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amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Jul 5th 2016 at 3:07:59 PM

[up]Damn straight.


Had a major breakthrough today: I successfully figured out how to enable an AI ally on Dark Crusade's campaign maps. Haven't playtested it yet and only modded it into non-special territories and Eres Badlands so far, but it looks good.

Kudos to the guy who made a similar mod to Soulstorm. Him asking how to do it on the Relicnews forums is what allowed me to figure it out myself, with some help from Eres Badlands' SCAR file.

Yinyang107 from the True North Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Jul 10th 2016 at 9:43:22 PM

I can't seem to end mission 10 of the original Dawn of War. Objective is to kill every last Chaos unit and building but I can't find any more and it won't end.

Maybe someday, they'll see a hero is just a man who knows he is free. R.I.P. "Grammie" Ruth Watson, 1927-2014
amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Jul 11th 2016 at 2:29:51 AM

Which one is that? The Isador one?

Yinyang107 from the True North Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Yinyang107 from the True North Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Jul 11th 2016 at 5:31:29 PM

I'm now 99% certain that I've killed everything there is to kill. I own every strategic point and I've gone over everywhere else with a landspeeder. This is such a pain.

Maybe someday, they'll see a hero is just a man who knows he is free. R.I.P. "Grammie" Ruth Watson, 1927-2014
theLibrarian That all you got? from his own little world
That all you got?
Jul 11th 2016 at 5:43:03 PM

Have you killed Isador?

That is the face of a man who just ate a kitten. Raw.
Yinyang107 from the True North Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Jul 11th 2016 at 6:26:01 PM

I had indeed. I decided to just mess with the game files and manually unlock the next mission.

Maybe someday, they'll see a hero is just a man who knows he is free. R.I.P. "Grammie" Ruth Watson, 1927-2014
amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 8th 2018 at 1:10:18 PM

Necroing the thread to ask a poignant question.

Why the F are Chaos so weak in Dark Crusade? Seriously, I'm getting my ass kicked by the goddamn Imperial Guard. Attacking a strength 6 territory, I immediately honor guard rush one of the enemy bases and take it out, but the other became so powerful in the meantime that I cannot take them on by that point. They are spamming nothing but Guardsmen with plasma guns; no grenade launchers, just plasmas. Which means they outgun and slaughter any ranged squad I throw at them and attempting to engage them in melee results in the melee guys suffering 50% casualties before even getting into range. And that's not counting the constant Psyker spam with their bullshit instantly-break-target-morale lightning. Or the heavy weapons teams whose anti-infantry kits can somehow tear off half of a Chaos Predator's health by the time the tank kills it. Or the Leman Russes who consistently score 2-to-1 kill ratios against Chaos Predators.

I'm currently at an impasse where I managed to kill the bulk of their army and am pushing towards a Relic to keep them from rolling out a Baneblade, but have already failed at least a dozen times in a row because I need to split my forces to keep them from attacking me from behind, but the force that goes for the Relic invariably gets wiped by attrition.

Also attempted to make a pass at Hyperion Peaks as Chaos, but found out the hard way that four Predators are just enough to kill ONE Mek Shop out of three before the opposition rolls out a Squiggoth that singlehandedly kills my entire army. Because the guy who wrote the mission script thought it was funny to give me Cultists for this mission. Not Obliterators, not even Chaos Marines, CULTISTS. Who cannot even equip heavy weapons because I have no Armory.

VutherA Thank you, Monty Oum. from Canada Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Thank you, Monty Oum.
Sep 8th 2018 at 1:44:43 PM

It is indicative of the character of the sort of traitors that join the heresy that is Chaos.

amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 8th 2018 at 2:52:01 PM

Well, Chaos has been continuously nerfed since vanilla. Just look at the changes between games.

  • Vanilla: Chaos Marines have three heavy weapons to choose from, Horrors are general-purpose, Chaos Predators are general-purpose.
  • Winter Assault: Chaos Marines are nerfed to Heavy Bolters only, Horrors are nerfed to anti-vehicle, Chaos Predators get spiffy new anti-everything weapons when Chaos Energies is researched.
  • Dark Crusade: Chaos Marines get their Plasma Guns back but a full tier behind everyone else, Horrors are still anti-vehicle, Chaos Predators are nerfed back to vanilla loadout, which leaves them inferior to practically everything.

