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ICEMOD: mod design, race design, strategies

Discussion in 'Other Civ-Related Games' started by Rocco.40, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    For the lastest version, check:
    Detailed changelog: ICEMOD_readme.txt

    Maps
    Included in the 1.5 patch: Orange2, Goodmap3, Goodmap4, Goodmap5, ICE and ICE-COLD.

    Planet sizes, maintenance cost and Terraforming
    Population limits are higher than in classic. All climates and planet sizes have increased max pops. There are no more planets with 1 pop, the minimum is 2. A standard medium Terran world now can support 14 (12) population. Maintenance cost are different too: 50% for Toxic, 40% for Radiated, 20% for Barren and 10% for Desert worlds. (Tolerants also pay this price!) More logical imho but not high impact, just don't build yourself to bankruptcy when you have loads of Radiated & Barren worlds and you haven't researched Terraforming yet. Each use of Terraforming costs 300 pp instead of 250, but going from Barren to Tundra or Desert gives you a higher pop. cap. and lowers your maintenance cost.

    Race Design
    The stock races have been improved while keeping the design close to the classic races. Opponents are much stronger on Hard and Impossible difficulty levels. There are two Impossible difficulty settings. In ICE-M you can find the first Impossible level, providing more challenge than classic MOO2. The Impossible level in ICE-X is for expert players, you better know what you are doing!

    Full overview of the races: http://www.moo2mod.com/races.html

    Custom Race Design
    ICE moved to a 46pt valuation system rather than 20pt for a more precise valuation of the different traits.

    Governments
    To make Feudalism a more allround choice, the research penalty has been decreased from -50% to -35%, while reducing the discount for ship costs from -1/3 to -1/4.
    Both Feudal and Dictatorship governments benefit from the lowered cost for Marine and Armor Baracks. (40 PP and no maintenance fee)
    The spy penalty of the Democratic government has been reduced from -10 to -5. This penalty is nullified at Federation level.
    The cost for Democracy has been reduced to 12 picks. Unification has been made more expensive, to 17 picks.

    Technology Tree
    The a.i. has a hard time picking the right techs from the tree. It was in need of a little help here. So I isolated Automated Factory and Research Labs (crucial techs) and Class III shields. I have seen too many times a race going happily into the 3rd era (T200+) with Class I shields.. or no shields at all..

    Ships
    All ships except the Frigate have 20% more space. That is 20% for goodies to put in your custom designs and that is really good. Offourse, larger ships = more expensive ships and more stuff in your ships = more expensive ships. So ships are more expensive and take longer to build but they are more powerful. A.I. designs its ships according to a few templates and these can be manipulated, which I have done with the intention that the a.i. shows up with something that can actually crack a nut.

    Star Bases, Battlestations and Fortresses
    Orbital Platforms have more space for weaponry, more marines and a reinforced hull by design. The Reinforced Hull technology will not change the structure points of a base in ICE.

    Galactic Council & Alliances
    Winning by Galactic Council vote is worth 200 points in ICEMOD. It provides an actual incentive to win the game this way. With 100 points value you always lose points, as there will only be a Galactic Council called when there are at least 3 players alive (=2 opponents which are 50 pts each to exterminate).

    Defeating the Antaran Home World
    The Antarans have a few surprises waiting for you at their home world. Compared to the original, it is really hard to win this way and requires a true Armada of ships. I like a grand finale!

    Lastly
    * Suggestions & ideas are always welcome!
    * How-to-install video: installing the ICE mod
    * A new version might suddenly be available so check my website from time to time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  2. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Chieftain

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    I have to say a big thank you for this great mod.

    Still in my first game with the ICE-mod, but I can already feel how you have put the game to a new standard of balance. There's so many I wished for so long...more dangerous antaran attacks for example. And it is also nice to see that some of the AI races, which always got exterminated in standard game so far, no have chances to survive as well.

    Currently, there is only one thing I would wish for...but I fear its outside of what modding can do...more then 5 slots for my own ship constructions *dream*
     
  3. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    Thanks for praise, cool that you enjoy this mod! Would be interested to know your experience with the rest of your 1st game. As for your *dream*, yeah that one is hard to do, similar to wanting more than 7 build queue slots or fixing the autobuild function. :undecide:
     
  4. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    Almost done with v9c, running tests at the moment. New ideas are cool but testing is a very slow process. I also might combine it with 9d changes into one version, but it depends how soon 1 issue can be fixed. Nothing is set in stone until published. In txt file you can see the new stuff: [edit: old text file removed]
     
  5. neilkaz

    neilkaz Chieftain

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    Some thoughts in general and also on v9c and d.

