Arcen Games

Games => AI War II => AI War II - Interface => Topic started by: Misery on September 12, 2016, 09:12:18 PM

Title: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Misery on September 12, 2016, 09:12:18 PM
Okay, so, been meaning to bring this up for awhile, but... you know, laziness...

Now, looking in the design document, I see not all that much mention about scouting in there, at least not yet.  And what I'm talking about in this topic isn't about the scout ships themselves. Moreso, this is about the process of scouting to begin with.

I will point out, I'm no expert on any of this.  I do okay at the game, I guess.  But there's a lot I don't know, and I definitely aint efficient. I do things like use cloaker starships super frequently, and also "raid groups" that are actually a big pile of Plasma Starships (and raid ships) crammed into an assault transport (when I want to target very specific things to get them out of the way before sending a fleet in, or stuff like that). Strange and possibly dumb things like that.  But maybe that's important too, since a lot of new players also wont know much and may be coming from the same point of view.  MOST wont be experts, which might make things like this that much more important.

The issue I have with scouting is very simple:  It can get old, fast.  I don't mean just the act of sending things into planets.  I mean the whole process.  On a map with fewer systems, it's not as much of an issue. But on a big one?  Holy crapsticks, it gets irritating quickly.   Part of it is the tachyon Sentinels.  Maybe I'm going about them the wrong way, but often, the method of scouting I do involves having to drill through a lot of the bloody things.  Typically I use my Champion or a specialized raiding group to do this, and it gets really repetitive, yet is a task that never actually CHANGES much, nor adds much in the way of difficulty.  I've never found any real strategy to it.  When I need to get scouts further in, I drill through more sentinels.  With the same method every time.

What makes this worse is that I always feel the need to find the blasted homeworlds ASAP.  Because I don't want to be expanding in completely the wrong direction, increasing AIP more than I have to for no good reason other than having gone the wrong way.  That's not any fun.  And if I get impatient enough (which is frequent) I'll get frustrated with the whole damn thing, and just go and unlock the mark IV scout starship so I can just say "screw it, I don't want to do the sentinel thing, let's just find the homeworlds and stuff and get this over with so I can do the fun things". 

Not to mention that I also honestly find the cloak-enhancement mechanic a little confusing.  Never know just how many scouts I need to send out to get them through enough sentinels to do their job.

Yet at the same time, I don't want to see the importance of scouting lessened, or to see it become too easy to do.

Thus, this topic.  I don't know what to suggest for all of this here, but I'm interested to see if anyone else has a similar opinion on this one, and if anyone might have any ideas for changes to this whole thing.  Avoiding as much tedium as possible for the new game would be a super thing, eh?
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: chemical_art on September 12, 2016, 09:23:57 PM
I don't like scouting either but the lobby seems to handle it pretty well. If you just want to find out where those AI HW are at, you can while still having fog of war. If you hate it all together you can do that too. I feel like that is a good middle ground.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Orelius on September 12, 2016, 09:29:00 PM
Yeah, I've found scouting to be a bit more annoying than I feel like it should be.  I just suicide my scouts to scout instead of doing anything more sophisticated.

Maybe automatic scouting would be a cool addition?  For instance your command stations could take X amount of time to start having constant scout info on adjacent planets.  Would also be cool if they could periodically scan further planets that don't have tachyon sentinels.

Maybe a hack that lets you get scout info on planets that have key structures?  Or perhaps a hack that lets you get a 'scouting bomb' - wherein you select a planet and get all scouting info within two-3 hops of that planet?
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Draco18s on September 12, 2016, 09:30:56 PM
My opinion:
Fog of war settings.  QED.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Captain Jack on September 12, 2016, 09:31:26 PM
There's already been talk about letting you scout remotely via hacking. Maybe you'll be able to offload some scouting duty to minor factions since they'll be planned for in the base game this time around?

Hm, maybe the scouting ability can be assigned to fighters this time around...
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Misery on September 12, 2016, 09:36:40 PM
I have had the thought of changing settings and whatnot, but that sort of thing always feels like cheating in a situation like this.  Particularly when a mechanic like scouting is typically considered a major thing in pretty much any strategy game.   I feel like if I'm taking actions to outright remove it, when it's something central like that, something's definitely wrong. 

I do like the hacking idea.  More hacking options is good, for that matter, hacking is fun (mostly).
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Sestren on September 12, 2016, 11:06:36 PM
Recently I started a game with full visibility at all times but with the planets undiscovered initially variant option (so no idea what the shape of the galaxy was).

