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EverQuest Next

EverQuest Next 

General Discussion  » AI needs to change, have actual cone of sight/hearing/smell and needs(No more "cone of aggro/standing around)

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25 posts found
  Stiler

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/05
Posts: 599

 
OP  7/21/13 6:01:48 AM#1

This is something I never quite figured out why mmo's never really did.

In almost any mmo it's always the same. You have npc's that merely stand around in the world, just waiting for someone to get "near" them and then they aggro and you either kill them or run away.

It's extremely predictable, it's bare bones, and most of all it makes the entire AI seem both dumb and lifeless.

 

To me this is one of the major things I'd love to see changed in EQnext, no more useless mobs just STANDING AROUND doing nothing. No more "cone of aggro" that pops when you get within "x" distance of them.

Why not give the AI an actual needs based system? Give animals basic needs, such as a need for food, water, shelter, which the AI has to fulfill on it's own.

Then you give the animal AI variations. Such as some animals being herbivores vs carnivores vs omnivores. Then you have some animals that live in packs, some that are alone, some that are in herds. Some that are territorial, some that migrate depending on the season in game, some that are aggressive, some that are passive and run away (IE deer/cattle/etc) some that are only defensively aggressive (IE you give them room/don't put them in a corner an dthey don't attack, but if you do they'll defend themselves)..

 

Then finally, instead of having the "cone of aggro" type of detection they actually have a sense of sight/hearing, and even if it is permitted, smell.

Something along the lines of games like say Metal Gear Solid or Splinter cell type of AI.

 

Imagine all the possibilities that are opened as far as combat when you have this kind of AI compared to the usual mmo AI.

 

You want to be sneaky? You don't "pop invis" and just walk anywhere you want around a mob, rather you actually have to use the shadows and be QUIET.

You want to distract an enemy? Fire a noisy arrow (think of like in the Thief games) or throw something nearby that they can hear.

All kinds of things can be done if the AI is brought up to a level that some single player games have done.

  Skuz

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/08
Posts: 1041

"If you can''t laugh at yourself there''s always someone around to show you how it''s done!"

7/21/13 6:08:09 AM#2

I don't know the specifics but AI is getting a lot of attention in EQNext, we'll have to wait & see how that translates into the game but I think that some of the points you raise are extremely difficult to translate into AI while others make sense to do & are feasible.

I agree with the basic premise that AI needs to be improved a lot in MMO's, mostly as I believe it to help support the "virtual world" immersion, but also because it will raise the bar a great deal game-play wise.

  Nadia

Tipster

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11727

7/21/13 6:13:04 AM#3

i have no issues w undead standing around

 

but otherwise i agree w the Op

  Stiler

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/05
Posts: 599

 
OP  7/21/13 6:16:02 AM#4
Originally posted by Nadia

i have no issues w undead standing around

 

but otherwise i agree w the Op

 

Undead shouldn't stand around, they should be  shambling around searching for BRAAAAAAINS lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1FKU9Oihw

  Fusion

Old School

Joined: 5/21/03
Posts: 1385

7/21/13 6:22:14 AM#5

What you probably don't know, is 'proper-AI' is very resource-heavy (on the hardware side of things) and the more complex the AI is, the more quirks they'll have... spazzing out, doing weird shizz etc.

Arma 3 (beta) is a good example of complex AI, they take cover, seek n destroy, try to flank you, give suppression etc, but when you slap alot of them on a mission, they hog resources like a mofo!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2WRY2HD1Kk <-- there's a video of AI in action (alpha) and personally, i think that's pretty damned impressive.

Complex AI and mmorpg's just don't mix, if the companies want to keep the hardware entry-level low as possible for more people to be able to play, thusly making more profit.

Currently playing: -

Waiting for: Class4.

Dead and Buried: ESO, NWO, GW2, SWTOR, Darkfall, AO, AC2, Vanguard, CoH/V, EnB, EVE, Neocron, FE, EQ, EQ2, DAoC, FFXI, FFXIV, SWG, WoW, and billions of eastern junks!

  Nadia

Tipster

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11727

7/21/13 6:22:53 AM#6
i was thinking of Skeletons / Spirits
  greenblood82

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/27/07
Posts: 29

7/21/13 6:33:13 AM#7
Originally posted by Fusion

Complex AI and mmorpg's just don't mix, if the companies want to keep the hardware entry-level low as possible for more people to be able to play, thusly making more profit.

Isn't the ai calculated server side in an MMO?

  Stiler

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/05
Posts: 599

 
OP  7/21/13 6:34:04 AM#8
Originally posted by Fusion

What you probably don't know, is 'proper-AI' is very resource-heavy (on the hardware side of things) and the more complex the AI is, the more quirks they'll have... spazzing out, doing weird shizz etc.

Arma 3 (beta) is a good example of complex AI, they take cover, seek n destroy, try to flank you, give suppression etc, but when you slap alot of them on a mission, they hog resources like a mofo!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2WRY2HD1Kk <-- there's a video of AI in action (alpha) and personally, i think that's pretty damned impressive.

Complex AI and mmorpg's just don't mix, if the companies want to keep the hardware entry-level low as possible for more people to be able to play, thusly making more profit.

