Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » Flugente's Magika Workshop » New feature: Arulco Special Division
bar10.png  New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343706] Sat, 09 January 2016 21:02 Go to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
The current strategic AI is relatively fragile and obscure. Integrating new features into it can be relatively weird and lead to unexpected results later on.
For this reason, I've added a new feature: the Arulco Special Division. This is supposed to represent the agency controlling several of the queen's unconventional forces (most of whom are not yet coded, alone integrated into the code).
It is supposed to be an 'AI' that uses these features to fight the player in an effective yet believable way.

A very important part of this is that if possible, the player should have a way to counter the AI's actions in an immersive way (see following examples).

It has its own 'budget', which allows it to purchase new actions and required resources. This serves to limit the amount of the AIs actions. If the AI randomly spawns 20 elites in a random sector, this is not immersive - and the player can't do anything against that, which is frustrating.
This gives the player a way to compete with the AI - lower the AI budget, and the AI can do less harm. For example, part of the AI budget might come from mine income, which the player can take away. Or perhaps enemy income is also reliant on some facility, which the player could damage...

For now the AI receives 100K$ at the start of the game, and the mine income of any mine the player does not control.

If possible, the AI should have to buy and maintain its assets. This way the player could harm the AI by specifically targetting those assets if he chooses so.
For example, enemy helicopters have to be bought, fuelled and repaired. In order to stop enemy heli raids, the player could

  • shoot them down
  • steal enemy fuel deliveries
  • sabotage enemy helis in their airfield
There is a cyclic update of this AI. Each time the AI decides whether it wants (and can afford) new assets. These assets then have to be ordered and can only be used once arrived.
The AI also decides how to use these assets. For example, if the AI has access to helicopters, it decides whether to refuel or repair them, and whether there are any missions it can send them on.

This feature is not recommended for new players. Note that standalone, without subsequent features that ASD can control, this is meaningless. In order to get discussions to where they belong, subsequent features get their own thread.

Supported features:


For JA2_Options.ini values and and additional info, see section [Strategic Additional Enemy AI Settings].

This feature is savegame-compatible.

This was added to the trunk in r8015 & GameDir r2279.

[Updated on: Sat, 09 January 2016 21:36]




"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343717 is a reply to message #343706] Sun, 10 January 2016 02:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
grim

 
Messages:319
Registered:July 2006
Location: France
After a few months of silence, your magic shines again in another beautiful and ambitious project.
This one looks very promising (as ever).

One thing i didn't understand fully : With this system replace the whole regular troop management (city garnisons, patrols, reinforments, queen's pool...) or come as another layer ?
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343724 is a reply to message #343717] Sun, 10 January 2016 16:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
This is another layer as far removed from the regular strategic AI as possible (enemy heli troops are still drawn from the queen's pool though, but as that hardly ever runs out, this won't be a problem).

Altering strategic AI can have very odd, unintended consequences that one only notices weeks later (both ingame, and, sadly enough, in RL happy ). For example, altering patrol sizes after a campaign has started can lead to a point where the AI doesn't send out any patrols AT ALL. Or where it forbids itself from attacking even lightly defended player positions. For this reason I came up with this: A smaller framework that manages just a few features, and, in the worst case, can completely break down (either by bugs or because the player successfully sabotaged it) without the game being broken (because the normal, dumb, patrol-sending AI is still there).



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343737 is a reply to message #343724] Mon, 11 January 2016 06:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
buuface

 
Messages:102
Registered:October 2011
Sounds Brilliant Flugente!

Would it even be conceivable for the Queen to hire other AIM or MERC mercs to fight in her Special Division?

Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343738 is a reply to message #343737] Mon, 11 January 2016 13:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
There are, in fact, mods several years old that do just that (don't have a link though as I can't find anything in this forum).

Lorewise this wouldn't happen, as AIM has a policy to prevent such an issue (members fighting on both sides in a conflict), I think.

