What's the Difference between an Exploit and a Strategy?

By on June 9, 2015 12:04:10 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

marigoldran

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Isn't it the very definition of strategy to, you know, EXPLOIT things? 

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June 9, 2015 12:53:00 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

During the American Revolutionary war the American Colonists used rifles which had better stopping power, longer range then the muskets used by the British Soldiers.

British called the use of rifles exploits.

Colonists called the use of rifles Strategy.

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June 9, 2015 12:55:40 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Ah, I see!

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June 9, 2015 1:32:55 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Exploits are "strategies" that were not intended by the game designer and completely nullify strategies that were intended by the game designer.  It's perfectly fine for players to discover a strategy that the game designers did not think of or foresee.  However, when such strategies allow players to circumvent or bypass certain game mechanics that were put there for a reason, then you have an exploit.

An example is the ability to upgrade a constructor to a colony ship.  This allows you to get a colony ship that can colonize planets without needing any population.  Since you cannot launch a colony ship without putting at least 0.5 billion people on it (and logically could not start a colony without any people), it seems that the game designers intended colony ships to always need population in order to do their job.  Being able to bypass that is an exploit due to a lack of coherence -- if the designers really planned on letting me have colony ships with no population, why do I have to launch them with at least 0.5 billion people?  It is that contradiction that makes this strategy an exploit.

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June 9, 2015 1:47:24 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

So an exploit is either: Players finding something that A: Got missed/overlooked (The Diplomacy Screen That Tells You Everything About Your Enemy And Not One Spy Needed - Obviously just needs tinkering with to solve that) or B: The developers didn't think the consequences through and really shouldn't exist at all (The Colonist-Free Colony Ship That Used To Be A Constructor - Should this even exist as being doable?).

Next question is how many exploits bother the developers enough to do something about them - tinker/upgrade/remove as applicable - or allow the AI to do just the same thing back at you. IE While it might be a bit silly still, The Constructor That Grew Up And Became A Colony Ship would stop being an exploit if the AI did it as well.

 

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June 9, 2015 4:04:33 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I just think that a colony ship without any colonists shouldn't be able to create a colony at all. Such a ship should stop at a planet with an error warning. Because, it's perfectly fine if someone upgrades a ship to a colony ship and takes it to a planet to load some people in.

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June 9, 2015 4:14:26 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Being able to bypass that is an exploit due to a lack of coherence -- if the designers really planned on letting me have colony ships with no population, why do I have to launch them with at least 0.5 billion people?  It is that contradiction that makes this strategy an exploit.

Btw, you CAN launch ship without people legally - you just have to put your shipyard at some distance from planets (i think more than 6 hexes), it suffer minor penalty in manufacturing but could produce colony ships without colonists due "planet is too far away". Nice way to build ships in specialized manufacturing worlds and fill them in specialized "breeding" worlds. And i think it is normal to be able to do so without shipyard range manipulation. Just make it so 

Such a ship should stop at a planet with an error warning.

and start applying all racial and ideology bonuses only AFTER colony ship get some people. 

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July 1, 2015 11:36:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I would agree with that logic, the ship in and of itself does not need settlers in order to fly through space, only to perform the colonization function.  That begs the question though why you can't launch one with no population that is within 6 hexes of a planet.

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July 2, 2015 12:44:28 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

IMO, a gaming exploit is the knowing use of a design oversight of a mechanic which breaks balance and/or design intent.  On the other hand, a gaming strategy is efficient and effective use of properly balanced game mechanics, to take advantage of the current situation you are in. As well, its a methodology that can be used by anyone. 

 

And concerning the American Revolutionary war, there are no rules in love or war.  If anything, the Brits called the Americans cowards for using superior long range weapons, and of course the Americans, we just said we were "smart"

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July 2, 2015 3:37:13 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

in a world where the developer has infinite resources...

 

exploits are things that they would remove from the game

strategies are things they would not remove

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July 2, 2015 10:10:24 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting The_Biz,

in a world where the developer has infinite resources...

