AI War - AI Progress

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What Effect Do AI Progress Increases Have On The Game?

  • The AI gains higher Mark and greater numbers of ships for waves, cross planet attacks, and when reinforcing worlds.
  • The AI gains access to a new type of ship for every 200 AIP.

What Happens If The AI Progress (AIP) Is Lowered After Passing A Tech-Up Threshold?

Q: If the AI hits 200 and gets a new ship, does this ship somehow disappear (or the AI can't build any) if the AI progress goes below 200?

A: Nope, that's the one thing that is irreversible. But having a new ship type doesn't give it more volume of ships, it just spreads out the ships that it reinforces with into more ship types, if that makes sense. So it doesn't increase the difficulty unless the ship type itself is more difficult.


Q: What happens if the AIP goes over 200, then below, then over 200 again?

A: This the only property that is affected by positive AI progress only, actually. In other words, the game keeps track of the total positive and negative AI Progress modifiers, and the negative are completely ignored for when the AI unlocks new ship types. So even if you have +200 AI Progress and -100 negative AI progess, showing a total of 100 AI progress on your screen, you'll see the AI getting new ship types after that point. Here again it's not so much a question of difficulty usually, unlike the actual numbers of ships built, and the tech level of the ships built, both of which are affected by the total effective AI Progress (100 from my example).

As an added note, part of why the game keeps track of the negative and positive components of the AI progress is for having an internal lower bound without ever wasting datacenters. For example, here are the cap levels:

  • >= 100, cap 30
  • >= 150, cap 40
  • >= 200, cap 50
  • >= 250, cap 60
  • >= 300, cap 70
  • >= 350, cap 80
  • >= 400, cap 90
  • >= 450, cap 100

So what that's telling you is that if your internal, non-adjusted AI Progress is 100 or more, you can never reduce the effective AI Progress below 30. But! If you kill so many datacenters that it would draw it below the cap, don't worry about that wasting your efforts. There is never a reason to delay killing a datacenter. It's true that in those circumstances the datacenter killing would have no immediate effect, but the next time your AI Progress would be increased, the prior datacenter reduction will keep it snapped to that cap level (assuming the cap level doesn't bump up to a new height).

Tech Level Calculation

Q: Same for when it goes over 240 and sends out level II ships. Can this be brought down to I again?

A: Yes, this can get brought back down to I. Same as with the relative volume of ships in waves and reinforcements. Any existing waves/reinforcements of higher volume/tech level won't be affected, but new ones will be back at the prior level.

Here is how the level of the AIs are calculated:

  • Mark IV = 1200 - ( Difficulty * 10 )
  • Mark III = 800 - ( Difficulty * 10 )
  • Mark II = 300 - ( Difficulty * 10 )

For "Technologist" type AIs, if their level would be II or higher, they are instead Mark IV. If they would be below Mark II, they will instead be Mark III.

Additionally, when playing on difficulties greater than 8, the AI players will always be one Mark level higher than normal, until they hit Mark IV.


Q: Does The AI Progress Go Up When I Lose A Command Station?

A: No! Definitely not. Some new players think this is the case, but you don't have to worry about that. You can lose your command stations as many times as you want, and AI Progress won't go up -- your economy might suffer, but that's another matter. Whenever an ability or effect says "(AI Only)" on a ship, that means it only applies when the AI controls that ship. If you look at the list of what causes AI Progress increases, below, you'll note that there are a number of ships that only cause an increase when the AI loses them. So you can breathe easier! If you lose a planet (other than your home planet), it's not a permanent setback in any way.


AI_War:Fleet_Command


When To Worry

Q: When Should I Be Worried About The AI Progress Getting Too High?

A: Well, opinions on this actually vary a bit between the hardcore players. I'm the developer of the game, but some other players have figured out some very effective tactics that are a bit different from how I personally play it. Which way you go depends on your personal preferences and playstyle, but my style is generally easiest for new players:

I tend not to be too worried about the AI Progress reaching around 400-600 by the end of an 80 planet map. You can even go higher, but it will get harder. Killing the first of the two AIs will bump it up by around 100, so you might want to position yourself where you can kill both in quick succession if you can. But that's not nearly always possible. Original Comment from 2010. As of April 2013 (Patch 6.018) 400 AIP is very high and may not be survivable if you hit that before attacking the AI homeworlds due to mechanics that have added to the game since 2010. See the forums for the players most recent opinions on what AIP is recommended.

