Author Topic: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).  (Read 2632 times)

Offline x4000

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Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« on: August 28, 2009, 06:01:01 PM »
Important:  If you previously installed the 1.201D prerelease, I made a small error with that.  The release notes file was called 1.201, rather than 1.201D.  The presence of that file will prevent the auto-updater from installing the official version of 1.201 for you.  If you care, then you'll need to delete the existing 1.201.txt file in the ReleaseNotes file in your folder.  If you just want to install the 1.201 update from the zip file I always provide in addition to the automatic updater, then don't worry about it.

The Latest prerelease is now out: http://www.arcengames.com/share/AIWar1201F.zip

That version is an upgrade from version 1.013, so you have to already have 1.013 (or greater) installed. Just unzip it into your game folder (usually C:\Program Files\Arcen Games\AI War\ unless you specified something else). Please make sure that your unzip process keeps the folder structure from the zip file, rather than just unpacking all of the files into the base target directory.

Why is this now 1.201 instead of 1.014?  Well, this release is just so huge that I felt it needed to be differentiated with a more major version number shift.  People are going to remember this as the release where the economy became flow-based and got more robust, where the AI tactics became way more intelligent in many ways, and where a ton of interface and graphical improvements came into play, amongst other rebalancing and over a dozen new ship types.  It's a whole new game from 1.013 in some respects when it comes to the advanced strategy, so this is something I felt was important to make really clear with the numbering.

What's new since 1.201E:
(Cumulative release notes since 1.013 are attached at the bottom)

-------------------

-The "Pause All" button now includes self-building ships, since they now draw down resources same as docks and other queue-based ships do.

-The game now allows 1024x600 as a minimum resolution (the netbook resolution), although it is still  not recommended as a resolution and the lobby has some issues with that size.  But at least it opens the possibility of playability with netbooks.

-The incoming waves count now shows the number of units, rather than the number of waves.

-The AI is now even more aggressive against command stations, and will do a better job of clearing out outlying structures when it has a small force, versus smashing through all the player planets when it has a large force.  This all applies only to difficulty 5 and up.

-The AI now does a much better job of dealing with player force fields, knowing when to avoid them and when to strike them with a concerted force.

-On difficulty 5 and up, the AI is now much better about destroying player irreplaceable structures: advanced factories, captive human settlements, etc.   

-The rows of background starfield images are now offset at random so that the end effect is a lot less gridlike.

-Force fields that are cloaked no longer create a force field effect.

-Previously, if a planet was not controlled by the player or the AI, but it had been scouted, and there were no enemy ships present, then it act like scout data was not present for enemies.  Now it says "None" for enemy ships, as it should.

-The audio tab of the settings window has been completely revamped, now supporting separate volume levels for music, weapons, explosions, voice, interface, ship sounds, and alerts.

-The dropdowns in the lobby and elsewhere now use a gray background instead of a black background, to make it easier to see the text in them when they are expanded.

-Melee ships controlled by the AI no longer use group move when attacking.

-The AI is now limited in how many mines it will build at a planet, so that it will be effective with the mines but won't take up all its ship cap with mines alone.

-AI engineers will now act more intelligently when their target dies, stopping dead instead of keeping on coming into range of the player ships.

-Some tweaks have been made to the AI alert level to make it more accurate -- before, if the AI had lost a planet but still had a warp gate, AI troop accelerator, or special forces command post at the planet, it was not showing that the AI alert level was still high.  This is fixed so that it now shows it properly in those cases.

-Ships that are still in the process of being built can no longer be reclaimed by parasites.

-When metal or crystal stores are extremely low (below 1,000), they will now flash at the top of the HUD to alert players who might not otherwise notice that their economy is failing.

-The AI is now better at dealing with player ships that are still under construction.

-Previously, cutlasses and vampires were having a hard time hitting moving targets.  Fixed.

-Previously, cutlasses, vampires, and space tugs were not listening to player commands and instead were just doing their own target selection.  Fixed.

-Previously, cutlasses and vampires would have a lot of trouble around force fields, and would just end up dying.  Now they are immune to force fields, and fly and attack through them like infiltrators do.

