Author Topic: Cross planet wave opinions  (Read 280 times)

Offline BadgerBadger

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Cross planet wave opinions
« on: October 07, 2018, 09:00:59 PM »
Right now cross planet waves work just like Direct waves, except they spawn at a warp gate and fly to the planet through normal space. I'm considering changing them to spawn at a random warp gate and then travel through normal space to a target, and to not tell you which planet it's spawning from (just "somewhere in the galaxy"). Do people have opinions about this?

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 08:51:21 AM »
It'd be good I think to have it be something properly different. In the current form it's pretty similar and boring.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 08:54:26 AM by RocketAssistedPuffin »
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Offline Ovalcircle1

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 10:45:53 AM »
I agree that it needs to be different. It sounds challenging for the player, I suppose. But wouldn't this be normal waves in the form of slightly altered Exo waves? And wouldn't the ships go at different speeds, leading to staggered, smaller attacks rather than all at once? So once the fast ships get to your planet, you already know where it's going. I get that this is optional and I'm not trying to rip this idea apart, but it sounds similar to something that's already in the game. But then again, it could work. I'm a little conflicted about it.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 07:23:29 PM by Ovalcircle1 »
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Offline HeartHunter

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 10:55:27 AM »
It will increase game difficult, so yes.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 01:23:46 PM »
In AIWC, I think cross planet waves were just spawned directly to Threat behavior with no commands.  They wouldn't attack if they didn't think they could win, so they'd usually just camp out near their preferred target until enough waves spawned that they could take it.

If people want a challenge, well, that's the most challenging option.  Waves are made far easier by their willingness to slam headlong into your defenses. 

It does sort of defeat the point of waves, though, which are to be probing tests of your defenses, and also to give you a sense of how well your defenses are doing relative to the current AIP. 

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2018, 01:32:20 PM »
To that line of thinking, there is a setting for waves to have a chance to immediately join the threat (Hunter) fleet immediately, though...I have no memory of it ever occurring.

I never thought of waves as probing tests...I really need to get scarier CPAs and Exos sent at myself.
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Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 02:01:06 PM »
You need to manually enable "Hunter Waves" (AIW2's term for waves that just join threat fleet) in the lobby, then pass an AIP threshold for them to be available to the AI.

Offline RocketAssistedPuffin

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 02:26:37 PM »
Oh, I know that. Just never noticed it occurring. Next time I poke the game I'll specifically watch for it.
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Offline tadrinth

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 05:48:20 PM »
wouldn't the ships go at different speeds, leading to staggered, smaller attacks rather than all at once? So once the fast ships get to your planet, you already know where it's going.

You could solve this by having Cross Planet Waves be completely homogenous (and excluding guardians entirely).  Or you can do what Exos do, and have all ships be at least as fast as the lead ship, but then you're really doing exo waves.  Which could work, but does it make more sense to just have a separate Exo budget in that case? I would think yes. 

Or just have Hunter Waves, since they do exactly what the old Cross Planet Wave mechanic did. 

Offline Valtiel

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 07:25:25 AM »
Aside:

AIWC-style "cross-planet attacks" were just dumping a bunch of ships directly into the threatfleet and letting them decide what to do. I think this should still exist, but it shouldn't be called a "cross-planet wave" or anything like that. Call it a "Hunter wave" or "Hunter reinforcement".

Spawning a big pile of ships in AI territory and having them navigate through real space to their target - that feels like something you could call a "cross-planet wave", but also it sounds a lot like AIWC's exo-waves ("exogalactic strikeforces") worked.

I'd advise against having cross-planet waves and exo-waves being different things. That's just a bit confusing.

The meat of the subject:

A cross-planet wave can be nasty for two reasons. Firstly, you can't control where it hits by gate raiding, because it's not beholden to the warp gate network. Secondly, you might not know where it's going to hit. You might not know where it's going to spawn either, but I'm not sure that meaningfully enhances the difficulty - knowing "CPW will spawn at an unknown location and will attack Murdoch in five minutes" is easy to react to; you just rally the fleet to Murdoch. "CPW will spawn at Scubidu and then attack Murdoch in five minutes" isn't much more useful information; you're not going to try to intercept the wave at Scubidu.

