Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38226 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #450 on: April 04, 2019, 02:35:49 AM »
My opinion is -1 of anything, by itself, is not too harsh for gameplay purposes.  In fact I've even started to get used to the idea that -4 JUSTICE might be ok if you've got 2X effective police to wipe it out.  Can't say I've seriously playtested that though.  But when the table in alphax.txt has penalties that actually go that low, I'm intrigued by the idea of a combo of social engineering choices that can actually get there.

I had another weapon idea, I forgot to write it down... oh now I remember.  Gamma weapons.  Well, I don't know if that has so much to do with Photons.  Also neutron weapons, as in a neutron bomb.  Although I think it's really naming that "honeycomb of barrels" that's the problem at this point.  It doesn't look like a cannon.

Ion Array?  Ion Bank?  Compare Phaser Bank.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #451 on: April 04, 2019, 04:03:02 AM »
  Although I think it's really naming that "honeycomb of barrels" that's the problem at this point.  It doesn't look like a cannon.
Ion Array?  Ion Bank?  Compare Phaser Bank.

  Array works for me.  So my vote's for Ion Array.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #452 on: April 04, 2019, 07:11:25 AM »
Well given the artwork, I think Ion Array is better than Ion Cannon.  Happy to have something better come along though.

What about Ion Sprayer?  Something-Else Sprayer?  Neutron Blaster?  Would call it Neutron Speeder, Neutron Squad....  Or could do Proton Blaster, Proton Speeder.... but I suppose a Proton Photon Squad would be lame.  Neutron Photon Squad sounds lame too.

Ion Blaster?  Then it's just an Ion Squad.  Yeah, I think Ion Blaster is better than Ion Array.

In a new game, I just had a diplomatic conversation with Deirdre.  She has E3 Centauri Genetics, implying that she has long since had E2 Centauri Empathy which makes Green available.  She's not Green!  She's Police State Simple Survival.  You'd think with the extra +2 SUPPORT she gets from Police State, that she wouldn't care about -1 SUPPORT from Green.  So maybe it's the -1 GROWTH that's the hangup.  I'm going to try removing it and see if she switches.  I still don't know if the AI will pick up on the changes mid-game.

Some time later, still Democratic Simple Survival.  I'll try -1 GROWTH and no SUPPORT penalty.

Some time later, no change.  Removing all penalties.  Yep, when I remove the penalties, now she goes Green.  So that proves the AI isn't hung up on stuff loaded at the start of the game.

Now, does she really prefer +1 GROWTH from Simple economy?  Or did she just hate Green penalties that much?  Adding the Frontier and Simple modifiers back.  Yep, she went back to Simple economy.  The AI does indeed fixate on GROWTH.  When I remove it, she goes right back to Green.

Now, is there any penalty for Green that Deirdre will tolerate?  Or is the AI allergic to penalties?  Let's try -INDUSTRY.  She seems to be tolerating this, so I guess that's gotta be the new negative.






Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #453 on: April 04, 2019, 01:13:25 PM »
How about a molecular disruptor?

As far as green penalties go what about support or morale? It will weaken your conventional units but your minds worms will be ok.
Basically it would represent a lowering of military effectiveness from green policies. Industry seems appropriate but seems a bit harsh.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #454 on: April 04, 2019, 04:11:15 PM »
How about a molecular disruptor?

Molecular Speeder, Molecular Squad... don't think it's better than Ion.  Also would like it to somewhat thematically go with Photon/Wave Mechanics.

Quote
As far as green penalties go what about support

The AI barfs on -1 SUPPORT -1 GROWTH, -1 SUPPORT, or -1 GROWTH.

Quote
or morale?

Illogical, and already given as a penalty for Wealth.

It would be logical for a Police State, but I have trouble imagining what further benefits I'd give to compensate.  Or why, play mechanically, one would want to choose Police State if one can't fight well.  I suppose PROBE, but I don't actually want more probe team play mechanics in the game.  I think subverting cities sucks and is pretty much broken, it's way too cheap to do.

Quote
It will weaken your conventional units but your minds worms will be ok.

When playing a Green faction, I often choose Wealth because I really don't need MORALE to fight effectively.  But this is a player choice.

Quote
Industry seems appropriate but seems a bit harsh.

Choices need to have penalties.  Any -1 can be swallowed by itself.  It's not like -1 INDUSTRY is somehow massively more powerful than +2 PLANET +1 JUSTICE.

If the player chooses Wealth too, then INDUSTRY bonuses and penalties cancel out.  It's all about how badly you want to be Planet friendly.  Maybe you prefer to belch out Secret Projects as fast as possible and have mindworms eat you under Capitalist.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #455 on: April 04, 2019, 06:37:48 PM »
It occurs to me: the original game had +2 PLANET +2 EFFIC -2 GROWTH and the Gaians would choose it just fine.  Why not now?  Does the game have hardwired ideas about what GROWTH is worth compared to other abilities, and the problem is I'm only giving +2 PLANET +1 JUSTICE -WHATEVER?  Can I solve that by raising the amount of "positive crap" for this choice?  Which would trigger needing to raise other crap elsewhere, to keep the relative balance between choices.