-Fixed yet another cause for "indecisive" AI ships.


CHANGES FROM PAST PRERELEASES
--------------

-Fixed a bug with savegames with self-building force fields not being proplerly loadable in the last version.

-The nuclear explosions were off in the last version because of some test code that accidentally got left in.  Fixed.

-Force fields now rotatate and pulasate less.

-In recent prereleases, the starships were not fading in correctly while being built at the starship constructors.  Fixed.

-The counter-shooter range now looks like it used to, rather than like the new force field.

-In recent prereleases, setting the Visibility option in the lobby was not working.  Fixed.

-There was previously a bug that was causing the AI to act kind of stupidly around the players' home planet command stations, giving them much too much of a chance to live.  Fixed.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 11:07:28 AM by x4000 »
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Offline Huw

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 07:28:40 PM »
-When metal or crystal stores are extremely low (below 1,000), they will now flash at the top of the HUD to alert players who might not otherwise notice that their economy is failing.

May I suggest something more like 5,000?  If you're actively building, you'll get through 1,000 in a couple of seconds and won't even see the message.
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Offline tional

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 07:33:16 PM »
-Thanks to tional for reporting the issue with the scout data on uncontrolled planets with no enemies.

Woohoo, I'm famous.  And still a newbie.  Off to find more things to fix!  And finish a game...

Offline tional

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 08:05:42 PM »
Ok, something didn't go quite right with the space tug fixes...

I've got a fleet of about 30 space tugs, one MRS, and about 500 combat ships.  I'm watching the tugs valiantly try to drag the damaged ships/starships back to the MRS (which isn't that far away), but they keep dropping them and flying back to their "assigned" FRD spot.

The MRS is in group 0, tugs in group 9, combat ships in group... 1 I think.

Savegame is attached, zoom in on the fleet near the Larcharcu gate in Mikdi (my home system) to watch the fun.

I think it's related to giving the humans more control than the AI over what the space tugs do, probably a matter of timing between what the AI wants to do and what the human's told them to do, or a priority thing... not really sure.

Tio

Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2009, 08:17:02 PM »
-When metal or crystal stores are extremely low (below 1,000), they will now flash at the top of the HUD to alert players who might not otherwise notice that their economy is failing.

May I suggest something more like 5,000?  If you're actively building, you'll get through 1,000 in a couple of seconds and won't even see the message.

Well, it's a fine balance between being constantly flashing and flashing when something is actually wrong.  I'll be curious what everyone thinks about this as things progress.  Having a balance of 5,000 or so of one resource is pretty common, so I wouldn't want it just flashing always (since then it becomes meaningless), but having below 1,000 basically means that your economy is being actively run into the ground.  The intent is to have a warning that says "you need to pause something or rebuild something," rather than a "watch out!  you are getting low!" type message, which is useful for energy but which I'm not sure is really warranted here.  Again, opinions as people try that out are very welcome.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 08:19:29 PM »
Ok, something didn't go quite right with the space tug fixes...

I've got a fleet of about 30 space tugs, one MRS, and about 500 combat ships.  I'm watching the tugs valiantly try to drag the damaged ships/starships back to the MRS (which isn't that far away), but they keep dropping them and flying back to their "assigned" FRD spot.

The MRS is in group 0, tugs in group 9, combat ships in group... 1 I think.

Savegame is attached, zoom in on the fleet near the Larcharcu gate in Mikdi (my home system) to watch the fun.

I think it's related to giving the humans more control than the AI over what the space tugs do, probably a matter of timing between what the AI wants to do and what the human's told them to do, or a priority thing... not really sure.

Tio


Thanks for the save!  I had not anticipated free-roaming defender mode with this, honestly.  There's no real reason to put tugs in that mode that I can think of, since they will always go out and then come back to near the mobile builder if there is nothing better to do.  So for now, I'd just do that as a workaround.  I'll look at this more and try to make them not act so crazy when free-roaming.  Makes me wonder if cutlasses are going to have the same problem, I'll have to check...

