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Games => AI War Classic => Topic started by: Diazo on April 10, 2013, 11:52:52 AM

Title: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 10, 2013, 11:52:52 AM
Okay. First, this is a thought exercise, not an actual suggestion (yet).

From another thread:

The basic problem is you don't get anything from having 400 AIP that you didn't get by 200 AIP, but the AI is twice as hard.

10 planets worth of knowledge is nothing?

There should also be at least a few fabs in those planets (on most maps anyway).
Yes, 10 planets worth of K is nothing, because I've already unlocked everything meaningful.  Nothing, not K or Fabs, can give me enough power to match doubling the AI strength.  I already end 9/9 games with ~5-10k  Knowledge unspent, and I'm doing 10-12 planets.

Now, playstyle differences strike again, I certainly don't end a 9/9 game with that much K unspent.

Having said that it did prompt a thought.

Over time, and especially for starships, knoweldge cost have come down, and down a lot.

What are peoples thoughts on reducing Knoweldge (both starting K and/or K per planet) in return for cutting back on how fast AIP scales?

My logic behind this is that Knowledge is a relative resources. The more K you have, the less more K is worth, relatively.

By reducing the amount of K you get, that critical point of "I can take the AI HWs" is reached slower and requires taking more planets.

This would hurt low-aip players more then high-aip players, but at the moment the low-aip strat is so much more viable then the high-aip strat that I am okay with that.

Indeed, the point of this change is to make the high-aip strat more viable. Right now if you are facing Mk III waves (excluding stuff like superweapons), you've probably already lost the game.

However, AIP right now scales to give low-aip a challenge and so scales in the high-aip range too much (imo).

This all comes out of my stance that low-aip games have become too powerful and so the AIP scaling to give low-AIP games a challenge has resulted in high-AIP games becoming too challenging. A 9.0 or 9.3 diff game should be winnable with a high-aip strategy. Right now I'm not sure it is. (Currently testing this in an AAR though).

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 10, 2013, 12:03:24 PM
I'd first really rather K unlocks get a pass to make them all viable.  There are a ton I just don't bother touching.  Like Transport IIs are okay, but for 4k Knowledge, I'd really rather something a lot more impressive in terms of what it opens up.  If it were a beastly Assault Transport that held maybe 50 units instead of 200 but released them all at once, and had a ton more health and armor...then I might use them.  Throw in Missile immunity and I could see them really being useful for deep Raiding.

Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Cinth on April 10, 2013, 12:29:03 PM
Just going to throw out that I use pretty much all but 13-14 of the unlocks.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 10, 2013, 12:37:19 PM
You're playing FS with a ton of AIP.  Basically, you might as well use them.  But I'm betting you could win games with 20,000 K left over if you wanted (or even more).
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Cinth on April 10, 2013, 12:40:59 PM
Not at higher difficulties.  With all the modifiers to AI strength I play with, I need everything I can get to hit exos with.  Stopping 1 million FP is no joke and you have to do it without getting caught in an economic death spiral. 
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 10, 2013, 12:51:54 PM
You're playing FS with a ton of AIP.  Basically, you might as well use them.  But I'm betting you could win games with 20,000 K left over if you wanted (or even more).

I'm sure he could. Players could probably also win the game (maybe with "Lazy AI" turned on only) with nothing but 1, maybe 2 planets worth of econ (that count includes the HW), good defensive setup to handle "backwash", good micro skills, and lots and lots of patience on all but the hardest of difficulties.
The issue is, is that fun? Why would you do that to yourself when taking a few more planets would open up a ton of new "funner" approaches? When I mean more planets, I don't mean taking a third of galaxy or anything like that, but maybe 4, 5, or 6 planets (which is still pretty small scale, especially when data centers enter the picture).

While I would agree that this "tipping point" of where the AI's growth overcomes the benefit of a new planet (even with awesome stuff on it) does come a bit too soon for lower difficulty games (like around 400 AIP for difficulty 7 (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,12820.0.html), which seems rather low), the fact that you don't need a ton of stuff to win if you have crazy skill, patience, "tolerance for grind", and willingness to "sacrifice fun" doesn't mean the balance is necessarily broken (unless that sort of technique works on ultra high difficulties).


Now I agree that some of the techs need knowledge balance adjustments.
I also find it interesting to look at the K per planet balance over the years.
Way back in the day (like around 3.0 and before), it was 2000 knowledge / planet. Then it went up to 2500 knowledge. Then finally up to the current 3000 knowledge.
Each time, the prompting was that there is more stuff to try out, and the AI is getting more stuff to use too. (Not saying I agree or disagree with the reasoning or whether it overcompensated, just stating the original rational)
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 10, 2013, 01:05:18 PM
Taking 6 more planets can easily result in pushing AI strength up to x3.  There is nothing those 6 planets offer that compares.  So what if I unlock Mark IIIs when the AI hits me with 2250 strong waves instead of 750.  I'd love for their to be funner options when taking more planets.  But there really aren't.  There was discussion of changing fleet ship K prices and that might put them into the realm of worthwhile.

But stuff like turrets are a losing proposition.  To unlock them costs K, which means you need to take more planets.  Which increases AIP which means the turrets are facing tough opposition.  It is a race that turrets lose.  There are a few Mark II turret unlocks that are worthwhile (Mark II Basic) but after that, it really isn't.  Because even if the K spent on turrets perfectly balanced out the increased defenses required, you are also increasing reinforcements which means your offensive fleet needs to deal with that, and you just spent all that K to solely increase your defenses.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 10, 2013, 01:08:37 PM
I also find it interesting to look at the K per planet balance over the years.
Way back in the day (like around 3.0 and before), it was 2000 knowledge / planet. Then it went up to 2500 knowledge. Then finally up to the current 3000 knowledge.

I suppose this is really what I was getting at, without having a clear idea what I was getting at.

A single HW gets you 13,000K. That's one Mk III and 2 other Mk II fleet ships. Combine that with the stuff you get given, I can crack a HW quite easily with that at low-aip, up to a pretty high difficulty. (I'm ignoring stuff like the strategic reserve here.)

Now that stuff like the special forces, the strategic reserve and other balance changes to nerf the low-aip strategies, mid to high-aip strategies are in theory a more powerful option then they were.

Expect because AIP scales so steeply they still can't really compare.

I suppose my formal position on this is that AIP scaling needs to come down somehow, and for balance reasons the player is looking at a nerf to accomplish this.

Doubling the AIP doubles waves sizes and I assume reinforcements also.

From AIP 10 to AIP 50 the player gets tens of times stronger, while the AI gets 5 times stronger.

From AIP 100 to AIP 200, the player gets 20% stronger (maybe 30% stronger) but the AI gets 100% stronger (doubles).

The players power goes up sharply in the early game and then levels off, while the AIs power starts off slowly and then accelerates as the AIP goes up.

This mechanic needs to stay for the game to stay recognisable as AI war, but I'd like the curves leveled off, or at least the crossing point where the power is 'equal' to move significantly higher up the AIP scale.

I suppose I'm talking about how the game 'feels' as much as anything at this point, but low-aip has certainly been too dominant for quite a while now.

The latest changes in the last couple patches will probably help, I'm trying a game now, but we'll see where those changes get us.

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 10, 2013, 01:25:29 PM
Taking 6 more planets can easily result in pushing AI strength up to x3.  There is nothing those 6 planets offer that compares.  So what if I unlock Mark IIIs when the AI hits me with 2250 strong waves instead of 750.  I'd love for their to be funner options when taking more planets.  But there really aren't.  There was discussion of changing fleet ship K prices and that might put them into the realm of worthwhile.

I was talking about taking 3 more planets to bring you up from, say, 2 or 3 planets to 6 planets.

So basically, yea, don't take 6 more planets if the AI is already sending you waves of like 750. Maybe you should if the AI is only sending you waves of like 75.

But in any case, Nx of what?
Consider starting the game and taking two more planets.
At AIP 10, that goes to AIP 50  (10 + 2*10), which is indeed a 5x increase in AI strength. But, at AIP 10, the waves and other stuff are so weak, that even 5x of that isn't very threatening either. At that point, it would be worth it, as getting that first planet gives could quite possibly give the player more strength such that you still have "gained" on the AI, even considering that the AI still grew 5x strength to your new planets' worth of stuff.

Going from 50 to 250 AIP is of course very different, as the player is starting to "decelerate" in the benefit per planet (enough so to offset that it you get 5 planets to get from 50 to 250, rather than the two from before), but the AI is still growing in strength at the same rate (5x AIP for 5x relative strength). It might or might not be worth it in that case.
This is where the difficulty in the game is, finding those "tipping" points for your set of difficulties and options.


I is worth mentioning that my examples sort of fall apart in very high difficulties, where the AI growth from 10 to 50 could be more than 5x, and from 50 to 250 be much more than 5x, thanks to the different formula used (an exponential one in the higher difficulties). In that case, this "tipping point" would start coming much, MUCH earlier.

EDIT: To the mathematically inclined among you, yes, I am aware that even on the lower to mid difficulty equations, AI "strength" over AIP is not technically a linear relation, thanks to the formulas indicating a >0 strength at a theoretical AIP 0. (strangely, the linear equation, y = mx + a is NOT a linear relation, go figure :P)
So all of those 5x growths I mentioned should actually be "around 5x growth".
In fact, this is the key to being able to adjust low AIP "strength" and higher AIP "strength" in different directions, the intercept (a) will adjust how much strength the AI has at low AIPs (and all the way through, but its contribution becomes less noticeable as AIP goes up), while the slope (m) will adjust how "punishing" each additional point of AIP is.

EDIT2: So, maybe the thing is to adjust when that "deceleration" to the player occurs? How would that happen? Knowledge cost rebalance? Economy rebalance? Energy rebalance?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 10, 2013, 02:04:45 PM
Actually, now that I think about it some, a AIP 10 to 50 is almost certainly NOT an 5x growth, it is probably much less, at least in the lower difficulty, "slope intercept" form. This is due to that constant factor in the equation.

So, for difficulties <= 8, for most cases, the AI "strength" boils down to
strength = m*AIP + C.
Yes, m and C vary by difficulty, what mechanic (waves, reinforcements, etc), and many other factors, but it boils down to this form.

So, if we take a, say, 2x increase in AIP, and measure the relative growth, we get (m*2*AIP + C) / (m*AIP + C). So, as AIP -> 0, the limit is C/C, or 1 (provided C is non-0). The limit as AIP -> infinity is indeed 2. (this works for any Nx comparison, with the limit to infinity being N).
If C > 0, then what you see in terms of 2x increases is not that much growth ratio wise at lower AIPs, but much starts approaching 2x as AIP goes up.
If C < 0, then all sorts of weirdness can happen, like the AI growth actually decelerating for a bit, then spiking up, and the decelerating again, but never getting below 2x.


It is also worth comparing this to what happens if you add a fixed amount of AIP, so we get (m*(AIP + N) + C) / (m*AIP + C), which has its own curve behaviors and shows off a different aspect to consider when talking about AI growth with its own implications. (at AIP 0, this results in (m*N + C) / C = m*N / C + C/C = m*N/C + 1, and as N goes to 1, this goes to m/C + 1 (which is itself a constant purely independent of game state), but for as AIP -> infinity and N is any constant, this approaches 0, so each absolute AIP point gained becomes less significant, even though multiplying it by a constant becomes about the same significance as AIP gets high (and indeed, grows quite a bit at low AIPs))
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 10, 2013, 02:09:19 PM
At three planets in my last game I was getting hit with waves of 750 :) .  Since I'm playing with CSGs, I must take 6 more.  Taking another 6 on top of that would be suicide.

