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Game to easy? - 10/22/2012 3:21:40 PM   
darcion

 

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i have no problems to win this game on the hardest difficult. whats your experience? game to easy?
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RE: Game to easy? - 10/22/2012 5:41:18 PM   
Nedrear


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Did you use tech trading as a money exploit or other kown AI bugs? Then yes you cheated it easy...
If you keep away from exploits and switch off the backstory it becomes harder.

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RE: Game to easy? - 10/22/2012 6:52:11 PM   
galahadba

 

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Even without using any exploit the backhistory makes the game too easy, getting lots of 400 power cruisers when the max any one can build is a 80 power frigate is too overpowered... i think an easy way to "fix" this, would be to get off the history options, and make a new game entry in the menu called "campaign" or something like this, that makes clear for everyone that you are playing in an especial mode to see the history of the game, if you want a chalenge you go to the "normal" mode where you don't get any overpowered cruiser/capital ship to easilly crush the AI. Simple change that would soulve these king of complaint. :)

the bugs from outer galaxy are a good add to the game, but with all the free ships you get they become the only chalenge...

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Post #: 3
RE: Game to easy? - 10/22/2012 8:15:58 PM   
Ralzakark


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In Legends you can turn off the back story which removes the warship graveyards which can unbalance the game as you say. You will still get the occasional single ship.

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Post #: 4
RE: Game to easy? - 10/22/2012 8:55:58 PM   
adecoy95


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its an issue the game struggles with.

i cant say there are many occasions were i feel truly threatened by the ai.

im still pretty miffed they havent done something with the population growth of AI colonies. they happily collect 2k in taxes from overtaxed, underpopulated worlds for decades.

and for the record i never raid graveyards, except world destroyers (which i will either hold and not use its main weapon, or sabotage)

i love your avatar btw ralzakark

< Message edited by adecoy95 -- 10/22/2012 8:57:10 PM >

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Post #: 5
RE: Game to easy? - 10/22/2012 8:56:06 PM   
Bingeling

 

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And just to be clear, the story disabler was there in ROTS as well.

Not that I play many games, but I hate the graveyards, and tend to play with both stories off. I also leave various things automated and void farming stupid AI (tech trading a lot).

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Post #: 6
RE: Game to easy? - 10/22/2012 9:11:26 PM   
Admiral Moe Lester

 

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I'd really like to see some challenges that can keep large empires on their toes. Right now you can make it plenty difficult to get started up and form a great empire but after that a player is almost unstoppable. I think it would be really nice for there to be more internal challenges of keeping a large empire together so every stage of the game remains interesting.

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Post #: 7
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 1:27:11 AM   
ehsumrell1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Admiral Moe Lester

I'd really like to see some challenges that can keep large empires on their toes. Right now you can make it plenty difficult to get started up and form a great empire but after that a player is almost unstoppable. I think it would be really nice for there to be more internal challenges of keeping a large empire together so every stage of the game remains interesting.


Admiral, you must not have yet had a game where your Empire has grown EXACTLY the way
you wanted and then your Empire splits in two from revolution (taking your
starting Homeworld with it)!

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RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 6:40:44 AM   
RaffleSnaffle


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ehsumrell1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Admiral Moe Lester

I'd really like to see some challenges that can keep large empires on their toes. Right now you can make it plenty difficult to get started up and form a great empire but after that a player is almost unstoppable. I think it would be really nice for there to be more internal challenges of keeping a large empire together so every stage of the game remains interesting.


Admiral, you must not have yet had a game where your Empire has grown EXACTLY the way
you wanted and then your Empire splits in two from revolution (taking your
starting Homeworld with it)!


This actually happens?!

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Post #: 9
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 8:40:33 AM   
Harrs


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Yes it happened me too.. But only with autotaxes.. And no regional capitals..
But it can happen..

Still the game is too easy.. as I showed in my AAR the hardest possible start conditions cant stop a player with some experience..
The balance is destroyed if you found capital ships.. or you trade technology.. Or you just invade colononies without declaring war..

If you play with autotax and autodesign then the game gets a little bit harder.. but If you have the possibilities to use this functions you should use it..

Please make an Ultra-Hard difficulty for the expansion.. and teach the AI some trading.

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Post #: 10
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 9:50:33 AM   
hewwo

 

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Yeah, I quit playing a long time ago because it was just too easy. Not that I couldn't play and suspend disbelief or something if I had nothing better to do, but there are just so many other more rewarding games out. Like XCOM

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Post #: 11
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 10:52:46 AM   
jpwrunyan


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Derelict ships with titan beams ruin the game more than anything else for me. Either I get one and destroy my neighbors or they get one and destroy me. At least with the kaldos drive derelicts you can do some damage with maxos blasters. But one level 7 destroyer in the beginning and forget about it.

