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can you make the AI any smarter?

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  • can you make the AI any smarter?

    I have tried and enjoyed many of the mods that are around but I have never seen anything that would make the AI more challenging in the mid to end game.
    Examples
    The AI is a sucker for the gift of a base. Even a class 1 in the middle of nowhere.
    The AI tends to stack their units like flyers in one square or base thereby making them vulnerable to a 'surgical strike'
    The AI tends to stop making amphibious assaults in the mid and end game.
    Does anyone know how to adjust the strategies of the AI? (Without rewriting the executable!)

    Thanks and compliments to all the modders

  • #2
    Not much to be done there in operations. The only technique I have seen is giving the faction some default units that they do not orinarily design, like police garrisons. There is a thread on that somewhere.
    Gaius Mucius Scaevola Sinistra
    Japher: "crap, did I just post in this thread?"
    "Bloody hell, Lefty.....number one in my list of persons I have no intention of annoying, ever." Bugs ****ing Bunny
    From a 6th grader who readily adpated to internet culture: "Pay attention now, because your opinions suck"

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    • #3
      Perhaps you've already tried Googlie's mods, but if not, look here.

      In any case, I believe that in essence, he beefs up the AI's by toning down their aggressiveness - less conquer, more builder params. Also, pre-terraforming (especially with forests, but perhaps also some extreme stuff like boreholes) in the AI homeland gives them more staying power.

      There are other threads currently going around with the notion to retard human players by jacking up the cost of crawlers and giving certain goodies to the AI (like the "Clean" attribute and a high Police rating).

      Other variations include moving certain key techs, like Doc: Air Power, Fusion and Industrial Auto, further along the tech tree to delay their introduction and (usually one-sided) exploitation by the humans.

      These kind of changes can make the AI into a formidable opponent, especially in the earlier phases of the game. If they are able to develop their holdings, they are capable of pretty good play, for example using missiles and drop troops to do a chop and drop like maneuver. Unfortunately, they remain beatable in the long run due to their limited strategic outlook and somewhat dumb play.

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      • #4
        Without tinkering with alpha.txt rules, or creating custom "superfactions" about the only way I know is thru setting up the game as a scenario, and then playing it.

        Some things can be done to make the AI more powerful in the early game (forests, monoliths, maybe an extra starting tech or two - but that can backfire as it increases their current tech costs). Or you can create a master/submissive relationship between AI factions that will result in double the research rate as the slave gifts all techs to the master (and in smax it's neat to make Roze a submissive and give her automatic infiltration on everyone, cos then she gets the techs that any 3 others have researched)

        The problem for me has always been how to give the AI that middle game kick, and I might have a solution via the scenario starts.

        Build a couple of mineral-special mines for them, with roads, and plant a crawler on them. Do the same with high altitude solars, maybe even a mini energy park, and again plant crawlers on them (taking care to home the energy crawlers to a specific base, and the minerals to another, or others)

        Unfortunately, the stupid AI will use the crawlers to explore, or rush build prototypes ...but ... you can establish these crawlers as "unit objectives" for the human player (he must capture them and take them back to a friendly base) and as well (most importantly), set them as "lurkers" for 200 or 300 years (here the SE is wonky - you have to enter something like 2799 as the year to end lurking to get 200 turns of lurk)

        This now means that the AI can't move them until they have come out of lurking, and as they are "objectives", can't use them for rush builds etc.

        What's the advantage?

        Well, the early years they produce just the restricted minerals and energy until the requisite tech is researched which unleashes their full potential. So around 2170 to 2230 or so, when they get the two EE's, they really get a mid-game boost. I've had some fun single-player games with those parameters (even though I designed the scenario and drew the map, they are still fun to play)

        You can also do the same with military units. Plop AI super units (say a Plasma Photon AAA rover - you need to give the AI faction the techs, create the unit, then remove the techs) somewhere on an empty continent, and label it as a "sleeping lurker" - it awakens when a unit comes within 2 squares of it. Can create a nasty surprise for a lone colony pod out looking for a prime base site !!

        I think that in scenario building, one is limited only by the extent of one's imagination. In CMN'ing PBEMs, I constantly wrestle with making the AI so strong that it will overpower an individual human player - they are then forced into a team game to defeat - or hold their own - agaisnt the AI, which kind of defeats the purpose of a competitive PBEM

        So there is a lot that you can do

        As an aside, I set up Rynn's gallery as a sort of repository for scenario created single player games, the idea being that when one got bored with the ususal random start computer generated games, you could hop there and download a neat challenge. Not too many others offered their games, though, so they are mostly my creations.

        Googlie

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        • #5
          Having experienced a couple of googlie's scenarios, I can say that the AI doesn't seem any SMARTER but they do present much more of a challenge
          You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo

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          • #6
            Activate scenario editor & set all Faction Strategies to "build lots of Colony Pods". Again, not smarter - but more of a challenge (especially after playing CIV3 )
            Every positive value has it's price in negative terms - the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.
            ---Pablo Picasso.

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            • #7
              There was a scenario a long time ago, during the making of the Aldebaran mod, which no one I can remembered could win! I'll try and look it up - I really can't remember who did it or what it was called...
              ... This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality...
              ... Pain is an illusion...

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              • #8
                Creating a Scenario

                For a primer on building your own scenario, visit the Civilization Gaming Network Academy site at:

                http://www.civgaming.net/smac/acad_scened.shtml

                Hmmm - is my pride of authorship showing?

                Googlie

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                • #9
                  Hmmm - is my pride of authorship showing?
                  Don't worry, it is

                  I never play normal transcend games anymore. I guess most players here don't. Not enough challenge after all these years. But I hate "tutoring" the AI through scenario. It's like giving them means and weapons to destroyd you...and still they are just...stupid. But Googlie is right. There is a lot you can do. I have so far mostly beefed up AI's social bonuses. It helps although creating a scenario is the best you can do.
                  "I'm having a sort of hard time paying attention because my automated teller has started speaking to me, sometimes actually leaving weird messages on the screen, in green lettering, like "Cause a Terrible Scene at Sotheby's" or "Kill the President" or "Feed Me a Stray Cat", and I was freaked out by the park bench that followed me for six blocks last Monday evening and it too spoke to me."
                  - Patrick Bateman, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

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                  • #10
                    I have recently dl'd/played the Aldebaren mod. I have to say that for some reason , the other factions are most definitely alot more intelligent. Especially the way they fight! I admit to be being used to their "kobold charge" tactics in regular SMAC, and learning several ways to decimate their invading forces. In this version, its my opinion that they seem to have strategy. Perhaps its my imagination, but I've had one helluva time handling the Galactics in this game. They come at you in hordes and different directions constantly and are not afraid of using their airforces to pummel you silly. I've tried this with their maps and mine, (which is a "Dune" copy) and its even more difficult when there is no water boundaries protecting you initially.)
                    I also enjoyed the tech tree differences presented by that mod, it was like playing the game from scratch with having to "relearn" some of the concepts! Alot of fun! (I hope it is ok for users to plug SMAC related "products" here?).

                    Thnx

                    Tim

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                    • #11
                      They can be made quite hard to beat by giving them +5 Morale, +5 Industry, and so forth. But smarter is a tough proposition.
                      Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

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