Author Topic: Special Faction: AI Firewall—"Hacking the AI to Victory”  (Read 282 times)

Offline zeusalmighty

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Special Faction: AI Firewall—"Hacking the AI to Victory”
« on: August 24, 2018, 01:25:23 PM »
(Inspired by discord discussion)
TLDR: Hacking is a powerful tool in classic but one that is often overlooked. My hope is that hacking becomes a viable strategy unto itself—thus, my goal of a win-condition based on hacking key targets to eventually make the AI Overlord susceptible in a grand finale.

Requires special Minor Faction enabled: AI Firewall

When AI Firewall is enabled, the AI will construct “Firewall” structures on planets containing Datacenters and planets with tantalizing hacks. Firewalls make hacking on present planet more difficult (more hacking points needed and/or longer time to complete hack). Destroying the firewalls give player modest amount of hacking points (~15).

Datacenters will still have their regular functionality. However, they are now also hackable—when hacked they will increase AIP and self-destruct instead of lowering AIP. After hacking two of these structures, the player can hack the Firewall (a journal entry will make this clear about why you should consider doing this).

Hacking the Firewall scales upward in time (with each successful hack) to be among the longest in the game. The AI is noticeably angry at these attempts. The player is refunded their spent hacking points and actually gains a lot (~50) for a successful hack. On the downside, AIP goes up.

So, what’s the point of all this? After hacking a Firewall (based on difficulty) you can now spend some science to unlocked “advanced hacker” (or some cooler name). This basically functions identically to the normal hacker but hacking is cheaper and/or takes less time.

However, the advanced hacker has access to a special hack— “Decrypt AI.” Depending on how many Firewalls hacked (up to 5) the player can use this hack on AI planet of corresponding Mark (so 5 hacks means you can use this on a mark V planet). This hack is super expensive (~100) and requires an AI command center to initiate. Time of hack depends on mark of planet.

Upon 1st success a random effect occurs (structures will self-destruct in all scenarios):
a)   All AI on planet self-destruct
b)   All AI on planet goes rogue and kamikazes an adjacent planet.
c)   All AI on planet turn into friendly zombies

A journal entry tells you that the hack was successful and that humans have learned how to focus the hack to affect the AI at large. (Maybe you need to do this twice? This should be a mid/late game thing). You are now the means to begin the end-game. You must spend some science to unlock a more powerful version of the hack— “Reprogram AI.”

A journal entry will tell you that you can override the AI’s anti-human protocols and reign them back under human control (I imagine that this is a good place for lore regarding how AI turned against humans in the first place.)

Begin end game— “Reprogram AI” hack on a Mark V planet.

Operates essentially the same as the “Decrypt AI” hack. However, upon completion, disables waves and triggers the AI Overlord to go phase 2 and beeline to your homeworld, joined by both the Hunter and Warden Fleet. Remaining AI forces are passive (they have conflicting programming due to human hack and the presence of the overlord). If you kill the Overlord, the remaining AI forces in the galaxy become friendly zombies and will assist in the destruction of any remaining Hunters/Wardens.

Journal entries before/during/after hack give player a heads-up to the nature of the hack and the AI’s response. If you holdout the Overlord, you win; the cleanup is mostly for post-victory fun as you see the AI become friendly.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 03:23:15 PM by zeusalmighty »

Offline x4000

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Re: Special Faction: AI Firewall—"Hacking the AI to Victory”
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 04:14:12 PM »
I really like the idea of this!
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Offline zeusalmighty

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Re: Special Faction: AI Firewall—"Hacking the AI to Victory”
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 05:26:44 PM »
Hacking has always been thematically interesting for AI wars and I'm hoping to see a victory-condition based on it in some form or another