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 Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice? 
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Where does this myth about scripts come from? We have been playing with scripts ever since I started playing in 1992 with v1.02. I still have my PowerMacros scripts that worked with {COMMO} from back then. The difference is that back then you could have only one person online at a time, usually with a 1hr time limit per day, and we were playing at 2400 baud. I remember when I finally got a 14.4 modem so my CIM wouldn't take so long. Speaking of which, the CIM mode was introduced by Gary Martin at the request of Woody Weaver who had finally built a database and mapping tool to work with TW2002. So there is no question that scripting has always been intended as part of the game.

What "ruined" the game were the change in settings, specifically high turns, which transformed a game of space chess into a FPS quasi-video game. No one could dominate a game in the first 20 minutes unless they had the ability to burn through an enormous number of turns in that time.

High turn rate does the following things, none of them good, IMHO:
1. Eliminates what was intended to be a crucial element of game strategy, turn management.
2. Distorts almost all the differences between ships.
3. Allows for nuisance scripts that would be too costly in a turn limited game.
4. Pushes the game into violating other limits that weren't possible under a "normal" turn rate, such as ship count limits and planet count limits, and colonist regen levels. The last of which makes possible the super-planet Death Stars.
5. Makes the game unplayable for anyone with a real life since with unlimited turns you have to be online 24/7 in some form or other.

Quit blaming scripts. I cannot imagine PPT manually at the keys or shuttling colonists for 1000 turns. What a mind numbing experience that would be.


Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:42 am
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Deign wrote:

What "ruined" the game were the change in settings, specifically high turns, which transformed a game of space chess into a FPS quasi-video game. No one could dominate a game in the first 20 minutes unless they had the ability to burn through an enormous number of turns in that time.


We all agree this game needs some sort of automation to play. I'll play you, your macros & scripts vs. TWXProxy scripts, even in a TL low turn game, they are no match.

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:48 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Cruncher wrote:
I'll play you, your macros & scripts vs. TWXProxy scripts, even in a TL low turn game, they are no match.



LOL


sk

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:32 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Star Killer wrote:
Cruncher wrote:
I'll play you, your macros & scripts vs. TWXProxy scripts, even in a TL low turn game, they are no match.



LOL


sk

To keep it fair I'll assume she will only be using HER TWXScripts that she wrote? LOL

Q

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:05 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
T0yman wrote:
Star Killer wrote:

LOL

sk

To keep it fair I'll assume she will only be using HER TWXScripts that she wrote? LOL

Q


Naw.. I'm still using the Mombot you and Xanos created, with further refinements from Xanos.

When's the last time you played? Time to knock some rust off?

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:59 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
So to summarize:
I enjoy playing TW with scripts and advocate their use.
Others do not like scripts at all unless they are better scripts than mine.

I'm sure that will get me in trouble. Better say something on topic.

A better script is a real advantage, that's where the better scripts came from. But that advantage is mitigated when there are constraints in the game. The bots aren't nearly as effective if your online time is just a couple of hours per day, or if the turns they use are more valuable for other purposes. High turn rates are a huge lever for scripts, and if there is any environment where they could be disruptive to "normal" gameplay, it would be in a game with extreme settings. And most of those extreme settings (huge colonist regen rates, port regen rates) are necessary adjustments to the original problem of too many turns in relation to the other finite conditions that exist in the game.


Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:41 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Nobody wants to PPT, SST, SDT, Colo, etc... By hand, and you don't need Mombot or TWXProxy to do any of this.

The problem is the aggressive attack scripts, and you won't find any in the public version of Mombot. In fact, these scripts aren't shared. Period. Anyone who has these scripts will not even share them with a teammate, because your teammate today could be you enemy tomorrow!

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:57 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Deign wrote:
I remember when I finally got a 14.4 modem so my CIM wouldn't take so long. Speaking of which, the CIM mode was introduced by Gary Martin at the request of Woody Weaver who had finally built a database and mapping tool to work with TW2002. So there is no question that scripting has always been intended as part of the game.


I'm curious about your remarks on CIM, as I had understood that it was a developer's tool that had been stumbled across by some user(s). That had made sense to me, as most players would not have been able to invoke CIM. Pre TWGS (1999?), to enter CIM, it was necessary to send the character string <alt> 200 through <alt> 205 ("ÈÉÊËÌÍ") at the computer prompt.

CIM is not needed for ZTM , does not even speed it up. Simplifies the script, but that is a once-off effort. It does speed up port status reporting however, although that can also be accomplished without CIM.

Kav


Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:07 am
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Kavanaugh, you are one of the oldest names on here that I recognize, all the way back to the old Fidonet days. I did not find what I was looking for, but I did run across this interview with GM where it is clear he purposefully added CIM to aid the helpers.

http://workbench.cadenhead.org/news/316 ... -developer


Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:00 am
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Deign wrote:
So to summarize:
I enjoy playing TW with scripts and advocate their use.
Others do not like scripts at all unless they are better scripts than mine.

