McJobless

LRR Idleness Syndrome: What is the Root Cause?

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McJobless

I sometimes like to imagine that RRU was created not just as a place for mod-related research of LEGO Rock Raiders (branching into other classic games later), but also as a mandated group therapy and recovery program for sufferers of Idleness Syndrome.

 

Have you never laid witness, and are curious about what exactly is Idleness Syndrome? The major symptom of the syndrome is that your Rock Raiders simply refuse to do anything, sometimes even disobeying direct orders. Even if you've got a cave full of crystals and ore to collect, possibly just an inch from the foot of a Raider, they'll stand there, gormless and stoic as their oxygen meter ticks away. At best, they'll get stuck in a loop of eating sandwiches, as if that'll kickstart their brain back into action.

 

This thread is a space for us to postulate on what the root cause of this problem is. If you're a programmer, this might be a good chance to think about the way the internal AI logic handles task management. If you're a player of the game with no real coding experience, feel free to try and throw up your wildest ideas, even if you're not sure of how AI in games are programmed. We can't ever really know the answer for sure, but we might find a cause that's really close.

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Cyrem

I’ve recently experienced this issue on a new level I’m making. After 40 minutes of testing a level, all my RR’s going idle midway is infuriating.

#1 My first theory that needs testing is that it’s to do with the amount of objects in existence on the map. Usually when this has been occurring, my map has been full of ore laying everywhere. In real life we might call this choice overload, but it may seem that in LRR a choice overload results in nothing getting done. I guess to test this theory I need to get a lot of ore on the map and see if I can cause this quickly.

#2 My Second theory was that, the game is assigning the RR’s to do tasks that is not possible for them to perform. For example, the task list is full of "ore pickup" commands for ore that is on the other side of lava or water.  Then game gets stuck where it continuously assigns these tasks because perhaps they are the next that matches whatever conditions the game picks by, but they can’t actually be performed.

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McJobless

There are a couple facts I believe I've established in my own research;

  • From the User Interface in-game, we can determine that there is the ability to dynamically assign priorities; that is, what your Raiders should be focusing on before anything else.
  • Different Raider units can do different tasks, and in normal conditions, when unclicked or not following a direct order, Raiders will immediately do a series of different actions until there's nothing left to do.
  • Certain priority tasks cannot be auto-assigned to a Raider. Raiders will not automatically drill or reinforce walls unless instructed to.

Speaking in a Discord chat (which actually prompted this topic), Cyrem poked at the idea that the array of todos is not dynamic, but has a max size. Cirevam discussed the nature of how todos are actually generated, probably by scanning active items that can be interacted with in the world from the origin (the top-left corner). I pondered the connection of the priorities setting.

 

I suspect that from the collective of all Raiders on the level (whom I will refer to as the "Hive") every individual Raider (whom I will refer to as a "Peer") pull their orders (called "Tasks") from an array of all tasks to complete at any stage of the level. Tasks are created, stored in the array and then assigned to individual units when they require a new one. Giving a direct order to a Raider likely cancels their current task (or moves the current task back into the array) and feeds them the personalised order. I suspect that Idleness Syndrome sets in regarding the way every peer gets a new task and how the array of tasks is maintained. I have two predominate theories on how this could play out:

