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Smart NPCs powered by GPT4 and other AI tech

I stumbled across these videos and it got me thinking... wouldn't it be amazing if AoC could incorporate some of these concepts?

https://youtu.be/QDzNKpeQd-4?si=JvpfIvueRAvZ6YfJ
https://youtu.be/4sCWf2VGdfc?si=F-X_flUfVI807m49pc

It's high time a new MMORPG steps up and nails these features, making them mainstream. I think Intrepid could pull it off. If not for Alpha 2, by one of the Beta's?
Here are some pros and cons of bringing innovative features into MMORPGs:

Pros:
Enhanced Player Engagement: Innovative features can significantly boost player interest and engagement, keeping the game fresh and exciting.
Unique Selling Point: Having unique features can set an MMORPG apart from competitors, attracting players looking for new experiences. Innovation is already one of their biggest strengths.
Community Building: Innovative social or cooperative features can strengthen the game's community, fostering player loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion. This would create a lot of memorable moments.
Longevity: Innovative mechanics can extend the life of the game by continuously providing new content and challenges. Not every conversation would be exactly the same, and therefore, players would need to read or hear out what the NPC is actually saying or asking.
Revenue Growth: Unique and engaging features can increase revenue, as they might attract more players and encourage in-game purchases.

Cons:
Risk of Implementation: Innovative features can be risky to implement, as they might not always be well-received by players or could disrupt the game balance. Not all conversations are the same, and therefore, it could create a variable experience, some with comprehension difficulty, causing players to miss important details.
Development Costs: Researching, developing, and testing new features require significant resources and time, which might be a financial burden.
Technical Challenges: Introducing new features can lead to technical challenges like bugs or server instability, impacting player experience.
Player Resistance: Some players prefer traditional gameplay and might resist or criticize changes, potentially leading to a divided community.
Balancing Issues: Innovative features can create balancing challenges, especially in competitive aspects of the game, which can be difficult to address without upsetting parts of the player base.

What do you think? Is Intrepid up for the challenge? Could AoC really set a new standard by partially or completely adopting these features? Let's hear your thoughts!

Comments

  • NiKrNiKr Member
    If it becomes untied from VAs (or employs them properly), while also being much much much much better than it is now - yeah, that'd be nice to have. Not sure if either of those things will happen before Ashes comes out. Though AI's speed of progress has been quite fast, so who knows.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The time is not yet right, but this is easier to incorporate than one might think, in my experience.

    I wouldn't start the design this way, but Ashes isn't a game where the sort of 'Generic NPC' that benefits from this technology, needs to be added early, either.

    Nodes will probably have a context grid though, and that would really help. Intrepid, if you are considering this and don't already have someone on staff who knows a lot about this, make sure that you have an easy way for Node NPCs to detect certain things about where they are on the grid and build a context schema for distance.

    It's similar to a pathfinding algorithm, so it should be fine.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Certainly smells of feature creep, to me.

    Save it for expansions.



  • NiKr wrote: »
    If it becomes untied from VAs (or employs them properly), while also being much much much much better than it is now - yeah, that'd be nice to have. Not sure if either of those things will happen before Ashes comes out. Though AI's speed of progress has been quite fast, so who knows.

    Agreed, it needs some more time to be better than these examples for full immersion, however, that may be sooner than we expect.
  • Azherae wrote: »
    The time is not yet right, but this is easier to incorporate than one might think, in my experience.
    Very interesting, Azherae. I am curious to hear a little bit more about your experience on this topic.
    I wouldn't start the design this way, but Ashes isn't a game where the sort of 'Generic NPC' that benefits from this technology, needs to be added early, either.
    I imagine any quest-giver who has anything to say could have a context and tags to talk about, and perhaps a narrow focus when they are in need of something urgent to be done for them. Any other townsfolk who have no significant role could talk about their daily life in that town or their profession.
    Nodes will probably have a context grid though, and that would really help. Intrepid, if you are considering this and don't already have someone on staff who knows a lot about this, make sure that you have an easy way for Node NPCs to detect certain things about where they are on the grid and build a context schema for distance.

    It's similar to a pathfinding algorithm, so it should be fine.
    I like that idea, although, I am not very familiar with the grid system you mentioned. On the topic of context schema and distance, it would be nice to hear about other villages/towns/cities and their economies from the vendors (or an NPC who claims to have a relative in that distant town across the sea), and other interesting quests in other towns from relevant NPCs such as guards or officers, as in, a rumor system that you get real-time updates. That would be a major contribution to their otherwise insignificant role.
  • Azherae wrote: »
    The time is not yet right, but this is easier to incorporate than one might think, in my experience.
    That's very interesting, Azherae. I'm curious as to what your experience is on this topic.
    I wouldn't start the design this way, but Ashes isn't a game where the sort of 'Generic NPC' that benefits from this technology, needs to be added early, either.

    Nodes will probably have a context grid though, and that would really help. Intrepid, if you are considering this and don't already have someone on staff who knows a lot about this, make sure that you have an easy way for Node NPCs to detect certain things about where they are on the grid and build a context schema for distance.

    It's similar to a pathfinding algorithm, so it should be fine.

