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tx365
Acolyte

Reged: 09/30/03
Posts: 128
NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this?
      #2958092 - 08/23/04 03:16 AM

I'm making a mod that "improves" Caldera, and I added a bunch of statics to the town in doing so. The problem is, the town's NPCs seem to love walking right into walls, bushes, and fences. They don't change direction either, they just keep walking into the static.

What, if anything can I do to stop this? It's kind of distracting.

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Barabus
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Reged: 07/23/03
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Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: tx365]
      #2958103 - 08/23/04 03:21 AM

To stop this you will need to re-draw the paths the NPC's follow. They have no way of knowing your new statics are there the AI is pretty basic.

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tx365
Acolyte

Reged: 09/30/03
Posts: 128
Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: Barabus]
      #2958425 - 08/23/04 05:12 AM

How do I do that?

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Barabus
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Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: tx365]
      #2958459 - 08/23/04 05:21 AM

Use the button next to world editing that looks like a load of little dots that will bring up the paths. Click on any you need to delete to high light them then press delete. Add new ones by right clicking the spot where you want it, then connect it to another by left clicking on the point you want connect it to, then Ctrl left clicking your new point. Or just drag existing points to new positions.

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Iudas
Disciple

Reged: 10/30/02
Posts: 1197
Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: Barabus]
      #2958865 - 08/23/04 07:30 AM

PathGridding is one of the MOST important aspects of the games AI. There are some satisfying things one can do to this game via PathGridding.
1) Open TESCS click on MW and Trib and BM ( or whichever combination of these you have )
2) Go to World Menu -> WorldTesting -> Test/fix all grid paths.
3) wait for a few seconds for the * to appear in the Title Bar of TESCS
4) Save to a new esp ( I call mine clean pathgrids )
5) Loaded into a game and you will find fewer NPC's running into walls, running into the ocean, falling off bridges and walkways. And you will find that in battles ( especially if you are also using wakim's game improvements ) that they fight smarter, retreat smarter and attack smarter.
6) Touch the file date so that it is the oldest esp you have ( one of the first to load ) this way if someone else has handedited some of the cell path grids for their own mod, this fix mod will not get in the way.

Also, open up a cell in TESCS, enlarge the view window, click the edit pathgrid icon
A little window comes up with some intersting options:
Generate default grid does just that but you can control the granularity of the grid points from 128/cell to 4096/cell
More grid points = more decisions = more CPU time = smarter AI but you have to edit the points.
After you have edited the points you have to chose Save User Points.

Then run test/fix pathgrid against your edited grid and test/fix will eliminate any unconnected points and raise any underwater points.
Tedium is handediting pathgrids.

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Pyrus
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Reged: 07/28/04
Posts: 76
Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: Iudas]
      #2958948 - 08/23/04 07:52 AM

Would that method work for creatures, esp. water creatures, as well? I'm thinking the beta for mw4fish, all the fish spend most of their time swimming into walls in balmora, and the dolphins and other leapers are forever swimming into stuff.

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Iudas
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Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: Pyrus]
      #2959138 - 08/23/04 08:49 AM

I do believe it works in the water too. I honestly haven't studied deeply how the inwater creatures move about when there is no one near them. I expect what you would have to do is mod the inwater pathgrids in Balmora AFTER you have run the Test/Fix path grids since Test/Fix removes underwater points in landcells. Place your underwater points individually, connect them, and connect them to upstream and downstream cells, but make sure that there are no singular points that the fish can congregate at at the wall sides or river edges. As I understand the rudiments of the AI, at each point on a PG, an NPC or creature makes a decision about which idle to play or continue playing and then flips an x+1 sided die ( where x is the number of points connected to the point it is on ) to choose where it goes next.
Now in theory, at a point with only one connection, the fish would have a 50% chance of not going anywhere versus 50% chance of going to the only connected point. stretch points parallel to the shoreline but unconnected to any land points on the shoreline and the fish should "move" along the shore and in and out of deeper water.

Swimming into stuff, running into stuff, usually a sign that the modder has not edited the pathgrids but maybe has at least run the pathgrid and let it install defaults. Defaults is not brilliant in picking where the points go. Also the granularity of the PG....to few points and the chars will end up hitting things and not having anywhere close by to move too. If the critters are just standing around not doing nothing then the modder probably has added no PG at all. Way to test the situation is to go into the cell with the fish and then toggle the pathgrids on in the console. ~ Help will give you a list of the toggle commands you can use I think it is TPG but I could be very wrong on that.

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Pyrus
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Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: Iudas]
      #2959561 - 08/23/04 10:25 AM

Thanks I'll try playing around with path grids and fish when I get some free time now.

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Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: Iudas]
      #2960609 - 08/23/04 04:21 PM

I was under the impresion that Patngrids didnt affect creatures.

IS this the wrong impression?

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cyran0
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: Iudas]
      #2960648 - 08/23/04 04:45 PM

Thank you, this has been a very informative thread. I have been afraid to touch pathgrids because I never understood them (sort of like my folks with computers). Im struggling with a script to get a couple NPCs across a rope bridge. The first one does fine, but the follower gets hung up. It there any chance that NPCs using AITravel and AIFollow can be guided by pathgrids, or is if strictly for NPCs not controlled by a particular AI package?

