Arcen Games

General Category => AI War Classic => : keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 05:14:40 PM

: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 05:14:40 PM
Was thinking this morning.  Disconcerting, I know.

- Counterattack posts are a necessary part of balance to keep one-chokepoint-to-rule-them-all from being too easy a slam-dunk.  They serve some secondary purposes, but that's the main one in my view.

- Counterattack posts are, to many players (myself included), really, really stinking annoying.  Specifically, they're roadbumps that mostly just slow the game down because you have to pop them manually (often stretches out an otherwise-routine planet cleansing because you didn't see it earlier, etc), you don't want to pop a lot of them close together, etc.
- this is why there's a cheat to just kill all of them, but the understanding there is that one is accepting the breaking of balance

- What if there's another way to achieve the balance goals, without as much annoyance?  One specific approach that came to mind was to do all of the following:


1) Move counterattack posts to an AI plot or something like that, thus they become optional.
- Everyone's favorite subcommander (RudeGesture) couldn't be picked unless the plot was on, but I'm sure we can find the courage to move on.

2) As a new core mechanic, when there's a threatball on a non-player planet and is unwilling to commit to the attack, they gradually accumulate points towards building a "warp relay".
- this would probably not happen at all before, say, the 2-hour mark
- the rate of accumulation would be based on the strength of the threat waiting on that planet
- the amount required to complete the relay would probably be based on the base strengh of waves at that point in the game (so larger waves = takes longer to build a relay)
- an alert would pop up to tell you a relay was under construction, with a % completion, once it reached 50%
- once constructed, the relay could be destroyed like any other structure, though it would probably be semi-robust to require some significant firepower to kill quickly

3) Any human planet within X hops of a warp relay (where X is the AI's current tech level + 1) is a valid warp target.  Planets with a warp jammer command station would still be ineligible as targets.
- of course, this has no meaning when playing with cross-planet-waves and would probably just not happen then, but generally speaking playing hard-chokepoint with cpw has its own challenges already
- similar with warp jumper, as that already blows the chokepoint game wide open as far as waves go
- this wouldn't apply to exos (they would still need a warp gate to spawn at)


Anyway, this may not be a good idea at all, or counterattack posts may be fine as-is, but I figured it was worth discussing :)

Thoughts?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Draco18s April 09, 2014, 05:55:05 PM
That is an idea that I could get behind.

I would probably make it [Tech]+2 instead of [Tech]+1, but that can be played with.

(As for the Rude Gesture subcommander, I popped the four CA posts within 2 minutes and held off all four waves; helped that they were all going the same place...)
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Fleet Unity April 09, 2014, 05:55:51 PM
Moving the Counterattack Posts to a Plot I think would be a good idea. To new players they may not be aware that attacking one can warp ships to any planet that does not have a warp jammer command station. Like your home world if you destroy a few like three or so at a time if you are not ready and they choose your home world (and not another planet), if it does not have enough defense its usually game over unless you get your fleet back quickly enough. Or at lest have enough turrets to defend or the ally to player roaming enclaves if you are even using that minor faction. You do usually get enough time to prepare unless something has totally gone wrong and your fleet is too far away or you are really low on resources. If it is a MK IV counterattack post those can seem to do the most damage. For the balance maybe put more of the AI Command Station Shield Guardpost in there place with a few guardians or mines by the post to help defend it from player attacks. Edit I meant if the plot was disabled. The idea for them building a warp relay sounds interesting and would add a new way to defend for players who like the counterattacks. Also allowing the Warp Jamming Command to still protect the planet from the waves sounds like a good idea is that is what they can be used for with the current counterattack posts. Also yes I do find them annoying at times as well. :)
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Aklyon April 09, 2014, 06:17:15 PM
It certainly could be an interesting idea. The AI doesn't really build much at all (aside from this idea, something hidden in the Astro Trains and Adv. Hybrids plots, and some non-existant things mentioned on the wiki page for hybrids in general), so having it build something to get around you giant fortress sounds like something an AI with a giant warp grid could do.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 06:23:46 PM
It certainly could be an interesting idea. The AI doesn't really build much at all (aside from this idea, something hidden in the Astro Trains and Adv. Hybrids plots, and some non-existant things mentioned on the wiki page for hybrids in general), so having it build something to get around you giant fortress sounds like something an AI with a giant warp grid could do.
Yea, basically siegery for when the enemy is walled up for a siege.

