I'm back, baby!

I have been pulled off my current project, at least for now, to work on SupCom 2 again. Yay! I will be working on fixing the bugs in the AI (found a huge one today) and generally improving the way the AI plays. For the most part, the AI does fairly well. Once I get the bugs ironed out and tweak some things you should see a pretty decent improvement. Unfortunately, I do not know when these fixes will actually make it into a patch, but I hope it is soon. We need to test these changes as much as possible before releasing them and finding out later that we made things worse.

The other great thing about being back on SupCom 2 is I get to be brought up to speed on the other things we have planned. The next few patches are going to be cool. Some nice changes, some cool new features, and of course, ranked 1v1. Of course, this will give me more to blog about as well. I also got to sit down with Chris and go over some other things I would like to see changed. The outlook for future patches looks good.

So far, I think I have found the main cause of the complaint about the AI not reacting to things the enemy does, as well as the AI getting stuck when you rush it early. I also have done some preliminary balance changes, and also changed some weights for how the AI chooses which archetype get used. This is just a small part of the list I have been given to work through. Any of you readers have any other complaints about the AI? Feel free to reply and let me know what you would like to see. I know I have my own list, but I want to hear from you. Please be as detailed as possible.

The next few weeks should be exciting.

( btw, Bender quote ftw :) )

37 comments:

honeymane said... / March 18, 2010 at 11:57 PM  

I've only had a chance to play the demo due to money, (hopefully soon!) so I imagine this might be fixed, but I've noticed that big experimentals like the fatboy 2 can't, or won't push a acu out of it's path, or find another path.

I think the latter is preferred, but it suggests that the pathfinding AI can't figure out what to do in this case.

ThaPear said... / March 19, 2010 at 2:38 AM  

So, since you're back on SC2, have you had a chance to ask about modding? Or aren't you allowed to tell us anything about it..(for some reason)

Excerion said... / March 19, 2010 at 2:51 AM  

Hi Sorian!

My friends and i are having some difficulties when trying to have a fun time playing against both Cheating (for more challange) and non-cheating AI. This is mainly due to 4 things (we think)

1. The AI prefers to just swarm us with AIR instead of doing a more balanced attack of ground and sea units this may be due to the fact that our favorite level to play on is Seton's Clutch and the AI is rigged for AIR there or something i dunno. Either case it gets kind of repetitive and boring to defend against.

2. The only really effective way to defend (yep! we're turtlers and thats why playing against AI's are the only thing we do when it comes to RTS) against those massive AIR attacks is if one of us plays Aeon and builds like 10 Airnomore experimentals at the front line. This unit is the only one with enough anti-air firepower to be viable for this, anti-air towers and ordinary anti-air units doesn't quite cut it especially against gunships.

3. AI can't seem to build defenses worth its name even if it's life depended on it (and it kinda does right? =P)

4. Most experimentals are too weak and useless you need like 10 of them to be effective so they feel more like "mini-experimentals" or more lika T3 FA units than REAL ones. In our experience the only usable one is Airnomo.

Our suggestion is that you make the current AI configs (Hard, Cheating, Cheating(turtle), etc) more diverse, i.e they spam an equal number of land, sea (where applicable) and air units at you and then optionally add specialist AI templates like in the original Cheating (Air), Cheating (Land), etc

So in short i guess what we're requesting is make the current AI more diverse in it's unit type (air,land,sea) production, improve its ability to build defenses/defend itself and perhaps add more AI "templates" to choose from in lobby (Super ultra hard Cheating AI or something =P). Also if possible add something that makes the AI a little less predictable when it comes to what units it chooses for its attack waves.

