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So I tried out Faction Editor....

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by JMN4444, Jun 23, 2018.

?

What could make this faction broken?

  1. +25% attack boost

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  2. Impunity from Fundamentalism

    0 vote(s)
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  3. Free RECYCLING TANKS at every base

    100.0%
  4. Gaian stats

    0 vote(s)
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  5. Well I think it's pretty balanced :-)

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Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    Faction: Disciples of Cleanliness
    I'll admit it, I'm a noob at creating factions. I tried making a faction with a certain cartoon character as the leader just for fun. It just so happens that I made it somewhat too overpowered :undecide:. To list a few things:
    • It is based on the Lord's Believers, therefore it has the 25% attack boost; the bases are the same (albeit white).
    • Impunity from Fundamentalism.
    • +1 Probe retained
    • -2 Research, -1 Planet and +2 Support removed in exchange for +2 Efficiency -2 Police and -1 Morale (Some Gaian variables :))
    • Starting tech: Biogenetics
    • Free Recycling Tanks at every base

    Randomstuff.png

    Judging from the looks of it, it looks like I made another progenitor faction, but human :blush: (Or bird in this case :lol:)
    (Also got some issues regarding the pink spots somehow :confused:)

    Any tips on how to balance it out?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  2. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    Get rid of the free recycling tanks. In my SMACX AI Growth mod, I have defanged the Progenitor factions in many ways. They have to build recycling tanks just like anyone else.

    Recently I too tried IMPUNITY to Fundamentalism, for the Cult of Planet. Who is now a Fundamentalist faction, not a Green faction. In terms of Cha Dawn's character it was the right idea, but I did not like that slowness of researching was crippling them. I rationalized that they have plenty of reality based experience with mindworm science, so they shouldn't be cripples in biology at least. It should be noted, the Believers aren't as ant-science in my mod, they just get -1 RESEARCH. Fundamentalism still has a -2 RESEARCH penalty for factions choosing it though. The bonuses are different, they get +1 GROWTH +1 MORALE +1 POLICE and nothing about Probe at all. My view is that all Fundamentalist regimes are a kind of police state, just think of the Taliban, ISIS, or the Iranians. It's only a question of brand identity and degree, so in my mod a Police State is just a worse police state than a Fundamentalist one.
     
  3. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    You're pretty right on the Recycling Tanks :undecide:. I guess it's whay truly made the progenitor factions so broken(and hated :lol:). Heck, just try an all AI battle in transcend and they will end up wiping all opposition with ease (not counting Nautilus Pirates of course).

    I even tried pitting Brother Harvey's faction in an all AI battle against other Harvey Beaks themed factions.
    Results are if he's left alone, he becomes a massive superpower who then ends up sending singularity choppers with 25% attack bonuses from belief. If rushed early however, he becomes a pincushion :deadhorse:.

    The -1 Morale wouldn't help him at all on the defense so he'd rely on preemptive strikes and the -2 Police means that he must be careful not to overexpand, as his units do not count as police and nerve stapling is disabled. To make matters worse for him, he's against the idea of a police state. If those pesky drones get in one of his bases, that could mean big problems for him, as the only way of quelling them is to either build a psych facility or reassign a few workers to doctors/empaths/transcends.

    I tried using him at Librarian and it turns out that maybe the recycling tanks could be the problem which makes it broken. Maybe I ought to add immunity to Research as well in the same way Yang has Immunity to efficiency, as Brother Harvey is STILL part of the Believers under a different sect?
     
  4. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    I hate Yang's immunity to Efficiency. It is very hard to figure out if his Efficiency will ever go up under that regime. IMPUNITY to various social engineering choices, is much easier for the player to reason about.
     
  5. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    You're probably right on the IMMUNITY though, guess it was what made Yang nigh unstoppable when he gets going in the original game. And to add some more, IMMUNITY to RESEARCH is even worse than IMMUNITY to EFFICIENCY, as any other research oriented faction or a non-immune-to-research faction could just choose KNOWLEDGE and eclipse the Disciples in research by a long mile.