I'd still want to leave additional production facilities and whatnot to the hybrids, but giving the AI ways to deal with chokepoints seems fair game, as long as the player has reasonable counters to it (as opposed to the once-tried "if chokepoint detected, throw H/Ks repeatedly").  Probably primarily in the form of "get them off my lawn".
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Toranth April 09, 2014, 06:27:46 PM
Personally, I don't have a problem with Counterattack Posts.  The long lead-time and the lowered wave strength mean they are usually more un-ignorable annoyance than deathly threatening.  Of course, I also tend to pop as many as I find early in the game, when the AIP is still low.  A 400 AIP counter wave isn't exactly nothing.

I thought the Counterattack posts were there to prevent the player from just killing every AI Command Station willy-nilly.  By being forced to kill the posts and trigger a counter-attack to the player's backfield, there is a reason to not kill that CS, or to take multiple slower raids on the planet.
From what you are saying, it seems like I'm wrong and that's not the goal anymore - the goal is more to have a method that will bypass the chokepoints?  And the non-targetting of the posts plus the delays to pop multiple posts in a controllable fashion is now just drag.  Maybe switch the Counterattack from a Post to a Command Station type and keep the effect without making it an external plot...


2) As a new core mechanic, when there's a threatball on a non-player planet and is unwilling to commit to the attack, they gradually accumulate points towards building a "warp relay".
- this would probably not happen at all before, say, the 2-hour mark
- the rate of accumulation would be based on the strength of the threat waiting on that planet
- the amount required to complete the relay would probably be based on the base strengh of waves at that point in the game (so larger waves = takes longer to build a relay)
- an alert would pop up to tell you a relay was under construction, with a % completion, once it reached 50%
- once constructed, the relay could be destroyed like any other structure, though it would probably be semi-robust to require some significant firepower to kill quickly

The immediate objection to this that springs to mind is that it sounds like this is a permanent structure - whereas Counterattack posts are each one-off structures that the player can control when they fire.  If you are suggesting that this Warp Relay self-destruct when used, then I have much less concern, as it becomes a lot closer to what the Counterattack posts currently are.  Or if it actually transported the threatfleet as the attacking incoming wave, even better, since that would also prevent constant repetition.
But a new, permanent structure that continually launches deepstrike waves?  That has the potential to be very mean.  Imagine if the Threatfleet gather point that this structure was built on was on the other side of a Bunkerer subcommander with a Tachyon command station and a Black Hole Generator?  The RNG could determine win/loss with just that one decision.

Now, if you made the permanent version an Advanced Hybrid plot, it would seem appropriate.  You're already asking for 'mean' when you turn that on.


I'm also a little concerned over what could happen after a CPA.  Would the strength of, say, 10,000 ships be so high it could charge waves in just a few minutes?  What if things like Golems, Dire Guardians, or Nemesis Champions get into the Threatfleet?

Would the threatfleet code be reworked to be a less exploitable by rope-a-dope/lure strategies?  IIRC, the threatfleet will move towards a weak Human world, then retreat to a different holding spot if that target becomes strong again.  It'd seem easy then to lure the Threatfleet into motion, then raid the structure at leisure once it is no longer charging.

I wonder what CSG-Ds would be attached?  Hmm.  Retalitory AI type?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 06:39:47 PM
But a new, permanent structure that continually launches deepstrike waves?
To clarify, it wouldn't cause any waves.  But the waves that would have happened anyway would (potentially) be able to target planets they couldn't otherwise.


Imagine if the Threatfleet gather point that this structure was built on was on the other side of a Bunkerer subcommander with a Tachyon command station and a Black Hole Generator?  The RNG could determine win/loss with just that one decision.
I was mainly thinking of threat creating these, rather than threatfleet.  Threat always waits right on your doorstep.  Or, rather, the doorstep of whatever looks like could kill it.


I'm also a little concerned over what could happen after a CPA.  Would the strength of, say, 10,000 ships be so high it could charge waves in just a few minutes?
It's not charging waves, actually, it's just building the relay.  Also, this is only waiting threat doing this. 

If the threat comes straight through to your territory, then it has made no progress towards a relay. 

If your defenses are so strong that an entire CPA just goes into camp-mode outside your gates, then yes, it's going to build a relay relatively much faster than most normal threatballs, I expect.  But the rate of waves won't change.


Would the threatfleet code be reworked to be a less exploitable by rope-a-dope/lure strategies?  IIRC, the threatfleet will move towards a weak Human world, then retreat to a different holding spot if that target becomes strong again.  It'd seem easy then to lure the Threatfleet into motion, then raid the structure at leisure once it is no longer charging.
I'm currently in the middle of rewriting the threat logic to better account for nearby (3-hops-out) human mobile strength, so it will be harder to lure, yes.  The threatfleet logic is elsewhere and will require separate attention, but I also hope to get to that soon.


I wonder what CSG-Ds would be attached?
I'd just seed them like E's.


Retalitory AI type?
Just as the Train Master AI Type automatically enables the trains plot, Retaliatory could automatically enable counterattack posts.


