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So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range?

 
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So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 5:06:57 PM   
Osito


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As you know, there's an option to restrict the range at which you can colonise other planets, and I've seen two or three threads over the last week or two in which it was suggested that the AI cheats. Others said it doesn't cheat, it's just taking over independent colonies (the colonisation range doesn't apply to that).

I decided it's time to find out, or, more precisely, I decided I have time to find out.

One of the problems is that I can only do this test by observation of the game, rather than by analysing the game code, which means I can only prove that it does cheat, I can't prove it doesn't cheat. Like so many things in life, people can always say, "Just because it didn't cheat when you were looking, doesn't mean it never cheats." Ok, whatever.

Anyway, what I did was this:

1. I started a classic game with 1400 systems, 15x15 sectors and 5 other empires set on normal difficulty. I set pirates and monsters to the lowest level, made independent colonies scarce, and left colony prevalence normal. I set the colonisation range at 0.5 sectors. As soon as the game started, I loaded the editor to check where the other empires were, then set it running at x4, coming back every now and again to check on progress. What happened? The other civilisations were totally honest. They colonised planets within their colonisation range; they didn't colonise planets outside their range. Over the course of the game, some empires had colonised half a dozen planets, all within the correct range, and some hadn't colonised any. After about 18 years I got bored and stopped.

2. I decided the first run was too easy. The AI knew what I was up to, and refused to cheat, knowing I was just waiting to pounce and "out" it to the whole world in the Distant Worlds forum. I had to be sneakier. I set up a new game, same as before, but put the difficulty on "Extreme". If that wouldn't tempt it into cheating, what would? I started the game, and went into the editor. I systematically deleted all the star systems within 0.5 sectors of the other empires' planets. Finally, I placed a new star just outside each empire's colonisation range, each star having a nice juicy planet of exactly the right type for the nearby empire. I set the game to run, just like before, and waited to see which empire would crack first ...


... Well it's been 20 years now. Four out of five empires are still on their home system. One of the empires found a lovely independent planet, and took control of it, then managed to colonise another two systems which happened to be within half a sector of their newly acquired planet.

Almost 40 game years of testing, and the AI didn't once breach the colonisation range limit, despite being given every opportunity to do so.

So I'm calling it: the AI does not cheat over the colonisation limit.

But I'm sure it wants to!

Osito

PS It occurred to me later than maybe AI aggressiveness would have an effect. Ran that for a few years on Chaos level, but still no cheating.


< Message edited by Osito -- 6/7/2013 5:09:42 PM >
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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 5:30:33 PM   
WoodMan


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I believe the entire point of the setting was to stop the pre-legends craziness of overlapping empires, it came in at about the same time as territory was introduced, which also obviously plays a role in stopping this. Anyone who played the original DW should be able to remember the madness of no limits and no territory, the galaxy ended up like a box of tangled christmas tree lights!

This is long gone so I would be inclined to think the AI does not cheat (unless perhaps rarely due to some uncommon bug?). The feature would be pointless if the AI ignored it since the whole point of it was to untangle the empires. Also, you can check if the AI cheats simply by setting your own Empire on fully automatic and watching it

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 7:02:37 PM   
Plant


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Nice testing.
I've never used that option, but I always wondered why people would restrict colonisation range, especially in Legends.

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 7:40:22 PM   
elanaagain


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I can confirm that the AI does ignore the colonization limits. I like to play in a large map, but with the minimum number of stars. (Makes the game feel more tactical, even warp ships can't cross the map, need gas refueling bases, etc. ) My current game, two of the AIs have colonies 7+ sectors apart.

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 8:03:47 PM   
sPOONz

 

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Could they have invaded and conquered rival/independents which would not be within the colonisation restriction rule?

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 8:07:41 PM   
ASHBERY76


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The A.I can conquer,swollow indies or on a developed start have colonies apart..

< Message edited by ASHBERY76 -- 6/7/2013 8:08:12 PM >

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 8:27:10 PM   
Bingeling

 

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The AI always wants to attack something in war, as long as it is able to. If it has 7 sectors range on its fleet, and the only known enemy colony (a weak one) is 7 sectors away. It will try invade that one.

So it makes perfectly fine that empires that are not fond of each other swap colonies as long as they are within the range of ships.

I am pretty sure the only AI cheats in this game are those introduced by the difficulty slider. The AI empires play exactly like your empire plays if you fully automate it. As long as you run difficulty at normal, that is.

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/7/2013 9:16:05 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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I don't believe the AI ignores this setting, as they generally tend to have more clustered Empires now than before.

There are three exceptions I can think of that would make it appear that the AI is ignoring this setting when in fact it isn't:
- Invasion, as has been mentioned is not subject to this restriction.
- "Lost Colony", unfortunately also doesn't seem to take this into account, I've seen this first hand myself.
- Revolt/Revolution, where Colony within Sphere of Influence could join another Empire, I'd expect this to be very rare though.



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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 1:02:21 AM   
Kayoz


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So, in essence... you tested the colonization range mechanics and found that it works as documented.

That you found something that works as documented is less a reason to cheer... and more worrying that you feel it's worthy of a cheer.

