Version 0.1.2 and AI results

Download Version 0.1.2

(The Web version will not be updated for the foreseeable future, unless people start begging!)

Fixes & Changes

1. Started the switch to deterministic, turn-based processing.
2. Bugs fixed (the ones I remember!):
a. Rum Guzzler bottle can no longer splash air units if not upgraded.
b. Destroyed and non-existent town walls should no longer absorb projectile hits.
c. AI no longer able to train Egg Cartons before the Factory is built.
d. Unstable Fodder no longer almost instantly convert a town.
3. A “Hard” AI is added. It’s really just Normal AI without as much input delay. Eventually, it will become smarter than Normal.
4. Some (not all) bugs in cavern resolved.
5. AI Game available. It’s a spectator view where you can watch two AIs duke it out. Not sure if it’s a good production feature, but it can’t hurt for development purposes!

For the AI Game, the AIs don’t get the queue delay that they get in custom games. This was to speed up testing, and to do a true measure of intelligence. It could show production tab for the players, as early on, it’s quite boring.

As explained in the last post, I was curious to see how the AIs performed against each other. The AIs don’t have the queue delay they do in Custom Game to speed it up, and they recalculate army orders every 3 seconds.

Anticipated results that really happened

1. The “Random” (Mindless) AI never won. The “Adequate” (Normal) AI would defeat the other two.
2. Ranged units are a problem in general for the AI.

One major issue is that the AI doesn’t take understand the vulnerability of an all-ranged army. So, if the computer is up against all Rum Guzzlers, it doesn’t know it should rush with 5 or 6 melee troops and win the fight.

The Easy AI is particularly vulnerable to range. Once getting 4 units, predictably rallies them in front of the fort walls before attacking. If you outrange them, you’ll get free hits and easily kill them. This is infinitely abusable.

This could be considered a problem. Although I would find it tedious and boring to always cheese the computer like this, there are people who would love to do it. Plus, it is easy difficulty, so players don’t

3. AI does not understand how to arrange cavern units.

Not anticipated, but not surprising

1. The AI was more effective with Eggs. In one match, the Easy Egg was almost an even match for the Normal Human (Normal always crushed Easy in EvE or HvH). A big part of this is the AI’s inability to fight ranged units properly. The Eggish player could get a huge advantage from Rum Guzzler.
2. Large maps are a particular problem for the AI, because it doesn’t understand how to attack competently. It just sends the attack command; it doesn’t know that slow and fast units won’t reach the enemy at the same time. Thus, it can take forever for an AI, even if superior, to win.
3. Some games ended early, but for many, the game didn’t end until the whole tech tree was researched. Will need to evaluate how often it occurs and whether it’s a good thing. There should be some balance between rushes being a true threat and being able to see high level units in action sometimes.

Surprising results

1. The Random AI never won, but it could be HIGHLY efficient. I think there was a 9:1 kill ratio one game. The Random AI staying behind the fort more frequently plus the aforementioned AI weakness combine to make this true.
2. Coordination between air and ground can be really bad.
3. The cavern strength calculation needs quite some improvement. One of the AIs had 3 Grandmas that never attacked, as they kept fleeing at the sight of a single Couch Potato.

Cool result

The first two Egg vs Human AI matches, the Egg destroyed the Human. In a panic, I decided to run some more battles. Why were they so lopsided? Was it a true imbalance, the AI weakness against range, or sheer luck?

The answer is still uncertain, but the next battle was very cool.

After a back-and-forth tier 1, the Human decided to do cavern attacks, while the Egg had strong air. As expected, while the Egg was dominating the above ground fighting, the Human was slowly chipping away from below. The Eggish leader had enough and decided to fight back in the cavern. To replace the fallen, the Human focused above ground! Eventually, the tables were turned; the Human was strong above ground and the Egg was close to winning in the cavern. The Human fort was down to 94 health, the Eggish fort 172. The Humans had just wiped out the Eggish ground army at home, but still had to rush across the battlefield to try to win. Eggish units dribbled out one-by-one to stall the Humans….a Rum Guzzler, an Egg Benedict went down. Then a Bacon Knight…the Human was repairing its fort, delaying the inevitable fall…60 HP…50 HP…40 HP…

The Humans finally started to hit the fort with a motley crew of Yoga Freaks, Blood Ballers, and Frying Nuns. The Eggs were still rallying units, chipping away at the attackers…

Check that out...24 HP remaining!

Check that out…24 HP remaining!

And then the race was over. With only 24 HP remaining, the Humans saw the day through. This is exactly the kind of fight I had in mind with the cavern. There’d be lots of tension with a sometimes imbalanced battlefield, leading to photo finish base races.

And this is why I want a replay feature. That would have been awesome to view again and analyze. One day, one day…

AI to-do:

Not all of the AI’s capabilities have been restored from the old Flash version.

1. Command towns to build stuff.
2. Re-introduce logic for dealing with range.
3. Let AI move rally flag around.
4. Extra logic for best positioning flying units.
5. Juking (for hard AI only)
6. Teach AI to maximize DPS of upgraded Spoiled Brats (will be helpful to teach the AI more tricks later)

Other to-do:

1. Units changes: Yoga Freak new functionality. Also add upgrades for Bacon Knight and Grandma.
2. Unit addition: Frying Doctor and Eggasus will finally make their return! I worked on the Frying Doctor animation and graphic cleanup this weekend. Also plan on changing the Frying Doctor upgrade.
3. Show production in AI match. Also show economy stats for both.

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