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Wurm Dev Blog: Crazy Creatures

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1 hour ago, Klaa said:

Thinking something like ghost tracks, blood drops, and other types of sign superimposing terrain upon skill usage.

So kind of like how the witcher does it? Quite liked how tracking was done there.

 

For those wondering

Witcher3-tracking_warewolf_590x333.jpg

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Just wondering-do underground areas figure into this?

I have noticed where I live in SE Deli very few spawns on surface-but a number of large areas underground with lots of spawns.

If it affects what is on surface, maybe cut down on number underground and maybe speed up their age cycle so the ones trapped in closed up areas die quicker.

I dont know really that much about that stuff, just throwing some ideas out there :D

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9 hours ago, zigozag said:

Will we be able to play Pong with cows then?

 

oh btw if they move too much, they might start packing grass even more often

 

 

Maybe you could make it so that such herds would start moving across server together as one entity, opposing lone carnivores, trampling Mufasa, etc, i.e. like real herbivores do.

 

 

That would very good - just as long as we don't get vast areas of packed tiles as they move about.

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Ok, As a mountain deed lover, I'm greatly opposed to halting critter movement over steep slopes. 

 

#1 mountain tops would only get a small amount of spawning - I suppose you could just call it one of the draw backs of living on a mountain, but it would be a bummer.

#2 In theory, I could just forget about fencing and any animals I breed up on a mountain would stay on the mountain, right?  Smells just as bad as the old system with pit traps.

 

Just leave slopes out of the equation.  Yes, your critter ran away up the mountain to get away from you.  Is this so unusual in RL?  Try catching a deer in RL and see what it does.  I've sen them climb ridiculous slopes to get away from evil humans.

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"Changing Creature Creation

In a similar manner to the above heatmap system to be tested with fleeing creature movements, in the near future I’ll be testing out another heatmap system for creature spawns. This would be a cached version of all the map tiles with a weighting based on deeds, guard towers and highways. Tiles closer to guard towers or deeds with templars would be weighted based on their distance to the deed/tower and the number of templars or tower guards. What this would allow is more precision in spawning creatures based on how safe or wild the area is – areas closer to deeds and towers tend to be more safe, so more passive and weaker mobs would spawn in those areas. Moving further out from these areas would take you farther into wilderness with stronger creatures spawning.

This heatmap could then also be used to pick out best areas to spawn uniques or future more difficult creatures that we think up. We’d be able to safely spawn uniques out in the relative wilderness, out of the way of deeds and the destruction uniques may cause to them. This would ideally cause a more fluid system for hunting, with lower skilled players being able to feel relatively safe in areas that are well guarded or well travelled, while seasoned hunters will have a better idea of where they can travel to have a real fight.

-Budda"

 

Thanks for the Dev Blog Budda (and Staff). Even though this new system might bite me personally in the hind quarters (due to choosing wilderness to deed in and not caring much about fighting or hunting) I still think your ideas can perhaps fix the problems many have complained about for years. Regardless whether my opinion means anything or not... you do have my support. I look forward to seeing these ideas being applied to Xanadu.

Edited by geode
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22 hours ago, Budda said:

As for creatures on slopes, that one is a bit harder. As said by @As_I_Decaythe last attempt at that made them favour going downhill over uphill which got a lot of creatures stuck in pits, natural or otherwise. I actually used to have such a natural dip in the land near one of my deeds years ago that would regularly get 30+ wolves stuck in it. The difficulty for this comes in when deciding should they move up, and when should they move down? Having them check a large area to get the overall slope of the land can get quite expensive, so they have to make their decisions based on their immediate area (like a 4 tile radius or so). Even after making those decisions, it's still possible you're left with them favouring one direction over the other - so you'll either get hundreds of mobs sitting on mountain peaks, or in natural pits in the land - and that's not even thinking about what will happen to them at coast lines (like at the bottom of a steep cliff).