If there are any good news, it's that my frustration with this crap led me to look into the game files and I located the AI scripts. I'm thinking of throwing out the "is my army larger than the player's?" condition for determining when to attack and replacing it with something else:

  • Attack when having reached 60-80% of the player's forces (determined by difficulty) instead of waiting for 100%+ (it already attacks at 30% on Easy but waits for 100% on every other difficulty). This would avoid the AI getting stuck with wanting to amass more forces but being unable to do so due to both it and the player having hit the unit cap (resulting the AI staying on the defensive until the player attacks and takes enough casualties to drop his army cost beneath the AI's, at which point the AI goes nuts and steamrolls him), but would potentially leave the AI open to being bled with attrition (since it's throwing units away on piecemeal attacks that cannot overwhelm the player).
  • Attack when having enough resources to be able to immediately shell out the full cost of replacing its entire army, ie. it's not holding back if it knows it can take the losses. This would make the AI significantly more aggressive once it has a steady requisition income, but risks being too aggressive and wasting units on piecemeal attack, leaving it defenseless if the player shows up at its doorstep with a full army.

Which approach do you think should be better? Mixing the two is one thing, but I feel we could make the AI's aggressiveness depend on what race it's playing as.


Another thing I found is that singleplayer matches apparently set a boolean variable that tells the AI to preferentially pick the first player, ie. the human player, when selecting a target for its next attack. I wonder if this is why there are reports of comp stomp multiplayer games on difficulty levels above Easy frequently having the entire AI team gang up on the server host and the server host alone until he's eliminated and the human team is now playing at a numerical disadvantage? If so, this definitely needs to be turned off because it's not the intended behavior for the AI.

Edited by amitakartok on Sep 8th 2018 at 3:15:31 PM

Medinoc Chaotic Greedy from France
Chaotic Greedy
Sep 10th 2018 at 6:41:39 AM

DoW has its AIs Gang Up on the Human? Well to be fair, it fits the background.

"And as long as a sack of shit is not a good thing to be, chivalry will never die."
theLibrarian That all you got? from his own little world
That all you got?
Sep 10th 2018 at 9:14:50 AM

I've often said that the reason that happens is because humanity has the biggest dick in the interstellar dick-waving competition so everyone else is waving their dicks at it trying to show off how big their dicks are.

That is the face of a man who just ate a kitten. Raw.
amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 11th 2018 at 3:13:36 PM

Except I was playing as Chaos, not either of the Imperial factions.

Anyway. Restarted the mission and went for the IG base not with the honor guard this time, then turned around and gutted the other guy's base too before retreating and setting up a perimeter to keep them boxed in while fortifying the map. Worked much better, though that might be because I only had to watch two entrances for breakout attempts, rather than four, plus I denied all but one strategic points to the AI and kept constantly harassing it to pull its infantry out into heavy bolter crossfire to waste whatever few requisition it had.

Went for Pavonis next, which looked like a really tough nut to crack due to being strength 10 under Tau control and having withstood multiple Necron and Marine attacks. So I decided to leave it for later and spent a turn moving south to go elsewhere - only for the very next Marine attack to take it! So I immediately doubled back and took it off their hands, thank you very much, followed by the Vandean Coast too.

Next target is going to be a tough one because it's right next to the Ork stronghold and they have a big honor guard. As in, big enough to have a looted Russ. Last turn, they attacked my other neighboring province and I kicked them back so hard they lost the Russ, but I know they'll have it back in two turns.


Reason for that is that I saw in the game script files how the AI's honor guard is handled. There is a hidden "army rank" value that increases every turn by a value defined in the AI metamap difficulty file, decreases by a value also set in the same file for every battle lost by the AI, and the race definition file for the AI's faction has a list of the units defining what the AI gets for its honor guard for each army rank. Basically, the AI automatically gets the next item on the list every X turns and each lost battle removes the last Y units from the list, X and Y being values set in script files.