  1. One possibility is that new tasks are generated during play. An example, if you drill a wall, ore and sometimes crystals spawn. When these items are spawned, tasks are automatically generated and saved to the master array for handling these objects, such as bringing a crystal back to the Tool Store.
    1. This system might have a major oversight, where when a player gives a direct order, it is not checking to see if there already exists a task for that object in the master array. This creates a duplicate task which the Raider completes, and with enough of these, the master-array is filled with duplicate, incompletable tasks as the required object no longer exists.
    2. This system might have an oversight where the array, given that it has a max size, may simply have too many elements inside it, and so new tasks get lost and forgotten as older tasks (which might be blocked by paths that can't be crossed, for example) haven't been cleared out to make space yet.
    3. I shudder to think, but it might be a possibility that the system never actually cleans up the array or attempts to shuffle elements down or put new elements at the beginning, and once you've reached the maximum automatic tasks, gives up.
  2. The second possibility is that tasks are not generated dynamically, but at specific "intervals", at which point the game scans the level to determine what needs doing, and organises the master-array with all the tasks ordered by the current priority set (that, or there's a controller responsible for scanning through the master-array to determine the best task for an individual peer requesting something new to do).
    1. The system might encounter a scenario where it fails to refresh. If the system is setup to refresh based on a timer, when a unit requests a new order, when the master-array is empty or so forth, it might be possible that the system tries to determine if a task is actually accessible or not, or other factors. It's possible those factors are too strict, or the refresh functionality is designed to fail silently if it encounters something it didn't expect, leaving the array destined to never be fixed.
    2. If the system is setup to refresh based on a condition becoming true (as opposed to a regular interval timer), then if that condition never becomes true, no new tasks will be generated. For example, if a bunch of incompletable tasks are in the master-array and the system will only refresh when the master-array is empty.
    3. If the developers used some kind of "time-out" system to stop refreshing the master-array if it's taking too long, then maybe it's just that the time-out is too fast.

The tl;dr of that whole chunk is that I think it's very likely an oversight on the behalf of the developers, possibly even a known bug they didn't have time to address.

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Cirevam

Does anyone remember if idleness syndrome affects vehicles? I remember it only affecting raiders, but it's been so long since I've run into the problem. As for the "todo scanning" hypothesis, I'm going to make some test maps to see if raiders choose the furthest task or if they choose the one closest to the origin. Maps like Frozen Frenzy and Rocky Horror both start in the south and can be prone to idleness syndrome. Maybe it's their size or the average playtime, but Cyrem's recent experience with his 25x51 map say otherwise.

 

I created a 9x50 map oriented north to south, placed a Tool Store at the southernmost tile, then placed five pieces of ore spaced evenly north, from south to north. The raider got them in a seemingly arbitrary order: 35124, where 1 is the closest ore. I will run some more tests, but an initial impression is that the job manager or whatever it may be is creating jobs in a semi-random way.

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Cyrem

I performed a test on the case of too many pieces of ore on the map with a total of 1050 pieces exposed. However after collecting 200 they were still happily collecting the ore, without any sign of idleness. So perhaps it is not the amount of exposed ore, or the fact that there are too many objects to perfom tasks on.

 

I am now going to perform a test on making an accessible toolstore, inaccessible... then teleport in a new accessible toolstore to see if this messes them up.

EDIT: This also failed to make a difference.

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Arthuriel

Does the following event also count as idleness syndrome? I thought, that this might be also be helpful:


I remember, that I once played an ice level (the one with the invisible lava erosion) and I wanted to play longer on that map.
Therefore I deactivated "collecting crystals" in the priority menu and the Rock Raiders did other tasks like collecting ore.

After a while it got boring and I turned the "collecting crystals" task on, but apparently they forgot, what crystal were since they didn't collect a single one.
I also tried things like turning everything off except collecting crystals. I think, I also had transport vehicles in that level and I don't know,

if Rock Raider also ignored crystals from buildings, that I teleported up. The details are blurry since this particular game happened ~ one to three years ago.

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aidenpons

I know my post is basically "You're all wrong," but that's because I'm trying to dismiss theories that my evidence doesn't back. This post seems really harsh but my experience with LRR just doesn't fit your theories. :|

 

Quote

This system might have a major oversight, where when a player gives a direct order, it is not checking to see if there already exists a task for that object in the master array. This creates a duplicate task which the Raider completes, and with enough of these, the master-array is filled with duplicate, incompletable tasks as the required object no longer exists.

No - Idleness Syndrome occurs even when your input into your LRRs is minimal - it typically occurs at the height of your mining spree when you're in first-person mode in a Chrome Crusher with four Loader Dozers and ten STTs behind you.

 

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This system might have an oversight where the array, given that it has a max size, may simply have too many elements inside it, and so new tasks get lost and forgotten as older tasks (which might be blocked by paths that can't be crossed, for example) haven't been cleared out to make space yet.

