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Old January 26, 2003, 06:24   #1
gwillybj
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my alpha.txt changes
I made these changes in alpha.txt to make my games last longer and to incorporate several ideas discussed in this forum. In this post, I tried to briefly describe the changes and give some thread references. The second post shows the actual changes, and the ZIP attached there is my alpha.txt (named alphaWilly.txt ) and these two essays.
(the most recent edition is in my 23-04-2004 22:40 post later in this thread)
The way I play, a "short" game takes at least a week and many games last a month. I like it this way. I don't care about "fast transcendence" or "high score". I want a long epic novel, not a quickie short story. These changes make that possible. Some changes cause effects that are readily seen, other changes are "because I wanted to ".

#RULES: Changed some values.

#TERRAIN: All terraforming operations now have prerequisite techs except Remove Fungus and Level Terrain. Edited text. Note: I know Magtube, Sensor, and Borehole don't work at sea; I haven't returned the entries to Disable yet.

#WORLDBUILDER: Adjusted values. Added value for Giant planet.

#WORLDSIZE: 6th entry is my Giant 256x208 planet, as described in "I think I did my math right..." which is my post in Map Sizes?.

#TECHNOLOGY: Added four new techs, adjusted prerequisites accordingly. Rocketry techs are named for some of NASA's programs: Basic Rocketry = Mercury, Advanced Rocketry = Gemini, Orbital Spaceflight = Apollo, and Advanced Spaceflight = Odyssey. The Basic and Advanced Rocketry concepts are "borrowed" from what Velocyrix described in his Torture Mod, Ongoing Discussions. The Centauri Awareness tech is described in the fifth and eleventh posts in Mr. President's Free Facilities thread (I have also incorporated into the SMAC-7 faction texts the free facilities as described there).

#CHASSIS: Made all defensive units Female gender, changed some names and pluralities. Increased Copter and Gravship ranges. Traded specs for Foil and Cruiser, as discussed in other threads such as How would you improve SMAC or SMACX (more closely, begin at this post) and Chassis Reality Check: Foils vs Cruisers.

#REACTORS: Shortened name of Singularity Engine.

#WEAPONS: Changed some names. Changed prerequisites for Conventional Payload (Basic Rocketry) and Planet Buster (Advanced Rocketry).

#DEFENSES: Shortened some names.

#ABILITIES: Changed some names. Enabled Heavy Transport (Solids) and Slow Unit (Mobility) - not that anyone would want to make a slow unit. I just felt like enabling it, and it does work.

#MORALE: Changed "Very Green" to "Recruit".

#UNITS: Changed some names, costs, and abilities. Added Scout Rover (identical to Unity Rover, just with a different name).

#FACILITIES: No changes to cost of construction and maintenance. Edited some texts. Changed prerequisites for satellites: SkyHy and Transmitter = Orbital Spaceflight, Defense Pod = Advanced Spaceflight. Notice this makes Planet Busters a very real threat. (BTW, I play solo exclusively and have had the AI Bust me in several games, often seemingly unprovoked. Miriam likes PB's a lot, and I have had Deirdre and Lal launch them more than once.) Changed the prerequisite for The Weather Paradigm and The Nano Factory to two of the new techs. Changed the prerequisite for The Virtual World to Optical Computers, to push it off a little and to give OptComp more purpose (this change was mentioned in this forum, I couldn't find the thread).

REGARDING THE COSTS FOR THE SECRET PROJECTS: The concept is from the same thread by Velocyrix I linked above at #TECHNOLOGY. I have made them cost at least twice the original, and several are more than that. I followed a simple formula: C=10L+N, where C = Cost of Project, L = Tech Level of prerequisite, N = Number of techs required if you had to actually research every tech. If the result of this formula was less than 2x the original cost, I simply doubled the original. The cost for The Ascent to Transcendence is 999. Have fun rushing it .

#ENERGY: Psych text.

#CITIZENS: All your Drones are pacified upon your first completion of Transcendent Thought.

#MIGHT: Dropped "little" from Anemic and Feeble.

#PROPOSALS: No changes except to use edited short names of prerequisites.
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Old January 26, 2003, 06:32   #2
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the devil is in the details
#RULES
50, ; Technology discovery rate as a percentage of standard
60, ; Extra percentage cost of prototype SEA unit
70, ; Extra percentage cost of prototype AIR unit
6,5, ; Psi combat offense-to-defense ratio (SEA unit defending)
9,8, ; Psi combat offense-to-defense ratio (AIR unit defending)
10, ; Combat % -> Attacking from higher elevation
10, ; Combat penalty % -> Attacking from lower elevation
10, ; Combat % -> Defend vs. mobile in Rough
25, ; Combat penalty % -> Air Superiority unit vs. ground unit
90, ; Combat % -> Air Superiority unit vs. air unit
90, ; Combat % -> Bonus vs. ships caught in port
90, ; Combat % -> AAA bonus vs. air units
3, ; Retool strictness (0 = Always Free, 1 = Free in Category, 2 = Free if Project, 3 = Never Free)
10, ; Minimum # of turns between Councils
0, ; If non-zero, humans can always contact each other in hotseat/email games
90, ; Maximum % damage inflicted by Arty versus units in Open
4, 3 ; Numerator/Denominator for frequency of Global Warming (1,2 would be "half" normal warming).
3300 ; Normal ending year for lowest 3 difficulty levels
3100 ; Normal ending year for highest 3 difficulty levels

