Author Topic: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5  (Read 247 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2019, 01:52:18 AM »
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  • the usual condensers
    the usual condensers

    MY 2196.  I've been flying my Gun Jet over my ally's territory.  Doubling the cost of Condensers clearly doesn't stop the AI from making them in the usual Thinker pattern.

    MY 2198.  My fleet of Isles is really impressive.  Well, it feels impressive.  I've got 5.  They're really cleaning out the oceans.  The AI may have Condenser abuse, but I have Supply Pod abuse.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #16 on: March 17, 2019, 02:10:54 AM »
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  • Nexus up for grabs
    Nexus up for grabs

    MY 2199.  I've discovered the Manifold Nexus on a large deserted island continent in the middle of the map.  Guess I go colonize it.

    MY 2220.  I rush the Planetary Datalinks with 2 Artifacts and cash.  I have 7 more Artifacts inbound on Isles.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #17 on: March 17, 2019, 02:42:31 AM »
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  • MY 2224.  I rush the Planetary Transit System using cash and 3 Artifacts.  I have 6 remaining, 3 of which are in my home territory.  I have an almost complete rail network.

    crawling on land is the Pirate way
    crawling on land is the Pirate way

    MY 2225.  I saw Svensgaard move a supply crawler.  Checking his unit sheet, he has 7 active and 7 in production.  Boreholes cannot be far behind as Industrial Automation gives both of those and the Skunkworks.  Myself, I switch to Wealth as I've been unthreatened by anything this whole game.  Time to build my Tree Farms.

    who's the builder
    who's the builder

    The power graph doesn't think much of me, but I've actually built more Secret Projects than the other factions.  That's what supply pod abuse will do for you.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #18 on: March 17, 2019, 03:40:50 AM »
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  • MY 2212.  My Transport with a Colony Pod heading for the Manifold Nexus was sunk by a Sea Lurk.  What's the point of these things except to be obnoxious?

    I rush the Maritime Control Center with 1 Artifact and a lot of cash.  Svensgaard started working on it.

    MY 2213.  At least I finally captured that Sealurk that sunk my stuff.  I don't see any Boreholes in Svensgaard's lands yet.  Mines and crawlers, yes.

    Going to bed.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #19 on: March 17, 2019, 05:10:09 AM »
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  • Couldn't sleep.

    MY 2214.  The Pirates are now at war with the Morganites.  Seems they've been at war with the Believers.  Fighting either doesn't really have any value to me as they were both runts and haven't built any Secret Projects.  My Isle navy is starting to feel useless as I've cleaned out the big ocean that encompasses most of the map.  I could transport a few units to do additional exploration on a far northern land mass, but I don't need most of these Isles.  In general I have a problem of... placidity.  Aside from building Tree Farms it's not clear what I should be doing with myself.

    I guess I should try to settle the Manifold Nexus again.  At least by the time I do so, the entire island continent will be picked clean of supply pods.

    I get Svensgaard to call off his war with the Morganites.

    MY 2117.  The Drones attacked the Cyborgs.  I was allied with both of them.  Aki came whining to me.  I refused to go to war.  She immediately ended our Pact.  I didn't get a chance to try to calm everyone down, and now I don't care.

    MY 2218.  I get the Believers to call off their war with the Pirates.

    MY 2219.  I learn Industrial Automation.  I could do Boreholes now!  Do I want to?  Not really.  I think it would be wiser to make Mines first.  I do start a Skunkworks.

    I have turned all Flat Moist and Rolling Arid squares into forest.  I even turned some Rolling Moist squares into forest on the border with the Cult of Planet, to keep any probe teams out.  My Former fleet is lacking things to do.  I suppose I could make Soil Enrichers but they're expensive.

    the hypocrite declares war
    the hypocrite declares war

    At least he is Capitalist now.  He has 1 tech to steal, which might come to me via the Planetary Datalinks soon anyways.  Let's see how he feels after I destroy a sea base.

