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 Post subject: The Ur-Quan Dreadnought
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:22 am 
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Oh the shame!
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So, Troglodyte has been doing a number of ship analysis topics like these. However, these have thus far been limited to ships he has attained -and no, Trog, you're not getting a dreadnought- so I figured, why not make one of my own? Our topic of discussion today is the Ur-Quan Dreadnought, a fearsome (although often misused) combat vessel responsible for enforcing the Kzer-Za's hierarchical system. As for Troglodyte, I don't know how far you've progressed through the Ur-Quan dialogue tree, so I've just decided to put all the quotes within spoiler tags outright. This may lead to some quote overlap for you if you decide to add tests of your own, but I'm sure you'd rather avoid the risk of running into spoilers than to see these little tidbits.
That being said, the analysis may now officially begin. I'll put one ship test right in this post, and we can add other posts on a case-by-case basis as per usual.

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Intercepted transmission - Ur-Quan data file. Classified: level 4.
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Scheduled Combat Performance Simulation (CPS) - performance test against local forces.
Ur-Quan Kzer-Za research vessel 'Cunning Blade'.
Head researcher: Lord 237 'Quasispatial'.
Date: 33741.171.


Topic: Earthling Cruiser

"Submit or die, foolish human!"

14 Awesome Cyborg Earthling Cruisers worth 154 points
VS
14 Awesome Cyborg Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts worth 420 points

Result: The Ur-Quan force is victorious, but loses 12 Dreadnoughts at 30 points each, for a total of 360 points. The Earthling force is defeated, losing 14 Cruisers at 11 points each for a total of 154 points.
Conclusion: Completely unacceptable. Between poor maneuvering and a gross misuse of fighter craft, the artificial pilot achieved a distinctly poor result. Indeed, the battle was very even - the Dreadnought would initially have the advantage due to its high health. However, this health was quickly expended through the usage of swarms of fighter craft (which met a swift demise at the hands of the Earthlings' point defences), and due to the Dreadnought's lack of speed, the Cruiser-class vessels were able to make maximum use of their long-range weapons capabilities. Although the fighters kept the Cruisers busy long enough for the Dreadnoughts to close the distance, allowing it to finish the Earthling vessels off with fusion blasts, the Dreadnought would be left with low health and would thus be summarily destroyed by the next Cruiser in the line, at which point the cycle would start over from the beginning. Indeed, the final Dreadnought had quite low health when it achieved victory, and were it not for a poor warp-in on the Earthlings' part, the Ur-Quan force most likely would have lost another Dreadnought. Clearly, the automated systems are going to need to be revised. In addition, perhaps testing with a proper pilot might be in order...


"Human, you have ignored our commands and now you will be punished."
14 Awesome Cyborg Earthling Cruisers worth 154 points
VS
4 Lord 237 (codename Quasispatial)-controlled Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts worth 120 points

Result: The Ur-Quan force is victorious, but loses 1 Dreadnought at 30 points each, for a total of 30 points. The Earthling force is defeated, losing 14 Cruisers at 11 points each for a total of 154 points.
Conclusion: The AI definitely needs some work. By careful dodging maneuvers, planetary slingshots, accurate firing and an abolition of fighters, the pilot was able to defeat all fourteen cruisers whilst narrowly avoiding to lose more than one ship. One of the Cruisers were more persistent, dealing several missiles' worth of damage, but otherwise, most of the foes only managed a single successful hit before being destroyed one way or another. Clearly, the efficiency of a Dreadnought depends more on its pilot than anything, and as such, this researcher advises against permitting the artificial steering units to take control in the future. An image of the results is attached below.

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File end
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_________________
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ur-Quan Dreadnought
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Slylandro gasbags
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Quasispatial wrote:
-and no, Trog, you're not getting a dreadnought-

Darn!

Quasispatial wrote:
However, this health was quickly expended through the usage of swarms of fighter craft (which met a swift demise at the hands of the Earthlings' point defences)

Another example of how different versions operate. On mine, the Dreadnoughts never release their fighters knowing fully well what would be the result.

Quasispatial wrote:
14 Awesome Cyborg Earthling Cruisers worth 154 points
VS
4 Lord 237 (codename Quasispatial)-controlled Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts worth 120 points


Result: The Ur-Quan force is victorious, but loses 1 Dreadnought at 30 points each, for a total of 30 points. The Earthling force is defeated, losing 14 Cruisers at 11 points each for a total of 154 points.
Conclusion: The AI definitely needs some work. By careful dodging maneuvers, planetary slingshots, accurate firing and an abolition of fighters, the pilot was able to defeat all fourteen cruisers whilst narrowly avoiding to lose more than one ship.


Wow! That was indeed close! With the entire crew dead, Lord Quasi has to man all the controls all by himself!


EDIT: weird-sounding grammar error

_________________
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” - Khan Noonien Singh


Last edited by The Troglodyte on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ur-Quan Dreadnought
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:41 pm 
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ZFP Peacekeeper
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Yes - what version WERE you using? There's even a segment of the code dedicated to making sure that they don't do things like that. Are you using the balance mod?


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 Post subject: Re: The Ur-Quan Dreadnought
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:48 pm 
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Atum-ta the Sixth
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The Troglodyte wrote:
Quasispatial wrote:
However, this health was quickly expended through the usage of swarms of fighter craft (which met a swift demise at the hands of the Earthlings' point defences)

Another example of how different versions operate. On mine, the Dreadnoughts never release their fighters knowing fully well what we be the result.


This is weird. In vanilla SC2 and UQM both, the cyborg never launches fighters at anything with point defense. Did UQM-HD change the AI behavior, I wonder?


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 Post subject: Re: The Ur-Quan Dreadnought
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:16 am 
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Oh the shame!
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I thought it was somewhat wierd too. It used to refrain from using fighters, if I recall correctly, yet for some reason it was very... fighter-happy instead. It's strange.

I did some testing, and apparently the problem is only fully apparent in the newer of the two versions I have. Whereas the old alpha 1 version I have lying around (v0.7.0 + HD Mod - SVN r887) has the dreadnought merely launching its typical six-fighter attack, the newer beta 1 version (v0.7.0 + HD Mod - SVN r1338) seems determined on just holding the fighter button down until the end of eternity. Perhaps there's something newer that has come out since then (I haven't updated UQM on this computer in a while) so that might explain the odd behavior. All I know is, it behaves like this on the version I have, although I haven't tried going up in the campaign mode to see if the behavior is consistent there. Perhaps I should try downloading the original version of the game, rather than just the ones with the HD mods, to see if there's a difference there. Either that or we'll just handwave it as a minor wierdness.

_________________
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.


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