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Observations of the AI

 
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Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 4:42:12 AM   
MartialDoctor


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In my last few games, I've really payed attention to how the AI behaves and why I've been able to win wars which, on paper, I would have thought I would lose. I've noticed a few things that really stand out and so I thought I'd share them here. As I know the AI will have some changes in the coming expansion, I'm hoping this information can be helpful to the devs.

I've listed them in what I consider to be most important to least.

1) When attacking space ports / planets / mines, the AI ignores fleets - this really puts them at a huge disadvantage. I've been able to defeat much larger fleets than my own simply by waiting at my space port for the enemy fleet to arrive and then taking them out. They will simply ignore my fleet while focusing on whatever their objective is. In these cases (which is basically all of them), if the AI would have simply changed their objective to first take out my fleet and then take out the space port or invade the planet, they would have been much more effective.

2) AI Economy - the main problem is, as many have posted, is the AI saves far too much; 100s of thousands for no reason as there is little use for saved money in this game (save for the far overpriced tech trading and payments for wars / sanctions). As another post had brought up, the higher difficulties aren't even any more difficult because the AI just saves more; it doesn't use it's money to buy ships! If the AI actually used it's money to buy ships, it would be incredibly more effective. Another big issue is the AI puts too high a priority on troops and too low a priority on military ships. If you control space, you protect your planets; troops only go so far. I've seen stacks of 20 - 30 AI troops invading undefended or lightly defended planets... that one invading force has more troops than my entire army combined! Yet, they can only take out undefended planets as my actual military fleets are strong enough to take out theirs and prevent most planets from being taken.

3) AI expansion is slow - this seems to revolve around two main things. For colonization, the AI just doesn't make enough exploration ships. It seems to only make 2; definitely not enough. I have 4, at least. I build more, if I can afford it. Exploration is key in the beginning stages to find all those good spots. For mining, this revolves around the fact that the AI doesn't build enough constructors. In my games, it has about the same amount as myself, even though it's economy is 10x mine. If it were to build about 3x more construction ships, it would expand it's mining operations fast enough. The AI can definitely afford these

4) The AI doesn't have defending fleets, ever - fleets only attack. Star ports only work well when defended by fleets. Otherwise, they can only defend against small attacks; medium to large fleets can easily take out star ports and other static defenses. High priority targets need fleets to defend them as well... and the fleets need to actually stay at the planet, not jump out to attack a stronger fleet in the same system. Fleets together with a space port are a strong defense. Also, small fleets to defend areas of space with important mines would also be useful. As is, a small attacking fleet can easily travel around, taking out all those undefended AI owned mines. So, as a whole, a few well placed defending fleets could help the AI on defense.

5) AI ships have too few shields and too few weapons.

From my observations of the AI behavior as well as checking in the editor, these are the main things I have seen. If these things were to be changed, the AI would be much more challenging than it currently is.

Anyways, I hope that information can be useful for the devs. Maybe some other players have noticed other things as well
Post #: 1
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 9:41:22 AM   
Bingeling

 

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1: If I ever attack a well defended enemy base, I won't ever give the "attack planet/space port" order while far out. I will jump at either the star or some gas giant (in hope of finding a gas mine) and bait defending ships (that happen to be around) to come get me. When those are dead, I attack the colony defenses... I doubt this is simple to have the AI do, and it is micro management. My fleet hugging the colony in defense is also being micro managed, and tricky to incorporate into the AI.

2: If you want to defend you need troops. You can also get by having troops on some key targets, and lots of troops in transports to take back what is taken. This is not something I would expect the AI to do. The AI should, however, learn that "you don't have to commit all troops in a fleet to take every colony". But I guess this is a limitation of a fleet having an "attack colony" order, and I don't do things that way. At least not with fleets that carry troops.

3: I am not sure constructors are the key to swift expansion (beyond a few), I suspect not. As for exploration this is the AIs inability to spend, and recognize the need for exploration. Also, the AI need to be able to separate between the two roles "explorers" and "explorers/combat scouts". It needs to have high priority on having a few explorers doing just exploration. The "combat scout" part of the AI explorers carries limited life expectancy.

It was in the previous expansion, but in my AI AAR where my Atuuk AI did almost all but run the military, I was blind. No exploration at all. Gas mining ships was my prime exploration force... Things are a bit better since then as the AI actually spends some money when it has a lot on hand.

