Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 65150 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1035 on: May 28, 2020, 06:33:03 AM »
Well, I consider using directed research with a human faction to be cheating.  Or at least seriously wimping out.  I think that option was put in there to placate Civ II players who were used to directing everything.  So if the experience with human directed research is suboptimal, I really don't care.  I'd never design around that as a constraint.

With the Aliens, in close to 20 years of play, I've rarely noticed these TECHSHORTS or seen anything amiss.  So for me, that puts it at even less of a concern than, Cha Dawn talking about God because she's Extremist in my mod now.  I'm not going to fix that, due to my licensing concerns.


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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1036 on: May 31, 2020, 08:11:19 PM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.42 to 1.43:

SOCIAL ENGINEERING:

- Extremist politics: moved to E1 Social Psych.  It's actually one of the most basic ways that human beings have organized themselves.  The Cult of Planet has an Explore only focus and needs to be able to easily research it.  I think it's a better lore fit than putting it with E2 Centauri Empathy.
- Social Psych: set wealth=3.  It gives Extremist politics.
- Eudaimonic future society: removed ECONOMY bonus.  Added +1 PLANET bonus.  Removed MORALE penalty.  Added -2 POLICE penalty.  Eudaimonia had already evolved to be pretty close to the Planet part of the tech tree.  I realized I could make this a more appropriate home for a PLANET bonus, and that both GROWTH and PLANET are part of the Explore research focus.  The act of making money can be moved to Cybernetic.  Someone convinced me that a POLICE penalty was appropriate for Eudaimonic, that a utopianist society wouldn't want police.
- Eudaimonia: set wealth=2 and growth=4, making it an E6 tech.  Eudaimonic now gives a PLANET bonus, and +2 GROWTH is the key to pop booming.  The ECONOMY bonus has been removed.  The JUSTICE bonus can make some money, as can increasing population, but it's not worth wealth=3.
- Knowledge value: moved to D4 Intellectual Integrity.  Removed PLANET bonus.  Raised RESEARCH bonus to +2.  I've never actually liked that Discover oriented factions become honorary PLANET factions.  I've tolerated it because narratively it could make sense, that mindworms are cooked up in labs.  I don't want Green to be the only source of a PLANET bonus.  Previously I didn't have any other logical place to offer the bonus, but repurposing Eudaimonic fixes that.  I've moved it to Tier 4 as other Values are given on Tier 4.  I've been allowing too many LABS boosts too early.
- Secrets of the Human Brain: set wealth=0.  It no longer gives Knowledge, so there's no JUSTICE bonus.
- Intellectual Integrity: set wealth=2 and growth=0.  A JUSTICE bonus can increase money.  Knowledge has a POLICE penalty, which outweighs the happiness of a JUSTICE bonus.
- Wealth value: raised MORALE penalty to -2.  Eudaimonia has lost its MORALE penalty, and I want a total of -2 MORALE to be a thing in the game.
- Power value: reduced GROWTH penalty to -1.  Some playtesters have complained that -2 was a bit harsh.  Preventing the player from pop booming, is more important than greatly inhibiting growth.
- Advanced Military Algorithms: now a C5 tech.  While reshuffling techs for research and narrative continuity, this was the best place for it.
- Cybernetic future society: removed JUSTICE bonus and POLICE penalty.  Added +1 ECONOMY bonus, -1 JUSTICE penalty, and -1 PLANET penalty.  There's no good narrative reason for cyborgs to oppose to the use of police, nor for them to be especially just.  In fact it is a natural surveillance state, and Miriam complains vehemently about the evil of such a state.  I was just short on game mechanics for the future societies.  With the changes in Eudaimonic, I realized this could be the money-and-research choice.  The PLANET penalty contrasts it with Eudaimonic.  I don't think a machine culture is especially friendly to the organic consciousness of Planet.
- Digital Sentience: set wealth=3 and growth=0.  Cybernetic now gives an ECONOMY bonus.  It no longer gives the Thinker citizen.
- Thought Control future society: added +1 SUPPORT bonus.  Previously this choice wasn't useful.  It may still not be.  I experimented with giving it an INDUSTRY bonus, but the AI liked that so much, it wouldn't pick any other Future Society unless forced.
- Retroviral Engineering: set wealth=3.  Thought Control gives a SUPPORT bonus.

