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Re: Building a map, start of a project, help will be needed

8 months 3 weeks ago #121 by Davinci

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  • This sort of reminds "Me" of a very smart teacher speaking ( i.e...You ), and a very not so smart student ( i.e...Me ).

    I have absolutely zero idea what "You" are asking here, so can you put the question another way?

    Thanks,

    davinci

    The only true logic is that, there is no true logic!

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    8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #122 by r59

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  • I don't really think my English skills in itself would allow for teaching anything to anybody here, mate. :S
    Sorry for that.
    Anyway, I meant to say you can query the game engine for the closest "SKD_ROAD" (also dead roads) feature to a given map position in the AI DLL.
    So probably the game has to mark those grayscale pixels as such, according to some criteria, when loading the level...
    Your comment (the cornfield vs road example) left me under the impression the terrain types with the fastest movement speeds are picked by the road pathing procedures, whatever their grayscale values or entry position in the terrain table brush.
    Are we sure about it?
    Thanks for the patience. ;)
    Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by r59.

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    8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #123 by r59

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  • Ah, and I forgot telling 52ndOx...
    Please don't give up with La Coruña!
    We'll find a better way to work around your pathing issues that could potentially break the scenario design. Have faith. :side:
    Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by r59.

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    8 months 3 weeks ago #124 by Davinci

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  • r59 wrote: Your comment (the cornfield vs road example) left me under the impression the terrain types with the fastest movement speeds are picked by the road pathing procedures, whatever their grayscale values or entry position in the terrain table brush.

    True, but "Norb" has programmed it that way, meaning.....

    There is no default "Grayscale" value that "Has" to be used for any road or path, We as Modders always still to stick with what the Games Defaults values used. An Example would be values that are between ( 100 - 145 ).

    But a road value can be any "GrayScale" color that the game accepts between ( 0 - 255 ).

    So, how does the game know which value to use for the roads.....

    It will choose the "GrayScale" color that has the "Fastest \ Highest" value assigned to it as long as those two values are ( 0.2 and 0.1 ) which are the highest values, while the other grayscale values are either ( 0 ) or a negative value.

    There is probably a lot more going on here that I'm sure that you are aware of such as, the road-system has to go from one end of the map to the next. The raod-system has to be connected at all times to another road. The road-system has to use the same numbers, so you can't have a road with a speed of ( 0.2 ) and another road with a speed of ( 0 ).

    So, if you are asking can a road system use a value of Grayscale Color ( 10 ) which is normally used for a river or stream, then the answer is Yes, you can use any value.

    Post Back, if this didn't answer your question!

    davinci

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    8 months 3 weeks ago #125 by Davinci

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  • r59 wrote: Ah, and I forgot telling 52ndOx...
    Please don't give up with La Coruña!
    We'll find a better way to work around your pathing issues that could potentially break the scenario design. Have faith. :side:

    So, are You trying to figure out a way of not having any units go into the water if there is a large body of water on a particular map?

    I don't think that that is possible, and even if you do find an acceptable solution, a routing unit will always ignore it and run into the water.

    I think that what you are trying to do will be a Major undertaking, and even if it does work it would have to be done for each map that has a large body of water on it.

    Just My Opinion!

    davinci

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    8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #126 by r59

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  • I cannot ask "having faith" to a man of science like you, dear Maestro. :whistle:
    But certainly I can expect great teaching and clarifications.
    Your previous post(/s) falls into that category without any doubt.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write them. ;)

    If we only could build (by hand to begin, but automatically later) an higher-level (approximated) walkable regions / chokepoints representation of a game map (like Wavre with its Dyle, for example), it should't be impossible to achieve something along the lines of BWTA2, I think.
    Region having a center, a polygon, a list of adjacent chokepoints and reachable regions.
    Chokepoints defined by 2 sides locations, width and the 2 connected regions.
    We'd basically "intercept" any unit repathing call from the AI Dll and patch their waypoints list to reach the destination position according to our A*/HPA* solution.
    The same procedure might work for routing units too, if (and only if) the same list is actually being taken into consideration whatever the unit state (hard to tell atm, I never come upon a unit fleeing with that queue not beign empty).

    I'm looking for volunteers, of course. :)
    Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by r59.
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    8 months 3 weeks ago #127 by 52ndOx

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  • r59 wrote: Ah, and I forgot telling 52ndOx...
    Please don't give up with La Coruña!
    We'll find a better way to work around your pathing issues that could potentially break the scenario design. Have faith. :side:


    Thank you!
    And don't worry. I have not given up on Corunna. Nor have I lost the desire to learn more about SOW, which I didn't know about until recently.

