Perplexing Cloak Behavior

I've put a small fighter called the Firefly into Anathema which I'm trying to get to exhibit Adult-Wraith-like cloaking habits (almost always cloaked, unlcoaks to fire). I've gotten this to work perfectly on the Archon përs, but having given the Firefly identical cloak behavior and the same cloaking device, I can get it to cloak while flying (it decloaks to scan ships, but will then recloak) but not while hostile with another ship. So for example it will buzz the system cloaked for as long as there are no hostiles, then decloak to attack and stay so indefinitely. Here's a list of what I've done to try to get it to work, none of which have had an effect:

I removed its Valkyrie Rockets and replaced its primary weapons with blasters to get rid of any complications that ammo or range could be causing
I gave it a different cloak, one that has no drain on energy or shields and hides the ship on radar and on the screen (this used up one of the two slots left for outfits in Anathema)
I unchecked "ships swarm" and changed the AI type to Warship
Finally, I messed with the individual flags for cloaking, but I still couldn't get it to re-cloak after attacking
I tried giving it a cookie, but it just asked me for some milk

Anybody have any idea what could be causing this behavior?

On a related note: The end is nigh…

This post has been edited by Archon : 05 January 2009 - 08:48 PM

does it have fire-while-cloaked weapons? If so, it will probably decloak if the enemy ship is in range. The Adult Wraith beam weapon has a very short range, which is why its almost-always cloaked behavior works.

I haven't tested this, but it might work.

Also, if it does work and the weapons need to be long range, use this method for cloaking:
For each individual weapon you want it to have (say, an unguided long-range rocket), create a second weapon.
New weapon stats:
Reload: same as first weap
Count: 0 (increase to 1 if needed)
Damage: 0/0
Guidance: -1
Speed: same as ship , or something bigger if necessary
Ammotype: self (or -1 for unlimited fire)
Graphic: invisible
Inaccuracy: 0
Sound: none
Impact: 0
ExplodType: either -1, or if you want a funky "weapon launching" animation, make a boom of it.
ProxRadius: 32767 (shouldn't matter, but it'll make sure the subs launch)
BlastRadius: 0
Flags1: Same as first weapon (important, notable the "don't fire at fast ships" flag)
SeekerFlags: Same as first weap (important, notably the "dont fire if ionized" flag)
SubCount: >= 1
SubType: first weap
SubTheta: innacuracy of first weap
ProxSafety: 0
ExitType: same as first weap, or -1 if it looks weird. Experiment.
BurstCount: same as first weap
BurstReload: same as first weap
MaxAmmo: same as first weap
Recoil: same as first weap

And that shouold do it. Disclaimer: I haven't tested it, and I don't have the time to. The above list was made with the help of Zacha Pedro's Plug-in Guides to help me remember all the fields.

edit: forgot that there wasn't a "range" field. It may not work, considering there's no way to specify what minimum/maximum distance an AI will fire a weapon, and range is calculated based on count, not a distance. Therefore, if count is 0, no matter what the speed, the weapon will only fire when the AI ship is on top of the enemy ship, unless nova includes subs when calculating range for the AI.

This post has been edited by LNSU : 06 January 2009 - 04:35 PM

Hmm, interesting idea. I'm a little leery to use it unless it's a last resort, since Anathema's running up on the last few resources I can squeeze in for outfits and weapons.

The range of the Firefly's primary weapon (320) is almost identical to that of the Adult Wraith's (350), so I don't think it's a ranged thing.

After a bit more mucking around, I'm pretty sure it's not an AI behavior problem either, as another ship has identical flags and AI type and seems to be working fine. Even the weapons are roughly analogous.

We're talking about the "AI ships will not uncloak until close to their target" flag, right? Is the ship in question a carried fighter?

That would be the one; it actually has all cloak flags checked except for "cloak while burst reloads," but the others all seem to be working fine. The ship in question can be carried as a fighter, but I'm running the tests on just normal düdes, one in-system and one that's mission linked and set to spawn randomly cloaked and attack the player.

Have you noticed any difference between the carried fighters and the normal ones?

@guy, on Jan 6 2009, 08:11 PM, said in Perplexing Cloak Behavior:

Have you noticed any difference between the carried fighters and the normal ones?

I'll have to check on that; so far none of the düdes include the ship that carries the Firefly. Get back to you.

modified my above idea. Perhaps it won't work as expected after all.

OK, did some new testing. The Firefly as a carried ship will cloak occasionally when engaging hostiles. I'd say maybe once every 30 seconds or so. Their distance from the target has no bearing that I can discern. I hopped into a faster ship just to make sure this wasn't the issue and got it off my radar without it cloaking (with its ammunition depleted). So back to the drawing board for now I suppose.

What all AI types have you tested? As far as I know, the Adult Wraith is not a Warship. Not that this should have anything to do with cloaking, but who knows. My solution for everything: mess around with it until it works. If it never works? I just make another. From scratch. Usually identical to one that does, and then alter only the items that absolutely MUST be altered. Nothing Else. Ever. I know that wasn't really much of a fix, but I don't know enough about the mechanics of Nova Cloaking.

I've messed with about everything I can think of, down to shield recharge and acceleration rate. It's a minor issue, so I'm shelving it for the moment I think, perhaps to return to it later.

I mean, worst come to worst, I could always just give it a dummy weapon with burst that would make it cloak every 10 seconds or whatever while it's in combat. Contrivance, but an interesting contrivance!

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