chuft

Water worlds

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Hello,

 

I keep finding new SMAC forums. I am a bit confused as to whether these are shared user communities, separate islands of communities, or one group that keeps migrating from site to another. :hmmm:

 

In any case, I am having trouble playing on water worlds (70-90% water coverage). While I can consistently win on Transcend on huge mostly-land worlds (unless I really get boned on the opening setup), without using crawlers or pop booms or any particular social engineering choice, I have yet to survive very long on a huge waterworld. It seems aggressive factions know where you are and can make a beeline for your little island and sea cities unimpeded by the usual obstacles of enemy empires, fungus, land/water in the way etc. and the usual defensive measures of perimeter defenses, sensors, rocky/forest/fungus terrain and having some advance warning of attackers don't apply. If you build a sea unit it can't act as police, and if you build a land unit in a sea city it can't attack an enemy naval force outside, it just has to take it on the chops. Islands of the Deep seem to come out of nowhere and destroy my sea cities and sea colony pods as well. And the Pirates run off with the game every time due to their early sea colony pod start and their huge mineral bonus on ocean shelf squares. I have yet to get Doctrine Initiative before the game is obviously over.

 

I am playing with some mods to make the AIs better since even Transcend doesn't usually provide much of a challenge, but few of them would apply specifically to a sea world. Mostly this seems a problem of aggressive factions knowing right where I am somehow and aggressively invading by sea. In one game by the time I had a third city founded on my little island, I had been invaded by three factions already, one of which was based over 30 tiles away. In another game by the time I discovered Formers and built a few farms and solar collectors, the Pirates showed up with a stack of seven ships and bombarded every single terraform improvement I had made off the map.

 

How do people survive and prosper in the first 150 turns on a sea world? I am ready to give up on it.

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I'm afraid i'm not the most tactically minded mac player, but i'm sure one will appear. But on the note of the Smac forums, they are seperate communities, but do communicate, and people do float around a bit... but welcome to our humble abode. :)

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To some of us, it's all one big community with some hanging out primarily in one place and some another.

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Do you play with SMAX ? If not, maybe install it and try faction with aquatic trait.

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He's played against the Pirates, so he has X.

 

I wish I had something to say to his dilemma, but I always minimize the water on my maps. As Larrin said, someone with better answers should be along soon...

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Hi chuft,

 

First of all, you're absolutely right that the computer factions know exactly where you are. They will beeline to your bases even if they're on the opposite side of the map. Here's a few suggestions for playing on water maps:

 

1. Play on much larger maps. That will increase the time it takes for the AI to reach you.

2. If you're playing with directed research, go for Doc: Flex right away. That will allow you to get your own navy in the water sooner.

3. Decrease the difficulty level to a point where you can win. Then increase back to transcend in stages.

4. Play as either the Pirates or the Spartans. The Pirates have an obvious advantage on water maps. The Spartans are one tech away from Doc: Flex and also have a morale boost, which should help you to win battles.

5. Another tech to shoot for is Adaptive Doctrine. That allows you to give units the Marine Detachment ability. I think that allows non-sea units to attack sea units from within a base (but might be wrong -- I'll have to check to make sure).

 

Item #5 was wrong. I was thinking of the Amphibious Pods ability (available at Doc: Init), not Marine Detachment. However, Amphibious Pods doesn't allow a unit in a base to attack a sea unit.

 

HTH. Please post again if you have any questions.

 

Petek

Edited by Petek

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Or, if as you say, the pirates have too much advantage, you could always duplicate the pirate faction, so there are 2 or more 'aquatic' factions...

 

(custom factions and art are all over the place here, i don't think pirates have been done often, but if you want it and it doesn't exist, just ask and someone will do it i'm sure) ;)

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Thanks for the suggestions Petek.

 

chairman_stephers.jpg

 

 

I have played on watery world situations before but it was always late in the game, after severe global warming (!) since I am fond of nerve gas and planet busters, so it was more of a post-apocalyptic waterworld with lots of little islets to build sensors on, and my navy and air force already built. Trying to do a waterworld from the beginning was much harder than I thought it would be!

 

 

The idea of making another aquatic faction sounds interesting too. I do enjoy making my own factions, although figuring out how to make the flc biopic movies was a bear. I have never come across a tutorial on that, which surprised me, but I did eventually figure it out.

 

bsg.gif

(gif version)

 

I was thinking of making a Cthulhoids alien faction, maybe another aquatic faction is in order as well. I finally realized that in SMACX you can add new factions, not just replace old ones, unlike SMAC, so I have to do a little reworking on my previous new factions so they are additional and do not replace pre-existing factions.