Technically, it is very easy to do, though atm I am not interested in it.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343739 is a reply to message #343738] Mon, 11 January 2016 23:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1119
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Quote:
Lorewise this wouldn't happen, as AIM has a policy to prevent such an issue (members fighting on both sides in a conflict), I think.


I think you're right, lorewise, about AIM, but MERC, on the other hand, does not have a policy for not being on the opposite side of AIM in a conflict . . . and vice versa.




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Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343740 is a reply to message #343739] Tue, 12 January 2016 00:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3809
Registered:July 2009
True, but while some people seem to like this idea at first glance, what would it really add?
You'd add a couple named characters to the enemy force that are just as dumb, in most mods just as badly equipped and to 90% not even close to being the killing machines, statswise, that Mike is. All you do is annoy players by having them somehow* deal with people they wanted to hire later.

*Fight, primarily. Although you could conceivably add options to buy them off or convince them by having a friend along or something.

[Updated on: Tue, 12 January 2016 00:06]




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Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343741 is a reply to message #343740] Tue, 12 January 2016 02:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1119
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Quote:
True, but while some people seem to like this idea at first glance, what would it really add?


True. I was just sayin' . . .

OTOH, if there was a mini-mod that set you up as MERC . . . against AIM . . . just for fun, ya understand.

Edit: Like, uh, at the AIM Christmas party . . . MERC crashes the party armed to the hilt against all of AIM with only sidearms -- it's a party, ya understand . . .

[Updated on: Tue, 12 January 2016 05:47]





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Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343742 is a reply to message #343741] Tue, 12 January 2016 08:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
buuface

 
Messages:102
Registered:October 2011
Fair enough!

What other potential uses for ASD do you perceive?

Night Ops task forces?

Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343744 is a reply to message #343742] Tue, 12 January 2016 14:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1119
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
What Flugente has described is good.

I really don't have anything to add to that at this time. I'd like to see more characters able to be defined, but that falls out of the realm of the ASD, I think (though no reason why additional characters shouldn't be part of the ASD).




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Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343746 is a reply to message #343724] Tue, 12 January 2016 17:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
grim

 
Messages:319
Registered:July 2006
Location: France
Flugente wrote on Sun, 10 January 2016 15:49
This is another layer as far removed from the regular strategic AI as possible (...)

Thank you for the answer. This new layer will add a lot of replayability and challenge, i'm sure. The JA veterans will truly benefit of it, playing with new strategies and a fresh look on the map.
Great idea, and amazing job once again !
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343747 is a reply to message #343742] Tue, 12 January 2016 21:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
buuface wrote on Tue, 12 January 2016 06:39
Fair enough!

What other potential uses for ASD do you perceive?

Night Ops task forces?

Night Ops forces would simply be normal forces that you meet at night... that is very hard to time, as we don't know when the player engages. This is not different from the normal AI patrols, I don't see how this could be incorporated.

A few ideas from top of my head, what existing and not (yet?) existing features could be integrated:
  • air strikes are in fact in the code, but were intentionally left out by Sirtech. If they were in, it woul be logical to let ASD control them.
  • This one came up in the IRC yesterday: mobile artillery that fires into a sector from several sectors away. I'm not a fan of that, but this would fit too.
  • Currently, if tanks are allowed, they are added to an outgoing platoon more or less at random. They could be another resource: ASD has to buy (and maintain?) the tanks, and the normal AI has to ask whether it can use one. Requires some interface, but doable.
  • Enemy assassins are currently randomly generated. This could be integrated and extended: ASD gets its own intelligence agency. It has to recruit, train and control spies and assassins.
    Would even work in conjunction with other features: If the player controls many SAMs, ASD stops heli missions and focuses its agents to sabotage them. In extreme cases, so closely timed that the SAM goes down the moment the heli enters their region, but thats more wishful thinking happy
  • Enemy generals are currently randomly distributed. The bonus for taking them out is significant, but a general him/herself is not very interesting.
    Imagine this: Each of the above features gets a NPC that 'controls' it. An airforce general, a tank officer, an intelligence director etc.. These are essentially the generals from before, but each gives a specific bonus. Take him out, and you damage the entire feature (until they are replaced?). If the airforce chief is killed by you, no more strikes until the AI 'gets its command structure back together'.
I don't necessary plan to do these, but this is roughly what I have in mind for ASD.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343748 is a reply to message #343747] Tue, 12 January 2016 23:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CVB