    In ICEMOD it is shockingly difficult to defeat the Antaran homeworld. I went there well before T300 after a pw start with a fleet at least 4 times as strong as what was needed at pre T300 in 1.40 and wasn't close to winning. There are more ships at Antares now and tougher ones. The Star Fortress scanned as Immobile, but actually moved to attack me! (Bug?). Considering how difficult it is to obtain the Dimensional Portal, I think that while it should still be harder to win at Antares in ICEMOD than in 1.40, it currently is far too hard to win there.

    Re: Battle Pods. These took a huge nerf in ICEMOD as the tech comes later and is costly and only adds 25% more space! I think that the costs should be returned to what there were in 1.31. Having much less effective BP's cost more is really too much of a nerf, IMO.
    It honestly seems debatable whether one should even bother with BP at times now.

    v9c race pick changes seem good to me. Wide Area Jammer change for fleet is good.

    I see that you are putting Assault Shuttle space back to 25 from 20. "Assault Shuttles 25 (20)". I agree that I could pack too many of them on ships when space reduced to 20. 25 is better.

    OK you are making the Guardian a bit less awesome. That is OK, I'd say.

    I don't mind Chug bringing Soil Enrichment as that is only a 900 RP tech. Perhaps he can bring Microbiotics instead if you insist on no Soils. Bringing Terraforming as in 1.31 was too much.

    OK specifically re v9d now.

    Is this AI ship space cheat too much? Perhaps consider half that amount?
    Update A.I. Ship Design Templates I-VIII with the 'space cheat':
    Frigate +0%
    Destroyer +10%
    Cruiser +20%
    Battleship +30%
    Titan +40%
    Doom Star +50%

    Please don't have this space cheat affect Antaran ships!!

    Re: Missiles, I think a change to your o2 is best.

    I would keep the NR mod for Maulers. It does make them cost more and requires Stellar Converter research. Civs that have done that much research should be able to use very powerful weapons.

    Re: Darloks as Repulsive. OK seems natural. But a research bonus for a race that makes its living steal techs seems not natural. Perhaps go with RHW and + ship defense?

    Re: Mecklars tolerant. I also have to think about this some.

    Thx for your considerations and mod. .. neilkaz ..
     
  6. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    valuable feedback -tx!

    Antarans
    The homeworld is indeed shockingly more difficult to take. It might be a 'tad' too much. The Antaran Star Fortress is not a bug, he has Sub-Space Teleporter. It is a jumper :lol:
    And yeah, the first time you go there you are dead... but now you know, and there are always ways to pull it off, but takes much more time to build appropriate fleet. Still can look to tone the slaughtering down a bit... Lets see what other people have to say.

    Guardian
    Yeah, less Pd beam and Spat. Compressors coz I'd like that a bit earlier missile tactic (mirv arm Pulsons + emg's) is also an option. Still gonna need a good # BB's to do it.

    a.i. ship space cheat
    Many possibilities here, for me its really open atm. Could also do like BB +10%, Titan +20, Doom +30, because I think the a.i. design issues really start with the larger ships. Could also decide not to make this change at all.
    In any case, making changes here does not affect Antaran configs in any way.
    This will not be implemented in ICE v9c.

    Battle Pods
    Will give this another look, space/cost ratio is indeed quite a bit worse than in 1.31.
    Currently, the base space for ships has increased by +20%, so total space in the game is the same 1.2*1.25 = 1.50. Taking into account Megafluxers, there is more space in the game.
    EDIT: have made BP cost change. will do already in 9c. ratio's are approx. like in 1.31

    Chuggie
    Yeah, will keep Soils, why not

    Maulers
    agree to keep NR

    a.i. races
    thanks if you can generate some thoughts as well for a later rev. it would be cool to enhance the Meklar and Darlok, while preserving their storylines (small fragile cybernetic ship repair people and shape shifting xenophobic superspies )

    again, tx that you have taken the time to write some thoughts.
     
  7. neilkaz

    neilkaz Chieftain

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    Some embedded comments.

     
  8. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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  9. neilkaz

    neilkaz Chieftain

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    Good job with v9c. I started a game last night playing the very powerful race I call UniAquaBalanced. UniAquaProd+1ArtiLRHW. What a magnificent home world this is!

