Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 59433 times)

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Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #990 on: March 28, 2020, 07:30:39 AM »
I never much bothered with air bases, with me its forest all the way. Infantry spam on rails is one of my favorite tactics actually.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #991 on: March 28, 2020, 04:15:57 PM »
Turn 142 and I'm leader in tech research. I've been on conquer and one other tech branch the entire time switching occasionally from discover or Explore.
At this point I still haven't gotten anything beyond lasers.
Turn 151 and I finally got my particle impactors.
And right about the same time everyone got plasma steel armor.....
Taking bases is much much too hard in this mod.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 06:22:49 PM by vonbach »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #992 on: March 28, 2020, 07:07:03 PM »
My last game was the Usurpers with directed research, so not a fair test of when the weapons come, I suppose.  Part of this is going to depend on what you think acceptable empire development is.  It's not like you can't invade a nearby neighbor with Recon Rovers.  They just need to be trained enough, and you always have to get rid of Sensor Arrays now because they're a +50% defense bonus, and you're going to have to smash up the Perimeter Defenses with probe teams.  Or starve people to death with smothering tactics.  TBH though I just grow my empire to a good infrastructure, good labs and rails, then start killing stuff later.  My mod is definitely anti-rushing / blitzing.  Everyone has been given the time, distance, and resources to defensively dig in.

I generally also steal from other factions, even if I have to sail long distances to do that.  I don't have to be the one who figures out the weapons.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #993 on: March 28, 2020, 08:12:34 PM »
Oftentimes  I'm stuck with another faction on the same continent. With this mod i'm looking at 140 turns at least before I can clean him out.
Or respond to a declaration of war. Its worse when you finally get the tech  get the units built and your staring at garrison units of equal strength when you get there. To top it off the cities oftentimes aren't big enough to even take. Usually just being on  another continent gives them plenty of time to develop.

I did find some inspiration  for my mod though. I took the clean units and put them in my mod. I moved the universal translator to earlier in the tree.
Police state: ++Police +Probe, -effic, Republic: +economy +effic -police, Fundamentalist: +Growth +Morale
Capitalist: +economy --planet,  Socialist +growth +effic -economy Autraky: ++effic +planet
Power: ++support +morale -research -effic, Knowledge +planet +research +effic --police Wealth: +Economy -morale -police
Cybernetic ++research +effic --police Eudianomic:  ++Growth + effic +economy -morale -probe
Thought control:++police +support ++probe +industry -- research

Thats what I'm going with currently with my new social tree.
Fundamentalist and autarky have no penalties because i haven't got any real inspiration yet.
What do you think?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #994 on: March 28, 2020, 10:15:12 PM »
Are you playing on 30%..50% land mass, as recommended?  If you're playing with more water, I can see the possibility of being "stuck" with an enemy somewhere.   I don't generally have this problem in my games, there's plenty of land.  There isn't a menu option to put >>RECOMMENDED<< on the 30%..50%, or I would have done it when a playtester made that suggestion about Huge maps.

Our SE tables are similar at this point.  The big difference is Fundamentalist.  I predict your AIs will love the heck out of that and use it exclusively.  It loves MORALE and loves GROWTH.  Putting MORALE on a diet was one of my earlier considerations for Fundamentalist / Extremist.  It was way too popular with the AIs.  Since I had retained the narrative RESEARCH penalty, that was a big problem for the AI faction strength.

Your Thought Control seems like a bit of a giveaway.  INDUSTRY bonuses are overpowered, which is why I don't give them.  A silver lining of my restriction that way, is I don't have to stress about changing government just to get a Secret Project finished, or any other stuff I need to build.  Everything always costs the same.

You realize that when we argue about Power, you only giving +1 MORALE, and me giving +2, is a really big difference?  Granted, your total SE MORALE bonuses would be +2, as mine.  But I make players go to early midgame to get get C4 Advanced Military Algorithms.  No early game bonuses to MORALE.  That's often my policy with stuff, "No early game bonuses to X".  Lots of things are too skewing.


