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 Xide sighting on FB 
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Vader wrote:
No, I doubt thought is a common thing for you. But thanks anyway.


Such hostility.

It's a space trading game and killing is part of the gameplay. Sorry you had a bad time playing against me. It happens.

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Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:08 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Cruncher wrote:
Today's play is mainly mechanical, with some strategy. You need an understanding of both to play competitively. You completely missed how much fun this game used to be, back when we were learning what was possible, before TWXProxy.


So, I will agree with you in part, that learning what is possible is absolutely what makes the game so fun. I loved learning about the TW universe, exploring, learning the strategy, etc. The problem is, once you're done learning, what is left? That is the stage that many of us find ourselves at. There are always new angles - learning how to exploit moo cashing on a large scale was something that gave me energy for the game, made it exciting again, but now that I've done that, I am losing interest again. It is hard to maintain that level of wonder you have when it is all new to you.

Where I will disagree is your assertion that TWXProxy has somehow reduced or limited the fun in learning. Or maybe you are simply referring to a timeline, since you were past that place already -- but if you are suggesting that the proxy has limited the exploration aspect of the game, you are completely wrong. It's done the opposite, for many of us.

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I still believe that TWXProxy was created in response to my team dominating at the time.


Yes, it is ALL ABOUT YOU.

Quote:
Could I beat defensive AFK scripts? Yes, but that meant spending a lot of time while my opponent was off having a life. SG isn't here to corroborate, but more than once I #SD# him while he was AFK. That's when I left, it's no fun to play against the mechanics, more fun to play against real people.


See, here I will agree with you again. (wow, twice!). One of the most challenging parts of the game is finding the time to play it at a high level. I am no longer at that point in my life, as I have a very demanding job that does not allow me to stay up until 4am exploring and hunting for enemies in a competitive game. It is almost impossible to win a tourney against a competitive team (especially when they have players on the west coast and across the world) if you cannot be around when they are attacking you. This is just an unfortunate reality of 24x7 online games in a global world. But it's also a reason that automated scripts are SO NECESSARY - because they are the only way you can provide any sort of defense for when you can't be there in person.

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So, I came back when JP was working on V2 and began learning how to use TWXProxy & Mombot. Learning what the vulnerabilities were so I could request toggles that would interfere with the most aggressive aspects.


Okay, this is where you go completely off the rails. I'm actually surprised you admit this - I have heard this accusation against you many times, and while I was not here when this occurred (so I was always just assuming there was some truth to it but it was overblown), apparently it was correct. You actually asked for server side toggles to interfere with scripts because you didn't like that people were able to beat you? That doesn't sound like cheating to you? Or maybe you are going to argue that you were trying to protect other players and not you, but even so, then you are just doing it out of spite -- which is just as bad.

Ever heard "if you can't beat them, join them"? Learn to code. Or find a scripter -- hell, you have (had?) xanos, etc. But crippling a game to avoid having to deal with new strategies is not something I'd be proud of.

Quote:
Then we defeated Vid Kid and Kool Breeze's team. and once again my team was on the top of the heap.


You sure do like to take a lot of credit for the work of others.

I know you were on those teams, but "your team" is a stretch, considering some of the people who played with you (and some of whom still play) were far superior players, strategists, scripters, and well, everything else.

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I don't write scripts, I do enjoy the strategy. But no longer enjoy playing. Not as a bot or a bot master, which is what this game has evolved into.


Are you even reading this stuff before you write it?

Let me repeat what I wrote in another message. If you just play with stock mombot against any remotely serious player, YOU WILL LOSE. BADLY. It's adapting to strategies, adjusting scripts on the fly, developing new techniques -- those things win the day. You are hating on something (scripts) that is a misdirection because you don't understand it. What you are really talking about is getting defeated by a better strategy - as implemented through scripting.

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I'm still in awe of Xide creating TWXProxy while he was still in high school. I'm sure this scripting language launched many a career in coding.


Again, I can agree here. While it certainly didn't launch anything for me (my career in coding started in 1992 and ended in the late 90's), it helped rekindle something that I loved doing and had lost track of since I long ago moved into a management role and stopped writing code.

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Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:24 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Shadow wrote:
You would be wrong. You can't beat anyone with Zoc against modern scripts.

