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CCP Fallout

Posted - 2009.03.09 16:46:00 - [1]
 

One of the most talked about changes coming in EVE Online: Apocrypha, are the new Sleeper NPC race. Hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammo have been fired at these hardcore wormhole rats as players have toughened up and taken them on. CCP Gangleri's blog fills us in with more details about the work Team Epic has done on Sleepers. You can read about it here.

Macy Angua
Posted - 2009.03.09 16:50:00 - [2]
 

Wohoo :)

Does that mean we can actually neut / nos sleepers to zero cap?

Destination SkillQueue
Are We There Yet
Posted - 2009.03.09 16:58:00 - [3]
 

Originally by: Macy Angua
Wohoo :)

Does that mean we can actually neut / nos sleepers to zero cap?



Originally by: blog
Here is what we have not changed:

* NPC to Player E-war effect mechanics.
* Player to NPC E-war effect mechanics.

The two entries above include: Propulsion, warp and sensor jamming as well as target painting, tracking disrupting, sensor dampening and neut/nos.

FinalFlash84
NibbleTek
Pandemic Legion
Posted - 2009.03.09 16:59:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: Macy Angua
Wohoo :)

Does that mean we can actually neut / nos sleepers to zero cap?


Quote:

Q: Why are some player E-War capabilities useless against Sleepers?

A: As explained above, one of the features suggested in this round of PvE revamp was to change E-war so that it mimicked the PvP effects, this was however deemed less valuable than other features and therefore didn't make it into this release.



Over 9000 !!

Macy Angua
Posted - 2009.03.09 17:02:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: Destination SkillQueue
Originally by: Macy Angua
Wohoo :)

Does that mean we can actually neut / nos sleepers to zero cap?



Originally by: blog
Here is what we have not changed:

* NPC to Player E-war effect mechanics.
* Player to NPC E-war effect mechanics.

The two entries above include: Propulsion, warp and sensor jamming as well as target painting, tracking disrupting, sensor dampening and neut/nos.



Damn, I blame my short attention span for forgetting what I just read when I posted Embarassed

Now, what were we talking about?

Daedalus II
Helios Research
Posted - 2009.03.09 17:35:00 - [6]
 

Ok, so some EWAR is useless against sleepers and normal NPCs. Which EWAR WILL work on sleepers then?

el caido
School of Applied Knowledge
Posted - 2009.03.09 17:44:00 - [7]
 

Edited by: el caido on 09/03/2009 17:46:12

Quote:
This AI does not cheat in any way

I lol'd.

EDIT: This should be written as 'This AI does not cheat in any way that the current NPCs do not.' Regardless, I am still looking forward to it. Good work, CCP.

CCP Ytterbium

Posted - 2009.03.09 17:51:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: el caido
Edited by: el caido on 09/03/2009 17:46:12

I lol'd.

EDIT: This should be written as 'This AI does not cheat in any way that the current NPCs do not.' Regardless, I am still looking forward to it. Good work, CCP.


Well no, actually the AI doesn't, since it doesn't instantly knows your ship fittings and weaknesses, it reacts to player actions according to how big of a threat one is. As expressed in the blog, the problem remains with some NPC attributes that just cannot be altered at the moment by player modules, which will be looked into in the future.

Tarminic
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2009.03.09 17:54:00 - [9]
 

Edited by: Tarminic on 09/03/2009 17:54:05
You mentioned that NPCs warping in and out of locations when they take too much damage (and subsequently being capable of being scrammed) didn't make it into this release but was coming Soon(TM). Does this mean that you guys have definitely decided to add this feature? Or is still one of those "could happen" features?

Originally by: Daedalus II
Ok, so some EWAR is useless against sleepers and normal NPCs. Which EWAR WILL work on sleepers then?

From Memory, this is what works:

1. Energy Neutralizers - They will repair less often or not at all but will still fire weapons
2. Sensor Dampeners (Sensor Resolution Damping) - Functions as expected
3. ECM - Functions as expected
4. Target Painting - Functions as expected

CCP Gangleri


Minmatar
Posted - 2009.03.09 17:57:00 - [10]
 

Edited by: CCP Gangleri on 09/03/2009 17:59:30
Originally by: el caido
Edited by: el caido on 09/03/2009 17:46:12

Quote:
This AI does not cheat in any way

I lol'd.

