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Azura Nester
The Foreign Legion
Posted - 2008.12.21 01:02:00 - [361]
 

it would be interesting if you could incorporate a carrier or dreadnought spawn into 0.0 complex's and LVL 5 missions. of course you would have to give them a sub par tank, and have them appear on a very rare basis, but imo it would add a interesting new experience to those plex/mission runners that do get them.

Ancy Denaries
Posted - 2008.12.21 07:29:00 - [362]
 

Edited by: Ancy Denaries on 21/12/2008 07:59:45
Originally by: MotherMoon
please don't use local for NPC communication anymore :(

I'll think up some good idea for other things you can do, but please don't let it be local or any other kind of chat channel. unless you can chat with them.

OK lets see.. you know in the resent trailers how they pop open a window that shows somethign else? like a news report, or a persons face? WEll what if you got little GFX popups along with voice acting?

You could even have this popup be up near the targeting window area to gives players control over where it would come up.


SO like you get a popup of a pirate or whatever face/faction he is from. You could even use a reduntant system, like you do for the art for the agents. And it could be black and wwhite with radio static sounds or something. and you hear something like...

"hey, come any closer and we'll open fire!"

"that's you had your warning, men! open fire!"

it woldn't have to be for all missions and could have a substitles option where it would show up in local or on yoru screen somewhere. But please, don't put it in the chat box :(



Absolutely fabulous idea!


On topic of the thread then, I believe what most people DO want is an adaptive AI that is never predictable. At least not moreso than a player. So adaptive is the way to go, but I have understandning if you choose not to implement it firsthand. Just as long as your goal is firmly set on a non-predictive adaptive AI, I'm a happy puppy!

FireAnt
Caldari
Caldari Provisions
Posted - 2008.12.22 04:02:00 - [363]
 

I might actually npc if some changes where made. currently npcing is boring.

there is no risk
there is ok rewards
the npcs are really dumb
most belt npcing can be done afk

things that would improve if npc was harder would be...

better game
more ship deaths
isk gaining value


things that shouldnt happen.

npc drones, that is just lag in the making
more npcs, that is just lag in the making


CCP Incognito

Posted - 2008.12.22 08:54:00 - [364]
 

HO HO HO Merry < insert festival of your choice here >

Well we have finished sprint two, and into the x-mass sprint, which really isn't a sprint as it has 4 days in it where people aren't off :)

Technically it is a hardening sprint where we polish what we have and research things that can be done, but aren't on the plan yet.

I am tracking down a bug where when the NPCs change targets they don't use there missiles anymore on the new target, can't have that now can we :)

My research task is to look into the movement, right now the NPC move directly to there orbit distance, in the case of the frigates that is almost a straight line to the player. I want to see if I can do something that helps the following:

A) Gives them more transverse velocity to make them harder to kill with guns.
B) Makes them look cool

Reading the last couple of point, yes we want NPC to use drones/ fighters. But we are well aware that the lag beast could rear it's head if we have 5 npc kick out 5 drones.

I can imagine 30 npc kicking out 5 drones, it might be a tad much to tank, but on the other hand with the Quantum rise performance improvements that are allowing for 1000+ ship fleet fights with who know how many drones being used. It might work, will have to try it :) Then again I don't know of a tanking set up (sub capital) that could tank 150 drones, and E-war drones would make life frustrating...




Ancy Denaries
Posted - 2008.12.22 09:18:00 - [365]
 

Edited by: Ancy Denaries on 22/12/2008 09:25:25
Edited by: Ancy Denaries on 22/12/2008 09:22:27
Originally by: CCP Incognito
I can imagine 30 npc kicking out 5 drones, it might be a tad much to tank, but on the other hand with the Quantum rise performance improvements that are allowing for 1000+ ship fleet fights with who know how many drones being used. It might work, will have to try it :) Then again I don't know of a tanking set up (sub capital) that could tank 150 drones, and E-war drones would make life frustrating...

Very Happy I can imagine the look of the first missionrunner to encounter this.

"Well, let's sleep this one thru shall we?"
*rats approach at high transversal*
"What the hell?" *tries to compensate for transversal*
*drones switch targets to pop said missionrunners drones*
"Wtf!??" *scoops drones*
*rats release droneswarm*
"What are all those funky small stuff?"
*omguberDPS hits said missionrunner as the droneswarm overwhelms him and buckles his tank*
"HALP!" *tries to warp out, but fails due to being scrambled*

Fun as this sounds, it's perhaps not the optimal situation :DGood too hear that you are progressing however. AI changes (or rather AI addition) sure has the potential to change a LOT of stuff for a big playerbase. I am really looking forward to this!

