Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 46
# 1 Hangar Pet Hull/AI?
11-18-2012, 01:45 PM
I've done some game development before. I just want to point out that an AI system for the hangar ships could be so much more than it is now.

What we have now is pretty bad. Using an Atrox with Advanced Stalker hangar pets, I can tell there are some imbalances. First off, no matter how stealthy a ship is, if it only has 2,777 hull, it will die if it kills anything. Part of this problem is because they just fly right into the object they are trying to shoot and just park there. They do not fly around shooting, they cling like flies. When all 12 hangar pets are sticking to a cube, the moment it dies and causes the initial explosion, there goes all ships. If they manage to be far away enough from that one, the following explosion does the job.

Another example. Enemy ships 11km away. In the hangar ship description it says it will seek out any living target within 15km. My question is, why will my ships ignore the enemy ships that are in range or close to being in range... and go fly 60km away to attack something that another player is fighting?

Half of my ships do nothing. I can spawn them and they sit there. Just to make sure, I click the Attack or Intercept action, but only half of the ships respond. If I go full impulse, sometimes they follow, sometimes they do not. It ends up being easier to re-summon the ships because they end up being so far away and they go so slowly to catch up.

Every one of the Advanced Stalker ships combined is 33,324 hull. That's all 12 ships. The KDF frigate ships have 31k+ hull each. Even Delta/Danube have 18k hull. It isn't just about the total hull though, it is about the ability to kill something without losing all hangar ships. Sure, a frigate might be on fire/damaged, but at least it can continue fighting. Destroy one probe and all the low hull hangar pets die.

What it should be like? Hangar pets should keep a distance. They should fly like every other ship. Sometimes yes, ships get close, but they don't just ram into you and sit there. Smaller hangar pets should break formation and fly away from an exploding ship. They are seriously outgunned to begin with, they should have some sort of survivability bonus. If hangar ships, specifically the smaller ones, could go 30 seconds without killing themselves, they would be somewhat useful. I don't know about everyone else, but I think it is only fair that the pets can keep up with the carrier's speed. Going from place to place and having to re-summon ships each time is just wrong.

I know it isn't just me. I see other people's hangar pets doing the same things. I also see the owners of those hangar pets get as frustrated as I do. Who cares if 12 Adv Stalkers has more dps than 4 KDF frigates, because it is not often you have 12. By the time you can launch the 2nd wing, the first is usually already dead.

Again, the ships can stay as fragile as they are -if- the AI made a bit more sense. Enemy carrier pets seem to fly around and shoot just fine. How come player controlled ones don't?
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,020
# 2
11-18-2012, 02:24 PM
In my experience with the Kar'fi, Hangar pets are enormous fun but can't be relied upon to be the main source of either damage or defence for your ship.

I've got both the Advanced S'kul Fighters and the Frigates and out of the two prefer the Frigates because they're more robust. But all of the issues you've mentioned are still present so I guess I use them as an extra 'irritant' rather than any great source of damage (plus they help distract mobs from me).

So I guess what I'm saying is that whilst the pets are nice (and I agree completely that they could do with better AI) when you're putting your carrier together, remember to build it as if it had no pets since if you can attack/defend without them then they'll just be that much more useful to you and annoying to your opposition.
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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,691
# 3
11-18-2012, 02:42 PM
when your in a team, the range range for hanger pets is actually 100 km thats why they go fly off to help a teammate that is in battle 60 km away, but when your solo its a mere 10.5 km....even though the wiki and the tooltips say 15 km

the AI does suck against the larger vessels but its good for the medium and small vessels.

also, the stalkers have low hull because they are FIGHTERS not shuttle craft that need hull. They are meant to be spammed to keep their numbers up. so if they go boom they are replaced quickly.

I actually haven't had any issues with fighters just sitting right on top of an enemy, but at the same time i haven't taken my Atrox out yet since S7 started, and I've been using advanced slavers on my KDF and they are always moving around, only stopping after the enemy has been completely destroyed.

heck, the BoP pets are doing really well also, unlike reports from others saying that they suck, i can sit in N'Vak tearing through borg with just the normal BoPs just fine.

and when your going full impulse, activate it, then stop the engines for about 2 seconds so that the command is sent to the pets and your fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
I find this line of replies sadly hilarious. We put a lot of work into the massive list of fixes/changes above, and ya'll are hung up on the ability to skip our content. =p
Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 46
# 4
11-18-2012, 03:44 PM
weylandjuarez, setting up a carrier and ignoring the pets might be alright for things like the Armitage Heavy Escort Carrier, where the ship is still an escort. However, the Atrox is pretty much meant to be a primary carrier, having the pets do the work. It maneuvers like a pig dragging a refrigerator through the mud. Any sort of forward facing weapons like DHC would rarely ever line up. Even broadsiding is hard to do with that thing. I've put the same weapons on a normal ship, the Mirror Sci Vessel thing... and even that kills faster and that was like 60k EC from the exchange, not 25$ from the zen shop.

