Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38283 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #900 on: October 21, 2019, 08:34:52 PM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.35 to 1.36:

GROWTH VS. WEALTH:

- Social Psych: set wealth=2.  After making the changes below, this was the only Pure Explore tech left in the tree.  It could be difficult for non-Explore factions to obtain, despite having no prereqs.  Over time, I have found an excuse to incorporate a Wealth weight into every other Happiness tech in the game.  I think this says that population, happiness, and wealth are not cleanly separable concepts.  In the future I will put the most emphasis on Explore / growth, but Build / wealth will be considered a secondary weight.  The truth is, minerals and energy output do increase when bases get larger.
- Punishment Sphere: moved back to B1 Doctrine: Loyalty.  Whent it was with Cyberethics it was a Tier 3 tech and could take forever to discover, even with a pure Explore research focus.  I intend for this to be an easy alternative to the usual way of making people happy, not a difficult tech that one has to work to obtain.
- Doctrine: Loyalty: kept growth=3 setting because of Punishment Sphere.  I said I set growth=0 in 1.35 but it didn't get done.  Kept power=0 because conquered cities are not large enough to warrant a Punishment Sphere at the start of the game.
- Children's Creche: moved to E2 Adaptive Economics.  B2 Ethical Calculus gives Democratic, which already offers substantial benefits.
- Adaptive Economics: set power=3 and wealth=3, as it gives the Children's Creche.  When this tech was only a pure growth=4 tech, it proved very difficult to research.  Factions without an Explore focus wouldn't discover it at all.  Even factions with an Explore focus would take a long time to get it, because there are many early Explore techs and it has a low total weight compared to the multi-category Explore techs.  It's a prereq for E3 Monopole Magnets, so that became difficult to get as well.  It could take as long as midgame to get a Hab Complex.
- Ethical Calculus: set power=0, as it no longer gives the Children's Creche.
- Planetary Networks: set wealth=2.  Police State and Non-Lethal Methods increase the number of happy citizens, indirectly increasing minerals and energy.
- Cyberethics: set power=0, wealth=3, and growth=4, making it an E3 tech.  It only gives the Hologram Theater.
- Monopole Magnets: set wealth=3.  I have decided to regard the lifting of population limits as a form of Wealth.  There's no question that working more squares produces more minerals and energy.  This makes it easier for more factions to discover this tech, as it has more weights and is more valuable in the tech tree.  Techs with fewer weights on them, actually function as a barrier to discovery in practice, because more desirable techs are found first.
- Super Tensile Solids: set wealth=3.  Previously it was a pure Explore tech and that was proving to be a significant barrier to its discovery.  At the end of the game, I shouldn't be waiting around forever to learn how to get bigger cities.  In one test game I got Quantum Machinery, a Build 10 tech, and I still hadn't gotten this Explore 8 tech.
- Changed prereqs for better research continuity.  In particular, Cyberethics is no longer a prereq for Advanced Military Algorithms.

UNIT COSTS:

- Tachyon Bolt: now costs 24.  This is a more reasonable progression from a Phaser.
- Resonance Bolt: now costs 28.  A more reasonable progression.
- Plasma Shard: now costs 28.  A more reasonable progression.
- Chronoton Gun: now costs 32.  This continues the linear progression.
- Graviton Gun: now costs 40.  This continues the linear progression.
- Singularity Laser: now costs 48.  This continues the linear progression.
- Black Hole Gun: now costs 60.  This continues the linear progression.
- Probability Sheath: now costs 12.  The jump in cost from a Photon Wall to a Probability Sheath was way too abrupt.  A Fusion reactor can be assumed at this point, but a Genejack Factory cannot be.  A player is not guaranteed to be swimming in piles of minerals at this point in the game.  This is calibrated so that a plain Fusion Probability Garrison costs 60 and a Fusion Clean Probability Police costs 120.
- Neutronium Armor: now costs 18.  With a Quantum reactor, any unit with a single cost=1 ability (such as Non-Lethal Methods for a police unit), costs at least 60.  If the armor is a Probability Sheath, the best weapon for that cost is a Missile Launcher.  This is calibrated so that a Missile Neutronium Police unit costs 100.  The armor is 50% better, and the cost goes up 66%.  It's not proportional, but it isn't unreasonable, as all manner of factories, mines, boreholes, and supply crawlers are available by this point in the game.  Unit shouldn't be gratuitously expensive though, lest a mindworm become the only unit worth building.
- Resonance 12 Armor: now costs 22.  Assuming a Quantum reactor, this is calibrated so that a Trance Neutronium Missile Garrison and a Resonance 12 Missile Garrison both cost 100.
- Pulse 12 Armor: now costs 22.  Calibrated as above, but for a Comm Jammer.
- Antimatter Plate: now costs 30.  Linearly proportional to an 8 point increase from Neutronium Armor.
- Inertial Damper: now costs 45.  Linearly proportional to an 18 point increase from Neutronium Armor.

