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[V22.5 Ground Combat] Very slow alien turns, long waits up to 10 minutes


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I'd certainly be happy to provide a save, but I don't know how to do it. If any kind forumites could explain the process to me...?

EDIT: Just noticed TFTDFan already posted a save on the first page of this thread

Edited by dpelectric
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It's likely to be a combination of the number of aliens and the number of tiles in the map. Remember larger UFOs are multi-level, so the entire map is several levels taller and has many more tiles for the pathfinding to crunch through (even if the tiles are empty).

@dpelectric - just "Go Advanced" and then add the file as an attachment.

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Chris: Thank you for the response. I'll try "Go Advanced" and try to post a save

The multi-level logic doesn't hold up, however, since there have now been several people confirming this happens on OE too, and that map is neither multi-level, nor particularly large, nor populated with significantly more enemies than, say, a terror mission (unless all the reapers waiting to spawn are somehow involved)

And it never happened on earlier games I played. It seems to be endemic to 22.4 and up, and only on massive ships and the final mission. Something changed to cause this

Edited by dpelectric
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That sounds likely. It's not just the number of aliens (or the slowdown would happen on terror missions and cruisers too) or their species, but the size of the map as well. Though, once again, this never happened when I played earlier versions, and something has changed to cause it (more complex AI calculations?)

Bottom line, unfortunately, is whatever the cause, it's certainly hurting the playability of the late game. I don't know how many people are willing to wait 2,3,4,5 minutes for their turn to come around

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Hi. I had the same problem about that time. 2 or 3 minutos for alien turn with carriers with sebillians and androns. And i hadn´t this problem with previous builts.

In fact, i was having so much time to wait, that save, quit the game and came back the next day, and it works fine! I guess it should be some acumulative process.

Best regards to the team

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Though, once again, this never happened when I played earlier versions, and something has changed to cause it (more complex AI calculations?)

Well the AI was basically passive in earlier builds once that alien was inside the UFO.

If half the aliens on a large UFO map are inside the UFO and they are now pathing around then that could have doubled the required AI workload overnight.

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Yes, because the size of the map, or it being multi-level, as Chris postulated, may be a contributing/aggravating factor, but it is not the root cause. More complex AI calculations or a compressed images issue is likely the source. Did you try the save that TFTDFan posted to see the kind of delays we're talking about?

Bottom line, again, is if this can be fixed, then fantastic. But if not, or if tracing and correcting the source takes an inordinate amount of effort, whatever changes have caused this would be better discarded. The late game until I believe 22.4 was at least certainly playable, if not optimal, but now it's regressed to being borderline unplayable. If Xenonauts was released with 2-5 minute waits between late-game turns, I believe a majority of gamers (and reviewers) will walk away from it

Can this be fixed with less than 30 days to go (if that deadline is solid) given everything else that has to be done, or should 22.4, 5 and 6 be reverted (at least insofar as any problematical changes go; the innocuous things like crushable corn would be retained)?

Edited by dpelectric
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The second save that TFTDfan posted was the one I was trying out.

It is saved on the geoscape though not in a ground mission.

The first save doesn't work for me so it may be a different version.

I had roughly 1 minute enemy turn times on the carrier I downed in that save.

Sometimes it went up to 1.5 minutes.

Personally I feel that waiting an extra minute in the end game large UFOs would be preferable to breaking the AI again so it does nothing inside the enemy craft.

That ruins not only the end game but any time you have to fight an enemy inside a UFO.

That would definitely make me walk away from a game.

I haven't yet experienced anything close to the 10 minute enemy turn time some people have mentioned so if anyone has a saved game on the ground with that kind of enemy turn duration I would really like them to post it up.

Tell me what version of the game it is for though as some saves are incompatible with some versions.

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Tbh: I stopped playing because of the ridiculous long turns. This made missions take up to 2-3 hours which made me go to bed at 4-5am-ish. That was fine last weekend but I can't do that stuff on workdays.

I'll try another massive mission and send you a savegame with as much description as I can gather. I'll see if I can figure out how to fiddle around with debug mode etc. as well

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Ok first mission I tried was rather quick (landed massive construction). At first turns where <1 min, after entering the ship it went up to 3-5min tho, which is barely acceptable. This could be due to me using debugger and ctrl-q tho. I tried loading an older savegame but the game crashed pressumably due to version issues.

What I noticed during this mission is that a lot of the enemies in the upper level of the ship started running at the same time trying to fit through the same door. The first of those blocked the path tho so all the others started crouching and looking towards where my unit was 4 levels below. (away from where the teleporters are). Those crouched units took a long time to compute in every following turn and only one of the got back up to go some place. The others stayed there for as long as I tried before accidentally hitting V instead of B.