Any hints on when (Q1-Q2-Q3?) we might see this on Singularity? (You mightíve mentioned that earlier in the thread, but I mustíve missed it.

-------------------------
On a more RP note:
I thought that drones was a capsuleer only thing? That only a capsuleer has what it takes to be able to control drones successfully? I might be completely mistaken about this, but that could lead to situations where you could have "uberrats" in a mission (like Rachen Mysuna for instance) who has way better performance than his lesser kin and thus has drones in addition to better stats.

I always thought the mission "Duo of Death" was lol. Two ships apparently obliterated a Navy contingent, yet I warp in and whipe them out without as much as breaking a sweat. Making them capsuleer ships with drones, increased performance and AI would make the fight more interesting.

------------------------------
On another note, could we please have rats that are bound by the game functions? Meaning no 150km torpedo spewing (single torpedo lol?), 90% webbing kinda rats?

Anyways, just spewing ideas.

Batolemaeus
Caldari
Free-Space-Ranger
Morsus Mihi
Posted - 2008.12.22 09:31:00 - [366]
 

Originally by: CCP Incognito
and E-war drones would make life frustrating...


We already have uncounterable npc ecm (say hello to gurista npc), ecm that you can counter with a smartbomb is less frustrating imo.

But the transversal stuff..sound nice to me. It makes no sense that ceptors aproach in a straight line, even newbie players are usually smart enough not to do that. But at the same time, a complete rework of npc ecm would be required. I don't see a lot of dps happening against sansha when they also disrupt your guns down to 5% of their optimal and tracking.

Ancy Denaries
Posted - 2008.12.22 09:50:00 - [367]
 

Edited by: Ancy Denaries on 22/12/2008 12:08:16
Originally by: Batolemaeus
I don't see a lot of dps happening against sansha when they also disrupt your guns down to 5% of their optimal and tracking.



Yeah, their (rats) ewar is somewhere in the realms of overpowered. Even a single TD will screw your optimal AND tracking over by about twice the amount that a pre-script-nerf-change-thingy TD did to you from a player. It's insane. I prefer the Guristas jammers any day over the damn TDs.

Blood Raiders have NOS (lol) that can murder your cap. Hmm...how's that for consistency? Gief neuting BR instead. :D

Jonathan Calvert
Minmatar
Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2008.12.22 13:34:00 - [368]
 

Originally by: CCP Incognito
HO HO HO Merry < insert festival of your choice here >

Well we have finished sprint two, and into the x-mass sprint, which really isn't a sprint as it has 4 days in it where people aren't off :)

Technically it is a hardening sprint where we polish what we have and research things that can be done, but aren't on the plan yet.

I am tracking down a bug where when the NPCs change targets they don't use there missiles anymore on the new target, can't have that now can we :)

My research task is to look into the movement, right now the NPC move directly to there orbit distance, in the case of the frigates that is almost a straight line to the player. I want to see if I can do something that helps the following:

A) Gives them more transverse velocity to make them harder to kill with guns.
B) Makes them look cool

Reading the last couple of point, yes we want NPC to use drones/ fighters. But we are well aware that the lag beast could rear it's head if we have 5 npc kick out 5 drones.

I can imagine 30 npc kicking out 5 drones, it might be a tad much to tank, but on the other hand with the Quantum rise performance improvements that are allowing for 1000+ ship fleet fights with who know how many drones being used. It might work, will have to try it :) Then again I don't know of a tanking set up (sub capital) that could tank 150 drones, and E-war drones would make life frustrating...






Actually that sounds pretty cool. Missions should be harders, require flexibility, and adaptation. Perhaps you actually have to play with others to complete a mission. As long as the rewards match the effort, Im all for making it tough.

The problem will of course be players will figure out the "AI" and come up with a standard counter. If the NPCs keep doing the same thing, there will be a counter. Send drones at you? Everyone will take out the drone ships first, then everyone will fit a smartbomb. It becomes formulaic again. To solve this, you could make it so that there arent always drone ships. Or that NPCs change their drone types, or recall drones being wiped out. Basically NPCs have to be as complex as possible so that you never really know what theyll do, just like players. This means you get pwned a lot, just like in real PVP. Missions shouldnt be gaurunteed isk, grinding.

mr passie
Minmatar
Di-Tron Heavy Industries
Atlas.
Posted - 2008.12.22 15:21:00 - [369]
 

don't really rat all that much anymore but what would indeed break the boredom is small "scenarios" that can happen in belts

like someone mentioned in C&P. rats that come in haulers and steal loot from jetcans would be awesome.