REMOVED UNITS:

- Clean Plasma Laser Foil.  The Pirate AI produces hundreds of these.  Although a good strategy for the early game, the obsession continues indefinitely.  Enemy ships have better armor by midgame, and this just becomes a waste of production.

Offline Douglas

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #901 on: November 01, 2019, 07:26:02 PM »
Bug report/workaround suggestion:
The game does not allow upgrading to a predefined unit design. I actually consider this a bug in the game, not in your mod, but your mod adds things that make it actually matter. For example, I cannot upgrade a Scout Patrol to a Clean Scout, or a Formers to a Clean Formers.

In the unmodded game, this doesn't matter because the only predefined unit designs are the cheapest possible examples of their kind, which will never be superior to anything that would otherwise be legal to "upgrade" into them. AI Growth mod adds a lot of higher tech units, I believe for helping the AI by nudging it to build those designs, which has the side effect of making it impossible to upgrade to those designs.

This cannot be worked around by making a custom design identical to the predefined one. If you try, the game just selects the existing design instead of creating a new one. These predefined designs can be marked obsolete, but retiring them does not actually remove them from the designs list, so that doesn't work either.

The only workaround I've found is to edit the mod. If you add a meaningless ability to the predefined designs, then it becomes possible to make a custom equivalent that is identical except for not having that ability. One example would be to add Super Former to everything except Former units, and Soporific Gas Pods to the Formers. This requires also manually setting unit costs to prevent this from making them more expensive. I tried using Slow on the Infantry chassis designs, but even though its cost is 0 it still made some designs more expensive. Notably, Slow Clean Formers cost 40 instead of 30.

TLDR: I suggest adding a nonfunctional ability to each buildable non-native design, and manually setting unit cost to keep that unchanged, so that otherwise identical designs can be made in order to upgrade units.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #902 on: November 01, 2019, 08:43:50 PM »
That is an interesting and subtle problem you have found.  Indeed, an unexpected consequence of the game itself, since they never made predefined units to "nudge the AI" in various ways.

I wonder if a new, completely meaningless ability can be defined?  The basic problem is, it would have a flag, for its position at the end of the table.  I don't know if the bit storage of the original game, allow for the arbitrary flexibility of defining one more ability.  It may very well not.  There are 29 abilities in the game.  They could very well be stored in a 32-bit piece of memory.  3 more bits might be available, or they might be used for something else, like some housekeeping task about the unit design.  Also I don't know if the game's routines would actually pay attention to the bit, in any meaningful way that solves the problem.  It would kinda be luck if this all worked out.

I could give irrelevant abilities to some units, i.e. Algorithmic Enhancement for non-Probe units.  As you suggested, I'd have to manually adjust the costs.  The downside of this, is then the unit designs are going to look goofy to someone.  I might very well get a bug report from someone else about the goofiness, and generally get blamed for something being goofy.  I'm a bit sensitive to this about a modder, I don't like doing anything that makes the mod look like it's bugged.  I'm saying the cure has to be better than the disease.

