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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: KOHR-AH CUP - Spring Super-Melee League on: June 13, 2007, 05:18:39 pm
Good work elvish.  I hope I have the time to compete in the next Cup
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: IRC chat with Toys for Bob on 2007-06-13 on: May 22, 2007, 06:44:12 pm
Fred has cited that current games cost too much to develop to make it profitable as a career.  My question would be if they have considered using Xbox Live Arcade or Wii Virtual Console as a potential platform for a future release, as I have seen many games grow into cult status on XBL. 
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Cost balancing project on: May 10, 2007, 04:48:57 pm
As I see it, free market will be the best way to achieve balance. Without intentional manipulation, an equilibrium is mathematically inevitable.
The biggest problem will be intentional manipulation, but that can be mitigated by only looking at tournaments to determine the prices, and perhaps even by weighing the number of wins a played has. There could even be different markets for beginners and advanced players (after all, some ships are more valuable to an expert than to a newbie).
Agreed.  We should therefore begin collecting all ship selection data from each tournament.  Perhaps wait until data is collected from 3 -5 tournaments before making our first adjustment, so that most manipulative anomolies can be limited
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Cost balancing project on: May 03, 2007, 08:35:15 pm
Upon looking at this thread again, I am more firm in my belief that adjustments based upon ship selection is the proper way forward.

There can be no denying that a free market is the way to perfect balance.   

Consider a system which either 1) attempts to create a static ballence at a fixed date or 2) is a full free market   ,  using the following guideline:

Every (lets say 2) weeks, the 3 ships which are selected the most for battle have their ship costs increased by 1.  The 3 ships which are selected the least will have their ship costs decreased by 1.

After enough iterations, the system will be ballenced.

Lets look at the first iteration.  Those whom I have selected as the most/least used are purly subjective, but are used to show the concept behind it.

Lets say the 3 most used ships are:
Androsynth -> $16
Kohr-Ah -> $31
Chmrr -> $31

and the lest 3 used ships are:
Umgah -> $6
Illwrath -> $9
Sylandro -> $16

What this does is promote the lesser used ships to be used more, and the most used ships to be used less.  As the cost adjustment per interval is a mere $1, there wont be large swings each iteration.  Now consider a ship which is overvalued.  We shall use the androsynth for this example.  A cost increase to 16 will not stop me from using it as often, as, in my opinion it is still a bargain for 16.  There will be a group of users/instances in which the cost of 16 doesnt justify selecting it over annother ship.  Nonetheless it may still be the most selected ship.  But there will be a saturation point in which, at a cost of $18 lets say, that it wont be the most selected ship.   Now it has reached a point of 'ballance' and annother ship which is the most selected will now start to become ballenced, along with the other 2 most selected ships.

5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: BURVIXESE BOWL April SuperMelee Knockout Tournament on: April 23, 2007, 06:50:40 pm
Sadly it is my birthday and I cannot attend.  From what people are saying, perhaps rankings from previous tournaments and the Kohr-ah cup can be used to form a light handicapping (in the form of a reduced fleet size).   
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: KOHR-AH CUP - Spring Super-Melee League on: April 19, 2007, 09:15:25 pm
Just viewing this thread today.  I would love to jump in on this.   
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Cost balancing project on: April 13, 2007, 05:00:24 pm
Well meep eep brings up an interesting idea.  Consider the following:

Perhaps we have been looking at the cost ballencing from an incorrect light.  What if instead of looking at which ship beats which, we look strictly at ship selection.  As each player has their own views and playing styles of ships, in the end they end up choosing ships which they feel are undervalued or ships which they are more proficient in.  If it were possible to do statistical analysis on which ships are chosen, and simply re-ballence them due to supply and demand, it could produce something interesting.  You would not need to take into account variables such as Avatar zap sats, pkunk respawning or VUX limpeting.  Players would make their own analysis of this based on their ship selection. 

