ICE 16

Information, How-to's, and discussion about mod'ing Master of Orion II.
User avatar
Rocco
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: ICE Mod 10q

Postby Rocco » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:47 am

Repulsive at -9 is just not right. Repulsive at -6 vanilla works out to 13.5 in Ice and it was easily the worst pick in vanilla.

Value of Repulsive in a single player game depends on how you approach the game. MOO2 a.i. is quite weak in many ways and a.i. is quick to close treaties, and can easily be manipulated. One example I have given on the Civ forum that by 'saying hello' you can already manipulate a.i. behaviour. Because of this a SP game quickly becomes dull. Imo, a SP game can be interesting if you treat a.i. as you would treat a human player in a 1-1: as your enemy. And thus Repulsive is a default pick to take. Of course Repulsive could have been valued at -10 or lower, but that would only make the game easier so what is the point in it?

The reason I have chosen 45 picks is because I have considered race constructions, for example the classic UniTol,P+1,LHW or UniAqua,P+2,LRHW both cost 45 picks. So if for example p+1 is valued +7 instead of 6, then the effect for the various races need to be evaluated and a need could arrise to increase the total available picks. The reason you need many negatives picks to construct a race in ice, instead of just -12 or -10 picks is to have the player start with more disadvantage.

Lastly, the 'multiples of 3 system' was recently introduced and I think it works quite well, within the current picks balance. If there was a need to revalue for example Feudal to -8 and Low-G to -14, then if necessary I would adjust the other negatives as well to preserve the possibility of combinations to get to a certain negative value (currently at -21). In other words, 'multiples of 3' is not a goal in itself, it is simply one of the elements of valuation to make some interesting race constructions possible.

User avatar
Dukinson
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:02 pm
Location: San Fransiscro Bay Area

Re: ICE Mod 10q

Postby Dukinson » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:16 pm

Oh Rocco, you wound me. I wrote this over two weeks ago. It's ok, I forgive you.

I suppose it all depends on how you play but it's very easy to make the game hard. Just declare war on everyone. That makes things damn near impossible! Remember my special game rules to make it more challenging? I had to drop the automatic war doctrine. I was losing 90% of the games I started. In strategic I lose many games even without my autowar doctrine. You've made this game rather challenging! Little things like not exploiting outposts to system hop because the computer can't helps make the AI more challenging. Also, I don't use the "hi" trick. Any trick the computer is incapable of doing I consider "bad form". If I use a charismatic race and diplomacy, it's an easy game nomatter how you slice it. I use tribute treaties to befriend even the most aggressive personalities and make peace with the universe. 6 picks and I'm invincible. A few more negatives on repulsive is just about balanced negatives. Ofcourse when something goes from unbalanced to balanced it does get more advantageous to use.

About your negative pick total, it's rather close to what I think is good. -21 is close to 50/50 negative/positive ratio. About +1/+2p being too powerful: What races one wants to make shouldn't take precedent over what is most fair. If some combos you wish to make no longer work with +2p at 12 picks, it shouldn't be the primary concern. It's well known that the most powerful races in Moo2 are production races and it's still true here. Infact, it's even a better buy in Ice than vanilla. Valued from 6 to 5.3. I pick +2prod with every race I use.

Multiples of three negatives certainly has some appeal. It makes it "easier" for me to get what I want from the negative picks that are already too good and ignore the ones aren't good enough because they are rounded down or valued too low to fit with other negatives. Again, what's fair shouldn't take a back seat to what people desire. If someone couldn't get that last pick out of -21 but had the negatives they felt their race could work with, than they just miss that last point and play on. It's like the song says, "You don't always get what you want... but you get what you need."
A cob of corn in every pot, an outpost ship with fuel tanks in every garage, and two command points for every colony!

Muton
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:35 am

Re: ICE Mod 10s

Postby Muton » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:13 am

Long time I haven't played Moo2. Thank you Rocco for your continued work on improving this little gem!

In your wishlist you say:
* Find a.i. research priority / tech list.
Make a.i. research more balanced and more into Force Fields, Sociology, Biology.

But this is right in OCL_improved !!!
I had the same problem, some races in your icemod 10s at T250+ don't have the research lab or space academy, but everyone seem to research Physics and Chemistry like crazy. So I fiddled with the last column of [TECHNOLOGY FIELDS] in OCL, decreasing chemistry values and increasing Sociology values. Now every AI lack pollution techs but have stock exchange (they can't reach me, stuck in few systems for lack of range, and they give me more money for trade). I need to rebalance things, but in my first plays it work like a charm. The higher the number, the most likely they want to research it, weighted alongside with the leader personality traits. Also this value seem to influence the value AI give to tech during tech exchange/trades.

