NOTICE: Bolded text is used to show any edits I've made to the OP as of the July 11th hotfix. The old bolded text is now just standard font.
I'm moving this thread to this subforum as more people will probably see it here than on the CTE-specific one.
To start off, there's definitely been a lot of improvements to the AI. They alternate between ambushes, hit-and-run tactics, and retreats to create a pretty unpredictable experience each time you play a map. I remember I once nearly died from several bots camping one building that was separate from the objective area, and I've never seen bots in that particular building since.
There's still a lot of issues, though, and I've also got some suggestions that would make the bots more challenging to play against without making them particularly bullshit. I'll also list my current strategies for fighting the AI in both Hardcore Checkpoint and Frenzy.
I'll start off with the problems. I'll also list how commonly these issues happen (roughly; these aren't really that accurate lmao):
Rare: I've been killed several times now from two semi-auto tap shots, fired with 100% accuracy. I'm gonna name this bug "DFSA" or "Double First Shot Accuracy" as both shots always hit, and bots never actually use semi-auto fire if their weapon allows for full-auto or burst-fire (and this bug happened to me once from a bot with an MP5A2, which has full-auto). Ever since getting the clips for the "Day in the Life" video, I can confirm that bots do actually use different fire modes.
-> Very Rare: Bots are just invisible. Only their gun can be seen, as well as a couple other small things that just float around. Confirmed on both Checkpoint and Frenzy. Claimed to be fixed, but of course, it's not.
-> Common: Bots in Frenzy like to melee charge whenever possible. This gets annoying as melee charging disables the player's ability to fire their weapon for
two seconds (almost like they're in a restricted area). In some cases, even a missed melee charge will prevent the player from firing their weapon. I don't know about missed melee charges, but while your gun is still disabled when you're hit by a charge, it's for a much shorter duration (about half a second).
Uncommon: In Frenzy, the bots have the wrong effects. The Flamer might not be on fire, or the particles for the Jumper might be applied to other enemy types. The low-pitched voice for the Bruiser is sometimes applied to other enemy types, as well. The 1.3.2 hotfix fixed this.
-> Common: In Frenzy, the Jumper pulls the "teleports behind you" meme and will teleport directly behind or in front of a player. This typically results in the player's immediate death, especially if the Jumper teleports behind the player due to the extra melee damage from the back.
-> Very Common: Bots moving at walking speed are unhearable, which can get extremely annoying in HC as the default bot speed creates no noise at all.
-> Uncommon: Running/sprinting bots don't make any noise. This is especially annoying in Frenzy as a bot can sometimes sprint right up behind a player and melee them without the player ever hearing them.
-> Very Common: Bots seem more deadly to high-level players than low-level ones. This is purely speculation, but I've had a lot of people agree with me on this one. There have been tons of cases where a bot instakills a high-level player, and then proceeds to miss every shot or downright ignore a low-level player. Again, just to reiterate, the bot AI is honestly just too inconsistent to prove this theory. You can check out my "Higher Level = Harder Yeet" video if you want to see what I mean, though.
-> Rare: As of 1.3, bots seem like they're supposed to give the player a bit of time to engage before the bot opens fire. However, this doesn't always occur. The time before firing can be different durations, and I have no clue why. One theory of mine is that the "grace period" before bots fire depends on the level of the player (which is part of the theory that I mentioned in the post directly above this one).
-> Common: In Frenzy, bots throw Molotovs at players even if they can reach them to attack with their kukri. They seem to find it "impossible" to reach a player if any outstanding object is between them and the player, and doesn't take into account whether or not they can path around it. For instance, I was spotted by a bot in a pretty open area, but there was a barrel between me and him. While he could've easily just pathed around the barrel to reach me, he pulled out his Molotov Cocktail instead. This could still use some more testing, so if anyone else sees behavior occur, let me know.
