Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

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SgtMustang
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Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by SgtMustang » Fri, 29. Mar 24, 04:10

Spacewalk boarding seems awfully buggy/nonfunctional in my game. Game is mostly stock, only mods I can think of that may impact this would be I am using TemetVince's mod (for Bounce) and CyCrow's unofficial patch. I have heard even in past versions of X3, spacewalking was often problematic, and marines would have difficulty making it to the hull of M7s and other large ships. Perhaps this is the same issue?

All of my references come from "Abandoned Ship" missions.

1) Extraordinarily slow movement. Marines "conga line" in groups of ~5, at 0 - 1 m/s, towards a stationary M7 regardless of whether it is manually initiated (while piloting the TP) or remotely using the "piracy -> board" command. They start out moving at 10-20 m/s, but asymptotically reduce their speed the closer they get to the hull - inching at near 0 m/s when near the hull. It can take them ~5 minutes to close the ~1km gap from launch to getting to the hull.

It takes them so long to get to the hull, that each group usually only arrives at the hull when the group in front has already failed to cut the hull and are about to abort. When they abort, they move back to the TP at the same glacial rate - taking about 5 minutes or more to return.

I have seen it take 15 minutes from the beginning of the boarding sequence to final return to the TP.

I disabled TVM using its plugin menu, but that didn't affect anything. The issue occured even before I installed TVM.
https://i.imgur.com/QrERIt6.png

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2) Apparently, the failure of an assembled horde of cigar-chomping space marines to cut a hole in a large stationary object with all the technology of the 43rd century inflicts significant emotional trauma on a few, who peg the speedometer on their suits, bolting at 60m/s into deep space. I SETA'd and watched them disappear from radar - they never return.
https://i.imgur.com/tMGfOyS.png

These marines are not high level yet (I was hoping to use abandoned ship boarding to train them), but their skill level shouldn't affect the spacewalking segment in this way, should it? Am I doing something wrong, is it a mod's issue, or is spacewalk boarding just sort of broken?

Appreciate any assistance, thanks.
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Martin Head
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by Martin Head » Fri, 29. Mar 24, 12:50

I think spacewalk boarding is a bit broken. I seldom try to do spacewalk boarding any more.

I remember when I started playing FL. I tried to board a Yaki TL, and my marines would just kind of sit around it making no attempt to board it.

Once I managed to board an M7 that that supported boarding pods, I pretty much gave up on spacewalk boarding. On the odd occasions that I try spacewalk boarding, it's always problematic.

Even 5* marines have problems.

For me, when they changed the spacewalk boarding from 'one marine boards, all marines boards' to the 'each team boards independently' broke things. You get half of your marines trying, and failing to take the ship, while the other half are still chasing the ship and being shot up.

Cycrow
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by Cycrow » Fri, 29. Mar 24, 18:11

Martin Head wrote:
Fri, 29. Mar 24, 12:50
For me, when they changed the spacewalk boarding from 'one marine boards, all marines boards' to the 'each team boards independently' broke things. You get half of your marines trying, and failing to take the ship, while the other half are still chasing the ship and being shot up.
This was never actually been changed, its always been done by groups
Only the leader of the group actually needs to board, the rest dont. But each separate group of 5 have always boarded separately.

The only real thing that changed for spacewalking in FL is that marines use the Advanced spacesuit, so they are shielded and faster, and that any contact with the hull will start the process (in TC/AP they had to hit a certain point)

Martin Head
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by Martin Head » Sat, 30. Mar 24, 12:25

Is it just me. But I seem to remember when spacewalk boarding was first introduced, way back before FL. I think you only carried 8 marines, and they always seemed to start boarding and disappear from the radar at the same time. Or was a team 8 marines back then.

SgtMustang
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by SgtMustang » Sun, 31. Mar 24, 04:36

Cycrow wrote:
Fri, 29. Mar 24, 18:11
Martin Head wrote:
Fri, 29. Mar 24, 12:50
For me, when they changed the spacewalk boarding from 'one marine boards, all marines boards' to the 'each team boards independently' broke things. You get half of your marines trying, and failing to take the ship, while the other half are still chasing the ship and being shot up.
This was never actually been changed, its always been done by groups
Only the leader of the group actually needs to board, the rest dont. But each separate group of 5 have always boarded separately.

The only real thing that changed for spacewalking in FL is that marines use the Advanced spacesuit, so they are shielded and faster, and that any contact with the hull will start the process (in TC/AP they had to hit a certain point)
Thanks for replying Cycrow - do you have any insight into what may cause marines to slow down their speed steadily as they move towards the boarding target?

At present, at least in my game, it takes them 5 minutes or longer to reach a stationary target.

I can think of a few potential causes:

1) Perhaps it arises from a race condition (no pun intended) involving the marines attempting to match speed with other members of their squad? I have noticed “stop and go” behavior that indicates they’re may be iterating based on the person directly in front.

If the frontmost marine is trying to match speeds with his squad, but his squad encounters a collision, I can easily see the whole works grinding to a halt in the way a traffic jam can form out of smooth traffic flow IRL.

2) Some wait condition involving squad-to-squad coordination?

3) (untested) Perhaps there is a divide by zero error somewhere that would naturally only arise with stationary objects?

Is there any way I could capture more detailed debugging info using the ingame script editor that would give insight into what action the marines are taking? At present, it seems spacewalking marines effectively can’t work given they aren’t using the 60m/s suit fully.

