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Markers indepth

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PrefaceEdit

  • This article has originally been written by Aralez on the GPG.net-boards found here.

As promised in the Sorian AI mod's thread i made some tests about the markers and post my observations here as a reference for all mapmakers and curious cats.

I made a small flat 5x5 map with no terrain features as a test base (using hazardX's map editor v0.45) and used 1 Sorian AI 1.4 (with the behaviour mod enabled for Sorian AI only) and one default Balanced AI as guinea pigs. I launched a LAN game with me as observer, 500 unit cap and no fog-of-war.

Starting PointsEdit

  • First i made a map with absolutely nothing on it except two starting points.

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I expected to see two ACUs sitting there, doing nothing. To my big surprise the ACUs started with their standard buildorder (minus the mexes) and built massfabs instead! Nice feature of the AI, the economy model seems to work very good! Both used their ACU to build, fight and to assist factories, nice! As mass was very valuable on this map they both used their builders to reclaim wrecked units, good work here, too. The Sorian AI had some advantages as it scouted more often. The default AI did build scouts but after the first one it didn't use them anymore.

Mass and HydrocarbonEdit

  • Added two far away mass points and a close-by hydrocarbon-powerplant.

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Results: Devastating! The ACU ran back and forward without doing anything, after ~5 minutes the Sorian AI accidently built half (!) of a massextractor but never finished it. Conclusion for AI-usable maps: Better NO resource points than far-away resourcepoints!

  • I tried different numbers of mass points at the starting point and even with only one the AI was happy and could build:

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What is interesting: Even without any other markers the AI did quite well. As Sorian said, the AI will attack from random directions, i could see that by pressing shift.

Rally PointsEdit

  • I added 1 rally point at the west side of the bases.

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Both AIs used it, intertestingly the southern AI even built some turrets there (no matter if Sorian or default AI), the northern AI didn't.

  • I added 2 more rally points to the bases:

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Sorian once guessed that this will confuse the AI, but it doesn't. The AIs had no problems at all, but there was one major difference between the AIs: The default AI used all rally points, if a factory was closer to the eastern point it used the eastern rallypoint. The Sorian AI however used only 1 (!) rally point, i moved them for a test and no matter what i tried it still would only use 1.

Attack MarkersEdit

  • I added 1 attack marker:

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Much to my surprise the AIs only used it until they had scouts available! And they did not use it as a point-of-attack, but rather as a very-low-priority waypoint! Again: As soon as the AI had gathered recon data the attack markers became useless. They only seem to work as waypoints directly at the start, i think they are there to help the AI find its way on larger maps. The AI will no longer use them once it has enough recon-data of the area the marker is in.

  • I added a second attack marker:

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The results were the same as before: As soon as the AI had enough recon-data it stopped using them, but it used them as waypoints UNTIL that moment.

Expansion MarkersEdit

  • Made a last test and added two "Expansion markers"

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No surprise here, the AI built factories and defenses there. But only once it considered the area to be safe enough. As long as the area was a battlefield no buildings were built there. Interesting side-effect: Once i added the expansion markers the AIs started to build defenses around their main base, too.

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