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SMACX AI Growth mod

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by bvanevery, May 15, 2018.

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  1. mayford

    mayford Chieftain

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    Basically, you are right. Spartans, for example, do not need to build SkunWorks and this building they do not appear in construction. It would be good if you made it so that when building the same Punishment Sphere there were no Recreations Commons and Paradise Garden in construction.
    Okay I will try. I choose Tech Stagnation and Intense Rivalry only to complicate the game.
    Great, let's start with the new version 1.21.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  2. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    Glad you're trying. FYI, in a test game I ran between AIs the other night, the University and the Morganites got large empires, were neighbors, went to war, seemed deadlocked with each other, and got very far ahead of everyone else in tech. I didn't run the game to conclusion as I had other things to do before release. It's the 1st instance I've seen the University do genuinely "well" in a test game. I suspect that their ability to excel is highly start and neighbor dependent. I've seen them live in symbiosis with other Passive factions before, at least for a time. For instance, with the Peacekeepers. In my mod they're also Passive, on the premise that Lal is a pusillanimous wimp.

    Unfortunately at the .txt modding level, there is no mechanism to prevent other buildings when certain buildings already exist.

    I suppose technically, someone might want to build various buildings and then sell the Punishment Sphere, transitioning to some new way of life. But I bet that only makes sense to people who play for an exceedingly long number of years, like who mod the ending year of the game. It also implies an exceptional level of micromanagement.
     
  3. mayford

    mayford Chieftain

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    And what do we have with Transcendent Thought 1,2,3,4,5 .... in research? Does it make sense to study them, are there any bonuses? Or turn off the science?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  4. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    I think that the Transcendant Thoughts might add to your score, but that's all I've ever heard they're good for.
     
  5. mayford

    mayford Chieftain

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    And is it possible to make it so that for them to receive some tangible bonus, for example, energy? Otherwise you have to set LABS to 0 in Social Engineering.
     
  6. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    I don't know whether it's possible to add explicit arbitrary new techs to the tree or not. If it is, then you could make a tree as long as you care to, with whatever you want in it, and abilities appearing whenever you want. If it isn't, then you're stuck with Transcendent Thought looping over and over again.

    It is possible to add the following bonuses to any tech, so you might be able to do it to TT and get a real result:
    ; flags = Special tech flags
    ; 000000001 = "Secrets": first discoverer gains free tech
    ; 000000010 = Improves Probe Team success rate
    ; 000000100 = Increases commerce income
    ; 000001000 = Reveals map
    ; 000010000 = Allows gene warfare atrocity
    ; 000100000 = Increases intrinsic defense against gene warfare
    ; 001000000 = Increases ENERGY production in fungus
    ; 010000000 = Increases MINERALS production in fungus
    ; 100000000 = Increases NUTRIENT production in fungus

    However I don't really see the benefit of doing so! You've all but won the game at this point, why do you want more stuff? If you just want to sandbox, you can make as many crawlers as you can stand, terraform as many things as you can stand, build as many satellites as you can stand, lots of ways to waste your time on numbers going up in a computer. My advice is to go ahead and win, then play another game!

    Also realize, the AI is eventually going to get here too, unless you are doing some kind of steady state "gardening" to halt their progress. When the AI hits this stuff, it's going to try to win, which is going to end your game. Either you will finally decide to win at that point, or the AI will win, but either way the game ends. Is that what you want?

    Anyways this is why I wouldn't personally put anything like this in my mod. But you could change this stuff yourself easily enough, if you think there's some benefit from it.
     
  7. mayford

    mayford Chieftain

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    IMHO, you and I have difficulty understanding each other because of machine translation. I meant that after studying the tree of technologies, science becomes unnecessary and it only remains to be omitted at 0 in Social Engineering. I like to play for a long time and it is interesting, therefore I offered to give at least some interest in the further development of science, after studying the whole tree of technologies.
     
  8. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    I'm saying, I don't think giant ENERGY bonuses are interesting. Giant MINERALS will cause Planet to kill you. Giant NUTRIENT might be slightly interesting, but also makes all the rest of the terrain around cities obsolete. All of these effects can be achieved anyways by putting more satellites into orbit.

