Thread: 9. What did you think of the AI?

9. What did you think of the AI?

  1. #1
    Battlestations: Midway Lieutenant Commander
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    9. What did you think of the AI?

    This covers both the 360 and the PC version.

  2. #2
    Battlestations: Midway Lieutenant Commander
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    I thought the AI was challenging but then again I ain't the brightest bulb in the batch.

  3. #3
    Thinking about it I'd have to say the Single Player AI was pretty decent, Veteran Level and the Challenges (Minus Truk) were fairly tough to get all the Primary, Secondary and Hidden objectives.

    The MP...
    I can't count the number of times We've cursed the MP AI over Ship Formations and headings. For some reason it's especially bad on subs (having just been reminded of this in last nights game)

  4. #4
    Hahahaha! Oh... the multiplayer AI has to be the most idiotic AI I have seen in a game! I can not the number of times I have called the AI stupid, because I tell it to get in formation, and I find it going backwards, going in circles.

    The single player is a different story. That was a good AI in terms of formation of ships and such, but it could have been because a lot of it was scripted. By scripted, I mean they already start out in formation, starting positions, ext. I do think it was too predictable though. just do the fall away shot and you are golden.

    But an improvement in the maneuverability of the IA is essential. Not so much the gunnery skill, or stuff like that, just maneuverability.

  5. #5
    i must say i was shocked how good the single player AI was, as you say it could have been mainly scripted work. Yes the MP AI needs alot of work. I wonder what the SP AI would be like in MP.

    So in short. AI needs to be improved on its maneuverability and formation keeping. (i find this mainly in ships. Aircraft is a diffrent matter to me)

  6. SP AI should be usual like MP !! and this in server settings!
    i start an server and say............"all AI controled ships works in veteran mode (for example) or in beginner mode!
    i repeat my wishes for BOTS to train and fill server here! also in different levels (beginner-normal-veteran)
    important to test new strats as clan too!!


  7. #7

    Thumbs Up

    I thought the AI was terrible. Everything was completely scripted so I was attacked the exact same way every single time, I was not fighting against "AI," I was fighting against a script. The ships are completely ignorant of each other, multiple times I've been in formation and have been torped BY MY OWN SHIPS as they launch torpedos and are oblivious to the fact their right next to me.

    Playing "Strike on the Monster" I've watched time after time the 2 CA's collide into each other while attacking me as they are once again completely oblivious to the world around them, why didn't they just make formation?

    And the MP AI is an utter pain you almost have to hand-walk every single unit under your command. For example, assign your DD to sink a sub, and it will attack it, and then once that sub sinks that DD will just sit there and not do anything for the rest of the battle unless you order it to. Oh yes duh I can order it back into the group but when your playing a big map like Coral Sea and are having to manage your carrier, planes, watching the enemy formation, keeping an eye on the enemy subs, shooting down incoming bombers making torpedo runs ect, all that chaos is what makes BSM so fun but that makes it easy to forget individual units, so you'd think the AI WOULD TAKE IT UPON ITSELF TO RETURN TO THE BATTLE.

    To put it bluntly I don't think I came across one example of the computer using "Artifical Intelligence," once.

    Ok I'll get off my soapbox...cheers to the dev team!

  8. #8
    For me, multiplayer was the strongpoint of this game and I didn't enjoy the single player campaign enough to complete a great deal of it. Perhaps the AI is partially to blame for this: perhaps not. I just prefer a human challenge over an artificial one.

    As for the "path finding" AI which carries out strategic orders, I agree with what has been written in most respects. However I also recognize that some of these problems are "Catch 22" - although I can see Kai Robins's frustrations at his rogue DD's - I personally would be equally peeved if such a DD had gone rambo'ing off into battle and had gotten sunk without notice. The balance of human to artificial control I felt was correct. I do agree with the comments regarding awareness - Make sure the AI isn't blatently torping friendly vessels.

    However my opinion does still differ as regards multiplayer AI: keep it offline! People pay for their internet connections - and when I'm online enjoying my investment I want "Multiplayer" not "Multibots". The best example of "been-done" I can direct you to is Counter-Strike Source, which features a particulary clever A.I. by Turtlerock Studios. It's really good - Heck, I can't beat it at high difficulty, regardless it's very enjoyable - *offline*. Online, they're fun killing bullet shields which spam the chat and radio with moronic pre-determined piffle, and killjoy in "Oh, bummer, I got killed by a bot" (wheres the sport?). I feel our modern social interactions are loose enough without having to cut out the other *actual* human in our gaming experiences. As for clan usage, the CSS bot features a great level of varied "random" strategies (which are usually catagorized into "overall" and "contact" AI's), but no matter how clever the bot - eventually a human will be able to distinguish and predict the permutations of bot approaches to any given map.

    If the actual system of gameplay were to change however: and dedicated servers which were always joinable became a reality - My opinion would change if the bots Auto-Filled and Auto-Left depending on player load. Either way, I feel bots should never be allowed to fill player slots permanently. Perhaps passworded servers could be a remedy for those who wish to play against the AI with friends.



