Does Online Multiplayer Always Make Sense?

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Does Online Multiplayer Always Make Sense?

Yahtzee wonders if we're better off playing offline.

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I'm not into fighting games so I can't really answer but I'm guessing the reason is because it's simply far too hard too program good AI without just making the AI cheat.
Also the ending was cute you sound like my dad when he's talking about ufo's.

Eh, not really. There's a certain element in playing against or with other people online that single player can't capture. If you don't like it, fair enough, but saying that online multilayer has no point? Come on Yahtzee.

I mean, try to make a single player game with nothing but bots and one player that can cause something like that massive 3,000 person EVE online battle to happen.

You know, your point might have made more sense if people didn't have microphones and a friends list.

If you agree to play with a friend who lives at the other end of the country, you both put the same game in and you play together, and you talk the same way you would if they were sitting next to you. When playing with silent, anonymous randoms then sure, they could easily be replaced by bots, but not every interaction occurs that way.

erttheking:
Eh, not really. There's a certain element in playing against or with other people online that single player can't capture. If you don't like it, fair enough, but saying that online multilayer has no point? Come on Yahtzee.

I mean, try to make a single player game with nothing but bots and one player that can cause something like that massive 3,000 person EVE online battle to happen.

He did specify that strategy games are fine and the article is mostly discussing the point of multiplayer in brawlers.

Fighting games have strategy. To imply there is none seems to me to be trolling. And I cannot believe I just signed up to this website (and got my password back in a plaintext email no less, a big security no-no), just to try and address this!

In fighting game's there is mix up. As a player is "waking up" (getting off the ground), they have options; block high, low, try to tech a throw, reversal, back dash, etc. All of which are beaten or lose to another matrix of options (but the player still standing up will have the natural advantage). Playing real people online and you have to adapt to their tendencies in order to win (do they like to do this on my wake up? What are they likely to try next and what is the best option against the two options he is most likely to try?)

You can randomise that with a bot, but it will in no way be the same.

And don't get me started on the AI in fighting games. I have never played a good one! They are all ridiculously easy to read and hence, beat! The only difficult AI's to beat are those where they have an unfair advantage, and that is in no way the same as playing another player using a character of equal (but different) strengths and trying to deconstruct their game to a point where you have them completely read and know what they are going to do before they do (one of the best aspects of fighting games, doing something your opponent thinks is in some way "psychic", when they thought I would never see it coming).

I can use a lot more examples than just wake up options, trying to zone and play footsies with the opponent, etc. etc. But, hopefully the above is enough to shed at least some light on why the entire premise of this article is just flat out wrong!

1. I can potentially play with a much larger pool of people with online multiplayer. Couch co-op is fine and all, but what if my friends are busy or something?

2. My best friend lives in Washington DC, I live in Texas. How the fuck do you suggest we play Borderlands 2 together if not online?

3. Playing against the AI is vastly different from playing against another person. Especially in fighting games.

"The best thing to do" isn't easy to figure out, and for every fighting game people are constantly discovering new techniques and new ways to do things. Then people figure out how to recognize and counter those techniques and the cycle continues. Some of these changes can be quite significant. For example, when Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released Morrigan was considered by almost all players to be close to the bottom of the barrel. However, people discovered new ways to use her and now she is considered one of the best characters. For an AI to imitate a human player, it will constantly have to be updated with all the new techniques and technique counters that are discovered. Even then, it can only play catchup while humans are developing new techniques like "Vale of Mist slows throw tech recovery so DHC into safe super, then guard break". Developing these techniques and then using them on other people, then watching as they develop counters, is why playing with humans will always be more refreshing.

Besides, "do the best move" is true for EVERY game. Figuring out the best move is the hard part.

"It is the duty of the child to point out that the emperor has no clothes," and it is the duty of the banana to point out that non-fattening foods can be tasty, too. Wouldn't you agree, Mr. Yatzee "Banana" Croshaw?

To be honest, understanding something like "fighters involve hitting arrangements of buttons to do certain moves that are good for certain situations" defines that thing enough for you to not say that you are very ignorant. For example, if an alien species were to investigate Earth and find water everywhere, it would not be ignorant for them to guess that the organisms that move, grow, and are filled of liquids on this planet are made of water.

You can always tell the difference between a bot and a human Yahtzee.

