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Editorial: More A, Less I

Posted Jun 28, 2006 by Dana Massey

Editorial: More A, Less I

Robert Fitzgerald debuts his writing on MMORPG.com today with "AI: Less A, More I". This editorial looks at the state of artificial intelligence in MMORPGs and explains where he'd like to see it travel.

Call me silly, slap me with a wet noodle, but please tell me why there is always more artificial than intelligence when referring to AI. Have developers really hit the proverbial brick wall when it comes to improving AI ? Are we doomed to the current iteration of NPCs whose intelligence is on par with the "your door is ajar" voice in your car. Speaking of cars, my car can tell me where I am, where I am going, when it needs a tune up, and as an added bonus score tickets to the big game. The current generation of AI still has problems giving me accurate directions to the next quest. I realize I should be more impressed with the new and improved AI seen in some MMORPGs, apparently now instead of standing in one spot and giving you mundane quests the AI will move around the area giving them "life-like" behavior. Really, the only difference I see is that now finding the AI quest giver can become a mini-quest itself.

OK, so I seem to be complaining a lot. Well, I am. How is it that for $90 bucks my son can own a toy dog with realistic facial movements and understands more than 120 words and for the one time price of $50 and an ongoing $15 dollars a month I can't get a computer generated character to do more than spit unintelligible and boring dialog over and over again. Yes, I get it go kill the rats. Some developers have taken it a step further with their new and improved AI. Now, rather than offering up one or two lines of drivel, the new improved AI offers up two or three paragraphs of drivel with only one or two sentences of relevant information for the player. Am I complaining? Of course I am. I beginning to think I should spend $240 on one of those cool dancing robot sapiens instead of the current fare of games.

You can read more here.

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