In 0.0 you already get faction/officer and hauler spawns on occation. I was thinking of adding another one, a "trap" where you have a seemingly normal spawn with scramming frigs, then when a scram is activated more spawns appear (2-3). A seasoned pilot won't have much problems killing/escaping but it defo adds to the irregularily factor.

other versions are possible too, getting bait hauler spawns etc.

Also if this has been suggested already then never mind but I can't be arsed to read the whole threadLaughing

voidvim
Minmatar
Genco
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
Posted - 2008.12.23 22:40:00 - [370]
 

Edited by: voidvim on 23/12/2008 22:46:55
While read this thread I start to think about what sort AI I could come up with so I had a go at righting it down.

Threat list
Other people on this thread have all ready talk about how a Threat list could work so I'll leave that. But just add primary and a secondary as a concept. Primary is just like how us player use the term but secondary is used to help divide and conquer, with all the dps on the primary and all the e:war being target on the secondary.

AI level
AI level zero (current NPC behaver)
AI level one (simple group cooperation)
AI level two (simple group cooperation plus advanced behaver)
When the squad leader is alive (A Battlecruiser in our case) the squad has a AI level of one if the squad leader dies AI level goes back to zero.

Squad health bar
The a health bar is created from the combination of shield, armour and hull of all the ships in the squad. The squad shares knowledge of the squads health while at AI level 1. The AI uses the number as way to compare to threats health bar and tell if it's wining or losing. In belts NPC in squads will try to warp away if the Squad health bar goes below 33% or so.

Level 3 mission NPC squad

Desired behaviours for the NPC squad
1) Squad try to stay together via trying to staying near squad leader.
2) Focus DPS
3) Cross remote repairing/shield transfer

NPC Squad consists of:
1 Battlecruiser
squad leader
calls primary
gives bonus (via racial gang link)
moves towards located thread then stays at optimal of thread.

2 cruiser (logistic)
locks all fellows Squad members and remote repairs or shield transfer them as needed.
tries to stay in range of squad leader by orbiting the squad leader.

4 cruiser (short range turret dps + web or warp scrambler)
attacks primary thread as directed by the squad leader.
tries to stay in range of squad leader and optimal of thread

Now lets compare this squad to a normal level 3 mission with current AI for ships. Let suppose the player is in a Caracal and warps into the mission some ways a way from the nears NPC group.

In a normal level 3 mission once you agro a group of NPC orbiting a asteroid. The four cruisers would race away from the rest and move towards you and promptly be dispatched before most of them get into range. The two logistic cruisers would more to wards you but the dps cruisers would quickly move out of range and they would have move out of rep range of the battlecruiser and then die never get a chance to be of any help. Battlecruiser would be left to last to die a solo death with out support.

With the new AI, NPC ships would also have to the same things player do for example a their have a capacitor and sensor strength.

Lets look at what difference the new AI would make to the level 3 mission

With the new AI the squad with notice a thread and start moving towards it the dps cruiser would move towards you but slow down and wait for the battlecruiser with logistic maybe orbiting the battlecruiser. The squad would take longer to get to you then before but they would reach you as a group.

Does the player try to take out the command cruiser first removing it gang bonus and dps ?
But the two logistic cruiser will rep it.

Does the player try to take out a dps cruisers with a weaker tank and removing its dps?
But again the two logistic cruiser would rep it.

So the player could attack one of the logistic cruiser but the other cruiser will be rep'ing it (it's a matter of game balance how much the logistic cruisers can rep). Can the player destroy the logistic cruiser before the squad in range and the dps cruiser web and warp scramble the player ?

voidvim
Minmatar
Genco
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
Posted - 2008.12.23 22:48:00 - [371]
 

Edited by: voidvim on 23/12/2008 22:48:27
The player warps out, contemplating how deal with the mission now that the new AI has made it far harder even theo the NPC ships have not been boosted.

The player could try several different types e:war.
1) use ECM on one logistic cruiser and focus fire on the other.

2) use dampers on one logistic cruiser and focus fire on the other while using an afterburner to keep range.

3) use energy vampires on one logistic cruiser and focus fire on the other and feed the cap into a heavy tank.

4) fit tracking disruptor and use them to mitigate the NPC dps long enough to kill of the logistic cruisers.

