Game + idea: How to improve to Game +

Note, shamelessly copied from my Discord Text.
I figured, I could, as it is my text…? :stuck_out_tongue:

I THINK, the best way to improve the game to + version is to make the machines more aggressive, more accurate (EDIT: behaviour, not AIM), more aware, and nothing more.
No more armour needed, no more toughness, just those above mentioned.
That would make the machines… hardcore.
I could be wrong, ofc… but that is how I see it.
Might be even possible by tweaking the three above mentioned parts, they might need to even bring back their toughness, as reaction time, aggression and awareness are far more formidable than armour and toughness…


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That may be much more difficult to code. Strapping armour on is probably simple, but changing AI may be hard. I don’t know (not being a coder - I failed my Additional Maths), but I’d guess that. I adore that Dogs try to win the firefight from distance before closing. Hunters lock and run, but need to have something to lock onto. I quite like that - the machines do have their own characteristics. Awareness and detection may be a thing to look at, though the Seekers will find you if you stick around…

Something might be in store in that regard:

Let’s see what’s coming up. Personally I would prefer that they elaborate on existing machines since I would think that designing new machines from scratch is a huge investment in coding resources. So keep tweaking and improving machine behaviour keeping/expanding the levels from proto to FNIX++ making sure that there is suitable adversaries for everybody throughout the game. That said, introduction of new machines eventually to support the story moving forward would be cool.

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But you just cannot keep slapping on armour and add toughness to machines…
Come on…
It would be harder, I imagine, I cannot tell, I am not a coder, but the machine’s essence improvement would do FAR better than AGAIN adding either armour or toughness…
We need something DIFFERENT…
Besides, armour and toughness do not make a machine become more dangerous, just harder to kill.
And with our OP weapons, we need something else entirely…
I firmly believe, that changing the three mentioned parts would do far better, long term…

You too had run in with runners, and they just STARE at you, figuring out WHAT to do…
That is just… wrong… imho…

I fully agree, sir.
A new machine type WAS confirmed.
Let’s see what it’ll be…
Can’t wait to face it and be obliterated by it. :wink:

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I think we must acknowledge that AI is a very tough discipline to understand and master. I would imagine that machine behaviour in the game is implemented using sequential coding. That basically means that you have to code for every conceivable situation the machine might encounter. That is a tremendous coding job.

But that doesn’t really surprise me. They end up in a state that needs a trigger to transition out of. I once caught a hunter stuck in a ditch and it was completely passive while I took it down from 2 meters distance standing right in front of its machine gun. It was trapped in a coding state that it probably has no way to transition out of.

True AI will mimic more neural network-like processing based extremely massive parallel execution. That is very hard - if not impossible - to make a deterministic “programs” for. The need some kind of training and adaptive feedback. Our computational platforms are not optimised for that at all. In my case an AI hunter would have recognized that even though its frame was stuck, it could still move the gun and shot me. That is how a human (neural network) would have acted.

So that is probably why we have taken down thousands of machines instead of having an ongoing cat-and-mouse fight with less that twenty machines in total.


So, Technology in the Eighties, GZ reality:
The machines have various AI systems, based on their function, logical.
Now, here’s what I do not get: Ticks are DAMN smart compared to their 50 times bigger runner counterparts.
which, volume wise, make no sense.
The runner’s size allowes for a bigger AI brain.
Yet… they are truly AD: Atificially DUMB!
Before they figured out what to do, taking often up to TEN seconds?
I simply do not buy that, seeing the other machines…

Now, the GZ reality tech is a wee bizar, still, all machines compared, the runners are the laughing stock when it comes to sheer reaction time…
When you run into a pack of 9 runners, and you’re able to kill 6, and damage a seventh before they wake up?

Sorry… no… bad…
If not only for game balance and immersion alone…

Thoughts, my friend?

I think the ticks job is rather simple. Run at you, jump, run away, zigzag a bit, run at you, jump, run away, zigzag a bit, get depressed, explode. And if it can’t see you, it stops. That is actually quite simple. And usually the tick is alone and and gets all the available processing power.

I’ve seen tanks dropping ticks ending up with a heap of then just beside it, not doing anything at all except waiting to explode. That is not smart at all.

Regarding runners. Yes, I’ve encountered bands of seven or more, where I could snipe the first five without the remaining even noticing it. I guess that machine AI puts a heavy load on the system, so fair fights only occurs when you are on a one-on-one fight with a machine. But let us not forget that even the smart robots of Boston Dynamics would have a hard time doing today, what the runners are doing in GZ. According to Moores Law the number of component integration per area doubles every 18th month. That basically implies that computational effectivity has increased by 2 to the power of (30/1.5) since 1989. Do the math … it’s a big number. So the AI of GZ is doing a lot better than I would have guessed “possible” :wink:

Unless, of course, the AI is based on biology. An then we all know how erratic biological systems can behave :grinning:

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And that is the whole point, ainnit… :wink:
Which is why I suggested to redo the AI…
If only for game balance and immersion.

Note, in the end sequence, AI seems a lot more smart than assumed throughout the game.

Still, slapping on MORE armour and MORE life points?
What do you think of that idea?

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No, I’m with you. Continue to work on the AI. That will keep the game alive. Remember the AI update that added running to the tanks? It might be a minor thing, but it was new and I got a scare. If the machines changes behaviour we’ll have to adapt.

