Author Topic: Missing AI Units  (Read 1990 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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Missing AI Units
« on: August 21, 2016, 12:19:25 PM »
I'm in a game where an AI has a Design Backup with the blueprint of the Lightning Torpedo Frigate. However, I never saw it used. (Thankfully.) I came to think that the AI never use Neinzul Enclave Starships (or NCC) or the Protector Starship.

However, I remember seeing AI using Blade Spawners and Tackle Drone Launchers, and "bonus" starships like the Lightning Starship and the Zenith Devastator. Also, the AI may have core fabricators of units it doesn't use (NCC, Protector, etc).

All that sounds very incoherent. I can't wait AIW2 to mod and sort that out.
Anyway. The point I ask answers for is: Am I wrong? Did you saw the AI use one of these units? Thanks in advance.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
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Offline Toranth

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 06:00:50 PM »
I'm in a game where an AI has a Design Backup with the blueprint of the Lightning Torpedo Frigate. However, I never saw it used. (Thankfully.) I came to think that the AI never use Neinzul Enclave Starships (or NCC) or the Protector Starship.

However, I remember seeing AI using Blade Spawners and Tackle Drone Launchers, and "bonus" starships like the Lightning Starship and the Zenith Devastator. Also, the AI may have core fabricators of units it doesn't use (NCC, Protector, etc).

All that sounds very incoherent. I can't wait AIW2 to mod and sort that out.
Anyway. The point I ask answers for is: Am I wrong? Did you saw the AI use one of these units? Thanks in advance.
There are certain units that the AI is restricted in using (they cost much more, and have a much lower pick rate during reinforcements) and there are units that the AI is flat-out banned from using.
The restricted units, like Tackle Drone Launchers, are because they can be a really annoyance in even small numbers, and nearly broken in large numbers.  Can you imagine trying to deal with a group of 1,000 TDLs?  Back in the day, hordes of a few thousand Blade Spawners wasn't too uncommon, and it was Not Fun(tm).
The banned units are similar, but they are broken in even small numbers.  200 Mk V Protector Starships is effectively an indestructible blob of GAME OVER.

On the other hand, the AI has Guardians - like the ones that replicate the Neinzul starships, or Spirecraft, or... well, worse.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 06:31:53 PM »
Yeah, sure, that why there are ship caps. Such a shame the AI doesn't play by the rules on that topic, heh?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2016, 07:03:38 PM »
I remember a time where the Maws were bugged and didn't have the proper cost for the AI. They were spending as little points on them as they would for fighters. Waves of 100-200 Maws 10 minutes in the game were hilarious.
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,10328.msg100587.html#msg100587

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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2016, 12:10:11 PM »
Yeah, sure, that why there are ship caps. Such a shame the AI doesn't play by the rules on that topic, heh?

AI specifically gives now fucks about ship caps. ;)
Ostensibly lower cap ships "cost" it more, but there are certain units (most of the ones with a cap of 5 or fewer) that are worth an infinite number of points for the AI because any quantity larger than the shipcap is fundamentally unwinnable and there's no hard-cap on the AI's resources (think: nukes).

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2016, 01:07:31 PM »
So there actually is ships the AI can't use. Shame. I mean, between a four-digit TDL fleet and never use X and Y, I would like to see a middle ground.

Anyway, while my point was to document that on the wiki, is there a way to list these human-only ships?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Toranth

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2016, 03:52:59 PM »
So there actually is ships the AI can't use. Shame. I mean, between a four-digit TDL fleet and never use X and Y, I would like to see a middle ground.

Anyway, while my point was to document that on the wiki, is there a way to list these human-only ships?
The Protector Starship is the only one I am 100% certain the AI doesn't get as a regular unlock.
I think the LTF is also banned, but I'm not certain.
The Neinzul Starships don't seem to ever be used, but I'm not sure if that was deliberate, or just not done because there were Guardian versions.

TDLs, Maws, Blade Spawners, and all the other really low-cap evil units are available to the AI, but they cost more.  TDLs also belong to a separate category of unit, further reducing the likelihood of being chosen as a reinforcement.

In addition to the reinforcement restrictions, there is also a "Can be used in waves" flag and a Exowave flag.  Those you can see by exporting the unit list from the game - there are also touched up, more readable versions attached somewhere here on the forums.  Just look for the WaveName and EventAttackTier columns - if there isn't a value there, that unit cannot be used for that sort of thing.


Offline Cyborg

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2016, 06:57:01 PM »
I remember a time where the Maws were bugged and didn't have the proper cost for the AI. They were spending as little points on them as they would for fighters. Waves of 100-200 Maws 10 minutes in the game were hilarious.

