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So will the Monsters in FFXIV have AI? Follow

#1 Mar 12 2010 at 10:46 AM Rating: Default
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After reading the most recent info, I have been intrigued by the idea of the monsters working in a party against yours. I really hope they make the monsters have an AI type system to react to your party's moves and attacks instead of just scripted actions.

I really think that is something that MMO's have never done well and would really change the genre. What do you think?
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#2 Mar 12 2010 at 10:49 AM Rating: Decent
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AI is a bit too complicated and the servers might not be able to handle it. I could see them having more complex scripts however.
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#3 Mar 12 2010 at 11:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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In all honesty, if they planned on putting AI in some form they would use servers that could handle it appropriately.
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#4 Mar 12 2010 at 11:10 AM Rating: Decent
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I don't know if that's even possible. Has it ever been tried? I think there is a good reason if it hasn't...
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#5 Mar 12 2010 at 11:10 AM Rating: Decent
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I've been clamoring for mob AIs for a while now ;/ Even if they just have a few, it would add so much to the game. But custom AIs would be incredible, and even better would be randomly generated/assigned AIs for each individual mob.

I think it may be the single best thing they could do for the gameplay. And on some level I'd like to think that the mobs and gambit system they designed for XII were some kind of practice for this.
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#6 Mar 12 2010 at 11:18 AM Rating: Decent
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I don't know if that's even possible. Has it ever been tried? I think there is a good reason if it hasn't...


There is at least one big battle in WoW that uses a decent level of party AI interaction and that is Faction champions.


I think it is definitely possible. I don't think it would add as much complexity computationally as you think. They just need to add some intelligence to the way monsters use their different scripted abilities and it would greatly improve the game.
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#7 Mar 12 2010 at 11:24 AM Rating: Decent
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There is at least one big battle in WoW that uses a decent level of party AI interaction and that is Faction champions.


I think it is definitely possible. I don't think it would add as much complexity computationally as you think. They just need to add some intelligence to the way monsters use their different scripted abilities and it would greatly improve the game.


If there's one fight, that's cool... but we are talking about every single mob having different AI, and the server should be able to handle all that. Compared to scripts, that kind of thing would require a lot more power from the servers. How much, I dunno... but I'd assume it's **** of a lot.
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#8 Mar 12 2010 at 12:15 PM Rating: Good
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FFXI mobs have AI to a certain extent, especially from ToAU onwards. The devs even mentioned when ToAU came out that they had enhanced the mob AI, the one that comes to mind is imps. They often use the TP move that will ***** you over at the right time, like -ga spelling then silencing (to stop you curing) or sleepga then silence you.
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#9 Mar 12 2010 at 12:43 PM Rating: Good
No, not every single mob will have different AI. It's another one of those things that sounds neat in the imaginations of bored people until you put it into practice at which point does it not only become tedious and frustrating, it dramatically increases the impact of RNG on success and that's not cerebral...that's just random. The game can't be tuned around the idea that every group is going to consist of people playing at a high level of skill who are fully familiar with one another. That's not to say that there won't be challenging encounters with tricky mechanics, but that doesn't apply to everything.

When I read about the monster AI in the context that it was mentioned, I read it as more monsters observing the same mechanics as players in terms of positioning and role. Casters and mobs with ranged attacks would, for example, trend towards avoiding melee range. Melee attackers would attempt to stay at their optimal range. There still has to be an enmity system and there are only so many things a mob can do. When you get right down to it, there's only so much complexity that can be built into mob AI before the developers cross the line between stupid mechanics for the sake of diversity or overtuning the content such that Joe Avewrage player gets cockblocked at every turn.

Other games have mob AI that is a fair bit beyond what was present in FFXI that's functional enough to add an extra layer of diversity but not so complicated or unpredictable that every single fight requires a five minute strategy review before engaging where the possible contingencies are discussed to account for the random factor. People familiar with WoW's ToGC25 Faction Champions encounter can attest to how simple AI rules can create an extremely intense and challenging encounter. Throwing in randomly assigned AI isn't necessary, and tuning every "many vs. many" encounter in the game to that degree of difficulty would destroy the game.
#10 Mar 12 2010 at 12:43 PM Rating: Decent
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FFXI mobs have AI to a certain extent, especially from ToAU onwards. The devs even mentioned when ToAU came out that they had enhanced the mob AI, the one that comes to mind is imps. They often use the TP move that will ***** you over at the right time, like -ga spelling then silencing (to stop you curing) or sleepga then silence you.


a bit more complex script, not an AI.

Edited, Mar 12th 2010 9:43pm by Hyanmen
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#11 Mar 12 2010 at 12:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Exactly what Hyan said.

Consider the aggro system from FFXI: different mobs aggroed based on different criteria. Some were sound based, some were spell based, some were magic based, etc. etc.

Point is, S-E can design individual monster types to respond to different actions in a different way if they really wanted to. Is it likely that steal will **** off a crab more than it does a worm? Unlikely, but it could happen.

It would be interesting to see, maybe for the really big boss/NM fights, some very complex programming on the AI. For example, there was a NM in FFXI (forget which) which casted an AOE everytime you put shadows up... something to that effect.
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#12 Mar 12 2010 at 1:41 PM Rating: Decent
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@AureliusSir: I think that's a pretty big blanket statement you're casting over the idea. Not every enemy needs an AI set to the highest difficulty-- these things have to be tuned reasonably. And probably for many early and low level encounters, it would be sufficiently enriching just to have randomized and/or unique scripts. But for bosses and higher level play, AI is definitely not an automatic slap in the face to your average player.