    I still greatly appreciate all the help and encouragement I have found here.

    But I am busy with other things at the moment and don't have so much time for the project.
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    8 months 3 weeks ago #128 by Davinci

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  • r59 wrote: If we only could build (by hand to begin, but automatically later) an higher-level (approximated) walkable regions / chokepoints representation of a game map (like Wavre with its Dyle, for example), it should't be impossible to achieve something along the lines of BWTA2, I think.
    Region having a center, a polygon, a list of adjacent chokepoints and reachable regions.
    Chokepoints defined by 2 sides locations, width and the 2 connected regions.
    We'd basically "intercept" any unit repathing call from the AI Dll and patch their waypoints list to reach the destination position according to our A*/HPA* solution.
    The same procedure might work for routing units too, if (and only if) the same list is actually being taken into consideration whatever the unit state (hard to tell atm, I never come upon a unit fleeing with that queue not beign empty).

    I'm looking for volunteers, of course. :)

    If "You" are talking about changing the Games ".exe" file and creating a ton of sub-routines which might not be the correct term used to check the where-bouts of water, that is a Major undertaking.

    It would have to check them as frequently as a sort of "line-of-sight" check, which is going to slow the game down to a crawl.

    Also, I don't think that there are more than four of five Members on the Forum that has Programming Skills.

    Since the routing units and the regular units don't walk or run through objects, I would guess that if an "Object" can be created to act as a sort of invisible wall, that might solve the problem.

    I used the word "created" since, as of now, trying to used the current objects, it doesn't work.

    I played around with trying to create a sort of wall that I would have later made invisible if it worked. but since I have "No Computer Knowledge" never did get very far with the experiment. But, I still think that it is possible.

    Good Luck - if you decide to solve this!

    davinci

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    8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #129 by r59

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  • Davinci wrote:

    r59 wrote: If we only could build (by hand to begin, but automatically later) an higher-level (approximated) walkable regions / chokepoints representation of a game map (like Wavre with its Dyle, for example), it should't be impossible to achieve something along the lines of BWTA2, I think.
    Region having a center, a polygon, a list of adjacent chokepoints and reachable regions.
    Chokepoints defined by 2 sides locations, width and the 2 connected regions.
    We'd basically "intercept" any unit repathing call from the AI Dll and patch their waypoints list to reach the destination position according to our A*/HPA* solution.
    The same procedure might work for routing units too, if (and only if) the same list is actually being taken into consideration whatever the unit state (hard to tell atm, I never come upon a unit fleeing with that queue not beign empty).

    I'm looking for volunteers, of course. :)

    If "You" are talking about changing the Games ".exe" file and creating a ton of sub-routines which might not be the correct term used to check the where-bouts of water, that is a Major undertaking.

    It would have to check them as frequently as a sort of "line-of-sight" check, which is going to slow the game down to a crawl.

    Also, I don't think that there are more than four of five Members on the Forum that has Programming Skills.

    Since the routing units and the regular units don't walk or run through objects, I would guess that if an "Object" can be created to act as a sort of invisible wall, that might solve the problem.

    I used the word "created" since, as of now, trying to used the current objects, it doesn't work.

    I played around with trying to create a sort of wall that I would have later made invisible if it worked. but since I have "No Computer Knowledge" never did get very far with the experiment. But, I still think that it is possible.

    Good Luck - if you decide to solve this!

    davinci


    Hey Dav!
    It might be easier than what you think...
    Said that I'm no AI programmer, I tend to see big obstacles/unwalklable areas (like water bodies) as a path planning problem rather than a collision avoidance one.
    That would run every time a unit moving command is issued instead of every frame!
    In all cases, I honestly think the reasons of concerns about game performances are to be seek elsewhere.
    Because my proposal of "stupid" path planning (pre-computed from a very semplified map representation, non tactical, chokepoint-driven), might reduce to something as simple as this (area around Bierge, Wavre's map), which has virtually zero computational cost:

    Oh, and luckly, I guess there's no need to change the EXE physically (on disk).
    Let's see if I could make it work.
    If I succeeded, might I count on any volunteer to mark at least regions pixels and chokepoints centers on a map for more extended testing?
    Ciao. ;)
    Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by r59.
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    8 months 3 weeks ago #130 by RebBugler

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  • If I succeeded, might I count on any volunteer to mark at least regions pixels and chokepoints centers on a map for more extended testing?


    I'll gladly test the pond on the QB map with whatever you come up with. That pond was a pain to script around, it sucked troops in like a Black Hole.

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    8 months 3 weeks ago #131 by Davinci

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  • OK, Sounds Great!

