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SMAC 444 - AI patch updated [p]

Discussion in 'Strategy and Simulation' started by kyrub, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    If you had some kind of Civ experience then I don't think you need any particular help. The game has a solid internal help system to lead you through.
    There are a few mysteries, though, like Free Market effect (special type of unrest) or eco damage mechanics. For these, you may need to consult wiki

    Not true.
    SMAC was patched to 4.0 version alongside SMAX release and it is relatively bug free (or, should I say, scient made it so). A few cool landmarks were added as well, like Borehole Cluster and Manifold Nexus. SMAX has done more wrong than right. The worst part is the fact they let AI to "somehow" cope with all the new features, that is amateurish. It is hidden under the fact that the AI of the original is not exactly scintillating, but SMAX made it downright incompetent (Pirates, aliens, Cha Dawn).
     
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  2. Xbalanque Educated

    Xbalanque
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    thanks! gonna get to it
     
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  3. L'ennui Magister

    L'ennui
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    Thank you for your continued work on this most excellent game.
     
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  4. Xu Fugui Unwanted

    Unwanted
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    Yeah, I may not be able to brofist you yet but your efforts are greatly appreciated, kyrub, it's important that you know that. Thanks to your work I have started to enjoy SMAC even more than before.
     
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  5. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I'll have to check if these specific bugs persist in scient's patch, but they were not fixed as of SMAC 4.0.
     
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  6. blamzooie Educated

    blamzooie
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    Go kyrub! Much respect for patching SMAC.
     
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  7. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Description: New release of AI patch for SMAC - 17/5/2014

    http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=260

    Features

    AI Terraforming
    - AI got a basic lesson in advanced terraforming (boreholes, condensers, less raising terrain)
    - it builds no more bunkers
    - it builds denser sensor array network

    AI crawlers
    - AI now tends to build crawlers earlier and slightly more of them
    - AI crawls more intelligently its resources

    AI Social Engineering
    - the patch includes an emergency fix of the worst parts of social engineering code
    - AI now understands that pacifist drones are a major problem

    AI buidling units
    - AI spreads quicklier on oceans
    - Morgan has got new incentive to spread quickly
    - AIs build less of probes, bar Miriam
    - a lot more AAA defense
    - AI now likes rovers and choppers
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  8. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    Can I safely use a save game using the previous version after updating to this one?
     
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  9. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Yes, you should be able to, with no problems.


    A few reactions to the previous version of the patch from elsewhere
    Show Spoiler

    And another:


    Also, anybody who wants to discuss in-depth the changes, it is being done in this thread on the AC2 forums.
    Let's enjoy this great game!
     
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  10. DakaSha Self-Ejected

    Self-Ejected
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    Kyrub the only problem I see with your patch (I'm not really sure if it was a vanilla problem), is that the AI doesnt defend their cities worth a shit. 1, 2 and at the very most 4 units per city (Which isnt horrible but its reserved for capitals etc). Some with no defense at all.

    I did a lot of testing by letting the AI duke it out on their own for about 200+ turns, and it seems to be a problem every game.

    I havent tested this newest version, but unless the AI builds more units based on a better economy, I doubt it would change much

    edit: And I have no idea how I missed the part about buying less probes. Maybe that will have an effect. Testing now :salute:

    edit2: seemed a bit better after running about 3 games. Capitals were sometimes fully stocked. Still, it seemed like the cities were way to weak, in some cases being garrisoned by a single 1-1-1 scout unit at year 2300.

    Not really sure whether you are even able to change this
     
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  11. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Dakasha, this is very valuable info for me. I had a few people making remarks about it, but nobody was this concrete. That is surely unwanted.

    That must be some problem with the patch. I am not aware about its origin at all. To me it seems, this should be a bug, rather than anything I did intentionally.
    Another interesting question would be: what did the AI build at the time of (having no garrison). If it is formers or colony pod, it may be caused directly by the patch. If it is a building, for instance, that would be most strange.