FACTIONS

- Cult of Planet: added +1 SUPPORT bonus.  Removed IMMUNITY to RESEARCH.  Added IMPUNITY to Extremist politics.  Changed personality to Erratic.  The Cult was consistently underperforming in the mid to late game.  It would take up a lot of space, and its mindworms would be hard to kill, but it would never develop the tech or build the facilities necessary to win the game.  It would stagnate.  Some modder believes that Aggressive factions do not build many facilities, so I'm trying their proposed fix.  The Cult doesn't have enough military prowess anyways, they're just not that threatening on offense.  In practice they will have +3 SUPPORT and will be able to support units up to the size of the base.  In testing, the Cult actually made it to late game standing toe to toe with the Free Drones.  However it refused to choose Extremist, instead preferring Frontier and amassing +4 RESEARCH with other social choices.  This indicates that a simple IMPUNITY to Extremist, although boring, is more likely to aid AI performance than IMMUNITY to RESEARCH.
- Data Angels: changed secondary compulsion to nil.  They have plenty of PROBE already and the AI can figure out if it wants more PROBE.  This gives the AI more flexibility.
- Free Drones: changed primary compulsion to Socialist.  Clearly, that's what their narrative is actually about.  Also unlike the original game, my version of Eudaimonic is not about money and industry.  It's about growing harmoniously with Planet.
- Caretakers: changed primary compulsion to Eudaimonic.  I never really bought the Planned alien storylines in the original game.  I think they used Planned because it wasn't already taken as a compulsion.  It's a pity that Eudaimonic dialog doesn't have any alien flavor, but I already suffer that with Conqueror Marr's dialog about Power. 
- Hive: changed secondary compulsion to GROWTH.  Removed IMPUNITY to Cybernetic.  Added IMPUNITY to Eudaimonic.  Because the Hive has +1 GROWTH, if it picks Socialist and Eudaimonic it can pop boom without the need of a Golden Age.  The -2 POLICE penalty has been moved from Cybernetic to Eudaimonic, so this is how the Hive's immunity to POLICE penalties must be implemented.
- Pirates: removed ROBUST to MORALE.  Added IMPUNITY to Wealth.  The MORALE penalty has increased to -2.  I don't want the Pirates to be affected by it.  Eudaimonic lost its MORALE penalty, and there are currently no other MORALE penalties in the SE table.  This is the most straightforward way to keep the Pirates from being penalized for picking Wealth.

FACTION RESEARCH FOCI

Every faction AI now has a unique research focus combo.  This is to diversify the AI strategies used in the game, and to improve the AI performance of some factions.  In particular, the previously pure Conquer focus of the Data Angels, the Hive, and the Usurpers was judged to be ineffective.  When combos are taken 1, 2, and 3 at a time, there are exactly 14 combos.  These are distributed as follows:

Explore - Cult
Discover - University
Build - Morganites
Conquer - Spartans

Explore, Discover - Gaians
Explore, Build - Pirates
Explore, Conquer - Caretakers
Discover, Build - Angels
Discover, Conquer - Usurpers
Build, Conquer - Drones

Explore, Discover, Build - Peacekeepers
Explore, Discover, Conquer - Hive
Explore, Build, Conquer - Believers
Discover, Build, Conquer - Cyborgs

The Caretakers and Usurpers are given "less well rounded" choices because the AI will do Directed Research.  They may not need to Build so much energy infrastructure, as the more bases they gain, the more money they make in their internal trade networks.  The Data Angels are given a "less well rounded" choice because they're going to gain techs automatically through their faction ability.

TERRAFORMING

- Technology to allow 3 nutrients in a square: now E3 Centauri Genetics.  It can be a lore fit.
- Technology to allow 3 energy in a square: now B3 Superconductor.  It's a lore fit.
- Technology to allow 3 minerals in a square: now B3 Ecological Engineering.  It's a lore fit.
- Ecological Engineering: set wealth=4 and growth=3.  It increases minerals, doesn't increase food, and no longer gives Aquafarm.
- Aquafarm: moved to B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.  Now costs 10 and maintenance is 2.  It's as powerful as a Soil Enricher, which has already been delayed until that tech.  I never used to use Aquafarms all that much, so I didn't appreciate their overwhelming power.  Lately in my test games, it has made me question why anyone would build a Tree Farm.
- Thermocline Transducer: moved to B6 Industrial Automation.  Now costs 10 and maintenance is 2.  The oceans still have too much easy energy in them.  This puts the Aquafarm, Thermocline Transducer, and Subsea Trunkline on a tiered sequence.
- Fungal Payload: moved to E6 Eudaimonia.  The strategy of peppering an enemy with fungus is not often used, and might as well be tried by someone so inclined.  Previous experience is it's unlikely to be all that effective, but it might be a good invasion adjunct to the Xenoempathy Dome.
- Super Tensile Solids: now an E7 tech.  Perhaps the AI will make bigger cities if Habitation Domes come a bit earlier.
- N-Space Compression: now a B8 tech.  Set power=2, wealth=4, and growth=3.  It is the ultimate terraforming tool, especially if Planet is sinking underwater.  The game might be more interesting if land can be raised earlier.  It is now made somewhat related to a Planet Buster, so I want it to have some Conquer continuity.  It can be used militarily for bridging continents or raising sea bases out of the water for easier capture.