By modern scripts, I don't mean mombot stock, I mean the enhanced versions the serious teams have. It's all about time to getting cash, especially in a 1 vs 1 situation, and with a fully automated system, you just can't get ahead of it. My DM setup auto logs me in, mows to dock setting traps along the way (that sometimes take out the competiiton before they ever get to dock), then gets me in the right ship with the right setup, leaves dock, and starts cashing using heavily optimized scripts. It will auto upgrade my ship, buy more figs, etc, and requires me to do nothing besides hit "go" and watch it unless something goes wrong. Oh, it will also look for fig hits and once properly armed will auto twarp adjacent, foton, enter sector and kill the enemy (while cashing -- triggers off fig hits and will interrupt cashing and go into kill mode.)

You can't beat that playing by hand or using legacy scripts.


Appears the DM settings you have been playing have red ships with twarp and photons for all of those processes to work.

Like you have stated with full automation you will certainly run the initial 300-500 turns of haggle ppt, plus sss buydown(or planet bust at dock), etc. steps to get into red sst position very quickly, as fast as possible, which is best.

But as far as what happens after that...the luck of the busts.

It it super rare but there have been occasions, more then 1 that I can remember, where I have robbed all the way up to 5250 exp without busting a single time. In like a 1500 turn game or something.

I'm also assuming that a trader would be able to 2 ship grid in/out of dock when necessary while avoiding photons which may/may not be the case depending on the v2 game settings.

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Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:56 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
I admit I had to have a bit of a chuckle at the way this thread blew up. It's interesting to see that the scripting and technology has changed, but we're all still basically the same... never agreeing on anything to do with game mechanics or server settings :)

Awesome to see you're still around and kicking prestone! I have many good memories of you running megacorps and somehow winning way too much. Hope you found a way to do the same in real life ... could just see you at the head of some multinational patiently conquering new markets.

Did I read for real that hELLCAT is in here in NZ? Wow what are the odds!

I always felt that if I continued working on TWX Proxy, the next step was going to be working on completely automated adaptive play. I was looking at ways to tie together small neural nets with broader scripts, maybe something that could track the abilities of individual players so it could learn to counter them between games. It would have been a pretty cool experiment that would have resulted in something either frightfully dangerous to play against, or something hilariously stupid (much like most of our present 'AI').

But as it were, I'd started working full time writing code and just didn't have the bandwidth for a side project of that size. Interesting that my life from that point was pretty much a flat out sprint from one thing to the next with little time to indulge side interests without a financial incentive. Adulthood sucks I guess :)


Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:01 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Xide_ wrote:
I always felt that if I continued working on TWX Proxy, the next step was going to be working on completely automated adaptive play. I was looking at ways to tie together small neural nets with broader scripts, maybe something that could track the abilities of individual players so it could learn to counter them between games. It would have been a pretty cool experiment that would have resulted in something either frightfully dangerous to play against, or something hilariously stupid (much like most of our present 'AI').

But as it were, I'd started working full time writing code and just didn't have the bandwidth for a side project of that size. Interesting that my life from that point was pretty much a flat out sprint from one thing to the next with little time to indulge side interests without a financial incentive. Adulthood sucks I guess :)


Doesn't it though?

You don't know me, but I know your code well :) It's great to see you are still out there - many of us wondered where life had taken you.

Micro has been maintaining and updating TWX proxy, as I think he mentioned in a previous post. He and I had started working on a twx 3.0 project, a new version written in C#, but life has gotten in the way - I think for both of us.

What you wrote is really pretty amazing considering the timeframe, language constraints, etc. The way triggers work and the ease of scripting with the ts format made it eminently useful for writing everything from basic scripts to entire robots (mombot) and highly automated tools. It can literally do almost anything.

I spent about 3 months in 2018 (I think?) porting large blocks of your code to C# to write a .cts decompiler. I had never seen a line of pascal or delphi before that project, nor had I ever used C# before, but I wrote a lot of K&R C earlier in my career so it came pretty easy. I still don't know pascal/delphi, but I can read it enough to mostly understand now :) And the decompiler works perfectly for all recent versions of twx - my final test was to take the entire mombot code (all 11k+ lines of it), compile it to a .cts, decompile it, strip things like comments that don't get compiled in, and do a string compare. I can produce an identical file. THAT was a pain in the Butt, but it works. It was also a fun project and good learning experience.

At some point I will post the decompiler and the source to it, but I honestly soured on the idea thanks to the current state of the community - when you have only 2 or 3 credible teams that play each other in every tourney, and none of them want to share anything that might give anyone else the slightest help, it really hampers the desire to release anything publicly.

