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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Raiding for Fun and Profit (11/27/19)

Author Topic: (Mod Support) AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often  (Read 516 times)

Morrokain

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As I have been playtesting Archean Order with .9.1a of Starsector, I noticed something different in how the AI combats fighters over prior updates.

They seem to almost completely ignore the "STRIKE,USE_VS_FRIGATES" or simply "STRIKE" AI tags now, unless they are within range of another enemy ship.

I can give you some videos if you like, but the AI uses Atropos torpedoes and ballistic strike weapons designed with very limited ammo storage against inconsequential fighters whenever other ships aren't present. This often locks them out of those weapons when the actual fight commences, and its frustrating.

If there is time in the future, I would really appreciate an AI tag that explicitly prevents those weapons from being used on fighters, literally ever. Never ever, ever.

Reasoning: There is never a good situation where that is viable in my mod since fighters are so flimsy and replaceable. To make matters worse, the Tachyon Lance is a "kill shot super weapon" with a 60 second cooldown. It is wasted on fighters more often than not even with the "STRIKE,USE_VS_FRIGATES" tag. I'm actually not really sure why on that one, since other ships are actually very much in range of 10,000 at the time. Yet still, it seems to prefer fighters...

Or, it will fire, then suddenly re-target to a fighter randomly from the ship it started its burst on.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 08:31:01 AM by Morrokain »
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TaLaR

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Re: AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2019, 12:07:17 PM »

Well, vanilla Tachyon Lance is actually a very good tool against fighters, so this part is definitely your mod's problem.
If anything, I'd say AI doesn't use heavy weapons enough against fighters - Plasma Cannon is perfect for deleting swarms of fighters or squall missile streams (which are very difficult to handle for any dedicated PD) due to pass-through, yet AI doesn't use it like this.
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Megas

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Re: AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2019, 12:46:06 PM »

I frequently aim my Paragon's four Tachyon Lances to zap fighters, especially bomber wings from enemy Astral.

Firing MIRVs at fighters is dumb, though.
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Alex

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Re: AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2019, 12:57:05 PM »

I can give you some videos if you like, but the AI uses Atropos torpedoes ... against inconsequential fighters whenever other ships aren't present.

Is this something that you can reproduce in vanilla? I have a feeling it might be mod-related in some way. The one way I can think it might happen is if fighters are the only thing *deployed* (not just visible), but that's an unlikely/fringe scenario.
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Schwartz

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Re: AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2019, 06:19:10 AM »

Bombers never used Atropos against enemy fighters in my playthrough.

It hit fighters and debris sometimes, but the target was always a ship.
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Morrokain

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Re: AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2019, 08:27:54 AM »

Is this something that you can reproduce in vanilla? I have a feeling it might be mod-related in some way. The one way I can think it might happen is if fighters are the only thing *deployed* (not just visible), but that's an unlikely/fringe scenario.

Yeah they aren't the only things deployed they are part of most ships cruiser and above, anything else you can think of that could cause this? It was mostly during the simulator tests that I see this. It is also more prevalent on station load outs, so maybe targeting works differently for modules.

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As far as Vanilla related experiences, this wasn't really a Vanilla suggestion. :) It was more of a mod support suggestion so sorry if I did not get that across I'll put something in the title indicating it as such. (Not sure where those would go other than here so sorry if this is the inappropriate place for such things).

I'm sure the current AI works great for Vanilla in the majority of scenarios, but its pretty terrible for my mod and if there is anything I can do about it I want to try. Hence the suggestion for a new tag that would perform that function and provide that kind of behavior for Vanilla if it ever proved necessary. I'm not suggesting changing the current tag though, especially if it works well as is. However, part of the reason this would impact more than my mod is that super weapons which operate off of long cooldowns are currently pretty impossible to properly implement with this behavior in place. Even in Vanilla, wasting a minute cooldown weapon on a fighter would be frustrating.

Most strike weapons in my mod are the primary sources of flux, other than damage, so its like using 10% of your shields and a large portion of your potential damage impulse pre-battle to overkill something that will be completely replaced in ~10 seconds.

Strike weapons in Vanilla are far less limiting and can play a more dual-oriented role against fighters, so it makes sense for them to default to fighters when nothing else is present- especially since fighters are also much stronger in Vanilla and I'm guessing for larger groups pd would not be enough on its own.

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Bombers never used Atropos against enemy fighters in my playthrough.

It hit fighters and debris sometimes, but the target was always a ship.

I meant ships equipped with those weapons not bombers, bombers I don't seem to notice having that behavior as far as I can tell.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 08:29:38 AM by Morrokain »
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Alex

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Re: AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2019, 08:38:53 AM »

Ah, gotcha. As far as station modules firing, they usually have the "missile_reload" hullmod, which makes them always "panic fire", essentially. So if you want to avoid this, you could have a copy of the missile reload hullmod with a different ID, and still have missile weapons be reloaded without causing all weapons to fire at anything and everything. (Yes, the missile_reload hullmod causing this is a total hack.)

I suspect this is the entirety of the issue you're seeing, since I'm not seeing a Tachyon Lance with STRIKE or STRIKE,USE_VS_FRIGATES fire at fighters at all when mounted on a Paragon.
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Morrokain

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Re: AI uses strike weapons against fighters far too often
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2019, 08:51:57 AM »

Ah, gotcha. As far as station modules firing, they usually have the "missile_reload" hullmod, which makes them always "panic fire", essentially. So if you want to avoid this, you could have a copy of the missile reload hullmod with a different ID, and still have missile weapons be reloaded without causing all weapons to fire at anything and everything. (Yes, the missile_reload hullmod causing this is a total hack.)

I suspect this is the entirety of the issue you're seeing, since I'm not seeing a Tachyon Lance with STRIKE or STRIKE,USE_VS_FRIGATES fire at fighters at all when mounted on a Paragon.

Oh! Yes that may indeed be a big part of it then. I'll investigate overriding that and see if I notice it less, thanks. :)

 
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