All the above is not to say it's necessarily a good idea, just answering the objections as I see them.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: RockyBst April 09, 2014, 06:54:00 PM
Sounds like a good plan to me, it would be nice to see the AI do something a touch more aggressive with all that threat than just sit around all day. My one concern is the charge rate - if I have 2,000 threat just sitting around (quite possible by mid fallen-spire) and that means I have to go micro my fleet to kill one of these every 5 minutes, that could get annoying. Maybe a 30 minute minimum between builds, with any threat points accumulating from the first second. So you could deal with one being instantly built every half an hour, but not more often.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 06:57:11 PM
My one concern is the charge rate - if I have 2,000 threat just sitting around (quite possible by mid fallen-spire) and that means I have to go micro my fleet to kill one of these every 5 minutes, that could get annoying.
That is a potential pitfall.  Two thoughts:

1) The rate can be capped to make sure it takes at least X minutes, or something like that.  Like you suggested.

2) Even if it was allowed to throw them up really fast, there are defensive strategies you could use to avoid the threat piling up right outside your citadel.  A lead planet with lesser defenses, for instance.  Of course, that may not be an appealing option.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Aklyon April 09, 2014, 07:12:10 PM
My one concern is the charge rate - if I have 2,000 threat just sitting around (quite possible by mid fallen-spire) and that means I have to go micro my fleet to kill one of these every 5 minutes, that could get annoying.
That is a potential pitfall.  Two thoughts:

1) The rate can be capped to make sure it takes at least X minutes, or something like that.  Like you suggested.

2) Even if it was allowed to throw them up really fast, there are defensive strategies you could use to avoid the threat piling up right outside your citadel.  A lead planet with lesser defenses, for instance.  Of course, that may not be an appealing option.
Or a fallback planet with just as many defenses might work, assuming you haven't just dumped everything into one planet.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 07:14:57 PM
Or a fallback planet with just as many defenses might work, assuming you haven't just dumped everything into one planet.
The "everything AND the kitchen sink AND the factory that makes kitchen sinks, all on one planet" approach is the main one I have in mind in terms of needing a counterbalance :)
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Toranth April 09, 2014, 07:22:02 PM
Imagine if the Threatfleet gather point that this structure was built on was on the other side of a Bunkerer subcommander with a Tachyon command station and a Black Hole Generator?  The RNG could determine win/loss with just that one decision.
I was mainly thinking of threat creating these, rather than threatfleet.  Threat always waits right on your doorstep.  Or, rather, the doorstep of whatever looks like could kill it.
Ah.  I was thinking this would be more like the stuff the Hybrids build, off inside AI space a few hops.  If it is always going to be adjacent to a player world, that means it is almost always attackable.
Much less of a concern in my mind, then.



2) Even if it was allowed to throw them up really fast, there are defensive strategies you could use to avoid the threat piling up right outside your citadel.  A lead planet with lesser defenses, for instance.  Of course, that may not be an appealing option.
Would that still work if the AI will now notice that your 1-deep planet has enough mobile strength on it to reclaim the sacrifice?  If the threat won't attack unless it will a) win on the planet it attacks, and b) there are no reinforcements close enough to help the human defend, then aren't you just moving the planet that the threat waits on?  It'll attack, win, and then you'll be left with a threatball next to a human world again.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Mad Rubicant April 09, 2014, 07:56:24 PM
Oh hey, something near and dear to my heart. I don't really have a problem with counterattack posts apart from them being an annoying speed bump (really, I just kill them last, then send my fleet home), but Rude Gesture just ruins my day. Depending on the command station *cough* gravity *cough* and AI type, it can take up to an hour to kill a Rude Gesture planet.

How tough to destroy would these warp relays be to kill? Force Field hard, or Guard Post hard?

This wouldn't have anything to do with my AAR, would it?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Faulty Logic April 09, 2014, 08:01:05 PM
1) Move counterattack posts to an AI plot or something like that, thus they become optional.

2) As a new core mechanic, when there's a threatball on a non-player planet and is unwilling to commit to the attack, they gradually accumulate points towards building a "warp relay".

3) Any human planet within X hops of a warp relay (where X is the AI's current tech level + 1) is a valid warp target.  Planets with a warp jammer command station would still be ineligible as targets.
I strongly approve of this.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 08:26:54 PM
2) Even if it was allowed to throw them up really fast, there are defensive strategies you could use to avoid the threat piling up right outside your citadel.  A lead planet with lesser defenses, for instance.  Of course, that may not be an appealing option.
Would that still work if the AI will now notice that your 1-deep planet has enough mobile strength on it to reclaim the sacrifice?  If the threat won't attack unless it will a) win on the planet it attacks, and b) there are no reinforcements close enough to help the human defend, then aren't you just moving the planet that the threat waits on?  It'll attack, win, and then you'll be left with a threatball next to a human world again.
But the threatball will have been reduced during the fight, and thus easier for you to repel by other means before it gets a relay up next to your main choke, etc.

