Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38568 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #240 on: November 24, 2018, 09:34:54 PM »
Thats the one problem, I'm so used to the Believers being so aggressive I cant imagine them any other way.

There's a difference between expansive and aggressive though.  In my mod they're still expansive.  When someone is swallowing the map, it does tend to lead to conflict.  Especially when a faction gets so big that they think they should own everything.

Offline ChaDawnFanatic

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #241 on: November 25, 2018, 03:48:58 AM »
Quote
Actually, I know what I'm going to do.  Ditch the PSI bonus.  Give them free Biology Labs instead.

No! Don't do that!
 :mad:
I love the PSI bonus. It helps a great deal when you are playing on abundant life forms. It gives the Gaians a fair chance against other factions, especially the aliens.

Don't be so suggestible!!!

Remember, this is your mod!! We're just the consumers...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #242 on: November 25, 2018, 06:15:04 AM »
Biology Labs give a lifecycle bonus though.  So that's +10% for mindworms and spore launchers once you can make those.  Granted, that's not as good as +20% for all units at the beginning of the game.  However a pile of free science isn't exactly peanuts.

As it happens, I'm playing a game as the Hive where I immediately got the Manifold Nexus.  So I've got a mere +1 PLANET, like the Gaians get to start with.  On a Huge map I've collected a respectable number of mindworms, and an embarrassing number of Isles of the Deep.  I was capturing them so consistently for awhile, I wondered if it was a bug or an exploit.  This isn't the only time I've captured massive numbers of indigenous life forms with a mere +1 PLANET either.  I remember that being true of playing with the Caretakers as well.

In short, I don't think any of the PLANET factions need help flushing mindworms out of the fungus.  It's kind of cake, even with the new 4:3 odds.  And, 4:3 might actually help you settle abundant fungus, because when mindworms ambush your bases, they don't do as much damage.

Now, Gaians vs. other factions, I don't have a firm judgment on that yet.  In my current game, the Spartans seem to be hurting them.  However the Spartans started on the Monsoon Jungle, so that's to be expected.  I don't know how badly they're hurt because they're all the way across the map and I don't have map info yet.

Offline ChaDawnFanatic

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #243 on: November 25, 2018, 03:55:10 PM »
Biology Labs give a lifecycle bonus though.  So that's +10% for mindworms and spore launchers once you can make those.  Granted, that's not as good as +20% for all units at the beginning of the game.  However a pile of free science isn't exactly peanuts.

To me, early game is important. With the Gaians, even more so. Biology labs may seem a viable alternative, but will never make up for lost performance in early and middle game. The early combat bonus is important. Don't ditch it!

Offline ChaDawnFanatic

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #244 on: November 25, 2018, 04:22:10 PM »
A lot of silly posts on this board..

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #245 on: November 25, 2018, 05:16:03 PM »
Biology labs may seem a viable alternative, but will never make up for lost performance in early and middle game.

I dunno, what if they make up for it by whipping you through all the other techs you need to survive and thrive?  I will try playing this new version of the Gaians on a Standard size map and see what happens.  Standard will ensure early conflict.

Frankly I got bored of my Huge map game.  The Monsoon Jungle driven Spartans were definitely going to wipe out the Gaians though.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #246 on: November 25, 2018, 06:34:28 PM »
the efficacy of Scouts
the efficacy of Scouts

I'm in a bloody rock fight with the Data Angels.  I'm also nominally at war with the Cyborgs, but the Peacekeepers are in the way.  Just had one interloping Scout, which probably died on its own somehow.  It did curtail my eastward expansion for a bit, until I could bring up a mindworm to check out The Ruins.

I had the worst luck with mindworms starting out, I couldn't find any!  My feet tread too softly on the fungus, they didn't stir anything up.  Eventually one ambushed a Former and I counterattacked with a Scout along a road to capture it.  Similarly a spore launcher started destroying roads and I sent a Scout to go get it.  That's all I've got, 1 spore launcher and 1 mindworm.  And the mindworm is on the wrong side of my empire right now, although it's coming back.

Even if I'd had a PSI bonus, I wouldn't have been able to use it!

At least I'm "only" fighting the Data Angels.  That said, in my mod they get any tech known by 3 factions, without needing to infiltrate anybody.  A long time ago, I concluded that it was way too much to expect the AI to perform infiltration missions on Huge maps.  I made life substantially easier for them.  I don't know what techs they've got, but not any armor or weapons yet.  They do have probe team ability though, which is disheartening.  They don't start with that, so they either got lucky on research, or a bunch of other factions figured it out.

