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 Forum index » Modding Central » Red Alert 2 Editing Forum » Ares (Unofficial Forum)
Allow civilian vehicles start as driverless
Moderators: Ares Support Team at PPM, Global Moderators, Red Alert 2 Moderators
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NimoStar
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:38 am    Post subject:  Allow civilian vehicles start as driverless
Subject description: All those cars in parking lots...
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From a long time ago, I have struggled with the cars in parking lots.

What do I mean?

Ares allows an infantrytype with Driver=yes to enter a driverless vehicle. This is similar to CnC Generals.

However, unlike generals, the passive civilian vehicles are NOT set as driverless by default.

This means even though they are clearly intended to be driverless by mapmakers in default maps, ares game does and CAN't take them as such.

There is no flag to make vehicles start driverless.

So, this is a wonderful opportunity that is being underutilized.

See:


Quote:
?CanDrive=

Whether this InfantryType can act as the driver of vehicles whose driver has been killed

(driver of neutral vehicles has never "been killed", yet it should not start being there)


Quote:
?CanBeDriven=

Whether this unit can be reclaimed by a driver. If no, this unit cannot be captured by a driver after the original driver has been killed.


Same problem. No way to start driverless.

You could use:
Quote:
Operator= (list of TechnoTypes or “_ANY_”)
   Specifies a list of InfantryTypes and VehicleTypes of which at least one unit must be among the passengers before this object will function. I


Yet, this requires:
1- A special unit with this set. And the unit will always be like this regardless of initial owner.
2- Un-operated units will always "sparkle" and "power down" as if deactivated by EMP. As you will know, this is not always desirable, and may even be laggy (not to mention uneeded) for simple parked cars or civilian stuff. Driverless vehicles don't spark or "power down", they simply become passive.
3- "Operator" never respects the Driver tag.
4- Operator units can "deploy" and return their operating unit, unlike actual "Driven" vehicles.


**************************************************


Thus I reccomend, or rather propose, the following.

Code:

[countryname]/[Sidename] (like "[Neutral]")

Driverless.vehicles=BOOLEAN
;whether all vehicles belonging to this country/side start the game in a driverless state. Defaults to "No"


Code:

[Unitname] (like "[Neutral]")

Driverless.civilian=BOOLEAN
;whether this unit will start the game driverless if belonging to a "Civilian" tagged faction ("Civilian=this" in the [Side] section). Defaults to "No".

Driverless.playercontrolled=BOOLEAN
;whether this unit will start as driverless if built by a human (non-AI) player controlled entity. Defaults to "No".


As being driven is presumably an already boolean tag in a vehicle, implementing this should not be extremely difficult. Probably a script should run on map load scheking the flag and altering this state in map objects.

It would be extremely useful not only for regular users, mappers and modders, but also to recreate CnC Generals behaviours (for which there are quite a few mods).
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Mig Eater
Defense Minister


Joined: 13 Nov 2003
Location: Eindhoven

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give the civilian units a unique armour & then make a map wide superweapon that will only target that armour, do no damage & kill the drivers. Attach the superweapon to the construction yards, make it hidden, only work 1 time & fire as soon as the conyard is deployed.

All the civilian units will then become driverless at the start of the game.
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Allied General
General


Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only issues I  see with the Mig Eater solution are potentially:

1. Neutral vehicles moving when hit?
2. Some triggers for moving civ vehicles would need to be adjusted or cloned units would need to be added.

As the last update introduced script actions, that might be easiest solution but would need all the usual checks for desyncs etc online.
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NimoStar
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mig Eater wrote:
Give the civilian units a unique armour & then make a map wide superweapon that will only target that armour, do no damage & kill the drivers. Attach the superweapon to the construction yards, make it hidden, only work 1 time & fire as soon as the conyard is deployed.

All the civilian units will then become driverless at the start of the game.


Not really since:

- Not all game modes have conyards.

- Not all custom/campaign maps have conyards.

- Conyards don't start deployed. This would make deploying conyards make the vehicles driverless, which doesn't make logical sense.

- Applying all those states at once within will probably be laggy.
There will be a noticeable delay, specially with multiple AI players triggering map-wide area effects basically exactly at once, and dozens of civilian vehicles being affected even on vanilla maps being attacked by up to 8 map-wide area effect SW simultaneously. Indeed the game may crash.

- Another problem I mentioned before: This would only count the unit type and not being owned by the [Neutral] (civilian) side. So if you put some neutral tanks in that house intended as parked and unused, they will still not be driverless.
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Virgil
Flamethrower


Joined: 22 Jul 2018

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you can simply put CanBeDriven=yes into the country [Neutral]?

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NimoStar
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mig Eater wrote:
Give the civilian units a unique armour & then make a map wide superweapon that will only target that armour, do no damage & kill the drivers. Attach the superweapon to the construction yards, make it hidden, only work 1 time & fire as soon as the conyard is deployed.

All the civilian units will then become driverless at the start of the game.


Not really since:

- Not all game modes have conyards.

- Not all custom/campaign maps have conyards.

- Conyards don't start deployed. This would make deploying conyards make the vehicles driverless, which doesn't make logical sense.

- Another problem I mentioned before: This would only count the unit type and not being owned by the [Neutral] (civilian) side. So if you put some neutral tanks in that house intended as parked and unused, they will still not be driverless.

- Applying all those states at once within will probably be laggy.
There will be a noticeable delay, specially with multiple AI players triggering map-wide area effects basically exactly at once, and dozens of civilian vehicles being affected even on vanilla maps being attacked by up to 8 map-wide area effect SW simultaneously. Indeed the game may crash.

* The superweapons would each  check their verses EVERY UNIT AND STRUCTURE in existance at the time they hit. Yeah, this is not performance doable...

***

Until something like
Quote:
[side]/[country]
Driverless.vehicles=BOOLEAN

is implemented, I am actually going with Operator= logic,
since even if so many spark particlesystems also generate lag and aren't aesthetic (including the powered down blackout effect), it cannot be as bad, the state is checked actually at game start, only once, and only on the necessary units...

Ah, I just noticed Operator doesn't even work like that, since it doesn't allow units from another controller to enter the vehicle.

More reasons to implement this...

________________________

Quote:
I think you can simply put CanBeDriven=yes into the country [Neutral]?


I will test that, but the description that I quoted doesn't say anything about vehicles starting as driveable, tha manual only says that it works if their driver has been killed.
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NimoStar
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Virgil wrote:
I think you can simply put CanBeDriven=yes into the country [Neutral]?


I tested that with Driver infantry and it worked! Thanks Virgil. So at least one of the tags I asked for was already implemented.

Nice. Now to add remap to neutral unit voxels...

This can be used on many strategies, for example, the underused IvanBombs now in previously-neutral vehicles that don't get auto-attacked because of being "civilians".

But nonetheless the feature badly documented. The manual should clarify that in this case this isn't " after the original driver has been killed." like the flag entry says.
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XxpeddyxX
Commander


Joined: 03 Sep 2004

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to assume if something is not stated, then it doesn't apply.

The documentation seems clear enough. One for use under [TechnoTypes] and the other under [Country], both with different descriptions.
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NimoStar
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Location: Buenos Aires

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But they are the same flag.

And there is many times in that exact situation where it *does* apply.

it's safer to assume that what is first stated in that flag as a direct description of its mechanics, applies to all instances of that flag.
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