Author Topic: Thinker mod March 26 development test  (Read 1070 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2019, 05:36:29 AM »
an advantage
an advantage

MY 2268.  Maybe I can do some kind of super populous Diplomatic Victory thing?

old school
old school

I discover that I have one Hovertank probe team left over from the stone ages, and that I have a fungal highway straight to Zhakarov's cities.  Maybe I'll finally get my Energy Bank and Secrets of the Human Brain?  Roze sells me stuff, but then she cuts me off.

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2019, 06:31:43 AM »
isolated base
isolated base

MY 2270.  The University thought it would be clever to subvert this Spartan base.  It's actually a liability for them.  I steal a tech, but there's a lock on the base and I lose my team.  I'll let Santiago worry about conquering it.

secrets of AI price fixing
secrets of AI price fixing

MY 2271.  I don't know what to think when such a late game tech is available for so cheap.  I suppose if I don't use my Artifacts soon, they will have no value.  However I just can't abide it when I can buy advanced techs for so little money.  From a faction that doesn't even like me all that much.

I sign a Treaty with the Cyborgs and buy Secrets of the Human Brain from them.  Good grief that took a long time!

the rare case of it actually mattering
the rare case of it actually mattering

Oh goody!  I haven't had time to make a satellite yet.  Now I can finally see all those southern oceans I never had a chance to explore.  And just how bad the Borehole situation is.

swiss cheese
swiss cheese

The Weather Paradigm driven Datatechs have been going nuts with Boreholes for a long time.

got bored of holes
got bored of holes

The University, on the other hand, did very little of it.  I only see 2.  Well, 3, as one of them has been conquered by the Datatechs.

Other factions never figured out the techs for either Condensers or Boreholes.  The long delay has been effective.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2019, 06:37:24 AM »
we don need no steenkin prereqs
we don need no steenkin prereqs

MY 2272.  Just how often does one learn Quantum reactors before one learns how to make an Energy Bank?

This game pretty much feels like it's been "rubber banded" and what I do in the game doesn't matter.  Maybe at the last minute, I'll actually take control of destiny.  But Roze is doing Quantum Power, and I'm only barely getting Genejack Factories built.  While building Hab Domes, go figure.  And I'm the Governor, go figure again.  But someone else is going to complete Clinical Immortality.

It's a drag keeping up with this Borehole driven tech.  Is killing the faction with the Weather Paradigm, the only possible way to play the game now?

Or maybe setting cost_factor=10 and removing AI starting buffs is the only realistic way to deal with this.

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2019, 06:49:33 AM »
she never surrendered
she never surrendered

MY 2273.  It took this long.  Because, reasons.  Like trying to compete with the Data Angels.

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2019, 04:05:43 PM »
Roze's quantum supply crawlers
Roze's quantum supply crawlers

MY 2275.  A question arose: did the Data Angels ever make significant use of Supply Crawlers?  I don't know.  Earlier development versions of Thinker mod did not cash them to rush Secret Projects, but I don't know what this version does.  What I can see, is that Roze currently has 4 Supply Crawlers, with 2 more coming.

even quantum crawlers cost roughly 50 minerals
even quantum crawlers cost roughly 50 minerals

In my mod, the Supply Transport noncombat package type is so expensive that even with a Quantum reactor, it costs 50 minerals to produce the things.  You can stick some free armor on them, but even then, only Synthmetal before your cost goes up.  I've designed the cheapest Quantum Supply Crawler available.  I have +1 INDUSTRY from Wealth, which is why the cost is 45.  The AI will be paying 50 - whatever its various INDUSTRY bonuses are.  I believe that's +3 for Transcend, and Roze is Democratic Green Wealth Cybernetic (the latter is cheating!), so another +1 for the Wealth.  Believe she's paying 50 * 60% = 30 minerals per crawler.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2019, 05:21:07 PM »
democracy is so passe
democracy is so passe

MY .  Roze wants to knock off the Peacekeepers.  I don't really consider this to be a goal, but I'm not ready to oppose her yet.  I think I'll knock off 1 Peacekeeper city and call a Truce.  Lal can consider it payback for having stolen from me once upon a time.  Every time Roze bugs me to make war, I'll just take 1 more city.

Oh shoot, I totally forgot to actually fight the Peacekeepers.  Just used to doing my usual turn drill.  I hope I don't have to play the turn over again.

Roze and Noah
Roze and Noah

MY 2278.  That took a lot longer to happen than previous games.  I think it's because nobody else developed a Condenser and Borehole civilization the way the Data Angels did.

Peacekeeper subterfuge
Peacekeeper subterfuge

Peacekeeper probe teams destroyed quite a few facilities in my border cities, and took one over, and stole various techs.  I'm a bit blase about it mattering though, as if I have to fight the Data Angels, none of this matters.  Fighting the Data Angels means the correct answer was to never let them get the Weather Paradigm in the 1st place, to play the whole early game around preventing that from happening.  I resent that implication, so I don't find myself even interested in exploring it.  I'm basically riding out this game to see what happens.