Now, a very long list of stuffs I changed in my copy of your wonderful mod, I'm still fiddling and testing:

Nr1 Terraforming prices:
At early mid game I gift everyone with terraform, radiation shield, grav gen... in the hope to conquer better planets, but the AI rarely terraform anything while there are free planets to colonize. Same in vanille, but in ICE the AI simply don't seem to terraform at all. I tried with terraform price 50, and increase cost of 50, got improvements in late game but the poor planets (and only the poors) get terraformed a lot early (maybe cause they are only good for food). My suggestion is to restore the vanilla price for terraform, and move it a step up in the tech tree, cause the AI will not use this tech until later and if the price is too high, she will never use it at all.

Nr2 Androids:
Tried some game with the /droids switch. Pretty fun and powerful, it take a lots of turns and resource to fill a heavy grav ultra rich planet with android workers, and it only became productive in very late game. I have switched the place of androids tech with the adv positronics (autolab), so they are available early or they come so late that the game is already set. As a better alternative, I put the farmer in Biology (lvl4), the worker in Construction (lvl5) and the scientist in Computers (lvl 4), so the player (me) can have the choice to create a full robotic empire, replacing his own population.

Nr3 xeno psychology in competition with psionics. Really??
Who would choose xeno psy over psionics, it's unfair. You need xeno psy early or not at all, depending of what kind of play you want. In my copy of ICE 10s I have lvl1 Sociology at 400RP with xeno psy and alien managment, and lvl2 at 650 with spaceport and space academy. On impossible the AI will start break treaties and declare war anyway before T150, xeno psi is only useful early, while space academy is not so essential in the very beginning.

nr5 wide area jammer:
You put this on field lvl8. when you reach this tech, missiles are already obsoletes. I switch this with warp dissipator on lvl5.

Nr6 ships changes:
I have tripled columns 3, 4 and 5 of [SHIPS], the basic structural integrity, systems integrity and armor, so ships are more durable, regardless of armor type. Is no more possible to annihilate half a fleet in the first turn if you have the initiative (I'm doing it for you, uncreative klackons with lack of a good armor). Some early battles will take looong time.
Ships battle movement, in the penultimate column: destroyers have now a movement of 120, cruiser of 90, bs of 40, tt of 20 and doom of 10. Now the little ships are somewhat useful even on late-middle game, destroyers with structural analyzer are good to quick move and hit larger ships with a shield down or to quick bomb a planet (freighters are still useless), on the other hand, this will unbalance early raid games, but see next section.
By giving a 9999 space requirement I disallowed some specials that don't make sense for the little ships (reflector, rangemaster, absorbers) and some that I don't want on bigger ship (no inertials or cloaks on doom stars, no cloaks on titans). You already used this trick to disallow warp dissipators in freighters, but it may also be used to force the AI in designing better ships.

Nr 7 fighter garrison and outposts:
Fighter garrison are now on Power lvl2 (with colony ship), is a get all field, so everyone have it early. More hard for raid games.
Also, if I get it right, the fighter garrison get upgraded if you choose bomber bays and heavy bays, but the AI is not smart and may choose a bay but not have the garrison. Giving the garrison as a mandatory choice, will make sure the AI get the full benefit if she choose a later bay techs other than giving an early planet defense.
Outpost take the place of fighter garrison in Construction lvl1. You now have to choose if you want the reinforced hull or the outpost.

Nr 8 Antarans:
Added a security station to each antaran ship in place of ECM Jammer, and upped sec station bonus to a whopping 40. As a result is more easy to defend a colony from early attacks, but much more harder to capture some good tech too early.

Nr 9 Computers lv1 and lvl2:
On every game I do, I always research the lab first (comp lvl2). Also comp lvl 1 is a get all field, and I don't like to have battle scanner for free. Sec station is greatly upgraded (see above) and not a wasted choice anymore, so I don't feel guilty for swapping these two fields. RP is 150 and 250 now, and researching automated factory first is still a viable choice.

OK, it was a long post, thanks you again Rocco for your work on Moo2 and for your movies, I appreciate both.