And if it won't commit to an attack on the outer defenses due to the presence of your mobile strength (and remember your main choke's static strength won't deter outlying attacks), then even if it does get a relay up it won't be able to warp as deep into your territory.  Whether it's enough of a distance difference would vary from case to case, of course.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: tadrinth April 09, 2014, 09:32:49 PM
Potential counters that come to mind:

1) Make sure these relays never get built. 
Some combination of always clearing threat out or zerging threatballs once these get to 50% to stop them.  I'd kind of prefer a minimum strength for threat to start working on these, so I don't feel compelled to clear out tiny amounts of threat due to OCD, but that makes it easier to avoid the mechanic.

I think this encourages having one choke point with multiple ingresses; the threat will potentially spread out (dunno if threat is smart enough to clump onto one planet while waiting), and then you just sally forth and wipe out the threat as needed.  Even if threat is smart enough to try to clump up, if you hold the center of an X map, they have to clump on separate planets if they come from different arms of the X.  If you have multiple chokes, then you have to either split your sally-forth force or have it patrol between ingresses, which might be slow and/or require annoying micro.

Beachheading the adjacent planets would potentially help a lot, if you have VotM+Core Turrets.  Makes great threat-bait at low risk.  Without core turrets, you'd take ships from your main fleet instead, not take anything off your choke. 

2) Kill the relays REALLY FAST after they show up
Gonna need a strike force ready when the relay is nearly charged.  And firepower.  Lots of firepower.  Superweapons (ie artillery golems) would make this a lot easier, but having reasons to use superweapons for defense isn't bad.  And then you're basically dedicating a strike force to defense, or having to turn around all/part of your main fleet whenever threat piles up on your borders.  Then the strike force probably heads to whatever waves came in while the relay was up (hopefully, you know, none). 

If the AI is smart enough to delay waves if a relay is almost done, or to launch waves early the instant a relay finishes, then this is much less viable; at that point you blow the relay and send the strike force to stop the waves, which might not be possible if 4 waves get launched at once (both AIs, two homeworlds).

3) Have multiple choke point planets, none of which are strong enough to deter threat.
This seems like one of the intended counters.  You'll need more defenses to pull this off, though, either via unlocks or Core Turret controllers. See below for numbers.

4) Defense in depth
Reinforce planets far enough back that even if a relay gets built, your defenses can soak the waves on all those planets. IE, be playing low difficulty and have lots of Core Turret Controllers. This gets harder and harder the farther back those waves can penetrate, though. 

5) mobile defenses
Just have half your fleet on defense all the time. That won't be a problem, right?  This is how I usually counter WCA-GPs anyway; just pop them and move a fair chunk of fleet back to deal with the counterattack. 

6) Play on maps that don't offer chokes
At which point you'd BETTER have core turrets and mobile defenses to survive; regular turrets will be spread thin and forts will have to guard irreplaceables. And don't turn on Shark.   

Much as I love core turrets and VotM, it is a bit frustrating to have *the* major distributed defense mechanic be in an expansion rather than included as part of the base game.  And even then, if you're on a big map and all the Core Turret Controllers happen to be really far away, you may be stuck without much distributed defense for quite a while.  Miniforts only go so far, especially since there aren't higher marks available (hint, hint). 

This all seems to have the issue by the wrong end, though. 

If building one choke is really good, then maybe the AI just needs to be better at hitting that one choke REALLY HARD. Discounting core turrets, miniforts, and mobile defenses, if you go from two chokepoints to one, you've increased your defensive strength by 100%.  Going from three to two boosts your defensive strength by 50%.  I'm not sure how to interpret these numbers from the 5.036 patch notes:
* If 3, from (AIDifficulty*30) to (AIDifficulty*120).
* If 2, from (AIDifficulty*60) to (AIDifficulty*120).
* If 1, from (AIDifficulty*90) to (AIDifficulty*150)

If the base range of the wave is 3 mins, then dropping from 2 chokes to 1 makes the smallest waves 38% larger and less often, and the largest waves 20% larger and less often.  That isn't anywhere near enough to keep up with doubling your effective firepower.  If you throw a large enough wave at defenses, eventually the adjacent threat is going to go through.  This might require annoyingly infrequent waves, though (you won't get feedback very often).  Or the two AIs start syncing their waves if there's only one choke.  Or they start deploying waves as cross-planet waves. 

