Please fix the auto-pilot and the Vanishing ships BUGS.

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apricotslice
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Please fix the auto-pilot and the Vanishing ships BUGS.

Post by apricotslice » Mon, 20. Mar 06, 15:05

I know the ctd issues are important for people,

but there are significant gameplay issues that have not been adequately resolved by 1.4.

The 2 killers for me are the Auto-Pilot and the "Your ship destroyed in sector." bugs. I will not lose a ship for anything other than enemy action that could not be avoided or that I chose to engage in. The fact that no ship is safe in the game, makes it almost unplayable, and reduces the game to just "what can I do in my own ship".

The Auto-pilot still batters ships to death on large stationary objects. The more shielding the ship has, the longer it takes to die and the more damage it does to the object.

In particular, there are 2 observable problems.

The first is on the player ship. If you engage auto-pilot with a solid object between you and the target, you will hit the solid object. Simple as that, no if, buts or maybe, you hit it and are dead.

The second is ships hitting the connecting tubes of complexes, or a roid or station. Once a ship hits one, the auto-pilot cannot get it clear again, it just batters itself to death.

The vanishing ships bug just gives a log message saying "Your ship was destroyed in a sector". No reason why. No enemy, oos so its not a colision thing, just destroyed.

Suggested reasons include that a group of enemy ships destroyed it before you could get the verbal "your ship in sector is being attacked" message, and so the log entry isnt being primed properly. If this is so, then the log entry needs to be prepared first not last.

All ship destruction log messages should be as verbose as the new UT being attacked messages, including the ID of the ship that killed it.

Ships in stations removed by the god-engine also seem to be included in this vanishing ships bug, as you get the same message.

But ships are also going missing in sectors with no enemy. So they are moving, oos, have a mission, no enemy forces, but very dead for no apparent reason. People have reported ships being watched in the navmap, suddenly vanish with nothing at all around them to account for it. Is this god-engine as well ?

Suggestions for the devs :

Redesign the complex building. Add a "Place station in complex" command and auto-place the new station using a construction kit, so that the complex actually looks like a single entity. No tubing going vast distances. Remove each stations shields and just have a single complex shield. From space it looks like a single station and has the hub auto-placed in the best possible approach corridor. Mines will be the only reason why tubing still exists. But this would eliminate most of the navigation hazards of complexes. I would go as far as suggesting that with the new tractor beam available, then complex building could simply move a roid being added as a mine to a complex so that the entire roid/complex forms a single entity, regardless of how many roids are included in the complex. And its all automatic.

Auto-pilot : It must check line of sight from the ship to the target for any obstruction and plot a way around it before the ship begins to move. It must take into account the actual speed of the ship and its rudder upgrades, regardless of them being spec or not. One of the first scripts written was speed upgrade, so the auto-pilot must be able to handle obserdly high speeds (some people use 2000km/h, which is rediculaous, but must be catered for). It must look for and stear awell away from any complex tubing. If necessary, enemy ships attacking complexes need a separate AI so they take the risk with tubing, while player ships will not. Be better if you simply eliminate the tubing.

The god-engine must empty a station of ships, before removing the station, and advise the player of the ship now not having a destination and request new orders.

The auto-pilot cannot handle the complexity of all the roids down to collectable size. Remote mining collection has to be done oos ? Please ! Rethink and redesign. Reduce roids to dust and have the ore collector suck in the dust. That way, player can reduce all roids in area to dust, and the collector ship just sits in the center of the dust cloud (unaffected by the dust) and sucks the cloud in. Original yeild of the roids gets reassembled as volume in the cargo hold. Alternative - combine ore collector with transporter device and just station a ship next to debris field and the transporter and ore collector beam the collectable roids abourd while the ship is stationery. (Say 1 km radius for collection, and 1 roid a second collection rate.) When this radius is fully collected, move the ship automatically to collect the next lot (use the new collect command, but all the auto-pilot does is find a place to collect, stop there safely, collect then find the next place to collect.). No need for the auto-pilots constant collision avoidance, because all the collection is while the ship is stationery.

Please please spend some time now on fixing the gameplay issues.