The player could bring a friend with pure a gank setup and attack a logistics cruiser while he use one of the forms of e:war above. Not all of the e:war options are that good and simply bringing a battleship that could alpha the logistic cruiser would work, but it only a level 3 mission and does show how adding a better AI creates the need for teamwork and cooperation.

Darklorden
Evident Doom
Brothers of Mayhem
Posted - 2008.12.23 23:10:00 - [372]
 

Originally by: Tzar'rim
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.





I like this idea and to further it even more maybe make it so you can chose (after accepting the mission) wheter you want elite or normal spawns. Or have the mission NPC offer you 2 missions with the same goal but with 2 different risk levels.

One other thing that I think would be great for immersion is if mission results could spill over into the "daily EVE life". Maybe you upset some Angel boss and therefore he added a bounty on you ... or even have npc's out searching for you everytime you enter Angel space. Of course they'd stay away from stations but elsewhere they might hunt you down and try and make you repay for what you killed earlier. ;)

Ancy Denaries
Posted - 2008.12.28 07:49:00 - [373]
 

This fell down on page six...that sux.


Pardon the pun. But still, I haven't really gotten that answer I was looking for. Any possible timeframe until this hits Singularity in its first iteration?

Abrazzar
Posted - 2008.12.28 08:25:00 - [374]
 

The one thing I would like on improved NPC behavior would be to have the empire ships at gates and stations to stop randomly flying about. Instead they should fly in tactical formations from waypoint to waypoint in an orderly fashion.

It just doesn't look much like the glorious Amarr Navy when one of their battleships is blindly humping a stargate.Mad

DK Metz
Amarr
Posted - 2008.12.28 11:35:00 - [375]
 

first of all..

more misions.. having same mision 3 times in one go is just sad..

when thats said.. make em think like pvp players, as in fit em propperly. make em tough but also add the risk versus reward thingie.. as in beef up lp and or bounties..

also make the rats drop speciel items... atm loot from misions rats are poor CRAP. i went from 00 to agent running and the first 200 times i met a named npc i went for the can only to find CRAP :( make the named one drop 1 good item or something wich can be used in inventing/rd/ or SOMETHING.

make npc use drones.. of ALL kinds.. if we can use em so can they.

also make capital ships drop capital mods. batleship drop batlleship loot etc... ofc not that much it will ruin the market. maybe only have 1 item in the can instead of 4 wich cant be used for anything. rather have less wich can b used than loads wich is left for scraps in the belts..


Heavy Mellow
Amarr
Salmon of Doubt
Posted - 2008.12.28 12:06:00 - [376]
 

Edited by: Heavy Mellow on 28/12/2008 12:06:43
I don't want npcs that toast all my t2 drones the moment I launch em. :(
Who cares about smart AI.. there are plenty of real players to fight for a challenge. Just gimme something I can grind when I've got nothing better to do.

Venkul Mul
Gallente
Posted - 2008.12.28 12:17:00 - [377]
 

Originally by: CCP Incognito

My research task is to look into the movement, right now the NPC move directly to there orbit distance, in the case of the frigates that is almost a straight line to the player. I want to see if I can do something that helps the following:

A) Gives them more transverse velocity to make them harder to kill with guns.
B) Makes them look cool



Right the advantage of guns against missiles in mission is to high Rolling Eyes

Sure, better behaviour for the NPC, but try not to make the mission too one sided in favour of the missiles.

PinkMonkey Dragon
Posted - 2008.12.28 12:46:00 - [378]
 

first, the thing(s) i dont want in AI

# freakin ONE. NO target changing. it seems like a whole host of people are suggesting this as a great thing, no, it's not. First, it would screw the drone users even more. this is their primary weapon, and, if NPC's can change targets, that would make drones vitually useless, and drone ships with it. BAD idea. SECOND, using a logistics ship in a mission for backup, would be 100% sensless. They should be there to be able to give support--not be the primary 100% of the freakin time (which they would be if NPC's changed targets). IF this is implimented, then do so by at LEAST excluding drones from the equasion (even in PvP, few ppls target drones). the logistics, people jsut might have to bring 2, and tank in an endless loop... which sucks. OR, ha could exclude, like the drones, any logistics ships...

THAT way, only the players that deal DAMAGE are targeted.... that i can fully live with.. and, besides, it would keep logistics ships on their toes.

... well, that's it really.

things that might be cool to see in AI..

