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Author Topic: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?  (Read 934 times)

ZaBici

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Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« on: December 09, 2020, 09:17:38 AM »

Not sure if this is the case but it looks like it; Just noticed this on a Shrike fighting in a squad, he opened up by headbutting the enemy, shot a salvo then retreated for what I would assume was room for other fighters to engage but... He was the main engager...
If I am correct it's because, it's a light ship and end-game it's considered at most a distraction/opener for capitals but, that's not how I play the game ¬ ¬

Anyway, on to the point, can some sort of stances be implemented instead of predefined AI roles? Stances that dictate how a ship reacts in combat? I'm not sure if this would make it too RTS-ish and to be fair static stances would kinda limit the game but I just don't know how else to explain it.

I just can't come to terms with my engager not being aware that he has the most firepower so there's no point in him disengaging. Especially since we're in a full blown assault. It's entire seconds that, added up to each ship, comes to significant times where ships do nothing. And there's small windows of opportunity when a full engage would seriously weaken the enemy fleet.

I guess... wolf pack is not very well sketched out. Bite and leave, slowly wounding and tiring a bigger enemy...
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2020, 02:21:13 PM »

Shrikes tend to burn in too far because of their ship system and then they switch to backing out of the fight again to the range they actually want to be at.
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ZaBici

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2020, 04:33:07 PM »

Shrikes tend to burn in too far because of their ship system and then they switch to backing out of the fight again to the range they actually want to be at.

Oh. That's good to know.

And regarding initial post, I think I'll just go with aggressive commanders for what I can get and learn to live with the awkward AI for the rest of the fleet.

Just want to commend the guy who thought about Commanders aggressiveness. Completely disregarded that when I made the post and it's exactly what I meant by having stances that aren't static. Commanders aggressiveness. Wp.
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Thaago

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2020, 03:53:18 PM »

In case you didn't know, you can set the default aggressiveness of your non-officered ships using the doctrine setting of the patrol fleet tab: it DOES change the behavior of the ships in your fleet. It can be a double edges sword though, as it applies to every non-officered ship equally.
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ZaBici

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2020, 12:11:14 PM »

Are you... sure that applies to non-officered ships? The description says it will favor commanders of the respective setting. To my mind that means that your patrol, merchants whatever fleets, have that type of commanders. Doesn't mean anything for non-officered ships though?

And playing with the setting doesn't seem to do much. IDK, I just came to the forum because I want to complain about the A.I. I don't understand anything they do. I literally tell them to go to a corner of the map and they get bogged down under some 60 speed destroyed, them with 100 speed and half of an empty map to go around them?! I literally can't play. I thought I just not know how to match firepower anymore but a moment of sitting back and just looking at the A.I. ... Wow.

Carriers are literally untouchable because they cannot be flanked!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 12:14:58 PM by ZaBici »
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Thaago

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2020, 12:55:28 PM »

Why can't carriers be flanked? There is currently an issue where ships are inordinately scared of missiles and fighters, which pushes the AI back, but an eliminate command or a reckless captain will fix that. With the exceptions of Herons (speedy buggers), Carriers are quite slow and have poor defenses: the ideal ships to kill them with are fast destroyers (frigates get ganked by fighters, cruisers are a bit slow).

Ships will engage enemies by default and fire at them: they will also chase after enemies they think they can kill, to the point of getting pretty far away from their objectives (its pretty annoying, I agree).  If you want your ships to ignore an enemy, put an "avoid" command on the enemy. This will apply to all your ships, so can produce some odd results as there will be a 'bubble' of space around the avoided ship where all your ships will refuse to go.

However the AI in this game is poor at securing kills because it is by design defensive: it will back off at medium/high flux even against enemies it is winning (doing hull damage) against in order to avoid taking damage itself. The "Full Assault" fleetwide command (top right corner) changes that somewhat to being more aggressive globally, as does having aggressive or reckless officers. The "Engage" command is a fairly low impact command that just means "stick around this enemy ship and attack it as you normally would" while the "Eliminate" command means "attack this enemy ship with everything you have".

