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The AI still use the Zafir in single shot mode. Is this intended? I would expect them to use bursts like with the other LMGs. Maybe its related to the fire-mode being semi by default.

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Lots of good stuff.

I totally agree with this, the other thing is that often the clever things happen out of the view of the player. Sometimes when building missions I've put tracking markers on them and they can be very clever about flanking.

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Let's be clear, from a technical standpoint, ARMA AI is hands down the best and most complex AI of any shooter out there that does - or, quite often, attempts to do - amazing things that AI in most other games doesn't even dare touch with a 30m pole. There is, however, a problem of perception by the end user. Namely, there is a major cognitive bias when it comes to AI whereby if it acts in a manner that the player deems to be human-like, the artificial actor in question almost completely escapes the user's attention. Provided everything and everybody within the virtual world continues to function in a way that approximates our expectations of how things should look and behave in reality, then the brain simply filters out all of this stuff and we literally forget about the technology that is working feverishly behind-the-scenes to make the illusion possible. But, as soon as we see something we perceive of as alien, artificial or out-of-place, our brains start freaking out. In regards to the AI, this means that the better and smarter the behaviour of the AI, the more it is ignored. It is only when the AI does something strange or stupid that the player notices, rages and then goes on an online posting spree. You have to understand that this noticing of only the negatives and flaws in the simulation is a natural human cognitive reaction, and is largely legitimate from the end user's perspective.

In this sense, one also has to appreciate that the BIS AI programmers are burdened with what is pretty much a Sisyphean task. Because, no matter how amazing the ARMA AI is going to get, there will always be problem areas, and so there will always be a continual torrent of complaints and little to no praise for what has been accomplished. How many people have noticed the major improvemnts in A3 AI over A2, for instance? In fact, there have been significant improvements over the last month or two, but because almost none of this is changelog'ed it sadly slips under the collective radar. All that is not to say that players and modders shouldn't be asking for more, but a little perspective helps sometimes.

Totally agree. The AI should really be judged on it's aggregated behavior not on individual behavior. I', always getting flanked by AI even in situations where I'm more-or-less expecting it. Particularly in maps like Falluja.

Seeing one or two AI doing a ridiculous thing is certainly no different to regularly watching human players also doing ridiculous things :)

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The AI still use the Zafir in single shot mode. Is this intended? I would expect them to use bursts like with the other LMGs. Maybe its related to the fire-mode being semi by default.

I have been messing around in editor two days back, making firefights with enemy 600 meters away and my machine-gunner indeed used short bursts instead of single shots. I was surprised myself. No mods used.

---------- Post added at 13:34 ---------- Previous post was at 13:17 ----------

While I agree the AI is incredibly advanced in Arma in some aspects it fails to deliver the most basic things that we would expect would be easy to implement. Such as using cover actively and not just staying behind an obstacle. This is the one of the most important, game-changing things that every other corridor shooter already has (and I don't believe that checking for priority and direction is something that cannot be done in Arma). Enemies lean from behind a corner and when under fire, they hide, wait a few moments and try to shoot again. In Arma it is just static. They just stand behind cover and sometimes even so badly that they are completely visible to the enemy (I absolutely cannot understand why a forced-to-be-crouched unit has to suddenly stand up when using cover behind a rock). It is better for AI to just simply lay on the ground and shoot than to seek obstacles for cover because they are useless to them. I cannot help the feeling, after 12 years of hoping, that programmers are simply not giving a lot of priority to the AI because some things the AI does are so absolutely unnecessary. I am sorry.

PS: Every day after an update of the branch I seriously can't wait to check the changelog if there is some AI tweak or change. Most of the time I am just very disappointed because there is nothing and I am starting to be convinced that there is not a specialized AI programmer in BIS which is incredibly sad for me.

