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Games => AI War II => AI War II - Gameplay Ideas => Topic started by: x4000 on September 12, 2016, 04:18:52 PM

Title: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: x4000 on September 12, 2016, 04:18:52 PM
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.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Captain Jack on September 12, 2016, 04:27:31 PM
Refleeting is terrifically boring, but it's not necessarily the result of a loss. It can just as easily be the result of a win-but-barely, or an outright victory.

If you send out a fleet and lose it without inconveniencing the AI you've committed a tactical error. If you send in a fleet and and an Armored Golem and lose the fleet while the Armored Golem takes the system, did you commit an error or did you find a use for a bunch of Mk 1s?

It's much better to have a system's defenders go on the attack if you lose a certain number of ships in a system, and have the AI convert a certain percent of defenders on nearby planets into attackers for a joint raid.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Pumpkin on September 12, 2016, 04:32:32 PM
Oops, I replied in the old thread. Sorry.

In terms of making the refleeting period fatal, that could be done, and I like the idea on the surface, but how do we determine what the criteria are for the AI to pounce and kill you, and how is that communicated to the player?
I imagined something like nearby shipyards would be allowed to slowly bleed into threat while the players' "total required metal for full refleet" is below it's current metal storage. Also, the threat would be more cocky, not only doing backstab when there is nobody home, but more willing to engage player's incomplete fleet. Within minutes, all frontiers would fall, the fleet can't rebuild fast enough to contain the lurking/probing threat, and the player(s) loose by invasion.

That wouldn't be the massive AIP death where all your complete fleet on your best defended world cannot stop bajilions of carriers, but a smaller force taking advantage of even smaller defending fleet. The players must to be really stressed and scared of loosing when at 0 metal and half-fleet.

Also, if the fleetwipe was brutal enough, the big reprisal must have already wreaked at least one frontier world in which the lurking, vulture-like threat would join in.

It could be a sort of state with a condition and a warning.
"Your lack of metal for efficiently defend your territory is luring the AI to attack" for the conditions of "required metal > stored metal" and the effect of nearby shipyards bleeding vulture-mode ships and decreasing the go/nogo threshold for threat invasion.

Just that plus reprisal would be enough to achieve a bad situation, but would be rather easily countered by a victorious-yet-damaged fleet.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 12, 2016, 04:53:59 PM
I always saw the defenses in AI war as "more efficient", in term of what they could kill, than the "active fleet", which is offense. To make refleeting fatal, the AI has to crush through the player's defenses, in the absence of "offense".

How is it going to do that ? I've seen defensive set-ups on the forum capable of holding stuff I could barely believe when I started playing - like when people go for the 110 planet achievement. From my other "AIP" thread, people don't seem to want those gone.

How is the "AI counterattack" going to be as stronger than defense, but not than defense + offense ? I agree there's a gap here. But is it big enough ?


Quote
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'm ok with the concept, but, wouldn't that just make the player wait until the coffers are full, instead of "just" until the fleet is rebuilt ?
What mechanic, exactly, would make the player empty his coffers AND put his fleet in danger at the same time, once he knows how the game works ?


I'm ok with making the AI much more aggressive, so coffer-emptying happens more often, but maybe other ideas ?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Draco18s on September 12, 2016, 04:57:43 PM
How is it going to do that ? I've seen defensive set-ups on the forum capable of holding stuff I could barely believe when I started playing - like when people go for the 110 planet achievement. From my other "AIP" thread, people don't seem to want those gone.

You mean a full cap of all turrets mk 1-3 (two caps of some), one cap of Heavy Beam Cannon 1-4, two caps of Fortresses 1-3, a superfort, and a handful of primarily defensive units (flagships buffing turrets, force fields, etc)?

That chokepoint was so impenetrable it didn't even need periodic repairs.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Minotaar on September 12, 2016, 05:12:36 PM
I'm not sure we're getting at the right problem here.

It has been my experience that if I take my fleet somewhere I shouldn't have and it gets wiped, it was probably because I ran into some honeycombs powerful enemy ships. Those ships then go up on the Threat counter, and are free to come hurt me wherever it hurts the most. If that happens to stack up with anything else bad happening at the time, you get *FUN*.

I think Threat mechanic is really freaking cool and leads to a lot of the "AI impresses the player" moments, and has been an integral part of the game since forever. So if for some reason it's not working as well as it should (too passive? not enough enemies? too easy to manage?), I think we should look into fixing that instead of creating a new thing that is like the old thing, but more blunt.

If we're talking about an even battle that ends in mutual destruction or the player using several waves to take down a fortified position - I don't think it's fair if the AI goes out of its way to kill the player for it, either. The downtime may well be boring in these cases, but it's really hard to patch that with a specific mechanic because a) it has to be something you wouldn't do the rest of the time and b) have marginal fun utility higher that Youtube.  :D Maybe I'm just used to playing in such a way that this isn't an issue, so would be cool to hear specific scenarios where this is a big problem. Maybe it turns out that the economy allows you to build up a lot of stuff over time, but not replace it. Maybe it's a problem with specifically high-power setups where your resources are tied up in bigger stuff, etc.

For some concrete suggestions:
1) check if Threat is still a threat in moderate amounts, if not - maybe something along the line of Captain Jack's suggestion of drawing extra units from nearby systems would work. Or Special Forces packs beelining to ongoing battles and joining threat. Or adding entirely new and evil behaviours to mess with players who have been perfecting their defensive strategies for years. Point is, this is a strong, core mechanic and there are a bunch of knobs to tweak there, with potentially wide-reaching benefits
2) make sure we are somewhat balancing the Metal costs with the upcoming Fuel costs, so that the player can't get themselves in a huuuuge time hole just by losing their fleet. But we really know nothing about what the economy will be like at this point.
3) don't make tactical defeats game-ending! That just leaves "reload and don't mess it up this time" as the only way to proceed, and I don't think the game will be better for going in that direction.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Pumpkin on September 12, 2016, 05:34:54 PM
3) don't make tactical defeats game-ending! That just leaves "reload and don't mess it up this time" as the only way to proceed, and I don't think the game will be better for going in that direction.
Sometimes, in my experience, it goes this way. I try something, get wiped because of something that I could have foreseen (9x MkV self-destruct guardians on a core world, lately), insult myself, reload and try to figure a way (AoE-immune missile frigates, maybe?)
And it's fine, IMO. Well, if the failure is blunt enough with a complete fleetwipe and minor damage in the ranks of the AI, even with no big-reprisal-blam-you're-dead, I reload. 9x MkV self-destruct guardians on my whole fleet is not a "tactical defeat", that's a flat-out death-sentence. :D