"CPW will spawn at Scubidu in five minutes but could attack any human world", on the other hand, is interesting. You don't know where the wave is going to hit. If you get your scouts out there, you can see it approaching. You can even intercept it in enemy territory!

So here's what my instincts say would be the most fun:
  • When the AI is ready to launch a cross-planet wave, it starts by picking an AI-controlled world to spawn from. It will aim to spawn two to four hops away from multiple human worlds.
  • Then it picks a target, up to four hops (deep strike distance) away. It won't pick the same target as the previous (normal) wave if it can help it and it will never pick a target that it has to go through another human world to get to.
  • Then the player gets a warning that a cross-planet wave is coming. They don't find out where it's aimed at, but they do find out where it's coming from and when (and possibly the composition).
  • When the wave spawns, it checks the target is still valid and it has a way to get there. If the intended target has been abandoned by the humans, or the intended route to the target has a new human world sat on it, it chooses a new target.
  • The wave blobs up and moves to the closest AI world to the target at the speed of the slowest ship in the wave. The artificially-slowed ships return to normal speed if they get engaged in combat before arriving, and extremely slow-moving ships never spawn in CPWs, to avoid this behaviour being significantly detrimental to the AI.
  • Finally, when the whole wave is gathered around the wormhole, they're let off the hook, pour through, and start acting like a wave attack.
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This gives the player the most interesting information and choices. They can narrow down the likely targets based on proximity to the spawn location and reinforce all of them, or scout the wave as it rolls in and try to get ahead of it (because it moves as a slow fleetblob), or they can move the whole human fleet to the spawn location and try to intercept it. They can even try to destroy the AI command centre on world the wave is coming from before it launches, in which case I think the entire wave should be cancelled. Not necessarily the best use of AI progress, mind.

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 08:09:14 AM »
AIW2 has Hunter Waves which are waves that join the Threat Fleet directly. Cross Planet Waves are waves that spawn at a nearby warp gate then travel through normal space to attaack you. In principle this is simlar to an Exogalatic Strikeforce, but Exos are much much scarier.

I do like the notion of having a cross planet wave not even tell you which planet it will attack though.

I don't want to tell the player which warp gate is in use because destroying the Warp Gate will cancel the incoming wave in AIW2, so Wave Cancellation is a strategy some players use.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 08:17:09 AM by BadgerBadger »

Offline Valtiel

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 10:55:38 AM »
I don't want to tell the player which warp gate is in use because destroying the Warp Gate will cancel the incoming wave in AIW2, so Wave Cancellation is a strategy some players use.

That's all very well, but it means that a cross planet wave could come from anywhere to anywhere, and there's no good way to intercept it.

Wave Cancellation sounds like a really fishy tactic to me; I'm not sure it's good for the game. Weren't you trying to stick as close to AIWC as possible?

Still, even if the player does snipe the warp gate to stop a cross planet wave, that's 5 AIP that they wouldn't have otherwise spent. With 5 AIP worth of warheads you could melt all but the strongest cross-planet waves en route.

...Alternative: Cross-Planet Waves always come from the AI homeworlds, and are contained in carriers or transport ships to let them get around the galaxy a bit quicker. That way, you have less of an idea where they're going to hit but you have more time to intercept them.

Offline Ovalcircle1

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 11:41:30 AM »
Quote of above comment

Wave canceling, while it sounds like an easy way to win, is not just "destroy the warps gates and rush to the AI Homeworld". It takes a lot of skill to use this properly, especially on higher difficulties. IF peopel decide to cheese it by making the wave warnings longer than default, that's their decision. You'll eventually have to deal with Wormhole invasions, which not only happen naturally like CPA's, but it gets extra budget added to it every time you cancel a wave. https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.phptitle=AI_War_2:The_Era_of_Discovery#New_AI_.22Verb.22:_Wormhole_Invasions
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"New AI "Verb": Wormhole Invasions

Add support for Wormhole Invasions. These are sudden Behind-Your-Lines assaults by the AI through Exogalactic Wormholes. They are intended to be scary, unpredictable and hard to defend against. They are also infrequent, and will not happen more often than once per hour.

