0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

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ovarwa
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0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#1 Post by ovarwa » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:22 pm

Hi,

0.4.9 candidate thoughts so far:

UI:

...Older bugs retained: Going to fullscreen still crashes Intel integrated graphics; I have to use Nvidia. Config does not remember that I want to start in fullscreen. UI remembers some settings but not others across launches or even across games within a session, especially pertaining to window sizing and location, regardless of whether autorelocate is set.

...New bug: When the system panel is set not to show the giant planets on the side, the unhappy face indicating that a planet is insufficiently happy is still displayed all on its own.

AI:

Something new and good: The AI seems to actually pursue a coherent tech path for hulls rather than pursue hull tech randomly! I was attacked by hulls deeper into the organic tree rather than a mishmash of different kinds of starter hulls. I had not seen this before. Yay!

An old stupid friend: So, there's a monster hanging out on a system the AI wants, and the AI sees it, so parks an outpost ship one sector away and waits for a while, until it eventually brings up a small fleet to kill it, and then attacks the monster with the fleet AND THE OUTPOST SHIP, even though it is obvious that the fleet cannot kill the monster in one or even two rounds, but that the monster can kill the outpost ship, which is of course what happens. Another AI player is able to see my huge fleet bearing own on a single ship that has no hope of doing anything but die. Rather than move, and it had fuel to do so, it died.

Overall: The AI seems less effective. If I can survive the initial onslaught, or if it doesn't happen because I am too far away, the AI has a hard time bringing the fight to me. I suspect this is worse than before, but I could be misremembering.

Game features:

Race balancing: Some of the better races were nerfed and that's a good thing. (Looking at you, Scylior)

Fighters: A mix, but perhaps I don't understand the deeper implications. I like that Interceptors get 2x launch,though I think fighters should get 1.5x launch, to make ship design easier and more consistent. At that point, one could have Fighter/Bomber/Interceptor Launchers to match their respective hangars, which would let you remove the restriction on a single ship carrying multiple types. I like that Interceptors prefer to hit other fightercraft, but this also means that if an enemy force deploys a single fighter, *all* of the opposing interceptors will attack it, which... yuck? I should have expected this behavior from reading the changelog, but it was an unpleasant surprise. I've been advocating target preference for a long time, but I think it needs further thought. Between flak guns and interceptors going straight for fighercraft, are bombers still viable? On the positive side, I find myself once again considering direct fire weapons as primary. I've not gone into the math yet, but my basic robohull for 049 is 2Zort+1Interceptor+1Laser. Until now I've used single designs for each 'generation' of ship, but I suspect that I will want to start building fleets of mixed types, so that I also have bombers; I see this as a mixed blessing: There are more interesting design choices, but its no longer possible to just peel off a bunch of ships to accomplish a mission, which imposes another burden on the AI. Oh, and has the Spinal Cannon been changed so that it doesn't target fighters?

Fuel: I think I understand the intent but so far I don't like it. As usual, it seems to make life especially hard for the AI to do anything outside of supply. It also makes great supply especially awesome, and it makes the Energy line of hulls even better, since they have the best fuel, and Solar Hulls make fuel totally obsolete. I'd have good things to say about how interior slots become more important, except that hulls have not been reconfigured to reflect this change. Against the AI, I can still do everything that I used to, only it's a bit more cumbersome. I suppose I could build a raider type (generic roboraider: flak+laser+2zort+fuel).

-----

Tangent, not about this release, but about an alternate (admittedly more difficult) targeting design:

Every time a weapon or fighter attacks, still assuming the basic principle that every weapon always hits something for its full damage, there's a target that the attacker would prefer and a target that the defender would prefer. If all things are equal, there can be a 50% chance of either, or perhaps a 3-way split if we add the possibility of a totally random target. Good/bad pilots can then be changed to modify this probability rather than modify weapon damage: Good pilots are more likely to hit prime targets; bad pilots are more likely to run into their defenders. There can be generalship tech for this too, perhaps with fighters having their own subtree. Different kinds of weapon have different algorithms for determining choice, or anti-choice, and even shifts to the usual "if all things are equal," reflecting more or less accurate weapons, or weapons for which certain targets are not valid at all.

For Interceptors, for example, it would be nice if once all enemy fighters are accounted for, maybe some can attack something useful; conversely, it would be nice if sometimes an Interceptor was not able to attack the bomber that it would really like to shoot down, and have to settle for something else.

