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Good large map size?

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 2:20 pm
by zalasur
I've been reading the comments on the forums for a while, and I've noticed that the devs had mentioned, at least off-handedly, that galaxies containing up to 500 stars are possible, although not necessarily recommended because of potential game stability issues. This naturally leads me to the question, what is the size of the largest playable map in FreeOrion as it stands right now? Also, how many AIs should one play on these larger maps? For the purposes of discussion, let's assume I have all the RAM in the world, and my CPU is not a limiting factor. I'd just like to know how hard the software can be pushed. :mrgreen:

Re: Good large map size?

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 3:58 pm
by Vezzra
Actually the limit has been increased to 5000 stars some time ago. Although I've been able to launch a game with 5000 stars, I've never played more than just a few turns on such a map - turn times are too long even in the beginning. I did play 500 stars / 20 AI games however. That worked quite well on a two year old MBP. I got well beyond turn 200 on one of them before the game started to lag.

As far as my experiences go, the hardware seems to be the primary limiting factor. So, assuming you have limitless RAM and CPU power, go ahead and give a map with 5000 stars a shot. ;) Seriously, if you want to know how hard the software can be pushed, the only way to find out is to try. I don't think that anyone has been doing extensive stress testing with current releases.

As to the question, how many AIs to use on larger maps, that depends on what kind of game you want. Of course on large maps more AIs are better (playing on a 500 stars map against only one AI opponent is probably quite boring), but aside from that it mostly depends if you want to meet your opponents as soon as possible (in this case you need more AIs) or if you prefer a longer, undisturbed build-up phase for the players at the beginning of the game (in this case you need less AIs).

Re: Good large map size?

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 5:21 pm
by Dilvish
FIrst off, let me mention that everything below is with regards to medium density everything. Changing the planet density or natives density can have an especially big difference. The AI's also currently have a bit of trouble dealing with low starlane density & if that were not balanced out by high planet or natives density then low starlane density tends to give the AIs a large middle period where their expansion will get halted. (One of the items on my AI dev to-do list is to have them figure that out & accelerate research into Supply tech but it's not finished yet).

At a minimum, I'd recommend at least 10 systems per empire (maybe start with 20/empire and then experiment up or down). I'd also recommend a minimum of 5 or 6 AIs, to minimize the risk of them all drawing bad cards (weak initial race or bad starting location such as too few planets around or too many monsters).

I'd say it also depends a little on what kind of finish you want. Although we've had some discussion of win conditions, and the game as a tech victory semi-enabled, none of them are really fully enabled, and there is no point at which you actually get a classic Win screen and the game ends. I generally like to play with 200-300 stars and 12-20 AIs, but I usually just play until the charting script shows I've got at least about twice or three times the production and research of the best AI. Playing until I had actually wiped out all the AIs with that large of a galaxy would get a bit tedious for me.

If you want to use the charting script "", it is located in default/AI/charting and needs to either be copied into the directory where your freeorion.log and other log files are kept, and then be run from there, or else have the 'dataDir' set in the script itself to point to that logging directory.

Re: Good large map size?

Posted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:27 pm
by zalasur
Thanks for the awesome replies, everyone. I'll give the larger map a shot and see how it works out :D

Re: Good large map size?

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:14 am
by eleazar
I generally test with 3-5 AIs, 20-30 stars per empire, and everything else on Medium.