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jblades

Fleet/Ship/Unit AI

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Just bought the game in the last few days, patched with the two most recent available and ran through the tutorial and tried a Terran campaign and did about 50% of mission one so far, decide to try ROAM instead of taking the first mission to travel from one end of the universe to the other on escort duty.

Games is very indepth and I have been reading various posts, read most of the manual page by page, and the tips, etc.

I have to wonder about the AI for the subordinate ships to include my own fighters. Why, when they are ordered to Escort or Defend my carrier, do they warp 400,000km to attack a enemy starbase and die? Shouldn't the AI be set to stay within a certain range of the target they are ordered to Escort or Defend and not engage a target that is 20x stronger?

I have been told about the Hold command and have yet to try that, but at the same time that just means I can never use the Escort or Defend command without have to make sure every ship is set to Hold after a close quarters engagement.

I suspect this might happen no matter what unit is being used, air, sea, land, space...

Can the AI aggressiveness be changed?

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If you read the WAYPOINT ORDERS.PDF file located in the DOCS folder, it tells you what each command does.

If you use DEFEND, they will stay close to the target.

If you use ESCORT, they will go after ANY threat (regardless of location, size, strength etc) that is targeting and/or attacking the unit they are escorting.

...and it all depends on the pilot AI. This subject has been extensively discussed here. Use the search function for words like: escort, pilots, defend etc and you'll find the threads.

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SC Smart,

Nice to see and get an immediate response from the game designers Having finally broken the addiction to SWG and being used to developers ignore you and such.

That is one doc I have not read and will read it.

I will have to try Defend versus Escort again and triple check my results as I swear I have tried both and even under Defend they attack anything in the system, but since you made the game I will have to take your word and assume I am doing something incorrect in relation to the Defend command

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OK,

I re-read page 19 in the manual and read the waypoints doc:

DEFEND

Similar to the escort order but the craft will not leave the current region if the target

being defended leaves the region. Also, the craft will only engage threats which are

firing on the target they are defending. Requires a valid target.

Using defend, ordered to defend my carrier, my fighters engaged a target over 1500km away. Is there is a definition in terms of range that the AI will engage based off waypoints and target? Or can/are the enemy targets actually firing on me from that distance, hence my ship fly that far to engage?

Along the lines of AI and I see that people have discussed this and SC has responded to the questions of:

1. VTOL max speed seems to cap at 50% max capability for AE controlled ships. I use the mouse and keyboard to fly the ship and when I press W I can never reach max speed, however when I use the AP and Fly To a destinatio the AP will reach max VTOL. Now I have seen this question and response related joystick usage but not keyboard/mouse usage.

2. Shuttlcraft do not seem to respond to RTB, cargo retrieval and tow retrieval sometimes. Example, I order the SC to tow a disabled friendly figher sending and SOS. The SC will fly to and Tow the target, but when I command the SC to Deliver to a Starbase it just sits there. Along the same lines the SC will fly circle around cargo

containers in space and not pick them up. Now the only thing I see in common to that sometimes is that the containers explode shortly after I tell the SC to RTB when it "refuses" to pick of the container, so perhaps the AI in th SC actaully detected that it was boobytrapped?

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Found this after posting the VTOL max speed located in the Manual Revision doc, does my solution/issue reside in understanding the power allocations here? If so how does the AP override the manual process of holding the W key to reach max velocity at the default power settings?

"Section 6.0 (p54)

CONTROL SCHEMES

The 0-9 keys can be used to set the thrust of crafts and vehicles to preset values. You can

still use the W and S keys, which effectively act like afterburner and retro rockets. e.g. if

you set your max speed to 5, the craft will slowly ramp up to thrust factor 5. However, if

you then press and hold the W key, you can exceed this thrust setting and go up to the

max speed of the craft. When you let go of the W key, the craft will slowly reduce it's

thrust back to factor 5. A thrust factor of 9 sets the max thrust of the craft, while 0 brings

it to a halt.

If you are using a joystick the speed value is modified by the joystick throttle if enabled.