EDIT: This should be written as 'This AI does not cheat in any way that the current NPCs do not.' Regardless, I am still looking forward to it. Good work, CCP.


My point is that the Sleepers do not magically get all your fittings and calculate the best target that way. We don't check which target has the lowest resists and make that ship the top target, or check if someone is buffer tanked and put them at the bottom of the list. There are however metrics that are affected by these factors, but on a trial and error basis to make the system more dynamic and fun to play against.


edit: crap, beaten to it by Ytterbium Embarassed


Originally by: Tarminic

From Memory, this is what works:

1. Energy Neutralizers - They will repair less often or not at all but will still fire weapons
2. Sensor Dampeners (Sensor Resolution Damping) - Functions as expected
3. ECM - Functions as expected
4. Target Painting - Functions as expected



Webbing also works just fine on NPC's Razz

el caido
School of Applied Knowledge
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:14:00 - [11]
 

Edited by: el caido on 09/03/2009 18:15:22
Huzzah! I prompted dev cross-posting! Laughing

I understand your delineation between the new (read: only) AI and the magic NPC ewar mechanics ... but with Sleepers being vicious, energy-sucking, spider-tanking bastards, plus being able to cripple both PVE and PVP fits, I would hope that fixing ewar and similar effects to/from NPCs falls high on the list. Somewhere between the bounty system and the Domi skin, perhaps? Wink

Edited for the spelling of an American.

Rivqua
Caldari
Omega Wing
Snatch Victory
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:16:00 - [12]
 

You say soloing is viable, does this go for solo mining ops, a tanked BS/something mining gases?

And what people refer to when they say "cheating" is things like 40-100km webbers/scramblers, torpedoes (heard this was changed?) and such. Also that their targeting range is so long that stacking penalties prevent you from dampening it to any usable amount.

Not cheating would be that battleships having to use "low dmg ammo / low tracking guns" to hit to 100km, and doing like 100dps at that range. Or not being able to use neuts at 50km.

That's what people referr to when they say npcs cheat.

Rivqua
Caldari
Omega Wing
Snatch Victory
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:18:00 - [13]
 

A side question, but you mentioned it in the blog, so I figure I may ask you on it: What are these proper "rewards" you talk about, as scrap metal (salvage) is not a reward in itself, if you don't have any buyers, right ? :)

CCP Gangleri


Minmatar
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:33:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: Rivqua
You say soloing is viable, does this go for solo mining ops, a tanked BS/something mining gases?

And what people refer to when they say "cheating" is things like 40-100km webbers/scramblers, torpedoes (heard this was changed?) and such. Also that their targeting range is so long that stacking penalties prevent you from dampening it to any usable amount.

Not cheating would be that battleships having to use "low dmg ammo / low tracking guns" to hit to 100km, and doing like 100dps at that range. Or not being able to use neuts at 50km.

That's what people referr to when they say npcs cheat.


We did not change the mechanics behind NPC attributes as that would have been a very complicated change that would affect all NPC entities in the game and deliver minimal return without a new AI. So it is something we might look at later, however there will always be a discrepancy between the complex fitting choices players have and the system used for NPCs. It simply is not viable to have a resource hungry system behind a mechanic that has such a minimal effect on the actual outcome.

Also, the Sleepers drop loot that you can sell in K-space. Much like tags, but not quite the same.

Arte
The Darkness Within
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:37:00 - [15]
 

Do you get an idea of the difficulty of the area of w-space you're in before you happen upon the sleeper spawns, or is it tied into the k-space system you left? (unlikely if it is a random generation)

I will def find it mildly amusing to hear how someone left .7 space for w-space and came across a big bada$$ sleeper spawn that had them outwitted from the off. Not so amused if it was me that got caught out like that ofc.Laughing

Enthral
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:54:00 - [16]
 

Dead serious folks, these sleepers are evil tough. I had a fully fitted caracal with top notch skills vaporize in seconds to five sleeper frigates and three cruisers. If you bring your CNR into a wormhole, expect to lose it very quickly.