Honestly I enjoyed having full visibility at all times from the start. My typical move is to by the mid game buy mk 2 and 3 scout drones and just saturate all of the systems around mine with drones so that I can keep tabs on threat and special forces and such but its tedious to set that up. This just cuts out the middleman. Yeah it saves some K but honestly I'm really bad at using my K effectively so that doesn't really matter. I don't even remember to K-hack most of the time and wind up with unspent piles after I get a couple starships I like and honestly the K economy (or science economy) of 2 is gonna be different anyway.

I did notice a couple of odd things (at least they seemed odd to me) with such a non-standard setup. First the red numbers under a system that show you enemy ship count don't show up unless you have a ship in the system, even with permanent visibility. Secondly, only ships which can gather scout information can go through undiscovered wormholes? (Doubly fun in that one of the AI was whatever the type is that starts with counterspies)

What might be easier than scouting in 2 would be having command stations automatically project vision a couple wormhole hops away to see actual ships and stuff on your borders and just let galaxy level system summary figures update any time you have vision (read: any sort of ships) on a system. Your super fancy distributed control system can't tally up the number of things it sees without specialized ship hardware? Seems silly. I could see an edge case for 'scouting' out cloaked things (getting them to appear in a summary list without actually tachyoning them and getting an exact position) but that's more of a counterespionage thing than a reconnaissance thing.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: kasnavada on September 13, 2016, 01:28:50 AM
My opinion:
Fog of war settings.  QED.

While it works, I'm with misery on this one.

The current scout system has flaws, and I do about the same, unlock scout 2 & 3 at the start of the game, and spend refleet time to more or less let one everywhere in the game. Because, I found it dangerous to plan expending without having the complete picture.

That ain't very much interesting.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: zharmad on September 13, 2016, 01:55:22 AM
One of the quirks of mapgen is that when the galaxy layout is known, one just counts hops to discover the location of AI Homeworlds (1st one furthest possible from player, 2nd one furthest from both player and 1st). So, the amount of scouting needed somewhat depends on the player's lobby settings. With this I don't unlock the additional scouts at the beginning, since I don't need to picket everything at once. It's about mid-game that I finally take Mark III and look for useful hops.
= = =
Yes agreed, clearing out tachyon GPs is the same every game. This question is linked to what & how much each AI world should be defending against random things by default.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Orelius on September 13, 2016, 02:09:47 AM
I think it would be cool if scouting info could be more specific and applied.  Instead of needing to cover the galaxy with scouts to know where AI forces are going, it would be cool if you could spend hacking points to always know where the special forces are so you can always get out before the cops come.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Minotaar on September 13, 2016, 02:51:39 AM
I personally enjoy having the information come in piecemeal, but yeah, it takes a while if you really want to push your vision to the limit. (One of the main annoyances is that all scouts have different speeds, so unless you use group-move constantly, they are terribly inefficient when mixing marks.)
Also not sure what if anything should be done about this, seems like everyone's preferences are different. I would not even mind playing a game where you could only see 2/3/5 hops out if you had scout mk1/2/3 (but didn't have to do anything for it).
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 04:23:47 AM
About the FoW/Visibility options, it's not an acceptable answer, this time. We don't want the data, we want an interesting mechanism for getting the data. I sure like to disable FoW completely every now and then: pause the game, look at the galaxy, and build your first ship at gametime 00:00:02 and realtime 00:30:00.

I hope the new hacking and optional-CLI-stuff will make intel gathering much more interesting than tachyon drilling. But what would be awesome would be the ability do to both. From the design document, scout drones will disappear and all units will have the equivalent of "gather scout intel" from AIW1. Then I imagine myself obtaining the Raptors or something similar, give them the cloaking upgrade, micro them a bit for tachyon drilling (no need to send the scout drones behind them) and saving the new hacking resource for something else... OR do the scout with hacking and upgrade my Raptors for combat.

This game is going to be great, no matter what. :D
Yep, I feel very confident, today. ;)
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Misery on September 13, 2016, 04:29:40 AM
give them the cloaking upgrade

Wait, what?  Did I miss something?

