Jump to content

How to fix the "Doorway chokepoint" dominant strategy


Recommended Posts

1. Push mechanics are in the game. Pull mechanics are in the game. The AI should be able to respond to players bottlenecking by actually MOVING them.

 

2. To give additional tools (for both monsters and players), the Prone status should allow others to walk over you. So there would be 3 tools then: push, pull, and prone.

 

3. AI should be rather heavily random. We understand it's difficult to write an AI script which consistently recognizes chokepointing behavior and counters it. Don't put all the eggs in that basket. Have the AI push and pull and prone and teleport and everything else at least pseudorandomly so it is always a potential threat.

 

 

The first two alone would make a huge difference, especially if we can get push/pull attacks that target a range of defenses. That way, deflection will no longer be the god defensive stat and you'll need to react and adapt to different encounters and enemy moves. Also, I'm a fan of  enemies having some sort of ranged ability that they default to using if the path to a target is blocked by his party members, something like Guls using vomit blood, Beetles spitting poison, Wolves howling (buff or debuff), etc. Give enemies something that they can do from the second row, be it abilities, spells or reach attacks.

Edited by View619
Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Push mechanics are in the game. Pull mechanics are in the game. The AI should be able to respond to players bottlenecking by actually MOVING them.

 

I agree in principle, but I'm not sure how well these mechanics even work right now. Pull in particular seems to be kind of inconsistent, at least if the Fighter's "Into the Fray" ability is any indication. I don't think I've ever seen that ability work on an engaged enemy, which kind of defeats the purpose IMO.

 

Of course, maybe I've just been unlucky...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. Blocking a doorway. So what? You can only do that about 20 % of the time. Other times you're outdoor or getting plenty of monsters summoned or teleported in your weak archers and casters behind. It's not like you can play the whole game blocking doorways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's face it, chokepoint defense will always be one of the most viable tactics in this kind of games and RL as well, and I don't get it what makes people so agitated, it's not like this game is PvP or something. More tactical options? People will use chokepoints anyway because it IS the best defense against being swarmed/flanked. Giving the enemy more AoE attacks on the other hand might screw combat balance in other situations (and piss the living hell out of me personally). More teleporting enemies? I'd say that Shades are a pain in the ass already and because of the disengagement penalties you simply cannot allow your squishies to be flanked in the first place. On the other hand if the disengagement strike was lifted you could just kite the mobs around the room until they change aggro. Which option is dumber now?  A realistic solution would be to introduce friendly fire % chance when firing through allies (like in Myth series), while you could still use pikes and chokepoints would still be a preferred place to pick fights. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to put this in this kind of game though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the choke point strategy like...  3 or 4 times in the game I don't see why it is so much of an issue. It's not like the game is forcing your hand.

I feel much the same. The only time I've used choke points is when I told my team to "go over there" and they move to one side of the front two then jittering in place, making me realize I was in a collision choke point (despite it looking  plenty wide enough for three to march through), which would make me rage a little because I'm not a very ranged-attack focused party and my Monk is useless with a bow. :p

 

...that said, if trying it solo or with just two or something, I could see it becoming much more important. But since the game was more designed around party play, I don't think it's something that needs to be changed just to accommodate people who like the challenge of solo. <---edit: did I say something made no sense? I think I need sleep.

“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
Link to post
Share on other sites

Doorways aren't the problem. It's the entire system. You can have a big arse passageway and you can still 'block' enemies. Players will always come up with ways to get around the system.

 

Take for instance this screen shot. I'm targeting the Fampyr in the back and he can't do a thing to my characters.

 

 

 

o7M5vYK.jpg

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Doorways aren't the problem. It's the entire system. You can have a big arse passageway and you can still 'block' enemies. Players will always come up with ways to get around the system.

 

Take for instance this screen shot. I'm targeting the Fampyr in the back and he can't do a thing to my characters.

 

 

 

o7M5vYK.jpg

 

 

But there's a significant trade off here since you are forced to commit three characters to the front line. And one of them (the wolf/fox/whatever) is almost dead already because of it. As soon as it's dead, there'll be an autobahn straight to your squishies. Further, it only works in this case because you have three tank(ish) characters, but that's a further tactical dispositionwhich won't payoff in all encounters. So I don't really see why this is a problem here, unless you don't think  you should be able to use the environment to augment your tactics at all. 

