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Thread: Game features that you hate

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Heh. That's awesome. Are there at least any clues that it might happen?
    Not that I recall. I guess it's consistent with the whole "acting like a bastard" theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Riddles. Indeed any time I have to guess at what the game mechanics are going to be. I like obstacles where you know the mechanics and have to use them to progress. I don't like obstacles where you have to figure out (or just guess) what the mechanics are.
    8-bit adventure games were riven with examples of this.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I kind of think it bothers me even more when the rest of the game isn't like that, and then they throw one or two moon logic bits in, usually in end sections.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Demon / Dark Souls, a good example of this (dropping players in the deep end with no explanations given). The original X-COM's would be another.

  4. #29
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Moyer View Post
    My favorite unwinnable states are from the Hitchhiker's Guide Infocom game.
    This game got away with it because it's charming in its evil (in a I Wanna Be The Guy way) and, at least for me, I read multiple times in advance that you need to play this with a walkthrough on hand if you play it at all. Try it on your own a few rounds, and then revert to the walkthrough, rinse and repeat. Didn't really work for other IF.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Games that let your opponents cheat with moves that you can't even do. Rainbow Six - Ravenshield is one example that springs to mind. Took me and a friend 6 LAN nights before we were able to beat the computer even once. There was much drinking and celebration.

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Boss battles in story driven games drive me nuts. It's fine in something like dark souls, where you can always walk away and come back later, bur if the story progress stops dead and you cant do anything else until you beat the boss, it's infuriating and unfun.

    Excessive linearity can be pretty annoying in many cases, as well. Not when it's well done like Valve games, but at this point I dont want to play a strictly on rails shooter again if it can be avoided.

  7. #32
    Shitty "romance" plotlines and grindy "arena" features.

    That comment "might" be made because I recently installed Jade Empire on my tablet.

  8. #33
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Bullet sponges. Drives me nuts. I played the beta for The Division and liked a lot about that game, but holy crap the enemies were so hard to kill. It's not even a matter of balance, because the player character is pretty tanky too, it's just frustrating to play against.

    Then I played Ghost Recon Wildlands and it's like why couldn't this be the dynamic for The Division? Enemies die quickly, the player dies quickly, it's more intelligent and tactical.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Fallout 4 would be a good example of the bullet sponges, where even head shots don't take out human opponents, where in earlier games it did.

  10. #35
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Bullet sponges. Drives me nuts. I played the beta for The Division and liked a lot about that game, but holy crap the enemies were so hard to kill. It's not even a matter of balance, because the player character is pretty tanky too, it's just frustrating to play against.

    Then I played Ghost Recon Wildlands and it's like why couldn't this be the dynamic for The Division? Enemies die quickly, the player dies quickly, it's more intelligent and tactical.
    That's definitely one of The Division's failings early on before you've reached a decent gear level. And to be honest, I think it's a fairly stupid decision, locking the fun stuff behind hours of MMORPG-style grind.

    Once you're at a decent power level and comfortable with certain difficulties, the sponginess lessens significantly, and the game's really enjoyable. But I suspect that getting to a decent power level takes more time than most players are comfortable with. I know Jesh also has the same complaint, and even though I've boosted him significantly, building a viable 6-piece set is more time consuming than it should be.
    I heard a rumour the devs might be looking to address that, but then The Division 2 got announced. Pisses me off a bit, as I'd rather they continued developing the existing game and charging for expansions rather than abandoning the original.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'm okay with tank-type enemies being bullet sponges, though it's not my favourite gameplay, but especially if you're fighting against human (or humanoid) beings it immediately makes a game feel more gamey. Ideally, devs should make such enemies more difficult to kill by making them smarter. Obviously it's much more difficult to create smart, challenging, interesting AI than it is to add tons of HP, but it feels like on average AI hasn't really improved at all since Half-Life.

  12. #37
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    You do have F.E.A.R and Halo that iterated on the HL1 AI routines, but those definitely are more exceptions than the rule. I suppose the puny mobile CPUs on the current consoles aren't much help in this department either.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    "And then we did the pathing with a GPU shader."

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I wonder if it's technical restrictions; my gut feeling is more that most devs simply don't try because they don't consider smarter AI worth it. I've not played F.E.A.R. but I've heard very good things about the AI - so much so that most modern AI seems to do a worse job, so why hasn't that AI been matched more frequently? I expect that some AI tasks would require more CPU cycles these days (such as navigating geometrically more complex environments), but it seems that AI smarts have plateaued a dozen years ago, and I wonder whether that can be blamed on CPUs. I'm sure a PS4 would be up to powering F.E.A.R.-level AI.

  15. #40
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    F.E.A.R's AI was effective smoke and mirrors, essentially. IIRC, levels were dotted with cover nodes that the AI could dynamically choose to move to, and when doing that they'd execute barks that gave them the appearance of working as a team to flank you. It's also the reason why 90% of the game is office corridors and industrial warehouses -- that sort of system isn't going to work so well in wide-open spaces. Still, Halo's proved that you can do decent AI on a console, so I think the overarching question is whether it's a priority for the gamedevs - as you implied, it does take more work than may be worthwhile in the larger scheme of things.