Max size is an idea, but older tasks won't fit the bill - in maps where everything is accessible (eg vanilla Rocky Horror) and any task can be done, Idleness Syndrome still occurs.

 

Quote

I shudder to think, but it might be a possibility that the system never actually cleans up the array or attempts to shuffle elements down or put new elements at the beginning, and once you've reached the maximum automatic tasks, gives up.

In which case Idleness Sydnrome should predictably occur with some variance - some games have completed without it, so that can't be right.

 

Quote

The second possibility is that tasks are not generated dynamically, but at specific "intervals", at which point the game scans the level to determine what needs doing, and organises the master-array with all the tasks ordered by the current priority set (that, or there's a controller responsible for scanning through the master-array to determine the best task for an individual peer requesting something new to do).

My wild guess would be that the game scans for new tasks every tick - every time the NERPS executes. After all, demolish a wall on a new map when there's nothing else to do and your raiders will immediately start running over.

 

Quote

...

All of those result in no new tasks being generated, ever. Yet Idleness Sydnrome occurs on a per-raider basis, and raiders can sometimes "snap out" of it (often by going into First Person view).

 

Quote

Does anyone remember if idleness syndrome affects vehicles? I remember it only affecting raiders, but it's been so long since I've run into the problem.

No, Idleness Sydnrome never affects vehicles... unless it is the most severe of most severe Idleness Syndrome bugginess which is probably an entirely separate bug. All LRRs disappear off the map and those in vehicles will still work on.... some condition. I think the condition was that you never selected them, or selected them for a sufficiently brief period of time.

 

I've only ever encountered this bug one on Baz's Mod Water Works, which is a colossal map.

 

Wait, no, there's the idleness of STTs in front of Ore Refineries. This never happens anywhere else, and often everything else is fine, but that one STT will stubbornly sit in front of the Ore Refinery doing nothing. (Solution: teleport it up).

 

Quote

The tl;dr of that whole chunk is that I think it's very likely an oversight on the behalf of the developers, possibly even a known bug they didn't have time to address.

Given Scorpions are entirely functional with minimal modifications other than their .ae being incomplete, LRR's development was rushed (as we know from Karl). I would suggest the latter.

 

 

 

Now for a couple of other random bits that could be related:

  • It is raider-specific. Some LRRs will do nothing whilst others continue unabashed.
  • There is a maximum number of minifigures that can target a monster at any time - the others will stand around idly. I thought this number was 3 but then I saw only one Raider shooting a Monster with the other two happily standing by.
  • Perhaps it has something to do with ore disappearing into the Ore Refinery?
  • Idleness Sydnrome is... about... four? times worse on maps that have inacessible objects - eg Water Lot of Fun, or Fire 'N' Water. Try to build a base on both sides simultaneously and your LRRs work incredibly slow.
  • A precursor to Idleness Sydnrome is that your raiders idle for a second or two, then perform a task.
  • Just before Idleness Syndrome reaches its climax, raiders will walk to ore (automatically!) but not pick it up.
  • The larger the map, the higher the chance of reaching Idleness Syndrome - I have not encountered it on extremely dense maps with a 200 crystal count
  • Picking up all the ore in one cavern (with about ten STTs) seems to alleviate the symptoms, but will not stop it.
  • I have never seen a no-carry Loader Dozer get Idleness Syndrome. I have seen them drive to one side of the map, clear one piece of rubble, drive back, etc. large.OldTonguePNG_transparent.png.299864b6559440630e29f111b85cffe2.png
  • Fewer LRRs (I usually TP down no more than 25) seems to alleviate the symptoms
  • Idleness Syndrome does not cause a crash
  • Too many Recharge Seams (>5 is my estimate) causes a very specific variant of Idleness Syndrome - raiders that pick up a crystal will spazz between "recharge crystal" and "move." Drop the crystal, disable the priority,  and things revert to normal AFAIK.