Also, exponential growth at high difficulties is generally irrelevant unless you are playing FS.  On 9/9 I'm taking the first homeworld at 120 AIP tops (I prefer around 80 thanks to a ST) and the second falls before another Exo/CPA hits and at most one wave lands from each AI.  It's adding only 32 AIP.  If I get to the homeworld at 80 AIP, that's just +17 AIP.  It would matter if mid-range AIP games were possible at high difficulty, but since they aren't, it's like playing with one invisible system capped you get nothing in return for.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 10, 2013, 02:16:56 PM
At three planets in my last game I was getting hit with waves of 750 :) .  Since I'm playing with CSGs, I must take 6 more.  Taking another 6 on top of that would be suicide.

Also, exponential growth at high difficulties is generally irrelevant unless you are playing FS.  On 9/9 I'm taking the first homeworld at 120 AIP tops (I prefer around 80 thanks to a ST) and the second falls before another Exo/CPA hits and at most one wave lands from each AI.  It's adding only 32 AIP.  If I get to the homeworld at 80 AIP, that's just +17 AIP.  It would matter if mid-range AIP games were possible at high difficulty, but since they aren't, it's like playing with one invisible system capped you get nothing in return for.

So at AIP 50, that gives waves of 750 size? Does that sound a bit unreasonable to anyone else, even for difficulty 9?
What waves sizes were you getting at AIP 10? That would help answer whether that sort of crazy growth can be expected throughout the game or whether that is just due to waves starting big at difficulty 9 (and thus, you won't get hit by the exponenential "explosion" yet, and the transition from 50 to, say, 90 will be much more reasonable), or if indeed the "explosion of growth" is starting too early at difficulty 9.
(a*b^x + c*x + d has a similar sort of change in relative growth and acceleration vs behavior and magnitude at low values that mx + a does)
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 10, 2013, 03:54:23 PM
I think there may be something to the general idea of "rolling back the arms race" so that both the players and the AI get less from each planet taken.

Just going back to 2000 K per planet and multiplying the AI's scaling from AIP by 2/3rds would be a start.

There are some unlocks that need revisiting, like the transport-II.  I did give it an extra planet's worth of range (away from supply) recently.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 10, 2013, 04:04:48 PM
I think there may be something to the general idea of "rolling back the arms race" so that both the players and the AI get less from each planet taken.

Just going back to 2000 K per planet and multiplying the AI's scaling from AIP by 2/3rds would be a start.

There are some unlocks that need revisiting, like the transport-II.  I did give it an extra planet's worth of range (away from supply) recently.

Something like this may be a good first step.
Not sure yet if this would encourage use of more planets' resources or not.I guess it depends on if this is more of a nerf for the player or the AI, relatively speaking.
If it is more of a nerf for the AI, then yea, we wouldn't have to worry about taking as many planets, but at the same time, ultra low AIP games are now even more in the player's favor.
If it is more of a nerf for the human, then the "tipping point" over the number of planets gained will actually come faster, even though the AIP point may be higher, which is actually the opposite of the effect that the OP was looking for.
I was kind of hoping for something that would make the early game a bit harder, but decrease the "scaling" over AIP.
Like, if the current formula is strength = m*x + a, instead of making it strength = 2/3*(m*x + a), make it strength = 2/3*m*x + 3/2*a (or some other, >1 multiplier to the old value of a). Or possibly just keep a as it is now, but only scale m.
With properly chosen values, this would mean the player is now a bit more behind at very early AIP, putting pressure to get more planets early on, without having to worry about the AI growing to much early on in the game for it to be worth it.
(A similar transform would occur to the exponential form of the equation)

This would be in addition to making planets only have 2k or 2.5k knowledge each.


Keep in mind, some adjustments to the recent changes of the HW may be needed if this happens (like a new cap for the effective AIP for strategic reserve, or held value if lazy AI is off)
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 10, 2013, 04:25:00 PM
In general, I am happy with the relative scaling that happens, it just happens too quick.

If you could magically stretch the power curves so that what is currently AIP 300 happened at AIP 500 but the relative power curves stayed the same to get there that would be my ideal solution to this issue.

As that is not possible, we are stuck talking about how exactly to go about making AIP scaling less of a cliff and that gets messy regardless of what the suggestion is.

On the wave sizes, going from AIP 10 to AIP 100 on diff 7 is a 10x increase in wave size. On diff 9 it is a 12.5x increase when you hit AIP 100.  So waves on Diff 9 scale 25% faster in size to reach the AIP 100 mark.

Except because scaling is not linear on diff 8+, as AIP gets higher, the scaling gets worse. Diff 9, AIP 200 is 27x increase over AIP 10 as compared to diff 7's increase of 20x. So at AIP 200, diff 9 has scaled 35% faster then diff 7.

Actually, I think that regardless of whatever happens the AIP scaling needs to go back to linear for all difficulties. We are talking about mid and high AIP games being not viable and here is a mechanic that deliberately makes mid and high AIP harder because the higher AIP goes, the more ships 1 point of AIP gives the AI for waves. This will be a huge nerf to diffs 9 and 10 but if we are going to make both low and high strats viable, we can't AIP scaling different for the two of them.

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 10, 2013, 04:33:29 PM
In general, I am happy with the relative scaling that happens, it just happens too quick.

If you could magically stretch the power curves so that what is currently AIP 300 happened at AIP 500 but the relative power curves stayed the same to get there that would be my ideal solution to this issue.

Yes you can do this. For the linear forms, you reduce the slope but leave the intercept untouched on the linear formula (that's not a linear relation, the math guys sort of painted themselves into a corner when they made this nomenclature :D).
For the exponential forms, the most straightforward way would be to reduce the coefficient of the AIP term in the exponent. You could also reduce the base of the exponent, which while is a bit more "sensitive" gives similar results over the kinds of AIPs we are looking at.

Quote
Actually, I think that regardless of whatever happens the AIP scaling needs to go back to linear for all difficulties. We are talking about mid and high AIP games being not viable and here is a mechanic that deliberately makes mid and high AIP harder because the higher AIP goes, the more ships 1 point of AIP gives the AI for waves. This will be a huge nerf to diffs 9 and 10 but if we are going to make both low and high strats viable, we can't AIP scaling different for the two of them.

D.

Hooray, someone else finally, sort of agrees with me.

I would contend that going all the way back down to linear may not be a great idea, but maybe polynomial would be a good compromise. (Yes this again, but to my credit, I have not harped on this on this particular thread yet ;))
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 10, 2013, 05:18:43 PM
In general, I am happy with the relative scaling that happens, it just happens too quick.

If you could magically stretch the power curves so that what is currently AIP 300 happened at AIP 500 but the relative power curves stayed the same to get there that would be my ideal solution to this issue.

Yes you can do this. For the linear forms, you reduce the slope but leave the intercept untouched on the linear formula (that's not a linear relation, the math guys sort of painted themselves into a corner when they made this nomenclature :D).
For the exponential forms, the most straightforward way would be to reduce the coefficient of the AIP term in the exponent. You could also reduce the base of the exponent, which while is a bit more "sensitive" gives similar results over the kinds of AIPs we are looking at.

Erm, I was speaking in game terms. On a pure numbers basis it is easy, but the AI's (and the players) "power curve" is a combination of so many factors that you can't just slash AIP (or knoweldge on the player side) and call that 'sliding the power curve'.

Is it doable? Yes. Is it optimal? Opinions will vary.

I still want to see something done along these lines to bring AIP at mid to high levels back in line.

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Toranth on April 10, 2013, 07:50:01 PM
Just for reference, here's the Wiki page that talks about wave sizes:  Why do Enemy Waves get so Large? (http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Why_Do_Enemy_Waves_Get_So_Large%3F)
The important equation from there is that base wave size is:

((((AIProgress  + modifier) * 0.8 ) ^ 1.1 ) * AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - AI Difficulty )

Note:  This is so close to linear that the R^2 of a linear regression is over 0.998.  The only noticable difference is very low AIP (<30-ish).


For reinforcements, it's more complicated:  The largest factor is that the AI gets x reinforcement pulses, where x = # non-AI planets / 2.
Strength of each pulse is determined by:

reinforcementStrength = 1.5 * AIDiff * handicapMultiplier
reinforcementStrength += 4 + random(0,AIDifficulty)
reinforcementStrength += ((AIP/10) * (AIDiff/10))
reinforcementStrength *= (tech level multiplier)
reinforcementStrength *= 0.14
reinforcementStrength must be at most 35;
reinforcementStrength *= (1 + guardPostReinforcementPulsesShiftedToCentralPulse)


This means that as long as AIP is less than 10 x AIDiff, the AI's Difficulty will be the largest factor in reinforcement strength.


Special Forces uses another method to determine strength:

baseSizeFactor = 30   (Not sure where this number comes from)
specialDifficultyFactor = Game.Instance.Options.TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier (based on difficulty, homeworld count, handicap)
effectiveAIP = AIP
aiTypeMultiplier = (1 + 2 per Special Forces Captain AI)
specialForcesPostsInNonAITerritoryMultiplier = Mat.One + ( FInt.FromParts( 0, 050 ) * numberOfSpecialForcesPostsInNonAITerritory )
specialForcesStrengthCap = baseSizeFactor * difficultyFactor * effectiveAIP  * aiTypeMultiplier * specialForcesPostsInNonAITerritoryMultiplier


Here, AIP is a straight up multiplier:  Double it, the SF cap doubles.


Strategic Reserve is similar to SF:

*Computing MaxStrategicReserve
baseStrengthFactor = 19.8   (Not sure where this number comes from)
specialDifficultyFactor = Game.Instance.Options.TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier (based on difficulty, homeworld count, handicap)
effectiveAIP = AIP
maxStrategicReserve = baseStrengthFactor * difficultyFactor * effectiveAIP  

Here as well, AIP is a straight up multiplier:  Double it to double Reserve strength.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 10, 2013, 08:19:32 PM
Just for reference, here's the Wiki page that talks about wave sizes:  Why do Enemy Waves get so Large? (http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Why_Do_Enemy_Waves_Get_So_Large%3F)
The important equation from there is that base wave size is:

((((AIProgress  + modifier) * 0.8 ) ^ 1.1 ) * AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - AI Difficulty )

Note:  This is so close to linear that the R^2 of a linear regression is over 0.998.  The only noticable difference is very low AIP (<30-ish).

For clarity's sake, this is only on 8.0 or higher.

On any difficulty lower then 8.0, the waves base strength calc is:

For Difficulties less than 8: ( (AIProgress + modifier) * AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - AIDifficulty )

The other calculations stay the same across all difficulties as far as I am aware.

D.

edit: From my post at the end of page 1:
Quote
Actually, I think that regardless of whatever happens the AIP scaling needs to go back to linear for all difficulties. We are talking about mid and high AIP games being not viable and here is a mechanic that deliberately makes mid and high AIP harder because the higher AIP goes, the more ships 1 point of AIP gives the AI for waves. This will be a huge nerf to diffs 9 and 10 but if we are going to make both low and high strats viable, we can't AIP scaling different for the two of them.

I am talking about making all difficulties use (AIProgress + modifier) * AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - AIDifficulty ), rather then have 8.0 or higher use ((AIProgress + modifier) * 0.8 ) ^ 1.1 ) * AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - AI Difficulty ).

This would be a nerf to 8.0 or higher so they would have to get buffed, probably in the difficulty multiplier, to compesate.


Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 10, 2013, 08:34:40 PM
I think we may be looking at the whole "low-AIP playstyle vs not-low-AIP playstyle" thing the wrong way.  Backing up a bit:

1) For what reason would a player draw more AI attention to themselves than necessary?  In other words, why would they not play low-AIP whenever possible?  There are answers to this, but the main two that come to mind are "because they're more interested in having fun than playing optimally" and "because they're playing Fallen Spire".

2) Should we then be concerned about balancing for both a low-AIP and a not-low-AIP situation during the early/mid game?  Presumably either the low-AIP is going to have an excessively easy time, or the not-low-AIP is going to have an excessively hard time.  Is it, ultimately, a problem to say that you're going to need to keep AIP low during that time?