    I'm Curious as to how you are "Inputting " this "path-routine" into the game.

    Have you found a way of adding this into a ( csv ) file?

    I will follow this with Interest!

    davinci

    The only true logic is that, there is no true logic!
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    8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #132 by r59

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  • Davinci wrote: OK, Sounds Great!

    I'm Curious as to how you are "Inputting " this "path-routine" into the game.

    Have you found a way of adding this into a ( csv ) file?

    I will follow this with Interest!

    davinci


    Hi Davinci.
    For the moment I'm "stuck" with custom images and INIs data sources.
    I don't know if interfacing with the game CSV parsing routines is worth the effort, honestly.
    Probably I'm going to use directly an open-source library for that (or maybe JSON)...
    I'll decide in a couple of days at worst. ;)

    Sometimes I wonder how much we shall love this game, for doing such completely insane things. :silly:
    static const stbi_io_callbacks stbi__memfile_callbacks =
    	{
    		[](void *user, char *data, int size) -> int { // read
    			auto file = static_cast<sowwl_v103_types::CWMemFile *>(user);
    			return sowwl_v103_bind::CWMemFile::readBytes(file, data, size);
    		},
    		[](void *user, int n) -> void { // skip
    			auto file = static_cast<sowwl_v103_types::CWMemFile *>(user);
    			sowwl_v103_bind::CWMemFile::setPos(file, sowwl_v103_bind::CWMemFile::getPos(file) + n);
    		},
    		[](void *user) -> int { // eof
    			auto file = static_cast<sowwl_v103_types::CWMemFile *>(user);
    			return sowwl_v103_bind::CWMemFile::eof(file);
    		}
    	};
    
    	typedef std::unique_ptr<stbi_uc[], void(*)(void *)> ImageDataPtr;
    	auto m_walkabilityMapImgData = ImageDataPtr(nullptr, [](void *) {});
    	auto m_walkabilityMapImgSize = -1;
    
    	char walkabilityMapFileName[MAX_PATH];
    	strcpy_s(walkabilityMapFileName, sowwl_v103_bind::theRender.grayscaleFileName_4e0.c_str());
    	{ auto p = strchr(walkabilityMapFileName, '.'); if (p != nullptr) *p = '\0'; }
    	strcat_s(walkabilityMapFileName, "-WalkabilityMap.png");
    
    	sowwl_v103_types::CWMemFile file;
    	sowwl_v103_bind::CWMemFile::ctor(&file);
    
    	sowwl_v103_types::CGameWFileEnum fileEnum;
    	sowwl_v103_bind::CGameWFileEnum::ctor(&fileEnum, "Maps\\", walkabilityMapFileName, nullptr, UINT8_C(0));
    	if (fileEnum._unk_30_.size() != 0) {
    		while (sowwl_v103_bind::CGameWFileEnum::getNextMemFile(&fileEnum, &file, true, nullptr)) {
    			int width, height, numOfChannels;
    			m_walkabilityMapImgData = ImageDataPtr{
    				stbi_load_from_callbacks(&stbi__memfile_callbacks, &file, &width, &height, &numOfChannels, 1),
    				[](void *data) { stbi_image_free(data); }
    			};
    			if (m_walkabilityMapImgData) {
    				assert(width == height); // square image
    				m_walkabilityMapImgSize = width;
    				break;
    			}
    		}
    	}
    	sowwl_v103_bind::CGameWFileEnum::dtor(&fileEnum);
    
    	sowwl_v103_bind::CWMemFile::dtor(&file);
    using fn_CIniFileStorage_parseInt_t = std::add_pointer<int(__cdecl)(void *, const char *, const char *, int)>::type;
    	using fn_CIniFileStorage_parseFloat_t = std::add_pointer<float(__cdecl)(void *, const char *, const char *, float)>::type;				
    
    	g_shrubberyHBillboardRenderer.setEnabled(std::min(reinterpret_cast<fn_CIniFileStorage_parseInt_t>(sowwl_v103_bind::CIniFileStorage::fn_parseInt_addr)(iniFileStorage, "ShrubberyRendererV2", "Enabled", 0), 2));
    	if (g_shrubberyHBillboardRenderer.getEnabled() != 0) {
    		g_shrubberyHBillboardRenderer.setAlphaCutoff(reinterpret_cast<fn_CIniFileStorage_parseFloat_t>(sowwl_v103_bind::CIniFileStorage::fn_parseFloat_addr)(iniFileStorage, "ShrubberyRendererV2", "AlphaCutoff", 0.5f));
    	}
    Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by r59.
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    8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #133 by r59

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  • RebBugler wrote:

    If I succeeded, might I count on any volunteer to mark at least regions pixels and chokepoints centers on a map for more extended testing?


