Arcen Games

General Category => AI War Classic => : keith.lamothe July 11, 2012, 11:19:44 AM

: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 11, 2012, 11:19:44 AM
Nominations from this thread (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,11081.0.html).

So, who's next?  3 votes per person this time due to the number of options, 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.

Thanks for the feedback :)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wingflier July 11, 2012, 11:31:22 AM
As I said in the other thread, be careful what you wish for with AutoCannon Minipods.  They are one of the few AI ships with bonuses to turrets, they're cloaked, and with a large bonus to structural they may eat your base alive if we buff them too much.

I agree that in the hands of the player there are much better options.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: TechSY730 July 11, 2012, 11:37:59 AM
Oh boy, I voted spire armor rotters and armor boosters (yes, these things can be made useful even before the armor balance pass/rework, see the nomination thread for ideas). However, I was stuck between captive human settlements and Zenith caches. I chose Zenith caches, because those are much more likely to appear, and thus really need a buff more.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: NickAragua July 11, 2012, 12:01:45 PM
You know you're having a little trouble narrowing things down when a poll has more options than it has votes.

I voted decloaker and tachyon drone because I simply want to have a few more of them. If you have a lot of systems and the AI has cloaked units, you spend a lot of time sweeping with detectors when you could be out doing something else that's actually fun.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Hearteater July 11, 2012, 12:08:28 PM
If the Decloaker gets buffed, can it's Tachyon Beam get an effect on units it Decloaks?  Either paralysis or even just damage?  I don't mean that as the only buff, just a random thought that would make it the premier cloaking killer.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wanderer July 11, 2012, 12:11:37 PM
If the Decloaker gets buffed, can it's Tachyon Beam get an effect on units it Decloaks?  Either paralysis or even just damage?  I don't mean that as the only buff, just a random thought that would make it the premier cloaking killer.
I voted for the decloaker, but I don't find it that bad, just a horribly low cap.  It's the research free miniature cousin that I find the most useless.  I forget it's even there.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Hearteater July 11, 2012, 12:22:11 PM
I find it too fragile.  I'd actually like it to be a more combat-y Starship, geared to independant action.  So high on survivability (it only has 40k health!!!), and good vs. single (formerly cloaked) targets.  Most cloakers are Refractive Armor, so that would be a good canidate for a damage multiplier.  AutoPods are Swarmer and SSB are Ultra-Heavy.  I'd probably leave Swarmer alone, but I'd really like to see it hurt SSBs.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Kahuna July 11, 2012, 02:04:46 PM
Come on guys vote the Deflector Drone! Has anyone ever found them useful?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Mánagarmr July 11, 2012, 02:06:45 PM
Personally, I've never used even half of the bonus ships so I can't really vote for so many things because I simply don't know.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wanderer July 11, 2012, 02:10:43 PM
Come on guys vote the Deflector Drone! Has anyone ever found them useful?
Yes.  They ain't my favorite toy (not a lot uses lasers) but when I get stuck with 'em their range counters most ships, and deflects that godawful Laser Guardian.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Eternaly_Lost July 11, 2012, 03:04:14 PM
Come on guys vote the Deflector Drone! Has anyone ever found them useful?

I have not really found them that useful, but my votes are on the Decloaker and Tachyon Drone. But rather then a buff in the ship itself, I would much rather see a nice simple way for them to basically fly around a system in a spiral or some other pattern and somehow mark when they found a cloaked ship/guard post.

Stealth Guardposts are so annoying to find that I often end up bring in a Tachyon warhead to find it. Same with that one cloaked Etherjet that the AI had left after a wave to my planets. It seems to take forever to find.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Mánagarmr July 11, 2012, 03:05:17 PM
I considered the tach drone myself, but seeing as it's really just a mobile tachyon turret, does it really need a buff? If you REALLY need active anti-cloaking abilities, you use the Decloaker or unlock the real Tach turrets.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Hearteater July 11, 2012, 04:00:32 PM
I wonder how much the Stealth Guard Post issues have been because Force Fields used to block tachyon beams.  Because I've never had trouble locating one after my first game or two.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: rabican July 11, 2012, 06:49:41 PM
Voted for zenith reserves. Never pop those.

Zenith/spire starships will never see use in serious game , K cost is big  reason for that though.

