Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 7697 times)

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Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #255 on: November 26, 2018, 08:57:19 PM »
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  • Have you ever thought of making mind worms or future societies easier to get? One problem I've seen is most games are over for me before I even see most future societies. Have you ever thought of making them come sooner?

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #256 on: November 26, 2018, 11:11:18 PM »
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  • I think making future societies easier to get, may have been as far back as my 1.0 release.  I didn't just think about it, I redesigned the tech tree around that premise.  Future societies come at tier 6.

    Mindworms aren't currently any harder to learn how to breed in captivity, than it is to get strength 3 armor, a strength 3 laser, or a strength 2 R-laser.  So in a sense yes, I thought of that.  By making weapons and armor a bit harder to get.  Everything is locked to tech tiers.  Tier 3 = strength 3 armor and weapons.  Mindworms and spore launchers are on tier 3.

    I don't think mindworms should be more of a giveaway than this.  You should need to be a PLANET friendly faction if you want early mindworms.  It's also not that hard to research Green in my mod, it's a tier 2 tech.  Of course it comes at a price, the -1 SUPPORT and -1 GROWTH penalties are harsh for fledgling factions.  On the other hand, all the various types of Politics are tier 2 as well, so some of those penalties can be offset.  You'll be living with something though.

    Mindworms are cheaper in my mod than they are in the stock game.  I believe that was PvtHudson's suggestion.

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #257 on: November 27, 2018, 01:51:22 AM »
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    worms are cheaper in my mod than they are in the stock game.  I believe that was PvtHudson's suggestion.
    I was wondering why I could make them so fast.

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #258 on: November 27, 2018, 12:16:36 PM »
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  • I don't think it's excessive though.  I actually needed all of that when the Believers and I came to blows.  They had this stupid Scout deep in my territory that kept pillaging stuff.  I couldn't get around to killing it, because I needed every single mindworm to wipe out the hordes of incoming troops!  Eventually though I did get ahead of the curve and beat the Believers back.  Then eventually I built a rail to their capitol which was right next to my territory and took it over.

    Rather than continuing to fight, I signed a Truce.  I could have kept going, but in the balance of world power, I didn't feel like there was any advantage to taking over more Believer stuff.  I figured I'd be better off building up my own stuff, and I'm mildly curious to see how the Monsoon Jungle driven new Believers do over a longer period of time.  I've got a picket of mindworms to keep them from bothering me, and I'm planting a solid wall of fungus on my border.



    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #259 on: November 27, 2018, 02:12:04 PM »
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    I don't think it's excessive though.  I actually needed all of that when the Believers and I came to blows.
    I don't think it is either. They are actually quite weak without facilities or monoliths. Even then they aren't overpowering just so so.
    The best part is with a decent sized city and tubes you can funnel them to the front constantly and they are totally disposable.
    Is there anything you needed me to test  for you?

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #260 on: November 27, 2018, 04:29:50 PM »
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  • Is there anything you needed me to test  for you?

    Hmm, presently no.  1.26 has been a longer release cycle than previous, so a lot of things have been tested already.  For instance, the various tweaks to combat odds that tnevolin was interested in.  Most worked out ok, some did not.

    I'd be interested in your experiences playing a game with random factions, including your own.  That's a good way to shake out unforeseen problems, although I'm not expecting any.

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #261 on: November 28, 2018, 10:09:17 AM »
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  • +3 PLANET mindworms are grotesquely powerful.  I think I need to teach the AI how to make Trance 3-Res units, because otherwise it's toast.

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #262 on: November 28, 2018, 03:15:57 PM »
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  • Some things I have noticed. The Ai is much better at terraforming and is a better opponent as a result.
    Using infantry or mind worms is a much viable strategy thanks to the tubes showing up so early.
    Making the Peacekeepers an aggressive faction is actually dangerous they can be very nasty.
    Those trance scouts are actually very obnoxious when you're doing a mind worm swarm.

    Offline ChaDawnFanatic

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #263 on: November 28, 2018, 04:43:17 PM »
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  •  ???
    « Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 09:11:40 PM by ChaDawnFanatic »

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #264 on: November 29, 2018, 12:16:55 AM »
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  • Some things I have noticed. The Ai is much better at terraforming and is a better opponent as a result.

    I did make Rover Formers a predefined unit.  The AI does produce them, but not very many of them.  I don't know if they're responsible for any AI success.

