Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 55463 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1020 on: May 16, 2020, 03:09:36 PM »
Because the AI is a moron about Bunkers.  It builds lots of them, which wastes terrain production time that could be used for something more profitable.  It doesn't man them, which just gives an easy invasion route for the human player.  Haven't you noticed how trivial it is to take apart someone's empire when they've made all sorts of Bunkers for your convenience?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1021 on: May 16, 2020, 08:04:06 PM »
I stopped playing my current 1.43 test game as the Cyborgs.  I was bizarrely unable to overtake any other factions.  I took full advantage of the new "Cybernetic gives money" style, but despite building all the research facilities, I was pretty much outclassed by the Data Angels.  They built almost every Secret Project.  My empire was physically isolated and I kept dealing with minor land and sea incursions from other factions.  Kept trying to build up in my isolation, and kept feeling like that strategy wasn't worth anything.  It may be that the uniquification of research foci, has injected a lot more Discover research into the game's tech economy.  This + AI research bonuses on Transcend, may result in trying to win a tech race being basically unprofitable.  I don't know yet if that's bad per se, but it was definitely boring to try to do that, and pretty much fail.  I'm sitting around building more and more facilities, trying to get an advantage that way, and finding that I basically cannot.

Last game seemed to demonstrate that Explore, Discover results in seemingly powerful play by the Data Angels.  Although now I wonder about them doing Thought Control, since that's not part of the Explore or Discover tech trees.  It's Build and Conquer.  They actually learned the new Eudaimonia first and completed the Xenoempathy Dome.  I suppose that makes sense for an Explore oriented faction.  I didn't really want to make them Explore Discover, but it's what was left after divvying up all the faction research combos.

Trying a new game with 7 random factions. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 08:29:13 PM by bvanevery »

Offline Geo

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1022 on: May 17, 2020, 12:19:03 AM »
I stopped playing my current 1.43 test game as the Cyborgs.  I was bizarrely unable to overtake any other factions.  I took full advantage of the new "Cybernetic gives money" style, but despite building all the research facilities, I was pretty much outclassed by the Data Angels.  They built almost every Secret Project.  My empire was physically isolated and I kept dealing with minor land and sea incursions from other factions.  Kept trying to build up in my isolation, and kept feeling like that strategy wasn't worth anything.  It may be that the uniquification of research foci, has injected a lot more Discover research into the game's tech economy.  This + AI research bonuses on Transcend, may result in trying to win a tech race being basically unprofitable.  I don't know yet if that's bad per se, but it was definitely boring to try to do that, and pretty much fail.  I'm sitting around building more and more facilities, trying to get an advantage that way, and finding that I basically cannot.

That's good, isn't it? It means one could play the game at a lower difficulty level when bonuses are more on par and still have the AI a shot at overtaking the player if he isn't careful enough.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1023 on: May 17, 2020, 12:36:53 AM »
Maybe it's good.  It didn't feel good this time though.  Felt damn boring.  I'm really, really surprised at the level of evenness of development on the graph for most of the factions.  Even the worst faction only seemed to be a bit behind.  It makes me wonder if the "unique research combos" merely genericizes all faction play.  That still might be a benefit though.  I just don't know what to think yet.  I need to see more random cases before deciding.

I think I'd be a lot happier if the Data Angels weren't succeeding like Gaians.  The Gaians were in the game too, and partly sitting on the Monsoon Jungle, so it was a very fair test of balanced vs. overpowered.  The Gaians did fine but I think they should be getting to the Xenoempathy Dome, not the Data Angels.

Maybe the problem is with a big increase in Discover based research, many more factions are getting advanced tech on their own.  Which makes my Data Angels' automatic Datalinks ability, way more powerful than previous.

