This came up in another topic, so I thought I could go a little more in depth with what I think about the situation of the Battleborn Bots right now. Because of the current problems with matchmaking in some regions and some Lore Challenges I think this is a relevant thing. There are also people who just happen to enjoy playing multiplayer modes against bots. It’s a good option to have.
There is a limit to what we can make the Battleborn Bots do because AI calculations can become very taxing, but I think they could be improved in a few ways. Some things might not be fixable but I’ll still point them out.
TL’DR; Overall bots act like they aren’t familiar with the game at all. They are approximately at a level of a total rookie with good aim.**
I’ve ran about a few hours worth of bot matches, mostly on Meltdown and Incursion. Here are some experiences I’ve had with them;
No ability to issue commands to bots - How could this be achieved? With a ping wheel. * Being able to issue simple commands to bots like “Go here” “Attack Target” “Defend” “Need heals” “Capture Thralls” “Retreat” “Need Help” etc. There are a ton of possible commands, so I’ll let the Devs think about it if they decide to add more pings.
General behavior (Role) - First I’ll bring up Mobile and agile characters who, when controlled by a bot, are not mobile or agile. All bots seem to stay rather stationary when attacking. Thorn for example will just stay still and shoot, she’ll only start running if you run away or she is low on health. I’ve seen melees just stand still and hack away until they realize they won’t hit you like that. Then comes my biggest gripe - a Miko that ignores you. They’ll do their buggy bot thing and run past your poor low health arse. You cannot trust a bot support to actually support you.
Skill/Ult Usage - The bots seem to use skills whenever they are off cool-down and they see an enemy, and don’t have any more complex algorithms in place. The Developers have an idea on how a character should be played and how it should perform, so I trust they should have some idea when to use skills. Some basic rules could be set for the bots to follow based on how and when the skills are intended to be used.
The biggest problem are skills that do not (generally) deal direct damage to someone.
For example Ambra and Kleese place down Sunspots and Rifts. They have a health bar which depletes under fire. Bots seem to not care and will place them wherever and whenever.
Another example is Toby, who puts up a shield. He is most powerful standing behind that shield, but has no interest in standing behind it. Galilea also has a territorial skill, but will just pop it down when she engages the enemy but won’t fight inside it’s AoE.*** Or Alternatively, she will stick in the Desecration Field, even when she can’t attack anyone from inside of it.
Pathfinding and Collisions (Or alternatively, Standing still and stressing about The Algorithm and their inevitable demise, probably.) - Sometimes, for whatever reason, bots will just stop in their tracks for extended amounts of time. Especially if there are shards nearby. Saw an Ambra bot stand in front of a shard for a full minute.****
Sometimes they will get stuck on collisions. (Problem with everyone, not just bots) Sometimes they want to jump over something but can’t. That doesn’t mean they’ll stop trying, though.******
They’ll also get stuck running back and forth, like they can’t decide what to do. These problems lead to you being a man down for however long it takes for the AI to sort itself out and get back on track.
Bad prioritization - Bots will attack anything that has a health bar, but have no strategy behind it. They will target players over minions (Which in meltdown is baaad. It’s almost as bad in Incursion.) They seem to target absolutely anything else but the thumper turret that’s wrecking their face. They will target the tank, completely ignoring the healer that is constantly topping off the tank. They will target a random Battleborn far away from them instead of the one that is hacking at their health. They also like to ignore the game objective over other things.
Bots have a death wish - After every kill, they taunt. No matter what. This usually leads to their death. Was it worth it? No, you are a bot. The bot you killed does not care about your taunt. Or do they? I haven’t asked. Currently bots only use their default skins and taunts, and getting to see taunts you don’t yet have used by bots was the only point to them taunting. I’d still like them to taunt, but maybe only when they kill you, the player?
Diving too hard - As long as they have health, they will chase their kill to the ends of the world and beyond.******
Bots do not have loadouts - It’s not a big thing since you can do just fine without gear, but would still be a nice addition. Maybe some preset loadouts for every character (If you want to go the extra mile) or the easier way;pick gear from a random pool with some certain conditions on different classes. (So that they can actually benefit from the gear.)
If you see any errors in my observations, please point them out. I am not able to do extensive testing on specific characters to check how exactly their AI performs!!
*This is something that we need in public matchmaking too.
**This would actually be fine if there were difficulty levels. Beginner, Normal, Advanced and Hardcore. I’ve seen people find the bots that we have now tough while I feel they offer no challenge. So, difficulty levels!
***This is interesting since otherwise bots don’t move around that much.
****Maybe she got pissed and decided to AFK as punishment. The life of a support is a frustrating one.
*****I congratulate their determination. You show that rock, Montana! Ain’t no “mountain” high enough to stop you!
******Can someone tell the bots that if they want Team Deathmatch they should go play capture?
I don’t want to make this too long so I’ll have to compress some points a little. I’ll also probably add more points if I come up with anything. Hope you get what I’m trying to say. You can comment and ask if you feel something was unclear and you want me to elaborate!