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  1. #1

    Lets play Devils Advocate!

    I'll just slip into my asbestos pants, there that's better, ready for the off now.

    Lets talk about the AI, it's so bad, beyond my very worst nightmares.

    The game as far as I'm aware has been in deployment for years now, and this is where we are at?
    This has to be the most up to date version of the AI, because why would anyone put out an old version on a test server to be checked for bugs etc? They would not learn anything from the feed back.

    I personally don't know how difficult it is to code AI for a game like this, but due to all the cards/equipment permutations, I'm going to guess at very!
    Maybe even impossible?, they may have bitten of more than they can chew?
    All the grand plans & theory's sound amazing, but clearly putting them in to practise is proving just to difficult.

    Anyone hoping, like I was that PvE was going to be coming out any time soon, needs a reality check.

    I love this game more than any other, I play it almost every day, read all the posts etc, no one, apart from maybe Cory himself wants this to succeed more than I do, but I'm very worried, because without great AI in the PvE & soon, this game may well be done!

    Please prove me wrong.

  2. #2
    Glad I'm not the only one who thought this when I saw that they wanted AI bugs reported.
    Grand King Netdecker Extraordinaire Collector

  3. #3
    Personally, I think they tried something new with their AI in the test server, and it kinda backfired or was a step backward. I've played against the AI in proving grounds pretty often (before the test server), and I can't remember it being THAT dumb. So I guess we're now seeing the newest iteration of the AI in an early form, which is a step backwards, but maybe it will allow HexEnt to develop a better AI in the end.

    Just speculating here, but I'm certain they know that THIS AI can't be it.

  4. #4
    I have worked with an AI developer a few times, and I can say that it's not easy to make an AI that does anything even remotely smart. It takes a lot of overhauls, tweaks, and fine-tunes.

    What I see in this AI is too many variables, and incorrect prioritization. Also, this AI seems to decide exactly when it is going to play a card, regardless of whether it's the right time, or whether it is actually a good move. That's why you have the AI playing negative cards on its own troops, positive cards on your troops, and attacking even when it means it will die.

    Truth be told, some of these are actually not that difficult to correct, but they take time. I'm certain that the devs know how to correct them. But with AI programming, every change you make will affect how the AI responds in a different situation, so it takes a lot of testing to figure out what is actually happening.

    Give it time, and give the devs help by reporting misplays and bugs. They need it. No one is going to be more critical of their AI than the players who exploit it.

  5. #5
    The problem is that the shortcomings of the AI (both versions on the test and live servers) are immediately apparent to any observer with a bare minimum knowledge of the game. The current "AI" is not in any way "intelligent", artificial or otherwise. Even without all the obvious bugs it's just a simple script that is programmed to play troops at random, let them relentlessly attack if it can do so without getting killed by a blocker and it only has a chance of winning if the human player is inexperienced / has a weak deck or is getting shardscrewed.

    We have been told that there will be a really "intelligent" AI that actually takes boardstates into consideration, learns from mistakes, adapts to the human player behaviour etc. I'm beginning to wonder if that fabled "AI 2.0" even exists in a rudimentary version right now - we certainly haven't seen even a glimpse of that so far.

    So yeah, my disappointment is huge right now and my hope that HexEnt has this situation under control is very shaken.
    Hex Name: Kalassar ; Twitter: @Kalassar1



  6. #6
    One thing I am surprised hasn't been done yet is flagging all buffs/debuffs as either beneficial or harmful. So that the AI only casts beneficial effects on its own troops and harmful ones on the players troops. This wouldn't be perfect of course, in rare cases it would back fire but 95% of the time it would work and at least work much better then now.

