Bot suggestions to fix them and make them more immersive (possibly adding features)

Lack of players in QP makes it so you have to play with bots, but they’re too dumb and frustrating to play with, which makes it annoying to play. You also have to play in a specific way for the bots to not instantly go and kill themselves. This makes the game way less immersive, and more micromanaging plastic bags in the wind.

If I wanted to true solo I would go and do it. If players aren’t joining and I have to play with bots, it shouldn’t be this painful or frustrating.

The biggest issue with bots is that once you die the match is over. Why should the difficulty be so much harder, just because noone is joining my game?

E.g.

  1. You have to constantly hug walls, because they let enemies hit you in the back
  2. You have to constantly hold bunker spots (more than usual) to stop them running into awful positioning
  3. Every single Special wave is your job. Think about how little damage the bots do on Cata. You’re killing Elites, clearing roamers, clearing Horde, kiting Bosses, and STILL every Special wave is your job, because they just can’t see them
  • Disablers in Hordes can be game over, because the bots won’t do anything
  • They go AFK if a Gunner is shooting
  • They chase Gas Rats and Storm Wizards for miles, and walk into gas/storms
  • They walk into Flame Rats without shooting, they just walk into the fire
  • They don’t react to disablers until they’ve caught someone. This is a huge issue on Cata, as that usually means someone is downed
  1. You have to play OP versatile builds, preferrably with Stagger so that the bots don’t drag Elites into you
  2. You have to hold Boss aggro, kill Specials AND fight Horde at the same time, because the bots tunnel the Boss, even when he’s on you (usual 4 player tactic is 1-2 people on Boss rest on Horde).
  3. You have to constantly babysit them, as they’ll start walking backwards or 40 yards into the distance, even though a Horde is about to start, or a Special wave is coming
  4. You have to do all of the ‘Event’ mechanics yourself, while the bots watch enemies come and hit you
  5. You have to run or just outright die to Patrols, because they pull them
  6. They sometimes watch you die while caught by disablers
  7. The will back off from a fight and pull their Ranged Weapons out. This would be completely fine if they killed Specials with them, but instead they just stand still and wait for them to come in, while I’m dealing with the Horde they just abandonded, and now have to deal with the Specials they’re ignoring

It also becomes frustrating with players who are inexperienced with Cata bots, because they don’t know how to play with them. This means that the bots die, and then you’re doing duos with no comms where you’re not guaranteed comp synergy.

The bots are really strong in Legend, which means a decent Cata player can just pretty much hold W for large sections of the map, leaving the bots to kill everything. This means that not being able to play Cata without tryharding and true soloing (or bot solo zZz), leaves you with no middle ground.

These suggestions are intended to even out the bot experience and make lack of Cata players less frustrating. The bots just don’t do enough on Cata, and instead make the game more frustrating.

I don’t want them to be as good as players, but to offer the players something in return for not having someone with them. The damage differences and priorities of the bots are enough to see that they’re just awful on Cata.

Suggestions:

Make Character/Career archetypes for bots:
Instead of having them use the set of Weapons and Talents that you choose, give them a set archetype. This means that you the devs choose what the bots are and can control how good they are at it.

This means that you have more control over which character does what and you can tone it up and down accordingly, without having to make them be able to use every weapon, which currently causes them to be inneficient and useless with some Weapons.

E.g. Ironbreaker has a set loadout, which he’s actually capable of using more effectively. Such as; Shield weapons + Drakefire Pistols.

The difference between this and what they do normally, is that you can then apply modifiers to the Career Archetypes: passive aggro pull for Bardin, better Elite killing for Ranged Careers, etc. I will go further into this when I discuss ‘bot buffs’.

Change the way they attack or react and fight:

At the moment, bots will just stand still looking at enemies, drag them into you, light attack fully armoured enemies, not defend your back, stand with their Ranged Weapons out, basically AFK. It becomes extremely frustrating when the bots ignore Specials or drag Elites into you.

Instead of having them do normal combat, it may be better to have them do pseudo-combat, where they’re not actually directly attacking as the players do, but kind of in a choreographed motion with the enemies, but where enemies actually die and don’t get ignored.

Another way to put it is, they dance in front of the enemies and the game starts deleting the enemies that they’re near to. The same function could apply to Special killing on Ranged Careers.

This is also how you counter the issue of bots becoming too strong on some difficulties. You can scale their killing power to the difficulty.

Changing the way they recieve damage could also be a good counter to the way they run 40 yards away and die to Specials that they can’t see.

