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IDProjectCategoryLast Update
0023206AI War 2Balance IssueAug 21, 2020 1:51 pm
ReporterGreatYng Assigned ToBadgerBadger  
Status resolvedResolutionfixed 
Product Version2.047 Perks By Another Mother 
Fixed in VersionBeta 2.126 Dark Spire, Eyes, and Fixes 
Summary0023206: Eyes still use the number of fleets as a trigger
DescriptionThe latest patch allows a single fleet to have up to 40 different ship-lines; and that's great and all, but that just rendered Eyes and their 3 fleet trigger even more pointless.
I am sure reworking this trigger is already somewhere on a to-do list, but I feel Eyes are becoming a bit too useless at this point to not make a report on it.
TagsNo tags attached.


related to 0023382 resolvedBadgerBadger AI Eyes Suggestion: return them to being similar to classic 
related to 0023028 resolvedBadgerBadger Eyes consider commands and ion cannons etc as valid fleets to activate on 



May 22, 2020 10:27 am

reporter   ~0057097

This, pretty much. Previously, the "throw all your fleets at one system" strategy was disincentivized by XP penalties; that was removed. Otherwise, there'd occasionally be an Eye in your way that'd occasionally require more nuanced tactics. With fleets being able to stack all the ship lines they want, Eyes are no longer a relevant threat... which is actually a little sad, since dealing with them is a tactically-interesting problem.


May 22, 2020 12:52 pm

administrator   ~0057098

Eyes do need a rework to be more viable in some fashion, and we've been discussing several options for them. In the first game it was based on the number of ships, but it's hard to say what would be ideal now. Number of ship lines, perhaps?

We want to avoid having people having to cut down larger fleets to deal with an Eye, and it's hard to figure out how best to do that. Right now, having Eyes be less useful rather than overly harsh is a preferred temporary situation.


May 22, 2020 1:14 pm

developer   ~0057099

"Number of fleet lines" was the first thought that jumped out at me. Its actually more consistent than "number of fleets" (3 fleets with 5 lines each is not the same power threshold as 3 fleets with 1 line each).


May 22, 2020 1:19 pm

reporter   ~0057103

I would like to second Draco. Fleet lines sounds like a good way to go from here.


May 22, 2020 1:42 pm

reporter   ~0057104

Perhaps make it so you can have 15 or 20 ship lines in a fleet, and make Eyes trigger if there's more than one fleet. That would get you roughly their previous behavior. That still gives you a lot of flexibility to cram ships into a single fleet, and it makes it really easy to tell if you'll trigger an eye.

That does limit you to a single superweapon on Eye planets, if superweapons are all fleet leaders. That's an interesting challenge, but might cause annoying micro; if you want to use your widow golem on one Eye planet and the same ship lines with a Botnet golem on the next, you'd be stuck moving all your shiplines to a new fleet leader.

So instead, I'd make eyes trigger if you have more than one fleet's worth of ship lines on the planet, counting golems as 3 ship lines and lone wolves as 6 ship lines, or whatever. And reduce the fleet ship line cap accordingly for dangerous fleet flagships. Then you run around with one fleet normally, and that ensures you don't get clobbered by Eyes, but if you're having trouble with a planet you can fiddle with your forces to bring more superweapons to bear.

Whatever Eyes end up using as their trigger, I think the status of your current control group needs to display that info. If its ship lines, then you should be shown at a glance how many ship lines are in a control group so you know if you're safe to go in.

I really like Eyes, they emphasize the guerilla warfare / sneaking around gameplay, which is one of my favorite and most unique aspects of AI War.


May 22, 2020 1:44 pm

reporter   ~0057105

Using fleet lines is better than just fleets, but I think that is just introducing a variation on the same problem Eyes have now. Not all fleet-lines are created equal and you may still be forced to cut down a larger fleet.

