LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby Sprouto » 04 Jul 2017, 19:39

Thanks for the compliments Lilly.

I'm doing a fair bit of 'cleanup' of late - as there are a few tacky issues that need some taking care of before we get back onto procedural things. Bringing the T4AA into proper focus does indeed settle down the T4 ground to air relationship quite a bit, and it was long overdue. There were some other minor unit touch-ups, but I don't expect another major unit revision for quite some time.

As mentioned in the patch notes, we're working towards some more sophisticated naval behavior that will allow LOUD to have some better sea to land interactions. At first, this will come in the form of a new 'bombardment' naval platoon designed to support ground operations. More importantly, the concept of 'Primary Base' will get extended to the naval game -- and that should completely remake the naval operations of LOUD. More news to come on that.

Of course, I assume you're making use of the resource rich mod, which makes having 10 Basilisks possible, and it sounds like they're doing what they've been built to do, bombard and then wade in.

There's been no change to the Sera experimentals, but you're discovering that particular bots weakness - it's not a 'knife fighter'. Like so many other Sera units, it is somewhat specialized and needs to be part of a balanced force, and functionally, that's where the smaller experimentals come in. Most of them are positioned as 'infantry' for the late game, with varying degrees of firepower and sustainability. I'll have a look at the AA bot, but it is somewhat unique in that so few experimentals have any credible AA at all.

With regards to your unit cap - it's true - you do end up with a higher unit cap. The subtle factional diversity in LOUD is why. The Sera units in LOUD achieve veterancy slighter sooner than other factions, which means more unit cap sooner. This also partially explains why your Cybran partner suffers lower casualties than you - his regen is better overall, resulting in a few less deaths.

Getting back to the resource rich mod -- I never did any development with it turned on, so I've got very little data on how his gameplan works out in that environment, and I can see that creating a larger 'super' platoon for experimentals might have a place in that world -- especially if nukes and artillery are turned off.

So, as you can see, I take all of your observations to heart, and move LOUD forwards. Thanks again.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby LillyOmegaWolf » 04 Jul 2017, 23:52

Thank you.
Well all the data you've ever gotten from me is with the x2 resource rich mod on :)
and I do tend to use the small exp units such as the AA bot as my late game exp 'infantry' in support for the shielded hover tanks while I try and sit the bombardment bots at the back, despite their high HP. Although they tend to still wander forward with my mobs as just shooting their longest ranged guns does seem to limit their overall damage quite a bit.

I feel as if I should give a little background on my use of Resource rich, seeing as it appears I'm the lone advocate for it here.
I have always played with resource rich on and so double resources feels like the normal game to me and my friends.
Back in the day before FAF, playing with the default AI and even Soarin, once I discovered it, the game would slow down so much and having a bit of a boost toward unit production would help us still get suff out faster and have some great stuff out there before the game would hit things like -6 and become a game of do other stuff while watching my bombers do there thing in super slow mo.

Getting FAF and recently a more powerful Mac has meant that the game doesn't lag quite so painfully in the matches vs Soarin on the 10x10 and 20x20 maps, but our group still play with double resources because it makes for a far crazier game with a noticeably higher number of units hitting me early game (and I can rapidly produce upwards of 200 T1-2 units on many maps which makes for great early game coverage) and far more experimental units in the later game. LOUD sure seems to make use of the greater resources early game, hitting with sometimes overwhelming numbers. Its fun when they go all out seeing a opening and wipe us out early (only tends to happen on a few of the 20k maps, but still, it happens and its good intense fun). but its funny seeing it still halt its attacks as its prepping to drop and then often leaving things be rather than continuing to send T1 bombers and stuff to help in the early game strikes on bigger maps, or using more infantry to keep up the non drop attacks on the smaller maps, which is a shame that it doesn't think to tie my front line up with at least some units and use its boosted resources to also hit with a good size (a bit bigger than whatever its normal size is) drop force.

If the AI could respond to the disabling of nukes and arty that would probably make for a much tougher game for those (few? several? or just my small group?) of us who play like that.
The speed the AI gets the T4 arty out with resource rich on makes me unwilling to play with it on again (so back to my usual setting of disabling the high end arty and nukes). I would happily play with T3 arty on as those are manageable on bigger maps, but sadly the bans are generic unlike FAFs bans. But getting rained on by Cybran T4 focusing my mass deposits just sorta kills it for me a bit, so yea.