Btw kaldos drives are the ultimate suxxor. Only good for small escorts and no one uses those!

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Post #: 12
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 1:20:45 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Hm, kaldos drives are usually the ones I would use until the final ones. I like good jump times...

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Post #: 13
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 7:28:23 PM   
feelotraveller


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrs

Yes it happened me too.. But only with autotaxes.. And no regional capitals..
But it can happen..

Still the game is too easy.. as I showed in my AAR the hardest possible start conditions cant stop a player with some experience..
The balance is destroyed if you found capital ships.. or you trade technology.. Or you just invade colononies without declaring war..

If you play with autotax and autodesign then the game gets a little bit harder.. but If you have the possibilities to use this functions you should use it..

Please make an Ultra-Hard difficulty for the expansion.. and teach the AI some trading.


I must have missed that one. Perhaps you can point me to this AAR?

Run through the conditions for me... they should start with your homeworld as HARSH and starting technology, and other empires at tech level 7 and excellent homeworlds. Much more can be done but these I think are essential for hardest.

There is also no reason you can't avoid tech trading/selling and all found ships can immediately be blown up.

Can someone win that type of game? Possibly. Will they get wiped out sometimes. Definitely.

(in reply to Harrs)
Post #: 14
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 7:36:10 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I miss some game help in random generating evil start conditions. I find tech trading quite easy to avoid, but I would really like to improve the way taxes work, so that there is room for optimization, and no way for the AI to destroy itself.

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Post #: 15
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 7:41:50 PM   
Shark7


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I think part of the money problem is the character traits...namely the Colony, Trade, Tourism income increases; the troop, ship and base maintainence savings; and the Colony Corruption Reduction skills.

My suggestion is to play on hardest difficulty and to increase the game start corruption levels for your games. Also, be sure to set pirates to high and start them nearby...you'll spend a fortune rebuilding the mining stations they take out.

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RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 7:49:39 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Personally I think a major problem is the character system, which the game would be better without. But that is probably just my opinion :) I don't think the game is balanced around their effects, and it was not brilliantly balanced in economy before their introduction either.

I also don't think the wonder bonuses play nice.

But apart from various issues, the tax-growth link is a very sore spot.

Frequent pirates at the start are not fun, they are a chore. After a while they settle in other parts of the galaxy, and I suspect they will hurt the AI more.

The pirate-reputation link is something else that it would not hurt to improve. I guess that would be reputation in general needing work. Once a galaxy matures, pirate bases should not pop up unless they find a suitable spot with no long range cover, and with a decent distance to other pirates. It also annoys me to end up being a goody-goody just because I chase pirates away...

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RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 7:49:59 PM   
feelotraveller


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Here's an idea for you.  Use along with other measures.

Generate your hard game as usual then do a quick check to find all your starting bases.  Zoom in to each system in turn, open up the editor and delete each base.  (No zooming out and peeking now. )  If you really want to delete your spaceport as well.  And if you like blow up all your constructors.  You may have to open and close the editor a few times...  Too bad if you had a starting scientist.  Very occasionally if you start right next to another empire you will not be able to help seeing them. 

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 18
RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 9:32:19 PM   
Darkspire


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Lets just cut to the chase shall we?

Game to easy? Well that would be down to the poor AI, nothing more nothing less. I really enjoy DW, but the AI is just a bit MK2 EMH

It doesnt matter how many layers of difficulty you pile on it still boils down to the AI not being up to scratch, DW is one of the best 4x ive played, the feeling of building an empire, the resources etc but is let down by a few points and the AI is right there at the top.

IMHO the only way round the constant posts regards difficulty is multiplayer (LAN would be the mutts nuts) or a better AI ... Good luck with that

If you want a good example of AI for a 4x try Galactic Civilizations GC2 although good never got the polish the first one did and still to this day the GC AI still surprises me.

Nuff Said

Darkspire


< Message edited by Darkspire -- 10/23/2012 9:42:26 PM >


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RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 10:26:09 PM   
Shark7


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AI...Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Insanity. Let's take a look at it objectively. Insanity is to repeat a process over and over expecting a different result. Yep, that describes a game's AI perfectly.

