Arcen Games

General Category => AI War Classic => : keith.lamothe July 20, 2012, 01:03:42 PM

: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: keith.lamothe July 20, 2012, 01:03:42 PM
Nominations from this thread (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,11175.0.html).  Also look there if you want an explanation of what we're doing here.

So, who gets the bat?  3 votes per person this time, and I'll try to do something with the top 3 results, but probably not more than that because "processing" the results tends to significantly bog down if there's a ton of winners.

This is specifically just for AI units.  Obviously, nerfing some units will nerf them for both sides, but there's a separate poll from the specifically "nerf this for human usage" and generally-nerf-this nominations.

Thanks for the feedback :)
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Kahuna July 20, 2012, 02:03:45 PM
Oh I'm surprised the AI Eye and the Interplanetary Munitions Booster got so many votes. ???
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Mick July 20, 2012, 02:20:22 PM
I only voted for the stealth battleship, as that unit seems to be the difference between enjoying the game and getting stomped.

Note: "enjoying the game" doesn't necessarily mean winning.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Diazo July 20, 2012, 02:31:21 PM
I only voted for 2 things, could not decide on a 3rd vote.

Deep Strike: I like the idea of being able to play around with a mobile fleet many hops away from a friendly world, and with Core Shield Generators added to the game, I am of the opinion that a lot of the reason for the original deep strike mechanic has gone away.

Spire Stealth Battleship: Both cloaking and radar dampening? That's too much. I think the numbers are fine (or close to it) but take away either cloaking or the radar dampening and it should be fine. And taking away one of those mechanics would not cripple it for use in Player hands.

D.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: TechSY730 July 20, 2012, 02:36:08 PM
Spire Stealth Battleship: Both cloaking and radar dampening? That's too much. I think the numbers are fine (or close to it) but take away either cloaking or the radar dampening and it should be fine. And taking away one of those mechanics would not cripple it for use in Player hands.

Not sure why Spire Stealth Battleship is here instead of the other poll (which is for both player units and "needs a nerf for anyone who uses it" units), but I could support them losing their radar dampening, or at least increasing its dampening range (and thus reducing its effectiveness) by a large amount. They would still be near starship level, stealthy killers, thus living up to their name; but now manageable if they do get revealed.

If that isn't enough to make players not feel cheated if the AI gets them, then my previous suggestion of giving them an additional penalty in AI waves (similar to the one bombers get) may be worthwhile.

BTW, I did not vote for spire stealth battleships. There were other things on that list I felt needed nerfing more.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: keith.lamothe July 20, 2012, 02:37:29 PM
Not sure why Spire Stealth Battleship is here instead of the other poll (which is for both player units and "needs a nerf for anyone who uses it" units)
The nomination I pulled it from was specifically concerned about AI use of it, and thought it was fine for humans.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Kahuna July 20, 2012, 03:49:12 PM
I only voted for the stealth battleship, as that unit seems to be the difference between enjoying the game and getting stomped.
Note: "enjoying the game" doesn't necessarily mean winning.
This is very true. Those things are a PITA.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: TechSY730 July 21, 2012, 11:27:47 AM
I'm suprised that Spire Shield Guard Posts are doing so well.
Yes, they have really high HP, but not stupid high IMO. And unlike normal forcefields, they don't have an immunity for anti-matter bombs.
OK, I can see a bit of a nerf in HP, but I didn't vote for them because they aren't that bad IMO.


But then again, that is why we have these polls, to try to get something of a consensus rather than a bunch of individual opinions to have to sift through. :)
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: keith.lamothe July 21, 2012, 11:48:17 AM
I wasn't really thinking of these polls specifically while doing it, but in the core-guard-post balance pass for 5.046 I roughly halved the core spire shield post; I guess I wasn't the only one who thought this was a good idea ;)  In this case I did it because homeworlds just got a lot more dangerous, and it seemed better to also avoid situations where a single guard post would take that long to kill.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Cyborg July 21, 2012, 11:57:39 AM
Deep strike and stealth battleship are my only two votes. The former shouldn't be punished, as I think it's part of the game. If the AI doesn't like it, they should change their strategy.

