Author Topic: SMACX Thinker Mod  (Read 3051 times)

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Offline dino

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2018, 11:11:57 AM »
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  • Maybe just switching to "intense rivalry" diplomacy code path against human player, when conditions described in previous posts are met could be possible.
    There was an effort on this forum to identify all instances of the code affected by this option.

    Offline k3v

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #46 on: October 08, 2018, 11:31:57 AM »
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  • Long time smac/x community lurker here.

    Mod sounded great so played a game for the first time in 2 years.

    Transcended 2231 with zak, pretty sloppy play.

    Sven built 60 bases lol (counted), only had 110 science at the end though. Almost lost governor vote because of the pop.

    4 ais had really bad small island starts (even on 30-50% land) and couldnt get going till foil/former raise land, which was then seen to great effect.

    Aki had 850 science at the end, compared to ais rarely getting higher then 150. Aki actually got knowledge before me, pretty impressive. I force sell tech to ais for money but they dont use it properly in a builder sense.

    Is it possible to force the ai to build tree farms and tech structures first if they have the tech? Only yang built a few tree farms and no one built research hospitals or higher at all. I feel that would really help their builder game, as they just stall with 1 food per tile for ages.

    Avoiding war is obviously quite easy, only built like 5 military units all game, sven just ignored me all game and i payed him off half price once. Ais fought each other as well (alot of foil probe team taking bases), i was further away. Sven is actually the most annoying even pre patch as he plops down bases intrusively close with high chance of unavoidable conversations typically resulting in vendetta.

    Either way great mod, i can imagine how difficult it is to do anything with this game, so always great to see people trying.

    I know it will be hard to have the ai compete with the optimal fast transcend strategy but it would be cool to see whats possible. (fm+wealth->forest->crawlers->get all good sps->restrictions->tree farm->pop boom->all tech boosters->energy park->drop colony/transport on remaining pods for aa's->gg).

    A game where the ai's have better land, 6 aliens might be an interesting challenge. This mod with all 14 factions on one map would be interesting, base spam leads to closer proximity and fireworks.

    Offline PvtHudson

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #47 on: October 08, 2018, 02:51:13 PM »
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  • Yeah, I've heard about that project. Not sure if he ever published any source code or described the algorithms in detail. It's closed source anyway?
    Yeah, it's closed source. The game is property of Slitherine/Matrix Games, they just allowed one volunteer developer exclusive access to codebase. Probably, sources won't make SMACers any good anyway, completely another game, much simpler withal. But AI intricacies were discussed on that forum in pretty hefty detail, including antagonism between ruthless "play-to-win" and honorable "role-playing" AI designs, which is relevant for SMAC. Most surprising pitfall for that AI developer was the amount of ire some players poured down on (non-cheating!) AI when they started to lose badly to said AI.

    Offline Induktio

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #48 on: October 08, 2018, 08:24:46 PM »
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  • > Transcended 2231 with zak, pretty sloppy play.
    > Sven built 60 bases lol (counted), only had 110 science at the end though. Almost lost governor vote because of the pop.
    > 4 ais had really bad small island starts (even on 30-50% land) and couldnt get going till foil/former raise land, which was then seen to great effect.
    > Aki had 850 science at the end, compared to ais rarely getting higher then 150. Aki actually got knowledge before me, pretty impressive. I force sell tech to ais for money but they dont use it properly in a builder sense.

    Interesting test results right there! :)

    May I ask what kind of mapsize/world configuration did you play on? Any other custom rules active? Do you have examples where they could use the builder techs better?

    > Is it possible to force the ai to build tree farms and tech structures first if they have the tech? Only yang built a few tree farms and no one built research hospitals or higher at all. I feel that would really help their builder game, as they just stall with 1 food per tile for ages.

    Tree farms are quite high on the build order, just before hab complexes. If they didn't build them, it probably means a) they didn't have the tech, or b) military build up overruled other priorities. Research hospitals should be built too, but they are much later on the build order, with specific conditions. Unless you post save games or screenshots, can't analyze it in more detail.

    > Avoiding war is obviously quite easy, only built like 5 military units all game, sven just ignored me all game and i payed him off half price once. Ais fought each other as well (alot of foil probe team taking bases), i was further away. Sven is actually the most annoying even pre patch as he plops down bases intrusively close with high chance of unavoidable conversations typically resulting in vendetta.

    So it seems the diplomacy mod for credible military deterrent is much needed in this game. Have to look into it more.

    It must be mentioned the single biggest factor deciding the AI growth is still the size of their starting landmass. They do build transports and (later) attempt to raise land bridges, but if they start on a small island, they can probably never recover from the turn disadvantage. High erosion/bigger continents helps them the most because then they can expand easiest and fit more boreholes on the flat terrain.