Imagine a mod which lowers the cost of the 3 least used ships by 1 each month, and increases the cost of the 3 most used ships by 1 each month.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Cost balancing project on: April 12, 2007, 06:33:06 pm
Typical arrogance.  It's unfortunate how this board has gotten in the last few months.  I'm thankful I haven't gone into #uqm-arena as much as I might have had.
Firstly, you do not understand the meaning of arrogance.   Secondly, you are arrogant to the people on this forum.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Cost balancing project on: April 12, 2007, 03:51:56 pm
2) I take it you did not see the video that was posted a few months ago regarding what a Spathi can do to a Chmmr.  So this actually reveals that there's another factor in there, preceived notions of impossibility.  One thing I've found personally is that my game got much better when I gave up the notion that any matchup is "impossible so I shouldn't even try it".
Actually, any match vs AI has absolutly no credibility.  Show me a human player losing that matchup then we'll talk.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Cost balancing project on: April 11, 2007, 10:59:16 pm
Wow, I've been of the boards for a while (Everything going wrong at work these last couple weeks). Firstly, I would to thank Shiver for his complements.  Secondly I would like to make several comments in regards to peoples posts:

As far as the need to ballence goes, it is true that it is not nessessary.  However, I do believe that doing so does provide something positive for online supermelee.

People have mentioned that the costs of the ships are dependant upon the skill levels of the players.  While this is true, I do believe that the costs should reflect a player who is considered "good".  I came to this conclusion based on the concept of "optimal strategy".  Two poorer players seeing an imballence between two ships can easily be flipped due to a change of strategy, while two veteran players have analyzed the play enough to have the strategies evolved to a point where it is unlikely that a radical strategy will upset the ballence any longer.  Although new strategies can be determined, they generally dont swing from dominating of one side to the other.  To give an example, Valaggar give the Kohr-Ah -1.5 vs Chenjesu and +2 vs Earthling, when these numbers are actually reflective of poorer players, and ballence based on this will be virtually unplayable for good players.

As for the testing of all combinations; I dont think that this is nessessary.  I believe that if I drafted up the +/-'s of all the ship combos, and If Angus did the same, we would only have to play out the matches which had differences of opinion.

As to how the algorithm is currently being done, I believe it is flawed.  I believe that the ship +/- levels should be based upon the COST of the ship, and that the results of the algorithm would produce ADJUSTMENTS to the current costs.  I explain further:  Valaggar currently lists for the Chmrr the following values:

Umgah    +2
Spathi   +2
Shofixti +1

Now, it is clear that none of these ships can beat the Chmrr, but the spathi has no chance to damage, while the 4 Umgahs (7 food each) have a decent shot at taking out the chmrr.  My proposal is this:  Make the +/-s based on the current food level.  A shofixti is a great choice vs a Chmrr, and it should be reflected as such.  Based on current cost values, a Chmrr should be -2 vs a Shofixti.  Based on the way Valaggar is currently doing it, the Shofixti has 0 as the highest value it can acchieve, as it can not win without dying also (generally speaking).  Also, many people would agree that the current costs are close to what is appropriate, and a full overhaul is not nessessary; a simple balance will do.

Additionally, there are other factors which should be accounted for:  Ship Cost vs Ship vulnerability.  Consider a ship which simply pummells every ship, but has no chance of even damaging one certain ship.  By your system, this would be a high cost ship, which would destroy 1 enemy ship, then lose the next fight as the opponent will pick that ship to which it is weak.  Ships with low cost are inheirently stronger (relative to its cost) because even if they have a glaring weakness to a high cost ship, they can still be cost effective so long as they make your opponent choose that high cost ship, which will subsequently die quickly to your next choice. 

