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Crazy Spatz's Alpha Centauri Mod

Discussion in 'Crazy Spatz's Alpha Centauri Mod' started by Spatzimaus, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    Posted about the same unit display problem a few pages back, I was previously playing on very low graphics settings, I assumed that was the problem and gave up but it looks like other people are experiencing the same thing.

    Since then I've installed Civ V via Steam onto a different PC and freshly downloaded the mod, running everything on max settings now and have the same problem.

    Is it possible the version of the mod linked in the downloads thread is itself corrupt?

    If you'd like to upload the uncompressed textures for one of the units I'll happily try it out.
     
  2. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    It's possible, of course, but more than 200 people have downloaded it in the past three weeks. If the posted files were already corrupted, then I'd think that someone else would have said something by now. But clearly, there's something going on here, so tonight I'll try to post some alternate .dds files for a couple textures.
     
  3. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Didn't have a chance to remake those texture files last night, because I was tracking something else down. The bug I'm dealing with is big enough that I'm going to hold off releasing v1.09 until I fix it, or at least until I put a workaround in place.

    The problem is this: the AI absolutely does not know how to hook up Dilithium or water-based Omnicytes. This really, really hurts the AI in the late game, as they have reduced ability to field Psi units, and no ability to make Planet Busters, Gravtanks, Titan units, or build things like the Fusion Lab. It USED to do this, but now it apparently has forgotten how.
    It just looks like the work boat's AI is now hard-coded internally to only handle Oil, Pearls, Fish, and Whales. I've tried a variety of possible fixes, and none of them have worked. I've got a few more ideas, but I'm not expecting them to work. It's stupid; land-based Workers can easily adjust to a new resource, but work boats just can't handle it..

    So this brings us to the possible design change that would make the Work Boat issue unimportant:

    1> Make it so that the harvesting improvements on Dilithium and sea-based Omnicytes were placed automatically through a Lua event upon unlocking the tech, and weren't pillageable.

    I'm not happy with this solution; the fact that your only sources of Dilithium could be pillaged was one of the main reasons to keep a navy around in the later eras. And there'd be quite a bit of overhead involved, as I'd have to re-check each turn for unimproved Dilithium within your borders, in case you place a new city or expand your borders. (Or, I could just improve EVERY dilithium on the map on the first turn, but that has graphical issues and would look silly outside of your territory. Also, I'm not sure it'd work with the "reveal" logic; if the improvement is on the tile BEFORE the resource is revealed, do you see the improvement? You'd know exactly where they all were, and would be getting the yield bonus from the Improvement.)

    2> Another option I thought of was to use Atolls. Place a 1-unit Omnicyte on EVERY Atoll, and then have the harvesting improvement (the "Kelp Farm") key off the Feature (like a Lumbermill does) instead of the resouce. It has a similar problem as the above, as you'd know exactly where the sea-based Omnicytes were before reaching the Centauri Ecology tech. And again, I'm not sure it'd even work with the work boats.
    If this works, I could reduce it to where some Atolls have it and some don't, but the player would be able to improve all Atolls regardless of whether they had the resource.

    And that one doesn't help with Dilithium, unless I add a new aquatic Feature type that fills a similar niche for them, or unless I want to use Atolls for both and have some Atolls have one resource, some the other, and some neither. But I'd have to change several other bits of the map generator to make this one work.
     
  4. Memlink

    Memlink Chieftain

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    I think this solution is best simply because it works for Dilithium and Omnicytes.

    Maybe the naval blocade could be changed so the resources cannot be harvested when the enemy is close. Its not quite the same as being able to pillage them, but you would still have to build a navy to protect them.
     
  5. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    It's the EASY solution, no question, but it's not the best. It's not even a GOOD solution, because it's horribly abuseable in several directions at once:
    > If the things are pillageable and give money, then it's infinite money.
    > If the things are pillageable and don't give money, the AI will get stuck in an infinite loop.
    > If the things aren't pillageable, then the main vulnerability for Dilithium (the inability to secure its deposits) go away.
    > If I place all of the improvements at the start of the game, then you'll see where all the Dilithiums are beforehand.
    > If I wait to place them until you unlock the right tech, then I have to do a separate map scan for each player, which adds to the overhead.
    > If I only place them in your territory, then I have to check each turn to see if your territory now includes any new deposits.

    It's a LOT of headaches, so if I do that solution, it'll only be a temporary one. I'm still trying a few more things first, though.

    Can't do that, unfortunately. Those aren't stubs we have good access to.
     
  6. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    If I understand correctly the problem is with the work boat logic? Could you possibly make changes to the land workers to allow them to build the improvement on water/dilithium tiles?