    Pyrian: hah, that's really where it should go, given that GPUs are what power deep learning these days. Maybe we could fight a cloud-enabled datamining algorithm in the future.

  16. #41
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I'm not sure AI is actually any worse than it used to be. It's just that we no longer see the massive advances we used to see back then. Game AI is hard, so noticeable advances happen far less often.

    On top of that, what most game developers are really chasing is virtual stupidity.
    Writing an AI that has perfect aim is pretty simple. Making an AI that makes questionable tactical decisions and believably misses shots is a lot harder.

    One of my favourite examples of excellent AI is a game that doesn't get enough credit for it: the original Guild Wars.
    As well as having enemy groups that would intelligently exploit weak points in player groups, it blossomed when players were given control over assigning skills to NPC group members, or "Heroes" in the game's vernacular.
    Every character could dual-class in Guild Wars, and every class had a choice of between 85-140 skills, only 8 of which could be equipped at any one time. It was a CCG MMO before that was even considered a thing. That you could drop any combination of these dramatically different skills on to a hero's skill bar and they would then use them intelligently was remarkable.
    You could choose to trigger the skills yourself if you really wanted, but the real joy was that the AI was so adaptable, you didn't have to.

    Ironically, there's a big argument to be made for this robust AI being somewhat responsible for the death of co-op play in the game.
    The healing class, monk, was always in demand in Guild Wars, and before the advent of heroes, you could spend hours waiting for a decent monk player to join your group. And while a lot of people enjoyed playing monk, the majority didn't. On top of that, human monks were prone to mistakes.

    Then along came AI-driven hero monks, who rarely made mistakes and could be tailored to use a very effective skillset. *Poof*, no more waiting around for pesky humans.
    And this gradually seeped through to other classes, so eventually, the majority of people were playing alone with seven AI heroes.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I don't think technical restrictions limit the existence of AI behavior like we saw in FEAR.

    I think it's design priority.

    Like Sulphur said, I don't think FEAR features particularly sophisticated AI. The player perceives the AI to be more compelling and sophisticated than it really is with the careful, meticulous way the designer sculpts encounters. Part of this requires a deliberately limited context in which the player can encounter and interact with the AI, and part of it requires a greater over-arching focus on scripting close-quarter combat with each individual AI.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It's a shame: Arma's AI goes from brilliant moments, where the different units truly seem to be cooperating to great effect (especially with certain AI tweaks and mods), to ones where you wonder if a random action generator couldn't do a better job. If they could get the good moments to happen more consistently, they'd really be onto something.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Really? I've never had the impression Operation Flashpoint and Arma had intelligent AI. The best I can say is that enemies sometimes stick together, and they respond to being fired upon.

    Last session, I saw one stare at a wall out in the open while there was gunfire at its back. Moments like that make me feel like them flanking is just a lucky roll of the dice, rather than that they switch between good and bad AI.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I don’t know what the parameters are, but I’ve watched a fair number of videos where the AI seemed to do some pretty smart, effective things. Some of it is tied to the AI settings, though, and I’ve not turned those up all the way for our sessions. Perhaps I’ll raise the AI skill and lower their accuracy to see how that’ll work out.

    Even if I did, though, you’d still get units acting as stupidly as you describe, and more often than you’d wish.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    It really is a lot easier to make an AI do something smart than it is to prevent it from doing something dumb, nevermind preventing it from doing ANYTHING dumb. "Never be an idiot" might be the most technically challenging AI requirement ever asked for. It's pretty easy for me to imagine an algorithm that might make a coordinated flanking action possible but still ignore someone shooting at their back. Maybe he thought he had good cover? Maybe he was focused on preventing a flanking maneuver from the other direction?

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    I'm playing Templar Battleforce right now, and when one of the enemies is blocking a chokepoint en route to your defenses, the rest of the swarm start taking the long way around to get into melee range because they're too dumb to anticipate that the blocking AI has its turn last, and that the best strategy is to wait until next turn to spill through.

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    The best AI I've ever seen was your teammates in Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for the PC. I'd actually consider it experimental. Your teammates were quite autonomous, and very good at reacting to the situations and deciding what to do. Too good, in fact, and the biggest problem with them was it was kind of difficult to order them around. You'd send them to a certain spot, and they'd be like "nah, that cover nearby is way better, I'll go there". But apart from some derpy moments they were really good, in my experience. The devs changed it in the sequel due to complaints, which ended up having standard "do exactly what you tell them" AI.

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    "Never be an idiot" might be the most technically challenging AI requirement ever asked for.
    Even humans can't manage that.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    "That AI just stood there with his back to us while I was shooting at him!"

    "At least he didn't forget he was still guiding a missile and bring it down on his teammate."

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