_

_

Now for some rubbish theories of mine:

  • Idleness Syndrome always takes a certain amount of time to induce - I have never seen it happen immediately.
  • Despite the most careful strip-mining, taking care to pick up every piece of ore before continuing, it still occurs. This may be because I am mining too much before allowing the ore to be cleared - perhaps there is a limit of tasks, below which no Idleness Syndrome ever occurs?
  • Something I have seen happen is raiders chasing other raiders (or a STT chasing a raider, heheheh) for their resources - or an STT chasing itself as per this. Perhaps this task is stored as "Incomplete and to be resumed later" and never cleared, hogging up the list?
  • The game has no prioritization of close objects at all, as @Cirevam has very clearly demonstrated. This makes me suspect the game has "List of things to do" and "List of spare units to do them with."
    • Perhaps it checks for units that are idling as defined in the .ae? If so, would removing the idle line in the .ae mean that automatic tasks were never generated due to no "idling" LRRs?
    • However this doesn't account for vehicles almost never getting Idleness Syndrome.
  • It's clearly tied to level size in some way, shape, or form - and not so much "crystal count" or "carefulness of picking up ore," it's just level size.
  • It must have some random pathfinding elements, because it does not occur predictably on the same level - although this may not account for human interaction.
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rrcoder

Yo! :) I just had a Call To Arms about this thread from Cyrem, so figured I'd have a think about this to see if anything comes to mind...

 

Firstly, a brief explanation of how (I can best remember) the RR tasks work... Each RR/unit has a task list which will be added to based upon the priority list. IIRC the tasks are as granular as "walk here", "pick up ore", "get in this vehicle", "fight this RockMonster", etc... Hitting Call To Arms will always pause the task list, and set it aside. This you may all know already, but I'm also using this as an opportunity to remind myself.

 

I would say this this is almost certainly true:

 

Quote

The tl;dr of that whole chunk is that I think it's very likely an oversight on the behalf of the developers

 

Now, as for the cause of the Idleness Syndrome, I would speculate that you have probably already touched on likely causes in this thread...

  • Task list buffer max-size/filling up: This is certainly possible, however I don't recall such a limit being in place (and I believe this is something we would have spotted as being the case during development). I'm pretty sure this is a dynamic linked-list, so should be able to grow pretty much unfettered.
     
  • Task duplication: Again, I wouldn't rule it out, however I would probably err against this as being the cause, since there were always "is this possible" checks performed both when adding tasks to the list, and when performing them. Actually... I just had one thought in a similar line of thinking that could still be feasible...
     
  • Path-finding: I'm actually leaning towards this being behind this problem, at least in part. When a unit is told where to go, their path to get there is determined ahead of time, and "refined" as they move (i.e. if something gets in the way, or the map changes in some way). It is entirely possible that as the walkable-area of a map grows (i.e. from mining) and the need for walking large distances increases (i.e. fetching ore) that a situation is occurring where their tasks are coming into conflict. I don't think it would be as simple as trying to fetch ore that has already been deposited, however if <insert magic cause> here occurs, meaning they can no longer evaluate a path to their current task *but* the task still seems "possible" (and therefore active) then they could possibly enter the fugue state that you're seeing.

This last item would explain why it occurs mainly for the minifigures, since they perform many more repetitive tasks that exist only for that unit-type, so if the conflict relates somehow to one of those specific tasks *and* pathfinding, then we're far more likely to see it than a vehicle that performs fewer repetitive tasks.

 

Ultimately, I think this will likely be caused by 2 or 3 factors combining in a particular way (e.g. "something to do with pathfinding" + "something to do with ore collection" + "maybe something to do with priorities"), which then causes a backlog of tasks waiting to be assigned, meaning once units become idle they try to do the same thing and get stuck themselves.

 

I know this doesn't necessarily provide you with an answer, but hopefully it may give you a nudge towards tracking it down.

 

And if, at some point 17 years ago, this bug was somehow my fault... um... I'm sorry!! ?‍♂️

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McJobless

Absolute champion, cheers! Was a good read.

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Cyrem
1 hour ago, rrcoder said:

I just had a Call To Arms about this thread from Cyrem

Man, I should Call to Arms more often haha ;) Thanks for popping in and sharing some insight!

 

Thanks for clarifying how the tasking system works, (RR's each having a tasklist rather than a global task system saying 'You go there and do this'). I guess we'll need to do more pathfinding testing with some big maps.