The AI has a new budget type for Wormhole Invasions (to go with Waves, Reinforcements, etc). To spend that budget, it will spawn an indestructible Exogalactic Wormhole will appear on a player's planet. This wormhole is unstable and will disappear in a few minutes. The AI will launch a number of attacks through it. Sometimes it will launch lots of weaker attacks, other times fewer but larger attacks.

You will get a Notification while the Wormhole Invasion is active, but a minimal time warning when the attacks are actually coming (30 seconds currently).

The Wormhole Invasion will prefer weakly defended planets behind your front lines

Exogalactic Wormholes can also be used to spawn regular waves.

Wormhole Invasions are only available to the AI at Difficulty > 4, and it's gated behind AIP then (right now Difficulty 7 requires 160 AIP for the Invasions to start)."
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It makes sense as well. How can the AI launch waves if the warp gate they are going to use to teleport the wave into the galaxy is destroyed? That's like closing a door so someone can't get out of a room and then you turn around and they somehow are in the hallway.

Also, Warheads are not in the game yet. Well, they were, but they got taken out. So your concern about Warheads might have some merit, but that can be discussed later on with a Warhead balancing topic or something like that.

Your alternative has a few problems.
1. There are no transports at the moment. Guardians can store ships in them but the ships immediately exit when there is a hostile presence. Actual transports do not exist.

2. That is literally Exo waves from AIWC. We already have Exo waves. Once you scout the AI homeworld, the surprise is over. Not only that, the wave will give you the position of the homeworld. (unless it zig-zags all over the place) "Oh, the wave came from that way? The AI homeworld must be over there."

I also want to mention that cross planet waves are off by default. That means some noob isn't going to get destroyed by a normal wave showing up out of nowhere
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Offline Valtiel

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2018, 11:54:35 AM »
Quote of above comment

Wave canceling, while it sounds like an easy way to win, is not just "destroy the warps gates and rush to the AI Homeworld". It takes a lot of skill to use this properly, especially on higher difficulties. IF peopel decide to cheese it by making the wave warnings longer than default, that's their decision. You'll eventually have to deal with Wormhole invasions, which not only happen naturally like CPA's, but it gets extra budget added to it every time you cancel a wave. https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.phptitle=AI_War_2:The_Era_of_Discovery#New_AI_.22Verb.22:_Wormhole_Invasions

It makes sense as well. How can the AI launch waves if the warp gate they are going to use to teleport the wave into the galaxy is destroyed? That's like closing a door so someone can't get out of a room and then you turn around and they somehow are in the hallway.

Also, Warheads are not in the game yet. Well, they were, but they got taken out. So your concern about Warheads might have some merit, but that can be discussed later on with a Warhead balancing topic or something like that.

Your alternative has a few problems.
1. There are no transports at the moment. Guardians can store ships in them but the ships immediately exit when there is a hostile presence. Actual transports do not exist.

2. That is literally Exo waves from AIWC. We already have Exo waves. Once you scout the AI homeworld, the surprise is over. Not only that, the wave will give you the position of the homeworld. (unless it zig-zags all over the place) "Oh, the wave came from that way? The AI homeworld must be over there."

I also want to mention that cross planet waves are off by default. That means some noob isn't going to get destroyed by a normal wave showing up out of nowhere

I can't tell what you're trying to say, other than that you disagree with me about everything. How do you think cross-planet waves should work?

Offline Ovalcircle1

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Re: Cross planet wave opinions
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2018, 12:43:52 PM »
What I think is that Cross planet waves seem to be in here just because it was in AIWC. We already have Hunter waves, which gives ships to the Hunter fleet. We already have Exo waves, so that's out. The wave not telling you what warp gate it's coming from has some merit, but is pointless if there is a chokepoint or you clear out all the warp gates near you except for one. Whipping boys, anybody? I don't know. It just sounds as if everybody is trying to justify having it in but we're struggling to figure out what makes it stand out from the other wave types, other than "It's a mystery wave."
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 12:46:00 PM by Ovalcircle1 »
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