1. #1

    Under the Hood: AI

    http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/blog/21033994

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

    AI is an important part of Heroes of the Storm. A significant number of games are played versus AI, and PvP games also have AI-controlled Heroes when players are disconnected. Those ever-helpful, ever-pesky minions and mercenaries are AI, too! We are passionate about bringing the best possible experience to all our players, so the AI team has been working hard on improving our AI systems. Read on for details!

    What makes good AI?

    There are many ways to define “good” AI, but from our perspective it’s an AI that closely matches players’ expectations. Minions and bosses need to be predictable. AI Heroes need to be very skillful. Players expect their AI Hero allies to stay safe, but also engage in team fights at the right time. There is a delicate balance between staying safe and capitalizing on opportunities. We also try to ensure the AI supports human players a little more than AI allies.


    Valla Vaults into position for a Rain of Vengeance, but Stitches rescues the human player from annihilation!

    Making good AI has its challenges. Many situations are complicated enough to have several valid strategies, and expectations can vary from player to player. We work closely with the game designers on our team to develop AI that models all the factors they consider important in decision making. And although we are trying to make the AI as smart as possible, we only give them access to information a regular player would have so they don’t get to cheat!

    What is changing?


    We are gradually transitioning the AI from being controlled by scripts to being controlled by several new systems built into the game engine. We are not trying to make the AI drastically different, but we are building systems that can be extended easily to add a lot more detail to the AI. You may notice AI Heroes being more responsive, more accurate, and executing more dynamic strategies.

    Speed!

    The new AI system runs many times faster than before. This has not only resulted in a slight improvement to the frame rate of the game, but it has also allowed us to update the AI more frequently! AI now have faster reaction times and they can use abilities in rapid succession. We had to drastically limit the update rate for lower difficulty AI!


    Tactics

    The tactics the new AI use has been enhanced to allow for a rich set of targeting options, and better positioning during fights. Examples are being able to predict the movement of targets, find clusters of targets, and filter or prioritize targets in many ways. Our designers have had a lot of fun using these new options to create more detailed AI. Kel’Thuzad’s surgical use of his abilities is a great example of this.


    Rather than simply moving into range of their targets, AI Heroes also try to stay out of danger. They calculate a score for many locations around the target and move to the safest one.


    The AI are also now able to stutter-step to keep attacking their target while moving into position.


    Strategy

    The AI has a new system for making strategic decisions. There are many things on a map that Heroes could be doing, and each of those is considered a potential goal for the AI. Each goal has a score calculated for it and the AI Heroes on a team are then assigned to the most suitable goal. This algorithm tries to maximize the team’s chances of winning by gaining experience in lane, taking mercenary camps, and controlling map objectives. It also looks out for lone enemies that can be easily ganked—so watch out!


    Development

    The team is constantly working on new Heroes, Battlegrounds, and game modes. To support this rapid development pace, we created an AI editor, which allows our game designers to quickly customize each Hero’s AI. This results in higher-quality AI that has been tuned for each Hero’s play style. You may notice this when Azmodan sees you at low health and throws a long-range Globe of Annihilation to finish you off!

    A major part of the new AI is a “behavior tree” system, which is a common AI technology used in games. It is called a “tree” because it branches at every possible decision the AI can make, and the ends of the branches are the actual things that the AI can do, such as moving or attacking.

    The branches of the tree are modular and can be customized for different AI behavior depending on the unit, map and game mode. This type of system is essential for supporting a diverse range of Heroes and Battlegrounds.




    Future

    All Heroes released since Garrosh use the new system, and with each update of the game, more of the older Heroes are transitioned to the new system. We have plans for more improvements to AI systems too, including better danger avoidance, strategic decision making, and tactical behaviors. Please reach out on the forums with any feedback you have. We are determined to make our players’ experience with AI as enjoyable as possible.

    Now, grab a friend and test your mettle versus the AI in the Nexus! Good luck.

    Join Our Team!

    If you are interested in working on projects like this, or in other areas of game development, check out our list of open positions here at Blizzard Entertainment using our official Careers site.
    Last edited by Ryme; 2017-09-14 at 08:03 AM.
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  2. #2
    Titan Gallahadd's Avatar
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    Sweet, I'd love to know how they programmed all the AI allies to stop playing and just spam hearthstone at the same point. I bet it took them MONTHS to get that code working properly .
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  3. #3
    Cool, can't be worse than the current AI. I just hope having disconnected player will no longer mean that you most likely will lose.

  4. #4
    will this tell me why literally not a single fucking ally will go to the core when i've blown the shit out of everything else and am hitting it alone?

  5. #5
    Hope AI Valeera won't stuck in stealth mode anymore.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    will this tell me why literally not a single fucking ally will go to the core when i've blown the shit out of everything else and am hitting it alone?
    I think you can force AI to act in a certain way pinging stuff, at least when i try games with AI allies and I ping a mercenary camp they all go there

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Brazorf View Post
    I think you can force AI to act in a certain way pinging stuff, at least when i try games with AI allies and I ping a mercenary camp they all go there
    oh yeah, you ping a merc camp and they all swarm it.

    you ping the core, they're split all over the map.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by skorpio View Post
    Hope AI Valeera won't stuck in stealth mode anymore.
    Oh god, I had one of those just walking back and forth on the top lane for about 10 minutes the other day, it got to half of the match with 14 hero damage or some shit like that >.<

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by derpkitteh View Post
    oh yeah, you ping a merc camp and they all swarm it.

    you ping the core, they're split all over the map.
    That's because that is how human players act when the enemies' core is exposed. The moment you can attack the core, it is immediately avoided like the plague because god forbid you win the video game. :P

  10. #10
    The current AI is so unbelievably fucking retarded that it's almost as bad as your average QM player.
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  11. #11
    To add to that: AI seems to be a tad more aggressive including an AI Abathur trying to slap us and living - though not for long - to regret it.

