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Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 10:15:13 AM   
WoodMan


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Hey guys,

The Problem

I see an increasing amount of posts about the AI players ship and base designs not being as effective as the players designs. There are various requests and comments, the AI doesn't do this, or do that etc

The problem with most of these suggestions is that if the AI made perfect designs a lot of its "personality" would be gone. I like that the ship designs are based on the AI personalities, so yes, the Teekan do make awful ships, but this is because they aren't all that smart.

I keep ship design on automatic (the only auto option I use at all) because I like to go along with this roleplaying, I like the diversity of the races as it makes the game more interesting. I also like the challenge of playing races like the Teekan, who are my second most played race overall after the Humans. Thats right, I actually enjoy having bad ships and bases, the fact that when I play Teekan my destroyers are only as good as a Human frigate is an exciting thing, not a pain in the butt that needs overiding by myself using the ship design window.

Other players however enjoy designing their own ships and are forever complaining the AI can't keep up. If the AI could keep up, for a start it would mean all AI being the same.

My Suggestion

Perhaps ship and base design really is in need of a complete overhaul. The designs have not changed much since the release of DW, and now the community has grown in size and the wealth of knowledge we have gathered over time has led us to understand a great deal more about effective ship design.

I think that ship design should be looked at, the intelligent races should be able to build ships as efficient as our player made designs. I still want ships to be different across races, but the best races should be brought up to scratch, and then we should work backwards from there on the other races.

Weapons on mining bases are a suggestion thrown around a lot. I'd like to see weapons on mining bases too, but, only on those of aggressive or intelligent races. I wouldn't want to see weapons on the bases of Teekan, Ugnari or Wekkarus, but Human and Sluken, aggressive and intelligent, then yes of course. The diversity of ship designs between races adds something to the game for me.

My final suggestion is a powerplayer mode, so once and for all we can stop the threat of efficient ships for AI players ruining the roleplaying aspect of the game for players like me. A simple tick box in the new game screen that will overide the diversity in ship designs based on personality and instead have all AI players design the best ships that us, the community can come up with.

What do you think?

< Message edited by WoodMan -- 12/4/2011 10:23:06 AM >


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Post #: 1
RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 10:50:09 AM   
HectorOfTroy


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Sounds good to me.

I know that a lot of people are complaining about ship designs by AI, but the AI will never design ships as good as we can. Hence, I don't really get upset that AI designed ships are not as good or as powerful as ones that I can design.

So your idea would be that we desing ships and that those designs be somehow imported into the game?

(in reply to WoodMan)
Post #: 2
RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 11:00:24 AM   
WoodMan


Posts: 1345
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From: Ol' Blighty
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quote:

So your idea would be that we desing ships and that those designs be somehow imported into the game?


Not sure this is viable in DW partly because of the tech level of the AI, a design for every single tech combination possible would be impossible to import.  I meant the community should come up with a basic design guide for building very good all-rounder ships that Eliott could take a look at.  Then from there adapt this "perfect design philosophy" to the AI personalities, starting with the most intelligent and working backwards.

The powerplay mode would simply draw purely on this design philosophy and not adapt for personality.


_____________________________

"My body may be confined to this chair, but my mind is free to explore the universe" - Stephen Hawking

(in reply to HectorOfTroy)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 11:57:02 AM   
Bingeling

 

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I think it is impossible to cater for the power player, role player, and newbie with the same philosophy. And the determined human will probably always beat the AI.

Improving the r&d of the AI would be a good thing, but there is little point in trying to beat the human at that game. It would make sense to try to maybe improve the AI some, though, but the AI that challenges the experienced player would be lethal to the new players. And I am not sure a too lethal AI is a good thing either.

In general what I see that makes the AI lose is:

I got more money, and until legends less wars to worry about. Which means more resources dedicated to the war effort. I also control when a war ends, which is no little bonus.

I may or may not have better ship designs. I often automate.

I tend to out-tech the AI. I am not sure if this is because of more research potential, more sensible research, or both. My latest game is weird in this, since I research at an insane rate, so I would have to try a bit dafter race in legends. The nifty wonders are a gift to the power playing humans. They will of course end up with these in their possession, and some of them give huge tech boosts. What research and fast building won't bring, war will.

When our main fleets clash, mine is usually better. The AI comes with a nice line of 24 ships spread from frigates to capitals. I only got cruisers and larger. And if my fleet is weaker, they don't clash one on one.

Once the game matures, I don't assault a system and fail. I make sure to attack with enough forces. I am not sure it would always be a good thing if the AI was too good at this, and the war would soon become "I take one, you take one", and a contest about who can grab stuff fastest...

