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AI War II / AI War 2 v0.882-0.883 Released! "Research and Reconquest"
« Last post by x4000 on Yesterday at 05:33:26 PM »

Release notes here.

This is a hefty release, with a lot of welcome gameplay, performance, and technical improvements.

So, details?

  • There is now an "autobuild factories" option, which is helpful.
  • Magnifiers and Alarm Posts are back.
  • Advanced Research Stations (ARSes) are back, although they work differently from the first game or from earlier in this game; they augment the fleets system. Each of these gets a Frigate or Strikecraft type; hacking the ARS grants that ship line to the hacking flagship.
  • A bunch of new icons are available, and are used by some of the new capturables.
  • Hacking a specific target (like an ARS) is now done by the flagship closest to the target, and also decloaks that flagship.
  • When the AI reconquers a planet, its Guard Posts will 'Warp In' over the next 10 minutes, each bringing with it a small company of guardians. It was frustrating (particularly on high-mark planets) for the AI to instantly get hundreds of strength of defenses on a planet after reconquering. This now gives you a window to counterattack and destroy the helpless Warping In guard posts.
  • A big laundry list of bugfixes.
  • Another big laundry list of performance improvements.
  • Stacking for player ships, for the first time, so that you can have crazy ship caps in the late game without tanking your performance.
  • Updated the Steamworks integration, so hopefully that works properly now on OSX and Linux (please let us know!).

The Performance Snipe Hunt

I spent a LOT more time than expected chasing down late-game performance issues in this build, mainly because I was concerned that those could bleed over into more games than realistically they were at the time of the last release. It was time well spent, because we fixed a number of bugs we would not have found any other way, and a number of savegames will perform better than ever.

However, there's still some elusive timing issue in certain savegames, and I can't find what it is despite basically building a custom performance profiler into the game over the last eight days. Eyeroll. But it's funny, because one game with 200k ships might perform better than another with only 60k ships. And it's not the AI logic, and it's no longer decollisions or something like that.

In all those cases, you can crank up the game speed and still get a realtime game speed, although now it's much more kind to the networking interface (for the future) than it would have been. So fast-forward to the rescue, I guess. It's just choppy in those circumstances.

The few remaining problem cases tend to be with a lot of factions on, and a lot of battles at once, and late into the game, and usually more than 100k ships out there; most of those run at least 2x as fast now as they did for me previously, which is a good thing. Unless we really hit some trouble spots, I think I may set aside performance stuff until post-1.0 (only a month or so left!) and focus on tutorials and other things that affect a much wider group of players.

Most late-game campaigns actually perform just peachy, having CPU time to spare despite the insane simulation size. So this thing is optimized as heck, really. But it's a personal irritation for sure when there are some semi-rare cases where I'm not sure why things aren't as smooth as I'd like. Frankly in those same circumstances, in the original game you'd be running at something like a quarter of wall clock time with far less going on, whereas here you can at least keep things realtime even if the ships jump around a bit in a way that irritates me. So I'll set that aside and just work on the bigger fish at this point.

More to come soon. 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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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by BadgerBadger on August 18, 2019, 07:58:41 PM »
Maybe instead of the Strategic Reserve, attacking the homeworld should just make the AI spend the whole CPA budget for defense.
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Bionic Dues / Re: Texture Packs! Custom Floor Tiles! Get them here!
« Last post by nas1m on August 18, 2019, 03:24:31 PM »
Files desapeared, links are lost.
Download links fixed.
Sorry about that!
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on August 18, 2019, 03:16:06 PM »
The Warden/Hunter recall should be galaxy wide. The hops bit refers to the Guards only, apologies.

I think any threat is thrown into the Hunter as well?

CPAs don't work the way they did in Classic, with the whole "drafting" units thing. It's a budget that gets added to over time (everything of the AI is I think), and it spawns new ships.

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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by RockyBst on August 18, 2019, 02:08:18 PM »
I don't have a good save to replicate the dyson multiplication, it just kind of happened after a couple of hacks. First +max fleet size, then dyson ships for my fleet (+8), then dyson ships for the same fleet (+4), then a bunch of +spawn speeds. I think it happened somewhere with the +fleet hacks. This is on a standard diff 5 for the dyson sphere.

To replicate the scouting message, just destroy any random AI command station in the save I uploaded last post. That same one should be a decent example of turning all the AI guards to threat too, if you just dump all the fleets sitting next to the homeworld onto it. The threat always takes a weird back-way approach to my worlds which takes like about 45 minutes.

Disabling cloaking on hacking entirely feels a touch restrictive, the previous tachyon blasting approach mean if you could keep the hacker alive for a minute you could go back to silent running. Admittedly that mechanic was a bit RNG.

Maybe the warden/hunter recall range needs to be galaxy wide. Might be due to the map layout I was on, but those fleets were floating around at least 6 hops away.

With the non-re-creation of the strategic reserve, uh, just remember you can never have too many ships for your CPA.
https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.php?title=AI_War:Current_Post-7.000_Beta#Prerelease_7.021_Champion_Alter-Ego

"Now when launching a CPA, if it empties the galaxy of all guard ships and Strategic Reserve ships and STILL does not have enough to fill the specified number of ships, it starts freeing Special Forces ships for the attack."

Same principle really, get a massive CPA to move all the ships away from the AI homeworld then kill the station while they're hunting you down.





