Author Topic: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two  (Read 4842 times)

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need an overhaul
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2012, 04:11:03 AM »
Ok what IS THIS... -__________________-

Special Forces joining the CPA?

That's 346.500.000 Health, 6.480.000 DPS and 9.072.000 DPS with multiplier from the SSBs alone. I'd rather take a Hunter Killer. That's stupid. I guess I'll have to play with SIMPLE ships settings to avoid low cap ships (especially SSBs) until this gets fixed.

About the 13 Sentinels: There USED to be something like 70 Sentinels but I already destroyed most of them. There were also ~400 Fighters but I destroyed ~300 of them. 90/5=18*SSBs' cap.

I took the screenshot as soon as the SSBs were decloaked. I managed to destroy "only" 30 SSBs..

noooooo I was doing so well in this 10/10 game... zzzzzzzz
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 04:37:41 AM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2012, 08:16:17 AM »
I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh at your attachement. "a bunch of logs.rar"

It kinda sounded like "A bunch of logs, RAWR!" in rage xD
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2012, 08:45:48 AM »
LOL. Ye well I just lost a good game :'(
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 08:53:39 AM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need an overhaul
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012, 09:54:17 AM »
Special Forces shouldn't use carriers. Carrier=1 big ass blob.

Except there was one case where the special forces without carriers was proving to be a huge performance drain, which is why they were given the ability to go into carriers.

However, I think it is doing it much too aggressively right now.

Offline Toranth

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need an overhaul
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2012, 10:16:27 AM »
-Bring back the "Special Forces Highways".
And why bring back SF Highways?  They were pointless?  SF might was well not have been in the game for the impact they had.  Instead we have SF staging points, and you can solve a lot (all?) SF issues by controlling where they are (by killing SF Posts) so the SF take too long to respond.
I think there is a problem with Special Forces behavior right now.  I think something needs to change, although I don't think the SF Highways is the right solution (that was too unbalanced - either you were in the way and got crushed 10 seconds into the game, or they didn't matter).
Currently the Special Forces move to protect 'important' AI installations.  Unfortunately, that includes all CSGs.  CSGs exist on approximately 50% of the galaxy.  This means you can't get anywhere without having the SF following you around like a lost (rabid) puppy.  It really detracts from any sense of 'special' when you ALWAYS need to deal with them.


Offline Kahuna

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need an overhaul
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2012, 10:29:21 AM »
you ALWAYS need to deal with them.
And to deal with them you MUST have MarkIII Riots.
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
echo Kahuna matata!

Offline Trandrin

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2012, 10:38:04 AM »
Dunno if this is relevant. But try Crafty Spire. If what I saw was correct last time I "played" with it. The SF gets to be Spire craft. All SF.  It will drown you with Spire Craft. Red AI type indeed.

I take it that might be normal though for its class. But it made progressing in that game a none valid tactic. More so with CSG on.  Ever move against anything valid ended with them taking out anything nearby. Woe on the few worlds were I had to do heavy combat to advance. Never even got near a home world so dunno how that would have turned out.

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2012, 10:50:09 AM »
I didn't think SF went on offense, so they shouldn't join a CPA (unless you are fighting on an AI worlds I guess).

Offline Toranth

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2012, 12:11:25 PM »
Dunno if this is relevant. But try Crafty Spire. If what I saw was correct last time I "played" with it. The SF gets to be Spire craft. All SF.  It will drown you with Spire Craft. Red AI type indeed.

I take it that might be normal though for its class. But it made progressing in that game a none valid tactic. More so with CSG on.  Ever move against anything valid ended with them taking out anything nearby. Woe on the few worlds were I had to do heavy combat to advance. Never even got near a home world so dunno how that would have turned out.
Curiously enough, my last game before my current impossibility was a Crafy Spire/Heroic 9/9 game about 2-3 months ago.  ALL the Spirecraft in the universe immediately joined with the Special Forces at the start of the game, which made them well-nigh invincible.  Took 10+ hours to whittle them down, and that was using 8 Champions, Minirams, and Raid Starships in suicidal rushes.


