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Private Alpha Discussion / About the New UI appearing in the next update
« Last post by Ovalcircle1 on August 17, 2018, 09:39:14 PM »
If I ask nicely, do you think you can share just a piece of the new UI?
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Seems simpler than trying to "borrow" an AI planet. Might need a way to stop people using this to go blow up an Astrolid planet though. Unless that's of particular interest, using a rare one shot thing like this offensively.

Science problem might have a very simple solution. Simply disable access to normal Science ships, and make human command stations produce science instead. Therefore you have to actually take the planet to gain any knowledge, instead of going sightseeing in a galactic museum. Unlocks aren't done through the science ships now anyway, so don't think you actually need them. ARS might still need to exist, but I suppose override their file with one that can't produce knowledge. I believe with the next update you could do this entirely in XML?

If that works as I think it would, it'd let you get that bit functional, at least until a more elegant solution.
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AI War II - Modding / Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Last post by Ovalcircle1 on August 16, 2018, 08:06:04 PM »
Or use a similar mechanic to the Ark and Destruction points? Fight the Astrolids for long enough and you get an extra planet allowance. Each one being more and more expensive, so still have to choose carefully, and it still means you can't just "permanently borrow" the galaxy from the AI.

That could be done by a tech option, with only that point as the cost. Once the Astrolids arrive, you get this new type of colony ship. Could theme it as a Human AI Controller, where the AI is letting you take control of the things on that planet (for the wars duration). Each new one costs more points, just like Ark upgrades do right now. Keep the normal ones in case of a Faction planet, and for taking one from the Astrolids themselves.

You'd have to disable knowledge gain from allied planets somehow, for the problem Badger mentioned with unlocking the entire tech tree.

I like this solution. Here's my idea based on this: after a certain amount of destruction points, you get a special ship. When used, it instantly destroys everything on the planet, even if it's friendly. Sort of like the "clean up on Aisle three" cheat from AIWC. Then you can bring a colony ship in to take control. The amount of destruction points needed go up over time, so you need to be strategic when taking AI planets for yourself. You don't want it right on the front-line, but you also don't want it to be far away either.

The science part I'll deal with when I get there.

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AI War II - Modding / Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Last post by Draco18s on August 16, 2018, 04:11:34 PM »
The Nanocaust was inspired by https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=9936 and the name was borrowed from the book Century Rain.

That was a good book. I didn't recall that being the name of ... that thing from that book though!
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How would you feel about a..."planet loan cap"? The (one) AI lets you take a certain number of planets from it, no charge, as a means of giving you resources, but not too much (it doesn't exactly want you to rebel again, with too many free toys).

 Could scale it to how many planets you already have, so you can't take 10 then get 10 free.

Or use a similar mechanic to the Ark and Destruction points? Fight the Astrolids for long enough and you get an extra planet allowance. Each one being more and more expensive, so still have to choose carefully, and it still means you can't just "permanently borrow" the galaxy from the AI.

That could be done by a tech option, with only that point as the cost. Once the Astrolids arrive, you get this new type of colony ship. Could theme it as a Human AI Controller, where the AI is letting you take control of the things on that planet (for the wars duration). Each new one costs more points, just like Ark upgrades do right now. Keep the normal ones in case of a Faction planet, and for taking one from the Astrolids themselves.

You'd have to disable knowledge gain from allied planets somehow, for the problem Badger mentioned with unlocking the entire tech tree.
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AI War II - Modding / Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Last post by Ovalcircle1 on August 16, 2018, 03:39:49 PM »
1. The "sharing planets with a friendly AI" thing is the biggest problem. I do understand your concerns. But if that somehow manages to get resolved, then the floodgates are opened to what can happen. I was thinking that once the AI is allied, you could spread your forces throughout the galaxy and form a combined assault against the Astrolids. And yes, the AI would lose more worlds than you since the Astrolids would spawn the farthest away from both you and the AI. You would have to expand quite a bit to have the Mothership spawn right next to one of your planets . If you send scouts to explore the galaxy, you could make an estimate of where they would spawn.

2. As for the player being a small fry, you don't have to start the event as soon as you capture the Communications Array. You still have to repair it. I would let the player be able to start it whenever they want. If you want to take over the galaxy and kill the AI Overlord right after you activate the Array so you can one-on-one the Astrolids, you can do that. Just set the AI to tutorial and give it a lot of negative handicaps (no waves, low intensity) and have a field day. If for some reason the player decides to activate it immediately, that's on them for not being ready for an invasion from another dimension. I'm assuming that people will actually read this topic or some instructions to see what they're up against. I'm not planning on hiding what's going to happen. "When the Astrolids spawn, Structures will appear in the galaxy. What could they be doing?", in my opinion, is lame. "The Astrolids spawn Structures that make their Mothership impervious to damage. Destroy them while building up your fleet." is more my style.