4: Defending fleets are of limited use if you have no clue what is coming. The AI could mix defensive fleets with sensor networks (once it can afford them), and move defensive fleets to target of attacks. I don't think this is simple behavior to write, though. The AI won't be much better if it parks its main fleet at its main colonies.

5: In your game, there is one one empire that has a problem with ship design. The one where the ships carry too many shields and weapons.

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
Post #: 2
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 6:00:16 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 33198
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Thanks for the feedback.

The AI does use defensive fleets FYI, but perhaps we could improve how it chooses fleet strategy and positions its fleets.

We made some significant improvements to the AI ship design logic during the Legends updates, but there's always more room for improvement there too.

Regards,

- Erik


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(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 3
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 7:06:15 PM   
Apheirox

 

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1) It would be useful with programming to prevent head-on assaults on fortified positions like homeworld large space ports and accompanying defensive bases when a fleet is also present. Make the AI revert to targetting the fleet first to drive off the hostile fleet. Conversely, make it so that an outgunned, weaker fleet defending its homeworld will *stay* at the safety area near the homeworld defenses and not chase down intruders elsewhere in the system - a 'homeworld defense fleet' logic that makes it significantly harder to attack a homeworld by preventing the workaround Bingeling describes of first jumping in to a remote location.

2) I don't think it's an issue of not 'wanting' to buy ships, but rather not being able to. I see no difference whatsoever betwen 'Normal' and 'Very Hard'. I think the main reason for this is one's economy actually isn't limited by money but rather by resources - it doesn't matter how rich the AI is: If it has no Carbon Fibres, Steel and Gold, ships can't be built, simple as that (these three are the main culprits to halts in production). Outside of the very early game my economy is almost never limited by money but rather resources so the same is likely happening to the AI. The hard limit seems to be placed by the carbon fibres: Those occur only at continental & marshy swamp planets and so are severely limited, especially if you also have trade sanctions imposed. There have been games I simply abandoned because my empire spawned near *no* such planets and consequently absolutely nothing could be built.

3) I think the AI does a reasonable job of colonizing and exploring - that was only a problem in DW vanilla without expansions. The reason for what you are seeing is more likely issue #2 above - it can't build ships.

4)Doubt you are correct, AI should assign strike forces same as your automation will and should also send fleets to combat hostile fleets. What could be happening is in the early game empires lack good detection (long range scanners and proximity sensors) which gives fleets very little chance to respond to incoming fleets in time. Consequently, fleets are better used to attack rather than vainly attempt to defend.

5) Haven't noticed but again I highly doubt that, my guess is the AI uses the same designs player gets with design set to automation. If you're building custom ships you can probably build ones that are slightly superior, yes.

A bigger issue is the unbalancing storyline ships that are scattered throughout the galaxy. Did you find Devastator inside that special location? Congrats, your fleet just got unstoppable during the entire first section of the tech tree since that ship can solo an entire early tech fleet. Some of those size 1000 capital ships (and 800 sized cruisers with 700 firepower for that matter) are massively unbalancing and there's no way to stop them from appearing entirely (you can disable 'original' storyline but random super ships still appear). I enjoy the aspect of finding super items through exploration but it's a problem that one can find ships that single-handedly can overpower an entire empire and nullify the importance of all 'standard' ships.

< Message edited by Apheirox -- 9/17/2012 7:15:14 PM >

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 4
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 7:48:54 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I may have played too few games, but number of ships limited by resources

In my games, depending on difficulty settings an phase, my ships are limited by:

1: What I want
2: What I can afford when buying and maintaining.

I have never experienced a resource problem outside the very early game. And I "always" let the AI run the constructors, and when I interfere it is not to build more steel or gold mines. And I have never fought the bad guys...

I should maybe try to play the AI way, but... What is the use of escorts in this game? In my latest game the ones I met were pirate ones, and they were chased away by my mining bases (does all races have guns on mining bases now?).

What is the point in escort missions? I understand escorting a colony ship or construction ship. But for a colony ship it is about waiting at the colony object. For construction ships the escort should also arrive first. I don't notice my construction ships being destroyed without escorts or attention, I just have to convince them to give up on some systems that crawl with wildlife.

