Author Topic: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod  (Read 27239 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1350 on: November 22, 2020, 07:18:28 AM »
I don't think colonists should get instant teleportation for those ideas.  Rather, depopulation should produce colonists, and perhaps not under your control.  Because let's face it, you starved them.

The game would change some if killing a colonist was an atrocity.

I don't think anything good can come of giving units extra movement points.  Too easily abused.

Offline MercantileInterest

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1351 on: November 22, 2020, 03:58:01 PM »
No. In this scenario, you use the PTS to forcibly relocate the population to other bases. Not starve them.

The doubling road movement within territory is a step on the way to magtubes more than anything else.

Infiltration expiring after a time is probably for the better but it weakens the Planetary Datalinks, already one of the weakest projects. In single player, you're more advanced than everyone else by the time you build it. In multiplayer, the other factions deliberately stop trading to keep tech from falling into your hands. Infiltration expiring only makes this weaker. Would be for the better if the Planetary Datalinks also worked for techs already held by 3+ infiltrated factions, rather than only those which are discovered later. If you're already behind, you catch. Regarding the infiltration problem, three possible solutions:

(1) At the start of each turn, the project gives a 1/10th chance of infiltrating one random faction. (The Planetary Datalinks has discovered a bug in the Spartan Datanet. We have placed an infiltrator.)

(2) If you possess the Planetary Datalinks, your infiltration does not expire.

(3) Could just set the price very low in the alphax and accept it as a trash SP that you'd really only want if you already have the Empath Guild.

By the way, does Empath Guild infiltration expire?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 09:01:51 PM by MercantileInterest »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1352 on: November 22, 2020, 05:00:31 PM »
No. In this scenario, you use the PTS to forcibly relocate the population to other bases. Not starve them.

You made a new base where 3 citizens can't eat.  Sounds like starvation to me. 

I did not read your obliteration idea 2. as being dependent upon the PTS.  I thought it was an independent comment.  Making it depend on the PTS, sounds like pretty funky complicated rules.  If you have the multiplayer bias, perhaps you don't care, but the AI doesn't understand such a thing right now.  "If the opponent has the PTS, with its funky rules, then I...?"  Or if I have the PTS, then I...?

Quote
The doubling road movement within territory is a step on the way to magtubes more than anything else.

I'm opposed to magic hand wavy capabilities for home territory.  Although there might be some possibilities of legitimate modeling of real world phenomena, like the Viet Cong being supported by friendly villages, that should have some pretty specific modeling of the forces and material movements involved.  A blanket "Hey the Reich always fights better, it's the Fatherland" is completely silly.  Enemies in war get their asses handed to them all the time.  That's pretty much what makes it war.  Nobody would do war if there was some magic advantage "it's my side, I win" like it's a game of tag.

Quote
In single player, you're more advanced than everyone else by the time you build it.

Not in my mod.  It's a Tier 3 Secret Project, same as many others, and costing my standard 300 minerals for an early project.  WTP makes most SPs very painful to finish, and this has consequences.

Quote
By the way, does Empath Guild infiltration expire?

That would be irrational / a bug.  Mods have also priced the E.G. as vastly more expensive than in the stock game.  You get what you pay for.

Offline MercantileInterest

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1353 on: November 22, 2020, 08:59:30 PM »
I'm talking about alternatives to the default rules for the Planetary Transit System, not supplements. The current ones don't make sense because they create new population out of thin air but only when a base is constructed or when the project is completed. If you could actually grow new-citizens in tanks, you would do it all the time, as with the cloning vats. Therefore, new bases not start at size three and not starvation.

ACB has already tinkered with the default rules because he finds them unsatisfactory.

I don't know whether the implementation of my suggested rules would be complicated. We know the game already ranks bases, because it shows lists of best bases in the datalinks.

It's hardly a magic hand wave to suggest that the Planetary Transit System affect transit.

I'm not suggesting what the Empath Guild should do. I'm asking what it already does.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1354 on: November 22, 2020, 10:24:51 PM »
Hmm, if it's just an anti-starvation SP, then my question is, why is that particularly helpful or important?  I don't consider starving a few colonists to be a big deal.  I also tend to manage most of my cities to keep that from happening in the 1st place.  So this would only provide me a benefit for 1 or 2 cities per game.  Not important to do that.

I don't consider the PTS as is to be a worthwhile SP either.  Smallpox is anathema to me, and that's probably the only circumstance where the PTS is a benefit.