Offline Nexii

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #995 on: March 29, 2020, 06:36:47 AM »
I still don't really see how a midgame without pop booming works. When you nerf down builder it means that pretty much the only options are to go conquering or circumvent it with PS/ICS strategies. Which really is the go to strategy in that case, police units are vastly cheaper than psych and faciliites.

Same with making SPs super expensive, they just don't pay off before end of game. If you look at speed runs usually only a very few are built, meaning even at default costs a lot weren't all that amazing. Same with most facilities for that matter.

Anwyays I think even von's SE set sort of has this problem. The side choices just aren't that compelling compared to the choices with +ECON (till you get +2 ECON). It's just super powerful when the other SE choices don't give +6 GROWTH or +3 SUPPORT or +INDUSTRY, etc. Again not saying it's easy and actually most factions will be forced into picking the 2 out of 3 that are available.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #996 on: March 29, 2020, 07:01:37 AM »
Quote
Our SE tables are similar at this point.  The big difference is Fundamentalist.  I predict your AIs will love the heck out of that and use it exclusively.  It loves MORALE and loves GROWTH.  Putting MORALE on a diet was one of my earlier considerations for Fundamentalist / Extremist.  It was way too popular with the AIs.  Since I had retained the narrative RESEARCH penalty, that was a big problem for the AI faction strength.

Growth has to be somewhere in the mod and a traditionalist government makes sense to have it.

Quote
Your Thought Control seems like a bit of a giveaway.  INDUSTRY bonuses are overpowered, which is why I don't give them.  A silver lining of my restriction that way, is I don't have to stress about changing government just to get a Secret Project finished, or any other stuff I need to build.  Everything always costs the same.

Thought control has industry because the rest of the bonuses are relatively weak. It also makes sense in a way.
I'd still pick either of the other choices over thought control.
Quote
You realize that when we argue about Power, you only giving +1 MORALE, and me giving +2, is a really big difference?  Granted, your total SE MORALE bonuses would be +2, as mine.  But I make players go to early midgame to get get C4 Advanced Military Algorithms.  No early game bonuses to MORALE.  That's often my policy with stuff, "No early game bonuses to X".  Lots of things are too skewing.

Power as it is now is what I'm starting with. I'm probably going to change it. I'm liking the idea of +support +morale and +police  for -research, effic or economy.
Autarky I might add a growth bonus to it. Reflecting a agrarian self sufficient society. Probably with -economy as its downside
I was thinking of removing the growth from Socialist and adding something else probably or simply changing the penalty to -support.


Most if not all of my my government choices are available at midgame. I like having them all early.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #997 on: March 29, 2020, 07:04:36 AM »
I still don't really see how a midgame without pop booming works.

Tree farms?  Careful use of Nutrient specials at specific production sites?  Rail networks?  I'm not seeing how pop booming has ever been required for the midgame at all.  You can overrun stuff in midgame if you want.

You also have Clean Reactors from the beginning of the game, which always gives you an opportunity to invest in more clean units, if you don't have any worthwhile techs.

Quote
When you nerf down builder

Cheap clean formers is not nerfing builder strategies.  And perhaps you haven't learned how to mass up piles of money to buy your Secret Projects.  AFAIAC it's core strategy in my mod.

Quote
circumvent it with PS/ICS strategies.

I don't believe in ICS.  But you're welcome to post some kind of benchmark with my mod, of just how far you get with something, by such and such turn.  I would then be able to compare it to more conventional strategies.

Quote
police units are vastly cheaper than psych and faciliites.

You sure about that?  The lowest cost in my mod is Synth Police.  That's 30 minerals and requires SUPPORT.  You can't just do Clean Police right away because you have to learn Neural Grafting.  Also I think that unit costs 50 minerals.

Quote
Same with making SPs super expensive, they just don't pay off before end of game.

This is flatly false.  I've playtested all my SPs to death.  They all have prices and timings exactly commensurate with what they're worth.

Quote
If you look at speed runs usually only a very few are built,

If you can speed run in my mod on a Huge map, be my guest!  I think you're going to find that some of your expected tools are not available.  But who knows, that's what playtesting is for.

