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Author Topic: {0.9.1a-RC8} AI making bad retreat decisions  (Read 354 times)

AskAboutJesus

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{0.9.1a-RC8} AI making bad retreat decisions
« on: November 11, 2020, 10:59:29 AM »

Alex,

Please examine these "AI makes a poor choice" scenarios:

  • When receiving a retreat order especially (but it also happens on just about any order requiring a significant reposition): AI is doing this bizarre "long U-turn" behavior that's making them swing far out into enemy territory (often getting destroyed) when they could have easily, immediately, begun retreating in the correct direction/path which was far safer.
  • AI is pretty bad about getting trapped against map boundaries because they are waiting too long to move in a better direction.
  • especially when executing a retreat-type order- even with fast ships (speed > 100)- ships are very often kissing enemy capital ships on the way by (passing very close, right in front of the main guns) when they could have easily passed by at a safe distance: there weren't encroaching ships that forced the choice of that extremely risky path.
  • Generally, AI is very bad about choosing an escape route when executing retreat-type orders: they just "go down" w/o regard for known enemy distribution even when they are visible on sensors.
  • AI retreating in good condition (flux/hull/low-no malfunction chance) isn't weighing "obstacle" ships in a sane way: if the escape path is obstructed by ships we could turn on the shield and drive right by no sweat - do that. Questions to answer: "What's their DPS vs my flux cap/dissipation?"; "How likely am I to get flanked considering the speed diff between me and attackers and how much shield coverage I have?"

Honestly, I wouldn't mind micromanaging all this...except as it stands AI is PRETTY LAX about immediately starting to move toward my order, command points are very limited, and the control experience is very unlike an RTS that demands kind of micro. Humbly, I hope that you'd fix these AI behaviors themselves rather than punting to player micro - so that enemy AI can behave in a more smart/slippery way too - which I welcome.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 11:01:27 AM by AskAboutJesus »
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Alex

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Re: {0.9.1a-RC8} AI making bad retreat decisions
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 12:01:16 PM »

(Moved this to Suggestions because AI things generally belong here unless they're *extremely* clear-cut.)

I'll keep an eye out!

In general I think some of this may be a question of expectations/interpretation. For example, #1 - they shouldn't do any kind of long U-turn unless it's to avoid nearby enemy ships. #4 - they aren't "bad" at it, rather, they don't do this at all unless enemy ships are relatively nearby! I don't think trying to plot out a retreat course to that degree is something the AI can/should do; it doesn't plan that far ahead in any other situations. #2, map boundaries are tricky in general.

If you're able to describe a vanilla simulator scenario where, say, #1 or #3 happens reliably, then I'd be happy to take a closer look! Generally speaking, for AI things, working off a verbal description just isn't enough, since so much is subject to interpretation and the AI could be doing any number of things for any number of reasons. But if I can see the behavior in-game, that changes things drastically and turns it into something I could actually address.
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AskAboutJesus

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Re: {0.9.1a-RC8} AI making bad retreat decisions
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2020, 12:00:38 PM »

This was a perfect example of case 1.

Pictured here: unit I'm pointing at has received a move command. Below and to the left is a unit not targeting this ship and severely overmatched in melee by one of my cruisers. In sequence, you can see how the indicated unit refuses to follow the clear/open path towards the rally point command, but persists in moving the exact opposite direction from the received order and winds up in a pressured situation against the map boundary- all because it did exactly the opposite of what I told it to do. I see this kind of stuff happen all the time. Though custom ships are pictured - they aren't implementing any kind of custom AI or ship systems, nor do I have the one AI overhaul mod from the mod index: the encroaching vessel (which was actually trying to retreat- it completed escape right after image 3) has burn drive, the indicated vessel (mine) has ammo feeder.

Note: the indicated "not listening" ship didn't have an officer, so this wasn't a personality issue either.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gD8bVgoNrW4kM7MMipS0jHiQzAiB_Z60?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: November 14, 2020, 12:07:40 PM by AskAboutJesus »
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Alex

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Re: {0.9.1a-RC8} AI making bad retreat decisions
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2020, 12:27:40 PM »

Ah - I appreciate the screenshots, but like I was saying, what I really need is a reproducible scenario. Even a video isn't usually sufficient to understand what's going on with any given AI behavior (though of course both that and screenshots can point to a reproducible scenario), but on their own, they're not, unfortunately, informative enough.

And the screenshots are of a different issue anyway, right? To do with order obedience, rather than retreat? That should be a bit improved in the next release, btw, though I can't say whether the changes would've helped in this exact case or not.
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AskAboutJesus

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Re: {0.9.1a-RC8} AI making bad retreat decisions
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2020, 06:07:32 AM »

"order obedience, rather than retreat"

Honestly and sincerely: I see this happen frequently with retreat (defend self or best speed) and rally/control/defend/assault... I was genuinely surprised to find it's not a known issue.

If I recorded video with that AI Flag Tool mod active would that help you? Given that I can't manually position units within the simulator and send you a save file of it, I'm not sure what else I could do.