Your ideas are interesting, nonetheless. I tend to keep what currently is in the game (fleetwipe-level-reprisal) and make the threat smarter at deciding when to call the game's end. My idea was a bit artificial, indeed.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Minotaar on September 12, 2016, 06:00:25 PM
3) don't make tactical defeats game-ending! That just leaves "reload and don't mess it up this time" as the only way to proceed, and I don't think the game will be better for going in that direction.
Sometimes, in my experience, it goes this way. I try something, get wiped because of something that I could have foreseen (9x MkV self-destruct guardians on a core world, lately), insult myself, reload and try to figure a way (AoE-immune missile frigates, maybe?)
And it's fine, IMO. Well, if the failure is blunt enough with a complete fleetwipe and minor damage in the ranks of the AI, even with no big-reprisal-blam-you're-dead, I reload. 9x MkV self-destruct guardians on my whole fleet is not a "tactical defeat", that's a flat-out death-sentence. :D

Your ideas are interesting, nonetheless. I tend to keep what currently is in the game (fleetwipe-level-reprisal) and make the threat smarter at deciding when to call the game's end. My idea was a bit artificial, indeed.

Sure! I'm not saying reloading and general trying of stuff should be discouraged, it just doesn't need to be forced when a mistake like this happens. I feel like it should at least be possible to just accept it and move on, for people who are into that. :)

Sometimes, though, you do go in expecting serious or complete losses. I would dread to get an objective done at the cost of the whole fleet, and get destroyed by the Game Is Over Now Department as a reward.  :) This kind of mechanic also needs to be explained in advance to a new player, or, well, you know.

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?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: chemical_art on September 12, 2016, 06:05:24 PM
I think that if refleeting is boring a player is then the existing mechanics need to be refined, not that yet another death mechanic is in play. For me, such a mechanic is just yet another number I must juggle that limits my options. I don't feel like it would assist my games at all. It would force more save summing and an overall culling of my strategic options.

In  my games the losses of refleeting are already hard enough. I do not die from them because on a strategic level I time them to be appropriate.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 12, 2016, 07:55:18 PM
I always saw the defenses in AI war as "more efficient", in term of what they could kill, than the "active fleet", which is offense. To make refleeting fatal, the AI has to crush through the player's defenses, in the absence of "offense".

How is it going to do that ? I've seen defensive set-ups on the forum capable of holding stuff I could barely believe when I started playing - like when people go for the 110 planet achievement. From my other "AIP" thread, people don't seem to want those gone.

How is the "AI counterattack" going to be as stronger than defense, but not than defense + offense ? I agree there's a gap here. But is it big enough ?

Well, normally the AI has to keep planets defended because you've got a mobile fleet that could hit them in several places. If the AI sees your fleet get wiped out, why can't it release a whole pile of ships on the border and come charging in? It's got time to rebuild those ships for defense while you rebuild your ships for offense, so there's effectively an opening for it to attack for free. Those attacks could be major in scope, worse than what would happen when it has to hold ships in reserve to defend against you.

Also, a new game means a chance to rebalance the defenses some. I think defenses should be strong enough to repel a typical wave if built well, but if you have no fleet to keep the AI on the defensive, why wouldn't it shift to an all-out assault?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: TechSY730 on September 12, 2016, 07:57:51 PM
Agreed with the general sentiment.

We already have mechanics in place that are either supposed to or easily be extended to help with this, but for some reason are currently falling short of what they are supposed to be doing (making the AI "go for the kill" when you have both "annoyed" it and you are seemingly vulnerable). The big one is threat (especially threat fleet). Also special forces could gain some new roles in this vain (currently it is almost exclusively used for defense, but I could see it being used for offense as well if the AI thought you were "vulnerable").

Also, there are ideas involving things like the "shark" plots becoming core, mandatory mechanics.

Maybe tweak these existing mechanics; figure out what their shortcomings are that are causing them not to do their intended job (or be extended naturally to fill this job), and fix those, before adding a potentially new cryptic "gotcha" mechanic.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: chemical_art on September 12, 2016, 08:31:04 PM

Also, there are ideas involving things like the "shark" plots becoming core, mandatory mechanics.


Don't remind me. Hated that plot with a mild passion.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: chemical_art on September 12, 2016, 08:39:12 PM
w is the "AI counterattack" going to be as stronger than defense, but not than defense + offense ? I agree there's a gap here. But is it big enough ?

Well, normally the AI has to keep planets defended because you've got a mobile fleet that could hit them in several places. If the AI sees your fleet get wiped out, why can't it release a whole pile of ships on the border and come charging in? It's got time to rebuild those ships for defense while you rebuild your ships for offense, so there's effectively an opening for it to attack for free. Those attacks could be major in scope, worse than what would happen when it has to hold ships in reserve to defend against you.

[/quote]

Didn't threat do that already to a point? If you have a fleet stationed to actually defend a world then that fleet is removed then the fleet attacks. The idea it didn't reserve ships was because it is hard to define what is a "wipe". I can already imagine cheesing out the AI to force them to waste ships because they "think" I am wiped when I did not. So I don't think this really solves anything. It just makes things that more convoluted.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Vinco on September 12, 2016, 09:31:06 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?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: skrutsch on September 12, 2016, 10:02:36 PM
If you send out a fleet and lose it without inconveniencing the AI you've committed a tactical error.

Agreed, but that wouldn't cause a "refleeting" because you've still got some/much/most of your ships still alive, and you can play with them while your factories churn out replacements.

I think this thread is discussing what happens if you send out THE (whole, more or less) fleet and lose it without inconveniencing the AI.

Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus 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?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Cinth 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.

Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: skrutsch 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.)
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Draco18s 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.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: skrutsch 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!
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: chemical_art 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?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Cinth 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. 
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: skrutsch 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.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Sestren 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.)
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Draco18s 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.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada 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.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Mánagarmr 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?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada 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.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Wingflier 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).
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada 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.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 04:04:10 AM
I read the thread diagonally. Not being on the American schedule, I have a lot to catch up. The ideas from both sides are very interesting and I think are we already boiling the topic down to its equilibrium.

