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Thread: Semper Fi - Development Diary #5

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    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Semper Fi - Development Diary #5

    This week I'll talk a bit about what we are doing with naval warfare in Semper Fi. It is a pretty broad subject, but let's start with the Naval AI. In HoI3, the AI is not keen on invading multiple targets at once. Each theatre focuses on a single target, preferably the enemy homeland. Moreover, it does not stage troops as close to the target as possible. This worked reasonably well for D-Day type invasions, but not at all for the Pacific Theatre. In Semper Fi, the Invasion AI uses brand new algorithms designed to handle multiple targets at once, with proper staging. It will also prefer to invade enemy targets close to home first, which results in the island hopping we would expect in the Pacific. A related change concerns AI use of paratroops; previously they would only be used to support naval invasions, but now the AI will use paratroops to, for example, take vulnerable islands on their own, if judged prudent. As for naval warfare in general, the AI will maintain larger taskforces and be more aware of their movements at all times, whereas in HoI3 it tends to just give fleets orders and then let the order logic sort them out.

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    However, we have done more than just improve the AI. Naval combat has been rebalanced, mainly to address the issue with huge super fleets. Players are now ill advised to stack 10 battleships into a single fleet and sailing around swatting everything, all due to the reworked stacking penalty system. Fleets now get a positioning malus for every point of hull size above a certain limit, mitigated by commander skill. Unreasonably huge fleets suffer a crippling penalty, meaning their targeting becomes very poor, and they are also liable to take more damage. There will also be a malus for fleets that lack a proper screen of destroyers or light cruisers, making unescorted capital ships more vulnerable to subs and naval bombardment.

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    Now, as a little bonus, I can reveal that we are working on some changes to the supply system. Specifically, it will be possible to set up convoys between points in your home area, thus injecting supplies directly into distant ports, even if there is a land connection to your capital. The example convoy in the screenshot between Los Angeles and San Francisco is of course pointless, but you get the principle; say that Italy holds the entire Mediterranean coast down to Alexandria. In that case, a convoy between Taranto and Alexandria should be quite helpful. Same thing with a German convoy from Kiel to a conquered Archangelsk, etc.

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    That about sums it up for today. Next week: Battle Events and Triggered Modifiers.
    Henrik Fåhraeus

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  2. #2
    Thanks for the update - looking forward to release.

  3. #3
    Yay, reading feedback below
    Last edited by Drewoid13; 06-05-2010 at 15:27.

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    Private tahlas's Avatar
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    Sounds great! I especially like the convoy change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomdark View Post
    ...Now, as a little bonus, I can reveal that we are working on some changes to the supply system. Specifically, it will be possible to set up convoys between points in your home area, thus injecting supplies directly into distant ports, even if there is a land connection to your capital. The example convoy in the screenshot between Los Angeles and San Francisco is of course pointless, but you get the principle; say that Italy holds the entire Mediterranean coast down to Alexandria. In that case, a convoy between Taranto and Alexandria should be quite helpful. Same thing with a German convoy from Kiel to a conquered Archangelsk, etc.
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Must've been so hard for a certain community manager to keep his mouth shut in a certain thread.

    And the fleet changes also sounds a-w-e-s-o-m-e!
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    Field Marshal bbasgen's Avatar
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    Will the AI also prioritize islands with naval and airbases, and/or islands with Victory Points? The latter could be useful simply because targets with Victory Points typically have strategic value.

    In a similar vein, will the AI properly defend islands with strategic value? In the few HoI3 games I played, the USA AI had *zero* defense of Hawaii.

    Edit: one final question: what about triggers for the Pacific war? Anything to ensure that a Pacific war is a likely outcome?

    Edit2: Great to see the positioning numbers explained *inside* the GUI interface!
    Last edited by bbasgen; 06-05-2010 at 15:28.
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    Frontlatrine Cpack's Avatar
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    - Is the fact that capital ships in a fleet close up range, even when carriers are present, gone?

    - Is the ASW-task for navies back in Semper Fi ?

    - Is the stacking hull malus modable?
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    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbasgen View Post
    Will the AI also prioritize islands with naval and airbases, and/or islands with Victory Points? The latter could be useful simply because targets with Victory Points typically have strategic value.

    In a similar vein, will the AI properly defend islands with strategic value? In the few HoI3 games I played, the USA AI had *zero* defense of Hawaii.
    Yes, and yes.
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  9. #9
    Glad to see supply is getting tweaked! But I'm still unimpressed with some of it. This'll definitely help in some situations (like shipping supplies from Washington to LA, then those supplies can be sent to my annexations in Asia), but for others its still not going to be very effective imho. For example, as US, annexing Germany, fighting SU. All my supplies are already shipped from Washington, but my problem is getting them through my puppets in Hungary and Chezk, and through my ally in Poland, to my men along the boarder. I've found that b/c of this, I can hardly defend allied territory because they don't/can't/won't supply my troops, whereas I can supply all of mine and most of theirs! This shouldn't be an issue for intra-faction nations, and remains my only criticism.

    I'm still not clear how naval battles work, but from what I do understand, these are welcome changes.

  10. #10
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    On a sidenote, you seem to use some kind of debug mode to show province IDs and some such. Is that available for us too only I'm unaware of that, will it be in Semper Fi, or you are simply privileged?
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  11. #11
    Quick question; How will convoy raiding work with the new manual supply convoys? Is there a priority algo in place, if so, how are targets prioritized?
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  12. #12
    These changes sound promising, especially the new convoy feature. Will the AI make use of this or will it be purely manual?

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    Don't forget to teach the AI to use those convoys where the land routes are very long/clogged.
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    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaxImperator View Post
    These changes sound promising, especially the new convoy feature. Will the AI make use of this or will it be purely manual?
    The AI should use it in certain extreme situations.
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    I'll buy this thing if only for home area convoys. I hope you won't overdo the hull size malus thing though, after all there were effective fleets with more than just a few ships.

    Now if you'd also change the stacking penalties to increase from one ship (and plane!) to the next instead of being the same for all units - someone will be in the front row, right?

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    Is naval combat rebalanced to be longer?
    Else now in 4 hours one side is sunk, even with superfleets.
    Now fleets being less "heavy", battles will be over in 2 hours.

    Or at least add stance to avoid enemy fleets.

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    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpack View Post
    - Is the fact that capital ships in a fleet close up range, even when carriers are present, gone?
    No, but that should be looked into.

    - Is the ASW-task for navies back in Semper Fi ?
    Not yet decided.

    - Is the stacking hull malus modable?
    Yes.
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  18. #18
    Game Director Paradox Dev Team Doomdark's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slan View Post
    On a sidenote, you seem to use some kind of debug mode to show province IDs and some such. Is that available for us too only I'm unaware of that, will it be in Semper Fi, or you are simply privileged?
    It is indeed our debug mode. It won't be in Semper Fi.
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  19. #19
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traks View Post
    Is naval combat rebalanced to be longer?
    Else now in 4 hours one side is sunk, even with superfleets.
    Now fleets being less "heavy", battles will be over in 2 hours.

    Or at least add stance to avoid enemy fleets.
    About that: reducing the 'damage_modifiers' for naval combat does help a lot!
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  20. #20
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    Does the province font look different? It looks blacker to me. Definately pops out more which is good.

    Anyway, great news about the supply convoys. I guess all the complaining helped. I guess this should fix a lot of the problems people have been having with supply, making good logistics hard, but not impossible, as it was in real life.

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