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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:15 am 
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Space Floater

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So about a year ago I posted up some comments and we had a lot of talk about it. There was some congenial sharing and some disagreements but I definitely thought I saw some interest to get some things done.

Here's the thread: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=10095

So when the new version came out I was curious about the changes.

Here's what I've taken away from the game after a half dozen full games and an assortment of short starts.

1) Far less ruins than before. In fact I've only heard about the opposition getting them, because I never have, unless you count those mostly useless scrying things. Personally, I avoid those because for all I know they work both directions. Waste of a perfectly good planet.

2) a bunch of new bombardment weapons I'll never use.

Yup, that's all I see as far as notable on game play. I'm sure there were lots of other changes but I see no real effect on gameplay.

Of course there are still the same complaints to be found.

1) AI has only one goal and that is to spam ships and mob you once it feels secure enough to overcome you, based on aggression level. And it's always those same asteroid ships.

2) Every silly useless special in the game gets given a guardian. Ruins I could definitely see deserving of a guardian, not that I've managed to actually find a useful ruin yet in this new version. Basically it has become more about road blocks to expansion than tangling with monsters.

3) Way to many empty systems, regardless of the settings you pick. Empty systems should be hyper rare when you pick high number of planets option. That so many of these empty systems are at critical junctions is only increases the irritation factor.

4) All those hulls I'll never bother with because it's always the same problem. The resistance to add more octagonal and circle slots to hulls. Good grief, you would think adding more internal slots to hulls cause developers some kind of physical pain. If one wanted to make a small scout that was fast, long range, stealthy, and with strong sensors then it won't be a small scout. It will have enough size and external armor/weapon slots to be a front line ship. And in addition to the dearth of internal slots, all these designs do little when the AI is just spamming rock ships with the most potent armor and weapon in their inventory. There is no opportunity for nuance in ships. The AI is playing Command and Conquer with you. There is no real opportunity to see if a single ship can be notably decisive on its own. It's all about ship stacks and who has the biggest stack. Who cares what some zombie organic super ship can potentially do? I need 30 robotic ships guarding that critical system right now or the AI is going to roll up the flank. Both robotic models and the titanic hull make up 90% of the ships I will build. Anything else is an early ship or I'm just piddling with oddities at the end of the game. Anything unique in one ship is just going to be stomped by a dozen or two rock ships.

4) The lag that ruins endgame every damn time. Again the AI spamming ships and giving each one a decision tree simply cannot be helping this problem.

5) Having to keep rerolling the game start. Just give it up already. One of the setup options should be "Rich Home System" with a yes or no. Give it an extra small planet that is of the same type as the species wants, a few other more difficult planets, a gas giant, and an asteroid belt. This is what we reroll constantly to get, so standing on some kind of principle is a waste of time. The switch in the setup screen means purists can take their chances.

6) The AI just colonizes without any regard to suitability. Once they get exobots then not even asteroid belts are safe. In effect they just spam for planets the same way they spam for ships. All the nuance of a brick.

Last time I was open for a good long chat about these problems.

This time I see the game take a couple steps in irrelevant directions and the core issues exactly the same. Sure, maybe a year is not long enough to address much but I've seen nothing of value gained for the time, some backsliding, and some useless fluff. Some things I brought up before would obviously be hard, but other would be too easy. How hard would adding internal ship slots be? Easy, unless there was a culture of resistance to the idea. The reroll problem shouldn't be especially difficult either. Reducing the number of empty systems wouldn't be hard. Neither would restricting asteroid ship technology from some AI races.

So this time, instead of a talk and listening to reasons, I'll just underline my criticism by suggesting you try harder to bust up this game monotony.

At some point someone has to be willing to tackle the CnC mentality of the AI. There's no use to putting if off because that and the game lag are at the core of the repetitiveness. Even CnC managed to get several AI personalities going, and that was 2 decades ago. The number of AI decisions per turn need to be vastly reduced too. For all those endless decisions they are extremely predictable. If they are almost always going to decide in a predictable way then just start skipping some of those decisions.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:18 am 
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Dyson Forest
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IamZeke wrote:
1) Far less ruins than before. In fact I've only heard about the opposition getting them, because I never have
I have found ancient ruins several times. Maybe around 1 or 2 games out of ten I get one before AI does, and sometimes there are two or even three to get (last game I have I got one and two other AIs got one each). Are you playing with low specials setting?