Captive settlements are pretty insanse, losing one is close to game over often enough. AIP loss could be more in line with home colonies.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: PokerChen July 12, 2012, 02:42:09 AM
How can people vote for decloakers but NOT tachyon drones? :p:p:p Have they given up any hope of balancing for those little guys?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wanderer July 12, 2012, 02:47:58 AM
How can people vote for decloakers but NOT tachyon drones? :p:p:p Have they given up any hope of balancing for those little guys?
Basically?  Yes.  Either they're too strong or they're pointless.  With a boost to the decloaker, we can get an idea of where Keith is willing to bring them to and then request that the little dudes be brought up to say 1/3 efficiency.

Right now, the decloaker has too small a radius (and too short a lifespan) for 1000 K in research.  I'd personally like to see the decloaker swapped into the Tachyon Drone and the decloaker itself redesigned somehow.  Until then I'll just use Scout Starships in ramming mode detection methods.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Mánagarmr July 12, 2012, 08:21:02 AM
The Tach drone and the decloaker are the same ship. They fulfill the same role, and therefor one of them should really be removed and the remaining one changed to fulfill the intended role. That's my personal opinion at least.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 12, 2012, 08:54:28 AM
Have they given up any hope of balancing for those little guys?
The question is: what is unbalanced about them?  They're free (in knowledge terms, and iirc the m+c and e costs are low) tachyon emitters.  That's what they are, and they fill that role (about as well as a free gimme unit might).  Sure, I could bump their tachyon range from 1500 to 2000 because Scout Starship Is have 2000, but I doubt that would make them go from bad to good in anyone's books.  I could also bump their health up to that of, say, a fighter I or whatever, but that's not going to stop them from being isnta-gibbed in any significant combat; there are two kinds of durability for small near-the-wormhole units: under a forcefield, and not.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: topper July 12, 2012, 09:09:49 AM
The Tach drone and the decloaker are the same ship. They fulfill the same role, and therefor one of them should really be removed and the remaining one changed to fulfill the intended role. That's my personal opinion at least.

How about changing one of them to have a penetrator-like once per 30 minutes planet-wide tachyon pulse? That gives them very distinct and separate roles.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 12, 2012, 09:28:15 AM
The Tach drone and the decloaker are the same ship. They fulfill the same role, and therefor one of them should really be removed and the remaining one changed to fulfill the intended role. That's my personal opinion at least.
I think the current structure (but probably not the current numbers) actually makes sense: you start with the "free" ability to cover X wormholes with tachyon beams, and you can spend K to unlock the ability to cover Y more.

There are other unlockable sources of tachyons, and there are bonus ship types that provide it too, but each has their cost.

Of course, that's speaking only of the defensive static use of a tachyon emitter, in which case the tach-drone/decloaker are just redundant (conceptually, not cap-wise) with the tachyon-beam-emitter/stealth-tachyon-beam-emitter.

The difference comes in their mobile use.  And there, honestly, I don't know how useful they are.  Scout Starships seem to thoroughly outdo them in terms of the "tachyon ship to bring with my fleet" role.

Frankly, I'd be ok with just removing both the tach drone and the decloaker and increasing the cap on the tachyon-beam-emitter and stealth-tachyon-beam-emitter and calling it a day.  Maybe removing the tech prereq on the tachyon-beam-emitter (iirc it has one, I may be misremembering).

Or we could do that but bring the Decloaker back as a K-unlocked AIP-free tachyon warhead (keep the tach warheads as the K-free option).

Or maybe something else.  In general I don't see any obvious "make these things more useful" approach that doesn't get unbalanced (giving them like 40,000 tachyon coverage), silly (giving them a bunch of other abilities), or overly complex (giving them some kind of auto-hunt-cloak-signatures behavior).
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wingflier July 12, 2012, 09:28:42 AM
The Tach drone and the decloaker are the same ship. They fulfill the same role, and therefor one of them should really be removed and the remaining one changed to fulfill the intended role. That's my personal opinion at least.

How about changing one of them to have a penetrator-like once per 30 minutes planet-wide tachyon pulse? That gives them very distinct and separate roles.
Please this idea.  I personally think the "clicking a decloaker around the system for 10 minutes until you find something" is a horrible mechanic and I would do anything to be rid of it.  Half the time I'll just fire off a Tachyon Missile, take the AIP gain and be done with it.  But I don't think the player should be punished because they don't want to play the space version of minesweeper in the midst of their battle for galactic conquest ;p
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: PokerChen July 12, 2012, 09:34:47 AM
The question is: what is unbalanced about them? (...)