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aidenpons

Given the amount of importance placed on ore, this suggests that if you remove ore (easily done in a level-specific .ptl file) and instead specify all of it in Cror.map (& abuse the Ore Refinery + Teleport Pad glitch), this may reduce a great deal of Idleness Syndrome.

 

After all, once you reach the 500 ore mark, there's basically nothing to spend, so it's not like it's crucial. It would make for quite an interesting earlygame - gotta find the ore and the crystals to get this Support Station up. Furthermore, you could be generous with your ore early on and basically ignore everywhere else... hmm!

 

1 hour ago, rrcoder said:

Yo! :) I just had a Call To Arms about this thread from Cyrem

ACTION STATIONS!

 

"fight this RockMonster",

Fighting RMs as a task, just like picking up ore, makes a lot more sense... and explains almost every reason why it's so buggy large.OldTonguePNG_transparent.png.299864b6559440630e29f111b85cffe2.png

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Slimy Slug
On 12/12/2017 at 11:41 PM, aidenpons said:

No, Idleness Sydnrome never affects vehicles... unless it is the most severe of most severe Idleness Syndrome bugginess which is probably an entirely separate bug. All LRRs disappear off the map and those in vehicles will still work on.... some condition. I think the condition was that you never selected them, or selected them for a sufficiently brief period of time.

 

This bug can be induced by using the Tunnel Transport: http://www.rockraidersunited.com/gallery/image/11845-disappearing-diggerpng/

 

Only time I see this is with the TT, and it happens with enough regularity that this could have been one of the reasons this vehicle was disabled in the original game.

The only other time I've seen the bug is in the custom map uploaded here, Odyssey.  I've determined that one Raider on an island (which has an energy crystal on it) will trigger the bug after a short period of time.  Removing the Raider has resulted in the rest never disappearing.  

 

Since I mentioned Odyssey, I have found that I can "cure" Idleness Syndrome slightly after getting into the cavern accessible by land in the starting area.  For some reason, the Raiders cease idling for the most part once I have freed the first trapped unit that I can reach.  But, once every wall is drilled, and all resources collected (in that area), the syndrome returns.  

 

For the record, I witnessed two instances in the last few days of vehicles suffering from idleness syndrome but NOT the Raider driving them.  First instance was in Gephyrophobia: Small Truck refuses to pick up anything and will drive around to new ore/crystals and sit there.  This level is huge, so that might have played a role.

 

Second instance was in Cornered: A Loader Dozer drove around to different squares and refused to clean anything.  And it was an unupgraded one too.  Granted, I did have a good deal of rubble to be cleared.  And this map is massive as well.

 

On 12/12/2017 at 11:41 PM, aidenpons said:

Wait, no, there's the idleness of STTs in front of Ore Refineries. This never happens anywhere else, and often everything else is fine, but that one STT will stubbornly sit in front of the Ore Refinery doing nothing. (Solution: teleport it up).

 

I've seen this once every few levels, and it isn't limited to Transport Trucks.  Raiders have done this too, although sometimes I can't click on them.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Something I wanted to share is that from my experience, I've seen idling Raiders appear when a priority gets turned off, and then turned back on.  This might be wreaking havoc with the pathfinding process, especially if the tasks are possibly getting screwed up by them appearing and "disappearing" thanks to the user turning things on and off.  Any thoughts on this?  Also, I've done a lot of experimenting with reactivating unused priorities, and I've noticed some differences in the performance of the AI and the number of occurrences of idleness syndrome.  Maybe Idleness Syndrome is in fact related to pathfinding+priorities?  

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Cyrem

I’ve been doing some testing with one of my new maps. My first test was a failure as I may have mentioned earlier... barely halfway into the map all my Rock Raiders got Idle Syndrome. I’ve now completed a second test which has been somewhat of a huge change. Still, one or two things I found I will note.

The most significant change I made to the map was turning off ore generation for rubble. This meant I placed ore under walls manually. The end result was that my RRs were clearing rubble as fast as they were drilling walls and the amount of ore out to collect was always low, reducing any backlog that was occurring before.

