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AI War II - Modding / Re: Defense counters
« Last post by etheric42 on Yesterday at 11:48:30 PM »
Thanks.  I think I've got a handle on it now.  I didn't get the three-layer approach at first (ship, launcher, projectile) but I should be able to work it to do what I want now.
Well, my initial thought was, No Way, I like forcefields!
But my second, more rational though was, well, what did forcefields do, in Classic?
And you do seem to have addressed most of those concerns.
But my third, final thought was, what do I miss most when I play Ashes of the Singularity compared to supreme commander?
Shield generators.

Just my $0.02.
I do like Forged Alliance Forever significantly more than Ashes of the Singularity, but for me FAF is just the better game even without considering the shield generators.
AI War II - Modding / Re: Defense counters
« Last post by BadgerBadger on Yesterday at 07:20:25 PM »
A ship has an associated weapons system. Like for fighters, it's
    <system type="Fighter_Gun" />                                                                                                                                                                                               

That is defined in KDL_Systems.xml elsewhere in the xml, where it specifies the type of weapon, in this case
Code: [Select]
  <system name="Fighter_Gun"                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Then the shell is defined in
Code: [Select]
        <weapon name="ArmorPiercingShell"                                                                                                                                                                                       
                display_name="Armor Piercing Shell"                                                                                                                                                                             

So you would need to change the counter_type.

You can hunt through all the Nanocaust stuff to see it in action in a self-contained fashion
AI War II - Modding / Defense counters
« Last post by etheric42 on Yesterday at 07:10:19 PM »
I'm playing around with the the basic ships today because I felt like it and I was editing KDL_Ships_FleetShips and I couldn't find where the defense_counter was set.

Code: [Select]
  <entity name="Fighter_Mark1" shared_cap="Fighter"
          icon_name="Official/Fighter" icon_border="Official/Fighter_Border"
          icon_shape_name="Official/Arrow" icon_shape_border="Official/Border_Arrow"
          description="One of the core &quot;triangle&quot; Fleet Ship types, Fighters are excellent at damaging Armored targets like Bombers, but are easily destroyed by anti-Evasive weapons such as lasers or the Missile Corvette's guided missiles."

If I wanted to set fighters to be good against a different kind of defense, where do I change that?  Is that set in a different file?  What am I missing?
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by Valsacar on Yesterday at 06:06:03 PM »
Personally, I liked using shields but their place really depends on the overall design of the game.  I actually enjoyed the micro-managing aspects of the game.

I do want to point out that Star Trek DOES have shields that protect other units.  In countless episodes they say "extend the shields around..."
Well, my initial thought was, No Way, I like forcefields!
But my second, more rational though was, well, what did forcefields do, in Classic?
And you do seem to have addressed most of those concerns.
But my third, final thought was, what do I miss most when I play Ashes of the Singularity compared to supreme commander?
Shield generators.

Just my $0.02.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by Zenithir on Yesterday at 03:59:50 PM »
Reading the Kickstarter and here, I have a few thoughts.

Removing Shields because they are troublesome technically seems like a misconception on the nature of shields and ways they can be used. From what people said there is more concern around topics such as terrain [which space certainly has, otherwise there wouldn't be points of interest], ways to buffer their fragile or key points, sci-fi-ing it up, and control of ship interaction.

I vote shields out, but only if there is a means to implement what they emulate.

I have always felt shields to be too much of a catch-all. They are fun, and when implemented nearly requisite. However, as you noted they either aren't that big a deal or they are a little gimmicky, like special armor. I think what is missing is the reason for shields and what can make them sci-fi tastic.

First though, an example of shield bubbles in real life:
Earth, from Ozone, to atmosphere, to our ionosphere, to the magentic fields and more we both know and are probably completely unaware of, as well as our reliance on them.

Also, as others pointed out both starwars and startrek were able to project their shields over others, in some cases as a morphing of the fields, or space, and others by simply being large enough for others to snuggle in close. Honestly though, while both the star* are fun, they aren't really about battle mechanics, how shields might actually work, or more importantly how a mechanic would work better in AW2.

All that said, there are fun alternatives.
1)warping gravity in areas to prevent targeting or make certain absorb blows. This could also extend to ships seemingly shifting, or seeming in other places than they are. Bending signals is probably a bit easier than gravity.
2)Blinding groups, or temporarily making lanes unstable [or simply the location], you could even involve relativistic time.
3)more expansive space, adding in terrain is more approachable if each location is larger. Then distance can account for a fair amount of the shielding, especially with the now powerful tractors.
4)Size and movement difference expanded. This addresses the sense of fleet vs blob as well as shields.  Smaller ships could form a screen, or pester targets, disable parts of the opponents, outmaneuver weapons. The fact that they are smaller though suggests a lack of strength. While I would be hesitant to suggest something so overwhelming as damage resistance levels, there is a reason though armor has been such a prevalent notion in combat. Formations then could be extended to focus on doing more intense damage, attrition [like a phalanx], or other such formations. Perhaps introducing an ai we use to set the ranges
5)beamed energy; you could have a ship which projects shields or deflectors to target individuals instead of as a bubble. The idea isn't complicated, the trick would be they'd need some line of fire, whether direct or somehow directed.

