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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:27 am 
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It happens if you drag something out of area (including, it appears, to the 'top') in a larger queue. Quitting and reloading normally fixes it but it's been a PITA for ages: some of the causes were fixed awhileback but not all of them.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:32 pm 
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latest bsod


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:36 pm 
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even more recent ctd


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:11 am 
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So,

Lots of BSoD and CTD, of the same sort whose files I previously posted. But that's not what this post is really about! Nope. Instead, some thoughts about early/mid/late game, following on from the stickied strategy guide thread.

For me, midgame begins with the production of my first Robotic Hulled ship. Depending on species and map, that ship might have lasers and zortrium, rather than the basics, and might be my very first warship or follow many crappy basic destroyers.

Midgame (unless the strategy is very low research) ends with the production of my first big ship, either a Titanic, Solar, Scattered Asteroid or Sentient Hull, listed in order of probability.

The rest is endgame.

I like to gauge power by comparing the Turn Number to Research+Production. For the rest of this conversation, when I say Power I mean (r+p)/turn. Obviously, Power is very high at Turn 1. But Power trends downward, always below 3 and sometimes below 2, before slowly inching back toward 3. Then things accelerate. Using my most recent game as an example, my Power reached 4 around Turn 90, 5 at Turn 101 and 14 by Turn 120 (r+p of 505 to more than 1700.) Both research and production are huge at that point, and will just continue to grow as I colonize and conquer.

The actual turn numbers vary, but the curve is pretty typical.

One impact is that for warships (not colony, troop or outpost ships), few or even no 'intermediate' ships are needed, because research snowballs such that by the time I have produced and deployed my fleet of robotic hulls, and used the rest of my production on colonies, outposts and troops to exploit the opportunities provided by my first fleet, I have completed a significant portion of the tech tree and can start producing the good stuff. (Of course, it has been pointed out elsewhere that there's no need for anything past Robotic Hulls vs AI...)

A similar impact is that it doesn't take long to go from struggling to get all the basic techs in place to considering whether it is necessary to do any more research. In a similar vein, Solar is better than Titanic is better than Scattered Asteroid, and it shows in terms of the amount of extra research necessary for the better options, but shows less in terms of the number of turns needed to accumulate that extra research, since research starts to grow very rapidly on the way to any of these.

I should probably try the low planet game setting, which will stunt my growth (but I so like building stuff.) Not sure what settings are best for the AI.

Anyway,

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:07 am 
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You don't even need more than robotic hulls against the Experimenters. When you're going in there with small ships, the ground defenses are stronger than any combination of shields and armor on a ship, so you're going to lose one each round. So if I'm going after them with robo ships, I just put four weapons on a hull and build a lot of them.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:56 pm 
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defaultuser wrote:
You don't even need more than robotic hulls against the Experimenters. When you're going in there with small ships, the ground defenses are stronger than any combination of shields and armor on a ship, so you're going to lose one each round. So if I'm going after them with robo ships, I just put four weapons on a hull and build a lot of them.
Which is why I think the current planetary defence mechanic needs revision too. It's far too easy to counter one mega-powerful single shot, we need to come up with something that allows to increase the number of shots a planet gets in combat.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:56 pm 
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Hi,

Vezzra wrote:
defaultuser wrote:
You don't even need more than robotic hulls against the Experimenters. When you're going in there with small ships, the ground defenses are stronger than any combination of shields and armor on a ship, so you're going to lose one each round. So if I'm going after them with robo ships, I just put four weapons on a hull and build a lot of them.
Which is why I think the current planetary defence mechanic needs revision too. It's far too easy to counter one mega-powerful single shot, we need to come up with something that allows to increase the number of shots a planet gets in combat.


I think that a single new mechanic shared by the Core slot mega-cannon and planetary defenses would do the trick. Right now, both weapons are crippled because a big single shot is often useless: If my big cannon hits a Flux Troopers ship, that's 100 damage points of lameness.