    Quote
    Using infantry or mind worms is a much viable strategy thanks to the tubes showing up so early.

    I'm all about the rails, to a fault!  It's the only way you can move large numbers of units across a large map without driving yourself crazy.  I have found it also works just fine as an invasion method on Standard size maps as well.  Get a surplus of Formers, build a rail to the enemy's front door, blow the city away.  Wet lather rinse repeat.  Really too easy, the AI doesn't know what to do about it.

    Quote
    Making the Peacekeepers an aggressive faction is actually dangerous they can be very nasty.

    But they aren't.  In fact they are Passive.  Their research foci are Explore, Conquer, so what you're interpreting as "aggression" is probably Explore driven expansionism.  Historically it's the secret to the Believers' wildfire spread.  Many factions in my mod have an Explore focus for this reason, it just seems to drive the AI into making substantial empires.  This phenomenon is in fact the main reason my mod is still called "SMACX AI Growth mod".  Explore really means colonization and growth.

    The Peacekeepers have a Conquer focus as well because they expect trouble.  Lotsa nasty undemocratic factions afoot.  Also, the Empath Guild is considered a Conquer tech, so that keeps the Peacekeepers heading in that direction.

    Quote
    Those trance scouts are actually very obnoxious when you're doing a mind worm swarm.

    I've somewhat noticed that, although it hasn't been too bad.  I've rearranged the tech tree for Trance 3-Res Sentinels now.  Time to test it.  I hope the AI actually makes those units.

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #265 on: November 29, 2018, 12:22:21 AM »
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    But they aren't.  In fact they are Passive. 

    I switched his aggression to max. I like to do things like this in my own games. After awhile you need something new.

    Quote
    I've somewhat noticed that, although it hasn't been too bad.  I've rearranged the tech tree for Trance 3-Res Sentinels now.  Time to test it.  I hope the AI actually makes those units.

    They build anti-worm units for sure. I'm not sure the 3 res ones came into play. The game was about over at that point.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #266 on: November 29, 2018, 02:39:10 AM »
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  • I switched his aggression to max. I like to do things like this in my own games. After awhile you need something new.

    Fair enough, but my mod is something "new".  Personality settings have been put the way they have for various reasons.  In my mod, by making Lal Aggressive I actually think you're making life easier on yourself, with respect to him.  If he's Passive, he works on the things he's supposed to.  Like getting big cities and getting lots of votes.  Aggressive, he probably wastes his energy on pointless wars.  It's not like he has the inherent military potential to steamroller everyone, i.e. he's not the Usurpers.

    Similarly, the Pirates are Passive because they are more of a strategic threat that way.  They just grow and grow and grow, harvesting all those minerals in the ocean, with almost nobody to bother them.  Until they finally decide they want to bother you.

    Not having all the AIs at each others' throats, also allows various factions to grow side by side without wasting effort, on a Huge map where they have room for it.

    In other news, I've had a curious phenomenon in my testing.  Huge map, I start as the Free Drones.  The University is on my modestly sized island continent with me.  They get uppity and immediately declare war.  They have probe teams, but they're always afraid to use them on me.  Perhaps that's due to the University's -1 PROBE.  They make tons and tons of probe teams, it must have consumed the bulk of their production effort.  I just killed them with impunity.

    The University never discovered how to make any armor or weapon.  Their research foci are Explore, Discover.  There is indeed a categorical purity to my allocation of weapons and armor, but I've never really seen a faction not make any before.  Between a few Scouts marched all the way down the continent, and a large number of Scout Rovers made from 1 Command Center sitting next to a big mine, I conquered them.  They had made it all the way to E3 Monopole Magnets, not like they hadn't done any research.

    Maybe the early tech tree is too broad.  Maybe the AI has no idea how to fight if it isn't handed some weapons and armor.  Maybe it's ok to cakewalk any faction that starts right next to you on a Huge map.

    I've decided not to continue that game, and to remove the University's -1 PROBE penalty.  I'd like to know if they would have done ok with probe teams, or at least better.  The geography favored me, there was a long strip of land they had to march up to get to me.  All I had to do was double up my units even if they were coming for me.  But that would have at least made me move less freely, so maybe I wouldn't have conquered as rapidly.

    The Spartans established a good enclave.  Somehow they managed to get Free Market and Synthmetal armor, without trading anyone for either.  Since they have a pure Conquer focus, getting the armor isn't surprising, but getting Free Market is downright weird.  In my mod it's available with B2 Synthetic Fossil Fuels, a (Build Explore) tech.