#TERRAIN
Farm, Biogen, Kelp Farm, Biogen, 4, Cultivate $STR0, f, F
Soil Enricher, EcoEng2, Kelp Booster, Disable, 8, Install $STR0, f, F
Mine, Indust, Mining Platform, Indust, 8, Sink $STR0, M, M
Solar Collector, Physic, Tidal Harness, Physic, 4, Set up $STR0, S, S
Forest, Ecology, Mangrove, Disable, 4, Plant $STR0, F, Shift+F
Road, Mobile, Bridge, Disable, 1, Grade $STR0, R, R
MagTube, Magnets, MagTube, Magnets, 3, Build $STR0, R, R
Bunker, MilAlg, Bunker, Disable, 5, Fortify $STR0, K, K
Air Base, DocAir, Air Base, Disable, 10, Establish $STR0, ., .
Sensor Array, InfNet, Sensor Buoy, InfNet, 4, Connect $STR0, O, O
Fungus, None, Sea Fungus, None, 6, Remove $STR0, F, F
Fungus, EcoEng, Sea Fungus, EcoEng, 6, Plant $STR0, F, Ctrl+F
Condenser, EcoEng, Condenser, Disable, 12, Raise $STR0, N, N
Echelon Mirror, EcoEng, Echelon Mirror, Disable, 12, Erect $STR0, E, Shift+E
Thermal Borehole, EcoEng, Thermal Vent, EcoEng2, 24, Drill $STR0, B, Shift+B
Aquifer, EcoEng, Aquifer, Disable, 18, Tap $STR0, Q, Q
Raise Land, EnvEcon, Raise Sea Floor, EnvEcon, 12, $STR0, ], ]]
Lower Land, EnvEcon, Lower Sea Floor, EnvEcon, 12, $STR0, [, [[
Level Terrain, None, Level Sea Floor, Disable, 8, $STR0, _, _

#WORLDBUILDER
3,6,9,12,15,18
; Ratio (Continent size ratios)

#WORLDSIZE
6
Tiny 48x40 planet, 48, 40
Small 64x52 planet, 64, 52
Standard 80x64 planet, 80, 64
Large 96x80 planet, 96, 80
Huge 128x104 planet, 128, 104
Giant 256x208 planet, 256, 208


#TECHNOLOGY
Adv.
Military Algorithms, MilAlg, 3, 0, 1, 2, DocFlex, OptComp, 000000000
Super Tensile Solids, Solids, 1, 0, 5, 2, MatComp, Odyssey, 000000000
Digital Sentience, DigSent, 0, 4, 3, 2, IndRob, Gadget, 000000010
Self-Aware Machines, HAL9000, 0, 4, 3, 3, Odyssey, DigSent, 000000010
Doctrine: Air Power, DocAir, 3, 0, 3, 4, Alloys, Fossil, 000000000
Centauri Empathy, CentEmp, 0, 1, 0, 6, Brain, CentAwe, 000000000
Ecological Engineering, EcoEng, 0, 0, 3, 4, CentAwe, Gene, 000000000
Advanced Spaceflight, Odyssey, 2, 4, 2, 3, Apollo, SupLube, 000000000
Orbital Spaceflight, Apollo, 0, 4, 3, 3, Gemini, Algor, 000000000
Inspector Gadget, Gadget, 1, 1, 0, 0, HomoSup, MatComp, 000000010
Basic Rocketry, Mercury, 1, 0, 0, 2, MilAlg, DocAir, 000000000
Advanced Rocketry, Gemini, 0, 1, 2, 0, EnvEcon, Mercury, 000000000
Centauri Awareness, CentAwe, 0, 1, 1, 4, Ecology, None, 000000000


#CHASSIS
Infantry,M2, Squad,M1, Sentinels,F2, Garrison,F1, 1,0,0,0,1, 1, None, Rangers,M2, Watch,F1,
Speeder,M1, Rover,M1, Defensive,F1, Skirmisher,F1, 2,0,0,0,1, 2, Mobile, Dragon,M1, Enforcer,F1,
Hovertank,M1, Tank,M1, Skimmer,F1, Evasive,F1, 3,0,0,0,1, 3, NanoMin, Behemoth,M1, Guardian,F1,
Foil,M1, Skimship,M1, Aerofoil,F1, Coastal,F1, 6,1,0,0,2, 6, DocInit, Megafoil,M1, Superfoil,F1,
Cruiser,M1, Destroyer,M1, Cutter,F1, Gunboat,F1, 4,1,0,0,4, 4, DocFlex, Battleship,M1, Monitor,F1,
Needlejet,M1, Penetrator,M1, Interceptor,F1, Tactical,F1, 8,2,2,0,1, 8, DocAir, Thunderbolt,M1, Sovereign,F1,
Copter,M1, Chopper,M1, Rotor,F1, Lifter,F1, 8,2,1,0,1,10, MindMac, Gunship,M1, Warbird,F1,
Gravship,M1, Skybase,M1, Skyship,F1, Skyfort,F1, 8,2,0,0,1,12, Gravity, Deathsphere,M1, Doomwall,F1,
Missile,M1, Missile,M1, Missile,F1, Missile,F1, 12,2,1,1,0,12, Mercury, Missile,M1, Missile,F1,

#REACTORS
Singularity Engine, Singular, 4, SingMec,

#WEAPONS
Fusion Laser, Fusier, 10, 1, 10, -1, SupLube,
Quantum Laser, Quanser, 16, 1, 16, -1, QuanMac,
Singularity Laser, Singer, 24, 1, 24, -1, ConSing,
Psi Attack, APsi, -1, 2, 10, -1, CentPsi,
Planet Buster, Planet Buster, 99, 0, 32, -1, Gemini,
Terraforming Unit, Former, 0, 9, 6, -1, Ecology,
Conventional Payload, Conventional, 12, 0, 12, -1, Mercury,

#DEFENSES
Synthmetal Armor, Synth, 2, 0, 2, Indust,
Silksteel Armor, Silk, 4, 1, 4, Alloys,
Probability Sheath, Sheath, 6, 2, 6, ProbMec,
Neutronium Armor, Neutron, 8, 1, 8, MatComp,
Antimatter Plate, ZPlate, 10, 2, 10, NanEdit,
Psi Defense, DPsi, -1, 2, 6, Eudaim,

