Author Topic: The AI's response to champions question...  (Read 13393 times)

Offline chemical_art

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The AI's response to champions question...
« on: October 19, 2012, 09:32:50 PM »
With the rush to 6.0, a rushed solution for champion response was found to deal with the single HW issue that I abused heavily was found. A counter aip defense response was used to defeat the champion.

For a rushed response, it was elegant, but with 6.0 out we can think out the issue further I think:
-The AI response does not account for champion strength. If a player only got a Cruiser, they would still face a response meant for BB's, making anything other then end game champions harder.

 EDIT: This may or not be true. I should have put this as a question. For example, does it scale with multiple champions? Multiple HWs?

-The AI does not do anything offensively, purely defensively. There is nothing to hinder a player from first getting a BB, then playing the game as they would but with a massive bonus.

This I am pretty confident true.

Do I have this right so far? What would be a good way to correct this? I suggested a straight up AIP boost but that was unpopular, so I wanted to know what else would be done.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 09:48:00 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 09:53:32 PM »
For a rushed response, it was elegant, but with 6.0 out we can think out the issue further I think:
-The AI response does not account for champion strength. If a player only got a Cruiser, they would still face a response meant for BB's, making anything other then end game champions harder.

 EDIT: This may or not be true. I should have put this as a question. For example, does it scale with multiple champions? Multiple HWs?
It scales with champion hull size unlocked, number of champions, and difficulty.  Not with number of human HWs since that doesn't seem relevant to the specific mechanic.

It scales down as AIP goes up.

Quote
-The AI does not do anything offensively, purely defensively. There is nothing to hinder a player from first getting a BB, then playing the game as they would but with a massive bonus.
If you have really low AIP by the time you get a BB, the popcap on the nemesis will be ENORMOUS and will fill up to that pretty quick.  The popcap will go down as you increase AIP but that just means you only have to kill that huge swarm once instead of it respawning back to that strength.

So there's a motive to interleave your nebula runs with AIP increases, at least, and in general "AIP increases" means "progress through the normal game" unless you're playing on fairly low difficulty or not going to win.

But sure, there's more that could be done.  It could dump some stuff into the threat fleet, for one, and that would be quite offensive (in multiple senses of the term) for most players.  Could even dump nemesis units into the threat fleet, but that gets in on the heroic AI's territory (and considering how brutal that is...)
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 10:04:46 PM »
What I meant about point 2 is that precisely because the strategic reserve cannot be gamed to leave the HW, while you can't touch the ai HW's which just your BB, you have almost free reign on the rest of the galaxy.

Since you need so much micro on the nebulas, it is far better to let the ai launch ineffective offensives against your bolstered super HW enhanced by nebulae so you can focus on nebulas. Sure, you can't hit the HW's themselves, but is that so bad if you have the rest of the galaxy free to plunder?

It seems that if you want the BB, you want weak offensives so you are not distracted in nebulae. This may or may not be desired. For sure there is a very real benefit to having the AI be able to have a super great HW defense force, but being unable to defend the rest of the empire due to your massive champion + controlled allied force crushing any source of resistance. Maybe this unique siege tactic should be allowed, much like FS allows you to deploy a hammer to smash the ai into submission.

In the current game setup, if you purse the BB route, you follow nebulas till you get BB's, then its just a matter of getting the right golems, ars's, and spirecraft or FS to conquer the HW's. The game almost leapfrogs from early game tactics to late game tactics. This may or may not be desired.

EDIT: I am almost asking that it is OK for the player to lay siege to the ai homeworlds with the champion and its forces. Is it OK for the player to lay siege to a ai HW? Sure, its a castle that you cannot hope to smash immediately, but you can pillage the ai country side to your content. The idea actually is warming to my heart, so I'm not so opposed to it. I'm just asking if others like the idea as well.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 10:07:43 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 10:10:28 PM »
I find that even in the base game with no superweapons, I can often already hit the AI anywhere I want (if I'm willing to handle the deepstriking by either taking a staging point or eating the threat) except the homeworlds.

I don't play very high difficulty, though.  And gravity drains or whatnot can bring the hammer down.

Edit: and the threat fleet and special forces, nowadays, but there are ways of dealing with them.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 10:15:32 PM »
On higher difficulties, the threat of deepstrikes make deep raids a difficult and expensive affair that is inverse of aip. On high aip games its not so bad since waves hit HARD, but on low aip games a thousand ships of threat (normal caps) is something worth attention to anything but the but the very best players.

With champions, due to your massive defensive capabilities (super forts and the M + C and energy to support them), I can eat a thousand on normal caps of deepstrike threat with only a slight concern, as my dozens of starships lead by a free champion raids freely even other core planets.

tl;dr
Champions make deepstrikes a joke even on 9+ games
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 10:22:28 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 10:29:28 PM »
I don't see a problem with low-AIP + ridiculous champion power. Yes, I can stomp the galaxy with a BB, but I still pay the .2 penalty, and frankly, I don't think non-HW planets matter very much at all. And to build up to the HW attacks, I need to take more planets, increasing AIP (and thus the absolute strength of the +.2 champ effect). Finally, the nemesis fleet will be over it's cap if I do nebulae withoug expanding, making the really critical part of the game (significantly) harder.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 10:33:50 PM »
I wasn't aware the .2 effect was still in play...since the whole reason I wanted the new mechanic was to avoid the whole "some strategies are nerfed hard while others are easy."