- This bug was supposedly "fixed" in a hotfix, and while it occurs less often, this behavior still happens. It seems like there has to be more of a drastic change in height/outstanding obstacles for them to throw Molotovs, but they still throw them even if they could get to you. For instance, on Ministry, a bot might throw a Molotov at you if you're behind a cubicle or at Delta on the balcony if the AI is standing in the lobby.
Rare: Bots almost instantly killing nearby players with a melee attack. This behavior actually seems pretty toned down compared to bad it was before, where you would always die immediately upon getting within about three feet of a bot. This isn't really an issue at this point.
-> Extremely Common: Bots armed with semi-automatic weapons, like an SVD, can fire them at their maximum possible firerate. It gets annoying fast.
-> Very Rare: Only rare because bots rarely vault, but a bot in the process of vaulting always seems to have insane accuracy. Also worth noting is that bots getting up from prone and going down to prone also seem to get an insane accuracy increase.
-> Rare: Bots being able to shoot players in smoke.
I'm not exactly sure how this works, but it does happen to me sometimes. I'll update this when I run some tests. So I've done some testing with bots and smoke grenades. Here's what I've gotten from it:
When a player is in smoke and bots are not in the smoke, the smoke does prevent the bots from seeing the player almost every time. However, when the smoke expires, some smoke still lingers for a bit but the bots can see you perfectly, as if the smoke has already vanished completely.
When a player and a bot are both in smoke, the bot typically is in view of the player when he opens fire. In some cases, however, this did not happen, and the bot was opening fire and could not be seen.
One more thing; if the bots know you’re there, standing in smoke doesn’t prevent them from using LGMS and landing a grenade right on top of you. In fact, they don’t even need to see the player at all; if they hear anything a player does, they can throw a grenade on that exact location.
-> Rare: Bots can shoot you even if their weapon wasn't pointed at you.
-> Uncommon: Bots fail to retreat and instead will immediately engage players who just captured an objective. Supposedly fixed, but still happens. Apparently, bots are only scripted to fall back if there was a counterattack. However, I've had suicide bombers fail to fall back even after a counter.
-> Extremely Common: Bots can see through any and all foliage, including trees and bushes, and shoot players through these objects even if the player cannot see them. I'm pretty sure bots can see players and shoot at players through anything that lacks a collision box (with the exception of smoke). It's why bots can fire through the curtains on Outskirts Insurgents HC on Alpha, and even throw grenades through them.
-> Very Rare: A bot will instakill you with a weapon that's not sufficient to actually drop you in a single shot; for instance, being one-shotted by an M4 or FAL while wearing Heavy Armor (both cases assume full HP). However, you also don't hear the headshot sound effect. It's something that I still don't understand.
-> Very Common: Bots are almost always accurate enough to fully suppress the player, even at long ranges, making accurate counter-fire difficult.
-> Common: The first shot from a bot's firearm has 100% accuracy, so it'll always hit the intended target, regardless of distance. However, the follow-up shots will miss.
-> Very Common: 100% first-shot accuracy from an AI-manned Dshk. I've even got a clip now where a Dshk instantly killed me from about 200 meters with a single shot.
-> Common: Bots with the "chase" behavior almost always have 100% accuracy upon running around a corner. What I've named "chase" is the behavior that triggers when a player gets a bot's attention, then hides behind cover. When a bot has this behavior, he can round corners very quickly. This behavior often gets players killed in Hardcore Checkpoint due to the limited class loadouts on respawns.
-> Common: After two to three seconds of sustained fire, bots reach 100% accuracy, regardless of stance, movement, or distance.
-> Uncommon: Bots reach 100% accuracy after just one second of sustained fire.
-> Rare: Bots reach peak accuracy after only a few shots, and sometimes even after one or two shots.
-> Very Rare: Almost 100% accuracy on the first shot and the follow-up shots. Usually happens with camping bots, but not always.