SPACEFLIGHT

- Drop Pods: moved to C6 Synthetic Fossil Fuels.  C5 Doctrine: Air Power is overburdened with benefits.
- Missile chassis: moved to C6 Synthetic Fossil Fuels.  This is when the Missile Launcher weapon is given.  I wish to regard the missile chassis not as "space flight", but merely a rather long range missile.  This will allow me to put the spaceflight techs later and make them for satellites only.
- Conventional Payload: moved to C6 Synthetic Fossil Fuels.  This is when the Missile Launcher weapon is given, and I want to move the Planet Buster higher up the tech tree.
- Salvage Unity Fusion Core: moved to C6 Synthetic Fossil Fuels.  An expendable missile should be enough to knock it out of orbit.  500 credits is not worth anything later in the game.
- Planet Buster weapon: moved to C7 Probability Mechanics.  None of the earlier weapons systems have sufficient power to put large holes in the surface of a planet.  This is fairly high up the Conquer tech tree, so will require a lot of Conquer focus to obtain.
- Flechette Defense System: moved to C7 Probability mechanics.  Graviton Theory was overloaded.  It's a ground based defense, and it is about spraying clouds of small particles at an incoming missile.
- Orbital Spaceflight: renamed to Orbital Construction and made an E8 tech.  New short id "OrbCon".  Set power=3, wealth=3, and growth=4.  It gives the Sky Hydroponics Lab and the Space Elevator.  I did not like having abundant food available earlier in the game.  The satellite UI activates when Sky Hydroponics Labs are available, it's hardwired into the game.  Thus, all satellites must be given by either this tech or a later dependent tech.
- Launch Solar Shade: moved to E8 Orbital Construction.
- Increase Solar Shade: moved to E8 Orbital Construction.
- Melt Polar Caps: moved to E8 Orbital Construction.  It's nonsensical that humanity would have a magic means of melting the polar caps instantly through terrestrial effort.  Earlier in the game it should be accomplished via eco-damage.
- Sentient Econometrics: now a B8 tech.  I need a Tier 8 Build tech as a prereq for Tier 9 satellite techs.
- Advanced Spaceflight: renamed to Orbital Supremacy and made a C9 tech.  New short id "OrbSup".  I want it to take more work to get an Orbital Defense Pod screen up.
- Geosynchronous Survey Pod: moved to C9 Orbital Supremacy.  It fits, and Graviton Theory was overloaded.
- Graviton Theory: now a C10 tech.  It just didn't fit at Tier 8 and it was making the Space Elevator not so interesting to obtain for orbital insertions.

CONQUER TECHS

- Command Center: moved to C1 Doctrine: Loyalty.  It's a lore fit.
- Doctrine: Loyalty: now a C1 tech.  Set power=4, wealth=0, and growth=0.  It only gives the Command Center.  I had way too many low tier Explore techs.
- Punishment Sphere: moved to B2 Ethical Calculus.  It's a lore fit.  Options to be weighed in the balance.
- Deep Pressure Hull: moved to C2 Adaptive Doctrine.  It's not an interesting ability because the AI just ignores it and cheats.  Might as well let players try it as a tactic if they want to.  Makes C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory less cluttered.
- Skunkworks: moved to D3 Optical Computers.  It can be a lore fit and the tech didn't have any ordinary facility to offer.
- Optical Computers: set power=3 and wealth=3.  The Skunkworks saves on minerals when prototyping units and gets them into the field faster.
- Monopole Magnets: set power=4, wealth=0, and growth=2, making it a C3 tech.  I don't have enough Tier 3 Conquer techs.  It now only gives Heavy Transport and mag tubes.  They are better for conquering and internal defense than they are for exploring.
- Doctrine: Initiative: now a C5 tech.  I have too many Conquer techs on Tier 4, and not enough on Tier 5.  There's no particular reason it has to come before Doctrine: Air Power, they could be simultaneous developments.  Players can get around Huge maps with Foils just fine because they move 5, even if Cruisers are better.  I don't think the Maritime Control Center needs to be handed out too quickly.
- Carrier Deck: moved to C5 Doctrine: Initiative.  If a faction doesn't actually know how to build planes yet, it's not important.  They just won't have anything to land on the Carrier yet.  It makes C5 Doctrine: Air Power less cluttered.
- Neural Grafting: now a C4 tech.  It's only important for making Cruisers and Needlejets have 2 abilities.  It's now a prereq for both C5 Doctrine: Initiative and C5 Doctrine: Air Power.
- Deep Radar: moved to C4 Neural Grafting.  This allows Cruisers and Needlejets to have free radar.
- Gatling Laser: moved to C5 Doctrine: Air Power.  Superconductor has Morgan talking about the economic value of superconducting fiber.  I'm repurposing it as a Build tech.  The strict weapon sequence remains intact and it's totally reasonable for planes to have gatling guns.
- Covert Ops Center: moved to D5 Pre-Sentient Algorithms.  This tech didn't have any normal benefits, only the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm.  C5 Advanced Military Algorithms was overloaded with benefits.  The research focus of the Data Angels has changed to include Discover. 