3) With stuff like the non-Lazy rules, the player (in theory) will have a hard time staying at low-AIP through the endgame.  Combined with the above, this makes for a sort of "common curve" among games: stay below, say, 130 before the end, and then jump up to around 200 during the buildup to the final battle, and then either you win or you lose and probably die soon thereafter (or pull off a desperate gambit involving more warheads than I'm comfortable contemplating).  Maybe adjusting things so those numbers are more like 200 and 300 would be better, with the first number being effectively lower on the higher difficulties.  Or you can turn Lazy-AI on and win at low AIP if that's how you like to play the game.  Or you can play FS and go high AIP from midgame on if that's how you like to play the game.  Aside from those two alternatives, what other "curves" need to work?

Anyway, not trying to step on anyone's toes here, but I'm wondering what our goals really are/need-to-be.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 10, 2013, 08:56:06 PM
I'm not sure I have a specific goal beyond what I previously stated.

That being where the current game sits in terms of power at AIP 300 is what it should be at AIP 500.

I think my position is more from the fact that over the long term, the game has been creeping towards low-AIP being the 'optimal' strategy more and more.

So as more and more players favor it, the AIs counters at low AIP got buffed, but those buffs carried though to the higher-AIPs and so low-AIP became more and more optimal until it is almost exclusively the only way to play.

Right now because I play with such a high difficulty, taking all worlds adjacent to my homeworld for defense is not an option as it would cost too much AIP. It's not a case of me making that choice to keep AIP low for an easier game, it's the simple fact that if I take every world adjacent to my homeworld, I've lost. (For the record I'm talking down at diff 9 here, that's not a diff 10 game I'm talking about.)

Now, if it's intended that at AIP 9 I can't take adjacent worlds for defensive depth I can accept that, but in my opinion it should be an option to be able to take at least a few worlds beyond what the CSGs make you take.

Actually, what should be the expected planets a player takes? I've been assuming that because the CSGs make you take 8 worlds, that 10 to 12 worlds is 'expected' for an average low-aip to mid-aip game. Am I assuming correctly?

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 10, 2013, 09:25:11 PM
That being where the current game sits in terms of power at AIP 300 is what it should be at AIP 500.
For both humans and the AI, right?  I'd be fine with that.

Quote
I think my position is more from the fact that over the long term, the game has been creeping towards low-AIP being the 'optimal' strategy more and more.
And what I'm getting at, in the interests of provoking thought rather than promoting any particular agenda, is what's actually wrong with that being the optimal strategy?  On the face of it, is it not obviously optimal to spend the minimum amount of AIP possible to reach a position (both astrographically and in terms of offensive power) where you can kill the AI, and then kill the AI?  How could that not be optimal?

And doesn't the game need to provide a sufficient challenge to optimal play (in the macro/strategic sense, I don't mean absolutely optimal tactical micro or whatever since that's not what this audience wants to spend its leisure hours doing)?

If someone doesn't want to have to play optimally (which I fully understand, as I am one of those people), that's what the lower difficulty levels are for.  Right now Diff 7 is somewhat harder than I want it to be, largely due to some side effects of the reinforcements overhaul I did last year.  But it still allows a lot more wiggle room in AIP if you don't feel like sticking to minimal-AIP.


Quote
Actually, what should be the expected planets a player takes? I've been assuming that because the CSGs make you take 8 worlds, that 10 to 12 worlds is 'expected'
That's kind of what I'd expect at diff 9, yea.

But that brings up another question: how many planets do you actually need to take to win?  I think CSGs are actually masking a problem here: the player has the actual force-of-arms to win after taking... what, 3 planets? 2?  Without the deepstriking rule could you win without taking a single planet?  You're just forced to take down the CSG network because nothing can kill an invincible home command station.

If you only need 20,000 K to win on Diff 9 (or Diff 7, for that matter), then there's the problem, right?  Of course you'll go low-AIP, why wouldn't you?

"To get defensive depth" is a good response, I think, but there we're back to the tension where if you can afford that defensive depth and still win, then someone who's willing to go without that depth (and not take other planets to compensate) can win much more easily.  Which is fine depending on the difficulty level, of course.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Toranth on April 10, 2013, 10:18:47 PM
Actually, what should be the expected planets a player takes? I've been assuming that because the CSGs make you take 8 worlds, that 10 to 12 worlds is 'expected'
That's kind of what I'd expect at diff 9, yea.

But that brings up another question: how many planets do you actually need to take to win?  I think CSGs are actually masking a problem here: the player has the actual force-of-arms to win after taking... what, 3 planets? 2?  Without the deepstriking rule could you win without taking a single planet?  You're just forced to take down the CSG network because nothing can kill an invincible home command station.
I played a 9/9 game back in the AS beta without CSGs, using 2 starting homeworlds, where I won without capturing another planet.  If there was no deepstrike, I wouldn't have killed any AI command stations.  I did it once with Champions, then once without.  It took a long time, and that was pre-Reserve, so I'm not sure I could do it again today... but I suspect better players than I could.

Was it fun?  Not really.  I spent a LONG time rebuilding between each cross-map suicide wave.  Once I'd neutered a path to the AI HWs, it wasn't even in doubt.  Just grindy.  That's the reason I almost always play with CSGs on - it makes the game more challenging.

But if we ignore CSGs, how many planets should the player need to take before being able to kill the AI?  Players who are very skilled at doing more with less like Diazo and Faulty would be able to win with fewer systems than players like me that specialize in defense and 'persistance'.  That makes it really a matter of skill and style.
Personally, I think I would like to see the human strength required to be somewhere around 50 times the original starting strength.  (That's counting a cap of Mk II as 2 caps of Mk I, etc).
That basically means getting 4 ARSs and unlocking all ships to Mk II, plus 2-3 Mk IIIs, a few starships, and maybe a Fab or two.
Knowledge wise, that works out to about only 25,000-35,000 K.  Do we think this is enough strength before the game is winnable?  Should the AI HWs be hard enough to basically REQUIRE multiple Mk IV fleetships or starships?

(yes, I know Mk II =/= 2 Mk I.  It looks Mk I equivalents actually goes 1 - 3 - 4 - 6 - 7.)

Truth be told, as long as the game is balanced enough that the theoeretical required strength is not so high that the AIP becomes too hard to handle, then I don't really mind where the balanced point is.



If you only need 20,000 K to win on Diff 9 (or Diff 7, for that matter), then there's the problem, right?  Of course you'll go low-AIP, why wouldn't you?

One of the things I noticed looking back at earlier versions of the game, was not only that AIP was so much higher ("400-600 by the end of an 80 planet map"), but that there was so much more Knowledge available (20-30 planets worth).  Since then, costs for some things have come down (Starships, from 15,000K to 4,000K) others have gone up (Mk I -> Mk III/IV fleetships went from 7,000K to 8,500K).  At the same time, there's now more available to spend Knowledge on.

If K was made less available, even for a lower AIP rise in exchange, I think I would find myself playing with even fewer unlocks.  Even in Fallen Spire, 33% additional systems to take adds up.

Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Cinth on April 10, 2013, 10:42:46 PM
I think the game needs a center point to balance around.   With a lot of stuff being thrown at low AIP games, mid-high AIP gets crazier faster, and sooner or later will be unplayable.

I think that we can make low AIP challenging enough though the use of mechanics like the CSG, Strat reserves, and the "lazy eye" changes that just went in.  To me that would work better than having the AI just throw more at the player.

Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 10, 2013, 11:58:12 PM
And what I'm getting at, in the interests of provoking thought rather than promoting any particular agenda, is what's actually wrong with that being the optimal strategy?  On the face of it, is it not obviously optimal to spend the minimum amount of AIP possible to reach a position (both astrographically and in terms of offensive power) where you can kill the AI, and then kill the AI?  How could that not be optimal?


I think what is desired is the "difficulty" range between ultra low and moderate AIP to be less extreme. To accomplish this is what has been done to strategic reserves and the proposed idea of the hacking...actually making AIP in of itself not so key to everything.

The current "model" of AIP scaling is such that it trumps all. In part because the AI's offenses scale so rapidly at all stages of the game. In part because to win in of itself for so long was so very low. The strategic reserves helps to address the later. Hacking helps could help counter the effects of the former.

I really am becoming a fan of the polynomial growth model. It allows early game to scale quickly so the absolute base is not destructive, allows high AIP to hit really hard for high aip. But it could allow "mid" AIP to get a bit of reprieve so you could have more situations of it being beneficial without also benefiting low aip games. On the other hand, adding external things to skew the graph, like baseline AI checks or assests that scale more with mid level AIP works too.


EDIT: New reinforcements certainly in the right direction. I truly think it helps: It increases the stakes for everyone involved in the big picture. Getting AIP suddenly is a more viable tactic. For higher aip games the offenses of both players and AI increases faster then defense, which makes high stakes and in general a conclusion.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 11, 2013, 10:14:03 AM
That being where the current game sits in terms of power at AIP 300 is what it should be at AIP 500.
For both humans and the AI, right?  I'd be fine with that.

Quote
I think my position is more from the fact that over the long term, the game has been creeping towards low-AIP being the 'optimal' strategy more and more.
And what I'm getting at, in the interests of provoking thought rather than promoting any particular agenda, is what's actually wrong with that being the optimal strategy?  On the face of it, is it not obviously optimal to spend the minimum amount of AIP possible to reach a position (both astrographically and in terms of offensive power) where you can kill the AI, and then kill the AI?  How could that not be optimal?

I suppose part of this is looking at the AI's unlocks and tier values.

The AI gets a new ship every 200 AIP. That means there's only a 50/50 chance the AI will unlock another bonus ship type in a given game before you are attacking the AI homeworlds. That tells me that somewhere in the mid to mid-late game it is expected that you will hit 200 AIP so the AI gets a new ship.

And the AI goes to tier II waves at 230 AIP for Diff 7. Again, I would expect that in the mid game is when you are expected to be facing tier II waves and tier III waves not unheard of in the end game. Now, as of a few patches ago this interpolates the mark levels in the wave so this is not a huge deal.

Looking at those two numbers makes me thing "I can be attacking the AI HW's at 120 AIP, both of those mechanics are kind of superfluous." Then add in the balance creep we've had towards low-aip play over the past year(s) and that is pretty much what prompted me to start this thread.

Moving the AI Tiers is a big deal, and already happens on the higher diffs, but maybe the AI should get a new ship type ever 150 AIP to reflect today's fact that AIP is lower on average?

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: KDR_11k on April 11, 2013, 10:45:42 AM
Just keep in mind when rebalancing that planets offer more than just knowledge.

The new non-lazy logic definitely suggests that Keith doesn't really want people to stick to sub-100 AIPs.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 11, 2013, 11:06:27 AM
The new non-lazy logic definitely suggests that Keith doesn't really want people to stick to sub-100 AIPs.
Well, no, I don't want people to stay that low the whole game.  Maybe through the midgame, but for the final assault I feel like something's wrong if AIP is < 100 when the first core guard post dies.

But if someone wants to play that way, I don't want to take it away.  I don't say I'd make it possible now if it wasn't already, but I won't take it away.  Hence the lazy toggle.  But I'm not balancing the game to be challenging with lazy on: a player wanting that on and a challenge can compensate through the other lobby options.

But with lazy off the definite "hint" to the player is "you know, if you have less than 200 AIP you really want to gather more strength before attacking the AI HWs".  The rules aren't particularly subtle :)  But not into CSG territory.  We'll see if people actually feel a need to go that high or if they just cheese their way through the strategic reserves and still pull off a double-kill in a short enough timeframe that the floor increases from the core posts don't kill them.

Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: kasnavada on April 12, 2013, 06:07:55 AM
The AI gets a new ship every 200 AIP. That means there's only a 50/50 chance the AI will unlock another bonus ship type in a given game before you are attacking the AI homeworlds. That tells me that somewhere in the mid to mid-late game it is expected that you will hit 200 AIP so the AI gets a new ship.