    Since this race needs pollution control and since in ICEMOD extended fuel cells take up much space and playing H/I/8 I often need more range than just Deut cells for warships, I decided to try a different path thru the chem techs.

    I went for Trit armor in case I got attacked early and since I'd neglected RHulls to get powered armor noting Bulrathi nearby and not wanting to use a dozen or more transports to take their planets. Next was pol proc. Then Atmos Ren and then Nano Dis which is more effective now than in 1.31. Next I got my range with U-cells and finally good armor with A-Armor.

    Is it realistic to now have extended tanks take up 60% of the ships space? Or is this an attempt to make the fuel cell techs more important?

    Later as I'd stolen Zeon missiles I spent 25k RP on the advanced tech so I could MIRV them. 7 BB each with 10 Zeons and 4 EMG Zeons (all missiles FU MIRV) were enough to kill the Guardian. Note that in ICEMOD you need 3 more techs in the field to MIRV. I fought two wars earlier and with success with many MIRV Nukes.

    EDIT: my 11 race negatives were what I am usually taking now. Repulsive, low-G, -10 attack
     
  10. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    Good race, what were your 11 negatives?

    The ext. fuel tanks is indeed meant as a means of scouting or some emergency measure, making other fuels cells more important.

    In 1.31 i sometimes played bliztes in H/I/8 and the single & only tech I would research was deuteriums and then fly around with fully loaded cruisers with nukes & ext. fuels cells and win in 80-100 turns. I read it is even possible in less than 80 turns...

    edit @Neilkaz: It is also a pitty that a.i. does not use outpost ships. Do you often use these in your offensive strategy against a.i.? Also, do you think "-6 Low G" is better than "-6 Pop -50%"?
     
  11. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    ... spending the whole weekend on mod v10 ... :crazyeye:

    edit: wishlist removed
     
  12. neilkaz

    neilkaz Chieftain

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    One thing that concerns me from your wish list is Telepathic.

    Telepathic - 6 (7)

    My opinion is that Telepathic is one of the best attributes in the game and was much too cheap at +6. It was also too cheap at +7 and even if it lost the +10 spying bonus it still might be a bit cheap.

    If you want to go back to +6, I'd say lose the spy bonus.

    Thx .. neilkaz ..
     
  13. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    good feedback once more ..
    if you say, telepathic is too cheap at 7, where would you value it - including the 10 spy bonus?
     
  14. neilkaz

    neilkaz Chieftain

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    Honestly it makes the game so easy! You don't need transports and can take a free ground combat neg and don't need ground combat techs (you are passing on capturing ships and will just destroy them). Your conquered planets are assimilated instantly can can't revolt.

    As it is with +10 spying Tele should be a 10, rather than a 7.

    EDIT: Another option is to keep it 7 so as not to change races people playing ICEMOD might be using but to lose the +10 spying. This may be the best option.
     
  15. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    Played two games with Telepathic to refresh my memory a bit :)

    First games was a H/I/8 game in 1.31 or unMOD with a following race:
    Telefeud, pop-50, grnd combat-10, richHW, omni, transdim, warlord.
    As usual, I started building a nuke Cruiser with ext. tanks right at T0 (avg game).
    My first enemy were the Klackon via wormhole and their HW was unfort. in a nebula.
    That meant 10-15 turns instantly lost for flying back and forth.
    Capture their first colony at T21. I have no freighters so this new planet is short of food, which I ignore. The new colony instantly starts building frigates with nukes. Klackon have already invented R.Hull so i need 2 extra DD's to take the Star Base of the HW. T35: Klackon HW captured. Next target are Mrrshan and they go down at T55. T56, I find an Artifacts world which gives me Research Labs! This game is in the pocket... With 3 HW's now quickly producing more ships and Humans fall quickly. T63, Deuterium Fuel Cells researched. This is the first tech that I have researched. I can now upgrade Cruiser design to have armored missiles. T86, Sili's HW goes down. The roll stalls here coz I have a problem with reach.. some empty systems prevent me from getting to Alkari and Bulrathi and I need a couple Outpost Ships to go around. Take the Gnolam first. T107, with a nice delay, Alkari fall and I capture Ion Drive. Fine! Continuing to the Bulrathi, they actually have a decent fleet and I make some tactical errors, emptying my missile boats in the wrong way and some Bulrathi ships survive, forcing me to retreat, losing 2 Cruisers. T122 back with a reinforcement and Bulrathi go down. GAME DONE