    The Peacekeepers got caught behind the Spartans and had no room to expand, despite having C1 Doctrine: Flexibility to get out of their predicament.  The Cyborgs were next to the Spartans, blocking Spartan access to an even larger land mass.  The Cyborgs didn't do as good a job of spreading as the Spartans, but they were sitting on the Garland Crater, so maybe they had their reasons.

    The Morganites and the Pirates were both going nuts, unopposed on land or sea respectively.
    « Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 04:47:42 AM by bvanevery »

    Offline vonbach

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #267 on: November 29, 2018, 01:03:01 PM »
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    Fair enough, but my mod is something "new".
    Its quite good too. Sometimes I play random personalities and Ideologies as well. Lal doesn't do that bad because he builds huge cities pretty quickly. I've seen the mass probe teams before last time it was the Gaian's as I recall with the same result. Though at other times I've had them used on me to great effect. Some time they like to stash them for some reason.

    Online bvanevery

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    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #268 on: December 04, 2018, 09:40:31 PM »
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  • CHANGELOG
    Changed from version 1.25 to 1.26:

    *FACTION changes:
    - Believers: removed RESEARCH penalty.  Removed Fanatic attack bonus.  Removed PROBE bonus.  Removed Social Psych starting tech.  Changed personality from Aggressive to Erratic.  Removed AI compulsion to choose Fundamentalist and did not add any new compulsion.  Changed faction description from "The Fundamentalist" to "The Christian".  Altered faction dialogue to eliminate references to extremism or fanaticism.
    - Cybernetic Consciousness: reinstated IMPUNITY to CYBERNETIC.
    - Data Angels: altered faction dialogue to reflect Roze's darker late game propensity towards Thought Control.
    - Gaians: removed PSI attack bonus.  Reduced EFFIC bonus to +1.  Added +1 RESEARCH bonus.  Added free Biology Lab at every base.  Changed personality from Passive to Erratic.
    - Morganites: minor change in wording of COMMERCE bonus.
    - Spartans: altered faction dialogue to eliminate references to being right-wing or speaking of God.  Instead Santiago's dialogue focuses on being a Citizen's Militia leader and training an elite combat force called the Warhawks.
    - University: removed PROBE penalty.  In an early skirmish against the University, I saw them produce tons of probe teams, and they never used them against my units.  Neither of us had weapons or armor, it was a Scouts and Scout Rovers war.  They should have mind controlled some of my units.  They also failed to research any weapon or armor, despite getting all the way to E3 Monopole Magnets.  Alternate tactics are important for non-Conquer factions, so I don't think they should be suffering when trying to use probe teams.  In the original game various weapons were partly Discover techs, but now they aren't, so the University doesn't have as much of an advantage.

    *SOCIAL CHOICES changes:
    - Fundamentalist: removed ECONOMY penalty.  Increased RESEARCH penalty to -2.    The game had too many ECONOMY penalties, and this also makes it a different game mechanical choice from Police State.
    - Police State: moved to E3 Intellectual Integrity.
    - Free Market economy: moved to B3 Industrial Economics.  It's too powerful at making money to give away earlier.
    - Green economy: moved to E3 Centauri Genetics.
    - Thought Control: removed ECONOMY and EFFIC penalties.  Added -2 RESEARCH penalty.  Most penalties for Thought Control are not realistic because people can be made to do whatever is wanted.  Also, mind controlling cities takes money, so the previous penalties were counterproductive for that strategy.  Whereas, if a faction cared about research, they'd choose Cybernetic.

    *MINDWORM COMBAT sequence:
    - Centauri Ecology: set wealth=4 and growth=3, making it a B1 tech.  Not sure why I changed it in version 1.24.
    - Progenitor Psych: set power=0 and growth=4, making it an E1 tech. 
    - Aquafarm: moved to E1 Progenitor Psych.
    - Nerve Gas Pods: moved to D2 Biogenetics.
    - Hypnotic Trance: moved to E2 Centauri Empathy.
    - Centauri Empathy: set power=3 because Trance is useful for combat.
    - Centauri Genetics: set growth=5, making it an E3 tech.  Set wealth=3 due to Green economy.  Explore needs to be restored as the "mindworm combat" tech tree path, so that an Explore-only faction such as the Gaians can quickly learn to produce mindworms.
    - Secrets of the Human Brain: set growth=4 because Knowledge gives +1 PLANET.  It's still a Discover tech because tech=5.
    - Centauri Psi: set power=3 and growth=4, making it an E5 tech.
    - Homo Superior: set growth=4 because Thought Control increases POLICE.  It is still a Conquer tech because power=5.  A strong growth setting will also call the Empath Guild to the attention factions trying to get more votes.
    - The Will To Power: set power=3 and growth=4, making it an E7 tech.  Psi attacks are considered mindworm stuff.

