Author Topic: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod  (Read 22641 times)

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Offline Hagen0

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #570 on: July 01, 2020, 09:11:49 AM »
Yes, I would like to see Colony Pods reverted to 3 rows and early base growth to 2 rows as well. I think formers at 2 rows is also better.

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #571 on: July 01, 2020, 12:31:17 PM »
What I personally would like from your mod is balancing out some of the overpowered options.

Do you consider ICS an overpowered option?
Tim

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #572 on: July 01, 2020, 12:32:34 PM »
Interesting trade offs between a variety of options in terms of base development and social engineering would be even better.

What are they? Can you give an idea or at least an example of some?
Tim

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #573 on: July 01, 2020, 02:03:04 PM »
Yes, I would like to see Colony Pods reverted to 3 rows and early base growth to 2 rows as well. I think formers at 2 rows is also better.

Thank you.
I may try to do this just. However, I would love to understand what are you looking for in general. Please help me understand. Obviously, different people have different preferences. Some like blue shade of SMAC and despise green one of SMAX. Others are absolute opposite. If you can tie your proposals with how game gets better or worse in general for everybody somehow - that would be an awesome start.

Regarding the speed. This is not real-time shooter. I don't believe the number of event per turn matters at all. The number of event per unit of playing time - maybe. This is not a Starcraft type RTS where you build 10% of the time and then fight other 90%. This is classical 4X where expansion, growth, and development happens throughout the game. It is quite natural that number of bases/units/events per turn increase with progress. You have 2 bases and 2 units at start and then 50 bases and 200 units sometimes later. The duration of a turn increases over time as it takes longer to manage stuff. That is pretty normal way of things. There is no wasted time where you just stare at the screen waiting for something to be built. Player keeps doing things and this is all that matters.

Is number of event a turn a concern really? If so then let's say we speed up development to make more events happening within a turn. Start with 10 units, 10 bases of size 10 with infrastructure already built, etc. Discoveries happening 4 times a turn, there is great choice to select from facilities/units/SP in each base, they are all have decent production, etc. Would that make you happy? After all there is an accelerated start option that does just that. This is not a sarcasm. I am seriously asking whether you find this type of game start interesting.

Keep in mind, though, that this is a development game. So you throughout the game one either progresses 2 bases, 2 units -> 50 bases, 200 units or 20 bases, 20 units -> 500 bases, 2000 units with accelerated start. The development slope doesn't change and if you have more at the beginning you'll end up with proportionally more at the end. Faction grows from tiny to huge. The whole game time and development speed is balanced to make manageable at the end. The small initial size is the logical consequence of that.

Tim

Offline Hagen0

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #574 on: July 01, 2020, 06:45:32 PM »
I already mentioned that high turn count is bad for Pbems. It is also annoying in SP for me as it focuses more time on pushing explorers around early game which I find much less interesting than faction management. Speaking of which lower costs of formers and colony pods change the balance of warfare vs civilian development. The difference in quality of land between factions arguably matters more if formers are more expensive. Also clearly, the devlopment speed of 2->50 bases would be quite different to 20->500 bases as this is largely a function of technological level which would be higher in the later case. You are really go overboard with these reductive and extreme comparisons.

I don't find accelerated starts appealing at all. However, I'd be in favor of starting with a former, 2 colony pods and 2 scout patrols as in IP games.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 10:52:54 PM by Hagen0 »

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #575 on: July 01, 2020, 07:35:00 PM »
It's already 2 colonies and scout at start. Would extra former or two compensate for more expensive former/colony for you? Or you still want them cheaper even with free start formers?
Tim

Offline Hagen0

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #576 on: July 01, 2020, 10:54:01 PM »
On top of the lower costs. This change also has balance implications. It massively buffs factions with early research issues like Miriam and Yang.

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #577 on: July 02, 2020, 04:34:01 AM »
Here you go then. Everything you asked for. Read changelog.
https://github.com/tnevolin/thinker-doer/raw/fastgame/releases/TheWillToPower-fastgame.zip

Its your time now to test balance implications. Enjoy it but please also do these to compose a comprehensive feedback.

1. Check all features are working as described in changelog. Especially, please thoroughly test base growth formula. It should take all things into account: base size, Children Creche, GROWTH rating, golden age, and everything else that affects nutrient row size. I'm sorry, I just slapped staff together and didn't test all possible cases.

