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Gimpslayer
Posted - 2008.11.06 22:04:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Gimpslayer on 07/11/2008 17:06:39

GIVE US NPC AI


In no particular order please address:

1) NPC's who are smart enough to deal with threats accordingly. Please, If these sentient beings crafted spaceships (fcol) they'd know damn well to shoot the graver threats first regardless of who happened to have shot at them first.

2) NPC's which run away.

<<< and to a lesser extent >>>


3) NPC's change ammo type.

4) NPC trickery, stealth (OMFG), logistic ships.

6) Reduction of T1 Loot

7) NPC's commanding DRONES??? HELLO? YEA! STUPIDS!?!

8) NPC spider tanking. NPC's ransoming players. Oh my, there is no spoon.

9...) <your suggestions here>



~~~~~~
What is the matter with you CCP? Not since Goomba's in SMB have we seen dumber NPC's. The NPC stupidity is a reflection upon your product, your ability, and your attitude toward the PvE crowd.
~~~~~~


Lets please keep any replies focused on suggestions to PvE NPC AI and not the age old PvE vs PvP brewhaha. Thank you for your time.

speal
Minmatar
Asteroids Civil Rights Union
Posted - 2008.11.06 22:12:00 - [2]
 

CCP has never cared for pve....and they never will.!

Complete Tart
Gallente
Center for Advanced Studies
Posted - 2008.11.06 22:12:00 - [3]
 

Originally by: Gimpslayer

old PvE vs PvP brewhaha.

It's brouhaha lol

Otherwise, I agree some of this would be awesome. Also highly unlikely



Isilwen Nightfall
Caldari
Insurgent New Eden Tribe
RAZOR Alliance
Posted - 2008.11.06 22:12:00 - [4]
 

I heard npcs were smart, a long time ago. CCP nerfed them because they were smarter than players hunting them, resulting in huge whines.

I may be wrong tho.

Last Wolf
Umbra Wing
Posted - 2008.11.06 22:15:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: Isilwen Nightfall
I heard npcs were smart, a long time ago. CCP nerfed them because they were smarter than players hunting them, resulting in huge whines.

I may be wrong tho.


They weren't smart, they were a lot tougher and respawned stupidly fast.

Tasty Bit
Gallente
Aliastra
Posted - 2008.11.06 22:19:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: Isilwen Nightfall
CCP nerfed them because they were smarter than players hunting them


CCP believed NPCs were smarter than players. Hmm, there's precisely no way that can be true.

Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2008.11.06 22:21:00 - [7]
 

Originally by: Tasty Bit
Originally by: Isilwen Nightfall
CCP nerfed them because they were smarter than players hunting them


CCP believed NPCs were smarter than players. Hmm, there's precisely no way that can be true.



I refute.

IR Scoutar
Caldari
State War Academy
Posted - 2008.11.06 23:02:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: Malcanis
Originally by: Tasty Bit
Originally by: Isilwen Nightfall
CCP nerfed them because they were smarter than players hunting them


CCP believed NPCs were smarter than players. Hmm, there's precisely no way that can be true.



I refute.


win

CCP Incognito

Posted - 2008.11.07 07:22:00 - [9]
 

Edited by: CCP Incognito on 07/11/2008 07:38:18
Have eyes on this thread.
Shocked

Please keep the thread on topic, I know this probably dooms the thread to 10 pages of comments about being off topic :)

What I would like to see is constructive ideas about what PvE, and rats in particular, that would make PvE more engaging and fun.
Questions like:
What would make a 1v1 PvE encounter challenging and fun?
What would make a 1vN PvE encounter challenging and fun?
What would make a NvN PvE encounter challenging and fun?

Definitions:
Not-fun: I lock the rat and turn on the booster and start the laser's and go for coffee.
Fun: OMG I just spent 30 min killing this belt rat and I have 50 hull left, and I am shaking from the adrenalin rush!

Remember these have to be fun for people from 1.0 to 0.0 systems with characters from the greenest noob to the 80m SP UBER L33T fighter.

If you are at fan fest I will be having a table set up in Jita to talk about AI and making PvE combat more interesting.

I want to stress that there are no plans to do anything with the AI at this time. I want to collect ideas so that a concrete plan can be made, then there is a chance of having that inserted into the future schedules. This is one of those areas that a small change affects almost every player of eve. Probably the price checking alt in Jita won't be affected. Twisted Evil

So let the ideas fly, this is a brainstorming session, so any idea is acceptable, and nobody is allowed to criticize any idea.

Vincenzo Delloro
Amarr
Lux et Veritas
Posted - 2008.11.07 07:26:00 - [10]
 

Originally by: CCP Incognito
Have eyes on this thread.
Shocked


Why? Are you spying for THEM?!?!?!