I didn't think SF went on offense, so they shouldn't join a CPA (unless you are fighting on an AI worlds I guess).
Generally, the Special Forces are not offensive.  But in the game I mentioned above, I lost several times early one when the SF with Spirecraft showed up adjacent to my homeworld, and I fleetwiped.  The Spirecraft would then charge onto the Homeworld and complete the loss.  I don't know if this was because the Spirecraft weren't "real" SF, or if SF is somewhat buggy, but I've been killed by SF-ish ships before.

Offline Histidine

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2012, 11:43:58 AM »
An added benefit of multi-fleet SF: it allows more flexible response size. For instance, attacking a planet with a Group E CSG could trigger just one SF fleet within a couple of hops. An Adv Fac could call for multiple SF fleets over a greater distance, say 4-5 hops. Attacking the AI homeworld should cause every SF fleet in the galaxy to converge on your position.

For extra fun: if an SF fleet is closer to your territory than said AI homeworld, reassign its ships to threatfleet instead.


As for the carriers: instead of constantly adding ships to carriers, it could "scrap" existing ships to buy stronger versions (i.e. going up in Mark level, or replacing fleetships with starships/Guardians). Like exo spawning logic, except spread out over a period of time. (assuming you don't end up with 10000 guardians, at any rate)

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2012, 12:04:45 PM »
Just for the record, I like the the new SF logic. It seems much smarter, and it makes the AI seem like it is taking defense seriously. Plus, it gives something the AI lacked previously, an "active" defense.

However, I still stand by my suggestions and support for other suggestions pointed out previously, there are ways the AI can be even smarter with the nice added side effect of making the "worst case" grindiness much less likely.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 12:07:01 PM by TechSY730 »

Offline Delwack

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2012, 03:28:30 PM »
I do notice that at higher AIP levels/longer games, the special forces can get out of hand rather quickly.  I've also seen some odd behavior with carriers and special forces, I've tried on a number of occasions to pop special forces carriers to kill the ships inside... only to have the carriers reform right before my very eyes.  This is on the more extreme end of total ships, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless. 

I think the planet had a number of normal reinforcements and carriers as well as special forces carriers, and I'm not sure entirely how they all interacted, but it was quite weird.  Apparently the game wanted me to kill those 3000 ships on the other side of the planet rather than pop open the carriers and kill the ships on this side.  I also think special forces don't exhibit normal carrier behavior in that they do not combine into fewer more powerful ships when burst open, so breaking open 3 carriers of SF with 3k other ships on the planet ends up putting the SF ships just back into the carrier, even if you have ships about to shoot at them. 

Carrier quirks aside, special forces aren't too hard to handle generally.  If they aren't there and you know they are going to show up, you can set up a beachhead and face them down without too much trouble.  Trying to take a world where special forces are entrenched (along with standard threat and the normal defense reinforcements) can be hairy.

I'm not so sure they need to be changed persay, but it does create some odd dynamics sometimes.  I guess you can only really be 'stonewalled' by special forces now, and only if they are reinforcing faster somehow than you are.  This situation, I think, may only arise when trying to deal with the special forces on an AI homeworld proper.  I've encountered it once or twice, and can be a bit of a nightmare in addition to the strategic reserve and any other local nasties, requiring grindy attrition warfare (or a few well-placed warheads if you can somehow sneak them in and get them to hit a large portion of the fleet).  I suppose a nuke would also fix the problem, if you were ending the game shortly. 

I think the main complaint I have about special forces is in options for dealing with them.   You can try to delay the inevitable confrontation by either:

1) Diversion - Lure the special forces somewhere with a distracting fleet and strike elsewhere.  This gives you a short window to do what you need to do.  If that is something quick, then this is a viable option. 

2) Pop command center - Obvious minuses are AI progress cost (although in some cases, like CSG, you don't' have a choice anyway).  This is obviously not visitable on the core worlds and not easy to do on the AI homeworld.  This only delays the inevitable though since you will have to fight them eventually at a core or homeworld. 

