From: San Diego, Ca.
I finally decided to upgrade to gold. Wasn't sure yesterday because even though I had the original a few years I never played a whole lot. Now that I took the plunge I want to develop a SoloMod for ATG similar to what I did with Empire Deluxe Enhanced. However, I had played that game a lot and haven't played AT much and ATG not at all so I need to get some feedback first. It will save me hours and hours.
1. How do I open the ptmaster file? I went to the editor and found nothing helpful.
2. What units do I eliminate? I want to delete all the units that the AI doesn't use or doesn't use well. Naturally paratroops and carriers go first. How about engineers? Does the AI use them moderately well? Does it now do ok destroying and building bridges? Any other units?
3. What units need attributes changed? I was just reading where ships are way too strong against aircraft so that's one. Are there more?
4. Is there a way to start AI sides with more cities? Like could I start the human with four and all AI with five?
5. Is there anything else I could do in the ptmaster to improve AI play?
I don't know if there would be much interest in a mod like this but, if there is, I'll be happy to post it when it's finished.
I never play multi and enjoy these types of Empire games with random maps. Not sure why I never played the original very much but am looking forward to gold.
Also noticed the manual is exactly the same. It doesn't look like it was ever upgraded with new gold information. Is there some sort of addendum that has all that stuff? I looked in the What's New and that just had patch details.
That's all I can think of for now. Hopefully I'll get lots of good info.
1. There's a trick to this, where you have to "unlock" the masterfile for editing. I'ts defined around here somewhere. I think it's in the stickied threads regarding random games. I've never done it myself.
2. The AI uses engineers mainly as road builers I think. The AI isn't a thoughtful bridge blower, not that I've noticed anyway. The AI seems to build hoardes of them and they end up being cannon fodder which the AI doesn't seem to care much about.
2a. I think the paras and carriers are the only ones the AI is clueless with, it will still build them on occasion, but doesn't know how to use them. The AI tends to fall into ruts regarding unit builds and doesn't seem to get out of them very well, if at all. Thee are some units I've never seen the AI build. Then it does things that defy logic, like build torpedo bombers even though you don't have any ships. It seemed to have a rather odd desire for naval fighters.
3. I would scale back the combat value of HQ's and engineers. Perhaps if this was done the AI wouldn't go all freaky over them and stuff units full of them and stick them in cities. The issue with ships is thet there is no stacking limit and with aircraft there is, so the relative unit balance is off a bit.
4. Should be doable, I can't say I know how. It would have to be a modded random game materfile.
5. The editor seems to have a lot of power once you get into scripting it, but to be honest I get the feeling over the years that the editor is mainly based on making historical scenarios rather than improving the AI. I think the ARHS mod was more of a trial and error affair, playing with settings and initial starting conditions to see what the base AI would do with it. I've always had the feeling there was more that could be done but haven't invested the time to do it. I think I will "someday". I did get a production AI, (for producing units and research) going from scratch, I used MS excel. But that was before ATG and the number of unit types went up considerably.
I hope this helps a little and I do look forward to seeing and playing whatever you end up making. Best of luck !
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