Multi-threading, Performance and AI Improvements Updates 112176 / 112209 / 112214

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by panews, October 16, 2018.

  1. panews

    panews Planetary News Official PA

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    Greetings Commanders,

    It took us a little longer than we expected to prepare this build in light of some server issues last weekend, which are now resolved.

    This is our first new build on the legacy toolchain and will be the first of many once we stablise our modern toolchain builds.

    Our focus is on speed and stability as we work to ensure we’re in the best place possible ahead of upgrading the technologies which underpin the game. We’ve implemented numerous server sim performance improvements, while also resolving a number of the most common causes of server-side crashes.

    You should still make sure your graphics drivers are up-to-date as out of date drivers are still the most common cause of client issues. Seriously. Go do it now!

    Over time we’ve seen the competitive meta settle, revealing some very visible imbalances. No one likes those. We’ve introduced some small changes to fix things. Balance is as much an art as it is a science, so we’ll continue to monitor and adjust as necessary.

    The AI has also seen some love, upgraded to be more ruthless than ever. It’s in it to win it, with an upgraded neural net, along with additional behavioural improvements.

    Finally, rumour has it some kind of ladder reset is fast approaching...

    Balance
    • Advanced Air, Bot, Vehicle and Naval Factory cost increased by 25% to 4,500 (minor delay to T2 rush)
    • Slammer cost increased to 500 (minor adjustment against Leveler)
    • Solar Array cost decreased to 1,600 (minor adjustment against land-based advanced power)
    • Gil-E vision increased to 220 (vision now matches weapon range)
    • Bluehawk range increase to 220 (buff as a counter e.g. Kaiju)
    • Pelican health increased to 200 with group (formation) preference set to back (increased survivability)
    • Stingray vision increased to 250 with new radar and sonar of 350 (new cruiser role as naval radar)
    • Typhoon vision increased to 250 with drone guard radius of 250 and passive health regen reduced to -2 (20 seconds)
    • Kaiju rate of fire decreased to 0.5 shots per second (minor nerf)

    Technical Notes

    AI

    • Adjusted the neural network fitness function
    • Neural networks have all been re-trained for Titans and Classic
    • Threat response platoons now see amphibious units as anti-sub threat
    • Added a couple of new target filtering options, a new neural net input, and a few new outputs
    • AI does a better job of gathering and using intel as well as caching it for later use to improve performance
    • When looking for a place to attack, the AI will now take into account neighbouring areas when determining what size of a force to use
    • The AI will now look for more fights that it can win rather than fights it can at least tie
    • Fix for AI platoons that would get stuck trying to disband
    • Adjusted how much the AI raids
    • Improved AI neural data merging
    • Adjusted AI aggressiveness
    Server / Simulation Performance
    • Adjusted how search spaces are updated in an effort to get through as many of them as possible per tick
    • During the nav update, more of an effort is made to allow as many search spaces as possible generate their high level path so units can start moving faster
    • Added a fail safe to allow nav to steal more voxel budget if it is having a tough time getting through search spaces
    • This will give nav an opportunity to fulfill a larger number of move requests over a shorter time
    • We now query a search space to ensure we have enough voxel budget remaining for the space to prevent doing a bunch of useless work
    • Added the count of updating search spaces in nav to the perf output window
    • More aggressive filtering of collision pairs to reduce the number of pairs we have to check
    • Nav now attempts to pre-allocate the cost cells it will need for the updating search spaces it has
    • Search spaces now return their cost cells to nav when they are finished so they can be reused later
    • Moved the spatial DB update for dynamic objects so that it only happens once, at most, per update
    Server / Simulation Multi-Threading

    Please note multi-threading must be enabled for your server.
    • The task scheduler now supports running the plan step of parallel tasks (such as weapon auto targeting and auto manoeuvring) at the same time, per unit
    • Entity record step now runs in parallel
    • The nav and physics updates now run alongside the economy update
    • Added multi-thread support for the heavy parts of the recon update
    • Units can now update their weapon aims in parallel
    • The physics update now supports multi-threading
    • The small island build is now multi-threaded per sector
    • This helps in-game perf as well as system loading
    • Added --max-threads command line to set the max number of background threads
    Crash Reporting
    • Improved crash reporting for all platforms
    • Crash dumps are now stored in the log folder (varies by OS) instead of a temp folder
    • On Windows, a DxDiag report (stripped of all personally identifiable info) is now automatically attached to crash reports
    Crash Fixes
    • Fix for crash if, during the same tick, a search space was marked for removal and then another search space was created for the same destination
    • Fix for rebuilding the collision geometry BVH when it wasn't needed
    • Fix for crash in swizzle tree from trying to evaluate log(0), in a rare case
    • Fix for big game crashes caused when the flood runner gets a request from a search space with an invalid goal location
    • Fix for virtual texture binding crash on the client
    Modding
    • icon atlases now use grids which increases the maximum strategic icons (52x52px) on an 8K texture (older GPUs) to 157 x 157 (24,649) and on a 16K texture (modern GPUs) to 315 x 315 (99,225) resulting in a breaking change to the following shaders:
      • particle_direct_ring_selection.vs
      • particle_direct.vs
      • particle_icon.vs
      • particle_status_icon.fs
      • particle_status_icon.vs
    • strategic icon mods should use the new utility function calculateAtlasUV (added to particle_common.vs) replacing:
      • v_TexCoord = vec2(a_TexCoord.x, vUVAndExtra.x + vUVAndExtra.y * (1.0 - a_TexCoord.y));
        with v_TexCoord = calculateAtlasUV(vUVAndExtra.xy);
    Server Issues Resolved

