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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 989
# 21
07-19-2013, 06:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
That's not really the whole issue.

Is it hard to program AI to do this? You betcha. Possibly difficult enough that the time that'd be required just simply isn't available.

But there's also the rabbit hole... The can of worms... the setting of unreasonable expectations, and the question of whether to fulfill them.

And by that I mean this: Say we were to take the time to improve the behavior of a specific pet, like BOP Raiders. What's to say that players will be happy if we stop there?

What about Jem'hadar Attack Ship Pets? Maybe they want better control over their Ramming Speed?
What about Runabouts? Maybe they should use their Tractor Beam more aggressively on faster targets?
What about Ferjai Frigates? Maybe they should only lay mines when their target is very nearby, and has high health (to ensure that the mines will actually hit the intended target)?

The list goes on and on. And the simple truth is that we cannot afford to spend our development budget tuning features like this, when we have design matters to deal with that have a more profound effect on the future life of the game on a whole. We do what we can.
Slippery slope arguments are a logical fallacy; there's an assumption built in that opinions/desires/needs can't or won't change in the face of something new. It's also a really crummy excuse to stand by and do nothing.

"If we make the game better, they might expect more good things! Oh, the humanity!"
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,780
# 22
07-19-2013, 07:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
That's not really the whole issue... Say we were to take the time to improve the behavior of a specific pet, like BOP Raiders...
First off, Borticus, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. It's appreciated. Personally I love it when you Devs get all game-mechanics-y and we get a view of the game's nuts'n'bolts.

Conversationally, I do have a question (and I admit to ignorance), but is it really like that, programming AI, that you'd have to improve the behavior of a specific pet, like BoPs? I mean, is it not possible to create one "Strafe/Fig8 Attack Subroutine" and apply that to all "Front Arc Pets", couldn't you improve all of them with the same fell swoop?

Or is it that each Pet follows their own AI and what works for a BoP wouldn't work for another Front-Arcer?

Just curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtshead View Post
Can't you just recall them, and then relaunch them (once that's fixed)?
I guess I'll have to test that out and see how it works once, as you say, it's fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplegamer View Post
Slippery slope arguments are ... a really crummy excuse to stand by and do nothing...
I wouldn't say they are doing nothing. I think they are doing the best they think they can with the resources they have at their disposal.

It's like a poor person could eat a $100 fancy steak dinner, but it'd be better to use those funds for ten $10 meals. I'm not meaning to say Cryptic is poor, but they do have finite resources and their decision on where best to apply them is to spend them on things other than tinkering with the AI.

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Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 381
# 23
07-19-2013, 08:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhavelock View Post

Conversationally, I do have a question (and I admit to ignorance), but is it really like that, programming AI, that you'd have to improve the behavior of a specific pet, like BoPs? I mean, is it not possible to create one "Strafe/Fig8 Attack Subroutine" and apply that to all "Front Arc Pets", couldn't you improve all of them with the same fell swoop?

Or is it that each Pet follows their own AI and what works for a BoP wouldn't work for another Front-Arcer?

Just curious.
As far as I understood this problem, all Pets are using the same functions/routines (or whatever you might call them). Now each Pet-Type (Peregrine or advanced Peregrine would allready be a difference here) has it's own table of behaviour-chances... Maybe something like (for the Romulan Droneship) 50% chance to fly a circle around a target and 50% chance to use the 8-shaped-figure.
Now you can imagine, what would happen, if those chances for different behaviour are wrong. Instead of 50% for each of the types it could be 10% for the one behaviour and 90% for the other.

So, how did you come to these values in the first place? Could it be possible to integrate some trial-and-error-code that tries to optimize the behaviour of the pets? Well, it should be possible and it should get the pets optimized to use their full gear and abilities.
First one half of the so called Community complains: "Give us instant access to all veteran rewards, for going lifetime.", then the other half of the same Community complains: "I've earned 1000 Day membership, I want a special reward.".
Stop complaining, if it is enough for you, you could have the "Captains Table" for the real veterans, I don't want access to another dead social zone...
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 989
# 24
07-19-2013, 08:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhavelock View Post
I wouldn't say they are doing nothing. I think they are doing the best they think they can with the resources they have at their disposal.

It's like a poor person could eat a $100 fancy steak dinner, but it'd be better to use those funds for ten $10 meals. I'm not meaning to say Cryptic is poor, but they do have finite resources and their decision on where best to apply them is to spend them on things other than tinkering with the AI.
Oh, I definitely agree. Resource management has always been an issue for STO. I understand that with limited resources, you have to pick and choose your battles, but that's not where his argument left off.

I'm simply addressing how silly it is to blame a lack of action on the assumption that it'll just make players want more--especially when we all know they'll want more no matter what they do. Again, it's a lame excuse for a lack of action. He should just stick with the resources line.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 91
# 25
07-19-2013, 09:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
That's not really the whole issue.

