Posted 17 March 2006 - 01:43 PM
I've never had a problem with AI, before... Mainly because, as Fulllauto pointed out, it's difficult to notice.
Halo and Doom 3 are the only FPS games I play right now. And of course I see AI crap outs all over the place. Halo pulls it off rather well, in my opinion, I just think the enemies strike me as kinda... "deaf". Doom 3 manages to hide the quality of it's AI by never really providing any "thinking" environment for the NPCs. (Although they seem to have a hell of a time chasing me whenever I ran up ladders.)
Real time strategy... I discussed this with someone a very long time ago, and we came to the conclusion that a real time strategy game with a realistic "human-like" response and skill would be significantly more trouble than it is worth. Reason being... In real-time, the computer takes actions into account with a blink of an eye, whereas a human would need several minutes (Perhaps even hours) to take in the same information. (Reason being, the computer is operating an entire environment, along with each individual unit's AI. It is therefore computing the location of every single unit, stats, conditions, modifying specials, along with the environment, each strategizing computer opponent, and the flora/fauna should it apply.) As such, for the computer to make human-like choices, complete with mistakes, it would take a strong AI to do it all. Not only that, how can it account for the time it takes to drag a mouse over to a building and click? In StarCraft, I wager it takes me about 3 minutes to move to each building and make a unit out of each and every structure on the Terran side. A computer would do the exact same within the blink of an eye, buying precious seconds. Now build this up over time... The computer has a generalized edge in speed. It will build entire armies in a fraction of the time it takes any fleshy individual. And even if you made it so that the computer has a delay between making units, it creates the unrealistic feel, as each interval of time could easily be identified and exploited like any other AI bug.
Turn based strategy appears to be the only plausible genre for a good AI. Not nearly as hard, and the Computer AI needs not deal with a constantly changing set of events. Just hit the "End Turn" button and the AI deals with the information presented right there.
The best Turn Based AI I've ever seen were in Master of Orion II and III. Followed very closely by Civilization II. The worst I've ever seen was X-COM Apocalypse (And it's also the reason why I only play real-time on that one.).
Master of Orion seems to handle AI like a pro. In II, the interface was easy, the amount of races around was rather small, and generally, the ENTIRE game was basically played off the AI, making it the prime feature of the game. III does it to a significantly better degree, as it incorporates dozens upon dozens of other game aspects and still manages to pull off a decent AI. (It's one and only flaw in that aspect is it's sorely underdeveloped combat interface.)
X-COM Apocalypse? Heh, I felt like I was heading up a squadron of stooges. Whenever a panic attack hit my men (And sometimes not even that...) I found them randomly running RIGHT UP to an Anthropod, kneeling, standing up again, then run around them to the rear (Staying adjacent the whole time) turning towards the Anthropod, then stepping back. Another such occasion (As a means of "reaction fire") saw a soldier running around in circles in a small room after an alien walked by a door. (Wouldn't it have been more likely to just run the other direction? It was almost like dealing with n00bs back in the days of XCAS...)
Meh, just felt like putting in my two-cents. Honestly? I think the solution to "bad AI" is simply multiplayer gaming. That way you get the real human intelligence right there.
Strong Bob's random Star Trek quote of the year:
*Scans rock* "It's dead, Jim." - McCoy
"Very funny, Bones." - Kirk