    Our legacy infrastructure hit a 10GB limit for archived game summaries. That's a lot of games!

    112209

    112209 build is now live to help us track down the cause of sim speed stalls and includes a fix for the XOV commander crash on Linux.

    112214

    112214 build is now live with a fix for missing metal spot icons in the system editor.
    Last edited: October 22, 2018
  2. xankar

    xankar Well-Known Member

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    WE'RE BACK BOIS
    stuart98 likes this.
  3. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Member

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    F YEAH!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: October 17, 2018
  4. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Member

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    Pelican buff, stingray and Typhoon buffs <3
    Last edited: October 16, 2018
  5. zihuatanejo

    zihuatanejo Well-Known Member

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  6. felipec

    felipec Active Member

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    AWESOME! Will check those later tonight!
  7. liamdawe

    liamdawe Active Member

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    Been testing the Linux version on Ubuntu 18.04 64bit, still seems to run really well.

    Big thank you for rolling out updates across systems at the same time, it really is appreciated after backing you guys on the original Kickstarter (then upgrading twice afterwards to give you more) :)
    n00n, Nicb1 and grandhomie like this.
  8. MrTBSC

    MrTBSC Post Master General

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    cool stuff for sure

    minor nitpicks

    what about icarus buffs? making it either a antiraiddefense or fabberhunter, maybe a compromise between the two?

    what about wyrm speedbuff?
  9. monkeysoldier92

    monkeysoldier92 New Member

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    The balance changes the game a lot. I don't think many players will be happy. I haven't seen the game change this much since before Titans.

    1.) Pelicans will be everywhere in competitive games. They have way too much armor now.Pelican micro is so strong now that I think the skill ceiling will increase quit a bit as pros push themselves to send out all sorts of pelican drops. You can now drop units successfully in range of a galata aa turret. I actually think this is a cool concept but it's very disruptive to the state that the game has been in for years. I think it will end up annoying most players.

    2.) Making T2 factories more expensive is a major change as well. Different, aggressive strategies will emerge I think. This change is tolerable and I think we could get used to it.

    3.) I like how the bots have changed, but I'm not sure the slammers needed the nerf.

    4.)All other changes are nothing compared to 1 and 2
  10. panews

    panews Planetary News Official PA

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    Original post has been updated with changes to strategic icons for modding.
    Remy561 likes this.
  11. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    1, 200 armour is nothing, may be able to take a single extra shot from a galata. there still going to be tricky to use, easily countered and not always a good option. I cant see it doing anything really. If anything it will just make players interested in using them again, pulled a lot of good wins off with pelicans not too long ago.

    2, I changed the cost of tr2 to a few 1000 more and still found a 2-3 factory tr2 to work best, not enough tr1 early enough to make a difference aslong as you can defend an expansion or 2, get tr2 units and a fabber first your sorted. Any "advantage" gained through tr1 and expansion is lost.

    3, Could be right. Spaghetti vs tanks though, dox slammers, might slow down that sh'@ and make people have to use those forces a little better.

    4, They're not big changes.
    huangth and NikolaMX like this.
  12. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    Good to see you guys back at helm PA inc. This game is a real gem.
    NikolaMX likes this.
  13. nosebreaker

    nosebreaker Post Master General

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    This is definitely a step in the correct direction with t2 factories and both slams and levellers costing more individualy as well. Hmmmmm The Nosebreaker suggests the factory out put be lowered by five metal as well slowing the amount of levellers and slammers coming out.
    Every one The Nosebreaker has talked to has been shocked that t2 was so incredaberry cheap to begin with.....
    The Nosebreaker thinks a further 25 percent to 7500 metal cost is seriously considered.
    This may bring back some of the epic epic battles so many of us old timers miss and the young guns, Know nothing about. All any new comer knows is t2 rush rush rush.. gota have t 2 by 2 minuets.... Increasing the metal cost of t 2 factories will definitely lower the skill gap between players. Making a fairer game for the casual player...
    Perhaps a dramatic increase in the cost of air units or slower factory output will see less of them on the battle field and more emphasis put back on to the ground. Currently who ever wins the first air battle wins the game ..........

    Great work for this team Fantastic that your still smashing away on this unique game. hope to see you guys do an expansion soon to generate some dolla bills.

