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Basic Bot Pathing

Tarquin: this page is probably being merged into Pathnoding.

Pathnoding is considered by most mappers to be the "Dirty Work" of mapping. It can be difficult, frustrating and seem totally unnecessary all at the same time, especially if you prefer to play over LAN or online.

All the same, it is a necessary step, and the better the pathnoding, the better the reviews.

I'll assume you know nothing except the very basics.

Go into the actor selection screen - under "NavigationPoint" select "PathNode". Minimize the window. Now go through your level in 3d view, placing nodes everywhere. Be careful not to put too many; more pathnodes = more confused bots. Right click on the grey bar at the top of the 3d view and select "Show Paths" under the view directory. Make sure you rebuild your paths to see your changes take effect. Put just enough pathnodes to connect with all the other pathnodes, and no more - they have to be within a line of sight of each other, and within a certain range. Also, do not use pathnodes to try to make bots use lifts or jump off edges. Only use them to make the bots run around on flat (or slanted) surfaces. If you hit Add PathNode and none appear, it means that there wasn't room to add it. Keep trying in different spots nearby until it works.

Once you've got the whole level PathNoded, it's time to get into the deep crap. LiftExits, LiftCenters, and more. Since this is a basic pathnoding tutorial, I won't get into all that, but there are plenty of tutorials on the web for it.

Some minor notes:

  • Bots like inventory items - use them as incentive to make a bot follow a route. Inventory items also act as pathnodes, whether they are spawned or not, so there's no need to put a pathnode at the item.
  • Occasionally a bot gets 'stuck' and keeps running from one node to another, back and forth. The are two possible causes for this:
    • There's no link to another pathnode on the other side of a 'dead end' in pathing. The bot keeps trying to get somewhere but can't. Solution: make another node to allow the bot to reach the other side of the dead end.
    • The bot is trying to go to a pathnode, inventory item or LiftExit/Center and cannot reach it. Solution: Move things around a bit, make them a little farther/closer to the bot. Keep experiementing until the problem ceases.
  • Don't forget that too many pathnodes can slow the map down. So you have to be careful of that as well.


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