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Dragon War – Open Beta

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Dragon War – Open Beta

Frostion
This post was updated on .

NEWS: BETA IS OVER – DOWNLOAD IT VIA TRIPLEA



 Finally, this map is now ready for more testing. We are talking about a 6 player, 3 vs. 3, fantasy themed map. Please help with:
- Obvious bugs.
- Balance issues.
- Grammar, spelling and language formulations. (English is not my native language)
- Ideas to improve the map.
- Anything else on your mind.


Map artwork credits goes to Gamera. After contacting him he has allowed me to bring his drawing of a fantasy world to life in TripleA. Visit his interesting art website at http://gammatelier.free.fr.

The Story:
The dangerous dragons of war have been extinct since the first age. The forces of evil have been dormant for centuries. The free peoples, Elves, Dwarves and the humans of Lionia, have been living in peace and security for generations. Or so they thought. In the places where evil dwells, a lust for blood, land and power has grown. Also, rumors of warmongering among the primitive races and sightings of young dragons create concern. It is now clear that the wicked king of Crowton, the blood lusting chief of the Greenskins and the unholy lord of the Undead have formed an evil alliance. They want to divide, subdue and enslave the entire world. Only a combined resistance by the good and free peoples can fight off this evil. But, this time the good will not let the forces of darkness have monopoly on the mighty war beasts ... the dragons.

The Units:
Nations have different Air and Sea unit types.
Nations have the same Land unit types.
There are several unit categories:
- Infantry (can all receive support)
- Cavalry (all give 1 infantry unit att. support)
- Artillery (all give 3 infantry units att. and/or def. support)
- Air (most can carry characters around the map)
- Characters (give all above units att. or def. support)
- Forts/Castles (give all above units def. support)
- Towers/Rams (only work against Forts/Castles and the attacker can only make use of 1 of each)
- Sea (can transport land units and do battle at sea)
For a more detailed map and unit description, see the map notes.



The known bugs and AI limitations:
• AI players cannot upgrade villages to town and towns to cities. (Upgrading is not supported by the AI atm.)

• AI players cannot use the air transport feature of the many air units. (isAirTransport / isAirTransportable is not supported by the AI atm.)

• AI players occasionally skips shopping after a few rounds. Presumably, it happens when AI players try to purchase units, taking only their PUs into account, but end up in error when having to also pay other types of resources that they don’t have enough of. (AI bug)

• AI players cannot handle using excess PUs to buy resources during the purchase phase as human players would do. (Other resources and shopping resources are not supported by the AI atm.)

• The map's “Young Water Dragon” unit, owned by the player “Pirates”. It is supposed to be capturable by human players, but it is not. Because of a TripleA engine bug, a player cannot attack and capture it. The “Young Water Dragon” can only be captured if it itself attacks a player and looses the battle. The bug is discussed here: http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/Sea-infrastructure-capturable-only-if-combat-in-territory-tp7585583.html

• The special characters (General, Wizard and Priestess) have 2 moves. They can blitz through the “mountain” territory effect that should prevent enemies from blitzing. This is a TribleA engine bug that occurs when units have both canBlitz and isAirTransportable. The bug is discussed here:
http://tripleadev.1671093.n2.nabble.com/isAirTransportable-canBlitz-td7587868.html

Hopefully, TribleA and the AI programming will someday address some of the above issues, but until then, these conditions / limitations are a part of the map.

BETA IS OVER – DOWNLOAD V1.0 VIA TRIPLEA

The Download:
This is a zip file with the map zip file inside. Extract the map zip to your map dir.
Version 0.9.6 (169 MB)

BETA IS OVER – DOWNLOAD V1.0 VIA TRIPLEA


Changelog:

Version 0.9.6
• Fixed it so a territory can only accommodate a single village, town or city. It was actually possible to place a second village before.
• Default AI Bonus Income Flat Rate set to 5 PUs.
• Reduced resource income from Mines, Wind-Mills, Saw-Mills, Cattle, Sheep, Whales and Fish. Players should now get proportionally more PUs than resources, motivating them to shop resources in the purchase phase.