Conversely, splitting your forces across two chokes *halves* your effective defense strength.  Any intervention intended to change that is going to need to be something like a factor of 2 or a total gamechanger to make it worth splitting firepower, unless you have core turrets and can increase firepower by splitting it up.

If the AIs always launched paired waves (like with two homeworlds), and the two waves launched always hit different planets if at all possible, that would make splitting up into two chokes way more worthwhile.  Then the AI doesn't double up its forces unless you do, and having any core turrets at all probably makes it worth having two chokes as far as waves go. 

None of those deal with threatballs intimidated by super-chokes, really.  Nor do they really affect the power of using chokes vs CPAs, which are way more of a concern than waves.  Maybe CPAs should take into account how many choke planets there are?  Might be hard to make that un-cheesable, though. 

Oh oh, here's a counter to entrenched planets: bored threatballs don't build warp relays, they build *beachheads*.  Or they start doing cargo deliveries like astrotrains.  Though an artillery golem sitting on your choke could probably one-shot beachheads easily, restoring your defenses. 

Man, I'm glad I'm not the one balancing snake maps vs crosshatch maps.  *salutes your dedication*
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: ZaneWolfe April 09, 2014, 10:22:45 PM
My one concern is the charge rate - if I have 2,000 threat just sitting around (quite possible by mid fallen-spire) and that means I have to go micro my fleet to kill one of these every 5 minutes, that could get annoying.
That is a potential pitfall.  Two thoughts:

1) The rate can be capped to make sure it takes at least X minutes, or something like that.  Like you suggested.

2) Even if it was allowed to throw them up really fast, there are defensive strategies you could use to avoid the threat piling up right outside your citadel.  A lead planet with lesser defenses, for instance.  Of course, that may not be an appealing option.
Or a fallback planet with just as many defenses might work, assuming you haven't just dumped everything into one planet.

Maybe it could be made to scale on Effective AIP. In example, if your Effective AIP is 10, then 100 threat builds a relay in Y time. If however your Effective AIP was 100, then it now takes 1000 threat to build the same relay in Y time. As your Effective AIP goes up, the more threat is needed to build at the same rate. (Numbers are for concept purpose only, not suggested balance.) I would certainly rather it scale on FIREPOWER rather simple number of ships. One thousand MKI Fighters isn't exactly threatening, but that same number in MKI Spire Stealth Battleships suddenly becomes a force that could win the game for the AI if it could only get past the choke. Thus firepower represents the overall power of threat far more than simple number of ships does.

All in all I love this idea. I would suggest that once a relay is built, rather than only sending normal waves at the player, it also starts warping a % of the current threatfleet's firepower with normal/somewhat longer than normal wave timers. Probably have that % scale on the average AI difficulty in game. Say 80% at 10/10 (Because that is supposed to be the greatest pain, hell you might even go 100% at that level) and scale down from there. If 7/7 is the main balance point, maybe have 7/7 Average be 50%?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 09, 2014, 11:00:40 PM
Maybe it could be made to scale on Effective AIP.
My intent was that it scale with normal wave strength, which would include scaling with AIP and factor in unit strength (rather than unit count).  That way it also factors in multi-HW, etc.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Kahuna April 10, 2014, 01:54:55 AM
But a new, permanent structure that continually launches deepstrike waves?
To clarify, it wouldn't cause any waves.  But the waves that would have happened anyway would (potentially) be able to target planets they couldn't otherwise.
Would finding that structure be as infuriating as finding the Dyson Antagonizer?

So it would be new Warp Gate that could send waves over x hops. Basically Warp Gate Guardian in steroids.

I thought the Counterattack posts were there to prevent the player from just killing every AI Command Station willy-nilly.  By being forced to kill the posts and trigger a counter-attack to the player's backfield, there is a reason to not kill that CS, or to take multiple slower raids on the planet.
That's what I thought too.

I'm also a little concerned over what could happen after a CPA.  Would the strength of, say, 10,000 ships be so high it could charge waves in just a few minutes?
It's not charging waves, actually, it's just building the relay.  Also, this is only waiting threat doing this.
So relay=warp gate in steroids?
What's the difference between threat and waiting threat?
If a CPA of 20000 ships is approaching me I would have at least 20000 threat. If 4000 of those 20000 ships are waiting next to my planet while the rest 16000 are still on their way how would that affect the charging?
If I pop an AI planet and the AI ships guarding that planets are become threat ships how would that affect the charging?

2) Even if it was allowed to throw them up really fast, there are defensive strategies you could use to avoid the threat piling up right outside your citadel.  A lead planet with lesser defenses, for instance.  Of course, that may not be an appealing option.
If I have a "lead planet" in front of my whipping boy the lead planet might have to take the waves. Or I'd have to double/triple the amount of gate raiding. Unless this lead planet is a beachhead. This would be an indirect buff to core turrets thanks to their per planet cap which have already been discussed as OP.. though I think the conclusion was that they're not OP.
 