And stealth battleships need only a minor tweak to make them legit. I don't want any big changes here, just something that when they are revealed, they stay revealed for some small amount of time, or maybe if they get damaged below a certain amount, or just slow them down a little bit.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: keith.lamothe July 21, 2012, 12:35:42 PM
Deep strike and stealth battleship are my only two votes. The former shouldn't be punished, as I think it's part of the game. If the AI doesn't like it, they should change their strategy.
They did, they started sending ships after them ;)  It could send ships in a more interesting way, I think, but the fact that it realizes the human is doing something that doesn't jive with the "human is not a threat" idea and responds by sending more forces fits pretty well.

And stealth battleships need only a minor tweak to make them legit. I don't want any big changes here, just something that when they are revealed, they stay revealed for some small amount of time, or maybe if they get damaged below a certain amount, or just slow them down a little bit.
You mean keep them revealed for longer than usual after being tachyon'd?  I can't recall off the top of my head: when a ship fires it doesn't recloak for like 8 seconds after its last shot, is that true when it is tachyon'd?
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: TechSY730 July 21, 2012, 12:42:02 PM
And stealth battleships need only a minor tweak to make them legit. I don't want any big changes here, just something that when they are revealed, they stay revealed for some small amount of time, or maybe if they get damaged below a certain amount, or just slow them down a little bit.
You mean keep them revealed for longer than usual after being tachyon'd?  I can't recall off the top of my head: when a ship fires it doesn't recloak for like 8 seconds after its last shot, is that true when it is tachyon'd?

Unless it is the super cloaker AI with the planetary "ultra cloak boosting" (can keep ships that are actively firing cloaked, which not even super cloak boosting can do), I don't think there are any bugs with the decloaked time, even if the initial decloaking source (eg, a tachyon) and the subsequent causes of decloaking (eg, firing) were different, the firing will still properly reset the 8 second cloaking "cooldown" that the tachyon initially set. There may be some bugs there, but I haven't noticed any.

However, part of the problem is that in large waves, some of the SSBs will still slip through, and the AI plays smart with their cloaked ships and tries to keep them cloaked by keeping them from firing (like with stand-down mode) until they reach their target or they are decloaked. This makes SSBs really obnoxious if any slip through your wormhole defenses.

Again, I would suggest nerfing their radar dampening, making them more manageable once they do get revealed. It wouldn't hurt human uses of them too much, but it would make "feel" fairer when the AI uses it.
And my other, more extreme suggestion of giving them a <1 AI usefulness in waves multiplier (thus reducing their numbers in waves) if that wouldn't be enough.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: chemical_art July 21, 2012, 01:20:49 PM
Hmm.

AI eyes are no fun?

I do admit I often leave them alone unit a spire destroyer can come to kill it directly.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Cyborg July 21, 2012, 01:40:32 PM
You mean keep them revealed for longer than usual after being tachyon'd?  I can't recall off the top of my head: when a ship fires it doesn't recloak for like 8 seconds after its last shot, is that true when it is tachyon'd?

My experience with them is that as soon as they get out of range of something like the decloaker or anything with tachyon, it disappears very quickly. I end up trying to chase them around, but they are going so fast that I can't play tag fast enough for them to stay revealed. And then they are on top of my command station. I have compensated by putting tachyons near the command station, but the AI is just so much better at microing in and out of power mode that they are really annoying to chase down.

Just slowing them down could be all that's needed. I'm also willing to see if the radar dampening does the job. Either or, one or the other, start out really small.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: barryvm July 21, 2012, 01:41:44 PM
I voted stealth battleship but ONLY because of their radar dampening (a lot of HP is fine with me because, hey, they are battleships).
They are very interesting ships to use but they can be very frustrating when the IA has them because even if you detect an incoming wave of battleships with tachyons then you still lose several of your key structures because all your long range stuff can't even harm them before they come closer at which point they will often ignore your ships and go straight for the irreplacable or expensive structures (or worse, cloack again and bide their time).
If the radar dampening where removed (or reduced) you would at least be able to soften them up before they come in range of your beloved advanced factories.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: TechSY730 July 21, 2012, 02:09:49 PM
My experience with them is that as soon as they get out of range of something like the decloaker or anything with tachyon, it disappears very quickly.