"you're against a complete expert who has memorized the most efficient possible move and counter for every situation"

Again, mix up. There is no right answer for every situation. There are options, and experienced players are more likely to pick options that are more likely to produce more favourable outcomes (like setting up a combo), but there is by no means a "I win" button in fighting games that pro players can constantly press to beat up lesser skilled fighting game players who haven't found that one button yet! There are risks/rewards, and the management of what you use and when (such as super meter, or a reversal dragon punch, which can be hugely punished on the way back down if baited with a block).

OK, seriously, I'm done now! XD

Stop liking what I don't like. Good Job Yahtzee.
This was really educational.

Wow. An article where Yahtzee is just plain wrong and uninformed. Usually he has an opinion based on fact but this whole piece is just plain ignorant.

The point is that there is social interaction and creativity in the world of fighting games and co-operative shooters.

Let's start with the fighting game:
The mics and xbox live, psn etc. allow you to have communications with your opponents online. Trash talking is still entertaining (although more risky) when you do so online instead of with your friends locally.

There is also the question of skill and challenge. If I am the best out of my small group of friends (or the only one to like a game) why not have the ability to go online and find a challenge. And no, the AI is useless against skilled players. The AI always falls into a routine and basically can be manipulated into losing. A human being who is skilled will adapt to this.

As for co-op, lets take Left 4 Dead, or Resident Evil 5:
Both games allow you to play alone, split-screen, or online. The problem lies with the bots doing "stupid" things. Sometimes they are as you would call pants-on-head retarded and sometimes they just don't have the ability to follow commands so they waste ammo, get downed/killed or whatnot.

I actually had to get my friend to help with one single checkpoint of Gears of War on Insane. One checkpoint. I had been stuck there for a while and Dom kept getting downed and causing me to die. My friend who had never played a cover shooter, never played an FPS on hard, and didn't really know much about the controls was able to keep Dom from being dumb in one try.

In essence, I don't like shoe-horned competitive multiplayer but co-op is a lot of fun to do with some friends or people who have similar interests.

There is less pleasure in killing a dumb AI who can't think things through beyond a few algorithms and behaviour patterns. With other people, not only are they more receptive, interesting and unpredictable, but there is also a subtle pleasure in knowing that you have bested another person. In other words, AIs don't really play into our competitive spirit. I don't think there is any difference between playing a strategy game like Chess, or a fighting/fps game in terms of feeling this sense of accomplishment. I'm looking at it in terms of pure gameplay - having inane conversations about my initials being BT or the best kinds of Chinese food are a plus.

One thing I found weird with L4D is the bots are sometimes more sane and play safer than most humans.

I love how people keep bringing up examples of shooters and strategy games when Yahtzee directly stated that those are completely fine.

Still, this article reeks of filler. What's the point of opinionating on something you really have no interest in? Yeah I know, it may puzzle you but really the only response you'll get will be basically "because we find it fun". It's kind of what happened with Limbo, which you said was great, but it lost so much steam past the forest that it wasn't worth it.

On the subject of human-like bots, the botprize AI competition has produced two different computer controlled players that seem more human than actual human players. While they only are for UT 2004, it does mean in the future the option is there.

Because I can't get 19 bots to crab walk down long hall.

sonpansatan:
"The best thing to do" isn't easy to figure out, and for every fighting game people are constantly discovering new techniques and new ways to do things. Then people figure out how to recognize and counter those techniques and the cycle continues. Some of these changes can be quite significant. For example, when Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released Morrigan was considered by almost all players to be close to the bottom of the barrel. However, people discovered new ways to use her and now she is considered one of the best characters. For an AI to imitate a human player, it will constantly have to be updated with all the new techniques and technique counters that are discovered. Even then, it can only play catchup while humans are developing new techniques like "Vale of Mist slows throw tech recovery so DHC into safe super, then guard break". Developing these techniques and then using them on other people, then watching as they develop counters, is why playing with humans will always be more refreshing.

Besides, "do the best move" is true for EVERY game. Figuring out the best move is the hard part.

THIS!

What most people don't seem to realise about fighting games is that the developers of fighting games have little real idea of what is good or not until they ship a product and fully test it with a real player base. This is part of the reason why they can't make good AI, and partly why fighting games receive updates past their "vanilla" states, as developers realise that there is a certain combination of moves / strategies in the game that result in certain characters being stronger than intended and having to patch them months or even years after release. The exact same things happen in games like Starcraft when Blizzard realises that a certain build results in a certain push timing that certain races can do little about, so they patch it. However, that tweak affects something not even considered when the first tweak was made and now some other move is overpowered and itself has to be tweaked, and so the cycle continues. Besides which, maybe there is a counter to that strategy, it's just not been worked out yet. Like today, SFxT 2013 was released, and people are calling Guy overpowered. Maybe so. Or maybe players just haven't worked out the counter to his style yet and need to adapt their gameplay. It's this constant evolution in fighting games that keep things interesting, and Fighting game developers would never be able to ship a fighting game with either the "right answer" in any one situation both because they don't know how the game is going to evolve (and probably don't want to spend the time constanltly updating the AI based on where the players take it) , and because there is always a range of options anyway, and not one right answer.

