Author Topic: How do you deal with Minefields?  (Read 3086 times)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2016, 05:04:39 PM »
Against the idea of infinite HP AI mines, it would lead to loads of frustration (and bug reports) for a new player, and still would be frustrating for a veteran player.

The idea of an AI replacing minefields is fine, but the standard mechanics of a stealthy minefield causing infinite havoc just doesn't sound fun.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2016, 06:25:02 AM »
Against the idea of infinite HP AI mines, it would lead to loads of frustration (and bug reports) for a new player, and still would be frustrating for a veteran player.
I respect your stance, however I must precise that mines wouldn't have infinite HP, rather they wouldn't loose any HP when stepped upon. One can still get tachyon in and destroy them. I bet you've understood, Chemical Art, but I think it's best to precise that for other people that might get it wrong.

As a reply, I thought it would indeed make mines a very potent trap, but as a fleet deploys around a wormhole when crossing it, only a fraction of them would be hit by the mines. Also, mines would hit each ship only once, and with a rather low attack value, most mid-mark ships would be just scratched.

On the frustration issue you raises, I'm sorry to avoid it, but AIW is a harsh, unforgiving and frustrating game. And I think we love it for that, or rather beyond that, us who went through that frustration to find... that undefinable thing we love in AIW. (Also, in my lobby revamp idea, it would be possible to totally disable frustrating things like mines, eyes, fortresses, etc. Or, y'know, put them everywhere.)

Again, I hope AIW2 will come soon. I really can't wait to test all these ideas and see how they actually impact the game experience.
Keith, if you read me...
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2016, 01:01:30 PM »

I respect your stance, however I must precise that mines wouldn't have infinite HP, rather they wouldn't loose any HP when stepped upon. One can still get tachyon in and destroy them. I bet you've understood, Chemical Art, but I think it's best to precise that for other people that might get it wrong.

As a reply, I thought it would indeed make mines a very potent trap, but as a fleet deploys around a wormhole when crossing it, only a fraction of them would be hit by the mines. Also, mines would hit each ship only once, and with a rather low attack value, most mid-mark ships would be just scratched.

On the frustration issue you raises, I'm sorry to avoid it, but AIW is a harsh, unforgiving and frustrating game. And I think we love it for that, or rather beyond that, us who went through that frustration to find... that undefinable thing we love in AIW. (Also, in my lobby revamp idea, it would be possible to totally disable frustrating things like mines, eyes, fortresses, etc. Or, y'know, put them everywhere.)

Again, I hope AIW2 will come soon. I really can't wait to test all these ideas and see how they actually impact the game experience.
Keith, if you read me...

I appreciate you clarifying this, however I still do not believe it is a good idea:

The first key aspect I ask is that what is to be gained from this. It simply forces a player to bring along another ship in their fleet as they attack. It is added micro.  It would be like forcing a player to bring a scout to be able to see what a planet has outside  of the fleet's firing range. It really doesn't add anything, it just forces added aggravation. It doesn't actually change any tactics.

The downside is that it adds micro. It adds an unnecessary obstacle that forces the player to act a specific way. The method is not really clear at the start, and once it is clear it is no less annoying.

In short, it just sounds aggravating and not fun. Challenge for its own sake is not enough. AI War is not fun because it is hard. It is fun because it is a complex blend of carrots and sticks. Complex =/= frustrating.

Complex is that you can use a ship to decloak mines to avoid suffering casualties. Frustrating is that you have to decloak mines or mines hurt forever.

This idea does have legs though, either as an AI plot or type. This idea would be great for defensive or cloaking AI's. It is just too niche to force onto the main game.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 01:08:31 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2016, 01:27:36 PM »
EDIT: I think out loud in this post. Don't take it as rhetorical questions with obvious answers. I'm questioning myself.

In short, it just sounds aggravating and not fun. Challenge for its own sake is not enough. AI War is not fun because it is hard. It is fun because it is a complex blend of carrots and sticks. Complex =/= frustrating.
I guess I'll have to learn that in order to become a game designer, because I won't always have someone to remind me that. Always ask an idea "why?".
Thank you for that. I'll try to keep that in mind.

You know what? Even as an AI type or plot, I think it would still be just annoying. Just like Astrotrains. Pain and no fun.

