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VoiD Mar 31 @ 6:33am
Regarding killboxes and how to fix them
One thing I never understood:

If I were to attack a settlement and I noticed the other side is using a series of exploits to take down my attack, divide my units, make them follow a dumb/long way possibly filled with traps ending in some sort of killbox I'd either siege it out, literally, just camping outside and destroying all the resources, denying the use of land and blocking caravans until the enemy comes out, or bombard them with mortars, or even the simplest solution: Just start blasting away at all the walls and tear down the entire structure using ranged weapons.

I don't really understand why the AI doesn't do anything, I get that killboxes exploit the AI pathfinding by making rougher terrain in areas they could advance and making it seem faster to follow a dumb path, but why won't the AI just start blasting at every wall they see instead?

Colonists are supposed to defend their structures, not the other way around, if the player is leaving unatended walls outside all the AI has to do is destroy everything and make them waste a ton of resources, and then they will have to fight out in the open anyway because all of the walls are gone.
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You seem to be basing the premise of your argument on a killbox being a means to keep hostiles out. You also assume that a killbox does not require the participation of pawns.
Neither of these is the case.
A killbox is simply a means of forcing hostiles into an area that has little to no cover while they will face overwhelming firepower from both structural defenses and/or from pawns.

The game does already employ two different strategies to combat a killbox:
sieges
sappers
A regular raid attack though (and this is what a siege or a sapper raid will become if it fails) will attempt to combat any threats in order to reach their objective, namely the enemy.

So, it isn't the pathing that is being exploited so much, but rather knowing what their objective is.

For this reason, I rarely place any fortifications outside of my base and in fact I provide easy access to the interior of the base from all 4 compass directions. This is because the interior of my base is the killing ground I have chosen to fight on.
My pawns will be mobilised and will have the benefit from shooting from cover while the enemy does not.
Even if a sapper raid were to blast their way through the exterior rooms, that will just bring them to the interior also and they'll be dealt with the same way.
Here's an example of a base design that I have successfully used for many colonies over the years. As the game has changed, I have improved upon it, but very little has needed fixing ;)
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2067591308
Last edited by grapplehoeker; Mar 31 @ 7:00am
VoiD Mar 31 @ 7:00am 
Originally posted by grapplehoeker:
You seem to be basing the premise of your argument on a killbox being a means to keep hostiles out. You also assume that a killbox does not require the participation of pawns.
Neither of these is the case.
A killbox is simply a means of forcing hostiles into an area that has little to no cover while they will face overwhelming firepower from both structural defenses and from pawns.
The game does already employ two different strategies to combat a killbox:
sieges
sappers
A regular raid attack though (and this is what a siege or a sapper raid will become if it fails) will attempt to combat any threats in order to reach their objective, namely the enemy.

So, it isn't the pathing that is being exploited so much, but rather knowing what their objective is.

For this reason, I rarely place any fortifications outside of my base and in fact I provide easy access to the interior of the base from all 4 compass directions. This is because the interior of my base is the killing ground I have chosen to fight on.
My pawns will be mobilised and will have the benefit from shooting from cover while the enemy does not.
Even a sapper raid can blast their way through the exterior rooms, but that will just bring them to the interior also and they'll be dealt with the same way.
Here's an example of a base design that I have successfully used for many colonies over the years. As the game has changed, I have improved upon it, but very little has needed fixing ;)
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2067591308
My point exactly, it's just an exploit on the fact that the AI does not realize what's going on, in fact, there is no AI, it's just an algorithm possibly based on A* that calculates the easiest path to travel and by weight and follows a simple mathematical path, it doesn't think and it doesn't have a real objective, if it's smoother and has no barriers it just moves into that tile, and onto the next, and the next, until something is in range and then it fires.

