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[Mechanic: Neutral (heroes) AI intelligence]

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Keverian

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May 7, 2012
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#1
Hi guys,

I have been following this project from quite some time now (including on the older dungeon keeper forum) and i’ve only heard several suggestions about the AI of the neutral heroes. Hereby a new (small) suggestion.

First some information of the idea:

If I am correct the idea of playing on the side of the heroes is off the table. We know they will want to slaughter us underlords quite badly, but not risking their lives to dive in recklessly without a chance of succes would make battling against heroes a more realistic twist. Well, I personally don’t know about you guys, but I wouldn’t attack a fully protected dungeon with two friends knowing they have slaughtered my brethren with much ease before. Knowing that would deffinatly fuel my hate for the underlord, but it wouldn't make me throw away my life. I would train myself (physically and/or mentally), gather a stronger force to take the ultimate revenge on those darn underlords!

Suggestion:
1: Hereby I suggest the heroes having not just a portal, but making them possible to defend and/or even developing an undergrond base with rooms, doors and traps. The strength of these heroes (off, weak, normal, strong, insane, defensive, aggresive) could be adjusted in the game menu’s. Also, some bases might already been set by the map maker(s).

2: Also the way the neutral heroes develop could be by keeping track of a reputation. The more heroes an underlord kills, the more hate the heroes develop for that underlord. By doing so, the heroes could point out a strategic attack to whipe out an underlord while leaving the other(s) alone. The more an hero base starts to hate you, the higher the risk they will send out a strong(er) party upon you. Of course a base/portal, even when it hasn't been developed yet, will always send out some adventures to discover the unholy underground world. If they get attacked and survive by going to an entrance, the development of a base will begin.

3: Their could be more hero bases on a map all acting seperately from each other. Those bases could be affiliated to a village or city on the overworld. A city will, of course, make a more heavily defended base and send out stronger hero parties. When two bases have discovered each other, they might work together to become the best of the underlord(s).

List of differance in cities/villages:

The idea with cities and villages, their differances are mainly in possible strength:

3.1: A city digs out more area for their underground base, making it harder to capture.
3.2: A city sends out more adventurers (because there are more citizens) to gain honor in the dungeons.
3.3: A city will be more agressive into capturing shrines and fighting the underlords.
3.4: Possibly more effects to come.

4: Bases could be drawn to a shrine. Us humans love them, yes! We will do our best to get them on our side and gain the benefits from them too. A dungeon underlord should do their best to keep some holy relics in their possession from us.

5: Bases can be destroyed by destroying their entrances. To be able to do this, you must first gain possession of the squares around the entrance.

6: The bases should be considered an big threat on normal/strong settings when they have been fully developed. Insane should provide an huge challenge to become the best of the heroes. When heroes are low on life, they will try to retreat to a base (unless they really, REALLY hate you) to join the second offence.

7: A lot of heroes might come to the underground. Therefore converting them will only succeed rarely. Eventhough you can gain valuable information from tormenting them by getting insight on your reputation, other underlords reputations, getting undead creatures, etc.

Well... I just wrote some things that were on my mind. I might have forgotten some things, but they deffinatly will be added on later. If you guys have a good suggestion than I will love to hear it, so we can improve this idea. If you guys hate it, than shit! I still would like to hear that too.

Thanks in advance! ;)

Update (thanks to Rhalius and Asmodeus):

Rhalius:
- Heroes are capable to seal portals off (can be reclaimed by an underlord).
- They are drawn to dark temples to make them holy (and most likely gain benefits from it).
- Heroes have prisons to capture minions. This way you must resque them to get them back.
- Heroes have a way of converting your minions.

Asmodeus:
- Updated number 3 in the list to describe cities and villages better.
 
Likes: Amon
Jun 6, 2012
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#2
Your first suggestion has recently been made already. Other than that, I don't think any of this has been discussed - but I'd like to see it happen. All of it. :p
 

Keverian

Warden
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May 7, 2012
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#3
I do remember reading something like an AI managing a base. I got the idea there it was more of just defending the base, not developing one. Anyway, the biggest idea of my intelligent AI is to make sure no game is the same, even on the same level. Thereby you have got to make a smart move trying to avoid a village/city or attempting to plunder it. ;)

Hopefully some more people are wishing to react so that we can 'improve' this suggestion.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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#4
Might be nice if heroes don't just try to destroy evil beings, but also try to purify the entire place a bit.

-Like being able to seal portals off (whatever its sealed with could be broken with attacks.)
-Destroying dark temples and replacing them with a holy shrine.

-Have prisons for your minions. This way they can capture them so you'd need to resque them if you'd want them back.

-Have a way of converting your minions.
Might be nice if some minions could repent for their evil ways and join the forces of good. Can't happen with inheritly evil beings of course, but warlocks, rogues, dragons and other beings that are not evil by nature could be converted to good.
It could perhaps be more through persuasion than torture, in a temple where monks keep persuading them to save their soul.
 

Keverian

Warden
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May 7, 2012
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#5
Rhalius. Sounds like some nice ideas!

I am going on vacation now for a week, so I can't update my post yet with your feedback. I will deffinatly do so when I return

Well for then... Come on people. Share your might knowledge upon us! ;)
 
Jul 7, 2012
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#6
weird there aren't any more reactions on this thread:) I think these are soom very good suggestions, especially the AI setting for heroes. I have to admit I don't know what you mean with cities and villages etc...
 

Keverian

Warden
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May 7, 2012
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#7
The idea with cities and villages, their differances are mainly in possible strength:

1: A city digs out more area for their underground base, making it harder to capture.
2: A city sends out more adventurers (because there are more citizens) to gain honor in the dungeons.
3: A city will be more agressive into capturing shrines and fighting the underlords.
4: Possibly more effects to come.

