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Age of Ascension

Discussion in 'Crazy Spatz's Alpha Centauri Mod' started by Spatzimaus, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Strange. There's no real difference between how I made those three versus the others, and in fact, the Gravtank, Colony Pod, and Gravship's textures were completely unchanged from their Civ4 versions.

    I nearly always use DX9, because it's less crash-prone in general and I don't really care too much about having reflective water and such. But I thought I'd tested the units in DX10/11 at some point.

    That may just be the solution for now. If need be I'll go back and make the textures again; it's not fun, and it's not easy, but I more or less know what I'm doing.

    That can't happen. Or more specifically, if it's happening then it means AssignStartingPlots is crashing partway through, and not placing them, because each resource has a minimum number of deposits; it's 1 in the vanilla game, and I kept that logic in, but in my mod there will be more.

    Take Dilithium, fo instance. The mod adds two sizes of deposit:
    > The large 5-unit deposits are placed based on the number of pearls, fish and whales: take 2/3rds the number of pearls, add 2/3rds the number of whales, add 1/3rd the number of fish, and round the result down. That's the number of 5-unit deposits that will be placed.
    > The small 3-unit deposits are much simpler: 1 per civ. (Not counting city-states and barbarians, so it'll be 2/4/6/8/etc.)
    On abundant, the sizes are 7 and 4, but the numbers won't change much; the largest will change a bit as the numbers of pearl/whale deposits shift a bit, but that's all.

    If you're running FireTuner and start a new game, then it should say "Adding Dilithium resources to the Sea." followed by the number of large deposits, then "Adding Supplemental Dilithium resources to the Sea." followed by the number of small deposits. Same for oil and water omnicytes; the first entry will be based on the amounts of land-based resources, while the supplemental line will only depend on number of civs.
    So there's just no way it can only be one deposit unless something else is breaking. The most common is that you're using a map type with its own custom spawn table (Highlands, Great Plains, Lakes, most earth maps...) and so it doesn't know how to place deposits.

    It's possible, but the problem is just that I really wanted Neutronium to use a Quarry, to gain the various benefits of that improvement. If I changed it to a new improvement then I'd need to change a few other bits. But yes, it can be done.

    Omnicytes are harder, because they're a dual land/sea resource, but it can be done there as well.

    Unfortunately, no, there isn't. If the AI has nukes, he'll use them early and often, because there's no downside. One of the first things people will do once they get the DLL, I'm sure, is adjust it so that there's a major diplomatic penalty to using nukes, but until then there's just not a lot I can do.
     
  2. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    This is a huge problem for me, since my computer refuses to run DX9 properly, I has just assumed you haden't completed the model textures yet
     
  3. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I'll see what I can do, but I'm learning as I go here. I have no idea why some of those won't work, so I'd be guessing blindly if I try to figure out what caused it. It's strange that anything would work fine in DX9 but fail in DX11, so I'll look into it, but you likely won't see much before the end of this next week.
     
  4. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    Minor typo/bug, in the Game Info text for the Fusion Power research, the "Planet Buster" is called a "Fusion Buster".

    Also, I've just discovered the flavour text for a lot of the buildings etc... Love the various sci-fi references. There's an interesting idea hidden in the Space Elevator text... could it be made to *actually* require an equatorial (roughly speaking) location? :D

    In my current game, I've completed all research but can't seem to build the project to trigger a science victory... Am I missing something?
     
  5. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I'll fix that tonight but besides a whole lot of Real Life time commitments this week, I'm in the middle of transitioning from the old Balance/Content split to the new Base/Mythology/Empires/Ascension split. (And yes, it'll move to v.2.00 in the next update.) While the XML distribution is straightforward, the Lua's a lot more complex to distribute, so it might be a week or two before I even hint at releasing a new version. In the meantime, if it bothers you, just edit the entry. It should be in CIV5GameTextInfos_Civilopedia.xml, in the XML/NewText/En_US/ directory.

