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GoatLord

Sometimes the baddies just don't care

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Many times, while watching two monsters of different types fight, one will ignore the other and continue trying to target me, or another monster that attacked him. For instance, in Alien Vendetta, I watched an archvile repeatedly attack a cyberdemon for several minutes, but the whole time the cybdermon was trying to attack me. What accounts for monsters occassionally ignoring another monster's attack?

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No monsters will retaliate when attacked by an archvile. It's coded that way.

As far as I understand it, most monsters (arch-viles being the exception again) will pursue their target for a certain time (100 tics), during which they cannot be distracted. But probably someone who understands the code better will be able to refine or correct that.

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Reminds me of this thread.

I've only really noticed that pinky demons have problems connecting with their attack, which is why it's so tedious to get them to infight. The Spider Mastermind gets stuck often and doesn't attack or mills around. Other than that, I'd say infighting works as it should.

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I believe lost souls are a unique case as well. If they get hit by a monster, they will attack that monster ONCE then resume trying to get you, even if the attack totally missed. Of course, the monster can retaliate and keep drawing the lost soul's attention back to it.

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Vile said:
Of course, the monster can retaliate and keep drawing the lost soul's attention back to it.

Yeah, thus sometimes two of them will duke it out until one misses the other and they go their own ways.

Bucket said:
I've only really noticed that pinky demons have problems connecting with their attack, which is why it's so tedious to get them to infight.

From what I know they can't infight because with their attack they can only damage their intended target.

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myk said:

From what I know they can't infight because with their attack they can only damage their intended target.

I got two of them to infight in E1M9 many years ago (before I started using source ports anyway). A barrel might have been involved.

I'm pretty sure I saw something go after an archvile once... maybe that's where the barrel was involved. Not certain though, reason probably being I didn't know it was supposed to be an impossibility at the time and didn't take special note.

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Lüt said:
I got two of them to infight in E1M9 many years ago (before I started using source ports anyway). A barrel might have been involved.

Perhaps older versions of Doom allowed it somehow.

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GoatLord said:

What accounts for monsters occassionally ignoring another monster's attack?


I've noticed that if you attack one monster, and try to make it infight with another, it will ignore the other monster until it has damaged it more than you have.

Example: Let's say you shoot a baron with one rocket. There is a caco nearby and you get the baron to crossfire with the caco. The caco attacks the baron, but the baron continues its assault on you, ignoring the cacodemon. However, the baron switches targets from you to the cacodemon when it has damaged the him more than you inflicted on it with your previous shot of the rocket.

Sometimes attacks are ignored even when monsters are dorment. This usually occurs with bigger monsters, although i've seen it happen even with zombiemen. A good place to check it out is in the cyb/baron room in tricks and traps. When the cyberdemon fires at you, sometimes some of the barons don't wake up from the rocket's splash damage.

So basically, theres a certain damage threshold that is present with the above example. But for dorment monsters, I have no clue how the ignoring factor kicks in.

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I've seen imps attack themself after an explosion hits 'em. Dunno how this is done tho.

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jobro said:
I've seen imps attack themself after an explosion hits 'em. Dunno how this is done tho.

Not sure if you mean an Imp hurting itself, or another Imp, but in any case, the circumstances under which both phenomena occur are dealt on in this other current thread.

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I've seen pinkies fight after one bit another since they were crowded around me and I had a invis-sphere. It was vanilla, and it was 1.9, because I had my P2 200mhz with the Ultimate Doom CD, it had the original .exe on the disk, but the installer put Doom95 on there. I used doom.exe.

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Inferno said:

I've noticed that if you attack one monster, and try to make it infight with another, it will ignore the other monster until it has damaged it more than you have.


This sometimes lets saw barons efficiently. Chainsaw damage is little and they often ignore it while busy fighting a caco or another monster.

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Donce said:
This sometimes lets saw barons efficiently. Chainsaw damage is little and they often ignore it while busy fighting a caco or another monster.

I doubt it. But there's what Grazza pointed out above (about a time period before a target check). But I can't say how the pain state comes into play here, where monsters retaliate immediately.

Naked Snake said:
I've seen pinkies fight after one bit another since they were crowded around me and I had a invis-sphere. It was vanilla, and it was 1.9, because I had my P2 200mhz with the Ultimate Doom CD, it had the original .exe on the disk, but the installer put Doom95 on there. I used doom.exe.

Quoting this post by Quasar:

The common explanation of demons biting to the side when their target is partially invisible is not correct. Even if the demon turns to the side, it still damages its target *directly* with a call to P_DamageMobj. He doesn't fire a short tracer that could possibly hit another demon, or anything of that sort.

I'd say that without a demo show such an occurrence, we can discount it as confusion or a bug in some other engine (not v1.9). I use v1.9 all the time (like every day), and don't recall ever seeing that, anyway.

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myk said:

I doubt it.

This is testable, for someone with a bit of time to spare. There are demos where this has been used (or at least the players thought they were exploiting this behaviour). You could edit one of those demos so that the player attacks at that point with a bigger weapon instead of the chainsaw, and see if that causes the monster to attack the player.

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Grazza said:
You could edit one of those demos so that the player attacks at that point with a bigger weapon instead of the chainsaw, and see if that causes the monster to attack the player.

Yeah, but the thing is to determine why; pecking with a chainsaw produces a number of small hits, while an SSG immediately unloads up to a score such hits. And what indication is there that the raw hit points of damage per individual source of damage has any effect? I'm wondering whether the pain state also affects the target choice. If the pain state is invoked, does the monster turn around and attack the offender that made him howl in pain? If so, an SSG (or a BFG, if its tracers take effect) has a far greater chance than a pistol of getting a monster's attention, and a rocket has twice the chance of a pistol (as there are missile and splash damages, unless the target is a greater boss).

