Arcen Games

Games => AI War II => AI War II - Gameplay Ideas => Topic started by: Captain Jack on August 29, 2016, 10:22:35 PM

Title: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Captain Jack on August 29, 2016, 10:22:35 PM
Now I'm tempted to give you ideas here and see what happens.   Possibly the apocalypse is the result, who knows?

This isn't the place for that.  Those red button experiments can be conducted elsewhere. ;)
Challenge... accepted.

This is a months premature thread dedicated to the most sadistic gameplay concepts we can come up with for the AI War sequel. This is NOT a general suggestion thread, there will be many of those. This is for pure evil.

My initial suggestions:

AI Type: M.A.D.
This AI has gotten its hands on a pair of Mk. III nuclear devices and incorporated them into both AI Command Centers. Upon destroying an Command Center, the nuclear device will arm and begin to count down. Destroying the other AI command center is the only way to stop the countdown. The length of time you have to do this is inversely proportional to overall AI difficulty; IE on level 1 you have 10 minutes before galactic annihilation, on level 10 you have 1.

As a side effect, a M.A.D. AI will aggressively target warheads and self-destructing vessels even when doing so is detrimental to its overall strategy.

AI Plot: Frankenstein
The husks and raw materials that litter the galaxy are potentially useful to the AI's extragalactic war effort. The AI will periodically awaken Golems or create new Spirecraft from asteroids and test them on the nearest available target (you!). The AI does this instead of developing a new threat wave or exo wave. Any Golem rebuilt by the AI is equal to the player-controlled version, while every Spirecraft force built this way is led by a unique Prime Spire. On the upside, destroying a Golem or the Prime Spirecraft leaves a wreck that can be reclaimed by a Remains Rebuilder for much less than the cost of building the unit yourself.

AI Plot: Classic Trains
Remember these? Yeah. Choo choo!
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Cinth on August 29, 2016, 10:31:29 PM
I did ask for this, didn't I?

 ::)
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Captain Jack on August 29, 2016, 10:33:17 PM
I did ask for this, didn't I?

 ::)

(http://i.imgur.com/cZHExFk.jpg)

Now contribute.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Cinth on August 29, 2016, 10:40:24 PM
AI MAD: We have a nuclear command ai already.  Scorched earth strategy engaged.
AI Frankenstein:  AI already throws these back at you if you have them enabled and active (exo pain waves).

How exactly are these different enough to warrant inclusion?

AI Xombie:  This AI turns all ships killed in ai space into Zombie versions.  These zombies act like regular zombies except friendly to the AI.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Draco18s on August 29, 2016, 10:47:04 PM
AI MAD: We have a nuclear command ai already.  Scorched earth strategy engaged.

Those are mark 1 nukes in every regular command station. M.A.D. is two Mark III nukes in each AI Homeworld.
I think 10 minutes is a little short, you can't really be expected to launch a double-offensive like that.

AI Frankenstein:  AI already throws these back at you if you have them enabled and active (exo pain waves).

This one is a little different, if you have this and exo-golems, you'll get double the fun.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: chemical_art on August 29, 2016, 10:47:45 PM

AI Xombie:  This AI turns all ships killed in ai space into Zombie versions.  These zombies act like regular zombies except friendly to the AI.

Too tame.

AI SF from time to time get Zombie Golems.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Cinth on August 29, 2016, 11:02:48 PM

AI Xombie:  This AI turns all ships killed in ai space into Zombie versions.  These zombies act like regular zombies except friendly to the AI.

Too tame.

AI SF from time to time get Zombie Golems.

But this is every ship you and the AI lose in AI space.  No exceptions. 


AI MAD: We have a nuclear command ai already.  Scorched earth strategy engaged.

Those are mark 1 nukes in every regular command station. M.A.D. is two Mark III nukes in each AI Homeworld.
I think 10 minutes is a little short, you can't really be expected to launch a double-offensive like that.

So you have to stage your HW attacks to take both down within minutes of each other.  Not that hard to clean each HW off before you commit half of your force to each to kill it in the allotted time. 

Quote
AI Frankenstein:  AI already throws these back at you if you have them enabled and active (exo pain waves).

This one is a little different, if you have this and exo-golems, you'll get double the fun.

Again, not that hard.  If you are building to counter the Exos, you should have enough to counter whatever else the AI throws at you from that set.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Captain Jack on August 29, 2016, 11:19:21 PM
Good questions Cinth!

AI MAD: We have a nuclear command ai already.  Scorched earth strategy engaged.
The nuclear command AI is all about resource denial. Your sources of metal are much more limited, you get your extractors and your caches and salvage. The M.A.D. AI is about speeding up the endgame. No luxurious long rebuild, you have to commit your forces to the next attack immediately and hope you didn't overcommit to the first--as you noted.