 

exploits are things that they would remove from the game

strategies are things they would not remove

 

Best reply yet!  Perfectly specific and subjective at once!

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July 2, 2015 10:17:31 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,
An example is the ability to upgrade a constructor to a colony ship.

Am I the only one who uses those Pragmatic constructors as advanced scouts? Their sensor module, range, and hyperdrives makes them excellent for this task.

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July 2, 2015 12:19:13 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

An exploit is whatever strategy the other player uses that you didn't think of and are angry because you lost to.

 

A strategy is anything the game code allows you to do whether the developers intended it or not.

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July 2, 2015 5:48:33 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Generally speaking, if you can give a detailed description of a game-winning plan in one sentence, it's an exploit. If it takes a couple of paragraphs then it's a strategy.

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July 2, 2015 6:08:23 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Are sensor boats a strategy or an exploit?

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July 2, 2015 6:19:36 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting AlLanMandragoran,

Are sensor boats a strategy or an exploit?


 

Depends what map size you're playing on.

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July 2, 2015 6:52:15 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

The difference between an exploit and a strategy is greatly different if you are talking about AI vs AI, or Human vs AI, or Human vs Human.  At this time with the mechanics and AI programming, the AI doesnt react well or behave well, with the tremendous amount of information offered by the huge visibility offered by sensor boats.  So, in the 3 case mentioned above:

 

AI vs AI:  It wont build such large boats in the first place, and would certainly confuse current AI programming, making it focus less on more close proximity threats/issues

Human vs Human:  As long has both humans both understand the game mechanics involved, I dont see this as an exploit, as both sides can do it, and recognize the importance and need.  

AI vs Human:  definite exploit.  A human will take advantage of the information available and use it to their benefit unimaginably better than the AI would.

 

Let's look at historical uses of intelligence gathering.  No denial that economic espionage gives corporations and business persons a tremendous advantage, that's why there are laws against it.  Research espionage the same thing, and again why there are laws to prevent it.  Nevertheless, corporations go at great length to prevent espionage.  But as there are no laws in love or war, we can prove the impact of military espionage throughout the wars in our history.  If it wasn't for the intelligence gathering efforts by the allies which were the highest contributors to the victory of the most pinnacle battles of WW2 (North Atlantic, Kursk, Midway), we would be living in a far different world today.

 

This is why I do like the dev's approach to the sensor solution, giving them a diminishing return.  Small amounts of intelligence should be low cost.  Medium amounts, at a reasonable to high cost.  Godly amounts of intelligence should not be allowed, or be of a cost that is ridiculously high...which as of today, it is not.

 

Even once they nerf sensors properly, it would be interesting to have a defense against it.  Sensor Jamming, which could be placed on planets.  This would make things interesting indeed.  Of course, if the AI is not coded well to handle this, then it immediately turns into a Human vs AI exploit for the human.

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July 2, 2015 7:01:31 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting dansiegel30,
AI vs AI: It wont build such large boats in the first place, and would certainly confuse current AI programming, making it focus less on more close proximity threats/issues

I'm sorry, but this is wrong. The AI will build sensor boats if the designs are avaliable. They are not an exploit in AI vs Human if all of the major races have a sensor boat design.

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July 2, 2015 7:02:01 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting AlLanMandragoran,

Are sensor boats a strategy or an exploit?


Also depends on which game. GC2 = strategy. GC3 = exploit.

(GC2 has a 15-square hard limit on visibility)

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July 2, 2015 7:08:20 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Lavo_2,


Quoting dansiegel30,
AI vs AI: It wont build such large boats in the first place, and would certainly confuse current AI programming, making it focus less on more close proximity threats/issues



I'm sorry, but this is wrong. The AI will build sensor boats if the designs are avaliable. They are not an exploit in AI vs Human if all of the major races have a sensor boat design.

 

Thank you for the correction.  Nevertheless, the AI doesnt understand the vital need for such intelligence, nor take advantage of it, by any means compared to a human.

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July 2, 2015 7:17:13 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting dansiegel30,
Thank you for the correction.  Nevertheless, the AI doesnt understand the vital need for such intelligence, nor take advantage of it, by any means compared to a human.

