Author Topic: Rematch - Keith's Revenge  (Read 9863 times)

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #75 on: July 16, 2012, 04:59:49 PM »
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- Human resistance fighters and human maurderers need to take a cue from dysons, NOT shoot at guard posts at all, as killing guard posts will have very noticeable side effects, especially those special forces ones (AIP)
I heavily disagree with this one.  One of the things I like about them (and annoys me about the Dyson) is that they will go off and neuter planets for me.  I think the entire SF Post needs to be re-evaluated instead of adjusting a unit that's only one of the concerns regarding them.

That could work too. Removing the AIP costs from the special forces guard post might be nice. (Of course, the special forces captain AI type would need to stop spawning extra data centers)
Also, revamping special forces (and thus, revamping the special forces guard post indirectly) may be nifty. (For example, see 7496: Allow AI to use idle freed ships and special forces ships to aid defense, especially the part about the special forces.

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- The fact you will have to deal with carriers AND their contents is a very good observations, and these games seem to have shown that this factor is enough to that even ~1/3 the firepower of the contained ships (on average) is still too much firepower for the carriers. (Again, that whole unit stack idea, while it would be extremely painful to implement, may be worth considering as it avoids this problem in a much cleaner fashion. The carrier mechanic could be kept for accumulation if the number of ship types is too high for savings by "stacking" to be enough, which would be rare but possible)
Given that the whole stack idea was basically nixed by Keith due to the invasiveness of the change, we probably want to try to figure out an alternate approach.  One idea I had was that Warp Gates would open next to the inbound wormhole, and the target would 'refill' as ships were destroyed.  This ends up with the multiple 1000 ship waves though that the original carriers did, so it's not a worthy one, though it's a better balance since you'll always be fighting 1000 ships or so.  The difference is with the right setup I could theoretically stop a continuous assault for a long time.  This game I didn't implement that, to my chagrin.

- TBH, I don't have any good ideas with this. I'll leave it up to brighter minds to hash out. ;)

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- The wave retreat thing is just smart play by the AI. Why keep ships around that will clearly die without doing much if kept in? We do the same thing. If we can do it, why shouldn't the AI?
Oh, I agree in general, but I'd like to see them hang around long enough to actually TRY before they run for it.  Watching half a wave retreat on SPAWN is a facinating thing to watch, however.  "We're gonna send this wave at them... oh, wait, nevermind, run."  What the heck did you send them for in the first place, AI?  Maybe a 30 second delay before the retreat order can be given?  Not much, but enough that they at least made an ATTEMPT to break into your system?

It used to be 30 seconds, but that proved to be too long for ships coming in from waiting threat. Thus, it was reduced to 5 seconds (after cleaning up some bugs in the retreat logic). However, this is proving to be too short for ships coming in from waves, even though it's about right for ships coming in from preexisting threat.
Part of this is that there is no separate behavior for ships that came in due to a wave. Once a ship is dumped on the planet by a wave, it then proceeds to use the normal threat logic. I sort of like this, but a modified "threat" state (and thus behavior) for ships that come in due to waves may be a good idea, and then it will "decay" into the normal threat state once they leave the planet they spawned on for that wave. (Something similar is done for exo-waves). With this, the minimum time until retreat for wave ships could be tweaked separate from ships coming in due to other factors. This could also be applied to cross-planet waves/waves to ???, so they could group move to their planet, and then try to attack enter a planet instead of waiting around in a threat-ball (once, they enter the hostile planet, they will drop their group move), and again, if they do retreat, once they leave the planet, it will become normal threat behavior.

Actually, this might be a good mantis post.

Offline topper

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #76 on: July 16, 2012, 05:54:03 PM »
Given that the whole stack idea was basically nixed by Keith due to the invasiveness of the change, we probably want to try to figure out an alternate approach.  One idea I had was that Warp Gates would open next to the inbound wormhole, and the target would 'refill' as ships were destroyed.  This ends up with the multiple 1000 ship waves though that the original carriers did, so it's not a worthy one, though it's a better balance since you'll always be fighting 1000 ships or so.  The difference is with the right setup I could theoretically stop a continuous assault for a long time.  This game I didn't implement that, to my chagrin.
Current alternatives:
1. Old system, unfair player advantage, allowed waves to be fought piecemeal. A warp gate approach would allow this too.
2. Current system, unfair AI advantage :P, gives the AI additional "free" firepower since the player has to fight the carrier shell and then the contained ships.

