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modded: egg spawn locations (this doesn't change egg spawn rate)

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  • modded: egg spawn locations (this doesn't change egg spawn rate)

    Most of us can recall games wherein the second hive didn't spawn eggs (and then, sometimes but not always, would begin spawning eggs several minutes after coming online, inexplicably).

    I've spent a minute reading and testing the egg spawning code, and it has significantly educated me. As it turns out, hives don't actually spawn eggs. The game spawns eggs at a rate influenced by team size and not at all influenced by hive count. More hives does not mean faster eggs. When the game spawns an egg every X seconds, it looks for a hive that has an egg vacancy and puts the egg there.

    The stock game prefers to place new eggs in hives that are closer to Marines. Each time it's going to place a new egg, it determines the average location of the Marine players, sorts the hives ascending by distance from that location (closest first, farthest last), and proceeds through each hive until it finds a hive that can host another egg (in 8v8, a hive will generally accept more eggs until it has 4 in the room).

    In those horrible "second hive isn't spawning eggs" moments, Aliens were dying a LOT, and most of the Marines were much closer to the first hive than the second hive (e.g. ns2_veil, Cargo 1st Hive, Pipe 2nd Hive, with long fight for System/Nano beginning before Pipe comes online and continuing for most of the game) -- the egg spawn rate (driven by team size, not at all by hive count) was struggling to keep up with the dying Aliens and ALWAYS placing new eggs in the first hive because it was closer to the action.

    In these moments, a skulk trying to spawn away from the action would set his preferred spawn location at the second hive, only to NEVER SPAWN there because the game would NEVER put an egg there while Aliens were dying so often and Marines were so close, on average, to the first hive.
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    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

  • #2
    So, a month ago, I declared I'd fixed the problem:

    Originally posted by Wyzcrak View Post
    ) Fixed (not)rare(enough) "second hive isn't spawning eggs" problem (egg spawn rate unchanged!)
    My mod at that time simply gave a bit more priority to egg-less hives when choosing where to place new eggs. If a hive was egg-less, it would sometimes (not always) force the placement of the next egg in that hive, thereafter returning to the stock "whichever hive is closest to the action and has available capacity" logic for subsequent eggs placements. This allowed skulks trying to spawn away from the action a bit more likelihood of success.

    And so, for the last month, we've had less of the "second hive isn't spawning eggs" situation. I knew when I made that change that it would be an improvement, but myself and others familiar with my implementation's details knew there was a greater opportunity.
    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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    • #3
      You'll recall that, as an Alien, you're able to specify your preferred spawn hive. When you're dead, you click on the minimap to specify at which hive you'd like to spawn. The game remembers this for the rest of the game unless/until you specify a new hive. Every time you spawn, it puts you in whichever egg is closest to your specified location.

      But specifying this preferred spawn hive has never influenced which hives have priority when receiving eggs spawned by the game.

      I've now modded the game server such that these preferred spawn locations influence the game's decision about where to place the next egg it spawns. The modded logic still sometimes forces an egg into egg-less hives, but it now otherwise looks not to the average location of Marines to determine which hive will get the next egg, but rather to the average preferred spawn location of the Aliens (any Alien having specified no preferred spawn location is assumed to prefer whichever hive is oldest). As before, egg spawn rate is unchanged.

      This gives Aliens more control and flexibility than they've ever had. In many games, it won't matter. In many games, it will.

      Feedback welcome. Please report defects.
      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wyzcrak View Post
        As it turns out, hives don't actually spawn eggs. The game spawns eggs at a rate influenced by team size and not at all influenced by hive count. More hives does not mean faster eggs. When the game spawns an egg every X seconds, it looks for a hive that has an egg vacancy and puts the egg there.
        They should add this as in-game advanced tips. *mindblown*

        Your mod should give a much more responsive spawn location for aliens! Depending on our results UWE might like it :)

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        • #5
          That's really nice! Especially when the hive is sieged and your best counter is to spawn somewhere else and kill a PG or a base instead of popping in the middle of a meatgrinder and blow up instantly like a piñata.

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          • #6
            Our egg placement mod is removed in response to 315's new feature:

            GameplayWe might one day revisit customizing how eggs spawn to improve on some design opportunity we see, but it's always nice when we can return to stock design as it improves.
            Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

            Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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