Author Topic: SMACX Thinker Mod  (Read 32946 times)

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Offline Mart

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #165 on: January 06, 2019, 04:57:10 PM »
I do not know that, my Planetary Pack comes from edition years ago. It was sold in a separate box, I think it might be before GOG existed, it was like shortly after original game release and its expansion released, compared to today's 2019 year.

It may be similar bug, but not exactly the same. Bugs can be very complex.


[Edit]
I think it is release from year 2000:
https://www.amazon.com/Sid-Meiers-Alpha-Centauri-Planetary-Pack/dp/B00004NHFD

Offline tnevolin

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #166 on: January 06, 2019, 07:40:01 PM »
It may be hard noticeable bug then. People rarely rename stuff. And even if they do they do not move cursor beyond the text on purpose.
Tim

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #167 on: January 06, 2019, 07:43:33 PM »
I recently had an idea to add one new feature: the ability to select custom factions while the expansion is disabled (using the smac-in-smacx mod). Currently if you set load_expansion=0, the choices in the faction selection screen are locked, like in vanilla SMAC. With some small tweaks, it is possible to reactivate the faction drop down menu that is available in SMACX and select any custom factions.

Alas, there's one issue with this: Alien factions are also visible in the menu and selecting them causes some weird behaviour while playing the game. I'm not sure if there's any easy way to hide them from the drop down menu, but this is not an issue as long as they are not selected. Otherwise I don't see any major obstacles to adding this feature.

Elite probe destroys defensive facilities (perimeter, tachyon) with 75% success rate. As they are so cheap destroying enemy defensive facilities in front of your army becomes a very effective strategy. The problem here is that AI does not use it massively while human does. It essentially renders AI defensive facilities useless against human player.
As your mod targets AI improvement do you consider modding this aspect of the game? If yes, there could be multiple ways to do it starting with those I pull from the top of my head in this post.
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=21129.msg117489#msg117489

Well, it can be said probe teams are a little overpowered against AI, but then again, lots of other units can also be used to overwhelm the AI defenses because it doesn't allocate the defenders that well. I'd say modding those probe action success rates is not really priority, although disallowing certain probe actions in addition to just mind control might make sense if the target has +3 PROBE. If we went on changing those probabilities, then the mind control costs could need tweaking as well. They can also be a really easy way to capture some bases.

Wow. Never mind. I just uninstalled and reinstalled a fresh original version from GOG. It has the same bug!

So are you saying this bug is present in the unmodified game (GOG version) as well?


Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #168 on: January 06, 2019, 08:31:09 PM »
Induktio,
Did you see anywhere if AI is able to build units with Soporific Gas Pods at all? In general, are there settings for AI prescribing what unit types to build (chassis, weapon, armor, abilities) and in what proportion?
I haven't seen the AI design any Soporific units. There's a long, complicated function in the game binary that chooses which prototypes to create. I have not directly modded it, instead Thinker creates independently a couple of additional prototypes (probe teams etc) which are then usually chosen for production.

PvtHudson mentioned it doesn't build any Algo Enhanced probes, but this might be caused by the fact that Algo Enhancement is so late in the standard tech tree it's somewhat unsual to see the AIs reach that stage of development. The prototype planner should design Enhanced probes immediately when it has the Enhancement tech in addition to fusion reactors and the tech to select 2 special abilities.

As a clarification to the previous post, I might consider tweaking the AI probe team actions especially if it ignores some useful probe team actions altogether. I have not written any code for that part yet, so it's in the "maybe" category of future improvements.

Offline tnevolin

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #169 on: January 07, 2019, 12:15:41 AM »
Wow. Never mind. I just uninstalled and reinstalled a fresh original version from GOG. It has the same bug!
So are you saying this bug is present in the unmodified game (GOG version) as well?

Yep. I've uninstalled completely, deleted folder, reinstall from my GOG library and was able to reproduce.
Tim

Offline tnevolin

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #170 on: January 07, 2019, 12:26:48 AM »
Elite probe destroys defensive facilities (perimeter, tachyon) with 75% success rate. As they are so cheap destroying enemy defensive facilities in front of your army becomes a very effective strategy. The problem here is that AI does not use it massively while human does. It essentially renders AI defensive facilities useless against human player.
As your mod targets AI improvement do you consider modding this aspect of the game? If yes, there could be multiple ways to do it starting with those I pull from the top of my head in this post.
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=21129.msg117489#msg117489

Well, it can be said probe teams are a little overpowered against AI, but then again, lots of other units can also be used to overwhelm the AI defenses because it doesn't allocate the defenders that well. I'd say modding those probe action success rates is not really priority, although disallowing certain probe actions in addition to just mind control might make sense if the target has +3 PROBE. If we went on changing those probabilities, then the mind control costs could need tweaking as well. They can also be a really easy way to capture some bases.


Disabling probe actions against +3 PROBE is a good idea. Makes perfect sense. Need to think which ones. Disabling infiltration completely is probably not needed.

Actually, if you want go this path, I have an interesting idea in mind. Each enemy +1 PROBE decreases ALL percentages by 25% both success and survival. This way at +3 PROBE rating no targeted destroying defensive facilities possible as even for Elite team with AE the success chance goes down to 0%. It makes a very good sense as now PROBE rating is actually plays defensive role as it should and makes it more difficult for enemy to carry out their spy tasks. At the same time normally 100% success actions like infiltration are still possible at 25% rate. That includes random sabotage that may occasionally destroy defense but it'll take a lot of probes to get to it.