1. is fewer ships in missions, but make them pretty damned tough. fit them with ECM, warp scrams--basically, fit them like small gang pvprs would be fit... with the aim that their equipment is compareed to some one with the ability to fit all tech 1 items. if it's a tech 2 ship, an all tech 2 strngth of equipment. give them the HP of the actual ships, with the min skills needed to fly them... because, in missions, i can 3-volley a BC in a deimos.. that's lame. there might be 10 of them, but they're the = to 1 real one.. MAYBE... make them = to a REAL one... and give the mission just 1 or 2.. instead of 5 or 10.

2. make missioners have to fit for missions, more like a pvp'r has to fit for pvp. which is really a reflection of the point above. Make it so rats (preferably only the large and targetd ones) WILL warp off if you dont have them jammed.

3. cloak the bombers. i've seen them in missions and ratting, and they're never cloaked... put a delay on them or something, have them uncloak 30 seconds into an engagment... but ya shouldnt see them. or, regardless of whether or not i've seen them (i think they were just named bombers, not IN bombers) give NPC's the ability to cloak... would make them having jammers much more sensible.

4. agression. seen this in FW, and it's puzzling. there were about 10 of us, and we were at a FW major site... the NPC's spawn, and start attacking our frigate. he was the furthest away, and the least amount of threat... but they all focused there. I dont know why... maybe it had soemthing to do with his MWD boosting his sig to bigger than any of us... but that just wasnt sane. give them a better way to pick a target.

5. ... dunno.




Saxon
Gallente
Pardon Inc.
Posted - 2008.12.28 13:12:00 - [379]
 

Get back the uber spavns from npc of the RMR patch, don't make them something you walk arround and kill to collect 35 isk in 1 spavn.

Make them something that spavns in no regular basis and in any system at any time, more thou if system getting ratted, lets say 30 asteroid fields in system, after you ahave done all you would get spavn like that (possible) next round.

If ccp care a lil about the status os ISK selling, this would kill the macro ratters at least ewery 2 hours.

Shiela
Caldari
Legion of Hades
Posted - 2008.12.28 16:38:00 - [380]
 

A few suggestions:

1. Not only is the AI dumb, but the whole "ratting concept" is totally whacked.

A corpmate and I were discussing this a long time ago. Here is a quote from him, "Man, these Guristas are dumb, no matter how many of them I slaughter they just keep sending in a few BS here or there to end up with the same fate."

So NPC pirates are not POD pilots... how about some NPC pirates that ARE pod pilots who dont suck? Even officers and commander spawns are too easy.

Also, why are the pirates in 0.0 constantly defending the asteroid belts? Have you ever seen an Angel mining op? Nope. Maybe a few misplaced haulers left in a belt that seemed to have forgotten how to use thier warp drives when that macro ratting Raven drops in on them...

2. Give NPC pirates purpose.

Perhaps in certain 0.0 systems, make A Pirate NPC station deadpsace that anyone can warp to (but not dock) where lots of tough NPC BS's will hang out and defend thier station.

Pirate mining ops that you can dictor to prevent them from warping out. NPC's that bubble your mining ops...

Extremely tough NPC's that will hunt and blob over time on player ratters who hang out in belts too long.... kinda like real roaming gangs.

My point being, make the pirate NPC's actually feel like pirates not just some ******s who keep suiciding themsleves no matter the result.

3. Missions

When was the last time you warped into a mission to help out the Caldari Navy, and found the Caldari Navy actually in the missions engaging whatever pirate faction the mission is against?

How about having NPC's that fight each other while you help out?

In other games you are sometimes given choices in combat that affect your standings to factions or alignment (think Knights of the old republic). You could have some missions where your actions affect your standings one way or the other. If I wanted to raise my standing with Guristas, I couldn't think of a better way to do it than backstab the Caldari Navy FC in a mission.

Something else that REAAAAAAALLY bugs mission runners...
SO I can accept contracts, purchase on the market, start research jobs, trash assets, build ships, etc. from any region in the game right? However, I cannot simply telephone my agent from a few jumps out and get a mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF.

---------------------------------------------------------

These are just ideas, if you don't like them I don't care, I probably don't like you, deal with it.

Inspiration
Posted - 2008.12.28 17:26:00 - [381]
 

Edited by: Inspiration on 28/12/2008 17:28:48
Edited by: Inspiration on 28/12/2008 17:28:16
Originally by: CCP Incognito

Reading the last couple of point, yes we want NPC to use drones/ fighters. But we are well aware that the lag beast could rear it's head if we have 5 npc kick out 5 drones.

I can imagine 30 npc kicking out 5 drones....

WRONG MINDSET!

The first thing that needs to be done is to cut the number of NPC ships....by a large amount. Currently the only real tactic used by NPC is to BLOB and focus fire. If you don't have a large blob, but several tougher, more devious opponents you don't need waves either.


