Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38246 times)

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Offline ChaDawnFanatic

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #330 on: March 02, 2019, 01:52:12 AM »
Where's the smoking hub???  ::)

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #331 on: March 02, 2019, 07:12:19 AM »
Where's the smoking hub???  ::)

What on Planet are you on about?   ;nuke;

Offline ChaDawnFanatic

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #332 on: March 14, 2019, 07:53:26 PM »
The Great Lent has begun!

 :D

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #333 on: March 15, 2019, 12:27:49 PM »
No eating of mindworm eggs for the duration.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #334 on: March 15, 2019, 09:06:38 PM »
Here's a silly question. How does one alter when the buffs to fungus appear in the game? Is there a way?
The buffs to make fungus farming viable appear very late in game and I was thinking of making them appear earlier.
I've never tried fungus farming.
Thanks.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #335 on: March 16, 2019, 01:51:15 AM »
It is controlled by technology flags.

Code: [Select]
; flags    = Special tech flags
;            000000001 = "Secrets": first discoverer gains free tech
;            000000010 = Improves Probe Team base morale
;            000000100 = Increases commerce income
;            000001000 = Reveals map
;            000010000 = Allows gene warfare atrocity
;            000100000 = Increases intrinsic defense against gene warfare
;            001000000 = Increases ENERGY production in fungus
;            010000000 = Increases MINERALS production in fungus
;            100000000 = Increases NUTRIENT production in fungus

In my mod, the same total amount of nutrient, minerals, and energy production is available as the stock game.  However I allow the edible fungus bonuses much earlier than the stock game.  You get them for E2 Centauri Empathy and B3 Ecological Engineering.  In the stock game it's Centauri Ecology and Centauri Psi.  The latter occurs rather late.

If you want to farm fungus roughly in the style of the original game, but you want to have an easier time of it, you should just play my mod and do it.  You would of course pick the Gaians, because +1 nutrient on fungus is one of their faction powers, and nobody else has that power.

If you want to play a game where it's substantially easier to farm fungus, you would either increase the number of techs that give a fungus nutrient bonus, or you would mod a faction to make their FUNGNUTRIENT bonus higher.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #336 on: March 16, 2019, 11:42:48 AM »
What I was looking to do was make the buffs to fungus farming appear earlier. Thanks for pointing that out.
I might mod my game just so fungus farming takes place earlier than the end of the game.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #337 on: March 16, 2019, 12:10:25 PM »
Well if by "farming" you mean gaining all the resources, not just food, then there are several minerals and energy buffs sprinkled throughout the techs.  And building the Manifold Nexus and going +3 PLANET yields a lot from fungus.  In late game I tend to plant fungus on Rocky terrain.  It's more useful than doing eco-damage with a Mine.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #338 on: March 16, 2019, 12:26:21 PM »
Yes thats what I was talking about. The problem is fully fungus farming only fully occurs when the game is pretty much over.
I was going to make the buffs occur much earlier.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #339 on: March 16, 2019, 12:32:52 PM »
I think Tim Nevolin's Fission Armor mod the Manifold Nexus pretty early in the game for this reason.  I think that could turn into a giveaway for the 1st faction that gets it, but the idea that "it needs to be earlier so it does someone some good" is valid.  As is, it feels more like icing on a victory cake.

Makes me wonder about moving "Secrets of the Manifolds" out of the Discover tech tree and into the Explore tree.  Seems more like a "Deirdre tech" than a "Zhakarov tech".  Similarly with "Secrets of Alpha Centauri".  It gives the Temple of Planet, why have that be University oriented?

Well I looked over my versions of "Secrets...".  They're already cross-listed between categories, and there is not a lot of room for changing techs around that late in my tree.  In the progression of Explore techs, I don't actually want Secrets of the Manifolds to come before The Will To Power, and that's already a Tier 7 tech.  I think I'll be leaving my tree alone.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 12:55:06 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #340 on: March 18, 2019, 08:06:59 AM »
   Just did some new-posts-skimming and hit on two topics that seem important or just interesting to me. (for personal reasons I've temporarily muddled my wits, so I'll be keeping this simple for my own sake and asking questions I usually would have researched on my own - sorry ;))

  First: the player/AI disparity with ecodamage.  Seems seriously gameplay important to me.  So....
On Transcend, the AI's special dispensation on ecodamage is coded somewhere in the .exe and hasn't yet been located, right?  Or has it been found but is not amenable to adjusting?  Either way it does not seem solvable by pure .txt modding, either with alphax.txt or the faction files (eg. by giving player factions an ecodamage grace not allowed to AI factions), without essentially removing ecodamage from the game entirely.  Is this correct?

