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[Request] AI Skill Settings for believability

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  • [Request] AI Skill Settings for believability

    While we want a challenge, if we wanted to play against Terminators, we'd be playing a "dumb" snap-twitch based videogame that's all about "play and replay this 'impossible game level' many times until you finally beat it by sheer persistence and luck of circumstances" rather than a thinking person's milsim like Arma.

    Plus, and I think others would agree with me on this, it's just plain more fun to play our milsim as the highly trained and better equipped force going against less trained or untrained forces with outdated equipment *but greater numbers*. That condition is essentially the basis behind the game, and it's also inherently more in line with any Co-op game, with players going against AIs, as AIs ultimately aren't as smart as good players so balance requires they have greater numbers anyway.

    With that in mind, even if you want "highly skilled" AIs for extra challenge beyond "greater numbers of AK-wielding people who aren't afraid to die", there's one particular AI Skill setting that I believe deserves special attention by mission developers: aimingSpeed.

    Reference pages:
    SetSkill Command Reference Page
    AI Sub-skills Command Parameters Reference Page
    and the SetSkill command has a note:
    "The value of a sub-skill is interpolated into a range defined in CfgAISkill."
    CfgAISkill Reference Page

    The default CfgAISkill scaling for the aimingSpeed subskill is 0.5 to 1. This means that whatever main SetSkill value is given to the AI unit, that 0 to 1 value range will be mapped to a scaling of 0.5 to 1. Thus, the command

    _NewUnit SetSkill 0.5;

    will map to an aimingSpeed skill value of 0.75 (halfway through the 0.5 to 1 aimingSpeed scaling range).

    It is this scaling that I believe we can improve upon, because an untrained belligerant with an AK should NOT be able to instantaneously aim and shoot you in the head before you even see his avatar move!

    Such behavior by AIs is very unrealistic, and this aimingSpeed scaling was probably scaled up long ago because AI movements and tactics used to be terrible.
    Now, AI movements and tactics are much better, so this aimingSpeed upscaling is both unnecessary and quite possibly the single most annoying thing about AIs, making them fundamentally unrealistic and breaking immersion.

    So my request is that mission developers change the CfgAISkill scaling for aimingSpeed to be much lower, or explicitly use the SetSkill command to force a significantly lower aimingSpeed skill, e.g.:
    _NewUnit SetSkill 0.28;
    _NewUnit SetSkill ["aimingSpeed", 0.18];

    Long ago, after years of developing and testing my Arma maps, I learned that setting AI skill level to higher than about 0.38 makes them Terminators, and this formerly hidden scaling is probably why.

    In recent years I've always forcibly set my AI skill level to a range between 0.18 and 0.38, with most of them around 0.28. I routinely set "aimingSpeed" to a lower value as shown above, and I do believe it makes for much more believable conflicts with AIs and allows for actual gun battles.

    Even if you want the basic skill level higher than 0.28 or 0.38 for whatever reason, my request, based on the above reasoning, is to force the aimingSpeed subskill lower so AIs become much more realistic. The moment they see you should not be the moment you get a bullet in the head - missions should be balanced to NOT rely on that unrealistic aimingSpeed level.

    my two cents,

  • #2
    Thanks Stik. I use Eden Enhance Editor mod which allows you to adjust the nine or so AI attributes using the slide bar. I have found that tweaking their courage, command, spot distance and ?spot speed? in addition too aiming shake affects how quickly and deadly the AI can be. Reload speeed helps prolong firefights slightly and prevents the AI from dumping their ammo in record speed.
    Last edited by DMZ Scout; 11-01-2018, 05:48 PM. Reason: Its spot speed and spot distance. The quicker the see you combined with aiming shake helps avoid getting hit with the intial burst I think. Fleeing to zero and courage to 100%, helps them bum rush you


    • #3
      nice post, sense iv been trying to contribute to mission making this is enjoying to read.

      i can say depending on class, position, i really change the AI accuracy and behavior, for example i always make PKM gunners low accuracy and low spot times (to simulate a hard to handle gun) same goes for snipers i turn the distance and time to spot up but accuracy down in hopes that a player gets to experience that near miss shot as he bounds across a road.

      its all very situational in my mind the reaction times at range vs room to room need to be different. and for best results are tested and set manually

      stick what mission is the AI aiming to fast on? and do we have the setting numbers to show what they are actually at?


      • #4
        Originally posted by sturdy_guns View Post
        stick what mission is the AI aiming to fast on? and do we have the setting numbers to show what they are actually at?
        This has come up a lot over the years, of course. I see it happening on Hearts & Minds (both Altis and Lythium), which is why it was brought to mind again.