Edited by Bouben

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While I agree the AI is incredibly advanced in Arma in some aspects it fails to deliver the most basic things that we would expect would be easy to implement. Such as using cover actively and not just staying behind an obstacle. This is the one of the most important, game-changing things that every other corridor shooter already has (and I don't believe that checking for priority and direction is something that cannot be done in Arma). Enemies lean from behind a corner and when under fire, they hide, wait a few moments and try to shoot again. In Arma it is just static. They just stand behind cover and sometimes even so badly that they are completely visible to the enemy (I absolutely cannot understand why a forced-to-be-crouched unit has to suddenly stand up when using cover behind a rock). It is better for AI to just simply lay on the ground and shoot than to seek obstacles for cover because they are useless to them. I cannot help the feeling, after 12 years of hoping, that programmers are simply not giving a lot of priority to the AI because some things the AI does are so absolutely unnecessary. I am sorry.

PS: Every day after an update of the branch I seriously can't wait to check the changelog if there is some AI tweak or change. Most of the time I am just very disappointed because there is nothing.

This! Ai need to do the basics. Right now they are far to concerned with shooting the enemy than they are about keeping themselves alive. An ai that gets shot from an unknown shooter should seek cover and actually hide behind it fully. Not run around go prone and start looking for you or run around to cover and then proceed to stand straight up as they look for you.

They should run to cover fully hide, and only after not receiving fire for a bit should they peek up. And if they start taking fire they should duck right back down. If they peak up and thin they know where you are they should do some area fire on your general location. As a human this is exactly what I do. I don't even have to directly be taking fire to get me into cover. It might take me a good few minutes to locate an ai from 400m away while staying alive because I try not to expose myself lonnger than a few seconds at a time. Meanwhile my friendly ai find him in 10 seconds, but half the squad gets wiped out in the process.

Only part I disagree on Bouben is I don't believe this is "easy" to implement and I believe that BIS is slowly working towards it as a goal.

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Such as using cover actively and not just staying behind an obstacle. This is the one of the most important, game-changing things that every other corridor shooter already has (and I don't believe that checking for priority and direction is something that cannot be done in Arma). Enemies lean from behind a corner and when under fire, they hide, wait a few moments and try to shoot again.

You don't seem to understand how complicated the resource-intensive 'the basics' are in an open world setting. In a corridor shooter, the AI is always right where the game expects it to be, and there are always one or two pre-defined positions available to protect from a player whose rough position and direction of attack is also known. It's like a multiple-choice test on arithmetic versus calculus.

The AI already knows how to hide behind cover from a certain enemy (and priority and direction check), but what is it supposed to do when there is a whole hillside of enemies, and it has to stay in formation on some level, and cover its moving teammates, and the game has to constantly check whether the AI is still actually in cover... etc etc. There is already a whole overloaded system in place. Did you know that the AI won't run towards positions where bullets are landing?

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You don't seem to understand how complicated the resource-intensive 'the basics' are in an open world setting. In a corridor shooter, the AI is always right where the game expects it to be, and there are always one or two pre-defined positions available to protect from a player whose rough position and direction of attack is also known. It's like a multiple-choice test on arithmetic versus calculus.

The AI already knows how to hide behind cover from a certain enemy (and priority and direction check), but what is it supposed to do when there is a whole hillside of enemies, and it has to stay in formation on some level, and cover its moving teammates, and the game has to constantly check whether the AI is still actually in cover... etc etc. There is already a whole overloaded system in place.

Yes you have got a point with the resources. Definitely. But when there are too many enemies, the AI should just use some cover and pray for a luck or just retreat. I mean extreme situations are simply extreme. It is OK to do mistakes in such situations. However I was talking about situations where there is just two against two. The AI is simply bad in using cover effectively. Already mentioned standing up while using certain rocks or walls as a cover. I absolutely don't understand why is it scripted like that and not fixed already - it is nothing dynamic that would have to be calculated, because now it is just fixed per-object position that is simply wrongly chosen. They should simply keep the lowest possible profile and not standing up when using a cover such as a rock or a wall. It is much better for them to just ignore a cover if they keep standing up like that and instead just go prone and fire. Also, the cover behind an obstacle is useless if you don't peak and hide constantly. Right know it is just a less practical and less functional alternative for go prone. Also, AI is still using wire-fence as a solid cover - ARMA 2 problem already. Traffic signs not even mentioning.