I scraped my individual replies as they are a bit old now and many things have been said; I would only repeat someone's point (or worst: mine). So I just want to bring a little something new in the conversation: there is the ironman idea floating up in the air. If this is going to be (and it would be as a "really sure?"-warned optional-option), the game will need to somewhat let completing a game (below personal challenge level, of course) without savescum possible.

Minotaar made me think about it.
3) don't make tactical defeats game-ending! That just leaves "reload and don't mess it up this time" as the only way to proceed, and I don't think the game will be better for going in that direction.
Sometimes, in my experience, it goes this way. I try something, get wiped because of something that I could have foreseen (9x MkV self-destruct guardians on a core world, lately), insult myself, reload and try to figure a way (AoE-immune missile frigates, maybe?)
And it's fine, IMO. Well, if the failure is blunt enough with a complete fleetwipe and minor damage in the ranks of the AI, even with no big-reprisal-blam-you're-dead, I reload. 9x MkV self-destruct guardians on my whole fleet is not a "tactical defeat", that's a flat-out death-sentence. :D

Your ideas are interesting, nonetheless. I tend to keep what currently is in the game (fleetwipe-level-reprisal) and make the threat smarter at deciding when to call the game's end. My idea was a bit artificial, indeed.

Sure! I'm not saying reloading and general trying of stuff should be discouraged, it just doesn't need to be forced when a mistake like this happens. I feel like it should at least be possible to just accept it and move on, for people who are into that. :)

Sometimes, though, you do go in expecting serious or complete losses. I would dread to get an objective done at the cost of the whole fleet, and get destroyed by the Game Is Over Now Department as a reward.  :) This kind of mechanic also needs to be explained in advance to a new player, or, well, you know.

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?

So players will need to be able to move on with mistakes. So that "fatal refleeting" mechanism should quickly finish already-lost-games without just increasing the "move forward" difficulty.
Well, if the "ironman optional-option" becomes a thing, of course.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 07:45:23 AM
Well, this thread got exciting when I went to sleep. :D I'll try to reply individually, simply because one post that's replying to five people and five things at once can get confusing very quickly.

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.

I'd say that's fair. What about during the HW assault? If your defenses are still impregnable at that point without any ship support, you've won. The only thing left to do is solve the HW puzzle (or zerg it, depending on how nasty it is). But there's no way to lose anymore. That's the condition we get in a lot of 4X games where the game is over but it takes 50 more turns for the game to realize that it's over.

To me, this comes down to a fundamental question of "what is the lose condition?" Is it strictly "you let AIP get too high?" If that's the case, impregnable defenses at the expected AIP is probably fine, since they should crumble once AIP gets high enough (although in Classic you can make them near impregnable, period).

Alternately, is "you threw away your entire fleet and the AI punished you for it" a lose condition, or at least a "you lost some planets and have to retake them" condition? I don't see how the AI is particularly threatening if it just sits there waiting for you even when it knows you have no means to attack it, instead of coming at you.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 07:48:49 AM
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.

I don't see how that matters. If the AI can't beat your defenses, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to beat theirs. You will, eventually. It's only a question of time, and you have all kinds of time when you have unbeatable defense.

The AI HW's defenses also don't get rebuilt when they get destroyed. You can whittle it down piece by piece. The AI can't do that, because if it doesn't wipe out your whipping boy completely and press deeper in, it'll be rebuilt before they attack again.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 07:54:37 AM


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.

Yeah, exactly. I don't know if people misunderstood me, or what. I never said "if your fleet gets wiped, the AI should instakill you."

What I said was "if you have no means of attacking the AI, the AI should free up some of its defensive ships to go on offense and counterattack you in force." If you invested mostly in defensive tech, you have a decent shot at still surviving that. All it means is that the AI isn't going to sit there passively with a thousand ships doing nothing while you build your fleet back up, because why would it? That's the perfect time to launch an offensive.

The AI has all these lovely space docks full of ships waiting to be attacked. If the AI knows it's not going to be attacked, it should use some of them to attack you. Hell, that could help your fleet out if you lure enough stuff in and take it out: you've just weakened the ship support in some of the AI's worlds.

The goal is *not* fleet wipe = game over. It's fleet wipe = AI aggression, and you need to deal with that until the AI has to back off to defend against you again. Certainly makes refleeting periods a lot more interesting because there's stuff organically going on.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 07:59:43 AM
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.

The simplest definition is probably one of relative power. Is your fleet powerful enough to be any kind of threat to the AI worlds that are on alert/recently attacked/reachable/whatever (the changes in AIW2 change how this works somewhat)? If the answer is yes (and for mk I worlds near your start, it takes very little power for that to be true), the AI would want to keep its docked ships for defense. If the answer is no, then the AI can free up some of those ships for an attack.

I wouldn't expect that response to become massive until late game when you're doing HW assaults and such... but really, if the AI HW is under attack and it wipes your fleet, should it's other 20 planets really sit passively with thousands of ships on them doing *absolutely nothing*?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 13, 2016, 08:03:35 AM
I wouldn't expect that response to become massive until late game when you're doing HW assaults and such... but really, if the AI HW is under attack and it wipes your fleet, should it's other 20 planets really sit passively with thousands of ships on them doing *absolutely nothing*?

I know you're probably not finished, but +10000 to this. With the limitation "can / should the player be able to withstand the counter-attack ?"
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Cinth on September 13, 2016, 08:04:53 AM
I'd say that's fair. What about during the HW assault? If your defenses are still impregnable at that point without any ship support, you've won. The only thing left to do is solve the HW puzzle (or zerg it, depending on how nasty it is). But there's no way to lose anymore. That's the condition we get in a lot of 4X games where the game is over but it takes 50 more turns for the game to realize that it's over.

To me, this comes down to a fundamental question of "what is the lose condition?" Is it strictly "you let AIP get too high?" If that's the case, impregnable defenses at the expected AIP is probably fine, since they should crumble once AIP gets high enough (although in Classic you can make them near impregnable, period).

Alternately, is "you threw away your entire fleet and the AI punished you for it" a lose condition, or at least a "you lost some planets and have to retake them" condition? I don't see how the AI is particularly threatening if it just sits there waiting for you even when it knows you have no means to attack it, instead of coming at you.

In AIWC there is no such thing as an impenetrable defense.  Every line has a breaking point against brute force and the AI has some tricks.  I've lost due to Raids and EMP guardians.  I've lost due to AIP being to high for what I had placed.

Also in Classic, you get to a point where there AI just won't even encroach.  If you defensive firepower is high, it just camps wormholes.


