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  #1  
Old August 28th, 2006, 01:39 AM

ioticus ioticus is offline
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Default Very disappointing news about AI combat spell use

The following is taken from a Usenet post about a question I posted to Gandalf:

>
> ">> "Gandalf Parker" <gandalf@the.dead.ISP.of.Community.net> wrote:
>
>> C) it does have a spell selection routine that does not include
>> spells which are stupid to cast in combat. I suspect that alot of
>> player opinions are going to fly on that but nothing is locked in
>> stone. But its very playable.
>
> Thanks for the detailed response. I'm very pleased to read the AI is
> much better. I'm confused about the above point, however. Are you
> saying there are some combat spells in the game that are stupid to
> cast in combat and therefore the AI does not use them? Why have those
> spells in the game if they are stupid to cast?

It would probably be more correct to say that spells were left out that the
AI isnt smart enough to know WHEN to cast them. The ai routine couldnt
possibly come up with all of the if this and not this and only when kindof
decision making for every spell. So spells which often did more damage than
good or were for specific situations were left out of the list. Whats left
is kindof a "choose from this list of usually a good idea to cast spells"

Gandalf Parker

The more I think about the decision to exclude certain spells from ever being cast in combat because the AI cannot always decide the best time to cast them, the more mad and sad I become. The only spell I can think of in Dom2 that the AI would sometimes cast poorly was Breath of Winter, and even that could be overcome most of the time by arranging your troops properly. Now, I feel they are making combat less exciting and more predictable by limiting casting to a select group of spells. Even if the AI were to stupidly cast some spells sometimes, it would have an equal effect on both the player and the AI for the most part. I don't see how this decision could possibly result in a better AI or improve combat in any way. One of the charms of combat in Dom2 was that the AI could cast *any* spell, even if not always perfect in its casting, it created a certain degree of unpredictability and excitement in combat. By limiting the AI's casting, you are probably also limiting the spells your own units will cast in combat, except for the 5 you are able to script in the beginning rounds. If the AI never casts Breath of Winter, for example, you could gain an advantage over the AI by scripting BoW for your own units in the opening rounds, knowing that the AI will never cast it for its own units. Does anyone agree with me that this is a poor design decision or am I off base?
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  #2  
Old August 28th, 2006, 01:50 AM

quantum_mechani quantum_mechani is offline
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

Quote:
ioticus said:
The following is taken from a Usenet post about a question I posted to Gandalf:

>
> ">> "Gandalf Parker" <gandalf@the.dead.ISP.of.Community.net> wrote:
>
>> C) it does have a spell selection routine that does not include
>> spells which are stupid to cast in combat. I suspect that alot of
>> player opinions are going to fly on that but nothing is locked in
>> stone. But its very playable.
>
> Thanks for the detailed response. I'm very pleased to read the AI is
> much better. I'm confused about the above point, however. Are you
> saying there are some combat spells in the game that are stupid to
> cast in combat and therefore the AI does not use them? Why have those
> spells in the game if they are stupid to cast?

It would probably be more correct to say that spells were left out that the
AI isnt smart enough to know WHEN to cast them. The ai routine couldnt
possibly come up with all of the if this and not this and only when kindof
decision making for every spell. So spells which often did more damage than
good or were for specific situations were left out of the list. Whats left
is kindof a "choose from this list of usually a good idea to cast spells"

Gandalf Parker

The more I think about the decision to exclude certain spells from ever being cast in combat because the AI cannot always decide the best time to cast them, the more mad and sad I become. The only spell I can think of in Dom2 that the AI would sometimes cast poorly was Breath of Winter, and even that could be overcome most of the time by arranging your troops properly. Now, I feel they are making combat less exciting and more predictable by limiting casting to a select group of spells. Even if the AI were to stupidly cast some spells sometimes, it would have an equal effect on both the player and the AI for the most part. I don't see how this decision could possibly result in a better AI or improve combat in any way. One of the charms of combat in Dom2 was that the AI could cast *any* spell, even if not always perfect in its casting, it created a certain degree of unpredictability and excitement in combat. By limiting the AI's casting, you are probably also limiting the spells your own units will cast in combat, except for the 5 you are able to script in the beginning rounds. If the AI never casts Breath of Winter, for example, you could gain an advantage over the AI by scripting BoW for your own units in the opening rounds, knowing that the AI will never cast it for its own units. Does anyone agree with me that this is a poor design decision or am I off base?
It's certainly not the perfect solution, but I have to say I prefer this over the way it was in dom2. If the AI is clueless about the proper use for a spell, it will result in a better AI and less frustrations for players if it simply ignores them.
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  #3  
Old August 28th, 2006, 04:27 AM

okiN okiN is offline
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

I tend to agree with quantum_mechani. It's not exactly an ideal solution, but I think it's the lesser of two evils.
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  #4  
Old August 28th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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WraithLord WraithLord is offline
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

Quote:
okiN said:
I tend to agree with quantum_mechani. It's not exactly an ideal solution, but I think it's the lesser of two evils.
So do I, though I think it won't be an issue if this will be modable.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

NO, you can't mod the AI spell list.

And is it really that absolutly devastating saddening horrible that of several dozends, if not over 100 battlefield spells the spell AI is going to ignore maybe 5 or 10?

I don't think so. I would say trust the devs and the testers in this regard - if they found that the game acutally works better this way ...
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Old August 28th, 2006, 04:45 PM

ioticus ioticus is offline
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

Quote:
Arralen said:
NO, you can't mod the AI spell list.

And is it really that absolutly devastating saddening horrible that of several dozends, if not over 100 battlefield spells the spell AI is going to ignore maybe 5 or 10?

I don't think so. I would say trust the devs and the testers in this regard - if they found that the game acutally works better this way ...
I hope you're right about there being only a handful of spells that the AI will not use. My concern was that there are a large amount of spells that are never used.
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  #7  
Old August 28th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

I don't know if there are any spells that won't be cast. If there are it is only a few I'd say (don't trust me on this, I'm not informed on the matter).
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Old August 28th, 2006, 05:59 PM
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Gandalf Parker Gandalf Parker is offline
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

It might be that I didnt ever see the full list. Its possible that "left off" the list is really "move to the bottom of the list". Possibly it chose one without ever going thru them all. But I would be surprised if there is AI thinking for every spell in the game. To avoid some of the complaints Ive seen, just one example would involve:
If someone is near enough for an area effect spell..
A) am I naturally fireproof
B) am I wearing equipment to make me fireproof
C) are my bodygaurds fireproof
D) are other leaders near me
E) are they fireproof
F) are their bodyguards fireproof
G) are the enemy units which I can injure with this spell worth more than the friendly units I can injure with this spell

Everyone was yelling for smarter AI and make it not cast stupid spells in combat. I think thats a ton better in Dom3.
But if someone wants to compare the Dom2 debug log with the Dom3 debug log then they can always make suggestions later

Gandalf Parker
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Old September 1st, 2006, 07:08 AM

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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

BoW is a huge pain in Dom2, and it's NOT possible to keep it from being by playing with your troop placement in many cases. I can certainly think of better ways to deal with it than what this sounds like, but even so, it sounds like a huge improvement to me.

In the very few cases where you might conceivably *want* this spell to be cast, you can script it (and make the next command 'attack') anyway. It makes no sense to cast it after the enemy turns tail and starts running for the hills, which is when the AI normally pulls it out - if you're going to cast it, you want to cast it on a character that's then going to step forward into the melee - so that's well within the script.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Very disappointing news about AI combat spell

Breath of winter is also nerfed. It was unreasonably powerful for a lvl 1 spell. It now causes fatigue instead of AN damage.
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