Quote
Anwyays I think even von's SE set sort of has this problem. The side choices just aren't that compelling compared to the choices with +ECON (till you get +2 ECON). It's just super powerful when the other SE choices don't give +6 GROWTH or +3 SUPPORT or +INDUSTRY, etc. Again not saying it's easy and actually most factions will be forced into picking the 2 out of 3 that are available.

I await your saved games / screenshots / Turn anecdotes.  Otherwise it's just theory.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #998 on: March 29, 2020, 07:36:44 AM »
Turn 151 and I finally got my particle impactors.
And right about the same time everyone got plasma steel armor.....

I'm now playing as the Cult of Planet.  I had a strange start.  Made peaceful contact with the Morganites, both of us on the same continent.  Got Children's Creche from him when I had only 5 cities.  Had so much fungus in the way, and so many mindworms out popping pods, that I just built Creches instead of settling more.  Went quite vertical, with Biology Labs, Network Nodes, and even starting some Research Hospitals courtesy of Zhakarov.  Settled more bases eventually, built a rail network, had to clear some fungus to get to the Ruins to do it.  Piles of Clean Formers and also some Rover Formers.

It's Turn 115 and I haven't got any better weapons or armor yet.  Some distant factions at least have Plasma, as they're working on the Citizens' Defense Force.  Whether anyone's got Particle Impactors is unknown.  The Usurpers are so distant on the map I haven't reached them, it's kind of an alternating water continent maze world.  I haven't learned E3 Centauri Genetics, can't make my own mindworms.  It took a surprisingly long time to learn E2 Centauri Empathy, despite my pure Explore research focus.  This because of so much trade with other peaceful factions, that my tech expanded in many directions.  I actually bought it from someone else eventually.

I've got buckets of captured mindworms though.  They finished popping all the nearby land, then I brought them home.  The water maze makes it difficult to take them anywhere else.  They're doing police duty.  I could overrun Morgan with this force, especially know that I've got Knowledge and +4 PLANET.  I just don't see any need though.  If he gets uppity, I'll take a city from him and make him behave.  So far he's still my ally, and he hasn't tried to pull any probe team shenanigans.

Quote
Taking bases is much much too hard in this mod.

On my Turn 115, there is no need to take any bases.  I could have all of Morgan's cities and double my size.  Why bother?  He will never be able to harm me.  I will always be ahead of him, and always able to annex him whenever I want.  "Close contact" friends / enemies / frenemies are useful that way.  He's my satellite whether he realizes it yet or not.

I'm going to complete the Weather Paradigm.  Nobody can stop me, as I've got a good reserve of Artifacts.  I'm just being cheap and trying to use more more money and fewer Artifacts to get it done.  I'm going to land bridge to my other frenemy, the Cyborgs.  Maybe then my friend the University.  After that, Lal is kinda uppity, and a natural enemy.  Maybe he'll declare war on me, just about as I've built a rail to his doorstep.

Roze is on the Monsoon Jungle, somewhere rather far away.  She dominates the graph.  Maybe Marr's got half the world and is doing well.  There's no need to be premature about conquering anybody.

MY 2225, aka Turn 125.  I finally get E3 Centauri Genetics.  Roze declared war on my "ally" Zhakarov.  She's stomping him with Particle Impactors.  Guess a Conquer focus on the Monsoon Jungle, works just fine!  I've bridged to their continent, they were only 1 square apart.  I don't have a rail to the front line yet though.  I also need to settle more cities in the west of my continent, before bridging to the Cyborgs.  My biggest cities are merely size 5.  I don't have time to build Condensers, I'm doing more basic terraforming for the western city sites.