That seems like a straight up bug.
IIRC, it is supposed to be 8 seconds after it last fired a weapon or 8 seconds after it left the tachyon detection range of something with tachyons (assuming the decloaker was able to decloak it, which may not be true for certain forms of cloak boosting), whichever comes last.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Diazo July 21, 2012, 02:53:10 PM
Note that the re-cloaking issue is probably not bugged, but the 8 second decloak timer starts when decloaked or it fires, not when it leaves Tachyon range.

When a Stealth Battleship destroys a structure and turns to leave, the 8 second time starts. It can spend 7 seconds leaving tachyon range and then cloak one second later.

Because ship was not actually cloaked, the tachyon did not de-cloak the ship, the 8 second timer counts from when it stopped firing, not from when it leaves tachyon range.

Working as designed but the attack and radar dampening range on Stealth Battleships seem to be set perfectly to take advantage of this.
D.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Wanderer July 21, 2012, 03:01:05 PM
My experience with them is that as soon as they get out of range of something like the decloaker or anything with tachyon, it disappears very quickly.

That seems like a straight up bug.
IIRC, it is supposed to be 8 seconds after it last fired a weapon or 8 seconds after it left the tachyon detection range of something with tachyons (assuming the decloaker was able to decloak it, which may not be true for certain forms of cloak boosting), whichever comes last.

Adding to Dazio's note above, 8 seconds is very little time.  Good for the player, bad for massive waves.  Most turrets can't even reload in 8 seconds.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: LaughingThesaurus July 21, 2012, 10:10:34 PM
Seems like common courtesy to share our votes and why...

Now, while I'm not very like... I'm not much good at AI War. I've only gotten 40 hours of gameplay into it and thus, I know fairly little... But I do know that...

AI Eyes should probably send a tech-level appropriate response for the planet they're on. It might be a tad bit overkill when you only have low tech ships that blunder into and set off a mark III eye. Then again, that could just be bad decision making on the player's part.

And the Deep Strike response. I'm relatively new to these games, so I don't know what that response was originally for. I was just like, oh, I guess I'd better only ever just campaign across the map rather than raiding a few planets deep and keeping AI Progress lower. Because I don't really understand why it exists, I voted that down.

I voted down Superfortresses because I like to play against turtles and it's just too much fun watching my bombers pick away at a superfortress for several minutes without them encountering any real threat. I also haven't gotten to the point of dealing with the smarter AI levels, so it's possibly more exciting to deal with later.
...well, it was exciting when I piloted my earlygame fleet into a mark III fortress camping a wormhole and lost almost all of it except for the bombers.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: _K_ July 21, 2012, 10:41:45 PM
I also haven't gotten to the point of dealing with the smarter AI levels, so it's possibly more exciting to deal with later.
Nah, its not. Same on any difficulty: clean up rest of the system, then sit there for a few minutes watching your bombers slowly take down the fortress.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: TechSY730 July 21, 2012, 11:28:24 PM
I also haven't gotten to the point of dealing with the smarter AI levels, so it's possibly more exciting to deal with later.
Nah, its not. Same on any difficulty: clean up rest of the system, then sit there for a few minutes watching your bombers slowly take down the fortress.

Yea, I made a suggestion to adjust fortress damage and damage properties (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=4777) to make the optimal strategy against them not so "boring".
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Kahuna July 22, 2012, 02:57:43 AM
I also haven't gotten to the point of dealing with the smarter AI levels, so it's possibly more exciting to deal with later.
Nah, its not. Same on any difficulty: clean up rest of the system, then sit there for a few minutes watching your bombers slowly take down the fortress.
That's when the 10x speed and multitasking comes in/kicks in/whatever
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: zoutzakje July 22, 2012, 07:52:03 AM
I only voted for the spire stealth battle ships. They're just to painful to deal with early game. I often restart my game when I find out the enemy has them right from the start. A few of those can tear your worlds apart, even if you have a defense that would be enough for anything else the AI might throw at you. They're managable in the mid and late game though.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: LaughingThesaurus July 22, 2012, 12:57:29 PM
I also haven't gotten to the point of dealing with the smarter AI levels, so it's possibly more exciting to deal with later.
Nah, its not. Same on any difficulty: clean up rest of the system, then sit there for a few minutes watching your bombers slowly take down the fortress.

