Ai shortcomings

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Galdred
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Ai shortcomings

Post by Galdred » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:37 pm

I think one of the main issues with the game is ho passive the AI is : when scripted to attack, it is ok, but a when in defense, or reserve,it does a terrible job.
Once it detects a player unit, it will usually pile everything on it. That is not very subtle,but not a problem.
The main issue is that it does not scout even when enemy proximity is certain(AI unit was shot by player beyond LOS). So basically,if you hammer AI units and make sure none of yours end up in their visual range, AI will probably not do anything.
The AI could really use more scout units. And it should send a scout to acquire Sight on hex it was attacked from.
By exploiting AI passivity, I was able to pass the act 1 mission where you need to destroy AI units on objectives with the previous build (before some heavy units were written off) with minimal casualties.
If it is too late to fix the AI, just giving it more sight 4 units could do the trick.

The other issue is that for fear of retaliation, my super heavy and Titan units are usually not engaged at all, except :
When AI is scripted to assault and they block the way, or by AI units with very high Strength and penetration. So basically, if my super heavies and Titans are on the frontline, the AI units will just sit on their hands doing nothing. Even Land Raiders, terminators and centurions seem mostly safe from AI attacks. This issue may be difficult to solve the way retaliations work(as attacking stronger units that can retaliate gives them free shots), but I think the AI is a bit too risk averse in these situations.

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Kerensky » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:01 am

AI behavior on defence is always a point of contention. In Panzer Corps, players were annoyed to see the AI abandon defensive positions to attack their enemies. Since then, we've pretty much forced units defending VH to hold their ground. Outranging enemies is a part of 40k gameplay, so it's not too concerning. There are always other AI units with AI settings that make them more mobile.

And to be totally honest, I think it's good for the AI to be hobbled pretty heavily in this game. I'm much happeir to see players report the AI seems a little on the unintelligent side (they are Orks after all) then I would be if I started seeing reports of players being absolutely mangled by the AI like something out of Bagration Panzer Corps 1.0.

There are quite a few concepts that are very difficult to learn and understand, and a brutal AI crushing our players while they are trying to learn the game is not good for new players. There are quite a few AI settings that have specifically been put in place to diminish the effectiveness of the AI. Trying to anticipate and balance around smarter players who learn advanced game tactics to the point where they can exploit the AI is not something I am generally concerned with in version 1.0. With any luck though, 1.0 is hardly the end of the game. Panzer Corps certainly had a long life well after 1.0. ;)

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by vadersson » Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:14 am

Hey Kerensky,

Good post and an excellent topic. However, I want to make a few comments.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is Warhammer 40K and not Panzer Corps. Orks LOVE to fight. They would rather get into a melee fight than sit on a defensive line any day. As a matter of fact it is hard for Ork commanders to keep the boyz in line. Orks love to shoot and go fast. The more noise the better. The bigger the explosion the better. So while people might expect Germans or Soviets to be disciplined and hold the line, Orks should be abandoning their posts just to try and stick a choppa in your face. That is a big part of what makes Orks Orks. I think that defaulting to the more passive defense posture in this game is a HUGE mistake. For the Guard troops, sure, but for Orks, the answer is always to WAAAAGGGGHHH! You really lose a ton of the Warhammer flavor and you will certainly hear about that from the players.

The second point Galdred made is also VERY true! The Orks fire on my infantry pretty much to exclusion of everything else. My titans, super-heavys, and even other tanks are pretty much immune while I can't keep an infantry unit alive. And the Orks won't even fire if there are only hard targets around. Again, not very Orky. Also pretty darn boring. The AI needs to be much more aggressive and not afraid to fire on units. It is very imbalanced that my armor can pretty much do anything and the PBI takes all the fire. This really needs looked at I think.

The last thing I want to really point out is my concern about your statement:
Kerensky wrote:Trying to anticipate and balance around smarter players who learn advanced game tactics to the point where they can exploit the AI is not something I am generally concerned with in version 1.0. With any luck though, 1.0 is hardly the end of the game. Panzer Corps certainly had a long life well after 1.0. ;)
Again, this is not Panzer Corps with a great history and big fan base to start with. Panzer Corps was a great follow on to PG2 and there are tons for WW2 fans out there (myself included.) This game is following up on Final Liberation (and to a point Chaos Gate.) Players are going to have a totally different set of expectations for this game. You talk a lot about stuff that might not make "1.0". But if 1.0 is not great, you may not get to a 1.1 or 2.0. I am very worried that based on a lot of things I hear "might not make 1.0" that this game may not do very well. Personally, with the AI the way it is, I might not even buy this game, and I am a huge fan. I think the project team really needs to make sure 1.0 is VERY good and Warhammer like or things will not go well after launch.

