ICE 16

Information, How-to's, and discussion about mod'ing Master of Orion II.
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Rocco
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ICE 16

Postby Rocco » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:16 am

ICE aims to make single player games more challenging and interesting.
Blitz strategies are far less reliable.


Highlights
* Rebalanced Racial Traits and Techtree.
* Mind Control requires a Titan.
* Improved AI ship design.
* Much stronger opponents, monsters, Guardian and Antarans!


Game Versions
* ICE-M
    Improved difficulty.
* ICE-X
    Extreme difficulty.
Last edited by Rocco on Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:15 am, edited 185 times in total.

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Rocco
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ICE history

Postby Rocco » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:35 pm

____
2017
sep 24 - 16 - balance update, race picks update, mind control needs titan.
may 27 - 15 - substantial update with new 1.50.8 features.
feb 22 - 14b - updated random event delay times. cheaper WAJ.
feb 19 - 14a - fixed new eventmse.lbx not loaded (updated gnn news).
feb 17 - 14 - compatibility update for 1.50.7 patch, beams on star bases get mods! 2 years ICE !!
feb 1 - 13d - fixed Post-warp techtree.
jan 2 - 13c - a new year, a new ice! Always 3 planets in HW system, Replicators removed from tree.

____
2016
dec 19 - 13b - scout lab to capsule construction, earlier random events, damper field correction.
dec 4 - 13a - compatibility update for 1.50.6 patch + various changes.
oct 31 - 13 - compatibility update for 1.50.5 patch, COMMON.CFG + bunch of changes, see readme.
sept 22 - 12c - compatibility update for 1.50.4 patch + augs no longer have miniaturization.
june 28 - 12b - compatibility update for 1.50.3 patch.
may 31 - 12a - correction for Biology techtree branch.
may 30 - 12 - Runs on 1.50.2 patch, via simple config file.
jan 29 - 11b
jan 5 - 11 - random events times adjusted, GUI update, bug fixes.

____
2015
nov 13 - 10s - 'fair missiles' and 'reversed bio-funghi'.
oct 14 - 10r - Tech Tree changes; Struct. Analyzer +100%; Plasma Web damage persists until reaches 0.
sep 22 - 10q - double chances for Lucky player to get good events. bug fixes.
sep 19 - 10p - earlier monsters
aug 28 - 10n - all values of custom race negatives are multiples of 3
aug 26 - 10m - fixes 43 pop bug; tweaks galaxy map generation to have more desert, tundra, ocean
aug 17 - 10l - fixes Post Warp techtree; GM3 and Cold maps.
june 30 - 10k - added ICECOLD.EXE
june 16 - 10j - 200 PP Outpost
june 8 - 10i - Feudal gov. change + new website
may 7 - 10h
april 27 - 2 ICEMODs and 20pt Race Ability valuation
april 21 - re-redesign using economical ability evaluation rather than ability pick cost
april 18 - 10d/e = HUGE redesign of races, including a.i. opponents on Hard & Impossible setting
april 15 - 10c (fixed ev. mutation score bug)
april 14 - 10b
april 13 - ICE MOD 10a (some Hard & IMP race tweaks based on newly found code)
april 5 - ICE MOD 10 is available
mar 26 - uploaded version 9d
mar 18 - version 9c is up
mar 6 - v9b
feb 26 - ICE MOD 9 released
feb 17 - first public release, v8
Last edited by Rocco on Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:50 am, edited 47 times in total.

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Re: ICEMOD

Postby Rocco » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:32 am

An issue that i keep encountering is that non-standard growth rates adversely affect a.i. development. First it looked to be limited to the Silicoid race, but it is turns out that it is not. In fact, I have seen Humans, Bulrathi and Sakkra also 'stall' when set at growth rates of 45, 60 & 80%. Stalling means that, for some reason, the a.i. does not land its first colony ship and just keep it in the air forever. Sometimes they suddenly land it very late >T50. It also occurs that they do land the 1st CS, but never build a 2nd one.

