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chuckles

Boring enemy Carrier AI

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This has happened twice in strategy mode so far (out of two games, so 100% of the time), enough to know it isn't a fluke.

I start by taking uncontrolled islands. I do this for a couple islands until the enemy carrier starts attacking my islands. Once he attacks an island I'll go there, he leaves before I get there. Then he'll attack another nearby island. I head there. He leaves before I get there. Repeat this 2-3 more times, eventually I'll get him on the scope, then follow him to the next island. After chasing him for a few minutes, he'll eventually stop (out of fuel maybe?).

Once he's stopped, I drive up right next to him, and start shelling him. He doesn't fight back. He doesn't launch mantas or walruses. He doesn't launch defense drones. He doesn't move. I shell him until he explodes. Yay. I won.

...

.......

Uh. Wtf?

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Yeah this was even more apparent in beta3 because there were less islands. The release version plays the same except it lasts longer because there are more islands. Hopefully they enhance the enemy carrier part of the game because killing him so easy is a bit disappointing.

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It doesn't really last long at all, though. The enemy carrier shows up after taking 2-3 unclaimed islands. Then win.

Granted, I could just...not kill it when it's taking my islands, but that seems pretty weak.

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Yeah I totally agree, the only reason it lasted a bit longer for me was because he was taking my islands that were far away from me so I left him to it for awhile but as he got closer I went to take him out and that was that, enemy carrier killed on first encounter, and there's little point playing on after you kill him so game over.

Depending on the island layout you might get a slightly longer game but it's still the same outcome, the enemy carrier ai needs to be more diverse and challenging and capture islands a bit slower too because by the time I killed him he had captured about 10 islands and I was still only fighting on my second. It even seems a bit pointless capturing any islands because he's so easy to take out early in the game.

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I had the exact same experience in my last game. I took over one island, while I was doing so he took over two. I went down to engage him, had 2 encounters where he blew by me taking a few shots, then the third one I just blew him up.

In my current game, I stopped fighting on one of his islands as soon as he attacked one of mine. Cruised down to defend the island, attacked him, and bam he's dead again.

In all seriousness, if it's that easy, what is the point of this game?

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Hey guys I just registered mainly to ask an important, possibly game breaking question. Please keep in mind that I'm on XBOX so I will not have the luxury of MODS to improve the gameplay.

Can you make the skirmish last longer or more fun by simply not being so aggressive with the enemy carrier? Are you able to chase the enemy carrier away by simply fighting on the island that he is attacking or do you pretty much HAVE to chase him away until he runs out of fuel?

I guess simply asked: can you prolong the skirmish matches by focusing on the island combat rather than going after the enemy carrier so early?

Also, does the enemy carrier vary its tactics at all?

It just really seems to me that the skirmish matches have very little diversity and that the replay value really is weak because the AI doesn't really allow itself to adapt therefore giving us a strategy mode where the skirmishes become very monotonous and boring due to lack of variety in tactics/strategy.

The bottom line for me is whether or not the "skirmish" mode is worth a purchase alone because I have no desire to play the sorry campaign that they seem to have wasted much resources on.

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Haven't seen the enemy carrier doing anything else but trying to run away all the time...

Sure, you can ignore him and take over islands all the time but so will he, sometimes a lot faster than you can capture islands.

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Yeah, it's capturing all my islands in the campaign. I can chase after it, but I can't possibly take all of them back before he takes at least 2 other ones. Cat and mouse, anyone?

Seems to be a design flaw; this was a problem with the original Carrier Command, as well. Both agents (player and enemy) very rarely have the same interest at the same location. If one is even set to actually run away by default, it's pretty hard to turn this around.

It'd be cool if the enemy carrier paid ME a visit while I had all my walruses out in the field hacking firewalls. Now THAT would really make me jump.

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Happened to me to, I chase it down after it tried to capture a couple of my islands found it midway between islands it sort of run out of fuel or something and attacked it with a Manta with missiles and slowly took every single one of it's defenses and didn't even try to shoot back. I've send my Warluses and one almost blows itself up with his own weapon because it was standing too close to the carrier. You can try turning off "win when the enemy carrier is destroyed" rule and enjoy capturing the rest of the island. But the downside is that you already know you will win.

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This just totally needs multi player. Imagine what to real human captains would do. They'd fight to the last machinegun round.

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I dont get it, my enemy carrier is incapable of taking any of my islands, even though i've set my island system up so their defense is exclusivly strong, very strong and deadly. It does not seem to matter much. I've taken about 7-8 islands now while my enemy is still attacking the same island. The only challenge i've had in the campaign is attacking very strong & deadly islands. :/

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I get exactly the same results.

I love the game and I know Bohemia loves it as well and that they will fix everything that needs fixing, but for now it's a showstopper for me.