Even if behaviours special to the resource rich mod were left at a few basic ones such as much bigger exp platoons (at least two times the sizes late game, if not even bigger again as things get crazy much faster with 2x boot to everything) and a bigger bomber force. They built TONS of t1 through to T3 aa fighters and a good number of gunships T2, but often my base would see next to no bombers the whole game and no T3 gunships. Its sooo weird as the masses of AA fighters are mostly wasted pop when attacking a defended base...
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby Janus » 05 Jul 2017, 01:51

@LillyOmegaWolf

You are NOT!!! the only one who plays with resourcerich on.
LOUD without it has great framerates, but slow lethargic play.
I also freely admit that I only play against the AIs, my internet connection is not up to gaming online.
I recently posted the code here from the original resourcerich mod in the game.
There is now a version of it in LOUD, though I believe it is only a 1.5, not a full 2.0 multiplier.

I also finally got a version of AA2AG working with LOUD.
Now my T3 AA fires at the hoards of incoming units.
In an amusing twist, they now prioritize air units over ground as well, which is how it should have worked from the beginning.
Though damage it does has been scaled way back, to far in my own opinion, but I am not the one who has done all the work, so take my words as observations only.

I normally play Cybran, but rarely UEF.
While UEF has a nice T3 point defense, Cybran doesn't.
Which is why I originally tried the AA2AG mod.

Beam weapons are a joke against the literal dozens of units the LOUD AI sends in groups.
Throwing metal at them works, but the T2 laser tower is nearly useless.
I have a mod I made giving Cybran a T3 defense point version of its T2, but I only use it when getting used to new maps.

The only useful stuff is artillery, which I do not like since it fires indiscriminately into my own base.
In particular if something teleports in, the rapid fire units do more damage than the unit that teleports in.
The rapid fire artillery needs a 'Has shield cover:Do not fire here." filter on it, or it needs to not pass through own shields.

While LOUD has some issues, and some design choices I do not agree with, it still plays MUCH better than the vanilla game does, the slow down late games is negligible in comparison..


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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby HTKatzmarek » 06 Jul 2017, 15:16

Glad you guys are enjoying the resource rich mod added. I wanted to point out that the resource multiplier is 1.5x, but in addition the build time and cost of units is also changed by a multiplier of .65x. The idea was that the combination of these 2 factors would give a good game for those wanting this type of change. This may be also why you are seeing the hordes of units mentioned.

This was a starting point for the mod, values are not set in stone, and discussion is welcome.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby HTKatzmarek » 11 Jul 2017, 02:18

Kazam40 map has been updated to v9.1. As usual, the updater will download and replace the map.

Comments welcome.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby LillyOmegaWolf » 16 Jul 2017, 00:33

Fighting Aeon on 40k map, Flooded strip mine. AIX set to x1.2 in the hopes that they would give me a little more early-mid game fighting.
My usual mods on (Resource rich + adjacency upgrade + all the unit packs) My Seraph's got a loverly early - mid game defence going and so after a couple of failed attempts the AI backed off.
I was highly disappointed to see they didnt try and land anything near my base on my land. They kept dropping troops in the sea just off the shore in range of my guns (the land only units would blow up, it was both funny and sad to see).
They also did like nothing in the water. The water outside my base was free at all times aside from when a small army would get dropped off and run at my guns (always resulting in epic fail).
LOUD then went quiet and built flying saucers and then crashed 4 into my main production facility. I say crashed, because I did shoot them down okay, but the beam weapon damage + crashing took out enough that the following bunch of 5 or 6 took out my commander as she was about to teleport out to safety.
My leading problem with the flying saucers is how the Ai seems to be able to stack them in such a way that It looks like theres only 1, they occasionally slightly expand the stacked group, but are quick to put it back into the stacked formation. Theres so much damage coming from that 'one' unit I see and wen you shoot one down, you see that one crash and the saucer keeps going.
Seeing them build up and mostly only contest the small island outside my base with me before running flying saucers at me does mean that sure, I can change my build patterns on that map to include a lot more T4/T3 AA and I would rush and focus that, but I just wanted to put it out there how annoying I find it how the AI stacks certain units, mostly this one. I dont play Aeon, so I dont know if thats a legit thing the player can do with their saucers, but man, its annoying. How am I supposed to quickly calculate my guns vs the enemy forces when I cant see how many enemies there are?
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby Sprouto » 16 Jul 2017, 01:22

I have to agree with you - the stacking of the Czar is annoying - a byproduct of letting him have the resources to do that. We're looking at some refinements to his end-game options that will have LOUD focus more on one of several paths -- artillery, nukes or experimentals.

The dropping of units into the ocean is a by-product of the recent change to transport behavior which will have them abort the transport mission if confronted with too much air threat. A change is planned to make it aware of non-amphibious platoons in the future. Sounds like his Intel gathering let him down, but then, on Flooded Strip Mine, it's not too hard to shut down his intel on whats going on inland. I can see a situation where he might think it's totally safe to fly a certain path, and then be confronted with a barrier of AA he wasn't aware of right on the shoreline. That would make him drop quickly.