Quote:
2) a bunch of new bombardment weapons I'll never use.
I may use them if willing to finish a game faster than conquering every single enemy planet (you can reuse your bombard ships while you have to build new troopships for every invasion).

Quote:
Yup, that's all I see as far as notable on game play. I'm sure there were lots of other changes but I see no real effect on gameplay.
Have you used fighters? They bring a new dimension to the combat system. In the current implementation, if used properly along with some fast stealth superiority, it can wreck havoc on fleets way more powerful than yours and turn the tides of an already lost (or won) game.


Quote:
1) AI has only one goal and that is to spam ships and mob you once it feels secure enough to overcome you, based on aggression level.
AI can be improved and is being improved. The part of the AI's behaviour that you may have failed to see is its constant colonisation of new planets (although usually not as aggressively as myself) when it doesn't need to devote all of its production to ship production when under direct assault.
Anyway, what other goal can there be appart from harassing the other (weaker) empires to take their colonies and become the strongest bully in the galaxy?

Quote:
And it's always those same asteroid ships.
Not always, not even most of the time, although it may be the preferred choice on average. I've seen many times AI using self-grav and titanic before going for solar, and not so often I've seen several ship designs based on energy hulls.

Quote:
2) Every silly useless special in the game gets given a guardian.
Puny specials get puny guardians (sentries, maintenance ships), bigger findings gets stronger guardians (sentinels, drone factories).
If you want to get rid of monsters, use "none" setting. But using at least low setting allows for a more balanced game since, even if a player spawns near an OP special, it will require time and PPs to build up the fleet to take the guardians down that won't be devoted to faster colonisation.


Quote:
Empty systems should be hyper rare when you pick high number of planets option.
Here you may be right, there is no option to get such configuration from start (although please note that after some time the nebulas that are in many of those empty systems will colapse to form new planetary systems. With high planets, after 200 or so turns, I find that less than maybe 25% of the systems are empty.

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That so many of these empty systems are at critical junctions is only increases the irritation factor.
You can use planetary starlanes to move planets to other systems, and that can be a solution to help defend on of such critical juntions.

4) All those hulls I'll never bother with because it's always the same problem. The resistance to add more octagonal and circle slots to hulls. Good grief, you would think adding more internal slots to hulls cause developers some kind of physical pain.


Quote:
If one wanted to make a small scout that was fast, long range, stealthy, and with strong sensors then it won't be a small scout.
Some bio hulls are perfect for that purpose, specially Bio-simbiotic (3 internals: sensor, stealh and engine; 3 external: sensor and armor if you like), and those are not big hulls. Well, they are perfect unless you are talking about putting in the same ship several engines (that is being redone to allow only one engine part) and fuel pods along the sensor.

So far, it seems you are talking from the experience of playing always the same way without using most of the new and some of the old characteristics of FO. I found out FO in February this year and it seems I got more of the game than you.




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There is no real opportunity to see if a single ship can be notably decisive on its own.
What do you mean? One single ship ripping off a fleet of 10+ ships?
Well, you could get that if the opposing ships are really old and small and yours has the best shield. But the game is way more better balanced than that when playing against non-easy AIs or experienced human players, and you can't expect that situation to arise.


Quote:
It's all about ship stacks and who has the biggest stack.
Tipical male discussion, hu? :lol:
No, seriously, the difference in tech level and the fighters can make small stacks to take down big stacks. I've done many times against AI because I tend to overdo research and neglect army until enemies start harassing me, what means I usually have less but better ships. In the cases when the AI got really ahead of me on production, I use the stealth carriers (normally sentient hull, while getting those bio-adaptive is cool too) to wear off its armies before they get better detection strength.


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4) The lag that ruins endgame every damn time.
Which version are you playing? you didn't say it explicitly, and it seems you may be playing 0.4.6? Current version has almost no end-turn lag except for absurdly big galaxies or very constrained rigs.

Quote:
5) Having to keep rerolling the game start.
Never did this. What's the point? I already have too much advantage over the AI to have to look for even more.


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One of the setup options should be "Rich Home System"
You can already choose the easiest difficulty if you really want an advantage over the AI.


Quote:
6) The AI just colonizes without any regard to suitability.
Not really. It does weird things sometimes but 1 out of 3 AIs will do a pretty good job.