    Work boats are so cheap by the time dilithium appears that I can usually just instantly buy one for each dilithium source, having to send out a more valuable engineer and guard him while he builds the improvement might actually be better gameplay. Not sure if it's possible, though.
     
  7. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Workers don't have access to any of their Build actions when embarked. So I'd have to create a land unit that can move across both water and land, i.e. the Former (which is actually a Sea unit that can travel on land). The problem is, the land worker AI doesn't seem to work for this; I tried giving it to the workboat as a second AI and it didn't help. So I'm not sure it'd help.

    This was one of the arguments in favor of the automatic hookup method. I've been looking at other ways of doing this, but it's still extremely awkward.
     
  8. JDexter

    JDexter Prince

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    I just wanted to swing by and say thanks for this nice mod!

    It's also working on Mac OS X now with the recent patch, finally!
     
  9. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    That's good. It's one of the more annoying issues; I don't like trying to keep track of old versions, so I don't know when Mac players start having compatibility issues, and there's not a lot I can do about it if it does come up. On the bright side, since I'm not really adding many features to the future eras at this point, there's less reason to update to the newest version; you can stick with the older versions that still work on Macs until the new patch gets ported over.
     
  10. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Congratulations on your new project forum; your work deserves it! :goodjob:
     
  11. PAVLOS_GR300

    PAVLOS_GR300 Greek

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    this mod is ready and if yes where i download it?
     
  12. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    There's a stickied thread at the top of this forum that says FILES. The files are in there.

    What's currently posted are v.1.09 of the Alpha Centauri mod and the Balance mod. These two mods are stable. In the next version (which I'm trying to get out by tomorrow night), everything's getting renamed and rearranged, and things might be a bit unstable since I'm trying to integrate the Mythology content.
     
  13. rayss8

    rayss8 Chieftain

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    Good Jobs! I really like the MOD, but I cannot see the tech tree in the game. Is it beacuse I am playing ver .348? Thanks
     
  14. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I should really get this thread locked, as it was the old thread from back before they gave me a shiny new forum. But since I do need to come in here occasionally and tweak things, I won't ask the mods to do that yet.

    If you can't see the tech tree, then something's going wrong (duh), but it's very hard to narrow things down further because the tech tree logic is VERY fragile. Pretty much any conflict in the XML can cause the tech tree display to fail. If your game hasn't been updated to the most recent patch then yes, it's likely that this mod would fail, as would most of the other big-named ones.

    Beyond that, it's possible that there's a conflict with some other mod you're using, or have used in the past (if you didn't clear the cache). For various reasons, these mods can't be mixed with most of the other commonly used modpacks. I was working on improving the compatibility, but the problem remains that many of the most common mods are mutually exclusive.

    The normal way to debug this is to look at your FireTuner output and/or logfiles, but this assumes you've turned on the tuner and/or logging variables in your config file. (Which you should do, even if you don't like modding.) These would generally tell you right off the bat which Lua bit is failing, which could help narrow the problem down.
     
  15. Pilotis

    Pilotis Prince

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    Is there supposed to be a link 'FILES' at the top of this forum to the files??? I don't see it...
     
  16. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    The first topic in this forum, the one that's stickied, is named "Ages of Man: the FILES thread". Everything's in there; you can't miss it.
     
  17. thadian

    thadian Kami of Awakened Dreamers

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    i could ask the same question all of the posters above me asked but fear not i won't. instead, the next 6 posters will ask what im going to ask.

    I greenlighted your base and started a normal game then exited immediately - then i went into mods, clicked i accept and one at a time attempted to load each of your mods seperately (base still loaded) and there are no noticable differences - i hate to be captain stupid but what am i doing wrong? it's like in civ4 colonization when a mod misloads and instead it loads normal colonization with white letters on the top right of the screen and no differences at all in game.
     
  18. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Turning on that little green light doesn't mean that mod is added to whatever's been loaded already; you need to turn ALL mods you intend to use on at the same time, because the game tries (and sometimes fails) to clear its memory the next time you try to setup a game. If you're turning the Base mod off when you turn the others on, then it's not loading the base even if you'd loaded it previously. There are some cache issues where remnants of the previously loaded mods might persist, but it's not intentional.
    Just turn on all of my mods that you intend to use at the same time, and then start a new game. There's nothing within my mods that explicitly require them to be loaded in a particular order; I DO have some things that need a specific order, but I've disabled those until they give us a means to control load orders. So there's no need to do a multi-step process like you've described.

