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Are we supposed to be able to fire/throw blindly into smoke clouds?


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I thi k it makes sense for smoke to block Line of Sight, but not Line of Fire. Being able to blind fire into smoke is a legitimate tactic. Plus, it's smoke, not a wall. It shouldn't stop bullets.

I think it's more a matter of how it works as a game-mechanic and changes the strategy than if it makes sense logically or not.

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Fair enough, but I have no problem with it as a game mechanic. As I said, it is a legitimate tactic.

But it also makes the smoke a bit pointless doesnt it? If not from the players perspective, then at least from a AI point of view... If they get to aim and shoot through the smoke I mean.

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But it also makes the smoke a bit pointless doesnt it? If not from the players perspective, then at least from a AI point of view... If they get to aim and shoot through the smoke I mean.

The smoke is there to confound enemies. Layering an area with smoke and shooting bursts through it isn't unbalancing IMO, it's just another tool in our arsenal. The amount of ammo you will use and the fact that your chances of hitting any aliens will be fairly low is a good trade off over the benefits you recieve.

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I have not observed the AI doing much blind-firing through the smoke. If they did, the AI should blind-fire towards where they last saw the xenonauts (because that's what I do when blind-firing through smoke to aliens). Maybe the AI should have a movement trigger when smoke goes up, so as to take advantage of my lack of knowledge of their whereabouts?

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The AI used to be very good at guessing where your guys were. This was a problem, because it was so good (there were suspicions of shenanigans) that it could shoot your guys from over half the map and you'd never know where they were. Perhaps that guess mechanic could be re-introduced re. smoke?

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The AI used to be very good at guessing where your guys were. This was a problem, because it was so good (there were suspicions of shenanigans) that it could shoot your guys from over half the map and you'd never know where they were. Perhaps that guess mechanic could be re-introduced re. smoke?
Well, like I said, the best the AI could do would be to fire/throw at the last known position of a Xenonaut(s). In many cases, that would still be effective. They definitely ought to consider moving too. I doubt either of those would be too large a change in the AI code. The worst thing the AI could do in that case is stand in place and do nothing.
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But it also makes the smoke a bit pointless doesnt it? If not from the players perspective, then at least from a AI point of view... If they get to aim and shoot through the smoke I mean.
They don't get to aim. They get to guess that you haven't moved. Big difference. If you're dumb enough to leave your guys in place you deserve to get drilled. It will make close combat in a ship very deadly when the AI gets to start tossing grenades.
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In some instances, it will be a mistake for the AI to move (which could become exploitable if they move every time you throw smoke). I imagine it would be tricky to figure out how to code the AI so it only does the smart thing in the inherently dynamic combat.

Edit: haha StellarRat, I just google translated your signature.

Edited by victorix58
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Well, like I said, the best the AI could do would be to fire/throw at the last known position of a Xenonaut(s). In many cases, that would still be effective. They definitely ought to consider moving too. I doubt either of those would be too large a change in the AI code. The worst thing the AI could do in that case is stand in place and do nothing.

But that's not the way that games tend to work.

Keep in mind, only really advanced game AIs have anything like a simulated situational awareness or memory of where your units are. Generally speaking, most game AIs simply run on cheating in ways that they hope the player won't notice, since that's easier to program.

Hence, you see in games like Advance Wars an AI that has no recognition of Fog of War, and can shoot targets without spotters even though you can't, except for if you go into a forest, which, even if it's only one tile large, and therefore impossible for any human not to "remember", they will completely forget you existed as long as you are there.

Currently, smoke operates like the Advance Wars model - it makes the enemy forget you existed, because they have no programming to remember you exist. If they do shoot at you, it's often because some patch of smoke wasn't complete, and they saw some guy behind your hidden troops to shoot at, and the bullet spray happens to come close to/hit your guys in the smoke. (Which is really annoying with the plasma rifles - shoot at my heavily armored and shielded bait troop that could take the shot, hit the defenseless sniper vaguely near him, killing him instantly.)

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If you know history of the AI you'll find its very advanced and doesn't cheat. I think it's possible.

Even if a decent memory isn't possible, hopefully a check along the lines of "if gas grenade smoke is visible, remain/end turn in cover from Xenonauts". There's been a bunch of times where I've seen aliens run out from behind that car protecting them, leaving them completely exposed. I'm guessing they go into a search mode because they can't see any 'nauts, and they really shouldn't.

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Even if a decent memory isn't possible' date=' hopefully a check along the lines of "if gas grenade smoke is visible, remain/end turn in cover from Xenonauts". There's been a bunch of times where I've seen aliens run out from behind that car protecting them, leaving them completely exposed. I'm guessing they go into a search mode because they can't see any 'nauts, and they really shouldn't.[/quote']Yeah, I'm pretty that is what's happening. Probably the best course action would be to move to the nearest available cover that isn't in the same place as they were at the beginning of the turn i.e. just shift a bit to keep the Xenonauts guessing AND reserve enough AP to reaction fire.
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If you know history of the AI you'll find its very advanced and doesn't cheat. I think it's possible.

If you know the history of game AIs, they tend to cheat more often than not. (Especially in strategy games.)

It is certainly possible, but it's also time-consuming to program, and very difficult to keep from being buggy or overpowered, so developers tend to go with cheating any time they can really get away with it.

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If you know the history of game AIs, they tend to cheat more often than not. (Especially in strategy games.)

It is certainly possible, but it's also time-consuming to program, and very difficult to keep from being buggy or overpowered, so developers tend to go with cheating any time they can really get away with it.

