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RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/19/2014 11:01:53 PM   
BlueTemplar


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But now it's even more tempting to micromanage your research by having 3 super research base designs (one focusing on each tech tree) and retrofitting between them when you want to research a tech from a different tree... something that the AI don't know how to do (though it could certainly be programmed to)...
but then it's another "exploit" resulting from the game mechanics that the game doesn't seem to have been initially designed with in mind, otherwise why having separate tech trees in the first place?

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RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/19/2014 11:07:32 PM   
Tcby


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a) The incentive it gives you is really very minor. The only reason its more viable now is because labs are overall slightly cheaper.
b) I have no issue with people using that tactic. As long as the AI can reach capacity, and can prioritize research targets properly, I don't care how people choose to use their capacity.



< Message edited by Tcby -- 6/20/2014 12:08:17 AM >

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RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/19/2014 11:13:47 PM   
Tehlongone


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I wouldn't say anything has changed in that regard, the cost of research centers never ever deterred anyone, this change only affects the AI.

It's a rather round-about way of fixing it though, I don't know why the AI can't just check it's research capacity and retrofit it's spaceports until it's filled.

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RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/19/2014 11:34:23 PM   
Tcby


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The talk of cost came from a discussion I had with Spidey, in which he mentioned that he puts his research labs on private sector bases to avoid the maintenance fee. I agree: it is so minor that its only a consideration for heavy powergaming. Not a balance issue.

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Post #: 214
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/20/2014 11:57:48 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MartialDoctor
Yeah, those changes are looking nice. However, I don't get the increased lab output. It's already too easy to reach maximum research capacity as is.

My take was that it would help the AI more frequently research at or near full capacity.

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Post #: 215
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/20/2014 12:01:54 PM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling

quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

The new research modding feature could be used to further improve AI research focus e.g. don't waste time of researching weapons technologies that will never get used.



As far as I know, the AI have not spent time on non-used weapons since Shadows or so. The research order can always be discussed, though.

What happens at end tech, I am not sure. I guess it will eventually research everything.


A mod that uses this and also improves Ship Design templates to focus on less weapon types (noting the current smorgasboard) could be made to vastly improve the AI's weapons research/use deficiencies that I've pointed out in this thread.

Modders ... ??? And even better a topic for a future patch ... ???


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/20/2014 1:02:27 PM >

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Post #: 216
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/20/2014 11:12:21 PM   
Locarnus


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I like the Idea that the Research Projects themselves can be restricted to races, although i First have to Look at how it is implemented and can only do this monday.
I Hope it is only optional and the Old Way is still possible. With the current Way i can Mod the Research.txt with Restrictions, but it is compatible with all Mods using the Vanilla Research.txt. I ll have to Look at the New Way First.

Imho the only Way to have competitive Research from pre Warp Start for the ai is a totally different Research Points generating System. The current One is just massively exploitable.

_____________________________

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Post #: 217
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/21/2014 2:32:44 AM   
MartialDoctor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

quote:

ORIGINAL: MartialDoctor
Yeah, those changes are looking nice. However, I don't get the increased lab output. It's already too easy to reach maximum research capacity as is.

My take was that it would help the AI more frequently research at or near full capacity.



Well, at least they addressed it. However, it would have been better if they had actually just adjusted the AI... I'm guessing it was not an easy fix to change the AI scripts.

Oh well. Beggars can't be choosers

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/21/2014 3:33:15 AM >

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Post #: 218
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/21/2014 6:33:55 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Locarnus

I like the Idea that the Research Projects themselves can be restricted to races, although i First have to Look at how it is implemented and can only do this monday.
I Hope it is only optional and the Old Way is still possible. With the current Way i can Mod the Research.txt with Restrictions, but it is compatible with all Mods using the Vanilla Research.txt. I ll have to Look at the New Way First.

Imho the only Way to have competitive Research from pre Warp Start for the ai is a totally different Research Points generating System. The current One is just massively exploitable.


If you look earlier in the thread I had a lot of difficulty getting Disallowed Components and Disallowed Research to work ... is that what you meant by the old way?

Either way, if we can get the AI to restrict weapon research to focus on one or two weapons, and also change the ship/base design template files to align with those restriction, we could see another good improvement in AI performance with weapons.

That said, I don't know what Matrix have cooking in coming patches. Erik/Elliot?

(in reply to Locarnus)
Post #: 219
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/22/2014 11:28:43 PM   
Locarnus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

quote:

ORIGINAL: Locarnus

I like the Idea that the Research Projects themselves can be restricted to races, although i First have to Look at how it is implemented and can only do this monday.
I Hope it is only optional and the Old Way is still possible. With the current Way i can Mod the Research.txt with Restrictions, but it is compatible with all Mods using the Vanilla Research.txt. I ll have to Look at the New Way First.