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Here's a very easy to saw baron. Doom2, MAP08. The baron is almost constantly in pain state. I don't know all the details, but I think that to distract the baron, I would need to hit him with more instantaneous damage than caco's fireball did (the question is - the first or last one).

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In that case there should be some part of the code that compares damage done. Otherwise maybe that is happening because the Baron chooses from what it sees (first?), as all along it was looking at the Cacodemon. Here's a shitty demo (I have to go get the shotgun first) where I use the shotgun on the Baron's back till it runs out of ammo. Eventually it turned around and tore me up when I was merely punching it.

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Yup, punching certainly couldn't do much damage. Well, let's hope someone with the ability to read the source code will kick in and explain everything in detail :)

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The amount of damage done is not considered. In fact, a projectile doing 0 damage is sufficient to enrage a monster. When a monster obtains a new target, it is given a THRESHOLD value. For every step the monster takes thereafter, the threshold is decremented. As long as the threshold is positive, the monster will not change targets, period. This prevents the kind of instantaneous target-switching which Archviles are reknowned for (they are a special case in P_DamageMobj -- when hurt, their threshold value is not set and remains 0).

Once the threshold does expire, the monster MAY change targets. However, there's a random factor. A monster may choose to ignore a blow and continue chasing its previous target.

Doesn't make sense to you? Well it does or does not depending on what point of view you look at it from.

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Isnt an Archvile attack "all" splash damage?, so it wouldn't actually hurt a cyberdemon because they are immune to splash damage (or they would probably kill themselves all the time)

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Quasar said:
Doesn't make sense to you?

I'd say so. Thanks for the explanation!

Made me wonder more about the particular case in Map08, where the Baron of hell is in the tunnel and you're using the Chainsaw; it effectively doesn't generally turn to hit you before it dies, and keeps going against the Cacodemon till the end. It usually lasts like 10 or 11 seconds till it's dead, so that should give it 3 target checks (considering that the default threshold is 100 tics). And the Player has more attacks during that period, so one would think it'd be easier for it to select him. But no. Maybe some other factor is affecting this particular circumstance?

Could the Baron's current direction make a difference? (Since it looks toward the Cacodemon.)

Could the pain effect be stalling the target checks? (By not substracting from the threshold or something).

deathbringer said:
Isnt an Archvile attack "all" splash damage?, so it wouldn't actually hurt a cyberdemon because they are immune to splash damage (or they would probably kill themselves all the time)

Like the Rocket it has two effects. Thus the target gets hurt more, and adjacent things less so. I think the splash damage immunity for the greater bosses only applies to the Rocket/Barrel effect (though I'm not entirely sure).

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I think the cyberdemon is only immune to his own splash damage.

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Use3D said:
I think the cyberdemon is only immune to his own splash damage.

Compare the number of Rockets you need to kill it with the number of SSG shots. Even though both weapons inflict about the same amount of damage (a bit over 200), you need like twice as many Rockets. You can also create a clone Spiderdemon or Cyberdemon using an Imp or something like that, and you'll see it's less enduring against Rockets (because it doesn't have the immunity that is a property of things 20 and 22).

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Cyberdemons are immune to ALL splash damage. However, if you've read any description of the VileAttack pointer, you'd note it also does 70 points of direct damage to the intended target. This is on top of any splash damage, which comes from the flame object. Cyberdemons can be injured by the direct damage only, but they STILL do not fight back against Archviles because there is also a special case for the Archvile which causes any monster to ignore it. Evidently it is of a higher demonic order in Hell :P Not even Archviles who accidently hurt each other will fight.

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Actually, it's 20 points of direct damage and 70 points of splash damage. The center of the splash damage is a bit in front of the target, which is why the total damage to the player is around 83 points.
If you run forward, you will receive more damage and if you run backwards, you will receive less damage because of your movement compared to the flames.

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Is the splash damage substracted by calulating the distance between bomb's origin and victim's border? I tested by DeHACKing the player into being 128 units wide, I fired a rocket point blank and I still received full damage, so I guess it's a yes.

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Once we started talking about archvilles, why a player generally receives far less damage when the attacking archville is far away? Sometimes only like 10 points of damage is done.

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Terra-jin said:

Actually, it's 20 points of direct damage and 70 points of splash damage. The center of the splash damage is a bit in front of the target, which is why the total damage to the player is around 83 points.
If you run forward, you will receive more damage and if you run backwards, you will receive less damage because of your movement compared to the flames.

Oh right, I had the damage amounts switched around in my head :P

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Terra-jin said:

Actually, it's 20 points of direct damage and 70 points of splash damage. The center of the splash damage is a bit in front of the target, which is why the total damage to the player is around 83 points.
If you run forward, you will receive more damage and if you run backwards, you will receive less damage because of your movement compared to the flames.

Wow, I thought something was up when I was testing infighting with an archvile and a cyberdemon. It took FOREVER!

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Donce said:
Once we started talking about archvilles, why a player generally receives far less damage when the attacking archville is far away? Sometimes only like 10 points of damage is done.

Strange... are you sure it was the Player that was eventually being targeted and not a nearby monster? After all the Archvile has that characteristic Quasar mentioned above where their threshold remains 0. The flame could be on the Player during most of the attack but if a monster were to hit the Archvile right before the completion of the attack, the Archvile would be able to switch immediately, damaging the monster and causing the Player a bit of area based damage.

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