cynder2012, it seems like the bigger ships aren't quite as bad, but I have the worst luck with my fighters. They glob together on the same section of a cube for example. They stay pressed against it, hopefully firing weapons, but I can't always tell. The moment the cube pops, I lose all my pets. If they would stay at range and fly around, it would be a lot nicer, both cosmetically and functionally. I know it isn't permanent, but the 60k+ Dilithium to get 2 sets of adv stalkers isn't so easy to replace. That's 4 days with 2 characters refining the limit, just to buy replacement ships and nothing else. I just feel like the main problem is the AI. Next time I'm on, I'll take a screenshot to show how stupid my fighters are <______<
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,489
# 5
11-18-2012, 04:22 PM
I suggested that pets be made immune to warp core breach, so that they don't go down with their target. Reactions were mostly negative.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,691
# 6
11-18-2012, 04:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by vyktori View Post
weylandjuarez, setting up a carrier and ignoring the pets might be alright for things like the Armitage Heavy Escort Carrier, where the ship is still an escort. However, the Atrox is pretty much meant to be a primary carrier, having the pets do the work. It maneuvers like a pig dragging a refrigerator through the mud. Any sort of forward facing weapons like DHC would rarely ever line up. Even broadsiding is hard to do with that thing. I've put the same weapons on a normal ship, the Mirror Sci Vessel thing... and even that kills faster and that was like 60k EC from the exchange, not 25$ from the zen shop.

cynder2012, it seems like the bigger ships aren't quite as bad, but I have the worst luck with my fighters. They glob together on the same section of a cube for example. They stay pressed against it, hopefully firing weapons, but I can't always tell. The moment the cube pops, I lose all my pets. If they would stay at range and fly around, it would be a lot nicer, both cosmetically and functionally. I know it isn't permanent, but the 60k+ Dilithium to get 2 sets of adv stalkers isn't so easy to replace. That's 4 days with 2 characters refining the limit, just to buy replacement ships and nothing else. I just feel like the main problem is the AI. Next time I'm on, I'll take a screenshot to show how stupid my fighters are <______<
yeah i see what you mean, it seems the AI for the KDF pets works just fine now, but the Feds are crap lol. i just ran my Atrox in one of the borg DSEs and they do like to cluster around the ships and yeah, now with all the nerfs to dilth it takes along time to get the dilth back if you got the advanced stalkers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by borticuscryptic View Post
I find this line of replies sadly hilarious. We put a lot of work into the massive list of fixes/changes above, and ya'll are hung up on the ability to skip our content. =p
Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 46
# 7
11-18-2012, 08:17 PM
Yeah, I can understand that the Federation wasn't meant to have carriers, but what's the point of nerfing it when it is a Zen ship. If anything there should be a benefit over the ones you get for free, just for hitting level 40 as KDF. The way I see it now, Fed's have weaker, less intelligent hangar pets and the Atrox itself is possibly the worst combat ship in the game. Even with threat control, you probably won't be doing enough damage to an enemy to pull it, so it being sort of tanky just doesn't cut it.

It seems like everything else in the game is sort of blending. KDF get Maco, Fed's get Honor Guard... Honestly I think that was a bad call. There are less KDF players and they removed one of the unique things that made KDF better in some way. How come they don't blend hangar pets? KDF gets the slavers to steal EC/Contraband, Power Siphon ships and Hull Repair drones, but the Fed's get what? Adv Stalkers? I would be completely fine with my weak, fragile, tiny little Advanced Stalkers... if they just didn't die from their own kills. I can understand a KDF hangar ship that just used ramming speed to explode into an enemy ship(Infact that would be pretty cool imo), but isn't the Federation supposed to care about life? Who would send wave after wave of little ships, knowing they would die if they killed something. It doesn't really make sense.

I can't imagine why Federation hangar pets are less intelligent than KDF ones, at least the little ones. Assuming the KDF and Fed AI scripts extend from the same base class, the only way they should be different in behavior is based on what weapons they are using. There should be no reason for them to cluster up on a specific point of an enemy ship and just sit there, unless the AI specifically told it to do that. The only way that would happen is if someone thought hey, that might be a good idea... or if its broken... I was really hoping in S7 we were going to get some better AI for the hangar ships.

Everything else in space combat is nicely done, assuming you accept the concept of an artificial horizon. The real options for hangar pets should be something like, Fall Back, Focus on a target, Split up and find your own target. I know that some of the AI buttons that come with carriers are supposed to do that, but they kind of don't get the job done too well. I regret buying an Atrox because of the hangar ship AI. I can deal with it being slow. I can deal with it not being able to turn at all. I can deal with it taking 10 seconds to get up to speed and take 10 seconds to stop... but if the main purpose of the ship is glitchy at best, it is a sad feeling.
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