Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38571 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #435 on: April 02, 2019, 02:45:44 PM »
I can run AI vs. AI games as tests, that's not that difficult.  I'm just not going to do it right this minute because I just shipped version 1.29.  Minimum 1 month between releases.

If the AI is indeed fixated on anything with GROWTH, then I will definitely not spread it between Socialist and Fundamentalist.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #436 on: April 02, 2019, 04:54:10 PM »
    I just took a good look at what the factions were doing in my current game test.  Year 2175, most don't have many choices as yet.

  AI Growth 1.29 merged with Yitzi's 35d, Angels, University, Believers, Cult, Peacekeepers, Hoard(Hive), and I'm playing my custom faction.  Map is handcrafted from a good random Enormous with seven small continents/large islands, none connected except by water.  Rather a lush environment overall.

  Everyone is neck and neck, except  ;miriam;, who's a bit ahead by dint of city sprawl and defender spam.
  Oh, well, actually I'm ahead of her due to going seabourne early and gluttonizing Unity pods.  I'm ashamed of my conduct, but more of theirs for not braving the placid, flat seas earlier.

  Those who have discovered some SOCIAL options are making choices both obvious and obscure, and some of those are for something other than maximizing GROWTH.
  Not enough choices yet to say if they are consistently choosing some GROWTH, just not all they can get.  Some would be proper, of course.

  I'll try editing the alphax socials so a favored one has 0 or - GROWTH  and see if it gets abandoned.

  For now I'm leaning toward discounting my hypothesis of a hard 'GROWTH uber all else' dictum.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #437 on: April 02, 2019, 05:56:17 PM »
the dogpiling of the Spartans
the dogpiling of the Spartans

MY 2249.  The Gaians wipe out the Spartans!  The Caretakers also went against the Spartans, but I don't know how much of a contribution that made.  I'm betting the Xenoempathy Dome was part of Deirdre's success.  Maybe the Spartans need some toughening up.  I will be watching them in future games.

I tried eliminating the Frontier and Simple economy growth modifiers mid-game.  It made no difference to Deirdre's choices, she still hasn't gone Green.  Possibly the AI doesn't reload or recogitate anything mid-game and I'd have to start fresh.  I'll be watching her some other time.  I actually want to play out this game for now.  I'm doing this Domai sea empire thing, owing to a small island start I got.

Possibly the AI strongly dislikes the -SUPPORT modifier I added to Green.

Cha Dawn is ignoring his secondary compulsion to increase his PLANET rating.  He's Capitalist!  Now granted, I did intend for him to be cynical that way, all the way back in version 1.7:
Quote
- Cult of Planet: changed social priority from {Economics, Green, SUPPORT} to {Politics, Fundamentalist, nil}.  May now choose Wealth; may not choose Free Market.  In this mod, Green is about an economic model, not recruiting the most mindworms possible.  Deirdre can be expected to be quite strident about economic policy, but it is out of character for Cha Dawn.  He is a cult leader and an aggressive conqueror, not an economic policy wonk.

Thing is, in the meantime I went back to Green being more about conquering Planet.   :-[  I didn't really understand the Psi combat advantage of Green back then either.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #438 on: April 03, 2019, 02:58:57 AM »
I think having Hovertanks available at Tier 4 is making the game too easy.  It's also illogical that they come before Needlejets.  At the same time and parallel, maybe, but not before.

I put the +2 MORALE back into Power and am thinking it's more appropriate that way.  In 1.27 I pretty much made a mistake, thinking +1 PROBE is worth as much as +1 MORALE.  The -2 GROWTH -2 JUSTICE penalty is definitely enough to balance the +1 PROBE.

I've removed the Simple economy GROWTH bonus.  I'm going to start another game and see if Deidre goes Green this time.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #439 on: April 03, 2019, 03:45:29 AM »

  Possibly the AI doesn't reload or recogitate anything mid-game and I'd have to start fresh.


  Reloading the game from a save has seemed to also reload alphax.txt for me.

  However, changes to the Faction files require you to (in-game) use the Scenario Editor to 'Reload Faction' or it just continues using some saved version.

  Perhaps Reloading all the factions would get them to start using the alphax changes?  At the least, it shouldn't hurt anything.
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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #440 on: April 03, 2019, 07:14:09 AM »
I don't think having new choices in the Social Engineering table, and the AI actually acting on those new choices, are equivalent.  Somehow the AI made up its mind that Simple economy was the best thing to do, even though it is no longer worth +1 GROWTH.  Although, I suppose it's possible I could find out the AI dislikes my Green so much, that it would sooner take a Simple economy with no benefit!  I haven't started a new test game yet to know for sure.  Still ironing out my "later Hovertanks" tech tree.

I propose to change the name of a Missile Launcher to a Photon Mortar and move it from C6 Orbital Spaceflight to C6 Photon/Wave Mechanics.  This will make the weapons progression easier and Orbital Spaceflight less crowded.  Anyone think this is a horrible name for a weapon?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 07:55:35 AM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #441 on: April 03, 2019, 09:34:56 AM »
I propose to change the name of a Missile Launcher to a Photon Mortar and move it from C6 Orbital Spaceflight to C6 Photon/Wave Mechanics.  This will make the weapons progression easier and Orbital Spaceflight less crowded.  Anyone think this is a horrible name for a weapon?

