Author Topic: SMACX Thinker Mod  (Read 46574 times)

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Offline EmpathCrawler

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #585 on: June 10, 2020, 03:43:19 AM »
1/3 global warming seems okay. A few factions are nearly to Advanced Spaceflight when it happened in my games so far. I might lower the world builder setting that lessens sea rise a little bit. So far I actually like that it is almost guaranteed if the AI is allowed to go nuts developing. It helps shake things up and puts into play a game mechanic that doesn't get much attention in the stock game.


I haven't seen any strange terraforming that's been described above.


AIs seem to go through a methodical seabase expansion phase, is that Thinker?

Online Tayta Malikai

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #586 on: June 10, 2020, 04:59:27 AM »
Things were a bit quiet here for a bit, figured I should share how my current game with Thinker 2.0 is going.


I am Orange, surrounded by everyone else.

The tech rate feels like it's smoothed out a bit. I set it back to 100% for this game; it's now 2208 and we are only just breaking into level 4 and 5 techs. I personally find this a bit slow so I'm putting it back to 75% next game.

I'm really liking the new HQ markers. A small but very convenient feature.

After an initial troubled development due to fungus, several of the AIs have embarked on a massive military build-up. Lavender has a big stack of about a dozen Impact Rovers she's using to pillage Gold's bases, and Olive has an enormous army of 7r infantry, rovers, and artillery built up. The downside is that their bases are now clogged with support, although given their +30% bonuses and their love of Police State, that's less of a concern for them.

I was in the lead for some time, using my early Impact Rovers to wage some successful wars that netted me some 500 credits, very helpful for my early development. But now my lead has shrunk, and with many AIs filling their bases with 1-3t-1 defenders, overrunning them with Impact Rovers won't work anymore. I might have to actually use artillery and infantry to assault bases now.

Unsurprisingly, it's a lot easier to coerce AIs into surrendering when they don't have a zillion sea bases to fall back on after conquering them on land.

Annoyingly, once I had forced Gold to surrender, I wasn't able to get my pact partners to call off the vendetta against him, claiming they had "accepted payment for his destruction". Thus, I had to repeatedly expel their units from my territory to keep them from wrecking my new vassal... which stopped working when the sunspots occurred.

I will admit to being somewhat salty, as on the very turn that I planned to invade Olive and remove the threat he posed, the sunspots ended, Lavender renounced our pact and started attacking the "diplomatic envoys" I'd stationed in Gold's bases to keep her from attacking him.

Also, Gold is making distinctly sub-optimal SE choices, a capital offense to be sure. Specifically, he's running Police State + Free Market. These are the relevant stats:
Code: [Select]
Frontier,        None,
Police State,    DocLoy,  ++SUPPORT, ++POLICE,   --TALENT
Democratic,      EthCalc, ++EFFIC,   ++GROWTH,   --SUPPORT
Fundamentalist,  Brain,   ++PROBE,   +MORALE,    +INDUSTRY,  --RESEARCH     
Simple,          None,
Free Market,     IndEcon, ++ECONOMY, ----POLICE, --PLANET,   -INDUSTRY
Planned,         PlaNets, ++GROWTH,  +INDUSTRY,  --ECONOMY
Green,           CentEmp, ++EFFIC,   ++PLANET,   --GROWTH,   +TALENT
Code: [Select]
SE preference: Free Market

^+2 ECONOMY: {Free flow of capital}
^+2 SUPPORT: {Just-in-time supply chains}
^-1 MORALE: {Privatized military}
^-2 INDUSTRY: {Excessive contractor bloat}
^Immunity to negative POLICE: {Morally righteous}
^Extra DRONE for every four citizens: {Deregulation and austerity}
^50% hurry costs: {Angel investors}
^{May not use Power values.}

SUPPORT only goes up to +3, so adding +2 to +2 gives little advantage, especially when none of his bases are above 4 pop anyway. Likewise, immunity to POLICE means +2 combines with -4 to give -2, which gets clamped to 0 either way.