    MY 2220.  Sure enough, I get Bioadaptive Resonance from the Planetary Datalinks.  I start working on the Neural Amplifier.

    MY 2221.  I gain Centauri Meditation and start working on the Xenoempathy Dome.

    MY 2222.  The Pirates are rushing the Xenoempathy Dome.  So if I want it, I have to finish it now.  If I only finish that, then the Pirates will complete the Neural Amplifier.  I think the Dome is better.  I'm not concerned with fighting the Pirates any time soon, so they could have the Amplifier.  I spend 1000 credits and 1 Artifact to rush the Xenoempathy Dome.

    My Isle easily destroys Morgan's Resonance sea base defender.  I destroy his size 1 base.  He brashly expects me to pay him to stop our war.  I guess he needs his butt kicked some more.   ;buttdance ;morganercise  He doesn't have any more sea bases, so that will require either ground troops or waiting.  I suppose I do have mindworms but I don't want to use the independent ones.  Probably I just ignore him until he makes another sea base.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #20 on: March 17, 2019, 05:32:38 AM »
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  • MY 2223.  I completed the Xenoempathy Dome.  Svensgaard has shifted production to the Neural Amplifier.  Surprisingly, this has taken him 1 extra turn and wasn't instantaneous.  I could actually complete it this turn if I blow some Artifacts.

    The Drones want me to join their war against the Cyborgs.  I refuse.  They immediately cancel my Pact.  I never got a chance to calm either one of them down.  Fine, let them fight.

    very expensive Boreholes
    very expensive Boreholes

    Aha!  The AI will make Boreholes even when they cost 60.  Which is not what Svensgaard is paying for them anyways, as he's got the Weather Paradigm.  I think he pays 30?  Which is not much more than the stock game cost of 24.  But if other AI factions find them to be too expensive to bother with in the real world, that's a good thing.  Better to only have 1 faction going nuts than several.

    The halving from the Weather Paradigm, makes me realize that 30 is not a very good number to cut in half.  I'm changing raise/lower land to 36.

    Heck while I'm at it, I'm raising the Borehole cost to 72.  The Weather Paradigm turns it into 36 for somebody.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #21 on: March 17, 2019, 06:30:29 AM »
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  • In matters of colonization, I am forced to conclude that I find Infinite City Sprawl to be a deeply unsatisfying, revolting way for me to play the game.  It makes plenty of sense for an AI that doesn't get tired and bored.  But for me as a human, it only creates repetition and stress.

    I experience the tech tree as a progression.  When I get something, I'd like to be able to make use of it.  Otherwise why am I doing research at all?  If I get Recycling Tanks, and it's not too early in the game, then I want to build them.   That takes time.  On such things, the AI is kind of like a fuel injected engine, vs. me pedaling a bicycle!  Riding a bicycle can be a perfectly pleasant experience.  But if you insist upon behaving according to the standards of a race car, it sucks.  Bike gets run off the road, people honk at you...

    I don't want to play the game the way the AI is playing, and I don't want to be forced to do it either.  How can the AI force me to play the game on its terms?  It can, if its style is absolutely an order of magnitude more productive than my style.  Like if its strategy eventually allows it to get Secret Projects instantly, and I have no hope of keeping up.  Or if I'd have to clean up hundreds of units to win the game, and I just won't spend the mouseclicks on that much conquest.  The AI can force you to deal with its scale.  If the AI fully controls and dominates the scale of the game, it becomes deeply unpleasant for a human such as myself.

    Maybe not for all types of players.  But definitely for myself.  I do not enjoy large scale repetitive tasks, and I think most 4X TBS gamers don't either.  Some do, however.  They eat the stuff like candy.  I don't know if it's meditation or compulsion for them or what they're getting out of it, but it ain't me.  Maybe it's an age thing.  I've certainly done grinding in RPGs when I was younger, but I was way younger.  Like I hadn't seen much before.  We were thrilled to have anything that worked, back in the day.  I have more taste and concern for my time now.