PTS lowering the cost to build roads, or rails, or making rails available earlier, might be more thematically appropriate.  Thing is, rails are available plenty early in my mod anyways, so that's not a big whoop.

In stock, the Empath Guild's infiltration benefit is permanent.  I would expect it to be so in WTP, but I have not verified it.  If it does not, I say that's a bug.

Offline MercantileInterest

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1355 on: November 23, 2020, 05:21:14 AM »
You took crawlers out of the alphax. I had mistakenly thought you left them in but done some exe wizardy so that they could only crawl and not be used for projects.

In the readme, you mention issues with crawlers. Other than project exploits, what do you have in mind?

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1356 on: November 23, 2020, 02:16:50 PM »
You took crawlers out of the alphax. I had mistakenly thought you left them in but done some exe wizardy so that they could only crawl and not be used for projects.

In the readme, you mention issues with crawlers. Other than project exploits, what do you have in mind?


Here.
http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=21359.msg126485#msg126485

Check all the posts that lead to this conclusion. Keep in mind this is not my sole authoritative decision but rather weighted feedback average. Feel free to continue this discussion if you like. I'm open to move either way, as always.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1357 on: November 23, 2020, 07:10:56 PM »
I did not directly participate in a supply crawler discussion.  However I think Tim knew my views on them well enough at the time.  Induktio wrote an AI that exploited and abused supply crawlers to the hilt, in concert with thermal boreholes and condensers.  This automated a lot of what the multiplayer crowd was doing manually.  It was pretty much the golden One True Successful path through the game.

It wasn't in my personal play style repertoire and not something I particularly enjoy.  I've done my worlds full of densely packed boreholes.  I've done my super capitols with a gazillion crawlers feeding it energy.  They're abusive and not that entertaining to do over and over again.  They're a form of grinding, so I don't do them.  I tend to do "forest and forget" because of that key word, forget.  You plant some trees at the beginning, mostly your job is soon done.  Doesn't put Planet thousands of meters underwater.

So, once I understood how some players and Induktio's AI would do things, I changed my mod to thwart it.  I didn't banish any of these tactics, but I substantially delayed them until the late game.  If you want to win that way, you can, but there are a number of other ways to win.  I deprived these tactics of their status as the One True Way to win the game.  I didn't want to be forced to slavishly imitate such tactics in order to keep up.

I also doubled the amount of time it takes to build these things, to slow down the hit parade.  And supply crawlers are more expensive.  That doesn't affect Secret Project goosing much, as you're just working with bigger denominations of minerals.  But it does penalize energy and minerals harvesting, which is very much my intent.  It shouldn't be quite such a gravy train.

Supply crawlers pose a real problem for game balance.  The stock game is in no way balanced with them, they are easily exploited.  Any mod worth its salt IMO, needs to do something about supply crawlers.  Banning them entirely, is a reasonable decision in my view, because they're that bad.  I took a more nuanced approach, but it doesn't trouble me at all, to see them gone.

I might suggest reusing the art assets for something though.  A binary mod, probably does make that possible somehow.

In my own mod, I banned choppers, with the exception of my 1 Unity Lifter unit.  I somewhat miss having chopper artwork flailing around.  However it's not worth the dire consequences to the game mechanics, of having the chopper chassis available.  My mod targets the stock binary only, no binary modding, so banning was the only reasonable option.  I did try choppers with few movement points, but they're so boring that I never build them.  They're especially useless on Huge maps, so I just said, time to get rid of them completely.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1358 on: Yesterday at 05:44:49 AM »
New game with version 197.  It includes a setting for making mindworms half strength until some turn.  I'm testing with the default of turn 20.  I will bump it to 30 if I experience problems.  In the stock binary, I have seen triple mindworm pod pops starting that year.

alternative_combat_mechanics_loss_divider=1.0
combat_bonus_territory=15
15,      ; Combat % -> intrinsic base defense
25,      ; Combat % -> Fanatic attack bonus
Trance Scout Patrol, Trance Formers, and Trance Sea Formers removed from predefined units.

Huge map, 30%..50% land, average settings.  Random opponents.  I drew the Cyborgs.

early xenofungal blooms
early xenofungal blooms

My starting location was reasonably lush, and I popped a minerals bonus immediately.  That made it a no brainer as to where to put my capitol.  However it was not obvious which way to go with the 2nd colonist as I had a lot of fungus around.  It was clearer than shown in the screenshot.  Up north, I explored the river system with my Colonist, but all I saw was dry scratchy land.  I used the roads I had created with my Formers to turn to the southeast.  I had a viable settlement spot, right where my Colonist currently is.  But in MY 2110 I popped 2 pods and got 2 fungal blooms, cutting me off to the northwest and southeast.

