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BTW, if the game gives you multiple AI behavioral options, there's still a "tactical" element in choosing which ones to use - and perhaps even altering the behavioral setting for different types of encounters. Secondly, although few rarely bother, you also can edit what's in the tactics set (at least you could in DAO), which still gives the player some decision-making options. I think this is different than having the player "let the game play itself". 



I used the strategy window in DA:O, but it still needed constant management, since if you ordered any character to down a healing potion when falling under a certain percentage of health, they often froze in that animation, since constant hits and the cooldown period prevented them from carrying out the order. Also the switch weapon command often resulted in an equip/unequip loop, since conditions were changing that rapidly. But it rendered the character useless, since it never really attacked or defended.


Where it really did shine where orders like protect PC Y if surrounded by enemies and stuff like that. But DA:O was far more forgiving concerning disengagement than POE is.



I think engagement actually makes AI scripting ala DA:O easier, not harder.


Just let disengagement be a thing that the player has to order manually and you're done.



I'd say it could look something like this [red marked parts are drop-down choices]:


Conditions (you can check one or more)


[ ] Endurance over/below X%

[ ] Health over/below X%

[ ] Health equals endurance

[ ] Suffers from Status effect

[ ] More/less than X Enemies within Y range

[ ] Engaged by X or more/less enemies

[ ] Damage resistance of current target is lower/greater than X for currently selected weapon

[ ] Endurance of a party member is over/below X%

[ ] Health of a party member is over/below X%

[ ] Health of a party member equals endurance


Actions (these can be queued up multiple times):

[ ] Cancel all current orders after current action finishes / immediately

[ ] Use ability on:

current target / target with lowest endurance within range / target with highest endurance within range / target with status effect / target without status effect / ...

[ ] Switch to weapon set

[ ] Move towards party member

[ ] Attack:

current target / target with lowest endurance within range / target with highest endurance within range / target with status effect / target without status effect / ...

[ ]...



You get the idea.


The cool part: devs could practically use the same engine to define scripts for enemies aswell.

Especially the "under status effect" condition would be really cool to for example have enemies that use the second level priest spell that suppresses status effects (suppress affliction or whatever it's called ... you know, the one that cancels the annoying insect swarm) or uses abilities intelligently.


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The scripts were crap, though.

True the default scripts were crappy but you could write your own scripts or download some pretty good scripts. Scripts was a feature of BG too. It wasn't added on to a subsequent game as development of the IE engine progressed. Sometimes there's just too much going on to control 1 character and 5 npcs. A turned based system such as in  ToEE or Divinity OS would be a good alternative too.


I disagree about there not being any tanks in this game too. If a fighter isn't a tank then what is he. His sole purpose is to be on the front line absorbing punishment so that the back line archers and mages can do damage. I don't think it's a problem of the game not having tanks. I think it's more a problem of fighters not having the tank-like abilities that we're used to from other games. Knockdown is one example. Power attack  and parry other examples. In every RPG I've ever played each class played a specific role. That seems to be missing here. You could load up a fighter with the mechanics skill and never take a rogue. You can load up your whole party with the sneak skill to avoid combat. At times it seems like this game struggles trying to be both a game with classes and a game where classes don't matter.

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The AI scripts in BG2, in order to edit them, you needed to actually understand programming and scripting ... at least DAO allowed you to do this without scripting/programming experience. "[select from dropdown] If hit points < 25%, [select from dropdown] drink healing potion."  

You did have to learn scripting but it wasn't that hard. Somebody actually created a program that allowed non-scripters to write scripts. I used it all the time. After awhile I learned the scripting language and just plain scripted without the program. You could get as detailed as you wanted with the scripting too. DAO's options are better for sure. Once you understand those options you can get your whole party to do basically anything you want. The same could be said for NWN2. It also had a programmable AI for NPC party members. I'm using it right now to play the IWD campaign mod. No problems at all. I can even tell my magic users and healers what scale of spell casting to  use so that spells aren't wasted on lower level mobs. I get a kick out of setting it all up and just watching what my party does with my commands. To me it's not having the game play itself since I actually setup the commands. I would love to see something like that implemented for this game. Either that or a turn based system like ToEE or Divinity OS. 

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