Author Topic: Fatal refleeting.  (Read 5245 times)

Offline Tridus

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2016, 10:08:48 PM »
I don't see refleeting as a need for death.  If I have enough fixed defenses to absorb what the AI throws at me before I have enough mobile defenders up and running again, then I've made a strategic choice to weaken myself for a time to destroy an AI fleet or other objective.  That's a viable strategy.  My playstyle is to push and HOLD all territory.  That means that I'm going to push into heavily defended mark 4 worlds at some point.  If it takes me two tries to get that fortress down, so be it.  Make the AI reprisal function toothy, but let me spend my resources as I see fit.

Ships are there to be used.  Turrets and Forts are there to hold the slack while ships get rebuilt or relocated.  If I can't afford to risk my ships on offence while trusting (perhaps wrongly) my defense to hold long enough to get reinforcements ready, what the point of my defenses in the first place?

If the AI is utterly incapable of defeating your defenses alone, haven't you effectively already won the game? At that point, it's just a matter of doing the actual labour of killing enough stuff to win. Losing is impossible.

By all means, I want defenses to be good (I love Fallen Spire, after all). But if the AI can't overwhelm them in any situation, they're *too* good. If the AI sees that you're no threat to it whatsoever because your entire fleet got blown up and it's normal attacks can't beat your defenses, that's a great time for it to try harder, isn't it?

Offline Cinth

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2016, 10:18:13 PM »
I don't see refleeting as a need for death.  If I have enough fixed defenses to absorb what the AI throws at me before I have enough mobile defenders up and running again, then I've made a strategic choice to weaken myself for a time to destroy an AI fleet or other objective.  That's a viable strategy.  My playstyle is to push and HOLD all territory.  That means that I'm going to push into heavily defended mark 4 worlds at some point.  If it takes me two tries to get that fortress down, so be it.  Make the AI reprisal function toothy, but let me spend my resources as I see fit.

Ships are there to be used.  Turrets and Forts are there to hold the slack while ships get rebuilt or relocated.  If I can't afford to risk my ships on offence while trusting (perhaps wrongly) my defense to hold long enough to get reinforcements ready, what the point of my defenses in the first place?

If the AI is utterly incapable of defeating your defenses alone, haven't you effectively already won the game? At that point, it's just a matter of doing the actual labour of killing enough stuff to win. Losing is impossible.

By all means, I want defenses to be good (I love Fallen Spire, after all). But if the AI can't overwhelm them in any situation, they're *too* good. If the AI sees that you're no threat to it whatsoever because your entire fleet got blown up and it's normal attacks can't beat your defenses, that's a great time for it to try harder, isn't it?

I would say that's tricky.  If I take all my science and unlock defensive units, then shouldn't it hold out for much longer than MK I stuff?  Wouldn't you expect MK I fleets to regularly fail completely, especially tackling higher MK worlds?   Think of it this way, if you build a MK III world and send out MK I waves against a MK III AI world, what are your expected results?  Should be something similar to what you do to AI waves at that level.

At this point I'd say AIP needs to be included in this kind of calculation, because early on , those defenses should hold just fine.  I'd think they would hold well into mid-late game.

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Offline skrutsch

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2016, 10:24:23 PM »
How is the "AI counterattack" going to be as stronger than defense, but not than defense + offense ?

That is an excellent point.

(I have an idea that might help solve this, but I don't want to derail this thread and I need to make it all pretty. It will be in the "ideas" subfolder and I'll post a link here.)

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2016, 10:35:38 PM »
If the AI is utterly incapable of defeating your defenses alone, haven't you effectively already won the game? At that point, it's just a matter of doing the actual labour of killing enough stuff to win. Losing is impossible.

Even going beyond the "buy only turret tech":

No.  Because the AI homeworld's defenses are stronger than mine.
I'm tossing a Mk3 fleet against a Mk5 world, whereas the AI is tossing a Mk3 fleet against a Mk3 world.

Offline skrutsch

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2016, 10:42:00 PM »
I don't see refleeting as a need for death. 
...
Make the AI reprisal function toothy, but let me spend my resources as I see fit.

Ships are there to be used.  Turrets and Forts are there to hold the slack while ships get rebuilt or relocated.  If I can't afford to risk my ships on offence while trusting (perhaps wrongly) my defense to hold long enough to get reinforcements ready, what the point of my defenses in the first place?

+1  Very well said!

