The Problem With the AI

...Is that (just like in the old game) it SEVERELY punishes people for setting up good sightlines and going prone on a distant hilltop with either a sniper or an LMG because it's almost a GUARANTEE that a bot will round a corner 1,000,000 meters away and hipfire headshot you while jogging sideways...with only ironsights (that they don't even use), even though you might only be able to see them as a pixel through a 100X scope.

I'm serious. If a modder set up a map that large and modded in that scope this scenario would play out exactly as I described it.

Because of this "quirk" of the AI being GODLIKE at longer ranges, it conditions players (and eventually all "pro/seasoned" COOP players end up playing this way) to just sprint to an objective...get inside...and cover doors and maybe occasionally peek a window (but that's RISKY! OH NO!)

  • Defend from a rooftop? DEAD!
  • Cover your team from 200m away prone in full camo using a 7x sniper? DEAD FOR SURE!
  • Set up your bipod on a balcony or window to defend against the incoming wave? DEAD!
  • Choose to engage an enemy bot you see shooting at you from 300m away rather than duck and cover? DEAD!
  • Choose to shoot at the Technical? SUPER DEAD! (And anyone behind you too!)
  • Call in a super tiny, fast, evasive IED drone against COOP bots? "DRONE SHOT DOWN!"
  • Call in any chopper against bots who only have rifles and no RPGs? CHOPPER DEAD IN 5 SECONDS!

The end result being that combat against bots becomes a door-watching game, picking them off as they mindlessly walk through the door one-by-one... because any and all other combat actions taken in the open will almost guarantee player death. This leads to super boring combat, and very little actual firefights.

last edited by AMURKA

@amurka said in The Problem With the AI:

a bot will round a corner 1,000,000 meters away and hipfire headshot you while jogging sideways

Oh yea, all the time. The shot will literally come out of the side, perpendicular to their rifle.

@amurka said in The Problem With the AI:

Call in any chopper against bots who only have rifles and no RPGs? CHOPPER DEAD IN 5 SECONDS!

Also facts. It wasn't like that in alpha, they messed something up. I think they made it too easy to shoot down with small arms fire.

@amurka said in The Problem With the AI:

mindlessly walk

Other than doing the 1,000,000 meter sideways no scope headshot, the bots are actually really retarded and behave very unnaturally. They don't use cover at all or move faster than a walk. Other than the bots positioned in some corners at objectives literally NOTHING has changed since ins2/doi.

I personally find this extremely unsatisfactory. No improvement on AI in what now 6 years? Given that half the players ingame are in coop all the time... Bots should move from cover to cover, they should move through open areas faster. They shouldn't line up like they always do. They should even shoot out of cover, maybe even blindfire sometimes. They should behave realistically. An example of good AI I've used before is Metro: Last Light. Other than some unrealistic bullet dodging, the AI behaved very naturally and were very coordinated. Hope the dev teams takes a good hard look at AI, it's really the main thing wrong with the game by a long shot (other than the obvious optimization).

last edited by thehappybub

I agree that bot difficulty and "skill" should be something else than inhuman cyborg aiming & firing skills.

I understand that making AI is not easy, BUT UE4 has a lot tools that make creating a powerful AI with basic functions much easier. It's not like everything has to be made with C++ from the scratch starting from navigation etc. I understand that performance is probably something they have to account when creating the AI so creating a performance eating AI is probably not a good idea either.

But adding these features for bots would do A LOT in my opinion:

  • Bots taking basic cover and leaning from cover (They do lean now after the last patch!)

  • Bots moving AND shooting. I don't think I've seen this so far, they either move OR shoot (I've played local play with bots, so correct me if I'm wrong here). Shooting WHILE moving to cover would really enhance the bots.

  • Basic awareness of spacing. So you can't take 5 of them out with a single burst or grenade.

  • Bots forming small teams that manouver the map instead of moving as individuals. At least 2 man teams. Adds challenge to players. Not sure, but got the idea that this might even be used as a performance saving feature: less strain on pathfinding if some bots are following a leader bot, who does most of the pathfinding for bigger manouvers like ie. flanking and approaching an objective.

  • Basic flanking.

UE4 has EQS (Environment Query System) that can be used to a lot of things like finding a flanking route or to find cover or to find a waypoint that is sufficient distance away from another bot to avoid bunching up (basic awareness of spacing). There's no need to write this from the scratch.

Of course I can come up with so many things I would like the bots to do 🙂 But this is the todo-list for the bots at the moment in my opinion.

last edited by jensiii

I just played a local game on Crossing as security and just followed what the bots did, trying to not interfere in any way in the events happening. Noticed the following things:

  • Realized that observer class bot always follows commander class bot, so they already for a two man team that way!

  • When my 3 teammate bots approached objective A, they followed the exact same path, BUT after contact marksman class shouted "I'll go around" and changed his path and approached objective A from a different direction. Have they already implemented something like basic flanking? Have to observe this more.

