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Dvoongar's Barrage of Questions
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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, well, in Warp 10 I tinkered with non-weapon mounts. It's fun!

Now that I think again, I think that mounts use a different ability table than components.


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Test number 11 is underway and looking good so far. The AIs are colonizing, and there's nothing new left to transfer over. If I weren't so numb I think I'd be thrilled.

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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't know what got into me back in Dec, or Jan, or Feb, when I must've done it, but there are no special caution notices in my notes - just one mighty high risk component thrown in as if it should be taken for granted that the thing'd work.

Here's the LOWER-risk version I'm about to test (the original version's just embarrassing)
Code:
Name                                            := Mobile Research Computer Core
Description                                     := Computer core (and consoles) enabling ships to research new technologies.
...

Number Of Requirements                          := 2
Requirements Evaluation Availability            := AND
Requirements Evaluation Allows Placement        := TRUE
Requirements Evaluation Allows Usage            := TRUE
Requirement 1 Description                       := Empire must have at least tech level 1 in Automated Research Assets.
Requirement 1 Formula                           := Get_Empire_Tech_Level("Automated Research Assets") >= [%Level%]
Requirement 2 Description                       := There is a limit of one Research Computer Core per vehicle.
Requirement 2 Formula                           := (Get_Design_Specific_Component_Count("Orbital Research Computer Core") + Get_Design_Specific_Component_Count("Mobile Research Computer Core") <= 1)
Number Of Abilities                             := 3
Ability 1 Type                                  := Point Generation - Research
Ability 1 Description                           := Shipboard Research Cores presently generate [%Amount1%] research points per turn.
Ability 1 Scope                                 := Space Object
Ability 1 Range Formula                         := 0
Ability 1 Amount 1 Formula                      := (Max(0.27, (40 / Max(13, get_empire_specific_facility_count("Research Center")))) * (50 + ([%Level%] * 5))) + (4 * (Get_Empire_Tech_Level("Applied Research")) - 2)
Ability 1 Amount 2 Formula                      := 1
Ability 2 Type                                  := Point Generation - Research
Ability 2 Description                           := Features of this design may result in additional [%Amount1%] research points per turn (unreliable).
Ability 2 Scope                                 := Space Object
Ability 2 Range Formula                         := 0
Ability 2 Amount 1 Formula                      := ((1 + Get_Design_Ability_Component_Count("AI Tag 09") + Get_Design_Ability_Component_Count("AI Tag 10") + Get_Design_Ability_Component_Count("AI Tag 05")) * 10)
Ability 2 Amount 2 Formula                      := 1
Ability 3 Type                                  := Storage Cargo Space Amount
Ability 3 Description                           := Mobile Research Cores count towards cargo space requirements, and only one is allowed per vehicle.
Ability 3 Scope                                 := Space Object
Ability 3 Range Formula                         := 0
Ability 3 Amount 1 Formula                      := 0
Ability 3 Amount 2 Formula                      := 0
Weapon Type                                     := None


Ability 2 there bases its output on the specifics of the design. I have serious doubts that can be done, now that I think about it.

Ability 2 is also the same kind of ability as Ability 1, and that could cause problems.

Even Ability 1 is a little risky, since it involves fluctuation instead of one-shot variables getting set into a fixed value. Something similar has already been tested and actually does work on facilities, so it isn't just shooting in the dark.

...

Now if I'm really, really lucky, my wild goose chase for the mystery component or vehicle size that's causing some sort of cascading domino effect, and generating inexplicable bugs may be over. I believe something somewhere is parsing during the load-up check, and then subsequently failing. I found and fixed others; I hope this is the last one.


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marhawkman wrote:
Oh, well, in Warp 10 I tinkered with non-weapon mounts. It's fun!

Now that I think again, I think that mounts use a different ability table than components.


Actually, getting the AI to use some of your mounts, at least, shouldn't be too difficult. A certain but laborious way would be to assign AI tags to the components eligible for given mounts, and then have the "best mount" choosing part make the corresponding assignments. *

I discovered yet another place the game seems to require simple entries: the cost field was failing to utilize a fairly simple & straightforward iif formula for the research cost of shields. I don't know exactly what was going on, but it seems to have been rendering the result as zero. The AIs got shield levels to the moon, and as soon as I unlocked shields it shut down my access to the research board, giving me the "floating point" error and bombing the game every time I tried to get in.