AI Frankenstein:  AI already throws these back at you if you have them enabled and active (exo pain waves).
The Frankenstein *is* about resource denial. It's taking a Golem or Spirecraft Asteroid field that you could have acquired for itself. Yes you get something if you stop the attack, but it's not what you might have used. Franken-Golems and Prime Spirecraft would be their own thing divorced from the usual Golem-and-Spirecraft types, so sucks to be you if you wanted that Botnet or a certain Spirecraft.

Maybe if the unit(s) take a planet they proceed to the exo-galactic wormhole and leave the game. That'd reinforce the resource denial aspect.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Cinth on August 29, 2016, 11:41:05 PM
AI Frankenstein:  AI already throws these back at you if you have them enabled and active (exo pain waves).
The Frankenstein *is* about resource denial. It's taking a Golem or Spirecraft Asteroid field that you could have acquired for itself. Yes you get something if you stop the attack, but it's not what you might have used. Franken-Golems and Prime Spirecraft would be their own thing divorced from the usual Golem-and-Spirecraft types, so sucks to be you if you wanted that Botnet or a certain Spirecraft.

Maybe if the unit(s) take a planet they proceed to the exo-galactic wormhole and leave the game. That'd reinforce the resource denial aspect.
[/quote]

If I want those things taken away then I wouldn't enable them in the setup.  Other than the odd ship wandering in via take over, it wouldn't change much outside of the vanilla experience.  Or it forces you to rush to the assets you want, supposing you can find them, protect and activate from there.

I just don't see it as having much impact.  IIRC exos only start after you activate a golem or spirecraft so nothing really is really lost if you don't get it in time anyway.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Captain Jack on August 30, 2016, 12:51:04 AM
If I want those things taken away then I wouldn't enable them in the setup.  Other than the odd ship wandering in via take over, it wouldn't change much outside of the vanilla experience.  Or it forces you to rush to the assets you want, supposing you can find them, protect and activate from there.

I just don't see it as having much impact.  IIRC exos only start after you activate a golem or spirecraft so nothing really is really lost if you don't get it in time anyway.
It's an AI plot. The entire point is to tweak the AI's behavior to encourage the player to play differently, and I think you underestimate how much people hate losing toys they want. The big question is how many people will enable it in the first place if they risk losing the shiny fun things, to which I have no answer. That's the big consideration to all of the red button issues though: how likely is it that people will use options designed to tilt the game yet further against them?
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: chemical_art on August 30, 2016, 01:01:20 AM
That's the big consideration to all of the red button issues though: how likely is it that people will use options designed to tilt the game yet further against them?

This is something I think is lacking Red Button Experiment: The bait to get a player to at least try the idea:

For example I remember the backdoor AI at least got rid of warp gates, so there was less AIP cost to expand. I think serious work needs to be done so the *vast* majority of those kind of ideas have bait, so a player at least an incentive try the red button.

The dark side needs to be seductive...otherwise none would dare try it...to borrow from another IP.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Steelpoint on August 30, 2016, 01:07:55 AM
You could try also adding a brief text description with the plot detailing more usefully the benefits of the plot, if any.

In some cases the few 'breaks' you get from a plot or not described or well explained.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Kahuna on August 30, 2016, 01:22:55 AM
Is this a good time and place to bring up the Pancake Golem again?
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Draco18s on August 30, 2016, 01:25:31 AM
Is this a good time and place to bring up the Pancake Golem again?

A perfect time.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Mánagarmr on August 30, 2016, 01:54:33 AM
I remember doing this way back. I had like 20 Omegas and they all poofed. The universe was suddenly very angry.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Lord Of Nothing on August 30, 2016, 03:52:16 AM
Hmm. Where did I put my suggestions list?
Rummages... Aha!
I wrote these for the base game, and that's roughly what the numbers are balanced for, but:
AI Wormhole Feedback Generator: (Think through more first! Pros? Cons?)
New anti-blobbing mechanism-
Basically, every ship that passes through a wormhole leading to or from the planet this is on increases a counter by one, and receives damage related to the current counter value- so the more recent transits, the more damage is taken. It should be minor for the first three or four hundred ships, but be doing 50%+ damage for normal fleet ships after seven hundred or so. The counter reduces by 10-20 every  ~5 seconds. Larger ships increase the counter by more (Starships by 4 or 5, transports by 40 + (Loaded/20) (But the stuff in them takes no damage), fallen spire vessels by 5, 10, 20, 40, 100 for frigates, destroyers, cruisers, battleships, dreadnaughts respectively. Golems by 50-100. Note that as damage is absolute, these larger vessels will be largely unaffected – it’s stuff coming through with them that needs to watch out. Counter should probably cap at 1000-1500.

