Axe-Throwing AI Oddness

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Zarthas

Knight
The AI has some strange behaviors when trying to use Throwing Axes.

The way Throwing Axes work after the recent rework, they are sort of a shotgun weapon.
They are a snap-throw weapon, because there is no reason to steady your aim as the accuracy cone never tightens.
They also have a strange trajectory compared to other throwing weapons, in that they seem to arc up a bit when thrown.
This works well enough as a player, as long as you know to aim at the hips and keep your throws to 3-5 meters.

The AI, on the other hand, struggles to use this weapon.

They do seem to understand the effective range is about 5 meters, and don't seem to start readying throws outside of that range.

They will hold the Axe for an extremely long time, however, and do the classic "Skirmisher Shuffle" of readying and unreadying a throwing weapon continuously.
This is a bit silly for most thrown weapons already, but makes absolutely no sense in the context of Throwing Axes, for the following reasons:
  • The AI seems to aim for headshots or upper torso, and has a tendency to miss high. This is a problem will all throwing weapons, to the point that the only time you can put down effective area fire is when a large body of troops is fleeing from you, but the large accuracy cone on Throwing Axes makes this even more miserable. Axes will go comically sailing over enemies that are almost within sword-range and would have had no chance of hitting them. The AI should really be aiming even lower than center mass at close ranges, probably belly/groin shots to have a chance of hitting massed targets.
  • The effective range is 5 meters. Even very slow units are able to close that distance fairly quickly, and the Brigand will still be dancing when they get there.
  • There's no reason at all to "steady" a throwing axe, as the maximum accuracy is functionally the same as the minimum accuracy. They should ready and release it instantly.
  • To make matters worse, the only units the Throwing Axe is useful against in Captain are unshielded Light Infantry and Shock Infantry, who are both extremely fast and will often close before any axes can be thrown.

I know @NIN3 mentioned he was aware there were some issues with throwing weapon AI in general, but I honestly believe that reducing the readying time and moving the point of aim lower when enemies are at close-range would improve their usability. Its hard to say how truly "bad" Brigands are because they're almost incapable of using their distinguishing weapon. A group of savages rushing Brigands on flat, open ground should be a bloodbath, but Savages can do it now without taking casualties.
 
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flashn00b

Sergeant
Personally, I don't think throwing axes should be as inaccurate as they are. I feel like the main reason they got nerfed in the first place is because they're a better melee weapon than your actual melee weapons. IMO, that really shouldn't be nerfed but rather have the Brigand's offensive capabilities be buffed (Improved Armor/Throwing Axe melee should still be an option IMO)
 

Zarthas

Knight
I'm going to grab some footage of in-game throwing behavior.

Just had a full Wildling unit hurl throwing spears at around 2 meters.

Not a single one contacted the huge cluster of Spear Infantry and Khans (3 full units), they all went hilariously sailing over. They are very much either aiming for headshots or the target calculation is just fully broken. This was on level ground, near C on the Forest map.
The AI should absolutely be aiming at the hips when using throwing weapons at close range. This behavior has been a problem for a long time with thrown weapons, it is just very magnified with throwing axes due to their inherent inaccuracy.

Not a single spear embedded in a shield.
 
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