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Hormalakh

Kiting enemies or "How not to do AI"

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In many of the older IE games that I played (haven't played the IWD series) much of my strategy involved kiting single enemies and picking them off one by one. This was especially effective against enemies like Beholders and illithid (BG2).

 

Then I played these games again and with mods that let the enemies "call out" to their allies to come and help them in battle. It made the battles much more interesting and challenging and I ended up having to rethink strategies against enemies, because ultimately kiting was a cheap way to win. It also brings up a possible game mechanic and strategy for rogues (see Gameplay and Mechanics forum for the Rogue discussion) as quickly disabling (unconscious, kill, etc) patrolling enemies before they have a chance to call out to enemies becomes an interesting role that rogues can play.

 

So I just wanted to articulate my hope and dream that the P:E game will think about implementing a game mechanic to NOT allow us to kite enemies one by one and that to do so would risk a "call to nearby enemies" for them to follow the sole enemy that spotted my party to the area where they were last spotted.

 

Don't let kiting be a play-style. It's weaksauce.

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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AI and pathfinding in IE games is literally the worst thing I have ever seen

 

Either you don't know what the word "literally" means or you've never seen what happens when you start you car with a cat sleeping under the hood.

 

Oh, but on the subject of kiting, it does seem like a pretty cheap tactic, I feel like if I was a guard and saw one of my coworkers go running off with his sword drawn or just suddenly fall over with a bunch of arrows in him I'd be a little concerned.

Edited by Nohurtme
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Or he was using the old rhetorical device known as "hyperbole", like every single other person who uses the word "literally" in a sentence.

 

EDIT: Also, punishing attacks of opportunity. And attacks of opportunity that can be used for knockdowns. Please and thanks.

Edited by Tamerlane

jcod0.png

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I never kited in the BG games so I have no idea how well it works. I did however summon a fleet of 6 magic swords, send them into a room of enemies, shut the door and let them kill everything in site while I stood back safely with the party and just rested as needed. That said if I didn't want to cheese out those fights I simply would not.

 

I feel the same way about kiting. Generally speaking somebody will at some point find the 'best' way to win fights at some point. However if I personally dislike that play style I won't do it regardless of it being the best or not. So even if you can kite in the game simply choose not to if it's not something you enjoy.

 

I would ask the developers to not make any 1 particular style or group set up feel required to beat the game. It would be 1 thing if the AI would allow for kiting from time to time, it's another to be forced to do it in order to beat the content.

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K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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I love the "call out" feature. Always felt awkward pulling one mob at a time when the whole group can clearly see their buddies getting pulled away and slaughtered a few screens away.

Maybe you can have reactions be based on intelligence. Some mobs could be so dumb they don't even notice you picking away at their buddies, while cunning packs might circle and surround you off screen and flank you. Or maybe it's a combination, like a pack of low intelligence goblins accompanied by a relatively smart leader who will bark orders to allow the group to attack as a whole, which in turn is something you can exploit by taking out the leader and pick off the dumb followers one by one.

 

Edit: btw the term kiting might be a little misleading. I think "pulling" is the term you were looking for.

Edited by Kaz
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I like kiting, or "pulling" enemies one at a time...sometimes. I would rather not see that option be entirely eliminated. Not saying it should be doable in every single combat instance...but like with all things, there should be options and variety.

 

If every combat scenario had them calling out for buddies, then eventually that would get predictably boring (to me) too.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Err pulling. Yes. Kiting is something else isn't it? You darn kids with your gaming lingo. Can't ever get it right... (feels like a whatchamacallit "noob")

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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This issue bugged me more than anything else in BG2 and P:T. In fact, the insanely illogical spawns in DA2 were (for me) a significant improvement.

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I can't keep it all straight either. Since we're talking IE games I made an assumption you meant the pulling to divide and conquer. But I think it can mean a fair number of things, depending on who you talk to. :lol: Possibly most commonly used to refer to tactics of avoiding damage during combat in some form of hit and run maneuvering. eg, not standing still to duke it out.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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You assumed correctly my feline-fancying friend. And I'd agree with you, perhaps differentiating between enemies that do "call out" to nearby enemies and those that don't and having a mix of the two would be nice.

 

Enemy AI should definitely be a well-programmed beast in either case. I plan on playing (and replaying) this game until I turn 60. Just like I will with the other IE games.

