AIs and terrible planet builds

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nathanebht
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AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby nathanebht » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:16 pm

The AI could do a much better job at building up its planets. Their planets often have no manufacturing plant. You'll see them with one Lab and multiple Mines. Or other odd mixtures that don't make effective use of the Research, Trade and Mining queue fillers.

Actually I'd suggest getting rid of the Research, Trade and Mining queue fillers. They cause a lot of extra micromanagement when you research an extra planet build slot. I'd instead have completely built up planets build transports or troopships.

SilasOfBorg
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby SilasOfBorg » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:28 pm

I often take my last factory down and slowly build a mine just with pop. After all, the factory probably isn't doing much for you but another mine or lab - yum!

I'm not even 100% sure you should build a factory on smaller planets, especially those that are just going to be mining outposts - it may be faster to just build the mines. I'm not a min-maxer so I haven't done the math.

nathanebht
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby nathanebht » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:13 am

There are two techs that add a build slot to all of your planets. So having one factory on a mining planet lets you fill those new slots much quicker.

You also have the flexibility to have your mining planets to build small ships. Useful for transports and troop haulers.

BladeX
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby BladeX » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:51 am

couldn't agree more i've seen it time and time again the Ai take a planet with rich minerals and builds...5 farms :shock:

Chasm
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby Chasm » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:36 pm

Or a mineral poor fertile world with 7 mines and no farms.

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harpy eagle
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby harpy eagle » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:57 pm

Uhh definitely don't build factories on small worlds that you plan to use for mining/farming. You lose like 20 turns of potential income for a not-that-large boost to build speed. EDIT: now, if you know you're going to use that factory later to build lots of ships, that's another matter. But that usually only applies to worlds with higher population cap, since small planets are always going to have terrible production.

But yes improving how the AI decides what to build on it's planets does seem like good low-hanging fruit to pick at for improving the AI.

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fonzosh
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby fonzosh » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:45 am

Totally agree. Yesterday I took 2 planets from the tinkers and one was mineral poor and the other was sience rich and he had 5 mines on each. The first thing I had to do was to rebuild everything.

nathanebht
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby nathanebht » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:31 am

Just finished a normal difficulty game with the latest in dev build. Really idiotic planet builds all over.

One race had a planet with no factories and a shipyard. Also all of its older planets had one of the early spacestations for some reason. Often also with no factories.

All the races I looked at still use odd combinations. Multiple mines and one science building seems to be a favorite.

Still think it would be a good idea to remove the Research, Trade and Mining queue fillers. Significant saving on clicks when managing build queues. The AI not using them effectively would a non-issue.

zolobolo
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby zolobolo » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:48 pm

What is the population and production value of the planets without factories?

Building factories is not needed if the population is plentiful and have a high production yield to boost such as Tinkers, Ashdar Colonials or Yoral

The AI does tend to neglect markets a bit: this is mostly due to this building only coming in later after research and the AI not needing the boost in money (I think the main factor in building markets is if it is running low on funds) - If it does not consider increasing the moral of the pops on the planet, this factor might be added especially if there are minor races on the planet

Generally there are only one-two very effective build strategies I found but I am sure it would be no fun if the AI would constantly use these
The one I frequently use is:
1. If High Fertility build around 60% farms
2. If High Minerals build around 60% mines
3. If Normal Minerals build around 40% mines
4. One market per planet unless more then 5 slots available or newly conquered in the endgame
5. As many factories as pop can support on 2-3 dedicated production words (no High fertility or Minerals)
6. Research labs for the remaining slots until pop can staff else market

The reason is that food is the most valuable resource in the beginning and metal later. Currently I don't see shortage in coin, research or production (especially the later is mostly useless without metal). This is not a mayor problem though as coin has gotten comfortably short when paying for ships, engaging in buyouts, and paying of raiders. Not a mayor issue but is also not abundant like before

On the AI side of things I find their planetary production mostly fine. In rare cases they do get stuck when no minerals are present on their planets but that is about it: though I would like to see them build more markets I can understand that they do not need any

The queues seem a great filler for when there is nothing else to do and the AI seems to be using it well (especially the city building project) - why do you think they are not using them effectively? - If you haven't done so yet, enable the advanced options in the menu and switch to the AI faction to see their production and overall empire + planet details to see if it makes sense what it is doing

Dragar
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby Dragar » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:51 pm

The fillers are important for reducing micromanagemet. It's great most planets get a bunch of mines and a mining order, and then I don't think about them anymore.

nathanebht
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby nathanebht » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:59 am

Dragar wrote:The fillers are important for reducing micromanagemet. It's great most planets get a bunch of mines and a mining order, and then I don't think about them anymore.


