[6931] Psychic Domination

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Herode
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[6931] Psychic Domination

#1 Post by Herode »

Hi there !

Game is around t230+ and the ennemy has begin to take control of my ships. After some research, I found that it's an effect of the Psychogenic Domination technology.
On t232, i would say about 20-30% of the ships that could be controlled (within 1 starlane jump of an ennemy colony) have been actually controlled but I did not really checked the numbers.
On t233, because the probability of being dominated is 10% by ship, I tried to attack such an ennemy colony (2 planets in the system btw) : 9 on the 10 vessels turned into ennemy control.
On t234, 2 on 6 (elsewhere, because I did not check all my fleets and of course one of them was too close).

I'm under the impression that we are far above 10% here. Of course, stats are just probabilistic and I may have been unlucky, or I may have missed something. Is there some technology/building/effect that could give a bonus to Psychic Domination ?
Last edited by Herode on Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MatGB
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Re: Psychic Domination

#2 Post by MatGB »

Not yet, no, it's something many of us have discussed changing in some way, some of them radically, but it's never quite happened. It's, currently, one of those techs that you just need to research yourself, or have all your ships be built by telepaths to make them immune. That's not ideal.

However, from observation but I can't confirm this, it's a 10% chance for each ship for each planet they're in range of, so if a fleet is near two planets then it gets two chances of being dominated, etc.

I'm not actually sure there is anyone who likes the current mechanism but we haven't agreed on a new approach.
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Dilvish
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Re: Psychic Domination

#3 Post by Dilvish »

MatGB wrote:I'm not actually sure there is anyone who likes the current mechanism but we haven't agreed on a new approach.
Perhaps it would be better if there were a 'Psychic Resistance' tech available somewhat faster/cheaper than PsyDom that would also grant the resistance granted by PsyDom. It should probably be a side-branch leaf tech, nothing following it, so that you can get the resistance cheaper/faster that way than going for full PsyDom, but if you wanted full PsyDom it might make sense to skip the side-branch tech.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Psychic Domination

#4 Post by Geoff the Medio »

MatGB wrote:...it's a 10% chance for each ship for each planet they're in range of...
That would make sense given the scripting.

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MatGB
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Re: Psychic Domination

#5 Post by MatGB »

Dilvish wrote:
MatGB wrote:I'm not actually sure there is anyone who likes the current mechanism but we haven't agreed on a new approach.
Perhaps it would be better if there were a 'Psychic Resistance' tech available somewhat faster/cheaper than PsyDom that would also grant the resistance granted by PsyDom. It should probably be a side-branch leaf tech, nothing following it, so that you can get the resistance cheaper/faster that way than going for full PsyDom, but if you wanted full PsyDom it might make sense to skip the side-branch tech.
I think it'd need to be a reduced chance, in fact if I were rescripting from scratch I'd try to make it always possible to control but much less likely with bonuses/maluses for different techs/attributes on each side.

If there were a cheaper tech that negated it entirely, then the tech itself would become pointless, just like bioterror effectively is as if anyone's using it you just use genome banks, etc.

But, it'd need so many nested variables that I'm not sure it'd be worth doing, rethinking the base effect is probably a better approach.
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Herode
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Re: Psychic Domination

#6 Post by Herode »

MatGB wrote:However, from observation but I can't confirm this, it's a 10% chance for each ship for each planet they're in range of, so if a fleet is near two planets then it gets two chances of being dominated, etc.
Yep, that's the way I understand the rule.

As for the other question, this tech gives me the same thoughts than Bioterror vs. immunity to bioterror.
I dont' like so much this binary approach. Once Genetic Medecine is searched and the center built, Bioterror is useless. I guess everybody builds the Center, it's not so expensive, so...

Psycho Domination works the same way but is far more expensive, so the gap between the first guy who completes this technology and his competitors may allow the former to use this "power" for some turns. If he has a enough turns of advance (*), it can grant him the game. If he has a few turns of advance, it's almots useless.
I my present game, because I did not anticipate the effect of this tech, I have to wait another 26 turns to gain the tech. If the IA was agressive (it's a standard game only) of if it has the idea to build a lot of colonies on the border of its empire, I would be wipped out of the map pretty soon despite my present military domination. In my next games, I will anticipate and just negate it. Not very interesting IMHO.

What I would like to see for both technologies is something more progressive and more targeted.

