Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 59080 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #945 on: March 12, 2020, 01:07:48 AM »
clever AI frame job
clever AI frame job

The Usurpers were my ally.  Assuming the AI has to follow the same framing rules that I do as a human player, it had to be someone who wasn't at war with the Usurpers.   I think that's the rule?  The Caretakers are at war with both of us, so I don't think it can be them.  I would suspect my neighbors the Free Drones, or the Cult of Planet, except that neither one of them has a high PROBE rating.  The Data Angels certainly do, so maybe it was their op.

I had just secured the Manifold Nexus by driving a rail through Usurper territory.  I'm gonna turn the rail corridor into my territory!  Not by taking Usurper cities, but by settling my own and destroying the alien ones.  They're so weak that I can afford to gradually wear them down and not commit any atrocities.  I need them to exert their territorial claims while I'm settling, so that the Free Drones don't get all the land I need for my corridor.

So, uh, Data Angels... thanks?

Well I played this for quite awhile longer.  I eventually matched the Data Angels on the graph.  However there were so many cities to go, and I was in the last century.  At 5 AM I'd had enough and decided to quit.  I thought the strong separation between Discover and other research paths was interesting.  However I didn't see a point in playtesting any longer.  It pretty much passed.

I think the ultimate moral of that story, is that fear of probe teams, and building lotsa armored probe teams and Covert Ops Centers to defend against them, consumes lots of productivity.  Arguably so much, that the game becomes very slow.  Although, if a stronger research faction had been in the game, it might have gone differently.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 09:00:16 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #946 on: March 15, 2020, 04:57:36 PM »
aggressive Santiago
aggressive Santiago

Holy crap!  At least I'm not the victim.  I'm merely playing a "normal" game and I'm "winning", but obviously I'm not dominating.  I built like 1 Orbital Defense Pod awhile ago, which may have saved my bacon!  Well I'm going to make a whole curtain of them now.  I was just in the middle of a war with Lal, but we're both Democratic so I signed a Truce after taking over his HQ.  I think I mainly wanted the bragging rights of completing a rail network over the south pole.  Maybe I'll concentrate on getting everyone focused on the "demon antichrist" Col. Corazon Santiago.

Santiago's rampage
Santiago's rampage

The creep did it again!  That landed awfully close to a city I recently took over.  The University was my ally for a long time, but then they suddenly backstabbed me.  So I'm taking all of their land bases including the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  I definitely feel powerful now.  Soon I'll be in a final showdown ground war with the Spartans.

she is incorrigible
she is incorrigible

I guess she's only guilty of using what she built.  One of my Orbital Defense Pods shot it down.  Looks like she's got 1 more somewhere.  Maybe she'll think twice about shooting them close to my borders?

just no stopping her
just no stopping her

Once again she launches at the University, and my nearby city shoots it down.  I'm super powerful now.  I'm making a whole raft of Tachyon Antigrav Hovertanks to end her miserable life.  I've got about 50% of the world's vote.

Another one goes off.  Taking screenshots of this is getting old.

A volcano erupted.  Hope I don't get flooded.  I'm already as PLANET friendly as I can be.

I'm such a softie.  I took 2 Spartan cities and called a Truce.  I mean, I'm going to win the minute I get Habitation Domes.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 01:40:31 AM by bvanevery »

Offline Geo

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #947 on: March 16, 2020, 04:19:42 PM »
she is incorrigible
she is incorrigible

I guess she's only guilty of using what she built.  One of my Orbital Defense Pods shot it down.  Looks like she's got 1 more somewhere.  Maybe she'll think twice about shooting them close to my borders?

just no stopping her
just no stopping her

Once again she launches at the University, and my nearby city shoots it down.  I'm super powerful now.  I'm making a whole raft of Tachyon Antigrav Hovertanks to end her miserable life.  I've got about 50% of the world's vote.

Does the game show this popup of a destroyed base when one of your orbital defense pods shoots down the incoming Planet Buster so it doesn't impact?
Looks like a bug to me. It thought it should show the "satbat_sm" pic instead?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #948 on: March 16, 2020, 04:32:33 PM »
Bear in mind, I was never directly targeted.  I shot down someone else's problem.  I suppose that first the event goes off, and you see what I took a screenshot of.  I honestly can't remember if I subsequently got an image of me shooting down the nuke.  I think I only got text, but I can't swear to it.  Edit: actually I paid attention later, and yes I did subsequently get an orbital interception graphic.

Spartans broke their truce, so I overran half their empire in 1 turn.  I may overrun the rest shortly.