    But I have to say i still find the arena fun to play, and worst case they can always tune it by giving the AI better decks and powers. But give them time I am sure it will improve, this is only the very first step of PVE.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jonsnow2000 View Post
    The problem is that the shortcomings of the AI (both versions on the test and live servers) are immediately apparent to any observer with a bare minimum knowledge of the game. The current "AI" is not in any way "intelligent", artificial or otherwise. Even without all the obvious bugs it's just a simple script that is programmed to play troops at random, let them relentlessly attack if it can do so without getting killed by a blocker and it only has a chance of winning if the human player is inexperienced / has a weak deck or is getting shardscrewed...
    You're underestimating the work involved if you're calling it a "simple script". The AI prioritizes dangerous targets for removal over less dangerous targets, its attacks take Swiftstrike and its own combat tricks into account as does it choosing blockers, there are specific cards it will not play (implying that it has card-specific AI), it picks between abilities and cards in hand seemingly based on cost, and it holds back cards sometimes when it can play them. That is not playing cards randomly; indeed, it may be in many cases worse than playing cards randomly as you can see when it holds back playing cards from its hand.

    Somewhat perversely, the issue here may very well be that the scripting is too complex. There are so many variables involved that it's very easy to assign the weights wrong, to double-count or forget to count a potential issue, and/or to implement specific solutions for general issues (like, say, adding in a bunch of card-specific custom code for weird cards like Bird of Plenty instead of adding in a more general "your opponent drawing cards is bad" logic). As it is right now, the occasionally stupid "random" behavior that we get now implies that its logic circuits are misfiring, not that it has none. If we really had so simple of a script, it would either be substantially more predictable (if it had little random decisionmaking) or substantially less predictable (if it had a lot).

    Quote Originally Posted by malloc31 View Post
    One thing I am surprised hasn't been done yet is flagging all buffs/debuffs as either beneficial or harmful. So that the AI only casts beneficial effects on its own troops and harmful ones on the players troops. This wouldn't be perfect of course, in rare cases it would back fire but 95% of the time it would work and at least work much better then now.

    But I have to say i still find the arena fun to play, and worst case they can always tune it by giving the AI better decks and powers. But give them time I am sure it will improve, this is only the very first step of PVE.
    Is Kog'Tepetl's Thirst harmful or beneficial? What about reverting a troop? Burn spells are harmful - except when the target is invincible or when the target is a Bird of Plenty.

    You acknowledge that it wouldn't be perfect. But the issue here is is that those tags are going to become a card-specific crutch and, if you want the AI to think deeper that "Beneficial effects go on my own troops" and "Hostile effects go on enemies" you're either going to be leaning on that crutch pretty heavily (and not cope well when it's kicked out from under you), or be starting at square one - except that there's also still a bunch of obsolete code gumming up the works and prior tests are going to be woefully misleading. It's better to work on the "real" system that currently gets it right 80% of the time but can go up to 95% instead of writing a throwaway system that gets it right 90% of the time at max. We are still in beta, after all - we should expect that systems are developed for their long-term potential, not short term.
    Last edited by Kilo24; 02-07-2015 at 08:56 AM.
    Keep Name: Shalott
    Proud member of Clan Blackblade.

  8. #8
    but... but... they hired the most experienced TCG AI expert in the world !!!!!!!!!!111111

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by lite View Post
    but... but... they hired the most experienced TCG AI expert in the world !!!!!!!!!!111111
    There's not a lot of experienced TCG AI experts out there. Primarily because that shit is freaking hard.
    Keep Name: Shalott
    Proud member of Clan Blackblade.

  10. #10
    Gigantisaur
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    I am curious as to how many "people" are working specifically on coding the AI. Given the number of possible permutations that exist, it better not be just one person doing all of this. That said, it kind of feels as though just one person is handling all of the AI related programming. Given that there are still bugs that exist in the PvP format, it just feels as though there are going to be too many bugs that will exist when the Arena is released. People will quickly figure out which cards the AI has a poor time dealing with and then construct decks that take advantage of it. Every time a new set comes out, that will be more work having to add those cards in, even with an exoskeleton of programming in place.

    This will be interesting.
    The art work for opening the chest is very nice.

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