    For instance, one big thing I've run into: if mod A adds a new table definition to XML, mod B's XML won't accept tables using it. Originally the thought was to move Building_Bonuses, Building_Resources, Project_Bonuses, etc. to the Base mod, since all three content mods would use those stubs and the Lua could be kept in the Base without duplication. But it isn't working; the content mods just won't link to it correctly.

    I'm still missing some of the flavor text entries in the Nanotech; I never quite get around to adding them, but I should have them in by the next version. But yes, a lot of sci-fi references, especially on the Unit entries, although I'd be very surprised if anyone catches all of them. A few entries mix three or four different novels together, and some of them are kinda obscure. (To be fair, one of the upcoming ones is going to be RIDICULOUSLY obscure, so it could have been worse.) As you can probably guess, I read a lot of science fiction.

    As for the Space Elevator, yes, there are ways to do that equatorial bit. It's not quite as simple as it was in the original SMAC or in Civ4 (where that wonder did have that exact limit at one point), but it can be done indirectly. (Easy way to do it: create a new resource that's only distributed to equatorial areas, and then make the Elevator work like a Forge/Monastery/Mint where it needs a local supply. The harder way involves the new Lua CanConstruct function.)
    But I doubt I'd change it that way; it's just a bit too player-biased. So for gameplay reasons, I'll ignore the fact that it'd be physically impossible to have a space elevator lead to a stationary orbital point unless it was an equatorial anchor or you used a split anchor (a V shape where the points are equidistant from the equator with the same latitude). I am an astrophysicist, after all; this sort of thing bugs me, so I had to at least get it into the lore entries correctly even if I'm willing to ignore it in gameplay.

    If you've researched the Threshold of Transcendence tech, and no one else has won the game already, it should be giving you the option to build the Ascent to Transcendence project. If it's not, then something's wrong; the project doesn't depend on anything else. Actually, even if someone else HAS won the game already it should still give you the option to build the thing, although for a time it wouldn't have the correct effect if someone won.

    One possibility is that the Transcendence victory condition isn't being enabled correctly from the start. If you don't know the Lua syntax for checking this in FireTuner, I'll look it up for you when I get home. (At work at the moment.) It SHOULD be forced on by default, but I might have screwed it up in the last version when I was disabling the space race victory once and for all. In that case, my bad.

    Quick question: when you enable the mod, are you going to the Advanced Setup menu, or just doing a quick start? The override logic is in the Advanced Setup code, so if you didn't go into that menu it might never have triggered. I'll see about fixing that by inserting the override into a standard start-of-game event as well.
     
  6. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    I always use the advanced set-up. One thing I've noticed is that although the domination victory condition is ticked by default it sometimes unticks itself when you start changing the various options. It might just be a visual thing where it's *really* still selected in the background since you can still start the game with no victory conditions (apparently) enabled. Is the transcendence victory always enabled regardless of which other options are selected or does it depend on the domination victory in some way?
     
  7. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    That shouldn't be happening, and no, it's not just a visual thing. If that's happening then it means something is going wrong internally, and it's likely dropping some of your settings. I'll try to look into it tonight (and yes, I'll post the Lua command I mentioned yesterday), but it'll be a little while; today's pretty busy for me.

    The problem, I think, is that most maps/scenarios made in WorldBuilder set which victory conditions are allowed, and I had to override that in a pretty crude way. If the override is "leaking" onto other variables, then it'd cause what you saw. (There are actually three separate parts of the Advanced Setup screen logic where it manages which victory conditions are allowed. Yes, it's needlessly complicated.)
     
  8. Perplex333

    Perplex333 Chieftain

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    Hello first of great mod! im using the 8 version.

    I to cannot complete the sience victory (ascention project) Tried everything its not there ;(
    Its not in the set up game choose victory conditions menu i was assuming its automatily on.
    Lolz sucks im recording and uploading and was waiting for that so so much.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/MrReeve3
    Uploading the last vids now Part 11 will be last Will probs take me all night.
    (first videos are on my old sucky pc the Reloaded ones are on my high performance pc)
    Civ 5 in 3D looks fantastic!

