New Map: The Dark Ages - Central

Lux maps won't make themselves.
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SunTzu
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New Map: The Dark Ages - Central

Post by SunTzu » Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:09 am

The Dark Ages - Central

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7 Continents, 12 Cities, 21 Countries

The sixth map in a seven-part series exploring Europe in the Dark Ages.

ThirdParty
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Post by ThirdParty » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:09 pm

Cool! This is the first map I've seen that has negative continent values that actually work; because of where its choke points are, there's a temptation to take Italy despite the cost.

Lusatia and Ostmark could use a connection.

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SunTzu
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Post by SunTzu » Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:00 pm

Thanks for the heads up! An updated version has been uploaded...

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hoodie
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Post by hoodie » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:00 pm

I don't know if this was in the back of SunTzu's head or not...

but with the re-emergence of the supercontinents thread, this got me thinking of a supertournament, where 36 luxers would face off, with a random draw placing 6 players in each of the mini maps you've made, then the 6 winners playing the supermap.

I would say have the winners start with their "won" territory, but that might just lead to a huge stalemate.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to the final megamap next week!

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SunTzu
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Post by SunTzu » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:52 pm

SunTzu wrote:I made the main map, then used the 6 starting positions as the basis for the 6 smaller maps for three reasons:
  1. The main map is too large for most screen resolutions, so I wanted smaller ones that people wouldn't have to scroll.
  2. The main map takes forever to play, so I wanted maps that people could play quickly for network games.
  3. The 6 smaller maps can be used as qualifying maps in a Dark Ages tournament.
Great idea hoodie! I should probably get in touch with the tournament organizers at SnyperEntertainment, Inc.
hoodie wrote:I would say have the winners start with their "won" territory, but that might just lead to a huge stalemate.
You won't have to worry about a stalemate on that map... ;)

The problem I'm having now is balancing the starting scenario for 6 human players. I can balance it for different bots, but bots play large maps very differently from humans. Even playing against Reaper and BotOfDoom is easy on such a huge map...

∞ SunTzu hopes the bot programmers notices him throwing down the gauntlet ∞

I was able to balance the map for 5 players by using the empty bot as a 6th player, but it wouldn't work for the tournament. Also, I can't specify in the map that the empty bot must be used for the 6th player so it probably won't be in the final version.

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hoodie
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Post by hoodie » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:59 pm

Well, I figured you probably were thinking of something like that, but I couldn't remember reading it and didn't feel like searching through almost 100,000 posts for it. :wink:

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Mike
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Post by Mike » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:34 pm

ThirdParty wrote:Cool! This is the first map I've seen that has negative continent values that actually work; because of where its choke points are, there's a temptation to take Italy despite the cost.

Lusatia and Ostmark could use a connection.
Try playing Island Fury!

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Bertrand
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Post by Bertrand » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:16 pm

SunTzu wrote:I can balance it for different bots, but bots play large maps very differently from humans. Even playing against Reaper and BotOfDoom is easy on such a huge map...

∞ SunTzu hopes the bot programmers notices him throwing down the gauntlet ∞
Can you explain the difference in playing style between expert humans and Reaper on large maps? Any insight will be very helpful to me. I'm a very average player myself, so I do not really know how to make him better.

He does, however, have some success on your Northwest map - Amazingly, Reaper leads the current MOTW race!

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Black Pope
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Post by Black Pope » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:44 pm

Bertrand, I'm not kidding, on any of these Dark Ages map (and I have them all) I simply cannot beat multiple reapers. I beat them once when there was two, but honestly, it was because another bot suicided on them.
I have a question about Bertrand that I will put on the bot forums...thanks for your hard work.

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SunTzu
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Post by SunTzu » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:37 am

Bertrand wrote:Can you explain the difference in playing style between expert humans and Reaper on large maps? Any insight will be very helpful to me. I'm a very average player myself, so I do not really know how to make him better.
First of all, keep in mind that I'm just an average player as well...

My best guess would be that bots treat continents the same regardless of map size. They seem to look at the continent bonuses on an individual basis, instead of a % of available continents.

Also, on larger maps more emphasis should be placed in the beginning of a game on getting more continents rather than overprotecting the few they already have. Killbot and Angry usually start out very well on large maps because they're so aggressive. They come up short, though, during the middlegame and are usually weak by the time it gets to the endgame. BotOfDoom, on the other hand, seems to become a nomad during the first few rounds and just waits for the endgame.
Bertrand wrote:He does, however, have some success on your Northwest map - Amazingly, Reaper leads the current MOTW race!
Of course he does... he still kicks ass on normal-sized maps!

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Bertrand
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Post by Bertrand » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:04 pm

Good stuff. You are right about game beginning strategy: I did make Reaper 5 more aggressive in the early rounds, and that did make a noticeable improvement. I think I still need to work on this. Also, Reaper has to learn to detect when the game-begin phase ends, and the mid-game begins, in order to change his strategy and build up his defenses before the end-game. We humans do this unconsciously, but it has to explicitly programmed in an AI.

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