Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 61761 times)

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Offline Douglas

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1065 on: July 26, 2020, 05:19:03 PM »
Considering some extremes for examples, Morgan at +5 economy vs someone else with normal economy. If there are no commerce technologies in the game, Morgan gets:
Commerce multiplier: (4 + 1) / (0 + 1) = 5
Econ victory price multiplier: (0 * 0 + 1) / (4 * 4 + 1) = 1 / 15 = 0.06666...

If there are 50 commerce technologies and everyone has them all, Morgan gets:
Commerce multiplier: (54 + 1) / (50 + 1) = 55 / 51 = 1.078
Econ victory price multiplier: (50 * 50 + 1) / (54 * 54 + 1) = 2501 / 2917 = 0.857

Morgan's advantage is a hell of a lot smaller when everyone has a lot of commerce techs than when everyone has none, and that's a trend that never reverses. The more commerce technologies there are, and the more of them that everyone has, the less each one of them matters.

If you want to reduce the power of faction, economy, and late game tech bonuses to commerce, you need to load up everyone with a high baseline that everyone will practically always have by the time it matters. You could do that by giving all factions a large commerce bonus instead, but that would also greatly increase commerce energy production.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1066 on: July 27, 2020, 12:59:57 AM »
and that's a trend that never reverses.

I think this may be the graph of a hyperbola on X Y.  It's been too long since my high school math to remember what the graph looks like, but I suspect asymptotic convergence where further increments don't matter.  Similarly, you'll see profound jumps in lower numbers, which is not desirable.  Let's compare Morgan at +5 using different base commerce levels.  For example:

(45^2 +1)/(50^2 +1) = 2026 / 2501 = 0.81
(40^2 +1)/(45^2 +1) = 1601 / 2026 = 0.79
(35^2 +1)/(40^2 +1) = 1226 / 1601 = 0.765
(30^2 +1)/(35^2 +1) = 901 / 1226 = 0.734
(25^2 +1)/(30^2 +1) = 626 / 901 = 0.694
(20^2 +1)/(25^2 +1) = 401 / 626 = 0.64
(15^2 +1)/(20^2 +1) = 226 / 401 = 0.56
(10^2 +1)/(15^2 +1) = 101 / 226 = 0.446
(5^2 +1)/(10^2 +1) = 26 / 101 = 0.257
(0^2 +1)/(5^2 +1) = 1 / 26 = 0.038

Notice that in the lower number inputs, the differentials are huge, whereas in higher regions they're more similar and stable.  It's simply not desirable to have +5 vs. +0 when square functions are involved.

One way to clip Morgan's wings is to remove his Commerce bonus.  In my mod he's already got a +1 ECONOMY bonus that nobody else has got, and that can make him reach +3 Commerce on the SE table, which nobody else can do.  Everyone else would achieve at most +2 Commerce from SE.

The highest Build tech the Cult learned in my game, was B3 Superconductor.  That's my tech that gives the Energy Bank and Merchant Exchange.  It has a great quote from Morgan about how superconducting fiber alone makes our present economy possible.  So if I made Industrial Base, Industrial Economics, and Superconductor all contribute +1 Commerce, and had no more Commerce bonuses, then a generic faction like the Data Angels could achieve a +2 Commerce advantage from SE.  That would yield:

(3^2 +1)/(5^2 +1) = 10 / 26 = 0.38

That's not good, but it's a little better than the 0.1 I actually saw in my game.  Another problem with my game, is that the Cult ended up with a massive, sprawling empire, most of it quite a distance from Dawn of Planet.  DoP was also coastal near an ocean, so it had no potential to develop a "perfect radial core" like I built for myself.  In fact some of the sea bases it put near me, were actually closer to their capitol than most of the rest of their empire.  I never tried to buy them out since they had no productive benefit and were just outside of the "natural circle" I'd been establishing by that point in the game.  They might have turned out to be annoying and troublesome that way.