Anyone who has played tiberian will quickly recognize this.  So long as a fleet of low cost ships can collectivly destroy any high cost ship, they will always at the advantage because the high cost ship, despite being good against most ships, will still destroy 1 ship and lose to the next ship, something wich a high-cost ship fleet cannot afford to do.  Thus, it is a ships disadvantages which should be the largest impacting factor to ship cost.  Again, this can be easily seen by considering the effectivness of a ship which is strong vs all but weak vs one compared to a ship which is stong vs half, but weak against none.  Clearly the latter is the better ship.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Orz Marine Code on: February 28, 2007, 05:29:27 pm
Okay so I wanted to know exactly how the marines work, and figure out how valuable they are.

So I decided to look at the code, and from what I can determine, it works like this:

For each iteration, a random value from 0 - 255 is generated. 
If this number is less than 16, the marine dies.
If it is between 16 and 143 inclusive, the ship loses one crew.

This would mean that each marine deals an average of 8 damage.

Can someone substantiate or refute this?
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Bad starship combinations on: February 27, 2007, 03:09:40 pm
oof.  I need sleep.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Bad starship combinations on: February 26, 2007, 04:04:08 pm
Alright so Elvish Pillager and I got a chance to run a few of the aforementioned matchups, and here's how it worked out:

Utwig (SquisherX) vs Chmrr (Elvish)

This matchup I had claimed as a lock for Utwig, as I handily beat all opponent Chmrrs losing minimal life.  However, elvish took a different approach than most and quickly took off towards the planet, obtaining an orbit.  Once there, he continually tried to pull me into the planet.   My counter priority was as follows 1) Shield from chmrr 2) Avoid planet 3) Shoot chmrr  , In that order.   The problems that I faced were, due to the Utwigs slow accelleration, that I would not always be able to get any shots on the chmrr, because i would have to be accelerating in the other direction in order to avoid the planet.   This phase of testing ended with 3.5 Chmrrs (105 Supply) taking down 4 Utwigs  (88 Supply).   Approximatly two thirds damage to the Utwig was received from the laser, with the remaining third from the planet.

Additional Notes:  One of the matches I spawned right beside the Chmrr and lost half my life, however, these random occurrences are part of the game, and as such should be considered in testing.   At one time I had attempted a slower tactic, which involved flying across the map from the Chmrr, in order to continually swap the map centering such that the Chmrr would crash into the planet when attempting to obtain an orbit.  It had limited success for the time and work involved, but the risk was almost non-existant.  It could be argued that doing that after each clash which forces the Chmrr out of orbit would be optimal, however it is too slow/defensive of a strategy for me to consider it viable.

After the first round of testing, Elvish suggested an alternate strategy for the Utwig pilot.  He suggested trying to attain an orbit with the Chmrr.  Surprising to me, this worked out with great sucess, taking down the Chmrr while losing only half HP.  It was quick and entertaining, and in my opinion one of the best ways to defeat the orbiting Chmrr. 

Overall, the ships ended up being on parity, with a 30:22 supply advantage for the Utwig.

Supok (Squisherx) vs Zoq-fot-Pik (Elvish)

Before testing took place, we checked ranges and Supok was determined to have a ~15% range advantage.  This is amplified however due to the tactic that the supok is always reversing once engaging.

I was able to keep the zoq at max range for the most part, taking down two zoqs with a single Supok (losing 1/2 life i think).  If I had been more careful I probably would have lost less, as most of that damage was from the first engagement from the first zoq.   Afterwards, we had decided to switch roles.  Elvish isnt a skilled supok pilot however, and I was able to fake him into range and took out two supoks with my zoq hitting the tongue both times to take out the supok in a single hit. 

If the supok is skilled enough to keep out of the zoqs range, it is a fairly easy matchup.  If not, the zot has a definate supply advantage.

14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Finding players for Netplay on: February 21, 2007, 10:31:54 pm
And this is why Opera and Firefox (with Chatzilla) rules.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Melee Aggression on: February 21, 2007, 04:15:10 pm
Its local on his box, I think I have a copy on mine too.  Ill try to dig it up this weekend.
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