Bot buffs:
As I mentioned with Ironbreaker earlier, having small buffs like ‘passive aggro on smaller enemies’, could absolutely change the game. Your own tweaking will ensure that they’re not OP or better than players.

Even if they need to give extra buffs compared to what they usually have, so that the players can make up for the bots bad AI.

This would make the game less frustrating when noone is joining your game. It also makes you less reliant on the bots.

It also gives you chance to test out buffs that could be good for new Careers or balance tweaks in future.

So what does this look like?:
E.g. You have the Ironbreaker Bot, who pretty much does the same as he does now, but he draws more smaller enemies to him, filling his archetype role, and maybe offers more buffs or debuffs to enemies that are near to him (there’s not really a good buff suggestion for IB, because Rune-Etched Shield, is already one of the best bot buffs).

His special bot buffs could be that his Taunt is the Boss Taunt, but on a shorter Cooldown. Or he could make up for his lack of damage/usefulness in other ways.

Conclusion:

These specific examples are only to give an idea of what I want the bots to do, and not exact. The main point of this thread is to suggest ideas to make bots useful when players aren’t joining, and to do it in a way that makes them feel less robotic.

I think the archetype side of these suggestions would make it a good way to even integrate a ‘bot leveling’ system with all of the roleplay aspects and lore related to each character.

Suggestions by others:

Added another of my own, because it was a continued discussion with Mattie. Don’t think this one is likely though.

9 Likes

The one issue i encounter with bots most of the time, is when i get disabled and they just look at me and go kill that one rat across the map, or i get downed and they don’t revive me,i feel like reviving should get priority on everything tbh. Also pulling patrols is stupid, make them not use their ult when near an unaggro’d patrol, i don’t see it being difficult to add.
Also like you said, bots aggro’ing an elite and then come stand inside you while you don’t expect it, i died to this much more then i dare to admit.

Another thing i wanna point out is that i always expect bots to play how players play, and that’s the wrong mindset to have, which ultimatly ends in us wiping because i tried to go to fast.

For your thread: do you have the bot improvement mod?

I think this is fine, expecting bots to split 2/2 is a bit much, this ties into my ‘playing with bots require another playstyle’

This is the same as n1 i assume?

I disagree, bots do kill specials, some are better at it then others. I mean ALOT of the specials are for you, but it’s not all.

Yep, but this all depends on the situation, in a dense horde and a hook grabs you then it’s prob gg’s in a normal game aswell, i have seen bots use their ults when i got disabled in a horde though. In other situations where there is not alot of enemies left or it’s an easy push forward and melee kill, then it’s super frustrating.

Yes.

Yes

Yes

I don’t remember if they don’t react even when there is nothing around, in horde screnario’s, sure, they wait and use their ult if available, in my experience their ult usage is super quick, but that might be lucky?

Bots will ussually ult and take aggro, i didn’t have a situation where i had the boss aggro for the entire fight. Also bots are pretty good at kiting one.

Yep, it’s a different and slower playstyle.

That’s fine imo, i’d rather bots stay close to me then they go run off in one direction each to go do a barrel solo, it’s slower sure, but that’s bots.

I mean currently you can also choose their type by choosing their loadouts and talents. You can build them yourself, be unique in what you like, change their cosmetics, etc. Devs are also able to balance certain weapons, i don’t think an archetype system would help much tbh. Also i don’t see how this would fix most of the issues you pointed out above, in my opinion bots need some priority changes and bug fixes.

Also some careers are already better at certain situations.

I don’t know if i like this. What will this fix? Low damage on certain bots? Also i suggest using the mod, where bots will not or try not to light attack armored.

Yes.

Sorry I didn’t explain this properly.

Hugging walls is to stop them running into the open, and to limit Special’s LoS.

Bunkering is so you don’t get hit in the back, turn around to an enemy and all 3 bots standing still with their Ranged Weapons out. It also makes it easier to back off and kill Specials.

My experience has been that they’re extremely inconsistent, or have other behaviours which make it your job. E.g. chasing one Special and ignoring a more dangerous one, or getting caught by disablers before reacting, so you have to stop taking the Horde they’re also ignoring and save them

It’s more avoidable and easier to deal with with players, because of:

  • killing power (less enemies to worry about, more space to kill Specials)
  • Ult usage*
  • they also use their Ults on a single Elite, so one of them or you gets caught, you just lose the entire match. Which is a point I probably should have made in the initial post.

Oh, they don’t. Play a Cata match and wait for disablers. Even with one, they’ll just ignore it until it’s on top of them.

