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the story of a trapped drone

In a game Steamhammer - McRaveZ on La Mancha, McRave pulled drones to try to survive.

unsupported drone

But what happened to that one drone that seems to be leaning over the chasm? It collided with other units and was pushed across unwalkable terrain to a new position where it was trapped.

zerglings can’t reach the drone

Steamhammer’s zerglings desperately want to get at that drone, but they can’t... quite... reach it. The zerglings were nearly useless for the rest of the game, distracted by the stuck drone every time they reached the enemy base. Steamhammer floundered until it finally remembered that mutalisks are also a unit it can make.

Here is the walkability map. Steamhammer actually checks that it can reach the drone target, but the check is incorrect in this case: There is a narrow corridor, one walk tile or 8 pixels across, leading to the little platform where the drone waits. No unit is narrow enough to walk there (even a ghost is 15 pixels wide), but Steamhammer doesn’t know that.

8x8 walk tiles

The imprisoned drone illustrates a flaw in the map design: Accidents should not push units into places where they will be permanently trapped. Freakling would never allow such a blunder! Of course it also illustrates a bug in Steamhammer. The bug makes a regular appearance on a few maps, like Fortress, but this is the first time I’ve seen it affect play on a regular SSCAIT map.

Next: Steamhammer status. Soon: Some of Steamhammer’s best recent games.


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Dan on :

Now to figure out how to glitch a Drone there reliably!

Jay Scott on :

Yes, nice exploit! I think it should be no harder than pushing a unit through a mineral patch.

Paul Goodman on :

The behavior at Steamhammer's natural seems almost as bad, streaming drones and zerglings with no air defense into a base under attack by mutalisks. Building a single spore colony, or even just keeping drones in the main instead of the natural, would have won the game a lot quicker and safer.

Jay Scott on :

Agreed. Threatening with the zerglings was necessary, but they sat there and suffered instead. Locutus solved an analogous problem with a Kamikaze squad of zealots that attack no matter what, not a bad idea. Also Steamhammer made a spire long before it made any air units, which had me looking through the code for a bug.

Antiga / Iruian on :

Most of the maps created pre circa 2018 were done before the map making community had pathing analysis tools and really are pretty suspect across the board, even the ones in common use.

Jay Scott on :

I have long been impressed with how difficult it is to get all the details right on a map. It takes true dedication—no wonder there are so many minor troubles like this.

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