    So, I don't think it's wrong that my empire is only 15 cities in MY 2227.  This is a human aesthetic and attention span scale to play the game at.  I have a nice, dense empire.  I have terraformed every square by hand - some people think that's a drag.  It's how I relate to the game, building my railroads and forests.  There's a point at which I'm not going to do that stuff anymore, where I've done enough doo dads.  I don't care if Thinker mod AI is willing to do 5x or 10x more of these terraforming tasks than I am.  It's a computer.

    A big design problem for me is what scale can the human exist at, and compete with the "AI repetitive scale" of tasks.  I feel like we're almost at parity when I'm abusing Artifacts, because the AI doesn't know how to do that.  It knows how to abuse other things.

    Now though, the Pirates are threatening to slip away into that dread world where they just get whatever they want.  Doesn't really matter what I do.  They just get tech tech tech tech tech.  They just bang out the Secret Projects immediately.  It's not quite here yet, but I feel it coming.

    And there's a point at which, the game just falls off the rails for me.  It ceases to be fun, it threatens to be exhausting. 

    At a minimum, I might have to make the Weather Paradigm much harder to obtain, just because of this AI.  I didn't previously have much of a problem with it, as it was just something I could do in a single player game.  Other people howled bloody murder about it though, what an awful SP it was.  And now I'm starting to see what they were talking about.  If you're forced to live in an environment of Borehole abusers, it becomes very unpleasant to have production speeds cut in half.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #22 on: March 17, 2019, 07:56:03 PM »
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  • After some consideration, I have made the following changes to my 1.29 mod while still in the middle of this game:

    • Condensers - raised the cost to 36 turns and moved to B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.  This is because doubling their cost clearly didn't stop the AI from doing its usual exploitation.  It may have slowed it down some, but in my opinion not enough.  A much harder brake needs to be put on this, and the only realistic option is to make them take longer to get.  Some factions have already made them and of course will get to keep the ones they've got.  They might not be able to make new ones until they research this tech.  Some factions may not have made any and will have to wait to make any.
    • Soil Enrichers - I'm actually dropping the cost of these from 8 to 6.  I've always hated waiting around for them.  I don't even like 6, but it's conservative and comparable to building a Solar Collector.  I don't know if the AI even builds these, but if it does, it compensates for Condensers being more expensive.  Still, Soil Enrichers are a tier 5 tech in my mod, coming with B5 Planetary Economics.  All the "environmental abuse" techs - Boreholes, Condensers, and supply crawlers - are tier 5 now.  In my mod it takes a long time to get to tier 5, it's late midgame.
    • The Weather Paradigm - raised the cost from 300 to 400 minerals.  That's comparable to the Empath Guild, which also comes later.  I'm not willing to move the Weather Paradigm from where it is, because part of its value is enabling techs earlier.  Many people feel these Secret Projects are overpowered, and in general, all overpowered SPs cost more in my mod.  It cuts terraforming completion time to 2/3rds, I misspoke earlier.  Still that's a big advantage, as is getting terraforming techs early that otherwise take a rather long time to get in my mod.   In this game the Weather Paradigm has already been built, so it doesn't matter for this test. 
    • Boreholes - raised the cost to 72 turns.  When they were 60, we saw the Pirates build them.  They had the Weather Paradigm, so they took 60 * 2/3 = 40 turns to complete.  It has slowed down the Borehole spam, but the AI is clearly willing to build a 40 turn Borehole.  I want to know if it's willing to build a 72 turn Borehole.  The Weather Paradigm dynamic means that some faction will only pay 48 turns for them, and we can reasonably infer that the AI will be willing to do it.  Furthermore it comes at a time in the game when Super Formers will soon be appearing.  The actual turn cost with a new fleet of Super Formers would be 24 or 36 turns.  I have no problem whatsoever with the idea of forcing a faction to build some Super Formers before bothering with Thermal Boreholes.  It's how I have to live my life as a human player.

