Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012
Vensalir Dec 22, 2013 @ 3:49pm
AI Cheats ?
Pretty much as the title says ; I've just installed the expansion and so far I have tried to beat the first new deck (a black deck) with four different decks and... Every time the computer is about to lose, meaning I either deploy a creature it can't counter normally (Kozilek) or I simply swamp her with lower level creatures it suddendly pops a card that outright kills teh creatuer that would have stuck the final blow.. This has now happened more than 5 times in a row. Now, I'm not very good with maths, but this strikes me as a bit unlikely. Still, I might be wrong and that black deck might just have 10 cards of the same type... Just out of curiosity, has anybody else had the same situation ?
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-Action Bastard- <3 bewbew Mar 20 @ 6:39pm 
tbh i've always thought that too, but i used to craft my deck so they couldn't pull some troll move like that. it just boils down to fine tuning ur deck even more where you could recover from their "predictions".
Corey Bringo May 3 @ 5:40pm 
It is infuriating how the AI 'works' in this game. It doesn't 'cheat' so much as the AI's decks are not random. I suppose you could call that cheating but yes - - as soon as you bust out something that will give you the win, the AI will always get a card or combo that it needs to take you out. I've been trying to defeat one of the planeswalkers using EVERY DECK and it ALWAYS gets the cards it needs just when I'm close to taking it down. It's a horrible way to design a Magic game - - if my cards are random, then so should the opponents be.
A Puzzlemint of Legend May 3 @ 7:26pm 
The AI's draws are random, it just knows how to hold onto its answers until you play a big enough threat instead of wasting them on the first thing to come along.

It does cheat in the player's favor on lower difficulties, though, by shuffling its strongest cards to the bottom of its deck.
Corey Bringo May 3 @ 9:53pm 
They're most certainly not random.
banana man Jun 5 @ 9:33am 
Yeah they didn't seem to code in "every possible situation & best way of handeling that situation"

Their games have a lot of bugs and cards don't work the way they should in some situations.


Very disgusting.

You would think if they coded in all possible card interactions that they game could be 100% random and go that way.


But there seems to be scripted code in the game.


There must be because the game has 3 difficulty modes.

I don't know why they would have difficulty modes, why not just make the game 100% random like it is in real life.



banana man Jun 5 @ 9:36am 
It seems the easiest mode does move the AI's strong cards to the bottom of the deck.

And sometimes the AI will attack with creatures that will die agsint your creatures & your's will not die.


Like a 2/3 AI attack and you have a 2/2 a 3/3 and a 5/5 and the AI has no mana or cards that could be used, etc.


Keep in mind that new players will make mistakes (pros will make mistakes too)


When you play with someone that hasn't played before they will do stuff like attacking with creatures that aren't strong enough.


It's part of the mind.
DR GRIM <TWM> Jun 5 @ 8:09pm 
The way AI works is as follow (let's see if I remember):

1) AI has a core deck to draw from, it's essentially a short-list version of the full 60 cards deck to make sure it has a greater chance to draw the cards it's supposed to. The idea behind that is that it would suck if you faced a very important character and his deck didn't work. Kinda ruins the show and yet, I have seen it happen from time to time with Nicol Bolas in 2012 (or 2013, can't remember which one it was).
2) AI also operates through a system of target priorities. What it means is that certain creatures will make AI do whatever it takes to eliminate/counter them. In 2011, the Thieving Magpies had a priority of 3 compared to generic creatures who had simply a value of 1. This is done so the devs can code a semblance of intelligence and personality. A red aggressive AI might be "coded"to torch down certain elves known to become troublesome but ignore other less threatening cards. It's a fairly rigid system, it's more artificial than it is intelligent.

For those who think the AI cheats and are mad about it: How long did it take mankind to make a computer capable of beating a top-ranked chess player? How long do you think it would take for the best minds in the world to code a decent AI capable of making "strategic decisions" based on all the variables at play in Magic? Not trying to be adversarial here, but this system is the only way you gonna still pay 10 bucks for the game until someone comes up with a better idea.

Hope that cleared things up.
banana man Jun 5 @ 8:34pm 
limitations are destined to be removed.
Vensalir Jun 6 @ 1:03am 
Originally posted by DR GRIM <TWM>:
The way AI works is as follow (let's see if I remember):

1) AI has a core deck to draw from, it's essentially a short-list version of the full 60 cards deck to make sure it has a greater chance to draw the cards it's supposed to. The idea behind that is that it would suck if you faced a very important character and his deck didn't work. Kinda ruins the show and yet, I have seen it happen from time to time with Nicol Bolas in 2012 (or 2013, can't remember which one it was).
2) AI also operates through a system of target priorities. What it means is that certain creatures will make AI do whatever it takes to eliminate/counter them. In 2011, the Thieving Magpies had a priority of 3 compared to generic creatures who had simply a value of 1. This is done so the devs can code a semblance of intelligence and personality. A red aggressive AI might be "coded"to torch down certain elves known to become troublesome but ignore other less threatening cards. It's a fairly rigid system, it's more artificial than it is intelligent.

For those who think the AI cheats and are mad about it: How long did it take mankind to make a computer capable of beating a top-ranked chess player? How long do you think it would take for the best minds in the world to code a decent AI capable of making "strategic decisions" based on all the variables at play in Magic? Not trying to be adversarial here, but this system is the only way you gonna still pay 10 bucks for the game until someone comes up with a better idea.

Hope that cleared things up.

