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Comments on new v2.5 pathfinding (It is bad news)

Necromanx2Necromanx2 Member Posts: 1,093
edited September 2018 in 2.5 patches feedback
I have played around enough with v2.5 in Both BGEE/SoD and BG2EE to make some comments.

Summary: I feel pathfinding has degraded significantly. It has gone from being annoying to potentially being game breaking.

Downsides:
1) When you spawn into some areas you can have several party members merged together. Most of the time I can get them to break apart, but in the mod Southern Edge, the PC never appears again if you go to the Southern Edge from a location outside of Athkatla (this is the game breaking one if you don't notice in time and over write your saves). I am not sure if mods are particularly at risk, but this is what I have seen up to now.

2) Parties now freeze (get stuck) if you try to move them where they overlap their current position (reposition in a small area). This one comes into play most when you spawn into a battle. I used to be able to select positions and for the most part everyone moved with minimal interference. Now, the party freezes for 6-10 seconds and then one at a time moves out. This is deadly for a combat spawn. I am now forced to micromanage moves in combat WAY more then with the old pathfinding and even then since I need to wait for people to get clear, it takes more time to reposition the party.

Improvements:
1) I don't have party members permanently stuck behind immovable things anymore. Eventually they move out and around.

Did not notice any other benefits. They could be there, but I didn't see any.


I wanted to call these out especially since the first downside can break a game if you are not careful with saves.

Aurorusdvdbangsrud
«1

Comments

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 513
    It's definitely changed and i can agree that at times (in small corridors like you say) party members can merge into the same spot and get stuck, you then have to individually select and move them in opposite directions to get them unstuck and it takes a round or so to achieve.

    The Pre-2.5 issue i kept having with characters that had increased movement speed (Barbarian, Monk, someone wearing Wizzard hat (i have mods)) getting stuck when trying to path past NPC's in places like the copper coronet is fixed though. Over-all it's a great improvement, but then again i usually play solo and it's only when doing NPC quests that i tend to notice the problem so it's not impacting me as much as others.

  • MefestoMefesto Member Posts: 12
    the only thing I can say is my character got stuck once behind an open door (he was there before opening the door) in the first dungeon, I had to reload.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,140
    There's a bug related to pathfinding in the 2.5 version, which will be fixed.

    typo_tillyFlap
  • FlapFlap Member Posts: 5

    There's a bug related to pathfinding in the 2.5 version, which will be fixed.

    Thanks for the confirmation of this bug and for the continued support of the Infinity Engine games.

    Will this bugfix be deployed as a minor patch/update in the forseeable future (say 1-4 weeks), or is this scheduled for patch 2.6, which could be a couple of months away?

    JuliusBorisovtypo_tilly
  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 288
    It also appears to break Jaheira harper hold quest. Unless this would be a different bug.

    After Xzar gets assassinated and Jaheira leaves. You rest and she appears back, but she appears merged on the same position as CHARNAME breaking her and making her stuck in 'dialog' without chat popping up. Few reloads and it triggered but very often it didn't.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,140
    @Myrag If you have a save, please zip and attach it at support.baldursgate.com for investigation. Thanks in advance!

  • Necromanx2Necromanx2 Member Posts: 1,093
    I had that happen to me. I reloaded and moved my party away from where the spawn happens to get around this. Seems the spawn spot is one specific spot and you can break it by having a party member there.

  • Kiwi_LifterKiwi_Lifter Member Posts: 24
    edited April 2019
    While I appreciate the willingness to continue patching the game, I have to ask: why mess with the path finding at all? The changes have made the game close to unplayable for me. I still run into the same issues as with the original Baldur's Gate but now also:

    1. Characters will all merge and get stuck in a gooey mess. I had all 6 party members become one green circle just trying to negotiate an empty street in Baldur's Gate. This happens a lot, and sometimes it will take over a minute for them to separate.