    Can you tell me in which version exactly did you notice the problem? Again, that could help me a lot to locate the problem.
     
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  12. DakaSha Self-Ejected

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    I noticed it about 3 or 4 patches ago, but can not say that it originated at that time. It has persisted up until this last patch (although, as said, it seems a tad bit better. Maybe). I can't say exactly what the AI was building in place of defense (yet) but I can let you in on how to test this stuff incredibly quickly. You probably already know, but just in case:

    Start a new game, open the scenario editor, delete your faction, close the scenario editor. Hold down enter. 200 turns should pass in under 20 seconds. Open the editor at any time to see what the AI has been doing.

    I will of course do some more testing when I have time and let you know what I find.
     
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  13. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Thanks, Dakasha. I know the quick "testing", use it all the time.
    I thought about the problem and there are 2 places that could cause it:
    - I tried to strengthen the rover chassis creation, but since all defenders are infantry, it must have downgraded their production.
    - I tried to avoid the "too many supported units per base" situation, by making small bases a bit more reluctant to build more units. Again, especially in the case of small bases or bases low on minerals (like ocean one), this must have been negative when creating defensive cover.

    The worst possibility is a bug that I introduced somehow, hopefully, that is not the case, since it is the hardest thing to find own bugs.
     
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  14. DakaSha Self-Ejected

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    The two possibilities you listed actually sound really plausible, judging by what I was seeing. Small bases (and especially water bases) were the worst offenders by far, and often when bases had defense it was either some kind of rover, or in some cases formers and transports.

    It should also be noted that the AI has lots and lots of units. Its just that they are wandering around instead of defending. This is actually a good thing, as it makes to harder to even get to the bases in the first place, and makes pillaging much harder. The thing is that the ai is doing this early game which makes rushing much easier (As the ai will not have enough units to defend their whole territory, making it easy to slip past and take a base guarded by a single unit)

    I think most people turtle and research in these game so it may not be noticed. But if you try to rush the ai you will see that its early game is really really bad at defense
     
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  15. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Why do I capture bases late game and AI still did not build recycling tanks or other important stuff (no children creches, wat)? They just blob like hell. I hoped they'll learn to grow vertically too.
    My god, does Deirdre blob. I think AI fix turned her into a monster. Even Miriam got eaten. All those 20 sized cities everywhere, EVERYWHERE--

    And it's impossible to take them, all stuffed with AA trans armored infantry (at least important ones). Help me--
     
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  16. non Infra Arcana Developer

    non
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    I've barely played SMAC at all before, which intend to do something about now. From a glance, it seems Kyrubs patch is a huge improvement. I should use this immediately right? No need to start with vanilla patches only or something?

    What about those AI bugs(?) that DakaSha found. Is that something I should worry about? Or is it just a minor thing for an otherwise totally awesome set of improvements?
     
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  17. DakaSha Self-Ejected

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    Only play with kyrubs patch and dont worry about the 'bugs'. They AI is still better with the patch
     
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  18. non Infra Arcana Developer

    non
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    Cool thanks!
     
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  19. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Been a long time I played SMAC, so I got this patch and went swinging.

    Boy, is this patch for real.
    AI seems to expand like hell, I have like seven cities by 2160 and I am still at best a middling power.
    University of Planet owns, half of the planet is at war with them for some reason (jealousy?).
    Miriam keeps asking me all the time to bro it up and attack zakh, she even promises tech and llots of energy.
    Gaians want bro pact all the time, refuse because I don't want a army of impact infantry to drop on my shores all the time.
    Spartans act like assholes to me, declare war, a few turns later show up with a army on my doorstep and starts bombarding my shore cities. They have IMPACT infantry, so I signed peace in exchange for some creds because that was too much for me.

    Great patch, Kyrub, more feedback later on.
     
