[0.981] Argh, monsters still not agroing the AI

By on September 28, 2012 12:07:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

sweatyboatman

Join Date 08/2006
+59

Started a new game, love the New Game interface and all the options. 

Takes way too long to build meat shields.  There's got to be a better way to balance late game troop building than making the early game a tedious slog as you wait 15 turns for a couple guys to make themselves some spears.  Or maybe I just need to learn to play the game better and stop trying to play this like it's 0.95. 

Well, I may be waiting for troops, but I am loving the environment!  I'm surrounded by monsters, everywhere I turn there's a troll or an ogre or a bandit lair or a gasp slag!  Nowhere is safe!  The world is super dangerous!  Finally, my troops arrive, I am able to brave the wilderness... and I find that my neighbor has expanded wildly.  Foolish.

Wait.  Why is that Slag chasing me and not the pioneers wandering without protection?  Well, no worries, easy enough to escape.  It's just a fluke of the random monster AI...

Strange to see an Ogre just wandering, oh, it's because some earlier pioneer put down an outpost and released him.  Strange, the completely undefended outpost is still there.  And here's another undefended outpost with roaming monsters all around it.  Suspicious...

And then it happened.  That same foolhardy AI Pioneer that the slag had ignored a few turns earlier walks into a forest infested with mites.  Haha!  Silly AI, now you're in for it.  The pioneer steps closer, the mites move in for the kill... and they occupy the same space?!

A couple turns later, the AI's pioneer reaches a nice spot next to a river, with four monsters dens within a tile's distance and founds a city.  Completely undefended.  Maybe the monsters are just not attacking anything?  I walk over to check it out, bang, I am attacked by a Troll and his wolf army.

That really sucks.  The whole AI unit and monster unit on the same tile thing sucks.  The monsters only attacking my stuff sucks.  The whole concept that a pioneer can wander undefended and plop down outposts or a city without fear of the monsters it passes or settles next to sucks.  The world is supposed to be dangerous.

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September 28, 2012 12:23:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sad thing is these are all old news...
Been there forever

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 28, 2012 12:35:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have seen monsters attack AI settlements.  I've also monsters simply wander near my own cities, then shuffle around and finally move on.  Many monsters are given to random impulses of the moment. 

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September 28, 2012 12:59:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This really needs to get resolved. This is not something that players are going to find acceptable.

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September 28, 2012 1:12:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Glazunov1,
I have seen monsters attack AI settlements.  I've also monsters simply wander near my own cities, then shuffle around and finally move on.  Many monsters are given to random impulses of the moment. 

I think "monsters attacking units" and "monsters attacking settlements/outpost/improvements" are different things. 

My experience is that I can safely settle near that slag lair and set him on the loose, because he won't attack my settlement, but the problem is getting the pioneer there in the first place, which is where the AI has an advantage.

It seems the AI can weave its units through tons of mobs and not be attacked. Something I can definitely not do.

I have even seen AI pioneers stand near a mob for turns on end. Presumably they're waiting for the mob to leave, so they can settle in their pre-destined location.

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September 28, 2012 1:37:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In my last game on hard I first lost a city to 6 air shrills, and then my best city ever to a Slag. This was on hard and pretty early game. The world seems to be more dangerous now. I love that.

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September 28, 2012 1:58:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I know it's been a problem forever, but I had thought progress was being made as of the last patch. My heart literally dropped when I saw that pioneer sharing a tile with the mites that should have killed it.

I really don't want to concern troll.  I hate the posts that say, XXX must be fixed before release or FE will be a disaster.  But this is bad.  It's really bad.  Watching the AI waltz through monster infested territory and spring up outpost after outpost puts a lie to the notion that the world is dangerous.  Yes, sure, the world is still dangerous.  But it's not dangerous like a hungry lion, it's dangerous like a catatonic gorilla with poor eyesight.

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September 28, 2012 2:09:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,
I know it's been a problem forever, but I had thought progress was being made as of the last patch. My heart literally dropped when I saw that pioneer sharing a tile with the mites that should have killed it.

I really don't want to concern troll.  I hate the posts that say, XXX must be fixed before release or FE will be a disaster.  But this is bad.  It's really bad.  Watching the AI waltz through monster infested territory and spring up outpost after outpost puts a lie to the notion that the world is dangerous.  Yes, sure, the world is still dangerous.  But it's not dangerous like a hungry lion, it's dangerous like a catatonic gorilla with poor eyesight.

Nice comparison I think the AI behavior is very good, but too random or to use your example a schizophrenic gorilla

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September 30, 2012 3:52:34 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Just got the beta a couple days ago and really liking it so far. That said, I had this experience in my game today. My "neighbor" opponent AI had expanded insanely through a network of wandering strong monsters. I "think" it just kept making pioneers.. it had to... and ran them, unabated across the map claiming all territory it could.

 

When I got down to attacking some cities of his, subsequently all these wandering monsters would attack my newly-claimed cities, also never attacking the AI's war parties walking to try to reclaim. One city I captured got eaten by a slag... if that thing was in the area, how did the AI build or keep that city for so long?

 

I'm pretty sure the AI opponents are somehow immune or suffer less chance of monster attack. Maybe AI has "lesser difficulty" set? For example, if I set game for "challenging" and need to deal with encounters accordingly, are AI "dealing with encounters" on easy difficulty? i.e. less aggressive? This makes setting player difficulty exponentially hard because you need to be strong enough to fight and capture enemy cities AND defend them from roaming strong+ encounters AND defend them from enemy forces accumulated from the "established cities" of scores of turns of unimpeded expansion.

 

I slogged through it awhile because I had 2 over powered toons with massive health, one with the AE fire-shot staff and "kitty", and got tired of capping each opponent city to find 2 more on its border. When I started the "run" I had only 2 cities of my own, and this AI opponent had... I don't even know how many. I took 5 and there are opponent cities off 3 borders. This was on "challenging world", "challenging opponent intelligence", "dense monster frequency", so I'm not even talking about "expert" or "insane".

 

On a side note, I was playing "epic" speed. Does the AI still play "normal" speed when player has "epic"? That might explain some of the massive expansion, but certainly not the wandering "goons" apathy I witnessed.

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September 30, 2012 3:54:52 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Wizard1200,

  But it's not dangerous like a hungry lion, it's dangerous like a catatonic gorilla with poor eyesight.

Nice comparison I think the AI behavior is very good, but too random or to use your example a schizophrenic gorilla

 

The monsters are catatonic to AI opponents. They are not emotionally or mentally ill with debilitating delusional states.

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September 30, 2012 4:21:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The monsters don't treat AI units any differently from your units. I know it sucks when you get killed by a monster but the AI gets killed plenty as well just like there are times where your pioneer will walk safely by a monster.

They are not picking on the human.  If you saw the code you'd laugh. There's not a lot to it. A couple random rolls and a get closest enemy unit. 

Unless I put in code to explicitly target AI units, we're always going to have people assume the monsters are picking on them. 

You can unhide the map and watch it for yourself (load it with /cheat and then ctrl-U to unhide FOW).

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September 30, 2012 4:40:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
The monsters don't treat AI units any differently from your units. I know it sucks when you get killed by a monster but the AI gets killed plenty as well just like there are times where your pioneer will walk safely by a monster.

They are not picking on the human.  If you saw the code you'd laugh. There's not a lot to it. A couple random rolls and a get closest enemy unit. 

Unless I put in code to explicitly target AI units, we're always going to have people assume the monsters are picking on them. 

You can unhide the map and watch it for yourself (load it with /cheat and then ctrl-U to unhide FOW).

