Author Topic: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback  (Read 2510 times)

Offline @B0FH

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5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« on: September 21, 2011, 02:25:09 PM »
Whilst I appreciate that (quite a few of) my games tend to be towards the extreme end of the scales (Either very short or epic-long and massive), but after hitting a brick wall on one of my bigger games started on 5.016 (AI mk4 world, not homeworld) spawning 14 Motherships which then trotted all the way to my home, I was interested to see what the H/Ks are like!

So after patching to 5.017 I started a new 60 planet snake, 8/8 game, 8 planet start, +300% resources (no negatives for the AI), Fallen Spire, etc etc etc, I plowed my way through until I had a Galactic Capitol (to help generate threat, and for goody-unlocking), and after taking out the first AI I did a deep strike (about 20 planets) with ONLY my cap of Spire Cruisers (I had 8 Spire cities, can't remember how many ships that equated to!), and by the time they hit the last homeworld the threat was at about 24k, I had 60 (ish) cruisers left. BANG! A single Mothership and a mk2 H/K - I was a happy bunny briefly!

The problem is it barely got a shot off before being disintegrated by the baby-Spire ships, and the Mothership only outlasted it by a second or two more. I know that playing on those settings will never produce a level playing field for balance, but I was really hoping for something more in the H/K - things were scarier in the previous patch with multiple Motherships!

In short, how about a health buff?  Or introduce an armour type that doesn't have many/any weapons that have bonuses against it?  I never experienced a H/K when they were first introduced and feared, and now they just seem... "meh" :(

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 02:35:47 PM »
things were scarier in the previous patch with multiple Motherships!
An HK5 actually costs less than a mothership, and an HK2 costs a lot less than an HK5.  The difference between this and the game with the 14 Motherships is that you didn't let them build up _nearly_ as long before attacking the AI homeworld.  That "defense exo" budget is increased every time they send an (announced) offensive exo at you, by a certain percent of that offensive exo's budget.  The screenshot with the 14 motherships had the game clock at over 100 hours, iirc :)


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In short, how about a health buff?
I did double the health from their previous iteration.  I could give them more health (probably more armor: we can't readily support something with much more than about a billion HP without running into arithmetic overflow; 64-bit HP would lead to a performance hit), but I think with the kind of firepower you had there it's just sort of an "I Win" situation.  If I balanced it to challenge someone playing snake with 8 homeworlds and +300% handicap... no one else could win :)


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Or introduce an armour type that doesn't have many/any weapons that have bonuses against it?
Iirc the main beams on the spire capital ships have no bonuses against anything.  They do damage type "convert to constituent atoms" ;)


Just checking: what was the starting range, roughly, between your fleet and the defensive exo spawn?
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Offline @B0FH

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 02:45:56 PM »
Ah, my maths understanding is flawed then (As is the order - for some reason I thought HK > Mothership!) - I feel a little sillier now, but then that's normal for me! :D

As I said I fully appreciate that I tend to play to "daft" extremes, and wouldn't expect a balance to those settings, but it was the easiest way I could think of spawning one to finally see it :p  But The amount of firepower I had left on that homeworld I would have guessed is less than my "normal style game" final push fleet.  Though the more I re-read your response I'm thinking I probably had an image of something truely insane painted in my mind, and was possibly (probably) expecting too much. Perhaps an idea for Mantis under certain extreme situations, to have a truely extreme ship? (A hybrid/spire "you lose" button?)

The range between the Cruisers and the HK started at about a half-planet's width - there was a good 10 seconds of travel before the defence wave got into range of the Cruisers.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 03:00:11 PM »
for some reason I thought HK > Mothership!
Ah, right, yea, that would explain it ;)  The HKs were added into the tiers just below the mothership, giving the AI something more dangerous than a golem but less game-ending than a mothership to play with.

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As I said I fully appreciate that I tend to play to "daft" extremes, and wouldn't expect a balance to those settings, but it was the easiest way I could think of spawning one to finally see it :p
Yea, that was certainly an effective method of provoking them ;)

If you wanted to increase the challenge you could set the AI diff higher: the exo budgets get larger as the diff goes up (first AI diff in this case).  at 7 it's 1x, at 8 it's 1.5x, 9 is 2x, 10 is 3x.  It's also multiplied by homeworld count so you were actually getting about 12x the normal amount.

And of course you could reduce your handicap, which would increase the time it takes you to build up and thus increase the number of offensive exos and thus increase the size of the eventual homeworld-defense exo.  It would make sense, though, if you could instead increase the AI handicap to speed it up (and thus save you time), but actually I don't think the AI handicap is being factored into exo size right now.  That's something I can fix ;)

And of course playing on a map with more connections makes you work harder defensively, but it's more of a tradeoff than a "make the game easier" option, as anyone facing CSG->CRE->RE can tell you.