The other stuff with air damage and experimentals, etc is a balance issue and will hopefully be taken care of in the future by your colleagues, just felt the need mention it though =)

And just for the record, your (Cheating) Sorian AI in FA kicked our asses and we loved it :D Glad you're back on the SupCom 2 team, Keep up the good work!

bymyself15 said... / March 19, 2010 at 5:04 AM  

Greetings

1. the Ki dont Build enough Shields & towers in the main base

2. the Illuminati KI dont use they Ground units wisely (pullinsmash just drive into towers without doing anything

3. the ki is very worst with the option (no air)

4. the ki dont make Bulldozer attacks with ground unit,s (Bulldozer attacks are like 200-400 Full upgraded Ground unit attack,s at one Moment)

5. one time i see that the uef ki shoot 10 times full loaded Tanks with the unit cannon into one spot of his own base, and then if 200-300 tanks are done, the ki drived from his base to my base and attacked me then with 200-300 tanks at one moment, that was a good attack and was hard for me to defend, try to make this art of attacks for basic attack,s for all ki,s

6. the KI dont uses long range units and the Experimentals right. (like an mobile artelerie or fatboy shoot at my base and comes near and near into my turret range)

7. the ki uses to much air. to less sea (uef & cybran) and to less ground unit experimentals. (espacily uef & cybran)

8. its very important to let the KI wait to Build very many Experimentals and use all of them at One moment. most time i see the ki with 10 experimentals but just 1-2 attacks at the same moment. its very easy to survive such weak attack,s

9. the ki juts build land bases & exp factory,s etc in the start base. in supcom 1 the ki build every wehre big bases, that must be here in supcom2 the same.

10. the ki dont think about the unit limmit.
if the ki reach the unit limmit, it goes very weaker. so the ki should built just only experimentals if it reaches about 400 unit,s in unit list display.
and please make that the ki attack with 20-100 Darknoids or King Kriptor with air support at one moment. not only a big ground or air rush. we neet full concentratet power at one moment.
the otherwise the ki will never have a chance vs a good base defense.

without massive experimental combnation attacks the ki will never crush a base with 3 Magnetron,s and 100 Tower,s under Shield,s with artelery and experimentals for def.

just use more Overpower Strategies for the KI. especialy the Cheating ki must playing for killing in Late game with all costs. (just like building 300 Unversal Colosses or TRex)

Alex said... / March 19, 2010 at 5:57 AM  

Hi Sorian,

I mostly play against the AI on Seton's Clutch. Sometimes I only watch how the AI plays against it self, like 3 AI vs 3 AI and my Commander only wait the the Water :). (The ACU should be able to swim in deeper water)

So in this games the AI isn't able to protect its ACU againts gunships or tanks/bots which were transported direkly in its base. More basedefence/shields should be great. And the ACU should run away if there are to many tanks in its base, perhaps in the water or the an ally.

Also one big point is then I restrict Air (and nukes) some AI play well on Seton's, building much landunits and early exp.units. But some AI only build one landfaktory and thats all for the rest of the game. It never builds exp.units and more landfaktories. So againts me it is boring and against other AI this AI has no chance and the ACU will die soon. The AI should handle restrictions better.

In this games with air-restriction I often destroy the base of the AI and only the ACU survives and after that the AI builds an better base with shields and sometimes also basedefence and exp.factory / exp.buildings... thats funny, but it should do that bevor I destroy the base.
Another thing is, then the ACU is destroyed by me or another AI and some buildings and engineers survives, this AI don't rebulid its base.

AI vs AI with some restrictions is great to watch and there you can see what is wrong with the AI (somtimes).

Also a turtling/teching AI would be great. Or land/sea/air AIs so you can set up how the AI will attack you mostly.
On Seton's the AI rarly builds a seafactory and seaunits... good for my ACU in the water but a bit boring :)

Big thanks that you're back on SupCom2... and also a big thanks for the awesome AI for FA !!!

Wind said... / March 19, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

Glad to see you back Sorian.
I had made a list of some AI behavior I have noticed and post it on GPG forum. I sent it to you through private message before, but just like to post a link to it here again.

http://forums.gaspowered.com/viewtopic.php?t=43303

Thanks.