MY 2232.  I'm in direct conflict with Roze, because she's taken all the University cities I was going to connect with.  2 squares separate my railhead from her conquered city.  I did not end up stealing from her or even infiltrating her.  Instead I bought techs from Zhakarov and Morgan.  That allowed me to complete the Planetary Energy Grid out from under Morgan's nose.  He completed the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm instead, which is good, because Roze was trying to build it.  I've now got all the stuff, including Particle Impactors and Plasma armor.  I've bridged to the Cyborgs and am removing fungus to connect a rail to them.  I've got both Morgan and Aki-Zeta5 on board with my war.  Once I complete the Cyborg link I'll advance, hopefully with 3 against 1.  Technically 4 but Zhakarov is almost dead.

So, it has taken me a similar amount of time as vonbach, to get the stuff.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 09:35:35 AM by bvanevery »

Offline zoneplate

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #999 on: March 29, 2020, 02:35:45 PM »
Hello! I finally managed to win a game of this today playing as the Drones, after getting my ass consistently kicked all week. It's real cool how you managed to get such a new experience into the game! One crit however - it feels like missiles are just sort of too good in the mid-late game, especially as it turns out they can capture bases (!!!). Most of my combat resolved into churning out a billion conventional missiles and slamming bases (which also turns out to be A Whole Lot of mouseclicks) until my half of Planet was clear.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1000 on: March 29, 2020, 05:34:49 PM »
Conventional Missiles can capture bases?  WTF.  That's a hell of a bug.  I'll have to investigate.  Maybe the "stay aloft" fuel condition, turns it effectively into a Gravship.

I did notice the Whole Lot of Mouseclicks problem.  Which is why I haven't used CMs in probably a year.

Offline zoneplate

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1001 on: March 29, 2020, 06:53:37 PM »
Quote
Conventional Missiles can capture bases?
Yeah, it threw me right off to discover too! I accidentally moved one into an unoccupied base, it captured, and I was just like...... ah????
 
My recent attempts have been ironman transcend and it's pretty brutal, I'd (playing the Drones) tend to be keeping a smallish garrison around and trying to put my all into building to attempt to stay ahead in terms of research, only to find that the second someone comes to pick a fight my forces are woefully inadequate and get instantly owned. But then I'm not particularly good at strategy games so this is in fact Probably Fine (and I'm mostly having fun anyway so, yknow)

edit: oh yeah, one other thing that made me go "hm,", although it's more of an aesthetic/tonal quibble - the naming of the Quantum Lab replacement as Corporate Lab seems like, a bit out of place to me. Why should a unified field theory be a prerequisite for something as commonplace as a corporate lab complex (not that SMAC/X has ever been perfectly coherent with what gives you what I guess)? Perhaps something like "High-Energy Lab" would fit better?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 03:21:21 AM by zoneplate »

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1002 on: March 30, 2020, 05:01:47 PM »
Some of the factions stay with frontier politics far longer than they should, is this some type of bug?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1003 on: March 30, 2020, 06:27:43 PM »
Which ones?  Do they have any restrictions on choosing Democratic or Police State?

Democratic and Police State have both been made into attractive options, for different purposes.  I've seen factions stay with Frontier in the past, but not so much lately.  What year are they roughly switching to something else?

In my current game, the Morganites in midgame have chosen Police State Simple Power.  That's irritating.  Ok, maybe the AI is smart enough to realize that I'm the Cult of Planet.  I'm Extremist Green Power and have got +3 PLANET.  We share a large border and they haven't been friendly to me.  War could come at any time and there will be lots of Psi war.  If they chose Capitalist they'd be in bad shape with -2 PLANET on offense.

Also, they may not strictly need the money.  Still, they have ECONOMY as their secondary imperative, so it's annoying that they're not following it.

Another possibility is they may think they're placating me, that I'm supposed to want Green, as in the original game.  But I don't, I want Extremist.  So it could be a bug, that they inappropriately hardwired the diplomacy for the Cult of Planet.

Offline vonbach

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1004 on: March 30, 2020, 06:36:39 PM »
Quote
Which ones?  Do they have any restrictions on choosing Democratic or Police State?

Some of them actually have a preference towards police state. I think its because I had the line after that their preference set to nil.
The AI just plain does weird things. Thats one of the main reasons I liked simply removing the penalties. I do it just to help out the AI.

 

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