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    Thread: My wing's AI problems - please help

    1. #1
      TXU New Member thrustmasterd's Avatar
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      Default My wing's AI problems - please help

      Hello to all,

      I've started playing as a Terran Deffender and got up to the mission "Argon Patrol - Talk to Cmdr. Mark Johnson in Heretic's End". I have disabled the active guidance and decided to go look for "abandoned ships". I have docked at a few stations by using an "autopilot" and my ships, which were assigned to the "Blue" wing were given orders "Follow me". After docking to a few stations by using an autopilot and SETA , some of my ship crashed and i had to reload the game.
      I got really far out in the galaxy and decided to explore space without my ships and ordered them to "Dock at Argon Trade Station". I have never received a message, but one of the ships "did not make it". Now, I only had 2 ships left in the wing. I suppose someone attacked my ships, but why did not I receive a message that they were under attack? I did not receive any messages that my ship disapperead either. I would have never known that my ship vanished if i did not press "R" to bring up "my property". Moreover, my second ship in the wing was badly damaged. Do ships that I send out send me any kind of messages? I am not talking about "notifly me if order is complete". What i mean is if they are under attack or crashed. My ship probably crashed or was shot down.

      Once 2 of my ships were docked at Agron Station, I equipped them with all the top software that are listed in the handbook. When I opened "My property" and go to "Wings" and "Wing Command Console", I did not see any new orders that should have been there, because I installed new software. When I scrolled to an individual's ship's command console, I could see new commands including "TRADE". Why can't I use the Trade commands for the wing and only for an individual ship within the wing? It is not just the "Trade" command. I had more options for an individual ship VS Command wing for every other type of order like "Navigation" and "Combat", and "Special" . If there is nothing can be done about it, this annoyance only adds to more unnecessary micromanagement.

      My other queston is the "TRADE" Command. My ships were equipped with Best Buys and Sells locators. Somehow, when they were docked at The Argon Station" they could not "see" how much goods cost in the same sector. Why is that? Do I need to put a satellite in every sector? Why can't a ship equipped with the proper software relay and send me the price information when i am in a different sector. Logically speaking, If the ship can communicate with me and receive orders and send me a message "when order is completed", then it should be able to send me info about the prices when equipped with Best Buys and Best Sells Locators.

      Moreover, my ships in my wing have actual pilots in them. What is the difference between a ship with a pilot and without a pilot? Like an abandoned ship that I captured?
      Where do i find pilots and what do i need them for?

      Yet, another question - Can my ships do "Auto Trade"? What is "Collect Warez" command?

      My last question is , what if I sell those 3 Raptor Ships, would I still be able to complete The Terran Plot? The Mission I am at now is Argon Patrol - Talk to Cmdr. Mark Johnson in Heretic's End. ? I want to sell all those 3 ships and get almost 1.5 Million credits.

      I really like the game and want to give it a try. But the serious AI problems might force me to stop playing. I only have 3 ships in my wing and one of them already crashed or got shot down (most likely crashed" on the way to a different sector. Not to mention that ships were constantly crashing while I was docking at the station and was using SETA. I have to reload the game and replay hours of gameplay because I do not want to loose a "500000 K" ship.
      I can't even imagine what kind of AI problems will arise when i build a fleet of 100+ ships or more. Will my ships start disappearing without me even knowing it? And by disappearing I do not mean that they will get shot down, I mean, that they will crash into something. I cant even imagine how frustrating it will be! Working hours and hours doing trades and then "bang" , your 1 million credit ship just disappered and you did not even get a message!

      Do you remember playing "Starfox" for SNES? When that little froggie was asking for help, I thought to myself " that is cool"! It really brought life to a game and when my wingman froggie got shot down , I felt really bad. I think that Starfox was a great space shooting game and the best space trading game was "Elite" for ZX Spectrum. Nowdays, games do not suck you in like they used to. They make this "immense scope", but yet fail to fix something as simple as Friendly ship's AI, which is a deal breaker.

      Thank you very much for your support!

      Last edited by thrustmasterd; 18-05-2009 at 09:10 PM.

    2. #2
      Moderator Kozaki's Avatar
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      Default

      At first: I am not sure that I answered to all of your question. To read such a long post without translating it slowly is really hard for me. If I understand something wrong you now why

      It is absolutely normal that faster ship make earlier crashs if you use SETA. Your PC have to do more calculations in faster time... Maybe help this thread about wingman.

      The "Trade" commands you can only used at ships with a homebase. The Best Buys and Sells locators are only for the player. A.I. ships don't need them to trade. If you have these software in your cargo you can use it about advanced satelties in different sectors.

      Iirc you need a freight scanner to see the exactly price at every station.

      To sell your ships, let them dock at a shipyard. If you trade with it you see the option to sell docked ships.