BUILD TECHS

- Industrial Base: now a B1 tech.  Set power=1, keep wealth=5 and growth=3.  It now only gives Formers, which are mildly useful for conquest.  Nexii convinced me that it's more logical for Formers to be given by this tech than Centauri Ecology.  I agree, as I think of them as strip mining tools, rather than anything nice to Planet.  It has irritated me that Centauri Ecology has been a non-Gaian non-Explore tech.
- Terraforming Unit: moved to B1 Industrial Base.
- Recycling Tanks: moved to E1 Centauri Ecology.  I find I always want these at the beginning of the game, and I usually rush them.  Having them available earlier may help the AI factions.
- Centauri Ecology: now an E1 tech.  Set power=0, wealth=3, and growth=4.   It gives food, minerals, and energy, so it's a toss-up whether it would be an Explore or Build tech.  It's better lore to have this in the Explore tree, as it's an obvious prereq for E2 Centauri Empathy.  I have found the Tier 2 prereqs to be a little crowded and wouldn't mind some pressure relief.
- Capitalist: moved to B2 Industrial Economics.
- Industrial Economics: now a B2 tech.  Keep wealth=4 as it only gives Capitalist.
- Energy Bank: moved to B3 Superconductor.
- Superconductor: now a B3 tech.  Set power=0 and wealth=4.  It gives Energy Bank and the Merchant Exchange.  It has Morgan talking about how superconducting fiber alone makes our present economy possible.
- Quantum Converter: now costs 30 and has maintenance 5.  I forgot that the factories appear in a restricted sequence, where you must build a Quantum Converter before building a Nanoreplicator.
- Nanoreplicator: now costs 36 and has maintenance 6.
- Matter Editation: now a B11 tech.  It needs to come after B10 Quantum Machinery.

SECRET PROJECTS

- Merchant Exchange: moved to B3 Superconductor.  Superconducting fiber alone makes our present economy possible. 
- Ascetic Virtues: moved to E3 Cyberethics.  It can be a lore fit, philosophy and ethics are sorta similar.
- Human Genome Project: moved to E3 Centauri Genetics.  It can be a lore fit.  It didn't fit Cyberethics.  It keeps mindworms and the lifting of food restrictions from being traded.
- Pholus Mutagen: moved to D9 Secrets of Alpha Centauri.  This makes that tech have more substantial benefits, is commensurate with Temples of Planet being available there, and makes it possible to delay the earlier Planet oriented secret projects.
- Neural Amplifier: moved to E8 The Will To Power.  I did this mainly to make room for E6 Eudaimonia.
- The Will To Power: now an E8 tech.  Set wealth=0.  It no longer gives Empath or any other wealth benefit.
- Psi Defense: moved to E8 The Will To Power, which gives Psi Attack.  They are useless abilities, so might as well keep them in one thematic place.
- Empath Guild: moved to E7 Homo Superior.  I did this mainly to make room for E6 Eudaimonia.
- Empath Song: moved to E7 Homo Superior.  This is when the Empath and Empath Guild are given, so it's a better lore fit.  It's also not necessary to give such a powerful anti-mindworm benefit earlier.
- Homo Superior: now an E7 tech.  Set wealth=3.  Winning the Governorship with the Empath Guild is worth a lot of money.  Empaths also make money.
- Xenoempathy Dome: moved to E6 Eudaimonia.  Since Eudaimonic is now about singing kumbaya with Planet, it's a lore fit.
- Secrets of the Manifolds: now a D10 tech.  The Manifold Harmonics and the Brood Pit are both really powerful.  I want them to come later.
- Manifold Harmonics: now costs 100.  It's really powerful.
- Space Elevator: moved to E8 Orbital Construction and now costs 100.  Being able to put out cheap satellites is really powerful.
- Industrial Nanorobotics: set power=0 and wealth=0.  It no longer gives the Space Elevator.
- Nanominiaturization: now a D8 tech.  This is to keep the Discover tree continuous after moving Secrets of the Manifolds.
- Biomachinery: set wealth=2.  The Paradise Garden makes people happier, which increases wealth.  A population boom increases wealth.  Removing the negatives of Power increases wealth.
- Clinical Immortality: moved to D11 Secrets of Creation and now costs 100.  2x voting at this stage of the game is the key to Diplomatic Victory.  I'd like Secrets of Creation to have something more interesting to do, and it's a lore fit.
- Matter Editation: set power=0 and growth=0.  It no longer gives Clinical Immortality.
- Secrets of Creation: set power=3 and growth=3.  It gives Clinical Immortality.
- Bulk Matter Transmitter: moved to E12 Matter Transmission.  I don't see why anything should be transmitted before then.  It's also not an important or interesting secret project, it just adds minerals.
- Matter Transmission: set power=2, explore=1, and wealth=4, making it a Build tech.  It now gives the Bulk Matter Transmitter.  The logistical value of a Psi Gate should not exaggerated this late in the game.  They take time to build and they only let through 1 unit at a time on both ends.  The whole map is long since explored by now.  Orbital insertions, mag tubes, and fast gravships have long since provided movement alternatives.