Version 0.9.5
• Raised the price of Spearmen back to 9 PUs again. (Too many was purchased by the AI)
• Lowered the total amount of PUs on the map.
• Villages can now only produce 1 unit, Towns 2 units and Cities 3 units. This motivates more settlement buying and placing.
• I Finished adjusting the PU and territory name picture placements … YAY! :-D
• Removed the feature where human players would identify themselves as human so that AI players got a resource advantage. I did not like the feature, and the AI seems to handle normal shopping in an acceptable way.
• Changed/fixed a few other minor things in xml and map notes. (Including connections)

Version 0.9.4
• Lowered the price of spearmen from 9 to 8 PUs.
   (The AI didn’t buy then at all before, but now they buy double the amount of what I hoped for.)
• Lowered the price of the Greenskin “Crow-Swarm” air unit from 8 to 7 PUs.
   (The AI didn’t buy then at all before, but now they buy a few.)
• Made it possible for players to build constructions in newly captured enemy territories.
   (settlements, fortifications, battering rams and siege towers.)
• Added notification pop-ups when dragons and characters arrive on the map.
• Made it so players have to identify themselves as human. This is because AI now starts out with a supply of Food, Wood and Metal. (AI cannot handle the buying of these resources ingame.)
• Added a missing connection between “Sea Zone 11” and “Blood Hills”
• Changed a few minor things in xml and map notes.

Version 0.9.3
• Changed the unit information picture in the top right corner. The cost of units are no longer displayed. Cost is most likely only relevant in the purchase phase, and a display of the new PU, Food, Wood and Metal costs would take up too much space in the picture.
• Players can now purchase Food, Wood and Metal. 2 PUs give 1 Food or 1 Wood or 1 Metal.
• Cut down the map's total resources a bit. Now all players should end up with an excess of PUs. These can be used to purchase Food, Wood and Metal.
• Generals, Wizards and Priestesses can no longer be purchased. They are given to the players after turn 4, 5 and 6.
• Added Cernel to the credits list for making and lending me his nice shield dice pictures. 

Version 0.9.2
• Removed some Victory Cities – Now only the 6 capitals are VC.
• Added Food, Wood and Metal resources to the map. (All nations have a resource that should be geographically easier to obtain. This is meant to be the basis for a future trading system.)
• Added Food, Wood and Metal resources to unit costs.
• Added Fish, Whales and a fishing system. (Every serious fantasy game needs a fishing system )
• Added Sheep, Cattle, Mills, Sawmills and Mines.
• Changed map notes to support the above.

NEWS: BETA IS OVER – DOWNLOAD V1.0 VIA TRIPLEA

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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

hepster
Looks SEXY! Excited to try this out.

“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition”― Rudyard Kipling
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Frostion
 LOL ... What has happened since I opened beta? Well, I think that I want to try to implement a more complex unit cost system. I want to implement more resources like food, metals and wood. On top of that, also an alliance resource trading or swapping system.

This does not mean that I will not appreciate input and feedback on the current downloadable beta version of the map. Any further work I will do will after all be on the basis of this current map.

I just have a few questions regarding the AI handling of other resources than PUs:
• If I keep PUs as a resource and make units cost PUs + Food/Wood/Metal, will the AI then just shop its units as it would on a PU-only map? I mean, will it only look at PU cost/effectiveness and buy (or try to buy) accordingly? Without taking in account what other resources the unit costs?
• If so, could I go for this system and keep the map AI compatible?
• Could I go for a map with no PUs but only Gold/Food/Wood/Metal and still have it AI compatible?
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Zim Xero
I can only speak for medium AI.  It will only look at PU value, but still be required to spend PUs + resources.   If you they don't have those resources available.. their purchase phase will get skipped.

The only way I know around this is to create triggers that give the AI a massive number of resources.. so they don't run out.  It also means that PUs need to stay fairly reflective of unit value... so that resources are essentially being used to determine which units are available for player purchase.

The Hard AI has a long ways to go before any attention goes to the resources system.. and honestly, other developers have expressed interest in prioritizing PvP play... not AI
'thats the way it is' makes it neither desireable nor inevitable
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Frostion
@Zim Xero
Thanks for your mail. I may try out your idea regarding the AI’s interest in “victoryCity”s.

So it Medium AI will try to buy units based on how many PUs it got, not taking other resources into account, but if it hasn’t got the other resources need when checking out … the purchase will be skipped? Hmmm…I guess this could be overcome by giving all AI players a massive number of start resources of the other resource types (via some trigger event that identifies the player as human or AI?).

However, the better solution would be if the AI could manage shopping with resources other than PUs. When I get further into completing this map, I hope the Hard-AI can handle this, or else I will have to beg the developers.

Well, my first step will be to try out my idea, modify the map and try it out with the AIs.
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Irinam
Frostion wrote
(via some trigger event that identifies the player as human or AI?).
Be sure to take a look at panguitch's map "Greyhawk Wars", he did this quite nicely!

If i remember correctly, in Purchase Phase the HardAI ignores all units, which require other ressorces than PU at the moment. The same is true for units which "use up" other units.