That's what I loved about testing this game. Such an active, good-natured forum while Chris and Keith experimented with different ways of destroying us, some of which were accidental. Maybe. Right?  ;D
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2016, 03:47:21 AM »
In addition to the reinforcement restrictions, there is also a "Can be used in waves" flag and a Exowave flag.  Those you can see by exporting the unit list from the game - there are also touched up, more readable versions attached somewhere here on the forums.  Just look for the WaveName and EventAttackTier columns - if there isn't a value there, that unit cannot be used for that sort of thing.
I saw that option only exports units available to Human players. I managed to somewhat circumvent that restriction with the "give me positively everything" cheat, but there are still AI units, for instance, that I wasn't able to get by this way. The F1 key is paramount for wiki work, but sometimes details like these aren't easily available.

Also, still thinking about AIW2, I'm looking for a way to improve that. IMO, AIW's main problem is its learning curve, and its learning curve's main problem is the game incoherency (not complexity... not only complexity). One of my ideas was to move all the ships with cap < 10 as starships. They already have tons of starship immunities. As AI better handle caps with starships (at least it use them without too much abuse), I think it would elegantly solve that problem. They would be "high cap starships" (5 or 8 per mark). (And also make the game much more coherent by respecting its own rule "low cap -> starship / high cap -> fleetship", but that's another story.)

So. Does someone knows the rule for starship restrictions? They are used as reinforcement and in waves but in reasonable quantities. I would be totally okay to have TLD and Blade Spawners at the "starship rarity". Even, maybe, the AI could get 2 cap-5 or 3 cap-8 units where it would normally get 1 cap-2 true starship.

Also, drone spawning starships (Neinzul Starship and NCC) seems to be forbidden for the AI to use. It's strange, IMO, because they seem to be units more useful in the hands of Human players (contrary to, for example, cloaked units which are more dangerous in the hands of the AI). I'm currently in a game where an AI has Sentinel Frigates (could have been Snipers, for that example) and it "cleverly" use them, keeping them in the back while other units charge their prefered targets and the bombers rush for FFields and OCStation. I know there is a "shield basher" flag for units somewhere deep in the game; Senith Siege Engines have the same logic as Bombers, for instance. I bet there is a similar "long range siege" flag (or easily could be one) for Sentinels, Snipers, and potentially AI Neinzul Enclave Starship and NCC. And I would totally be ok with AI (fast/slow) drone spawning units provided the AI doesn't (ab)use them more than starships.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline zoutzakje

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2016, 04:23:23 AM »
turning all low caps fleetships into starships would make the Starship Commander AI type one hell of an opponent I imagine.
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,10328.msg100587.html#msg100587

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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2016, 04:40:54 AM »
turning all low caps fleetships into starships would make the Starship Commander AI type one hell of an opponent I imagine.
Not if they have a "fair" cost for the AI. Maybe adding a special-special rule enforcing a kind of cap for drone spawner starships for the Starship Commander AI Type (it can use 100 flagships, but no more than 5 TDL, for instance). I never played against that AI Type, I don't know how ridiculous it gets with starships. But I'm sure if everyone agree with the "cap < 10 = Starship" design rule for other reasons (game's coherency, AI "cap", increased ASC desirability, etc), that kind of edge case won't be a true problem.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Timerlane

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2016, 11:08:55 AM »
Can we get an OMD Immunity attribute for them, then? Not only would it change that matchup for the player entering a hostile system, player-controlled OMDs attacking incoming Exos might now start wasting fire on these much weaker 'pseudo-starships', instead of being ready to smash that Spirecraft, Golem, Guardian, etc.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 11:11:03 AM by Timerlane »

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2016, 04:01:14 PM »
Can we get an OMD Immunity attribute for them, then? Not only would it change that matchup for the player entering a hostile system, player-controlled OMDs attacking incoming Exos might now start wasting fire on these much weaker 'pseudo-starships', instead of being ready to smash that Spirecraft, Golem, Guardian, etc.
AIW2 modding ability will let us test that kind of things.
More specifically, maybe a "target biggest eligible ship first" would be enough for the OMD logic. I'm not a big fan (read "if I were in charge, I would entirely remove them all >D") of immunities. They tend to blur the game and ruin its coherency (which is already wonky). Ion cannons one-shot small things; OMD one-shot big things. No exceptions.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 05:32:12 AM »
any quantity larger than the shipcap is fundamentally unwinnable
Zenith Siege Engines..
..a reason to uninstall the game. Or at least disable Ancient Shadows expansion.
Shield Bearers are pretty close to that too.

I mean, between a four-digit TDL fleet and never use X and Y, I would like to see a middle ground.
Aptly put.

turning all low caps fleetships into starships would make the Starship Commander AI type one hell of an opponent I imagine.
Starship AI types are already (almost?) harder than the Raid Engine type.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 05:42:26 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!
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Missing AI Units
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2016, 05:47:54 AM »
Aptly put.
For me, browsing this wiki is like player Pokemon Go. I can find and capture new words!

More seriously.
Kahuna, I would like to hear you opinion on that "cap < 10 = Starship" proposed design rule. As I would like to hear every long-time players' opinions too.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!