First off, I consider current bots - outside of navigation issues like getting stuck or the desire to hang in there - absolutely acceptable. Why? Because they shall be as good as the average player. So the necessary question is if you can beat champion difficulty reliably with them. And the answer is yes. If you want bots that let you beat legend+ reliably, you want bots better than the average player. That will not happen. If you want bots not doing dumb things like hate-stalking specials, you want bots better than the average player. That will not happen.
If you say bots for L4D2 have been better… I have played a lot of it the last few weeks and outside of having aimbots installed they are awful. The speed at which they get shredded on normal is astonishing. Additionally, programming bots for Vermintide is far more complicated. Why? Because of options. Characters can do more actions like blocking, active skill and usage of two different weapons all in multiple combinations over 17 different careers. For L4D2 you have exactly three different profiles: shotgun, assault rifle, snippet rifle. The difference is obvious.
Additionally, Vermintide is marketed as multiplayer game. Providing bots is a courtesy, not a must have. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no room for a compromise.
Easiest way would be done in-game commands to live out our control fetish like “come here”. Most difficult would be to gradually make bots learn from player behaviour, copying the player. The better the player, the better the bots.
However, a more suitable approach would be a new system
The Gambit System
Google FFXII for a more visual impression. Basically, it is a programming tool. You give your bots a condition or action and tie it to an action or condition. For conflicting orders, the higher listed order will have priority. Examples:
- if horde use light attacks
- if ammo below 50% use tanner only for specials
- if elite use heavy attacks
- if zealot don’t heal.
- if team mate wounded heal
- if below 30 % health heal yourself
- if low on ammo, grab nearby ammunition
This allows for a directed behaviour. There are no theoretical limits to possible conditions and actions. For practical reasons it should be limited though.
How would this look in praxis? Up to and including champion bot behaviour would be like now. Starting with legend you could unlock and activate the Gambit System. Why so late? To avoid people having overpowered bots on lower difficulties and for players to acquire enough knowledge for this kind of micro approach.
Also you would unlock gradually. The number of total gambits has to be limited, like 10 for example. You unlock these step by step for winning games on legend (first eight) an cataclysm (nine and ten).
The actions and conditions can either be unlocked by winning legend+ games or are tied to certain special actions like you get the range kill specials by having 10 games with 20 specials killed with range on legend or higher. This way you would unlock gradually more powerful bots which you only get if you yourself are capable of reliably beating higher difficulties.
This is the general gist. Would like to write more but still on smartphone only and writing long texts is a pain. Principle should be clear. If you have questions, ask.