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Pets' A.I. needs some work...

Discussion in 'UHall' started by popps, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I find it annoying that even at Animal Taming and Animal Lore both maxed out at 120, still it can be difficult to control a pet.

    When the spawn is hectic and there is a number of targets, if the tamer wants to pull the pet out of a dangerous situation it is a nightmare and needs spamming "all follow" way, but really way too many times.

    I think once or twice, or perhaps 3 times should be enough but no, unless the tamer spams the command many many times the pet walks a few tiles towards the tamer only to then go back into the fight.

    This should not happen, not with a maxed out tamer and a bonded/trained pet.

    I may well be wrong, but personally, I see training of a pet as a synonimous of obedience. If I have spent time training a pet then the pet should obey to commands right away and not get distracted right after and force the tamer to repeat that command a number of times.

    Another command problem, is sticking on a target when told to kill it. If there is a number of enemies, all attacking the pet, the pet rather than dealing with them one by one, until they are dead (before passing onto the next target), often switches target while in fight giving to the previous target time to heal back. Therefore, fighting multiple targets can take forever since this target switching while in mid fight allows the enemy to heal back and drags the battle forever.
    The tamer has to keep on ordering to kill that one target over and over till it is dead to prevent target switching to something else.

    This is annoying and, I think, not tolerable at maxed out taming skills or with a bonded and trained pet.

    Bottom line is, I think, that pets' A.I. needs some work to have pets more stably and readily obey masters' commands without forcing them to issue those commands over and over and over and over, annoyingly.......

    Seeing the pet as the tamer's "weapon" or "spell", just like a fighter's weapon or a mage's spell never misses at 120 skill (or really hardly), I think also the pet should be realiably controllable at that maxed out level without the need to spam commands over and over to have the pet do what the tamer wants.
     
  2. It just seems to me that you want the tamer template to be all "pro" and no "con". There must be balance to all the skills. As to your suggestion that 120's in a weapon skill or magery means we 'never miss' or 'really hardly' miss is just wrong. Even with max hci and 120 swords,I still miss on attacks. It's part of the game. Just deal with it.
     
  3. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    I see the problem. I also hear, in my mind, the pet saying 'but he's hitting me!'. So I try to go with it and tell the pet to kill the monster that it is defending itself against.

    Have you ever tried to get a real dog away from a fight by commanding it?

    With a 'mountable' the fastest, easiest way to get it out of trouble is to cast invis, (pre-cast if you've had to leave the pet's side) make sure you're standing next to the pet. Invis, mount and leggit.
     
  4. Tina Small

    Tina Small Stratics Legend
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    Popps, as far as your first problem is concerned, I generally find that my tamers' pets try very hard to obey the "follow" command. However, they cannot do the impossible and walk through obstacles. If a pet doesn't react to the first "follow me" command, I move my tamer to a different location and try again. If that fails, then it's time to try yet another location and then possibly yet another one, until I find a location that gives the pet a clear path to the tamer.

    In these situations, the blocking object is often a rock, a "hill," or sometimes even a "hole" in the ground that isn't very obvious in the legacy client. However, if there are a lot of monsters surrounding the pet, sometimes it is the monsters themselves that are blocking the pet's path. Yes, even in Trammel this happens if too many things are surrounding your pet.

    If it appears that it is indeed a monster blocking the pet's path and it would take too long to have the pet kill one of the monsters, I usually just recall out of the location or, if it's a nuisance getting into the location, I let the pet die and then run away from the crowd and rez the pet. (It's a good practice to mentally note places that you can safely retreat to when you go to a new dungeon or hunting location.) Otherwise, I pick a low-level monster and have the pet kill it and then give it the follow command again after there is a "hole" in the crowd surrounding it.

    For your second problem, all I can say is that it's YOUR job to tell your pet what to kill. You're the boss, not your tamer's pet. If you don't like the target the pet has chosen, tell it to stop. Wait a few seconds and then tell it to kill the thing you really want it to kill. If my pet isn't making good progress against a crowd, I usually use this tactic to redirect it to kill the most annoying low-level monster to get it out of the way (e.g., something like wyverns or drakes if in Destard). Keep in mind that you have to be a little judicious when you use this tactic though because you're just going to cause a respawn of all those piddly things again if you kill off too many of them at once....

