Author Topic: starting with 4 colony pods  (Read 150 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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starting with 4 colony pods
« on: March 27, 2019, 01:42:42 AM »
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  • In my test games I have observed AI factions milling around with 1 of their starting colony pods for a very long time before settling.  So, half of their empire doesn't get started on time, and their performance in the early game predictably sucks.

    Getting a colony pod killed would be a variation on the theme, although I haven't actually seen that yet.  I did see a colonist recklessly walking across fungus when it didn't have to.  It could have been easily snuffed.  It then turned course and took a safer path it could have taken to begin with.  This kind of mindless braving of the fungus does delay empires, making the whole fate of the future turn on small events.

    What if all factions started with 4 colonists instead?  It would lessen but not eliminate the risks of early colonization.

    One could even start with 6 colonists, lowering the odds of death or delay even more.  Although, some early game mechanics may get lost if too many units are given.

    I do offer a Trance 3-Res version of Colonists as one of my predefined units.  They cost a lot.  I have seen the AI use them.  They aren't available until you get the capabilities.  Trance comes with E2 Centauri Empathy in my mod and does not take very long to get.  3-Res armor comes with C4 Bioadaptive Resonance which takes a fairly long time to get.  I tested Colonists with Trance only and they did not hold up to mindworms.  So, just extra manufacturing expense without providing any real safety.  Trance 3-Res armor does actually repel a mindworm hit.  I can't really see giving that away at the beginning of the game though.

    Offline Vidsek

    Re: starting with 4 colony pods
    « Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 02:38:45 AM »
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  •     I too have watched AI factions dither about with their second colony pod (and even their first) for several turns despite decent base sites being right under their tracks.
      Additionally, some (many) will produce large numbers of colony pods early on, yet none of them actually settle for decades.  When I've checked where their 'go-to' orders are sending them, it's often to a distant place that (also often) is no better or actually much worse than ones right next to them.  In the rare cases where I've been able to recheck the same pods, they may be headed for a different, but equally lame destination.

       Unfortunately, I have not recorded the faction settings/parameters and landscape situations for these instances so cannot give informed guesses as to when and why the dithering occurs.  Except the vague and obvious comment that the AI algorithm which chooses potential base sites is in need of work.

      .txt workarounds to these two related problems may be possible, but I don't have much insight to add.

      The brute force method of dumping lots of pods on them at the start may get them growing earlier, but may just turn into masses of pods wandering till they get killed due the the second part of the issue I mentioned above.
    All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: starting with 4 colony pods
    « Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 03:43:06 PM »
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  • For Thinker mod, I believe Induktio is in control of whatever the AI colonizer does.

    For the stock binary, I'm doubting there's anything that can influence early colonization that I haven't already done.  The main input that improves colonization is the "Explore" research focus.  Most of my modded factions have it.  Months and months of testing verified that it's necessary for performance.  For instance I distinctly remember a time when I experimented with putting the University back on a pure Discover focus.  It didn't work.  They did not grow.  So for a long time now, they've been an Explore, Discover faction.  Explore, Conquer is the most common faction focus.  Explore, Build is typical of the more passive, Builder oriented factions like Morgan.

    Conquer might also stimulate colonization to some extent, but not as strongly as Explore.  I have the Spartans and the Usurpers as pure Conquer factions.  The Usurpers do fine and don't seem to need Explore in order to spread effectively.

    The Spartans, I am less confident in.  There was a time early in my modding where they seemed to dominate everything.  Then somewhere halfway through the effort, it stopped.  I don't think the Spartans changed all that much. They've been a "boring" +2 MORALE only faction for quite awhile.  Possibly I beefed up other factions enough that the Spartans simply didn't have any overwhelming advantage anymore.

    I have the following in my CHANGELOG for version 1.20 of my mod, quite some time ago:
    Quote
    - Spartans: set research focus to Conquer only.  They often wipe out any faction near them, and do not need Explore encouragement to get bigger or find new enemies.  In fact I wonder if I should bring back their INDUSTRY penalty but I will leave it alone for now.

    I think I'm ready to try them with Explore, Conquer focus again.  They have consistently underperformed.  They certainly don't need an INDUSTRY penalty right now, if anything I was scratching my head over what bonus to give them.

    If I make this change, then I believe literally every faction in my mod except the Usurpers will have an Explore, Something research focus.  That's how valuable the stimulus is.  Ok, exception for the Gaians.  They are Explore only.


     

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