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Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: Yesterday at 05:48:55 PM »

Good Stuff!

Report on performances?

Still sub-1-second turns, although very early in game. A lot of AI thinking going on but I will see how it looks with a lot more systems. Asteroid orbits are on BTW.
Posted by: froggiest1982
« on: Yesterday at 05:43:55 PM »

Good Stuff!

Report on performances?
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: Yesterday at 04:17:26 PM »

Two years into the second test game now and the NPR is progressing reasonably well. Here are some screenshots showing NPR activity in the five systems it has discovered so far. The first two screenshots are both the home system, but at different zoom levels. The seventh screenshot is the current ground force deployments made by the NPR.

In this first screenshot, two harvester groups are redeploying to a recently discovered gas giant in another system while the two Kagero class tankers are waiting for civilian harvesters to fill up. A troop transport group is moving a couple of garrison formations to a colony orbiting the second star (not on this screenshot) and five civilian freighters are moving to collect automated mines from the home world to transport them to the same colony. They have just returned from an infrastructure drop in Goranthis and decided on the contract while in that previous system. That contract was created by one population AI stating its need for automated mines and a second population AI independently deciding it had spare automated mines. The fleet AIs check for those matching supply and demand opportunities even if they are in a different system than either the supply or demand populations. In fact, a fleet will plot a series of moves from current system to pickup system to drop-off system and will not begin any contract until its has the whole route worked out.

The two Soryu class ships are gravitational survey ship waiting for a new survey opportunity. They returned home for fuel and resupply when they completed their previous task and had no immediate work to do. There are two more Soryu's deployed in another system but the AI (for this design theme) is only deploying two gravitational survey ships per system. The three Kumas are missile destroyers. They are waiting for a suitable operational group to join and will not form their own group as none of the operational groups in this design theme have Kumas as a key element. However, if there are too many spare Kumas, no more will be constructed and their shipyard will retool to a class that is in demand (missing from operational groups). Additional harvesters and troop transports have been constructed as well. They are key elements so the three harvesters formed a single operational group and the two transports each formed their own group. When suitable escorts are constructed they will move to join those groups. In the meantime, the new harvester and troop transport groups have been deployed by the Race AI.



This is an expanded view of the home system. At the B component are two geological survey ships and a troop transport. The transport is delivering a planetary defence regiment to a new mining colony. Each population determines its own value and then sends out a demand for installations and ground forces, depending on that value and the type of colony. The fleet AIs will sort out the installations contracts without higher level guidance. The Race AI determines the deployment of ground forces, depending on what it determines is the greatest need and the availability of troop transports. When populations AIs are building installations and ground forces, they will check the current demand from other population AIs and build installations and formations that have a higher Empire-wide demand than supply. This population in the B component is asking for a tracking station so the AI at the capital is currently building one to meet that demand. The decision to establish this mining colony was based on a 'mining score', which reflects quantity and availability of mineral deposits. This score gives a higher value to any minerals in short supply and can therefore change over time, which may cause the AI to redeploy its mines.

The NPR geosurvey ships have a new Standing Order - survey next thirty bodies - which means there will be less duplication of effort.



This screenshot shows a couple of jump point stabilisation ships working on recently discovered jump points (I need to fix the Op Group name :) ). The stabilisation ships have standing orders to find suitable jump points within constraints set down by the Race AI. The Race AI will not allow them to enter systems where it perceives a potential threat and will tell the System AI to pull them out of the system via the safest route if such a threat develops. The FAC Hunter Squadron is a small combat force of four ships that the AI has deployed to protect this colony of about a million. While there are three larger battle fleets at the capital, the Race AI has determined this colony is not yet valuable enough to send a larger force. The troop transport has recently dropped off a garrison formation and is awaiting new orders. The two terraformer groups have been sent here by the Race AI, which has identified Goranthis III as its best terraforming option. This decision is periodically reviewed as new planets are discovered. The Mogami is a scout ship awaiting new orders.



Here we have two gravitational survey ships which were sent to this system by the Race AI. On arrival, their own standing orders take over. If they complete their task and the Race AI has no immediate need for them, they will find a colony with refuelling facilities. The other ship is a scout awaiting orders.



Here we have two jump point stabilisation ships. One is working on a jump point, while the other is heading home to refuel. A geosurvey ship, sent here by the Race AI, is surveying the asteroid belt while a scout ship is awaiting orders. Some types of operational groups, such as scouts or warships, will move to a population or inner planet if they have no other orders from the Race AI.