Imho the only Way to have competitive Research from pre Warp Start for the ai is a totally different Research Points generating System. The current One is just massively exploitable.


If you look earlier in the thread I had a lot of difficulty getting Disallowed Components and Disallowed Research to work ... is that what you meant by the old way?

Either way, if we can get the AI to restrict weapon research to focus on one or two weapons, and also change the ship/base design template files to align with those restriction, we could see another good improvement in AI performance with weapons.

That said, I don't know what Matrix have cooking in coming patches. Erik/Elliot?




Yes, basically I meant with the old way, that race specifics are stated in the race files and not spread out to other files.

From what I saw in the research.txt, using the new way will remove the modularity of modding in research. It further shifts modding towards full conversion and is thus incompatible with my research mod.

A better way would have been to merge the tech foci and allowed/disallowed components into race component/tech modifiers.
Eg
15, 0.0, 87, 0.2, 114, 2.0, 64, 9.9
would mean that component 15 is disallowed, component 87 is avoided (1.0 would be normal), component 114 is a tech focus and component 64 is a racial component.


I will have to wait and see if and how much Haree78 and other race modders make use of the new approach (non-full conversion race modders will be severely handicapped by this as well, since it will become much harder to just add their race(s) to other mods).

I like to use different themes/racial mods myself and I liked combining mods.
If my research mod is thus effectively restricted to vanilla or a support role for a specific mod, it is not worth my time and effort anymore, so I ll have to stop development of my mod once again (just after the energy balancing is resolved) and wait if/how this "feature" is adopted by the race modders.



_____________________________

DW:U BalanceMod v0.9 (extended TechTree)
compatible with DW:U Extended, StarTrek and XPanded

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3624576

(in reply to Icemania)
Post #: 220
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/27/2014 2:05:57 PM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
- NEW MODDING FEATURE: defined Research path. Optionally allow specifying project order for a race for each tech tree (see new entries in race files: WeaponsResearchProjectOrder, EnergyResearchProjectOrder, HighTechResearchProjectOrder)


Massive, massive change! Please use this feature to kick some human ass! Weapons combined with Ship Designs would be a productive first target.

#1 Mod Request: AI Research Build Orders

(in reply to Locarnus)
Post #: 221
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/27/2014 8:20:43 PM   
Tcby


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Yep, this is excellent. Combined with the research output buffs....these be good times.

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Post #: 222
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/29/2014 3:23:09 PM   
Icemania


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MOVED TO: Possible AI Improvement Mod


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/30/2014 12:13:15 PM >

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Post #: 223
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/29/2014 8:50:17 PM   
BlueTemplar


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Do the AI-controlled empires have any bonuses/handicaps/different ways to function in Normal Difficulty compared to the Player controlled (even if completely automated) empire?

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Post #: 224
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/30/2014 1:34:12 AM   
Wanabe


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Awesome work there Icemania. With a fixed research path for each race I imagine substantial performance improvements for various races, can help slightly improve the "flavour" of races aswell

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Post #: 225
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 6/30/2014 4:25:52 AM   
Tcby


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Wow Ice, amazing work.

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Post #: 226
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 7/1/2014 4:11:19 PM   
Icemania


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In the AI Improvement Mod link posted earlier there is a link to an early working version. Races updated include the Boskara, Dhayut, Gizurean, Quameno, Shakturi, Sluken and Wekkarus. Ideas to further improve the Race, Policy or Design Templates are welcome. Probably the best way to do this is to select one of these races, play on full auto, and note any observations in that thread. Note it's setup as a Theme for Vanilla only at this stage.

< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/1/2014 5:11:44 PM >

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Post #: 227
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 7/19/2014 10:43:17 AM   
Icemania


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For those that only check the main forum please note that the AI Improvement Mod has been released as an Alpha. This Mod covers a number of the topics raised in this thread including AI Research and AI Ship and Base Designs. Feedback welcome.




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Post #: 228
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 7/31/2014 12:09:31 PM   
Icemania


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For those that only check the main forum please note that the AI Improvement Mod has now been released 1.0.

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Post #: 229
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/7/2014 5:29:15 AM   
Icemania


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For those that only check the main forum please note that the AI Improvement Mod has now been released 1.01 for both Vanilla and Extended.


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Post #: 230
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/7/2014 9:53:10 AM   
Evan85


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Dang Ice, that looks so awesome...