2. Play test it with different factions. It would be nice if you can play through the whole game or at least until the late game past advanced terraforming. That is to make sure these changes do not make later game worse.

Watch Morganites in every game too. You can play them or just observe AI. They should suffer growth restriction while other faction bases skyroket. That is another balance implication for them.
I did move Hab Complex much earlier especially to help them out. You may play with it and reassign Hab Complex back to Industrial Automation to see how much this throw them back comparing to other factions.

Unfortunately, I've already started working on tech tree revamping. So this version is built on top of new tech tree. It should not matter much for your particular purpose. However, be aware of this too. Let me know if it doesn't work well.
Tim

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #578 on: July 02, 2020, 05:05:11 AM »
I tried it myself just to get a feeling on it and it reminded me the perpetual vanilla problem. Cheap colony pod is easy to build. That exhausts base population at immense rate. Sometimes with good mineral resources it even cannot produce colony until it grows to size 2. Even without mineral resources bases are still fluctuating around size 1-2. It is so fast that game design cannot handle it well.

I understand you want to speed it up. However, all game engine and design was around the whole game play time in mind. Everything is tailored to that. To make it faster we need to revamp the whole fabric of the game universe to fit it into say 200 turns if we want to double the speed. It is too much work with high chance to break things even more. I'd say we should work with what we have with minimal non too invasive changes.

Anyway. You have your tool now and we are anticipating your game report. You may feel it different. 😉
Tim

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #579 on: July 02, 2020, 06:38:49 AM »
# Version 70

* Both human and AI get extra colony and former as controlled by free_formers, free_colony_pods in thinker.ini.
* techtree version changes included.
* The Planetary Transit System fixed. See Readme for details.

Tim

Offline Hagen0

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #580 on: July 02, 2020, 08:04:15 AM »
I will probably finish a game not before the weekend.

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #581 on: July 02, 2020, 12:38:13 PM »
No rush. Take as long as you need.
Tim

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #582 on: July 02, 2020, 01:28:50 PM »
Population boom and The Cloning Vats fix proposal

Give bases 5 extra nutrients each turn instead of instant growth. This is an awesome bonus at the beginning but it diminishes with base size and terraforming development. It'll grow early game base size 1 in 5 turns but for late game base size 20 with 40-50 nutrients surplus won't benefit of it much.

This makes population boom and The Cloning Vats not that OP anymore. Now we can move project back in its place in technology tree and don't worry about triggering population boom anymore. It still is beneficial especially in early game but it is equally harder to trigger it in early game too. By the time it could be routinely triggered by CC + GROWTH + golden age it is averagely beneficial.

Update

I am thinking to keep population boom mechanics as above. At the same time let's decouple The Cloning Vats effect from population boom so they can have cumulative effect. That'll be fun to use both. 😄

CV is perceived as a population producing machinery. Let it convert part of production power into additional nutrient surplus (which in game terms equals to growth). Same way population boom adds nutrients but independent effect so they both can be active at the same time.

I am thinking the base should convert some percentage of its surplus minerals into nutrients. Say 20%. This way base with 20 mineral production makes 4 extra nutrients. I think this is fare for SP without maintenance comparing to golden age that requires some investment to be induced.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 02:03:12 PM by tnevolin »
Tim

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #583 on: July 02, 2020, 04:49:05 PM »
# Version 71

* Population boom fixed. See Readme for details.
* The Cloning Vats fixed. See Readme for details.

Tim

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #584 on: July 03, 2020, 12:47:16 PM »
I will probably finish a game not before the weekend.

I think I found an easy and elegant solution for your perceived slowness problem. This is base square producing 4 nutrients. It approximately makes early bases grow about twice as fast. Especially those on not so good land. For very green land and for later game with advanced terraforming it won't be a big addition anyway. So it makes early game faster but doesn't affect mid-late game much. I've tried it and it indeed makes early development faster. It is also somewhat equalizes different starting locations by giving this to everybody.

Another thing I did is disabled modules discount with reactor. Only weapon and armor now get discount. That allowed me to lower cost for colony to 4 without the fear that it becomes overly cheap with future reactors.
Tim

 

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