Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.96a is out! (05/05/23); Blog post: Colony Crises (11/24/23)

Pages: [1] 2 3

Author Topic: Why don't my ships follow orders ?  (Read 4834 times)

Ericus

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« on: July 28, 2021, 11:48:23 PM »

I had a battle recently, and expressly ordered a Falcon Cruiser to engage another ship.
Alas, the order, repeated multiple times, was ignored each time, with the ship choosing to engage another ship.

Is that normal behavior ?
Logged

Yunru

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2021, 11:57:12 PM »

Sadly, yes.
Ships have a distinct inability to break from a fight they're currently engaged in, resulting in things like your ships that were guarding a node chasing a lone ship across half the map while a single enemy ship steals the node you useless pieces of-!

JUDGE! slowpersun

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 614
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2021, 01:37:46 AM »

It also has to do with the officer's personality, as well as how many other ships and what ship types are near the target.  And flux levels.  Possibly also  PPT/CR.  And probably some other factors affecting parameters that I won't figure out until I eventually crack open the game's code.  Game ship battle AI is generally pretty conservative unless officer is reckless, basically.

Still, in terms of accuracy, you would think that sometimes either some of your ships or some of the enemy ships would just cut and run.  But maybe not until a crew morale meter gets implemented...
Logged
I wasn't always a Judge...

Drazan

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2021, 06:07:32 AM »

Oh yes, an other thread stating the obvious, that something HAS to be done with the ship ai and how command works. The current system is non intuitive, hard to grasp, and when one starts to master it one only realizes how inconsitent it is.
Of course there are always a few people on the forum constantly balming the new players, that it is their ability that lacks and not the system. From those people i ask, if the system is sooo great, then why every tenth or so tread is complain about ai behavior?
Pls Alex do something with it, i dont know just the thing that would help, but there have been several complains, and suggestions.
Logged

Hiruma Kai

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 807
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2021, 07:09:11 AM »

Still, in terms of accuracy, you would think that sometimes either some of your ships or some of the enemy ships would just cut and run.  But maybe not until a crew morale meter gets implemented...

Well, in the campaign once the game thinks you've won the match, the rest of the enemy fleet retreats.  Also, very low hull enemy ships will move to the edge of the map and retreat as well.  So, I think what you are describing is there.

Oh yes, an other thread stating the obvious, that something HAS to be done with the ship ai and how command works. The current system is non intuitive, hard to grasp, and when one starts to master it one only realizes how inconsitent it is.
Of course there are always a few people on the forum constantly balming the new players, that it is their ability that lacks and not the system. From those people i ask, if the system is sooo great, then why every tenth or so tread is complain about ai behavior?
Pls Alex do something with it, i dont know just the thing that would help, but there have been several complains, and suggestions.

Alex is tweaking the AI between releases.  Take for example: https://twitter.com/amosolov/status/1415412901733621765

So if you have simple to reproduce scenarios combined with concrete suggestions, they are going to generally be easiest to modify the code for.  However, I'm pretty sure the ship AI is the single most complicated bit of logic in the game, and has the largest effect on the game's playability.  Any one change affects all fights, not just a particular scenario, so it can be tough to find the right balance.

While the Engage command may not be forceful enough (or overriding the base survival instincts of the ship enough) based on forum posts, I've also seen posts complaining the Eliminate command gets ships killed too easily.  So tweaking Engage closer to Eliminate may not be what everyone wants, new players included.

I wouldn't mind the fleet command tutorial going into a bit more depth on the differences between the various commands.  Right now it's only tool tips explaining the differences.  Having two fleet command situations in the tutorial , one demonstrating the effects of engage while the other shows eliminate, perhaps would be helpful for new players.

I had a battle recently, and expressly ordered a Falcon Cruiser to engage another ship.
Alas, the order, repeated multiple times, was ignored each time, with the ship choosing to engage another ship.

Is that normal behavior ?

Depending on the situation, yes.  Many things can affect such a confrontation.  Without further details (ship positions, ship relative speeds, weapon ranges, etc), it's hard to say.  A Falcon can't necessarily disengage from a faster Tempest, for example.  And a Tempest can pack enough firepower that it can't really be ignored either.  Moving to engage the third ship might just leave the Falcon flanked, which the AI really hates having done to it, and loves doing to the enemy.  But I don't know if that was the kind of situation or not.

I'll note the fleet command tutorial introduces the concept of using the avoid command on the ship you don't want to fight, and the "stronger" Eliminate command on the ship you do want to fight, which is more likely to give you the result you want in that scenario, I think.  Although, unlike Engage, you typically need to keep an eye on ships with an eliminate order as they are much more aggressive and likely to get destroyed unless they have a large advantage over nearby enemy forces.
Logged

JUDGE! slowpersun

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 614
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2021, 09:44:23 AM »

Still, in terms of accuracy, you would think that sometimes either some of your ships or some of the enemy ships would just cut and run.  But maybe not until a crew morale meter gets implemented...

Well, in the campaign once the game thinks you've won the match, the rest of the enemy fleet retreats.  Also, very low hull enemy ships will move to the edge of the map and retreat as well.  So, I think what you are describing is there.


No, I'm more referring to a straight morale cracking/mutiny in some ships, so a perfectly healthy ships STILL runs away/retreats mid-battle (not necessarily when one side has clearly won, maybe after ship's PPT ends).  Extra points if the ship(s) who crack literally leave your fleet and you have to chase them down once battle ends (I guess this can be mitigated by how many healthy combat ships you still have in reserve).  But since no morale meter and no other means of solving it right now (besides literally switching ships), prolly not anytime soon.

