Author Topic: Review of AIP progress  (Read 1495 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2016, 09:11:43 AM »
The main issue I have with that is that some of playstyles mean that "cheese" must be allowed to be kept in the game. I don't like this part much. And, AI War 2 changes a lot of mechanics, so some playstyles are going to die. Which do you think really makes AI War what it is ?
Just for the sake of discussion, I'll share a very funny game I won several times ago.

It was 7/7 on a 80/wheel map. My goal was to go damn-low AIP and take only the planets I was forced to: CSGs. It was a scarce game, with extremely few metal, energy and Knowledge (nearly all my Hacking points went into knowledge stealing, IIRC), but waves and CPAs were ridiculous. DGLairs and MkIV Subcommanders were nightmares, on the other hand. In the end, I assaulted the first homeworld while sitting on the AIP floor. I save-scummed a bit but I pulled the victory out.

Cool story bro. Why do I tell you that? Because different playstyles are important, and some are very odds and "cheezy". I don't want someone to step in and say "your playstyle is cheezy, we'll make it impracticable to balance the game." I also remember the Red.Queen's insane-auto-AIP and nuke-flying game. People here already talked about Fallen Spire, etc. That's also what made me understand that, despite I think the multi-homeworld start and high-cap option are harmful for the game "balance", they support a playstyle. A very different of mine (even of my "normal" playstyle), but who am I to remove that from the game?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
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Offline Tridus

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2016, 09:35:26 AM »
I'm also not concerned about balance a whole lot, outside of the core gameplay experience. This isn't an eSport competitive game, it's single player/coop. Having options that totally rewrite the balance is fine. Having stuff that's flat out crazy is fine. There is no case where the current Botnet Golem on easy is balanced. Doesn't matter, because it's crazy fun to use. (People who want the "balanced" version can use the medium or hard options instead.)

Nothing to reply to the rest of your post, but that part, I do.

I'm fine with some "let's have fun games" from time to time, but that's easily done via reducing difficulty.

To me a balanced game is one where whatever "opponent" you have matches your strength, and opposes you enough so that it pushes you out of your confort zone, but close enough so you'll expand your confort zone by what was learned in that game. Basically, if at all possible, I'd hope that it's possible, and easy, to predict when a game will be in that zone when activating options. That said, everyone has different expectations and "learning" possibilities.

Because, to me, it's disappointing when you get so crushed that nothing can be learned from your failure, or if you're "wasting your time" because the game has been made too easy with whatever new feature you've been trying. Ok, not really "wasting", but simply not having a challenge at all. Hence the concern about balance.

Sure.

What if someone else wants to? They don't care about balance, or being challenged. They want to turn on every superweapon in the galaxy and watch 50,000 ships slug it out in an epic final confrontation. I don't see why that's any better or worse than what you want to do.

There is not one true way to play the game. You need to understand that.

Offline x4000

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2016, 10:24:07 AM »
I'm not responding to the main thread here at the moment, but to the rift between Cinth and kasnavada at the moment: https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19108.0.html
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2016, 10:51:45 AM »
@Tridus & @Pumpkin.

I understand that, and just wanted to try out if making the "extreme" different playstyle that are currently in-game somewhat "closer".

The proposal I made here tried to reflect that. I had a larger post, but lost it because my computer rebooted.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2016, 10:55:48 AM »
The proposal I made here tried to reflect that. I had a larger post, but lost it because my computer rebooted.

Doh. :( Always sucks when that happens.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2016, 10:57:14 AM »
The proposal I made here tried to reflect that. I had a larger post, but lost it because my computer rebooted.

Doh. :( Always sucks when that happens.

Thanks =).


Offline skrutsch

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2016, 11:44:04 AM »
AIP can be presented and explained better in AIW2, to help ease any issues. At its core, it works pretty well as-is though.

Agree with both keeping the concept and rising structure of AIP and the importance of presenting and explaining it as best we can.

One thing I would change is making the tech level steps less cliff-like and more gradual.

For newer players, I think the cliffs are a good idea, to emphasize just how important the AIP mechanic is.  Newbies are not going to notice any subtle changes anyway.  The rest of this applies to the power players:

I understand the representation of AIP as a number, the returned value from some mysterious unknowable alien subroutine.  But must we humans always know exactly what the AIP value is and what the AI is most "worried" about?

Instead of +1 AIP every 10 minutes, what about 0, 1 or 2 AIP every 10 minutes, with an equal probability of each result?   (Or 0, 1 or -1 AIP every one minute for an unstable AI?)  The expected value of AIP remains the same, but the player's uncertainty increases a bit every time interval.  So the AIP might be 5 plus-or-minus 1 after 10 minutes, but 120 plus-or-minus 18 after three hours.  This really doesn't make the tech level steps more gradual, it just makes it easier for a player to trip on them in the dark. :)

Does this AI care more about losing ships or losing structures?  Is it more threatened by damage from player raids or large concentrations of player ships?  These kinds of things included in "AI Personalities" might give them more, um, personality.

(My mental model is from WWII board game World in Flames.  As the Japanese player, you want to Pearl Harbor the United States just before they decide to enter on their own, but as in real life you can't tell precisely when that will be, merely a range of results.)

Maybe hacking can "gather intelligence" (shown by narrowing the AIP range) or de-sensitize the AI to some particular player action?

