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As someone who played both Dragon Age and Neverwinter Nights 2 90% of the time for the main character, I have to ask - what's the companion / henchmen / partymembers AI going to be like? (if it was answered in some update, I humbly apologize and politely ask for linky).

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I havnt seen any posts about the AI specifically but AI is complicated and time consuming.  Theres a reason it is so hit or miss in games.  Nothing we can really do but hope they get it right.

 

Well I meant more of how are they going to be self-sufficient, if at all. As in, are they going to be able to use abilities? Maybe even without me telling them which use, only how hard should they hit? (like NWN2 had it)...etc.

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They will helpfully trigger all traps you passed, coming to the door with the lock you just failed to pick "let me help"

(luckily I could turn that off)

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I don't recall hearing much about party AI (though I hope for some amount of customizable party behavior) but seeing as you should be able to solo the game, albiet with difficulty. So if the idea of controlling your companions seems like a hassle for you you can always try that route.

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'm generally very sensetive about party AI. I know many people hated party AI for Neverwinter Nights 2, but I was overall receptive to it. I found it highly customizable and effective. Sure, I chose to go down the list and customize each character's settings, but so what? I liked having that much control over their settings. Between issuing voice commands and their settings, my NPCs did exactly what I wanted them to without having to micro-manage. Whenever I needed to cast a spell or use an item, I'd swing over that character and then back. Easy. I'm hoping that P:E follows suit.

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Good point, bad party AI can make gameplay really frustrating, and good party AI makes a huge difference.  I don't think we need anything as fancy as dragon age's system, but if we could just get a handful of quality scripts (that we can maybe select more than one of and set the priority?) that cover things like drinking potions, healing party members who are under half, and not wasting ALL your damage spells on kobolds, then I'd be happy.

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I'm generally very sensetive about party AI. I know many people hated party AI for Neverwinter Nights 2, but I was overall receptive to it. I found it highly customizable and effective. Sure, I chose to go down the list and customize each character's settings, but so what? I liked having that much control over their settings. Between issuing voice commands and their settings, my NPCs did exactly what I wanted them to without having to micro-manage. Whenever I needed to cast a spell or use an item, I'd swing over that character and then back. Easy. I'm hoping that P:E follows suit.

 

Yeah, I'm of the same opinion, actually. Dragon Age Origins' (no idea about the later games) AI was whichever the player him-/herself made it and I didn't really like that. Plus it was limited by the tactics skill (I think) and level, which I find pretty dumb, honestly... Though as for NWN2, I got the feeling that the "cast the weakest spells/abilities" was still a bit too powerful, heh. Still though, I didn't need to switch to all the characters and tell them what to do, which was very nice.

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In games like Baldur's Gate and stuff, i just totally disable the AI because i, by far, prefer full micro management. But, even, the pathfinding was absolutely awfull. Like "Hey dude, stop running the wrong way every time i beg you to go here! piece of crap!"

 

As for never2, i've always heard people saying that the game was really badly scripted, with stuff like copy/paste from never1. People who tried to make some persistent RP world had, as an example, terrible problems with the factions scripts. Was not so fun at all to see guards suddently deciding to kill every player with no real reason during a RP event managed by the DM (i saw that problem on various servers which were managed by true programmers. They had to re-write parts of the game scripts in order to stop these bugs)... Well the game ran pretty well in solo mode. Still i've had some of my greatest moments of Roleplay on such persistent Roleplay servers.

 

Fallout 1 and 2 where overbugged, and so on :D. Well kind of nostalgia. All this said in order to explain that personnally, i don't need some fancy stuff. I think no AI can replace human brain in strategical matters.

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Although I don't have a direct developer comment to support this, the general feeling is that since PoE will be a party based game, you're looking at far greater party management than in games such as Dragon Age and NWN2. It will be quicker and easier to switch to characters, and to give instructions.

 

In terms of AI, because of the party-based nature, the expectation is that there will be less party AI, because it shall be your role to manage the entire party (rather than one character). In this sense in particular, party management and AI shall owe more to BG and IWD than NWN or DA. There is likely to be some basic support AI to aid in minor fights (e.g. see enemy - attack melee/see enemy - attack ranged/see enemy - run, etc), but in all major fights you shall be expected to micromanage your party.

 

In the context of DA and NWN2, I appreciate that this must sound very draining and disappointing, but appreciate that PoE is not aping either of those games. Rather, it is aping IWD2 where the above accounted for almost all of the gameplay. It was very enjoyable, too. :)

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I know it's a lot of requoting, but I don't have access to the SA forums:

clicky

 

source

 

 

When you say "high maintenance," I get the worrying idea that if I have wizards in my party I'm going to have to spend most of my time controlling them instead of my character or someone else "lower maintenance," unless I specifically spec them to have fewer active abilities. Can the AI handle running active abilities without my constant guidance so I can pay more attention to other classes if I want?