    *LONGER ARMOR sequence:
    - High Energy Chemistry: now a C1 tech.
    - Synthmetal Armor: moved to C1 High Energy Chemistry.  Having armor in Doctrine: Loyalty irritated me.
    - Applied Physics: now a C2 tech.
    - Laser: now has attack strength 2 and cost 2.
    - Perimeter Defense: moved to C2 Adaptive Doctrine.
    - Advanced Subatomic Theory: now a C3 tech.
    - Plasma armor: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.
    - Heavy Transport: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.
    - Deep Pressure Hull: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.
    - Bioadaptive Resonance: now a C4 tech.  Set growth=3 because Resonance weapons and armors help Psi combat.  The AI was obsessively making 3-Res armor.  The game doesn't need 3 armors available on the same tier.  This makes the choices more of a progression.
    - Resonance Laser: now has attack strength 3 and cost 4.
    - Field Modulation: now a C3 tech.  Set growth=0 as it no longer gives Hypnotic Trance. 
    - Cloaking Device: moved to C3 Field Modulation.  It fits the lore of the hard-to-see Aliens.
    - Single-Sided Surfaces: now a C4 tech.  This is being repurposed to make a longer sequence of armors.
    - 3-Pulse armor: moved to C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.  The game doesn't need 3 armors available on the same tier.
    - Comm Jammer: moved to C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.
    - Silksteel Alloys: now a C5 tech.
    - Silksteel Armor: now has defense strength 5 and cost 5.

    *DIFFICULT SOCIAL CHOICES sequence:
    - Planetary Networks: set growth=0 because it no longer gives Police State.
    - Monopole Magnets: now an E2 tech.
    - Adaptive Economics: now an E3 tech.
    - Hab Complex: moved to E3 Adaptive Economics.
    - The Planetary Transit System: moved to E3 Adaptive Economics.  Nobody will trade Planned economy until it's completed.
    - Industrial Economics: set wealth=5 due to Free Market being moved here.  Nobody will trade Free market economy until the Merchant Exchange is completed.
    - The Neural Amplifier: moved to E3 Centauri Genetics.  Nobody will trade Green economy until it's completed.
    - The Command Nexus: moved to C3 Doctrine: Loyalty.  Nobody will trade Police State or Fundamentalist politics until it's completed.
    - Doctrine: Loyalty: now a C3 tech.  Set power=5 and build=3.  It gives the Command Nexus and makes Fundamentalist available.  It gives SUPPORT, which is a kind of wealth.
    - The Citizens' Defense Force: moved to E3 Intellectual Integrity.
    - Intellectual Integrity: now an E3 tech.  Set power=2 and wealth=2.  The Citizens' Defense Force is more defensive than offensive.  Police State gives SUPPORT but also has EFFIC and ECONOMY penalties.
    - Repeal U.N. Charter: moved to E2 Ethical Calculus.
    - E2 Ethical Calculus: no change, still gives Democratic, no Secret Project associated with it.  Democratic politics may be freely traded, because it is simply not valuable in the early game.  It becomes valuable when an empire becomes large enough to need more EFFIC, and also has enough happiness facilities to overcome the -2 POLICE penalty.  That takes awhile.
    - The Ascetic Virtues: moved to B4 Environmental Economics.  Nobody will trade Wealth until it's completed.
    - Environmental Economics: set wealth=5 and growth=4.  It lifts the energy restriction.  Tree Farms grow food.  The Ascetic Virtues relaxes the population limit and raises POLICE rating.