For the Psy thing discussed here, maybe we could use it as a weapon mounted on ships ?
If the weapon is cheap : the fleets could use it with a success chance depending on the number of Psy weapons thay have
If the weapon is expensive expensive : one per fleet (or per system) because success chances won't be cumulative
The defense could be Psy races as now and Psy shields mounted : on ships as slot stuff or - more interesting I guess - one protective shield/field by system grounded in a building.

Just ideas on the fly, I'm not very experienced with Free Orion...



(*) is it the correct phrasing ? I'm not native english speaker, and not sure of the right way to write it. Turns of advance, turns in advance, something else ???

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OllyG
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Re: Psychic Domination

#7 Post by OllyG »

In general I like psychic domination. But having more things affecting the chance of control would be better. I also don't like the way it can be completely negated. Better to make psychic species resistant, not immune. Also making psychic species more likely to gain control of enemy ships woukd also be better (maybe non-psychic worse would actually be better!)
I would actually like to see a whole psychic branch of the tech tree. Lots of potential, especially if spying and diplomacy eventually make an appearance. Lots of the current development seems to be game balance stuff (which is useful but maybe a sign that we are ready to start on new features)

Herode, it should be 'in advance' but since I understood everything you said I declare you 'good at English!'

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MatGB
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Re: Psychic Domination

#8 Post by MatGB »

I don't speak perfect English, and I was born here ;-)

But yeah, OK, here's what I had in mind.

Once researched, it can be effective, either from all planets, all telepathic planets, all planets with a specific building or some other qualifier, possibly each of them gives an advantage to the effect.

All ships vulnerable make tests, but it should be once per ship per turn, not once per planet. Different effects increase immunity, these can include telepathic pilots, having researched psionics, having researched PsyDom itself, having a ship part, etc.

For a start, I'd like to limit it to only ships in orbit around a planet rather than a jump away, and do that almost immediately, at least until it's decided—objections?

Then we'd need to script up an effect that triggers and takes the variables into account, which would almost certainly be more complex than any script I've yet attempted.

I'd to the same sort of thing for bioterror, all species should be vulnerable to it, but organics more vulnerable, and certain effects reduce effectiveness but not elminate it, I'd love to play around and try it in a game but as it is it's basically useless as the AIs just build the defence and that's it.
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BraveSirKevin
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Re: Psychic Domination

#9 Post by BraveSirKevin »

Just to weigh in here, the thing that bugs me most about Psychogenic Domination is the fact that it's a mandatory technology...

I'm talking in the context of games vs AI here, but I wouldn't usually even want to research this because I don't really want to capture my enemy's ships. If they're far enough behind me in tech that they don't have PD, then the chances are that they don't have very good ships either... on the other hand, I am forced to research this because if I don't then I'll lose my own ships to the first enemy to get the tech.

As I understood it, the idea with tech is that people are not meant to research every tech available, but instead focus on a few tech lines that suit their play style, but this tech means that researching the entire tech line is a priority in almost every game.

I think this tech was meant to be used primarily in a tactical combat environment where it would have fit well as a weapon, but in the current set-up it's a bit of a grudge purchase unless you are lucky enough to get it first, in which case it's an expensive toy that benefits you for a very short period of time.

There absolutely should be some sort of resistance that accumulates through the acquisition of techs all the way along the teal chain. Alternatively, there should be a tactical way of avoiding the problem without researching the PD tech.

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Dilvish
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Re: Psychic Domination

#10 Post by Dilvish »

From an earlier thread: Subject: Psychogenic Domination
Bigjoe5 wrote:That tech is mostly the result of me experimenting with some unorthodox scripting a few years back... IMO, it's not a very good tech to have from a game design point of view. The concept behind it should probably be applied to something else.
Also, some other past discussion of this tech. I suggest we follow up on the conversation in that thread and again consider just taking the tech out for now; someone could always still experiment with a revised version to propose.
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Herode
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Re: Psychic Domination

#11 Post by Herode »

OK, anyway, back to the initial question, I'm still under the impression that something is going wrong with the stats.
I lost tons of ships in the last turns, and in one system I was checking, in 3 turns a whole fleet with a dozen of vessels, and there is only one ennemy colony nearby.
Maybe massive unluck extended on a lot of turns but...
I wonder if ennemy ships - or maybe just ennemy ships in ennemy controlled systems - are counted as 'colonies' for the purpose of Psychic Domination ?

