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i like the idea of varied a.i. skill. maybe you can get same missions but with different level of difficulty and their for smaller reward.

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Varying AI skill with rank is nice idea. easy to do and understand. i like the idea of seeing a ship and knowing the captain is dangerous/easy depending on rank. add variety.

 

Also the points about AI cheating messing with this new patch are a real issue. they have absurd advantages in sailing, boarding, reloading etc. a santi we saw could fire almost continuously, a pavel i boarded with my pavel, which had 1/3 the crew, 1/2 the marines, 1/4 the muskets was trading musket volleys with me and he was killing more than me. this is silly. there is no need for such hard AI and AI cheating. its just artificially hard, there is no level of skill to overcome AI cheats.

 

So i really agree with the prevailing mood in this thread which is that AI changes are nice, but need to be toned down

Edited by JCDC
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3 AI

Ai is challenging. Clause 2 increased the problem, bots penetrate better than before (just like players).

We fixed their stupidity in shooting (they always overshot to stern before), in their reloading (their reloading got stuck sometimes even if you were in their sector of fire), in their crew management. Also their marines had 1 melee bonus instead of players 1.75

 

We want ai to be challenging - so lets give it some time to test and figure it out (if more changes are needed).

We wanted to add the following things to the AI in the next 2 content patches.

  • teach them to chase and demast
  • teach them to board 
  • teach them to operate in groups and focus fire
  • create several roles and patterns for bots (like bots that can parry you or backstab you in Dark souls)

This would increase the options in generating interesting missions and events

But based on the patch feedback - we are worried that people want that. Seems that people just want bots for relaxing and enjoyment  (not necessarily a bad thing).

 

One thing that must be kept in mind that as the AI becomes better, the initial learning curve and difficulty of the game becomes even more brutal. Already I have heard new players complaining about having serious problems with winning missions at all. I took a lowest level missions to test an exceptional oak Privateer with 18-pounder carronades, the enemy in the missions was a lone Cutter and it was brutal! Even with my carronades (and a fighting distance that greatly favored them) I had mere 1/3 of armor left on the sides of my ship and no stern armor when the battle was over.

 

I have over 400 hours clocked to the game on Steam and while my 7th rate skills might be a bit rusty, I went into that battle knowing how the game works and plays. If I had been in a basic cutter with medium 4 pounders I don't honestly know if I would have come out a winner. For someone going into his first fight, not knowing half of the controls and struggling with the basic sailing and gunnery, not to mention tactics, that fight would be just absolutely savage. Player fleet ships and carronades would help but those are of course only available after the player has successful fought several missions.

 

The player needs some sort of edge in the missions of his own rank (it used to be the incompetence of the AI but that is becoming less and less of a thing), maybe a friendly ship in lowest level missions (or give players a fleet ship right from the start), carronades as the starting weapon to win at the DPS race or under-gunned or under-crewed npc ships in the lowest level missions. If the NPC are becoming better and better (even approaching the efficiency of players) then having players fight missions where the odds are one-to-one or even against the player is just not reasonable, no military would even order a mission like that.

 

In my opinion a mission that is meant for the level of the player should have the player at slight advantage, fighting a ship or a fleet slightly weaker than the player's ship at that rank. If the player wants more challenge, he can take a mission of higher rank. If the player wants easier missions, he can take a mission of lower rank. The latter is of course not an option for lowest rank players and that is what needs to be addressed most urgently. I have of course absolutely nothing against the AI improvements, I would love to have a fair and competent AI without the cheats (massive crew bonus, free marines, faster reload etc) that offers a nice challenge and interesting battles, there just has to be something easier than 1-vs-1 with equal ships for the new players (not that the AI ship is that equal with all the cheats and bonuses).

Edited by Marcomies
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One thing that must be kept in mind that as the AI becomes better, the initial learning curve and difficulty of the game becomes even more brutal. Already I have heard new players complaining about having serious problems with winning missions at all. I took a lowest level missions to test an exceptional oak Privateer with 18-pounder carronades, the enemy in the missions was a lone Cutter and it was brutal! Even with my carronades (and a fighting distance that greatly favored them) I had mere 1/3 of armor left on the sides of my ship and no stern armor when the battle was over.

