Home » PLAYER'S HQ 1.13 » v1.13 General Gameplay Talk » Making enemies more defensive... (...and some other questions.)
Making enemies more defensive...[message #353035] Tue, 10 April 2018 19:44 Go to next message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

Hi people,

Been playing 1.13 for the past days and am enjoying it a lot, especially since you guys made it possible to modify things to the extreme.
So far I've spent many hours tweaking and modding things to my liking. Massive kudos to you guys for allowing this and making it easy to do.
There must be a zillion more options since I last played 1.13.

A couple of questions though:

1 - Is it possible to make enemies more defensive? I find that too often I just need to lie prone and wait for them to come over, not getting the opportunity to seek them out myself. My memory is foggy, but I think enemies in vanilla were less rushy?

2 - Is there a way to force mercs into not changing their appearance when their camo levels are over ~40? It makes finding the right merc a bit harder when they're all green. cheeky I didn't find an option for it, is it hardcoded or something?

3 - There are LBE items that can be customized if the descriptions are to be believed, but I can't figure out how to do this. I've clicked everywhere on one such item , tried anything. Am I missing something here?

4 - Another question about an LBE item: There are these metal rings/hooks and you can attach a sling to it. You can attach this to your legs but they don't provide any inventory space. What are these for?

5 - And lastly a modding question: I removed the <NeedsBatteries>1</NeedsBatteries> from the LAM-Flashlight items, hoping I could use them without batteries, but the LAM-Flashlight still keeps its batteries inventory afterwards and it still needs batteries.
Meaning this is a bit (or a lot) more complicated than I expected. Is it possible to remove the battery need and where would I need to look?

Thanks!

Edit:

6 - One more, hope you don't mind. I am trying to replace the camo Barrett with the classic Barrett from Unfinished Business.
Now I found the large size gun images in the BigItems folders and basically replaced P1ITEM726.sti (the camo version) with GUN55.sti (the original) and that takes care of the image you see when right-clicking the gun. But where are the big inventory images hiding? I think I went through all the STI files now but I can't seem to find any of the inventory icons. not sure

[Updated on: Wed, 11 April 2018 13:38]

Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353036 is a reply to message #353035] Tue, 10 April 2018 20:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sevenfm

 
Messages:1534
Registered:December 2012
Quote:
1 - Is it possible to make enemies more defensive?

Yes but it will make them even more stupid and easy target. First you will have to teach them to play defensively, and it's not an easy task.

Quote:
My memory is foggy, but I think enemies in vanilla were less rushy?

Yes, but the whole game mechanics was totally different in vanilla. For example, no vision bonus for scopes and no binocs make completely different game.

I tried to teach enemy to play more defensively in towns in Ja2+AI project, you can see how it works:

or



7609+fix | 7609+AI (r713) | 7609 unofficial modpack | Win8+ fix | Experimental project | Youtube

- How did you survive?
- Didn't. Got killed... God, I love that joke.


Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353046 is a reply to message #353036] Wed, 11 April 2018 02:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

@sevenfm: So in short we can't go back to a more vanilla JA2 style of aggression without modding the crap out of the game? Hmm, a pity but all right. Thanks for your reply.
Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353049 is a reply to message #353046] Wed, 11 April 2018 06:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RunAwayScientist

 
Messages:85
Registered:September 2001


You can specify in SkillSettings.ini the amount of camo on the skin and how much comes from the armor. I believe camo levels <= 39 mean they'll be without, so you could try to set the skin effective camo coverage to 39.

A second method might be to simply delete the camo .stis or replace the camo coverage .stis. IIRC, MERC mercs at one point did not have camo portraits and deleting them might be the fastest way to get this. Or replace it with a blank .bmp that is the same width and height as the .sti and rename it/change the extension.

You could also comment out the camo portrait change code in the source code, which might be the ideal solution.

Or, you could just turn it off in JA2_Options.ini:

" ;----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------
; If enabled, you see camouflaged portraits of your merc if they were any camo.
; If no camouflaged portrait is available (Data\Faces\xxxCAMO folders) , you see the standard face portrait.
;----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------

SHOW_CAMOUFLAGE_FACES = TRUE"



You can make enemies more defensive, technically, by modifying every single enemy placement via the map editor. You can modify them in base sectors, adding rooftop snipers or others to entrenched positions where you want. This does not take that long, maybe 10 to 15 minutes per map with a max enemy placement of 32 and then you're only modifying a few of those.


