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About 1.2 combat AI

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Lopezgdanny

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Does anyone like the new combat AI for 1.2 beta?
Before anything, I play on the "normal" difficulty.
I see everyone justs randomly blocks a lot, and for me, it's annoying.
If I go with a horse and a spear, and I'm trying to hit some random looter, they start doing that "random blocking dance" every second or so, and most of the times, block my attacks, because I can only hit from up and down with a lance, and they most likely only block on those patterns (I'm not sure if they react on which button I press to attack or what they do).
Before the patch, I felt the combat was more... alive? I don't know how to call it, but now it feels so unnatural.
If I go with a lance to try to attack some foot soldier with a spear, or a mounted unit with a spear, or any NPC unit in general, they start blocking to all sides (which looks like they are having a seizure, or dancing). Even the tutorial was annoying, It was a pain to try to beat the veteran tutorial master while using a shield and a spear, in the end I beated him by kicking him a lot, trying to make him remove his shield. Before that I could wait for "an opening" and then hit, but now they seem to "randomly" block, but I don't know if I'm unlucky or what, but they block most of my attacks with that "random" blocking, this became some rng, and the "solution" to try to hit them was to just randomly spam te attack until they decided to wrongly block, so my attack hits them, and I don't find any fun in that.
I liked to do the arena open battle a lot (on normal AI, I'm too underskiled to try it on the harder levels) but now combat became a pain...
I am wondering if this change is definitive, and if my opinion is an unpopular one.
I just hope they put something like the old AI as an "easy" mode or something, I really don't like this new combat AI.
 
I like the new infantry AI from my limited testing of them, although shield infantry can definitely stand to attack more often and move around a bit during tournament 1v1s. I thought they were 6/10, but they might be extremely weak to any troop without shields, so the rating may change. Spearmen actually move back and create some distance with when trying to attack with their spears, making them better against infantry (but probably still a worse option to use against other infantry compared to sword/axe & shield troops and shock infantry). Them taking a few steps back actually made them worse against cavalry, but cavalry AI is really broken now so any test between cavalry and foot troops will be weird.

Shock Infantry thankfully isn't as defensive as shield infantry so I'm alright with their AI, they're actually a bit more capable now despite being a bit less offensive. 7/10

The ranged AI of both archers and crossbowmen is really good, especially with formation targeting. 10/10.

Melee cavalry AI vs foot troops sucks, they're terrible, but thankfully TW is aware and a hotfix is on the way. Melee cavalry vs other horse units is very good though. 0/10 against infantry, 7/10 against other cav.

I haven't tested skirmish infantry (units with throwing weapons), pikemen, mounted skirmishers or horse archers, but I'll edit this comment after I do.

Do note that my "tests" are not comprehensive or scientific by any means, they're literally me testing these units 3 or so times in field battles so a someone with an actual methodology should be able to give more definitive and less subjective information.

EDIT: Skirmish Infantry is amazing if you can manage to split them to their own formation in the pre-battle deployment screen, which is a hassle. They actually skirmish with the enemy, choose to throw their throwables before engaging, and they also pick up throwing weapons on the ground. Fallback command with them works amazingly (though they still occasionally turn their back against the enemy), they throw their weapons while going back. You need to hold fire with them if you want them to attack in melee, or wait for them to run out of throwables, but otherwise 10/10.

Pikemen's usefulness against cavalry seemed about the same as before, maybe a bit less sometimes because when their pike brace didn't kill an enemy, they would try to move backwards to stab the enemy with their pikes, and the new space would sometimes be enough for the stuck cavalry to escape. I'm not sure if this is due to the melee infantry's footwork or the cavalry AI not working against the melee infantry, but still, 4/10.

Mounted Skirmishers basically act like horse archers when they have ammo, and then attack in melee like normal cav (which is terrible now). The actual skirmishing with Cantabrian circles is okay, they were reasonably accurate, but they have very little ammo, so there still isn't really much use for them right now. 5/10 without including the terrible cavalry AI against foot troops, 0/10 with it included, would become 7 or 8/10 with another stack of ammunition and proper cavalry AI vs foot troops.

Horse Archers are still horse archers, except they seemed to get stuck less (maybe never) in melee now, though I used all tier 5 & 6 HA units on a mostly flat battlefield with no trees, so it might be different with different unit tiers and terrain. Still 10/10, probably 11/10 with them being better at avoiding melee according to my rudimentary tests.
 
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The new AI is much better for me, except cavalry AI against infantry. I am not having any issue to kill enemies when mounted.
 