I thought one of the major principles of AI War was NOT to do that sort of thing?  I could have sworn I read that somewhere.  Since it'd make it a lot harder to remember what everything does by looking at it (uuugh).  It's already more than hard enough to keep track of things as it is.  Was this a discussion I missed somewhere else? 
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 04:35:33 AM
give them the cloaking upgrade

Wait, what?  Did I miss something?

I thought one of the major principles of AI War was NOT to do that sort of thing?  I could have sworn I read that somewhere.  Since it'd make it a lot harder to remember what everything does by looking at it (uuugh).  It's already more than hard enough to keep track of things as it is.  Was this a discussion I missed somewhere else?
Yeah, that was my reaction when I first read that on the design document.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: x4000 on September 13, 2016, 11:51:10 AM
I think scouting needs to be addressed, too.  Just having everything visible at once kind of takes away the sense of exploration.  But the current method of scouting is not my favorite, remotely.  The CLI and hacking changes likely aren't going to happen (at least not in that form -- CLI), for reasons explained in that thread, so something else would be better.

give them the cloaking upgrade

Wait, what?  Did I miss something?

I thought one of the major principles of AI War was NOT to do that sort of thing?  I could have sworn I read that somewhere.  Since it'd make it a lot harder to remember what everything does by looking at it (uuugh).  It's already more than hard enough to keep track of things as it is.  Was this a discussion I missed somewhere else?
Yeah, that was my reaction when I first read that on the design document.  ;D ;D ;D

Basically the idea is that these are mostly changes on the player side, for the sake of conciseness there.  We may need a completely different set of ships for the AI, I'm not sure. :/
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: tadrinth on September 13, 2016, 11:53:21 AM
The fact that there's three different auto behaviors around scouting doesn't really bode well for it as a mechanic as currently implemented. 

I should probably just play with complete visibility enabled, but that feels too much like cheating.  Then again, I frequently wind up using the 'full map vis' cheat to figure out where the heck I need to expand to, and then reloading to actually play (so I still have to set up scout pickets).  Maybe the critically important capturables should just always be visible on the map by default?
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: x4000 on September 13, 2016, 12:07:35 PM
Lots of changes to the techs stuff, to make them player-side only.  With certain things built in on the AI side now that are always there.  These being the notes from the graveyard section about the AI getting tech unlocks:

AI Ship Tech Upgrades On Planet Capture
- Basically, Misery and Pumpkin had a good reminder that one of the tenets of the first game was to avoid invisible upgrades so that players can look at things and know what they are.

- That is an extremely good point, and flies in the face of the new tech upgrades system in general.

- THAT said, the difficulty in remembering things is when a player is looking at the AI side, because you don’t know when they’ve upgraded things, so would feel the need to constantly check.

-- Aka, the AI ships need to be consistent between games, and during a game, in terms of “what it means to be a fighter mark II” or what have you.

- Speaking for the player’s own side, which is where the focus of the new tech upgrades were always, anyway, players tend to easily remember what they upgraded on ships, and can quickly check if they don’t.

-- Most importantly, things never change in an unfavorable way, or without them knowing, so there’s not a need to go back and see “is this different? Is this bad?” like there would be if the AI were using invisible tech upgrades as well.

- In the end, this just makes for one more type of asymmetry in the game, which is great.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: tadrinth on September 13, 2016, 12:16:14 PM
That sounds really good; I was expecting candy techs to be human-only when I first read about them anyway.  The AI does *not* need to accidentally recreate Eye Bots halfway through a game.

The AI can have Guardians and Dire Guardians instead. 
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Cinth on September 13, 2016, 12:18:12 PM
The AI does *not* need to accidentally recreate Eye Bots halfway through a game.

Nope, they just get to start with them.  *evil maniacal laughter*
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: x4000 on September 13, 2016, 12:23:16 PM
The AI does *not* need to accidentally recreate Eye Bots halfway through a game.

Nope, they just get to start with them.  *evil maniacal laughter*

That, too. :D
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Draco18s on September 13, 2016, 12:29:09 PM
Why do I feel the need for a second seed?
That is, one seed is the galaxy, the other seed is the AI's upgrade path.

That way the player can change up what the AI does, if they want to face new challenges, but is not required to (and by default would be a fixed value--e.g. the game ships with the value as 0--until the player clicks the button that says "surprise me").
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: kasnavada on September 13, 2016, 12:33:54 PM
Why do I feel the need for a second seed?
That is, one seed is the galaxy, the other seed is the AI's upgrade path.