Territory strength works the same way. The AI does not use Planetary Requisition whatsoever. Also, ever noticed that whenever you attack a Necron territory of strength 8 or above, their Summoning Core takes a strangely long time to kill and doesn't seem to display its health bar properly? This is why:

{

MilitaryStrength = 8,

Structures =

{ { Blueprint = "necron_plasma_generator", Markers = { "start1_", }, },

{ Blueprint = "necron_plasma_generator", Markers = { "start2_", }, },

{ Blueprint = "necron_summoning_core", Markers = { "start3_", }, },

{ Blueprint = "necron_plasma_generator", Markers = { "start4_", }, },

{ Blueprint = "necron_plasma_generator", Markers = { "start6_", }, },

{ Blueprint = "necron_summoning_core", Markers = { "start3_", }, },

{ Blueprint = "necron_greater_summoning_core", Markers = { "start8_", }, },

}, }

There is a duplicate entry in the list (this is for strength 8; 9 and 10 are the same, probably copy-pasted) that defines what pre-built structures Necron AI players get at the start of each battle and the game does not check for footprint overlaps when spawning these structures, which results in two overlapping Summoning Cores. Pretty banal error, but Relic never noticed it. Let's just be glad it was for something innocuous, rather than HQs or vehicle production structures...

amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 13th 2018 at 12:36:40 PM

Okay. Question. What do you guys think is a better approach for balancing Hyperion Peaks, or at the very least making it less insanity-inducing, without breaking it over one's knee?

The problems:

  • The match is 3-on-1, which is plain broken for a territory with a relatively small strategic importance to begin with (as pre-placing structures is nowhere near as useful as attacking anywhere or having extra starting resources).
    • Reduce enemy count? I'd rather not do this if there's an alternative.
    • Nerf the AI? From what I can tell, we can selectively disable AI resourcing, base construction, unit production, research, building upgrades, tactical AI (like ability usage) or strategic AI (ie. actively attacking the player).
    • Give the player a surprise attack advantage, ie. the AI remains inactive for the first few minutes?
  • All three AIs start with 5000/5000 resources in addition to having access to their entire tech tree due to the massive number of pre-places structures they get, and are not limited at getting more.
    • Disable AI resourcing?
    • Set starting AI resources to zero?
    • Allow the player to build Plasma Generators of his own?
  • The AI is practically unlimited in what it can throw at the player: it cannot produce Bloodthirsters, Daemon Princes or Monoliths, but everything else is fair play and the AI team can go over the cap for Looted Leman Russes three times over due to the match being 3-on-1.
    • Disable most powerful units, like Leman Russes and Squiggoths? At the very least relic units should be disabled.
    • I'd disable all vehicles, but that would be too much of a boon to the player.

I'm also considering the possibility of allowing the player to build some structures. No defenses or vehicles, only infantry training and armories for weapon upgrades.

Thoughts?

VutherA Thank you, Monty Oum. from Canada Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Thank you, Monty Oum.
Sep 13th 2018 at 12:46:36 PM

Not to act like no one here cares about it (I'll admit I've never actually played Dark Crusade myself), but I feel like you'd be better off asking this in some sort of DoW1 modding community.

...I'll admit I'm not entirely sure what would be a good place for that. My best guess would be talking to the Ultimate Apocalypse mod for Soulstorm's community, I think that's probably the most active group for DoW1. Here's the ModDB forum, here's a Discord group.

Edited by VutherA on Sep 13th 2018 at 3:46:39 PM

theLibrarian That all you got? from his own little world
That all you got?
Sep 13th 2018 at 12:53:43 PM

For me its all about strategy. As the Blood Ravens I did it fairly easily; put up turrets and turtled until I got enough strength to destroy each faction, hunting down webway gates and outposts, then I launched an all-out assault on the main base.

That is the face of a man who just ate a kitten. Raw.
amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 13th 2018 at 2:07:03 PM

[up]This is the mission where you cannot build any structures other than Listening Posts. You get a full army but if it's wiped, it's game over.


Did some experimentation just now. Reducing the AI's starting resources from 5000/5000 to 0/0 completely gutted it. I was already in their base and wrecking their face by the time they made their first Slugga Boy squad. So that's a no-go. I'll try 2000/100 tomorrow; enough for a powerful counter-rush (saved my hide against a Space Marine rush on the Ariel Highlands in my previous battle by out-attritioning their rush with Chaos Marines while my honor guard killed the other AI player and swung around towards these guys to box them in while I fortify the map), but that's it. I understand the reasoning why they give the AI so much to start with, though: if you look at the map, the AI doesn't really have that many strategic points to use, especially with three of them. But 5000 pretty much guarantees that the AI will never run out of resources because the three of them will be getting resources faster than you can kill the units it buys with said resources.

Edited by amitakartok on Sep 13th 2018 at 11:16:30 AM

theLibrarian That all you got? from his own little world
That all you got?
Sep 13th 2018 at 3:09:25 PM

Oh that one.

I just smashed everything with a doomstack but you have all cultists as well.