Edited by Hormalakh
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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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I kited the entire bandit camp, in Baldur's Gate Trilogy with all the mods I had you couldn't just "pull" one or two enemies at a time, no if 1 group of enemies saw you at the bandit camp everyone would come chasing after you. It was in multiplayer, I was playing a Dragon Slayer (A Paladin Mod Kit with a bow, basically) and my friend had a Shadow Elf (Ranger Mod Kit) and a Pit Fighter (Fighter Mod Kit).

 

We had a guerilla warfare where the entire bandit camp was chasing my kiting Paladin (we did die a couple of times before it was cool and I did it right and skillfully). I had to constantly move or else we were dead, stop, shoot an arrow, run. I sneaked around slightly, shoot an arrow from a patch of trees, turn around and high-tailed it and did this until their numbers were super thin.

 

My friend took down stragglers, keeping the horde of Bandits attention to my Fighter. It was awesome and nailbiting.

 

It was a display of skill as well, not merely "Oh this is such a cheap tactic!!", I had to sit on my toes and be "awake". It was intense and lots of nerd shrieking was involved. Someone else spoke about summoning 6 Swords, closing the door and sitting back and enjoying the show? I think that's cheap (although still an awesome tactic, kudos, gotta try that one), where you can basically leave the game and do something else in the meantime.

 

Kiting is something that could be improved upon, for sure, in vanilla Baldur's Gate it's so easy.

 

With SCS (Sword Coast Stratagem) and other tactical mods this isn't an issue anymore in my opinion, because you can't pull 1 or 2, but you pull the entire mob of 10-15 enemies at once (at the Bandit Camp I think it's like 20-30 enemies that are coming at you at one, half of them are melee and the rest are ranged with bow and arrow).

 

Kiting is a micro-management Player skill and it is really fun, it could be made more difficult to successfully abuse (because enemies use tactics against it or whatever, maybe they run away if they can't land a single hit on you, or use some magic/item somehow to close the gap between you and them just like you do it against them). Point is, if I can kite then I want to see the AI kite as well (which might be super difficult to implement into the AI).

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Kiting is a micro-management Player skill and it is really fun, it could be made more difficult to successfully abuse (because enemies use tactics against it or whatever, maybe they run away if they can't land a single hit on you, or use some magic/item somehow to close the gap between you and them just like you do it against them). Point is, if I can kite then I want to see the AI kite as well (which might be super difficult to implement into the AI).

 

Yeah kiting is nice. I meant pulling. One vs six bash-em ups suck.

Edited by Hormalakh
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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Good post OP.

The party should really try to avoid to anounce their presence ot the entire keep/stronghold/dungeon. Makes sneaking a more usefull skill.

Also make retreat a more viable option in the case you are detected.

"Run way, run away!"

 

 

 

Another think I definately DO NOT WANT is aggro mechanics.

I know, the idea behind it that fighter cna protect mages or injured members of hte party by taunting or drawing hte enemy to them in some other way.

Frankly I consider it stupid.

 

Have a fighter (or any character for that matter) be able to physicly block another. Have a "guard" mode in which a character/NPC stick close to another npc and doesn't let anyone come near.

 

Far more natural.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Kiting implies there is no AI. That your enemies only know how to be offensive and run toward you.

 

A good AI system would let AI be adaptable. They might behave that way, until you start trying other tactics. Like kiting? I think good AI would allow enemies to recognize they're being kited and either find cover, use a special ability, switch targets, or go in the opposite direction, forcing you to move towards them.

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I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

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Of all games, Skyrim is actually pretty good at this. All nearby enemies would rush at you once alerted. Also pretty bad, in how the bandit chief would go "bah, it was probably just rats" and go back to doing his stuf if you managed to stay hidden, nevermind the arrow stuck deep in the back of his skull.

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I like SCS as well and while you shouldn't be able to kite one or two enemies away in plain sight from the main group, you should be able to engage, lure, divide and ultimately conquer a entire group of enemies that 1) outnumber you and 2) are more powerful than you.

 

Of course the AI should be advanced enough that if the group has a competent leader, he will recognize a baiting tactic, call in any over eager minions, organize the group in a tight formation and together to hunt your party down.

 

Your party should have the option to figure out who the leader is, recognize if he is a simple brute or a seasoned veteran of many engagements, then have some skills or tactics available to incapacitate or assassinate him, causing general chaos within the group.

