Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Imbalanced AI?

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Distant Worlds Series >> Imbalanced AI? Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Imbalanced AI? - 6/25/2014 10:27:43 PM   
ComJak

 

Posts: 13
Joined: 1/10/2014
Status: offline
So I've been running a few tests over the last week or so with AI on different maps and my empire on full automation. All settings are identical in terms of empire settings. When I let these games run for a few hours on 4x speed, I notice that very quickly, about 1/4th of the empires randomly produced will expand a LOT faster than the others. There are times where my empire has 2-3 planets (once again, full automation)and others have 1-2 colonies but other empires have 5-10 already. These empires tend to colonize the rest of the map far before anyone else and dominate the game. I have had games end hundreds of years later with empires with only 1 colony the entire way through.

What causes this huge difference in performance? I haven't tried empires of the same race so my first guess would be race benefits. But these differences seem to be far too powerful if this were the case.

Thanks for any explanation.

ComJak
Post #: 1
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/25/2014 11:08:08 PM   
Kayoz


Posts: 1516
Joined: 12/20/2010
From: Timbuktu
Status: offline
I think you're right about the racial advantages accounting for initial expansion rates - but while this is a factor, I think the biggest single factor is LUCK.

Continental planets, for example, are the highest quality but the rarest - so you're more likely to see slow initial expansion rates from Humans or such races. Though if they are lucky enough to have continental planets close to their homeworlds, they'll expand well due to the speed with which they become profitable compared to lower quality planets.

Also, the home system generation seems to be an issue. I've seen some games where (normal setting), one starts with 2 or even 3 decent planets in one's home system. That can be a rather nice advantage in early games, as it's easy to protect one's initial holdings with a single fleet.

Yes, it's imbalanced. But who said life is fair?

_____________________________

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens

(in reply to ComJak)
Post #: 2
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/25/2014 11:12:51 PM   
Max 86


Posts: 709
Joined: 11/6/2007
Status: offline
Thats a tough question to nail down exactly. On the one hand why would it be any different. The only relative experience we can draw on, philosophically speaking, is a quick examination of the nations here on earth. The answer to your question is the same as asking why didn't Belgium or Sudan or Vietnam rise up to match the size and strength of say China, U.S. or Russia? The answer to that is quite complex.

Game wise, also like real life, it comes down to things like starting position and proximity / availability to resources, cultural characteristics in conjunction with government type, strategic decisions regarding science commitment and direction. Sometimes leaders just make dumb decisions that severely impact their nations ability to expand (Mussolini) and some times they pull it off at great cost (Peter the Great).

If you ran the test and after 200 yrs or so each faction had the same number of colonies / size of empire, I would consider the game broken and unbalanced in a 'too balanced' kind of way. Interesting test though. It says a lot about the game.

< Message edited by Max 86 -- 6/26/2014 12:14:48 AM >


_____________________________

No problem Chief!

(in reply to ComJak)
Post #: 3
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/25/2014 11:30:36 PM   
ComJak

 

Posts: 13
Joined: 1/10/2014
Status: offline
You guys make good points. I agree with the thought that if all factions had the same colonies, it wouldn't really be a fun game. However, it seems to me that the continental natives are the ones that do the best in my games. I may also have to tweak the galaxy settings for a more balanced start.

I wonder if the AI is capable of processing another faction as a "threat" in a way where if one faction gets too large too quickly, the other smaller factions will band together to fight against the large faction and work together to prevent a victory. This seems to be one issue of the luck based expansion. Usually, in my games, 1 faction will occupy about 40-50% of the galaxy (on med sized maps) and achieve victory while the others just passively allow it to grow and win.

ComJak

(in reply to Max 86)
Post #: 4
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/25/2014 11:38:36 PM   
Tehlongone


Posts: 208
Joined: 12/21/2010
Status: offline
I haven't made any proper tests but from observation it seems high growth empires do well if they are intelligent (i.e. not Atuuk/Gizurean) but the main factor seems to be location and local resources.

In any given game some civilizations just get better starts than the others and as they take advantage of this fact their power spirals ahead of the pack. Unlike some strategy games starting conditions vary pretty wildly depending on which planets you get easy access to and how crappy your neighbors are.

