Supreme Commander 2 PC Patch Improves AI

Work continues on improving Chris Taylor's real-time strategy game Supreme Commander 2, which has just received a massive patch improving the behavior and options of the game's AI.

The previous patch made several changes to the multiplayer offering, bringing a much-desired 1v1 Ranked Mode with leaderboards to the game.

Both patches will be applied automatically by Steam, which the game requires. Both sets of patch notes are presented below.

Patch 1.11 - The AI Patch

New Features:
  • New AI categories are now available via the Skirmish or Multi-player lobby menu:
    • Air: Focuses on Air units.
    • Land: Focuses on Land units.
    • Rush: Focuses on large amounts of land units and less on defense.
    • Balanced: Balanced between Land and Air.
    • Naval: Focuses on Naval units.
    • Turtle: Focuses on defenses and Experimentals.
    • Random: Chooses one of the above based on various factors.
  • Added the Steam avatar for each player on the multiplayer summary screen: This will let players click on the avatar image and access that player's Steam profile. From there, they can add that player to their friends list if they've had a good match
  • Added Mic Icons display in game when bringing up the in game score menu (F2) allowing players to mute individual players
  • Added anti-cheating code that will detect modified lua files and prevent playing with unmodified users. This also prevents achievement and leaderboard updates. Still permits playing with others who have identically modified their games.
  • Disconnections in Ranked: The game now tracks the number of disconnects a player has during Ranked 1v1 matches. If you exceed a certain percentage of disconnects to games played, they will count as losses instead of wins.
  • AI Improvements:
    • The AI will no longer get stuck in its startup build sequence if rushed or if there are build restrictions in place.
    • The AI will choose an appropriate archetype based on unit restrictions.
    • If a unit type is restricted the AI will act as though the unit does not exist in the game.
    • AI will now group units based on their target enemy's threat.
    • AI will now group experimentals based on their target enemy's threat.
    • If the victory condition is Assassination we are artificially inflating the Neural Net data to make attacking the ACU more desirable for both Land and Air units.
    • AI can now respond to being attacked my Nukes or Artillery, even if it cannot see where it is coming from.
    • Fixed a bug where threat build conditions were not being used.
    • The AI should no longer attempt to send attack platoons to unpathable areas.
    • The AI will hold back units until it thinks it has enough to make a push based on defensive intelligence.
    • Fixed an issue where the AI would constantly pull units back to attack an expansion base instead of pushing forward.
    • The AI will no longer build more than 3 transports unless it has land units and it is not a land map.
    • Added AI response to make a land AI get land unit AA upgrades if the enemy has air units.
    • The Naval AI will not build more than 3 subs unless the enemy has Naval.
    • If Research is disabled the AI will not build research facilities.
    • The AI will add a small amount of threat to all enemy start locations so it knows where to find them.
    • Platoons will try to only attack areas where they think they can do enough damage before dying.
    • The AI will react to enemy TML, artillery, or Experimentals by building more shields and placing them closer together.
    • The AI should send a more appropriate number of units based on enemy threat.
    • AI will build and use Mass Convertors.
    • If the closest enemy to the AI is a lot weaker than the other enemies the AI will focus on the weak enemy.
    • The AI's air units will wait longer before re-evaluating which target to attack.
    • The AI's NUC will now check for pathability before firing units.
    • The AI's Nuke Launcher will now check for pathability before firing.
    • You can now select which AI type you would like to play against from the dropdown in the game lobby (random is still an option).
    • AI will build factory shield upgrades more often, not just when the enemy has air.
    • Factory upgrades now have a threat value.
    • AI should react better to an enemy having nukes.
    • AI will not build research stations if it already has everything researched.
    • AI will not build a mass convertor until it has enough energy to convert.
    • Added bigger Air and Land platoons.
    • When a build item has a resource type of All the AI will use Slush first.
    • Added build conditions to check for current target enemy threat.
    • AI air scout platoons will now path around threat as much as possible.
    • Mass convertor research is now a higher priority for the Turtle AI.
    • Changed some threat evaluation when deciding where to attack.
    • AI will build fewer MMLs and Mobile Artillery.
    • Added a new function to store the victory condition for the AI.
    • When an AI unit dies it will add threat to the instigator's location to warn other units.
    • Added some anti-turtle measures.
    • Fix for units that were built outside of the AIs base not being used.
    • Fix for AI not using its full base radius.
    • Land AIs on Island maps should build Air factories to build transports.
    • AI should send platoons when it is at unit cap, no matter what.
    • AI will space out naval factories more to prevent blockage.
The Ranked maps have been updated to:
  • Markon Bridge
  • Clark Training Center
  • Coalition Ship Yard
  • Arctic Refuge
  • Open Palms
  • Finn�s Revenge
  • Fixed units arriving from Space Temple teleport immunity to Magnetron effects
  • Fixed Engineer pathfinding in crowded conditions
  • Fixes for occasional crash if Client disconnects at the same moment Host launches Ranked game
  • Fix for Crash / Soft Locked: Players can get soft-locked in the 'Starting Game' screen if other players disconnect when matchmaking begins 'Starting Game'
  • Backspace will reveal all characters in the edit box when you have more characters than the visible section
Tuning and Balancing:
  • Capturing units now provides the same experience as killing them