Hmm actually I can't just use arbitrary abilities anyways, like say Algorithmic Enhancement.  I think that would allow a player to take the predefined design, and construct other kinds of Algorithmically Enhanced units.  I'm not certain of this, because sometimes units seem to be "locked out" from doing it.  I'm not sure of the pattern with that.  But it's an issue.

Interestingly, the game's predefined units in alphax.txt only define 26 of the 29 available bits.  The highest bit anyone ever bothered with was Dissociative Wave for the various Battle Ogres Mk II and III.  Nobody ever cared to make a predefined unit with Marine Detachment, Fuel Nanocells, or Algorithmic Enhancement.  Nor have I!

Experiment: defined a new ability, last in the table.  This didn't make the game crash.

Code: [Select]
mod predefine,         0, None, mod,          000000111111, No effect upgrade workaround.
Experiment: added 1's for the Scout unit in 27th, 28th, and 29th bit positions.  This did indeed result in a Scout with these abilities, so we know that all of the game's usual abilities can be put into predefined units.

Experiment: added a 30th bit set to 1, hoping to see my new ability in the Scout unit.  No effect.  :-(

Since any workaround is not trivial or obvious, I'd like to do some triage on where this is really needed.  Which units is this most causing a problem for you?

Myself, I make sure to get my Scouts killed.  Usually I run them into Fungal Towers.  I may send them out on ships in packs of 4 or 8, sweeping some empty island of supply pods.  If they're grouped up like that, they might actually take out a mindworm, although they usually can't handle a full 8 explosion of mindworms.  That's ok, they're cannon fodder, I'm trying to get rid of them.  I also just disband Scouts to move Secret Projects along, or even regular facilities along, if I've decided it's time to deal with my SUPPORT.

So at least from the way I play the game, I'm not seeing a lot of incentive to go through heroics to make sure Scouts can be upgraded to Clean Scouts.  How does your own play differ?

Similarly for Formers to Clean Formers.  Formers that cost SUPPORT, I try to use on the front line of my expanding rail network, as I drive it straight into the heart of the enemy.  If someone shows up to to kill them, especially an enemy air force, well they were costing me SUPPORT and no big loss.  And if I need to get some Secret Project completed before the AI does it, I might just round up all the goofy units like old Formers and Scouts and Synthmetal Sentinels and whatnot, and throw 'em into the furnace proverbial Recycling Tanks to move the project along.

Do you agree that this problem is always going to go away in the Fusion era?  There's no such thing as a predefined Fusion unit that you can upgrade.  The only such units are the Battle Ogre Mk II and Mk III.  Well, unless you're playing with Scient's patch, which does allow for predefined units that have fusion reactors.  But my mod doesn't have any, and I'm not likely to write a Scient specific version of the mod, so there's no problem.

So the problem seems to be early to midgame upgrades.  You and I seem to be playing very differently in that regard.  Are you trying to get your units up to Elite training, and then upgrading them to military designs with greater punch?  i.e. started life as a Scout, now you want it to be a 4-1-1 Impact Squad?


« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 09:38:00 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Douglas

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #903 on: November 01, 2019, 09:34:55 PM »
Well, at the moment I'm trying out a game with 10% research speed (and Tech Stagnation) because I got annoyed with blazing through the top end of the tech tree too fast. What's the point of all this terraforming and development if by the time it's really ready to shine there's nothing left to use it for? Seeing how many Transcendant Thoughts I can get per turn just isn't satisfying.

This makes early research proceed rather slowly, so for quite a while adding Clean to a unit is the only upgrade option available.

For the reverse engineering problem, I just now verified that it doesn't work for abilities. If you don't have the tech for the ability, then it won't show in the design workshop when you try editing a copy of the design, and the resulting design won't have the ability. I remember reading somewhere that the same goes for having a second ability before Neural Grafting.

Yes, the problem will always go away in the Fusion era, unless you make a Scient version that defines Fusion units.