It's possible that Roze and I could pull off a joint Conquest victory.  However it seems rather likely that she'll just Transcend.  I'm morally opposed to Transcending and am not going to get in a foot race about it.  It remains to be seen whether I'll try to play any kind of endgame or whether I'll just quit.  It depends on whether I think there's anything interesting about the endgame at all, as opposed to be totally determined by AI buffs.

unanimity
unanimity

Everyone agrees that we should launch a Solar Shade.  I hope it's enough.  I don't have the patience to deal with global flooding on top of everything else.  I'd probably just quit.  I've seen it in like 13 previous test games and it gets old.  I sit around having to deal with that as a basic productivity issue, instead of all the other "catch up" stuff I should be doing to deal with the leading faction.

I lose a mindworm fighting the Peacekeepers.  When the heck did they build the Neural Amplifier?  Looky looky, it's the only thing they did build.  Hm, ok, UN Haven City.  I think I could cut a path to that before calling it quits.  Sucks to not have my mindworms work though.  I start by taking back my city, using some Infantry so that I don't suffer any penalties for ECM or Psi attack.  We'll see if they splash me with more probe teams next turn.  I begrudgingly move my Fission Impact Needlejet air force towards the front, as it will help with probe team elimination.  Lal is using a lot of the 3-Pulse armored probe teams.


Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2019, 06:14:35 PM »
can't count money
can't count money

MY 2279.  My Gaians went a little overboard on eschewing Capitalism.  Actually that wasn't the problem.  They just kept asking their Great Patron to sell them tech, and they kept getting things more advanced than this.  Meanwhile, various other factions never researched it at all.  Go figure.

using up Artifacts
using up Artifacts

MY 2281.  I think I stole the tech for the Nethack Terminus from the University.  It's the first time in a long time I've even had access to a Secret Project.  The Data Angels only need 4 turns to complete it.  I decide to burn Artifacts to rush it, as I certainly don't have the money, and I won't ever be needing Artifacts to get tech advances.

You know, it's only MY 2281.  I'm finishing Genejack Factories and Energy Banks.  I've only just gotten my conquered Believer territory under control with supplementary terraforming.  I haven't had time to make any kind of big fleet of Formers to really go places.  There's nothing abnormal about my empire development compared to any other game of SMAC I've ever played.  The problem is that Thinker mod's use of Condensers and Boreholes is on steroids.  I'm willing to say at this point, with the Weather Paradigm in the game, if the AI gets it the game is not basically playable.  I mean, how much of a joy is it to sit around at the feet of a vastly superior power, having military units doled out to you?  And that doesn't even happen anymore.  Sometimes Roze sells me techs, sometimes she doesn't.  She proceeds into the future at a ludicrous rate, and this game is really only an academic exercise in what the AI's endgame is going to look like.

And to add insult to injury, the Data Angels cheat.  They're Cybernetic, raking in a +2 RESEARCH advantage.  They're supposed to be doing Thought Control, and they'll go to war with me if I deviate from it.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2019, 07:23:15 PM »
MY 2283.  I steal the tech for the Cyborg Factory.  Zhakarov needs 2 turns to complete.  I only have 4 Artifacts, not enough to rush it this turn.  I think I can do it next turn.  I switch production to a lot of supply crawlers, some of which will complete next turn.

tired of this
tired of this

MY 2284.  Dammit, the Datatechs had 2 copies of the Bulk Matter Transmitter they were working on, as well as the Cyborg Factory.  They weren't due to complete the latter for 6 turns.  But they completed the BMT and then used the copy to also complete the CF.  It's really tedious poring over junk like that to figure out what's going on.  This has all the hallmarks of the previous 13 games, where at some point in the game, the AI just gets to have everything.  Even if by some miracle I find a way to win this game, I'd never sign up for the experience again, because it's such a drag.  More like "been there, done that, got the testing t-shirt."

and this is long since old too
and this is long since old too

Was that on cue too, for my complaining?  I think after this turn, I'm going to find something more fun to do with my life.  Like crawl around under my car and look for oil leaks, so that I can watch tons of videos boring myself to death about how to fix it.  At least I'll have something to show for the pain.

walk in to Neural Amplifier
walk in to Neural Amplifier

The Peacekeepers subverted one of my border cities last turn.  In a curious turn of events, the Data Angels subverted the subverted city.  Well I guess now I don't have a border problem there anymore!  UN Haven City has also been left wide open.  I believe I can air drop into it.  In fact, I can orbitally insert anywhere on Planet, I sort of forgot about that.  Wanna bet an Aerospace Complex is going to get in the way of my drop though?  Yep, it's got one.  But I think I can pass a Hovertank into there.

