chuft

The Atrocity Thread

57 posts in this topic

I would like to do some additional testing to see if the effects wane over time the way sanctions run out, the interaction of aliens and atrocities, and the effect of repealing/renacting the UN charter on atrocities and ecodamage. Once I get it all figured out I will post a summary. My first concern was to make sure the puzzling nerve gas rules were not the result of a bug, and now I am pretty certain they are not. I can replicate the ecodamage and sanctions effects of all the atrocities in a very predictable way now.

 

I will probably leave teasing out the SMAC formula to someone else more familiar with SMAC, and concentrate on SMACX.

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Indeed.

 

Although, I do think the singularity one is a bit over the top. :D

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Been awhile.

 

I am playing a game right now, and suddenly got this message (and the ensuing animation). One AI faction using it against another.

 

 

busterd.gif

 

 

So Aki is added to the list of those who will be the first to use a nuke. Previously I had thought it limited to Miriam and Yang.

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I have decided to copy my atrocity info over here from CGN, in case that site becomes unavailable for whatever reason. If the below seems a bit disjointed, it is because it was a series of posts and experiments over time.

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There seems to be a lot of confusion about atrocities and how they work.

 

The 2.0 patch notes state:

 

Quote:

"· Atrocities have been rebalanced to avoid abuse: (a) 12+ atrocities (depends on difficulty level) will cause all factions to declare vendetta

(b) Nerve stapling becomes increasingly ineffective at particular bases the more you use it."

 

How this knowledge was "lost" over the past 8 years is a mystery.

 

However, my testing with the Drones in the Scenario Editor, where I did 100 gassings with no UN consequences other than 10 years of sanctions each time, and no ecodamage, leads me to believe that either

 

(a) the effect noted in the patch notes does not begin until after some trigger (all factions are in contact? after a pop? after a certain game year?) or

(b) the Scenario Editor, for whatever reason, interferes with the patch modification so that the effect does not show up.

 

I can think of various ways to test this but right now I don't have time.

 

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Okay I figured it out by gassing Cha Dawn with the Pirates (who had no atrocities at all in their Diplomacy screen in the Scenario Editor in the above saved game). The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is this:

 

In the scenario editor, edit faction diplomacy, spartans had 37 minor atrocities and 29 major atrocities in your save. After nerve gas attack, they had 37 minor atrocities and 30 major atrocities.

 

This doesn't happen in my testing or saved games. Minor atrocities should go to 38. Could you verify these numbers?

 

The system appears to be this. I now know why I didn't spot it before. There is a floor function present.

 

The following assumes the UN Charter is in place.

 

- Each nerve gas attack by humans vs humans results in an application of X years of (additional) sanctions.

 

- X is calculated by a formula. The formula is X = 10 * Y where Y is the number of minor atrocities the faction has committed. If Y is zero, Y is treated as 1.

 

- Nerve gas attacks against units in the open do not count as atrocities for the "atrocity counter" Y (seen in the Diplomacy section of the scenario editor as "Minor atrocities committed"). I will call these "mini atrocities" as they do not do anything except result in X years of additional sanctions and piss off whomever you are attacking.

 

- A nerve gas attack against a human city increases the counter Y by +1. But remember Y starts at 0. As a result, Y goes from 0 to 1, X remains at 10, and the first attack against a city has a sanction of 10 years, just like attacks against units in the open. It looks like nothing significant has changed unless you are checking Y counter in the scenario editor. This caused me to miss the city effect the first time around - I did mass attacks on cities, but with aliens. I did one attack on a city with the Drones, saw no effect, and moved on to the faster and easier unit vs unit testing in the open. As long as you never make more than one city attack, you can do as many attacks as you like in the open without increasing Y (or raising X), and you will get exactly 10 years of additional sanctions each time.

 

- At Transcend level, once Y reaches 20, the next attack will be treated as both a minor and a major atrocity. Both Y (the "minor atrocity" counter) and Z (the "major atrocity" counter, both visible in the Scenario Editor Diplomacy options for that faction) increase with each city attack past the 20th. With this 21st gas attack against a city the other human factions will all declare vendetta and you will get ecodamage. I am not an expert on the ecodamage formula but for my test city it jumped from 3 to 17 for the 21st attack, then to 34 for the 22nd attack, then to 46 for the 23rd attack. I am assuming this is 5 clean minerals like a PB, if I am wrong someone speak up.

