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Very interesting points. For the record, I observed two good games last night (the 2nd one will feature on the channel as this weeks game, btw) - and I observed closely if any of the players appeared to be autotraining. I'm somewhat pleased to say I don't think any of them did, and yet they matched what I could achieve in terms of rapid unit production with autotrain just by their own skill. That motivated me to practice a bit without autotrain in Single player - and using the insight I got from using autotrain, I was able to elevate my unit production. Not as good as with it, but it showed there are still lots of techniques that I simply haven't sussed. I feel much better knowing that. 

It's a strange place to be in. I'll be honest, I actually really enjoy using both techniques, and it takes a slightly different skillset to develop your army each, and certainly adds an element to the game. As an experiment, maybe even a future episode on my channel, I might find an opponent willing to test out playing me using each method and see how differently the games pan out.

However, in multiplayer generally, I'm going to trust that most players either aren't aware the option is there, or like me are willing not to use it as per the spirit of fair competition. I'll certainly know what to look for in the replays, though, if I come up against some training with near robotic abundance! I guess you're all right, there are always methods to circumvent the code and the spirit of any game, and 0AD is kind of set up for those exploits to be opened up if someone is so disposed. And we all know about those games that let players pay money to have what is clearly an unfair advantage. But 0AD is free and I hope that the vast majority of players do feel a greater sense of achievement through hard work and practice of the base game, rather than something that artificially supplements them in their areas of weakness. 

And I feel really bad for the poor, unfortunate noob I toasted yesterday using autotrain! But I won't mention it if you guys don't! :) 

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version 0.17.9 Fix:    Game setup civ assignment: nicks with custom rating now work  Updated:  FXAA: using official svn 24 alpha version (should fix some problems wit

What is AutoCiv This mod is an aggregation of features meant to enhance the 0 A.D. game experience. I usually implement these extra features as they come up with no general plan in mind. Downlo

version 0.17.1 Add: Minimap flare.  Press Alt + Mouse right click on top of the minimap to send a flare signal to allies*. Only one flare can be shown at a time. Observers cant send them. * Will

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Whether or not there are other gameplay exploits does not make auto-train any less of a cheat if only one player has it and the other does not. That's just a logical fact. We can address all the other exploits and cheats, but this discussion was about auto-train. I'm not saying the game shouldn't have it. I wouldn't mind it as a standard feature in match setup (I wouldn't use it, but it's a popular enough feature, and "high level" players can always turn it off). But again, that's if it was a standard feature available to all, not just those who happen to download a mod. 

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I agree it's going out of topic. In the staff forums we have been saying that I will stop signing mods that change the mod detection code. For instance autociv "hides itself" from the list of enabled mods, specifically in multiplayer. I can't "unsign" it, but all mods will need a new signature for A24, at which point autociv and others will have to remove this hiding feature in order to appear on mod.io.

As odalman mentions, this is not going to fix the underlying problem. Players can install non-signed mods manually, they can even modify the engine code if they have the skills. Out of sync errors will prevent players from directly modifying the simulation to their advantage, but they can always tweak the UI, implement auto-train and other things...

The change to signing is mainly made in order to be fair and more open to players using mod.io who might be unaware of autociv's (and others) internals. I'm not sure we can do more without resorting to complex measures like using servers.

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5 hours ago, Itms said:

I agree it's going out of topic. In the staff forums we have been saying that I will stop signing mods that change the mod detection code. For instance autociv "hides itself" from the list of enabled mods, specifically in multiplayer. I can't "unsign" it, but all mods will need a new signature for A24, at which point autociv and others will have to remove this hiding feature in order to appear on mod.io.

As odalman mentions, this is not going to fix the underlying problem. Players can install non-signed mods manually, they can even modify the engine code if they have the skills. Out of sync errors will prevent players from directly modifying the simulation to their advantage, but they can always tweak the UI, implement auto-train and other things...

The change to signing is mainly made in order to be fair and more open to players using mod.io who might be unaware of autociv's (and others) internals. I'm not sure we can do more without resorting to complex measures like using servers.

