Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

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willdieh
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by willdieh » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:36 pm

New release posted!

From comments made by Rossinna, discovered the AI wasn't colonizing quite as well as it should - especially the Loa. Massaged the mission priorities logic and now watch out cause Loa are like the Borg! Unfortunately, this makes them pretty cash poor early on, making things like Station construction a challenge. I think I like it though, as it seems like how an AI would behave.

Once a few of their colonies get off the ground, they will backfill worlds with the necessary naval and civilian stations. This could potentially be problematic as fleets cannot relocate to remote systems without naval stations, but because the AI only builds stations when it has over 1,000,000 space bucks in the bank, it takes a while for Loa to get there.

Other factions are less affected but they do have better planet selection logic with a preference for remote systems (as opposed to filling multiple planets in an existing system) when not in a Defensive stance and a simple weight of [planet size * (%of ideal hazard) - distance] with some balancing to help round it out. I also upped the importance of Colonization fleets in the fleet_templates.xml file. This should help the AI build a couple of colonization fleets first off (hopefully) but all utility type fleets are considered secondary to Defense fleets which are usually made first.

Try it out, let me know what you think.

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Hawawaa
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by Hawawaa » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:02 am

Hi just tried to boot the mod up and it crashed right away. Logs below.

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willdieh
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by willdieh » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:11 am

Did you take a look at the log you uploaded? Looks like you're missing the diplomacyWeights.xml file in the human factions folder... it should be there (it's a vanilla file). Maybe need to reinstall?

System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Failed to create stream.
File name: 'factions\human\diplomacyWeights.xml'

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Hawawaa
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by Hawawaa » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:17 am

Steam verified and its working now false alarm sorry about that. Only get a hour tonight but looking forward to it.

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Resok
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by Resok » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:08 am

Random suggestion that could help Loa trade economy - increase <TradeRangeModifier> to 3.0 in the faction.xml - they currently start with one of the lowest trade ranges in the game at only 8 LY (FTL speed * trade modifier), which for some maps means they cannot trade at all in their most populated starting systems until they get to Antimatter.

This means that currently some map layouts stifle Loa early game economy very heavily. 3.0 TradeRangeModifier would give them a 12 LY range, which on par with most other factions besides the Morrigi (and Solforce due to their high starting speed) which have a higher base trade range.
- Resok

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willdieh
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by willdieh » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:13 am

That's a cool idea, but I think I am going to keep trying my best to stick with the original faction designs as much as possible... It's completely possible that Kerb didn't have a chance to fully test the faction settings of the Loa (eg, their trade range), but I have to work under the assumption that they had some kind of intent for things to be the way they are.

With regard to the current colonization settings though, the problem isn't so much the trade, it's the prototyping costs (I think) combined with the low tax rates for growing colonies. This leaves them strapped for cash until about turn 50 at which point they start building stations because they can keep $1mil in the bank. The only solution I can think of to that would be to slow down colonization or possibly prevent the tax from going to 3 or even 2, but overall it feels like these designs are part of what keep the Loa from mopping the board with colony spam.

Edit:
One other option might be to lower the threshold for station spending from $1mil to $500k... maybe I could try that...

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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by ZedF » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:07 am

You can always PM Mec and ask why things are the way they are, which might provide some guidance as to which things are more open for tweaking and what gotchas you might want to watch out for. In general though I agree that caution to avoid making too many changes willy-nilly is advisable, as there are often lore reasons for things being as they are, plus sometimes there are knock-on balance effects to making seemingly harmless or desirable changes.
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Resok
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by Resok » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:06 am

willdieh wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:13 am
That's a cool idea, but I think I am going to keep trying my best to stick with the original faction designs as much as possible... It's completely possible that Kerb didn't have a chance to fully test the faction settings of the Loa (eg, their trade range), but I have to work under the assumption that they had some kind of intent for things to be the way they are.

With regard to the current colonization settings though, the problem isn't so much the trade, it's the prototyping costs (I think) combined with the low tax rates for growing colonies. This leaves them strapped for cash until about turn 50 at which point they start building stations because they can keep $1mil in the bank. The only solution I can think of to that would be to slow down colonization or possibly prevent the tax from going to 3 or even 2, but overall it feels like these designs are part of what keep the Loa from mopping the board with colony spam.

Edit:
One other option might be to lower the threshold for station spending from $1mil to $500k... maybe I could try that...

Keep in mind that higher savings means faster growth in econ rating, which means faster growth in morale sooner after hitting certain thresholds (85 and 100). High econ rating is one of the few ways that Loa can maintain morale growth outside of lowering taxes - but in general it helps balance out the periods of higher tax to compensate for lost taxation in growth phases.
ZedF wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:07 am
You can always PM Mec and ask why things are the way they are, which might provide some guidance as to which things are more open for tweaking and what gotchas you might want to watch out for. In general though I agree that caution to avoid making too many changes willy-nilly is advisable, as there are often lore reasons for things being as they are, plus sometimes there are knock-on balance effects to making seemingly harmless or desirable changes.
As far as the balance discussion, absolutely agreed. This was a personal suggestion after playing many many hours of this as Loa in both single player and multiplayer. All factions are almost identical in trade range at the start of the game, with the two exceptions I listed. Trade income grows far faster for Loa than their civilian population early on in the game so starts where your initial 3 (or however many extra) populated colonies being unable trade is a huge reduction in growth rate for Loa economy overall since being unable to trade means that you can't easy go down to tax 0 while still maintaining some income growth (IE: Building stations, cubes, etc.) - and since all colonization efforts require expenditures of cubes through the consumed assimilation ship, it adds up quickly as you need to spend against your tax fluctuations in cycles.

