How do you trick Drones?

Cotters · 9041

Cotters

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on: May 16, 2011, 05:06:40 pm
DRONES: Behavior, and Ways to Trick:
    
     The Place to learn about drones, and contribute information about them and tactics/ways to trick them. If Anyone has any advice to add on this for the community, please share. What do you think about the tactics described, and drone behavior? are there other ways of manipulating the drones?

[Trickery's Drones Fall For:

     *Liberation Ship Decoying: Provided by, mthw2vc ,Post#2 <<makes note that drones do not target structures under construction>>

     *M-rift Juggling: Provided by, mthw2vc ,Post#2 << "invented by Sqaz"-by  UpperKEES >>

     *Smoke and Mirrors: Provided by, mthw2vc ,Post#2

[Drone Behavior:

     * Developer's Description: Provided by, virgilw,Post# 9 and 7


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     * Other contributions through-out the Topic.  *
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 03:08:15 pm by Cotters »



mthw2vc

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Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 05:21:59 pm
There are a few real "tricks" you can pull, but most of them are incredibly cheap tactics and irritating to do. Dealing with drones in a truly efficient way is what I would call the equivalent of bridging in CW2.

1 - LS evasive action: Before you start building anything, all drones will lock on to the LS. With some practice, it is possible to keep the drones that spawn in the first 30 seconds or so occupied indefinitely by flying the liberation ship around. Then, to avoid having to waste all of the energy you would have earned in this time, spent your energy getting reactors almost complete, then deactivate them before they finish. When the drones stop coming, you can reactivate them and only spend 1 more packet per reactor to get your economy up. While useful, continuing to fly the LS in such a manner gets very annoying, very fast.

2 - M-rift Juggle: Later on in a mission, place 2 micro-rifts nearby when you open up a chamber of drones with one deactivated. When they approach the active one, deactivate it and turn on the other. Rinse and repeat. I try to avoid this if at all possible.

3 - Smoke and Mirrors: Drones do not re-path after you dig terrain while they are moving. If you force them to take a roundabout route, then dig out the spaces next to your road once they start moving and hide blasters in the spots where walls once were, you can kill them much more effectively. Be warned, though, this only works once per drone chamber and has its drawbacks...



Cotters

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Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 07:11:07 pm
Thank you for sharing the drone "tricks". I hope i never have to use #1, sounds like a nightmare. I like the sound of juggling. maybe The trick i have been using can be combined with it. Regardless, thanx.


   I did some informal research on drones. There is a way to make them go through a rift 100% of the time. The condition is:  it has to be a tunnel of only 1 block; meaning the drones have to be going down a tunnel, with no end of the tunnel within the drone's view. Whenever there is an open space, even being 2 blocks high, some drones wont go through. What is especially interesting, is even with a structure (reactor, blaster, exedera), the drones will still go into the portal. To sum, tunnel of 3 blocks+ continued tunnel with bend = 100% drones go threw the rift. # of drones would seem to make no difference.
Still need to figure out if this apples regardless of drone speed, but it seems likely.


Still Not working, apart from there being a bend, the length of the tunnel in a direction away from the infrastructure seems to be key. Also, it is more effective when the tunnel is horizontal, then bends downward.. not shur why

    NEW: In the thing-a i did above; the structures were not being targeted for 2 reasons. (A) they were built after the chamber full of drones was punctured. (B) there were over 50 other targets on the map, so newly spawned drones had a low probability of targeting that one structure. I am still unable to figure out why the drones RARELY chose not to go threw a rift, despite the target being modestly(6-ish squares of travel) more far away, by not doing so.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 01:21:49 pm by Cotters »



UpperKEES

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Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 02:26:35 pm
1 - LS evasive action: Before you start building anything, all drones will lock on to the LS. With some practice, it is possible to keep the drones that spawn in the first 30 seconds or so occupied indefinitely by flying the liberation ship around. Then, to avoid having to waste all of the energy you would have earned in this time, spent your energy getting reactors almost complete, then deactivate them before they finish. When the drones stop coming, you can reactivate them and only spend 1 more packet per reactor to get your economy up. While useful, continuing to fly the LS in such a manner gets very annoying, very fast.

2 - M-rift Juggle: Later on in a mission, place 2 micro-rifts nearby when you open up a chamber of drones with one deactivated. When they approach the active one, deactivate it and turn on the other. Rinse and repeat. I try to avoid this if at all possible.

3 - Smoke and Mirrors: Drones do not re-path after you dig terrain while they are moving. If you force them to take a roundabout route, then dig out the spaces next to your road once they start moving and hide blasters in the spots where walls once were, you can kill them much more effectively. Be warned, though, this only works once per drone chamber and has its drawbacks...

Well described! *thumbs up*

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My CW2 maps: downloads - overview


Kithros

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Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 08:08:29 pm
I think when a drone is spawned it semi-randomly chooses a building anywhere (not sure exactly how it chooses the building - because if it were completely random then the drone would do useless stuff a lot more often I think), and if the shortest path to that building happens to be through the microrift it will go through it. If the drone destroys that building it moves on to a different one.