This means that if you have thrust factor 9 set, then setting the throttle to min level will

effectively bring the craft to a halt. While setting it to the max level (pushing it all the

way forward), will take the craft up to the max thrust speed set by the 1-9 thrust settings.

e.g. if you have thrust factor 9 set, then moving the throttle all the way forward will ramp

the craft all the way up to its max speed. In the Command Craft, this is dependent on the

Logistix engine power setting as indicated below.

In the case of the Command Craft, this is also dependent on the Logistix engine power

settings. By default this is set to level 5 (which keeps the engines on) which means that

the thrust value of 9 will take the craft up to near cruise speed. e.g. if the craft's max

speed is 400 m/s, a thrust factor of 9 with a power setting of 5, will take the craft up

to around 300 m/s. At higher engine power settings (6-10), the craft will ramp up

accordingly and use more fuel. e.g. at engine power 10, the craft can go up to 400 m/s.

Reducing the Logistix power level causes the craft speed to drop if it is higher than the

limit set by the new power level. e.g. if Logistix power level 10 and thrust level 9 are set

(causing the craft to attain its max speed) and Logistix power level is later reduced to

level 5, the craft's thrust level will also start to drop. This means that the default power

setting of level 5 now sets the craft's max speed to half the limit and level 10 gives the

maximum speed"

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Originally posted by jblades:

OK,

I re-read page 19 in the manual and read the waypoints doc:

DEFEND

Similar to the escort order but the craft will not leave the current region if the target

being defended leaves the region. Also, the craft will only engage threats which are

firing on the target they are defending. Requires a valid target.

Using defend, ordered to defend my carrier, my fighters engaged a target over 1500km away. Is there is a definition in terms of range that the AI will engage based off waypoints and target? Or can/are the enemy targets actually firing on me from that distance, hence my ship fly that far to engage?

I think it has to do with the Enemy AI's current target ( shown in the VDD), and the ecsort's threat assestment capablity and it's AI level. So if you have an escort set to DEFEND, and an enemy ship warps in a targets the defended ship, the defending ship will aquire that hostile and move to intercept.

There also seems to be a degree of "failure of execution" (ie: failure of AI entities to carry out orders correctly) coded into the game itself. If this is the case, then I would find it perfectly reasonable, as you couldn't expect complete perfection of a REAL pilot, much less an AI one...but I could be wrong.

quote:

Along the lines of AI and I see that people have discussed this and SC has responded to the questions of:

1. VTOL max speed seems to cap at 50% max capability for AE controlled ships. I use the mouse and keyboard to fly the ship and when I press W I can never reach max speed, however when I use the AP and Fly To a destinatio the AP will reach max VTOL. Now I have seen this question and response related joystick usage but not keyboard/mouse usage.

As far as I know, VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) doesn't have a max speed. FTOL (Forward Take Off and Landing) has a max speed which is set according to ship class, and can be attained by setting engines to 10 in Logistix/Power.

quote:

2. Shuttlcraft do not seem to respond to RTB, cargo retrieval and tow retrieval sometimes. Example, I order the SC to tow a disabled friendly figher sending and SOS. The SC will fly to and Tow the target, but when I command the SC to Deliver to a Starbase it just sits there. Along the same lines the SC will fly circle around cargo

containers in space and not pick them up. Now the only thing I see in common to that sometimes is that the containers explode shortly after I tell the SC to RTB when it "refuses" to pick of the container, so perhaps the AI in th SC actaully detected that it was boobytrapped?

It all has to do with the shuttle pilot's AI level, and the BC equivalent of "Murphy's Law".

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Ok Ok...I am beginning to see a pattern in the responses to questions about "bugs" or gameplay "issues" in this forum...it's either an "undocumented feature" as developers in some circles call these things, or it is documented in the orignal manual and the 7 accompanying PDF docs or it's a random act of the AI in the game.....so in others words, it's supposed to work as documented or undocumented and if for some reason it doesn't...well reread the manuals or tough crap, sh*t happens?