I have updated my first post with Rhalius feedback and describing the towns/cities better.
 

Keverian

Warden
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May 7, 2012
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#8
Total war?

I suppose that could depent on the map maker and available options.

You could possibly add the option of heroes having workers and whether they will either maintain or developer a base.
Also their could be an option on 'how strong' the heroes will be.

Thereby the host would be provided the option to either minimize the influence of heroes in the game (for example like in dungeon keeper) or decide they will be a real challenge for each keeper in the game. For everyone something!
 
Jul 13, 2012
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#11
I really like these ideas here. I think DK1 and DK2 really were attempting a similar concept but it reverted to very simplistic AI with triggers and scripted events. In DK1, you started seeing heroes with the dungeon heart and rooms (though they never really used them nor did the AI really do much beyond attack). In DK2, they took a step backwards and while there were elaborate castles underground that they were in, they also did not use them.

It would be interesting to see a system like this coupled with comments about plundering the overworld. In areas like you mention that are villages/cities above, they could be working under similar mechanics to an AI Underlord. They would use worker units to build out a castle (amount of workers being dependent on the size of the village/city which controls the rate of the castle being built). As rooms were built, the hero portal or similar device would start attracting heroes from the overworld location (rate being dependent again on size of location but otherwise using a similar attraction to previous games). This portal could be bringing in a myriad of heroes, both inexperienced types that use the facilities to train, share stories at the tavern, etc. and experienced units that immediately start looking for fame and glory outside the confines of the castle.

These castles could have a myriad of objectives as mentioned in the post. Finding Underlords and destroying them, finding shrines and building outposts to secure them, amongst the other suggestions. Different villages/cities could also have animosity amongst themselves and be battling when they meet each other.

If an Underlord attacks these places and wipes them out, they effectively plunder the overworld location (could even have units go through the portal and have them return if they wiped it out). This could be objectives in campaign-like maps, or even the straw that causes a Lord of the Land sort of unit to come down with his elite army to wipe you out. Castles could also revolve around a unit that first enters the area in place of a hero dungeon heart which I found to be....bleh.
 
Likes: Amon
Jun 27, 2012
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#12
best to not have elaborate overworld mechanics, it might be rather distracting.

Maybe the heroes could have a dwarven worker, and dwarves could be a major influence underground for the heroes?
 
Jul 13, 2012
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#13
I wouldn't necessarily consider it elaborate overworld mechanics. Summing it up, heroes would function like Underlords without all the fluff of story behind what was posted above. The difference is AI styles really. All it would take for a map designer, for instance, is marking a hero portal as either a simple hero portal, a village connection, or a city connection, and that's it. The portal would then either act like DK2 bringing scripted units in with a particular task, or begin working like the center of a dungeon with some worker types arriving to expand the hero castle. The raiding overworld could be ignored as you are already wiping out this castle which can be quite enough for plunder.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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#14
Makes sense, it might be a good idea to have different portals, to represent different groups of heroes.
 

Keverian

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May 7, 2012
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#15
Sorry for responding late.

Vaernus: what you say is quite interesting.

1: It would be nice to see such an option for a (neutral) underlord too. Their strength could depend on the map maker and the 'neutral ai settings'. It would be possible to have those weaker (neutral) AI opponents to guard a shrine or portal. You could benefit from destroying them to get the room(s)/shrine, but also by getting some prisoners or information by torture (the chance to convert them would be small as like with their hero counterparts).

2: Also it could be interesting if you beat an hero village/city that you can plunder the overworld. It is the war for the overworld after all. Perhaps you can send in only one worker at each hero portal and gain a random amount of gold, food, blood or a magic box (just some ideas). In this case the hero portal wouldn't be demolished, so it could be possible the heroes/neutral underlord try to rebuild the base after a while.

Either way: I believe the greatest plus with this system is that every match (even on the same map) will play out differantly. Simply because the neutral AI (if you haven't turned the option off) could have a small or a big influence on how the match will be played out. For the underlords there are both ups and downs to either destroy a neutral base, ignore it or digging out a path from the base to an enemy underlord.
 
Aug 5, 2012
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#16
Part of the appeal of the DK games was that the heroes were hapless, that is to say bent on being heroic (destroying evil) that they ran sword drawn and battle cries shouted into the monsters without another thought.
But...
It would be good to see different levels of AI for both heroes and other keepers like using the DD editor. Some heroes would be hapless, some would be strategical, the question is how to bring this to gameplay modes. To have random AI, advancing during the campaign, select AI before the match, select a minimum and maximum level of AI before the match?
As for the size of the towns, it would make sense that the larger towns are more aggresive, also would be nice to see the heroes using their dungeons rather than just defending them like in the DK games.
 
Jul 13, 2012
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#17
Bearing in mind that if I'm understanding Keverian's ideas along with the mechanics to approach like I posted, this would be centered around maps that directly had a village/city above them. If there was a 20 level campaign like in DK1/DK2, I'm sure most of the levels would be similar to previous games where you just have parties of heroes looking for fame, fortune, and fine wine. But if there was some evil underneath of your city, you'd be doing everything in your power to stop them from getting into your homes. And since they are coming at you underground, you have to build solid defenses underground.
 

Blizzard

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Dec 3, 2011
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Behind you
#18
I think this is a great idea
and will most probably mix things up from the space
lock down dungeon train and kill heroes
and will encourage rushing and other strategy
 
Jun 27, 2012
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#19
Maybe behaviour could depend on the type of hero. Knights, kings, princes and such could provide leadership and give direction to other heroes. Killing them would be important to limit the tactics of the heroes.
Some more individual heroes wouldnt rely much on such leaders though, but heroes which represent common soldiers and peasants would.
 
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