  • Bots have a lot of trouble clearing houses. They can clear the ground floor, but despite all the courageous attempts to run around outside of the house at objective C, the commander and observer were unable to clear the other floors and the game ended in an infinite stalemate on objective C: commander & observer were standing still on the ground floor and some enemies were camping on the other floors 😃

@jensiii I totally agree. The thing that I think should get top priority on your list is stuff related to individual bot behavior. They simply move unnaturally. They're like shooting zombies now.

I also feel like there need to be a few "personalities". They all shouldn't react to the same situation the exact same way. Some bots should be aggressive and rush the enemy, others should be sneaky flankers, others should suppress the enemy location (even before line-of-sight).

Right now, if a bot hears gunfire, they start to "investigate" (move slowly and cautiously) this is why they ALWAYS enter an objective walking, and are so easy to pick off as they walk in the door...

Their personalities should be easy to tie to their class also.

AI technicals are scary shit, man. If that gunner so much as sees a pixel of your body sticking out, you're dead, and anyone unfortunate enough to be standing behind you is dead, too.

@quadsword the way the bot twitch flicks that turret around is a sight to behold

I've been trying to suggest a rotation-speed max limit on that technical turret. I hope they implement it. It's so stupid that a gian't heavy-as-hell machinegun + all the ammo + 2 giant sheets of THICK steel can all rotate 180 in the blink of an eye.

I love that "It's been 6 years" bit, but I'mma lump the fools with the advanced AI in F.E.A.R. that was 100% situational, all the way up into if you had an enemy out-smarted they would cry out "where should I go?! 😫" and the game would attempt to turn the situation in that bots favor for escape and counter attack, based on various factors.

And that was in 2005ish? Halo 3 started tinkering with Flanking AI back in 2007 as well. Why we're sitting here with these OP lazy toss-in bots (that just got a fucking BUFF to how quickly they can BS you) is beyond me, and makes me wonder why they even claimed they were aiming for a campaign in the first place...

AI need work for sure, posted already tones on this.

I do hate some of the insta kill from 200m hip fire.

I've had success covering with a sniper, really have to have a good spot and luck that an rpg doesn't get you. Having said that, have yet to try sniper with silencer...

Biggest dislike is no randomness, all too scripted, please change NWI!!!!!!

@xdark said in The Problem With the AI:

makes me wonder why they even claimed they were aiming for a campaign in the first place

I don't get why NWI meets people's complaints about the AI with making them more difficult (in reality it just made them unrealistically weird in certain situations). I don't know much about coding games, but come on … there's gotta be a way to make them not the way they are now. I'm kind of dreading what the campaign will be like with these bots.

last edited by thehappybub

I've been researching AI for the UE4 engine and what I found interesting is that many producers said that good AI is not fun. It seems in most games you want your player to feel superior, which I get. But what about Sandstorm, do we want dumb AI? I don't!

So devs, are you purposely making AI dumb? Or do you not have the time and ressources to make intelligent AI?

last edited by lightspeed

@lightspeed said in The Problem With the AI:

I've been researching AI for the UE4 engine and what I found interesting is that many producers said that good AI is not fun. It seems in most games you want your player to feel superior, which I get. But what about Sandstorm, do we want dumb AI? I don't!

So devs, are you purposely making AI dumb? Or do you not have the time and ressources to make intelligent AI?

I'd much rather have better AI with a difficulty that can be adjusted

@thehappybub said in The Problem With the AI:

@lightspeed said in The Problem With the AI:

I've been researching AI for the UE4 engine and what I found interesting is that many producers said that good AI is not fun. It seems in most games you want your player to feel superior, which I get. But what about Sandstorm, do we want dumb AI? I don't!

So devs, are you purposely making AI dumb? Or do you not have the time and ressources to make intelligent AI?

I'd much rather have better AI with a difficulty that can be adjusted

Id like to have adjustable AI intelligence and adjustable amount of AI.

Pretty sure the devs will just say that's what modding is for...

last edited by lightspeed

@lightspeed said in The Problem With the AI:

Pretty sure the devs will just say that's what modding is for...

Hope not. The basic behavior of the AI being trash is beyond what mods should be fixing, it should be solid in the base game.

@lightspeed said in The Problem With the AI:

Pretty sure the devs will just say that's what modding is for...

I hope the devs won't say that, but I do wish they allow full modding of the AI.

Yeah I'd love to see more work put into the AI. Games in general need to work on AI even the AI in ARMA III is useless, you need mods to actually make them use cover and react appropriately.

I'd like to see:

  • Bots running for cover after getting shot at, not standing still in the middle of a street and shooting back. They need some kind of life preservation, at the moment they just get around mindlessly.
  • Bots sneaking around, walking slowly and camping corners ahead of their objective and not just running flat strap towards the players spawn like they currently do. Co-op at the moment is literally sprinting from objective to objective.

@amurka said in The Problem With the AI:

...Is that (just like in the old game) it SEVERELY punishes people for setting up good sightlines and going prone on a distant hilltop with either a sniper or an LMG because it's almost a GUARANTEE that a bot will round a corner 1,000,000 meters away and hipfire headshot you while jogging sideways...with only ironsights (that they don't even use), even though you might only be able to see them as a pixel through a 100X scope.

As a Marksman, I relate to this on a spiritual level.

So mamy bullshit clips on my PC.

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