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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: Does any of the 2 expansions improve AI ?
Thread: Does any of the 2 expansions improve AI ?
B0rsuk
B0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted January 03, 2012 04:52 PM

Does any of the 2 expansions improve AI ?

We know they said they didn't have the time to work on AI. AI is probably the single biggest flaw in Heroes IV, one that basically prevents it from posing any challenge in single player.

It's been a while since I played The Gathering Storm or Winds of War, but I don't think they improved AI. Why ? Same developer. They clearly had a desire to expand the game. But AI would have been the best improvement.
Something doesn't add up.
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Cepheus
Cepheus


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Far-flung Keeper
posted January 03, 2012 04:59 PM

No, I strongly doubt they do. Probably because half of the NWC team was laid off before Gathering Storm rolled around.
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"Those who forget their history are inevitably doomed to repeat it." —Proverb, Might and Magic VIII

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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted January 03, 2012 08:11 PM
Edited by Vlaad at 20:12, 03 Jan 2012.

The Equilibris mod improved the AI somewhat, in case you're interested.

The combat AI was easy to exploit but still decent. It was the adventure map AI that broke the game. It had a lot of problems (no immo potions, deadly neutrals, limited movement, messed up priorities, unused Creature Portal) but I remember trying to fix possibly its greatest flaw: the fog of war. You could place a number of Huts of Magi (or whatever they were called) in order to reveal the entire map to the computer opponent. It still didn't do great but managed. I know it's a cheat and not one you're likely to repeat for each map, but could make your favorite scenarios worth revisiting.

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B0rsuk
B0rsuk


Promising
Famous Hero
DooM prophet
posted January 04, 2012 07:19 AM

Why do you call Fog of War a flaw ? It makes Scouting skill useful.
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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted January 04, 2012 05:12 PM

I meant a problem for the AI. I love the H4 fog of war myself.

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Ghost
Ghost


Legendary Hero
Therefore I am
posted March 13, 2012 07:32 AM

Is not true! Think, for example the Art of Persuasion -map, to give the AI ​​for the 300 elves, 100 Griffins and phoenixes 25. H3 can become a reality! What about First Contact -map? H3 AI attacks, how? I do not know why the H3 RoE? If you want the same thing, to do just for yourself. Do not use the "crooked" .. Let's hope calm discussion may shed light on the matter! Go right ahead!
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Taro
Taro

Tavern Dweller
posted October 25, 2014 06:42 PM
Edited by Taro at 18:56, 25 Oct 2014.

So Again about AI...

From my observations AI is a little (very little) better than in vanilla 1.0 version. In WoW there is not so much dead heroes on the ground and AI tries to take mines

But I'm afraid only some persons know it's true potential. Yes, AI is still weak. But there are two factors worth to notice:

1) When computer players see all the map they play better. And important thing: AI HAS NO FOG OF WAR. After exploring the area it sees it all the time. There is an article about it: http://www.celestialheavens.com/viewpage.php?id=695

2) There is something like Importance in map editor. It's an attrubute of players, towns, heroes, and armies. For some reason, in original maps it's not used in 99% of cases. You can make a test: open a map with no special importance and see turns of computer players. They will do nothing special. After that change importance of all players in the map to Vital. First turns will be similar, but then computer players will try to destroy each others.

In standard maps AI don't see all terrain and has no important goals. And here is my little gift for you. I made one of standard maps harder  - Conquest of Four Lakes. Changes are pretty simple:

1) AI players see entire map.
2) All players have importance set to Vital.
3) Computer players gets more units and gold to recruit them.
4) Computer heroes get tactics skill at expert and 10.000 experience.

You don't have to finish this map. Just see the difference I played this on level 3, and I felt like I was playing a map in h3 on 5! After 3-6 weeks one of AI players will wipe you out if you are not prepared.

