Bird of Prey Carrier Pets and the new AI changes.
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Join Date: Jun 2012
03-07-2013, 09:16 AM
Originally Posted by
After some observations with the Bird of Prey Carrier pets post AI change, I've noticed one thing that does not sit well with me.
Before the AI change, I could, and on a regular basis do the following:
Step 1: Follow Mode (Causes BoP pets to cloak)
Step 2: Face an enemy and approach the target.
Step 3: Trigger attack Command, BoPs would Decloak, Activate Rapid Fire 2, High Yield 2 and proceed to Attack their target. This was very reminiscent of PVP Alpha Strike Decloaking tactics. Typically it would do the usual Shield Drop and Torpedo to hull that most PVPers experience when flying a BoP.
After the AI how ever.. it's become harder because of the change to their AI with the following observations:
The BoPs seem to have different ranges for different behaviors, but most notably, is even if facing the target, they seem to want to Swing off and fire their Turrets in order to get into an Attack Position.. Even if you have them perfectly pointed at a target.
And Distance seems to play a factor regarding this. If they are near the 10km mark, it is possible to get them to follow the old tactic. But exceedingly more difficult.
While the new AI changes are useful in some respects, it seems to have hurt a usually very effective play style for the Vor'quv Carrier's Bird of Prey pets. Which originally were the most effective pets for the Vor'quv for a damaging role.
Not quite sure what could be suggested in order to get their AI either changed back, or perhaps modified even further to allow them to have the ability to pull off the BoP Pet "Alpha Strike" tactic more smoothly then they can now.. Only that I did witness the difficulty of the BoP Pet Alpha Strike while play testing my Vor'quv while in Ker'rat on both Player and non Player targets, as well as Moving and Stationary Targets.
This is not new. They have behaved like that for over a year.
The reason you see it more now is because of the change in the AI that tries to make them point nose at target... the problem is I believe the AI considers the turret 360 arc as 'oh hey im pointing nose already!' and the BoP doesnt swing to face target.
That is made worse by the actual flight code on them.. the bops are hard coded to fly in the direction their noses were facing when you issued attack order for about 5km and then turn to target. You can prove this easily enough by having your BoPs fly behind you in 'escort me' command...then stop your carrier... watch the bops stop and fumble and point their noses in random directions...
and have them attack a target. The very directions their noses are facing is where they will fly for 5km distance and then turn to target.
This is the result of cryptic's horrible fail attempt at fixing the BoP AI a year ago.
The level of FAIL these devs achieved in that attempted is worthy of song and tale.
1- To fix a relatively minor glitch they messed the AI so much the pets just sat in space twitching and doing nothing. Yes, as you can guess with cryptic's procedures, this horrid bug went to holodeck live server and was fubar for 1 week.
2- A week later and many apologies and 'oh we didnt catch this bug at all in our internal testing process...despite the fact it happened 100% of times and players in tribble reported it within minutes of the patch being up in tribble' they made some progress. Pets moved. but didnt shoot.
3- days after ... a miracle happened. A true.. miracle. They fixed the pets in tribble. They were PERFECT. The minor glitch was gone and the pets were back to their old responsive selves.
Much joy in tribble.
... it lasted one day.
4- the following day, some dev decided 'yay we rock lets make them pretty!' and went on to add a 'formation flying' code for when the pets were out of combat and under 'RTB' or 'Escort' order.
Do note this formation only would be seen when the team (not the carrier) was NOT in combat.
Yes, that means only during the first few seconds of map start or at the very end.
.... and completely BROKE the pets. Fully, horribly.. broke them. They were back to twitching in space doing nothing.
5- two days later in tribble apparently the same dev tried to cover the FUBAR he did and instead of fixing the mistake he decided to erase the pet AI completely and replace it with the drone AI (which was separate and unaffected).
...and that is why today we have the turd AI you see.
Before the pets could be ordered to attack one target and you could switch to another ....and the pets would attack the target they were ordered to hit not the one you were hitting. Why is this? Well the drone AI has the pets receiving your attack order several times a second applied to your current target... it doesnt matter IF you have the attack order highlighted or not. That is why you cant just order attack then un-highlight it and switch target...the pets will switch to your new target.
It is why you cannot deploy one wing of shield drones to support one ship and order the wing of bops to escort another ship... both wings will end up in the 2nd ship you are trying to support. The bops and drones both have the same AI.
before the bird of prey would remain cloaked the entire time and only uncloak and shoot when it was 5km from its target. It turned nose to target instantly when you ordered it to attack and flew in FORMATION with the other bop in its wing. Yes, that means the bops would all hit the same shield on target together. Very potent.
Now however, because it uses drone ai, the attack order instantly decloaks them (loses the ambush damage bonus), shoots them at full speed in whatever direction their noses are pointing (just like drones do) but because they dont have the insta-turn rate of drones they take loooong half-moon arc flight paths to target...which results in them hitting the target from random directions at random times.
Take a look at this example .. ignore the voquv ship build i was testing...focus on the bird of prey behavior. Watch in HD