The craziest results I've had were from a pre-hyperspace start where one race got off it's system well ahead of the rest and controlled 1/4 of a 1400 star galaxy when the others began expanding. He had 3 decent (and colonizable) planets in his home system.

(in reply to Max 86)
Post #: 5
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 12:11:43 AM   
BigWolf


Posts: 539
Joined: 3/31/2010
Status: offline
Best way to truly test this
Run it a dozen or more times, make a note of each race that does well
If there happens to be races that are alot more often in better positions than other races, then it's possible their racial traits might need adjusting
(In reverse, if a race is often at the bottom, their traits might need a slight increase)
If there appears to be a nice balance of which races are more successful, then we can put it down to random map generation

Personally, I'd be happy if it is really down to generator, since it means saves should often have different races as the players main competition

_____________________________


(in reply to Tehlongone)
Post #: 6
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 12:32:42 AM   
Tehlongone


Posts: 208
Joined: 12/21/2010
Status: offline
I don't know what the point'd be, it's not like the races are particularly balanced. I don't think they are supposed to be. I mean, does Atuuk vs Quameno really seem balanced?

There is a pool of "good-enough" races that often dominate and some races that almost never do well. I don't remember the last time I saw a successful Atuuk/Gizurean and there a several other races that only do well when they get really lucky. Some of the races I view as best sometimes do very poorly if they are unlucky though. Although Securans are almost always big.

I view it as more of a feature than a problem, realistically for a bunch of random alien races to end up equal seems improbable. I guess they could be modded closer if one wanted it.

(in reply to BigWolf)
Post #: 7
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 12:55:39 AM   
ComJak

 

Posts: 13
Joined: 1/10/2014
Status: offline
I guess I'm thinking more old-fashioned RTS where all factions are carefully balanced. In reality, the differences between the races are really a great unique feature. I will do more testing to see what kind of correlation there is to the factions. Perhaps some factions do need a nerf but since this is hardly the competitive game, it wouldn't even be that crucial. Playing weaker factions could even provide a greater challenge than simply easy-medium-hard.

ComJak

(in reply to Tehlongone)
Post #: 8
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 1:05:46 AM   
Cauldyth

 

Posts: 664
Joined: 6/27/2010
Status: offline
Yeah, I don't think the game even pretends to make the races balanced. Instead of comparing it to Starcraft, compare it to Europa Universalis. You can play as France or you can play as a one province minor in Ireland. They're very different experiences, and how well you aim to do in a given game is relative to how difficult you've made things for yourself by your race/nation choice.

(in reply to ComJak)
Post #: 9
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 1:10:38 AM   
buglepong

 

Posts: 46
Joined: 4/12/2014
Status: offline
Luck. Independent colonies really skew early development. Try putting independent colonies to rare setting.

Also lucky effects of exploration. In my current game the ackdarians are twice as big as any other realm and that is due to them following the way of darkness

(in reply to Cauldyth)
Post #: 10
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 1:10:42 AM   
Haree78


Posts: 1269
Joined: 5/18/2010
Status: offline
Bare in mind that I have spent hundreds of hours play testing the AI and seeing how AI empires do in development of the extended mod.
There are certain races that are better than others in the vanilla game without a doubt. However as people have said there are a lot of major factors that will affect even the best performing races. Who their neighbours are, if they get stuck in long wars of attrition, what resources they have shortages of and how many good colonies and independents are available to them. The biggest factor is probably neighbours and independents.
However some good starters aren't very good end game. For example the Gizureans, like my race the Keskudons are fantastic starters with the right conditions but they need to have a REALLY good start to not lose end game because they make way too many enemies.
Others if they get a good start are complete beasts, like the Quamenos.
I always consider races like the Shandar as minor races because I have never seen them become a big force.

_____________________________


(in reply to Tehlongone)
Post #: 11
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 1:31:32 AM   
Nanaki

 

Posts: 306
Joined: 6/4/2014
Status: offline
Europa Universalis is a really poor role model if your looking for reasonable balance...

As for Distant Worlds, I hardly mind imbalance, but I have seen some fairly extreme cases in my last vanilla prewarp playthroughs. Quameno with 100+ colonies, Kaidan with 90+ colonies, then humans and boskara with 20 colonies, another 4-5 races with 5-10 colonies, and then the rest of the races (about 10 of them) having only one or two colonies. Kaidan was due to a bug where an independant instantly became an empire and started out with gainax warpdrives before any of the other races even had basic warp cores.