Please do not take this personally, because I want this game to be great. But I don't feel like people are thinking that the game has to be great out of the gate. It seems like there is a lot of belief that things can be fixed down the road. I just hope that road appears. Please consider this all carefully. I would rather you all push back release and get all the features and capture the Warhammer 40K feel (which you guys kept asking about earlier in development) than publish this and have it be a flop.

Thank you,
Duncan
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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by zakblood » Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:56 am

i have been here only a day or 2 now, but i see some passion for the game on both sides, those like me who know little about the concept of war hammer and design so don't get into the debate about a projectile weapons ammo being less accurate by 2 par sec to the ninth degree, and the others who know about stuff, which to me sounds like geek talk, please take that in the right and nice way, as my girl friend thinks i'm a geek as i know the names of the moons of some planets.... :lol:

so it''s a perspective thing, and not a nasty demeaning comment.... :wink:

but i do agree with most of the comments above, as i know very little of Orc's in this time frame, but do know them in other games so agree with your comments...

but and here's the difficult part, if a being is stupid, how can it build stuff as good as the other side?

or does it steal it all? and if so who maintains it, as again that requires brains...

so it's catch 22...

i'd like the Or'c to be let free and roam, defend or attack, with more units in hordes, as they tend to only have a few bigger types anyway and mostly field light units, yes you can be overwhelmed by cheaper lower units and still die in the end if surrounded but as you see it coming over a few rounds of attacks you shouldn't leave a single unit other than to sacrifice it anyway, if you understand me correctly...

but to tie it's hands behind it back as to not put new buyers off by being beaten too often is a poor arguments, as you could say on release that you don't mind everyone on steam forum and here also saying the game is so easy it's unplayable :shock: :?:

so it's a double edge sword and a fine balancing act, too easy, no challenge, too hard, then only hard core fanatics will like it, as there only happy if they die all the time anyway...

as the game is, in beta 4, apart from act 1 which i missed out after reading comments it didn't need any more testing, act 2 and 3 are 1, both short and 2, both easy to do with the right choice of units, so i must have just got lucky, and provided no challenge to a newbie player and must say i'm also a very substandard player and would count myself well below average in most games, and yes i have played panzer corp and loved it, but that's easy as well, and doesn't give a seasoned player a real challenge unless you ramp up the difficulty and don't cheat :shock:

as this game has no difficulty selection, which to me so far is the biggest flaw and will be the most moaned about part, apart from the graphics etc that is, and maybe it's too late to sort out before release, as this sort of thing would have been sorted out and talked about pre alpha, not a week or so before release....

the AI shortcomings is something of a mute point...

some will think why i bothered to come and do this beta as all i have done is moan?

i'll be honest, as that's my main problem, i say what i think, this game isn't or wasn't my type, but i love to test game, more than playing them most of the time...

but i do like this, the same happened when i tested Hell a few days back as i came straight from doing that one, again not my type of game, but after play / testing it so long i loved it, this test, i haven't got the time to test fully as the days are just not left, as i didn't get into the party earlier enough, so have to do what i can in a shorter length of time, i see plenty of members here working hard with some great comments.

but reading older posts some of these where made a while ago also, so either was forgotten or just brushed under the carpet...

there are more posts on weapon layouts than AI, which sounds daft, as if the AI isn't using those weapons why have them in it in the first place, unless everyone plays the game online, human v human, the AI should be the most important part of the game, not a last minute job, or fixed post release...

as if it isn't in 1.0 RC gold what ever, comments will affect sales, it's not rocket science, but again i'm not a sales person either, i only test...

so today i test more, and comment less, as the testing head will be on, the talking typing one won't be, aka Kryten (red dwarf)

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Kerensky » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:24 am

Well what you are talking about now is well beyond the scope of scenario design, so I really can't comment about that kind of working of the AI. What I can say is that making the default game more difficult is really not an option to accomodate advanced players, especially not for 1.0 where the game is brand new to pretty much everyone, and that has nothing to do with timetables or planning to 'fix it later'. A more aggressive AI is a more punishing AI, and that doesn't have a place in early game content. Besides, there is plenty of unleashed AI units including big Ork tanks like Skullhammas and Gargants in the late game. Late Act2 and Act3 have plenty of challenges, so much so that almost universally the final set of changing being made to the game are to reduce difficulty (extra points for reinforcements, extra turn limits) or even make the game plain easier to play (reducing effectiveness of cover for example) in one way or another.

