If you have multiple NPCs, you will want multi threading, or some other form of start stopping. What language are you using?
I'm using Java, because I'm most familiar with it. I will have up to a couple hundred NPC's at most, but at that point they'll be moving as units (like an army) so they can compute their movements together. Mainly there might be 6 or 7 separate groups of moving NPC's at far distances at a time.
for the second, you can split things into regions, or just have the model start moving in advance, taking the best known path so far after x cycles, and then just readjust when you find the true path. You will not get the most optimal path that way, but it will get the unit moving if the pathfinder is taking too long.
Regions is probably the way I'm going to do this, for the reasons you stated. Thanks for that idea
So if I understand what you're saying, I can create some type of multithreading setup for each NPC, or I could create another form of start-stopping (swapping maybe?). I also take my world (broken up in Regions, made up of what I create my world with (zones, which are stacks of chunks)) and path-find within a region, and only path-find in the region the NPC is in...?
Another quick question: When do you cut off an NPC? Should I have it allow the NPC more processing time if there's only 1, but share the time when there's 200 NPC's or allocate the same amount of time whether it is 6 or 200 NPC's....
I'll have to do my reading again on multithreading.....I've learned a lot about it, especially in some of my courses, but haven't done a full-blown application yet.....