 

I understand it takes more resources, but you do understand that in mmo's most of the things like that (AI caculations) are done server side, not client side, right? Since you need to show the npc doing the smae thing for everyone , etc.

 

I don't think it'd be asking for a lot to have basic AI with sight/sound detection like a game like Thief had back in the 1998.

 

  Fusion

Old School

Joined: 5/21/03
Posts: 1385

7/21/13 6:39:57 AM#9
Originally posted by Stiler
Originally posted by Fusion

What you probably don't know, is 'proper-AI' is very resource-heavy (on the hardware side of things) and the more complex the AI is, the more quirks they'll have... spazzing out, doing weird shizz etc.

Arma 3 (beta) is a good example of complex AI, they take cover, seek n destroy, try to flank you, give suppression etc, but when you slap alot of them on a mission, they hog resources like a mofo!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2WRY2HD1Kk <-- there's a video of AI in action (alpha) and personally, i think that's pretty damned impressive.

Complex AI and mmorpg's just don't mix, if the companies want to keep the hardware entry-level low as possible for more people to be able to play, thusly making more profit.

 

I understand it takes more resources, but you do understand that in mmo's most of the things like that (AI caculations) are done server side, not client side, right? Since you need to show the npc doing the smae thing for everyone , etc.

 

I don't think it'd be asking for a lot to have basic AI with sight/sound detection like a game like Thief had back in the 1998.

 

Indeed AI is on server-side in MMO's (hopefully all of them), but that doesn't change the fact of them being resource heavy... that's more server costs for the companies to run the game. If you double the complexity of the AI, that could easily mean you need to double the server-resources.. It all comes down to cost-efficiency :) 

I'd like nothing more, than to get super advanced AI's, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon, just because of that.

Currently playing: -

Waiting for: Class4.

Dead and Buried: ESO, NWO, GW2, SWTOR, Darkfall, AO, AC2, Vanguard, CoH/V, EnB, EVE, Neocron, FE, EQ, EQ2, DAoC, FFXI, FFXIV, SWG, WoW, and billions of eastern junks!

  Livnthedream

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

I like this planet, YOU get off!

7/21/13 6:39:59 AM#10
Originally posted by Stiler

I understand it takes more resources, but you do understand that in mmo's most of the things like that (AI caculations) are done server side, not client side, right? Since you need to show the npc doing the smae thing for everyone , etc.

I don't think it'd be asking for a lot to have basic AI with sight/sound detection like a game like Thief had back in the 1998.

I don't think you understand the scale of what you are asking for.

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  Butch808

Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/09
Posts: 323

7/21/13 6:44:36 AM#11
AI is the holy grail in computers, we're probably not gonna see decent AI for many many years in mmo's let alone games. Maybe one day when they have invented quantum computer will we see decent human like AI.
  Livnthedream

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

I like this planet, YOU get off!

7/21/13 6:49:59 AM#12
Originally posted by Butch808
AI is the holy grail in computers, we're probably not gonna see decent AI for many many years in mmo's let alone games. Maybe one day when they have invented quantum computer will we see decent human like AI.

You do know that quantum computing already exists right?

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  Ramanadjinn

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/08/11
Posts: 1316

7/21/13 6:51:12 AM#13
Originally posted by Butch808
AI is the holy grail in computers, we're probably not gonna see decent AI for many many years in mmo's let alone games. Maybe one day when they have invented quantum computer will we see decent human like AI.

 

human-like AI is more of a problem than simple processing power can solve!

 

edit: Although I agree with OP that MMO AI needs to improve and evolve.  I don't really care if that is a difficult task for those poor game companies whose job it is to sell things to me.

  Stiler

Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/05
Posts: 599

 
OP  7/21/13 7:50:05 AM#14
Originally posted by Livnthedream
Originally posted by Stiler

I understand it takes more resources, but you do understand that in mmo's most of the things like that (AI caculations) are done server side, not client side, right? Since you need to show the npc doing the smae thing for everyone , etc.

I don't think it'd be asking for a lot to have basic AI with sight/sound detection like a game like Thief had back in the 1998.

I don't think you understand the scale of what you are asking for.

So asking for circa 1998 AI is too large of a scale/costly? I understand it's more resource intensive then the mind numbingly boring "stand around and do nothing" AI but really THAT much more?

 

If a computer from back then could handle that AI with a <1ghz cpu I would like to think in 2013 with 5+ghz cpu's and multiple cores we'd have enough power to do it...

  User Deleted
7/21/13 8:02:26 AM#15

Yeah I would also like to see the end of static mobs hanging around doing nothing. Have undead crawl out of the ground as you get near, or out of their graves. Have guards patrolling the area or sitting around campfires in a group. Or actually doing a real life task like hunting / collecting water / anything.

I really am hoping for a decent evolution in npc AI with storybricks onboard. Static mobs just lead to boring and predictable worlds.

  koboldfodder

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/18/04
Posts: 369

7/21/13 8:08:34 AM#16

You have to ask these questions within the framework of the technology available to MMOs.  So, you came up with a bunch of ideas but didn't really work it out.