This is unfortunate because I really wanted to move away from the -50, +50, +100 default growth rates of the game. But as my mod is all about SP games, this is the one change I cannot make as long as this problem persists (it is a problem from the original 1.31 version, not a mod issue). Thus all growth settings will stay at vanilla- -50,+50,+100.

edit june 2016
this issue has been resolved in the 1.50 patch
Last edited by Rocco on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Overlord2
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Re: ICE Mod

Postby Overlord2 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:46 pm

Design of the homepage of the mod is striking. Excellent work!

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Re: ICE Mod

Postby Rocco » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:37 am

Thanks for praise!

Below an overview of the extra abilities that the MOO2 1.31 hands out for the different races on Hard and IMP level. These sets are fixed and chances to get a set are 1/3.

The game always forces these abilities, no matter how you design your race. Example, if you would design the Gnolam to be UNI, the game will make them DEMO in 2 of 3 sets on IMP, regardless.

Am trying to localize the code for these extra sets now, so I can mod these.
It is a real pitty for example that Alkari are made Feudal 1/3 and Democracy 1/3 on IMP level.

Also the vanilla Sillicoid are Lithovore, and on IMP they are made Uni in 1 case!? Mindboggling and it was the reason I made Silicoid no longer Lith in ICE 10.

Also you can play with this mechanic to your advantage, for example Klackon are made 1 set F+2, P+2, RHW and second set P+2, Aqua. So I replaced their base F+1, P+1 with other abilities growth and sub, resulting in a 2/3 chance to get an awesome OP race on IMP level.

Bulrathi and Sakkra are made Repulsive in 2 out of 3 sets, which is why I made the base races Rep. so I could use these points to buy other abilities. Btw, I think Repulsive is one of the worst traits for an a.i. to have (apart from -money and -growth), coz it then cannot swap techs with other a.i. which is the reason the vanilla Silicoid always exand greatly but get stuck in mid game with crappy techs. (well, the root cause is offcourse that a.i. has little clue how to do research in the first place, but at least all the tech swapping mitigates this shortcoming)

Image
Last edited by Rocco on Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Overlord2
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Re: ICE Mod

Postby Overlord2 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:42 am

Big thanks for the insight. One guy in VDC thread was asserting that VDC picks are bugged on the basis AI races are getting these extra abilities. I was quite pissed then. I hope it will be possible to mod these sets in future.

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Re: ICE Mod

Postby Rocco » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:46 am

OK, well also the VDC races behave exactly according to above table :)
It actually proves that also race pick values have no influence, as VDC, ICE and 1.31 values are all different. The abilities are hardcoded somewhere.

[... edited ...]
Last edited by Rocco on Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ICE Mod

Postby Rocco » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:32 am

Found it - Race extra abilities are coded in block:
001F67D8 _race_customize = 001FE818 in 140/VDC/ICE = 14FF88 in WIN

Code block is, similar to Racestuff.lbx organized per race in alphabetical order.

130 lines, with max 8 abilities per line (default only Trilarian use all 8.)
10 lines per race, I still believe only 6 per race are in use (3H, 3IMP)
3 lines Alkari Hard, 2 not in use, 3 Alkari IMP, 2 not in use, etc.
0000=FEUD
0002=DICT
0004=DEMO
0006=UNI
0100=Growth cancelled to default (works same way for other abilities)
0101=Growth -50%
0102=Growth +50%
0103=Growth +100%
0202=F+1
0302=P+1
0402=R+1
0502=T+0.5
0601=SD-
0602=SD+
0603=SD++
0701=SA-
0702=SA+
0703=SA++
0801=GC-
0802=GC+
0803=GC++
0902=Spy+
0A01=Low G
0B01=High G
0C01=Aqua
0D01=Subt
0E01=Large
0F01=Rich
1001=Arti
1101=Cyber
1201=Lith
1301=Repulsive
1401=Char
1501=Uncreative
1601=Creative
1701=Tolerant
1801=Traders
1901=Telepath
1A01=Lucky
1B01=Omni
1C01=Stealth
1D01=Trans-Di
1E01=Warlord

Example line:
03 07 01 06 03 08 02 + 9x 00
03 SA-, SD++, GC+
'03' indicates 3 abilities, if you place a 4th ability, you need to change this to 4 otherwise the 4th ability is ignored.

