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Old December 11, 1999, 19:33   #1
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Making The AI Smarter -- A Primer
Here are a list of a few things I've designed into my game mod. There is not a whole lot you can do to make the AI's smarter, but there are some:

1) to encourage unit design innovation, add more pre-designed units in #UNITS of alpha.txt

2) to encourage smarter builders, set all factions' research priorities to build in addition to any others -- x, x, 1, x

3) to encourage smarter builders, give all factions a free former or two at the start of the game

4) to encourage a particular faction strategy, in the faction.txt file where it has, for example with the Gaians in my game,
Economics, Green, PLANET
Economics, Free Market, nil
This means that the faction AI aims for Green Econonmics and can never use Free Market Economics. The key here is the word PLANET. Here's where you can set a particular strategy. The word list you can substitute in place of PLANET are:

Okay, granted, not a lot of choices, but it does leave you with some options. For example, UoP is always getting its tech stolen due to the probe penalty. But what if you put PROBE in that spot? Maybe the UoP would start churning out probe teams, protecting its bases and maybe even begin to reverse the negative effects of -PROBE. The Drones faction could focus on TALENT, yeilding greater rewards from that strategy since the likelihood of drone riots with them is unlikely. The Believers could focus on RESEARCH, an area they are inherently weak in. Gaians, MORALE perhaps, since they are weak in that area. This way the AI would be seeking, as would a human player, to work around the disadvantages inherent in the faction specs.

Why do this alteration? Why not leave it at 'Economics, Green, PLANET'? Well, in my view, having a social priority in Green Economics automatically qualifies them as having a goal to improve their Planet rating.

Just a theory. Not sure if changing this would actually affect how the AI produces units, if indicating PROBE would cause the AI to build more probe teams

5) diddle with the -1, 0 or -1 settings for agressiveness in faction.txt

6) set social priority of Conquer, Discover, Build, Explore in faction,txt. Whatever of the four you want to emphasize, put a 1.

7) Give faction(s) a unique unit (detailed in #UNITS of alpha.txt; prerq tech:disbable) -- they will put it to use, and do not have to have the tech for it. Like the Battle Ogre Mk-1.

8)build a simple starter scenario in which production strategies, faction alliances and other data are preset. In a scenario, unfortunately, is the place where you have the largest opportunity to create a specific strategy for your factions, since there are a lot more parameters you can modify.

9) Use the new SMACX faction.txt designation commands AQUATIC or ALIEN to further change how they interact. (Could even create an aquatic alien race!) Also combining SHARETECH, x and TECHSHARE would have factions need to be actively spying on another to steal a tech. Basically the new SMACX options give your faction a lot more difinition as to what they can and acnnot do, although it could be argued that this does nto make the AI 'smarter', only more versatile it its power.

10) Assign two factions the same Social Priority to make them instant allies, effectively creating a 'bloc' of alliance. Still need to test this one out too, but it should work.

And the results? Well, one of my SNAX betetesters commented, as an example:
... Okay, it seems I'm being out-built by everyone! Deirdre just built the Empath Guild, and I
don't even have tech for ANY secret projects yet! Grr. ...
And if you sit back and do nothing and watch what happens and keep pressing 'end turn', you can see that yes, the factions do seem to be stronger builders, building more terraforming and even a few more facilities than usual, at least till mid-game.

Any thoughts?
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Old December 11, 1999, 20:04   #2
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Well, this has nothing really to do with the AI at all, but I noticed it while reading through your stuff.

Originally posted by AlexanderIII on 12-11-1999 06:33 PM
The Drones faction could focus on TALENT, yeilding greater rewards from that strategy since the likelihood of drone riots with them is unlikely.
There is no way to modify the "talent" rating in the SE choices. Firaxis probably got rid of it because it was too powerful, but it's still coded in.

Example 1: Give a faction the SOCIAL, +TALENT ability and they will have 1 more talent at each base. -TALENT gives 1 more drone.

Example 2: You could modify the SE choices themselves so one of them could give a + or - to TALENT.

Perhaps with more talents, the AI could worry less about drones and more about building stuff. Just an idea.
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Old December 20, 1999, 19:59   #3
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This really works!
I had a faction with -2 Police and so I set there adgenda to Police. then I cheated and had a look at there base and after about 20 years each base (they had three) had a least two synthmetal garrisons. Then I went and changed their prioritie to something else and they didnt build as maany deefense units.
Therefore I conclude this does work!

-Chiron Creators-
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Old April 24, 2004, 09:08   #4
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