Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,413
I spent some time yesterday working on some attack/defense scenarios using patrols to have two groups of NPCs (one friendly and one enemy) out of normal aggro range from each other and have one move toward the other and attack. It works great, and there are some things I've learned that I'd like to share.

Space: What I did was spawn a Fed fleet around the players spawnpoint, then have them patrol (just one node) toward a planet where a Romulan fleet is waiting, a distance of 30-40 km. Works great, they all push forward until they get in aggro range of the enemy then they attack.

Speed: A speed of 8 was about half to three-quarters impulse on my foundry character with starter equipment. I upped it to 10 when I published it and tested on my VA who has Borg gear and it ended up being about the same.

Frigate Groups: Act a little weird. On solo play of course three frigates spawn. I left their default spacing so when they moved out on their patrol path they went three-abreast. The two on the outside kept wiggling around the collision box of the middle one. I suspect this is because all three ships are heading toward the same point, so the outside two are heading at an inward angle. If this wiggling concerns you, just break up the contacts in the group a little.

Aggro Range: For me its difficult to see exactly what aggro range is in the Foundry, and on my first attempt I didn't put the patrol node far enough. Even though it was inside the transparent blue circles of the Romulan mobs, the Fed mobs stopped and started turning around. So I moved the nodes so they are almost right on top of the enemy mobs.

Ground: For this scenario I built a small, square fortification on a ground map and had several federation groups as "defenders" inside the fortification. Then once the player clicks a console, groups of Jem Hadar spawn and run toward the fortification to be gunned down, with a second group spawning on the other side once the first one is killed. Also works great once I published.

Speed: Left it at the default, seems to be a slight jog. Probably too slow for an attacking force.

Bug? When I first built the map, I had the patrol nodes (again, just one node) stop just outside of the fortification. The Jem Hadar would run up but then disappear when they got into aggro range of the Fed mobs, half of whom would also disappear. I could find no explanation for this. I moved the nodes to inside the fortification, past the Fed mobs, then published it and it worked fine. They run up, fight and die like normal. Not sure which was the fix, the publishing or the moving of the node.
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Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 347
# 2
10-17-2012, 12:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post
Bug? When I first built the map, I had the patrol nodes (again, just one node) stop just outside of the fortification. The Jem Hadar would run up but then disappear when they got into aggro range of the Fed mobs, half of whom would also disappear. I could find no explanation for this. I moved the nodes to inside the fortification, past the Fed mobs, then published it and it worked fine. They run up, fight and die like normal. Not sure which was the fix, the publishing or the moving of the node.
Great notes!

Question about this part I've quoted:
I'd love to know which was the actual fix. I SUSPECT it was the publishing that fixes it, because as you know, that's when pathing information is calculated.
Before publishing, NPCs are only guessing at stuff, and sometimes the fastest way to where they think they should be is like, under the world.

If it's fixed by publishing, that's great, it's working as it ought.
If it was caused by the patrol point placement, that doesn't sound ideal, and we may want to examine it.

Thanks!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 531
# 3
10-17-2012, 12:50 PM
Hey, can we turn this to a feedback discussion specific on the patrols?

If so, I want to do some testing with other behaviors along with it. Such as, a space group has the warp in idle so when they appear the warp in, then start patrolling so they don't keep warping.

I'll see if I can get it to work and post results.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,413
# 4
10-17-2012, 01:30 PM
I suppose I broke the cardinal rule of bug fixing, I put in two possible fixes at once so I don't know which one worked.

Edit: It appears that publishing is the fix. Just tested it in Foundry preview and even with the patrol node set inside the fortification, most of the Jem Hadar and Fed mobs still start despawning when they get in aggro range. On the published mission, it works flawlessly, except that for some reason my fed mobs are wandering around a little instead of standing where I put them.

In case anyone wants to check it out, its called Patrol Test, number is ST-TNTKUCJ84

I'd say yeah put your patrol feedback or observations here.

I've got another one Castmodean and I were talking about last night, this is just an observation/note for everyone's future reference.

If you put down and npc group and draw out a patrol path, then click and drag the individual contacts to different locations, it appears that each contact will travel the same angle, speed and distance that you specified, just starting from their own unique locations.

So, if you put down a ground NPC group and draw out a patrol path within room A, then pull one of the contacts out of the group and put them into room B, it will walk the same path within room B that the rest of the group is walking within room A.

Or so it appears, will need to do more testing.
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Last edited by drogyn1701; 10-17-2012 at 01:55 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 531
# 5
10-17-2012, 06:37 PM
Okay, published my own testing mission.