 

ac_steph_governor.jpg

 

It's great to see that SMAC still has such a following. I have to say I stopped playing the Civ games after Civ II, but SMAC is just an amazing game, and I love the science fiction element, it just adds more than an Earth sim could have at this scale. Clearing xenofungus that is teeming with psionic worms is far more exciting that irrigating fields. I wish they would make a SMAC II.

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You need to post a how-to about .flcs. Please. I never worked out the color palette issue, and mine crashed the game besides...

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You need to post a how-to about .flcs. Please. I never worked out the color palette issue' date=' and mine crashed the game besides...[/quote']

 

It has been awhile but I need to go back and figure it out if I am going to make any more factions so this time I will take notes and post them. I remember it required three pieces of software the way I did it: one to get and save the palette in the correct indexing order (I forget what I used for this), one to do the graphics work in (Photoshop), and one to make the flc animation in (Jasc Animation Shop 3), which required the palette which was output by the first program if it was to create the flc correctly. Photoshop and ImageReady randomize the order of the colors in the palette which gave me fits for a long time - eventually I figured out that I could add the palette as the last step in Jasc and it all worked out. Of course I converted the images to the right colors and an 8-bit GIF image in Photoshop first, but the palette is in the wrong order as far as SMAC is concerned, and that is where Animation Shop 3 and the saved palette come in.

 

Not to mention that one of my factions is the Lazytowners and SMAC likes to use hot pink as a transparency color in its main non-flc palette.

 

lt.gif

 

I had to change the main SMACX non-flc palette a bit for my new factions. I also redid some factions colors a bit so Yang's city names are actually readable on sea squares. But I digress.

 

In any case the hard part was getting the flc palette itself with the colors in the right order. (Photoshop saves them in the wrong order and I don't think Jasc can output palette files although it can use them.) When I finally succeeded in doing this I made a point in saving the palette, burning it on CD, giving it to friends etc so it would never be lost. When I upload my notes I will upload the palette file so it can be spread amongst all the network nodes. So you don't have to worry about the mystery first program that extracted the palette file and saved it in the right order of colors; once you have the palette file you can use it over and over indefinitely.

 

Long story short, all will be revealed. :)

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Great! Thanks. :b:

 

...You should probably start a dedicated thread in Help, Bugs & Tips...

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OK.

 

By the way someone sent me a private message which welcomed me and suggested adding an avatar, which I did, and when I went back to reply to it, it had disappeared from my inbox. So whoever it was, that is why you didn't get a reply. I don't understand why it disappeared.

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..By the way someone sent me a private message which welcomed me and suggested adding an avatar, which I did, and when I went back to reply to it, it had disappeared from my inbox. So whoever it was, that is why you didn't get a reply. I don't understand why it disappeared.

i think it was this visitor message. you have to follow the 'view conversation' link to reply.

 

Hello,

 

I keep finding new SMAC forums. I am a bit confused as to whether these are shared user communities, separate islands of communities, or one group that keeps migrating from site to another. :hmmm: ...

welcome to the most active SMAC community!

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Aha, so it was from Buster's Uncle! I PM'd him saying I thought he messaged me, and he denied it!

 

What is a "visitor message" anyway?

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What is a "visitor message" anyway?

a 'Public Personal Message' :D

it's an easy way to send someone a message without using your PM quota. you just have to open someone's profile and post on his wall.

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Well I tried another water world game, this time as the Usurpers, and at difficulty level 5 (Thinker?). I had fun for awhile but as usual the Pirates ran away with the game and I started going downhill rapidly before reaching Doctrine Initiative again. The aliens have a big head start but losing cities is really painful since they become size 1, lose their improvements, and if you try to take it back it gets destroyed. The Cylons took one city by probe and the Pirates took a size 7 sea city with ships. That basically cut my empire by a third in a couple of turns. Oh well.

 

The game did have one highlight: for the first time I found one of these!

 

ogre2.jpg

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Well I tried another water world game, this time as the Usurpers, and at difficulty level 5 (Thinker?). I had fun for awhile but as usual the Pirates ran away with the game and I started going downhill rapidly before reaching Doctrine Initiative again. The aliens have a big head start but losing cities is really painful since they become size 1, lose their improvements, and if you try to take it back it gets destroyed. The Cylons took one city by probe and the Pirates took a size 7 sea city with ships. That basically cut my empire by a third in a couple of turns. Oh well.

Craziness, that water map! :eek:

 

You could try to use Caretakers instead. The defence bonus would help you defend against the Pirates.

And try it with Abundant Lifeforms. Your +1 Planet would help you get more Isles of Deep, putting you on par with the Pirate Navy.

 

Just an idea but worth testing.

 

Another strategy (or a complement of the one above) that I would try would be:

- Don't build seabases!

- Get the Weather Paradigm at all costs!!

- Use many formers to Terraform Up to extend your land, and found bases as soon as land is available.