AI ships have been modified not to trigger the device or take damage from it (To prevent special forces interacting with it in undesirable ways), but it’s presence disrupts the AI’s warp grid, leading to reduced reinforcements at this planet.
Problem: current suggested mechanics implementation scales badly with player having a lot of high cap ships, or a lot of low cap ships. Could make it impossible to pass some very heavily defended wormholes.

AI Local Threat Assessment Ship
1 per game, -20AIP on death.
Has two fixed-size shields, one large with 10,000*Mk Hp, one smaller (Slightly) with 150,000,*Mk Hp. Hull 200,000*Mk Hp. 2000*Mk armor. Attack is equivalent to a half of a Hunter Killer of that Mk.
The ship will periodically (Every 1-2 hours) attack one of your planets.
If the first shield is destroyed, the ship will retreat. If the second is destroyed, the ship stops retreating and resumes it's attack until destroyed- but also releases 4 message drones, each of which raise AIP by 6 if they reach an AI homeworld. The drones should be quite fast, and fairly tough. (10,000*Mk Hp, 40-60 speed, immune to tractor and grav?)
So there is some gain to be had by destroying one of these, as it will stop the attacks, but it's intentionally hard, and if you muck it up, net AIP is gained.
If Hybrids are on, hybrids will escort the ship in proportional strength to hybrid strength setting.
The Mk of the ship is difficulty dependant: 1<=D<=3 = Mk1, 3<D<=5 = Mk2, 5<D<7 = Mk3, 7<D<=9 = Mk4, 9<D<=10 = Core.

More AIP reduction as the temptation, but a continual threat until it's dealt with,and must be trated with respect.

AI Local Server
1 per game, -40AIP on death (35/25/15 on 8/9/10 dif, respectively.)
Very powerful and well-defended, somewhere between a modular fortress and a superfortress. When killed, it triggers a very strong exogalactic strikeforce.
I sorta feel that in the base game, AIP reduction is almost always a matter of "if you can reach the planet, even with a small force, you can have it." This is more of a lategame AIP reducer.

AI Research Coordination centre
1 per game, +10-20 AIP on use, captured on planet ownership change.  Like a hacked ARS, but with a larger choice of ship types (4-7?).

Making the AI scarier:
Exo-Galactic strikeforces at big (Effective) AIP thresholds (Multiples of 400? 500?)
Mass movement convoys: Every 5-10 of hours, A LARGE AI force transits through our galaxy from one AI homeworld exo wormhole to the other. This convoy couldn’t care less about humans- although it will still fire on any that enter range- it’s using our galaxy as an easy transit route, on it’s way to one of the AI’s ‘greater affairs’. This behaviour will not occur if all routes from one AI homeworld to another are blocked by human worlds- it’s intended as something that stays in AI territory, not something that casually bulldozes you fortress world on its way through. (And it would, I’m thinking high mark hunter killers, escorted by large numbers of golems and spirecraft- on higher difficulties, we’re talking a few dozen plus motherships, etc.) It’s intended to remind you just how powerful the AI is off screen, as well as to provide an obstacle to homeworld attacks and beachheads in AI territory that don’t take the planet- because in my opinion, there’s no non-cheese reason to have a beachhead on an AI planet for more than an hour, at most. Transits would be warned, by about 5 minutes before arrival.

What I'm less sure about is what the carrot for the player could be. 5-10% less AI strength globally, as the AI really isn't that bothered about what's going on round here and is preoccupied?

New Advanced hybrid nastiness: (Cheaper than dyson antagoniser for them to start.)
AI Wormhole generator. This structure creates an artificial wormhole from the generator straight to another system- which can be any player system. (Not homeworlds if plot intensity below 4). The generator takes an hour to construct, and the player will get notice as with the antagoniser, being told which system is being targeted with 10 minutes to go. The generator has 50,000,000 health, but few weapons. It doe s however have a defence fleet, which is spawned at the nearest AI warp gate when there are five minutes until completion. This fleet is scaled with AIP. When the wormhole activates, the AI will send a wave through, 10 seconds after opening. After this, it acts as a normal wormhole, letting the AI send waves- or threatfleet/CPA/Exo incrusions- as it pleases. The Super Hybrid leaves. It is possible to have more than one of these active at the same time! The location logic for these is the same as that for an antagoniser.

Might overlap somewhat with warp relays.