    I'm not very familiar with the grid system you mentioned. However, a context schema for distance brings up some interesting ideas, such as a rumor system that supplements the quest system to add more function to the random NPCs we encounter. Townsfolk who have relatives in other towns could share what they heard about the progress and race distribution in other nodes. Vendors could update us about the prices and what's cheap and expensive based on the most recent caravan from another node. Guards could warn us about a cave with a bear in the local area, or a rumor of a dragon devastating village on a nearby node. The local herbalist could share her knowledge about a specific weed that grows only at night on a certain moonlight, etc.

    Based on a given context and tags, the rumor system could auto-generate scripts and informally spread the news. I'd prefer to receive such rumors in a spontaneously created script by a smart AI rather than a default script that the NPCs keep repeating that we are familiar with from Skyrim or TESO.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Ashes is not planning on incorporating AI innovation.
    Scope creep...
    We're hoping for a release of before 2030.
  • There AI bots in Runescape that most people cant even tell there actualy bots, i personaly think if devs started making there own bots/npcs in games that act like players it could make for a more living/breathing world :p

    Could be something for devs to look into in the future though.
  • GalaturcGalaturc Member
    edited January 18
    Dygz wrote: »
    Ashes is not planning on incorporating AI innovation.
    Scope creep...
    We're hoping for a release of before 2030.

    I like how confidently you put out flat-out false statements.

    "I think there's a lot of opportunity for some of the innovations that's been in the AI sector of game development too to come out in Ashes." – Steven Sharif

    Do you want a more recent reference to this exact topic? Check minute 4:07 below from the December developer update.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5DeC8wIcuM
  • I am all for anything that will give me voiced NPCs. Add Baldurs Gate 3 dialogue skill checks too and I am happy bean.
  • nanfoodlenanfoodle Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    AI will be coming to Alpha 2. Steven's own words from a monthly stream. They will be exploring AI is what was said if I remember right.

    IMO if writers make the story and having AI do the voices in a game like Ashes that was not other wise was not going to have VO over. Is the perfect marriage.

    What I'm not sure I am ready for is letting AI improvise what it's going to say. I have had many conversations with AI and it always gets to a point it clear you are talking to a computer and that can break immersion. For some that won't be a problem but as someone who Role Plays when I MMO, I don't need reminders that the game I'm playing is not my reality.
  • patrick68794patrick68794 Member
    edited January 19
    nanfoodle wrote: »
    AI will be coming to Alpha 2. Steven's own words from a monthly stream. They will be exploring AI is what was said if I remember right.

    IMO if writers make the story and having AI do the voices in a game like Ashes that was not other wise was not going to have VO over. Is the perfect marriage.

    What I'm not sure I am ready for is letting AI improvise what it's going to say. I have had many conversations with AI and it always gets to a point it clear you are talking to a computer and that can break immersion. For some that won't be a problem but as someone who Role Plays when I MMO, I don't need reminders that the game I'm playing is not my reality.

    To be fair pretty much every game studio is researching AI, that doesn't mean it'll make it in to any games anytime soon outside of maybe some AI generated art. He also did not say it will be in Alpha 2. He said they're doing some exploratory work and might have something in Alpha 2 at some point.
  • nanfoodlenanfoodle Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    nanfoodle wrote: »
    AI will be coming to Alpha 2. Steven's own words from a monthly stream. They will be exploring AI is what was said if I remember right.

    IMO if writers make the story and having AI do the voices in a game like Ashes that was not other wise was not going to have VO over. Is the perfect marriage.

    What I'm not sure I am ready for is letting AI improvise what it's going to say. I have had many conversations with AI and it always gets to a point it clear you are talking to a computer and that can break immersion. For some that won't be a problem but as someone who Role Plays when I MMO, I don't need reminders that the game I'm playing is not my reality.

    To be fair pretty much every game studio is researching AI, that doesn't mean it'll make it in to any games anytime soon outside of maybe some AI generated art. He also did not say it will be in Alpha 2. He said they're doing some exploratory work and might have something in Alpha 2 at some point.

    AI is progressing faster then many realize. Publically used AI is at about 150 IQ level but not backed by the wisdom of that flex. AI leaders are predicting that within the next 2-3 years. AI will be about 10 x the IQ of the smartest humans. This was stated about 6 + months ago. You can be sure over the next year, the tools used to make games with AI will be plug and play. We seen what every day people have done with classic WoW.

    Now with AI tools in the hands of Devs will be no different then handing a dev UE5. They will use it in a way that will change gaming. It's a fact. Ashes is already in the right place in development to make a leap and this is the right time for that.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited January 19
    Galaturc wrote: »
    I like how confidently you put out flat-out false statements.

    "I think there's a lot of opportunity for some of the innovations that's been in the AI sector of game development too to come out in Ashes." – Steven Sharif
    The context of my reply is the title of this thread:
    Smart NPCs.
    Ashes is not planning to invest a ton of time incorporating AI to make their NPCs "smart".
    And if they do choose to pursue that scope creep - expect a release date of after 2030.
    Again... already 3 years just between Alpha One and Alpha Two without that degree of scope creep.

    Could depend on what is meant by "smart" though.
    My source is from Jeffrey Bard in the context of StoryBricks - and StoryBricks is my measure of "smart" NPCs.
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