  Second: brute-force removal and replacement terraforming verses working with the existing biota (fungus utilization).
 I see this as a technological and philosophical choice, which could be available as either/or but probably best as a mix-and-match.  The balance of benefits and downsides and when each are available in the tech tree looks like yet another matter that would require extensive testing to discover the fallout on players and the AI (big surprise there).
 Since it is a basic (if somewhat underdeveloped) feature of the original game, refining it to be more useful as a strategy without dramatically changing the game would be something I'd be willing to work on/assist with.

  And yes, I do see that it would have to be implemented separately for the basic game and each and every mod to the tech tree <heavy sigh>.

  Oh well, just some current thoughts.  I'll try to come up with a few better insights tomorrow.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #341 on: March 18, 2019, 02:14:00 PM »
On Transcend, the AI's special dispensation on ecodamage is coded somewhere in the .exe and hasn't yet been located, right? 

Induktio doesn't know where it is.  I don't know if anyone else knows or knew where it is.

Yitzi isn't around to ask, and I'm doubting his work is structured in such a way that you could just examine his code to figure it out.  It would definitely be a project.

Scient is around to ask.  He's also been working on some kind of map of SMAC functions for a long time, but he never gets around to making a public release of it. 

Quote
Either way it does not seem solvable by pure .txt modding, either with alphax.txt or the faction files (eg. by giving player factions an ecodamage grace not allowed to AI factions), without essentially removing ecodamage from the game entirely.  Is this correct?

That is correct.  In Induktio's March development release of Thinker mod, he's shipping an alphax.txt that cuts eco-damage in half for everybody.  For the AI that's half of almost nothing.  For the human player that's half of what you'd usually experience on Transcend.  I don't know if that removes eco-damage from the player's experience entirely.  TBH I'm not that interested in testing it, as the design trajectory is "well we'll just make it a lot easier for the player", rather than make the AI pay anything for all the abuse it's doing.

Quote
Second: brute-force removal and replacement terraforming verses working with the existing biota (fungus utilization).
 I see this as a technological and philosophical choice, which could be available as either/or but probably best as a mix-and-match.  The balance of benefits and downsides and when each are available in the tech tree looks like yet another matter that would require extensive testing to discover the fallout on players and the AI (big surprise there).
 Since it is a basic (if somewhat underdeveloped) feature of the original game, refining it to be more useful as a strategy without dramatically changing the game would be something I'd be willing to work on/assist with.

Well here's how it currently is.  Fungus starts out as not good.  Even the Gaians, with their faction's +1 nutrient bonus, can't start an empire by relying on fungus.  They have to make forest and farms same as anyone else.  Fungus is a security risk when it's right next to your cities.  Mindworms can attack your cities directly, and faction enemies can use it to sneak up on you.  So removing some fungus is a good idea for most factions.  If you are a PLANET friendly faction, then you aren't so concerned, as you'll probably be actively patrolling the fungus with early captured mindworms.

In my mod by the time you get B3 Ecological Engineering, fungus produces 2 food.  If you're Gaian, that's 3 food.  I have found it will actually help empire growth.  In my just completed test game that I wrote up, when I'd click on the middle of my city's picture to have the computer allocate all the workers, it would often choose to work 1 fungus square.  It was typically offsetting my forests, which produce more minerals but not so much food.  I've never seen this happen with a faction other than the Gaians though.  And it's only 1 square.  I see it as a buffer or reserve of food.  Gaians are not likely to be driven to starvation by anything.

As time goes on, fungus starts being worth minerals.  You get +1 mineral at B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.  You get +2 at Matter Editation, although in the course of explaining all of this, I've found a bug where it's not currently happening.  I'll have to fix that.  I was wondering where all the minerals went, now I know.  Anyways you get +3 at Threshold of Transcendence.  My timing on this is a bit different than the stock game, but the total amount of minerals you get out of fungus by the end of the game is the same.  Once you've got AEE, every faction will use fungus.  It's typically giving you 2-1-1, the value of an early game farm without having to do any work.  It may even give you 2-1-2, depending on what other tech's you've got.

I notice it a lot in ocean squares I haven't terraformed yet.  Since the ocean is minerals poor for most factions, it's often a good policy to just leave that fungus alone.  However if you're in the ocean, you need to eat kelp.  That kelp eventually displaces the fungus.  I've never really tried deliberately colonizing next to a large patch of fungus after AEE and then never planting kelp.  By that point in the game, I've probably long since established all the cities I'm going to.  I may conquer cities, but they will have terraforming around them that the AI did.  There's going to be kelp.

