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New AI: Enemies prefer to just deal damage than inflict status, which is technically correct, but less fun #640

TerryCavanagh opened this Issue Nov 30, 2018 · 2 comments


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TerryCavanagh commented Nov 30, 2018


  • Given the choice between a bark and a bite, the Wolf Puppy will always bite if it can do either or not both.
  • The Dryad will pick Magic Missile over Poison slingshot, if she can't do both.
  • Kraken will basically always use Overwhelm instead of blinding dice, as the score for using Overwhelm quickly passes out the score for inflicting 3 blind.
  • Banshee will just place a 6 in Lament instead of Silencing you.

All these moves are all technically the correct moves for the AI, but it's less fun for the player. I need some sort of system to identify a preference of equipment for enemies to deal with situations like this.

It might be tempting to fix this by reversing the score incentives on status effects and dealing damage - but that probably wouldn't work. Lament deals as much "status" as shriek does, but ALSO deals damage. And Overwhelm will eventually outscore Ink Splat unless the scores are very dramatically tweaked.


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pace212 commented Dec 1, 2018

I suggest that enemies prefer dealing status early in the fight and dealing damage late in the fight. This is only optimal for Poison, but I think it will feel more intuitive to the player. Perhaps "% of max HP" could be an indicator of whether it's early or late in the fight.


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bz2 commented Dec 4, 2018

Couple of comments:

  • I think the scores from the blog post give statuses too low a value in general. Burn higher than 25% to be 2 damage in general. In playing, I was often rating shock as more valuable than 3 damage.
  • Just applying some per-turn random variation in how much a status is valued at may be enough to give variety.
  • To get to the next level of smart, the values need to be set in awareness of the opponent's attributes and abilities. Damage is better if opponent is low on life, or more specifically if it lowers the turn 'clock' on average. Stun and burn are better when opponent has few dice. Some statuses are worse if opponent has certain items, and so on.
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