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  20. CootKeeper Educated

    CootKeeper
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    kyrub , could you make the patch compliable with SMACX or is it too much asking? I'm used to mix and match factions from the expansion, and there are a couple things I like from the expansion too (I don't think it's all rubbish like the others).
     
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  21. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    How's the AI decide whether to build navy/transports? I played a game as Morgan, a small map with the lowest setting of water and low erosion - in order to get everything more or less on one continent which happened, a kinda snaky shape continent. But when I'm on one side of the main continent and most AI's have a very short (1 turn travel) distance across the water to get to me (but very long land travel distance), I'm with war with everyone except my only real close land neighbor Miriam. But the hostile AIs mostly don't do anything, but just move fucking huge stacks of units they've built on their side of the shore, kinda back and forth between tiles, with absolutely zero navy in action most of the time that'd help them reach me. Which lets me get an easy lead as I just build away with a very minimal army while the AI's can eventually do hardly anything with all the weight given by their huge armies maintenance.

    I'm guessing it looks at the map, sees it has a very low water % of the surface, and takes that as a sign that navy is not to be built?
     
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  22. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Hi Kyrub, I have been playing the game with your fantastic patch, and I would like to describe a few of them, as it may help in improving this patch:

    Game 1: Trascend, Morganites (Blind Research)
    Started small, never grew much, I think seven big cities due to my slow pace of colonization due to LOTS OF FUNGUS and relatively late acquisition of Hab Domes. Got some excellent mountainland which rendered most of my clay fertile territory and good place to get energy.

    Other players:
    - Gaians and Spartans started on the same continent as me, to the north.
    - Hive, Peacekeepers and University started on a nearby continent to the west, by order of proximity.
    - Believers started alone in a small continent/big island north of the previous continent, quite near it.

    As for how they colonized:
    - Gaians started small but spread-out in their continent. Strangely they had a few colonies in the north, almost broken by Spartan territories but these colonies eventually became quite big. Good for them too, because they weren't in range of Believer planet buster throwing.
    - Spartans started east of the gaians, small at first, near some islands, but they eventually colonized closer to the Gaians.
    - Believers colonized their entire continent with like, ten or so cities. They became quite big early on, too. Lots of forests, everywhere.
    - Hive had a medium-sized colony but they eventually conquered some Peacekeeper colonies and University holdings, eventually becoming as big as the Believers.
    - Peacekeepers had a few colonies (four or five max, I think) then they got ganked by Yang's hordes.
    - University must've had at max eight colonies or so, but they eventually started to lose them to Yang. By game's end I think they had only four.

    Early game was mostly uneventful colonization and building. The AI surpassed me at tech and Secret Projects for the entire game (prolly because of the dificulty, that and I suck at the transition between rampant colonization and building up my colonies. Drones don't help, either). Until 2300s I was just some bit player. Meanwhile, Hive conquered the Peacekeepers (easily) and started their forever war against the Believers. They fought the University too and got a good part of their northern holdings.

    By the 2300s I adopted Free Market (because I was afraid of getting pummeled by mind worms, and the Gaians). Spartans got downright hostile (because I had a Pact of Brotherhood with the Gaians) and declared war upon me. I didn't care, because the Gaians were on the way, but damn, the trade, man, the trade! Spartans fought the Gaians until near game's end, it mostly went the Gaians' way but

    Then things started to get wacky by the late 2200s as the Believers launched a Planetbuster against a Hive colony. The Gaians sometimes attempted to invade Believer territory but they never got further beyond the taking of one city or two.

    After Miriam's attack, she and Yang decided to start a Planetbuster throwing contest. Each one probrably threw like ten planet busters at each other and still kept at it until game's end. Miriam actually shot a few at the Gaians. By game's end Miriam was clearly losing, she went from strongest to a midling faction, weaker than me. I had to truce both of them (even through it pissed Deirdre and Zakharov) and hope nobody noticed I existed, because I was very scared of getting a Planetbuster to the face. Luckly it never happened, althrough I built a few Defense Pods to make sure.

