The Artificial Intelligence of World of Warcraft

 

I have genuinely been having a great time in World of Warcraft these days, with the new Battleground Brawl called Comp Stomp.

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It takes place in Arathi Basin, and instead of Horde, we now fight Artificial Intelligence opponents.

It has been quite fascinating to participate in since Wednesday, especially since the AI opponents seem to be learning.

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It´s a lot harder than it was just a few days ago;

They now CrowdControl extremely well and their Silence is spot on and chained, They never leave a node undefended.

You cannot just lure them away and kite them around.

Often their Druid and Rogue pair up and stealth around to cap. The same team avoids getting camped, so you cannot just farm them at their graveyard.

They never place themselves to be easily tossed out from the hills of Lumber Mill either.

Their damage input has increased, and as soon as they spot a Healer, they all go for her (Trust me..!)

That being said, it´s not all that difficult, and I won every battle, which made me keep going. Some were close though, with a score around 1400 vs 1500, and some were not, with a score around 800 vs 1500.

It is possible to predict some of their behaviour, but not all.

Some laughs during the Brawl included witnessing the AI opponents acting exactly like players; if they would arrive to a contested point, where the Alliance outnumbered them, they would simply turn around and flee the scene!

 

I´m very curious, where this might lead us in the future.

If there is a faction imbalance, perhaps AI opponents comes to the rescue?

 

I also wonder, how the Horde has experienced the Brawl this week? Are the AI opponents harder to beat than real Alliance players, given the note at the announcements of these at BlizzCon? 😉 (You´re Welcome, Alliance)

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Will we see them in more Battlegrounds soon, such as Alterac Valley?

Unlike Warfronts, which feels a bit “flat” to me, this kind of AI in Arathi Basin seem way more intelligent.

Do not get me wrong, I do like the set up of Warfronts, especially Darkshore; it´s easy for me to engage myself in. And especially as a time-poor player, the fact that it´s a guaranteed win makes me participate, since I generally have stopped playing content, where I can risk walking away half an hour later with nothing.

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I even had a moment in Arathi Highlands, where an enormous wave of NPCs and myself took down a boss all on our own, it was epic!

So these AI opponents are very welcoming for me, in the state they are in right now. One can argue, it´s not real PvP, and that is true, it´s not.

But because we know we can win, and we do, this has been an opportunity for me to…

 

…see Arathi Basin again in its new upgraded version. It looks beautiful.

…gain reputation with The League of Arathor, all the way to Exalted (Working on 100 reputations)

…gather a good amount of Marks of Honor for transmogrification gear

…obtain some of those Captured Insignias as well as Fallen Adventurer´s Journals to hand in at the Darkmoon Faire for Tickets for all the Mounts, Pets and Toys I want

…participate in organised gameplay with friends that I rarely have an opportunity to group with, because I am so time poor (a win can take as little as 10 minutes)

…get items that I can disenchant so I can level my Enchanting and begin on the quest soon

…witness the Alliance winning, for once. Sure, it might be against “easy bots”, as some might argue, but perhaps it sparks a little motivation and belief, that through organising, Alliance can once again win more often in the “real” kind of PvP

…loot fish from the box after each victory, to help me level Cooking

…earn a little extra cash, around 200 gold pr. win

 

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Look at that list!

If there is one thing I like, it´s double bonus results, just like doing Incursion and Emmisary at the same time. Time efficiency is a joy.


 

A part of me worries, though, that AI opponents might end up doing more harm than good, depending on where they will be used, and how much Blizzard intends to use them.

 

Perhaps Artificial Intelligence will be “The New Big Thing” of the next Expansion?

 

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I can see many things, it would be excellent for. Imagine a better escort quest, where the NPC are way more ‘clever’ than today.

Or Scenarios, where Tyrande, Malfurion and Nathanos would fight in a more “real Player vs Player” kind of way, instead of the ‘a-little-bit-awkward manner’, that we are used to?

Or how about the “average mob you have to kill for a Quest Objective” suddenly being able to predict your every move, Silence and Crowd Control you, forcing you to stay sharp throughout the questing experience?

Or new versions of the Mage Tower Challenge?

Time will tell.

 

What do you think, Artificial Intelligence Opponents  in World of Warcraft – good or bad?

 

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Happy day everyone 🙂

29 thoughts on “The Artificial Intelligence of World of Warcraft

  1. Oh … thank you for writing about this, since i ignore anything PVP i didn’t pay attention to this event, 2 days remain, i want mainly to collect transmog, PVP sets looks cooler 🙂

    For AI, i think Blizzard is planning for long-term, trying to push people to enjoy more variety of content, me a casual player will not go against people who are so good at PVP, no chance of winning so why try? more than that in PVP you play with a team, in a raid or a dungeon it’s not a big deal, try again, but losing in PVP feel worst because it’s a waste of time.

    For hardcore PVPers nothing will change, they still have their completions, for casuals? this is more content.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, I am glad you´ll be able to try it out 🙂 Good luck!

      You are very right, that is how I feel about it too. This has been more content for me, indeed. There was a time where I could afford “waste of time” but not today 🙂

      Like

      1. I wasn’t big on needing Proving Grounds Silver to queue for Dungeons in the past either. I figured out what I had to do. What ever changes they make I’ll get by. Until the day they do something that destroys my guild, then I won’t get angry or upset, I will just leave and fill out an exit survey.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I cherish those challenges a lot, I still am searching for that Brawler´s Guild invitation too! But I can relate to it not being for everyone for sure. Oh, they still do exit surveys?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think they do. Maybe random? Not sure. Been a long time since I’ve heard someone mention them.