I always assumed the purpose of Eyes was to make sure that if the AI is overwhelmed with enough strength on a single planet the Eye would be used to try and equalize the playing field. From this logic it necessarily follows that having fleets that are 'enough but not too much' is the optimal solution. This is, of course, counter to the desire to avoid forcing players to divide their fleets; on the other hand this does mean you can't just doomstack your way through every planet once you reach a certain point. I guess what I'm wondering at this point is: 'What exactly is the purpose of an Eye?'
The idea of using fleet lines leads to another question: 'Should Eyes be anti-player only countermeasures?'

In their current state I wouldn't mind just taking Eyes out entirely until a satisfactory solution is found, but I suppose right now it wouldn't make much of difference anyway.


May 22, 2020 1:57 pm

administrator   ~0057108

Historically, eyes have always been about anti-doomstacking. If your main fleet is a doomstack, then the idea is to send in a smaller group to go kill the eye first, or suffer the consequences.

In that regard, simply going by strength might be the best approach. Then again... that's going to make eyes react to just a single strong warrior that is very high in strength... and that's different from the history of this game or the first game. A small elite strike force of mark 7 units is also going to trigger the eye, potentially.

My number one goal is to make it so they don't cause players to rework their fleets and then later put their fleets back. That sort of hassle is huuuugely a pain.


May 22, 2020 4:08 pm

reporter   ~0057112

Prior to the update, I had two fleets set as a deep strike force to take out guardposts and eyes. Now with the update giving fleets up to 40 ship lines, then the best solution would be to limit it by ship line. This way we can still create a deep strike force with one fleet so it's less micromanagement as well.


May 22, 2020 4:32 pm

reporter   ~0057114

Thank you for clarifying x4000Bughunter.
So if I understand correctly you want to have the anti-doomstacking properties of the old Eyes but with two constraints:
1. Have it remain dormant when confronted with a small number of elite ships
2. Prevent people from having to reshuffle their fleets for a single Eye

You could make Eyes have thresholds for both minimum strength difference AND number of enemy ships. That could stop doomstacks while allowing small strikeforces (balancing difficulties not withstanding).
Having the Eyes activate on the number of ship-lines could work, but it doesn't really solve any existing fleet shuffling issues; and would also render them anti-player only.

To me the main problem seems to be that you want to make players use smaller strike forces for a precision attack against an Eye, but you don't want them to actually have go through the hassle of splitting/shuffling up their fleets to do so. Honestly, those two requirements seem almost mutually exclusive.
I have some (probably terrible) ideas for possible changes for fleet management:
1. You could set up a system that allows fleets to remember their previous composition (all the ship-lines), and the ability to go back to that composition at the click of a button. Maybe expand it to allow it to remember more than one fleet make-up for easier switching. The rebuilding time could be a problem in this case, and having to set this up as the player would still be time-consuming.
2. You could introduce the option to assign a subgroup of ships in a fleet to their own control group to more easily allow for specialized strikes close the main fleet (e.g. select all raid ships).


May 22, 2020 6:54 pm

reporter   ~0057117

The alternative to eyes triggering of fleets or shiplines would be to go back to the old 'Eyes trigger on the ratio of human ships to AI ships, except they always ignore < 50 ships'. But I'd suggest changing it to be based on Strength rather than absolute ship count, in that case. I think you'd need a UI element indicating the ratio for this to work well, and I think you'd want to add some logic where the Eye uses the highest AI strength for the past few minutes, so that you don't have to evacuate some of your forces as the AI loses ships. Also helps if Eyes are designed to fix the imbalance, by spawning AI ships or by clobbering your ships. I'm sure this can be made to work well, but it's definitely work to do it right. It certainly accounts better for the huge variances in strength (on both sides!) over the course of the game better. And it works for non-human factions, which prevents cheesing eyes by getting allies to clear the planet first.

The whole point of Eyes is that you shouldn't bring in all your forces, that you're not going to have numerical superiority, and that you're going to need to bring in the right ships to counter what's on this planet or you'll get clobbered. They make planets into puzzles more interesting than "bring in your deathball" and that's why I love them. But that means either having a good interface for bringing in only part of a fleet, or having multiple small dedicated fleets such that you grab the right one for the job, or reorganizing fleets for tough eye planets.