 
Messages:130
Registered:September 2014
Location: Berlin
Some more ideas:

Military Ops:
- mobile SAMs: working like manpads, but with more range, and possibly road-bound or at least limited to open country. Might be a bit tricky to pull off balance-wise, since losing their only helicopter out of the blue would be a "reload" moment for most players. So there should be some way to detect if airspace has become "red" again (radar warning receiver, intelligence from prisoners...). It would still be inconvenient to find your forward helibase under an SAM umbrella again , and could lead to some merry chases for that elusive SAM carrier cheeky If interested, I could supply isometric pics (4, 8, 16, or 32 views) of a SA-6, SA-8 or maybe a Hummer Avenger, for example, although I would need help with the .jsd files, and I have no idea how to convince the map editor to accept a new skin.

- amphibious landings: would work like the existing "enemy helicopters" feature, but ignoring rebel SAMs and limited to coastal sectors. I could supply pics of landing craft, caveat as above. IIRC, Smeagol already has a patrol boat in one of his maps.

- tunnel rats: follow the player underground. It always struck me as quite unrealistic that I could simply vanish into the mines and be safe there with all my stored loot...


Intelligence and covert ops:
- saboteurs could target the helicopter and vehicles

- assassins could also attack important NPCs (no Jake - no fuel, so you better detail someone for bodyguard duty; also Tony, the miners, the hospital crew now have a bullseye on their backs)

- saboteurs could also spread diseases, poison water supplies and disable facilities

- false flag operations could damage the rebels' standing with some factions (e.g. Kingpin's money is missing, someone took the med supplies from the hospital)

Again, to be balanced, the player would need some chance at counter intelligence (radio intercepts, prisoner interrogation, information from defectors such as Iggy, infiltrating spies, finding orders in military bases, gathering rumours from the population)

Of course, many of those options could also work the other way.




Peace is a purely theoretical state of affairs whose existence we deduce because there have been intervals between wars.
J. Pournelle
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343752 is a reply to message #343748] Wed, 13 January 2016 05:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1119
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
These are great ideas! thumbs up




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Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343753 is a reply to message #343752] Wed, 13 January 2016 10:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
buuface

 
Messages:102
Registered:October 2011
Regarding night Ops.

Could you pre-define the equipment of to be highly specialized for night fighting (night-camo, high quality NV goggles) silencer and night-scope equipped weaponry?

Could groups of enemies be programmed to attack player/militia-occupied sectors only during the night? (IE their ETA be reassessed at intervals and configured to fall only within nighttime hours).

Once the sector is captured. the night Ops team would call in a regular army garrison to take over and allow the night ops team to disband or relocate

As a contingency, if that sector became unoccupied by players or militia while night ops teams was still on-route, the mission would be abandoned or the team redirected to an alternative sector.
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #343754 is a reply to message #343753] Wed, 13 January 2016 13:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Meh. First off, that would require new item selections (like in EnemyGunChoices.xml etc.) just for that. Then, someone would have to fill those tables. Then, override normal equipment generation.

Enemy group travel/movement/attack behaviour is deep within the normal strategic AI. It is very convoluted and easy to unintentionally break (this is the prime reason I came up with this). This would definetely require changes there, like telling an attack group during the day to never ever attack a sector even though it would be logical. Retreating/replacing with other groups is theoretically already in code, but in practicea giant mess.

