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Re: Preventing the big blob

#31
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Eh, you can buy worker NPC's, your usual RTS minions.
Why should that limit the scale of operations?
Because even a professional Starcraft player will tell you that if the maps had more base locations, and a larger scale, with more AI, they would not be able to ultimately win against an AI. You just can't split a humans attention that much, even in a noncombat situation. Running a multi-system operation has the potential to be so complex that the player never gets to leave a station. Notice I said "Potential". It really comes down to how complex a task one can assign to a worker AI. Even if it is very simple due to Josh's programming powers, the AI can still out expand a human player, especially in a universe where one may stumble upon a warlord AI that just happened to generate on ones borders with a huge fleet behind their back.

I'm not trying to throw a wrench in anything. My concern is that without being able to use an AI's fast response time against them, a human's ingenuity can eventually be overcome by scale. The question isn't "Can an AI beat a human player". The question is "At what point does an AI's advantages overpower a human's advantages due to scale". This may not be a problem for a player that just wants to run a small operation, but a player wanting to grow an ever expanding operation may encounter limitations that aren't caused by challenges in game, but rather challenges to a players capacity. I view that as an issue in a singleplayer game. In a competitive game pitting player against player, this is acceptable. In a game pitting player against AI, is this an acceptable limitation? honest questions. What do you guys think?
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#32
MyNameWuzTaken wrote: In a game pitting player against AI, is this an acceptable limitation? honest questions. What do you guys think?
Some games are built around this premise, specifically games that acknowledge that an AI is playing and not a player. Games like SupCom, where the challenge is based on the player's abilities compared to the AIs (hence "AIx" cheating AI). However, that being said I don't think it works in LT because LT attempts to feel like a multiplayer game rather than a single player game (in the sense that the game is not player centric and that the AI makes human like decisions)
I am literally and wholly in love with myself.
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#33
There is a lot of discussion about preventing a blob, and assumptions about what an AI is capable of. But remember this: to remain computationally feasible, the AI will not be given unlimited time to make decisions. It will be given a slice of time, occasionally, to make strategic choices. Most of the time each AI will just be worrying about tactical concerns... where can I sell this load of ore at the best price? Are there enemies on my radar? Simple decisions that only affect what to target and where to fly.

Strategic decisions, or more exactly the processor time needed to make them, will be allocated only occasionally. This is not the player vs one AI (Starcraft), this is the player versus 100AI, all given limited processor time and all competing with one another. If Josh allowed one AI to suck up all the AI cpu of course it could completely out-compete the player. And difficulty settings might allocate particular 'nemesis' AI more CPU as a challenge (especially if they are predisposed to dislike the player). But in general, it's reasonable to compare the capability of a single AI in a limited map to dozens or hundreds of AI in a far broader map.

One on one, Josh may create an amazing AI that can outcompete the player and build a mega-corp that spans the galaxy. But with resources split between many AI? This splitting of CPU time, without any other balancing factor, should prevent a single AI from taking a dominant position in the game. Smaller factions will simply out-compete a bigger faction by virtue of having more decision making power per resource. Devoting the same brainpower to mining a single asteroid belt efficiently will do a better job at that belt than when only 1% of an operation is mining the belt and the rest of the equally capable AI has to pay attention to many other decisions elsewhere.
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#34
MyrddinE wrote:There is a lot of discussion about preventing a blob, and assumptions about what an AI is capable of. But remember this: to remain computationally feasible, the AI will not be given unlimited time to make decisions. It will be given a slice of time, occasionally, to make strategic choices. Most of the time each AI will just be worrying about tactical concerns... where can I sell this load of ore at the best price? Are there enemies on my radar? Simple decisions that only affect what to target and where to fly.

Strategic decisions, or more exactly the processor time needed to make them, will be allocated only occasionally. This is not the player vs one AI (Starcraft), this is the player versus 100AI, all given limited processor time and all competing with one another. If Josh allowed one AI to suck up all the AI cpu of course it could completely out-compete the player. And difficulty settings might allocate particular 'nemesis' AI more CPU as a challenge (especially if they are predisposed to dislike the player). But in general, it's reasonable to compare the capability of a single AI in a limited map to dozens or hundreds of AI in a far broader map.

One on one, Josh may create an amazing AI that can outcompete the player and build a mega-corp that spans the galaxy. But with resources split between many AI? This splitting of CPU time, without any other balancing factor, should prevent a single AI from taking a dominant position in the game. Smaller factions will simply out-compete a bigger faction by virtue of having more decision making power per resource. Devoting the same brainpower to mining a single asteroid belt efficiently will do a better job at that belt than when only 1% of an operation is mining the belt and the rest of the equally capable AI has to pay attention to many other decisions elsewhere.
I think you're underestimating the power of modern day hardware. Even though it is restricted, it's a very very large restriction and will likely not influence the AIs ability to make complex decisions.
I am literally and wholly in love with myself.
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#36
I know that not everybody who plays LT would want to get into using LTSL, but if you were able to define a general instruction set that you could then assign to your bases, you could push back against the advantages of the AI. While we won't have executive control until 1.1, perhaps a "management interface" that would let you define sets of instructions for micromanaging a base, and then have the computer carry it out would tide us over. In starcraft, building a base is a pretty well defined affair, and most players have a set algorithm for building bases. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine that algorithm written down and handed to the computer to deal with while you go off and do higher level stuff.
Libertas per Technica
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#37
Big Blob, or Domination, should be possible! People have already stated several solutions to this 'problem' (the REAL problem here being, some people are afraid of playing to a point where - ultimately - the player dominates the game and game AI, thus having emptied the game of things to do and fun).