All I was doing was trying to make empires with a certain racial trait pay more for shield research. It's not terribly important, so I remove the offending code.

Have to start a fresh new game, yet again. That last game was miserable at first, but it grew on me. The map was cool, and I was fairly evenly-matched fighting the Cue Cappa. If they'd been human-run, or if the Xi Chung weren't hitting them from the other side, things would've been difficult for me.

---

* If you go to do that, you don't have to always add fresh "new" abilities; most components have some "description only", and you can just replace that with your AI Tag entry.


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, certain fields in the game simply do not accept formulas... at all, and there might be some that only accept basic math.

I actually did a starbase research ability in Warp 10. which for whatever reason only works if it orbits one of your colonies.


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marhawkman wrote:
Yeah, certain fields in the game simply do not accept formulas... at all, and there might be some that only accept basic math.

I actually did a starbase research ability in Warp 10. which for whatever reason only works if it orbits one of your colonies.


Oh!

I was wondering about that. I just figured it worked straight up. I wondered how come my research comp wasn't working right. Shucks...

Other than that, things have been going great. If not for my stupid toothache, I'd be thrilled.

I'm just almost out of excuses not to get busy and do the work that's left to finish off the mod.

I have one issue I can't decide on, and opinions are welcome. I don't like the way AIs leave their resource-gathering ships as sitting ducks. I started to fix that, but then I saw that the fix I had in mind was almost as bad: just having them bug out any time an "enemy" ship is seen in-system could cause more trouble than it cures. The economy is very tight, and to have those ships perpetually on the run won't do.

So what do players do? When do you have a remote farmer bug out, and when do you have him stay put?

There's more to the decision than I realized at first. Some of those workhorses are armed, and some of them are set to ram; the attacker takes a risk if he brings too light a ship or gets too close. Overall, the odds heavily favor the warship, so it still makes sense to get them out sometimes.

I just rely on guesswork or intuition myself. The main issue is: does that ship have something better to do, or is he going to get aggressive?

I could introduce another variable to the AIs - give each of them a "spook factor", and then compare it against a random number. If I really wanted to work, I might factor in range also. I'm not even near skilled enough to factor in direction, so that's not an option.

Thoughts?


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In combat: Remote miners are typically too slow for ramming to be effective. they might get lucky, but often they'll just die. Running is also risky, but somewhat more likely to work. If it's armed it might as well fight. But most remote miners won't have more than a token amount of firepower.

Out of combat: my main thought is; if it runs where will it go? Sure, if it doesn't run from the enemy ship it might get attacked and destroyed, but if it doesn't relocate to somewhere it can mine then it's dead weight. Mining ships usually aren't expensive enough to be worth protecting like that, IMO. In conclusion, leaving it in place to be destroyed is better than having it not mining.


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murphy0512
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 30, 2014

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you have a fleet in a near by system ready to protect your minning porcess. Like a swat fleet of sometype.

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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marhawkman wrote:
In combat: Remote miners are typically too slow for ramming to be effective. they might get lucky, but often they'll just die. Running is also risky, but somewhat more likely to work. If it's armed it might as well fight. But most remote miners won't have more than a token amount of firepower.

Out of combat: my main thought is; if it runs where will it go? Sure, if it doesn't run from the enemy ship it might get attacked and destroyed, but if it doesn't relocate to somewhere it can mine then it's dead weight. Mining ships usually aren't expensive enough to be worth protecting like that, IMO. In conclusion, leaving it in place to be destroyed is better than having it not mining.


Actually, the Balance Mod scripts have some helpful tools built-in. They can identify friendly systems without (known) enemies, and even which friendly systems are next to systems with (known) enemies. If I had to work that out myself, I wouldn't even try.