Thanks for the report! Another good one. ;)
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Offline tional

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2009, 09:18:10 PM »
Prior to getting wiped out (a few minutes ago) I played around with that logic some more... I was consistently having problems with tugs and their behavior in general, not just when in FRD mode.  I was watching them try (really hard) to drag ships for repair, and the ships running back to their assigned points before getting fixed, I watched a couple of really hurt ships just bounce a few meters at a time over and over until an engineer got bored and decided to fix them himself.

And the tugs just weren't working, they weren't getting the damaged ships all the way back to the MRS before they dropped them off.

The FRD mode was just me trying to figure out how to work with a single MRS in one control group, a set of tugs in another, and how to move them all between planets.  Hence my suggestion in another place to have tugs always ignore group-move mode and always operate independently, unless they were given a warp or direct move command.

I'll keep playing with them and will report any progress/suggestions.  Time to re-load an earlier save and avoid awakening the sleeping giant (WW2 reference) so I don't get my &&& handed to me.

Offline Echo35

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2009, 10:03:49 PM »
-AI engineers will now act more intelligently when their target dies, stopping dead instead of keeping on coming into range of the player ships.

From my previous single player game: "Woah! What the heck are all those red targets charging right into my guns?" ::zooms in:: "Oh, they're engineers..."

Offline vendolis

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 04:42:01 AM »
First to say ... the new scrolling .. WOW ... looks awesome. Just scrolled around for two minutes to enjoy the sight.

But some remarks here:
- I have the problem when I click on the Compass the screen is not centered where my mouse tip is. I had this problem before but forget to post it here (I think). There might be a design decision here, or I am one of the few mouse extremists. But well .. is an issue for me. I have attached the screen-shot. I have clicked with the very tip of my mouse into the middle of the yellow dot on the compass and this is where I landed. The yellow dot (position of my Station) is in the lower left corner of the screen. It might have something to do with me playing on 1200x800. Did not test it on 5:4 or my screen at home.
- I like the way the resources are displayed now and the black band you added. Though I was first puzzled by the fact that there is a second black band ending just in the middle of the letters. Till I noticed that this is the screen border.... Ok .. just tried to reproduce it since on the first picture it was not visible. When you zoom out the border size increases. And this makes the effect with the top bar. You see it in the second picture.
- Another thing that happened to me was that I did not know what the 'N' below the compass was. (Yeah I did not read the text...) So I just clicked it (Yes I push every red button that I see.... they are meant for pushing :-P ) ... And then I noticed I am not able to toggle that one back. Is it possible that there is a pop-up that asks you if you want to real do it and that you can only undo it with a save and reload? Place a check box there for the people who don't want to be asked again.

Ok... this is all for now. I hope to be able to play some soon since the last version I really played was 1.009 :-)

Keep up the good work... and your presents on every board they write about you. That is really getting the people in.

Vendolis

Offline iviv

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2009, 05:37:14 AM »
Well, it's a fine balance between being constantly flashing and flashing when something is actually wrong.  I'll be curious what everyone thinks about this as things progress.  Having a balance of 5,000 or so of one resource is pretty common, so I wouldn't want it just flashing always (since then it becomes meaningless), but having below 1,000 basically means that your economy is being actively run into the ground.  The intent is to have a warning that says "you need to pause something or rebuild something," rather than a "watch out!  you are getting low!" type message, which is useful for energy but which I'm not sure is really warranted here.  Again, opinions as people try that out are very welcome.

Maybe have it as a seperate option in the options menu? Let the player decide when they want the warnings? In the early game, you'll only need a low threshold since the ships are all cheap, but as you progress onto starships, you suddenly need alot more resources per ship, so a larger warning band would be more useful?

Offline Revenantus

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2009, 07:08:45 AM »
I don't think a fixed number is the solution.

I suggest that the warning should appear if, based on your current resource usage, your resource totals would hit 0 within the next 15 seconds.

I'd also suggest that there should be a second stage warning that occurs if constructors are actually trying to use more resources than are available, and hence are constructing at a reduced rate.

Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2009, 09:30:36 AM »
First to say ... the new scrolling .. WOW ... looks awesome. Just scrolled around for two minutes to enjoy the sight.