#ABILITIES
Deep Radar, 0, MilAlg, ARS, 10000111111, Sees 2 spaces
Cloaking Device, 1, Surface, Cloak, 00001111001, Invisible; Ignores ZOCs
Amphibious Pods, 1, DocInit, SEAL, 00000001001, Attacks from ship
Polymorphic Encryption, 1, Algor, Crypt, 00000111111, x2 cost to subvert
Fungicide Tanks, 1, Fossil, FungX, 00000010111, Clear fungus at double speed
Heavy Artillery, -7, Poly, Arty, 00010001001, Bombards
Heavy Transport, 1, Solids, Heavy, 00100100111, +50% transport capacity
Repair Bay, 1, Metal, MASH, 00100100111, Repairs ground units on board
Slow Unit, 0, Mobile, Slow, 01000110001, -1 moves

#MORALE
Recruit
, Hatchling

#UNITS
15

Colony Pod, Infantry, Colony Pod, Scout, 8, 3, 0, None, -1, 000000010000000000000000
Former, Infantry, Former, Scout, 9, 2, 0, Ecology, -1, 000000010000000000000000
Scout Patrol, Infantry, Gun, Scout, 3, 1, 0, None, -1, 000000000000000000000010
Transport Cutter, Cruiser, Transport, Scout, 7, 4, 0, DocFlex, -1, 000000000000000000000010
*Sea Former, Cruiser, Former, Scout, 9, 4, 0, Disable, -1, 100000000000000000000010
Crawler, Infantry, Supply, Scout, 10, 3, 0, IndAuto, -1, 000000000000000000000010
Probe Team, Speeder, Probe Team, Scout, 11, 3, 0, PlaNets, -1, 000000100000001000000000
Alien Artifact, Infantry, Artifact, Scout, 12, 1, 0, Disable, 2, 000000010000000000000000
Mind Worms, Infantry, APsi, DPsi, 1, 5, 0, CentEmp, 3, 000000000000000000000000
Isle of the Deep, Foil, APsi, DPsi, 7, 8, 4, CentMed, -1, 000000000000000000000000
Locusts of Chiron, Gravship, APsi, DPsi, 4, 1, 0, CentGen, -1, 000000000000000000100000
Unity Rover, Speeder, Gun, Scout, 3, 2, 0, Disable, -1, 000000000000000000000010
Unity Chopper, Copter, Gun, Scout, 4, 2, 0, Disable, -1, 100000000000000000100010
Unity Cutter, Cruiser, Transport, Scout, 7, 4, 0, Disable, -1, 100000000000000000000010
Scout Rover, Speeder, Gun, Scout, 3, 2, 0, Mobile, -1, 000000000000000000000010

#FACILITIES
Children's Creche, 5, 1, EthCalc, Disable, Growth+Effic+Morale
Biology Lab, 6, 1, CentEmp, Disable, Research+PSI
Hologram Theatre, 6, 3, OptComp, Disable, Psych+Fewer Drones
Tree Farm, 12, 3, EnvEcon, Disable, Econ+Psych+Forest
Hybrid Forest, 24, 4, PlaEcon, Disable, Econ+Psych+Forest
Fusion Lab, 12, 3, Fusion, Disable, Econ+Labs Bonus
Quantum Lab, 24, 4, Quantum, Disable, Econ+Labs Bonus
Research Hospital, 12, 3, Gene, Disable, Labs+Psych Bonus
Nanohospital, 24, 4, HomoSup, Disable, Labs+Psych Bonus
Genejack Factory, 10, 2, Viral, Disable, Minerals+More Drones
Punishment Sphere, 10, 2, MilAlg, Disable, No Drones, -50% Tech
Housing Complex, 8, 2, IndAuto, Disable, Increase Population Limit
Pressure Dome, 8, 0, DocFlex, Disable, Submersion+Resources
Command Center, 4, 1, Mobile, Disable, Land +2 Morale
Naval Yard, 8, 2, DocInit, Disable, Sea +2 Morale, Sea Def +100%
Aerospace Complex, 8, 2, DocAir, Disable, Air +2 Morale, Air Def +100%
Bioenhancement Center, 10, 2, Neural, Disable, ALL +2 Morale
Sky Hydroponics Lab, 12, 0, Apollo, Disable, +1 Nutrient ALL BASES
Orbital Power Transmitter, 12, 0, Apollo, Disable, +1 Energy ALL BASES
Orbital Defense Pod, 12, 0, Odyssey, Disable, Missile Defense
The Human Genome Project, 40, 0, Biogen, Disable, +1 Talent Each Base, -1, 0, 0, 1, 1,
The Command Nexus, 40, 0, DocLoy, Disable, Command Center Each Base, 1, 2, 0,-1, 0,
The Weather Paradigm, 40, 0, CentAwe, Disable, Terraform Rate +50%, 0, 0, 0, 2, 1,
The Merchant Exchange, 40, 0, Indust, Disable, +1 Energy Each Square Here, 0, 0, 1, 2, 0,
The Empath Guild, 40, 0, CentEmp, Disable, Commlink For Every Faction, -2, 0, 0, 0, 0,
The Citizens' Defense Force, 60, 0, Integ, Disable, Perimeter Defense Each Base, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0,
The Virtual World, 60, 0, OptComp, Disable, Network Nodes Help Drones, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0,
The Planetary Transit System, 60, 0, IndAuto, Disable, New Bases Begin At Size 3, 0, 0, 0, 1, 2,
The Xenoempathy Dome, 60, 0, CentMed, Disable, Fungus Movement Bonus, 0,-1, 0, 0, 2,
The Neural Amplifier, 60, 0, Neural, Disable, Psi Defense +50%, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0,
The Maritime Control Center, 60, 0, DocInit, Disable, Naval Movement +2; Naval Bases, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0,
The Planetary Datalinks, 60, 0, Cyber, Disable, Any Tech Known To 3 Others, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0,
The Supercollider, 60, 0, E=Mc2, Disable, Labs +100% At This Base, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0,
The Ascetic Virtues, 74, 0, PlaEcon, Disable, Pop. Limit Relaxed; +1 POLICE, 0, 0, 0, 1, 2,
The Longevity Vaccine, 62, 0, BioEng, Disable, Fewer Drones or More Profits, 0, 0, 0, 2, 1,
The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, 65, 0, Algor, Disable, Immunity to Probe Teams, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0,
The Pholus Mutagen, 95, 0, CentGen, Disable, Ecology Bonus; Lifecycle Bonus, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1,
The Cyborg Factory, 80, 0, MindMac, Disable, Bioenh. Center Every Base, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0,
The Theory of Everything, 93, 0, Unified, Disable, Labs +100% At This Base, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0,
The Dream Twister, 134, 0, WillPow, Disable, Psi Attack +50%, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1,
The Universal Translator, 108, 0, HomoSup, Disable, Two Free Techs, 0, 1, 2, 0, 0,
The Network Backbone, 157, 0, DigSent, Disable, +1 Lab Per Commerce/Net Node, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0,
The Nano Factory, 145, 0, Gadget, Disable, Repair Units; Low Upgrade Costs, 2, 1, 0, 0, 0,
The Living Refinery, 125, 0, Odyssey, Disable, +2 SUPPORT (social), 0, 1, 0, 1, 0,
The Cloning Vats, 100, 0, BioMac, Disable, Population Boom At All Bases, 0, 0, 0, 1, 2,
The Self-Aware Colony, 176, 0, HAL9000, Disable, Maintenance Halved; Extra Police,0, 1, 0, 2, 0,
Clinical Immortality, 188, 0, NanEdit, Disable, Extra Talent Every Base, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0,
The Space Elevator, 146, 0, Solids, Disable, Energy +100%/Orbital Cost Halved,0, 0, 2, 2, 0,
The Singularity Inductor, 222, 0, ConSing, Disable, Quantum Converter Every Base, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0,
The Bulk Matter Transmitter, 207, 0, Matter, Disable, +2 Minerals Every Base, 0, 1, 1, 1, 0,
The Telepathic Matrix, 190, 0, Eudaim, Disable, No More Drone Riots; +2 PROBE, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1,
The Voice of Chiron, 233, 0, Thresh, Disable, Begins Ascent To Transcendence, 0,-2, 2, 2, 1,
The Ascent to Transcendence, 999, 0, Thresh, Disable, End of Human Era, 0, 0, 2, 2, 2,