  12. #12
    I can't speak for the bots people get when players leave/afk, but at least in the actual VS AI modes, the bots seem to have gotten much easier. Previously, with VS Elite AI anyway, the AI tended to play a lot more defensively, hiding behind minion waves, forts, or towers, and only committing to attacks if things were relatively equal, or they clearly had the upper hand in terms of health, level, or number of nearby teammates. And again, as soon things were no longer in their favor, they'd usually turn and make a beeline for safety. In the mid to late game, they would also have a tendency to group up into a five man "deathball", in which they'd move across the map grouped up, dropping CC and Ults on any human players that wandered into their line of sight.

    After the recent update, however, they have become far more aggressive, often committing to fights far longer than they used to, usually resulting in their deaths. They also seem far less likely to group up, and instead have a tendency to wander the map by themselves or in smaller groups of twos and threes. The only instance I've seen thus far of some of the "improved" changes they attempted to implement was having an Azmodan AI attempt to dunk me from a considerable distance after I limped away from a team fight, but even that didn't end up killing me.

    In some ways, I suppose the changes have made the AI slightly more "human-like", as opposed to the occasionally uncanny level of coordination and precision they seemed capable of, at least on Elite, but they're playing more like humans of a lower skill level, with the over-committing to attacks and wandering around all by themselves, and I really don't see how this is an improvement over how the AI used to be.
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  13. #13
    Titan
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    As someone who only plays vs AI (because I find PVP is frustrating in most games), I have to say I really dislike the new AI changes. They certainly used to be too predictable, but now they're just frustrating to play against. They seem to push much harder than before, don't really back off even until death... OR... they push until they're almost dead, and then use everything to escape and usually manage it.

    Even as a Varian main, I've found many AI getting away by seemingly being able to run about 10% faster than me even if this isn't part of their character. They quickly get out of charge range even though they logically don't have the ability to do so.

    It also seems to have had an unintended side-effect - I used to be able to follow an enemy by casting an ability at them even if they were out of my ability range, and I'd follow them while ever I kept that up. Now it seems that if I do that while there's minions around, instead of following the enemy I actually clicked on, my character will decide to instead attack the minions. Sometimes, if there's no minions around and I move-to-attack in the vicinity of an enemy, I'll move to that spot and even if the enemy is there, it won't start attacking and won't keep moving towards them. It'll just stop and do nothing. It's almost as if they logic surrounding following is telling me what it wants to do instead of what I asked it to do (based upon the previous model used in the game).




  14. #14
    The Unstoppable Force breadisfunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadasNoir View Post
    I can't speak for the bots people get when players leave/afk, but at least in the actual VS AI modes, the bots seem to have gotten much easier. Previously, with VS Elite AI anyway, the AI tended to play a lot more defensively, hiding behind minion waves, forts, or towers, and only committing to attacks if things were relatively equal, or they clearly had the upper hand in terms of health, level, or number of nearby teammates. And again, as soon things were no longer in their favor, they'd usually turn and make a beeline for safety. In the mid to late game, they would also have a tendency to group up into a five man "deathball", in which they'd move across the map grouped up, dropping CC and Ults on any human players that wandered into their line of sight.

    After the recent update, however, they have become far more aggressive, often committing to fights far longer than they used to, usually resulting in their deaths. They also seem far less likely to group up, and instead have a tendency to wander the map by themselves or in smaller groups of twos and threes. The only instance I've seen thus far of some of the "improved" changes they attempted to implement was having an Azmodan AI attempt to dunk me from a considerable distance after I limped away from a team fight, but even that didn't end up killing me.

    In some ways, I suppose the changes have made the AI slightly more "human-like", as opposed to the occasionally uncanny level of coordination and precision they seemed capable of, at least on Elite, but they're playing more like humans of a lower skill level, with the over-committing to attacks and wandering around all by themselves, and I really don't see how this is an improvement over how the AI used to be.
    i have noticed this as well elite ai don't really put up a fight anymore once they get behind. they seem to just kind of start wandering around and doing their own thing and get easily trapped in corners now. only on the new foundry map do they seem to be effective.....seems to be somewhat suspicious. almost like they programmed the new ai specifically for that map. veteran ai is about the same. adept ai is about the same a bit easier. haven;t tried beginner or recruit.
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  15. #15
    Dreadlord Ralqadar's Avatar
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    I have not played many VS AI games since the changes, but I had a butcher who dropped today in QP, and his bot dived from the fort all the way to the keep wall and let towers kill him.

    10/10 authentic recreation of the average quick player's skill level.

  16. #16
    The Unstoppable Force breadisfunny's Avatar
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    the ai also seems to be confused as to what to do with garden terrors. they mostly just stand there and don't use them or will stand waiting for the terror on the otherside of the garden to spawn.
    r.i.p. alleria. 1997-2017. blizzard ruined alleria forever. blizz assassinated alleria's character and appearance.
    i will never forgive you for this blizzard.

  17. #17
    Titan Gallahadd's Avatar
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    Fun new tactic the AI have decided is the best thing ever:

    Totally avoiding the player character. Like... ANY lane I go into, they will leave right away. Even if this means two lane maps will have me in one lane and the rest of the team in the other lane.

    This isn't a HUGE problem when I'm playing Specialists, or my usual Warriors... But it makes Support quest days a real ballache. I end up pinging a warrior/assassin to get them to follow me and playing that way.
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