Pirates becoming Empires (Full Version)

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Kastor6767 -> Pirates becoming Empires (6/11/2015 9:50:04 AM)

I've got some questions of a broad theoretical nature.

1. Have you ever seen AI pirates finishing "criminal network" and becoming empires?
1.2 If so, is pirate AI optimized to meaningfully change his playstyle to empire-type? For example, if we had a clear physical experiment of two spherical 1-colony-empires in vacuum: one is "balanced" pirate, another is usual empire. Who would develop better and had more chance to win?
Simply speaking, which AI is better: usual empire or pirate-completely-owning-colony?

2. What are the differences between playing a usual empire versus a pirate originated one? And is there one? Because first I thought there are no differences and I would just get my "balanced" pirate thing transformed to a "Corporate Nationalism" or something, "pirate leader" to simply leader, smugglers to usual private freighters and be done with it, but it didn't happen - nothing changed after I finished criminal network on one of controlled planets. So what is the difference?

Bingeling -> RE: Pirates becoming Empires (6/11/2015 5:22:10 PM)

I am no pirate expert, but...

Pirates can become colony owners, but they will never become a proper empire. Owning a colony is probably a good income boost, and you can build your own construction and resupply ships.

Beyond that, hope that someone with more pirate knowledge will answer :)

NephilimNexus -> RE: Pirates becoming Empires (6/27/2015 2:18:16 AM)

1) Yes, the AI most certainly will build Criminal Networks. However, I've never seen them successfully expand their actual planet ownership beyond that. This is because the AI is not very smart.

As for survivability, Smuggler AI has the longest odds of survival. This is because they're the least offensive and are better at making friends than enemies. Smugglers, in their own way, actually help Empires and they're the most likely to keep Truces with other Pirates.

Raiders have the worst survival rates, as they basically suck in every way, their bonuses are completely contradictory to what they actually do and their strategy is basically hopeless from the get-go.

Mercenaries are also fairly weak, though it won't look like it at first. Yes, they'll have a lot of warships and yeah they'll blow up a lot of things, and this will annoy you and make them seem like a bigger threat than they really are. The problem is that they suck at support structure. Their economy won't be the least bit sustainable and in the long run they will become completely overshadowed by everyone else.

The real main reason why AI Pirates are so horrible is that they don't do research. Ever. It's like it's been hardcoded out of them. Which means that they are all basically doomed from the moment you hit Start Game.

2) Now a Player controlled pirate... that's a whole different story! Pirate play is really only different than Empire play in a few areas, but those areas make a world of difference.

2a) You don't start with a homeworld. This is a problem, as you also start off with negative income. From the first second of the game you've got to have a plan and you need to get moving, because the clock is working against you. Until you manage to actually get a few planetary bases built you will only bleed money and eventually become unsustainable at all - and this can all happen in just a couple of years.

2b) Instead, you bleed money off other planets through Influence, which let's you build pirate bases on planets, which in turn lets you bleed even more money off them. With a full base you'll be skimming 30% of their gross GDP into your pocket. All of this becomes completely meaningless, of course, once you actually build your Criminal Network and make the leap into legitimate galactic power.

2c) Once you make that transition the entire game quickly turns into Easy Mode. Note that you're still going to suffer from a horrible, even more nerfed version of Corporate Nationalism (all the extra expenses with none of the extra income, woohoo!), but that's okay because you've go two advantages over the rest of those do-gooders out there and these are...

2d) You are forever at war with everyone. Now that may seem like a bad thing but it isn't. You're reputation sucks, it will always suck, and because of this you'll never have to worry about it. So go ahead and rain nukes on enemy planets with impunity. Launch unprovoked sneak attacks on anyone and everyone you want, whenever you want. Enjoy never bothering look to even open the diplomacy screen because to you the galaxy is nothing more than prey waiting to be hunted down and consumed at your leisure. And that's exactly what you're going to be doing because...

2e) You have no real research cap. You know that feeling of frustration you go playing Empire when you built your first research base, only to discover that because your Empire was only so big that it was capping your research down to a painful, plodding pace that made you wonder if your hair would fall out before you gained the next level? Yeah, say goodbye to that. Your pirate bases multiply your research potential so much that it's quite likely you'll forget that the ceiling even exists, because you'll never see it again. Build a giant research base with 30,000RP in every department? Sure, why not? Max every tech in the game in under a decade and then watch as your five ship group methodically moves from world to world, swatting aside hundred ship fleets and starbase defense complexes aside like so many gnats. Sit back and smirk as Empire pitfully continue fighting each other as you steamroller your way across everyone with equal impunity.

So in conclusion, pirate play is a lot of fun. It's basically a very, very high difficulty level at first - the first ten years or so is when you're most likely to lose, in fact. But once you've make it past the Criminal Network hurdle it's all gravy from there. Once that popup appears your victory is pretty much inevitable unless you do something really stupid.

LordArkham -> RE: Pirates becoming Empires (8/3/2015 1:29:32 PM)

Great thread. Is it normal for the AI to repeatedly destroy your secret (not so secret) base over and over? I'm about 8 years into the game (game time). What exactly is the "Criminal Network"?

Fishers of Men -> RE: Pirates becoming Empires (8/3/2015 9:38:28 PM)

There are three levels of secret pirate structures. The Criminal Network is the third level and final level that can exist on a planet. And though you can construct many of the first two levels throughout the galaxy, only one Criminal Network may exist for each pirate group.

LordArkham -> RE: Pirates becoming Empires (8/4/2015 1:34:21 PM)

How do you keep your initial secret pirate base intact though? The AI keeps destroying mine. I have to constantly keep a presence with ships in orbit and do raids in order to maintain control and then rebuild the base over and over as they destroy it.

Fishers of Men -> RE: Pirates becoming Empires (8/6/2015 6:01:55 PM)

What you say is all true. Would you allow a pirate base to continue building to completion if you found one on any of your planets? I had more success building a pirate base on an independent colony. Their ground forces were not all that aggressive, if they had any.

NephilimNexus -> RE: Pirates becoming Empires (8/12/2015 11:21:02 PM)


ORIGINAL: LordArkham

How do you keep your initial secret pirate base intact though? The AI keeps destroying mine. I have to constantly keep a presence with ships in orbit and do raids in order to maintain control and then rebuild the base over and over as they destroy it.

I don't see how this could possibly be a problem.

For an independent world, just build a small spaceport like normal.

For an empire world, put a cheap weapons platform in orbit over their homeworld and you've just effectively taken them out of the game entirely.

Oh wait you meant ground bases. Ok that's different, but still very simple...

Independent = bases like normal. They won't fight back.

Empire = rain nukes on them until their population is under one billion survivors and their planet quality is below 20%. By the time they recover enough to build even one infantry unit you can have your Criminal Network built. If you've already got it built elsewhere, then why bother with bases? Just invade them & take over like normal and skip the bases.

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