But if these weapons were special, with firing rules like the following, they would be as scary as maybe they should be:

Until a special weapon has no more damage to inflict:
* Choose a ship at random
* Inflict damage equal to the weapon's available damage or sufficient to destroy the targeted ship.
* Reduce weapon's available damage by amount of damage inflicted

I'd then consider adding this feature to the special Organic Ship laser tech line: Add all relevant Laser damage together, which the organic fleet can wield as a single mega-weapon. Suddenly, kind of exciting.

(Not the first thing I'd want to see, though: I'm more concerned that Baby's First Special Hull is always Robotic Hull, which renders the first few Organic and Asteroid hulls less than interesting. More concerned that (like MOO2, admittedly,) initial tech choices are usually locked in. More concerned that long before the Experimenters are relevant, the AI doesn't know how to use fleets. More concerned that there aren't many cool buildings that need to be built, so that the production part of the game largely simplifies to "build outposts, build colonies, build ships.")

Anyway,

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:51 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
defaultuser wrote:
You don't even need more than robotic hulls against the Experimenters. When you're going in there with small ships, the ground defenses are stronger than any combination of shields and armor on a ship, so you're going to lose one each round. So if I'm going after them with robo ships, I just put four weapons on a hull and build a lot of them.
Which is why I think the current planetary defence mechanic needs revision too. It's far too easy to counter one mega-powerful single shot, we need to come up with something that allows to increase the number of shots a planet gets in combat.

One suggestion would be to consider the ground weapons a battery that can be individually targeted, like ship's weapons. So maybe the Experimenter forces can hit ten ships with 35 damage or something. Of course, then I just need more robotic ships.

That's all much easier for the player if it's prior to "release the Krakens". You can just keep building ships and rotating them out if Experiment 0 is still operational. Once it's dead, you pour them in until the shields fall and that's it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:13 am 
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Vezzra wrote:
defaultuser wrote:
You don't even need more than robotic hulls against the Experimenters. When you're going in there with small ships, the ground defenses are stronger than any combination of shields and armor on a ship, so you're going to lose one each round. So if I'm going after them with robo ships, I just put four weapons on a hull and build a lot of them.
Which is why I think the current planetary defence mechanic needs revision too. It's far too easy to counter one mega-powerful single shot, we need to come up with something that allows to increase the number of shots a planet gets in combat.

Well we now have a ROF mechanic for ships, so implementing that for planets would at least be do able.

Plus, we have Fighters. I wanna launch my Wild Cards to defend my homeworld (yes, I did get the DVDs recently).

"Torpedo Boat Destroyers" were originally named to deal with what other SF backgrounds call "Planetary Defence Craft" ie non FTL capable fighting boats: having thought it through a LOT I don't think we want many if any armed space station style system stuff, and they'd need a stiff system based upkeep penalty if we had them, but having stuff 'launched' would work quite well.

Also: on my long term todo list, make Experiment Zero affect ships within one starlane jump, if anyone wants to script that up it might make them an actual interesting challenge for experienced players again.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:39 am 
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ovarwa wrote:
Sometimes when the research or production queue is longer than what fits on the screen, scrolling stops working properly: when I scroll down, the list snaps back to the top. Is this a UI setting or is it a bug?

chaz572 wrote:
Ah, good, so that one is known already. It's affecting me, too. Played about 250 turns into the game before it struck, now I can't get it not to happen. Sadly, I can't give you much of a bug report. I was doing some kind of production queue manipulation the moment it first happened, but I don't remember what. Adjusting the order of something by drag-and-drop, maybe? Not completely sure now. All I do remember for sure is my production queue was seriously butt-long at the time, at least five times the window height...