Assume nothing, except even the easiest sleeper sites are going to kick your butt solo.

-Enthral

Bartholomeus Crane
Gallente
The Crane Family
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:55:00 - [17]
 

Hold on a minute! What you reference there in your blog is the definition of an 'intelligent agent', not Artificial Intelligence! That's not at all what I would use to describe Artificial Intelligence! In fact, it is a very limited definition of intelligent agents as well, as it only describes that which in multi-agent terms is described as 'reflexive agents', the lowest form in the hierarchy of intelligent agents.

In fact, if you scroll down that (rather inadequate, as usual) page on wikipedia, you'll find that Artificial Intelligence also includes such things as reasoning, deduction, learning, and planning. None of these are even remotely included in your system, and are, granted, not easily incorporated (for the uninitiated).

But let me point you to the Darthmouth proposal (also on that page): "Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it." Note the central point in that statement: learning. It's quite clear, and demonstrated, that things like reasoning, deduction, and planning (as well as many other things) can be learned by an AI. In fact, in a true AI, learning is considered to be a pre-requisite, otherwise you're just proscribing behaviour (as you're doing now). So:

Q: Given that you made the first tentative steps towards more intelligent behaviour of NPCs will you continue work in the direction of AI (incorporating learning)?

And I would want to point out that I'm not referring to further work on E-war for NPCs necessarily, however welcome and necessary that will be.

Quite clearly, from someone with more than passing knowledge of AI, and without going into the AI philosophic discussion of whether intelligent behaviour is intelligence, what you've been doing in is merely AI-ish, but not (yet) AI. This is not meant derogatory, as AI is not an easy thing to do well, and what you've done is not bad for the level you aimed for. But a lot more can be done, and quite frankly, must be done for it to be called AI outside marketing blurbs and gaming conventions.

Tickled my AI backbone there!

Tarminic
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2009.03.09 18:59:00 - [18]
 

Edited by: Tarminic on 09/03/2009 19:01:25
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
AI Stuff

By that definition, I think very few games could claim to have any kind of AI. In the context of gaming, isn't AI a general term used to describe NPC/computer behavior?

Bartholomeus Crane
Gallente
The Crane Family
Posted - 2009.03.09 19:30:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Tarminic
Edited by: Tarminic on 09/03/2009 19:01:25
Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
AI Stuff

By that definition, I think very few games could claim to have any kind of AI. In the context of gaming, isn't AI a general term used to describe NPC/computer behavior?


Very few games have AI. In fact, the term is mostly abused to sell more games. A marketing blurb. Nevertheless, one has to distinguish between AI and behaviour. I'll not bore you to tears with philosophy, but it is analogous to the mind-body distinction. One could argue, and I would do so, that intelligent behaviour is the actuation of intelligence, yet distinctly separate from it. I.e. there can be intelligent behaviour without intelligence, without AI.

Consider this Goedel-like experiment: create an infinite (but countable) list of behavioural actions (instructions). When chosen intelligently, the system will behave intelligently, but the list itself is not intelligent (reminiscent of the mind-body distinction). It's appearance of intelligence was created by the maker of the list. The list is not an AI, it's a list.

Since the list is infinite, it can not be created. So mostly game developers resort to a partial (finite) list of instructions, limiting the behavioural intelligence. With learning, the list can be created for them, but most don't bother and call it AI anyway.

Nor do they need to bother sadly, by the time the gamer figures out the AI is poor, he'll be on to the next game. This doesn't work for MMOs if they aim for longevity and player retention.

I want to point out that intelligent agent systems based on reflexive agents are not called intelligent because of the agents. They are called intelligent because of the intelligence shown by the collective agents. An example is an ant colony. An ant is many things, but can not be called very intelligent and certainly can't learn. However, given many ants, their behaviour can be described as intelligent, and it can 'learn' to overcome certain obstacles. And yet, there is no intelligent brain that controls the hive.