So while PS+FM would be viable for other factions, Gold doesn't get much benefit from combining these two options. Democracy is currently available, but Fundie is not.

I know there's code to handle immunity to SE effects, but I'm not quite sure how it works.

EDIT: I gifted him the tech for Fundamentalist and he promptly switched to it. I probably should have done that earlier...
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 10:45:17 AM by Tayta Malikai »

Offline lolada

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #587 on: June 10, 2020, 10:08:49 AM »
Addition of those trance defenders is really nice - AI is having troubles with  worms a lot early so this change is quite cool. Also makes it harder for player to spam worms for example.

It would be improvement if AI could handle support better - they really can go overboars with - minerals. Its somewhat fixable with SE modding - AI with +support is way better than those with minus.

Offline EmpathCrawler

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #588 on: June 10, 2020, 05:25:02 PM »
Unsurprisingly, it's a lot easier to coerce AIs into surrendering when they don't have a zillion sea bases to fall back on after conquering them on land.

Annoyingly, once I had forced Gold to surrender, I wasn't able to get my pact partners to call off the vendetta against him, claiming they had "accepted payment for his destruction". Thus, I had to repeatedly expel their units from my territory to keep them from wrecking my new vassal... which stopped working when the sunspots occurred.


Sea exiles are very annoying because they will never be able to seriously threaten anybody again but they will spread out and get the AIs too caught up a chaotic naval war that's not worth the minerals.


I have a similar vendetta issue in my current game involving the thrice-relocated Peacekeepers and the Spartans. The Spartans told me that Lal pressed the vendetta and Lal also refused to sign a truce??? Neither were my submissives, though. I'm pretty sure I would have noticed if there was nerve gas involved.

Offline Hagen0

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #589 on: June 11, 2020, 01:59:00 PM »
In general the AI in Smac is too aggressive for its own good. It can provide some challenge for the player if he/she gets attacked early but it can also mean they get mired in long unproductive wars among each other. It's also a bit irksome how irrational their behavior is.

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #590 on: June 11, 2020, 06:25:43 PM »
Nice gameplay reports here. :D

> AIs seem to go through a methodical seabase expansion phase, is that Thinker?

Yeah, Thinker always decides where to build the new bases. Even though I reduced the tendency to build the sea bases on coastal squares, it's still kinda prevalent. Or did you have something else in mind?

> The tech rate feels like it's smoothed out a bit. I set it back to 100% for this game; it's now 2208 and we are only just breaking into level 4 and 5 techs.

I kinda designed it that way because many powerful economic techs become available on levels 4-5. It may feel like "tech stagnation lite" on the default settings but I suppose it's some variation to the vanilla formula. Let me know how it goes though.

> Also, Gold is making distinctly sub-optimal SE choices, a capital offense to be sure. Specifically, he's running Police State + Free Market.

Whoa, watch out here. Police State in the example utilizes TALENT modifier which unimplemented in the valuation metric. In this case the penalty would not be visible and social_ai thinks Police State has only positive variables. It's kind of an oversight because none of the vanilla choices utilize that variable.

> Likewise, immunity to POLICE means +2 combines with -4 to give -2, which gets clamped to 0 either way.

I'm not sure the way you worded it here is accurate. Immunity provides the ability to ignore negative values (they get set to 0) on one of the SE effects. Having Immunity for POLICE here would combine +2 and -4 (set to 0) modifiers to effective +2 POLICE rating for the faction.

IMPUNITY for Free Market here would provide the same effect for POLICE and also ignore the negative modifiers --PLANET, -INDUSTRY.

> In general the AI in Smac is too aggressive for its own good.

Yeah adjusting that is a planned feature for the diplomacy mod if I'll ever get around to implementing it. I think in general it would help the AIs a lot if they could delay the aggression for the first, say, 100 turns and concentrate on infrastructure building instead.