When they first declared war, they had a probe team in range of one of my cities and there was nothing I could do about it.  They stole Information Networks; at least that wasn't terribly consequential.

Subsequently, they mind controlled one of my cities!  Fortunately they were stupid on the follow-up and put a probe team right next to one of my advancing Scouts.  I was able to kill it.

A 2nd probe team, I shelled with my spore launcher.  That made it take 90% wounds and reduced its movement next turn to 1 square.  Thus, the spore launcher can stay next to it, as probe teams have no effect on native life.  I've brought up a Scout Rover to finish it off.

This mod has the new 50% defense bonus for Sensor Arrays, so I'm fortifying a front line.  After that, I suppose it's going to be guerilla stalling tactics.  I'm going to stick to my Explore only focus to see what the AI would have to deal with.  Without the ability to get more tech, I'm thinking the AI would just die.  However I do have free Biology Labs, and it's not that difficult to get into contact with other factions.

Case in point, Lal is trading me Doctrine: Loyalty which gives Synthmetal armor.  Perhaps the Labs have provided me some tech trade commodities, even though they don't have direct military value.  I acquire Centauri Empathy in exchange for my Industrial Base, putting me in range of Centauri Genetics and making my own mindworms.  I've also got Cha Dawn's comm frequency. 

All this trading gets me a Pact with Lal, another unexpected benefit of the Labs.  I sign a Truce with the Cyborgs, who are neighbors with the Peacekeepers.  I sign a Treaty with the Cult of Planet, but they won't trade techs.

I'd say I'm a lot better shape now for dealing with the Data Angels, but they probably get techs from all the trading I've just done.  Oh well, getting closer to Centauri Genetics is worth it!



Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #247 on: November 25, 2018, 11:10:09 PM »
Thats the one problem with mind worms. Just because you have +planet is no guarantee you'll get any.
Once you can make the things though you can go berserk and make zillions of the things.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #248 on: November 26, 2018, 02:00:59 AM »
Except that in my test game, I'm finding I cannot go berzerk with mindworms.  I don't have the production capacity to do so.  I've been under pressure since pretty early in the game.  I did make a mistake in not expanding more at the beginning, and in building Network Nodes inappropriately.  However I'm still suffering a lot more than I think I should, for having made those choices, and the Biology Labs do not make up for it.

piles of 3 Res soaking up mindworms
piles of 3 Res soaking up mindworms

The Data Angels have outclassed me in technology due to their sucking in of all the world's basic tech, and they're outproducing me too.  Every single one of their units has 3-Res armor.  The last straw for me, is the unit I just lost was a Great Boil attacking from a fungus patch.  Yet the enemy lives through it.  Granted that unit started the turn as a Commando, but that just says to me that it's easy for the enemy to come up with Commandos.  Much easier than for me to come up with Great Boils, which don't win.

At a minimum, I think the idea of changing the odds ratio from 3:2 to 4:3 has to be scrapped.  The Gaians need to be able to use mindworms offensively, otherwise they're not really worth it compared to other units.  Also, the new ratio does nothing to change the ease of capturing a mindworm army.  In fact I found that no ratio changes the reality of that at all.  It just makes it better or worse to attack or defend when trying to capture them.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #249 on: November 26, 2018, 03:11:05 AM »
Ahh. That explains it. I always build as many cities as early as possible. My goal in my games is to run out of city names. So always have plenty of production. Maybe the Gaian's need another  buff besides the +psi then?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #250 on: November 26, 2018, 08:47:11 AM »
I've decided that barring more egg on my face from playtesting, I'm going with the "Gaians as scientists" theme.  I'm going to give them free Biology Labs and +1 RESEARCH, putting them on par with the Cybernetic Consciousness.  I will remove the PSI bonus, and I will reduce their EFFIC to +1.

It isn't actually all that helpful to have +2 EFFIC in my mod, because I don't have SE choices that have a -2 EFFIC penalty.  It's always -1 ECONOMY -1 EFFIC.  So if you take 2 of those, like Police State and Planned, you'll end up with -2 ECONOMY which sucks.  Well, maybe that's not the end of the world, but it is annoying.  Anyways +2 EFFIC won't get you out of that, so it's basically wasting a faction bonus.  Cash it in for RESEARCH!