Quote:
Once they get exobots then not even asteroid belts are safe.
You should do that too. Seriously, colonise everything at your reach, it steamrolls. Of course you give preference to better planets, but once you get the good planets of a system, you must keep producing outpost bases (cheaper than outpost ships) with your spare PPs to get the remaining slots on each system.

So, FYI, other players (like myself) don't see the things the same way than you, with sensible arguments that render your criticisms mostly unfounded.

Quote:
So this time, instead of a talk and listening to reasons, I'll just underline my criticism by suggesting you try harder to bust up this game monotony.
Do you realise that your demands seems mostly focus on nerfing the AI and adjust the starting settings to reduce randomness and make game easier, duller and more boring instead of more exciting?
On top of that, it seems you are mad at those that are making a great free game on their free time just for not doing what you think should be done. You may want to try and become a developer.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:03 am 
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Dyson Forest
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Eh, some of your points have 'some' merit, but I paid a dollar for 'Endless Space' and I still think FO is better.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:06 am 
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Dyson Forest
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The AI does seem to like asteroid hulls, but it seems to really like Self-Gravitating too...
Last game I played a couple of the AI opponents were building Solar hulls. That was tough.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:18 am 
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Psionic Snowflake

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I'm always happy when I can colonize asteroids, because you get a 2-for-1 with Microgravity Industry. You're getting a guaranteed 10+ industry.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:02 am 
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Space Floater

Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 9:11 pm
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Oberlus wrote:
I have found ancient ruins several times. Maybe around 1 or 2 games out of ten I get one before AI does, and sometimes there are two or even three to get (last game I have I got one and two other AIs got one each). Are you playing with low specials setting?

High setting every time. 150-200 systems and high planet count. Never snagged one yet. I could bag several a game in last year's version. All I see are scrying specials.

Quote:
I may use them if willing to finish a game faster than conquering every single enemy planet (you can reuse your bombard ships while you have to build new troopships for every invasion).

By the time I'm busting through the enemy lines troop ships are built fast enough. Lots of tech slots I won't bother with until I'm just filling tech slots due to excess RP.

Quote:
Have you used fighters? They bring a new dimension to the combat system. In the current implementation, if used properly along with some fast stealth superiority, it can wreck havoc on fleets way more powerful than yours and turn the tides of an already lost (or won) game.

Not enough info in the pedia to bother experimenting with. Yet another issue I fail to see why it hasn't been rectified yet. People making new objects for the game should not be writing pedia info because they make too many assumptions on the reader's knowledge base. As someone who has done technical writing for years it is well known that the worst person to write an instruction manual is the engineer who designed something.


Quote:
AI can be improved and is being improved. The part of the AI's behaviour that you may have failed to see is its constant colonisation of new planets (although usually not as aggressively as myself) when it doesn't need to devote all of its production to ship production when under direct assault.
Anyway, what other goal can there be appart from harassing the other (weaker) empires to take their colonies and become the strongest bully in the galaxy?

AI reverts to mass ship production as soon as it can see another player or AI race. They all have one formula, that being pile on the ships. No trying to sneak past with stealth and raid. And of course there are no other parameters for AI victory than crushing the competition. You didn't read the thread I posted last year on the matter. No diplomacy, alliances, trading/economic, espionage, or tech victories in their AI wheelhouse.

Quote:
Not always, not even most of the time, although it may be the preferred choice on average. I've seen many times AI using self-grav and titanic before going for solar, and not so often I've seen several ship designs based on energy hulls.

In the half dozen games so far I've seen organic hulls once and robotic ships once. So with me running 2-4 opponents each time then I'm seeing close to 90% asteroid ship choice by the AI's.

Quote:
If you want to get rid of monsters, use "none" setting. But using at least low setting allows for a more balanced game since, even if a player spawns near an OP special, it will require time and PPs to build up the fleet to take the guardians down that won't be devoted to faster colonisation.

Nope, not buying the "game balance" line this time. Some silly lithic crystal bonus in an asteroid field doesn't rate blocking a system every damn time. They have become expansion impediments. Turning them off also changes the game. Some things are worth a guardian and some things don't. Monsters are fine, but guardians are totally overused. The lowest setting in the game are typically the ones needing the most fine tuning.

Quote:
Here you may be right, there is no option to get such configuration from start (although please note that after some time the nebulas that are in many of those empty systems will colapse to form new planetary systems. With high planets, after 200 or so turns, I find that less than maybe 25% of the systems are empty.