And the AI goes to tier II waves at 230 AIP for Diff 7. Again, I would expect that in the mid game is when you are expected to be facing tier II waves and tier III waves not unheard of in the end game. Now, as of a few patches ago this interpolates the mark levels in the wave so this is not a huge deal.

Low-AIP games just circumvent those mechanics completly. From those values you'd think that "early game" (initial expansion) would be below 200, mid-game (preparing first assault) would be around 400, first assault up to 600, final assault around 800.

That would mean that the waves get higher in level while bonus ships are being unlocked, making the AI evolve from our actions.

Instead with the low AIP route, players manage to fend off... waves of level one, sometimes level 2 ships during the entire game and get one, maybe two bonus ship at most for the entire game. Ok, I kinda agree with the "try not to draw more attention than possible"... but wouldn't the game be more fun if at end-game players would fight waves of lvl 3 ships / starships ? And get level 4 ships as an extra challenge or when mistakes are made and +AIP stuff you're supposed to be protecting get destroyed ? And wouldn't the game be more interesting if the AI had more variety in the ships it uses ?

What I've seen during last years are lots of updates to make the AI stronger by adding mechanics to them, shouldn't we make the AI stronger by using mechanics that exists already ?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Valtiel on April 12, 2013, 07:30:00 AM
Quote
Actually, what should be the expected planets a player takes? I've been assuming that because the CSGs make you take 8 worlds, that 10 to 12 worlds is 'expected'
That's kind of what I'd expect at diff 9, yea.

But that brings up another question: how many planets do you actually need to take to win?  I think CSGs are actually masking a problem here: the player has the actual force-of-arms to win after taking... what, 3 planets? 2?  Without the deepstriking rule could you win without taking a single planet?  You're just forced to take down the CSG network because nothing can kill an invincible home command station.

If you only need 20,000 K to win on Diff 9 (or Diff 7, for that matter), then there's the problem, right?  Of course you'll go low-AIP, why wouldn't you?

"To get defensive depth" is a good response, I think, but there we're back to the tension where if you can afford that defensive depth and still win, then someone who's willing to go without that depth (and not take other planets to compensate) can win much more easily.  Which is fine depending on the difficulty level, of course.

Forgive me if I'm missing something obvious, but doesn't this suggest that the best fix would be to reduce the amount of knowledge available at the start of the game? This makes all game types more difficult, but hits low-AIP proportionally harder. Each extra planet taken is still worth the same amount to the player; you just start off weaker and therefore have further to climb.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on April 12, 2013, 08:03:50 AM
The rest of the game has to be tweaked in order to really comply with that, since knowledge isn't the only thing you gain from planets.
I'm kind of intrigued at the idea of maybe letting the AI get more levels of ships and more bonus ships, and having AIP have an overall lower effect (in terms of number of ships). This way, you're always fighting not just the 'occasionally more ships' but you're always getting new stuff thrown at you moreso than you may be used to. This means you would be fighting against mark III waves and the AI would have something like 5 or 6 bonus ships towards endgame... or maybe you manage a bit less than that with a low AIP game. This way, the AI's crucial evolution as the game goes on would be a bit less... completely ignored.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 12, 2013, 08:48:03 AM
The AI gets a new ship every 200 AIP. That means there's only a 50/50 chance the AI will unlock another bonus ship type in a given game before you are attacking the AI homeworlds. That tells me that somewhere in the mid to mid-late game it is expected that you will hit 200 AIP so the AI gets a new ship.
New AI ships are based on unmodified AIP, so it is pretty much impossible to avoid getting them.  Taking the 8 planets needed to knock of CSGs put you at 170.  Gate raiding your home system, taking an extra planet, AIP over time, and the various AI toys that cost you AIP are all easy ways to pick up the last 30 AIP.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 12, 2013, 09:33:09 AM

Low-AIP games just circumvent those mechanics completly. From those values you'd think that "early game" (initial expansion) would be below 200, mid-game (preparing first assault) would be around 400, first assault up to 600, final assault around 800.

What is interesting I find is that in very late 2010, with me knowing nothing of the game, I thought these the values. It was thought for a time that as you long you didn't hit tech III units, the game would be winnable. Looking back, I find it outstanding that now even 300 AIP is considered "high" rather then mid.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 12, 2013, 09:35:36 AM


Forgive me if I'm missing something obvious, but doesn't this suggest that the best fix would be to reduce the amount of knowledge available at the start of the game? This makes all game types more difficult, but hits low-AIP proportionally harder. Each extra planet taken is still worth the same amount to the player; you just start off weaker and therefore have further to climb.

This actually hurts higher AIP games more. This is because with c K, which increases the player's power is outstripped by the AI except for the very first few planets, if that. Reducing K makes the player's increase of power even less, favoring low AIP games more.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 12, 2013, 10:00:46 AM


Forgive me if I'm missing something obvious, but doesn't this suggest that the best fix would be to reduce the amount of knowledge available at the start of the game? This makes all game types more difficult, but hits low-AIP proportionally harder. Each extra planet taken is still worth the same amount to the player; you just start off weaker and therefore have further to climb.

This actually hurts higher AIP games more. This is because with c K, which increases the player's power is outstripped by the AI except for the very first few planets, if that. Reducing K makes the player's increase of power even less, favoring low AIP games more.

Which is why I guess you would also make the AI grow more slowly over AIP in return.

Which brings us pretty much right back to the original post.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 12, 2013, 10:38:40 AM
Low-AIP games just circumvent those mechanics completly. From those values you'd think that "early game" (initial expansion) would be below 200, mid-game (preparing first assault) would be around 400, first assault up to 600, final assault around 800.
I don't think the expected values have ever been that high, at least not since January 2010 when I started helping with AIW.

In general the idea was "be very careful to not cross the line to mkII waves until you're ready, and if you cross the line to mkIII waves you're probably going to lose".

The extra bonus ships gained by the AI are mostly gravy to throw a wrench in, and it does get at least the 200-tier one in most games (that I'm aware of).

Quote
What I've seen during last years are lots of updates to make the AI stronger by adding mechanics to them, shouldn't we make the AI stronger by using mechanics that exists already ?
There have been a lot of changes in the last nearly-4-years (I wasn't with Arcen at the time, but iirc 1.0 of AIW came out in May '09).  Even within the last year, there's a pretty big metric ton of them.  So I don't expect you to be familiar with all of them.  But FWIW while we have added a lot of new mechanics (both on the AI and the human side), we've also strengthened most (maybe all) of the AI's existing mechanics too.  CPAs, waves, reinforcements, guard posts, etc.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 13, 2013, 10:12:38 PM
Ok, I've thought about this for a while and while I know the thread was a thought experiment to begin with I think the basic idea is worth trying, so here's what I'm thinking of doing (near-term; if it's well received this could be in 6.019, though I suspect there will be opposition, which is fine) for ratcheting back the "arms race" a bit to bring the expected AIP numbers (and by extension planets-taken count) back closer to how they used to be:


1) Reduce the effect of AIP to 2/3rds of current in the following uses:
- When determining the size of waves (including counterattack waves, etc).
- When determining the size of reinforcements.
- When determining the size of a CPA.
- When determining the rate at which the Special Forces grow.
- On Lazy-AI, when determining the rate at which Strategic Reserves grow (still capped at 200; Non-Lazy-AI would stay constant at 200).
- When determining the size of a Core CPA Guard Post's response to being triggered.
- When determining the frequency with which Broken-Golems-Hard/Botnet-Golem-Hard/Spirecraft-Hard exos come (there's a time-based floor to this that would remain unaffected, though).

These places where AIP is used would remain unaffected (this combined with the above is, to my knowledge from just now searching the code, a comprehensive list of things that AIP influences) :
- When determining the AI's tech level for ships in waves, etc.
- When determining when the AI should get new bonus ship type unlocks.
- When determining whether the human has too advanced a champion at too low an AIP and thus the nemesis response needs to ratchet up (so this remaining the same favors the player)
- When determining the Dyson's "population cap" for dysons in the galaxy.
- When determining how many Roaming Enclaves to spawn per event.


2) Reduce the max knowledge a player can gain from a planet from 3000 back to the old value (pre-4.0) of 2000.


The main caveat I can think of is that Fallen Spire would be nerfed somewhat by this as you'd probably need to take more planets to get the K you need to upgrade your FS stuff, and the FS exos would not be impacted by the above (not being based on AIP).  But I don't think it'd be a very big nerf because taking those extra planets doesn't make FS exos bigger either, and honestly once you have an FS fleet the AI's not exactly going to be able to stop you from taking those extra planets or punish you very much for the extra AIP they represent.


Anyway, thoughts?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 13, 2013, 10:54:03 PM
Without playing with it, my initial thought is, this won't make me take any additional systems, and the AI will be a relative cake walk at 9/9.  I say this because I have enough spare K already that the -1K/system just means I have less of an ending buffer.  Really the question I don't have an answer for is can I break the homeworld with my current strat given a static 200 AIP reserve.  I think I can, so this just makes the AI easier.

I don't have a problem with these change overall, I just think some additional adjustments will be needed.  Primarily in the power players gain with additional planets after about 10 systems.  I think Knowledge unlock value and energy are two areas this could be changed.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 13, 2013, 11:38:14 PM
Yea, potentially the energy collector would need to go from 200k to 150k to go with this, since it didn't exist in the 2k-K-per-planet days and wasn't balanced for it.  M+C I think can just be left as-is with this change, it would just theoretically make harvester upgrades less essential (not that I think it will stop people from just unlocking harvester IIIs immediately anyway, but oh well).

Then there's the question of knowledge costs in general.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 14, 2013, 12:01:53 AM
Actually, I think Matter Converters are a problem.  Currently, I don't really need to make any choices with regards to energy.  Since I can trade M+C for Energy, and since I have effectively infinite time, I can trade M+C income down to very low levels and support max cap of everything I have.  It takes forever to rebuild, but for maximum power I'm encouraged to do that.  Worse, I can micro a refleet by destroying a chunk of Matter Converters to up my refleet speed until I hit my energy ceiling.

Another observation is each planet produces K Knowledge.  On average each point of Knowledge unlocks something that requires X Energy to support.  Each Energy Collector produces E Energy.  If E / K > X then Energy is largely pointless.  If E / K < X then Knowledge is largely pointless.  Basically, Knowledge and Energy are currently the same.  You get a fixed amount of each per planet (ignore Matter Converters because they just make Energy completely irrelevant).

I think ultimately something needs to happen to make them different.  Given the important of Force Fields to the human, and the current effect lose of Energy has on Force Fields, I'm inclined to think having Force Field strength scale on unspent Energy might work.  Matter Converters would need to go, and the Energy Cost of most units would have to drop so you could never spend even 50% of your energy (since you'd need a lot of surplus to get good Force Field strength).  There are a lot of other interesting balance features this presents, but since it's late and I'm sick so I'll leave off here.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 14, 2013, 12:42:04 AM
Ok, I've thought about this for a while and while I know the thread was a thought experiment to begin with I think the basic idea is worth trying, so here's what I'm thinking of doing (near-term; if it's well received this could be in 6.019, though I suspect there will be opposition, which is fine) for ratcheting back the "arms race" a bit to bring the expected AIP numbers (and by extension planets-taken count) back closer to how they used to be:

(long snip)

Anyway, thoughts?

Looks intriguing, though both energy production values (both converter and collector) and starting knowledge (probably should come down some) would need some adjustment to have the intended effect of "slowing down" the arms race without making the AI a cakewalk.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: LordSloth on April 14, 2013, 03:27:35 AM
Keeping along the lines of 'thought exercise', what if energy collectors only produced 100,000 energy per system, and economic command stations recieved a significant buff to energy production (roughly 50k,100k,150k)?