The basic problem with going big in LT is exactly that the management so far seems to become too detailed and cumbersome when the player has to manage several systems, perhaps several sectors, with fights happening all over, Market fluctuations hammering your economy everywhere, etc. etc. A neat solution to this - which is actually very rarely seen - is to empower the player with tools of automation with which to manage your growing empire. Civilization does this with mayors/governors, a perfect example of in-plot placement of automation tools.

In LT it could easily be possible to hire/grow/train NPCs to this end, and/or let the player develop technologies, which empowers players with automation functions, like Trade AI's, Battle Fleet AI's, etc. All very costly to develop/grow, so that the satisfaction of finally getting help with management is really felt. This will of course mean, that LT at this playing point is becoming a game of strategy, more than a game of exploration. But at least it's an idea for MODders and/or later game development!
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#38
madgabz wrote: (the REAL problem here being, some people are afraid of playing to a point where - ultimately - the player dominates the game and game AI, thus having emptied the game of things to do and fun).
The real problem is that the AI can do the same to the player, and it has a massive headstart in terms of capability.

The player running out of things to do is a minor problem compared to the player not being able to get to that stage because he gets stomped by the AI.
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#39
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
The real problem is that the AI can do the same to the player, and it has a massive headstart in terms of capability.
Thread is about big-blobing, not AI stomping! :wave:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:The player running out of things to do is a minor problem compared to the player not being able to get to that stage because he gets stomped by the AI.
Thats why you need AI tools later in the game, to help you avoid getting stomped! Re-read my comment! :roll: :think:
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#40
madgabz wrote: Thread is about big-blobing, not AI stomping! :wave:
which has a veeery big overlap :roll:

if theres blobbing, and the AI has a headstart in exponential growth, the player can only ever lag behind, as the AI will blob the player to death.

its that simple.


and AI tools dont help if the player doesnt have any possibility to get to a phase where he could use such tools.
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#41
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
madgabz wrote: Thread is about big-blobing, not AI stomping! :wave:
which has a veeery big overlap :roll:

if theres blobbing, and the AI has a headstart in exponential growth, the player can only ever lag behind, as the AI will blob the player to death.

its that simple.


and AI tools dont help if the player doesnt have any possibility to get to a phase where he could use such tools.
Who says the AI has to have a big head start? Perhaps that will be configurable on game creation. So you can define the "age" of the system you inhabit. You could potentially set it to all start out roughly the same. So you're all a lone miner/etc looking to strike your fortune. Or you could start in an old system where there are already established powers.
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#42
TGS wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
madgabz wrote: Thread is about big-blobing, not AI stomping! :wave:
which has a veeery big overlap :roll:

if theres blobbing, and the AI has a headstart in exponential growth, the player can only ever lag behind, as the AI will blob the player to death.

its that simple.


and AI tools dont help if the player doesnt have any possibility to get to a phase where he could use such tools.
Who says the AI has to have a big head start? Perhaps that will be configurable on game creation. So you can define the "age" of the system you inhabit. You could potentially set it to all start out roughly the same. So you're all a lone miner/etc looking to strike your fortune. Or you could start in an old system where there are already established powers.
Do you really want to start a game of LT off with arbitrary values and no universe history? Isn't that just like any other game you can play?
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#43
BFett wrote:
Do you really want to start a game of LT off with arbitrary values and no universe history? Isn't that just like any other game you can play?
*Starts in 0 age system*
*Mines to try to get ahead of AI*
*Realises there are no structures in the system*
*How the frak does anything progress with a bunch of small mining ships and no ability to create structures?*
I am literally and wholly in love with myself.
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#44
TGS wrote: Who says the AI has to have a big head start? Perhaps that will be configurable on game creation. So you can define the "age" of the system you inhabit. You could potentially set it to all start out roughly the same. So you're all a lone miner/etc looking to strike your fortune. Or you could start in an old system where there are already established powers.
I'd prefer the playable state to be one with a world existing and not an RTS like game mode
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Re: Preventing the big blob

#45
Black--Snow wrote:
BFett wrote:
Do you really want to start a game of LT off with arbitrary values and no universe history? Isn't that just like any other game you can play?
*Starts in 0 age system*
*Mines to try to get ahead of AI*
*Realises there are no structures in the system*
*How the frak does anything progress with a bunch of small mining ships and no ability to create structures?*
Actually, the Idea behind that is pretty interesting. Let's say there's only really basic infrastructure around. You'd be able to support/hinder the NPC's as you all strive to get to the top. Then, of course, some outer factions won't have that much problems with the players interferences and can build a mega-faction with less problems...but even they'd have to start basically from 0.
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.

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