Most developers overcome the Artificial Insanity by letting the AI cheat. Since the AI is only going to do what it is told, and keep trying it even though it has failed the previous 6000 times it tried most developers opt to make the AI more powerful with hard-coded cheats.

And how do other games let their AIs cheat?

1. Ignore maintenance settings
2. Increase build speed
3. Increased unit numbers above the caps
4. Increased hit points and damage points

Just examples, the list in infinately long.

DW takes the approach of trying to make the AI behave sanely. Elliotg hasn't perfected it yet, but the AI has gotten a bit better with every patch and expansion. And at least with DW I don't find myself cussing at the screen because of some cheat the AI gets to use that is totally unfair and unbeatable. I prefer Elliotg's method.

Now that being said, the AI in DW isn't perfect, but I do have a few suggestions that would help balance it out.

1. The biggest balancer would be for the AI to build ship designs that equal what the player designs. So if I design an escort with 4 guns, 4 shields, and a torpedo...the AI will mimic or even copy the design. That takes away the biggest player advantage, the ability to build ships that completely over power the AI. In other words, at each ship type, the AI needs to be able to adapt and build ships that match the fire power and defense of the players designs.

2. Hardpoints (and I like everyone else do not really like this idea). Hardpoints would prevent the player from designing over-powering ships. Of course it also takes away the reason for having a ship designer. It is a possibility, but I call it the absolute last resort...I DO NOT ENDORSE THIS PERSONALLY.

3. Adding additional penalties to the live player. Again, not my favorite idea as it really is just another cheat, albeit one that lessens the player instead of bolstering the AI. Again, I don't endorse this.

All in all, I think that suggestion 1 is the best. Once the AI gets the ability to completely match player ship designs, it will balance the game without making the AI a cheater or the hamstringing the player.




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RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 10:37:31 PM   
Darkspire


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As I said, have a closer look at the AI for GC1, no cheating on the AI's part, sometimes its like playing over a LAN the AI on that can really surprise you at anything from normal difficulty onwards. Its the only 4x that has ever really done that for me and ive been gaming for 30+ years, with the CPU processing power these days I can but hope that someone makes use of that power with an AI that can really give us all a run for our money.

This is a small snippet from the AI setup for GC2 by Brad Wardell Gal Civ II: Dark Avatar AI Im more familiar with GC than GC2 as GC2 stil needs a polish IMHO but if you read the post you will see where im coming from.

Darkspire

< Message edited by Darkspire -- 10/23/2012 10:44:18 PM >


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RE: Game to easy? - 10/23/2012 10:41:54 PM   
RaffleSnaffle


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

AI...Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Insanity. Let's take a look at it objectively. Insanity is to repeat a process over and over expecting a different result. Yep, that describes a game's AI perfectly.

Most developers overcome the Artificial Insanity by letting the AI cheat. Since the AI is only going to do what it is told, and keep trying it even though it has failed the previous 6000 times it tried most developers opt to make the AI more powerful with hard-coded cheats.

And how do other games let their AIs cheat?

1. Ignore maintenance settings
2. Increase build speed
3. Increased unit numbers above the caps
4. Increased hit points and damage points

Just examples, the list in infinately long.

DW takes the approach of trying to make the AI behave sanely. Elliotg hasn't perfected it yet, but the AI has gotten a bit better with every patch and expansion. And at least with DW I don't find myself cussing at the screen because of some cheat the AI gets to use that is totally unfair and unbeatable. I prefer Elliotg's method.

Now that being said, the AI in DW isn't perfect, but I do have a few suggestions that would help balance it out.

1. The biggest balancer would be for the AI to build ship designs that equal what the player designs. So if I design an escort with 4 guns, 4 shields, and a torpedo...the AI will mimic or even copy the design. That takes away the biggest player advantage, the ability to build ships that completely over power the AI. In other words, at each ship type, the AI needs to be able to adapt and build ships that match the fire power and defense of the players designs.

2. Hardpoints (and I like everyone else do not really like this idea). Hardpoints would prevent the player from designing over-powering ships. Of course it also takes away the reason for having a ship designer. It is a possibility, but I call it the absolute last resort...I DO NOT ENDORSE THIS PERSONALLY.

3. Adding additional penalties to the live player. Again, not my favorite idea as it really is just another cheat, albeit one that lessens the player instead of bolstering the AI. Again, I don't endorse this.

All in all, I think that suggestion 1 is the best. Once the AI gets the ability to completely match player ship designs, it will balance the game without making the AI a cheater or the hamstringing the player.





I agree completely with your ideas for the AI re balancing and your view on how the AI in this game can be a breath of fresh air compared to straight up AI hacks in other games.