 

i watched a lot of times

and i ALWAYS see lots of wandering monsters not doing anything to ai for many turns, while attacking me quite immediatly

i see camps of enemies standing at 2 tiles of a ai town for HUNDREDS of turns

 

same for clostest enemy stuff

 

in one game i noticed this there was a dragon lair and ai build a city OVER IT (i mean not the exact tile, just in the place that was possible to settle nearby) so dragon starts roaming and it IGNORE the nearby created city and goes for my empire

 

there is some wierd behaviour, trust us

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September 30, 2012 5:49:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
There's not a lot to it. A couple random rolls and a get closest enemy unit.

I think the problem is the lack of monster intelligence and random rolls, if the monsters would like "Always" attack units near them, we would see a considerable amount of attrition on all sides, but also the monsters would not feel as picky about what they attack.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 30, 2012 6:39:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

still there is a problem

 

if they get closer unit a lair near an enemy city HAVE TO attack them

 

i mean random roll may miss nearly always but if their priority is the nearest eventually once the roll will say "attack" and the nearest is still the same

 

what i still see is the nearest NEVER attacked while the monster goes towards other stuff

(or maybe i got wrong what the behaviour should be)

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September 30, 2012 6:45:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kongdej,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 11There's not a lot to it. A couple random rolls and a get closest enemy unit.

I think the problem is the lack of monster intelligence and random rolls, if the monsters would like "Always" attack units near them, we would see a considerable amount of attrition on all sides, but also the monsters would not feel as picky about what they attack.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

This. 

I guess that makes sense to explain the catatonic behavior.  It also explains why you sometimes get monsters traveling from distance to attack you.  Though it's very disappointing.  I've played a couple more games since I realized the monster AI is catatonic gorillas and not prowling lions.  It didn't feel so unfair, just kinda sad.  Like the petting zoo at a carnival.

Also, there's the whole mites occupying the same tile as the enemy pioneer thing.  Like the AI did get attacked, but both units were moving at the same time so the game engine didn't register an attack.  Maybe the problem isn't that the monsters aren't targeting the AI as much as the game not always calculating the results of simultaneous moves properly.

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September 30, 2012 7:08:16 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
The monsters don't treat AI units any differently from your units. I know it sucks when you get killed by a monster but the AI gets killed plenty as well just like there are times where your pioneer will walk safely by a monster.

They are not picking on the human.  If you saw the code you'd laugh. There's not a lot to it. A couple random rolls and a get closest enemy unit. 

Unless I put in code to explicitly target AI units, we're always going to have people assume the monsters are picking on them. 

You can unhide the map and watch it for yourself (load it with /cheat and then ctrl-U to unhide FOW).

 

I appreciate the reply.

 

I just tried to duplicate the AI's expansion and even gave myself a couple perks to help it along; master scouts and +1000 gildar trait. After first making pioneers and settling 3 (total 4) cities, i trained and rushed militia in each city. I lost 2 cities to monster attacks. I suppose "random is random" but it's impossible to see how the AI "blanketed" the land with cities in my example above. I had 4, lost 2. In the previous example, AI had 8+ cities, losing none.

I understand what you say about the random wandering unit attack code, but I passed that with the scouts trait. How do they blanket and not have their cities destroyed leaving every wandering monster intact? I thought maybe they were just spamming pioneers over lost terrain, but when a city is destroyed, there's no way to found a new city in the old spot.

 

Is there something in the code wherein AI always has "lesser chance for roaming monster aggression on their cities"?

 

example: If I set "challenging difficulty in world options" is the AI still playing against "novice, beginner or easy difficulty in world options"?

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September 30, 2012 7:16:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As long as the enemy factions and the monster factions move simultaneously, they will never attack each other. The only way a monster ever attacks an enemy faction is when one of them doesn't move. 

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September 30, 2012 7:36:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
As long as the enemy factions and the monster factions move simultaneously, they will never attack each other. The only way a monster ever attacks an enemy faction is when one of them doesn't move. 

Sounds right.
At some point I hope I can turn off simultaneous moves, and AI moving at the start of my turn, for us patient people I am sure it would fix around 30 bugs with the AI and monsters... Well 30 might be a little much, but a lot of bugs
Sorry, but often when I move at the start of the turn, (Really quickly after gaining my turn) the game bugs up in several ways, I have to wait at the start of each turn anyways.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 30, 2012 7:47:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The world difficulty determines the rand()% odds of the monsters attacking someone.

You could lower the world difficulty and that would change the rand()%.

The code is basically this:

EnemyUnit = AIGetClosestEnemy(radiustoscan);

if EnemyUnit && rand()%WorldDifficultyInverse == 0 THEN attack(EnemyUnit)

I agree with have a problem because as long as we have the *perception* that the AI is getting a pass, then it is irrelevant whether it's getting a pass or not.  

But I am not sure the best way to handle it. It needs to be random because it makes it fun not knowing when or if a monster might attack.

I can say there is a lot of work put in to try to avoid getting killed by monsters and a lot of AI cities die every game. You'll quite occasionally see an AI player who simply gets killed off entirely. 

 

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September 30, 2012 7:49:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,
Maybe the problem isn't that the monsters aren't targeting the AI as much as the game not always calculating the results of simultaneous moves properly.

A helper issue would be to run a check to see if enemy units are occupying the same tile, if so then simulate a battle senario. This will only stop somebody from seeing the pioneer hanging out with mites senario.

I've seen marked improvement on this issue, but there does seem to be some more work to be done. The above senario is just a band-aid for a big problem. I like the simulateneous turns, and there should be an elegant solution to this problem and keep the same functionality.

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September 30, 2012 8:08:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That might be an interesting thing to look at.

Simultaneous turns.  Every (including people) move at the same time in FE.  But you humans move a lot slower. So, as a practical matter, the AI units move first.

I'm going to have to think about that for a bit.

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September 30, 2012 8:17:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
As long as the enemy factions and the monster factions move simultaneously, they will never attack each other. The only way a monster ever attacks an enemy faction is when one of them doesn't move. 

 

because one run and the other chase?

tbh i saw ai and monsters in the same tile, i saw them moving both and saw them standing both  (in the same tile for n turns)

 

this could explain  (partially) some situation

but what about cities?

 

or maybe the monsters "lock" a target and chase that forever?

this would explain why cities are never attacked, monsters chase forever some unit

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September 30, 2012 8:19:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
As long as the enemy factions and the monster factions move simultaneously, they will never attack each other. The only way a monster ever attacks an enemy faction is when one of them doesn't move. 

 

If this is the case then it needs to be addressed.  The monster and AI players must move successively, as the monsters are not so much a faction as they are part of the world which is moved forward at the press of the end turn button (more a part of the game which affects the players than one of them).

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September 30, 2012 8:34:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

They could move at the same time fine if every time they went into the same tile, an attack is queued. It would have to be any attempt at the same tile, not who ends on the same tile, lest we end up with a Schrodinger's Cat situation. 

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September 30, 2012 8:53:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
It needs to be random because it makes it fun not knowing when or if a monster might attack.
 

Why does random equal fun? Not only does it give the perception of giving the AI a pass (if that is what is happening) when it ignores the AI but comes after you like some psychopath with a vengeance, it is not something the player could ever exploit in a fun way. You're not going to try and sneak an invasion force into enemy territory past a dragon's den, counting on the fact that there is a 10% chance it won't attack you.

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September 30, 2012 9:04:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Satrhan,
Why does random equal fun?

He never said it equals fun. He pointed out that the fun part is not knowing when or if a monster might attack.

The point is if X happens then Y must happen. If person walks in front of Lion, then Lion eats person. This isn't always the case. There is a chance that you can do that and live.

Quoting Satrhan,
You're not going to try and sneak an invasion force into enemy territory past a dragon's den, counting on the fact that there is a 10% chance it won't attack you.

I have several times... lost an army once or twice, but was highly successful the other times. It gave a little anticipation of whether it will work this time. I took a gamble and the payouts were worth it.

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