A). Military and Logistics command users would be seeing their energy production halved compared to current levels, and roughly a third below the proposed target. In theory military and logistics would compensate by increasing your firepower or at least the availability of your mobile forces, letting you get away with less.
B). Users of regular economic command stations would fall directly into the target energy profile, and wouldn't see any significant sacrifice from putting a few up on the front lines.
C). Users of mk2 eco commands would effectively have 300,000 free energy for spirecraft and/or golems.
D). Users of mk3 eco commands would effectively have 600,000+300,000 energy free for a botnet golem.
E). Low AIP Users of Warp Jammer Commands would quite possibly call for a bloody coup.
F). What kind of fortress energy costs would Cinth be comfortable with?

In the case of E) you might consider promoting Zenith Power Generators to objective level importance in terms of map placement, defensibility, etc - I'm not too familiar with low AIP games or 9/9.

If the starting level of power for a low AIP, high difficulty AI game needed tweaking, there are some available structures for it, some of which are constant (command stations) and some of which scale in number with difficulty (those human settlement-type things).

If you were spamming logistics commands:
At two planets grabbed, you'd have 150k/300k (target, current) less energy to work with before dipping into converters.
At five planets grabbed, a plausible 7/7 everything near your homeworld, you'd have 300k/600k energy less to work with.
At ten planets grabbed (currently less than attractive barring fallen spire, but more attractive if you factor in the K and AIP reduction, quite reasonable), you'd have 500k/1000K less energy to work with, but you'd also have less critical planets you could task to economic comands. This ten planets falls more inline with the wiki's suggestion for an opening start. On the other hand, if you took ten planets when you'd normally take six, then that 300k energy shortage would be reduced to only 100k energy shortage.

Rather than adapt to the existing rules of the game, I'm still heavily influence by my first impressions (and my co-op games) which were (excepting co-op) inspired by consulting the wiki for some idea of what my open game should look like. So far I've completed (and also abandoned) considerably more co-op games than SP, but I'm currently going through a batch of SP training sessions in order to provide some more current feedback, especially now that you're not competing with Dishonored and XCom and FTL, and before Age of Wonders 3 and a -lot- of kickstarter turn-based strategy games and Dragon Commander divert my gameplay hours temporarily. Generally speaking, I like your proposed suggestion Keith Lamonthe, and from the perspective of your average mediocre 7/7 greedy player I feel this can only be a good thing. That said, I've seen a bunch of interesting proposals that dealt with refleeting times (the whole AI is having a 'who is winning' meter, based on what you've done/lost lately that goes fully up and down being my favorite with the player just setting things up differently in the lobby being my second favorite).

http://www.arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Rate_Of_Expansion
http://www.arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_AI_Progress#When_To_Worry

Considering the proposed excise of crystal in favor of a new improved hacking mechanic, my mind kind of hurts on figuring out the balance of converters and all that. Because on top of that, if eco commands got the proposed power boost, then they'd basically be worth two converters or more per system, if a person was willing to give up the extra resources.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 14, 2013, 04:02:37 AM
I'm ambivalent about this. I give it the much-cherished Tentative Approval prize.

I would say to reduce the energy output the energy collector to 100k energy, while allowing home to support 2 energy collectors or the equivalent.

I'm assuming k hacking would still generate antagonism per k, and that archives would now go only to 6000.

K costs do need some rebalancing, but not tonnes.

Quote
Looks intriguing, though both energy production values (both converter and collector) and starting knowledge (probably should come down some) would need some adjustment to have the intended effect of "slowing down" the arms race without making the AI a cakewalk.
Why would starting k need to come down? Each k point is still worth the same, it is just harder to get.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Valtiel on April 14, 2013, 08:06:08 AM
Ok, I've thought about this for a while and while I know the thread was a thought experiment to begin with I think the basic idea is worth trying, so here's what I'm thinking of doing (near-term; if it's well received this could be in 6.019, though I suspect there will be opposition, which is fine) for ratcheting back the "arms race" a bit to bring the expected AIP numbers (and by extension planets-taken count) back closer to how they used to be:


1) Reduce the effect of AIP to 2/3rds of current in the following uses:
- When determining the size of waves (including counterattack waves, etc).
- When determining the size of reinforcements.
- When determining the size of a CPA.
- When determining the rate at which the Special Forces grow.
- On Lazy-AI, when determining the rate at which Strategic Reserves grow (still capped at 200; Non-Lazy-AI would stay constant at 200).
- When determining the size of a Core CPA Guard Post's response to being triggered.
- When determining the frequency with which Broken-Golems-Hard/Botnet-Golem-Hard/Spirecraft-Hard exos come (there's a time-based floor to this that would remain unaffected, though).

These places where AIP is used would remain unaffected (this combined with the above is, to my knowledge from just now searching the code, a comprehensive list of things that AIP influences) :
- When determining the AI's tech level for ships in waves, etc.
- When determining when the AI should get new bonus ship type unlocks.
- When determining whether the human has too advanced a champion at too low an AIP and thus the nemesis response needs to ratchet up (so this remaining the same favors the player)
- When determining the Dyson's "population cap" for dysons in the galaxy.
- When determining how many Roaming Enclaves to spawn per event.


2) Reduce the max knowledge a player can gain from a planet from 3000 back to the old value (pre-4.0) of 2000.


The main caveat I can think of is that Fallen Spire would be nerfed somewhat by this as you'd probably need to take more planets to get the K you need to upgrade your FS stuff, and the FS exos would not be impacted by the above (not being based on AIP).  But I don't think it'd be a very big nerf because taking those extra planets doesn't make FS exos bigger either, and honestly once you have an FS fleet the AI's not exactly going to be able to stop you from taking those extra planets or punish you very much for the extra AIP they represent.

If you reduce the knowledge per planet, you're making each planet less valuable to the player, and encouraging the player to take fewer planets. This favours the low-AIP strategy further: If the K-per-planet is reduced by 1000, a player who takes three planets is 3000 K down. A player who takes a dozen planets is 12000 K down. Please consider reducing the player's starting knowledge instead.

It seems to me that in order to favour a high-AIP approach, you should raise the AI's starting strength, lower AIP scaling, lower the player's starting strength, and/or increase the benefit each planet gives to the player. To favour a low-AIP approach, do the opposite.

This, of course, comes with the caveat that making the AI's attacks too strong and the player too weak at the start of the game will result in a lot of losses in the first half-hour. It's possible that the AI's offense and defense should follow slightly different curves.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 14, 2013, 08:16:56 AM
The purpose was that for the same amount of AI aggression, you get the same amount of k, but more planets, and thus either better map position or more capturables.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 14, 2013, 08:23:29 AM
The purpose was that for the same amount of AI aggression, you get the same amount of k, but more planets, and thus either better map position or more capturables.

On some level, though, the issue is that the amount of player progression (K) is so quickly overtaken by the amount of AI response (AIP).

So by reducing both, you are making low AIP games so much more valuable, because you get. So. Much. Base. K. in a the ultra low aip cost. You would have to reduce base K as well. What is the use in making AIP response 10x stronger so you can get double the K? (In the case of having 10k base K and getting 2k K per planet)

EDIT: to put it another way, the rate of player progress does not overtake AI progress enough, so low AIP games trump all. Lowering both does make higher aip games more viable, but since it makes low aip games more viable too, it does nothing to address the underlying issues.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 14, 2013, 08:41:15 AM
Do those issues still exist as of "Lazy-AI"? I think choosing to play with it off is considered outright cheese now, and that toggle pretty effectively puts the kibosh on low-AIP to the end.

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What is the use in making AIP response 10x stronger so you can get double the K? (In the case of having 10k base K and getting 2k K per planet)
Using your homeworld as a baseline comparison is not meaningful. I think more of " ok, I've captured the planets I need to to knock out the CSGs. Now, what additional planets should I take?"
There are different responses before and after the change.

Quote
the rate of player progress does not overtake AI progress enough, so low AIP games trump all.
Again, low-AIP got a pretty solid whack with the nerfbat as of 6.017.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 14, 2013, 08:45:50 AM
Do those issues still exist as of "Lazy-AI"? I think choosing to play with it off is considered outright cheese now, and that toggle pretty effectively puts the kibosh on low-AIP to the end.

Quote
What is the use in making AIP response 10x stronger so you can get double the K? (In the case of having 10k base K and getting 2k K per planet)
Using your homeworld as a baseline comparison is not meaningful. I think more of " ok, I've captured the planets I need to to knock out the CSGs. Now, what additional planets should I take?"
There are different responses before and after the change.

Quote
the rate of player progress does not overtake AI progress enough, so low AIP games trump all.
Again, low-AIP got a pretty solid whack with the nerfbat as of 6.017.

Low AIP games got a "soft counter". Which I like.

What I mean is that lowering both the K and the AIP response simply doesn't address any underlying issues.  When you get 10K base K, 2K per additional planet is simply not very appealing. Remember, any comparisions to CSG's is a no go, since anyone who uses low aip games didn't use CSG anyone to begin with.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 14, 2013, 08:59:33 AM
Quote
Remember, any comparisions to CSG's is a no go, since anyone who uses low aip games didn't use CSG anyone to begin with.
No. I have played more than a few games that started with CSGs on, and then took the absolute minimum number of planets.

I still see this as a strong incentive to take more planets, not fewer.

10,000 k is nowhere near enough to win.
The AIP/k ratio is unchanged.
I still get all the non-k benefits of whatever planet.

So taking a planet is more attractive.

If I stay low the whole game, my endgame is outright nightmarish.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 14, 2013, 09:17:44 AM
Remember, any comparisions to CSG's is a no go, since anyone who uses low aip games didn't use
10,000 k is nowhere near enough to win.


You see, since we cannot agree on that, everything else is mot.

100k is plenty.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2013, 09:21:51 AM
Quote
Remember, any comparisions to CSG's is a no go, since anyone who uses low aip games didn't use
10,000 k is nowhere near enough to win.


You see, since we cannot agree on that, everything else is mot.

10k is plenty.
@chemical_art, are you saying that you can win a game with only spending 10,000 K (or maybe 13,000 K due to the HW's contribution)?  Even with non-lazy AI?

Even on Diff 7 I'd consider that alarming.  On 8+ I'd consider that a major balance problem.

Edit: wait, now your post says 100k.  Which I would agree is plenty, but Faulty was talking about 10k.  <developer-confused> ;)
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 14, 2013, 09:55:18 AM
If you have good micro skills and patience, then yes, you could win with only 10k + 3k knowledge (though possibly not with lazy AI off)

With lazy AI off, an additional planet or two (in addition to the aforementioned micro and patience) should bring it to the winnable state.

Both if these are for difficulty 8. Probably would not work so great in difficulty 9.6 ;)


What chemical_art said is correct though. The difference between the human and the AI growth curves is itself "messed up". By scaling both curves the same amount, the difference is unchanged, and thus the "issue" isn't really "solved". I was hoping that "base" AI strength could go up (which the new non-lazy AI partially addresses) in return for AI strength growth rate going down a little.
This may require some nerfing of human initial strength and/or strength per planet (but not as much as the AI) to accomplish, IDK.

The whole energy thing also ties into this intricately, as pointed out earlier.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 14, 2013, 10:09:24 AM
I would be far happier with buffing the initial AI strength (with possibly a significant time delay before the first waves arrive, to prevent instadeath) than nerfing the starting k.

The curves may not be perfect, but I'm sure that we want the AI gaining strength faster than the human at some fairly low planet number (like ~12), to preserve the core of the game.

I would like to point out that k isn't the only factor in human strength, though it is the most important.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Valtiel on April 14, 2013, 11:00:25 AM
Faulty, why would you rather buff the AI than reduce starting K?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 14, 2013, 11:07:27 AM
Because I'm used to 10,000 k. Really, really used to it.