High planetary settings should also mean high percentage of systems with planetary bodies of some sort. 3 and 4 way junctions with no planets just totally blows.

Quote:
You can use planetary starlanes to move planets to other systems, and that can be a solution to help defend on of such critical juntions.

Too late in the game to be of value. Lots of techs are like that. So many interesting tech available in the late game end up doing nothing for me because they are useful to expand exploit, but by then the game is already in the exterminate mode. Once I'm halfway into the tech tree and have set the borders with my AI enemies the goal is to push on the battle techs to overcome them. The rest of the tech become filler to use leftover RP.

Quote:
Some bio hulls are perfect for that purpose, specially Bio-simbiotic (3 internals: sensor, stealh and engine; 3 external: sensor and armor if you like), and those are not big hulls. Well, they are perfect unless you are talking about putting in the same ship several engines (that is being redone to allow only one engine part) and fuel pods along the sensor.

Tired of the specialty hulls rationale. The ship I describe is needed early, not late. I don't need a fancy recon hull late in the game when I'm just smashing through. I need it before turn 30 or so. The lack of internal slots exists simply to prop up the need for so many hull types. I want to see hulls that 2-3 more internal slots at every stage of the hull charts. I want to see hulls with multiple round slots too. I want to configure my hulls not chase down specialty hulls through research. At this point I've simply don't care what the rationale for restricting internal slots to tightly is. I just want more internal slots.

Quote:
So far, it seems you are talking from the experience of playing always the same way without using most of the new and some of the old characteristics of FO. I found out FO in February this year and it seems I got more of the game than you.

Yes, I do limit my game types but that is because I'm trying to limit certain irritations of the game.

Quote:
What do you mean? One single ship ripping off a fleet of 10+ ships? Well, you could get that if the opposing ships are really old and small and yours has the best shield. But the game is way more better balanced than that when playing against non-easy AIs or experienced human players, and you can't expect that situation to arise.

Yes, a big enough hull should be able to simply take the swarm punishment in some cases, but the point remains the AI is calculating how it can put out the most ships that it can. It's the CnC tank rush mentality. If that what I wanted to play all the time then that 25 year old game is certainly better to look at.

Quote:
No, seriously, the difference in tech level and the fighters can make small stacks to take down big stacks. I've done many times against AI because I tend to overdo research and neglect army until enemies start harassing me, what means I usually have less but better ships. In the cases when the AI got really ahead of me on production, I use the stealth carriers (normally sentient hull, while getting those bio-adaptive is cool too) to wear off its armies before they get better detection strength.

Again, the pedia is weak on the values and effects on using fighters, plus this seems yet another case where internal slots being so limited makes fighter a waste, when you need so many other internal components early in the game.

Quote:
you didn't say it explicitly, and it seems you may be playing 0.4.6? Current version has almost no end-turn lag except for absurdly big galaxies or very constrained rigs.

4.7 on a 2yr old gaming rig with good graphics card and 12gig of ram.

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.Never did this. What's the point? I already have too much advantage over the AI to have to look for even more. You can already choose the easiest difficulty if you really want an advantage over the AI.

I have no patience for elitist player stances. Rerolling is clearly common amongst players, as evidenced by last year's discussions. We reroll because we don't want a start that is behind the curve when rerolling can change that. Players reroll starts in this game and they do it a lot. And they find it irritating they have to do it. That random starts can mean quite different starting circumstances and means players will reroll until the randomness falls in their favor. Get past your opinion on how easy you find the game and accept that because players can start with a good system then that's what they want every time they play. Just give it up and quit hinting we should just get better at playing.

Quote:
Not really. It does weird things sometimes but 1 out of 3 AIs will do a pretty good job.

Try reading what you type. Two out of three AI's doing a bad job is not the definition of doing a pretty good job.

Quote:
You should do that too. Seriously, colonise everything at your reach, it steamrolls. Of course you give preference to better planets, but once you get the good planets of a system, you must keep producing outpost bases (cheaper than outpost ships) with your spare PPs to get the remaining slots on each system.

Now you are making assumption about my knowledge base. I know exactly what outpost bases and ships are and the roles they play. Exobots on asteroids means you can't convert them later to robot worlds. So as I roll up the opposition I have to evacuate all the exobots off the asteroids before I can turn them into a planet.

Quote:
So, FYI, other players (like myself) don't see the things the same way than you, with sensible arguments that render your criticisms mostly unfounded.