ultimately the notion of a shield that protects from everything but that people can freely pass through is a little far fetched. And perhaps that is part of your crux. While this can repulse, reflect or defend 1-way (like in a simple instance a mirror), to allow such would take quite a unique set of circumstances and at best preparation which would allow others to detect how to completely bypass such shields.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by Draco18s on Yesterday at 03:00:54 PM »
But one of the very biggest things, to me, is that we need to get away from the fleet-ball mentality. It should be absolutely moronic to bring your bombers into a ball against a ball that has fighters in it, because those fighters just absolutely wreck your bombers. We recently upped the bonus against unlike-types from 300% to 900%, but it may need to go even higher, we'll see.

One of the contributing factors for fleet balls was that the enemy fleet was always of mixed company.

Sure, their ball had fighters in it, but it also had frigates. Your bombers attacked their frigates, your frigates attacked their fighters, and your fighters attacked their bombers.

In other cases it wasn't so clear cut, but it still almost always boiled down to "hug IT, GRAB EVERYTHING, GAH, GO GO GO, HURRY. LAUNCH EVERY ZIG." Even if you paused and tried to analyze what was coming at you it was almost certainly always the right thing to "just send everything you had." Because even the 1% extra DPS and 1% extra HP meant that the Important Stuff didn't die as quickly: your bombers (or whatever was weak to what they had and strong against nothing) acted as flak (albeit very expensive flak) and took some shots that ultimately meant that your fighters didn't take shots and consequently took out a larger portion of the enemy.

If we approach the problem from a different direction--the number of things the player can focus on and manage directly--we get into a MIT Overmind situation: the AI can just straight up better manage their units than we can. Even if the AI isn't performing dodge rolls by scattering units away from an AOE attack (as Overmind does in order to take out Archons with Hydralisks, ie hard-countering the hard counter through use of micro) it can still do more than you can and has more units with which to do so.
AI War II / Re: Poll: Would you be okay with us removing shields/forcefields?
« Last post by Miloch on Yesterday at 02:52:49 PM »
My reply as an avid scifi reader and video gamer.  We do need some kind of projected force field around certain structures.  Whether these are built on the structure itself or are some small building you put next to it either way we need to be able to protect important structures.  IE command structures and unreplaceable/captureables.
In an obscure japanese fleet rts game, fleets were "single units" that were in range when the front ship was in range (rather they only started firing then) with long range ships firing their long range weapons etc. The tactics came from positional things and admirals, front lines and skirmish squadrons that were heavily armored and had hard-hitting close rang weapons that couldn't be intercepted by AA etc. Shields existed in this game and long range fire would have a 1% hit chance (but very high damage IF it hits) at best on max range, so it was only to hold a front line light show basically.

You've got my curiosity.  What's the name of that game?

Basically, I don't see exactly how removing shields would make the game more fun and not more tedious to play. Can someone playing the beta describe how it would / wouldn't do that?

I haven't played a ton so far, but a little bit with and a little bit without shields.  With shields all your fragile units get an entire health bar that is vulnerable to a different kind of attacker at the expense of having to stay close to the shield starship.  Since squads are all pretty fragile (but some more than others), this means it was pretty optimal to clump them into a single ball and roll around the map doing damage.  You could do multiple balls per shield starship, but that was hard to micro because ships kept trying to kite out of the shield bubble if you weren't paying attention (this could be fixed with a UI feature, but that UI feature would take some work to implement).  And anyway you could always overlap shields and then just get even more HP to protect your glass cannons all in one ball.

Because the shields provided such protection, some of the ships have a hard time doing anything without them, and with them they became incredibly useful because their high DPS or high range could be utilized while ignoring their weakness (HP).

And then you came to AI shield balls, where you kept your ships clustered under your shield and traded fire with their shield and you hoped you could out DPS them.

Playing around without shields, there is still some room to tweak things (the glass cannons needs some way to be less glass cannony since they can't just use another unit to negate their weakness), but now I'm doing more "deploy the right units" micro, which feels more satisfying, but is more micro (well, not necessarily more micro than trying to keep all those units in the shield, but that would have to be fixed if shields were staying anyway so I'm not counting it). 

There are only 3 defense types, armor, evasion and structure.  So remembering counters isn't as bad and there are some UI updates in the pipeline that will let you see matchups more easily.  There are also some AI seeding changes that increase the chance of planets not just having an even distribution of strengths/defenses and encourage "reading the room".

namely that you got a fleet combat game without fleet controls.

What kind of controls would you like to see in a fleet game?  They may-or-may-not be in scope (or fitting to the vision of) AI War, but I like that kind of stuff and really want to hear about them.
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