Strategic Sage

May 31, 2020 9:07 am

reporter   ~0057155

I'll just repeat the suggestion that I've made other places here: a static (meaning it doesn't decrease as you eliminate defenses in the system) strength value. I would base that strength value on a % of the planet's reinforcement maximum. That way it scales with higher-mark planets.


Jun 20, 2020 12:57 am

reporter   ~0057399

You could make them turn on based on ship lines, but also make it more granulated. Make the eye wake up in stages with each stage presenting a stronger eye:

Stage 1 - 7 ship lines
Stage 2 - 14 ship lines
Stage 3 - 21 ship lines

Or even just have multiple eyes with the same idea. Certain amounts of them turn on based on how many ship lines are present on the planet. You could even specialize them -- the first eye is an anti-swarm eye, the second eye is an anti-frigate eye, the third eye is a general beam eye like the current ones, etc. This lets the player use their deepstriking/raiding ships to disable eyes without having to juggle them between fleets.


Jul 30, 2020 4:56 pm

reporter   ~0057929

If you're staging it and want it modeled after the intended implementation, it should be 6 ship lines, 11 ship lines then 16 ship lines for each stage. It's still perhaps arbitrary, considering that some fleet lines can be doubled up for extra damage, etc. Even so, 6/7 is still on the low side - eyes tend to appear in more heavily fortified areas, and they need to serve a rather narrow band of anti-blobbing against an attack that needs to break down tough defenses.

Regardless of bike shedding, the issue remains that they can now be hard countered by what eyes are supposed to hard counter. The more "proper" hard counter is to instantly destroy them with a hack.

Not to mention that's probably a more complex way of changing the AI Eye. It's simpler to make it activate after 30 seconds of any enemy presence, similar to what raid enginges and anit-deepstrike responses do.


Aug 21, 2020 1:51 pm

manager   ~0058152

Eyes now trigger off of Strength on a planet; if you have more Strength than the AI, the eye will activate

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
May 22, 2020 10:01 am GreatYng New Issue
May 22, 2020 10:27 am Endovior Note Added: 0057097
May 22, 2020 12:52 pm x4000Bughunter Note Added: 0057098
May 22, 2020 12:52 pm x4000Bughunter Assigned To => x4000Bughunter
May 22, 2020 12:52 pm x4000Bughunter Status new => assigned
May 22, 2020 1:14 pm Draco18s Note Added: 0057099
May 22, 2020 1:19 pm nas1m Note Added: 0057103
May 22, 2020 1:42 pm tadrinth Note Added: 0057104
May 22, 2020 1:44 pm GreatYng Note Added: 0057105
May 22, 2020 1:57 pm x4000Bughunter Note Added: 0057108
May 22, 2020 4:08 pm Ficklestein Note Added: 0057112
May 22, 2020 4:32 pm GreatYng Note Added: 0057114
May 22, 2020 6:54 pm tadrinth Note Added: 0057117
May 31, 2020 9:07 am Strategic Sage Note Added: 0057155
Jun 20, 2020 12:57 am GophTheGreat Note Added: 0057399
Jul 10, 2020 2:08 pm BadgerBadger Relationship added related to 0023382
Jul 14, 2020 5:36 pm BadgerBadger Relationship added related to 0023028
Jul 30, 2020 4:56 pm Sigma7 Note Added: 0057929
Aug 21, 2020 1:51 pm BadgerBadger Assigned To x4000Bughunter => BadgerBadger
Aug 21, 2020 1:51 pm BadgerBadger Status assigned => resolved
Aug 21, 2020 1:51 pm BadgerBadger Resolution open => fixed
Aug 21, 2020 1:51 pm BadgerBadger Fixed in Version => Beta 2.126 Dark Spire, Eyes, and Fixes
Aug 21, 2020 1:51 pm BadgerBadger Note Added: 0058152