When I began adjusting the improvements, I asked, if the new buildcosts were okay, or if anyone saw any problems with them. I didn't get any response, so I had to assume that everyone was fine with them.
I became of aware of this here when the thread already was at page 10 or 12, probably missed it.
However, if the low costs cause problems for the AI, then we have to adjust them. Questions is, by how much? I'd like to keep the linear increase, because those big, sudden jumps in the vanilla game always bothered me. So, would an increase by 100% of the cost of the original building, instead of the current 50%, work? For example, Traditional Factory costs 35, Enhanced Factory 70, Xeno Factory 105, Manufacturing Center 140, and Industrial Sector 175.
Still, increasing the buildcost reintroduces another issue. The AI rarely, if ever, increases Social Production beyond 20%. Increasing the cost too much can cause the AI to never finish anything. Especially if the planet was recently colonised or invaded, late in the game. I've seen enough cases in the vanilla game, where planets, that had been colonised years ago, were still working on the first Industrial Sector.
There is too much shipmaint. period, in my opinion. The AI keeps building warships, even if it doesn't have the means to support all of them. Still, there is nothing we can do about either problem. This is the way the AI is coded.
If we keep the social queue longer the effect will be that there isn't so much military production from social overflow. Hence, less warships/constructors/maint.
Additionally, if social projects aren't finished that quickly planets will achieve less production which also leads to lesser MP and doesn't boost improvements maint up so fast. Although I have to say that there is generally less improvement maint now as in vanilla - but it's simply not enough.
I agree. However, this is another area that is hard to adjust. The AI either goes for weapons early, or after it has already been at war for some time. Ditto for Planetary Invasion. Finding the right values isn't easy.
Sure, and maybe there isn't a general solution at all to find.
If the AI doesn't force a military early on a human player could roflstomp them in defenseless position with a single +1att ship. On the other hand if they can't find an economic balance their initial military won't make much of difference in the long run. So I'd rather enjoy annexing some AI in year1 and then having to face 2 or 3 real strong grown AI that have backbone, instead of annexing them all one after another because they all are still at 50% prod in year3.
How would that work? Any changes to the design of the Survey Vessel also affect the player. He would then get the anomalies just as quickly as the AI. Which makes this change moot.
Only if everybody stays with his initial Survey Ship.... which the AI will always do.
The human player not. Relying on anomalie-income in/after the colony rush can really make a difference. But I still have to produce these ships, which requires time, in which we should buff the game so the AI will have a more fair share of picks. If the starting Surveyor has more base speed then alot of anomalies would have already been picked up by someone.
It also would help the AI getting these bonuses more swiftly, because he needs them seriously. For example, the AI seems to enjoy quickbuying Colony Ships and starports and basically burn his starting money within a few turns, instead of using it to have his production running at 100%. Producing things is ~10* more efficient than buying.
I just want to remind you of how it was in DL. There, with the +5000 bcs anomaly, ships capable of superhigh speed, in a large galaxy you could make more money from anomalies than from tax+trade altogether. Like getting 10.000bcs a turn just from anomalies. Now that got nerfed heavily, but still the advantage is there. Believe me a game with anomalies set to rare is way harder because there it's nearly pointless to even built additional Surveyors.
Also, the only way to do this is to either increase the number of engines, or to add more advanced ones, to the design. Neither is really appealing to me, because the current design already stretches believability. I mean, how were you able to build a ship that is way beyond your current level of technology?
True, but that ship already starts out with technology which isn't available to the player, engines, hull, survey mod. So if you want really to apply this logic you'd have to use a Cargo Hull+HyperDrive+BasicRange..... and no SurveyAbility.... I don't know, some stuff can remain unexplained IMO. If the game's balance does profit from it then it shall be fine with me.
Other stuff is equally sacrificed - for example the Advanced Arcean engine... it's not in their techtree anymore, although you still see the picture in the starting screen (which also talks in plural about their "engines")
Speeding it up will also make it more difficult for the human player to shoot it down. I do this oftentimes, because the bonuses which are saved I can later pick up, and these are more important than a early war which can be settled easily. Once their ship is down the AI won't have any bonuses from anomalies throughout the whole game, not even from those that re-appear later.
