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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:00 am 
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Space Dragon
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Playing with Laenfa/Sly with the lS Mk. III, and Sly with the modification of making self-sustaining effect apply with EARLY_PRIORITY.

About AI:
My planets stay undetected even when I start pumping sentient/scattered hulls with black shields and death rays. I have more research than anyone else for the whole game. If the map is cluttered of players it's even worse for them because they keep battling each other from early game which makes them neglect research.

About IS:
Seems relatively balanced. I can do better with Human playing "normal" than with Laenfa playing stealthy and "exploiting" IS, and also the opposite can happen.

About Sly:
Even with the modification they seem OP. My research/production output rates are way better than with Laenfa. Subterranean hab., Orbital hab. and N-Dim. Structures are OP for Sly. So... maybe add a very_bad population trait as well as the modification of the self-sustaining effect?
Edit or anything else that limits their expansion, production or research. Very bad research? Extra costly ships? +50% PP cost to anything.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:50 am 
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Oberlus wrote:
Subterranean hab., Orbital hab. and N-Dim. Structures are OP for Sly.
At least Sub. Hab. could have no effect on gas giants...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:09 am 
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Space Dragon
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Good idea. That -6 should make a difference. I'll figure out what should I write in the subterranean focs file to make this happen and test it.

Edit1: Another idea, make subterranean, orbital and n-dim structures early priority (to be affected by the population trait). That's would be a -6 also, but applied gradually during the game. If I find that the KISSer solution makes the start too hard for Sly I'll try the second one.

Edit2: Testing adding "Not Planet type = GasGiant" to the scope of the effect. It works. And I'm not having much problem at the start with Sly. I can feel the "blow" (that early subterranean hab. worked wonders with rob. production / alg. eleg., upping populations from 13.5 to 19.5 every GG) and now I have to think twice what to research if I don't want my bubble colonisers to go to hell when I fall behind in stealth technology.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Sly stll OP.
I'm thinking about not allowing the orbital generation building for inhabitated GGs.

Would it be easy and require few code changes to make the size of the GG to count as 4 for population calculations?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
Would it be easy and require few code changes to make the size of the GG to count as 4 for population calculations?
Just edit
https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/ ... t.cpp#L203


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:09 am 
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Maybe not disallow GG, but change the effect/description such that they only have an effect when unpopulated (or reduced effect with populated).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:20 am 
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Space Dragon
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Currently playing stealth Sly with only one modification: size of gas giant equal to 4.

I think Sly are relatively balanced now. Depending on your playstyle and map settings, it can be challenging.
When good supply species are nearby, your colonisers can't refuel even when in a system in which the only colonised planet is a GG of your own. This slows down your expansion rate a lot. This forges synergy with low systems/player maps.
Since they are not anymore OP in terms of PP/RP, making outposts to expand supply and some military to defend them or allow resupply in your GG systems is not a no-brainer. You can do that or focus on getting better supply techs, maybe building space elevators (which take PPs from building more colonisers), or rushing planetary stealth techs to make your outposts undetectable, or rushing xenological genetics and hybrids to be able to colonise normal planets with Sly (and their +40 planetary stealth) at which point you have little reasons to not start a military strategy.
So, it seems to me Sly present a variety of strategies to follow, that must be chosen carefully depending on map context. Actually, I "had" to restart certain games because I made the wrong decisions and things were going the wrong way.

Regarding the Space Elevator, I do think it becomes rather close to a no brainer for Sly sooner or later. It's true that doing it slows your colonisers production down, but for certain situations it is the best option (otherwise you are pumping out colonisers that can't get to their destination in like 25 turns, making them pointless, even more once the enemies begin colonising GGs for the +10 PP). Therefore, I guess giving some less bonus for the space elevator on GGs (for any species, I would say, because it's KISSer and other species have no need at all to build space elevators on GGs, and it is even more realistic for som POV). I'd say a GG with space elevator could have a final supply of +1 (supply enhancing techs aside), so that an Sly should require at least the space elevator and orbital construction to get a +1 supply on a GG. That would be enough for most of my played games to ease early/mid expansion.

I'm also playing using Dilvish's PR this_ai_is_sly. Trying to find AI Sly I'm setting maps with 13 AIs and 300 systems, which makes games rather long for playtesting. I think I'll be removing empire species to increase the chances of getting an enemy Sly, because I've been unlucky up to now.
Something better would be to be able to pitch AIs against each other with no human players, run 10 unattended games for 10 different map settings and check statistics at turns 50, 100, 150 and 200. Is this possible already? Even if there is no statistics to check, I guess the logs would be enough to see who wins. If so, could anyone point out the command line options I should use?


Sidenote: I find annoying that forum searches for short words (like Sly) do produce no matches.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:02 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
Something better would be to be able to pitch AIs against each other with no human players, run 10 unattended games for 10 different map settings and check statistics at turns 50, 100, 150 and 200. Is this possible already? Even if there is no statistics to check, I guess the logs would be enough to see who wins. If so, could anyone point out the command line options I should use?
Set up a multiplayer game with no human players, and just yourself as an observer or moderator. You can specify starting species, and have the turns run automatically.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:56 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
I think I'll be removing empire species to increase the chances of getting an enemy Sly, because I've been unlucky up to now.

What I've been doing when I've been testing Sly, is just immediately check the Pedia under "Galaxy - Homeworlds" and see how many Sly homeworlds it lists (If you haven't observed them it yet it will just them name each 'Unknown").

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Dilvish wrote:
What I've been doing when I've been testing Sly, is just immediately check the Pedia under "Galaxy - Homeworlds" and see how many Sly homeworlds it lists (If you haven't observed them it yet it will just them name each 'Unknown").
Thank you! Didn't know this.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Hacking the universe generation scripts seems like a more straight forward approach as you do not have to reroll several games.

Code:
diff --git a/default/python/universe_generation/empires.py b/default/python/universe_generation/empires.py
index 201f0c0a0..01a5812b2 100644
--- a/default/python/universe_generation/empires.py
+++ b/default/python/universe_generation/empires.py
@@ -41,6 +41,8 @@ def get_starting_species_pool():

     # randomize order in initial pool so we don't get the same species all the time
     random.shuffle(pool)

+    # give the first N players that chose random species (AI or human players that pick random species) sly as starting species
+    N = 5
+    for i in range(N):
+        yield "SP_SLY"
     # generator loop
     while True:
         # if our pool is exhausted (because we have more players than species instances in our initial pool)

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