On the "new meaningless ability" idea, I just tried it out and you don't actually have to create a new ability at all. I think the ability flags in the file are treated as the verbatim binary of a 32 bit bitfield, and just adding a 1 outside the range of bits that actually have meaning does the trick. Prepend 1000 to the existing 26 bit flags, and you get:
  • No extra special ability displayed in game.
  • No change in unit cost (Clean Formers stayed at 30 even though I changed them back to autocalc).
  • Creating an identical design in the unit workshop actually creates a new design.

In my new test game I now have two 1/1/1 units named Scout Patrol, one using the predefined design and the other using a custom design (which I renamed to match), and I cannot distinguish which is which without either renaming the custom design again or trying to upgrade one of them.

So, I think you can just paste "1000" indiscriminately in front of every design's ability flags, leave everything else unchanged including cost, and declare it fixed.

Incidentally, I hadn't actually tried the Super Former variation, or I would have noticed the graphical effect it has and not suggested it. A scout with the Super Former equipment addon looks weird.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #904 on: November 01, 2019, 09:42:15 PM »
Well that is an interesting hack, and not something I considered.  This will have to be put through playtesting though.  I'd hate for the game to suddenly start developing weird crashes.

Attached is a draft alphax.txt for a 1.37 release.  Most units have the "1000" prefix in the flags.  Some don't need it, because it's not possible to upgrade anything to a mindworm, or a Former, or a Locust, etc.

I played a game until the early midgame and nothing blew up in my face.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 04:53:49 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #905 on: November 13, 2019, 07:03:06 PM »
I've been playing a pretty long game as the Caretakers.  I've made it to midgame, Fusion era for myself and the University.  Gatling Guns are my biggest weapon.  I've made chemical warfare on the Believers, the Pirates, and the Peacekeepers for many years.  The first 2 are almost dead.  The last will die soon, and I've stopped making new military units.  I don't know how I'll handle the University and the Data Angels, whom I've been at peace with.  I am thinking in terms of a Total Conquest victory as I can't see myself waiting all kinds of time to build Subspace Generators.  Maybe I should build up a doomsday pile of nukes and do some nuke porn?  Maybe do a mini-AAR for that instead of dumping it all in this thread.

I haven't encountered any issues with the prefixed "1000" predefined units.  I haven't bothered to upgrade anything either though.  I have far better uses for money than that.  I consider the bugfix sufficiently tested to put into the 1.37 release.

I've decided I will add the Copter chassis back into the game with predefined units only.  I will keep their armaments feeble, so that the multi-fire capability isn't basically useful in most circumstances.  That way, I can get the unit artwork back into the game, which is what I miss about them.  I don't miss overpowered Chaos Copters at all and I don't want them in the game.

The Unity Scout Chopper shall return.  It shall be made Clean, given Deep Radar, and a range equal to a Needlejet.  I like using my Unity Jets as scouting units, and I don't want to give up the convenience of that.  I'll make them buyable when one gets Doctrine: Air Power.  I wonder if even a strength 1 gun will turn out to be an awesome anti-air unit?

I might design a Transport Chopper, a Former Chopper, and a Supply Chopper, but I might hold off on that until a 1.38 release.  I doubt I'm going to play enough of the game before the end of the month to test all of that.  The main test would be whether the AI does anything stupid with them.  Maybe I could run it through some AI vs. AI games to see.

I could just make the Scout Chopper a Transport, so that it doesn't have a gun.  The speed penalty for putting a Transport module on an air unit is pretty severe, at least on a Needlejet chassis.  If I go this route, I might have to forego other uses of the Copter chassis.  We'll see.

Turns out if I make any of my predefined Copter designs available with some tech, so that the player can build them, the Copter chassis becomes available for unrestricted designs.  I can't have that, so I can't let the player build their own Unity Scout Choppers.  This means I can really only afford one Copter chassis design.