 

I have over 400 hours clocked to the game on Steam and while my 7th rate skills might be a bit rusty, I went into that battle knowing how the game works and plays. If I had been in a basic cutter with medium 4 pounders I don't honestly know if I would have come out a winner. For someone going into his first fight, not knowing half of the controls and struggling with the basic sailing and gunnery, not to mention tactics, that fight would be just absolutely savage. Player fleet ships and carronades would help but those are of course only available after the player has successful fought several missions.

 

The player needs some sort of edge in the missions of his own rank (it used to be the incompetence of the AI but that is becoming less and less of a thing), maybe a friendly ship in lowest level missions (or give players a fleet ship right from the start), carronades as the starting weapon to wind the DPS-competition or under-gunned or under-crewed npc ships in the lowest level missions. If the NPC are becoming better and better (even approaching the efficiency of players) then having players fight missions where the odds are one-to-one or even against the player is just not reasonable, no military would even order a mission like that.

 

In my opinion a mission that is meant for the level of the player should have the player at slight advantage, fighting a ship or a fleet slightly weaker than the player's ship at that rank. If the player wants more challenge, he can take a mission of higher rank. If the player wants easier missions, he can take a mission of lower rank. The latter is of course not an option for lowest rank players and that is what needs to be addressed most urgently. I have of course absolutely nothing against the AI improvements, I would love to have a fair and competent AI without the cheats (massive crew bonus, free marines, faster reload etc) that offers a nice challenge and interesting battles, there just has to be something easier than 1-vs-1 with equal ships for the new players (not that the AI ship is that equal with all the cheats and bonuses).

 

The devs need to read this and think long and hard about what this does to a newbie who just bought this game, is in a basic cutter RIGHT NOW trying to do his first mission.

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Changes are great, don't listen to all the cry babies. Some changes to the AI and Tagging mechanics are questionable, but everything else is stellar. Myself and everyone in my clan like it. Don't listen to the whiny vocal minority, they are the ones more motivated to bitch than those who enjoy the changes. Uncapturable AI ships was a fantastic change that made buying boats a necesity now, rather than capturing ships and sailing them every level up.

 

AI have some weird moments and are a little cheaty in terms of arc of fire. Waterline, fleet battles, and XP changes are well received. 

 

Thank you for the hard work, and keep up the great work!

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Point 3, AI

 

I don't mind giving the AI a better performance now and demasting and better boarding etc in the future...

However: the old AI "cheats" + better performance = op

 

"Cheats" are eg: AI can load different types of ammo, eg balls on starboard, grape on larboard, players can not. AI doesn't suffer from sail damage and crew reduction as much as players do. AI ships always have a full set of perfect upgrades, players have not.

AI ships sail faster and turn faster than the same type run by players, AI reloads faster, AI is able to aim thru smoke etc etc.

 

Letting the AI have the old "cheats" and a better performance at the same time is what makes them op now !

 

These "cheats" are figments of your imagination.

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1 Leaks

 

1.1) You are completely right in reducing the amount of RNG in the game, at least to an extent. The changes to how leaks are generated sound simply excellent. Adding all kinds of details into the damage modeling will probably improve the game a lot as it develops. How about for example looking at fires as well at some point?

 

1.2) Leaks as a real gameplay element is definitely a good thing and I'm sure will be tweaked further and made better as more data comes in.

 

1.3) RNG may still have a role in good game design, even when simulators are concerned. In reality what happens to a ship when hit by a cannonball can be a very complicated event and since damage modeling is by necessity approximating reality some RNG can be useful in making the results varied and interesting. I'm sure you already understand this, though, and I'm looking forward to further development to the damage modeling.

 

2 Penetration & damage

 

2.1) It's hard to say no to bug fixes so I won't, good job.

 

2.2) However, I feel strongly that more transparency is required in giving players the necessary information they need in trying to understand penetration and how different guns work in different requirements. I'm sure research on cannon effects on warships exists and we could research it, but that's not the key thing here. Since damage modeling is an approximation of reality the key thing is understanding how the Naval Action weapon / damage modeling works and that can only happen if developers explain their views and implementations in enough detail. Then we can discuss on its merits and if it works as intended or not (I can see how this might be annoying, though).

 

3 AI

 

3.1) The goal of the good AI is to not be as good as possible, but as human as possible. This does often begin with knowing how to be really good and then adding the human part on top. Usually AI ends up being superior in details such as shooting accuracy, but worse in more complex things such as tactics.

