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Mike Substelny

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Posts: 2,404
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I recently had a conversation with Thom about AI. The brain stack for AI ships always results in answering two main questions:
  • Where am I going?
  • What am I targeting?
Your mission script can build a brain stack to make an AI ship head toward DS2. If players wander by the AI ship can shoot at them while still moving toward DS2.

Your mission script cannot build a brain stack that makes an AI ship shoot at two targets simultaneously, even if two targets are in different firing arcs from the AI ship. You might simulate this by constantly re-writing the brain stack to cycle through all possible named targets - this would make a Torgoth Behemoth super deadly to named fighters, for example, since the Behemoth is bristling with beams.

You may have noticed that it's possible for an AI ship to shoot beams at a friendly base while shooting drones at a player ship or other target. I thought this was a bug but it's not. The AI ship is actually firing its beams and launching its drones at the same target. You see, the drones themselves have AI to select new targets. From the moment it is launched, a drone can choose a new target. Drone brain stacks apparently prefer to attack Player ships.

I also found out that all AI ships are built with one on-board drone reload timer. An AI ship will launch a drone under the following conditions:
  • The AI ship has the Drone elite ability.
  • A target is within the range specified by the brain stack's active ATTACK, CHASE, OR TARGET block.
  • The ship's drone reload timer has finished.
As soon as it spawns the drone's AI takes over.

I asked Thom if it would be possible to give mission scripts access to the timer. If we could reset it early, for example, we might get an AI ship to fire a spread of four drones. That would be cool. Thom is looking into it.

"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill

Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #2 
I could have sworn it was possible to give enemy ships multiple drone launchers. I seem to remember being able to launch three drones at the same time.

Of course, you can't do that in a script, you have to modify vesselData.
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