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AAA "Activating and Deactivating"


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#41 Flashy

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 06:53

Brilliant! I did a few modifications, changed them to the manpads and put one in a windmill. I'll make up some more clusters and save them as templates then I'll upload them.

What's a good mix, 3 flak guns and 2 lmg's, or should there be more lmg's then flak guns?

yeah, I have been thinking about it some more and we can actually use the "AAman-in-a-house" trigger to activate virtually anything (convoys, trains, spawn planes, etc) which could really go a long way to bringing the missions alive without killing performance. You could basically use him to determine if any enemy planes are in the area and then do almost anything from there.
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#42 King_Richard

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 02:42

Also changed the time to 30 seconds. 3 minutes is way too long for a stationary ground object in a flight sim.

You were definitely right about this one. I finally got around to playing with a few various time settings on the AAA and I did find that even 20 seconds of on time for the AAA allows them to get 2-3 shots off or so. Although, the activated team has a team leader with a high skill level along with the watchmen, this way those two have a better range and I did the rest at norm, seems to work pretty good with an activated team of 4 on my end.

I'm curious as to how many AAA teams, sizes and whatnot anyone has tested out online since. I currently have layed out 12 teams each containing a watcher and a group of 4 that get activated, 1 team each on an airfield, and the rest are near the frontlines. While it doesn't give ya as much of a pucker factor with the layout that I currently have, it does offer some decent coverage. Well, I guess the pucker factor is there somewhat, there's just never more then 4 guns on you at a time.

Lastly, I'm also using a balloon near the aa area's, would making the balloon the team leader for the watcher have any benefit? The balloon has a better line of sight which may enable the watchmen to pick up aircraft further out, or is the team leader idea just there to simplify formation, waypoint commands, ect….
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#43 Flashy

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 06:40

I think 1 minute is a good time for the AA cannons because they can fire at an enemy aircraft for longer since they have good range. For the AA machine guns, 20-30 seconds is more than enough because their range is limited.

In terms of the number of units used so far in MP, Vander had a mission the other day with about 20 groups of AA (so thats 80-100) potential guns and it ran perfectly on my side, but others were complaining about warping. Not sure if that was because of the AA units or something else though.

Dont think there would be any advantage to using a balloon because you only want the guns to activate when there is an enemy in range, so that you have the fewest number of activated guns at any one time, and only guns that can shoot at a player are active. I think using a balloon would be counter-productive in this respect since you would be activating guns before they are needed.
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#44 King_Richard

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:13

Just wondering if the balloon would give the watchmen a better heads up to where the planes are. Not linking the activation/deactivation to the balloon, they are still tied to the watchmen, but just using the balloon as a scout moreso. Ah, I don't think it'll do anything either way so I'll just leave it as I have it.
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#45 Flashy

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 06:33

Yeah I think the AA guns only work off what they can see, and I dont imagine that having a scout will increase their visual range. I could be wrong obviously, but I think you would need to find a way to connect the balloon to the AA watchman somehow if it was going to work at all. Another issue with the balloon is that it adds another live AI unit to the mix, so you are adding overhead, even if you only use 1 balloon for 4 or 5 groups of guns.But give it a shot, you might discover something cool! :)
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#46 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 15:42

Fortunately, the AI can see through trees and hills, so that's not a problem.

Just make sure you have some sort of limiting factor if you're using it to spawn vehicles. This script can really overload a mission if players spread out and start activating 5 or 10 of these at a time. You can easily bust the 50 vehicle limit if you're not careful.
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#47 King_Richard

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 20:07

That vehicle limit keeps slipping my mind from time to time. I'm considering the following for activating/deactivating the watchmen:

Say we have 20 groups of aa (a watchmen and 3-4 that are activated by the watchmen)
Set up at a timer that turns on 5 groups at a time, only activating the watchmen, for 10-20seconds or longer, then once they deactivate you trigger 5 groups on, then off, then the last group triggers the first cluster and repeats.

I originally tried it with 50-60 aa guys in one area and the mission crashed. I haven't tried the above method yet though. Not sure if it would really give us more coverage or not since it would take a minute or two go through all of the groups.