-> Rare: Bot lock-on time is seemingly not separate for each player (so the current bot accuracy is the same for each and every target). If a bot fires at a player for a couple of seconds and reaches 100% accuracy, but then decides to fire on another player, the bot will still have 100% accuracy when firing on the second player, sometimes leading to an instant headshot. This was supposedly fixed at some point in a patch but clearly is broken yet again.
-> Common: LGMS (Laser Guided Molotov System) has been re-added and is more accurate than ever before. The AI still seems to be insanely accurate with grenades, lobbing them fifty feet in the air so they land directly on their target like a fucking Javelin missile launcher. Rocket launchers don't seem to have this problem, however.
As of 1.13 this will require some more testing, as this was supposedly fixed in this update, with incendiary weapons requiring line-of-sight and frags just being less accurately thrown. Bots are still insanely accurate with Molotovs in Frenzy, however, and don't seem to need this "line-of-sight" when throwing them. If a bot throws a Molotov with an angle of 60-70 degrees in the air, and the target is about twenty meters away, something's wrong.
About this "line-of-sight" issue with incendiary weapons; it technically exists but it also doesn't. My newest video (A Day In The Life of a Sandstorm Bot) shows this pretty accurately (skip to 6:54 in the video). Bots need to see a target before they can decide to use a Molotov or Incendiary grenade, but they don't actually need line-of-sight to throw the grenade. This bug still results in random deaths from Molotov Cocktails on Security Checkpoint scenarios.
-> Common: A bot wallbangs you through cover. They seem to track you through walls once they begin shooting, so this actually happens quite often, especially if the bot has a weapon with decent penetration power. I was in a HC match where a bot shot me through the floor with an LMG after I ran to take cover downstairs.
-> Uncommon: Bots will fire at you while coming around a corner (or sometimes even through a solid wall), even if you cannot see them and even if you aren’t making any hearable noise (i.e. moving while crouched or walking, as bots cannot hear the player doing either of these).
AI videos here!
So, on to my current bot-killing strategies:
-> For Frenzy, the best advice I can give you is to keep moving and to keep checking your surroundings. It's important to have situational awareness so bots don't sneak up on you, and it's important to stay moving to dodge incoming Molotovs, which will be thrown at you constantly. I've seen bots throw four to five Molotovs in the same area at the same time.
-> If you're using an AMR, I'd always recommend using Focus and/or crouching as much as possible. The sway when being suppressed is horribly bad for the AMRs, but crouching helps alleviate that issue and Focus removes it entirely. Focus also reduces recoil by roughly 20% while used, while crouching reduces recoil by 40%.
-> If a bot sees you, your best course of action is to immediately engage at close range, and only fall back if the bot is too far away to quickly eliminate. This is because of the new bot AI in 1.13, which gives the player some time to engage (most of the time). It might be smarter to suppress the bot instead of trying to kill him (if your weapon fires fast enough to allow for it), as you don't need to be as accurate and suppressing the bot should make him fuck off, although in all honesty, you're better off just killing the fucker. After some testing, suppressing bots does seem to affect their accuracy
(probably because suppression = more recoil increased recoil is no longer a feature in-game). I doubt this will prevent FSA or IA, however.
-> If a bot shoots at you and you run to cover, you should do a few things:
First and foremost, do not re-peek. Your death is almost guaranteed when you do, as the bot's built-up accuracy increase is still in effect. I'd recommend staying down for at least five seconds, if not more.
Try to get some distance if you have enough cover to allow for it. Bots like to try and wallbang you once you get down into cover, and they're pretty fucking good at it.Unless the cover is bulletproof, this won't help you much as the AI can track you through walls perfectly, and even if the cover is bulletproof, you'll still die if the bot wants you to die because the bots can apparently pen anything with any caliber (i.e. sandbags with 5.56).
If you go prone behind cover, I'd recommend turning around so you're looking away from the bot. In case the bot goes for the wallbang, you're better off taking a round to your leg than your head. If the bot has an elevated position, however, I wouldn't recommend doing this as the bot may see your head and dump some 7.62 into it.
