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Malanir Offline OP
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Dear devs,

Im surely not the first one to ask for it but :

The IA in this marvelous game has some big issues.

I'll give some exemple :

1) Zombie getting healed by allies (mostly by skeletons) and therefore they get damaged as zombies are damaged by healing. This is nonsense and happen way too often.

2) Elemental casters, lets say Fire one, focusing on fire elementals and healing them, im ok that maybe they are VERY stupid and try once , but not twice, 3 , 4 until end of summoning healing it and being useless.

3) Blindness : When blinded not a single ennemy would do something except a few bosses. Which is quite a problem as when im blinded with a character i still can heal myself, buff myself, get invisible whatever, drink a potion.

These are the majors ones.

On an other hand, elementals of the same element fight each other, im ok to admit that they are dumb (though in the storyline they arent at all), and that they would hit endlessly.

There is a lot of little things like that but this is the basic i'll gladly put more exemples of things to fix.

Thank you for your time, reading and taking consideration about this post.

Friendly,

Malanir.

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I think that fine tuning the AI is the most we can ask of Larian. Actual situational awareness is asking for too much imho.


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I'm not sure what you mean by situational awareness, but to me that's not what Malanir is asking for. Not sure if you're saying his ideas are outlandish, but I don't think they are at all. I think they could all be programmed relatively easily with checks. E.g., if blind, set priority to buffs, potion drinking, etc. Elemental resist checks really shouldn't be that hard either, but the question is how to implement it. Should enemies do an under-the-table check, and just know about player resists (or that could be tied to loremaster), or should they learn from a failed attack? There was a thread about AI not too long ago, and I think most people agreed that these kind of changes shouldn't be that difficult, and that they are important for making the game actually challenging and not just tedious.

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I'd have to add one: though I have only played Cyseal area so not sure how enemies later handle this..
4) Make them go through oil slicks if that is the only path to the player. Instead of standing back and being ranged to death.


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Malanir Offline OP
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Agreed with Phalzyr to his 4)

I'll add something about this 4th point

(Little SPELLS SPOIL ALERT)

At the end of the game around lvl 17-19 when you begin to have meteor rain, (dont know the english name of this spell) and spells of big size + an archer in your team, huge flaming grounds, the melee ennemies can litterrally spend 3-4 turns on the other side. As we were gentlemen with my teammate we were charging through it just to give a chance to the ennemies to fight...

So to conclude on the 4th point, yeah the ennemies should after lets say 1 turn have the courage to walk and reach us, especially undead guys : on a role play hand they are already dead they shouldnt be too "afraid" of walking on fire...

Last edited by Malanir; 03/11/14 01:49 PM.
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Agreed. Seen an enemy caster use the meteor rain spell but haven't got it yet myself. I countered with rain... Maybe the AI could purposely teleport player characters into the damage zones, though I've read by late game elemental resistance is high so it wouldn't hurt too badly, but at least then they could attack... I.E. at least do something other than stand an wait. Flee out of range or suicide run through.

I mentioned oil more so because it doesn't harm them period just puts slow, so to not run through it... Even if then set on fire it is a short jog, that hurts them far less than just standing still.


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It's not like this game has real AI.
It's a set of rules they follows. A sort of decision tree probably.
So it's just a matter of adding more checks.

Situational Awareness implies real cognition. If that's what the game is doing, then Larian is wasting talent.

Probably the list of conditions the AI checks for and has rules to handle is way to limited.

If self.checkForDebuf("Blind") then Do "HELP I'm Blind routine"

If ally[i].checkForDebuf("Blind") then Do "try to heal the blind routine"

routine "HELP I'm Blind"
if self.hasHealBlindness() then DUH heal myself
if self.hasSpellType(AOE) then BLAST AWAY and hope we take out more enemies than allies

ect

For a game AI to "lack situational awareness" usually just means the combat decision tree is incomplete


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A good read about Shadow Runs AI was just posted.

http://gamasutra.com/blogs/Sheridan...olution_of_TurnBased_AI_in_Shadowrun.php

Every cRPG ever made has probably used a checklist/scripted AI. It's always a human deciding the value of certain things, like in Shadow Run, if health > 50%, then the AI thinks cover is worthless. We of course know that's not the case, but with so many variables and permutations of events that can happen between the choice to take cover and the end of battle, the only way the programmer knows how to evaluate the benefit is for him to input it himself.

You might think sampling. But since the value of the variable isn't measured in isolation, but rather the value of the best strategy the computer can implement, it's value changes in each evolution of the computers strategy. It's still very hard to compute, and outside of games like chess and more recently poker, I don't think an AI like that has existed.

Thus, I think we're stuck with fancy checklists for the indefinite future. Always hoping the developer thought of xyz and made some rational choices regarding it.

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Quite an interesting article. Much of their specific decisions wouldn't apply to DOS since Shadowrun is grid and cover-based and DOS isn't, but I think there's a good message: make sure the AI at least doesn't LOOK dumb. And a bit of behind-the-scenes randomness can do a lot to make AI seem more alive. Finally, hopefully the AI scripting is fairly easy to do, as that clearly has a huge impact on producing good AI. Just more evidence that Larian needs to put their focus into improving the editor and their code, at least after the next patch. I wonder if Larian will ever release a Director's Cut of DOS. The Director's Cut of Dragonfall is absolutely incredible, an enormous step up from the original game. But a new campaign that doesn't have the problems the original does would be just as well (if not a better use of time). That's probably what they're doing, since Larian said they're using the same engine.

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1) Completely agree with you here. I'd take it further by saying undead should have some sort of witchcraft/poison heal spell that heals undead.

2) Completely agree with you here as well. Fire elementals and even people with fire shields are raising a giant banner that says "I get healed by or am very resistant to fire."

3) I don't agree as much. I know its weird that blind affects players differently than it affects NPCs, but I don't think they need to change the way enemies act while blinded. The fact of the matter is: blind is just a witchcraft stun

Blind has a higher chance to blind than blitz bolt's chance to stun, but blitz bolt does damage and has synergies with the Wet status and pools of water. To me, that's a pretty even trade making these 2 spells about even in power as is.

There is no reason to spend a lot of time and energy changing how a spell behaves in the game when it is doing just fine as is.


Last edited by Fronkles; 10/11/14 05:13 AM.

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