A suggestion, even though i know you guys dont really have time for many changes anymore:
generate the terrain in such a way that between each “level” of hight, there is at least ONE “natural” way of walking up. (think a rock formation that is tactically places with only one-block-elevation-steps so one could path on it fromeven if you have to abuse landmarks that spawn on the edge of cliffs that “look” vaguely natural or something
if you want to cheat, have the game just spawn a ladder that looks like a vine ocasionally on those rock walls.
that way the path finder wont path itsself into oblivion so much.
I think that should have been fixed quite a long time ago. There was a DT about improved pathfinding where they (if I understood and remember correctly) said that the nav mesh marks all connected areas with the same ID so that they can instantly check if 2 point are completely disconnected.
It would be nice with more natural connections between terrain levels though.
Fixing a bug is usually faster than implementing new stuff and even if it is easier to add natural connections the problem would come back as as soon as the player starts to wall off areas or dig moats.
Adding natural connections could also mean more for the pathfinder to search. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, if the natural connections are common enough so that they offer a more straight path, but if they are rare there may be more cases of dead-ends.
Basically, I don’t know what’s best in this case, but if there already is a system in place that is supposed to solve that issue then it might be buggy and should be either fixed or (maybe) turned off so it doesn’t take up computing time without solving what it’s supposed to solve.
More connected land is worst, not better, for the pathfinder. If you just need to search 100 blocks instead of 100000, that will be really faster. Unconnected regions can be detected by the pathfinder so it will not even try to search.
I actually recommend dropping all ladders for regions that you don’t care so there is less searchable paths.
but bruno, what does the game actualy run -faster- on playing when its connected? (especially after enemies spawn) hell we get threads about it pretymuch every wheer “how do i make the game run faster? >connect landmass, kill monsters”
well mostly my girlfriend, my computer is basicly a freight truck so it doesnt care either way, but its very noticable in multiplayer, if we keep stuff unconnected and enemies spawn the game slows down till it crashes after like half an hour. but if we connect stuff everything runs fine for hours on end.
might just also be that if they can path, they kill themselves faster by attacking us though, and thus dont cause a memory leak or something stupid like that, i couldnt say.
We fixed one case. But there were other combat scenarios that weren’t fixed yet, we were having trouble with ranged enemies, since they might not path but they might still be able to attack your town if they’re close enough. Combat still needs more performance fixes. It could also be that the case we fixed got broken later on somehow (we changed the spawn algorithm and other things).