Both of those though, only delay the inevitable.  Eventually you will have to confront the special forces and that leaves you really with only two options:

A) Warheads - Lightning, EMP, nuke.  all +AI progress, but saves a lot of time and will temporarily solve the problem, giving you a window large to do what needs to be done. 

B) Attrition - costs all kinds of resources (metal, crystal time), but will temporarily solve the problem, giving you a large window to do what needs to be done. 

Actually, now that I think about it carefully, there is actually a third strategic option where you may not have to kill the special forces.  If you can somehow lure the special forces into a planet, and then seal that planet off by claiming the planets around it, the special forces garrison will be trapped, and will not attack.  I've managed to do this by accident every now and then (although usually to my determent, on top of the travel lanes I wanted to use.)  Having the 'perfect area' to lure and seal a large chunk of the special forces away in would require some great foresight, planning and a bit of luck. 

Barring that very specific case, you still eventually will have to confront them, and that means back to one of the two combat options:  warheads or attrition.  By itself, this would be a problem, but special forces don't exist in a bubble, they exist in the large context of the overall game, and add that direct confrontation element that you either have to accept or strive to avoid while constructing and executing your larger strategic plan. 

The only real way I see the current AI special forces behavior becoming a problem is if all AI homeworld battles toward the end game end up a giant slugfest between the human fleet and AI strategic reserve + AI special forces, and I don't believe that is necessarily the case right now. 

I did try sniping the AI homeworld cmd station once through it's shields without combating the core reserve and/or special forces, without much luck (I couldn't provide enough cover to the ships that could shield-penetrate).  I'll have to try again one day, but every game I've played has required a moderate slug-fest with the homeworld strat reserve, but it's usually not terrible since the strategic reserve doesn't reinforce that fast, you have plenty of time to act after destroying it. 

I guess it if it causes the taking of other strategically important assets to slow to a grind every single time, that would be another problem, but I don't think they reinforce quite THAT fast. 

Edit: Observations are on difficulty 7.  I'm interested in finding out what the special forces reinforce rate is vs. player potential refleet rate, and how they compare, to see at what point you can no longer win due to the special forces and player fleet killing each other totally, and the SF fleet reinforcing faster.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 03:40:48 PM by Delwack »

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2012, 03:42:36 PM »
[stripped due to length]

Agreed. Special forces are in a pretty good state, and the "grindiness" factor isn't really that bad. Just a few tweaks need to be made to help avoid some of those "worst case" type un-fun situations. Also, it would be nice to get some "influence at a price" factor back, like my suggestion to make killing special forces posts reduce the cap and reinforce rate somewhat.

Offline Wingflier

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need a change or two
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2012, 06:32:45 PM »
[stripped due to length]

Agreed. Special forces are in a pretty good state, and the "grindiness" factor isn't really that bad. Just a few tweaks need to be made to help avoid some of those "worst case" type un-fun situations. Also, it would be nice to get some "influence at a price" factor back, like my suggestion to make killing special forces posts reduce the cap and reinforce rate somewhat.
I like them where they are.  I really don't think they're that bad. I play with a Special Forces Captain AI Type just to make it more difficult, and you can still deal with it on 9/9 difficulty.

But perhaps if you could "tune" their difficulty like a minor faction, it would make everybody happy.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Special Forces and Core Reserves need an overhaul
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2013, 02:41:30 PM »
[Log stripped]
So basically, if it decided it wants ship X for a role, it's going to buy at least one, nevermind that it costs 6x more than its whole budget. Seems like it's the same kind of problem that was happening with reinforcements before. When it picks fighters and not reprocessors, it also only buys one, so there's almost equal numbers of both even though reprocessors are 8-cap and fighters are 98. This also indirectly makes the forces respawn faster than intended, as every spawn I looked at exceeded its strength budget, even if not in such an extreme fashion (here we have 4.36 budget, 40.11 actual)

A bit late for this, but good observation. As you said, just like with the reinforcements before it was fixed, the AIs "debt" is being "forgiven" too early mid way through the ship count determinations.