 

I don't particularly like playing wizards in DnD games because of their often cludgy rules and whatnot, but playing Icewind Dale I had to spend most of my fighting running the wizard, sorcerer and cleric instead of the other guys. I would like to avoid being obliged to "play" the wizard by default, regardless of my own character choice, so I'd really like it if the AI of allied NPCs can handle its own "maintenance."

I apologize, but that is the way that the game is likely to play. Part of the IE (specifically, BG and IWD) combat experience involved higher micromanagement of spellcasters and we believe it's something the majority of our backers enjoy. We want to put in automated controls for things like auto-pausing and similar high-level functions, but we don't want to transform tactical (i.e., in the moment) decision-making into strategic (i.e. pre-conditioned) routines.

 

That said, our lower levels of difficulty will not require as much micromanagement overall, and we have included the slow combat mode if you'd like more time to think without constant pausing/unpausing.

 

source

Some of the classic auto-pause settings got new sub-options. E.g. "Enemy Spotted" now has a sub-option to halt the party when the pause is triggered. We also put in a few new ones like Extraordinary Defense which will come up when a PC's attack's pre-roll Accuracy is 50+ points below the enemy's corresponding defense. So if you take a bunch of 2nd level scrubs and start hurling standard melee attacks at a 7th level fighter with a large shield (i.e., super-high Deflection), it's probably going to pause right after your first attack and give you feedback indicating your chances of hitting the guy are really, really bad.

 

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the only AI i would use for companions is "if they attack you fight back", "after you cast the spell-use the skill on the target follow up with normal attacks" and "if your target is dead attack the next". for the rest, like in NWN2, i want to decide what they should do.

and thinking of it, an action queue like the one in kotor would be nice. you tell the priest for example to cast bless, followed by prayer and then defensive harmony, and leave him to it

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In games like Baldur's Gate and stuff, i just totally disable the AI because i, by far, prefer full micro management.

 

(...)

 

I think no AI can replace human brain in strategical matters.

 

Well yes, it becomes a strategy combat and all that, but I prefer to have the feeling that I have someone to help me, not just some other goon that I take full control off. But I guess our views aren't very compatible, heh. NWN2 would be the closest, it seems.

 

I know it's a lot of requoting, but I don't have access to the SA forums:

clicky

 

I wondered why that didn't come up in my searches, then I noticed "compagnions"...yeah... 

 

Thanks for sharing though. Not the best news for me, I think ^^

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In games like Baldur's Gate and stuff, i just totally disable the AI because i, by far, prefer full micro management.

 

(...)

 

I think no AI can replace human brain in strategical matters.

 

Well yes, it becomes a strategy combat and all that, but I prefer to have the feeling that I have someone to help me, not just some other goon that I take full control off. But I guess our views aren't very compatible, heh. NWN2 would be the closest, it seems.

 

 

Well, it's just that in my opinion, what was great in the IE games was that you could made all your party members complete each others capability.

 

As an exemple, with 6 characters, (2 wizards, one druid, one priest, 2 fighters),  you encounter 6 tough guys. With one wizard, you could cast "great curse" to make their saving rolls harders, thing like "cantique" (in french) with the priest to lower even more their Saving rolls and improve yours, the 1st lvl spell "curse" (i guess) with the druid to lower by 2 the saving rolls of one ennemy (the thougher, no saves allowed against this spell), while your 2nd wizard used his sling for 1 attack. When the "great curse" incant was nearly finished, the wizard with the sling could start casting "chaos" to all these guys while the 2 fighters kept occupied some of the opponents to protect your casters...

 

Done, master combo... This kind of strategy is only allowed is you can control each of your party members and micro manage them. That's why i didn't like the way i had to play in games like NWN2... I often play with at least 3 or 4 priests in Baldur's gate. And i want more companions in PoE to have such choices opened (or 4 wizards, and so on)

 

But you're true. It's a matter of tastes. There is not a better way to play. The only thing important is the fun. I feel lucky here.

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Well, it's just that in my opinion, what was great in the IE games was that you could made all your party members complete each others capability.

