515905_1452787397

AI Lag Making Rovers and Critters Unsustainable

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Been playing the game for quite a while now, ~1700 hours, am not really vocal in the forums or the community, more like a reading than writing type of person (you'll see from my bad writing), but finally decided this issue has bothered me too much that I needed to voice it, and the issue is the bane of many ranchers of ONI, AI lag.

Most will probably recognize it as the amount of time a critter takes to respond to the duplicant calling for it at the Grooming Station, and it can be an instant or it can take several ingame day shifts before the critter realizes it's being called. If you add to that the number of 6~8 critters per stable and the fact that they have to be groomed about once per cycle (less if you have a dupe with high Husbandry skill), it quickly starts to take quite some time out of the colony's work day to keep critters happy if you have AI lag.

I've dealt with this issue in the base game forever, but it seems to have taken a new level in the DLC. Also please notice although I recognize ONI's many late game performance issues (which also do ruin the game a bit for me), this is not about FPS issues but specifically about the time it takes critters and rovers' AI to respond to tasks, and rovers seem especially sensitive to this, as they seem to be able to take VERY long pauses between each task, cutting their useful life expectancy to a lot less than intended.

I recorded a 1:35 long video showing how the rover responds to tasks assigned to it and I hope it illustrates my issue more than my bad writing does.

I need to point out the game is not using my desktop computer to its limits. CPU and RAM have power to spare and GPU rarely goes above 15% of its capacity. I'm using an AMD FX8350 8-core 4.01GHz, 16GB RAM.

I also want to ask a very important question for me regarding how the devs see this issue, so this question is for them: "Is this an intentional part of gameplay or is it going to be fixed?"

As you hopefully can see from the video, the impact on gameplay is heavy, and it makes rovers and critters quite bad so I'd really like to know whether this will be left as is, like it happened with the base game performance issues, or do the devs intend to take the time to address it?

 


Also please note I am NOT here seeking advice on ways to reduce this, but mostly want to expose this issue and hopefully see if more people experience it and maybe have it reach devs' ears?

If you've come this far down the post I just want to thank you for your time! So thank you!! <3

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mi3f    7

Dupes do this too, I've noticed them with the same behavior as the rover.  They will build something, finish, and then spend a few seconds standing there idle.  Also happens when they deconstruct something or dig out a tile. May not seem like a big deal, but if you have all your dupes doing this, it really adds and adds a significant amount of time onto any project (especially late game).  To me it almost seems like they are trying to figure out what task to do next.  I doubt this is intended behavior and if it is, I hope they change it.

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gabberworld    263
5 hours ago, mi3f said:

Dupes do this too, I've noticed them with the same behavior as the rover.  They will build something, finish, and then spend a few seconds standing there idle.  Also happens when they deconstruct something or dig out a tile. May not seem like a big deal, but if you have all your dupes doing this, it really adds and adds a significant amount of time onto any project (especially late game).  To me it almost seems like they are trying to figure out what task to do next.  I doubt this is intended behavior and if it is, I hope they change it.

its somesort animation bug, they are working but animation is freeze

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Coolthulhu    1250
5 hours ago, gabberworld said:

its somesort animation bug, they are working but animation is freeze

This is separate from the animation bug. In early game, dupes switch between tiles to dig almost instantly, but later, they pause after every job. Just not as long as rovers or critters.

Dupes seem to have a priority in the AI queue thing, but it's not always enough. I've had many "idle" popups that cleared after I paused the game.

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Just wish I knew whether the devs intend to fix this. It makes my rovers so useless :(
I'm trying to think of a different way I can setup new asteroids without using Rovers. Sending a dupe over on the first trip just seems really hard..

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melquiades    154

It might be related to including delays to those calculations to give room to more important ones, I mean, heat and mass transfers can go every tick, and AI and pathfinding can be every 5. Just as an example.

But I would really love for them to clarify this. I also hate that slicksters even forget how to eat.

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blakemw    127
On 6/26/2021 at 2:22 AM, 515905_1452787397 said:

Just wish I knew whether the devs intend to fix this. It makes my rovers so useless :(
I'm trying to think of a different way I can setup new asteroids without using Rovers. Sending a dupe over on the first trip just seems really hard..

Either deliver some refined metal in advance using interplanetary launcher, or send two dupes and deconstruct both landers, build a landing pad. If you have a mostly full atmo suit on hand then a dupe will have plenty of time to get this done, as an atmo suit holds a bit more than 1 cycle of oxygen. Once the rocket had landed they have all the supplies and modules in the rocket.