Here we have a harvester group that was recently dispatched by the Race AI to the outer gas giant. The troop transport has recently dropped off a construction regiment on the second planet to begin recovery of abandoned installations. A xenoarchaeological expedition is also on the planet, although it has already completed its work. It will remain here until needed elsewhere.



This screenshot shows the current ground forces deployments made by the Race AI.  I've closed the home world node as it has a lot of formations.

Posted by: Rogtuok
« on: Yesterday at 08:40:19 AM »

Maby you can send egosoft a mail offering your help
Posted by: Jovus
« on: December 04, 2018, 12:19:32 PM »

What if they are three times as strong as you and now you just angered them and they come back with a fleet you have no hope of defeating... ;) ...instead you could have become friends.

Friends? What are you, some kind of space-hippie?

On a serious note, this is one of the things I'm very much looking forward to. Not necessarily making friends with NPRs, but the possibility being on the table, rather than automatically ruled out by suicidal JG construction and even more so by performance concerns*.

*Yes, I understand the sensor problem is still a problem.

ETA: accidentally posted just the snark
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: December 04, 2018, 11:24:27 AM »

Looks like we will have to watch NPRs more closely in the future, to assess what they most likely will be doing, because they will be more unpredictable. Which is great... looking forward to that.  ;)

Eliminate all unpredictability by purging them at first sight!

What if they are three times as strong as you and now you just angered them and they come back with a fleet you have no hope of defeating... ;) ...instead you could have become friends.
Posted by: Rye123
« on: December 04, 2018, 06:12:19 AM »

Looks like we will have to watch NPRs more closely in the future, to assess what they most likely will be doing, because they will be more unpredictable. Which is great... looking forward to that.  ;)

Eliminate all unpredictability by purging them at first sight!
Posted by: TMaekler
« on: December 04, 2018, 03:23:35 AM »

Looks like we will have to watch NPRs more closely in the future, to assess what they most likely will be doing, because they will be more unpredictable. Which is great... looking forward to that.  ;)
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: December 04, 2018, 02:58:02 AM »

Steve, thanks for the answer on the ground invasion piece and delighted by the 'battle group' suggestion.  Sounds like a pretty good solution.  One possible suggestion - BTW, I'm utterly ignorant on coding so it is strictly a game play suggestion - perhaps there should be an 'Invasion' battle group that is separate and distinct from the 'Troop Transport' one.  An Invasion is a major undertaking, potentially involving significant fleet combat, air/space engagements, and then a subsequent blockade to combat is resolved - it will be a contested affair.  A simple troop transport mission could be for uncontested expeditions and internal reassignments but I think an Invasion TF might have to be something different.

The current NPR transports are commercial. When I add the invasion code I will add an assault transport group, plus there will be an AI decision regarding likely opposition and chance of success before any invasion is launched.
Posted by: Kristover
« on: December 03, 2018, 08:12:09 PM »

Steve, thanks for the answer on the ground invasion piece and delighted by the 'battle group' suggestion.  Sounds like a pretty good solution.  One possible suggestion - BTW, I'm utterly ignorant on coding so it is strictly a game play suggestion - perhaps there should be an 'Invasion' battle group that is separate and distinct from the 'Troop Transport' one.  An Invasion is a major undertaking, potentially involving significant fleet combat, air/space engagements, and then a subsequent blockade to combat is resolved - it will be a contested affair.  A simple troop transport mission could be for uncontested expeditions and internal reassignments but I think an Invasion TF might have to be something different.
Posted by: Hazard
« on: December 03, 2018, 06:43:13 AM »

The previous game is still in the main database, so I will conduct that test at some point. Just concentrating on AI at the moment.

Regarding this.

Given the fact there's 5 factions involved, you could run it multiple times, in 4vs1, 3vs2 and free for all. It'd test the ally system at the same time and IIRC you can just simply duplicate the database for reruns.

It'll take more time of course.
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: December 03, 2018, 04:05:29 AM »

Extremely excited to play this when it is ready.  Steve, given that the AI is identifying and using troop transports to move expeditions (i.e. ground troops) to other systems, does that mean we will be seeing NPR initiated ground invasions?  I know that is more complex - how does the AI know the right force mix to send?  Can it successfully assign escorts to troop transports? - but that would give reasons to garrison combined arms formations on worlds.

