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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Most underestimated design issue : Mob AI

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51 posts found
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

6/25/13 3:53:34 PM#21
Originally posted by waynejr2

In any case, I don't think today's player would like it.  DO you think they would or not?

As with all things, some will like it, some will not.  I haven't been trying every new game that comes out lately so I worry I may be missing new things that are out there, but the games I have played have lots of room left for more "group-level" intelligence.

Also, I don't think the goal of an AI should always be to increase the difficulty.  Like art, sometimes its there just to add texture.

 

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

6/25/13 4:01:13 PM#22
Originally posted by zymurgeist
AI takes up an incredible amount of processing power.

I'm not convinced it has to.  Nature is full of simple clusters of reflexes that produce "intellgent" responses to stimuli.

  Gorwe

Elite Member

Joined: 9/16/11
Posts: 1761

6/25/13 4:07:21 PM#23
MMO mobs/creatures are just loot pinatas and xp bags.

Deal with it!

And yes, the best AI was in GW 1. Every other MMO "AI" sucked. I loved how mobs chased/focused down healers in GW 1. Ah, the beatiful memories...

/sigh They don't make games like Guild Wars anymore /sigh...
  Lord.Bachus

Elite Member

Joined: 5/14/07
Posts: 8591

I believe in life before death... So dont forget to enjoy it while you still can.

 
OP  6/25/13 4:13:42 PM#24
Originally posted by zymurgeist
MMOs don't have real AI. It's mostly  pathing, animation cycles and agro radius. The most complicated thing you'll see a few event based special behaviors mostly limited to boss mobs. AI takes up an incredible amount of processing power.

Offcourse MMOs dont have real AI when people talk about AI in an MMO they talk about mob behaviour.

 

In a non combat situation there might be NPCs cooking, talking dancing patrolling  and having conversations that you can listen in on. I consider this advanced NPC behaviour actually neededt to make the world alive.

 

no, i am allways wondered why ennemie NPCs allways directly attack instead of talking firts, screaming at me telling me to leave, or just telling me to pay the zoll for trespassing or turning straight back. 

 

And yes i know all mobs in combat are scripted, but why do they allways repeat the same sequence, to make combat more interesting they could add some randomness to it.  That would make things much more dynamic. 

 

Now i know its hard to make fights challenging, because you need to give the player characters the feel that they are strong and special, so you cant have them reach the brink of death every fight, but what you need to do is make the whole system so that if they make wrong decisions a lot of stuff might for example add to the fight turning roles and make the player hunter the hunted.

 

and what about mobs on a lash, and all having the same detection cycle. I think they should change that, there could be mobs that attack you when in line of sight, and other mobs might attck while to close. Or just move out of your way when to close,  while other mobs patrol areas with the single goal to hunt things and or players.

and what when you are hunted down by a stream of angry. orcs, when will they stop hunting you, when they reach a certain point, when the distance between you and the mobs gets to big, when they find another ennemie?  Bring back diversity, remove a lot of the leashes, and let mobs that have been training you but lost or killed you wreack havock on the way back instead of just running back to their place of orrigin.

also there are annimals like bears that slowly move alone, while other annimals like wolves move around sneaky and in packs. 

 

there can be done a lot to spice up the world, sadly still many mmos think its enough to place NPC ennemies at strategical points and keep them there

Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  Noleader

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/03
Posts: 6

6/25/13 4:28:12 PM#25

To me the best boss AI is that which there really is no script.  They have abilities (the most powerful has a cool down) but what they do is based on a RNG.  Sometimes the boss might be a bit easy and other times they will stack a couple hard to counter abilities together and send you to a early grave.

The concept worked well in DAoC were both mobs and player abilities were the product of a normal weapon cycle and not instant on key press. 

To me if you can write an add on a predict within a few seconds what the boss is going to do (AKA WoW) it is no longer interesting... beating a encounter like that proves only two things... you have time to figure out the cycle and the gear to make up for the minor mistakes.

  Xiaoki

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 2437

6/25/13 4:37:00 PM#26


Originally posted by maplestone

Originally posted by zymurgeist AI takes up an incredible amount of processing power.
I'm not convinced it has to.  Nature is full of simple clusters of reflexes that produce "intellgent" responses to stimuli.

It doesnt really matter what you are convinced of, advanced AI does indeed take an incredible amount of processing power and is the most complex and unpredictable aspect of video game programming which is already very complex and unpredictable.


Also, the most important thing you are all forgetting with AI in MMOs is the internet.


Things like AI have to be calculated server side and then sent to the player because any game function that is calculated client side can(and will) be hacked.

The amount and complexity of game functions that have to be sent to the players impacts the game's servers in a exponential way.

You have to remember that its not just you and your party that the game would be calculating the AI for, the game has to calculate AI for all players.