So FYI, I see elitist players like you the reason this game is still complacent with its 25yr old CnC mentality.

Quote:
Do you realise that your demands seems mostly focus on nerfing the AI and adjust the starting settings to reduce randomness and make game easier, duller and more boring instead of more exciting?
On top of that, it seems you are mad at those that are making a great free game on their free time just for not doing what you think should be done. You may want to try and become a developer.

Nerfing some of its present one track mentality is how you create opportunities to expand the game into areas that many of the better 4X games enjoy. Trading, espionage, diplomacy, small unit tactics, etc.

Yes, I want to see your sacred cow evolve past Y2K.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:41 am 
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IamZeke, just for your information - trading, espionage and diplomacy are currently in the design phase. There are talks about implementing "influence" system in not far off future.

I agree that High planet density (or maybe "Highest") should guarantee at least one planet in every system.

Some people like the challenge of an unfavorable starting location - other like the first turns to be relatively easy so that the choice of strategy is not enforced on them at the very start.

There could be an option added to improve starting situation of all players (including AIs), which would "balance" the starting system by ensuring there's another colonize-able planet (for example) or even a strategic resource or special. Species could even define what is their "preferred starting system".

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:23 am 
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Dyson Forest
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Quote:
I have no patience for elitist player stances.
It seems you have no patience for many things, including being polite or playing a game that can pose a challenge for inexperienced players. Or even being sincere, I can't believe most of the situations you are describing.
Still, I think you could enjoy the easiest difficulty and leave behind your bitterness.

Quote:
Try reading what you type. Two out of three AI's doing a bad job is not the definition of doing a pretty good job.
LOL. One out of three doing a great job is the definition of one out of three doing a great job. I find it easy to understand.
But imagine what would happen if all the AIs were doing a great job: you (that is, IamZeke) would be obliterated and even more angry at your own failure, blaming the developers and the rest of players for that.

PS: did you really had such a bad time playing CnC? You seem traumatised.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:30 pm 
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A person making unwarranted assumptions wrote:
Not enough info in the pedia to bother experimenting with. Yet another issue I fail to see why it hasn't been rectified yet. People making new objects for the game should not be writing pedia info because they make too many assumptions on the reader's knowledge base. As someone who has done technical writing for years it is well known that the worst person to write an instruction manual is the engineer who designed something.
Which is why Geoff (who did the code) rarely writes Pedia entries. In this case, I wrote the entry, but it's known to be bare bones as more work is planned to balance them after feedback.

Please, if you're expecting us to prioritise your problems, at the very least try to check whether you're not blowing smoke.

If someone who isn't trying to be deliberately obnoxious feels like summarising actually valid points instead of preferences and opinions we might be able to open a few issues on the work worth exploring.

Zeke are you actually playing with a current version, have you encountered Ancient Guardians yet and have you tried more than one galaxy generation setting? Because the scrying sphere placements have zero influence on Ruins placements.

Plus, as you've observed, the AI isn't good enough to care about scrying sphere reveals (yet), so your complaint about it is a bit weird.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:08 pm 
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I'm hesitant to comment too much because while I played a fair amount of 0.4.6+, I have only played 1/2 game of 0.4.7+. That's due to my hardware/game combination problem. If interested, you can read my report starting:

http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=9768&start=15#p89278

That being said, I have expressed concern in the past about new features being added so quickly without the AIs having been properly developed even for the existing game, let alone the new.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:50 pm 
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defaultuser wrote:
I'm hesitant to comment too much because while I played a fair amount of 0.4.6+, I have only played 1/2 game of 0.4.7+. That's due to my hardware/game combination problem. If interested, you can read my report starting:

http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=9768&start=15#p89278

That being said, I have expressed concern in the past about new features being added so quickly without the AIs having been properly developed even for the existing game, let alone the new.


This.

Although I appreciate the game, I admit that I'd prefer to see existing features (like AI and pedia) improved than the addition of new features that themselves will need a few more iterations.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:19 am 
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Your regularly scheduled reminder that the skillset involved in making the AI better is radically different to the ability to code user interface features which is different again to understanding the backend rendering engine and similar.

The most recent Release, Fighters, was delayed for quite awhile to allow the AI team to ensure the AI was able to react to and use fighters effectively. Once they'd got a barebones implementation, balancing work had to be done which required feedback into the AI and similar. During that time, work was done on areas that didn't affect the AI by people that don't work on the AI.

