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AI and the walls dilemma


Sapphro
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Hello.
I would ask for reconsideration for how the AI works. It doesnt build walls, though it follows some kind of pattern of building it's structures.
If so, what is the barrier for building the walls? It would improve the gameplay quite much. An option for it is to make the "radiant" system of building, by layers around the city center, as it is now for defense towers. E. g. first layer, randomly placed fields, houses, military structures and the last walls. Of course, if AI encounters natural obstacles, it will skip this place for building. Another option is to copy the AI behavior from Strongholds. Also, why it doesn't upgrade old towers to stone ones? At least, in my experience.

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Hello, and welcome to the forums.

The reason AI doesn't build walls is that this behavior is not implemented. Same reason for the stone towers. There has been limited activity on its development in the past 4 years.

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3 hours ago, Sapphro said:

Hello.
I would ask for reconsideration for how the AI works. It doesnt build walls, though it follows some kind of pattern of building it's structures.
If so, what is the barrier for building the walls? It would improve the gameplay quite much. An option for it is to make the "radiant" system of building, by layers around the city center, as it is now for defense towers. E. g. first layer, randomly placed fields, houses, military structures and the last walls. Of course, if AI encounters natural obstacles, it will skip this place for building. Another option is to copy the AI behavior from Strongholds. Also, why it doesn't upgrade old towers to stone ones? At least, in my experience.

Why would building walls strengthen the AI instead of weakening it? Which top player builds walls?

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3 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

Why would building walls strengthen the AI instead of weakening it? Which top player builds walls?

It is not a question of strengthening the AI, it is about general complexity of the game. Simply, the AI should have access to everything the player is able to use. As an instance, it was not implemented in AOE3 due to technical reasons rather than making the enemy more pragmatic.

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IMO a defensive AI should realy build walls if the terrain allows it.

3 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

Which top player builds walls?

If no top player's do build walls, walls should be made stronger (or siege and ellephants weaker). Walls are a part of the game.

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6 hours ago, phosit said:

IMO a defensive AI should realy build walls if the terrain allows it.

Yes, I'd like to see more distinctive play from the Defensive/Balanced/Aggressive AI levels, for sure. 

Secondarily, it'd be cool to have the AI player names have an associated behavior. So, the Miltiades AI having a greater chance of being Aggressive than the Hippias AI, for example. 

 

6 hours ago, phosit said:

If no top player's do build walls, walls should be made stronger (or siege and ellephants weaker). Walls are a part of the game.

I agree. Some work needs to be done to make walls fun and viable.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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13 hours ago, phosit said:
17 hours ago, Player of 0AD said:

 

If no top player's do build walls, walls should be made stronger (or siege and ellephants weaker). Walls are a part of the game.

This isn’t quite true. It happens in some circumstances.
 

Also, top players usually have the responsibility of dealing damage and do not need to build walls because they are a top player against inferior competition 

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any use of walls in top players competitions will not look nice like in old times walled cities, instead there will be walls placed in strategic passages intended to strengthen otherwise weaker spots. if a good player had any advantage walling up their whole town, then walls would be OP when used in a more strategical way.

this said, walls are a bit UP. also, it would be nice if the AI employed walls, in any fashon I guess.

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10 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

Also, top players usually have the responsibility of dealing damage and do not need to build walls because they are a top player against inferior competition 

This is true, but it would be nice if walls could be more useful for quick defenses, rather than exclusively for turtling (i guess palisades are used just to limit the movement of cavalry around one's base, but this is done long in advance). I think build times should be reduced for both palisades and walls.

For instance, you have just scouted a large group of infantry moving to your town from rather far away. In this case, one should be able to at least put up some palisades in anticipation.

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1 hour ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

This is true, but it would be nice if walls could be more useful for quick defenses, rather than exclusively for turtling (i guess palisades are used just to limit the movement of cavalry around one's base, but this is done long in advance). I think build times should be reduced for both palisades and walls.

For instance, you have just scouted a large group of infantry moving to your town from rather far away. In this case, one should be able to at least put up some palisades in anticipation.

Kind of. The better the player the more optimized the eco, the less time to build. If you get countered then there should also be a teammate that can help cover your base while you continue to push, etc. But I hear your point. 
 

Walls largely don’t work now because they’re nothing but an obstacle—a larger army can kill a smaller army that’s hiding behind a wall. The wall just gives the defender a chance to coalescence units. This is why I’ve said elsewhere that I think walls should largely function like towers

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I would say a player with better eco will usually wind up attacking more than defending. Palisades can be great for limiting ranged cavalry movement, but sadly sword cavalry can break through in a matter of seconds, hence my suggestion of adding a .3x for melee cavalry.

I think another issue with walls is how finicky they are to place. I would suggest making the obstruction box smaller for resources and buildings than it is for units, or perhaps allowing walls to remove some obstructions upon completion.

15 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

Kind of. The better the player the more optimized the eco, the less time to build

I think decreasing build time would make this much better, since you could decrease the number of gatherers needed to build a section, which reduces both walking idle time, worker minutes while building, as well as risk of failing to complete walls. 

For stone walls I think changing the number of turret positions to 16 or 20 could make that feature worthwhile.

Edited by BreakfastBurrito_007
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10 minutes ago, chrstgtr said:

The wall just gives the defender a chance to coalescence units.

yeah, my point was it would be nice if they could be better used to bide precious time to gather a defensive response. Ideally, the defender can benefit from the time the attacker wasted by pathing around or having to take down the walls (ie more time for a technology to complete researching before starting to fight).

I agree, they should also be a significant advantage for a defending army, but I think this should come from adding another row to turret space, rather than giving wall turrets arrows again.