Found out I couldn't do that patrol after warping/beaming in trick (at least with the proper effects). It's due to the nature of the patrolling groups, which is okay.


Problems I ran into: Kind of the opposite of Drogyn's.

Ground
In preview mode, my patrol group would wander around fine enough along the path nodes on an outdoor map. Occasionally a few would stop, or one would jump 20 feet in the air as if avoiding an obstacle. (Which was hilarious since they were Mugatos). Figured publishing would fix that and they'd walk together as normal.

Published, the group takes five steps in a direction that isn't the patrol path and then stops. Tried republishing, changing the route, and so on. No luck. (Once, all NPCS and a Mission Contact simply vanished from the map after I ran off in a direction to see if the group had just sight aggroed me from beam in and therefore were not patrolling.)

Not sure what's causing this or if it is due to being an outdoor map with multiple ground height differences.

Mission Title: This Time, Will Be Different
ID: ST-TU57YUH2Q
Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 347
# 6
10-18-2012, 11:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by designationxr377 View Post
Not sure what's causing this or if it is due to being an outdoor map with multiple ground height differences.
Quoted -- this is the most likely suspect, and we're investigating it.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10,529
# 7
10-19-2012, 08:07 AM
Looks like it's time to update Seh'lat Barbecue.
HAIL HYDRA!
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
I can haz joystick!
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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,413
# 8
10-19-2012, 08:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post
If you put down and npc group and draw out a patrol path, then click and drag the individual contacts to different locations, it appears that each contact will travel the same angle, speed and distance that you specified, just starting from their own unique locations.

So, if you put down a ground NPC group and draw out a patrol path within room A, then pull one of the contacts out of the group and put them into room B, it will walk the same path within room B that the rest of the group is walking within room A.

Or so it appears, will need to do more testing.
After more testing, this doesn't seem to be the case on ground (my initial test was in space). When you break up a ground group they get very messed up.
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Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10,529
# 9
10-19-2012, 09:39 AM
Notes after initial testing runs in preview mode:
1: Seh'lat Barbecue somehow got unpublished
2: I had issues on the ground maps with flaky spawns.
2a: in the Transwarp control center map some of the enemy groups wouldn't appear.... sometimes. Sometimes they spawned normally.
2b: Vulcan ground has an issue with spawn points defaulting to several meters ABOVE the actual terrain.
2c: Vulcan also had an issue with my (only, please can I have a real away team?) Boff spawning inside a rock halfway across the map.
3: the Transwarp gateway control center map has weird graphical glitches. peices of the map get drawn in erratically, soemtimes a room will only be half drawn when I enter it.
3b: Also me and my away team would occasionally disappear. Not falling through the floor, just not being drawn... I've seen this on some non-foundry maps, usually it only happens in areas that are supposed to be unreachable, such as the rooftops in Hathon or the roof of the SFA commandant's office...
4: my Bekks would despawn at random on Vulcan.
4b: sometimes enemies would too, I even had one enemy group despawn and respawn while I was shooting at them.

Mission ID: ST-TO3SS5YDZ
HAIL HYDRA!
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.
Show Archon and Borticus how much you would like to see new Doff races!
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,413
# 10
10-19-2012, 02:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
Notes after initial testing runs in preview mode:
1: Seh'lat Barbecue somehow got unpublished
2: I had issues on the ground maps with flaky spawns.
2a: in the Transwarp control center map some of the enemy groups wouldn't appear.... sometimes. Sometimes they spawned normally.
2b: Vulcan ground has an issue with spawn points defaulting to several meters ABOVE the actual terrain.
2c: Vulcan also had an issue with my (only, please can I have a real away team?) Boff spawning inside a rock halfway across the map.
3: the Transwarp gateway control center map has weird graphical glitches. peices of the map get drawn in erratically, soemtimes a room will only be half drawn when I enter it.
3b: Also me and my away team would occasionally disappear. Not falling through the floor, just not being drawn... I've seen this on some non-foundry maps, usually it only happens in areas that are supposed to be unreachable, such as the rooftops in Hathon or the roof of the SFA commandant's office...
4: my Bekks would despawn at random on Vulcan.
4b: sometimes enemies would too, I even had one enemy group despawn and respawn while I was shooting at them.

Mission ID: ST-TO3SS5YDZ
I can tell you from experience that the zero on vulcan is set up at the top of the stairs. You have to use negative y values.
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