    *DISCOVER sequence:
    - Optical Computers: set power=1, wealth=1, and growth=1 to make it harder for non-Discover factions to research.  Now has non-Discover prereqs for better thematic continuity.  Making a strict chain of Discover techs in the tree probably doesn't matter, because they were all bottlenecked by non-Discover prereqs anyways.
    - Applied Relativity: now a D4 tech.  More Discover techs are pushed earlier to reduce the hurdles of getting to them, and to make faster research possible sooner.
    - Digital Sentience: now a D5 tech.  Set power=0, wealth=3, and growth=2.  This tech no longer improves base probe team morale.  The EFFIC bonus can be worth some money.  It can also help with happiness, but the POLICE penalty works against that.
    - Unified Field Theory: now a D6 tech.
    - Mind/Machine Interface: now a C6 tech.
    - Bioenhancement Center: moved to C6 Mind/Machine Interface.  This tech no longer increases probe team base morale, so needs a benefit when the Cyborg Factory has been completed by someone else.
    - Cyberethics: now a D7 tech.
    - Secrets of the Manifolds: now a D8 tech.
    - Secrets of Alpha Centauri: now a D9 tech.  Set growth=1 because it reveals the map, but the map is probably known by now anyways.

    *IMPORTANT TECHS:
    - Planetary Economics: set wealth=5 because it's needed for Economic Victory, Global Trade Pacts are worth lots of money, and it gives the Planetary Energy Grid.
    - Homo Superior: set power=5 because Thought Control and the Empath Guild are really good for Conquer.
    - Orbital Spaceflight: set power=5 because it's required for Diplomatic Victory and it gives Planet Busters.
    - Changed many prereqs to maintain continuity of research foci.

    *COMBAT MECHANICS:
    - Extra percentage cost of prototype LAND, SEA, and AIR units: changed from 50% to 200%. This makes it actually an effort to prototype.  A Skunkworks was made more expensive to build and maintain in version 1.19.
    - Land based guns vs. ship artillery: removed bonus for this.  From a realism standpoint, it's nonsensical.
    - Artillery bonus per level of altitude: removed bonus for this.  It affects ship to ship artillery battles, so that a ship in an Ocean Shelf square has an advantage over a ship in an Ocean square.  That's nonsensical.  The altitude mechanic on land is mildly interesting, but it's also yet another factor for people to fuss and stress about.  Forget it!
    - Bonus for ships caught in port: removed this.  It even affects ships defending sea bases, and that's nonsensical.
    - Defend in range of friendly Sensor: changed bonus from 25% to 50%.  This makes "fortifying by terraforming" more of a game mechanic.
    - Heavy Artillery: changed back to "Increases w/ armor+speed value".  The AI likes to produce artillery spam and this will slow it down a little.
    - Hypnotic Trance: now allowed for non-combat units, but not for probe teams.  Mindworms are pretty much the anti probe team technology, and they should stay fully effective against armored probe teams.

    *PREDEFINED UNITS:
    - Light Artillery: changed AI unit plan to "2 = Defensive".
    - Rover Former: moved to C2 Monopole Magnets.
    - Trance Scout: moved to E2 Centauri Empathy.
    - Trance Colony Pod: new predefined unit, available with E2 Centauri Empathy.  The AI is extremely stupid about blundering into mindworms.
    - Marine Scout: new predefined unit, available with C2 Adaptive Doctrine.
    - Cloaked Scout: new predefined unit, available with C3 Field Modulation.
    - Clean Scout: new predefined unit, available with B4 Bio-Engineering.
    - Trance 3-Res Sentinel: new predefined unit available with C4 Bioadaptive Resonance.  Plasma armor is already available with C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory, so this doesn't give away a prototype.
    - ECM 3-Pulse Sentinel: new predefined unit available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.  Plasma armor is already available with C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory, so this doesn't give away a prototype.
    - Radar Transport Foil: new predefined unit available with C4 Doctrine: Initiative.  The game doesn't automatically make Transports Foils with Deep Radar even when it's free for ships.
    - Radar Destroyer Transport: new predefined unit available with C5 Doctrine: Air Power.
    - Submarine Probe Team: added Deep Radar because C3 Neural Grafting is now an ancestral prereq for C5 Doctrine: Air Power.

    Offline Vidsek

    Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
    « Reply #269 on: December 05, 2018, 01:48:55 PM »
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  •   ACK!!  My finished 1.25 merge is rubbish!  However, new and (most likely) better is good.  Back to work then and looking for a chance to settle down and test it out with Yitzi's.  Inductio's .exe mod looks to have some interesting parts to it as well, but haven't concluded it's finished enough yet to play with it.
      An integrated version of the best of Yitzi's and Inductio's stuff would definitely catch my attention.

      Of course, that would change the basic parameters and probably require a UI Growth Mod adjustment to conform.
    All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

     

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