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Topics - Rayalot72

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Suggestions & Feedback / More efficient AoE targeting by AI
« on: November 09, 2018, 04:27:19 AM »
Currently, most AoE attacks used by the AI, particularly by DCHB (confusion spray), BTB (swinging jaws and stun), or BWS (venom strike), are aimed on whatever that creature is attacking at the time.  This means they can easily, on accident, turn around to strike a single foe behind them, and waste their ability to do very little, when they could have killed or at least damaged 10-20 ants right next to them in a group.  Because of this, I think it might be valuable to improve the targeting on these abilities, as well as all future AoE attacks. 


This could be fairly simple to implement from an outsider perspective, and its accuracy could easily be based on how much lag such an addition would generate.  While I expect you'll know more programming tricks than I do, it sounds as if this could be done with a very simple search that looks at positions across 360 degrees to see which target will hit the most enemies.  For example, you could use a binary search to check for enemies in the 180 degrees to either the left and right or front and back of the creature, and then use that as the new target area (although this may be worse than sequential searches given one set of 180 degrees features a spread 6 foes while the opposite 180 degrees features a clumped 5 foes). 

Suggestions & Feedback / More diverse undergrounds
« on: November 05, 2018, 11:37:43 PM »
It might be a worthwhile investment to permit new features underground, such as:

  • Underground rivers and ponds
  • Multi-leveled terrain
  • Plants (not just procedurally generated roots)

This is something that appears to have been played with in the spider level, but using surface items that don't blend well.  Creating underground-specific features might help with spicing up future undergrounds in the campaigns, as well any future underground-centric freeplay map. 

It's quite obvious that the top priority is going to be the campaign levels (they are unanimously demanded) and any mechanics they require, but since the devs have added several new side-features (the spider level, small improvements, and the extra freeplay level), it might be useful to poll as much of the community as possible as to what people want added to the the game the most. 

I'd make one myself, but activity here is relatively low, and it would get a lot more attention if posted on all forums as an official thing from the devs. 

Some possible poll options: 

  • New freeplay maps.
  • Freeplay balance changes.
  • A re-work of the upgrade system.
  • New formicarium upgrades.

Poll options could include some of the suggestions that Devs have considered, as well as some features that are planned but not a priority. 

All options should be required to be things the Devs would be willing and able to work on sooner than usual (multiplayer, new enemies, and new colonies probably wouldn't be included for this reason). 

Suggestions & Feedback / Revamp: lvl 3 ant abilities
« on: November 01, 2018, 07:43:28 PM »
Inspired by a thread on the Steam forums:

Currently, the only good lvl 3 upgrade is the Mortar AoE bonus, as it's quite effective at what it does, making the upgrade process worth sacrificing the otherwise higher single-target damage acquired when spamming lvl 1.  While it could be argued that balancing of upgrades should focus on making upgrades better than making more ants, I think it could also be fixed via making the lvl 3 bonuses more unique, so that they can be opted for in at least some cases.  For example, in 2.2 insane I'll prefer to use lvl 1 mortars early on for straight up damage in the early-game, but then start getting them to lvl 3 as the amount of enemies I face at once increases. 

None of the following are meant to be the only options, but are just there to give an idea of what incentives could be added to obtaining lvl 3 as a proof of concept. 

I also present some of the current issues with the ants I recommend adjusting. 

Possible changes:

Formica Fusca; Soldier; Melee:

Currently, increased attack speed isn't much better than a raw damage boost, meaning the bonus is both unvaried and ineffective compared to lvl 1 spam. 

  • Lvl 3 grants weak venom, providing a decent anti-resist option, and adding synergy with Formica Ereptor using Formica Rufa venom. 
  • Lvl 3 grants high armor penetration, providing a good anti-resist option. 
  • Lvl 3 could also grant any of the bonuses suggested for Rufa Melee Soldiers, as the two are both close-quarters roles, and defensive bonuses might help to encourage a mix of lvl 1 and lvl 3 units.

Formica Rufa; Soldier; Rapid-fire Shooter:

While decreasing movement speed is nice, it becomes fairly ineffective when fighting larger groups, and is completely useless against the larger enemies, who both resist slows significantly and happen to have some of the higher movement speeds to start with. 

  • Lvl 3 slow, if applied enough, grants either a full immobilize to enemies for a short time, or a stun, improving the effectiveness when invested in against fast and large enemies. 
  • Lvl 3 applies a debuff that extends the CD times on enemy abilities, helping to alleviate enemy healing, CC, and AoE damage. 
  • Lvl 3 applies a debuff that slows enemy attack speed. 