The AI has a concept of 'operational group', which is a mix of capabilities required for a specific role. Different AI design themes have different types and compositions for operational groups but there are common roles, such as Battle Fleet, Destroyer Squadron, Harvester Group, Troop Transport, etc. (about 20 so far and growing). The operational groups always have a 'Key Element', which is the ship type that is mandatory for the specific role, plus a number of optional types.

For example, a Battle Fleet may compromise a specific number of missile cruisers as a key element with optional slots for AMM escorts, beam escorts, beam warships, anti-fighter and anti-FAC destroyers, etc., while Troop Transport will include the actual transports as the key element, plus optional escorts. Each operational group is a single fleet, which avoids all of the VB6 issues with escorts not staying close to capital ships. This means you may encounter NPR harvesters, terraformers, mining ships, etc. with attached escorts, depending on the design theme.

The NPR starts with a number of intact operational groups with all slots filled. As new ships are built they are assigned to existing operational groups with empty slots or, if they have a key element role, become the core of a new operational group.

When the Race AI is deploying fleets around its territory, it knows which operational groups are suitable for the task. For example, when it identified a small ruin, the AI looked for an available Xenoarchaeological expedition (i.e. not already assigned to a ruin) and for a troop transport operational group that had the capacity and could make the run (depending on jump gates). For exploring jump points, the AI might choose an available scout OG or a gravitational survey OG. The AI knows what existing groups are doing so it will choose one without a current task, although in some circumstances the existing tasks will be overridden, such as when hostile forces are identified.

I haven't coded ground invasions yet, but I plan to add that. The AI already has a lot of code for deploying ground forces based on the value of its populations (or ruins or ground survey sites). It can assess which forces are necessary where they are, which forces are available to move and what forces are required in various locations, taking into account forces already in transit. I will need to add hostile populations as a potential destination and add the forces required (based on observation of defences).
Posted by: Kristover
« on: December 02, 2018, 08:26:01 PM »

Extremely excited to play this when it is ready.  Steve, given that the AI is identifying and using troop transports to move expeditions (i.e. ground troops) to other systems, does that mean we will be seeing NPR initiated ground invasions?  I know that is more complex - how does the AI know the right force mix to send?  Can it successfully assign escorts to troop transports? - but that would give reasons to garrison combined arms formations on worlds.
Posted by: Kurt
« on: December 02, 2018, 05:51:20 PM »

A quick update on the new C# test campaign. I have one player race, starting at conventional with one billion pop, and a single NPR, starting with TN Tech. I am almost at the end of the first year. The player race did badly on scientists and won't research TN tech for about another five months.

The NPR rolled well and has a larger population. Starting forces included warships, orbital defence bases, survey ships, scouts, harvesters, orbital miners, terraformers, troop transports, salvage ships, jump point stabilisation ships (construction ships in VB6) and tankers. Ground forces included infantry and armour regiments, brigade HQ formations, planetary defences with both offensive and PD STO weapons, geological survey expeditions and xenoarchaeological expeditions.

So far, the NPR has:
  • Explored two new systems with both geological and gravitational survey ships.
  • Built jump gates into those systems.
  • Established colonies in one of the new systems at a small ruin and at a mining site that has ground survey potential.
  • Used troop transports to move a xenoarchaeological expedition and a geological expedition respectively to those two colonies
  • Carried out the ground survey.
  • Moved terraformers into the system and begun to terraform the world with the ruin.
  • Deployed harvesters to appropriate gas giants (including moving them when a better option appeared).
  • Used the tankers to move fuel from the harvesters to the capital
  • Refuelled survey ships when they had no immediate tasks
  • Started upgrading all shipyards
  • Started building ships in all those shipyards
  • Built Mines with construction factories
  • Produced missiles based on the requirements of the ships, taking account of the existing stockpiles
  • Started building new ground forces based on the requirements of the existing populations
  • Selected the next group of research tasks and begun that research
Several of the above tasks required different combinations of Race, System, Fleet, Ship and Population AIs.

No combat yet but the basic functioning of the economy is good so far. I've fixed plenty of bugs and I suspect there are many more to come as the situation becomes more complex.

That is seriously impressive Steve!  Keep up the good work!

Kurt
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: December 02, 2018, 05:06:16 PM »

Well, that sounds excellent.

No AAR/dissection of the previous test campaign's ground combat system though?

Would've been nice if that worked as intended.

The previous game is still in the main database, so I will conduct that test at some point. Just concentrating on AI at the moment.
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