Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Dragon Age Origins featured the Party Tactics System that allowed players to customize the AI behavior of party members based on condition scripts. It wasnt essential to use this mechanics but it was really awesome.

 

Project Eternity will have parties of 6 adventurers each one having a lot of spells and abilities to use. While it is managable to control them via pause, I think it will enhance the whole gameplay if we had some kind of Party Tactics System.

 

More than that, Obsidian could use this system to customize the AI behavior of enemy groups and make them unique in their combat tactics!

 

What do you think?

Only boring people get bored

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to avoid constantly pausing to reissue commands, one thing you can do is add command queue mechanics like they have in RTS games. That way you can queue up a string of commands for your characters in 1 pause and adjust later if you need to.

 

As for AI scripting, it could be interesting to script unique tendencies for certain NPCs' AI. This would be another way to enhance an NPC's characterization. If the dynamics between managing stamina/pausing and issuing commands are designed well, I think customization for party AI would be superfluous. And even if you do have some AI "customization", you can still add to characterization by implementing things like party NPCs refusing to act a certain way during battle, or getting bonuses for acting in ways they like. All this can be integrated with the story. I like it. The more unique features you have, the better.

Link to post
Share on other sites

BG's AI scripts were absolutely terrible. If you gave a mage an actual "Mage" AI script, they would do things like use Horrid Wilted on goblins and gibberlings, hurl magic missiles at magic-immune creatures and more or less try to burn all of their magic in a single fight. Additionally, AI scripts didn't make use of items as well. Even with 3rd-party improvements like SCS, leaving combat decisions up to the AI was almost universally bad. I generally defaulted to telling everyone "engage enemies from a distance with equipped ranged weapon", and anything beyond that I had to intervene.

 

It was universally bad in BG, BG2, P:T, IWD and IWD2. It was not quite as bad, but still pretty bad, in NWN and NWN2.

 

DA:O's party AI was superior. Hands down. The conditional system meant the player had a much higher level of control over their party members - it was a bad design decision on BioWare's part to artificially limit that by requiring you to spend skill points on tactics. There should have been dozens of tactics slots open from minute 1.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Final Fantasy XII had a similar system. Actually DA:O's tactics system pretty much ripped off the gambit system wholesale it seems to me. I never liked it because it never seemed like it worked correctly and I'd just end up inputting the commands myself anyways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

BG's AI scripts were absolutely terrible. If you gave a mage an actual "Mage" AI script, they would do things like use Horrid Wilted on goblins and gibberlings, hurl magic missiles at magic-immune creatures and more or less try to burn all of their magic in a single fight. Additionally, AI scripts didn't make use of items as well. Even with 3rd-party improvements like SCS, leaving combat decisions up to the AI was almost universally bad. I generally defaulted to telling everyone "engage enemies from a distance with equipped ranged weapon", and anything beyond that I had to intervene.

 

It was universally bad in BG, BG2, P:T, IWD and IWD2. It was not quite as bad, but still pretty bad, in NWN and NWN2.

 

DA:O's party AI was superior. Hands down. The conditional system meant the player had a much higher level of control over their party members - it was a bad design decision on BioWare's part to artificially limit that by requiring you to spend skill points on tactics. There should have been dozens of tactics slots open from minute 1.

 

I tend to agree that Dragon age had a better AI system than the IE engine games although 3rd party scripts could make it almost decent.

One of the best mods for DA:O was one that removed the limitation on the number of AI commands a character could support. Before I got that I must admit I cheated so I could have the tactics maxed out from the start. It could actually be fun to just build the AI and see how well it would do without input.

Personally I would probably prefer the DA:O style AI to that of the IE games, but no matter what I just hope that we will be able to get an AI that is capable

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not letting the AI do everything, you are making the AI that hopefully will be able to do everything ;) Seriously it is just something to tinker and except to see what it can do, just get some basic functionality out of. For the most part I would not trust the AI with anything but basic things, it tend to fail or do substandard in complex situations. It can however cut down on micromanagement and for that it is good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

They should have options to

  1. Micromanage the entire party
  2. Have tactics for NPCs and the PC

That way, if you want to let the game play itself, you can do that. If you want to only control the PC and let the party act like NWN's henchmen or DAO's tactics system you can do that. If you want to micromange the party, you can do that.

 

Giving the player many ways to play the game should be a goal.

  • Like 1

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the AI for DA:O was pretty decent and I can definitely live with something like that. What I really want though, is to control the party's tactical positioning. In DA:O, the party size of 4 was too small and it didn't even allow you to form a front. As a result, all the battles just felt like the same roaming skirmishes. I hated the fact that I formed a bottleneck at an opening but the enemy just squirted through at will. (It felt even worse in DA2.) Hopefully that will be much improved with the six member troupe in OE.

:cat:

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly don't get the point of playing the game if you're going to have the AI do everything....

 

 

Having a player-controlled list of conditions and actions is a far cry from "having the AI do everything." The point is to reduce the amount of monotony when you are fighting dozens of trivial fights, where the individual actions don't matter so much. If I have a working strategy for fighting a pack of goblins, and I encounter goblins six thousand times, I don't want to tell my party to do the exact same thing six thousand times. That's not immersion, that's your PCs being so stupid they can't recall "Oh, right, goblins don't need heavy nukes, just switch to a nice melee weapon and close the distance."