Thygrrr said... / March 19, 2010 at 11:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thygrrr said... / March 19, 2010 at 11:10 AM  

Hi Sorian,

here are a few AI tweak Ideas to think about:
- make AI build shielded PD for every factory, two or more shielded PDs for turtle AI
- make an ACU rush AI profile, or ACU rush chance for a rush AI
- make AI use ACU offensively, especially in supremacy games
- add Handicaps, like in LEM, optionally just for the AI but why not everyone?
- create semi-cheating AI profiles, with awesome factory veterancy bonuses or similar nonobvious tweaks
- make AI build less early Air, especially the Hard AI
- make turtle AI build more defenses
- make the turtle AI not always go for nuke victory, instead, maybe artillery kill.
- create an Experimental AI profile (AI that strongly prefers to use Experimentals, kind of a tech AI)

Josh said... / March 19, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

AI tends to build too many transports and leave them in their base. Then they will build a new one when ready to transport units.

Brian said... / March 19, 2010 at 11:37 AM  

I have released an AI mod, very early version and I have only tweaked UEF land AI so far(working hard to get others done).

From what I have seen so far, much can be improved, I can give you a pretty lengthy report of my opinion on many areas to look into.

If you are interested you can PM me on the gaspowered.com forums

Machater

Jack said... / March 19, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

The AI is pretty good with transport drops, but it seems to do this thing where it finds a drop zone too heavily defended to do its drop so it moves on. But it was already being shot down at that point; transports go boom before they get anywhere useful. Somehow it should prefer to just drop instead of losing its land units uselessly.

Cheater AI is too nuke happy. It's not really fun after the first few times, I just end up turning off nukes. Maybe this reflects its resource bonus being craaazy more than being too nuke happy. The FA sorian AIs were well balanced against players at like 1.4-1.5x resources.

Ais that have suffered crippling blows sometimes get paralyzed. In particular, there was a game where an AI had only one air fac and three engineers surviving after its ACU was splattered (along with numerous units and resourcing structures). The engineers were all assisting teh air fac and the AI simply pumped out 30 useless transports. After destroying the factory, the assisting engineers proceeded to start rebuilding an actual base - the engineer allocator wasn't smart enough to grab assisting engineers when they were teh only ones left.

Jack said... / March 19, 2010 at 1:41 PM  

Oh and the Air profile AIs are horribly vulnerable on many maps. In particular, I played several 3v3 matches on Boreas Naval Test Range and the AIs tended to go Air profile. They hit with a lot of air units, but even a medium sized land group (20-30 units) was capable of obliterating most of their base. And those bases are not far apart - its not hard to get there with land.

stijn said... / March 19, 2010 at 4:20 PM  

I don't know if this has anything to do with AI. But if you open a new slot fore AI can it be on a random faction instead of standard UEF ?

Jerry said... / March 19, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

this:
http://forums.gaspowered.com/viewtopic.php?t=43724

AI seems to ignore enemy ACU after destroying all enemy structures, and the AI ACU gets lured out of its base and killed (during late game) too easily.

Jerry said... / March 19, 2010 at 6:13 PM  

And I definitely want to see adjustable cheat multiplier.

S E said... / March 19, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

Hey Sorian: we (at the steam forums) are putting together a thread of all the issues the pathfinding has in this game, i hope you can take a look at some of them: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14073005&postcount=1

MeDDish said... / March 19, 2010 at 10:07 PM  

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:02 am Post subject:
posted here rather then the blog....

unfortanlly AI will NEVER be as good as a human player (least not in Supcom2) but im REALLY hoping u can do just a few things (cuz @ 4am there is no one to play locally, and somtimes i want to play and have access to the pause button to go deal with kids!)

Anyway, id like to see....
Specialised AI, Air/Water/Land/EXP/Turtle etc etc much like ur original mods (dont care if they are Modded in ur free time or part of the game release just a 'wish wishlist item')

u mentioned in ur blog about the AI reacting to Intel, id like the cheating AI (and normal AI if it improves their game play) to just turn off fog of war (for its self and its AI partners preferably) this should best improve the way the AI reacts to your game

id like to see the AI use the unit cap better, on sentons on a LONG battle u will find some players (myself one of them) wont rush a attack until ive got over 400 units, and its time to kill some off! make them use the unit cap to its potential! Longer games = more units sent @ once, Larger Maps = more units sent @ once etc etc

also have them use EXP's effectively! IE long range EXP stay @ max range (as attack moves dont seem to work like they did in FA) and the EXP pick u off from a distance!
make them use mix forces (or have a allied AI help them out) IE one goes land the other goes Air and have them both attack together!