I've decided to make it a Transport design, henceforth known as the Unity Lifter.  I massively goosed its speed to overcome the hardwired penalty to using a Transport module, so it flies around like a Needlejet.  It'll be just as good at scouting as the Unity Jet was.  It also lands and takes damage like Copters do.  One could load up the Unity Mining Drill, and an Artifact, and head for home! 

 
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 10:26:37 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Douglas

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #906 on: November 14, 2019, 01:37:17 AM »
Turns out if I make any of my predefined Copter designs available with some tech, so that the player can build them, the Copter chassis becomes available for unrestricted designs.  I can't have that, so I can't let the player build their own Unity Scout Choppers.  This means I can really only afford one Copter chassis design.
Yeah, that happens for anything where simply removing it isn't a valid option. That means weapons, equipment, armor, reactor, and chassis - everything except abilities. The one limitation on it is that you can't combine multiple things you get this way unless the original design already has the combination you want.

I've been playing a while and did encounter one bug, but I'd been using Slow instead of a non-existent ability and I'm pretty sure the bug is with Scient's patch, included in Thinker mod, not anything to do with this. It was a rather bizarre issue where one of my units spontaneously turned into a hostile Fungal Tower with no zone of control. Then I killed it, got my planetpearls, and it popped right back - active and flashing and ready to move, still showing as a Fungal Tower on the map and list of units present, but back to being my unit in the active unit details. When I moved it, it magically turned back into the original unit - and there was now an area of the map that caused the game to hang if I tried to view it. I think what happened is that a pointer to part - but only part - of the unit's (or location's?) data got overwritten with the address of a wild Fungal Tower that was in the hang-inducing area. I had to go back and replay a few turns to be able to continue.

There was also one time where one of my Formers went native - it was still the same unit, but now controlled by Planet. When I attacked and killed this "wild" Former, I was told my capture attempt had failed and I got planetpearls energy from it.

I doubt either of these is related to your mod, they're just something amusing that happened while playing with it.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #907 on: November 14, 2019, 04:26:45 AM »
I think I've seen fungal tower weirdness, like I captured one once?  But it went back to Planet ownership the next turn IIRC.  I don't know which version of the game I was using.  I did do a stint with Yitzi's patch for awhile, way before I started my modding.  I've never really played Scient's patch.  Yitzi's patch taught me not to believe in patches.  At least you can still actually talk to Scient if you want.  Yitzi's gone.

One time I got a unit with Fungicidal Tanks on it that shouldn't have had them.  I posted about it somewhere, probably in Bugs, but I can't remember if I included a screenshot in the post.

That's about all my excitement.

What should I do with the University?  I don't think I've terraformed someone to death.  Problem is, it's a hostile action, and it can be terribly expensive.  Wonder if I could buy key towns by subterfuge?  Or colonize in an unfriendly manner just upon his borders?  Find some sneak hack way to get it done?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #908 on: November 22, 2019, 03:29:10 AM »
I wrote up the end of the game, where I finally nuked the University.  The AI delayed it for 18 years!

Subsequently I'm playing a random game as the Morganites.  I have Peacekeeper and Gaian allies completely surrounding me as buffer states.  I wiped out the Usurpers with chemical weapons.  The Cult of Planet is nothing to speak of.  The Pirates are a force and chose to make war with me, so I've made strangely distant coastal war upon them.  An amusing circumstance has arisen:

how to wipe out pirates
how to wipe out pirates

I don't have any sea ports on the Pirate ocean, it's way too remote from my starting location.  However the Pirate ocean is huge, spanning the whole world, and they build a cluster of sea bases very far from their capitol.  I slipped some amphibious probe teams down there and pretty cheaply subverted a size 14 base full of units.  It came with 9 Clean Transports as the Pirate AI has been obsessing about those a little.  97 active, 10 in production, 40 lost.  What's the alternative though?  Won't they just obsess about something else?  Maybe instead it'll be the Clean 3-Res R-Laser Foil.  47 active, 9 in production, 32 lost.  That's not a good preservation ratio for a Clean unit, so I suppose it's time to delete that one.