This. ;)
The Tach drone and the decloaker are the same ship. They fulfill the same role, (...)

There is practically no situations where you'd want to have just 2 tachyon ships in a defensive situation. When the AI has a cloaked ship-type, you'd better respond with more than just 2 tachyon drones unless you have only 1 planet. When they don't, you never need it over a scout starship (stealth guard posts). Clutch cloak-detection for a surprise wave when you don't already have scout starships built? Only argument for its existence.

Topper's idea is more interesting. If we made *both* tachyon drones and decloakers unlockable through knowledge:
- The tachyon drone can have the decloaker's current role, give it a gun, and switch the support AI to use this one.
- The decloaker can have something more special, but I'm not quite sure on a tachyon warhead ability. :P We could potentially militarise it, but the sprite doesn't look all that menacing. We could give it the ability to reveal chameleon units (I was just fighting a camouflager and hacked their Super Terminal - those hidden ships just kept building up; it got very unsettling to have hundreds of mark-Vs just sitting there, immune even to a Counter-Spy ::) )
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Mánagarmr July 12, 2012, 09:43:40 AM
Well, aside from the cap, the Decloaker and the Tach drones are essentially in function the same. I'm however quite against giving any of them a system-wide pulse as that would completely negate the Tachyon Warhead since that costs AIP.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Hearteater July 12, 2012, 09:48:34 AM
Tachyon Drone: Give them a much larger tachyon range (largest in the game basically) but prevent them from traveling through warp points.  They become ideal for sweeping your own systems, and replacing the need for Tachyon Emitters when you only have a few planets.  Sweeping your own planets is one of the biggest complaints for new players about stealth, and these are a K-free method of doing the job fairly easily.

Decloaker: Make this a full-on Starship that hunts cloaked ships.  Give it toughness and a reasonable punch.  A good hull multiplier vs Refractive armor makes them good against nearly every cloaked unit.  Their tachyon radius would be smaller than a Tachyon Drone, but larger than a Scout Starship.

Bonus: Tachyon Drones and Decloakers on FRD automatically patrol their system if an enemy is stealthed.  Use a pre-set pattern (spiral or some-such) that they just follow.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: PokerChen July 12, 2012, 09:50:15 AM
On a user-interface note, grouping one of these as a military selection will be *very* useful.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: TechSY730 July 12, 2012, 11:17:37 AM
- The decloaker can have something more special, but I'm not quite sure on a tachyon warhead ability. :P We could potentially militarise it, but the sprite doesn't look all that menacing. We could give it the ability to reveal chameleon units (I was just fighting a camouflager and hacked their Super Terminal - those hidden ships just kept building up; it got very unsettling to have hundreds of mark-Vs just sitting there, immune even to a Counter-Spy ::) )

Well, here is a series of posts made earlier about how to deal with this sort of thing:

How do you deal with a combination of camouflaged and cloaked units? I am apparently playing against a Camouflager AI, and one of my systems has six camouflaged Eye Bots hanging out, invisible despite a Mk III military CC. My understanding is that it's intentional that tachyon beams don't penetrate camouflage... however, I am at a loss as to how I should reveal and clear out these buggers if they don't attack by themselves.
I think a Spirecraft Attritioner should damage them, if you have Spirecraft available.  Eyebots have low heath so they should fall in a reasonable time.  Otherwise, they're probably not a huge deal - I often have cloaked raptors or whatever lurking in my systems, but they don't seem to cause problems.  Six Eye Bots would take a very long time to take out a Mil III station.

Well, camouflage units currently take the appearance of space junk, so you can try looking for debris floating around where it doesn't seem like there should be. (IIRC, the only place you can find "real" debris is near metal and crystal points)


If you don't have the spirecraft enabled, or you don't have an attritioner to spare, you can try a detonating lightning warhead near where you spotted the camouflaged units. (Unless what is camouflaged is immune to area damage, in which case you are kind of hosed. I've already made a mantis post (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=8909) about that.)