Cheat AI should get 2 RP for every 1 RP u get (from stations) and non cheat AI should also get a boost of RP just to harden them up a bit!

P.S. can we find out what the weapon u made was? as its been removed?

im assuming u where doing the Cybran Rex and the 'cut & paste' weapon was the 'Frag Missile' what was the other really cool weapon?
just wanted to know as the CRex sucks currently! and if there is already a Coded weapon elsewhere can we see it? and maybe have it?

5AM not thinking about AI anymore!

Jack said... / March 19, 2010 at 10:22 PM  

I think pathing is outside his purview..?

EaglePryde said... / March 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

1.) Ai doesn't use mixed forces (ground/air/sea)
2.) Doesn't use mixed unit's inside a group..Artillery/Tank/shield...same for Air
2.) Ai fires the noah units where spots are being defended. Seems as if the Ai also doesn't know that UEF has much defences on buildings.

3.)Rush timer..In this time window where all are bound to their territory the AI produces only Air units and constantly tries to go past the barrier as if it didn't know there was one. I would say it should build up some defences and build mixed units because it has no recon data and doesn't know what the others are doing.

4.) AI is flying into AA defences with carriers..suizide?

5.) AI needs to have a bit of tactical feeling if some sort of attack is pure suizide or might succeed. Because it uses Air Units the most...they get destroyed by heavy AA defence. Like i said...it should use a good mix of air/ground and sea.

6.) Attacks/groups gathered (through transports) on a player should be started from outside his AA/ground defence range.

7.) AI should destroy weak or non defended targets first Mex/buildings/units

8.) AI should use weak spots in enemy defences to it's advantage and not going full front into the heavy defended area...sneak attacks from behind or wherever it would be besst.

9.) AI could also try attacks from multiple sides.

10.) If more then 1 AI is on the map they should better work together. Splitting to target different enemies or work together in combined attacks if someone is nearly down.

11.) AI needs a far better base defence.

EaglePryde said... / March 20, 2010 at 11:10 AM  

and as a non AI comment.

YEAH..sorian is back to SC2..let's make a party^^

CanRaps said... / March 20, 2010 at 3:55 PM  

Sorian FTW!

Matthew said... / March 22, 2010 at 12:44 PM  

Sorian, I just played against some hard (turtle) Ai's and it seems like the AI has a great deal of trouble killing a submerged commander.
I would try to build a naval factory, and it would immediately get 9 nukes launched at it, but my commander was able to run away and survive. In fact, I eventually killed several of them with my completely upgraded commander's overcharge before running back into the water. The AI had hordes of land and air, but no naval. Perhaps, especially in the late game, the AI should focus on naval more. I never saw them build a single naval unit.

Christian said... / March 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

Hi,
my wish is:

Make the AI work correctly with exclusions enabled.

for NoNuke -> Nuke-AI could go for Arti instead
and NoAir -> Choosing the Air-Ai profile should be blocked.

This would be great for all Skirmish lovers 8)

Sorian said... / March 23, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

Most of the relevant stuff suggested has already been fixed :)

EaglePryde said... / March 23, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

@ That's great..you're quicker than i thought *hehe*..most of us where your followers since SC...you really saved it :) Keep up the great work. Was really the best news regarding SC2 that you came back to give the AI atleast a bit of a brain *haha*

olivier said... / March 24, 2010 at 1:02 AM  

Hey Sorian, just to let you know i'm having a lot of fun on Supcom 2. Easier to play that FA. Not linked to AI, but if you have the opportunity to discusse this topic with people in charge of game balance : Supcom 2, like any other RTS (Supcom, FA, Starcraft 2, DAW) is about map domination and expansion. However, so far, the mass price of Mass extractor does not allow to quickly expand, since as soon as you have buit 4 mass extractors then you do not have enough mass to go and build other mass extractors far away on the map. Being able to "colonize" the Map ASAP is a key feature to map domination. And having to choose between another Mex or a factory (as far as im' concerned but i think much people think the same) is really ruining the ability to dominate the map and expand. So if you have a chance to discuss about this with Supcom 2 team ... :-)

