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LightRogue

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1

Thursday, April 15th 2004, 9:50am

What is it about patrols that NO ONE knows? I´ve spent four days in this forum looking for information about making patrols work (specifically, attacks on tradelanes), but there is NOTHING. People keep saying to look at chips and acushot´s posts but there is nothing in there about setting up WORKING patrols and tradelane assaults. I´ve searched the forums (using "patrol" and "patrol assault" and "assault patrol" and "tradelane assault" and "tradelane attack" and "attack patrol" and many variations. There´s nothing here. It is like every time somebody asks the question, there is no response on that topic. Do you mean to imply by this that NO ONE has set up working tradelane assault patrols in their mods????? This sounds pretty unbelievable to me. In fact, without this function, I cannot imagine a mod being worth my time. SOMEBODY out there must know the details of making assault patrols work. Now for some background: I´ve made my own system successfully. Everything works in it.....except assault patrols. I have ten planets, 6 bases, 8 tradelanes, 7 asteroid fields, 4 nebulas, encounters all over the place, working trade and missions, mining, system traffic and ambient populations.....everything works beautifully without a catch. But I can´t make a simple assault patrol work and I can´t find any detailed information (at least not from anyone sober enough to type) on the topic. Chips, Accushot, ANYONE! If you know the details of setting up WORKING assault patrols, please post a tutorial. And please don´t get into CREATION of custom components like custom factions and customized substory and special missions and so forth. I just want to make a working assault patrol attack a tradelane. I can figure the rest out from there. I´ve copied the code for a single path and made appropriate changes (pathname, path id, faction, lane location, angle and length, etc. These are all correct, and I know they are correct because the assault patrol WORKS.....sorta. I can enter the system. I can use the tradelane most of the time. But the assault chance is calculated upon ENTERING the tradelane, and when there IS an assault, suddenly the game crashes to the desktop. Now the only thing I know so far about assault patrols is that the encounter type has to be declared at the top of the system ini file. Is that the ONLY thing that has to be declared? I am not talking about custom stuff. Just a standard assault patrol by somebody like the Mollys or Outcasts. Do I have to set up a Molly base for them to appear in an assault? Do I have to tie my path to something? In short - what am I NOT doing that needs to be done? Help on this topic would be very much appreciated by a lot more people than just me! I see lots of questions about it, and NO answers. LightRogue
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Thursday, April 15th 2004, 11:39am

Very well said LightRogue (as was your post in the other thread). I´m kind of relieved that I´m not the only one not knowing what I´m doing wrong, but it also worries me no-one has answered yet. People with &quot;how to&quot;-questions are usually put into the right direction, and this makes me fear that indeed sofar no-one had figured out how to do this particular thing. Which means that Tradelanes designed by modders are by far the safest in Sirius <img src=smilies/icon_smile_sad.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle>

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3

Thursday, April 15th 2004, 4:49pm

I have never got patrols to work for me. My systems end up looking pretty dull.
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LightRogue

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4

Thursday, April 15th 2004, 8:03pm

Yeah my system is WAY too safe! Kinda takes the glory out of building a cool system when something this critical doesn´t work. You can always LOOK for encounters in my system and find them, but that´s too safe for me. There has to be a threat of attack on the tradelanes <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> Well, hopefully one of these kind gentlemen will be able to provide some answers... LightRogue
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5

Friday, April 16th 2004, 10:58pm

Accushot, I know this should probably be in the newbie or tutorial thread, but it would be really handy to have a stickie somewhere, on the subject for a while. I think it would generate a lot of interest, especially on trade patrols. Lightrogue, I didn´t fully understand how your patrol worked, sorta? The patrol probably caused the crash. I´ve made many attack patrols in the Edge worlds, therefore non on trade lanes, so I´m not talking from experience, but if you placed the assault patrol adjacent to the lane, they should attack the rings if they pass near to them. I wouldn´t place the patrol inside the tradelane encounter box but just outside it. With my patrols I´ve always set them going from a base or jumphole, ending at another/same base or jumphole in a patrol pattern. You probably realise that the path labels have to be unique, you can already set up encounters so you understand declaring the encounter and faction/encounter weightings, theres some good information on encounters already, I learnt from the battleship encounter tutorial and by having a look at the ones already in a system and using the same format. I´ve never had any problems with attack patrols though, but I´ve had a few with trade ones. S
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6

Friday, April 16th 2004, 11:11pm

Just read another post discussing the subject in more detail. Patrol must include the tradelane id; attack_ids = ####. S
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LightRogue

