Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (Full Version)

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jpwrunyan -> Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/12/2020 12:52:44 AM)

So... my governor just rebelled against me and took my capitol city killing everyone there and essentially ending the game.
Was his relation with me that bad? Meh, I was working on it. Relationships are hard. That's not the point.

The real question is why is this event in the game? Why not just have a random chance of a solar flair that destroys all life on the planet while we're at it? Because the result is the same: A stupid RNG event that essentially ends the game.

How about governors just rebel the same as everyone else so that way I can at least have a fighting chance? It's bad enough as it is when someone hovering at 40 approval rebels while I'm waiting to draw a "Bonus" card so I at least have an RNG chance of wasting $100 on what may be 0 points of approval improvement.

Sometimes I feel like this game is a war game version of Monopoly. Or worse, Chutes and Ladders.

Watch, in the next version there'll be a patch note saying: "Added solar flairs that have a random chance of ending the game."

Thanks for listening.




eddieballgame -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/12/2020 1:37:42 AM)

Wow, with all the hours I have put in, I have not encountered anything remotely resembling this.
I have had to fight some rebels once or twice, but nothing that could not be dealt with.
I do not play on high difficulties, & was wondering if this was the case here.




Philo32b -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/12/2020 2:40:15 AM)

Wow, that is harsh. I kind of like the idea that there can be a rebellion in your main capital, but only if there are things that you can do to prevent the worst from happening. So, for example, perhaps if you upgrade your palace and build a barracks, instead of the governor being successful in taking the city, he/she has to exit the city with some rebel units and fight like any normal rebellion. Or if there are strategy cards you can play that put a spy in the governor's staff, so that he may be assassinated if he/she tries to rebel. But if there is nothing you can do and a random event just tanks your game, I agree that isn't fun or interesting.




Atomikkrab -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/12/2020 5:10:38 AM)

Don't piss off your governors.

Like a palace coup in the capital is a thing in real life.




CaptBeefheart -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/12/2020 10:51:42 AM)

Did you have any garrison units in the capitol?

Cheers,
CB




gmsitton -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/12/2020 9:15:52 PM)

Do you pay your governors a salary?




pauls2271 -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/12/2020 9:24:39 PM)

I've had rebels a few times. They have spawned near my capital before but never in it. I think the turn they spawn, they can't move.
If they spawned in your capital, that sounds like a bug that I would report to Vic.

But the slavers taught me early on: the first unit you raise is always a MG unit that you rename "Capital Garrison" and it stays in the capital the entire game.





Tanaka -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/13/2020 3:49:45 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: pauls2271

I've had rebels a few times. They have spawned near my capital before but never in it. I think the turn they spawn, they can't move.
If they spawned in your capital, that sounds like a bug that I would report to Vic.

But the slavers taught me early on: the first unit you raise is always a MG unit that you rename "Capital Garrison" and it stays in the capital the entire game.




This is exactly what happened to me. A rebellion spawned in my city and the game ended.




Malevolence -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/13/2020 6:14:03 AM)

The game uses RNG to create obstacles for the player to simulate difficulty.

No game developer can survive-- (1) crash to desktop; and (2) game is too easy --in that order. Those are death, but everything else is arguably a matter of subjective opinion. Taming other serious criticism simply requires some efficient tinkering with a game's existing formula (e.g. balancing).

The AI for Shadow Empires is abysmal. Without consistent harassment by the RNG, the player would experience a milk run to victory.

I'm guessing the AI is not fixable because the structure of entities and components (behaviors and data), representative of the game and its loop, make it utterly impossible to fix without writing a new game. The developer wrote he is already working on some other new game.

Some may argue no 4X game has good AI. That simply is not true and it's simple to test. Using the same rules and commands offered to the human player, can the game play itself (i.e. without a human player) in a consistent and believable way. If it can, you usually have to impair the AI when it plays most humans.