Solution?
Carriers have currently have ~1/3 of their contained firepower. Give them a fair amount of health, and then remove 1/3 of the contained ships when the carrier pops. In this way, you fight the whole wave once, just in different forms. For the first 1/3 of the battle you have a powerful carrier, for the latter 2/3 you fight the ships. Alternatively, the contained ships could simply take some amount of damage upon spawn to achieve a similar effect.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #77 on: July 16, 2012, 07:55:41 PM »
Solution?
Carriers have currently have ~1/3 of their contained firepower. Give them a fair amount of health, and then remove 1/3 of the contained ships when the carrier pops. In this way, you fight the whole wave once, just in different forms. For the first 1/3 of the battle you have a powerful carrier, for the latter 2/3 you fight the ships. Alternatively, the contained ships could simply take some amount of damage upon spawn to achieve a similar effect.

Hm, I personally like the idea of the ships inside taking the damage it would have taken to kill the carrier on pop out... distributed roughly evenly.

As to the continuation game, I've had a few false starts.  The seed I picked apparently ended up with me on a VERY heavily traveled SF Highway so they're backing up as threat and first wave is hitting me at ~200-250 ships because of it.  Second wave usually takes out enough of the homeworld AIP boosters that I restart.  3 False Starts and I'm thinking a defense heavy opening is going to be required, so, I'll get one started eventually.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #78 on: July 16, 2012, 09:03:06 PM »
(This next part I think I'll write a little differently, for fun).
I liked it :)

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Their final salvo landed just as the Mass Driver shots could be visibly seen, destroying the Raids nearly immediately after.
Raids see a lot of drama in this game ;)

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What the hell are we doing mixing AI tech, Bug Tech, and Human Tech?!  Didn't this get us in trouble LAST time?
I don't suppose High Command ever told you that R&D is primarily composed of Dwarves.  What could go wrong?

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(One thing that always annoyed me about the Ctrl-Group for Neinzul Enclave.  I can't just move the enclaves because everything they build ends up in the same blinkin Ctrl-Group.  Meh.)
Yea, it's tricky.  There's a flag on the space docks that makes them not select when you hit their control group button, so you can use that feature as you'd expect.  But if I did that for a mobile ship like the enclave... it's kind of a "which kind of bug reports do you want today, Keith?" situation.  I guess some kind of modifier could work, but ctrl-0, shift-0, and alt-0 all have other meanings.

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Our new factory ships aren't really able to keep up with significant fleet losses.  They help, but they just aren't able to replace ships as quickly as I'd like.  3 seconds for a bomber, 2 for a frigate.  This takes time... time we don't have.
The higher-mark versions are singing siren songs of production boosts in exchange for such an "affordable, competitive" (in the IT-marketing-pitch sense) knowledge cost ;) 

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Those Rookies down in Section Q will probably want me take life support off low power for a day as a celebration.
"Cratchit?  Are you breathing?"
"Oh, um, sorry sir, I didn't mean to."
"Hrmph, people can't stomach a little rationing for 10/10's sake.  Well, I guess I'll let it go with docking your pay, just don't let it happen again."

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We missed a guardpost.  Upon entry into Desperado 284 MK III zombies spawn up and chase the fleet.  Quickly, we retreat.
Hearing "oops" from your tactical officer is a bit like hearing it from your surgeon.

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I tell our Factory ships to begin production of their Needler Drones as well for additional support and firepower.  Let's see how good flying guns really are.  they are... not that impressive.  A flight of them couldn't handle a single Fighter MK III.  However, these appear to be best against Frigates and Starships, so that might be a poor test.  I'm informed when we can build MK II and higher in the field, I'll be able to use upgraded versions of these drones as well.
Yea, the drones are not all that strong, you basically have to use them against stuff they have those 5x bonuses for if you want significant offensive power (either way they still help increase the number of targets the AI might shoot at).

Needlers are good against forcefields, which is worthwhile.  And yea, they should eat missile-frigates for lunch, relatively speaking.

Congrats pulling off that rebel-colony rescue, that was a long haul in a pretty nasty galaxy.