User avatar
Rocco
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: ICE Mod 10s

Postby Rocco » Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:06 am

Thanks for your extensive write-up! I am sure some of you ideas will find their way into my mod.
About the last column of [TECHNOLOGY FIELDS] in OCL, do you mean you are changing the value '18' that is behind each advanced field, or each individual field?

Muton
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:35 am

Re: ICE Mod 10s

Postby Muton » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:42 am

the last column value on each tech fields
the higher the number the more likely the AI will study this tech field next.

The AI will always study the "get all" tech fields first, then she will choose
depending on the last column value.
With the following (reordered) tech fields, the AI will always study
"chemistry" (chem lvl1) first (is a get all field), then she will study sociology until
"higher psy" (soc lvl3) before even consider "advanced metallurgy" (chem lvl2).
If the difference between the last column value of the "now available to study" tech fields is small,
2 to 4, not sure, she can make a different choice, I think based on personality,
militaristic prefer physics, expansionist want power, etcetera.
This explanation make no sense, I know, another factor must be involved or the
AI will go for one of the 8 sciences until she reach the end tech without studying any other sciences,
since the last column value in following tech fields of the same science are always increasing.
Maybe the field level (and some multiplier) is subtracted from this last column value.

[TECHNOLOGY FIELDS]
"Chemistry" , 22, 0, 9, 0, 0, 50, 1; (chem lvl 1)
"Advanced Metallurgy" , 9, 22, 2, 0, 0, 250, 2; (chem lvl 2)
"Advanced Chemistry" , 2, 9, 47, 0, 0, 650, 3; (chem lvl 3)
"Molecular Compression" , 47, 2, 53, 0, 0, 1150, 4; (chem lvl 4)
...
"Military Tactics" , 10, 0, 17, 0, 0, 150, 10; (soc lvl 1)
"Xeno Relations" , 17, 10, 73, 0, 0, 400, 15; (soc lvl 2)
"Higher Psychology" , 73, 17, 43, 0, 0, 900, 20; (soc lvl 3)

You can use corion.exe to give yourself thorium cells at turn 1, make
contact with all the AIs at turn 2 and check what tech they have before
they can trade with each others.
I'm sorry but I lack the skills and the will to make more accurate testing,
I leave the dirty work to you :oops:

User avatar
Rocco
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:16 am
Contact:

ICE Mod 12

Postby Rocco » Sun May 29, 2016 8:08 pm

I have been quiet here for some time, but finally ICE now runs on the 1.50.2 patch!

This means first of all that the size of the download has been reduced considerably; ICE_12.zip is 272kb!
Second, it means that ICE now gains all the benefits and improvements from the 1.50.2 patch, including the build queue and the 6th ship design slot, but also all the bug fixes and perhaps most importantly a greatly improved/bug fixed tactical combat.
Needless to say, to play ICE 12 you need to have 1.50.2 installed.

Muton; perhaps better late than never, but i have integrated - quite conservatively - your idea in the force fields branch for ICE 12.

Dent
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Dent » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:08 pm

Hi, I am new to this forum, but not to MOO2. I love the game and have played it for many years. Recently an upgrade to Windows 10 forced me to start using the dosbox versions of the game. I have been playing the icemod 11 for several months now, and I think it is great. I have always played on the hard setting with a custom character, and now the game play much more challenging. That Guardian is really tough. I love it. Thanks for all the hard work to make this old game so much fun! Today I tried the icemod12b, but I did not install it correctly. In the readme file it says to "Enable ICE-M.CFG or ICE-X.CFG in ORION2.CFG." I do not understand what this means. If someone could explain this a little further, I would greatly appreciate it. Many Thanks!

User avatar
Rocco
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Rocco » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:22 am

Hi!
If you have installed the 1.50.3 patch, then you will have a new text file "ORION2.CFG" in your MOO2 folder.
The section about mods looks like this:

# Custom config:
# ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
include 150\SET150.CFG; # New 1.50 rules and updated help file. (default)
# include 150\VMOD.CFG; # Light mod that changes various aspects of the game.
# include 150\PICKS.CFG; # For VMOD, but can also be used with Classic and SET150.
# include ICE\ICE-M.CFG; # Available as separate download.
# include ICE\ICE-X.CFG; # Available as separate download.

