Normal mode difficulty is not normal

By on November 12, 2015 6:09:52 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Madmaxneo

Join Date 11/2014
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I have enjoyed many RTS games and I can say that normal is not normal. It is at least hard if not much more difficult than that. I played through easy mode and found it to be pretty easy. I jumped to normal mode and figured it would be at least a little more difficult, but no, it is a lot more difficult. I even tried changing some of the settings like no neutral defenders and it did not help. No matter what it seems I do they continue to always go for my weak spot early on. So if anyone has any ideas I would greatly appreciate it. 

 

Honestly though, I figured there would be a much more linear increase in difficulty instead of a jump like this. I am not sure what to do at this point except ask for advice and see what everyone else thinks.

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November 14, 2015 1:57:43 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

This is almost 2 hours into the game. Let's assume the AI was building quantum complexes constantly and spending a good deal of research on the HP boost. It is plausible, and I might actually try it.

Also, there is one, maybe two units in the game specifically designed to take down Dreadnoughts. If you are keeping up with the AI economically, which looking at your score, you did, it seems possible to make some anti-dreadnought battle groups, with the supporting units, to take it out. Since it takes so long to build such a group, scouting would be needed to prepare for it.

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November 14, 2015 2:06:36 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Looking at the AI formation, it is one with multiple Zeus'.  Each Zeus grants HPs to all units in the Army.  This combined with constant spending on HP and Damage tech would lead to exactly what you are seeing.  To counter that, you might want to take a Prometheus based battle group with a few Nemesis as well as keeping up with tech spending.  Having looked over Frogboy's shoulders while playing, I will say that the AI spends less on tech than Brad does.

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November 14, 2015 2:41:14 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Madmaxneo,


Ok, if your so good at beating the enemy on normal mode, then what is your strategy? I did it once on one map (Knife fight) but am unable to replicate the scenario on any other map (Deneb in particular). No matter what I do or how fast I build the enemy overwhelms me with forces every time. If I am able to hold on long enough they send a super dreadnought at me and I start to get wiped out. I usually quit when I know I am going to loose because there is no sense in wasting the time to keep playing.

I can sometimes beat the AI on normal. I'd say I lose more than I win. I will try on Deneb and see how it goes.

I learned early on that the AI aggressively pursues building the first dreadnought as early as possible, and the best way to beat dreadnoughts is with dreadnoughts. So I also try to build mine as early as I can, without destroying my economy or neglecting the lower tier of units. Here is a general recipe:

1. At the start, have your one engineer build the base extractors. Then build 2-3 engineers and have them cap the 2-3 nearest resource points before the neutrals spawn. Have those build extractors. One of those resource nodes has to be reactives.

2. Have your initial engineer build a quantum complex after it is done with the base extractors. You will be spamming T1 and T2 units soon, and you want to minimize the amount of time it takes to research the first logistics. I actually queue a bunch of quantum complexes.

3. Two of the other engineers build factories close together in the same region. Those engineers will assist their factory once complete. I start off building 8 brute squads, which will form two equally-sized battle groups. Those two groups will capture as many neutral regions as possible, building my economy. When I have excess metal I'll build a few more engineers to be used in step 5.

4. After the 8 brute squads, I have one factory build a mix of all the T1 units, with more emphasis on Archers and Brutes. The other factory builds one Artemis and one Zeus. Turn on the repeat queue for both factories. Set a common rally point for the factories that is on the edge of your territory in the direction of the enemy.

5. As your territory expands build extractors in safe-ish regions, along with well-placed radar buildings to give some warning of impending enemy approach. At some point soon you will reach the first logistics cap, but hopefully you have 1 or 2 quantum complexes chugging away and will be able to research first logistics.

6. When you start getting a surplus of reactives coming in, have an engineer build and then assist an Advanced factory. I tend to start off with a Chronos, but I don't really know what is best.

7. Meanwhile you should have a good amount of T1 and T2 units. I put them in a battle group and have them poke into the enemy territory, capping edge regions or defending and recapping my own. I'll have a couple such battle groups by the time my first dreadnought comes out. I try to get my first dreadnought into battle as soon as possible, battle grouped with several T1 and T2 units.

8. When I start getting a consistent surplus of resources, I'll make more factory bases in forward positions.

I have tried setting up defenses, but I find them inferior to a strong mobile force of units for defense. They take a lot of time and resources to build and I find you get more bang for the buck with units. Plus, my front line is always moving meaning much of the time my defenses are not doing anything useful for the team. Defenses serve to slow down an enemy, but are quickly dismantled by medium-sized groups, so they must always be backed up by units.

