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Option to override AI pathing
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This idea is not mine, but heard it in a video and thought, yes we need that!

Currently with AI control in the editor you can set waypoints from point A to point B. However how the AI goes to point A to point B is all predefined by pathing, you have no control over it. This is not a problem in general in wide terrains, but in towns and compounds this is far from ideal. In practice if you try to let AI drive in a town from point A to point B it will crash at the first best corner, the pathing just sux and the AI gets all retarded and eventually bug out driving forward and backwards 1 meter not knowing what to do.

It would be really great if you could override the predefined pathing and create a custom precise path for the AI to follow. Something that works similar to waypoints, but it very precise and can be adjusted and set per meter. Or even better, have a way to record a path and able to save it and let the AI use that pre-recorded path.

The AI in ArmA is great in the sense that it can figure out a lot of stuff without having to script it and having to tell them exactly what to do, but in other cases thats exactly not what you want. Especially in urban area's in a mission scenario you for example want a civil vehicle drive through town and then park the car next to a house on a parking space (coast side of Agia Marina) and then get out of the car and walk into a house. This is currently almost impossible to do because of the predefined pathing, cos the AI have their own minds and simply will not do exactly how you want them behave and wont go to the exact position of where you want it to go. Good chance the AI will already get borked out at the first best corner it drives through, because you can not set an exact path for them to follow. The AI just tries to go to point B and drive into a wall or streetlight, never reaching point B.

This idea of setting up a custom path could even be combined with the current waypoint system. You setup a waypoint from A to B, but then have an added option to let the AI go past point A_1, A_2, A_3, etcetera, before it reaches point B. Or have the ability to record a path that can be saved and then used by the AI.


Legacy ID
AI Control / Commanding

Event Timeline

B00tsy edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Apr 3 2013, 11:40 AM
B00tsy edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
B00tsy set Category to AI Control / Commanding.
B00tsy set Reproducibility to N/A.
B00tsy set Severity to Feature.
B00tsy set Resolution to Open.
B00tsy set Legacy ID to 3372375224.May 7 2016, 1:23 PM

I like this idea and can see many uses for it.

You can use the existing BIS_Fnc_unitCapture / unitPlay to 'record' a path and play it back on a unit. The function is useful for single player (and, with conservative use, multiplayer) scenarios where perhaps you want to have a helicopter or other vehicle perform extremely precise movements, such as those described by the OP. I haven't used this in the Alpha yet, though I'm presuming it's still there from OA. However, the function does cause FPS drop and in MP there is usually horrendous desync and/or a violent shuddering of the target unit.

If technically possible, a facility to set waypoints that the AI would follow in an 'on rails' fashion would certainly be useful for very basic AI paths and allow unitCapture/unitPlay to be saved for things like aerobatics that couldn't be reliably recreated otherwise.

BIS has been known to get round this in official missions by using tricks such as looping a walking/running animation on a unit, combined with functions that tell the unit which way to turn, but a simple waypoint-like system would eliminate the need for such complicated measures. Although I'd be surprised if they hadn't already tried to implement something like this in the past.

Zonr_0 added a subscriber: Zonr_0.May 7 2016, 1:23 PM
Zonr_0 added a comment.Apr 4 2013, 1:31 AM

A fine idea. As a suggestion for an implementation that uses the current infrastructure as much as possible, perhaps a new waypoint type PATH_OVERRIDE that tells the AI to follow the line drawn from the previous waypoint exactly? Of course, if you tried to path an AI through a building or tried to do this with a group of units, you would run into issues, but that should be obvious to the user from the preconditions of using the waypoint.

Obviously, a more elegant UI would be better of course, but that would be a good quick and dirty way to implement it that would be useful for mission makers.

F2kSel added a subscriber: F2kSel.May 7 2016, 1:23 PM
F2kSel added a comment.Apr 4 2013, 5:31 PM

I find with choppers they have a default completion radius of 100m so you can't really control them with waypoints any closer than 100m apart.

