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Author Topic: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons  (Read 12528 times)

Offline Colamann

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Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« on: April 23, 2009, 12:36:58 am »
Hey guys!

There are two things I'd like in the game, so I'd like to know if there's a chance of them being realized.

First thing: This came up in some thread in the tactics forum, but AFAIK there was no comment on this by the D-team. Will civilians in future releases run away from the aliens, instead of walking around randomly? That would make the whole situation feel a lot more like an emergency and add a sense of urgence. As well as a sense of realism :D

And now for something completely different: Are there gonna be stun gas grenades for the grenade launcher, or some other ranged stun weapon? The gas grenade for the laucher should be easy to realize, unless ranged stun weapons are left out on purpose due to balancing reasons.

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 12:52:26 am »
I'm of two minds about civilians running away. On one hand it makes sense for them to do so, but on the other hand it would effectively mean that the civilians would migrate to the edges of the map every time, and that's bad.

Stun gas ammo for the launcher isn't planned... It doesn't really fit the weapon, nor the spirit of PHALANX' combat operations. I feel gearing the equipment towards stunning too much sends the wrong message.

odie

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 05:15:50 am »
I'm of two minds about civilians running away. On one hand it makes sense for them to do so, but on the other hand it would effectively mean that the civilians would migrate to the edges of the map every time, and that's bad.

Hi BTAxis and Colamann,

I agree that running away for civi = most logical thing to do.

Question is why is running to edge of maps bad??
Maybe AI could set the civi to run towards the firebird instead if there is a valid reason for line above?

Stun gas ammo for the launcher isn't planned... It doesn't really fit the weapon, nor the spirit of PHALANX' combat operations. I feel gearing the equipment towards stunning too much sends the wrong message.
I was wondering abt the stunning aspect..... afterall, should we not stun as mani enemies as possible so as to 'interrogate' em? lol.

I guess with heavier armors coming up for aliens, this might put restrictions and hesitations into mani players, trying to stun onli after punching a round or 2 into the alien before stunning?
Afterall, we do want them alive, dun we? Or are we aiming to kill em all w/o understanding the plans of these evilings?

Offline geever

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 04:01:52 pm »
We have an unfinished LUA based AI system in our pocket. Once pathfinding and tracing could be fixed and speeded up (maybe threaded) we can think about finish it. If it's ready anyone with some LUA skills will be able to script the civilian ai for himself. Not in the near future though.

-geever

scamp

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 04:07:38 pm »
The most logical thing a civilian would do in the real world would be to run away from the aliens and towards their defense ( not the edge of the map but your squad members ). They would feel 'safe' behind your squad members. But ofcourse civilians would panic and do irrational things, perhaps some would carry small firearms or knives and try and kill the aliens themselves ( the 'hero type' civilian ) or they would kill themselves rather than being eaten alive ( the 'suicide type' civilian ) or perhaps they would just freeze and do nothing ( the 'terrorized' civilian ). Plenty of things that civilians can do. They could ( should really ) be seen as a third army ( aliens / civilians / squad ).
Also some civilians will run towards churches / hospitals rather than edges of maps.

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2009, 04:39:16 pm »
Question is why is running to edge of maps bad??
Maybe AI could set the civi to run towards the firebird instead if there is a valid reason for line above?

I knew someone would be suggesting that. The thing is that it fixes the symptoms while not addressing the basic problem that civilians running away is a fundamentally flawed concept. It's not good to try to work around such a flaw, because it adds complexity, which in turn might throw up new sub-problems requiring further fixes, all of which serve to further complicate. It's better to just come up with something else, something that will simply work.

As for the question of why civilians running to the edges of the map is bad, that's because the middle of the map won't be used anymore. The civilians run to the edges and the aliens follow the civilians. That means battles would boil down to "cleaning the edges", and that is bad.

Quote
Afterall, we do want them alive, dun we? Or are we aiming to kill em all w/o understanding the plans of these evilings?

We do want live specimens, and in quantity too, but we don't want them ALL alive. Not by a long shot! The aliens are trying to kill us, and we're killing them right back. That, in a nutshell, is what the game is about. Capturing alive is part of the game too, but it is not the most important part.

The most logical thing a civilian would do in the real world would be to run away from the aliens and towards their defense ( not the edge of the map but your squad members ). They would feel 'safe' behind your squad members. But ofcourse civilians would panic and do irrational things, perhaps some would carry small firearms or knives and try and kill the aliens themselves ( the 'hero type' civilian ) or they would kill themselves rather than being eaten alive ( the 'suicide type' civilian ) or perhaps they would just freeze and do nothing ( the 'terrorized' civilian ). Plenty of things that civilians can do. They could ( should really ) be seen as a third army ( aliens / civilians / squad ).
Also some civilians will run towards churches / hospitals rather than edges of maps.

This has been said many times before. I'm set against civilians running towards the soldiers because this would be EASY. All you'd need to do is set up a defensive line for the civilians to cross, and wait until the aliens come in range. That's not UFO:AI as I want it to play out.

Running towards special locations is possible, but pointless as the aliens aren't going to discriminate (they won't stay out of churches).

Civilians shooting back is a possibility, but civilians killing aliens is not. If a civilian could kill an alien, PHALANX would have no reason to exist.

Offline Borsti67

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 07:28:27 pm »
As for the question of why civilians running to the edges of the map is bad, that's because the middle of the map won't be used anymore. The civilians run to the edges and the aliens follow the civilians.
Is this necessarily so? I would think of a behaviour like the ghosts in PacMan (u remember? :D). Normally, they'd render you chanceless. But by chance, sometimes they took the wrong corner and you got out of trouble...
Brought forward to the civilians: When they see an alien and aren't "frozen by shock", they turn around and run away (whichever direction this may be), perhaps even in some zig-zag-course, until they can't come forth or the alien gets out of sight.
Especially in the latter case, the civ will again start moving randomly (may be not THAT realistic, but a limited map isn't, too).
So may be the next time the alien will arrive from another side, forcing him to flee - eventually to where he first came from...

