LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby HTKatzmarek » 13 Jun 2018, 16:01

The LOUD updater program is now at 4.00, and part of the change is to no longer switch configuration directories, and instead use the 'mount' function for our files. This has several advantages, including less files to download, and no confusion of which directories/configuration is currently active. As part of this change, the existing LOUD files are removed, and new files re-downloaded to a LOUD directory. This download is one time...and future downloads will only be changed files like the older version of the updater did.

@Coppice
This may be what you experienced. Let me know if you have any problems after the re-installation.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby vongratz » 17 Jun 2018, 06:14

Helo, fantastic changes in AI behavior, squadrons etc.
A question, ..Is it possible to put others maps in this mod, especifically Flat Earth V11 that already have markers?
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby Sprouto » 17 Jun 2018, 08:04

It is - but some will work better than others. LOUD really requires start areas that are relatively clear, since his base layout requires a certain amount of space to work. You just need to try it and find out.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby vongratz » 19 Jun 2018, 01:58

I saw now in the forum of LOUD that you are intending to put another terrestrian map similar.I will wait that.
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby precipice » 23 Jun 2018, 10:23

Hi
Is there some way I can force LOUD to redownload maps? We are having a lot of map version differences. When I delete the contents of the maps folder, SCFA_Updater does not download any maps.

Also a note from the gameplay side. We are a group who mostly like to play slow-turtle style and land attacks in general are useless in our games. When the enemy (even AI) has time to build up defences it is hopeless to do any damage with normal land attacks. The only attack vectors are spam - air T4, airt T3, arti, nuke. Would it be possible to make a separate mod for a general land unit speedup of about ~15%?

Thank you again for this awesome mod!
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby Sprouto » 23 Jun 2018, 20:02

With our new updater - all the LOUD content (maps and all) is kept in the LOUD folder, so yes, you can force the updater to reload by either deleting it - or more accurately, just the maps folder you find in there. Make sure that all players are using the most current version of the updater (4.12 at the time of this writing). Keep in mind - if you use the Toggle User Maps option, which allows you to use the maps that come with the original game, or others you've installed, you must keep those updated yourself.

That's an interesting idea you've proposed there - a mod that can be toggled on or off that would affect unit speed. Are you suggesting something just for the speed of land units ?
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby precipice » 24 Jun 2018, 13:18

Thank you, yes now it is redownloading the maps.
Yes a toggleable mod for a land unit speed increase. No idea about the balance outcome, but it might make land attacks more feasible. If all units are faster, would it increase the speed of formations?
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby mingley » 02 Jul 2018, 13:57

Hi,
So, I've just had a couple playthroughs with the latest version, some thoughts/observations and bugs. Mostly from watching the replay of Setons clutch (20*20, 3v3 - enemy 3 bottom left, AIx, I'm very top, other two are allied AI's (no AIx)). Replay ended before game-end, I suspect because I saved the game and quit at that point

The good:
* It's much better than last-time! Pretty awesome in fact! Excellent job.
* The enemy AI built amazing ship stuff. And used clusters of T4 aircraft well to try and break my attacks on the Isthmus.
* There was an awesome attempt by the AI to fly in a whole bunch of transports with units. BUT: They came in over the isthmus and my lots-of-T4-AA annihilated them. May have been different if it had come in over the sea. Actually watching the replay they did quite a few attempts at this that I mostly missed at the time because they just got annihilated. But they tried.

Potential Improvements:
* Still really wish that there was a no-crash mod so that when the T4's come crashing down they don't annihilate my army (far more damaging than the actual weapons).
* I have no idea how to use the altered Novax as it stands right now. I launch the satellite and then it launches and then... what?
* Is there a way to turn of the "An enemy colossus has been spotted" Voice overs. They get annoying after a while.
* Can I disable AI pings? They're also annoying and I always ignore them and do my own thing (there are far too many to do anything about anyway).