Anyways, I wondered what I'd do with so many Clean Transports.  I finally got a rail built out that ways, to invade the other coastal sea bases I didn't subvert.  As I approach with a horde of surplus Marines, I finally realize what I can do with the Clean Transports!  Board them and wreak havoc.  I wasn't very planned about any of this, but in the future I could see myself making more deliberate use of such "borrowing" tactics.

In MY 2329 I finally got bored of that game and quit.  There was nothing wrong with my position.  I had just finally discovered Global Energy Theory and could probably have won Economic Victory if I started building Orbital Power Transmitters.  Or my cities were so robust, I could have won Diplomatic Victory.  That would have required elimination of the Caretakers, who were on the opposite side of the map and had a modest empire to themselves.  Not that difficult with chemical weapons... but I just couldn't escape the feeling that I was being pulled in many directions with busywork tasks.  I had ridiculous amounts of money, typically rising to 5K credits in a few turns... but I was nevertheless spending all this time having to add on "just yet one more building".  Because the world is flooding, despite my +3 PLANET rating and the Pholus Mutagen.

I think that's the thing that most immediately triggered the quit.  My rail line got flooded out, and I was like, no, I've done this way too many times in other games to put up with it.  Maybe if there was something tactically interesting going on, but there wasn't.

Deirdre was sort of a challenging drag.  She mostly stayed slightly ahead of me in tech the whole game.  Granted, it was my choice to go Green and stay at peace with her.  Similarly with Lal, although he only tended to be divergent towards Conquer techs, and not actually getting ahead of me.

Another excuse was, I had recently gotten the Pirates to surrender.  Now that I know that Clean 3-Res R-Laser Skimship has to go, I wonder how the Clean 3-Pulse Laser Skimship holds up in comparison?  It would be better to start another game for that, one that makes sure to include the Pirates.

Gradually making this building and that building, just isn't interesting compared to nuking the University in the previous game.  I feel like as a game design, it has sort of "reinvented long division".  Like you just e-ver sooo graaaaaduallllly find out how strong you are, building all these little tiny "+1" buildings until they finally add up to something.  What a bore!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 02:29:14 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #909 on: November 23, 2019, 06:16:35 PM »
poor man's railroad
poor man's railroad

I got a Unity Lifter from the Unity crash site.  It's not nearly as cool as I thought it would be, because the Air Transport rules require you to load and unload at a base or airbase.  Clearly someone missed the memo on the entire Vietnam War!

thank you for flying Holy Fire airways
thank you for flying Holy Fire airways

That's a nice little patch of water and winding road to skip over.  I have an irregularly shaped empire, a sort of "wishbone" thing.  I upped the speed of the chassis to 24, so that with a Transport on it, it moves 12.  I also increased the Range to 2, so that it doesn't take damage the first time you land it in the boonies.  Without that, you're spending a lot of time healing up, which is damn annoying compared to the Unity Gunjet this unit is replacing.  So now I have my Unity Mining Drill closer to the front that just opened up with the Data Angels.  Good thing they're incapable of mind controlling my cities, but they can still wreak havoc stealing and sabotaging stuff.

Well the start of that game was fine, but I got bored with it and quit.  I consider the Unity Lifter to be pretty well tested now.  It works.  Time to kick 1.37 out the door.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 04:58:06 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #910 on: November 24, 2019, 04:58:53 AM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.36 to 1.37:

PREDEFINED UNITS:

- Added bogus 30th ability flag to most units I've predefined in this mod.  This makes the game think they're different designs than what the game itself comes up with, even if the game comes up with exactly the same design.  Playtester Douglas discovered that units cannot be upgraded to predefined unit types.  So for instance, a Former could not be upgraded to the predefined Clean Former.  This is only an early to midgame problem, as there are no predefined Fusion Reactor desgins and anything can be upgraded to a Fusion design.  However if one is playing a tech stagnation game, the early to midgame can go on for a very long time.  There are 29 abilities and bit flags can be set for each of them.  A spurious 30th ability can be defined in the abilities table, and the game will not crash when this is done, but it seems to be completely ignored.  Douglas discovered that even without a defined 30th ability, setting the 30th bit to "1" does cause the predefined unit design to be different than what the game itself would come up with.  This is becauase the bit flags are probably encoded into a 32-bit word, and the game probably uses the entire 32-bit word as an unsigned integer to identify the unit design.