    I finally removed the RECYCLING TANKS for the Disciples and it turns out that it really was the cause of what truly made them broken. Unlike the past games where I eventually end up being so high on the stats as the Disciples, I finally got a fair footing with the rest of the factions in all aspects. As it turns out from the rest of my playthrough as Talent (Yeah I kinda suck:blush:) Whenever a new base is formed, the RECYCLING TANKS usually take up to 40 Minerals to complete a single RECYCLING TANK (Considering that there is no extra minerals around the area) which adds up to the challenge of trying to build up your cities. However, once you give them free RECYCLING TANKS at every base, it will encourage them to use the ICS strategy like there's no tomorrow, thus reducing the challenge for the said faction.

    Even those extra drones wouldn't stop them, as most presumably, considering the fact that they already have the RECYCLING TANKS at the start of the game, they would most likely go for the Virtual World secret project and negate most of the drone problems by building NETWORK NODES at every base. It would be easy for them to do it since they got the extra minerals from the RECYCLING TANKS.
     
  6. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    When I defanged the aliens, the most important things I did were to take away the recycling tanks, and to take away their advanced armor. Now they still have to build and fight same as anyone else. They do still get directed research, which IMO is a big advantage.
     
  7. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    Finally the aliens get a fair footing as well :). I guess there's no need to leave them out anymore when I'm choosing my factions.
    Although I got a little question to ask you about the mod, did you you tone down her AI from being crazy aggressive to somewhat aggressive, or is she still crazy aggresive? Deus Vult.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  8. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    Thank you for this. You are the 1st person to officially "get it" as to why I made those changes. I knew the Aliens were rather irritating, and I'd run into people who went to great modding lengths to eliminate them from the game entirely. So I wanted to make them into "just factions among factions", not some monster steamroller. I've played piles of "7 random faction" games and now, all of them are more or less equal. That said, I may have created new imbalances, although I'm encouraged that the Spartans actually got their butts kicked by the Believers in my current game. The Spartans seemed to be the new "unstoppable", but it seems that in close quarters, the Believers can in fact stop them.

    Miriam's AI, was actually the basis for improving the challenge level of a lot of the other AIs. It seemed that choosing Explore, Conquer was important. Although, having now made so many other changes, I'm not so sure if research foci are really that critical. Pretty much all the "conquest" factions have gotten the Explore, Conquer treatment, but I've changed a number of factions to be non-conquest now.

    Most noteworthy: the Pirates. They focus on Wealth now. I eventually realized they have this great big ocean, which provides a tremendous defense. No other faction is ever going to be quite so water oriented, it's a great "defense in depth" for them. So they really don't need to conquer anything. They've got that mineral bonus on the water, and that actually makes them an excellent Builder faction. So like true pirates, wealth it is!

    For the "ai-fight" variable, I have a mixture of Passive, Erratic, and Aggressive factions now. Miriam is still Aggressive and I just don't see a reason to change that. Some factions that were Passive, I upgraded to Erratic because I didn't think they were defending themselves enough. Other factions, eventually I put back to Passive, as avoiding fights and concentrating on their own building is a better strategy for them. However, I don't think any of these settings end up actually mattering all that much. Factions go to war with each other over ideological differences, that's the bottom line. Heck, I've noticed that factions with the same ideology often go to war with each other, which I find rather annoying.
     
  9. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    I know right? I even tried to make a faction that was supposed to be a "destined" ally to the Disciples right over here:
    SirDade.png

    And again, another Harvey Beaks based faction. Like Brother Harvey, Sir Dade prefers Fundamentalism. However, since his aggression level is set to the highest and Brother Harvey's set to the lowest, chances are, Brother Harvey will end up getting destroyed by none other by his closest friend. Oh, not to mention they're both Fundy :cry:.
    Oftentimes, whenever I try to play as either the Crusaders or the Disciples, I try not to include both of them in one map, as it usually kills the immersion for me :sad:.

    Probably makes sense. If Yang chose Cybernetic as his social engineering choice, it becomes truly questionable on how the heck did those robots not help in working with those that live in The Hive, if even a little (Due to EFFICIENCY hit).

    Makes sense too. I mean, what's the purpose of a pirate other than acquisition of WEALTH? It ends up being bizarre when Captain Svensgard (Dunno if I got that right) suddenly denounces you for "becoming too weak" just because of WEALTH when he himself is a PIRATE? In that sense, They aren't pirates, but rather another offshoot of the Spartan Federation, you might as well call them Sea Spartans....

