Improving the Planetary Annihilation Skirmish AI

Improving The Skirmish & Multiplayer AI

Introduction

This guide will walk you through the installation, configuration and use of the Queller AI mod. This mod is a total overhaul of the AI (as much as can be done with the exposed files) designed to leverage the systems Sorian has created, while playing a game better suited to the meta. It covers a wider range of difficulties than vanilla, from easier to harder, all of which play in a more humanlike fashion than their vanilla counterparts.

Queller ships with a copy of the vanilla AI so that you can still choose to play with it if you want to. Want a mix of vanilla and Queller in one game? You can do that.

Once installed, Queller will work in any game you host. Other players do not need the mod installed.

About Sorian

The vanilla AI for the game has been developed by Sorian, who you may remember for his Sorian AI mod for Supreme Commander and Forged Alliance. He was later hired by Gas Powered Games and brought on board late to help improve the Supreme Commander 2 AI. Later he left Gas Powered Games and joined Uber Entertainment during the Planetary Annihilation Kickstarter.

Who am I?

I love AI. To put my old person comfy jumper on for a moment, back in the day I modded Total Annihilation’s AI and ran a site called AI Central (WARNING: very 90’s site design) for AI mods, and I ran an AI league for Kohan II to identify the best. I’ve been an enthusiast in AI for as long as I’ve been gaming. This Queller AI will be a continuation of my Queller AI for Total Annihilation, Core Contingency and Kingdoms.

And if you’re wondering, why Shodan as an icon? Well, Sorian has his Skynet, I have my goddess of AI. Shodan has been the symbol of Queller from the beginning.

Installation

The Queller AI is available to install through the game’s built in Community Mods manager for anyone who has Planetary Annihilation: TITANS. It is not available for classic owing to differing units and balance.

Choosing A Difficulty

Queller offers a range of difficulties designed to try and mimic the style of human players at particular levels of play. You can also select from Normal through Absurd which are the standard difficulties and will use the vanilla AI rather than Queller.

In skirmish the AI doesn’t cheat at any difficulty level.

Casual

  • Economy first opening
  • One army
  • Techs as soon as possible
  • Goes orbital as soon as possible
  • Turtles
  • Poor troop selection
  • Doesn’t scout
  • Doesn’t react to what the enemy is doing
  • Loves fabbers
  • Loves static defence/offence
  • Poor use of fabbers
  • Poor economy handling
  • No micro
  • Terrible threat assessments

Bronze

Queller AI - Bronze

  • Factory first opening
  • One army
  • Techs as soon as possible
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands slowly
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn’t react to what the enemy is doing
  • Loves fabbers
  • Loves static defence/offence
  • Poor use of fabbers
  • Average economy handling
  • No micro
  • Terrible threat assessments

Silver

Queller AI - Silver

  • Factory first opening
  • Few armies
  • Will tech if it can
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands slowly
  • Poor troop selection
  • Barely scouts
  • Doesn’t react to what the enemy is doing
  • Likes fabbers
  • Likes static defence/offence
  • Average economy handling
  • Average micro
  • Poor threat assessments

Gold

Queller AI - Gold

  • Smart factory first opening
  • Many armies
  • Will tech if it can
  • Will go orbital if it can
  • Expands OK
  • OK troop selection
  • OK scouting
  • Some reaction to opponent’s play
  • Dislikes fabbers
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Average economy handling
  • Average micro
  • OK threat assessments

Platinum

Queller AI - Platinum

  • Smart factory first opening
  • Unlimited armies
  • Techs quickly
  • Goes orbital smartly
  • Expands quickly
  • Good troop selection
  • Good scouting
  • Smartly reacts to opponent’s play
  • Good fabber to troop balance
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Good economy handling
  • Best micro
  • Great threat assessments

Uber

Queller AI - Uber

  • Smart factory first opening
  • Unlimited armies
  • Techs quickly
  • Goes orbital smartly
  • Expands quickly
  • Good troop selection
  • Good scouting
  • Smartly reacts to opponent’s play
  • Good fabber to troop balance
  • Appropriate use of static defence/offence
  • Good economy handling
  • Best micro
  • Great threat assessments

Subpersonalities

By default, Queller at Uber level will adapt its play to try and suit the system and the opposition it faces. You can use subpersonalities to customise Queller’s game to your liking, or help it play better where it’s making poor strategy choices.

Aggressive

  • More willing to engage in battle

Air

  • Unrestricted air usage

Bot

  • Doesn’t build vehicle factories
  • MLA will build a vehicle factory for Skitters if it detects the possibility of mines

Cautious

  • Looks for overwhelming odds in battle
  • Will get orbital as soon as possible on multi-planet systems

Land

  • Won’t build naval factories

Naval

  • Attempts to build a naval factory first
  • Unrestricted naval usage

Orbital

  • Will get orbital as soon as possible on multi-planet systems

Rush

  • Favours bots
  • Techs late

Tank

  • Doesn’t build bot factories

Suggested Difficulty

| Vanilla    | Queller | Eco |
| ---------- | ------- | --- |
| Normal     | Casual  | 1.0 |
| Hard       | Silver  | 1.1 |
| Relentless | Gold    | 0.8 |
| Absurd     | Gold    | 0.8 |

| League   | Placement | Difficulty | Eco |
| -------- | --------- | ---------- | --- |
| Bronze   | Low       | Bronze     | 1.0 |
| Bronze   | High      | Silver     | 1.0 |
| Silver   | Low       | Gold       | 1.0 |
| Silver   | Mid       | Platinum   | 1.0 |
| Silver   | High      | Uber       | 1.0 |
| Gold     | Low       | Uber       | 1.2 |
| Gold     | High      | Uber       | 1.4 |
| Platinum | Any       | Uber       | 1.6 |
| Uber     | Any       | Uber       | 2.0 |

Queller AI - modifying eco rate

Spawns

The spawn the AI starts in and the profile used can make a big difference, even for symmetrical 1v1s. If you find the AI too easy on a map, try a different spawn point for it.

Thanks To

  • Sorian of Uber Entertainment for
    • making his AI moddable
    • answering my questions
    • taking on suggestions
    • fixing bugs as they come up
    • adding cool new features which make the AI increasingly smart
  • wondible for
    • his creation of the AI Showdown[github.com] tool which allows easy setup of matches between different AIs
  • mikeyh for writing the Javascript for loading Queller’s personalities
  • alpha2546 for extensively playtesting Queller during Legion development

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