 

So there you have it. No bug. Just an obscure set of rules. Here is an example of actions in order to illustrate.

 

1. Drones gas an Angels unit. 10 years of sanctions.

2. Drones gas an Angels unit. 10 years of sanctions.

3. Drones gas an Angels unit. 10 years of sanctions.

4. Drones gas an Angels city. The Minor Atrocity counter Y secretly goes from 0 to 1. 10 years of sanctions.

5. Drones gas an Angels unit. 10 years of sanctions.

6. Drones gas an Angels city. The Minor Atrocity counter Y secretly goes from 1 to 2. 20 years of sanctions.

7. Drones gas an Angels unit. 20 years of sanctions.

8. Drones gas an Angels unit. 20 years of sanctions.

9. Drones gas an Angels city. The Minor Atrocity counter Y secretly goes from 2 to 3. 30 years of sanctions.

10. Drones gas an Angels unit. 30 years of sanctions.

11. Drones make 17 more gas attacks on Angels cities. Each time Y increases by 1 and the sanctions increase by 10 years, till the last attack results in 200 years of sanctions. Attacks on units in the meantime get sanctions based on the current value of Y.

12. Drones make a 21st gas attack on an Angels city. Y goes to 21, Z goes to 1, all human factions declare Vendetta, Drones lose 5 clean minerals.

13. Drones make a 22nd gas attack on an Angels city. Y goes to 22, Z goes to 2, Drones lose 5 more clean minerals.

 

 

I encourage everyone to try this. It should work even in a brand new game with the scenario editor turned on. I went back to my Drones nerve gassing the Angels save to test it and it worked in the year 2125.

 

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I should point that Z is increased by itself (and Y is not increased) by use of a Planet Buster. That is why the Major Atrocities counter is not always 20 more than the Minor Atrocities counter.

 

Furthermore, if you make some nerve gas attacks on cities, but not more than 20, and you use some planet busters, you will have everyone Vendettaing you, and ecodamage from the PBs, but you can still make nerve gas attacks without ecodamage so long as you don't exceed 20 total nerve gas attacks on cities.

 

Nerve Stapling is treated as a "mini atrocity" (you get sanctions based on the current value of Y, but Y is not incremented).

 

Genetic Plagues by probe teams are treated identically to nerve gas attacks on cities, i.e. they increase the Y counter and can help push it to 21 at which point each Genetic Plague and each Nerve Gas attack on a city is treated as a Major Atrocity.

 

Obliterating a base (even one you founded) is treated identically to nerve gas attacks on cities as well.

 

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I just tried that SMAC save from the beginning of the thread and it appears the atrocities were boosted in a different way in SMAC than in SMACX. A nerve gas attack on a unit in the open counted as a major atrocity! And not a minor one!

 

I started a new game in SMAC and gave the appropriate techs to the Peacekeepers. The 13th city nerve gas attack (as stated in the patch notes) counted as a major and a minor atrocity and resulted in ecodamage and vendattas all around. Further attacks were peculiar: attacks in the open counted as major atrocities, attacks against cities counted as both.

 

Looks like SMAC was patched differently than SMACX in this regard. My notes all apply to SMACX. I will leave the intricacies of SMAC to someone else to fully explore, since these days I only play SMACX.

 

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Another new SMAC game showed more SMAC weirdness: the first attack in the open was a minor atrocity, but the next 13 were not.

 

I don't know if there is a nerve gas bug in SMAC or not, there may be. But I don't think there is in SMACX.

 

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Note the above only applies to humans vs humans, and only apply to SMACX.

 

Quote:

Nerve Stapling is treated identically to nerve gas attacks.

Actually it is treated identically to nerve gas attacks against units in the open, i.e. you get X sanctions but Y does not increase (nor does Z of course).

 

Also the number 20 for Y was at Transcend level. It may be different at different difficulty levels.

 

Also when Y hits 21, all human factions declare Vendatta against you.

 

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I did some more tests. The results were peculiar. The reason why, apparently, is that the game keeps track of what you did *that turn*.