If the relay could send waves over tech level + 1 hops that would double the amount of turrets needed at tech level I. Actually that would indirectly nerf turrets and make fleet ships much more important. And again.. it would indirectly buff Core Turrets. I'm pretty sure these relays would make everyone hack/capture every single core turret controller in the galaxy AND an Advanced Factory.. and unlock Mark IV fleet ships.

Would the relay waves come from wormholes or the edge of the gravity ring like counter attacks at the moment? If they don't come from wormholes it would be an indirect nerf to minefields.


I already know how I would counter this.. I would get every single (or most) core turret in the galaxy and beachhead adjacent AI planets to keep them threat free.. and I'd still have these
Or a fallback planet with just as many defenses might work, assuming you haven't just dumped everything into one planet.
The "everything AND the kitchen sink AND the factory that makes kitchen sinks, all on one planet" approach is the main one I have in mind in terms of needing a counterbalance :)
..whipping boys. I'd just beachhead the sht out of the AI and get a couple of extra economic unlocks to support the beachheads. Beachheads and fleet would keep threat low and adjacent AI planets clear so I could easily go kill the relay. "Boom problem solved"?

Again.. it sounds like this would be a huge buff to Core Turrets.



Something like this would probably make the game more interesting and strategic though. And Harder of course.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Faulty Logic April 10, 2014, 04:24:08 AM
I thought the Counterattack posts were there to prevent the player from just killing every AI Command Station willy-nilly.  By being forced to kill the posts and trigger a counter-attack to the player's backfield, there is a reason to not kill that CS, or to take multiple slower raids on the planet.
I don't think they are a significant factor in that regard.

What's the difference between threat and waiting threat?
I think waiting threat is only the threatballs hanging out on neighboring planets. If it's moving, or in threatfleet, it doesn't count.

If I pop an AI planet and the AI ships guarding that planets are become threat ships how would that affect the charging?
They wouldn't; they'd be engaging your fleet.

Again.. it sounds like this would be a huge buff to Core Turrets.
I don't think so. Basically, if this change is affecting you, you have a massive chokepoint or two. In those situations, core turrets don't help much. I'd rather spend my AIP/HaP on fleetship or starship fabs.

The change would benefit more open strategies, and for completely open empires, it would be a straight buff. Which they need relative to chokepoints, IMO. More importantly, the structures that slow the game down no matter what stage you're in, but almost never pose a real threat, are gone.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Kahuna April 10, 2014, 04:30:28 AM
I think waiting threat is only the threatballs hanging out on neighboring planets. If it's moving, or in threatfleet, it doesn't count.
And what's the difference between threatfleet, threat and waiting threat? Why isn't a fleet 2000 threat ships waiting next to your planet a threatfleet? Or is it? Why is not the approaching CPA a threatfleet?
"threatball"=waiting threat?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Kahuna April 10, 2014, 04:32:36 AM
They wouldn't; they'd be engaging your fleet.
They wouldn't engage my fleet if I'd pop the Command Station with Assault Transports and Raid Starships.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Kahuna April 10, 2014, 04:38:59 AM
I don't think so.
Of course this change would increase the usefulness of Core Turrets.

Basically, if this change is affecting you, you have a massive chokepoint or two. In those situations, core turrets don't help much.
Because this change would not affect people who don't use chokepoints..
I do have a couple of chokepoints.. and core turrets do help a lot..
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: nas1m April 10, 2014, 05:46:07 AM
I really like this idea. Much more interesting than the existing Counterattack Post mechanic, imho.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Faulty Logic April 10, 2014, 06:14:22 AM
Of course this change would increase the usefulness of Core Turrets.
Obviously. I was disagreeing with the "huge."

Because this change would not affect people who don't use chokepoints..
Yeah, if the AI can get to most of your planets anyway, the relay wouldn't be a big deal.

They wouldn't engage my fleet if I'd pop the Command Station with Assault Transports and Raid Starships.
Point.

And what's the difference between threatfleet, threat and waiting threat? Why isn't a fleet 2000 threat ships waiting next to your planet a threatfleet? Or is it? Why is not the approaching CPA a threatfleet?
"threatball"=waiting threat?
Threat is all the free AI ships. Waiting threat is threat that isn't moving but hasn't yet joined the threatfleet. After about 30 minutes of waiting outside your planet, waiting threat will become threatfleet, grouping together and waiting deep in AI space.