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7

Saturday, April 17th 2004, 9:00pm

Steve, Thanks for the reply. Nice to hear from someone who has actually made a patrol work. I placed the assault patrol directly on the tradelane because that is what they did in the official game. At least the paths I looked at that were directed as tradelane assault patrols were set up that way. But I did move the patrol 1 thousand meters away from the tradelane, but when the patrol is generated, it still crashes my game. I need to know more about setting up patrols, so forgive me if I ask too many questions: 1) can a patrol consist of a single path. Ie a single path parallel to a single tradelane. Or does a patrol path have to make a loop (start and end points are the same location). 2) is there ANYTHING else required for a patrol to work? In other words, is there any more needed other than the path and the encounter declaration? 3) Do patrol paths require an ambient population or a territorial stronghold? Ie can I set up an Outcast patrol without having an outcast stronghold or territorial holding in my system? Now just so you will be able to see, here is my encounter declaration and the patrol path I used: [EncounterParameters nickname = patrolp_assault filename = missionsencounterspatrolp_assault.ini [zone nickname = Zone_SG01_path_mollys1_1 pos = -59837, 0, -48056 rotate = -90, -16, 0 shape = CYLINDER size = 750, 82000 attack_ids = SG01_1 tradelane_attack = 10 sort = 99 toughness = 7 density = 3 repop_time = 90 max_battle_size = 4 pop_type = attack_patrol relief_time = 30 path_label = mollys1, 1 usage = patrol mission_eligible = false faction_weight = fc_m_grp, 10 density_restriction = 1, patroller density_restriction = 1, police_patroller density_restriction = 1, pirate_patroller density_restriction = 4, lawfuls density_restriction = 4, unlawfuls encounter = patrolp_assault, 7, 0.290000 faction = fc_m_grp, 1.000000 One last question: the density restriction line: do these lines reference npcs that NEED to be in the system? I don´t really understand those lines, but when I comment one of them out, my system crashes back to the desktop the moment I try to enter it. Any help in this you can offer is much appreciated. I´d really like to be able to get patrols working, and in particular, attacks on tradelanes. So thanks in advance <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> LightRogue
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8

Sunday, April 18th 2004, 12:11am

I´m dog tired at the moment and I have given duff info on the forum before, so apologies if any of this ends up being duff. You need to have sussed out area encounters before you try patrols, so practice them first if you haven´t already. There´s been quite a few posts on area encounters, so do a search for them in the tutorial and general mod threads. I´ve seen good info on encounters from Baked potato, Chips, Accushot, Nephilim and others who´ve made good tutorials on capital ship and nomad encounters, so the information here is from their hard work not mine. I prefer realism so I´ve always set patrols from somewhere to somewhere. Either a base or jumphole. I´ve an idea that they must be going to and from somewhere to enable them to reply to you in space as to where they are going, I think its set from the permetation line in the encounter file. I´m theorising now but I think its also set from the path label line in the patrol entry, &quot;I´ve got one more waypoint to go&quot; as they say. So its important to use the exact same format and include the commer. I have had patrols that work, that have only crashed when I´ve asked them a question, so I do think they need to be going to or from somewhere. The pathe label initial entry is for a patrol ie hessians3, the number after the comma is for the particular patrol path (if you know what I mean). So for the next path it would have a path_label = hessians3, 2. I always use local factions already populating the system. If I´ve added new patrols or encounters for a faction not populating a system I´ve given them a base or set pathes from a jumphole to a system they populate. I also add patrol paths to try and access as many vignettes as possible for random missions, with varying degrees of success. Repop time/releif time are not in seconds or minutes, but are a measure of how often they appear, obviously the lower the number the more they respawn. As you know, the encounter type has to be declared. The info below I got from a Baked Potato post I saved some time ago; [zone nickname = Zone_Bw03_path_hessians3_1 pos = -16568, 0, 16407 rotate = -90, -90, 0 shape = CYLINDER size = 750, 8508 sort = 76 toughness = 12 &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; npc level density = 3 &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; max number of npcs spawned repop_time = 90 &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; respawn rate max_battle_size = 4 &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; max number of npcs in battle,can be more due to encounter types pop_type = attack_patrol relief_time = 30 &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; Time between respawing new npc ships.After the last ship is destroyed usually path_label = hessians3, 1 &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; keep to same format usage = patrol mission_eligible = True &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; enables access to vignettes faction_weight = fc_c_grp, 10 faction_weight = fc_rh_grp, 10 density_restriction = 1, patroller density_restriction = 1, police_patroller density_restriction = 1, pirate_patroller density_restriction = 4, lawfuls &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; lawful density restriction density_restriction = 4, unlawfuls &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; unlawful density restriction encounter = patrolp_assault, 12, 0.290000 faction = fc_c_grp, 0.500000 faction = fc_rh_grp, 0.500000 So to answer your questions, 1. I think the patrol needs to be more than a single route. I have actually made one like that but it was going from a base into another encounter zone. I´ve never set just a single patrol path going nowhere. So it may be possible, but for me not realistic. 2. All you need is a patrol path(s) and an encounter declaration. 3. I´ve never set a patrol for a faction not populating a system or without area encounters or patrols from a jumphole. For me it wouldn´t be realistic. So I don´t know. Although I have set trade routes for zoners to a base that they didn´t populate. Try setting a patrol route for your Outcasts from a jumphole, without the tradelane attack thing in it to get a working patrol first. One last question: density_restriction? It justs limits lawful or unlawful npcs within the patrol area, probably when it enters an area encounter zone. Its nothing to do with a particular set of npc´s needing to be in a system. I´ll have to have a think as to why it would crash due to commenting one out. Patrols can take a bit of work to get right. I´ve always had a few crashes when making them. The worst part for me was learning how to locate them and set their angles. Anyway I´m rambling. Got to go to sleep. Best of luck, hope this helps. S
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9