    Which brings me to the last point I want to make, which is possibly the most important lesson you need to learn for playing with tamer characters: Learn to lure your real target away from the crowd, Popps. If you really want to have a much more enjoyable time using your tamer, learn how to get your real target to follow your pet and pull it to an out-of-the-way location if you know you and the pet will struggle to handle the situation if you just blunder your way into a big ole nasty crowd. What works well for me is to move along slowly until the name of the thing I want to kill shows up on the screen, pause a second or two and see if that name starts to move toward your tamer and pet. If it flags, of course move away and hide. If not, tell the pet to stay and then hide your tamer. Wait a little bit and generally the monster will start coming toward you and your pet and you can just keep walking back the way you came until you've relocated the monster to a quieter location.

    I know that it might seem like you can just blithely charge your way through dungeons and other nasty places when you've got a big old meat shield tagging along behind you and your tamer's suit is maxed out with FC/FCR jewelry. However, in my opinion, that's pretty much just asking for a lot of unwelcome attention. The only time I ever have my tamer just go charging recklessly through a crowded location is when I have no intention of stopping and the tamer is also a legendary peacemaker. Even with a legendary peacemaker tamer, I generally proceed with caution and without using peacemaking and pull what I want to kill off to the side if I know it's probably going to be too crazy to try to keep the pet alive and loot a bunch of stuff all at the same time. The extra time spent doing things that way sure beats the time it takes to go find a rez just because I decided to be reckless and just dive in and take my chances with stuff.
     
  5. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    Popps, I picked up on your problem in another thread and this one repeats it. You are not using the proper commands to control your pet. There were changes made some time ago which improved on pet performance. Anyone that missed those changes would think exactly the opposite was true.

    When you give your pet a KILL or GUARD command you place the pet in attack mode. If you then want that pet to follow you, without regard to anything else that is going on, you must first get it out of attack mode. This is done with the STOP command.

    Scenario - You send your pet in to KILL a dragon. Suddenly it is nearly surrounded by 3 dragons. You start spamming FOLLOW ME. It tries but pauses each time it is hit and each time it decides to hit back.

    Same scenario - You see your pet being surrounded and say PETNAME STOP, PETNAME FOLLOW ME. Your pet instantly complies (if your skill checks pass) and starts retreating with you. It may still pause each time it is hit, but it won't fight back and thus will get out if it doesn't die.

    One other note, if you wait until your pet is totally surrounded you can forget getting it out until you've cleared a path. In those cases you do not want to issue a STOP command as your pet will stop defending itself.
     
  6. popps

    popps Always Present
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    The issue is, "how often" does a fighter or a mage at their respective maxed out skills really miss that hit or that casting of a spell ??

    As I see it, the difficulty of a maxed out tamer in controlling a pet is higher than the difficulty of a maxed out fighter in landing a hit or a maxed out mage in casting a spell.

    If you do not have a tamer, try making one on test server and go to a heavy spawn area.

    Then get the pet into fighting multiple targets and try pulling it out of the fight.
    It is a nightmare and one needs to spam all follow really way, but way too many times.

    Also, in a heavy spawn situation also try order to kill a target. Quite soon you will realize that the pet will have switched target onto something else disobeying the kill order for that given target.

    It happens too frequently and needs too many repetitive same orders to have the command be ordered, even at maxed out skill.

    Really annoying, IMHO.
     
  7. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I still see that as a work around. I also use pet balls to call pets out of a fight but again, these are work arounds, IMHO.

    I think that pets trained up, bonded, and commanded by mxed out masters should be more obedient to their masters and do what they are told in a much less number of same issued commands.

    I can accept telling a pet twice, perhaps 3 times the same order but after that the pet has to stick with the order i gave and not do something else screwing my tactics for the battle.
     
  8. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    This exactly. I think I've had one situation in the past 8 months that I've had a hard time getting a pet to follow me, and I'm pretty sure someone was using an exploit on me that time.

    Your "follow me" macro should look like this:

    all stop
    0.4 second delay
    all follow me

    If you do that you will rarely, if ever, have a problem with a pet not responding to a follow command unless they specifically fail one of the two commands. If you have 99% control of the pet, which you will certainly have if you have 120/120 taming/lore, that will rarely happen, and when it does it's generally just a matter of hitting your macro again.

