Sparra Jan 12, 2013 @ 4:07pm
Friendly AI seems poor
So after getting the message in the newsletter that this game was on steam (I wasn't even aware it existed) a day or so ago, I gave the demo a whirl and bought it afterwards. It's a very fun game, and I like how you have to steal from the enemy, as it creates this unique dynamic where you have to consider if you want to blow up the enemy, or leave it alive just a -little- bit longer so you can get that last transfer point you need to capture it.

However, one thing that I think holds back the game is the AI for your friendly droids. I'm at level 51, and I find that it's pretty much a waste of transfer points to capture a droid that I won't be using right away (instead letting the AI take it over and supporting me). It seems like nine times out of ten the droid will happily charge into 30-40 enemies and get itself killed nearly instantly, leaving me down quite a few transfer points and still with no help.

I don't know what the solution to this problem would be, but I do feel like there should be some sort of sanity check to make sure a droid on the player's side won't kamikazee into a horde of enemies, and would perhaps hang back a bit more. Also, I find that most of the friendly droids rarely use their weapons to their full effect (blasting in bursts until the battery's empty, then ducking into cover while it recharges) and have yet to see any actively try to dodge incoming fire.

Is there any changes in store for the game to help improve the friendly AI, or is the current beheavior what's we're going with?
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cprince  [developer] Jan 12, 2013 @ 4:12pm 
The friendlies use the same AI as the enemies. Generally you want multicore brains, and generally you want droids with really long scanner ranges (hover over friendlies to see their max scan range and their target attack range). Right now though I can't really see making them vastly more intelligent is going to be in the plans for the future.

By the time you get to level 51 you're fighting a war of attrition anyway; the game is kinda trying to kill you. Sheer skill will keep you alive. It's probably the best strategy to save up as many xfer points as you can and transfer not too long before your current droid is wasted to another fresh one and start buffing it. Maybe a couple of little ones lying around as an emergency.
Sparra Jan 12, 2013 @ 4:23pm 
I suppose starting at level 51 is out of the question then, eh? Start the war of attrition then see it ended within the next 2-3 levels. :P
just.dont.do.it Jan 12, 2013 @ 5:27pm 
I never considered captured bots to be anything else than a simple "meat shield". They run around, shoot at things (however bad), and provide you an alternative body in case your own droid gets killed. That's all -- and IMHO it pretty much *should* be like that.

Sometimes they behave unbelievably nicely, like my old M5** bot with aoe grenades killing a boss single-handedly while I wasn't looking. Sometimes they behave terribly (like exactly the same bot firing a grenade into the rest of my bots, killing three). All in all, it looks pretty fine.

PS: Friendly EMP bots sometimes work wonders, it's the only aoe bot that's can be AI-controlled without turning into a walking friendly fire bomb.
Last edited by just.dont.do.it; Jan 12, 2013 @ 5:31pm
cprince  [developer] Jan 12, 2013 @ 5:33pm 
Bots over security level 6 with multicore brains have predictive targeting too, which makes them considerably more deadly.
cprince  [developer] Jan 12, 2013 @ 5:34pm 
...might add that as a powerup addon to more lowly bots for the forthcoming RPG DLC.
sherfu_marcus Jan 12, 2013 @ 5:53pm 
I often start on level 51 for practice. It's really good practice actually. I usually don't go over three droids in the upper levels.

If you can manage to get a danger zone and grab a K999, sometimes, (through a glitch?) you can start a snowball of danger zones and amass an army K999's. Pretty awesome.

To prevent droids from mindlessly marching into battle you have to "beam" them back. Having group commands like "fall back" or "attack" would be cool.
NEXT Jan 12, 2013 @ 8:17pm 
I want FF Off
Sparra Jan 12, 2013 @ 9:43pm 
I'd like to have the ability to give simple orders, like attack (will actively seek out and attack enemies), gather around me (move toward the player and shoot anything nearby), scatter (move away from the nearest friendly while firing at enemies), defend (shoot anything nearby but don't actively move from it's current location).
Winged_Owl Jan 12, 2013 @ 10:12pm 
Originally posted by cprince:
The friendlies use the same AI as the enemies. Generally you want multicore brains, and generally you want droids with really long scanner ranges (hover over friendlies to see their max scan range and their target attack range). Right now though I can't really see making them vastly more intelligent is going to be in the plans for the future.

By the time you get to level 51 you're fighting a war of attrition anyway; the game is kinda trying to kill you. Sheer skill will keep you alive. It's probably the best strategy to save up as many xfer points as you can and transfer not too long before your current droid is wasted to another fresh one and start buffing it. Maybe a couple of little ones lying around as an emergency.

This makes good sense to me, Cprince. I would feel a bit OP if my droids were smarter.
cprince  [developer] Jan 13, 2013 @ 3:07am 
Even now, you can start a level and there will be 10 seconds of distant explosions and suddenly the level is over before you see a single enemy.
cprince  [developer] Jan 14, 2013 @ 1:55am 
<-- someone just posted a good rant but then deleted it. Bah

The droids do have a LOS check to avoid shooting you. Though of course, again, the lower-security bots have smaller brains, and don't.

It's all about the security level of the droids and their AI. High sec level (>6) and multicore brain = dangerous.

But they are not meant to stay alive and be like playing with co-op human players - they're just the same as the droids you are destroying, except for a minor tweak that gives them 2x their normal hitpoints when captured. They are just extra lives. Keep transferring. Keep your squad as big as you can.
arcdae Feb 19, 2013 @ 5:30pm 
"They are just extra lives". This makes good sense, and is a good gameplay mechanic... if there were some way to tell your extra life to stay put in the broom closet while you clear the level. As it stands, above level 40 I can't seem to keep more than the droid I'm piloting alive unless I capture it after I've killed most of the droids on the level already.
cprince  [developer] Feb 20, 2013 @ 2:37am 
Well, again.... choose droids with armour and lots of HP as extra lives. The fact that they wander off and get themselves killed is all part of the mix.
sherfu_marcus Feb 24, 2013 @ 2:38am 
There's no built in switch that tells friendies to "meat shield" themselves to protect higher security friendlies? In my gameplay that's what ends up happening through my own will, and it would be cool if the AI reflected that without so much (little?) work on my part.
cprince  [developer] Feb 24, 2013 @ 7:50am 
The thing is the higher security droids are far more effective killers, so if your littl'uns get in their way, they're just a bit of a waste.
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Date Posted: Jan 12, 2013 @ 4:07pm
Posts: 16