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Old December 20, 2000, 00:39   #1
Local Time: 04:58
Local Date: October 31, 2010
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 26
Superfactions Challenge
I've been trying to dream up a new way to make single player a challenge. Rather than enforce some kind restriction on myself I'd like to try and make the AI factions harder to beat. So I've come up with this, I'm not a regular on this board so let me know if its already been done.

Basically I want to try and use the faction editor to increase the power of each faction, without turning all the factions into clones of each other. So I've eliminated the Social Engineering penalties of each faction, and increased their bonuses.

First choose the faction you wish to play, any but the Aliens is allowed. Then go into the faction editor and upgrade every AI faction into one of the 'superfactions' listed below. *Do not upgrade your own faction* thats the challenge. Standard size world, Trancend, no pods, not Blind research.

To create a Superfaction, eliminate their Social Engineering penalties and apply the new bonuses as shown below. The way I have determined a Superfactions bonuses is this. I gave each faction 6 points. Raising Industry, Economy or Growth costs 2 points, everything else costs 1 point. First I eliminated their penalties, then I exaggerated their bonuses. I didn't change their non-social bonuses/penalties, so for example Zak still has extra Drones and free Network Nodes.

+2 probe
+2 morale
+2 growth
+1 industry
+3 econ
+1 eff
+4 morale
+3 police
+2 plan
+4 eff
+1 growth
+1 econ
+1 support
+1 ind
+5 research
+1 eff
+1 morale
+1 industry
+4 industry
+3 probe
+1 econ
+2 research
+4 res
+4 eff
+3 plan
+1 eff

SMAC is a very finely balanced game, and making wholesale changes like this is bound to cause havoc with game balance, so I've got no idea how this game is going to turn out. I'd be interested if some of you SMAC veterans out there could help me balance the challenge. If this challenge turns out to be too hard I might decrease the number of 'points' each faction gets, or change the point cost of certain abilites.

I probably won't get the opportunity to play this challenge myself until after Christmas, but I'd be very interested to hear how anyone else fared in this challenge and how the AI factions used their newfound powers.

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Old December 20, 2000, 05:52   #2
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Local Date: October 31, 2010
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Location: of the Anti-Alien Forces of the Cult of Planet
Posts: 263
Hi Tony!

I am glad not to have to play against Your superfactions, I think they would kick my butt.
I am happy if I can win against the normal factions on transcendent level.
But I like to play selfmade faction (I have among them one special "hate them and fight against them-faction"), and to balance them, I have found a simple and good working method: I use the drones/talents per citizen option to balance their power. If a faction is to strong, I change for example from 1 drone per 8 to 1 drone per 6, or I reduce talents from 1 per 6 to 1 per 8.
For example, if one of Your superfactions is so strong that it kicks not only your butt, but also the butts of the other superfactions, simply increase their drones until they are balanced again.
I do the same with my selfmade to play-with-faction, if I had won with them. I reduce their strenght a little bit in this way to make the next game with them a little more challenging.
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Old December 20, 2000, 10:50   #3
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Oh wonderful - the Drones just grabbed every secret project available in a few minutes
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Old December 20, 2000, 12:54   #4
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One potential problem I see in your superfactions is that most if not all of them will run into diminishing return walls as they progress. For instance, there is no bonus for going from +5 research to +6 research etc. As we are dealing with the AI, it is likely that they will tend to run their favorite SE choices even though these may not really gain them all that much.

Perhaps a better way to do this is to eliminate their SE penalties, and then give them a bonus which goes against their normal grain. For instance, what if you gave Miriam free network nodes, Yang free recycling tanks, etc. ?

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Old December 29, 2000, 01:40   #5
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Local Date: October 31, 2010
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 95
I would be tempeted to give a freebie that enhances a strength rather than compensates for a weakness, if trying to create monster factions. Honestly, which would scare you more -- Morgan with Children's Creches or Morgan with Energy Banks?

I'd probably go
Believers -- free command centers
Yang -- free children's creche
Spartans -- free perimeter defense
Lal -- free rec centers
Deidre -- free rec tanks (shiver)
Zak -- free research hospitals
Morgan -- free energy banks
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