Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 30741 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #855 on: September 11, 2019, 04:13:09 AM »
Do you mean you played as the Pirates, and popped pods before you actually settled any Sea Bases?  I've noticed that if you haven't settled a base yet, it almost always pops as an Isle.  So don't do that.  You're not going to capture them, the money isn't that good, and you'll just chew your Unity Gunship up.

Offline Rocky

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #856 on: September 11, 2019, 09:49:54 AM »
If I can spare a (Unity) Transport I usually go after pods in hopes for an Artifact. Otherwise, like bvanevery I try to settle a sea base near it first.

---

Out of curiosity I did a quick AI-only test on terraforming with and without mines and took a snapshot at 2220. It turns out differences were mostly minor. Two things I noticed:

- Terraforming is slightly faster without mines. Most noticeable on outer bases which generally have one farm/collector and one forest/sensor near them. With mines the outer bases are usually still empty, except for a road connecting them.

- Tech and energy output of all factions in the game without mines were slightly higher. In both scenarios the Peacekeepers were Democracy/Green/Wealth.

Peacekeepers with mines at 2220: Labs 70% 95 tech per turn -- Eco: 30% 10 energy per turn.
Peacekeepers without mines at 2220: Labs 70% 114 tech per turn -- Eco: 30% 20 energy per turn.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 10:30:45 AM by Rocky »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #857 on: September 11, 2019, 01:29:43 PM »
So the question is, which approach makes a faction more likely to prevail?  More research and energy isn't useful if the AI doesn't do something with it.

Offline Rocky

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #858 on: September 11, 2019, 02:31:19 PM »
So the question is, which approach makes a faction more likely to prevail?  More research and energy isn't useful if the AI doesn't do something with it.

You make a good point. This was just a test for fun. The differences were smaller than I expected, and your solution of keeping the nutrient for the mines is probably the best choice as it doesn't limit game options for the human player.

After a few more tests I did notice that an AI seems more likely to build a Tree Farm if there are several forest squares around a base.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 02:56:44 PM by Rocky »

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #859 on: September 11, 2019, 06:03:47 PM »
Theres only so much you can do with the AI. Sometimes they will just sit there and barely terraform at all.
One thing I've done in the past is remove the mines food penalty just to help the AI since it likes to spam them
so much. You might want to reduce the prototype penalty and the cost of the clean reactor to help the AI.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #860 on: September 12, 2019, 05:04:33 PM »
No on reducing Clean Reactor cost.  It has to be something non-trivial or the human player will exploit it worse than the AI will.  The AI is already building plenty of Clean Reactor units, I don't see any problem with the current cost at all.

I'm not convinced the prototype penalty is an issue.  Early prototypes are actually easy to get, because there are early techs with predefined units that award a prototype.  Prototypes start becoming difficult from Nonlinear Mathematics onwards.  For the human player I think it is a good play mechanic, to make it an actually consequential decision.

Meanwhile, my experiment with depriving the AI of a Recreation Commons at Tier 1, is a disaster!  Even with Social Psych merely at Tier 2, many factions never learn it.  This eventually leads to size 7 bases with 3 medical doctors.  Factions may or may not deploy police units, even if they know how to make them.

Restricting Hab Complex until Tier 4 also doesn't work, as various factions do find enough food to get to size 7 by say, MY 2250.  In particular the Pirates, the Free Drones, anyone sitting on the Monsoon Jungle, and any sea base that manages to get left alone in shallow water long enough to build up some ocean improvements.

So I've got a bit more reshuffling to do.

lame sea posture MY 2221
lame sea posture MY 2221

This is the kind of situation where an immediate Sea Colony Pod is desired.  They don't have the capability.  Time to add it and see what happens.

better sea posture MY 2221
better sea posture MY 2221

The availability of Sea Colony Pods is clearly not triggered by Mission Year, but by some difference in technology.  But what?

Gaians no sea colony pod MY 2200
Gaians no sea colony pod MY 2200

21 years earlier, the Gaians don't have Sea Colony Pods.  But within 10 years they gain them.  Other factions already have them, so again it's not based on Mission Year.

Analyzing the faction techs, the Gaians have all the technologies the Peacekeepers do, and a number more.  This would seem to indicate that the lack of a Sea Colony Pod is not intended, and is simply a bug.

I notice that the Gaians have not completed a Synthmetal Laser Skimship or a Scout Rover prototype.  Other factions with Sea Colony capability have.  The Cult of Planet in MY 2020 doesn't even have the prototypes available, as they haven't learned the appropriate Conquer techs yet.