    Here's one WorldBuilder configuration for alphax.txt that produces bigger continents, less small islands and more rivers:

    (click to show/hide)

    Offline k3v

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #49 on: October 09, 2018, 09:43:42 AM »
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  • I attached my saves. It was a huge map. Default rules with look first. Plenty of bad decisions, for example i forgot PEG was a thing and build a few energy banks before it. I dont build boreholes at all because I dont think their actually worth it even with WP. They take too long, are dirty minerals which you cant use without eco damage risk, and just delay your crawler sps/popboom. But thats another discussion. I go for hybrid farms asap and sea energy park. My beeline was all over the place because I still cant decide whats best. I got clean reactor super late this game, I went like hybrid farm->SC->ToE->Fusion.

    For comparison my fastest transcend with stockpile bug fixed (not here) and air drop bug fixed is 2210 with zak, huge transcend (yitzi patch 3+ years ago). Unpatched I did a air drop hopping bug game in 219x not optimised for fun.

    From empath guild onward, im force selling tech for money. Its a *bug/feature* that if you ask for money and offer tech the ai will always buy for at least 25 until they get impatient and end the call (even putting them negative energy, but that rarely happens). So the Ai's have my tech from EG onwards unless they just ignore me or i cant sell enough to them.

    The only reason to not do it is if the ai was actually a threat lol. The goal is fastest transcend using everything available. I want them to have the best bases for more commerce/chance that they research tech off the beeline to get later. I switch SE before talking to ai's keep them happier, how else can you run fm+weath and have treaties/pacts with anyone except morgan lol.

    Lal, yang, aki and cult all started close so maybe the war took over their build orders but I would force treefarms/tech buildings over everything. the base spam means ais end up closer together creating potential for fireworks, but even morgan didnt build anything and he was isolated at the bottom. I should check my old saves to see what the ai builds back then in other games.

    But its like, do you want the ai's to roleplay their ideologies, or do you want them to play optimised builder.

    I should try the map settings, I played 35 turns of a new game and mogan started on a tiny island and lost his transport foil to worms so hes screwed on one base lol.

    Offline Induktio

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #50 on: October 09, 2018, 11:54:08 PM »
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  • > I attached my saves. It was a huge map. Default rules with look first. Plenty of bad decisions, for example i forgot PEG was a thing and build a few energy banks before it.

    Looks like for most of the game, Morgan was tied in the labs output with Aki-Zeta. Near the end Morgan had almost 700. Some of the starting locations are pretty horrid considering there's so much land on the other continents. If the AIs are near each other but neither can conquer anything due to islands, that usually slows them down pretty badly. Sometimes I've been considering redoing the faction placement algorithm, but not sure if there's any simple solution. Pirates are quite weird when they plop down so many bases, but they still underperform due to the inability to transition to land. They have not received any improvements for that, though.

    > I dont build boreholes at all because I dont think their actually worth it even with WP. They take too long, are dirty minerals which you cant use without eco damage risk, and just delay your crawler sps/popboom. But thats another discussion. I go for hybrid farms asap and sea energy park.

    I just don't get the problem with the clean minerals. It's very easy to manage if you wait for the first fungal pop before deploying the tree farms. Without the first fungal pop, one would miss the clean mineral cap increase. Hybrid forests are pretty expensive at 240 minerals considering they basically bring in just a couple of extra nutrients, so the AI doesn't build them either.

    > From empath guild onward, im force selling tech for money. Its a *bug/feature* that if you ask for money and offer tech the ai will always buy for at least 25 until they get impatient and end the call (even putting them negative energy, but that rarely happens).
    > I switch SE before talking to ai's keep them happier, how else can you run fm+weath and have treaties/pacts with anyone except morgan lol.

    Yeah, these could be considered diplomacy exploits. Scient's patch doesn't seem to address any of these either, at least not mentioned in the v2.0 changelogs. I will probably soon check if the patch update to v2.0 works anyway. There's also a couple of improvements coming in the way these patches are inserted, so some patch features could be selected at runtime.

    Offline k3v

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #51 on: October 10, 2018, 11:57:15 AM »
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  • I dont want to derail the thread into fast transcend strats, but I love talking about it. Ive kinda retired from it though, 221x was my goal on a yitzi patch version. Any faster I think you need better "luck" or reloading map spawns/pods/aas/better ai combinations. I'd love to see others trying to see what they can come up with.