    Some units missing textures will try DX9 if it makes any difference for me.
    Oh and the 3 AI's have huge problems handelling the barbarians.
    Will it be possible to upgrade to v.1.09 and load my save or do i need to make a new game?

    One more time ty for the mod Im sure not easy to do.
     
  9. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Okay, for those of you with the Transcendence problems, go into FireTuner and type

    print( Game.IsVictoryValid(GameInfoTypes.VICTORY_TRANSCENDENCE) )

    and

    print( PreGame.IsVictory(GameInfoTypes.VICTORY_TRANSCENDENCE) )

    If these don't both say "true" then something's seriously wrong. (It works fine for me, but I tend not to pile on lots of options.)
     
  10. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Nearly every version change requires a new game. You can TRY loading an old savegame, but chances are it just won't work. It's just the nature of Civ5's design.
     
  11. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Are you going to try to get the textures working for DX10/11 in your next version? My computer will not properly load a civ map in DX9
     
  12. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Trying to, but I really have no idea what's wrong. I can blindly guess at what's breaking, but there's just not a whole lot I can really DO without a better idea of why DX11 can't handle those textures.

    Chances are, the 2.0 version of the Ascension mod will be functionally identical to 1.09. The only major difference is that it'll be fully integrated into the four-mod design. Running Base+Empires+Ascension will be nearly identical to the old Balance+Content (although I HAVE made a couple improvements in the last few weeks).

    Unless, of course, I discover the cause of these graphical issues and fix them at the same time, but I wouldn't count on that. I'm not a graphic artist, I'd never used Blender before this project, and I'm learning as I go. This is the real reason for the slow pace of this mod's development; I'm doing nearly everything myself, and there's a lot of trial and error involved when I move to a new phase. It's funny; over the weekend I added 61 new units, with a lot of Lua abilities, to the Mythology mod, and it's pretty likely that they'll all work immediately. A year ago, when I was doing the same for the AC mod, it took forever to get them all working just in XML, and Lua was way beyond me. So it WILL get better.

    Now, if someone who knows more about creating unit graphics wants to take a shot at fixing this one problem (or converting some Civ4 units for me), then I'd be more than happy to hand it off. But failing that, the DX11 issues go onto the big list-o'-broken-stuff with all the rest, and there are a couple things that are more critical (like the water resources thing).
     
  13. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    I soppose you could make a thread on the unit's graphics page, im sure someone there probably knows the answer
     
  14. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    Questions;

    Do the orbital defence pods give you increased chance to intercept nukes or do they just reduce the DAMAGE they cause to a city after they hit?
    Should the Hybrid Forest require a local forest/jungle to build?
     
  15. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    ODPs have two effects:
    > Increase the chance of nukes being intercepted, by 1/2/3% per. SDI is 20/40/60%, for comparison, so a full set of 10 ODPs and SDI means you have a 90% chance of intercepting an Atomic Bomb (which hits the cap of 83%), a 60% chance of intercepting a Nuclear Missile, and a 30% chance of intercepting a Planet Buster. (I'm looking into reworking the math a bit for this, so these numbers might change in the future.)
    > Decrease the damage dealt by all orbital weapons by 5%. (With 10, that's -50%.)

    The only buildings that reduce the effects of Nuclear weapons are:
    Military Base: -20%
    Perimeter Defense: -20%
    Gravity Shield: -100%
    Stasis Generator: -100% (kinda redundant since you'll almost definitely have a gravity shield as well)
    Now, from what I can tell that just applies to the HP damage dealt to cities; it won't stop the auto-kill of units from level 2 nukes (Nuclear Missile and Planet Buster), the fallout generation, the population reduction, and so on. And it won't reduce the damage an atomic bomb deals to units caught in the blast radius (except maybe for garisson units, I'm not sure). I should really test that, but for obvious reasons it rarely comes up.