Edit it by putting a comment before SET150 and, depending if you want to play ICE-M or ICE-X, you have to 'uncomment' the relevant line.
For example if you want to play ICE-M:

# Custom config:
# ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# include 150\SET150.CFG; # New 1.50 rules and updated help file. (default)
# include 150\VMOD.CFG; # Light mod that changes various aspects of the game.
# include 150\PICKS.CFG; # For VMOD, but can also be used with Classic and SET150.
include ICE\ICE-M.CFG; # Available as separate download.
# include ICE\ICE-X.CFG; # Available as separate download.

Hope this helps, otherwise let me know.

Dent
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Dent » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:16 pm

Yes! I got it working. Thank you very much for posting such a complete and detailed answer to my question. I followed your example and I am now playing the ice-m version. I will be trying out the other mods in the coming days & weeks. I am looking forward to many enjoyable hours playing MOO2. I can't thank you guys enough.

Dent
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Dent » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:55 pm

Hi, just to let you know, I have been experiencing some game crashes. It is always during tactical combat. I noted two of the errors: died: invalid cur_ptr 20, and died: invalid cur_ptr 31. I am not sure if I have something set up wrong or not. Also the game play during tactical combat is very different with this mod. I used to click between my ships and move them in the order that I wanted for various attack strategies, but with this mod I do not seem to be able to do that. I have tried telling a ship to wait, but it seems that sometimes the opponent gets gets a round in there ahead of me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

User avatar
Rocco
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Rocco » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:28 am

Hi, just to let you know, I have been experiencing some game crashes. It is always during tactical combat. I noted two of the errors: died: invalid cur_ptr 20, and died: invalid cur_ptr 31. I am not sure if I have something set up wrong or not.

Thanks for the feedback and we will investigate. Are there any specific circumstances in combat when this happens, or does it occur randomly? For example is it in early game battles with little number of ships or wit huge batles. Any specific technologies involved? Also, if you save/reload the game after such crash and replay that combat, does it crash again in a same way? If you happen to have a savegame from before such a crash, we would gladly take a look at it.

Also the game play during tactical combat is very different with this mod. I used to click between my ships and move them in the order that I wanted for various attack strategies, but with this mod I do not seem to be able to do that. I have tried telling a ship to wait, but it seems that sometimes the opponent gets gets a round in there ahead of me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

This means that you have been playing before with the Ship Initiative option Off. I would suggest that the Ship Initiative option On as it is now gives a more fair resolve of 'who goes first' in combat. Indeed some opponents ships may move there before all your ships have had a chance to do a move and you are not free to click ships to move them in the order you want. If you don't like it however, this can be turned off in the Game/Settings menu; last item in the list.

Dent
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Dent » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:20 pm

Hi, Thank you for the reply. I have a save directly before this combat and I tried it again. It crashed again about half way through the combat. I had managed to capture over half of the opponents ships when the crash occurred. I have not changed any of the game settings. The error message was: died: invalid cur_ptr 31. I can send you the save game if you want. Just let me know how to do that. Many thanks.

Dent
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Dent » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:32 pm

Also, this combat is well into the game. The way I play is to avoid early combat, so I don't know about early combat. I have a lot of ships, not sure how many, but it is just a single combat line. I have had a couple of combats already in this game without problems. This is the first combat where I have transporters and am capturing ships. My main strategy is to capture ships which destroys the opponents ability to attack and you get to sell them too. I do this initially with transporters, and maybe later on with tractor beams and time warp facilitators,then you just board them. Hope this helps. Thanks.

User avatar
Rocco
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:16 am
Contact:

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Rocco » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:48 pm

Dent wrote:Hi, Thank you for the reply. I have a save directly before this combat and I tried it again. It crashed again about half way through the combat. I had managed to capture over half of the opponents ships when the crash occurred. I have not changed any of the game settings. The error message was: died: invalid cur_ptr 31. I can send you the save game if you want. Just let me know how to do that. Many thanks.

have sent you a PM.

Dent
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm

Re: ICE 12b

Postby Dent » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:08 pm

Reference the save game file that I sent to you. Sorry, I misspoke. I did capture a doom star with transporters in a previous combat. The doom star was the only opponent ship in that combat. Game play worked fine in that combat. I had another combat where I destroyed a doom star that had hard shields and I was unable to capture it. Game play was fine there. I also captured (and sold) the Avenger, but as I remember that was just before I had transporters in my ships. That combat game play was fine also. Hope this helps. Many Thanks


Return to “Game Modifications”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest