We have promised, many times, that Fallen Enchantress will be so bad that it’ll give you some sort of disease.
It is now time to pay up.
For today, the tactical battle AI begins its development. And my job is to kill you. Thousands and thousands of times. Meanwhile, you’ll be trying to kill the AI in tactical battle with your various tricks. They will avail you to naught. You humans and your armies will be destroyed. Your kingdoms crushed. There will be much farting in general directions.
For the past several months, I’ve been asking my diabolical cohort Charles to write me tons of little functions that I could eventually use to build up the tactical AI. While I worked on the main game and the strategic AI, Charles did put together a decent tactical AI with what he had.
Unlike the strategic map where the AI can’t see all, the tactical map AI has no such problem. All units can see each other. The odds are even. There’s no reloading your game in the middle of a battle. It’s just you and the AI.
So for the next couple of months, we’re going to get to know each other. You will beat the AI a lot at first. And hopefully, you’ll share your secrets. From those secrets I will ask for new APIs and new XML that will help. I still have a lot of data requests (I don’t know how many turns have taken place in a given battle so I have no concept of whether we just started the battle or are nearing its end, I don’t yet have access to what spells are good and what spells aren’t – but I will soon).
I will have to solve the AI’s terrible use of mana strategically so that it has mana left over to do horrible…horrible things to you guys. I will also probably ask for a lot of new tactical spells that the AI is more inclined to use effectively (I got a few cool new strategic spell requests that are being put in that are…simply ridiculously evil).
So to start this conversation, let’s look at some of the things the AI needs to think about:
- What is the balance of power in ranged units?
- Should I attack the closest unit or bypass that unit to go after a more vulnerable unit
- How important is vulnerablity? No point casting a fire dart at a fire elemental but should I spend a day coding about blunt weapons versus cutting weapons? (remember: time is a finite resource, I don’t get a year to write this, just N engineering hours).
- Should I cast a spell? Right now, the AI wastes magic when it shouldn’t (because it rolls the dice rather than calculating it). No point in using burning hands if I can kill you with a sword almost as well.
This is going to take awhile and it won’t be in the first BETA 2 build. Or if it is, it won’t be much better than what is currently there. But together, we should be able to come up with something pretty lethal.