 

 

What about basing their movement choices on tile types.  I know that the biggest majority of steep mountainsides with an overabundance of critters (at least of the ones I've seen on Xana), are rock.  If they were to move towards vegetation and avoid rock, that would take care of the steep mountains I'd think.  Of course, there's the patches of vegetation on the mountains so maybe not really such a great idea, but if they also didn't spawn on rock, could that work?

 

edit: hmm, and I wonder how that would affect caves. Prob wouldn't work.  :)

Edited by Amadee

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Can't a check be added to not go up the slope, but not favor downhill or favor anything?

 

Like:

1) search out X amount of tiles for where to move next

2) invalidate locations to move within area (fenced in tile so can't walk that way?  Is there water next tile so can't go that way?  Is slope greater than X if so can't go that way?

3) move to valid location

4) repeat move check all over again after X amount of time.

 

I don't see water tiles making animals want to run away if animal can't swim so hoping having just a check of (slope greater than X) be like (can't go in water).

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6 hours ago, Wurmhole said:

Ok, As a mountain deed lover, I'm greatly opposed to halting critter movement over steep slopes. 

 

#1 mountain tops would only get a small amount of spawning - I suppose you could just call it one of the draw backs of living on a mountain, but it would be a bummer.

#2 In theory, I could just forget about fencing and any animals I breed up on a mountain would stay on the mountain, right?  Smells just as bad as the old system with pit traps.

 

Just leave slopes out of the equation.  Yes, your critter ran away up the mountain to get away from you.  Is this so unusual in RL?  Try catching a deer in RL and see what it does.  I've sen them climb ridiculous slopes to get away from evil humans.

 

I'd be fine with keeping them allowed to go over slopes...if they actually came down off them instead of herding up like they do in the photo and staying there. The problem is, once they run up that mountain, they rarely come back down unless they are one of the patrols that keep moving and you can get close enough to actually attract their attention to lure them off. But with Xan, we're talking hundreds (Maybe even thousands) of mountain sloped tiles that players can't climb up to lure them down. (I'm 26 climbing skill, even I would have troubles climbing these mountains to lure stuff off...even empty of inventory, full CCFP bar for stam boost and sandwiches.)

I remember caves filled with thousands of mobs too, so I remember the pits problem, but I also remember the herds on coasts that would just sit there. We need some way to get these mobs mobile again. There was a few people who'd go in and wipe out these massive herds, and all those re-spawns in the world would be back, but within a couple days, a new herd was back again. This is still happening. Some places are great for finding certain things, but they aren't moving around like they should be...

 

They don't seem to move around much nowadays, unless they are one of the few set on a patrol path...they just kinda meander in a area, back and forth...and when I see them/get close, they start running away from me.

 

9 hours ago, Skyfalls said:

Just wondering-do underground areas figure into this?

 

I was wondering that myself. I used to find a lot of stuff in caves back on Pristine. I remember finding bison trapped in a cave (They came down the slope from above, entered the mine entry, ended up in there, but the entry was a boat cave entry/water...so they became trapped because they couldn't swim.) I used to have good fun trying to clean out the mobs at an entry enough to peek my head in and look around enough. Usually would run off in fear as like 5 things jumped me at once...and I'd have to try and kite a couple out...

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On 6/14/2017 at 9:56 AM, DevBlog said:

Corralling Confined Creatures

There are a few main areas where we could improve how creatures spawn and move around. The first is one that a large portion of the playerbase experience, and that is creatures that are penned up and stuck on deed trying to path their way outside of those pens and eventually all ending up stuck in various corners. This feature isn’t something that is unique to Wurm as I have seen the same behaviour in penned creatures in other games, and it comes with an interesting explanation. When a creature chooses a place to go, it will pick a tile in its range and then try its best to get to that tile – if it can find a valid path going around obstacles, through unlocked gates and around houses it will – but when it can’t it will most of the time just sit still instead, trying again for a different tile in range later.

