Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 55560 times)

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Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #795 on: August 15, 2019, 01:32:16 PM »
I've been out of the loop for a while.I take breaks from this game periodically. 
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Per previous discussions, I'm not going to give Capitalist a JUSTICE or a GROWTH bonus.  I don't want it to have +2 ECONOMY, a lot of changes have been made to spread ECONOMY out over the social engineering choices.  Giving an INDUSTRY bonus would in my opinion be overpowered.  I don't really believe in TALENT bonuses, because they have no visual representation, and I don't see any particular reason why Capitalist would result in that anyways.  The basic philosophy of my ECONOMY arrangement, is that piling up money is worth a lot.  It's pretty much how I buy all my Secret Projects.  So I'm going to stay with Capitalist just being one contribution out of several.
Its not bad it just seems a little weak and one dimensional. I would add +Growth but thats just me.

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Power, yes I could reduce it to -1 GROWTH, but getting +2 MORALE and +1 SUPPORT is really powerful.  There needs to be a tradeoff, and I don't believe -1 GROWTH stings enough.  If there were other GROWTH penalties somewhere, then -1 would be more appropriate, but there are no other GROWTH penalties.  Nor can there be, as far as getting the AI to accept various choices and not fixate on GROWTH penalties and bonuses.  If you're going for Power you should be trashing everyone else in the game.  I wouldn't say my opinion on this is set in stone, but I'm definitely in a "wait and see what playtesting says" mode about it. 
Power does seem to have a little to harsh penalties but its not that bad.
What penalties are you giving wealth if you don't mind me asking?
Overall the choices all look balanced. It looks very good.
Whats with the 150 probe cost by the way?
The Free Drones one of my favorites. Old "joy though strength" Domi. He looks like a jacked up Hitler without the mustache and he leads a workers movement toward a society based on life based on excellence.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #796 on: August 15, 2019, 01:47:44 PM »
Its not bad it just seems a little weak and one dimensional. I would add +Growth but thats just me.

Per previous discussion, the AI obsesses about GROWTH bonuses.  That's a reason to almost never use them.

I also can't very well have Capitalist giving GROWTH away.  That's my Socialist, and you have to pay with ECONOMY to get the growth.  You can have money or growth, not both.  Currently I find the faction AIs are making varied economic choices, and that's how I want it.

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What penalties are you giving wealth if you don't mind me asking?

It will be only -1 MORALE.  So the PLANET friendly factions can choose it, have bad conventional troops, and still fight with mindworms just fine.

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Whats with the 150 probe cost by the way?

From my design notes:
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In the original game, probe teams were overpowered.  A single team could take over an entire base, for very little money, no matter how many units were in it!  And every unit in the base's radius would be taken over too.  You'd be invading an AI faction, and it would be all but dead, but it would still take bases back from you this way.  This is unrealistic and completely ridiculous.  I've rage quit SMAC more times because of this one issue than any other thing I can think of!

So, Mind Control now costs 1.5x higher than the unmodded game.  This stops the nonsense in the early game.  You can still get your bases taken over in the mid to late game, but it will cost a lot more money, which is how it should be.  The Hive is now a partly probe team oriented faction, so they have 1.25x cost.  The Data Angels are at 1.0x cost, as their probe teams are supposed to be powerful, and the baseline of the original game was overpowered to begin with.

In 1.34, the Cybernetic Consciousness will also drop to 1.25x and will get a +1 PROBE bonus.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #797 on: August 15, 2019, 02:19:57 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I still think Capitalist needs a little something more though.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #798 on: August 15, 2019, 03:50:19 PM »
+2 ECONOMY is overpowered.

INDUSTRY is overpowered.

My politics are that JUSTICE has a narrative meaning.  I've used the metaphor of JUSTICE to distinguish what various social engineering choices do.  I'm not going to rescind that.  IMO it is a good metaphor, and it is derivative of original Civ II play mechanics.  Once upon a time, you built a Courthouse to stop corruption and waste.  The JUSTICE economy is also now pretty tight.  It's not easy to get a lot of it, and having +1 JUSTICE as a faction ability does give a real advantage now.

GROWTH causes the AI to obsess, and is already what Socialist does.

