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rifraf

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#1 9 years ago

So, like many, years ago I made all 5 build lists for each race have the same sequence of content. I've been checking out Freyrs' guides at Starbase 34 and looking to change that. My question is, what makes good build lists?

I've checked out some odf mods here like the Klingon AI and relatively for the most part they are the same with some exceptions. Like, why don't you build a scout in the build_list? Why is the defensive_list the same as the build_list except for adding a scout to build? In the endgame_list do you only build 1 construction ship to keep overhead low since you are presumably winning and only build high-power ships skipping the weaker ones?




C.A.B.A.L.

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#2 9 years ago

The differences between the offensive and defensive build lists aren't completely understood. As far as I know, the AI switches between the different lists depending on the in game situation though I don't know what the criteria is for the switch. The AI checks the currently loaded list periodically and determines what it does and doesn't have. Then it fills in the gaps, starting at the top and progressing to the bottom.

I think the lists may not have been named very accurately in regards to when they are used so I'm not entirely sure why they have what they have though I think you are correct about the endgame_list.

Hopefully, Freyr will see this thread and help out, correcting me in the process, I'm sure.:lulz:




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#3 9 years ago

I've always kept all the build lists the same - it seems like the AI doesn't change lists at all in my skirmish games, so I never messed much with making them different. I'm also curious is there's a way to make the AI switch off, though.

The biggest thing I've found in making sure the AI can process the entire list is making very selective use of the "-1" quantity to build. I generally restrict it to structures, contruction and resource gathering units, and the endgame list. If you have too many combat units being produced with unlimited quantities, the AI can get caught up just maintaining them as they get destroyed and never make it through the list to the endgame. Depending on how elaborate you want to get, you can set the maximum number of lines over 100 and really step the AI through a long list of finitely produced units before the endgame, and it will work every time.




rifraf

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#4 9 years ago

Well I do have a pretty decent understanding of the build lists and I use a heavily modded version of Borg Incursion VR. I wanted to see every ship I've put in the game used so I had the AI's build one of every ship and used the -1tag to have them always rebuild upon destruction. It works pretty good and I usually see all the way up to battleships in use. Gives a good mixed fleet.

I've started modding it again though to build destroyers maybe 2-3 times and cruisers maybe 3-4 to keep them around a little longer then battleships use the -1 to always build over and over. From what I understand through Freyr the AI does switch build lists so I'm trying to determine what makes a good build list and how to differ them for good results. Like maybe the offensive list means you are on the run so you build battleships only and maybe lots of turret defese to protect your base and the defensive list build only ships(preferrably stronger) as you're probably winning and don't worry about building turrets?




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#5 9 years ago

C.A.B.A.L.;5434090The differences between the offensive and defensive build lists aren't completely understood. As far as I know, the AI switches between the different lists depending on the in game situation though I don't know what the criteria is for the switch. The AI checks the currently loaded list periodically and determines what it does and doesn't have. Then it fills in the gaps, starting at the top and progressing to the bottom.

I think the lists may not have been named very accurately in regards to when they are used so I'm not entirely sure why they have what they have though I think you are correct about the endgame_list.

Hopefully, Freyr will see this thread and help out, correcting me in the process, I'm sure.:lulz:[/QUOTE]

=p

I was heading to the "Quote" button before I saw your last line. That did get a smile out of me. Most of what I know about the AI switching it's build lists and personalities is actually posted here :- Freyr's thoughts : Personality Parameters - Starbase 34 Tutorials

Basically, if the AI gets beaten back into it's last mapgrid as defined in AI/strategic_AI_config.txt then it goes into it's defensive list and personality. If it's beaten it's opposition back into it's last sector then it goes to very_aggressive and endgame.

I might be slightly off with that, but the AI certainly kicks into the defensive list if it's stuck in it's base, and very_aggressive if the opposition is in it's base. I think it's understood enough to use the effect, even if the exact cause is not completely and totally understood.

I've checked out some odf mods here like the Klingon AI and relatively for the most part they are the same with some exceptions. Like, why don't you build a scout in the build_list?