Tell ya what, when my pilots fail to do as they are told, I am going to put them in the detention hold and starve them till their AI level increases..or I will shoot the shuttle down and perhaps the other pilots will pay attention.

BTW, should I even ask why some fighters on a carrier will never ready for launch even though they are at 100% and two pilots are assigned to fly them and the Perscan lists them as sitting in the fighters? Or are the pilots to drunk to fly?

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Guest Shingen

I don't know what to tell you. Every game I've ever played, period, has "bugs" and gameplay "issues". Name one that doesn't. Computer programming is not a perfect science.

Work with what you've got, or go do something else.

We try to be as helpful as possible here, but sometimes you just have to be smarter then the game and figure it out as you play.

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I presonally like the fact that the AI increases as the pilots get more experience. I always regard the first hours/days of a new game as something of a shakedown cruise and never venture into too dangerous an area until the crew are better trained.

Sure, it can be annoying when they mess up, but it's equally satisfying when they start acting like a professional pilots as the game progresses.

If you have a game where the AI gets better, that kinda imply's that it's not perfect at the beginning.

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I love those responses "or go do something else", how about I keep playing while bringing to light some valid questions or issues which is what a discussion forum is supposed to be for and hope to get some positive feedback with answers that have constructive results or workarounds?

I have also noticed that the dedicated players seem to be on the defensive for the SC or the game itself whenever anyone asks a question, loyalty is great but misdirected sometimes.

I am not trying to tear the game down, just get a feel for how it supposed to function from some of the more experienced players and developers. You are correct in that every piece of software written has bug and issues, as a result questions get asked about it's capability in relation to it's intended function.

So if the program actually has code that will randomize events and process related to AI instruction, then that's another ball game and a lot can be explained away, otherwise it means the AI is not executing it's parameter's as the code dictates or it is and for example, fighters on Defend will travel say 3000km to defend their targets and I just don't know it.

Instead of saying VTOL then I should say FTOL..my carrier has a max speed in the high 300 range but I am only able to attain 150 by pressing and holding W (which is the key used to increase speed from what I read and experienced in game), whereas the autopliot attains full speed...so unless the AP is adjusting my engine power.....something is misconfigured for manual speed acceleration or malfunctioning in relation to the same.

In the meantime I keep playing and posting, and playing and posting. Eventually my questions will be answered or maybe not...

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Originally posted by jblades:

I love those responses "or go do something else", how about I keep playing while bringing to light some valid questions or issues which is what a discussion forum is supposed to be for and hope to get some positive feedback with answers that have constructive results or workarounds?

I have also noticed that the dedicated players seem to be on the defensive for the SC or the game itself whenever anyone asks a question, loyalty is great but misdirected sometimes.

With all due respect, some of us here have been playing this game in one form or another for going on about 7 years, so though your feedback might be welcome, I doubt it's anything that hasn't already been discovered. You aren't breaking any new ground here.

Also, when did Derek come into this? I thought we were talking about Universal Combat? Derek and I have locked horns more times then I can count.

Universal Combat came out in Feb., so I think I've played through every patch and problem known to exist, but if you don't want my input then fine.. that works for me.

quote:

I am not trying to tear the game down, just get a feel for how it supposed to function from some of the more experienced players and developers. You are correct in that every piece of software written has bug and issues, as a result questions get asked about it's capability in relation to it's intended function.

So if the program actually has code that will randomize events and process related to AI instruction, then that's another ball game and a lot can be explained away, otherwise it means the AI is not executing it's parameter's as the code dictates or it is and for example, fighters on Defend will travel say 3000km to defend their targets and I just don't know it.

Again, HOW OLD IS YOUR GAME? Really, until you get passed the 72 hour "AI wall" ( the point where your average AI level is 60+), you aren't really going to get those bastards to do much of anything, except consume nutripacks and die alot! That's just the game. It's always been that way, but don't take my word for it.

quote:

Instead of saying VTOL then I should say FTOL..my carrier has a max speed in the high 300 range but I am only able to attain 150 by pressing and holding W (which is the key used to increase speed from what I read and experienced in game), whereas the autopliot attains full speed...so unless the AP is adjusting my engine power.....something is misconfigured for manual speed acceleration or malfunctioning in relation to the same.