-----

Anyway,

Ken

ovarwa
Space Kraken
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#2 Post by ovarwa » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:29 pm

Hi,

Forgot these:

Ancient ruins can still start the game unguarded. Fix ought to be to check and then either add a monster or remove the ruins.

Conquering a planet with ancient ruins upon which xeno resurrection has already been done does not provide you with an alien species to resurrect, but the text and UI graphics strongly suggest otherwise.

Anyway,

Ken

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#3 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:14 pm

ovarwa wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:22 pm
Config does not remember that I want to start in fullscreen.
Are you on Windows? If so, that's working as intended; the fullscreen flag is not storable and you can instead pass -f when running freeorion.exe or add it to the shortcut or start menu link.

ovarwa
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#4 Post by ovarwa » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:32 am

Hi,
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:14 pm
ovarwa wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:22 pm
Config does not remember that I want to start in fullscreen.
Are you on Windows? If so, that's working as intended; the fullscreen flag is not storable and you can instead pass -f when running freeorion.exe or add it to the shortcut or start menu link.
Good to know, thanks. (Indeed, on Windows.)

Played another game this afternoon. I didn't mind as much the horde of Interceptors all attacking one or two fighters now that I knew to expect it. A mix of interceptors and bombers worked better, as they should. Unfortunately, the AI likes to build ships with 2 Interceptor Hangers and 1 Launch Bay, which doesn't make so much sense, since the second wave will only attack on round 3, and only attack Interceptors, which means that they do very little other than act as chaff, except in the corner case of a) enemy out of supply and b) enemy carriers are expected to survive this turn and c) would not otherwise retreat. A second wave of bombers makes sense if there's an internal slot that would otherwise go to waste, because they hit ships, and it doesn't matter as much if they get shot down (and on round 3, losing a bomber to a direct fire weapon is great). Unless, of course, the enemy has no fighters, in which case the second wave of interceptors is fine.

I stopped on Turn 121; the AI factions seemed especially static and my slow steamroller was overwhelming and unstoppable (by AI factions.)

Anyway,

Ken

Ophiuchus
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#5 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:32 pm

ovarwa wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:32 am
AI likes to build ships with 2 Interceptor Hangers and 1 Launch Bay, which doesn't make so much sense, since the second wave will only attack on round 3, and only attack Interceptors, which means that they do very little other than act as chaff,
Being chaff shielding your ships is actually the main usage for interceptors in 0.4.9

Working on changing that though.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

ovarwa
Space Kraken
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#6 Post by ovarwa » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:54 pm

Hi,
Ophiuchus wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:32 pm
ovarwa wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:32 am
AI likes to build ships with 2 Interceptor Hangers and 1 Launch Bay, which doesn't make so much sense, since the second wave will only attack on round 3, and only attack Interceptors, which means that they do very little other than act as chaff,
Being chaff shielding your ships is actually the main usage for interceptors in 0.4.9

Working on changing that though.
The damage isn't so bad either, but the chaff effect is nice. I found yesterday (as Gysache, no less!) that 2 ships, a roboZIL and a roboZBL, can fend off a rather larger fleet if that fleet has no fighters, losing no ships.

(I also found that I might have congratulated the AI prematurely; it showed its old ways, going down both the organic and asteroid paths. :/)

Anyway,

Ken

ovarwa
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#7 Post by ovarwa » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:25 pm

Hi,

I notice that the SG hull has lost an external slot. It remains a great ship, so the change is a good one. The Scattered Asteroid Hull seems to have lost some external slots, however, and I don't see why it needed to be nerfed.

Some AI fun: I'm accumulating a big fleet next to an AI system, and he can see it. He's accumulating a fleet too, but I'm doing it much faster, so my fleet is vastly superior; I'm preparing to stomp on his system and I'm leaving headroom to take hits from the planets and perhaps a counter attack while my troop ships (currently being built) move in. Except that the AI takes his obviously inferior fleet and attacks mine, where he is out of supply and lacks planetary backup. I don't want to lose any ships when I attack, and there's another threat nearby, so I wait for my fleet to heal, having lost no ships. Meanwhile, he accumulates another fleet, and attacks my fleet again, except my fleet is even bigger. Since the other threat still looms, I heal again, and now my fleet is vastly larger (because it is there to deal with the other AI threat too), and I'm about to attack... but he attacks me yet again, even though the AI is obviously just suiciding his ships. It was still fun, though, because I was totally surrounded.