The goal is *not* fleet wipe = game over. It's fleet wipe = AI aggression, and you need to deal with that until the AI has to back off to defend against you again. Certainly makes refleeting periods a lot more interesting because there's stuff organically going on.
I like this.  Though in Classic, those ships would end up camping wormholes (in my big games).



I wouldn't expect that response to become massive until late game when you're doing HW assaults and such... but really, if the AI HW is under attack and it wipes your fleet, should it's other 20 planets really sit passively with thousands of ships on them doing *absolutely nothing*?

I know you're probably not finished, but +10000 to this. With the limitation "can / should the player be able to withstand the counter-attack ?"
I think this ties in nicely with you most recent thread.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 08:08:21 AM
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.

I leave engineers in FRD in whatever system has my space docks precisely so they can assist build them faster. Trouble is that the metal cap is not hard to hit, at which point production is wasted... then you have to build a ship that costs the metal cap, which goes fast. Everything after that is now based on your per second metal, which is slow.

Refleeting would naturally be faster with a higher cap because you'd be able to stockpile more. Maybe the cap should increase per world or something.

Quote
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.

It could, if it has enough ships. Hence my idea of the AI freeing up some of its idle ships to do that when it knows it just flattened your fleet and you have little to no offense to threaten it. What good are idle defensive ships when there's nothing to defend against?

Quote
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.)

This is probably a question for a seperate thread, but I think it's a great question that gets at part of what the core of the game is. I'd suggest you start a new thread for it so we can talk about it without it being all refleeting based. :)
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 08:13:50 AM
I wouldn't expect that response to become massive until late game when you're doing HW assaults and such... but really, if the AI HW is under attack and it wipes your fleet, should it's other 20 planets really sit passively with thousands of ships on them doing *absolutely nothing*?

I know you're probably not finished, but +10000 to this. With the limitation "can / should the player be able to withstand the counter-attack ?"

Oh good, I'm glad we're finding some common ground. :)

The answer to that IMO is "maybe". It should not be an instant game over. It should be an attack of sufficient force that it's some kind of threat to you (just throwing some ships away isn't very interesting). If your defense is good enough, you can probably hold it off, especially if your tech is more heavily skewed defensive. If it's more heavily skewed offensive? Possibly not, but in that case you've invested more power in your ships and should be fleet wiping less anyway (plus if you ignored your defenses in terms of tech, you kind of expect that you'll need some ships in a defensive response fleet to help out).
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 08:17:13 AM
In AIWC there is no such thing as an impenetrable defense.  Every line has a breaking point against brute force and the AI has some tricks.  I've lost due to Raids and EMP guardians.  I've lost due to AIP being to high for what I had placed.

That's true.

Quote
Also in Classic, you get to a point where there AI just won't even encroach.  If you defensive firepower is high, it just camps wormholes.

Also true, and kinda silly. It won't have to do that now that it can idle ships in the docks that were added for AIW2, provided it can also release those ships when it wants to attack, or load them into carriers (aka: mobile docks).


Quote
The goal is *not* fleet wipe = game over. It's fleet wipe = AI aggression, and you need to deal with that until the AI has to back off to defend against you again. Certainly makes refleeting periods a lot more interesting because there's stuff organically going on.
I like this.  Though in Classic, those ships would end up camping wormholes (in my big games).

Cool. :) Conceptually, this seems to have some support. Hopefully Chris gets a chance to look at it.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Cinth on September 13, 2016, 08:29:52 AM
Cool. :) Conceptually, this seems to have some support. Hopefully Chris gets a chance to look at it.

I think it's a sound idea that kinda refines what Threat Fleet and SF should do in certain cases.  I'd think the veterans would support something like this also.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 13, 2016, 08:42:52 AM
I wouldn't expect that response to become massive until late game when you're doing HW assaults and such... but really, if the AI HW is under attack and it wipes your fleet, should it's other 20 planets really sit passively with thousands of ships on them doing *absolutely nothing*?

I know you're probably not finished, but +10000 to this. With the limitation "can / should the player be able to withstand the counter-attack ?"

Oh good, I'm glad we're finding some common ground. :)

The answer to that IMO is "maybe". It should not be an instant game over. It should be an attack of sufficient force that it's some kind of threat to you (just throwing some ships away isn't very interesting). If your defense is good enough, you can probably hold it off, especially if your tech is more heavily skewed defensive. If it's more heavily skewed offensive? Possibly not, but in that case you've invested more power in your ships and should be fleet wiping less anyway (plus if you ignored your defenses in terms of tech, you kind of expect that you'll need some ships in a defensive response fleet to help out).

And I'll disagree with that part. The principle I'm ok with - if defensive techs are strong enough, should be able to defend, if offensive tech are enough, shouldn't have wiped.
I don't think that defensive techs are in any way "balanced" compared to offensive techs. By which I mean that the same number of tech points are going to boost your defensive capabilities way beyond than whatever your offensive capabilities can do. And, therefore, it's a bit too easy to make oneself next to invicible while defending, while the same when attacking... not that much. Not to mention that you can lose your offense while defending. Unless you let the AIP treshold go way beyond what's wise for your defense capabilities, you're mostly safe. Whereas a bad encounter on a deep strike can always happen no matter how strong you are. The point is to avoid the "if the AI can't do anything, then it might be long but you've won" answer you've done a bit above.

Hence https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19120.0.html

Quote
EMP & raid
Here I must admit... I possibly have not have opened the full bag of tricks (I don't often play above 9, too tedious), but in my experience EMP can be hunted down via the search interface of the map screen and don't spawn with waves. Raid starships I countered with gravity turrets and "setting" the turrets to auto-target them first.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Cinth on September 13, 2016, 08:52:59 AM
Quote

    EMP & raid

Here I must admit... I possibly have not have opened the full bag of tricks (I don't often play above 9, too tedious), but in my experience EMP can be hunted down via the search interface of the map screen and don't spawn with waves. Raid starships I countered with gravity turrets and "setting" the turrets to auto-target them first.

The thing is to give the AI tools to subvert but not make defenses irrelevant.  It then puts it on the player to counter those threats.  I think that's a good thing to do.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 08:54:47 AM
Remainder.

The AI will be able to take territory back. The consequence for a fleetwipe / weakened defense wouldn't be an immediate game over, but rather the opportunity for the AI to step forward and conquer one (or some) of your worlds. It would be a similar consequence for player carelessly taking more territory than can be economically defended (but with the per-planet energy, I don't know if that situation will be possible, unfortunately).