Maybe to buff and reconsider the AI's use of ship classes would make sense?

The name would be all wrong, but redo the escort. Make it more like the current frigate. 1 reactor. Use it to defend mining bases. It should be quick and nimble.

Make the frigate more like today's destroyer. Two reactors. Maybe a bit faster, more raidy ship?

The destroyer could be a bit bigger. Make it heavier and slower than the frigate, like a lighter cruiser? Contrary to the frigate, it could sport a fighter bay by default.

The cruiser where it is, maybe a tad more weapons? Two fighter bays?

Have the capitals have the gravity wells and any other goodies that take a lot of room (long range scanner?), and make them stretch towards the build limit appearing at 500 or 650 size.

Maybe a new class for a fleet control ship? This one could be the long range scanner one. And one that tries to stay out of harm's way. Appearing once a bunch of tech is available (fleet bonuses). It could also in addition to a moving scanner be a more defensive capital, sacrificing firepower for the long range scanner and more shields.

The AI has troop compartments on destroyers+ (at least for many races). I never see a point in this. Consider if a retooled AI to work with troop fleets makes sense and is feasible. They swoop in once the battle is won. They could wait in "dead space" nearby, always avoiding combat, jumping away unless on an invade mission (against stronger opponents)? I must admit that I could not stop the troop drop in my latest game, though.

If the AI starts packing a scanner on its major fleets, it would also get more knowledge of the area in war, allowing for more aggressive base raiding by its strike fleets.

A flip side of a more efficient AI could be that the economy of the game breaks..

(in reply to Apheirox)
Post #: 5
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 10:24:19 PM   
pipewrench


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create a slider that has Storyline AI and SandboxAI.

The storyline AI can offer a challenge to a new or semi-experienced player but also not hinder him or her to the point that they cannot finish the game.

The SandBox AI can still have the storyline if necessary but bring a more strategic thinking decision making process to the AI.

MartialDoctor's recommendations are fantastic and added to the sandbox would bring more pressure for the player to adapt to issues.

- Diplomancy
tech trading has little implication when it comes to enemies or friends. Make it so that if I trade technology for cash or trade tech - tech other empires will find out eventually if I am not in an iron clad treaty. Tech trading for money is a simple way to crash research techs and re-sell old technologies that every AI will buy at the same time. This should be structured as a desperate pawn shop deal and you are going to receive a far , far less amount then the tech is worth. The more you tap the well the more you will have to pawn and the less you will get in return especially if you knowingly trade to another empire they do not like. And unless in a treaty that news of your arms deals should get around.

Give the ability of another empires spy network to probe your network for weak points, direct attacks against large centralized research stations and if possible military fuel extraction points along borders. Target these actions to coincide with a fleet move so as to not give away an objective.

Give the AI the ability to use small escorts or frigates to raid systems and attack the trade network. Hit the freighter not the base, be fast and then get out. This would force a true escort response and cash would now matter more in mid game. Please give them, for the love of god, some speed and hyper jump inhibiting.

Just some ideas, Nice OP

edit

The pirates are a very good example of an improvement. Faster and they retreat sometimes if over matched. Good tactics that could be improved by attacking freighters that are full and confiscating them if possible. Escorts now become very relevant.






< Message edited by pipewrench -- 9/17/2012 10:33:31 PM >

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 6
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 10:34:40 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I agree that a sharper AI would give a need for an AI slider. There already is a difficulty one, though, but players probably wants to split the economy vs behavior slide.

As for aggressive escorts. If they did that to me, they are likely to find themselves short a few border colonies and in the need to rebuild their capital spaceport once the blockade is over.

These are empires. Military taking pot shots at the freighters or bases of other empires should be the same as war. If underhand actions are wanted, maybe try to evolve the pirate alliances. I don't know how the current alliance influences the pirates, if it for instance gives them more ships the same way as success does.

(in reply to pipewrench)
Post #: 7
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/17/2012 10:57:26 PM   
Jim D Burns


Posts: 3274
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From: Salida, CA.
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quote:

ORIGINAL: MartialDoctor
4) The AI doesn't have defending fleets, ever -


I think a new troop class would go a long way to making planets more defendable and help both players and the AI. Call them atmosphere defense ships and build them on planet like ground troops get built and give them their own row just above the ground troop row on the planet display. But unlike ground troops these units can never leave the planet.

