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Author Topic: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?  (Read 6069 times)

Lord_Asmodeus

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How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« on: July 29, 2017, 05:42:02 AM »

So I've been playing this game for a long time, and throughout all the updates and versions the one recurring problem I have in combat is AI ships on my side sitting just outside their own firing range and letting the enemy pound them with shots or fighters while not even trying to close the difference and open up. Am I assigning their weapons wrong, do I need to make all of the AI's weapons autofire, is there some tactical command missing? I feel like the enemy rarely has this problem and it's frustrating to lose a battle from what feels like my own fleet not actually fighting.
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rtiger

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 05:56:26 AM »

The AI seems to default to a steady approach. If you want the AI to engage with no care as to your ships own safety, use eliminate or full assault orders.
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Alex

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 08:42:59 AM »

Just a quick note:

Besides what rtiger said, you can select individual ships and tell them to "Seek and Destroy".  Many new players (and veterans with over a thousand posts on here) get confused into thinking the default vanilla AI is "Cowardly".  You will see that a lot on these forums.  Welcome to the forums by the way.  The default AI is not "Cowardly", it is "Engage Only If Engaged And Await My Orders".  So if you don't give them orders, they're not gonna do a lot of fighting.

This, mostly, isn't correct. The default behavior is "steady", same as for un-officered enemy AI ships (so if you're seeing different behavior from your ships vs from enemy AI ships, that's most likely 1) confirmation bias or 2) the AI giving orders that you're not). "Search and Destroy" on individual only makes sure that the ship won't get assigned to other orders, it won't make it any more aggressive by itself.

The fleetwide "Full Assault!" command will, however, make them more aggressive.


So I've been playing this game for a long time, and throughout all the updates and versions the one recurring problem I have in combat is AI ships on my side sitting just outside their own firing range and letting the enemy pound them with shots or fighters while not even trying to close the difference and open up.

Hmm. I've got to say, this sounds like your ships being slower and the enemy making sure to stay just out of range, while your ships to try to close the gap but simply can't. Sometimes it can be hard to tell that they're trying to, what with movement being relative and all. If not, then yeah, the "Engage"(edit: Eliminate) order is your friend.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 10:18:51 AM by Alex »
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Megas

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 10:10:45 AM »

AI in 0.8.x is more cowardly than before in 0.7.x and earlier.

Hmm. I've got to say, this sounds like your ships being slower and the enemy making sure to stay just out of range, while your ships to try to close the gap but simply can't. Sometimes it can be hard to tell that they're trying to, what with movement being relative and all. If not, then yeah, the "Engage" order is your friend.
This is why at least half of my fleet is carriers and some of my bigger ships have Converted Hangar.  Fighters somewhat counter the enemy cowardice.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 10:16:07 AM by Megas »
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Alex

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 10:20:18 AM »

This is why at least half of my fleet is carriers and some of my bigger ships have Converted Hangar.  Fighters somewhat counter the enemy cowardice.

Hmm - doesn't seem super applicable, as the OP is talking about what looks like his ships being unable to close while being shot. I mean, fighters would help them engage, but this is hardly "cowardice" on either their part or by the enemy.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 10:31:07 AM by Alex »
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Megas

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 12:38:09 PM »

Yes, ships that try to turtle while outranged and do not try to fight back is silly.

I call them cowards because they turtle like a camper and act like they have unlimited time, but they do not.  AI is happy to turtle indefinitely and burn peak performance and CR all the way down to zero if they cannot find an advantage (due to evenly matched sides).
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Alex

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2017, 01:01:46 PM »

My point is just that this seems unrelated to the OP :)
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StarSchulz

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2017, 09:50:58 PM »

If you want them to engage, seeking out officers with the Aggressive or Reckless personality will help a ton. making sure they have the maneuverability and range to compete is also very important. Fighter support will distract the enemy and your ships may be able to move in without being shot at, making them less likely to retreat due to being shot at.

Increasing the Flux capacity of the ship you want to engage will also help, as it seems to back off when it takes a significant portion of its capacity as damage to the shields. having more means it would need a larger hit / more overall damage to make it think that it is in danger.

Making your ships Flux-Neutral ( As in their weapons don't use more flux than the ship can vent ) helps dramatically when the ship is already in range and shooting. instead of it filling up on hard flux ( hits to the shields ) and filling up on soft flux ( shooting its inefficient weapons ) it will continue to fire and wont loose most of its firepower and sit at high  flux, then back off because it is high on flux. Safety overrides builds with aggressive or reckless officers benefit from this and increased capacity a lot.

Carriers have a behavior that causes them to escort each-other at the moment, causing fleets of mostly carriers to simply escort the carrier next to it and making the fleet VERY passive, even if they all have reckless AI. The fighters will engage very well with reckless AI carriers, and works fine.

The ship you yourself pilot is also very important on the battlefield. if you create an opening with kinetic weaponry, such as an overload or a high flux target, your allies will see it as an opportunity and may jump on it, or fire missiles like harpoons.