That is the face of a man who just ate a kitten. Raw.
amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 14th 2018 at 12:51:33 AM

Replaced them with Chaos Marines and Obliterators, 50-50. Also gave myself all upgrades and the ability to build an Armory for weapon upgrades.

Back in the day, I solved this mission with invulnerability cheats; I won't do that if I can avoid it. I want the mission to be challenging but doable, not effortlessly easy.

amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 14th 2018 at 11:47:53 AM

Another round of experimenting today.

Gave the AI 2000/100 in resources. Rolled over them with practically zero resistance.

Gave the AI 3000/1000. Same result.

Restored AI resources to 5000/5000 but disabled Squiggoths, Looted Leman Russes and Killa Kans. AI put up an actual fight this time around, nearly lost all of my armor to lack of micro (lost both Defilers and two Predators, other two Predators were on their last legs) but it still doesn't feel quite right. I'll try re-enabling the Killa Kans and see where it goes.

UPDATE: I think I got it.

  • Killa Kans are so tough that only concentrated lascannon fire from Chaos Predators can fend them off. The Bloodthirster can do it in a pinch, but it can't keep it up forever.
  • The player has Possessed Marines to keep Killa Kans busy while the Predators kill them, but the Kans' melee attacks kill the Possessed Marines so quickly that the player runs out of Power reinforcing them if the fight drags out.
  • If the Possessed Marines go down, the Predators are wide open to the Kans.
  • If the Predators go down to the Kans, the player is for all intents and purposes already defeated because nothing else in his arsenal can fight them.
  • The Chaos Marines and Obliterators I replaced the Cultists with can keep enemy infantry at bay, but won't do squat against the Killa Kans and once the AI starts spamming Nobs with Mad Doks, even infantry-on-infantry fights become a downwards spiral.

This feels right now. The mission is challenging because the Killa Kans force the player to keep moving and cut off their source before losing the only units capable of challenging them, but it's not impossible because the AI no longer has Looted Leman Russes that can pick off the Predators from far outside their range before the player even notices them, nor double Squiggoths capable of soloing the player's entire army by themselves.

Edited by amitakartok on Sep 14th 2018 at 9:37:04 PM

Medinoc Chaotic Greedy from France
Chaotic Greedy
Sep 18th 2018 at 8:56:44 AM

It's pretty telling that for me this mission becamse easier when the Necron AI took the province from the Orks (how does AI-on-AI works in Dark Crusade by the way? Is it a simple die roll?)

"And as long as a sack of shit is not a good thing to be, chivalry will never die."
theLibrarian That all you got? from his own little world
That all you got?
Sep 18th 2018 at 9:26:12 AM

I imagine so.

That is the face of a man who just ate a kitten. Raw.
amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Sep 18th 2018 at 1:22:02 PM

AI on AI is always autoresolved. The odds depend on difficulty level but I seem to remember that on Hard, the attacker has a 45% base chance to win, plus-minus 7% per difference in territory strength.

amitakartok Relationship Status: Don't hug me; I'm scared
Oct 14th 2018 at 8:41:17 AM

...okay, this I did not expect.

In my latest playthrough as Chaos, the Necrons got to Hyperion Peaks before me. Now I attack it and... it's a complete and utter pushover.

As in, I destroyed two out of the three bases before they even started making any units beyond Scarabs. And that's without me ever having touched the mission script. I think they're getting screwed over by not starting with any Obelisks and thus their starting troops building super-slowly. Yet another example of the devs not having thought this mission through. I mean, yes, they scripted starting AI assets for every faction for this mission, but they obviously hadn't playtested it with anything other than Orks.

Oh, and the Necron player's name is Ulthw Strike Force.

Edited by amitakartok on Oct 14th 2018 at 5:58:33 PM

FrozenWolf2 Just an Old Mon from Stuck in Kanto
Just an Old Mon
Oct 14th 2018 at 9:07:36 AM

pretty much

Dark Crusade and Soulstorm'LOLZ' have alot of issues when it comes those special case scenarios where the Devs clearly didn't think the player would get into

IE Your Stronghold gets attacked for example

Another Faction takes one of the Assets/Strongholds so you have to take it from them... leading either to a skirmish map or... something really awkward

Hyperion Peaks is really dependent on which race is holding it and which Race you are using.

The Issue with Chaos is I think they honestly expect you to over-rely on how much of monster a partial upgraded Elpihas is before you get there

"You ever breathe through more then one opening boy? Once I get better you be sure to let me know what its like."

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