Ok I've done a reshuffle, with the Data Angels now as Discover Conquer.  So that they can end up with Thought Control and not become the new Gaians.  I'll run an AI only game and see how it goes as I walk the dog.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 01:10:26 AM by bvanevery »

Offline zoneplate

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1024 on: May 17, 2020, 02:32:12 AM »
Because the AI is a moron about Bunkers.  It builds lots of them, which wastes terrain production time that could be used for something more profitable.  It doesn't man them, which just gives an easy invasion route for the human player.  Haven't you noticed how trivial it is to take apart someone's empire when they've made all sorts of Bunkers for your convenience?

ahh, I see. I suppose that makes sense, yeah - they do sometimes do very very very ill advised things like putting empty bunkers on the me facing side of their bases.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1025 on: May 18, 2020, 05:19:51 AM »
you gotta be mf kidding me
you gotta be mf kidding me

Started another random test game.  Was wandering around my 2nd colony pod a little more than usual, due to fungus being in the way and trying to get a position that wouldn't have any fungal threats next to it.  Finally said ok, can't have a perfect spot.  Will at least capture the 2 nutrients I popped from supply pods.  And then Morgan shows up, and kills half my empire!  No I didn't knowtow to him, I never do.  Why has he been such a jerk lately?  I didn't change any of his settings, but my Cyborg settings have changed to Discover Build so who knows, maybe he sees me as stiff competition.  Or maybe it's selective observation.  I'm on a Huge map as usual and shouldn't have a close by enemy, but sometimes it does happen.  And he happened to pop a Scout Rover.

Well I think this game is going to be about early genocide.  Except that, I'll need to leave 1 base behind to kill him after year 2200, so that he can't escape in a rocket.  I'm assuming I won't have any difficulty killing him, which strictly speaking, remains to be seen.  Maybe I'll just make him surrender.  I dunno.  I'm mad now though.   :mad:

This might be one of the only times the Cyborgs' steal tech upon conquer ability is actually of any use.  In a typical game they're ahead of others so not so much point in conquering to steal.

2 test games ago I was also the Cyborgs.  That's the game where I felt like I was treading water and not making any progress, just keeping up with other AI factions in tech.  I suppose it should be remembered that Cyborgs are only +1 RESEARCH in my mod.  They're not the University, they're not a powerhouse of research.  They're also inferior to the Gaians at research nowadays, as Gaians get +1 RESEARCH and free Biology Labs.  I have wondered if the Cyborgs are underpowered, but I did give them these encryption and probe abilities.  The AI doesn't really know how to make use of that, but perhaps I can as a human player.

Die, Morgan, die!   ;morganercise ;nuke; ;liftoff

right
right

Well maybe this is just one of these rare games where I get to die.  Boxed in by a Battle Ogre?  Mindworm has to stir up when I try to get away?  That original Scout Rover was waiting to the north, so I don't believe there was some other way to go.  I'm totally 8-balled.  Those Scout Rovers in the south, I only recently popped them.  They haven't had time to get back, and they can't scratch the Battle Ogre anyways.  I completed a Clean Former earlier, but the Battle Ogre blew it away without even taking a wound.  Its only legacy is the Sensor Array and patch of forest.  I had also made a farm, where the Battle Ogre is standing now.  It pillaged it.  I've got 2 Green Clean Scouts in my capitol.  Don't know if they can hold the line and at this point, I don't really care.  I haven't seen a game randomly this bad in, well, forever.

it gets better
it gets better

Many turns ago, I got Yang's comm frequency.  Of course he declared war on me.  And now after having somewhat beaten off the Morganites with repeated suicide attacks with untrained Scouts, I get to do the same with Yang!  Except I find out next turn that he's got Synthmetal Sentinels to accompany him.  Yang's been walking this crap across the map just to give me grief.  Fortunately those Sentinels are very stupid and harmlessly commit suicide on me.

At 2 AM I decided this game was viable, but lame.  So I quit.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 07:10:29 AM by bvanevery »

Offline lolada

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1026 on: May 21, 2020, 10:53:11 AM »
Haha tough luck darn ^^. I hate it when worms conveniently spawn exactly at right time to kill my colony pod.. crap. Tho i deserve it when i send pods without escorts. AI diplomacy in AC is unique eghm.. apparently Induktio is up to something there - it will be interesting.

