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Author Topic: Guardian PD  (Read 3793 times)

Jazwana

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Guardian PD
« on: January 08, 2013, 09:36:51 AM »

Taking an idea I had from the patch notes thread;
Quote
Quote from: Alex on January 06, 2013, 11:52:29 AM
@Gabrybbo:
Re: Guardian - right. Hmm. That's a tough one because you can manually turn off autofire when there's a danger of that, but it's awkward, and not always practical - especially if it's in a group with other PD that you still want firing. But I don't think making it only target missiles would work well, either - there are cases when you *do* want beam PD to fire at shields.

I see... yeah, sometimes i use burst lasers to give some extra soft flux to the enemy, but to use the Guardian i give up a large slot, so it's irritating to see it take a shot at an enemy shield, then take down a Mirv, then a Pilum volley, then take another shot at the shield, then kill some Annihilators and then see that missiles go past it because it used its charges on the shield, which in the meantime is perfectly holding... The problem is that if i want to use it to overload an enemy I need to concentrate only on his ship, otherwise it's pretty much only a waste of charges for little gain.  Sad
Damn, it's really tough. Maybe with the new on-hit effects something can be done... I'll try something and open a suggestion thread as soon as i come up with a valid idea.  Smiley


By the way, i noticed that hitting a missile with a EMP weapon like the Ion cannon doesn't shut it down like the EMP emitter does... Is this intended?  Smiley

It sounds like the logic we would like Guardian PD to use is:
For Charges <=5 only fire at missiles
Else fire as normal

That way it keeps a 'reserve' of 5 charges (or however many) to use on incoming missiles while still using it's base rate DPS plus a smaller burst reservoir on shields, fighters, etc.  If charges go below 5, then it holds off on firing at shields until they recharge above but would still be used on more incoming missiles.

This could be handy code to keep for all PD weapons with charges.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 09:38:39 AM by Jazwana »
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Vind

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 09:49:19 AM »

Nice idea - maybe even add some slider for PD to set how much % of PD charges is reserved for missile/bombs/torps only.
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Wyvern

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 10:01:42 AM »

This suggestion has been made before.  As usual, I'll add my addendum: I'd like to be able to set more general per-weapon hints that the autofire AI would follow.
Only using full burst rate on missiles would be one option.
Only using it on missiles or fighters would be another.
Or target priority - maybe you want it to shoot at fighters first, missiles second.
Or switch to ships without shields over ships with shields.
Setting one burst PD beam to prioritize phase ships could also be useful, so you don't get into a state where all your guns are shooting at other things and a phase frigate is just sitting there firing freely.

And so on and so forth.  Ideally, I'd want actual moddable autofire AI, with an option to, for each gun, select which AI it uses and maybe provide some player input values - since none of these are changes you'd really want to just globally apply to all weapons.
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Jazwana

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 10:46:43 AM »

Ah, didn't look for the idea in search beyond checking to see if Guardian PD had come up in the past 3 months or so, as I didn't want to necro a thread.  In any event, it seems like a good idea now, too :P

http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=3721.0
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Gothars

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 01:19:08 PM »

Another idea would be that PD weapons are always on autofire, you just change the mode. If the are "off" they only fire at missiles, if on they have the current behavior.

The only situation I can think of where I would want my PD silenced is when going for the zero flux speed boost, for that situation "hold fire" (with X) would be better anyway.
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icepick37

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 01:41:27 PM »

I really like that, but it seems a bit muddly.

EDIT: Like say you had a mixed group of weapons you were trying not to fire to save flux on, but then your pd weapons keep firing at stuff anyway.
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Gothars

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 02:07:18 PM »

Well, they don't really generate noticeable flux, do they? And I don't think there is a situation where you'd rather take a missile hit on shields (generates more flux than PD fire) or armor than invest that bit of flux. Or can you think of one?

What this does not help with is this situation: you are in the middle of a heavy fight with missiles, fighters and big ships. Your PDs fire at missiles and fighters in range, but if they get out of range for a moment instead of regenerating charges, PDs fire on the big ships to no effect. You could deactivate them in that situation without loosing missile protection, so it's still better than now, but not perfect.


Btw, thanks for explaining "muddly", that alone would not have helped much^^

« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 02:30:27 PM by Gothars »
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Wyvern

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 11:26:03 PM »

Just for an example of what I'm talking about, consider the attached Apogee loadout, under AI control.  In theory, it should wreck all that opposes it.  In practice, a mix of Broadsword fighters and anything big enough to get its attention is devastating - because it doesn't have the smarts to realize that it should prioritize squishy enemy fighters & use proximity charges aggressively against massed fighters (and hardly at all against anything else).

Test case: Support Dominator + Condor + 2 wings broadswords + 2 wings piranhas, vs. this Apogee (not flagship, so no player-only bonuses).  Now, I can't test what happens if the phase beams just prioritized fighters... but I can tell you that that's a fight that's reasonably winnable by the player, but that the AI loses quite reliably. 