    2. Party members run into each when trying to go through door ways. I've timed it, and it will sometimes take 30 seconds to get people to stop bumping into each other and through a doorway.

    3. Characters will still turn and go the opposite direction of the party if they are at the back of a group and approach a choke point.

    4. Faster characters will get stuck behind slower ones and cannot push through.

    5. Characters can get stuck behind doors, which I found could only be fixed by reloading.

    In short, I don't understand why you would release a product that is significantly worse in a crucial area of game play than its 20 year old predecessor. It is...infuriating, at times. Could you revert back to the original path finding and please just leave things alone?

    DJKajuruRaduziel
  • Necromanx2Necromanx2 Member Posts: 1,093
    Or provide an option to pick which to use.

  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 773
    I’ve taken computer science courses regarding to pathfinding, and it’s incredibly difficult. Looking at the original pathfinding, it looks like they calculate a path for each party member, and then fulfill it with no recalculations. That’s why characters would often go in the exact opposite direction, especially on maps with more than one path like the Bridge District. It would be quicker for all characters to navigate cooperatively through a chokepoint, but calculating that path is hard: multiagent pathfinding would have to identify every collision, and attempt to fix them. In general, there’s not enough time to attempt to find an optimal path unless the player is willing to wait for like 5 seconds at least in between a move command and its fulfillment.

    On the other hand, the newer pathfinding seems to be more searches with a lookahead. Theoretically this should function similarly except without the going backwards problem, but there seems to be a part in the code that’s allowing two characters to inhabit the same location. If that’s fixed, I’d say that this pathfinding is dramatically better than the originals.

    Bubb
  • Kiwi_LifterKiwi_Lifter Member Posts: 24
    edited May 2019
    Thanks to the fellow posters who went and had a look at what was going wrong. The biggest issue does seem to be that sprites are allowed to occupy the same location. While I am sincerely delighted that Beamdog continues to support its products, I can't help but wonder aloud why something this obvious was allowed to be part of an official patch. Perhaps the path finding should get its own patch.

    @Bubb with the change that you made, how do you find the path finding?

    StummvonBordwehr
  • Kiwi_LifterKiwi_Lifter Member Posts: 24
    I decided to follow up on this because....It doesn't seem right that Beamdog should be selling this product with such a glaring problem. I have stopped playing with a full party because it is too frustrating to have sprites merging with each other and becoming stuck. How did this get through quality control?

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,804
    I honestly don't see the pathfinding issue as being as bad as all that. They get stuck for a second or two every once in a while, sure. However this usually only happens when they are told to move a very short distance (usually only a 1 or 2 collision boxes worth). I only have problems with it when I want to adjust my party's formation (like make them switch around 180 degrees in the same spot), and I don't need to do that very often at all. Honestly, much of the complaints about pathfinding seem to me like major overreacting. I think the pathfinding is vastly improved over the vanilla games. The fact that they temporarily get stuck in rare occasions is no where near enough for me to call the issue gamebreaking. Not even close! I would say it is little more than a minor annoyance. It isn't like there are no workarounds either. Inconvenient as it may be, you can work around this issue with micromanagement, and honestly, if you are afraid of a little micromanagement, then BG (any version) probably isn't the game for you anyway. This just in: Surviving some of the harder fights in this game depends on micromanaging your characters.
    I decided to follow up on this because....It doesn't seem right that Beamdog should be selling this product with such a glaring problem.

    I find this statement very silly. Perhaps Bioware had no right to sell the product when they had it and pathfinding was at the very least just as bad then (let alone the plethora of other glaring bugs that the games had).

    StummvonBordwehrGusindamonico
  • Necromanx2Necromanx2 Member Posts: 1,093
    The new pathfinding can break some mods that add new areas (I had to experiment to get around game over bugs). So the pathfinding change for me, was a big step back.
    The only improvement I see is not having one party member stuck by a person or object until I see him to move him.
    The improvement has not been greater then the loss in my opinion (new area mod issues, running in an out of doors needing micro-management, character piles as people and monsters get stuck in one pile).