As it is possible to add/remove Ressorces via trigger AND add units to Place phase,
you could perhaps simulate a purchase phase for the AI partielly with triggers.




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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

panguitch
It's a very pretty map. And I like the unit counters, they have a classic tabletop feel.

It's interesting that you start from scratch--that you have to do some things before you can purchase new units, etc.

I don't know what redrum's thinking is on AI making use of additional resources. But I do know that I would focus on game design with the Hard AI in mind. The other AI's will not be receiving any development going forward.

There's no way I know of to get the game by itself to recognize an AI and apply triggers. In Greyhawk I make the player declare himself a human in order to flip the triggers.

What would be ideal is if you could have conditions based on whether an AI is selected at the start, much like you can base conditions on game options.

Greyhawk Wars
TripleA in the original Dungeons & Dragons world

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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

panguitch
I'm consistently getting this error during round 3 of the neutral/AI players:

error log wrote
triplea.engine.version.bin:1.8.0.5
Exception in thread "Triplea start thread" java.lang.IllegalStateException
        at java.util.ArrayList$Itr.remove(Unknown Source)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.util.ProPurchaseUtils.removePurchaseOptionsByCostAndProductionAndLimits(ProPurchaseUtils.java:178)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.ProPurchaseAI.purchaseSeaAndAmphibUnits(ProPurchaseAI.java:1058)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.ProPurchaseAI.purchase(ProPurchaseAI.java:235)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.proAI.ProAI.purchase(ProAI.java:256)
        at games.strategy.triplea.ai.AbstractAI.start(AbstractAI.java:445)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.ServerGame.waitForPlayerToFinishStep(ServerGame.java:665)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.ServerGame.runStep(ServerGame.java:541)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.ServerGame.startGame(ServerGame.java:333)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.startup.launcher.LocalLauncher.launchInNewThread(LocalLauncher.java:100)
        at games.strategy.engine.framework.startup.launcher.AbstractLauncher$1.run(AbstractLauncher.java:57)
        at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
Save: dwar.tsvg

Oh, and can I just say that I have the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack in my car at all times. Basil Poledouris was genius!

Greyhawk Wars
TripleA in the original Dungeons & Dragons world

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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

redrum
Administrator
@Frostion - AI responses:
• If I keep PUs as a resource and make units cost PUs + Food/Wood/Metal, will the AI then just shop its units as it would on a PU-only map? I mean, will it only look at PU cost/effectiveness and buy (or try to buy) accordingly? Without taking in account what other resources the unit costs?
- Correct. It doesn't value any resources besides PUs. It will check to see if it has enough 'other' resources for the purchase to avoid purchase errors. You can test this on some of the maps that use fuel where the AI should function properly though it usually uses up its fuel way too fast since it has no value to it.

• If so, could I go for this system and keep the map AI compatible?
- Depends on the definition of compatible. Will the AI function? Yes. Will it understand the other resources? No. You could do something like use triggers to give it infinite other resources.

• Could I go for a map with no PUs but only Gold/Food/Wood/Metal and still have it AI compatible?
- Pretty sure it won't work and may even cause errors.
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Frostion
@All
Beta map is updated to v0.9.2. Now the map has Food, Wood and Metals. Look at the changelog in the original post.

@Irinam
I am keeping an eye on Panquitch’s “Greyhawk Wars”. Its coding seems a bit more advanced than mine, and I got some gabs in my understanding of the xml codes. However, I may have to learn how the “declare to be human player“ works.

@Panquitch
I got a similar error when loading the map while having other TripleA maps running/open in the background, but never when having only one instance of TripleA running. Try out the new version of the map and maybe it runs error free? If you still got errors, I would really like to know. FYI I use the latest Hard AI.

@redrum
You say: “It (Hard AI) will check to see if it has enough 'other' resources for the purchase to avoid purchase errors.”
But I seem to run into errors. As I now explain in the bug info: Hard AI seems to skip shopping units in some rounds. I think it is when it runs low on one of the four resource types. I guess it tries to shop, taking only its PUs into account, but ends up in error when having to pay up the other resources. The “Show console” reads: “WARNING [Triplea start thread] ProAI -> Purchase error: Not enough resources”.