It's obnoxious.  If it proves to be a problem, I will file an issue about it, even if the issue is difficult to find a solution for.

still too early
still too early

I cut a hole in the fungus to rejoin my cities.  So far the fungal barriers haven't proven to be a dealbreaker, but they did have the effect of delaying my 2nd settlement quite a bit.  Consequently, MY 2123 is too soon to be being whacked by double mindworms of normal deadliness.  I saved the game and looked at the odds calculator.  It said I had a 74% chance to win, but based on previous experience with these events, I didn't believe it at all.  Sure enough, I died.  On a 2nd run I did kill the 1st worm, but took 90% wounds, so the 2nd worm will surely wipe me.  And of course it has spawned right next to the Mine that I painstakingly built on my 1st mineral special.

I edited thinker.ini:
aliens_fight_half_strength_unit_turn=30

Then I did Start New Game and loaded my saved game.  I don't think it picked up the new setting.  I was given the same odds of success.  I had a couple of times where I killed the 1st worm and only took 40% wounds, so at first I was encouraged.  But then I went through a lot of summary deaths, as before.  It doesn't seem to be any easier, so I will start a completely new game.  I am supposing that the setting gets baked at the start of the game.

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 06:10:51 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1359 on: Yesterday at 06:59:07 AM »
New game with version 197.
aliens_fight_half_strength_unit_turn=30
alternative_combat_mechanics_loss_divider=1.0
combat_bonus_territory=15
15,      ; Combat % -> intrinsic base defense
25,      ; Combat % -> Fanatic attack bonus
Trance Scout Patrol, Trance Formers, and Trance Sea Formers removed from predefined units.

Huge map, 30%..50% land, average settings.  Random opponents.  I drew the Spartans.

bad maze
bad maze

MY 2119 and I still haven't settled my 2nd city.  Could not find anywhere that wasn't touched by fungus, very poor soil, and no resource specials.  I only popped the 2 Monoliths in the past 2 turns.  If the north turns out to be a paradise, well the joke's on me.  I only had enough units to explore what I did, and the fungal walls will force you to keep going certain directions.

When considering when to make the mindworms full force, the dynamic range of the badness of these starts needs to be considered.  I'm still suffering here.

The Data Angels came through with their probe team.  I sent them home.  The land was even drier than it is now.  They seem to have touched off a river or an earthquake somewhere.

hope they are weak
hope they are weak

MY 2123.  Got my 1st double mindworm pop.  We should be still in the half strength period.  How is this going to go?  My Scout is Disciplined.  I saved the game so that I can run this a few times to see what happens.  1st time, survived the 1st worm just barely, 2nd worm wiped me and hardly took a scratch.  I don't think that counts as "toned down" mindworms.  2nd time, 1st worm killed me.  3rd time, 1 mindworm lives with 30% wounds.  4th time, same thing.  5th time, 1 mindworm lives with 20% wounds.  6th time, both mindworms live.  That's enough runs.

I conclude that double mindworms are way too strong for this to be meaningfully easier.  These just don't seem to be "half strength" mindworms.  I'm not convinced that the new code in version 197 does what it's supposed to.  Maybe the year change is being ignored?

slapped with fungus
slapped with fungus

I decided to continue the game out of morbid curiosity for how bad this will get.  For my trouble I was rewarded with a fungal bloom next to my capitol.  Now the fungal maze is pretty much completely closed around me.

This is actually a good test of supposed "half strength".  I have 2 Green Scouts facing a somewhat maturing fungal tower.  I have been unable to Complete any Command Centers despite having popped a fair number of pods, so this is as trained as they were going to get.  It's a better case than average because I'm the Spartans.

abort
abort

The odds are terrible.  I don't even try.  I don't think "half strength" is happening with fungal towers either.  It's only MY 2125.

had enough of it
had enough of it

MY 2165.  A big fungal maze forces one to walk a long distance in order to settle stuff.  That also gives enemies a lot of chances to home in on you.  I lost a Scout wounding a Spore Launcher almost to death.  I had a 2nd Scout escorting my Colonist, so I thought I'd finish the almost dead thing off as I settled my city.