I also don't really see the gain. While the first two or so night attacks would be harder, you also get their gear - after that, every nighttime encounter after that becomes easier.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #344630 is a reply to message #343754] Sun, 20 March 2016 20:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
As of r8114 & GameDir r2305, ASD can now manage the assignment of enemy tanks and combat jeeps. For now, this is relatively simple - occasionally, the strategic AI will ask ASD whether it can spare a combat vehicle - if ASD has some, it will supply them.

So similar to enemy helicopters, ASD has to buy tanks and combat jeeps, and fuel them. As these vehicles are unlikely to ever return to Meduna, they simply require an amount of fuel to be ready for the AI.

New ASD settings in full (Ja2_options.ini):
[Strategic Additional Enemy AI Settings]

;******************************************************************************************************************************
; These settings change the behavior of the queen's additional AI on the Strategy Map.
;******************************************************************************************************************************

;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
; Arulco Special Division
;
; Control over a number of new features will gradually be given over to a second strategic 'AI' - the 'Arulco Special Division'.
; This should control if, how and when these new features are used by the AI.
; 
; It has its own 'budget', which allows it to purchase new actions. This serves to limit the amount of the AIs actions.
; It also gives the player a way to compete with the AI - lower the AI budget, and the AI can do less harm.
; For example, part of the AI budget might come from mine income, which the player can take away.
; 
; If possible, the AI should have to buy and maintain its assets. 
; This way the player could harm the AI by specifically targetting those assets if he chooses so.
; Ideally this gives the player another immersive way to do sth. in the game.
; For example, enemy helicopters have to be bought, fuelled and repaired.
; In order to stop enemy heli raids, the player could 
;   - shoot them down
;   - steal enemy fuel deliveries
;   - sabotage enemy helis in their airfield
; 
; There is a cyclic update of this AI. Each time the AI decides whether it wants (and can afford) new assets.
; These assets then have to be ordered and can only be used once arrived.
; The AI also decides how to use these assets.
; 
; This feature is not recommended for new players.
;
; For specific sector settings, see Mod_Settings.ini.
;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

; TRUE: Arulco Special Division is active
ASD_ACTIVE = FALSE

;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
; The AI has to buy its assets, and these need to be 'shipped' to the country before it can use them.
; These are the base costs in $ for AI resources.
; It is planned that at some point, the player and the AI will be able to influence these.
;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
; one unit of fuel, valid from 1 to 100
ASD_COST_FUEL		= 10

; a helicopter, valid from 1 to 1000000
ASD_COST_HELI		= 30000

; a jeep (armed with a MG), valid from 1 to 1000000
ASD_COST_JEEP		= 20000

; a tank, valid from 1 to 1000000
ASD_COST_TANK		= 50000

;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
; Once bought, it takes time for resources to get to the country.
; These are the base times in minutes for the goods to arrive.
; It is planned that at some point, the player and the AI will be able to influence these.
;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
; one unit of fuel, valid from 1 to 60 * 48
ASD_TIME_FUEL		= 480

; a helicopter, valid from 1 to 60 * 48
ASD_TIME_HELI		= 1200

; a jeep (armed with a MG), , valid from 1 to 60 * 48
ASD_TIME_JEEP		= 720

; a tank, , valid from 1 to 60 * 48
ASD_TIME_TANK		= 1440

;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
; Determine whether ASD assigns tanks and jeeps to enemy patrols and jeeps
;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ASD_ASSIGNS_TANKS = TRUE
ASD_ASSIGNS_JEEPS = TRUE

;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
; Tanks and jeeps are not refueled, instead fuel is required upon 'creating' them
;------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ASD_FUEL_REQUIRED_TANK = 100
ASD_FUEL_REQUIRED_JEEP =  20

;******************************************************************************************************************************
;******************************************************************************************************************************


I've altered the prices of things a bit - while I know you cannot get a heli for 30k or a tank fro 50k, this should be somewhat better balance-wise.