#ENERGY
Psych, Psychology,

#CITIZENS
Drone, Drones, None, TranT, 0, 0, 0, 0000000


##### IMPORTANT NOTE TO TRANSLATORS
# For this list of adjectives, please translate to all genders & plurality:
Morgan

#MIGHT
Anemic, anemic
Feeble, feeble

#PROPOSALS
Salvage Unity Fusion Core, Apollo, +500 Energy Credits Every Faction
Launch Solar Shade, Odyssey, Global Cooling; Sea Levels Drop
Increase Solar Shade, Odyssey, Global Cooling; Sea Levels Drop
Attached Files:
File Type: zip alphawilly.zip (23.5 KB, 50 views)
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Old June 29, 2003, 01:21   #3
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Old November 18, 2003, 06:59   #4
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Very nice!

It looks like you've gone to a lot of effort to set up your alpha.txt! Well done! And I'm very flattered that you still use the free facility modifications I proposed that time.
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Old November 19, 2003, 01:12   #5
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Willy, since I know you and I seem to have similar tastes and play styles, I've decided to download your alpha.txt and install it on my computer.
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Old November 21, 2003, 23:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Sunrise:
Willy, since I know you and I seem to have similar tastes and play styles, I've decided to download your alpha.txt and install it on my computer.
If anyone is interested, here is the current edition. I've been using this version for so long that I don't remember if there are any major differences from what I posted above. I don't think there are. I am sure if these two items:

(1) I have changed the shortname for Industrial Base to IndBase because I did that in my tech progress spreadsheet to make it a unique search string. It is correctly changed wherever Industrial Base is a prerequisite. If your game includes a faction that gets Industrial Base as a starting tech, change the shortname in the faction.txt.

(2) I've always had trouble remembering the morale levels (had a Post-It on the side of the monitor). I've been switching between SMAC and a couple of wargames (also solo turn-based), so I changed the morale names to Army ranks, and one tiny change for the natives. The new list is:
Quote:
#MORALE
Corporal, Hatchling
Sergeant, Larval Mass
Lieutenant, Pre-Boil
Captain, Young Boil
Major, Mature Boil
Colonel, Great Boil
General, Demon Boil
(the most recent edition is in my 23-04-2004 22:40 post later in this thread)
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Old December 30, 2003, 20:44   #7
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Heah gwillybj,
some nice concepts here! Have you had a chance to edit your Alphax.txt yet?

Some ideas I've had are to upgrade the chassis on some of the native life: lessens the human players abilities to soak up easy cash from killing NL's all day long, as the NL's are now more likely to escape when attacked. I am also looking at increasing the numbers of turns for for terraformers to build Tree Farms and Boreholes, staples of the human players terraforming stratetgy, while leaving farms/mines/ solar collectors alone.
Artillery I have increased to a 15/8 ratio, thus making it (and especially those lurking Spore Launchers in SMAX) much more dangerous.
Since I know you play SP exclusively, why one thing I used to do with a game called "Empire" was to pre-build a bunch of maps (i.e. 20 or so at a time) based on what I observed as being to the advantage of the AI's. I could then be assured of much better gameplay than from a randomly generated map. FYI.


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Old January 5, 2004, 04:50   #8
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I have also experimented with beefing up the randomly generated NL units, including upgrading the chasis. I'm not sure that the ability to disengage did much to save them from me, but the extra movement allowed them to attack me better (as I would get attacked without warning from afar and if I happened on them somewhere where I couldn't attack them first, any vulnerable infantry or foil units would not be able to get far enough away from them). I think that it would be helpful if the mechanism that determines the morale of the randomly encountered NL units could be tweaked to generate a couple levels higher morale than is currently generated; does anyone know if and/or how that can be done?