    It SHOULD, but there's no XML table for that, unfortunately. It might be possible to tweak this through some of the CanConstruct GameEvents, but I'm still learning those. So for now, there's nothing limiting which cities it can be built in. That's why I gave it +1 Happiness; the AI will build it even if there are no local forests or jungles to boost, but that Happiness means that it won't really be hurting itself by doing so.

    Also, since this'll be long after you gain the ability to plant forests and jungles, it'd be pretty much a pointless requirement. And that's probably why they never added that requirement in the first place; requiring the presence of a local resource is easy, since those all get placed at the start of the game, but if you require a destroyable feature (like a forest) for some later building, then it punishes the AI who chops all of his forests early on.
     
  16. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    Well, I've never been able to duplicate this, so I'm going to chalk it up to a mistake on my part.

    Anyways, not really to much to report in playtesting, which is really a good thing: I've got over 600 hours logged on ciV, and its been All Spatz, All the time. :goodjob:

    Only a few things to comment on over the last two months:

    1. Concerning Poison Brute 1 and 2: a strategy I've developed/ explored while playing as the Germans is to gift all Brutes to a nearby C-S. I initially thought of doing this as a way to attenuate the Greeks getting gifted units from C-S (i.e. I wanted the C-S to gift the Greeks Brutes instead, something that would not be a good return on invesment to the Greeks). However I have never seen the C-S gift the Brute units away. An alternative strategy, because the C-S can't typically upgrade these units, is that by gifting the Brutes to a C-S, it ties down their economies on essentially worthless units (the C-S don't seem to be able to delete these units, either, as ecvidenced by the pics). This also seems to have the benefit in that C-S only "build" so many units (i.e. I think there is a counter the C-S use in determining how many units they should have), so because of the 1UPT I can then blitz right thru these speedbump units and get right at their artillery/ cities. I don't consider this an exploit, but rather a nuanced strategy that sometimes works for the Germans.

    2. Concerning Digital Era Calvary: at this point in the game I can't build Infantry or APCs, but I can still build Calvary. Just curious, but whats the rationale for this?

    3. Concerning 2 UNs: I've only seen this once. Don't know what caused it.

    4. How come Fungal Towers can bombard? Not that I'm complaining, as I tried to mod SMAX Fungal Towers to use arty, but there was a bug which prevented the Towers from having any offensive capability. I like it, but how come you did this?

    5. How come there aren't Ruins in the Industrial era start anymore? Or do I need to use one of your modified map scripts for this?

    6. Too many times I've been lured into building Wonders and Buildings when I should have been building a larger army. Very alluring benefits from a lot of the items you've placed on your tech tree! :goodjob:

    7. I have developed beelines for both the tech tree and social policies. Won't go into details here, but taking into account starting positions/ luxery resources, then its pretty consistent what I beeline for.

    D
     

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  17. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I actually HAVE been able to duplicate it, but only when a cache issue or a version change altered the mod files between saves. So if the cache wasn't cleared correctly and you started a game, saved it, exited the game, and then at some later time loaded the savegame, it would corrupt lots of little bits like this.

    In other words, if you play the entire game through in one sitting, there's no problem, and if you're sure to clear the cache (or if you're like me and never use any other mods) then there's no problem.

    When a Militaristic CS gifts a unit, it's not actually giving a unit it HAS. The "gift" logic is handled entirely behind the scenes; the CS doesn't build the unit. That's why CSs can gift units requiring strategic resources, even if they can't build those units for themselves.

    As for loading the CS up with useless, weak units, it's a problem. I mean, in vanilla you can still be building the Scout into the endgame, and gifting one of those gains you as much Influence as gifting a tank or something. Really, the whole setup needs to be changed; you should get lots of Influence for giving a unit that's better than what the CS can produce, and almost nothing for giving a unit that the CS would consider obsolete.

    This is one of the reasons I added the Secondhand units; it allows the CS to upgrade some of the earlier units without worrying about strategic resources. But those are mainly Industrial/Nuclear units, so it can still get stuck on Brutes and such. I can fix this easily enough, by having Brutes upgrade to Muskets or something to bypass the iron-using tiers entirely.