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2016, 10:45:18 PM »


I would say that's tricky.  If I take all my science and unlock defensive units, then shouldn't it hold out for much longer than MK I stuff?  Wouldn't you expect MK I fleets to regularly fail completely, especially tackling higher MK worlds?   Think of it this way, if you build a MK III world and send out MK I waves against a MK III AI world, what are your expected results?  Should be something similar to what you do to AI waves at that level.

At this point I'd say AIP needs to be included in this kind of calculation, because early on , those defenses should hold just fine.  I'd think they would hold well into mid-late game.

If one decides to invest heavily in defensive techs, it is by default their offensive abilities will be more limited. So offensive actions are more likely to suffer heavy losses / be wiped and require a greater portion of commitment. However, these defensive techs allow one to more easily survive a wipe will still doing just fine. A mechanic that goes based on a portion of fleet lost punishes this defensive play style more. As Vinco said:
Quote

If I can't afford to risk my ships on offence while trusting (perhaps wrongly) my defense to hold long enough to get reinforcements ready, what the point of my defenses in the first place?
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2016, 10:52:13 PM »


I would say that's tricky.  If I take all my science and unlock defensive units, then shouldn't it hold out for much longer than MK I stuff?  Wouldn't you expect MK I fleets to regularly fail completely, especially tackling higher MK worlds?   Think of it this way, if you build a MK III world and send out MK I waves against a MK III AI world, what are your expected results?  Should be something similar to what you do to AI waves at that level.

At this point I'd say AIP needs to be included in this kind of calculation, because early on , those defenses should hold just fine.  I'd think they would hold well into mid-late game.

If one decides to invest heavily in defensive techs, it is by default their offensive abilities will be more limited. So offensive actions are more likely to suffer heavy losses / be wiped and require a greater portion of commitment. However, these defensive techs allow one to more easily survive a wipe will still doing just fine. A mechanic that goes based on a portion of fleet lost punishes this defensive play style more. As Vinco said:
Quote

If I can't afford to risk my ships on offence while trusting (perhaps wrongly) my defense to hold long enough to get reinforcements ready, what the point of my defenses in the first place?

It's why I quoted the whole thing.  I am curious as to what Tridus thinks here. 
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Offline skrutsch

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2016, 10:52:42 PM »
There is also another quibble I have with this whole idea of a "coup de grace" from the AI - namely, if this is a thing that can happen, why didn't it happen before the start of the game? The justification in AIW has been that the AI could do it, it just didn't care. Why does it suddenly care now? What is different in this new world that makes this possible?

The player losses have to be "big enough", for an appropriate value of "big enough"??

Also, at the beginning of the game "refleeting" might be building 20 fighters and 20 bombers, which shouldn't trigger an aggressive response.

So any definition of "fleet wipe" would need to consider number of ships lost, percentage (of player ship capacity) lost, current AIP and probably other things too.

Offline Sestren

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2016, 11:46:18 PM »
This backs up to the more general question of refleeting speed (because none of the three child threads seem to be touching that directly), but in my experience I wind up hitting two things that make refleeting more annoying than it needs to be.

1) If I have a large quantity of metal in reserve and I want to dump it all into my fleet quickly I need a huge pile of engineers on station. Metal gates production and I get that if you don't have metal you don't get ships and that's fine, but sometimes I have the metal and its just a pain making it into ships. I tend to spread my engineers all over the place so that if any particular world gets its defenses bruised, there's ships available to fix the turrets but this leaves enough spare engineers for maybe two worlds to produce ships at less than a crawl. A mk 5 Zenith starship takes something like 220 minutes to build without any engineers assisting. If I have the million and a half metal or so available then its just busywork to have to wrangle all of my mk 3 engineers and drag them over and I usually don't bother. Does anyone else play this way or should I just be making better use of warpgates and stacking all my engineers at a core planet?

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is I would like the option to, if I already HAVE the metal available, just spend it in bulk immediately. You still can't build more ships than you have ongoing metal income for in the long term, so no infinite fleet zerging. It just feels weird that because metal essentially IS time*territory (there isn't a way to get it other than paying time and AIP) I'm paying a time cost in metal and then paying a time cost AGAIN just waiting for the metal to spend. The counterargument is "well this is the AI's counterattack window" but it never actually counterattacks in such a manner that you lose.

2)If I'm NOT losing my fleet for whatever reason and metal is just piling up, I just lose it. I think someone else proposed increasing the cap? In, say, supreme commander, you always had places to invest mass and letting your buffer hit capacity was a sign you were doing something wrong. Now I'm certainly not proposing to let the player build ships without cap (I think the ship cap thing works really well as is) but it would be nice to either let me keep that metal and spend it later or otherwise invest it into SOMETHING rather than just let it lapse. Because despite income being represented as a stream in this game, that actually doesn't correlate very well with metal usage patterns in my experience. At least in my games, its long stretches of little to no metal use and then short spikes of MASSIVE metal consumption when a fleet rebuilds or a superweapon repairs (that, in accordance with point one, I would like to make even shorter and more intense if possible).

