View Full Version : AI update with more Human opponent quests

04-19-2011, 03:15 PM
While I'm sure we can all agree that whacking away at bugbears and hobgoblins is quite fun, it does get a little tired after a while. Personally when playing D&D-based games I have always much preferred the inner city quests that revolve around human interaction as opposed to dungeon crawls slaying random baddies.

That's why I think that we need many more quests where the opponents are almost all human, but also with a better AI. I mean, the current AI could use a serious update regardless, but what would be even better is if enemies actually behaved in a manner commensurate to their intelligence/wisdom. This really shouldn't be incredibly difficult and I think the payoff in verisimilitude (appearance of reality) would make immersion much more possible. Basically the AI would assess the situation in the way that computers do and calculate the possible actions to take and their corresponding expected payoffs (like more damage, more damage to weaker characters, etc). Then, depending on the NPC's INT/WIS, they would choose an action based on probability.

So as a baseline, an NPC with a 10 INT or 10 WIS would have a 50% chance of choosing the most effective action. In a situation (which most situations would be) where there are a number of possible actions, the probability would have to be spread out over the options obviously.

NPC Fighters would probably need a specific exception where their probabilities were determined by Fighter level rather than INT/WIS.

Anyways, just an idea.

PS: Hirelings already avoid falling down big drop-offs, could we not program them so that they won't just stand in the middle of lava or a trap effect please? I mean seriously.

04-19-2011, 03:24 PM
A perfect example of why this idea would be extremely difficult to implement is in your post script.

If hirelings can not be properly programmed , could you imagine the amount of coding/reprogramming it would take to update or add a new AI system with your ideas. Very difficult to say the least. I will agree a change would be great, but probability dictates this will never come to fruition.

04-20-2011, 03:19 PM
I don't think the limiting factor here is so much difficulty as it is the devs having other issues to deal with. The Hireling thing could be dealt with fairly easily in this way:

If damage dealt to a character is computed along with a type (which it probably is given the way D&D is set up with abilities that specifically help with certain types of things like traps), then when a hireling is dealt damage by an environmental effect, he should move closer to the player he is following (Obviously this behavior would be used when the NPC is following, not when he is given a specific command). Done. As far is this goes, I'm not asking for them to play the game for you, so if you stand in the middle of lava and haven't told your hireling to stand their ground, then they will stand right next to you and burn up with you. I'm ok with that, but if I'm standing outside of the lava, it should be a cinch to make him get closer to me rather than burn to death.

AI really isn't as difficult as it's made out to be, unfortunately most game designers these days don't think it's important enough to spend the time on.

04-20-2011, 03:48 PM
AI programming is expensive business. Running sophisticated AI on your servers en masse is also expensive business. Raising saves and HP is virtually free. As much as I'd love to see better AI, it's not going to happen.