Author Topic: AI War 2 v0.804 Released! "Hack Me Quickly"  (Read 506 times)

Offline x4000

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AI War 2 v0.804 Released! "Hack Me Quickly"
« on: October 17, 2018, 10:17:42 PM »
Release notes here.

This has a couple of notable bugfixes, and it tunes the balance on the hacking response from the AI waaay down.  That was some game-ending level of hacking response that some folks were getting.  Badger is currently in the process of reworking how the hacking response severity gets calculated anyhow, but for now we just toned down the existing mechanic since the new logic isn't ready yet.

This version also simplifies the speed controls some, and adds in legitimate Game Speed Styles (rather like the first game had).  These GSSes, rather than being like fast-forward or slow-motion (which we do also have), act as balance shifters to either make the game more frenetic or more contemplative.  The default values here are the same, but there is a speed now that is Epic (quite contemplative), all the way up through Cheetah (very fast), all the way through Insane and Plaid (because why not).

Some folks feel like it's too fast, some folks feel like it's a little slow, and now everyone can play the way they want while leaving the in-game wall-clock alone.  Except when you want to fast-forward for a bit, which obviously you can still do.

Also?  Sabots are not so darn terrifying anymore, so your starships should breathe a sigh of relief.

Big Topics

It's late and I'm quite tired, so I don't feel like getting into these full discussions right now.  But basically I am hearing what you're saying about things like the control groups being difficult to manage, and some of the things you want to be able to control with them, build queues, etc.  I've been thinking hard on some solutions for those, and I think there will be some good changes to come out of that.  Thanks for your patience, in the meantime.

The lobby is something that I desperately want to get fixed up to a nicer state, but with all the feedback pouring in on actual in-game areas I think I am going to have to delay that a bit more than I had expected.  I had figured the lobby would be done by the end of October, but now I think it's better to say November instead.  The overall game experience will evolve a lot faster and more pleasingly that way.  Don't worry, I'm not going to forget about it!

There are also some very valid concerns/wishes that folks have for more options on the galaxy map to find things easier, and some things related to making scouting easier (and/or results of scouting to be easier).  Those are also on my radar, and something I'm putting ahead of the lobby right now because I think that will help everybody more directly.

Oh, and getting some of the tutorial things a bit better, like it not skipping ahead on you, and telling you what a colony ship is.  I want to get a tip of the day in there, and maybe an in-game FAQ or something.

And then of course the growing list of small wishes, big wishes, small bugs, big bugs...  These last couple of days have been maybe too much talking on my part, so I am going to try to balance that more with the actual work of developing the game.  Even with a 10 hour workday, I still have 72 unread messages at the moment.  It's a good problem to have!  Don't get me wrong.  But it does require me to try and work on time management a bit better.

Expect more tomorrow, and each day this week.  We've been maintaining a schedule of roughly 3-5 releases a week for a while now, and we don't expect for that to change anytime soon.  Thank you everybody so much for the support, and the kind words, and the positive reviews.  It's making such a big difference to us.

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you'll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it's a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you'll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn't have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that's how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Sizzle

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Re: AI War 2 v0.804 Released! "Hack Me Quickly"
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 01:52:25 PM »
Just to point out a video where the issues with group selection are rather evident:

Wanderbots:  (Part 3)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81tlt1OMljM

Unfortunately, I am not certain *I* can follow what is happening to give such issues, but you can tell he is massively confused with unit behavior throughout the video.  I've not had as much time to play the game as I would like recently, so if anyone has a spare 30 minutes, that can maybe explain the issues he's having, it would inform Chris's decisions on how unit/group selection can be improved.

Parts 1&2 also have some good nuggets to pull from them, but this seems the clearest / most egregious as to group management issues that might be causing confusion.

Edit:  looks like this was cut from a longer stream (e.g. from Twitch.tv) so even though it was released recently, he's not running a current build in the video.   Still has probably good feedback.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 01:59:31 PM by Sizzle »

Offline Spikey00

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Re: AI War 2 v0.804 Released! "Hack Me Quickly"
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2018, 04:57:37 AM »
Hey; long time!  I've only started to play a little bit, but I thought I would drop by to give some feedback in a real quick format.  Repeats some of the stuff other people have probably said about the game so far though, and I know undoubtedly everything is planned in the works tm.
 