 

As an exemple, with 6 characters, (2 wizards, one druid, one priest, 2 fighters),  you encounter 6 tough guys. With one wizard, you could cast "great curse" to make their saving rolls harders, thing like "cantique" (in french) with the priest to lower even more their Saving rolls and improve yours, the 1st lvl spell "curse" (i guess) with the druid to lower by 2 the saving rolls of one ennemy (the thougher, no saves allowed against this spell), while your 2nd wizard used his sling for 1 attack. When the "great curse" incant was nearly finished, the wizard with the sling could start casting "chaos" to all these guys while the 2 fighters kept occupied some of the opponents to protect your casters...

 

Done, master combo... This kind of strategy is only allowed is you can control each of your party members and micro manage them. That's why i didn't like the way i had to play in games like NWN2... I often play with at least 3 or 4 priests in Baldur's gate. And i want more companions in PoE to have such choices opened (or 4 wizards, and so on)

 

But you're true. It's a matter of tastes. There is not a better way to play. The only thing important is the fun. I feel lucky here.

 

 

Well, of course I like to take full control in harder battles when I need the companions do something specific. But strange that you mention NWN2, you could do whatever you wanted with the companions there and they could do reasonably well on their own. Oh well, I guess we'll see in some future update.

Edited by Aoyagi
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This was a much tinier party if i remember well. So it was easier for the AI i guess. Whatever. In my own case i just never use the AI if i have the choice :) I tried using it. It's not just a passionnate assessment. I just dislike it because it can't be as reactive as a human can, whatever the number of configurable options are.

 

Anyway, i hope you will find a way to satisfy your tastes in PoE as well.

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I tend to think of party micro-management as the essence of IE games so I'm glad to hear that's an option. Minimal party AI is fine as long as my direct instructions always override anything the AI directs them to do. It was so annoying in DA:O that that wasn't the case. I'd tell Leliana "go there" and halfway to her destination the AI would kick in and she'd head somewhere else.

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I get not wanting to turn in-the-moment decisions into pre-conditioned routines. But, I hope that what does still make sense as pre-conditioned routines is still able to be AI-controlled. Stuff like "When X enemies are around you, switch to this stance." But not "When X enemies are clumped, AUTOMATICALLY CAST FIREBALL!", or "when enemies move near a destructible environment piece (explosive/volatile device, etc.), DESTROY THAT OBJECT WITH PERFECT TIMING, AI!"

 

But, I don't want them running around like idiots, not even handling the most basic of functions on their own. A very mild bit of AI would be quite nice.

 

I mean, if you have something like "When X enemies are near, switch to 'Keep Distance' mode," then your Wizard (for example) will automatically stop what he's doing to begin fleeing when, say, 4 enemies close on him. But, he's most likely just going to run generally away from them, so he might even put himself into a worse situation if you just leave him completely alone to his AI control. So, the human tactical choice of where he should go is still up the player, and still makes a lot of difference. But, the basics of "Don't just stand there when 4 brutes with swords charge your arse" are taken care of.

 

I'd like that level of AI control. Just to sort of handle basic party behavior in between those in-the-moment decisions, so you're not HAVING to keep the game paused and/or keep constant queues of commands, just to make sure your characters never do something so dumb that they arbitrarily die or screw stuff up.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I'd like that level of AI control. Just to sort of handle basic party behavior in between those in-the-moment decisions, so you're not HAVING to keep the game paused and/or keep constant queues of commands, just to make sure your characters never do something so dumb that they arbitrarily die or screw stuff up.

 

This makes me feel that if the "6 seconds round" in BG was quite annoying sometimes when you didn't understood the rules well, it was great too because you had to worry about casting a spell with your wizard only once in the next 6 seconds. In PE, it may be hard to pick each caster at the exact moment the finished their incant to make them perform another. But still, this system is much more "reactive" and "dynamic", even if i don't trust the AI enough to let it manage these subtilties.

Edited by Abel
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In PE, it may be hard to pick each caster at the exact moment the finished their incant to make them perform another. But still, this system is much more "reactive" and "dynamic", even if i don't trust the AI enough to let it manage these subtilties.

Well, not to be snide or anything, but that's kind of what the pause function is for. If you only need to adjust what one person is doing at a given moment, you probably don't need to pause. If you need to change what everyone's doing, you probably do, so everyone's not taking like 7 swords to the face just while you're trying to make sure your party has their orders straight.

 

The mild AI would be useful in handling things so that you don't have to pause more often than you actually have to pause. You know, like "Oh no, 4 of my party members have killed their target and are now just standing around not making ANY good use of their time. I'll need to issue commands to all 4 of them, so I'd better pause again." That sort of thing.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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First thing I do in most games is turn off party AI - I like to micro-manage and find the AIs I've experienced so far to be somewhat lacking (of the "I'll charge through discovered traps and slap the dragon in the face, while ignoring my fireball that I just wasted on kobolds" variety.