However, I'm not sure how that would interact with cloaking units. The AI tends to keep cloaking units in stand-down mode (formerly low-power mode), so they don't reveal themselves by firing until they get to their target, if they feel it is safe to make an approach to their target (if they don't they may try to retreat. If they don't think they can retreat successfully either, then they will just sit their, in stand-down mode, cloaked you until you reveal them or they feel its safe to attack or retreat). This means that even if you get close, they might not fire and reveal themselves (like normal, non-cloaked ships, which the AI will have fire upon stuff when you get close)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: topper July 12, 2012, 11:32:32 AM
Well, aside from the cap, the Decloaker and the Tach drones are essentially in function the same. I'm however quite against giving any of them a system-wide pulse as that would completely negate the Tachyon Warhead since that costs AIP.

A planet-wide tachyon pulse would trade AIP for three things: time (wait 30 min to re-fire), K cost (probably increased), and resource cost (they would need to be expensive to avoid quick scrapping/rebuilding). The scout starship already gives you planet-wide coverage for no AIP, but at a huge micro-managing time cost.

There should be a balance point where they become a choice you can make to get out of tough situations at a steep non-AIP cost.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Minotaar July 12, 2012, 11:53:29 AM
How I see the decloaker:
- Health about 2-3mil
- Guns with major refractive bonuses so it can clear some cloaked stuff by itself (Maybe move it off to the Starship Constructor then, would make sense). It shouldn't be good against anything else though. Also not against making it into a purely support unit with cosmetic weaponry.
- Increased build-cost to starship levels, about 40k-50k each
- Planet-wide Tachyon pulse on death, maybe 30s-1min of duration (so that we don't need any new mechanics and it straight up costs money to do)

Basically, I want the Tachyon warhead to be the thing you go to when you have an emergency and cloaked units aren't a major part of the AI fleet, and the Decloaker for constant counter-stealth operations. So if you only need the warhead a couple times in a game, and don't want the other bonuses the decloaker provides, you're getting a better deal on it than the 1000 K for the decloaker.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Mánagarmr July 12, 2012, 11:59:41 AM
How I see the decloaker:
- Health about 2-3mil
- Guns with major refractive bonuses so it can clear some cloaked stuff by itself (Maybe move it off to the Starship Constructor then, would make sense). It shouldn't be good against anything else though. Also not against making it into a purely support unit with cosmetic weaponry.
- Increased build-cost to starship levels, about 40k-50k each
- Planet-wide Tachyon pulse on death, maybe 30s-1min of duration (so that we don't need any new mechanics and it straight up costs money to do)

Basically, I want the Tachyon warhead to be the thing you go to when you have an emergency and cloaked units aren't a major part of the AI fleet, and the Decloaker for constant counter-stealth operations. So if you only need the warhead a couple times in a game, and don't want the other bonuses the decloaker provides, you're getting a better deal on it than the 1000 K for the decloaker.
That sounds sensible. My only trouble is the planet-wide tach blast on death, as that's fairly exploitable. Simply scrap it to get your AIP-free warhead. Or if it doesn't trigger on scrap, send it to its death and get your blast that way. It could be hard to balance something like that.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Martyn van Buren July 12, 2012, 12:07:38 PM
How about giving the decloaker a once-per-30s/1 min counter-spy shot in addition to its other abilities?  Btw, can the counter-spy fire on cloaking units while they're decloaked by tachyons?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Mánagarmr July 12, 2012, 12:17:04 PM
How about giving the decloaker a once-per-30s/1 min counter-spy shot in addition to its other abilities?  Btw, can the counter-spy fire on cloaking units while they're decloaked by tachyons?
Now that's an idea. It's also fairly "easy" to balance by simply changing the RoF. That could be a sensible alternative.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: orzelek July 12, 2012, 12:58:34 PM
Tachyon Drone: Give them a much larger tachyon range (largest in the game basically) but prevent them from traveling through warp points.  They become ideal for sweeping your own systems, and replacing the need for Tachyon Emitters when you only have a few planets.  Sweeping your own planets is one of the biggest complaints for new players about stealth, and these are a K-free method of doing the job fairly easily.

Decloaker: Make this a full-on Starship that hunts cloaked ships.  Give it toughness and a reasonable punch.  A good hull multiplier vs Refractive armor makes them good against nearly every cloaked unit.  Their tachyon radius would be smaller than a Tachyon Drone, but larger than a Scout Starship.

