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Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me the WAR :D

 
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Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me the ... - 2/5/2012 3:12:35 PM   
gameplayer2012

 

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Hi,

First time poster, and normally I wouldn't bother but I ran into something I find somewhat bazaar in Distant Worlds Legends, and I wanted to check-in with the fan base to see if A. I am being a newbie or B. it is a bug.

First off, only had the game a very short time and so far, simply awesome. I was a big time MOO1/2 and *cough* 3 fan who migrated to Galactic Civilizations 1/2. But to me DWL is what true 4X Space Strategy should be about. Praise to one side, here's the problem I am facing.

I have played 2 games so far and not till now have I had an issue of any kind with the game. The issue I am now getting is that I am in a war with a neighbouring civilization for a while now. The fighting has been going back and forth and I have finally decided to go on the offensive. Now, the game is pretty good in allowing me to make decisions like for example, when and how I go to war. But it has a serious issue in executing what I am telling it.

2 examples spring to mind that illustrate my frustration thus far with the AI;

1. My colonies are getting constantly ambushed by my enemy, so rightly I put a small strike fleet into play at the planet, 5 ships, all set to posture :- defend = home colony and stance :- attack - nearby enemies. Now to me this means stay near the colony and attack all hostiles within the local planetary range but defend the colony as a priority. So when I watch a enemy troop ship fly right past all the ships and invade the planet, you can probably understand my frustration. The times I have found my defence fleet either attacking enemies on the other side of the system, sitting there doing jack or actually dropping orbit to sit in the middle of space somewhere along the orbit line is unbelievable. I found clicking the automate button seems to help keep them grounded to the planet they are suppose to be defending but not always.

2. As I mentioned above in my current game I went on a massive offensive, I built a 32 ship fleet to take out just one colony. I equipped the fleet with a resupply ship and 2 dedicated troop transports and flew across the entire map to strike at my enemys' homeworld. A brilliant strategy I had in mind when I launched the invasion, but which quickly turned to poop in a bag, all because of the AI. The strategy was simple, any fleet travelling from my homeworld to theirs would be left with only 10% fuel. I knew I couldn't afford to engage their homeworld directly from my own, but I could create a supply line on the edge of their home system to refuel the ships and then attack. My fleet drop out of hyperspace at 0 on a gas giant mining station and leveled it. Now this is where it all went poop... I assumed my fleet admiral wasn't a dumb a$$. Apparently for his +25% bonus in everything he was pretty dense. Even after setting my fleet to patrol/move/refuel at the resupply ship at the planet several times, half my fleet immediately without as much as a "hey sorry bud we're off" hyperspaced straight into the enemy homeworld. I watched in horror as 16 of my best ships randomly at various speeds and without accepting my orders to "get the f**k back here", dropped right into the middle of the enemys' homeworld fleet flanked with 3 defensive stations and a large starport. Suffice to say the invasion ended rather quickly. After which my fleet at the resupply point were overwhelmed and ganked. Within minutes, with insufficient numbers my invasion and 75% of my total empires ships were dead.

Now my question is why are my ships disobeying me, what do I need to set them to, stance, posture, whatever, in order to have total 100% manual control. Because if this is what they are going to constantly do in my games I can't see me playing this for too long. :(
Post #: 1
RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 3:50:19 PM   
TheJian

 

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This could help understanding patrolling a little better http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2961010

< Message edited by TheJian -- 2/5/2012 4:17:52 PM >

(in reply to gameplayer2012)
Post #: 2
RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 3:54:33 PM   
Theluin


Posts: 184
Joined: 5/13/2011
From: Europe, Terra
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Are you playing 1.7.0.10? Most of the issues with the AI overriding the players orders were fixed in that patch.
But if you do not trust beta patches then you should change the stances to engage when attacked (in empire settings in options, otherwise they'll get overridden) set some nice and safe colony or base (something that's very unlikely to get attacked) as the fleets homebase and set it's posture to defend homebase only.
That way the ships will only do things on their own in three situations:
a)If their base is directly threatened they will go and try to rescue it
b)If they are fired upon they will respond in kind
c)They'll go and refuel when they run low.

Edit:Typo

< Message edited by Theluin -- 2/5/2012 3:57:09 PM >

(in reply to gameplayer2012)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 4:04:36 PM   
gameplayer2012

 

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Awww thanks all good stuff.

However the situation with the fleet running off when in hostile territory is the big concern for me.

I can't afford to have units that just act independently when inside of a fleet, which is what I have experience.

