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Extra Difficulty - 5/15/2012 7:28:49 PM   
Haree78


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Distant Worlds Legends Extra Difficulty Mod

Hi all.

I saw someone said that the game was too easy the further you went on, and I tend to agree with the same start conditions. Even if you give the other races a starting advantage once you have caught up it is not a challenge to mop the AI up.

After some initial tests these mods ramp up the difficulty a lot and the further in the game you get it does not get any easier!
It is a simple manipulation of reproduction rates of your natural enemies. It still retains all the flavour and feel of the original game but this natural advantage makes a big impact on how well the AI does more so it seems than a money influx.
I was severely struggling with a 4x speed game many years in to deal with the insects and when the Shakturi arrived....oh dear...

Let me know if there is any demand for the other races to have a difficulty mod, some of them don't have natural enemies but I can think of other subtle ways to affect things.

The Difficult for Humanoids mod will largely be difficult for most races that aren't insect and I like the idea of insects that breed like ants anyway.
I have done the inverse mod called 'Difficult for Insectoids' that ups the reproduction rates for insect race enemies, slightly less believable but I'm sure it can be ignored.



This has been designed to work with 1...14, the latest beta version. It will probably work on earlier versions but it is untested.

You will need to create a new game to see the effects.

To install:
Go to where you installed your game, it needs to go in the:
../Matrix Games/Distant Worlds/Customization/
directory, place both directories in there so it looks like this:
../Matrix Games/Distant Worlds/Customization/Difficult for Humanoid/
../Matrix Games/Distant Worlds/Customization/Difficult for Insectoid/

Once you have extracted the contents and started Distant Worlds go to change theme. Then select either Diffcult for Humanoid if you are going to play a non insect race, or Difficult for Insectoid if you are going to play an insect race.

For maximum difficulty choose <Difficult for Humanoid>, then select either Human, Quameno, Ackdarian, Zenox, Teekan, Wekkarus, Ugnari, Kiadian or Securan as your race.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Haree78 -- 5/15/2012 11:55:41 PM >


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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/15/2012 9:45:36 PM   
onomastikon

 

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Excuse me, I have never played with a mod before and I am computer illiterate. Can you tell me:
- what I need to do to install your mod?
- is it compatible with various saves?
- is it compatible with Legends Beta 1...14?
- can I uninstall it if I should happen not to like it?
thank you muchly!!

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/15/2012 11:44:59 PM   
Haree78


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I'm sorry I should have explained. This has been designed to work with 1...14, the latest beta version. It will probably work on earlier versions but it is untested.

You will need to create a new game to see the effects.

To install:
Go to where you installed your game, it needs to go in the:
../Matrix Games/Distant Worlds/Customization/
directory, place both directories in there so it looks like this:
../Matrix Games/Distant Worlds/Customization/Difficult for Humanoid/
../Matrix Games/Distant Worlds/Customization/Difficult for Insectoid/

Once you have extracted the contents and started Distant Worlds go to change theme. Then select either Diffcult for Humanoid if you are going to play a non insect race, or Difficult for Insectoid if you are going to play an insect race.

For maximum difficulty choose <Difficult for Humanoid>, then select either Human, Quameno, Ackdarian, Zenox, Teekan, Wekkarus, Ugnari, Kiadian or Securan as your race.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/15/2012 11:50:01 PM   
Haree78


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Oh and in addition to disable the changed difficulty in the main menu change the theme back to the default theme.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/16/2012 9:15:41 AM   
onomastikon

 

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OK thank you. So "theme" is mod then? Thank you, I will give it a try as soon as I get some time (probably this weekend). IIUC, your main changes are to population growth of opponent AI empires, correct?

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/16/2012 7:47:02 PM   
Shadow Tiger


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So reproduction rate is the only thing you changed? I'm wondering if tweaking the racial biases would help as well. Say double the values to see how it works. Unfriendly races become more so, friendly races are more likely to be helpful. I might have to try that as an additional tweak to your difficulty mod.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/16/2012 8:04:23 PM   
Haree78


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Well my main intention was to increase the difficulty without really changing the gameplay. Changing biases would also make the AI war together more, which might not have the desired effect.

I'm currently playing through a 2nd game of this, I started off badly but have subjugated the Boskura who were on my door step. The idea of this mod is that the other insect races around the Galaxy who haven't met you should get more of a foot in around the Galaxy though so hopefully be a challenge when I meet them.

The only other thing I changed was the Mechanoid troop strength when playing as the insects.

I didn't want to boost the special skills if growth rate would do the job because it means the flavour of how races play stays the same. I'll consider other methods if this doesn't do the job well enough though.