- Make 2,3 coastal bases very mineral oriented, and use them to build a navy when you get the right technologies.

- When you'll get copter chassis, make drop-colony-pods and drop-formers and use them to install either cities or just airbases on those scattered atolls all around the map. Think War in the Pacific!

 

The game could be a long one though, and more like Fabius Cunctator than Hannibal. :D

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Just want to say I am still having trouble with water worlds, even as an aquatic faction. Seems I always get plopped in deep water and have to spread way out trying to find ocean shelf areas; the AIs are in your face right away; defending and holding territory is incredibly difficult, as is protecting sea formers; overall just a brutal experience. The "all knowing AI" model seems to work ok on land but at sea it gives the AI a devastating advantage, since you are often being attacked by units that start way beyond your visual range, the AIs can get to you much faster and with no interference from terrain, wild worms, other empires etc. and there are no defensive bonuses due to terrain or sensors. The chronic shortage of minerals doesn't help either. I keep restarting the game trying to get a decent map or an early game where I don't lose precious units or bases too early to recover from.

 

I guess if you find SMACX too easy, the answer is, play on water worlds! The difficulty seems to triple, or more. Even if you make a lot of colony pods, the excess of ocean (not shelf) tiles means there is nowhere to put new colonies. And if you step on land, be prepared to be swarmed by huge enemy land armies and probes.

 

I find the sea world game as frustrating as I find the land world game to be fun.

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The "all knowing AI" model seems to work ok on land but at sea it gives the AI a devastating advantage, since you are often being attacked by units that start way beyond your visual range, the AIs can get to you much faster and with no interference from terrain, wild worms, other empires etc. and there are no defensive bonuses due to terrain or sensors. The chronic shortage of minerals doesn't help either. .

 

Yeah, isn't it great!?! :)

 

 

 

Seems I always get plopped in deep water and have to spread way out trying to find ocean shelf areas; the AIs are in your face right away; defending and holding territory is incredibly difficult, as is protecting sea formers; overall just a brutal experience. .

 

Are you playing with a modified alphax.txt file, or just the default? If you want to double your fun I've got some nice waterworld alphax.txt files: aircraft carriers at Doc:AP, Submarines at Superconductor, and a host of other adaptations to make aquatic-oriented games even more "enjoyable". :devil: Let me know and I can post them into this thread if you like.

 

D

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Well I am using my mod, which has its own Alphax, but maybe someone else would like to use them.

 

Personally I find water worlds too difficult to enjoy as it is.

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Personally I find water worlds too difficult to enjoy as it is.

 

Sorry to hear that. Maybe someday in the future you'll change your mind. Anyways, here is the aquatized alphax.txt which I typically use, along with a list of changes and rationales why:

 

 

#RULES

- Intrinsic base defense to 40: since human’s are typically on the attack, this then helps the AIs.

- Global Warming changed from 1,1 to 1,4: this quarters global warming. Rationale: there’s already enough water on these maps.

 

#RESOURCEINFO

- Ocean squares changed to yield 1,1,1. Rationale: gets the game going quicker, and is to the AIs benefit as they do a less efficient job of placing bases than humans do.

- Improved Sea changed to a 2,3,3: helps keep aquatic players on par with land lubbers.

- Monoliths have been changed to a 2,3,2. Rationale: more minerals are good for the AIs.

 

#WORLDBUILDER

- In a nutshell the worldbuilder operates by initially placing “seed continents” onto the map and building the map from there based on the other criteria in the #WORLDBUILDER section. By decreasing the initial continents values this then starts the seed continents much smaller. The worldbuilder then uses the “Islands” parameter to sprinkle land tiles around the map. By increasing this value exponentially it places a large amount of one to three tile wide land masses scattered scross the map which can be considered “impassable terrain” as they aren’t worth colonizing, and so only serve to block your ships.

 

10, ; Land base (Seeded land size of a standard world)

15, ; Land modifier (additional land from LAND selection: x0, x1, x2)

10, ; Continent base (Base size of a land mass seed)

24, ; Continent modif. (Increased size from LAND selection: x0, x1, x2)

5, ; Hills base (Base # of extra hills)

2, ; Hills modifier (additional hills from TIDAL selection: x0, x1, x2)

3, ; Plateau base (Basic plateau size)

4, ; Plateau modifier (Plateau modifier based on LAND selection: x0, x1, x2)

12, ; Rivers base (Basic # of rivers)

20, ; Rivers rain mod. (Additional rivers based on RAIN selection)

14, ; Solar Energy (Latitude DIVISOR for temperature based on HEAT) Smaller # increases effect of HEAT selection

14, ; Thermal band (Latitude DIVISOR for thermal banding) Smaller # widens hot bands

8, ; Thermal deviance (Latitude DIVISOR for thermal deviance) Smaller # increases randomness