SUPPORT has become the distinguishing feature of Extremist.  I'm keeping that play mechanic.  SUPPORT bonuses are pretty powerful in my opinion.  That's why Power gets one.  I'm not giving it away for Capitalist as well, that would make it overpowered.  You might be interested to know that the Morganites are getting a +1 SUPPORT bonus in 1.34, as well as -1 PLANET to offset it.  That way, they'll continue to enjoy -3 PLANET doing their greedy moneygrubbing thing.  If you want SUPPORT while Capitalist, play the Morganites.

I got rid of POLICE penalties and I'm certainly not going to give a POLICE bonus.  That's for Police State and Thought Control.

I'm not giving Capitalist a RESEARCH bonus.  There are complete other parts of the table for making RESEARCH go up or down.

A MORALE bonus would be non-sensical.  It is also the province of Power.  I do not want the MORALE economy to be inflated.  I quite deliberately removed it from Extremist.  The AI obsesses about MORALE bonuses, for good reason as they're great things to have.

I don't believe in TALENT bonuses, as they have no visual form, which makes my modding look broken.  I refuse to do anything which makes my mod look like it's buggy.  I also don't see why Capitalist should give a TALENT bonus anyways.  Maybe it would be reasonable for Cybernetic or Eudaimonic.

There is of course not going to be a PLANET bonus.

By process of elimination, there is simply nothing left to give.  Even if I wanted to, which I don't.  I have designed the entire social engineering table.  All the parts fit together, it's not just about what someone would want from Capitalist.  Only so many capabilities were given by the game, and they were clearly designed for a table that is only so large.

Capitalist simply isn't going to be a "juicy" choice in the game.  You get it from a lousy Tier 2 tech, Industrial Base.  You don't have to work for it at all.  Anyone will trade it to you, if they don't hate you.  You can choose it and take the consequences.  +1 ECONOMY is definitely worth taking a -2 PLANET penalty to get, especially because you can get it very early in the game without doing much research.  If you combine it with Democratic you're getting +1 energy per square.  That's powerful!

In general I no longer believe in giving "juicy" social engineering choices, at all.  All these design iterations have proven that they have bad effects on play balance and AI.  The Future Society choices are as juicy as they're gonna get.

Most of the game balancing I've done recently, is pushing capabilities into the future and increasing their cost.  If something sticks up as a problem, like a nail in a floorboard, I bang it down with a hammer.  I make it harder to get.  Wet, lather, rinse, repeat.  Do this long enough, and you get a fairly tame social engineering table.  You also get an early to midgame that feels a bit like a mild tech stagnation game.  There's way too much junk in SMAC.  I think by delaying the junk, the true core of the game emerges.  You can win this game with Particle Impactors.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #799 on: August 15, 2019, 09:19:11 PM »
Growth is a good one. Capitalism actually gives more growth than a socialist system which actually decreases growth.
Effic bonuses are always nice. Capitalism is still weak especially for its penalties.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #800 on: August 15, 2019, 09:41:35 PM »
You don't make enough money in your games for some reason.   :D  I don't know why.

Even though you and I have different politics, there's more to it than that.  What the AI is willing to do, is a crucial design consideration for me nowadays.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #801 on: August 15, 2019, 11:21:17 PM »
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You don't make enough money in your games for some reason.   :D  I don't know why.
I make plenty of money I just spend it on different things.
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Even though you and I have different politics, there's more to it than that.  What the AI is willing to do, is a crucial design consideration for me nowadays.
I try and keep that in mind when I make my mods. But Free Market was as ideologically hated by the game designers as fundamentalism and religion was.
One of the reasons I like to buff it. Capitalism is about more than money. Thats what wealth is for.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 12:12:25 AM by vonbach »

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #802 on: August 16, 2019, 09:01:40 PM »
Going to start an unmodified game. I need to pick a faction though.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #803 on: August 18, 2019, 10:09:12 AM »
Tried a test game with the hive. Growth is just to hard too come by. Not so much for me but the AI. Early game at least most cities stay at size 2 forever. Its 2217 right now. Democracy and Socialism are both overpowered. Power has growth penalties so it will never get picked. Just my initial impressions.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #804 on: August 19, 2019, 04:00:15 PM »
But Free Market was as ideologically hated by the game designers as fundamentalism and religion was.