CCP wants to nerf humans!

Chaos Incarnate
Faceless Logistics
Posted - 2008.11.07 07:29:00 - [11]
 

Originally by: CCP Incognito
Have eyes on this thread.
Shocked


You called?

Also, you're not very incognito, now are you

MotherMoon
Huang Yinglong
Posted - 2008.11.07 07:40:00 - [12]
 

how about look at everyone one player real time RPG and mmorpg on the market for ideas?

As a logtisics ships smaller ships should be trying to lock me up in PvE.

CCP Incognito

Posted - 2008.11.07 07:42:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Chaos Incarnate
Also, you're not very incognito, now are you

Nice avatar picture! Much better job than I could do.

The incognito came from last years fan fest. I didn't have the dev shirt yet (first week on the job) and looked like every other fan there, but had a generic dev badge. I don't remember who ( vague idea it was someone from goon swarm) said I was the incognito dev.

Last Wolf
Umbra Wing
Posted - 2008.11.07 07:52:00 - [14]
 

Anything other than the script NPC's currently use.

Lock -> Orbit -> attack when in range -> Roll dice for chance to use E-war -> continue till explody splody.

Seriously, the AI in space invaders was more complex than EVE's

CCP Incognito

Posted - 2008.11.07 07:57:00 - [15]
 

Originally by: MotherMoon
how about look at everyone one player real time RPG and mmorpg on the market for ideas?

As a logtisics ships smaller ships should be trying to lock me up in PvE.


Yes I have looked at allot of of other MMO and have allot of ideas from them, but they are not eve and eve players seem have very strong opinions about other MMO's. So I want to get EVE players ideas as they are the people that spend every day with the game.

The logistics ships is noted.

John Holt
Caldari
Celtic Dragon's
Imperial 0rder
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:00:00 - [16]
 

You can catch more flies with honey you know? If I worked for ccp I would says "---- you!" and ignore your post.


Tobias Sjodin
Habitual Euthanasia
Pandemic Legion
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:01:00 - [17]
 

These things are really important to make PvE fun:

1. Unpredictability

2. Risk.

3. Reward.


Right now there is no unpredictability at all, whether it is missions or 0.0 ratting.
"Oh, a triple Usurper spawn, pop, pop, pop, crap loot, 6 mil. Next"

There's no risk involved, and hence the reward isn't anything you really care for.
"Hey I didn't really risk anything, and of course I don't lose anything"

Most of the 0.0-ratting is what I would expect to maybe find in low-sec belts.



Ideally:

1. You warp into a belt, and there is no way for you to predict what you find, apart from maybe what race.
Same things in regard to missions. How about remote-repping NPCS? Or dedicated logistics-NPCS? The way to break it is to take them down in a certain order? How about having -impossible- missions. Pretty much, some missions you can't solve on your own.
How about same thing in 0.0 ratting. How about some rats can't do damage close range, but instead maneuver to stay at long-range and use alphas? Mix!

2. Ties into the previous part. But risks have to be, not in "more numbers", but in more challenge. "Bring more numbers" is a sign of stupidity. Bigger NPC:s, more atmospheric risks (gas clouds and smart bombs going off ftw.). How about some missions can be run by thinking. I liked how some missions, you could solve by not killing everyone, but only a few.

3. Rewards should always be in proportion to the risk. So with increased risk, if you keep getting nothing. Then you lose motivation, and PvE just sucks.


IMO, PvE is EVE's weakest link. I haven't had fun doing PvE in EVE, ever in my soon three-year EVE-life.
PvE in eve sucks ass. Even WoW (*spits*) is better at designing PvE content.

Chaos Incarnate
Faceless Logistics
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:04:00 - [18]
 

Edited by: Chaos Incarnate on 07/11/2008 08:05:09
Originally by: CCP Incognito

Nice avatar picture! Much better job than I could do.


Your compliment has been noted and saved to our database. Wink
Quote:

The incognito came from last years fan fest. I didn't have the dev shirt yet (first week on the job) and looked like every other fan there, but had a generic dev badge. I don't remember who ( vague idea it was someone from goon swarm) said I was the incognito dev.



lol, it's a good story

Unfortunately, you don't blend in so well now (I blame the blue bars) Shocked

Edit: I'll be on topic now, swears it to be so

Kuolematon
Space Perverts and Forum Warriors United
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:05:00 - [19]
 

NPC's can't use drones due CPU/bandwidth etc. issues but have them go after your drones or your logistic alt would be much more fun and prolly call "backup" on 0.0 belts. Having NPC logistic would also be fun and your now-long-forgotten idea of fewer ships, moar dps idea - which means that fewer npc's with better bounty giving out moar dps and tanking like mofos. Each spawned NPC has change of having some random element "fitted" for them (Like NPCs have - not current one with guristas always jams and bloods always sucks you up like cheap ..)