Sqaz

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Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 07:19:10 am
I think when a drone is spawned it semi-randomly chooses a building anywhere (not sure exactly how it chooses the building - because if it were completely random then the drone would do useless stuff a lot more often I think), and if the shortest path to that building happens to be through the microrift it will go through it. If the drone destroys that building it moves on to a different one.

I think the drone chooses it's target Completely random. When it seems to attack your weaponry it's just following a path to some building behind it, but destroys the weapon and itself on impact.



knucracker

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Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 11:03:20 am
When a drone is first spawned, it does a search for all reachable targets (which is any structure other than microrifts).  It does this search by running a "floodfill" algorithm.  Imagine if you loaded the map into a paint program and tried to flood fill some color starting where the drone's spawn point (gateway) is.  Where that color reaches is where the drone will look for targets.

Amongst all of the targets in that area, it chooses one 'randomly'.  It of course isn't random in a true sense (if there is such a thing... but that is another discussion).  It then plots a course to that target via the normal unit path-finding algorithm.  This is where m-rifts can come into play.  Drones will happily use a m-rift if it makes the journey to the target shorter.

Now, if the drone hits anything else along the way to the target, it detonates.  This means, for instance, that a unit that is 'sidelined' has a low probability of being targeted if there are tons of other possible targets elsewhere. 

Lastly, when a drone plots a path to the target it avoids anti-creeper when possible.



Cotters

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Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 01:39:44 pm
OMG!!!!! that's brilliant!  :o
SOO meny things to try now... Thank you sooooo much!  ;D



knucracker

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Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 01:56:18 pm
On additional addendum:
If a drone fails to find a target after it runs a floodfill search, it will choose a random location within the reachable area and plot a course for that.  Only once it reaches that location will it perform another search for targets.  The same is true for if a drone is headed for a target that gets destroyed before the drone reaches it.  The drone will continue to where the target was.  Once it gets there and doesn't blow up, it will perform a new FF search and head towards a new target (or random spot if no target is found).

Drones do have a special mode that only comes into play when there is the special structure found in Day 20.  This special mode is just designed to cluster them, and is only used in this special case.




Cotters

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Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 01:10:31 pm
Ok, So I Did more tests, and the drones do try and avoid anti-creeper. However, the creeper needs to be of a notable amount. A little puddle won't deter them. Also, The drones tend to disregard Anti-creeper if there is a target in it.

And on a side note, Drones sometimes target the same thing. So if you see a drone move to a place and look all confused; that's what happened.

As far as using Anti-creeper to manipulate drones... It works, just remember to move the maker out of the pool or the drones will b-line for it.



Karsten75

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Reply #10 on: May 19, 2011, 01:58:11 pm
Ok, So I Did more tests, and the drones do try and avoid anti-creeper. However, the creeper needs to be of a notable amount. A little puddle won't deter them. Also, The drones tend to disregard Anti-creeper if there is a target in it.

And on a side note, Drones sometimes target the same thing. So if you see a drone move to a place and look all confused; that's what happened.

As far as using Anti-creeper to manipulate drones... It works, just remember to move the maker out of the pool or the drones will b-line for it.

I love how you seem to know more about the game than the guy who actually wrote the algorithms! :P

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Sqaz

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Reply #11 on: May 19, 2011, 02:08:39 pm
Ok, So I Did more tests, and the drones do try and avoid anti-creeper. However, the creeper needs to be of a notable amount. A little puddle won't deter them.

Are you sure? As this doesn't really make any sense since drones are equally damaged by thick and thin creeper. It's only when there is a long part of creeper that the drone will move around it. It's a bit like with weapons, they will only take a longer road if there's a large distance of creeper between them and their goal, the larger this distance the longer a weapon would want to go around.

Also, The drones tend to disregard Anti-creeper if there is a target in it.

Only if the shortest way to that target is through less anti-creeper than a longer way (like with the weapons).



Cotters

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Reply #12 on: May 19, 2011, 03:24:26 pm
Also, The drones tend to disregard Anti-creeper if there is a target in it.

Only if the shortest way to that target is through less anti-creeper than a longer way (like with the weapons).
OOOO ok!!! Thank you, that makes much more sense! Its the length of the Anit-creeper! (wouldn't happen to know about how much length is needed?) And i never considered the drones would take the long way if it involved less of a path in anit-creeper. Nice! Thanx.



Karsten75

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Reply #13 on: May 19, 2011, 03:36:08 pm
It's very simple. When a unit or  a drone runs a path calculation,  each square infested with opposite creeper is counted as 3 squares of "normal" distance. It used to be 10, but that was too heavy a discriminator. When all paths are calculated, it will select the "shortest" path. Density of creeper is not relevant, since density does not affect the rate of decay.

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Cotters

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Reply #14 on: May 19, 2011, 04:38:36 pm
It's very simple. When a unit or  a drone runs a path calculation,  each square infested with opposite creeper is counted as 3 squares of "normal" distance. It used to be 10, but that was too heavy a discriminator. When all paths are calculated, it will select the "shortest" path. Density of creeper is not relevant, since density does not affect the rate of decay.
I don't have words for how helpful this is. Thank you SO much! I hope others will benefit as much as i will.  :D