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Topic Subject: Something Wrong with this Picture
posted 09-17-02 08:47 AM EDT (US)   
I am currently playing the first Earth scenario (the initiation phase) of the campaign and I noticed something strange. There is a Magic Vault in the northernmost point of the mines on the subterranean level. The Vault is completely surrounded by water and as my magic sphere was earth and my race dwarves I would normally have despaired of getting there. Luckily, I had been granted a Water Elemental spell, so I took a few turns and cast it, buffed up the elemental with everything I had and sent it in.


Defending the Vault were 2 magic servants. I thought to myself that the water was therefore the main barrier as this did not look particularly challenging. Sadly, the Vault threw 3 cosmic sprays at me, which hit every time despite the elemental's 14 resistance. On top of that the first magic servant hit the elemental twice and the second once so that did it in. The strange part is coming up...

I reloaded the game and tried it again. Again the cosmic spray hit, funnily enough doing precisely the same damage as last time. The first volley of shots from the magic servants missed, just as they had the first time. On a whim I moved the elemental to the same spot I had during the first round of the last battle. Again a Cosmic Spray and again the same damage. Again the magic servants and again the same numbers of hits... in the same order as in the last battle.

Strange, no? I repeated the experiment over 10 times and never got the least bit of variation unless I did something differently... and if I did something differently then did it again, guess what... precisely the same results.

Now it just does not seem feasible to script battles, there are simply too many variables (or so one would think), so my question is... what is going on?

Replies:
posted 09-17-02 08:54 AM EDT (US)     1 / 10  
Known thing, I remember Josh saying it makes 'bug' testing easier in some context somewhere.


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posted 09-17-02 08:57 AM EDT (US)     2 / 10  
The hit and damage rolls in combat are based on "random numbers" but there is really no such thing as a "Random Number Gererator" in gaming. There are only "Psuedo-Random Sequence Generators"

These require a seed value, a starting point for the algorithm, and given the same seed will always generate the same sequence. In AoW/AoW2 that value is kept as part of the data when you Save and Restore a game. Hence if you replay exactly the same combat, making the same sequence of calls to the RNG, you generate exactly the same sequence of results.

Oh, and the defenders - the magic servants in this case - are assigned at the start of the game. No matter how you played to get there, they would always be the same.

[This message has been edited by ChowGuy (edited 09-17-2002 @ 09:01 AM).]

posted 09-17-02 09:02 AM EDT (US)     3 / 10  
But I saw that sometimes in aow1 is possible make the same battle in FC two times in the same way and obtain different results
posted 09-17-02 09:21 AM EDT (US)     4 / 10  
AoW1 and AoW2 random numbers work the same way in this regard. The only way to change the outcome is to do something different beforehand. In simultaneous turns, it is common for the AI to get one or more (or less) moves in while you're starting the combat, which can change the results.

This is partially for debugging purposes, and partially to discourage casual reloading, in both 1P and MP games.

Hope that clears things up.


Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 09-17-02 09:59 AM EDT (US)     5 / 10  
Thanks Josh. I appreciate the explanation. Incidentally, this is to ChowGuy, I wasn't questioning the reappearence of the magic servants, only the results of the battles.

Since I have you attention Josh, are "to hit" rolls in any way altered as a function of the difficulty you choose to play a scenario on in the campaign?

posted 09-17-02 10:04 AM EDT (US)     6 / 10  
But in a pbem it could be terrible
with 2 pc I can use a pc for cheat and one for play the game
I try the moves and then play my real turn on the other pc, I'll not make any restart message but I'll know the odds of all the battles without any chances of error

Terrible

And this don't explain how a battle result can change.
I make with the editor a mini battle for know the odd of a leprechaun against 5 swordmen and sometims the leper won sometims he lost the battle but I load everytime the same battle in the same way (FC). The enemy stack was in the near hex and I moved the leprechaun to attack the swordmen.

posted 09-17-02 10:39 AM EDT (US)     7 / 10  
To-hit rolls are always fair. They are never altered to favor anyone.

In PBEMs, the accuracy with which you would have to mimic your previous turn would be incredible, as you would have to reproduce every minute action identically to keep the results the same. You would be spending many hours trying to cheat at a friendly game. Additionally, there are some other factors in the code that I have not discussed (intentionally) that might throw a monkey wrench into that plan. All in all, there are easier ways to cheat if you really want to.

The random seed is generated when a new game is started, so continually starting new games will continually generate new seeds, and cause new results, as is intended. Continuing an old game continues to use it's original seed.


Josh Farley
Programmer
Triumph Studios
posted 09-17-02 04:48 PM EDT (US)     8 / 10  
perfect, our games are safe
thanks josh
posted 09-18-02 11:11 AM EDT (US)     9 / 10  
i find these vaults with cosmic spray and a couple of magic servants to be worthy of a difficulty rating of average rather than easy.. cosmic spray is a killer
posted 09-18-02 11:42 AM EDT (US)     10 / 10  
it´s the same with civ3... i remember the first time i got a hero, on the end of the turn i lost him... then i used the autosave for like 7 times, and all the battles had the same results... then i changed their order(doing another battle first so that the battle of the hero would change) and it worked. It seems that each battle won by the pc increased the possibilities of my next battle to be won by me... that is, in civ3 of course... i tested it many times, and it seem to work always... i used to take my cheap units, suicide them, and then bring a good unit and it always use to win easily...
i playing aow2 because civ3 doesn´t have mp games... and i love the game... a shame i have to use a "copy" because the game it´s not available here, yet...
Oh, btw, i don´t know if you can answer this, josh, but is there a preview for the release of the game to south american countries? I have 4 friends, only in my street, that play the "pirate" version... we are all waiting for the release here, since our version doesn't work that wonderfully...

O céu é só uma promessa, eu tenho pressa,
vamos...nessa direção, atrás do sol que nos aqueça,
minha cabeça não aguenta mais... não aguenta mais
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