Bonus: Tachyon Drones and Decloakers on FRD automatically patrol their system if an enemy is stealthed.  Use a pre-set pattern (spiral or some-such) that they just follow.

This one sounds like best idea to redo both of them into useful units and make zig-zag searches on your own planets much easier.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 13, 2012, 12:25:06 AM
Gonna go ahead and call this one, with the following winners:

Zenith Reserve (the ones that give ships)
Decloaker
Captive Human Settlement
Spire Armor Rotter

I was going to stick to 3, but the 4th will be pretty simple to just make it a more capable combat ship in general and treat the rotting as a minor bonus (not quite as minor as the chameleon's cloaking, but you get the idea).

Interesting on the Captive Human Settlement... maybe y'all didn't get the memo that it's basically a penalty structure ;)  Or maybe we didn't get the memo (and horsehead) that y'all don't like penalty structures that are capturables...
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: PokerChen July 13, 2012, 12:35:22 AM
Interesting on the Captive Human Settlement... maybe y'all didn't get the memo that it's basically a penalty structure ;)  Or maybe we didn't get the memo (and horsehead) that y'all don't like penalty structures that are capturables...

Don't make it an overall "buff" then. ;) Perhaps give the player an ability to evac these settlements by giving them a speed equivalent to a Spire shard and periodically release threat.... :P

EDIT: If I was an actual commander, I would seriously consider getting all these extra humans back into a cryopod on the home planet, or something out of the bloody line of fire.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: TechSY730 July 13, 2012, 12:50:31 AM
Interesting on the Captive Human Settlement... maybe y'all didn't get the memo that it's basically a penalty structure ;)  Or maybe we didn't get the memo (and horsehead) that y'all don't like penalty structures that are capturables...

I knew that when I nominated it. In fact, I mentioned that it should remain a penalty structure. However, I think the magnitude of the cons could be toned down quite a bit, but still make them a net negative. As they are right now, they are less of a penalty structure and more of a joke.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: rabican July 13, 2012, 07:14:17 AM
Yes it is i a penalty structure but ... Let me put it this way , losing all the advanced factories and fabricators in the map is lesser blow than losing one of these. That is kinda humongous malus for a structure that easy AI's put on 60% of their planets
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Martyn van Buren July 13, 2012, 12:56:46 PM
Hey by the way, how do armor rotters work?  As in, how much do they reduce armor by currently?  That doesn't seem to be on the Wiki.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: TechSY730 July 13, 2012, 05:14:04 PM
Hey by the way, how do armor rotters work?  As in, how much do they reduce armor by currently?  That doesn't seem to be on the Wiki.

Straight up linear.

In more detail, being hit by a armor rotting attack adds to a "armor rotted" count (which is capped at base armor), which decays over time.
When some of your armor is rotted, your effective armor is reduced by that much.
When taking in armor-pericing as well, effective_armor = base_armor - armor_peircing - armor_rotted (with a min 0, of course)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Martyn van Buren July 13, 2012, 06:20:11 PM
Any idea how much armor rotted they add per hit?  I'm wondering if they might serve their role better if this number was just increased by a lot or made into a percentage; is the problem that armor doesn't do enough in the game or that when they run into the few things that have significant armor they still don't do much?  Alternatively, perhaps if their effect worked as a field, like an anti-armor booster, or if they had an AOE that just turned off armor for a few ships for ~15 seconds?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: TechSY730 July 13, 2012, 06:28:40 PM
Any idea how much armor rotted they add per hit?  I'm wondering if they might serve their role better if this number was just increased by a lot or made into a percentage; is the problem that armor doesn't do enough in the game or that when they run into the few things that have significant armor they still don't do much?  Alternatively, perhaps if their effect worked as a field, like an anti-armor booster, or if they had an AOE that just turned off armor for a few ships for ~15 seconds?

I think the amount of armor rotted per hit is defined per unit, sort of like how engine damage is. Check the unit stats, it should tell you how much.

Well, there is that armor rebalance/rejiggering discussion going on in the other thread, and hopefully things like armor rotting will become more useful.
In the mean time, I think giving Spire armor rotters a decent amount of cap damage to go with their armor effect should help them out. A boost to how much armor they rot might be in order too, but I would have to double check their stats to make an informed opinion.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wingflier July 13, 2012, 06:30:33 PM
Interesting on the Captive Human Settlement... maybe y'all didn't get the memo that it's basically a penalty structure ;)  Or maybe we didn't get the memo (and horsehead) that y'all don't like penalty structures that are capturables...