    I'll gladly test the pond on the QB map with whatever you come up with. That pond was a pain to script around, it sucked troops in like a Black Hole.


    Yeah RB, heard such weird stories about QB DLC pathing that, ehm... I never bought nor played it. :unsure:
    Which is quite an utter embarrassment...
    I watched DarkRob's AARs, though.
    I'm going to remedy to this situation, anyway, sooner or later. Promised. :)
    Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by r59.

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    8 months 3 weeks ago #134 by Davinci

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  • r59 wrote: For the moment I'm "stuck" with custom images and INIs data sources.
    I don't know if interfacing with the game CSV parsing routines is worth the effort, honestly.
    Probably I'm going to use directly an open-source library for that (or maybe JSON)...
    I'll decide in a couple of days at worst. ;)

    Understand Now, when I read a post I automatically think of the SOWGB game, it's the SOWWL game that allows for this.

    I was wondering why I have never seen some of this data, since I have looked at all of the files from the previous game at one time or another.

    Keep Up the Excellent Work!

    davinci

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    8 months 3 weeks ago #135 by DarkRob

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  • RebBugler wrote: I'll gladly test the pond on the QB map with whatever you come up with. That pond was a pain to script around, it sucked troops in like a Black Hole.


    This is kind of an out of the box idea, but what if you could change the properties of the pond to be like a building? Troops, as far as Ive ever seen, never walk through buildings, but always around them(Im talking just regular buildings here, not ones that can be garrisoned)

    If graphics are not tied to properties, maybe the pond could still look like a pond, but with the properties of a building? If the game saw the pond as a building then troops might avoid it the same way they path around buildings in a town, granted it would need to be a big building with a large footprint.

    I know nothing about programming or modding, so this is probably a stupid idea, but Id rather risk looking stupid and actually hit on something than stay quiet, when maybe it could have worked.

    Most of the stuff I came up with in playing the game was equally wacky and stupid, until it worked.
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    8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #136 by r59

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  • At least I might tell we got started... :dry:

    The unit was set to move to the blue tiles by one mouse click.


    First waypoint's hidden by the stonebridge geometry.


    Cropped area of the new grayscale map (colors auto-adjusted for better visualization).


    Uncompressed lookup tables.
    static const Region s_pathRegionLookupDB[5][5] = {
    		{ Region::NONE, Region::B, Region::B, Region::B, Region::B },
    		{ Region::A, Region::NONE, Region::C, Region::C, Region::C },
    		{ Region::B, Region::B, Region::NONE, Region::D, Region::D },
    		{ Region::C, Region::C, Region::C, Region::NONE, Region::E },
    		{ Region::D, Region::D, Region::D, Region::D, Region::NONE }
    	};
    	static const Chokepoint s_pathChokepointLookupDB[5][5] = {
    		{ Chokepoint::NONE, Chokepoint::A, Chokepoint::A, Chokepoint::A, Chokepoint::A },
    		{ Chokepoint::A, Chokepoint::NONE, Chokepoint::B, Chokepoint::B, Chokepoint::B },
    		{ Chokepoint::B, Chokepoint::B, Chokepoint::NONE, Chokepoint::C, Chokepoint::C },
    		{ Chokepoint::C, Chokepoint::C, Chokepoint::C, Chokepoint::NONE, Chokepoint::D },
    		{ Chokepoint::D, Chokepoint::D, Chokepoint::D, Chokepoint::D, Chokepoint::NONE }
    	};
    	constexpr static const sowwl_v103_types::CVec s_pathChokepointCenterDB[4] = {
    		sowwl_v103_types::CVec{ sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(120417) << 28 }, sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(170818) << 28 } },
    		sowwl_v103_types::CVec{ sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(121911) << 28 }, sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(168261) << 28 } },
    		sowwl_v103_types::CVec{ sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(122823) << 28 }, sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(165977) << 28 } },
    		sowwl_v103_types::CVec{ sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(122797) << 28 }, sowwl_v103_types::CFixedPointU64_28{ INT64_C(163110) << 28 } }
    	};
    Many many things still left to do, anyway.
    Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by r59.

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    8 months 3 weeks ago #137 by Crikey

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  • Using 3d objects to block off water - DarkRob's suggestion is a sensible and logical one, but has some challenges when put into practice. B)

    I've tried a few combinations over the years but haven't found a satisfactory solution, other than falling back on the type 25 grey scale option so that the AI skirts around water, unless routed (Btw - the type 25 barrier doesn't appear to be applied correctly to the pond in the stock Quatre Bras map which perhaps explains why Reb had such problems when scripting).