 

Nerve stapling anybody - including the other race - does count as a minor atrocity (raises the Y counter) but only if you did no other minor atrocities that turn. So if you gas someone's city, capture it and then nerve staple, the nerve stapling does not raise the Y counter. Similarly if you do multiple nerve staplings in a turn, only the first one raises the Y counter (and it only does that if you did not commit other minor atrocities first).

 

As a result, at times nerve stapling does not raise the Y counter, depending on what else you have done in the turn.

 

Obliterating a captured base of the other race does not count as an atrocity as far as I can tell. Neither does nerve gassing it. Aliens can also nerve gas each other with impunity. However if they nerve staple anybody, their energy grid shuts down for awhile. It counts as a minor atrocity (raises the Y counter) unless they already nerve stapled that turn.

 

Fungicidal missiles and tectonic missiles did not appear to affect the Y or Z counters when I tried it, even human vs human.

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Are you saying that when the "Y counter" increases, the 10 year sanction span increase according to its value?

 

So doing an atrocity with an Y counter of 3 would impose a 30 year sanction for this latest atrocity?

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Exactly, except Y starts at "0" but is considered "1" for the first atrocity, so it is ten years of sanctions for both the first (Y=0) and second (Y=1) atrocities.

 

Basically Y is the number of decades of sanctions, but with a minimum of one decade.

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Upsides of using nerve gas in the open against units, or using it against the opposite species: you will crush them and take no ecodamage as a result.

 

Downsides: The faction you use it against will never make peace with you, so you have to finish the job. Also, if you do it a lot, forget about Treaty/Pact income. This does not prevent a Diplomatic victory, however. Also, it deprives your treaty/pact partners of income as well, so it is not necessarily a loss.

 

If you seem to be getting no income from a treaty or pact partner, make sure you pay attention to those little yellow text messages that flash by and are not recorded in your messages window during the AI turns. Chances are you will notice one saying "(AI) has committed an atrocity against (AI), 30 years of U.N. sanctions imposed" or similar. This is especially true in mods (such as mine) that have nerve gas units in #units, since the AI typically does not build nerve gas units to use against other humans unless they are in #units. If they have them, they will use them. I think you can check the number of years of sanctions left in their faction profile as well.

 

If one AI uses nerve gas against another (or other atrocities obviously), in theory the victim should never be willing to make peace, regardless of your pleas to them to do so. I haven't tested this but it could explain some AIs who just refuse to make peace with each other.

 

The other minor atrocities, such as base obliteration and nerve stapling and biological warfare, have their place in the toolkit as well, and if used according to the rules I listed above, can often be used with minimal downsides.

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I felt like testing some of this stuff out. The sanctions don't bother me much but stuff that lowers my clean minerals do.

 

I can tell you with certainty using a tectonic missile effects your clean minerals even if it is not considered an atrocity by the game.

 

I also tried some gassing of progenitors. There is no negative side effect at all from doing so.

 

I also nerve stapled about 50 bases. The point that the other factions declare vendetta on you seems a bit random after 22 staples 1 faction declared vendetta on me after another 4 more staples another declared vendetta. There is also an effect on clean minerals. The amount of sanctions seems to increase at a rate I wasn't quite able to pinpoint as well, it definitely doesn't follow the explanation you gave about it being similar to gassing units in the open. I started out getting 10 years it eventually increased to 20 and so on when I finished my last base I was getting 120 years per staple.

 

I then did the same thing but I had a vote to repeal the U.N. Charter. There were no negative side effects at all. Even when I nerve stapled a captured base it didn't effect relations with that faction in any negative way. Most importantly to me anyways no effect on clean minerals.

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I can tell you with certainty using a tectonic missile effects your clean minerals even if it is not considered an atrocity by the game.

 

That's interesting, I wonder how it keeps track of it. It doesn't show up under the number of atrocities committed by that faction in the Scenario Editor. Must directly affect the clean mineral variable without leaving a trace in the scenario editor variables.

 

 

I also nerve stapled about 50 bases. The point that the other factions declare vendetta on you seems a bit random after 22 staples 1 faction declared vendetta on me after another 4 more staples another declared vendetta.

 

Strange.

 

 

There is also an effect on clean minerals. The amount of sanctions seems to increase at a rate I wasn't quite able to pinpoint as well, it definitely doesn't follow the explanation you gave about it being similar to gassing units in the open. I started out getting 10 years it eventually increased to 20 and so on when I finished my last base I was getting 120 years per staple.