    There are plenty of issues in the game, and some of them specific to pets. This isn't one of them.
     
  9. popps

    popps Always Present
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    So what you are saying is that unless I issue a STOP command before the follow then the pet will be stuck with whatever other command it had, like a kill or guard, for example ?

    I will try it putting an ALL STOP right before the ALL FOLLOW and see whether the pet will come to me without me having to spam it endless times.

    What about the other problem, though ?
    The pet switching target on its own thus allowing the previous target time to heal back.

    The pet does that on its own even with me ordering it to kill a specific target, instead.
     
  10. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Alright, will try with a STOP before a FOLLOW but what about the other problem lamented ? Pets switching targets on their own, even with a kill command issued on a specific target. It screws up my tactic for the battle and forces me to re-issue multiple kill orders on the same one target.
     
  11. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    I sometimes have that problem, but not often. I'm guessing that you use the "guard" command a lot. If you want your pets to stick to a specific target you need to clear any guard commands you may have given before. You do it the same way:

    all stop
    0.4 second delay
    all kill

    However even with that, if your pets are being attacked they will sometimes fight the target attacking them. One way to prevent this from becoming too much of an issue if you are using more than one pet is to have one that you can mount (ie. a nightmare) and one you can designate as your "tank" (ie. a rune beetle or a dragon - the dragon is the better choice for this event).

    You stay mounted and then when you want to attack you dismount. This way anything that is going to target your pets will target the pet you are not mounted on, your "tank", and because it isn't being attacked by only one target, and the target you want it to attack will be attacking it, it won't switch targets. And if you manage your mount properly it won't often be attacked.

    One little trick. Make sure the pet you want to be the "tank" comes out of the stable first. The first pet you take out of the stable first will be the pet that any mob you use the "kill" command on will target. So if you have your nightmare out, and you decide to pull out your dragon, you will need to pull out your dragon, stable your mare, and then pull your mare out again (the order doesn't matter as long as the mare comes out of the stable last).

    edit: And I just have to add this. For those that think playing a tamer is "all kill, no skill", there is an awful lot more to being an effective, skilled tamer, than simply using the "all kill" command. ;)
     
  12. Wenchkin

    Wenchkin Babbling Loonie
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    Change your macro to say "all stop" then "all follow me". That will stop your pet fighting and get it to follow you. By just using follow you're not telling the pet to stop fighting, so if it's in aggressive mode it'll fight as it goes. This can be a good option at times, but the stop/follow macro is the one you want for passive following. Personally I've never had any issues with pets coming through a spawn when I used that macro.

    An animal is always an animal no matter how well trained it is. What you describe is a robot, not a living creature with instincts and drives of its own. When you train an animal you don't turn it into a robot, you learn what makes it tick and how to work best with it as a respectful partnership. It's still an animal afterwards. Watch any horse riding competition, sheepdog trial or the like. You'll see great trainers. You'll also see their animals refuse fences, screw up an obstacle and the like. The good trainer though, knows how to get back on track without losing patience and becoming abusive. I think the words obedience and master are overdue a retirement...

    This problem is preventable by good pet handling and using the right commands.

    Ideally - tell your pet which target to go after before he's surrounded by the spawn in aggro mode.

    If your aggro mode pet is surrounded by spawn and starts attacking the wrong one? Again, use the stop command.

    I usually use my stop/follow macro because I pull the pet back towards me away from the spawn so we don't collect yet more spawn. A stop command though, followed by a kill command and a target will target your pet onto the monster of choice.

    If you're spamming commands, you're doing something wrong with your tamer. At no point to any of my tamers spam commands at their pets, and only one is maxed out in her skills. The bottom line is, you need to learn how to use a tamer and their pets, not expect them to function like little robots when you're issuing the wrong commands.

    Wenchy
     
  13. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    At least I'd like a Special Move on/off switch
    "On" would work like normal
    "Off" would use no special moves

    "Attack with Magic Only"
    and "Attack with No Magic"
    in addition to our current "Attack with both"
     
  14. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Monsters have great Pathfinding AI for the most part.
    They can find their way around most objects to get to their target.