Oh yeah and NPC capitals for lvl5 that supports their BS's. Nothing beats event where your raping innocent blood BS's and they call Blood Archon (mmmm can I has one?) to rep them and make you **** bricks.

Something like that. Noaw?

Tzar'rim
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:07:00 - [20]
 

Edited by: Tzar''rim on 07/11/2008 08:39:11
We had a big discussion on this a while ago (was about lvl 4's making them more challenging), here's my idea on it (although I don't do PVE stuff).

- make rats come in waves, don't make the waves huge but make em diverse. The waves should be on a timer rather than on a trigger
- some waves would consist of just 1-3 rats but difficult ones, some would be a larger number of rats but less difficult each
- have every wave use their own tactic, some jam, some stay at range, some tank, some gank, some use drones
- make the wave timer so that you actually have to work for it, while having a small 'pause' every few waves. Right now missions require full tank with some dps, have some waves require gank
- do away with the 'once a target always a target' crap, it's too simplistic
- introduce 'elite' missions, where the mobs are so much stronger that it requires more people to do it and would require teamwork with roles where the rats are VERY focussed on one tactic. For instance a short range gank ship with some speed, you WILL need someone to tackle it for you and keep at range, otherwise you can't do it.
- make nos/neut and all forms of ECM properly work against rats

It'll never be really entertaining (for me at least) since it's just rats but I think the way to make it less tedious is to introduce diverse situations and scenarios. zombie/afk mission runners won't like that much ofcourse, if you don't want to lose them you could leave the normal missions as is and (as stated) introduce 'elite' missions with the above ideas, they require more effort, teamwork and interaction making it more fun for a group/corp.

Make sure to make those special missions worthwhile and make them for all lvls so even younger players can do these. Right now rats are dull and sedate, make them more active and vile.



Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:07:00 - [21]
 

Originally by: Chaos Incarnate
Originally by: CCP Incognito
Have eyes on this thread.
Shocked


You called?

Also, you're not very incognito, now are you


nerf CCP alt accounts tbqh.

Vincenzo Delloro
Amarr
Lux et Veritas
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:14:00 - [22]
 

Originally by: Tobias Sjodin
These things are really important to make PvE fun:

1. Unpredictability

2. Risk.

3. Reward.



You have to be careful though, because "unpredictability" flies dangerously close to "randomness", which many EVE players are philosophically opposed to.

I agree that there should be some variation and smarts in mob AI, but you don't want to get to the point where NPCs have a counter to your every action. Getting mob behaviour right is the work of years of tweaking, I don't think it's something that could be easily given a complete makeover.

Maybe a compromise would be to have a certain number of "attack patterns" for each mob/group of mobs. One might be EW-heavy, another involve kiting, another might be zerg-und-dps, etc

You could vary the incidence and detail of each pattern depending on factors like faction, location, number of ships, number of players nearby, etc without completely removing the element of surprise, but leaving the option open for players to learn the patterns and be able to recognise and counter them once they start executing.

That way, PVEers get their unpredictability without sacrificing the deep strategic thinking EVE is famous for.

Evelgrivion
Gunpoint Diplomacy
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:17:00 - [23]
 

This thread should really be in Features and Ideas.

What I want though are encounters of up to 5 v 1, which would be tough for a pilot with less than around 10 million SP. Battleships should be tough, closer in proximity to their pod piloted counterparts, but not quite at the same level. They'd be supported by a couple of battlecruisers, with two tacklers to keep them company.

These groups would work to keep inside of their optimal range, and if the opportunity calls for it, would try to maintain a transversal velocity or range advantage to reduce damage output, whilst maximizing their own. Ideally, they'd also fit competent weapons systems, and drop ones similar to what a less experienced pod pilot might fit.

I want to see them fit webbers, warp disruptors, and try to ambush you with energy neutralizers every now and then. When a group of NPCs shows up, pilots should be pushing the endurance level of their ships, and sometimes, when things are looking bad, the NPCs should try to run away with their warp drives - lest they be scrambled and pinned down, slowly torn apart by the superior integration of man and machine in the form of the capsuleer.

I want the domination we have to feel REAL, not like the artificial battleground of ISK harvesting that it is now.