    Yo

    All these changes seem very solid and well thought out. You have been awarded the Tick of approval.
    sardaukar666, NikolaMX and w33dkingca like this.
  14. panews

    panews Planetary News Official PA

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    112176-pte is now live with the following:
    • Improved AI neural data merging
    • Fixed bug preventing the AI from attacking when it should have been
    • Adjusted AI aggressiveness
    n00n, Remy561, stuart98 and 2 others like this.
  15. n00n

    n00n Active Member

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    Great as always to see more bugs getting squished and improvements introduced. Big thanks to all involved.


    [​IMG]

    I'm sorry to say but this balance is another all time low.

    These things clutter the view of the planet. They need to be expensive and super efficient.

    This change breaks static defences and makes the game even more air focused. The formation change only makes it easier to pick them off.

    The Squalls are also no longer controllable. So over all this is a nurf to an already un-viable unit.

    Why? There was no issue with the Kaiju. But now every path counters it. There is little reason to grab ponds around the map anymore.
    monkeysoldier92 and flubbateios like this.
  16. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    [​IMG]
  17. NikolaMX

    NikolaMX Member

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    Can go either way, its perfectly ok to have them be cheaper since that lowers the entry cost of orbital economic investment by quite a lot: if you can secure that factory it will start paying for itself significantly sooner

    I agree that to some extent it counteracts galatta, but if anything, that is a good thing. Pelican drops only work at the expense of a lot of micro, metal, and become way less viable when scouted. Furthermore, the buff removes the total safety that galatta creep can provide right now, and employs the use of dox and other mobile AA as defensive AA (a group of 10 dox can hard counter pelicans because they have to slow down to drop units, but dox are countered by bombers -> more complexity and less reliance on shitty turtle AA strats) It has no impact on army AA safety, and presents the trade-off between more fighters, or a risky bomber alternative. (every shot pelican costs 60% of hummingbird when empty, or 160% when carrying an inferno)

    I'm yet to test that sufficiently, but I agree that the typhoon buff is insufficient. The lifetime of the squall may increase range and damage output vs static/naval AA, but air still largely destroys them. One solution that can improve their guaranteed damage output is further increasing mobility and maneuverability (acceleration, speed, breaking speed, turning speed) which means that it takes longer for missiles to hit them (or sometimes just keep on missing). Another solution would be to allow them to target subs to introduce some sort of a function for them. Now that the stingray is stronger, the typhoon might be even less viable

    Kaijus are very overpowered in the current meta, check some of my or n1_rvd's games on Amplus, Meso and Clutch: the moments kaijus are on the field its over. They have a higher DPS than a leviathan, are faster and outrage levelers with its beast of a range and vision, and if it wasn't for the bluehawk buff, in practice it wouldn't have a good mobile counter (shellers can do the job only to some extent since their DPS and alpha damage are really low) Furthermore, the AoE of the 2 main guns combined with the RoF of the small ones make them immune to all T1 bots. I fell like this nerf is a good start, but may be insufficient, everyone will keep on making impenetrable strongholds in every little pond that can spew out these beasts


    Two additional comments: Sonar right now is largely useless: every unit can see subs. Hopefully we can see some tweaking of naval when that is addressed.

    Second, I really like the idea of making the slammer slightly more expensive to prevent immortal slammer +gill-E + Bluehawk armies that kite around dodging sheller shots, but i feel like the change is too minor to account for any real impact to gameplay.
    Last edited: October 17, 2018
  18. panews

    panews Planetary News Official PA

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    The Multi-threading, Performance and AI Improvements Update 112176 is now live.
    huangth, Remy561, NikolaMX and 3 others like this.
  19. cascadian

    cascadian Member

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  20. w33dkingca

    w33dkingca Active Member

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    -200 health for a t1 air unit is ridiculous, that's more than a fighter and double a bomber. It means you are able to drop a unit right on top of 2 ant air turrets, get a com snipe with 10 infernos or 3 vanguards in a drop, or simply use pelicans as a slightly cheaper meat shield in your air force.
    This breaks the game by creating an almost indefensible form of cheap, fast raiding and sniping. It just forces players to build even more air then they already are. You can now drop an inferno directly on a storm or 3 spinners, no fabber is safe and I think this will turn a lot of new players away from the game.-

    Thing is its scoutable, making the pelicans will reduce their air prod, its going to take attention to effectively use them, it will take longer than straight up bombers to pick off fabbers. Air drops prior were already very potent to think of it though, its just how you execute such a maneuver, ive used a single pelican and leveller to quell people before. But I had the opening//time to do it effectively. Will have to see how it plays out, I cant see it being viable if scouted, a few land mines or assisting infernos on the com to counter an early drop is all it would take if you had no chance in the AA game but given they would be producing the units for the drop and neglecting other units a scout should fix the opportunity. Thinking of this pelican stuff is giving me classic sweats.

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