Yes, threatball = waiting threat.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Kahuna April 10, 2014, 07:30:34 AM
Ah I see. Thanks.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: LordSloth April 10, 2014, 09:29:51 AM
Just want to throw out a couple possible edge cases that might cause threat and ask what happens:

I'm a bit rusty on the mechanics of some of these, and at the moment have neither the time to play nor the time to pour over patch notes. If I had the time, I might try to finagle wiki access so I could bring "Zenith Miner" and other such articles up to date.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 10, 2014, 10:20:09 AM
Would finding that structure be as infuriating as finding the Dyson Antagonizer?
Probably not, since it would only be built next to your lines rather than 3 hops deep in AI territory or whatever those hybrids do with the antagonizer.

But to make it simpler I could have an "AI Warp Relays" line in the alert box that you could mouseover for a list of the names of all the planets with one.  No scout picket necessary, on the idea that the nature of how these work involves giving off stupidly obvious signals, etc.


I'd answer the rest but it looks like the discussion already handled that.

It would make core turrets more useful.  I'm borderline on core turrets being OP (more in the sense of overshadowing normal turret unlocks as a choice than sheer power, but to some extent power too) but the general consensus I'm hearing is that people are having way too much fun with them to want a nerf ;)
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Qatu April 10, 2014, 10:21:27 AM
 I hate counterattack posts so much the first thing I usually do in my games is cheat them all away. Any solution that isnt limited to removing the cheat sounds like an improvement to me.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Chthon April 10, 2014, 11:35:38 AM
It would make core turrets more useful.  I'm borderline on core turrets being OP (more in the sense of overshadowing normal turret unlocks as a choice than sheer power, but to some extent power too) but the general consensus I'm hearing is that people are having way too much fun with them to want a nerf ;)
I am fine with the AI getting some cool toys to counter our cool toys.  Cool toys are what make the game fun, and we need reasons to use them.

I'm going to be blogging on the champion mechanic and what I feel is wrong with it, but that's off topic here.  I'll link it in the champion thread later.  However once again that's cool toys, and you need reasons to use them.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Mad Rubicant April 10, 2014, 05:52:19 PM
It would make core turrets more useful.  I'm borderline on core turrets being OP (more in the sense of overshadowing normal turret unlocks as a choice than sheer power, but to some extent power too) but the general consensus I'm hearing is that people are having way too much fun with them to want a nerf ;)

The only Core turrets that are overpowered are the Sniper and Spider turrets, since a cap of Sniper/Spider Vs beat a cap of Sniper/Spider Is every time. The rest of the base turrets I don't really buy, but that's because I'm playing on diff 7.3, so I don't need it.

Why don't we have Sniper/Spider II/IIIs, anyways?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Draco18s April 10, 2014, 06:28:59 PM
Why don't we have Sniper/Spider II/IIIs, anyways?

I don't know.  I've wanted them for a while now, as I always run out of Mk1s.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Aklyon April 10, 2014, 06:37:46 PM
Why don't we have Sniper/Spider II/IIIs, anyways?

I don't know.  I've wanted them for a while now, as I always run out of Mk1s.
So do I.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: ZaneWolfe April 10, 2014, 06:50:05 PM
What about this idea though.
I would suggest that once a relay is built, rather than only sending normal waves at the player, it also starts warping a % of the current threatfleet's firepower with normal/somewhat longer than normal wave timers. Probably have that % scale on the average AI difficulty in game. Say 80% at 10/10 (Because that is supposed to be the greatest pain, hell you might even go 100% at that level) and scale down from there. If 7/7 is the main balance point, maybe have 7/7 Average be 50%?
A) Could it be done and B) would anyone else enjoy it?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 10, 2014, 07:48:30 PM
Why don't we have Sniper/Spider II/IIIs, anyways?
Because MkIs are already overpowered :)  But again, too much fun to nerf.

: ZaneWolfe
: keith.lamothe
My intent was that it scale with normal wave strength, which would include scaling with AIP and factor in unit strength (rather than unit count).  That way it also factors in multi-HW, etc.
Wll you didn't say that, so I had no way of knowing. It's nice to hear that the new baby didn't entirely kill your brain. So we know you're using it, but you need to work on the communication bit.  :P

: original post in thread
- the rate of accumulation would be based on the strength of the threat waiting on that planet
- the amount required to complete the relay would probably be based on the base strengh of waves at that point in the game (so larger waves = takes longer to build a relay)

;)
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: ZaneWolfe April 10, 2014, 09:42:50 PM
: ZaneWolfe
: keith.lamothe
My intent was that it scale with normal wave strength, which would include scaling with AIP and factor in unit strength (rather than unit count).  That way it also factors in multi-HW, etc.
Wll you didn't say that, so I had no way of knowing. It's nice to hear that the new baby didn't entirely kill your brain. So we know you're using it, but you need to work on the communication bit.  :P

: original post in thread
- the rate of accumulation would be based on the strength of the threat waiting on that planet
- the amount required to complete the relay would probably be based on the base strengh of waves at that point in the game (so larger waves = takes longer to build a relay)

;)

I have no idea what you are talking about. Clearly I didn't simply miss something in the original posts because I am blind. Such a thing is completely impossible. How dare you suggest it. If you are done with your baseless slander, what about my idea?