This might be the cause depending on how your AI is coded. Try disabling parallel (timewise) moving of aliens and have a look at the code in regards to what happens when an alien blocks anothers way. I will try again to reproduce this in 22.6 later.

General remark to the AI:

In the old game some kind of enemies (talking TFTD here) hid in buildings in small spaces trapping you, others went out of the ship and back in. I liked both of those traits. It seems a bit boring that enemies would nearly never leave their ship. (Only commanders should stay back imho)

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I had roughly 1 minute enemy turn times on the carrier I downed in that save. Sometimes it went up to 1.5 minutes.

Personally I feel that waiting an extra minute in the end game large UFOs would be preferable to breaking the AI again so it does nothing inside the enemy craft.

I totally agree. I would have absolutely no problem waiting an extra minute or so per turn if I knew it meant better AI. But I really am getting average 2-4 minute waits. The varying wait times people have reported may be due to the relative power of their rigs. And it may also be due to the fact that when you're reduced to simply staring at a "hidden movement" screen, three minutes feels like triple that.

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Yeah sometimes when nothing seems to be happening any wait time feels like wasted time.

It isn't so bad when something is moving or shots are coming at you out of the darkness though.

My comp is a bit dated now so it probably compares poorly to the more recently built gaming rigs people are using.

AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+ (3.1 ghz)

6 gb ddr2 ram

Geforce GTX 650 (2gb)

Running windows 7.

The gfx card is well and truly bottlenecked by my motherboard though so it likely runs worse than you would expect, dragging it down to the level of the rest of the hardware.

The AI confusion TFTDfan noticed could be contributing to the problem.

If the stuck aliens are having to pathfind multiple times to try and get out of a blocked room maybe that, coupled with the large map sizes Chris mentioned, is causing turns to run more slowly?

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I don't know if anyone of you is using FRAPS or something similar but during this missions I've seen FPS during hidden movement dropped to 1-2 - so this is the cause of the long turns as there is something bugged in the AI procedures some looping would be my guess.

Since I have very powerful CPU (i7 4770k) for me it's like 1 or 1.5 minute which should be like 30 seconds. The issue is with the aliens that the player currently is not aware of.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Experiencing the same issues in v21 Stable and it literally destroyed the late game for me. Once Carriers and Battleships appeared it just stopped being fun and turned into a nightmare. I'm a little worried this thread hasn't received much attention and has went silent in recent days, is this even recognized as a potential game breaking problem or we can expect the game to be released with no changes on that matter? That would be devastating.

I considered my poor computer to be at fault but it seems that's not the case from what I read here. I don't know if it's the AI to blame and I'm all for variety, challenge and complexity so I hope it's not related. But let's be honest - whatever is causing these monstrous delays can not be justified in any way. I'd rather shoot sitting ducks or zerg rushing aliens in a smooth fashion rather than face the most exquisite AI ever in a 3 hours mission during which I actually play for about 20 minutes...

If it is related to the combined numbers of aliens + tiles is there any hope of fixing it?

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That's really odd, because I played v21 stable the whole way through and never experienced the slowdowns? I only ran up against the problem sometime after v21. Then after all the complaints, the devs discovered the cause (it seems the AI was checking every possible path even when a particular unit had no chance of encountering a Xenonaut, or something along those lines) that I believe were instituted on v22.6 (see Chris' opening comments on announcing that release). For me, my 22.7 game played fine, as did my v21 stable. It was only between those two builds that I had problems... haven't heard of anybody else having probs on v21?

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Nah, I think it was a recognised bug back in V21 Stable too.

That is at least half-bit encouraging, mate. Thanks for clarifying! Has it been addressed properly in the experimental builds?

On a side note I've been lurking to ask you being a Londoner and all, do you support any Premier League club? (Please don't say Chelsea)

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There's been some code fixes that have sped up alien turns, but we've also got a mode we can use that disables the alien animations under the shroud. Trouble is, this means aliens don't open doors / crush grass etc as they move (it's currently not enabled). I'm going to see how the late-game goes for me and decide whether to enable it in the final version or not.

And no, I actually support Villa - I only got into football when I was at university, when I was relatively close to Aston. Chelski are indeed my "London" team though.

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Is there any chance to get my hands on this mod for v21 Stable or it isn't compatible? I want to stay off any changes in further builds to keep my head fresh for the release but I'm genuinely struggling with those Carriers and Battleships here.

Perhaps you could introduce this mode with a toggle on/off option somewhere in the final version? I bet there will be many who would appreciate it once the game is out there.

Villa are going through a rough patch, slightly rougher than my beloved Newcastle and it's a pity watching such a great club out of any meaningful competition. Hopefully Lambert will sort it out for the next season. As a matter of fact I liked Chelsea before Abramovich arrived but he totally ruined a great football league for me.

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