Is this an alternative for MOVE ATTACK?;
As far as I’m aware, scripting wise the game has no real concept of a move attack. You’re either moving, or attacking. Moving to a place and fighting when you get there requires scripting to move, then fight when you get there, or fight when you encounter enemies, and it’s easy to have situations where you skirmish with an enemy group and then disengage, and now they don’t remember where they were supposed to go. You can avoid this by doing things like giving the enemy a blanket attack player command or similar measures, but this is clumsy.
What the piece I call “UnitAI” does is automate giving a group of ships a prioritized list of objectives to pursue. In the above example, the spawned frigates have the following orders
- Fight the other NPC team when encountered
- (‘red’ team only) Fight the player when encountered
- Go to a waypoint in the middle of the map
- Go to the location of the spawner opposite them.
So the NPC ships will fight each other and ignore the player if both options are available, they’ll fight each other, and if nobody is around to fight, they’ll follow their path. The list of behaviors the UnitAI knows is a lot longer than “Fight” and “Waypoint”, and I’m sure clever combinations I haven’t thought of exist. The map exists both to demo and stress-test the UnitAI, so I’ll be working on showing off more behaviors.
Do we need 3 carriers,more or less? Or is it just the example?;
Just example. The map in the video is the product of a lot of automation. You give a list of features and locations you want on a map, such as where the spawners go and what waypoints the ships they spawn follow, and a list of what ships the map should use for what role, and it’ll go from here.
There’s a simple example map with one carrier on each side, and there’s other arrangements I intend to try. I think the map-building code may even be capable of handling three or four way wars without exploding, which would be cool to at least try. This one, the ‘traditional’ map, just broadly mimics the layout of the classic DOTA map for recognizably.
Is the purpose an attempt to provide more natural behavior for the units?;
Also, is this a way to make the game more tactical (which is a good idea)?;
Covered in my first point mainly, but broadly yes. The UnitAI code grew out of code I wrote to make enemies in a campaign mission behave more intelligently and believably than I otherwise could. It turned out to be quite a project, but one I’m rather proud of.
" keeping mixed groups of ships together": you mean keeping SQUADS together?;
The Devs, as far as I remember, are remaking FORMATIONS to get a better behavior. If I got it right, maybe they will solve your problem (of keeping dif-units together).
Not squads in the engine sense. In the past I was using the Strike Group feature. If a ‘unit’ that the UnitAI is handling consists of some scouts and a heavy cruiser, unfortuntaly when they are moving across the map they will get spread out. This makes a lot of behaviors break down, as when your group is spread out over 10km and you ask “are there any hostile ships within 2km of this group?” then one way or another your answer isn’t going to be useful. Strike groups, while an imperfect system, did succeed in keeping things together for movement across the map. Unfortunately the script function to order ships into a strike group seems to have stopped working entirely, and I know of no alternative.