Anyway,

Ken

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Oberlus
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#8 Post by Oberlus » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:28 pm

Some AIs seem actually maniacal.

defaultuser
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#9 Post by defaultuser » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:26 am

The problem with changing hull configuration is that it breaks all of the saved ship designs. Oh well, some editing to do.

ovarwa
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#10 Post by ovarwa » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:11 am

Oberlus wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:28 pm
Some AIs seem actually maniacal.
:D

Yes, that's how I set them all.

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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#11 Post by jadwin » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:25 am

Hi!

the balancing in 0.49 is better. I think it was a good think to give chato and sylicor more malus. I don't understand the beginning population of sylicor. They have good population but at the homeworld the have less max. population as others. Normaly the max. population on a home world is 20.

I played several time Sly and I think they are to weak.

You can't go on technology - bad researcher

It's hard to get new colonys - you can't use outpost ship to colonize because of very bad supply

You can't conquer alien races, because of bad offensive troops and luck of fuel

So how to start? All other races performe better in the beginning.

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Oberlus
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#12 Post by Oberlus » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:50 am

jadwin wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:25 am
I don't understand the beginning population of sylicor. They have good population but at the homeworld the have less max. population as others.
They start at a medium HW (another malus), others have large.
I played several time Sly and I think they are to weak.

You can't go on technology - bad researcher

It's hard to get new colonys - you can't use outpost ship to colonize because of very bad supply

You can't conquer alien races, because of bad offensive troops and luck of fuel

So how to start? All other races performe better in the beginning.
Research. All planets to research.
Queue Nascent AI, Adaptive Automation, Subter. Hab. and first stealth tech part (add the corresponding planet. stealth tech once the part is finished). First stockpile tech at your discretion.

No armed ships early game, no one will invade your GGs and you do not care about blockades (stockpile): go for stealth colonisers. So asteroid hulls or organic.

defaultuser
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#13 Post by defaultuser » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:26 pm

jadwin wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:25 am
I played several time Sly and I think they are to weak.

You can't go on technology - bad researcher

It's hard to get new colonys - you can't use outpost ship to colonize because of very bad supply

You can't conquer alien races, because of bad offensive troops and luck of fuel

So how to start? All other races performe better in the beginning.
You don't try to colonize with outposts until you have Exobots. Build colony ships. The great stockpile of Sly allows you have a more disjoint empire at the start.

ovarwa
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#14 Post by ovarwa » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:21 pm

Hi,
jadwin wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:25 am

I played several time Sly and I think they are to weak.

You can't go on technology - bad researcher

It's hard to get new colonys - you can't use outpost ship to colonize because of very bad supply

You can't conquer alien races, because of bad offensive troops and luck of fuel

So how to start? All other races performe better in the beginning.
I haven't yet tried them in 049, but in the previous release I found it possible to stay with an Industry focus. Research and build the homeworld science building while Scouts explore; it might be feasible to build and deploy a normal Colony Ship (or 2!) in addition to the one you start with, map depending. Then Nascent AI. Postponing IA in favor of fusion provides a fast boost to industry at a low research cost. Subterranean gets sneaked in somewhere. Maybe one or two more Scouts: Exploration is crucial. The starting warship works best as a blocker.

There is still no problem with having a disjoint empire because the stockpile can keep up with all this for quite a while.

Now there's a major choice that can no longer be postponed, and it might have already been made: Go stealth, which means stealth tech, probably organic hulls, stockpile tech, maybe fuel tech for longer ranged colonizers (in 049, that's no longer really needed for Scouts). Or come out of hiding, which means Exobots, IA and maybe robotic hulls, with the Exobots providing the Supply network. The right choice depends largely on the map: Who is nearby? Are there natives to be captured? Are monsters blocking everything good? How many gas giants are there, and how far away? Is there a nearby Science faction that will overcome your Stealth bonus with tech? A good pilot or industrial faction that will quickly build a fleet that would doom anyone who cannot hide?

The Sly lack the industry or tech or starting population to be very good at executing either side of this choice, but they are the only faction to get it, because of their other bonuses.

IA and Exobots are always desirable eventually.

When playing against the AI, I admit that I'd rather capture some Sly than play them, but they do work.

Anyway,

Ken

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Oberlus
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Re: 0.4.9 thoughts after an evening

#15 Post by Oberlus » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:09 am

ovarwa wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:21 pm
IA
What's IA?

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