    2nd game was a H/I/8 game with a similar TeleFuedWar race in ICEMOD 10 (unreleased, with Telepathic set at 6 to test, taking Large HW as a bonus). To be exact, I have Low-G instead of Pop-50 and Grnd -10 and I have a Large HW bonus due to Telepathic = 6.
    I play this game in "1.31 style" = just start without research and see how it goes.
    Restart the game twice to get a similar map as the 1.31 game.
    My first adversary was again the Klackon (and again via wormhole, but no nebula this time) and good for me, so they have no time to develop. Able to take their HW just before T40 (avg game). Note that there was no nebula, I just need more ships to take the Star Base down. Alkari are next and it took a few interesting battles to get upper hand! I like that. Bulrathi are next, they have a good number of planets and with Fighter Garrisons. I takes me a lot of extra turns due to 'tactical retreats' = running away from the fighters, I have no defense. It is already around T100 and i cannot reach the Gnolam, forcing me to confront the new Tolerant Meklars. They have BB's with Neutron Blasters. My CC with nukes are no match -- I need Interceptor technology.. tactical retreat and focus on research. Luckily Feudal research penalty in ICE is -35% instead of -50%. On my Large HW, on Altair and Kholdan, almost everybody on research. In the mean time building two outposts to get reach to Gnolam. Meklar start gathering fleet, so I will leave Gnolam alone for now.. T130, i can make a 'defensive move' on the Meklar. In the mean time I am close to getting Interceptors. Once I have the fighters things turn my way, but its only around T150 that Meklars fall. Behind the Meklars are the Darloks, cornered and seem quite undeveloped (only two systems). 7 parsecs! I cannot reach them due to an empty system and I have no ships with ext. tanks!. Poor Darloks, cornered with no way out. Lets research Iridium Cells, also solving my Gnolam problem, because they started bombing my outposts... T175, Darloks and Gnolam sent to another world :) Only Silicoids left, but by now I have a big fleet of interceptor BB's. There are 2 very nice big battles. Silicoid ships have good offense & initiative (i lose a few BB's) but... they have no shields.. sigh .. these A.I.!! Admittely, not all of my ships have shields :) some have Class I which I just researched.. but I am lame Feudal race, playing 1.31 tactics. T200 Instead of taking the last Silicoid world, I decide to send my 21 Zortium BB's with Phasor interceptors !! and a couple of old Cruisers to Orion to take on the Guardian. Result: fleet completely destroyed LOL. This was not unexpected offcourse as the phasor fighters cannot penetrate the Guardian's shield (13 damage blocked). So I decided to not win Orion and take last Silicoid world at T209. GAME DONE.

    Some conclusions;
    * I had more fun in ICEMOD (biased - its my own mod)
    * It took me much longer with same play / tactics to achive victory (fact)
    > played on a different map offourse, but the wormholes gave me similar options AND there were no nebulas (ok, 1 in a corner that bothered nobody) on the ICE map.
    * Will not decrease Telepathic to 6, and keep at 7, while decreasing spy bonus to +5.
    * Had feeling that Interceptors are still a bit early in the tech tree at 400 RP. Considering to move them up or make them more costly.

    Rocco.
     
  16. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    3rd Game! Went back to MOO2 1.31, and edited my race of the first game with Corion.
    So i have the same map, same everything except my race is now not Telepathic but instead High G & Ground Combat +20. Note that this race is not possible to construct in 1.31, you are 7 picks short compared to race from game 1. In ICE you can make this race and have 1 pick spare! But I am still playing 1.31 game to be able to do this experiment and, unfortunately, I have already overwritten my 2nd game in ICE :( so cannot replicate there.
    Replayed the game as exact as possible with my "cheat race", Klackon first and then Mrrshan. I capture the Klackon HW at T42. A 7 turn delay caused by the need to build transports. Also, my conquered worlds are not assimilated instantly, so I need Barracks first instead of right away producing frigates = more delay. T74, Deuterium Fuel Cells researched, with 11 turns delay. Contrary to the Telepathic game, I still have a problem with range because the transports have no extended fuel cells. I need more outposts and build one right in the Mrrshan system, for my transports to reach. Mrrshan attack with 1 BB, 3 DD and a laser frigate that somehow always hits, I am losing a frigate :). But my x2 missile boats are not able to take all ships down and I retreat, leaving the Mrrshan to destroy my outpost. Ahhh lovely.. Consolidate, regroup and attack Mrrshan again, taking their HW at T90. That is 35 turns later than in Game 1! Noted that I forgot to visit the Artifact World at T56 and that conquering the Klackon did not give me any tech (in first game i got Dauntless), this is still an impressive Turn-Delta! Conquering with High-G and Combat +20 is actually pretty easy and the main difference is the building of transports and additional outposts coz transports have no reach. This is the power of being Telepathic. Not so sure today if Tele @ 7 is balanced...