That way the player can change up what the AI does, if they want to face new challenges, but is not required to (and by default would be a fixed value--e.g. the game ships with the value as 0--until the player clicks the button that says "surprise me").

And / or, moddable.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 02:06:58 PM
Lots of changes to the techs stuff, to make them player-side only.  With certain things built in on the AI side now that are always there.  These being the notes from the graveyard section about the AI getting tech unlocks:

AI Ship Tech Upgrades On Planet Capture
- Basically, Misery and Pumpkin had a good reminder that one of the tenets of the first game was to avoid invisible upgrades so that players can look at things and know what they are.

- That is an extremely good point, and flies in the face of the new tech upgrades system in general.

- THAT said, the difficulty in remembering things is when a player is looking at the AI side, because you don’t know when they’ve upgraded things, so would feel the need to constantly check.

-- Aka, the AI ships need to be consistent between games, and during a game, in terms of “what it means to be a fighter mark II” or what have you.

- Speaking for the player’s own side, which is where the focus of the new tech upgrades were always, anyway, players tend to easily remember what they upgraded on ships, and can quickly check if they don’t.

-- Most importantly, things never change in an unfavorable way, or without them knowing, so there’s not a need to go back and see “is this different? Is this bad?” like there would be if the AI were using invisible tech upgrades as well.

- In the end, this just makes for one more type of asymmetry in the game, which is great.
So, no upgrades for the AI? Great.
But then, how will it have cloaked raptors and eye bots etc? I'm afraid the AI would become less "rich", but as long as it has guardians and dire guardians and hunter/killer-like... Okay.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Cinth on September 13, 2016, 02:08:26 PM
So, no upgrades for the AI? Great.
But then, how will it have cloaked raptors and eye bots etc? I'm afraid the AI would become less "rich", but as long as it has guardians and dire guardians and hunter/killer-like... Okay.

The AI catalogue won't be worse off for this.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Captain Jack on September 13, 2016, 02:09:55 PM
Lots of changes to the techs stuff, to make them player-side only.  With certain things built in on the AI side now that are always there.  These being the notes from the graveyard section about the AI getting tech unlocks:

AI Ship Tech Upgrades On Planet Capture
- Basically, Misery and Pumpkin had a good reminder that one of the tenets of the first game was to avoid invisible upgrades so that players can look at things and know what they are.

- That is an extremely good point, and flies in the face of the new tech upgrades system in general.

- THAT said, the difficulty in remembering things is when a player is looking at the AI side, because you don’t know when they’ve upgraded things, so would feel the need to constantly check.

-- Aka, the AI ships need to be consistent between games, and during a game, in terms of “what it means to be a fighter mark II” or what have you.

- Speaking for the player’s own side, which is where the focus of the new tech upgrades were always, anyway, players tend to easily remember what they upgraded on ships, and can quickly check if they don’t.

-- Most importantly, things never change in an unfavorable way, or without them knowing, so there’s not a need to go back and see “is this different? Is this bad?” like there would be if the AI were using invisible tech upgrades as well.

- In the end, this just makes for one more type of asymmetry in the game, which is great.
So, no upgrades for the AI? Great.
But then, how will it have cloaked raptors and eye bots etc? I'm afraid the AI would become less "rich", but as long as it has guardians and dire guardians and hunter/killer-like... Okay.
They'll just have them. For example, every raptor it makes might have the tractor ability, every bomber be armored. Tie it in to the mark system (IE higher mark ships always have more abilities. Candy can't rot processors after all!)
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 02:14:34 PM
They'll just have them. For example, every raptor it makes might have the tractor ability, every bomber be armored. Tie it in to the mark system (IE higher mark ships always have more abilities. Candy can't rot processors after all!)
Eh, but I thought the upgrades were common to all marks of a ship type?

However, I think I'm okay with the AI having a chance to grant a mechanic upgrade to every new ship type it unlocks (only upgrades like cloaking, tractor, FField-immune, etc, and not speed x2, armor++, life-up, etc).

EDIT
Gha, this is not the place to talk about that! Chris, please, make a new topic when you drop that kind of announce.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Captain Jack on September 13, 2016, 02:15:49 PM
Eh, but I thought the upgrades were common to all marks of a ship type?
For the player. The AI doesn't need to play by the same rules.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: kasnavada on September 13, 2016, 02:17:14 PM
Eh, but I thought the upgrades were common to all marks of a ship type?
For the player. The AI doesn't need to play by the same rules.