I would suggest that once a relay is built, rather than only sending normal waves at the player, it also starts warping a % of the current threatfleet's firepower with normal/somewhat longer than normal wave timers. Probably have that % scale on the average AI difficulty in game. Say 80% at 10/10 (Because that is supposed to be the greatest pain, hell you might even go 100% at that level) and scale down from there. If 7/7 is the main balance point, maybe have 7/7 Average be 50%?
A) Could it be done and B) would anyone else enjoy it?
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 10, 2014, 09:50:56 PM
I would suggest that once a relay is built, rather than only sending normal waves at the player, it also starts warping a % of the current threatfleet's firepower with normal/somewhat longer than normal wave timers. Probably have that % scale on the average AI difficulty in game. Say 80% at 10/10 (Because that is supposed to be the greatest pain, hell you might even go 100% at that level) and scale down from there. If 7/7 is the main balance point, maybe have 7/7 Average be 50%?
A) Could it be done and B) would anyone else enjoy it?
It could be done, but I'm not sure it fits as a core mechanic.  Sounds a bit more plot-like.  Because that could mean a lot of threat jumping your front line, as opposed to simply waves (which have a fairly predictable size).
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: TechSY730 April 10, 2014, 09:53:09 PM
For all of those worried about a "hunt it down" style thing like the dyson antagonizer can happen sometimes, if I am reading this properly, it seems to me that this would only happen on planets with large accumulated threat  (not threat-fleet) on AI planets that have been there for quite some time, which almost always means "building up" outside of a chokepoint. This means that the "warp relay" would almost always be on a planet adjacent to a human planet (pretty much the only way I can see a warp relay being build >1 hop away are strange cases involving beacheads on AI or nuetral planets).


That said, I always have found it somewhat distasteful mechanics that would allow the AI to "magically teleport" anywhere they want. If they could do that, why wouldn't they do that as soon as you started taking more planets to cover your homeworld. It seems like a blatant violations of their own rules they are supposed to follow.

I would much prefer them to do more "traditional" raiding techniques, like stuffing raiding ships into transports (or carriers, whatever), maybe escorted with cloaker starships or whatnot, and making a beeline into inner worlds. Those don't feel like cheating.

Now I get that ultra choke-points can stop even those dedicated raiding tactics, so I get a "no warpgate needed warp" style warp may still sometimes be needed. But it would be nice if the AI at least tried those conventional techniques before falling back on "lol, I didn't need warp gates after all!". It would certainly feel more fair and a "soft counter" first. Jumping straight to a hard counter that plays fast and loose with established rules just seems like it would piss people off (and indeed, has, as the existing counterwarp posts have done). It seems like this would piss people off (or at least annoy) almost as much, but just somewhat less as no longer is required to trigger, accomplish a short-term goal, and has some softer counters for the triggering conditions. But the mechanic, once fired, is just as hard (read, annoying). EDIT: In other words, I would like something where the triggers to the mechanic are more soft-counterable as well as the mechanic, once fired, being more soft counterable (or at least at first, and save the hard counter, rule-sidestepping mechanics as more of a fall-back, not a first thing)

Just my thoughts.
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: keith.lamothe April 11, 2014, 10:13:04 AM
That said, I always have found it somewhat distasteful mechanics that would allow the AI to "magically teleport" anywhere they want. If they could do that, why wouldn't they do that as soon as you started taking more planets to cover your homeworld. It seems like a blatant violations of their own rules they are supposed to follow.
If this didn't involve needing to construct new things they don't normally have, I'd think you had a point.  But in this case it's a bit like saying of a medieval strategy game "siege towers are cheating; if the AI could get over my walls with those why didn't it park siege towers in front of all of its castles in case one was taken?" :)
: Re: Counterattack Posts
: Vinraith April 11, 2014, 06:47:27 PM
I certainly like the idea of giving the AI the capacity to take a "stuck" threatball and eventually make it "unstuck" on its own. Throwing it a few hops into human territory by allowing it to build a "siege tower" to hope over the human's "wall" actually seems like a pretty elegant solution, too. Like some others here, though, I'm not sure about this mechanic is a complete replacement for counterattack posts, which also serve the purpose of slowing/complicating taking AI worlds. Wouldn't we need something to replace that aspect of them as well?