As a quick aside, I know that Capcom did also ship dlc for UMvC3 that had bots that tried to emulate known players playstyles, but i don't know how well these we're received!

This is the WORST article from Yahtzee that I've seen to date. Yahtzee yields that he may be ignorant on the topic, but he is the most ignorant person I've ever heard trying to spew some ridiculous nonsense about something he has no right talking about.

I will never watch or read anything from Yahtzee again because this is about the worst thing I've ever read about video games. This is probably the only thing I've ever read that has actually offended me.

Although it's been a while I's say yes. As a mortal Kombat fan it's hard to find players amongst all the street fighter kiddies let alone good ones. If only the online worked XD

Thujal:
Fighting games have strategy. To imply there is none seems to me to be trolling. And I cannot believe I just signed up to this website (and got my password back in a plaintext email no less, a big security no-no), just to try and address this!

In fighting game's there is mix up. As a player is "waking up" (getting off the ground), they have options; block high, low, try to tech a throw, reversal, back dash, etc. All of which are beaten or lose to another matrix of options (but the player still standing up will have the natural advantage). Playing real people online and you have to adapt to their tendencies in order to win (do they like to do this on my wake up? What are they likely to try next and what is the best option against the two options he is most likely to try?)

You can randomise that with a bot, but it will in no way be the same.

And don't get me started on the AI in fighting games. I have never played a good one! They are all ridiculously easy to read and hence, beat! The only difficult AI's to beat are those where they have an unfair advantage, and that is in no way the same as playing another player using a character of equal (but different) strengths and trying to deconstruct their game to a point where you have them completely read and know what they are going to do before they do (one of the best aspects of fighting games, doing something your opponent thinks is in some way "psychic", when they thought I would never see it coming).

I can use a lot more examples than just wake up options, trying to zone and play footsies with the opponent, etc. etc. But, hopefully the above is enough to shed at least some light on why the entire premise of this article is just flat out wrong!

Thujal:
"you're against a complete expert who has memorized the most efficient possible move and counter for every situation"

Again, mix up. There is no right answer for every situation. There are options, and experienced players are more likely to pick options that are more likely to produce more favourable outcomes (like setting up a combo), but there is by no means a "I win" button in fighting games that pro players can constantly press to beat up lesser skilled fighting game players who haven't found that one button yet! There are risks/rewards, and the management of what you use and when (such as super meter, or a reversal dragon punch, which can be hugely punished on the way back down if baited with a block).

OK, seriously, I'm done now! XD

that was actually one of the points that he was trying to make that if the AI is designed in a good enough way that you can actually make it more difficult then a human. take this for example. If I created a fighting game with a pure learning AI assuming a rule set that only allows for 50 possible moves (yes I know this is a small number)then it is possible for the AI to completely learn each possible action the player can do within approximately 10 fights, and by nature win (no this level of learning is not cheating, but a lot of players think it is) though what actually happens in many fighting games is that they will start to dumb down the learning algorithm, or insert a far higher number of possible outcomes/moves like was done with Dead or Alive they actually introduce a good learning AI, but they dumb it down a bit to make it "fare". what you talk about mostly just boils down to call-response. (yes I know the limitations to an actual learning AI though many people don't) though it is completely possible for an AI to out perform a human, but there have many players would call it unfair. you make some valid points, but you do lack some level of understanding on how AI works, and how AI can mimic a player. in fact Yahtzee is talking about introducing an Alice for a fighting AI which by your attack indicates that you do not understand what that is.

Super Street Fighter 4 actually used a ranking system that pit you against players of your own skill level. I think it had something to do with button presses per minute. I thought it was a pretty good system.

But no, online fighting games aren't missing the point at all. If people just played fighting games to specifically beat *their friends* and no one else, there wouldn't be fighting game tournaments. And if you could *just learn all the reactions* then there wouldn't be player tiers or much of a competition whatsoever. Everyone makes mistakes, and achieving perfection is a nigh impossible goal for any game with a competitive scene. It has to be.

kagecrush:
This is the WORST article from Yahtzee that I've seen to date. Yahtzee yields that he may be ignorant on the topic, but he is the most ignorant person I've ever heard trying to spew some ridiculous nonsense about something he has no right talking about.