I have been working on a mod that balances out the races some. It is not designed to remove all imbalance but rather slightly buff the weaker races while slightly nerfing the strongest races. The only issue I have at the moment is that most racial mods do not work with pirates which only gives a limited selection of viable races for pirates to pick.

< Message edited by Nanaki -- 6/26/2014 2:33:08 AM >


_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Cauldyth)
Post #: 12
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 2:52:26 AM   
Kayoz


Posts: 1516
Joined: 12/20/2010
From: Timbuktu
Status: offline
I think one thing to keep in mind is that pre-warp start is NOT what DW was initially balanced for. Racial balance was never changed with the inclusion of a pre-warp start, and I rather expect racial advantages, such as growth rate and economic advantages are exacerbated in early starts.

_____________________________

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ― Christopher Hitchens

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 13
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 11:11:56 AM   
Modest

 

Posts: 172
Joined: 11/26/2011
From: Warsaw, Poland
Status: offline
Wow... That is interesting :) I also feel that certian races are more powerfull than others, and I like it. I would say that most of time we can speack about major empires and minor once. But I do agree that most important factor seems to be pure luck. Actually it is eoung that one race will get lucky crash bonus on colonisation technology early in game and there You go - they will grow expotentially.

ComJak - why don't You, in Your next test help one race? Make it more "lucky" via editor? Let's say, pick one of races that never did good and give them ultra rare resource on their home planet in addition to normal resources that they have? But why stop on that? Pick up another race that most of time did good job on expansion and make sure they will not have source of calson in starting system? I am pretty sure that those changes will definietly change how both races will develop in future.

(in reply to Kayoz)
Post #: 14
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 11:17:40 AM   
Bingeling

 

Posts: 4696
Joined: 8/12/2010
Status: offline
I think "no source of caslon" never happens. Certain resources are scripted to appear in the pre-warp starting system. Of course, if one manually remove them...

As for races, of course there are differences between them, but random settings influence them greatly.

(in reply to Modest)
Post #: 15
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 11:31:15 AM   
Nanaki

 

Posts: 306
Joined: 6/4/2014
Status: offline
I would say this is only somewhat true. The only advantage that becomes substantially stronger in pre-warp is the research bonus, which enables the Quameno to get access to warp drives and colonization tech before any of the other races. I feel the issue is more that Technocracy is way too powerful than anything else. +50% Research bonus without anything to counter-balance it is too much of a good deal. But at the same time Technocracy is the only reason Zenox is not a crap race to play, which means any potential nerf of Technocracy means that Zenox would likely need buffs to counteract that.

< Message edited by Nanaki -- 6/26/2014 12:32:22 PM >


_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Kayoz)
Post #: 16
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 11:39:08 AM   
Tehlongone


Posts: 208
Joined: 12/21/2010
Status: offline
Pop growth is pretty important as you start with a few billions in a pre-start, if your growth rate is too low to reach max population then you'll be at a disadvantage compared to some of the others.

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 17
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 9:04:07 PM   
Tormodino

 

Posts: 107
Joined: 3/27/2010
Status: offline
I've also noticed that the most dynamic games, read as fewest steamrollers empires, take place when not playing pre-warp. Pre-warp is a nice starting point for the player, but the AI seems to struggle with to get a steady stream of resources since it cannot properly account for scarcity and save for a rainy day like the player can.

Overall, the luck of the draw in terms of planets and resources, as well as the disparity in basic race power, is something I really like about DW.

The fact that balancing is not a huge consideration is good. I would like to see the AI expand a little more reliable though. A slight limiting of the extremes, if you will. Not sure how this could be solved, but I think substantially increasing the running cost of newly founded colonies could help with this. This is based on the fact that the AI does consider cost when making descisions, so it would seem the least heavy handed way of slowing runaway expansionism.