- Weapons like the mortar, or heavy mortar are both cheap on ordinance points and very flux efficient, meaning they leave room for better flux stats while using less flux. Their damage might not be as great as a mauler or light assault gun, but their efficiency and how common they are makes them a great choice.

It still will depend on what you are fighting, the size of the battle and what ships you are using.

I find that this lasher, while not flux neutral- will attempt to engage just about any target when given reckless/aggressive AI. the capacity lets it take enough hits to get into range and unleash the accelerated ammo feeder and the speed helps it close the distance fast before it takes too much damage. The main firepower of the kinetics are put into turrets on the lasher, as when under fire the AI may attempt to outmaneuver missiles/take hits on undamaged armor, so it will continue firing them regardless of where the lasher is facing.

Spoiler
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- I hope that helps, I've ran out of things i can remember at the moment.

« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 10:00:51 PM by StarSchulz »
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Morbo513

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 12:06:46 AM »

Make use of "Full assault". Do what damage you can with your flagship, even let the "coward" fight play out for a bit. Once the tables have turned in your favour, order full assault and watch your fleet mop the enemies up.
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Squish Cat

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 10:56:09 AM »

If you want them to engage, seeking out officers with the Aggressive or Reckless personality will help a ton. making sure they have the maneuverability and range to compete is also very important. Fighter support will distract the enemy and your ships may be able to move in without being shot at, making them less likely to retreat due to being shot at.

Increasing the Flux capacity of the ship you want to engage will also help, as it seems to back off when it takes a significant portion of its capacity as damage to the shields. having more means it would need a larger hit / more overall damage to make it think that it is in danger.


I have avoided reckless officers as I am under the impression that they'll just suicide any ship they're in.  Are there any instances where reckless officers are a good thing to have, or is my whole perception of reckless officers completely off?

Generally what do you max out first, capacitors or vents?  What is, in your opinion, more beneficial to have over all if you can't max them both out due to OP constraints?
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TaLaR

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 12:01:22 PM »

I have avoided reckless officers as I am under the impression that they'll just suicide any ship they're in.  Are there any instances where reckless officers are a good thing to have, or is my whole perception of reckless officers completely off?

I generally avoid them too or at least replace them later.
But Aggressive officers (and I assume Reckless) are the only ones to use an SO Melee Lasher (5x Lmg + 2 Annihilator or similar variants) somewhat competently. Steady and below fail to realize that they can just face-roll enemies and instead try to snipe with Annihilators (as useless as it sounds).

Generally what do you max out first, capacitors or vents?  What is, in your opinion, more beneficial to have over all if you can't max them both out due to OP constraints?

For player-piloted ships - vents (unless SO Melee Lasher or something similarly specialist), for phase ships (player or AI) - capacitors. For generic AI ships - balanced on Frigate/DE, vents on larger.
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Droopy The Dog

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 01:01:39 PM »


I have avoided reckless officers as I am under the impression that they'll just suicide any ship they're in.  Are there any instances where reckless officers are a good thing to have, or is my whole perception of reckless officers completely off?

I haven't really tried too many reckless officers either, but I do remember putting one on a phase frigate (shade) early game once and they were a beast with it (at least when deployed against targets they could reasonably expect to take on). I tried to give them a fairly light-flux weapons loadout so they didn't dig themselves into a hole and then sent them off. They really got in there and didn't let the firepower sit idle, and they used the phasing to good effect to maneuver and evade rather than just try to face-brawl things. Seems a little unnerving giving one of the rarer ship types to a reckless officer, but I soon learnt to stop watching them expecting disaster.
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StarSchulz

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Re: How do I get AI ships to actually engage?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 05:28:54 PM »

on balancing capacitors/vents, it depends on the ship. to be more AI friendly, vents and getting to the flux-neutral state will be the most effective for ships that you want constantly firing. Strike ships may benefit from higher capacities but will still need venting power or they might be out of the fight for longer. so on an enforcer i would probably max vents and if its not enough, maybe downgrade some weapons to some more efficient versions if i had to.

Reckless officers are very near suicidal, they seem to lock onto a single target and ignore all others near it, but still have a sense of self preservation. When they start taking large hits on shields they will still back off a bit, to get their flux back. this is where capacitors come in, when they are fighting an opponent with a range advantage. There is something about that in the AI personalities too, the cautious AI will try to keep out of its opponents weapon range and fire with its longer ranged guns, while an aggressive will prefer to be in range of its shorter range guns. A reckless if i remember doesn't consider enemy range and moves in to get its shortest ranged weapons to fire.


One way to change just how far a reckless ship dives in alone, is tell the ship to escort an ally with a steady personality. the steady ship wont be diving into the enemy and it will be keeping at a decent distance, so how far the reckless officer can go is kept on a leash, almost. then you can release  the hounds and cancel the escort order when it is safe for them to go!