Anyway, a player would only lose a game after several iterations of the downward spiral or "fleetwipe -> frontier planet(s) lost -> less economy -> ai more aggressive -> frontier planet(s) lost -> etc".

And while I'm thinking about that, I think that per-planet energy killed something important without us noticing. I'll try to make another post about that.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: skrutsch on September 13, 2016, 08:56:14 AM
Cool.  Conceptually, this seems to have some support. Hopefully Chris gets a chance to look at it.

I think it's a sound idea that kinda refines what Threat Fleet and SF should do in certain cases.  I'd think the veterans would support something like this also.

Some will; TechSY730 suggested essentially this solution in message #10 in this thread.  I blame that Chris guy for trying to introduce a new mechanic instead of fixing an existing one. :) :) :)
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Cinth on September 13, 2016, 09:00:55 AM
Cool.  Conceptually, this seems to have some support. Hopefully Chris gets a chance to look at it.

I think it's a sound idea that kinda refines what Threat Fleet and SF should do in certain cases.  I'd think the veterans would support something like this also.

Some will; TechSY730 suggested essentially this solution in message #10 in this thread.  I blame that Chris guy for trying to introduce a new mechanic instead of fixing an existing one. :) :) :)

It's something that has been suggested a lot over time actually.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 13, 2016, 09:02:38 AM
I don't see how that matters. If the AI can't beat your defenses, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to beat theirs. You will, eventually. It's only a question of time, and you have all kinds of time when you have unbeatable defense.
Not necessarily. Barring high level low-AIP strats, you are eventually going to run into either overwhelming waves or a too massive reinforcement, leading to you being stumped and unable to break the AIs defenses.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 13, 2016, 09:08:06 AM
I don't see how that matters. If the AI can't beat your defenses, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to beat theirs. You will, eventually. It's only a question of time, and you have all kinds of time when you have unbeatable defense.
Not necessarily. Barring high level low-AIP strats, you are eventually going to run into either overwhelming waves or a too massive reinforcement, leading to you being stumped and unable to break the AIs defenses.

Unless someone else than I actually plan to remove the low AIP strat, I feel like tridus is right. Also, I seem to recall from other threads that tridus has quite the experience with 110 planet capture challenges, so... if he tells it so, I listen to his opinion. With this option in the game, I fear that low AIP is going to be even more of the default strat than before. Also, with low AIP strat, the whole point of the "let's beat the player with reinforcement" falls apart, because there is little to no reinforcement.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 09:09:52 AM
A sort of dynamic "preemption", maybe? Like the AI slowly releasing defense units into threat when they are "overflowing"? If the player inflicted great looses to the AI at the expense of its own fleet, both teams will spend some time rebuilding themselves. But if the player just crashed on an MkXVIII AI wall, the AI has barely no reinforcement to do and start releasing the threat.

Also, as noted several times before, a smarter, or at least more aggressive threat might be the perfect solution. "Don't let the Humans get back on their feet."
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 09:35:48 AM
I don't see how that matters. If the AI can't beat your defenses, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to beat theirs. You will, eventually. It's only a question of time, and you have all kinds of time when you have unbeatable defense.
Not necessarily. Barring high level low-AIP strats, you are eventually going to run into either overwhelming waves or a too massive reinforcement, leading to you being stumped and unable to break the AIs defenses.

Unless someone else than I actually plan to remove the low AIP strat, I feel like tridus is right. Also, I seem to recall from other threads that tridus has quite the experience with 110 planet capture challenges, so... if he tells it so, I listen to his opinion. With this option in the game, I fear that low AIP is going to be even more of the default strat than before. Also, with low AIP strat, the whole point of the "let's beat the player with reinforcement" falls apart, because there is little to no reinforcement.

Well, I know the setup I use pretty well. Other setups are different, so I'd assume that the person disagreeing with me also knows what they're talking about. :)

A game where you try to get the Control 110 Achievement is very different than a low AIP no superweapons 9/9 game. In that situation, it very well could reach an effective stalemate.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 09:51:02 AM
A sort of dynamic "preemption", maybe? Like the AI slowly releasing defense units into threat when they are "overflowing"? If the player inflicted great looses to the AI at the expense of its own fleet, both teams will spend some time rebuilding themselves. But if the player just crashed on an MkXVIII AI wall, the AI has barely no reinforcement to do and start releasing the threat.

I was thnking it'd be faster, but that's the general idea. More "player crashed on an AI Wall, AI responds with 'release 500 ships RIGHT NOW and counterattack, I can rebuild them later'."

Quote
Also, as noted several times before, a smarter, or at least more aggressive threat might be the perfect solution. "Don't let the Humans get back on their feet."

I think so. It keeps the player on their toes, lets you test your defenses, discourages full fleet wipes (retreat is good for multiple reasons now), and doesn't require any fundamental rework of basic mechanics like pilots or limited metal deposits would. It also doesn't require the reprisal mechanic, because the AI already has the ships in this case on various worlds and can simply release them into the threatfleet, which can then try and attack something.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 13, 2016, 10:13:44 AM
(smarter & more aggressive AI)
How do you plan to make the AI more aggressive and smarter ?
Aggressive could be done via giving it more stuff, like releasing more threat as discussed here. (Or, preventing AIP to be reduced, so it has more stuff). But smarter ?

If the player set-ups multiple choke points, the smarter idea is to siege you out, which the AI already does. That's just asking for being nuked, though. Also sieging the player kinds of fails because you don't actually need anything from the outside.

Actually, I kind of remember than in those case, one of the AI plot got some kind of teleporter thingy capable of targetting something beyond your defenses. I don't have the game at the moment, can't check. While, possibly not the right idea...

Shouldn't the game require the player to go out more ?
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 13, 2016, 10:55:51 AM
(smarter & more aggressive AI)

Can't resist. (https://youtu.be/2BRXmgcBHBM?t=51s)
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Toranth on September 13, 2016, 03:09:36 PM
I don't see why people think a fleetwipe is a bad thing.  To me, my fleetships aren't really units so much as expendable munitions.  For 75% or more of each game, when I leave my homeworld with my fleet, I don't expect any fleetships to make it back.  I'll protect my starships and other really expensive things, but fighters?  Who cares about 100 fighters?

The main reason for this is that, barring some very unbalanced fights, you can always get something for your units.  Those 100 fighters?  Toss them at those special forces.  Sure, they'll only take out 2% of the AI fleet before they die, but that's 2% you won't need to take out when you come back.

