Suggestion for AI hero building [Repost from UBI forums]

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Alamar
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Suggestion for AI hero building [Repost from UBI forums]

Postby Alamar » Aug 6 2006, 4:28

One of the things that I've noticed is that the AI doesn't build heroes well, esp. using magic or developing special abilities that can be abused [Deleb without ballista or improving war machines for example].

IMHO the AI doesn't seem to pick between the random skills and abilities that it gets properly and as such when it's time for the final battle if the sides are anywhere close to equal a human player will ALWAYS beat the AI.

I propose that, in the interest of a more competitive game, that we let the AI cheat -- basically instead of a having the AI pick between random skills each hero should have one or more templates to choose between that will ensure that the hero build is at least "good".

Let's take Vlaad for example. The devs could write up one or more templates so that they don't have to come up with an algorythm for picking good skills ... they just look it up in a table.

IIRC @L1 Vlaad starts with Basic Necro, Basic Summoning, and Master of Life. At the start of the game the AI chooses a random Vlaad template to use .... The progression may look like:

L2 - Vlaad gets Raise Skeletal Archers
L3 - ... Advanced Necromancy
L4 - Expert Necromancy
L5 - Eternal Servitude
L6 - Basic Logistics
L7 - Pathfinding
L8 - Advanced Summonning
L9 - Expert Summonning
L10 - Basic Dark
L11 - Master of Mind
L12 - Advanced Dark
L13 - Spirit Link
L14 - Expert Dark
L15 - Master of Curses
L16 - Basic Offense
L17 - Battle Frenzy
L18 - Advanced Offense
L19 - Archery
L20 - Expert Offense
L21 - Tactics
L22 - Basic Enlightenment
L23 - Advanced Enlightenment
L24 - Expert Enlightenment
L25 - Advanced Logistics

The above is just an example of what a template could look like for this hero. It's not supposed to be optimal / the best --- it's just supposed to be "OK" in general.

Note that a different hero would have a different set of templates that the AI could choose from that matched their unique starting skills, special abilities, etc.

Note: If map makers give heroes starting skills in a map the game should default to the system we have now .... I will put my faith in map makers to make sure if they customize something that it turns out the way they want!!!

While my system is not perfect, or even desirable in a perfect world, it is a fairly simple to implement solution that should work reasonably well.

Any feedback is, of course, appreciated

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Postby LordErtz » Aug 6 2006, 15:02

Just to comment on that...it seems if we were facing a Vlad with those skills, he would be VERY, VERY difficult. The reason I say this is that the AI still cheats a bit and with those skills and a ton of "free" troops and raise dead and mass casting dark spells and the fact that he can reach us quick with logistics scares me very very much ;) Would be nice to have the AI choose better skills...

Maybe for your example make it a higher % for those skills per level up but not definite. Decent idea though, since I've never checked the enemy hero for his/her skills.

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Postby Alamar » Aug 6 2006, 16:43

One of the things that I'm hoping for is that IF AI heroes themselves are stronger then the enormous resource and $ bonuses that they get could be cut without lowering how competitive the AI is in-game.

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Postby LordErtz » Aug 6 2006, 16:49

Alamar wrote:One of the things that I'm hoping for is that IF AI heroes themselves are stronger then the enormous resource and $ bonuses that they get could be cut without lowering how competitive the AI is in-game.


Anything is better than knowing that the AI gets more than us just for being AI. I don't think the other HOMM games had AI cheating at all...if it did it was very minimal since the AI was awesome.

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Postby ChinaBlue » Aug 6 2006, 17:25

LordErtz wrote: Anything is better than knowing that the AI gets more than us just for being AI. I don't think the other HOMM games had AI cheating at all...if it did it was very minimal since the AI was awesome.

I agree for the most part but aren't you forgetting something?

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Postby LordErtz » Aug 6 2006, 19:24

ChinaBlue wrote:
LordErtz wrote: Anything is better than knowing that the AI gets more than us just for being AI. I don't think the other HOMM games had AI cheating at all...if it did it was very minimal since the AI was awesome.

I agree for the most part but aren't you forgetting something?


What am I forgetting?

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Postby ChinaBlue » Aug 6 2006, 21:16

LordErtz wrote: What am I forgetting?

The awesomely nonexistent adv. AI in some earlier homm game?
Better you forget it, let's not go there.

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Postby PhoenixReborn » Aug 6 2006, 22:48

It might be an alright idea if there were several templates to choose from for each hero so that you didn't come up against the same endgame hero every time you faced that specific hero.

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Postby Alamar » Aug 7 2006, 0:05

PhoenixReborn wrote:It might be an alright idea if there were several templates to choose from for each hero so that you didn't come up against the same endgame hero every time you faced that specific hero.


That's exactly why I propose having "one or more" templates per hero so sometimes they will have a different skill mix because it's boring to play against exact clones of a hero every single time. I was thinking that 3 templates per hero would be a decent number to start with. If the devs want to do more then thats fine with me as long as the templates are all "good".

If they only do one template to start with though [as long as more are planned] then it would be fine with me.

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Postby Caradoc » Aug 7 2006, 3:05

It might be a better approach to simply create a set of 'preferred' skills. If a skill offered is on the 'preferred' list then it would be accepted. This puts AI heroes on the right track without making them the same every time.
Before you criticize someone, first walk a mile in their shoes. If they get mad, you'll be a mile away. And you'll have their shoes.

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Postby LordErtz » Aug 7 2006, 4:16

Caradoc wrote:It might be a better approach to simply create a set of 'preferred' skills. If a skill offered is on the 'preferred' list then it would be accepted. This puts AI heroes on the right track without making them the same every time.


Thats exactly what I was thinking. Like the list above, if it was offered it would be chosen, if not, it would choose from another skill.

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Postby Alamar » Aug 7 2006, 13:27

Caradoc wrote:It might be a better approach to simply create a set of 'preferred' skills. If a skill offered is on the 'preferred' list then it would be accepted. This puts AI heroes on the right track without making them the same every time.


I agree that a system of preferred skills / abilities would be nice however I would imagine that's what Nival tried to do already and it's not working very well.

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Postby Braxen » Aug 7 2006, 16:00

I probably haven´t played as much against the AI as some of you guys have, but isn´t it pretty impossible even at random to pick only "useless" skills?

IMO, the skills & abilities in Homm5 are among the best balanced in the whole heroes-series.

So for me, it works just fine with the computer choosing at "random" than having templates.

That way you won´t have a clue what the bastard is up to ;)

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Postby Alamar » Aug 8 2006, 2:28

Braxen wrote:I probably haven´t played as much against the AI as some of you guys have, but isn´t it pretty impossible even at random to pick only "useless" skills?

IMO, the skills & abilities in Homm5 are among the best balanced in the whole heroes-series.

So for me, it works just fine with the computer choosing at "random" than having templates.

That way you won´t have a clue what the ******* is up to ;)


You are correct that the heros generated by H5 are better than those in H1-H4 simply because many of the skills are better to start with. However I want better than that.

Taking good but random skills still means that a hero constructed by the AI is going to be quite inferior to one constructed by a human. I'd like to narrow that gap so the AI is more competitive.

IMHO a Vlaad/Deleb/Klaus/whoever that has a series of well built templates will provide more of a challange than a hero that has an uncoordinated hodge podge [no offense HP] of skills.

In the end I want more of a challange than the "surprise" that we get now ... YMMV.


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