Again, go into Logistix/Power and set you engine power levels to 10 (max), then when you hit W, you'll reach Max speed.

quote:

In the meantime I keep playing and posting, and playing and posting. Eventually my questions will be answered or maybe not...

Excuse me? How have your questions NOT been answered? I think I've been rather civil.

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*Waves truce flag*..Relax it's all good, I am listeninig to your input and comparing it with my findings at the same time. I am one of those older people who rarely takes what someone says at face value right off the bat.

So the answer was/is that the AI do have randomized issues like disobeying orders and such since they are so young. I can sccept that, and will look for better results as they train up.

As for the for the FTOL, I will check my engine power settings and assume that the AP must be changing them to attain full speed. The reason keep asking and dissecting this is because I can start a new game, press W and attain full speed with the default Logistix settings. It seems that a few hours into the game that ability is lost.

So perhaps the figher launch is related to lack of inexperience of the pilots and they can only fly 2 of the 3 types of fighters on the carrier?

No one said you weren't civil, but as soon as someone tells "or go do something else"...well that's just an attitude I don't appreciate when trying to discuss something.

It's admirable that you have invested 7 years into playing the game..I'm new here and it's obvious the game has a steep learning curve and nOObs will ask questions and questions and questions, how else do they become seasoned (besides just playing all by their lonesome)?

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One other thing, concerning the shuttle issue: You might want to check your shuttle for damage. I was having trouble getting my shuttle to obey, even though it was piloted by a marine who had always done well. When I finally got it back on board, I looked and noticed most of it's systems had taken at least SOME damage (from a couple of rough landings, I never said he was THAT good...). After a rather extesive repair, it is performing well once more. It's hard to notice system damage on your shuttles unless you check periodically.

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Good point. I actually do check my FC and SC for damage after every sortie having run across the damage levels in unloading cargo after previous sorties. These SC were at 100% repair levels.

One thing I will try is to put a figher pilot in the shuttle with a marine or two..perhaps between the three of them they can figure out how to work the comms, fly and return with the cargo lol...seriously...I think the only the times they refuse to pick up cargo is when it's booby trapped. Everytime I see them circle one and not pick it up...the cargo blows up shortly after I RTB the SC.

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Well the manual acceleration issue was that the power settings default at 5 and increasing the engine to 10 allows full manual acceleration. AP increases the power automatically to allow 100% acceleration.

Thx for the feedback Shingen.

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n00bs, let me explain something, since I don't want to get involved in this: If you see a vet (e.g. Shingen) taking their time to help you, give hints etc and you keep tripping up, they're going to stop. Guess what? You'll be on your own.

The game has a very advanced AI that is NOT supposed to work the way you expect it. Thats the nature of AI and that is how I intended it when I spent - the better part of almost fifteen years - coming up with it. Its not an exact science and if it was, NONE of you would last five minutes in this game world when up against the dumbest NPC the game creates.

I single handedly wrote the game manual (like I do all my manuals). I then came up with an extensive tutorial and tips file. Those are designed to give an insight into how the game works and plays. If you don't read and absorb this information, its your loss, not mine.

My game documentation is as accurate as its ever going to be and when I change or revise something, the revision file gets updated. So if you choose to split hairs while NOT reading the manual (e.g. incessantly posting about your speed vs the AI, when in fact you didn't even READ the manual section on power allocation and how it affects your ship's max thrust), again, thats your lose.

Finally, if DEFEND and ESCORT were ever designed to do the same thing, there would be one instead of two. Similarly SAD and SEAD are absolutely different orders. Again, you can ignore all of this and go it alone.

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Yes..Yes..I see the constant responses from both the veteran players and you (SC) about reading the manual. One can read the information but not fully digest it until they have spoken with some vets about what it actually does ingame in relation to how it's explained/written.

As for the AI, the answers that were finally given by both Shingen and you (SC), that is what I was looking for. As I said/asked if the AI is designed with some randomness then great, that explains why things are not going the way the way the black and white print says in some cases.