I'm not a dev, I can't code, I can, just, script, at the level where I can change numbers and tweak list positions to make things work slightly better. I did do some work on the AI for that release, I changed some numbers, added a data table and moved some techs in the research lists. All of that then had to be checked by a proper AI dev, and one of the things they did was improve the data tables and source files to make it easier for me (and others) to do that in the future without them redoing everything.

Generally, a new feature doesn't go into Master unless the AI team have updated and approved it: the AI won't always be able to use the new feature, but it will be aware of it and aware the player can. This doesn't always work, and sometimes we manage to break the AI in new and innovative ways without even intending to (eg: I changed the order in which growth techs are applied, several months later we realised this was messing up the AI in some cases and it got fixed).

The Pedia has had a LOT of work done in the last year, most of it by people that are no better at actual coding than I am. We would welcome further improvements to the Pedia and would be happy to walk people through the submissions process. I personally prefer to spend my time testing and balancing stuff, the Pedia is going to need so many rewrites between now and game completion that I'm happy with basic but correct entries, the need to improve them is always there and, well, feel free to contribute.

Seriously, many things are being worked on at once, and the AI is such a specialised area that many of us simply can't help out with it more. It's still way better than most AIs I've played against in most other games of this type.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:22 am 
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em3 wrote:
IamZeke, just for your information - trading, espionage and diplomacy are currently in the design phase. There are talks about implementing "influence" system in not far off future.

I agree that High planet density (or maybe "Highest") should guarantee at least one planet in every system.

Some people like the challenge of an unfavorable starting location - other like the first turns to be relatively easy so that the choice of strategy is not enforced on them at the very start.

There could be an option added to improve starting situation of all players (including AIs), which would "balance" the starting system by ensuring there's another colonize-able planet (for example) or even a strategic resource or special. Species could even define what is their "preferred starting system".

Yep, last year the rerolls were called "polling" Not sure if it still is. In any case, sometimes players like a random challenge and sometimes they like a fixed challenge. This game can be quite radical in its random starting variance. That's not a negative if there is an option to have a fixed option as well. This is also a game where your start can make a big difference in mid game. A home system toggle box in the beginning for random, a single huge planet, and a rich system should reduce the amount of polling a lot. Actually I wouldn't put special in the rich home system option. Perhaps someone really likes to poll for insanely good systems and the random covers that. But a home system with gas giant, asteroids, a smaller secondary planet so you can set it the opposite industry/research focus as your home planet and perhaps a couple other bad atmosphere planets for later game use will mean if you are basically trapped in your home planet due to multiple close guardians or monsters you can get something going to break out without having to park and idle several dozen turns. I've had games in this and earlier versions where at turn 50 I've barely managed to get a 3rd planet going because I'm too busy trying to spam enough low end attack ships to break out properly. Then I realize I could just restart and poll until I get some movement room.

Yes, I remember last year that they were working on other aspects of the game. I know they will take time. I was bringing those other aspects up because Oberlus couldn't understand understand why nerfing can be useful to differentiate multiple species AI's. I know they are a work in progress but there are things that can be done now so that different races act differently. Once you start changing how species act then new elements of gameplay can be doled out differently. In short, make plans for what all the different species will act like when you have added all the non-combat elements, and then see what can be done just in the combat portions now.

MatGB wrote:
Which is why Geoff (who did the code) rarely writes Pedia entries. In this case, I wrote the entry, but it's known to be bare bones as more work is planned to balance them after feedback.

I realize the difficulty when I say this, but the pedia writers should be independent of the group actually making the game. Pure players, preferably with not much experience at the game. Then when they can't find answers they pester the creation team for answers and write from a player perspective.

Quote:
If someone who isn't trying to be deliberately obnoxious feels like summarising actually valid points instead of preferences and opinions we might be able to open a few issues on the work worth exploring.

My Op was valid though curt constructive criticism. Most of it was hashed last year and it seemed then that there was interest then on some of the issues. With not even a stab at one of them a year later you can expect frustration, especially when some of them don't require new elements added to the game.

Quote:
Zeke are you actually playing with a current version, have you encountered Ancient Guardians yet and have you tried more than one galaxy generation setting? Because the scrying sphere placements have zero influence on Ruins placements.