In general, however, despite some variations with scads of attributes added to the basic designs, the NL was still insufficiently powerful to give either me or the AI much additional trouble. All these variations retained the basic psi combat setup, which I gather leads to many of the add-on combat attributes being ineffective or ignored. I suspect that NL units with normal weapons and armor would benefit more form these attributes, but unfortunately they generally lose their NL 'look' graphics when given normal weapons and armor. OTOH, Something I added to the psi-psi NL designs (AAA, I presume) made these NL much more effective when attacked by aircraft - and seemingly presented misleading combat odds which lead me to lose quite a few planes when attacking them.

One of the drawbacks to creating nasty NL is the possibility of them being captured by green-oriented human controlled factions - excessively extreme designs could become destabilizing that way.
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Old January 6, 2004, 12:45   #9
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Is there a modpack that adds the techs for gwillybj's changes to alphatxt? Otherwise it's not really playable is it or am I missing something?

Thx.
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Old January 12, 2004, 03:38   #10
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ask and ye shall receive
Using just the edited alpha.txt posted most recently above is indeed completely playable.
Attached to this post, though, is a 183kb zipped package that contains 17 files:
  • alpha.txt
  • Blurbs.txt
  • TechLongs.txt
  • TechShorts.txt
  • energy1.wav
  • tech078.pcx
  • tech079.pcx
  • tech080.pcx
  • tech081.pcx
  • Seven edited faction.txt files: The SMAC-7, each with a free facility
The other file is readme_gwillybj.txt with details about the package:
Quote:
This is a list of the files modified by "gwillybj" for use in his solo-play of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - A Brian Reynolds Design. All copyrights are acknowledged.

The changes were intended for use when playing on huge maps (256w x 208h) with tech stagnation. If you use these changes to play on standard-sized maps without tech stagnation, you will likely find your games ending very quickly, and your infantry will be swinging clubs while your artillery is throwing rocks.

These files are intended to be put in the C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri folder and used with version 4.0 of SMAC. They WILL mess up your "Alien Crossfire" game if you put them in the C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire folder! You can have both on one hard drive. Each ignores the other. My modification of that version is in progress and will include all of these changes, but I have to make some adjustments due to the new techs already added in SMAX.

I've lost track of the source of every little inspiration. Most of it is from the Apolyton forum.
Several of the changes were inspired by "Velocyrix" and others in "Torture Mod, Ongoing Discussions" at http://apolyton.net/forums/showthrea...threadid=22680.
Some were originated by "Mr. President" in "Free Facilities" at http://apolyton.net/forums/showthrea...threadid=59917.
Others are my own ideas. Most of it is detailed in "my alpha.txt changes" at http://apolyton.net/forums/showthrea...threadid=75187.

I have played several games with all of this and it works as intended. You will notice a minor oddity when you complete your research of each of the new technologies. Because there are no sound files for the quotes, the quote for the last tech you researched will likely replay. This does not affect how the game plays out in any way.

As always when using modified files, you are encouraged to backup the originals so you can return to the original game configuration without having to reinstall the whole thing. I made a folder C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\SMAC Original Files and copied them there.

Four TXT FILES go in C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
- alpha.txt
- Blurbs.txt
- TechLongs.txt
- TechShorts.txt

One WAV FILE goes in C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri\fx
- energy1.wav
This is a mix of the original "energy1.wav" with "projectile1.wav" and "projectile2.wav" which are two unused sounds. I think you'll like it.

Four PCX FILES go in C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri\techs
- tech078.pcx (Inspector Gadget)
- tech079.pcx (Advanced Rocketry)
- tech080.pcx (Basic Rocketry)
- tech081.pcx (Centauri Awareness)

Seven FACTION.TXT FILES go in C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
- All seven of them were edited to include a free facility per the discussion with "Mr. President". When used in combination with all of the other modifications, this change does not affect the "balance" significantly. You can, of course, use the original unaltered factions or any other factions you have, not just these.

NOTE: I did all this for FUN, to enhance my own solitaire PLAY of this wonderful GAME, and did not anticipate any measurable interest, so I expect there will be some things with which you completely disagree. That's fine. Toss the whole batch of changes in the dumpster and play the game as it was originally written or try someone else's modifications. No harm, no foul. Please post any comments in the Apolyton forum at http://apolyton.net/forums/showthrea...threadid=75187.

Have A Nice Day
gwillybj
January 12, 2004
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Old January 12, 2004, 04:03   #11
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the icing on the cake
Here's a 256x208 map for anyone who wants it. The zipped file is 229KB. The unzipped file is 2.23MB.
Saved games using maps this large can be from 2.25 to 3MB in size. That doesn't cause me any problems and my hard drive is only 6GB!
I don't use Ironman. I use the Autosave option. I manually save frequently because the wiring in this 50-year-old trailer in which I live acts funky sometimes. At the end of a session, I delete all but the last save, and I keep only the autosaves numbered 1-5.
Using this map with all of the edited files makes for games that can take 2-3 weeks to play out all the way.
The map is not set up to force any special starting positions or balance or any of that. It is, rather, intended to irritate, frustrate, and sometimes anger. You're getting dumped on an alien planet with little or no time to prepare. Things will not always be "fair". Deal with it . The AI plays on it with no problem, and you can beat the AI, can't you?
Have Fun
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Old January 13, 2004, 01:01   #12
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I've been reading some of the other mods, and I've been thinking...

*Should Crawlers be disabled 100%?
*Should special, "slow" hovertank Transports that can carry extra troops (maybe 2? 3?) become available and be one of the "auto" units at a certain technology?
*Should some fast naval probe teams become available before the fast ship tech normally is available?
*Should something be done to get rid of the "forest and forget" strategy, like in the Torture mod or the Snac mod? Any suggestions as to whats the best way of doing that?
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Old January 13, 2004, 15:05   #13
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Ok...thx for the files. I've been trying out Shining1's Mod recently and like alot of what he has added in the couple of games I've been able to play all the way through. I seem to get some terranexe crashes now however that I never had before in over 5 years of playing smac\x. Some of the crashes are the intercepter crashes others have talked about, but some are crashes in the diplo screen when the added techs are traded for. Sometimes I can work around them on ironman and sometimes no real luck and had to restart the game.