    The Condenser change is disruptive to "food conclusions", but I still want to test other things about this game.  Like whether the military defense is ok or not.  Not worth starting over.
    « Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 08:19:59 PM by bvanevery »

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #23 on: March 18, 2019, 01:01:23 AM »
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  • MY 2231.  After a day of discussing increases in terraforming costs, I resume the game.  My ally Svensgaard completes the Pholus Mutagen, bothering me.  I could have tried to acquire that tech by popping Artifacts, but I didn't have the cash to complete the project.  I look to buy the tech from Svensgaard.  Instead he gives me Fusion Power, emphasizing again to me that he is powerful and I am not.  I start upgrading all my designs.  I now have 748 credits, enough to intervene in the next project.

    Oh goody, I see that Morgan has founded a new sea base.  I can destroy it, possibly forcing him into a Truce.  I send my meager Plasma Cutter to eliminate it.  Cruisers move 8 in my mod, and I have the Maritime Control Center so I move 10.

    Using a series of strategically positioned Isles, I convoy a Colony Pod all the way to the site of the Manifold Nexus in 1 turn.

    MY 2232.  By destroying Morgan's new sea base, I get him to sign a Treaty.  Now I don't need to bother with an Impact Hovertank invasion.

    the Nexus is mine
    the Nexus is mine

    I finally have control of the Manifold Nexus.  I am +4 PLANET, fierce in Psi combat.  I'll admit, I don't really know what I'm doing with myself now.  I'm at peace with everybody.  Competing with Svensgaard I suppose?

    I've been planning to go Democratic for some time and I think now it's time.  I've completed all my Tree Farms and have cities with nothing better to do than make Fusion Speeder Supplies.  To keep people happy I adjust my budget to 30-30-40.  I've never built Recreation Commons so I will do that now.  Thanks to the Ascetic Virtues I only have -1 POLICE, enabling me to use 1 unit as police.

    I buy Single-Sided Surfaces from the Cyborgs for 150 credits.  That gives Pulse armor.  I'm thinking I wouldn't get it from the Planetary Datalinks, as not enough factions know the tech.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #24 on: March 18, 2019, 02:21:39 AM »
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  • Cha Dawn has a death wish
    Cha Dawn has a death wish

    MY 2233.  I think I'll just wipe him out.  He's adjacent and it'll be an ok incorporation into my empire.  It's something to do and I'll never have to be bothered by him again.  And if Morgan acts up again, I can then do the same thing to him, because he'll be adjacent.  I won't lose focus on competing with Svensgaard for Secret Projects being my 1st priority though.

    MY 2234.  The Pirates want war with the Drones.  I refuse.  I ask him to stop the war, but he says the Drones have to agree.  He signs off before I can beg him for tech.  I contact the Drones and ask them to stop their wars with the Pirates and the Cyborgs.  They comply.  I buy Bio-Engineering from him, so now I'm Genejack Factory capable.

    MY 2236.  I trade Single-Sided Surfaces to Svensgaard for Eudaimonia.  Now I can pop boom.  I switch to Eudaimonic.  I'm not really invading Cha Dawn yet.  I'm building Genejack Factories and murdering his interlopers on my border.

    The Cyborgs are snitty with me for my choice, but I buy Superconductor from them.  They're in a war with the Believers.  I ask them to stop because I'm trying to win a Nobel Peace Prize.  They say the Believers have to agree.  The Believers won't talk to me.

