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  #1  
Old December 27th, 2010, 06:06 AM

ScottWAR ScottWAR is offline
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Default New patch and multiplayer map pack

I just noticed a new patch (1.05) and a pack with multiplayer maps has been released. The patch seems to address nearly everything I have seen mentioned on the forums. About to try it now and see how the AI does..........
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  #2  
Old December 27th, 2010, 06:53 PM

JCrowe JCrowe is offline
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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

HUGE improvement. AI is considerably more aggressive. It invests in air power right away and naval forces are not far behind. I was even able to catch part of a fight between two opposing task forces. (Not pretty; cruisers are big trouble.)

AI is also pushing jump units into air transports and using them (!) to 'hopscotch' past neutrals or opposing players. Definitely not the world-wide whipping boy of the past. And if you pay close attention to the patch file, you'll see that they've changed the game economics, too. Cities are actually worth the investment. And the AI knows it, too - guess who's building air defense emplacements! Yeesh. Tetchy buggers. Intercontinental raiding isn't the slam-dunk it used to be.

However, AI still lags against a human equivalent. A human player can still outstrip them in territorial acquisition and in material selection. (They don't invest enough in firepower - or not as much as your average person might - despite throwing down with stealth forces and naval task forces.) It also doesn't show much sophistication in the 'field'. Combat for the AI is still based on the "BANZAI" concept. Not too smart, but ... if your ground-pounders are backed by a wing of Level 2 bombers (regular AND unleaded), 'finesse' is hardly a requirement for victory. Fighters are still the best investment you can make, but expect them to face a lot more opposition.

In sum, a huge improvement. Hopefully, more on the way.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

That is good to hear.
Is there any possibility to adapt the AI ourselves in the full game? I only have the demo so far and there are no AI files you could change. Is that different in the full game??
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:04 PM

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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

A downloaded the updated demo and gave it a go. Definitely a huge improvement. It still feels a little rough and I think there are a number of balance issue to clear up but it's a big step in the right direction.

Most of the remaining issues can probably be taken care of by modding and hopefully the AI can continue to improve with future patches. I'm definitely considering picking this one up but I'm just not sure about the long-term replayability in it's current form.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

I agree: the AI has improved a lot and uses now sea and air transports to invade weakly protected areas behind the enemy front lines.
Still the AI focus their attacks to little on normal empires and does not use the neutral empires as protection or buffer. And they do not react if a (human) empire gets so strong that they should focus all attacks on this "mega evil empire".
If the combat system will not be changed, the AI should learn the tactic human players use: let the enemy move into your firing range instead of moving yourself unless the enemy has greater range than you.
And finally if this is possible: a possibility to change/modify the AI unit purchase. This would be especially important in game types with modded units.
But once again the game has made an important progress.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:38 AM

Uncle_Joe Uncle_Joe is offline
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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

Is there a time limit for the battles and if so, then does the defender win if time runs out? What happens to the attackers?

If there is no time limit, I can see 'Mexican stand-offs' developing between human players (and with the AI if it's 'taught' to not move into firing range all the time. If there is a time limit, then the AI defenders should definitely be hanging back and forcing the attackers to move into range and thus gaining the first shot.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:32 PM

ScottWAR ScottWAR is offline
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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Joe View Post
Is there a time limit for the battles and if so, then does the defender win if time runs out? What happens to the attackers?

If there is no time limit, I can see 'Mexican stand-offs' developing between human players (and with the AI if it's 'taught' to not move into firing range all the time. If there is a time limit, then the AI defenders should definitely be hanging back and forcing the attackers to move into range and thus gaining the first shot.

I have thought about this a LOT. I think it will be ok in multiplayer for the following reasons.......

We KNOW a player that has a clue about how to play isnt going to just move his units forward like the AI.

If the attacker isnt willing to move into range to fight he wont attack since the other player, the defender, is going to sit back. Why attack a teritory if you arent going to attack the units in the tactical battle.

So I dont see a player that has a clue what he is doing attacking a territory unless he feels he can move into range,...absorb a few attacks and still win.

Naturally there will always be that one guy...........who decides to play without knowing this, and he will attack and then realize the other player isnt going to make nice targets of his units like the AI does. He will probably want to quit or load the last save when he realizes he is going to lose everything in the battle.....
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Old December 31st, 2010, 12:54 AM

Uncle_Joe Uncle_Joe is offline
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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

Exactly, which is hopefully a situation which has been planned for via a time limit. But there are other situations where it could happen even if the player has a clue (ie, they lose their long-ranged unit(s) and the next person to move into range loses).

I just think that there has to be a way to call 'time' and call it a defender's win.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 01:38 AM

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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

A retreat option would indeed solve the problem. For the attacker only.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 02:14 PM

JCrowe JCrowe is offline
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Default Re: New patch and multiplayer map pack

I suggested a retreat option (for both sides) in the first book of changes I sent to Malf. It might be something they build-in later. They still seem to be working on the AI and unit balance. My primary concern with the 'Tactical Theater' of the game is that it skews heavily to a win-or-lose everything result. There's rarely an in-between. Which gives the victor of the fight a massive advantage.

Think about it - you spend bajillions to build a "death storm" force of Bombers, Fighters, and whatevers. You engage an enemy force of near-equal composition. Whomever loses, loses all. Which means that by the time the loser rebuilds their army, the victor has already overrun half the loser's country and become a virtually unstoppable engine of annihilation. All this from one half-serious battle.

On the other hand, if two equal forces meet, and the victor walks away with 40% casualties (dang good when the loser suffers 100%), the defeated party has a better chance of making a meaningful recovery. Or, if the party under attack can retreat and spare some of its assets ... then again there's the opportunity to rebuild your defense.
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