    I won the game by getting enough money to build the Ascent to Transcendence, even through I was technologically behind the Gaians. I wanted to do economic victory but I guess literally buying Godhood is good enough for Morgan.


    Game 2: Hive, Transcend (Blind Research, Tech Stagnation)

    Colonization went quite well, sadly lost the Command Nexus due to some mistakes in transitioning from colonization to building up. Also, because I didn't remember I could be a Police State from day one.

    The other players:
    - Spartans started in a continent south of me, which they colonized very well and became the biggest faction.
    - Believers started north of me, sharing the same continent. They colonized most of it.
    - Morganites started down south, alone in their own continent
    - Don't remember where everybody else was

    My start was quite solid, with a eight colonies or so by 2200. By then, I had approached the territories of the Believers. I was colonizing some of my remaining free lands when I got a straight-out war declaration from Miriam. For some time nothing came of that. Then, hordes of Impact Infantry showed up on my doorstep, took one of my border colonies and started to advance against my core territories. I reacted by building scores of Impact Infantry (WITHOUT the required tech, Spartans gifted a unit to help). I then had to fight waves of around 10 impact infantry every five turns or so. I would kill them all, but more would come. I had good engineering for it but DAMN I couldn't top the Believers' numbers and mount a reaction. Everytime I started to build a big army, they threw another army at me. Eventually I was devoured by endless Believer infantry using Rocky Terrain and their newly-arrived missile weaponry and Needlejets.


    Third game was pretty much same thing, except I played better and snagged a few projects (but sadly, not The Virtual World) but the Believers just mind-controlled all the bases in their way, nulifying my armies instantly. I was also attacked by the Peacekeepers but they were a minor problem because they used laser weapons (lol). Also, for some reason leaders were behaving oddly there, my contacts with Zakharov, Lal and Santiago started with instant war declarations, even through I never did anything to these people. What the hell?

    I think I'm gonna lower dificulty.
     
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  23. hoverdog dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive Developer

    hoverdog
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    halp

    I've reinstalled SMAC recently. However, the game has completely fucked up colors every time I open it. I tried the solution written on GOG forums: disabling opening movie, running it in 256 colors and forcing directdraw=0 in the config file. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Any other solutions?
     
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  24. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Wanted to play a relaxed building game, chosen Morganites and some medium difficulty, standard Map of the Planet. Got a whole middle continent all for myself, Lal on north, Believers&Spartans east, Yang south. Deirdre got eaten in first turns by Yang.

    Was playing all nice, got a pact with Lal and was slowly taking Believers bases using marines, when suddenly Yang shows up. I stare for a minute on a screen as he moves his 120 shard penetrators. "Well," I think, "I have like, a bunch of infantry, rovers, aa troops and jets in my every base. I can handle that".
    All my garrisons get destroyed, Yang uses drop units in a turn STEEL REHNN and a few get taken instantly.
    "Well shit" I think and reload.
    Try to find out why I am so shitty at playing Morganites even on noob difficulty and with continent all for myself.
    One guide says you have to run Police State for them (and Green+Wealth). Corporations lol.

    So I fixed my 2 most important mistakes:
    1) Switched to Police State. Got truce with Yang. Lal slowly started to hate me. Miriam too.
    So now I casually take 1-2 of their bases, they ask for peace, we have peace, they backstab me then instantly. I take 1-2 bases again, they ask peace, backstab me again... and they also fight each other.
    And yeah Miriam do loves them planet busters with patch.
    Yang asks bribes all the time.
    2) My main mistake was that I had 4 times less units that Yang. So I fixed that. Now we both have ~200 troops.
    I also started to place my bases tighter. Made place for ~5 more bases.

