Arcen Games

Games => AI War Classic - Strategy Discussion => AI War Classic => AI War Classic - Defender Mode Strategy Discussion => Topic started by: PineappleSam on December 21, 2010, 05:42:50 PM

Title: How do you play defender?
Post by: PineappleSam on December 21, 2010, 05:42:50 PM
Are there any particularly interesting map/time/number of command station configurations that people have tried with defender mode? I'm struggling to find a balance, as starting with all the command stations on a snake map leads to an incredibly easy game while a 15 minute campaign (again on a snake map) with only 6 command stations ended in the mass slaughter of my fleet after the first wave...

What setup would you suggest?
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: Fleet on December 31, 2010, 01:59:25 AM
I would contribute, but I don't play Defender myself much. I did try it once, but the waves came so far apart it was...very unstimulating. I was hoping it was more a fast and furious type defense.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: keith.lamothe on January 13, 2011, 09:28:23 PM
I've been testing it today, and it's certainly fast and furious.  This is on the 45-minute mode.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: BobTheJanitor on January 14, 2011, 12:51:27 AM
I tried it once, on 15 minutes mode, with only 10 planets, selecting one starting planet. I feel like I'm missing something fundamental, because I don't see how one could build enough of a force to handle the massive wave once it comes in. Or is this only balanced around selecting lots (all?) of the planets?
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: keith.lamothe on January 14, 2011, 09:02:56 AM
The lobby tooltip for the mode does say you need to pick multiple planets to have a chance.  Also, 15-minute is the most brutal of the modes because it's trying to pack it all in to such a short time.  45-minute and 60-minute are supposed to be the "normal" ones, as far as I can tell.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: Ozymandiaz on January 14, 2011, 09:45:22 AM
I have not tested it much yet, but and "unlimited, see how far you get mode" would be cool :P
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: Red Spot on January 14, 2011, 11:47:16 AM
Lower times give you less time to prepare. I guess that is about all that you need to know when you start.
On 15-30 minutes waves will spawn 2 minutes into the game so you need to use those startingresources. Unlock all mk4 fleetship and have engies assist the lvl4 fab and keep spewing out mk4 ships untill you reach their caps.

It "seems" that the game spawns waves at a certain percentage of your planets, when I had 12 planets they never launched attacks at more than 10 planets at one go, so it seems that is where you get the extra firepower, the 2 planets that do not need to be defended.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: keith.lamothe on January 14, 2011, 11:54:38 AM
The balance is changing a lot in the next version.  Notably the always-a-warp-jumper rule is being replaced with something else.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: BobTheJanitor on January 14, 2011, 11:59:35 AM
What would be suggested for a beginner mode for defender then? It might even be nice to have some presets that fill out number of planets, number of human planets, AI difficulty, etc. I guess starting with more planets is going to give you a lot of extra resources, so it seems like for cranking out lots of ships to defend with more is better? I'm confused by a mode that doesn't expect you to take any extra planets. One of the planets in my little test game, when scouted, had an ARS on it. Why seed that if I'm not expected to capture it? If I had selected that as one of my planets would the ARS still be there? So many questions!
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: keith.lamothe on January 14, 2011, 12:06:09 PM
Defender mode is where you defend, not attack :)  And yea, the normal seeding of stuff out in AI territory does seem a bit odd.  Honestly, you don't even have to scout.

What I'm balance testing is a 45-minute defender against 2 diff 7 vanilla AIs on a concentric map where I start with the central planet and the inner ring around it.  You can take more and get more resources (and more importantly, knowledge) but the waves will be larger.

Anyway, in my working copy the balance is shaping up ok I think; it's a challenge but not the ai-roflstomps-you-into-a-stain situation that it is in 4.066.  If one wants that, simply play diff 8 instead of 7 ;)  Of course, even that could be survived if you were really good, that's what diff 9 and 10 are for.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: Burnstreet on January 25, 2011, 05:59:06 PM
I just did 2 Defender mode games.
first one :
60 minutes, 2x diff 7, 3 planets, one entry wormhole, Bonus ships: shieldbearers, viral shredders, bulletproof fighters
It felt dull. Totally. Every 3 minutes 20s of action and then more waiting.
The only problem I had was scrapping the shredders on time so I don't get a brownout.
15k kills, 9k scrapped shredders. 1000% kill to loss ratio.
Oh, and venturing out into ai territory, antagonizing but not killing EMP guardians is a very bad idea.
Most of the time I spent thinking about what I could do with all my resources. Turns out reactor efficiency does not fall below 10% so at the end I had 181 reactors MK II, enabling me to power all unlocked towers, all ships I could build + about 2500 shredders total.

second one:
60 minutes, 2x diff7, 13 or 18 planets, don't remeber if it was a 15 or 20 planet mark, I left 2 free, one entry wormhole. bonus ships: many.
first wave: 3600 ships. doable.
second wave: 7600 ships, including ~1500 Bombers, 100 spire tractor platforms and many starships. No chance.

Is it by design that ship caps don't scale with the number of planets?

Next thing I will try is a 15 minute version.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: keith.lamothe on January 25, 2011, 06:09:13 PM
I did my testing on 45-minute-defender 2xdiff7 on a 80 planet concentric map taking the central planet and the ring immediately around it.  It was quite fun, actually, particularly in the early part where I was scrambling to get partial tractor, partial grav, partial dps, etc nets up because I couldn't afford to just build them all at once.

The last couple sets of waves did finally overwhelm my defenses (couldn't keep my engie teams alive to keep the layered-ff groups alive) but it was close enough to the end of the timer that I won anyway.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: TechSY730 on January 25, 2011, 07:17:24 PM
I choose a ton of planets, get bonus ships I know how to work with very well, make sure my settings aren't too unreasonable, choose a few planets to focus turrets on, unlock awesome stuff with the knowledge I get, build to cap with ships and turrets, and then get curb-stomped by the AI. ;D
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: keith.lamothe on January 25, 2011, 07:30:16 PM
It has a lot to do with how many planets you unlock.  10 is a decent number.  5-15 is a decent range.  I recently updated the tooltips for defender mode to reflect that, iirc.  I think 45 minutes has the best pacing; I generally had enough time between waves to make some repairs and replacements and maybe unlock something and start building it up, but not enough time to finish all of that.  And if I took too long killing the wave then I had less time to prepare for the next.
Title: Re: How do you play defender?
Post by: Burnstreet on January 25, 2011, 08:06:48 PM
Ok, just did some tests on 15 minutes, diff 7/7
Starting with 3 planets, I failed to kill 250 MK2 Bombers and 300 MK2 Fighters at 3 min gametime.

The first 3 planets seem to be free difficultywise, you only get 2 wavelanes. every other planet adds 2 more wave lanes. I think this should be mentioned somewhere in the descriptions or a tip as it is hugely important.
In contrast to conquest mode, more players seem not to change the amount of wave lanes, at least when added after the start, making multiplayer games much easier. Also, players added after the start do not get mobile command stations.
Do they have any resource income at all?

I noticed your chang to the description, but I think it could be improved.
"We recommend starting with 5 planets and 45 minutes to get a feeling of the difficulty, more than 15 planets is suicide" is much clearer than the current wording.