Balance:
* Mavors seems effectively useless given their incredible cost. I had two or three firing away at an AI but with little obvious effect. Same for a Scathis. Yet the enemy AI somehow manages to fairly reliably get through my many-layers of shielding (including 3 square shields, and several heavies) to take out my Paragon. I think they were using a Aeon Salvation and one or two other artys.
* Smaller maps would be nice. A few more 10x10s for instance.


AI:
* On the Gap of Rohan, the AI built lots of land units but failed to use them effectively (or at all really, at least later game). Mostly they loitered around their bases; especially my ally AI's.
* AI didn't build a single land-based T4 on Setons. Or water based one.
* Enemy AI entirely controlled one sea, but never really tried to do much shore bombardment of either the isthmus, or the AI bases that were in range. It made a few attempts after about 1hr 20. But mostly it kept churning out T1 stuff, and T2 subs even though they're superfluous in those circumstances.
* I'm using the blackguards commander upgrades mod thing - watching the replay, the AI commanders don't upgrade.
* I have "No Nukes" unit option selected, but anti-nuke still comes up for sub-commanders, and the AI still builds it.
* Shipyard placement. The middle enemy wanted to build its shipyard set in the lower-right sea, but just above the little island. That's a long way away and right next to my ally! Surely it could have been closer and thus more likely to get built (my nearby ally was also trying to build there, so they both failed until mid game (about 40 mins) when the enemy finally won that and built one). My ally AI in the middle spot never built a shipyard set either, so it was really only me with ships on my team, and then only one one side (top).
* The AI didn't really try and get many amphibious/land units in over/under water. I saw one water-attack on each side of the Setons. They did try and fly some in several times, which seems odd because the units are amphibious.
* (from the replay) Enemy had eight air transports (setons) - they start bottom, fly to the middle of the map, almost hitting the isthmus, then go across to the far right, but staying over land then they swing around the right-most AI base, then they get shot down because they're too close. There were several points where the units could have been dropped where they were on the other side of setons, but the AI kept wiggling around until they all got shot down in short order. Also a more direct route would have been safer.
* 50 minutes in, and two of the 5 AI's don't even have Omni sensors, and none of the enemies has one in their base. They have fairly poor radar coverage.
* Most of the AI's basically stopped attacking much at around 1hr. No resource shortages and hadn't hit unit limits (well off from that!). The top enemy AI did quite well with constant ship attacks, but the other enemies didn't do so much other than building more ships. And some land units, but not as many.

Game Bugs:
* [bug] - UEF subcommanders. I upgraded them with shields, then advanced shields, then the radar. But after a few minutes, the radar "downgraded". It was still showing as being built, but the overlays, like omni etc, showed that it wasn't being effective. This happened repeatedly to pretty much all my sub-commanders. Very annoying when you're trying to use them as eyes for an assault. Destroying the radar upgrade then rebuilding it repeats the process; it just goes away again.

Front-end:
The "number of files to download" does not show correctly if there are more than a single digit of files - it goes to the next line.

Game loader:
* Sometimes picking a map doesn't necessarily work. You pick a map, then accept, and it shows the old map as being picked (and if you press start, it will be that map). You have to go back to the main menu and back into skirmish to get it to change a map. I think this is after going on the mod selection screen first.

* Changing team number now requires two clicks. Used to be just one.

* The "create teams" button under the map doesn't seem to do anything.

Thanks again for the great work!
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby Sprouto » 03 Jul 2018, 00:45

Wow - lots to see here.

I'll try to keep the answers fairly short.

Seton's is a poor map to judge the AI by. Due to it's design, LOUD is not presently adapting very well to it - he see's it (at the moment) as a purely amphibious challenge. Ideally, we want him to understand that certain start positions should focus on ground and stay out of the water. As you noted, the dual water area is also a concern on Seton's - the AI doesn't see it as two separate water areas - and cannot understand why he cannot express his naval power from one body of water to the other. For a good example of water the naval play of LOUD is like, try Coastal Conflict. We still have a lot of maps to mark for the full Naval bombardment experience to show clearly and that's one of them.