I will never watch or read anything from Yahtzee again because this is about the worst thing I've ever read about video games. This is probably the only thing I've ever read that has actually offended me.

I actually feel this way, but to a lesser extent. Not that I'll NEVER watch anything from him again, but to say it's a waste of time? Please. Like others have said, just because you don't like it (Yahtzee), doesn't mean there isn't a point to it. Throw away your hipster glasses Yahtzee.

Yahtzee:
Well, that's my outsider's perspective, and as I say, probably very ignorant.

For once, I totally agree... that was pretty ignorant.

I am not a great example of online gamer (having a PS3 and a slow connection in a 3rd world country doesn't help), but to say fighting games are not complex and therefore could be replaced with fairly straightforward AI is pretty simplistic, and completely inaccurate. Fighting games (also FPS and many other genres too) have dozens of variables and are full of responses to react to them, making decisions on the fly to be organic. Simply put, you can make an AI that presses random buttons (the equivalent or a button-mashing rookie) or an AI that has the best response to every move, but that doesn't provide a meaningful experience.

A perfectly informed AI opponent is not challenging because its good, its challenging because its cheap; and cheap as it is, once you discover his pattern, it can be beaten easily. I have beaten Shao Khan in the hardest difficulty because once you find a move or a sequence that falls out of its programming, you only need to execute it, with minimum skill required. That didn't make me better... Still 4 out of 5 online fights ended with my defeat. MvsC3 tried to move in that direction by having AIs based on famous players to compete with, but those didn't work either... Why? Because decent human players (not even experts) don't stick to a strategy if they see it doesn't work. Human players learn, adapt and constantly try new things. Things that might be suboptimal to the eyes of an expert, but because of that are not easily predictable.

As you said, a middling AI is the hardest challenge for a developer; but middling players constitute 95% of the population of any game, so you better have some decent middling AI programmed. The beauty of it is that, while rookies are similar to each other (based mostly on random button-mashing) and experts are similar to each other (based on acquired, common knowledge), most of us are all middling in different ways. That makes human-to-human competition much more interesting. But, if you play enough with the same couple people, you tend to homogenize the field. You become aware of their favorite tactics and moves, and the end result is that you reach a stalemate (a local maximum). Online playing, even against random people, gives you the chance to improve outside of your comfort zone.

kagecrush:
This is the WORST article from Yahtzee that I've seen to date. Yahtzee yields that he may be ignorant on the topic, but he is the most ignorant person I've ever heard trying to spew some ridiculous nonsense about something he has no right talking about.

I will never watch or read anything from Yahtzee again because this is about the worst thing I've ever read about video games. This is probably the only thing I've ever read that has actually offended me.

how? why? I see words, but you make no actual point. at least his article attempts to spear a conversation, and actually does make some logical conclusions. his statement about not knowing something was a testament of admitting a want to know, and then he attempts to interject a thought process that is actually what many AI programmers would aspire to create.

I see no merit in your post so far.

Heck, while we're bringing up conspiracy theories, have you considered that there's an ulterior motive behind the proliferation of online modes (including the patently pointless ones) in the first place? Like giving people an incentive to keep their consoles connected to the internet so that Microsoft and Sony can monitor everything they do and force unwanted system updates on them.

Also, I was disappointed that Yahtzee the king of cynics missed the most obvious reason that people would want to play a fighting game over the internet rather than in person: That a significant portion of gamers have no friends. >:^D

gardian06:

kagecrush:
This is the WORST article from Yahtzee that I've seen to date. Yahtzee yields that he may be ignorant on the topic, but he is the most ignorant person I've ever heard trying to spew some ridiculous nonsense about something he has no right talking about.

I will never watch or read anything from Yahtzee again because this is about the worst thing I've ever read about video games. This is probably the only thing I've ever read that has actually offended me.

how? why? I see words, but you make no actual point. at least his article attempts to spear a conversation, and actually does make some logical conclusions. his statement about not knowing something was a testament of admitting a want to know, and then he attempts to interject a thought process that is actually what many AI programmers would aspire to create.

I see no merit in your post so far.

I apologize, I'm well aware of the fact that I posted no argument. I believe the other posters (FoolKiller and Thujal) made the same points that I would have made, so I did not see the point of me writing them again.

