One Green Monster versus 7 AI Robots


#1

So Ominmal mentioned in this thread about taking on the AI Bots in a 4-player game.
I made some observations about the AI there.

I tried a 4-user game and was able to wipe 'em out … so for grins, I setup an 8-user 6-tick turn based twin-ring circular galaxy game with the default settings. I did bump the win-by to 66% so I wouldn’t increase my stats by battling bots.

It took me 13 cycles to get 50% of the galaxy as seen in the screenshot below. I could probably do a bit quicker if I did again, but it takes several hours to make all the moves. The AI is a LOT tougher - great job Dysp and Jay.

Click on image to see BIG!


Problem With Ai's?
#2

Hulk, thanks very much for all the testing and big logging you have been doing over the last few weeks with the Alliance and AI changes.

It is super helpful and important. I really appreciate it.

Sometimes I can be a little slow to get into the conversation but I really do read everything!

Oh and when I am being slow to fix something that is important. Please yell at me!


#3

I played a game against 15 (when I was testing that Quake map) - first time I destroyed 2 of them, then it was simply impossible to go further due to their tech sharing advantage. The 2nd game I played I adjusted my tactics by focusing heavily on science, and plunging it all in to weapons, then each go trading with all the AI except the 1 I was attacking… that was the only way I could keep up with tech. I would then lay off trading for a few turns when launching against a new enemy to get a weapons advantage.

It was enjoyable, but if you were planning to expand on the AI in terms of making a single player option there are the things I’d say need to be addressed:

  • The AI only attack each other if they clash over a star early on, so it’s basically you vs every single AI on the map. That said, they don’t attack you either unless provoked, so would need some mechanism for deciding who to attack.
  • Same with their trading - they would need to make decisions about who to ally/trade with

I know the AI improvements were to make the multi-palyer game better, and it definitely will, just voicing what I think could actually turn it into a pretty cool single player game too


#4

@JayKyburz - Happy to help out. It’s not my style to “yell at the developer” - I figure you got your own priorities … but hopefully some of the feedback warrants being placed on your master to-do list (might be useful to share that so people can comment?) and I you’ll get to it when you can.

@PandaBear - Good feedback and exactly what I found in my 8-user game … and 16-user game that I just concluded - will do a followup post about that.


#5

So after playing a 1v7, I did a 1v15! Used default setting but only 16 stars/player (see screenshot below) since otherwise would have really taken forever. Note that it’s a circular galaxy which makes it easier as you only have two foes to worry about at a time.

As Myk said, the AI basically lets you take 'em out one at a time … and if you drop to -1 in regard on a neighbor, you just slip 'em some tech and then they are neutral and won’t attack - i.e. there actually is some diplomacy when battling robots! :wink:

Also, they have no knowledge of Warp Gates … so once you have enough credit and Hyper to bring those into the game, you get an overwhelming advantage that they can’t compete with.

In this this thread about the AI’s, my suggestion #7 was that as a player starts to dominate, their regard should trend negative. I.e. even at the end of the game where I had half of the stars, the AI would still trade with me. They also need to be a bit more aggressive about helping out the “little guys” with tech - weapons wasn’t always passed right away.

BTW, it’s kinda fun to start these games … but it gets tedious after a while - more fun to play against skillful humans! :wink:

Click on images below to see big


Problem With Ai's?
#6

Jay wanted the AI to help the newer players. Newer players learning the game would tend to be the little guys. So the AI should have more friendlier regard towards players that are less of a threat toward winning the game. The regard should continue to fluctuate based on whether the player is attacking it, or sending cash or tech.

AI could be more resistant to being friendly with that strong winning player, or maybe require larger sums of cash or more gift techs ?

Wonder if losing players giving tech to AI could persuade it to become more hostile against the winning player ? MUH HA HA ! ( or would this be too much ? )


#7

So I played a 1v7 twin-ring circular small 8-tick turn galaxy … this was MUCH more difficult than my previous game due to better resource allocation by the AI’s (less Economy), what seemed to be more aggressive tech sharing among the AI’s, plus Jay’s change such that if regard is -1, sending a tech gets you only back to zero, but you don’t get a “free” tech in the process - these small changes had a BIG effect!

After 36 cycles (!), I finally got above 50% of the stars so no longer any doubt I can prevail if I kept going - I setup win by 66% so my stats don’t get incremented.

My approach was to (mostly) stay on weapons and focus on going around one direction of the circle. At some point, the AI on the other side went -1 on me, so I would just “pay them off” with $$$ (didn’t want to send Weapons) each cycle to maintain a neutral regard … while I focused on kicking the sh*t out of his robot pals!

Once I had three cores, I decided to turn my attention to my (former) robot buddy and launched an attack on him … even though he had 3X the number of ships and my weapons advantage was only 11-9 … and the AI’s led in every other tech. It took a while - he actually captured a core and made some strong moves (wasn’t sure I could pull it out) … but he sometimes sent large fleets backwards for no reason I could fathom. By then, Warp Gates were in play, which the AI doesn’t seem to use, so this provides a huge advantage to me in terms of bringing ships into battle.

Some other observations/suggestions:
I was +1 with an AI when I launched a long range attack … and my regard went to -1 … so good that the AI sees an attack coming … but I was still able to send a level of tech to get back to zero … and then when I sent another level, it sent me tech back. The AI should NOT send tech back if I’m attacking!!!

Once an AI was weakened, it did not appear to get tech as often … even though they appeared to have plenty of cash to buy it. My guess is the AI doesn’t like to trade with someone else who doesn’t have tech … but when a fellow robot is getting crushed, it may make sense to relax this a bit, especially for weapons.

When I switched my focus from one side of the circle to the other, I left a few stars of a beaten AI as a “buffer” between me and the next super-strong AI. While he had plenty of Scan/Range to attack me (and overwhelming advantage in ships), he never ventured out. Once again, the AI just fiddled while Rome burned … :wink:

All of the above even applied when I had over 50% of the stars - i.e. I was the clear leader in the game and there is no reason for any AI to be friendly with me … or even exchange tech with me! I.e. once a player starts climbing up on the leaderboard, I’d recommend a weighting function be applied as mentioned above. xjhdexter said what I was trying to say in a better way - the AI can provide a balancing effect on the game by targeting the leaders and helping the little guys … just like players often do.


Make single player games not give victories
#8

Great feedback Hulk.

I will have a look into some of those issues.

  1. Should not be ever get +1 regard while ships are attacking.
  2. AI should look for friends to send tech to without expecting tech or payment in return. (players or AI)
  3. The leader of the game already gets -1 per day, but perhaps as you get close to winning they should be more aggressive and hate you more!

Treacherous attack from neutral AI