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2016, 11:51:07 AM »
On and off topic at the same time, there are mentions in the design doc that Chris tries to "remove", or lessen, or disengage, at least, the impact of AIP on some of the AI responses. One topic about this is starting there :

https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19107.0.html

An interesting idea is to tie "candy techs" to "capturing a system from the AI". Which also takes AIP, I suppose (unless it's going to change in AI war 2), but it adds a very visible "penalty" to the player, and possibly is game changing. Or not. So taking a new system is kind of a gamble, and at the same time not. This sytem is in the game called "infested planet", and works very well for all I can tell, and the praise that this game got.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 11:56:19 AM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2016, 12:22:36 PM »
Quick note: I was also unhappy about the giant increases in tech that AIP cause, but Keith addressed the fact that that is not stepwise at all anymore, actually.  There's more that can be done there, though.  Overall there are a variety of things that I intend to shift in the direction of more reactions to other things you do, versus just global AIP.  I see AIP as overall driving waves content/size/quality and reinforcement size and CPA size and a few other things like that.  Those are very important things, but not the whole picture; a lot of the other stuff can be decoupled to some lesser or greater degree.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2016, 12:31:07 PM »
If you're talking about tech level threshold ? If I remember well, keith made it so the tech level are "mixed" in attacking waves, so if you're at the "middle" of the "tech tiers" tied to AIP, between mark 2 or 3 for example, you'd have 50% of each. So now the main impact is that waves get slightly bigger and slightly more "strong" and there is no gap when the step is reached.

About AIP, are minor factions going to have an AIP rating, determining how much the AI wants them dead ? That could be a cool idea.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 12:33:11 PM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2016, 12:36:17 PM »
Correct on the mixed waves.  On minor factions I'm not sure on that yet.  Could be a cool idea, had not thought of it before you just suggested it, and I'm not sure of the ramifications.
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Offline zharmad

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2016, 02:21:25 PM »
Correct on the mixed waves.  On minor factions I'm not sure on that yet.  Could be a cool idea, had not thought of it before you just suggested it, and I'm not sure of the ramifications.
You'd need to set up a modified response curve, but it'd be a unified way to control the rate/order at which AI gobbles up particular factions. Have each faction start with randomised 0~100 AIP + Shark-AB, and give them slightly varying auto-AIP progress. The AI will then attack them in slowly increasing waves, but they should have the starting resources to fend them off for a while.

 Might be interesting to have the AI divide up its reinforcement pool against the various human factions. Gives you a visceral effect on the impending doomsday line, similar to the way funding countries leave X-COM to join the alien overlords. (Harder to balance.)

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2016, 02:49:05 PM »
Correct on the mixed waves.  On minor factions I'm not sure on that yet.  Could be a cool idea, had not thought of it before you just suggested it, and I'm not sure of the ramifications.
You'd need to set up a modified response curve, but it'd be a unified way to control the rate/order at which AI gobbles up particular factions. Have each faction start with randomised 0~100 AIP + Shark-AB, and give them slightly varying auto-AIP progress. The AI will then attack them in slowly increasing waves, but they should have the starting resources to fend them off for a while.

 Might be interesting to have the AI divide up its reinforcement pool against the various human factions. Gives you a visceral effect on the impending doomsday line, similar to the way funding countries leave X-COM to join the alien overlords. (Harder to balance.)

A lot different from what I was seeing. That might be better discussed in another thread. Could you ?

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2016, 02:55:37 PM »
Correct on the mixed waves.  On minor factions I'm not sure on that yet.  Could be a cool idea, had not thought of it before you just suggested it, and I'm not sure of the ramifications.
You'd need to set up a modified response curve, but it'd be a unified way to control the rate/order at which AI gobbles up particular factions. Have each faction start with randomised 0~100 AIP + Shark-AB, and give them slightly varying auto-AIP progress. The AI will then attack them in slowly increasing waves, but they should have the starting resources to fend them off for a while.

 Might be interesting to have the AI divide up its reinforcement pool against the various human factions. Gives you a visceral effect on the impending doomsday line, similar to the way funding countries leave X-COM to join the alien overlords. (Harder to balance.)
Er, I might have dramatically misunderstood, but there aren't going to be human factions throughout. They're killed in the first hour and you play the rest of the game against the AI (but with the other minor factions).

Offline Tridus

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Re: Review of AIP progress
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2016, 03:26:14 PM »
Correct on the mixed waves.  On minor factions I'm not sure on that yet.  Could be a cool idea, had not thought of it before you just suggested it, and I'm not sure of the ramifications.
You'd need to set up a modified response curve, but it'd be a unified way to control the rate/order at which AI gobbles up particular factions. Have each faction start with randomised 0~100 AIP + Shark-AB, and give them slightly varying auto-AIP progress. The AI will then attack them in slowly increasing waves, but they should have the starting resources to fend them off for a while.

 Might be interesting to have the AI divide up its reinforcement pool against the various human factions. Gives you a visceral effect on the impending doomsday line, similar to the way funding countries leave X-COM to join the alien overlords. (Harder to balance.)
Er, I might have dramatically misunderstood, but there aren't going to be human factions throughout. They're killed in the first hour and you play the rest of the game against the AI (but with the other minor factions).

The way that I read it was that some of the bonus ships were coming from the other human factions, so you must be able to help some of them? Otherwise you'd never get those.