Wow. Lots of great comments. I'll tackle them one-by-one and try not to make too huge a post.
Thanks for your feedback. Your comment on influence starbases prevented me from removing the ModuleRequirement from the influence modules. Could you imagine just 2 or 3 constructors for a ~150% bonus? I'll keep an eye on the other stuff.
Weapon and defense tech inflation comments
Weapon research comments and:
In 2.1 are smart minors also colonizing?
It looks like the conclusion is that inflation is hitting the red (weapons) techs harder. Boosting up the higher defenses seems to be the answer.
As for smart minors - what I'm calling smart minors still behave like minors, but do so intelligently. I currently plan to release 3 versions of 2.1 - dumb minors (no changes at all), smart minors (minors that simply perform better), and colonizing minors.
This is good news, if it's repeatable - while I think the Drengin and Yor are fine under new AI, I really want to keep the Korath on 7 if at all possible. However, I'm curious as to how my AAR inspired this?
Also, Spore Weapons has a pretty high AI value - do they have the predecessor tech Germ Warfare yet? It seems to be the major stumbling point in my experience.
Finally, how exactly can you create smart non-colonizing minors? When I try out my "major races as minors" thing again, I'd like to use this to distinguish the major-minors from the others, but I'm not sure how.
1 - I think the test will repeat. I'll be doing another one in the next couple days. The key is having high star and planet density so they can colonize enough planets to remain competitive. The one pitfall is if they get stuck in a corner or someplace with lower local density, then they could get stuck. Your AAR inspired me due to your tight clusters. I never play or playtest with tight clusters, and seeing your AAR gave me the sudden idea to test those conditions.
2 - I changed the Category and AIValue of Spore Weapons early on, before realizing that AIP 11 wouldn't use them. Actually, it was because AIP 11 wouldn't research them. Now that I'm going back to AIP 7, I need to fix it.
3 - For smart minors, I simply left them as AIP 5, then cut-and-pasted that magic block of code that gives the AI its abilities: AIAbilites (50), CPUUsage (100), FinancialResources (100), and Aggression (50, or whatever). While releasing v2 I noticed that it wasn't present for the minors, so I put it in on a lark. Upon testing, it turns out to make a huge difference. I guess the default value must be for minimum AIAbility and CPUUsage if the code isn't there. Don't know about FinancialResources, but maybe they were getting screwed on that, too.
I had also added that code to the Dread Lords in v1.1. I've never tested them with the mod, but my past experience tells me that they were pretty dumb beforehand. If the change is as dramatic as for the minors, woe to all who get the Dread Lords event.
Awesome comment about the StarbaseModules.xml
Thank you very much for this reply. I can confirm your results because I noticed during my work that the Drengin simply would not make use of their special mining modules. I had simply written it off as a bug I couldn't fix, but it turns out those modules were at or near the bottom of the list. Since I added a handful of new modules, that means even more modules just got knocked out.
Offhand, I can think of one possible fix for this. In the mod folder, there is a separate folder for starbase modules where you can put your own xml file(s?) that will be used to add modules to the game. Perhaps it would be possible to break the StarbaseModules.xml into two or more separate files, both small enough to be completely read.
Now, maybe it's simply a problem with the AI being unable to deal with so many modules, so no matter how many lists you have it just won't look past a certain number of module or amount of code; but maybe, just maybe, breaking up the xml could work.
Looks like I have something to do tonight. And so much for a not-too-huge post. Sorry, but lots of ideas here.