And because its feasible to get more k without more AIP (Archives, hacking), so this would better treat the root cause.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Hearteater on April 14, 2013, 11:37:19 AM
Faulty, why would you rather buff the AI than reduce starting K?
Because reducing starting K doesn't make you weaker really.  I don't need 13K to start against even 9/9.  I'll get enough K taking the minimum number of planets to remove CSGs that I'll be fine.  I really don't spend much more than a few thousand to start with besides harvesters.  Once I'm a few worlds in I won't even notice the starting K reduction.  You simply don't have enough energy to warrant spending 13K off the bat, so you're waiting until you get more worlds anyway.  The only thing a K reduction will cost me is economy via Harvesters, which just slows me down.  It doesn't impact my performance against the AI.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 14, 2013, 02:25:34 PM

What chemical_art said is correct though. The difference between the human and the AI growth curves is itself "messed up". By scaling both curves the same amount, the difference is unchanged, and thus the "issue" isn't really "solved". I was hoping that "base" AI strength could go up (which the new non-lazy AI partially addresses) in return for AI strength growth rate going down a little.
This may require some nerfing of human initial strength and/or strength per planet (but not as much as the AI) to accomplish, IDK.

The whole energy thing also ties into this intricately, as pointed out earlier.

However flawed my presentation, this was my core.

The curves of Human to AI power is very sharp. So the goal is AIP low, at all costs. Lazy AI helps to address this a lot, but at its core it is a bandaid the underlying issue.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2013, 03:27:34 PM
Actually, I think Matter Converters are a problem.  Currently, I don't really need to make any choices with regards to energy.  Since I can trade M+C for Energy, and since I have effectively infinite time, I can trade M+C income down to very low levels and support max cap of everything I have.  It takes forever to rebuild, but for maximum power I'm encouraged to do that.
Since CPAs have a minimum effective AIP that increases with time, you don't have infinite time, but perhaps it's not steep enough that you're worried about it in your scenarios.

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Worse, I can micro a refleet by destroying a chunk of Matter Converters to up my refleet speed until I hit my energy ceiling.
That's not ideal, no, but at least you'd be somewhat more vulnerable to brownouts during that time.  Though perhaps not by much.

Quote
Another observation is each planet produces K Knowledge.  On average each point of Knowledge unlocks something that requires X Energy to support.  Each Energy Collector produces E Energy.  If E / K > X then Energy is largely pointless.  If E / K < X then Knowledge is largely pointless.  Basically, Knowledge and Energy are currently the same.  You get a fixed amount of each per planet (ignore Matter Converters because they just make Energy completely irrelevant).
There's something to that, but:

1) K, once spent, cannot be redirected.  E can.

2) Not all units have the same K/power and E/power ratios.  Fortresses are notable for this.

3) Running out of K can leave you without flexibility.  Running out of E can leave you dead.

4) A lot of units come with no K cost (mkI triangle and initial bonus type, most mkI starships and turrets, spirecraft, golems, some FS ships, post-nebula faction ships, etc) and rely on E for "population balance".


@chemical_art on the AI power curve vs the human power curve, and @Valtiel on the benefit-received-per-planet: I think both those perspectives are looking at it the wrong way.  From a "I want to win" perspective there's only one question you need to ask to determine whether you want to take another planet: "Do I need to take another planet to be able to kill the AI Home Command Stations?".  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's absolutely no other in-game reason (i.e. not "because it's fun", that's valid but it doesn't bear directly on balance) to take a planet or do anything else that causes AIP.  Well, aside from "Do I need to take another planet to keep the AI from killing my Home Command Station?", but that seems to be a rarer thing and as has been pointed out generally taking another planet isn't going to give a net positive on your defensive situation, and if it consistently did then you could just take all the planets.

So the point isn't how much you get from taking another planet, or how much the AI gets if you take another planet, the point is whether you need more to win.  Whether it's because the CSGs are on and you literally need to take those planets to be able to attack the AI HCSs, or because Lazy-AI is off and you effectively need more K or E or whatever to have any realistic chance at taking down the AI HCS defenses before it kills you, or whatever.

If you don't have what you need to take down the HCSs, then you need more planets (or something; hacking or superweapons or whatever).  Doesn't matter how much you'd gain from the planet or how much the AI would (if the AI would gain more such that you'd be further from winning, you've probably simply lost).

If you do have what you need to take down the HCSs (including position), then there's no reason to take more planets.  Doesn't matter how much you'd gain from the planet or how much the AI would.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Valtiel on April 14, 2013, 04:37:37 PM
Good point. When you've got the bare minimum of stuff you need to take down the AI homeworlds, why take any other planets?

Serious question. I think we need to have an answer to that before we decide what to do with strategic balance.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 14, 2013, 04:46:39 PM
...you effectively need more K or E or whatever to have any realistic chance at taking down the AI HCS defenses before it kills you, or whatever.

On some level, this is core.

AI HW are sieges. Meaning if you can chip them away faster then they can regen, well, time is meaningless in ultra low AIP games. It is why I can still cheese low aip champ games. Sure, they have nemesis, but I can chip away 10% of your health each "volley", and each "volley" takes more health away then is regened per volley, eventually I win.


Idea: Follow your idea with the nebulas vaguely. Each time a core guardpost is knocked out, the HW releases a pulse of units on its planet, in the form of free threat. This pulse is meant to flood enough threat to knock out ultra low aip games, but not higher aip games.


EDIT: Make it devious, and make the units "special" in that they are meant to be siege breakers, also known as fortress world breakers. I'm thinking hunter killer (s) here for 7+ difficulties.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 14, 2013, 06:43:45 PM
Quote from: Valtiel
Good point. When you've got the bare minimum of stuff you need to take down the AI homeworlds, why take any other planets?

Serious question. I think we need to have an answer to that before we decide what to do with strategic balance.

My point is that the answer is "there is no reason to do so".  I don't see any problem with that being the answer.

Of course, it's not so simple to determine the minimum necessary to win those battles; there's probably a minimum you'd need to have a _chance_, but you would still have some motive to take more stuff to improve that chance (unless you don't mind savescumming to the hilt).

But once you know you can win, then balance questions leave the stage.  I'm not telling y'all "if you can win, you should"; if you like playing past that point or even possibly endangering your win by ramping up AIP further then that's totally your prerogative.  I'm just saying that I'm not really thinking it's necessary for that "I can win, but I'm choosing not to" phase of your games to be particularly balanced.  The part I need to balance runs from when you start to when your win is assured.  Or when you die in flames, but of course that never happens.

AI HW are sieges. Meaning if you can chip them away faster then they can regen, well, time is meaningless in ultra low AIP games. It is why I can still cheese low aip champ games. Sure, they have nemesis, but I can chip away 10% of your health each "volley", and each "volley" takes more health away then is regened per volley, eventually I win.
To clarify, is that just taking a single champ FF against the AI HW over and over and over again?

Quote
Idea: Follow your idea with the nebulas vaguely. Each time a core guardpost is knocked out, the HW releases a pulse of units on its planet, in the form of free threat. This pulse is meant to flood enough threat to knock out ultra low aip games, but not higher aip games.


EDIT: Make it devious, and make the units "special" in that they are meant to be siege breakers, also known as fortress world breakers. I'm thinking hunter killer (s) here for 7+ difficulties.
I like that idea a lot, actually.  Been planning some kind of counter-spawn from core guard post death for a while.  I don't want to overshadow the Core Raid Engine (the Core CPA thing is already overshadowed, I need to address that) but a one-time on-death pulse is different than something that will continue to hammer you until destroyed.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 14, 2013, 07:26:58 PM
@keith:

AI champs are by far the worst abusers of it, yes. But the idea itself remains. That if I can do an attack that wears the AI HW down faster then it can regen, eventually, I win. Unless something else happens, which draws me too my idea...


Typically, for low AIP games, I have to go "all in" to destroy any guard post. Meaning I have nothing but my defenses to help me prevent counter attack. So a pulse that is weak against fleetships but strong against defenses is really threatening. In an higher aip game I generally have something (territory, extra defenses, strong econ, etc) to prevent a bee line to my own HW. But on a low AIP game, freak pulses are threatening. I think the AI should offensively capitalize on that.


Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 14, 2013, 07:31:42 PM
Maybe the AI HW could have those pulses on each core guard post death in return of the core guard post raw AIP cost being slashed (from 2 to 1)?

Anyways, I think that a pulse per core guard post death accomplishes the "last ditch" retaliatory reaction from the AI than the +2 AIP (or whatever it is) currently does.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: _K_ on April 15, 2013, 03:51:28 AM
Maybe the AI HW could have those pulses on each core guard post death in return of the core guard post raw AIP cost being slashed (from 2 to 1)?

Anyways, I think that a pulse per core guard post death accomplishes the "last ditch" retaliatory reaction from the AI than the +2 AIP (or whatever it is) currently does.

Yeah but if you kill a guard post and survive the counterattack, the AI should be more weary of your actions... which is kinda the purpose of AIP.
Making each guard post work as a small-scale MKV counteratack post sounds okay though, not entirely sure about nerfing the AIP they generate.

And speaking of "last ditch" thing, shis should happen when the actual AI Home command station goes down. Too bad right now there are too many easy ways to kill the second one once its neutered.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 15, 2013, 09:48:42 AM
Making each guard post work as a small-scale MKV counteratack post sounds okay though, not entirely sure about nerfing the AIP they generate.
I was considering just removing its +2 AIP on-death for simplicity (while adding the on-death-spawns), since it already generates +10 AIP-floor (on non-Lazy-AI).

Does the +2 AIP really make much difference at that stage?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: _K_ on April 15, 2013, 10:10:57 AM
Does the +2 AIP really make much difference at that stage?
I was about to make the argument that its adds up, and as result is significant for low-AIP games... but then the +10 to the floor on each of those posts probably has much, much bigger impact on those games.

And on medium-high AIP, 12-16 AIP ist really that much, yeah. Still a little noticable, but i agree it is not really significant.

Do we maybe want to switch the whole guardpost mechanic from "Lazy AI" to be global then, with simple +10 to floor, +0 to AIP? I can see the point of static strategic reserves being an option, but this looks like a direct buff to the higher AIP games and nerf to the low-AIP games.
Since its twofold, i'd rather see it as a fact, not an option.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 16, 2013, 09:30:00 AM
Ok, I've thought about this for a while and while I know the thread was a thought experiment to begin with I think the basic idea is worth trying, so here's what I'm thinking of doing (near-term; if it's well received this could be in 6.019, though I suspect there will be opposition, which is fine) for ratcheting back the "arms race" a bit to bring the expected AIP numbers (and by extension planets-taken count) back closer to how they used to be:


1) Reduce the effect of AIP to 2/3rds of current in the following uses:
- When determining the size of waves (including counterattack waves, etc).
- When determining the size of reinforcements.
- When determining the size of a CPA.
- When determining the rate at which the Special Forces grow.
- On Lazy-AI, when determining the rate at which Strategic Reserves grow (still capped at 200; Non-Lazy-AI would stay constant at 200).
- When determining the size of a Core CPA Guard Post's response to being triggered.
- When determining the frequency with which Broken-Golems-Hard/Botnet-Golem-Hard/Spirecraft-Hard exos come (there's a time-based floor to this that would remain unaffected, though).

These places where AIP is used would remain unaffected (this combined with the above is, to my knowledge from just now searching the code, a comprehensive list of things that AIP influences) :
- When determining the AI's tech level for ships in waves, etc.
- When determining when the AI should get new bonus ship type unlocks.
- When determining whether the human has too advanced a champion at too low an AIP and thus the nemesis response needs to ratchet up (so this remaining the same favors the player)
- When determining the Dyson's "population cap" for dysons in the galaxy.
- When determining how many Roaming Enclaves to spawn per event.


2) Reduce the max knowledge a player can gain from a planet from 3000 back to the old value (pre-4.0) of 2000.