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At 11:26 I get two notifications.  The first is I just triggered a core raid engine via Arrakkis.
The alert window should probably just say "You put your foot in it!"  Except that wouldn't get it across with appending to the metaphor that said pile contained a nest of wasps with hollow-point depleted uranium ammo for stingers.

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1) Maws need to be examined again.  The Vacuum rate is now reasonable instead of being monstrous as early marks.  That 'reasonable' vacuum rate though leaves them incredibly vulnerable and much less effective during fleet actions at early marks because usually their targets die before capture.
Hmm, you've mentioned this before but I'm not sure I understand: how do you know that they're dying before capture and that the maw is still expending the "charge"?  The vacuum process should be instantaneous: it's recharge comes up and it decides to vacuum something, and that something is vacuumed.

My guess is that the "if something is trying to escape via wormhole or transport, have all in-flight projectiles aimed at it immediately resolve" rule is causing said targets to die.  Since each ship tracks "how much health would I have after all shots land?" I can use that as a filter to have the maws prefer other targets, but I'm not sure I'm right about what's actually happening here.

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Typical RTS tricks like that will not work here, the AI has no economy.
Yea, I'm intimately familiar with tactics that revolve around the idea that "if the enemy lost more resources worth of units, the battle was a victory for you unless some the enemy achieved some very important side-effect".  No workie here ;)  Though as you saw sometimes the AI can use it against you.

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Score after new modifications:
AI: 2 Wanderer: 0.
Woot woot!  Though the AI got its south bridge handed to it on a platter by Faulty Logic in that other thread.  It was a very close finale, granted, but a sub-9-hour win on 10/10 is something else.

On carriers: I really do like that waves "change shape" when carriers get involved, and I think the lower overall firepower (compared to what the contents would be doing to you) compensates for the increased overall durability and other carrier-specific propoerties.  I'm not totally averse to having carrier-dumped units come out damaged corresponding to how much damage the carrier had taken (so 100% health if they were deployed normally by a full health carrier, etc), but I'm also willing to drop the carrier offensive power.  They don't have to be steamrollers of doom, I just want you to care roughly as much about 1000 units in a carrier as you do about 1000 units outside a carrier (which, incidentally, may mean "steamrollers of doom")

On special forces guard posts: yea, gonna do something different there.  For now my AIW working copy is in a lot of flux so it'll be a few days before I can get another beta out, but hopefully will make these a bit more sane soon.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #79 on: July 16, 2012, 10:10:04 PM »
(This next part I think I'll write a little differently, for fun).
I liked it :)
Heh, yeah, I wanted to have a little more fun than just writing down what happened.  It amused two of us at least. :)

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Raids see a lot of drama in this game ;)
Noticed that, 'eh?

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Yea, it's tricky.  There's a flag on the space docks that makes them not select when you hit their control group button, so you can use that feature as you'd expect.  But if I did that for a mobile ship like the enclave... it's kind of a "which kind of bug reports do you want today, Keith?" situation.  I guess some kind of modifier could work, but ctrl-0, shift-0, and alt-0 all have other meanings.
Fair enough.  I'd almost like to see the ships not end up in a ctrl-group at all comparitively... but I get your drift.  It causes havoc one way or another.

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Hearing "oops" from your tactical officer is a bit like hearing it from your surgeon.
*snort*laugh*  Yeah, that's about how that one ended up.

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Yea, the drones are not all that strong, you basically have to use them against stuff they have those 5x bonuses for if you want significant offensive power (either way they still help increase the number of targets the AI might shoot at).
Well, the fact that they're facing things usually a minimum of one MK higher isn't helping their cause.  I was curious, and I'd actually intended to see how well MK II/III could perform with a few different turret upgrades going, I just never got there.

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Congrats pulling off that rebel-colony rescue, that was a long haul in a pretty nasty galaxy.
Yeah, sorry I never posted up the map for that one, luckily I had a few posted earlier.  That was brutal.  Amusing, but brutal.  They made me WORK for them.  And then work some more.  The hammer that came down on that planet from waves reminded me why single choke is so damned important (even if multi-planet), damn the torpedos.  You just don't have the frickin' firepower without a VERY responsive fleet... which I didn't have, I was spread out all over the damned place so I couldn't respond to two places... ever.