If you have 100,000 people playing the game and each player is observing 10 mobs then the game has to calculate the AI for 1 million mobs.


So, still think AI doesnt take an incredible amount of processing power?

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

6/25/13 5:03:47 PM#27
Originally posted by Xiaoki

So, still think AI doesnt take an incredible amount of processing power?

I think you underestimate my understanding of computational complexity.

  Nizur

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/15/09
Posts: 1428

6/25/13 5:06:45 PM#28

For me, a combination of Ryzom's and DF's would be nearly perfect.

Ryzom has great fauna "AI". Herding, migration, protecting each other, one group hunting another, etc.

DF had mobs that wouldn't wait for you to get within a small agro circle before attacking. If you were in LOS, you were getting attacked. They also didn't just stand there getting hit. They'd dodge and block. They'd run for backup. It made the mobs much more challenging and fun.

Current: None
Played: WoW, CoX, SWG, LotRO, EVE, AoC, VG, CO, Ryzom, DF, WAR
Tried: Lineage2, Dofus, EQ2, CoS, FE, UO, Wurm, Wakfu
Future: The Repopulation, ArcheAge, Black Desert, EQN

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6674

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

6/25/13 5:20:40 PM#29

FFXi ,as mentioned ,not always but in  many cases.

There is only so much you can do and FFXI pushes the limits to the max.This is proven by so many fights now being a simple Ninja Tank and one healer .

Having Ai that is too good as proven in case of FFXI can and does actually make the combat worse.Example you play all game with a group of 6,maybe your best friends.Now you end up in Abyssea fighting some high Ai mob,your only choice is to go in one Ninja Tank also your DPS and have the WHM stay out of range of AOE.Too many players feed TP,then the mob uses a dangerous TP move that can wipe everyone,especially relevant if too many feeding it TP.

Some mobs have dangerous attacks if any player is behind or some have frontal cone attacks or AOE,so there is never a safe place to stand.A few mobs have morphing abilities,changing from one class to another or being all melee resistant or all magic resistant or range only/melee only.

This is why in many games,players prefer to KITE,they don't have to stay in range of dangerous melee AI.

Also FFXI does something no other game does,that i know of.it has MORE aggro systems,scent/hit points,sound ,sight and magic.Most games are sight or proximity.

In MOST games mobs act like a group on the SAME AI,in FFXI you might have 3 mobs,one will cast Protect on all 3 and also heal steadily.In other words ALL mobs have classes where some games the entire set is the same class.Also many mobs use their 2 hour abilities  either whenever or near death.There are cattipillar mobs that if you run through water,they can lose scent of you and stop.

Also just as in other games,the mobs will actually move and try to disrupt your alignment,however in case of FFXI they will eventually settle down if you line them just right.I did however play a game a few years ago where the mobs would keep moving so you couldn't get behind them.However that kind of AI is too predictable because they do the same thing all the time.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6674

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

6/25/13 5:29:41 PM#30
Originally posted by Apraxis
As much as i know there is no MMO with any noteworthy mob AI. They have either more or less no AI or are bound into a fixed script, like some Boss Mobs.

Well they are all scripted and fixed for the most part.Mobs will given priorities in the script to use a special move at some interval be it 75% or 50% health or at a certain TP and some might heal when at 50% health ect ect.They are always going to be scripted commands,there is no such thing as artificial intelligence.

Well sorry there actually is but would take  very complex code and need  hours to run lol,i don't think anyone could wait hours for the next move.

A good AI is one that  has enough parameters in it's script to react to most circumstances without looking too fake or predictable.Example if you fought a mob and every time you did 200 dmg ,it follows up with a 200 healing spell,that would be  an unplayable game.So AI needs to be good but not too good,so in reality,there is never going to be a perfect AI.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  zymurgeist

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5185

6/25/13 5:42:05 PM#31
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by zymurgeist
AI takes up an incredible amount of processing power.

I'm not convinced it has to.  Nature is full of simple clusters of reflexes that produce "intellgent" responses to stimuli.

Individually no. That's why boss AI can be better. Now imagine hundreds of bosses reacting differently to different stimuli input from hundreds of different users simultaneously. They would have to individually poll dozens of states continuously rather than the few they do now. That's just for the most basic level of AI.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  waynejr2

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3732

RIP City of Heroes!

6/26/13 2:35:57 AM#32
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus
Originally posted by zymurgeist
MMOs don't have real AI. It's mostly  pathing, animation cycles and agro radius. The most complicated thing you'll see a few event based special behaviors mostly limited to boss mobs. AI takes up an incredible amount of processing power.

Offcourse MMOs dont have real AI when people talk about AI in an MMO they talk about mob behaviour.