New core Brutal guard post:
Core Bombardment Array: Rapid Fire artillery golem. Rapid. 200,000,000 health, reload time 1-2 seconds. This thing is designed to pound large ships into dust- best countered by the humble fleetship. It bothers me that currently, fleetships do so little that large ships don’t do better. It might require imperial spire getting artillery immunity, though.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: kasnavada on August 30, 2016, 05:37:15 AM
Being able to start with another faction than humans.

Spire start.  ;D :D

Zenith start. ;) ;)

Neinzul start.  ;D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Backstory: humans unleashed the plague of AI on the galaxy, we were caught unaware (blablabla)...
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Steelpoint on August 30, 2016, 06:22:40 AM
Playing as a non-Human faction from the get go is a bit iffy.

If you're the Spire then you're going to be playing a utterly different game, less on guerrilla warfare and more full scale warfare.

Zenith seem to lack any real central power to contest the AI.

Neinzul would, at best, be more of a support role where you're trying to rally support from other Neinzul factions.

Maybe you can look into allowing the player to pick one of the two main Human factions that were fighting throughout the civil war. Perhaps each side has a small difference, maybe Faction A start the game with a free Energy Generator device right off the bat while Faction B instead start the game with a intact Warship from the civil war. So one faction has more energy for future military expansion while the other starts with a powerful, one of a kind, war ship.

Just me tossing a idea.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: kasnavada on August 30, 2016, 10:08:12 AM
Playing as a non-Human faction from the get go is a bit iffy.

You're missing my point IMO... first of all humans have nearly nothing at the start, and being beaten up makes them rise. There is no reason why the other factions couldn't have the same progression. Brought in by the shock of being nearly annihilated, they re-organized and fight back.

That said, multiple (moddable) human factions is basically the same idea, just going less far. If it's possible to mod humans, then it'll be possible to mod in "aliens". Who woulc not want a star wars AI war VS star trek mod ?
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Aklyon on August 30, 2016, 12:50:22 PM
Is this a good time and place to bring up the Pancake Golem again?

A perfect time.
Yay, Pancake Golem.

Maybe an AI type based on Zenith Foodstuffs?
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Toranth on August 30, 2016, 04:32:25 PM
AI Xombie:  This AI turns all ships killed in ai space into Zombie versions.  These zombies act like regular zombies except friendly to the AI.
I still want the Zombie Master AI type.
Instead of sending normal waves at you, it sends a continual stream of zombie ships cross planet at your homeworld.  As AIP rises, the number and mark the of ships in the stream goes up, and potential additional streams start from other locations.  Eventually, you'll just have hundreds of ships pouring into your systems, without pause or rest... no time to recover or rebuild...
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Cinth on August 30, 2016, 06:23:18 PM
AI Xombie:  This AI turns all ships killed in ai space into Zombie versions.  These zombies act like regular zombies except friendly to the AI.
I still want the Zombie Master AI type.
Instead of sending normal waves at you, it sends a continual stream of zombie ships cross planet at your homeworld.  As AIP rises, the number and mark the of ships in the stream goes up, and potential additional streams start from other locations.  Eventually, you'll just have hundreds of ships pouring into your systems, without pause or rest... no time to recover or rebuild...

Have you played with the Vengeance Generators?
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Toranth on August 30, 2016, 06:42:20 PM
AI Xombie:  This AI turns all ships killed in ai space into Zombie versions.  These zombies act like regular zombies except friendly to the AI.
I still want the Zombie Master AI type.
Instead of sending normal waves at you, it sends a continual stream of zombie ships cross planet at your homeworld.  As AIP rises, the number and mark the of ships in the stream goes up, and potential additional streams start from other locations.  Eventually, you'll just have hundreds of ships pouring into your systems, without pause or rest... no time to recover or rebuild...
Have you played with the Vengeance Generators?
Oh, yes.  Dark Spire 10/Devourer Golem was one of those "laugh while the Universe burns" lose-with-a-smile games. 
I was thinking something less dramatic, less bursty, more consistent threat rather than the massive swarms that burst out of the Vengeance Generators every once in a while.  Also, more targeted at the player, not the AI.
Title: Re: Red Button Experiments
Post by: Cinth on August 30, 2016, 07:02:57 PM
Oh, yes.  Dark Spire 10/Devourer Golem was one of those "laugh while the Universe burns" lose-with-a-smile games. 
I was thinking something less dramatic, less bursty, more consistent threat rather than the massive swarms that burst out of the Vengeance Generators every once in a while.  Also, more targeted at the player, not the AI.

IIRC that zombies wander friendly space until they spot an enemy.  Something like this could be set up like a CPA that has ever increasing points allotted so it ramps up over time.  Having the ships be altered so they can't be reclaimed would make it very zombie wave like (and open it up to some very nasty inclusions).