Harvesters

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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r0b0v
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Harvesters

Post by r0b0v » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:49 am

In late game with lot of refineries, harvesters... I sometimes notice harvesters traveling across map there and back. I tried to direct them to some refinery? or some ore?, but not sure about the result as lately again some harvesters move through battlefield..

Sorry, lazy to search/test more... so asking here for advice.
How do you manage them?

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AoAGeneral1
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Post by AoAGeneral1 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:19 pm

In TD the harvs are more managable and tend to do what they are supposed too. Still need to keep an eye on them though as they often times harvest in a straight line to one side. So keeping them managed helps.

A bit worse in RA since they mine up faster and go in a straight line. If you keep the micro on these guys you can float with three trucks easily.

r0b0v
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Post by r0b0v » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:52 pm

I would like to know how they decide to which rafinery they go. Sometimes they wait in queue, sometimes they go to rafinery far away.

I would prefer new harvesters from war factory going to nearest ore/tiberium rather than going to rally point (near battle).

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FRenzy
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Post by FRenzy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:16 pm

I think this is how it goes :
- harv goes to WF rally point,then closest ore, then closest ref. Will stay on this ref until ore dries up, and harv goes idle.
- harv going long distance : 2 possibilities : either 1 of your ref is supporting more than 3 harvs. Then harvesters will try to find another ref, even if it is miles away. 2nd possibility : nearby ore patch has dried up, so harv goes to a distant one.
- best practice : when an ore parch dries up, leave only 1 harv on it. Send the other ones on new expansions / ore patches. Max 3 harv per ref if possible. Late game, there should be no more ore, so you'll need only 1 harv per remaining ore mine.

r0b0v
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Post by r0b0v » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:35 pm

:eek:

Thanks a lot. I think this is my problem: sending more ('ideally' full) harversters back to ore near already full ref...so they return immediately back to another ref far away.

You mentioned two possibilities for ore dries up - harv goes idle vs will try to find another ref.

anyway, the key is to maintain 3 harvs per ref - I knew about this rule, but I considered it as rule for best efficiency so harvs don't wait in queue too long, but in fact it is even more important due to fact they will go to another far ref instead of waiting.

Gatekeeper
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Post by Gatekeeper » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:42 pm

I was thinking about harv AI a while back and think I found something that might improve their behavior:

Currently: Harvesters scan for ore once they spawn/finish WF waypoint, load their bays, move to a ref, dump and move back to the cell they were in once they filled up. They only rescan for ore after they cleared out their cell. Making them move to the most easily accessible cell first (Most of the time in a straight line ahead)

What if we were to add another scan to the harvester behavior? Making them scan for the closest by cell of ore next to the ref they just used(Or simply cell they are in), straight after emptying their inventory. This way harvesters will rarely end up on the other side of an orepatch, but would rather mine up more ore close to the ref first....

This would result in a hell less lost harvesters due to stupid AI making them wander off....
And more actual profits for the player on short time without the need for microing them.

PS. just realised the downside: if you have mroe harvs then the refs can handle on a patch, they will wander off to the next closest by ref, but will keep harvesting near that ref after unloading. This will force people to get better harv-ref ratio's though :D
Last edited by Gatekeeper on Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FRenzy
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Post by FRenzy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:50 pm

r0b0v wrote: :eek:
You mentioned two possibilities for ore dries up - harv goes idle vs will try to find another ref.
I think this is depends on the distance between two adjacent ore patches.
You can see on maps like Vegetation, that harvesters will go to the next base to continue harvesting, cause it's still close to the previous patch. Otherwise, if it's far away, they'll just stay idle at base. That's how I see it ^^

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anjew
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Post by anjew » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:26 am

Gatekeeper wrote: What if we were to add another scan to the harvester behavior? Making them scan for the closest by cell of ore next to the harvester, after emptying their inventory. This way harvesters will rarely end up on the other side of an orepatch, but would rather mine up more ore close to the ref first....
Id love this in all mods. Its just as annoying in TD because of how much longer it takes to mine tib.

Another pet peeve of mine is that harvesters (in TD, not sure about RA) auto mine tib that is at the top left or top right of the refinery spawn. Often this means that they pass perfectly good ore to get to the top of the refinery. I think my suggestion for this was to change what offset the harvester spawns at but Im not sure if this would fix it
Image

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:52 pm

There is also an issue when you transfer harvesters to a new location by clicking on the new ref, and the ore on the original patch isn't 100%dried up: they will harvest on the old patch and unload on the new ref.

I solve this by spamming "S" (stop command) and click on the new ref and new ore patch multiple times. Seems to be working fairly well :)

Gatekeeper
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Post by Gatekeeper » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:06 pm

SirCake wrote: There is also an issue when you transfer harvesters to a new location by clicking on the new ref
your issue: Harv is mining cell X, gets manually send to Ref Y, unloads, travels back to cell X -> as per its script (Last cell harvested) and continues its regular script (Harvesting field X, followed by unloading at nearest ref)

I personally never give my harvs orders to use a diff ref, I only command them to mine a diff field. Once they filled up their cargo, their AI makes them wander to the closest available ref per default. (If that ref is occupied by 2 or more harvs, then they can tend to start traveling to the second closest ref. But even after this they will move back to the field they were actually harvesting, traveling a shitton for no good reason still.)

But yeah, the "need" to order a harv which ref to use is imo false, and thus also waste of APM. (especially the whole S-spam/spam click on ref/field.)
(Not meant as personal attack SirCake, more as HarvAI explanation/ helpfull info in general)
anjew wrote: *Snip*
I guess Harv behavior/script/AI is the same in both TD and RA, so fixing it on 1 end will do the same on the other?

Anyway, looking at that pet peeve, yeah I've seen them do the same as well, but I think I get the idea of it: Harvs first look at which cell with ore/tib is closest, coordinate wise, then they would start pathing towards it, often taking a longer route then to other "shorter distanced" ore.
And I have a hunch that harvs would scan from left to right, top to bottom, prioritizing top-left over top-right, which in turn are prioritized over bottom-left and bottom-right.

Reversing their Scans/prioritization (-> Bottom right above all and top left below all) Would work way better with the idea of refs having their entrances below the structure.

Easier said then done, I know, but hey maybe our Hero coder R0b0v manages to find a way to improve them? :D

SirCake
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Post by SirCake » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:46 pm

But yeah, the "need" to order a harv which ref to use is imo false, and thus also waste of APM. (especially the whole S-spam/spam click on ref/field.)
(Not meant as personal attack SirCake, more as HarvAI explanation/ helpfull info in general)
(irony) Oh my gawd! You mouthed your oppinion! I'm gonna wreck you! (irony) ;)

Wasn't sure how that worked and didnt wan't to research on that. I'll click on the ore patch once in the future. Gives me more APM to destroy your stuff, thanks ;P

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