The problem is ofcourse that there's no commonly accepted definition of intelligence.

Kyra Felann
Gallente
The Scope
Posted - 2009.03.09 19:44:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: Bartholomeus Crane
Hold on a minute! What you reference there in your blog is the definition of an 'intelligent agent', not Artificial Intelligence! That's not at all what I would use to describe Artificial Intelligence! In fact, it is a very limited definition of intelligent agents as well, as it only describes that which in multi-agent terms is described as 'reflexive agents', the lowest form in the hierarchy of intelligent agents.


Oh noes! You've discovered that NPC "AI" in a computer game isn't real, true AI! Wow, you're very clever! Thanks for pointing that out! I thought they had created mini SkyNets or Wintermutes to control each and every ship in the game!

Bluebear8
DOUBLE IDENTITY
R.A.G.E
Posted - 2009.03.09 19:51:00 - [21]
 

I think I see what you did, there.

You encourage ratters to graduate to PVP by luring them to W-Space for better rats and occasional PvP !

Wormhole? Rathole?

W-Space sounds interesting, but too much talk about chance to die. Not enough info reported on the "rewards".

Much lewt?
Haulage issues?
Gonna make billions with your T-1 frig/cruiser combo? Shocked


Vladimir Norkoff
Income Redistribution Service
Posted - 2009.03.09 19:54:00 - [22]
 

Originally by: CCP Gangleri
A player in a battlecruiser should be able to take on a small group of cruisers and frigates, by using tactics and sound judgment the encounter may end favorably for them.
Depends on the cruisers and frigates. And also depends on whether or not you can warp to range. Had an encounter where every ship webbed me, and was fairly certain that I was getting sucked into a beacon at predetermined range. Didn't leave many options for tactics.

LaVista Vista
Conservative Shenanigans Party
Posted - 2009.03.09 20:03:00 - [23]
 

Can you confirm or deny that you accidentally the sleepers? Neutral

Sacul
Aliastra
Posted - 2009.03.09 20:42:00 - [24]
 

Originally by: Bluebear8
I Not enough info reported on the "rewards".





I think most of us are wondering about this. If the lewtz are horrible (like now with complexes) nobody in his right mind is gonna get 3-5 man gangs together besides the 'hey its new lets try it for once' factor.
T3 build parts will drop i understand, i can totally see the need for a additional cargo ships. Its gonna be allot of effort, i hope the rewards are worth it.

Ikar Kaltin
Amarr
Beatus Tutela
The Reclaimers
Posted - 2009.03.09 20:46:00 - [25]
 

You say that npc's in 0.1-0.4 will now include battleships. How have some 0.0 regions been adjusted to match this? On the test server we have seen upto 950k isk bounty battleships in low sec, whilst at current this is the maximum in most of the Providence region. These changes kinda make places like Providence very "meh", 0.0 region but ores not better than low sec, and now npcs not better than low sec apart from the occasional 1.1mil bounty bs in the lower true sec systems.

Have the lower end 0.0 regions had their npcs adjusted in any way to stay improved over low sec?

But Sects
Posted - 2009.03.09 21:06:00 - [26]
 

Quote:
A: What would another player do in a PvP encounter upon noticing that most of your damage output is coming through drones? As a drone user, try to distance yourself from the 'I'm soloing a lvl4 mission' mindset. You need to get creative, we have done extensive playtesting on this and found this to be reasonably balanced.


Doubt it.

Merouk Baas
Gallente
Posted - 2009.03.09 21:11:00 - [27]
 

My only feedback is please keep in mind that good AI comes with a scale of "this NPC is dumb" to "this NPC is very smart", and that even PVP, most of it is fought with "stupid" so to speak. We aren't, all of us, aces of space flight.

So, yeah, the sleepers are "end-game content", boss-level NPCs, but at the same time, take a page from other MMOs and realize that they have entry-level raids and higher-tier raids, and the AI in the entry-level ones isn't as brilliant as the AI in the higher tiers.