SCSNV -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/13/2020 8:37:36 PM)

I don't think RNG is entirely without merit, but I'm inclined to agree that the arbitrary nature of waiting for the 'right' card or a lucky card which can make or break your run is not especially conducive to an enjoyable game.




Atomikkrab -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/14/2020 2:33:21 AM)

You don't need a card. You can call your secretary any turn of the game and raise salaries to boost relations (or cut salaries to lower if you uh... want problems?)

There are many cards that boost relations available through profiles.

Finally the game even suggests in the manual and hints (Keep your governors happy or else)




TheSquid -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/15/2020 2:43:38 PM)

I would have thought that if you have a loyal SHQ director, then that should negate or at least minimize the the Governer's chances to get the troops in the capital over to his side? Assuming you have troops there of course - I can totally understand the Governer possibly turning some militia.

On the other comments RE the AI:
The AI does seem to be very poor, especially when compared to VR design's previous games. The biggest problem is that they went a bit too ambitious with the 4x options, in particular building roads and creating new zones. I doubt the AI is "not fixable" - while I haven't seen the code, the game does appear to be at least based on similar wargames VR have made, such as Decisive Campaigns series, and in those games the AI wasn't terrible - but the games scopes were smaller, so the AI only really had to deal with logistics and warfare, not also zone boundaries and road construction (and logistics were nowhere at the level of SE).

It does look like a lot more work needs to go into making the AI a lot more competitive - ideally using the same rules we need to use. Which either means there need to be some seriously detailed/complex algorithms developed for the AI's road building and zone construction (and possibly other things, but these areas are the where the AI seems the most inept), or alternatively possibly reduce the choices we have in these areas (and therefore reduce the things the AI needs to think about).

By the latter, perhaps instead of allowing us to create new zones and size them, the game could just take the easier route that many other games take - i.e. have the map already split up into territories, so neither us nor the AI can create new zones (just capture them and install new Governors). A variation on this could be that cities may only be placed in certain fixed locations, but we (and the AI) would still need to make that decision on if/when to raise those cities.

While I'd personally prefer to keep as much of these features as possible, I'd be willing to sacrifice some flexibility in their implementation if it means it's easier to write some AI routines that work a bit better.




Malevolence -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/16/2020 1:22:20 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: TheSquid
...
The AI does seem to be very poor, especially when compared to VR design's previous games. The biggest problem is that they went a bit too ambitious with the 4x options, in particular building roads and creating new zones. I doubt the AI is "not fixable" - while I haven't seen the code, the game does appear to be at least based on similar wargames VR have made, such as Decisive Campaigns series, and in those games the AI wasn't terrible - but the games scopes were smaller, so the AI only really had to deal with logistics and warfare, not also zone boundaries and road construction (and logistics were nowhere at the level of SE).
...


I don't own the previous games, but I suspect the AI in Shadow Empires is more developed than the AI in the previous games.

In previous games, it was the responsibility of the scenario designer to balance the opening conditions and objectives of each scenario. Each scenario was then repeatedly run, tested and tweaked to provide a convincing experience.

In Shadow Empires, the opening conditions (OOBs, competing forces, goals, etc.) are ambiguous. That's why the regime objectives (i.e. victory conditions) are so simple (i.e. land grab) and fixed.

Using the information we know about the DC Community Project and extrapolating from what we see in Shadow Empires, it's somewhat obvious the game's structure does not support a robust AI.

There appears to be some very limited agent system use (mostly at the unit level), but nothing substantial or multi-level. We know this because important concerns were not separated by the designer.

The changing zones and zone flipping by moving units is a core requirement for the existing AI to understand the game's state and make decisions.

[image]local://upfiles/34589/3A1FA3E2E6FD439F880C0024E4FD7424.jpg[/image]




Philo32b -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/16/2020 2:51:52 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

I don't own the previous games, but I suspect the AI in Shadow Empires is more developed than the AI in the previous games.

