Author Topic: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"  (Read 310 times)

Offline x4000

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BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« on: April 20, 2019, 05:30:22 PM »
Release notes here.

Reminder: to play the beta, you MUST go into your Steam properties for the game, go under the Betas tab, and choose the "current_beta" option.  Otherwise you're going to be stuck on the pre-fleets version of the game.

If you don't know what I'm talking about regarding fleets, then reading this link is a really good thing to do or you are likely to be mighty confused.

So what's new in this build?  This is obviously an incremental one, headed towards the non-beta full release of 0.900 that we're aiming at in the next... weeks?  That timeframe is unclear, and will be based on testing feedback, which has been rolling in well so far; but there will be loads of incremental beta releases during this period.  Anyway, what's new:

  • Your ships no longer go through a rally phase from the factories they are built at to the centerpieces they will then join.  This was slow and annoying and caused all sorts of intractable issues when it comes to you wanting your fleet to act cohesively.  Now things just directly come out of their centerpiece and inherent the behaviors and orders of the centerpiece.  It's not like any one factory was doing all the construction, anyhow, in most cases.  This directness solves a lot of logistical irritations, and prior to 0.850 I'd been wondering if I needed to do this.  Turns out yes!

  • Your tooltips now show you what techs upgrade a ship, if any.  Yay!  It also talks about upgrading fleets as a whole, which isn't in yet but will be soon.

  • AI Command Stations that exist after an AI has reconquered a planet have been a minor pain in the rear for a while.  They seem to suggest that more AIP will be charged to you when in fact that is not the case.  They also allowed more recently for some exploity behavior when you farm them for scouting intel.  All of that stuff is now fixed up by having them simply be split into their own new category of command station that notes that they are a result of reconquest.


More to come Monday.  Enjoy!

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
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Offline WeaponMaster

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2019, 03:06:52 AM »
If there's one thing that I've been feeling over these few patches, its that the power of a fleet seems unbalanced. Early game, the golem centerpieces account for 60-75% of the fleet's strength.

It leads to each sabot guard post, nucleophilic guard post, and nucleophilic guardian feeling like a huge wall in your attack. Once the golem goes down, the ~100 strikecraft die nearly instantly after. The best way to take planets seems to be to drag your two golems around with your fleet docked and destroy any guard posts not next to sabots, and only after everything is clear, release the strike craft to destroy the last few sabot posts.

One thing in particular that I will note - crowd control (aoe, tractors) on the defensive side is now a must more than ever. At only 50 AIP on difficulty 7, the full ensemble AI is sending waves of 500+ Mk1 ships each attack. The only way I seem to be able to survive the waves is if Siege Frigates land a few good hits that kill half of the wave in the first seconds of the wave.

Maybe later in the game the strikecraft of fleets will start feeling appreciable, but getting past the first hump of 2 fleets + 2 battlestations feels impossible without there being a datacenter within 2/3 hops of the homeworld (and god help you if the fleet that seeds next to your homeworld is something like Rorqual Hegira + 40 snipers (has happened to me)).

Maybe fleet XP will fix this feeling in later patches.

Offline ptarth

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2019, 11:25:11 PM »
Some more observations
  • I'm constantly either at max metal or out of metal. My current belief is that my major metal loss comes from having to rebuild my golems so often. If I'm reading the XML correctly, it's a 300k metal every time.
  • Having more metal storage would be good. I'm sitting around 2.5M right now, and that's enough for a basic refleet.
  • I'm playing with the Basic Fleet and the Armored Golem is really fragile. I'm constantly having to repair it from dead. Many times It's health drops to less than 10% after being in a new gravity well for a few seconds (long range shield bypassing damage seems really common).
  • My first useful fleet was a zombification fortification ship. It's amazing and really the only reason I don't die.

Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 06:28:08 PM »
I've shifted some of the Armored Golem hull into shields, so it is a bit cheaper to repair by simply regenerating some damage.

I've also bumped up the metal storage a bit (Home Command is 2.5 million instead of 2, Economic and Military is 300k instead of 100k).

Units don't cost more metal at higher marks next release, so see how the economy is with that for a bit.

