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Author Topic: AI Vs. Low Levels  (Read 10466 times)

Ric

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AI Vs. Low Levels
« on: July 11, 2008, 04:26:30 PM »
Wanted to bring this up becuase it's been irritating me for the longest time.  As far as I've known for the last bunch of months, the AI for hostile NPCs have been programmed to target party members based on stats.  If I'm not mistaken, they aim for the lowest level (Or at least lowest members AC-wise) before targeting the tougher formidable opponents.  I think this needs to change, becuase it's more or less exploitive and bothersome over productive towards stopping players from bunnying their lowbie friends through dungeons.

The thing is:  No one really ever bases their parties on how high/low level someone is, since our server (thankfully) doesn't limit players to "You must be within x levels of range to party together".  Now, while some people will say "You shouldn't take someone who's level 5-6 in the were-wolf den or the alhoon lair", I can honestly say that there are advantages that some people have over others, stat-wise, regardless of levels.  Also, there are classes, such as rogues, that become useless most of the time when they travel with higher levels, since they can't even do sneak attacks without pulling aggro from the NPCs, and then you have the 'tank' characters that are constantly bitching becuase they're like "Dude, I'm tanking, stop pulling aggro" and the poor rogues are going "I'm not, the AI's meta-gaming me."

Can we please have the AI's respond to actual 'threats' rather than "I'm going to meta-game and go for the lower levels first" ?  The thing is, I like (and many others do as well) taking lowbies in dungeons, especially if IC takes them there, but in a lot of situations, the lowbies get buggered becuase if they keep drawing aggro, we have to cast invisbility on them and force them to not participate in the dungeon crawl, and then they get bored and force themselves to leech exp instead of participate.  I'm pretty sure the Devs designed this AI to prevent exp-leechers, but this doesn't stop the problem, it only encourages leeching, becuase since the lower levels can't participate, you have to feed them invisbility spells and keep them out of the battle.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2008, 04:46:21 PM »
Agreed.  I noticed this for the first time yesterday.  Mariska and Corvin were going after Gilos, and almost without fail the spectres and allips would ignore the giant wolf and the guy beating on them with a magic hammer to attack the archer ineffectually pinging them with arrows from the other side of the room.  Didn't really make a whole lot of sense. :|

Zarathustra217

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2008, 05:03:10 PM »
There's no hidden philosophy in this change other than trying to make it more sensible - and less exploitable. As players you attack the monsters with much the same considerations.

However, I agree that it should be tuned to not go so much after the lower levels, especially when it should consider them harmless.

Ric

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2008, 05:20:23 PM »
I personally find exploitive/bothersome to a dangerous degree.  Here's an example (and one that I've seen done several times in game):

A super-DP'd level 10 character with high damage reduction traveling with a level 12 rogue.  The DP'd character is basically invincible, but becuase being low level, attracts all hostile attention on him.  Meanwhile, while that character is sitting absorbing all the damage, the rogue is spamming sneak attacks without ever drawing attention.