Sunday, April 18th 2004, 12:21am

Reply 3 is wrong, I did have a couple of zoners on the base. S
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LightRogue

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Sunday, April 18th 2004, 8:19am

Thanks again Steve, I already have loads of working encounters in my system. Those are easy. It is just the patrols I have had trouble with. I´m already using the suggested format, as you will have seen from my previous post. The only things I haven´t done is set up the patrol to originate from a jumpgate, jumphole or base. And I haven´t extended the route to more than one leg of a route - ie it runs the length of a single tradelane is all. So I will try those things. But just to make sure I am thinking along the same lines as you, I am assuming that you mean the route has to come very near or overlap a base, jumphole, or jumpgate. There´s no way to actually DEFINE one of those as the origin, correct? Well, thanks again for your comments and advice and taking the time to type it all up <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> LightRogue
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11

Monday, April 19th 2004, 1:37am

LightRogue and Steve, Setting up one path for patrol is good enough and so as to trade. a single patrol path, in my experience, is a complete loop already, unless you put it near an enemy base. they will go from point 1 to pont 2 and go back to point 1 again, thus completing their patrol... now if you make your patrol start from a base and headed to a point 2 they will arrive again end their patrol by docking... this setting is realistic as they can end their patrol and dock in their point of origin, in this cas their base. for trade paths, this paths are one way only, as far as i know, so my suggestion is you do it from a base to a base or from a base to a jump hole, jumphole to base and etc.... you can do series of path, be sure the path label is numbered accordingly. arriving a jumphole from a certain base using the trade path sometimes can cause crashes... this is only true if the hole is in an exclusion zone. i hope this helps.... PS. better create a path calculator that computes for the path lenght, coordinates and angle. <font size=1 face="trebuchet ms"><BLOCKQUOTE><hr size=1 noshade><A href=´http://www.lancersreactor.org´ Target=_Blank><img src=´http://www.sharemation.com/firebase/Freelancer/FBTSymbol64x64.jpg ´> a message from firebase...</a> <hr size=1 noshade></BLOCKQUOTE></font><font face=´trebuchet ms, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica´ size=2> Edited by - Sun Striker on 4/19/2004 12:38:40 AM
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12