Okay, then what? Removing AI mines just like AI turrets? In the name of asymmetry? Why not. I would be okay with that. But then what is "fun" in AIW? I don't know anymore. I mean, I feel this fun when I play, but right now I'm unable to understand it and to explain it. Is it in strategic choices? Like evaluating chances of success of one strategy or another? Maybe. Or in all the things you need to remember or they'll bite you in the... knee? Apparently not: while there might be sort of fun in learning a danger and its counter (roguelike player speaking), once you figured it out, applying it all the time and being punished for forgetting once might be very un-fun.

What is the role of mines? I don't know. What is the role of AI eyes, fortresses, BHMachines, Gravity Drill? Changing the balance and testing the player's skill to evaluate strategies (or creating new ones). If AI mines are to survive, I guess they'll need to achieve something like that.

Final question:
How to make AI mines change the balance of a fight in a way that would be interesting for the players to evaluate and test and build through or around?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Toranth

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2016, 04:11:20 PM »
Final question:
How to make AI mines change the balance of a fight in a way that would be interesting for the players to evaluate and test and build through or around?
I think the role of mines should be to strengthen the defense of a system, either through applying damage/effects to the attackers, OR by creating 'terrain'.

If AI mines were mostly visible but not attackable, they'd provide the player with a choice:  Face tank a path open, or go around.  There might need to add a third, anti-mine unit option (Cleanup drones!) just for those that don't like those paths, or maybe allow AoE attacks to damage the mines.  That way warheads, Martyrs, etc, could be used instead if necessary.
Other types could do less damage, but be cloaked.  All the other types of mines (EMP, Spider, Reclamation) could be in there for the AI to play with, too.

Imagine some reworked, or new, AI Subcommander types taking advantage of high-damage visible, or cloaked, mines...  !fun!

My initial distaste for your infinite-use mines is that decloaking is something difficult for the human player to do.  There are not many sources:  Decloaker, Tachyon Warheads, Tachyon Microfighters, Tachyon Drones, Scout Starships, hacking.  All have very low caps, are fragile, are not standard, or even cost AIP.
On the other hand, it would actually encourage players to do something about the mines in systems they traverse regularly.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2016, 04:59:55 PM »

Imagine some reworked, or new, AI Subcommander types taking advantage of high-damage visible, or cloaked, mines...  !fun!


TI like this idea, it is a brilliant extra challenge. Having visible mines (on both sides) with high amounts of health (thus potential offense) sounds interesting as well.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2016, 05:17:08 AM »
(...) decloaking is something difficult for the human player to do.  There are not many sources:  Decloaker, Tachyon Warheads, Tachyon Microfighters, Tachyon Drones, Scout Starships, hacking.  All have very low caps, are fragile, are not standard, or even cost AIP.
I disagree. Scout starships MkI are metal-cheap, cost no knowledge and are not that fragile because of their cloaking (and cloaking booster). I always have the 5 MkI with my fleet (option "brave scout starships") and I never unlock higher mark of them. The decloaker cost a small amount of knowledge (support tab), is a "military" unit (come along the fleet) and has a huge tachyon range, sufficient for being a huge help against a stealth master.

Decloaking mines is far from difficult. Tedious, I agree, but not difficult.

Imagine some reworked, or new, AI Subcommander types taking advantage of high-damage visible, or cloaked, mines...  !fun!
TI like this idea, it is a brilliant extra challenge. Having visible mines (on both sides) with high amounts of health (thus potential offense) sounds interesting as well.
Visible mines on both side? Will AI waves avoid visible human mines? I doubt.
"Changing the terrain" is an answer I like much. But how would you do that? Put thousands of uncloaked mines on AI territory? Also, I'm afraid there would be plenty of cases where these huge mine "fields" would be in bad (uninteresting) places, like too far from wormhole links. Your idea sounds interesting in theory, but I really don't see how it would be implemented.

Also, it would be a special subcommander; mundane mine fields around random wormholes would be removed from the game. I mean, why not, I would be fine with it, but if the goal is to find an interesting role for commonplace AI mines...

Ah, if only we had a mod support to test it... ( :P )

Honestly, I'm sorry for being only negative and not providing new ideas, but I really feel confused about this whole mines' problem. I can only wait for AIW2 to test how this ideas work out.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 05:27:10 AM by Pumpkin »
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: How do you deal with Minefields?
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2016, 08:31:39 AM »
Hybrids are arseholes. Making them build mines would make me seek every hybrid in the galaxy out and rub his face in the mines. Just to make a point on what I think of his hobby.
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