I vary certain settings but not others. Galaxy shape, starlane frequency, and planet density never change because I want more planets and more choke points. With the xenophoblic AI mentality I want to wall them off so I can spend time developing my empire a bit. These were actually suggestions by people like you last year. But all the other settings I vary quite a bit. And yes, I've seen Ancient Guardians but they only seem to guard minor features like the computer moon.

Quote:
Plus, as you've observed, the AI isn't good enough to care about scrying sphere reveals (yet), so your complaint about it is a bit weird.

Actually, I didn't say the AI's don't use the scrying spheres. I just said they could potentially work both directions and so I just pass them by.

Oberlus wrote:
It seems you have no patience for many things, including being polite or playing a game that can pose a challenge for inexperienced players. Or even being sincere, I can't believe most of the situations you are describing.
Still, I think you could enjoy the easiest difficulty and leave behind your bitterness.

You took an elitist disparaging tone and that's reason enough to just keep kicking you in the teeth. I've been on hundreds of gaming forums since the early 90's and your type are the worst sort, deserving of all the rudeness worth mustering. The cliches about your kind of mentality are so old the cliches have become cliche. Players who try to imply that playing better is all that is needed were the butt of MS Paint memes in the dialup days.

Quote:
But imagine what would happen if all the AIs were doing a great job: you (that is, IamZeke) would be obliterated and even more angry at your own failure, blaming the developers and the rest of players for that.
PS: did you really had such a bad time playing CnC? You seem traumatised.

Strawman much? Try looking that up to understand why the ancient Greeks and smart people ever since can see your logic flaw coming from miles away.

You chose to fanboy your way though my criticism post with nothing more than "hey I like it and so would you if you just played better", and you wonder why I put you down. Now you are all fired up with your ad hominen because you are incapable of actually countering an argument unless you can insult their character. All it shows is that the argument is just too hard for you to deal with and it's simpler to insult them. Lame.

It was lame back in the early dialup days when we were playing CIV original in black and white on real IBM machines and the gamer forums were just DOS message boards. And it's still lame today 25 years later, youngster.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:37 pm 
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Please, guys, calm down a bit. I'm very uncomfortable with the tone this exchange has reached, and ask everyone to take a deep breath and a step back. Then, if you think you want to continue, do it in a way that helps to de-escalate things. Please refrain from a "you hit me, I'll hit you back harder" or a "I'll have to put you in your place" mentality here.

It's understandable and perfectly acceptable to be of different opinion on all the things concerning our game (which includes if we, the devs, are doing a good job or not, making the right decisions or not, etc.). And it's also understandable when people sometimes take offence at certain comments, that's not entirely avoidable in human communication, especially when conducted in purely written form like on forums.

However, even if you feel that a certain comment has been over the line/uncalled for, that is not a reason to become rude. There are ways to make one's feelings known in a polite and respectful way, even when you're convinced you have been wronged or misjudged. There is no need to resort to harsh vocabulary, or to forgo basic courtesy.

I don't want this thread to descend into a flame war. This forum usually is a very friendly and respectful environment, and we want to keep it that way. Please respect that, and work with us to achieve this.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:25 pm 
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em3 wrote:
I agree that High planet density (or maybe "Highest") should guarantee at least one planet in every system.

I don't, it's a deliberate design decision that there should be some empty nodes, it allows for other things: we're planning, for example, on expanding Nebulae at some point, and they rely on empty nodes. Regardless, if you can put an outpost in any system, supply propagation ceases to be a challenge and becomes a step, given that supply is already too easy to get forward (seriously, who uses Fuel parts except as filler?).
Quote:
There could be an option added to improve starting situation of all players (including AIs), which would "balance" the starting system by ensuring there's another colonize-able planet (for example) or even a strategic resource or special. Species could even define what is their "preferred starting system".

We've discussed the idea of adding a features that all players get guaranteed items in their starting system, it's not been worked on by anyone but might be at some point, people are doing other things.
IamZeke wrote:
Yes, I remember last year that they were working on other aspects of the game. I know they will take time. I was bringing those other aspects up because Oberlus couldn't understand understand why nerfing can be useful to differentiate multiple species AI's. I know they are a work in progress but there are things that can be done now so that different races act differently. Once you start changing how species act then new elements of gameplay can be doled out differently. In short, make plans for what all the different species will act like when you have added all the non-combat elements, and then see what can be done just in the combat portions now.