Monday, April 19th 2004, 10:12am

Well, please don´t anyone take offense to this reply, but first off, I am not having any problems with trade paths. I am only interested in making ASSAULT PATROL paths work without crashing the game. At this point I could not care LESS about reality or the aesthetic values of making a path run from base to base. None of that is useful if I can´t make a path work without crashing the game. The length of the path is easy to do without a calculator. You figure it out in a single direction, say north to south (you can do that in your head) and if it runs diagonal, then add one-half more or less of the length to the sum. That gives you roughly the length you need. You can then look at it in something like FL EXP and SEE if it is too long or too short. Anyway, all that is beside the point. ASSAULT PATROLS is the topic of this thread and that´s the only thing that we are trying to resolve. After all of my initial failures I used Freelancer Explorer to create some new patrol paths. Understand that I don´t like to do that because FL EXP doesn´t speak the WHOLE language of Freelancer Editing. But mainly, it doesn´t like entries in your mod´s dll file that it personally did not make, and so it removes them. When I have to use FL EXP, it removes all of the id_names and id_info that I manually entered using Fled-ids. Anyway, I designated my new patrols as assault_patrols, and I set up four of them along my tradelanes. They don´t run directly on a trade lane, they parallel somewhat, but mostly meander around within a given area. I used the Mollys, Junkers, Police, and Red Hessians. The Police patrol works because I have since been pestered twice by the police. I don´t know if the Junkers and Red Hessians work, but they aren´t crashing the game at least. The Mollys for some reason crash the game. And they crash the tradelane that they parallel. Again, they are set up so that the path does not run ON the tradelane. At one point it crosses that tradelane. But so do all of the other patrols, and they don´t cause any crashes. For some unknown reason, the Mollys patrols just don´t seem to be compatable with tradelanes. Also note that the patrols, as set up by FL EXP, do not contain the lines: lane_id = tradelane_attack = And so far, neither the Hessians nor the Junkers have attack my tradelanes where they patrol. However, it is my guess that the moment I include those lines, they will crash the game. Naturally, I am going to try it just to find out. As for the mollys, commenting out the paths for the mollys resolves the problem with them crashing the tradelane, so I am pretty certain that it is the molly paths that are causing the crash. And except for the coordinate locations and the faction name, those paths are identical (except the name of course) to the other paths. No reason for it to cause the crash. So I have to conclude there is something about the Molly faction that is a problem. I DO have Molly area encounters set up. And those work wonderfully. They inhabit an entire asteroid field, and I never have trouble with THOSE encounters. But I set their path up to run through part of the asteroid field, then parallel to the tradelane, across the tradelane, and back down to the asteroid field. I also checked the tradelane. It´s no different from any of the others. And it works great as long as there is no Molly paths near it. Sun Striker, you mentioned that a single path is a complete path in itself. I could use some clarification however, when you guys talk about a path going from point a to point b. Paths don´t look like that, or I am doing something wrong. A path´s location is the CENTER of a straight line. But there´s no precision in that, unless of course, you do a ****load of math calculations to calculate the precise ENDS of your path. But logically, where do you end it? Do you end it a few hundred meters shy of your base? Or do you end it a meter from your base? Or do you end it ON your base, or do you make it overlap just a bit? See what I mean? Everyone probably does it differently, and as long as the end of the patrol path is IN THE VICINITY of the base, the patrollers will use the base. So precision isn´t really required here. A single path is defined by a single point in space, with a length. If the length is 10,000 meters, then it runs 5,000 meters out from the reference point in two opposite directions. Where is the starting point? The center of the line? If that is so, then to run from a base to another base, I need the center of my line to be on top of the base. Is that part of my problem? I am not getting my patrols to the intended destinations? Steve, guys - I have read the tutorials on patrols. They are VERY vague and not at all detailed, and they are poorly contructed. I don´t mean to insult anyone, because without those tutorials I would not have ANY system at all. But then I am a writer and editor and even a one-time publisher. Not everyone can be a writer. So please don´t take offense if you happen to be one of the tutorial writers. My comment is intended to be looked at by the writers of tutorials so that they can decide if they might want to mess with their tutorials and CLARIFY a few details within them. For example, Giskard´s tutorial on patrol paths - he says, &quot;this is the faction name. I don´t have any idea what the numbers mean....&quot; Well, the numbers are there, and therefore they are a part of the definition of the encounter. And therefore have to be within specific ranges. If we don´t have those ranges then the numbers are incorrect and we have a broken encounter. Tutorial after tutorial is like that. I don´t know what this or that is but it should work now..... Well, it usually doesn´t. And then I spend hours or days trying to figure out why. If you wrote a tutorial, and you have since then learned how to fill in the missing gaps, then please go back to your tutorial (when you are sober and can do a decent job of typing) and rewrite it so that it is clear to others. Writing a tutorial after having a few drinks is a VERY bad idea! ASSAULT PATROLS is obviously a difficult topic to deal with. Not very many people here know how to make a working patrol (that becomes clear when you read the newbie tutorial on patrol paths and it says in parenthesis (doesn´t work). Then later on there is one that says it works. But those who tried it commented that it also doesn´t work. Obviously, this topic needs a lot of discussion and a lot of help. I second Steve´s request to have this topic made sticky so that it can recieve some attention and get some answers. And so let me clarify my questions. Right now, I am a newbie when it comes to patrols and especially ASSAULT patrols. (Note that I CAN set up area encounters with no trouble at all.) So while I am in this condition, I want to state my questions again because they are probably typical of the questions asked by others who are new to making ASSAULT patrols. 1) what is the beginning point of a path, and what is the end? Is it the reference point, or is the ends of the line formed by the combination of the reference point and the LENGTH of the path? 2) where should a patrol path be located? should it be laid on top of tradelanes, so that the patrols use the tradelanes, or should it just run parallel to the tradelane? How far away should it be? 3) can a patrol path CROSS a tradelane without crashing it? 4) to make the patrol ATTACK the tradelane, do you have to have the lane_id and the tradelane_attack items in the path where the encounter is to take place? 5) how do you specify a base as part of the patrol route? 6) how do you increase or decrease the chance of an actual encounter - there seems to be no option for amount of chance..... 7) what do the numbers mean - EXACTLY - and how are they to be used. I am referring to the numbers that follow the faction. Ie fc_m_grp, 1, 0.290000 &lt;---what do those numbers mean and how are they used? What are the ranges? Where are the ranges defined? Can you change them? 8) Why would a patrol path (that is totally separate from a tradelane) crash a tradelane? What causes this? How can it be fixed? 9) does a patrol path have to make a loop or can you use a single path leg and call it a whole path? (forget aesthetics and realism - we just want to make the paths work!!! - we can worry about realism later.) 10) how do you make a patrol attack a base? 11) do patrol paths that go through asteroid fields need or require an exclusion zone to keep their paths clear of rocks? Ie, do the NPC patrollers know how to avoid rocks or do they just blindly follow the path and crash into whatever is in the way? 12) when you specify a faction in an assault patrol, does your path have to originate from a base held by that faction? (Again, I am not interested in aesthetics - I need to know if this is a requirement of the patrol path). 13) I also asked the question &quot;is there ANYTHING else required to make a patrol path work, other than the path itself, and the encounter declaration.&quot; The answer was &quot;no.&quot; But if that is true, then something within the path definition is causing problems - perhaps it is those mysterious numbers that appear after the faction? And for those of you who would reply, please keep your replies limited to the specific topic of the thread. We are trying to create WORKING assault patrols and also get them to occasionally attack tradelanes. If someone, or a number of people, can provide answers to all of those questions, I think there will be enough information for people to create their own custom patrol paths and enough information to debug them and make them work reliably. The entire basis of this game is interstellar combat. Without patrols you have very safe systems. Sure, you can set up area encounters, but I have noticed that an area encounter NEVER assaults a tradelane that passes right through the middle of the encounter area. Tradelane interruption requires there to be an assault patrol path nearby. And PROBABLY requires the lines: &quot;lane_id =&quot; and &quot;tradelane_attack =&quot; within the path definition. Somebody, somewhere along the way is going to say &quot;if you think you can do better, why don´t you write a tutorial yourself?&quot; And my response to that is - I already am. I was rather unhappy with the system building tutorials and all the many details left out of them, and wrong information passed on through them and the lack of covering the creation of ids_name data in the mod´s dll file. So yes, I am working on a system tutorial that will be just as long-winded as I am and will cover all the goary details of system creation, including bases and populations and encounters. I´d like to do one on patrols as well, when I get enough answers to make them work <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> Thanks to everyone who participates in this discussion. LightRogue
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13