EU4 is actually a pretty good example of a way to balance expansion. Many don't like the model, and some countries have modifiers that allow them to go crazy with it, but the basic costs of colonization (gold and troops to guard against natives, as well as military commanders allowing expansion in the first place), military expansion (monarch points for integrating provinces and countries) and increased revolt risk for changing relgigion is so high that especially in the early game it is nearly ruinous for a small country to attempt massive expansion projects.
It might not be the best, but it does work. Except for France... I mean... Seriously :D

(in reply to Tehlongone)
Post #: 18
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 9:37:14 PM   
Cauldyth

 

Posts: 664
Joined: 6/27/2010
Status: offline
Yeah, pre-warp starts seem to result in wider discrepancies in AI empires. Those starts require two very expensive techs before you can start expanding (Colonization and Warp Bubble Precursors, though you could argue that proper hyperdrives are necessary for proper expansion, bringing it to 3 very expensive techs).

I play on Expensive tech, which makes these 3 techs take even longer. If you get lucky/unlucky with tech breakthroughs/wrong-paths on even one of those projects, that can have a massive impact on your prospects relative to other empires. In my most recent game, I had a wrong-path on Warp Bubble Precursors when it was in the 80+% range. Ouch.

(in reply to Tormodino)
Post #: 19
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/26/2014 11:06:25 PM   
Nanaki

 

Posts: 306
Joined: 6/4/2014
Status: offline
I think a lot of the issues with prewarp is that the AI is not really that good at prioritizing early game techs. It needs to priortize colonization and gainax hyperdrives ASAP, but it occasionally faffs around with unnecessary techs which delay it.

_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Tormodino)
Post #: 20
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/27/2014 3:42:48 AM   
ComJak

 

Posts: 13
Joined: 1/10/2014
Status: offline
This could definitely contribute to the steamrolling I see. I only play pre-warp start and it took me a while to figure it out.

ComJak

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 21
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/27/2014 2:25:19 PM   
Shark7


Posts: 7859
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
Status: offline
I'll add in that where you set your galaxy sliders, particularly the ones that dictate the number of suitable colony worlds and number of independent colonies, will have a huge impact on the speed at which the game progresses (IE how fast the empires grow).

< Message edited by Shark7 -- 6/27/2014 3:26:06 PM >


_____________________________

Distant Worlds Fan

'When in doubt...attack!'

(in reply to ComJak)
Post #: 22
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/29/2014 8:23:29 PM   
hyme

 

Posts: 14
Joined: 6/4/2014
Status: offline
Gizurean always seem to be doing the best in my games. I think it is there high pop growth. I did half the growth rates for all the races. I may change that back.

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 23
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/29/2014 8:50:10 PM   
Rhikore

 

Posts: 53
Joined: 6/4/2014
Status: offline
Hey Guys, Ill be working on a race mod soon, hopefully, and was wanting to address balance across governments and races.

I think the best way to do this would be to create some basically "blank" races with lets say one bonus.
Equalizing Pop Growth across all Blank races, except for the Race intended to test the efficacy of Pop Growth.

All bonuses would have to be of the same percentage or equivalent point values.

Then run tests with said races, using a special map, or editing home systems for control, providing identical environmental factors.

After a good sample size, we should be able to create a racial Bonus metric, by which we can balance the races.
This metric could also be used to balance government types.

Giving an educated guess, I would expect Monetary/Growth/Research Bonuses to generally fall into the 3 highest percentages.

In my race/government Mod, I will be attempting to balance the vanilla races, with my additions.(Governments & Races)

I kindly entreat any of you that can, to start testing.

Thoughts, & Comments appreciated!

(in reply to hyme)
Post #: 24
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/30/2014 12:26:08 AM   
Nanaki

 

Posts: 306
Joined: 6/4/2014
Status: offline
Honestly, I think 'metrics' are almost impossible to judge things by. The huge problem is that some bonuses can be shared if that race has a substantial number in the empire, some bonuses only apply if that race is the majority on a planet, some bonuses only apply to the troops of that race, and some bonuses are not sharable at all.

Basically, I think trying to attain perfect balance is foolish and impossible. I would be perfectly happy with 'Good nuff' balance, basically avoiding situations like the Atuuk whom have absolutly -zero- redeeming features to justify their suck. Even as a happiness-focused race they are lousy since their happiness is only 3rd best, beaten by the Securans and Shandar.

