Author Topic: Why Cult of Planet sucks?  (Read 450 times)

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Offline tnevolin

Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« on: December 22, 2019, 07:59:11 PM »
It constantly sucks big time. Question is why and how it can be enhanced.
5 turns delay is not such a big deal in both time and space terms. Initial worm with triple speed in fungus should make it up in no time. +2 PLANETS = 50% chance of capture = should result in quite a large native army. -1 ECONOMY is nothing. -1 INDUSTRY is something but still doesn't negate army of worms.
There could be fluctuations, of course but it is not clear for me why it sucks all the time. Anybody have a theory?
Tim

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2019, 10:09:11 PM »
Sucks in what context?  You playing it in the original game?  The AI playing it in the original game?  You or the AI playing it with Thinker Mod?

Here's my version:

Code: [Select]
#FUNGBOY
The Cult of Planet, The Voice, Planet Cult, M, 1, Cha Dawn, M, 1, 0, 0, 0, 1,
  IMMUNITY, RESEARCH, WORMPOLICE, 0, SOCIAL, ++PLANET, UNIT, 8, PROBECOST, 150
  Politics, Extremist, PLANET
  Politics, Democratic, nil

Note that none of my factions get penalties, and almost none of them get free techs.  That's my baseline for AI performance.  I have them as a pure Explore faction.  In the original game they are Explore, Conquer.  In both the original and my mod, they are Aggressive.  They fixate on Extremist and they cannot do Democratic.

In my mod with my tree and conditions, they perform "ok".  I consider them a nuisance rather than a serious threat.  They seem to stop being relevant sometime around midgame.  Typically they lose the Secret Project races and are not worth conquering.

Offline tnevolin

Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2019, 01:39:57 AM »
Sorry, I meant as AI comparing to other AIs. Both in original games and in Thinker mod.
Tim

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019, 02:42:26 AM »
Capturing mindworms isn't going to make them into an effective army.  They typically end up being somewhere on the map that's way far away from anything you can hold, even when you're being careful not to get them killed.  Generally speaking captured mindworms can harass, they can't conquer.  Captured mindworms are good for defense if you bring them back home and use them intelligently against a stupid AI.

Producing mindworms takes a lot of resources.  -1 INDUSTRY certainly doesn't help with that.  It's a cruel penalty which is why it isn't in my mod.

The stock AI isn't effective with them even when it has a lot of them.  In my mod I constantly see the AIs fixating on mindworm production in the mid to late game.  It is probably a cheaper bang for the buck unit than other things in my tech tree.  The mass of mindworms is certainly there, but the AI's use of them, is a joke.  They do, however, provide an irritating defense of bases.  I've played a number of games where I've orbital inserted into enemy territory way across the map, only to be cut to pieces by hordes of mindworms.

I'm tempted to conclude that any mindworm heavy faction directed by the stock AI is doomed.

Offline tnevolin

Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 04:05:13 PM »
Yes, I noticed that too. However, even mindworms aside they develop exceptionally poor. When I play them I may not have some exciting benefits but I manage to be on par with other: expand, build colonies, formers, etc. When AI plays them even if they start 5 turns later I usually see them having just one base at turn 20-40 while others have 4-6 already. That cannot be explained by worms mismanagement. Some other hidden factors are in play there.
Tim

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 04:49:01 PM »
All the AI players are capable of getting their Colony Pods killed in mazes of fungus by mindworms.  I've never seen a faction that was immune to it, nor ever found any combination of *.txt mod settings that would prevent it.  I've contemplated giving everyone 4 Colony Pods to start with, to cut down the odds of it being a problem.  That's a pretty major change in early play mechanics though, so I haven't done it.

If you've seen the Cult bite the dust this way more often than other factions, 3 possibilities spring to mind.  1) You're engaged in selective observation and haven't been studying the problem rigorously.  Other factions have simply escaped your notice.   2) The Cult may not be balanced in the original game.  They do have a -1 INDUSTRY penalty and that could be quite crippling.  It's easy enough to remove that and see if it ends the problem.  None of the factions in my mod have any penalties, and I haven't noticed the Cult being especially prone to bad development, but then again, 1).

3) Having a higher PLANET rating, the AI may be overly confident in its ability to move across fungus.  It may stir up mindworms a lot more than other factions, and not be doing it with sufficient logic for protecting their Colonists.  Mindworms kill the Cult!


Offline tnevolin

Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 04:58:55 PM »
1) You're engaged in selective observation and haven't been studying the problem rigorously.  Other factions have simply escaped your notice.

Of course, I am engaged in selective observation and haven't been studying the problem rigorously! That is why I am seeking other peoples opinion to solidify my observations.
:D

2) The Cult may not be balanced in the original game. They do have a -1 INDUSTRY penalty and that could be quite crippling.  It's easy enough to remove that and see if it ends the problem.  None of the factions in my mod have any penalties, and I haven't noticed the Cult being especially prone to bad development, but then again, 1).

Yeah. I thought that too. Never could understand why they deserve this. I've removed their INDUSTRY penalty in my mod and will observe if it helps them.

3) Having a higher PLANET rating, the AI may be overly confident in its ability to move across fungus.  It may stir up mindworms a lot more than other factions, and not be doing it with sufficient logic for protecting their Colonists.  Mindworms kill the Cult!

That's an interesting thought. Thank you for idea.
Tim

Offline bvanevery

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Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2020, 10:56:03 PM »
Never could understand why they deserve this.

I think someone thought +2 PLANET was "incredibly powerful", and they were wrong.  It's not much better than +1 PLANET.  Especially on Huge maps, I've gotten really massive armies of mindworms with only +1 PLANET.  So all that +2 is really giving you, is +10% more attack bonus for psi combat.

The original authors may also have been intellectually committed to giving all factions a penalty to go with their bonuses.  This is bad design because those penalties are not all created equal.  Lacking sufficient variety to cover 14 factions, they doled them out, and someone got the worst penalty.  That's why I got rid of them.  It clearly helps the AIs not to have to deal with them.

The other super crippling penalty is Morgan's -1 SUPPORT.  It's daft.

Santiago has the -1 INDUSTRY penalty, but her faction abilities in the original game may make up for it better.

Offline Nexii

Re: Why Cult of Planet sucks?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2020, 08:44:47 PM »
Yea to repeat Cult is weak because PLANET SE is weak. 2 PLANET isn't worth their penalties unless you do some modding

things like:
- psi def for PLANET
- making it harder to completely avoid ecodamage
- reduce mind worm cost

Especially for Cult cheaper mind worms would help them early, as they have in-built police modifier

It's also that I think the 50% doesn't always apply, the more you capture odds go down. There's probably a thread somewhere that explains this mechanic

 

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