Monday, April 19th 2004, 4:15pm

I´ll take a stab at those questions for you. 1) This involves a bit of math. Suppose your path runs horizontal (ie. from west to east), has a length of 10K, and is positioned at (0, 0, 0). The termination points would then be (5000, 0, 0) and (-5000, 0, 0). If the path ran vertical (ie. from north to south), it would terminate at (0, 0, 5000) and (0, 0, -5000). Finally, if it ran perpendicular to the horizontal plane, the end points would be located at (0, 5000, 0) and (0, -5000, 0). For angled (diagonal) paths you have to use sine, cosine, and Pythagoras´ theorem to find the coordinates. 2) There is no specific rule that says a patrol MUST be parallel to or superimposed on a tradelane, but it should not be further away (if you want patrolling ships to attack one) from a lane than its own radius. 3) Yes. 4) Yes. 5) You don´t. Patrol paths are really nothing more than encounter zones shaped like cylinders instead of spheres. You can have one pass by a base, but there is no way to make that base *part* of a path. 6) The probability of an encounter is determined by the encounter= lines, eg. &quot;encounter = patrolp_assault, 2, 0.290000&quot;. The first number controls the level of each NPC ship that spawns, while the second number controls the actual chance an encounter happens, in this case 29%. 7) See above, but I should mention that this is pretty basic. Read Chips´ encounter tutorial for a better understanding of how these variables work. 8) I have no idea. <img src=smilies/icon_smile_big.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> 9) A single leg already constitutes a path. Not much of one, granted, but a path nonetheless. You don´t have to construct an entire circuit of them or anything. 10) If the ships patrolling the path belong to a faction that is hostile to the faction that owns the base, they will attack on their own. 11) No, the AI avoids obstacles automatically. 12) No. Again, patrol paths are simply encounter zones (ie. predefined regions in which the AI can spawn ships) in the form of an elongated tube. They don´t have to connect to a base at all. 13) Basically you need the path, the encounter parameters and declaration, and an encounter formation set to the right (patrol_path) behavior. HTH. Edited by - Nephilim on 4/19/2004 3:20:28 PM