Now when a creature is inside a pen there are a lot less valid tiles that it can move to. It can move inside the pen and that’s about it. If your prized cow is sitting in the center of a large pen it can move to every tile around it since its max range is still inside the pen. But after that movement the cow is now closer to the edge of the pen, and half of the tiles it can try to move to are outside of the pen – so half the time when it picks a new tile to move to, it will do nothing. Leave that running for long enough and the cow will eventually run itself into a corner tile, where 75% of the tiles in range are outside of the pen – so 75% of its new movements are doing nothing because it is trying to get to an invalid tile.

cowexample.png
Left: All tiles in range are valid. Center: Some tiles outside of the pen are invalid. Right: Majority of tiles in range are invalid.

A potential fix to this is actually reusing movement code that some other creatures use. Instead of picking a tile and trying to make their way to it, when these creatures have nothing better to move towards (like an easy kill while hunting) they will pick a direction and walk in that direction, turning every now and then, bouncing off obstacles like walls and fences, and just generally wandering aimlessly. Applying this code to penned creatures would mean less movement checks that end in them stuck in one spot, and more randomly moving around their available space – they will be able to walk up to the edge of their pen, then turn in a direction away from the fence or wall, and carry on in that other direction.

Looking at it from a different direction, another way to possibly fix this issue would be to make creatures want to avoid tiles that already have other creatures on them or nearby them when possible. Ideally this would make bunched up creatures naturally spread out when they have no specific tile they are pathing towards leading to more evenly spread pens, and would also help out with another issue described above with creatures naturally gathering at certain points on the map in large groups currently.

 

 

If you increase movement of these animals to help keep the spread out in the pens can you please put an end to enchanted grass being packed on deed?

 

 

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Slopes...pregenerated (updated weekly, monthly, maybe longer) "heat map" or a mesh that holds data on the intensity of the slopes. I believe fetching data in this way is more efficient then calculating slopes for every creature's movement. Using that and combine it with something similar that holds data about population density could be used in some kind of probability logic for decided if a creature should move in a direction and or if it should continue moving in its current direction.

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On 14/06/2017 at 3:56 PM, DevBlog said:

As expected and experienced by players, the areas near deeds and well travelled highways tend to be very sparsely populated by creatures because of a combination of players killing creatures they see, spirit templars and guard towers, and large amounts of areas being taken up by deeds and buildings where creatures do not spawn. In the creature pathing code you also have a tendency for most creatures to try and avoid deeds if possible – this doesn’t always happen as anyone with spirit templars will know, but they do try to avoid guarded deeds when they move. Adding onto this is the fleeing mechanic that controls how creatures behave when getting near other hostile creatures or near players.

creaturedeeds.png
How areas around some deeds may look. Happy hunting to those that recognise their deed.

With herbivores not liking the presence of players leading to them running away from them and other aggressive creatures, combined with them generally not spawning too close to deeds and buildings, and add in player’s proclivity to kill anything they see anywhere near their deeds, you can get some areas looking like the above – creatures finding their safe spaces in areas of land between deeds that are less travelled by players.

Now as if this isn’t enough, carnivorous creatures also like to hunt – and where do they go to get their feast on? To the large grouping of herbivores running away from the nasty players. All of these interactions can compound with each other until you get the odd worst-case scenario that pops up in a couple of small areas on each map.

 

I wonder, would it be possible to use a player tendency to kill them to modify herbivores running away, and aggressive attacking. So, a player's threat level to an animal type to modify the behaviour of other animals of that type.

 

Say you go out and kill a whole load of spiders in future encounters a spider is more likely to be wary of you (stand their ground, or run away, rather than attacking) - something that would decay over time. With herbivores it might be that if you haven't killed any for awhile that they are more likely to ignore you.

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Such behavior would certainly be more believe able for creatures of certain intelligence levels, and if survivors exist. Granted even sheep can learn and pass on info to younger generations.

 

There was a situation involving several sheep who learned to avoid an electric fence. Eventually the fence was either replaced or simply shut off, and the sheep - not noticing - taught their lambs to avoid it.

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On 15/06/2017 at 2:27 AM, Budda said:

 

That would be one way of doing it, but that's not guaranteed to get existing animals off of slopes they're on now. They'll be stuck moving sideways on the slope only, not being able to go up or down - so you still want to give them some possibility to move up and down. It makes sense that given the choice they would choose down, but that leads to the pit problem.