There is no code for Poor HW, maybe coz that ability was added later in MOO2

Should also consider the next block, which deals with race mutation: 001F707A _race_evolution. Works same way, only max 2 abilities for mutation.
Last edited by Rocco on Tue May 26, 2015 6:37 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: ICE Mod

Postby Overlord2 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:43 am

Thanks for the info. However this list isn't full. For example, it's missing transd, or rich hw... Also, how you remove the penalty without addding the pick? E.g. silicoid is often removed growth penalty, but is not added any growth bonus. In VDC growth penalty pick was changed to positive, so when it is removed, silicoid stays without growth bonus...

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Re: ICE Mod

Postby Rocco » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:35 am

in case of growth it works like this (VDC in brackets if different):
0100 = set growth at 0
0101 = set growth at -50 (60)
0102 = set growth at +50 (80)
0103 = set growth at +100

will complete the list above.

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Overlord2
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Re: ICE Mod 10d

Postby Overlord2 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:32 am

Should also consider the next block, which deals with race mutation: 001F707A _race_evolution. Works same way, only max 2 abilities for mutation.

By the way, can you confirm that AI actually researches and applies mutation. Didn't play many games with AI, but in my practice it didn't.

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Re: ICE Mod 10d

Postby Rocco » Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:24 pm

Good question. Will look into this.

Another interesting block offsets I am currently looking into is a.i. personalities.
Especially I would like to make it less likely that a human players 'demand' succeeds with a.i.
(give me tech, surrender system etc.)

Image

am unsure what 'expansion' and 'losing ground' chances are - it might have somthing to do with how fast the relative relationship can change (the mult-color bar next to a.i. photo) but its a guess atm.

this mod could also be interesting for MP, if you want to play MP with a.i. , you can set peace treaty duration really low etc.
Last edited by Rocco on Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ICE Mod 10e

Postby Rocco » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:45 pm

Well tx mucho Overlord2. Thanks to your little question about ev. mutation, my v10d lasted less than 1/2 day. LOL. Contrary to Hard & IMP extra abilities, the ev. mut abilities must not exceed the max. picks for Human players (=5 in vdc and 4 in ice). If exceeds, all abilities are ignored.

Basically ev. mut works for a.i. races. However each a.i. race seems to have an individual tech preference / order. In this listing, the ev. mut. ranks really low, so could be cause they rarely/never research it themselves. So now there is a new quest on my todo list; to find - someday - these tech lists.

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Overlord2
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Re: ICE Mod 10e

Postby Overlord2 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:23 pm

Basically ev. mut works for a.i. races. However each a.i. race seems to have an individual tech preference / order. In this listing, the ev. mut. ranks really low, so could be cause they rarely/never research it themselves.

Did you figure it has low priority or you found something, which proves it?
...So now there is a new quest on my todo list; to find - someday - these tech lists

This is the most important thing for AI - fixing it's research priority list.

As for A.I. personalities, it needs more thorough study of the functions referred. Will try to look into it too.

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Re: ICE Mod 10e

Postby Rocco » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:54 pm

Quote:
Basically ev. mut works for a.i. races. However each a.i. race seems to have an individual tech preference / order. In this listing, the ev. mut. ranks really low, so could be cause they rarely/never research it themselves.

Did you figure it has low priority or you found something, which proves it?


Observation only atm. of the tech lists when trading tech or demanding/offering tech and checks on what a.i. .players are actually doing using the Corion tool.

This is the most important thing for AI - fixing it's research priority list.


Yes, it most certainly is. And I would add #2, which is preventing a.i. from using its full economy to sustain fleet in mid-game, when not all crucial techs have been researched. Example: 10 system a.i. has 9 systems fully on trade goods to generate money for fleet and only 1 is doing something else, while researching 'Uridium Fuel Cells' @40 turns to complete research and not even biospheres or Tachyon Physics are done. If the race is an 'ecologist' it can do similar behavior but going into the Biology branch. This is especially crippling the research races, as their boni are almost unused in this situation.

>Given this behavior, the 'Fantastic Traders' ability is quite valuable for an a.i. :)


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