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by zakblood » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:37 am

Late Act2 and Act3 have plenty of challenges, so much so that almost universally the final set of changing being made to the game are to reduce difficulty (extra points for reinforcements, extra turn limits) or even make the game plain easier to play (reducing effectiveness of cover for example) in one way or another.
don't agree, and if your toning it down even more, and more than a few people have said it's too easy, i also think that's a mistake and in the wrong direction, but as it's also not my place or call i'll just say it and then carry on testing, which i started easier today on act 1, and 4 missions in, i agree more now than ever that act 2 and 3 are easy, as some of the first missions in act 1 are as hard tbh, even with less units, they give a % challenge equal to later missions in this beta...

please don't dumb it down any more, unless target audience is 6 or 8 year olds, then it will be fine, and yes that's sarcasm, as most 6 to 8 year old would be better at it than me anyway...

if you want to make a game that's short and can be finished in a long weekend but loads of fun, you have already succeeded, so well done :roll: :wink:

but if you want to make a game that's a classic, and faithful to the universe it's meant to be aimed in, then i'd listen to the war hammer players, which i am not from either, but as i don't also agree will you i'll join with them for now...

as it is in beta 4, will be able to give more and detailed on act 1 feedback later today, up to yet, act 2 and 3 are not a challenge what so ever, with the right or incorrect for the time maybe units selected, and as no limits are put on how many supper heavy tanks you can field in any mission where you can buy units, or disband the preset ones, i see no challenge really in the game at all, but it is great fun still and i really like it, it just could be better, that's all i'm trying to say with not that much more done to it...

yes i'd like a new engine with better graphics...

yes i'd like to play both sides...

yes i'd like to be able to pick and chose / select all my units in every battle played...

yes i'd like the Orc's to run free and horde and attack on mass, not sit there and be picked off while you smile out of range for them to return fire, it's so funny and sooooo unreal...

yes i don't know the universe the game is meant to be in, and tbh i couldn't care less about it either, but if a unit in any world or army is smart enough to build tanks and planes, then surly they are smart enough to,

A, not attack mines when you are the same distance away firing at them, as the mine doesn't hurt them, unless stopped on, you do....

B, send in mostly mixed bag of light to medium units with the odd tank etc, against my whole army of supper heavy tanks (AI should either stop my selection with limits on how many of one type to buy, or alter the other side with at least some weapons to counter what i have, walnut and nuke springs to mind...

C, if Orc's are supposed to be very aggressive and love to fight, why do so many here post saying they are passive or defensive? or only attack if you get in there range, out side of it your safe so if you can fire back, you're in the % knowledge that they won't, either close the distance and attack or move away, which again is daft / silly and no way real...

i could keep going on through the alphabet, but i guess i'd run out if letters first, this isn't meant as a dig, a moan, a flame attack, or anything other than positive none constructive criticism....

as i do like the game, i like it a lot, but so close to release, with pressure on, maybe a step back is needed and another re think, still release, as games working fine, regarding ctd etc etc.... but be ready for the changers that maybe should be made, as most / some are only suggesting small things, with AI being one of them...

i still can't believe there is no options to make the game scripts easy medium or hard, so user can pick, as every game needs the basics tbh,then this point may also be a mute one... and be put to bed :wink:

anyway i test, so unless bugs or things to say, i'm done with typing for today.....

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by thepuffin » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:44 am

Hmm, I was hoping that somewhere in the options screen that we can't access yet there was going to be an AI difficulty slider.

The game is too easy right now because the AI is incapable of attacking or defending effectively and doesn't build the right troops to counter my army. Also, the Orks don't feel like 40k Orks *at all*. Orks have low ballistic skill (so can't hit a barn door with a ranged weapon) but their strength and toughness make them brutal in close combat. They should be screaming "WAAAGH!" and butchering everything in close combat instead of passively sitting on a victory hex and dying to ranged fire.

