Shallex Aug 31, 2014 @ 12:56am
Suggestions on making the Survivor bots better.
Well the bots are infamous for being stupid, and they could be better with a couple of simple ideas. NOTE: The examples of how a human would play is assuming this person is a L4D expert and these weaknesses are based off of the L4D1 bots. Some may not apply to L4D2 bots.

Weakness 1: When being swarmed or otherwise attacked from behind, the bots don't attack a zombie screaming and charging at them from behind until they hit them. A real player would hear the screaming and footsteps and look behind them and shoot and/or melee the attacker.

Weakness 2: The bots simply don't acquire and attack the enemies fast enough. A real person would shoot zombie after zombie while proceeding through the level, but the bots hardly move unless you walk away from them, and they don't rapidly attack the commons like a person would. This is possibly their biggest weakness.

Weakness 3: The bots don't do some of the 'unorthodox' things that pro players do when compared to the bots' plain nature such as getting all inside each other during a crescendo to survive against commons, or killing other people in a safehouse if their health is below 50 (this could just be restricted to bots killing bots) or Cr0wning a witch, or meleeing after a shotgun shot to shoot faster, or also mounting themselves in common spots for holding out during finales based on where the other human players are.

Weakness 4: The bots don't have any situational awareness of their surroundings. So if a hunter screams, I want to see the bots checking the skies around them and dodging the hunter if he is targetting them like a person would, and if he pounces a survivor, shoot or melee accordingly, depending on which one would preserve the most health for the pounce victim. Same for survivors getting pulled by a smoker, if it is long range I don't want to see the bots walking 30 feet to melee me when they could have shot the tongue and/or the Smoker, and if I get pulled at close range, I want to be meleed before I take damage and then they target the smoker. Another example of their lack of situational awareness is for example if a zombie were to smack a survivor then the zombie runs behind a building, the bots won't remember that the zombie hit them and went behind the building.

Weakness 5: Related to weakness 1 in a way, the bots will basically surrender themselves to the commons while reviving another survivor. For example, you get downed, and a bot comes to revive you, meanwhile an incoming horde is charging right behind him and they get downed because they didn't run away and clear them out first, even if being hit by one infected repeatedly they won't stop to kill it.

Weakness 6: The bots, during a horde attack or finale, don't get inside to fend them off with other survivors, instead they just stand out in the open and perform a mix of both weakness 1 and 2. During a finale they don't hide with the human survivors, they just stand out in the open and usually shortly get killed.

Weakness 7: This one is somewhat minor, but the bots never, ever utilize pipes or molotovs. I am sure this was done on purpose because the humans could better utilize them, but usually when playing single player, you will have a grenade, and you will pass by multiple grenades that could have been utilized by the bots, and would have been better than not used at all.

Weakness 8: This one is sort of related with weakness 2, but the bots don't shoot enemies unless they are near, which is especially bad when you have bots utilizing assault rifles or sniper rifles and they won't clear out the distant enemies until they get near and sometimes get hits in on the survivors.

Weakness 9: The bots don't get the Special infected off of you while being swarmed and when not being swarmed, they take a long time walking up to you and then they melee you when they could have shot you long ago, and sometimes when attacked by a horde of commons they will completely ignore you when they have the perfect opportunity to save you.

That is my list. I may add more. What do you think?
Last edited by Shallex; Sep 4, 2014 @ 3:24pm
Showing 1-15 of 18 comments
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Dr Chaos MK Aug 31, 2014 @ 1:21am 
B.T.W Shallex, I responded to your other thread on suggestions to improve bots. Check it out.
HK-47 Aug 31, 2014 @ 4:54am 
You forgot the most important two weaknesses which trump all those you listed:

1. If there is a Tank or a startled Witch running around and the player is pinned by Special Infected the bots will keep shooting Tank or chasing Witch without helping the player which can often result in player death.

This is caused by the bot AI being just a stupid queue of uninterruptible tasks:

Task #1 - shoot (Witch|Tank) until dead
Task #2 - help player
...

2. There are certain positions on every map where you can get hanged by a Smoker and they will just ignore you until you die.

This is caused by the bots positioning so they don't have a direct line of sight of the player and the threat.

Both issues are the most fatal and can only be fixed by rewriting the AI to be smarter.
Last edited by HK-47; Aug 31, 2014 @ 4:57am
Dr Chaos MK Aug 31, 2014 @ 7:16am 
Originally posted by HK-47:
Can only be fixed by rewriting the AI to be smarter.
In which we all hope Valve does for L4D 3.
Mr. Alex Aug 31, 2014 @ 7:22am 
Well, the L4D2 bots wont be any smarter, the game is 5 years old so if Valve didnt fix them so far then it will never happen.

Good suggestions though for L4D3 (if it will ever happen), but i dont see the reason why would Valve bother make a better ai.
Better ai means better singleplayer, and thats against their policy, which is getting more people into the game playing multiplayer.