Anyway, thanks again for creating something so great, and sharing it with the community.

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Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:24 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Shadow wrote:
I spent about 3 months in 2018 (I think?) porting large blocks of your code to C# to write a .cts decompiler. I had never seen a line of pascal or delphi before that project, nor had I ever used C# before, but I wrote a lot of K&R C earlier in my career so it came pretty easy. I still don't know pascal/delphi, but I can read it enough to mostly understand now :) And the decompiler works perfectly for all recent versions of twx - my final test was to take the entire mombot code (all 11k+ lines of it), compile it to a .cts, decompile it, strip things like comments that don't get compiled in, and do a string compare. I can produce an identical file. THAT was a pain in the Butt, but it works. It was also a fun project and good learning experience.


That is an extremely impressive achievement, worthy of recognition. That bytecode was never intended to be decompiled. It must have taken some serious grit to get that to where you have.

Shadow wrote:
At some point I will post the decompiler and the source to it, but I honestly soured on the idea thanks to the current state of the community - when you have only 2 or 3 credible teams that play each other in every tourney, and none of them want to share anything that might give anyone else the slightest help, it really hampers the desire to release anything publicly.


It's a bit sad that game communities in general do have somewhat of a lifespan. The complexity of TW and the ease with which it could be scripted was a great invitation to a many people (like us) to improve their programming skills in a competitive way. I think that competition is what drives many people to develop the tools, and also not to share them.

Shadow wrote:
Anyway, thanks again for creating something so great, and sharing it with the community.


Thanks for picking up my code with Micro and helping to carry the flag. If someone had told me back in 2004 that 16 years later people would still be digging through my code and working to improve it, I would not have believed them. I am, also, more than slightly embarrassed about how cryptic many parts of it are/were.


Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:27 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Xide_ wrote:
Thanks for picking up my code with Micro and helping to carry the flag. If someone had told me back in 2004 that 16 years later people would still be digging through my code and working to improve it, I would not have believed them. I am, also, more than slightly embarrassed about how cryptic many parts of it are/were.


Micro is the one that deserves the thanks, not me; at least, not yet (we'll see if I get the time to get back into the TWX3 project).

Micro is, I believe, the only member of the community who has a development environment that can compile the Delphi version. Sadly, the version of Delphi used for this project is no longer for sale, and newer ones won't compile this version of the code. For the last several years, he has been the one we all go to for bug fixes and minor feature updates. He has not been doing major updates because we all agree that we need to move to a new C# based platform, but he has figured out the code well enough to add a few commands here and there.

At this point, we all want to get on a new C# version that will be shared on github and openly available so that anyone can update it in the future. One of the biggest risks to this game, besides loss of interest, is the loss of members of the community - there have been several notable deaths in the last few years, and as we are all getting older, will likely be more. Sharing all of our tools is the right thing to do, and eventually I think we will see more of a move that direction.

Not sure if you have any feelings on this, but I feel (as do many others) that it is nearing the time for JP to open source the server code, as well. There are not a significant number of new servers coming online, and he has not updated it in any way in at least 5(?) years. If it were available to the community, we would have the ability to extend it for the next generation of the game (if there is one).

Many people feel the game is dying, but I believe it will always have its place. I occasionally play FPS and other games on our PS4, but none of them have the pull of TW for me - I think it is the strategy and the competition that keeps me around. I think that translates well, even as the majority of young people move to graphical games - there will always be geeks and nerds and hackers that are drawn to this game, if we can keep it alive.

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Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:11 am
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
@Shadow I was referring to a low turn tournament style game where it is cash / turn in a non-moo / no alien edit. High turn / unlimited games rely on cash / minute. The fastest script wins as opposed to the most turn efficient script in an unlimited turn game. In most edits, selling product from planets will always make more cash in the long game, but red cashing is used until you get mobile planets colonized.

My main point though was that you need grid to cash. Otherwise, the other team will swoop in and kill you while you are trying to cash. This probably doesn't apply to high turn, unlimited, or deathmatch style games.

I assume you are using Rob Transport Rob (RTR) in a game with MegaRob disabled?

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Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:55 am
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
There is a solid argument that TWProxy/Scripting extended the games life.

I mean, I don't play Doom any more from the same era.

Majormud is still out there in dozens of places, including a almost identical remake. If megamud didn't exist, I almost guarantee it would be dead.


Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:31 am
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Hammer_2 wrote:
There is a solid argument that TWProxy/Scripting extended the games life.

