Dragon War - Official Thread
@Frostion I retested the examples from your save game and the AI moves the young dragons to much safer places as it now understands that if the young dragon is alone that its as good as lost. There are still times that the AI really doesn't have much choice but seems to pick the best out of the bad options in those cases.
@Frostion You should be able to test out the AI changes in the latest pre-release now.
A new version of Dragon War is uploaded to Git. The map can be updated via TripleA to this newest version.
Dragon War v1.2.4 to v1.2.5
• Ability to move units from Northern Baldoria over the river to Southern Baldoria removed.
• The capturable Young-Water-Dragon now spawns in round 1 in one of 6 possible random locations, alongside 1 Pirate Ship and 1 Pirate Boat.
• AI harassing players (Murlocs, Ogres, Kobolds etc.) now start out with less units.
• AI harassing players now have 2 turns per round, but their units are raised x4 in price so that they may now actually only buy half the units compared to before this update. This is to compensate for the much smarter and active AI and allow them to be defeated more easily.
• Young dragons are now valued higher by the AI harassing players than before, so they should now try to protect them a bit more.
• Added 9 sawmills to the map to support more building of ships and artillery.
• Doubled the number of unique music files, but also shortened them all from 2 minutes to 1 minute as players can now play an entire alliance, have 3 turns in a row and therefore have 3 music files be played in sequence. It should be avoided to have the music overlap.
• Other minor edits to the map and map notes.
The 6 possible Water-Dragon Spawn points:
@Frostion The changes look good. A few thoughts/questions:
- Any plans to do a similar random spawn locations for the rest of the dragons?
- Most of the water dragon locations are in places where both sides would have a chance except the one south of the Pontic Desert. Might be better to move that one further east.
- Did you get a chance to test the latest pre-release AI? Any additional feedback?
Right now the placement of the other dragons are as random as the AIs decisions on where it wants to place. (The dragons are placed by AI at factories, not the triggers.) The placing seems to be pretty consistent, but I haven't really tested out what happens if a player massively moves towards one of the well used spawn points. Will the AI place elsewhere if an army is standing in the neighbour territory and threatens to attack? I hope so.
I have played only a few short test games with the latest AI. I noticed a few times that the AI takes the dragon and runs away if possible before it can be captured, unlike before. So the AI has improved a lot. Maybe enough to let the dragons be captured only if it has no other option.
I don't know about the most southern desert location. It is the only one close to Greenskins and I am not even sure the Greenskin player would cheer after placement, as it forces the player to focus heavily on building ships before a Dragon and 3 pirate ships arrives to wipes out the green fleet and blockade the area. Closer to Greenskins would mean less time to prepare.
That said, further testing and changes are very possible. When there is time.
@Frostion Ok. Mostly just concerned that the AI placed dragons are sometimes are placed where there aren't any defending units so can be immediately captured (at least that has happened in both the PBF games). Now that the AI defends them better if they aren't immediately captured then it should be better but sometimes they are captured before the AI can move them.
@redrum, great map. Wow, the AI got aggressive in the latest version! It’s making it very interesting!
@mattbarnes Yeah, the AI finally understands moves of the advanced features its using. They also have 2 turns per round which gives them a lot of movement.
We played this again. Lots of fun. The AI is nicely aggressive.
The dragons split fairly evenly but in one game it was I&II&IV against III&V&VI which was a bit disbalanced. Even with the shorter movement range of dragons (which is good), the very high HP dragons are just totally dominant if not facing a similar enemy. Should the dragons be made a little more equal to each other?
The Water Dragon is quite limited and poor value. Not only is it a drawback to be sea-only, it also can’t do a non-combat move after a battle in the way it’s airborne brethren can.
The I dragon isn’t much better than the Elven eagle or Dwarf airship.
Also, the game balance seems to favour Good because Crowton is too easy to isolate and blockade. Can anything be done about that?
@mattbarnes said “The very high HP dragons are just totally dominant if not facing a similar enemy. Should the dragons be made a little more equal to each other?”
“The I dragon isn’t much better than the Elven eagle or Dwarf airship.”
As the Dragons clearly still was a bit too strong in v0.2.5 and the players getting dragons still had to much of an advantage, the dragons have now been nerfed a little again. Before dragons had between 1 and 6 HP. Now it is 2,3 or 4 HP. So the lower bar has been raised 1 HP and the top bar lowered 2 HP. Also now some dragons have less teeth and are 3 att/def, not 4 att/def. I still see and think that there is a toughness progression from the level 1 dragon (Green) to the level 6 (Red). Here is a comparison of the changes:
“The Water Dragon is quite limited and poor value. Not only is it a drawback to be sea-only, it also can’t do a non-combat move after a battle in the way it’s airborne brethren can.”
