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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:07 pm 
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Of course its a lot more complex than those simple metrics, but an important part of the bots is: if I get a bot in my team, what are my chances of still winning? With some bots this chance is just much much lower than with other bots.

This metric of course doesn't tell a single thing about how a bot can be improved, or about how fun a bot is to play with/against.


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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:45 am 
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I do have to agree with Flawless that Skolldir/Sentry have such low win-rates not because they're bad bots, but because they're really situational characters that only work with certain teams.

The reason the Skol/Sentry bot has/have such low win-rate(s) is because they're usually given to teams that don't work well with these characters. Add in the fact that you can't tell them how to play and you've got some "poor" allies. All the more reason to allow us to request specific bots.


And on the subject of Skol/Sentry bot: Skol Bot is pretty bad, but Sentry bot is K. It has no idea how to use Beacon and has the self-preservation instinct of a lemming, but it's still better than Frog/Ted bot. :shrug:
Also Derpl bot is pretty bad. DOWN WITH ALL THE BOTS!

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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:35 pm 
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I think one of the problems with these bots is that they simply don't have enough situational awareness. Currently, if any bot were to pitch in a teamfight and come out with a victory, they would be lucky. In fact, they have no way to detect where a teamfight is going on, and the type of global area check required would seriously affect performance, and is therefore strongly discouraged. Similarly, bots have a hard time telling if a jungle is safe, or how much competition they will have in a certain lane. They also can't track enemy cooldowns, so they have no real measure of the danger they're in besides the number of enemies and teammates nearby them.

I think these problems manifest more with some bots than others. Sentry's actions in combat require careful planning and coordination, which he simply cannot pull off, so he suffers for it. He benefits from the character's tankiness, but suffers from his speed. Froggy's actions have immediate consequences, which may help or hurt the bot. He can acquire kills without much forethought, but can also die just as easily. Skolldir also doesn't benefit from the immedate consequences that Froggy experiences, and is easily body-blocked, which makes his life difficult. In short, the lack of situational awareness of today's bots causes a disparity in performance. 'Nauts who are more likely to benefit from actions without much forethought will do better than others. 'Nauts who are more likely to die to mistakes will do worse. While we can moderately improve bots to be smarter, this is unfortunately an intrinsic property of them. Making a good Skolldir bot is much, much harder than making a good Clunk one. (no offense to Veanko, who did a great job with Clunk)

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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:14 am 
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GuyBrush wrote:
Also Derpl bot is pretty bad. DOWN WITH ALL THE BOTS!


It is quite difficult to have a bot effectively use an ability that is a death sentence in many situations.

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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:39 pm 
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Yeah, some characters simply don't work well as bots

Derpl needs to use siege mode or he is crippled, but if you use it at the wrong time it will hurt you worse, so a bot who can't know a good or bad time takes a lot of work to operate,

While scoop is super easy, he is tough, simple, and using his abilities is easy, so he does quite well as a bot.

Bots need more tools to do well, but more tools makes the game preform slower, so there are limits to what can be done.


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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:14 pm 
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One of the biggest hurdles to creating a robust Skolldir bot is his AA. It has a significant travel time like a ranged attack, but cannot be aimed like one. A good player will use a lot of prediction to land his punches, which isn't an area that bots excel in.


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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:19 am 
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hurleybird wrote:
One of the biggest hurdles to creating a robust Skolldir bot is his AA. It has a significant travel time like a ranged attack, but cannot be aimed like one. A good player will use a lot of prediction to land his punches, which isn't an area that bots excel in.


That's only the tip of the iceberg as well. One of Skoll's biggest problems is how he moves in combat. If you want to move back while punching, you have to first jump backwards, then punch forwards. This takes some planning, which bots aren't good at. Because of that, Skoll is generally stuck moving wherever he punches, which is often a dangerous behavior to have.

On another note, I've noticed Skoll jumping back into fights when he's really low. Do you think any behavior to make him stunpunch while retreating is interfering?

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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:24 am 
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Oh probably :P

(please give us dual stick controls!)


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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:48 am 
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hurleybird wrote:
... (please give us dual stick controls!)

Dual stick controls would be nice, but we think the main problems the bots have are not in direct combat, but in other fields. We are adding some new functionality to the bots but we are not focussing on things for combat. We are working on giving the bots more capabilities to judge when to push and when to defend, both for turrets and the base. We think the biggest problem the bots have right now is that they let players wreck their base without defending, and that they often don't push when they can (especially around the base).


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 Post subject: Re: Frog (& Ted) Bot are bad...
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:37 am 
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To be honest the biggest issue with single stick controls isn't even reduced combat performance, but the brutal choice between never firing back at the enemy when you're retreating, or doing so but halving the speed you retreat at (or some compromise between the two). Besides that, single stick controls require a ton of hacky workarounds (eg. to prevent facetanking) and just generally make everything worse by corrupting input. While I'm glad to hear you guys have more goodies in the works, please don't underestimate what a significant difference dual stick controls would make! You're vastly improving one aspect (retreating), and subtly helping everything else.

Speaking of goodies, with all the stuff you've mentioned exposing to us I have a feeling I may want to create my own from scratch general AI replacement to better exploit everything. But another huge reason to create my own general AI would be to start with a clean, readable code base instead of the current mess we have. Needing to put in a whole bunch of hacky stuff to get around single stick controls is a giant disincentive.

And speaking of incentives, support for loops would be a huge one and would let us create much more elegant and workable code (and therefore significantly better bots). I understand the fear of infinite loops, but you could take steps to guard against that (eg. only allow a finite number of iterations, after which the bot is replaced and an error message sent). This would be a relatively easy addition.

For myself, in addition to having my own game project that gets the majority of my time these days, I still feel a burnt out from struggling with the AI editor for so long with my past work. It's difficult to motivate myself to return to it, but dual stick controls + loops would certainly lure me back with a vengeance. I can't speak for others though.

On a side note: I want dual stick controls bad enough that, just going to throw this out there, make me sign an NDA and I'll add it myself :P


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