In case you were wondering, the AI in the game is symmetric: there's no difference between the one that the enemy is using and your own.
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ZaBici

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2020, 05:12:27 PM »

No, I don't think AI is not symmetric, didn't even for a second. What I am SURE of however, is that it favors one playstyle over the other. Specifically, pure brute strength over agility.

Let me share my experience, out of what you pointed out I know of everything and I have tried everything.
I was not consciously aware of the issue where they get scared of missiles and Fighters? however I have noticed them stop from engaging and hover around my enemy even after I specifically right clicked an enemy (eliminate).
Don't get me wrong, i don't want them to die trying, I want them to be aware that they have defensive systems as well, however I think... I think, the issue is that each unit is treated individually only. As in, there is no function of cumulating the firepower (game code I mean) of multiple ships and be regarded as one unit when they engage as such, as a unit I mean. Because while one single Shrike will definitely get its shields popped and maybe half an armor too if it just mindlessly walks into the range of main cannons of a.. Idk, cruiser? If two or 4 Shrikes are attacking, they can definitely out-damage, out-manoeuvre, out-defend, out... everything, a single Cruiser; However they hover around it as if each individually would get popped. They are not attacking individually however!

Idk, talking about it sounds like a whole nother can of worms because, if you give that sort of power to the AI, I'd probably get mauled over by our Overlords superior processing power. But, at the very least, I want my ships to listen to me when I tell them "Go.There."!

Let me exemplify by my well known drawing skills, the fight that got me back on the forum instead of out there in the universe finally finding a home for myself that can support life because my weapon hoarding is getting too extensive to keep on a distant mining world that I only colonized because I like the name of the star system and also got tricked by rare ore and ore icons looking the same and actually it has ultrarich ore not rare ore so it's not actually profitable, far, pirate invaded...quite astute in the Siren name but I digress.

https://ibb.co/LxyRzq8 Black is enemy, blue is me. Paint skills are also mine tyvm.

Group nr.1 was defending objective "x" and keeping the advancing ships pushing towards them slowly to buy time, Group 2 was doing the same with the end goal to unite with group 1 and form a breakthrough in a weakpoint created by group 3.... Group 3 which I just ordered to go to the clear side of the map and flank their carriers which were just tralalala-ing on the map behind capitals or heavies, can't remember.

Take a wild guess what happened. Short story they all died. Long story is, they all died because THEY DIDN'T LISTEN. Group 3 got divided into 2 by... providence, 2 ships pushed into the end of the map by advancing..terrifying...50 speed cruisers, the other one, last one, listened by...providence, went alone and got swarmed by fighters. The end. I closed the game.

I honestly..used my god hand and clicked them into the right, empty space of the map but they must be getting aware and fearing their own death because they got paralyzed in fear...and died.

That's just.. a picture, I installed fraps and I'll try to get the full picture on here some time, because I know it used to be better, now they simply don't listen, it's not fun.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2020, 06:37:11 PM »

It's very intentionally not an RTS and your ships will not mindlessly obey a command to "go there" or "do that" without taking the situation into account. If you give a move command somewhere and there's enemies nearby, ships will try to get to there, but not at the cost of getting into trouble for it. Simliarily, giving an eliminate command isn't a kamikaze order - it'll make the ships more aggressive, but they don't turn their brains off.
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Thaago

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2020, 07:02:47 PM »

Regarding a group of ships not attacking a single enemy: that happens sometimes, especially when the difference in size class is more than 1. The swarming ships will however go in when the target is vulnerable (high flux). Its the player's job in that situation to see what is happening and put an eliminate order down or drive up the target ship's flux themselves. This is kind of by design: without player intervention ships play overly cautiously so they don't die as often off screen.

If ships that are not max flux themselves are hugging/kiting around an enemy and not attacking despite an eliminate order though, thats a bug: please get a screencapture/video at minimum or (much better) a reproducible scenario to test it from. Eliminate orders for me are very reliable: the only time I can think of that a ship didn't go charging right at the enemy was when I ordered a frigate to attack the Guardian.

