Author Topic: Mob aggression and targeting  (Read 2856 times)

Silas Rotleaf

  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 932
  • Space cat!
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2019, 05:46:06 PM »
Hey I’m all for taking a crack at learning the nwn toolset and scripting to eventually be able to directly assist the devs but it’s gonna take some time and I don’t have a whole lot for leisure stuff these days...

As for the mob targeting behavior... yeah hardcoded bits you can’t really change but there is some stuff you as the player can. I’m talking tactics. As in glaring holes in a shield wall of meat tanks in your front row is a very real thing that happens and expecting your dedicated ranged support to be able to up close defend itself in melee as well while you just sort of sit there blinking wondering why the monsters bypass you to go after the lower AC casters and archers... is not very productive. Guys gotta work on your coordination and cooperation (I know, crazy right? A team/party actually helping each other out instead of it being mostly every man for himself).

Maybe have a fighter or barb or paladin in that back row next to your ranged guy to defend him or her? Just a tactical thought and temporary fix for until people work out some way to tweak the mob aggro.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 05:49:00 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Mailbox-2100

  • Where the heart is.
  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 554
  • JourneyMan: Pilgrimage
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2019, 06:19:26 PM »
Having a guy by the backrow isn't a bad idea-  :|   but otherwise some MOBS are way too fast for the front line to even be able to respond to. But nice idea (which for some reason I've never seen utilized... ((OR THOUGHT OF MYSELF)))

LivingWasteland

  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
  • LOOT B4 LUV - TIEFLING LYFE
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2019, 06:22:01 PM »
MAB says it's unmodified, hard-coded, and can't be changed.

Arawn says every single AI script has indeed been rewritten by Soren.



I see a large discrepancy in what two members of what the team is telling us.


Arawn

  • CC, Developers, and
  • Dungeon Masters
  • Dark Power
  • *
  • Posts: 9098
  • Gwrandewch ar y cwn.
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2019, 06:33:46 PM »
Iím not sure what you meant to imply there, Wasteland, but fortunately itís quite easy to discover for yourself exactly how this works. While a Google search will indeed give you all you require to understand the limitations of the NWN AI, here is a brief explanation.

The AI in NWN is a series of scripts which execute on certain events and at certain intervals, including during and after the combat round, which is itself hardcoded. I have rewritten some of these scripts myself in previous projects and on other PWs. Anyone who wants to see what they look like can just open a new module in the toolset and look at both the defaults and the core AI script. Bear in mind that AI scripts are responsible for a massive portion of server overhead, so they have to be as lean and mean as possible. Itís not as simple as merely adding complexity.

As an aside, the teleportation is not a function of the AI script but rather of the way that the engine handles movement.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 06:38:02 PM by Arawn »
Hir yw'r dydd a hir yw'r nos, a hir yw aros Arawn.

LivingWasteland

  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
  • LOOT B4 LUV - TIEFLING LYFE
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2019, 07:21:12 PM »
The Thing is an incredible comic book character

As to AI behavior, we still can't change what is hard coded.


Every AI script on the server, including the core includes of the AI system itself, have been rewritten entirely by Soren.

I'm not implying anything. Perhaps I'm alone in this, but these two statements do not seem to share the same message.


Iridni Ren

  • Priestess of Pelor
  • The Wayfarer Kinship
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 3311
  • When all other lights go out
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2019, 07:32:04 PM »
I think it's worth noting that a Dev's input was asked for:

I'd be nice if a Dev could comment on the thing. I'm not letting this thread just die.

And so MAB took a stab at it. He may have been mistaken in what he said, or it may be that both statements you find contradictory are in fact true, LW:

Quote
The AI in NWN is a series of scripts which execute on certain events and at certain intervals, including during and after the combat round, which is itself hardcoded.

MAB said only that which is hardcoded can't be changed. So the events, intervals, and the combat round might all be hardcoded and not able to be modified. But the scripts (as Arawn said) are not.

I don't know. But I took it as MAB was trying to respond to a request for Dev input and not that his answer was meant to mislead.

My windows cracked, but they can be replaced.
Your arm will tire throwing stones my way.

Hatsune

  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Ninja-loots Extraordinaire!
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2019, 12:21:55 PM »
I don't know why people have such a hard time with this. I play an archer/support, and have so very little issue. You just have to have an understanding of what to target and when. I only see most mobs breaking off tanks when they de-aggro for some reason, and then are shot (I.E. they get knocked down, and an archer shoots them, so the archer because the target when he gets back up, because the mob de-aggros and then selects from its attackers.

The other common occurrence is if multiple mobs are on one tank target, and the archer targets a mob that isn't actively being attacked by a line member, this will often draw aggro.

I typically run a 13 or 15ac, so not like I a high AC to not pull as people are suggesting.
Currently Playing:
Elizabethany Joelle, Sorceress of Flame
Ayleese, Slyvan Bardess
Allalia, Druidess of the Earthen Dream

Little Lotte

  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 2717
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2019, 12:40:16 PM »
I don't know why people have such a hard time with this. I play an archer/support, and have so very little issue. You just have to have an understanding of what to target and when. I only see most mobs breaking off tanks when they de-aggro for some reason, and then are shot (I.E. they get knocked down, and an archer shoots them, so the archer because the target when he gets back up, because the mob de-aggros and then selects from its attackers.

The other common occurrence is if multiple mobs are on one tank target, and the archer targets a mob that isn't actively being attacked by a line member, this will often draw aggro.

I typically run a 13 or 15ac, so not like I a high AC to not pull as people are suggesting.