Police State Socialist gave them +1 JUSTICE.  Although that doesn't suck rocks, I think with a sprawling empire on a Huge map, with so many bases distant from their capitol, a lot of their cities would probably be easily bought.  At least by the Economic Victory calculation method, where PROBE is ignored.  If it wasn't ignored, well at least they had +1 PROBE from Police State.

I guess I really would have to front load the tech tree with a lot of low tier Commerce techs, to move the differential up to something more reasonable.  Or start every faction with higher Commerce, which would amount to the same thing.  This does have the tradeoff of bases making more money from Commerce.  It could have the effect of making Treaties silly lucrative.  You also get major discounts on the Economic Victory calculation for Treaties and Pacts, so I wonder if this really helps.  It could turn into just a new way to exploit things.

My earlier solution to the "too cheap Economic Victory" problem was to time limit it.  I used to require B9 Global Energy Theory.  At the rate I was going, that wouldn't have been too long for me, and I could have easily coasted in to that.  It really wouldn't have made it difficult to buy out the Cult, they would still have been an economic pushover.  They were also a military pushover in the scheme of things, I could definitely have crushed them with conventional weapons.  Particularly if I had not Reinstated the U.N. Charter and kept doing my destructive thing.

I'll come up with a candidate list of low level techs, to imagine what my minimum base Commerce could realistically be.  The problem with "have more Commerce techs" as any kind of solution, is that a non-Build faction isn't going to learn them!  They're too busy conquering.  And on a Huge map, it's not a guarantee that they can actually reach you to harm you.  Particularly since the AI does not exhibit competence fighting across oceans.  And let's face it, I terminated all my land neighbors with extreme prejudice.

Maybe I just have to trust in the linear Commerce ratio for computing Commerce income.  If everyone has the same base Commerce, then maybe cities don't get rich.

If I stuck to early Build techs, I'd have Industrial Base, Industrial Economics, Ethical Calculus, Superconductor, and Ecological Engineering.  The Cult did learn all of those, and that's 5 techs.  If I added cross-listed techs with wealth=3, then I'd also have Centauri Ecology and Optical Computers.  So that's 7 techs, safely as a base within Tier 3.

If I added techs in Tier 4, I could have Environmental Economics, Planetary Economics, and Neural Grafting.  However the Cult only learned 2 of these.  If I added Tier 5, I could have Applied Relativity, Bio-engineering, and Advanced Ecological Engineering.  However the Cult only learned 1 of these.

They didn't learn any Tier 6 techs at all.  That would include Digital Sentience, Industrial Automation, Fusion Power, and Eudaimonia.  I could blow off Eudaimonia giving a Commerce bonus, as it's really the Empath Guild giving more votes for the Governorship, as to why I've got it cross-listed with Build techs.  Fusion Power is currently my requirement for Economic Victory, so I can't very well blow that off if this tier is included.  It's another 3 points worth of Commerce bonuses.

I pretty much crushed the crap out of everything that game.  I was gifted the Manifold Nexus at the beginning of the game and played "pseudo-Gaian", popping numerous supply pods and Artifacts.  Using my shorter timeframe for Cornering The Energy Market, I would have won by MY 2304.  That's a pretty fast game for me.  I was disappointed that the Cult didn't represent any actual challenge at that point, despite them having conquered half the map.

If I only give Commerce through Tier 3, then a generic faction could have this advantage:
(7^2 +1) / (9^2 +1) = 50 / 82 = 0.609
If I gave them through Tier 4, then the Cult would slip by 1 place:
(9^2 +1) / (12^2 +1) = 82 / 145 = 0.565
If I gave them through Tier 5, then the Cult would slip by 3 places:
(10^2 +1) / (15^2 +1) = 101 / 226 = 0.446
If I gave them through Tier 6, then the Cult would slip by 6 places:
(10^2 +1) / (18^2 +1) = 101 /  325 = 0.31

If I nerfed Morgan, at Tier 3 he'd have a +3 differential:
(7^2 + 1) / (10^2 +1) = 50 / 101 = 0.495
At Tier 4, he'd have a +4 differential:
(9^2 +1) / (13^2 +1) = 82 / 170 = 0.482
At Tier 5, he'd have a +6 differential:
(10^2 +1) / (16^2 +1) = 101 / 257 = 0.392
At Tier 6, he'd have a +9 differential:
(10^2 +1) / (19^2 +1) = 101 / 362 = 0.279

I think this suggests giving Commerce bonuses through Tier 4, then calling it quits.  I'd be willing to give a bonus for B9 Global Energy Theory, as pretty much a benchmark of "completing" the Economic Victory part of the tech tree.  Or then again, maybe not!  I mean if you can't win the game with Orbital Power Transmitters...