        Do you still need to have a Brawlers invite? I had one when it first came out. I think they may have done away with needing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I sadly didn’t have any time to check out the new AI battleground (and I probably won’t be able to do so today or tomorrow). Seeing the next will be in July makes me think if we have too many weekly events though, because that’s a damn long waiting time.
    But I’m glad you had fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, gosh, I looked that up earlier this week too, and I thought I was wrong! You are so right, there are far too many weeks between the same Brawl returning. I really had to narrow down myself this week, I stopped doing anything else than this Brawl, because I kept reminding myself, it´s now or like, four months! It might not be the best motivator though. I hope you´ll be able to try it eventually 🙂 Good luck!

      Like

  3. I didn’t try this brawl out. But it seems like a cool idea. Improved ai is a nice step they’ve taken.

    As for how to apply it. With regards to escort quests I’d hope they have the npcs match your character speed one day. Their current in between run and walk speed is very annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes I have noticed that too. There was a time where escorting NPCs would only walk (or sleep, hah), so the implementing of them being able to keep up with you was welcoming, I think! But I agree, this back and forth, no middleground makes it feel “awkward” really. I´m curious to see where this technology will lead 🙂

      Like

  4. It has been an interesting experience. They are very good at spotting some things, like powerups. Faster than the average player at picking those up, in my view. I did some brawls on Horde too, and it felt about the same. I guess the AI is exactly the same. An odd thing I noticed yesterday is that Alliance got the usual “minority bonus” for joining. That might be ok for non-AI battlegrounds, in order to motivate more ally to play. But for this AI brawl? That seems unfair to Horde. Did the Alliance bots also get bonus??? j/k

    I wonder to what extent this is AI, as in learning ability, to adapt and adjust. Maybe the creators have been watching these games and doing adjusting during the week? It may be a impressive arrays of algorithms but it is not necessarily self-improving. It might also be that Blizz is going into the AI (or “AI”) business, and we human players are giving them lots of data for them to improve.

    Yesterday, after ressing at Stables, I stood by flag wondering where to go. Blacksmith was a bit diffuse and I targeted NPCs there to see how many they were. One was already targeting me. Odd. Even more odd, I feigned death, and bot did not lose target. I guess they have macro that if they lose target, they try re-target immediately. Or rather that our “ability” to lose target after it e.g. feign death does not exist in their algorithms.

    I guess there will be smart players that will try trick and fool the bots. I guess Blizz hopes for that too, so they can improve it. Maybe we will see some really funny videos where players with very nice macro-writing skills can do some really funny stuff. An old pet peeve of mine is that macros should not be possible to use in pvp at all. But against bots, it is not really pvp, is it? So tricking bots in a brawl I would not consider cheating. So far, we win anyway.

    As you write it is nice to get a bonus (rep, gold, items etc) when doing an activity. Sort of multi-tasking while doing one task! For me this brawl was for honor and conquest (and curiosity), I don’t need AB rep etc. But it was still a nice, even sort of fascinating experience. And the environment upgrade is very nice!

    One thing with this brawl that was better than usual bg is there were no achievements. Many pvp achievements consists of competing with team mates (e.g. for flags), which is a very stupid design. So more team play, and actually more talk in team than usual, I think. Almost no whining, either. 🙂

    As for AI in other aspects of game, it would be interesting to see. Addon writiers would probably have a harder time, though?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes I noticed that too; It is as if the AI constantly scans the area. They interrupt faster than any player too. That auto target macro thing you describe is most likely the case indeed.

      Yes I believe they have been watching the process of it. Up until today, the Druid and Rogue AI opponents kept going to ST within 1 minute. Every single fight. But just today, it changed around.

      I am sure there is some kind of nut to crack with these though. Like, one could, potentially, keep their Healers busy, without killing them, in a far off spot, so the team has no healing. Just as an example.

      You are so right – I really dislike those “PvP solo achievements” – they ruin the Battlegrounds. Like capping things in Alterac Valley, or Stables, and you have ten people trying to get to the node first. Bad design, as you say.

      Yeah, I imagine there wouldn´t be any AddOns for such unpredictable scenarios!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I too thought it was a lot of fun yea they could do with some more grand strategy thinking but it was a fun change. I would love to see more of this and it might be good as you say to encourage people into game play they generally do not play in.

    The funniest moment for me was when we had taken BS and as Alliance tend to do they abandoned it and I stayed to defend. It wasn’t to long before the rogue/druid combo found me and then 3 others came from no where to help them. I kited for a little bit hoping for back-up but they ultimately cc’d and wrecked me.

    I never got the screen shot because I was laughing so hard for after they wrecked me the enemy feral druid sat and danced over my corpse!! That was the best moment ever! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, you did it too! We should have grouped up 😀 Stealth team ahead! 🙂

      I had no idea the AI opponents would do that, what a brilliant moment 🙂 Sometimes a memorable laugh is worth more than a screenshot. What a hilarious thing to make them do 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Now as a PVP veteran going back to 2006, and playing on the Alliance side, I am well-versed art losing Arathi Basin on a regular basis. In fact, I like to think of Bb stables as my second home. This is a fantastic write-up and it seems incredibly fun. My only worry is that after 13 years of pain at the hands of Horde players if Horde AI starts doing it to me as well. it may be a bridge too far to come back from. Seriously though, it looks really good and has great potential, so, I look forward to seeing where they go with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your input, Rob 🙂 Oh, I feel the same way. These AIs are fun, but please, let them not learn so much that they too will beat the Alliance over and over! Me too 🙂

      Like

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