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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by BadgerBadger on August 17, 2019, 10:42:17 PM »
If someone has a good save game where the "Attack AI homeworld to turn all the defenses to threat, wait for the threat to leave, then kill ai homeworld" strategy is working (ideally once the AI homeworld is all Threat). I might have a mechanisms for improving the AI intelligence in this case.
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by RocketAssistedPuffin on August 17, 2019, 01:00:46 PM »
Dyson gatlings set off raid engines. Ow.

Dysons have 4 units now. 2 little ones (Sentinel, Defender), a medium Frigate like one (Bulwark), and a much larger one (Bastion).

Bulwarks are only on Intensity >=5, Bastions are >=7. They're paid for out of a new tier of budget, so there's a notable spike for an Intensity 7.

Similarly, the removal of strategic reserve. No harm in parking right next to the AI homeworld now that it won't go on alert either.

Far as I'm aware, alert is still a thing, it's just not shown. Regarding Reserve, attacking an AI homeworld should cause its Warden units, its Hunter units, and the Guards on all AI planets a certain hop number out (increasing with difficulty) to rush to defend it, so there should be something similar. For Diff 8, it is 2 hops.

The Overlord does have a Tachyon, incidentally.
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by BadgerBadger on August 17, 2019, 12:27:52 PM »
I don't have any objection to Usurpers joining the threat fleet. Note that in general reconquest is going to work differently in the next release.

I'd need a save game where a bonus dyson sphere was going to spawn to figure out what's going on there. Do you have one?

Do you have a save game where the multiple planet scouting messages is occurring? I have a potential fix but I'd like to test it.

Perhaps units doing hacking should have their cloak disabled? Anyone object to that?

Don't think of it as "The removal of Strategic Reserve"; this game is entirely new code and noone has really been asking for it, so nothing like that is coded.
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by RockyBst on August 17, 2019, 06:54:58 AM »
Ah okay, that makes more sense on the decloaking. I wouldn't necessarily call for deep strike threat exactly like AIWC, but with the current slightly broken cloaker transport I haven't had any issue diving 10 hops away to take out data centres/co-processors. Presumably you want something to stop people jumping all the way across the map.

I just managed my first victory against a diff 8 AI today, so a couple of comments about that game:

ARRRGH PHASE TWO WHAT.

Yup that victory message is underwhelming.

Are usurpers supposed to join the threat fleet and go walk about? I've come across at least one that's gotten chased off the dyson golem world and ended up five hops away attacking one of my speedbump planets.

I hacked the dyson a lot this game, for 2x dyson ships, 3x build speed boost and +max strength. Makes a nice distraction world, although honestly I don't think the boosts are worth it. Apart from the constant reconquest waves (which at one point left it with about 250 strength and 30+ guardposts the dysons hadn't got around to killing), I also somehow appear to have gotten three dyson spheres. Not quite sure how. And yes, that means I get a tripled hacking options.

Dyson gatlings set off raid engines. Ow.

Knowing I can never permanently lose a golem / spire frigate means I'm much more likely to send them to random planets as a distraction now. Feels like a real lack of consequences.

The multiple planet scouting messages as per screenshot. Because I've scouted everything already, or because the dysons have destroyed so many reconquest command stations?

The cloaked transport makes hacks really, really easy. Does the AI not tachyon blast planets as part of the hacking response anymore? For instance I did a spire archive hack on a 2.5 extreme response, six hops away from my territory, and just sat there calmly for 15 minutes. The only disadvantage is locking down the fleet for that amount of time.

The instant-shot on unloading of (cloaked) transports can be cheesed massively. Park one full of fusion (for bypassing shields) ships, next to a guardpost. Ideally with a factory on the next planet. Unload, shoot, load so you don't lose too many ships. Wait 6 seconds, you'll be back up to a full cap anyway. Repeat. Really needs the reload-on-unload timer adding back.

Not increasing AIP floor when killing homeworld guardposts also makes things a lot easier. Given I was sitting on 157 AIP with 412 reduction, and a floor of 113.

Similarly, the removal of strategic reserve. No harm in parking right next to the AI homeworld now that it won't go on alert either.

Anti-AI zombies count towards extending counter strikes. This really screwed me at one point, as a nice manageable 200 strength reprisal turning into 600 because the AI just would ... not ... kill a random zombified MK VII tractor guardian. In retrospect I would have been far better off flinging the fleet around the planet to take out the guardposts than retreating, because the zombies capped out the reprisal strength anyway.

Actually scratch that, it looks like sometimes the counter strength goes up even when there's no ships on the planet at all. See attached save where I just caught the tail end of that.

I ended up eating a 700-odd strength counter-strike when moving all my ships onto the homeworld to wake up all the guard ships (to make them threat, so they go away and let me cheese the cloaker transport...). However as it was released as loose threat on the homeworld, I managed to kill the AI command well before it slowly wended it's way towards my planets. Maybe this needs to be an exo-strike, or even an actual wave?

Last one, can I suggest that if you have a cap of something on a planet and get an upgrade you automatically build up to the new cap. Nothing is as aggravating as clicking around 20 planets to add a watchman frigate because you just took a 1.3x frigate cap structure, let alone turrets and mines when a planet levels up. Turrets and mines in general really need some kind of template system, I ended up building about 600 combined per planet with ctrl+shift+click click click click click click click.
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AI War II / Re: AI War 2 v0.881 Released! "AI Neighborhood Watch"
« Last post by BadgerBadger on August 17, 2019, 02:23:13 AM »
Bonus ships to the hunter/warden fleet would not be too hard, though that's pretty similar to AIWC. And it's yet another concept to teach players...
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