Well, that explains a lot, much appreciated :)

Bu to be honest, I'm not feeling particularly charitable towards the developers for their incapability of developing a an AI smart enough to use what it has instead of picking what it needs. Many strategy games have AIs which are more than capable of defeating even very experienced players (such as AI Wars or GalCiv 2 with the AI skill set to max). So do some FPS games. All AIs ultimately can be defeated, just as it would be with any human player, but that is no excuse for not even trying to make a proper one, no ?

I also believe that if the devs focused more on creating a proper AI instead of re-making the whole game every year with slightly updated graphics and a few more cards, perhaps they would not only make a better overrall game but also sell more.
DR GRIM <TWM> Jun 6 @ 7:06am 
You're thinking ideas and not budget. Magic the Gathering has too many variables and paths that you as a human evaluate constantly and multiple times per turn. New mechanics, new cards and rules updates would mean a near-impossible amount of work. Magic mutates too much for a game developpment cycle. You also have to consider the card aspect of it. You don't always play a particular spell waiting for the right moment or combo, teaching a computer to do that on top of all the decisions made by the code itself would be impossible for such a budget game. The single player campaign is more of a carnival House of Horror thing: You know you're getting in for the laughs and scares but nothing in there is real, it's just entertainment.

Comparing AIs across genres is unfair to say the least. Some games do a better job hiding the artificial aspect than others depending on the rules and type of game. I haven't played those strategy games you mentioned but I used to play Dawn of War and for a RTS they did a pretty decent job but it would always fall short once you knew how to handle it. How do they usually make RTS AIs more difficult? They give them more money or additional assets so they develop their tech trees faster. Assuming you could get a 1v1 in the same starting conditions against a computer is not realistic, your brain is the product of at least 200 000 years of evolution while computers haven't been around for a 100 in comparison. In the case of FPS AI it is much easier to code as to move across maps they use (or used) a series of nodes and yet it can be hard as hell to simulate a real human. How do you make a regular AI believable for the human to enjoy? Make it miss 2 out 10 shots? With X weapon to make appear AI sucks with a SMG but not with a Sniper Rifle? I could go on with variables and examples all day and not scratch the surface of FPS alone.

Ultimately, keep in mind that AI is there to fill a void, not to replace a human player and that as a game developper you want players to face a challenge that they eventually can overcome. How Stainless Games chose to make that AI enjoyable given the budget/time and expected profits is a matter of taste. Can Magic's AI be improved? Yeah, for sure, but it would mean getting out of an easy-to-maintain system of XML files scripts and working on something new. Why bother when Magic is best played with humans? Who's going to finance a better Magic AI with the promise of return of investment? Is it going to sell more? Not so sure...
Vensalir Jun 6 @ 7:31am 
You obviously know a lot more about AI that I do, so I'll just concede the point here :) But I'm still bothered they're remaking the game every year and charging for it :))
banana man Jun 6 @ 8:28am 
Don't listen to the scammers, they just want to say "it's too hard".

They are liars & would rather disrepect you I hope you don't realise it.
DR GRIM <TWM> Jun 6 @ 8:59am 
Originally posted by Vensalir:
You obviously know a lot more about AI that I do, so I'll just concede the point here :) But I'm still bothered they're remaking the game every year and charging for it :))

I am not an AI expert by any means but I used to do some coding and read about real AI (robotics, bio-technology, etc).

Regarding the game, they add new cards abilities into the core game and keep a tight eco-system so old decks can't be played or combined with new ones. I agree it sucks,but it keeps things simple on their end. The game is more a simplified-accessible version since decks are carefully chosen to highlight certain aspects of Magic to get you hooked on their other online version (which is more expensive and will have you buy virtual cards) and the real cards as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next iteration or 2 would go Free-to-Play since HearthStone is growing huge real fast. Magic has survived because it didn't have a real solid competitor but Blizzard know what they are doing and have it down to a science (or almost) but that's a topic for another thread. I think HearthStone will get a single player campaign which could mean there's a market for SP, we'll soon see which game has the smarter AI if comparing the two makes sense.
Last edited by DR GRIM <TWM>; Jun 6 @ 9:02am
banana man Jun 6 @ 9:06am 
Don't listen to this guy, he's just talking about modern BS marketing tricks.


Nothing that will increase the amount of fun you have.
Lapis Jun 9 @ 1:18am 
Well, it's weird. Yes, granted, sometimes it feels like the AI always has the right answer, I often find ways to stomp the AI so hard that it's impossible not to laugh (Ending a match with me at 150 HP and with five 35/35 flying monsters....for example). I'm sure the AI if it was a person would be thinking similarly (as in, how the hell did that person pull that off?! they must be cheating!).
To quote the indian chief from Peter Pan, "Sometime, you (AI) win; sometime, we win."
Sure, there is such thing has terrible luck, and that CAN and often does screw you, like when you literally never draw a mana. I've noticed that mana thirst never seems to happen to bots, and I'm not really sure if difficulty has an impact on that.

On the flip side, let's say that we give the AI complete randomosity, like we (the player) seems to have. Potentially, the AI could always get bad rolls and never get mana, making boss fights no harder than basic encounters/challenges. I'm going to admit that I would not enjoy that. In single player at least, I feel that would make the game very stale. Imagine, you fight Nicol Bolas and he never plays a creature or spell because he never manages to draw a mana? Wouldn't that sort of be boring? Wouldn't you perhaps find yourself coming to the forums to complain about that? I dunno, I probably would.
Thoughts?
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