This has happened to me on many occasions. This occurs as mentioned after dragging and dropping one or more item(s) in the queue. I was able to fix the snapping back of the production queue by moving an item (any item currently visible in the queue) above or below the next or previous item.
Prior to this discovery, the only solution I knew of was to exit to the desktop and restart the game.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:45 pm 
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So,

Last night, I tried a game as Easseax (sp?). No natives, as usual. I like building, I like research, their species abilities don't help either, so it wasn't my preferred style.

Early game ships were large hulls; mid-game ships were robotic hulls; all had Mass Drivers and shields. (Shields to make up for my wanting to leverage the Great Pilots bonus, and because I could only colonize 2 planets before I had to either attack a distant AI or a nearby Maintenance Ship.)

After dealing with the kraken and drone farms (omg) and maintenance ships 5 sectors away (and right next to each other), there was a large expanse of useless space to my south, another Easseax to the west and a massive Gysache to the north. I took one of their systems but had to stop abruptly, because, incredibly for the AI, they had massed an absolutely huge fleet at the next system. They probably should have attacked my own fleet, but maybe not. Anyway, I built up an even bigger fleet backed by a tamed Great Kraken (not good for much other than a huge damage soak) and attacked, expecting to lose a good chunk of my fleet. But no; they took the opportunity to send 1/3 of their fleet away and I lost 2 ships. A very big and disappointing wtf: If the AI had abandoned the system, its fleet would be intact. If the AI had stayed, it would have inflicted ruinous damage. So just as I was thinking that the AI can play kind of ok when my research or production isn't crazy.... no.

The graphs tell much of the story: The AI can't research to save its life. Literally. How is it that species with 200% research bonus don't research? When my production or research is flat, the associated graph is flat. But when the AI's is flat, their graph is flat with lots of ripples: Why? How is it that the AI colonizes so slooooooowly?

My own research: I left the homeworld with production focus, set my first 2 planets to research, and then everything else production.

Because my research was rather pathetic (but less pathetic than the AI (!)) I actually decided to try asteroids: Very cheap, if you include the crystal armor, and since I already had a massive fleet of small ships, the scattered shield bonus would be especially useful. Stopped playing before my first SA was built because it was late and because the crazy AI battle plan was utterly depressing. I now have 40 robotic hulls, 3 large hulls and 5 heavy asteroid hulls plus a few troop ships and a great kraken and some Large Snowflakes. None of the nearby AIs have anything close.

8 dmg mass drivers are nice. Amusing to send these vs 9dmg Gysache lasers. The nearby Eassax liked to probe my otherwise inactive front with a single RoboHull and 15str lasers; not better than 2 of my MD ships, of which I lost none while destroying all theirs. If it had bothered to send 3 while I was otherwise occupied, I'd have had some troubles. Of course, it too was threatened by the giant Gysache fleet (which did not really attack them and against which they didn't seem to accumulate their own big fleet.)

My development was retarded compared to other games; at Turn 150 I have something like 500 production and 140 research, almost with Death Rays in hand. Missing lots of the Growth tree, but that's next while I would have built Death Ray fleets.

It was a lot of fun, until the big battle bust.

(BTW, I downgraded my drivers a few days ago and have not had a crash since. Do have some stalls though.)

Anyway,

Ken


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:47 pm 
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ovarwa wrote:
I think that a single new mechanic shared by the Core slot mega-cannon and planetary defenses would do the trick. Right now, both weapons are crippled because a big single shot is often useless: If my big cannon hits a Flux Troopers ship, that's 100 damage points of lameness.

But if these weapons were special, with firing rules like the following, they would be as scary as maybe they should be:

Until a special weapon has no more damage to inflict:
* Choose a ship at random
* Inflict damage equal to the weapon's available damage or sufficient to destroy the targeted ship.
* Reduce weapon's available damage by amount of damage inflicted
My objection to that approach is that this is way too overpowered. Mega-cannons are supposed to suck against lot of small targets, they are good against big targets. What you propose here would make a mega-cannon a no brainer, because it would be the optimal choice in all situations, and that's not desireable. All super weapons need a weakness. ;)

The problem here is specifically the planetary defence mechanic. Currently it acts like a single big mega-cannon. Which it shouldn't be IMO, instead be more like large scale batteries, which get lots and lots of shots.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:02 am 
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One thing I play around with strategy wise sometimes is high stealth carrier groups with no ranged weaponry moving in advance of a planet assault group specifically designed to take down planet defenses and invade, it's harder to pull off but more efficient, just need to make sure the carriers never get spotted by the planets.