My take is:

Fewer, much tougher NPC with a adjusted bounty to match

Self explanatory


NPC that adapt their range to counter the range you are most effective at (within reason)

If they for example use rails with a good falloff and you are using weapons that have less falloff, they should try to stay out of your optimal range so you loose more DPS then they do. On the other hand if they fail to crank out enough DPS they should move in closer.

They also should try to keep transverse low if they got the advantage DPS wise.


NPC that change ammo types to match their range and adapt damage type to your tank after a while

Change crystal to work at different range, forcing the player to have a counter ready. Same for projectile ammo. Guristas should change missiles types as well to match you weakest resist, this is after all the greatest advantage of missiles over other weapon systems.


They should collectively switch targets when up against multiple players and spawn more ships to adjust difficulty

This will promote co-operation as long as the bounties on the ships are good enough to warrant it. There must be a limit...missions adjusting themselves up in difficulty to up to 3 players.


Max two tactical spawns per mission

In general do not use waves, but introduce two waves of NPC ships that are adapted to the fit you have. So if you have a speed fit, they spawn webbing tacklers. If you got DPS fit, they spawn EW to impair your DPS for example. Once you get rid of these waves you have to deal with the main thread that will do the same but with drones (1 wave).


No real AI, but several scripted tactics based on the players tactics, plus some random factor

Together with the above this will make NPC more unpredictable and players ships must be more thought out. You cant go in with a fit and expect the exact same behavior of the NPC as every time before, making it more of a challenge.


Reputation....

If you are known to be killing a factions NPC a lot, they will be inclined to send more and tougher ships in the first wave. and maybe make the tactical waves contain a bit more ships as well. This acts as a adaptation to a players skill level. If you are really good you can earn more ISK, but at greater risk!

Bartholomeus Crane
Gallente
The Crane Family
Posted - 2008.12.29 12:53:00 - [382]
 

Great to hear that the sprints are producing results! By the sound of it, you seem to be right on track for the March deployment?

With regards to the research you may have some time to do, I don't know if you had some time to do this already, but you might want to consider abstracting some of the behaviour descriptions you now have in your scripts and how some of the concepts in the game world interact with the script. Pretty basic stuff, but basically you're analysing what data and in which format is necessary for the script to work.

What in for you might ask. Well, relating to your research task, you could identify snippets of information that are cheap to attain, but allow you to do pretty interesting stuff. For example with movement, if getting position and direction vector of the other ships in the 'gang', it is easy to create some swarm behaviour.

If persisted in over the other sections of the script, you can build a context map for the script to work in and extend the script further using that context map. This would be useful further on as well.

Anyway, I'm glad that progress is being made ...

White Ronin
Gallente
Aliastra
Posted - 2008.12.29 16:53:00 - [383]
 

Edited by: White Ronin on 29/12/2008 16:55:07
How about have the NPC's go on the offensive once in a while.
After so many missions against a faction/group in one system (Dodixie for example) the npc's organize a coordinated response to this large concentration of threats.
THey warp in and start attacking around the stations or gates or set out a bubble to catch the mission runners that have cost them so much in terms of isk and lives.
Yeah, I can hear it now.
"WHat are you saying man!?! Someone could get hurt or actually lose isk!!! Are you mad?"


How fast would everyones heart be pounding if the fed int station in dodixie was suddenly beset by an organized attack force killing everything in sight.
Or you warp to your mission coords and half way in you and 13 others goin the same way are snared in a bubble with a group of very lethal group of angry npc's. Points are out and guns are blazing.

A blood bath that would make missioning dangerous and unpredictable.

Danger is fun.
Especially the unpredictable kind.

Edit - If you look at most the posts, almost everyone is suggesting that the npc's fight back.
Well then, make it so the actually fight back and not just hold your isk for you till you light them up one good time.

Durzel
The Xenodus Initiative.
Posted - 2008.12.29 17:33:00 - [384]
 

An added bonus of potentially having to use more webifiers, scramblers, etc to complete missions is that people will end up fitting ships that would also work effectively for PvP as well. One of the complaints I guess I have about missioning (even though currently I only have a limited interest in PvP) is that the ship fittings are completely different between PvE and PvP.

There is no need at all for a warp disruptor in PvE, limited (unless bonused) use for a webifier, and of course MWDs aren't allowed in mission deadspace areas. I'd wager that a lot of people who venture into low-sec blind probably think their monster PvE Drake that can handle any L4 mission without a sweat will fare equally well, when in reality the exact opposite is the case, currently PvE fits are almost the antithesis of PvP ones, at least as far as I can surmise.