The main caveat I can think of is that Fallen Spire would be nerfed somewhat by this as you'd probably need to take more planets to get the K you need to upgrade your FS stuff, and the FS exos would not be impacted by the above (not being based on AIP).  But I don't think it'd be a very big nerf because taking those extra planets doesn't make FS exos bigger either, and honestly once you have an FS fleet the AI's not exactly going to be able to stop you from taking those extra planets or punish you very much for the extra AIP they represent.


I'm thinking that is pretty much what my intent was in starting this thread, but lays it out better.

Especially if the K cost changes being talking about in the other thread happen at the same time, actually both happening at the same time would probably be necessary.

If K is dropped to 2,000 per planet, 6,000 for the Mk IIIs and the high-mark turrets probably need to come down.

On the FS stuff, is it possible to give the City Hubs the Spire Archive mechanic so the player gets an extra 3,000K per city hub? That would take care of FS being short on K nicely.

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 16, 2013, 11:42:27 AM
Keith I don't feel these changes really address the underlying issue.

Meaning, if you cut AIP for some, but not all things by 2/3rds, but decrease the K by 2/3rds as well, the result is that the "power curves" of ai power and human power doesn't change, except now more of it is front loaded to low planets since the player homeworld now gets 6x (!) the knowledge on its first world compared to additional ones (10k + 2k K) compared to (2K). The result is the player curve of increasing power is shifted so even more sharply to low planet amounts.

Never mind that since things like wave strength (via techs) are not reduced, even discounting the player HW, it still shifts more to the ai's favor for high AIP games. Again, shifting the power curves to lower aip games...which certainly don't need it.


I feel this simply does not address the issue, that low aip games are favored, in no some part, because the 1st world is so powerful. If anything, I think the player HW should get less base K in reserves, so the power curve is shifted away from the first world.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: TechSY730 on April 16, 2013, 12:07:52 PM
Yes, how the human and AI "power curve" grows is important, but also (and possible more importantly so for low AIP games) their base values (where they "start") is also very important.

Hmm, so how can we encourage people to take more planets without making the very early game straight up "too much" harder in "normal" (not ultra-low AIP) strategies?

Maybe something like increase the "base" AI strength, but make the very first wave from the AI (for each AI player) be less than what the normal base scaling would imply. So the very first wave an AI player sends (aka, the first wave from AI 1 AND the first wave from AI 2) you would be around the same strength it is now, but after that, the increased "base" AI strength will kick in, putting you in more pressure if you don't try to get more resources after that very early stage, which usually doesn't happen in mid to high AIP strategies.

Then again, seeing how some maps make the very early game slow (ever been seeded next to high mark planets?), maybe it should be the first two waves.

Say, 1.5x the "base" AIP strength, but have the first wave (per AI player) be about 66.7% strength (which would bring it about to the level it is now), and the second wave be about 83.3% strength (putting it about 25% more than it is now). (The base AI strength increase may need to be more severe)

Then we can do the 2/3 reduction in AI scaling in return for this (if the base AI strength is buffed more extremely, then this will need to go down a bit more).

As the low AIP has been made harder, we don't need as much if any knowledge reduction per planet. Maybe knock it down to 2500 knowledge a planet (if the reduction in AIP growth rate is made more severe than 2/3, then perhaps 2000 would be acceptable)? That way, the human can actually grow in strength faster for more stages of the game (as the human reward per planet has not been nerfed as much), until finally you start to plateau near the limits of what knowledge can get you, and the AI starts overtaking you again.

Yes, this does make the early game harder (a little bit for mid to high AIP strats, quite a bit so for low AIP strats), but the late game easier. IMHO, this is a good thing, as right now, most late games devolve into "grind fests", and most early games are just too "boring" as the AI isn't doing much (which is the design intention, but right now, it is taken a bit too far IMO). Hopefully, the new non-lazy AI option should keep the homeworld from being a pushover. (Speaking of which, that AIP for the strategic reserves may need to come up some if something like this is done)

The exact numbers need tweaking, as I am sure the numbers I proposed will lead to a too early mid to late game without a proper increase in difficulty for the low AIP strat early games.

EDIT: Also, I do think base knowledge could stand to go down a bit, but not a huge amount.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 16, 2013, 12:22:23 PM
Current values of K:

Base K: 13K
Additional K per planet: 3K

Number of K needed to double K from base: 4.3 planets
AIP increase in response: (4.3 * 20 )  = 86
Relative increase in K power: 2
Relative increase in AI Power: 8.6 times


Number of K needed to triple K from base: 8.6 planets
AIP increase in response (8.6 * 20) = 173
Relative increase in K power: 3
Relative increase in AI Power: 17.3



New changes
Base K: 12K

Number of K needed to double K from base: 6 planets
AIP increase in response: (6 * 20 * .66 )  = 8
Relative increase in K power: 2
Relative increase in AI Power : 8 times


Number of K needed to triple K from base: 12 planets
AIP increase in response (12 * 20 * .66) = 160
Relative increase in K power: 3
Relative increase in AI Power: 16


These new changes, if everything was equal, marginally decrease the sharp increases of AIP response to human's K response. But, wave strength doesn't increase linerally with AIP on higher difficulties, the very difficulties that need the low aip games, so it fails on that front.

No matter what, it makes the relative power increases of the players over planets even less, and when combined with the AI still getting better units in waves, hardly makes me think this is an improvement in any meaningful way even for 7/7.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2013, 12:52:48 PM
if you cut AIP for some, but not all things
To clarify, as I said in that post there are only two parts of the AI response that would be unaffected: when it gets higher-mark units, and when it gets new bonus unlocks.  Are either of those a problem to not be affected by this?  Part of what I was getting from feedback was that the bonus unlocks weren't really happening much due to how much AIP you could actually take anyway.

If the tech level thing is a problem that could be adjusted too.

Not that this is the main problem you have with the idea, I just wanted to clarify that the parts I left unaffected were because I thought that's what folks wanted to see more of.


On the more general question I think we're still talking about two different things.  To sum up, here are two questions for you:

1) If you have the power and position (including CSGs, if on) to kill the AI, would you ever take another planet?

2) If you do not have the power and position (including anything non-AIP increasing like hacking) to kill the AI, would you ever not take another planet?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Diazo on April 16, 2013, 01:51:35 PM
@Keith: I think we (being you and me) are now talking about two different things (if related).

On  your questions:
1) If you have the power and position (including CSGs, if on) to kill the AI, would you ever take another planet?
Depending on  how you define position, sometimes yes. I can technically be in a position to stomp the AI, but my defense is so weak that the AI's response would kill me before I can turn to take out the second AI. This would be rather uncommon, but it does happen to me due to how I planet hop out my forward bases.

Quote
2) If you do not have the power and position (including anything non-AIP increasing like hacking) to kill the AI, would you ever not take another planet?
No (err, yes?). By this I mean that if I don't have the strength needed, I have to take another planet, that is the only way to make my fleet stronger. I could K-hack a system or two I suppose if there's only a small strength difference left, and I might delay taking more planets to deal with something like a CPA, but I'm going to need more planets before endgame.

@chemical_art: On power curves, my original contention when I started this thread was that the power curves are fine, progress along them just happens too fast on both sides, so I posted this as a method for slowing down how fast the 'power' of each side escalates.

On the starting K, I never actually stated it outright, but I was assuming that would get knocked down by 1/3 also to keep things in line.

If Mk III fleet ship costs (and some of the turret costs) get reduced as is being talked about in another thread, dropping starting K from 10,000 to 7,000 should not be a big deal.


@Keith (again): It sounds like this is something you are actually seriously looking at. However, before committing this to a patch, can you post the changes exactly (as in, copy-paste from what the patch-notes would say?) as I don't feel anyone is really on the same page here.

D.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2013, 02:03:40 PM
On the starting K, I never actually stated it outright, but I was assuming that would get knocked down by 1/3 also to keep things in line.
I'm happy to do that, but there was opposition to that so I'm on the fence on it.  The general idea that the player's starting planet is too strong does seem valid, though to some extent that's just how the game has been for a long, long time, and I don't know if it's really of primary relevance (as opposed to "how much more do you need to win?").

Quote
@Keith (again): It sounds like this is something you are actually seriously looking at. However, before committing this to a patch, can you post the changes exactly (as in, copy-paste from what the patch-notes would say?) as I don't feel anyone is really on the same page here.
Sure.  I'm not decided on doing this or not at this stage, but it seems like it would address several concerns.  The current roadblock is that some folks think the starting HW needs a nerf (to the extent that that is more important than K/AIP scaling) and others think the starting HW most definitely does not need a nerf.  Though I'm still not convinced we're focusing on the most important pieces of the puzzle (the actual motivation for taking planets).
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: LordSloth on April 16, 2013, 02:14:02 PM
I really need to get more practice in. I can only manage at most an hour a day during this week, my play hours are dropping.

However, as I mentioned elsewhere, on a ~7ish game, I'm finding the Fabricator positioning and variety dramatically increasing the incentive to look outside the essentials. Combine that with a decreased cost for taking territory* and I'm no longer dismissing them out of hand.

*What about the 'reinforcement pulse' mechanism. Are there any other mechanics that count the number of Non-AI systems?

Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. I need to keep that in mind, but putting it aside for a moment, decreasing the energy generation would also promote the value of a Zenith Power Generator capture.

The carrot is probably going to be a bit more attractive, but that doesn't particularly help the stick part of the equation. The AI likes Vinegar more than Honey after all. Bitter, bitter vinegar of defeat.

But yeah, a variety of the ship and turret balance changes being discussed should make the rewards of territory grabs and advanced factories and fabs more attractive.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2013, 02:18:23 PM
However, as I mentioned elsewhere, on a ~7ish game, I'm finding the Fabricator positioning and variety dramatically increasing the incentive to look outside the essentials. Combine that with a decreased cost for taking territory* and I'm no longer dismissing them out of hand.
But if you have enough that you know you could take down the AI HWs, would you take another fabricator? 

It makes sense to take one if you're not sure you'd win (or survive) with your current force.

It also makes sense to take one "because it would be fun" but if that makes the win harder that's not really a balance concern, because in that case you're not making decisions primarily to win.

Is there another reason?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: LordSloth on April 16, 2013, 02:38:01 PM
Yes, I would. On a related note, I am a stalwart player of 7/7. You're making a mistake if you assume I'm a "Cinth"TM or Chemical_Art. Keep that in mind when you review my feedback.

I'm a bit of a packrat, so while I won't grab everything if it's going to explode ten seconds later, all of the changes I've been hearing discussed will provide sufficient incentive for me to take stuff even if I don't need the purple legendary bonus ship of slaying AIs+4 to take out Diablo AI 2.

For some of your players, squeaking out the win while being the perpetual underdog is important. For others, they like to stay completely under the radar and kill the AI before it even knows it is under attack. And then there is Cinth: Total War. I personally prefer the progression from underdog to a small but overwhelming and powerful force where I still have to pick and choose my battles with care. This plays into that power fantasy... regardless of whether or not it actually gets me closer or further from victory. I want an epic clash of titans in the end.... I'm just not ready to start out with sixteen homeworlds worth of titans.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2013, 02:40:28 PM
Ok, so you take more stuff than you need because you want a bigger boom at the end.  Basically: because it's fun.  Right?

And that's fine, just trying to clarify.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: kasnavada on April 16, 2013, 02:58:39 PM
Quote
Remember, any comparisions to CSG's is a no go, since anyone who uses low aip games didn't use
10,000 k is nowhere near enough to win.


You see, since we cannot agree on that, everything else is mot.

10k is plenty.
@chemical_art, are you saying that you can win a game with only spending 10,000 K (or maybe 13,000 K due to the HW's contribution)?  Even with non-lazy AI?

Even on Diff 7 I'd consider that alarming.  On 8+ I'd consider that a major balance problem.

