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High Priority Task: Cloaking

Discussion in 'Data' started by Istrebitel, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    In order to implement the cloaking in battlescape properly, we need to know how it works. In particular, we need answers to the following questions:
    - Is there any delay between putting the item in the agent's hand and actual activation of the cloaked mode?
    - How long is the delay after agent fires and before cloak reactivates?
    - Does re-equipping item in hand make it faster (does equipping give immediate cloak)?
    - Is it different in TB? Does stealth activate/deactivate on turn basis?
    - How does the cloak impact sight? We neen an approximate formula for how far can you see a cloaked target vs normal target

    Finding this out will most likely be possible just with multiple experiments. Like seeing when enemies stop shooting at you, or when you notice cloaked enemies etc., on multiple save-loads to confirm findings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
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  2. Tagasaki

    Tagasaki Registered
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    - Is there any delay between putting the item in the agent's hand and actual activation of the cloaked mode?
    - Does re-equipping item in hand make it faster (does equipping give immediate cloak)?
    There's no delay in putting the cloaking device in the agent's hand to activate the cloaking, it is immediate (done it in pause/unpause in RB, not sure for TB but it should be the same?).

    Sauce:

    If it's not view-able, I'll make it unlisted.
     
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  3. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    Uh
    That's a no, since the cloaking device States that if the user helds it, the effects is automatically activated, RB or TB



    There is no delay, not even a mili sec. Though a cloaked unit is still cloaked while engaging combat, which contradicts the ufopaedia entry. It's weird.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  4. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered
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    Yes, your soldier is cloaked at all times they have the device in their hands. There are no time unit costs for moving things around in the inventory. You can put it in their backpack to fire, then move it back to the hands to end the turn.
     
  5. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Okay, I'm back, and ready to tackle this.

    So, we know 100% that cloak activates immediately when agent is equipped with it.
    But we also know 100% that cloak deactivates when you fire! Even though the game does not display that.
    This can be checked in UFO missions. You take position outside the UFO, some alien comes out w/o cloak, your cloaked soldiers open fire, and then start getting fired upon by unseen enemies. Those unseen enemies are anthropods/skeletoids inside the UFO who are far away from the entrance, who now see you through the door, but you don't see them since you're spotted by an alien with cloak who didn't fire (or maybe by the alien who you just fired upon), but you have fired so you're now revealed. I've encountered this multiple times while playing vanilla.

    So there must be some delay to cloak de-activation and re-activation when agent fires. Even though this is not displayed visually.

    This might also be related to the fact that vanilla does not update vision too often. It seems to only do that at set intervals to increase performance. So it may be the case that cloak de-activates for a small amount of time but the result is that you have been spotted and will remain spotted for some time now, even though you're cloaked, so any new attempt at establishing visual on you will fail. But since in vanilla, unit seen by one agent is a viable target for all agents (they will auto-fire at a unit not sen by them but seen by someone else, if the unit is in LOF and in range), this means that they don't have to, the fact that you're spotted by one alien is enough for everybody to fire on you.

    This requires further testing. What is the exact delay before cloak re-activation after unit fired?

    Now on topic of equipping agents with cloak giving them cloak immediately. I see this as an obvious exploit. Fire, open inventory, re-requip cloak, receive cloak immediately. I don't see a point in implementing exploits like that - I mean, it's okay to implement brainsuckers unable to suck prone units, since this at least just requires you to simply go prone to enjoy the benefit, but this, first of all, hardly many people do this, and even if they do, it's so many actions to get this benefit - manually go through every member and drag an item there and back - it's like, bad to force players who want to get more effective to go through this. It's like in Oblivion if you want to make a powerful weapon enchant you have to open your inventory constantly to recharge it with Azura's Star, which really does become annoying eventually, and people either make the enchant less powerful or just install a mod that makes weapons auto-restore (and why in the sequel Bethesda introduced an auto-recharge talent).

    So giving agent cloak will not give him cloak effect immediately (unless it's at the mission start). It will give the same delay as if agent fired. Now we just need to figure out how that works.
     
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  6. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    I tested it during real time mode, the delay is more obvious there.
    Edit:
    Wait! There is no delay! While firing weapons, the cloak is gone, BUT ordering the unit to ceasefire, the cloak gets activated instantly.
    Tested in real time with osiron
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  7. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    So, by this do you mean that the moment unit stops firing (or trying to fire another shot but waiting for weapon cooldown) the unit is instantly cloaked AND enemy loses sight if unit is too far?
     
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  8. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    I did quite a few more test, and I found out that the cloak doesn't work as intended. A cloaked Xcom soldier is firing to an enemy, and it doesn't even see it, then, I found out the actual delay of the return of the cloaked status. The delay is that the moment a unit stops firing or walk away, there is 1-2 second delay
     
  9. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Thank you, this is exactly what we need. And did you confirm that in TB, regardless of wether soldier fired or not, he will be cloaked by enemy's turn?