Gosh I finally had to quit that game.  I was overrunning everyone longly.  I was 5 years away from guaranteed Diplomatic Victory, like 2000 votes to 350, when I just said this is a complete waste of time, I've had enough.  The problem is, I called the Planetary Council in 2358 to increase the solar shade.  Didn't want all my nice terraforming messed up.  Well that meant I couldn't vote myself Supreme Leader until 2368.  And those turns got long.  Especially since I was determined to actually make nice housing for everyone, and not just throw up Punishment Spheres anymore.  Worldwide kumbaya.

So yes in spirit, I stomped all of them.  And the game held up from a testing standpoint.  In particular, I think my new unit cost weights are working.  A hovertank is just enough more expensive than other kinds of units, to make you think about whether you really need one or not.  You don't have enough productivity to make just the most awesome buff unit you can possibly imagine with your current tech.  Even once I got Quantum Power, I was a bit constrained.

And it's not exactly worth it anyways.  I did eventually get the very late, very expensive Dream Twister.  And then my Locusts would just trash stuff.

I think I should have invested differently if I wanted to end the game faster.  Buffing up all sorts of newly conquered cities ad nauseam, just takes forever.  Instead I should have concentrated on chucking out enough units to conquer the whole world in a few turns.  I kept thinking about garrisoning instead of conquering.  I didn't build anything remotely like enough Super Former units for the job, nor Drop units.

And when I want to win, don't vote for anything like solar shades.  I could have won the game many real world hours ago, if I hadn't done that.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 02:28:07 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #949 on: March 19, 2020, 08:02:45 AM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.40 to 1.41:

PROBE TEAMS:

- PROBECOST: now 200 for most factions.  150 for the Data Angels, the Cyborgs, and the Hive.  When I played the Pirates, I found that the AI could take over a size 5 base, only 16 squares away from my capitol, for merely 400 credits.  I thought that was too cheap. 
- Probe Team package: now costs 4.  I don't want to make it too easy for the AI to spam them.
- Probe Defense: new predefined unit available with C2 Planetary Networks.  Has an infantry chassis and synthmetal armor.  The AI will walk these towards the enemy.  Although they may get destroyed, AI units tend to die trying to kill it.
- Foil Probe Defense: new predefined unit available with C2 Polymorphic Software.  Has synthmetal armor.
- Probe Firewall: new predefined unit available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.  It has 3-Pulse armor, making it hard to kill.  Has an infantry chassis to reduce expense.  The AI will walk these towards the enemy.
- Foil Probe Firewall: new predefined unit available with C4 Single-Sided Surfaces.  It has 3-Pulse armor.
- Cruiser Probe Team: moved to C5 Silksteel Alloys.  C4 Doctrine: Initiative and C4 Single-Sided Surfaces are now prereqs for that tech, making continuity for probe team improvements.  This keeps C5 Doctrine: Air Power from being overloaded with benefits.
- Foil Probe Team: removed.  The Foil Probe Defense has a better chance of succeeding and defending, for not that much more cost.

EXPLORE PURITY:

- Dream Twister: moved to E10 Sentient Resonance and now costs 1000.  It's super powerful and recently I've learned that the AI cheats to beeline to it, same as with the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  I want it to have mimimal impact on the game, and I need it out of the way so I can move the Pholus Mutagen higher up the Explore tree.
- Sentient Resonance: set power=3 and growth=4, making it an E10 tech.  It gives the Dream Twister.
- Pholus Mutagen: moved to E7 The Will to Power and now costs 800.  It gives a lifecycle bonus, a combat bonus and healing in fungus, and greatly lessens eco-damage.  That makes it greatly beneficial in all categories but Discover, so it should cost more.
- Empath citizen: moved to B7 The Will to Power.  Empaths make more money, that's their value.  I want the midgame Explore tree purged of Build influence, so that you have to focus on Explore to learn the techs and Secret Projects.
- Dissociative Wave: moved to C12 Temporal Mechanics.  I don't really want this messing up the balance of the game.  I want the midgame Explore tree to be devoid of Conquer techs as much as possible.
- The Will to Power: set power=1 and wealth=3.  It now gives the Pholus Mutagen and the Empath citizen.  I want Explore to be required to learn indigenous life form warfare techniques, with only a small chance of discovery through Conquer.
- Empath Guild: moved to B6 Eudaimonia and now costs 600.  Voting oneself Governor is worth a lot of money.
- Neural Amplifier: moved to E6 Homo Superior and now costs 600.  It's a powerful ability, pretty much eliminating the disadvantage of fighting with indigenous life forms.
- Homo Superior: set wealth=0.  It no longer gives the Empath Guild or the Empath.  This makes it harder for Build factions to obtain midgame Explore techs.
- Xenoempathy Dome: moved to E5 Centauri Psi.  Set ai-infra=0 and cost=500.  Moving through both fungus and roads as one big road system, is a powerful combat ability, worth as much as any of the other major Secret Projects in midgame.  The Build value is minimal, just allowing fungus to be cleared faster.  A Dome player probably wants to keep the fungus anyways, to walk on it.  I want the midgame Explore tree purged of all Build weights, as it has proven far too easy for Build oriented factions such as the Morganites to learn the techs.
- Centauri Psi: set power=1 and wealth=0.  It no longer gives the Pholus Mutagen.  To learn indigenous warfare, you mostly study Explore.
- Centauri Meditation: set power=1.  To learn indigenous warfare, you mostly study Explore.
- Secrets of the Manifolds: set power=1.  A Brood Pit gives a lifecycle bonus and an indigenous production bonus.  Indigenous combat techs shall have a minimal Conquer component.
- N-Space Compression: set power=1.  These are Planet / native life techs and the Conquer componet is considered minimal.