 

 

 

I agree that there are too many narrow dorways which can often be blocked by one character. And in that case, it's a no-brainer to fill that hole with Eder, and let everyone else just fire away from a distance. They could remedy this by introducing some small probability of friendly fire from ranged weapons and e.g. make the gunpowder weapons less accurate/more dangerous to allies, compared to (x)bows, which would in turn make bows much more viable.

Edited by Prime-Mover
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's face it, chokepoint defense will always be one of the most viable tactics in this kind of games and RL as well, and I don't get it what makes people so agitated, it's not like this game is PvP or something. More tactical options? People will use chokepoints anyway because it IS the best defense against being swarmed/flanked. Giving the enemy more AoE attacks on the other hand might screw combat balance in other situations (and piss the living hell out of me personally). More teleporting enemies? I'd say that Shades are a pain in the ass already and because of the disengagement penalties you simply cannot allow your squishies to be flanked in the first place. On the other hand if the disengagement strike was lifted you could just kite the mobs around the room until they change aggro. Which option is dumber now?  A realistic solution would be to introduce friendly fire % chance when firing through allies (like in Myth series), while you could still use pikes and chokepoints would still be a preferred place to pick fights. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to put this in this kind of game though.

 

You're largely missing the point. The point isn't that chokepoint tactics doesn't make sense or that chokepoint tactics shouldn't exists, or even that chokepoint tactics should be avoided specifically by having the enemy spamming AoE:s or teleporting around the place. It's bad enough that enemies have infinite uses of everything (and there's nothing worse than flat-out systemic cheating AI).

 

The point is that it's boring and ridiculously easy to set up, and trivializes almost all combat.

 

Like Hiro said two posts above me, it isn't really doorways and chokepoints that are the problem, though. It's systemic issues, from Engagement mechanics to the lack of hard counters and immunities, and meaningful enemy-specific powers.

 

If I could set up chokepoints and really feel the pressure, like my one-two tanks were really slugging it out and I had to work for it, and if the enemy had ways to deal with it, or if there were a diverse set of abilities available to them to try to avoid it or punch through it, I'm all for chokepoints. I like the idea. It can be fun. Chokepoints in some games are the best things ever, they just keep on coming, the sweat is running down the forehead, you're doing your best to hold back the tide, something fails, it's a mess, everything is perfect, you feel victorious. But PoE isn't that.

  • Like 1

t50aJUd.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have been reading a lot of the responses, and although some ideas certainly seem viable (more enemy AoE, possible friendly fire from ranged), I still think making the AI smarter is the best solution. Because as some have mentioned, it's not a bad strategy - it's a very good and smart strategy, and one that people use in real life. There's a reason we speak fondly of and make movies about battles like Thermopylae - chokepoints are awesome!

 

But you don't use chokepoints in every battle in real life because A) Terrain doesn't always support it and B) you're not always on the defense. B in particular is the big problem for PoE right now - the fact that enemies just blindly attack you when aggroed means you can always benefit from defensive tactics whenever they're applicable. Which is why the AI needs to be modified to sometimes play in a defensive manner, not blindly rushing you but forcing you to come to them. That alone would make combat tactics a little more varied and interesting. No need to screw with basic mechanics like engagement (which I still like, I just think the AI needs to be able to handle it more intelligently).

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The easiest fix would be to allow both PC and NPCs to ignore collision while walking.

 

Basicly, make it work like it works in WoW:

Enemies have disabled collision while walking, but as soon as they are attacking, they'll do a number of sidesteps in order to seperate all enemies and allow them to be targetted properly.

 

 

This fixes two problems at the same time:

1) chokepoint abuse

2) the bad pathing algorithm

 

 

 

Then again, why would we want to remove chokepoint strategy at all?

Chokepoint fighting is a valid war strategy and has a long documented history of success, even in Hollywood movies. "300" is basicly an entire movie about chokepoint fighting.