You might be better off turning so your body is at a 90-degree angle to the bot (aka perpendicular) so you'll hopefully take a round to your side instead of your head.Again, since the bot tracks your head through walls, only turning around so another body part is in the way would help you.
Instead of peeking the same angle, you'll be much better off if you attack from a different one, although I still wouldn't recommend peeking out if you were shot at within the past 3-5 seconds.
-> When clearing rooms and buildings, moving while crouched or slow walking makes no noise (on the bot's end), so bots won't be looking at you as you enter. However, once you're on a capture point, bots will investigate the area and hunt you down, so I'd recommend the standard walk speed at that point.
-> I feel like this shouldn't need saying, but I'll go ahead anyway. When using the bolt-actions, you probably won't be very successful if you just sprint into a room or around a corner and hope for the best. You'll have a better chance of survival if you move from cover to cover and engage targets from cover.
Peek out of cover, pop someone with a quick shot, yeet back into cover, bolt the rifle, repeat. Get a teammate to cover you when you need to reload.
It might be worthwhile to improve your hipfire aim with the bolts. Accurately dropping targets with bolt-action hipfire without needing a laser sight helps a lot in CQB.
Keep in mind that it's actually more time-efficient to reload a bolt-action when the gun is empty, even without Stripper Clips for the Mosin, due to an animation skip.
It's also worth noting that bolt-action rifles and shotguns can be manually bolted/pumped a bit faster by clicking a second time after firing each shot. In other words, just double-tap Left Mouse when you would normally just click once to fire.
-> Suppressors are extremely effective in Hardcore Checkpoint, especially when firing into groups of enemies. The less attention you draw to yourself, the fewer bullets are gonna be flying your direction. Also, since bots can use LGMS to throw grenades at you based on sound alone, suppressors might help reduce the number of cases where this occurs.
-> Pick what objects you choose to use as cover carefully. Bots, once again, love going for wallbangs, and are disgustingly good at getting them, so you should ideally pick some strong, solid walls or other objects to hide behind. Alternatively, you can just hide behind household furniture (like trash cans), because these props seem particularly bulletproof for some reason. In the CTE, I had a trash can save a bot from dying by my M99 AMR.
-> Peeking corners using your lean keys seems to work much more effectively than peeking without leaning. Bots seem to have a much harder time spotting and hitting you if you're leaning. Having good hipfire accuracy makes leaning that much stronger. In fact, you can blindfire around corners if you're leaning to the right.
-> In close quarters combat, if a bot spots you and you run around a corner to hide, the bot will acquire the "chase" behavior and will approach your position. There's a very good chance the bot will instakill you if you let him come to you and round the corner, but if you re-peek instantly, you might also get slapped.
- Try to go for the middle ground instead; peek the corner just enough so that you can see where the bot's coming from, but not far enough to get a line-of-sight on the bot. Wait for him to enter your line of fire and then body him. This is a bit tricky to explain with just text, but hopefully, you know what I'm trying to say lmao.
-> Sadly, however, all of these tips won't really help you against the worst offender, which is the 100% first-shot accuracy. Without constant full resupplies, this will inevitably kill you at some point, as this will chip away at your HP.
Heavy Armor will help save you from bots going for wallbangs and can help you live more 100% accuracy rounds (unless you're headshotted). It'll also help you much more in friendly-fire instances, as teammates will shoot you pretty often.
Since suppressors make you draw less attention from bots, it'll also reduce the amount of 100% accuracy cases. I'd always recommend getting one if possible.
Some suggestions of mine that would spice things up:
-> After the players capture an objective, there should be restricted zones set up for the bot team so they can't fire on the players who just captured the objective.
-> AI accuracy should take into account more variables than simply using a timer:
If the bot is moving, then his accuracy is lowered. If the bot is not using his weapon sights, his accuracy is severely lowered. If the bot is doing both, then he should only be able to land shots in close quarters. Bots moving and using ADS should have slightly lowered accuracy.