Idea:

Or, just put out 10 or so aaa guys near the front lines, then set up another group of 10 about 2-3km behind them and ect… for however far you want them to run. Using the same concept of giving them a certain amount of time to be activated, we could create a sort of firing by rank effect. First line is on for about 30 seconds, they shutoff and trigger the next and so forth with the last rank triggering the front line and repeating. Now, if I time them for how long it takes them to reload and fire, we could set the timer to that amount for each line. On high skill level, I believe they were able to fire up to 1.5-2km or so, not accurately, but atleast able to get a shot off on you, and I think they were getting 2-3 shots off in 20 seconds or so, I'll have to double check it.

I think something similar to this has been mentioned already, idk. I'm just having problems trying to get the coverage that I need in my mission without breaking the limit. Unless the only ground units that I use are aaa. But I would like some kind of movement down there for those 10 minute flights out to the frontlines, seeing convoys deploying to the front lines, tanks, other ai aircraft taking off, ect… That's where the immersion is, not a stale enviroment with some smoky effect and random explosions on the ground with no vehicles around. The mission I'm working on isn't on the frontlines because I don't like the current effects of it. Frustrating this limit is, lol.
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#48 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 20:59

I just have mine activate in groups. When one AAA watchman acitvates his script, all of the other watchmen are deactivated. They reactivate when he reactivates.

The timer idea is a good one as well if it can work. It has better control over how many groups are active, but the problem is stopping the sequence when groups start activating. I've had problems turning timer sequences on and off. It's a tricky task.
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#49 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 19:10

Syn server crawled to a halt yesterday, I think it has to do with this script activating and deactivating AI vehicles. I'm going to have to look over and re-do this script to optimize it. I will try killing the vehicles upon deactivation and we can see if it will work.

If it doesn't, it may not be possible to activate, deactivate groups of vehicles like this
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#50 King_Richard

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 20:13

That's what I was a bit concerned about when I tried the 50 vehicles in a row, closely spaced, it froze the mission. I don't think the deactivation is really putting less stress on the mission. If it was working how I thought it should've been then the mission wouldn't have froze. Spawning AA groups in numbers like these at one time could also cause some problems too. Unless your suggesting, killing on when deactivated then repairing when activated, I don't know, I'm stumped rite now, there's gotta be away to increase our ai/vehicle limit somehow. Surely it's something they're working on for the new career mode.

When you kill a vehicle, can you do it while it's deactivated?

I haven't touched the editor since my last post, getting caught up in school, and saltwater fishtanks that need some attention! It'll be a bit of time before I can start digging back into it.
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#51 Flashy

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 12:00

That's what I was a bit concerned about when I tried the 50 vehicles in a row, closely spaced, it froze the mission. I don't think the deactivation is really putting less stress on the mission.

:( hmmm I was worried about this. I had hoped (and thought) that deactivating was the same as killing in so far as resource usage was concerned, but maybe all it does is hide the object and prevent it from attacking?

Maybe we can kill them and respawn them as a group like you did with that Tank factory King Richard?
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#52 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 21:11

You can't have too many vehicles in close proximity, that's one of the mission building requirements.

I remember there was a similar problem with SAS's miniwar. They started killing their vehicles to eliminate all the AI strings, but I remember their mission still had problems. I'm hoping the problems with their mission had to do with the problems we were facing with the older version of RoF.

This is a hard thing to test, I have to get a bunch of players activating these strings to see if they clear or not.
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#53 Flashy

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:18

I PM'ed Han and asked him about deactivated AI units. It seems that deactivating an AI unit merely freezes its states. So its still there, and still using resources presumably, but its just frozen. Also, I was wondering about killing an AI unit and then immediately deactivating it, in the hope that the game would remove the dead object while it was deactivated, but unfortunately this is not the case as deactivating freezes the object as above, so it wont get removed in this state. Another potential problem with killing the AI units and then respawing new ones, is that until the dead AI units are removed from the game (a minute or two) you will actually have TWO sets of objects active because the AI routines still run on dead objects. Therefore, if you have a particularly busy AA battery, you could end up with 3X or 4X as many active objects because you are waiting for the game to get rid of the dead ones!

