Author Topic: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>  (Read 1478 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2016, 07:20:06 AM »
Procedurally-generated ships

<3
In a strategy game? Hell no. Strategy games thrive on a very delicate balance. Procedurally generated stats tend to throw that completely out the window, providing tons of "unfun" scenarios.

If this were PVP, sure.  But think about AI War itself at this point: there are so freaking many ship types that the mix of them is going to be inherently unbalanced in some fashion.  However, because of the number of ships that you have to use and the fact that there are individual ship type caps, you can't overly exploit a particular ship type.
I'm very curious how you intend to implement that. I'm currently very ambivalent: like Draco18s I love the idea but like Mánagarmr I don't see how to nicely blend that into the game.

I was thinking about the Borderlands' procedural gun generation: several brands, several gun types, several parts with a brand each, etc. We would have race as brand (Human, AI, Neinzul, Spire, Zenith) and weaponry / propulsion / hull as parts. As weaponry, we already have an interestingly large: heavy missile, MLRS, shotgun, plasma AoE, three beam weapons (Spire's "slow carve", Human's "insta carve" and Zenith's "AoE"), etc. Weapon could come with some special perks like armor piercing, engine damage, paralysis, etc. Propulsion could give some perks like teleportation or raider-like immunities (mines, tractors, etc). Hull would give armor, health and other immunities. Then we would have a fourth, optional "special module" part that can give stuff like tractor beam, counter-something, scout, shield, swallow (or is it a weapon?), etc.

Would that be completely random, with a total pool of points randomly split between damage, speed, health, etc (and metal/energy/cap balance the slight random swings of power level)? Or more "hand-made" with a lists premade weapons (like "the" plasma canon, "the" Spire's beam, etc), premade hulls (slow-and-armored frigate, fast-and-light fighter, large Spire chassis, armored Zenith hull, etc), premade propulsion and modules?

Maybe we could have just random aspects of ships with a pool of entirely hand-made ships that would be rather standard (like the triangle, with no overly special perks, just a hull type and some hull bonuses). The game could pick one of these "basic" profile and give them a randomly generated aspect (ans specie?).

My two bits.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2016, 09:59:28 AM »
My thought was a bunch of parts that are handmade but procedurally assembled given a pool of points and a point value assigned to each part.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2016, 09:06:30 PM »
In a game like AI war that has so much RNG and more ships than we can remember, I don't understand the resistance to procedural ships. Things can get even more crazy this way. I think that's the kind of evolution that AI War 2 can embrace and stay true to the theme and core design values of the original.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2016, 11:50:52 PM »
Something something, maybe we should split this into its own topic? :D

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2016, 04:45:13 AM »
Something something, maybe we should split this into its own topic? :D
that would be a good idea you should probably split it into the ai war forum.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2016, 06:42:44 AM »
In a game like AI war that has so much RNG and more ships than we can remember, I don't understand the resistance to procedural ships. Things can get even more crazy this way. I think that's the kind of evolution that AI War 2 can embrace and stay true to the theme and core design values of the original.
Resistance? No! Caution. Of course random ships would be totally inline with the core philosophy of AIW1.

(Just for the troll: I recognize all ships by their icon in the lobby.)

My thought was a bunch of parts that are handmade but procedurally assembled given a pool of points and a point value assigned to each part.
Okay. Thanks for the answer.
The list of modules of champions might comes in handy for weapon type recap.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2016, 11:18:15 AM »
I'm carefully positive to the idea itself, but I'm not really that keen on the implementations I can think of. It just opens up too much to silliness. I personally feel that procedural generation gets too much credit over hand crafting these days. It's just a sales blurb.

That being said, it can also be great, but very often rather end up soulless.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2016, 11:21:45 AM »
It's making me think of sword of the stars, except AI war asymmetric battles. But could we still get gigantic battles with 3-D ships? That's one of my concerns and when this engine switched to unity, I have to wonder if that was affected. I don't know the answer to that question. I do remember version 2.x being on a custom thing that Chris made, and there was a different graphic drawer where kinetic weapons didn't show up as well anymore when it switched to unity. We got these nicer graphic effects, but I felt less chaos with some of the more subtle weapons.

And then the memory problems.

Switching to 3-D has so much opportunity, but I have so many technical questions if it's even possible to do.
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Offline Elestan

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2016, 11:24:42 AM »
It's  something that I've grown increasingly interested in lately, not because I'm feeling the love for making strategy games again, but because the technical pieces of a 3D AIW2 interest me a lot at the moment.

I can appreciate the technical interest in 3D, but I'm worried that it might be a lot of effort for something that doesn't really make the game more fun to play.

I think the big question for AIW2 is:  "What is your target market?"   If you want to try to bring AIW to a larger audience, then usability should probably be your main focus.  If you mainly want to sell another game to the people here, then you can poll to find out what people want.

Either way, count me in as a tester.  :-)

Offline Kahuna

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2016, 02:13:43 PM »
there are so freaking many ship types that the mix of them is going to be inherently unbalanced in some fashion.
Always quality over quantity. Imo balance is more important than having a lot of different ships. That being said the ships in AI War are quite well balanced although there are some exceptions.

(Just for the troll: I recognize all ships by their icon in the lobby.)
Yep. I used to remember every single ship in the game, all of their attack multipliers, abilities and immunities and a rough estimate of their health.