I've now renamed the Sea Escape Pod to a Clean Sea Colony Pod and have made it available with Doctrine: Flexibility.  I've also changed to a Clean Colony Pod.  The AI likes these units just fine.

I've discovered that a Tier 3 Explore tech that merely has growth=4 and no other weights, will never be researched.  Other Explore techs that are cross-listed with, say, Conquer will be researched first.  Even through Tier 5, i.e. Centauri Psi.

Granted, none of the factions in my test game had Explore as part of their research foci.  Still, that counts and matters.  The consequence is nobody ever got the Hab Complex.  The Consciousness built the Ascetic Virtues and went to size 9, gaining an advantage over the others.  This phenomenon is interesting and demonstrates a way of delaying the acquisition of a tech in the tree.  It's not appropriate for Hab Complex but could be useful for something else.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 11:37:20 PM by bvanevery »

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #861 on: September 13, 2019, 09:19:26 PM »
One thing I would recommend doing is removing the nutrient penalty for mines. The AI loves them and that extra nutrient can help quite a bit.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #862 on: September 14, 2019, 01:24:01 AM »
Yeah I've already done that, for the upcoming 1.35.  My work isn't tested yet, but I seriously doubt there's any reason why I wouldn't do that one.

I just sped up the Discover tree.  I'm trying to get the University going a lot more quickly with its research.  I'm also using the Discover tree as a barrier to new weapons technology, since most factions will not research Discover stuff.  That will give the University the possibility of developing superior weaponry.  In a test game it almost worked... they held off the Spartans for a long time, because they discovered Fusion Power I think.  Eventually the Spartans did grind them up though.

The shocking terror of that game was actually the Cult of Planet.  More mindworms than you can believe.  The mindworm is definitely the dominant weapon of the futuristic AI battlefield.

Retroviral Engineering is going to come earlier again, because it fits with a progression I've made with Gene Splicing.  Maybe testing will show that to be a bad idea, and I may recant.  But I kinda miss that atrocity exit hatch.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #863 on: September 14, 2019, 08:50:48 PM »
The later weapons techs like lasers show up the more powerful factions with +planet rating are.
Planet rating is becoming a necessity just to play the game without getting eaten alive by mindworms.
Especially in the early game.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 09:11:23 PM by vonbach »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #864 on: September 14, 2019, 09:15:02 PM »
Like Lasers?  It's currently Tier 2.

I've been playing as the University.  I got the Network Backbone.  I felt like I was cheating, getting it so early.  However the game keeps going on and the Free Drones and the Peacekeepers are supposedly equal to me.  I have a hard time believing that, but it's what the game says.  I haven't learned C5 Retroviral Engineering because it's a pure Conquer tech.  I'm only researching pure Discover.  I've come to realize that pure research barriers can slow down stuff and "hide" things in the tech tree.  They'll be difficult for many factions to research in practice.  It's like building a maze.  If techs share categories, the "terrain" of the maze is easier to navigate.  If they don't, if there's an abrupt cliff, then it's harder.

Truth is I'm kinda bored with my game right now.  Using Discover to restrict access to things like Gatling Guns worked.  I'm the only one who's got them.  But having all this tech, leads to all these Secret Projects being available.  Which makes me feel like I should build them, instead of other stuff.  I've built the Xenoempathy Dome and the Pholus Mutagen.  I was already doing Knowledge, and I've changed from Capitalist to Green, so I'm +2 PLANET.  I've made Industrial Labs everywhere, and I'm starting to make mindworms everywhere.  My thought is to overrun the Drones with them, or at least make them sign a cease-fire.  It's just all going slow as molasses though.  Nobody can really do anything about me, but my research isn't fast enough to feel all that impressive.  Having to build Research Hospitals and Tree Farms sounds like a drag.

Well maybe a nap will fix this.

I've had some water hassles with the Believers.  Maybe that's courtesy of the Clean Sea Colony Pods that don't cost extra?  Everyone definitely has some sea bases.


Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #865 on: September 14, 2019, 10:04:33 PM »
I tried a different map other than the base planet map and its a totally different game. I was getting swamped by worms.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #866 on: September 15, 2019, 12:17:10 AM »
Worms are definitely the best mid to late game deal now as far as the AI is concerned.  I do believe that the AI allocates a force mix based on the preponderance of enemy unit types on the map.  For instance, only recently did the AI start making ECM units again.  That's because I made Lasers available at Tier 2 and the Recon Rover is now an important fighting vehicle again.  The AI still heavily favors infantry production though.