Look how precise (compared to Arma) is AI in using cover in Men of War series. Reacting to your unpredictable manoeuvres and nicely choosing which enemy is their priority when taking cover, running away from armored vehicles etc. They are taking cover very quickly without hassle and actually keep their head down when enemy fire is coming on them and shoot back and then quickly again keep their head down, constantly peaking, running away from grenades, throwing grenades back and changing their cover direction when enemy changes direction. And in case you don't know the game, it is not a corridor shooter. It is an RTS where you can be quite dynamic in terms of gameplay. The maps can also be quite big (although not as big as in Arma of course, but distant enemy is simply lower priority if it's not a tank or something). I mean, maybe BIS should just give up on some of their dynamic, non-scripted solutions and make something more simple but actually functional. Not simulating every bit of everything and just use what is really important for the gameplay. And man, fuck the formation keeping if it is killing my squad. Just give them radius how far they can run from their squad leader when choosing a cover. I can not care less about formation keeping - I need them to survive and return fire with minimum profile exposed to the enemy. But of course, I am not an AI programmer and have de facto no technical knowledge about it. Your points were fair but I just can't get rid of the feeling that BIS programmers have their priorities somewhere else than in AI.

Did you know that the AI won't run towards positions where bullets are landing?

Yes I have noticed AI mates not crossing a street that was under constant fire from enemy SUV machinegun. Instead they tried to just peak around corner (quite successfully, sometimes made themselves too visible, but OK anyway) or tried to flank using different route. Was quite surprised to see that.

Edited by Bouben

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I'm not sure that shooting while moving would improve much, except make players whine even more about evil terminator turrets that headshot them from 800m while sprinting... /rolleyes

And they do react to being hit, it just doesn't change their accuracy or behavior enough.

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And render the whole combat pace thing useless? Firing while moving would be more to supress until you are in cover again instead of stop -becmome the perfect target- and fire.

And yes, they react to hits but just don't react to them. wat

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I'm not saying I'm against it, just that it wouldn't make a huge amount of difference. And whenever they scored a lucky hit, people would whine.

And yes, they react to hits but just don't react to them. wat

Their accuracy is lowered by injuries, they lose point of aim and make certain decisions differently. There is a reaction but it is currently not dramatic enough. What about this is difficult for you to comprehend?

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I understand but for practical uses, they do nothing.

Good there is room for improvement or unexplored potential.

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Yeah I would LOVE to have AI mates fire when moving in combat pace. That is something I wanted since OFP.

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Exactly that, they don't!

When moving to cover they stop even in plain sight to shoot an enemy making them look like terminators turrets with precise shooting, which is augmented by the fact they don't feel the shots taken.

Try this: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3UKw3Q9gIo4N2hFMDJrRTllbnc/edit?usp=sharing

I had a guy that I put two bullets into who started running, turned, and shot one time. Took a headshot as I was peaking out from behind a rock. It was real "immersive." 150 yards away no less.

Now whether he stopped to take the shot at that split second or was still running when he did, I don't know. I just know it sucked and was stupid.

I agree though, firing while running would be a good feature. As for whether I'd whine if they hit me, that'd depend on whether they are still crack headshot artists from 500 meters in other situations. Actually pacing their accuracy to realistic levels would go a long way in people not getting so upset. I can deal with a lucky headshot every now and then.

Edited by bonchie

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Unless BI removed it in some patch, the AI can fire while on the move for about 2 months already.

Are you sure you don't mistake it for movement when using an obstacle as a cover? They occasionally shoot in such situation but I have never ever seen them to shoot while in combat pace unless they suddenly made a turn and still kept firing or something.

I would love to see a video when AI does it.

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BIS could make the cover situation a lot better, but it would take a new addition to the game: mapping objects for cover. Basically, they need to go through every object and map which positions have cover. For example, you have a house with 4 positions on one side (2 corners and 2 middle wall), you then attach to each position the relative cover values for a given direction. Same for stone piles, short walls, etc. It then becomes a lot easier for AI to quickly and CPU-efficiently find nearby cover from a given direction. It's not perfect (with ray tracing or whatever), but it would work a lot better than nothing and be pretty much non-CPU intensive.