Don't make it an overall "buff" then. ;) Perhaps give the player an ability to evac these settlements by giving them a speed equivalent to a Spire shard and periodically release threat.... :P

EDIT: If I was an actual commander, I would seriously consider getting all these extra humans back into a cryopod on the home planet, or something out of the bloody line of fire.
If I was a commander I'd genocide them before taking a 100 AI Point penalty.  No point in trying to save a single colony if doing so is going to cost you the entire human race.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: PokerChen July 13, 2012, 08:19:47 PM
Interesting on the Captive Human Settlement... maybe y'all didn't get the memo that it's basically a penalty structure ;)  Or maybe we didn't get the memo (and horsehead) that y'all don't like penalty structures that are capturables...

Don't make it an overall "buff" then. ;) Perhaps give the player an ability to evac these settlements by giving them a speed equivalent to a Spire shard and periodically release threat.... :P

EDIT: If I was an actual commander, I would seriously consider getting all these extra humans back into a cryopod on the home planet, or something out of the bloody line of fire.
If I was a commander I'd genocide them before taking a 100 AI Point penalty.  No point in trying to save a single colony if doing so is going to cost you the entire human race.

I reckon it's very likely that the surviving population is genetically bottlenecked, so having a larger gene pool is important. On the other hand, the AIP increase probably comes from the fact that each human in that colony already has a chip implanted in the base of their spine... :P
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wanderer July 14, 2012, 12:33:49 AM
Interesting on the Captive Human Settlement... maybe y'all didn't get the memo that it's basically a penalty structure ;)  Or maybe we didn't get the memo (and horsehead) that y'all don't like penalty structures that are capturables...

Nah, THAT's not the problem.  The problem is losing one of those is the equivalent of kiling an AI Home Command Center.  Drop it down to 20/25 +AIP and consider it 'buffed'.   :)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Varone July 14, 2012, 05:18:15 AM
With the captive colony perhaps you could spend an awful lot of m+c to turn it into a human colony ship not unlike the spire colony ship. We can then choose where to rebuild the colony. Obviously the AI penalty transfers to the colony ship and the ship is quite weak so it's in your interest to redeploy the colony instead of keeping the ship.

Perhaps when redeployed it still has the AI penalty but gives some other bonus for all the trouble you went to.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Martyn van Buren July 14, 2012, 09:22:54 AM
I dunno, I'd favor dropping the penalty a bit but I don't see any need for repositioning --- the point of it is if you can't defend it, you don't take the planet, right?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wingflier July 14, 2012, 03:23:10 PM
I dunno, I'd favor dropping the penalty a bit but I don't see any need for repositioning --- the point of it is if you can't defend it, you don't take the planet, right?
Unless it's a planet you NEED to take, which happens all the time.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wanderer July 14, 2012, 04:15:31 PM
I dunno, I'd favor dropping the penalty a bit but I don't see any need for repositioning --- the point of it is if you can't defend it, you don't take the planet, right?
Unless it's a planet you NEED to take, which happens all the time.

True, but usually these don't appear unless you're fighting a particular AI type, which is it's 'special thing'.  I don't agree with how heavy handed the penalty is, but it's no worse (other than the AIP price) than having a Z-Gennie sitting on your planet that you can't let get taken out if you want to keep AIP down.  The benefits in M+C aren't equivalent to the Z-Gennie, of course.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Hearteater July 14, 2012, 05:03:11 PM
My problem is the Entrenched Homeworlder is just plain un-fun to play against because the penalty is so huge currently.  Honestly, Scorched Earth is more fun to play against, and that's saying something.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Wingflier July 14, 2012, 05:17:01 PM
I dunno, I'd favor dropping the penalty a bit but I don't see any need for repositioning --- the point of it is if you can't defend it, you don't take the planet, right?
Unless it's a planet you NEED to take, which happens all the time.