Took a break, and gonna go back to the University slaughter now.  Looking at my new tech tree, I can't honestly say that Research Hospitals are in the wrong place.  They're Tier 4 now, and that's appropriate, same time as Industrial Labs.  One comes from a more Explore part of the tree, and the other from a more Build part of the tree.  I just don't want to build the Research Hospitals.  From a happiness standpoint they're unnecessary, because I snagged both the Virtual World and the Human Genome Project.  The latter is going to come with Centauri Genetics now.  That's a bit of a hand wave, but at least it's genetics.  Mainly it blocks AIs from trading mindworm tech.

I should probably just produce a mindworm plague and Be Happy [TM].  I liked the idea of producing a viable civilization without Tree Farms, just based on Industrial Labs and other Discover techs.  I guess there's really nothing stopping me.  I just have this tendency to want to take over 1 city and go back to peace, I think because the unit pushing gets really boring.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #867 on: September 15, 2019, 05:49:30 AM »
I finally quit that game.  There was nothing really wrong with my position, but there wasn't anything really right either.  I was allied with the Morganites, who kept getting hammered by the Free Drones.  The Morganites would provide me with free Impact Squads nearly every turn.  However, the units generally were Green.  The free units helped my production in one sense, because I didn't have to do much of anything to garrison my cities.  However it harmed it in another sense, because the ongoing support burden was relentless.  These units weren't good enough to punch through the Free Drone spam, and I wasn't willing to allocate more than a few mindworms to the struggle.  So I'd end up in a bit of an exchange with the Free Drones and ultimately it was just attrition.

It seemed most profitable to let the Drones extend themselves into Morganic territory, then counterattack where we had the terrain advantages and they didn't have any Sensor Arrays.  This results in a lot of repetitive actions over many turns though.  Eventually the Morganites had tossed so many units my way, that I started pursuing this massive strategic flanking movement, based on a rail that I had built earlier.  I was starting to engage that 2nd front when... I'd just had enough of the unit pushing.

The Peacekeepers were far across the map and separated by a lot of water.  The graph said they're better than I am, and they actually beat me to Orbital Spaceflight.  However I was on target to beat them to Fusion Power, because I designed a partial restriction in the Discover tech tree.  You need Applied Relativity to get Superconductor, and Superconductor to get Fusion Power.  It's possible to get Orbital Spaceflight and Synthetic Fossil Fuels without any Discover prereqs, so I think it's fair.  And it pretty much worked as designed.  I had a Gatling advantage over my enemies for awhile, even though I didn't make much use of it.  Eventually they got past that and had their Missile Launchers.

I did get Retroviral Engineering, and I could have broken the stalemate with that.  But I just didn't want to.  Plagues are a pretty specific mood or roleplay for me.  It's not like my situation was desperate or I was intending to be inherently cruel.  I figured realistically, I'd get Fusion Power and then I could overrun stuff, if I so chose.  But that kept happening with every other tech advantage I got, I just wouldn't choose to exercise my advantage.  Just tired of the unit pushing.

I conclude that the Network Backbone isn't actually that powerful.  It seems like it is, but the reality is probably when you used to get it, you had already pretty much won the game anyways.  Already researching techs a mile a minute or whatever.  Earlier in the game, it didn't amount to anything decisive.  I'm now thinking of it as a better, fancier version of the "+100% research at this base" Secret Projects, but not much more than that.  Commerce bonuses... well, you need to have something other than Vendettas and Truces with most of the factions.

My research rate certainly wasn't all that impressive.  Despite Industrial Labs in every city, and +5 RESEARCH from Democratic Capitalist Knowledge Cybernetic.  Granted, I did switch to Green.  Less money, but the +4 JUSTICE allowed me to change my budget to 30-20-50 without any penalty.  In hindsight, I didn't use mindworms enough to justify the loss of Capitalist money.  Noted for another invasion.

Looks to me like my new Discover tech tree passes the human play balancing test.  So mission accomplished.  I've already tested AI vs. AI a fair amount, so 1.35 is probably ready to go.  I'm still sticking to the monthly release cycle though, so I'll see if anything shakes out by the end of the month.  Heavy lifting is clearly over though.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #868 on: September 16, 2019, 03:23:59 AM »
I dinna do it
I dinna do it

MY 2145.  I've never met this orange headed freak in my life.  The Data Angels are in the game.  Could they have already framed me, using their starting Probe Team unit?  I've seen this "immediate belief in atrocity" sort of thing before.  I'm inclined to regard it as a bug, but I have no idea what's causing it.  TBH I'd rather play this game than dissect this game.

Offline Rocky

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #869 on: September 16, 2019, 04:06:32 PM »
If you have an earlier save or autosave, please try to check the earliest turn possible in the scenario diplomacy screen. I'm curious if this bug happened from the start or somehow appeared later.

 

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