While the TEC, Advent and Vasari are embroiled in their own struggles for survival a new threat has emerged, intent on spreading it's infectious plague throughout the universe. The sickening ruthlessness in which entire populations are infected or destroyed is alarming to the TEC, Advent and Vasari alike. If the Plague wasn't enough they were immediately followed yet another race calling themselves the Nephilim. The initial encounter with the "Nephilim" held promise they would unite in defeating the Plague. However, Initial attempts at diplomacy have failed as the Nephilim seem single purposed in their pursuit of the Plague.

Report RSS Improving the AI (Part 2)

While the Soase AI is very good at fleet management there are several areas that it does not perform well. (Part 2).

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Sins of the Fallen: Improving the AI (Part 2)

Improving the AI (Part 1)

First I'd like to say I think the Sins AI is really good and can make for some fun games. That said after modding multiple races you begin to see things the AI does not do very well especially when it comes to using advanced features of mods.Unfortunately, as many of the regular's of Sins modding know, the AI is not very moddable. This of course leaves us with very little tools at our disposal to impact how the AI plays both in the core game and with our mod extensions.

So what is actually moddable that may improve the AI?

  1. How the AI prioritizes ships based on damage percent bonuses (Part 1)
  2. How the AI prioritizes things like ships, research, starbase upgrades, etc (Part 1)
  3. How the AI uses abilities (Part 1)
  4. How the AI performs research (it's worse than you realize) (part 2)
  5. How the AI upgrades star bases (part 2)

How the AI performs research (it's worse than you realize)

If you ever have the opportunity to watch the AI in the developer.exe, switch to an AI player and watch it's research path. What you will see may disappoint you.

Here's what the AI prioritizes (not necessarily in this order):

  1. Research that unlocks frigates
  2. Research that unlocks modules especially superweapons
  3. Planet access research for Ice and Volcanic (if needed)
  4. Relationship modifier research (Diplomacy tab)
  5. Capital ship slots
  6. Ship slots
  7. Worm hole
  8. Star jump (If needed)
From here the AI seems to randomly choose techs to research if at all such as Ability, Weapon or Toughness upgrades or non standard tech added by mods.

For example...

  1. those cool envoy abilities available to the AI may never get researched even though it has 8 civilian labs.
  2. Star base ability upgrades may never be researched (or upgraded, see below)
  3. Hull, Weapon, Armor and Shield may barely be touched if at all

What I've discovered after my own investigations and collaborations with other modders is the AI can be heavily influenced into researching key technologies as defined by the mod. This can be accomplished by applying a hidden frigate/research pattern that prompts the AI to go after specific pre-reqs.

In my testing I've been able to influence the AI into researching:

  1. Full weapons upgrades like phase missiles
  2. All envoy abilities
  3. All available pacts
  4. Specific abilities like Meteor Storm in Advent.
  5. and many other things not previously prioritized.

How the AI upgrades star bases

The AI never does anything cool with these!

Why? Because it put's all it's upgrade points into Weapons/Toughness/Strikecraft before it even thinks about a different upgrade type.

This results in fairly boring usage of Star bases by the AI...
Possible Solutions?

  1. Decrease the amount of upgrades available for Weapons/Toughness/Strikecraft
  2. Increase the amount of upgrades allowed for a Star Base from 8 to ?
  3. Add instant low level access for all star base upgrades
  4. Limit any improvements to the non-human AI player only
Decrease the amount of upgrades available for Weapons/Toughness/Strikecraft
In essence this would simply make additional upgrades available for Trade, Block Colonize or other special abilities

Increase the amount of upgrades allowed for a Star Base from 8 to ?

Simple enough increase from 8 to whatever. Downside is a lot more resources are needed to upgrade the starbase.

Add instant low level access for all star base upgrades

This one is intriguing. Essentially you could make up for the lack of dynamic behavior on the AI by forcing it to have upgrades that a human would most likely get anyway. Downside is the human gets these as well.

Limit any improvements to the non-human AI player only
Quite simply, this means Human players will not get any extra advantage provided to AI players.

Where to go from here?

My plan is to use all this knowledge to create AI's that are harder by giving more than just resource cheats.

This can range from better Ability selection which will benefit the AI and human player (less micro) to specific cheats made available to the AI making it a more formidable opponent.

Some of the specific AI only enhancements that have been suggested:

  1. Auto-leveling on capital ships.
  2. Extended levels on star bases.
  3. Additional starting capital ship crews.
  4. Additional starting fleet supply.
  5. +X% research speed.
  6. -X% research costs.
  7. +4 logistics slots
  8. Additional targets per bank on capital ships.
  9. Star base options noted above.
Unfortunately no scripting changes are available to change how the AI forms fleets or chooses how to use them...


Does that this mean that you are going to make the AI super vicious and go after my crackers? I look forward to crushing them as they are finger nails length away from my crackers. Muhahahahaha...... Your research looks very promising in improving game play and your mod. I hope we some implementation if it's not done already that is. :p I played the first version of your mode and the second one but I got lost and was left behind stardust somewhere. I saw your conversation with Z1on, VeniVdVici, and Mikey1871. So skipping to end of that conversation about the amount of folders in the mod so far. Is it possible to reduce it to 5 folders for the individual races and any upcoming ones? I know you will be specific when you want to and only you can make the calls. But is it possible to just to have the 8 you mentioned? Just out of curiosity is all. Keep up the great work and good tidings to ya.

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ZombiesRus5 Author

Hopefully these changes will make the AI a bit more dynamic to play against versus the crazy resource cheats it gets with Cruel and Vicious settings. I'd rather have a more interesting AI at Hard or Unfair levels personally.

On the directory stuff it's more of a balance between how many different things do I have to manage and how many different things do you have to manage. This release was so much simpler to maintain and track than my previous Entrenchment/Diplomacy releases. If you remove the militia, planets and addons the mods sits at 8 directories which is not a lot given the utility of the implementation.

My suggestion with R5 is unzip the archive and delete the directories you don't want (if any). The only required mod folder is SotF Core R5 and atleast one race folder. Your also free to combine the mod together yourself down to even 1 mod folder if you so desire. Just copy the mod folders in the reverse order they were activated in.

I don't have any issues with separate downloads (See SotF: Blood and Chrome) but wanted to get R5 out as one unit which I may re-evaluate in the future.

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this is an Epic mod. I'v been following for a while now and i have to say the work you've put into this mod is just wow. keep up the good work ! :)

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ZombiesRus5 Author

Thank you!

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