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 Post subject: Ai properties rundown
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Could someone please do it for me? Like, what are the differences between Static, Still, Snipe or Station? I'm finishing putting the robots into my mine but the AI properties aren't explained anywhere. The only ones that I understand the workings of are Normal and Drop Bombs :P

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 Post subject: Re: Ai properties rundown
PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:19 pm 
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Well, Still is probably the most basic after those two, since that means the robot guards a specific spot and will turn to attack you, but won't chase after you on its own. I would assume Static means no movement whatsoever, but I haven't tested it, and I'm not quite sure how Station is different from Still. It sounds like it would mean sticking to an area around where it starts, or returning to the original position after being pushed out of it.

Snipe, on the other hand, ramps up the tendency to move and the firing rate. The first example I can think of is the Smelters early in Level 17 of Counterstrike, since a normal Smelter only shoots three Phoenix shots at a time (or five on Insane), but as a kid, I remembered these ones sending out a volley of twenty or more before I could react with a missile. The funny thing, though, is that what's called "Snipe" in DLE is called "Follow" in RbotEdit and vice versa, and these two I haven't really learned to distinguish. But the one that's called "Follow" in DLE is probably the less extreme of the two, because I don't think it does as much to the firing rate. Somehow, I'll need to test this.

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 Post subject: Re: Ai properties rundown
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:34 am 
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NaphthaTurisas wrote:
Well, Still is probably the most basic after those two, since that means the robot guards a specific spot and will turn to attack you, but won't chase after you on its own. I would assume Static means no movement whatsoever, but I haven't tested it, and I'm not quite sure how Station is different from Still. It sounds like it would mean sticking to an area around where it starts, or returning to the original position after being pushed out of it.

Snipe, on the other hand, ramps up the tendency to move and the firing rate. The first example I can think of is the Smelters early in Level 17 of Counterstrike, since a normal Smelter only shoots three Phoenix shots at a time (or five on Insane), but as a kid, I remembered these ones sending out a volley of twenty or more before I could react with a missile. The funny thing, though, is that what's called "Snipe" in DLE is called "Follow" in RbotEdit and vice versa, and these two I haven't really learned to distinguish. But the one that's called "Follow" in DLE is probably the less extreme of the two, because I don't think it does as much to the firing rate. Somehow, I'll need to test this.


Ok, thanks for your input! I have tested some robots on Station, because I wanted an AI configuration that would make them hold their perimeter and not roam, but evade your shots at the same time. Robots with the Station AI did roam, however. Therefore I have no idea what the difference between Station and Normal is, after all. If you feel like testing all those configurations, please let me know what you find out. My level's practically complete and the only thing left to do is to calibrate the AI appropriately.

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 Post subject: Re: Ai properties rundown
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:31 am 
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If you want to test these the best robot to use for your test is the D2 Spider. He's very enthusiastic about following any instructions you might care to give him -- and he chews the scenery with them to hilarious levels. You would think a Descent bot couldn't chew the scenery but you'd be wrong.
I did some actual scientific-method-like experiments with these years ago. This is what I remember.

Station basically means roam. I'll explain how I think this relates to Normal in a second.

Static turns the AI off altogether. It was added in D2X-XL to allow designers to create things like crates out of robots (since Descent has no static objects). I believe it works in Rebirth as well though.

Snipe means "hit and run". The smelters on level 19 would be a better example than level 17, because on level 17 some of them are still normal. Some robots are better at this than others, the best at it can get incredibly frustrating if you give them the right sort of space. If you give it to a melee robot it will act like a gunned robot to the point of not attacking you -- just getting in your face and then running away. The exception is Thief, he needs to be set to Snipe in order to work properly.

Get Behind is exactly what it says, it's mostly given to melee bots.

Follow seems to be a version of Snipe that also works properly with melee bots, or a mix between snipe and get behind. It's mostly given to melee bots and cloaked bots.

Normal isn't really one of these modes, it seems to be a set of instructions on how to switch between the modes and it varies according to the robot. For example, Station AI is more and more likely to be chosen over Still the higher the difficulty level, to the point where you're playing on Ace and Insane and almost all the robots will roam the mine. If you go down to hotshot or lower you'll still see a lot of robots sticking to where they're originally placed. Bigger bots like fusion hulks or red fatty junior; or more powerful ones like Boarshed are less likely to start roaming. And there's other bots that don't tend to want to roam as well.
The rest of the modes probably are only used by normal AI in combat and you wouldn't notice them so much unless you're fighting a bunch of bots at once. Some of them like snipe don't seem to get selected by normal AI at all, except in the case of a few vertigo bots (SPIKE will switch to snipe if you attack him with gauss or helix and he has no friends to back him up -- this is how I first came up with this hypothesis).

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 Post subject: Re: Ai properties rundown
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Thanks a lot, that was a huge help. I'll complete the AI tweaks now.

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 Post subject: Re: Ai properties rundown
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:33 am 
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Kruel also got away with using Still for background objects in Level 1 and 3 of Konflikt at Karon, simply by removing all gunpoints from the models and setting all motion parameters to zero. Use of ambient water and lava as sound effects also made the objects seem silent, so Kruel put in various explosive mines in Level 3 and what looked like a toilet in Level 1. :lol:


Oddly enough, I don't think I've ever seen Follow applied to melee bots. Just the IT Droid and ITSC by default and robots like the Angler (Light Vulcan/Concussion), Terapinner (Gauss) and Komodo (Homing) in TEW. I know there's also a "Pursuit" parameter which is instead entered as a number in RBotEdit, and this seems to make robots more likely to deviate from a particular path. I'm guessing that in Normal AI, they'll be quicker to adopt Follow- or Snipe-like qualities the higher this number is.

In-game, I believe the highest Pursuit number is around 18 or 20, but the mercenary ships in The Apocalyptic Factor have a Pursuit number of 127.

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 Post subject: Re: Ai properties rundown
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:44 pm 
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There might be special handling that makes robots with melee weapons charge you - could be a flag rather than a discrete AI mode.

Back before "Static" existed, "Still" was the best you'd get, but the objects would still make noises, at least if it was possible for them to "see" you - and unless they were the mini-reactor still had Newtonian reactions to being shot. In some situations that was enough though.


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