Anyhow, finding places that aren't known to be dangerous isn't difficult. There is, however, the issue of a total lack of "safe" destinations to work out. Empires don't always have a choice.

murphy0512 wrote:
Unless you have a fleet in a near by system ready to protect your minning porcess. Like a swat fleet of sometype.

The AI uses patrol ships. I think even a nearby "Attack Ship" or "Defense Ship" might be assigned to intercept if it isn't doing anything else. Then it has "Defense Fleets", which I haven't ever studied. Experience tells me they are factors too.

The Balance Mod AIs have weaknesses, but they have strengths too. Under the right circumstances, they'll respond well to incursions.


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murphy0512
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 30, 2014

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zwo_Dvoongar wrote:
marhawkman wrote:
Oh, well, in Warp 10 I tinkered with non-weapon mounts. It's fun!

Now that I think again, I think that mounts use a different ability table than components.


Actually, getting the AI to use some of your mounts, at least, shouldn't be too difficult. A certain but laborious way would be to assign AI tags to the components eligible for given mounts, and then have the "best mount" choosing part make the corresponding assignments. *

I discovered yet another place the game seems to require simple entries: the cost field was failing to utilize a fairly simple & straightforward iif formula for the research cost of shields. I don't know exactly what was going on, but it seems to have been rendering the result as zero. The AIs got shield levels to the moon, and as soon as I unlocked shields it shut down my access to the research board, giving me the "floating point" error and bombing the game every time I tried to get in.

All I was doing was trying to make empires with a certain racial trait pay more for shield research. It's not terribly important, so I remove the offending code.

Have to start a fresh new game, yet again. That last game was miserable at first, but it grew on me. The map was cool, and I was fairly evenly-matched fighting the Cue Cappa. If they'd been human-run, or if the Xi Chung weren't hitting them from the other side, things would've been difficult for me.

---

* If you go to do that, you don't have to always add fresh "new" abilities; most components have some "description only", and you can just replace that with your AI Tag entry.


A "floating-point" is just a 0.0 type of number instead of a whole number e.g 10 and if the function is set to only accept "floating point" then thats what it will allow. So somewhere in the formula, you might not have had a floating point of some kind.


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyhow, finding places that aren't known to be dangerous isn't difficult.
My point was more about finding places where the miner would be useful. I suppose you could send it to a fortified location, but.. you can't have it hide indefinitely.

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murphy0512
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 30, 2014

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marhawkman wrote:
Quote:
Anyhow, finding places that aren't known to be dangerous isn't difficult.
My point was more about finding places where the miner would be useful. I suppose you could send it to a fortified location, but.. you can't have it hide indefinitely.

If the miner has enough supplies and movement maybe running to a system with a lot of asteroids or inhabitable planets, thus giving you maybe a turn to send reinforcements to the rescue.


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's a nice idea, IF a suitable location is available, and not being mined already.

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murphy0512
Space Emperor


Joined: Jan 30, 2014

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea thats true, but maybe have script checks to make sure there is not a miner in that system or sector to be mined

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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marhawkman wrote:
Quote:
Anyhow, finding places that aren't known to be dangerous isn't difficult.
My point was more about finding places where the miner would be useful. I suppose you could send it to a fortified location, but.. you can't have it hide indefinitely.

Okay, that's not a problem. The script already works off a list of promising asteroid locations, and also checks to make sure the location isn't already taken. It might be a little tricky at some point, working out the contingency for cases with no safe locations. Other than that, I don't foresee any real difficulties.

The main problem is setting any fixed policy. If the miners are always moving, they're a drain on the economy. To do it smart would almost take some sort of activity measurement; if there's no security and non-allied empires are running wild everywhere, just stay put. ...And something like that is likely beyond my present skills.

If I bother, I'll probably just assign a fixed chance or give each race a "spook factor". With things random, sometimes they'll get it right, and at least sometimes it'd look like they're trying and not just braindead.


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this is unworkable, it's because I've never done AI modding.

Anyways, maybe have it check for a location before deciding if it will move? Also the check for a safe location would need to take into account the distance to the target. Moving to a safe place is pointless if it takes a long time to get there. I'd maybe cap it at 2 turns travel.