Most of the real problems exist, imo as an ex-corporate-programmer/systems-analyst, because the original concept of some of the features is/was too complicated and you have forgotten about the Kiss principle of programming. Make some of the problem areas simpler, and the problem will go away. And the players will be a lot happier.

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Post by Jakesnake5 » Mon, 20. Mar 06, 15:19

Ok, 2 things:

1) You obviously don't know NOT to engage AP when your infront of an object, as the AP has no TIME to plot alternate vectors. End of story.

2) You haven't heard of GOD, have you. :D

GOD, in the game, is the controlling AI, which decides when, where and what stations should be 'destroyed', and posts BBS messages about it explaining why they vanished. If you had a ship AT a station GOD decides to vanish, your ship vanishes with it and you get the annonymous 'Destroyed' message with no reason.

I figured that out after the first one (reloaded to get it back).

Usually the only places that are SAFE from GOD, are Shipyards, Space Docks, Trading Stations and Pirate bases (which tend to get destroyed by PO'd AI ships or players). Though I could be mistaken.

I usually have my ships parked at Trading Stations. Their a fairly safe bet.

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apricotslice
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Post by apricotslice » Mon, 20. Mar 06, 15:24

Thankyou for pointing out the obvious.

If taking that advise was the complete fix, then I wouldnt have gone to the trouble of doing the message. Its at best a partial fix, and I've been doign it since I got the game. Its worn too thin.

Thankyou for confirming there is a problem.

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Post by Tigerhawk71 » Mon, 20. Mar 06, 17:16

I have had several issues with this kind of thing so far in my 3-days worth of playtime.

Issue #1, is that good old fashioned "your 500,000Cr ship was destroyed" message that just silently slips into the log. I've lost over a million creditd worth of ships for no apparent reason, and with no warning, hell sometimes i don't even notice for an hour or better. Only one of the 3 ships could possibly be accounted to enemy action because it was in Getsu Fune. And even then, i didn't get -ANY- warning whatsoever! Even that one took me 45 minutes to even notice. I'm sick of having to check my log every 5 minutes for a lost ship. Here's an idea. Give me a big-ass alert message on my HUD above the target brackets, since the current method is inadequate. Something along the lines of this:

WARNING: SHIP UNDER ATTACK
ARGON PRIME


Everytime something of mine gets SHOT AT. I don't care if it's dying. If it takes damage i want to know. If they die, tell me who or what did it and thier ID in the log, so i can hunt them down and kill them so hard thier mother dies. :lol:

Next one is some autopilot issues.

Split Caiman. Got a great idea. Ramming into, then backing up and ramming into complex pipelines was a good idea at the time. It undocked, flew up (in direction of complex, mistake #1) then turned and ploughed right into the pipe (Mistake #2) Repeatedly (Mistake #3) And died. Those things aren't cheap, especially with a bay full of product! Please make it so they move like, 1.5K in the opposite direction of the pipe side of a hub before they even twitch in another direction, to minimize the chances of it colliding with any. I'm not blaming you for my questionable station placements, but there was no reason for it to move up into those pipes whatsoever, when the hub itself was already higher than it's intended target station.

Some other autopilot issues i've had i can attribute to SETA. Ramming into a ship i am following, and collecting cargo crates with the special command software causing the ship to circle the crate endlessly at full speed. I take SETA off, these two things are just fine. The Caiman issue was also under normal conditions, not SETA.

But those issues i mentioned really detract from the experience.. and get old, really fast.
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A not so simple fix?

Post by drewlad » Mon, 20. Mar 06, 17:27

Hey there, I sympathise completely with what you said - you do have many valid points and a number of decent ideas on tackling them, I particularly liked the 'turn roid to dust' order and the possible 'vacuum the vacuum of space'. How cool would that be!

I can't offer any remedy for collisions with stations or complex tubing and the like.


I'd like to add why have Roids on gate to gate/station vectors in the first place?