Regarding the waves of 500+, AI unit costs have gone up all around, so they should be a good bit smaller. That, with some of the other changes should be a decent power swing.
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Offline WeaponMaster

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 06:54:34 PM »
Making a note here since I don't use Discord or any other kind of direct link between you guys: I submitted a revision to the long range target planning that was able to alleviate some of the targeting issues that have persisted through the builds.

Mainly, when there was a high priority target ( >700 priority ), strikecraft were considered so low priority ( ~250 ) that they were just lumped into "TheRest" which seemed to exclude them from salvo targeting completely. It was just a matter of flipping a Boolean from false to true: false considers the group only for purposes FRD movement, while true considers the group only for salvo targeting.

Edit: There's seems to be a bit of a mismatch when it comes to autokite and multishot, but I'm not sure how it would be rectified... Basically with the change in 0.850 where ships now target the closest of high priority targets, multishot ships will invariably end up kiting to the edge of the AI fleet and maybe using only ~50% of their shots at times. The only time you'll really see this is when fighting clumps of infinite range ships like Sentinels (since they spread out when attacking rather than clumping), but it could be a bit frustrating.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 07:09:07 PM by WeaponMaster »

Offline ptarth

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 06:56:45 PM »
The 8.53 patch notes are reading really good so far. :)

Unsolicited Idea:
I read on the Steam forum of someone who was pretty passionate about not having so many Officer Fleet style fleet (see https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.php?title=AI_War_2:_The_Arrival_of_Fleets#Strike_Fleets_vs_Officer_Fleets). Two immediate options came to mind.
  • Have a Game Creation Setting that lets you change the ratio of Officer to Strike Fleets to spawn.
  • When you capture a new fleet, let you choose between an Officer version or a Strike version Fleet.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline WeaponMaster

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 07:19:04 PM »
I haven't even been looking at the patch notes for 0.853.

One thing I was glad to see is that the two fleet cap is gone (since taking planets with only two fleets was brutal at times), but it does leave a hole in its wake since now with luck you could go around smashing planets with golems. Something that might be a bit harder to implement in its place to fulfil the role of dissuading mass grouping would be to have adjacent planets start generating threat when you have too much firepower on one planet.

That way, grouping up to take a nasty Mk4 world still has its consequences of generating 10-20 strength of threat that could end up joining the hunter fleet if you're not careful, but its not a permanent setback like gaining an extra 15 AIP would be.

Offline x4000

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 07:49:25 PM »
Good stuff!  Glad you guys are liking it; I think that the things in this thread that weren't already directly fixed by WeaponMaster (thank you!) are mostly addressed in the upcoming build.

I do like the idea of having more flexibility with officer and non-officer fleets... BUT I'm reluctant to add Yet More Lobby Options To Scare New Players if it's not needed.  I think right now there's a good balance of the officers coming later in the game as it is based on the current seeding (nobody on Steam has even tested this yet), and there being plenty of non-officer options.  I also think that being encouraged to mix and match and go outside your normal style (sometimes an officer fleet becomes integral to your campaign despite your normal style, for instance) is a good thing.

So my hope is that the current style basically leaves the options that would be in the lobby to instead be in the game itself, which is where I'd really like all the most interesting options to be long-term.  Rather than expressing your choices though the lobby UI, expressing them through what you choose to do during the campaign.

If that doesn't work, then obviously lobby options are possible. ;)
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Offline ptarth

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 08:01:56 PM »
Is there a way to see (even if it requires logs) your energy production and consumption breakdown? I really don't understand why it is fluctuating so much, several hundred k at times.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline WeaponMaster

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 08:25:08 PM »
I don't think its possible to see your energy breakdown right now. The biggest contributor to energy issues I've seen so far is Plasma/Beam Turrets. A single one of them costs 10,000 energy, and I've seen caps on Plasma Turrets go as high as 47 at Mk 1. That's nearly half a million energy.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 08:31:21 PM »
It is a bit extreme how many you can get, but I honestly found it hilarious to even be possible first time I saw it, so I kept it in.

...Though maybe it should go down. That'd be an interesting chokepoint.
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Offline x4000

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Re: BETA AI War 2 v0.852 Released! "Directness Is Better"
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2019, 09:17:15 PM »
We do need to add a way to see breakdowns of stuff like that.  And yeah I suspect it's turrets dying en masse and then being rebuilt.
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