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5 minutes ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

yeah, my point was it would be nice if they could be better used to bide precious time to gather a defensive response. Ideally, the defender can benefit from the time the attacker wasted by pathing around or having to take down the walls (ie more time for a technology to complete researching before starting to fight).

I agree, they should also be a significant advantage for a defending army, but I think this should come from adding another row to turret space, rather than giving wall turrets arrows again.

Yeah, my point is more the later. Walls should actually do something besides delay an attacker by a few seconds to power through or path around. Until then, walls are just annoying

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9 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

but I think this should come from adding another row to turret space, rather than giving wall turrets arrows again.

1920132307_ScreenShot2023-01-25at10_06_43PM.thumb.png.34e014b9df33d86f2dca33e4bbab41e2.png

Spoiler

1218340643_ScreenShot2023-01-25at10_06_16PM.thumb.png.f1c1d4f4231e5d264dadcde1aacb63e7.png

 

Spoiler

1902356651_ScreenShot2023-01-25at10_06_27PM.thumb.png.0df59cc3e2fd6e5b5e47c767394e68fe.png

What do you all think? I'd say it looks like a proper garrison force. We could try this out in the community mod along with faster build time.

perhaps this is off topic, as the discussion is really on AI. I will post a pic in the community mod discussion.

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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11 hours ago, real_tabasco_sauce said:

What do you all think?

This will encourage to play with more units. Which then does decrease performance. :wheelchair:

Would it be possible to make units on the walls stronger instead? more resistance and propably more damage.

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12 minutes ago, phosit said:

This will encourage to play with more units.

I would think the only difference would be players might want to put units up there more frequently, making the feature more used. The units on the walls already are stronger with more armor and vision range.

I predict the only type of player that would play with more units because of this would be someone trying to build some kind of mega city, with a lot of units up in the walls.

12 minutes ago, phosit said:

more resistance and propably more damage.

I think a flat attack range increase of 5 or 10 meters could be interesting, much more impactful for skirms which are usually not garrisoned.

I would say between doubling garrison space, decreasing build time, decreasing wall turret costs, and adding a range bonus to garrisoned troops, we have a lot of options on the table for potential improvements. I will think of an appropriate and balanced combination and we could try it out in the CM.

Edited by real_tabasco_sauce
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On 24/01/2023 at 12:27 PM, phosit said:

IMO a defensive AI should realy build walls if the terrain allows it.

If no top player's do build walls, walls should be made stronger (or siege and ellephants weaker). Walls are a part of the game.

I don't build stone walls, not because they are weak, but because I devote my workers and resources to making an army, military production buildings, and getting blacksmith upgrades.

If you wall off your town that is nice,  but you generally cannot wall off a safe space for woodcutters. If you are stuck behind your walls with an inferior army,  your opponent can continue to outgrow you, take map control, and attack you when you venture out.

I think there is a case for making walls when your opponent is using cav armies and I'm interested in exploring that.

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On 24/01/2023 at 11:58 AM, Sapphro said:

Also, why it doesn't upgrade old towers to stone ones? At least, in my experience.

There is an almost-finished patch by @smiley: https://code.wildfiregames.com/D4782.

As for the walls, the chances are bigger that the AI chokes itself than that it will pose any thread for the player, unfortunately.

@real_tabasco_sauce If I were you I would make that patch on Phabricator, not the community mod. This since we're 'close' (TM) to a RC and that would provide better context for the change. Up to you though.
My experience with garrisoning on walls is that it is hardly viable (against the PetraAI). Doubling the amount of units that can die on the wall isn't enough, IMHO. I'd vote for also increasing resistance and range a bit. The staticness of walls means you'll (almost) always be at a worse position against a good player, so buffing them a bit too much shouldn't be a big problem, I guess.

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1 hour ago, Freagarach said:

@real_tabasco_sauce If I were you I would make that patch on Phabricator, not the community mod. This since we're 'close' (TM) to a RC and that would provide better context for the change. Up to you though.

@FreagarachI largely agree that your suggested changes would make walls more effective. But there was a pretty massive backlash the last time the game went in a turtle-ly direction (a24) and one of the reasons for that backlash was people didn't like turtling. Since this potentially involves a meta change that could significantly change the length of games, I would make in community mod. Just my opinion. 

In general, I also think there's a lack of imagination with the way people build walls. Walls don't need to be an outermost defense that only separate armies. They can be built other places, like immediately around your forts, CCs, and, towers, which would make those defensive buildings much stronger. 

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3 hours ago, Freagarach said:

As for the walls, the chances are bigger that the AI chokes itself

It's probably not realistic, but sometimes I wish the AI knew how to make additional gates; like when they're iber and the terrain blocks half the gates.

 

1 hour ago, chrstgtr said:

In general, I also think there's a lack of imagination with the way people build walls. Walls don't need to be an outermost defense that only separate armies. They can be built other places, like immediately around your forts, CCs, and, towers, which would make those defensive buildings much stronger. 

When I saw walls in replays they were used for just that: bolstering defensive lines and structures.

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8 hours ago, chrstgtr said:

@FreagarachI largely agree that your suggested changes would make walls more effective. But there was a pretty massive backlash the last time the game went in a turtle-ly direction (a24) and one of the reasons for that backlash was people didn't like turtling. Since this potentially involves a meta change that could significantly change the length of games, I would make in community mod. Just my opinion. 

I'd say it doesn't have to be all or nothing. For instance, if we are ok with changes after the feature freeze, I could just submit the wall doubling patch for the release candidate, and further changes can be done in the community mod.

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