Here is a link:
https://www.sendspace.com/file/12y76b

I believe this scenario can change your opinion about totally not working adventure AI
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bloodsucker
bloodsucker


Legendary Hero
posted November 06, 2014 10:00 PM

Taro said:
I believe this scenario can change your opinion about totally not working adventure AI


As a matter of fact it reinforces my previous opinion: 3DO believed the difficulty and balance of the original H3 RoE had been an inconvenient to sell the maximum number of copies to newbies in the moment of release (they never dreamed someone like me could spend hundreds of hours last months trying to program a mod in ERM...). So they deliberatly made the things too easy. Don't know how many of you are aware of this but AI never uses necromancers - try this, play with an ally and give his starting hero MG Combat and some Magic Resistence, a good amout of tactics and IMPORTANT GM Necromancy, then observe what he does with this hero. They clearly imposed a limitation here, AI only doesn't desmise him cause it can't.
So, for what you say it would have been quite easy to make AI strong enouch to beat players at Impossiple level, it just need it extra experience, extra money, enouch extra troops (something like one dozen vampires or 8 Cahmpions or six Behemoths) and priorities.
I believe they knew this, I even believe they did it for the last levels of some campaigns, unfortunatly they saw things other way.
It's a petty H4 never found his own Slava cause I think you would be surprised with how much doesn't work because they added code to make it not work and not because the code was weak in the first place.
But it's great to learn this. It even gave me the will to retry H4 some of this days. If I can do that to a map it will be a success (if someone still plays the game).
Thnak you for your dedication.

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Taro
Taro

Tavern Dweller
posted November 07, 2014 01:38 PM

Interesting, but I think you are wrong with some things.

First of all, AI uses necromancy. In very first version of my map, chaos heroes had a chance to get GM Death Magic (including necromancy). And when AI had a Ranger and Lich heroes with GM skills, they could destroy every stack of creatures on the ground. And yes, they raised vampires. The problem is that even if AI gets some vampires it looses them in next combats. So after that you can have a wrong feeling about it. But in this first version of my scenario, they actually atacked me with 20 vampires! How did it happen?

My explanation is that AI had strong distance heroes (Ranger with archery, and Lich with ligtning or implosion), and in battle vampires didn't die.

The second thing - about blocking things like AI in game code. Do you have any proof? Or is this only your suspicion? Because we know NWC had a little time to make game and polish it. Gus Smedstad (main designer of H4) explained why adventure AI works bad. Read this article:

http://www.celestialheavens.com/viewpage.php?id=90

And about making game balanced and "too hard" - there are levels of difficulty for some reason.
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OhforfSake
OhforfSake


Promising
Legendary Hero
Initiate
posted November 07, 2014 01:59 PM

Without proof I suspect the AI uses quick combat when fighting neutrals.

The thing is that quick combat and regular combat can give very different results.. I had an early campaign with a slow start and didn't realize I should have rushed a Barbarian town which now had a Castle and Cyclopses! I tried and tried, but I couldn't beat that in regular combat.. but my scouting told me I had the advantage.. so I tried quick combat and I won again and again.

I then tried regular combat, but letting the computer play both sides and it lost even more badly than I did.

Units like Vampires that usually wouldn't fall in most battles have a lot of trouble in quick combat, at least that's my experience from playing a little with GM Necromancy, hence the AI actually needs one type of unit for creeping and a whole different type of unit for battling the human, only adding to its difficulties of bad priorities and unfulfilled potential.
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Taro
Taro

Tavern Dweller
posted November 07, 2014 09:33 PM

This is more complicated. I'm sure that AI has some kind of "better quick combat" than human. I noticed that while you can't defeat some neutral stacks with QC, AI can.

I also watched on one of my maps how computer fights another computer in town. Defenders had about 33% less units than atackers. With shooters on towers. But atacking hero has 5 more levels than leader of defenders. And that was enough to win battles with... no loses, or just small loses.

I suspect that quick combat doesn't count bonuses from towers and walls.
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bloodsucker
bloodsucker


Legendary Hero
posted November 14, 2014 09:24 PM

Taro said:
AI uses necromancy


Well, I know that when playing with an ally I gave him both a Field Marshall with all the good things and a Demonologist and Ai separate them and then was using just the Field Marshall and even bought another Tactics hero that has developing with the help of one single bone dragon and kept the Necromancer close to town without doing anything. But that could be related to the "being erratic in the Adventure Map" issue more then to some code.
I base the idea that 3DO wanted to drop difficulty from an interview I recall to have read by the time Tarnum Campaigns were released. My memory of something 14 years later is naturally biased and can have nothing to do with Heroes 4. Yet, I keep thinking they didn't care much about making a competitive AI and when I play some other turn-based games lauched recently (AoW III, for instance) I can't stop thinking "they don't want to push too hard".

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