CITIZENS

- Empath: moved to E7 Homo Superior.  This is when the Empath Guild is given.
- Thinker citizen: moved to D8 Nanominiaturization.  It is not necessary to give the player a better researcher earlier in the game.  Advanced labs are already available plenty early.  As a Thinker makes people happy, it is a better category fit with Nanohospital.

PLANETARY COUNCIL

- Repeal U.N. Charter: moved to B2 Ethical Calculus.  This is a lore fit.  Options to be weighed in the balance.
- Unite Behind Me As Supreme Leader: moved to C6 Fusion Power.  Diplomatic Victory now has the same tech requirement as Economic victory.  Planet Busters are now higher up the tech tree, and I don't want the peaceful victory options to require extra waiting time.

PREDEFINED UNITS

- Formers, Clean Formers: moved to B1 Industrial Base.  I think of these as strip miners, not anything Planet friendly.
- Rover Formers: moved to E3 Monopole Magnets.  They are the most useful for laying down lots of roads.  The AI doesn't really need to be doing that before it has mag tube capability.  The Speeder chassis has probably been discovered by Tier 3 and if not, it's not important.
- Sea Formers: removed.  The game is supposed to design this unit automatically.  This only existed as a failsafe in case that didn't happen.
- Clean Sea Formers: new predefined unit available with E3 Centauri Genetics.  Takes the slot that Sea Formers had.  It's a fairly cheap unit, costing only 30 minerals, and will help AI factions not run out of SUPPORT.  It's also a failsafe in case the game doesn't design a Sea Formers unit.
- Probe Defense: moved to the slot previously taken by the Probe Team.
- Probe Team: removed.  The AI will be relying on the armored infantry chassis probe teams.
- Cloaked Recon Rover: moved to C3 Advanced Subatomic Theory.  All the prereqs are available by then.
- Cloaked Impact Squad: moved to C5 Doctrine: Air Power.  This lags C4 Nonlinear Mathematics by 1 tech.
- Sealurk: changed to a Cruiser chassis.  It moved the same speed as an Isle, cost the same, can't carry any passengers, and has a bug where it can't freely pass through sea fungus like an Isle.  Also the AI ignores its stealth ability.  This made the unit worthless to a human player.  Speeding it up, makes it worth building.
- Locusts of Chiron: moved to E8 The Will To Power.  They are powerful and the player doesn't need to be given them earlier.
- Cruiser Probe Team: replaced by Cruiser Probe Firewall.
- Cruiser Probe Firewall: new predefined unit with Silksteel armor.  Available with C6 Photon/Wave Mechanics.  An unarmored Cruiser Probe Team cost 70 minerals and this armored version only costs 90, so it's a good trade for the survivability.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1037 on: June 01, 2020, 05:10:56 AM »
To the 1 person who has downloaded version 1.43 so far: you might want to re-download.   :D  I made a serious and unintended error with the Believers.   They got a +2 GROWTH bonus.  I must have been experimenting at some point, before I got on the stick with the "all factions get different research foci" change.  Or else you can just watch it grow!

 ;buttdance
 ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam; ;miriam;
 :adore:

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1038 on: June 06, 2020, 07:31:18 PM »
Erratic Hive nukes Aggressive Believers
Erratic Hive nukes Aggressive Believers

I think I'm winning a game of 1.43 as the Caretakers.  I'm going for Habitation Domes.  However Yang has gotten himself some nukes.  Somehow I did not see this coming.  I took a city at the periphery of Yang's empire a long time ago, marching some mindworms way across an empty continent between us.  Mindworms don't have a lot of holding power though.  Eventually he came with a new generation of overwhelming force and took the city, right as I was about to finish a Genejack Factory on it.  He used older units and I didn't see any Chaos or Probability troops among them, which is my new threshold for Planet Buster technology.  Really surprised that he got a prototype done.

He didn't nuke me, and the city he did nuke, wasn't even that important.  Nor would it have been that difficult for him to conquer conventionally, since Miriam only had an isolated foothold of 2 erstwhile Cultist cities on his continent.  One of them was completely empty.  Yet, there he goes, nuking nuking nuking!  Although I don't seem to be targeted, my genuine concern is, what if he nukes one of Miriam's Secret Project cities?  She's got the Planetary Energy Grid and I'd rather have that myself.  She's sitting on the Monsoon Jungle and she's my nominal next door neighbor.  In fact I built a land bridge almost to her, during the Weather Paradigm era.  I begged off of invading though.  My tech was advancing in such a way, that invasion seemed quite a bit less profitable than just building up my cities.