(in reply to WoodMan)
Post #: 4
RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 12:20:01 PM   
Canute0

 

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Not only the Design AI need an overhaul.
The complete Private sektor how he works, the Construktor AI too.

Just the Militaery AI is clever.

(in reply to HectorOfTroy)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 12:35:45 PM   
feelotraveller


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I like the fact that the computer has weak ships gives me someone to spank.

Seriously though, I'm a bit torn. I have to agree with the comments about role-players and newer players. And it is nice to see different computer personalities. (Races with racial techs immediately have difference used by player or computer.) On the other hand I really like designing ships, just because, aside from any purpose in the game. But it's double the fun to actually see them in action. Often I will give myself other disadvantages to keep things interesting.

The way forward is probably to encompass as much variation as possible. That means keeping the basic designs (or close to) that we have now but adding other computer design variations. A set of good designs within the bounds of what is possible could be fun to play against sometimes. And no the computer will never match the a player in this, because part of the choices about designs in the game are made considering the strategic position. But it is more than possible to give the computer an improved set of 'all round' designs. I would support this with some sort of checkbox (or slider if there are more than two variations).

I would add that having more race specific techs and/or prohibitions of tech would make the game more interesting. (Never did meet the armourless Naxxilians, damn.) Mind you this could be exploited by any power player, though I don't understand why anyone would want to minimise their fun like that.

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 12:41:50 PM   
Bingeling

 

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There is no huge problems in giving AIs better default designs. Everyone (apart from possibly the player) uses the default AI designs. If you beef the AI fleet power through better designs and fleet makeups, it may be necessary to boost planet defenses, though.

(in reply to feelotraveller)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 12:45:31 PM   
feelotraveller


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Like spaceports and defense bases which are also ship designs?

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 4:19:58 PM   
Shark7


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Actually here are a few ideas I will throw out there:

Currently available solutions:

1. Leave design on automatic.
2. Design your own with a known flaw (IE make them too fast and not shielded enough).
3. Design your ships, but don't build hordes of them (the way I do it).

Possible future solutions:

1. Open up the AI designs so with an out of game ship design editor, and let the players design the base designs for each race.
2. Hardpoints that limit what can be put into a hull:

a. each race has a hardpoint layout for each ship class.
b. AI would design as best it could with the available hardpoints.
c. contstruction research could not only allow bigger ships, but increase the hardpoints.

Examples:

Human Destroyer has the following HPs:

8 weapon
4 shield
4 armor
12 engine
3 electronic (targeting, sensor, countermeasures)
1 fighter bay
1 troop bay

Anything not listed is unlimited.

While the Securans might have:

6 weapon
5 shields
2 armor
16 engine
2 electronic
0 figher bay
2 troop bays

with all else unlimited.

In this way, the different races have their differences, but the players are also held in check (no grossly overpowered designs). As you do the construction research, you get an additional hardpoint per level in each area....so bigger ships with more guns etc, but all races keep pace.

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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 4:27:37 PM   
Ares106


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Actually here are a few ideas I will throw out there:

Currently available solutions:

1. Leave design on automatic.
2. Design your own with a known flaw (IE make them too fast and not shielded enough).
3. Design your ships, but don't build hordes of them (the way I do it).

Possible future solutions:

1. Open up the AI designs so with an out of game ship design editor, and let the players design the base designs for each race.
2. Hardpoints that limit what can be put into a hull:

a. each race has a hardpoint layout for each ship class.
b. AI would design as best it could with the available hardpoints.
c. contstruction research could not only allow bigger ships, but increase the hardpoints.

Examples:

Human Destroyer has the following HPs:

8 weapon
4 shield
4 armor
12 engine
3 electronic (targeting, sensor, countermeasures)
1 fighter bay
1 troop bay

Anything not listed is unlimited.

While the Securans might have:

6 weapon
5 shields
2 armor
16 engine
2 electronic
0 figher bay
2 troop bays

with all else unlimited.

In this way, the different races have their differences, but the players are also held in check (no grossly overpowered designs). As you do the construction research, you get an additional hardpoint per level in each area....so bigger ships with more guns etc, but all races keep pace.

I like the idea.

I most especially like this:
"Open up the AI designs so with an out of game ship design editor, and let the players design the base designs for each race."

This will almost make a sort of a "multilayer" game where people trade and compete with their designs.

And perhaps we can define the AI's research path as well in order to make sure it can quickly achieve the designs we are gave it.

