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races.txt observations

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races.txt observations - 5/5/2010 10:50:30 PM   


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i've been playing around with races.txt a lot in the last week and I've noticed a few things on the intelligence to friendliness values:


any race with a value less than 84 can not be a space faring empire unless specifically set up so when setting up a new game. for example, setting up all random races (including yourself) and no one has at least 84 intelligence the game won't start. btw, 84 equates to quite stupid and this is sufficient enough for the game to randomly generate an AI :) less than 84 it grades from very stupid to extremely stupid. pirates have no minimum stupidity so no worries about them

a race with intelligence less than 110, around 105 or so, their ship designs are lacking. none of the ships will have armor, escorts will have no shields and destroyers and capital ships won't have troop compartments. then, you can also see by letting the game run with design AI on, these problems do not get fixed. these designs are also present with their racial pirate counterparts

this is why I think being able to edit the game's ship design templates and rules (ie military ship 'requires' x and y) would allow us to up the bar on the AI's competitiveness

effects on research rate based on intelligence seems to be a behind the scenes thing. i think it's negligible where as the direct research bonus value (further down the line) is the one with the real impact.

as for the 'general smartness of interaction with other empires' effect best I can do is guess based on game experiences. for example to speculate based off some races and their relative intelligence:

very smart: quanemo/kadian
medium: human/securan/dhayut
stupid: teekan/gizurean


a race needs at minimum 115 aggression otherwise it will never be represented as a pirate. you can't start a game with pirates where there are no races in the races.txt file that has at least 115 aggression

troop strength is affected by aggression as well, and this one is a scalable value:
50 aggression: 7,500 strength
100 aggression: 15,000 strength
150 aggression: 22,500 strength

another observable effect of high vs low aggression is diplomacy trades. higher aggression means the AI will ask for more than what their offer is worth. I don't believe the value/cost scales with the aggression value and it's not easy to figure out either, as this involves a lot of clicks on $1,000 increments and seriously that is very tedious to do

although based off your own playthroughs, you can sort of understand this relationship if you figure for example that Boskara have 140 aggression vs Teekans that only have 63

other effects of aggression that are not immediately observable are military ships being built and behavior with other empires. based off my own playing (almost exclusively max aggression mind) AIs would have very high military strength, engage in a lot of war and blow up planets (death star) to subjugate other empires. but also relentless attacks by the AI against the player that just doesn't cut it


this one is a little tough to figure out exactly. the docs state the effects are behavior towards other empires and military ships built. i suppose that to really understand it you would need many playthroughs using different values and then compare the effects. however if caution's military ship buildup code is similar to aggression, then at least we can guess that high caution will equal to an AI that builds up a lot of ships

one thing that can be seen with different caution values is starting military strength. there is no set formula that I can tell though, and it is definitively tied in with aggression as well, but as an average example for a start at empire size 'starting':

50 caution: 10 ships
100 caution: around 10-15 ships
150 caution: ship count near or at 30 total

I can't say what the magic caution value number is where the game generates more ships, but clearly it's not a scalable value


the only thing I came to notice immediately on changing this value is the likelihood of independent colonies allowing you to colonize them. this chance however is also tied in to the race's aggression value as well

as a general guideline, high friendliness and low aggression means more chances to colonize, while the opposite, or either aggression or friendliness behind at the other end of the scale lowers the chance. aggression over 100 though brings the chances to nearly 0 no matter what the friendliness is. being of the same race family seems to change the factor a little but again this isn't something that's easily detectable

and of course, being of the same race almost guarantees success no matter what

other values in races.txt are all pretty straightforward in terms of their exact effects, with the exception of:

1. reproduction rate: this one is again one of those values that has a lot of variable and takes time to essentially figure out how population is affected
2. loyalty: another one where a lot of playing can give you a general feel of it's effects. loyal races include teekans and kiadian, while unloyal scumbags range from ketarov, dhayut, ugnari and sluken

the native planet value is a fun one to change. I got all of mine set to 0 (continental) and here's to hoping that eventually we will be able to add in the ability to colonize ice/ocean/volcanic based off of tech

so for tldr:

when changing these values..

intelligence: a value of 110 to 150. lack of armor on ships, and shields and troop compartments is going to gimp the AI, and there is nothing I've seen that indicates that this gets rectified. this also extends to pirates

aggression should be close to all equal, as the troop strength gives the aggressive races such a huge advantage (22.5K vs 7.5k). the AI won't build more troops to compensate, and maintenance cost seems to be based on troop count, not strength. max aggression keeps things interesting IMO, even with the AI unable to build colony ships fast enough at game start

caution is another that should be close equal. a lot could be done with an overwhelming fleet at the start of the game vs an empire that doesn't have one

pirates are initially the direct result of their race settings

and of course, all of this is mainly for the AI. players can design, build etc etc, 100x times better than the AI... but being a single player game it doesn't hurt at all to strive for a better AI opponent whenever possible :D

edit: posted with v1.03 results, and 1.04 just got official ;) going to mess around some more with new version but honestly can't see much in patch notes that will change much of the effects changes in races.txt will bear

< Message edited by lostsm -- 5/5/2010 10:55:38 PM >
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RE: races.txt observations - 5/8/2010 8:18:03 AM   

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Joined: 4/30/2010
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Great analysis, thanks!

(in reply to lostsm)
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RE: races.txt observations - 5/8/2010 3:26:17 PM   

Posts: 7865
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
Status: offline
Yeah, took this info to update my mod. Nice to see a more capable AI and Pirate threat out there.


Distant Worlds Fan

'When in doubt...attack!'

(in reply to Nibelung44)
Post #: 3
RE: races.txt observations - 5/15/2010 1:30:14 AM   

Posts: 841
Joined: 5/11/2010
From: Texas, USA
Status: offline
Great work, and it helps with understanding the game, not just modding!

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 4
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