Actually, I kind of remember than in those case, one of the AI plot got some kind of teleporter thingy capable of targetting something beyond your defenses. I don't have the game at the moment, can't check. While, possibly not the right idea...

Shouldn't the game require the player to go out more?
This, I like.  If you want to make a fleetwipe a bad thing, make it an opportunity cost.  Fleetwipe means you miss out on raiding an AI supply train.  Fleetwipe means you have nothing available to attack and destroy the AI Grape Launcher before it sends a counterwave into your backyard.  Fleetwipe means you can't send reinforcements to your allies when they come under attack.
Something like that.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Vinco on September 13, 2016, 06:12:02 PM
I think Toranth is on to something.  AI War is about choices.  Choosing to send your fleet to their doom should be viable, but should carry an opportunity cost.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Cyborg on September 13, 2016, 06:25:15 PM
Throw my hat into the ring on this.

I think what AI war needs is something interesting to do while you are rebuilding. For example, being able to manually control some turrets arcade style, or manipulate defenses manually while you are being counterattacked, or some other kind of meta-game.

Or even more basic, just a better, faster fast-forward button.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Wingflier on September 13, 2016, 06:54:48 PM
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IdzU90psGas_3UFe23BLvsGQ8fclec49NmnbHfwkZ8w/edit#

Quote
If you go to an AI planet, lose your fleet, but complete an important objective that results in a lot of husks of large AI objectives, then hooray you scored yourself a metal bonus to make the refleeting faster.  That in turn makes for some more nuanced decisions of what you target first on AI planets: the little guys shooting you, or the big things that will score you metal if you get them.  Depends on if you’re taking multiple runs at the planet, kinda.
Seems that Chris has updated the design document with some new information regarding the refleeting mechanic. I posted in the other thread about this, but I'd like to discuss it here too.

Essentially, I like this change because it rewards the player for progressing through the game by taking important objectives, even while losing their fleet in the process. This is the way it should be.

However, I don't believe this change on its own is a full solution, because should the player fail to take a major objective, and still lose their entire fleet, it is nonsensical that the AI would not take this massive opportunity to retaliate while the player was at their weakest. Since we're being rewarded for taking a major objective, even after losing our entire force, I would hope there would be a punishment for losing your entire fleet without accomplishing anything productive for two reasons:

1. In a game about an ultra-intelligent AI, the AI would seem pretty stupid for passing up this opportunity to retaliate. At that point, the major appeal of the game kind of loses its muster.

2. Creating game mechanics where the most logical thing to do is spend an hour twiddling your thumbs while everything rebuilds doesn't seem like great design.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Tridus on September 13, 2016, 07:17:47 PM
Agreed. What's been proposed there is a good idea. I think it could play into this somewhat.

I assume he'll get to this thread when he has some time. He's pretty busy. :)
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: chemical_art on September 13, 2016, 09:51:35 PM
Throw my hat into the ring on this.

I think what AI war needs is something interesting to do while you are rebuilding. For example, being able to manually control some turrets arcade style, or manipulate defenses manually while you are being counterattacked, or some other kind of meta-game.

Or even more basic, just a better, faster fast-forward button.
This. I also think reprisal is the best base idea. The AI creates a counter attack based on the metal a player lost. It would assume the more the human commits the more potential to be vulnerable the human is. It doesn't cheapen defenses, rather give more of a buffer the more defenses a player has. It doesn't hurt players who waste fleetships if they save more expensive craft. If is a very straightforward way to explain things.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Wingflier on September 13, 2016, 10:18:41 PM
Throw my hat into the ring on this.

I think what AI war needs is something interesting to do while you are rebuilding. For example, being able to manually control some turrets arcade style, or manipulate defenses manually while you are being counterattacked, or some other kind of meta-game.

Or even more basic, just a better, faster fast-forward button.
This. I also think reprisal is the best base idea. The AI creates a counter attack based on the metal a player lost. It would assume the more the human commits the more potential to be vulnerable the human is. It doesn't cheapen defenses, rather give more of a buffer the more defenses a player has. It doesn't hurt players who waste fleetships if they save more expensive craft. If is a very straightforward way to explain things.
True, reprisals based on what the human has lost is a pretty good design choice I think.

This also increases the value of investing in defenses, as a player who spends some of his research on offense and some on defense will naturally not have as much metal to lose in a battle, and will have stronger defenses to protect against reprisals.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Vyndicu on September 17, 2016, 06:20:47 PM
Seem like a lot has been said in the last few week. Sorry if it has been said somewhere else or earlier.

I would like to bring a few points to this.

Obviously we do not want an "easy" low AIP route strategy but also at the same time we do not want to make it possible to create a defense line that AI can not "breach" with a 2000 AIP at 7/7.

So while it make sense to have AI do little more striking fairly short after a fleet losses, I feel this may be gamed* too much to AI's detriment. How?

Lets say I went with a low AIP (hovering just above AIP floor) until my "third spire city" fallen spire. Then afterward I crank the AIP just high enough to see golem/spire husks falling apart to my defense line. Guess what? I can pretty much crank my metal income higher than it should be theoretically possible at that AIP via salvage or what not. This may not happen in the version 1.0 but later expansions but is something worthwhile consideration. I am only bring this up because I don't want to create a strategy where it is possible for both side to become chokehold/staled on offensive side. Plus make not possible to crawl up to AI HW's wormhole with minimum defense (what one would call low AIP route).

So my question to all present. Is where do we draw the line on how much it can be gamed* and when to allow? For offensive/defensive?

In an ideal world we would try to strike a balance between AIP low route and defensive mutual stalemate. But AI war is much more likely fluid so all mechanic if any at all will also likely need to be fluid themselves.


Just to be clear. When I say gamed*, I make the AI do something silly or abuse a mechanic to favor the gameplay it is supposed to overcome in the first place. Building a heavily fortified line at low AIP route is definitely one of those gamed situation. Example: 7/7 fallen spire you can take at minimum 10 solar system for a 5 spire city layout and hold 15k threatfleet at the gate.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Draco18s on September 27, 2016, 11:22:09 PM
Stumbled into this channel today on Youtube and while he talks briefly about the concept in board games, I think this is the effect that is missing from AIWC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3M49nj0nUI
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 28, 2016, 01:27:15 AM
Stumbled into this channel today on Youtube and while he talks briefly about the concept in board games, I think this is the effect that is missing from AIWC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3M49nj0nUI

Well... it's going to be complex to keep the "the player sets the pace" from AI War I and have this concept too.