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The alert window should probably just say "You put your foot in it!"  Except that wouldn't get it across with appending to the metaphor that said pile contained a nest of wasps with hollow-point depleted uranium ammo for stingers.
  Yeah, that was just unobservant.  I'd scouted it earlier and just completely missed the MK V guardposts on it, primarily since my scouts never lived when they reached it and I got carried away trying to drive myself into those 'last few planets' with scouts.

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Hmm, you've mentioned this before but I'm not sure I understand: how do you know that they're dying before capture and that the maw is still expending the "charge"?  The vacuum process should be instantaneous: it's recharge comes up and it decides to vacuum something, and that something is vacuumed.

My guess is that the "if something is trying to escape via wormhole or transport, have all in-flight projectiles aimed at it immediately resolve" rule is causing said targets to die.  Since each ship tracks "how much health would I have after all shots land?" I can use that as a filter to have the maws prefer other targets, but I'm not sure I'm right about what's actually happening here.
AH!  When a Maw starts its tractoring, you get a small red line if you zoom up to what it's trying to capture.  Eventually, that ship will disappear, and the maw increases its internal count.  Now, how I know they're dying is I watch that particular ship's health drop like a stone while the red line is on it.  It dies, and the Maw never increments... or if it does, it gets at best a mostly dead ship, instead of a nice healthy bit of prey.

It's not near wormholes where I can track that kind of thing, they're usually too congested.  Where I see this happening is mostly in mid-system fights against a ship line.  That and usually I don't dare get the maws near the wormhole without huge amounts of FFs, they're apparently primary targets and once you start hitting critical mass of long range ships (Beam, Frigate, Anti-Armor, etc) they alpha strike MK Is.  They're always late to that party, mostly because usually the FF's are dying in droves at that point anyway.

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Score after new modifications:
AI: 2 Wanderer: 0.
Woot woot!  Though the AI got its south bridge handed to it on a platter by Faulty Logic in that other thread.  It was a very close finale, granted, but a sub-9-hour win on 10/10 is something else.
Yeah, I saw that.  Very impressive.  I'm a little chagrined, to be honest.  I'd not realized botnets could actually stop this level of wave.

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On carriers: I really do like that waves "change shape" when carriers get involved, and I think the lower overall firepower (compared to what the contents would be doing to you) compensates for the increased overall durability and other carrier-specific propoerties.  I'm not totally averse to having carrier-dumped units come out damaged corresponding to how much damage the carrier had taken (so 100% health if they were deployed normally by a full health carrier, etc), but I'm also willing to drop the carrier offensive power.  They don't have to be steamrollers of doom, I just want you to care roughly as much about 1000 units in a carrier as you do about 1000 units outside a carrier (which, incidentally, may mean "steamrollers of doom")

On special forces guard posts: yea, gonna do something different there.  For now my AIW working copy is in a lot of flux so it'll be a few days before I can get another beta out, but hopefully will make these a bit more sane soon.
Well, you have to remember too, the carrier is balanced to fighters.  The majority of filler for those particular carriers tended to be tigers, autocannons, etc.  High Cap ships that pop when you sneeze.  Popping them and getting them into AoE degradation was a primary goal.  Shove a stack of bombers in there and I'd agree with you.

All I can tell you, balance wise, is right now 1400 ships is a lot safer to deal with (and economically easier to recover from) than 1000 ships and a carrier with 400 ships in it.  My Bomber starships, until I had gotten the waves to ensure to be under 1000, hid under the AoE FFs and had standing orders to prioritize the carrier.  I'd rather replace four bomber SSs every fight than face a carrier with over 100 ships in it.  They'd stroll out of the defense zone and absolutely murder my mid-range turrets... making everything from there completely hairy. 

I needed some dwarves to dig me an obsidian statue pump but they were busy trying to make Human Controlled Hybrids... with AI Collars.  There was even mention of a huge slingshot to fling them at wormholes.

Seriously though, their ability to escape a defense net and obliterate mid-range turrets really breaks up defenses quickly, and there's really no defense against them, they can hammer away at any grav turret put into place to slow them down VERY quickly. 

Grav Is are 5k in range.  Throw a planet of research at gravs and you can get to 7k range.  The carrier can shoot to 6k range.  So, Grav Is are out to even slow down a carrier.  At 1 mill in HP a single salvo from the carrier pretty much takes it down.  It needs a whole 13 shots to do it.  Even the MK II Grav it only needs 26 shots, which is 208 ships (Load / 8) on normal.  Very easy for a carrier to end up with.