It thus follows that if the player manages to disrupt the enemy supply (by denying it funds by damaging its shipments or otherwise), the AI cannot field tanks and combat jeeps (the pre-placed tanks in Meduna are an exception - think of them as the 'iron reserve' the Queen already has and keeps in Meduna. For now, there isn't really a good way for the player to do that. I have plans for that, but this requires several other features that I have yet to finish.

Similar, I am not at all happy with how ASD 'decides' to give the Strategic AI vehicles, but for now this will do. I plan to eventually improve this.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #344633 is a reply to message #344630] Sun, 20 March 2016 22:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Panzer

 
Messages:82
Registered:February 2016
Location: Altis, Sometimes Tanoa
I feel that within five years nearly all if not the vast majority of the AI's actions will be governed by the ASD. Anyone else seeing it? BTW. 50k for a tank is actually realistic price. Visit a site called MortarInvestments. Cant post a link due to low post count

[Updated on: Sun, 20 March 2016 22:36]




I have no Wife, Children, or real Job. This also means I have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to think of a rebuttal. You have been warned.

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Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #344640 is a reply to message #344633] Mon, 21 March 2016 17:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Morbo513

 
Messages:47
Registered:February 2015
Location: West Yorkshire, United Ki...
Tbf those are refurbished mothballed and antique vehicles, not brand-spanking new and combat-ready vehicles. Most late-Cold War to modern AFVs cost a bare minimum of $500,000 USD per unit - not to mention the logistics that support them.

Anyway, this is an awesome feature, and indeed having all the enemies' actions dictated by this AI would be very welcome.
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #344643 is a reply to message #344640] Mon, 21 March 2016 18:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3809
Registered:July 2009
Just think of it as the cost of fuel, parts, ammo and the manhours for maintenance for one sortie rather than new acquisition and it probably gets into the right ballpark.



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Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #344654 is a reply to message #344643] Tue, 22 March 2016 01:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Panzer

 
Messages:82
Registered:February 2016
Location: Altis, Sometimes Tanoa
T-72 isn't really an old tank. many nations still use it. Anyway ill grant that expense could potentially be closer to 60K with shipping, fuel, and ammunition. Parts, well depends on where you get the tanks. otherwise Their T-72s are more or less combat ready. (then again they are in varying conditions.)

[Updated on: Tue, 22 March 2016 01:16]




I have no Wife, Children, or real Job. This also means I have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to think of a rebuttal. You have been warned.

"I got another problem: I am being overrun by Dinosaur Nazis on Hoverboards!" -Ravenhugger

"Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares? He's a mile away - and you've got his shoes!" - Unknown Criminal
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #344694 is a reply to message #343738] Thu, 24 March 2016 19:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
MurphysLawTesties

 
Messages:14
Registered:December 2015
Location: Lithuania
Flugente wrote on Mon, 11 January 2016 12:06
There are, in fact, mods several years old that do just that (don't have a link though as I can't find anything in this forum).

Lorewise this wouldn't happen, as AIM has a policy to prevent such an issue (members fighting on both sides in a conflict), I think.

Technically, it is very easy to do, though atm I am not interested in it.



Well, Mike got paid enough that he left AIM's employment. Maybe Deidranna could do the same for other mercs ?

Also MERC isn't really AIM and Speck is barely keeping it afloat, So I could imagine him selling his mercs to both sides



Not much you can say to a man who carries plush versions of the women he screwed
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345674 is a reply to message #344694] Tue, 24 May 2016 22:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
I've fixed an oversight on my behalf in r8233: If a campaign was started before this feature was introduced in r8015, and then the save was used with exes created since, the ASD update function was not periodically called, effectively neutering the feature. This bug only existed in campaigns started before r8015. This fix fixes that, regardless of whether ASD is active in your campaign or not.