        [Edit: and now it only just occurs to me that it's possible that ACE might override such AI skill settings anyway... ???]


        • #5
          hmmmm not sure definitely worth keeping a close eye on< report back if you notice anything else wonky, ill look around also. thanks :)


          • #6
            See intel64gamer's Jack Sparrow Pt 1 event video for an example of crazy AI aimingSpeed, right at the beginning (he and hedgehog both comment about being surprised about it):
            The AI he's aiming at is the first of a group of 3, the first to *just* crest the ridge.
            While intel64gamer and hedgehog are both starting to shoot this AI, as bullets are hitting it in the chest and head, it somehow shoots intel64gamer (requiring bandage and morphine), with its only visible avatar movement being raising its gun from all the way down to a ready position (i.e. not even aimed at intel64gamer yet, best I can tell). I suppose it's *possible* that an AI further down the hill behind this AI has become alerted and fires off a shot at what would have to be intel64gamer's barely visible head over the terrain from down there, but that seems even less likely - the other two in that patrol were apparently taken down by hog in the same moments.
            (I haven't finished watching the video, so for all I know there are other captures in this same vid showing the same crazy aimingSpeed I brought up with this post.)


            • #7
              i saw the video the AI didnt react until fired upon. intel missed the headshot (ill give him flak later lol) and the ai got off one shot before intell fired the second bullet. also the other ai were easily out gunned even tho they were certainly grouped and alerted. ai was definitely targeting intel as intell was the closest and the one who fired the first shot.

              given the ranges of this fight id say this was a proper reaction for the ai, if you make mistakes(missing shots) theres a chance you might have to pay for it.

              but please dont take this as a dismissive post what would you have preferred to see in this engagement?
              genuinely interested for the communitys sake!


              • #8
                Originally posted by sturdy_guns View Post
                what would you have preferred to see in this engagement?
                genuinely interested for the communitys sake!
                It's all good.
                What you're saying is that in the time between intel's missed shot(s) and the ones that hit, the AI had the ability to raise his gun from his hip and fire accurately. That time was very short, and what I'm saying is that that's bogus. It's doubly bogus because I never saw the AI even raise his gun. That's something I've seen a lot in Arma - before the engine can even show them raising their gun, they A) find their target, B) raise their gun, and C) steady their gun, aim, and accurately hit.
                Put yourself in the AI's shoes. You're walking along in a forested area and suddenly bullets are whizzing past your head and maybe even hitting your armor. How long does it take *you* to A) find your target, B) raise your gun, and C) steady your gun, aim, and accurately hit? Realistically, is it the time between incoming bullets, or is it longer? It's longer.
                We (players) don't even do that most of the time, we take cover, like we should, because we know that those ABCs are not in our favor. They should not be in the AIs' favor either. In my opinion, to represent the same confusion and trouble, aimingSpeed should be lowered until they at least animate raising their gun before shooting. Now with ACE, as soon as we're hit, our steadying goes to hell and our vision gets bad, like what happened to intel in that video. Nothing simulates that for the AIs in that moment of the quick draw unless we go out of our way to lower subskills like aimingSpeed. Sure, AIs have other disadvantages, but having them outnumber us is how we compensate for that. In quickdraw situations, this instashoot stuff is too videogamey.
                Again, my opinion.


                • #9
                  i think there is a lot to be said about realism sometimes you get lucky and they miss sometimes you get hit by the first bullet, and thats the way it goes. instant kills happen on occasion. in this case its because of intels poor first shot and proximity to AI.

                  A) aiming speed nonfactor because intel was in front of ai. the ai didnt need to turn to engage.
                  B)firing from the low ready is fast
                  c) accuracy was not a big factor either because of how close intel was. had intel been further the ai would have likly missed.

                  the ABC are always in our favor except for situations like intel was in.

                  anytime you get that close theres a chance they will one shot you.

                  you cant make the AI challenging at close range and at long range, at leaast not at the same time.
                  but that would be a great project for yall scripters. if you could make an AI difficulty based upon proximity to players that would be game changing.

                  i think this engagement is how id like to see firefights. but if getting instant killed becomes too often or if the AI never kill me. thats when we need to change it. so the question is are we at the point or are we still in the middle?


                  • #10
                    I'm not saying I did not want the AI to shoot, and possibly even hit intel like he did, I'm just saying I wanted him to shoot about 1 second later, after seeing the animation. Makes a big difference, at least to me.




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