  9. #9
    I thought the AI was terrible in both aspects - some of the missions on vet and challenges were hard, but not because of the AI - the AI was repetitive and reacted the same way every time - give us some dynamic AI!


    On Java Sea in the campaign, once the BB appears the ships always do the same thing - the BB and two of the DD's always chase the Houston in a straight line - if your sub isn't detected the 3rd DD stops behind the BB and waits - its a simple matter to stick your sub right on your stern and use fallaway shots on the lead DD's with the houston - you loop some DD's around to take out the last DD, then put your sub in reverse and bring it up right underneath the BB - it works every single time, and it shouldn't

    the MP AI is even worse - you can't trust the torp avoidance or the formation commands, the AI nearly always screws them up - I've even seen DD's going in endless circles until you manually take control of them and set them on a new course

    the AI needs to be unpredicable in the SP - this alone could give the campaign signifgant replay value

    in MP we need to be able to trust our AI - its not like they have to win battles for us, but the ships should at least stay in formation - and their aim is bad enough that I always turn all my guns off and do ALL of the shooting myself

  10. #10
    Looks like to me that these new questions are iterations on specific details we already discussed. So some elaboration.

    My basic statement can be found in thread 8:
    If we look at from the structural viewpoint I see that the most critical element needs to be taken care of is the "strategic AI". Without this all the SP missions have to be heavily scripted and pre-defined. Although almost all RTS games are using scripting in SP missions it is mostly to keep the track of the storyline, but the battles can unfold in many different ways depending on how the human player approaches the situations.
    Without strategic AI (that does "understand" how to accomplish mission objectives and not just manage a unit) there is no skirmish mode and there is no way any dynamism can be added to the missions themselves. Also without this element it is not possible to allow dynamic (free) unit configurations for the battles that takes me to my second point.

    It's interesting that Lexxy raised the same point I was thinking about to put up here: the Counter Strike BOT concept. I totally agree with him both on the PROs and CONs.
    To enrich the "AI" concept here a few more thoughts:

    1. In my opinion - in line what was said before - the SP missions are more scripts in this game than AI "calculations". The problem here is that somebody would need to decide at one point in time if this title (and especially BS:M2) is an ACTION SHOOTER with RTS elements or an RTS game with ACTION elements. In an action game scripted enemies are totally fine - the point there is the pure skill to beat the situations the developers has created. In an RTS the point is to "strategize" and try different things even on the same map / same mission. For this a "script opponent" is very very bad. I tend to believe that this game is MORE an RTS and less an action shooter... If that's not the intent of the devs/producers we're just spinning wheels here...

    2. For the problem of the "ramboing DD" as somebody put it before me: in some RTS games and even not RTS games there is a simple solution for these kind of situations when we want a little bit of "independence" from a unit but we don't want to loose control and we don't want the AI to start thinking instead of me but yet the unit should not stupidly "idle": command queue Ideally we should be capable of give a sequence of commands to the units so for our DD:first attack the SUB and then return to group, or for more cautious players: first attack SUB then retreat to a given waypoint. etc.. I guess you have the idea.

    3. Another thing that RTS game "units" are typically capable of is that when they're on their own they can utilize their capabilities in passive mode. Example for this is "patrol" mode. In BS:M it's quite complicated to set-up patrol routes for example if needed...

    4. I want to repeat even if it was said before: BASIC AI skills such as collision avoiding, friendly unit fire (torpedoes) and intelligent route-finding to get to the destination are MINIMUM expectations. It is laughable how AI units both in SP or MP can collide and damage each other without any effort to avoid the hit... Also to find the best way to get to formation and not suffer for minutes with stupid maneuvers.

    5. Difficulties (relates to SP) - I really appreciate the games where the AI's skill is a little bit more than just being 100% accurate in aim on veteran vs. 50% in rookie mode and that you need more hits to sink an AI unit on more difficult levels. Obviously these are good things but it should not ONLY be that. Difficulty levels for AI should mean different tactic, more aggessive "methods" of blocking the player's objectives, etc.. Of course this is almost like scripting but more like a dynamic scenario of alternatives out of which the system picks one for the battle than the same thing over and over again.

  11. #11
    Just to make it clear most of my responses I make are based on multi-player as I'm just not to interested in single player.

    There are exploits you can use because of the AI. For instance I could take 5 squad's of bombers and 1 squad of fighters (if I have 2 airbases of course). If I wanted to be cheap, instead of telling the Fighters to attack a squad of planes I could click on the map way behind the enemy fighters flying CAP so they all get stuck chasing me. What would happen is all the fighters not controlled by a human would end up chasing my fighters and my oppenent usually couldn't get them to break off even if he ordered his fighters to. Yes that would sacrifice my 1 group of fighters, but it cleared a opening for 5 squads of bombers. Even if the enemy fighters only chased my fighters a short period and killed them, the fighters were out of position to intercept my bombers.

