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WWDriftwood

Player counters - Human and AI vs Human and AI

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So as I get ready to move into some more random routes, ai behavior, etc, get rid of some triggers and timers and replace those with counters and objectives. I keep thinking about how to handle options for Allied/Axis, DF verses Coop, humans and AI. 

I won't be doing any coops, though I will be trying to mimic them using DF mission with multiple airfields and limited planes, etc. 

So, what's the question? How do we handle Humans and AI on both sides or do we? 

General consensus is if you have AI on both sides, AI on the opposite side ignores humans in FC. I find this to be more the same in WWII as well. So like in the FC coop mission your removing the fuel so the AI disappear and the opposing AI attack us humans. 

I want to set up a map to offer both sides / DF coop style.

Currently I'm just going to setup Human vs AI, but then I'm going to join a couple mission so it can be flown from either side and want to deactivate ai as needed based on the number of human players. 

How do you count players or can you? (hope I missed something simple/stupid)

I'm looking at the counters but I'm not seeing where I can count players. Hoping I missed something. Searching the forums I'm not sure I'm asking the right question. 

Would like to be able to adjust the weight of a mission based on the current number of players. 

Deactivating AI

If I setup the same type of map I currently have only more airfields for both sides, it would be nice to be able to fly it as Human Allied only / or / Human Axis only or Human on both sides without any or less AI interference. 

What would happen is

  • humans take off from an allied airfield, all allied AI will be deactivated
  • humans take off from an axis airfield, all axis AI will be deactivated
  • humans take off from both allied/axis airfields, all AI will be deactivated (other than some possible bombers, or random flight)

I know I can trigger this so the first flight out will be a human, only offer 2 airfields to start, once we take off from either side or both it will deactivate the ai groups from one or both sides. 

thoughts........?

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yeah,,,you're going to go nuts trying to do most that..(really...)

counting players....easy,,not sure if it will not work out the way you want.  place the airfield down, and link an "on plane spawned" from the airfield to a counter, set the counter to the amount you want. Problems:  If a player spawns twice, it adds 2 to the counter.  You could base it on how many pilots spawn in the first 4 minutes, and use that to set the weight of the mission.

AI on both sides.  Do a quick mission builder in a BoX map with 4 on each side not too far from each other.  see if the enemy ai ignore you while the friendly ai are around.  But imho it ruins FC (ai on both sides)

Airfields on both sides:  If we keep pulling 15 pilots I think it would work.  

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What you could also do Driftwood is base it on a complex trigger/players left and count from the home airfield.

The mission I'm doing for Sunday has the ability to have opfor available but playing strictly on defence.

The main group will be German starting in the south with 3 objectives, a base in the north which will become available in 7 minutes after 3 players get into the air from home base using a counter. (no question as to which base we start)

If we have a good turnout I figure two players can fly Allied and they have the same action regarding a alternate base. 

With WW1 and the slow speed of the planes I am making available about 3/4 of the way through the mission an air start because long flights back to the action can get tedious. 

Don't know if these ideas are of any benefit but if I can help with anything just let me know.

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Doing the basic deactivate (planes only) for each side will be easy the way I set it up. Could also have it so once a player picks one side, it will deactivate the opposing sides airfields and the friendly side ai planes.

But this requires pilot cooperation at the start of the mission, that or we go with whatever happens, pilot accidently takes off from allied, guess we're flying allied, pilot takes off from both sides, guess were human vs human, LOL. 

The question will be what can I do with counting players, or better if I can count live players. I understand what your saying about multiple planes being counted, I've thought about that, hoping I can count live players or if I can count players that crash/died, then counting should work out. 

Basically I'm going to keep my groups as is based on random time varying the weight, then piggy back add on groups that will activate if the player number is higher at that time, then whichever following group goes off, it will add 4, 6, 8 more planes (stargard in timing) based on number of pilots, number goes down, next event group goes off will not have the extra planes. This way the mission moves forward for 2-3 hours, planes run out of fuel in an hour, weight changes every 10-20 minutes based on when the following event goes off. 

Same for less than 4,6,8 players... then it would deactivate some of the current groups.

Every set of groups of groups is based on 30 min - 1 hour mission objectives which have a beginning, middle, and end of activity, then I can piece together the 30 min to 1 hour objectives into a single mission. 

I know this is not the usual basic way of just balancing activity by counting ai planes and spawning or activating based on ai kills... it's a little more broad stroke forcing the balance to tip in a direction based on pilot skills...  

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Posted (edited)

Those are good ideas, I'll have to think about how I can use the counters. I'll use the count planes left/entered for a few things, that will help prevent those single planes flying ahead of everyone else and starting the party early. I remember the pane counter AAA for single planes you mentioned, definitely adding that to the mission LMAO... I think it should be a bit more than AAA... (probably need to create some awards for pilots that survive this) 

I changed my current mission so it's more flexible and also helps focus where you need to be. 

Take off from Adler and Attack Sochi - once you enter Sochi area it triggers ships, fighters, bombers, Agoy airfield, timer for mailkop airfield, tank field, all happens with random timing (different each mission) over 1 hour. 

Then the mission shifts to Mountain targets and Maikop airfield. But now you can also start from Adler. 