  • Kiwi_LifterKiwi_Lifter Member Posts: 24
    Tresset: you make a disingenuous comparison. This was not an initial release of original content, but a patch designed 20 years after an initial release to "fix" problems with the original game. If the fix makes a significant aspect of the game worse, it shouldn't be released, and certainly shouldn't be charged for.

    I played the original game, and while the path finding was generally no better, there were not several of the glaring problems above. The company sells an improvement of the original game, and this level of sloppiness belies that claim, even though some substantial improvements have been made in other areas.

    Micromanagement is a part of some fights, but should not be part of getting through a door, moving across a street, etc. I've beaten the original game with no reloads, so I'm pretty comfortable with the micromanaging, thank you.

    Happily, you are not employed by Beamdog, and I await a response from someone who can actually fix these problems rather than belittle them.

  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 852
    @Kiwi_Lifter
    I dont think anyone belittles the pathfinding issue. If you get the impression they do so, this was surely not intended.

    There are issues on the pathfinding if you have a full party. There where so in vanilla, but the clogging is new.

    I hugely enjoy the game, and I can live with the pathfinding as it is. Others can not, and I respect that. A new patch will surely help.

    That is why I am happy that the pathfinding issue is going to be adressed in upcoming patches (2.7, or even 2.6).

    The ee is an enhanced edition. Agreed that the pathfinding is not enhanced yet, but it will be. But the edition is enhanced in so many other areas.

    TressetGusindaZaghoul
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,804
    edited May 2019
    If the fix makes a significant aspect of the game worse, it shouldn't be released, and certainly shouldn't be charged for.

    I played the original game, and while the path finding was generally no better, there were not several of the glaring problems above.

    I can't help but notice that you say in the same comment that the pathfinding is worse than the original, yet at the same time say that the original's pathfinding was no better. If the pathfinding in the original was just as bad, but in a different way, then why should this disallow charging for money for the game? It is but one minor bug. It does not hopelessly and utterly completely break the game (as compared to, say, a crash on startup). Moreover, you are completely ignoring a MASSIVE amount of other fixes and improvements that have been made. Do they count for nothing just because one change didn't work as planned? Also, it isn't like the game is going to be worked on by Beamdog and at the same time released for free. There is no possible way the company could stay in business like that! What you are really suggesting by saying "they shouldn't charge for the game if it has bugs like this" (whether you know it or not) is that they should pull the game so that it is no longer available to the public. That would cause far and away more outrage than any one bug possibly could without hopelessly and utterly completely breaking the game (like, say, a crash on startup)!

    Also...
    Happily, you are not employed by Beamdog, and I await a response from someone who can actually fix these problems rather than belittle them.

    Begging your pardon, but I resent that personal attack. Not only is it against site rules, but it also has no bearing on the reality of me or my character!

    I have done more for Beamdog, their games, this community, and people in need on this site than you could even possibly be aware of to make such a statement! I couldn't even begin to tell you how many bugs I have found AND fixed in the games! I couldn't even begin to tell you how many mods I have custom made for people. Least of all could I tell you how many people I have helped out with issues they have experienced in their games! I have spent countless hours of my own time working on these things for people, often times without even being asked to do so! Yet you have the the nerve, the sheer audacity, the temerity to impugn my character so?! Bah! You have no idea how lucky you would be if I were working for Beamdog, devoting my full time and effort to locating and purging bugs from the game...