 

3.2) I would advice against compensating relatively poor tactical skills with superhuman accuracy, reflexes and gold upgrades for the ships. They tend to increase the feel of fighting an artificial opponent and lessen immersion. For greater difficulty rather give them bigger ships, more numbers and so on.

 

3.3) Most importantly the AI requires variety. There should be a variety of skill sets like shooting, tactical ability, aggressiveness (not all attributes need to be skill related, there should also be some other characteristics as well) and so on. Also note that it shouldn't be a straight progression but rather a set of attributes for a specific captain so that one might for example be a great shot, but tactically useless and average in sailing his ship while another might be a world champion in tackling and getting to a favorable position, but a bad shot and lack the aggressiveness to make the most of his opportunities.

 

3.4) Note that the AI could also actually be actual in-game entities and you might face a certain captain more than once. It's also very important to communicate at least some of the stats to the player (this captain has a total of 15 skill points so he is considered a legendary epic hero, that captain has a total of 2 skill points, he is considered useless (and likely to get thrown overboard by the crew if they ever get into a real fight)). In reality you would probably know if there's a legendary captain in a 1st rate or if he's some big shot's relative who got the position through connections. 

 

3.5) This is slightly off topic, but the AI is one part of a bigger whole and you also need to consider its relation to the game rules about acquiring and losing the ships. There is a massive disparity between humans who need to work HARD for their ships and the AI that simply gets an infinite supply of them and can sail them like they stole them. Even if average players can break even from a typical engagement with an AI regarding loss and gain of resources the poor to bad players will be completely shafted. Currently this means that basically players can't lose to the AI, almost ever - at least in the bigger ships. The question of what is a good AI needs to be defined as either good AI in ship to ship combat or good AI for Naval Action as defined by the other rules. Continued below in 4)

 

4) NPC ship capture

 

I'm purely a PvP player (have tried and have interest in small and large battles and other organized forms of PvP combat, though) and at a pretty high level so this doesn't affect me greatly. As I mentioned in 3.5) I do feel that for example the AI is strongly context-related and so is capturing ships. Capturing ships is a very powerful game mechanic in a game like Naval Action and whether or not it's good for the game depends entirely on how the rest of the game rules are set up. I can't provide a real answer to the question since it would require a lot of time and effort (and most importantly game design skills) to get to the bottom of the issue, but if you feel that there's no comfortable balance with or without the capturing mechanism (and for example you don't think the suggestions already in this thread remedy the problems you feel exist)I would suggest looking at the whole design of how the ships, ranks and other assets are gained and lost. A proper adjustment to this issue (and for example the AI as I mentioned earlier) may require adjustment of some or all the other rules.

 

Creating a working economy of ships and other resources is not easy, so best of luck to you in your efforts. So far you've done very good work in many areas and at least I would really like to see this game grow and prosper, there is fantastic potential in it and I have already enjoyed it greatly. Thank you for that.

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These "cheats" are figments of your imagination.

The AI loads faster, turns faster ( maybe due to manual sail turning being 100% perfect) Always have 30% more crew then you, always at 75 boarding and rarely misses shots now...hardly cheating.

 

Im not aganist the AI demasting, Boarding or going for raking shots...i am against the AI getting silly buffs to compensate as people claim...to me the AI seems pretty good at controlling a ship no need to buff it.

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These "cheats" are figments of your imagination.

 

they really arent. AI can turn on the spot when dismasted. their boarding battle effectiveness is much greater than ours, they can do broadsides more often and get more accuracy than humans. they always have high boarding prep, even when only on 1/3 crew and still firing guns and still manual sailing. this is impossible for a human player.

Edited by JCDC
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they really arent. AI can turn on the spot when dismasted. their boarding battle effectiveness is much greater than ours, they can do broadsides more often and get more accuracy than humans. they always have high boarding prep, even when only on 1/3 crew and still firing guns and still manual sailing. this is impossible for a human player.

Not to mention the clearly visible advantages like larger crew than extra hammocks and crew space trim combined can ever give for a player (at least before the hammocks buff) and large portion of marines which still doesn't have effect on the other operations of the enemy ships. The AI is clearly using more than the 3 permanent and 5 upgrade slots available and often on ships that have nowhere near that amount of slots to start up with.