Or is it that other things in the table have changed, like Democratic, and now the AI evaluates all of it differently?  Because the sum of choices changes the calculus...

I wish this wasn't a black box that I have to reverse engineer by trial and error.  It's unsettling to think that after months and months of authorship, I crafted an experience for the human player, only to belatedly realize that the AI is ignoring a lot of that experience.  I could see having to go through every single faction, to see if they're actually choosing their primary compulsions at least, and then try to get them to do their secondary compulsions if any.  Although, per another thread, secondary compulsions might be broken and ignored.

This all easily becomes enough work for a 1.30 release, justifying the minimum 1 month between releases.  You think you're done, then you find out you're not.

Deirdre won't swallow +2 PLANET +2 JUSTICE -1 GROWTH in my current table.  Let alone -2 GROWTH.  She's Democratic.  I wonder if only having +1 JUSTICE for Democratic is the problem?  Or what if the Gaians only having +1 JUSTICE as their faction ability instead of +2 is the problem?

I wonder if renaming EFFIC to JUSTICE is a problem?

Even when I change Democratic to +1 ECONOMY +2 JUSTICE +2 GROWTH, I can't get the Gaians to accept Green with +2 PLANET +2 JUSTICE -1 GROWTH.  Any -GROWTH in Green derails the deal.  I've got the same primary and secondary compulsions as the original game: Economics, Green, PLANET.

This is baffling, and makes me wonder if there's a problem even in the original game.  I'm going to have to go back to that, and start changing things one by one until I find what's causing this.

Well I'll be damned.  The Gaians won't choose Green even in the original game.  I'm filing a bug report about it.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 10:46:18 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #456 on: April 04, 2019, 10:44:23 PM »
        Dang, man.   You're talking like a scientist.   Totally approve, of course.

  If there is some part I can help with on this new exploration, count me a Lab. Ass. and assign it to me.

  Oh, just occured to me: I remember a discussion about Dierdre refusing to wear GREEN in the forums here a couple three years ago.   Now to try and find it so we can see what conditions it was under (stock, a mod, etc.) and what was said and tested then.

  <minutes later> Fah.  Tried several combinations of words in our search engine and got bugger all.
                           I'll play with it a bit more since I'm sure it happened and happened here.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #457 on: April 05, 2019, 12:19:25 AM »

Quote
Even when I change Democratic to +1 ECONOMY +2 JUSTICE +2 GROWTH, I can't get the Gaians to accept Green with +2 PLANET +2 JUSTICE -1 GROWTH.  Any -GROWTH in Green derails the deal.  I've got the same primary and secondary compulsions as the original game: Economics, Green, PLANET.

This is baffling, and makes me wonder if there's a problem even in the original game.  I'm going to have to go back to that, and start changing things one by one until I find what's causing this.

Well I'll be damned.  The Gaians won't choose Green even in the original game.  I'm filing a bug report about it.
Its probably he growth penalty. Growth is a very heavy penalty and the renaming of social values probably doesn't help.
Thats one of the reasons in my mod I would sometimes simply remove all the negative social values from governments and economic systems.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #458 on: April 05, 2019, 02:10:23 AM »
The AI considers either a GROWTH or a SUPPORT penalty to be too onerous.  But not an INDUSTRY penalty.

In my bug report thread I think I've found the answer.  The AI will only choose Green with those penalties, if it has learned how to make Locusts of Chiron.  It may also need to have life cycle bonuses.  It had the Xenoempathy Dome and was working on the Pholus Mutagen when it started building an air corps of Locusts.  4 extant, 4 killed, 12 in production.

In short, the Gaian AI is thoroughly unprincipled.   ;lol  ;hippy  Will not live within its means, only cares about war!

A good reason to mod this.  I mean, the +20% Psi combat bonus is helpful, and you do acquire many more free mindworms if you've jacked your PLANET to +3.  We need to hear less of Deirdre talking the talk.  More walking the walk.

I wonder if I'm going to find out that they nerfed the Gaians deliberately?  Well that would be ok.  I could always take away the free Biology Labs I gave them.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #459 on: April 05, 2019, 05:50:05 AM »
prototype choices for 1 30
prototype choices for 1 30

MY 2200 and still nobody will choose my new Green.

Deirdre is Police State only, completely ignoring her primary compulsion to go Green.  She is trying to build the Xenoempathy Dome.  She doesn't have Locusts yet.  She's the leading faction on the graph, due to sitting on the Monsoon Jungle.  I'm merely #2.