Edit: wait, now your post says 100k.  Which I would agree is plenty, but Faulty was talking about 10k.  <developer-confused> ;)

I just tried a very low AIP game with lazy on, on 7.7. The save attached is just before the final assaults.

I got 19750 K left. I spent :
- 9K for ressources, I was always at max.
- 1k for mini fortress which I used to speed up golem repairs.
- 7.5k for lvl 2 of missile, bomber and bonus ship (reprocessor)
- .25k for starship scout lvl 2
- 0.5k for scout lvl 2
- 1k for reinforced FF1, and 2k for standard ff-2
- 5k for warp station.

Total : 23.5.

I did not pop zenith ship cache and got one distribution at one time I rebuild my entier fleet and a golem at the same time to speed up the process.

I think someone more patient, better at planning and playing than me I could have cut those :
- 2k on ff-2 by placing less FF by planets,
- 4.5 or 5k on ressources, and take more time, and use distribution nodes to reinforce between first and second AI assaults.
- 5k.25 on ships (needed the bomber in early game to destroy lvl 3 fortress... + scout scarship lvl 2). I could have used the zenith cache + captures from reclamation instead of the missile.
- 1k for the mini fortress, which was really useless.

I'll admit I got lucky on the fabricators, neinzul tiger is tremendously good. That puts me under 13k used.

I put all captured ships on my home planet, they stayed there.

Basically until I destroyed the first AI, AIP was below 50 and I got most guard post destroyed in a 3 system radius around my systems. Usually by sending a constant stream of tigers to a planet until it was razed, keeping the fleet to defend with the fabricator's orders being to "V to that planet". Not that at fleet of 400+ was much needed against waves of 50 bombers...

After the First AI was done, the game was a bit more complicated, but with the fabricators, golems, and the fleet built I could easily keep with whatever reinforcement / wave spawned. I lost a armored golem to a badly timed assault on first AI (there was 2 core CPA on this one...).

Quote
stuff, on AIP, wall of text, reduction of K/planet to 2K
On this single game, what made victory possible is that with low AIP, if patient enough, I could just destroy half the galaxy's guard posts and starting garrisons by raiding, with a few starting planets, and next to no opposition. Basically I only needed the warp station on late game when forced to take Core shield to keep a clean path to each AI. I took only core A shield planets, with the lvl 5 research center, providing me with a stronger fleet at low cost.

On phase 2 (preparation for the first AI assault) I took a few planets in succession (those with core shields B, C, D, E and, if possible golems). Only after the first AI did I need a bit more defenses (AIP to 120 or so).

Of course, I cannot really extrapolate from a single game. Others on the forum share, maybe, the same experience about low AIP games at higher diffs ? Of course, a lot more defenses were probably needed... but you can see the state of my defenses in the save. Far from efficient, I did not even have gravity turrets and next to no tractor beams.


Anyway :
What I would propose is give a 1 or 2 AIP for each destroyed guard post, increase the number of guard posts on 3-4 planets (or give them a AIP cost of 1 per level ?), and reduce the AIP effects overall. You will have to take planets since the AIP goes up but the K does not, and basically, once you've taken down defenses on that lvl 4 world and lost 15 AIP, is the 20 AIP going to matter much ?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 16, 2013, 03:02:36 PM
I'm curious, kasnavada, was that with the lazy AI off or before it existed?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: kasnavada on April 16, 2013, 03:04:38 PM
With lazy off. I would not have that much AIP floor otherwise, I did not even use the Core AI reducer (or whatever it's called).

Edit : (errr : sorry the lazy that gives AIP floor...)
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2013, 03:07:27 PM
I believe he said "with lazy on", though CSGs were also on, and winning with that on 7.6 with 23,500 K spent doesn't sound bad to me.  Of course, without the harvester upgrades that's only 14,500 K so it's possible that he could have won with only 1 planet with a lot of netflix (though eventually the CPAs would increase in size anyway... probably not enough to kill him at that diff).

If you're up to it, I'm interested to see what the same picture looks like with CSGs off and Lazy off.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 16, 2013, 03:08:20 PM
if you cut AIP for some, but not all things
To clarify, as I said in that post there are only two parts of the AI response that would be unaffected: when it gets higher-mark units, and when it gets new bonus unlocks.  Are either of those a problem to not be affected by this?  Part of what I was getting from feedback was that the bonus unlocks weren't really happening much due to how much AIP you could actually take anyway.

If the tech level thing is a problem that could be adjusted too.

If techs are adjusted, and the expodential nature of 8+ games are reduced to be grow 2/3rds as well, I would have nothing to complain about aside from how it would make the player HW even more important, meaning I would try to draw out the early game as much as possible even if it means deepstriking.

Not that this is the main problem you have with the idea, I just wanted to clarify that the parts I left unaffected were because I thought that's what folks wanted to see more of.


On the more general question I think we're still talking about two different things.  To sum up, here are two questions for you:

1) If you have the power and position (including CSGs, if on) to kill the AI, would you ever take another planet?

Yes, but as my 7/7 game showed, if I took 4 CSG's, and one adv constructor (starships) I could have won even with me riding the AI floor. I didn't even make a chokepoint for that game. So I rode the floor the whole game.

2) If you do not have the power and position (including anything non-AIP increasing like hacking) to kill the AI, would you ever not take another planet?

It's a bit more complex then it would seem. It is very, very rare to get into a situation where you have NO other way of getting power aside planets. Mercs K hacking, and warheads come to mind.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2013, 03:08:34 PM
Oh, so lazy-AI was off?  Interesting.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: LordSloth on April 16, 2013, 03:11:20 PM
Ok, so you take more stuff than you need because you want a bigger boom at the end.  Basically: because it's fun.  Right?

And that's fine, just trying to clarify.

Exactly. In fact, I have no idea how much actually is enough. I'm an adherent of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates".

Rule  1: Pillage, then burn.
Rule 12:  A soft answer turneth away wrath.  Once wrath is looking the other way,
shoot it in the head.
Rule 37: There is no 'overkill'.  There is only 'Open fire' and 'I need to
reload'.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: kasnavada on April 16, 2013, 03:11:45 PM
Oh, so lazy-AI was off?  Interesting.

Actually it's not clear in my head if off is with the AIP floor bonus or not :-/.

Anyway, check the save, AIP floor is a bit under 200. There is just nothing that could put it that high on this game =).
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: kasnavada on April 16, 2013, 03:14:06 PM
Ok, so you take more stuff than you need because you want a bigger boom at the end.  Basically: because it's fun.  Right?

And that's fine, just trying to clarify.

Exactly. In fact, I have no idea how much actually is enough. I'm an adherent of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates".

Rule  1: Pillage, then burn.
Rule 12:  A soft answer turneth away wrath.  Once wrath is looking the other way,
shoot it in the head.
Rule 37: There is no 'overkill'.  There is only 'Open fire' and 'I need to
reload'.

I usually play like you do, more fun that the low AIP route in my opinion : the AI gets much stronger, you need to take territory to defend / get K... I have to try the new reinforcements mechanic to see if I like "high" AIP better now =).
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: keith.lamothe on April 16, 2013, 03:14:59 PM
If techs are adjusted, and the expodential nature of 8+ games are reduced to be grow 2/3rds as well
Why would that be called for?  What I'm talking about is reducing the effect of AIP, not the rate at which it accumulates.  If I reduce both the effect and the growth-rate by 1/3rd then the actual result is 44% of the previous intensity rather than 66%.  To do the same thing on the human side would be to reduce the per-planet-K from 3000 to 2000 while also increasing all K unlock costs by 33%.

Anyway, if the exponential AIP growth is really such a big deal I can just take it out; it was added per a player request because each additional 20 AIP was becoming less and less important as each game went on.

Quote
It's a bit more complex then it would seem. It is very, very rare to get into a situation where you have NO other way of getting power aside planets. Mercs K hacking, and warheads come to mind.
Then why not sit at just your HW, hack, build mercs and warheads and whatever else, and go take out the AI  HWs?
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 16, 2013, 03:15:06 PM
EDIT: Not reducing the needed AI techs by 2/3rds is fine by me, since it is such a mixed bag I wouldn't consider it a nerf. Sure, maybe the AI gets something terrible, but it is just as likely to get something you can counter hard.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: chemical_art on April 16, 2013, 03:21:50 PM
If techs are adjusted, and the expodential nature of 8+ games are reduced to be grow 2/3rds as well
Why would that be called for?  What I'm talking about is reducing the effect of AIP, not the rate at which it accumulates.  If I reduce both the effect and the growth-rate by 1/3rd then the actual result is 44% of the previous intensity rather than 66%.  To do the same thing on the human side would be to reduce the per-planet-K from 3000 to 2000 while also increasing all K unlock costs by 33%.

Ah, you are correct, never mind then. On the one hand, I don't mind expodentents that much. But, then again, they still nerf high AIP games so much harder, so one some level I don't like them.

Anyway, if the exponential AIP growth is really such a big deal I can just take it out; it was added per a player request because each additional 20 AIP was becoming less and less important as each game went on.

Quote
It's a bit more complex then it would seem. It is very, very rare to get into a situation where you have NO other way of getting power aside planets. Mercs K hacking, and warheads come to mind.
Then why not sit at just your HW, hack, build mercs and warheads and whatever else, and go take out the AI  HWs?

Before the current changes, deepstrikes provided a pretty decent method of preventing things. It, combined with general AI response, tended to through attrition prevent any serious assault. Even today, a cornerstone of my AI HW attacks is to establish a safe "corridor" so my fleet the enemy AI, then go almost all in*** to hit the AI hard. One HW games can do this in theory, and I have done it once in a 10/10 game, but it isn't fun spending 10 hours per AI HW assualt using mercs to knock out one guardpost at a time then rebuilding.


***Current brutal picks, as others have hinted, favor low cap units. Meaning I don't bother using high cap units in the actual HW assault anymore. I'll use them in ultra low planet games to clear a corridor, but in the actual HW attack I don't even send them in, since they are more a liability then an asset.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: RCIX on April 17, 2013, 01:52:32 PM
Ok, so you take more stuff than you need because you want a bigger boom at the end.  Basically: because it's fun.  Right?

And that's fine, just trying to clarify.

Exactly. In fact, I have no idea how much actually is enough. I'm an adherent of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates".

Rule  1: Pillage, then burn.
Rule 12:  A soft answer turneth away wrath.  Once wrath is looking the other way,
shoot it in the head.
Rule 37: There is no 'overkill'.  There is only 'Open fire' and 'I need to
reload'.
damn, no one got the reference?

I'm sure the AI's favorite is rule 34. No, not that 34, get your mind out of the gutter. "If you’re leaving scorch-marks, you need a bigger gun."
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Histidine on April 17, 2013, 10:34:19 PM
Ok, so you take more stuff than you need because you want a bigger boom at the end.  Basically: because it's fun.  Right?

And that's fine, just trying to clarify.

Exactly. In fact, I have no idea how much actually is enough. I'm an adherent of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates".

Rule  1: Pillage, then burn.
Rule 12:  A soft answer turneth away wrath.  Once wrath is looking the other way,
shoot it in the head.
Rule 37: There is no 'overkill'.  There is only 'Open fire' and 'I need to
reload'.
damn, no one got the reference?

I'm sure the AI's favorite is rule 34. No, not that 34, get your mind out of the gutter. "If you’re leaving scorch-marks, you need a bigger gun."
I got it   ;)

I'm a firm adherent of Rule 9: Never turn your back on an enemy.
Title: Re: (Thought Exercise) Reduce knowledge to reduce AIP scaling.
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 18, 2013, 12:04:16 AM
Quote
Anyway, if the exponential AIP growth is really such a big deal I can just take it out; it was added per a player request because each additional 20 AIP was becoming less and less important as each game went on.
I would say take it out. Each subsequent planet is less important than the previous ones for humans, too.