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.

immasturgeon

  • The Cult of the Morninglord
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2019, 02:00:01 PM »

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.

Double ditto. I have adventure to very dangerous (relative to level) areas with people who have outstripped me in every way. I had abysmal AC and did nothing but shoot arrows at things. And I died only rarely, despite being 6-8 levels below the group. I avoided shooting any enemy that wasn't already attacking a tank. I also frequently cancelled combat when an enemy was killed so that I could specifically target an emeny one of the melee characters was attacking.

It kept me alive in places I had no business being. So it can be done. Except when 4 vamp rogues drop around you...well then it's dead time.

WingsOfStardust

  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2019, 01:57:38 AM »

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.

Double ditto. I have adventure to very dangerous (relative to level) areas with people who have outstripped me in every way. I had abysmal AC and did nothing but shoot arrows at things. And I died only rarely, despite being 6-8 levels below the group. I avoided shooting any enemy that wasn't already attacking a tank. I also frequently cancelled combat when an enemy was killed so that I could specifically target an emeny one of the melee characters was attacking.

It kept me alive in places I had no business being. So it can be done. Except when 4 vamp rogues drop around you...well then it's dead time.

It may work on lower levels, but I was making the reference to high end dungeons where the values are quite different. For instance, at higher levels archers AB will be much higher and thus generates a lot more aggro from what you're shooting at. Also the discrepancies in AC are on a whole other level. Archery is viable up to around level 10 if you play it careful, sure. But once you reach those much tougher dungeons the formula changes considerably.
"What is a day, without  a blessed night?
And what is peace, without a blessed fight?"

Hatsune

  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Ninja-loots Extraordinaire!
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.

Double ditto. I have adventure to very dangerous (relative to level) areas with people who have outstripped me in every way. I had abysmal AC and did nothing but shoot arrows at things. And I died only rarely, despite being 6-8 levels below the group. I avoided shooting any enemy that wasn't already attacking a tank. I also frequently cancelled combat when an enemy was killed so that I could specifically target an emeny one of the melee characters was attacking.

It kept me alive in places I had no business being. So it can be done. Except when 4 vamp rogues drop around you...well then it's dead time.

It may work on lower levels, but I was making the reference to high end dungeons where the values are quite different. For instance, at higher levels archers AB will be much higher and thus generates a lot more aggro from what you're shooting at. Also the discrepancies in AC are on a whole other level. Archery is viable up to around level 10 if you play it careful, sure. But once you reach those much tougher dungeons the formula changes considerably.

Are you refering to Sithicus? If so, I'd wager its more likely an issue of the archers targeting poorly (not hitting the right ones cause they stack on each other).

I do agree if/once you pull aggro it can be hard to fix, since a melee combatant won't be in full attack when moving to chase the mob (and thus not showing as an active attacker at the end of the last flurry of the round), so that can be an issue.

I've done high level content, and have seen little to no variation in AI. They all follow the same scripts.
Currently Playing:
Elizabethany Joelle, Sorceress of Flame
Ayleese, Slyvan Bardess
Allalia, Druidess of the Earthen Dream

lucid

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2019, 11:27:42 AM »
I watch this behavior from the Tank side all the time. I even get yelled at like there was something I could have done to stop it. Particularly annoying is when the ranged char manages to pull the exact one I'm currently fighting, and I run after them when they go, breaking the defensive line and drawing a half dozen attacks of opportunity in the first step.

Taunt should probably draw aggro but it does not. Knockdown can work, but often they'll get up and keep chasing their squirrel. About 10%-20% of the time, getting in their way and forcing them to reconsider their walk path will cause them to focus on you, but otherwise they just go around.

I've made an art form of snagging aggro off squishy people by provoking attacks of opportunity from the monsters as they run by. They stay on you once you get their attention. Note again, this is not you doing AoO on them...it's giving them a free swing at you. Harder than it looks when you're trying, it's so very easy when you're not. Alas that Spring Attack has removed my ability to do this. I haven't tried provocatively drinking potions in their face yet, but I'm sure it'll come up again soon enough.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 11:29:27 AM by lucid »
"Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell. Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace/
Yet grace must still look so."

Ercvadasz

  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 1098
Re: Mob aggression and targeting
« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2019, 12:25:16 PM »
I for the most part in these past few years have been playing non tanks. (Have a char that was able to act as a semitank but not anymore, still thinking how to make that available to him:)  :shock:.)
My ranger uses mainly the bow.
He has not yet been to Sithicus, and have only some exp with him regarding Harakir, Ghastria, Vestibule and Mists.
What I have noticed that he gets aggor usually if he is the first to shoot his target. Second if for some reason the enemy gets flat-footed or deaggrod it is very easy for him to get aggro. (rapid shot)
Thirdly natural 20 will get you an aggro if it is a successfull crit. Because of the x3 multiplier.
The way to counter or mitigate this is usually to restrict the opponent in some way, or be able to hold your own until rescue can come.
Called shot because of the movement restriction is quite useful in this regard.

This aggroing does not just apply for ranged chars though.
My cleric is a healbot, if he uses DPS/Buff spells or special feat/talent that the opponent can see and the tank has not yet engaged blows with him, he will get targetted.
Turn undead, warding gesture, flamestrike, hammer of the gods, BUT EVEN BATTLETIDE works this way. Anything that targets the opponent also, i am not yet 100% sure if mass party enhancing or healing is in the same regard, as sometimes using those also trigger an aggro shift to my char.
Currently playing:
Rudrig von Rachenthall - the travelling merchant