    3. #3
      Spammy the (spacefl)Eye in the sky... stemardue's Avatar
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      About losing ships without warnings: rapiers are really weak ships with weak shields. A single burst from a xenon patrol can obliterate them, so no time for warnings if they got too close to a Xenon P... When your ships are not on patrol duty they are not actively targeting enemies, but only respond to fire if shoot at (and if still in one piece).

      Don't worry about that for bigger and better shielded ships though... Unless you send one deep in xenon sectors or close to khaak destroyers you should receive enough warnings to react in time.

      About issuing commands to wings... i guess that is possible only for proper wings commands, i.e. follow, protect, attack and such. Issuing a trade command to a wing does not make much sense imo.

      Last, afaik crash losses happen only in sector, since oos collision detection is not used. When in sector with a large fleet or a wing, then better avoid SETA, especially if you have many small and fast ships on follow and when you are closing to a station for docking.

      PS i am sure 'Elite' on the good old spectrum did not have to manage hundreds of vessels in real time

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    4. #4
      TXU New Member thrustmasterd's Avatar
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      Thank you gentlemen for your responses. However, I really would like to know how bad is the AI in this game. I do use SETA when docking, because the game does not allow saving in space. My biggest question is when I build up my empire and fleets, would I be loosing my ships because of AI errors? Will my ships be constantly colliding with each other? Yes, Elite did not calculate hundreds of ship in real time, but the game was running on 3.5 Mhz processor. In Terran Conflict, I have one ship following me crash into the station, I do not think that is a well written code at all.


    5. #5
      Spammy the (spacefl)Eye in the sky... stemardue's Avatar
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      Two small hints:

      Docking computer: it's really handy to have one on (every one of) your piloted ships. Pretty useless for AI ships, but 'priceless' for the player. Simply targeting a station or a dockable ship and pressing shift-D below 5km from it, will instantly dock your ship at the target. It's definitely a must have.

      Salvage insurance: (not quite sure about the right name...) sold at Goners stations and Terracorp HQ. Essential to avoid nervous wrecks, headaches, possible causes of divorce. Allow the player to save the game in space, without the need to dock. I always carry at least 5 of these on board.

      About SETA again. The device accelerates time for the whole universe, so even your enemies are affected. In other words that won't help to escape from your hunters. Having SETA pushed over 600% increases the possibilities of incidents.

      A final word about crashes and AI. In all my gaming 'career' I have lost no more than 4-5 ships to odd AI maneuvres. All of those were small fighters or freighters. Never had major incidents affecting bigger (and slower) ships. One thing you do want to avoid is station collision while undocking... just be sure to move your throttle command to minimum before undocking from a station if you do that manually. As a good alternative, while still docked, issue any navigation order to your ship (even 'idle' works ok) to have it undock automatically.

      In any case if you take the good habit of saving after any achievement and before hazardous episodes, you will definitely enjoy the game even better.

      HTH

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    6. #6
      TXU New Member thrustmasterd's Avatar
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      Default Thank you very much!

      Thank you very much for all the responses. Your information was extremely helpful! I am getting very addicted to this game. The more I play and read , the more I learn. The more I learn, the more fun I have and getting sucked into this beautiful, immense word! Thank you very much again for all your posts!


    7. #7
      Elder Administrator Aragon Speed's Avatar
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      Just a small comment about the AI. Around here it has been nicknamed the 'Auto pillock'. That should answer all your questions about it.


    8. #8
      TXU New Member swordspider's Avatar
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      Although most posters seem to say they have no trouble sending ships from one place to another on AI, I've found that (in my experience) if you send a catured ship to a destination more than 8-10 sectors away (this applies mainly to fighters and transports) that they have about a 50% chance of making it. If they go through an enemy sector on the way (Pirate/Xenon/Yaki/Kha) they have about a 0-10% chance to make it. I play the Aldrin expansion with no mods in place. Moral of the story- if you 'care' about your captured ship you should probably have it follow you so that you basically can 'escort' it to the sector you want it at. If you don't care, send it on and maybe it will make it.


    9. #9
      Spammy the (spacefl)Eye in the sky... stemardue's Avatar
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      That is 'oh so true!', Swordspider.

      Especially considering that most of the times those ships you send around are without shields, weapons and possibly badly damaged (thus sloooow).

      If you are on a capping spree, a good thing to do is having a carrier around. Send all your capped preys to the carrier (that you diligently jumped into sector), then bring the babies home safely

      In any case I wouldn't order a weak ship to fly through more than 1-2 sectors... you said 8-10 but having any ship on AI to survive that distance is really a question of pretty good luck

      Last edited by stemardue; 21-05-2009 at 02:55 PM.
      ♪♫♫♪♪
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