Shadowsword
The Rough Riders
Ares Protectiva
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:19:00 - [24]
 

Edited by: Shadowsword on 07/11/2008 08:25:14
Originally by: CCP Incognito
The incognito came from last years fan fest. I didn't have the dev shirt yet (first week on the job) and looked like every other fan there, but had a generic dev badge. I don't remember who ( vague idea it was someone from goon swarm) said I was the incognito dev.



Nice way to pick a nickname. :)


Back on topic, here's what I'd like to do with npcs:


- Less NPCs (as you said, it's barely more than a matter of activate weapons, go read something atm), but much stronger ones (not much more HP, but better resists and more DPS). Lot more srambling, and more damage variety. For example, missile npcs could fire random missile types, so you just can't uber-tank one resist.
I think they should basically perform like an average player with a T1 fit would.

The loot should be mostly named stuff, but said named stuff should reprocess like T1.

Those npcs should have a chance to call in reinforcments, too, something like 10% chance every minute to have a random npc warping in. Could be a tackler, or an EW ship, remote ship, or a dps one, you name it.

Npc EW should be toned down a bit, ihmo, it's more a nuisance than something fun at the moment, espescially ECM since you can't do anything about it.


Also, npc resists should be either more homogenous, or way more varied inside factions. Because it's a shame to see an armageddon, for example, doing pathetic damage to all things with Guristas or Angel on the name. This hurt a lot variety in ships really usable for pve.


CCP Incognito

Posted - 2008.11.07 08:39:00 - [25]
 

Originally by: Evelgrivion
This thread should really be in Features and Ideas.



Thanks, made a post there pointing to here, I am really hi-jacking Gimpslayer thread :)

Miyamoto Uroki
Caldari
Sarum Industries
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:44:00 - [26]
 

Edited by: Miyamoto Uroki on 07/11/2008 09:12:28
What would be fun?

- if NPCs would actually act like real players (obviously)

How can this be achieved?

  • npcs rating your ship and obvious fitting and adapting their tactics according to that.


  • For a pvp opponent these days there are some mechanics which are used to rate your opponents ship:
    Look at the weapons on ship hull for turret ships(close range or long range?)
    Looking out for graphic effects for certain modules, like nosferatu, neutralizers, drones
    Make NPCs to be able to do similar things and changing tactics accordingly, maybe due to read some parts of the fitting table (if there is one...)

  • npcs being able to adapt to your gangs ships


  • Maybe a standard priority list which are also used in pvp engagements, like logistics first, then ew ships then heavy damage dealers then support, or something like that.
    NPCs would have to be aware of players ship types and if shield or armor doesn't go down after a certain amount of time corresponding to combined npc firepower, change target to next ship on priority
    list.
    Things like remote repping would have to be taken into calculations for target aswell ofc.
    So that would be some algorithms. Plus a random timer for stupid npc fleet commanders which refuses to give out command for changing target on right time, that makes it less predictable and feels more natural.


  • npc running when decimated quickly


  • If the npcs are being slaugthered (maybe not so good idea as this is abuseable) or just on random occasions when for example their commander (like named bs rat) is being heavily damaged fast that there is a chance that his guards would simply panic and flee, leaving him on the battlefield to be slaughtered.
    Plus maybe a random chance that these npcs will return in time with more backup.


  • while we are at it: npc spawns eg nps occuring suddenly on battlefield.


  • This is an immersion breaker, Currently npc ships just "appear" on the field or as local says "emerge from the shadows" (lulwat?).
    Create a warp in animation so that npcs actually look like they are exiting warp at their spawn points. And make spawn points random in a given area depending on base coordinates.
    Letting npcs warp in on optimal range on your ship depending on what their counter to your ship layout and tactic looks like might be over the top, as it definately sucks if you are a close combat ship and all npc waves warp in on like 60km distance while their tacklers keep you in place (though this is a common pvp tactic).

  • big npc ships initiating self destruct?


  • Potential annoyance for players, or a "wtf, no you wont deny me my loot, sucker. Overload weapons..." moment.


  • former mentioned stealth nps ships


  • Initial "uncloaking" would ofc only be the spawn points, but it would be damn cool if they weren't targeted or taken out in time for them to recloak again and appear somewhere else on the field later on again. Or they would just totally random spawn in all kill missions and be very heavy damage dealers which unload their load and disappear again.


  • ransom option


  • Big npcs or npc commanders convoing you and asking for a ransom to let them go? ^^
    Could be some sort of passive pop-up asking you whether you agree to ransom and being able to type in a reasonable isk amount. You then can either hold up with your agreement or not, affecting your standing changes towards his faction/corp.
    If you held up with your ransom agreements, npcs asking for ransom might offer you valueable faction items instead of only isk, after some time/good agreements.

