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Full Version: Robot AI "Snipe" doesn't work in Multiplayer
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Hello,

On a level I made there are several robots with AI "Snipe", which gives the robots more deadly properties than "Normal" AI for robots, this works great in single player and you can really notice the difference.  When playing the same level in multiplayer against the same robots, they act differently as if they had an AI of "Normal".  I have tested this with other AI properties for the robots such as "Get Behind" and "Follow" and they all work in both single player and multiplayer.  I also tested the "Snipe" property in Descent 2 Counterstrike (Level 19 Smelters have this property) and Vertigo (Level 18 most Sniper NG's have this property) and they all act with "Normal" AI in multiplayer.  When in dle-xp I checked and they were all listed with AI "Snipe".  Why is this?

Note:  My computer is Windows 7 64 bit.  I am using d2x Rebirth v0.57.2-win, which isn't the most current version, but I still believe this issue persists in the most current version.

Update:  Also tried with v0.58.1-win today, same issue as the other version.
sorry i dont know the answer to your problem, but i can tell you that DLE-XP is not entirely compatible with Rebirth.
That's alright, and I don't think this is a problem with dle-xp compatibility because both vertigo and counterstrike robots have this problem also.  Unless those missions were made using dle-xp also?
(04-24-2014, 10:35 PM)xFlyBrix link Wrote: [ -> ]That's alright, and I don't think this is a problem with dle-xp compatibility because both vertigo and counterstrike robots have this problem also.  Unless those missions were made using dle-xp also?

DLE-XP is a fairly modern level editor - definitely wasn't around when Parallax made the Descent II campaigns. So although DLE-XP does have its bugs, you're probably right that this isn't a level editor problem.

I have a feeling that the broken "snipe" behavior is due to the way robot AI is handled in multiplayer. Ever since the earliest versions of Descent, the AI code somewhat degrades in multiplayer: they take significantly longer to notice players, they're much less aggressive and more reluctant to give chase, they appear to jitter slightly on your screen while attacking other players ... and the Bandit even teleports. Tongue It's likely that this "snipe" bug existed from the beginning - but I've never actually tested this particular bug in the DOS versions of Descent.
Robots do act weird sometimes yet I've discovered that many things can be improved with additional parameters when using robot editor (RBOTEDIT.EXE). Tampering with these variables is painful and tedious (tries and errors) and it also requires creation of custom robots (sort of behaviour replacements), but at some point you can achieve interesting results. Try that - hopefully it might do what you want. Apart from that - ye, AI isn't perfect.   
I used RBOTEDIT.EXE a bit and tried changing the snipe property for some robots in there and loading the .hxm file to my level, the robots act the same as they have before though.  I think I'm going to just give all of the snipe robots a speed and fire rate boost (2 properties which snipe automatically gives them).  It may not be perfect, unless someone knows how to replicate their 'hit and run' effect that snipe gives without using the AI snipe, I should be able to replicate everything else besides this effect.  Thanks for your help Smile
It really depends on what you expect from the bots in regards of their behaviour. In Singleplayer, the AI is always active while in Multiplayer it's based on Interaction. This is why the Thief for example is misbehaving when it's out of reach of a player. There are a few things I have on my mind to make it better but don't expect it to become "perfect" compared to Singleplayer. For that to work I would probably need to rewrite many parts of the AI code as it was never intended to work with multiple players - hence the Interaction-based behaviour.
Any change to the multiplayer AI would be a huge improvement.  I know how difficult it is to find and fix these sort of issues though so no worries I'll find alternatives in the mean time  Smile
I will see what I can do about Snipe. Like I said, there are several things that can be done. Others might require an enormous rewrite of the AI to make it look and work right. I'm sorry I can't really offer more right now. In fact the AI is very .... jumbled in the first place. Maybe it's just me not grasping the concept. IT's one of the areas in the code I love to stay away unless absolutely necessary.
Very understandable, no worries I'm in no rush.  Thanks a bunch Big Grin
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