Reading your comments it makes it seem like you think you are building an MMO where players will hunger for each patch and replay over and over to try out the new things. Maybe that is the way Panzer Corps players have played in the past but you are targeting a different demographic here - WH40k players looking to try a new licensed game - so you need the hook to be there at the start. I don't think you'll see as many people beating the game and replaying it several times. Personally, I doubt I'd even bother to complete the game if it was released as is, and I wouldn't be on the site looking for patches so would never know that you'd fixed it later.

The basic game we're seeing now has potential, but I'm disappointed that you guys are still trying to rush it out to meet a self-imposed deadline rather than take the time to make something excellent.

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by zakblood » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:51 am

it may be there, but as no one as said as yet one way of another, i guessed...

in the game folded there is a file with settings in it, for the game, and in there i can see options and difficulty etc, so hope it is, but until someone says yes for sure you can sit with me my old fruit cake as we seem to have fallen from the same tree :shock: :roll: :wink: :lol:
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Kerensky
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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Kerensky » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:00 am

Heh... self imposed he says... :shock:

Again to reiterate, we are talking about the default difficulty settings too. Default should be steamroll easy for players of your calibre. ;)

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Galdred » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:16 am

I too think the game really needs difficulty settings. One size fits all risks not being good for anyone. Unfortunately, there won't be time to test these.

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by IainMcNeil » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:59 am

Hi guys

the game will be great at 1.0 but we will continue to improve it. I've tried to explain elsewhere that a game is never compete, you just have to decide at some point its good enough and release it! Just because we plan to continue making it better after it has released does not mean the 1.0 version is not a great game.

V1.0 will be great or we will hold it back until it is. We know its not quite there yet but we are very close and are confident it will be something to be proud of at release.

You have nothing to worry about! :)

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Galdred » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:09 pm

I agree about the need to restrain orks from sending everything at the Imperial player given the overwhelming odds, that said, each group (ie, bunch of ork units that defend a given area) should at least try to deal with the units attacking them. Waiting idly under fire sure does not seem very orkish, and does not make for very interesting battles.
The AI is already unforgiving against spotted infantry units, all it needs to do is to make some effort to get sight on at least one attacking unit after a group has been provoked, and then, deal with it as usual.

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Razz1 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:04 am

Kerensky wrote:AI behavior on defense is always a point of contention. In Panzer Corps, players were annoyed to see the AI abandon defensive positions to attack their enemies. Since then, we've pretty much forced units defending VH to hold their ground. Out ranging enemies is a part of 40k game play, so it's not too concerning. There are always other AI units with AI settings that make them more mobile.

And to be totally honest, I think it's good for the AI to be hobbled pretty heavily in this game. I'm much happier to see players report the AI seems a little on the unintelligent side (they are Orks after all) then I would be if I started seeing reports of players being absolutely mangled by the AI like something out of Bagration Panzer Corps 1.0.

There are quite a few concepts that are very difficult to learn and understand, and a brutal AI crushing our players while they are trying to learn the game is not good for new players. There are quite a few AI settings that have specifically been put in place to diminish the effectiveness of the AI. Trying to anticipate and balance around smarter players who learn advanced game tactics to the point where they can exploit the AI is not something I am generally concerned with in version 1.0. With any luck though, 1.0 is hardly the end of the game. Panzer Corps certainly had a long life well after 1.0. ;)
I disagree concerning these items:

1) Orcs are suppose to attack. Customers want it to be Bagration except with T34-40 T-43-42 and a few T-40-43's. Every game I have played with Orks has them constantly attacking.

I think we need to make it as close to first person shooter as possible with Orcs. The other units are scripted fine in the scenarios.

Here's my proposal. Make all Orcs active and attacking. Replenish them as needed. A player wants this feel when playing this game. They want to be consistently attacked by them while still having the scenario mission objectives to move forward.

2) The AI will play much better when seeing the map. So implement an adjustable Fog of War for the AI.

In this game it can be done easily by implementing the camouflage trait. Assign it to a flying icon unit. Call it the "Evil Eye" or what ever. For now we can call it Spot.
Since a camouflage unit can not be seen unless it moves with in range of an enemy unit, assign it zero movement points. Since the map sizes are almost the same we can make three types of "Evil Eyes."
They will be based upon spotting range. One type can see 50% of the map another 25 % of the map and another 5% of the map.
You can stick the unit in the corner of the map where a human player will never go. Since it has movement zero the player will never see it. The AI now has lifted the FOG and can fight much better.
Repeat the same thing with the other units based upon range and the scenario. Now, the AI will fight smart.