The only way I can think of doing this, is to change the InternalName of the colony ship design. However, this would affect a lot of areas in the game (sandbox, campaigns, scenarios, etc.). Making sure that everything is working okay after this change, would take a lot of time. Plus, almost all of the introduction texts state that you start out with a finished colony ship. Not starting out with one would be a serious immersion-braker, in my opinion.
I think this crashes the game. What could be done is to remove the colony mod from the standard design. The game will design it's own ships from turn1 on. However, the AI doesn't use nor upgrade this ship, no matter how you alter it. At least, not in my tests.... And you're right, thematically it's a downer.
However, I don't think removing the +25% morale bonus from the Capital will help. There's only a 15% difference between it and the bonus from the Initial Colony. Not that big, in my opinion. In Autumn Twilight, I used the 25% bonus for both the Capital and the Colony, but it didn't change a thing.
I've been using +0% moral on CivCap and +20% moral on Initial Colonies in my tests (becomes +30% morale on good planets) and I've rebuffed the CivCap to 12b food. The result was that once moral on the Capital turned low because of advanced population growth the AI would decrease taxes which automatically lead to high moral on freshly colonized worlds. And this is something the AI absolutely wants to have, because it does promote pop growth. Maybe it's unbalanced from an end-game-perspective, but what else is there to do? Especially with lowPQ worlds where you don't have a +10% moral bonus and the AI does only build factories. Some of these worlds can grow up to 4-5b ppl which at least would be enough to cover up the maintenance cost.
How am I supposed to do that? Any reduction to the maintenance cost would harm the bonus. 50bc just aren't that much.
The good bonuses are already weak so I would try to keep them intact.
Well, I think I already hinted in that direction. Subtract the -10bcs with the help of the starport. The AI does never colonize PQ1, so Initial Col+Starport=0 maint.
It's kinda ugly because improvements as such never made an appearance in the classical game. At least, give it a few testgames, the cumulative bonuses from decreased cost of initial colony, buffed colony mod, and faster anomalie income make a difference.
Adding even one more Hyperdrive to the Constructor design makes it impossible to build at the beginning, because most races would need Expert Miniaturization to do so. Removing both Support Modules would lower this to Basic Miniaturization. All in all, I just don't see how we can do this without making the AI require researching more tech before it can use Constructors. This isn't something I want to do, because it gives the player an unfair advantage. The AI, as far as I know, doesn't redesign Constructors.
Hmm, I haven't seen these kinds of problems in my personal mod, where all capacity modules require 60 space, which is exactly the space available on a Cargo Hull. They just build constructor with an mod attached to the hull.... But actually I don't wanna promote this.
What you could do is to increase the base speed of the cargo hull itself. It would also make Troop Transports harder to shoot down, which is only fair considering the AI does solely rely on his "auto-retreat" feature...
But the real problem actually is range. Cargo Hull have too much space and the AI knows all resources. He can stuff multiple range mods onto them which guarantee he can direct his constructors halfway through the whole map even with the very basic range mod, although he doesn't have much speed-racial etc. His constructors can cover too much distance, and that increases maintenance.
The AI also doesn't check on the number of modules that are still available. For example, if only 1 becomes available from new techs he will send a boatload of constructors to Starbase X (even if faraway), where n-1 constructors will head back or to another base, repeat ad nauseum....
Maybe reduce the amount of range the basic mod gives to make the game more territorial, or propably remove it entirely and grant range only through racial stats or SA/GA.
Besides, the AI cannot handle range-through-modules in fleets, he consistently fleets together with different range and by that, makes those module inert.
Last but not least, do you mind adding additional graphics for the Yors "Charging Stalks" & "Advanced Charging Stalks" - they use the same pic as the "Basic Stalk". It's a nuissance to go through the planets and manually klick on all stalks in order to see their tier (I don't rely on the auto-upgrade it's driving me insane...) I've done some graphics simply using the original picture.