I'm on board with disabling some "questionable helpers" for competitive rated games but I wont cripple the mod so we all have the same lower bottom minimum 0ad experience when these features could/should be in the game rather than as a mod. Just stating that these mods are trying to improve the playability not cheat.

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14 minutes ago, nani said:

I'm on board with disabling some "questionable helpers" for competitive rated games but I wont cripple the mod so we all have the same lower bottom minimum 0ad experience when these features could/should be in the game rather than as a mod. Just stating that these mods are trying to improve the playability not cheat.

Completely agree. The only questionable thing we find in a few mods is the code that removes the mod itself from the list of enabled mods. Players should be aware that their opponent is using autociv or any other mod (in theory: as I said, they can't know if their opponent changed the code locally).

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Well, mods that don't change the simulation can be said to be compatible (simplified) and there is no need to enforce all participants to have the same set/order of installed/loaded mods to be able to play with each other. There was more than one occasion were I wanted to pull my hair because I couldn't even run a replay of a match because of a "wrong order of mod" or similar error message when there shouldn't have been an issue in the first place. Hence a more fine grained mod compatibility model should be devised or refusing to sign mods which "hide" could be considered a regression as far as I understand.

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Add some metadata to mods describing their changes for example if an analytical approach is to tricky so a less conservative model can be devised. Just because a mod may change others doesn't mean they do. I mean if I add a mod with some maps nothing changes unless I play those maps. So such a mod should not prevent me from replaying a match played with those maps missing.

 

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given the thread has been moved can it be added to the official autociv page (https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/24649-autociv-mod-0ad-enhancer/) or say it wasn't me the one who created this new thread pls ? 

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i just hope that most of autociv features will get new version of 0ad because it clearly shows what is "lacking" at this moment. and while it became integral part of new version there can't be discussion about cheating. Since mod is public to everyone there is nothing like that relevant.

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On 9/5/2020 at 4:32 AM, odalman said:

I assume that you mean many wall sections built from a turret. Easily fixable by requiring a minimum angle between them.

I assume that you mean for example the "lethal deathboat" with 17 catapults. Could probably be fixed with some effort.

I assume that you mean infinite food from corrals or fields combined with bartering in the market. This gives infinite resources, limited by the time the market needs for the barter rate to regenerate between barters. Seems like a feature. If it can somehow be done instantly it is a bug and probably fixable.

Of the exploits smiley points, only autotrain pertains to nani's mod, which is actually a feature of it and not widely used.

I think by stacked walls he meant layers of palisades.

By stacked siege, a formation trick that leaves units on top of each other, the exact same spot, imagine 10 catas shooting where you can only see one.

Cata ships are a vanilla feature and by the way you only need 9 catas inside, the other 8 were adding nothing.

The market trick(s) are(were) old and fixed. Found and reported by principality: float value gives infinite resources and shift clicking insanely long route between near points for adjacent markets.

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12 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Can a replay "reorder" the mods for that one replay, or do we not want replays to have that ability (it could be exploited or something)?

Possibly there could be feature to enable mods required for the replay, but restart of application would be must anyway,

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12 hours ago, sarcoma said:

The market trick(s) are(were) old and fixed. Found and reported by principality: float value gives infinite resources and shift clicking insanely long route between near points for adjacent markets

I forgot about that one. I think there was also another exploit. I am second guessing whether it was in the barter code or the tribute code now. This one was also fixed.

The rest are exactly what I meant.

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16 hours ago, nani said:

given the thread has been moved can it be added to the official autociv page (https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/24649-autociv-mod-0ad-enhancer/) or say it wasn't me the one who created this new thread pls ? 

Merged.

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On 5/25/2020 at 1:10 PM, nani said:

version 0.17.1

  • Add: Minimap flare.  Press Alt + Mouse right click on top of the minimap to send a flare signal to allies*. Only one flare can be shown at a time. Observers cant send them.
    * Will only be visible to people who also have the mod

Hi @nani, looks like the last version released on mod.io is 0.14.0-2. Where can 0.17.1 be downloaded from?