    Post edited by Tresset on
    StummvonBordwehrGusinda
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,462
    edited May 2019
    Tresset wrote: »
    I honestly don't see the pathfinding issue as being as bad as all that. They get stuck for a second or two every once in a while, sure. However this usually only happens when they are told to move a very short distance (usually only a 1 or 2 collision boxes worth). I only have problems with it when I want to adjust my party's formation (like make them switch around 180 degrees in the same spot), and I don't need to do that very often at all. Honestly, much of the complaints about pathfinding seem to me like major overreacting. I think the pathfinding is vastly improved over the vanilla games. The fact that they temporarily get stuck in rare occasions is no where near enough for me to call the issue gamebreaking. Not even close! I would say it is little more than a minor annoyance.

    You can try to ignore the problem all you want but there are multiple people that have report these issues. Beamdog even recognized that it's a bug (but as usual they are awfully slow to fix it). It happens a lot in small corridors, characters get stuck on each other. It's not temporary as you have to manually untangle them and it takes much more than a few seconds to do that. In my last playthrough, it happens 100% of the time in the Cloakwood mines and I stop playing because of that. This is game breaking.
    Tresset wrote: »
    It isn't like there are no workarounds either. Inconvenient as it may be, you can work around this issue with micromanagement, and honestly, if you are afraid of a little micromanagement, then BG (any version) probably isn't the game for you anyway. This just in: Surviving some of the harder fights in this game depends on micromanaging your characters.

    If your suggestion is that we should individually micromanage every character throughout the whole game every time we want to move them, I'm sorry but this is just stupid.

    RaduzielTimbo0o0o0
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,140
    edited May 2019
    The pathfinding issue is recognized by the team, but this is not game-breaking, @lefreut . Game-breaking is something that prevents the player to continue the story, or leads to an inability to finish a quest.

    TressetStummvonBordwehr
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,804
    edited May 2019
    lefreut wrote: »
    You can try to ignore the problem all you want...

    And you can mischaracterize what I said and put words in my mouth all you want. It doesn't mean that I said what you said I said... Doesn't make you right either...

    Post edited by Tresset on
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,462
    The pathfinding issue is recognized by the team, but this is not game-breaking, @lefreut . Game-breaking is something that prevents the player to continue the story, or leads to an inability to finish a quest.

    While this is indeed not the exact definition of game breaking, this prevent me from enjoying the game correctly and this make me stop playing the game (but I already buy the game so I guess you don't care anymore about my opinion). And @Necromanx2 said that it can break some mods.

    It's always nice to see Beamdog trying so hard to minimize the bugs they introduce instead of fixing them.

    Raduziel
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,140
    How do we minimize bugs? This is a known problem and will be fixed. Patches take time.

    How do we not care about your opinion if we constantly talk to you, and I pass all the feedback to the developer team, no matter from whom it comes?

    TressetStummvonBordwehr
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,804
    lefreut wrote: »
    If your suggestion is that we should individually micromanage every character throughout the whole game every time we want to move them, I'm sorry but this is just stupid.

    Every time? Is it really every time? I have played the game and seen this issue, and it certainly doesn't happen every last time you move the party. I only encounter it occasionally, and I learned how to manage it and prevent it from happening for the most part. If it does happen, I just grunt and tell my party to move again and they usually sort themselves out. I have played in tight spaces too, such as Shandalar's mage dungeon. Got through that just fine. Game wasn't unplayable. I can't even remember if it happened while I was there or not. I guess it could have happened while I was there, but I was so unaffected by any annoyance that it may have caused that I don't even remember whether or not it happened. I had a full party of 6, including a totemic druid and their summons.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • lefreutlefreut Member Posts: 1,462
    How do we minimize bugs? This is a known problem and will be fixed. Patches take time.

    Same excuse as usual :| It does not take a year to rollback a change that cause a regression.

    It won't be fixed in 2.6 (you know the patch that were supposed to be released last year), maybe in 2.7 if we are lucky.