It will also make PROBE effect actually quite valuable. In vanilla game its effect is pretty unimportant besides disabling subversion at +3 rate.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 02:01:10 AM by tnevolin »
Tim

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #171 on: January 29, 2019, 11:43:51 AM »
It's been quite a while since last update, but there's still more in development. I added a couple of smaller tweaks this time, e.g. the ability to select custom factions while smac-in-smacx is active. Could still add a couple of more features before deploying a new version for testing.

It's hard to say which features would be the best to implement here given the benefit/time ratios. I could maybe improve the unit movement code or tweak the production AI but not sure if there's any simple, obvious improvements left. If the build queue was rewritten we could maybe look at the facility choices in a more abstract way, so the planner could rebalance the production choices even if the costs/maintenance of facilities are modded. That's how the AI works in later Civ games also, so in essence it doesn't have any hardcoded build order.

Other topic is also the possibility of implementing new modding features. There's been a couple of ideas in this thread, but do we have any consensus of some really useful modding features that are currently missing?

Offline DrazharLn

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #172 on: January 30, 2019, 02:15:19 PM »
The bug where you get the wrong faction art and stuff when loading a scenario save game or similar is pretty annoying, especially for people playing multiplayer games (including PBEM, which your mod presumably doesn't break?)

That bug makes lots of modding more tedious and reduces potential audience.

Offline BFG

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #173 on: January 31, 2019, 03:03:07 AM »
I've had random crashes with Thinker...they usually occur when I tried to load a colony pod onto a Unity Transport Foil.  But the crash didn't happen every time.  It seemed like it was trying to set the move coordinates to (0,0) so it could be due to that fix.  I'll try to get more info to make sure.

Meanwhile...I approve!  Tried to play a pacifist/builder Miriam game and got my butt kicked.

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #174 on: January 31, 2019, 01:14:12 PM »
> I've had random crashes with Thinker...they usually occur when I tried to load a colony pod onto a Unity Transport Foil.

Can't say much without a save game to inspect. I do suspect it's because of something else happening in the background because Thinker is not supposed to affect player-controlled units in any way.

> The bug where you get the wrong faction art and stuff when loading a scenario save game or similar is pretty annoying, especially for people playing multiplayer games (including PBEM, which your mod presumably doesn't break?)

I'm not familiar with this bug at all. How do you actually trigger it? Does it have anything to do with this entry in Scient patch notes?

Quote
52. [BUG] Fixed an issue where diplomacy dialog could be incorrectly displayed due to faction id value being set incorrectly. This is best exhibited where Progenitors switch into "Human" dialog syntax.

Offline BFG

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #175 on: February 02, 2019, 02:22:34 AM »
I failed to save the game where I had the random crashes.  Will be sure to do so next time.

Offline PvtHudson

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #176 on: February 07, 2019, 01:21:01 PM »
It's hard to say which features would be the best to implement here given the benefit/time ratios.
IMHO, it would serve AI's best interests to tighten up diplomacy. I.e., fight well-known exploits, and teach AIs to better choose their friends and enemies. Though don't know how about benefit/time ratio for these.
Other topic is also the possibility of implementing new modding features.
Is it possible for predefined units to not grant prototypes?

Offline BFG

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #177 on: February 08, 2019, 10:22:23 PM »
I’d just be happy at this point if the AI knew how to automate gravship formers correctly.  But I am sure I am in the minority there :)

On a different note, I can no longer find a solution for “get every single Secret Project” with Thinker like I can with the base AI.  My old primary strategy (Zak builder and pacifist) is no longer good enough to win, even on Librarian.

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #178 on: February 08, 2019, 11:38:00 PM »
IMHO, it would serve AI's best interests to tighten up diplomacy. I.e., fight well-known exploits, and teach AIs to better choose their friends and enemies. Though don't know how about benefit/time ratio for these.

Is it possible for predefined units to not grant prototypes?
Diplomacy could be a topic of interest.. I have done some research on it but the code seems a little complicated to modify. It would need some more insight to figure out what all the variables actually do there. But there seems to be much potential for improvement.

Probably there is some way of disallowing prototypes that have not been researched, so is this a feature that is considered generally important?

I’d just be happy at this point if the AI knew how to automate gravship formers correctly.  But I am sure I am in the minority there :)

On a different note, I can no longer find a solution for “get every single Secret Project” with Thinker like I can with the base AI.  My old primary strategy (Zak builder and pacifist) is no longer good enough to win, even on Librarian.
Hmm, interesting. Just think of it, this mod doesn't even grant any artificial production bonuses on top of the default cost ratios in the difficulty levels, unless they are explicitly activated from the config. If we compare this to let's say Civ 3, my main aim was to make Transcend level feel like, maybe not quite, but close to Deity in Civ 3. Maybe we can declare "achievement unlocked" in that aspect.

Gravship formers are certainly a possibility, I've already thought about implementing them, but they feel a little like some late-game esoteric feature.

Offline BFG

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #179 on: February 09, 2019, 01:54:58 AM »
The main problem with gravship formers automation is that the AI thinks they can only alter land when in fact they can alter both land and sea squares.  I’ve been surprised at how poorly they are automated versus other key units I have added such as needlejet colony pods.  Still, there aren’t many games that even see gravships so it’s not much of a priority.

 

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