Miyamoto Uroki
Caldari
Sarum Industries
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:45:00 - [27]
 

Edited by: Miyamoto Uroki on 07/11/2008 10:00:17

  • Countering ubar skilled players


  • A big problem is to offer a challenge to low skilled players aswell as to high skilled players with 50+ mill SP (or simply maxed out tank, cap, fitting and damage skills).
    One possibility would be that npcs call in additional reinforcements, adding to the standard spawn waves. (Not sure whether these ones should give full loot or bounty at all. It might act as a needed isk sink in high level mission running).
    So that when npcs cannot get your tank to below 20% in a given time (read, perma tank) or get slaughtered extremly quick by yours, they call in another ship as reinforcement. Like another heavy damage dealer for breaking your tank, or a logistics ship to counter your gank style.
    To counter this, one could implement a module for high slot which gimps top notch setups but when activated gives you a like 60% chance of being able to scramble the enemies communications so that they cannot call for backup.


  • Making 1v1 PVE encounters fun


  • This is somewhat tricky as engaging only a single npc in something like duel missions or duel situations will have to be alot tougher than missions enemies that occur in spawns, but on the same time not being smarter than his comrades (as this obviously would be a waste if CCP had clever tactics but would hold them back from most npcs).
    So if your single opponent wouldn't be more clever, he would need the better equipment. Like a ship prototype or something like that, on a test flight.
    (little mission idea: your agent has gotten intel about a planned test flight for a jump drive capable battleship prototype. If you head to that location fast enought after acception of mission, you will arrive on place just as the prototype jumps in. Due to your superior capsuleer systems and awareness you arrive prior to his convoy that should meet him there. He offers you a hell of a fight and drops some nice loot.
    If you arrive too late, the prototype is already jumped back/on and all that is left is his convoy consisting of "normal" npc ships, attacking you etc..)


  • make standings count


  • So you wanna introduce raging npc fleet battles, right? Why not make it so that depending on your standings you are able to call for npc backup. Only one backup squad per stage allowed, and a cooldown timer of some hours.
    They shouldn't be that powerful or clever, as Eve should always favor human gang mates over "pets"



Hugh Ruka
Exploratio et Industria Morispatia
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:48:00 - [28]
 

well the NPCs should work in teams actualy ...

like logistic, damage dealer, tacklers, ewar

f.e. basilisk a few manticores and crows
blackbird, bunch of drakes

curses and hadbingers

NPC DRONE SHIPS PLEASE ...

of course proper positioning is needed ... no need for the basilisk to engage, he keeps are his range and repairs ... same for ECM ships ... takes longer to spot them and react

make proper passive ships ... i.e. buffer megas, passive drakes/feroxes and such ...

Chaos Incarnate
Faceless Logistics
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:52:00 - [29]
 

Originally by: Last Wolf
Anything other than the script NPC's currently use.

Lock -> Orbit -> attack when in range -> Roll dice for chance to use E-war -> continue till explody splody.

Seriously, the AI in space invaders was more complex than EVE's


This. The NPCs just run to optimal and generically spam missiles, weapons, and ECM at regular intervals. The only 'difficult' encounters are where the combination is either annoying (eg, "I'm permajammed from some guristas") or explosion worthy ("My shields are melting and I forgot to align OHGODHALP").

Some vague methods of aggro-type generation would be nice. An NPC ship that's shooting my alt in a basilisk is shooting it until he explodes or my alt explodes/warps out. I think the only serious way of retargetting is by ECM, which is a bit silly

Also, variety is good! Consolidate some of the shiptypes (eg, the 30 'machariel' angel rats with different bounties), but let them vary their setups! Maybe you'll run across the full gank Guristas BS with torps and a target painter, but very easy to pop. Vary ship spawns in belts and in missions.

Along those lines, a better way of determining NPC capabilities would be grand. I get that everything is Threat Level: Deadly, but flesh it out a bit more.

I've got no idea for large-scale encounters, but stay away from WoW style raiding Shocked

ArmyOfMe
Hysera.
Posted - 2008.11.07 08:53:00 - [30]
 

i would love if there were a lot fewer mission npc's but they had more pvp like fighting, with a dps that reflect whats currently on a pvp ship.

warping into a mission that might contain only 2 bs(with great bountysRazz) that did maybe 800-1000 dps and had drones that ment that they did more damage types would be so sweet, and it would actually make missions a lot more fun if there was a real risk to loosing your ships to anything other then lag.

would also have to make them swap targets if thats needed so you cant just farm the missions by first jumping in a battleship to get agro and then warp in a logistics to keep it safe.


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