Hm, where's the internal evidence for that?  Morgan is a starring role in the game.  The devs clearly hated Microsoft.  Many of the Morganic comedic bits, are jabs at the tech industry of the time.  "Where Do You Want Your Node Today?" 

The -5 POLICE stuff is a direct simulation of Civ II Democracy play mechanics.  If you manage to lower it to -3 POLICE by combining it with Police State, you get the Civ II version of a Republic, where you can have 1 military unit afield without anyone getting upset.  -5 POLICE is not evidence of hating Capitalism.  It's evidence of making a conservative transition from Civ II play mechanics, without much originality of thought dumped onto it.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #805 on: August 19, 2019, 04:09:31 PM »
Tried a test game with the hive. Growth is just to hard too come by. Not so much for me but the AI. Early game at least most cities stay at size 2 forever.

Haven't seen that in my test games.  However: in version 1.34 I am moving the Children's Creche back to Tier 2.  I do think growth was too restricted and this is part of why.

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Its 2217 right now. Democracy and Socialism are both overpowered.

Democratic is the other half of the original game's Free Market.  It's a very good early choice.  AIs will nevertheless choose Police State regularly, they think it's valuable.  A few will choose Extremist.

Sanity check: you're playing version 1.33 of my mod?  Socialist has +1 JUSTICE +1 GROWTH -1 ECONOMY.  I'm sorry, there's simply no universe in which I can accept that as being overpowered.  It isn't.  Flat.  Out.  Isn't.  It's barely any bonus at all and you lose money.  I did this because the previous version of Socialist was too attractive to AIs.  Now they are much more likely to choose Capitalist or Socialist.  A few will choose Green, the Gaians mainly, and I've seen the Pirates do it.

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Power has growth penalties so it will never get picked. Just my initial impressions.

This is false.  Factions choose Power and overrun other factions all the freakin' time in my test games.  They don't even miss a beat swallowing the -1 JUSTICE -2 GROWTH.  Nor should they, as getting +2 MORALE is that good.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #806 on: August 19, 2019, 11:28:23 PM »
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Quote from: vonbach on August 15, 2019, 11:21:17 PM
But Free Market was as ideologically hated by the game designers as fundamentalism and religion was.

Hm, where's the internal evidence for that?
Just take at the ridiculous penalties for it in the original game, -3 planet and -5 police.
This is beyond silly for a simple +2 economy. Wealth should be for making oodles of money. Free market should be an balanced alternative to
green and socialist. One of the reasons I like to spread out growth in my personal mods isn't ideological. It's to help out the AI by spreading growth around.

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Haven't seen that in my test games.  However: in version 1.34 I am moving the Children's Creche back to Tier 2.  I do think growth was too restricted and this is part of why.

Thats probably it. Early game growth is to low until the creche gets built.

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This is false.  Factions choose Power and overrun other factions all the freakin' time in my test games.  They don't even miss a beat swallowing the -1 JUSTICE -2 GROWTH.  Nor should they, as getting +2 MORALE is that good.
Power has very hefty penalties for what you get. Especially with Knowledge sitting right next door. Extremist is in the same boat.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #807 on: August 19, 2019, 11:41:38 PM »

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Quote from: vonbach on August 15, 2019, 11:21:17 PM
But Free Market was as ideologically hated by the game designers as fundamentalism and religion was.

Hm, where's the internal evidence for that?
Just take at the ridiculous penalties for it in the original game, -3 planet and -5 police.
This is beyond silly for a simple +2 economy. Wealth should be for making oodles of money. Free market should be an balanced alternative to
green and socialist. One of the reasons I like to spread out growth in my personal mods isn't ideological. It's to help out the AI by spreading growth around.

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Haven't seen that in my test games.  However: in version 1.34 I am moving the Children's Creche back to Tier 2.  I do think growth was too restricted and this is part of why.


Thats probably it. Early game growth is to low until the creche gets built.

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This is false.  Factions choose Power and overrun other factions all the freakin' time in my test games.  They don't even miss a beat swallowing the -1 JUSTICE -2 GROWTH.  Nor should they, as getting +2 MORALE is that good.

Power has very hefty penalties for what you get. Especially with Knowledge sitting right next door. Extremist is in the same boat.