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Wizthis
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: cyran0]
      #2960835 - 08/23/04 06:42 PM

Being I just installed GOTY today, I'm playing with all the new stuff in TES. And I never really played around with the path grids unless I built a house on any grid. With regards to Path Grids.
Do I need to join TWO sections, or is "close" enough??
What I mean is, I click-let's say, THE square in south Balmora (heddvild walks around there) All those grids show up-but not near the Silt Strider port-where heddvild walks to also. When I move the edit screen-those show up-but the others in that square are now gone. Can't connect them from the South Balmore entrance to that Square.
The NPC just walks from Grid A to Grid B??? Or do I need to do something to join them??
Thanks for the great info BTW.

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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: cyran0]
      #2960861 - 08/23/04 07:00 PM

Quote:

Thank you, this has been a very informative thread. I have been afraid to touch pathgrids because I never understood them (sort of like my folks with computers). Im struggling with a script to get a couple NPCs across a rope bridge. The first one does fine, but the follower gets hung up. It there any chance that NPCs using AITravel and AIFollow can be guided by pathgrids, or is if strictly for NPCs not controlled by a particular AI package?




NPCs with AITravel will go NOWHERE without a pathgrid. It is a necessary part of the function, if you give an NPC an AITravel package and no pathgrid you'll get a warning that the package may not be executed.

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Iudas
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Re: NPCs keep walking into statics...any way to fix this? [Re: ]
      #2961069 - 08/23/04 09:04 PM

As I said in my post, I have not done any study on critters and pathgridding. I do know critters have AI packages. It is worth some investigation.

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Iudas
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: cyran0]
      #2961074 - 08/23/04 09:09 PM

It is possible that the lead character gets too far ahead of the follower, when that happens follower behaviour becomes erratic.
There is a misc quest in basic morrowind to escort Din ( found in the wilds north east of Gnissis) to the healer in the Gnissis temple. The
trip can lead the PC and Din across several of the rope bridges in that area. If the PC is too far ahead, Din can get hung up there also.
The usual cure is to bring the PC back to the confused NPC and let the NPC " re-attach" himself.
I have always assumed that AITravel and AIFollow both had instructions that superceded that basic pathgridding.

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Iudas
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: Wizthis]
      #2961079 - 08/23/04 09:12 PM

Check the steps areas near the square. I think that the pg's in Balmora are not connected. I have never seen Her on the other side of the river or even walking the riverside.

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Iudas
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: ]
      #2961082 - 08/23/04 09:14 PM

Kewlness.
I have never seen that fact reported before.
Makes sense.
AIFollow would not need a PG since the NPC is "attached" to the PC for the duration of the follow and the PC has his own AI

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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: Iudas]
      #2961147 - 08/23/04 09:51 PM

Quote:

Check the steps areas near the square. I think that the pg's in Balmora are not connected. I have never seen Her on the other side of the river or even walking the riverside.




This is becasue NPCs cannot seem to wander beyond their original cell. You also cant connect a pathgrid between two exterior cells; I know, i've tried

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Iudas
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: ]
      #2961362 - 08/24/04 12:25 AM

Hmmm I thought you could connect them.
So it is not possible to have an NPC use AITravel to cross cell boundries?
I know I have seen Hul ( the pauper argonian near the Balmora SiltStrider port ) travel up to the roof of the Corner club across the street, but never seen the two NPC's that start the game up there ever descend to street level. But I have never seen Hul travel into the town square or down to the riverside. But in Seyda Neen I have seen the various NPC's travel all over the town and out to near ( but never up the steps of ) the lighthouse.

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Iudas
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: cyran0]
      #2961636 - 08/24/04 02:26 AM

Let me correct something I wrote earlier concerning Granularity.
The lower the number the more nodes in a cell. I wrote the inverse of this.
So for an example, if you create a cell and set the granularity to 128, there will be 128 game units between nodes. A game unit is .56 ". So a 128 granularity means a node every 6 feet approximately. Gamecells are 385 by 385 feet. So you get approx 64*64 nodes in a cell or about 4096 nodes. A granularity of 4096 means a node approximately every 190 feet. ( approx 9 nodes in a cell if you put the first nodes on cell boundries ) MyBad for having things reversed in my prior postage.

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Wizthis
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: Iudas]
      #2963027 - 08/24/04 10:36 AM

Well, I tried something. I plopped a House between the South gate of Balmora
and the pawnbroker. Tested and She walked up the stairs of the new house (Path Grids were buried under it) and then headed out of town to the foot of the bridge (Just past the Silt Strider and Sign) heading towards the Fort-turned and went back. I deleted the path Grids under the new house-She never leaves the Square. I even Extended the Grid as close as I could to the south Gate. Dunno. Need to play with this more.

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cyran0
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Re: A bit off the original topic... [Re: ]
      #2963170 - 08/24/04 11:20 AM

Quote:

NPCs with AITravel will go NOWHERE without a pathgrid. It is a necessary part of the function, if you give an NPC an AITravel package and no pathgrid you'll get a warning that the package may not be executed.



From what I have read since my first post on this thread I think I was unclear. I am speaking of using the script commands AITravel x, y, z (where x, y, and z are world coordinates) and AIFollow, NPC_ID 0, 0, 0, 0 within a script, not the AI packages that may be assigned when you create or edit an NPC. Even if the pathgrid has no influence on scripted AI travel (and in my observation of NPC behavior, it does not appear to affect their movements), this thread has suggested other possibilities. I may be able to march them up to the beginning of the bridge (where I plant a gridpath node), clear the AI package that the script provides and let the NPCs AI direct them across the bridge guided by a gridpath. Once at the other end, the script can direct them again.

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