I wasn't aiming to "threading a needle that nerfs both extremes of AI strategy." Frankly, I don't find that an improvement over just nerfing high AIP games.

That does change things a bit...

However, it still does not change that if you want the BB for ANY reason, its best to acquire it first, period. If, instead, you want the cruiser, you get that first, etc. It makes the rest of the game except the very end game easier. There is no reason to not get champions first.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 10:37:38 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Cinth

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 10:34:29 PM »
At 10 AIP and BB champions you'll have 150ish nemesis frigates to deal with on top of whatever nastiness you get for brutal picks and the reserves. If you move up AIP with the champs progress you'll not get that nasty response.


I actually had a chance to see the original implementation of the Nemesis and let me tell ya... 300+ frigates is not a fun thing to deal with.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 10:36:18 PM by Cinth »
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 10:42:17 PM »
Well, it is you, Cinth. You probably have 8 BBs running around, and 16 HWs worth of ships to back it up.

With just one BB, and 10 nebula victories, I have a challenging but manageable number of frigates (20 on each HW).

There is motivation to expand before achieving max champion size: it decreases the total nemeses you will face on the HWs (though expanding later will reduce their operational cap).
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 10:47:11 PM »


There is motivation to expand before achieving max champion size: it decreases the total nemeses you will face on the HWs (though expanding later will reduce their operational cap).

You may have to deploy one to three suicidal wave(s) to deplete that frigate cap if you focus fire once you achieve the 150ish aip

In return, until you hit that 150ish aip, you have the opportunity to maximize nebulae (since you get almost exponential increases in exp for efficient clearing of nebula over ok runs), and you never have to worry about ANY offensive threat due to your superior defensive abilities over your super HW.

I suppose its a trade off, but I just don't feel like its that bad.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 10:55:09 PM »
Gah. My point was the response was heavier. I think what is there works for what it is intended to do. And cheesing that setup is going to be hard to do :)
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 11:01:43 PM »
I think that if somehow a portion of nemesis could be devoted to offense / active defense (special forces / hybrid logic) I would withdraw all complaints.

I feel like its currently a game of "well your capital is well defended! But I shall rally everyone outside your captial to defeat you, and eventually you shall fall!"

The ai response feels too...passive, for lack of a better word.

Imagine a Fallen Spire game where the AI only spawned the mothership, but no exo waves, and you would feel what I feel about the champion right now.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 11:08:36 PM »
I think that if somehow a portion of nemesis could be devoted to offense / active defense (special forces / hybrid logic) I would withdraw all complaints.

I feel like its currently a game of "well your capital is well defended! But I shall rally everyone outside your captial to defeat you, and eventually you shall fall!"

The ai response feels too...passive, for lack of a better word.

Imagine a Fallen Spire game where the AI only spawned the mothership, but no exo waves, and you would feel what I feel about the champion right now.

Turn on Dark Spire and crank intensity to 10.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 11:11:44 PM »
I think that if somehow a portion of nemesis could be devoted to offense / active defense (special forces / hybrid logic) I would withdraw all complaints.

I feel like its currently a game of "well your capital is well defended! But I shall rally everyone outside your captial to defeat you, and eventually you shall fall!"

The ai response feels too...passive, for lack of a better word.

Imagine a Fallen Spire game where the AI only spawned the mothership, but no exo waves, and you would feel what I feel about the champion right now.

Turn on Dark Spire and crank intensity to 10.

I do that NOW though, and it changes nothing.

Send my champ and its minions (starship class nebula allies), into a dark spire planet, rustle the ai, then bail.

The dark spire do all the pillaging for me.

Half the galaxy is now a lifeless dead zone. Except I don't have to do it, the dark spire do it for me. Sure, they send a trickle of forces to me, and my 1 - 3 super forts crush them like the bugs they are.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: The AI's response to champions question...
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 11:32:39 PM »
I think that if somehow a portion of nemesis could be devoted to offense / active defense (special forces / hybrid logic) I would withdraw all complaints.

I feel like its currently a game of "well your capital is well defended! But I shall rally everyone outside your captial to defeat you, and eventually you shall fall!"

The ai response feels too...passive, for lack of a better word.

Imagine a Fallen Spire game where the AI only spawned the mothership, but no exo waves, and you would feel what I feel about the champion right now.

Agreed. Having some sort of offensive, almost exo-like but not quite, response (especially with the chasing) would pretty much make the AI's response feel about right.

EDIT:
Turn on Dark Spire and crank intensity to 10.

I do that NOW though, and it changes nothing.

Send my champ and its minions (starship class nebula allies), into a dark spire planet, rustle the ai, then bail.

The dark spire do all the pillaging for me.

Half the galaxy is now a lifeless dead zone. Except I don't have to do it, the dark spire do it for me. Sure, they send a trickle of forces to me, and my 1 - 3 super forts crush them like the bugs they are.

Isn't that risky though? Like, isn't there a chance that the Dark spire will instead of sending out really ships in spread out in tiny chunks as an "afterthought" to your planets, it would send a good number of its forces at you at once, enough so that even your 3 superforts + other stuff can't handle?
(To clarify, it wouldn't be an intentional effort on the Dark Spire's part, but rather a possible coincidance that all their many "small trickles" at your planet at once (entirely possible), you could be overwhelmed)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 11:48:36 PM by TechSY730 »

 

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