Author Topic: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod  (Read 13512 times)

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Offline MercantileInterest

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #795 on: July 27, 2020, 11:21:45 PM »
Good to know. Have traditionally ignored flat terrain, aside from forests.

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #796 on: July 28, 2020, 04:40:29 AM »
# Version 103

* Further modification to native life formulas.
   * Native life generation frequency is configurable.
   * Sea creatures generation frequency is configurable.
   * Native sudden death is configurable.

I think it needs more elaborated explanation.

First of all, I think I figured out why people are talking about ICS and what is the main problem here. Expansion is a good thing. Actually, it is one of the X-s in 4X 😊. It complements base growth not contradicts/competes with it. Indeed, for better development one needs to increase population by both expanding number of bases and grow them at the same time. Moreover, expansion does not stop at any point in the game until all planet surface is occupied. Of course, the cost/value of expanding changes over time depending on how easy is to grab the next available land spot and how good is it and how difficult is the conquest, etc.

So why ISC term and why people see it's an exploit? I'll tell you why. The exploit is not in colony cost but in the unchecked early expansion. To understand why it is unchecked try to compare it with mid game with likely non stop war. Would it be wise to send a colony toward the enemy line to claim the nice land spot? Nope. This would be a complete suicide and, thus, complete waste of invested resources. Then why colonies travel long distance unprotected and bases thrive happily with only one defender (or even without one)? Obviously, because the pressure from natives is so small that it is much cheaper just spam colonies unprotected. About 5% of them die. Another 5% of newly established bases die as well. This is still economically better than over protect each colony and base. That is why it is called spamming. It is essentially an undisturbed pregame bases distribution. They one who spams them quicker claims more land and advantage for following war stage. Human players exploit this since they know how weak native threat is. AI does not as they use same algorithm and keep building protective units even on early stage. This pregame - game switch is easy to notice when human player faction existed quite a long time with bare protection and then suddenly they need to beef up their defense with more units and defensive structures against their aggressive neighbors. At this moment expansion suddenly stops completely and most bases are refitted to combat units. Economy takes a drastic turn.

I am all for expansion. However, this transition from "take free land as fast as possible at all cost disregarding defense" to "protect your bases at all cost - everything to defense" seems too sharp for me. As I said, it is like a pregame and game and each has its own strategy. Something is not right here. Then I realized that native life is there to substitute peer pressure in absence of peers. It essentially should play this role and checks everybody's expansion into wilderness until such check is transitioned to opposing factions. The only problem is that it does not play that role well. It is too weak and does not force player for pay extra attention to defense. I believe by turning number of native units up we can close the gap between wimpy vanilla native pressure and real enemy faction. I believe it would help AI a lot as it is already prepared for that with their algorithms while forcing the human player to match their defense to that of the AI against more frequent worm attacks.

I have tested it a little on maximal settings when land natives is created every turn and didn't see any problems for AI to expand. They successfully keep building new bases while fighting natives at the same time. Rarely bases got wiped but not at noticeable rate. So, I guess, it is pretty much fine from the strategy point of view and doesn't just block expansion completely.

About parameters.

I have reverted it back to be dependent on native life level rather than difficulty level. I think it makes perfect sense as native life level does modify the score significantly! So it should control the native life abundance.

Vanilla tries to create natives N times per turn. There are certain criteria as where native unit can appear. If all of these tries are unsuccessful unit is not created. Apparently, the more tries the more often units are created. Vanilla scale is 2-4-6 for each level of native life. I've changed it to 4-7-10 which is about 1.5-2.0 times higher. Now even the average level should present at least some challenge.

Keep in mind that this is all nonlinear dependencies. Needs some play testing and play feeling to get the right amount. Please do not complain that game becomes harder at the beginning. This change is supposed to make it so. The question is whether you feel any difference between native life levels and whether these differences match the ultimate native life final score modifiers: 0.75-1.00-1.25, correspondingly. 25% is are big modifier so game should become significantly more difficult with abundant native life.

Offline MercantileInterest

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #797 on: July 28, 2020, 06:59:29 PM »
When playing multiplayer some time ago (before your mod), my group noticed that transports and isles of the deep have a very high chance of fishing alien artifacts out of sea pods. Irritating little bug.

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #798 on: August 01, 2020, 01:34:28 AM »
# Version 109

* [fix] Late starting factions (aliens and Planet Cult) never got their extra colony). Now they do.

That was the secret why Cult most of the time.

Re: SMAX - The Will to Power - mod
« Reply #799 on: August 01, 2020, 01:34:40 AM »
# Version 108

* Alternative inefficiency formula.\



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