Here are my thoughts so far:


Ackdarian: Strong, gets the highest military ship size bonus in the game, bonus to colony construction, and very powerful ship maintenance/research bonus. Probably their only bad side is that their racial tech is not very good, but still saves you an enormous amount of RP
Atuuk: Weakest, their only bonus is a mediocre happinness bonus (+30%) and they have absolutly no redeeming features, even their colonies build slower
Boskara: Not sure, I am unfamiliar how war weariness works in this game, but the Shakturi Firestorm is an amazing weapon if you fight like the Covenant and prefer to glass planets as opposed to occupying them, since the Shakturi Firestorm enables you to build ships that can both fight off enemy defenses than burn the planet to a crisp
Dhayut: Worse racial bonuses than similar races, but one of the strongest racial techs in the game, the only downside is that im not sure the upgrades to that racial tech are worth it. You gain only an additional 50% speed but energy consumption doubles, might actually be betetr to stick to the initial tech if your worry is fuel efficiency
Gizurian: Decent. They provide ship maintenance bonus, high reproduction rates, hive mind, and, IIRC they will never generate a new leader which is awesome if you start with a really decent leader.
Haakonish: Very Strong, very similar to Ackdarians, except instead of a research focus they get an espionage focus instead. Their ship size bonus is also slightly weaker, but they get a special government and a much better racial tech. With Mercantile guild they can spam ships almost as well as Gizurians. The best jack of all trades race in the game, their espionage is strong, they can build lots of big ships, and even their research gets a boost with higher chances of scientists appearing
Human: Bad, their racial bonuses are not shabby but, to realize how bad they are, they only get an extra intelligence agent and a terrible special government while Haakonish get the extra intelligence agent, bigger ships, amazing fuel cells, and a decent special government
Ikkuro: Strong, ship maintenance, colony income, and troop maintenance, combined with RP discount on colonization techs, faster colony construction speed, and one of the best racial techs in the game. While not as amazing as Haakonish they are on par with Ackdarians
Ketarov: Strong, but a one trick pony. Aside from their espionage, they have no bonuses worth anything. However, their espionage is very, very, very strong. On top of the +50% bonus, they also get 3 extra intelligence agents which gets them a max of 9 intelligence agents total. They can wreck a lot of havoc with that. If you are a pirate, it might not be a bad idea to just exterminate these guys because otherwise they will incessantly harrass you with sabotage
Kiadan: Mediocre. Similar to humans in that they have decent racial bonuses, but no bonuses aside from that. Only thing that puts them above humans is Shadowghost ECM which is really, really good. But considering you can steal racial techs it might be better to just play another race and steal their techs.
Mortalen: Not sure, nice racial tech though.
Naxxilian: If you want the troop maintenance bonus, just capture a planet with this race dominant and build troops. Aside frmo that, they just have +10% tourism which is not that great.
Quameno: Strongest. +40% Research combined with Technocracy is just plain overpowered. They also have Novacore which is extremely strong early-game and while it is eventually surpassed by Hyperfusion, it still remains more fuel efficient (2 fuel points per 1000 energy points vs 2.5)
Securans: Mediocre. Strongest happiness bonus combined with a small tourism bonus and an insane reproduction rate. I am suprised they do not have an espionage bonus, even a small one. Its is sort of odd that they are just simply better than the other two happiness races, Atuuk and Shandar, but still fairly mediocre.
Shandar: Bad. Not Atuuk levels of terrible but their only unique feature is the spaceport armor bonus, which I am not even sure works.
Sluken: Not sure, but I really like the Starburner, they also get faster troop regeneration which is also unique to them.
Teekan: Ok-Decent. Bonuses to mining, trading, and colony income which, alongisde merchant guild, lets them print money. Only downside is that they get a military ship size penalty. An interesting strategy might involve turning their civilian fleet into armed merchant ships, setting their AI accordingly, than have the merchant ships do most of the fighting. With extra civvie ship size you might even be able to build ships on par with military ships.
Ugnari: OK-Decent. While, on first glance, they are watered down Teekans, unlike Teekans they do not get a penalty to military ships and they get a very nice racial tech, Raptor Targeting. A good pick if you want a merchant-focused race but not overly so like the Teekans.
Wekkarus: Not sure. Never used/experianced wave weapons, and on paper they are money-focused but without Merchant Guild or any trading bonus. I never see them do much in my games.
Zenox: OK-Decent, If you want proof that Technocracy is overpowered, this is it, aside from technocracy the Zenox are not that great, a small ship maintenace, happiness bonus, historical locations and megatron Z4. Megatron Z4 is probably the best of those bonuses, it is absolutly amazing early game but late-game Meridian shields probably are either better or worse, depending on weither you like shield regen or shield capacity. Historical location knowlege is useless because historical locations are extremely easy to find as soon as you get long range scanners

_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Rhikore)
Post #: 25
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/30/2014 3:56:34 AM   
Spidey


Posts: 399
Joined: 12/8/2013
Status: offline
The Zenox are probably the second best race in the game precisely because they're getting both 30% more chance to get a scientist and technocracy. That means the second best science rate in the game, well ahead of Ackdarians and Kiadians. That's not bad, is it?