What is 'the adjacency mod' ? Or are you referring to the LOUD Integrated Storage mod ?

Flooded Strip Mine 40 was one of the earliest maps we converted to 40km. As such, it probably needs a real review on markers and such, incorporating all the lessons we've learned since about what works for LOUD, and what doesn't. In particular, additional DP positions, both on the land and water, will give him options that he presently doesn't have.

The NAVAL strategy is going to be taking a big leap forward in the near future as well, with the introduction of forward operating bases for naval work (very similar to what he does on the land). This will let him forward-stage his AIR, NAVAL and AMPHIBIOUS efforts. Also included in that patch will be the introduction of naval bombardment platoons with a custom behavior. Not next week - but upcoming. From your comment about him not doing much in the water, I assume that you didn't go into the water yourself - as his desire to grow his navy is strictly based upon how much resistance there is in that theatre. That too will change, to some degree, as we introduce the bombardment targets to him.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby LillyOmegaWolf » 16 Jul 2017, 03:45

Lol, yes integrated storage.
Game one, I built no water. But after a quiet 50 game mins, took too many Czar to the face and so died. I dont have a problem with the AI sending a mob of 6. in fact, it would be good if the resource rich mod is on (like in my case) if they would hit with even more at once as the game goes on and they get more resources to abuse.

Game two (just had it after posting about game 1) I tested going into the water. Still vs Aeon 1.2x
I dominated... I rushed enough T4 AA to make his Czar mobs fall from the sky (10 T4 AA in a bunch on the routes he likes to use is good like that when they focus specific air units too much) He build a bit of water base outside his base then failed to advance it or use the created units to attack. He just had a shitload of ships and air units outside his base loitering around. Took me a few goes to clear them, so there was a lot of them there, but it was very sad seeing him do no attacking with them.

One small island off the coast of his base: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2jh7pciry01jo ... 5.png?dl=0
I never saw a single gound exp walk on me, yet here he clearly has built them... So my T4 navy (with T3 sub hunter support) nailed them from the shore while my bombers made a nuisance of themselves and bombed the massive army just sitting there into dust. They had I would guess in excess of 100 air units just handing around the tiny island alone, easy picking for my T4 AA ships.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/v8qjprovrizm4 ... 2.png?dl=0 so many air units. Enough to clearly outnumber the 120 I started out with going into the assault. ...that just stayed hanging around... attack me already! T4 guns have the disadvantage when faced with super high numbers of air as they are very slow firing so it wasn't like my base was impossible to penetrate. Also... note the difference in score... yea... it wasn't even a hard game.

It was, sad to say, quite a boring game in the end. It consisted mostly of me building T3& T4 AA, resource production and then just continually bashing LOUD with air and water units till it died. All their drop troops failed badly even with me having next to no ground defences and I never saw a battleship anywhere that wasn't in the waters directly outside their base. Normaly my defences level up so much that I hit 1400-1500 pop off a 1000 start. This game I only got to 1075. Nothing was continually fighting. It was really sad. I quit after bombing his commander on the outer island where he seemed to be building exp units that just sat there... As it was advanced assassination, I chose to bail rather than hunt down hiding support commanders. I just didn't feel it worthwhile on this map...

End game screen of game two I see that I earned as much mass as the 1.2boosted AIX and while he spent only half of it, I spend almost all of mine. He had unlimited unit cap. But clearly didnt abuse it like I hoped they would. I can (late game with my epic storage and mass generation) produce a Exp bomber every 15-30 secs depending on what else is going on. If the AI has higher production speed than I do, it would be fun to see them also marshal a massive end game army of exp units to assault me as them building experimental units as if its normal resources is sad to see, especially when they have no unit cap to worry about and so could totally build a massive army of T3 and T4 and mix it well between air/ground and water units.

Strip mine was one of my fave maps in FAF/classic FA. Would be great to get a epic fight on it here but they just seem to see my gun line, go 'oh no, this is a bad idea' loose half their transports in indecision and then fail in the assault. Less reliance on drop troops would be nice when they see its not working. Alternately, clearing a zone they would like to land on with bombers and gunships and T4 air would open up a nice hole for them to drop troops safely. But they dont seem to go for clearing then forcing a landing. Bomber strikes are scary, when I see like 50+ bombers coming in on something. But its funny seeing them all aim the mass node and then die having only taken out the node. I feel like the assault aircraft could be used a lot more effectively. They are better than the Navy and Im looking forward to a better navy to fight, but I also think the later game air strategy is lacking as they sit most of them on defence. Very frustrating having them either sit around and be easy picking for my guns or used in defence and not to try take out my base. This map probably was a bad example for me to trial things on though now that I hear it was a early map.