< Message edited by Haree78 -- 5/16/2012 8:05:38 PM >


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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/16/2012 8:07:45 PM   
Shadow Tiger


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Good to know that one change is making a big difference. I'm mainly curious, will have to try it out when I can play this weekend.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/22/2012 9:19:12 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Thanks for this, Haree. I might check it out later. It's an interesting idea... if I use it, I'll probably combine the two that you made and just take out whatever race I play. That way, all races except for myself, have the advantage.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/22/2012 12:31:57 PM   
Haree78


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Just a heads up I have played 2 games with this so far and 1 was a great success in extra difficulty the other didn't work at all. The difference was the 2nd game I ended up having Boskura right next to me, and after a tight battle assimilated them, therefore gaining all the advantages of what I had given the insect races.
I am going to have a slight rethink on what to do, for now though adding races in manually and making sure they don't start near you should make the difference you need.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/22/2012 7:26:58 PM   
msnevil

 

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I wonder if you can assign a 100% saving cost for the below line, would this make the ai keep spamming ships? (the ai would probably run out of "fual" though?)

'Ship Maintenance Savings: percentage rate of savings on maintenance costs for ships and bases
ShipMaintenanceSavings ;0

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/23/2012 8:22:27 PM   
Bebop Cola

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
I am going to have a slight rethink on what to do, for now though adding races in manually and making sure they don't start near you should make the difference you need.

I noted in one game that Gizureans suffered a happiness penalty while members of my human empire. I assume that's a factor of the diplomacy offset Gizureans are given towards humans, but perhaps that's something to look in to. If they can be set to have a high unhappiness, and thus likelihood to rebel, when members of anything other than another insectoid empire it might make their increased growth rate a drawback for non-insectoid empires rather than an advantage.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/23/2012 10:07:58 PM   
Haree78


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quote:

ORIGINAL: msnevil

I wonder if you can assign a 100% saving cost for the below line, would this make the ai keep spamming ships? (the ai would probably run out of "fual" though?)

'Ship Maintenance Savings: percentage rate of savings on maintenance costs for ships and bases
ShipMaintenanceSavings ;0


I was thinking about giving them the bonuses you can give but my original intention was to not change the 'flavour' of distant worlds, so high research races would still be slightly ahead in that race given same amount of research etc.

The 2 biggest problems for the AI later game I feel is they have a tendancy to horde money and have a sort of cap of ships based more on some hard coded thing rather than their economy. So if they get a good economy off the ground they don't take advantage of it.
The 2nd biggest problem is the way the AI researches, the player will focus research and therefore get better tech with shorter amounts of research, I have considered at least disabling certain research for races I would give an advantage to, this will help to some extent but not massively.

I'll have another look now and see if I can come up with anything.


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RE: Extra Difficulty - 5/23/2012 10:33:31 PM   
Haree78


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Joined: 5/18/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bebop Cola

quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
I am going to have a slight rethink on what to do, for now though adding races in manually and making sure they don't start near you should make the difference you need.

I noted in one game that Gizureans suffered a happiness penalty while members of my human empire. I assume that's a factor of the diplomacy offset Gizureans are given towards humans, but perhaps that's something to look in to. If they can be set to have a high unhappiness, and thus likelihood to rebel, when members of anything other than another insectoid empire it might make their increased growth rate a drawback for non-insectoid empires rather than an advantage.


Yeah it is possibly to do with bias or to do with friendliness, I'm not sure. They seem to be likely to rebel while you are at war with their own race, once you have assimilated all of them they won't rebel unless you manually tax them too much.


The disabled techs looks like a bad idea, for example races that use torpedoes I could disable missiles but I'm guessing that stops them developing point defence? The categories are too broad to make much difference.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 6/7/2012 7:37:45 PM   
MartialDoctor


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Haree,

What else have you messed around with to make things more difficult?

I'm currently testing having the AI make more, and larger, fleets to see how that goes. Also, they are making less escorts and more destroyers. This should up the AI effectiveness as they will hit their opponents with more force when wars are started.

It's too bad you can't just give all AIs increased growth rates (rather than specific races)... would be SO much nicer

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 6/21/2012 2:10:12 AM   
Gelatinous Cube


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Good mod! The lack of difficulty has always been my only real beef with this game. I'll be sure to give it a run with your mod here.


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RE: Extra Difficulty - 6/21/2012 3:12:30 AM   
Haree78


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MartialDoctor

Haree,

What else have you messed around with to make things more difficult?


Not a lot, only thing I can remember changing was troop strength for the Mechanoid if you are insectoid.

quote:

ORIGINAL: MartialDoctorI'm currently testing having the AI make more, and larger, fleets to see how that goes. Also, they are making less escorts and more destroyers. This should up the AI effectiveness as they will hit their opponents with more force when wars are started.


