Author Topic: AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm  (Read 652 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm
« on: September 17, 2016, 03:09:49 PM »
On the general scale, I would like to consider what are the tools for the AI to attack the players, see what was interesting in AIW1 and what was less, and start imagining how that could be ported into AI War II.

More specifically, I will talk about waves. (Threat, Exo and CPA are lurking around.)

I tried it once and was really disappointed: the waves spawn at warp gate and are immediately assigned to the threat behavior. Because of the go/nogo check considering available AI and Human forces, the CPWaves never attacked a decently defended system. I thought it was, in the end, a sort of Preemption: this option (a Plot, actually) allowed the AIs to release a portion of their reinforcement immediately as threat. The CPWaves option was similar in the sens of it was "pour all wave budget into threat". I imagined, like several other players, that the CPWave option would make the waves to spawn at warpgates but attack just as if they spawned at the wormhole. That would have allowed defensive beachhead and other interesting strategies. As I said: disappointed.

With my aggression/preparation/preemption (see here), the player would have all the tools to tell an AI how to assign its budget (aggression tells how to separate defense and wave budgets; preemption tells how to separate defense and threat budgets; preparation is just a matter of how the wave budget is spent over the time, regular small waves or infrequent big ones). Looking back at this idea, I would prefer three independent budgets: one for reinforcement, one for threat, and one for waves, all multiplied by factors depending on the AIP and difficulty. Anyway, the AI has a wave budget, it just needs options about how to send them.

AIW1 already has interesting options. One is "no wave warning"; there is also "waves x2", "no wave", etc. There is also the exogalactic strikeforces (that I will abbreviate "ExoWave" from now on), which is not taken from a specific budget (not from the wave budget) but is similar to waves in its purpose. Personally, I was expecting the CPWaves to behave like ExoWaves. That behavior is interesting: spawn from a warpgate nearby Human territory, follow a leader (often a Dire Guardian) and go straight for a target. The Fallen Spire heavily use this mechanism and truly transform the game into a galactic towerdef (best memories). That allows very interesting defensive strategies: buffer world (will fall but will slow the ExoWave), passing world (don't stop the wave to go through it but use sniper turrets plus mines and gravity turrets in the most probable wormhole-to-wormhole route), wall world (small wiping boy with FFields, tractors and fortresses), etc.

Conclusion: ExoWaves have a great behavior. Why wouldn't it be one of the options for "what to do with wave budgets"? Regular waves already have one or several starships. I would love to see one of these starships (highest mark?) flagged as the leader and grouping all the wave around it.

Then, a wave would be composed of one or several ship types with eventually one or several (or only) starships ("wave composition" option), going from a wormhole / warpgate / exogalactic wormhole ("wave spawn" option), with or without warning ("wave warning" option), attacking a frontier Human planet or a deeper target ("wave target" option).

Here is the summary of the options I would see in the "advanced lobby" of AI War II:
* Defense budget multiplier
* Wave budget multiplier
* Threat budget multiplier
(with the "raw budget" being calculated from difficulty and AIP; a "normal" AI would have something like 1/1/0 or 1/1/1)
* Wave preparation (many small waves or few big waves)
* Wave composition (one type, "schizophrenic", with or without starships, beachhead, etc)
* Wave warning (on/off)
* Wave spawn (wormhole / warp gate / exogalactic wormhole)
* Wave target (frontier / asset / home-thing)

(I say "home-thing" because there is the proposal of making a moving "kind" unit instead of a fixed station.)

I would like to talk about the CPA in this thread, but I'll do that later. This post is already long enough.
Tell me what you think about that!
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 kasnavada

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Re: AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 02:28:11 AM »
So, a system where AI bahaviours are completely parametrized ?

I like that. Also, saving them as mod "presets" could be a cool idea.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 02:51:20 AM »
So, a system where AI bahaviours are completely parametrized ?

I like that. Also, saving them as mod "presets" could be a cool idea.
Yep.
For the newcomer, there is a list of AI personalities. For the advanced player, they are only a bunch parameters that can be combined in uncountable ways. AI Personalities would be just predefined parameters.
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 tadrinth

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Re: AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 07:29:44 PM »
If the AI has a way to launch waves against your backline, those waves need to be balanced somewhat differently than regular waves; ie, they should be much smaller. 

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 01:49:57 AM »
If the AI has a way to launch waves against your backline, those waves need to be balanced somewhat differently than regular waves; ie, they should be much smaller.
What? Backline? ???
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 tadrinth

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Re: AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2016, 07:02:26 AM »
I mean things like warp counterattack posts and warp relays and to some extent warp gate guardians.  If the AI can send waves to places you don't want it to, those waves should be smaller.  The problem with warp counterattack posts and warp relays was at least partially that all the sudden you'd be facing a full-strength wave on an unfortified planet, and at any reasonable difficulty, you just can't fully fortify every single planet you own.  You're stuck using your fleet for defense instead, which can be very annoying.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI Attack Vectors - Brainstorm
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2016, 11:03:14 AM »
Oh, okay. In-game special wave targets. Right, this is a thing.

Personally, I would be fine by entirely removing the special warp stuff. If the AI rebuilds, I bet we'll need some new rules for warp gates (and a new meta for gate raid). Overall, I think that will be much more interesting to have a "warp only on frontier" design rule but as the "frontier" should be much more dynamic, I guess the game will be interesting. Different, but still interesting.

Actually, that rebuild-warpgate and gate-raid meta should be discussed. I have no particular proposal right now, but I think that should be a new topic.
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!