As far as whether you should kill the warp gate on a planet, I would suggest that if the planet is adjacent to your home planet, then the answer is yes 100% of the time. If you can create a layer of buffer around your home planet, that is always worthwhile.

Beyond that, it's just a matter of either 1) capturing some sort of goal; or 2) reducing the number of ingress points through which the AI can to send waves at you.

Goals worthy of taking a planet:

  • Advanced Research Stations (100% of the time)
  • Advanced Factories (100% of the time unless you already have one)
  • Large amounts of metal/crystal (if the planet is defensible, and you need whichever resource)
  • Other special capturable structures that you might encounter and desire.

Goals that you should just raid for unless there is some other reason you want the planet:

  • Destroying a data center
  • Destroying Astro Train stations
  • Destroying Special Forces Guard Posts

Neutering Planets

If a planet is just in your way, or threatening you through adjacency, you can always decide to go in and kill all of the command posts but leave the command station and/or warp gate. If there is a long string of planets in your way, you can use transports to ferry your guys across all of them, but you might be setting yourself up for being too weak later on. It's hard to say.

General Rate Of Planet Capture

In general, when I play an 80 planet map, I tend to capture a planet around every 45 minutes, give or take. I tend to thus take around 20-30 planets total out of the 80 planets on the map. That is 400-600 AI Progress right there, not counting special forces command posts or astro train station additions (or additions from other sources), and also not counting data center reductions in AI Progress. See comment at the start of this section about current AIP levels.

Other Notes

I tend to be pretty lax on destroying all the data centers, too, unlike some others here. That would be problematic when playing on the really high difficulties, which I occasionally do, but I tend to prefer a more relaxed game and so tend to play in the difficulty 7 range (it's only "relaxed" if you really know what you are doing, don't worry, and even then it still provides enough challenge that sometimes my own AI surprises me and kills me).

Anyway, so you should be okay at the start, it's not until the cumulative effect of the AI Progress starts taking hold that -- on difficulty 7 and similar -- things start to get dicey. But this depends, based on your skill and comfort level at the moment, and also the specific map and AI types you have in this game. Some maps are harder than others, and require a more conservative or aggressive strategy.

Having a string of 5 planets all in a row is the sort of thing that I, personally, would probably take just to have an open supply line. But it depends on the rest of the map and how open it is. If you're going to be going through narrow corridors like that the whole time, then that might be trouble and something you should instead hop over. On the plus side, if those are all that border your home, and you take them all, you've got a huge amount of buffer between the AI and your home. On the minus side, the attacks will be that much stronger against your front door...

AI_War:Fleet_Command

What Causes AI Progress Changes?

Q: Is there a list of precisely which events increase the AI Progress Meter? It seems I sometimes get a "1" increase just by attacking a new system.

A: There is a comprehensive list below, but bear in mind that (golems aside), most of the time you won't see an increase just for fighting against smaller fleet ships. Most of the ships that cause the AI Progress to go up or down require you to explicitly click on them and issue attack order (with a few player-controlled exceptions, such as warheads, which cause an increase upon their explosion).

Most likely what the original questioner was actually seeing was passive AI Progress increase, the amount and period of which can be set up on game start in the lobby. The default is 1 AI Progress increase for every 30 minutes of gametime, but it can be set to anywhere from never having any increase or only having an increase of 1 every 240 minutes, to having an insane increase of 250 every 5 minutes. All sorts of scenarios can come of that, at a variety of difficulties, but most players seem to prefer having a small increase every 30-60 minutes.

