AI Tweaking, DMC Backup, and New Encounter Testing
Been another busy day, here in the wooded mountains of Canada. I put some serious time into testing and tweaking today, and I'm pretty excited about the results.
First of all, I decided to look into the recent trend of "farming" DMC guards for their loot. Players specced for combat can often wipe out DMC guards with impunity, and that ain't very realistic. So, I decided to give them a little edge:
"Gonna need some backup, here!"
From now on, when DMC guards are in trouble, they'll have a chance of calling for backup. And that backup comes in the form of a hidden DMC sniper. The sniper acts as a creature in battle, but is almost impossible to see or hit (because it's far away, hidden, and behind cover).
It basically hoses the player with gunfire, pinning them if they're lucky, and perforating them if they're not. In theory, the sniper fire only lasts a handful of turns, but it may be just what the guard needs to escape (or win).
And if nothing else, it presents a serious threat to the player's safety.
Furthermore, if the DMC guard successfully uses this move, the player becomes "wanted" by the DMC authorities. Plan on having some trouble in the city if that's the case :)
In addition, I added a couple new moves for all creatures:
When you can't run, you walk. When you can't walk, you crawl.
Now, when a creature is fallen, they can still move, albeit slowly. There wasn't a huge need for this, though a few have asked. However, the AI has a particularly hard time doing realistic things when fallen. Most of its preferred moves are not available (especially retreat).
Historically, in these situations, the AI would just choose a random move. And this could sometimes include talking or ceasefire. And when crippled and unable to stand up, talk and ceasefire are almost the only choices. Not logical when being butchered by an enemy.
These crawl moves ensure the AI has ways of acting that are not talking nor ceasefire when in such desperate situations.
Furthermore, I decided to make a small adjustment to the faction rating for advancing forward in combat. Previously, players could advance on DMC guards who asked to talk or ceasefire without penalty, over and over. This led to players developing a strategy of advancing to melee range, and then murdering the guards in a "surprise" attack.
However, in 0.985, this strategy will no longer work. Advancing too many times while the AI is offering talks or ceasefire will piss them off, switching them to hostile.
Outside of AI tweaks, I also found and fixed two bugs. The first was one that reported wounds as "null" in some cases, and the second was a bug that allowed reinforcements to break the population caps. I think this is why the melonheads could still flood the area despite the population limits.
And finally, I continued testing and development on the new factions encounter. By the end of the day, most of it seemed to be working as designed. There are just a few kinks remaining, which I hope to address Monday.
Whew! Quite the day! I'm glad it was productive, though. Perhaps we'll be on track for a new build next week? We'll see!
Have a good weekend, all!