Cheating AI

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Have you ever faced a computer oppenent that you could swear was playing by a different set of rules or knew what moves you were making? I have. I'd decided to break out my dad's copy of Starcraft, and oh my god does the AI in a custom match cheat or at the very least, has an unfair advantage.

The way me and my RTS ethusiest friend figured this out was after a few matches. From the camera angle I thought that there was only one way into my base, which I had fortified with bunkers and missle turrets. Infortunately there was a small path from behind some raised land that the Zerg poured though first try, they never saw the defenses I had set up.
What also raised a few hairs was when I was playing on crystalysis, I was never attacked and made a shitload of defenses, when I roll into the enemy base I see they didn't set a damn thing up aside from the Zerg equivilent to a barracks, because the crystals blocking the path didn't trigger them to make air based units they were simply harvesting resources.
But the worst example came from my latest game. I decided to fight Terrans this time, I had a slight problem with a marine rush when my defences weren't up, but I got my bunkers up. Unfortunately, the AI was aware I haden't build any detectors for some reason (seriously, I haden't been attacked in a good long while) and I kept getting nuked by his fucking ghost. I eventually rage quit when I realized how the game itself helps the AI.

For starters you can only select 12 units at a time and to my knowledge you cannot hotkey different groups, this makes it difficult to use large armies as a human, but the computer shows no issue with controlling large groups. Second of all is the way the computer can do multiple things (IE set up buildings) in what a human could call a single click. Finally it's the way they can use builders, they can set them on different resource nodes in again, a single click. It seems to me that Starcraft was successful for it's multiplayer because the two players have at least the same capabilities as one another.

So what AI in what game to you seems to be cheating or has an advantage a human has no chance of replicating?

Whoo, boy, Starcraft...yeah. I think the AI doesn't cheat per se, it's just able to do 100-ish APM with a high degree of precision and almost no thinking time. In short, yes, cheating.

But as for my worst, I'd definitely nominate Worms. The enemy can pull of shots that should be impossible for any human. sometimes it manages to get a bazooka through a gap that's smaller than in. By using the wind to guide the projectile. Oh, and then hits your worm square in the body for maximum damage. But the bazookas are somewhat easy, they totally mock you with grenades. Bazookas miss occasionally, or at least don't inflict maximum damage, grenades almost exclusively do full damage when the AI is using them. To make it worse, the slimy bastards set up the timer and the throw so the grenade would explode exactly before it hits your worm, even if it had to ricochet one or three times beforehand. The AI is actively trolling with those shots. They suck with pretty much everything else but damn the bazooka and the grenade.

Also, Heroes 3. The AI is a cheating bastard it is. At least it's slightly more manageable...until you are hit with an army that you simply cannot counter even had you had awesome resource influx from the beginning.

In my opinion, it's only okay for the AI to be better if the game admits it. It's okay for a thousand-man army to crush you (everyone likes a good challenge), but not for them to claim that they were just one guy who out-witted you with cleverness and intelligence.

The rubberbanding in Mario Kart immediately comes to mind. Fucking cheating bastards.

aattss:
In my opinion, it's only okay for the AI to be better if the game admits it. It's okay for a thousand-man army to crush you (everyone likes a good challenge), but not for them to claim that they were just one guy who out-witted you with cleverness and intelligence.

You know I think the lead designer of Dawn of War had a contradictory opinion (I'm not saying it's better) were he believed it was absolutely necessary for the computer to cheat to give the player a decent challenge, but you can never let the player find out or for it to be too obvious as that shatters the illusion of the system.

The Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic series are both renowned for their cheatin' ways on higher difficulty levels. Heroes doesn't even try to be subtle about it, it's all "because fuck you, that's why" before conjuring units out of thin air.

Speaking of Civilization, Civ5 is free to play on Steam this upcoming weekend and 75% off to buy if you want it thereafter. It's an imperfect game, but still quite compelling, and with the mods and the upcoming expansion pack has a lot of potential to improve by leaps and bounds.

Hazy992:
The rubberbanding in Mario Kart immediately comes to mind. Fucking cheating bastards.

Hoo boy Mario Kart is probably the cheatiest series I've ever played.MK64 was probably the worst offender

MetalDooley:

Hazy992:
The rubberbanding in Mario Kart immediately comes to mind. Fucking cheating bastards.

Hoo boy Mario Kart is probably the cheatiest series I've ever played.MK64 was probably the worst offender

Have you played Modnation Racers? Fucking hell, that is one cheating ass game!

Hazy992:

MetalDooley:

Hazy992:
The rubberbanding in Mario Kart immediately comes to mind. Fucking cheating bastards.