Neways...thx again for the files and I'll try them out.
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Old January 13, 2004, 15:25   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gluegun
I've been reading some of the other mods, and I've been thinking...

*Should Crawlers be disabled 100%?
*Should special, "slow" hovertank Transports that can carry extra troops (maybe 2? 3?) become available and be one of the "auto" units at a certain technology?
*Should some fast naval probe teams become available before the fast ship tech normally is available?
*Should something be done to get rid of the "forest and forget" strategy, like in the Torture mod or the Snac mod? Any suggestions as to whats the best way of doing that?
First: absolutely
Second: yes
Third:maybe not
Fourth: perhaps - constant forest seeding gets little boring.

Thought struck me - when is the last time someone actually built a solar collector?
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Old January 13, 2004, 15:31   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by obstructor


First: absolutely
Second: yes
Third:maybe not
Fourth: perhaps - constant forest seeding gets little boring.

Thought struck me - when is the last time someone actually built a solar collector?
For that 3500 altitude energy park with all the crawlers in it, of course!

What else?

Get rid of the "X" ability...
Get rid of the Empath Guild...
Move the "infinite AA's can be cashed in here" secret project up WAY early...

Also, in your changes, you have colony pods set to "clean" ... a human player would simply take away this ability to get them to be cheaper early on, and thereby gain a turn advantage over the AI...
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Old January 13, 2004, 15:49   #16
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X ability should stay but me much more expensive (at least that how I solve it in my underway mode).

Never use Solar Collectors - forest + +2ECO works fine and later they are tree farm and hybrid forest upgrades. Don`t forget Boreholes, Aquifers, etc. Solar is pretty much pointless to me but that may be just my stile.
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Old January 13, 2004, 16:06   #17
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Read this thread...

http://apolyton.net/forums/showthrea...threadid=83937

Sometimes I use an Energy Park to give one city 208 energy every turn... hehehe...
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Old January 13, 2004, 16:17   #18
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[eyes opening wide]
Thanks Gluegun - never thought of it.
Gotta try that NOW!
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Old January 14, 2004, 04:28   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gluegun
What else?

Get rid of the "X" ability...
Get rid of the Empath Guild...
Move the "infinite AA's can be cashed in here" secret project up WAY early...
What exactly is your problem with the Empath Guild?

IMhO, it serves more a balancing function than an unbalancing one.

Infiltration is real inportant in games with other human players; it is a real handicap if your opponent(s) have infiltration and you don't. When people are concerned about infiltration and make a point of protecting themselves from being infiltrated, then the Governor's auto-infiltration can be rather unbalancing. With the EG, there is the opportunity for someone else to have infiltration. (Of course, getting the EG can go a long way toward becoming Governor, but one can hope that the rest of the human players will be aware of all this and seek to keep the EG holder from the throne.)

The extra votes from the EG can also serve as a counterweight to the political clout of Brother Lal, who will otherwise (without the EG in the game) perhaps have too good an inside track on the Governorship (and it's exclusive infiltration abilities).
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Old January 14, 2004, 08:49   #20
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Also, without the Empath Guild, the beeline to Secrets of the Human Brain has become neglected in my experience.
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Old January 16, 2004, 23:45   #21
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Quote:
Gluegun wrote...
I've been reading some of the other mods, and I've been thinking...

*Should Crawlers be disabled 100%?
*Should special, "slow" hovertank Transports that can carry extra troops (maybe 2? 3?) become available and be one of the "auto" units at a certain technology?
*Should some fast naval probe teams become available before the fast ship tech normally is available?
*Should something be done to get rid of the "forest and forget" strategy, like in the Torture mod or the Snac mod? Any suggestions as to whats the best way of doing that?

And later wrote (in part)...
Also, in your changes, you have colony pods set to "clean" ... a human player would simply take away this ability to get them to be cheaper early on, and thereby gain a turn advantage over the AI...
Quote:
obstructor replied...
First: absolutely
Second: yes
Third:maybe not
Fourth: perhaps - constant forest seeding gets little boring.

Thought struck me - when is the last time someone actually built a solar collector?
All my games are solitaire.
Crawlers: Disable them or just don't use them. I use them. I do not abuse them. For example, a Rocky Mineral-Special Roaded Mine gets a crawler if it is outside the base radius. If it is inside it gets a crawler only until a worker is available, then moved to another space or transfered to another base (I use specialists only when I have to, such as for drone control, or no tiles left for workers). I never use them to rush any production of any sort. I have seen the AI use them for both harvesting and rushing.
Heavy Hover-Transports: Sure, why not?
Fast Naval Probes: Sure, why not?
Forest and Forget: Just don't.
Solar Collectors: Since I don't F&F, there are Solar Collectors all over the place.
Clean Colony Pod: I preset the cost equal to a standard Fission-Powered Colony Pod. There is no advantage to making a non-clean version. You are only hurting yourself because it then requires Support.
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Old January 17, 2004, 00:05   #22
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gwillybj, since I, uhh, suck at modifying my game, do ya think you could put some of these changes (and maybe even some of the changes from snac) into your mod? that'd be neato!
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Old January 17, 2004, 00:59   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gluegun
gwillybj, since I, uhh, suck at modifying my game, do ya think you could put some of these changes (and maybe even some of the changes from snac) into your mod? that'd be neato!
I don't think you suck at modifying the game, nor do I think that gwillybj thinks you suck either. Essentially what I think is that you have created a varient of SMAC(X) that you enjoy playing, and gwillybj has expressed his opinion on the matter as well. From my perspective, continue to playtest your changes, and see where the strengths and weaknesses of your changes lie. Currently I am enjoying playtesting gwillybj's huge map while using my tweaked alphax.txt file, which is throwing up all sorts of problems not encountered in regular SMAC(X): essentially its synergy in reverse!
Regardless, extrapolations from the base Alpha Centauri game are where I think the future of the game lies, and if you have found your own extrapolation from the original SMAC(X), then you are opening new doors for SMAC(X).


