it to have other bonuses, and I'm not willing to violate the "3 bonuses, 2 penalties" paradigm.  +1 POLICE is definitely worth more than +1 GROWTH, especially since I made the Believers have +1 GROWTH to compensate.  I think if you want to grow a lot as a Fundamentalist faction, you should play the faction that was designed for that play style.  I gave my Believers options.  Democratic is viable strategy for them.

From a realism standpoint, per my design notes, I had to give up GROWTH realism in favor of acceptable game mechanics.  At least the GROWTH stuff is not quite as goofy as the original game.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #214 on: November 18, 2018, 06:35:29 PM »
Your mod is a real improvement on the original game thats for sure. I just think Fundamentalist is a bit weak is all.
Especially with the Research penalty. I'm testing the games ability to terraform and it seems much improved.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #215 on: November 19, 2018, 12:40:34 AM »
In the original game's lore, Fundamentalist has to have a research penalty.  I've minimized it.  Both in the amount of penalty for the Fundamentalist choice, and for the Believers faction specific penalty.  I also changed the choice the Believers can't make, from Knowledge to Cybernetic.  I think it's more realistic, and it fits the game's lore better.  It's a better short term arrangement for the Believers, but a worse long term arrangement.  I wouldn't think of apologizing for denying them the Cybernetic choice, as it's totally the game's lore, even moreso than stuff about research.

I could remove the Believers' inherent research penalty completely.  I would only do that if I also changed the Fundamentalist penalties to -2 RESEARCH, so that the net effect as the AI plays the Believers is the same.

I'm an Atheist.  I don't have anything against Christians per se.  But I think it's totally fair that if you go Fundamentalist, you're going to do bad science.  There's a Creationist museum in Ohio, for instance, that has got people and dinosaurs walking next to each other contemporaneously.  There are fundamentalist movements to stop kids being taught evolution in schools.

From a game mechanical standpoint, I think the ability to make plenty of money in a Fundamentalist government, might be interesting.  And as more of a contrast with Police State.  However it's also a big change, so I think I'd like to hear someone else's opinion too.

Of course it is not a big change from the original game.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #216 on: November 19, 2018, 03:43:08 AM »
Quote
I'm an Atheist.  I don't have anything against Christians per se.  But I think it's totally fair that if you go Fundamentalist, you're going to do bad science.

Many of the people that started science were monks and nuns actually. Thats what monasteries and convents were for.
This game is very anti-christian. Miriam is literally the "church lady" from Saturday night live.
She's basically every atheist talking point rolled into one. Mind controlled followers (silly),
hyper aggressive (like Christians are muslims, the crusades were actually a defensive measure)
and backwards (research penalties).

The changes made to Miraim and Fundamentalist are nice but theres only so much you can do.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #217 on: November 19, 2018, 05:36:38 AM »
Many of the people that started science were monks and nuns actually. Thats what monasteries and convents were for.

But were they Fundamentalist?  What does it mean?  I have no doubt that ISIS is Fundamentalist, for instance, and mostly harmful to the world.  The only thing positive I can say about them, is they've brought a kind of order to a chaotic part of the world.  It still seems a very dangerous place, regardless.  They're also dominating and exploitative, treating women like @!#$ and throwing gays off of minarets.  Is it correlated with bad scientific research?

Quote
This game is very anti-christian.

I think we agree on that.  You're even acknowledged in my release notes, because of your contributions of thought on this issue.  It's a question of to what degree we agree.

Quote
Miriam is literally the "church lady" from Saturday night live.
She's basically every atheist talking point rolled into one. Mind controlled followers (silly),
hyper aggressive (like Christians are muslims, the crusades were actually a defensive measure)
and backwards (research penalties).

The changes made to Miraim and Fundamentalist are nice but theres only so much you can do.

I have a bold proposal.  What if I got rid of Miriam's RESEARCH penalty entirely?  No inherent disadvantage to being a Christian.  And, remove the AI's compulsion to play Miriam as Fundamentalist.  Maybe they choose that.  Maybe they go Democratic.  Maybe even Police State.  I already have a faction in the game now that's an absolute dedicated Fundamentalist, that's the Cult of Planet.  They're a cult, they're awful, they sacrifice people to mindworms.