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Offline Sizzle

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Re: AI War 2 v0.804 Released! "Hack Me Quickly"
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2018, 03:38:58 PM »
Hey; long time!  I've only started to play a little bit, but I thought I would drop by to give some feedback in a real quick format.  Repeats some of the stuff other people have probably said about the game so far though, and I know undoubtedly everything is planned in the works tm.
 
I'll be floating around!

Not precisely to you, but I've noticed in your comments, and one other (see this Youtube channel for the playthroughs) versus 3 Difficulty 10 AI's - albeit with apparently several of the ways the AI can retaliate switched off:  no hunter waves, no CPAs etc...  In both cases, the player has managed to take over half the map with ~2k AIP or more.   My feel from the first game is that is supposed to be a relatively quick ticket to getting your face smashed, particularly on Difficulty 10.

Before saying the tuning is off, have we switched up the design enough that these two statements are now incorrect?

#1  Winning at difficulty 10 (much less winning easily) should be a bug.
#2  Taking every single planet on the map should be a very difficult path to success

Note on #2 -- not saying it should be impossible, but AIP should absolutely factor into the game enough that one should think very carefully which planets they want to take instead of "all of them.

Your mileage may vary, perhaps on difficulty 4-5 it should be a more viable strategy but certainly, I'd expect that to be the case on 7+...

If those statements are true, then maybe we need to beef things up a bit more (whilst still keeping lower difficulties appropriately tuned of course!  I'm nowhere near wanting to tackle level 10).

Thanks!






Offline Lord Of Nothing

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Re: AI War 2 v0.804 Released! "Hack Me Quickly"
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2018, 07:54:46 PM »
Hi- was playing a bit this weekend, just a few quick thoughts, most quite pedantic:

Non-Pedantic/Feedback:

As others have said, something very weird is going on with giving orders to ships in general. Selection seems to be stickier than it should be, resulting in orders being given on other planets even when the ships no longer show as selected, even after selecting a new set of ships, or, at other times, some ships are not being ordered that are selected, the rally to control group starts leaving ships lying all over the place if the control group is moving about, and a few other oddities that are rare enough that they are hard to describe. The sticky selection seems to occur a lot when I quickly switch out from battle to send a new lot of scouts out- I frequently find either my military ships have started zooming off in that direction as well, or my scouts find their way to the frontlines instead of deep AI space.

I really preferred AI classic's sidebar with the way it separated combat/noncombat both visually and position in the icon list.

On hacking: The superterminal seems very unrewarding to me right now, while the AI response to knowledge hacking might be a bit too weak.

A lot of issues with shots being drawn in totally the wrong place when zoomed far out.

Is it intentional that the automatic place tool for the energy collector puts it so far from the command station that you can only just cover the two with the basic mark of forcefield?

When I won, It was because I had just sat the Ark slowly chewing through the last health on the stage 2 overlord. Once the overlord died, I ordered it home to my nearest planet (Low health by this point as the overlord and about 30 strength of AI and AI zombified fleetships had been pounding it for quite a few minutes.) Anyway, the Ark died, but continued its move order until it reached my planet?