It's cool Elliot hasn't taken the easy way out and just let the AI hack to win, but like you said, it does need work.


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Post #: 22
RE: Game to easy? - 10/24/2012 8:46:33 AM   
feelotraveller


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Fully agree that the 'AI' could do with some work.

But let's be clear about a few things.

The current ai DOES cheat.  As one example once you reach the point of them being scared of your huge size and power their development increases to maximum without regard for luxuries.  I've seen multiple contacted cpu players go through this process simultaneously when I first hit this threshold going from 70-80 percent to 105 as quick as possible.  If this was one empire it could be that their luxuries just kicked in.  But when it is 10 simultaneously?  Occam's razor says they are cheating.    You can also watch this process happen as you contact new empires.  They will go from their uncheating state to max development regardless of luxuries if you are of huge size and power.

Also although it is a bit of a mantra for many games 'better AI' is not a simple process.  What passes for AI is all the algorithms governing cpu player behaviour and their interaction with each other and the player.  So to improve the 'AI' what is needed is a careful (and thorough) critique of where it currently goes wrong and how to make it better.  Things such as the freight transport algorithm as well as the battle target selection not to mention diplomacy and tax (and all the rest...).  If we really want a better AI rather than intoning the mantra it is far better to pull apart one or other cpu player subsystem or their interactions.  When we say 'better AI' what is it we really want, and how oh how do we think Elliot might be able to do it for us?

Finally it is worth keeping in mind that the ultimate point of the AI is not to be fair or to give us an ultra-competitive game it is to make it a fun game.  At least fun is what I play for. 

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Post #: 23
RE: Game to easy? - 10/24/2012 9:58:23 AM   
jpwrunyan


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I think blaming the ai to the exclusion of all else is wrong. The game conditions are exploitable. The game could be improved drstically with some environmental changes (totally agree about characters blowing up the game--that is a good example). There is the entire thread of "three simple things to make dw better" that goes over this.

Ai can always be improved. Thats a given. I would rather see the exploits removed first. Again, see the other thread I referenced. Maybe someome can link it (cant iphone).

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Post #: 24
RE: Game to easy? - 10/24/2012 10:26:12 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller

Fully agree that the 'AI' could do with some work.

But let's be clear about a few things.

The current ai DOES cheat.  As one example once you reach the point of them being scared of your huge size and power their development increases to maximum without regard for luxuries.  I've seen multiple contacted cpu players go through this process simultaneously when I first hit this threshold going from 70-80 percent to 105 as quick as possible.  If this was one empire it could be that their luxuries just kicked in.  But when it is 10 simultaneously?  Occam's razor says they are cheating.    You can also watch this process happen as you contact new empires.  They will go from their uncheating state to max development regardless of luxuries if you are of huge size and power.

Also although it is a bit of a mantra for many games 'better AI' is not a simple process.  What passes for AI is all the algorithms governing cpu player behaviour and their interaction with each other and the player.  So to improve the 'AI' what is needed is a careful (and thorough) critique of where it currently goes wrong and how to make it better.  Things such as the freight transport algorithm as well as the battle target selection not to mention diplomacy and tax (and all the rest...).  If we really want a better AI rather than intoning the mantra it is far better to pull apart one or other cpu player subsystem or their interactions.  When we say 'better AI' what is it we really want, and how oh how do we think Elliot might be able to do it for us?

Finally it is worth keeping in mind that the ultimate point of the AI is not to be fair or to give us an ultra-competitive game it is to make it a fun game.  At least fun is what I play for. 



But honestly, while it may be the AI cheating, its not that bad. It's something I didn't even notice.

The AI cheats that annoy me are the ones that are so blatant no one can miss them. Like certain games where the AI can expand at 10 times the speed of the player, or researches in 1/10th the time. And yes those games are very hard (not challenging) simply because the player is always at a huge disadvantage and never has the chance to catch up.

Imperium Galactica 2 was a great game, but I NEVER managed to beat it on normal difficulty. That games AI was just a bit too hard, it took the challenge out of it and made it an exercise in frustration. I sincerely hope that Elliotg never makes the AI in DW that hard cause it takes the fun right out of the game.

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Post #: 25
RE: Game to easy? - 10/24/2012 4:07:56 PM   
feelotraveller


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I'm real upset that the cpu players get a bit of a boost when I am massively ahead.   [/sarcasm]

However I do get a little tired of people saying that the AI does not cheat in Distant Worlds... I've got this funny obssession with the truth... when it actually does.  (Another little fudging happens when the cpu players sometimes get the boost of an ultra-rare resource without any possible access to such a source.)  Such fudgings are as much a part of the set of systems which comprise the AI as anything else.