In terms of genetic algorithms (because we are talking about AI here), you can't improve if your population is the same handful of people. At most, you will reach a local maximum fairly quickly and stick into it. Expanding the population enables it to move to a different (better) local maximum.

gardian06:

Thujal:
Fighting games have strategy. To imply there is none seems to me to be trolling. And I cannot believe I just signed up to this website (and got my password back in a plaintext email no less, a big security no-no), just to try and address this!

In fighting game's there is mix up. As a player is "waking up" (getting off the ground), they have options; block high, low, try to tech a throw, reversal, back dash, etc. All of which are beaten or lose to another matrix of options (but the player still standing up will have the natural advantage). Playing real people online and you have to adapt to their tendencies in order to win (do they like to do this on my wake up? What are they likely to try next and what is the best option against the two options he is most likely to try?)

You can randomise that with a bot, but it will in no way be the same.

And don't get me started on the AI in fighting games. I have never played a good one! They are all ridiculously easy to read and hence, beat! The only difficult AI's to beat are those where they have an unfair advantage, and that is in no way the same as playing another player using a character of equal (but different) strengths and trying to deconstruct their game to a point where you have them completely read and know what they are going to do before they do (one of the best aspects of fighting games, doing something your opponent thinks is in some way "psychic", when they thought I would never see it coming).

I can use a lot more examples than just wake up options, trying to zone and play footsies with the opponent, etc. etc. But, hopefully the above is enough to shed at least some light on why the entire premise of this article is just flat out wrong!

Thujal:
"you're against a complete expert who has memorized the most efficient possible move and counter for every situation"

Again, mix up. There is no right answer for every situation. There are options, and experienced players are more likely to pick options that are more likely to produce more favourable outcomes (like setting up a combo), but there is by no means a "I win" button in fighting games that pro players can constantly press to beat up lesser skilled fighting game players who haven't found that one button yet! There are risks/rewards, and the management of what you use and when (such as super meter, or a reversal dragon punch, which can be hugely punished on the way back down if baited with a block).

OK, seriously, I'm done now! XD

that was actually one of the points that he was trying to make that if the AI is designed in a good enough way that you can actually make it more difficult then a human. take this for example. If I created a fighting game with a pure learning AI assuming a rule set that only allows for 50 possible moves (yes I know this is a small number)then it is possible for the AI to completely learn each possible action the player can do within approximately 10 fights, and by nature win (no this level of learning is not cheating, but a lot of players think it is) though what actually happens in many fighting games is that they will start to dumb down the learning algorithm, or insert a far higher number of possible outcomes/moves like was done with Dead or Alive they actually introduce a good learning AI, but they dumb it down a bit to make it "fare". what you talk about mostly just boils down to call-response. (yes I know the limitations to an actual learning AI though many people don't) though it is completely possible for an AI to out perform a human, but there have many players would call it unfair. you make some valid points, but you do lack some level of understanding on how AI works, and how AI can mimic a player. in fact Yahtzee is talking about introducing an Alice for a fighting AI which by your attack indicates that you do not understand what that is.

I think his attacks hold well. I think the main problem with Yahtzee's argument is that he greatly underestimates the variables involved in a fairly well designed fighting game, with several levels of recursivity; to the point that creating a deterministic expert AI is not feasible.

For any unexperienced player, any fighting game AI is an advanced Alice; but for someone more experienced, most fighting games AI are deterministic (and for an extremely experienced player, most AI are too predictable)... But human players are not that predictable, specially when they are not known. You can fool some people so that a machine passes the test of Turing of fighting games, but that becomes increasingly more difficult the higher the level of the opponent, because he is more aware of the variables. In your analogy, an Alice would be pretty impressive to a 4 years old, since he doesn't have enough mastery of the language to really challenge her, but it would be a lot less impressive to a 12, 15 or 20 years old, because they can construct phrases that she can't respond to. Add to that the fact a fighting game AI needs to answer in the span of miliseconds and it will likely fail the test even against a medium level player.

If that's true then they're doing a lousy job of satisfying this market of 1.

gardian06:
that was actually one of the points that he was trying to make that if the AI is designed in a good enough way that you can actually make it more difficult then a human. take this for example. If I created a fighting game with a pure learning AI assuming a rule set that only allows for 50 possible moves (yes I know this is a small number)then it is possible for the AI to completely learn each possible action the player can do within approximately 10 fights, and by nature win (no this level of learning is not cheating, but a lot of players think it is)

It's a bit more complicated than that, though it depends on the game.

Third Strike? Sure, write a bot that parries and techs everything, win the game.