(in reply to Theluin)
Post #: 4
RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 5:41:19 PM   
Canute

 

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Maybe you don't notice a Fleet got 2 stances
At the overview window on the lower left side you hve
- the ship stances, you can change top right button
- Fleet engage stance, lower right button.

When your fleet was fighting at the other side of the system, the fleet engage stance was set to system maybe.




(in reply to gameplayer2012)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 5:53:23 PM   
TheJian

 

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With posture set  to  defend = home colony and stance :- attack - nearby enemies you will get what he is getting... Understand stance and patrol is the key.

(in reply to Canute)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 6:26:54 PM   
gameplayer2012

 

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That's not exactly helpful.

I shouldn't need to fight my own units to get them to do as I ask. To me there seems to be to many levels of stances/postures in this game, you need only one.

I only need a stance and a posture... and of them I need it simplifying so the AI doesn't get confused. Either DEFEND my COLONY or ATTACK my enemies in SYSTEM for example. I don't need DEFEND my colonies but only if you aren't off flying about ENGAGING ENEMIES somewhere in my SYSTEM. That's as useful and an arrow to the knee. Plus having a games options > empire settings > fleet policy layer as well that overrides the players/fleet/unit policy is NOT helpful.

God this is quite the mess. I have been experimenting with the settings, after getting shot of the outer game policy its helped with my fleet/units keeping the policy I set them.


(in reply to TheJian)
Post #: 7
RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 6:56:41 PM   
Jim D Burns


Posts: 3113
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From: Salida, CA.
Status: online
Attack nearby targets means to leave the system and attack anything in the blue ring that appears on the zoomed out map if you turn on the overlay to display the rings, use the attack system targets setting to keep a fleet from leaving the system.

As to the assault, you're better off stopping at an uninhabited system first to refuel your fleet before entering the enemy’s home world. But if you absolutely have to enter the home world, then use no base set and defend target only settings. That "might" work, but with so many enemy targets in the system, my guess is as soon as any enemy targets anything they are set to defend, then they'll run off and engage them. So I'd say find an uninhabited gas giant somewhere nearby and top off fuel there, then warp in to attack the system.

Jim


< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 2/5/2012 6:59:53 PM >


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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 7:24:00 PM   
gameplayer2012

 

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Right ok I think I read somewhere that there is a blue and red circle that appears to notate the areas.

I can see the blue ones but not a red one. Is there a setting to make it visible?

(in reply to Jim D Burns)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/5/2012 8:30:51 PM   
TheJian

 

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GamePlayer2012 have you seen this info http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2973167

(in reply to gameplayer2012)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/6/2012 11:18:10 AM   
gameplayer2012

 

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TheJian - Apologises if I appear to having a go, I don't mean too. I appreciate the help that everyone is giving. As I have said I have only been at this for 3 days now. I think the concept of the game is fantastic and is very, very well implemented. My only grief thus far is the fleet/unit management.

I went back to my game last night, I managed to pull my empire back from oblivion and rebuild my fleets. It wasn't easy but I managed it over the course of several years. I decided the best option was to cease the war with my neighbour, they had been bugging me to end it for almost 50 years so my war wariness was at an insane level.

I was also experience some pretty bad issues with my economy. While I had low taxation maximum growth for all my colony, I found my construction yards were stalling on producing units. It would start fine get to 90%+ then just stop with 3 components to go. This appeared to last for years. But once I cancelled all productions and whacked up the tax rate I found I suffered no problems, very odd.

I had to set my empire default stance to engage all in system again to get my defence fleet working and set them to automated. This I imagine will put my units back to how they were when I first started this thread.

So a new question...

How does my empire's policy of default stance affect my fleets/units stance and posture?


(in reply to TheJian)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/6/2012 12:35:43 PM   
Theluin


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From: Europe, Terra
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Each time a ship gets an order it's stance is changed to the default or that order.
For example every time a ship gets a patrol/escort order it's stance switches to the default you set for patrol/escort missions.

(in reply to gameplayer2012)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/6/2012 1:15:52 PM   
gameplayer2012

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Theluin

Each time a ship gets an order it's stance is changed to the default or that order.
For example every time a ship gets a patrol/escort order it's stance switches to the default you set for patrol/escort missions.



So to clarify... If I want a military ship to escort a civilian ship and military ship is set to stance/posture :- attack any ships in system and the empires policy is set to attack any ships in sector for escort then the ship defaults to attack any ships in sector?