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Post #: 26
RE: Game to easy? - 10/24/2012 9:07:33 PM   
Algoritm


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quote:

I think blaming the AI to the exclusion of all else is wrong. The game conditions are exploitable.

AI can always be improved. That's a given. I would rather see the exploits removed first.


I totally agree with jp on this. The main problem is that where there is an exploit, an intelligent human player will always find a way to turn it to his/her advantage.

One way to fix this, and thus make the game harder, is either to remove the exploit, or make the AI adapt to it.

I will detail a few concrete ways of doing this quite simply (by identifying the exploit and finding a way to even things for the AI):

1) When I first started playing this game and had everything on automated, the very first thing I felt compelled to do was take control of exploration. I quickly realised how exploring would give me an edge over the AI by finding strategic resources, key colonisable worlds, derelict battleships, colony ships, lost independent colonies, super-weapons, world destroyers etc...

the AI always under-estimates the importance of exploration. Look and see for yourself in the race policy folder. Nearly all races (except Zenox) are set at "Exploration Priority ;1,0"

Change that value to "2,0" (after saving all original policies in a separate folder) for all races and you will give the AI a very neat, cheat free, edge.

2) The second thing I focussed on after exploration was research (by the way, I never use the tech trading exploit which I personally find silly as it is). I don't think I need to explain just how important research is in any strategy game.

Again, if you look in race policies, only the Quameno and Kiadian are set "2,0" for "Research Priority". All other races are set at 1,0 or 1,5. Don't be afraid once again to give every race a solid "2,0". The game will not lose it's "unique race" flavour cause the Quameno have both Technocracy and gifted scientists, thus they will naturally remain ahead of.. say for ex: the Atuuk... in science.

3) Thirdly, you guessed it... ship design. And that does not mean simply adding more guns to the design. An intelligent player will always make a design that fits the need.

Unfortunately, it's very complicated to make the AI better at ship design without cheating. For example, if you armed all your ships with ubber latest design titan beams but no long range weapons, you'd be in trouble if the AI was "given" that info and decided to equip his ships with fast thrusters and long distance missile/torpedoes with orders to stand-off.

You'd also be in trouble if the AI realised that your ships had many shields but only a few layers of armour and decided to equip his ships mainly with railguns.

A human player can adapt. Unfortunately, an AI doesn't... unless *coughs* the programmer *cough* found a way to implement that somehow

I think I'll stop at those three points for now but trust me, there are many other ways of making this game interestingly harder (or more fun).

(in reply to feelotraveller)
Post #: 27
RE: Game to easy? - 10/25/2012 2:31:50 AM   
Shark7


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Another thing I've noticed that could easily be changed.

It is far too easy to steal tech off the Ancient Guardians. You'd think they'd be better at counter-espionage.. And remember they are far ahead of everyone else tech wise, makes it really easy to steal mid and late game tech early.

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Post #: 28
RE: Game to easy? - 10/25/2012 4:50:24 AM   
adecoy95


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Another thing I've noticed that could easily be changed.

It is far too easy to steal tech off the Ancient Guardians. You'd think they'd be better at counter-espionage.. And remember they are far ahead of everyone else tech wise, makes it really easy to steal mid and late game tech early.


haha, remember when tech steal missions used to give you the complete tech, instead of part of it?


also, i have kinda mixed feelings about tech trading "fixes" i think that the race specific technologies feels about in the right place, but the others are too easy to pass around

< Message edited by adecoy95 -- 10/25/2012 4:51:34 AM >

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 29
RE: Game to easy? - 10/25/2012 7:01:10 AM   
Shark7


Posts: 7135
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
Status: offline
Tech trading is too easy, best policy is to refuse it, unless of course you are helping the AI by giving them your tech, which I do from time to time.

Another thing I've noticed. If you set the game to start with multiple characters (governors in particular) the AI has a tendency to leave them exactly where they started. So while I thought giving one of the AI empires 3 Governors and 3 colonies to start with was a good idea, well...the AI left all 3 Governors on the home planet. Governors are the only thing I noticed having trouble though, the AI does pretty good with other character types, sending admirals to fleets, ambassadors to friendly empires, etc. So if you want to give an added race an advantage through governors, make sure you do it with a single starting one and an increase appearance rate for the others.

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(in reply to adecoy95)
Post #: 30
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