    Units follow the Rule of Two. Once you're two generations beyond the unit, it goes obsolete. So since Cavalry upgrade to Tanks, they should go obsolete as soon as Modern Armor unlock. But I might have accidentally left it at the wrong tech; originally, Cavalry didn't upgrade to ANYTHING, and I changed them to upgrade to the Helicopter Gunship (which'd mean Cavalry would go obsolete at Superconductor, when the Vertol unlocks). When the devs made Cavalry go to Tanks, I removed that Gunship link in my upgrade chain, but I might not have changed the obsolescence tech. I'll check that when I get home.

    Similar logic explains the Scout. Since I currently go Scout -> Paratrooper -> Scout Powersuit, the Scout doesn't go obsolete until the late Digital. I'm planning on adding an "Explorer" unit in the Empires mod that'll go between Scout and Paratrooper, which would make Scouts obsolete earlier. (Maybe even two units, like Explorer and Conquistador.)

    See #1. If the database is corrupted by a cache issue when you reload an existing savegame, then it'll throw a lot of things off. Some of the things that seem particularly sensitive are the "1 per world" and "1 per player" limitations on buildings. I've seen this happen, where two players end up with a World Wonder or two cities in your empire end up with a National Wonder.

    In SMAC, Fungal Towers weren't the source of all mindworms. The Fungus was, and you could never really clear it all out (although you could try), so the threat of mindworm attacks never really went away if you blew up the towers. But in this mod, there's no Fungus; if the player can eliminate the towers quickly, then they're in no danger because the towers are the source of all post-Breakout Psi units. That's why the Spore Towers are a bit harder to kill than the FTs were in SMAC.
    But even worse, a player could simply choose to NOT attack the Spore Towers, and just farm the worms they produce to get more XP. To keep that from being possible, I had to make them more dangerous, to where you'd want to get rid of them ASAP. Since I didn't want to add a Spore Launcher unit (1UPT makes unaccompanied artillery less than useful), I put the ranged attack on the tower itself. Realistically they'll almost never get to use that attack, but it's there to prevent you from just ignoring the things.

    That's set in the Eras file; I haven't changed it, as far as I know, but the devs might have tweaked it in a patch. I'll look into that tonight.

    There are a few that still need reworking. The Nano Factory, for instance, really needs to be better, and I'm still looking into the balance on some of the Digital Era stuff. But I'm pretty happy with most of them.

    In an Industrial start, this is pretty common. Your choices in the Ancient Era can vary wildly based on your local terrain, resources, etc., but the Industrial techs are pretty obvious; I nearly always take Steam Power first to get Factories, then I try to unlock Oil and Aluminum, and take Dynamite to get Artillery. It's a very consistent pattern.

    There's not a whole lot I can do about it, but I'll look into this in more detail once I expand the Empires mod. If I add a few new techs here and there to support the expanded diplomacy and espionage systems, then it'd give me an excuse to reorganize the techs a bit, which'd help me eliminate that beelining. (Look at the revised early-game tech tree in the Mythology mod, for instance.)
     
  18. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    And it only took me 13 monthst to find that out. :blush:

    A thought I had would be if you were to update it such that the C-S could upgrade Brutes after researching an early Nuclear era tech, then this would create a situation where a human player could still employ this strategy in the early game, but it would be under the terms that “I need to do this quickly” (or to put it another way, it would set up an interesting choice for the player whether to pursue this strategy or not).

    A thought I had concerning this was that, because there are only three immediate tech choices (and a limited number of follow-up techs) in an Industrial era start, then it makes it harder for the AIs to screw it up: since a human sets up the game parameters, and because of their familiarity with previously having played using the same map settings, then the human knows how to optimize their play-style versus the environment they’ve established, thus giving them an advantage the AIs don’t have. Having only three starting tech choices mitigates this to a certain degree.