    But my morale is still total shit. In the beginning I managed to take bases with infantry but now Lal builds tachyon fields and such. I lead in science and gain hundreds of energy per turn. I just upgraded my banal sam troops to Chaos/Neutronium AAA for 2700 credits. Cause why not. It's not that my troops can win any other way and I don't have enything else to spend money on.
    I have to rely on worms because I can't take bases any other way. I was able to in the beginning but now my Shard troops can't take some outdated enemy infantry behind Tachyon fields. And I have command nexus and cyborg factory.
    Gaians are a lot better at worms. I lack +50% psi attack wonder. So I just spam spam spam clean reactor troops everywhere to be as good as Yang. I ran out of things to build so I spam +energy satellites. And to wage wars I just buy +worms buildings and worms every turn and then buy tachyon fields and clean armored units in conquered bases.
    I have dozen clean elite formers with neutronium armor just chilling around. I am to lazy to exchange them for something else. I wish I could put shard missiles on them too.
    Obviously I just buy all wonders that come around.

    So that's Morgan for you. That Police State really helped me with drones and support to actually invest my money in something.

    edit. won game - bought AtT :takemyjewgold:
    Fucked Lal with blink tanks and drop troops. Yang tried to talk to me all the time but got interrupted by some bug. Oh well.
    I think I won a SMAC game with Morgan for the first time lol.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
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  25. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Played a game with Santiago on one of the higher difficulties (not Transcendent yet though), medium random map. At first I had good advantage because of my tight building and exploration, but eventually I lost to builder factions (Deirdre) who out-teched me greatly (sungularity jets with 24 cannons and drop infantry... tech stagnation, right). Deirdre out-teched everyone and started building AtT, and when she saw me building it too - stomped me. Here I thought I'd be able to play hybrid/exploration Sparta because of their great Police and Support options, but then I started having trouble with cash. So I re-loaded and fixed my mistakes:
    - Priority on Conquer in tech forever
    - Rover rush on anyone who seems to be gathering advantage on me. Deirdre was the first choice.

    I got pact with Zak, he gave me jets, I forced Deirdre to surrender. Then got pact with Morgan if I destroy Miriam so I rushed poor girl, and then finished 2 Hive bases - Miriam did most of the job for me. Lal landed at Monoliths, fungus everywhere, struggled to get his bases bigger than 7-8, so I made him surrender with ease.
    Thought I'm ok and winning this, Zak backstabs me in league with Morgan. At first I was a bit careful with Zak, he had tech advantage and took one of my bases, but turned out that was it - chronical researcher did not have an actual good standing army, just a bunch of kewl high tech artillery, few planes. Morgan had good defensive standing army, but not good enough, so after Zak I captured his headquarters that were on a coast almost unprotected (???), then tank-rushed him.

    In the beginning of the game AI does not prioritize units and base defences well enough. Later when AI gets jets, at that nasty point when everyone has plasma armor but 10-strength guns, it becomes a chore to win. Nobody can win anyone. And later AI really loves rapid jet rushes with drop infantry. Deirdre even built a planet buster. Wtf.
    Still no copters though. Never seen AI use a copter even once.
    Tanks become very important late in game, when AI stacks his bases with AA units and trance units. Thankfully Command Nexus+Spartans means you always have an option to rush enemy with infantry or tanks. Noone is going to stop you.

    Some general observations
    On smaller map if Yang lands near Miriam, he has a good chance to be totally pressed into a corner, but Miriam with her tech stagnation will fall if there's anyone else around.
    The tech penalty of Believers is harder than I remember it. Miriam lands are always weak and underdeveloped.
    Builders with patch became a lot stronger, but they still rely on solitude too much. They also don't build enough units. Morgan landed on a jungle in that game, developed all his bases way above 10, yet had an army that was weaker than he could have had.

    Overall game became more random. Factions I never seen before after midgame can become fairly powerful. But it still depends a lot on geography.
    My next game would probably be with Deirdre on Thinker with another random map. Gotta try all out from that fungusfood blobbing like AI does
     
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