Sure it would be a pain in the ass to have to go from the current "arrive in mission, shoot stuff til everything is dead" mindset to a situation where creative thinking is required, where missions can conceivably take longer to complete, etc - but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs Very Happy If this new AI had been in the game to begin with then people wouldn't have a frame of reference to compare (and whine) against.

Better NPC AI is definitely needed imo.

Sean Faust
Gallente
Super Batungwaa Ninja Warriors
Waterboard
Posted - 2008.12.29 17:53:00 - [385]
 

The first thing you need to do is give NPCs the ability to switch targets. When the initial person who grabs aggro can go AFK after doing so while anyone grouped with him can feel free to reign endless amounts of DPS, that creates a monotonous experience. That being said, here are some possible suggestions to make PVE more entertaining

-NPC logistics/remote repping. This would of course HAVE to be supplemented by making NPCs vulnerable to cap warfare.

-mission-objective NPCs warping out of the mission area only to come back in. If they warp out, you need to wait for them to come back in to complete the mission objective. While they are gone, other mission rats can respawn.

-NPC ships that cloak, such as stealth bombers that will uncloak, lob a volley of cruise missiles at you from approximately 50-60km away, wait for the missile to reach the target, and then recloak.

-NPC ships that follow odd flight patterns, such as when dogfighting against a player in an interceptor.

These really aren't groundbreaking ideas, just experiences that bring more of what makes the PVP in EVE so awesome to the PVE front.

SiJira
Posted - 2008.12.29 20:59:00 - [386]
 

why? that might missions less profitable Very Happy
why would ccp want to prevent people from buying gtcs with isk from the people that buy dozens of gtcs a month just to sell?

Martinez
T-Cells
Moar Tears
Posted - 2008.12.30 18:53:00 - [387]
 

Edited by: Martinez on 30/12/2008 18:55:21
Originally by: CCP Incognito
HO HO HO Merry < insert festival of your choice here >

Well we have finished sprint two, and into the x-mass sprint, which really isn't a sprint as it has 4 days in it where people aren't off :)

Technically it is a hardening sprint where we polish what we have and research things that can be done, but aren't on the plan yet.

I am tracking down a bug where when the NPCs change targets they don't use there missiles anymore on the new target, can't have that now can we :)

My research task is to look into the movement, right now the NPC move directly to there orbit distance, in the case of the frigates that is almost a straight line to the player. I want to see if I can do something that helps the following:

A) Gives them more transverse velocity to make them harder to kill with guns.
B) Makes them look cool

Reading the last couple of point, yes we want NPC to use drones/ fighters. But we are well aware that the lag beast could rear it's head if we have 5 npc kick out 5 drones.

I can imagine 30 npc kicking out 5 drones, it might be a tad much to tank, but on the other hand with the Quantum rise performance improvements that are allowing for 1000+ ship fleet fights with who know how many drones being used. It might work, will have to try it :) Then again I don't know of a tanking set up (sub capital) that could tank 150 drones, and E-war drones would make life frustrating...






No offense man but hell why have npc drones. why waste any new server power on drones. i mean we want AI. Not more crap to shoot at. if you are hell bent on adding drones make it only one class of ship that will use them. like the npc recons or something.

I dont think that making Npcs harder to hit with guns adds AI. that just turns npcing into a less profitable thing making it where less people do it.

With the good ideas that are in this thread to improve one of the worst aspects of eve and the ideas you gather are these two pieces of crap ideas that is a disappointment. I am for making them cooler looking but you are wasting your time if less people are going to npc because they are bored with the crappy npc AI. most people have it zoomed out anyways just looking at big plus signs.

Bartholomeus Crane
Gallente
The Crane Family
Posted - 2009.01.04 16:48:00 - [388]
 

Just a comment about drones.

I don't really see the point in adding drones for NPCs right now. And that's mostly because NPCs currently are so different from real players that adding them in now wouldn't make a lot of sense. This would change if NPCs were more like players however. Then they would be flying ships like us, and in a Domi (for example) you would expect drones to appear on the battlefield. Another thing is the undeniable impact it would have on server performance. As I see it, this is only justifiable if off-set with lesser (but much smarter) AI NPCs. One can only spend the server capacity once afterall.

Formations for drones however remains interesting to me. I don't see it as very useful for players as it would hand over even more control away from players and that isn't necessarily a good thing.

For drones it is different, because it would open up some interesting tactical options (the same holds for fighters).

