AI Tweaking, DMC Backup, and New Encounter Testing

Been another busy day, here in the wooded mountains of Canada. I put some serious time into testing and tweaking today, and I'm pretty excited about the results.

First of all, I decided to look into the recent trend of "farming" DMC guards for their loot. Players specced for combat can often wipe out DMC guards with impunity, and that ain't very realistic. So, I decided to give them a little edge:


"Gonna need some backup, here!"

From now on, when DMC guards are in trouble, they'll have a chance of calling for backup. And that backup comes in the form of a hidden DMC sniper. The sniper acts as a creature in battle, but is almost impossible to see or hit (because it's far away, hidden, and behind cover).

It basically hoses the player with gunfire, pinning them if they're lucky, and perforating them if they're not. In theory, the sniper fire only lasts a handful of turns, but it may be just what the guard needs to escape (or win).

And if nothing else, it presents a serious threat to the player's safety.

Furthermore, if the DMC guard successfully uses this move, the player becomes "wanted" by the DMC authorities. Plan on having some trouble in the city if that's the case :)

In addition, I added a couple new moves for all creatures:


When you can't run, you walk. When you can't walk, you crawl.

Now, when a creature is fallen, they can still move, albeit slowly. There wasn't a huge need for this, though a few have asked. However, the AI has a particularly hard time doing realistic things when fallen. Most of its preferred moves are not available (especially retreat).

Historically, in these situations, the AI would just choose a random move. And this could sometimes include talking or ceasefire. And when crippled and unable to stand up, talk and ceasefire are almost the only choices. Not logical when being butchered by an enemy.

These crawl moves ensure the AI has ways of acting that are not talking nor ceasefire when in such desperate situations.

Furthermore, I decided to make a small adjustment to the faction rating for advancing forward in combat. Previously, players could advance on DMC guards who asked to talk or ceasefire without penalty, over and over. This led to players developing a strategy of advancing to melee range, and then murdering the guards in a "surprise" attack.

However, in 0.985, this strategy will no longer work. Advancing too many times while the AI is offering talks or ceasefire will piss them off, switching them to hostile.

Outside of AI tweaks, I also found and fixed two bugs. The first was one that reported wounds as "null" in some cases, and the second was a bug that allowed reinforcements to break the population caps. I think this is why the melonheads could still flood the area despite the population limits.

And finally, I continued testing and development on the new factions encounter. By the end of the day, most of it seemed to be working as designed. There are just a few kinks remaining, which I hope to address Monday.

Whew! Quite the day! I'm glad it was productive, though. Perhaps we'll be on track for a new build next week? We'll see!

Have a good weekend, all!

Comments

#1 No offence,but the war club

No offence,but the war club looks "Familiar"...

Desura Digital Distribution

#2 Familiar as in you've seen it

Familiar as in you've seen it before? I based the item on Todd Bitler's recreation of an original Ojibwe club. He has quite a few pieces based on museum pieces or book illustrations, so hopefully this has some semblance to reality!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

#3 Booo... As if the DMC guards

Booo... As if the DMC guards are not tough enough to kill, this just makes them impossible to defend against. I've noticed during night time if you try to talk to them or offer them cease fire first, sometimes they will open fire on you. When trying to retreat from them during this type of behavior, they will just obliterate you with this new encounter.

#4 Well, you may be relieved to

Well, you may be relieved to hear that the DMC guards are not supposed to attack you unprovoked, and that the AI bug responsible is being fixed. Hopefully, this should mean peaceful characters get left alone, and those wishing to flirt with danger have a challenge.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

#5 ok I like that. There are

ok I like that. There are only times that DMC guards freak out and attack unprovoked, glad to see that is being taking care of and can see where this encounter will make it fun.

#6 The sniper option makes

The sniper option makes sense, but is it possible to restrict it to daylight encounters and/or increase chance of failure the further a guard is away from DMC?

#7 I don't think snipers would

I don't think snipers would be restricted to daylight-only. After all, night-vision augmentations are available at the DMC, so I'm sure the SkyCorps support units have even better optics :)

As for the range of use, I agree that it makes more sense to limit sniper support to the DMC area. I'm not sure how to apply such a limit, but I'll make note of it in case something occurs to me later.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

#8 ...and when you can't crawl,

...and when you can't crawl, you find someone to carry you.

#9 Quote:...and when you can't

Quote:
...and when you can't crawl, you find someone to carry you.

That's my man. Nice catch!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

#10 Sniper/DMC ranges: Could it

Sniper/DMC ranges:

Could it be done using similar attributes that governs the loot rate around DMC, but in reverse?

(I assume that is done either with
a)Individual hexes having a loot%, and the ones near DMC were reduced accordingly
or,
b)There was a "range from DMC" loot% reduction modifier
In both cases maybe there could be an additional "Sniper%" command that only DMC guards can access --- Or the character can access too after a quest, maybe? --- with the precentage inverted accordingly.)

Hmm, if that's possioble, then technically speaking all regional factions with a homebase can themselves have homebase-based abilities (like melonhead reinforcements, etc?)

Then again I have zero understanding about programming, so maybe this is just downright impossible. v(=3=)v

#11 is DMC Sleeping alone

is DMC Sleeping alone fixed?
cause i keep finding DMC Guards Sleeping by themselves and Being abandoned by their Team mates...
and i end up doing terrible things in their sleep! XD
Which reminds me,can you add in an Execution Attack when the Player is Near (Range 0) to a Sleeping Creature?
like Slit their throat or something?

Desura Digital Distribution

#12 @Mounrou, it's true that

@Mounrou, it's true that there is a DMC radius specified for loot purposes. The trick would be making that specific move "see" that value, or maybe the reverse (combat system recognize when that move is used over any of the other several dozen).

Probably the most formal way to solve it would be to make some battle moves a special category, like you're saying with the melonhead reinforcements. E.g. some moves have a chance that varies according to distance from Hex ___. Doing so, however, would mean adding new data fields, and I'm always hesitant to add more (since it makes the game more complex to maintain). Plus, solutions can sometimes present themselves later which use existing data fields and systems.

It's something I'll probably sit on for a while, and see if an opportunity presents itself.

@Kevinfu510, hm, the DMC guards shouldn't be sleeping at all. They despawn after 8 hours to avoid such things. Are they actually sleeping? Or did someone knock them out?

As for adding a "coup-de-grace" to sleeping targets, I sort of have this already. Melee attacks are super powerful if the target is unconscious. In my experience, it's usually only 1-2 hits on an unconscious target to kill it.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games