through observation and experimentation with the AI files I come to the conclusion, that the the following changes should be made before long. I will try to split this wishlist in an ASAP (1.82/1.9) part, which I imagine to be fairly easy to implement, while having a reasonable impact on AI performance and a beyond part, which I imagine to require a little more effort or have less impact on the AI performance.
1) Change how "upgrade when full works".
- first and foremost, don't consider a planet full if it can build terraforming improvements. This is not only prevents rediculous partial build orders like:
soil improvement -> upgrade to xeno factory -> upgrade to xeno factory -> basic factory
soil improvement -> upgrade to xeno factory -> upgrade to xeno factory -> basic farm (while population blocked)
but is also a player convenience. Terraforming all tiles is (at least to me) a priority over upgrading existing improvements, because then I can forget about the planet layout. For good. Especially when modding the AI, this improvement built after the terraforming can be key! Due to the intransperant way by which the AI replaces buildings, making the AI research terraforming after a key tech like research cloisters or food distribution is highly effective.
This change would be worth implementing even without the second.
- secondly, don't fill the list with upgrading everything possible. The AI can't move more important projects to the top. A filter which makes the AI just build the upgrade with the lowest manufacturing cost first might actually be enough, it is not ideal, but simple to do I think (the AI checks for tile bonusses, too, after all!).
2) edit: #2 is possibly outdated, depending on how the economy wheel and coercion will be redisgned in Crusade
Fix the AIs behaviour in regards to the economy wheel.
- the AI sometimes seems to try to compete with Stalin in who can coerce the population more. I suspect the wheel behaviour is an artifact from before the coercion mechanic.
- ideally you could make an option in the AIStrategyDefs to lock the AI in the specified wheel settings. Right now the wheel settings don't seem to do anything.
- another convenience would be a setting for the GovernorDefs to make the AI not use the Colony Focus options (it works for capital worlds after all).
3) Could you make manufacturing worlds build shipyards later? Or actually add shipyards as an option to the GovernorDefs ? Or make the AI use constructors to build shipyards (it is cheaper!)? Because building a 150 manufacturing improvement, that makes no contribution to the new colonies is just a bad move. It impedes the growth unless the AI rush buys improvements next in the list. The latter two suggestion are more on the beyond-side of compexity, I think.
4) Please split <DefaultShipPopulation>2.0</DefaultShipPopulation> into two separate options for colonies and transports. I would hope for something like:
with the latter defaulting to 3, if only one transport module is installed.
4.1) Make the AI use the population slider instead of having it use the default colony module population. Or at the very least make (possibly Beyond level complicated to implement)
4.2) Maybe you could also add some way for the AI to have multiple transports in one fleet.
5) Expanded conditional .xml-syntax for AI governors, global AI strategy choices. Example:
If Food-Population<1 build farm improvement
If number of Farm improvements > 3, build 4th manufacturing improvement. (Else upgrade first)
5.1) Add replace and upgrade syntax to the GoverDefs.xml
6) .xml-access to the AIs decision making on when to make a world economic/tech/manufacturing
7) Replace the AIGovernor definitions
by lists of governors, which are conditional on the class of the planets (since planet class limits are allready present in the GovernorDefs.xsd).
8) Faction specific governors.
9) Overhauled FleetGovernorDefs
9.1) ability to create multiple kinds of fleets with the same purpose (e.g. colonizer fleets with and without escort)
9.2) ability to define a fleets purpose/strategy e.g.
Cruiser Warfare Fleet: goes around an enemies zone of influence and then attacks traders, constructors starbases and asteroid mining facilities (the AI allready designates single ships for this purpose without circumventing)
Patrol Fleets: designed to hunt Cruiser Warfare Fleets and Pirates
Battle Fleets: designed to assault enemy territory head on
9.3) Maybe add some interface to the AIStrategyDefs to give priority of what kinds of fleets should be formed, something with weights might do the trick
10.) Please repair (It is overwritten by the automated formula at the moment) the <Role> in the ShipBlueprintDefs and <AIShipClass> in the ShipClassDefs, so it allows modders to force the AI to use blueprints in unconventional roles.
I will update this post, If I think of more stuff or a point I agree with is brought up in discussion. I would also be happy to be pointed towards elements I overlooked and which enable one of these.
Thanks for reading,