You can bring some air units into this strategy. Bombers wreck right now. Once the AI starts using air units this game is going to play very differently.

 

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November 14, 2015 3:05:42 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I have had 40K+ health on a Hyperion. But it was a long game and I basically periodically grabbed an engineer and queued up lots of research buildings throughout the game.

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November 14, 2015 5:04:36 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Madmaxneo,


Ok, if your so good at beating the enemy on normal mode, then what is your strategy? I did it once on one map (Knife fight) but am unable to replicate the scenario on any other map (Deneb in particular). No matter what I do or how fast I build the enemy overwhelms me with forces every time. If I am able to hold on long enough they send a super dreadnought at me and I start to get wiped out. I usually quit when I know I am going to loose because there is no sense in wasting the time to keep playing. 

Here is a video beating the normal AI on Deneb. It took 30 minutes, and I basically used the guide I wrote above (youtube says it is still processing, so if it doesn't load right away, give it a few minutes).

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November 14, 2015 6:02:29 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

[quote who="eviator" reply="30" id="3601916"]

Quoting Madmaxneo,


Ok, if your so good at beating the enemy on normal mode, then what is your strategy? I did it once on one map (Knife fight) but am unable to replicate the scenario on any other map (Deneb in particular). No matter what I do or how fast I build the enemy overwhelms me with forces every time. If I am able to hold on long enough they send a super dreadnought at me and I start to get wiped out. I usually quit when I know I am going to loose because there is no sense in wasting the time to keep playing. 



Here is a video beating the normal AI on Deneb. It took 30 minutes, and I basically used the guide I wrote above (youtube says it is still processing, so if it doesn't load right away, give it a few minutes).

I am able to watch the video. First thing though. You have neutral defenders on and when you get to a resource point there are no neutral defenders there. Even if I send my first engineer (the one I start with) directly to a resource point there are defenders that fight me off every time. They do not take any time to spawn at the start of the game at all. Plus I normally have to fight off two or three waves of neutral defenders once I send my military units there. 

 

EDIT: Oddly enough they did not spawn right away like they have before. But I am following your video to the exactly same movements. I am exactly where you are at  3 to 4 minutes in and the enemy already has control of half the map....... I am going out now and when I get home tonight I will post a screen shot. I saved the game so I could go back into it.

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November 14, 2015 6:33:19 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

For Turinium nodes, neutrals spawn at the very beginning of the game. That is why I avoided the node directly to the south. For normal relay nodes, the first group spawns at 2 minutes. So cap what you can for free before 2 minutes. Over time neutrals will respawn, so it's best to come in with overwhelming force (at least 3 groups of brutes) so you only have to fight off the first wave and then cap.

I'd like to see that screenshot. The AI does aggressively expand, which is what humans need to do too in order to keep up. Half the map at 4 minutes seems pretty fast, though. I might try to figure out how to duplicate that.

 

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November 14, 2015 6:44:20 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting eviator,

For Turinium nodes, neutrals spawn at the very beginning of the game.

I did not know that, thanks!

Quoting eviator,

Half the map at 4 minutes seems pretty fast, though. I might try to figure out how to duplicate that.

If you build a bunch of engineers at the beginning and first send them to further nodes and then go for the nearer ones you might be able to grab a lot more in the first few minutes. You could even use the first engineer to assist build the other ones faster. Not sure you can assist the Nexus actually, an interesting strategy to try if possible though.

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November 15, 2015 1:23:44 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

[quote who="eviator" reply="30" id="3601916"]

Here is a video beating the normal AI on Deneb. It took 30 minutes, and I basically used the guide I wrote above (youtube says it is still processing, so if it doesn't load right away, give it a few minutes).


 

I was trying to upload an image of what my screen looks like at 4 minutes but I can't figure out how to upload an image. Basically I am at about the same amount of time in your video, probably a few seconds longer than you though. I did everything you did but things are happening differently. The units I sent south to take all those points like you did get slaughtered about two resources points after the generator down there, and I followed the same exact path you did. Then up north the force they sent against my teams up there is more than double the size. I again am following the same path you are and they get hit right when they are capturing the metal resource point after the radioactive resource point like in your video. 

 

It is almost as if the game is set to a higher difficulty level than what you have at normal. I believe they are definitely building much faster than I am and can take more damage than I can. So why is my game that much harder than yours?

 

Another issue I found is that I have to keep going back and clicking on "Repeat Queue" because for some reason that keeps unchecking when I am not watching.

