AI Formation Leadership

Sky Captain

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From: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/18296-Star-Citizen-Monthly-Report-August-2021

One feature delivered this month allows the player to lead a formation of AI ships. This was initially requested for Squadron 42 but should be available in the PU in the future.
This is an interesting feature identified in the August PU report that is not much discussed otherwise.

So we can lead a squadron of AI ships into battle .... not just in Squadron 42, but also now in the PU? Wow! With ships we rent? .... or .... ships we own maybe?

What happens if 20,000 Test members in Auroras each show up with their own formation of three AI Auroras ....... Hmmm.....

Anyone have other insights into this feature?
 

Aramsolari

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They may need to rethink that one or have plan about where exactly this would be possible.

Having a large amount of players on a server with their own NPC wingmen? Does not sound like a good idea.
Sounds like griefing/trolling opportunities for the naughty types as well. They'll have to be careful as to how they implement this.
 

CosmicTrader

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I always knew that I would be able to fly my MAX/MSR/Taurus/C2/etc while my AI NPC flew my Hull-C beside me when I go
CityBoppin & BarHoppin
Oh Yeah!

(Remember - CIG did not say how many AI in that formation..........They originally mentioned 2 or 3)
 

stockish

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They may need to rethink that one or have plan about where exactly this would be possible.

Having a large amount of players on a server with their own NPC wingmen? Does not sound like a good idea.

Just because we all can't have a Javelin as our wingman......wait that sounds like a badass idea!


I do like this idea if limited, let me have a couple of other Eclipse pilots with me when we go damn the torpedoes! I can see it being a pain if you run minimum crew to have an Idris or Polaris ran and still have full control to have them aim and fire main weapons.
 

Bambooza

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I always knew that I would be able to fly my MAX/MSR/Taurus/C2/etc while my AI NPC flew my Hull-C beside me when I go

(Remember - CIG did not say how many AI in that formation..........They originally mentioned 2 or 3)
Yep, they did talk about AI wingmates but they also said they would not be flying a player's ship without the player onboard. So I imagine it might be possible to hire an AI in a Javelin to provide fleet protection but I have to wonder how much it would cost? I also wonder if they will not just limit guns for hire to small single fighters or Marines that you can take with you and not multi-crew ships.
 

Kowalski

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From: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/18296-Star-Citizen-Monthly-Report-August-2021



This is an interesting feature identified in the August PU report that is not much discussed otherwise.

So we can lead a squadron of AI ships into battle .... not just in Squadron 42, but also now in the PU? Wow! With ships we rent? .... or .... ships we own maybe?

What happens if 20,000 Test members in Auroras each show up with their own formation of three AI Auroras ....... Hmmm.....

Anyone have other insights into this feature?
If Arma III taught me one thing it's that AI vehicles in formation are a recipe for disaster.

Though I'd love it if NPC gunners were a thing. I feel bad sending friends to a turret that doesn't see much action.
 

Shadow Reaper

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This was why I had planned for a couple years to fly a Vanguard, and just add new Vanguards to the wing as my finances allowed. Just over a year ago though, someone here said with seeming authority that is not how it will work, and if you want to hire wingmen, they are expensive and come with their own ships. So still waiting to see how it pans out.

Certainly if we can control half dozen ships at once, having them all the same, like six Eclipse; would simplify things. if CIG needs to limit the number of ships in an instance rather than the number of players, then the teams made up of the least NPCs will of course be the most powerful. If you're just flying a mission that spawns a pair of Void Bombers, one player with a bunch of Eclipse might handle that. Another option is attach half dozen Tana to your StarG and you're ready to go, since they can for sure refuel and their missiles would launch when you tell them. No special AI limitations I can see.

From a year ago last May, could be this is only SQ42:

View: https://youtu.be/ZeutL_6xeY4?t=128
 
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CosmicTrader

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but they also said they would not be flying a player's ship without the player onboard.
Actually, they said the AI (our NPCs) would not be flying a player's ship without the player in the game.
We must be in the game in order to have our NPCs active.
-- But when asked a DEV did say that a player's NPC could fly one ship with the player flying another ship.
 

Shadow Reaper

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I'm not sure what the devs could have meant by "AI Escort Pilot" other than as you describe it, though I'm still not sure it will be in the PU rather than just SQ42.

Wouldn't it be a kick though, to fly a whole wing of Eclipse in on the Vanduul for pew pew?! They all deserve to die.
 
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Bambooza

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-- But when asked a DEV did say that a player's NPC could fly one ship with the player flying another ship.
Do you have a link to that? I know spectrum posters have brought it up from time to time only to never be able to link to the Dev post or youtube vid. The only time that I can recall that they said an NPC would pilot a players ship was if there were not enough beds for the NPC's to log out after the last player on the ship logs out/disconnects then they were thinking the NPC's would fly the ship to the nearest port. Otherwise, all NPC's would grab a bed log out and the ship would despawn. After this post, I'll also look for the link to the reference to hiring NPC's who would fly in their own ship.
 
