With all 4 races now playable, I have come to realize my previous explanation on NPC is no longer sufficient enough to help players truly play with NPC. Thus after finally testing a bunch of hypothesis with Sol (the most standard of the 4 race), I have decided to reword and re-structure the previous guide on NPC. What kinds of NPC are there? There are four kind of NPC in this game. Map spawns, Player NPC, Player tenders and Structure. Map spawns show up automatically (most of the time) when a map is getting attacked. Player controlled NPC and Tender are ships players own and dragged into combat via fleet commander and support ship skills. Structures include everything from Ma’al disco ball of doom to the condensed hive poop they call derelict Chrysalis. It is important to note all current NPC use more efficient power to move ratio than player. The NPC use the power ratio of a player ship one class lower than them. Class 5 NPC would use power to move ratio of a player Class 4 How does each category of NPC behave in combat? To get into this topic, we make a simple AI logic train. Map spawn NPC and Player NPC/tender, when told to attack or follow: 1. I am must allocate a percentage of MAX POWER to Gun and shield ( if shield exist). 2. I must charge one gun at a time to maximum possible damage. 3. If I have power left over from charging guns, allocate all remaining power to shields one facing at a time, to the max allowed shield level, starting from the front, then the front left, the front right, rear right and finally rear left. Never charge the butt shield. 4. If I have fully charged the shields or if I am a hive creature and don’t have shields, all remaining power goes into engine 5. Does our fleet have vision on an enemy? If yes, Am I in range? If no, move in to acquire vision 6. If I am in range, Fire all charged guns on the enemy I have the highest chance to hit. Prioritize other ships, only attack structure if it is the only thing in sight. 7. If I am not in range, move closer to and check step 6 again Player NPC/Tender on hold 1. I must attempt to use all power available to charge any and all shield arch, starting from the front, then the front left, the front right, rear right, rear left. And finally the butt shield. 2. No guns are charged and all power that remain after charge shields or if I am a hive creature and have no shields, goes to the engine. What are the NPC power allocation percentage? For map Spawn and Player NPC/tender on follow, 50% of the power goes to the engine and 50% of it goes to guns and shields. For player NPC on attack, 40% of power goes to the engine and 60% of it goes to guns and shields. For player NPC/tender on hold, 100% of power will be allocated to shields, only when there is left over, will it go into engine. Hive creatures are special. Since shields are a power hog and hive have no shields, any power left over from charging their guns goes directly into their engine. On hold, 100% of their power goes into their engine. What is Inversed accuracy gradient and how does it affect Ai behavior Inversed accuracy gradient occurs when a player invested enough accuracy skills on their officer to have their gun excess 95% accuracy. It would mean their guns would have highest chance to hit a target at 50% of their max range and going back down to 95% accuracy at 1 hex. Remember how NPC pick their target for attack? They shoot the thing they have the highest hit chance ( ignoring target evasion). NPC with Inversed accuracy gradient would choose to target things at 50% of their gun range. It would also mean they would blatantly ignore things closer to them and hit things further away. This kinds of behavior are mostly seen on player NPC ships with high base accuracy guns and most of player NPC hive ships. While the accuracy of 95%+ sounds great, knowledgeable and experience enemy player can take advantage of this by simply going closer to the target while leaving behind a fully shielded AI of their own at the right distance. On the other hand, Inverse accuracy AI will attack enemy trying to hide behind other ships if the range is right. This lets player and their Ai to focus fire a target even if its trying to stay behind tenders. How does NPC behave when they have reduced power? When a NPC have reduced power, either from getting hit in the engine or crew lose, they will still follow the same logic train above. They would still use max power for their allocation ratio. It would also seem map spawn and player NPC prioritize guns and shields over engine. This is most evident when a ship is damaged to the point they can barely full charge all their guns. While they are able to shoot, they no longer turn or move. How does NPC handle guns with power refund? While this mechanic does not affect sol/gen, it does show up in hive and maal NPC. The NPC see the correct net power usage of the guns and use that in the allocation. For example, a player charging 3 bars of yellow would use 6 power and get 3 power back in combat phase. NPC however, sees the 3 yellow bar as charging 3 yellow bars for 3 power and no refund in combat phase. Thus, for hive players, this is one extra little factor when doing math for making NPC. How does range boost actually work for NPC NPC use the default range of the gun as reference when trying to move into engagement. For example, the Hive Bombardier have 16 range on their red balls. Give them inverse accuracy and they should be happy with shooting things at range 8, so they usually move to exactly 8 range. When you give them range +2, they still try to move to 8 range, instead of 9 range. So why use range boost? Because it helps AI with low range guns to hit targets even if they can’t get into optimal firing distance. In a sense, a cheaper but more effective accuracy boost for missiles and lasers.