Regarding the situation you described, I'm very fuzzy on what you did or what forces were involved, but you ordered a group of ships to go somewhere and they got intercepted by a superior force and split up? It sounds like you had 3 destroyers get intercepted by at least 2 Eagles? Maybe Dominators? Possibly with fighter cover on top? Then they tried to get away from them but died instead even though they were faster?  I'm not really sure what you expect to happen in that situation, 3 destroyers aren't going to punch through 2+ cruisers.

If you upload a screenshot from the tactical map (just hit 'printscreen' and it will show up inside the game's screenshot folder) showing the ship types and their assignment/velocity arrows I could tell you far more about whats going on, but the description you gave it too vague to give any more feedback than that.
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ZaBici

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2020, 11:09:33 PM »

@DatonKallandor Not sure why you replied. What was the point of your post? I acknowledged it's not a pure RTS and I appreciate the AI on my side to help simulate a battle, both in my first post and the one you replied under.
But at the moment the fights are like molasses which is why I said it favors a playstyle - head to head.

@Thaago

I'll say this once, and it hurts me to do it because this is like fight club, you don't talk about it, but I appreciate you being engaging about this. So I am not just wasting your time.
But since it happened when I replied to you, I used what means were at my disposal, aka a paint drawing and my memory of it. Memory which has been filled by multiple such events where AI simply can't connect with me. IT just hovers and looks at me with blank eyes.
So I'll reiterate this for both of you, I don't feel like I'm playing the game, it's being played for me and infuriatingly, against me.

Enough said. I will get back when I have some fraps.

I'll leave the explanation of the fight I spoke of with more details for the sake of it and I really just want one question answered on this.

Is speed taken into account in AI's decision algorithm?
On that example I drew, my forces are made of pirate falcons with defensive perks (Group 1) supported by herons for burst damage. (Group 2) were most likely wolves and Sunders because of their speed and ease of relocation and not least their high burst for when a straggler with a higher speed dares engage alone and finally group 3 were 3 Shrikes because of their speed and because I haven't figured a better flanker yet.
The attacking force had Ventures, Dominators and maybe an Eagle I don't remember but unlikely. Behind them was a capital I think. Behind that were the small..40 speed carriers forgot their name. So I ordered my 125 speed Shrieks to use 1/3 of the empty map on the right, to outmanoeuvre the 50 speed (max and that's the Eagle), pass them, go to the top of the map where the straggling 40 speed carriers were, engage them, cause them to either defend and break the attacking formation which I could then capitalise on or let them die and continue pushing which I could then use my bottom groups to breakthrough with and reunite with Group 3.
Basically, I need carriers to die because they're the only things that stop me from mauling anything with my Herons.

I can't find a single reason why my Shrieks couldn't use the empty map space to run away and instead chose to stand ground and keep getting pushed down till they died, but I suppose the answer is in the one that did manage to do it.
[close]
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TaLaR

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Re: Ship cattegory predefined role in combat?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2020, 11:21:30 PM »

AI is not that complex in it's behavior. It doesn't check if target is safe-to-engage (whether enemy can kill/damage it before the ship is able to retreat based on incoming dps and speed difference) or simulate expected combat outcome. For example, frigates/DEs will approach a 4xTL Paragon to get fried immediately, unless given explicit 'Avoid' order.

AI approach-avoid behavior mostly depends on current flux levels, size comparison, it's aggressiveness and orders. If enemy has overwhelming enough firepower to get through whole flux buffer in seconds, AI will fail to react.

Which means that any ship built around finesse will underperform under AI control. AI needs simple ships with straightforward systems, Eagle being one of best examples.

Basing behavior on flux% comparison can also backfire spectacularly, when enemy has MUCH deeper flux pool and better vent rate. Classic case is beam Aurora suiciding vs a beam Paragon. Aurora can't kill the Paragon at all - not enough soft flux, Paragon kills very slowly. Normally, Aurora would disengage when driven to high flux. BUT if Paragon artificially overspends it's flux to ensure higher flux% than enemy, Aurora won't retreat and will slowly get fried.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 11:40:27 PM by TaLaR »
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