You could also disable the HAM settings for flanking and advanced enemy tactics, returning them to vanilla style behavior. Vanilla AI rushed just as much as it does now, however with HAM and suppression and snipers and other things including flanking this has been mitigated more. If anything, vanilla AI rushed MORE than it does now. This can be seen very clearly in Urban Chaos, since bottle necks are the most effective ways to clear maps in that mod.


These are the HAM tactical settings, turn these on and you won't notice the charging behavior so much:
Toggle Spoiler



You could also comment out sections of the code dealing with enemy advancement or pathfinding to mercs, or modify the code to set the default AI combat package to a defensive one. You could even comment out the section of the code that gets the AI package info from the map placement and use a single standard.


To replace the gun .50 BMG icon, you will need to open up MDGUNS.sti under \Data-1.13\Interface using STIView (you can find this on Bear Pits main website or here in the forums) and use STI View to copy and replace from the UB MDGUNS.sti . It's a quick copy-paste and STIView allows you to view individual gun interface portraits and replace them.


The LAM flashlight dynamic is hardcoded only if you're talking about the new flashlight feature that actually lights up tiles in front of a merc in tactical. Otherwise, if the 'needs batteries to work' flag isn't ticked for that item, it should work. I.E., the stat changes should be applied. If not, try changing the item type flag to a standard attachment, or you could copy and paste it in items and make it into its own item if you think there's a hardcoding thing going on.

You could also just make batteries a standard attachment for the LAM, so they show up on dead soldiers or item drops and this way you do not have to obtain them separately. You can do this via the XMLEditor.exe in the main directory.


Regarding the weird new LBE attach customize system: Yes, you can 'attach' certain LBE items to main LBE items. So, for example, you can attach a drop pouch or a document pouch to a vest and you get a free slot (in theory). This is a new feature and it also works with the carabiner rings. I frankly can't figure out what the rings allow you to attach, but the AttachmentClass reports it as a 'modular pouch', which just like the document pouch allows you to insert only very specific things into it or very small.


You may have to 'attach' the item you want to the carabiner or other pouch first, THEN attach that to the main LBE gear if you can't get it working otherwise.


Hope that gets all your questions.

Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353061 is a reply to message #353049] Wed, 11 April 2018 13:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

MDGUNS.sti contains the tiny icons though, the floor items, not the bigger inventory image. I went through all the .sti files again and I don't understand it, it's like those big gun images are magically conjured out of thin air. The small icons are there (MDGUNS.sti), the huge icons are there (P1ITEM726 is the M82, which shows when the gun is right-clicked in-game), but the inventory ones are nowhere to be found.
I'm obviously overlooking something, but I'm completely out of ideas. Do you or does anyone else know where it's hiding?

Regarding my other questions, yes, that's plenty of information I can work with. happy Thanks bunches!

* Edited for clarity.

* Edit: I was being daft, I found the REAL tiny icons file, smguns.sti. I thought mdguns.sti was the one since the items in there have a green outline as well.
So the inventory files are stored inside MDGUNS.sti, that's clear to me now. But... at spot 55 the old Barrett M82 is still there (which led me to believe these were ground icons in the first place). The camo M82 is nowhere to be found in MDGUNS.sti!

I'm looking for a phantom gun! Still hoping someone can solve this mystery before I need a straightjacket. thumbs up

* Final edit: It was in MDP1ITEMS.sti, number 726! Just like the big one is also 726 and in the items category, not guns category. My brain didn't catch up on this. I skimmed through that file earlier but must have blinked my eyes when I went past the camo icon.

So I finally connected all the dots, went into items.xml, went to the M82A2, removed the line <ubGraphicType>1</ubGraphicType> and changed the graphic number to 55. And now I have the old M82 back without even fiddling with the sti files.

*Ira's voice* I'm learning!

My thanks to all involved.

[Updated on: Wed, 11 April 2018 15:28]

Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353062 is a reply to message #353049] Wed, 11 April 2018 13:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sevenfm

 
Messages:1534
Registered:December 2012
Quote:
These are the HAM tactical settings

These are not HAM settings, except maybe for NEW_AI_TACTICAL.
Also AI_EXTRA_FLANKING has no effect in the game.



7609+fix | 7609+AI (r713) | 7609 unofficial modpack | Win8+ fix | Experimental project | Youtube

- How did you survive?
- Didn't. Got killed... God, I love that joke.


Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353138 is a reply to message #353062] Sat, 14 April 2018 20:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

I have some more questions, tossing them in my previous thread since I don't want to open topics everywhere.