I think I'd even be willing to edit Miriam's faction dialogue, to the extent I have access to her lines in believe.txt.

Fundamentalist though, has to mean something.  I'd leave the -1 RESEARCH penalty intact.  And upon further contemplation, I think -1 RESEARCH -1 ECONOMY is still better than -2 RESEARCH.  I'm not interested in protecting the identity and sensibilities of Fundamentalists.  These are people who believe in burning people at the stake.  Inquisitions.  Stoning to death.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #218 on: November 19, 2018, 05:55:10 AM »
Quote
But were they Fundamentalist?  What does it mean?

Thats actually a good question really. Fundamentalist is a holdover from civ 2 and I never liked it. I usually remove it for something like "nationalist".
Fundamentalist in game terms seems to mean a repressive religious state and thats not what Christianity is.
Quote
I have a bold proposal.  What if I got rid of Miriam's RESEARCH penalty entirely?  No inherent disadvantage to being a Christian.  And, remove the AI's compulsion to play Miriam as Fundamentalist.  Maybe they choose that.  Maybe they go Democratic.  Maybe even Police State.  I already have a faction in the game now that's an absolute dedicated Fundamentalist, that's the Cult of Planet.  They're a cult, they're awful, they sacrifice people to mindworms.
Thats a good idea actually. I would and I sometimes do when modifying my own game. Power is one thing she seems interested in. Eudianomia is actually a decent ideology for her as well.
Quote
I'm not interested in protecting the identity and sensibilities of Fundamentalists.  These are people who believe in burning people at the stake.  Inquisitions.  Stoning to death.
So do communists they just do it through doxxing or gulags really.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #219 on: November 19, 2018, 06:13:03 AM »
So do communists they just do it through doxxing or gulags really.

That's why Police State and Fundamentalist are deliberately similar in my mod.  You really couldn't tell the difference in Mao's China.

I think the Believers would be more interesting, if they're the only faction that doesn't have a Social Engineering compulsion.  They have an aversion in my mod, that's to Cybernetic.  That fits all of Miriam's lines in the tech blurbs and Secret Project videos.  But I don't see a reason why they'd have to prefer Eudaimonic over Thought Control.  Christians have gone both ways.

Inventory of compulsions:
Hive - Police State
Peacekeepers - Democratic
Cult of Planet - Fundamentalist
Morganites - Free Market
Caretakers - Planned
Gaians - Green
Spartans, Usurpers - Power
University - Knowledge
Pirates - Wealth
Cybernetic Consciousness - Cybernetic
Free Drones - Eudaimonic
Data Angels - Thought Control

Pretty well got compulsions covered by everyone else.

Suddenly makes me wonder: why would the Believers ever acknowledge Planet and Transcend with it?  It's not God.  Seems like Transcend shouldn't even be allowed as a Believer victory condition.  But, there's no way to deny a victory condition in the official game on a faction basis, that I know of.  I think one of the unofficial patches does allow that sort of thing, but I'm not going to require a patch for my mod.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #220 on: November 19, 2018, 06:27:12 AM »
Quote
Suddenly makes me wonder: why would the Believers ever acknowledge Planet and Transcend with it?  It's not God.  Seems like Transcend shouldn't even be allowed as a Believer victory condition.  But, there's no way to deny a victory condition in the official game on a faction basis, that I know of.  I think one of the unofficial patches does allow that sort of thing, but I'm not going to require a patch for my mod.

The Gaians and Planet Cult worship the planet as a goddess. The idea is blasphemous to any Christian.
Heres a question how do the Spartans actually do? They seem a little weak to me.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #221 on: November 19, 2018, 02:38:06 PM »
I don't think the Gaians worship Planet.  I think they seek to communicate with it, and to live symbiotically with it.  Yes they have "acolytes" but I think those prayers in the Weather Paradigm video are more like oaths, actions they swear to take or not take.  None of Deirdre's dialogue talks about Planet being a worshippable entity.