 

 

If we want to remove chokepoint fighting from the game, just design encounters in a fashion that makes it harder to execute. Either by removing chokepoints within battle areas or by giving enemies abilities that will mess you up badly if you fight in chokepoints without the possibility to move away (stationary AoEs, cone attacks). Or if you want a very unconventional and absolutely not obvious solution: just give enemies long range weapons that they can switch to if they aren't able to reach the target.

Seriously, especially when fighting human parties it makes no sense that they don't also have a pike or bow equipped that they can use...

Edited by Zwiebelchen
Link to post
Share on other sites

Zwiebelchen: Removing collision would be a severe blow to positioning and formations. Blizzard games are infamous for not having these. In Blizzard's strategy game, Starcraft 2, an army is often called a ball.

 

I like the idea about Prone characters not blocking movement. Logical, would help. While we're at it, I think prone characters should be able to drink potions.

 

How about monsters breaking engagement ? I think that would help. Yes, they would suffer disengagement attacks. Shouldn't monsters be smart enough to ignore disengagement attacks from a min-maxed tank with 2 Might ?

 

I would love to see an encounter where the monsters are smart enough to hold a choke point and have a lot of ranged attacks past it.

 

A lot of the time encounters simply don't have ranged attacks, or very weak ones. Staying out of doorways, being smarter wouldn't help them. In cases where they DO have high firepower, they should target stuff past line holders. That's really nasty to people with tank/DPS mentality.

Edited by b0rsuk
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Zwiebelchen: Removing collision would be a severe blow to positioning and formations. Blizzard games are infamous for not having these. In Blizzard's strategy game, Starcraft 2, an army is often called a ball.

 

If PoE had the level of battle AI and pathing algorithms that SC2 has, the problem wouldn't exist in the first place.

 

You can say about SC2 whatever you want: the pathing algorithm of SC2 is hands down the smoothest and best pathing algorithm ever created for games. It's so good that Blizzard should seriously think about licencing and distributing it. This is some serious next level **** that I think should be in every game.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
Link to post
Share on other sites

The pathing algorithm of SC2 is good, but frankly it's a waste with units as small as that. The units have very small collision circles compared to the battlefield area.

 

Also, not hands down. Flowfield of Supreme Commander 2 is really, really good.

 

 

 

 

SC2 can't do this.

Edited by b0rsuk
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The pathing algorithm of SC2 is good, but frankly it's a waste with units as small as that. The units have very small collision circles compared to the battlefield area.

 

Also, not hands down. Flowfield of Supreme Commander 2 is really, really good.

 

 

 

 

SC2 can't do this.

 

Heh, I didn't know this... so this is derived from fluid dynamic models? Pretty interesting. Seems overkill for most applications, though.

Also, I'm pretty sure SC2 uses this approach behind the scenes to a certain extend. You will notice similar patterns when walking a mech through a group of marines. It's just that SC2 "locks" the pathing of units once they attack so they don't interrupt their attacks for moving sideways. I think this was a balance decision to make sure units always deal a constant perfectly sustainable amount of DPS once in attacking range.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, I didn't know this... so this is derived from fluid dynamic models? Pretty interesting. Seems overkill for most applications, though.

Also, I'm pretty sure SC2 uses this approach behind the scenes to a certain extend. You will notice similar patterns when walking a mech through a group of marines. It's just that SC2 "locks" the pathing of units once they attack so they don't interrupt their attacks for moving sideways. I think this was a balance decision to make sure units always deal a constant perfectly sustainable amount of DPS once in attacking range.

 

 

SC2 pathing algorithm behaves a bit differently. Units arrive at a destination and expand outwards. This algorithm keeps formation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But there's a significant trade off here since you are forced to commit three characters to the front line. And one of them (the wolf/fox/whatever) is almost dead already because of it. As soon as it's dead, there'll be an autobahn straight to your squishies. Further, it only works in this case because you have three tank(ish) characters, but that's a further tactical dispositionwhich won't payoff in all encounters. So I don't really see why this is a problem here, unless you don't think  you should be able to use the environment to augment your tactics at all. 