[Updated on: Tue, 24 May 2016 22:08]




"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345954 is a reply to message #345674] Sun, 19 June 2016 13:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RunAwayScientist

 
Messages:85
Registered:September 2001


Hey Flug, quick question:


How is the replenishment of ASD's budget handled? I.E., does actual mine income factor into the ASD's budget? I see this mentioned in the description, but am unsure if this was actually coded in (as in, the ASD has a fixed budget which never replenishes).

Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345955 is a reply to message #345954] Sun, 19 June 2016 14:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Apart from getting a huge initial payment ($200000 and a few tanks and jeeps), ASD gets the income of any mine the player does not own (though I make sure that no mine runs out this way).

The downside is that later on, when the AI needs more money, the player has all the mines. I have plans to address that though with as a sideeffect of not-yet-created feature though.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345956 is a reply to message #345955] Sun, 19 June 2016 14:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Zarax

 
Messages:51
Registered:February 2007
Location: Italy
Didn't you want to implement external agencies sometimes?
Have Ricci Mining & CO legal office write a polite letter to the first time a mine is conquered, stating that there will be consequences to your actions.

Maybe once you own more than half the mines you could send and "envoy" that will negotiate with you a choice: either sell through them (reduced income) or be prepared for a reaction (ASD income boost).
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345957 is a reply to message #345956] Sun, 19 June 2016 14:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Hu. That's a good idea too. Hmm....



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345969 is a reply to message #343706] Mon, 20 June 2016 09:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Zarax

 
Messages:51
Registered:February 2007
Location: Italy
It might be a good way to use some UB NPCs creatively...
Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345985 is a reply to message #345969] Tue, 21 June 2016 13:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RunAwayScientist

 
Messages:85
Registered:September 2001
Feature Request: Following the idea that the ASD handles tank and hummer procurement (and also out of frustration trying to balance Queen troop replenishment), I'd like to suggest tying in the ASD budget system to troop recruitment. Consider them foreign soldiers similar to Kerberus to replace troops lost from the base troop pool.

When mine income dries up, so too does the Queen's additional supply of troops. This can be in addition to <QueenPoolIncrementPerDifficultyLevel> or used to replace it entirely.

Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345987 is a reply to message #345985] Tue, 21 June 2016 15:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Thundercat

 
Messages:50
Registered:November 2009
These are great ideas and can't wait to see them extended in depth. As I had written on a wrong post some time ago a few good features could be:
1. Queen has special elite forces that control robots. Since you could get one through Dr. Kairns quest, imagine intire armies, like patrols, made by them. Even some of them fixed on the upper floor of the Sam Sites. That work automatically or manually.
2. Battle Ships at bay of the Cities that have a port. Sudden attacks of the Queen to those cities by sea.
3. A Ghost town made entirely from zombies, like 500 spawning from every where really fast, away from Balime near the border. All that area is empty, or an island south of Palmas with an oil company that gives you money just like a mine and with a very long bridge made of two sectors for example extremely guarded.
4. Why not put the entire MERC company to the availability of the Queen? Or at least take away half of the mercenaries make them strong like Mike or better and implement them as Queen's personal Royal Guard or something.
5. Add missiles, like the SAM's but for ground targets to be put in some strategic points and shoot you from the other side of the sector, or even from sectors adjacent to mines killing your militia, forcing you to go to the sector to eliminate them.
6. After three heads given to Carmen have the possibility to finally recruit him.
7. Carlos or Dimitri betrays you and Miguel joining Joe and the above royal guard in the palace in meduna revealing your position and plans....

I am afraid I got a bit carried away here... I imagine some suggestions are very hard coded to even take under consideration.
thumbs26.png  Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #345995 is a reply to message #345987] Wed, 22 June 2016 07:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RunAwayScientist

 
Messages:85
Registered:September 2001
Thundercat wrote on Tue, 21 June 2016 12:30

1. Queen has special elite forces that control robots. Since you could get one through Dr. Kairns quest, imagine intire armies, like patrols, made by them. Even some of them fixed on the upper floor of the Sam Sites. That work automatically or manually.



http://i.imgur.com/mLik3Ta.png
.
.
.
Oh god, yes. Yes, please.