I don't mind the pathfinding problems. I don't mind other bugs. I've put hundreds of hours into Arma titles so I got used to them. But I DO mind the broken carrier AI.

It simply DOESN'T WORK and if the premise of the game is that it's your main enemy and that everything you do, buying equipment, weapons, and conquering island is just to get better chances in a battle against it, then I feel the game is like a good story-based game where you are missing the final chapter.

It simply is not worth playing until it is complete.

This is how I feel and every evening I struggle to avoid the game as I know it's a waste of time because conquering islands without a working enemy carrier around is pointless and I want to keep the game fresh for when it's really ready to take to the sea.

And mind you, a carrier deploying its units when in range is not a solution either. This cannot be only a face-to-face encounter, carriers are long-range beasts so I really expect him to do some carrier tricks on me. I expect to be ambushed by torpedoe-carrying heavy mantas that came from nowhere, I expect him to defend his islands and force me into an honest retreat.

I expect him to be the enemy in this game, not a nuisance or a bunny...

Come on, Dram, I know you will do it. Just please assure me you really will so I can put this game on the shelve and wait for better days :)

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I expect him to be the enemy in this game, not a nuisance or a bunny...

this.

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And you know what is putting me off? The fact that in those few reviews that are outthere nobody is mentioning this. They focus on the AI pathfining, which, come on, is really not a show stopper if you handle the situation until the patch comes out.

But the completely broken carrier AI on the other hand is.

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How in the HELL did this game get approved for release and how is it possible that the most important part of this game--the carrier AI--is broken?

All I am going to say is that this is truly unfortunate and for those hoping/expecting the Devs to "fix" it...well it's not going to happen...at least not on Xbox with dismal sales. Many major problems since the beta began have remained and have not improved at all.

This game is getting absolutely SLAMMED from many sites (and rightly so) and it won't sell for shit.....especially when outlets like Official Xbox Monthly gives it a 3.5/10 and rips it for the broken mess that it is. The ones that have given it a good score pretty much have a comments section full of unhappy people that have played the game and know better. Besides the AI, the controls on XBOX are AWFUL!!

Don't waste your money like I did on this abomination. Really is too bad because this game could have been awesome instead of a failure.

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Well, don't be so harsh. The game is splendid already, even if there's still a lot to fix/implement to make it perfect.

And I don't think that they didn't know the current state of the carrier AI. In some post Dram said that at a certain point they had to choose what to fix and what to leave for later which included things that would require more time than what they had at their disposal. I suppose the carrier AI is one of those...

I only hope they hurry up and fix the carrier AI and the pathfinding before the major review sites start looking this way...

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How in the HELL did this game get approved for release and how is it possible that the most important part of this game--the carrier AI--is broken?

All I am going to say is that this is truly unfortunate and for those hoping/expecting the Devs to "fix" it...well it's not going to happen...at least not on Xbox with dismal sales. Many major problems since the beta began have remained and have not improved at all.

This game is getting absolutely SLAMMED from many sites (and rightly so) and it won't sell for shit.....especially when outlets like Official Xbox Monthly gives it a 3.5/10 and rips it for the broken mess that it is. The ones that have given it a good score pretty much have a comments section full of unhappy people that have played the game and know better. Besides the AI, the controls on XBOX are AWFUL!!

Don't waste your money like I did on this abomination. Really is too bad because this game could have been awesome instead of a failure.

Alternative opinion - Whilst I agree the carrier AI isn't the best at the moment, the xbox controls are fine. I'm not having any problems controlling movement/units/supplies and I'm enjoying the game. Although it has it's problems, it is far from broken or a mess.

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I posted this in another thread because I think it's rather a bug than an AI issue... but here goes.

I play the strategy game (restarted several times, low resources, low islands). I rarely meet the enemy carrier, usually a little ways off the island. Sometimes we can exchange fire, but the goofy carrier controls cause me to lose sight of it eventually (usually when my own carrier stops for no reason).

The annoying / disappointing thing here: Whenever I arrive at an island to defend it, all is quiet. There's never *any* enemy unit around.

Sometimes, I can still see my island's defense units idling in the air and on the ground, as if a fight was underway but has been instantly aborted.

A minute later or so, another island is under attack.

The enemy can still take my island, but it ALWAYS flees before I can even see their carrier or any of their units.

I have *never* seen an enemy Carrier Walrus or Manta (also not in the campaign, but there I never even managed to see the enemy carrier, except on radar).

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I posted this in another thread because I think it's rather a bug than an AI issue... but here goes.

I play the strategy game (restarted several times, low resources, low islands). I rarely meet the enemy carrier, usually a little ways off the island. Sometimes we can exchange fire, but the goofy carrier controls cause me to lose sight of it eventually (usually when my own carrier stops for no reason).