    Why can't Pets have this same Pathfinding AI? It's already in the game, it's not like they'd have to write new code.
     
  15. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    They can/do. If you use the 'petname come' command. I would love it if they used the same pathfinding ability when told to 'follow'.
     
  16.  
  17. popps

    popps Always Present
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    If we are bringing up the issue of "drawbacks" here, may I ask then what are the "drawbacks" of the "Sampire" hybrid as well as other hybrids ?

    I can see how well they can do, a lot more than as tamers (they do not even need to self heal most of the time so that they can loot corpses while at the same time fight the spawn....) so, if I may ask, what would the drawbacks be for them ?
     
  18. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    The problem isn't your pet it's your commands.

    You tell him to Stop then Follow.

    I have no problem commanding my pets at 115 all or at 120 all.
     
  19. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Only works for one-word named pets.
    ... even still not quite the same
     
  20. The drawbacks that I can think of right now of the sampire,is the need of mana,a suit that negates the loss of fire resistance,and the need of a hard hitting(usually the slower weapons in the game) to get back better "heals" from damage done. Slower weapons can lend itself to trouble if you run into a mob and you start losing stamina.Why shouldn't sampires do more damage,they have to use mana to do that damage. It's not a simple "all kill" command that requires no mana to use.
     
  21. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Design flaws aren't checks and balances, and shouldn't be used as such either.

    Tamers aren't overpowered, though mages are weak.
    Tamers are at a reasonable power level how thy currently are. As it is, my swordsman out damages tamers regularly... even a hell hound pack, and has much more tanking capability than a Greater Dragon.
    Which isn't too bad, a greater inherent template risk being a swordsman than a tamer, but don't think that tamers are overly powerful.

    If they put some sort of balance in, it shouldn't be a design flaw because design flaws are incredibly frustrating to the player, much more than just a flat debuff to the player's ability.
    Losing due to a template deficiency or a personal mistake is much more acceptable than losing because the devs failed to code correctly, whether it's because of bad pet AI in this case, or because of lag, or because of a crash.
    Few things more maddening than being forced to lose by outside circumstances when you have the ability to win.
     
  22. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    They *are* the meat shield.

    Archers have distance.
    Tamers have pets.
    Mages have summons and distance and invisibility.
    Stealthers have stealth.
    Bards have Peacemaking and Provocation.

    Hand to hand combat fighters have unique defense.
    Because even the best fighter can die quickly if hit by a little bit of bad luck.
    Risk vs. Reward :)

    Granted, not saying that they don't need to be toned down, but these would be the reasons that they should be somewhat stronger than the others.
     
  23. But the OP wants to remove the 'risk' from the equasion. Pet summoning ball,"blessed" pets,max lrc/lmc/luck (poor resist) suits that no melee fighter could get away with wearing in battle.Equiping swords of prosperity with no swords skill....yeah why do tamers get to hold two large swords with no swords skills.I can't command a dragon w/o taming skill,so why do they get to benefit from the swords? I think I see a bad double standard here.
     
  24. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Admittedly I haven't yet read the original post in its entirety. My responses were directed only at the portions I quoted.

    Don't throw out good ideas presented in a bad post (again, haven't read it yet, so not implying either way yet).
    Conversely don't accept bad ideas in a good post either, refine them both with critique. :)
     
  25. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Remove the 'risk' ? Not quite.......... merely reduce unnecessary annoyances to game play.

    I mean, that the pet dies because it won't obey the follow commands it is not a problem.
    Just find a safe corner somewhere and res the pet and heal back to full health.

    The switching of targets in mid fight ? Same thing, it only drags the battle for longer making it just more annoying but not necessarily makes it more risky.

    So, at least as I see it, improving the pet's obedience to maxed out tamers not really is about reducing risks, but more about reducing unnecessary annoyances to playing the game.
     
  26. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
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    If you tell it to stop and then kill, it will only attack that target. If you tell it to stop and then stay, it will not attacking anything or move.

    When you tell it to guard you, it starts thinking on its own.
     
  27. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    The way to eliminate this 'unnecessary annoyance to playing the game' is to use the correct commands for the situation. The solution has now been given to you by more knowledgable players. No developer's intervention is therefore needed.
     
