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Dupes not thinking ahead


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So far I am loving this game, but the largest issue for me was how inefficient dupes get later in the game, especially on tasks that are further from base. This issue has been largely resolved by allowing proximity (why is this not default?),

However, I found another Issue. I was digging down by creating a long ladder so I can harvest oil, and I noticed that my dupe with great carrying capacity is only taking maximum 300 sandstone from a bin that has 3000 (did not carry anything else).

I realised this is because it only takes 3 ladders as "reachable" and the rest are "urneachable", so the dupe does not take supplies for this "unreachable" task. The dupe kept going up and down on this ladder with great inefficiency, while it could have carried 5 times more. I would love to see some improvement in this, where it realises that if task A enables task B, then take supplies for task B as well...

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8 hours ago, SharraShimada said:

Second mistake. The game is already laggy enough. If the "AI" would plan in advance for possible actions, and dismiss a fair share of them all the time, because another dupe is doing this task, it would get even worse.

IIRC dupes already do this to some extent, they have a sort of "pass the torch system"...or at least they used to.

If a dupe was "more qualified" to do the job, the dupe would take over and and the other dupe would go do something else. Repeat ad infinitum.

Still not sure it that's still the case...I've been with this game since Pre-Thermal, so my wires can get crossed quite frequently. :wilson_curious:

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Ok if not improving the AI, then allowing you to set their inventory would be great. As in this dupe should carry at least 500 sandstone on him when going to tasks etc. This would make it so he has enough materials for the job and allowing you to micromanage those further assignments better (ie you know the whole errand will cost 1500 sandstone, then just bring it all). I do not know if they then move slower, but I always try to get as much carry capacity and str on most of my dupes and then they tend to not use that inventory space at all.

I do not know how hard to implement that would be, but it should not be too stressful on the computing laggy side.

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When I'm going to build a large project far from my base I like to create a supply depot close by. Create a few storage bins, then set them to store the materials you need at a desired capacity (so one for 20t granite, one for 3t refined copper, one for 5t gold amalgam, etc.). Set them to a higher priority than your regular storage so that dupes will haul materials to them and then drop the priority down to normal once they're full. There you go, you have all the materials you need for a building project right to hand so dupes won't run halfway across the map every time they build a tile or ladder section.

It takes a little setup but I think it pays for itself. When dupes have an errand to haul 20t of rock to one bin instead of 100 errands to build ladders - many of which they can't reach at first - they'll get the materials onsite in far fewer trips. And of course you can build conveyor systems to keep a fresh supply of materials coming from your central storage area as well if you feel like making the investment.

Having smarter dupes would be nice, but from a game design standpoint it's more important that they be predictable than smart. When the rules for how dupes behave are simple and easily understood, you can build to accommodate them. The more complicated they get, the more special cases you try to account for in the AI, the more you might run into unintended consequences - a behavior that is "smart" in one context might become a major headache as soon as you try to do something the programmers didn't anticipate.

That isn't to say that there is no room to improve dupe AI. I'm sure there are changes that we would all be happy to see. It's just that it's a balancing act, and on the whole I think it's correct to err on the side of keeping dupe behaviors legible and controllable.

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