    Heres a picture of mine which compared borehole vs no borehole strat. Right was the 2210 game.
    (click to show/hide)

    Boreholes take 16 turns with WP (if the terrain allows, longer if you need to lower and you have to get WP first or EE tech), in that time you could build 8 forests. Early on you want squares for crawlers and PTS boom, so you might have 1 borehole, and no other squares. Then by working that borehole, you cant use other forest squares because eco damage. And you cant sustain 3 pop at PTS (the biggest early booster), and you wont have food to get to size 16. Need condesors which is more former time and eco damage, and no energy.

    To have the former power to build it all fast you need clean reactor and a former army which slows down other techs/preparing pop boom etc. Of course boreholes are usable, I dont think their worth it to go fast.

    In this sloppy 2231 game, I couldve build borehole later post boom which is what Ive done before, but I actually forgot about it, but I dont think it mattered. I never had a former army anyway (late clean reactor, overbuilt crawlers), also I never had time to build more orbital farms, so bases barely had 32 food, and had land to build new bases. I stayed in wealth vs knowledge and had money I couldnt use etc.

    The thing is, development of this patch might result in passive fast transcend being impossible so the times will definitely go up.

    Offline PvtHudson

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #52 on: October 10, 2018, 01:37:46 PM »
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  • Sometimes I've been considering redoing the faction placement algorithm, but not sure if there's any simple solution.
    Standard faction placement algorithm is truly horrible, if you aren't up for a rush challenge. In my games it routinely places 3-4 factions in the vicinity of each other on large random map. I've heard a tell-tale that if you start a game, then save map, then start a new game from that map, then faction placement suddenly becomes sane. Didn't checked it myself, though.

    Offline Induktio

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #53 on: October 10, 2018, 06:37:42 PM »
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  • After updating all the relevant patches, a new version is available in the downloads. Develop build 20181010 has these changes:

    - Scient patch v2.0 added (see details.md)
    - Ability to select which landmarks are placed on random maps (see thinker.ini)
    - Nessus Canyon included also

    To make sure this new patching method works on all machines, post here any problems you might find.

    @k3v You might interested in T-Hawk's speedruns if you haven't seen them already. He plays vanilla SMAC only though.
    « Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 12:10:37 PM by Induktio »

    Offline Induktio

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #54 on: October 13, 2018, 06:48:36 PM »
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  • New testing version 20181013 is now available from the downloads.

    This time it adds a new option called "faction_placement" which aims to improve on the original starting location algorithm. It tries to average out the distances to other factions so that many factions should not start in close proximity to each other any more. The distances look pretty consistent especially on huge maps.

    Other new option is "load_expansion" which can be disabled to turn off any expansion related features. Note that the tech tree will not adjust the dependencies without modding, so any techs or items depending on expansion-only techs will be unavailable, including some victory conditions.

    Offline dino

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #55 on: October 13, 2018, 10:21:34 PM »
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  • How deos load_expansion work ? Does it use alpha.txt, or you have to mod alphax.txt to get functional game ?

    I've got used to playing smax with original seven, especially since I've figured a way to cut aliens tech out of the game if there are no aliens, without having to replace alphax.txt each time I alternate alen/no alien playthrough. Few new expansion facilities are ok, the only thing that bothers me is getting an ogre in a pod, it's too strong. I'll have to keep my autism in check and stop bothering you with mundane stuff like that in the future ;)

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    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #56 on: October 13, 2018, 10:26:05 PM »
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  • This is no place to bother keeping your autism too far in check; we're basically a whole community of autists...

    Offline dino

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #57 on: October 14, 2018, 01:41:56 PM »
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  • It seems that load_expansion = 0 still uses alphax.txt, but ignores entries introduced by the expansion.
    So copying over tech tree from alpha.txt, or otherwise editing it, is required to get functional SMAC game without holes in the techtree.

    Offline PvtHudson

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #58 on: October 15, 2018, 10:15:40 AM »
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  • Some partial test results. Large random map, transcend difficulty.
    SP movies don't show for some reason, even with movies folder inside game folder.
    AIs fare markedly better than in kyrub's version.
    Gaians got Weather Paradigm and spiked no less than half of Monsoon Jungle tiles with condensers. I thought adjacent condensers are forbidden, not sure about that? This led to max size bases where half pop are doctors. When I took one of these, it had 2-digit eco-damage despite meager minerals.
    All AIs do heavy foresting, even Antimind, who previously relied mostly on fungus. The algorithm doesn't consider faction's fungus production?
    Minor nuisance: at mid-game AIs twice scared me with 'Start building SP' message and then presumably switching to other production in the same turn.
    Looking forward to future versions of this mod, great work!

    Offline dino

    Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
    « Reply #59 on: October 15, 2018, 10:44:38 AM »
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  • Adjecent condensers are allowed, it's not a glitch.

     

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