Just a few thougts about the problem, not a solution. I agree with you, this should be handled as one step, not in many "workarounds"!

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009, 09:12:25 pm »
On a more global note, I don't consider "it's realistic" a valid argument for a game mechanic that hurts the game.

Offline Borsti67

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 09:36:02 pm »
*grin*
Sometimes I really enjoy your comments, BTAxis. Short and sweet.

Of course you're right. Anyway, we're trying to keep as realistic as possible WITHOUT breaking the game, aren't we? ;)

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2009, 09:42:11 pm »
Absolutely.

s300pmu1

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2009, 10:13:14 pm »
it would effectively mean that the civilians would migrate to the edges of the map every time, and that's bad.

Not necessarily. If i remember correctly, aliens do avoid PHALANX guys and try to stay our of their fire zones. They, however, do this without migrating to map edges. What would make that impossible for civilians?

The logical thing would be to make civilians stay avay from aliens in their LOS within a certain distance. That is, they run, for as much as their own civvy TUs allow, avoiding being in aliens' LOSs. If they have a PHALANX vehicle in their sight, they run towards it, as well, but only if so. And certainly not even half the civvies on map would have a firebird in their LOS at the same time, would they?

As for gas grenades, from the logical point of view, I do find their absence stupid, considering that similar weapons do exist IRL. At least a taser would be helpful, because if a game gets all unrealistic, it does begin to suck, balance or no balance. You could have all guys swordfighting with no gunpowder and energy weapons just the same, for the sake of some illusionary balance, and turn the game into some idiotic world of warcraft clone. No offence to both balancemongers and WOW lovers intended.

A logical thing would be to make distance stun weapons less accurate and more costly, perhaps, even, allow them to be inconsistent in effect - sometimes stun, sometimes ineffective even on hit, sometimes - killing the target instead of stunning. This is, actually, how non-lethal weapons do behave IRL. I do understand that doing as I suggest would mean some additional work, but after all, if you said A, gotta say B or just plain admit you're not up to the task.

Repeat, no offence intended.

odie

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2009, 04:34:12 am »
I knew someone would be suggesting that. The thing is that it fixes the symptoms while not addressing the basic problem that civilians running away is a fundamentally flawed concept. It's not good to try to work around such a flaw, because it adds complexity, which in turn might throw up new sub-problems requiring further fixes, all of which serve to further complicate. It's better to just come up with something else, something that will simply work.

As for the question of why civilians running to the edges of the map is bad, that's because the middle of the map won't be used anymore. The civilians run to the edges and the aliens follow the civilians. That means battles would boil down to "cleaning the edges", and that is bad.
Yupz, i agree with this point of 'cleaning the edges'. So the current AI for civi is simply to run to edge?

Can i suggest that they simply be adopting 2.2.1 style - run opp direction of aliens, towards PHALANX members if possible, staying out of LOS of aliens. 3 simple concepts.

If we dun like running away concept, we can have simply a hide and seek stuff, simply staying out of LOS of aliens.

Unless of course we are thinking of planning to arm these civi, then KILL those aliens-bas@#&*
Then the way i propose is:
1) Arm those civi with basic wpns (like pistols and max M16 like wpns aka assault rifles).
2) AI - Tactical guerilla style shoot those bas*&*s
3) Stay out of Alien LOS.

What do u think BT? :P


We do want live specimens, and in quantity too, but we don't want them ALL alive. Not by a long shot! The aliens are trying to kill us, and we're killing them right back. That, in a nutshell, is what the game is about. Capturing alive is part of the game too, but it is not the most important part.

This has been said many times before. I'm set against civilians running towards the soldiers because this would be EASY. All you'd need to do is set up a defensive line for the civilians to cross, and wait until the aliens come in range. That's not UFO:AI as I want it to play out.

Running towards special locations is possible, but pointless as the aliens aren't going to discriminate (they won't stay out of churches).

Civilians shooting back is a possibility, but civilians killing aliens is not. If a civilian could kill an alien, PHALANX would have no reason to exist.
[/quote]

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2009, 11:00:37 am »
Unless of course we are thinking of planning to arm these civi, then KILL those aliens-bas@#&*
Then the way i propose is:
1) Arm those civi with basic wpns (like pistols and max M16 like wpns aka assault rifles).
2) AI - Tactical guerilla style shoot those bas*&*s
3) Stay out of Alien LOS.

This is pretty much how I think it should happen, though only the occasional civilian would be armed (this isn't the wild West), and civilians should never be able to kill an alien that isn't severely weakened.

odie

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2009, 11:34:08 am »
Then the way i propose is:
1) Arm those civi with basic wpns (like pistols and max M16 like wpns aka assault rifles).
2) AI - Tactical guerilla style shoot those bas*&*s
3) Stay out of Alien LOS.

This is pretty much how I think it should happen, though only the occasional civilian would be armed (this isn't the wild West), and civilians should never be able to kill an alien that isn't severely weakened.

Ahhhhhh..... now its making sense. So in other words we should get some civilians to help us gun stuff...

PS: Perhaps u can consider this: With aliens coming down on us fast and furious, all citizens are now encouraged to keep some form of armoury in their home - resulting in all civi being able to get their hands on guns (and basic guns onli, mind us). :P

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Civilian AI and ranged stun weapons
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2009, 11:42:31 am »
That doesn't make much sense... Governments would never encourage its citizenry to bear arms. Even in America, it's only the "right" to bear arms.