CONQUER TECHS:

- Neural Grafting: set power=4 and wealth=3, making it a C3 tech.  It is now a prereq for C4 Advanced Military Algorithms.  This separates the Build and Conquer trees better
- Covert Ops Center: moved to C4 Advanced Military Algorithms.  I need to repurpose Pre-Sentient Algorithms as a Discover tech.  I want the Data Angels to be able to learn this without having to go up the Discover tree.
- Cyborg Factory: now costs 800.  This keeps up with the cost increases in the Explore oriented Secret Projects.

BUILD TECHS:

- Engineer citizen: moved to B5 Bio-Engineering.  Engineers make people happier, which is a good lore fit to the Longevity Vaccine.

DISCOVER TECHS:

Scient disassembled the game code and made an interesting discovery about the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  When a faction has PROBE <=0, and chooses Discover as a research focus, prereqs to the HSA are given 2X weight.  Additionally if the faction isn't focused on Conquer, prereqs are given another 2X weight.  Also a Discover faction weights the prereqs 3 in advance of the HSA, instead of 2 in advance.  In my mod that means the University receives 4X weight to get the HSA, and this weighting is triggered at Tier 2.  The Gaians, Cult of Planet, Morganites, and Pirates get 2X weight, and the weighting is triggered at Tier 3.

When the HSA is not in the Discover tech tree, Discover techs don't get learned.  In my mod, with its strongly separated research categories, a pile of Conquer techs get learned instead.  This is pretty intolerable, so I've put the HSA back in the Discover tree, as in the original game.  This causes the Discover tree to get most of the weight for seeking the HSA.  A few of the early Explore techs are also affected.

- Information Networks: set wealth=1.  I want Build factions to have a slight chance of discovering it.
- Virtual World: set ai-tech=2.  A faction that is focused on Discover, will be building the needed Network Nodes.
- Intellectual Integrity: set wealth=1 and growth=1.  I want Build and Explore factions to have a slight chance of discovering it.
- Pre-Sentient Algorithms: set power=3 and tech=4, making it a D5 tech.  I also rearranged prereqs to be Discover only.   
- Digital Sentience: now a D6 tech.  Set growth=3.  It gives the Thinker citizen, which makes people happier.
- Nanominiaturization: now a D7 tech.

FACTIONS:

- Gaians: now an Explore only faction.  This reduces the HSA weight to 2X.  With the HSA back in the Discover tree, they were not learning the Explore techs they needed, such as E4 Centauri Meditation.
- University: removed free Biology Lab.  They were learning the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm by turn 100 and completing it by turn 120.

DATALINKS:

- Cloaking Device ability: renamed to Cloaking Field.  I have it coming from Field Modulation.  The lore says the Aliens control local fields inherently, and not by using a device.  This change improves my Alien faction descriptions.  I won't be changing the Datalinks entry for Cloaking Device though, as for Copyright reasons I don't provide any modified Datalinks files.  The discrepancy is accepted as an imperfection. 
- Caretakers, Usurpers: added hyperlinks for Hypnotic Trance and Cloaking Field.
- Cult of Planet: hyperlinked "double police duty" to Non-Lethal Methods ability.
- Cyborgs: added hyperlink for Polymorphic Encryption.
- Data Angels: added hyperlink for Covert Ops Center.
- Gaians: added hyperlink for Biology Lab.
- Hive: added hyperlink for Perimieter Defense.
- Pirates: added hyperlinks for Marine Detachment and Naval Yard.
- University: added hyperlink for Network Node.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #950 on: March 21, 2020, 07:11:01 PM »
Im trying out your mod again. I'm actually pretty far in game and haven't got any real military tech beyond lasers. I wonder if this is intentional.
The clean reactor means the AI spams endless waves of synthmetal garrisons. Yours and enemy bases. The wonder placement is interesting.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #951 on: March 21, 2020, 07:43:35 PM »
Im trying out your mod again. I'm actually pretty far in game and haven't got any real military tech beyond lasers. I wonder if this is intentional.

If you want weapons, you gotta research Conquer.  If you're not, then you're not getting any weapons.