Then allow them to fire into space and be fired upon from space only at a very short orbital range from the planet and require they be eliminated before troops can pass through the atmosphere and land on a planet. If you make them very hard to hit, it would require that attacking fleets remain in orbit for extended periods.

This would prevent the common rush style tactics we see where ships run in and dump their troops without attacking orbital bases or defensive fleets. It would also require a period of blockade while the attacking ships try and eliminate the tiny fast targets whizzing around in the atmosphere, thus giving AI controlled defensive fleets that may be a short ways out of the system time to get back and contest the invasion.

Anything to help the AI and slow down the rush style tactics for planetary combats would be a welcome change.

Jim

P.S. And please make it so conquered planets have severe unrest with automatic guerilla militia units being created every month for decades or longer, so you can’t pick up your entire invasion force 2 seconds after conquest and leave.



< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 9/17/2012 11:02:40 PM >


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Post #: 8
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/18/2012 5:27:56 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Joined: 3/7/2011
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
1: If I ever attack a well defended enemy base, I won't ever give the "attack planet/space port" order while far out. I will jump at either the star or some gas giant (in hope of finding a gas mine) and bait defending ships (that happen to be around) to come get me. When those are dead, I attack the colony defenses... I doubt this is simple to have the AI do, and it is micro management. My fleet hugging the colony in defense is also being micro managed, and tricky to incorporate into the AI.


Yes, I have seen the same issue.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
2: If you want to defend you need troops. You can also get by having troops on some key targets, and lots of troops in transports to take back what is taken. This is not something I would expect the AI to do. The AI should, however, learn that "you don't have to commit all troops in a fleet to take every colony". But I guess this is a limitation of a fleet having an "attack colony" order, and I don't do things that way. At least not with fleets that carry troops.


Not entirely true. As I had said, if you play defense well and use good intelligence, you can defend important planets with star ports combined with a fleet. You can take out any incoming transports to prevent large number of troops from getting into the colony. You only need a good handful of troops to handle any enemy troops that happen to get through. For less important colonies, if they happen to get taken with a huge force of troops, you can always revert to bombarding them to oblivion and then recolonizing / terraforming them back. Although that brings up another point where I wish bombarding targeted troops more... but I digress.

My main point here, though, was just to point out that battle fleets and ships are much more important than troops. And the AI doesn't seem to get that, in my opinion.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
4: Defending fleets are of limited use if you have no clue what is coming. The AI could mix defensive fleets with sensor networks (once it can afford them), and move defensive fleets to target of attacks. I don't think this is simple behavior to write, though. The AI won't be much better if it parks its main fleet at its main colonies.


You are completely right. I wasn't saying it's main fleet either. I was more getting at a smaller one to help defend a high priority target, such as an important border planet. It would be far better if the AI would actually scan and adapt but I think that would be difficult to program.

However, the AI would have to make more ships and fleets in order for this to work.


And I completely agree with your entire other post as well. I had tried to limit the AI of making escorts since they are not very useful in their default stance (except maybe in defending constructors). However, when I tried, the mod file didn't seem to take effect


< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 9/18/2012 5:45:35 AM >

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 9
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/18/2012 5:40:52 AM   
MartialDoctor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Apheirox
2) I think the main reason for this is one's economy actually isn't limited by money but rather by resources - it doesn't matter how rich the AI is: If it has no Carbon Fibres, Steel and Gold, ships can't be built, simple as that (these three are the main culprits to halts in production). Outside of the very early game my economy is almost never limited by money but rather resources so the same is likely happening to the AI. The hard limit seems to be placed by the carbon fibres: Those occur only at continental & marshy swamp planets and so are severely limited, especially if you also have trade sanctions imposed. There have been games I simply abandoned because my empire spawned near *no* such planets and consequently absolutely nothing could be built.


Hmmmm, I've never had this problem. But I do micro everything and so I make sure I have all necessary resources. You may be on to something, though. That may be the reason the AI doesn't build as many fleets; I'm not sure.

