Knowing your Methods - Crate-Nudging
There are some methods to move an AI around in Thief.
"Convince the AI to fall into a Pit"
Lets take a few examples. If you alert an AI, hurry to an area that the AI can't access, you will notice that he stands there, shakes his fist at you, and he will yell all the cute stuff ("Think you're so smart?!"
and "Just you wait til my friends arrive!"
). Sit there for a while and observe his feet. He moves around; not only with these huge sidesteps the AI likes to do in such circumstances, he also moves probably slightly backwards (this depends however on the kind of AI that it is.)
This is the method used to drown Zombies or to convince AI to fall into pits in the original Lytha-mode many a times. ;) However, it involves highly alerted AIs who have spotted you, so it is not acceptable for Ghosting.
"Nudging" / "Snudging"
Now for the unalerted AI.
You can nudge an AI. Go to Training for testing purposes, or go and find a neutral or friendly AI in some FM. Move towards him until you touch him. When he does the little idle movement stuff, you will inevitably notice that he moves away a bit from you. If you move now again towards him, you can push him all through a room.
This technique has been perfected and can be done both with hostile and friendly AI. And it can be done with Humans, with Burricks, with Undead, and even with those hammerite scums.
Can it be done with Spiders?
Nudging Spiders is limited to the fat, dangerous ones.
The reason for this is that the player object is a sphere. The AI is also a set of spheres (humans are basically two spheres: one for the butt, one for the head). Spiders seem to be only one sphere (I guess here). And the tiny spiders' spheres are too close to the ground - the player's sphere can't touch theirs and push it around. Instead, the player will step onto the tiny sphere of the cute little spider and thus step over the borderlines of its vision area.
Feel free to insert some experiments here, both with huge spiders and with the tiny ones. Feels weird to nudge a fat spider, doesn't it. (If you do it, keep the Arachonology in mind from the previous chapter.)
Very well, but this does not work for the tiny spiders because they are too small.
Well. Next possibility. Some idle, unalerted AI moves around on its own. An example is the hammernovice in Cragscleft or the Golden Boy.
Go to Cragscleft, sit down in a shadow from which you can observe the hammernovice without having the patroling hammer bump into you. Adjust your view so that the hammernovice is at the side of your monitor, so that you can see any movement easily. Now go and fetch some sleep or go to work or go and read a good long book.
When you return, you will see that the novice has moved forward. He should be busy bumping into the altar, or already into the opposite wall.
He, and the golden boy, have an extra idle movement (moving the hip back and forth, moving the left hand up and down at the same time... (when he does it to the altar, I had some dirty associations...)) Well. This is the idle gesture that pulls him forward a few centimeters.
In fact, if you wait long enough, even the relatively stationary hammerpriest (normal human AI and normal human idle gestures) will move slowly to the left. However, he needs longer for this than the hammernovice needs to move forward; the hammernovice and the Golden Boy are fast "Walkers", normal human AI is (if it walks at all) more a slow or very slow walker.
I am not certain if the stationary spider moves around a bit, because there is a faster way. However, it appeared to me that the stationary spider is really quite stationary, even more than the normal human AI.
And finally the solution: "Crate-Nudging"
So, back to the little spiders and the problem: How can I move a little spider around a bit?
The answer is named: Crate-Nudging.
If you toss a crate onto the head of the tiny spider in the right manner, it will do a sidestep (which can be quite big) away from the crate. Basically, it performs a "crate-jump", similar to the "AI-jumps" in Thief.
The following two images illustrate this technique.
Step 1: Crate on the spider's head.
Step 2: Spider made the sidestep away from the crate.
With a bit exercise, you can learn to put the crate on the head of the spider in a way that makes the sidesteps predictable. You can move the spider around with this technique as you like.
This works both for the tiny ones and for the big ones. As long as the spider is unalerted and stationary, everything seems to be possible with them.
Next: First Part: Eeny-Meeny-Moo Triangle
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