If the bot is standing, his accuracy should be lower. A crouching bot should get a slight accuracy increase, and a bot firing while prone should have a decent accuracy increase.
Bots using full-auto are less accurate than bots using semi-auto. Bots that fire slower while in semi-auto get a substantial accuracy increase while bots spam-firing in semi-auto have lowered accuracy.
Finally, the maximum possible accuracy that a bot can achieve should be capped depending on his weapon and the optic mounted on it. Shorter-length weapons, like pistols and submachine guns, should be capped lower than long weapons like assault rifles, marksman rifles, and sniper rifles. Optics should also affect when the accuracy is capped, so more powerful optics allow a bot to engage targets at further distances more accurately and standard 1x optics prevent a bot from sniping at 200 meters. Ironsights should allow for decent mid-range effectiveness, however.
The new update has supposedly added something like this for LMGs and Marksman Rifles. Bots equipped with these weapons need more time to be accurate. I'll need to run more tests, but I noticed that bots with sniper rifles need some time to actively gun down targets, although once that time has elapsed they're absolutely deadly. I can confirm that this was once again another bullshit statement because I've seen some absolutely ridiculous shots from the bots with both LMGs and sniper rifles.
-> Bots spamming full-auto like pro Competitive players is starting to get annoying. It would make more sense for bots to switch to semi-auto to engage targets past maybe twenty to twenty-five meters.
-> Bots using the Dshk .50 on the back of the Techs should use it more effectively. Have the bot spray into objective areas with the .50 to suppress and possibly kill players. Try to make the spray somewhat-predictable, though, so players don't feel like they have no way of avoiding death by RNG.
-> Bots with Light Machineguns should actually set up at certain chokepoints to fuck shit up, rather than run around and burst-fire them like an M16. I've rarely seen bots actually use LMGs properly. Bots with sniper rifles, designated marksman rifles, and anti-materiel rifles should set up a fair distance away in windows and similar locations to pick off stragglers.
Again, I think this update might've done something similar to this. At least, bots with LMGs shouldn't engage you if they aren't in position, or something. Needs further playtime/testing. From what I've seen, this happens sometimes, but I've also been instakilled by a single shot of an LMG at 60 meters.
While I wasn't a huge Day of Infamy player, NWI did a great job with the AI in that game (except for maybe the machine gunners who were basically discount snipers). The machine gunners and snipers would set up in random spots around the map, and other roles had similar setup positions.
Another thing, as well; anti-materiel rifles are excellent at taking down vehicles, as long as you've got a good view of the front of the car. The prop cars that are all around maps like Farmhouse detonate in two shots to the engine block, while Technicals can be taken down in three shots. Bots with AMRs could set up ambushes where they blow up nearby prop cars as players are passing near them. AMR bots could also destroy player-owned Technicals.
-> Suicide bombers can be scary, but most of the time... they aren't. If you happen to spot a bomber at about, oh, I don't know, a hundred and twenty meters, he's completely defenseless. What's worse, if you fire at said bomber from said distance, he will most likely stop moving and look at you as if he's trying to shoot you, but can't since he has no gun. This makes him even easier to eliminate.
I think suicide bombers could become a lot scarier with a few tweaks. Instead of actively seeking out players, I think it would make more sense to hide in dark, isolated, out-of-the-way areas to jump players passing by. I was even thinking about how the Cloaker special units in PAYDAY 2 hide, and it would be really neat (and horrifying) if suicide bombers could hide underneath cars and in other sneaky locations. Might be kinda ridiculous, though.
-> I've heard some people talking about having some IED traps in randomized locations. IED traps were heavily used in areas like Afghanistan, resulting in many US casualties. Having some sketchy-looking props, like suitcases or strange boxes, that would detonate when approached, would definitely make players use more situational awareness.
On a final note, I ultimately want Hardcore Checkpoint to reward player skill and not a random number generator. A lot of these bugs add in some insane RNG, which is why I get really upset. There's nothing more frustrating than dying from something you simply cannot control.