7 - Is it possible to disable reinforcements without breaking the invasions?
When I disable them only one wave arrives, the rest of the invasion remains stationary on the outskirts of the town.
I really dislike reinforcements popping up; they take enemies away from another sector (which means there'll be less to do there), and they force you to have a lot more mercs around, since some people need to watch the rear.
I'd disable them but on the other hand, I REALLY love those massive invasions after you free a town.

8 - I bet this has something to do with real life sniper rifles unable to fit them as well (speculating, I am not a gun enthusiast), but why don't Rifle LAMs fit most sniper rifles?
Or at least they don't fit the sniper rifles I found and used in-game, apart from the AI AWM. Seems weird to only allow short-range pointers on them, but I figure it was done for real life reasons.

9 - The shop interface, where is the wooden texture located? Is it changeable?
Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353144 is a reply to message #353138] Sun, 15 April 2018 10:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2292
Registered:May 2009
7) Reinforcements are required to add additional troops during battle. So if you want to have massive attacks you need the reinforcement functionality. You can play around with the x_DELAY_ENEMY_REINFORCEMENTS parameters in JA2_Options.ini to slow them down a bit if you feel they come too fast.

8) Lasers don't make much sense on sniper rifles because the lasers have limit range and sniper rifles are usually not used at close range at least not with a high power scope. The short range lasers help with aiming at short range using iron sights or shooting from hip.

9) The file is "data\laptop\shopkeeperbackground.pcx".



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353146 is a reply to message #353144] Sun, 15 April 2018 12:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 09:53
*snip*

7. Thanks!
8. I agree that they don't make sense, but I figured that if a LAM-200 would fit on one, at least a Rifle LAM would make a bit more sense to fit on them as well, due to their slightly longer range. happy
9. I was looking all over the place for that thing. Expected it to be in the 1.13 data folder and as a .STI file. Thanks!
Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353161 is a reply to message #353146] Sun, 15 April 2018 23:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
crackwise

 
Messages:13
Registered:April 2013
I love the improved AI of Sevenfm's ja2+AI.exe. The AI uses cover much more effectively, returns suppression fire, tries to flank you etc. It is a huge improvement in terms of gameplay and realism.

Unfortunately, this AI mod is apparently only compatible with v7609. It would be awesome if it could run also with the newer "unstable" versions!Is there a chance that the mod will also be developed in that direction in the future, @Sevenfm?
Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353172 is a reply to message #353161] Mon, 16 April 2018 18:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RunAwayScientist

 
Messages:85
Registered:September 2001
>Unfortunately, this AI mod is apparently only compatible with v7609. It would be awesome if it could run also with the newer "unstable" versions!Is there a chance that the mod will also be developed in that direction in the future, @Sevenfm?


You bring up a good point, crackwise: Why?


It should be a simple yet work-intensive matter to merge the AI source code with the current source. Seven is the only person messing with AI, as I understand it, so the AI code should be (more or minus Flugente) intact from when it was last edited and advanced flanking added.

WinMerge might be the tool to help here, assuming the AI methods and functions are not intricately linked in a massive spiderweb of C-code death.

Re: Making enemies more defensive...[message #353175 is a reply to message #353172] Mon, 16 April 2018 18:27 Go to previous message
sevenfm

 
Messages:1534
Registered:December 2012
It should be technically possible to take TacticalAI folder from Ja2+AI and update it to actual trunk, since there were not many changes to AI since 7609.
There are some parts of the AI code linked to other code changes in Tactical folder, but it should be solvable.
Also, I did some changes to game mechanics, for example, AI is allowed to raise alert when sector is jammed, only reinforcements are disabled, so it should be changed in one or another way.
Still, it's a lot of work for a good coder, and the person working with it should understand how the AI works in ja2, or else it will make things even worse.
And someone should take the job to support all the changes, fix bugs etc, and it's a lot of work, too.
And I am personally have no time or interest to do it as I mostly play 7609 with mods and the work on my AI project is far from being finished, I have some very interesting ideas to implement which should really change playing experience.

The problem with ja2's AI is that it is made in very special way to work on very old and slow computers, so it's far from effective by design and it's really hard to improve it without breaking something. In short, there are serious design limitations. So if someone will want to start improving AI in trunk, I would recommend to make new AI from scratch instead of spending time trying to fix existing AI which was made originally for completely different game mechanics.



7609+fix | 7609+AI (r713) | 7609 unofficial modpack | Win8+ fix | Experimental project | Youtube

- How did you survive?
- Didn't. Got killed... God, I love that joke.


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