So, really, to jam up a Carrier long enough to KEEP it in the defensive cordon, you need to drop over 2 planets of K into Grav IIIs so you have both the range (and time) to deal with the existing ships, pop the carrier, and then deal with the results of that.  Or you need to stack Grav IIs every 1000 'range'... whatever 1000 range looks like, it's not large.  Either that or kiss your mid-range turrets goodbye.

A stack of basics (the only real counter to Frigates, which ALSO chew up your Mid-Range Turrets) has a cap of 98, a health of 150,000.  So, roughly, 15 mill in HP, if they're all stacked up together.

Let's take an average carrier I was seeing, which was low end.  250 ships.  That's 31.25 shots, so 31 shots.  That's 2.3 mill in damage.  Every four seconds.  Your basic turrets are dead inside of... well, round it off, 20 seconds.

In 20 seconds, your turrets have fired off roughly 4.8 million raw damage * 2.  Neglecting attrition rates of the turrets.  So, 10 mill in damage.  Seems fair, right?  Also, carriers are ultra-heavy, now getting a 2.4 mill multiplier for the damage being applied, so really it's 24 mill worth of damage.  This should be an amazing counter-balance to the turret, by the numbers.  And that's all computed with a MK II Carrier vs. a single cap of MK I turrets!

It doesn't work that way.  What you end up seeing is your 100 basics spray their fire across the entire enemy fleet.  The carrier begins to move.  The basics get their second salvo off, and then the carrier's in range (usually).  SPLAT. SPLAT. SPLAT.  Half your basics are gone before they've even gotten a chance to reload.  The basics fire again at the fleet behind the carrier, and SQUISH, that's it for them.  The carrier then moves about 500 more range in and starts in on the lasers.

Eventually, about 400-500 of the inbound wave is dead and your turrets finally realize they're screwed, so they get themselves retargetted (even WITH Auto-Target Carriers turned on) and start laying into the carrier.  But there's just not enough firepower left and the wave itself, since the carrier's been wailing away with impunity on your mid-range turrets, flows through and just reams the remaining mid-rangers.  Even if you DO pop the carrier at this point, a fresh set of troops of some variety, probably easier now in that particular game because they were lightweights, joined up with the 'wave' that's slowly pushing down the grav-line while what's left of your turretry, the Snipers and LRMs, go to work.

Right about then, the second wave comes in.

That's a really long explanation, but it probably shows you the problem eventually.

However, the reason I specifically have not decided to go ape over them is because I'm playing 10/10 for crying out loud.  Every one of those base ships in the waves that I'm trying to clean out is MK II or better, as is the carrier.  I have a hard time ever seeing a carrier appearing in a wave under the MK II threshhold, but that's another story, I'm sure it could happen given the right set of high-cap ships.  The thing is at any other difficulty these ships would not be sitting on my doorstep at 50 AIP with a single world controlled, so I should, in theory, have had enough time (and K) to setup a more effective defense.

The other problem is my defensive methods.  I usually string the defenses along two wormholes, so I catch escapees trying to make a break for other wormholes as well as escaping out of the wave source.  Because of this, those turrets catch more flak out of the wave then normal 'looser' defensive models would, where the enemy is allowed to go wherever they please as long as it's not the CC.

Now, I've found that method, in general, to be more effective.  Carriers are seriously changing that decision.  It's an interesting problem, but there's absolutely no reason carriers should be adjusted because of 10/10 play.  Now, if they flatline me on a 9.6, I'll go grab my picketing sign and camp your doorway.   :D
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #80 on: July 16, 2012, 10:45:49 PM »
Fair enough.  I'd almost like to see the ships not end up in a ctrl-group at all comparitively... but I get your drift.  It causes havoc one way or another.
I may add a toggle to make the enclaves not be selected with their ctrl-group, or perhaps just not apply their control group to their produced units.  It'd feel a bit silly to have both toggles, I suppose ;)

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AH!  When a Maw starts its tractoring, you get a small red line if you zoom up to what it's trying to capture.
Oh, that's actually what pops up when it's trying to tractor something, but cannot because it's still on reload.  Honestly I might even remove that "assist target" logic from it since I've added so much redundant "try to find a swallow target, anything really will do" logic to make sure they don't get lockjaw because they've got the wrong thing "focused". 