Actually, this should even be moddable. Someone just needs to go through each object's set of positions and add variables for cover for each axis (up and down) - so 4 additional variables for each object position. Then a simple AI script could reference these when calling for a nearby cover location. You could add additional variables for the height of the cover for each direction, so if the AI is engaged from a higher Z-level, it would select preferentially cover locations with greater height. (This latter is important due to the human team tendency to snipe from a distant high point - "fish in a barrel tactics".)

A bit tedious is all. No, it doesn't take into account using defilade (terrain). I can deal without that.

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And they do react to being hit, it just doesn't change their accuracy or behavior enough.

Definitely! There is nearly no visual feedback nor change in behavior when AIs are hit.

(I would really appreciate if BIS would implement something like TPW_FALL. This is very immersive and rewards even non-lethal hits.)

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Are you sure you don't mistake it for movement when using an obstacle as a cover? They occasionally shoot in such situation but I have never ever seen them to shoot while in combat pace unless they suddenly made a turn and still kept firing or something.

I would love to see a video when AI does it.

Yep, they were definitely shooting in combat pace, though I don't know does it still happen (haven't played with friendly AI for some quite some time). Gonna send you a PM with video in the next 5 minutes.

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BIS could make the cover situation a lot better, but it would take a new addition to the game: mapping objects for cover. Basically, they need to go through every object and map which positions have cover. For example, you have a house with 4 positions on one side (2 corners and 2 middle wall), you then attach to each position the relative cover values for a given direction. Same for stone piles, short walls, etc. It then becomes a lot easier for AI to quickly and CPU-efficiently find nearby cover from a given direction. It's not perfect (with ray tracing or whatever), but it would work a lot better than nothing and be pretty much non-CPU intensive.

Actually, this should even be moddable. Someone just needs to go through each object's set of positions and add variables for cover for each axis (up and down) - so 4 additional variables for each object position. Then a simple AI script could reference these when calling for a nearby cover location. You could add additional variables for the height of the cover for each direction, so if the AI is engaged from a higher Z-level, it would select preferentially cover locations with greater height. (This latter is important due to the human team tendency to snipe from a distant high point - "fish in a barrel tactics".)

A bit tedious is all. No, it doesn't take into account using defilade (terrain). I can deal without that.

Arma would definitely benefit from this system. I believe there has to be some mapping already as units are behaving always the same with some objects. Or is there some different method how it works now?

---------- Post added at 11:27 ---------- Previous post was at 11:26 ----------

Yep, they were definitely shooting in combat pace, though I don't know does it still happen (haven't played with friendly AI for some quite some time). Gonna send you a PM with video in the next 5 minutes.

Excellent, thank you.

EDIT:

So I saw the video and wow, I have never seen that in my game. So is this vanilla or you are using some mods in the video that may influence this behaviour? Also, it would be nice if they start shooting like that when running from cover to cover in order to suppress the enemy. That would be very cool. Thanks for the video.

Edited by Bouben

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No problem, that was without mods.

Well, I will have to test it soon. Will be watching carefully. :-)

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I'm not sure that shooting while moving would improve much, except make players whine even more about evil terminator turrets that headshot them from 800m while sprinting... /rolleyes

And they do react to being hit, it just doesn't change their accuracy or behavior enough.

So are you rolling your eyes because you honestly think it's ok for gameplay that enemy troops basically have their own version of aimbot against the player?

I play on regular and still routinly get 1 shot killed by headshot from 300-500 meters away. Often behind cover no less because I think there's some lag between when you lay down behind a wall and when a shot in the air is calculated to hit you.

This isn't good for gameplay, whether it's veterans of the series or new players. In real life, rifle fire is largely inaccurate from great distances. There's a reason you'll have 30 minute firefights in Afghanistan today at 500 meters distance. It's almost impossible to hit anything that far away unless you are a trained sniper in good position. In Arma 3, 500 meters might as well be 50 meters for the enemy.

I understand BI wants to create balance by making the enemies more accurate, but it's just making the game unenjoyable.

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