Not saying that you should simply take my word for it, but feel free to play a test game with default settings on a map like for example Pillars. There are basically no systems under 8 LY apart so you are disproportionately punished compared to all other factions on trade on this map in particular (even Zuul have better trade range at 12). Given that basically all other factions have a trade range of 12 at minimum I figured it was a decent starting place to test from. The wait for Antimatter to get only the same trade range as all of the other factions at the start of the game is a bit punishing.

This all being said, I typically play most of my games with zero trade for a very long time - but Loa is the only exception to this strategy as I find trade to be essential to maintaining outward expansion while also growing your economy. Obviously your mileage may vary and such but basically one of the few reliable ways to get to Liberationism as Loa is through stimulus trade (which is a huge boost to your military potential due to cube efficiency).
- Resok

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willdieh
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by willdieh » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:02 pm

You make some compelling points Resok... do you have any idea how many maps actually have planet distances of >8 ? I have to admit, I generally only play a few maps like Duel, Fight, and the Disk maps and those all have planet distances of <8...

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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by Resok » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:56 pm

I can look over what maps have distances >8 - either way the distance also effects things like total trade revenue from each good shipped. If it's unable to reach a system outside of your starting 3-system province then it only yields 15k instead of 25k per good (before module bonuses). This could be fine for some specific map layouts but even if your starting 3-systems are within <8 LY from each other this could result in a significant reduction in early trade income potential.

Worst case scenario if a system is unable to ship out any goods (and the slider is set to trade) this causes a sharp drop in economic rating, followed by a morale hity if gets low enough. Not sure if the AI currently detects if trade goods are able to be successfully shipped to another system as this is already fairly difficult for a player to figure out (requires some guess work).

I will say that *most* maps have starting systems within 8 LY of each other, but many have one isolated from the others and there is a certain degree of randomization for each map for which systems even have viable planets surrounding the star. So technically speaking each game could deviate sharply in this regard as there is a fair bit of randomization involved.

Anyway, just some thoughts on the subject - don't have a ton of time to go through each map quite yet but I can later this week.
- Resok

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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by sqw82 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:57 pm

willdieh wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:02 pm
You make some compelling points Resok... do you have any idea how many maps actually have planet distances of >8 ? I have to admit, I generally only play a few maps like Duel, Fight, and the Disk maps and those all have planet distances of <8...
Currently playing on the 3-brawl map and some of the outer systems in the middle disc region are more than 8 ly apart.

Quick question: will there be any attempt made at making the tactical AI a little better? There are odd behaviors like defending fleet disengaging in the middle of a fight to stop in line formation somewhere while the erstwhile engaged invading fleet continue on to the planet. Also, the super long distance missiles (IOBMs) still let you pick the AI off without them responding.

Currently on turn 200 (normal, 3-man map) and it seems the AI is more aggressive than I remembered. Have noticed tech upgrade as the war went on both offensively and defensively which is a nice change. Prototyping still seems to be a big stumbling block though. I'll try another game on Hard to see if the financial bonuses give AI more freedom.

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willdieh
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by willdieh » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:25 am

Yeah, I'd like to work on the tactical side if possible. I keep getting caught up in fixes instead of improvements though, mostly fixing the problems I myself created. Thanks for the feedback though!

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willdieh
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by willdieh » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:24 pm

Anyone know if the Loa fleet composition window has always been bugged or if it's just me?
If I right click on a fleet and Set Composition, it sticks and works. However, when using the mission assignment window and subsequent Set Composition pop-up, it almost never works...
It's a bug I'll try to fix, but just wondering if anyone else is seeing it or if perhaps it existed in Vanilla?

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Resok
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by Resok » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:33 pm

@willdieh - yeah that happens in vanilla, with a few caveats.

So for certain missions like construction and colonization you have to set the mission composition manually ahead of time (which destroys whatever ships are in that fleet and recreates them fresh to whatever composition you set) or else it will hold the mission and wait for a newly queued up a build order for whatever essential ship you need for that mission type (Colony ship for colony missions, construction ship for construction missions, etc.). If you first set the fleet composition, and then issue the order and assign the composition AGAIN then it works without force queueing up the extra ship.

In many cases the above behavior can result in a fleet being forced to slow-boat due to exceeding the current max cube count (assuming you were already at max before).

Combat missions (like Patrol, invasion, strike, etc.) typically work when assigning a composition through the prompt however, as I believe it remembers the last composition set and will shift to this automatically when a combat happens. Unfortunately I think this also causes a different bug which removes previously assigned fleet placement in the battle manager, forcing a new placement through the pre-combat battle manager (which is disabled in multiplayer for the most part).
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willdieh
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Re: Save Our SOTS2 - A Fan Made Patch

Post by willdieh » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:36 pm

Heheh, yup, I've seen all those things. I'll try and fix them if I can :sots1:

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