Another issue with killing the AI objects is that is very "messy" and you have big plumes of smoke and flame everywhere as dead objects burn. This could be used to good effect though, especially if this happens on the front, where some flames and smoke would actually be a good thing! :)

So basically we are going to have to think of something else it seems. Does anyone know if there is a way to specify how long a dead object remains for? Could we, for instance, make that time 1 second, so that as soon as an object is killed, the game gets rid of it?
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#54 SYN_Vander

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:48

I think this is still a good method. Just don't put too many AI units in the game overall and don't group too many together.

One thing I'm having trouble with: I'd like to put watchmen in the trenches. I tried to use a destroyed house to hide the AAA in, but they shoot right through it most of the time! Are there any destroyed objects that we can use for the watchmen? A non-destroyed objects really sticks out against the mud, so we can't use it…
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#55 Flashy

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 08:56

I think this is still a good method. Just don't put too many AI units in the game overall and don't group too many together.

One thing I'm having trouble with: I'd like to put watchmen in the trenches. I tried to use a destroyed house to hide the AAA in, but they shoot right through it most of the time! Are there any destroyed objects that we can use for the watchmen? A non-destroyed objects really sticks out against the mud, so we can't use it…


Yeah it does work, but the problem is that those deactivated units are still using resources, so we still cant have lots of them. My goal is to figure out a way to make it seem as if we have hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands!) of objects active, even though we actually only have 50 active at any one time :)

Have you tried the pillboxes for the watchman? surely you can put a guy inside one of those?
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#56 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 20:39

cool. I am going to play around with AI levels and see what difference that makes on performance. Its my hope that one low skill AI unit is much less demanding than and Ace skill one, and so maybe we can have lots of low skill AI units in a mission and still be fine.

As far as I know, this isn't the case. Low skill AI make the same number of calculations as High skill AI
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#57 Flashy

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 07:43

As far as I know, this isn't the case. Low skill AI make the same number of calculations as High skill AI

Well I did notice a (significant?) decrease in CPU usage from something like 31% to 27% when running 64 low AI AA trucks vs 64 Ace AI AA trucks in an identical mission in singleplayer, but I'm not sure how accurate my measuring was because I was just watching the CPU usage in Task Manager while the mission played in the background.
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Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture just by sitting on it, doesn't mean that I'm not sick of this damn war: the blood, the noise, the endless poetry...


#58 Flashy

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 07:51

I think this is still a good method. Just don't put too many AI units in the game overall and don't group too many together.

One thing I'm having trouble with: I'd like to put watchmen in the trenches. I tried to use a destroyed house to hide the AAA in, but they shoot right through it most of the time! Are there any destroyed objects that we can use for the watchmen? A non-destroyed objects really sticks out against the mud, so we can't use it…


Yeah it does work, but the problem is that those deactivated units are still using resources, so we still cant have lots of them. My goal is to figure out a way to make it seem as if we have hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands!) of objects active, even though we actually only have 50 active at any one time :)

Have you tried the pillboxes for the watchman? surely you can put a guy inside one of those?


I tested some more last night and you cant put a AA guy in a pillbox because the pillboxes are entities, so you would have to link them before they even appear in the game, thus increasing the passive AI load of each AA battery to 2 units :(

Also had another look and think about spawning and killing the units, but I think its probably hopeless unless someone knows how to set the amount of time a dead objects stays in the game for?

Its frustrating because we actually only need two additional things in the mission editor for this to work properly. a.) we need a working multiplayer checkzone for player aircraft and b.) we need a "de-spawn" or "un-spawn" MCU (or just an option on the existing spawn MCU) to actually get rid of AI objects and purge them from the mission. Deactivating is no good in this case because the units still use resources while they are deactivated. We need a way to completely remove AI objects without having to kill them and wait 5 minutes for them to burn out and disapear…
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Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture just by sitting on it, doesn't mean that I'm not sick of this damn war: the blood, the noise, the endless poetry...


#59 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 10:37

I don't know the specifics on killing AI. I'll have to run some stress tests to see what is effective, if anything. I don't think I'll have time this weekend. =
I will try to get a test this or next weekend to figure out if killing AI vehicles eliminates logic links (as far as sps/cpu usage is concerned). I will also see if I can judge how ace/low AI settings effect server SPS/CPU usage, and hopefully see how different planes/vehicles affect SPS/CPU usage.

