Thanks but I got a long way to go... I'm fairly happy with sniper build but I feel like my gunner build is a mess that just gets by.
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About 2500 games I used a set up that had about 220 nodes, but I lost interest for a short while since it would take so long to load or switch AIs. It was good and very similar to my 41 node set up but I don't think it was quite as optimised.
My pre alpha 5 build used 41 nodes and kept me on top of the rankings many times. I have yet to build AIs for alpha 5 that use more than a handful of nodes. Just playing around for now, getting a feel for the new units.
Yes, but it still doesn't matter much if you don't have the proper bots in play vs the enemies bots.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that every combination of bots should have a fair chance against any combination of enemy bots assuming you both are using successful strategies in your AI.
Keep in mind I only just unlocked sniper. Still plan on playing with it a bit but it seems the only way to go is sniper/machine gun combo.
I am slowing coming to terms with Alpha 5. It's a little better than the first iteration, but there are things that I can't understand here still and would like to hear others opinions on the topic.
Most specifically, I'm talking about other classes...
So great, we have other classes. How are we supposed to perform against other AI classes? What if I have a great AI using the assault class that was in alpha 4 and I find that it doesn't work against machine gun class but it works quite well against shotguns both using the same AI? What is it that I can do that will successfully defend against both these types of bots if I don't know what the enemy is using? It seems pointless to create an AI that is specific towards one type of enemy AI and class now. But how do we know which to use if we can't see what the enemy is going to do before hand? I mean, it's obvious that some classes perform better than others. So are we supposed to rely on luck of the draw to win a match? Then you have to take into factor the shotgun rush that is more easily countered, but still exists.
I don't know, it doesn't feel very fair anymore. More like a random match vs random bots. I can use my best AIs but it doesn't matter if you are using machine gun bots that fire from long range only. Then again if I use an AI that is stronger against machine gun bots, shotgun bots come and take all the resources. If I try to meld the two strategies, I weaken my overall attack and any decent AI using focused fire and same bots can beat me. It's rock, paper, scissors all over again.
Perhaps it would be nice to only be able to use the bots that the game creator is using? It makes it much more fair in terms of AI creation. You join a game and you can see that the creator is using 3 shotgun bots and 2 machine gun bots. The game then forces you to use the same set up. That would be a real challenge. You, of course, would get the same opportunity to choose the bot set up when you get to create games as well. Seems like a much more fair game to me.
How about shotguns can't pick up resources while the other classes can. That might solve everything.
Or perhaps have a delay in the time it takes to pick up a resource?
Maybe make it so that you can't pick up a resource if an enemy is within short range of it? That would be interesting forcing people to actually fight over the resources.
First thing I noticed was that my AI didn't work well with the new aiming system. The newbie rush strategy of using just a few nodes to attack medium distance enemies or move toward is stronger than ever. My first match, my bots didn't get more than one shot in before being pushed back since I had them set to step away from short/medium range enemies whenever shields were not full. Not such a big deal, since I assumed I would have to adjust my AI anyway, but still rather annoying.
Second impression, I miss the random factor. Not sure why, but the battles felt more authentic some how. It was nice seeing a different battle each game. It just looks strange to see my bots dancing with such choreographed movement whenever facing enemies that use similar strategies.
Third, I like being able to pick my multiplayer maps. I always avoided the maps like starving, interference, and circle of death because the strategy was always cut and dry using simplistic AI setups. The first two you can almost guarantee a draw or up in the air win/loss using just a few nodes. As for circle of death, It's just a case a firing at the enemy using simple targeting nodes without running too soon and many players took advantage of the simple AI set up resulting in random wins and losses.
Last, I don't like rushing for resources over using a strategic AI and that is what the game is about now with the shotgun class. They just move too fast and it makes the game a bit tiresome. This is a big one for me. I don't want to resort to having to use such tactics myself.
Keep in mind, I haven't had time to create new AI programs for my bots to adjust to the new features yet so it's possible that I might change my views about some of these issues at a later time. But as it is now, I'm not terribly interested in investing the time to create new A Is for each and every map.
Just wanted to add my two cents here. I am by no means done with the game. I'm just finding it difficult to use what little time I have to adjust or recreate every strategy I've created in order to make the game playable again. I put several hours of thought into each AI I created in alpha 4 and it bums me out that it's almost for nothing now.
I apologise if any of this sounds too harsh, that's not my intent. I know the game is in alpha stage but I just felt that it's best to point out these issues rather than stay silent. Like I said, I will continue to play and perhaps enjoy some of the new features. But it isn't quite as interesting as it was in alpha 4.
Oh one more very minor thing. Is it possible to change the shield/health display over the bots to be displayed horizontally again? Its not as easy to read the way it is now.
Just like the title says... Who do you consider to be your nemesis in multiplayer and why? Just trying to stir up a little conversation here.
As for myself, I'd say it's titaniumPRObot. I've played so many matches against him and I MIGHT only win half. He uses a similar AI to mine, only a little more defensive. It doesn't help that he hovers in the rankings in the 1400's while I stick around the mid/high 1500's so I need to beat him two or more times to cover one loss. I've tried about six different AIs against him and the results are the the same or worse depending on what I'm using.
Wait another week or two. The next update is supposed to be out the middle of this month if it's still on schedule.
Other than that, just play around and have fun. Try creating an AI that can win the majority of matches at least. If you can win four out of five games on average, you are doing good.
Keep in mind also, there is no ultimate AI as the game stands now. You really can't create the "best" possible AI and expect to win 99% of the time. There are not enough variables in the nodes and their filters to differentiate your AI from others. That, and the fact that any AI you create will have a counter AI that it is weak against. Here is a good example...