But THEY need to adapt as well, that is what AI is about, to learn, to analyse, to reprogram…
Kill Command.
DAMN fine movie about GZ in the future…

Do you agree, my friend?
About the machines being able to adapt?

Yes. But being a developer myself, I probably tend to think like a developer too. I know that SW has come a long way since I graduated in pre-historic time, but even though my discipline is Hardware, I know a bit about Software too. Namely, code doesn’t write or change itself. Programmers do. So we should probably not expect machines to learn from their mistakes. We must rely on our favourite game developers to modify the algorithms from time to time. And the best way we gamers can facilitate that is to be very specific. We most basically report what we would like a machine to do in a specific situation. Just stating that we want machines to be smarter won’t help the developers to make it happen. That’s what I think anyway :wink:

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Umm, excuse me…
I do not fully agree, with permission.

AI is about software that learns by itself, now, granted, we still need to steer it into direction, but still.
If code is unable to learn, it stops being AI!
Thus… the machines should be capable to learn.

Now, let me explicitly add this to the whole: machines in GZ CANNOT learn in that way, that we do not have the software nor hardware to allow them to.
WE are the ones that define their intellect, WE are the ones that can alter this.
THEY simply, in our reality, cannot.
Imagine how big the game would be if they actually HAD AI…

So, what I mean by them learning is not THEM ACTUALLY LEARNING, but US (Avalanche) altering their behaviour and reaction, SIMULATING their learning capabilities in game…


PS, thank you, buddy, I always appreciated your input.
It’s logical, pragmatical, well explained, awesome!
You’ve always been nice to me, respectful, and I truly appreciate that.
Even though we’re not always on the same page.
Thank you!

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Yes, Avalanche is responsible for altering their behaviour and reaction. Simulating their learning capabilities in game … well, I wouldn’t like to take on that task. Seems to me like a lot to ask from a game. But again, try to be very specific and describe how you would see it implemented with as many case examples as possible. I think that would be valuable input to the developers.


  • Increased reaction speed for Runners primarily
  • Increased spotting range (so sniping from 300 IS detected by machines and reacted upon)

These two would alone by themselves do MIRACLES…
Hell, I can even see a need to lower armour and life for machines if this was implemented.
Since, the sheer THREAT increases a TON by doing this…
Which then in turn would, I think, bring more balance to the game than anything else…

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And that is very specific, and I second that. I do think that the spotting range capability should be dependent on weapon (e.g. sniping rifle with silencer vs. PVG90 without) but I believe that has already been accounted for in behaviour. But when one runner falls, the remaining pack should as a minimum react to that, being alert, perhaps grouping in a defensive formation, and react promptly to the next attack. :+1:

Perhaps bringing machines out of the “idle” state should have higher priority.

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It does not have to be fancy, does it, to get “miracles” going in a game. :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m going to pop something in here. I once came out of a safe-house, a hut on the water and saw a indicator. So I went to have a look. It was a Dog, paddling. It wasn’t doing anything else but paddling. We saw each other about the same time and exchanged fire. It missed me, but I hit it a glancing blow. It turned around and fled at full speed, away across the road, up the slope and disappeared from view at a flat-out gallop, and never came back! I thought about this for hours, and cannot think of any bit of its prgramming that would allow it to take action to get out of fire and stay there… They do odd things sometimes that suggests that there is a random element in the programming. I like that and would like more of it.

Specifics, though: action under fire should be reasonably instantaneous, to take cover or “hard target” (also called "Ballooning), while deciding what to do.

Suppressing fire should be three or four seconds behind that - simply firing in the general direction to distract and discomfort the attacker (me), changing to more accurate fire as they acquire a target.

By all means they should try to win the firefight before advancing out of cover - that is perfectly acceptable (and fun), but when they do, the most dangerous are those who use the ground cover to get close (that’s when I run away in a panic).

A machine shouldn’t stand there and slug it out if they are taking steady fire, but run (as Hunters generally do outside houses). At the moment most machines prioritise using a target lock over any other action. I might think of more later…


Awesome post!

Though, 3 to 4 seconds… that is a hella long time for a machine to react…
Machine speeds (computer speeds) are reasonably faster than that…
I would say 2 seconds TOPS, no longer, to engage the enemy…

But I think, it’s a matter of taste in that regard.

Still, I agree totally, save for the reaction time. :slight_smile:

Should they actually tweak both suggested values, I think, it would bring back the survival game feeling.
The lack of threat basically ruined it for me (from a ROLE PLAY point of view).

I mean: machines ran the island over, killing all life forms bigger than a rat.
Bodies here and there…
Then you, a young inexperienced teen, picks up a gun that should explode in your hand if you fired it, go on and kill uber machines in 10 shots… (HYPERBOLE)
Somehow… it just does not sit right with me…
And not even touching when you co-op with others.
That renders the machines to bread toasters…

Reactions to this, please?

I don’t think so, if the immediate reaction is to run about - three to four seconds running, stop, fire a burst i n the general direction, keep running, stop fire, run. Then stop more for accurate return fire. It might be with a group of dogs or even Hunters that half return fire, while half advance at speed. That would be terrifying! You’d have to ry and target the advancing ones, but you’d be under fire all the time.

Thankfully, their targetting system requires a stable platform, so they have to stop, but general burst fire while running might be possible - after all, they never have to conserve ammunitiom and a firefight would be a continous blizzard of bullets (as indeed it is!). That should be progammable…

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