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http://alphacentauri.us/fac-tool/rate.htm


I found this on another site. Its a stat rating system for factions. It could also be used for governments.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #808 on: August 20, 2019, 04:34:46 AM »
Just take at the ridiculous penalties for it in the original game, -3 planet and -5 police.
This is beyond silly for a simple +2 economy.


We agree that POLICE penalties were onerous.  In fact I take the view that a Capitalist system should have no POLICE penalties at all.  So I implemented such.  A Capitalist Police State would be modern China.

Capitalism does do damage to a planet.  We're living through that on our own planet right now.  I think it's only an argument about whether it does -1, -2, or -3 damage to PLANET.  In this game I've lived with stiff consequences for industrialization, global warming, and global flooding for a long time.  In 1.33 I dropped it from -3 to -2.  This made it much more popular with the AI factions.  In 1.34 I'm making Morgan take a -1 penalty to go with his new +1 SUPPORT bonus.  That way, 2 factions will still experience the joys of -3 PLANET.

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One of the reasons I like to spread out growth in my personal mods isn't ideological. It's to help out the AI by spreading growth around.


The AI obsesses about growth.  My answer to that issue, is not to give it out.

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Thats probably it. Early game growth is to low until the creche gets built.


Now that you point it out, I do notice various size 2 cities in the early game.  But they're on scraggly land, so their population makes sense.  Cities on good land get bigger just fine.  Wiping out an AI faction that's near you, in the early game, is never going to be that hard.  What counts, is factions that aren't quite near you, that have time to dig in and grow.

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Power has very hefty penalties for what you get. Especially with Knowledge sitting right next door.


So choose Knowledge if you think it's better.  The AIs choose Power just fine, and with it, they stomp entire continents full of enemies just fine.

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Extremist is in the same boat.


It is designed to be unattractive to most of the AIs.  I want AIs to mostly pick between Police State and Democratic.  The only faction that should pick Extremist is the Cult of Planet, because their RESEARCH never drops below zero.  There are still times as a human player when picking Extremist might be advantageous, although most of the time, the other 2 are better choices.

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http://alphacentauri.us/fac-tool/rate.htm

I found this on another site. Its a stat rating system for factions. It could also be used for governments.


It's their opinion.  I have my own ideas about what all these abilities are worth.  I do agree that +1 ECONOMY is worth double a usual ability.  I would point out that the benefits of reaching various thresholds on the table are not linear.  +3 POLICE is really powerful.  So, my Hive can do it in the early game without any difficulty getting there.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #809 on: August 20, 2019, 01:23:38 PM »
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We agree that POLICE penalties were onerous.  In fact I take the view that a Capitalist system should have no POLICE penalties at all.  So I implemented such.  A Capitalist Police State would be modern China.

Capitalism does do damage to a planet.  We're living through that on our own planet right now. 
Global warming is bunk but thats besides the point. My problem wasn't so much with the original penalties but the scale of them. I just think capitalism or free market should be good for something other than money. Besides Economy isn't as powerful when people simply refuse to trade with you. Something I've seen sometimes.

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Now that you point it out, I do notice various size 2 cities in the early game.  But they're on scraggly land, so their population makes sense.  Cities on good land get bigger just fine.  Wiping out an AI faction that's near you, in the early game, is never going to be that hard.  What counts, is factions that aren't quite near you, that have time to dig in and grow.

I sometimes like to make things easier for the AI to grow just so I can have something to conquer. The AI isn't always that good at growing cities.

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It is designed to be unattractive to most of the AIs.  I want AIs to mostly pick between Police State and Democratic.  The only faction that should pick Extremist is the Cult of Planet, because their RESEARCH never drops below zero.  There are still times as a human player when picking Extremist might be advantageous, although most of the time, the other 2 are better choices.

I just think its Underpowered compared to its penalties especially with clean reactors showing up later in the game.

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It's their opinion.  I have my own ideas about what all these abilities are worth.  I do agree that +1 ECONOMY is worth double a usual ability.  I would point out that the benefits of reaching various thresholds on the table are not linear.  +3 POLICE is really powerful.  So, my Hive can do it in the early game without any difficulty getting there.

Someone else had a rating system for faction bonuses but this was all I could find I thought it might be useful.

Morgan is getting +1 support next patch? Interesting.

 

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