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> sc4.8 rcbot grapple observations + debug
post Apr 3 2015, 06:32 PM
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sc4.8 rcbot grapple observations + debug

Some observations using the grapple (barnacle gun) on these 2 maps. Sorry for the long post, I kept adding to it while working on these rcws... wink.gif

[Map, sectore_3]

Optional grapple room, not required for bots to complete this map. The RPG's are on the upper levels in this boss room (It's an easy boss to defeat), so thought it would be fun to see them grapple up there... (there is a lot of slime patches in this room, on ceiling, walls, & corners)

With the Grapple Point inside the opening, past the edge of the ledge, falling bots will try to fire grapple through world spawn. So I moved the grapple point to the front of the slime and moved the grapple wpt farther from the ledge and a bit lower.

This grapple wpt setup seems to work the best so far. If the bot falls and misses the ledge, the grapple point is still visible to him (no worldspawn blocking), so the bot still has a clear shot at the grapple point. Even if he misses the ledge a 2nd time, the bot detects it has passed the grapple waypoint and aborts shooting at the slime from there. This won't work for every situation, because the slime may not be near the edge of the opening.

But, then this happened (only has happened once here) :

IPB Image

I think there was a bot collision when both tried to grapple at the same time, and one fell short. They had been firing at the Grapple Point from below just fine, but the bot on the ground must of hit the wall slime with the grapple & got stuck to it...

With 2 or 3 bots in here, they sometimes get under the elevated ramps, stuck fireing the grapple at the slime (world spawn blocking). Also, they will fire wildly sometimes hitting a different patch of slime, like the slimy corners. This was sort of a worst case test, I think fewer or just one bot is less of an issue, fewer collisions & wild shots. I also added a 2nd grapple location in the room, and with 3 bots shooting grapples in different directions, some stuckages & funny stuff was occurring, ha ha... When bots got grappled to each other, it would mess them up sometimes, other times I saw a coupled pair actually make it to the 2nd level, which was great!!!

IPB Image

I did find a partial work around for this grapple problem (bots firing grapple at Grapple Point through world spawn), other than using a crowbar to move them. Just form a squad with the stuck grappling bot, and it will abort the grapple attempts. Then lead it thru the grapple waypoint or to where it has a clear shot to the slime, then remove the squad. It also works when they get stuck to slime or other bots. Also, if you fire the grapple near a bot stuck to slime, they hear it and may stop grappling, and let go.

After adjusting the grapple point/waypoint positions and limiting the launching wpt to a straightened single path, bots do much better at grappling without getting stuck. But it still can happen with 2 or more bots. They recover from a failed grapple sometimes, at random, but not every time or fast enough.

I will probably leave the grapples connected for this map/room, since it is near the end and they don't use them much until the boss is killed, and 1 or 2 bots seem to work ok after the last adjustments...

[Second map, sectore_2]

I added 2 grapples to the 2nd map, and bots are doing well with the long elevator shaft grapple (probably because they fall & die when missing this grapple), but the short grapple here is giving me fits, they always find a way to fail & shoot thru world spawn...

IPB Image

Not sure why 3 bots got messed up here, it's usually just one at a time here. Could be due to collisions, but it doe's seem this grapple problem is sometimes contagious, like a virus, occurring in odd places for no apparent reason, and can happen far from the grapple waypoints!!! Task: "Unknown", is any time they fire the grapple...

Sometimes bots are not even near the wpt connected to the grapple wpt and they start firing thru world spawn.

IPB Image

Then I moved them a few steps by forming a squad...

IPB Image

Then I removed the squad and they started grappling again thru world spawn...

IPB Image

(if I have them follow me up thru the grapple waypoint, then remove the squad, I think they do reset back to following the waypoints in a normal way...)

This bot started grappling in the hallway (to the left in the first image (sectore_20000.jpg) just past the wall chargers), not near the grapple waypoint or point, he just started shooting at the wall towards the grapple point. Another odd thing about this, the destination waypoint (49) is a long ways away in another part of the map behind an opens later, that has not opened yet!!

IPB Image


It does seem bots will fire at the grapple point from places other than the wpt they should be at before they fire. It does not always seem to be a failed grapple attempt that starts this behavior, perhaps 2 bots grappled to each other or bot collisions, I'm not sure? But, I have seen them just start shooting thru world spawn for no obvious reason, and crowbaring them or shooting them won't stop it. Getting them to follow you through the correct grapple waypoint (squad or drag them with noclip) is the only way to stop it.

Ok, I think I see what is causing some of this to happen? A bot is either at or on it's way to the grapple wpt launch point, it gets distracted by combat (or an npc gets in the way), so it moves to different wpts until all enemies are killed, then it shoots any breakables it sees, may even go to the wall chargers, then goes back to the grapple routine without rechecking if it is at the correct wpt and just fires the grapple towards the grapple point from its current location.

There seems to be something wrong with the location check for fireing the grapple (or a line of sight check for the grapple point?). I think it needs to check it is at the correct wpt right before it fires the grapple, if it is not it should exit the grapple routine completely and reset to navigation.

Or would like to see a timed reset added if bot hasn't passed the grapple waypoint in say, about 15 seconds... I think it may reduce/stop some of the bad grappling, but may not completely eliminate it? At least they would not stay stuck?

That is all for now, I hope it is useful... Other than this firing the grapple from the wrong location (thru world spawn), the grapple works great... blink.gif smile.gif
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