I added a trigger for the mountain targets and Maikop so if you fly to the mountain targets anytime, it will activate Maikop and a set of fighters, then if you continue flying north towards Maikop the rest of the random group sequence gets activated. I'll need to add a mountain target fail safe time so no one accidentally / immediately fly to the mountains in the first 20 mins. 

You can also fly directly to Maikop from Adler, long flight, and that will open Maikop... not sure why I put that in? Oh yea, can't control human pilot behavior.

But if you takeoff from Maikop before going to the mountains from Adler, as you fly out of the airfield area, all the groups get activated and it deactivates the mountain triggers. 

This way if we have a lot of pilots and tear through Sochi like the wind, we can just fly from Adler to the mountains early...

The challenge for me is performance, moving the battle around without allowing pilots to instantly fly everywhere and activate everything and bring the mission to its knees.

Once I use "actual objectives" should keep the performance in check. 

counters/objectives/behavior - the next 60 day brain tease... 

Addon note - (you probably know this) if you use the complex trigger to count planes leaving and a plane fly's in/out of the trigger it will count multiple planes, 

Edited by WWDriftwood

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Ya complex triggers can mess you up if you don't put a deactivate on them after they do what you want them to. For instance if your covering some ai bombers for example and someone shows up late and trips the trigger again the ai bombers will return to the first WP and start all over again. The group file I have now for allied and Axis complex triggers always have a deactivate. Counters you can set to only count once but I still deactivate because I no what can happen in this sim like neutral ground and air firing at everything.

For a fail safe I sometimes use a complex trigger with fire flare (revolver works to), only thing is you have to consider where you put the complex zone and it's only good for WW1 or no canopy.  

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Yup, Duck always reminded me to deactivate the triggers. My original group, was 3 groups of 6 planes each, each group randomly would go off activating 4 complex triggers randomly placed, once a plane enters any one trigger, activates the planes and deactivates all 4 triggers. A little overkill on triggers, but easy to adjust the triggers and delete what I don't want or hook it up to an a random event timer. 

Tricky, Ducks onspawn doesn't account for left field, and left field could give a false count if a plane rides the edge of the radius. Fun parts setting up a few AI to do my testing for me. 🙂

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Human/AI Buddy Magnet

Vander dogfights have AI spawn/activate in different places. Deactivating based on joining a side shouldn't be too hard. But maybe if we deactivate those groups if humans join but then have 1-2 AI spawn at our airfield when a few pilots take off, then they fly some routes to the areas we need to go. They work as our mobile enemy magnets to help draw in enemy AI for each side. 

OR/ If it's possible to make AI follow a single airplane spawned in using the ID and tell them to cover, that could be an option. 

BUDDY MAGNET - Say you have F-4's to choose from, set one seperate F-4 marked as lead, one pilot takes that plane, other pilots choose the regular F-4 on the list; and on exiting the airfield it spawns in a couple friendly AI set to cover lead, or just one. So we bring an AI buddy along for the flight....... Maybe that would help other random AI flights that come in attack human groups, as long as we have our friendly AI buddy magnet with us? 

Just a thought, maybe some of you other Mission Builders have done something similar in a mission? 

 

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Posted (edited)

This group setup seems to be working well for allied/axis DF. Counters keep the balance in check plus you have all the random goodness. Easy to adjust to make it more or less aggressive. 

Each side is protected by our friendly AI, yet separated by the front line. The idea being they stay on there own side and don't cross into enemy territory unless you drag them over. So we avoid the AI verses AI attraction. (Humans then handle the objectives)

I flew into enemy territory to stir the pot, then I could drag the enemy over the front line. I did that and ended up in my territory with no help yet, flew back over to enemy side after an engagement leaving one behind. Then again engaged and dragged them back, used my views to find nearby friendlies and flew towards them, finally some help. 

But I had to make a point to drag them across, ran for quite a bit... 

No matter which side you join, when you go after your objectives you will have resistance, resistance is based on how fast and how many bandits get shot down. 

So kill, kill, kill, more planes please, no kill, eat what's left on your plate first..... 

This will be my next mission.... so will see how it goes, but it shouldn't matter how many pilots join which side; and will be fed as needed. Then quick counter adjustments for any performance problems. 

Yellow spots are the ingress points for each random groups start point to make sure the front line is initially covered. Yellow outlines the bandit coverage. 

allied-axis-ai-battle.thumb.jpg.d825ca08f773e5a8bb7a4cb083d689d9.jpg

Counters works like this.....

KEEP IN MIND PLANES ARE ACTIVATED AT RANDOM TIMES AND PLANE ACTIVATIONS ARE THEN DELAYED. 

A build of "10 planes" is a "possibility" of an overall build up of "20 planes"

As the mission time moves forward and the buildups get higher, that also means more planes on the map with damage, less gas, etc, so kill probability goes up more planes start going down faster and easier. 

The delayed response with random timing of planes being released prevents the likelihood of any max balances being met from both sides at the same time. If so, add to the counter. 

 

   image.thumb.png.d0c4229898cd60b94ea9ebf597ed0d4a.png

Edited by WWDriftwood

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