(( This is one suggestion that is doable. Excessive, but doable. ))

[Updated on: Wed, 22 June 2016 07:29]


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #346114 is a reply to message #345995] Wed, 06 July 2016 04:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RunAwayScientist

 
Messages:85
Registered:September 2001
Hey Flug,


Just a quick code edit request. Based on play-testing, I was wondering if it would be possible to raise the maximum value for the ASD helicopter fuel resupply to a LONG INT value or equivalent (9999).



This request comes about after being pummeled in the early game by elite drops. At max refuel value, the queen can still send two elite drops per day on a location. I would like to limit air-drops to once per week which could be achieved by increasing the resupply arrival time of fuel for the ASD helicopters. Specifically, the following .INI setting:



; time to repair 1 HP at the home base in minutes, valid from 1 to 10
ENEMYHELI_FUEL_REFUELTIME = 201




I'll look over the code on my end and see if the value can be raised. If so, I'll copy-pasta it here.



EDIT: Got it, in GameSettings.cpp. Since I can't commit to the SVN, I'll submit this to you, Seven/Dep/Flug.


Modified Line:
"Modified Line"


Full Modified Code (GameSettings.cpp):
http://pastebin.com/KxEgxVz0



Since I'm unsure if it's an INT or FLOAT/DOUBLE, I simply set it to 255. Upon testing, this edit works as intended.


I noticed something interesting during testing. Previously, two helicopters would 'stack' on a single sector; doing simultaneous drops. Now, the drops are spread out and the Queen attacks two sectors over a period of hours. Most likely due to the added delay, the code discounts a sector with elites already in it. Much more effective.



[Updated on: Wed, 06 July 2016 05:33]


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #346117 is a reply to message #346114] Wed, 06 July 2016 19:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
I take it that means the feature is working well ;) Any details on what happened? I'm always interested in having feedback that stuff actually works happy

Anyway, ENEMYHELI_FUEL_REFUELTIME is the time it takes the AI to refuel 1 unit of fuel. Increasing that seems excessive to me, but yes, it would definitely slow down helis as you want. Thus I've increased the max value to 9999 in r8269.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #346123 is a reply to message #346117] Wed, 06 July 2016 22:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RunAwayScientist

 
Messages:85
Registered:September 2001

Hey, awesome, good stuff. Thanks, Flug.


I omitted a lot of data on some of the decisions the AI made (namely what sectors it went after) since it seemed fairly random. But perhaps not. I'll try to be detailed.


I raised the fuel range for the ASD helicopters to 50, so that the enemy helicopters can cover the entire map. Therefore, the farther the ASD helicopters travel the longer it will take for them to be re-used. 201 * 50 = 10.050/60 = 167.5 hours to refuel (6 - 7 days)


Before changing the fuel values and on initial testing when this feature was added to the build, Omerta and San Mona became priority targets. Very often, two groups of 6 elites would be dropped on the San Mona locations. If the first helicopter drop was defeated, a second would shortly follow. In addition, I noticed sectors would have '12' troops in its location. Farms, Drassen, Omerta, or San Mona. I assumed a second air drop was done on the location to reinforce it.


Sometimes mercs did not comment on airdrops. I'm not sure if this is tied into the 'CHANCE_SAY_ANNOYING_PHRASE' value (I have mine at 40), but it might be confusing to some players when a combat dialog box suddenly appears. This might not be a bad thing, since surprises are part of war (so deal with it newbie).


