Star Trek Online Ambient with Combat Behavior Explanation of Variables
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
12-05-2010, 06:40 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Kirkfat Thanks. What is a good map to test this on? I need one with a heavy amount of Cryptic-made interactable objects that the npcs will have jobs to do. Also, is there a good npc group to use to test?
I would probably pick an interior map with a lot of objects, and use some Fed NPC groups, since they won't attack you.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
12-05-2010, 06:45 AM
It's used in the new Foundry, which we can use to create our own missions.

What is explained above is applied to NPC's and how the behave on the map. I think they just stand still by default which could be handy if you want to create guards.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
12-05-2010, 06:45 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Allerka Alright, I'll try to break it down a little more, as I understand it (I could be off as well). Straightforward, this is what they'll say when they start fighting something. NPCs are programmed to randomly select from a list of actions they can perform at certain intervals. Let's say you've got Wander and Idle set on an NPC. They're standing at Idle, and the Duration you've set determines how long they're just going to stand around (I'm not sure what the unit of measurement is, but I'd guess seconds). Once that Duration runs out, the NPC goes back to the list of available actions and randomly chooses another one. So if they choose Wander this time, they'll move around. In terms of Weight, you're essentially setting the priority of that given action, and increasing the odds it'll be selected each time. So an NPC with a Wander Weight of 20 and an Idle Weight of 1 means they're almost always going to choose to Wander, and once in a while they'll stand around. If the Weight values for all actions are the same, then it's an even chance any of them will be picked. Also straightforward. The Idle animation can be almost anything you want, so that gives you a good variety of actions and traits you can display (and make it extremely handy for Demo Recordings ). The NPC, if they choose the Chat action from the list of possible actions, will say something you designate. If you have them set to basically only Chat, then they'll say the phrase pretty much constantly. If you want an NPC to just stand around and occasionally say something, then set the Idle Weight for a higher value than Chat (obviously, the higher you set it, the less frequently they'll say the phrase). Essentially, every time the Wander option gets chosen, the NPC creates a random path for itself to walk along. Again, Weight affects how often this happens. When they reach each path node, they'll pause for a moment (how long they wait can be changed with Wander Idle). If they've reached the end of the path they've created, they'll go back to the list of actions. Otherwise, they'll go to the next node (so the more nodes, the longer and farther they'll wander around). Wander Distance, you can pretty much think of like an electric collar. The spawn point is the grey circle the NPCs are arranged around when you first create their groups, so the Wander Distance is a radius around that which determines how far away from that point they can wander. If my assumption is correct, this is mostly an ambiance thing. Basically it allows NPCs to walk around and interact with various objects (such as a Starfleet officer walking up to a console and pushing buttons for a moment). However, since it only works with Cryptic-designated objects, and there's as yet no list of what these objects are, it's a bit hard to figure out what'll make it work. :p
Thanks Allerka. This is really helpful. My only problem is that none of it seems to work. Have you tested this with groups of npcs? Is there a specific group? Do you have to publish the mission before seeing the results, or can you play around with it in map previews?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
12-05-2010, 06:50 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Kirkfat Thanks Allerka. This is really helpful. My only problem is that none of it seems to work. Have you tested this with groups of npcs? Is there a specific group? Do you have to publish the mission before seeing the results, or can you play around with it in map previews?
Most of it's been working for me in map testing (I haven't published anything yet). Wandering appears to be sporadic at best, but the map might also be a factor (it's heavily strewn with debris and isn't very maneuverable). But Idle and Chat have worked fine for me (I've got an NPC at one point who's basically hiding in a corner with one of those afraid emotes and occasionally says something). This is all on Fed and Borg NPCs. The only thing I haven't really tested yet is Jobs (as the map is pure combat, there's not much room for that anyway ).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
12-05-2010, 06:54 AM
It's used in the new Foundry, which we can use to create our own missions.

What is explained above is applied to NPC's and how the behave on the map. I think they just stand still by default which could be handy if you want to create guards.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
12-05-2010, 06:55 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Kirkfat Thanks. What is a good map to test this on? I need one with a heavy amount of Cryptic-made interactable objects that the npcs will have jobs to do. Also, is there a good npc group to use to test?
You could always pick a ratio between Idle and Chat. I've currently got a bunch of reskinned TOS Klingons alternating between Bear Dancing and Shouting 'Dooby dooby doo!' while Laughing Evilly.

Haven't quite done the sums on the weights, but it seems to alternate.

The Wander thing may be suboptimal in Preview, as nodes aren't calculated until it's Published.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
12-05-2010, 06:56 AM
Works for me and yes you can hit play before publish.

Well right now it crashes on me, I thought everyone might be getting that problem when trying to play, please let me know if your not because it is a bug that will need reported.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18 He is saying...
12-05-2010, 06:59 AM
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Kirkfat Can some explain this in plain English? What is this used for?
When a Non Player Character (NPC) is set up by you on a map, there are factors which control the behavior of the NPC.

These factors control time, range, and task of the target.

For example, you want to place a enemy NPC unit on a map. Then you want to determine if the NPC will be stationary or will it move. The NPC uses a mathematical algorithm to move around or wander. When you use the sliders or write a number in the block for the NPC, that factor will control the NPC's behavior.

If you decide you want the NPC to guard a spot or patrol a section of a map, then you need to set it up to wander. Then you set a range factor to determine how far from that spot you want the NPC to move. You use a path to determine the behavior or action of the NPC. The NPC will determine its own behavior when you set its path. A high number will determine that the NPC will follow a longer path. If you move on a longer path, then it will shorten the amount of time the NPC will have between leaving the spot you picked it to guard and moving on its path. If you want the NPC to come back sooner to its spot, pick a low number.

The job essentially tells the NPC to guard its spot. The number you give it determines how responsive the NPC will be if a player wanders into the spot.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeathenStorm It's about doing stuff. Some stuff can be more important than other stuff. If you want your NPC group to be hard working Dozers, you enable Jobs, and give the Job Weight a high number. And they'll go scurrying between nearby consoles happily tapping away. If you'd rather they be Fraggles, you disable Jobs, and set the Idle Weight really high. You may optionally give them an idle animation to Dance their cares away. Say you've got a weight of 15 for Idle and 5 for Jobs. That's a total of 20 with a 75%/25% ratio. The AI picks a random activity, that is three times more likely to be Idle than Jobs. The chosen activity plays for the set duration time, and then a different activity is chosen. Again, with the same 75%/25% ratio.
A nice Fraggle rock reference here. Although no one born after 1988 will probably understand it.

Worry's for another day
Let the music play
Down at Fraggle Rock
Dancing's for another day
Let the Fraggles play

We're Gobo Mokey Wembley Boober Red
Worry's for another day
Let the music play
Down at Fraggle Rock

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
12-05-2010, 07:09 AM
Thanks guys. I think I understand this. I'll make a video tutorial on it using a Klingon guard or something.

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