Oh.
Well, not to accidentally give Keith any bright ideas, but I kind of expected on higher difficulties, the AI would end up using fortresses as a bit of a time sink. You're attacking the fortress, the AI saves up reinforcements, and attacks you (or maybe your planets) all at once while you're just sitting around wasting your time on a fortress.
...then again that could just end up making multitasking a lot less viable.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: keith.lamothe July 23, 2012, 11:48:39 AM
Ok, calling the results on this one; winners:

AI Eye (producing ships of planet's mark)
Spire Shield Guard Posts
Spire Stealth Battleship

The second one has already been nerfed since this poll was started (I normally try not to do that to stuff currently in a poll but it happened to be something I was working on) so I'll probably leave it as-is until there's been some more playtesting with it (I've yet to make the AAR rounds today to see if there is such).  The SSB will probably only get a moderate nerf to its radar dampening as that's been a common theme in the thread.  I may also revisit the recloaking-time rules, dunno.  The eye... I'll figure it out; probably just making it produce at most the planet's mark as suggested, instead of at least it (unless it's a core/homeworld, I think, but we'll see).
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: TechSY730 July 23, 2012, 11:52:49 AM
Ok, calling the results on this one; winners:

AI Eye (producing ships of planet's mark)
Spire Shield Guard Posts
Spire Stealth Battleship

The second one has already been nerfed since this poll was started (I normally try not to do that to stuff currently in a poll but it happened to be something I was working on) so I'll probably leave it as-is until there's been some more playtesting with it (I've yet to make the AAR rounds today to see if there is such).

The Core Spire Shield Guard Post was nerfed, but I didn't see anything about the normal Spire Shield Guard Posts in the release notes.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: keith.lamothe July 23, 2012, 11:55:16 AM
Ok, calling the results on this one; winners:

AI Eye (producing ships of planet's mark)
Spire Shield Guard Posts
Spire Stealth Battleship

The second one has already been nerfed since this poll was started (I normally try not to do that to stuff currently in a poll but it happened to be something I was working on) so I'll probably leave it as-is until there's been some more playtesting with it (I've yet to make the AAR rounds today to see if there is such).

The Core Spire Shield Guard Post was nerfed, but I didn't see anything about the normal Spire Shield Guard Posts in the release notes.
Oh, right.  Here I was thinking folks were just talking about the core ones :)
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Hearteater July 23, 2012, 12:02:52 PM
Nothing says an AI Eye needs to produce only a single Mark of ships.  Much like you changed high difficulty waves to spawn a range of Marks, AI Eyes could do that as well.  Maybe randomly from AIP mark to planet mark?
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Cinth July 23, 2012, 11:26:25 PM
What if the AI Eye wasn't protected by all the guard posts on a planet? Maybe kill off 3/4 the guard posts and the AI Eye goes poof? I think that might work just as well as changing what mark ships it produces.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Mánagarmr July 24, 2012, 06:45:03 AM
What if the AI Eye wasn't protected by all the guard posts on a planet? Maybe kill off 3/4 the guard posts and the AI Eye goes poof? I think that might work just as well as changing what mark ships it produces.
I'm not sure. That's a lot more arbitrary than killing all posts. "Kill all the guardposts" are easier to naturally understand than "kill most of them".
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Cinth July 24, 2012, 01:12:17 PM
What if the AI Eye wasn't protected by all the guard posts on a planet? Maybe kill off 3/4 the guard posts and the AI Eye goes poof? I think that might work just as well as changing what mark ships it produces.
I'm not sure. That's a lot more arbitrary than killing all posts. "Kill all the guardposts" are easier to naturally understand than "kill most of them".

We have three ways of dealing with Eyes now.
Brute force while dealing with its spawns. Raids that don't trigger it but are aimed directly at it.
Killing the guard posts.
All 3 are time consuming, but really only one has a rather nasty cost in. (potentially)
I ran into one guarded by an Alarm, 2x counter, 2x SF.  Really all I want to do is get at the systems on the other side but first I have to clean off this one... and with all that ... I don't wanna lol

That's really what spawned the idea. Unhooking posts with side-effects for killing them. And then seen a  lot of fuss about Spire shield + Eyes (raids and bomber starships anyone?) and was like... dude, this could totally work.