True, but usually these don't appear unless you're fighting a particular AI type, which is it's 'special thing'.  I don't agree with how heavy handed the penalty is, but it's no worse (other than the AIP price) than having a Z-Gennie sitting on your planet that you can't let get taken out if you want to keep AIP down.  The benefits in M+C aren't equivalent to the Z-Gennie, of course.
We're on the same page. I don't disagree with the concept, I disagree with the penalty. The Z Gen, which is frankly better, has 1/10th the penalty. If the ZPG had a 100 AIP penalty, nobody would build it.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Ragnarok July 14, 2012, 07:04:21 PM
I cant vote ?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: zoutzakje July 14, 2012, 08:13:08 PM
I can't seem to vote anymore, but if I could I would also vote for zenith reserves. It just never seems worth it to open them. Even if my fleet is dying and a reserve is right next to my ships, I still won't open it. Not enough ships to justify the AIP cost. The only ships that can actually hold out are the bombards. The rest gets killed pretty quickly. Especially when opening a mk I reserve. I think I'll rather destroy an extra warpgate for wave control.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Martyn van Buren July 14, 2012, 08:24:11 PM
What about viral shredders? I never care about anything else, but if you find one shredder you get a cap + of free ships.

EDIT: in a zenith reserve, I mean
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: Hearteater July 14, 2012, 08:30:37 PM
This is why you can't vote:

Gonna go ahead and call this one, with the following winners:

Zenith Reserve (the ones that give ships)
Decloaker
Captive Human Settlement
Spire Armor Rotter

I was going to stick to 3, but the 4th will be pretty simple to just make it a more capable combat ship in general and treat the rotting as a minor bonus (not quite as minor as the chameleon's cloaking, but you get the idea).

Interesting on the Captive Human Settlement... maybe y'all didn't get the memo that it's basically a penalty structure ;)  Or maybe we didn't get the memo (and horsehead) that y'all don't like penalty structures that are capturables...
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: PokerChen July 16, 2012, 07:37:59 AM
On the Captive Human Colonies issue, I'm tempted to view it as more of a moral challenge... I would like more consequential decisions on interactions with other human beings in the game-world, like with Rebelling Colonies which we kind-of-have-to-save.

Now, I thought of a new idea for a harder AI -> a villainous change that could be implemented -> would be for these colonies to become hostage to the AI. In other words, the AI will actively attempt to destroy them if they are losing the planet (for a reduced AIP increase compared to the case where the player loses one after having captured it). This could, e.g., take the form of a count-down timer or a compulsory switch of ownership to neutral when the AI command station is damaged.

 A most super-villainous plot is for such a countdown to rigger for all remaining AI-held colonies when the player destroys a core guard post (non-Raid, non-CPA, as it is a nasty thing on its own).

 Might I suggest that 'captive/hostage' Human Colonies be transferred or copied into a plot or minor faction? This way, no one has to deal with these hurdles if they don't have to, and it will spice up all the other AI types - the old Entrenched Homeworlder AI essentially becoming Vanilla with "Captive Human Colonies" on 7/10?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 16, 2012, 09:39:46 AM
Yea, I guess we'd need a graphic of a captive human settlement tied to railroad tracks :)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: PokerChen July 17, 2012, 03:14:40 AM
Yea, I guess we'd need a graphic of a captive human settlement tied to railroad tracks :)

"An astro-train has hit a human colony on Murdoch! (+20 AIP)"

Be careful what you wish for. ;P
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 17, 2012, 06:24:12 PM
FYI, the changes in response to this poll are now in the release notes (http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Current_Post-5.000_Beta#Prerelease_5.043) for 5.043; I'll probably push that out tomorrow sometime depending on how much else I have time to put in.  But if there are any objections to the changes (particularly in the sense of "they're still really bad!"), now's the time :)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: rabican July 17, 2012, 08:17:31 PM
one of the ai types adds decloakers in every wave  (support corps if i recall right) , having 10-100 of these new ones spawn on waves might be hilarious
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 17, 2012, 08:23:24 PM
one of the ai types adds decloakers in every wave  (support corps if i recall right) , having 10-100 of these new ones spawn on waves might be hilarious
Yea, it's support-corps (adding decloakers and such to the other AI's waves, not sending waves of its own), but it would be paying for those at roughly the same strength cost as, say, spire stealth battleships due to the low ship-cap of decloakers.  Or have you seen 100s of them in a wave?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: rabican July 17, 2012, 09:31:55 PM
quick test . fist wave at 10/10 with support corps:

12 speed boosters (cap 78)
22 decoy drones (cap 9)
101 decloakers (cap 4)



been a while since i actually played vs support corps, but from what i recall this is pretty standard split for it, never thought of checking the cap for the units before.
Something bit amisss here.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 17, 2012, 09:38:24 PM
quick test . fist wave at 10/10 with support corps:

12 speed boosters (cap 78)
22 decoy drones (cap 9)
101 decloakers (cap 4)



been a while since i actually played vs support corps, but from what i recall this is pretty standard split for it, never thought of checking the cap for the units before.
Something bit amisss here.
Odd, do you have the wave-calc logs for that?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: rabican July 17, 2012, 09:40:16 PM
what do i need to do to enable that?
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 17, 2012, 09:45:26 PM
what do i need to do to enable that?
Settings Window -> Advanced Tab -> check the toggle labeled Enable Advanced Logging.

Then each time a wave is announced it will log the relevant stuff in two (one for the main thread, one for the AI thread) log files in your AIW installation's RuntimeData directory :)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: rabican July 17, 2012, 09:53:44 PM

7/18/2012 4:47:53 AM (5.041)
-----------------------------------
Receiving AddInboundWave from AI Thread at Game Time: 0:10:00
WaveSize factor: 1
Raw Units Dictionary Entries:
BomberII => 32
DecoyDrone => 12
SpeedBooster => 7
Flagship => 1
AIRaidStarship => 1
Decloaker => 11
MissileShipII => 1
ZenithChameleonII => 1
BomberStarship => 1


CheckWave: populating count of Decloaker with base magnitude of 11
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 11
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 11
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 11
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 16.5
after applying at-least-one rule, numberUnits : 16.5
after applying difficulty-based multiplier (if <= 3 then 1, <= 4 : 1.5, <= 5 : 1.75, <= 6 : 2, <= 7 : 2.25, <= 9 : 2.5, <= 9.3 : 2.75, <= 9.6 : 3, <= 9.8 : 3.8, 10 : 4.5), numberUnits : 74.25
numberUnitsInt = numberUnits.IntValue : 74



Wave total ships: 184
TypesForDirectAdd count by type:
BomberII => 51
DecoyDrone => 37
SpeedBooster => 11
Flagship => 1
AIRaidStarship => 1
Decloaker => 74
MissileShipII => 4
ZenithChameleonII => 4
BomberStarship => 1

Mark based multiplier thingie is bonkers

and yes i have nothing better to do at  5am
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 17, 2012, 10:03:22 PM
It may be due to the decloaker being effectively a mark-0 ship in one sense.  Can you attach the logs themselves to a post so I can see the numbers for the other types too?  Mainly interested in seeing the math for how the BomberII entry started at 32 and the Decloaker entry started at 11 and they wound up at 54 and 71.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 17, 2012, 10:05:26 PM
It's also due to their ship cap multiplier not being used; not sure if that's due to mark-0 or the fact that we set the cap directly instead of by multiplier.
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: rabican July 17, 2012, 10:09:54 PM
here
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 17, 2012, 10:14:44 PM
Thanks :)
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: TechSY730 July 17, 2012, 10:30:02 PM
Of course, I can't anaylze these to the same level of depth you can, but I can pick out a few things.

The decloaker's ship specific multiplier doesn't seem to be touching its count for some reason, even though it has a tiny ship cap of 4 (is there a large ship specific multiplier for decloakers?)
:
CheckWave: populating count of Decloaker with base magnitude of 11
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 11
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 11

Compare this with the speed booster
:
CheckWave: populating count of SpeedBooster with base magnitude of 7
numberUnits = kv.Value * this.WaveSize : 7
after applying the ship-type-specific cap multiplier (which includes the unit-cap-scale multiplier), numberUnits : 3.5

Where even though its cap is, while not huge, is larger than the decloaker's, it is getting its number cut in half by that step. Is there a severe ship specific wave count penalty for speed boosters?


The decloaker's "mark 0" wave count multiplier seems to be 1.5.
:
after applying UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier if any, numberUnits : 11
after applying Mark-based multiplier if any, numberUnits : 16.5
: Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VI)
: keith.lamothe July 18, 2012, 01:09:48 AM
Yea, I'd already mentioned the mark-0 and the no-ship-cap-multiplier things.  The mark-0 thing turns out is pretty harmless: it just uses the mkI multiplier which is fine in this case.

The no-ship-cap-multiplier thing was the problem, and I've fixed it for 5.043 :)