2 other articles from wikipedia about board games which I find useful:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurogame
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-style_board_game

I don't like the style of what the article is writing because whoever implies that american-style game are more complex clearly never stumbled on Vladimír Chvátil's (among others) creations... and 'cause monopoly's rules are dumb as dirt. That said, a lot of people don't count it because Monopoly is nearly a parody of the American-school of board games. And quite of a few Eurogames don't have depth (like catane without expansions).

AFAIK, Chris leans heavily on the US-style of board game when designing games.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Pumpkin on September 28, 2016, 01:59:10 AM
Stumbled into this channel today on Youtube and while he talks briefly about the concept in board games, I think this is the effect that is missing from AIWC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3M49nj0nUI

Well... it's going to be complex to keep the "the player sets the pace" from AI War I and have this concept too.

2 other articles from wikipedia about board games which I find useful:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurogame
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-style_board_game

I don't like the style of what the article is writing because whoever implies that american-style game are more complex clearly never stumbled on Vladimír Chvátil's (among others) creations... and 'cause monopoly's rules are dumb as dirt. That said, a lot of people don't count it because Monopoly is nearly a parody of the American-school of board games. And quite of a few Eurogames don't have depth (like catane without expansions).

AFAIK, Chris leans heavily on the US-style of board game when designing games.
All these links were very enlightening. (I wasn't aware of that American/European distinction at all.) Thank you both.

I don't feel that bringing the player to the edge of winning/loosing and letting it there really fits into the AI War's meta: there is, OMHO, a grander sens of progression and clear phases in AI War (early game, scouting, opening / mid-game, conquest, increase in power / end-game, big final battle, result of past decisions).

As Chris added that in the document ("Killing metal-poor players"), I believe the topic can be moved into the "resolved ideas" subforum.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 28, 2016, 03:44:57 AM
I don't think this topic's over.

As written, metal death condition part is never going to happen unless the ressources somehow become finite, or the AI starts to nuke everything in sight in "all" game modes. Which I doubt to be a very sane or popular move. It could be a possible game mode that forces an ending though.

My second point is that the whole of the wave mechanisms is meant to be the "edge of losing" part. Whether it's doing a good job at it, at highest diffs or (average diff + higher AIP) yes... but I think I spoke enough of that subject in the low AIP threads.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Draco18s on September 28, 2016, 01:12:06 PM
I don't feel that bringing the player to the edge of winning/loosing and letting it there really fits into the AI War's meta: there is, OMHO, a grander sens of progression and clear phases in AI War (early game, scouting, opening / mid-game, conquest, increase in power / end-game, big final battle, result of past decisions).

The reason I pointed it out was because there's a certain threshold where the game is exciting because you're kept in suspense, just shy of being able to win or having lost, but aren't pressured by anything other than the fact that the win is juuust two moves away, if only you'd be allowed those two moves.

AIWC tries to pressure a loss by throwing a CPA or Exo at you and while, yes, there's the sudden excitement about "ooh, this might be the one that kills me!" when you survive you're not left in a state where you can make a move towards winning.  Instead you're rebuilding back towards a state where it'll happen all over again.  A constant cycle of "near-loss, rebuild" erodes the tension.

If we take the analogy to Jenga, a sudden CPA is like getting your turn only for your friends to switch on a fan, creating a sudden cross-breeze that makes it impossible to take out the next piece (or just outright knocks over the tower: you lose!).  Only if you manage it, then it's turned off for their turns.  At some point you're going to call someone an asshole and walk out.

The difference here is that the player's action dictates the tension: removing a tile from the tower might be the move that ends it, but if not, the game continues.  The next move draws the Sheep from an opponent's hand, giving you the resource you desperately needed.  The dice come up 9, getting you the stone you need.  Doubles, roll again.  Sure, there are some random elements involved, but they appear to be under the player's control: the player is the one rolling the dice: "Big bucks big bucks, no whammy no whammy!"

As opposed to "I'd like to kindly remind you that you must pay the bank 80,000 credits before Saturday (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/glPohOrFT5k/hqdefault.jpg)."  You need those credits to keep playing and need those credits to create still more credits.  Constantly being knocked back to square 1 (http://www.nma.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0010/405739/Sunburn-342.jpg) isn't progression, it's stagnation.

I don't know how to make this happen in AI War.  The only similar mechanics I can think of are more appropriate to a zombie apocalypse: enemies just keep coming.  Imagine that an Exowave is just a constant stream of units into your worlds, an unending tide (obviously at a strength level more close to that of a standard wave).  Now it's a pressure that can either be kept at bay or will, eventually, overcome your defenses and take you out.  You can't dedicate any of your fleet to solving this problem, because any units you do send are going to be there indefinitely.  They aren't dead, per say, they're engaged with the enemy, permanently, reducing the amount of ships you have to make attacks on other planets.  You can't repair (effectively) because your engineers just get shot, but the repairs you do make exactly equal the amount of damage you're taking.  You can't forget about it for very long, but you have breathing room to focus your attention to other tasks.

Hmm...maybe I did think of something.
(This is the TLDR)

Take that idea (prior paragraph) and put it into play.  The attacks will stop when you accomplish a task...say, completely removing the AI from an entire solar system.  The waves start when you gain a strong foothold (say...a third of the planets?) and doesn't cease until you control all of them.  (Note: the waves would not come from the same direction as your advance, or you'd be unable to send your fleet in to perform further conquests.  The continuous waves would be a 'diversion' of sorts that would allow the AI to make ingress back into the system, unless your fleet fights it off and captures more territory).