 

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November 15, 2015 1:26:08 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

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November 15, 2015 1:27:28 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

[quote who="eviator" reply="30" id="3601916"]

Quoting Madmaxneo,


Ok, if your so good at beating the enemy on normal mode, then what is your strategy? I did it once on one map (Knife fight) but am unable to replicate the scenario on any other map (Deneb in particular). No matter what I do or how fast I build the enemy overwhelms me with forces every time. If I am able to hold on long enough they send a super dreadnought at me and I start to get wiped out. I usually quit when I know I am going to loose because there is no sense in wasting the time to keep playing. 



Here is a video beating the normal AI on Deneb. It took 30 minutes, and I basically used the guide I wrote above (youtube says it is still processing, so if it doesn't load right away, give it a few minutes).

I was trying to upload an image of what my screen looks like at 4 minutes but I can't figure out how to upload an image. Basically I am at about the same amount of time in your video, probably a few seconds longer than you though. I did everything you did but things are happening differently. The units I sent south to take all those points like you did get slaughtered about two resources points after the generator down there, and I followed the same exact path you did. Then up north the force they sent against my teams up there is more than double the size. I again am following the same path you are and they get hit right when they are capturing the metal resource point after the radioactive resource point like in your video. 

 

It is almost as if the game is set to a higher difficulty level than what you have at normal. I believe they are definitely building much faster than I am and can take more damage than I can. So why is my game that much harder than yours?

 

Another issue I found is that I have to keep going back and clicking on "Repeat Queue" because for some reason that keeps unchecking when I am not watching.

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November 15, 2015 3:18:34 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Madmaxneo,

I was trying to upload an image of what my screen looks like at 4 minutes but I can't figure out how to upload an image. Basically I am at about the same amount of time in your video, probably a few seconds longer than you though. I did everything you did but things are happening differently. The units I sent south to take all those points like you did get slaughtered about two resources points after the generator down there, and I followed the same exact path you did. Then up north the force they sent against my teams up there is more than double the size. I again am following the same path you are and they get hit right when they are capturing the metal resource point after the radioactive resource point like in your video. 

It is almost as if the game is set to a higher difficulty level than what you have at normal. I believe they are definitely building much faster than I am and can take more damage than I can. So why is my game that much harder than yours?

Another issue I found is that I have to keep going back and clicking on "Repeat Queue" because for some reason that keeps unchecking when I am not watching.

The AI will attack from multiple angles, and not the same game to game. Radar buildings help. When you lose a region you know where the enemy is and have to fight it.

What you describe sounds exactly what it's like when you play against a level of AI that is beyond your current ability. For me the challenge is currently at normal. It used to be at easy. Most games aren't as straightforward as the video, I executed my strategy above average. Sometimes on normal I don't execute well or miss a cue that would tell me the enemy is coming from an unprotected direction. But usually such mistakes aren't catastrophic, they just mean a long uphill battle (well sometimes I lose anyway) and who watches hour long YouTube videos. But if I kicked it up to the next level, it feels like I'm always behind, always being surprised, and unable to recover. Without seeing how you handle your econ and unit building, there's no way for me to be able to see if normal is too much for you right now. If you find Easy too easy but normal too hard, you are not alone. A step in the middle is warranted. But it's also possible you have encountered some bug in the difficulty settings.

I have not encountered the issue with the repeat queue button. That could be a huge deal, as pumping out constant units is critical.

 

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November 15, 2015 11:14:38 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

The issue is not if I can handle it or not but the fact that essentially following the same time as you the enemy in my game has taken over about half the map whereas in your game they maybe have 3 resources points under their control. 

If it is an issue on difficulty level then the game is unplayable right now. Easy is to easy and normal is way to hard. But I still do not think that is the case because like I said above I am at the same point you are at the same time and they have the more than double the amount of resource points under their control.

Basically they had the same build sequence as they did in your game but they did it much much faster in my game. 

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November 15, 2015 11:50:32 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

After I focused on choking the energy lines of the ai i did much better. Look at the mini maps and strike the enemy so you cut of his supply lines. Suddenly i managed to beat ai on though.

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November 15, 2015 12:03:44 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Another thought occurred to me. Madmaxneo, do you player on normal speed, or some faster speed? Because the in-game timer does not tick faster when you do so, so 4 minutes may be more like 8 minutes at "normal" speed.

A screenshot would still be helpful if you could manage it.

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November 15, 2015 12:19:28 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting eviator,

Another thought occurred to me. Madmaxneo, do you player on normal speed, or some faster speed? Because the in-game timer does not tick faster when you do so, so 4 minutes may be more like 8 minutes at "normal" speed.

A screenshot would still be helpful if you could manage it.