In order to understand the AI's out there at the moment, you need to understand something very, very important. AI's are one of the only bits that haven't been done to death by successive generations of modders. ODF modding hasn't advanced significantly in ten years. AI's have gone through several revolutions in the last couple of years.

The tutorial that you've read should give you a reasonable understanding of more or less the current state of the art in AI modding for Armada II.

It's about six months old. The Klingon Merciless AI is about a year old, and was written before I understood most of the things in the tutorial. That AI is quite advanced by community standards and it was a quantum leap in lethality over anything before it, but it's hopelessly obselete now.

Other AIP's are likely to be a lot further behind that.

In other words, you know more than anybody did when writing any AIP file that is available for download at the time of me posting this. That includes my own AIP's from a year or so ago.

I wouldn't copy other AIP's that are available because AIP's that you write from scratch are likely to be better, at least for the immediate future.

Why is the defensive_list the same as the build_list except for adding a scout to build? In the endgame_list do you only build 1 construction ship to keep overhead low since you are presumably winning and only build high-power ships skipping the weaker ones?

First of all, i've recently come to understand that "Build_list" isin't actually used by the AI. (to the best of my current knowledge)

Secondly, the practice people writing AIP's used to follow was to have the same entries in every build list entry. This is because until recently how the AI personalities and build lists worked was not understood in the slightest.

As you say, the correct thing to do is get the AI to build powerful ships capable of digging a human player out of a bunker of turrets and starbases. A bunch of artillery ships would probably be a good thing.

dragonmalice;5435035I've always kept all the build lists the same - it seems like the AI doesn't change lists at all in my skirmish games, so I never messed much with making them different. I'm also curious is there's a way to make the AI switch off, though.[/QUOTE]

The AI does change both build lists and personalities in skirmish games. You need to use the debug tools to see what it's up to though, because it's not always obvious. You can find information on it in the latter half of this page:-

Freyr's thoughts : Personality Parameters - Starbase 34 Tutorials

Your absolutely correct as to minimising the number of items with infinite rebuilds in the build list. It's impossible to understate how important that is.

rifraf;5435141Well I do have a pretty decent understanding of the build lists and I use a heavily modded version of Borg Incursion VR. I wanted to see every ship I've put in the game used so I had the AI's build one of every ship and used the -1tag to have them always rebuild upon destruction. It works pretty good and I usually see all the way up to battleships in use. Gives a good mixed fleet.

At this point we encounter the issue between modding and strategy. =p

A long while ago, I wrote Dan a AI for his Cardassian full race. Being the most lethal AI possible, it included only cost effective ships for the fire power they delivered, and didn't build most of his painstakingly modelled and textured fleet. Once he'd added all of his ships, the AI was markedly less lethal than it had been to start with.

Basically, a lot of your ships are going to be less cost/time effective than other ships. The "best" (as in hardest) AI will only build a small fraction of the available ships.

[QUOTE=rifraf;5435141] I've started modding it again though to build destroyers maybe 2-3 times and cruisers maybe 3-4 to keep them around a little longer then battleships use the -1 to always build over and over.

In the stock game, the firepower steps up by roughly a factor of 4 per class. 4 destroyers to take a cruiser, 4 cruisers to take a battleship etc. However, a destroyer costs 100-150 dilithium. A battleship costs ~350 dilithium which is double or triple the price but is at least ten times as combat effective. At a certain point it becomes downright suicidal for the AI to continue building smaller ships, assuming that it's even slightly limited by resources.

[QUOTE=rifraf;5435141] From what I understand through Freyr the AI does switch build lists so I'm trying to determine what makes a good build list and how to differ them for good results. Like maybe the offensive list means you are on the run so you build battleships only and maybe lots of turret defese to protect your base and the defensive list build only ships(preferrably stronger) as you're probably winning and don't worry about building turrets?

Basically yeah. The thing to remember though is that if your stuck on the defensive your AI might not have enough metal to produce large numbers of turrets (they are 75 metal for a pulse turret & 250metal for a torpedo turret for most races). If you get it badly wrong, the AI will just sit there waiting until it has the resources to complete that line, even if it could build a dozen ships instead.

Your dead on about the endgame build list though. Make sure you do a decent very_aggressive personality for it though!