3. Balance pertaining to the Astrolids will be tricky. It needs to be something that is very powerful, yet beatable. Of course, putting anything on a high intensity will cause that faction to be extremely powerful (Macrophage, Dark Spire, Marauders, AI, Nanocaust, Dyson Sphere, etc). I'm probably not going to be aiming to balance it for intensity 10. I'll balance it for maybe 1-5 or 1-6. 7-10 should fall into place based on the lower intensities. Maybe not, but I'll deal with it when I get to that point.

4. As for the having Multiple AI's and having the Astrolids take over one of them, I understand with the idea behind it, but I would rather have the 1 AI. That's the plot. You have to team up with your sworn enemy to beat something that's even worse. Having multiple AI's is something I don't really want. It's an invasion, not a rebellion. It becomes an giant mess. EX. One AI is sending waves to Planets A and B, but another AI is sending waves to Planet E and F. The Third AI is sending waves to Planets A and E. The Astrolids are sending waves to Planets J and K. Your screen will be clogged with wave notifications. What would Astro trains do? Do they empower all the AIs? How about those AI Instigators? Say I used the "Astrolids take over third AI". What would happen to the Planets that are scattered throughout the galaxy? They get taken over as well?  Having AIs on three sides is just an AI civil war with extra factions (Humans and Astrolids.) Having 5 factions with 3 different goals is a little much. How would I be able to balance everything if all the AI's have different: AI types, intensities, the configurations of the planets they own, the type of waves they can send, possibly the strength of each Warden and Hunter fleet if that becomes per AI, etc? If someone turns off waves for any of the AI's, that AI is never going to win. (You could possible carry your AI to victory, but is that really fun?) I can only control what Humanity and the Astrolids will be doing, and I would rather not constrain the Astrolids to a scenario where everything is preset. But if I have to do something like that, I will. I am willing to make concessions to make this work.  As I said at the top of this post, the only thing that is bringing this down is the sharing of planets.
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Ah well. Still somewhat horrifying to think what happens to the pilots of Human ships. In Homeworld I recall they're converted into Beast biomass, yet can be...somewhat still alive. At least the Bentusi are, which is why they're much more afraid of the Beast than anything else.

This mod idea also makes me think of Stellaris, with all the Crisis events like the Unbidden. Definitely curious how it'll go for you.
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AI War II - Modding / Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Last post by BadgerBadger on August 16, 2018, 02:32:00 PM »
The Nanocaust was inspired by https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=9936 and the name was borrowed from the book Century Rain.
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I think some of this could be more easily captured by having a multi-AI start (lets say 3 AIs), and when the Astrolids arrive they take over one of the existing AIs. Then the Astrolid-AI gets some bonus ship types, and has their AI Overlord replaced with a Mothership. I think that buys you a lot of what you want, but gets around a lot of the balance/game weirdness issues. In general, the mechanism of "AI Civil War" is definitely something I want in the game, and this might be a means of having something like that.

I think this'll be the best way actually. Either 3 AIs as said, Astrolids hijack one, one allies with you, and the third is hostile to all (disagrees with the alliance) and is the one you'd take territory from.

Or:

Astrolids spawn, one AI allies with them instead, and you'd take stuff off them, as the second allies with you.

(It's off topic Badger, but is the Nanocaust inspired at all by the Beast from Homeworld Cataclysm? Occurred to me after wondering what happens to the ship pilots...)
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AI War II - Modding / Re: Custom Campaign Idea: Invasion of the Astrolids
« Last post by BadgerBadger on August 16, 2018, 01:54:37 PM »
Once two factions change allegiance, all of their units immediately change allegiance too. So if there was (say) an inbound wave when humans and AI allied, it would land on your planet and say "Oh, there are no enemies here. Lets just chill out".

Trying to balance the Astrolids would be pretty hard though. It would have some of the same problems as the Nanocaust, and balancing that is still a work in progress.

I worry though that the game would feel a bit weird, balance wise, allied to the AI. Lets say I own 4 planets when I ally myself to the AI. I now can't take any more planets from the AI (since they are now allied and there's no current mechanism to attack allied units), so my metal income is now permanently capped. Nor can I capture any additional ARS, Fab, Golem, Merc Beacon, etc... However, I can now send science labs across the galaxy to collect Science from every AI planet, so I can just max out my Tech Tree easily.

I think some of this could be more easily captured by having a multi-AI start (lets say 3 AIs), and when the Astrolids arrive they take over one of the existing AIs. Then the Astrolid-AI gets some bonus ship types, and has their AI Overlord replaced with a Mothership. I think that buys you a lot of what you want, but gets around a lot of the balance/game weirdness issues. In general, the mechanism of "AI Civil War" is definitely something I want in the game, and this might be a means of having something like that.
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