 

In a non combat situation there might be NPCs cooking, talking dancing patrolling  and having conversations that you can listen in on. I consider this advanced NPC behaviour actually neededt to make the world alive.

 

no, i am allways wondered why ennemie NPCs allways directly attack instead of talking firts, screaming at me telling me to leave, or just telling me to pay the zoll for trespassing or turning straight back. 

 

And yes i know all mobs in combat are scripted, but why do they allways repeat the same sequence, to make combat more interesting they could add some randomness to it.  That would make things much more dynamic. 

 

Now i know its hard to make fights challenging, because you need to give the player characters the feel that they are strong and special, so you cant have them reach the brink of death every fight, but what you need to do is make the whole system so that if they make wrong decisions a lot of stuff might for example add to the fight turning roles and make the player hunter the hunted.

 

and what about mobs on a lash, and all having the same detection cycle. I think they should change that, there could be mobs that attack you when in line of sight, and other mobs might attck while to close. Or just move out of your way when to close,  while other mobs patrol areas with the single goal to hunt things and or players.

and what when you are hunted down by a stream of angry. orcs, when will they stop hunting you, when they reach a certain point, when the distance between you and the mobs gets to big, when they find another ennemie?  Bring back diversity, remove a lot of the leashes, and let mobs that have been training you but lost or killed you wreack havock on the way back instead of just running back to their place of orrigin.

also there are annimals like bears that slowly move alone, while other annimals like wolves move around sneaky and in packs. 

 

there can be done a lot to spice up the world, sadly still many mmos think its enough to place NPC ennemies at strategical points and keep them there

 There are loads of potential areas to improve upon in these games.  Not sure how players will react to them.  I suspect many players just want to level as quickly as they can. 

Why can't roaming patrols notice that many of those under their protection are suddenly dead?  They were alive a few minutes ago when they past by?  What about couriers running from one npc group to another with important information?  If the information doesn't arrive, what might that cause to happen?

A dragon feasts daily on many gnolls and thus keeps their numbers in check.  When PCs kill the dragon the power vacuum causing a large increase in the number of gnolls.  They start raiding towns.  That is smart ai.

I would like to see quest branching and NPCs reacting better to them.  The church sends a paladin on a quest to recovery an ancient holy sword from a lost tomb, but the paladin keeps the sword for himself as it is obviously going to do more good and god must have wanted him to have (good + law).

  moosecatlol

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/25/10
Posts: 1175

6/26/13 2:41:02 AM#33
Koreans make the best dungeon masters, it's in their dna. Too bad none of you have the gall to experience what I speak of. If a boss in 2013 isn't fighting for it's life, then it's a garbage boss.
  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

6/26/13 3:20:38 AM#34

"Balance" is the magic word that destroys mob AI.

Leveling combat must be "balanced" so that even the weakest of individual classes (generally healers) can solo in every situation.

This results in mobs that don't flee, don't summon aid, don't CC players, etc. Elite mobs? Goodbye. Low density, spread-out mobs that do not wander about much.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  sanshi44

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1046

6/26/13 3:31:08 AM#35
Originally posted by Redemp
 As much as I think Darkfall's AI got lucky and wasn't built to interact the way it does, or simply is just programmed to  act randomly  the AI in that game should be a standard starting point for future sandboxes.

Have to agree AV prob done the best job on AI out off all the game developers ive seen however its could be improved greatly i would love to see what a AAA dev company could do if they they put there mind to making decent AI instead of heavily scripted encounters.

Here one of the weakest mobs in Darkfall alot more intresting than ur typical mob also it can kill u if fairy easily as a newbie and they were the weakest mobs in the game u had to run away and heal from these suckers if u had more than 1 hitting u at a time when u started playing :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDETajj4Q8Q

  Lord.Bachus

Elite Member

Joined: 5/14/07
Posts: 8591

I believe in life before death... So dont forget to enjoy it while you still can.

 
OP  6/26/13 5:05:12 AM#36
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus
Originally posted by zymurgeist
MMOs don't have real AI. It's mostly  pathing, animation cycles and agro radius. The most complicated thing you'll see a few event based special behaviors mostly limited to boss mobs. AI takes up an incredible amount of processing power.

Offcourse MMOs dont have real AI when people talk about AI in an MMO they talk about mob behaviour.

 

In a non combat situation there might be NPCs cooking, talking dancing patrolling  and having conversations that you can listen in on. I consider this advanced NPC behaviour actually neededt to make the world alive.

 

no, i am allways wondered why ennemie NPCs allways directly attack instead of talking firts, screaming at me telling me to leave, or just telling me to pay the zoll for trespassing or turning straight back. 

 

And yes i know all mobs in combat are scripted, but why do they allways repeat the same sequence, to make combat more interesting they could add some randomness to it.  That would make things much more dynamic. 