Formica Rufa; Soldier; Melee:

Surprisingly, they are the only ant in the game with an edge at lvl 3 vs the equivalent amount of lvl 1 foes.  This is due to a combined increase of damage and health.  However, since Rufa colonies rely on Shooters for damage, only the increase in health matters, and it happens that lvl 1 spam has a greater impact in total HP than upgrades.  This can be confirmed by adding any significant amount of shooters (in equal numbers and strength) on each side of the battle arena, which always results in a victory for the side using lvl 1 Melee Soldiers. 

A second issue is that Workers tend to outclass them in effectiveness, as they can take approximately the same amount of hits at equivalent food costs (5 Workers for every 2 Melee Soldiers), while Workers, by virtue of having greater numbers, can collect far more resources.  Thus, Melee Soldiers receiving a good lvl 3 ability would help to make them the optimal tank unit for the Rufa. 

  • Lvl 3 grants temporary immortality upon low HP and/or death, allowing them to hold off even high damage enemies.
  • Lvl 3 grants a damage resistance, either taking the form of a large amount as a temporary buff upon taking damage, or a small amount of it permanently, to help fight enemies that rely on physical damage. 
  • Lvl 3 grants a low change of evasion in-combat.
  • Lvl 3 grants a permanent and substantial regeneration effect, allowing them to survive better against low damage, or damage scattered between targets (such as multiple uncoordinated enemies or AoE). 
  • Lvl 3 grants a low chance of "resurrection," allowing either a delayed revive (may be difficult to code), an immediate return to full HP on an otherwise killing blow, or simply a conversion of damaging hits into a healing effect.
  • Lvl 3 grants a damage reflection, having a chance to return damage either proportionally or as a static amount, possibly even mitigating that incoming damage in the process.
  • Lvl 3 could also grant any of the offensive bonuses suggested for Fusca Melee Soldiers, as the two are both close quarters roles, although this could lead to workers remaining ideal tank units, and break down the DPS and tank dichotomy the Rufa are intended to have.

ALL; Worker:

Currently, the increased movement speed is relatively pointless, and it's better to merely build additional workers.  A new ability should help to provide an edge of some kind over lvl 1 workers, but should also avoid giving them additional combat bonuses so as to maintain the effectiveness of ants like the Rufa Melee Soldiers

  • Lvl 3 grants an immunity to debuffs such as CC, helping them to be unhindered at all times while not becoming too strong in combat compared to other defensive abilities.
  • Lvl 3 decreases threat to a level below the default/passive threat level, allowing them to avoid combat far more easily if any Soldiers are present.

Bugs / Troubleshooting / Towhead tide not fully rising
« on: October 28, 2018, 05:27:18 PM »
This may be intentional, but it struck me as fairly odd when playing the map.  I had expected the tide to rise for at least half a minute before going back down, but instead it appears long enough to kill everything, and then goes away immediately.

Suggestions & Feedback / Freeplay enemy team customization
« on: October 26, 2018, 09:37:04 PM »
It might be neat if players could set what side each enemy is on.  This way they could put them all on the same team, have beach creatures fight wood creatures, have beetles fight spiders, etc. 

If you wanna go all out, players could even set some creatures to their own team. 

General Discussion / Mortars have regained their effectiveness!
« on: October 26, 2018, 06:05:42 PM »
While it's possible that this was John tweaking the game balance, there's also another possible culprit in the patch notes: 

Fixed an issue where AOE attacks could be blocked if something obscured vision

Either way, 2.2 should be far easier to complete now, down from being the hardest level in the game to the second easiest. 

In 1.2 particularly, it's quite viable to send soldiers in at the end of the web one at a time.  This will give them maximum time to, while captive, fight back, getting in as many as 3-4 hits.  If the grabbed ants were stunned, however, they would be able to do very little before being killed, which would force players to actually send a lot of ants at once.  Early-game, I think as much as a third of their total health in damage is dealt purely by ants that are grabbed, but I may be overestimating its impact. 

The larvae have it a little better, as their high armor makes it difficult for any one ant to do much damage.  It still might not be a bad idea to give them a stun, though, just to make it all the more punishing for an ant to be targeted. 