By the way : Really Happy to see you back on your very first baby :-)

DuncanE said... / March 24, 2010 at 4:59 AM  

How about putting the AI cheat settings in the game.pref file for us to tweak? ;-)

Brian said... / March 24, 2010 at 11:02 AM  

1)
the AI seems to have a real hard time managing engineers. It seems to either build too many, or none at all. I tried removing engineers from the land factory manager and just keeping the expansion engineer builder, also removing engineers from all combat platoons.
Once an engineer leaves the main base to build a mex or whatever, it seems to have a hard time returning to base to get new orders.

Please tell me you have or are fixing this, Ive wasted too much time already trying to get this working better with only marginal success, its driving me crazy.

2)
Also, AI building factory upgrades is pretty broken, they can build multiple of the same upgrades on 1 factory.

3)
I can get the AI to build lots of mass extractors everywhere pretty easily, but have been having less success getting it to build decent expansion bases that it will protect. I guess with the tiny map sizes we have now it isn't a huge deal for the ai to use only 1 base, but it would be nice to play a 6 player map with just 1v1 and have the ai build bases at the empty player spots.

4)
AI needs to build more energy early in the game, it always starves itself of energy early, later on its fine but in those early vital minutes it is horrible. I fixed this by just throwing an extra 2-3 power generators into the startup lists and then setting the energy ratio in the economy builder a bit higher to keep it safe.

5)
...the cheat settings are a bit bonkers. The Hard AI is cheating with a pretty huge build time increase. I'd really like to see the hard AI have zero cheats on it, and the cheat AI get some resource cheating instead of the insane build time cheat it currently gets. Giving it a cheat to reduce the cost of mass extractors might also work nice, it sucks at defending them so if it can at least get them cheaper then it isn't as big of a deal.

6)
AI needs to build more anti-air units, way more, when the situation is right. If I set up a land ai vs air ai, the air AI smashes the land ai. If air experimentals or the general air threat is high enough the AI should be allowed to use up to 50% anti air units. OR, make the anti air units not so wimpy so it can deal with gunship attacks on its moving armies. I guess we could also get the land AI to build fighters to protect its land armies, but that seems way harder than just building more AA land units.

7)
Experimentals need to stop going solo, they are so much weaker now than in FA I think the minimum needs to be three experimentals. Grouping them into minimum of three really brings out some effectiveness, its just hard to get them to vary the amount, like between 3-6 would be nice, especially supported by small units, mainly AA.

8)
Is there any way for us to get it to build defenses facing the front lines better? Also it has seemed effective to set some of the defenses to "buildrelative" "masspoint" building them near the center of the base causes them to group up too much. Maybe getting them to build really close to factories and then getting factory upgrades to work better would work well with the factory shields, just need to limit how many build near each factory.

Brian said... / March 24, 2010 at 1:18 PM  

something I forgot...
9)
Is there any issue with expanding the "events"? Its great that the AI researches shields when it detects experimentals or artillery, or anti nuke when it detects nuke. Seems like this has a ton of potential for building the right things and researching the best things.
Like if the ai spots gunships it researches some acu upgrades to prevent acu from getting sniped. If enemy has "a lot" of point defense it uses more MMLs. Possibilities seem endless, and a more reaction based ai would be great.

Machater

Sorian said... / March 24, 2010 at 3:08 PM  

1) I'll take a look at reducing the engineers that get sent with Land platoons, but they are useful.

2) Haven't run into this problem. Maybe it is something you did?

3) The AI will expand, it just depends on whether it's current bases are full (or near full) on mass extractors. See: \lua\AI\skirmish\BaseBlueprints\SAIBaseBlueprint_Default.bp

I also fixed up some econ handling.

4) Made a similar change. I also made sure the AI ALWAYS has at least 2 pgens.

5) I modified the cheat values some. If you want a non-cheating AI, try Normal.

