I am attempting to create a server-centric RTS (as opposed to usual parallel synchronised simulation route of most RTS games today) - however I am still leveraging the discreet N-turns-ahead paradigm discussed by one of the AOE developers on Gamasutra.
I have [possibly questionably?] decided that the path finding should only ever find the next cell the entity needs to move to, and was wondering if anyone has any clever ideas on how to optimize the algorithm for this specific scenario - or any other ideas on how to keep the pathfinding as lean as possible on the server.
I have investigated a few possible algorithms but could only come up with one appropriation: Tiered A-Star - Relatively large T1 tiles, work out (and cache) each cell as you enter it. Other than that: doing the full A-Star pass and caching the entire path, which might use too much memory if a large amount of units are present.
I know about the existence of naive progressive pathfinding algorithms (if you hit a block, turn in the direction closer to your target etc.) but they suffer from infinite feedback loops - and very poor pathing even if visited blocks are memorised. Not an option.