  28. Stupid Miner

    Stupid Miner Guest

    Temporary solution to one person's problem. Is this in the Taming Guide? Seems like it should.
     
  29. FYI tamers arn't the only ones that deal with retargeting issues. When I have a group surrounding my paladin and I cast holy light,she always retargets to another mob thats in range.I deal with it and always quickly dbl click what I was fighting before.
     
  30. Saunders

    Saunders Lore Keeper
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    *'All come' and 'All Follow Me' commands must be preceded by the 'All Stop' command if the pet is already engaged in combat. If the stop command is not given the pet will attempt to obey the 'follow' or 'come' command but will continue to defend itself against attack.
    Tamer's guide
     
  31. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Ummm, why specifically are you picking on tamers with this? Those swords of prosperity work off the mage skill, not any taming skill, and any mage can use them. Typically mages use a one handed -20 mage weapon with spell channelling, why do they get to have a weapon skill without dedicating any points to it?

    It looks to me as though, as usual, you are just looking for an excuse to bash tamers. Maybe you should think a little before you post, and actually target something that applies specifically to tamers.
     
  32. When was the last time you saw anyone else but a tamer even use the swords? You know as well as I do they use it not for the mage weapon property but the luck stat.Most every mage I see hunting has a slayer spell book or a scrappers.
     
  33. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    So what is it that offends you, the 200 luck? Again, that also has nothing to do with taming. A lot of tamers use them, but then a lot of pvp mages use one handed -20 mage weapons that give them a lot more in the way of offence and defence than swords of prosperity.

    And in fact, if I want to maximize my luck, I can do a lot better with an enhanced -20 mage weapon and an enhanced shield. I still fail to see why you singled out the swords of prosperity and tamers with this. Did they just seem like an easy, obvious target? Because when it comes to tamer haters, that seems to be what they base an awful lot of their complaints on.

    And you had better be careful what you ask for, because if swords of prosperity get nerfed, you can pretty much bet the farm that it will affect all your pvp buddies with -20 mage weapons even more than it affects the typical tamer.

    edit: And by the way, I have a bard that uses swords of prosperity, I have a spell weaver/mage that uses swords of prosperity, I have a necro that uses swords of prosperity, while my tamer uses a -20 mage weapon. The tamer is my main character, the others that use the swords of prosperity aren't advanced characters and nowhere near fully developed. Swords of prosperity are generally not the best choice for an advanced character, so the characters you appear to be complaining about will tend to be less experienced, weaker characters. Was that why you targeted them? Because you thought they were an easy, obvious target?
     
  34. maroite

    maroite Guest

    *nods in agreement...*

    Most of the tamer hate on these forums comes from people who don't know a thing.

    Seriously. She must be mad because an item that is used for its 200 luck is being used for its 200 luck. If tamers or other people didn't use those swords for the luck, I doubt they would be used at all.

    It would become just another useless item, gone the way of most of the Marties.
     
  35. Coppelia

    Coppelia Guest

    I don't have problem to make them follow, but the problem of the pet targeting another mob of the crowd instead of finishing the one I commanded it to kill, it's very frustrating.
    It generally happens when a mob breaks from peace and targets the pet. The pet changes its target and you must command it to stop/follow before commanding it to attack the previous mob.
    It's annoying. But nothing to compare to what it was before, when you had to spam "follow me" because the pets would respond to every mob targeting them.
     
  36. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    Either some people have forgotten, or weren't around to know how bad it used to be. It's heaven now compared to what it was. It was one of the first things I noticed when I came back eight months ago. I don't think there are any problems in this regard. It keeps you alert and requires that you interact with your pets during combat, without being annoying or impossible to work with. I think the balance is just about perfect.
     
  37. Fat Lip

    Fat Lip Guest

    Something with pet AI that annoys me is:

    When fighting a group of monsters, the pet switches targets without being given a command to. I'll have 3-5 things on my pet and the pet will get one monster down to low health & the monster will start wandering away, then my pet will switch targets to another thing without being given a command to.

    This has happened a lot with fighting Dragons, in the Bane Chosen VS. Ophidian event, Demons, and other monsters with 300+ Hit Points (that don't die from 2 or 3 hits).