The same applies if you give them a domove command they terminate 100m short, you can allow for this sometimes but in a dynamic mission it's hard to script for.

I see no reason choppers shouldn't fly to an exact location.

An override command could be a big help.

Heruon added a subscriber: Heruon.May 7 2016, 1:23 PM
Heruon added a comment.Apr 6 2013, 1:14 PM

Not a bad idea, but the problem would probably persist since it's also related to the turn rate of the vehicles. So regardless if it's the AI or you who placed the waypoint, they could still miss a waypoint and have to drive back to hit it. You'd have to be very carefull placing waypoints. Still, I would like to se features like this implemented, just to give the player more control. Couldn't there be a "Keep Moving" command we could use if we see an AI get stuck, just to make them skip a waypoint.

B00tsy added a comment.Apr 6 2013, 2:27 PM

Heruon It is not only useful for vehicles of course, but the AI in general. Micro managing movement would be a good thing for all the AI in a lot of mission scenario's.

Heruon added a comment.Apr 7 2013, 1:52 AM

Yes, understand that, and I really think it would be usefull. Just saying we probably would still have problems with pathfinding. Voted up however.

Phalanx added a subscriber: Phalanx.May 7 2016, 1:23 PM

I was actually just trying to make a mission where an OPFOR unit would try running away upon BLUFOR detection. The idea was shot down when it turned out I had no control over where the AI decided to go once he was given the OK to move.

Didn't matter where the waypoints were, he just ran off wherever!

setCaptive, Careless, even making him a CIV unit didn't help a thing.

Would be nice to have something to force AI to move to a waypoint regardless of combat

This is the video I saw where I got the idea to create a ticket about it, credits for the idea goes to him.

MadDogX added a subscriber: MadDogX.May 7 2016, 1:23 PM

Please stop bumping your ticket with unmonitor+monitor. At least add a note or something.

like the 3th time I did that since the creation of this ticket (2013-04-03). It's a good idea and a needed feature, more people need to see it.

In general I like to see more improvements on the backend. We still have an ArmA 2 editor with a new UI end a few more modules and not structural core improvements like this idea that would make mission design much better.

I guess my old ticket is somewhat related to this one in terms of forcing a unit to follow a path you want them to take.

I called it Micro Waypoints. You have your standard normal A to B waypoints, but it becomes a route when you set Micro Waypoints in between 2 waypoints which forces the unit to walk via that route to get from A to B rather than them doing it themselves.

Krycek added a subscriber: Krycek.May 7 2016, 1:23 PM

It's a great idea,throught the Arma games missions inside towns are mostly static in my case.You can't have a convoy speeding up through town if its getting attacked or a car running away when shooting starts because AI gets bonkers.
For the amount of game complexity the AI does a good job most of the time,sadly pathfinding and maneuvering in towns it's still in 2001 stage.

I don't see how this is going to make unit commanding any easier. You're saying I'm gonna have to sit on my map and put waypoints for my units on every corner? Sounds like we're trying to work around the actual problem here instead of fixing it.

I also have the same issue, but this is when creating waypoints in editor. I notice it’s not on the exact location as I write. Ex. Group X addWaypoint [[21987,4821.83,0], 0] the created waypoint will be at [21945.5,4862.34,0].

It doesn't matter how much I try micro it m by m it never gets exact... then why the zero in the end (placement radius) when it don’t uses it. This is also a problem for me when I want a helicopter (Huron) to hover over a vehicle, I get the same result when using (getpos) as if I use the coordinates [x,y,z].

Can understand if it’s adjusted for AI’s on the ground and the location is not accessible, but for the air vehicle there is nothing to hinder them...
My workaround for this is setpos getpos but it ain't pretty =)

EDIT: Found [group player, 1] waypointAttachVehicle object; lol feeling a little bit stupid now. But still I think it would be great if the waypoint come on the exact location it were created. Ooh and I can't make the waypointAttachVehicle attach to "Land_Device_disassembled_F".