Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,360
What is the reason why the NPCs can't fight smarter? Using thier abilities in concert to actually give the Player reason to think to defeat them.

For example in the very early KDF missions where the player encounters Tarsen, as the Romulan Assassin in the mission " Bringing Down the House" I would expect him to fight with a decidely Romulan style in both ground and Space combat.

On the ground a Romulan boss-style NPC such as Tarsen could have access to many of the Tac/Sci Abilities of the player to use in combat. Abilities that he could use in combo's just like the Players in ground combat to buff themselves or get greater effect.

Admittedly I'm unskilled in ground combat so such Combo's would have to be given as examples from somebody who does Ground alot.

Space though I know a little bit about so I hope my ideas can be useful.

First off, as a matter of habit all space NPCs should be cycling a copy of Emergency Power to Shields 1 and another EPTx power just like the players do in PvP.

All NPCs need to use Tactical Team plus Transfer Shield Strength or some combo ability to heal thier shields after a large alpha strike.

Basically the foundation tactics used in PvP by the players need to be coded into the NPCs so they also have a certain level of skill to overcome.

Back to Tarsen though and the evil Romulan Empire.
The current rendition of a Died'rix BattleCruiser with its Heavy Plasma Torpedoe volleys and use of Viral Matrix in combat is exactly what I wish all the NPCs in STO fought like, using thier abilities in a semi-logical manner that challenges the player.

So why can't all NPCs be similiarly programmed to offer a challenge to the player without being so over done as to be silly?
STO is very much an Adam One culture and completely inarticulate about Adam Two.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 521
# 2
10-31-2012, 08:55 AM
All comes down to one thing, really.. cryptic can't program "Lt. Cmdr. Data" intelligence into the game-- or they don't want to up their own standards for quality.

That's why PvP is more fun, rewarding, and challenging.

However, Cryptic is killing PvP slowly without formally making a declaration, so maybe you are right in asking for NPCs to "become smarter" as that is all we will have in the future. *sigh*
Member since January 2010. I AM NOT A PWE FAN!!!!

Last edited by tfomega; 10-31-2012 at 08:58 AM.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,041
# 3
10-31-2012, 08:58 AM
Look at how some people struggle with the Romulan D'Deridex. Look at first timers in STFs with little to no idea what to do or how to do it.

The game as is, is too easy and that's the problem imo. People play and arn't given a challange to start of with and never have reason to expect one. I recall some months ago someone complaining that Hirogen shouldn't have cloaks and that person needed to be told that if they check their buffs they would see that their sensors were jammed and the Hirogen didn't cloak.

I have often thought of this and one thing that comes to mind is Final Fantasy XII's Gambit System. In the gambit system the player could give their characters simple if - when -then type commands. The top command took priority over the second, the second took priority over the 3rd and so on.

For Example:

1: Ally HP <60% - Heal
2: Target Nearest Foe - Attack

This Gambit would cause the character to attack the nearest hostile and only stop when an ally's hp drops below 60% to heal them then go back to attacking.

Now imagine NPCs in STO if they had Gambits, it could look like this, remember the top gambit takes priority over the one below it.

1: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
2: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
3: Self Hull HP <50% Hazard Emmiters 2
5: Target Nearest Foe - Tractor Beam 1
6: Target Nearest Foe - Attack

Simple list of commands to follow that could give the illusion that the npc is "smart" and if a mob of NPCs had Gambits then they could use something similar but like this:

1: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
2: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
3: Ally Hull HP <50% Hazard Emmiters 2
5: Target Nearest Foe - Tractor Beam 1
6: Target Nearest Foe - Attack

The same Gambit as above but this time the HE 2 is being used on the NPCs Allies when their hull drops below 50% for NPC cross healing. If STO had a system like the Gambit one for NPCs and heck even our boffs, it could give the appearance of smart NPCs which imo would add alot to the game.
Man is a gaming animal. He must always be trying to get the better in something or other.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,247
# 4
10-31-2012, 09:07 AM
Would love to see the NPC's become smarter. I admit, that pugging STF's can give you a mixed bag of results. Some great, some... not so much.

However, the fact remains that with a decent team, the STF's are too easy. This goes back to my Normal, Advanced, and Elite wish list.

Normals, stay the same... Advanced is the current Elite setting, and Elite has things such as those mentioned here... smarter NPC's, Random events, etc.
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Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,360
# 5
10-31-2012, 10:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by defalus View Post
Look at how some people struggle with the Romulan D'Deridex. Look at first timers in STFs with little to no idea what to do or how to do it.

