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Old 04-16-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
Gandalf3211
 
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How to provide handicaps?

I mainly play versus my brother.

However, he is more skillful at RTS than I am. I'm a good player, I can beat the hard AI 1 on 1, but he is a great player.

Also, my sister would like to give the game a try! But she is only getting started, so needs a handicap to have a competitive game against me (or huge handicap against him).

We love the handicap feature of Age of Empires III, which gives a percentage economy bonus to the weaker player of up to 100% (i.e., up to double the normal economy gathering rate). An economy bonus has the least interference with normal game play. A dynamically adjustable handicap is best, such that if I win we reduce the handicap somewhat for the next game but if he wins we raise the handicap somewhat.

A handicap feature is voluntary, so it would be great if Supreme Commander 2 had one, as those who want it would use it, and those who didn't want it wouldn't use it.

However, as Supreme Commander 2 lacks an in-built handicap feature, how would people recommend to implement a handicap to allow for a fun, competitive game among friends or family of unequal skill?

We tried a head start for me of 5 minutes (with restrictions that I can't cross mid map during that time and I can't attack his base for 10 minutes, to give him time to begin to develop).

We tried the Coalition Command Center 3 v 1 map with me at the top with extra resources, and him at the other end of the map, with a normal AI and hard AI ally of mine in between -- but he still wins! He is brilliant at a compact base using mass conversion techniques to acquire mass without needing map dominance. BTW, we rarely play rush strategies, because we enjoy moving up the tech tree and longer games.

I guess other possibilities are the stronger player voluntarily omitting one type of unit (i.e., using only naval and air but not land units), omitting one tech tree (i.e., no structure research), or foregoing experimentals.

Any suggestions welcomed!

Please don't say "give up the game", because we think it's a great game, and we like to play each other. Age of Empires III works very good between all of us for many years, because of its in-built handicapping system.

If I had my wish, it would be that Gas Powered Games included a built in handicap for Supreme Commander 2, like Age of Empires III has, or even simply reinstated the cheats that Supreme Commander 1 had, because we used those "add resources" and "add building" cheats for handicapping.

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Old 04-16-2010, 06:45 PM   #2
-Servo-
 
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I am certain there are millions of people like you who may want to create a level playing field with friends. The handicap you mention is a great idea, and we considered it in the past as a slider for each player, as yet nothing like this exists in game.

For the time being, AI can be used somewhat as a handicap buffer on the larger maps. If you are a skilled player, put a hard or cheating AI on the other team, if you are novice, put a normal or easy on the other side.

After the AI patch, there are considerably more options for the AI, and there is also alot more challenge in the way Hard AI plays, so you might want to give that a go again. It also handles exclusions much, much better, those seem very common in friendly games, where it used to hamstring the AI.

The friendliest way to play is to all be on the same side against some AI. Put the best player in front, and keep the weakest to the back, give the weak player a goal like "Build Experimentals" and have a go. Assuming you choose sufficiently challenging opponents, you all get to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, and have a round of high fives.

We will revisit the handicap idea in the future, once we have the game stable, balanced, and consistent. Thanks for sticking with us for the teething, and introducing others to the game.

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Old 04-16-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
DrSuperGood
 
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If you are talking about hard AIs you are not a good player.
People can currently take down multiple cheating AI, even after the patch and still find it easy now. Try getting to that stage. Also try playing online a bit in compstomps and see how some of the more ruthless players deal with them.

Tip, spam powerplants (you need like 500+ energy per second). Hotkey a few extractors (enough that you do not need to convert every few seconds but not so many you need to wait for ever for the energy. I usually group 10 on hotkey group 0. You then are after spamming some defenses (shields to stop him shelling you) and then getting 6 experimental factoies up with atleast 1 engineer each. They should be constantly churning out experimentals like AC1000s, soul rippers or universal colosus. By the 40 minute mark you should have over 100 AC1000s or atleast dozens of other experimentals. Artillery will help, remeber to have a few.

As for nukes. Nuke spam is too risky as he will have defenses, try instead making sure you are defneded from nukes and save some of your own to fire at his armies. If his armies are nuked you will win and I am sure he will not think you are nuking an army and not his base.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:58 AM   #4
Gandalf3211
 
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Servo, great comment! I agree with and am pleased at all your points.

We are absolutely delighted to hear that a handicap is being considered for the future.

(Thanks also for the playing tips, DrSuperGood.)
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:19 AM   #5
dulich66
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSuperGood View Post
If you are talking about hard AIs you are not a good player.
People can currently take down multiple cheating AI, even after the patch and still find it easy now. Try getting to that stage. Also try playing online a bit in compstomps and see how some of the more ruthless players deal with them.

Tip, spam powerplants (you need like 500+ energy per second). Hotkey a few extractors (enough that you do not need to convert every few seconds but not so many you need to wait for ever for the energy. I usually group 10 on hotkey group 0. You then are after spamming some defenses (shields to stop him shelling you) and then getting 6 experimental factoies up with atleast 1 engineer each. They should be constantly churning out experimentals like AC1000s, soul rippers or universal colosus. By the 40 minute mark you should have over 100 AC1000s or atleast dozens of other experimentals. Artillery will help, remeber to have a few.

As for nukes. Nuke spam is too risky as he will have defenses, try instead making sure you are defneded from nukes and save some of your own to fire at his armies. If his armies are nuked you will win and I am sure he will not think you are nuking an army and not his base.
Not all of us have 150+ APM ... sigh .... I can barely click that fast let alone do some useful action between the clicks

Great tip about Energy 2 mass conversion and will have to try it out.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:03 PM   #6
Lunahound
 
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Handicap... have her team up with a Hard AI ,
and make sure you dont go to her base till you destroy the computer first.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:41 AM   #7
Nanobot o0O0o
 
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As a tip, you can really increase your API, and overall fun by:

1) Using the 'Naming' feature to give your platoons, or even auto-naming nits.
1a) C~trl + 1-10 to name a selected unit. Then press, say #3, and the unit is selected. Double tap #3 and your camera snaps to the unit.
2a) Use the Ctrl naming feature to name a factory, then ALL of the units produced there will be named that number (Eg. I have a factory named #2 for tanks, #3 for anti-air, #4 for missile trucks)
3a) Yeah, I give a number to my mass converters, but sometimes also to my Point defense turrets at an expansion base. Need to go there quickly? Double tap #6!

2) Get used to pressing , (comma) to select your ACU. It also snaps your view to him.

3) Get used to pressing . (period) to select you idle engineers. Pressing it multiple times will cycle through all the idle ones.

4) Get used to flicking your eye over the Idle help bar on the right side of the screen.

5) Never have more than 2000 mass around unless you are purchasing some big ticket item (Magnetron, etc...) If you can, always be spending barely less than you are creating new economy; making sure that you are constantly in the 400-1000 range.

==========================
I could go on, but those thing should help you save time, feel less flustered, and when you are scrambling those things can act as an auto-pilot way to staying afloat.

Last edited by Nanobot o0O0o: 04-18-2010 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:21 PM   #8
Lunahound
 
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How do i cope with balancing energy and metal?

In the beginning i always lack energy, and towards the end , tons of extra energy.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:20 PM   #9
HrKristian
 
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Good rule of thumb for early game is to have a tad more than twice energy income to your mass income.

That's incredibly easy to accomplish, first 4 MEx'es accompanied by one NRGGen for example, in replays I see many people putting out 4MEx'es and 3 NRGGens in the beginning, which is a complete waste of mass, because the two NRGGens easily can become a factory or en extra MEx, before you have to build a 2nd NRGGen.
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