 

For instance.  When LOTRO was introduced, the had all the NPCs in Bree doing stuff.  Some were walking around, all of them had things they were saying.  So conversations were going on so it made the town feel more alive.  One problem.  The sheer amount of stuff going on caused massive lag.  Add in a bunch of players in the town, and it was impossible to play.  So they took most of those NPCs out of the game, and put the rest of them inside buildings and removed all the NPC talking.  Then you could play.

 

How would you even code in "smell" to a MMO?  Would you have a smell meter?  Would certain races have a higher smell rate than others...lol.  What about equipment, would that have a smell rate.  And all for what?  The ability for mobs to aggro you....which they already do anyways?  Seems like a lot of work for a system that is redundant.

 

The reason why NPCs stand around is so that people can always find them.  No one wants to have to search 30 minutes to find some wandering NPC that is needed for a quest turn in.  EQ2 had a solution to this.  They put in guards that you could talk to and find out where any NPC was.  They would point and there would be a little dot on your map when you typed in their first name.

 

SWG had some of that pack mentality when it came to animals and such, but to be honest, it really was not needed and never really worked.  I think it was WOW where Rogues had the ability to distract mobs and turn them away with a well placed stone throw.

 

So lots of those things you mentioned have already been done in MMOs.

 

 

  theAsna

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 303

7/21/13 8:10:47 AM#17

 

The AI doesn't need to be super smart. It would help if developers would emulate some realistic behaviour. Like the OP mentioned with the example of wild animals (e.g. packs of predators, herds of herbivores, etc.). But then consider the effect this would have on certain quests.

 

Say the player is tasked to deliver 10 pelts of a specified animal type. If the player is playing on his own he should right away refuse such a quest if the animals in questions are animals that live in packs / herds. That's likely a suicide mission. A loner might have some chances in getting the pelts of beavers (maybe with the help of trapmaking) or deer or bears. For a pack of wolves or a herd of buffalos a party would be required to get away unscathed.

 

The current AI you see in most games fits in with today's quest design. The mechanic of an aggro range (a circle around the NPC where the radius of the circle is determined by the level differences of NPC and player) is the most easily implemented. In principle this combines several aspects in a very simplistic way:

  • line of sight
  • hearing range
  • the decision if the NPC stands a chance against the player

 

If you've read monster manuals from PnP then you'll get tons of informations on a species. Not only combat stats but also about habitat / society and physical properties (e.g. infrared vision, smelling, blind, deaf, etc.). If you wanted to make NPCs as realistic as possible NPCs would have different sets of senses. Implementing all those variations alone might be a complex task (not impossible but you'd have to play test more). Probably some players might be confused about NPC behaviour then, because they'd need to look up a biology book. I imagine a thread like: "Help, why does this NPC snake follow me when it's dark".

 

  DMKano

Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 6167

7/21/13 8:11:29 AM#18

OP - good ideas, I can give you an answer as to why this a is not done yet.

When a new feature request comes in the project manager asks the Dev team, how much time it will take to complete, how many team members it will take to accomplish the task, etc...

Another thing that is taken into consideration is "bang for the buck" how much all this effort will actually pay off in players playing more.

On the operations side, how many additional hardware resources will be needed?

This is where more advanced AI falls, too much cost that is not easily justifiable.

 

  Dullahan

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/05
Posts: 790

Death to Themepark.

7/21/13 8:12:57 AM#19

I'd love to see some new things like different senses being involved.  Get tracked down by a mob of hungry kobolds.  I'd also like certain npcs to be able to see you further away than others, so like an increased aggro radius.  Hostile NPCs of the appropriate class should also be able to utilize their track ability to find you.

TBH though, Id just be happy if we could see AI and aggro even as good as it was in classic EQ.  When is the last time you saw a game where mobs actually jumped around to players based on whether they were sitting, or low health?  How about game where one fleeing mob brought back 20 of his friends?  Classic EQ had that...

Played EQ, UO, DAoC, AO, WoW, EQII, Vanguard, Ryzom, Darkfall, Warhammer, Rift, MO, Tera, DFUW, Age of Wushu, NW2, ESO, ArcheAge and many others I don't remember or care to admit.
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Awaiting The Repopulation, Camelot Unchained & Shroud of the Avatar.
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Don't be ignorant. Get an MMO education!

  Livnthedream

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

I like this planet, YOU get off!

7/21/13 8:19:30 AM#20
Originally posted by Stiler

So asking for circa 1998 AI is too large of a scale/costly? I understand it's more resource intensive then the mind numbingly boring "stand around and do nothing" AI but really THAT much more?

 

If a computer from back then could handle that AI with a <1ghz cpu I would like to think in 2013 with 5+ghz cpu's and multiple cores we'd have enough power to do it...

Which is exactly why I referred to scale. How many servers do you think are processing for the dumb ai there currently is with 50,000 users? How about 100,000? What do you think that is going to do to bandwidth?

You claim not to know the reason why when that answer is pretty obvious. It is non trivial.

http://chroniclesofthenerds.com/nerdfight/

Y U NO FLIP TABLE?!?!?!

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