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Author Topic: Enemy AI fleets and retreating  (Read 1917 times)

Morbo513

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Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« on: May 31, 2020, 12:33:59 AM »

Currently, enemy fleets will only ever retreat when the majority of their forces are wiped - essentially a rout.
I think it'd be not only more believable but also more forgiving at times, if NPC fleets were capable of recognising when a battle is in danger of being too costly for them.

 Say for example you're in a small fleet with a couple destroyers and a few frigates, and get caught by a large fleet. You manage to take out the majority of their frigates, a few destroyers and start eating into a capital or two. At this point, not all fleet captains and not all ship crews would realistically be willing to continue, even if they ultimately maintained an advantage.

Depending on the dispositions of both fleets, they may retreat off-map and re-deploy to regain initiative, or simply decide to cut their losses and fully disengage - giving the player the option of fighting a pursuit battle against them, and the chance to recover ships lost in a defensive fight.

This could be influenced by faction, the fleet's objective (ie. why are they fighting you), officers/personality/experience, whether you're in a system they have a market in or whether you're out in the middle of nowhere; the rapidity of enemy ships' destruction and their crew complements, remaining ships' CR - and more, probably.

In other words, players would more often be able to come out on top as the underdog in a given battle, depending on its context. It would result in situations where you might have taken heavy losses of your own but your fleet ultimately survived and recovered some of those casualties, without having necessarily won the battle decisively, or chosen to flee and fight a disengagement battle.
 Depending on the campaign situation, it might only amount to breathing room or it could be the chance to slip away - but the aim is to help reduce the incidence of situations where the player is so heavily outgunned that they can't "clean"-disengage without major losses, regardless of how much effort they put in.

I guess it's also another way of loosely simulating not only fleet-wide morale, but also the enemy's logistical and strategic concerns - to them, after losing so many ships, is wiping your fleet worth how many more you'll take with you?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 10:56:28 AM by Morbo513 »
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Jotisan

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2020, 06:40:55 PM »

Good idea, I keep imagining Luddic Path refusing to back down or Redacted if they would back down or not.
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Megas

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2020, 06:58:36 PM »

If it means AI actually retreats instead of trying a mutual-kill by stalling until both sides run out of CR, that would be nice.  I have been in enough battles where AI cannot win but will backpedal as long as it can until it gets cornered and dies (or slips away and repeats the backpedaling to another corner).
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SafariJohn

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2020, 08:25:46 PM »

Luddic Path fight to the death.
Code: java
"fightToTheLast":true, # order a full assault instead of retreating, in most cases
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Terethall

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2020, 09:57:12 AM »

If it means AI actually retreats instead of trying a mutual-kill by stalling until both sides run out of CR, that would be nice.  I have been in enough battles where AI cannot win but will backpedal as long as it can until it gets cornered and dies (or slips away and repeats the backpedaling to another corner).
I have also often found that the AI seems to want to retreat but won't actually leave and just runs away to corners.
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Thaago

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2020, 10:41:05 AM »

I would be a fan of the map edges autoretreating ships, both of player and AI. AI ships that bounce on the edges are a pain to kill because they cannot be properly flanked - and often times they are far enough past the edge that shorter ranged ships can't even get into firing range!
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Grievous69

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2020, 11:03:17 AM »

I would be a fan of the map edges autoretreating ships, both of player and AI. AI ships that bounce on the edges are a pain to kill because they cannot be properly flanked - and often times they are far enough past the edge that shorter ranged ships can't even get into firing range!
Knockback weapons when?
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Thaago

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2020, 11:11:02 AM »

The graviton beam has a little bit! Useful for spinning out fighters and inbound torpedoes, though a bit unreliable.
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shoi

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2020, 02:26:12 PM »

That would actually be pretty neat, enemy AI seems pretty suicidal with how dogged they are..which makes sense for some faction but not all
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Morrokain

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2020, 04:15:54 PM »

Currently, enemy fleets will only ever retreat when the majority of their forces are wiped - essentially a rout.
I think it'd be not only more believable but also more forgiving at times, if NPC fleets were capable of recognising when a battle is in danger of being too costly for them.

Only thing with this is that it has a tendency to be too binary. Not saying that can't be accounted for, but it can serve as a potential pitfall for that kind of system.

For example: Sins of a Solar Empire

I really hated that the AI was so "smart" that the second it knew it was outgunned it retreated full forces. This led to a repeatable abuse where the AI warped in to attack, went "Nope" after taking a few losses and assessing the battle and even after that took token losses retreating if the player constantly kept a slightly larger or better equipped fleet at the point of attack.

The problem is the AI never actually recognized the flaw in the grand strategy and so kept rinsing and repeating until a large fleet that could otherwise have made for an epic (though likely futile) battle got whittled down over time to uselessness and boring-ness because the AI was trying to be conservative. So, problems exist at both sides of the scale in this case. Just something to think about. In general it makes a lot of sense for the AI to not suicide unless faction doctrine dictates it, but that particular implementation was definitely not very fun overall. I want to see big battles- not constant tactical withdrawals- if I have played my cards right on the strategic level. That I know I'm probably gonna win doesn't matter compared to the visceral experience of seeing my hard work pay off in a grand victory rather than a slow strangling of forces.
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Megas

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2020, 04:20:03 PM »

I really hated that the AI was so "smart" that the second it knew it was outgunned it retreated full forces. This led to a repeatable abuse where the AI warped in to attack, went "Nope" after taking a few losses and assessing the battle and even after that took token losses retreating if the player constantly kept a slightly larger or better equipped fleet at the point of attack.
Maybe it is bad in that game, but in Starsector, it would be great because I can then sic my armed civilians and joke ships to auto-resolve the following pursuit to destroy the enemy fleet after they retreat for fast free loot.

Destroying the enemy fleet in seconds is better (though not necessarily more fun) than destroying the same fleet in five minutes or more.
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Aratoop

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2020, 07:31:15 AM »

All things in this game right now lead to combat, and I think being good at combat leading to the AI retreating might be interesting the first or second time it happened but would be extremely tiresome after that- consider taking down an expedition fleet whilst it's in hyperspace and having to keep attacking and catching them because they retreat after a few losses. The AI is skittish enough as it is this patch and I think making it even more prone to running away or kiting is a bad thing. However, this idea could be interesting if and only if it lead to dialogue after the battle or some sort of in-battle surrender dialogue.
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Terethall

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2020, 09:06:15 AM »

The AI is skittish enough as it is this patch and I think making it even more prone to running away or kiting is a bad thing.
I'd rather the battle end than have to chase a Kite around the map until its CR hits 0.
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Megas

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2020, 10:49:16 AM »

If the AI retreating more means that the game says I win and can "Claim Victory" more, then destroy the enemy fleet with joke ships during the following auto-resolved pursuit, I will gladly take it over what happens today, which is AI not admitting defeat and backpedaling as long as it can in a PPT/CR stall war in an attempt to force a stalemate.
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TaLaR

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Re: Enemy AI fleets and retreating
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2020, 11:00:46 AM »

Never had real problems with stalling AI. Though I do pilot only fast ships, as well prefer average-to-fast AI-compatible ships. Also take all personal mobility skills + CM3. Another point is to take Helmsmanship 3 + Defensive systems 3 on all non-carrier officers, to maximize ZFB use despite AI's shield mismanagement.

It doesn't matter whether enemies want to stall when they simply can't speed-wise.
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