- Copter Chassis: increased to Speed 24.  Changed Range to 2 and Cost to 13, same as a Needlejet.  This will only be used for the predefined Unity Lifter unit.  The game has a huge hardwired penalty for using a Transport module on an air unit, so a massive speed increase is needed to bring the final unit up to speed 12.  When the Range was 1, any time it moved 12 spaces and landed outside of a base, it would get wounded.  For scouting purposes that's really annoying, as then the unit would have to heal up in base for a turn or two.  The Copter chassis can fire every move, which is seriously overpowered.  I don't want such multi-fire weapons in the game unless they're feeble or nonexistent.  However I've missed the Chopper's funky unit artwork, the capricious whirling blades.  If I only allow this chassis to be used in predefined units, then I can prevent the player from designing more powerful units.  However if a predefined unit is made available with some tech, its chassis can be used to make different designs.  The only way to prevent new designs is to Disable the predefined unit.  Then the player has to obtain it from Supply Pods or the USS Unity crash site.  Unfortunately only a small number of predefined unit slots exist for this.  In practice, it means I can only afford 1 Copter design for the whole game.  This may seem like baffling BS, and one may rightly wonder why an advanced civilization couldn't build more of these things, and with different weapons packages.  The answer is they could, BUT it's seriously overpowered, so I'm not allowing it.

- Unity Jet: removed.

- Unity Lifter: new predefined unit that replaces the Unity Jet.  Uses a Copter chassis.  Has a Transport module, Heavy Transport to hold 2 units, Deep Radar, and a Clean Reactor.  Moves at speed 12.

- Clean 3-Res R-Laser Foil: removed.  The Pirate AI was obsessing about building it.  It's expensive at 60 minerals, and it exhibited an alarming death toll of 40% losses.  That's not good for a Clean unit.  The AI should expend something cheaper if it's going to die in combat that much.

Offline Douglas

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #911 on: November 24, 2019, 05:28:46 AM »
This is becauase the bit flags are probably encoded into a 32-bit word, and the game probably uses the entire 32-bit word as an unsigned integer to identify the unit design.
Not exactly. It's not used to "identify" the design - that's probably done with just an array index, and you can see non-predefined units numbered in the design workshop from 1 to 64. What's probably happening is that, when the game checks if two designs are identical, it checks for identical abilities by just comparing the whole 32-bit words.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #912 on: November 24, 2019, 05:46:59 AM »
The word "probably" has lots of wiggle room until proven definitively.   :danc:

Offline Geo

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #913 on: November 25, 2019, 06:21:48 AM »
IIRC, the helicopter chassis isn't the only one able to attack multiple times in a turn. Rovers and elite infantry can do the same if their accumulated damage after attack is below a certain percentage. Can't remember if the same holds for hovertanks.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #914 on: November 25, 2019, 07:41:09 AM »
Yes that's true, but the max attacks you're going to get out of an Elite Hovertank is 4.  Well ok, you could put a Gravity Thing on them and boost it to 5, but that's a late game capability.  If you've got that you've probably pretty much won the game already.  And if anyone decides it's a source of serious abuse, I could make it more expensive or an even later game capability.

Copters have really high movement rates, which is what makes their multiple attacks unacceptable.  Like in my mod, air units typically have 12 movement, to deal with the Huge maps I expect people to be playing on.  I had a seriously reduced speed Copter chassis for awhile, but it wasn't any fun to use and I never wanted to build it in the real world.  So after awhile of that, I took it out of the game completely.

Only a lot of whinging from multiple playtesters would get me to relent.  I think the consensus over the years has been, the Copter chassis is overpowered and has to be nerfed somehow.

 

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