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Bambooza

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NPC use needs to be limited. No personal armies.
(5:14:17 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: And however NPC’s are implemented, there’s going to be limits to what you can do with them. (5:14:32 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Don’t expect a giant NPC-driven spacefleet per person. (5:15:45 PM) CIG Matt Sherman: Private armys would be terrible for the games long term health.
https://relay.sc/article/devchat-august-18th-25th

“Matt Sherman: Bigger a ship gets, the more people you'd need on board to crew it.
As-is, things like the Idris or Javelin are probably going to need at least a few players with their own individual NPC hired to viably crew them to not just be squandering resources when you're flying on. Going larger to the persistent-ships like a Bengal, that just keeps scaling up and up.
I hope enough people blow up their big ships in like 5min just to understand "Oh, I can't just herp-derp with impunity."
A Hull-series ship may be more viable with a smaller crew, sure, but they're also exponentially weaker in terms of combat-viability compared to an Idris/Jav or larger.”
From: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/forum/3/thread/star-citizen-economy-and-employment/481942

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk7ZwswT2tA&t=1043s


https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/13288-multiple-package-clarification
Remember it is not necessary to use a Game Character for your NPC crew. You will be able to hire normal NPC crew with credits you’ve earned in-game. The difference between a Game Character slot converted into a NPC crew member and a regular NPC crew member is that you can customize the Game Character NPC’s look, name and backstory. There is an additional bonus of being able to specify one of your Game Character NPC crewmembers as your successor in the event of your main characters death (See Death of a Spaceman), at which point the Game Character NPC will become playable again, with the assets of your deceased old character conveying.
From: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/forum/3/thread/quantum-ama/2954458
Subsumption is for active NPCs:
“NPC crews are under the purview of AI behavior, and is too heavyweight for the kinds of things that Quantum aims to handle. Quantum will only be accounting for the end result of these NPC actions. It won't account for details that the player will see when NPCs are on their ship, but it will account for things like "How good of a pilot is this NPC?" and use that to determine the results of simulation interactions.”
“Martin:
Well, Quanta have different profiles that define their behaviors and opportunities. The economic nodes strategies are directly influenced by its environment and the resources available.
Jake:
To be clear, though, NPCs that you see in the game are not governed by Quantum. By the time an NPC is instantiated it's behavior is governed by its local AI.”
From: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/forum/3/thread/quantum-ama/2954467

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I2XuEdu-1I&t=66s


How do you envision NPC crew gameplay?
Todd Papy:


First steps are building out the player functionality to those roles (Captain, Engineer, etc) similar to pilots and turret gunners. We currently have some of those AI functions, like flying the ship, but we would still need to build the “glue” for AI, like what they do off duty. The capt/owner of the ship will need a way to set what roles he wants the NPCs to do. The Capt will also need a way to interface with the AI to tell them what they want them to do, like fly to a set location or attack a certain target.

We are still planning to allow players to take remote control of the NPCs.



View: https://youtu.be/Rk7ZwswT2tA?t=727


Hire NPC crew with a specific specialty and a soft cap on their skill level. Some special NPC's might have more then one specialty but will be very rare and hard to find.
The crew are paid a daily salary based upon their skill level and are not bought. Unknown how much that will cost but it will scale with abilities. Todd also talked about having to train check in on NPC crew and kick to the curb ones that have hit their cap at a level to low for your needs.
 

Bambooza

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Sorry, no I do not. It was about 3 years ago. ( I think it was an Ask the DEV video)
Things change but that was the last that I heard on the subject.
The rest of your post is correct as I remember it as well. (about NPCs flying your ship to the nearest port)
I'll keep looking. But it seems counter to the content I posted above as well as my understanding that while it's possible to hire an NPC pilot a player "Captain" would still need to be on the ship and that NPC's would not say fly a player's Gladius off the players Idris, while a hired gun would fly their own Gladius off the Players Idris as part of an escort contract and not a crew member. Meaning they would treat your ship as a friendly port of call to rearm and refuel but would follow their own logic tree as to how best to complete the mission and not necessarily as controlled as the hired crew would be.
 

Shadow Reaper

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I think one important thing to note about the dev comments is they're all future tense about what they "plan". No plans are set in stone until they do the coding, and even then they could change their minds. What I liked about the SQ42 update from a year ago was that he was reporting the actual coding. They designed the interface for players to control AI in SQ42. In that game, players can control entire wings of NPC pilots, assign formation shapes, commands about how to join, follow, and how much grief to take before attacking and leaving formation if at all. The big take away is they're serious about handing a LOT of AI power to players.

So yeah it's a no brainer that PC owned NPC armies would kill the game, but they haven't yet said how many NPC's we'll each be able to control and to what extent. I think it's not just pilots and turret gunners, but space marine types. The Polaris min/max crew specs seem to presume there will be about a dozen NPC marines in it. So each of the 5 big turret gunners could be controlling 2-3 NPC marines to both provide security on the ship, and to board other ships. That would keep them busy virtualy all the time and kill the boredom of tending a turret when there are no opponents.
 
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