On carriers, thanks for the info on precisely why they were so painful.  I agree that if they're steamrollering folks on 10/10... well, it's 10/10.  But the 6000 range wasn't really an intentional thing on our part.  They've had it forever but basically since the beginning you didn't really have to care how far it could fire its one piddly shot.  Now you care.  I'd be happy giving them 4000 or even 3000, really. 

On turrets being alpha'd in general, I'm almost inclined to give turrets radar dampening to make sure they can't be outranged that way.  If I were feeling mean, I could make only mkII+ turrets have radar dampening ;)
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #81 on: July 16, 2012, 11:59:25 PM »
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AH!  When a Maw starts its tractoring, you get a small red line if you zoom up to what it's trying to capture.
Oh, that's actually what pops up when it's trying to tractor something, but cannot because it's still on reload.  Honestly I might even remove that "assist target" logic from it since I've added so much redundant "try to find a swallow target, anything really will do" logic to make sure they don't get lockjaw because they've got the wrong thing "focused". 
Hm, odd.  I'd thought that WAS the tractor targetting and until 5 seconds had passed it wouldn't tractor.  I'd never seen it tractor anything without that line involved.  I'll have to pay VERY close attention to first-strike on them.  Good to know.

So, if that target dies, what happens?  Is suction just on a 5 second counter and 'shloop' in someone goes, or does it need to 'target' in some way?  If so, either they're munching down ships DANG quickly (at the end of a 3-4 minute fight each one having 10 or so inside does not lend confidence to me) or something else is jamming the system.

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On carriers, thanks for the info on precisely why they were so painful.  I agree that if they're steamrollering folks on 10/10... well, it's 10/10.  But the 6000 range wasn't really an intentional thing on our part.  They've had it forever but basically since the beginning you didn't really have to care how far it could fire its one piddly shot.  Now you care.  I'd be happy giving them 4000 or even 3000, really. 

On turrets being alpha'd in general, I'm almost inclined to give turrets radar dampening to make sure they can't be outranged that way.  If I were feeling mean, I could make only mkII+ turrets have radar dampening ;)

I would love to see the mid-range turrets, Laser, Basic, and MLRS (I really need to stop calling them MRMs, silly Battletech), get radar dampening.  Heck, adding that to MK II sounds like a fine reason to finally upgrade (another 2k minimum to really use the drones is a nice to have, more on that at eleven) and be worth the K price.  Okay, basics are on the cheap side then, but still.  However, yes, reduce Carriers to 3k where they can't instapop any reasonable costing grav turret put in place to simply slow it down and you'll reduce about 80% of the headache I'm personally having with them.   :D 

The alpha-strike thing has been a long argument between myself, Basics, and Missile Frigates and was one of the reasons I was incredibly partial to the Radar Jammer II from the Traders, and considered it a 'first build' item, even over the Z-Gennie sometimes.  It's also why I tend to whine (need cheese?) about them from time to time as being the only anti-artillery hull multiplied turret that can hit Frigates (they ignore the lightnings).  However, for dampening, LRMs and Snipers obviously really don't need it and the AoE cannons probably shouldn't have it, they've got the FF bonus.  The variety would be nice.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #82 on: July 17, 2012, 11:32:50 AM »
Erm, I get why sniper turrets shouldn't have radar dampening like this, but why not missile turrets? I know that their range is long enough such that they generally don't get alpha-striked, but if the AI gets some long range units, doesn't this mean that the missile turrets will go down first?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #83 on: July 17, 2012, 12:50:55 PM »
Hm, odd.  I'd thought that WAS the tractor targetting and until 5 seconds had passed it wouldn't tractor.  I'd never seen it tractor anything without that line involved.  I'll have to pay VERY close attention to first-strike on them.  Good to know.
I didn't actually implement them so I could be wrong, but I think every other ship that uses the "assist target" mechanism (engies, mrs, rebuilders, etc) do instantaneous "snap shots" if they are off cooldown and acquire a target.  The "red line" is like what you see with engies if they're trying to assist a spacedock with no buildable items in their build queue.  Otherwise you see a greenish line to indicate that the assistance is working.