The annoying / disappointing thing here: Whenever I arrive at an island to defend it, all is quiet. There's never *any* enemy unit around.

Sometimes, I can still see my island's defense units idling in the air and on the ground, as if a fight was underway but has been instantly aborted.

A minute later or so, another island is under attack.

The enemy can still take my island, but it ALWAYS flees before I can even see their carrier or any of their units.

I have *never* seen an enemy Carrier Walrus or Manta (also not in the campaign, but there I never even managed to see the enemy carrier, except on radar).

I don't think it works like that - I suspect it is just a dice roll - a weak island takes 'n' minutes, a medium island takes 'n*2' minutes, a deadly island takes 'n*5' minutes etc, etc. I would love to see them eventually make it so you really can defend an island as it would add a whole new layer to the game.

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I don't think it works like that - I suspect it is just a dice roll - a weak island takes 'n' minutes, a medium island takes 'n*2' minutes, a deadly island takes 'n*5' minutes etc, etc.

Dram has said it is more complex than that.

I've been playing the Strategy game for quite a few hours now. I have found a way to make it a little funnier. I regularly fight the enemy carrier and almost kill it. Then I can take 2-3 islands until it starts attacking mine again and when it does it definitely has more problems taking them than from the start. It sometimes fails and sometimes succeed. Then it is time to hunt it down and almost sink it again. Rinse and repeat. :-) Not ideal but this work-around kinda works. :)

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Dram has said it is more complex than that.

This is what Dram said (cant find the post but I saved the info):

He (the enemy carrier) captures islands by sending his units out, this is all calculated (obviously without physics simulation as that is simply not possible) and defensive points are taken into account as well, so there is an algorith for sorting this out. Combat is sorted using weapon statistics and armor etc.

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I don't think they lie to us, so I do think there is some kind of combat simulation going on, albeit in 2D (I think dram said as much). It'd be truly sad if a game from 24 years ago with ONE programmer could do a carrier deploying units, and a whole team of 2012 people with modern scriptable and object oriented development tools and a proven engine they built themselves couldn't do it.

Addendum: Of course, the old game also just rolled dice on "absentee" attacks. But it also had a valid position for the carrier.

---------- Post added at 23:05 ---------- Previous post was at 21:50 ----------

Dram has said it is more complex than that.

I've been playing the Strategy game for quite a few hours now. I have found a way to make it a little funnier. I regularly fight the enemy carrier and almost kill it. Then I can take 2-3 islands until it starts attacking mine again and when it does it definitely has more problems taking them than from the start. It sometimes fails and sometimes succeed. Then it is time to hunt it down and almost sink it again. Rinse and repeat. :-) Not ideal but this work-around kinda works. :)

I just build Defense Islands in strategic locations. Makes the game almost too easy; only once was my chain broken and that was actually in another strategy game I was playing. If you defend your islands right, the enemy will just bounce from island to island getting repelled over and over again. Almost a pity.

I wish it could cause me some sort of trouble, but even if it takes an island, it's just a game of cat and mouse. :( This is more of an inherent flaw that the old Carrier Command had as well (the two carriers rarely have a reason to be at the same location, and pressing the issue feels rude if the CPU does it too often or idiotic if the AI fails) ...

---------- Post added at 23:09 ---------- Previous post was at 23:05 ----------

Oh, and one UI thing: I'd love a voice message when one of my islands REPELS an attack, too.

Edited by Thygrrr

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I wish it could cause me some sort of trouble, but even if it takes an island, it's just a game of cat and mouse. :( This is more of an inherent flaw that the old Carrier Command had as well (the two carriers rarely have a reason to be at the same location, and pressing the issue feels rude if the CPU does it too often or idiotic if the AI fails) ...

Yeah, Carrier AI is probably not an easy thing to fix, there are indeed inherent problems in the game design to overcome. Even if it was human against human there would be many of the same questions. Cat and mouse vs direct carrier battles and how to 'balance' that to make it fun...

Actually I find it hard to specify a desired behavior by the Carrier AI besides "more challenging", more "diverse", more "interesting". On top of that I also still would prefer an AI that played by the same rules as myself.

It is easy to wish for changes to something better but more difficult to implement.

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Soooo, How does everyone think the carrier ai should work?

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Well, once in Strategy mode I stumbled upon it; while sailing to one of my islands I got the "island under attack" message while in time warp. It had just deployed all off its units and started an attack on my unprepared carrier instantly. Was a close call ... I guess, AI plays by the same rules as the human player. The carrier seems a little faster though, maybe to compensate for the lack off prediction. What I would like to see is, that carrier battle would last a little longer and take place at somewhat longer ranges. And the carriers are to fast; cut their speed into half. As is now in an head to head engagement you will pass each other and be out of visible range before you can manoever ...

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