Glad you like it!  Upgrading from 1.009 would be quite a shock. :)

I have the problem when I click on the Compass the screen is not centered where my mouse tip is. I had this problem before but forget to post it here (I think). There might be a design decision here, or I am one of the few mouse extremists. But well .. is an issue for me. I have attached the screen-shot. I have clicked with the very tip of my mouse into the middle of the yellow dot on the compass and this is where I landed. The yellow dot (position of my Station) is in the lower left corner of the screen. It might have something to do with me playing on 1200x800. Did not test it on 5:4 or my screen at home.

Actually, this is the expected behavior, and there is unfortunately just no way around this with the current size of minimap.  Having expandable minimaps is on the list for later, but the general solution is to use the mouse wheel and zoom out and in.  If you turn on Far Zoom, that's probably what you would want.

The problem is that every pixel on the minimap is actually about the size of 2 screens worth of space.  So when you click on it, it centers you in that space, which might be half a screen or more away from what you were actually trying to click on.  It makes the minimap very imprecise for that sort of thing, unfortunately.  I would point out that playing Supreme Commander on their largest maps, their minimaps have the same issue.  It's not a bug per se, it's just a limitation of translating something very small to something much larger.

- I like the way the resources are displayed now and the black band you added. Though I was first puzzled by the fact that there is a second black band ending just in the middle of the letters. Till I noticed that this is the screen border.... Ok .. just tried to reproduce it since on the first picture it was not visible. When you zoom out the border size increases. And this makes the effect with the top bar. You see it in the second picture.

The "letterbox" bars at the top and the bottom are your zoom indicators, and come in and out as you zoom in and out.  Otherwise, given the fact that the icons don't scale with zoom (by design, so that you can always see them), it's very hard to tell how zoomed in you are.  We're just starting the process of upgrading the HUD, so most likely that will change to something that looks a bit more intuitive.  Thanks for bringing it up!

- Another thing that happened to me was that I did not know what the 'N' below the compass was. (Yeah I did not read the text...) So I just clicked it (Yes I push every red button that I see.... they are meant for pushing :-P ) ... And then I noticed I am not able to toggle that one back. Is it possible that there is a pop-up that asks you if you want to real do it and that you can only undo it with a save and reload? Place a check box there for the people who don't want to be asked again.

A very good point.  Added to my list:  http://arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,1065.0.html

Ok... this is all for now. I hope to be able to play some soon since the last version I really played was 1.009 :-)

Keep up the good work... and your presents on every board they write about you. That is really getting the people in.

Thanks!  Yeah, the community is really growing, which has been awesome for me to see.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2009, 09:31:35 AM »
Well, it's a fine balance between being constantly flashing and flashing when something is actually wrong.  I'll be curious what everyone thinks about this as things progress.  Having a balance of 5,000 or so of one resource is pretty common, so I wouldn't want it just flashing always (since then it becomes meaningless), but having below 1,000 basically means that your economy is being actively run into the ground.  The intent is to have a warning that says "you need to pause something or rebuild something," rather than a "watch out!  you are getting low!" type message, which is useful for energy but which I'm not sure is really warranted here.  Again, opinions as people try that out are very welcome.

Maybe have it as a seperate option in the options menu? Let the player decide when they want the warnings? In the early game, you'll only need a low threshold since the ships are all cheap, but as you progress onto starships, you suddenly need alot more resources per ship, so a larger warning band would be more useful?

Very good point.  Added to my list:  http://arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,1066.0.html
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2009, 09:32:56 AM »
I don't think a fixed number is the solution.

I suggest that the warning should appear if, based on your current resource usage, your resource totals would hit 0 within the next 15 seconds.

I'd also suggest that there should be a second stage warning that occurs if constructors are actually trying to use more resources than are available, and hence are constructing at a reduced rate.

Maybe... I don't know, I'm running on very low brain power at the moment, I need to think about something else for a few hours.  If you post in the other thread, I'll respond and get to that when I'm implementing the other feature.  It's the end of another very long week, and I'm about to take a little time off (after one more prerelease).
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 1.201F (AI upgrades, audio options, melee fixes).
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2009, 11:15:11 AM »
New version:  http://arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,1067.msg6732.html#msg6732

And with that, I am off for today.
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