Then a Mindworm came up to join it.  I retreated and realized I'd be walking all the way back the way I came.  That's been pretty much the theme of this whole game.  Mazes stretch you out, I suppose.  Felt far too fatigued and bored to put up with this anymore, even if it may be a viable game in some sense.  It's a tedious tooth pulling game, that's for sure.  Looked at the clock and it's 3 AM, so not surprised as that's usually when I get in touch with my real feelings about how something is going.   Sleep is better.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:09:45 AM by bvanevery »

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1360 on: Yesterday at 01:55:26 PM »
Hmm. I think I removed tower 50% and they also should be subject of half strength. I've seen it in vanilla.



Yep. Removed the bonus but not display. Fixed in 198.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:30:00 PM by Alpha Centauri Bear »

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1361 on: Yesterday at 02:42:18 PM »
abort
abort

The odds are terrible.  I don't even try.  I don't think "half strength" is happening with fungal towers either.  It's only MY 2125.


Just a reminder that this is a result of vanilla multi round combat computation which turns 0.875 / 1.25 = 0.7 round odds into 0.28 battle odds (22% winning chance). WTP combat loss divider parameter smoothens it out a little. For example, with its value of 2 it would turns this combat odds into 0.5 (33% winning chance). Using one or another is a matter of preference, as usual.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #1362 on: Yesterday at 07:15:19 PM »
Happy Thanksgiving!  Gobble gobble.
 ;uno
(closest holiday)

New game with version 198.
aliens_fight_half_strength_unit_turn=30
alternative_combat_mechanics_loss_divider=1.0
combat_bonus_territory=15
15,      ; Combat % -> intrinsic base defense
25,      ; Combat % -> Fanatic attack bonus
Trance Scout Patrol, Trance Formers, and Trance Sea Formers removed from predefined units.

Huge map, 30%..50% land, average settings.  Random opponents.  I drew the Caretakers.

the starting empire
the starting empire

Early spread was fairly easy because it's the Caretakers.  With more starting cities, they have more Scouts to push around.  Factions that start with a PLANET bonus, are also scripted to have their 1st mindworm and spore launcher captures automatically successful.  1st Isle capture is also frequently successful.  It's not really a good test of early spread issues.

I popped a forest on the nutrient special next to what became Consonance.  That's the city I'm using to generate Colonists.  Since I had a readymade forest mineral at Star Harmony, I took the unusual step of going for the Weather Paradigm early.  Since I can direct my research, I beelined for the Merchant Exchange so that I can get a cheaper project done fast.  In another 21 turns I'll have it, assuming I don't amass money, which I probably will from pod pops.

I also decided to use coastal cities to make Foil Probe Teams instead of the usual stuff.  Another tactic driven by directed research.  I haven't found anyone else yet though.

96 percent yeah right
96 percent yeah right

MY 2128.  The odds calculator does verify a half strength Isle now.  However, I really don't believe the odds.  What claims like "96% chance of success" really mean, in many psi combats I've had in many games, is that I'm going to lose.  And just barely.  The pattern is so common that there's just no reason for me to believe the calculator.  I don't think it's selective observation.  Now that I've got "pause after every battle" turned on, I may be able to provide some rigor, to this empirical belief of mine that the odds calculator is flat out wrong.  If I really had a 4% chance of failure and just got unlucky this time, I should be having lots and lots of battles that I win, with only the occasional hiccup.  Whereas my "muscle memory" for these psi combats is exactly the opposite.  I almost always lose, and just barely.

triple match
triple match

MY 2129.  This is supposedly my last turn of half strength mindworms.  It's an opportunity to test the odds.  However I don't really need to fight, because my mindworm can kill the "back door" and give the Rover a route of escape.  Still I will save the game, and repeatedly see what can be done.

Not much need to do many runs.  Even the Hardened Unity Rover alone, can defeat 3 mindworm larvae.  Aside from the higher MORALE, the Caretakers also have the +25% Alien Defense and +15% PLANET bonuses working in its favor.   I don't think this is a valid test.  Since it's so lopsided, I'm going to start over with another faction, even though this game is going fine.  It's more important to find out what most factions experience, not a PLANET friendly faction.

I will reiterate my opinion that the magic Alien Defense and Alien Offense bonuses are lame.  It's not compatible with a world view of making them equivalent to 'normal' factions.  I modded those bonuses out eons ago.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:15:11 PM by bvanevery »

 

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