< Message edited by Ares106 -- 12/4/2011 4:30:07 PM >

(in reply to Shark7)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 5:42:35 PM   
colonyan

 

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quote:

The problem with most of these suggestions is that if the AI made perfect designs a lot of its "personality" would be gone. I like that the ship designs are based on the AI personalities, so yes, the Teekan do make awful ships, but this is because they aren't all that smart.

Wait! Does this means game is artificially assigning purposely inferior ship design to less than average "intelligent"
species? That's really ... erm... not ideal IF it was real. That is sad if its true.
I thought they were unintelligent in average(average populace) when told so, top elites who has important job like designing war ships must be quite reasonable.

Even the bottom intelligence scale specie should have standard design. If not, game feels so artificial and superficial...

(in reply to Ares106)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 5:52:59 PM   
Shark7


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Based on intelligence, some species will never get or use certain techs. Example: Teekans don't use shields IIRC.

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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 5:58:22 PM   
2ndACR


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From: Irving,Tx
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My DD's have:

12 engine
3 reactor
4 fuel
6 shield
8 armor
5 blaster/laser
5 missle
3 electronic
2 pd

I think research is what will kill the AI, I am using the expensive setting to slow down my tech up and am still way ahead of the AI in research

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 13
RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 6:21:28 PM   
WoodMan


Posts: 1345
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From: Ol' Blighty
Status: offline
quote:

Wait! Does this means game is artificially assigning purposely inferior ship design to less than average "intelligent"
species? That's really ... erm... not ideal IF it was real. That is sad if its true.
I thought they were unintelligent in average(average populace) when told so, top elites who has important job like designing war ships must be quite reasonable.

Even the bottom intelligence scale specie should have standard design. If not, game feels so artificial and superficial...


I totally disagree with you, I think the complete opposite.  Which is why I'm suggesting these things to keep my style of play alive if hordes of people come complaining that the AI races aren't all exactly the same, which would make it artificial in my opinion. 


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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 6:32:29 PM   
Sylian


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I think to make certain AIs design inferior ships is not good approach to get more variance in how races feel.
I rather like to see special race traits and race techs emphasized more. One could make some races make pay less maintainance or have significant faster building on smaller ships, while others pay less on bigger ones to encourage swarm like fleets of small ships against fleets with fewer but big ships. One could extend bonuses on certain weapon and defense types to increase variety. Of cause the player would than be "forced" to adapt a certain play style when playing one race, which not everyone may like.
A project like this would require a lot of balancing though, but i think its worth a try.

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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 6:37:12 PM   
Ares106


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quote:

ORIGINAL: WoodMan

quote:

Wait! Does this means game is artificially assigning purposely inferior ship design to less than average "intelligent"
species? That's really ... erm... not ideal IF it was real. That is sad if its true.
I thought they were unintelligent in average(average populace) when told so, top elites who has important job like designing war ships must be quite reasonable.

Even the bottom intelligence scale specie should have standard design. If not, game feels so artificial and superficial...


I totally disagree with you, I think the complete opposite.  Which is why I'm suggesting these things to keep my style of play alive if hordes of people come complaining that the AI races aren't all exactly the same, which would make it artificial in my opinion. 



I agree with you that AI should build different types of ships, i think it would be boring if they all built the same exact type I also agree that "stupid" races should have somewhat inferior designs. But i disagree with the premiss that there must be only one kind of design that is "best". There are many types of weapons and fleet design philosophies the AI can use and still be able to build reasonably effective fleets...

there is more than one way to skin a cat

(in reply to WoodMan)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 6:38:56 PM   
colonyan

 

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So what happens if human play "dumb" race...?
If game, for some reason, have put "intelligence" factor to balance strength between races,
human player could easily revert over that balance by designing ships a new.

Well I think I will stop here cause there's too much guessing here.
___

EDIT: When I said inferior design, that does not mean everything other than the "BEST".
But something like not giving shields/armor at all or giving far less thruster.
I am more of game balance people. All race follow the same rule as of ship design.
Differences can be expressed on other fields. Not artificially giving stupid design.

< Message edited by colonyan -- 12/4/2011 6:41:43 PM >

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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 6:56:53 PM   
ASHBERY76


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From: England
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I like the roleplaying aspect and have been modding policy and race files to increase it.I wish I have the same chance to mod the auto design for each race too.

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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 7:29:53 PM   
tjhkkr


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quote:

ORIGINAL: WoodMan
quote:

So your idea would be that we desing ships and that those designs be somehow imported into the game?