Server strain is easily the most valid concern about the use of AI, and I would hope that it would be weighed accordingly.
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Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#13 Mar 12 2010 at 1:54 PM Rating: Default
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I ouldn't want random AI for every mob. All mobs named X have the same, that's ok. But I think there should be some way to have an idea what you're going up against when you fight an enemy.
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#14 Mar 12 2010 at 3:08 PM Rating: Decent
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to me it kinda seems like the difference in players is ones who want it to be fairly predictable and easy to kill the same mobs over and over in parties or ones who would prefer more exp for much more challenging and engaging individual fights that vary so its not the same thing everytime.
#15 Mar 12 2010 at 3:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Simple AI is going to needed to make positional combat interesting. It seems like SE is trying to emphasize the need for strategic positioning in combat to best make use of cone, piercing, and aoe attacks, but if all you do is line up the same way for every fight while the mob just stands still and beats on the tank then it really isn't going to be anything beyond simplistic.

Some features that would make positional combat far more interesting.

1. Mobs that move during combat. They still focus on their highest threat target, but maybe instead of standing still they circle around the tank, or they have long reach (longer than the tank) and pull him back, or they jump over him for a quick 180, or they back up very quick for a charge. They need to move. If they just stand there then positioning is trivial.

2. Mobs that occasionally break away from the tank (even while he has the highest threat). They must be either bound or the tank must react quickly with a taunt to gain their attention again. This is jsut another reason for them to move really, anything to keep them from just standing still.

3. Friendly fire AOEs. I think this would be very unlikely for SE to implement, because it potentially allows griefing and incompetent players would struggle with it a lot. Again, a reason to give players to move so that positional AI isn't trivial.

4. Mobs have at least friendly NPC blocking. That is, mobs cannot overlap their models and stand in the same place. We know fights against groups of mobs are going to be a fairly significant part of FFXIV, but if all the mobs can be clustered into one space by the tank, then again positional combat becomes trivial--if you hit one with an aoe then you hit all of them with an aoe, no aiming required.
#16 Mar 12 2010 at 3:44 PM Rating: Good
Kachi wrote:
@AureliusSir: I think that's a pretty big blanket statement you're casting over the idea. Not every enemy needs an AI set to the highest difficulty-- these things have to be tuned reasonably. And probably for many early and low level encounters, it would be sufficiently enriching just to have randomized and/or unique scripts. But for bosses and higher level play, AI is definitely not an automatic slap in the face to your average player.

Server strain is easily the most valid concern about the use of AI, and I would hope that it would be weighed accordingly.


There's only so much you can do with AI, especially in an MMO. There's nothing wrong with mobs that respond to a particular situation with a particular kind of attack or defense, or mobs that move during an encounter for a particular reason but at the end of the day the scope of the AI has to be balanced around the tools players are given to counter it. If at any point an encounter (excluding large group end-game affairs) is deemed impossible without a particular class or a particular skill being available, it's broken. I'm hoping that SE has learned from their experience and the experience of other MMO developers when it comes to realizing that idealism has little/no place in MMOs. How the developers want things to work has to be balanced carefully around how experience has shown them is likely to be the reality.

It's about balance and smart design, not the flights of fancy of bored hopefuls. No matter how good the idea sounds or how interesting it might seem to be, at the end of the day it has to find its way into the game mechanics in a way that preserves the interest without sacrificing playability.
#17 Mar 12 2010 at 4:18 PM Rating: Decent
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I think its asking to little to be expected for the hardest mobs to be killed simply by getting a group of say all warriors or something..its obvious and logical that if there is multiple different classes and your able to switch so easily that yes..there are classes that are going to be needed..having some type of healer or support is 100% given. Thats not broken its strategy. Maybe i misread what your trying to say tho
#18 Mar 12 2010 at 6:41 PM Rating: Decent
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I was just thinking about how many vs many battles could work in FFXIV. My concern was that you could always bring more human parties into the fray so that human players outnumber enemies such that you can have one group of players pick off one enemy at a time.

But then it hit me... you can make it so that if a player attacks one enemy in a group, the entire enemy group is claimed and agroes the player!

I think having an entire group of enemies attacking a group of players will add a lot of dynamics to fighting monsters without having to have a complex AI. This is one reason why I am not so worried about the AI of monsters in FFXIV. SE can set it up so that you have to fight different combinations of monsters to keep things interesting.

For this to work they will need to keep things like Sleepga restricted so that it is not very effective (like have a very short duration). I don't want the strategy to become "Just Sleepga all the mobs and then we will pick them off one at a time".

#19 Mar 12 2010 at 7:43 PM Rating: Good
Kingdestiny wrote:
I think its asking to little to be expected for the hardest mobs to be killed simply by getting a group of say all warriors or something..its obvious and logical that if there is multiple different classes and your able to switch so easily that yes..there are classes that are going to be needed..having some type of healer or support is 100% given. Thats not broken its strategy. Maybe i misread what your trying to say tho


I'm not talking about the hardest mobs, and I'm not talking about stacking parties with all the same class just because you can get away with it. The requirement for tanks and healers is a given and has historically proven to be enough of a barrier to forming a group on its own. Throw in AI mechanics that further restrict the classes you need to bring to an encounter in order to have a chance at succeeding and it's...broken. "We've got a tank and a healer and enough damage classes who want to go, but we don't have a conjurer with Stride so we're screwed. Sorry guys...maybe tomorrow night."
#20 Mar 12 2010 at 11:36 PM Rating: Default
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Yea scripted actions were pretty lame in ffxi, such as:

Beetle casts defence boost.
Rdm uses dispel
Beetle uses defence boost.
Rdm uses dispel

lol
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