Is it hard to program AI to do this? You betcha. Possibly difficult enough that the time that'd be required just simply isn't available.

But there's also the rabbit hole... The can of worms... the setting of unreasonable expectations, and the question of whether to fulfill them.

And by that I mean this: Say we were to take the time to improve the behavior of a specific pet, like BOP Raiders. What's to say that players will be happy if we stop there?

What about Jem'hadar Attack Ship Pets? Maybe they want better control over their Ramming Speed?
What about Runabouts? Maybe they should use their Tractor Beam more aggressively on faster targets?
What about Ferjai Frigates? Maybe they should only lay mines when their target is very nearby, and has high health (to ensure that the mines will actually hit the intended target)?

The list goes on and on. And the simple truth is that we cannot afford to spend our development budget tuning features like this, when we have design matters to deal with that have a more profound effect on the future life of the game on a whole. We do what we can.

Here is a thought. Hire a 6 man dev team whose whole purpose is to work through your half completed game design and do EXACTLY that.

The biggest problem this game suffers from is that EVERY system in the game is not given the long term focus it needs and is ALWAYS released 'as is' before it it is polished. Create a team with a environment artist, a ship artist, a writer/editor, and 3 coders to go through and fix what the mainline designers, (*Cough*Geko*Cough*) have given up on or left behind because its not "on the schedule".

I seem to recall back in the day you were brought on to do exactly this function. But one man does not a QA/Polish team make.
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,059
# 26
07-19-2013, 05:17 PM
People should try the pets on escort mode focused on your ship on tribble, my pets fire seemed less obit based and more focused, but I only tested for 15 minutes roughly, so your milage may very.

Have if your on a team have them escort a Player BoP which usual do strafe runs them selves so if your pets are staying around that ship, they themselves are likely doing strafe runs because they can't drift too far from the ship they are escorting I believe.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,324
# 27
07-20-2013, 03:07 PM
i would be happy if i could have choice of pets with single cannons then at lest there would have a better firing ark, maybe there should change all of them to single cannons.
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Say No to ARK
Commander
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 363
# 28
07-20-2013, 03:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
I recently checked in an AI update that should help this situation for all cannon-using hangar pets.

It turns out that the AI Weight (a value which helps AI to determine which powers/items to activate) were set incorrectly at very low values on all Fekihri Fighters and Frigates, so they were not performing even as well as BoP pets and Peregrine Fighters. The aforementioned AI update should have a more profound impact on these pets, than on others.

Assigning an AI routine for these pets to follow is not as simple as "do a strafing run" or "fly in figure eights past the target" or anything similar. We have to set up conditional statements for these pets to follow under every single conceivable circumstance. Your requests to send these pets extremely specific positioning commands, in 3D space combat, is almost laughably far into the "easier said than done" category of suggestions. Instead, we have to settle for encouraging the AI to follow certain behaviors in certain categories of situations.

It might be best to think of AI as strong suggestions, not guaranteed commands.
Please, please, PLEASE look into the weapon priorities of elite widow fighters from the nukara rep. Elite widow fighters are about as good as normal peregrine fighters against single targets, and after reading the above post, now I know why.

Elite widow priority is so bad that upon spawning, despite facing the enemy, they immediately turn to use their beam arrays. And since they've already turned sideways, they're unable to fire off a torpedo or use their DBBs without FAW.

Last edited by ruminate00; 07-20-2013 at 04:00 PM.
Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 261
# 29
07-21-2013, 06:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
The list goes on and on. And the simple truth is that we cannot afford to spend our development budget tuning features like this, when we have design matters to deal with that have a more profound effect on the future life of the game on a whole. We do what we can.
well, why not then just make the pets armament simpler so even with the dumbest script they would perform well?
for example in EVE online pets only orbit the target and shoot with a single 360 degree weapon. the balancing done simple by adjusting the damage, better pets do more damage then cheaper pets.

KISS rule always wins, really.
1 to 3 of 360 degree cannon/beam scaled to tier/rarity, 0-2 tac/eng/sci ability to perform different roles.
remove mines, as they are useless (especially on ferjai), put another torp.
make torps wide angle 180.
make pets immune to warp core breaches. which even doesn't sound unrealistic in real world since small and lightweight object will be simple pushed away by explosion waves instead of bigger objects, which will be thorn apart because of their mass and inertia.
no scripts involved and most of the drawbacks will be cured instantly.
no script overhead for server/client.

romulan drones became best available pet just because in fact they are simple beam boats.
so why those weird, complicated setups, which gives no real benefits, but only drawbacks? it makes no sense at all.
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 467
# 30
07-22-2013, 10:40 PM
only real problem with that is that would make the pets rather boring just like eve drones...

Hmmm has anyone tried using attack then recalling and sending back into attack again? See if you can guide them into strafing into them. I'll try when I get on to tribble next.
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