Fugitives should return more consistently to their homeland

Bug #818798 reported by Hans Joachim Desserud on 2011-07-31
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
widelands
Won't Fix
Low
Unassigned

Bug Description

In a game on the play day yesterday I noticed a geologist who either ran away or couldn't find his way home.
1. Load the attached replay.
2. Scroll south until you find the green player (me).
3. Watch the western expansion. (May want to increase the speed as it takes a while)
4. When the green player reaches the mountain in the west, a number of geologists are sent out to search for resources. Most/all of them leave the green territory to search the mountain.
5. At the end of their search, one of them seems to end up on the other side of the mountain for some reason.
6. It looks like he is unable to find his way back to the HQ or even the green territory. He then wanders around for a while (effectively scouting a bit on the yellow players border) and then pass away after some time.

off-topic: my 100th bug report to Widelands. :)

Hans Joachim Desserud (hjd) wrote :
Hans Joachim Desserud (hjd) wrote :
tags: added: worker
Hans Joachim Desserud (hjd) wrote :

I wonder if this may actually be a problem with the map. The replay above is from "Four mountains" and when I played another game on that map yesterday it happened again. I wonder if the mountains are to large or steep or something for the geologist to be able to find his way home. (I don't remember exactly, but I don't *think* this was the same mountain, so I suspect it affects all of them.)

SirVer (sirver) wrote :

Setting to incomplete for bug sweeping.

Changed in widelands:
status: New → Incomplete
Hans Joachim Desserud (hjd) wrote :

It has happened again. We can probably scratch my theory on mountain steepness. If you watch the attached replay, there's a small mountain just north of the green player's starting position. This is explored by geologists early on, and one of them disappears into the desert, never to be seen again...

The attached replay is from build18.

Hans Joachim Desserud (hjd) wrote :
Changed in widelands:
status: Incomplete → New
tags: added: replay
wl-zocker (wl-zocker) wrote :

My guess based on the second replay: When the flag the geologists were sent to is destroyed, they become "lost" (similar to the case when a building is burned down), i.e. they walk around randomly. Some of them manage to get back to a flag and walk to the headquarters, but one is unlucky and walks into the wrong direction. After a certain time when he has not found a flag, he disappears. (You can watch the same effect when destroying an enemy's warehouse: Workers that reach a flag (connected to another warehouse) behave normally, the others disappear.)
I have not watched the first savegame, but did you destroy there a flag, too?

Hans Joachim Desserud (hjd) wrote :

Hm... sounds reasonable. Not sure if there's anything to fix here then. I could of course wish workers were better at finding back to my own borders, but there will probably always be a limit...

>I have not watched the first savegame, but did you destroy there a flag, too?
Well, it was reported three years, so I won't make any guarantees. I won't rule it out either though. :P

Changed in widelands:
status: New → Incomplete
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for widelands because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in widelands:
status: Incomplete → Expired
SirVer (sirver) wrote :

That is exactly what happens: geologist become fugitive when their flag is destroyed. Fugitives looks for another flag in their 'vicinity' and if they cannot find one they die. I think we should rethink fugitivesness as a whole if we do not like it for the geologist.

Changed in widelands:
status: Expired → Incomplete
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for widelands because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in widelands:
status: Incomplete → Expired
SirVer (sirver) on 2014-09-23
summary: - Geologist ran away
+ Fugitives should return more consistently to their homeland
Changed in widelands:
status: Expired → Confirmed
Jens Beyer (qcumber-some) wrote :

Had a very brief look at the current implementation of fugitives.

From what I see, a fugitive has a 50% chance for seeing any flag in his normal vision range, and for a range of up to 4 times the vision range a decreasing (with range) chance to see a flag, then runs a few steps and then repeats the process (with the chance to lose the flag position again, or to find a new flag or even better flag).

Now it would be easy to say, let's change that to 100% chance until 4 times the the normal vision range, but that would be a dramatic change.

A few ideas:
- Scouts could "collect" fugitives.

- Fugitives could follow scouts (or even any other worker, like lumberjacks, and hunters, and soldiers, which are also running around and are not lost).

- Fugitives could "know" where their HQ is, and always head in that direction instead of walking around randomly.

I am sure there are even more ideas circling around in your heads ;-)

GunChleoc (gunchleoc) wrote :

Maybe once they have found a flag, they shouldn't forget where it is, but still look for a better flag a couple of times?

Jens Beyer (qcumber-some) wrote :

This won't help the mentioned situations, where they become fugitives and head directly in the wrong direction, without even knowing any flag in the first place.

I would guess "losing" the only flag they were seeing at 4x max vision by luck is a rare occasion, as if they are heading to the flag for a few steps, the chance to "see the only flag again" increases as well as the chance that there may be other flags near that one which increases the chances to see any flag for the fugitive quite well.

In my eyes, the "major" issue the fugitives are having is that by any chance they are running around randomly, which has a good chance of being the exactly wrong decision.

Maybe an easier fix would be instead of letting the fugitive run around a few steps, then choosing a new random direction, would be if he only runs ONE step in a random direction and then reevaluates flags.

But maybe your idea could also be ok... if he knows in which general direction the flag he has seen once may have been (give or take a few steps left or right), he may also wander in that general direction instead of the HQ direction.

But all those solutions simply enhance the chance and increase "reality feeling", while solving a problem (not finding home) which has been implemented deliberately (artificially limiting the vision/map knowledge, giving a chance to forget an already known flag). I believe if the only desired result is having fugitives always find home, that can be reached easier.

GunChleoc (gunchleoc) wrote :
Changed in widelands:
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
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