I know we would like to have an accurate dipiction of how life may occur in space. But surely if I were an 'Ancient' I would at least engineer a gate system that avoided possible accidents with large planetry killer asteroids. I would also like to add that having so many of them in such a close gravitational orbit with 'inhabited planets' would make me a very nervous inhabidant indeed. :skull:

I would if I could, clear the them - but uh - they respawn. Could it be
possible to have these 'sector enhancements' but have them on a higher or lower plain? It would offer a compromise and a boost to moral/confidence all around IMO.

Edit: It read wrong, apologise

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Post by apricotslice » Tue, 21. Mar 06, 02:54

Post subject: Unknown object in Antigone Memorial

There's summit funny with that sector.

1. There's a big rock at (28, 21, 1) which is not visible on the gravidor or map but which the targeting computer picks up as an Unknown object. It's not scanable (by pressing 'I') either. Actually, the location of the UO is a 100m orso outside the 'roid. And you can fly through the 'roid as if its not there, but not the rocks surrounding it.
Now this finally confirms one of my other suspicions.

There are roids in the game that are not completely acurately defined to the game.

In some cases, these are seen in a slightly different place to where they are defined. So you can fly through the roid, but if you 'go around it', you hit it.

I suspect also that this is the problem with complex connector tubes. Somehow, the object is not defined exactly with its actual position, so the auto-pillok thinks the ship is going around the tube, but is actually sending the ship through the tube. This also accounts for why the ship keeps bashing objects, since the auto-pillok thinks its sending the ship through empty space but it actually is not.

And while people insist there is no collision checking oos, it seems that a lot of the ships are vanishing because they hit roids that are not defined properly in those sectors.

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Post by Jakesnake5 » Tue, 21. Mar 06, 05:25

BTW: You DO know that currently, complex docking hubs will always face North? I always put them in the direction of the sector center, usually 500-1km out from the station its attached too, and about 500-1km above or below. Helps lots with keeping the ships out of the bloody pipes if they don't have to fly through the mess.

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Post by Tigerhawk71 » Tue, 21. Mar 06, 09:25

apricotslice wrote: And while people insist there is no collision checking oos, it seems that a lot of the ships are vanishing because they hit roids that are not defined properly in those sectors.
I second this, i KNOW it makes no sense, because i know there's no collision detection OOS... but i can't help but to think that my entrance into a sector is causing it, or something else funky. My game seems to be short of hirable TS ships, the one in Oceans of Fantasy went missing shortly after i dismissed it in Bluish Snout and it left for OoF. I went back through the gate maybe 2 mins later, and it was gone.
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Post by halo112358 » Tue, 21. Mar 06, 09:36

I can't tell you how many Mercuries I've had suicide on the SPP attached to my crystal-complex :P

Are you running SETA when you crash on auto-pilot? I've noticed on my machine that when SETA is running my frame-rate drops and my AP accuracy goes to shite. I think autopilot is related to frame-rate, which is related to processor load, which under seta 10x is very high. I also noticed that if I turn SETA down to 6x I crash on AP less often, and if I run the AP normally I crash hardly at all.

Hope some of that helps.
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Post by apricotslice » Tue, 21. Mar 06, 10:19

All my losses under 1.4 were not under seta at all. This is a normal play speed problem.

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Post by R.Bootneck » Tue, 21. Mar 06, 21:48

Vanishing ships,


I would like to even get a message in the log.

However, I claimed a capped ship last night, gave it the order to dock at the Shipyard in the neighbouring system, I flew on ahead, to take out a Xenon patrol harassing one of my UT´s.

The claimed ship just disappeared, no message in the log, it just disappeared off my ship list, (no it wasn´t claimed by ¨God¨ removing a station as it wasn´t docked anywhere, it just vanished)

I won´t get started on the auto-pilot, I´ll just say I agree with apricotslice. I now just got into the habit of getting out of any sector any of my owned ships are attempting to dock at a player owned fab, Its not the solution to the problem just my way of avoiding the annoyance until such time as the problem rises up the list of priorities to be addressed by the dev team :(

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Post by egamadeus » Tue, 21. Mar 06, 23:38

I may be a luckly one, but I have never had any auto-pilot issues iwth my own ship even on Seta x10. It is just a little gut renching to almost hit something like 10 times. Although I have watched some of my ships just try to go straight through a station, bump bump died. :(

And everytime a NPC takes me out I am suprised. :o But I have yet to have a ship go missing or just disappear. If I notice it (I check my ship list often, to keep a eye on it) I will post it and try to figure out where it happened and how.