your mother was a hamster
your mother was a hamster

Ha ha!  To add insult to injury, I used a Scout Hovertank, escorted by a Gun Jet.  I suppose I'd better reinforce with some probe teams though.  And now launch a real invasion to secure my prize.  Didn't seem worth it before, but the opportunity has opened up.  The Datatechs have also softened a lot of the resistance, providing distractions.

full metal warlord
full metal warlord

Actually, the quickest way to keep from being subverted is to switch to Power.  That puts my PROBE at +3, making me immune to subversion.  It has consequences, like cutting my income in half, but eh, nearly the end of the game.  Hm, actually it says I can't be subverted by standard probe teams.  Hope Thinker doesn't know about Algorithmic Enhancement.  It won't be getting it from the Nethack Terminus, I snagged that for myself.

Ok this has worn me out, and now this new state of affairs is going to get complicated.  It's about 2:30 PM and I'm going to go do that really fun, amazing jack-up-the-car job.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2019, 10:42:32 PM »
4:45 PM and I'm done wiping up oil, woo hoo!  Is it going to be as much fun wiping up the rest of this game?

future so bright gotta wear shades
future so bright gotta wear shades

MY 2284 still.  I am Governor, so I can make a proposal every 10 years.  I still have to wait 4 years to Increase Solar Shade.  Hope I remember and hope it helps.  Roze did complete the Bulk Matter Transmitter, which tends to kick the eco-damage into overdrive.

I take UN Haven City and stock it with 4 drop troops and a probe team.  The good news is the Peacekeepers are making expensive Silksteel hovertank probe teams.  That means they take a long time to make.  In the next 2 turns, I will probably only have to deal with 1 of them.  And, I don't think they're Algorithmically Enhanced, so I don't think they can take over my cities.

I take a city next to UN Haven City as well.  I don't take a 3rd because it's defended with a tough ECM unit.  I need to get a rail close enough to the city to do a mindworm assault.  Then it will go down.  Alternately, Roze may just blow through it next turn anyways.

It is disturbing the extent to which my empire is defended by Green Trance Scouts.  I've never had time to make any kind of real garrisons anywhere.  What I'm using as a garrison, are drop troop leftovers from Roze when I invaded the Believers.  I'm still stealing techs and the highest armor level is now Neutronium.  In my mod that's strength 12 and it's very expensive to make.  I'm only completing a Skunkworks next turn.

I've had to queue up many Pressure Domes because cities are threatened.

Offline Vidsek

Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2019, 12:39:14 AM »
        ACKKKKK!!!

  You reminded me I seriously need to inspect and clean my vehicle.  Oh, thank you so very much!
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2019, 01:00:49 AM »
  You reminded me I seriously need to inspect and clean my vehicle.  Oh, thank you so very much!

And for the effort spent, I didn't even learn anything more than I already knew.  Gotta replace the valve cover gasket, but I think there's something else wrong and that won't be the end of it.

blitz
blitz

MY 2285.  The Peacekeepers didn't have ECM units elsewhere, they mostly worried about an air force coming for them.  So I was able to take 5 cities in 1 turn with old Hovertank units, left over from the Believer war.  They have stopped in UN Great Refuge due to the limit of their range.  I haven't used any mindworms for this.  1 of the cities was a walk-in, presumably because the Data Angels did something.  The rest of my empire is such a skeleton now!  You could blow a feather and it would fall over, but if nobody's blowing, because Roze is keeping them busy, then I guess I'm ok.  I've got garrison units coming but the new armor is expensive, and I have a lot of Pressure Domes I have to rush.

dug in at HQ
dug in at HQ

MY 2286.  That's the end of the blitz.  I was able to take 1 more city easily.  The 2nd city, it had a measly piece of Plasma ECM in it.  I threw unit after unit after unit at it to take it down.  There was no point in saving them for anything else, because the other 3 land bases are defended by strength 5 Silksteel ECM units.  I even had to crash an Elite Impact Needlejet in order to finally break the base, the end was such a rockfight!  Although in hindsight I didn't have to, as 1 Needlejet was actually in range.  When there are so many units to move on a turn, how are you going to know?  Well, beyond my patience level at any rate.  I took the base, and I used up old units, that's the main thing that matters.  The last 3 land bases, and all the sea bases, I hope Roze takes those.

The extreme difficulty of getting into these bases with Hovertank units, just because of one ECM defender, makes me revisit Tim Nevolin's idea of dropping the ECM buff to +25% defense.  He also did that with Trance units, although I have less of an opinion on that at this time.  I think the balance of power still favors Psi attacks, even if I haven't been able to utilize them presently.  Finally there's the question of AAA defense.  Maybe overpowered.