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Old January 17, 2004, 19:16   #24
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Quote:
Darsnan wrote...
I don't think you suck at modifying the game, nor do I think that gwillybj thinks you suck either...

I certainly didn't come up with all the stuff here in one sitting! There are far more discarded ideas than those few that were included. I detailed where (and in some cases why) the edits are so others could see how easy it really is to make adjustments.
When you have an idea, make the edit. Then test it, several times, on different types of maps if possible. Some changes completely ruin the game on small maps, but work quite well on larger maps. Some changes are ideal for small and standard maps, but make larger maps pointless.
Eventually you will have customized the game in so many ways, as the original creators openly invited you to do, that it may be barely recognizable. That is a very good thing! Let no one stifle your imagination!
I'm not saying I won't help you if you ask. Of course I will, as will anyone else here just as they continue to help me. But I'm also hoping you'll select a limb and climb out on it, stand up and shout out your story in your own words. And remember that it is only a game. The key word is
FUN!
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Old March 23, 2004, 19:39   #25
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Re: my alpha.txt changes
Quote:
Originally posted by gwillybj
I made these changes in alpha.txt to make my games last longer and to incorporate several ideas discussed in this forum. In this post, I tried to briefly describe the changes and give some thread references. The second post shows the actual changes, and the ZIP attached there is my alpha.txt and these two essays.
The way I play, a "short" game takes at least a week and many games last a month. I like it this way. I don't care about "fast transcendence" or "high score". I want a long epic novel, not a quickie short story. These changes make that possible. Some changes cause effects that are readily seen, other changes are "because I wanted to ".
Good Stuff! I think a lot of my modifications are for the same reasons listed by gwillybj above.
Attached are my ongoing modifications to my alphax.txt file, with the below synopsis' for each alteration as to why I have made the change. The list is sequential, meaning that it follows the same order as the various Sections in the alphax.txt file.

#RULES Section

1. Changed the artillery numerator/ denominator value to 15/8. This makes artillery (one of the AI's favourite early game units) much more effective.

2. Changed airdrop range from 8 to 6. Makes the chop and drop approach slightly more difficult.

3. Base size to support Specialists: 6. Humans are much more adept at utilizing Specialists than the AI.

4. 10% combat penalty for attacking from lower elevation. From personal experience I'd say the percentile should actually be higher, but 10% works.

5. Max damage to units in base/ bunker: 80%.


#TERRAIN

1. Forests take 5 turns to plant. Penalizes the humans slightly for the "forest and forget" approach.

2. Boreholes take 28 turns to build. Since the AI doesn't build them, then lets make it more difficult for the human to build them.


#RESOURCEINFO

1. Improved sea squares give a 2,2,3 (instead of a 2,1,3).

2. Borehole squares give a 1,6,6. In actuality, assigning these numbers gives boreholes a 3,6,6! The reason I do this is I pre-plant a bunch of boreholes around a map I generate, and then play on. With this modification the AI will then utilize boreholes, and will get a nice mid-game boost when the mineral and energy restricting techs are discovered.


#CHASSIS

1. Decreased range for aircraft by -2 squares/ turn. Here again I'm making the "chop and drop" approach more difficult.

#ABILITIES

1. Nerve Gas pods have been moved to Retroviral Engineering. Why did I do this? Because the Progenitors paid me a heap of EC's to make this change....

2. Deep Pressure Hulls are moved to Doc: Init. The AI will build a few of these, but I thin it would be really fun to have subs available for PBEM's!

3. Carriers available with Doc: Air. Ditto the statement above for carriers.

4. Note: I do not recommend activating the Heavy Transport ability. All the AI does is build a bunch of these units and move them around from base to base. Very disappointing.


#UNITS

This is the most fun Section to play in, as you can build just about any unit you want and put it into this area. It is also the only Section of the alphax.txt file that is imprinted onto a game. FYI.

1. Unity Submersible. If you build your own maps as I do and want to plant the Unity wreckage in water, then simply replace the Mining Laser line with the following:

Unity Submersible, Foil, Laser, Scout, -1, 0, 0, Disable, -1, 00100000000000000000000000000

In the attached file I have changed the Unity Wreckage to that of a Progenitor spaceship, complete with "Battle Ogre Mk 0".

2. Cruiser Probeships. Googlie's idea, and I highly recommend you adding them to your personal alphax.txt file!

Cruiser Probe Ship, Cruiser, Probe Team, Scout, 11, 0, 0, DocInit, -1, 00000000000000000000000000

3. Scud Missiles. A weapon that no 3rd world despot should be without!

Scud Missile, Missile, Conventional, Scout, 0, 0, 0, Viral, 7, 00000100000000000000000000

4. ICBM's. I haven't actually tested this in-game yet, but it looks like fun!

ICBM, Missile, Planet Buster,Scout, 0, 0, 0, HAL9000, -1, 01000000000000000010000010000

5. Units pre-built in for CMN's use:

5A: Scud Launcher: a CMN puts one of these on a 1 tile island, and you've got a nice airbase reserved for whatever Faction the unit was built for. Excellent for disrupting a seabourne invasion force!

Scud Launcher, Speeder, Transport, 8-Res, 3,10, 4, Disable, -1, 00100000000000000010000000

5B: Speeder CP: facilitates the early game as the speeders can move 2 tiles a turn, resulting in second (and 3rd) base placement occuring much sooner. Note to CMN's: you still need to place at least one original CP for each Faction, or else the game will crash (essentially the program "looks" for a Faction's CP, and if it doesn't find at least one of the original version, the program goes off into coders oblivion....

Speeder CP, Speeder, Colony Pod, Scout, 8, 0, 0, Disable, -1, 00000000000000000000000000

6. 8th Faction units: nothing has been more fun and interesting to me than giving the Sealurks and IoD's the Marine Detachment capability! All through a game I am always amazed at what comes floating out of the fungus at me! This is especially true when a cruiser transport is "captured", and all the on-board units are then converted to the 8th Faction as well! I've also given the Spore Launchers a speeder chassis, and have cloaked both the Spore Launchers and MW's, as well as given them clean reactors. I've also given the Fungal Towers the AAA and ECM capabilities in an attempt to turn them into pseudo-cities for the 8th Faction.