Deals with the wasted shot problems fairly well.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:29 am 
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Hi,

Vezzra wrote:
ovarwa wrote:
I think that a single new mechanic shared by the Core slot mega-cannon and planetary defenses would do the trick. Right now, both weapons are crippled because a big single shot is often useless: If my big cannon hits a Flux Troopers ship, that's 100 damage points of lameness.

But if these weapons were special, with firing rules like the following, they would be as scary as maybe they should be:

Until a special weapon has no more damage to inflict:
* Choose a ship at random
* Inflict damage equal to the weapon's available damage or sufficient to destroy the targeted ship.
* Reduce weapon's available damage by amount of damage inflicted
My objection to that approach is that this is way too overpowered. Mega-cannons are supposed to suck against lot of small targets, they are good against big targets. What you propose here would make a mega-cannon a no brainer, because it would be the optimal choice in all situations, and that's not desireable. All super weapons need a weakness. ;)

The problem here is specifically the planetary defence mechanic. Currently it acts like a single big mega-cannon. Which it shouldn't be IMO, instead be more like large scale batteries, which get lots and lots of shots.


Megacannons are already a no-brainer: Don't do it unless you're just messing around. This is a very expensive weapon and is pretty ineffective in very common situations, such as facing a fleet of mixed ship sizes, or dealing with troop ships, etc. I've stepped away from FreeOrion, so I haven't played with Fighters yet, but if I understand correctly, that just makes it worse.

Anyway,

Ken


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:40 pm 
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ovarwa wrote:
Megacannons are already a no-brainer: Don't do it unless you're just messing around. This is a very expensive weapon and is pretty ineffective in very common situations, such as facing a fleet of mixed ship sizes, or dealing with troop ships, etc.
Well, the particular megacannon you're referring to here (the Spinal Mounted Antimatter Cannon) has been added more as some kind of experiment, and is still considered an experimental, not properly balanced feature.

But that said, especially the way FO works currently, which massively favors a force of the biggest and most powerful ships over an equally strong force that consists of smaller, but more ships, the SMAC is actually quite effective. But even if that weren't the case (and we're definitely going to do something about that problem), I don't have a problem with a megacannon like that only being efficient in very specific cases. Megacannons being ineffective against a lot of tiny ships makes a lot of sense to me, it's interesting gameplay-wise and "realistic".

Superweapons aren't meant to be mass-deployed anyway.... ;)
Quote:
I've stepped away from FreeOrion, so I haven't played with Fighters yet, but if I understand correctly, that just makes it worse.
It certainly does, but then, what use is the super-powerful planet-destroying mega-laser of a Death Star against a fighter??? Of course, with planetary defences acting like a megacannon, that becomes a problem, because you'd expect planetary defences to be able to handle an attacking fighter force more effectively than a megacannon would. Especially if said planetary defences are supposed to be a network of orbital defence satellites.

The other problem is of course the ridiculous fact that currently the megacannon does shoot at tiny targets like fighters. But the solution to that shouldn't be that the megacannon can magically spread the tremendous power of a single of its shots across multiple targets, but to introduce the concept of weapons types, and specify what type of weapon can/will actually fire at what kind of target. The SMAC for example shouldn't ever target fighters, heck, it shouldn't be able to hit them at all, considering that it's spinal mounted.

Another instance of space comedy... I mean, that's like trying to hit a mosquito by throwing big, heavy rocks at it... :lol:


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