I feel bad for just finding DW:U and still playing around vanilla. Anyways just starting a hard game setting to see if I can steamroll in it about as easily as I did in the default setup. If my assumption is correct, I'll jump on your mod soon and you'll get some fresh-eyed feedback.

Keep up the good work!

(in reply to Icemania)
Post #: 231
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/7/2014 9:38:28 PM   
Werewolf13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

But the reality is all this is probably going to have to wait for Distant Worlds 2. I really hope Matrix put an AI Programmer in the team which sole purpose in life is to challenge the player base. Or follow what Frogboy has in mind for Galactic Civilisations 3 e.g. using Steamworks to monitor player strategies and then use the best of those strategies in AI updates.



That's an interesting concept and one I've seen utilized in real life. It is also fraught with much danger. Here's why I say that.

In 1979 while serving on USS Dewey, DDG-45 we deployed to the Mediteranean. An FT buddy and I were both into chess at the time. As a Fire Control Tech he had access to the firecontrol computers (pretty primitive at that time but good enough to do what we wanted). He programmed it to play chess. It was dumber than dirt at first but the programming had it save every move and position it made that led to a computer victory. By the end of that Med run (6 months worth) there wasn't a person on board that could beat that computer. the Dewey had a crew of a little over 400 sailors - not all of them played chess.

Now imagine that the AI developed for DW:Universe uses a plan as proposed by Icemania (highlighted above). With 1000's and 1000's of players it wouldn't take long before the AI became unbeatable - even by you gurus and certainly not by the likes of me.

Is that really what y'all want? An unbeatable AI?

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Post #: 232
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/7/2014 10:39:34 PM   
Ikke

 

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Considering, you, the player has the option of automation, I don't fear an unbeatable AI. Rather, I am interested in seeing a game where you work together with the AI, guiding it along - the potential is there in DW. Imagine a game where you set the overall war strategy (attrition, blitz, research more strategies), prioritise targets, set targets for operations, etc, and let the AI work it out.

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Post #: 233
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/8/2014 10:24:49 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Werewolf1326
quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
But the reality is all this is probably going to have to wait for Distant Worlds 2. I really hope Matrix put an AI Programmer in the team which sole purpose in life is to challenge the player base. Or follow what Frogboy has in mind for Galactic Civilisations 3 e.g. using Steamworks to monitor player strategies and then use the best of those strategies in AI updates.


Is that really what y'all want? An unbeatable AI?


No Mr Wolf. There are many, many more variables to optimise in a Space 4X game than a Chess game.

What this approach would deliver is semi-adaptive AI, albeit a manual one:

Frogboy would program new strategies, and any decent human player is then going to adapt, fast, and find another way to outsmart the AI.

Frogboy would program some more new strategies, and any decent human player is then going to adapt, fast, and find another way to outsmart the AI.

Along the way Frogboy could probably include better true adaptive AI as well i.e. routines to counter various player strategies.

And so on.

As compared to:

Matrix program basic AI strategies, that never change, which any decent human player is going to slaughter before long, and thereafter never be remotely close to being challenged in a fair fight.

While I'd like to think the AI Improvement Mod has helped here a little (they are more or less my research build orders and the designs are as close as I can make them with the restrictions in the templates), doing this properly adds a whole new dimension to the gaming experience.

Distant Worlds is a mighty fun game anyway. But for me the AI is by far the most important element of a Space 4X game and hence is top of my wishlist for Distant Worlds 2.

And if you don't want a challenge just play on low difficulty.


< Message edited by Icemania -- 8/8/2014 12:16:17 PM >

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RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/8/2014 11:50:21 AM   
AKicebear

 

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The AI could also select designs/strategies based on their probability of winning within the whole history of tracked games.

Normal difficult - AI uses tactics that lead to victory in 50% of games
Hard - 75%
etc...

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Post #: 235
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/8/2014 1:37:59 PM   
Icemania


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And when Normal difficulty AI victory rates drop to 40% ... beef the designs/strategies up again! No complacency!


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Post #: 236
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/8/2014 6:20:21 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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What most of us just want is an AI that doesn't do stupid things. As a bonus, many of us would also like an AI that roleplays a little, for immersion.

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Post #: 237
RE: Distant Worlds AI - 8/8/2014 11:59:40 PM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cauldyth
What most of us just want is an AI that doesn't do stupid things. As a bonus, many of us would also like an AI that roleplays a little, for immersion.

For Distant Worlds 1 that's fair enough. It's one of the reasons I've invested so much time in the AI Improvement Mod, to do whatever I can within modding limitations. But for Distant Worlds 2 I hope more significant goals are set, while retaining the roleplay and immersion.

(in reply to Cauldyth)
Post #: 238
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