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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

Author Topic: Starting to think....  (Read 486 times)

hydremajor

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Starting to think....
« on: September 05, 2021, 03:27:34 AM »

the entire meta of this game is built around abusing A.I. behaviors and the whole ship/weapon schtick is secondary at best....
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DownTheDrain

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2021, 04:22:48 AM »

Can't really think of a combat-focused singleplayer game where you don't try to abuse AI behavior in some way. Sometimes that's the only thing you can do against overwhelming odds and fully expected in order to beat the game.

Whatever the meta is, I thoroughly enjoy trying out various weapon and hullmod combinations on different ships and I couldn't care less if there's an easier way to cheese through fights.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2021, 12:55:13 PM »

The word abusing has a very negative connotation. If the game were PVP, the Meta would be different, but not that different. At the end of the day the AI is still trying to do reasonable things based on the combat mechanics, and your decisions are mostly trying to come up with the best strategies within the combat mechanics. There are just some particular situations where the AI is perhaps excessively cautious in order to minimize negative outcomes, and that behavior leads the player towards some particular strategies, but I don't feel like the game is dominated by the constraints of the AI compared to the constraints of the combat mechanics.
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hydremajor

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2021, 01:15:36 PM »

Set your fleet to escort you, run up to ennemy, flash your ass to them, behold as they all glue themselves to it with reckless abandon as your escort beats on them mindlessly, if you lose aggro beat on them till you get it back, repeat until autism killed the bot...
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Alex

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2021, 01:24:16 PM »

Set your fleet to escort you, run up to ennemy, flash your ass to them, behold as they all glue themselves to it with reckless abandon as your escort beats on them mindlessly, if you lose aggro beat on them till you get it back, repeat until autism killed the bot...

1) The AI doesn't actually work like that, you're more than likely experiencing confirmation bias. (And if on the off chance it does in some set of circumstances, then that'd be a bug!)

2) Language, please.


And, right, figuring out how to best beat the AI is going to be something you do in a single-player game. That's just fundamentally how things work. The hope/goal/etc is to make it good enough so that - well, what intrinsic_parity said just about covers it, really.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2021, 01:27:18 PM by Alex »
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Brainwright

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2021, 03:06:59 AM »

Yep, most of the combat balance in this game is based on the AI.  The weapons and ships are not very balanced at all.

What's wrong with that?
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Zonk

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2021, 08:24:09 AM »

I don't think that's a fair way to put it at all. I am often impressed by the AI's ability to multitask and pull itself out of dangerous situations or make strong plays, assuming it's not distracted with excessive or irrational orders. Enemy AI is pretty good about balancing aggression and target selection. I have never been able to lure large enemy capitals away from their escorts with tiny ships, for example.

I really think the idea that "the AI is so bad and easy to cheese" is only a sentiment that comes from very lategame players. Yeah when you have 3 Paragons and a few Astrals, or a full phase fleet with scads of Dooms, of course it's easy to kill everything. The enemy AI looks dumb in that context because it is hopelessly outclassed by minmaxed player fleets with maxed officers and player skills.

Having just played the game for the first time through to the mid endgame, I do not think the enemy AI is easily cheesed or abused until well into the lategame. Until you reach certain skill/ship combinations ten or twenty hours into a playthrough you won't be slaying enemy fleets with a single Doom or taking down 4 Radiants simultaneously. And even when you reach that point it takes a lot of skill to analyze and understand enemy behaviors, and still then sometimes the enemies surprise you.
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Megas

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2021, 08:55:37 AM »

What I do not want is a bunch of ships that are only truly effective if piloted by the player, and mediocre otherwise.  Player can only pilot one, and if the ship is only good in player's hands, it better be among the best or else it gets forgotten.
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FooF

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2021, 09:49:03 AM »

Yep, most of the combat balance in this game is based on the AI.  The weapons and ships are not very balanced at all.

What's wrong with that?

I'd disagree with this. I don't know how you define "balance" is in a PvE game but the weapons and ships are actively being pruned so that there isn't one golden optimal path and/or there are multiple "effective" paths that are more a matter of taste. I believe that's about as "balanced" as we'll ever get. Right now we have Tier List threads going  that a lot of people argue over because one person sees something as effective and another does not. Whenever the merits of a gun/ship has to be debated, that tells me more often than not that it's in a good place because it's neither obviously over/underpowered. Or, there's a general consensus that, "this gun/ship has some definite positives but definite negatives, too" or is "situationally useful," which is usually the intended outcome.

I think the game is relatively balanced from a meta-game perspective. Not perfect, by any means, but good. There are some sticking points that are being addressed or at least well-documented in the next patch and of course, balance is sort of in the eye of the beholder.
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Flying Dice

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Re: Starting to think....
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2021, 03:41:13 PM »

Yeah, most of the really exploitable behaviors are long since gone.

The only real issue I still see with the AI is that it has areas of flux management where it doesn't assess things very well, tending to underestimate risk from high burst builds and not recognize when it's not appropriate to lower shields for a few moments of dissipation. Honestly not sure how much more it can be improved there, since flux control is pretty much the pinnacle of tactical skill in Starsector.
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