Consider the two most basic formations: line and column. Line formation puts the most fire on a target but is unwieldy to manoeuvre. Column is good for manoeuvre but puts less fire on a target.

The same holds in EVE. Drones in a line formation would have great alpha but require another pass at the target to put another volley on it. Drones in column formation would have less alpha because the fire would be staggered but would be able to put the lesser fire on target continuously. There will be some balancing issues, but these can be ironed out.

The tactical options would be as follows. If a target tanks passively and there is a chance to one-volley it, the line formation would be preferable. On the other hand, if a target tanks actively, or when one-volleying is not possible, a column formation would be preferable.

With fighters the formation structure would include the ship the fighters were assigned to and this would provide further tactical options. An interceptors MWDing/ABing to a target could opt for the column formation to help him while circling his target. A dessy (or something) taking passes on a target would opt for line formation to make a devastating sweep on a target.

All in all, drone formations aren't AI, in that they aren't self-thinking, self-evolving programs. However, they are similar in development to providing AI, and, moreover, self-contained pieces of the code that can be tested and evaluated. As such, they can be used as a step-up for writing more complicated structures later on. It wouldn't be the end of it, but a step in the right direction. It might also provide more insight in drone behaviour in general, as I think we can all agree there is still a lot that can be improved in general.

Seth Ruin
Minmatar
Ominous Corp
Circle-Of-Two
Posted - 2009.01.10 20:33:00 - [389]
 

Originally by: CCP Incognito
HO HO HO Merry < insert festival of your choice here >


I hate how there is no private message feature on thee forums...

CCP Incognito: If you could perhaps send me an EVE-mail in game with an e-mail address I can contact you at, I have some questions I'd like to ask pertaining to this topic. Specifically, this topic and my "AI for Game Programming" class this semester...

Nova Fox
Gallente
Novafox Shipyards
Posted - 2009.01.10 20:58:00 - [390]
 

Things I want NPC AI to feature.

Fleet Commanders
With this npc around expect new behaviours amongst all the npcs it commands such as focus fire, auto ranging, target cycling onto easier kills/most threatening as a whole group.

Auto Range
NPCs will figure out your optimal damage sweet spot (this is accomplished by your current ammo/gun broadcasting its effective sweetspot to npcs) and try to adjust within thier own weapons capable range by swapping out ammo and trying the new orbits to avoid your damage.

Logistic Formations
Npcs huddeled together and move in slow formation in attempt to keep fellow ships repaired and healthy and more ewar immune.

Logstic Ships
These shis will repair nearby ships but its very alone and doesnt get extra repair suppor it would being in a 'formation'

Ewar Nessecitated
Have ships that are too massive of a threat to have firing without any electronic warfare placed on it. An example would be a prototype Abbadon blood raiders stolen and has laser cannons on it in constant overload state.

Getting a mouthful of this lasers could punch though shields and armor making it absoultly too dangerous to leave unchecked and killing it wont be fast enough with everyone else shooting you at the same time so the best option is to Nos, Neuter, Damp, or Jam.

Or have other crazier npc ideas such as a interceptor bomber the frigate so small in size its almost impossible to hit without painting it but they lob tropedos at you.

Im sure you can come up with dozens of excuses to have electronic warfare nessecary on missions. However have the agents notify what to expect and hint at whats needed and dont split up ewar nessecaries and if all possible give multiple ewar options to 'solve' the npc issue.

Target Cycling
Depending on the NPC it may swap targets to something easier to kill (ie frigs and destroyers will likely swap to easier kills) or something more threatening (expected of battleships and battelcruisers) provided there are multiple targets abound.

More Boss characters to be more 'boss like'

Zor is a wussy and everyone knows it.
But what if zor starts flying a macheriel for everything its dangerous for? The fastest and meanest battleship in the game flown by one of the most well known pirates ought to be far more threatning. From ramming your ship sending it off in a random direction at full speed to hit and runs and deploying drones and of course the occiasional 'How'd he do that? Thats not possible' behaviors would be more than enough to warrent him a boss character, officers should get the same treatment.

NPCs swapping damage flavors out
Reserved for special npc ships they will try to exploit your weakest reistance, this increases thier threat.

Other hopefuls
"A better mission UI window"
I want a UI window just for mission information alone instead of having to use local window, this would replace not only local but all pop ups and you can add more banter or filter them as you please.

No more tech 1 loot
Unless its the only one in the meta below 4 'tech 1 noname' modules shouldn't drop anymore making tech 1 sole souce is other players, named modules would have to be adjusted.


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