Making the Gaians into researchers, fits the dynamics of the original game, as they tended to get ahead with their Centauri Empathy exclusive Biology Labs.  It also fits the lore of the game just fine.  I now have differentiated the Gaians and the Planet Cult, so that the latter is not simply a better and more powerful version of the former.

I'm thinking of adding xscript.txt to my modded files.  The Christian-specific dialogue for Fundamentalist bothers me.  I tried adding various xscript.txt dialogues to the Cult of Planet's fungboy.txt file, changing things to be appropriate to the Cult, but it doesn't work.  I'd have to make dialogue that's generic enough for everybody who insists on Fundamentalist politics.  Replacing things like God and The Lord with more generic things like "The Faith" might work.

Game mechanically I find the Christian Free Will version of the Believers to be more interesting than the Fundamentalist Believers.  For one thing, they can be anybody's friend, because they don't get in a snit about anything!  So you have Yang, Lal, and Cha Dawn trying to kill each other, with the Believers as a wildcard.  Given how much they sprawl, they might become the land version of the Pirates.  A faction that just keeps growing until it's really a problem.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #251 on: November 26, 2018, 02:05:56 PM »
Thats an interesting take on the Gaian's. One criticism I saw somewhere is they weren't liked because they weren't  a good warmonger or a good researcher. Thats something you've solved. I think I'll modify them myself and see how they do in my next game.

Offline ChaDawnFanatic

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #252 on: November 26, 2018, 05:13:21 PM »
I've decided that barring more egg on my face from playtesting, I'm going with the "Gaians as scientists" theme.  I'm going to give them free Biology Labs and +1 RESEARCH, putting them on par with the Cybernetic Consciousness.  I will remove the PSI bonus, and I will reduce their EFFIC to +1.

It isn't actually all that helpful to have +2 EFFIC in my mod, because I don't have SE choices that have a -2 EFFIC penalty.  It's always -1 ECONOMY -1 EFFIC.  So if you take 2 of those, like Police State and Planned, you'll end up with -2 ECONOMY which sucks.  Well, maybe that's not the end of the world, but it is annoying.  Anyways +2 EFFIC won't get you out of that, so it's basically wasting a faction bonus.  Cash it in for RESEARCH!

Sound reasoning on your part. Implementation is the next step..

 :danc:

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #253 on: November 26, 2018, 05:51:50 PM »
Another thing I'm doing, is reinstating a more or less "straight Explore launch path" to get to mindworm production.  It isn't actually easy in 1.25, as I've been regarding the mindworm stuff as Conquer techs first, Explore techs second.  They're sort of cross-listed but Conquer is dominant.  Well now I'm reversing that, to make Explore dominant, more like the original game.  I've had a lot of months to contemplate the difference between Explore and Conquer, and the bottom line is the Gaians need a viable tech path to mindworms.  That wasn't previously a consideration when I was recategorizing everything.  Over time, I've realized just how many Conquer techs there are, and just how much they impact trying to discover any specific tech.  Especially, I've pushed more and more techs earlier in the tree that are an ability rather than a weapon or armor.  The early tech tree is really Conquer heavy.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #254 on: November 26, 2018, 07:13:15 PM »
instant mindworms
instant mindworms

The Biology Labs, RESEARCH bonus, and Explore fast track have yielded Centauri Genetics (my Explore 3 mindworm tech) in 56 turns.  Granted I had a wide open land start with only the Believers competing for the space.  I seriously out-colonized them, I guess because they had another direction to expand towards.  Well I shouldn't say I out-colonized them, as they're rated equal to me on the power graph.  Rather, we have out-colonized everyone else.

These are the new Christian Believers, not Fundamentalist, and merely Erratic.  We have no political hangups but they don't like me anyways.  They threatened war already, but they backed off when I told them to stuff it.  I had supposed that's just because I'm a large proximate land empire.  But I'm also realizing, lack of a Social Engineering compulsion, means you don't have a SE choice to ingratiate yourself to a faction.

Despite this big mass of land, I have only captured 2 mindworms.  To me this confirms that getting to the point of being able to produce your own mindworms, is more important than having a PSI bonus.

I'm also testing a 200% prototyping penalty.  It hasn't really cramped my style, but then my starting empire is pretty big.

 

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