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14

Monday, April 19th 2004, 4:27pm

Good to see yo&#250; have sticked your teeth in this one, LightRogue! Also, a good initiative to get things clear. I hope it will be appreciated and get the desired response. I have not much time now, and (as you know, I have the same lack of knowledge about tradelane assaults as you have) I have no definite answers to your questions, but nevertheless I will reply to some of them. My replies will (at least, that is my aim) rather be a contribution to the discussion, a kind of &quot;thinking aloud&quot;, than a solution. Btw, I read a post somewhere, few days ago, from a guy that claimed he had created some working tradelane assaults (and he did seem credible, but wasn´t really step-by-step specific.) <b>3) </b>can a patrol path CROSS a tradelane without crashing it? I believe they can; I believe I´v seen it (but it´s hard to compare what you see on your patrol path map, and the data in the ini-file of that system. It would be a hell of a job, but I think it would be helpful if we´d draw out an entire system, including the paths). <b>7. </b>what do the numbers mean - EXACTLY ... Ie fc_m_grp, 1, 0.290000 &lt;---what do those numbers mean and how are they used Excuse me if I´m confusing things, but the format fc_m_grp, 1, 0.290000 does not actually occur. It should be something like: <b>encounter = patrolp_assault, 7, 0.290000 faction = fc_m_grp, 1.000000 </b> I am almost 100% sure (can never really know but experiences in other types of encounters seem to confirm this) that: # the integer in the 1st line is the difficulty (ranging from 1 to 19) # the floating point in the 1st line is the chance that the encounter will actually take place (so, ranging from 0.000000 to 1.000000). Which also answers Q6. # the floating point in the 2nd line the part that the faction has in this encounter. There can be more than one line of this type, and the total should be 1.000000, so you could have three factions here that have respectively 0.500000, 0.300000 and 0.200000. <b>8 </b>Why would a patrol path crash a tradelane I assume you mean: when you take the tradelane, the game crashes to desktop, and you are convinced the patrol path did it. (I share this assumption, as I have the same experience. Usually, a crash means that the game is confronted with something impossible. Impossible things are, a.o.: (a) the request to show something that is not initialized, like a solar archetype or a nebula (b) conflicting values, like incorrectly initialized empathy-effect rates for factions (i.e. a friend´s enemy cannot be a friend; apparently the game only does a &quot;1st-generation&quot; empathy-effect calculation; it doesn´t like loyality conflicts.) In the case of the tradelane assault patrol paths, it would seem that, what we ask the game to do, is impossible. Did we forgot to initialize something, or did we present the game with conflicting values? (Or, is it yet something else?) <b>11 </b>do patrol paths that go through asteroid fields need or require an exclusion zone? As far as I know, no. See e.g. Magellan (Iw03.ini) and its asteroid in´s; there are no exclusion zones for paths. But I really have to go now. My apologies if my language is not entirely comprehendible; I´m not a native speaker of English :p and it´s 12:20 AM here (gotta get some sleep, have to get up at 6:00). I´ll be following this thread with great interest. PS when you shoot at a tradelane ring while docking, it stops working and you hear &quot;trade lane disrupted&quot;, just like when a lane gets attacked. I belive the guy that claimwd he got some working, said you had to have the path just so that the attacker can shoot at a ring lane. Well, I had that, and it still didn´t work properly, but nevertheless this is something to remember). Edited by - moonhead on 4/19/2004 3:32:49 PM

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15

Monday, April 19th 2004, 5:19pm

Must admit, i tried patrol paths with about as much enthusiasm as a condemned tries the guillotine. I gave up as soon as it crashed the first time, mainly due to the fact that I wasn´t to bothered with it, its a very minor part of the mods! however, once i have some time to burn, i will give it a go and give some feedback. The bad news is that this could take about a month before i have enough &quot;play modding time&quot; to give it some serious attention. They will work, its just that i haven´t bothered to try it yet, and i guess everyone does what i do and give up like me. Once i sit down and apply myself, am sure they will start to work okay <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle>

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16

Monday, April 19th 2004, 6:46pm

Thanks Sun Striker. What software would I need to make a patrol calc, my mathes good so I could make it myself. Lightrogue, Hope you don´t mind Nephilim, Moonhead if I add more of my thoughts too, as this subject needs all the discussion possible. Have you checked the Hessian and Junker empathy as set in initial world is -0.65 towards the faction owning the trade lane. A faction commencing a patrol from a base has to be part of its population. Same as for trade patrols. Patrols from jumpholes/gates can be any faction. 1. I calculate a patrol path from a point to another then work out its centre afterwards. The patrol actually starts and finishes at each end. The centre is purely for placement. 2. I advised on not placing it over another encounter zone, ie the tradelane box, as it can cause problems between different density restrictions and cause a crash. 3. I´ve seen lots of patrol pathes in the game cross tradelanes, so is ok. Theres one in Manchester. 4. From looking at a patrol in Omega7, yes only the path where the encounter is required needs the tradelane id etc. 5. By placing an end point on a base, (not the centre). As for it to be on a patrol route, just end one path on the base and start the next path of the patrol from the base to the next point. 6. As per. 7. As per. 8. Don´t know enough about tradelanes yet. 9. As per. 10. If an assault patrol passes within sensor range of a base it will attack it. 11. As per. 12. As per. But if it does, the faction has to populate the base. 13. As per. Beings its faction specific, its not your tradelane but the Mollys. I must admit that I´ve not had any problems with assault patrols, my problems if I have any, are always trade pathes. So could we broaden this thread to include those too, as I´m sure assault patrol issues will be sussed long before trade paths. S
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17