    EDIT. we would need another exact comparison game in ICE.
    EDIT2. replaying the game with a non-Warlord race also introduces delay, CP restrictions force me to have a planet producing Trade Goods. this reinforces my old wish to have Warlord ability with only 1 CP per planet instead of 2 - but i cannot find the offset in the .exe. EDIT2EDIT: I have just found that code!
    EDIT3. replayed game 1 in 1.31 once more, with same race and all and the only difference being that Warlord gives 1 CP per planet. Going after 1. Klackon and 2. Mrrshan again and i might be 2-3 turns quicker now because I know exactly the steps. Still with only 1 CP per planet I lose some turns fooling around with trade goods / tax rates to finance my fleet. And without to much deviation in gameplay compared to game 1, I capture the Mrrshan HW ... only it is T68!
    So summarized:
    Game 1, capture Mrrshan T55 (Tele & Warlord=2)
    Game 4, capture Mrrshan T68 (delay due to Warlord ability = 1 CP)
    Game 3, capture Mrrshan T90 (delay due to not being Telepathic, Warlord was 2)
     
  17. neilkaz

    neilkaz Chieftain

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    That's a nice summary of games, Rocco!

    You wrote,"This is the power of being Telepathic. Not so sure today if Tele @ 7 is balanced..."

    I played last night and still have a long way to finish a game as UniTeleSpy+30. One of the most fun things for me is to steal lots of techs and I anxiously await every new turn and wonder what new discoveries my spies will bring. Every race I meet gets only 1 spy assigned to them when I have a huge spying level lead.

    Based on last night's game I still think that Tele @7 and losing the spy bonus may be best. Of course, if you think Tele to remain in character with the game has to have some spy bonus due to mind control, then OK +5. Note also that you plan to change +10 spying to cost 2.

    V9c is clearly a better and more challenging game than 1.31. The AI tech and develop quicker and have better and more threatening ships. Klackons and Silicoids are doing very well and I have doubts that you'd want to further improve them.

    Of course, it still is easy to win using a very powerful custom race (UniTol et al), but not nearly as easier as pre-MOD. UniTeleSpy doesn't have nearly as much production and I have a good fight on my hands.

    One thing I've noted about ICEMOD and it may come from the VDC.exe is that there are more planets in most systems and fewer gas giants and asteroid belts.

    .. neilkaz ..
     
  18. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    Hi everyone!

    I have been working on ICE 10 for a while now and I really want to make it a worthy successor of ICE 9, so I am going to take my time for this one. For that reason, I have just released a small 9d update.

    In this update Death Spores tech is brought back in the tech tree. It is no longer a tech that you will get when defeating the Guardian. Consequently the chance of getting the Dimensional Portal at Orion is up from 30% to 1/3.

    Also, the tech field of Terraforming & Weather Controller is cheaper at 1500 RP (2000) and the field for Psionics & Heightened Intelligence is down to 2750 RP (3500).

    Lastly I have made various textual corrections here and there.

    Enjoy!
     
  19. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    EDIT- ICEMOD 10 is up

    ICEMOD 10 is shaping up nicely and I am putting great effort in to stock race redesign to make our beloved MOO2 opponents tougher.

    Here is an example of a Klackon variant you might meet on Impossible play:
    Now that's a superrace and this is not a cheat, just a different approach to how the race picks work :)
    [edit: old race picture removed]

    Similarly, IMP Humans can take this shape - Humans are finally not a pushover anymore.
    [edit: old race picture removed]

    Info on methodology and its drawbacks (yes there are some offcourse) to follow!

    **

    In the techtree, 'assault shuttles' will be renamed to 'shuttle bays' to make the tech consistent with fighter BAYS, Bomber BAYS, HvF BAYS.
    In ship design, they keep the name Assault Shuttles (like Interceptors, Bombers and Heavy Fighters)
     
  20. Rocco.40

    Rocco.40 Chieftain

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    Here is an overview of the redesigned races of ICEMOD 10a:

    EDIT: pictures removed, check my website for up to date a.i. races.
     

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