 

In any case as the systematic errors and predictability in the AI's function are fixed, a simulation for human-error must be added (like missing shots not because of aiming algorithm flaws but because a human would do so occasionally) . Otherwise the AI will beat any human player every time.

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After testing a few AI battle I can say I have felt a difference in shot placement and damage with the AI. Using the essex and going against a frigate the AI was able to place 70-90% of his shots between 2 gunports on both sides of my ship from a good distance away and was able to out damage me, with me doing 200-500 damage per broadside according to the shot log to his 400-600. 

I can't tell if its just me feeling this way or if there has been changes to the game, but it feels very weird since the patch.

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OK, so I just had two fights in frigates (1 PvP, 1 PvE). I don't think I saw more than a few leaks the whole time.

 

I guess it's mostly the Niagara that's a death trap.

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Thank you very much for fixing the Ramming leak bug. A member in my clan lost a 3rd rate when another clan mate in a surprise did a turn a little too wide and scraped him at ~3-4 knots at the beginning of the match.

 

If I may put in my two cents regarding capturing NPC ships: I am the leader of a small, 18 member clan. We only have two people with a crafting level over 30, only one Level 2 Shipyard, and I have two commodores and a flag captain that came over from PVP2 to PVP1 (the entire clan came from PVP2). Being able to capture 3rd rates from NPCs meant that I could easily and effectively outfit those new members from PVP2 with third rates and Connies permitting us to have effective fleets. Now, due to the ramming bugs, we've lost half those capture third rates, and it'll be much harder for us to outfit ships; player-built SoLs were already ridiculously overpriced pre-patch. Now, with the increase in demand, those SoLs are completely unattainable for us. We just can't muster the funds at this time. This significantly reduces the effective of my clan to be able to defend the United States from pirate incursion and attack Spanish players who are hitting our allies, which is the last thing I want.

 

Perhaps we could find some sort of a middle ground; maybe give players a small capture quota day, where you can only capture x amount of NPC ships per day and then it'll send ships to the admiralty. I understand that we need to throw crafters a bone, but at the same time we also need to keep higher level ships in the realm of affordability for newcomers. With this patch, the grind has effectively switched from grinding the XP and crew to man the SoLs, to simply being able to afford and/or craft them.

 

so do fleet orders and farm cash that way....its easy money....the solutions to money are there.

 

 

 

On AI,   use the rank system to adjust the skill levels that way the opposition knows what they are up against.

 

 

for instance  make accuracy scale.  

 

midship 40% accurate - Milk run for training people basics and traders of lynx size

ensign   50% accurate - Missions

1st / 2nd LT  55,60

M&C - 65% (we are still not at the frigates yet)

Post - 75%

Flag - 85%

Commodore & RA - 90%

 

at least this way you can tune them based on a logical ranking system so that noobs get noobs and experienced players get challenge/underdog.   you don't need to train the opponents to Focus fire as that is the advantage we have over AI.  If enemy ships learn focus fire then they will beat players at high accuracy rates

 

 

capturing - pirate rules work  sub 3rds should be cappable but only grey/green  3rds and up are cash cows only

 

 

Leaks - Leaks are a good idea bad result.   Perhaps in stead of leaks which disappear or have too much of an impact you could make bad sailing = sail damage instead or maybe make a seeping leak for collisions that cant be repaired but keep the pump loaded?  Either way incidental damage and ramming are different so maybe try and split the mechanics.

 

honestly love the patch.  1.5 rule doesn't address the issue.  maybe making a patrol AI fleet that counter ganks or something but the other stuff really does make it funnerer

Edited by Fastidius

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Make AI as complex, challenging, hard and « smart » as possible. Don’t listen to grinders.

LeBoiteux, I have so much respect for your opinions :) (even if I obviously disagree with them at times), but really can't understand why you called players complaining about AI "grinders". I'm not a grinder, I've always played this game without caring about my rank but to enjoy it and improve my (mediocre) skills in the meantime. As I said, probably we need to get used to this new improved AI, but at the same time as testers we are trying to point out that probably the whole package of changes is a little unbalanced at the moment. There is a substantial difference between a "smart" AI (we all want a smart and challenging AI, I suppose), and an "unfair" AI. I think that many players (also experienced ones) are saying that AI is quite "unfair" after the patch. An "unfair" AI makes the game not more challenging or "skill based", but a little bit frustrating. As I said, I like all these changes, we probably need just to find the perfect mix/balance between them.