Patch 1.10 - The Ranked Patch

New Features
  • Ranked 1v1 System! (see below for a detailed explanation of this new system)
  • Ranked Challenge System (see below for a detailed explanation of this new system)
  • Unranked Quickmatch (see below for a detailed explanation of this new system)
  • Map Pings - Added three different kinds of map pings for team play. F5 issues a generic alert to your teammate at a specific location, and it appears as a yellow arrow when zoomed in and a yellow animated ping indicator in strategic mode. F6 is a Move ping, and it uses a blue indicator. F7 is Attack ping, and it uses a red indicator. Color coded arrows will appear on each edge of the screen where your teammate has placed one of these for you to view.
  • Multi-player lobby ready-up checkboxes will now "uncheck" any time a host changes the settings
  • Changes to multi-player lobby exclusions, game-type, etc. will show up in the multi-player lobby chat box when the host makes changes
  • Voice icons display next to each player in the multi-player lobby allowing the user to mute individual players.
  • Menu version number � The game now displays a version number on the Main Menu. The versioning has been adjusted at this update to 1.10 to accommodate future updates.
  • AI now starts as a random faction.
  • Cheating fix: Closed a loophole in the code that allowed some players to enable limited cheats.
  • Fixed rare crash if player gets kicked out of the lobby and submits chat text.
  • Fixed rare crash when player hits the enter key in the Skirmish menu.
  • Fixed replacing ready kicked player with AI causes the AI options to be locked.
  • Fixed inability to join DLC map games if you don't have the pack as a client.
Tuning and Balance
  • UEF Assault Bot Research cost decreased from 4 to 3.
  • Cybran Battleship Range reduced from 128 to 115.
  • Cybran Destroyer Energy cost increased from 500 to 650.
  • ACU Training bonus reduced to +25% per level.
  • Soul Ripper II Anti-Air Damage reduced by 50%.
  • King Kripter, Colossus and Cybranasaurus-Rex Health and Damage increased by 35%.
  • Cybranasaurus-Rex Range increased from 22 to 32.
  • Wilfindja Speed increased from 3.6 to 4.6.
  • Gantry build time reduced from 120 to 100 seconds.
  • Pulinsmash weapon range increased from 50 to 100.
  • Darkenoid Health increased from 20,000 to 27,500.
  • AC-1000 primary weapon damage blast radius increased from 1.5 to 3.
  • Cybran Air Rate of Fire boost Research cost increased from 3 to 5.
  • Bodaboom Health boost increased from +20% to +30%. Aura radius increased from 20 to 30. Added a +200% regeneration bonus.
  • ACUs are now repaired 150% slower.
  • Increasing ACU storage size to 15.
  • UEF Submarine weapon range increased by 50%. Movement speed reduced from 6 to 5.25.
  • Structure bubble shields now take twice as long to come back online.
  • Anti-Air Tower damage increased by 25%.
  • ACUs and Engineers now get a Sonar range equivalent to their Radar range.
  • ACU/Escape Pod Experience value increased to 7500.
  • Gantry Experience value decreased to 1250.
  • UEF/Illuminate Mass Convertor Experience value increased to 750.
  • UEF/Illuminate Mobile Anti-Air Experience value decreased to 100.
  • Fighter/Bomber Experience value decreased to 250.
  • Transport Experience value increased to 750.
  • UEF Fighter & Bomber Experience value decreased to 200.
  • UEF/Cybran Battleship Experience value increased to 1500.
  • Cybran Destroyer Experience value increased to 750.
  • UEF Submarine Experience value decreased to 150.
  • King Kriptor, Universal Colossus, Cybranasaurus Rex and Pulinsmash Experience value reduced to 3000.
  • Cybran Intel Add-on Vision radius is now correctly set to 75.
  • Fixed an issue with Cybran tactical missiles that prevented them from hitting a target if it was really far away.
  • Illuminate ACU Teleport time reduced from 10 to 6 seconds.
Known Issues
  • Translation for the Ranked Games Interface in European languages will be in our next update.
Ranked Systems Detailed Explanation:

1v1 Ranking System

Supreme Commander 2 now supports Ranked 1v1 matches. Each player starts with a Ranked Rating of 1500, and each Ranked match increases or decreases your Ranked Rating. This rating determines your position on the Ranked Leaderboard. The Matchmaking Menu is accessed from the Main Menu. Select Multiplayer, and Find Match. It lets you between choose two different kinds of 1v1 matchmaking: Ranked (1v1) or Unranked (1v1). The Unranked (1v1) tab lets you pick your Victory Condition (Assassination or Supremacy), your Faction, and it matches you with a player of a similar skill level on a randomly selected map. These matches do not count toward any leaderboards.

Ranked (1v1) only supports the Assassination Victory Condition. Once you choose your faction, you can click "Find Match" and you'll be matched with someone of a similar skill level. In Ranked mode, you can adjust the range of potential matches on the "Finding Opponent" screen. It defaults to finding an opponent who is within 32 points of your current rating. It will search for as long as you want to find an opponent within that range, or you can manually adjust the searchable Min and Max Rating of potential opponents by clicking the "+" and "-" buttons. You can cancel the Search at any time and return to the Matchmaking Menu. Once a match is found, you automatically connect to a 1v1 match with your still-unknown opponent on a randomly picked map.

Challenge Mode System

The biggest new feature for Ranked play is the addition of "Challenge Mode." "Challenge Mode" is enabled on the Matchmaking Menu. If both players who are looking for a match have the option enabled, they are able to "Challenge" each other at any point of the match in order to "Raise the Stakes." What's at stake? The impact of the match's result on each player's final Rating.

A normal Ranked 1v1 game has a 1X multiplier, meaning it's worth 1 game when calculating your final rating. The change in the rating is based on the difference between two players; a player with a high rating will get less of an increase from playing a lower-ranked player, but a low-ranked player can move up quickly by defeating a higher-ranked player. In "Challenge Mode," you're increasing the multiplier so the result will count the same as if you played multiple matches against the same opponent. In other words, the resulting change in ratings will be greater than it would be for a normal, 1X match.