Other games, things get more complicated than that. If your AI is set to be able to autoblock every attack, there are some moves that deal damage even when blocked, so just blocking forever won't work. If they attack, the opponent can counterattack certain moves, so they's be restricted to only using moves that they know can't be counter-attacked, which can be a small list and limits their offense. Also, there are certain moves that can't be blocked or teched, and they'd have to know all the possible ways the opponent can set up situations where they find themselves on the wrong end of that move.

In addition, the timing of the move, the relative position when the move is initiated, how much Super meter the opponent has when making the move, are all major factors on how to respond. If you're playing a game like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, you have to factor in the possibility of assists (10,584 possible assist combinations per character) team synergy (19,600 possible teams, with six different ways each team can be ordered) and very creative uses of game mechanics.

Is it possible? Probably, but it's not very easy.

Edit: Here's a more concrete, though extreme, example from UMVC3. Iron Fist has a Super with 2 Frames of Pre-flash. Storm has a Super with 2 Frames of Post-Flash. So if Iron Fist is first and Storm is second, they have two bars of Super Meter, and they do a team super, then then two frames will pass, there will be the super flash, then two frames later Hailstorm will come out. Hailstorm hits almost the entire screen.

Now what does the AI do? It knows that anything it does that leaves it vulnerable for more than 4 frames (1/15 of a second) can potentially be punished, and that involves most of its moves. The only way for it to guarantee its safety is to not take any risks, but without any risks it has no chance of winning. However, if it always takes the "best" move then it becomes predictable, and that's suicide.

hermes200:
... to the point that creating a deterministic expert AI is not feasible.

I totally agree with this. That's the central argument in Yahtzee's text: if everyone playing a game can be fooled by an AI into thinking they're playing against a human, then multiplayer is pointless. *IF* this were true, *THEN* all the rest of his points would seem to stand.
*BUT* it is not; he very clearly overestimated what AIs can do (or what AIs we can reasonably make now). I think it's an honest mistake for someone admittedly uninformed and distant from the topic at hand. As a professional, he should've just avoided it, maybe.

Whenever I play CoOp games, I put my Headset on, start Ventrilo and hit up a few friends if they have time. It's a lot more complicated to make up a time and meet at someone's house instead, especially if you're far apart.
For instance I played Resident Evil 5 that way, and what would have likely been a rather uneventful and shitty game turned to fun. Same with other games like FEAR 3, Serious Sam 3 or games like Hunted: Demon's Forge.

I think the issue here is that at heart, Yahtzee is a console peasant and doesn't have these Options.

I wouldn't know about Fighting games since they aren't my cup of tea, but I guess it would be the same as in other games. Playing against Bots that are either too easy or too hard (and always do the same thing, since they don't have a human-decision-simulation-processor) is really lame. And it's always great to know you've just ruined someone else's day by beating/shooting them 5-10x in a row, even if you don't hear them screaming at you.

srpilha:

hermes200:
... to the point that creating a deterministic expert AI is not feasible.

I totally agree with this. That's the central argument in Yahtzee's text: if everyone playing a game can be fooled by an AI into thinking they're playing against a human, then multiplayer is pointless. *IF* this were true, *THEN* all the rest of his points would seem to stand.
*BUT* it is not; he very clearly overestimated what AIs can do (or what AIs we can reasonably make now). I think it's an honest mistake for someone admittedly uninformed and distant from the topic at hand. As a professional, he should've just avoided it, maybe.

There is also the fact that fighting games are build around competition with friends (even those that live on the other side of the country) and very little attention is given to the single player campaign; so having some PR said: "We removed online support because we focused our resources into making a kick-ass AI. Who wants to compete with other people when the arcade is fairly decent?" would be a dead sentence for the game.

And, as a developer, I know a decent online support is much easier to build than a kick-ass AI.

Hehehe, funny as always.
You know what though? I've always liked good bots way better than humans that I couldn't slap in the face after a match, in shooters too.

Unreal, Unreal Tournament etc. were just BLASTS to play against the AI, just as much as with 4 bots and a friend on my second PC (yeah, that was long before broadband).
Mind you the play with friends always ended up being just for laughs, just using the Redeemer cam and sniping.

My wish: EVERY game with co-op and online multiplay would offer the exact same modes, maps and thus experience with offline bots. It's easy; there's 99% already AI in extremely cut down singleplayer anyway.
Would make playing for a long time much more appealing, even if no community forms and the DAMN publisher drops the servers after a few months.
But obviously this would make you buy less games and cut down on the money XBOX Live etc. makes.

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