 

Could you add some logic for animals that wouldn't normally be on mountains to attemp to find lower ground, not based on slope, but based on height above sea level? That way you avoid the issue that @As_I_Decaymentioned about players creating pits.

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4 hours ago, solmark said:

 

Could you add some logic for animals that wouldn't normally be on mountains to attemp to find lower ground, not based on slope, but based on height above sea level? That way you avoid the issue that @As_I_Decaymentioned about players creating pits.

 

That would be lovely. Some way to limit crabs and seals to within 5 tiles of a tile you can drink on, maybe? Even that might let them get far up vertically, but I dunno if you could fix that with a slope limitation too. There's nothing quite as strange as finding a seal in the middle of a forest, up a mountain. /facepalm

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Maybe too easy but... why grazing animals in the wild and not, may choose a place in wich there is no grass to graze upon?  A good way for the moving behaviour of those creatures at least may be a chech in the movement in wich the creature search for a graze-able tile, so penned up will move toward those and won't cluster in corners anymore, and outside pens those creatures will avoid a lot of the biggest mountains/desert areas. Btw, i have clear proof that some monsters totally DO NOT avoid deeds: it's enough that i leave a single tile w/o a wall so to have 1-2 trolls in my deed EACH TIME i log in, and i keep killingat least 3 spiders and 2-3 lava perri (hell hounds) every time i dare to venture outside the gate... and basically i'm next to glasshollow area.

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1.) Seals in the forest

2.) Barely any animals in Southern Xanadu

3.) Animals on 90 degree slopes like they were spiderpig

 

Would be nice if these got fixed first.

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On 15/6/2017 at 3:27 AM, Budda said:

 

That would be one way of doing it, but that's not guaranteed to get existing animals off of slopes they're on now. They'll be stuck moving sideways on the slope only, not being able to go up or down - so you still want to give them some possibility to move up and down. It makes sense that given the choice they would choose down, but that leads to the pit problem.

 

Did you consider building precalculated invisible paths, which would help animals generally follow the "natural lay of the land" in hilly/mountainous areas, along coasts etc? I imagine this could help reduce the mobs stuck on mountain sides problem while avoiding the pit trap problem.

Another (complimentary) solution could be invisible fences, which could be used to keep most animals off mountain sides, restrict seals to areas near water and so on

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Haha! I met an area dense with cows and bulls just like that crazy photo. It was in Xanadu near a significant highway. It seemed like they busted out of a fence and started running up a mountain away from the deed they came from.

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Instead of or in addition to adding slope checking code, some areas could be marked as off limits to animals. The cliffs along the north side of Indy and Xan, 10-20 by up to 50 tiles of area virtually impassible to players, that animals run up to the water and move back and forth across these cliffs not being able to go north and never going far enough in other directions to ever leave the cliffs. This is just an example, I know of several such places on Indy where animals end up in dead zones they stay until they die of old age.

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On 6/15/2017 at 1:36 AM, zigozag said:

Will we be able to play Pong with cows then?

 

That's what the new fix reminds me of, chickens and cows bouncing around in a pen continuously moving and almost never stopping.

Sadly the new system didn't 'fix' this stuff.

 

On 6/16/2017 at 1:39 PM, Jamesgab said:

1.) Seals in the forest

2.) Barely any animals in Southern Xanadu

3.) Animals on 90 degree slopes like they were spiderpig

 

Would be nice if these got fixed first.

 

Yeah, these are all problems that need fixed.

 

On 6/16/2017 at 7:12 PM, Yiraia said:

Haha! I met an area dense with cows and bulls just like that crazy photo. It was in Xanadu near a significant highway.

 

I found an area at R22/23 on Xanadu where the bulls/cows/sheep are all huddling. I spent an hour or so over there yesterday killing them, and barely made a dent and I filled two horses with saddlebags + 7 rafts + 3 small chests worth. It was like they were just re-spawning as I dealt with groups of them. I finally had to just head home to unload. I imagine there's other pockets where this is happening...

Edited by Corsan
Added two quotes in reference to other things.

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