Can bots be improved when it comes to AoE damage and positioning?

Just like the title says. Gas, especially, they will walk straight through it. Earlier I had a Kerillian bot on her last down run off to kill the gas rat, then run back through the gas cloud and drop dead. If a cloud is in front of a horde, they will wade into the middle of it and loiter. I’ve seen some go from full health to almost dead enjoying the view in poison clouds of doom.

Meanwhile, with gunners, they are the opposite. They will go to ANY LENGTH to avoid getting hit from even the furthest ranges when they may take 3-4 damage total, even to the point of killing themselves by falling off ledges.

Have a pic:


Both bots went down because they rushed to meet the horde where a gas rat had thrown gas. They immediately went down, and I was left facing the entire horde + Chaos Warriors + Specials.

Here is another example. Why is Bardin even so far from me during a horde - and standing in gas, no less?

Another thing; why are they so reluctant to resupply at ammo boxes? Just earlier in the same match there was an ammo box as a random spawn (which I lingered around so I could pick off ambients), and after I walked away, this (note the ammo on the bots):

Here’s another example: I was going to get the second grim on Halescourge, in the process of climbing back down - I hear a hookrat spawn, and it jumps down from the roof below me while I’m on the ladder and hooks me. The bots below just freeze - literally completely freeze. In fact, they all DIE because a single Warpfire Thrower comes up and burns them alive while they don’t move. They don’t seek an angle to shoot the hookrat, teleport to me, or even just shoot the fire rat killing them. Their AI just shut down.


And why do they just stray so far during hordes? It inevitably leads to them getting surrounded and taking unnecessary damage:

I don’t want bots to carry me - I can do the heavy lifting. I just would like them to have a bit more basic competence.

Since this is feedback, I suppose it’d be right to add some actual suggestions;
-Can bots prioritize not-standing in gas over DPS? I’m not saying they should show super prescience by dodging an incoming gas globe perfectly, but just don’t continue to stand in it after it hits, and move around it; if their pathing wouldn’t allow them to go further afield to avoid it, can they be a little bit more pro-active with teleporting to the player? It’d be really nice.

-Can bots just . . . not fall off cliffs unless pushed? Halescourge, especially, is bad about this sort of thing with all the random cliffs (especially around second tome). At least they are fast to pick each other up, but they just seem to fall too often.

-Can bots stay closer during hordes? Just a bit. There’s no reason they should move so far away, and it means if you want to play optimally it becomes an anti-fun mechanic. Since they “leash” at a certain distance from you, if you advance - so do they. The only way to prevent this is to stand well back and let them completely handle the frontline work. For some classes this is fine, but if you are primarily melee, it means you spend most of horde fights managing the bots via your positioning instead of actually fighting.

Finally, for a bit of light-heartedness, here’s a Stormvermin who really put his head on the line! So brave for a Skaven, he deserves some praise. Came all the way from the dark section with the multiple lines to the slope. :slight_smile:

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Yes, this annoys me so much. Kerillian is a bad bot btw she can’t survive a horde as any career.

Yeah, none of her classes have passive damage mitigation - in general, bots are best being tanky because they just can’t make as many good split-second decisions as a capable player. Handmaiden is her toughest class, but is still only mid-tier on health with no damage reduction. I notice that bots don’t tend to build much temp health even on classes that I’d expect to be able to do so, like Shade with the crit+headshot talent.

She does have good utility; Shade will blow up CWs and bosses acceptably (even if not nearly as good as a player), and Waystalker will ult often and kill tons of specials. Handmaiden’s Dash requires too much situational thinking to be good on a bot, though.

I haven’t noticed shade bots consistently killing high value targets or dealing boss damage, most of the time they stealth because they hear a special spawn and do nothing with it, maybe kill a random infantry. WS tends to wait far too long to ult for it to be very useful imo, like running face first into a warpfire thrower and taking half her health and then says ‘screw it’ and ults it.

2 Likes

No, Shade isn’t very consistent, and wastes a ton of ults, but even using it once against a boss (which she’ll typically do if she doesn’t die instantly) gives her more worth than Kerillian’s other classes. Waystalker just seems to ult in my games every time she has it up, which usually nets some value due to the homing nature.

I’d say bring Sienna, but she hardly ever uses her staves, and her tankiest career still just overheats and dies super fast.

You have to build bots with certain weapons and properties as well. Normally block cost reduction and stamina is good on them. Also, classes like Merc won’t know when to use their shout, they’ll just fire it off at random times. So just take the 30% cool down talent. Same for others.

But yea, AoE’s are really annoying with them. They will actively run into the poison gas half the time…

Yeah, I normally run some combination of Merc Kruber, Slayer Bardin, Zealot Saltzpyre, and Shade Kerillian. I use block cost reduction on them - I’ve experimented a fair bit and figured out at least pretty good sets on them - perhaps with their suicidal tendences, AoE damage resist might actually be worth it, though. :confused:

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Kruber Mercenary Bot is a must-have…at least for me and I like to take a Ranger Veteran Bardin Bot for the ammo drops but also because he likes to chicken away via ult. Together with THP on ult and healshare he is a nice support as bot.
Kerillian Waywalker Bot but more or less only because her ult to clear out specials immediately and since the small buffs on WHC I like to take him too as Bot.
Only for Sienna I am not sure which career and loadout helps me the most.
Currently as Pyromancer with ult as replacement for Kerillian but I am not happy with that.

Yeah…my bot team is kinda the classic Ubersreik 4…or 5. Doesn’t matter.

Anyway: After reading the devblog about the AI it sounds weird they don’t recognize “danger zones”. Normally they should avoid these areas while also sticking with the team.
Maybe they have only false preferences: Stick with team > avoiding danger zones. Something like this should be able to be tuned easily as the mechanics already exist.

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Yup, they really need to do something about bots just standing in gas rat aoe, it is so bad it is cringeworthy to observe.

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There’s a bot AI mod that makes the bots smarter about attack selection, but more importantly it also leashes the bots closer to the player so they don’t wander off to die and you can retreat and fight as a group. That mod didn’t (won’t?) get approved because it’s seen as being too powerful but Fatshark definitely needs to upgrade the AI in that direction. The current bots do a lot of stupid things like get grabbed by the spawn every time.

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Yeah, this mod was kind of essential in VT1, it’s the only way you could even use bots on Cataclysm. Considering they still take a lot of random hits and try to play way too defensive with blocking, I highly doubt the “stay closer” mod would make them too good.

I don’t think the power of the modified bots is the issue there. While FS certainly wants to keep the bots moderately stupid to encourage actual social play, I think the primary reason for denying approval for that mod is that it’s moderately invasive, and goes against the “opt-in” approach approved mods should have, as it would affect the bots whenever the host had it loaded and through that affect the clients’ game experience without their explicit consent (in the form of having the mod themselves). I do think the changes would be nice to incorporate into the base game, but we’ll see what kind of tweaks the bots will get and when.

On the original topic, yeah, those two things are something that I would love to see improved. But there’s nothing to add, really, so I didn’t bother to reply before. Except maybe that for the ledges, the late part of Into the Nest has always been a bane of our bots, and in several specific locations, the bots have trouble getting out even if you rescue them from hanging. Halescourge’s second tome is one of them.

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