I think he was talking about "the AI" as in the Xenonauts AI, not "AI" in general. Note, the "the" in there. ;)

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If you know the history of game AIs, they tend to cheat more often than not. (Especially in strategy games.)

It is certainly possible, but it's also time-consuming to program, and very difficult to keep from being buggy or overpowered, so developers tend to go with cheating any time they can really get away with it.

Well, the XENONAUTS AI :D developer stated very clearly in some comments on these forums that the XENONAUTS AI :D does not "cheat". It doesn't know where your units are unless they are spotted, etc... There have been a couple bugs that caused the AI to "cheat" but they were fixed. I'm sure some more bugs will be found that might give it an advantage/disadvantage it shouldn't have, but those will be corrected I imagine. Edited by StellarRat
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Well, the XENONAUTS AI :D developer stated very clearly in some comments on these forums that the XENONAUTS AI :D does not "cheat". It doesn't know where your units are unless they are spotted, etc... There have been a couple bugs that caused the AI to "cheat" but they were fixed. I'm sure some more bugs will be found that might give it an advantage/disadvantage it shouldn't have, but those will be corrected I imagine.

Well, if that was your point, it was unclear, due to having little to do with my own point:

If you know history of the AI you'll find its very advanced and doesn't cheat. I think it's possible.

But anyway, that's beside my point, as my point was that most strategy game AIs cheat to compensate for limitations like LoS problems.

(Besides, spawning/walking through walls sure seems like a cheat to me, and that wasn't fixed.)

It's specifically because there are only two easy (speaking VERY relatively, considering as getting that far still isn't easy) ways to handling these things - either not cheating, and making the AI easy/exploitable, or cheating in ways you hope the players won't notice.

Hence, Xenonauts currently takes one negative to avoid the other - which still isn't ideal.

Of course, it's also still possible to have a fairly easy hack solution to the current problem - just have the aliens fire blindly at random smoke tiles if they have no better targets, in the hope they hit something. (It makes a certain amount of sense, especially when you consider that they have infinite ammo... Hey, wait, isn't that cheating, too?)

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Well, if that was your point, it was unclear, due to having little to do with my own point:

But anyway, that's beside my point, as my point was that most strategy game AIs cheat to compensate for limitations like LoS problems.

(Besides, spawning/walking through walls sure seems like a cheat to me, and that wasn't fixed.)

It's specifically because there are only two easy (speaking VERY relatively, considering as getting that far still isn't easy) ways to handling these things - either not cheating, and making the AI easy/exploitable, or cheating in ways you hope the players won't notice.

Hence, Xenonauts currently takes one negative to avoid the other - which still isn't ideal.

Hey, wait, isn't that cheating, too?)

The walking/spawning walls problems are known bugs and I'm sure they'll get fixed.

Generally, games don't have as good an AI as Xenonauts. The guy that's building this one is doctorate student in AI. I've looked at his documents and he is building a non-cheating system that is very good. Not perfect, but good enough to give a human a run for their money. I don't think there is the trade off between exploitable/cheating you mention. If anything the HUMAN is the one that is cheating as you get to see everything that is happening instead of relying on information relayed to you from subordinates.

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The walking/spawning walls problems are known bugs and I'm sure they'll get fixed.

Generally, games don't have as good an AI as Xenonauts. The guy that's building this one is doctorate student in AI. I've looked at his documents and he is building a non-cheating system that is very good. Not perfect, but good enough to give a human a run for their money. I don't think there is the trade off between exploitable/cheating you mention. If anything the HUMAN is the one that is cheating as you get to see everything that is happening instead of relying on information relayed to you from subordinates.

*ahem*

There have been a couple bugs that caused the AI to "cheat" but they were fixed.

Anyway, nice to see that infinite ammo isn't cheating, but the entire conceptual basis of a tactical combat game is. No True Scotsman has any difficulty defining away their problems and all that.

Anyway, as if it takes counter-argument, "cheating" in this case is the capacity to do something the other side isn't capable of performing, even when the playing field is supposedly level. Both sides having absolute situational awareness (fog of war notwithstanding,) is part of the genre, just as much as both sides of a chess game seeing all the pieces is part of the game. Cheating is when only one side of the two gets to move through interposing units, nullifying the capacity to block, or getting infinite "take-backs" when the other can't. (I.E. Savescumming.)

Anyway, as advanced as Xenonaut's AI is, I still think Hammer & Sickle's is better. (Although, granted, it's not as if development is done on Xenonauts, yet, so it might still have overhauls enough to change that.) In Hammer & Sickle, they had actual stealth and sound elements, and if you tried to snipe a unit from across the map, they would send in "sweeper" squads with machine guns to hunt you down at the last place you made a sound. Avoiding them meant repositioning silently after taking a shot. If, however, you positioned yourself upon the second floor or higher of a building, you could post your machine gunners on the stairs, and they'd be able to hear you camping, and refuse to go up. They'd call their sniper buddies over at that point. (Which meant it was time to C4 through the floor, and rain grenades on them.)

Not to say that Hammer & Sickle wasn't a severely flawed game in its own way, but the AI in that game really did impress me, and present real challenges. (When it wasn't the spiteful Random Number God determining defeat at its merest whim. Especially in the early missions, when your low stats makes everything a total crapshoot.)

The current AI really does need some sort of cohesive command, or at least orders to group up (but not so much they get taken out with one grenade) so that you aren't able to take them all down piecemeal, or they aren't just suicide-charging you all the time.

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