A real player would just see that and blast the outer walls instead, burn everything in those rooms, pillage whatever is inside and be done with it. Zero losses, because the perimeter was not defended.
Last edited by VoiD; Mar 31 @ 7:03am
since you cant stand on walls behind embrasures
and the ai almost always has superior numbers with no relevance on losing pawns

people used to build castles to defend against such ods
but you cant stand on walls so castles arnt an option
killbox is the in game representation of the defenses people used to build
within the games limitations its just being sensible

also the whole point of fortifications is to defend the people inside
never in history have soldiers stood outside their bunker to save it from machinegunfire
Last edited by Ashardalon; Mar 31 @ 7:20am
VoiD Mar 31 @ 7:27am 
Originally posted by Ashardalon:
since you cant stand on walls behind embrasures
and the ai almost always has superior numbers with no relevance on losing pawns

people used to build castles to defend against such ods
but you cant stand on walls so castles arnt an option
killbox is the in game representation of the defenses people used to build
within the games limitations its just being sensible

also the whole point of fortifications is to defend the people inside
never in history have soldiers stood outside their bunker to save it from machinegunfire
You can't stand on walls because there is no second floor, but that's no excuse, you can stand behind walls, there's a whole cover system for that, they lean over and shoot, barricates also help even when they half expose themselves, the game does a pretty good job at representing fortifications.

As for the fortifications point, that's just flat out wrong, people do defend the walls, they stay on top of it on towers, which you can usually create in this game in the form of bunkers, and they would even sally outside as well if necessary during a siege or assault, the one thing that never, ever happened in history, however, is a single open path leading to a killing field where people just followed like lemmings into their deaths, that never did, and never will happen.

Besides, if we're going purely from the game mechanisc perspective it would still not make sense, unlike in real life RW allows you to shoot walls, I know this because I do it when I raid enemy settlements to bypass turrets, get into their power generators, destroy their batteries and power down the entire thing following their cables, that's one thing the AI should do.

Either following the rules of reality or RW it doesn't matter, there is no excuse for the Ai to ever walk into that, and I'm fairly sure the dev knows this as, for the pst 5 years no other attack/event type was ever added besides things meant to bypass killboxes, insect infestations right on top of you, mech drops right on top of you, mortar sieges forcing you out, mech clusters forcing you out, toxic emiters requiring a caravan, turret nerfs, etc... It's like the dev is trying to scream "stop exploiting my game" in devwords.

The thing is: A killbox is nothing but the abuse of an AI flaw, it just has this rule it will always follow, simplest path is the one it takes, so you can lead it anywhere, a death zone with turrets, a maze with traps, a burning room, anything.

It's no different from exploiting the AI in other games, such as total war, dancing around with a unit nearly imune to bullets and arrows, like a legendary lord in WH as the AI wastes up all their ammo trying attack it and missing everything, and then engaging the enemy army as it has zero ammo, exact same thing.

tl;dr there is no such thing as "build the wall" and leave it there, fortifications are meant to support your defenses, not to be left unatended and call it a day while every solder sits in the king's throne room or something.
Last edited by VoiD; Mar 31 @ 7:41am
they already sap
and unlike your people that need to shoot walls or attack them in melee
they get to dig them taking them down in about 3 hits

also standing on fortifications makes you immune to melee until they bring ladders at wich point you have things like throwing rocks or oil
the fortifications in game are a joke compared to what people built irl

killbox is a use of the mechanics available because the actual options of defense are insufficient

you should also have a look at why japanese castles where built the way they are
its a very neat way of abusing pathfinding
Last edited by Ashardalon; Mar 31 @ 7:51am
Originally posted by Ashardalon:
they already sap
and unlike your people that need to shoot walls or attack them in melee
they get to dig them taking them down in about 3 hits

also standing on fortifications makes you immune to melee until they bring ladders at wich point you have things like throwing rocks or oil
the fortifications in game are a joke compared to what people built irl

killbox is a use of the mechanics available because the actual options of defense are insufficient
If you don't crank threat level up to 11, it very much is sufficient.

Killboxes are exploiting AI behaviour, and if the AI was made smart enough to avoid them, that'd be [Steam's lovely hearts]ing awesome, because people wouldn't give advice assuming everyone exploits.
ROE Mar 31 @ 9:31am 
Do a quick search and you will find that every single non point that you raise has been debated to death and answered in full. The AI is what it is and it will not change.

For newbs, killboxes are a god send. For veterans they offer a way to automate and enhance efficiency.