    Also speaking of Pirates, I have another faction right here:
    Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.png
    Simply put, they're just Sea Morganites with a bit of RESEARCH boost. I thought for sure that the Morganites get their behinds kicked every single time, especially when Miriam, Santiago or Yang comes knocking at their door:ar15:. So I made a faction for the specific purpose of avoiding physical contact with those aforementioned factions; in which i send them into the vast ocean where they can build in peace.... But then again if left alone they can end up winning an economic victory should that victory condition be allowed at all.

    In my current TALENT difficulty game I'm allied with Santiago as Miriam. Crushed Yang (Dang he's tough), Morgan and Zak. Lal is shaking in his boots right now while Deirdre doesn't even give a darn about the situation. Half of the Secret Projects are built (and stolen:evil:) by me and Half the other Secret Projects are in Deirdre's hands.
     
  10. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    You're exactly right, they were Sea Spartans. I think they took the 7 faction archetypes and put them into the new factions, so that they wouldn't have to think much about political consequences. That really isn't very interesting though for people who play games with a random 7 out of 14 factions. Another reason I made that change, is no faction actually has Wealth as their guiding light. Now it is so! I also made Roze a proponent of Thought Control, since no faction had done that. This is a darker idea of Roze, that the power to hack into other people's minds, went to her head over the long haul.

    How do AIs ever even get an Economic Victory? I've never seen it happen.

    I got rid of Morgan's penalties in my mod. -1 SUPPORT was egregious, made them totally crippled. Eventually I got rid of nearly all of the faction penalties, unless they had strong thematic reasons to be in place. So Miriam gets -1 RESEARCH for instance, not as severe as in the straight game.
     
  11. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    I did remember that the Free Drones had an ability in which rioting bases tend to end up joining them. I made a less Industry-oriented and more Probe-oriented faction with some of Lal's extra TALENT, except it is for every 3 citizens rather than the 4:
    Bear.png
    This faction focuses on trying to use that very ability by giving them a good probe bonus, like the Data Angels (This is based on the Data Angels). Although he ends up getting crushed whenever he meets a really aggressive faction.
    Preferred Ideology: Eudaimonia
     
  12. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    I'm not really familiar with these cartoon characters. Whas this bear guy a nightclub manager in the original cartoon?
     
  13. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    He isn't a nightclub manager in the show, but a nightclub patron who loves dancing and partying :goodjob: (And Harvey's friend too). I just decided to give him the status of Unity Recreations Manager just for the sake of giving him some sort of ranking aboard the Unity similar to how most Alpha Centauri Leaders have their background. I decided to give him bonuses related to golden ages since he likes to party (TALENT for every 3 CITIZENS/RECREATION COMMONS at each base). The main purpose of this faction is to utilize one of the strengths Domai has in which rioting bases tend to join their side. Add to the PROBE bonus and you can actually try to incite Drone Riots in your opponents' bases, which could then have a chance to actually subvert the base without using credits. I dunno if this faction is actually viable though, as this is just an experiment to try and create a new faction :p. By the ways I did try your mod and it was pretty good :thumbsup:. If I may quote the changes you made for Fundamentalism:

    If I were to put my custom faction, The Sacredbark Crusaders, in the Growth Mod and they chose their preferred ideology, the changes to their society in SE would go like this:

    +1 GROWTH > +2 GROWTH
    +2 MORALE > +3 MORALE
    -1 POLICE > 0 POLICE
    -2 RESEARCH > -4 RESEARCH

    They have techsteal though.

    I would also like to ask if Sir Dade's faction is either broken, crippled or just fine as it is:), considering that the Growth Mod is used.




     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  14. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    Sorry, missed that last line awhile back. Just as well, because the rules of SMACX AI Growth mod have changed since then. Contemplating Sir Dade, with respect to 1.13 rules.

    Giving him +2 MORALE makes him as tough, militarily, as the Spartans. Nobody else has that advantage in the game. If the intent is to have him be a Spartan replacement faction, I don't have any problem with it. If they're both going to be in the game, then I would suggest not having Sir Dade become "the automatically better version" of the Spartans, that always has more bonuses, that you'd always choose (assuming a player cares about getting the best).