*opens fridge to find the air inside is cold*
*lets out a cheer*

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 1:02:27 AM   
elanaagain


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Perhaps it was an invasion. However, in both cases, the colonists were same species, and no ground troops were around. Guess we won't know unless we set up a game, and reveal the entire map every few turns to see, then relaod a save just before the map reveal.

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 1:16:46 AM   
Osito


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz

So, in essence... you tested the colonization range mechanics and found that it works as documented.

That you found something that works as documented is less a reason to cheer... and more worrying that you feel it's worthy of a cheer.

*opens fridge to find the air inside is cold*
*lets out a cheer*


You really think I want a cheer? How little you understand about this world. I'm done here.

(in reply to Kayoz)
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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 1:26:46 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Osito
You really think I want a cheer? How little you understand about this world. I'm done here.

Did I write that you wanted a cheer?

No - the statement, "...more worrying that you feel it's worthy of a cheer." - was not sarcasm of your efforts. It was a thinly veiled reference to the number of things on release that did not indeed work.

When I open my fridge, I expect things to be cold. If they aren't, then something has gone very wrong. If DW:Shadows release is a row of fridges - how many did, in fact, contain cold air?

< Message edited by Kayoz -- 6/8/2013 1:27:39 AM >


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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 12:00:11 PM   
sPOONz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz

So, in essence... you tested the colonization range mechanics and found that it works as documented.

That you found something that works as documented is less a reason to cheer... and more worrying that you feel it's worthy of a cheer.



Some community members were doubting it worked as documented. So he tested it. Thats an effort you should be thankful for and not rude about.

(in reply to Kayoz)
Post #: 13
RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 12:10:02 PM   
Osito


Posts: 662
Joined: 5/9/2013
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz

quote:

ORIGINAL: Osito
You really think I want a cheer? How little you understand about this world. I'm done here.

Did I write that you wanted a cheer?

No - the statement, "...more worrying that you feel it's worthy of a cheer." - was not sarcasm of your efforts. It was a thinly veiled reference to the number of things on release that did not indeed work.

When I open my fridge, I expect things to be cold. If they aren't, then something has gone very wrong. If DW:Shadows release is a row of fridges - how many did, in fact, contain cold air?


I went out last night, had a few beers, came back pretty drunk, then made the big mistake of going on the forums. Being drunk is usually more than sufficient for missing any subtlety in forum banter. I apologise for misunderstanding your post, and I'm relieved that I wasn't more offensive in my reply

(in reply to Kayoz)
Post #: 14
RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 1:19:34 PM   
adecoy95


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant

Nice testing.
I've never used that option, but I always wondered why people would restrict colonisation range, especially in Legends.



i use it to try and limit colonizaton, planets take a long time to grow, but you can colonize a lot of planets at the same time, and sustain them without penalty, at any distance, which kinda flies in the face of the whole idea, it at least stalls the distance issue.

i usually set it to one sector, i used to set it to .5, but some AI are unable to expand then.

but i don't think its restrictive enough, lost colonies and neutral colonies pretty much remove this restriction.

dont get me wrong i love playing in a big abundant universe, but i just wished there were more hard choices in how you want to expand.

< Message edited by adecoy95 -- 6/8/2013 1:23:37 PM >

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 2:13:26 PM   
Kayoz


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From: Timbuktu
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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPOONz
Some community members were doubting it worked as documented. So he tested it. Thats an effort you should be thankful for and not rude about.

Argh!

I wasn't dismissing Osito's testing. It's grand that he tested it and confirmed it's working. If only more people like him were on the beta, the release wouldn't need 5 patches to bring it up to "playable". I applaud his efforts.

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 5:21:31 PM   
Plant


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If people didn't say that restricting colonisation range doesn't work, without testing to see if infact they did, they Osito would had tested it at all to see if that was true.

To be honest, with most of the bugs concerning Pirates, I think it is that none of the beta testers bother to play with Pirates at all.

Now if only they can solve my mysterious money loss issue and that tax revenus loss issue. Knowing that the Economy screen is useless isn't fun at all, or only gaining half of your available income just means that you can't even afford to have a military.

< Message edited by Plant -- 6/8/2013 5:23:54 PM >

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RE: So ... does the AI cheat on colonisation range? - 6/8/2013 5:27:36 PM   
Plant


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quote:

ORIGINAL: adecoy95

quote:

ORIGINAL: Plant

Nice testing.
I've never used that option, but I always wondered why people would restrict colonisation range, especially in Legends.



i use it to try and limit colonizaton, planets take a long time to grow, but you can colonize a lot of planets at the same time, and sustain them without penalty, at any distance, which kinda flies in the face of the whole idea, it at least stalls the distance issue.

i usually set it to one sector, i used to set it to .5, but some AI are unable to expand then.

but i don't think its restrictive enough, lost colonies and neutral colonies pretty much remove this restriction.

dont get me wrong i love playing in a big abundant universe, but i just wished there were more hard choices in how you want to expand.

Flies in the face of what idea? Colonising lots of planets at the same time doesn't really happen anyways since most colony ships are built slowly by only the homeworld till the mid game.
Colonizing lots of planets doesn't make planets grow any faster either.

(in reply to adecoy95)
Post #: 18
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