I guess most of the ennemy vessels are now previous ships of mine, unfortunately with a very good weapon & shield tech :mrgreen:

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MatGB
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Re: Psychic Domination

#12 Post by MatGB »

The full code is here:

Code: Select all

Tech
    name = "LRN_PSY_DOM"
    description = "LRN_PSY_DOM_DESC"
    short_description = "MIND_CONTROL_SHORT_DESC"
    techtype = Application
    category = "LEARNING_CATEGORY"
    researchcost = 750 * [[TECH_COST_MULTIPLIER]]
    researchturns = 7
    prerequisites = [
        "LRN_UNIF_CONC"
        "LRN_TIME_MECH"
    ]
    effectsgroups =
        EffectsGroup
            scope = And [
                Ship
                WithinStarlaneJumps 1 And [
                    Planet
                    OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
                    TargetPopulation low = 1
                ]
                Not OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
                VisibleToEmpire Source.Owner
                Random .1
                Not Monster
                Not HasTag "TELEPATHIC"
                Not OwnerHasTech "LRN_PSY_DOM"
            ]
            effects = [
                GenerateSitRepMessage
                    message = "EFFECT_PSY_DOM"
                    icon = "icons/sitrep/ship_produced.png"
                    parameters = [
                        tag = "empire" data = Target.Owner
                        tag = "ship" data = Target.ID
                    ]
                    empire = Target.Owner
                GenerateSitRepMessage
                    message = "EFFECT_PSY_DOM"
                    icon = "icons/sitrep/ship_produced.png"
                    parameters = [
                        tag = "empire" data = Target.Owner
                        tag = "ship" data = Target.ID
                    ]
                    empire = Source.Owner
                SetOwner Source.Owner
                MoveTo NumberOf 1 And [ 
                    System And [ 
                        WithinStarlaneJumps 1 Target
                        WithinStarlaneJumps 1 And [
                            Planet
                            OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
                            TargetPopulation low = 1
                        ]
                    ]
                ]
            ]
It's in techs.txt in default. The scope is fairly easy to read, and definitely shouldn't be taking out entire fleets in a short period of time.
Mat Bowles

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Dilvish
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Re: Psychic Domination

#13 Post by Dilvish »

I don't see any reference to which revision of FO you are playing -- couple months back or so there was a bug with the code determining starlane jump separation (I think that's where the problem was) that could cause distant systems to be improperly treated as neighbors for many scripting purposes -- if you were playing that version it could easily lead to the problems you describe.

**edit: I see in a different thread it looks like you were playing rev 6931, which is after the bugfix (rev 6915) for the jump distance problem, so that *shouldn't* be it. Still, perhaps there was a lingering problem. It would probably be good to save a game at a spot where you just moved a bunch of ships into the zone where you are losing a surprising number of them, and then turn on the verbose logging option at the bottom of Options->UI, restart FO , load the game, progress a turn, and then post freeorion.log and freeoriond.log for that turn.
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Herode
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Re: Psychic Domination

#14 Post by Herode »

Yep, 6931. I will edit the title to add the info, sorry.

I'll try to catch some logs. I was considering the option of building a fleet with a lots of decoys and sending it to the said system - with enough ships it will be easier to measure the effect - but it will depend on what happens on the next turns : the ennemy, with my psy-controlled ships, is now attacking me and I may loose the opportunity to launch that experiment.

Or is there some wizard mode I could activate to pop/destroy fleets in systems ?

Code: Select all

scope = And [
                Ship
                WithinStarlaneJumps 1 And [
                    Planet
                    OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
                    TargetPopulation low = 1
                ]
                Not OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
                VisibleToEmpire Source.Owner
                Random .1
                Not Monster
                Not HasTag "TELEPATHIC"
                Not OwnerHasTech "LRN_PSY_DOM"
            ]
I understand it means, if I am the PSY_DOM empire :
- effect applied to a ennemy ship within 1 starlane jump of a planet from my empire with low population ????.
- has 10% chances of triggering (by ennemy ship) provided the target is not monster/telepathic/has PSY_DOM.
(NB : I would exclude robots from PSY_DOM also, won't you ? )

It looks fine to me, as long as the effect is really triggered only once of course.
If I edit this file, will the new parameters be taken into account or is it only the source of a compiled resource included in the binary ?

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MatGB
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Re: Psychic Domination

#15 Post by MatGB »

You can edit any file in teh default directory and it'll take effect on restart. It's how us non-devs can contribute. You can even do silly things like replace the starnames with local villages in the en.txt file if you want ;-) (I only did that once...)
Mat Bowles

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