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Author Topic: Flying mercenaries  (Read 1269 times)

Arkangel

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Flying mercenaries
« on: March 16, 2017, 06:21:18 am »

So, a Peach-faces Lovebird Man Swordsman mercenary recently petitioned to join my fortress (after hanging out in the sky for literally ten years), and I was pretty excited, since I'm always keen to clear the map of useless critters, primarily giant insects which are pointless to tame.
Getting rid of flying creatures has always been rather hard for me, since marksdwarves are very unreliable in this regard. They should be able to move as close as possible to the targets and then engage at a reasonable range (wiki lists range as 20 tiles), but they usually just refuse to do so. Issuing a move command near the targets first sometimes works, but is tedious and still unreliable.
So, upon getting my brand new flying mercenary, I was pretty excited to finally have my own air force. However, upon issuing kill commands on flying creatures, or ordering him to move into the air, the job list still told me he could not reach his target. Cue disappointment.
I remember reading ages ago that tamed creatures lose the ability to fly, does the same apply to mercenaries that join the fort?
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Telgin

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Re: Flying mercenaries
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 03:25:31 pm »

I haven't tested it directly myself with mercenaries, but I'm betting it's just the pathfinding bug that plagues any fort mode creature that can fly.  You'll see the same thing happen if you mod dwarves to fly.

The problem is that the game calculates reachability to a tile based on moving on surfaces, and doesn't take flying (and probably still swimming) into account for that.  Even if something can fly somewhere, if there's no walkable path to get there they won't go under orders and likewise won't think they can reach it if there's a job to do there.  That means that, yes, a moat will keep things from flying into or out of your fort.

I'm reasonably sure that behavior applies to invaders too, and by my understanding it should. However, if I'm remembering right, if the tile is reachable on foot at all, things can still fly over obstacles to get to it.  So, having a bridge over the moat will let things fly over it elsewhere.

The problem in this case is that there's no walkable tiles into the air, so they won't go after flying things by flying after them.  Annoying, I know.

It's extra annoying because flying things seem to have a much higher propensity for wandering up trees and onto the tops of buildings and subsequently getting stuck.  A major issue I've run into with modded fort mode is that flying things will calculate a path that includes the top of a building (remember, you only need the destination to be reachable on foot, not the whole path), and once they get onto the building for whatever reason they're forced to recalculate their path.  Uh oh, no way down, so they just stand there like idiots and dehydrate and die.

I've seen people suggest modding the ability to fly out for anything that's part of your fort, and it's hard to disagree.
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Squirrelloid

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Re: Flying mercenaries
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 12:07:21 am »

It's kind of annoying how poor marksdwarves are at shooting flying things down.  Unless you score a kill or clip a wing, they don't fall out of the sky.  I've literally put a bolt through a keaman's heart and watched him fly off.  Flying creatures should get knocked out of the sky by bolts more frequently.  (Also, 'falling over' should result in fly failing... I don't know how you fall over while flying, but it doesn't sound like you should stay in the air).
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