    Using 3D objects - SoWWL already has a square 3D waterplane object that can be placed when creating a map within Norbsoft's version of PowerRender. Their size can be adjusted but can be difficult to place satisfactorily when the ground level varies. Also, as ponds are usually rounded, square waterplane objects need to be sunk into the ground to look right.

    Depending on a 3D object's properties, units will ignore them (collision switched off), move on top of them (bridges) or move around their edges (houses).

    The pond in Quatre Bras uses one of these waterplane 3D objects.

    I have tried replacing this with a version whose properties force the AI to walk around the edges. This appeared to stop units from walking across it, but made the units edge around the exact outline of the object, which looked odd and ruined immersion. Adjusting the collision radius made no difference. It also meant some troops scurried around like headless chickens for some minutes as the AI sought to find a way around. You sometimes see this when buildings in a town are close together and the AI seeks to squeeze through.





    You could put a further type 25 greyscale barrier outside of this, so that the troops avoid the sharp edges. But if you're doing that, then you might as well use the greyscale 25 option in the first place.





    One option would be to make a 3D waterplane object with rounded edges so that the interaction with troops isn't as stark, but suspect this would still look odd as AI controlled troops skirt around it.

    Others may be more successful, but I've yet to find a satisfactory way to use 3D objects to block off water.
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    8 months 3 weeks ago #138 by r59

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  • Hats off for your disseration, Crikey.

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    8 months 2 weeks ago - 8 months 2 weeks ago #139 by r59

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  • Some bits of informations I come across about the triggering conditions for the grayscale 25 repathing.

    A ) The unit must be in marching state (MARCH or RUN);
    B ) The unit must have no waypoints set;
    C ) And of course, the actual terrain tile must be flagged as grayscale_25.

    I might try including the routing (or any other) state to point A.
    But I have no idea what's going to happen...
    Last edit: 8 months 2 weeks ago by r59.

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    8 months 2 weeks ago - 8 months 2 weeks ago #140 by r59

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  • As of now, it looks like broken units won't follow the waypoints queued by the grayscale_25 repathing algorithm, even if I force the triggering...
    They are not going to follow any waypoint at all in that case, in truth.
    Good to know.
    Last edit: 8 months 2 weeks ago by r59.
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    8 months 2 weeks ago #141 by RebBugler

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  • I say blow off the attempts to stop routed or retreating troops from entering bodies of water, SOW map designers have been trying to solve this for years to no avail. Instead, I suggest figuring out how to get troops around bodies of water without the units splitting up, and thus being vulnerable along that path until the unit reunites at the destination point on the other side of the obstacle. IOW, units must be able to defend themselves, halt and engage, as they path around an obstacle.

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    8 months 2 weeks ago - 8 months 2 weeks ago #142 by r59

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  • Just to reassure, I'm not losing focus on the main problem, Reb. B)
    I'm rambling a little bit around it to get a better picture of the whole pathing system.
    That's the best/only way to proceed I know without accessing the source code.
    Crossing occurences of unknown methods and data in the program flow, sometime I could make some sense out of them...
    But I can give absolutely no guarantee about that, sadly.

    In the meanwhile, I realized why the grayscale 25 repathing is (often) not triggered after a unit retreats.
    You might find a sort of dead / residual waypoint in the queue once the unit reforms.
    I have not investigated its nature yet.
    But condition B ) won't be fulfilled under such circumstances.
    Maybe executing an eComClearPath immediatly after it gets controllable again, could do the trick?

    Ciao. ;)
    Last edit: 8 months 2 weeks ago by r59.
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    5 months 1 week ago #143 by Saddletank

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  • We found that the QB pond caused MP games to crash so in the end we just removed it. It's now an empty crater.

    HITS & Couriers - a different and realistic way to play SoW MP.

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    1 month 3 weeks ago #144 by 52ndOx

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  • What happened to the forum here?
    Hopefully it doesn't disappear. Too much good information and karma to be lost.
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    1 month 3 weeks ago #145 by RebBugler

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  • 52ndOx wrote: What happened to the forum here?
    Hopefully it doesn't disappear. Too much good information and karma to be lost.


    The site crashed due to a forced update by Joomla, upon which the website is based.

    Fortunately, Norb was able to retrieve most of it's content and move it to a this updated version. Still a WIP, but mostly functional.

    Yeah, the loss of info and good karma would have been devastating for SOW fans...three cheers for Norb!!!

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