          It's a fine name for a weapon if it shoots light and is an indirect fire weapon.  Light, of course, is a direct, line-of-sight thing.  Photon Cannon (ie. a powerful pulse laser) would be less 'magical' but we already have lasers, so one might want to avoid redundancy/repetition.

  What the so-called 'missile launcher' sounds like to me is a RPG or anti-tank missile.  To have such old school weaponry come so late seems perverse, so I can agree with turning it into another type of weapon.

  But which type?  Hmmm.  Energy seems apt for Photon/Wave Mechanics rather than a kinetic or missile type.
You could have the motive force of the projectile somehow electromagnetic or quantum wave theory related.
Or perhaps some odd or obscure aspect of wave theory that could theoretically be weaponized?

   I just might have to give myself a crash refresher course in that part of Physics so I can be of more help.  Actually sounds interesting....

  K, a quick skim of the subject led me to two somewhat related phenomena of quantum wave physics that might be the basis of a new, high-tech weapon: the Uncertainty Principal and Quantum Tunneling.

  Uncertainty has a nice sound to it, whereas Tunneling could easily be confused with mining activities.

  So maybe "Uncertainty something", and yes I do know there is a tech or whatever with that name already.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 10:50:20 AM by Vidsek »
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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #442 on: April 03, 2019, 04:30:33 PM »
          It's a fine name for a weapon if it shoots light and is an indirect fire weapon


Look at the unit artwork for a missile launcher.  It can definitely be a mortar.  It definitely doesn't look like a direct fire weapon.

Quote
Light, of course, is a direct, line-of-sight thing.


In the beginning of the Star Trek TOS episode Arena an indirect fire weapon was used.  You launch something out of a mortar and over the horizon there's a huge burst of something that looks like area phaser fire. 

a little close for one of these little jewels


Quote
What the so-called 'missile launcher' sounds like to me is a RPG or anti-tank missile.  To have such old school weaponry come so late seems perverse, so I can agree with turning it into another type of weapon.


Yeah, from a progressing future and weapons strength perspective, the original game's "missile" simply isn't working.  The problem is I've got C6 Orbital Spaceflight and C6 Photon/Wave Mechanics occurring at the same time.  This is just the weight of stuff that's actually in the tree, the content that Firaxis provided.  Santiago has to do this huge hand wave for the Orbital Spaceflight quote about how they couldn't get orbital stuff done any sooner, and that we're all "fools" to think so.  But it can't really take that long compared to inventing a Needlejet, so here it is.  Armor gets unnaturally strong in the SMAC fiction, like the Plasma and Silksteel armors before you even get to Photon Walls.  If they were being realistic about the time it takes to get back in orbit, they might have Synthmetal at best!

Quote
  So maybe "Uncertainty something", and yes I do know there is a tech or whatever with that name already.


Nah it's gotta have Photons in it.  I've already got a Phaser for Probability Mechanics.  Much later, the Chronoton Gun is another Star Trek homage.  I actually started off thinking "Photon Torpedo" but decided that would be too Star Trek hokey.

The unit artwork is important.  It has to not sound stupid for what it looks like.  "Photon Cannon" doesn't work IMO.  "Photon Battery" unfortunately sounds like it's a piece of heavy artillery.  Confusion over direct vs. indirect fire is inevitable with this unit artwork, I think.  They illustrated a missile launcher, so there's pretty much always going to be a choice with those.

"Photon Grenade Launcher" is a mouthful.  It does describe how it works though.

"Photon Array" leaves a lot to the imagination.

I suppose "Wave Cannon" isn't awful, even if it doesn't have Photons in it.  The name of the tech is Photon/Wave mechanics after all.  You might need some weird shape to shoot waves.  Makes the later "Dissociative Wave" a little confusing but not a dealbreaker.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 04:48:57 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #443 on: April 03, 2019, 05:53:12 PM »
    Nice bit of video ;)   Last night I thought of the energy part for propulsion and forgot it could be the warhead instead.  The term EM Pulse comes to mind, as in EM Pulse Morter or EM Pulse Rocket, altho the word 'pulse' is used elsewhere, so EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) would be better.

   I know!  Go with pure military acronym insanity: EMP-RPG.
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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #444 on: April 03, 2019, 06:17:23 PM »
I think EMP risks confusion with ECM.  Also it's not clear why EMP kills non-electronic stuff.  I'm going with "Wave Cannon" for now until something better comes along.  It's better than "Photon Mortar", much as I like that piece of Star Trek footage.  I've also got it feeding E7 The Will to Power in my tech tree, which is when the Dissociative Wave is given.  So first you have a Wave Cannon, then you go all "Dune Weirding Module" and learn a Dissociative Wave.

Oops, just realized I'll have a weapon that's a Wave, and an ability that's a Wave.  The automated naming will be confusing.

Well I could call it a "Photon Wave Cannon" and the weapon name can be Photon for short.  But am I going to have Photon weapon Photon armor?  Geez!