Of course, with maws, they're "assisting" the target to "get in mah bellah" ;)

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So, if that target dies, what happens?  Is suction just on a 5 second counter and 'shloop' in someone goes, or does it need to 'target' in some way?  If so, either they're munching down ships DANG quickly (at the end of a 3-4 minute fight each one having 10 or so inside does not lend confidence to me) or something else is jamming the system.
Perhaps its a side effect of some of the fixes for lockjaw: previously it would only vacuum its assist target.  Then I told it to try the assist target and if that didn't work try the kill target, and if that didn't work go through its cached target list to find something edible.  So perhaps it's hitting the kill target a lot.  You know, the one it (and probably nearby maws, due to aggregate targeting, though it will still spread out past 5 or so things shooting at the same thing) is shooting at? ;)  Dunno how much damage the maws do with those guns, but it could be substantial enough in this case to limit the number of "full meals" they're getting.

The mkII+ turrets (basic,mlrs,laser,HBC) getting radar dampening is in for 5.042 which is now out.  Carrier range from 6000 => 3000 is also in there.  I assume AI retaliation for this will follow shortly ;)
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #84 on: July 24, 2012, 09:09:48 PM »
For those curious (and/or waiting impatiently, which I doubt), while I'm staying up to date on the boards I've been distracted by dwarven flying minecart battlefield delivery systems and arguing with bees.  I'll be back eventually, just was feeling a hair of burnout and decided to go muck with something else for a bit before it got to be a bit much.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #85 on: July 24, 2012, 09:26:33 PM »
For those curious (and/or waiting impatiently, which I doubt), while I'm staying up to date on the boards I've been distracted by dwarven flying minecart battlefield delivery systems and arguing with bees.
A few weeks ago when I caught up on Toady's work log I saw the bit about testing minecarts on tracks and being able to use a cart full of rocks to "grapeshot" a dining room.

Solid. Gold.

And then the bit about testing in the arena with minecarts full of battleaxes... goodness that's gotta be hilarious.  DF is one of the examples of why computer games are both a worthwhile cultural pursuit and absolutely terrifying when you sit down to think about it.

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I'll be back eventually, just was feeling a hair of burnout and decided to go muck with something else for a bit before it got to be a bit much.
Yea, most of the AARs you've done are of games that are basically the pinnacle of grind (in the sense of everything taking a lot of wall-clock time), so I was surprised it took as long as it did for you to take another break ;)  At this point 10/10 might be a bit depressing for someone used to beating it.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Rematch - Keith's Revenge
« Reply #86 on: July 25, 2012, 07:51:01 PM »
For those curious (and/or waiting impatiently, which I doubt), while I'm staying up to date on the boards I've been distracted by dwarven flying minecart battlefield delivery systems and arguing with bees.
A few weeks ago when I caught up on Toady's work log I saw the bit about testing minecarts on tracks and being able to use a cart full of rocks to "grapeshot" a dining room.

Solid. Gold.

And then the bit about testing in the arena with minecarts full of battleaxes... goodness that's gotta be hilarious.  DF is one of the examples of why computer games are both a worthwhile cultural pursuit and absolutely terrifying when you sit down to think about it.

I'm still trying to work out how to deliver my axe/hammer dwarves over the wall via launched minecart while I keep the civvies safe inside.  Loading them up into ridable carts and then hearing 'PULL!' will make goblins tremble once they learn what that means.

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Yea, most of the AARs you've done are of games that are basically the pinnacle of grind (in the sense of everything taking a lot of wall-clock time), so I was surprised it took as long as it did for you to take another break ;)  At this point 10/10 might be a bit depressing for someone used to beating it.

Actually, it's not depressing.  I got a little annoyed with myself for allowing that econ spiral and stall on the last attempt but not depressed per se.  If I want to beat a game I'll simply drop back to 9.3/9.6 and enjoy a reasonable fight with the new gradient tech increases.  I just enjoy gnawing on 10/10s furniture.  I'll probably be forced to drop back down there anyway when I take on Raid Engine/Scorched Earth/etc for their AI 9 trophies, those would be farrrr too brutal at 10/10.

Now, the fact that I'd never assembled the kiting team of doom with logistics stations and Riot Starships because I'd never even THOUGHT of the tactic!?  That's depressing... and looks like fun.   :o
... and then we'll have cake.