    MY 2237.  I go Socialist, which will now trigger a pop boom.  I buy piles of useful techs from Svensgaard.  I'm actually caught up with him now.  I only have 20 credits left though.  I do have a lot of supply crawlers in the field though, so I could still intervene in a Secret Project.  He's not working on anything yet.

    a long walk back
    a long walk back

    MY 2238.  I've popped the last of the supply pods on land, except perhaps for a few buried under fungal stalks.  A hovertank truck would be useful for bringing this one home, but by the time I got that up there, I'll probably have already walked to the coast.  Originally I thought perhaps I'd teleport everyone back by making enemies.  I suppose that could still happen.

    he likes Boreholes
    he likes Boreholes

    Svensgaard has begun the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, so it's time to pop Artifacts and see if I can intervene.  With his base alone, he only needs 6 turns to complete!  Notice the Borehole.  I don't think it was there before.

    Boreholes are like chicken pox
    Boreholes are like chicken pox

    Domai has got one too.  He doesn't have the Weather Paradigm, so I know he paid at least 60 turns for that.

    With my 1st Artifact pop, I obtain the tech for the Empath Guild.  I'd like to actually block Svensgaard from getting the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm though.  2nd Artifact pop yields Cyberethics, enabling the Virtual World.  3rd pop yields the Supercollider.  4th pop yields the Universal Translator.  My last Artifact is deep in the north and won't be available any time soon.  So I guess I'm working on these.  I start the Virtual World because it is among the cheapest.  After using up all my supply crawlers I need 248 cash to complete it.  I only have 83.
    « Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 02:51:35 AM by bvanevery »

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #25 on: March 18, 2019, 03:40:41 AM »
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  • MY 2239.  I learn Orbital Spaceflight.  I'm actually 1st at that.  I begin the Supercollider in the Ruins.   I kill some mindworms up north and gain cash.  I rush the Virtual World for 196 credits.  I think about how I can disband Formers to move some project along, but they are not done with their various tasks.

    I hate this guy
    I hate this guy

    MY 2240.  Svensgaard begins the Empath Guild.  I can't gain a moment's peace!  I switch to Green because most of my cities have hit size 9.  The Ascetic Virtues lets me get that large, but I haven't built any Hab Complexes.

    MY 2241.  I meet Domai at sea.  He bothers me about his war with the Pirates.  I ask him to call it off, and he does.  I disband a lot of Formers and Very Green Trance Scouts to bring a number of my Genejack Factories to completion.

    I hate this guy even more
    I hate this guy even more

    MY 2242.  The Pirates' tech and Secret Project spam is really irritating me.  Looking at their individual cities, I think they have about 12 Boreholes.  I might chuck this game in not too long, to see if the new Condenser delay will bring it under control.  All I'm doing now is playing the "Svensgaard gets nearly everything" game, which I don't consider fun.  Even though I grabbed most of the supply pods on the map.

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #26 on: March 18, 2019, 05:14:45 AM »
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  • MY 2243.  The Pirates are irritating me so much, that I actually forgot to fight Cha Dawn last turn.  They subverted a Recon Hovertank.  They didn't have hovertank technology, so that's obnoxious.  It's also obnoxious to have to play a turn over for something stupid like this, so I'm not going to.  It's just a mark on the ledger of "quit the game" if things don't get any better soon.

    My Genejack Factories are starting to chuck out supply crawlers at a good clip.  Almost all of the time, they produce a Fusion Speeder Supply in 1 turn and can't do any larger denomination than that.  Still this is enough to rush the Empath Guild this turn.  I have 105 credits remaining.  I start the Universal Translator.

    I've had a lot of fungal pops.  I'm surprised I haven't seen any mindworms to go with them.  Does +4 PLANET have any advantage here?

    MY 2244.  I rush the Supercollider.  Cha Dawn is hassling me with a lot of trivial units.  Unfortunately I've lost my independent mindworms to attrition.  I still have a lot of spore launchers and some artillery, which is not scratching them all that hard.  Probably has to do with m -3 MORALE.

    MY 2245.  I rush the Universal Translator.  I think about trading techs with Svensgaard, but we're in sunspots.