~

That same rogue partying with a level 15 tank now becomes completely useless.  The level 15 tank runs into a room and draws all aggro, and then as soon as the level 12 rogue sneak attacks a target, all of the hostiles turn from the tank to the rogue.


~~~

The thing that's irritating about this sytem is that it basically removes the whole idea of building a balanced party.  I built an archer-support character specifically to buff tanks and then fire arrows while they fight, and instead, I had to invest my buffs on myself, becuase when I did the former strategy, I left myself open to attack, and since my character was hanging out with higher levels 90% of the time, all aggro was leaned on him.

Rex

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2008, 05:23:21 PM »
There's no hidden philosophy in this change other than trying to make it more sensible - and less exploitable. As players you attack the monsters with much the same considerations.

However, I agree that it should be tuned to not go so much after the lower levels, especially when it should consider them harmless.

SMART monsters go for the Casters First.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2008, 05:24:38 PM »
Unless they have Mestil's Acid Sheath on *nod nod*
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Rex

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2008, 05:26:17 PM »
Unless they have Mestil's Acid Sheath on *nod nod*

Used to be called Blink Dog AI.  Goes for the Lowest AC First.

As for that Acid sheath crap.  The monsters that are facing Casters like that should be able to tackle it in quite a few different ways.

When in doubt though.

Bring in the Rust Mimic.  Stops all Farmers Dead in their Tracks.

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Ric

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2008, 05:27:39 PM »
Smart monsters don't exist.  Most monsters are stupid and aim at threatening targets.  The way the AI is right now, my best strategy is to just cover the lowest level in our party with buffs enough to scale his/her AC to 30+, and then send that person in front while everyon else flank-rapes.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2008, 09:29:00 PM »
Seemed like it went for the lowest AC and archers first to me.  I've seen quite a few creatures run right through front line characters to attack archers in the back rows, whether the archers were hurting them or not seemed to be irrelevent.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2008, 09:35:23 PM »
Seemed like it went for the lowest AC and archers first to me.  I've seen quite a few creatures run right through front line characters to attack archers in the back rows, whether the archers were hurting them or not seemed to be irrelevent.

Taking out archers, and spell flingers first seems like good tactics to me. But for the game to choose who to fight based on levels, is pretty meta-game-ishly silly.
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Ric

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2008, 10:00:55 PM »
I'm pretty certain it's level-based.  I've seen high level rogue-archers never get attacked becuase low levels were present, and I've seen High level tanks completely raped of their purpose, since monsters refused to target them.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2008, 12:03:34 AM »
Smart monsters don't exist.

Feel free to load Jaspierre's AI and build monsters as useful as PCs and say that. You'll be dying so many times you'll complain it's too hard when monsters = players roughly. Heh heh heh.
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Ric

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2008, 12:23:18 AM »
Hmph, that would at least be more interesting than meta-gaming AIs.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2008, 01:05:51 AM »
Noticed it again today. Was travelling with a level 4 for RP reasons, and got attacked.. things swarmed by me giving a crapload of AoO's and tried to attack her.
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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2008, 01:08:57 AM »
Noticed it again today. Was travelling with a level 4 for RP reasons, and got attacked.. things swarmed by me giving a crapload of AoO's and tried to attack her.

also noticed this with calson today while traveling with a group of lvl 4,6,3 today all three were getting pummeled like crazy and its only cause of the sneak attack and AOO that they didnt all die against the wolves we fought

Iconoclast

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2008, 02:11:33 AM »
Hmm...one of the aspects I enjoy is having a challenging fight, and using tactics.  Now if we have characters, melle with a cleric with them, up front to form a line, and assign archers and another healer to the back, and a fighter to watch over them, even though you might icly try to hold a front line to keep archers safe, the AI in this engine is able to have ememies just swarm right through and past the front line after the archers, so the line ends up falling apart to go after them, and chaos unfolds.



At least that seemed to happen recently, where even with a well balanced party and attempts to use tactics, the npc monsters not having to make any rolls to push past a front line sort of makes things more of an ooc challenge than ic.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 02:14:09 AM by Iconoclast »

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2008, 06:28:18 AM »
It's not level based. It is AC and HP based to a degree, but that's really the only feasible way to make the AI evaluate the type of foe without being all too meta-gamish. We as PCs can get an idea of the AC of HP of creatures fairly easily too. It isn't measuring it by great accuracy either.

But as mentioned, I'll revise it to make it more lenient. First of all, I'll up the down-prioritizing by distance, and perhaps increasing the up-prioritizing by danger. I'll probably also make it intelligence and wisdom based.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2008, 10:02:45 AM »

But as mentioned, I'll revise it to make it more lenient. First of all, I'll up the down-prioritizing by distance, and perhaps increasing the up-prioritizing by danger.

That's what I would've done too. 
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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2008, 10:16:48 AM »
The ones the AI considers more dangerous will be the ones it'll go after first. It will also take more into account the distance between the chars and the monster for checking possible threats. At least that's what I understood.


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Ric

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2008, 02:21:54 PM »
AIs are still the same as they were before, tested out the update.

Rex

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2008, 02:38:55 PM »
AI should just obliterate Casters.  Casters are Obviously more dangerous then non casters.

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Ric

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2008, 02:41:49 PM »
We had a tank, a damage dealer, and a support ranged-attacker (lowest level/AC).  All the monsters went for the ranged attacker despite him not even doing damage.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2008, 02:42:52 PM »
We had a tank, a damage dealer, and a support ranged-attacker (lowest level/AC).  All the monsters went for the ranged attacker despite him not even doing damage.

Yeah that sounds like Blink Dog AI where it goes for the lowest AC/hitpoints in the group, as opposed to the threat.

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Ric

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2008, 02:45:00 PM »
I'm all in favor of a strong AI that actually adds challenge, but there's nothing challenging about having your tanks and damage dealers surrounding weaker party members becuase the monsters just can't help but go for them first.

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Re: AI Vs. Low Levels
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2008, 02:45:12 PM »
Yeah. In the Ice Palace, the bleakborns and everything else kept swarming past us to get to a character that wasn't doing anything. Never attacked, never casted a spell. They went after him, even when he was a REALLY good distance away.

Players run through anything to hack at the wizards, and that's cool. But it's kinda silly for monsters to run after characters that never made an attack or casted a spell, while we're chasing them down and hacking at their backs. That behavior seems to have a certain disregard for basic survival. :)