If this is true then, it comes back to my point #3. The AI is not building enough mines and that is due to not enough constructors. Also, it's possibly the way the AI prioritizes building of mines. As I micro my economy, I always use the list to find whatever resources my economy is needing and build mines there. I've never ran into a lacking of any important resource. If I have the money, I've always been able to build whatever I needed.

Carbon fiber is more limited but I've never ran into an instance of not having it at all. But this could be because I do aggressively expand and possibly get access to it before the AI does.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Apheirox
A bigger issue is the unbalancing storyline ships that are scattered throughout the galaxy. Did you find Devastator inside that special location? Congrats, your fleet just got unstoppable during the entire first section of the tech tree since that ship can solo an entire early tech fleet. Some of those size 1000 capital ships (and 800 sized cruisers with 700 firepower for that matter) are massively unbalancing and there's no way to stop them from appearing entirely (you can disable 'original' storyline but random super ships still appear). I enjoy the aspect of finding super items through exploration but it's a problem that one can find ships that single-handedly can overpower an entire empire and nullify the importance of all 'standard' ships.


Completely agree. I've brought this up before.

I actually limit myself to cruiser ship or lower. Any capital ships I find I have a rule that they must be retrofitted.

(in reply to Apheirox)
Post #: 10
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/18/2012 8:58:29 AM   
Bingeling

 

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I think the AI overbuild mines... I am not quite sure, though, since I have never actually micromanaged it. I also doubt the overbuilding matters, apart from paying for too many constructors...

One problem of AI vs player may be the "percentage of ships in fleets". I doubt there is much need for "non fleeted" ships beyond a point. So at a time when the empire is mature and more fleets could be useful, the AI build ships and still orders a certain percentage of escorts that hardly help much at any point in time.

Above the "orbital defense force" is suggested. I think the problem is really the troops being carried away if you are not careful. What is really needed is a "value" for each colony that says how many troops (or how much defensive power) should never be carried away. You could also make these troops somewhat cheaper, making it easier to carry a decent overall defense.

In my latest game I had a single war early on. At the south edge of my area of the ring, the silly Sluken attacked (and it was exciting for a while). They charge my nice, south, Ugnari colony that made me able to slowly colonize ice. It was the somehow mature colony closest to them. I start defending it (and fail to stop troop transports even with a decent (for the time) fleet in defense) and land troops for defense with my troop transports.

Keep in mind. The AI likes its selected targets. You can see this with pirates, as long as you save it, they will attack the same mine again and again. It is also quite clear the empire AI does the same. When they have attacked the Ugnari colony once, and failed, they are likely to come again. And they did, but not with the same number of troops. (three times, I think). This "stick to target" could be nothing else than them attacking the "best known target" withing some range.

Anyways. One of the more boring tasks in the game is to manually fill troop transports with troops. And if you during the fight at the ugnari colony ask them to load troops, they will head elsewhere. They don't grab troops from combat (good thing, usually). But for any troop load order in the south, where will there be troops once the fighting is over? At the Ugnari colony. Where do I want a quite decent number of troops at the ground? At the Ugnari colony. Beyond sending fleets 4 sectors back before giving the reload order, I think I intercepted transports moving away from the Ugnari colony with troops twice... And that was with unloading the troops twice, and loading the transports three times (ending the war with troops in the transports).

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
Post #: 11
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/18/2012 4:20:22 PM   
pipewrench


Posts: 450
Joined: 1/5/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling

I agree that a sharper AI would give a need for an AI slider. There already is a difficulty one, though, but players probably wants to split the economy vs behavior slide.

As for aggressive escorts. If they did that to me, they are likely to find themselves short a few border colonies and in the need to rebuild their capital spaceport once the blockade is over.

These are empires. Military taking pot shots at the freighters or bases of other empires should be the same as war. If underhand actions are wanted, maybe try to evolve the pirate alliances. I don't know how the current alliance influences the pirates, if it for instance gives them more ships the same way as success does.


Sorry if I am not clear enough,

Attacks are meant to be used in war not peace. Pot shots are used to deny or restrict your use of materials to make war behind lines. With this in mind, all static uber forts would become irreverent and a moving military presence would be required behind the lines to keep constructor and freighter networks intact. Fuel has always been key in wars and tankers are prize targets which can restrict the movement of fleets and cripple economies.