It extended a different game about scripting and MS timing. Not TradeWars as it was in the 80's an 90's. That may sound strange coming from the person supporting TWXP, but I do not like this new game.

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Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:49 am
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Micro wrote:
Hammer_2 wrote:
There is a solid argument that TWProxy/Scripting extended the games life.

It extended a different game about scripting and MS timing. Not TradeWars as it was in the 80's an 90's. That may sound strange coming from the person supporting TWXP, but I do not like this new game.


Different than the 80s, yes. By the late 90s, scripting was becoming more common.

I think you would actually like the game if you took the time to learn it. You have the programming skills to understand it.

When I first came back to the game in the early 2010's, I was getting killed CONSTANTLY by a few specific people, Cbynot in particular. I was trying to play the game of the 80s which no longer worked. So, I found some friends, learned mombot, learned scripting, and got better. It took some time, but I learned enough to hold my own. Anyone can do it.

At this point, the people who are still here are here largely because they PREFER the modern game. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but nearly all of the active players like the game today. If they all go, so does what's left of the game.

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Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:41 am
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Micro wrote:
@Shadow I was referring to a low turn tournament style game where it is cash / turn in a non-moo / no alien edit. High turn / unlimited games rely on cash / minute. The fastest script wins as opposed to the most turn efficient script in an unlimited turn game. In most edits, selling product from planets will always make more cash in the long game, but red cashing is used until you get mobile planets colonized.

My main point though was that you need grid to cash. Otherwise, the other team will swoop in and kill you while you are trying to cash. This probably doesn't apply to high turn, unlimited, or deathmatch style games.


The stock mombot cashing scripts suck at both speed and turn efficiency. I've significantly improved both in my versions, as have others. My point is that you need a whole arsenal of private scripts to compete in any meaningful way in a tourney or a game against a serious team. I am not disagreeing that grid scripts matter, but simply pointing out that you gotta do more than grid. I don't care how much grid you have, if I have 10x the cash, figs, etc that you do, it's going to end badly for you.

Quote:
I assume you are using Rob Transport Rob (RTR) in a game with MegaRob disabled?


Well, there are use cases for it even in a megarob game. Megarob takes a lot of experience, and has some other downsides. rtr with multiple players to clear busts is highly effective.

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Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:48 am
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Shadow wrote:
I think you would actually like the game if you took the time to learn it. You have the programming skills to understand it.
It is not a mater of programming skill. It is a matter of the fact that you are no longer playing TradeWars and I have no intention of ever playing ScriptWars. I will continue to enable ScriptWars by updating TWXP, but I just have no interest in learning the mechanics of MS timing. I even plan on writing a bot in C# for the new TWX3, but everything I write is public.

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Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:59 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Shadow wrote:
Micro wrote:
@Shadow I was referring to a low turn tournament style game where it is cash / turn in a non-moo / no alien edit. High turn / unlimited games rely on cash / minute. The fastest script wins as opposed to the most turn efficient script in an unlimited turn game. In most edits, selling product from planets will always make more cash in the long game, but red cashing is used until you get mobile planets colonized.

My main point though was that you need grid to cash. Otherwise, the other team will swoop in and kill you while you are trying to cash. This probably doesn't apply to high turn, unlimited, or deathmatch style games.


The stock mombot cashing scripts suck at both speed and turn efficiency. I've significantly improved both in my versions, as have others. My point is that you need a whole arsenal of private scripts to compete in any meaningful way in a tourney or a game against a serious team. I am not disagreeing that grid scripts matter, but simply pointing out that you gotta do more than grid. I don't care how much grid you have, if I have 10x the cash, figs, etc that you do, it's going to end badly for you.

Quote:
I assume you are using Rob Transport Rob (RTR) in a game with MegaRob disabled?


Well, there are use cases for it even in a megarob game. Megarob takes a lot of experience, and has some other downsides. rtr with multiple players to clear busts is highly effective.



What do you mean by Megarob? The old HVS Megarob (when shown enabled on the "$" screen) doesn't require any game experience points, and not much experience in playing TW2002 to carry off either, for that matter.


Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:29 pm
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Unread post Re: Xide sighting on FB
Kavanagh wrote:
What do you mean by Megarob? The old HVS Megarob (when shown enabled on the "$" screen) doesn't require any game experience points, and not much experience in playing TW2002 to carry off either, for that matter.
That was my point, why would you use RTR when the bust rate for Megarob does not change, even if you have no EXP?

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Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:18 pm
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