In AI vs. AI testing, the Spartans were utterly destroying everyone around them for quite awhile.  I'm not sure about lately, in my most recent releases.  A major change in their AI behavior is now they are Aggressive.  In the stock game they are merely Erratic.  They are not weak compared to stock Spartans, as they do not have the -1 INDUSTRY penalty.  I did take away their +1 POLICE though.  No faction gets a POLICE bonus, not even the Hive, although I did experiment with that at one point.  Instead the Hive gets IMPUNITY to using POLICE.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #222 on: November 19, 2018, 02:55:28 PM »
The weather paradigm is a quote from "the Gaian acolytes prayer."
Quote
In AI vs. AI testing, the Spartans were utterly destroying everyone around them for quite awhile. 
Really? I'm surprised actually. On paper they seem weak.
How do you do AI vs AI testing?

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #223 on: November 19, 2018, 03:21:57 PM »
I activate the Scenario Editor.  I play the 1st turn of the faction I was given.  Then I transfer my view to another faction and select "No, watch the computer".  I put a weight on the Enter key and let it run for awhile.

On a Huge map, with 30%..50% land mass per my recommendations, AIs have room to do their thing and results are pretty consistent from run to run.

On a Standard map, 2 factions are likely to be "runted".  That is, stuck behind other factions on land masses, with too small an amount of land to expand.  They eventually get killed.  This can happen to any faction, nobody is tough enough to be guaranteed to break out of that.

So if you were playing on a Standard map, and you saw the Spartans lose, you need to consider what their starting conditions were.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #224 on: November 20, 2018, 04:27:16 PM »
I have realized that if I remove the AI's compulsion to play the Believers as Fundamentalist, then they could choose Police State.  In which case their dialogue could become nonsensical when speaking to a Fundamentalist faction.  Imagine Miriam lambasting others to join the Third Millennium!

The game's equivalence of Police State = Atheist is nonsensical.  I realize that in the original game, it was a contrast between Yang's character and Miriam's character.  It also has overtones of historical Communist states being atheist, and that "Police State" is the game's synonym for Communism.  They did reskin Civ II after all.  But the Nazis were certainly a Police State and they were certainly not atheist.  The modern Taliban and ISIS are easily recognized as Police State and Fundamentalist.

So, what to do?  I could accept occasional nonsensicality, or I could get into seriously rewriting some game dialogue in xscript.txt.

This isn't the only nonsensical bit.  The Usurpers start speaking like humans in conversations about their new Power compulsion.  The Cultists talk about the good Lord when they're worshipping mindworms and Planet.

What I might do, however, is release game mechanical changes for a version 1.26, and save dialogue changes for a version 1.27.  I'm looking at longer release cycles now.  My metric of when to do a release, is when downloads of a given version stop happening.  Posting a big message to /r/4Xgaming definitely increased my number of downloads, pretty much doubling them.  I'm not sure if more downloads are trickling in now or not.  If I haven't seen any more in about a week, I'll conclude that I've gotten what there is to get.  I'd say at least a 2 week cycle now, and a month cycle may be justified.

I suspect that including an After Action Report with a release also helps.  So there is the consideration of how frequently I wish to do those.  Not too frequently!  They take work.

Playtesting might reveal that the AI doesn't choose Police State in practice all that often anyways though.  After all, the Believers are an Aggressive faction with an attack bonus.  The AI might want the MORALE bonus from Fundamentalist.

Hrm, just realized the Believers could / will choose Democratic as well.  I bet this results in nonsensical complaints about religion as well.  Well for now, I guess I'll playtest and see what it's like to interact with them.

Hey wait a minute, maybe I'm off the hook!  In my mod they're only going to complain about Cybernetic.  I don't think I actually have a dialogue problem in this case.

I still could get into the business of changing anti-Christian / assuming Christian dialogue.  I'd like to fix the Cult of Planet to talk about mindworm horrors, not God.


 

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