And regarding those Dhayut VeloDrives, if you compare their efficiency with the other warp drives, I think you'll find that they're pretty damn awesome. Those energy prices sound like a lot but you have to hold that up against their speed and measure them in distance per unit of energy.

The Teekans, for all their money, suffer from a pretty bad problem. It takes them ages to get decent ship sizes. That 20% penalty is actually pretty damn harsh. You can't build remotely decent combat ships before size 300 and size 400 helps a lot. Well, the Teekans only get size 300 ships after research size 400, which means they're always on the losing end unless they spam ships. Problem is, they don't have a maitenance bonus. Their troops are weak as piss too, which means invasion forces have to be bigger, which in turn means even more costly. And when you start expanding a bit, the corruption will eat most of your colony income bonus while your expenses simply scale up linearly.

Another thing to remember is that three races get a bonus per colony to research. The Ugnari and the Kiadians get a 5% bonus to HT and energy research for each colony, respecively. The Boskara get a 5% bonus to each colony that is mining emeros crystal. 40% of volcanic planets have that resource. These bonuses are neat but they won't get out of hand for a while and aggressive players will probably have won the game by then, but an aggressive person playing these races could probably exploit those bonuses a bit.

Final thing, you really shouldn't underrate good starting troops. Mortalen, Boskaran, Ikkoro, Sluken, and Naxxilian troops are fantastic for early homeworld invasions. They've got troop strengths in the 135-139 range and a 25-40% cost reduction. Wekkarus,
Shandar, Securan, Ugnari, Ketarov, Atuuk, and Teekan neighbors are quite out of luck if an aggressive player decides to take advantage of that.

Actually, one more thing. Wekkarus WavePulse cannons are pretty good. They match up with anything at point blank range short of Titan Beam 3's.

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 26
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/30/2014 4:20:18 AM   
Tcby


Posts: 342
Joined: 12/16/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
Also consider the races with preconfigured starting characters. The Ugnari and Ikkuro come to mind. The Ugnari start with an intelligence agent with very high espionage (70 something I think) and 28 sabotage. Ikkuro start with an INSANE colony governor. A few days ago I went back to the Ikkuro, hoping that they wouldn't be so OP after the recent change to 0% tax growth rates. I had over 10 billion pop by the time I was setting up mines outside my home system (pre warp start). Combined with their above average intelligence and bonus to colony income, they are sure to have massive income and research capacity if played by a human.

Going back to Ugnari, despite the powerful intelligence agent that allows them to steal a tech per year (and later every 3 months...) They have the third lowest intelligence and are tied second worst for growth rate. So research and GDP wise they are quite slow to get off the ground, despite their mercantile guild bonuses.

And yes, the zenox are very good. Decent growth rate, great scientist bonus, shields that are very handy for early pirate busting, and broken technocratic government. The historical location info is quite useful for getting a large early tech lead.

Quameno are brrrooooooooooooken

< Message edited by Tcby -- 6/30/2014 5:23:41 AM >

(in reply to Spidey)
Post #: 27
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/30/2014 10:11:21 AM   
Nanaki

 

Posts: 306
Joined: 6/4/2014
Status: offline
My point is that Technocracy is pretty much all Zenox have. Historical location info is useless because debris fields/hidden bases are extremely easy to find with long range sensors, infact in my first empire game I had salvaged 3-4 of them rather quickly. They tend to spawn in only a few areas and the long range scanner is excellent for sniffing those areas. Aside from that, what do Zenox have? -10% Ship Maintenance and +20% Happiness, both very small bonuses considering that there are three races with larger happiness bonuses (Shandar, Securan, even Atuuk). As for the Ship Maintenance, the problem is that every race with ship maintenance has much higher and better overall bonuses. Ikkuro for example has the same -10% ship maintenance but they also have -30% troop maintenance, much higher (132) troop strength, +10% colony income, -10% Colonization Research Cost, and a racial component that is undoubtably better than Megatron Z4 shields. The Haakonish have -20% ship maintenance, +10% Espionage, +1 intelligence agent, +15% Military Ship Size, access to mercantile guild government and a fairly decent racial tech.