 

Did you see my note about other previous events in your same turn? Doing multiple nerve staplings in a turn only counts as one for increasing the Y counter. Similarly, doing one after gassing a city of your same species in the same turn doesn't count for increasing the Y counter. When it comes to nerve staplings, it's not just the total that counts.

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There is also a difference between nerve stapling self-founded and captured bases. Unfortunately, all testing I have ever done on the subject was in Smac which according to chuft's posts behaves weirdly. I can, however, verify that in Smac nerve stapling your own bases can be done with impunity if you don't mind the sanctions. Nerve stapling captured bases will increase the sanctions just as chuft said. After 13 uses of nerve stapling in captured bases there will be a reduction of the clean mineral limit and from that point forward nerve stapling your own bases will also count as an atrocity.

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There is also a difference between nerve stapling self-founded and captured bases. Unfortunately, all testing I have ever done on the subject was in Smac which according to chuft's posts behaves weirdly. I can, however, verify that in Smac nerve stapling your own bases can be done with impunity if you don't mind the sanctions. Nerve stapling captured bases will increase the sanctions just as chuft said. After 13 uses of nerve stapling in captured bases there will be a reduction of the clean mineral limit and from that point forward nerve stapling your own bases will also count as an atrocity.
Does this matter if the charter is repealed? I am not sure how many captured bases I had when I did this but I am fairly sure it is more than 13.Though I don't know what my clean mineral limit is either, so I might have actually affected my limit but not enough to start causing eco damage.

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Err, what I wrote is for Smac. In Smax it's different. If you want to test it please reread chuft's posts although it's a lot of text. It does not only matter if you nerve staple captured bases or your own but also when you do so (several bases a turn or each base in a different turn).

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I'm thinking I should atrocity more often. Aside from using planetbusters in desperate times I usually avoid them.

 

One thing that ticks me off is the apparent inability to set off a planetbuster anywhere (AFAIK, you need to run it into an enemy base or unit to get it to go bang).

 

How else am I supposed to test my nukes?

 

Bryan

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Blow up your own bases and/or units? ISTR that you can do that, much to many a SMACer's regret. I imagine any target will do, but it has to have something in the square to trigger.

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Planet busters don't have an action that I know of to detonate their payload unless they are used to attack an enemy unit. You might be thinking of tectonic or fungal missiles.

 

You can activate a Planet Buster's self destruct and kill any units surrounding it that aren't in a base. Nothing in the game should be able to survive a 99 attack self destruct.

 

Or alternatively you can release a mind worm into the wild and nuke that.

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I think if you tried that, it would result in a psi combat, and even if you won, your PB would then crash. :(

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I think you'd get a crater with a nuked worm in it.

I think BU is right, I have done this before, so I know it works. :) I have also PB a fungal tower that refused to die to 3 elite rovers. :lol:

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Interesting. So if you want to place a PB *just so*, the thing to do is move a Locust there (from 8 squares away, and can fly), release it to the wild, and then hit it with your PB. Sneaky.

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You still get everyone declaring vendetta on you. Even though you are nuking the natives. I am pretty sure you can use this trick to nuke someone without them considering themselves an atrocity victim, though I am not 100% on this.

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I was thinking more of the "how do I detonate a PB right here between these three bases, there are no enemy units here and next turn my PB will crash" problem.

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I generally avoid atrocities since I prefer a surrendered ennemy to a defeated one and I also prefer to be the one who declares war rather than be declared war upon.

 

Zaky definitely is willing to use nukes, I speak from experience. Deirdre builds them too but has never actually nuked me. Mir and Yang use them, I'm not sure about Santiago or Morgan. I don't remember Lal ever building one, but I'm not sure.

 

There is a way to commit a de fact atrocity without any diplomatic or economic repercussions. After you conquer a base, turn all its citizens into specialists (I like engineers), sell all its facilities and let them starve to death. Think of it as placing the population into forced labor camps and human experimentation facilities.

 

You'll get a ton of money and tech without any riot problems, but the best thing about this is that, even if the ennemy retakes his base, he'll still have traded a size 13 metropolis with all the facilities for a size 1 village with none, and one attack from a needlejet of mine will obliterate it...

 

I do this a lot. So have people historically. Feels very much in character for Santiago, Yang or even Zaky.

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