Author Topic: Golden Age Pop Boom in SMACX by DilithiumDad  (Read 2180 times)

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Offline sisko

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Golden Age Pop Boom in SMACX by DilithiumDad
« on: August 24, 2012, 12:19:38 PM »
The biggest change in the 2.0 patch of SMACX, in my opinion, was the fix that allows you popboom during a golden age. You just need +2 growth by social engineering, a crehce, and a golden age. This is a bug fix, but it has radical implications for the balance of power between factions. All the factions can pop boom in SMACX 2.0, and this has major implications.

I'll survey the non-booming factions and discuss the impact:

The Original Seven

Hive

The lack of pop boom ability has long been a frustrations for the Chairman's loyal followers. Unfortunately, the patch does not do a whole lot of good. This is because it is very difficult to acheive Golden Ages as the Hive. Your efficiency is set at zero, so if you have a lot of bases you will have lots of buraucratic drones. This is normally no problem because you running Police State and can easily control drones with cops. But police units are no help when it comes to achieving a Golden Age. Running 40% of energy to Psych, recruiting doctors, and building rec commons, hologram theater, research hospital AND tree farm should just bring you into Golden Age in your HQ and maybe a few of your inner core of bases. The best I can manage is to boom from size 4 to size 8 before the Golden Age ends and pop growth drops. Not a huge boom, but certainly better than the alternative. So the net result of the patch is make The Hive a little more competitive in the mid-game (after Tree Farms), delaying the inevitable falling behind that always happens.


Morgan Industries

Golden Age pop booms are a huge benefit to Morgan and just might make him the strongest the Original 7 in SMACX 2.0. The real beauty here is Free Market pop booms. While everyone else is going Demo/Planned and suffering from low efficiency and lousy energy income, Morgan can now go Demo/FM, allocate 20% energy to psych and boom away. Morgan can grow his bases to size 11 very quickly, and with +2 energy times 11 squares plus 9 for the base square plus lots of commerce his research and wealth are going through the roof. If you haven't revisited Morgan since installing the SMACX 2.0 patch, you're missing something special!


Peacekeepers

Lal could pop boom before, so he is not greatly affected by the patch. But Demo/Planned was always a little bit of a problem because of his -1 efficiency. Now the Peacekeeper player can pop boom while running FM along with Demo and netting +1 efficincy during a pop boom (+2 with Knowledge). This reduces drone problems and increases research and wealth considerably.


The Crossfire Kids

The Usurpers

The story here is similar to The Hive, except even worse. Running Frontier/Planned or Fundy/Planned gives you -2 efficiency, which makes it extremely difficult to get a Golden Age except in bases that are less than 6 tiles from your HQ. Running Knowledge values helps a little here. Golden Age pop booms can be done, however, and a few extra citizens in your most developed central bases certainly doesn't hurt. But it's largely irrelevant anyway because this faction (and even more so the Caretakers) is way overpowered with a human at the helm.


Cybernetic Consciousness

The Cyborgs are already the most popular new faction, and the 2.0 patch makes them overpowered, in my opinion. The key here is the +2 efficiency, which makes demo/planned/creche/Golden Age relatively easy to achieve. Once you build all your central bases to size 14, switch to Free Market and watch your research rate shoot through the roof. The Golden Age pop boom effectively removes the cyborgs only weakness, pop growth.


Nautilus Pirates

The -1 efficiency makes it harder to get Golden Ages, and your low mineral production has probably prevented you from getting The Human Genome or the Virtual World (don't neglect the Longevity Vaccine, though, if you are interested in pop booming under Planned economies). On the other hand, all those those tidal harnesses are really raking in energy, especially with Thermocline. Like the Cyborgs, you need Demo/Planned/Creche/Golden Age but you have -1 efficiency instead of +2 so it will be much more difficult. The net effect is modest, but the Pirates are already such a strong faction that this little boost might just put them over the top on high-water maps.


Notes: The regular pop booming factions that lack an efficiency penalty can all do FM pop booms. It is a bigger deal for Lal because of his efficiency penalty, his extra talents that make Golden Ages easy, and his parger hab limit that extends pop booms.

Zak is always limited in pop booms because of extra drones, and I think it would be tough to maintain a Golden Age during an extended pop boom as the University, but I have to admit I haven't tried.

Miriam can do FM pop boom with little problem, and would halp her dig her way out of her research hole. Santiago would have more of a porblem, as much for her inability to use Wealth as for her industry penalty. Santiago is the one who would have the most difficulty building all those psych-enhancing facilities. by the same token, Domai can build any darn facility he pleases, has fewer drones, and can grab the Virtual World easily. So Golden Age pop boom should be relatively easy.

GA pop booms are usually short-lived, becasue it is tough to control drones. It's best to run a quick run of GA pop boom before you build too many bases --probbaly before the second beaurocracy warning. As Pirates I always build tons of bases all over the map (similar to what the AI Svensgaard does) which makes GA tough.

Another interesting point is that if you have too many captured bases it interferes with GA's. This was my problem trying to reach GA with the Usurpers -- I had too many Caretaker bases I was holding!

Link to the article entry: :link:
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 03:46:22 PM by sisko »
Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

Offline NewAgeOfPower

Re: Golden Age Pop Boom in SMACX by DilithiumDad
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 05:26:23 PM »
I found University pop booms incredibly well for extended periods of time, IF your bases have some infrastructure and you grabbed Human Genome Project AND Virtual World. Then again, if you set yourself ahead by grabbing those 2 SPs as the University, you probably won the game already- they just don't know it yet.

Otherwise, drone count begins to become a problem.
As mind to body, so soul to spirit.
As death to the mortal, so failure to the immortal.
Such is the price of all ambition.

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Re: Golden Age Pop Boom in SMACX by DilithiumDad
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 07:54:37 PM »
The Gaiains are incredibly good at pop-booming - those same SPs applying - which is rather counter-intuitive, given the nature of the faction.

Offline sisko

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Re: Golden Age Pop Boom in SMACX by DilithiumDad
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 08:00:51 PM »
and their ability to harvest 2 nutrients from fungus squares is huge when pop-booming..
Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

 

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