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So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Discussion on a variety of topics. Ask general Vtank questions here.
doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#11 » December 2nd, 2016, 12:45 pm

Interesting minor feedback after posting my set of run-on thoughts here this week, and in no real order.

1. Of course this is not an original idea to "run" a team. Perhaps the title should have been, "in the spirit of those before me I have chosen to weaksaucely follow in other folks footsteps and try this." better? :)
2. You can overlook the finer points of tuning a team for colosseum, and other content, when you get beyond about 4 to 6 fighters. It turns out ten is a lot -- and can cover up deficiencies. I had one character setup incorrectly and wasn't firing crossbow bolts for, oh, I dunno how long. Happily on follow, happily buffing, happily trying to shoot. Woops, fixed the "buy" tab, he's full on good prismatic heads now. Learned this lesson another way when I took about half the team into colo and they didn't win. woops. and so, key thought:
3. profiles matter. for everyone. use correct weaponry. use GOOD weaponry. be willing to toss weapons that can be improved. and improve them!
4. To an extent, for AC, equipment does matter. I'll make a post on that thought.
5. Sad to see an encapsulated spirit vendor/farmer depart our server this week. Gonna need to, on occasion farm: motes (or use coins to buy them) -> convert to diamond scarbs; MMDs. and now, Spirits.
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doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#12 » December 2nd, 2016, 12:54 pm

So Equipment.

Once upon a time I was single and could just buy a computer eery so often. and yep, I wound up with an array of monitors, each with a CPU.

Now, I have one CPU, and it has four monitors.

To pull off sixteen clients on one machine, I've overdone it, and here goes:

4770k CPU
32gb RAM
SSD for system volume
games/other stuffs on E: spinning drive
upgrade that DID improve performance when I had ten clients: took out a GTX 770 video card, put IN a 1070. expensive, ouch.
new monitor. 34" wide, VERY OPTIONAL, but OH SO NICE to have a beautiful IPS monitor on which I can see six clients at once.

And so, I could lay out 18 clients at once using the monitors I have (6 on main, 4 on the other smaller monitors), all on a single machine. How is the performance? It's great. There is minor visible performance issue running sixteen, and it's acceptable; the "main" screen you have highlighted has normal, good performance.

I have run into one real time/operational performance issue, I'll cover that and some feedback I've received on pushing this many clients into a game/world server concurrently (there are some real world limitations on AC's servers esp, all going "at once" from a portal/one world server to another. read: you can get disconnects doing too much of this, and wreck your gauntlet runs. TL/DR don't over do it and try to push past 25 or so clients if you want this to work reliably. more thoughts to come here.

This has also resulted in some minor tweaking I'll cover, and a few configuration choices that make me really appreciate features of both AC Multi Client, AND Thwarg-Launcher. Topics for another day/post.
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doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#13 » December 7th, 2016, 8:07 am

profiles

need to have an every day use profile and a highly aggressive one that burns spectal rares. (good for gauntlet and the occasional boss fight).

Need to look into how to not only load a profile (using /vt setttings load <filename>), under meta control, I think this will mean having a block of code with every char's name and test "getcharstringprop[1]==CharacterName", and on match issue a character-specific load command.

I haven't seen just yet how to reload the original (default) profile. need to experiment with

/vt settings savechar
and
/vt setttings loadchar

I hope that's "it" for getting back to the every day profile.

ref: http://www.virindi.net/wiki/index.php/V ... -_Profiles
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doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#14 » December 7th, 2016, 8:28 am

meta basics/management: I had to learn these hands on concepts first to "get" to where I am with meta work (which is intermediate at best at this point).

metas are saved in real time. you don't work then "Save" you work, saves are constant. So if you want to experiment, make a copy BEFORE you start making changes. This applies to other aspects of Vtank as well (item lists, monster profiles, etc).

The pull down lists can be "refreshed" via a vtank command, or if you are clicking, clicking on any entry in a nav/meta list will refresh the contents of that list.

The risks are low. Worst case, you die. So don't experiment with lowbie chars without no-drop augs.

When you want to automate a tasks, first make it repeatable by hand. Work on a route next. A simple work flow is an automated command that everyone in your fellowship (except, perhaps, the fellow leader) follows simultaneously.
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doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#15 » December 7th, 2016, 8:38 am

Taking charge of the meta editor:

Know that metas are arranged around what is called a "state." Much more can be learned about stateful machines and finite autonoma, most of which is just not necessary get the essentials here. These essentials will get you started.

All metas load into a state called "Default."

One key meta command loads another meta -> /vt meta load <metaname>
You may also set the current running state in a meta by issuing /vt setmetastate [statename]
There is also an embedded capability in the meta system to load a different meta AND go to a specified state. more to come on this.

It's widely accepted that having Mag-Tools also loaded as a decal add on is necessary to run more advanced metas. While strictly not required, you will eventually evolve to wish you had Mag Tools loaded if you don't already. Just get it.

the meta editor is the last tab of the VTank Gui.
At the bottom you can manually set the current state of the running meta.
And you can pick a state if the meta is not running. When you either turn VTANK back "on" or re-enable meta, VTank will immediately jump to the top of the state you have selected.

Thus when you download and use a meta that someone else has written, one of the first things you may want to do is review the different states in a meta. This often tell a story about how the meta works, and is generally very useful as you learn how to use others' examples.

reloading a meta reloads it in the Default state.