One of the reasons Gaians tend to be so strong in this mod is that they concentrate first on getting the economy boosting techs and building infrastructure while often neglecting Conquer techs in the beginning. If they survive the first 100 turns in relative isolation, soon the massive edge in economic development will show and they will tend to overtake the other factions.

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #591 on: June 11, 2020, 08:37:24 PM »
Yeah, Thinker always decides where to build the new bases. Even though I reduced the tendency to build the sea bases on coastal squares, it's still kinda prevalent. Or did you have something else in mind?

Why though? Land squares seem like a good complement in mineral yield for shelf bases.
Tim

Online Tayta Malikai

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #592 on: June 12, 2020, 01:32:45 AM »
It is the year 2227. Level 6 techs are becoming available for research. Two AIs have gotten their hands on Air Power; but will they be able to hold off my hordes of 5-1-1 infantry and 7r-1-1 rovers? (Probably not :V)

Lavender has been evicted from the mainland to join the shamed ranks of sea exiles. It seems that losing one's entire army and being down to 5 sea bases is not seen as a good reason to surrender. In hindsight, maybe it would've been better to take her peace deal: I've no idea what to do with her bases now, and I could've used the commerce income.

> Whoa, watch out here. Police State in the example utilizes TALENT modifier which unimplemented in the valuation metric. In this case the penalty would not be visible and social_ai thinks Police State has only positive variables. It's kind of an oversight because none of the vanilla choices utilize that variable.

Yes, I remember, we've talked about this before. :P My contention is that even if PS did indeed have no penalty here, it would still be a sub-optimal choice.

> I'm not sure the way you worded it here is accurate. Immunity provides the ability to ignore negative values (they get set to 0) on one of the SE effects. Having Immunity for POLICE here would combine +2 and -4 (set to 0) modifiers to effective +2 POLICE rating for the faction.

That's not how I've seen it working in-game. You can see here that the result of combining PS+FM is a net of 0 POLICE - and if the POLICE rating was in fact being increased, you would see more drones being suppressed here.

(click to show/hide)

You can test this in the vanilla game by playing as the Hive and running Police State + Green. They will end up with a net of 0 EFFIC, rather than +2. It's the final SE rating that gets clamped to 0, not the individual choices.

Impunity does work in the way you described: the penalties for the specified SE choice simply aren't applied to the faction.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 02:08:45 AM by Tayta Malikai »

Offline EmpathCrawler

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #593 on: June 12, 2020, 04:33:59 AM »
Yeah, Thinker always decides where to build the new bases. Even though I reduced the tendency to build the sea bases on coastal squares, it's still kinda prevalent. Or did you have something else in mind?

There just appears to me a distinct and aggressive seabase expansion phase that happens after the AI decides to stop expanding by land. I can't tell if I'm imagining it or if it's deliberate. Factions that are doing well (bases near the size cap, have their vendettas under control, haven't had to deal with me trashing all their stuff) seem to do this.

Quote
Yeah adjusting that is a planned feature for the diplomacy mod if I'll ever get around to implementing it. I think in general it would help the AIs a lot if they could delay the aggression for the first, say, 100 turns and concentrate on infrastructure building instead.

One of the reasons Gaians tend to be so strong in this mod is that they concentrate first on getting the economy boosting techs and building infrastructure while often neglecting Conquer techs in the beginning. If they survive the first 100 turns in relative isolation, soon the massive edge in economic development will show and they will tend to overtake the other factions.

Mellowing out would help the Spartans a lot! They can be a real pain when they get the chance to build up a large body of crack troops. I wish the AI understood that they should build a coalition against a runaway superpower and be generally wary of the human player, too. I like how the top two factions hate each other to keep each other in check, but sometimes it's not even close.

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #594 on: June 14, 2020, 11:59:12 AM »
> There just appears to me a distinct and aggressive seabase expansion phase that happens after the AI decides to stop expanding by land.

Sure, there is some very specific code that deals with the choices regarding colony pod production. It is mostly decided in select_colony > has_base_sites functions. After many iterations I settled on that logic, so that it actually counts the available sea/land tiles and does some decision making based on it.