It does not have a move-away-after-battle move as it is essentially an A&A sea unit and follows the same rules. The Dragons are A&A Air units and have that return move. It is maybe technically possible to add an extra move, but I don’t see a great need and am fine with the standard rules. I am not sure everyone agrees with the sea dragon not being strong. I think it is perhaps stronger than its level rank 3, maybe it is more or less as important as the 4 or 5 level dragon. I think it is very important for players to have water supremacy, more than I first originally first recognized. I think @redrum is a strong advocate of ruling the sea in Dragon War
New version of Dragon War is downloadable - v1.2.5 to v1.2.6
• Young dragons and captured dragons are now valued a bit lower by the AI harassing players than before.
• Dragons have lowered stats. Less attack and defense power and less HP.
• Other minor edits to the map.
@Frostion thanks for the changes!
What are your thoughts about tactics to keep Croatian in the game please?
@mattbarnes I guess you mean that Crowton is at a disadvantage as it is a sea / island based nation. I don't know if I agree. I think that there are pluses and minuses, defensive and attack options. Yes, Crowton needs to build ships (besides the free ships and marines they get), but that also gives them a lot of options, especially vs. the elves. Crowton with fleet can pick and chose where to focus and battle, while the elves have a certain way to go, a long coast to protect and elves cannot evade the AIs harassing races. Maybe AI is at a disadvantage when playing Crowton, but I think that human players can use this island nation a bit wiser.
avshar last edited by
@Frostion I played this game a lot when it was still developing. The current version is better in all areas. At first I was angry about the Neutrals getting 2 turns since that means you can't spread out quickly or your units get destroyed. But after a couple of plays you get used to it, although I have to say the undead have a serious disadvantage in this situation. Every time the AI played the undead they were wiped out by the Neutrals and the Lionians just walked in and claimed the territory without much effort. Even with hard AI.
The dragons do seem to pop up in the same locations over and over. Even the Water dragon. Played three times and it always appeared at the bottom of the map near the Orcs. The only saving grace is the 2 turns for the neutrals. The dragons appear in one spot then vanish to another before anyone can go for them. The only problem I have seen is the neutrals placing dragons in areas without support so they are easy to capture. This happens with the Dwarves a lot. A dragon almost always ends up in their territory without protection. I once played the Dwarves and ended up with 5 dragons without much effort. Was pretty much over at that point. Will let you know if I see anything else.
@avshar The AI doesn't understand the 2 turns for neutrals which is why it probably performs poorly in some situations.
If you have save games showing poor dragon placement or movement then I'd be interested in taking a look at them.
Turn 10 second pirate move they left a dragon on it's own when they didn't need to. (i don't remember how i got any of the other dragons)
Ogres placed an undefended dragon in round 2, and left it undefended during the first round 3 movement phase as well.
barbarians placed an undefended dragon in second move of round 3. Could have taken it if i had a boat in range, so maybe not a bad move?
I don't think Evil ever even tried for any dragons.
Evil AI aggressiveness was low against unoccupied territories, as on other maps. I think that is fixed in the next release, but figured i would mention it anyway.
i feel like there will be more to be said once i play as evil
@ff03k64 I am also noticing some issues with blitzing.
I have a unit in Dathic Hollows, it can blitz through Dathic North into Dathiwatch, but not the other way around. They are both swamps, neither says it is a mountain, which from the notes should be the only place blocking blitz?
I also have units in Northern Wilds, and can't blitz through either Kings summit (expected) or North Eastern Pontic Desert.
@ff03k64 There are a lot of AI changes for Dragon War in the pre-release and I think most of the things you point out should be addressed.
@ff03k64 Thanks for the feedback. I will take a look at your points soon. I have just not come around to it yet. Even though the AI might be upgraded in the next engine release, I would like to see if there are any actual flaws in the xml, like in the territories. I just need to find some free spare time
@Frostion Another thought. The price of cities, towns and villages seem a little off. Unless there is some advantage to a town or city besides the extra production capacity, it doesn't make sense that they are basically the same cost. Essentially, each build/upgrade costs 20 resources (10 PU, 10 other), and only gets you one extra guy. The only way i can see that that is beneficial is at a choke point. Other than that, it seems like having 3 villages is just as good as having a town.
This is the full set of connections and canals that, once pasted inside your Dragon War game, in substitution of the connections you have, should have all connections passable by air units only.
What you need to do is, first of all, removing all connections and canals that should not exist at all (as I've rerun the automatic connection finder and didn't check for wrong connections, and I've not removed the connections to the "Unit List" territory, either), then removing all the canals of connections that are passable by any units (basically the opposite of what you already did, but for canals, instead of connections).
Alternatively, if you give me the full list of connections that should be passable by air only (practically, all those you removed entirely from the game because of rivers sections without bridges and such), then I can give you the canals for those only, so you'll have just to paste both those missing connections and their canals.
The only issue is that the error message will say something like "Must control Sealonia - Stormwood to move through". I don't think there is really a way around this, because the program just generally doesn't admit that there may be canals any units can move through under no conditions, so you'll just have to document in notes to ignore such automatically given information.
The only way would be a developer to support assigning no territories to a canal, creating a canal that can never be passed unless the unit can ignore it. Then having a warning saying something like "Cannot move through".