Edit: Fixed my fail quote box :p
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Kahuna July 24, 2012, 01:17:00 PM
Nothing is more fun than AI Eye + Spire Shield Thing with Ion Cannon and Zombie/Laser Guardian under the shield
-_____________- the next time I'll just nuke it
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Hearteater July 24, 2012, 01:18:28 PM
Ways of dealing with an Eye:
1) Destroyed all the guard posts: either rush them down while it spawns, use small starship-heavy raids, or cloaked assassination teams
2) Brute force the Eye down while it spawns: Artillery Golem does this well
3) Destroy the AI Command Station and speed build your own Command Station, which destroys the Eye regardless of Guard Posts
4) Nuke the system, which destroys the Eye (and pretty much everything else)
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: kasnavada July 24, 2012, 01:34:24 PM
Ideas of dealing with eyes...

For balance issue :
Make it so every ship it spawns removes some of its health, until it dies. The eye balance can they be ajusted easily.

Make eyes react to other triggers. Currently, eyes react to the number of ship. Which make them useless against golems, uber with ships with a cap of 270+. For example :
- maintain (ship * 100) * neighouring system cleared.
- maintain (ship * 20) guard post killed in system.
- maintain 1:2 firepower  instead of ship number.

Make eyes depend on destructible objects (ships / guardians / other) instead of guard posts. For example, the eye spanws with a handful of bombers with needs to be destroyed to remove the guard post. A visual link to the objects protecting the eye would make it make it simple to understand what to do to kill them.

Have a train orbit the eye to protect it from damage.

To make them more fun :
Create "eye" AI mode with more eyes. Create different eyes, some with 200k hp, some with 1 billion... having 10 different kind of possible eyes like with got guard posts and starships.

Create specialized eyes, some which would spawn only bombers, some starships...

Also, "randomly" generate groups of 50+ ships when (condition) like :
- other guard posts are attacked,
- alarm,
- neighbour system attacked,
- ???

I'd love to see eyes getting some more love ;). In my opinion, the major factor of "need a nerf" eyes currently have, is that they just have a single way of being easily defeated.

PS : Of course, number shown in post are indicative, and need to be balanced.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Cinth July 24, 2012, 01:48:38 PM
Nothing is more fun than AI Eye + Spire Shield Thing with Ion Cannon and Zombie/Laser Guardian under the shield
-_____________- the next time I'll just nuke it

Naw... just get enough Raid ss and bomber ss to it. Raids clean under the glass and protect your bombers. Even works pretty good against grav drilled worlds.

Ways of dealing with an Eye:
1) Destroyed all the guard posts: either rush them down while it spawns, use small starship-heavy raids, or cloaked assassination teams
2) Brute force the Eye down while it spawns: Artillery Golem does this well
3) Destroy the AI Command Station and speed build your own Command Station, which destroys the Eye regardless of Guard Posts
4) Nuke the system, which destroys the Eye (and pretty much everything else)

And I learn another tid-bit lol.  Cloaked ships was on my try to do list. And nukes are bad for your health :p
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Kahuna July 24, 2012, 02:03:28 PM
Nothing is more fun than AI Eye + Spire Shield Thing with Ion Cannon and Zombie/Laser Guardian under the shield
-_____________- the next time I'll just nuke it

Naw... just get enough Raid ss and bomber ss to it. Raids clean under the glass and protect your bombers. Even works pretty good against grav drilled worlds.
Ye but early game I don't always build RaidSSs. They're expensive and fragile. Ofc I should in that situation.
: Re: Poll: Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (I)
: Cinth July 24, 2012, 02:07:22 PM
Nothing is more fun than AI Eye + Spire Shield Thing with Ion Cannon and Zombie/Laser Guardian under the shield
-_____________- the next time I'll just nuke it

Naw... just get enough Raid ss and bomber ss to it. Raids clean under the glass and protect your bombers. Even works pretty good against grav drilled worlds.
Ye but early game I don't always build RaidSSs. They're expensive and fragile. Ofc I should in that situation.

Know what ya mean. Having 4 eyes back to back in the first 5 planets can change one's strategy for dealing with such things :)