I think I get out of this by calling it a "Photon Cannon" and having the short name be "Cannon".  Cannon is an unused weapon name, so will only have 1 meaning.  Cannon Speeder, Cannon Infantry, etc.  Gagh this sounds inherently dumb.

I guess the basic problem is having a weapon and an armor with the same name, "Photon".  I didn't have this problem when I combined techs for the Chaos gun and the Probability Sheath because they had different names.  This seems to imply I need to come up with a weapon name that does not have "Photon" in it, or "Wave", but has something to do with photons and waves.

Too bad I already used Phaser.  Well I guess I could conscript Disruptor for what's currently a Phaser and make the photon weapon a Phaser.  However I feel like I'd be biting off Star Trek a little too hard.  SMAC has a more militaryspeak feel to it.  I also think I like the Phaser where it is, having association with probability.

I mean obviously a frickin' Laser is what has to do with photons and waves, so this is all pretty arbitrary.

Could rip off Star Wars and call it a Blaster.  Blaster Speeder sounds dumb though.

Could think of it as a Beam weapon.  Photon Beam, Beam Speeder.  Well that still kinda sucks, just not as hard as some of the other options.

Could go Dungeons & Dragons and call it a Prismatic Cannon.  But... would a Prismatic Speeder be too pretty to take seriously?

Hmm what about an Ion Cannon?  Ion Speeder, Ion Infantry...
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 07:19:42 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #445 on: April 03, 2019, 10:43:13 PM »
    I feel your pain.

  Names are important, they hold magic for us humapes. 

  Quantum Wave Theory has lots to do with atoms and ions, at least the electron 'orbitals'.  Not sure if it applies to quarks, gluons, and the Strong Force, but Ion would work.

  Ion Launcher?  To go with the graphic.

  See?  This is why it takes me ages to start a role playing game: I get stuck in character creation at the name selection.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #446 on: April 04, 2019, 12:00:26 AM »
Disruptor hasn't been used yet.


Just as an aside have you ever thought that -Growth might be too harsh a penalty for Green?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #447 on: April 04, 2019, 12:07:57 AM »
I hesitate to refer to it as a "Launcher" because that can just make it sound like a Badly Renamed Launcher [TM].

the weapons of SMACX
the weapons of SMACX

So what does this weapon really look like compared to all the others?  I never thought it was all that great of a representation of a "launcher" anyways.  It looks to me like a honeycomb array of little barrels.  Like a kind of shotgun.

infantry mounted
infantry mounted

When rotated, you get a lighting effect which more clearly demonstrates the roundness of the barrels.  Another way this weapon differs from all the others, is it's mounted at a 45 degree angle.

To be honest the thing looks a little like a Claymore mine.  If it were a Napoleonic weapon, it would shoot grapeshot.  Makes me think of a cluster bomb, but dispersed in a particular direction.  Ion Blaster?  Ion Barrage?  Ion Belcher?  If I keep the name format "Ion Something-or-other" then the short name for a unit will just be "Ion" and I'm off the hook. 

Something Scattergun?  Photon Blunderbuss?

Rainbow Gun?  Pity the thing is charcoal grey.

Refractor Gun?  Refractor Cannon?  Bender Gun?

Photon Cluster?  Cluster Speeder, Cluster Squad, ?

Ion Disruptor?  Something-else Disruptor?  I guess Photon Disruptor could have a Disruptor Infantry, Disruptor Speeder, etc.  Come to think of it, the name Disruptor was taken by the String Disruptor, the strength 30 weapon of SMACX.  But I renamed it to Black Hole Gun.

Civ IV had the hwacha unit, basically a rocket cart.  I don't think inserting Asiatic words fits the themes of SMAC though.

Hwacha
Hwacha
photo taken by draq - https://www.flickr.com/photos/hendry/189880458/
CC BY 2.0 - https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1003522
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 01:32:43 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #448 on: April 04, 2019, 01:27:38 AM »
Just as an aside have you ever thought that -Growth might be too harsh a penalty for Green?

The original game gave -2 GROWTH for Green, which was very harsh if you were the Cybernetic Consciousness or the Pirates and already had -1 GROWTH for your faction.  -1 GROWTH is a substantial improvement.  I've saved the harshness for Power nowadays, and none of my factions have a GROWTH penalty.

Green has to have some kind of penalty.  Every choice has to have liabilities.  What is Green going to mean if not less growth?  It's true to the lore too.  Deidre goes on and on about controlling population growth, both in the faction quotes and her diplomatic dialogue.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #449 on: April 04, 2019, 02:27:08 AM »
Quote
The original game gave -2 GROWTH for Green, which was very harsh if you were the Cybernetic Consciousness or the Pirates and already had -1 GROWTH for your faction.  -1 GROWTH is a substantial improvement.  I've saved the harshness for Power nowadays, and none of my factions have a GROWTH penalty.

Green has to have some kind of penalty.  Every choice has to have liabilities.  What is Green going to mean if not less growth?  It's true to the lore too.  Deidre goes on and on about controlling population growth, both in the faction quotes and her diplomatic dialogue.

Its a realistic penalty. I was just wondering if it was too harsh for gameplay purposes.

 

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