Quote
The clean reactor means the AI spams endless waves of synthmetal garrisons. Yours and enemy bases.

For beginning to midgame, that's intentional.  Damn hard to rush an AI that's defensively stocked and not losing SUPPORT to do so.  Hopefully the AI decides to make better stuff later on.

Quote
The wonder placement is interesting.

You mean Secret Project delays in the tech tree?  The newest tweak is making the awesome Mindworm oriented SPs come later.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #952 on: March 21, 2020, 08:11:09 PM »
Quote
If you want weapons, you gotta research Conquer.  If you're not, then you're not getting any weapons.
I always randomize research and click all four. Usually I don't have any issues.
Quote
For beginning to midgame, that's intentional.  Damn hard to rush an AI that's defensively stocked and not losing SUPPORT to do so.  Hopefully the AI decides to make better stuff later on.
I thought as much. The problem is the spam gets out of hand occasionally.
Quote
You mean Secret Project delays in the tech tree?  The newest tweak is making the awesome Mindworm oriented SPs come later.

The wonder placement is very nice. Especially the universal translator.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #953 on: March 21, 2020, 10:22:34 PM »
That's weird luck, not getting any Conquer techs with random research.  I've never done totally random research, so that's an untested scenario.  Did you at least get some mindworms, like E3 Centauri Genetics?

The Universal Translator is actually one of the most useless SPs IMO.  It gives you 2 techs, which is worth exactly 2 Artifacts.  Whereas it costs the equivalent of 6 Artifacts to build the SP.  Granted, you actually have to find 2 Artifacts, but at the beginning of the game you can certainly do that.  So I think this is another one of those things about the game, that despite everyone's historical conditioning curve as to where it used to occur, they totally got it wrong.  It's a beginner's SP.  Narrative-wise I know they wanted to "discover God" and all of that, but game mechanically it's dorky.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #954 on: March 21, 2020, 11:20:53 PM »
Quote
That's weird luck, not getting any Conquer techs with random research.  I've never done totally random research, so that's an untested scenario.  Did you at least get some mindworms, like E3 Centauri Genetics?

I did get mindworms yes but nothing beyond lasers and no one else did either.
Quote
The Universal Translator is actually one of the most useless SPs IMO.  It gives you 2 techs, which is worth exactly 2 Artifacts.  Whereas it costs the equivalent of 6 Artifacts to build the SP.  Granted, you actually have to find 2 Artifacts, but at the beginning of the game you can certainly do that.  So I think this is another one of those things about the game, that despite everyone's historical conditioning curve as to where it used to occur, they totally got it wrong.  It's a beginner's SP.  Narrative-wise I know they wanted to "discover God" and all of that, but game mechanically it's dorky.

It may not be the best wonder in the game but I like it. Its much fluffier when in the beggining of the game. Besides I like the two techs.
My all time favorite is the Aesthetic Virtues just for the video.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #955 on: March 22, 2020, 01:18:38 AM »
Hmm the non-Conquer factions are: Cult of Planet (Explore), Gaians (Explore), Morganites (Build), Pirates (Build), and University (Discover).  Did your midgame powerful factions happen to be among those?

The Ascetic Virtues is probably my favorite SP, because it enables one to be Chairman Yang without being Yang.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #956 on: March 22, 2020, 08:10:48 PM »
I play with a lot of custom factions and I've since restarted . But the two other main ones were the Peacekeepers who had a continent to themselves and the Gaians. The Gaians destroyed two other factions the Crimson Comrades and the Valhallans early on. No one in that game to that point had anything stronger than lasers.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #957 on: March 22, 2020, 11:49:44 PM »
I'm a bit surprised that the Gaians were capable of going on a warpath sufficiently to destroy other factions.  At least, my Gaians.  I don't think of them as being annihilators.  Whoever they wiped out, I don't know what their game balance is like, since I didn't design the factions.  I could make an educated guess about it, if you showed me their faction.txt files.  In my mod you have to study Conquer to get weapons and armor.  Or you can trade for them, steal them, or get them from the Planetary Datalinks.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #958 on: March 23, 2020, 02:31:20 AM »
The Valhallans have +growth +police +morale and fanatic. The Crimson Comrades have +Police and ++Support and Impunity planned.
Both are modified from the original factions.
Its not so much them as starting against the Gaians. The Gaians are very strong early game just because they can collect mind worms.
They are always top tier in any game I play.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #959 on: March 23, 2020, 02:38:24 AM »
Hm I suppose my Gaians have done decently lately, but I've not thought of them as "top tier".  Capturing mindworms isn't the same thing as using them effectively as a strike force.

Are you using my SE table or did you mod that too?  That would change things.  I of course don't have Planned.  I have Capitalist, Socialist, and Green.

 

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