Base Game as of 4.052

  • Nuclear Warhead Mark III (Doomsday Device) +5000 AI Progress If Killed
    • Do note that the AIP values for nukes are just for the nuke itself, and does not take into account the AIP increases from the structures they destroy! A Mk3 Nuke has the potential to add 13,000 or more AIP in this manner.
  • Omega Drive +1000 AI Progress If Killed
  • Nuclear Warhead Mark II +500 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Home Command Station +100 AI Progress If Killed
  • Captive Human Settlement +100 AI Progress If Killed
  • Rebelling Human Colony +100 AI Progress If Killed
  • Orbital Command Station Home Core Mark III +80 AI Progress If Killed
  • Orbital Command Station Home Core Mark II +60 AI Progress If Killed
  • Nuclear Warhead +50 AI Progress If Killed
  • Orbital Command Station Home Core +40 AI Progress If Killed
  • Orbital Command Station - Home Planet +30 AI Progress If Killed
  • Armored Warhead Mark III +20 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Orbital Command Station +15 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Orbital Command Station Mark II +15 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Orbital Command Station Mark III +15 AI Progress If Killed
  • Armored Warhead Mark II +15 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Troop Accelerator +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • Armored Warhead +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • EMP Mark III +6 AI Progress If Killed
  • Home Human Settlement +5 AI Progress If Killed
  • Warp Gate +5 AI Progress If Killed
  • EMP Mark II +4 AI Progress If Killed
  • Lightning Warhead Mark III +3 AI Progress If Killed
  • Tachyon Warhead Mark III +3 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Electric Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Leech Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Missile Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Neinzul Melee Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Neinzul Spawner Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Sentinel Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Spire Shield Sphere Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Zenith Bombard Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Zenith Fortress Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • EMP +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • Lightning Warhead Mark II +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • Tachyon Warhead Mark II +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • Astro Train Station +1 AI Progress If Killed
  • Human Cryogenic Pod +1 AI Progress If Killed
  • Lightning Warhead +1 AI Progress If Killed
  • Special Forces Guard Post +1 AI Progress If Killed
  • Tachyon Warhead +1 AI Progress If Killed
  • Data Center -20 AI Progress Kill Bonus


Expansion 1 Zenith Remnant as of 4.052

  • Zenith Reserve Ships Mark V +50 AI Progress If Killed
  • Zenith Reserve Ships Mark IV +40 AI Progress If Killed
  • Zenith Reserve Ships Mark III +30 AI Progress If Killed
  • Interplanetary Munitions Booster +20 AI Progress If Killed
  • Zenith Reserve Ships Mark II +20 AI Progress If Killed
  • Radar Jammer Mark II +12 AI Progress If Killed (AI ONLY)
  • Black Hole Machine +10 AI Progress If Killed (AI ONLY)
  • Zenith Power Generator +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • Zenith Reserve Ships +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • Radar Jammer +6 AI Progress If Killed (AI ONLY)
  • Alarm Post +5 AI Progress If Killed
  • Gravity Drill Station +5 AI Progress If Killed (AI ONLY)
  • Raid Engine +5 AI Progress If Killed
  • Special Forces Alarm Post +5 AI Progress If Killed
  • Distribution Node +1 AI Progress If Killed
  • Zenith SpaceTime Manipulator +1 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI SuperTerminal Special Rules: -2/+1 AI Progress Every 15 Seconds


Expansion 2 Children of the Neinzul as of 4.052

  • Neinzul Nest +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • Neinzul Nest Mark II +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • Neinzul Nest Mark III +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • Neinzul Nest Mark IV +10 AI Progress If Killed
  • Neinzul Nest Mark V +10 AI Progress If Killed


Expansion 3 Light of the Spire as of 4.052

  • Spire Archive +80 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Booster Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Cross Planet Attack Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Heavy Beam Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed
  • AI Core Raid Engine Guard Post +2 AI Progress If Killed


AI War:Fleet Command


Generating Your Own Up-to-Date AIP List

The lists above are normally updated for Official Releases and should indicate the release that generated them. To get current lists for your game including beta releases do the following:

  • Start The Game
  • Hitting "F3" will open the debug window
  • Hit "Ctrl+Shift+F8"
  • Navigate to the "RunTimeData\DATA" folder
  • Open the AIProgressIncreases.txt file
    • NOTE: Other files you find in the debug "DATA" folder will not be accurate unless you have run the appropriate update process prior to using "Ctrl+Shift+F8". This is after all, debug data developed by the developers for their use.


AI_War:Fleet_Command

AI Only

Q: Does The AI Progress Go Up When I Lose A Command Station?

A: No! Definitely not. Some new players think this is the case, but you don't have to worry about that. You can lose your command stations as many times as you want, and AI Progress won't go up -- your economy might suffer, but that's another matter. Whenever an ability or effect says "(AI Only)" on a ship, that means it only applies when the AI controls that ship. If you look at the list of what causes AI Progress increases, above, you'll note that there are a number of ships that only cause an increase when the AI loses them. So you can breathe easier! If you lose a planet (other than your home planet), it's not a permanent setback in any way.

AI_War:Fleet_Command

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