Pedantic:
The tooltips are still somewhat unclear about how slow effects work. E.g how much is the slow after one shot?
Strength in symbols seems to be 1000x strength compared to the strength displayed in the tooltips of the ship tab (mouse over the "you" section.) Then the "strength attacking your planets" indicator seems to have something weird too...
Tooltip for turret design servers incorrectly refers to starship even though it's not for a starship- e.g. beam cannon.
Ship cap on metal harvester upgrades?
Ark upgrade points: Define "Nearby" for the purposes of gaining them? Is it the same planet, or distance based?
Would it be better for the metal content listed on enemy planets in the galaxy screen to be based on how much metal you would get from them with your current level of extractor upgrade?
Coproccessor description has several typos, and it's objective description is dangerously misleading.
It's far too easy to displace your own forcefield generators at the moment by building turrets too near them...
Ark Upgrade points seem far, FAR too abundant to me, the same is true of destruction points to a lesser but still significant extent. (I felt that you could cut ark points to a tenth of what they are now and I wouldn't really notice at all, and destruction points could be cut by a lot without it affecting me as well.)
If you loose a planet you have captured the schematic server on, the objective to capture it will incorrectly return.
Science lab description is a little misleading- the way it just says remaining science, and then immediately after that says can be constructed on enemy planets- obviously veterans know how it works, but for new players?
On the under attack notice, there's a space missing between the planet name and the "is under attack" part.
Dire stuff uses the white text colour otherwise associated with mk1 in the sidebar?
Anvil securities description references friendly and neutral planets, but they seem to work on enemy planets?
Salvage tooltip when mousing over current metal amount lists the wrong percentages.

(I hasten to add that I love a lot of the changes from classic.)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 07:34:31 AM by Lord Of Nothing »

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: AI War 2 v0.804 Released! "Hack Me Quickly"
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2018, 09:59:35 AM »
Not precisely to you, but I've noticed in your comments, and one other (see this Youtube channel for the playthroughs) versus 3 Difficulty 10 AI's - albeit with apparently several of the ways the AI can retaliate switched off:  no hunter waves, no CPAs etc...  In both cases, the player has managed to take over half the map with ~2k AIP or more.   My feel from the first game is that is supposed to be a relatively quick ticket to getting your face smashed, particularly on Difficulty 10.

Before saying the tuning is off, have we switched up the design enough that these two statements are now incorrect?

#1  Winning at difficulty 10 (much less winning easily) should be a bug.
#2  Taking every single planet on the map should be a very difficult path to success

Note on #2 -- not saying it should be impossible, but AIP should absolutely factor into the game enough that one should think very carefully which planets they want to take instead of "all of them.

Your mileage may vary, perhaps on difficulty 4-5 it should be a more viable strategy but certainly, I'd expect that to be the case on 7+...

If those statements are true, then maybe we need to beef things up a bit more (whilst still keeping lower difficulties appropriately tuned of course!  I'm nowhere near wanting to tackle level 10).

Thanks!

There are things that aren't in 2 right now, such as the Strategic Reserve, Homeworld Assault Exogalactic Strike, Raid Engines, Black Holes, Sub Commanders, EMP Guardians, Disassembler Guardians, Hunter Killers, bla bla, a lot of things that'd ramp it up a fair bit. Incidentally, you can't turn off CPAs, it's Cross Planet Waves you can have disabled. Or...not, enabled.

The much lower difficulties have had nothing done to them, especially since no one can actually play them due to them being unselectable in the lobby.

On hacking: The superterminal seems very unrewarding to me right now, while the AI response to knowledge hacking might be a bit too weak.

I don't know what's up with the terminal...the XML for it looks alright but in game the AIP reduction is very slow in when it occurs. I've...kind of really nerf hammered hacking responses as before people were dying en masse to even the first. That's being...redone, Hacking, to not be based so much on current AIP.

Dire stuff uses the white text colour otherwise associated with mk1 in the sidebar?

It's because they're Markless. Things like Golems will do that as well. (EDIT: Did think of making them have Marks but currently it'd just be 4 and 5...)


Anvil securities description references friendly and neutral planets, but they seem to work on enemy planets?

They'll probably fight until that planet is cleared, then go defend yours. Guess not set up to...not be hireable on hostile planets, bah. I haven't touched mercenaries for I think over a month, easily...that's the first time anyone has even mentioned those guys. (EDIT: That's fixed, thanks).

To be honest, some of the balance stuff kind of eludes me...overall game stuff, that is, like AIP, general difficulty, etc. Never been good at "big pictures". Not been super feeling like playtesting for a few days now either, so just going off feedback. Bit hesitant to try to crank up the difficulty because you have to kind of fight the entire galaxy, mostly, no bypassing, etc.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 07:29:05 PM by RocketAssistedPuffin »