    Getting a free tech might put the game into an infinite loop. :)

    I think you already know the map at this point.

    I bet your probe teams are successful already, since a lot of techs already increase probe team success. I wonder how long it would take adding bonuses to that, before it breaks the game with some bug somehow?

    Gene warfare, again, how long until the increases break the game with a bug?
     
  9. mayford

    mayford Chieftain

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    Ok. So our choice is Punishment Sphere + Econom 100% in social engineering.
     
  10. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    Well assuming people are happy enough for you.
     
  11. mayford

    mayford Chieftain

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    Yitzi fixes included?
     
  12. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    No, not in my official release. Yitzi did quite a lot of work, but he mainly aimed at bugfixing. I personally haven't really run into the bugs he fixed for the most part. Also he did nothing to work on AI performance, nor any new modding capabilities that I needed. Finally, he vanished from the scene a number of years ago. Thus I've had no motivation to worry about Yitzi's patch. People seem to assume it's "important" to have Yitzi's patch, but from my personal perspective, it isn't.

    There is a fellow who has merged my work with Yitzi's, by the name of Vidsek. However as far as I know, he has not made a public release of his effort. You could try going to the home site of my mod, look at the last posts in my thread about it, and asking him about it. I haven't pestered him about it because it's not important to me that it gets done, but I did offer to coordinate with him if he did the heavy lifting. If he heard from more people that they care about this, then perhaps he'd release his work publicly.

    There may be an additional factor: he may be doing more modding beyond simply making my mod compatible with Yitzi. I've licensed my work under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license. That means, if he mostly uses my work, he has to credit me. I don't think that's an issue for him, and I have raised the subject awhile ago, so it's not a new thing. But who knows, maybe he hasn't thought about his own licensing in a sort of "housekeeping chore" sense. I don't really know; I'm just imagining a series of "little barriers" rather than any big barrier. I don't see it as my role or concern to push any of that to completion. I've pushed my own work to completion, I got it all done, it's out there. Feel free to try to push any way you like.
     
  13. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    I have released version 1.22. Believers get +1 GROWTH and +1 ECONOMY. No other changes.
     
  14. PPQ_Purple

    PPQ_Purple Techpriest Engineer

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    Does anyone at any point get the ability to improve deep sea/ocean tiles?
     
  15. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    That's a Pirate faction ability, same as in the original game. TBH I'm not sure I've seen the Pirate AI really do this though.

    Actually there are 2 things to consider:
    - when deep ocean becomes improveable
    - when advanced terraforming facilities are allowed on the ocean

    Pirates merely have the AQUATIC setting, I think that's the only way to control this. Pirate description says:
    ^Enhancements may be built in ocean and trench squares with the discovery of Advanced Ecological Engineering: {Trained for life at sea}
    ^Sea colony pod & sea former prototypes FREE: {Advanced oceanic technology}
    ^Bonus mineral from ocean shelf squares: {Culture and technology adapted for the ocean}

    Maybe I've always misinterpreted this stuff to expect things like Soil Enrichers on the ocean and so forth. Maybe it's only about ocean, deep ocean, and trench squares.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  16. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    I have released version 1.23. Resonance Lasers are now attack strength 3 and come before Particle Impactors. Weapon and armor progression is smoothed out over the tech tree. Heavy Artillery is available with C1 Applied Physics. Drones are Erratic again, they were too peaceful.
     
  17. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    I have released version 1.24. Information Networks, Industrial Base, Progenitor Psych, Command Centers, and Nerve Gas Pods become Tier 1 techs again. Amphibious Pods and Marine Detachments are moved earlier to Tier 2. The various Plasma armors now have their own individual Tier 3 techs. The Neural Amplifier and the Command Nexus are moved earlier to Tier 3. R-Lasers are now attack strength 2. Plain Lasers are now attack strength 3. Both are Tier 3 techs, resulting in a longer buildup before offensive operations begin.
     