Doesn't that sort of make my unit settings sort of redundant? You are suppose to be able to switch your fleet/units policy independently to the stance and posture on the unit display. But to me this never stays to what I set it, I can understand that during the melee of combat I might order my fleet to do something and once it is complete the ship defaulting to a new setting. But surely it should look at what policy I have set on the ship/fleet before deciding to override it.

I think the problem for me is that people talk about stances and postures but there is another level to fleet management. The level I call policy which can be set against units/fleets or at the empire level. The issue I see is that while in empire policy you can essentially switch off all automation of a ship so you have total control. Problem is that the ship is then essentially dead. It will not move or react even if they are attacked. But this policy is not available at the fleet/unit level, so when you want to set its policy you only get given Attack - System / Nearby / Sector.

If you could set a blank policy against the unit I think that would release the unit for total control.

(in reply to Theluin)
Post #: 13
RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/6/2012 7:09:23 PM   
Jim D Burns


Posts: 3113
Joined: 2/25/2002
From: Salida, CA.
Status: online
Global policy is a default behavior the AI uses when it assigns an AI controlled ship to that kind of task. Fleet policy is basically for manually controlled fleets, to allow some level of automation when a fleet is under player control.

If you assign a fleet policy to a manually controlled fleet and then allow the AI to take control of that fleet, it will revert to using the default global policy and may leave the fleet on your assigned mission or may choose to do something else with it, you have no control over that. So if you want to keep a fleet on an assigned task, leave it under manual control.

Jim


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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/6/2012 9:05:22 PM   
Jerkface

 

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There are many bugs in the game with regards to this, and its not very well documented how its even supposed to work.  Engage system targets sometimes will still take your fleets out of system, or they will wait until after troops have landed on your colony or after a pirate has blown up one of your stations before acting.  Also, sometimes I only see one ship out of the fleet respond when they all should.

(in reply to Jim D Burns)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/7/2012 3:08:38 PM   
Harry2

 

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I've noticed this too in the new patch. I had hoped defensive intelligence and aggresivenesss would have been improved but has not.

In addition to general lethargic response, sometimes fleets set to defend do not stay with the planet as it orbits the primary. So the fleets stay motionless while the planet moves far ahead, leaving it unprotected.

Other times, when the fleet does happen to stay with the planet, small groups of raiders attack and a (too) few fleet defenders (grudgingly) respond. But after the raiders leave (or are destroyed) the responders fall out of formation with the planet. After a few such attacks your fleet ends up dispersed in a long line along the planets wake.

Add to these issues the lack of a means to specify troop levels on specific planets, especially reciently conquered ones, and there still is a lot of manual micromagement required for any conflict.

(in reply to Jerkface)
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RE: Help Required: Strange Disobedient AI that cost me ... - 2/9/2012 9:35:16 AM   
gameplayer2012

 

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After much investigation and brute force gameplaying by myself. I have finally made some headway with the AI issues.

Yes their are issues still, some that might be resolved by the latest beta patch. But even without it, you should in theory be about to get 90% control over your fleet if you do the following.

*Doing this from memory as I am at work*

First of all you need to get rid of the default stances from Options > Empire > Policies > Default Stances - Set all to none *Might be wrong here*. This allows you to set up your own stances against the fleets and not have your actions like move fleet here suddenly change their stance to Engage Everything in Sight. :)

Some example configurations:

Attack Enemies in your System
Stance - Engage System Targets
Posture - Attack
Range - System
Base - Set to colony in that system
Automation - Yes

The above sets your fleet to operate in a system where the colony resides and actively attack any hostile ships that appear in that system.

Defend your System from Enemies
Stance - Engage System Targets
Posture - Defend
Range - System
Base - Set to colony in that system
Automation - Yes

The above sets your fleet to operate in a system where the colony resides and defend any ship/base/planet that is attacked by any hostile ships in that system.

Defend your Colony from Enemies
Stance - Engage System Targets
Posture - Defend
Range - Planet
Base - Set to defend-able colony in that system
Automation - Yes

The above sets your fleet to operate in a system where the colony resides and defend that one planet from any attacks by any hostile ships in that system.


Attack No-one unless attack in Hostile System
Stance - Engage When Attacked
Posture - Attack
Range - Target
Base - Set to colony in that system
Automation - No

The above sets your fleet to operate in a hostile system and only allows them to become active if A) they are attacked or B) they need to refuel. Barring ship specific setup from design of course. This works beautifully for manual fleets in hostile territory.

Hope this helps some people, so far these have worked well for me.

(in reply to Harry2)
Post #: 17
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