Plan is (stating this more for me than anything):

1. 200+ vehicles, change AI to low/high and observe difference, disable and observe difference. kill and observe difference.

2. several 2 seater / single seater ai tests with level of ai and numbers of aircraft.

3. 100000+ active buildings active/inactive/dead

(I think those are the only few I really want to hammer down and test. If anyone has any other game limitations they want to test, let me know, and I can try to construct it in the same batch of tests.)

Ps. I have a script with killing AI to make the AAA script work, but I want to test if it makes any difference to the server before I get to involved with working on it.)
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#60 SYN_Vander

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 11:51

We'll be anxiously awaiting your test results squirrel! :)

Maybe ask Han if some new trigger can be made for dogfight mode that we can use for these kind of scenario's ;)
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#61 King_Richard

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 14:14

NakedSquirrel,

Hows your testing going? I'm still pre-occupied with some other tasks going on currently, haven't played anything in a while but I'll probally start poking around in the editor again sometime this week or next week. Just curious as to what you've found out so far.
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#62 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 07:06

I'm wasn't sure how to test it exactly. I'll give it another try.

The problem is that I don't have something easy I can measure like SPS or CPU usage. The game just reaches a tipping point where the game slows down. I'll throw some things around and see what I can come up with. I'll try to send some PM's as well. That might give a better answer.
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#63 Gustang

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 16:34

While the game may be more optimized at this time, I asked about the recommended unit limitations a while back because I wanted to know if disabling units would have any impact. The answer I got then was essentially "not much".

Check this thread out:

"Out of memory…" error

The limitations apparently have to do with connection errors (clients apparently tend to disco during bulky missions), but, when pushing these limits, it's been my experience that mission performance and reliability seems to vary with the host's machine. While it may seem possible to push the unit limits beyond the recommendations, especially when some units are deactivated (or even destroyed entirely), I think that 1.5 times those limitations is asking a lot, at least until 32-bit OS is no longer used (yeah, not any time soon).

So, until the game engine changes to allow for greater numbers of ground units, don't expect to do so reliably.

Still, I'd like to know if the official word on these limitations has changed at all.

Hope this helps,
Gus
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#64 Flashy

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:01

I discovered another potential "workaround" for this. Use the AA watchman as before, but spawn the supporting units instead of activating them (as mentioned, deactivated units are no good as they still use memory) then, when you are done with the supporting units, drive them into a lake or river (seriously!). This is the fastest way of killing them without them sitting there burning and smoking for ages afterwards. Once they hit the water, they are dead and de-spawned within about 20 seconds.
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#65 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 17:25

The out of memory thread is way out of date. (2 years old) The programmers have fixed this for the most part. Out of memory errors are things of the past, although I think these "slow downs" are caused by similar issues (can't be sure)

Killing an object does remove the AI, but it also effects the physics model (because of the explosion), and I think it would cause more headache than it is worth. (Lots of explosions = lots of network traffic and CPU usage). The team is mostly working on career mode at the moment, but they are doing some work on the mission editor logic. Even if you drown them, they are still taking up CPU the whole time.

You can blow them up and deactivate them once they are dead, but I don't think it's worth your time to be honest, it's dangerous to the mission integrity, and you might cause additional problems by trying to make a work around for this one. I'm just going to wait for the programmers to finish expanding the ME triggers (It is on the list, and they are working on it, but they are hard at work on the career mode as well).

My big goal when making a mission is that I don't want it to crash. When AI planes caused players to get out of memory errors, I refused to put them in my missions. I would rather not waste people's time by having them make a 20 minute flight only to have their game crash.
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#66 Flashy

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:15

Even if you drown them, they are still taking up CPU the whole time.

Are you sure about this? I thought that they were killed when they drowned, thus removing them from the mission? If you press F5 while watching a unit drown, you will see it disappears very quickly (you can no longer find it using F5, whereas you can still view burning dead objects with F5, suggesting there is still AI running on them). Did 777 tell you that a drowned object is not actually dead and gone from the mission?