Did you nerf that battle ogre? 6 attack is a lot for how early you can get it.. in line 1st turn of the game.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1027 on: May 21, 2020, 09:38:15 PM »
I nerfed it to 4, a Particle Impactor, but that's still far more powerful than an untrained Scout!  And it's got 3-Res armor and some training and anti-mindworm stuff.  2 larvae can still take it out though.  Problem is, you actually have to have 2 larvae.  The usual thing that happens with Battle Ogres is, the AI wanders them around in the bush and gets them killed.  I tried to change the AI Plan for those units but nothing worked as far as increasing their survivability.  Having BOs come and hang out with you early on, is damn annoying.

I can almost never bring myself to pay off a faction to leave me alone.  I almost think it shouldn't be part of the play mechanics.  It's the game rubbing it in my face that my personal agency has been destroyed.  Most of the time my agency has not been destroyed anyways, I'm perfectly capable of fighting.  The AI is just wasting my time with taunts and trash talk.  The very few times when I really am likely to die, what's my incentive to keep playing?  How does this fit into a general schema of available tactics?  I don't usually feel like I'm playing a game at that point.  I feel like I'm experiencing the overwhelming resource advantages and luck that the AI was awarded.

I'm on record as not liking "monster" challenges, where opponents have been dialed up to One Hundred and Eleven.

My willingness to participate in this one, was contingent upon its use of real world time.  At 2 AM, time limit expired.  Sleep is more valuable, interesting, and important to me.

I learned a long time ago, with friends, that if you want to keep an inferior opponent playing with you, you'd better not rag on them too hard!  Your victim will decide they don't like being a victim and they'll stop.

Offline Douglas

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1028 on: May 21, 2020, 11:03:03 PM »
I accept demands like that when I need time to build up my forces, or when I think fighting would be more inconvenient than the increase in the AI's power will be.

I usually use a very build-heavy play style, which can easily result in me greatly outclassing Santiago/Miriam/Yang/etc. in income, production, and research, while also having a much smaller military than they have. I can beat them, but in order to do it I have to divert my production capacity into building a military to match theirs, and I'll take much fewer losses if I do that several turns before they attack.

If they demand Fusion Power, though, well... screw that. I'm not sure I've ever accepted a demand for that technology.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1029 on: May 21, 2020, 11:24:01 PM »
Even when I've had more money than God, I don't think I've accepted demands.  At that point I'm like are you kidding me?  I'm running Planet.  You're a peon.  It's like Sao Tome trying to dictate to the USA.  Screw you, you're Sao Tome.

I think if the game implemented more of a diplomatic reality, I could get on board with it.  But it doesn't implement something like our real world diplomatic power structure.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1030 on: May 24, 2020, 02:27:25 AM »
Someone requested a view of my upcoming 1.43 tech tree.  It's easiest to view it by installing a clean copy of SMACX, then installing my mod on top of it.  That way, one can see what a player would see.  I think this is feature complete, but I haven't tested it enough yet to officially release it.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1031 on: May 28, 2020, 02:49:41 AM »
I've implemented Nexii's idea that Industrial Base is the tech that should give a Former, that that's more realistic.  I've repurposed Centauri Ecology to give the Recycling Tank, which sounds like a proto-Greener thing to do.  I also repurposed Superconductor for its economic aspect, the quote / voice acting from Morgan.  These changes allowed me to reshuffle some of my tech tree and improve the "lore" continuity in several areas.  It's not perfect and it never will be, but it's improved.  In particular, Cyberethics doesn't bug me so much now.  Doctrine: Loyalty now gives the Command Center.  Extremist politics is given simply by Social Psych, since it is probably the most basic large scale way that humans organize themselves.  It also makes easy for the Cult of Planet to learn Extremist and choose it.