[attachment deleted by admin]
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Vind

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 11:47:13 PM »

You cant expect AI replace player with any ship loadout. AI lacks strategic sense so it will be killed one vs 2+ almost every time regardless of ship. To make AI not so bad equip ship with max flux dissipation, max flux capacity, max speed and omni-shields. Even with all this it will be screwed the moment it decides to vent near enemy ship in almost all cases. The AI can be "improved" by installing best kinetic weapons to keep enemy AI at max flux and forcing him to vent. In short - the best flux-efficient build with speed to safely disengage to vent and kinetic weapons to overload/force to vent enemy ship will win.
Also AI likes to raise omni-shield towards fliendly ship nearby to prevent possible ramming damage and leaving ship exposed to enemy ship which can fire on it. Right now AI vents very stupidly - so you cant really expect it to win vs 2 ships because while 1 enemy ship will disengage to vent second will keep your AI ship occupied so it will be overloaded or forced to vent and receive damage. The auto-targeting AI will not finish fleeing fighters using "shoot nearest" logic instead of finishing enemy fighter wing.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 11:49:25 PM by Vind »
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Wyvern

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 07:35:15 AM »

You cant expect AI replace player with any ship loadout.

I don't expect AI to replace the player.  That said, there are ship loadouts it can do pretty well with - the one I linked, for example, is halfway decent when it doesn't get swarmed with fighters while engaging larger targets (just fighters on their own it has no trouble with).  It could still be halfway decent there if it just had a bit better targetting priority - priorities I would like to be able to give it; the phase beams are there to be anti-fighter weapons, and it's annoying to watch it try and use them against a shielded cruiser.

Even if it didn't aggressively finish off fighter wings (which I don't expect it to), simply using the anti-fighter weapons it has would lead to the last wing to disengage usually dying - a much better situation than it's in now.

The rest of the stuff you went on about - venting, and kinetic weapons, and omni shields - are all irrelevant to my example; there's only one non-fighter enemy ship that will actually try to close, the Apogee can't carry kinetic weapons (aside from maybe a few sabot SRMs, but those certainly won't help it against fighters), and the Apogee doesn't have omni shields.  You might, if you want to discuss those things, consider a new thread.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 03:09:29 PM by Wyvern »
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Reshy

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 02:54:46 PM »

The thing is that if you want a ship to be used by the AI you have to build around the AI's faults and failings.  That's why I use a lot of reliable weapons with high venting.
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Wyvern

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 03:03:00 PM »

And that's why this is in the suggestions forum instead of the discussion forum?  So we can suggest things that might improve the AI?

...Sorry.  Just getting frustrated with people who seem to be missing the point, or discussing anything but the actual suggestion at hand.
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BillyRueben

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 03:16:04 PM »

And that's why this is in the suggestions forum instead of the discussion forum?  So we can suggest things that might improve the AI?

...Sorry.  Just getting frustrated with people who seem to be missing the point, or discussing anything but the actual suggestion at hand.

The current topic is the Guardian PD weapon.

I don't see a problem with some weapons and loadouts only working while in the hands of players (as long as they aren't OP). It adds to the spice of things.
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Gothars

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2013, 03:43:56 PM »

I think manual behavior settings for single weapons is far too complicated. But I agree that the Phase Charge Launcher should be treated as Flak weapon, the difference in usefulness between a AI ship and a player ship is more blatant than for any other weapon I can think of.

This is however, as BillyRueben said, not the topic of this thread.



In theory, it would be optimal if PD weapons had three modes:

Mode 1 - Fire on missiles, then fighters, then ships - the current behavior
Mode 2 - fire primarily on missiles, then fighters (1 burst), ships (0 burst)
Mode 3 - fire primarily on fighters, then missiles (1 burst), ships (0 burst)

However, I'm not sure:
a) how to control that smoothly? ANd isn't that demanding too much attention frm the player?
b) can the missile screen Broadswords and Bombers use not also be seen as a feature that this would end?
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Wyvern

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Re: Guardian PD
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2013, 03:46:40 PM »

And the problem here is that - even in the hands of the player - its behavior is not ideal.  The AI - whether it's whole-ship or just autofire - can be improved.

However, what actually constitutes an improvement is dependent on the overall ship layout - the variant - rather than just the weapon in question.  For the guardian, in some situations it should reserve charges for missiles.  In others, it should prioritize fighters over missiles - particularly if it's installed on a ship with strong shields or other point defense weapons.

Similarly, the phase beam is sometimes a main gun (consider a frigate with a phase beam or two), and sometimes a primarily anti-fighter weapon (the Apogee loadout I described above) with a secondary role as support.  I use this as a secondary example of the same thing: the autofire AI should be capable of being changed, depending on the variant currently in use.


Off-topic, I do see a problem with some weapons (in particular) and loadouts (less so) only working in the hands of players; even if it's not overpowered, it's still an option that isn't available to be used against the player, and a clear indication of a place where the AI (or potentially the weapon in question) could use some attention.
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