Today I downloaded the beta,

The 1vs1 has improved a lot compared to previous versions. The only thing that makes me squeak is "that preventive block"... I don't know why but practically all the bots have that behavior at the time of the individual combat. If by design a "more defensive" attitude is intended, wouldn't it be better to define patterns of behavior for footwork... I mean... make the bot keep the distance and move forward-backward/left-right according to the use of the weapon it carries...

Then, what to say... a bot that kicks and bash with shield/weapon will be one day possible in Native?--- rethoric.

In formation,

Although it is undeniable that a step forward has been taken in certain aspects; we are still far from the proposal of RBM and its AI module inmho.
We keep on seeing formations that pile up and lose their shape. Although it is true that in 1.2.0 the agents tend to " surround"... they wrap by sectors or clusters, not as a single unit in formation, I miss that type of sensation which is offered to us accurately in the RBM ai module.

I still don't agree that the intended native proposal for the fallback command is a solid design decision; the agents must retreat in an orderly manner facing the nearest enemy, not turning their backs to be slaughtered. Retreat and fallback are different concepts and currently the two orders operate in the same way unfortunately.


Cavalry,
While it is true that in 1vs1 melee combat with other cavalry the improvement of 1.2.0 compared to previous versions is close to satisfactory, fighting against agents on foot (as many others have commented) I perceive some worsening in the final performance. Basically, they still don't manage to land the right attacks.

The formation charges-attacks should not be concentrated in a single point but the whole unit should attack as if it were a roller, in the full extent of the form of the unit (extensible to infantry).

As for the archers/horse archers-skirmishers,
The implementation of the much demanded focus fire/targeting command (it was about time) has expanded the tactical possibilities and the playable experience for these units and others available. A real achievement and the positive point for me of this patch as far as combat mechanics are concerned 👏.

Finally, old problems... same complaint,
We are expressly told in the devblog, I quote: [...]We reworked the melee AI to make agents fight less recklessly and increase the duration of combat[...] ; in terms of combat duration I have to disagree. While it is true that the bot is "not so wild" and that [...]decrease of attack frequency[...] there is still the problem of the damage/protection ratio.

I'm no longer saying that you should improve it... just level it up to the experience we had in Warband-Ving Conquest 🙄:
Weapon damage reformulated by tier, bonuses and acceleration variables adjustment. We all know about the benefits of a glaive (sarcasm)... take a horse and enjoy the acceleration buff; terrible. On the other hand the performance of the spears on foot are far below their real/plausible effectiveness.

Armor protection reformulated by tier; basically a warband approach.
Projectile damage... the current performance of these elements is still taken for granted by devs. A reformulation of these elements is desperately needed... absolutely lower the damage inflicted... once again... the answer is in Warband and not elsewhere.

If all of the above were reformulated and adequate, then the HP of the shields could be revised.... under these premises, a nerf on durability would not go amiss.

@Piconi , you won't mind if I bother you, will you... maybe an inception :lol:..... Big hug.

Best regards to all of you.
 
and they also pick up throwing weapons on the ground.
Yes, I saw this the other day and it is great.

To me, combat improved a lot. There are some quirks as stated above which I agree.
I would also point out that sometimes the enemy get infantry to shield wall, and then they stay that way like forever.. this happened to me twice, I guess it's a bug or a personality trait of the enemy noble?
When it happened i could just go left and right killing everyone and they just stood in formation doing nothing except dying.. hheeh
 
I still don't agree that the intended native proposal for the fallback command is a solid design decision; the agents must retreat in an orderly manner facing the nearest enemy, not turning their backs to be slaughtered. Retreat and fallback are different concepts and currently the two orders operate in the same way unfortunately.
Fallback when used by skirmish infantry and archers work pretty much as you want it to be. Try it with wildlings in a custom battle. It's not completely smooth, but I would say that it's more than satisfactory. I agree that other infantry units should behave in a similar manner.
Cavalry,
While it is true that in 1vs1 melee combat with other cavalry the improvement of 1.2.0 compared to previous versions is close to satisfactory, fighting against agents on foot (as many others have commented) I perceive some worsening in the final performance. Basically, they still don't manage to land the right attacks.