 

I did not know there was a speed control for the game. It may have been reset as on the latest update it reset everything in the game for me a few days ago. I went in to play a game and I was not the "blue" color I normally choose and it seemed to be way to easy for some reason, everything had been set to beginner mode....lol. I will go ahead and check the game speed. But wouldn't the game speed also affect my build times? The build times seem to be normal for me. 

FYI, I have no option to upload an image on my controls for this forum. I have an option to use an image URL but not one to upload am image.

 

 

Edit: I see no option to change game speed. Unless it is only in game then I am not sure how to change game speed in there.

 

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November 15, 2015 4:10:03 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

If you didn't change the game speed and it seems similar to mine it's probably normal. The + and - keys change the speed. In the top right below the scores it says "Normal" for me, but if I hit + it goes to Fast, then Faster, and Fastest. The tick rate of the in-game clock does not change, however.

Are you saying the AI played weaker just by changing your color?

There is no option to upload a picture, you have to do it by URL. There are plenty of free cloud-based image storage services out there. I use photobucket.com, which has plenty of space and a pretty good interface. I highly recommend beta testers do something like this because screenshots often help explain your feedback much better than just words.

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November 15, 2015 4:35:51 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Normal is just to hard.... which means with the way the AI is this should be what it is like at the hard level. I liked this game a lot but after going from easy to normal and not being able to get anywhere makes this game unplayable to me. 

It should not be this hard. I'll give kudos to the developers when they make the normal AI a "normal" difficulty level and not a "hard" difficulty level. The "easy" difficulty level is easy, as it should be. But there is to much of a difficulty increase going from easy to normal. For me it is impossible top beat the game at this level.

I am a casual gamer and casual gamers should be able to beat a game on the normal difficulty level, The higher difficulties are reserved for more of the hard core gamers. 

 

The enemy builds units way faster than I do.  I wish there was a way for me to observe what the enemy is doing so I could get an idea of how they build so fast and develop battle groups so effectively at normal level of difficulty. 

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November 15, 2015 4:45:52 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Fear not, they will rebalance the difficulty by release so that normal is competitive but not too difficult for most people. In the meantime, it may be possible to tweak some files to unofficially create a difficulty level between easy and normal. I'll see if I can figure that out.

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November 15, 2015 6:26:43 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting eviator,

Fear not, they will rebalance the difficulty by release so that normal is competitive but not too difficult for most people. In the meantime, it may be possible to tweak some files to unofficially create a difficulty level between easy and normal. I'll see if I can figure that out.

 

I hope so. 

Before you posted that I was actually going through the files and looking for ways to change things. So far I have not been able to find any files on the AI in the game. I can find and probably change some of the unit files but don't want the AI to have the same effects. I do not want to cheat but I want to make it so "normal" level is not as difficult. 

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November 15, 2015 7:06:19 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

If you find it (it is easy to find), changing Normal also changes the human player settings so it won't actually make it easier.

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November 15, 2015 8:09:43 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Wel

Quoting eviator,

Fear not, they will rebalance the difficulty by release so that normal is competitive but not too difficult for most people. In the meantime, it may be possible to tweak some files to unofficially create a difficulty level between easy and normal. I'll see if I can figure that out.

 

I finally was able to beat the Deneb map on normal. I changed your tactics a little. I started with the same things, send three engineers out to take over some resource points, and started building the factories. This time though I built three factories at each of the choke points near my base and built small groups there. I also added a missile cruiser (T2) and a Zeus to the mix. I started to build a little base in that corridor to the south but a dreadnought showed up. I had built a Prometheus (dreadnought killer) just for that event but it was all the way across the map and would not get there in time. So I sent my engineers back to the base. Imagine my surprise when my limited defenses at that mini base took the dreadnought out (1 cannon, 1 drone depot, a few brutes, and a repair depot). I had also started moving my other units to take over other bases of the enemies. Needless to say it was all over for the AI at that point. So I proceeded to take over every resource point and build the extractors before I decided to destroy the AI base....

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November 16, 2015 7:16:57 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

For those looking to make Normal easier, I came up with a solution (a mod):

http://forums.ashesofthesingularity.com/473360

 

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November 16, 2015 8:31:32 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I have learned how to beat the AI on normal level. Though to me it seems more like hard difficulty than normal. I just beat the AI on a 3 player map and it took me like 90 minutes to beat it. I had to suffer through some agonizing slow build times with metal in the -40's to survive long enough to get my first dreadnought built. After that it was a slow uphill climb. 

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November 16, 2015 8:45:43 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

i read the devs say they will introduce 1-2 more lower level ais 

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