I have used the very latest Hard AI and the new v0.9.2 map.
This is an “all Had AI player” save game and console log. No error pop-ups or crashes, but I guess it is still an error:
DragonWarSave1.tsvg
DragonWarSave1.txt
Game is saved in the beginning of round 12, before Crowton Combat Move.
I think there is an error in round 11, Greenskins Purchase. (58 PUs available but only 17 Food. 17 food is in the low end of what is needed to shop units for 58 PUs.)
If there is no error here, you could try to load the map with all AI players and let the game continue. I bet the next couple of rounds will show 1 or 2 instances of players being in the purchase phase and end up not buying anything.
It would be great if you could investigate or explain this Hard AI purchase-skipping behavior.
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Zim Xero
To declare anything as a human that an AI will not/can not do... you can create an infrastructure unit for purchase on the first round.. and remove it from the build queue on rounds after with a round 2 activated trigger for each nation using -unitname.  Using the method, you need to create a tiny territory somewhere on the map with no connections.. one owned by each nation... where the unit will be placed.  Subsequent conditions will need to check for unit existence on the map or in that territory in order to tell if the player is human or AI.  

Multiple variations of this method exist... perhaps you can think of a cleaner one.. or one that fits into the game naturally.
'thats the way it is' makes it neither desireable nor inevitable
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

redrum
Administrator
@Frostion - Sorry, I was incorrect. I thought I had added it but you are correct that if the AI doesn't have enough 'other' resources then its purchase will fail.

Its definitely possible to add the checks but the bigger issue is valuing the 'other' resources. An example would be in Civ5, food~production~2gold. There isn't really anyway to determine how much wood, metal, or food are worth in comparison to PUs.
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Irinam
redrum wrote
 There isn't really anyway to determine how much wood, metal, or food are worth in comparison to PUs.
This could be a case for a "HardAI-Help-File".

So the mapmaker, here Frostion could give the HardAI nummers to value the ressorces.

<resource player= "Greenskins" 1 Food = 1 PU/>
<resource player= "Greenskins" 1 Wood= 2 PU/>
<resource player= "Greenskins" 1 Metal= 5 PU/>
Or something like that...i'm no xml-freak :-)

Of course, the value changes over time as you conquer new territories and gain more/different resources.
But this would be a good start for the HardAI to value all units.
Then the HardAI would have to check, which units it can really build with its given resources.


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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Frostion
In reply to this post by redrum
@redrum
Resource value? Well I am going for a map that will support a production that is balanced to these values:

3 PU = 1 Food + 1 Wood + 1 Metal
or in other Words:
1 PU aims to be worth 1/3 Food + 1/3 Wood + 1/3 Metal

I hope I can support this by the map’s total production:
PUs: 414
Wood: 140
Metal: 140
Food: 120 (+ 0-39  food from potential fishing)

From my map’s point of view there is no need for the AI to set a value on the resources. I think the map (or I am working on it) is resource balanced in a way that will allow normal AI purchase tendencies. Even if the AI just grabs lands/resources at random, not thinking about the resource gain, I think it will end up with a decent mix that should allow a decent purchase. (But I also like Irinam’s idea about the aimed values coded in the XML)

But, It would be great if the AI didn’t skip purchase turns because of calculation errors. I can see the skips increase in frequency the more turns that pass, and it seems to have an self-escalating effect. One skip increases the risk of another skip in the next turn.

Is this something that is easy for you to fix in the Hard AI? This AI glitch must also affect other maps with like for example maps with fuel?
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Cernel
In reply to this post by redrum
The solution to valuing resources is actually very simple. You can have a productionRule for buying resources for PUs. So, it would be just up to the mapmakers make sure that each resource has a PUs only productionRule, even if said rule is not inside any productionFrontier.
Basically, just like you do with units that cannot be bought, but you want the AI assigning them a value.
Just like as any mapmakers is supposed to provide a productionRule, in PUs only, for each unit, even if not actually used, they should be supposed to provide a productionRule, in PUs only, for each non-PUs resource.
(lacking it, the resource should be valued at 0 PUs, of course)
Then, once the mapmaker has created a set of PUs only productionRule for each single resource (it doesn't matter if you can actually buy the resource for PUs or not, in the game):
1) In stats tab the Total TUV is valued accordingly (so, if something cost 1 PUs and 2 Steel and 1 Steel cost 3 PUs, then that something should be valued at 7 TUV)
2) The AI values each unit accordingly, both for attack, production and anything
(in maps like Feudal Japan Warlords, using the resources as mere caps, then all resources are to be valued at 0 PUs, of course)

For example, if you have a tirannosaurus unit, costing 24 PUs, 3 Alluminium, 7 Gasoline and 3 Mana, and the resource cost Alluminium = 3 PUs, Gasoline = 1 PUs, Mana = 10 PUs; then the cost of the tirannosaurus is 70 PUs. The AI (and the Stats tab) will just value it at 70 PUs.