The game as is, is too easy and that's the problem imo. People play and arn't given a challange to start of with and never have reason to expect one. I recall some months ago someone complaining that Hirogen shouldn't have cloaks and that person needed to be told that if they check their buffs they would see that their sensors were jammed and the Hirogen didn't cloak.

I have often thought of this and one thing that comes to mind is Final Fantasy XII's Gambit System. In the gambit system the player could give their characters simple if - when -then type commands. The top command took priority over the second, the second took priority over the 3rd and so on.

For Example:

1: Ally HP <60% - Heal
2: Target Nearest Foe - Attack

This Gambit would cause the character to attack the nearest hostile and only stop when an ally's hp drops below 60% to heal them then go back to attacking.

Now imagine NPCs in STO if they had Gambits, it could look like this, remember the top gambit takes priority over the one below it.

1: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
2: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
3: Self Hull HP <50% Hazard Emmiters 2
5: Target Nearest Foe - Tractor Beam 1
6: Target Nearest Foe - Attack

Simple list of commands to follow that could give the illusion that the npc is "smart" and if a mob of NPCs had Gambits then they could use something similar but like this:

1: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
2: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
3: Ally Hull HP <50% Hazard Emmiters 2
5: Target Nearest Foe - Tractor Beam 1
6: Target Nearest Foe - Attack

The same Gambit as above but this time the HE 2 is being used on the NPCs Allies when their hull drops below 50% for NPC cross healing. If STO had a system like the Gambit one for NPCs and heck even our boffs, it could give the appearance of smart NPCs which imo would add alot to the game.
Exactly what I had in mind with Factional differences in abilites for every encounter.

The KDF could be damage heavy with this gambit,
1: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
2: Self Emergency Power to Shields 1
3: Ally Hull HP <50% Engineering Team
5: Target Nearest Foe - Tractor Beam 1
6: Target Captured Foe - CRF
7: Target Captured foe - HY

It could add a challenge and make the game more interesting becuase the "sense" of being able to fail exists.
STO is very much an Adam One culture and completely inarticulate about Adam Two.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 41
# 6
10-31-2012, 10:51 AM
Sophisticated AI is a major drain on processing usage in the game/servers. Not only would the STO cluster need a upgrade (magnify each increase in processing power needed thosands of times to match the number of people in game running that new AI code). They can't offset the AI to the local user for security, and even if they did it would require an increase in min system requirements.

Even marginal increases in scripted AI magnify out given the thousands of runs performed on scripts. So how much they could increase the AI scripting really depends on how much the system resources are already being used up with the present system in place, which really only the devs know.

I've tried to overcome this easy AI by strategically laying out enemy ground/space spawns in the foundry so at least there's some challenge, but it is tricky. I hope though one day though they can put something better in for AI, would be nice!
---
"We are the Borg. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile."
Sincerely,
The Cube Assimilating Your Ship Right Now
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 69
# 7
10-31-2012, 11:46 AM
I've noticed some improvements lately in abilities that the enemy uses but it could go a lot further. For example, I was helping a buddy of mine in a Breen mission and fell into a trap that had me nerfed pretty good.

I was tractored by two frigates and then a cruiser laid a tykens rift on me. I don't worry much about tractor beams in PVE since I'm using a cruiser and I just wait it out, but with the Tykens on top of me the bad guys had me immobilized and power drained.

I wish the AI would do that kind of thing more often.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,360
# 8
10-31-2012, 11:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tudenom View Post
I've noticed some improvements lately in abilities that the enemy uses but it could go a lot further. For example, I was helping a buddy of mine in a Breen mission and fell into a trap that had me nerfed pretty good.

I was tractored by two frigates and then a cruiser laid a tykens rift on me. I don't worry much about tractor beams in PVE since I'm using a cruiser and I just wait it out, but with the Tykens on top of me the bad guys had me immobilized and power drained.

I wish the AI would do that kind of thing more often.
I wish such tactics where the norm and that they varied based on race involved in combat so fighting a Breen would be different (a little) than fighting Gorn, etc.
STO is very much an Adam One culture and completely inarticulate about Adam Two.
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 315
# 9
10-31-2012, 06:52 PM
I'd love to see an improved AI, but I'd like to see it tied to a difficulty system as well. Turn up the difficulty? The AI goes up.

Not every player does well with combat as-is, especially those with any sort of impairments. For instance, of my friends has a neurological issue, so fast-paced combat that requires speed and quick thinking is much harder on her. Another friend of mine has some shakes in his hands because of his old job (worked with a lot of chemicals and such). I've seen articles about how (older) MMOs are relatively disabled-player friendly. I'd like to see that continued.

As such, if there's improved AI, tie it to difficulty. You'll get your challenge, and you'll get better rewards too, right? Whereas players who don't want or have other challenges can play at the current defaults.
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