I don't understand. A few post above, the AI gets no upgrade. Now it gets random upgrades ?
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 02:18:33 PM
Guyz... You post faster than I can copy-past your posts...

That's hilarious!
 :D

link (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19124.0.html)
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Captain Jack on September 13, 2016, 02:19:58 PM
Eh, but I thought the upgrades were common to all marks of a ship type?
For the player. The AI doesn't need to play by the same rules.

I don't understand. A few post above, the AI gets no upgrade. Now it gets random upgrades ?
I'm making a suggestion. Rather than the AI getting none of the upgrades that the player can optionally give to a class of ships, I suggest the AI always have the SAME upgrades applied to a ship of a given class and mark.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: skrutsch on September 17, 2016, 10:53:07 AM
Please excuse me for mentioning something that's actually related to scouting.   ;)

One of the quirks of mapgen is that when the galaxy layout is known, one just counts hops to discover the location of AI Homeworlds (1st one furthest possible from player, 2nd one furthest from both player and 1st)

What about making these locations less predictable?  Maybe mapgen places each homeworld randomly within one or two hops from "furthest away"?
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Captain Jack on September 17, 2016, 03:06:57 PM
Please excuse me for mentioning something that's actually related to scouting.   ;)

One of the quirks of mapgen is that when the galaxy layout is known, one just counts hops to discover the location of AI Homeworlds (1st one furthest possible from player, 2nd one furthest from both player and 1st)

What about making these locations less predictable?  Maybe mapgen places each homeworld randomly within one or two hops from "furthest away"?
Good thinking. The addition of solar systems to the game should also mix things up a bit, since an AI homeworld could be anywhere in the system.

Or hell, if we want to be evil, the command stations could be between planets in the solar system and you can't get there without secret info from... somewhere.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 17, 2016, 03:13:15 PM
+1 for less predictable AI homeworld.
(Chris said he was okay with +1 ;) )

Or hell, if we want to be evil, the command stations could be between planets in the solar system and you can't get there without secret info from... somewhere.
I try to not react emotionally (it would have been "yuck!"). Let's say "Interesting as an option. In the vein of CGS: task before showdown. Why not".
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Captain Jack on September 17, 2016, 05:39:09 PM
+1 for less predictable AI homeworld.
(Chris said he was okay with +1 ;) )

Or hell, if we want to be evil, the command stations could be between planets in the solar system and you can't get there without secret info from... somewhere.
I try to not react emotionally (it would have been "yuck!"). Let's say "Interesting as an option. In the vein of CGS: task before showdown. Why not".
Hah, glad you're not wholly opposed.

I like the idea of the AI having a few different tricks to keep the pesky humans from zapping them too easily. Hiding the base of operations is the obvious one.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 18, 2016, 02:40:58 AM
I can imagine an option for making the AI home-things mobile too. While I would hate it (maybe), if it's an option I don't see a reason for not allowing that. The new hacking/scouting stuff would allow to do something for gaining "last known AI home-things positions".

Overall, more optional things to guide the players to victory is interesting, IMO. CSG were a good example (and they're optional).
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Sestren on September 18, 2016, 02:58:21 AM
If you make the AI home mobile, then in order to retain the homeworld assault feel, you'd have to make all of the defenses travel with it. I'm not super keen on such a large collection of powerful objects being able to move at will. It would be strange to fight. Might be worth fiddling with at some point post-EA just for novelties sake if nothing else, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to become standard behavior.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: kasnavada on September 18, 2016, 05:00:58 AM
If you make the AI home mobile, then in order to retain the homeworld assault feel, you'd have to make all of the defenses travel with it. I'm not super keen on such a large collection of powerful objects being able to move at will. It would be strange to fight. Might be worth fiddling with at some point post-EA just for novelties sake if nothing else, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to become standard behavior.

About that part... I think that the game flow for that part will change a lot. First of all, energy being per planet will probably limit (a lot) the quantity of defenses at a single location. Which has a number of implications on how defenses will be done in AI War 2...

I think the goal ain't to have one "choke" point, but to litterally have whole planets / systems act as in-depth defensive buffers.