Let me know how that works out.

quote:

It's too bad you can't just give all AIs increased growth rates (rather than specific races)... would be SO much nicer


Well you can quite easily. You would have to do 21? individual mods but easy enough. The trouble being is as soon as you start to get them races in your empire you will begin to get the same benefits so the AI wont really have much of an advantage.

I've found that my mod does work to a certain extent, and does work in the long term but it's effect isn't massive. Mainly because you will likely beat and assimilate an insectoid race and get some of the benefits. But it does mean insects are more likely to get a stronger foot hold in the Galaxy for more of a challenge later on and making the Shakturi more of an issue.

I'd love to hear back from people who have attempted using this though for a full game, I have done 3 myself.

Making most of the races insectoid and leaving some of the more friendly races out would probably make things even harder.

One thing I'm not sure is an issue is the AI doesn't seem to be following the research priorities properly, I'm not sure if that is because it is using a mod so not picking up the policies for it or if that is inherent in the game.
I'm only judging this based on when I leave research automated for my own empire which I don't do because of how bad the AI does it.

PS. Changing race specific bonuses doesn't work at all, you just end up getting the full benefit when you get 1 or 2 of their planets or find an independent colony.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 6/21/2012 3:16:25 AM   
Haree78


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I just had a thought, I could do a mod for each race that makes every single other race like you slightly less. Wouldn't change anything gameplay wise overtly other than making keeping friends, tech trading and stopping wars harder. Might be worth testing if I have time.

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 7/26/2012 7:12:48 AM   
Raagun

 

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I just went around config files and found. You can define leaders for race and give them population groth bonus. This way race stats can remain the same. I will explore this option.
The down side. You have to define all PC leaders by hand :( Also you loose randomness.
Good side. As long as you leave your race unchanged, you never get these bonuses

Also possible to play with race resources bonuses. But does they apply then you have them in your empire?

< Message edited by Raagun -- 7/26/2012 7:46:04 AM >

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 8/25/2012 7:20:51 AM   
jpinard

 

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Does this work for any race you play or just Humans?

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 9/12/2012 7:52:31 PM   
Apheirox

 

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He did state a list of races for which it is difficult in the original post. It sounds like a pure racial growth mod so you can likely simply compare the values listed in the Galactopedia with what they were in default DW to see exactly how much he changed it (ie. default Gizurean growth rate is 41%, it will likely read 80% or more once you apply the mod - at least I know the Galactopedia entries fluctuate with race 'change cycles'). Or simply review the downloaded files, of course.

*

Reading over in the strategy section I found what I think is an important thread in that it deals with how to win 'as easily as possible', ie. related to the theme of difficulty this thread also deals with. See my comment there: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3175652&mpage=1&key=&#

My point is that the AI is hampered by taxation, limiting its growth (amongst other things, but the taxation growth penalty is one of the big problems IMO). So while I appreciate the effort behind this thread I think it would be interesting to gather support for a request to CodeForce to balance taxation better in a patch. I believe if taxes worked in a more sensible way (not inflicting such a giant growth penalty for even the slightest amount of taxation) it would provide a great boost to the AI and mods like this would be less necessary. I'd like to see this issue fixed at the 'engine' level - I belive all of us are interested in an AI that is as competitive as possible without cheating as well as a more reasonable taxation model that doesn't penalize one so heavily for not micromanaging it.

< Message edited by Apheirox -- 9/12/2012 8:05:27 PM >

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RE: Extra Difficulty - 9/12/2012 11:06:54 PM   
jpinard

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Apheirox

He did state a list of races for which it is difficult in the original post. It sounds like a pure racial growth mod so you can likely simply compare the values listed in the Galactopedia with what they were in default DW to see exactly how much he changed it (ie. default Gizurean growth rate is 41%, it will likely read 80% or more once you apply the mod - at least I know the Galactopedia entries fluctuate with race 'change cycles'). Or simply review the downloaded files, of course.

*

Reading over in the strategy section I found what I think is an important thread in that it deals with how to win 'as easily as possible', ie. related to the theme of difficulty this thread also deals with. See my comment there: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3175652&mpage=1&key=&#

My point is that the AI is hampered by taxation, limiting its growth (amongst other things, but the taxation growth penalty is one of the big problems IMO). So while I appreciate the effort behind this thread I think it would be interesting to gather support for a request to CodeForce to balance taxation better in a patch. I believe if taxes worked in a more sensible way (not inflicting such a giant growth penalty for even the slightest amount of taxation) it would provide a great boost to the AI and mods like this would be less necessary. I'd like to see this issue fixed at the 'engine' level - I belive all of us are interested in an AI that is as competitive as possible without cheating as well as a more reasonable taxation model that doesn't penalize one so heavily for not micromanaging it.


Excellent post. Or to make it even easier to code - have the taxation penalty for grwoth be hardcocded as much less for the AI vs. the human. They certainly have trouble making as much money as a human.

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