On my previous version of the map, I ended up leaving my first area without having collected all the ore and this may have been the reason idle syndrome occurred. With less ore, it was always cleared before I moved on and at no point did any of my Rock Raiders get idle syndrome.

However, I think I did notice something. My map requires that you just control 1 RR at about 3 sections in the map. At this time I was controlling a single RR, my other RRs were still in the previous area. The RRs used individually in each section seemed to have Separation Anxiety. Each were slower at making decisions, changed tasks midway and could not prioritize tasks according to the global priorities. Nevertheless, they eventually did what they were supposed to do.

Now here is the interesting thing: After teleporting the RRs out from the previous section and teleporting those into the current section where my single RR is, this individual became quicker and more responsive. They all worked together as they should have.

My theory is that it’s due to the fact that all RR’s are checking to perform the tasks, however none of them except the individual can fulfill it. So perhaps in the game loop each RR does its search one after the other, resulting in the slowness of decision making of that one RR. As for the changing of mind and not following priorities, perhaps another RR is taking the top priority task, then upon attempting to path find realises he can’t get there and the task is re-added to the queue. Meanwhile my individual RR takes a lower priority task. Eventually the task looping aligns with my individual RR and he gets the priority assignment and actually does it.

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Cirevam

Additional testing has also revealed interesting behavior that may relate to Cyrem's hypothesis about all raiders checking to see if they can perform a task. I made a 255x255 map with lots of 2x2 walls in a grid (I gave up after 10x10 and let the tunnels continue) and a 1x1 wall with 25 crystals on the opposite corner of the map to try to force the pathfinding algorithm to slow down. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I teleported the maximum number of raiders. Four of them contracted a strain of Idleness Syndrome where they would only react to move commands. They did not attempt to go after the crystals on the other side of the map. Instead, they caused the framerate to plummet, but only when they were standing around. The framerate recovered when the raiders were actively moving to a new location or when I teleported them out. I didn't tell them to manually pick up crystals to see if they would try, but it's interesting that the framerate dropped noticeably while the raiders were either attempting to find a path or a task.

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aidenpons
5 hours ago, Slimy Slug said:

This bug can be induced by using the Tunnel Transport: http://www.rockraidersunited.com/gallery/image/11845-disappearing-diggerpng/

 

Only time I see this is with the TT, and it happens with enough regularity that this could have been one of the reasons this vehicle was disabled in the original game.

Ah, that would explain it - I was using the Cargo Carrier quite extensively, which performs a basically identical function.

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Cirevam

Are you guys using the Tunnel Transport with the carry patch? Vehicles that get dropped from another vehicle into an invalid spot (like the Tool Store) will disappear and even crash the game, so I'm wondering if the missing null from the stock vehicle might be doing something similar. Also, the disappearing raiders glitch triggers really easily in the Drilling With Vehicles tutorial, at least in my experience. My own buggy vehicles may have had something to do with that... but vehicles are definitely part of the problem.

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aidenpons

Are you guys using the Tunnel Transport with the carry patch? Vehicles that get dropped from another vehicle into an invalid spot (like the Tool Store) will disappear and even crash the game, so I'm wondering if the missing null from the stock vehicle might be doing something similar

I was using Baz's Mod when that glitch occurred, so... maybe?

 

Also, the disappearing raiders glitch triggers really easily in the Drilling With Vehicles tutorial, at least in my experience.

Drilling with Vehicles has its own problems... like LRRs carrying another LRR... like so.

 

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Slimy Slug

@Cirevam Well, I'm using Axel's mod (which is based on Baz's mod) as a basis for my own mod, so if the carry patch wasn't implemented in either, then no, I'm not using that version.  So apparently there is a missing null from it?  That would explain the bug.  I've also noticed the bug triggers every time you drop a vehicle onto a single square island.  First noticed this on Baz's version of Ice Spy when I dropped a small digger onto a square at the end of a water-filled corridor.  

 

Also, I've never had the glitch show up on Drilling with Vehicles.  

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aidenpons
On 12/16/2017 at 3:43 AM, Slimy Slug said:

Also, I've never had the glitch show up on Drilling with Vehicles.  