  18. Darsnan

    Darsnan Emperor

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    I've been enjoying reading your updates over the last few months - gives me some good avenues to ruminate over in the future! One question I have is in regards to moving Nerve Gas Pods to Tier 1: IIRC the AIs will build units with Nerve Gas, but won't use them unless someone has committed atrocities against them. So I guess in the (really) early game is it a good idea to have Nerve Gas Pods available, especially considering the added cost to units for this capability (and of course if nerve gas is used what are the ramifications from ecological damage, diplomacy, as well as Planet taking affront from the atrocities?)?

    D
     
  19. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    I've never actually seen the AI use chemical weapons on anyone. I've seen them build the units, but I've never seen clear evidence of actually depopulating a city. They've definitely never done it to me, despite the loads of chemical attacks I've made on Aliens that I want to eradicate. It's possible that my offense is just too good, that they don't even get the chance. But they don't even use chemical weapons on my units destroying their home territory. I'd expect a chemical counterattack sometime, and I've never seen one.

    I've rarely seen the AI build a chemical weapon. In fact, I've wondered if they've only ever done it, because they captured one of my X units and got a prototype. Making Nerve Gas Pods a Tier 1 tech hasn't changed the AI behavior. They are not adding a cost to their builds for a "useless" capability. And if a real human player wants to add this cost to their builds, that's their prerogative.

    If you are playing a human faction, and you use chemical weapons with impunity on another human faction at the beginning of the game, you are going to die! Planet is going to take a horrible vengeance upon you that you will not live though. Or if you do, it'll cripple you so badly that other factions will nuke you. Here's an After Action Report of exactly this sort of thing happening. It ain't pretty. I quit that game in disgust. I've never survived a chemical weapons triggered mindworm apocalypse, and I've tried about 5 times now. It is one of the dullest things you can possibly do in the game. Imagine every turn, you fight mindworms... and every turn they are replaced.

    I am not sure if Repealing the UN Charter cancels the global flooding and mindworm vengeance. That's worth testing and maybe even doing an AAR about. You do not get mindworm apocalypse when you're a human attacking an alien. This is presumably because the UN Atrocity Prohibitions do not apply to Aliens, and unpresumably because Planet bleeds its liberal heart for humans only. A surprising level of awareness of human warfare conventions from Planet, for a sentience that hasn't awakened yet. You'd think the same chemicals spilling on the ground would get the same results.

    Another serious consequence of chemical weapons for a human faction, is Sanctions. In that AAR I had 1000 years of sanctions, longer than I'd be playing the game! It's not easy to get the votes together to Repeal the UN Charter either. If you want to do it early, you'd need to do a lot of bribing. That costs a lot of money or tech. It might be a wash compared to just taking the Sanctions. I'm not sure if Planet's attacks are based on Sanctions or not. The humans and the AI don't participate in Commerce together, so that could be why Planet's behavior is different.

    As an Alien, I haven't typically used chemical weapons on humans. For one thing, human cities depopulate to 1 when you conquer them anyways. Granted, you don't have to conquer a city to depopulate it with chemical weapons, you just have to win a battle. An air campaign liquidating cities is the usual drill. As a human I've done it to the Aliens plenty of times, but not typically the other way around. The main reason to use chemical weapons is for the offensive advantage, and I suppose I haven't needed it.

    As an Alien, I haven't typically used chemical weapons on the other Alien faction. Alien cities are the only ones I can get a substantial population from, so I do not necessarily want to depopulate them. Aliens also don't do Commerce, they have an energy grid which makes more money the more cities you have. So taking over all possible Alien cities may be in your best interest.

    In short, my attitude about chemical weapons is: you want some of this? Knock yourself out!
     
  20. Darsnan

    Darsnan Emperor

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    I agree. I can only recall it a few times, the most memorable episode being Aki gifting me a 6x/3/1 Infantry to aid in my fight against Marr.

    In a game started from scratch I agree. However in scenarios I've set up the AIs to use them quite willingly and effectively: I remember Lazurus commenting on how he was forced to retreat before an AIs massed nerve gas attack. And I also set up a PBEM called "Uncharted Waters" where I set two AIs to fight to the death with chemical weapons, forcing the human players to abandon their original plans:
    https://apolyton.net/forum/other-ga...-uncharted-waters-turn-tracking-thread/page25

    Understood :thumbsup:

    D
     

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