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Everything posted by agentx

  1. I made contact with 0AD two updates before and was thrilled. Without any human enemy I learnt fighting the AI. Now it is no longer a matter of survive but whether I win within 40 minutes or so a random game. This surprises me, shouldn't an AI know everything about internal game mechanics and remain in principle unbeatable? I don't expect the AI conquering the seas or building sophisticated walls around its cities but managing the simpler tasks first. So I thought, what could be removed from the game, so the AI could win? Like in playing chess with a beginner without towers and/or knights on my side. I played without champions, heroes, walls, fences, tower guarded resource traps, siege weapons or didn't advance to city phase all to find out what the AI is capable of. I was not impressed, the AI doesn't repair its last civic center at 1% health while most units stand around freezed. It kept sending female units gathering resources guarded by 25 archers only to let them die one by one. It build civil centres randomly on the map without resources in sight and/or without any defense. Also I have the impression it tends to acquire resources just because it could and doesn't mind the cost. What works good is the startup phase, without the need to use a mouse it builds up an army very fast. But if one survives the first 3 or 4 attacks often only a depopulated city is left, easy to take down. But I don't want to troll here, actually the AI perfectly demonstrates 0AD is an exciting game challenging the player to develop new strategies in every round and spends hours of entertaining game play. May be it is worth to start over from the beginning. The AI should be capable to deal with minimal resources at any game phase. There is no reason for units standing around freezed. If a particular resource costs too much blood, it should be abandoned. Most of these defects are listed in this thread. What doesn't work is obvious, the challenge is to make it work. Some AI techniques are mentioned here, judging from what I internally use I think a good AI needs all of them. Whether and how a given resource can be exploited needs planning and monitoring. If a large scale attack happens all tasks should be dropped and the behavior falls back to defense only and depending on the outcome another fallback to building up. Ultimately a hardwired AI can be probably beaten any time by a human player on the long run, so some kind of learning is required to keep the player rethinking his approach. I tried to understand the AI sources and it seems they demonstrate very good the use of the API and was excited to see it's scripted in JavaScript. Isn't that the language most spoken among developers? Aren't there already libraries dealing with machine learning, planning, neural networks, agents behaviour? Isn't SpiderMonkey getting near native speed soon? How can all these existing resources be effectively exploited? So this is my proposal: Set up an AI tournament for 0AD. Needed is a standard map and the game stripped down to minimal features. Only civic centers, resources and barracks. No healer, champions etc. Let developers select two AIs from the command line to watch them fighting. Include the winner into next alpha. What do you think?
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