    To segue a bit here, a thought I had today regarding giving the AIs a “memory” of how to play in certain environments would be to create individual store files on Steam that held certain information. Say each file held the map type, AIs involved, proximity of each AI to the human player, game difficulty, AI power ranking (sampled throughout the game), Victory condition chosen, and human players’ skill level, and these store files were in place for each map type, game difficulty, and AIs involved. Since thousands and thousands of games would be played (and each of the game results would be uploaded to the individual store files), then even though there would be hundres of such files on Steam, the store files would be populated very quickly with game results. Then at the beginning of a game when a human player chooses the AIs, the AIs are then able to poll this online data and determine that given its starting position (map setup, difficulty level, experience of human, and proximity to human player), then choosing Victory condition X was proven statisitically more advantageous.

    Anyways, my wild thought of the day regarding how to improve the AI.

    I’m just the opposite: I research Dynamite first, then immediately build Arty units to start gaining XP (because There Will Be War! Many, Many Wars!). Then I research Oil so I can immediately assess where I need to expand/ conquer. Only then do I go with Steam Power. Or to put it another way, whyin the early game I have very stable build queues I follow game in and game out (to include Sistine Chapel and Cristo Redentor), and my lack of Factories hasn’t prevented me from typically (say >95%) building the items in my queues.


    D
     
  19. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I'd prefer not to have it be a strategy at all. A tactic that wouldn't work against the AI empires (assuming unit trades were even possible) shouldn't be possible against the city-states. And on a more general level, receiving a gift should never be a bad thing. Now, if the AI knew how to disband weak units for money, then sure, I'd be okay with this sort of thing, but it doesn't.

    True, but one of the main points of a late-era start is that it occurs at a time when you have plenty of fallbacks. It's not quite so important to beeline for the next +gold building (the Stock Exchange) since you'll already have the previous two (Market and Bank) in every city. It's not quite so important to get Factories, thanks to the Windmills, Workshops, Forges, Watermills, etc. So in my opinion, the main reason an AI can't screw it up has less to do with the reduced options and more to do with the more developed starter cities.

    When I get the Empires mod underway, one of the first things I'll do is add a half-dozen or so techs to the Renaissance and Industrial. This'll probably change an Industrial start from three possible techs to five, and will almost definitely involve rearranging other techs to reduce beeline strategies.

    Actually, I'd say it enhances the disparity. A human player KNOWS that by researching X, then Y, then Z, that he'll know where all of the Oil and Aluminum on the map are. If you start near a desert, for instance, then you might hold off planting a city there until you take Biology and can confirm whether there's oil in them thar hills... an AI won't know to do that. Randomness (or at least lack of predictability) hurts the human far more than it does the AI, because the AI has no ability to make long-term plans.

    Increasing the number of options won't generally impede the AI, because all of his decisions are probabilistic anyway, but it'd make it much harder for a human to settle on one optimum strategy. Take the Ancient Era as an example; your choice of Mining, Animal Husbandry, Pottery, etc. will depend on local terrain, local resources, who your neighbors are, and so on. There are enough variables there to make it impossible for a human to firmly settle on one optimum strategy, but the AI already understands weighting biases by the local terrain, so it's not really impeded.

    It'd be nice, but I really doubt we can do anything close to this without the DLL. Even if we had an easy way to store the necessary information, we really have no way to adjust the AI's decisions on the fly.

    I prefer to develop infrastructure first, because an Artillery that takes 10 turns to produce without the Factory might only take 6 turns with; you'll quickly make up the turns lost to producing the Factory, and it'll put you in a far better position in the long term. Obviously, this assumes a local Coal supply, though, but at least that's visible on an Industrial start.
    But it really depends on difficulty. I don't go above King when testing, and on Prince/King you can usually trick the AI into a bad war by looking weak long enough to make them think you're an easy target, and then churning out an army (especially artillery) or upgrading your Rifles to Infantry at the last second. Above King, that strategy doesn't work because they really WILL roll over you if you don't establish a strong army ASAP.
     
  20. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    You just want an Earth map? What size? And what era (like Industrial where there are still sizeable Jungles, or Nuclear era with fallout in Ukraine and Japan)?

    D
     

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