Use killboxes or don't. Your choice.
VoiD Mar 31 @ 9:33am 
Originally posted by ROE:
Do a quick search and you will find that every single non point that you raise has been debated to death and answered in full. The AI is what it is and it will not change.

For newbs, killboxes are a god send. For veterans they offer a way to automate and enhance efficiency.

Use killboxes or don't. Your choice.
From what I've seen it's the exact opposite, but sure, nobody is telling you not to keep exploiting the game and thinking you are actually playing it, just be honest.
Ashardalon Mar 31 @ 10:01am 
so this is the things barbarians shouted at the romans, calling them cowards for using things like formations and tactics
cheating they cried as they ran themselves dead onto their spears
AngleWyrm Mar 31 @ 10:05am 
I figure "OMG Cheese" is an expression of guilt
VoiD Mar 31 @ 10:17am 
Originally posted by Ashardalon:
so this is the things barbarians shouted at the romans, calling them cowards for using things like formations and tactics
cheating they cried as they ran themselves dead onto their spears
That never happened, because the barbarians could think, they weren't abusing a glitch or lack of capacity on the AI to pretend they were playing a game, they couldn't do it even if they wanted to.

This is akin to spawning a tank with cheats in GTA and pretending you're doing missions and finishing the story properly.

That being said I could imagine them shouting this if they weren't humans, and rome was being invaded by lemmings.
Last edited by VoiD; Mar 31 @ 10:28am
~~Nya~~ Mar 31 @ 11:47am 
How are you even supposed to manage raids past ~130K colony value without a killbox, I would really like to hear the alternative
Astasia Mar 31 @ 12:37pm 
Originally posted by VoiD:
I get that killboxes exploit the AI pathfinding

Killboxes don't exploit anything. The AI works as it does specifically to make it compatible with the main methods of building defenses for your vanilla base. There is a reason killboxes are displayed in multiple official screens on the store page, it is intended, advertised, gameplay. There is nothing to fix.

Originally posted by VoiD:
This is akin to spawning a tank with cheats in GTA and pretending you're doing missions and finishing the story properly.

On the contrary, your argument like saying stealing a tank or fighter jet in GTA is cheating. If you think it's too strong you are allowed to not do it, or make restrictions with your friends when you play so they wont blow you up with them, but to say it is exploiting or cheating is nonsense.
bulbatrs Mar 31 @ 12:49pm 
Originally posted by VoiD:
Originally posted by Ashardalon:
so this is the things barbarians shouted at the romans, calling them cowards for using things like formations and tactics
cheating they cried as they ran themselves dead onto their spears
That never happened, because the barbarians could think, they weren't abusing a glitch or lack of capacity on the AI to pretend they were playing a game, they couldn't do it even if they wanted to.

This is akin to spawning a tank with cheats in GTA and pretending you're doing missions and finishing the story properly.

That being said I could imagine them shouting this if they weren't humans, and rome was being invaded by lemmings.
an individual can and does think, but when it comes to hordes they just run until get slaughtered like sheep and start running the other way killing themselves even faster. history is full of examples on how bad generals managed to lose what you would think unlosable fights. not all so called "barbarians" had bad generals and romans had them sometimes as well. as for killzones irl castles had them, big castles had multiple. getting enemies into some sort of easy killing ground is nothing new and has been done before castles.
Originally posted by Astasia:
Originally posted by VoiD:
I get that killboxes exploit the AI pathfinding

Killboxes don't exploit anything. The AI works as it does specifically to make it compatible with the main methods of building defenses for your vanilla base. There is a reason killboxes are displayed in multiple official screens on the store page, it is intended, advertised, gameplay. There is nothing to fix.
"It is intended gameplay" and "there is nothing to fix" are two different things.

In fact, you'll find it calls itself a story-generator. "We killed another group of hostiles five times our number without suffering losses because they rushed in like headless chickens" is not a good story.

Like, if you came and said "yes, it's an issue, but improving the AI would be too much effort for what it's worth" I could agree. But calling exploiting AI dumbness a feature is just... No.
Last edited by FourGreenFields; Mar 31 @ 12:51pm
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