Hoo boy Mario Kart is probably the cheatiest series I've ever played.MK64 was probably the worst offender

Have you played Modnation Racers? Fucking hell, that is one cheating ass game!

Nah I don't have a PS3 so never played it.Sounds like cheating AI is a recurring thing with Kart racers though.I wonder if the recent Sonic one was as bad

MetalDooley:

Hazy992:

MetalDooley:

Hoo boy Mario Kart is probably the cheatiest series I've ever played.MK64 was probably the worst offender

Have you played Modnation Racers? Fucking hell, that is one cheating ass game!

Nah I don't have a PS3 so never played it.Sounds like cheating AI is a recurring thing with Kart racers though.I wonder if the recent Sonic one was as bad

Probably was. Like you said, cheating AI seems to be a part of kart racers

370999:

You know I think the lead designer of Dawn of War had a contradictory opinion (I'm not saying it's better) were he believed it was absolutely necessary for the computer to cheat to give the player a decent challenge, but you can never let the player find out or for it to be too obvious as that shatters the illusion of the system.

The problem is that the illusion always shatters one way or the other. Especially in a game like Dawn of War II where it's relatively easy to keep track of who should have how many resources at a given time.

Also when the enemy is rolling a fresh tank into your base just as you manage to take out the previous one it's pretty obvious

Hazy992:
Probably was. Like you said, cheating AI seems to be a part of kart racers

It's not just kart racers. Many racers seem to have cheating AI. It's virtually impossible to separate yourself from the pack.

Back on the GBA, Eternal Duelist Soul's AI NEVER attacked a face-down monster with more defense than their monster's attack... Never. I love how improved Yu-Gi-Oh AI has gotten.

Then there's King of Fighters 94 and 95, both of which have some of the most outrageously cheating perfect-play AI I have ever fought ON THE LOWEST DIFFICULTY! They can dodge your attacks with perfect accuracy, their timing for the brief second you're vulnerable is pixel-precise, and they never have to input the moves like you do. It is absolute bullshit. I have NEVER seen any fighting game cheat as badly as this. King of Fighters 96 was where the series became good.

BloatedGuppy:

Hazy992:
Probably was. Like you said, cheating AI seems to be a part of kart racers

It's not just kart racers. Many racers seem to have cheating AI. It's virtually impossible to separate yourself from the pack.

Annoying isn't it? No matter how skilled you are you can't pull away. Doesn't make any sense

In the Pokemon subway, they get to a point to where they KNOW every move you make

Need for Speed Carbon and GRID.

Wasn't so much "rubberbanding" as it was just a fucking tether to your rear bumper...

I've got an old, old game from way back when on the NES: RC Pro-Am. It was a racing game, four cars in 4 colors(Red, Blue, Green, and Orange, with you as Red).

Every so often though, particularly the better you were doing the earlier it happened, the orange car would suddenly take off at about 3 or 4 times speed. If you did not shoot it with a missile, it was impossible to catch. The best you could get was second place, and the car, once it started doing its hyperspeed trick, did it on every track thereafter.

The worst I find is when you have to play games of luck like black jack or Poker in games like Red Dead or New Vegas. I swear those bastards have x-ray vision or something.

BloatedGuppy:
Speaking of Civilization, Civ5 is free to play on Steam this upcoming weekend and 75% off to buy if you want it thereafter. It's an imperfect game, but still quite compelling, and with the mods and the upcoming expansion pack has a lot of potential to improve by leaps and bounds.

Let's imagine that there is somebody who has no experience with the Civilisation series aside from briefly playing Civ 1 (or maybe 2) where they managed to research the alphabet right before they were roflstomped over. Let's assume that this theoretical somebody is, however, interested in getting into the series. For the sake of it being easier to communicate, let's call our hypothetical, fictional somebody "DoPo", because that's the first name that comes to mind for some reason. So, would you recommend this person getting Civ 5 (especially since it's 75% off) or would DoPo better go for Civ 4 or maybe both?

OT: I just remembered - Mortal Kombat 4. Damn, that AI. If you go next to an opponent and press grab, there is a good chance that they would use a grab on you. Even if they are on the ground or whatever. Especially evil if fighting Goro - his grabs drain about a quarter or a third of your health.

DoPo:
Let's imagine that there is somebody who has no experience with the Civilisation series aside from briefly playing Civ 1 (or maybe 2) where they managed to research the alphabet right before they were roflstomped over. Let's assume that this theoretical somebody is, however, interested in getting into the series. For the sake of it being easier to communicate, let's call our hypothetical, fictional somebody "DoPo", because that's the first name that comes to mind for some reason. So, would you recommend this person getting Civ 5 (especially since it's 75% off) or would DoPo better go for Civ 4 or maybe both?