Monday, April 19th 2004, 6:50pm

Nephilim, Moonhead, and Chips: Thanks a BUNCH for the comments guys! This is extremely helpful, and I believe we will eventually sort out what is the cause of my patrol problems. Nephilim, your comments-by-the-numbers is very greatly appreciated. As I go down the list, I see one item after another that I can rule out as a CAUSE of my trouble. But let me fill you in. I did fool around with my other patrol paths. It appears that my crash has something to do with a faction´s empathy towards me. Possibly. I am on good terms with the police, so their patrols work just fine. I was &quot;at peace&quot; with the Junkers and Red Hessians.....something I didn´t know when I created paths for both of those factions. So they were not crashing my game. When I shot up a bunch of junkers, the next junkers to spawn crashed my game. Keep in mind that the spawns were PATROL spawns and not just area encounter spawns. I still don´t have any trouble with area encounter spawns. I shoot Mollies and Zoners all the time and they just respawn and shoot back. But those are area encounters. So once I made enemies of the Junkers and Hessians, the game crashed when a new patrol of either faction was spawned. I am guessing, but if I made enemies of the police, my police patrols would also cause a crash. You mentioned something about encounter formations that are set to the right patrol_path behavior. Do you mean that I need also to create some formations in another file somewhere? This is news to me. I know you CAN create formations but I was under the impression that you only did that if you want something out of the ordinary. Please let me know if my assumption was incorrect, because that might be my problem. In any case, thanks very much for the precise information. I really appreciate your help and the time you spent on your reply. Chips: Your help in this would be awesome! I will gladly wait a month if you will really get into this and help us figure out what causes the instabilities in patrol paths. Moonhead: are YOU making any progress along these lines? It sounds like you are still getting the same crashes. I am too. I finally removed all of the patrol paths, and my game is solid as a rock again. No crashes at all. But also no patrols. Well, I am considering other possible causes. And these causes lead to more questions (that will confirm or deny these as possible causes). So here goes: Okay, lets put some of this together: First, for a patrol to attack a tradelane, there has to be an attack_ids, and a tradelane_attack possibility. Since I have none of those in my paths, my patrols SHOULDN´T be crashing my tradelanes. And yet they are. The tradelanes crash if the patrols are present, and the tradelanes DON´T crash if the patrols are removed. Why is this happening? Okay, moving on.....since a patrol needs a lane id (attack_ids =), then the tradelane needs to have an ids assigned to it. Where is the ids assigned to a tradelane? In my own system, I don´t have an ids on a tradelane until I add tradelane traffic. I add the traffic zone, which overlays the tradelane precisely, and in that zone, I give the tradelane an id. My id is arbitrary - and I need to know if this is acceptable. If not, where does the id come from? On what basis is the tradelane id constructed? This could also cause the problem if my tradelane id is for some reason not acceptable to the game engine. But that still doesn´t account for the crashes since I don´t have an attack_ids in the patrol paths. I was just putting patrols CLOSE to tradelanes and hoping they would attack on their own. To summarize, I am down to two possibilities for causes of the crashes: 1) the faction empathy is causing a problem; and 2) my tradelanes need proper id´s assigned to them and I need to use those id´s in the assault patrols. If anyone can give some details in those areas maybe one of those will prove to be my problem. One last comment here. Too many of us give up after the first failure. I am guilty of that as well. The first time I made a system, I couldn´t calculate tradelane paths and distances, so I gave it up. This time I don´t want to give up. Patrols aren´t easy; too many people can attest to that. And SOMETHING has to be the cause of their failure. Keep in mind that I used FL EXP to create my patrol paths. So they are correct. I didn´t have to make any modifications to them. The police patrols work wonderfully, but again, if I suddenly turn against them, they too will crash my game. But the evidence here is pretty strong that FL EXP set those paths up correctly. Something ELSE is causing them to interact poorly with ME or with my tradelanes or both. I apologize for the length of my posts. I want to try to give enough information to be helped <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> Thanks again guys! LightRogue
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18