Same. I’d love the bots to stay close to me. :joy:

The bots are so woefully bad that they need anything to make them better. The damage difference and lack of cosistency a long with how irritating they are to play with, means they either need to update the AI even more, to make them more useful, which I don’t think is likely, or add more specific buffs in a very specific way.

I don’t think the AI will ever make them capable of being on a player’s level (without them doing some of the random insta kills they do already), so my idea is to give them beneficial mechanics that make up for it.

  • Buffs to one specific item set (easier to do than AI changes, and can be tweaked for each difficulty)
  • Give them AoE buffs to make up for low damage, making the players stronger, and more builds viable without players
  • Change the way they take damage or fight in general to remove the need to make AI changes, and make them deal more ‘controlled damage’, not insta headshots, but passively killing nearby enemies or debuffing them in some way

Not all of these changes need to happen. I don’t want to replace players.

I mean, they just stand still for half of the match. They even avoid enemies, leading them into you. The amount of time I’ve spent blocking, watching the bots do nothing is crazy. Then they’ll do one hit and walk off.

If I wanted to true solo I would go and do it. If players aren’t joining and I have to play with bots, it shouldn’t be this painful or frustrating.

Ah ok, because you said ‘hugging walls becuase they cannot watch your back’ this is a bit the same as using bunker spots. Thanks for explaining.

Yes this is the word, agree 100%.

I mean ofcourse, players have gamesense, if they implement machine learning into bots they would be insane i assume, or maybe there is a way to limit machine learning to a certain point? Not an expert on the subject.

Yes i know, inconsistent and luck. It’s a bit the same answer as i gave the quote above. But they do use it when it’s available, that was what i tried to say.

How do you feel about adding more voice commands and make bots actually react to them? This way players are still in control, players make the decisions in certain situations, etc. This way they also wouldn’t have to make insane AI thats better then players. The only downside with this system would be that it would only be general commands, as individual would be difficult to implement as there would be insane amounts of voice commands, which would result in a voice command simulator. But for example things like: ‘kill horde’, ‘focus elites’, ’ focus specials’, ‘follow me’, ‘stand here’.

Also more consistent terrain traversal and getting ammo from ammo boxes is needed.

I’m just not understanding probably, but weapons are balanced by difficulty, the issue is bots cannot use effective combo’s. For example, shields or simple weapons like exe sword are great for bots, as they light attack is sweeping, heavy is single target. I haven’t tried halberd on a bot, but i’m almost certain it wouldn’t really be effective.

A bit the same answer as above. When they fix the priorities and stupud things like afk’ing or walking backwards, wouldn’t this help this issue alot?

Yeah, I agree about them having to add insane AI. I think there’s too many variables including prioritization and pathing that make it hard. That’s why my ‘buff’ idea was kind of an easy way out- you get a passive AoE buff or enemy debuff and don’t have to worry about AI at all.

An extended voiceline system would make up for their priorities. A similar idea would be to have more AI choice before the match, selecting which bot does which job, etc (I’ve even thought so far as having which attack pattern as an option, but it seems unlikely to happen). I think they’re both more difficult than some of my suggestions though.

It basically removes all of the hassle of having to learn which bot is good with which Weapon, slowly realising which ones lead to the bots dying or not doing anything.

From there you can have ‘bot stats’ on weapons, so where a player push-attacks and does a light combo killing half of the Horde, and the bot pushes and does one attack before running behind you, they can do massive damage with one attack, maybe just giving them unlimited cleave to make up for how little damage they do, or with heavies on Elites, etc.

The reason this ties in to them having an ‘archetype’ gearset is that it makes it easier to balance, and possibly opens more opens with a new buff system that doesn’t become overtuned when you make the bots run specific Weapons. It can also be dependent on difficulty, as bots are already really good for Legend, Cata just has too much mayhem.

It could also be good if they ever did consider a bot talents system, as it would make things more immersive, which is a huge issue with bots. You’re watching them instead of playing the game.

It would, but again, it seems unlikely. These have been issues since the game came out. The point of my suggestions is that they seem like bigger bandaids than one AI tweak every 6 months. They also have potential to add some more content of sorts (if they go the bot Talent route which could also be tied to some form of story/lore content).

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I like this alot. This would actually be better then my voice command idea. Setting up your bots in a menu and tailored to your playstyle. It would probably be very difficult to add this but still great idea.
For me personally something like this above + voice commands + some obvious bug and pathing fixes, bots would be alot better already.