On land, the fungus is useful enough that I don't typically make Mines anymore.  I have all these various jobs to do with my Former fleet.  All kinds of game pressures, particularly with Thinker mod.  I typically send 1 Former onto a piece of Rocky terrain to cut a road, so that I'm not wasting movement for a lot of Formers trying to get to that dig site.  I think of that road cut as a "deferment".  I don't build a Mine yet, that does eco-damage, and I often don't have the food to work anyways.  I've established a place where I could build a Mine later, if I have the Formers and the interest in doing so.  Quite often, in the real world, I never get around to making the Mines at all.  I find we're entering late game, and I just go back to all those Rocky places and plant fungus on them.  It's like I planted a farm, although I can't put a solar collector on it, or a soil enricher.

But there's a reason I don't care.  If I build the Manifold Harmonics and go +3 PLANET, I get another +1-1-2 on top of all that.  Fungus becomes crazy good land!  I think by game's end you can get 5 minerals off these damn things.  Better than a Mine and doesn't do eco-damage for the existence of a Mine, although you may do eco-damage for minerals increase.

So that's the progression of what fungus does for you.  Starts out bad, becomes low effort ok, and by the end of the game is better than any other land out there.

So the question becomes, what would you want to do differently?  Making it easier to profit from fungus, can easily just throw the game, especially when we're talking about making minerals easier.

Fission Armor mod makes the Manifold Harmonics available fairly early in the game.  That's a pretty big giveaway.  I currently have it at the more boring late game time.  One of my concerns is, there are a lot of Explore techs in front of it.  I think there are aspects of the narrative that don't make any sense if the Manifold Harmonics comes too early.

I went back and studied the mineral progression of the stock game.  It's +1 at Centauri Genetics, +2 at Matter Transmission, and +3 at Threshold at Transcendence.  I use Advanced Ecological Engineering instead of Centauri Genetics, as it came at a similar point in the game and is more clearly minerals oriented.  I use Matter Editation instead of Matter Transmission, as I've moved things around a little at the end of the game.  In short from a minerals progression standpoint, my changes are pretty minor.  When they're not bugged.   :D
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 02:34:19 PM by bvanevery »

Offline dino

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #342 on: March 18, 2019, 04:16:06 PM »
Quote
In Induktio's March development release of Thinker mod, he's shipping an alphax.txt that cuts eco-damage in half for everybody.
It doesn't change ecodamage in the cities at all, neither frequency of fungus pops. It only changes how much ecodamage across the whole globe has to be accumulated, before sea level rises.

It's done to counter that thinker AI generates a lot of ecodamage, compared to almost nothing vanilla AI does, for which default drowning pace was designed.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 04:50:49 PM by dino »

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #343 on: March 18, 2019, 04:32:48 PM »
You say tomato, I say tomato.  The functional effect is the same.  We all suffer less consequences for eco-damage.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #344 on: March 19, 2019, 09:49:02 AM »
    I prefer the (currently un-doable) option of making the AI suffer ecodamage at the same level as players.  Basicly nerfing it out of the game is unacceptable. 
 I'll be watching with interest any workarounds folks come up with for this problem (while I wait to see if humanity actually colonizes a planet in the Alpha/Beta Centauri system before the terranx.exe code for ecodamage is unearthed).

   Apparently I've been neglecting my fungus as well as not watching what the AI does with it.  The use of fungus *is* strategic both in the original game and your AIG mod, I just wasn't paying proper attention.
 I blame my (illogical) attachment to my hard-won terraforming making me subconsciously resist considering fungus appropriately, even when it is an equal or better option.

 In the real world, turning alien biomass into human food would almost certainly be difficult and not quickly mastered, while extracting minerals and energy from it would be much less challenging.  Applying this reasoning to the game (early minerals and energy, rather late food from fungus) would definitely change how fungus was viewed by both the player and AI.  Whether or not it would be a viable situation from a gameplay perspective is another matter.
   In my experience, the AI prioritizes food over either minerals or energy when choosing squares to work and rarely if ever picks a square with less than 2 food, even if the minerals and/or energy from it would actually be of greater value to that base (eg. when population is currently capped).  Players can be more flexible.

   Somewhere along the line, when I'm more familiar with how things work as is, I might play around with this out of curiosity as to what would happen.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

 

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