OT: I just remembered - Mortal Kombat 4. Damn, that AI. If you go next to an opponent and press grab, there is a good chance that they would use a grab on you. Even if they are on the ground or whatever. Especially evil if fighting Goro - his grabs drain about a quarter or a third of your health.

Civ 4 is the more complete and feature rich game, is cheaper, and has better balance and overall flow of game play.

Civ 5 is (much) prettier, more intuitive/easy to pick up, has more integrated mod support, and replaces the extremely annoying "uberstack" combat system with the troubled but more promising "one unit per hex" system.

Civ 5 has the expansion on the way and lots of DLC, and with mods and patches will likely be steadily improving for some time yet. Civ 4 is now more or less a static product outside of mods.

Civ 4 is cheaper (mitigated somewhat by the Steam sale, but Civ 5's expansion won't be inexpensive).

Pick your poison!

BloatedGuppy:

Hazy992:
Probably was. Like you said, cheating AI seems to be a part of kart racers

It's not just kart racers. Many racers seem to have cheating AI. It's virtually impossible to separate yourself from the pack.

Rubberbanding, and massive precision. Most of the AI drive flawlessly, even taking the exact same racing lines >_<

The best racing games are the ones that have the aI making mistakes too :P

OT: The AI in mortal kombat 3 on DS. Not sure about the otiginal but on this one the opponants actively read the buttons you pressed, and then countered them. Not fun >_<

Or some the sims in perfect dark, the ones that know exactly where you spawn and actively get there a second later >_<

BloatedGuppy:
-snip-

Cool, I'm leaning toward Civilisations 4, in that case. Perhaps I'll pick up Civ 5 in the future with some DLC/expansions on top.

Thanks, for that, I appreciate the help.

AI is just a set of instructions, if the designer know the game well enough, he/she can program a perfect AI. To get a real good AI is to design it like a player, the more akin to a human player, the better the AI. AI needs to make mistakes. Usually it is in line with difficulty settings, the less difficulty, the more mistakes an AI is going to make. Sometimes though AI is part of the game design. Guard walking in particular routes is prime example. Player studying the route is part of the game puzzle solving experience.

Well I felt in the game Time Splitter 2, the ai character Jared Slim had killed me far more than any of other characters and no I'm not bad in the game multiplayer mode.

Hazy992:
The rubberbanding in Mario Kart immediately comes to mind. Fucking cheating bastards.

definitely, especially when some fat fuck flies by you in the shittiest kart WHILE you have golden mushroom being spammed...i mean WTF?!?!?

I hate that game sometimes dearly.

Also I would add any RTS game where they magically have unlimited resources and can build faster than light. I tried playing empire earth on god mode and i had a cheat revealing the whole map, the AI, from scratch starting on caveman era, had a full city with science labs and libraries within 2 minutes, while I hadn't even built a barracks yet..

THE FUCK?

also,

daveman247:

BloatedGuppy:

Hazy992:
Probably was. Like you said, cheating AI seems to be a part of kart racers

It's not just kart racers. Many racers seem to have cheating AI. It's virtually impossible to separate yourself from the pack.

Rubberbanding, and massive precision. Most of the AI drive flawlessly, even taking the exact same racing lines >_<

The best racing games are the ones that have the aI making mistakes too :P

OT: The AI in mortal kombat 3 on DS. Not sure about the otiginal but on this one the opponants actively read the buttons you pressed, and then countered them. Not fun >_<

Or some the sims in perfect dark, the ones that know exactly where you spawn and actively get there a second later >_<

sweet jesus..i remember playing against motaro, that BASTARD. fucking dickhead of cheapness with how much damage he does and his range AND he can teleport

case and point:

^this guy is pretty good at it too

Pretty much every fighting game: the AI knows every single move and then can respond in a fraction of a second to whatever move you throw at it. A real clear example of cheating bastard AI though are the final opponents of Arcade mode -- I'm thinking Alpha 159 in Dead or Alive 4, for instance; her moveset consists of: combos that juggle you for 12 hits, teleportation and a grapple move that takes off 50% of your health.

gmaverick019:
snip

Yeah it didnt help i was still learning the game, and was just getting mercilessly beaten down XD

I never made it passed motaro ;_;

Even the bosses in the latest mortal kombat game are cheap as hell, spamming unblockable moves and stuff. Still an improvement though.

DoPo:

BloatedGuppy:
Speaking of Civilization, Civ5 is free to play on Steam this upcoming weekend and 75% off to buy if you want it thereafter. It's an imperfect game, but still quite compelling, and with the mods and the upcoming expansion pack has a lot of potential to improve by leaps and bounds.