 

.. Nevermind, I see it on the first post in this thread.

Edited by andy5995
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On 9/6/2020 at 5:04 AM, Itms said:

but all mods will need a new signature for A24, at which point autociv and others will have to remove this hiding feature in order to appear on mod.io.

Will a refined mod dependency check be included in A24 to compensate for this?

If using balanced-maps requires enabling/disabling all the time just to play vanilla/bal-maps it will practically kill the mod. As an example I would imagine community-maps to be way more popular if they had the 'hide mod' hack implemented, since there are many high quality maps there and quite enjoyable ones at that.

I don't mind letting the user know which mods players are using, as long as:

1. All can see, not only host
2. A refined dependency check is added that allows for mods to be shown while not 'greyeing-out' vanilla games.

With regard to mods adding features that might be considered hacks:

In my opinion any RTS should strive to have as much quality-of-life features implemented while not keeping the game in auto pilot as possible. The idea is to focus players on finding out what their opponent is doing, implement counter strategies, get good trades with superior tactics, be greedy when there's an opening for superior economy, take map control; basically the fundamentals of RTS and what actually makes games interesting.

Even though it's inevitable part of this kind of game for players with enough attention control to be able to always be training units have an edge, this should not be decider of games. As well as other attention grabbing actions, like the assign-to-heal feature of autociv (another possible 'cheat' according to some). I don't use both features and I don't condone using those, but I understand the arguments of those who do so.

A mod that offers such features should be praised in my opinion, nevertheless I agree any such discrepancies should be highlighted in-game in the spirit of fair play or competitiveness.

The points I numbered above detail what I think in practice fix the issue. Another interesting possibility of showing the mods (and ideally offering an option to require mods, when they don't change simulation) is to require anti-cheat/exploit mods. Some of those mentioned before but to recap:

1. Wall/ram/catapults stacking
2. Hill ungarrison abuse
3. Patrol dancing
4. Gaia resource drain
5. Market floating point res gen
6. Some other I forgot

Edited by badosu
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For the record, it's entirely possible for a game that relies on intense micro management to be enjoyable (e.g. Starcraft 2) I just prefer the alternative (maybe because I can't micro for my life :LOL:)

But at the same time, games like that usually have a simpler resource model. I see AoE more like 0ad than Starcraft for instance.

Edited by badosu
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On 9/9/2020 at 9:25 PM, badosu said:

For the record, it's entirely possible for a game that relies on intense micro management to be enjoyable (e.g. Starcraft 2)

@badosuI think that's only true for some people. I don't micro well either, but I still enjoy 0 A.D.. I'll never be as good as the pros, for my lack of micro skills, but I still enjoy the game and just do my best. Usually it's just me and a friend or two playing against the AI's.. We usually get pretty balanced and enjoyable games. :)

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Not to beat a dead horse, but some examples I just remembered:

In Starcraft 1 you need to assign workers to the mineral lines (the games resource) manually every time they are spawned, and they spawn 1 by 1. Or have to queue the worker again, anyway it's some bullshit like that.

A player that can micro and constantly assign workers for each spawning facility certainly has a major advantage over those who don't. Does that make it a more interesting game or reflect the players strategical skill? I don't think so.

So much that it was fixed in Starcraft 2.

One less extreme example is the auto-scout functionality in AoE2 DE that was recently introduced. It does not perform a significant role in high level tiers in the game but still can be viewed as a QoL improvement to some.

On the other hand, farms need to be constantly reseeded, which requires wood. High level players don't auto-reseed at the early game due to needing to manage tightly their resources at that stage, however this is indispensable in the later game when their attention need to be shifted elsewhere and the resource rampup is smoothier.

Does that mean I think autotrain or autoretreat should be features in the main game? I'm not sure, I'm quite used to how I play the game and I like to think I can be decent without them. But if players discover that this can be a game-changer and makes games more enjoyable in the points that are important, I wouldn't like that to be hampered. Additionally mods that enable improvements like those could be staging grounds for experimental features that improve the game substantially, even differentiating it from run-of-the-mill RTSs.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

Edited by badosu
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