I think I've got the fastest overall research rate of the game.  Nobody else seems to have focused on Discover techs much, and I can pinpoint what I want with Directed Research.  I've thought that I could win with a Progenitor Victory, building my Subspace Generators eventually.  But I might have to take a detour towards some nuclear self-defense!  Might have to do a ground invasion of the Believers, to secure those Secret Projects before Yang blows them to smithereens.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1039 on: June 07, 2020, 04:01:47 PM »
I can't make any more progress in my game.  I've got a game crashing bug.  That's unusual, it rarely happens to me.  Also the few times it's happened in recent years, I've usually been able to wiggle out of it.

Seems to be happening either during the Pirates' turn, or as it transitions to the Usurpers' turn, as that's the next faction in the turn order before the crash.  In the past, crashes were usually due to an "Interceptor bug".  Interceptor would fly out and that would make the game crash for some reason.  However none of the factions seem to have any Interceptors.  Lots of Needlejets but no Interceptors.  Another genre of crasher was "Fungal tower bugs", like when they inappropriately showed up inside of cities, or they're intermixed with regular units in a square.  I don't see any of that sort of thing either.  So I'm a bit stumped.  I figure I just have to write off this game.

I was wondering if Scient's patch could overcome the bug.  I tried installing a fresh copy of the game in a new directory, Scient's patch on top of that, and my mod on top of that.  Loaded the game successfully.  Unfortunately it crashed exactly the same way.  So, it isn't a bug that Scient's patch fixed.

I haven't tried it on a different computer.  Maybe I'm triggering a graphics card issue.

Offline Douglas

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1040 on: June 07, 2020, 04:51:35 PM »
Try turning on the scenario editor and looking around the entire map. The fungal tower crash I've encountered had one square showing a fungal tower that was actually in another square. I think the crash wouldn't happen until I killed that fungal tower, and then the game would crash whenever the view would include the square that actually contained that tower. If you get a crash when viewing a specific area, then there you have it. If not, look for a fungal tower with size that doesn't match the amount of surrounding fungus. Failing that, just look for fungal towers and kill them all (not sure if delete vs spawn unit and attack matters) until you see something weird. The bugged square I had would switch to another fungal tower each time I killed it, and I think eventually moved on to other units once the last fungal tower was gone.

If you find a bugged square that's showing another location's fungal tower, you could try going back through auto saves to a point before the square became bugged, and play from there.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1041 on: June 07, 2020, 09:45:12 PM »
I've checked all the fungal towers and all the city interiors.  I really don't see anything amiss.  I do have a small amount of flooding that's beginning, and there's at least 1 tower on 10 meter land at the north pole.  I don't know if incrementing a flood and thereby destroying a tower would create a bug, but let's just call it a suspicion.  I saw really weird stuff with fungal towers going into oceans by some kind of transposition, and in cities, in some huge deal global flooding game I played once.  I got out of it by deleting fungal units.  I'm not seeing obvious hallmarks of that now though.

Also saw transposed monoliths in that weird game.  Guess I'll check those too for sake of form, but I'm expecting nothing.

I wouldn't play this game from an earlier position.  Although a somewhat interesting game, it's not that worth it.  At this point my interest in the game is getting cold and I'm inclined to just start another one.  Maybe I'll be more directly violent instead of sitting back and building.  I always say that and rarely do that, lol.

Let this bug entry stand as a record, in case I have further problems.  I hope that by improving things, I haven't inadvertently exposed a behavioral bug, that previously my mod wasn't exposing much.  That would be annoying, to make progress only to not make progress.  I don't think I've actually won a game of 1.43 yet.

does sinking fungus crash the game
does sinking fungus crash the game

Hmm, this looks suspicious to me.  A fungal tower that might be about to be attacked, that is sitting on 10 meter terrain.  I will try deleting the fungal tower and see if things magically get better.  Hmm, nope, still crashes.

frozen explosion
frozen explosion

When watching everyone make their moves, the explosion of this Usurper ship, got seriously stuck for awhile.  I can't remember if the game crashed afterwards or not.  I don't think it did, I think something else happened, or I would have remembered differently.  Nevertheless I'll try deleting this ship and see if it solves anything.  Hmm, nope.  Strike two.

Differential analysis might be to delete an entire faction and see if that changes anything.  I'll try every possible deletion of 1 other faction and see if I get control of my game back.  The turn order:
  • Caretakers - that's me.  Can't meaningfully eliminate.
  • Morganites - once deleted, game still crashes.
  • Cultists - previously eliminated.
  • Hive - once deleted, game still crashes.
  • Pirates - once deleted, I get my turn.
  • Usurpers - once deleted, I get my turn.
  • Believers - once deleted, game still crashes.

This suggests to me that the bug is due to Pirate - Usurper combat.  But what?

I tried switching my view to the Usurper turn.  I saw the Morganites attacking.  I saw some human elections.  Then the game crashed before the Usurpers ever moved anything.  This suggests to me that the Pirates attack the Usurpers, then the game crashes.