    +1 GROWTH is actually a major benefit in SMACX AI Growth mod. No faction has this ability, I took all GROWTH bonuses and penalties away from everybody. A faction with this bonus, would be able to pop boom in circumstances where others cannot. To trigger a pop boom, you need a Children's Creche, Democratic, Simple or Planned economy, and Eudaimonia. +1 GROWTH would not enable pop booming before Eudiamonia, because Eudaimonia is a +2 bonus. So the advantage is, you have a lot more combos to get +2 GROWTH out of your Political, Economic, and Values choices. I would say that +1 GROWTH is a nice thing to give a faction, it's a substantial advantage, but wouldn't make it overpowered.

    I'm not sure that the AI ever figures out how to do a population boom anyways. I changed the rules in 1.12 to make it possible and more likely that Lal would pop boom. Seems to me that pop booming is likely to be a human player advantage in practice.

    -1 POLICE. Anyone can live with a mere -1 POLICE. However it is going to cramp your style. Without any penalties, you can choose Free Market, and still be able to use 1 police unit but no nerve stapling. If you've got a -1 POLICE on top of that, you can't use police with Free Market. At the beginning of the game, that hurts. Free Market has turned out to be the best social engineering choice ever for geographically isolated factions, the way I've done it now. You just make 1 social engineering choice and you've got +1 energy per square. Now of course, you can go Green, which doesn't have any POLICE penalty. But you make less money and you take a -1 SUPPORT penalty, so that hurts.

    It is completely fair to say, your choices of +1 GROWTH and -1 POLICE completely cancel each other out. In terms of faction power, it's a wash. We're back to having the +2 MORALE advantage.

    A UNITY MINING LASER?? OH JOY!! Can I be the 1st to fry you with it? Talk about damning a faction with faint bonuses. If your intent is comedic, you've succeeded. Anyways this is worth nothing. I can't tell you how many times I've made a Laser Squad as my 1st offensive unit in various games. If you want to give him a real man's weapon, give him a Battle Ogre Mark I. Or give him five Mining Lasers, to be a real jerk about it. That's excessive, was just riffing on the comedic, but 2 or 3 Mining Lasers might not be so bad and would actually be threatening at the very beginning in close quarters. Or it's 3 extra Scout units on a bigger map.

    Knowledge no-nothing, steals tech on conquest - these are not big deals. Lack of Knowledge hurts but almost all factions have something they can't choose, that hurts somehow, so who cares. It's parity with everyone else. Stealing on conquest doesn't tend to amount to much tech stolen in the real world. You have to actually be able to conquer somebody to steal from them, and that often means you have a tech advantage, tech parity, or an industrial advantage over them. It's a minor positive, not even worth as much as +1 GROWTH.

    -2 RESEARCH. That's now a huge penalty that nobody else has. Even the Believers only have -1 nowadays, and they're the only faction with a research penalty. Even Fundamentalist factions only have -1. Your choice here is pretty darned crippling. I would go so far as to say, you've negated the +2 MORALE advantage.

    Almost forgot your bonus techs. Factions mostly don't get these. If they do, they only get 1, and only a Level 1 tech. The reason is, I don't want anyone getting a head start on acquiring Secret Project techs. When you give factions some starting techs, you're giving them trade commodities that they'll trade with other factions, especially human players, making tech acquisition go way quicker. My advice is, don't give any starting techs at all.

    I had to give the Believers Social Psych though, because her -1 RESEARCH was bad enough, that she'd flounder and completely stagnate without a starting game boost. She needs to be able to trade a tech commodity to someone else.

    Ok so you've got the Believer style attack bonus. A small advantage.

    As is, I would expect your faction to get killed by other factions, due to the -2 RESEARCH penalty. Yes it would be strong going out the gate, but the tech stagnation is going to get them creamed. I kept removing RESEARCH penalties in my mod because Fundamentalist was proving way too popular a choice for factions, and it was getting factions killed.

    My final, brilliant suggestion: drop to +1 MORALE bonus, drop to -1 RESEARCH penalty, see how it plays.
     