Still not a fan of passive damage or special bot abilities/talents, but i can see your point.

1 Like

Maybe it’s just me but I kinda like how bots are atm (using the bot improvement mod).
They are on par with and average legend player.
My only issues are:

  • randomly dying from overheads
  • if you get downed they will try to find an opening to res you but they continue to stand on top of you so you gethit and die before they can res you

Making the bots stronger would take away the pride of completing a map solo + bots.
Maybe I am alone in that specific way of thinking.

Btw I was carrying my friend through legend one time, we had an Unchained random player in the team. There was horde, a troll and some specials on me. I got to the respawn point, picked up Sienna and was kinda impressed he managed to hold the troll like that while I was dealing with everything else. It turned out the real Sienna left and it was my Unchained bot that did it, I didn’t realise cuz it was the same class :stuck_out_tongue:
Playing with 3 bots on legend is easier than playing legend with pub most of the time.
Bots can be goofy at times but I’ve seen them do some really good plays honestly + when you have 3 of them they are quite good untill they encounter their mortal enemy…
THE LEDGE

2 Likes

yea on legend most of their issues are not that big of a deal. Op was talking about cataclysm and where their issues actually show and it actually gets hard to complete a map with 3 bots (depending on what career the player uses). On legend you just use bots as punching bags and bait, on cataclysm this isn’t so effective, and you actually need them to pull their weight or atleast 1 bot has to. duo with bots is already more fine as you have another player to rely on.

Also yea bots can be insane at kiting bosses, but can be inconsistent at times. i think this is fine though, being able to kite a boss is already good, so i don’t mind the inconsistency, its a bit like a real game, players can also mess up a kite.

alot of edits, sorry

1 Like

I mean, it should be hard to complete cata with bots. They are certainly not useless in cata tho.
It actually feels like an achivement if you manage a cata map solo with bots, which imo is great.
You have the guarantee that there won’t be any badass to carry you through the game, it’s mostly a test of your map awareness and skill. I don’t know if I sound like some of “those” veteran players but I just like it. Except for those 2 issues I have mentioned before.

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I understand where you are coming from. But playing with bots should not be an aditional difficulty, it should just be a system where you can already start playing while you are waiting for players to join you. In Cataclysm playing with bots is almost a solo, you cannot rely on them at all, sometimes they pull the patrol, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they revive you, sometimes not, … . It’s like the op mentioned, its almost a true solo that you are playing just with some bait and a bit more room for mistakes. Also not alot of setups are good on bots, most just build tanky bots in cata just to make them live longer and use them for their ultimate, for example, unchained, merc with shield, ib, stuff like that just to stack temp hp and have one tank to take stuff of you every couple minutes. But you will have to do most of the work anyways, yes they will kill specials, kite the occasional boss, but you will still do 90% of the work, and if you are on a career that relies on his teammates, aka support, then it will be alot more difficult. All the frustrating things they are doing where you have no control over are also super annoying, it’s not really an achievement to finish a map where you had to push forward to get the bot unstuck, or where they keep falling of ledges, or where they don’t revive you when they can clearly get you up but they are busy walking against fire, … . So yea just making them less frustrating will help everyone, giving us a bit more control over them, etc, don’t wanna buff bots to insane levels where its always better to play with them.

All the issues are all present in legend, but its just not noticable because legend is perfectly doable with 3 bait and 1 player. (not meant to sound elitist, i wipe on veteran with bots pls no flame)

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I disagree, despite being stupid, what you described makes the map harder which makes completing it a bigger achivement.
Also I think you are overdramatizing a bit. It’s easier to complete a map with bots than with “some” players. At least the bots won’t die during a span of a second turning the game into a real true solo. Bots also stick together more than players do and on the contrary to what op said, they actually do cover your back also more than many other players.

I’m just saying bots are unpredictable, i have times where my bots are suiciding in 1 second and i’m left alone, and i have times where they are literal gods. I’m not denying there aren’t any players out there that are worse then bots, generally speaking most cata players are better.

I feel like you are overvalueing bots in cataclysm, and yes technically it is an achievement, just annoyances. but you are correct, tagging the same ammo box 10 times or walking away from ledges is an achievement technically.