Cybernetic Cult of Planet 2408
Cybernetic Cult of Planet 2408

I also gave the Cult +1 SUPPORT and changed them from Aggressive to Erratic.  The latter is someone's theory that Aggressive factions do not build enough facilities to keep up in the midgame onwards.  I forget who; I'll need to look up whose idea that was.  Here is now the Cult in an endgame with the Free Drones, neck and neck on the graph!  The Free Drones actually went for the new Thought Control.  INDUSTRY didn't work out as a bonus.  All the AI factions loved it way too much and wouldn't choose anything else unless forced.

At first I didn't get why the Cult was avoiding Extremist.  Then I realized it preferred to have +4 RESEARCH.  This makes me think I should give them a simple IMPUNITY to the effects of Extremist, instead of IMMUNITY to RESEARCH penalties.  That's boring, but it looks like it would actually improve AI performance.

Offline Nexii

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1032 on: May 28, 2020, 03:00:44 AM »
Yea I ended up going back on Superconductor to conquer due to its description on TECHSHORTS:
^^“Efficient energy transmission for powerful weaponry”

It's a tough one like many. I ended up interpreting it that Morgan was selling weapons to benefit his economy.

The end of the tree got a lot more hand wavey. Starting out I thought it would be more obvious what techs should get what and how they should link up but it wasn't always the case. About half felt 'Discover' to me just by reading the descriptions and ignoring the traditional benefits


Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1033 on: May 28, 2020, 05:16:43 AM »
But nobody reads TECHSHORTS.  You can't look them up after you've gotten a tech.  Try it.  Nothing in the Laboratory Summary screen.  Nothing in the Datalinks.

The voice acting is Morgan talking about the economic value.  He doesn't talk about superconductor weapons, he talks about superconducting fiber.  It's glorified fiber optic cable or something.  It makes our present economy possible.  It's not our present military being made possible, it's the entire economy.  The meaning of Morgan's words is obvious and plain.

Morgan also never takes the role of an arms merchant, in any of the voice acting.  His character is about making money.  He does talk about gnarly medical research once, that makes you wonder how he managed to cross over into University territory?  But there's no "Morgan Nukes" to talk about.

You are being confused by the fact that at some point in SMAC's production, they rearranged and repurposed something.  Or the left hand didn't know what the right was doing.  Or they thought it would get boring having so much military-speak for so many military techs, so they did some economic-speak.

The end of the tree got a lot more hand wavey. Starting out I thought it would be more obvious what techs should get what and how they should link up but it wasn't always the case. About half felt 'Discover' to me just by reading the descriptions and ignoring the traditional benefits

Well, a specific objection, I can contemplate and decide if something really needs fixing.

A general objection?  That's not really actionable.  Tim's initial reactions, made me realize that the perceived quality of narrative and lore continuity is relative, not absolute.  Like I don't think Tim considered any degrees of improvement, because he didn't really believe in improvement and didn't try at all.  Other people clearly believe in it more than he does.  But how much betterness can there actually be?  What's the optimum fitting?  I know that it can't all be made good.  These are narrative elements, and they aren't designed in a coherent enough narrative to make something that's absolutely good.  They're chunks of world building.  They're like stones that you try to fit together to make a fountain with, without the benefit of mortar to hold them together.

So yeah, if you're looking for a transition that "doesn't make sense", you're going to find it somewhere.

I mean at least I did things like use Intellectual Integrity for a Zhakarov science project, not police and silly militia marching around shooting at illegal aliens.

Offline Nexii

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1034 on: May 28, 2020, 05:20:23 AM »
TECHSHORTS are visible in game but only when you have blind research off. Some of them don't exactly go with the techs but I'd say 90-95% of them do. Half them are just kinda vague anyways.

Nonlinear Mathematics was another one that stood out. It's short code is Chaos and the tech short says it harnesses Chaos Theory. Yet at some point it was swapped to give Impact weapons.

 

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