Probably better to look at a way of investing it in a slow burn. If a player could bank metal all game and then spend it super quickly, it could lead to some crazy homeworld zergs. Or maybe its fine and the real annoyance is somewhere else.
=======

Regarding the AI being more of a threat when the player has made a poor move, the threatfleet is probably the best mechanism for that. Just have preemption on at a moderately strong level as the default and the threatfleet can operate more frequently.

=======

Actually... let me reframe the issue a bit. What SHOULD a failure mode look like? If the player has made a critical error and left themselves open to potentially losing the game, what exactly ought that sequence of events look like? Should it look different between an average difficulty game and a high difficulty game? A low AIP game and a high AIP game? What sequence of events could lead to a loss for a player playing a low AIP game at 7/7 or 8/8? SHOULD there be such a condition? (I think so else there is no real risk/challenge, but maybe someone feels that playing 'optimally' you should never need to reload a game. Ironman types perhaps.)

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2016, 11:53:38 PM »
The "refleet problem" occurs when your metal capacity-cap is lower than your total fleet cost, that is, you've capped out your resources, you lob your fleet into the abyss, and it starts getting rebuilt.  But that before you finish your metal is drained back to 0 and you're reliant on only the income to produce new units.

Flooring your metal from the cap rebuilding doesn't in any way make you a weak target: you've got a good third to half of your fleet ready and waiting.  The problem is that your total cost exceeded your reserves by a factor greater than your income-per-second.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2016, 01:45:30 AM »
Sorry. I'm going to be a jerk about this. Same for pumpkin, but Tridus came first when I tried to quote something.

I don't see refleeting as a need for death.  If I have enough fixed defenses to absorb what the AI throws at me before I have enough mobile defenders up and running again, then I've made a strategic choice to weaken myself for a time to destroy an AI fleet or other objective.  That's a viable strategy.  My playstyle is to push and HOLD all territory.  That means that I'm going to push into heavily defended mark 4 worlds at some point.  If it takes me two tries to get that fortress down, so be it.  Make the AI reprisal function toothy, but let me spend my resources as I see fit.

Ships are there to be used.  Turrets and Forts are there to hold the slack while ships get rebuilt or relocated.  If I can't afford to risk my ships on offence while trusting (perhaps wrongly) my defense to hold long enough to get reinforcements ready, what the point of my defenses in the first place?

If the AI is utterly incapable of defeating your defenses alone, haven't you effectively already won the game? At that point, it's just a matter of doing the actual labour of killing enough stuff to win. Losing is impossible.

By all means, I want defenses to be good (I love Fallen Spire, after all). But if the AI can't overwhelm them in any situation, they're *too* good. If the AI sees that you're no threat to it whatsoever because your entire fleet got blown up and it's normal attacks can't beat your defenses, that's a great time for it to try harder, isn't it?

From the AIP review thread:

Quote from: Tridus
Sure.
What if someone else wants to? They don't care about balance, or being challenged. They want to turn on every superweapon in the galaxy and watch 50,000 ships slug it out in an epic final confrontation. I don't see why that's any better or worse than what you want to do.
There is not one true way to play the game. You need to understand that.

The way I see it, short of removing that playstyle where it's possible to go for 110+ planet, I don't see how it's possible to make refleet fatals. Or, actually, any attack fatal. If it's possible to make yourself strong enough to withstand that large an attack, it's possible to make yourself next to invicible in less harsh games

That means that any player can learn to wait out any threat he wants. I don't wish much to argue about this, because most of the arguments about that have been made on Firaxis X-Com 2, compared to Firaxis X-Com 1, when they introduced timers to most missions. It'll only be a repeat of what is said there. I do believe X-Com 2 to be a better game because it forces you to make yourself exposed. That said I understand the opposite opinion. But I think that making yourself more exposed will make AI War II more interesting.

Now, possibly I've got the wrong idea and I'm being too black & white. I'm very much open to be countered on this.

Anyway, that's why I wanted, in the other thread about AIP review, to introduce a death timer. If you HAVE to finish the game within XX hours (minus whatever you've conquered to make yourself stronger), then a lot of ultra-defensive cheese goes out of the window, and I believe I still respected AI war's ideals. After all, default settings, have a soft cap of 1 AIP / 30 minutes that's meant just to do that, even if not very successful at it.