 

It also lets you keep some fights going rather than having to pause constantly. If you can be reasonably assured your PCs will drink a health potion if they get low on health, you can focus more on taking the fight to the enemy rather than babysitting your entire party.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, having the game play the boring fights for you. How is that a "far cry" from having the AI do everything? In the case of those fights you're on autopilot and might as well watch a movie.

 

What If I wish to role-play a PC whose tactical prowess is far superior to my own? Having a tactics option could allow me to do that, assuming they are done well.

 

If you prefer not to use tactics(for whatever reason) then you shouldn't have to. I'm not advocating for mandatory anything, just the options that let the player do as they wish.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

Link to post
Share on other sites

They have basically said something like this will be utilised.

 

Healers only heal at 50% or less, Mage only casts fireball when facing multiple oponents etc are flags I imagine existing for basic ai scripts.

 

Dwarves auto drink all alcohol when idle for 9 seconds or more

None of this is really happening. There is a man. With a typewriter. This is all part of his crazy imagination. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

DA:O had decent AI, and as noted by others, hopefully Obsidian won't do anything as cheap as making players purchase slots. I tended to use AI about 50% percent of the time, mostly to set the party at the beginning of encounters and auto- healing. It served basically as a point of departure from which I could micromanage actions as necessary.

 

One thing I hope they can do with PE being an isometric game with formations is to have a set of combat formation pre-sets or customizable combat formations so that we cant set initial spacing based on encounter type. Actually, it would be great if there was a "ghost grid" of sorts when dealing with this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, having the game play the boring fights for you. How is that a "far cry" from having the AI do everything? In the case of those fights you're on autopilot and might as well watch a movie.

 

You're trivializing an important mechanic because you don't see the value in it. Not everyone wants to play puppet master, and would reasonably expect that "intelligent" agents, such as NPCs you have recruited, can act in an intelligent manner if required. No one here asserted they want the game to "play" fights for them. If you like monotonous grind, more power to you. That doesn't mean everyone shares your viewpoint.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There will of course be some sort of scripting language for making AI routines since they will need one to make the enemy AI for us to fight against. These languages are often almost as complex as general programming languages so they can have the control they need to make a good enemy AI though. Converting them into something that a non-programmer can use is not a simple task however. IE had a pretty good AI scripting language and though the unmodded BG's enemy AI wasn't always that good, it is surprising what people have been able to do with it in mods, but I don't think anyone made a simple non-programmers tool to make AI scripts with (did anyone? I don't know for sure).

 

Dragon Age's AI builder worked quite well (if you ignore the fact they limited the number of tactic slots you could use) because they used a cooldown based ruleset which meant you only really needed to worry about basic targeting and a few cross class abilities since each ability / spell had infinite use. With this it was possible to create a simple AI script with 10-12 conditions to fire off abilities as needed to beat any enemy with a little puppet control here and there. You could argue however that you could get away with this because Dragon Age's enemy AI and encounter design was so bad it didn't need a lot of effort to roll it over.

 

A ruleset similar to DnD though, where you have a limited set of resources you can use 'each day', you are going to need a lot of extra conditionals for targeting; for example not burning the high level spell you can only use once a day on the first little thing you see and saving it for when it'll do the most good. When is that? The moment the boss appears or when he going to cast that big 'kill the party' spell? You've only got one shot so make it count. This immediately increases the complexity you'll need to make a competent AI and of course would also increase the complexity of any tool you use to make them. You are also going to end up with much larger AI scripts than you would in Dragon Age, especially if the encounter design and enemy AI is more like Icewind Date / Baldur's Gate.

 

Don't get me wrong, it can be done, but just bear in mind you could end up spending a long time making the companion AI scripts that can deal with a world similar to Baldur's Gate not the little ones in Dragon Age. If they can't make you one though (time / money constraints, or they include good scripts you can use already so why make the tool) it would be a good challenge for someone to make a third-party tool for...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some basic level of tactics would be excellent so I can avoid having to believe both that a) my companions are actual characters with minds and personalities and b) they don't know how to defend themselves when attacked without instruction. I'm exaggerating somewhat, but micromanagement down to a very basic level of tactics hurts my immersion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Party AI shouldn't be 100% reliable nor is it expected to behave in the most efficient manner.

 

Still you would expect your priests to heal without your direct orders, fighters to switch to another enemy once they are done with the current one, and rogues to flank their enemies for extra attack bonus. It's just an example, mind you. But on the whole the battle shouldn't stop the second you forgot to issue direct orders to your group.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to micromanage but don't mind some basic AI going on for companions and usually I just leave whatever the generic choices are on for them maybe choosing between defender/scrapper etc. but mostly letting the game set the tactics.

 

Sometimes I do the same thing with leveling up companions - use the auto option as a way to let the companion go in the direction "they" want - or at least what the devs had in mind for them rather than forcing my own will on every party member crafting them all to the vision I have for them.

  • Like 1

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Yea, having the game play the boring fights for you. How is that a "far cry" from having the AI do everything? In the case of those fights you're on autopilot and might as well watch a movie.

Because everyone likes the exact things that you do ? Ohh wait!

In DAO I enjoy creating tactics for my party and control my maincharacter. If you don't fine, you don't have to use the tactics.

 

I do hope there will be some kind of tactic system for PE, supporting multiple conditions (with AND / OR) for actions (there is nothing wrong with having the ability to setup complex tactics as long as it's possible to do easy one too, maybe even let us share tactics (file))

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...