 

Or you know, just throw a fireball right into the middle of the crowd and charge in with your fighters while your opponents run around panicking.

 

Yes, there should be a good morale system, more advanced than what we see in Infinity Engine games with the yellow circles.

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I agree, there should be systems in place that make enemies capable of "remembering" things. If, well, Obsidian is expecting players to run/stealth/hide/disengage from combat when it turns sour. It's stupid when enemies walk back to the original positions in the zone and pretend like nothing happened. There should be systems in place so that enemies can alert their friends or pass on information, or at least remember, that yes, there is an arrow in their knee.


I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

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Err pulling. Yes. Kiting is something else isn't it? You darn kids with your gaming lingo. Can't ever get it right... (feels like a whatchamacallit "noob")

 

Huh, I was wondering what you were talking about. :p Since I've never kited in the old IE games. Too awkward.

 

Pull = Grab the attention of a smaller number of enemies (usually 1-2) from a larger group by lobbing an arrow or something, thus keeping any given fight on a smaller scale (in IE, this would often be done by keeping the fog of war on the other enemies so they couldn't "see" you).

 

Kite = Running around and keeping an enemy on you while someone else in the party does ranged damage, or you lay traps or crowd-control (web, hold, etc.) and run to a distance to do more ranged damage. Mostly, you're always moving while whittling down the enemy. I've really only seen this done in MMOs.

 

I'd like a way to still do intelligent "pulls" but give the enemy better AI as well. And this fog of war exploit business.... can we get rid of that?

 

 

Edit: I should mention that there are some more intelligent ways in which pulling is managed in MMOs. For example, one mob in the group may be the one that runs off to get help (you may have an opportunity to shut him down); or the ones you're currently fighting, once their health drops to a certain point, they'll flee and try to get more help. Et cetera.

Edited by Ieo

The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Could someone define kiting?

 

All enemies chase 1 guy who runs around and the rest of the party slaughters the enemies because they are too stupid to change targets.

 

 

Anyway, I find kiting and pulling a silly tactics. It makes the game look even more gamey. What I want is "encounter AI" which controls the enemies as a group rather than individual combatants.

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Only boring people get bored

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Gamey? :p I'm not sure what that even means in a game.

 

Now, the AI can be changed pretty simply, I think, to cover both pulling and kiting. If the enemy we're hitting is melee, make them run for cover. If the enemy we're hitting is ranged, neither pulling nor kiting will work anyway. In a mixed group, the melee enemies could run for cover and wait for our own party to charge in and their ranged members could move out to lob back at us. Stuff like that.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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kiting is basically running around being followed by a mob, and shooting\casting at him, slowly draining his hp

and using distance to avoid his melee attacks

 

while pulling is aggroing just 1 mob from the pack, to take the whole bunch 1 by 1

it's all just about linked scripts in each pack of mobs

so if they stand together but don't work in a group - most of the time means that scripter did a lousy job

 

with well worked scripts, the mobs might act diffrently to make player's task on taking them down, harder

the good stuff begins when they are having a tactical reaction (or several random reactions) ready against defined player's actions

for example, some low lvl bandits or animals (monsters) aren't able to take on couple of trained archers,

but avarage guards will most likely use shields to advance or hold the position, covering their own archer to shoot back

 

the less lazy scripter = the better "AI" :biggrin:

 

suggestion to Obsidian: hire geeky fan scripters

the geekier - the better :geek:

 

not kiddin' btw

Edited by kabaliero

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I shamefully plead guilty to wand-of-cloudkilling Firkraag outside his line of sight in my very first BG2 playthrough.

 

It was cheese of the very highest degree. I actually felt remorse when the poor wyrm came crashing down, never even having noticed my presence, and have since sworn to never lower myself to such cowardly tactics ever again.

Edited by Pope
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Could someone define kiting?

 

All enemies chase 1 guy who runs around and the rest of the party slaughters the enemies because they are too stupid to change targets.

 

Oh yeah, had to do that as well in BG2. Usually with near death Imoen. Boots of speed and all that.

Not quite as crazy as the orcs looking at their friend "oh, wonder why bob burst into flames and rushed into the corridor, takes all kinds..."

 

Firkraag... faced an endless line of pit fiends, elementals and deval.

The party stayed behind, watching and munching popcorn.

Edited by Jarmo

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