I'm rushing an AAA Neutronium Missile Infantry unit at my Skunkworks using those supply crawlers I didn't get to use for a Secret Project.  Roze just sold me Chronoton gun technology.  That's strength 16, my version of a Quantum Laser.  They're gonna be expensive to make and I can't even get garrison units done, with my feeble (!) Genejack Factories.  I clearly don't have time left in the game to build better factories either.  One might even wonder if I have time to build heavy duty garrison units.  I just have this paranoia that someone's gonna start hitting me with Conventional Missiles at any moment.  I built a Flechette screen everywhere against that eventuality, but fat good it's going to do me with Green Trance Scout defenders!

If I get the rail completed, I can take these last cities out with mindworms.  That will take a fair number of turns though.  I could mobilize the mindworms before then, but they'd be stuck out in the field and unable to move back for defense.

I have a paranoia about that.  In other games, when I've emptied out cities of cannon fodder units, the AI has blasted them with Conventional Missiles to destroy my Artifacts.  My CMs can hit anywhere on Planet.  Granted, in recent versions of my mod they don't move quite as fast as they used to.  Only 30-ish moves per turn, but they don't use fuel and stay aloft indefinitely.  This may explain why the CM spamming hasn't been as bad this game as some other games I've played.  The enemy AIs are probably shooting whatever missiles they've got at closer targets, which is fine by me.  I wanted all cities to be afraid of Planet Busters.  I didn't want to make it easy for the AI to pester and spam with CMs, that was never a goal.

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2019, 03:08:54 AM »
what cloning vats will do for you
what cloning vats will do for you

MY 2287.  Roze deposes me.  Forget Transcending, I smell Diplomatic Victory soon.  I put the Cloning Vats near the end of the tech tree, but it gets reached eventually.

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2019, 03:12:17 AM »
tempting offer!
tempting offer!

Should I take him up on the profoundly negative credits??!?  Well, it would either make me infinitely wealthy, infinitely poor, or something like broke.  It might give me an interesting result, but it wouldn't help me test this endgame.  So I'm going to decline.

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Re: Thinker mod March 26 development test
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2019, 03:59:23 AM »
end of the line for me
end of the line for me

MY 2287 still.  I'm done.  I've played numerous test games already with this kind of thing happening in Thinker mod, and in Fission Armor mod before that.  No more.

This turn, somehow massive flooding did substantial damage to my empire.  It even knocked a size 16-ish city down to size 9 instantly.  I don't even understand the logic of that, if there is any.  Lal did just have a weird energy bug not that many seconds ago, so who knows what's going on under the hood of the game.

I don't have the Formers to fix this.  Even if I did, trying to repair the various rivers of Death is a serious drag.  Basically it can't be done.  Belatedly, the Data Angels have succeeded in ruining Planet.  And somehow, all at once.

If I were still Governor, then next year I could propose to Increase Solar Shade again.  Now, I don't even know if I can do that.  Not that I want to.  It's just idle speculation on how yet another turn may have gone.

So that's the end of me ever playing Thinker mod again on Transcend with cost_factor=7 !  My verdict is it's unplayable.  Unless you want the game to be about grabbing the Weather Paradigm, and immediately killing anyone who somehow manages to grab the Weather Paradigm instead of you.  My modding did manage to put the Borehole brakes on all the other factions.

Some time I may try Transcend with cost_factor=10 again, same as a human player.  I did try that before, but I think it was 2 development releases ago.  A number of important things have changed since then, so the experience cannot be expected to be comparable.

Even then, the AI will be able to build Condensers and Boreholes without doing any real eco-damage.  This planet would have been long since underwater if a human player built an empire like Roze did.  The whole premise of Thinker mod is basically built around a cheat in the AI's favor.  Harmless enough in the stock binary, since it's too dumb to make much of any Condensers or Boreholes.  Deadly, and unforgivably aggravating, in the hands of Thinker mod.

Another thing seriously annoying about Thinker mod is diplomacy is broken.  AIs go to war with you over social engineering choices that they themselves are making.  That matters quite a bit when the AI has the power of the USA, and you have the power of, like, Mali.  When your choices are the difference between pop booming and not.

And it's really irritating to listen to, say, Socialist Deirdre give me a tongue lashing about not being Green.  Or Fundamentalist Yang ranting about how I'm supposed to be a Police State.  Totally destroys my willing suspension of disbelief.  In short, I'm not willing.

So, how many better things will I find to do with my life, before trying cost_factor=10 ?  Not sure, but cleaning oil out of the underside of my car sounds really exciting, attractive, and invigorating by comparison.  Whether that's fair or not, all these test games have set my expectations rather low.

I will give Induktio credit that he has fixed some things, in reaction to various people's input, including mine.  Perhaps I should just go to sleep for several months again and see where his work ends up.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 04:18:22 AM by bvanevery »

 

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