In previous games, it was the responsibility of the scenario designer to balance the opening conditions and objectives of each scenario. Each scenario was then repeatedly run, tested and tweaked to provide a convincing experience.


The Decisive Campaign series is a good example of this, but not the Advanced Tactics Gold game, which Shadow Empires feels more similar to, despite many elements from DC. In ATG the AI faced the same issues it does in SE--random generated maps with potential enemies in all directions. The AI feels similar to the ATG AI. It does pretty well in localized conflicts. But its strategy can break down in global conflict. Diplomacy adds another layer of global conflict that is spreading it even more thin. In ATG the AI would generally avoid declaring war against too many opponents at a time. In my current SE game an AI nation declared war on me when virtually all of its units were on the other side of its country in at least one and possibly two bloody conflicts. I assume some diplomacy sub-system took precedence over the ATG-level tactical AI. It was easy to destroy what should have been one of my biggest competitors in the game.

On a different topic, personally I don't understand what others have said about wanting the AI to be limited to the same rules as the player. Why? I am looking for a challenge in a game and immersion, both of which are compatible with the AI having its own rules. Take AI War and AI War 2, for example, where the AI has a very different position than the player. Or the solitaire wargames from the 70s and 80s, where randomized charts were designed to give you the feeling you were playing an intelligent foe.




TheSquid -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/16/2020 9:20:38 PM)

AI War I/II are completely different though - in those games, one of the main themes/premises/challenges is that the AI plays by different rules than you. Those games are a form of asymmetric warfare, albeit heavily abstracted.

In DC: Barabarossa, each of the sides plays differently, with the AI following suit - but unfortunately the AI plays by slightly different rules, which fortunately appear similar to the human rules (for the most part) - so it kind of gets away with it.

I have no problem with minor regimes having different rules, especially giant spiders and bandits and the like - because it makes sense for this to be the case.

If the AI plays by different rules, then it can either hamper its capability (to win) or appear to cheat - or like in this game, both!




EuchreJack -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/17/2020 11:33:20 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: jpwrunyan

So... my governor just rebelled against me and took my capitol city killing everyone there and essentially ending the game.
Was his relation with me that bad? Meh, I was working on it. Relationships are hard. That's not the point.

The real question is why is this event in the game? Why not just have a random chance of a solar flair that destroys all life on the planet while we're at it? Because the result is the same: A stupid RNG event that essentially ends the game.

How about governors just rebel the same as everyone else so that way I can at least have a fighting chance? It's bad enough as it is when someone hovering at 40 approval rebels while I'm waiting to draw a "Bonus" card so I at least have an RNG chance of wasting $100 on what may be 0 points of approval improvement.

Sometimes I feel like this game is a war game version of Monopoly. Or worse, Chutes and Ladders.

Watch, in the next version there'll be a patch note saying: "Added solar flairs that have a random chance of ending the game."

Thanks for listening.


Actually jpwrunyan, that sounds pretty cool. Do you have the save right as the governor takes over? I'd like to see what happens, and if I'd be able to recover in any way.




Malevolence -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/18/2020 2:31:28 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

What actually matters is the orthogonality of the game's rules (i.e. its world's physics).


There is some confusion in this thread about AI behaviors as opposed to the rules.

Different opponents with different behaviors (and goals) is fun and used often in games (e.g. asymmetric). Per my quote, however, having opponents violate the game's rules (i.e. its world's physics) devolves into silliness (and player confusion). It must be convincing to the player. Like pornography, difficult to define but you know when you see the violation.

This is a subtle, but important distinction.

A game with units that can forage and subsist off the land is different than all enemy units, exactly like the player's, don't need supplies.




Journier -> RE: Governor Rebels, Claims Capitol (9/25/2020 4:00:08 PM)

my first few games were me recruiting all the generals and governors. then watching as they slowly started despising me.

Keeping a small queue of generals and governors has helped tremendously for trimming the angry ones.




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