You usually need to do some debug key demolishing and NoNerps.

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Slimy Slug

That would explain a lot actually.

 

@Cirevam Apparently, my version of the Tunnel Transport appears to be identical to the fixed one in Addict's topic.  So why is this bug even cropping up?  (Maybe this should be moved to that topic?)

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tomfyhr
On 12/13/2017 at 1:22 AM, McJobless said:

I sometimes like to imagine that RRU was created not just as a place for mod-related research of LEGO Rock Raiders (branching into other classic games later), but also as a mandated group therapy and recovery program for sufferers of Idleness Syndrome.

 

Have you never laid witness, and are curious about what exactly is Idleness Syndrome? The major symptom of the syndrome is that your Rock Raiders simply refuse to do anything, sometimes even disobeying direct orders. Even if you've got a cave full of crystals and ore to collect, possibly just an inch from the foot of a Raider, they'll stand there, gormless and stoic as their oxygen meter ticks away. At best, they'll get stuck in a loop of eating sandwiches, as if that'll kickstart their brain back into action.

 

This thread is a space for us to postulate on what the root cause of this problem is. If you're a programmer, this might be a good chance to think about the way the internal AI logic handles task management. If you're a player of the game with no real coding experience, feel free to try and throw up your wildest ideas, even if you're not sure of how AI in games are programmed. We can't ever really know the answer for sure, but we might find a cause that's really close.

 

Is the event with the crystals in the game Rock Raideres supposed to be a metaphor for how human beings let their chances go to waste and are, sorry for being politically incorrect, becoming more dumb and intellectually inactive? Though I have not heard the term "idleness syndrome" before, I am somewhat familiar with how computers and applications on the computer makes human beings dumber, sorry for not being incorrect once again. I read an article somewhere that Facebook, and in-turn other digital applications, creates addiction, which reduces brain cells, shatters ones focus and reduces ones attention span, if one is addicted to it. 

 

Though there is one flaw with the claim that the forum may be some sort of treatment of that syndrome. The forum creates a filter bubble that continues human beings who are troubled in accordance to video games, to be addicted in video games and, sorry again for my politically incorrectness, wasting their time on things that could be more productive. I want to clarify that I am not saying that being on the forum is a waste of time, but people who have issues must prioritize their personal lives over video games and everything related to them. 

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jamesster

To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rock Raiders. The humour is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of overcaffeinated developer tendencies most of the jokes will go over a typical player's head. There’s also Chief's nihilistic outlook, which is deftly woven into his characterisation- his personal philosophy draws heavily from LEGO Mania Magazine, for instance. The fans understand this stuff; they have the intellectual capacity to truly appreciate the depths of these jokes, to realise that they’re not just funny- they say something deep about LEGOS. As a consequence people who dislike Rock Raiders truly ARE idiots- of course they wouldn’t appreciate, for instance, the humour in Chief’s existential catchphrase “A landslide has occurred,” which itself is a cryptic reference to Bricks 'n Pieces' epic Captain Indigo. I’m smirking right now just imagining one of those addlepated simpletons scratching their heads in confusion as Stewart Green’s genius wit unfolds itself on their CRT monitors. What fools.. how I pity them. ?

And yes, by the way, i DO have a Rock Raiders tattoo. And no, you cannot see it. It’s for the guy’s eyes only- and even then they have to demonstrate that they’re within 5 IQ points of my own (preferably lower) beforehand. Nothin personnel kid ?

 

Edit: FFS fellas, this now has more likes than rrcoder's post...

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WillKirkby
2 hours ago, tomfyhr said:

 

Is the event [...] supposed to be a metaphor [...]

 

It's almost certainly just a software bug. I feel like this isn't the right place to be going on thread-unrelated political tangents.

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McJobless

Not to drag this topic sideways, but just to clarify some points.