If a nOOb player can't get some evenhanded responses instead of backhanded acerbic feedback without having memorized the manuals and understanding every nuance and complexity of the game then what good are the discussion forums for?

Perhaps a nOOb discussion section would alleviate any clutter for the elitest players and those that don't have the patience to help folks out don't have to read the posts.

Frankly, I could care less if I alienate a few people on a game forum for asking questions and trying to learn. Some people can't handle being challenged in a discussion, not to say that's the case in this thread...but from reading some of the posts here there are some fragile egos for being gamers and talking about how to play a game.

Lastly, I absorbed what you said about Defend vs Escort. I only asked for more definition of the what Defend does in terms of range the AI is willing to travel outside the Defend zone.

I am not ignoring the responses I get and have even posted back that "Hey, I was wrong and you were right".

I have followed the tutorial up to planet fall with troops, and the it is all very informative..some of us nOObs just like to ask and discuss more.

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Highly doubt this is the problem.. But to check with you. How did you patch your client? Did you download to desktop and just patch from there (BAD WAY)

Or did you download to UC file with Uc.exe (or whatever the file is called) and patch from there?

If you did it the first way, I suggest you repatch the second way. I know when I was fresh, I patched wrong. And.. it gave me quite a few problems.

Even though the patching probably isnt any part of your current problem, I just wanted to let you know.

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Actually, originally patching was my problem and thanks to some helpful folks who pointed out the right way, I reinstalled and repatched and whatever problem I had was fixed.

Ironically as I type this I had hit the MS Start Menu key instead of ALT and just lost an hour+ of play....ahh a galaxy for an autosave, or maybe just a sticky note on the monitor to "SAVE THE GAME EVERY 10 MINUTES"

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quote:


Originally posted by jblades:

Ironically as I type this I had hit the MS Start Menu key instead of ALT and just lost an hour+ of play....ahh a galaxy for an autosave, or maybe just a sticky note on the monitor to "SAVE THE GAME EVERY 10 MINUTES"


Sounds like you don't pay attention much. If you had, you'd have seen this quite clearly in the tech forum.

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Originally posted by jblades:

Actually, originally patching was my problem and thanks to some helpful folks who pointed out the right way, I reinstalled and repatched and whatever problem I had was fixed.

Ironically as I type this I had hit the MS Start Menu key instead of ALT and just lost an hour+ of play....ahh a galaxy for an autosave, or maybe just a sticky note on the monitor to "SAVE THE GAME EVERY 10 MINUTES"

If you run your game in a window (/w1), the game will multi-task all day long, it won't crash if you hit the Win Key, and it's NOT supported, so use at your own risk.

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Actually SC I hadn't even seached the forums for a solution as it was the first time I did that and I had quit playing for the night, although I had seen a few a posts from other people regretting having pressed the key in my previous readings.

You and Shingen just happened to respond before I had logged into the forums to look today and provided TWO solutions (thank you btw).

This is what I love about about a forum, people helping people

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quote:


Originally posted by Shingen:

quote:

Originally posted by jblades:

Actually, originally patching was my problem and thanks to some helpful folks who pointed out the right way, I reinstalled and repatched and whatever problem I had was fixed.

Ironically as I type this I had hit the MS Start Menu key instead of ALT and just lost an hour+ of play....ahh a galaxy for an autosave, or maybe just a sticky note on the monitor to "SAVE THE GAME EVERY 10 MINUTES"


If you run your game in a window (/w1), the game will multi-task all day long, it won't crash if you hit the Win Key, and it's NOT supported, so use at your own risk.


Yeah, and if you want full screen but windowed, you can use /w2 if you first set your desktop resolution to whatever resolution (e.g. 800x600, 1024x768) the game is running at. That will give you windowed mode but in fullscreen. Its all in the FAQ.

Most games have a problem with the Windows key while running in exclusive fullscreen mode and the only remedy is to disable this key. Going to Google and searching for "windows key" or "wkeykill" shows tons of pages about this.

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