You could give the AI an infinite amount of scout ships with a huge amount of moves, 2-3 sensors, and range for the whole map, letting them effectively see everything, and they would be the same. Further, do recall that at the higher difficulties, the AI has no FoW.

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July 2, 2015 7:46:25 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting dansiegel30,

Thank you for the correction.  Nevertheless, the AI doesnt understand the vital need for such intelligence, nor take advantage of it, by any means compared to a human.

 

Actually, on lower difficulties, where they suffer fog of war, the AI does benefit enormously from sensor boats. As far as I can tell, the AI needs to be able to see planets to attempt to colonize them in lower difficulties (until it gets 'inspired' to send a ship to a certain place). Detailed observation of the AI's behaviour on normal difficulty shows that, if it can't directly see a planet to colonize prior to turn 20, it won't build colony ships or send the existing ones out. I suspect that the AI's simulation of Fog of War is simply to flag worlds and resources as 'seen' once sensors have passed over them, which means it doesn't even focus on surveying the stars on the map - just as your scouts, when told to explore, will simply head to the nearest bit of FoW rather than exploring in a useful or sensible manner.

 

So, on lower difficulties, the AI can benefit a lot from having sensor boats - in fact, they kind of need them.

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July 2, 2015 7:47:38 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

2-3 sensors would probably fall into that "medium intelligence" that described above.  Sensor boats would then need to make incursions into enemy space to obtain intelligence adds risk, which the current mechanics fail to address.  Such a tactic would not be an exploit, but rather a strategy.  Both the AI and a human have a very good chance of countering that strategy, by intercepting the scouts, etc.

 

Perhaps another way of comparing a strategy to and an exploit, is that a strategy can be countered by an opposing strategy, where the advantage lies in the amount of time it takes to identify the strategy being used against you and the amount of time it takes to implement that strategy.  An exploit would be something that has no counter, or at best, requires the use the same exact exploit to give you the same unfair advantage.

 

Naselus, point taken.  Yes, I have no argument against that short and medium range sensor boats are indeed needed, even by the AI when there is no fog of war.  Godly range sensor boats however I feel are certainly an exploit.  Strategic Jamming capabilities placed on planets would certainly be a start to eliminate the current lack of sensor limitations.  Atleast this would technically be a "counter", where as diminished sensor range, increase sensor cost, etc are simply just nerfs, but still accomplish the intended results.  I'd honestly like to see both concepts implemented.

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July 2, 2015 8:49:06 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Oh yes, I don't really think you should be able to, for instance, build a huge hull covered in sensors and have it completely reveal even the largest maps. I only really play on Insane sizes, and frankly, I need cargo hulls with 40+ sensor range by mid-game just to keep an eye on what's happening within my own borders, and keep an eye on my closest neighbours, but I generally don't allow myself to stack sensors on anything bigger than a medium hull.

 

A restriction like that might be an interesting approach, tbh - make it so the best sensors require smaller hull sizes so that they cannot be stacked as effectively.

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July 2, 2015 9:25:45 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

The easiest answer to the sensor boat issues would be to make sensor modules 1 per ship. You could stack multiple tech levels, but not multiples of the same.

Thus last game you could still build the sensor systems you need for bigger maps, but only the smallest maps could give unreasonably large reveal.

 

I've only found sensor boats really necessary early game on one specific setup. Abundant pirates. With that you need them to explore at all.

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July 4, 2015 8:00:08 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting KarlBar99,

The easiest answer to the sensor boat issues would be to make sensor modules 1 per ship. You could stack multiple tech levels, but not multiples of the same.

Thus last game you could still build the sensor systems you need for bigger maps, but only the smallest maps could give unreasonably large reveal.

 

I've only found sensor boats really necessary early game on one specific setup. Abundant pirates. With that you need them to explore at all.
This is a really elegant solution. It doesn't have the arbitrary nature of GalCiv2's hard limit, and if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense that multiples of the same kind of sensor shouldn't stack anyway.

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