This has been brought up before over the past few months as more and more people have played TA, but...as soon as someone says "The Korath never left their home system in my game!" another player will chime in and say "Well, they wiped the map in mine."
So what's going on? Is one person lying? Or can they both be telling the truth?
In fact, they ARE both correct!
I've been playing a LOT of Immense Maps, Rare Habitables lately with the new TA beta, but its something I had noticed before too in my TA games.
And I was noticing a few consistent things:
1) The closer races were to each other, the less growth potential there was. (I know this seems obvious, I'll come back to it)
2)There was little or no cross-colonization (ie No Altarian worlds within Drengin space)
3) Races that did not start in a good-sized star cluster or were separated from the majority of stars by a large expanse suffered the most.
I kept thinking this was an AI issue, but since which races weren't consistent (though the Torians, Terrans, and Krynn almost never fall to this problem) it has been hard for anyone to actually pin down.
The thing is, its not actually a "flaw" but what is supposed to be a AI Protection and Strategy.
I came it across it finally when I switched from the Immense Rare map to a Tiny Abundant. The Yor were at the "Top" of the map, while I was at the bottom. On the mini-map, they fully controlled the top half, but never made a move into my territory. The one planet that *was* in my territory wasn't when the colonized it.
This is ONE year into a SUICIDAL game (which for players that play at that level, one usually knows if they can win or not by then)
As you can see, the Yor, outside of ONE planet have left a whole handful of worlds just sitting there uncolonized.
The problem with this is that, say in an Gigantic or an Immense Map, planets aren't always close by. Sometimes you'll be the only star system around for a few sectors. This is extremely hampering to the AI. Their immediate goal is to create an expanding solid influence, and to reach other habitables that are NOT IN ANYONE ELSE"S SPHERE OF INFLUENCE.
But with range being so limited in an Immense or Gigantic map, they have to switch to building a constructor (at 2 or 3 speed) send it out to the far edge of their range (weeks upon weeks of time wasted) to give themselves the range boost needed to even think about other worlds. And if by chance a star cluster comes into the influence of another race, say like the Torians that expand like a hot air balloon, well, they get literally suffocated.
In a way, its a smart move. By not having their worlds in another person's influence, especially early on when they are most vulnerable, they minimize their chances of culture flipping. But unfortunately, it also hampers the AI ability to grow on certain maps and setups.
Thought that I would like to share this "discovery" with the Devs and the GC community.
Does anyone else have thoughts/information they can or want to add?