    Raduziel
  • NerfyNerfy Member Posts: 12
    edited June 2019
    Is it possible to share a pseudo-code version of how pathfinding works to let users make suggestions? I feel like there has to be a solution since massive RTS games handle many units pathfinding constantly without issue, and would be happy to take a stab at it (I've done a lot of pathfinding for hobbyist reasons and got somewhat deep into optimization). The odd thing about BG's case is that characters seem able to 'push' others from a position to pass, which they can get further and further pushed away from and then snap back to, so I can see how this one might be somewhat complicated.

    edit: From what I can tell, the problem is that when entities are trying to pathfind through each other become stuck, whereas if one of them is stationary in a position which is part of a path, they are pushed out of the way and then snap back. Being pushed out might be the desired behaviour even while in motion, though it could quickly create more problems with too many characters, unless all characters could be 'exploded' outward from a central cluster point rather than pushed into each other and inward. Currently, if a group is rotated, they all pathfind through themselves and get stuck walking into each other. Eventually the outer characters decide to walk around the bunch, but then tend to hit each other again. I'm guessing characters can't be allowed to pass through each other, even if on the same team, since it allows characters to escape in combat by phasing through their comrades - but perhaps out of combat, characters could pass through each other if their paths interact, maybe with an attempt to shove one or both aside visually but if it can't be achieved just don't worry about it and let them quickly pass by. A constant 'jostling' where characters colliding constantly try to push the other out of the way into any available spot beside them might also help groups 'sift' through each other.

    Post edited by Nerfy on
    Flashburn
  • Arcanus_8Arcanus_8 Member Posts: 1
    Bubb wrote: »
    I've had a brief look at the pathfinding changes, (there really aren't that many from what I can tell, tbh):

    1) They changed a flag on some sort of multiplayer position update, (which I suspect always runs, to make single-player and multiplayer closer together). This flag forces character position, and as a side-effect prevents stacked party members from unstacking themselves.

    2) When a character attempts to path into a blocked / impassible position, (like in a cave / already inhabited by another creature), the engine will now repath them to the closest passable space. The problem is that the engine will repath multiple creatures to the same spot...

    There could be more, I haven't looked over every change to be certain. With the old behavior restored in these instances pathfinding seems almost identical to v2.3.67.3:
    Old (correct) behavior:
    cu9fytjjs79d.gif
    New (broken) behavior:
    54prsk26dxyv.gif
    My edit that reverts the mentioned pathfinding changes:
    zlspzzsrdxku.gif

    Could you please explain how you accomplished this, I would be very grateful.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    edited September 2019
    How do we minimize bugs? This is a known problem and will be fixed. Patches take time.

    09/09/2019

    Apparently takes time indeed.

    Edit: Did some quick math. Kind of sleepy, so I may be wrong.

    2.6 was promised to last year so for my calculations, I'm using 31/12/2018 as a deadline.

    That means that 252 days have passed since this deadline. Or 181 working days (not considering holidays).

    With an 8h/day journey, 1448h have passed and we still don't have a solution for pathfinding.

    With a smoother 6h/day journey, 1086h have passed.

    Being more gentle, let's take this post (made on July, 22th) as a deadline (an extra 146 days for Beamdog). That means 36 working days have passed. Or 5.14 weeks. Or 288 working hours.

    The longest surgery ever recorded took about 103h to be completed and was performed by 20 doctors. The goal was to separate twin brothers conjoined by their head.

    Apparently fixing the pathfinding is almost three times (2.79 to be exact) harder than that.

  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,519
    @Raduziel
    Apparently fixing the pathfinding is almost three times (2.79 to be exact) harder than that.
    Did you consider the number of people each involved for your calculation? (Although I really don't know how many people would be needed for such an operation, probably more than BeamDog staff.)

    I enjoyed the math. It's definietly a scientific way to vent. :)

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    The doctors worked in shifts - don't know how many at each shift, though. The ratio hours/doctor is 5.15 - seems a reasonable amount of hours for a doctor to work on something that complicated, but it is a blind estimative.

    So, considering that probably the surgery was performed by one doctor at each shift (three tops) I don't think that lack of employees is a factor here.

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