The formation charges-attacks should not be concentrated in a single point but the whole unit should attack as if it were a roller, in the full extent of the form of the unit (extensible to infantry).
Cavalry AI vs foot troops is really bad, but thankfully Duh replied that there's a hotfix on the way (hopefully soon).
As for the archers/horse archers-skirmishers,
The implementation of the much demanded focus fire/targeting command (it was about time) has expanded the tactical possibilities and the playable experience for these units and others available. A real achievement and the positive point for me of this patch as far as combat mechanics are concerned 👏.
Archers are actually stupidly OP and annoying in the hands of the AI now and Infantry has no chance of beating archers by themselves. They basically kite the attacking infantry all through the map until they run out of ammo or they manage to kill all of them, and are generally as fast if not faster than the chasing infantry units. Of course you can still beat archers with tactics and dividing your infantry into multiple formations to flank of course, but archers have become such a cheap no-brain unit without proper cavalry AI to actually chase and decimate the kiting ranged units. It kind of feels like you're playing against a SC2 pro controlling stimmed marines with only zealots that don't have the charge upgrade lmao.

I completely agree with all your other points regarding damage/armor.
 
Fallback when used by skirmish infantry and archers work pretty much as you want it to be. Try it with wildlings in a custom battle. It's not completely smooth, but I would say that it's more than satisfactory. I agree that other infantry units should behave in a similar manner.

I have tested both now with 1.2.0 as you indicated as well as in previous versions and the result is the same for me... the agents keep facing back and that is not acceptable because it breaks with the concept that this order represents... or so I think.

Look at this video (right side with archers),


the difference is abysmal and the tactical use is totally different if we compare with native. If RBM's ai module can perform it, what less than Taleworlds can improve it or equal it. Do I need to create a thread and a poll? :lol:

Cavalry AI vs foot troops is really bad, but thankfully Duh replied that there's a hotfix on the way (hopefully soon).

I was already suspecting a bug issue... because what they say in the videoblog is far from the practical reality...thanks for the info.

Archers are actually stupidly OP and annoying in the hands of the AI now and Infantry has no chance of beating archers by themselves. They basically kite the attacking infantry all through the map until they run out of ammo or they manage to kill all of them, and are generally as fast if not faster than the chasing infantry units. Of course you can still beat archers with tactics and dividing your infantry into multiple formations to flank of course, but archers have become such a cheap no-brain unit without proper cavalry AI to actually chase and decimate the kiting ranged units. It kind of feels like you're playing against a SC2 pro controlling stimmed marines with only zealots that don't have the charge upgrade lmao.

The behavioural approach for archers on foot or mounted archers/skirmishers is not all bad... the problem is once again the damage calculation of the projectiles issue. If these were tuned down together with the armour increase as we discussed ad nauseam, the result would not be so annoying.
What I would change about mounted archers/skirmishers is the behavioural guideline that tells them If you have no ammo switch to melee mode...and no. I think this type of unit should attack as a group and not individually as a foot archer unit operates... wait until the last agent runs out of ammunition and then attack in melee as a sole formation.

I completely agree with all your other points regarding damage/armor.
😌
 
I have tested both now with 1.2.0 as you indicated as well as in previous versions and the result is the same for me... the agents keep facing back and that is not acceptable because it breaks with the concept that this order represents... or so I think.

Look at this video (right side with archers),


the difference is abysmal and the tactical use is totally different if we compare with native. If RBM's ai module can perform it, what less than Taleworlds can improve it or equal it. Do I need to create a thread and a poll? :lol:

Yeah regular infantry with the fallback command definitely needs work, I agree, but skirmish infantry acted pretty similar to how it is in RBM with the fallback command in that they move back while facing the enemy and throwing their throwables. Unless you mean that the units under the fallback command should continue falling back as much as they can regardless of the location you indicate, then I both agree and disagree at the same time but mostly agree.

One very important thing to note however, skirmish infantry except wildlings are complete and utter trash due to either having very low ammo or having terrible throwing weapons, or both, e.g. throwing axes that don't do ****, and the throwing knives of the hidden hand units which only hurts as much as a vaccine ( does the Hidden Hand cause autism? :unsure:).
 
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Yeah regular infantry with the fallback command definitely needs work, I agree, but skirmish infantry acted pretty similar to how it is in RBM with the fallback command in that they move back while facing the enemy and throwing their throwables. Unless you mean that the units under the fallback command should continue falling back as much as they can regardless of the location you indicate, then I both agree and disagree at the same time but mostly agree.

[...]
A bareback clip without any mod using your wildings...



I don't know about you but I'm laughing at it. I don't want to argue for the sake of arguing... but ffs...:lol:
I'm going to create a thread and a poll... I'm idle today...
 
Well, at least they are listening to some of our feedback.
Maybe they take all of your points into account, which would be appreciated.
The last update did give me hope, not the kind of hope i had in early access launch, because i'm not a moron, but still haha
 
A bareback clip without any mod using your wildings...



I don't know about you but I'm laughing at it. I don't want to argue for the sake of arguing... but ffs...:lol:
I'm going to create a thread and a poll... I'm idle today...