I'd therefore go for a death timer of some sort, a huge reduction in possible defense capabilities. That would teach the player, to "ration" his defenses to whatever is strictly necessary and limit his losses, so he can attack more often. Else, lobby options / modding for people that want "capture 110+ planet style" long games.


About the thread, I don't have much to add. I don't actually see a single fleet wipe as an issue. It's bound to happen in a 20 hours game, and I'm not sure it not deserves a game over. On the other side, repeatedly wiping your fleet while failing to accomplish anything ain't that much of a good idea either. But, wiping a large part of your fleet, and accomplishing an objective is a thing in AI war and that shouldn't go away.

My issue is that if that proposal is as-is in the game, it's possible to "cheat" it with possibly even worse ideas.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 01:50:12 AM by kasnavada »

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2016, 01:48:35 AM »
Didn't this already exist in the form of freed up defenders forming a threatfleet and striking back after a botched attack?
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2016, 01:54:53 AM »
Didn't this already exist in the form of freed up defenders forming a threatfleet and striking back after a botched attack?

If you're playing low AIP route, threatfleet or reinforcement ain't a thing. Hence why I'm for removing that route. Rather, removing AIP reduction as a whole. By extension, AIP floor becomes useless and can be removed too. Then, waves, reinforcements and other mechanics were there to kill you if you botched an attack, are there to kill you when you botched at attack. But, the low AIP route existed, so special mechanics were made to counter it, like DG lairs, brutal guard posts, CSGs, AIP Floor, and so on.

That said, yes, I know, it's probably too much "core" to AI war to remove now. So, let's go for more special mechanics like DG lairs, brutal guard posts, and so on.

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2016, 01:55:07 AM »
From a larger discussion about basically how refleeting is boring, we get this:

Refleeting is an indication of player strategic failure.  Don't make refleeting easier, make it fatal!

I envision a balance where metal is like hp with regen: if you have tons of it, you can be reckless, throw your fleet in big battle and push forward; if you're low you need to be cautious and not loose your fleet (even less throwing it in a big fight). If you're out of metal, then it's like being 1hp and the AI should finish you off mercilessly.

I think that this is a point worth discussing.  Generally speaking, when the forces of an army are defeated, the enemy pushes the attack and defeats them.  In AI War, this was never the case.  But if you tried to pull that mess in Starcraft, you'd be dead in a few minutes unless it was a mutual destruction.

There are a few problems here, though:

1. We'd need some sort of "AI Opportunism Meter" (or whatever) that causes the AI to want to kill you even more when you are down.  That's going to lead to lots of death spirals, though, likely.

2. The player seeing that meter go down has two options: retreat and heal up, or crank out the new ships as fast as possible.

3. In a lot of respects, neither option really interests me all that much.  Both encourage "watching the speedometer rather than the road," so to speak.

But this is an interesting discussion.
What about some kind of special resource when you strike a major blow to the AI -- something only they have the technology to create (there's already a lot of that in the game).

It comes in limited supplies, usually by performing some action that raises your AIP like taking out an Orbital Command or attack their Homeworlds.

This material allows you to mass produce ships extremely quickly, even refleeting your Army to a major strategical blunder. However, once it runs out you simply produce things at normal speed (which for many of us is pretty slow).

If you combine this with some of the mechanics that are already in the game, it means that losing an entire Army could be much more easily defended if you can rebuild your fleet quickly, but at the normal speeds may prove fatal (or at least a massive loss of territory).
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fatal refleeting.
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2016, 02:23:25 AM »
What about some kind of special resource when you strike a major blow to the AI -- something only they have the technology to create (there's already a lot of that in the game).

It comes in limited supplies, usually by performing some action that raises your AIP like taking out an Orbital Command or attack their Homeworlds.

This material allows you to mass produce ships extremely quickly, even refleeting your Army to a major strategical blunder. However, once it runs out you simply produce things at normal speed (which for many of us is pretty slow).

If you combine this with some of the mechanics that are already in the game, it means that losing an entire Army could be much more easily defended if you can rebuild your fleet quickly, but at the normal speeds may prove fatal (or at least a massive loss of territory).

So... basically...
Killing an enemy structure would give "points" that ship building can use ?

What happens when you botch an attack ? You just wait, just like now, with a deathball coming at you ? That would be extremely punishing to new players that would just fail to recognize threats as they really are. I thought we were looking to make learning the game a bit more newb-friendly.