#FACILITIES

1. Tree Farms take 16 turns to build, and Hybrid Forests take 30. Again, trying to offset the human's advantage with the forest and forget strategy.

2. Aerospace Complex takes 12 turns to build.



Essentially, in a nut shell, the alphax.txt I am working on is a mod for SMAX, and it is a continuation of the game beginning in MY 2492. However, a lot of the ideas in the attached file I pulled off of here at 'poly, as well as other sites such as CGN, and are good ideas for anyone that is looking for a challenge, or a SMAX game with a different feel.
Have fun!


D
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Old April 4, 2004, 14:32   #26
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Lot's of changes, some comments.

I prefer to have deep pressure under silksteel alloys, it's not that easily available then and is feels better to add it to a tech that gives better tensile strength to materials.

Have you ever tried to give probe teams to the '8th faction'? That could be hilarious, I think. Players probed all the time and no real measures can be taken against it.

Something else: in a scenario I'm preparing with a modified alphax.txt I tried to make mobile airbases. The essence was to build spaceships where planes and missiles can dock for a turn, and then fly further. A flying carrier thus. The weird thing was that I could let it work for a human player (the right number of moves (12), plane refueling), but that the AI was only able to move such a unit 1 move a turn.

Something else I'm experimenting with is having a 'disabled' grav unit with the planetbust capability
The purpose is to simulate a real asteroid strike from the 8th faction.
By testing it works out fine, and it is really fun to see how ALL AI's vehemently start attacking native units whereever possible after such an 'asteroid' strike.
Off course, bigger chance to lose important bases that way...

Did you ever thought of making a scenario were the normal native units are changed to the 3 kinds of ogres?
Some sort of terminator game that would be
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Old April 4, 2004, 14:48   #27
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Something else I'm experimenting with is having a 'disabled' grav unit with the planetbust capability
The purpose is to simulate a real asteroid strike from the 8th faction.
By testing it works out fine, and it is really fun to see how ALL AI's vehemently start attacking native units whereever possible after such an 'asteroid' strike.
Off course, bigger chance to lose important bases that way...
It works!?!?! You mean you managed to give a planetbuster unit to native AI???
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Old April 4, 2004, 15:07   #28
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It really works, and can be a real piss off for any player

And the beauty of it is that you can't search and destroy all PB's you find. Those native PB's can pop up anytime anywhere, and stay in the air as long as they want.

I wonder how many players would stay FM if that unit becomes standard...
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Old April 4, 2004, 15:09   #29
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Local Date: November 1, 2010
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Location: New Syracuse, Beta Prime
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Originally posted by GeoModder
I prefer to have deep pressure under silksteel alloys, it's not that easily available then and is feels better to add it to a tech that gives better tensile strength to materials.
Makes sense! I think that that is another good tech to give the "Submersible" Ability to. I did it for Doc: Init primarily because of the MCC SP' having a sub in it, so I think the original assumption was to have the "Submersible" ability available here.

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Have you ever tried to give probe teams to the '8th faction'? That could be hilarious, I think. Players probed all the time and no real measures can be taken against it.
Look in my February CGN Challenge thread - I posted pics.


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Something else: in a scenario I'm preparing with a modified alphax.txt I tried to make mobile airbases. The essence was to build spaceships where planes and missiles can dock for a turn, and then fly further. A flying carrier thus. The weird thing was that I could let it work for a human player (the right number of moves (12), plane refueling), but that the AI was only able to move such a unit 1 move a turn.
"Domai's Cloudbase". I built this in my October CGN Challenge, with the following spec's:

Cloudbase, Gravship, Transport, 3-Res, 7, 0, 4, Thresh, 0, 00000000000000000010000000

I had the same results as you. After conferring with Rubin who also playtested the unit, why we are of the opinion that the number zero icon in the "units.pcx" image file was orignally designed for this unit (a.k.a. "Domai's Cloudbase", as seen in the "Cloudbase Academy" SP movie), but that the AI would have to have been significantly re-coded in order for it to use the units properly, as all they do is shuffle the units around from base to base (same problem with the "Heavy Transport" Ability btw). When Rubin and I discussed this, we agreed that what you are encountering is some hardcoding that was put in place that essentially says "If the Gravship Chassis is mated to a Carrier ability, then reduce airspeed to one tile/ turn".

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Something else I'm experimenting with is having a 'disabled' grav unit with the planetbust capability
The purpose is to simulate a real asteroid strike from the 8th faction.
By testing it works out fine, and it is really fun to see how ALL AI's vehemently start attacking native units whereever possible after such an 'asteroid' strike.
Off course, bigger chance to lose important bases that way...
Now that is impressive! Can you post the unit specs for me, as well as the scenario you created for this? This I'd love to see! Right now I am playing with beefing up the Fungal Towers by giving them AAA and ECM. I've also tried to give them Heavy Artillery, but this doesn't seem to work. The other item I'm working on is replacing the initial set of CP's with "Escape Pods", but more on that later....

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Did you ever thought of making a scenario were the normal native units are changed to the 3 kinds of ogres?
Some sort of terminator game that would be
In my Halloween CGN Challenge I did something similar, replacing the native lifeforms with "zombies" from various Factions, to include "Alien Battle Ogres", "Zombie Hive Artillery", and of course "Pirate Ghostships"!
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Old April 4, 2004, 15:13   #30
Darsnan
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Quote:
Originally posted by obstructor


It works!?!?! You mean you managed to give a planetbuster unit to native AI???
Any unit can be given to the 8th Faction by a CMN. Also, if IoD's and Sealurks are given the "Marine Detachment" Ability, they can then commandeer other seagoing vessels, to include transports laden with units. Nothing worse than sending an Invasion Force out on a Cruiser Transport, and having it commandeered and sent right back at you by the 8th Faction.
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