8, ; Global Warming (Latitude DIVISOR for global warming) Smaller # increases effect of warming

5, ; Sea Level Rises (Magnitude of sea level changes from ice cap melting/freezing)

5, ; Cloudmass peaks (Size of cloud mass trapped by peaks)

3, ; Cloudmass hills (Size of cloud mass trapped by hills)

1, ; Rainfall coeff. (Multiplier for rainfall belts)

0, ; Deep water (Encourages fractal to grow deep water)

10, ; Shelf (Encourages fractal to grow shelf)

10, ; Plains (Encourages highland plains)

10, ; Beach (Encourages wider beaches)

2, ; Hills (Encourages hills x TIDAL selection)

35, ; Peaks (Encourages peaks)

1, ; Fungus (Fungus coefficient based on LIFE selection)

3,6,12,18,24 ; Ratio (Continent size ratios)

200 ; Islands (Higher # increases island count)

 

#ABILITIES

- Amphibious Pods have been moved to Doc: Mobility. Rationale: the AIs will build units with this ability, so the sooner they start, the better. Also, all default units (such as the Colony Pod, Scout, Terraformer) also have this by default (rationale listed in #UNITS section below).

- Comm Jammer has been moved to New Missile. Rationale: Comm Jammers are pretty much useless on these maps, so since the AIs will build these units I’ve placed the ability out of reach (i.e. the games should be over by the time of New Missile).

 

#UNITS

There are 45 units in this section. The following are the highlights:

- As listed earlier the default CP, Scout, Former, and Probe Team all have Amphibious Pods. Rationale: this is to the AIs advantage, as otherwise they will have bases adjacent to landmasses, and the base will be filled with units which can’t move onto the land to develop/ colonize/ explore it.

- NL also have Amphibious Pods. Rationale: again its to the AIs advantage as they can capture these units and put them to good use, either against the human or in AI vs AI conflicts.

- The Fungal Tower has a Gravship chassis: no drowning these puppies! 

- Sea Escape Pods have been replaced by Sub Escape Pods. Rationale: because humans are typically on the attack, then hiding units from them is to the AIs advantage.

- There is a Probe Cruiser at Doc: Init, a sub at Superconductor, and an Aircraft Carrier at Doc: AP. There are also a second set of these which occur later in the game. In addition there is a Fighter Escort which the AIs will embark on their aircraft carriers: the really neat thing is that if an adjacent unit is attacked by an aircraft, these fighters will scramble to protect the attacked unit! :b:

- There is a Supply Sub: the AIs do build these on occasion.

- There is a Submarine Former. Rationale behind this is that if your building a sea mine or planting kelp, it just makes more realistic sense that this constructor units should be able to operate underwater.

 

#FACILITIES

- Perimeter Defenses have been removed from this game. Rationale: they don’t give an advantage against naval attack, so since the AIs will build these anyways, then might as well remove them.

- Same goes for Tachyon Fields.

 

D

alphax.zip

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#FACILITIES

- Perimeter Defenses have been removed from this game. Rationale: they don’t give an advantage against naval attack, so since the AIs will build these anyways, then might as well remove them.

- Same goes for Tachyon Fields.

 

D

 

I can understand your points on everything except this. While it's true that perimeter defenses do not help against naval attacks, tachyon fields do. They also provide a defense bonus against air attacks. While it is not likely to happen from an AI player a transport of units with amphibious pods can attack a sea base, and if the base does not have a perimeter defense that base is likely going to be captured.

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I can understand your points on everything except [Perimeter Defenses being removed]. While it's true that perimeter defenses do not help against naval attacks, tachyon fields do. They also provide a defense bonus against air attacks. While it is not likely to happen from an AI player a transport of units with amphibious pods can attack a sea base, and if the base does not have a perimeter defense that base is likely going to be captured.

 

This is an excellent observation! :b: In fact I posted the same alphax.txt at 'poly a few years ago, and no one thought of this aspect the way you have looked at it.

 

 

Several thoughts on this:

 

1. It is probably extremely rare that the AIs would naturally load up a transport full of amphibious assault units (they'll build a few such units, but not with the specific intent of an all out raid/ designed assault).

2. And what of the Hive getting their free Perimeter Defenses? In this case it would be relatively unbalanced for only them to receive this bonus.

3. Concerning the thought about air attacks: AIs rarely attack defended bases with aircraft. Usually they just seem to fly them around from base to base.

4. Tachion Fields come too late in the game to do much good as described above. Under the circumstances would it be better to move them down the tech tree so that they are more pertinent? In this set of circumstances what could also be done is to make the Perimeter Defenses free (i.e. no cost) so that this (relatively) useless facility isn't a drain on the AIs' economies.

 

Anyone else have any thoughts on these ideas?

 

D

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