As a side thingie, It would be great to just be banning T4 arty with the artillery ban. Those are the only artillery units I view as a bit OP and they have a tendency to ruin my fun a bit too much. I like the Tech 3 ones, they add more to the game, needing to find where those are built and take them out is a fun challenge and they are great for my defences and the T2 artillery is very useful, I'm just sad that with Arty ban on I cant even get out my T2 artillery setups, especially since I enjoy the 40k maps which are big enough to make T3 artillery seem less imposing. I mostly dont like the big T4 arty cause my race doesn't get one and because I find LOUD build it, sit it in their well defended base and shell my mass deposits. Thats the main thing they focus and dont need line of sight to kick that off. Much more fun when I can see shells coming from 'this' direction and know that they must be within a certain range and just hunt out the T3 or T2 arty I know must be around there. SO yea, any chance we can have the bans tweaked? Or that too hard/a bad idea? I think if the ban for arty can be changed up a bit (or even making game enders ban be nukes and T4 arty so I can turn off the arty ban and play happy) then I think the AI would probably play a bit better and have a more engaging game on many maps.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby LillyOmegaWolf » 23 Jul 2017, 01:55

This looked epic: https://www.dropbox.com/s/850y471gzj0lf ... 1.png?dl=0 (see for settings)
But it was not... It was actually a rather boring fight for pretty much the whole 1hr:50 ish the game lasted for (Nemisis is a epic turtle and so we nearly never get fast games in FA). I mean it was amusing nailing their bases and forward positions as well as nearly taking out the UEF base mid game with a army of my T1s (I had a LOT from them not really attacking while I kept marshalling a army) backed up with the first of my T3 units. But I saw next to no exp units. As in 0 Aeon saucers the whole game and nothing big from UEF. Not even a single balrog. I did kill fat boy out in the open once. But yea.. one... once.
There was one drop troop assault on one of my outer mass nodes and it failed to kill the node, even though my defences pretty much all died. They assaulted my base 0 times, even when I had 3 paragons up and running. They love trying to bomb those things.

They massed a few armies outside my gun line, but I mostly had to reach out and bash their forces as they pretty much always refused to assult me, even when I had my T4 commander standing there in the middle square section of the map building shields and experimental units to hit them with. They just kept sitting masses of units just outside my guns. They could have at least tried to wear my defences down! (Soarin AI might be dumb and slow, but at least I always get assaulted by it...)

So, so many air superiority fighters... https://www.dropbox.com/s/41zdazyvqvoom ... 0.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b6iibscrb5sgy ... 0.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/812ppmo37u55h ... 1.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/scafu9yrltu8j ... 1.png?dl=0
Why did the AI build a ton of these (they would typically have a few hundred circling my army as it advanced otherwise unhindered, no bombers and 0 gunships in sight, ONLY AA aircraft) when we built no air beyond the early T1. I mean, even T3 beyond I only built tiny number of them late game for my base defence (we are talking I had 6 gunships and one exp bomber helping defend the waters outside my base where the mass node up top is.) Nemisis left his sea undefended happy to let them take his water mass if they ever attacked his unguarded nodes out there. They didn't hit them once... Very strange.
We figured something was probably wrong with the AI on this map or there must have been a epic glitch in the system.
We wound up killing a tiny number of exp units, buildings included. 20-30 exp units and buildings was built per LOUD player. I mean, come on. Im used to games where I loose 300ish exp units and the AI is somewhere right behind me in exp losses. Nemisis had his first basilisk survive the game and get just over 810 kills. It had soooo many low tech units to kill and basically nothing that was a real threat.


Then I was pleasantly surprised when I played on this map: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kvnmjxpw3d2dm ... 4.png?dl=0 and lost a paragon for the first time ever vs LOUD. It took out the whole 50 buildings around it when it went up, it was rather spectacular to watch. It was a good T3 bomber run that got though the 8 upgraded T3 shields, I was impressed. LOUD seemed to play the drop troops game rather well on this map and it was fun contesting mass nodes with them, pushing out and getting kicked back into my own base a bit.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby Sprouto » 23 Jul 2017, 03:29

Thanks again, Lilly - this is an excellent example of how important map markers are for good AI results.

Element of Threat doesn't seem to be one of the LOUD included maps. As such, it doesn't perform very well at all. On the other hand, Emerald Crater is a reasonably well marked map, and also, what we generally call a low-mass map - having only 50+ mex locations in total. It's not low, persay, but being a fairly open duel, map ownership is very important.

If you would like us to update Element of Threat, we'd be glad to so - but we'd need a copy of it.
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