May 8th, 2001


(no subject)

As much as games have improved in the reality department, they still have a long way to go . . . Allow me to share with you this (imaginary) conversation between me, Robin (my hand-to-hand martial arts expert in Fallout Tactics) and Farsight (my sniper in Fallout Tactics).

Me: Okay, here's the deal. Right there (points) is a tent with a large amount of loot in it. We want that loot. So we're going to go get it. Now, there's only one entrance to the tent, and the obvious way in is over this here well-guarded well-lit street. But you'll notice that the area *behind* the tent isn't guarded *or* lit!

Robin: But there's no way in from behind the tent.

Me: Well, yes, okay, that's true, but it's a tent. It's made of animal hide, or maybe plastic. And you can see through it anyway. I'll send Farsight (my sniper) along with you. She can pick off any guards through the wall of the tent, which she can shoot through.

Farsight: I can't shoot through that. It's a wall.

Me: Yes, technically speaking, it *is* a wall. But it's a really *flimsy* wall too. It would be like shooting through a piece of paper!

Farsight: I can't shoot through that. It's a wall.

Me: (shaking head) Fine, fine, okay, we'll use another tactic. Let's see. Instead of going through the *back* of the tent, let's go through the *front* of the tent. Once again, you'll have to creep behind these buildings, but instead of going through the back of the tent

Robin: We can't go through the back of the tent. It's a wall.

Me: Yes, yes, I KNOW that, you're not going to go through the back of the tent. You're going to go *around* the tent, over these waist-high sandbags.

Robin: I can't go over those waist-high sandbags. They're a wall.

Me: Of course you can go over them. Just jump. You're a martial arts expert, you ought to be able to manage that.

Robin: I can't go over those waist-high sandbags. They're a wall.

Me: They are *not* a wall. They're waist-high! You can shoot over them, you can throw things over them, why can't you jump over them?

Robin: They're a wall.

(sound of my head exploding)

As I was saying . . . they're getting *better*, but they're not perfect yet.

(And may your diety of choice help you if you decide to blow up a wall . . . yeah, right. like that's gonna happen.)

(no subject)


The only thing I have to console me about the dumb player AI is . . . the dumb enemy AI >_<

For one thing, there's no way to say something like "if the bad guys get too close, shoot." It's impossible. You've got three modes: "don't shoot" (even if they're shooting at you), "shoot if they shoot at you" (even if they're shooting at you with a peashooter from 300 paces, but not if they walk two feet in front of you) and "shoot if you've got better than a 33% chance of hitting" (no matter how far away they are, and don't do anything to try to get a better angle).

And the AI on close combat people is appalling.

Case: I'm trying to set up a nice sneak attack on two bad guys. A few failures: while trying to move into position, they see one of my guys. Or, I realize that the method won't work at all. I finally set up something that I think will work - I have two people stationed near their alarm post with burst-fire weapons (in case they break loose), a sniper ready to take them out from the side, a guy with a spear along their expected escape route, and a burst-fire person and a shotgun person aiming along that route also.

First try: I shoot at them with the sniper (and miss, doh). They go running towards the spear person. My shotgun person takes a shot, and I realize I screwed up the angle, as the burst-fire person takes both barrels in the side.

My shotgun person fires AGAIN.


Second try: move the shotgun person a little (heh, heh). I shoot at them with the sniper and hit this time, but a weak hit. They go running towards the spear person - and right past. I realize I had them set on return fire this time by accident. Yes, that's right, two armed guards just went running two feet past an enemy with a six-foot-long spear, and none of them did anything about it.

Relo - waitamin. They go running towards the alarm. Then turn around and come BACK. Okay, maybe I can shoot them - turn everyone to attack-if-above-33%. They go running up to the spear person, who whacks one of them.

And they turn around again and go running towards the alarm again.

And then when they get halfway there, they turn again and come back, and get whacked again . . .


This AI leaves something to be desired.