    Also, forgot about city. Could you check how cloak works in city (it is announced to work similarly, termporarily disabling to fire). It should be notable that cloak is active/inactive in city since it adds a big dispersion to attacks against cloaked unit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  10. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    Will do, but gonna take some time
     
  11. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Sure, we can implement it whenever ready.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  12. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    Okay, I tested the cloak in the cityscape, and I got the result of:
    1) Cloak DOESN'T work like it was in the battlescape.
    2) The said cloaking device can only jam projectiles. I did this by changing the cloak jamming attribute to zero, so to check if it only jams or cloak

    So in TB mode, more test is required, since It shows different results sometimes
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  13. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Not sure I understand. What do you mean "jam"? It's supposed to introduce dispersion (anti-accuracy) to shots vs target based on distance (for example, at distance 7 it will make a shot with accuracy of 0 behave as if it was accuracy 0, and at distance 10 as if accuracy was 34). That's what disassembling in-game code gave us. I don't remember if we figured out how it affected guided missiles.
     
  14. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    Jamming, like the marsec device that can be bought to jam missiles?
     
  15. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Okay so cloaking device also has jamming? didn't know. Now I see it has 20 jamming while matrix has 40. Okay we also need to figure out what jamming does, I assume it lowers angular velocity of missiles targeting this ship but I'll make another post.

    Aside from jamming, cloak should reduce accuracy against vehicle as I said above. Do tests disprove that?
     
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  16. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    My test shows me that shots fired against a cloaked vehicle has a low chance to hit, unless the cloak gets deactivated. Re-activation of the cloak device in cityscape is fast apparently, like 1.5 sec, but it can be slowed down if the vehicle fires a projectile

    Okay, since I'm confused at the cityscape cloaking mechanics, I went to turn based mode testing, so here is the results of the first test:

    1) once a cloaked unit is spotted, it will remain visible the entire turn.

    2) after the turn has passed the spotted cloaked unit didn't move, the unit is nowhere visible now, but it is still there.

    So therefore I can confirm that the cloak gets reset per turn. Though I'm still trying to figure out why sometimes a cloaked unit not visible when adjacent to an enemy unit

    Okay, I'm back from testing, I found out that any cloaked unit that is not moving or just simply in one tile, that unit can be detected within 5 tiles away from the unit.
    When a cloaked unit moves, it can be detected within 10-15 tiles.
    When a cloaked unit fires a weapon, it can be detected within 10-15 tiles also, that explains why there are many cloaked snipers in game.

    Some of my tests may be wrong, so I'll test some more until we can get a clearer picture
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2017
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  17. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Well-Known Member Tester Researcher
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    I can confirm Yataka's findings above for vanilla.

    In Beta2 the behaviour is the same, though the tile distances vary according to unit stats; the more experienced the unit, the better the cloak operates (presumably due to user knowledge being greater). For example, a captain with a cloak is detectable when not moving in as little as just 1 tile! Even when firing, an experienced agent may not be detected in a 5-tile radius. The key to testing this was letting an agent of rank, with a cloak, be brainsucked and seeing easily how my agents could detect them

    This effect may apply in vanilla too, but it's really hard to monitor user-side.
    If the behaviour is in vanilla, this would explain Yataka's confusion regarding some units not being detectable even when adjacent to an agent; those units must be of higher rank/experience.

    Maybe @Skin36 could provide us with some data code-wise?
     
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  18. Skin36

    Skin36 Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Yes, of course, I'll try to find this out
     
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  19. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer
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    Okay, came back after more testing, then, I found out that the cloaking functionality Filmboy was talking about is in the vanilla, not only that, I managed to find out what the cloaking device on the cityscape really is for: It is only meant to jam projectiles, even better than the MarSec's device. But be warned when testing the cloaking mechanics, most test will provide different outcomes, that is why some of my findings I posted are either misleading or terribly confusing
     
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  20. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Well-Known Member Tester Researcher
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    Ah, excellent, thanks for confirming the rank/experience effect applying in vanilla, i suspected as much but as much of my testing is currently in beta where unit behaviour isnt as damaged by the hacking off of functions for vanilla release, ive not tested vanilla fully for cloak.

    Your observations in cityscape also confirm those i posted in the Jamming thread a while back. As i stated there...

    "Only rocket based weapons seem to be affected by Jamming

    The Cloak, as has been pointed out, doesn't work properly; however it appears to be the equivalent for the Jammer, only for beam weapons and bullet projectiles. In this case cloaked ships are more likely to "miss" being hit by beam weapons or simply absorb the damage (simulating a richochet i guess??) Hard to tell with the functionality appearing to have been nerfed at the last minute of development... BETA play however suggests the above as the intent.
    "

    Also, Many thanks Skin36, would be good to get some concrete info on these features, as, just like many of the observations i make from play, the knowledge of the mechanics of the code is where i lack expertise to back observations with the specific function/command/line.

    Thanks for the responses @Skin36 that helps a lot, i'll keep monitoring user-side with the knowledge you have garnered and report if i find anything else.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2017
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