Not sure this is viable in DW partly because of the tech level of the AI, a design for every single tech combination possible would be impossible to import.  I meant the community should come up with a basic design guide for building very good all-rounder ships that Eliott could take a look at.  Then from there adapt this "perfect design philosophy" to the AI personalities, starting with the most intelligent and working backwards.

The powerplay mode would simply draw purely on this design philosophy and not adapt for personality.


Excellent notion!
Just like the U.S. sold Greece/Turkey and so on older destroyers, with technology that was older, but technology that was FAR in advance of anything they could come up with at the time (this was before the world based economy). You could sell them ships with older weapons. You could even sell higher tech stuff for entities you do trust, just as the U.S. sells advanced systems to Israel.
(I am not trying to stir the pot as to whether that is fair or moral; I know there are lots of strong feelins for and against Israel; I am trying to show an example.) I personally think this is a cool idea!


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Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.

(in reply to WoodMan)
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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 9:04:21 PM   
Shark7


Posts: 7890
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
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Ya know, you could do something very similar to the hardpoint system by using design templates.

Define the templates at each tech level for each race: And by that I mean tell the AI that to meet requirements for a specific race:

10% weapons
2% fuel
8% reactor
10% shields
1% sensors
25% engines
5% armor
etc

So that when the AI designs its ships, it follows the guide. This is probably very similar to how it works now, it just needs a tweak and to be told to use at least X% of available space per construction tech level.

For example:

Escort must be at least 50% but not more than 60% of current available space
Frigate must be at least 60% but not more than 70%
Destroyer must be at least 70% but not more than 80%
Cruiser must be at least 80% but not more than 90%
Capital ship/carrier must be at least 90%

Tech level 1 = out to

Escort 115 to 138
Frigate 138 to 161
Destroyer 161 to 184
Cruiser 184 to 207
Capital ship/carier 207 to 230


Now these were just examples, not what I expect to see in game...Elliot would need to balance it out.

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Post #: 20
RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 9:11:21 PM   
MasterChief


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Shark7 has a great idea... more uniqueness for the races is always a good thing.

I mentioned something similar in a previous line of discussion specifically: assigning race specific military paradigms. A strong counter point was made by another forum member (don't remember who) that pointed out that if we knew in advance what type of ships the AI is building we could easily counter it. So race specific hard points might still need some randomness involved.

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RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 10:07:12 PM   
tjhkkr


Posts: 2425
Joined: 6/3/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Ya know, you could do something very similar to the hardpoint system by using design templates.
Define the templates at each tech level for each race: And by that I mean tell the AI that to meet requirements for a specific race:

10% weapons
2% fuel
8% reactor
10% shields
1% sensors
25% engines
5% armor
etc

So that when the AI designs its ships, it follows the guide. This is probably very similar to how it works now, it just needs a tweak and to be told to use at least X% of available space per construction tech level.

For example:
Escort must be at least 50% but not more than 60% of current available space
Frigate must be at least 60% but not more than 70%
Destroyer must be at least 70% but not more than 80%
Cruiser must be at least 80% but not more than 90%
Capital ship/carrier must be at least 90%

Tech level 1 = out to
Escort 115 to 138
Frigate 138 to 161
Destroyer 161 to 184
Cruiser 184 to 207
Capital ship/carier 207 to 230

Now these were just examples, not what I expect to see in game...Elliot would need to balance it out
.


Excellent idea too... perhaps that might leave the door open to mod enemy ships as well WITHOUT at least some randomness to keep things interesting...
And in fact, you could allow the occasional RANDOM in here to really keep things exciting...


_____________________________

Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 22
RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/4/2011 10:17:49 PM   
Bingeling

 

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The idea in general is good. I would not bother to spend percentages on electronics, though, and fuel is also probably a fixed amount.

My own design logic when in munchkin mode is for the largest ship to of course use all available space. Add the basics, check that enough shields are present, and check how much weapon can be fitted. Balance weapon power usage to number of reactors, and verify that it still moves before finalizing.

I would max size designs to keep a difference, though, and reexamine AI fleet makeup. I think 50% space for escorts at the larger shipyards may be a bit over the top.

(in reply to tjhkkr)
Post #: 23
RE: Powerplay Option - Possibility for the Future? - 12/5/2011 2:51:40 AM   
feelotraveller


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Its worth keeping in mind in this discussion that ship design is not the be all and end all. Some races have weak designs to balance their other advantages, some have strong to be their advantage. A player will play the way they want. This is what we want, yes?

(in reply to Bingeling)
Post #: 24
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