As for the home world attack deep behind the lines, a simple delaying action combined with a building construction program which is closer can provide a response fleet that would target your means to refuel first and your fleet second. This should discourage deep strikes and create a moving front line and protection of the infrastructure behind.

As a human vs AI - a way will always be had to find an optimized solution and that is to be expected.

And Bingeling I completely agree with the 'same targets' analogy. Hitting a strongly defended target is pointless unless your committed to fast raids that disrupt construction and freighter movement.





(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 12
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/18/2012 6:21:29 PM   
MartialDoctor


Posts: 387
Joined: 3/7/2011
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quote:

ORIGINAL: pipewrench
- Diplomancy
tech trading has little implication when it comes to enemies or friends. Make it so that if I trade technology for cash or trade tech - tech other empires will find out eventually if I am not in an iron clad treaty. Tech trading for money is a simple way to crash research techs and re-sell old technologies that every AI will buy at the same time. This should be structured as a desperate pawn shop deal and you are going to receive a far , far less amount then the tech is worth. The more you tap the well the more you will have to pawn and the less you will get in return especially if you knowingly trade to another empire they do not like. And unless in a treaty that news of your arms deals should get around.


I'm not following you fully. Are you saying you get less money if you start selling the same tech to multiple races? I do like the idea of races not liking you trading with races they dislike.

quote:

ORIGINAL: pipewrench
Give the ability of another empires spy network to probe your network for weak points, direct attacks against large centralized research stations and if possible military fuel extraction points along borders. Target these actions to coincide with a fleet move so as to not give away an objective.

Give the AI the ability to use small escorts or frigates to raid systems and attack the trade network. Hit the freighter not the base, be fast and then get out. This would force a true escort response and cash would now matter more in mid game. Please give them, for the love of god, some speed and hyper jump inhibiting.


It would be pretty cool if the AI did this. I have seen the AI pull some interesting attacks on undefended mining areas. It would be interesting to see the AI do more unpredictable actions like these.

Thanks for the praise as well.

(in reply to pipewrench)
Post #: 13
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/18/2012 6:23:22 PM   
WiZz

 

Posts: 309
Joined: 9/28/2011
From: Ukraine
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Diplomacy
Please, make (more) possibilities to make alliances of small AI empires against really evil human player. (Pretty please!)
Please, make AI players more spiteful (depends from race).
Please, add for empires status "Frightened". These guys give you all of you want.
Please, make (long-term) alliances of AI players more in general, because it's very easy to beat AI one by one. I had never seen alliance more of 2 AI players.
Please, make ambassadors more useful.
Please, make surprise AI attacks more.
Really, guys. Game has a good, great diplomatic system and it uses only for ~ 10%.

Characters
Please, remove appearance of very good traits from different SMALL nonsense. My ruler (of 50 systems empire) often gets a good trait (+10 to civ. ships building) from constructing ONE SMALL FREIGHTER. Ha-ha, my ruler hasn't other business except constructing one small ship.
In general, please make something with very GOOD trait. It must do +10% for taxes max, no +110% as I can see in long games.

(in reply to pipewrench)
Post #: 14
RE: Observations of the AI - 9/19/2012 4:40:10 PM   
pipewrench


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Joined: 1/5/2010
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quote:



MartialDoctor

I'm not following you fully. Are you saying you get less money if you start selling the same tech to multiple races? I do like the idea of races not liking you trading with races they dislike.


Yes

A real world example

If you owned the patent rights to a technology and sold it to a trusted source the value of that patent should retain a fairly high value in direct relation to that buyers ability to purchase it from another source. The sale should also be trusted to be kept secret.

If you continue to sell it to others its value should diminish because more sources are now available to negotiate a lower price.

If your selling it to questionable empires who are not trusted by others or at war, you should be remembered for that trade and that memory should be extremely long. Any future trades should be questioned because what you previously sold has gotten into the hands of their competition via the open market.

but....

If this now detracts from the story and forces too many unforeseen roadblocks then the storyline should take center stage. This way new players could have a fun challenge but not have to sweat too much.

A future expansion could however be designed where a more scripted AI offers a serious challenge to expansion because it does not have to follow a scripted storyline. Hence the 'sandbox'.

< Message edited by pipewrench -- 9/19/2012 4:49:18 PM >

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
Post #: 15
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