SgtMustang
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by SgtMustang » Tue, 2. Apr 24, 05:55

Ok, I did get one meaningful observation in today.

I was capturing an abandoned M7 with 21 marines, so after they completed the board, the remaining marine dropped out and started heading for my stationary TL, and as in the prior scenarios, was crawling along at 0 m/s. I figured I'd test the "matching speed" theory by moving my TP and seeing how the marine responded.

When I started reversing, the marine exactly mirrored my movement, speeding up from 0 m/s to ~15 m/s. So it does seem to be the case that the marines deliberately fly slowly if their boarding target is stationary.

I want to see if I can find out if the scripts governing spacewalk boarding are visible to end users or if they're baked into a compiled document.

I have the suspicion spacewalking marines are set to "follow" target and not "move to position of". Maybe CyCrow or someone else can chime in, I'll see if I can dig up anything.

Martin Head
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by Martin Head » Tue, 2. Apr 24, 11:08

I have wondered if it's something to do with collision detection. The marines are trying to avoid the very thing they are heading for.

This may just be me, but the spacewalk marines seem to have more trouble with bigger ships. M6 boarding seems to be not too bad, but M7 and TL boarding seems to be more trouble.

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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by BrigandPhantos77 » Tue, 2. Apr 24, 11:17

Best solution you can use is boarding pods. I don't launch marines the way you do, but the boarding pods do for sure work.

Make nice with at least one race, buy the m7m and use it for boarding to start. From your description it sounds like they are matching target speed. My only experience on that end is having my marines miss there target and suddenly fly away from me at breakneck speeds. That happened to me with the Aran when I grabbed it.
Peace is a state of mind!
War is absolute!
~ Phantos ~

Cycrow
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by Cycrow » Tue, 2. Apr 24, 11:45

Martin Head wrote:
Tue, 2. Apr 24, 11:08
I have wondered if it's something to do with collision detection. The marines are trying to avoid the very thing they are heading for.

This may just be me, but the spacewalk marines seem to have more trouble with bigger ships. M6 boarding seems to be not too bad, but M7 and TL boarding seems to be more trouble.
Generally once they get close enough they should ignore any collision avoidance. But it's possible the trigger for that is too close.

If I get chance I will take a look and see if I can make some improvements.

Generally they fly towards the target until they are within a certain range. Then switch to their final approach. Collision avoidance should only happen in the first part

Martin Head
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by Martin Head » Wed, 3. Apr 24, 12:37

Cycrow wrote:
Tue, 2. Apr 24, 11:45
Then switch to their final approach.
Is that when you hear the "Approaching target", or "Nearly there" messages from the marine leader.

I know that usually when I hear this, I know they are about to disappear from the radar. But they can still float about for some time, not attaching to the hull.

SgtMustang
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by SgtMustang » Thu, 11. Apr 24, 03:03

Cycrow wrote:
Tue, 2. Apr 24, 11:45
Martin Head wrote:
Tue, 2. Apr 24, 11:08
I have wondered if it's something to do with collision detection. The marines are trying to avoid the very thing they are heading for.

This may just be me, but the spacewalk marines seem to have more trouble with bigger ships. M6 boarding seems to be not too bad, but M7 and TL boarding seems to be more trouble.
Generally once they get close enough they should ignore any collision avoidance. But it's possible the trigger for that is too close.

If I get chance I will take a look and see if I can make some improvements.

Generally they fly towards the target until they are within a certain range. Then switch to their final approach. Collision avoidance should only happen in the first part
I have had a bunch more spacewalk boarding experience in the last week with actual moving targets, and I found the issue does NOT occur with moving targets - the marines did actually use their 60 m/s fully when the target was moving and I didn't really have any issues.

I have also confirmed several other times that marines returning to their host ship after a boarding also "match speed" with the host - if the host ship is not moving, they too will effectively not move.

My observations suggest that the spacesuits are executing the "follow" command, not a "move to position" command. Following a stationary target would result in the behavior observed above - high initial speed with a steady dropoff as distance shrinks.

The "follow" command would work fine if the "follow distance" (I assume that is a parameter) were set to an extremely small value. Alternatively, if a "move to position of target" is available, that too may result in the correct behavior.

BrigandPhantos77
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Re: Conga-lining Marines going AWOL

Post by BrigandPhantos77 » Sat, 13. Apr 24, 05:48

SgtMustang wrote:
Thu, 11. Apr 24, 03:03

I have had a bunch more spacewalk boarding experience in the last week with actual moving targets, and I found the issue does NOT occur with moving targets - the marines did actually use their 60 m/s fully when the target was moving and I didn't really have any issues.

I have also confirmed several other times that marines returning to their host ship after a boarding also "match speed" with the host - if the host ship is not moving, they too will effectively not move.

My observations suggest that the spacesuits are executing the "follow" command, not a "move to position" command. Following a stationary target would result in the behavior observed above - high initial speed with a steady dropoff as distance shrinks.

The "follow" command would work fine if the "follow distance" (I assume that is a parameter) were set to an extremely small value. Alternatively, if a "move to position of target" is available, that too may result in the correct behavior.
That actually sounds a lot like what happens when you tell a fighter to dock at a TM ship, or when you issue the collect ware command. That happens to me all the time. They will sit and idle until another command is issued. It's actually my number 1 frustration with the game. Sometimes floating wares will self destruct with a ship sitting 1 km from it idling. It never actually picks the ware up. Stares at it like a deer lost in headlights.
Peace is a state of mind!
War is absolute!
~ Phantos ~

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