AI War 2: Zenith Miners

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Zenith Miners

Short version

When enabled, every so often a Zenith Miner appear from deep space to try to mine out a planet. If it finishes mining out a planet then the planet is entirely destroyed (all units on it will die, then the planet itself will vanish from the galaxy).

Mechanism

Every so often a Zenith Miner will send a Probe into the galaxy to scout a potential planet. If the probe isn't dealt with, the Miner will appear a few minutes later. The Miner is very powerful and hostile to everything; killing the Miner will prevent it from eating the planet. Otherwise, the Miner will eat the whole planet.

Only the player can interact with a Probe, but any (and every) faction is hostile to a Miner. So you and the AI (or Nanocaust, etc) might wind up teaming up against a Miner.

Probes can be hacked; hacking a Probe can change what the miner will do. You can reroute the Miner to a random adjacent planet. You can also have the Miner alter the planet instead of destroying it. Finally you can just destroy the Probe to prevent the Miner from showing up.

Notes

This is based on the Zenith Miners design from AIWC, but with some tweaks. The new Miners are much more interactive, and the AI will actually notice the Miner showing up and fight it.

Nice TODOs

  • Make the Miner prefer not to attack planets with valuable capturables on it on lower difficulties
  • If the Miner attacks a Dyson Sphere planet, make it instead kill the Dyson Faction (and change the sphere visually), instead of eating the planet outright