> That's not how I've seen it working in-game. You can see here that the result of combining PS+FM is a net of 0 POLICE - and if the POLICE rating was in fact being increased, you would see more drones being suppressed here.

Oh well, should not rely on those vague descriptions in Faction.txt and instead just look at the binary instead. So apparently there's two variables ROBUST and IMMUNITY that operate only the final SE effect value.

Quote
;   ROBUST      = Halves the intensity of minus effects in the named
;                 social area ("ROBUST, EFFIC" halves minus efficiency
;                 effects in social model).
;   IMMUNITY    = Immunity from minus effects in the named social
;                 area. ("IMMUNITY, ENERGY" prevents minus energy
;                 effects in social model).

The way it's worded here seems incorrect because "social models" are clearly one of the 16 individual choices in the documentation, not the final result that gets calculated for the 11 different effects values. It has to be noted that ROBUST is currently unimplemented in social_ai. I'm not sure if there was some reports on it being bugged in the engine.

Online Tayta Malikai

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #595 on: June 14, 2020, 12:20:43 PM »
I can confirm that ROBUST does work in-game. No comment on whether it appears to affect AI decision-making.

Online Tayta Malikai

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #596 on: July 01, 2020, 07:46:21 AM »
So a very amusing and niche situation arose in the PBEM game I'm currently playing, and while it's not strictly related to Thinker Mod, I feel like it might be of interest to you anyway.

When trading with pact partners, it is possible to sell techs to AIs for credits in excess of what they actually have. This causes them to go into negative credits, which causes facilities to explode to make up the deficit. It is possible for a faction to lose their Headquarters this way - and currently, the new auto-relocate-HQ mechanic introduced by Thinker 2.0 does not rebuild it. Thus the AIs will end up spending the game without a HQ.

While this situation is the result of an exploit, I feel like it still merits addressing.

Offline Induktio

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #597 on: July 02, 2020, 06:02:56 PM »
> It is possible for a faction to lose their Headquarters this way - and currently, the new auto-relocate-HQ mechanic introduced by Thinker 2.0 does not rebuild it. Thus the AIs will end up spending the game without a HQ.

Ah, the hunt for The One More Bug That Got Overlooked(tm) intensifies... In all seriousness, the auto-relocate only applies when the base in question is destroyed/captured. In this case, whenever the AI loses any other base, for any reason, auto-relocate checks for HQ again, but it may take a while.

Do you mean that the HQs may explode because of the generic situation of having energy reserve shortfall or is it directly related to diplomacy? I would rather patch that logic in the way that HQs are never destroyed because of energy shortfall, but not sure yet how easy it is to implement.

Online Tayta Malikai

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #598 on: July 03, 2020, 01:01:06 AM »
> In this case, whenever the AI loses any other base, for any reason, auto-relocate checks for HQ again, but it may take a while.

Yes, Spartans eventually got a new HQ at some point, presumably they lost a base to worms or something and the auto-relocate triggered.

> Do you mean that the HQs may explode because of the generic situation of having energy reserve shortfall or is it directly related to diplomacy?

From testing in the scenario editor, I believe HQs explode just like other facilities whenever there is an energy shortfall. However, because HQs have a maintenance cost of zero (and are first in the list of that base's facilities?), they will never be destroyed under normal circumstances, as other facilities which actually do cost maintenance will be destroyed first. The situation of a HQ exploding only arises if the faction has a negative credit balance, which is only achievable through exploits such as making the AI overpay for techs.

Offline Fibonacci

Re: SMACX Thinker Mod
« Reply #599 on: July 03, 2020, 09:07:35 AM »
I've seen this too, not only the Headquarters, but free base facilities, such as the hive's perimeter defenses will be consumed if the AI faction begins a turn with a negative credit balance. Just tell them you're in urgent need of energy credits, offer them your tech for whatever amount they offer, and at least in the early game they'll probably have fewer than 25 energy and the game puts them in the negative until the following turn.

 

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