[3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by NoQ » 13 Oct 2012, 18:43

So, can I put a vote in to ditch the Dragon body templates that NullBot uses?
People will hate me for making the ai "less fun". I think it's rather an upstream balance issue (dragons should be made better) than an issue that needs to be fixed on an AI side.
would significantly reduce traffic jams in AI bases, and also reduce chances of a factory choking a base entrance.
There don't seem to be problem around factories; factories just produce one unit per minute, that quietly goes into a specific direction. The most problematic places are usually repair facilities, or narrow chokes in front of them (where retreating units come in one direction and repaired units come in another direction).

The rest is answered, i guess ...

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by Cyp » 13 Oct 2012, 18:49

NoQ wrote:
So, can I put a vote in to ditch the Dragon body templates that NullBot uses?
People will hate me for making the ai "less fun". I think it's rather an upstream balance issue (dragons should be made better) than an issue that needs to be fixed on an AI side. ...
A temporary workaround might be to just make a few "fun" dragon units, but mainly black bodies. But making red bodies less useless would probably be best.

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by NoQ » 13 Oct 2012, 19:03

a few
Good idea btw.

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by aubergine » 14 Oct 2012, 00:12

@NoQ in most of the skirmishes I have with nullbot, there are regularly tanks stuck around factories in the base. Perhaps it's a specific issue that arises when Nullbots opponent is turtling with a view to get some impressive carnage for screen captures? When they get stuck around factories, this also seems to cause more traffic jams out on the battlefield, with groups waiting for stragglers to reach them (not sure if that is actually what's happening, but it's what appears to be happening).
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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by NoQ » 14 Oct 2012, 06:25

I still don't see a good explaination for that. Are you sure it's not because there's a repair facility behind a factory? Might it be that you are playing only one map where it accidentally shows up due to some specific terrain layout?

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by aubergine » 19 Oct 2012, 05:04

I took some screenies of the traffic jam... (unfortunately the savegame doesn't load so was not much use)
NullBot-Factory-Jam.png
nullbot-jam-rainforest.png
nullbot-jam2-rainforest.png
There were repair centres further back in the base, but very few vehicles around them. It seems that the traffic jams happen on the outskirts of the base, usually near sloped terrain, particularly if a factory or other structure is to close to cliff edges at the side of the slope/ramp.
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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by aubergine » 19 Oct 2012, 05:06

Another possibility - what if the regrouping code is encountering this problem when there's a cliff nearby? Maybe there are units trying to get close to the centre of the group, but they can't because there's a cliff in the way + structures in the way too?
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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by zydonk » 19 Oct 2012, 12:06

Is this not an in/out jam? That can happen with narrow exits and loads of droids. Love dropping a laser shot on them.

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by Per » 19 Oct 2012, 12:47

I removed the go-back-to-repair code from Nexus AI a while back, because it led to traffic jams such as this.

I remember in Dune 2, they had carry-all VTOLs picking up damaged units and taking them back to repair...

I have some ideas on how to resolve trafic jams, such as making A* slightly prefer tiles on the right, and reducing the collision radius when droids get stuck, but need to find time to implement it.

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by cue » 19 Oct 2012, 13:49

WZ now has vehicle transports, could they work Dune 2 stile?

This could be fixed temporarily by allowing units to pass through each other.

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by cue » 19 Oct 2012, 14:24

Just thought I would help out with some units stuck pics.
wz2100-20121013_230101-DesertNew-T1.jpg
wz2100-20121013_230053-DesertNew-T1.jpg
wz2100-20121013_230043-DesertNew-T1.jpg
Anyone noticed how the mini-map view indicator is a little off?

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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by aubergine » 19 Oct 2012, 17:17

@Per - I tried experimenting with using transports for collecting damaged units and ran in to several problems:

* Sending a transport to where the damaged unit is, usually results in the transport getting destroyed or damaged (and how do you send transports for repair or recycling?)
* So the unit needs to retreat to a safer location = traffic jam can occur there instead
* It's difficult to embark a droid on a transport, because I don't know when a transport has landed (so I have to keep trying the embark routine)
* I don't know when a droid has successfully embarked/disembarked a transport
* I wasn't able to easily keep track of what units were on the transport, groups were a bit icky in this scenario

It would be useful if transport objects had their own array of droids that they contain (not a group, so the droids can retain their existing group even while on the transport). A .cargo[] property, containing droid objects. And if possible, eventEmbark(transport, droid), eventDisembark(transport, droid) etc.
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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by Andrie » 19 Oct 2012, 17:21

This is a big problem! Can it be fixed easily?
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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by aubergine » 19 Oct 2012, 22:58

I've tweaked nullbot to make it not send droids for repair and will report back tomorrow what effect that has on the traffic jams.
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Re: [3.1+] NullBot: an adaptive skirmish AI

Post by aubergine » 20 Oct 2012, 04:41

Turning off return-for-repair did make things better, but there were still some jams.

So AIs would probably do well to try and build repair stations outside their base, in the general direction of enemy start positions. An alternate would be to recycle old stations every so often and build new ones on outskirts of base.
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