Monday, April 19th 2004, 6:54pm

Steve: Why not? I will probably want to dive into trade paths next, so we may as well touch on those too. <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> As to your (most welcome) comments: Okay, I have not done anything to the initial world files. The owner of the tradelane (presently) is the armed forces. I plan to change that to the police. In either case, the empathy of Hessians, Junkers and Mollies towards police always causes a fight <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> So I am assuming the empathy is correct in that respect. When I STARTED my new system a few weeks ago, I changed the faction empathy´s towards me so that I could get from New York to Cambridge without a lot of trouble. My jumpgate is located in Cambridge. I just never changed the empathy back. However, I have since done that, and now that I am an enemy to the Red Hessians and the Junkers, they crash my game when I encounter one of their patrols. LightRogue --By the way, Steve, that tradelane calculator would be a welcome tool in this group. I´m an old fart and I was out of school before things like Algebra and Calculus became fashionable. I can add, subtract and multiply, but I flunked long division with honors!! <img src=smilies/icon_smile.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> Edited by - LightRogue on 4/19/2004 6:00:52 PM Edited by - LightRogue on 4/19/2004 6:04:37 PM
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19

Monday, April 19th 2004, 7:42pm

This seems to be how the attack and lane ids relate. I´d make your ids in the same type of format ie li01_1, 2 letters, 2 numbers dash number. Any letters, any numbers as long as they correspond. [zone nickname = Zone_Bw03_Tradelane_1 pos = -17501, 0, 1476 rotate = 0, -93, 0 shape = BOX size = 520, 520, 23020 lane_id = bw03_1 &lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; lane id tradelane_down = 10 sort = 2 toughness = 11 density = 6 repop_time = 15 max_battle_size = 4 pop_type = major_tradelane relief_time = 15 faction_weight = co_be_grp, 10 faction_weight = co_khc_grp, 10 faction_weight = co_nws_grp, 10 faction_weight = co_rs_grp, 10 encounter = tradelane_trade_armored, 11, 0.150000 faction = co_be_grp, 0.330000 faction = co_khc_grp, 0.330000 faction = co_nws_grp, 0.330000 encounter = tradelane_trade_transport, 11, 0.210000 faction = co_be_grp, 0.250000 faction = co_khc_grp, 0.250000 faction = co_nws_grp, 0.250000 faction = co_rs_grp, 0.250000 [zone nickname = Zone_Bw03_path_hessians3_2 pos = -12560, 0, 8657 rotate = -90, 2, 0 shape = CYLINDER size = 750, 15473 attack_ids = bw03_1&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt; attack id tradelane_attack = 10 sort = 76 toughness = 12 density = 3 repop_time = 90 max_battle_size = 4 pop_type = attack_patrol relief_time = 30 path_label = hessians3, 2 usage = patrol mission_eligible = True faction_weight = fc_c_grp, 10 faction_weight = fc_rh_grp, 10 density_restriction = 1, patroller density_restriction = 1, police_patroller density_restriction = 1, pirate_patroller density_restriction = 4, lawfuls density_restriction = 4, unlawfuls encounter = patrolp_assault, 12, 0.290000 faction = fc_c_grp, 0.500000 faction = fc_rh_grp, 0.500000 To start sorting out your crashes I´d start off by returning empathy to its original state. You probably already know but, its best to mod within FLMM and not touch the original files, that can save a whole load of pain. S
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20

Monday, April 19th 2004, 9:28pm

Steve: So far I seem to already be doing everything right. When I set up a tradelane, I generally add traffic, which is where the tradelane id is defined in your example. I used that specific format to ident my tradelane. In other words, I called my tradelane SG01_1 and the name of the tradelane was Zone_SG01_Tradelane_1. I used the SG01_1 id as the attack_ids for the path. And my empathies are all returned to normal. The instant a patrol is spawned, I crash! The patrol pop-type is &quot;attack_patrol&quot;; the usage is &quot;patrol&quot;; sort 99; and the path_label is based on the name of the path, ie &quot;nickname = Zone_SG01_path_redhessians02&quot; and &quot;path_label = redhessians_01, 2&quot; All of this is as it should be. I just don´t get these crashes. And now that I have taken the attack_ids and tradelane_attack lines out, I don´t even have to be in a tradelane to get a crash. When I come near the patrol route, the moment a patrol is spawned, I crash. If I am friendly to the patrol, then it can spawn and I don´t crash - as in the case of the police. I did notice one peculiarity in your example for the patrol. You used TWO factions in that patrol path. Looks to me like Corsairs and Red Hessians. Was that intentional? I also noticed that your path name better corresponds to your path label. My path name and path labels were generated by FL EXP and aren´t as good a match up. I wonder if that has anything to do with it? I am grasping at straws now.....I am so stumped over this I don´t know what to think. I seem to be doing everything right, and yet the crashes continue... <img src=smilies/icon_smile_sad.gif width=15 height=15 border=0 align=middle> LightRogue I also meant to mention that I already am modding using FLMM. I don´t make any changes at all to the game dll files or any of the game files. All of my changes and alterations are done within the mod folder. Edited by - LightRogue on 4/19/2004 8:31:12 PM
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