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marhawkman wrote:
If this is unworkable, it's because I've never done AI modding.

Anyways, maybe have it check for a location before deciding if it will move? Also the check for a safe location would need to take into account the distance to the target. Moving to a safe place is pointless if it takes a long time to get there. I'd maybe cap it at 2 turns travel.


Good idea!

...It's going to have to wait, in any case. I just ran into a wall of burn-out. I don't want to look at any more code. We'll see how long it lasts. I need to finish the mod properly first, then maybe worry about stuff like this. It could be a miserable couple of weeks ahead.

In my test game, I'm starting to experiment with the research generation components. I'll try to watch for what you said. There's something very strange too: the reports on how many points they make differ. If you rclick on the component, it'll say it's making one amount; then if you check the "production" from the shiplist, it gives a much greater amount.

I confess the formula's somewhat complex; perhaps one routine doesn't fully implement and calculate it all and the other does. Balancing the things is just guesswork at this point, since I can't tell whether they're making something like 38, or about 180 points. (My memory's not perfect, so those are approximate; anyhow, you get the picture.)

The game is killer fun to play. Hard to pull myself away from "testing" and work on the mod. Part of that could be that I wasn't in a position to play for so long, too.


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... do you have empire-wide research production bonii? If so, that could account for the discrepancy.

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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't know what it's factoring in, but the good new is that for this game at least, the components are working steadily, both on ships and bases!

I'm not fully confident, since the first game I tried them they didn't seem to make any impact on my research total. Still, this is a good sign, and justifies keeping them in.

Other things are going well. I'm altering some here and there, mostly tech costs. I'd almost like to call it quits and just leave the mod as it is. Many issues resolved, and many things working well - just the things that aren't right are standing out.


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, the Bad Colony Ship Design Bug has returned to haunt my scripts. It's different this time: the normal AIs aren't having trouble - just the auto-complete.

I tried to track the problem down for over a day, and I'm trying to get myself to give up. It isn't a show-stopper if players have to design their own ships.

It's just such a challenging mystery. I didn't mention one other twist: the flags are in place, and it's still not producing legal designs. What I mean: the flagging part has to have done its thing prior to engine installation because a percentage of the time the engines are (properly) being downgraded to ions, instead of just taking the best. With the flags in place, there's no reason it shouldn't see the flags for components that count as "engines" and make the corrections. It sees 'em and works just fine for the AI designs.

Not looking for advice or help really - you'd need to view the scripts, and even then, good luck... Just kinda telling the story as it unfolds. This is SO frustrating.


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it's good to know it mostly works. This reminds me of an issue I had when I made the original asteroid mod. The Hydrogen asteroids had the flag offset several hexes. I was never really able to fix it without messing up something else.

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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, another plan fails. Modding the regular data files, we can use "Empire_Has_Racial_Trait()". Know what? In the scripting language, there is no equivalent. The only way to discover racial traits is indirectly, checking for abilities or access to tech areas.

I'd been just only testing - not working on scripts lately, trying to put a plan together in my head for altering research depending on racial traits. It's not even worth the effort now, if it'd even be possible. I'd probably have to waste AI Tag abilities, and the result would involve two or three more layer of complexity and indirectness. I had trouble enough envisioning it straight.

So anyhow, one less feature for the mod, and that much time wasted, and one more resenting-the-limits-of-the-scripting-language incident.


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what limitations are there on using AI tags?

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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are only 20 of them... Sad

That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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Zwo_Dvoongar
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 02, 2011

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 11:05 pm    Post subject: Trivial news Reply with quote

Continuing testing, I discovered that the output of my research component isn't ...what one would expect. Same level, same component, right? On pop transport and on patrol design, reported output is 177; but on supply ships the reported output is only 39.

I'm guessing maybe a pattern will turn up in time, but for now it's just going to be screwy, and I'm very reluctant to try any changes to balance the component. Extra research is extra research, and pot luck is pot luck. You get what you get, and if it ain't worth it, don't use the fool thing. That's all I can figure.

This'll actually favour human players, since they can see which designs turn out more profitable, and adjust production accordingly.


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