As for Quameno, its not Quameno whom are the problem, but Technocracy. +50% Research bonus without any substantial drawbacks is huge. Quameno can make obscene use of it because they have decent racial stats which compounds well. Zenox on the other hand is a lousy race whos only saving grace is Technocracy. Therefore the only possible balance solutions are to either nerf Quameno to roughly the same level as the Zenox, or nerf Technocracy and buff Zenox to compensate.

I prefer the latter solution.

As for Zenox being second strongest? Nope. Even with the broken Technocracy I would still put Haakonish or Ikkuro ahead of them. They are definatly in top 5 or top 10 though.

quote:


Final thing, you really shouldn't underrate good starting troops. Mortalen, Boskaran, Ikkoro, Sluken, and Naxxilian troops are fantastic for early homeworld invasions. They've got troop strengths in the 135-139 range and a 25-40% cost reduction. Wekkarus,
Shandar, Securan, Ugnari, Ketarov, Atuuk, and Teekan neighbors are quite out of luck if an aggressive player decides to take advantage of that.


I never underrated good starting troops. Infact, most of the troop races I put 'Not Sure' because I simply have not played that side of the game enough to know how strong those races are...

Well, except Ikkuro. Ikkuro are obscenely powerful. I can see why some people on the forum really really like them.

_____________________________

I ate the batter of the bulge at Hans' Haus of Luftwaffles

(in reply to Tcby)
Post #: 28
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/30/2014 10:42:19 AM   
t1it

 

Posts: 22
Joined: 11/23/2011
Status: offline
The best races are tech races (Quameno and Zenox) and high growth races. Then races with maintenance+research bonus and finally purely economic races.
Bug/aggressive races (that are not gizureans)are the worst "category" in the game. Their bonuses are only relevant for early wars, then their lack of actually good bonuses hurt them way too much. War weariness is a mostly irrelevant bonus since it's only a nuisance if your going for short wars and even if the wars drags out, it's not enough to even out the huge happiness bonus you get from luxuries, 0 tax etc etc
There's a reason Military Dictatorship, Feudalism and the likes are crap governments (even if you're warlike race), despite their significant maintenance bonus (very good in late game).

With that said my list would be something like
Quameno
Gizurean
Zenox
Ikkuro
Ackdarian

which are the Tier 1 races. Gizureans are there because they have the highest base growth in the game (+ get a bonus pop growth for 2 years every 7 years) and get a leader that never dies and continually racks up insane bonuses over time (often pop growth to make it completely disgusting) and also get a the biggest ship maintenance reduction. The greenskin-lady race have comparable growth(better only with their special gov but that comes with INSANE disadvantages) but they're awful at waging wars and have no real bonus aside from growth like the massive maintenance reduction the gizureans have.

Anyways, with this race, your home world is at max population before you finish Warp Field Precursor [after researching energy collector+space construction](yes even with the latest patch)! Your colonies all have insane population growth and thus you can tax them much much earlier than other races. They get so filthy rich so early they snowball harder than any other race and is actually comparable to at least the Zenox when it comes to tech (crash every project).

(in reply to Nanaki)
Post #: 29
RE: Imbalanced AI? - 6/30/2014 10:57:23 AM   
Tcby


Posts: 342
Joined: 12/16/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
Nanaki:
Given the snowball that comes from early hyperdrive tech lead, getting to those historical sites way before researching long range scanners can be a pretty strong bonus. Of course it all comes down to tech priorities and cost. The more expensive your research is, the more valuable it is to retire ancient ships quickly. I'd never beeline long range scanners, so I see it as a useful bonus.

I guess if you normally get them pretty early, it would largely negate the usefulness of the trait.

< Message edited by Tcby -- 6/30/2014 11:58:18 AM >

(in reply to t1it)
Post #: 30
Page:   [1] 2   next >   >>
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> Distant Worlds Series >> Imbalanced AI? Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.172