Let's imagine that there is somebody who has no experience with the Civilisation series aside from briefly playing Civ 1 (or maybe 2) where they managed to research the alphabet right before they were roflstomped over. Let's assume that this theoretical somebody is, however, interested in getting into the series. For the sake of it being easier to communicate, let's call our hypothetical, fictional somebody "DoPo", because that's the first name that comes to mind for some reason. So, would you recommend this person getting Civ 5 (especially since it's 75% off) or would DoPo better go for Civ 4 or maybe both?

From someone who doesn't like Civilization V much, I wold still recommend Civilization V. It's a little easier to get into, it looks better, and there are less rules to memorize. Civ IV is more suitable for enthusiasts. The AI in Civ IV can feel brutal at times, it plays a little like humans would play in multiplayer which can result in some very short aggressive games. If you like Civ V and decide you want more, I can wholeheartedly recommend Civ IV.

---

Back on topic. I usually distinguish between the AI cheating and the AI getting an advantage because it sucks. And lets face it almost all AI's suck at playing the game. Cheating is if the rules suddenly change because the AI is losing, thats a pretty rare thing to see. But it happens sometimes, racing games are probably the main offenders.

I think the best way to give an AI an advantage, is to let the player know what advantages the AI gets and stick to it. Then it just feels like playing with a certain set of house rules.

In Starcraft I would guess that the AI can be so effecient especially at the macro game, that it is deliberately made to play rubbish on lower difficulties. I see it more as a training tool for multiplayer. The AI seems to send different types of waves against the player and act as randomly as possible. I don't think its cheating, but I don't know for sure.

Yup last bosses in fighting games are terrible cheats sometimes you get a fun one but thats a rare occasion unfortunately. As mentioned the rubber banding on racing games is obviously a load of crap ,RTS games also like to cheat as well. In fact I would say that on harder settings any game vs the comp odds are the AI will cheat simply because it is the only way it can compete against someone who has learnt the game well.

The worst is when the AI cheats right in front of you blatantly changing an established rule simply to do you over i.e random hyper armour/invincibilty for bosses of fighting games comes to mind you think their open so counter attack but oh ho ho ho no they are invincible now and moreover you are now open be prepared to feel the pain of the ridiculously powerful and annoyingly long combo the boss will punish you with (this isnt always the case but it feels like it happens enough to be annoying).

Its lazy development that leads to this.

One of the worst examples I know of is Civ 5. The computer gets insane bonuses starting from level 5 difficulty.

At the least, the game makes no secret of this, but in a game where the CPU gets benefits at all times...to just pile on more and more as a way to increase difficulty just seems lazy.

The CPU should have to play by the same rules, just improve its decision making instead.

The intermediate bots in LoL are given full items for their build at specific times (if they're behind.) They also have a massively increased gold trickle, sporadic ability to see you when you're in brush, perfect map awareness, and superhuman reaction time.

And even with all that, they're still hilariously easy to stomp. :V

Civilization revolution on the console is flat out ridiculous on its highest difficulty setting.

i cant count the amount of times i would have a few squares out of my boundaries with no way in without my navy seeing, then having an aztec or roman stack of unfair size and strength appear out the thin air.

and yes, any RTS at high difficulty bots are just cheating... don't get me started on T59 zergling rush from kane's wrath...the disintegraters...

Nascar '08 the 360 version. in any given race the highest speed you yourself can achieve is 215. on veteran mode, the highest speed the ai is allowed to reach is 250. wtf.

honorable mention to Mario Kart 64

One of the funniest examples I can think of is when I was playing Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge. I was doing a simple skirmish against the AI and had a tight base set up with the AI on the other side of the map. Then all of a sudden enemy Prism Towers started popping up right outside my base. Now because I had such awesome defenses set up they didn't last more then 3 seconds before being blown to bits, but anyone who's played Red Alert 2 knows that you're not supposed to be able to do that. ...unless you're the AI apparently. So yeah naturally my reaction was "WTF??"

Zenn3k:
Its lazy development that leads to this.

One of the worst examples I know of is Civ 5. The computer gets insane bonuses starting from level 5 difficulty.

At the least, the game makes no secret of this, but in a game where the CPU gets benefits at all times...to just pile on more and more as a way to increase difficulty just seems lazy.

The CPU should have to play by the same rules, just improve its decision making instead.

The AI actually gets insane bonuses at every difficulty level. It almost completely ignores happiness, for example, leading to infinite city spam. But cheating AI is such a long standing Civ tradition it's almost a game within the game figuring out the ways in which the AI is boning you.

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