    What I would like to see is immediate break off of the Computer controlled AI if you click a different unit to attack. For instance if the above happened to me and I order 2 groups of fighters off the chase and to go attack different units they should do it immediately. Not continue chasing planes when I have ordered them to do something else.

    Also there is no excuse for friendly AI ships to be launching torpedoes into friendly units. I could understand a cross fire situation, but when DD's are right next to a BB, then they should not release torppedos right into the broadside of a friendly ship.

    They had radios in WWII. If a pilot got a order over the radio saying the fighters are a decoy, 5 squads of bombers incoming, break off immediately and intercept. The piliots wouldn't say negative sir, my AI is stuck on stupid, I can't do that.

  12. #12
    Shamrock, you are so right with these basic "AI" exploits.
    Last night I just re-played some SP missions to validate my comments on AI. It was really funny to see how the "AI" ignores basic logic and follows scripts. I was on the final Midway map and tested the AI by sending up my CL and DD to try to sink the IJN carriers. The AI kept sending torp planes and dive bombers towards my carriers ignoring my attack group even when I was in shooting range of it's CVs and was sinking it's carriers... These things should really never happen...

  13. #13
    the single player AI was good although some levels seemed excessively difficult compared to others like the palawan passage and balikpan levels seemed extremely difficult on veteran were as tulagi, midway, java sea etc were extremely easy on veteran so this could do with balancing a bit more.

    the MP AI was crap, if u were controlling a sqad of dive bombers and you didnt wanna use the standard attack pattern when you released your bomb sometimes the rest of the sqad would release with you but other times they would remain on thier attack run.

    The AI on the torp bombers needs a lot of work too, why oh why do AI controlled torp bombers release thier ordinance way too early and they never aim in the right place???????........... The sqad should stay in formation and follow your lead and release when you do.

    Fighter AI also awful when commanding a sqad of fighters in a dogfight your wingmen have a nasty habit of flying infront of you in your line of fire, this needs sorting.

    Whats with the PTs on solomons?? sometimes they come and attack other times they dont??? there must be a trigger that sets em off but i dunno what it is because ive had a kongo practicaly sat on top of em and they havent even left thier berth.

  14. I want "Multiplayer" not "Multibots"
    i repeat it anothertime!
    if 1 dont want it its ok and i understand if 1 here wont play against BOTS. also for a random player it is not so intressting but for us as clan IT IS!! and for all other "groups" or "clans" in future is it an important part to test strats!!
    server settings should include...

    »O« would you involve BOTS?
    »O« how many BOTS? (1-4)
    »O« wich level (easy-normal-hard)

    if anyone dont like it..... dont mark the »O« whit a "x"

    Heck, I can't beat it at high difficulty, regardless it's very enjoyable -
    i lead 2,5 years a CSS clan whit 25 member and we add alltimes BOTS to test strats in all maps ,CT or T

  15. #15
    There was a lot to be learned in using MP AI that I didn't like.

    Ship formations were difficult to manage once three or more ships got close together. The AI logic in forming up into a line astern, line abreast, or in echelon was very clumsy and you had to slow your lead ship down to almost no speed to do it (dangerous on a small map), and these are basic naval maneuvers.

    If I put a sub or a PT boat on AI, their default weapon type against a ship ought to be their torps. I shouldn't have to command or take over the unit to launch these weapons.

    Fighter planes are wayyyy to willful and willing to jump off point, or ignore an order. Good players use decoy squadrons and exploit the AI on this very easily to open up routes for attack planes when I want all my fighter squadrons to hit the attack planes, not the one plane zero squadron 2.0 away in the opposite direction.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    I agree in that I didn't think the AI was particularly good. Level of difficulty should be more than the enemy's accuracy getting better.

    Being that most players knowledge of air and sea warfare differs from person to person, I think it would be beneficial to use enemy AI to illustrate strategy and tactics.

    On easy the enemy AI should be just over useless.

    On Veteran, enemy AI should use proven tactics in game play. Things that the player can recognize and counter. Or not recognize and learn from to apply themselves. And of course be variable. Not scripted to behave the exact same way, every time.

    and if Medium is added then obviously somewhere in between.

  17. #17
    AI is medium at moment in my opinion.

    We could use a few more functions maybe,

    Bots for Multiplayer games - with Difficulty level (like akagi said hehe)

    Abilty for ships to follow other ships that you do not control, - ie follow that lead BB etc.

    Attack orders that can be issued without changing the ships course, ie SHIFT RMB is attack but maintain course.

    Bombers able to follow other planes especially other bombers to make formations easier. Like all other planes get the option.

    Maybe some generic AI orders like maybe
    -Torp attack for ships - DD will close to 500m shoot torps then peel away
    -Evasive Tactics - 'wigggle' as they move
    -Set Altitude for Bombers ie Low MED High
    -Shadow Chase target - rmb on a target and the ship or plane will keep relative distance and bearing to that target as it moves.

    Also generally i think the AI should be more aggressive in picking targets and managing damage control. Because at present an ai ship vs a player ship has no chance in a shootup, something that could be rebalanced slightly in the ai's favour.