    Also, the easy way to make sure it's all loaded is to look at the Advanced Setup screen. It'll show a different background than vanilla (using the intro graphic from Alpha Centauri), and at the very top of the screen it'll say exactly which of my mods are loaded. Something like "Ages of Man: Base Mythology Empires".
    If you're not using the Advanced Setup screen, then that's a problem; it's necessary. (I couldn't embed some of the Lua anywhere else.) If the AS screen isn't showing the space backdrop then you didn't load the Base mod, and if it's showing the space background and the list at the top doesn't include whichever of my mods you intended to use, then you didn't load them correctly.

    Beyond that, if you ARE doing all of the above correctly, it's possible that the content mods are conflicting with some other mod you're using. At the moment, this mod conflicts with a lot of others; I've been trying to improve that, but there's a practical limit to how far I can go.
     
  19. Revollt

    Revollt Chieftain

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    Hi. Im new to this mod, I played few games and I have a question:
    Is the difficualt static? I played a game on the standard difficult and the game was too easy. After that I played another one with +1 higher difficult but the game was (for me) same easy.

    And another one: the AI is always fighting. There is no time in the game when everybody is in peace. That normal? :)

    Thank you

    Edit: Maybe an update for the download thread for all mods, because age of mythology is 0.07 there but the newest version is 0.08
     
  20. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    If by "standard" difficulty you mean Prince (which is what it defaults to in the Advanced Setup screen, i.e. difficulty 4), then yes, it's pretty easy; you're playing on the same level as the AI, and you're smarter. If you didn't go to Advanced Setup and just clicked Play at the first setup screen, then it defaults to Chieftain (2) and is pathetically easy.

    I try to balance the mod to where a game on King (5) is still viable, in terms of not automatically falling far behind the AI, but if you want a challenging game you should really be playing on Emperor (6) or higher. In general, I'd say that this mod makes things a bit more difficult than a vanilla game, by about 1 difficulty level. That is, my mods on King are about as easy to win as vanilla on Emperor; while I remove a lot of the AI's inherent bonuses (like Happiness), I've tried to structure a lot of my balance changes in ways that the AI can handle better using its existing logic.

    The underlying mechanisms are no different than in the core game; while I intend to overhaul the whole diplomacy system in the Empires mod, that'll have to wait until the DLL is out. Aggressive civs will still declare war just as often as always, so depending on exactly which AI civs you pick you might easily see a never-ending series of wars; if you're playing against China and India, it's very different than facing the Aztecs and such. The only real change I've made is that it's now much, much easier to be a defender than to be an attacker; all units get friendly-territory bonuses, cities' defenses are stronger, AIs are more likely to build defensive structures, and so on. So maybe the reason things seem more violent is that you're not seeing the weaker AIs getting wiped out quickly (or at least not FULLY wiped out), and the winners of wars suffer much more attrition, making them weaker in the NEXT war. I've seen one AI lose three wars in a row; the first war cost them a couple cities, the second lost everything but the capital, and the third cost the capital. In vanilla, the civ might have been totally destroyed in the very first war.

    I really should have called that second one "0.07a". The reason it's not in that thread (and isn't mentioned in my .sig) is that it's "unofficial"; normally I won't post a new version of something until I've had a chance to play a full game with it first, and I'll be around for at least a day after release in case someone finds a critical bug. 0.08, on the other hand, was just three days after 0.07, with no chance to playtest it, and I was on my way out the door for Christmas vacation at the time. That's why it's not in the FILES thread, and the link will be removed from the Mythology thread as soon as I get 0.09 ready to go. v0.07 is the stable one, 0.08 is a test version.

    I've done this a few times in the past. Basically, the Files thread is for stable builds, to where a new person could download those and play a full game with no problems (in theory). This is also why the first few versions of the Mythology mod (0.01-0.03) were in the mod's thread; they weren't stable yet, so I didn't want new folks downloading them unless they were prepared for the issues caused by an unstable mod. So 0.08 is outside the Files thread, but this is not a typical situation. Once I get to where the mod is stable and functionally complete, I change the version number to 1.0 and don't do those test versions any more; I'm expecting Mythology to meet that criteria by the eleventh or twelfth version.

    ------

    For those of you who missed this conversation a month ago, the reason why the modpack hasn't been updated since mid-December is that between Christmas vacation (when I didn't have a computer), the conference I'm at this week, and the fact that I spent all of last week preparing for said conference, I just haven't had time to mod. But I get home from the conference on Friday, and Monday's a holiday, so I'll spend most of next weekend modding and playing. My hope is that the next versions will be out early next week (aiming for Tuesday or Wednesday), at which point I'll be back to the usual schedule. No idea exactly what'll be in that new version, other than another small tech tree overhaul in Mythology, but I'm hoping that I can get a bunch of other changes in place (year number changes in Mythology, for instance) and some cosmetic UI improvements.
     

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