I'm sure that will get me in trouble. Better say something on topic.

A better script is a real advantage, that's where the better scripts came from. But that advantage is mitigated when there are constraints in the game. The bots aren't nearly as effective if your online time is just a couple of hours per day, or if the turns they use are more valuable for other purposes. High turn rates are a huge lever for scripts, and if there is any environment where they could be disruptive to "normal" gameplay, it would be in a game with extreme settings. And most of those extreme settings (huge colonist regen rates, port regen rates) are necessary adjustments to the original problem of too many turns in relation to the other finite conditions that exist in the game.


No, the major advantage to the Mombot scripts are like Micro said the aggressive attack scripts, only when online of course. But beyond that the database management. Skilled players will get in and e-prob every nook & cranny, there's no hiding from someone using Mombot, not for very long anyhow. Nothing at all to do with game settings, other than you can slow the speed of e-probes.

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Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:50 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Now that is an interesting subject. I never hear it talked about anymore, so I figured it must be a lost art, but back in the mid-late 90s there was a lot of discussion on ztm and optimal e-probe exploration. I assumed all that made its way into the tools we have today, like TWX or SWATH, but from what I can see on SWATH all the mapping tools seem very simplistic. And I have no idea what sort of algorithms are used in any of the TWX packages, so I can't say. Does anyone know any of those details and would share some of them?


Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:57 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Deign wrote:
Now that is an interesting subject. I never hear it talked about anymore, so I figured it must be a lost art, but back in the mid-late 90s there was a lot of discussion on ztm and optimal e-probe exploration. I assumed all that made its way into the tools we have today, like TWX or SWATH, but from what I can see on SWATH all the mapping tools seem very simplistic. And I have no idea what sort of algorithms are used in any of the TWX packages, so I can't say. Does anyone know any of those details and would share some of them?


I do use Swath for the graphic map, but ZTM with TWXProxy. TWXProxy will then take all the known ports and you can quickly pull up a report that tracks port activity, has it been traded, is it no longer reporting because there is an enemy fig over it now? ZTM's also give you your bubbles and dead-ends.

Now, the attack scripts will trigger, depending upon how you set them whenever someone enters a sector with your fig or mine and jump you or your planet to the adjacent sector and shoot a photon. This all happens so quickly that the person entering the sector is often #SD# before they even get to the attack fig prompt.

There are some settings I use on my server that take the edge off. Planets move more slowly is one example.

Another thing I learned, I think it was from Lone Star is that you can trigger macros "before" you see the prompt you need to start it. In other words, stack commands and execute all at once. When I explore manually, knowing I may trigger an attack script I use my right hand to type the sector I want to move into, hit enter and use my left hand to trigger a macro to attack the sector fig as soon as my right hand hits the enter key to move. I don't wait for the attack prompt. Does that make sense? It's also not always fullproof, so don't blame me if trying this gets you killed. LOL

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Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:32 pm
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Deign wrote:
Now that is an interesting subject. I never hear it talked about anymore, so I figured it must be a lost art, but back in the mid-late 90s there was a lot of discussion on ztm and optimal e-probe exploration. I assumed all that made its way into the tools we have today, like TWX or SWATH, but from what I can see on SWATH all the mapping tools seem very simplistic. And I have no idea what sort of algorithms are used in any of the TWX packages, so I can't say. Does anyone know any of those details and would share some of them?

Swath is slow, and very incomplete when it comes to ZTM.
Mombot has a built-in ZTM, just use the "ZTM" self bot command.
I prefer ProZTM 4, which IMO has better algorithms.

There are probably a dozen or more of these ZTM scripts running around.
... and there are tons of probing scripts with different features as well.

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Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:23 am
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Wow, fidonet - years since I heard the name mentioned, brings back memories.

I use Trade Wars Assistant for ZTM. Its very accurate and will map a 5K (max size it can handle) in less than an hour. I generally set it to do 1,000 course plots at a time. Assuming 0% explored, it starts off at 1 to 11, 1 to 12, etc up to 1 TO 1011. Read that into the database. The next set of plots is different. Any sector that has appeared in a previous course plot is ignored, so if 1012 was in a plot but not 1013, it skips 1 TO 1012 and starts with 1 TO 1013, etc. When it has "seen" every sector it starts plotting return courses. Then it gets a bit hairy (= I havent a clue what it really does). Needs a DOS emulator to run it properly (not for the ztm course plotting, just for the graphics) - great graphic map, other good stuff, ppt pairs, XXB pairs, twarp routes, bblfinder, probable class zeroes etc. Need to parse the TWGS course plot output, nothing hard, script or Editpad Lite remove leading spaces on lines except the TO> line.

Kav


Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:55 am
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Unread post Re: Megacorping and outnumbering standard practice?
Kavanagh wrote:
Wow, fidonet - years since I heard the name mentioned, brings back memories.

I got banned from the Fidonet TardeWars forum once... lol

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Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:23 am
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