I tried switching my view to the Pirates turn.  I saw my ally the Morganites moving around.  Then Yang attacking me in a few places.  Then elections.  Then a few of my ships started to move, and then the crash.  I never saw any Pirates attacking anybody.  Perhaps it is the 1st possible naval battle with the Usurpers somewhere.  That will take some guessing.

Pirate in Ramspeed Shoals
Pirate in Ramspeed Shoals

Aha!  This is definitely wrong.  There wasn't any particular reason why I should have looked at this city.  It's at the entrance to part of the Usurper empire, but there aren't otherwise any Pirates particularly near there.  Some of the sea bases in the area did used to be Pirate bases though.  Some were taken over by probe team actions.  In fact I think some passed into Morganite hands first.

Deleting all the units in the city, does stop the crashing.  So this is clearly the problem.  Now the question is, is there a way to delete only the Pirate ship?  Last time I had to do this sort of thing, I didn't find one.  The Scenario Editor tools are a bit crude when it comes to units in cities.  I'll fiddle around.

Instead of deleting multiple units, I edited the 1 unit to make it Usurper, and I changed its Home to the city it's in.  Problem solved!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2020, 11:05:19 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1042 on: June 09, 2020, 07:37:53 AM »
Ok, this wonderful game I saved from the bug, I ended up quitting it.  I had a fairly non-militarist strategy, thinking I was "getting ahead" of others on tech, and doing very little garrisoning.  I had a pretty good sized moat, and for awhile, that strategy seemed to actually work.  But eventually the other AIs started sending Needlejets at me, and various powers kept peppering me with Conventional Missiles.  That got really annoying.  I thought I had dispelled that sort of thing by making the Missile chassis much more expensive, but somehow they found the means.  It may be consistent with just having let quite a number of AI empires get large and powerful.

Then to add insult to injury, the Pirates came through with a bunch of ships into my back water.  I pummeled them with artillery upon their approach, but with ships + someone else's CM, they actually took a size 9 sea base.  Since I'm an Alien it immediately dropped to size 1.  I can't remember how many facilities were in it, but there wasn't too much left to take back.  I didn't have the means to do it either, as other CMs had destroyed my Cruiser Probe Teams in another sea base.

At the same time, an island I had connected to my mainland via the Weather Paradigm, had its land bridge broken by rising waters.  The global warming was primarily due to the Morganites and the Believers.  So I was isolated from being able to reinforce 2 cities.  1 of 'em, kept getting hit with CMs and Needlejets.  I quit when this was really turning into a mess.

I think my position was viable, if I was willing to fight heroically.  I wasn't.  I was bored out of my mind by this relentless pounding of minor damage, ultimately amounting to major problems.  I clearly hadn't used a viable strategy.  I wanted to get to Orbital Power Transmitters quickly and somehow do an Economic Victory.  I also wanted to grow big cities and use Eudaimonia for pop booming.  Both turned out to be pretty much pipe dreams, not even remotely production reality.  My original thought of bridging to the Believers and invading them, would have been the correct idea.

So I sorta lost really.  To 1.43.  There's definitely a period of time when I don't even know how to play my own mod.  At least, I lost because I wasn't willing to try harder.  I think some things I've done have upped the level of AI competitiveness, resulting in more Needlejets and Conventional Missiles over the long haul.  They can be a problem.

Offline Geo

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1043 on: June 09, 2020, 11:30:52 AM »
Huh? Economic victory? While playing a Progenitor faction?

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1044 on: June 09, 2020, 03:07:35 PM »
It seemed like I had this great castle with a moat.  That I was ahead, and nobody could touch me.  Needlejets would buzz by all the time without doing anything, since I didn't leave Formers to be attacked.  I never even bothered to make Interceptors.  With Directed Research, getting to Global Energy Theory seemed faster than getting to Singularity Mechanics.  Also in my mod, I've dropped the required turns for Cornering The Energy Market from 20 to 5.  It takes such a huge amount of money to actually corner the market, that I think it's pretty ridiculous to have to wait a long time after doing it.  I give everyone one last shot at someone's capitol, and that's it, game over.

Well the AIs stopped fighting each other so much, and started directing a chunk of their forces at me!  And aside from the missiles, they started using the Needlejets to actually attack my garrisons, not just my Formers.  This would seem to make the building of AAA units mandatory.  Or else Spore Launchers.  I've found Spore Launchers to be remarkably good defense against Conventional Missiles, at least when the AI builds them.  Haven't really tried it myself.  It's a lot more garrisoning than I wanted to do.

One of the major things I didn't do, is build any factories.  For one thing, I thought I was going to take advantage of easier access to Hab Domes and grow really big.  I never pulled that off in the real world.  I never did a +2 ECONOMY, so I probably didn't have enough money to afford the infrastructure or putting more of the budget into PSYCH.  Also, the AI factions made global warming into a problem.  I didn't want to exacerbate it.