As for a no-crash mod, that's really entirely up to you. We firmly believe that it's an essential part of the game, since air engagements should not be happening over your key facilities - and all the tools are there to prevent that.

The Novax, in it's current config is simply a spy satellite - having it's costs reduced and moved down from Experimental to T3. Once the satellite is built, simply move it to where you want it to spy. Keep in mind, it is still susceptible to the anti-sat weapon that is part of any anti-nuke structure - and that's why when you turn off nukes, the anti-nukes are still in the game.

The only way to reduce the voiceovers of the experimentals is to remove them from the blueprint. Alternatively we could add a new configuration option that would allow you to turn them off, but we're not focused on that as you might imagine. As for the AI 'pings', up until now, those have really been there as more of a debug tool for me, they will be almost entirely removed in a version due out this coming week.

Artillery balance has been carefully studied for quite some time, and as such, we've had LOUD build his base to properly take advantage of not only proper shield layering (Siege Shield backed up by a regular T3 shield matrix backed by mobile shields) but a fair bit of assisting going on from his SACU and T3 engineers. It's not impregnable, but it will stand up to a considerable amount of abuse - and with artillery, timing is everything. Ideally, if shots can land within 1 second of each other, then a shield never gets a chance to got into recharge mode. Either way, we really haven't made much adjustment to shields or artillery - we've just learned how to make them interlock better.

On your AI observations, I would need to know more about your map settings, and as I said - Seton's is a poor choice on which to evaluate him. Unit cap will often lead to the situation you've described - since LOUD either can't gather enough units, or units of the proper composition, to form his platoons. It's also quite possible that he cannot calculate an attack vector with a reasonable chance of success.

As for AI and his Omni sensors, if you have the Omni cheat turned on (in game setup), then the AI will never build an Omni in his starting base unless his ACU dies - since his ACU already has that covered. He will however, construct radars in all subsequent base positions.

Join our Discord server if you'd like to share your observations with our growing community, and have some active discussions about what is working or not working. https://discord.gg/nwR2whN

Glad to hear you're enjoying the work !
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Re: LOUD AI & Game Speed Improvement Project

Postby mingley » 03 Jul 2018, 10:43

Hi,
Thanks for your thoughts.

Don't get my wrong, Setons went very well, and the fact that it's a "poor" map is a testament to the great work.
Those were just improvement suggestions based on the experience. During the replay I did see at least one AI-order that said "naval bombardment" so there's some stuff in there. And if, as you say, it's considered amphibious, I'd say it's not doing that component well. I can certainly see how splitting the seas makes the water difficult if the game doesn't have a means of communicating their disjointedness to the AI.

> We firmly believe that it's an essential part of the game, since air engagements should not be happening over your key facilities - and all the tools are there to prevent that.

Afraid I disagree. When there are four czars appearing at once (and the AI does that, which is great) you *will* end up with a gaping hole in your front line (which on Setons is a small choke-point, so basically your front-line pretty much disappears) due to the crashes, no matter how much T4 AA you have. Also, outside of T4 AA, there's no quick way to destroy T4 flying experimentals, meaning if they're hovering over mobile assets far from base, they *will* be crash landing on said assets because there's no way to destroy them before they get to the mobile assets.
If instead of the Czar we talk about the bombers, they're even worse. Even with perfect AA and radar coverage that immediately shoots them down, Newton takes over as they continue on their course while they crash, and they end up crashing into the base, cutting straight through shields and doing incredible damage.

> Once the satellite is built, simply move it to where you want it to spy.

I never managed to see the satellite once it was built despite looking for it several times. It was launched no-where near any anti-sat stuff.

> Unit cap will often lead to the situation you've described

It was definitely not that. The AI's had 300 to 800 units a piece (I can see in the replay the unit counts), the unit cap was 2000.

> if you have the Omni cheat turned on (in game setup),

I know I've seen it before with Sorians AI, but I don't see such a setting in Loud. I'm looking in the pre-game "Game Options". I raised it because when I was in the replay, I could see what they could see, and they definitely had very limited radar and omni sensor coverage.
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