This works perfect for ACT one as there are no flying human units!

For Act two and three, use the other type with a different range.

So between the Orcs consistently attacking and being able to see part of the map controlled by the designer, I believe customers will enjoy each battle and give the game a 10 +++ rating.

You can even make it so the Spotting Orb " Evil Eye" gets introduced into the game to a human player when he bumps into it. The defensive strength of Evil Eye should be able to handle three attacks before it is killed. Zero offensive ability. In those maps the Orb will have a patrol zone and see 4 hexes?
the story can be... Out of the center of the planet the Evil Eye shoots out of Volcano's to protect the Orcs to defeat the human. The eye can see all and leads the Orcs to victory.

3) I also think it would be best to increase the icon size by 15% of the Robots (Titans). This way they will overlap the hex above it. Offset it a little to left so it won't block the strength plate.

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Kerensky » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:11 am

Razz1 wrote:I disagree concerning these items:

1) Orcs are suppose to attack. Customers want it to be Bagration except with T34-40 T-43-42 and a few T-40-43's. Every game I have played with Orks has them constantly attacking.

I think we need to make it as close to first person shooter as possible with Orcs. The other units are scripted fine in the scenarios.

Here's my proposal. Make all Orcs active and attacking. Replenish them as needed. A player wants this feel when playing this game. They want to be consistently attacked by them while still having the scenario mission objectives to move forward.

2) The AI will play much better when seeing the map. So implement an adjustable Fog of War for the AI.

In this game it can be done easily by implementing the camouflage trait. Assign it to a flying icon unit. Call it the "Evil Eye" or what ever. For now we can call it Spot.
Since a camouflage unit can not be seen unless it moves with in range of an enemy unit, assign it zero movement points. Since the map sizes are almost the same we can make three types of "Evil Eyes."
They will be based upon spotting range. One type can see 50% of the map another 25 % of the map and another 5% of the map.
You can stick the unit in the corner of the map where a human player will never go. Since it has movement zero the player will never see it. The AI now has lifted the FOG and can fight much better.
Repeat the same thing with the other units based upon range and the scenario. Now, the AI will fight smart.

This works perfect for ACT one as there are no flying human units!

For Act two and three, use the other type with a different range.

So between the Orcs consistently attacking and being able to see part of the map controlled by the designer, I believe customers will enjoy each battle and give the game a 10 +++ rating.

You can even make it so the Spotting Orb " Evil Eye" gets introduced into the game to a human player when he bumps into it. The defensive strength of Evil Eye should be able to handle three attacks before it is killed. Zero offensive ability. In those maps the Orb will have a patrol zone and see 4 hexes?
the story can be... Out of the center of the planet the Evil Eye shoots out of Volcano's to protect the Orcs to defeat the human. The eye can see all and leads the Orcs to victory.

3) I also think it would be best to increase the icon size by 15% of the Robots (Titans). This way they will overlap the hex above it. Offset it a little to left so it won't block the strength plate.
I'm very much in agreement with Iain on this one, 1.0 is shaping up to be pretty fantastic. There really is no need for concern, you guys will be in for a real treat once you see for yourselves. :D

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by zakblood » Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:58 am

saying is one thing, lets test it and make our own minds up, if not and it's over, then also say, i'm fine either way, but please don't dangle carrots, as i'm not a donkey :shock:

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Re: Ai shortcomings

Post by Galdred » Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:47 pm

Good job on the AI i. The latest build. I didn't t have time to test much, but I saw it launch large scale counter offensives. That said, it still behaves a bit weirdly when it spots no one, or only units it cannot hurt much :
I played one turn on campaign 3 mission 1 at highest difficulty, alone of my units ended in spotting range of the orks, and they sent a massive counter attack, but after replaying my turn wih similar setup, I killed the spotter, and then the orks passed their turn without action. They should use cheap throwaway infantry to scout where these shots came from :)

Another weird thing is that the orks spotted one of my Shadowsword groups (3*2 Shadowswords ), and then closed in with their boys and did nothing. I can understand them not wishing to assault the Shadowswords formations with slugga boyz but then, why close in? They might have been looking for weaker units around, but it still seems a bit weird to close the distance just to get a better view of the superheavies.

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