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 Post subject: Traders and offenders
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:39 pm 
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I have noticed that ships spawned as traders, even Anacondas, can appear as offenders. Is this caused simply by a random probability during system population or does is have more specific reasons? I would like to prevent this for my "company freighters" OXP I'm working on.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:56 pm 
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Random, I'd think! Traders make mistakes like everyone else - launching with some forgotten scooped narcotics onboard, for example.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:06 pm 
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Hmm... you're right. Even a well paid captain working for a big company can make a mistake or could be tempted to improve his income by smuggling illegal goods.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:52 pm 
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<nods> Aye, you gotta wonder what some traders and their escorts are up to when you see something like this:
Quote:
I pulled into the aegis at Biorve, about halfway through a parcel run, and got told I was seventh in the queue. Fair enough. I positioned Mercurial Amethyst next to the nav buoy, and waited patiently. After number six had docked, I got told I was number seven again due to prioritised launches. At that, an Anaconda proceeded to launch, followed by its five escorts - all six of them offenders! The local Vipers were going nutty issuing warnings as they headed out for their jump.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:26 am 
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Not random I think. If they are "only" offenders, they are smugglers (illegal goods traders). When they are jumping in, they will "Anyone heading for the rock hermit ? I'd appreciate the company." instead of the main station which normal traders will target. ("I think the Coriolis station will give the best prices. Let's try there first.) If the leader ship is fugitive, they are pirates (and do not appear at main stations). They seem to be hoping their bounty hasn't gotten large enough yet for the police to let them go. Sometimes that doesn't work, also because hunters can attack them, then they complain about "where are the vipers ?" even if it's the vipers which are attacking them.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:54 am 
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I am wondering about another thing concerning traders (including clean traders). It could be an AI bug, but I'm not sure.

Yesterday I was following a clean Python with one of my paint jobs (so it had to be a trader!) and four escorts to the planet to take some pictures. The convoy was on the standard course, not directly to the station, but roughly in the direction of the planet. Everything was normal and they kept flying in a straight line until they suddenly changed course, probably because there were pirates in the vicinity. After I had destroyed these, I found the Python again, but it didn't resume the old course. Instead it flew around randomly, essentially not changing its position (similar to ships waiting for prey around the witchpoints). With the escorts following neatly, the turns looked like some artistic formation flying, but it was certainly not what a trader should do!

I've noticed similar behaviour before. In one case I remember in more detail, it was a convoy I had followed through the wormhole. It didn't even start to fly to the planet but flew around in the vicinity of the witchpoint. Pirates could have been the reason in this case too. I wonder if the AI gets stuck somehow after a threat has gone.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:29 am 
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Quote:
I am wondering about another thing concerning traders (including clean traders). It could be an AI bug, but I'm not sure.[snip]
I've seen some odd AI behaviour lately - hard to pin down, or describe, though.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:50 pm 
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I'm starting to understand how the plist AIs are working, but I don't understand the JavaScript AIs yet, and the trader AI is one of them.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:06 pm 
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Quote:
I'm starting to understand how the plist AIs are working, but I don't understand the JavaScript AIs yet, and the trader AI is one of them.
With the current version of Oolite all sophisticated AIs are JS AIs. The old plist AIs are available mostly for compatibility as many OXPs use them.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:31 pm 
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So somewhere there must be some oxp/oxz spawning traders with a pirateAI.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:53 pm 
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I don't have any OXP that would do anything like it. The only ship spawning OXPs I use are Cylon Raider and Aliens. And as I said, the traders _did_ behave like traders until they met possible threats. But after the threat was gone, they were stuck in some kind of "lurking AI".

I'll try to make more observations...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:06 pm 
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Quote:
I've seen some odd AI behaviour lately - hard to pin down, or describe, though.
There are definitely other AI bugs. One is that orbital shuttles like to crash into the navigation buoy, sometimes (or always?) after making a short stop immediately in front of it. And in some (relatively rare) cases, some ships, especially Sidewinders, Geckos, Mambas, but Cylon Raiders too, seem to forget what they should do and just "play dead" during a battle. They can be "woken up" again by shooting at them.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:02 pm 
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Another case, this time a clean trader Python without escorts. I met it while it was travelling through pirate-infested space but not being attacked directly. I followed it, and it went on and on, the destination being somewhere in outer space (neither planet, nor sun, nor witchpoint, nor rock hermit). After some time I noticed that it hadn't a destination at all: It didn't fly in a straight line, instead it made a very slight change of course exactly every 40 seconds by pulling up perhaps 1 or 2 degrees.

After a while I forced it to change it's course by coming very near, but the described behaviour continued after it had settled on a new course. After this change I noticed that it was making little roll movements as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Quote:
Another case, this time a clean trader Python without escorts. I met it while it was travelling through pirate-infested space but not being attacked directly. I followed it, and it went on and on, the destination being somewhere in outer space (neither planet, nor sun, nor witchpoint, nor rock hermit). After some time I noticed that it hadn't a destination at all: It didn't fly in a straight line, instead it made a very slight change of course exactly every 40 seconds by pulling up perhaps 1 or 2 degrees.

After a while I forced it to change it's course by coming very near, but the described behaviour continued after it had settled on a new course. After this change I noticed that it was making little roll movements as well.
Are you using the developer version of Oolite? If you are, you could use time acceleration and see where it's going.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:20 pm 
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No, I don't, and I left it alone after some time because I was on a "serious" flight and had some kills to save. But I think it was going nowhere. After some hours, the described behaviour would put the ship in a very big spiral, and after some centuries it would probably arrive in a neighbouring system... :lol:



PS: Somebody probably should move this to "Testing and Bug reports"...

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