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Sight and Sound in AI

Original problem/suggestion idea in a forum post by @Balrog21 
This idea was mine, but Balrog21 makes a great starting suggestion about smarter raid bosses and possible ways to make things more interesting.  Credit where credit is due.

I'm not sure how many of you have played Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but there's an interesting element in that game that I think should be added to ALL rpg's - especially MMORPGs:
Sight: Enemies can see you approaching
Sound: Monsters have ears and listening skills... and characters make noise!

In other words, all enemies, bosses, etc, could all have eyes and ears.  It wouldn't be hard for a solo player to sneak up on a sleeping boss... but it'll be pretty darn difficult without a lot of coordination for a 40-man raid team to sneak up on anything.  It would also make hunting and gathering a LOT more interesting.

Eyesight in enemies should be more realistic.  If I was a random NPC hiding out in my dungeon - which probably took me a while to build... or take over - I'd be pretty pissed if a bunch of people started barging in - regardless of the reason!  But typical NPC enemies seem to have a crazy pacifist attitude:

"Oh, there's a ton of people piling in to my room... and they're awkwardly staring at me with armor and weapons... Did they have a key to get in?  Well, perhaps they're just returning one of our lost keys...
Oh boy.  They just killed Bob, Fred, and Steve... I never liked those guys anyway.  Especially Fred.  He always farted in the food crate when he thinks nobody's looking... probably thought he was funny or something.
I wonder if they're friendly?  I better not break their chatter up by approaching them or anything... unless they get in my personal space bubble.  It's a pretty wide bubble of about 20 feet, but they have plenty of room to get by."

Self preservation in animals is a very real thing, too - so I wouldn't mind if a big bad boss decides to take off running - but all mechanics would have to change in the desperation.  But you shouldn't have to wait to finish a fight.  If anything, it might drag a fight across a whole map or potentially run in to other mobs and creatures making the fight more difficult.  If everybody dies somehow, maybe you have to track it down in a new location... but shouldn't be that difficult with 40+ people searching - even if they all weren't Ranger's with a tracking skill.  Or if it's in a cave all by itself?  Why not try and collapse the room and take 'em all out with it?

I know there's the concept of Monster Tokens and whatnot for Node progression and stuff - but imagine how much more amazing and dynamic the world could be if there was the extra element of sight/sound in NPCs (combatants or non-combatants).  City guards could be able to hear invisible rogues sneaking about.  Dogs or pets might start barking if an invisible enemy is near.  Dragons might know if a whole team of people is marching towards its lair.  Rooms with ten enemies in different groups would actually behave like one big group... or not, depending on the interactions.

Anybody else agree or disagree?
I don't mind the occasional really dumb mob.  If there's sheep for wool - by all means, that thing should care about eating grass more than getting a haircut.
I also have no idea how much more coding that would take to add those hooks in to each creature... but then again, it could be fairly simple, too.  I don't know enough about the behind-the-scenes.


  • YAY! Something different for a change! 
  • Of the two easy ways to code that type of percieved reaction and behaviour its the emergent side of it that tends to be a newbie ending job to tweak.the quickest way would be just a fuzzy state machine combining some simple constraints, desires, stimulus and the reaction becomes a lot more unpredictable but seemingly swear. At its simplest level providing an agent with a healthy desire for treasure, and solitude weighted against some level of boredom, declining happiness and noisy interloper shaped snacks individually wrapped in shiny casings. It's quite likely he will behave well and attack you if you all, ignore any kind of taunt mechanics because he's hungry and you have a cheese sandwich slap you informed he dirt using the healer as a does becomes both fun and a nightmare to develop when you try and instill some kind of persistent state so he recognises the last snack is back again  and actually meets you near the door now surprising you all and getting an easy kill... His avarice weightings get thrown out the window as now he has sized that rudimentary knodlegde to start spawn camping everyone until he needs to pee at which point you have one of those hellish close alpha moments trying to figure out how something  with a 20 stat psudeo state machines is now no clipping through the dungeon to slaughter the innocent newly minted adventures like a phantom from the earth when it was in no way designed to.

    So yeah i know sounds like a laugh but it means you are back to designing the encounter more as a story book that's been written and it's a tale being retold.
    This actually happened with a game I was prototyping about 12 years ago. You are left with smoke and mirrors and maybe some randomised variance. Or having 2-3 engineers full time all they do is write more constraints because the boss monster is missing again chasing an NPC wood cutter around the woods all night because a specific series of events has ended up with an unkillable non constant being rock solid top of his hunger saying plan.

    Saying that I would love to work on a game like this making something like that again lol

  • Sooo... why not just put it as a part of the original conditions?
    I know the base c language a "tiny" bit, but doesn't seem as complicated as you're making it.  But what's wrong with a little "story" as far as how creatures act?

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