Which means that the "homeworld defense feel" will probably be your flagship fleeing via strongholds until the AI assault force is made into scrap.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Pumpkin on September 18, 2016, 06:27:18 AM
If you make the AI home mobile, then in order to retain the homeworld assault feel, you'd have to make all of the defenses travel with it. I'm not super keen on such a large collection of powerful objects being able to move at will. It would be strange to fight. Might be worth fiddling with at some point post-EA just for novelties sake if nothing else, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to become standard behavior.
That wouldn't an idea I would support myself. However I can imagine a game mode (or MF, or option, or something) with no AI Homeworlds, Core Worlds and Core Guard Posts, but instead a MkV fleet with Dire Guardians and Hunter/Killer(s) around a mobile AI Home Command Ship.

I imagine a sort of new class or twist of the Dire Guardians providing invulnerability to their leading Home Command Ship, similar to what the Core Guard Posts did, with interesting powers just like them (Teuthida reclamation, Wrath-Lance-like weapon, Shredder Drone Spawner, etc).

As I said, not an idea I would personally support. Maybe I would play it once to try, but that wouldn't be my default playstyle, I guess.

(I imagine a MkV fleet of that sort would be used by the AI in early game to "blitzkrieg" the Human background factions.)

What was the topic? Scouting? Oh...
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Misery on September 18, 2016, 06:41:40 AM

What was the topic? Scouting? Oh...


This is the Arcen forums.  There are no "topics" here.... just groupings of random conversation shifts.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Elestan on September 20, 2016, 12:57:26 AM
The issue I have with scouting is very simple:  It can get old, fast.  [...]  Part of it is the tachyon Sentinels.  Maybe I'm going about them the wrong way, but often, the method of scouting I do involves having to drill through a lot of the bloody things.

IMHO, the problem there is that the TachSents are on Both.Sides.Of.Every.Single.Wormhole.  The AI should need to be a bit more parsimonious, and only put Sentinels at strategically significant points, instead of just saturating space with them.

Quote
Not to mention that I also honestly find the cloak-enhancement mechanic a little confusing.  Never know just how many scouts I need to send out to get them through enough sentinels to do their job.

IIRC, the lower-mark scouts are always trying to cloak the higher-mark scouts.  That isn't always what you want, though; sometimes you want your higher-mark scouts to cloak the lower ones, to try to get the maximum number through.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Draco18s on September 20, 2016, 12:47:13 PM
The issue I have with scouting is very simple:  It can get old, fast.  [...]  Part of it is the tachyon Sentinels.  Maybe I'm going about them the wrong way, but often, the method of scouting I do involves having to drill through a lot of the bloody things.

IMHO, the problem there is that the TachSents are on Both.Sides.Of.Every.Single.Wormhole.  The AI should need to be a bit more parsimonious, and only put Sentinels at strategically significant points, instead of just saturating space with them.

I've been saying this for years.  Actually, pretty much ever since they were introduced.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: Toranth on September 20, 2016, 08:11:39 PM
The issue I have with scouting is very simple:  It can get old, fast.  [...]  Part of it is the tachyon Sentinels.  Maybe I'm going about them the wrong way, but often, the method of scouting I do involves having to drill through a lot of the bloody things.
IMHO, the problem there is that the TachSents are on Both.Sides.Of.Every.Single.Wormhole.  The AI should need to be a bit more parsimonious, and only put Sentinels at strategically significant points, instead of just saturating space with them.
I've been saying this for years.  Actually, pretty much ever since they were introduced.
There was a discussion a while back about revamping scouting / cloaking, and one of the ideas was that the AI would have only a few wormhole guards, but would have a bunch of patrolling Tachyon-emitting decloaker guardians.  Unfortunately, nothing ever came of that.

Which I think is too bad.  I think scouting is an important part of the game, and exploring the first 75%-90% of the galaxy is fun and exciting.  That last little bit, though, where you need to raid dozens of systems, unlock all the scouts, and then send them all in a mob and hope some get through... or worse, encounter a Tachyon Command Station and be completely blocked down that line forever... that's the "No Fun" zone.
Title: Re: Scouting, and the tedium involved
Post by: tadrinth on September 21, 2016, 05:04:42 PM
If you unlock MkIII scouts and have an advanced factory, building a MkIV scout and telling it to auto-explore will give you the rest of the map.  Even a Tachyon Command station can't stop the MkIV scout, due to its tachyon beam immunity.

That said, Tachyon Command Stations don't need to provide permanent tachyon coverage; pulsing tachyon periodically when there are military ships present would be better.  Still disrupts cloaking combat strategies while not hosing your scouting.