I would also point out that there is definitely a learning curve to the tactical command map in battles, peeps usually forget about Avoid and Eliminate commands until experienced.  Really have to pause the game and make complete use of any single command point once you use it.



Logged
I wasn't always a Judge...

Null Ganymede

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 274
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2021, 07:07:21 PM »

The AI Is Good Actually,

once you recognize the ship crew aren't suicidal and, taking weapon ranges and friend-foe strengths into account, can and will re-interpret your orders as suggestions.

The British Navy used to occasionally execute insufficiently aggressive captains to set an example. You can do the equivalent by finding some reckless officers and putting *them* in charge. Better option though is to:

1. load up on small support ships, being outnumbered is havoc on morale since all it takes is one Reaper to the engines to end most ships
2. get some long-range kinetic pressure from fighters bombers or ballistics, flux-locked foes aren't scary
3. recognize that some situations ("combat" carriers told to kill line ships when there's actual combat ships on the field, cruisers/destroyers being heavily out-massed by a capital ship, significant range disadvantage) that are borderline un-fixable with orders


In the end you have the ability to shuttle over to delinquent ships and assume direct command for a reason. If the officers (or worse, uncommissioned crew) in charge of your ships were that good, they'd have their own fleets instead of flying in yours.

Edit: you can pull some next-level maneuvers when outgunned or outnumbered by abusing the full-attack orders which afaik sets all your ships as reckless, then giving individual immediate-retreat orders to adjust positioning. It is High Risk and takes a ton of practice and awareness so your first priority should be to set up your fleet for victory with superior loadouts or a wrecking ball flagship.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 07:10:41 PM by Null Ganymede »
Logged

Ericus

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2021, 09:41:07 PM »

I see everybody going on in their command pushing their idea or what is happening or not or the reason this is happening like that.
Which can be informative.

In my case, which I posted about, a cruiser I ordered to pursue a bigger ship in the south east quadrant of the map just kept on pursuing another less important target to the north.
There was no flux problem, the officer was steady, my side was winning the battle with no emergencies anywhere.

I spent 3 points of commands repeating the order to said ship to change target, it never did and went all the way north when I needed the support south west to finish a cruiser kept busy by 2 frigates.
There was no apparent or logical reason for it not to do what I was asking the ship to do.

Some answers seem out of line to me in both directions (it's awful, it's great).
Logged

Yunru

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2021, 10:12:16 PM »

I see everybody going on in their command pushing their idea or what is happening or not or the reason this is happening like that.
Which can be informative.

In my case, which I posted about, a cruiser I ordered to pursue a bigger ship in the south east quadrant of the map just kept on pursuing another less important target to the north.
There was no flux problem, the officer was steady, my side was winning the battle with no emergencies anywhere.

I spent 3 points of commands repeating the order to said ship to change target, it never did and went all the way north when I needed the support south west to finish a cruiser kept busy by 2 frigates.
There was no apparent or logical reason for it not to do what I was asking the ship to do.

Some answers seem out of line to me in both directions (it's awful, it's great).
Yeah, that's exactly the sort of unwillingness to disengage that I talk about.

Deshara

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
  • Suggestion Writer
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2021, 10:47:06 PM »

the AI does follow your orders, it just doesn't act on them as quickly as you would expect them to & is smarter than you want them to be. My advice? Install the speed-up mod, fly a s-kite into battle, then fight enemies purely by commanding your fleet, to train yourself on what to expect from them. I think a lot of this really is just failing to set expectations for the player. I think what made it click in my head was joining ally fleets in battle and then just watching them work from the command screen & noticing that they for-sure are actually following orders -- it just takes them a while. You don't take that long to react to situations but that's because you're a player & you understand context; the AI has no such privilege. The only way to make the AI more reactive generally is to make it dumber & more prone to suiciding while attempt to quickly react to a player command. You just have to adjust your expectations to the game that you have
Logged
Quote from: Deshara
I cant be blamed for what I said 5 minutes ago. I was a different person back then

Yunru

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2021, 10:58:56 PM »

If by "a while" you mean "longer than the battle". (For instance, I've had shops refuse to disengage in pursuing an enemy (that had no form of engagement order on it mind you) right up until its dying breathe.) Otherwise, please cut back on the condescending, this is an actual issue experienced by players.

Deshara

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1576
  • Suggestion Writer
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2021, 11:23:33 PM »

there was no condescension there at all. In fact I pointed out in the reply that I had had that issue too; I posted a thread about it 2 months ago that has been the thread with the most replies in general discussion since, dunno how u could claim that im claiming this isnt a real issue experienced by players lol & please dont try to sidetrack the thread by changing topic to trying to infer something into my tone, the thread is about the game's AI I'd appreciate if we talk about that
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 11:30:23 PM by Deshara »
Logged
Quote from: Deshara
I cant be blamed for what I said 5 minutes ago. I was a different person back then

Yunru

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2021, 11:38:12 PM »

Apologies, I somehow managed to get "the issue is you don't know how to play" from your post.

My excuse is a lack of coffee.

Ericus

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2021, 12:06:54 AM »

To be honest, that is also what I read.
Logged

Amoebka

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1210
    • View Profile
Re: Why don't my ships follow orders ?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2021, 05:47:36 AM »

I've observed this behaviour (a single ship completely unwilling to disengage its current target regardless of orders given) many times, but could never find a simple way to reproduce it in sims. This is less about ship AI being "bad in general" and more about it having some specific hangup which sometimes triggers and causes infuriating behaviour. Sadly, I don't think Alex can really fix it if all he has to go off is anecdotes with no videos / steps to reproduce.

In the meantime, you can "fix" the stuck ship by giving it the direct retreat order (normal retreat gets ignored also), giving it a few seconds to gain distance, and then giving whatever other order you want.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3