There are 2 techs that give you an additional build slot on all your planets. Also if you add races to a planet to max its total population, this will usually give you one or two additional build slots.

So when this happens, you need to remove the filler, add one more mine/farm/research building and then re-add the filler. Over a long game, you'll have to do this probably 3 times for each of the planets you own. Lots of additional tedious clicking.

zolobolo
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby zolobolo » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:25 pm

nathanebht wrote:There are 2 techs that give you an additional build slot on all your planets. Also if you add races to a planet to max its total population, this will usually give you one or two additional build slots.

So when this happens, you need to remove the filler, add one more mine/farm/research building and then re-add the filler. Over a long game, you'll have to do this probably 3 times for each of the planets you own. Lots of additional tedious clicking.

That is a valid point and I found this annoying too sometimes - generally I avoid researching these two techs to avoid the micro and chose something fun to research instead ;)

Now when I was still fiddling around with this: Sometimes I was using automated construction instead of the filler. This way the AI usually chooses the filler I would have and also added the additional building when the slot became available and switched back to filler when done

Another workaround: always click on the filler left and right: this way another instance is queued and when you want to build an additional building you only need to click once (to issue the new current construction order) instead of twice. You still have to go through all of the buildings on your list for this though: use the arrows instead of any of the icons or construction menu to cut down further on the clicks and time

If you ask me what a permanent solution would be, I would switch these two techs to alter production values of the buildings instead of adding a new building or enable a default behavior for the fillers to issue a new corresponding building to be built when new slots become available e.g.: when mining is selected, it should build an additional farm when a new slot is available and then resume the project without any input - the user could still alter the building if they want to but that would not increase the effort currently needed to to this as overriding a building order is the same as overriding the filler

nathanebht
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby nathanebht » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:07 am

zolobolo wrote:enable a default behavior for the fillers to issue a new corresponding building to be built when new slots become available e.g.: when mining is selected, it should build an additional farm when a new slot is available and then resume the project without any input - the user could still alter the building if they want to but that would not increase the effort currently needed to to this as overriding a building order is the same as overriding the filler


Already proposed exactly this a long time ago. Dev shot it down.

AMX
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby AMX » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:54 pm

Maybe it would be better if the fillers were settings, rather than projects?
So a planet set to "research" would do research every time it's not building anything, without the player having to re-queue research after issuing a build order.

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sven
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Re: AIs and terrible planet builds

Postby sven » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:01 am

nathanebht wrote:There are 2 techs that give you an additional build slot on all your planets. Also if you add races to a planet to max its total population, this will usually give you one or two additional build slots.

So when this happens, you need to remove the filler, add one more mine/farm/research building and then re-add the filler. Over a long game, you'll have to do this probably 3 times for each of the planets you own. Lots of additional tedious clicking.


I agree that there's an issue here. I'm tempted to modify the core + improvement slot techs so that instead of a granting a global +1 slot, they only open up more slots on planets with high pop caps. A typical empire will have many more small farming/mining worlds than big high pop industrial or research centers. And because of the staffing mechanics, building an extra mine/farm/lab on a low pop world in mid/late game actually often doesn't get you all that much. In many cases I'm not even sure it's optimal play to fill in the unlocked slots on most of your smaller worlds, but, it does feel like a thing the player ought to do, and it's certainly tedious to do it.

Upgrading your high-pop worlds to have an extra lab or factory, however, tends to be relatively easy and rewarding (on a 30 pop planet, for example, the staffing curves are such that getting an extra factory generally will meaningfully boost your output).

I need to look more carefully at how the math works out; but, my sense is that changing the "+1 improvement slot" effects to instead read "unlock additional improvement slots" (and then carefully balancing the exact threshold of which planets get the extra slot unlocks), would probably be a good change. (And there'd probably need to be a bit of tech cost/placement rejiggering as well to reflect that new balance.)


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