I agree that waiting for the mission editor improvements is the best bet, but there has been no mention of a way to "un-spawn" units once they are spawned. I understand that the improvements due to be released with the career mode will make it easier to spawn the units (working checkzones, etc) but we still need to figure a way to get rid of units quickly.
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Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture just by sitting on it, doesn't mean that I'm not sick of this damn war: the blood, the noise, the endless poetry...


#67 NakedSquirrel

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:12

Sorry, I meant they were taking up CPU *while* they are drowning, not after

You can kill and then disable the AI, but you have to be careful because the explosions caused by MCU:Damage can cause the server to slow down for a moment because of all the physics calculations going on, but once they are dead, they are clean and don't cause any more SPS loss, you can just deactivate them.

Drowning them into water is probably the cleanest way, but it isn't totally void of physics calculations, the object still descends. I also don't know if it actually causes damage and kills the trucks, although they do 'appear' to vanish, I would have to test driving a few hundred trucks over the edge of a river and checking SPS. Not to mention, there aren't rivers around every corner lol. It doesn't seem worth it.

ALSO

You really can't go overboard with the max number of objects because you will start to encounter other errors like graphics errors. I found that even when dead, there are still aspects of the models that can cause problems for the client if you have too many. Lots of objects in close proximity is also more intensive than objects further away.'


Sorry the tests came out so inconclusive. There are a lot of different variables that can cause SPS to drop: proximity of AI, types of AI entities(more guns = more SPS loss), active, inactive, plane, ground object.

It seems gloomy because the restrictive number of objects we have now, but at least RoF.exe and Out of Memory errors are dead and gone, so they have made a lot of progress

It has been mentioned before that they know about these issues and plan on working on them, but Career mode is the #1 priority at the moment.
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#68 King_Richard

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 21:25

Okay, now that we have working checkzones in multiplayer using the complex trigger function. I'm trying to decide on the appropiate ranges for these guns, man pads or stationary AAA should have a range up to about 3000m or so and mobile or the trucks with AAA have a range up to 1500m, sound about right? I found that you need to just set the country's you want it to check for and then tick the "Check Entities" box. I've played around with a bit but haven't come up with anything I'm satisfied yet, lots of experimenting to do with this one but I really like the fact that we can deactivate and activate them when or wherever need be.

I'm really trying to narrow down the amount of guns needed to kill any planes that fly less then 1500m over the frontlines since that should be suicide. But, I've tried 6 guns, 4 mobile's and 2 stationarys and that didn't work, tried the lmg's but those really don't do anything unless your within about 300m of them. Anyone find the perfect balance/mix of guns?

The other idea I've started playing with is large checkzones that activate smaller checkzones in order to lessen the amount of checkzones active at a time and it seems to work. Here's where the gun range comes in, I'm thinking of setting up high altitude checkzones and low atlitude ones. If a plane is high flying then they'll only get the stationary guns shooting at them, but if they go low, they'll activate the low altitude checkzone and deactivate the high altitude one which will swap out the stationary's for the mobile's.

Let's get our AAA perfected and stop this nonsense of low level bombers crossing the frontlines! My goal is to get these fights up in the air and make these pilots think twice about flying under 1500m while over enemy territory. I'll have a template some time today hopefully for anyone to check out and improve on.
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#69 King_Richard

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 22:03

Okay, well, that was rather quick, lol, here's my high low altitude checkzones. The stationary AAA (4 of everything) kicks in a central plane enters within a 3500m radius, that will activate two smaller checkzones that contain the mobile AAA who'll kick in if the player is within 1500m of it. All checkzones are sphere's so height matters here, and I got shot down flying full speed in a D7F when I was under 1000m which is exactly what I want to happen. Have a look and let me know where we could improve upon this. There's also Activate and Deactivate triggers that will let you Deactivate other zones if need be via the entered and left timers, pretty self explanotory once you see it and check it out in action. The idea with the activate and deactivate is the ability to set up even larger checkzones if your running a widespread mission or simply using alot of AAA or similar, this way you can use larger checzones to activate the smaller ones where needed or deactivate other zones if need be. I'm hoping we can get away with lots of checkzones as long as we keep the ones that are not in use deactivated which is why the low altitude checkzone is deactivated until a player enters the high altitude checkzone. Hope that all makes sense.

And the template is named AAA_Allied_H+L

Attached File  AAA.zip   2.65KB   29 downloads
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