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I did some testing with the AI tonight. First was a basic cutter in a midshipman mission. I bought a basic cutter (PR happened to have live oak, no trim) and went into battle with the base 4lb guns and no upgrade. I was able to sink the enemy cutter with about half my hps left. I was trying hard in this battle and made sure to retain the weathergage so as not to expose my lower hull. 

 

On the way back, I saw a midshipman on a basic cutter so I messaged him asking if he needed help. Turns out he was headed to his first mission so I tagged along. It was another midshipman mission against a cutter. I allowed him to engage alone for the most part, but occasionally swooped in to give a broadside when I thought he was in a bad position. He did much better than I did in my first battle and it was clear he had played ship games before.  By the time the new guy had about 10% hps, the AI still had 25% and was clearly going to win. I told him to back off and I engaged to finish off the AI so he would complete the mission. I finished off the AI, but had taken 4 leaks below the waterline. I had 20 out of my 38 remaining crew on survival and was flooding quickly. I probably got to 75% flooded before they stopped the leaks and it started going down.

 

In my opinion these missions are WAY too difficult for a new player. I was happy to help him and he told me he probably would have attempted to get a refund (is that even possible?) had I not come along. 

Screenshot:

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/280722393127404217/8C15AC0008DBF665943B49F81A47D3F476D99EAF/

 

Last battle was a Post Captain mission in my Belle Poule. My BP is of exceptional quality made of Teak and Planking trim. I did not equip upgrades to help make up for the exceptional ship. The mission was against a Frigate, which I thought was a fair fight. His rounds seemed to penetrate me like butter, despite the decent armor the Belle Poule used to have. I won the battle with about 25% HPs left per side. I did not notice significant leaks in this battle.

Screenshot:

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/280722393127405279/DCCC9B8CBBCB37BACB0AF3CE761A1F2A5279CD8D/

I thought this was ok, but feel the BP is a superior ship than the frigate in a duel. I'm thinking the AI can be toned down a little bit. Not nearly as much as the midshipman mission needs to be though.

Edited by Lennyo
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1 Leaks
Ramming leaks - fixed
Penetrating leaks. We fixed multiple bugs and problems with leaks in the 9.7 but of course fixing bugs sometimes changes things.
What was fixed/changed
 
Theory
When shot penetrates the hull holes are created (white leak)
If the hole gets under water it starts leaking (red leak)
 
 
New leaks provide new dimension to gameplay and its a great thing. They might require tuning, but in general we want them to be dangerous.
 
 
2 Penetration and damage
Cannon class vs armor class incorporates many parameters. Unfortunately a bug sneaked in some time ago which reduced all penetration curves by 10%
Which means 42lb shooting at a cutter at 10 meters at 90 degree angle still had 10% chance to not penetrate!!!! huge bug. 
We fixed it. Probabilities are bad in skill based games thus we are removing them.
 
Thus you see that the damage seems higher. Its not damage - you penetration is now proper in all cases (not by some random number god). We just need to adjust classes based on data and it will return to normal. (unless we all like the new bigger damage).
 
 
3 AI
Ai is challenging. Clause 2 increased the problem, bots penetrate better than before (just like players).
We fixed their stupidity in shooting (they always overshot to stern before), in their reloading (their reloading got stuck sometimes even if you were in their sector of fire), in their crew management. Also their marines had 1 melee bonus instead of players 1.75
 
We want ai to be challenging - so lets give it some time to test and figure it out (if more changes are needed).
We wanted to add the following things to the AI in the next 2 content patches.
teach them to chase and demast
teach them to board 
teach them to operate in groups and focus fire
create several roles and patterns for bots (like bots that can parry you or backstab you in Dark souls)
This would increase the options in generating interesting missions and events
But based on the patch feedback - we are worried that people want that. Seems that people just want bots for relaxing and enjoyment  (not necessarily a bad thing).
 
 
4. NPC ship capture. 
ship capture we are not sure, but we know that many crafters are happy now, despite the fact that all ships up to constitution are now available in NPC stores.

 

 

1)Leaks are more serious now. That is a good thing however its hard to know how serious the leak is apart from it is above or below the water line. This can mean having a minor leak or a major leak is completely unknown until you start sinking and filling up.  Some guidance on the best ways to stop serious leaks would be handy (stop and down sails? keep moving? pop urgent repairs? pop hull repairs?).