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The range between the Cruisers and the HK started at about a half-planet's width - there was a good 10 seconds of travel before the defence wave got into range of the Cruisers.
Hmm, the mothership should have done a good bit of damage to your fleet in that time, will need to check the HK's range too.
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Offline @B0FH

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 03:05:19 PM »
I have already started a new game sans-handicaps on a 80 planet Realistic Hubs map, 9/9, Entrenched/Fortress Baron, Fallen Spire. So will see what I can come up with this time! (Obviously the feedback from that won;t be any time soon ;) )
Might not lag my system so much for starters :p

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 03:36:25 PM »
Sounds suitably challenging ;)

Just in for 5.018:

* If an AI player has a positive handicap that is now factored into that game's TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier which is in turn used for determining the total "population cap" of Hybrids in a game with them on, and also factors in to the budget multiplier for exo waves.  Negative handicaps on AI players have no effect, and the higher of the two AI handicaps is used if they're not equal.

So you could play 8 HWs +300% vs 2 Diff 8 AIs with +300% and face exo budgets (8*1.5*4) 48 times as big as if you played 1 HW vs 2 Diff 7 AIs with no handicaps.  C'mon, it'll be fun!
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Offline Nalgas

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 04:52:36 PM »
Whilst I appreciate that (quite a few of) my games tend to be towards the extreme end of the scales (Either very short or epic-long and massive), but after hitting a brick wall on one of my bigger games started on 5.016 (AI mk4 world, not homeworld) spawning 14 Motherships which then trotted all the way to my home, I was interested to see what the H/Ks are like!

I...what...how...guh?  14 Motherships?  I think it's the correct reaction that I'm a little afraid of you...

And of course playing on a map with more connections makes you work harder defensively, but it's more of a tradeoff than a "make the game easier" option, as anyone facing CSG->CRE->RE can tell you.

Why yes, I could certainly regale you with tales of CSG/CRE/RE seeding disasters on snake maps or other types with very sparse connections, especially the more "big ship" options like Golems/Spirecraft/FS you leave disabled.  It may make defense comparatively trivial, but the inability to bypass nightmarish systems by taking alternate routes (because there are no alternate routes) sure makes offense an adventure.

So you could play 8 HWs +300% vs 2 Diff 8 AIs with +300% and face exo budgets (8*1.5*4) 48 times as big as if you played 1 HW vs 2 Diff 7 AIs with no handicaps.  C'mon, it'll be fun!

Yes.  Fun.  That's exactly the word I was looking for.  You're gonna need a bigger Mothership, especially if this guy's already spawning 14 of them at a time.  Or if not that, do Motherships fit in carriers?  Heh.

Offline @B0FH

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 04:59:01 PM »
The bit that scares me more than what I have managed to spawn (depending on settings), is my ability to lag the game to an unplayable state due to the number of active ships  :-[ 

My plan is to try Keith's suggestion as and when the next patch hits and summarise it in a vodcasty-way - there'll be an insane number of ships, but the AI response will be proportional at least :D

Offline Hearteater

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 05:00:02 PM »
Maybe the AI needs a new defense for HK and Mothership.  Call it a Dispersion Shield that reduces the maximum DPS the unit can take to say 5% of the unit's maximum health.  So no matter how much firepower you can put out, you can't kill a Mothership/HK in under 20 seconds.  That makes them a threat when they are heavily out-gunned, but not any stronger against more reasonable player forces.  Might not be a bad options for certain fixed AI structures.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2011, 05:04:59 PM »
do Motherships fit in carriers?
I'd probably have to put code in to the effect of "if I'm putting a mothership in a carrier, just call the game".
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Offline Nalgas

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 05:06:33 PM »
The bit that scares me more than what I have managed to spawn (depending on settings), is my ability to lag the game to an unplayable state due to the number of active ships  :-[

The only way I've gotten it to be completely unplayable is to abuse Defender mode to make it spawn hundreds of thousands or millions of ships at once, which makes the game really angry.  I've never done anything nearly as ridiculous as you while playing the normal game, though, so I'm sure it can get pretty bad that way, too, if even what I've done makes it slow down a bit sometimes.

I kind of want to see the results of your upcoming game's insanity, because I'm afraid to try it myself.  Heh.

Offline @B0FH

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2011, 05:12:14 PM »
Mothership Spam Screengrab

This screeny is from a different game to the one I described in the OP, but demonstrates that sometimes the poop does hit the fan. Still... meant less active ships in that system!

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2011, 05:15:50 PM »
Mothership Spam Screengrab

This screeny is from a different game to the one I described in the OP, but demonstrates that sometimes the poop does hit the fan. Still... meant less active ships in that system!
18 Motherships and 80 HKs.... nearly a quarter of a million on the firepower meter.  FP be an odd measure, but I think the meaning of that value is pretty clear ;)
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Offline Nalgas

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2011, 05:19:42 PM »
1026 massive AI ships?  247,312 FP?  That's just not right.  And of course it's at Murdoch.  Go figure.

Offline @B0FH

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Re: 5.017 Hunter Killer Feedback
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2011, 05:20:29 PM »
Unfortunately not even I'm stupid enough to try and win that fight - I'm glad that when I played "properly" the system was neutered without a brown-trousers moment.

##### NINJA_EDIT #####
I did however lose later in the game unsurprisingly...
#####

Slightly clearer view of that strikeforce
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 05:24:07 PM by @B0FH »