Ok I have now implemented a prototype Tiers 1 through 4 slew of Commerce bonuses.  It's somewhat working.  Loading the new alphax.txt into my test game, it now costs 15.4k credits to buy out the Cult of Planet.  That's hardly difficult to do, as with a 50-10-40 budget I make 990 credits/turn.  But at least it's a 6-fold increase over what it was costing before.  And perhaps with an actual economic faction still left in the game, and a lack of chemical denuding, Economic Victory might actually turn out to be a slight challenge.  We'll see.

I'll playtest with the Morganites.  I'm also making Economic Victory available with Planetary Economics to see how it goes now.  Morgan has been nerfed, no more Commerce bonus for him.

Douglas, I've given you a modder acknowledgement in my readme_mod.txt.  I already had you listed as a playtester.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 04:12:52 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1067 on: August 01, 2020, 04:34:13 AM »
Changed from version 1.44 to 1.45:


- Command Center: moved to C1 Doctrine: Mobility.  It's not actually a great lore fit for Doctrine: Loyalty, as the Machiavelli quote is about running a government, not about running the military.  I don't actually need more C1 techs, the dependencies aren't that compressed.  It hasn't made any game mechanical difference having a Command Center as a separate C1 tech, as Tier 1 techs are easy to obtain.  I might as well use Doctrine: Loyalty for something else.
- Children's Creche: moved to E2 Doctrine: Loyalty.  E2 Adaptive Economics was too crowded with too many giveaways.  Upon finishing a Children's Creche, Santiago's quote about parents defending their homes to the death, is spot on topical to the Machiavelli quote.  Brainwashing children is also a main means of securing a regime, such as in the case of the Hitler Youth.
- Doctrine: Loyalty: now an E2 tech.  Set power=3, wealth=2, and growth=4.  The Children's Creche gives defense and JUSTICE bonuses.
- Theocratic politics: moved to E2 Doctrine: Loyalty.  The lore fit is merely so-so, as the Machiaveli quote is not talking about religion.  However it's been annoying having a lot of factions gratuitously believe in God, just because they got Social Psych.  Moving Theocratic a bit later, lowers the odds of that happening.  It also reinforces the "be fruitful and multiply" religious trope.
- Social Psych: set wealth=2.  It no longer gives Theocratic, so the wealth value should only be that of a Rec Commons making people happier.
- Adaptive Economics: set power=0 and wealth=1.  It no longer gives the Children's Creche, so no defense bonuses.  Socialist gives a JUSTICE bonus but also an ECONOMY penalty.  At the beginning of the game, this is unlikely to result in an increase in money.  In midgame a hab complex allows for more workers which could make some more money.