Of course, while valuing units based on resources having a PUs value assigned is a simple matter, setting up a purchase is a much more complex one. Good luck.

Probably something very raw should be possible; then it would be up to the mapmakers to assigne value to resources, so that the AI works not too bad, most of the times.

In Frostion example, he should just need to set:

                <productionRule name="buyFood">
                        <cost resource="PUs" quantity="1" />
                        <result resourceOrUnit="Food" quantity="1"/>
                </productionRule>

So, the AI will see each Food as being worth 1 PUs.

The same for Wood and Metal.

Or maybe something like:

                <productionRule name="buyFoodWoodMetal">
                        <cost resource="PUs" quantity="3" />
                        <result resourceOrUnit="Food" quantity="1"/>
                        <result resourceOrUnit="Wood" quantity="1"/>
                        <result resourceOrUnit="Metal" quantity="1"/>
                </productionRule>

p.s.: My feeling about the map is that it would benefit from being simplified by 50~80%; like reconsidering all the many features and keeping the half coolest ones of them only (just my opinion).
History plays dice
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

redrum
Administrator
@Frostion - Its doable. The issue is the AI doesn't track any resources besides PUs when its purchasing. So it doesn't realize when its run out of the other resources. Its not difficult to fix but would take a while since everywhere it tracks PUs in purchasing it would need to be replaced with a map of resources to remaining quantities. It tends to work fine with some fuel maps because most of them only use fuel for movement not purchasing.

@Cernel - Good point. I believe that would be the easiest and best way to do it. The only other challenge would be adding additional value to resources that you don't have much of. So if the AI had 1000 PUs and 1 wood where they are defined as being 1 to 1 then it should probably put additional value on the wood since its very limited.
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

panguitch
In reply to this post by Frostion
Frostion wrote
I got a similar error when loading the map while having other TripleA maps running/open in the background, but never when having only one instance of TripleA running. Try out the new version of the map and maybe it runs error free? If you still got errors, I would really like to know. FYI I use the latest Hard AI.
Yeah, I still get the same error on your 0.9.2 version. But only if I use the production version of Hard AI. If I use the latest version, no error. So whatever caused it seems to have been fixed in recent versions of Hard AI.

Greyhawk Wars
TripleA in the original Dungeons & Dragons world

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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Frostion
@panguitch
Thx. Good to know! I now know that I can’t release this map before a new release of TripleA. I didn’t plan on doing this anyway though.
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Frostion
In reply to this post by redrum
@all
I made a few changes and have updated the download version to v0.9.3. See changelog for more info.

@Cernel
Simplify my map? I probably won’t pull much content or features out of the map, but I don’t think I will “advance” it further. At least not from the players active side. Maybe I will still ad a few passive features. I thought about making a player-player resource trade system, but it seemed to complex and required too much work. I have dropped that idea. I have also removed the General, Wizard and Priestess from the purchase lists. I think this is a simplification as players have less purchase options. BTW you are now in the credits!

@Redrum
I did a little testing with the Hard AI. I made it so players on my map, human and AI alike, could not buy Villages, Towns and Cities. They were instead given to players automatically as players expanded their territories. The settlements/factories were then placed in the players purchase lists before purchase. So for example by the time a player controlled 1/3 of the map he would have acquired like 4-5 villages. What I learned is that the AI did not place any of them, no matter how far away territories it owned.

I changed the map system back, so now players and AI have to buy the settlements. AI does not buy many Villages, but it does buy and place a few throughout a game. Though I have not seen it buy or place an upgrade (Town or City) yet.

Sorry I do not have any data on this, but maybe you can use the info anyway. Maybe the Hard AI thinks like Starship Troopers lieutenant Rasczak? “Something given has no value” 
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Re: Dragon War – Open Beta

Cernel
I can assure you this is not the case.

In my MEAD map you automatically receive constructions to upgrade any units (in a secondary place phase), and all said constructions are removed by triggers right after the phase in which you place them, so to make you able to remove units this way (as a matter of the image, the upgraded unit is just the consumed one with a red cross over it) (because you may not want to pay upkeep costs, want to get the payback for smobilizing (some of those upgrades produce some income, being a fraction of the purchase cost of the consumed unit, right before getting removed) or want to avoid them being captured), and the AI place all of them, thus removing as many units as possible (cause it can't imagine he's removing stuff, because I've used the place phase + triggers giving/removing units as a way of create a non-existent in TripleA smobilizing units phase).

So, the normal behaviour of Hard AI is (and probably has always been) placing everything it can, purchased or not.
History plays dice
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