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Questions about the editor and AI

 
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Questions about the editor and AI - 11/24/2012 2:53:39 AM   
rich12545

 

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From: Palouse, WA
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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.
Post #: 1
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/24/2012 3:36:57 AM   
**budd**


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From: Tacoma
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dont know if these will help, or if you've seen them.

http://www.advancedtactics.org/documents.php

http://www.vrdesigns.nl/atwiki/doku.php

here a link to a guide Vic put together that you can download about the units and there best uses. http://www.matrixgames.com/products/405/downloads/

hope you get some info that will help you.

I'm assuming you saw the tutorials in the mods and scenario section of this forum for the editor.

< Message edited by **budd** -- 11/24/2012 3:41:45 AM >


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(in reply to rich12545)
Post #: 2
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/24/2012 5:25:10 AM   
rich12545

 

Posts: 1701
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From: Palouse, WA
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Hey budd, thanks for writing but I've seen all that. None of it really answers my questions. I did find the ATG in the manuals folder, had overlooked it.

< Message edited by rich12545 -- 11/24/2012 3:05:08 PM >

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Post #: 3
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/25/2012 9:16:42 PM   
Jeffrey H.


Posts: 2853
Joined: 4/13/2007
From: San Diego, Ca.
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rich12545

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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Post #: 4
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/25/2012 9:41:27 PM   
rich12545

 

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Jeff, thanks for this. Looks like deleting engineers along with paras and carriers would work best. Roads are made during the scenario setup and I don't see much of a use for engineers. I'll check into the suggestions you made and look at ARHS for ideas. Doesn't look like there will be a lot to change and the hardest part will be learning how to make modifications with the editor. I might simply take out some or all naval aircraft since there won't be any carriers. More units are fun but make it harder on an AI. At any rate I should have something by year's end or sooner. Then I'll probably have to do it over after the next patch.

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
Post #: 5
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/27/2012 8:26:06 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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From: San Diego, Ca.
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Regarding your #5 in the first post, I stubled across this post by Vic, not sure if you 've seen it yet:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1611050

About 80% the way down the page Vic goes through a series of rulevar changes in an attempt to modify the AI behaviour. I think Zaratoughda when through a similar process when developing the ARHS mod.

Also, somewhere along the way I recall reading that Vic was going to modify the AI to actually use AIROLE scores, which I believe is a setting in the unit charactersitics which helps guide the AI in it's production choices. IIRC this was supposed to happen when ATG was released or shortly thereafter. I don't think any mods have made use of this yet. For that matter I don't even know if it will work.



_____________________________

"Games lubricate the body and the mind" Ben Franklin.

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Post #: 6
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/27/2012 11:20:03 PM   
rich12545

 

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From: Palouse, WA
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Thanks but yeah I have seen that and a few others. I'll be looking at them more carefully as I learn about the editor. I've put together a preliminary list of things to do in my first version.

Delete carrier, para, carrier fighter, torpedo bomber,engineer.
Auto repair for humans to make up for no engineer.
Adjust sub attack/defense vs surface ships to better reflect reality.
Adjust ships vs aircraft to better reflect reality.

I think this, by itself, will improve AI behavior. Should be able to get it out within a couple of weeks. Hopefully.

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
Post #: 7
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/28/2012 1:44:17 AM   
Twotribes


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Joined: 2/15/2002
From: Jacksonville NC
Status: online
You need engineers to build roads. On random maps a lot of areas are NOT connected. With out engineers you won't be able to connect them. The AI knows how to build roads and they do destroy bridges. I routinely have to rebuild bridges as I advance against the AI.

Without engineers you will end up with cities that can not produce and deliver to any HQs in a reasonable position. You will be unable to supply advances in areas with no road connections. I strongly advice you not delete engineers. Further you won't be able to improve oil and raw sites and will quickly have problems providing fuel for your navy airforce and mechanized forces and be unable to build much at all with out raw.

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Post #: 8
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/28/2012 3:49:34 AM   
rich12545

 

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You convinced me. Engineers will have to stay. Will probably increase their fighting ability a bit so when the AI makes a bunch of them, they'll be useful. I'm not a big fan of bridge blowing by the AI though and might take out that ability. I don't think the AI would blow up a bridge as the result of a real tactical decision. Having to repair bridges like that just seems like a nuisance.

(in reply to Twotribes)
Post #: 9
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/28/2012 8:06:08 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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From: San Diego, Ca.
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rich12545

You convinced me. Engineers will have to stay. Will probably increase their fighting ability a bit so when the AI makes a bunch of them, they'll be useful. I'm not a big fan of bridge blowing by the AI though and might take out that ability. I don't think the AI would blow up a bridge as the result of a real tactical decision. Having to repair bridges like that just seems like a nuisance.


I was never able to determine if the bridges were downed by my own actions leading to the takeover or if the AI was doing something intentionally.

_____________________________

"Games lubricate the body and the mind" Ben Franklin.

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Post #: 10
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/28/2012 8:17:58 PM   
Twotribes


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Not sure the AI actually uses engineers to blow bridges, I have had blown bridges and never spotted any engineers. I mean I could have missed them but it sure looked like none were around.

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Post #: 11
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/29/2012 12:15:03 AM   
barerabbit

 

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Consider increasing the speed with which engineers entrench, rather than their combat ability to help the AI.

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Post #: 12
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 11/29/2012 12:17:03 AM   
rich12545

 

Posts: 1701
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From: Palouse, WA
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I think there's a way to make bridges indestructable also. Been fooling around with the editor and am starting to get comfortable with it. I can see how to delete units and how to change ship's AA. Will include that for DD CR and BB in smaller doses. Also will reduce BB against SS somewhat. There are a couple things in the platinum thread I think I might be able to add also, like horses having some transport capacity.

(in reply to Twotribes)
Post #: 13
RE: Questions about the editor and AI - 12/3/2012 2:47:14 AM   
rich12545

 

Posts: 1701
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Here's what I have so far:

Deleted units
Carrier
Para
Carrier fighter
Torpedo bomber

Rulevar
Disable blowing bridges (I don't see the point in a random game)

Tweaks
Surface ships AA (distributed between DD CR BB, the bigger the ship the better the AA)
BB vs SS (reduced)
Inc EN vs IN
Inc staff vs IN

Couldn't figure out how to increase entrench.
Please post any more ideas.
I'm not ready to put it into the mods bank but if anybody wants to try it, send me your email by PM or explain how I can setup a download in the forum.

< Message edited by rich12545 -- 12/3/2012 2:48:08 AM >

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Post #: 14
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