You also didnt adress this part:

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you have some good ideas, but they will never be added to the game. the best we can hope for is that fatshark ALLOWS modders to improve them and sanction those mods. the easiest way for fatshark to improve the bots is to just let modders do it. that way they dont have to

bots should be completely invisible to unaggroed patrols. bots should be unable to aggro patrols no matter what. i have had enough runs being ruined just because the bots decide to chase a special and then proceeds to walk through the patrol. i dont care if its unimmersive or not, bots should not end a run due to bot stupidity.

bots should have their priorities fixed. having 3 bots attack a monster under a horde and specials is just stupid. the bots should focus on the horde and specials unless they are being attacked by the monster.

bots should be aggressive while still being near the player. its so annoying when 1 bot barely do anything under a horde while 2 others just attack a few enemies at a time unless they get attacked.

bots should have their leap ult use improved. they are using it way to rare and almost only against specials. bots cant stop mid leap too so sometimes they will go way too far and be picked off without the player being able to save it.

sometimes when i play on cata, there are no players who join, so i have to run the entire mission until i most likely wipe. its often really frustrating when bots are just unable to stay alive and kill stuff.

1 Like

I agree.

That’s why I think the ‘bot buff’ thing would be the best way to go about it. Bots buff the player so you don’t have to rely on them. Seems like an easier fix to me than changing their AI.

i dont think there need to be put much work into improving the bots.

make them unable to aggro patrols that arent aggroed.
sanction the impuls control mod.
change the priorities for bots so that they are better when against a horde and monster.
increase their aggressivness while also staying close to a player.
if there are 2 players in a match, have each player constantly having a bot that follows him.
reduce their teleport range to half of what it is now.
make bots unable to walk off ledges unless they are pushed off, or just make them not able to fall of ledges, whatever is the easiest.

most of the suggestions i came with shouldnt be hard to implement, and would fix most of the annoyances with bots.

5 Likes

It’s because bots should be an additional difficulty at a certain point, it’s a coop game you are meant to play with players. What’s the point of doing cata pub if bots are just as good as a pub team and you can also predict how they will behave and they don’t stray away from you. Btw “Come Here” command forces bots to come to you.

Exagerrating again, pickup mechanism in the game actually works well, you tell the bot to pick something up, he will do it sooner or later(in this case he will do it remotely).

Thats what i’m saying, i don’t want bots to be better then players, but i don’t want to play solo either, it seems you are treating bots as a seperate gamemode, when thats not what they are intended to be. Like it would remove challenge to fix bots?, bots in cata are literally that, just with a little more room to make mistakes, unless they bug out and don’t res. Also the come here command doesn’t seem to make them come to me and ignore their current thing they are doing, once they run off and there is a patrol, i’m spamming that command so much and nothing happens? Is that just me?

Also yes, 10 times is exagerating. It’s not consistent, if a bot gets stuck it won’t pickup ammo, maybe it got fixed recently idk, but before this was the case. If it got fixed good, even if it removed some challenge for you by fixing it.

This doesn’t excuse how big the difficulty spike is (especially in QP, which seems like it should be more casual). If you die once, the match is over.

Also it’s only Cata where this is even an issue. Your argument of ‘bots better than players’ actually applies to any other difficulties. On Legend the bots actually steamroll, making it easier and more reliable to play with them. In the changes I’ve suggested, I mentioned this and mentioned that they can be tweaked depending on difficulty.

Players who want difficulty always have the option to play true solos on the mod server. I’m playing QP because I want to chill and play with other people. At the minute the system has a big flaw in player population downtime.

They could still keep that difficulty if they wanted by making private matches not have the same bot strength as QP would as an option.

Noone is asking for them to be better than players.

I’ve just done 2 Cata matches where I didn’t get someone until almost the end of the map. It’s not me trying to abuse the game by having OP bots, it’s literally noone joining forcing me to play with them, and have previously had hours where a player never joins.

Why should I have a huge unforgiving difficulty spike because no players are on?

Why should I have to spend the entire match babysitting bots?

It also becomes frustrating with players who are inexperienced with Cata bots, because they don’t know how to play with them. This means that the bots die, and then you’re doing duos with no comms where you’re not guaranteed comp synergy.

It’s at the point where no bots and then buffs depending on how many players would be preferable.

2 Likes

Yep, bots not handling specials properly, chasing after specials with melee weapons, and not using ranged weapons on them have long been an issue since 2018. Related prior feedback posts:

Jul. 2018

Aug. 2018

Mar. 2019

Sept. 2019

Jul. 2020

Apr. 2020

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I don’t mind bots pulling patrols, it’s what I do in every situation anyways. You can’t let enemies walk away like that, who knows how much damage those chaos warriors could do? It’s only righteous to kill them, it’s the just thing to do.

2 Likes
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