 

No. There's no trade off at all. I only have one tankish character being Eder. Durance really isn't a tank and Sagani's fox is only there to initially stop the enemy from coming through at the start of the encounter. Once the fox went down, the enemy immediately went to either Eder or Durance. The A.I. isn't smart enough to run through to my squishies. The only enemy smart enough to do that is the Fampyr who's already dead. And any enemies going for Durance is being targeted by my squishies with Eder tanking the others. Also, if you've seen my screenshots and video of drakes in the EI mod thread, you'll know the A.I. often ignores your squishies, to the point of drakes flying though your back line and ignoring them to get to your tank.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

But there's a significant trade off here since you are forced to commit three characters to the front line. And one of them (the wolf/fox/whatever) is almost dead already because of it. As soon as it's dead, there'll be an autobahn straight to your squishies. Further, it only works in this case because you have three tank(ish) characters, but that's a further tactical dispositionwhich won't payoff in all encounters. So I don't really see why this is a problem here, unless you don't think  you should be able to use the environment to augment your tactics at all. 

 

No. There's no trade off at all. I only have one tankish character being Eder. Durance really isn't a tank and Sagani's fox is only there to initially stop the enemy from coming through at the start of the encounter. Once the fox went down, the enemy immediately went to either Eder or Durance. The A.I. isn't smart enough to run through to my squishies. The only enemy smart enough to do that is the Fampyr who's already dead. And any enemies going for Durance is being targeted by my squishies with Eder tanking the others. Also, if you've seen my screenshots and video of drakes in the EI mod thread, you'll know the A.I. often ignores your squishies, to the point of drakes flying though your back line and ignoring them to get to your tank.

 

Well, you must have equipped Durance for somekind of tanking role before the encounter and thus forgo some of his caster capabilities, else he'd be a squishie himself. And that's a trade off. But I concede your point nonetheless, and agree that the AI is needs to be better equipped/programmed to put your squishies in danger. And that video is just screwy, but I imagine their behaviour is to reflect the lore that Drakes are close to primate intelligence. They are dumb.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you must have equipped Durance for somekind of tanking role before the encounter and thus forgo some of his caster capabilities, else he'd be a squishie himself. And that's a trade off. But I concede your point nonetheless, and agree that the AI is needs to be better equipped/programmed to put your squishies in danger. And that video is just screwy, but I imagine their behaviour is to reflect the lore that Drakes are close to primate intelligence. They are dumb.

 

Nope.

 

I wonder if anyone is seeing the same enemy A.I I'm seeing with enemies not going around objects. Here's a video I just did of enemies not going around coffins to my back line and seem to have 'blinkers' on with trying to go after my tank. Could be a pathfinding issue for the enemies as well, especially when they get stuck behind each other after Sagani's fox goes down.

 

Playing on hard. Enemies waiting in line to take turns at Eder after Sagani's fox goes down around 36 sec mark. I did kill the Fampyr earlier as it couldn't get past the darguls and wouldn't go around the objects. Durance is to the right of Eder just standing there doing nothing and being ignored by the enemy and eventually move him away near the end.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe6ZtNVDNcU&feature=youtu.be

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well, you must have equipped Durance for somekind of tanking role before the encounter and thus forgo some of his caster capabilities, else he'd be a squishie himself. And that's a trade off. But I concede your point nonetheless, and agree that the AI is needs to be better equipped/programmed to put your squishies in danger. And that video is just screwy, but I imagine their behaviour is to reflect the lore that Drakes are close to primate intelligence. They are dumb.

 

Nope.

 

I wonder if anyone is seeing the same enemy A.I I'm seeing with enemies not going around objects. Here's a video I just did of enemies not going around coffins to my back line and seem to have 'blinkers' on with trying to go after my tank. Could be a pathfinding issue for the enemies as well, especially when they get stuck behind each other after Sagani's fox goes down.

 

Playing on hard. Enemies waiting in line to take turns at Eder after Sagani's fox goes down around 36 sec mark. I did kill the Fampyr earlier as it couldn't get past the darguls and wouldn't go around the objects. Durance is to the right of Eder just standing there doing nothing and being ignored by the enemy and eventually move him away near the end.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe6ZtNVDNcU&feature=youtu.be

 

 

PCs have the same pathfinding problem - saw it recently at a fight at some standing stones. They wouldn't go around until I manually told them to.

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...