 

Now i know its hard to make fights challenging, because you need to give the player characters the feel that they are strong and special, so you cant have them reach the brink of death every fight, but what you need to do is make the whole system so that if they make wrong decisions a lot of stuff might for example add to the fight turning roles and make the player hunter the hunted.

 

and what about mobs on a lash, and all having the same detection cycle. I think they should change that, there could be mobs that attack you when in line of sight, and other mobs might attck while to close. Or just move out of your way when to close,  while other mobs patrol areas with the single goal to hunt things and or players.

and what when you are hunted down by a stream of angry. orcs, when will they stop hunting you, when they reach a certain point, when the distance between you and the mobs gets to big, when they find another ennemie?  Bring back diversity, remove a lot of the leashes, and let mobs that have been training you but lost or killed you wreack havock on the way back instead of just running back to their place of orrigin.

also there are annimals like bears that slowly move alone, while other annimals like wolves move around sneaky and in packs. 

 

there can be done a lot to spice up the world, sadly still many mmos think its enough to place NPC ennemies at strategical points and keep them there

 There are loads of potential areas to improve upon in these games.  Not sure how players will react to them.  I suspect many players just want to level as quickly as they can. 

Why can't roaming patrols notice that many of those under their protection are suddenly dead?  They were alive a few minutes ago when they past by?  What about couriers running from one npc group to another with important information?  If the information doesn't arrive, what might that cause to happen?

A dragon feasts daily on many gnolls and thus keeps their numbers in check.  When PCs kill the dragon the power vacuum causing a large increase in the number of gnolls.  They start raiding towns.  That is smart ai.

I would like to see quest branching and NPCs reacting better to them.  The church sends a paladin on a quest to recovery an ancient holy sword from a lost tomb, but the paladin keeps the sword for himself as it is obviously going to do more good and god must have wanted him to have (good + law).

Dynamic events is one thing, but what you and i are actually asking for is a dynamic world. Add the dynamic events to the stuff we jusr described and give the players some immersive voiced over main quests that set them out intoo the area and you got what i am hoping that EQnext is doing.

Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  timtrack

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/03/06
Posts: 403

6/26/13 5:24:41 AM#37

I liked the old WoW raid boss "AI" (Molten Core, Blackwing Lair). In most of the fights the bosses jut had their abilities, and they used them as soon as they went off cooldown, just like a player would. It was quite simplistic, but still fun. It would be cooler if they were more random and/or "intelligent", as in that they could better assess the situation and use abilities accordingly, so add-ons with ability timers and such wouldn't work. I'm not much for the newer strictly scripted encounters where you get locked in to different predictable phases. Deathwing for example was a horrible fight in my opinion.

Go back to basic and try again i say!

  Quirhid

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5514

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

6/26/13 5:33:05 AM#38
Originally posted by nariusseldon

WoW has the best mob AI .. back in WOTLK, tier-9, there is an encounter called Faction Champion.

The mobs behaves as players. They don't use an aggro table (and can go attack mage/healer first), they use class abilities, they heal, ....

What happened? Players complained it is too hard, and it was nerfed, and never done again.

I don't know. GW was like that all the way and it sold 7 million copies. I think WoW players may be used to one type of encounters so they're expecting just that.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  GroovyFlower

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252

Skyrim

6/26/13 5:37:08 AM#39

DayZ mod had some real nice additions to game implementing NPC'S with some darn good AI that many players constantly losing and scrying they where out smarted and killed by npc's bots.

They moved dynamicly around world killing zombies or if threatend kill players you had bandits who where very dangerous and you need to becarefull to be outsmarted by npc's.

Was awesome but it did not last long most players started to hate them losing to a npc's.

This should be future improvements DYNAMIC npc's/mob's and weather systems with realistic sounds, which would improve immersion ALOT.

  DMKano

Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 5124

6/26/13 7:05:57 AM#40

Mob AI is tricky - I remember an interview I read with an AI programmer who worked at SOE basically saying that if built AI that was too good it would kill gameplay.

Example - your group goes into a dungeon - you have a tank, healer, CC and DPS - your group is well balanced and ready to go.

So you enter, there are couple of lowly goblins guarding the first room, the AI makes them sound alarms and the ENTIRE dungeon rushes your group, killing the cleric first, then the rest of your group.

He said that this type of AI was easy to do, like making sure mobs would always kill the healers first (makes sense) - but it would totally ruin gameplay, as your group would always get swarmed and die.

Or stuff like having rangred mobs kite you, he said they tried it in EQ devtest, and it was just way too frustrating for classes without snare.

So they have to dumb down AI for the sake of gameplay, you make it too smart, the game becomes impossible, if its too dumb then the player would find it too easy and boring.

This is why AI is still pretty dumb - gameplay

 

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