Regarding that mod which make the bots "smarter": i tried it 1 year ago but i wasnt impressed, only difference i can remember is that the bots can lead, though maybe its changed since then so i might give it another try.
Dr Chaos MK Aug 31, 2014 @ 8:07am 
Originally posted by Mr.Alex:
Good suggestions though for L4D3 (if it will ever happen), but i dont see the reason why would Valve bother make a better ai. Better ai means better singleplayer, and thats against their policy, which is getting more people into the game playing multiplayer.

Regarding that mod which make the bots "smarter": i tried it 1 year ago but i wasnt impressed, only difference i can remember is that the bots can lead, though maybe its changed since then so i might give it another try.
I.M.O it should be the choice to the player. The player should decide on which modes to play. I still encounter people in public campaign games, so those that stick to single player only has not hurt multi - player. At least from what I have observed anyways.

I guess that mod - add - on works differently & randomly per user. That one I linked was a VERY good add - on. With that add - on, I was able to clear all the campaigns on Expert single player in 20 min or under. They performed VERY WELL when I tried it.
Shallex Aug 31, 2014 @ 10:51am 
Originally posted by Mr.Alex:
Well, the L4D2 bots wont be any smarter, the game is 5 years old so if Valve didnt fix them so far then it will never happen.

Good suggestions though for L4D3 (if it will ever happen), but i dont see the reason why would Valve bother make a better ai.
Better ai means better singleplayer, and thats against their policy, which is getting more people into the game playing multiplayer.

Regarding that mod which make the bots "smarter": i tried it 1 year ago but i wasnt impressed, only difference i can remember is that the bots can lead, though maybe its changed since then so i might give it another try.
I don't think deliberately stupid bots is an element to encourage multiplayer. That is just stupid. People will play multiplayer regardless of bot intelligence, because it is a social experience. Valve isn't going to try to encourage you to play online by crippling their AI. What is this 'anti single player' policy you speak of? Half Life is a single player game, Portal is a single player game, Left 4 Dead has a single player mode, from which these intelligent bots could be resricted to.
HK-47 Aug 31, 2014 @ 12:14pm 
What he means is that it is almost impossilble to finish single player campaigns with bots only. That wasn't the case back in 2009/2010 when the games were out. There is a real possibility that they crippled bots to an extent so that people seek others to play with.

Before you ask what motivation they have to do that -- it's the money of course. The more people play multi-player (i.e. the bigger the community), the more new people will buy the game to see what the fuss is all about.
Mr. Alex Aug 31, 2014 @ 12:42pm 
Im not saying they deliberately made the ai stupid, i think they just didnt bother improving it.

I guess they thought this game is a multiplayer game anyway, so why spending time and resources to make the bot ai better?
I could be wrong, but if im not, then Valve made a very bad job coding the bot ai.
freeddosprotection.ru employee Aug 31, 2014 @ 2:02pm 
Originally posted by HK-47:
What he means is that it is almost impossilble to finish single player campaigns with bots only. That wasn't the case back in 2009/2010 when the games were out. There is a real possibility that they crippled bots to an extent so that people seek others to play with.

Before you ask what motivation they have to do that -- it's the money of course. The more people play multi-player (i.e. the bigger the community), the more new people will buy the game to see what the fuss is all about.

This really sounds like something tinfoil hat worthy.

Seriously.
using scripts is still cheating! Aug 31, 2014 @ 2:26pm 
and the fact that when they throw you something like pills, they always do it at the wrong time
[†]Munkee_King[†] Aug 31, 2014 @ 4:58pm 
Bots can beat expert campaigns.. you just protect them and you have 3 bots protecting you.

You living is the objective for them, so make yours to keep them alive. Not that hard of a task.
My bots survive perfectly find on advanced, and I don't use that improved bot mod.. it managed to make my bots more annoying.
Last edited by [†]Munkee_King[†]; Aug 31, 2014 @ 5:02pm
Shallex Aug 31, 2014 @ 5:30pm 
Originally posted by †Munkee_King†:
Bots can beat expert campaigns.. you just protect them and you have 3 bots protecting you.

You living is the objective for them, so make yours to keep them alive. Not that hard of a task.
My bots survive perfectly find on advanced, and I don't use that improved bot mod.. it managed to make my bots more annoying.
You must have missed the point of this thread. Yes, you can beat campaigns on Expert moving at a slow pace spending every second making sure no commons hit the bots, but that is just annoying and slows you down. Even if you do keep all the commons and specials off, that still doesn't fix any of the 7 problems I listed.
[†]Munkee_King[†] Aug 31, 2014 @ 5:33pm 
Idk, I barely noticed flaws. Aside from the random glitch where they can't save you.

They do a great job for me.
Last edited by [†]Munkee_King[†]; Aug 31, 2014 @ 5:38pm
Shallex Aug 31, 2014 @ 5:38pm 
Originally posted by †Munkee_King†:
Slow pace? I would never move slow on expert. I would be scared of random hordes.

It is mostly they have slow reactions. Sure, but not that bad. They save me quick enough that I barely take damage if pinned.
I just added an eighth weakness to the list. No matter how good you are, every weakness I listed will be a major problem a lot of the time and end up getting the bots and/or you killed.
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Date Posted: Aug 31, 2014 @ 12:56am
Posts: 18