I like it much better now than i did before.

 

2) This makes you need to be a lot more careful about how and when you take damage and makes breaking combat a skill that is needed now. This made doing an epic event with 4 rated ships vs 20 odd 5th and 6th rates something very challenging and loads of fun (we sunk 15 odd ships, some we managed to one shot). We needed to work together to clear chasers and clear combat. Crew loss is now something you need to keep an eye on. This is a great step in the right direction. 

 

3) I am all for making the AI a challenge, but i would prefer the AI mods to be scaled along with the rank and skill. I have lots of hours in the game and last night was some of the most fun i have had in it. New players should get the AI bot fleet for free to help get started.

 

4) NPC ships should only be able to be captured if it is one of the standard craftable ships. Another option is to make the less used ships flagged for capture. (cerb, frigate, Inger, brig, cutter etc)

 

 

 

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The only thing I have noticed that bothers me a bit, is that when sailing parallel to the AI (linefighting). Instead of firing broadsides, after some time they just seem to single shot as soon as a cannon is loaded. So they just continiously shoot one cannon at a time. I like it allot more when they do partial broadsides or full broadsides. Could be conincidence, dunno. Have never noticed that happening pre patch I think.

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Everyone, please keep on topic here, this thread is for discussing ai shooting, damage and leaks, not for any off topic discussions.

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LeBoiteux, I have so much respect for your opinions :) (even if I obviously disagree with them at times), but really can't understand why you called players complaining about AI "grinders". I'm not a grinder, I've always played this game without caring about my rank but to enjoy it and improve my (mediocre) skills in the meantime. As I said, probably we need to get used to this new improved AI, but at the same time as testers we are trying to point out that probably the whole package of changes is a little unbalanced at the moment. There is a substantial difference between a "smart" AI (we all want a smart and challenging AI, I suppose), and an "unfair" AI. I think that many players (also experienced ones) are saying that AI is quite "unfair" after the patch. An "unfair" AI makes the game not more challenging or "skill based", but a little bit frustrating. As I said, I like all these changes, we probably need just to find the perfect mix/balance between them.

Red Jack, I too respect your opinion. :)

We obviously weren't talking about the same thing :

1) You are talking about the previous changes in AI (that are discussed at length in this thread : http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/13210-hotfix-971/page-6#entry241952

I like the current AI : challenging but not unfair. Leaks may need tuning though as Admin wrote.

However I respect your opinion. We could discuss that in the above thread.

 

2) But when I mentionned "grinders", I referred to Admin's proposals for next changes I put in bold :

We wanted to add the following things to the AI in the next 2 content patches.

  • teach them to chase and demast
  • teach them to board 
  • teach them to operate in groups and focus fire
  • create several roles and patterns for bots (like bots that can parry you or backstab you in Dark souls)
This would increase the options in generating interesting missions and events

But based on the patch feedback - we are worried that people want that. Seems that people just want bots for relaxing and enjoyment  (not necessarily a bad thing).

 

I encouraged devs to make those very changes to have PvE more interesting, to make PvEers happier (and you seem to agree with that) and not listen to possible "grinders" just interested in easy and dumb prey to grind and who wouldn' want devs to spend dev time on AI improvement.

 

And concerning "people (who) just want bots for relaxing and enjoyment", I proposed easy missions : quick to set up and easy to play.

Because I'd like to have an pve OW challenging and as possibly fun as current pvp OW. That's also why I'd like to have bots attacking PvEers. 

 

We both agree on what is fundamental : make AI more challenging.

And I am all for "find(ing) the perfect mix/balance between (the current changes)", even though I follow Admin's view :

there are no bonuses to ai - they use the same cannons as you

the glaring bugs in their shooting were fixed

+ they shoot into water less than before

+ they stay closer and shoot less at ricocheting angles

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My 2 cents:

1. New leak system is good, but a little too strong imo. It's not that fun to sink really quickly. I think a good way of dealing with this would be to buff the effectiveness of extra pumps.

2. The new AIs in combination with the new cannon penetration system are really strong! I fear for all the newbies out there! I think AI should get better at higher levels while being easier at lower ranks.

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We wanted to add the following things to the AI in the next 2 content patches.