I'm carefully positive to the idea itself, but I'm not really that keen on the implementations I can think of. It just opens up too much to silliness. I personally feel that procedural generation gets too much credit over hand crafting these days. It's just a sales blurb.

That being said, it can also be great, but very often rather end up soulless.
I'm afraid randomly generated bonus ships would make the player to restart over and over again just to get the most OP combo. Kind of like save scumming until you get the results you're looking for. AI getting a ship that's a mix of Shield Bearer and Zenith Siege Engine probably would also make the player restart the game. Or at least it would make me do so. If it doesn't result in silly/infuriating stuff like that and doesn't break the game then it'd be awesome.


I've written down thoughts about AI War on notepad every now and then. It has been just lying on my desktop for months so I guess I'm just going to copy paste it here. Thoughts in no particular order:

Quote from: IdeasAndProblems.txt
Astro trains are too powerful, indestructible and the player has absolutely no control over them. The trains already move from station to station which is good but the stations could create a network of some sort. The trains could need a station in every planet they travel to or at least every other hop. This way the player could destroy the "rails" and cut off the train network and create "train free" zones in the galaxy.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Imo AI's special forces could consist of multiple smaller fleets of more powerful and interesting ships like Guardians, Hunter Killers, Core Starships, Heavy Beam Starships (but also some normal ships) spread around the galaxy. Atm the AI has a bad habit of choosing a specific Guardian type and then massing hundreds of that same guardian. There could also be special forces beacons in some AI planets which would alert all special forces when the player enters that or any adjacent planet. The beacons could also use as reinforcement points for the special forces. The special forces could also guard the beacons and move from beacon to beacon making the beacons well defended and the galaxy more dangerouse for the player. It would be harder to predict where the special forces pop up from because instead of one massive fleet there's multiple smaller ones. The player couldn't just park a couple of warheads and blow up everything at once. That would add a new element into the game. The player could do beacon raids to cut off the reinforcements and to have at least some control over the special forces. AI home command stations would have a beacon built into them and when destroyed would order the special forces to do a counter attack on the player.

I like the way the AI's strategic reserve works. The Reservist AI type is cool too.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

AI Guard Posts have too big attack multipliers (maybe). Basically they either one shot everything or don't do anything. I know they were changed to be like that to "counter blobbing" but the change wouldn't have had to be so drastic to make blobbing a suboptimal tactic.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Whenever AI ships or structures (Guard posts etc) are destroyed the AI could get "salvage" which would turn into +AIP when enough has accumulated.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

I don't know about the Golem buffs (when all of their stats were.. quadrupled?) because at that point I had almost stopped playing AI War because the changes seemed to have gotten out of hand. I had no time to test the new patches because I was studying and there were multiple big changes every week. AI War felt quite different back in the 5.xxx and 6.xxx days. In a good way imo. Or maybe I'm just romanticizing it in my mind because that's when I fell in love with AI War.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

There could be a supply cap à la Starcraft and the player would decide how to use it. And instead of unlocking additional versions of the ships the old ships could just get upgraded. For balance attack multipliers could be made more impactful across the board to counter massing only one type of ship.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Losing stuff like space docks, resource harvesters, science labs, etc should be more impactful in terms of loss of resources. Atm the player can build bazillions of each of them and not notice a thing. For balance those structures should have more health. Atm they're made of paper.

Resource harvesters need a rework. The player has no way (nor need/a reason) to protect them. They're hard to protect so perhaps they could work as a high risk high reward kind of thing. Economical command stations are already the safe and steady choice. Unfortunately Economical command station are also more rewarding in every situation.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Getting a pop up that says the Hive Golem is being inhibited on an AI homeworld feels like a very artificial and a poor way to try to keep it balanced.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

-Annoying ships in order of kryptonyteness: Zenith Siege Engine, Tacke Drone Launcher, Shield Bearer, Spire Starship, Enclave Guardian.
-Antimatter turret (in addition to some other buildings and ships) has no use.
-Assault transports are too powerful.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

No more things like nebulae. It just adds an unnecessary mini game that takes away from the strategic feel of the game. Champions are fine

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Perhaps the AI could actively try to counter the player by keeping track of the ships it has lost. It would keep track of the destroyed ships' hull type, total amount of health and total damage done to the player. Then it would try to unlock and build ship types with least losses and most damage done. Destroying things like matter converters and command station would give the ship (Eye Bots) bonus points for being unlocked.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 02:23:47 PM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
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Offline Aklyon

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2016, 04:21:17 PM »
Well, I wasn't expecting to have been the first post here. Good to have this in a seperate thread though!

Offline Cyborg

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2016, 06:13:54 PM »
Well, I wasn't expecting to have been the first post here. Good to have this in a seperate thread though!

 ::)
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2016, 11:49:57 PM »
I'm afraid randomly generated bonus ships would make the player to restart over and over again just to get the most OP combo. Kind of like save scumming until you get the results you're looking for. AI getting a ship that's a mix of Shield Bearer and Zenith Siege Engine probably would also make the player restart the game. Or at least it would make me do so. If it doesn't result in silly/infuriating stuff like that and doesn't break the game then it'd be awesome.

If you can't save-scum to alter the outcome... ;)

Offline Sounds

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Re: AI War 2 derailment thread <split>
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2016, 09:08:51 PM »
Just a quick question:

When talking about a '3D' AI War 2, are we talking about a full 3D environment (aka Homeworld) or a 3D environment played on a 2D plane (aka Sin of a Solar Empire) ?