Having said that - I like some of the suggestions for basic AI - so long as having that on doesn't override an order I've just given the minute I switch to another character.

 

the only AI i would use for companions is "if they attack you fight back", "after you cast the spell-use the skill on the target follow up with normal attacks" and "if your target is dead attack the next". for the rest, like in NWN2, i want to decide what they should do.

and thinking of it, an action queue like the one in kotor would be nice. you tell the priest for example to cast bless, followed by prayer and then defensive harmony, and leave him to it

This kind of thing would be good - especially that "action queue" for buffing spells, like the NWN2 mod, would be handy - it'd take the tedium out of redoing the same buffs yet again.

 

But strange that you mention NWN2, you could do whatever you wanted with the companions there and they could do reasonably well on their own.

 

Maybe - but when I turned off the AI, I had to babysit the casters and thief while they performed their actions - if I switched to another character then they'd stop casting/disarming-trap and just stand there - meanwhile, my other characters aren't able to be commanded because I'm babysitting the druid.

 

So for me, the ideal AI would be a basic "fight back if attacked, but don't run across half the screen to throw yourself at the kobold behind the dragon" and then if I give a command, it completely overrides the AI until completed.  Although an additional "when target is dead, attack next nearest if they're within a few steps" would be handy.

 

I quite like the micro-management though so provided we have the right auto-pause triggers, I'll be happy.

Edited by Silent Winter

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In PE, it may be hard to pick each caster at the exact moment the finished their incant to make them perform another. But still, this system is much more "reactive" and "dynamic", even if i don't trust the AI enough to let it manage these subtilties.

Well, not to be snide or anything, but that's kind of what the pause function is for. If you only need to adjust what one person is doing at a given moment, you probably don't need to pause. If you need to change what everyone's doing, you probably do, so everyone's not taking like 7 swords to the face just while you're trying to make sure your party has their orders straight.

 

The mild AI would be useful in handling things so that you don't have to pause more often than you actually have to pause. You know, like "Oh no, 4 of my party members have killed their target and are now just standing around not making ANY good use of their time. I'll need to issue commands to all 4 of them, so I'd better pause again." That sort of thing.

 

 

 

The truth is that i really use the pause too much :). How to explain you what i meant? (...) Playing baldur's gate, i sometimes stop my wizards incants in order to make them do something else because i'm not sure if they finished to cast their spells (so it's a mistake). Not often, but sometimes, i don't pay enough attention. When you had a 4/10 time incantation spell, you had to wait 6/10 of the round for your caster to be able to cast another one.

 

If i've well understood, no rounds in PE, so, basically, you can cast another spell at the exact time you finished to cast the first. What i mean, is that in a six party members, i may just forget some of my casters: all of them can't cast their 2nd spell at the exact same time, depending of the incantion time of the first one (while in BGate, the time was the same for everyone: start of a new round. made it more difficult to forget). I generally play with 6 spell casters (wizards/bards/priests/paladins and so on).

 

And about the AI, what i said is that i don't trust the AI enough to cast the right spell if it happens that i forget to micro manage one of my caster: all spells of all of my 6 party members somewhat complete others ones in a general battle plan (good or bad one, no matter). So not a problem of misuse of the active pause, i really use it too much already (the game becomes kind of photo shot). It's just that sometimes i "miss" something in the IE games, even if the "start of a new round" mechanic should help me not to. Without this, even harder in PE. That's why in my own personal case, i don't need a fancy companion IA.

 

I hope i could make it clear, but i'm not sure. It's sometimes really hard for me to explain things :)

 

 

EDIT: and i agree with you Silent Hunter. This kind of AI is ok and may be useful if well done.

Edited by Abel
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  • 2 weeks later...

I hate micromanaging spellcasters. I hope I can queue up some orders, I'm also hoping there will be a possibility for at least some automation like you had with Dragon Age's AI slots. (one of the few positive aspects of that game)

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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I hate micromanaging spellcasters. I hope I can queue up some orders, I'm also hoping there will be a possibility for at least some automation like you had with Dragon Age's AI slots. (one of the few positive aspects of that game)

I like managing spellcasters, but I'm not super fond of the micro- part (with regard to what is essentially the difference between uselessness and peak effectiveness).

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I still think Final Fantasy XII handled the issue with ally AI by using "Gambits", commands that would be carried out depending on different circumstances. Dragon Age: Origins tried something similar but wasn't even close in its execution. Give me the option to customize the way my party members act if I want, but always make the controlled character control manually.

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