6) I made massive changes to the way the AI handles threat, both in researching (plan to expand that even more) and platoon sizes. They also take shielding into account now.

7) Added support for this today.

8) Still looking into this.

9) There is a lot of potential here, and I am working on expanding it more as I can.

bymyself15 said... / March 24, 2010 at 7:55 PM  

so point 7 means you put an art of "Bulldozer" attacks for the Cheating AI to ? i hope the AI will Attack with more then 3 Experimentals at one time. a think for 30 or 100 with 300 Normal Units for support. otherwise the AI never break a Turtel Human Player, and thats what the most People i know do vs a Cheating AI. Turtling up to Make a Big Army to Overpower the AI in lategame. i hope the new AI will do something Like that. in Forged Alliance oneTime the Cheating AI attacked my Base after 30 minutes with 5 Galaktic Colloses, that was very Hard. it Would be Very nice if the Cheating AI attack here with 20-30 Colossoes or similar Units after 30 minutes, why 30 ? 30 Experimentals in this game have the same power to 5 Colosses From Forged Alliance i think. and its very easy to Stop 3 or 10 Experimentals with just 20 Tower,s.
Please Build a AI that Overpower,s Each Defense :)

Brian said... / March 24, 2010 at 7:57 PM  

2)
I just retested on a 100% clean install of SC2, latest version as of this post.
I did a 4vs3(me and 6 AI) self destructed myself right away and just watched. All 6 AI were set to "Cheating". Didn't take long before upgrades were built in center of factories

Can't give you a save game, so maybe a replay would help?
If you watch this replay, watch the brown/orange AI in the bottom right position, around 1 minute 40 seconds he builds two AA upgrades on his air factory at the same time. The other AI also do it later in the replay.

http://ai-machater.googlecode.com/files/UpgradeBug.SC2Replay

Brian said... / March 24, 2010 at 8:20 PM  

I was thinking, maybe this was just occurring because I was testing the AI using +10 simspeed and that was messing it up. So I ran it again, this time let it play without changing the simspeed, and it still happened. This time I used all UEF Turtle AI, 100% fresh install no mods, I even deleted my game.prefs and only touched screen resolution setting.

It happens to both air and land factories, its just really hard to see it on land factories because you have to wait until the doors open to peek inside. The bottom right AI(white?) has an AA upgrade inside its factory bay towards the end of the game.
All cheat turtle UEF AI.

http://ai-machater.googlecode.com/files/UpgradeBug2.SC2Replay

mocafrost said... / March 24, 2010 at 10:35 PM  

I can back up the multiple factory upgrade bug. I often see an AA turret in the normal location and another in the center of the factory.

Brian said... / March 25, 2010 at 12:12 AM  

It looks like it is the "airunitsspotted" and "landunitsspotted" conditions in the upgrades that is causing problems.
Also might be good to give it a sharedinstancecount, or something so it can't build 2 at the same time on the same factory.

Once fixed the factory upgrades should really be given a huge priority boost for the AI, AI should always build the AA upgrade, and shield upgrade if it has enough mass, same for tml.

Don't forget that the intel upgrade is not JUST radar, it also boosts vision, so we should not limit it to just 1 per base.

I should have some time this weekend to play more with the factory upgrades thing, see if I can't figure something to get it to not double build them, while still actually building them on almost all factories.

Machater

Brian said... / March 25, 2010 at 12:27 AM  

One interesting thing I have noticed when it happens.
Watching the F9 log..
If I have two AIs running and 1 AI gets the bug for multiple factory upgrades and the other doesn't you can see in the log often the AI brain with the problem will have two entries very close together(tick wise) while the ai brain without the bug is separated by many more ticks.

Not sure how much sense this makes, I'll make a copy of the log tomorrow which will be easier to understand.

stijn said... / March 26, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

i don't know about the research sins the ai now would act different to what we do. but if it's assassin's game type i would like to see the ai research anti air when his acu is attacked by air. and always the 75% health upgrade even if it's easy ai. don't know if this already happens but that's what i do. Illuminate ai should use the energy building research that makes them possible to attack other units,sry i can't remember the name of that research it's before the 20% more research capacity.

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