During testing, I cleared out Chitzena, San Mona, Drassen, Omerta, the two North SAMs, and about 8 different farm facility sectors added by Wildfire/1.13 . With ASD refuel at a value of 10, it literally took about 5 days for nearly all of these locations to be re-taken by air drops. With a troop pool of 1.250, the Queen did not send additional attacking forces to re-take city sectors. I do not know if this means that ASD heli attacks have been tied into the attacking code (as opposed to supplementing it), or if the Queen was not fast enough to prioritize an attack before ASD code dispatched helicopters.


The latter might actually be the case, since with my tweaks the Queen makes decisions once every 12 hours (with Generals at 5). The ASD helis attacked once every 8 hours (at 10 refuel time).


I of course encountered the bug where the game would hang/crash if attempting to load an unloaded sector where a heli-copter attack is occuring. I am unsure if this has been fixed yet, but the only workaround at the moment is to simply retreat and attack from the side.


Priority targets appear to (annoyingly) be San Mona and city sectors, with farm sectors or Omerta having the least priority. I do not know what method you used to determine attacked sectors, but I think randomly hitting locations is preferable to prioritized locations.


Obviously you have a massive workload now, but when you do get around to XML-izing some of the ASD heli options, I'd like to remove 'Brothels' as a target for the ASD ; such that the queen honors her agreement to vacate San Mona. I'll admit, it is tactically devastating to have a major source of early game income cut-off, so I'm not complaining too much but I can't decide if it makes sense for elites to enter San Mona or not. Hmmm...


Good stuff though. As an experienced player, this adds a new dynamic. Again, with my settings of 201, as the player nears Meduna the helicopter attacks become more frequent (less fuel used) and this seems an appropriate balance. Since I have helicopters turned on in the very beginning of the game, it also seems like the elites are 'hunting' the player after they arrive in Omerta (since there are many farms in Wildfire outlying Omerta). Being hunted and tracked down by elites is something that makes sense strategically for the Queen to do.


Hope that gives you some data to play with.



Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #349687 is a reply to message #346123] Mon, 01 May 2017 03:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TrentL

 
Messages:68
Registered:February 2015
Location: United States
Played through a campaign with this on. Interesting moments.

Appears to be a bug towards endgame.

AI keeps spawning helicopters even after I took Meduna airport and the SAM site next to it. This has the uncomfortable problem of randomly spawning elite troops in the airport as well which A) either causes game to crash with an exception (if players mercs occupy same spot as AI tries to spawn, I think), or b ) is a major pain in the neck to try to defend since the elite AI troops spawn next to your deployed mercs..

Makes it hard to even get militia trained up; game keeps crashing on a battle on that sector, have to time a save properly, abandon it, and re-take it after the enemy shock troops spawn again and again.

Can't destroy the enemy helo once the player owns the sector, occasionally it decides to fly off and gets shot down.

Sometimes even after positioning mercs around defensively so the battle can start (I own meduna airport and have 12 mercs there) it wants me to re-position my troops but doesn't give me an insertion edge. (This seems to happen more if I have all my mercs occupied on tasks. if I have one set to squad X it will either crash to desktop or start the mission and I get annihilated by elites spawning all over around my mercs)

Flug can you tweak this a little so it still works properly in the end game? Maybe shut off enemy AI spawning helicopters and elite ambush troops once you control the airport and sam site in meduna?

http://i.imgur.com/WAuuWER.png

[Updated on: Mon, 01 May 2017 03:42]

Re: New feature: Arulco Special Division[message #349706 is a reply to message #349687] Thu, 04 May 2017 00:23 Go to previous message
Flugente

 
Messages:3422
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Hmm. The odd thing is that the checks I coded in it should already prevent exactly that scenario. Hmm. Seems like I missed something. The exe revision you are playing on would be helpful, but as I haven't coded in that part since some time, it's likely you already have the newest code.

Unfortunately, I have no idea when I can get back to coding, so for now, the best fix for you would simply be to turn off the enemy helis in your game via ini, sorry.



"Is there any way to get the blood to flow up the walls?"
"I don't see why not."

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


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