But, I really agree with you apricotslice, especially on the "attach to complex command".

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Post by Lethal Mitch » Wed, 22. Mar 06, 01:03

I agree with apricots points here too.

I have been confused with the disappearing ships too. Maybe just unlucky that they dock at a station thats about to be removed. A reason for their demise would be better than they were simply destroyed.

The roids surely shouldn't be as fatal as they are surely. A capitol ship should stand a knock or two considering how well they're shielded.

The autopillock is improved with the 1.4 patch but still has a way to go before its right.

The building of complex's as well is just too complex, for me at least, so I don't bother with them anymore. Thinking of downloading Lucike's CLS script and just doing it the old fashioned X2 way.

I tried taking a couple of wingmen with me once and gave up with them. I was always having to reload because BOTH of them would sacrifice themselves by repeatedly bouncing off a shipyard or some of my "brilliantly" placed complex tubes. Logic would surely suggest that if you bang your head off a wall, you say ouch, and make sure you don't do it again because it hurts. Never mind the times I was busy micromanaging my empire, where unseen to me, my ship on autopillock approached a hugh asteroid, swung wildly away from it and collided with one of my wingman. The force feedback joystick sitting on the desk idle beside me doing a merry dance with all the bouncing. Tell you, this is not for the faint hearted, because what a bloody scare you get!

So I say please to a fix here too. The 1.4 patch has made a huge improvement to the game and I am very pleased but still a way to go me thinks.

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Post by apricotslice » Wed, 22. Mar 06, 03:30

Heres another version of what happens sometimes :
Nanook wrote: This may be totally different from the 'normal' destroyed ship incidents. I've noticed this twice since 1.4.

The first time, I had captured a Pirate Harrier Raider, a rare occurrence, and one of my favorite ships in the game. The capture took place in Thuruk's Beard. I sent it north to Family Pride for repairs and went off to do something else. A little later, I went to check on it, and it was gone. No message, nothing. Since I'd saved just after the capture, and I really wanted that ship, I reloaded. Sent it north again. Waited. Checked. Ship gone. Reloaded. Sent ship north. Watched. Ship reached Family Pride. Disappeared before docking at the shipyard. Reloaded. Sent it north. Docked it at a station in Thuruk's Pride. Watched. Ship disappeared (not the station, just the ship). So then, I flew it north myself, docked and repaired it at the shipyard. Flew it back to Thuruk's Beard after maxing it out and parked it at the Trading Station there. Changed to my Mamba and went hunting in Company Pride. After entering CP, I checked on my Harrier Raider, and it had disappeared again! Evil or Very Mad No rhyme or reason for it to consistently disappear!

I did say it happened a couple of times. The second was when I had captured a couple of civilian Makos in Atreus' Clouds. One Mako made it to the shipyard in Argon Prime. The other inexplicably disappeared between the East and South gates in The Hole. No collisions (I was OOS), no enemy in the sector. It just disappeared like the Harrier Raider.

I had captured hundreds of ships prior to 1.4 and never had this happen. In the space of a few game hours, I had two ships simply disappear for no reason. So, is this a real bug, or is it simply GOD gone amuck with my ships? Confused

This looks like a case of the game actually scheduling the removal of a ship, and not caring that it belongs to the player at the time of deletion. Which smacks of a run amok god-engine.

And thinking this over, all of my ships that have been lost (with no apparent reason) were claimed.

And it also explains why I have a worse problem than most, since the vast majority of my ships are captures.

The few ships I have that I actually bought, always hit things to die, and this is either witnessed or reported.

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Post by aabdualim » Wed, 22. Mar 06, 03:46

I think u r right. I have lost only 1 purchased ship so far. I will test a new thought and see if sectors matters. I will move my tucan to teladi space and see what happens. I lost my tucan in argon space.

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