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Coolthulhu    1250
On 6/26/2021 at 2:19 AM, melquiades said:

It might be related to including delays to those calculations to give room to more important ones, I mean, heat and mass transfers can go every tick, and AI and pathfinding can be every 5. Just as an example.

But I would really love for them to clarify this. I also hate that slicksters even forget how to eat.

AI routines run on a separate schedule that is calculated based on real time rather than in-game time. Speeding up the game can actually cause it to happen less often, because the delay between the calls depends on things like CPU load.

It was probably added in as a quick fix to a glaring performance problem, but at this point, it probably created more problems than it fixed.

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The shown lag is huge. I never noticed such lag myself. However, your CPU has very poor single-core performance, which is even slower than that of ten-year-old Intel CPUs. Unfortunately, ONI does not use many cores, so your 8 (very slow) cores won't help much. I expect better performance after early access, since the game still contains a lot of debug code.

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aderae    9

I always thought this is the way how rovers work. Like they are doing "something" but doing it very bad because they are not "dupes" but I would be really happy to learn if this is actually a bug and not a feature. Because I also stopped completely using them.

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Tiru    27

Improvement to performance would be more important to me than any new feature. My strategy right now is to take what I need from a world (niobium from lava world, graphite from water world, nothing from moo world) then turn on dev tools, destroy the entire map, and fill it in with neutronium. For worlds I still use I fill in as much as I can. Even with all that and only 20 dupes i'm happy when I break 15 fps.

I wrote a long post about this but I don't think the developers value the late game experience much or are willing to put the work into such a massive refactoring (and yes, it would be big) to address. In the base game, where everything was in one map that had to interact, the argument for not introducing more parallel processing was justifiable but with gases, temperature, dupes, critters, and everything else that requires update calculations neatly isolated into separate spaces it should be possible to process that all simultaneously, speeding up the game. The new features are nice, but when dupes work faster at 1x speed then 2x speed, and 3x speed they do almost nothing, there is a serious underlying problem with the design of the game.

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hegemontree    36

I agree that late game lag is the biggest drawback of the game.  For me it is worse than any lack of features.  Input lag is by far the worst aspect.  I love the critter farm mechanics but every time I build a big one I soon abandon the playthrough due to lag.

Still love the game.

Edited by hegemontree
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Tzunki    46
6 minutes ago, hegemontree said:

I agree that late game lag is the biggest drawback of the game.  For me it is worse than any lack of features.  Input lag is by far the worst aspect.  I love the critter farm mechanics but every time I build a big one I soon abandon the playthrough due to lag.

Still love the game.

Thanks, couldn't have described it better. I very much hope that there will be a performance update. Or a limitation of the dupes / animals. How can you deliberately not want to have a new dupe every 3 days and give each of them 20 pets.

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defster    0

I think the game is partly limited by its engine. Unity is notorious for how fantastically slow it handles entities and memory. Anyway, it's just speculation. As for limitation of dupes and animals - my cycle 500+ base with only 6 dupes and no critters at all (full fauna genocide) still lags like there's no tomorrow. It would be great to hear musings from the devs on this though. 

 

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Coolthulhu    1250
10 hours ago, hegemontree said:

I agree that late game lag is the biggest drawback of the game.  For me it is worse than any lack of features.  Input lag is by far the worst aspect.  I love the critter farm mechanics but every time I build a big one I soon abandon the playthrough due to lag.

Still love the game.

Same here

For me, the discrepancy between gameplay on slow speed and high speed is even worse than if the game was just running slower, but consistently slower.

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This has been a known flaw since the beginning, since the AI task selection done on another thread... is only done on one other thread. Once this thread is 100% pegged with task selections to be done, it will not go any faster, regardless of the game speed selected. You will notice when this is the case as dupes will stare blankly for at least a full second after completing a task.

What the devs need to do ultimately is split each AI entity to do its own AI selection individually, ie on a separate thread each, but not actually given a full thread of its own, essentially just given to the unity task system as its own task. The devs of course would have to work out an atomic selection system for where path maps are shared.

A workaround in the meantime can be to restrict critters and dupes into smaller, individualised zones, but this wont fix the moo's hogging most of it with their full-space-zone map (there's about 20 of them that spawn in space).

... I also never use jetsuits, ever, because as soon as one becomes operational the game will basically... well... all the dupes start starving to death because their hivemind fainted...

For comparison's sake, I'm running a 3960X, and the game runs at about 50 fps paused on cycle 1163, 20 fps at normal speed, fast speed? well other than the AI running at the same speed anyway, it hits the minimum cycle limit and logistics etc only runs slightly faster than normal speed, probably about 125%, not nearly as close as 300%. The AI thread just slows down everything since the main thread is constantly polling and waiting on it...

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