I created an AI that uses probably 150 to 200 nodes. It was balanced between attack and defense. It switches between focusing on single enemies and attacking the front line enemies to push them back to long range, hampering their accuracy. I made it to the top of the rankings with this AI several times. Its pretty solid and I'm happy with it.
But every once in a while, I would lose to someone because they pushed my bots clear off the map. They were using an aggresive strategy and never backed out of range to heal. I got sick of this so I recreated the strategy I saw and ran some battles against my more successful AI. In the end, I made an AI that used 7 nodes not counting ball capturing and was able to defeat my more advanced AI about 9 out of 10 matches.
My theory on this is that new players are able to stumble into such a simple AI unknowingly rather than create a more balanced strategy. Either way, I decided to test my new AI in multiplayer. What I found was that it worked best against the highest ranking players, but struggled with the 1100 - 1400 players. It was decent but didn't win nearly as often as my other setup. Anyone who create an AI that always focused on the weakest shield enemies regardless of their range and didn't run around too often could beat it easily. But the funny thing is, my original AI was strong against this type of enemy to begin with. Btw, the majority of these matches were on The Seven Wonders and Set Your Priorities.
The whole point of my post is just to show you how it's more like a game of rock, paper, scissors as it stands now. No matter what strategy you use, there is going to be something out there that can beat it. It doesn't mean their strategy is better, it just means it works better against your AI.
Try not to sweat it too much and have fun with the game for now. There should be more actions, conditions, and filters to play with soon enough.
I know I said this before, but I just wanted to reiterate that this is an amazingly fun game and I appreciate all that you have done so far. I just wanted to bring up a few issues that I've come across in my 3000+ multiplayer matches. Some of these have already been addressed by you and you have included them on the roadmap so don't read this post as a request for features as much as it is a general feedback topic. I would like to hear other people's opinions as well.
First, there needs to be a lot more actions, conditions, and filters. As it is now, there really isn't any way to create a unique AI program that is both original and effective. It's always the same five or six strategies played out over and over again. It really isn't much different than Rock, Paper, Scissors at the moment. Add to that the idea that posting many games at once gives players joining games an unfair advantage. They will play one game against you and lose, then they switch their AI and win the next five games.
My suggestions are this...
Create sliders for things like distance to flee and attack range. It would be nice to have my bots move gradually closer to the out of bounds range as their health or shields deplete.
Create filters that can tell how many enemies (or allies) are in a given area and where they are. Again I believe something similar to this is on the road map, but it's a great idea.
Walls are another great idea. Line of sight mechanics that will allow us both to take cover when weak and move in towards enemies without taking fire.
Create filters that can detect the edges of the map. If these bots are supposed to be smart, they should be able to detect when they are being pushed to the edge and act accordingly.
Conditions that take time into account would be helpful. If you are down to the last 30 seconds it would be nice to run after one of the balls and score before the match is over. You could also start a match with one AI set to attack the enemy as they close in, then switch to a different attack mode after 10 or 15 seconds.
Perhaps a secondary firing mode would he interesting. Your bot could anchor itself down and increase accuracy or range. The downside to this is that it would take two seconds to switch between modes and you can't move when anchored.
Shooting while moving would be nice to have. Accuracy and move speed would be affected by this process. Also, including the ability to circle the enemy to the left or right would create many opportunities for creating unique AIs.
Create a countdown timer for players that keep them from repeatedly playing the same person. It doesn't have to be long, maybe two minutes. Just long enough to keep them from running over a player and destroying their ranking. This also has the effect of encouraging more people to create games instead of joining them.
I've also encountered a few bugs that may need to be brought to your attention. Again, you've been notified about some of these but I figured I might as well include them here.
First, and the biggest issue I have with the game, is the lag that large AI trees create when navigating menus, selecting and changing AIs before battle, editing the AIs in the programming menu, even when returning to the multiplayer menu from a battle. It takes me up to 2 minutes just to switch my AI program on four bots before starting a match.
Second, the timer doesn't always work. It gets stuck at 3:00. I don't think I can recreate it either. It seems like a random bug.
Third, replay speeds are not always the same when speeding up the game. Usually if you hit fast forward and then play a few different times in a match, you'll notice that it doesn't always fast forward at the same pace. Just a minor bug.
Rarely, I get a glitch that resets the preset AI I'm using on a map to the first AI in my list. Usually restarting the game fixes the issue. It wouldn't be such a problem if not for the fact that it takes me so long to switch them back.
Ok, maybe I'm going on a tangent here. I just wanted to get a few things down in writing for you to consider. Again, amazing game and I can't wait to see what you come up with here in the future.
I think he's talking about useful ways to use the "currently target" filter.
As for me, I've just started messing with it. Created an AI where the only bots that continue to attack an enemy moving from medium to long range are the bots that were targeting it to begin with... As opposed to all my bots jumping on weakest shield long range 0% to 25% shield filter.
Not sure how effective it is yet. Still working out some kinks.
That's because of your AI, not the game. Try targeting enemies using weakest shield instead of closest or weakest. Also, keeping all of your bots at long range isn't very effective against someone who backs out of range regularly.
Would it be possible to have two catergories of replays? One for wins and one for losses?
When you have a good AI setup, it's not nearly as important to watch the win replays as it is the battles you don't win. When creating a large number of games, I'll sometimes get one or two losses and I need to watch each and every replay to find out which one I lost on. There's that, and the fact that if you create more than 20 games, one of your losses might have disappeared off the list and you dlcant even review the match.
So yeah, my suggestion is to have the replays appear in separate tabs for wins and losses repectively. You could keep the number of replays that appear in each list at 20. Draws would appear in either category depending on if you lose or gain points.