Impossible Aircraft transport missions

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felinis
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Impossible Aircraft transport missions

#1 Post by felinis » Apr 14 2006

The AI sends my aircraft on impossible transport missions across oceans that end up with them crashing into the ocean when they run out of fuel.

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Balthagor
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#2 Post by Balthagor » Apr 15 2006

We are aware of the fact that the AIs use of helicopters at times does not properly understand the distance they must travel to reach their destination. It acutally has to do with the fact that when they leave the shore they are carrying supplies which they use as they fly. But once they start to run low on fuel and want to return home to get more fuel they don't have any more supplies in their cargo to let them get back home.

There is also the issue that it is likley none of your aircraft could reach the destination you've asked them to air transport too.

We are working on these sorts of issues, but there is no bug here, it is working as designed. There are just problems still in the design.
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felinis
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#3 Post by felinis » Apr 15 2006

There is also the issue that it is likley none of your aircraft could reach the destination you've asked them to air transport too.
No, this is not the case - I pre-plan to operate successfully within the system.

The other part of the "design insuffeciency" is that the AI chooses inappropriate aircraft to do the requested transport. It will choose helocopters when I have specifically made available long-range C-5's from reserve, and have placed my troops at airstrips.

And I open airstrips along the route of the AI's selected aircraft. And I provide air-refueling aircraft from the troop location to destination.

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#4 Post by Balthagor » Apr 15 2006

Now we're into AI decisions which is something that is often up for discussion. The quesiton here would be;

- When an "air transport" order is given, what criteria should the AI look for in the unit it sends in response?

Some obvious answers we already apply are;

- sufficient cargo capacity to carry the unit
- look for closest
- look for unit with no orders

If you've got further suggestions they would certainly help us refine the AI. Feel free to include examples of when it should chose fixed wing or rotor transports.

And before someone says "has safe path to destination", the AI doesn't know that when finding the unit, it is not in the section of code that looks at pathing. I know this because I already asked George about that one ;)
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felinis
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In harm's way

#5 Post by felinis » Apr 15 2006

Chris:

I commend you for you dedication in addressing these issues over the weekend - if it was my J.O.B., I would certainly wait until Monday.

I can indeed invision the logic necessary to solve this problem - as a Software Engineer I do this for a living. But I am not going to help you solve this - that is your J.O.B.

I play this game for fun, and that is too much like work.

Thanks again for the feed-back and attention.

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#6 Post by Draken » Apr 16 2006

Balthagor wrote:Now we're into AI decisions which is something that is often up for discussion. The quesiton here would be;

- When an "air transport" order is given, what criteria should the AI look for in the unit it sends in response?

Some obvious answers we already apply are;

- sufficient cargo capacity to carry the unit
- look for closest
- look for unit with no orders

If you've got further suggestions they would certainly help us refine the AI. Feel free to include examples of when it should chose fixed wing or rotor transports.

And before someone says "has safe path to destination", the AI doesn't know that when finding the unit, it is not in the section of code that looks at pathing. I know this because I already asked George about that one ;)
I think you knew I would say:

Organic Transport!

http://www.battlegoat.com/forums/viewto ... highlight=

:D

Edit:
Or reaction radius:
http://www.battlegoat.com/forums/viewto ... highlight=

felinis
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Organic transport

#7 Post by felinis » Apr 16 2006

I have no idea what that means.

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Balthagor
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#8 Post by Balthagor » Apr 17 2006

Of the two suggestions Darken, I certainly perfer the second. But I still see a need for us to better define to the AI a way of deciding which aircraft it should use for transport. I have it on my list to come up with these ideas myself as felinis suggests, but if the community has any ideas (wouldn't be the first time the forum helped us out ;) ) it might get done sooner. For now, it's on my wishlist.

There has also been discussions of expanding unit roles to help define what the player wants used as transport, but that still seems like a work around for the AI not knowing...
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felinis
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#9 Post by felinis » Apr 17 2006

I just lost half of my C-5 cargo plane fleet because they did not fill their fuel tanks before take-off.

Not only that, but they flew past KC-135 tankers and active, friendly airstrips without stopping to fill their tanks.

I was selecting groups of air-dropped units and ordering them to Air Transport - no aircraft selection or guidance on my part.

They were flying trans-Atlantic, then trans-Africa.

Once I noticed the "crashed on landing" messages, I started to monitor their operations. I tried diverting two of them over the Atlantic to the KC-135s - that didn't work.

I diverted two others to the nearest airstrip - one made it, the other didn't.

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#10 Post by Balthagor » Apr 17 2006

If you could send me a savegame with these units number grouped (obviously, before the crash ;) ) it would be useful to us. There are two times I've seen stuff like this happening;

- adjusted advanced orders for move speed/route. When I set them to move "faster" after they took off they did not properly recalculate the fact that they would now consumer fuel faster and therefore ran out just before reaching a base

- Long distance with own supplies. This is what I suspect you encountered. You're longest range aircraft has fuel to go (as an example) 1000km. It also carries enough "supplies" to keep it topped up over a distance of 500km. So it leaves an airstrip on the shore for a destination that is 2100km away. At 1600km away it has run out of supplies and begins using its own fuel. At 1300km from the destination it begins checking it's own fuel supplies and determines that it can't reach the destination and turns back to get back to it's point of origin. Unfortunalty, that is 800km away and it only has fuel to go another 700km

The range checking is not done more often because each range check for each unit slows the game more. We always cut some corners where we can to improve preformance, clearly we haven't gotten the aircraft quite right yet. These problems have already been documented.
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tonystowe
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#11 Post by tonystowe » Apr 18 2006

If I may add my 2 cents.

The AI should take into account the already mentioned items, the Starting hex at which the air transport is to occur and the distance in which it must travel to reach its destination. The AI would then address the issue of possible routes that it might take in order to sustain the flight for either (1) in-flight refueling or (2) landing options so that it may refuel. If the AI cannot create a successful route then it should alert the player to the reasons as to why the mission is impossible/impractical.

The AI needs to understand the operating distance of the aircraft to ensure that the aircraft doesn't crash land. If the combat radius of a helicopter is 500km then 250km is the max distance it may travel before needing to refuel. If combat is expected then this distance is even shorter as the fuel consumed will shorten this distance to maybe 200km. If combat isn't an issue the distance available for travel is 500 km.

The AI should always be aware of friendly refueling aircraft locations and make every attempt to ensure that in-flight refueling is utilized when possible.

The AI should also make note of potential enemy activity, current DEFCON and potential loss to aircraft such as the KC-135. If the threat is greater than current offensive/defensive potential towards protecting inflight refueling activities then the AI should alert the player to this as well.

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#12 Post by Balthagor » Apr 18 2006

We're trying to incorporate some of this but your key suggestion, having the AI aware of the route, is not currently possible. Well, it is possible, but it would stall the game. Pathing caculations are one of the most demanding. If the aircraft where all checking their path to know if they could reach it before beginning the trip, performance would take a massive hit.
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