    MY 2246.  With the Universal Translator completed I learn the tech for the Dream Twister, which Svensgaard is still working on.  However I started working on Hab Complexes in all my cities.  I can also build the Cloudbase Academy now.  As I have +5 JUSTICE I shift my budget to 50-30-20 without any penalty.  Now I make 300 credits/turn.

    MY 2247.  Cha Dawn is bothering me with more serious force now.  Stuff that Trance Scouts aren't going to hold up to.  I should have been able to convoy some mindworms back from the north by now, but I am tired, and distracted by a lot of the crap going on.  I botched my convoying technique and it's taking multiple turns to get done.

    I think I want to kill these guys
    I think I want to kill these guys

    The Pirates complete the Dream Twister the turn before I was going to.  If I wasn't so tired, and was willing to perform heroics with scraping up money, I could have come up with the measly 50 credits I was short.  I am way too jaded to play the turn over again.  I switch to the Cloudbase Academy.

    but you can call me Noah
    but you can call me Noah

    I'm being blamed for the global warming.  Of course I'm merely trying to keep up with the Pirates.  Who are ridiculous, and would have completely submerged the planet if they got penalized for eco-damage like I do.  Nevermind the Drones who are almost as bad.  I gain a lot of cash from killing the mindworms that showed up.

    I get my convoying technique right this time and bring some reinforcements and an Artifact all the way home.  Since it's sunspots, I can't trade with anyone for tech, so I cash it.  I gain Digital Sentience and can make the Network Backbone.  That will be a priority, but first I will finish the Cloudbase Academy.  I rush that with cash and still have 960 credits afterwards.  I rush the Genejack Factory in the city I'm trying to turn into my capitol.  I will build the Network Backbone there.

    Ah crap the Pirates are already building the Network Backbone.  I hate this.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #27 on: March 18, 2019, 05:52:22 AM »
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  • my pet volcano
    my pet volcano

    MY 2250.  I rush the Network Backbone.  I forgot to mention this nice volcano that erupted earlier, even before the global flooding started.  I've never seen it join to land before.  I wonder if it's coincidence that it destroyed most of the New Sargasso.

    MY 2251.  With the completion of the Network Backbone, I could switch to Cybernetic and take no penalty for doing so.  However it would only reduce my research from 12 turns to 11 turns.  At least, that's true under a 50-30-20 budget.  I change it to 30-30-40 instead, since I need a new Secret Project.  Now my research is 9 turns, but switching to Cybernetic would only drop it to 8 turns.  Not worth it.  I switch to Socialist and trigger a pop boom.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Thinker mod military capability, attempt 5
    « Reply #28 on: March 18, 2019, 06:26:04 AM »
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  • the tally at quitting time part one
    the tally at quitting time part one

    the tally at quitting time part two
    the tally at quitting time part two

    It's 2 AM.  Know what?  I'm done.  This is extremely boring.  Late night yawning has a way of fully informing me how boring something is.  I've quit many games in the 2 to 3 AM time interval, not even worth a save, because they're just a drag.

    This is not a military exercise.  This is treading water, dealing with Svensgaard's minerals, tech, and Secret Project spam.  I don't feel like I get to do anything else.

    As you can see, I actually did fine at the Secret Project races.  I got 13.  The Pirates got 7 and will get 9.  The Cyborgs got 2.  The Free Drones got shut out, despite having no faction growth disadvantages at all. 

    I want to know if making Condensers come later will stop the madness.  I suspect it won't.  I don't really have any more options that way though.  I'm not going to make food infinitely expensive for the sake of Thinker mod.  In the limit, if I can't balance it somehow, I'll just decide it's a drag and not play it.

    Since I'm running out of options, I think it's time to penalize supply crawlers.  I'd like the Fusion versions to be worth the same as Artifacts.  That won't change Secret Project races all that much, although it will introduce higher startup latency.  It will penalize having lots of crawlers in the field though.  More to produce, and more expensive if they get killed.  Also if the base model is more expensive, it will also be more expensive to armor them against dangers.  In my book that's a good thing.

     

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