If you've expanded into multiple solar systems at once, you'll get multiple waves you need to fight off simultaneously.  Perhaps you've overextended.  If you can't handle the pressure and capture a whole system quickly, you're going to lose (the combined assault overwhelming your ability to repair faster than your ability to conquer).
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: kasnavada on September 28, 2016, 01:40:08 PM
I like the idea you're proposing. But I see issues with it - it will probably need a lot of tuning to work. A bit too weak and it's like the mechanic is not there, and too strong and you'd have to fall back. That said it encourages a faster conquest, which I like.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Draco18s on September 28, 2016, 02:25:11 PM
I think the strength would primarily depend on factors like AIP or it's analogous counter part.  Early game taking territory will generate these waves, but they'd be largely ignorable.  It's when it gets to the midgame that they become a problem and you've "expanded as much as you can expand" effectively.  At that point you can either risk more territory or you can rely on deep strikes (which have their own risks).  It's no longer a stagnant rinse and repeat cycle of build, defend, rebuild because you're not being actively challenged every 2 hours.  Instead you're taking risks in order to accomplish goals.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: motai on September 28, 2016, 08:05:16 PM
it seems to me that the only thing missing in aiwc for these concepts(fleet loss impact) to be real was that the ai could not build to push the frontier back. one step forward 2 steps back couldnt happen because the ai would not rebuid. hopefully aiw2 will have ai building options for advancing and rather than the outright death mechanics being brought up we will find that we have to retake positions(likely easier than original since they wont be mk4) but still giving a better back and forth feel that was missing and seems to be the core drift of this discussion. in fact many of the building options could be leading to the ai having those mk 4 planets in the specific path of advance because of the advance and lead you into the need for more scouting or strategic choices.

 this would in alot of ways make the refleeting question more dynamic and less in need with it having to be fatal. the counterbalance seems to be not that you would reload from loss, rather that you would reload because you realize you just cost yourelf another hour of progress. so how do we design a mechanic that makes the ai smarter/harder but doesnt overpunish risk vs reward?

1. quest/strategic/diplomatic goal sets? could provide timely reinforcement for completing objectives at the cost of the fleet to lessen the refleeting impact for correct actions.
2. refactoring the salvage options. currently these provide too much impetus into a defensive war that you must appear weak but remain strong to take advantage of. maybe refactor salvage to being a system resource that is capturable. this would help reduce the refleeting impact by letting you capture and recover the fleet that you lost. rather than harshly impacting the time lost on refleeting.
3. control points/golems maybe make these "hulks" indestrucible. they can be defeated but then either side would start repairing them to use them again. (ai would be recovering them to throw somewhere not necessarily at the player) could be another counterplot escalation like ai progress would be the superweapon factor(how many teams of recovery agents are added as the game progresses time/events). 20 minute timeframes would give you more tension on do you let the ai get something or move to strike it. (warnings from intel leaks to lure the human fleet?) also links to point 1. also this would lead to the ai not wanting to send them forward because they can be defeated and used by the player if calculations are wrong. this also would enforce the refleet and die issue with a few ai plots because they would see that as the time to send the golem spaceforce to kill you.
4. finding a way to prevent map gridlock. some maps became this refleeting slug because of chokepoints in the map layout. x and snake being a prime example. you have no way around the front so all the freed threat is always in your way. i like how nomads felt about providing temporary gateways around and providing strike points. if the ai could rebuild this would not have such a one sided effect in the players favor. though i do know some people have been wiped out by the asymmetric ai fleet cause by the same issue. this is plannable though, and at the heart of strategy and planned allocation in my opinion. i would like to see potential nomad links even without the hacking and using them as weapons options. i thought it was kinda a shame that in your map design you would plan the orbits but not use them to good effect like them having wormhole orbital configuration changes during gameplay. hopefuly this becomes a future plan.
5. set the ai response to fleet wipes to become launching cross-planet attacks to set a time limit but otherwise enfore the fatal response issue. potenially linked to idea 1 of providing a reward of metal of ships from surviving and allowing better back and forth pushes in escalating manner.

just a few thought i hope us help move forward to a better game in the end. or at least add more options to our game setups.

Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: TheDeadlyShoe on September 30, 2016, 01:42:47 PM
fwiw, i feel raiding is already great activity for the player to conduct during fleet downtime. the biggest problem is that raid starships are very specialized (not many ships can do badly what they do well)  and also very expensive themselves, lending them to suffer hard from refleeting problems. Especially if you lost them at the same time as your fleet.  Champions are also similar in that they are a downtime activity, but they arn't a core mechanic, so.

one problem with refleeting is that if you suffered massive defensive losses you are also rebuilding all of your defenses and that creates massive competition for metal.    Perhaps turrets shouldn't cost metal?

i guess this is where i go bluh bluh does metal even add anything to game that's 100% about your power (fuel) cap and your ship caps in terms of actually accomplishing things.  I guess, other than encouraging you to take your (soft, fleshy bits) out of the (chainsaw meatgrinder) rather than (spamming gratuitously).



The reason I pointed it out was because there's a certain threshold where the game is exciting because you're kept in suspense, just shy of being able to win or having lost, but aren't pressured by anything other than the fact that the win is juuust two moves away, if only you'd be allowed those two moves.

AIWC tries to pressure a loss by throwing a CPA or Exo at you and while, yes, there's the sudden excitement about "ooh, this might be the one that kills me!" when you survive you're not left in a state where you can make a move towards winning.  Instead you're rebuilding back towards a state where it'll happen all over again.  A constant cycle of "near-loss, rebuild" erodes the tension.

If we take the analogy to Jenga, a sudden CPA is like getting your turn only for your friends to switch on a fan, creating a sudden cross-breeze that makes it impossible to take out the next piece (or just outright knocks over the tower: you lose!).  Only if you manage it, then it's turned off for their turns.  At some point you're going to call someone an asshole and walk out.

i am unsure about your premise.  I've gotten whammed continuously by exos a few times, but even the most Brütal CPAs just don't chain hard enough.  Exos are mostly a bonus mechanic designed to balance humongous player bonuses like golems and spire, not a core mechanic; and neither exos nor CPAs are sprung upon the player suddenly. 
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: x4000 on October 03, 2016, 02:13:42 PM
Now on the doc:

Trickling Exogalactic Waves (Default Off)
Based on a suggestion from Draco18s, this is something that would allow for a different kind of play where you aren’t being hit with huge exogalactic waves that might overwhelm you all in one burst, but rather instead are facing that same set of threat in a more gradual, constant fashion.

It’s the difference between being hit in the face with a bucket of water or having it poured slowly through a tiny funnel onto your head.  Strategically and tactically this would have a lot of ramifications, and as kasnavada points out this could be very tricky to balance well: “A bit too weak and it's like the mechanic is not there, and too strong and you'd have to fall back”

This is not too complex to implement, so we’re making it a new option that is off by default.  Worst case, most people (or everyone) will continue using exo-waves like happened in Classic.  Best case, this works so well that we change this to being default on.
Title: Re: Fatal refleeting.
Post by: Draco18s on October 03, 2016, 05:34:01 PM
*Salute*
Sounds good.  We'll see how it works out (I'm sure I'll end up using it by default)