A "Challenge" is issued from a button in the scoreboard, which is accessed by pressing F2 during the match. Players can issue up to 5 challenges per game, and the owner of the Challenge alternates between players. Either player can initiate a Challenge at any time during a match. Once the initial challenge is issued, the match pauses and the "Challenge Mode" menu appears. For the player receiving the challenge, it tells them what's at stake and gives them 30 seconds to decide whether to accept or decline the challenge. For the initial Challenge, "Decline" is auto-selected after 20 seconds. If a player declines the first challenge, the match will continue as a standard 1v1, and neither player can re-issue a challenge. If a player accepts the challenge, the match continues. However, the player who accepted the challenge has a new button on their scoreboard: "Raise Stakes." If they click on this button, they will "Raise the Stakes" on the match and increase the multiplier. The game pauses again, and the other player gets the Challenge Menu. At this point, that player's options are to either "Accept" the newly raised stakes or "Forfeit" the match with the previously agreed-to multiplier. In fact, if you do not make this decision within 30 seconds, you will automatically forfeit and the match will end. In other words, once you're in Challenge Mode, you can't back out. After the match is finished, each player gets the standard summary screen with new text that shows each player's Rating at the start of the match and their new Rating after it's been calculated.

A match with a 5X multiplier doesn't increase your score by five versus a 1X match. The math used to calculate the final rating accounts for the changes between both players' rating each time it's calculated, so the actual increase/decrease in high-stakes games is considerably less than the multiplier. The system can't be easily gamed, because matching is random and tied to an individual player's Steam account.

"Challenge Mode" increases competition by potentially increasing the stakes for each match. A lower ranked player can more quickly move up the Leaderboard, or a high-ranked player can more easily keep their lead� or feed their ego. Bold (or crazy) players can try to bluff their way to getting their opponent to forfeit a match, at the risk of tumbling even more positions on the Leaderboard. It's 100% voluntary, so players are free to disable the mode on the Matchmaking menu.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 16, 2010 2:46 PM

    How is this game? When the demo came out people on shack were complaining of disappointment. Has it gotten better?

    • reply
      April 16, 2010 2:52 PM

      What it lost it can't get back in updates. It's not a terrible game in and of itself, but it doesn't come close to living up to what a sequel of the first should have been.

    • reply
      April 16, 2010 2:58 PM

      if you liked supreme commander 1 + forged alliance, You will HATE this game...

    • reply
      April 16, 2010 3:34 PM

      I heard through a friend that was very high in the rankings, its extremely dumbed down now, and boring.

      They really lost the 'TONS' of different kinds of units the originals had.

      • reply
        April 16, 2010 3:51 PM

        The question is how much sense it makes to have 300 units with sligthly different stats that all look very similar (something that i never understood about TA, either). There is a reason why armies don't use ten different MBTs at once- no matter how much the designers go for balance, there is bound to be one unit that excels at a given role.

        • reply
          April 16, 2010 5:16 PM

          I completely agree with you on this point, but the complexity it lost has nothing to do with the numbers of units. To talk about losing unit types is to miss the point. The changes to the economy, base building, and the overall feel of the game cannot be ignored. See spinx2's comment above...that's all you need to know.

    • reply
      April 16, 2010 5:40 PM

      I don't think its that bad online, I prefer grouping with others because I suck badly at 1v1. But when you group up and specialize in a few different areas it can be pretty fun.

      Single player is pretty damn poor, and the scale and depth has been greatly reduced. Which I see as both a con and pro. I would class the game as poorer than the original.

    • reply
      April 17, 2010 9:31 AM

      Its been gutted badly they took a good chunk of the first to slim it down over all like most other people will tell you its a more simple game.

    • reply
      April 18, 2010 9:23 PM

      They changed the game to be almost pure offense and hit and run tactics. Its very difficult to turtle at all since a mass of air planes can destroy everything quickly, or you have the teleporter/noah cannon that make bases extremely easy to penetrate. They've simplified buildings far too much and then put in a research ladder to "add" the complexity back in. Also, experimentals don't take nearly as long to build but also get destroyed very easily compared to Sup Com 1. 1 soul ripper can be killed by 10 normal planes in like 10-15 seconds. I find it very irritating to play. Of course I probably should just play civ games since I seem to enjoy the base building more than anything else.

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