The AI team is working on the idea of 'personalities' for different AIs: it's a lot of work and it's a small team.
Quote:
I realize the difficulty when I say this, but the pedia writers should be independent of the group actually making the game. Pure players, preferably with not much experience at the game. Then when they can't find answers they pester the creation team for answers and write from a player perspective.

That's basically how I started, now I spend most of my time testing features before they get added to the Test releases so that we know they work and don't break the game. Seriously, we know documentation needs work. If anyone, at all, wants to volunteer to join that side of things please do, it's far far better for people that can't code to do this because frees up dev time for complex tasks: there are a few ongoing projects within documentation at the moment, including recategorisation so that entries are findable.
Quote:
My Op was valid though curt constructive criticism. Most of it was hashed last year and it seemed then that there was interest then on some of the issues. With not even a stab at one of them a year later you can expect frustration, especially when some of them don't require new elements added to the game.

See, that's where you're wrong, and why you've antagonised rather than encouraged. And, frankly, why I bit because the OP and your follow up post both assumed that the very small team of volunteers were going to drop everything they were doing to work solely on the things you think should be priority, even though some of them aren't even agreed as needed and others are put behind other things.

eg: one of the things you've mentioned is you dislike the current hull lines. Fine, agree completely, it's been discussed that we need to redo these from scratch at some point. But you know what?

It'll require a complete rewrite of the tech tree. It'll require months of playtesting and balancing. It'll require a huge amount of work within the AI, some of which won't be needed if some of the backend stuff they're working on to allow the AI to automatically know what a hull is good for without it having to be coded in, etc.

I'd rather they got the infrastructure setup so that more work can be done. In the meantime, a few 'carrier' hulls with more internal slots and reworking of a couple existing hulls (the camo asteroid hull that has no external slot when all the scout parts are external for example, almost completely useless)
Quote:
Quote:
Zeke are you actually playing with a current version, have you encountered Ancient Guardians yet and have you tried more than one galaxy generation setting? Because the scrying sphere placements have zero influence on Ruins placements.

I vary certain settings but not others. Galaxy shape, starlane frequency, and planet density never change because I want more planets and more choke points. With the xenophoblic AI mentality I want to wall them off so I can spend time developing my empire a bit. These were actually suggestions by people like you last year. But all the other settings I vary quite a bit. And yes, I've seen Ancient Guardians but they only seem to guard minor features like the computer moon.

Deliberately, for now, the AI still isn't handling them brilliantly so we haven't used them on bigger things, the idea behind them is to reduce the chances of the map being blocked.

Worth noting two things: 1) if you're playing High planets, there will be more specials therefore more guardians (and on this we strongly disagree, most things that give a bonus need to have something stopping it being grabbed very early, very open to other ways of doing it as well/instead, but not to removing them, it's going to be increased when we've got Guardians working better)
2) Regarding Ruins, they simply can't appear in the game if you've set Monsters to None, people complained that sentinels were monsters and they wanted none to mean none: I disagreed but was overruled so they don't appear in no monster games because Ruins need a guard, getting Death Ray, or even just a Dragon Tooth, in the first 50 turns is really overpowered. Getting Misiorla or Banforo at the same time? Ouch.

Regarding the AI and hull choice: I don't often see them using Asteroids, but I tend to want to play on large maps so I set planets to Medium or Low. If you want large, sparse maps with space to expand but don't want late game lag (which has been massively improved over the last year but is still there) then that's close to essential.

If you're on High planets, then suitable systems where you can build Asteroid ships will be common. Asteroid hulls are, deliberately, the most efficient cost/power wise so the AI prefers them, they're not as good for an aggressive player as they're too slow. So if you're on High planets, you'll see them more often than other hull types.

If you play on Low planets you're more likely to see Titans or Organic stuff, the latter being less common as the AI doesn't try to use Stealth. Sometimes you'll even see energy line stuff although that's unusual as the AIs not as good at planning for specific system grabbing.

Also, the AI most certainly does take habitability into account when colonising, but also takes other factors: an asteroid belt gives a guaranteed production of 10 per turn regardless of population at the moment (likely to change), in the early to mid game that makes it a good choice in a production orientated empire.

Curious: you say you always prefer the same layout, which one? It's been observed but not proven that the AI seems to do better with some layouts over others, I seem to note that Spirals tend to be worse but haven't got enough evidence yet.

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Mat Bowles

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