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My Beef with AI


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Well... hopefully it bodes well for humanity... the robots are not storming the gates on us yet.


Be careful what you wish for...   ;)


This is why I fly exclusively multiplayer except for testing purposes and to practice gunnery.


All good points though Barton!

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The video analysis applies as much to RoF as it does to BoX, and I'm sure it will continue to apply when FC comes out.


I think it comes down to this:  The AI doesn't use the correct tactics for the type of plane it's flying, AND ALSO, adjust those tactics, depending on what enemy it's flying against.  A simplification that it could use, but apparently doesn't, is that either it's flying an energy fighter, or a turn fighter;  and that the enemy is flying one or the other, also.  Of course that's an oversimplification, as a plane may sometimes use either of those tactics, or a combination, to the extent possible, depending on the starting situation.  A simple formula that it could use, which I feel would produce some improvement, would be to fly in accordance with situation A (turn fighter vs. turn fighter), situation B (turn fighter vs. energy fighter), situation C (energy fighter vs. turn fighter), or situation D (energy fighter vs. energy fighter).  That alone would produce AI behavior that would at least be an improvement.  Instead, what we have is that generally, for most planes, the AI uses the same tactics, whether they're appropriate or not for that plane; and regardless of what type of plane it's fighting against.  For example, an S.E.5a flown by AI in RoF does not use BnZ tactics.  You can see that it does attempt to maintain altitude, but that is even more dismal as it loses all speed and hangs itself out there for you, one of the easiest targets in RoF AI; then it turns slowly within gun range, making it an absolutely worthless opponent to practice against.  Other AI planes in RoF do better by making themselves at least hard to hit, but few are worthwhile planes to fly against, in a field of many.


It seems that when you set an AI level in these sims, it has far more to do with the AI's ability to hit you; to the extent that, as Barton pointed out, some of the shots are way outside the realm of human ability.  It almost acts like the AI plane has a "hit cone" out in front of it, and if you enter that cone in any way, shape or form, you're hit, no matter how improbable it may seem.  The higher you set the AI level, the larger this cone becomes, and/or the more severe the results of the hits on you become.  Therefore at Ace AI level you end up with the AI hitting you on the backside of a loop, adjusting fire while inverted to do it, and triple-wounding you and oiling your engine all in that one shot.  The only aspect of improved flight tactics seems to be how much the AI presents itself to you for a shot.  The extreme becomes when each and every time you produce a shot solution, the enemy jinks wildly, exactly when the shots are hit solutions.  It know EXACTLY when it's in your sights, without fail.  With those settings, in the end, the only time you actually hit the AI is when it's physically unable to maneuver out of the way.  All of these actions are the result of the GOOD (not stupid) AI planes.  But in all cases, the AI always has fatal flaws in it's tactics that make it's actions predictable in every case.  For example, the AI in RoF always sacrifices altitude in order to obtain the absolute tightest turns possible.  This guarantees that it always ends up below you, no matter how good it is.


The last aspect seems to be one of the goal of the AI.  It doesn't prioritize staying alive like a real opponent would; instead, a major part of it's actions seemed aimed at staying within your general area, and either giving you a target to shoot at, or attempting to hit you at any cost; even offering up some of it's own flight members just to lure you into a position that it can hit in, with another plane in it's flight.  This is something that's it's very good at, more akin to playing chess, with absolute cooperation between all of the pieces; again, not like a group of human players would act.  This last aspect of it's behavior is possibly ordained on-purpose:  for example, would you want to fight against an AI S.E.5a with you flying a D.VIIf, if the AI acted rationally, made one pass, then extended away and never returned, because it could never outclimb or outmaneuver you, and you chasing it futilely, never able to catch it, as it stayed out of gun range forever?


Hmmm.    ;)  

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The AI in RoF is beyond stupid. I’ve watched AI planes come in from hundreds of meters above, juked their attack, and then watched them blow all their energy and descend hundreds of meters below me. They don’t attempt to retain altitude at all. They’re worthless for anything other than cannon fodder to sharpen your aim.

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True dat!


Yet somehow it does sharpen your skills, practicing against many, in various situations. I suspect you've benefited from similar practice, also (?)


Certainly practicing against a single AI enemy is always a waste of time, except of course for total newbs like me in the BoX sim.

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  • 2 weeks later...

All I would comment is back in the day I flew A2A’s Battle of Britain single player and I remember when they posted updates they kept posting manuever additions to their AI programming, The Ai was tremendously challenging and would vary thru the fight (take you low, take you high, run you around like a frikken yo yo ). Just has never been a focus area of this flight sim, seems like they assume the resl market is pvp.



We fly a lot of multiplayer coops, and the quality of the Ai is key to the fun.

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There are a lot of people who run single player as well and bad AI makes it hard to really get into. AI in Rise of Flight is just as guilty.


I think the developers are on the razors edge financially because they’re trying to pump out new content more than ironing out what they have. Still lots of graphics issues I’ve run into and FM adjustments to be made (like the P-40s engine), but they’re concentrating on developing 3 new add ons. Granted I’m excited about the new content but I think they could and should be doing much more to correct what they already have. AI is a big one that needs to be corrected but I doubt it ever will be.

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