Yeah I think that the ranged AI "kicks in" at a certain distance, something like 50. Before the enemies are in that range, they act like regular infantry in the fallback command, which is problematic. They also do this weird SC2 marine stutter step micro looking thing of throwing, turning their back, taking their throwing weapon from their back and then facing the enemy to throw. I do agree that it is weird that they turn their back, and then grab their throwing weapon to only turn to face the enemy again. I guess it makes them a smidge faster than they otherwise be if they always faced the enemy? I think they didn't throw their weapons like that before 1.2, and they just did the same bad fallback thing the regular infantry does. As I've said, I agree with you that the infantry fallback needs work.

Also another quirk, when you do a skein formation and make the formation face the opposite way as the enemy, they do a V shape rather than an A shape (or a Greek L shape?), which you would think would be really good for a skirmisher unit right? But no, they actually sucked in that shape against the enemy compared to a line or loose formation no matter what I did. They fall"back" sideways so half of your units gets stuck in melee no matter what you do lol. I sometimes feel like the AI and formations in Bannerlord works like how science works in the WH40k universe.
 
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Thank you for all your replies, I was just seeing it as "Me VS some NPC" in duels/combat, I didn't think about my NPC troops against the enemy NPC troops(which may actually be a good change), I am just annoyed about how it's too hard for me to hit anything, and nearby impossible to hit it if they have a shield. In the tournaments for example, they just block way too fast after making an attack, and they have this "random blocking to every angle" thing they do, right before you try to attack them, or even if you are just near and focus the camera over someone (not every enemy seems to do that, only the one you have your sight on), I haven't seen if they do the same against every other npc, or just against the player.
Maybe the answer for me would be to "become better at combat", but I don't have the reflexes to do so.
 
Thank you for all your replies, I was just seeing it as "Me VS some NPC" in duels/combat, I didn't think about my NPC troops against the enemy NPC troops(which may actually be a good change), I am just annoyed about how it's too hard for me to hit anything, and nearby impossible to hit it if they have a shield. In the tournaments for example, they just block way too fast after making an attack, and they have this "random blocking to every angle" thing they do, right before you try to attack them, or even if you are just near and focus the camera over someone (not every enemy seems to do that, only the one you have your sight on), I haven't seen if they do the same against every other npc, or just against the player.
Maybe the answer for me would be to "become better at combat", but I don't have the reflexes to do so.



While I disagree with Strat about the old AI was better and tournaments were harder (I think he is really wrong about this), he perfectly shows how tournaments are still way too easy.
 


While I disagree with Strat about the old AI was better and tournaments were harder (I think he is really wrong about this), he perfectly shows how tournaments are still way too easy.

One thing I've noticed is fighting multiple enemies feel much harder now, though maybe it's due to me playing a character with 0 skills and a custom battle character.
 


While I disagree with Strat about the old AI was better and tournaments were harder (I think he is really wrong about this), he perfectly shows how tournaments are still way too easy.

He seems about to die in the first part, and being naked makes the character move faster if I am not wrong. And he skips a lot of parts, also I can't react that fast to attack like he does (yet) and the NPCs seem to block a lot in the video (which is what makes it annoying for me on large battles).
What I realized is that if the enemy NPCs are focused on other person (like if you have your troops somehow aggroing the looters) then it's way easier to hit them (it's what I have to do, because I lack the IRL skills to hit them other way).
Meanwhile, I can't seem to hit the enemies in tournaments in one vs one if they have a shield because of the never ending blocking, and if they have a weapon, they also parry a lot (and the weapon doesn't break here that way).
 
the agents keep facing back and that is not acceptable because it breaks with the concept that this order represents
We've forwarded feedback on this and the team is having some ongoing discussions around it - but there is nothing definitive I could share at this point.
 
We've forwarded feedback on this and the team is having some ongoing discussions around it - but there is nothing definitive I could share at this point.
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Cross your fingers for me, I already have arthrosis... ib 84 years...:lol:
 
I like the new combat A.I and find it more challenging compared to pervious updates of combat A.I. I play on Bannerlord settings and in pervious beta's found combat way to easy, to the point of being boring, After the update when i first tried it and the guy blocked me i was shocked and thought at last there not stupid. Yes they now block a lot more which is realistic. What's unrealistic is not blocking attacks. The pervious A.I cavalry was useless vs foot troops and just rode around them, but not now they kill them but this could still be improved. Thing is if it too hard for you lower your Combat A.I settings. But people want a bit of a challenge can play on Bannerlord setting, that's why there's difficulty settings.
 
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