Also, the NPC's do cheat: they MWD to range, they don't have the DPS/range limitations that players do, it's been mentioned above. And these things were put in place in order to offset the suck of the previous (dumb) AI.

Now that the AI is smarter, you need to remove these differences, otherwise fights aren't fun (in the same way that fighting someone who uses exploits isn't fun). I believe that's a very strong feeling in your playerbase, and I think you need to deal with this at a higher priority than you seem to currently give it.

Tarron Sarek
Gallente
Biotronics Inc.
Initiative Mercenaries
Posted - 2009.03.09 21:16:00 - [28]
 

Erm, Bartholomeus Crane, what is you point, besides stating the obvious, e.g. that the new 'AI' isn't a real AI?
I kinda dislike discussions just for discussion's sake, or for showing off one's expertise, especially when they are out of place.
You are right, but please keep it shorter.

The EVE server cluster doesn't have anywhere near the approximate performance required for an intelligent AI.
It is pointless to aim for or even discuss the perfect solution, if the perfect solution is out of question.
Instead it would make much more sense to discuss the best compromise, or to point out possible improvements.
So let's just stick to what we have or what we will get and tell the devs that they (hopefully) did a great job or where they failed.

Personally I'm more than happy with a set of 'intelligent' (meaning the person who created them was intelligent) case-based scripts and algorithms for behaviour, enriched with a healthy dose of randomization. The latter just to make sure the NPC behaviour isn't totally predictable once you figured out the patterns.

I don't really care how it's called, I don't really care whether it's ingeniously implemented, as long as the resulting system gets the job done and provides an entertaining, fun and challenging environment. It will receive my approval. Even if it's just an intelligent intelligence fake.

What has been announced so far sounds very interesting.
Therefore thumbs up.

Tonto Auri
Vhero' Multipurpose Corp
Posted - 2009.03.09 21:30:00 - [29]
 

Quote:
Here is what we have not changed:
NPC to Player E-war effect mechanics.
Player to NPC E-war effect mechanics.

The two entries above include: Propulsion, warp and sensor jamming as well as target painting, tracking disrupting, sensor dampening and neut/nos.


Translation to the basic English:
They still lock you from 300km, damp and ECM from that distance, and even shoot you that far and you can't do anything to prevent this to happen, unless you do not warp to them, however.

CCP Gangleri


Minmatar
Posted - 2009.03.09 21:36:00 - [30]
 

Edited by: CCP Gangleri on 09/03/2009 21:38:27
Originally by: Merouk Baas
My only feedback is please keep in mind that good AI comes with a scale of "this NPC is dumb" to "this NPC is very smart", and that even PVP, most of it is fought with "stupid" so to speak. We aren't, all of us, aces of space flight.

So, yeah, the sleepers are "end-game content", boss-level NPCs, but at the same time, take a page from other MMOs and realize that they have entry-level raids and higher-tier raids, and the AI in the entry-level ones isn't as brilliant as the AI in the higher tiers.

Also, the NPC's do cheat: they MWD to range, they don't have the DPS/range limitations that players do, it's been mentioned above. And these things were put in place in order to offset the suck of the previous (dumb) AI.

Now that the AI is smarter, you need to remove these differences, otherwise fights aren't fun (in the same way that fighting someone who uses exploits isn't fun). I believe that's a very strong feeling in your playerbase, and I think you need to deal with this at a higher priority than you seem to currently give it.


Sleepers do not become more stupid in the 'shallow end' of wormhole space, they do less damage and appear in smaller gangs however. Which is also the progression of all the other PvE content in this game. We were not worried that players would lose because they were too stupid to figure out a way to win, we were more concerned with making the easiest encounters soloable. No matter how stupid you make the hardest Sleeper encounter you would still not be able to solo it.

Again I would like to point out that attributes of NPCs are not the same as the AI/controlling mechanism/intelligent agent. Your logic is also backwards when you use MWD'ing rats as an example, MWD was disallowed in deadspace areas because they made it very easy to 'outsmart' the NPC. If you find a wormhole plex that disallows MWD then please bug report it.

edit: spelling


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