Off Topic / Other games to avoid burnout
« on: September 23, 2018, 06:16:20 AM »
I was wondering what other games people were playing that also enjoy EotU.  Personally, I jumped into XCOM Enemy Within, and have now gotten hooked on the Long War Rebalance mod. 

You have the options to choose between X venom damage, and X*(3/4) flat damage.  The issue seems to be that, as the recent screenshot Saturday indirectly confirms, venom damage already has a significant boost due to ignoring resistance.  So, wouldn't it make more sense for the venom damage to be X*(3/4) and the flat damage to be X, so as to make up for the fact that flat damage has to deal with enemy resistance values? 

Suggestions & Feedback / Access to X.X levels in a bonus mode
« on: July 23, 2018, 08:47:41 PM »
This would essentially be to play each of the levels without the preset goals, and with any colony type desired (although with a warning since some colonies might not work properly in all cases, like leaf cutters) in any difficulty setting.  This would add some additional replayability with using black ants in wood ant missions or wood ants in black ant missions. 

While this sounds like me to be a quick and easy addition, I suspect there may be barriers I am unaware of for the implementation that might leave this to be implemented after release.  I still think it's a good idea, however. 

General Discussion / Confirmation: 2.2 Insane is still possible
« on: July 12, 2018, 10:17:26 PM »
It's very difficult, however.  I'd go for about 20 melee soldiers, 40 worker tanks built up early to collect food, 40 workers doing nest work, and 60 spitters (rapid-fire for high-end PCs, mortars for low-end PCs).  All other food should be used for reinforcements on the last day. 

The significant nerf to lvl 3 mortar splash damage has made the cost of making them far too high to opt for it.  Lvl 1 spam is now the only way to beat 2.2, and will probably leave you heavily constrained in terms of food.  Typically, most food is spent gaining numbers, but here the reinforcements will have costs ranging from 500 to 2k in a single day. 

Do your best not to over-spend, and make no attempts to kill enemies on the lower levels. 

Normally, rapid-fire are far superior combat units, and are generally the ideal pick (especially with mortar AoE seemingly taking a hit).  However, their fast-firing attacks can generate a lot of lag, and are, in turn, hindered by low frame-rates.  This makes the typically slightly less efficient mortars much more powerful when spammed in situations where there will be a large number of enemies on-screen, or the size of your army is over a threshold that generates lag, as their attacks seem to be relatively unaffected compared to the impact on rapid-fire. 

I would recommend you test, using the battle simulator, how many ants there needs to be before the game is slowed down enough that mortars are more effective. 

My understanding of what causes this is that the game handles it like this: 

Every 0.5 seconds, rapid-fire can attack. 
Every 3 seconds, mortars can attack. 
If the game checks for and performs an available attack every 0.1 seconds, rapid-fire will be stronger.  A maximum of a 0.1 second delay allows rapid-fire to waste very little time, while mortar also waste very little time, with an attack ratio of 6 to 1. 
If the game checks for and performs an available attack only every 1 seconds due to lag, mortars will still attack about the same rate with a maximum of a 1 second delay, while rapid-fire at a maximum of 1 second delay will have that same delay far more often, allowing an attack ratio as awful as 4 to 1.  Longer delays will only make this worse (a 2 second delay can make the comparative ratio as bad as 5 to 2)

Since rapid-fire have such small damage packets, they rely entirely on getting those packets off quickly.  Lag prevents this from happening, making the single large damage packets of mortars much more reliable. 

Bugs / Troubleshooting / Ghost Food
« on: July 09, 2018, 07:06:26 PM »
For some reason, it seems that what appears to be a duplicate food item is created occasionally when a food item is grabbed by an ant.  This item cannot be picked up, however, and vanishes after existing for a minute or two. 

I determined this was what was happening since the glitch also occurs when a corpse is harvested, dropping a random food bit on the ground that cannot be grabbed. 

It may be that what's happening is the ants are carrying the food, but not carrying the model with them for some reason, which fixes later.  I haven't been able to spot any ants carrying air to food piles to know if this is the case. 

This glitch does not seem to occur with corpses (devil's coach horse larvae and weevil larvae). 

Hovering over the brood chamber will indicate that the total number of tiles are whatever level tile you are hovering over.  Given I have a brood chamber of 5 lvl 1 tiles, 10 lvl 2 tiles, and 3 lvl 3 tiles, I should be getting 5/10/3, but instead I can get 18/0/0, 0/18/0, or 0/0/18 if I hover over a lvl 1, 2, or 3 tile within that chamber respectively. 

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