Cha Dawn is Socialist only, indicating that he's ignoring his PLANET secondary compulsion.

The Caretakers are building the Xenoempathy Dome.  I haven't met them, but presumably they're Socialist since that's their primary compulsion.

I strongly suspect the AI hates my version of Power as much as it hates Green.  I expect I'll have to rework it.

If I remove the INDUSTRY penalty from Green, Deirdre will choose it.  Cha Dawn won't!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 06:06:10 AM by bvanevery »

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #460 on: April 05, 2019, 06:47:13 AM »
   With further use of the site's search engine I found a couple threads dating back to 2015 which mention issues with Dierdre not choosing green, but unfortunately, nothing helpful on that or other AI Social Engineering matters.

  The problem definitely occurs in the stock, unmodified game and appears to have been unaffected by any of the *.txt or *.exe mods/patches that were around back then
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #461 on: April 05, 2019, 07:15:37 AM »
Caretaker full choices for 1 30
Caretaker full choices for 1 30

Barring further testing explosions, I am adopting Vonbach's expedient of no penalties for Green.  Since I don't want to treat any of the other choices that way, I have to do it with no bonuses other than the +2 PLANET.  I try to draw a contrast with the rest of the choices; for instance, Green is neutral on JUSTICE, but Capitalist is slightly unjust.  I actually believe that, and I think it'll also work game mechanically.  I think the AI likes money and isn't going to balk at the added penalty.

I also adopted some of vonbach's ideas about Capitalist and Wealth being too strong, and Police State being too lame.  Power needed reworking.  Fundamentalist becomes a PROBE thing again, although not as much as the original game.  Now there are now GROWTH penalties in the game.  As the author of SMACX AI Growth mod, that makes me a little sad.  But hey, gameplay is king, and you can't very well play with a broken AI!   :dunno:

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #462 on: April 05, 2019, 04:20:11 PM »
in fairness to Capitalism
in fairness to Capitalism

I found a better way to make the JUSTICE contrast between Capitalist and Green.  Just get rid of INDUSTRY in Eudaimonic.  Yes, Domai is gonna take care of Planet!   ;lol  You know, the original game didn't have the Free Drones in it.  Eudaimonia was part of the Explore tech tree, and I don't think it was conceived as a Worker's State tech.  I think they shoved it in because it was available, so I don't feel that bad about un-shoving them.  Little green Planet friendly drones.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #463 on: April 05, 2019, 08:21:18 PM »
I hate you Deirdre
I hate you Deirdre

I hate this AI!!   :mad:  I put 2 days of work into trying to make it obey my will, and it still won't!  Green now has no liability whatsoever, there's no downside.  And it still won't choose it.  I just bought Centauri Empathy from her, so she's Green capable.  Is +1 PLANET not enough to get the AI's attention?  Is the original game broken too, even if I remove all penalties from Green?  I'm going to go find out now.

Well the story with the original game is weird.  Removing all penalties from Green, the Gaians learn it in MY 2172.  They refuse to go Green.  They keep this up through MY 2200.  Suddenly in MY 2201 they go Green.  There wasn't seemingly any change in relevant or profound circumstances.  I'm wondering if the choice is on a timer, i.e. do not do this on or before MY 2200.

Well if so, I've got some waiting to do.  Resuming my modded game, we're in MY 2135.  That's a lot of early exploration missed opportunity for the PLANET friendly factions.

Heck, I am going Green, because there's no downside.  That could be a problem with my fix, this lack of a tradeoff.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 09:18:31 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #464 on: April 06, 2019, 12:36:31 AM »
perhaps mindworm manufacture is key
perhaps mindworm manufacture is key

MY 2181.  I notice that Deidre has gone Green.  I will see if I can figure out exactly what turn it happened.

That dispels the "on a century timer" theory.  Maybe it corresponds to obtaining Centauri Genetics, which in my mod gives mindworms and spore launchers.  In the original game, it occurs later and gives locusts.  That was the point at which it finally went Green in the original game, with a Green that had penalties.  It would be amusing if it's actually tied to the name Centauri Genetics itself!

I find that I seriously dislike this "easy street" version of Green where there's no consequence for choosing it.  Feels like a baby game.  I will now try to find what the Gaians will swallow for a penalty, if anything.

I think the idea of only giving +1 PLANET has validity.  That's all you actually need to get some mindworms.  I think you end up with a lot more if you've got a higher rating, but I remember games in the past where I only had +1 PLANET the whole game, and I came up with some pretty fearsome mindworm armies.  Recruitment might have more to do with map size and distance, and ongoing time, than how high your PLANET rating is.

My sampling of old saved games is limited.  I know that in MY 2170 the Gaians do not have Centauri Genetics.  In MY 2177 they do, but they have not gone Green.  I don't know if they obtained it that turn or earlier.  In MY 2178, they go Green.

 

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