 

4 hours ago, tomfyhr said:

Is the event with the crystals in the game Rock Raideres supposed to be a metaphor for how human beings let their chances go to waste and are, sorry for being politically incorrect, becoming more dumb and intellectually inactive? Though I have not heard the term "idleness syndrome" before, I am somewhat familiar with how computers and applications on the computer makes human beings dumber, sorry for not being incorrect once again. I read an article somewhere that Facebook, and in-turn other digital applications, creates addiction, which reduces brain cells, shatters ones focus and reduces ones attention span, if one is addicted to it.


Unfortunately, I believe you've kind of mistaken both the point you were trying to read and the point you were trying to debate.

 

Firstly, this topic is very specifically focused on a known software bug in the video game that was more or less responsible for the creation of this forum. There was no intent to display a metaphor about disconnectivity in humanity in the post-modern computer age; I simply wanted to create a fun topic opener that mixed a bit of humour with the serious question I wanted people to address, as this has been a fun topic to discuss in this community for ages.

 

Secondly, you shouldn't accept articles on face value without a measure of research to learn all the available perspectives. The problem is not specifically technology, but rather the fact that technology has allowed us faster, near instantaneous access to information. We've adapted in odd ways to the speed of communication now present in society. There is no reduction of brain cells, and there is no chemical addition (rather, it is mealy habit-forming, which can be broken with practice). The focus and attention span issues are a result of the brain, a complex device attempting to reduce energy expenditure, knowing it can spend less to achieve more.

 

4 hours ago, tomfyhr said:

Though there is one flaw with the claim that the forum may be some sort of treatment of that syndrome. The forum creates a filter bubble that continues human beings who are troubled in accordance to video games, to be addicted in video games and, sorry again for my politically incorrectness, wasting their time on things that could be more productive. I want to clarify that I am not saying that being on the forum is a waste of time, but people who have issues must prioritize their personal lives over video games and everything related to them. 

 

This is a very archaic way of looking at the issue. What exactly is "more productive"? How are people to determine that they have these kinds of "issues" you're talking about.?

 

Again, people do not become chemically addicted to video games. What you're actually witnessing is exactly why the education system fails. Games are fun. Our brains are designed to reward us with dopamine, the innate brain chemical for pleasure and happiness, when we learn or master something. It's a survival instinct we developed in our primal stages to push us to be better. Games are teaching devices (even if we don't necessarily teach the best or more life-relevant subjects all the time), and thus are designed to trigger the dopamine response by making players learn and improve their understanding of the game's mechanics.

 

If anything, games are a positive thing to turn to in our unhappy moments.

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Slimy Slug

I found something once again in that map, Odyssey: In the starting cavern with the three Raiders on an island with the Upgrade Station and Hoverboard, there is the lone Raider on a separate island.  I have to remove him to prevent the other Raiders from disappearing.  
 

To the north, there is a trapped Raider (which you can ultimately rescue).  I found that by teleporting him out, Idleness Syndrome completely disappears from the other three Raiders.  This is similar to what happened to Cyrem in his map tests.  I've even removed every Raider but that one up top, and when I try doing something with him, he behaves normally.  
 

Interestingly enough, the response times increased among the separated Raiders as I reduced the number of them in the starting cavern.  It would make sense if pathfinding is the problem, because that would account for the increased response times coinciding with the drop in the number of separated Raiders.  The slowness of each Raider would be caused by the trapped ones attempting to execute a task that they cannot perform currently.  This would in turn cause a cascade as the pathfinding algorithm attempts to assign the tasks, even though the Raiders cannot perform them.  Once the trapped Raider(s) is/are removed, the algorithm likely reassigns the tasks of the now missing Raider(s), thus speeding up the pathfinding as all the remaining Raiders can perform the chore(s) in question. 

 

On a side note, I ran into a very bizarre strain of Idleness Syndrome in alan's custom map, Let's go swimming.  Once I got to the Tool Store (I beamed up the other Raider from the starting cave but left the small digger), I noticed that my Raiders would refuse to drill walls.  They had no problem using dynamite, however.  I even noticed the slight pause in the Raiders before they performed tasks, which is an early symptom of idleness.  But the odd thing was that they never went completely idle.  When I would make a drilling request, nobody would respond for a while.  Then the unit that did respond would stand there.  From there, the Raiders would drill the wall without being manually told to about 10% of the time.  Weird...

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