-3 PLANET is possible in my mod again, if you choose Capitalist and Cybernetic.  For a long time I only had -2 PLANET for Capitalist and no other way to make your PLANET rating worse.  I'm not sure if any factions actually did Capitalist and Cybernetic.  Checking on that, it seems not.  The new Thought Control is proving much more popular with the AI.  The Pirates went Cybernetic because they're not allowed to use Thought Control, and they were also Socialist.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1045 on: June 18, 2020, 05:13:10 AM »
Holy  ;miriam;, Battle Ogres are worth almost 3 Artifacts worth of minerals!  I had 87 minerals into the Planetary Energy Grid when I thought, heck, they're totally obsolete and I have 5 of them.  Why not cash them all?  Cashed one and suddenly I had 217 minerals in my project!  217 - 87 = 130 minerals cashed.  I'll have to assign them a predefined worth.

Looks like there will be a 1.44 release, if only for this.  I haven't run into anything else yet.  I'm getting used to the new research foci regime and might win my 1st game of 1.43 soon.  Having Recycling Tanks as a Tier 1 tech encourages building early cities more vertically.


Offline zoneplate

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1046 on: June 18, 2020, 12:03:05 PM »
A minor lore quibble I guess (and also maybe loading too much onto one tech) but perhaps it would make sense to make synthetic fossil fuels be the world-map-reveal tech, if it allows for ballistic missiles and retrieving things from orbit (as in the Salvage Unity Core proposal)?

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1047 on: June 18, 2020, 06:28:49 PM »
I think that's too early in the game to be revealing the world map.  It's only midgame.  In my current game, I've got an entire continent I'm still searching out.

That particular method of revealing the world map isn't about space borne exploration anyways.  You're learning the "Secrets of Alpha Centauri", like suddenly you become aware of everything on Planet at once through a mind meld.

You can certainly explore the map yourself by flying a Conventional Missile around if you want, as they have a huge range.  If you want to reveal the whole map automatically, you need to either launch a satellite, or use woo.  One advantage of the woo approach, is you get to see everything as it exists at that time, fully updated.  Even if you already had the entire map explored.

In short, I think Secrets of Alpha Centauri is a narrative rather than functional embellishment.  You probably already knew where everything was by then.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1048 on: June 20, 2020, 06:18:46 AM »
Just won my 1st game of version 1.43 as the Peacekeepers.  I completely blew off tech advancement in favor of pop booming with Eudaimonia.  This eventually ticked off my buddies the Cyborgs.  They Surprise Attacked me and in 1 turn, I wiped out large numbers of their Quantum Trance units out with mindworms.  With +2 PLANET it typically only takes 2 to wear them down, and it's not hard to have a lot of mindworms on hand for attrition warfare.  They were just about to complete the Neural Amplifier and if they'd just waited 1 more turn, it might have been more of a battle.  But nooo they were being all Malarky wandering a Scout across my territory.  I was escorting them off the property with a pair of mindworms when they thought it would be brilliant and productive to just kill 1 of them.  The Scout that lost an empire.

Taking over the Empath Guild from the Cyborgs and half their cities, I voted myself Diplomatic Victory.  I had an absurd margin of votes, thanks to 2 major allies that sided with me.  If they'd decided not to, the game could have kept going.

This game has taught me that mindworms are seriously overpowered.  All that great expense progression I've made for conventional units, it doesn't even matter, because mindworms can trash anything.  I'm thinking the whole "mindworms ignore reactor size" thing is actually a pretty bad idea.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1049 on: June 22, 2020, 01:43:47 AM »
the rabid Socialist
the rabid Socialist

In version 1.43 I changed the Free Drones primary compulsion to Socialist.  Check out their diplomatic dialogue! 

Quote
It appalls me that you seek to perpetuate the crimes of the unjust
capitalist system here on this young world, Datajack. I must appeal to
your basic sense of justice, Roze, and implore you to consider a more
equitable distribution of goods.

I didn't change a thing about this and it's exactly correct.  I feel very much vindicated that Planned was always Socialism in anything but name.

Now if only the existing dialogue for the 3rd Politics slot weren't all about God.  It doesn't fit the Cult of Planet at all, and I find it annoying.  It does suggest the possibility of changing Extremist to Theocratic, since that's what the diplomatic dialogue is about.

If I did that, I'd feel it necessary to abandon -2 RESEARCH as a play mechanic.  It is extremely harmful to AI performance and I've designed this whole Extremist non-category around the idea of the AI not wishing to use it.  I just can't stand the whole "religion equals bad research" idea, it's way too much of a negative stereotype.  Early Muslims actually did the best research once upon a time, and Isaac Newton was as Christian as it gets.

Haven't thought about what I'd do for a penalty.  The idea only occurred to me just now, when I saw the pre-written Planned / Socialist dialogue actually working.

The other problem is what I'd do with the Cult of Planet, since the whole point is their dialogue is wrong.


 

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