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  #1  
Old February 9th, 2007, 08:36 AM

Raapys Raapys is offline
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Default AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.03

Since it appeared that AI combats were being limited to the same 8x max speed that is offered to the player, I went about seeing if it was possible to do something about it; if it was possible to get the AI to get through its battles quicker then that would greatly speed up turn processing, since combats are the main slowdown.

So, to make a short story even shorter: it worked.

What you'll find in the download is 4 files. There is one modified VehicleSizes.txt, one modified Components.txt, and there is a copy of the original set.

This is, basically, what has been done:
Everything related to combat, time and speed has been either multiplied or divided with a factor of 4. That is, ships/units fly and turn 4 times as fast, weapons fire 4 times where they'd normally fire once, seekers are 4 times faster, shield/organic regeneration is 4 times faster, projectiles fly 4 times as fast, beams last 1/4 the time, etc., etc.

The result:
On a 3ghz P4, there is a an average of 60~% decrease in all combat times. AI battles( and player battles on 8x) that earlier took 20 seconds now takes 8-9 seconds.

So what's the bad news?

Human players will have to turn the speed down to 1/4 to have what was previously '1x'.
Other than that, it will probably take some time to get used to frigates that have 50+ combat movement speed.

Fortunately, this change doesn't actually appear to have affected combat outcomes any. But you will notice the topic says 'test', so that's what I'd like others to help find out, i.e. if there are any ill-effects from this change. I've been playing for several hours and had a few dozen combats without encountering problems, so hopefully there are none.

This should work for both faster and slower CPUs. And note that system speed has not been changed at all. This only changes combat speeds.

To install just put the rar archive inside your balance mod's Data folder and extract. To uninstall just rename the backups that were extracted ( VehicleSizes Original.txt Components Original.txt).

Advice that Space Combat Maximum Time be set down to 120 seconds, and Space Combat Map Radius be set up to either 3000 or 3500.
Attached Files
File Type: rar 494783-Speedup.rar (76.3 KB, 56 views)
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  #2  
Old February 9th, 2007, 10:15 AM

thebigsilly thebigsilly is offline
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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.03

Thank you Raapys. Where so I make these settings changes of "Space Combat Maximum Time" and "Space Combat Map Radius" that you advise?
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Old February 9th, 2007, 10:26 AM

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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.03

Both those settings can be found in the Settings.txt file found in your Balance Mod's Data folder ( where you extract the archive ).
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Old February 9th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.03

This sounds promising. I would guess that the PD would be affected most due to the combined intercept speeds of ships & PD with missiles & fighters.

It's a shame that the game would have to be speeded up this way, though. You'd think that AI combats would run as fast as possible; only having the slow down options for viewing combats and conducting tactical combat.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 03:04 PM

Raapys Raapys is offline
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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.03

Shouldn't be much of a difference with missiles and PD, since PD is also tuned up accordingly. The whole thing actually appears to work quite alright, and in the battles I've tested there's been the same outcome with the speed boost as I got with the original files.

But of course, it's obviously a very shobby way to acvhive something that should have been there from the start. I've no idea why Aaron didn't allow for battles faster than 8x: it's a huge waste of CPU to not be able to go faster.

However, seeing that the time rate system is already in place, it shouldn't be too much trouble for Aaron to activate a 16x and 32x mode? We can only hope, I guess.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 03:32 PM

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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.0

aparently it's suposed to process as fast as the CPU can do the calculations...
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Old February 9th, 2007, 03:47 PM

Raapys Raapys is offline
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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.0

He said that? You're sure he wasn't just talking about movement on the system map?

Because if that is true, then these modifications shouldn't have made any difference at all, yet all the tests I've done show an easily reproduceable minimum improvement of 50% on combat times.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:21 PM

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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.0

The combat is
accelerated, but not at the 8X speed you can watch it on. The combat is
accelerated as fast as your machine can allow without degrading the
performance of vehicles in combat.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.0

The actual "processing speed" for strategic is the same with these files, but the combat itself is 4x faster, which is responsible for the faster overall time. Now, if Aaron included a factor that would multiply/divide the vehicle speeds, firing rates, etc. for combat resolution, that might provide a significant processing time reduction. Of course everything would have to be proportionately adjusted to ensure more or less the same combat as it would occur at the non-accelerated speed.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:36 PM

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Default Re: AI Combat speedup test for the Balance Mod 1.0

That's how I thought it was, but then I tried timing the same AI battle several times( reloading and doing it again and again ), before finally logging into the AI empire and running the attack myself in 8x strategic mode. I stopwatched it about 10 times and found that the difference wasn't even noticeable when the AI was doing the battle vs me doing it in 8x strategic.

At any rate, this appears to help alot without actually changing the balance of the game any, so if these rudimentary tweaks can improve it that much then certainly Aaron should be able to make big improvements on the current system.

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