Attack Behavior Visualizations

I mentioned a while back in this thread, Squashing Bug #666, on uploading pictures and possible videos. Now, I do have videos, however unedited, on the formations and targeting issues, but for this thread’s sake I’ll stick to mostly pictures with some descriptions when needed.

First up, and probably the most important, is the targeting issues among ships in the squad.

These are two different Hiigaran Interceptor squads set to evasive and defensive engagement stances. Each squad was given orders via band select to kill the walls of Kushan interceptors. The retargetting issue linked in a video in the link above is removed completely for these tests.

In the top left photo, you may notice the single targeting line. For simplicity sake, as I probably will be referencing these greatly, I will call them: TL or TLs. This squad, in case you cannot tell, has three targets. During the battle, the TL will flicker between the squad leaders and the individuals squad members targets. The top right photo is but a mere instant before the first image.

Just imagine the top photos alternating constantly during combat. That is essentially what the issue appears as in game visually (with the given edits as noted above). Evasive stance was utilized because of the greater ‘flickers’ of the TL, but the same will occur in the neutral and aggressive stances visually, though less often.

Moving on to the bottom two photos, this squad remained true to their individual targets. These pictures are during two back-to-back attack runs that took place just seconds apart. The TL captured did not alternate as no targets were killed. Had the retargeting issue not been eliminated, the three TL would be locked on different targets most likely.

Just a refresher on the “retargetting” issue mentioned, I quote this from the link above:

Do continue watching through the whole video if you want, as it is short. Give some thanks to @Cloaked on the forums for this!

I’ll add to this over time, as I have to recapture some other photos. The repair corvette’s targeting behavior suffers an interesting fate that I hope to put up soon.

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@joeKGBX, calling you as it’s certainly one of the most, if not the most problematic bug at the moment.
It will help you resolve this problem if there is ever a future (even distant) patch.

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After some quick and consistent tests, the drones are in! Or out… which ever you choose, I suppose.

The second photo here displays the frustration and uselessness of drone frigates due to the targeting behaviors currently in game. Part 1 of the proposed solution I gave (in the link up top) was influenced in part by this specific behavior. Onward we go…

This test consisted of four drone frigates set to attack a Vaygr carrier. The Vaygr ai has 60 Kushan scouts, of which none are targeted by the player. After the carrier was selected, the drones were deployed manually. These drones show TL and health bars due to editing of their .ship files. These edits changed two value to allow selection of the drones and display priority for the ui to avoid possible messes, thus allowing the selected units to give visual representation of their targets.

The photo in the first quadrant shows the in TL (targeting lines) of the drone frigate at the carrier with the drones deploying. After a second or two of delay time for the drones to deploy, an immediate response to target the fleet of scouts was issued automatically, as shown in the second image. I did not select the death of any scouts, to be clear.

Scouts are fast and do little damage, and the retargeting issue has been edited out. You can see things are not quite as they should be.

Moving on to the bottom left image, you see the drones have divided themselves among which scout to shoot. For the most part, it appears the drones of one parent frigate target the same target, however there are a few instances where some lone drones choose the other target, as shown by the TL second to the right. This split happened on several occasions, and would last for perhaps a few seconds as the drones would pick another target if the scout went too far out or was killed.

You can’t quite get a good representation of the actual drones firing form these photos, unfortunately. Similarly to the interceptor photos, most of these drones actually didn’t fired at anything. There were occasional flickers of TL with the most notable ones occurring after the initial scout is killed. The last image captures this, which explains why the drones were not firing for a majority of the time. Ideally, one would want each of these drones either completely obedient to the drone frigate’s target or completely independent from all other ships such that they could target any ship they want.

If you read through the proposed solution, Parts 1 and 4 will easily benefit the frigate here and make it functional.

The reason for Part 4: avoiding the massive drone gang-up on any one or two particular ships when the player band selects targets. If four squads of interceptors come against two drone frigates, the drones would be able to act as a mass counter at all angles against many, if not all, fighters by taking out a multitude of targets simultaneously with respect of the other drones, of course.

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