- Technology for economic victory: now B4 Planetary Economics as in the original game.  With the following Commerce corrections, it shouldn't be trivial to Corner The Energy Market anymore.
- Morganites: removed Commerce bonus.  They already have a +1 ECONOMY bonus that nobody else has, which enables them to reach +5 ECONOMY in the SE table when no one else can.  That yields +3 Commerce instead of +2 like everyone else would get.  I don't want Economic Victory to be a cakewalk for them.  If they want the most advantage, then they should commit to Democratic Capitalist Wealth Cybernetic.
- Industrial Base: set "Increases commerce income" flag.  In the calculation for Cornering The Energy Market, the cost of buying out a base is computed as a ratio of squares of Commerce ratings.  Many techs increase Commerce rating, resulting in huge differentials of Commerce between Build and non-Build faction.  It is possible for a more militant faction to conquer half of a huge map, only to thereby create an empire that is "economically worthless" and in essence be losing the game instead of winning.  The distinction is obscure enough for a human to understand, and probably impossible for the AI, so it is not a good play mechanic.
  To correct this, modder Douglas suggested pushing many Commerce techs to the beginning of the tech tree.  That way, even militant factions are likely to obtain them by late midgame.  The cutoff for Commerce bonuses shall be Tier 4, after which no more shall be given.  At that point, only bonuses from high ECONOMY can increase Commerce.  Morgan can gain +3 this way, and all other factions can gain +2.
- Centauri Ecology: set "Increases commerce income" flag.  Techs with wealth=3 are considered to be cross-listed with Build.  Any cross-listed techs in Tiers 1 through 4 will have the flag set.
- Ethical Calculus: set "Increases commerce income" flag.  It has wealth=3.
- Superconductor: set "Increases commerce income" flag.  It has wealth=4.
- Ecological Engineering: set "Increases commerce income" flag.  It has wealth=3.
- Optical Computers: set "Increases commerce income" flag.  It has wealth=3.
- Neural Grafting: set "Increases commerce income" flag.  It has wealth=3.
- Industrial Automation: removed "Increases commerce income" flag.  No techs past Tier 4 will give a Commerce bonus.
- Industrial Nanorobotics: removed "Increases commerce income" flag.  No techs past Tier 4 will give a Commerce bonus.
- Sentient Econometrics: set tech=4 and wealth=3, making it a D8 tech.  Removed "Increases commerce income" flag.  No techs past Tier 4 will give a Commerce bonus.  With the Commerce bonus removed, it didn't have any ordinary benefit to offer, only the Self-Aware Colony.  Now it gives the Corporate Lab.
- Corporate Lab: moved to D8 Sentient Econometrics.  I feel it is coming too soon after the Fusion Lab becomes available. 
- Unified Field Theory: set wealth=0.  It no longer gives the Corporate Lab.  It is now a pure Discover tech and will be a bit of a difficult barrier to cross.  This is going to make the Corporate Lab and then the Orbital Power Transmitter more difficult to gain.
- Retroviral Engineering: set wealth=2.  Earlier I established that Advanced Military Algorithms gives Power, and that its SUPPORT bonus is only worth wealth=1, due to the JUSTICE penalty.  Thought Control doesn't have a JUSTICE penalty, but SUPPORT is not worth much later in the game.  It should not be weath=3.


- Data Angels: changed to Discover, Build, Conquer foci.  I made a mistake in not making them Conquer oriented.  Their core compulsion, Thought Control, is a Conquer tech.  It doesn't make any sense to have them not working towards it.
- Cybernetic Consciousness: changed to Discover, Build foci.  I forgot that Cybernetic is now a moneymaker, so this is more of a fit than making them violent.  In the real world, they're never going to steal a tech from attacking a base.  They're going to be out-researching other factions and coming up with their own techs.


- Xenoempathy Dome: now costs 600.  It got moved to Tier 6 a few releases ago.  Cost should be comparable to other SPs in that Tier.


- Battle Ogre MK1: reduced weapon to a strength 3 R-Laser.  Changed AI plan to "3=Reconaissance".  Removed Empath Song and High Morale abilities.  Added Deep Radar ability.  At the very start of the game, this unit was overpowered.  Starting right next to an Alien faction brandishing this weapon, when you've only founded your first 2 cities, is actually a fairly common occurrence.  This happens even on Huge maps with my tweaks to make bigger continents.  The faction placement algorithm just doesn't try very hard to spread factions out.  An R-Laser is still a tough weapon at the beginning of the game, but it's not as tough as a Particle Impactor.  With the High Morale buff removed, it should get fewer shots off before dying.  The R-Laser is thematically appropriate for the way the AI actually uses it, typically scouting the fungus until the Ogre is dead.  Deep Radar is added to make it more useful for scouting.
- Battle Ogre MK2: added Deep Radar ability, to make it more useful for scouting.
- Battle Ogre MK3: added Deep Radar ability, to make it more useful for scouting.


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