  15. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    Yep, you were right about the faction being killed off most of the times. It seems that -2 RESEARCH indeed would put most factions at a disadvantage. Using the mod again with the changes you had in mind, I decided to pit said faction against the original factions (Minus Believers) using the scenario editor on TRANSCEND difficulty and what happened was that two factions ended up being the last man standing.

    To be more specific, The Hive and The Sacredbark Crusaders. Also gave them a free Battle Ogre MKI as a faction bonus instead of the Mining Laser and it turns out that the custom faction pulverized everyone on its continent. Namely the PK, Spartans, Morganites and University. Stepdaughters were unlucky to be close neighbors with The Hive and got crushed as soon as they got the war machine going.

    I gave them the Battle Ogre MKI though :lol:, although it cannot be repaired. Gave it to them as an experiment, maybe it could be the reason why the faction pulverized everyone else in its continent.
     
  16. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    What size map or continent? At close quarters, an Ogre is dangerous. However, the AI often misuses Ogres, wandering them around in the fungus like they're merely a scout. Pretty soon they wander into mindworms and get killed. Come to think of it, I wonder if I can change that in alphax.txt? Hrm, the unit "plan" for AI purposes is 0, "offensive". Other reasonable possibilities are -1 "Auto Calculate", 1 "Combat", or 2 "Defensive". The only kind of unit that actually uses "Auto Calculate" is a Unity Gunship.

    I could give Ogres Trance capability, which would slow down the rate at which they get chewed up by mindworms. But I think misuse of Ogres is the main problem with them. Maybe I could test them by making them a buildable unit, costing as much as Scouts, and see how everyone does with them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  17. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    The game was using the growth mod on a Large map. Ocean set to the lowest possible. Average Lifeforms on Transcend. Sir Dade is AI controlled like everyone else. I'm a sucker for AI on AI battles on TRANSCEND (Especially when I'm busy eating). Sir Dade first ran into Santi then owned them with the Battle Ogre. He went on to pulverize Lal, Morgan and Zak in that order. Morgan had one final sea base until he was finished off by Yang.

    RedvsBlue.png
     
  18. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    If Sir Dade started on or near the Monsoon Jungle, then their victory is not surprising.

    Pardon my ignorance, but how does one set up an AI only game? I haven't tried to do that in forever.

    I've been experimenting with toughening the Ogres and changing the AI plan. I added Trance, Empath Song, and High Morale. Ogres still get cut up by mindworms, they might last a little longer. Jury's out on whether the "1 Combat" plan is an improvement. That's the plan used for mindworms.
     
  19. JMN4444

    JMN4444 Chieftain

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    Ah yes, the all AI setting can be achieved by activating scenario editor and then switching your side to another faction. When the game asks if you wish to control the faction, answer no and enjoy the carnage :ar15:(Although you might need to end the turn constantly). The first time you do it, skip your turn manually clicking on the end turn and let the enter button do the rest of the autoturns. Don't forget to activate Omniscient View if you want a full view of all the action (Preferably with Fast Battle Resolution on to avoid those unnecessary skirmishes with the Mindworms).
    Enjoythecarnage.png
    Problem is, there's a glitch in the later parts of the game when the AI tries to drop pod a sea base. The AI will keep dropping said unit into a sea base 'till it gets tired. Eventually, pressing enter sends you to the base rather than ending the turn, so you might want to use a mouse to end it manually. There's also another glitch that happens if the AI you're observing ends up capturing a base. After the message, the city screen will pop up, and you can't do anything to close it until the AI is done with their turn.

    Sir Dade started on top of the map (Marked with a Red Circle). The rest was History. Presumed starting locations of eliminated factions marked with corresponding faction colors. Yang started near Unity Crash.
    LOLINACCURATELOCATION.png

    Also, here's the AI settings for Sir Dade:
    AI.png

    Maybe adding such advantages to Battle Ogres means that once one of Deirdre's or Cha Dawn's opponents get them through a lucky pod, they're toast. Maybe said mindworms were in a fungus?

    Also, whenever someone gets the Monsoon Jungle, he/she becomes the superpower for the most of the game (That is of course if he/she is able to defend his/her position).
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  20. bvanevery

    bvanevery Chieftain

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    New Ogre settings haven't meant squat in my experience. They're still pretty fragile and good for nothing. 1 psi combat, you're half dead.
     

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