Variables are held in one flat memory space. as long as Vtank is running, you can load one meta, another, another, and a variable will remain. If you get creative, think carefully about how this might affect your work.
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doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#16 » December 7th, 2016, 8:48 am

Meta organization and style

When you begin to create your own meta, it will likely be simple - and complexity will grow.

You can, in a single meta command, elect to perform a single action. this is common.
You may also break down a single command to act on one event, and in response, create a GROUP of events. This is done using "all" in the right-side panel.
A real alternative to one action on the "left" and a group of actions on the right, is to act on a single event (left side), and CALL or change state to a new state.
This helps sub divide the meta and keep things logically organized.
Calling a state is very constructive when you want your meta to perform a group of activities.
Decide if you want to CALL a new state, as you can RETURN. This is probably preferred and is a far more generic approach...
but you may also hard code a call from Default state to another state, and at the end of that state, set state back to Default.

Another style item involved creating multiple metas. One can argue that the most common task in Asheron's call might be going on a quest. Or restocking. OR grinding kills in a dungeon or landscape area.

But all of these involve:
1. taking your character to a specific place
2. probably using portals and recall spells
3. performing some one time, and some repeat actions
4. needing to rebuff, use mana stones, heal and depend upon supplies is an ongoing issue
5. And we all are constantly having to monitor storage space and not fill our packs, else "stuff breaks"

My advice is that a good meta involves one well thought out set of tasks, and most of 1-5 above, can be accommodated while performing the task. And it is okay and typical to make some assumptions (e.g. I am starting with at least one, three or even more pack slots open).

Organize each meta to perform a discrete tasks, and LOAD metas to perform tasks.

It is with this organization in mind that I've decided to create one common "control" meta, and from it, I load others, go "do" stuff, and most typically, each of those tasks will return meta control back to my "control" meta.

Your mileage can vary greatly here. Decide upon a style in which you will organize tasks and activities and your meta ecosystem will grow.
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doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#17 » December 7th, 2016, 9:10 am

How meta lines work?

The meta editor can be thought of, in simplified terms, as a left side and a right.

I have come to think of the left side as "listeners" or a set of conditions that may be met.
And the right side as a set of actions that will be taken if the condition (left hand side) is met.

And yes it can and will be more complex, but this is a good starting point as you read a meta and interact with each line.

From top to bottom, a meta is a collection of states, and within each state, a collection of lines (or in my terms, listeners).

They are generally run (or "filter") from top to bottom. If a listener, or line is met/is checked successfully, execution continues, and the line is run.

At any point a meta line can transfer control to a different meta, or to a different state, so it is not always the case that all lines are going be considered. In other words, you can have commands in a meta that are never going to be tested, and thus - never met.

A good starter exercise is to learn how "never", "all" and "chat message" conditions are met. Start learning by observation how these three interact. There are more than two dozen actions/reactions that we consider triggering events on the left side of a meta rule.

The "right hand" side of each meta line is similarly complex. About one dozen possible reaction types may be coded on the right - or in response to the events that are triggered using directives on the left.

This simplified organization of each line is simply necessary if you find yourself wanting to learn metas, staring at the screen, and asking yourself, "What is happening here?"

Download some simple, good metas. Suggestions welcome; watch them run. turn the meta control on and off while vtank is running; you can watch a meta progress.

The overall gist is this: Much of what the meta system does works around chat messages. A tool that you may never really see at work, a "filter" is watching your chat. When certain chat happens, for example, !portal is said out loud by a fellowship leader, your fellow members may have a Chat Message rule met. That is specified on the left.

And on the right, after seeing (filtering) your chat for !portal, your character my seek the closest portal and use it. Magic! All your fellowship members can be directed to use a nearby portal by a fellowship leader.
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Immortalbob
Site Admin
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Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#18 » December 7th, 2016, 11:52 am

great stuff man :D
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Immortalbob of MT

Almedes
Posts: 15

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#19 » December 7th, 2016, 5:28 pm

Doog, you have pointed some good points. A few things in addition to the Left side vs Right side that will help maybe understand it a little better.

The left side is the Condition, and the right side is the Action.
Think of each line as a rule.
When a condition is met in game while in that particular metastate, then it performs the action you have put in for that condition.
You can have more than one condition in the same rule.
You can have more than one action for condition in the same rule.

Another way to look at it if your are familiar with Programing is thinking of it as and IF THEN statement.

Left Side is IF, right side is THEN.

Biggest advice I can give, is to always make sure your new rule is always in the correct metastate. Many times I have forgetten to set it to the correct one while creating the rule.
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doog
Posts: 37

Re: So I had this idea. "Play" a squad.

Post#20 » December 9th, 2016, 12:42 pm

Almedes wrote:Doog, you have pointed some good points. A few things in addition to the Left side vs Right side that will help maybe understand it a little better.

The left side is the Condition, and the right side is the Action.
Think of each line as a rule.
When a condition is met in game while in that particular metastate, then it performs the action you have put in for that condition.
You can have more than one condition in the same rule.
You can have more than one action for condition in the same rule.

Another way to look at it if your are familiar with Programing is thinking of it as and IF THEN statement.

Left Side is IF, right side is THEN.

Biggest advice I can give, is to always make sure your new rule is always in the correct metastate. Many times I have forgetten to set it to the correct one while creating the rule.


Excellent thoughts Almedes, and agree and like the "if" / "then" way of explaining. Am going to continue to use that!

Mind expanding on this thought, that you can have more than one condition on the "IF" side, point out for us how to code for BOTH (the "and if") or EITHER ("or if") cases!
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