Author Topic: SMACX Thinker Mod  (Read 13866 times)

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Offline ocelotter

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #390 on: October 07, 2019, 11:54:08 AM »
nutrient_bonus seems potentially unreliable when used with the original Worldbuilder settings, unfortunately. Using nutrient_bonus=2 on a small map with 50-70% ocean, 4/7 factions started with zero bonus nutrients (first screenshot). The very next map gen (second screenshot), again 4/7 factions started with zero bonus nutrients (University started with one in the ocean I guess).




Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #391 on: October 08, 2019, 12:47:50 PM »
> nutrient_bonus seems potentially unreliable when used with the original Worldbuilder settings

The main issue here is that a small map with high water content is really small. There won't be that many ideal spawn locations to choose from, although some adjustments might be made in the algorithm. Some factions just won't have enough room there.

I didn't quite get what PvtHudson was asking here. Do you want to see a table on how the tech costs change with the number of researched techs? It's possible to run some simulations with it by spawning the factions on a random standard map, then continuously marking one tech more researched and calling the original tech_rate function to see how the costs change. But there's probably some factors that are not taken into account in that test (number of turns elapsed etc).

Offline PvtHudson

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #392 on: October 09, 2019, 07:56:22 AM »
I didn't quite get what PvtHudson was asking here. Do you want to see a table on how the tech costs change with the number of researched techs? It's possible to run some simulations with it by spawning the factions on a random standard map, then continuously marking one tech more researched and calling the original tech_rate function to see how the costs change. But there's probably some factors that are not taken into account in that test (number of turns elapsed etc).
I'd like not to see, but to have an ability to change costs returned by standard algorithm. So as each cost returned by standard algorithm is multiplied in game by the result of some_func(number_of_techs_known, some_coefficient_taken_from_ini), and the some_coefficient_taken_from_ini governed the curvature of some_func. This will allow to experiment with different speeds of tech cost rise.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 09:54:01 AM by PvtHudson »

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #393 on: October 09, 2019, 09:00:34 PM »
I'd like not to see, but to have an ability to change costs returned by standard algorithm. So as each cost returned by standard algorithm is multiplied in game by the result of some_func(number_of_techs_known, some_coefficient_taken_from_ini), and the some_coefficient_taken_from_ini governed the curvature of some_func. This will allow to experiment with different speeds of tech cost rise.

Well yeah, I suppose I could add some options to configure stuff like that. Let's assume the cost formula is something like x * Level^3 + y * Level. Those factors x and y could be read from the config file and I could add them to the next develop build for testing purposes. Changing the exponent value wouldn't be recommended though since it would have drastic implications towards the end of the tech tree.

I realized some of the difficulty scaling calculations were a little bit off in the current version so I'll adjust those too. In the original game at Transcend level, the first techs are roughly equally expensive for human/AIs but after that the AI gains up to a 50% discount for all techs. That's much bigger than the industry discount actually (30%).

Offline PvtHudson

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #394 on: October 10, 2019, 08:35:08 AM »
* Level
I'm not so sure the tech cost shall be based on level of the tech in question. Of course, this spawns issues with beelining. But it seems SMAC creators were much more concerned with preventing tech runaways. And it mostly works, except they hadn't envisioned the level of energy runaway players could accomplish.
I had adjusted (with the combination of alphax.txt/thinker.ini edits, starting conditions, and handicaps) my copy of ThinkerMod so that in almost every game tech parity with 1-2 top AIs continues well into and beyond quantum era, thanks to vastly different costs of the same techs for player and AI. Actually, I'm fairly satisfied with the behavior of standard tech cost algorithm (standard map, tech stag) except too costly early techs and too cheap late techs.
Hence I'd vote for adding means to adjust standard algorithm alongside with rewriting it completely.

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #395 on: October 11, 2019, 06:40:53 PM »
If SMAC creators were concerned about tech runaways, it certainly was not reflected in the tech cost mechanism. It doesn't really do anything to prevent those, more like it does the opposite. I put some thought into what could be with the old tech cost mechanism, but I don't see any meaningful way to adjust it without rewriting something.

The advantages of basing the costs on tech ranks are significant, and these kind of mechanics were incorporated into later Civ games too. In the vanilla game, the AI tech discounts are so large on higher levels that it's no wonder if it manages to keep tech parity most of the time. It doesn't really mean the tech cost mechanic "balanced" things in any way though. But I need to do a little bit more play testing before releasing the next build.

 

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