  • teach them to chase and demast
  • teach them to board 
  • teach them to operate in groups and focus fire
  • create several roles and patterns for bots (like bots that can parry you or backstab you in Dark souls)

 

I'd rather see the devs work on anything else rather than AI. The first 2 points (chase, demast and board) could be good things to have down the line, however the last 2 points seem rather complex to program and might not even be noticeable to new players learning the basics, which is what PVE should be for.

 

As for everything else I think this update was a big step in the right direction. I agree with previous posts, some tweaks are needed. I vote to keep AI ships not capturable and instead adjust player production rates if needed.

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1 Leaks

Good changes! one well aimed salvo an you have 1 less AI/player due to the sheer amount of leaks. Only thing i am missing is all the extra XP i got before from grinding down the enemy armor (The damage XP)

Is there a way to increase the XP you gain from sinking enemy ships with leaks? So it is actually worth it in missions, rather than just farming the AI Armor?

 

 

2 Penetration and damage

Loving this!

 

3 AI

All of it sounds like great plans!

I would suggest keeping the AI almost as it is now, but  reduce the in-human accuracy a bit. Maybe scale it according to the mission rank. As many have said already, it's almost odd if the AI as it is now, misses more than 3 shots from an entire salvo, this is a bit too good. Tone it down a little bit and it will be fantastic!
Or you could make "fleet" AI easier to handle, and keep the solo missions for players wishing for a challenge.

 

4. NPC ship capture. 

I believe this is a general good thing, allowing capture of at least 6th rate would be nice though, to get new players rolling, and would maybe encourage a bit more "low lvl" pvp

Edited by Vaz
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The devs need to read this and think long and hard about what this does to a newbie who just bought this game, is in a basic cutter RIGHT NOW trying to do his first mission.

 

With 3 months playing this game I do not consider myself a newbie but due to a series of unfortunate events I lost my fleet, my upgraded Snow and almost all of my gold (I let someone else play the game on my account during my absence and he ruined everything).

Point is - I'm a Lieutenant Commendant in a frigging Cutter right now...

With contraband ships gone and AI ship capture gone all I'm left to do now is performing lowest ranking (midshipman/ensign) admiralty orders or fleet orders to try to get some money back.

And guess what - even the simplest Cutter vs AI Cutter/Lynx fights are no-win scenarios, whereas I remember to having taken on 2 AI ships at once before...

Even if I manage to hit the AI 80% of the time the damage I inflict seems to have no effect on their capabilities. Even with port/starboard/aft armor stripped down the AI does not seem to be affected, does not even leak. Where I need to place 2 or 3 100% accurate broadsides on their stern to strip the armor, an AI cutter yesterday made me lose mine with two (2!) ball rounds in my aft. That of course caused me to leak immediately, my crew being automatically transferred to survival, with some few guys left to do sailing and gunnery. I imagine that I have already sank like 20 or 30 times since this new patch...

So what if I get 5 or 6 direct placed broadsides, Hullx4 notifications - the AI goes on like nothing happened, with armor stripped maybe in 2/3rds. His one broadside kills my port/starboard side instantly, and even from a large distance AI get his shots always right on target. Plus, what didn't happen before, they manage to cause 'Crew Shock' and 'Reload Shock' from rather far away, whereas it was a thing in tight engagements before...

I do love the game, but the changes implemented make it rather frustrating.

With each and every battle lost, getting only some 1/3 (or half i flucky) of the reward I don't imagine seeing myself back in a Brig or a Snow anytime soon...

 

Edited by topas

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As a weekend player i would say that the DEVs would regret those steps and scare off new users to play the game, when you nood adjust those settings or lower the degree of difficulty.

 

and as one here wrote " a well aimed salvo and you have 1 player (AI) less" - sometimes you have not the chance and or the time to wait for a placed salvo and then you are the one who will sink to ground.

 

what i dont unterstand is why the Admins here respeak in every post they make, sometimes they say its good and later then it is not so good anymore. on one hand they want to help the average player with the BR of 1.5 and on the other hand the AI is the leak shooter par excellence.

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Problem is when fighting 2 AI npcs, their combined damage seems to be far better then a Lone ship of equal rating to my current ship......perhaps they can split the missions into 2 groups 

Normal vs 1 AI

Hard vs 2 AI...

 

I hate going into a Mission and being a chore to fight 2 npcs on 2 fronts at once...they dictate the battle.

Edited by ironhammer500

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