Author Topic: AI Power in Antagonist Mode  (Read 9371 times)

Level9Drow

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AI Power in Antagonist Mode
on: April 30, 2018, 10:17:41 PM
This is a very strange thing I noticed the other day. I was "playing" antagonists on the second map of the Hedes Betrayal campaign, I forgot what the name was (it was the one that you are on the 5th Council sky base going after Schnieder and countering his hacking)

Now many of you know that I'm not the most "active" antagonist, I'll admit, that I often don't even spawn, I am just there for the affinity and don't want the head ache of false expectation and failure, but I digress... I had a freind who I normally group with show up there along with a very prominent high level player who I won't name. And I was watching them and they were getting slaughtered by the AI. I didn't do a thing. I asked him in chat what was going on and why were they having a hard time. He replied saying the AI were melee attacking for 150 damage and killing them very quickly with gunfire. I noticed this as well when I was watching them. I ended up winning the mach as antag, the AI carried the whole thing. I felt REALLY bad for them and we talked more about it after the mach as to why they didn't win in a mach where there was essentially no antagonists.

He pointed out that in a previous game were were in together, on the same level, we noticed the same thing. The antag was a Lycus, not the greatest and not the worst, but what we noticed was that the majority of the damage was from the AI. I remembered that they were wounding me with one single kick or punch, I thought it was a glitch or just happened a few time, so I ignored it at the time. Consequently it tilted me greatly (and thus was the reason I went to get my affinity as antag and AFK to calm down). But I noticed that it wasn't a glitch or a isolated issue when I was antagonists, they were getting creamed by the AI.

Now if I understand the system correctly, shouldn't the AI be scaled down a bit in terms of power, health and numbers when an antagonists is present? Maybe I could see the mooks doing 150 damage with a SINGLE melee hit on say 70% plus difficulty with NO antagonists, but I know the MMR of my freind was very similar to mine and also, it happened to me as well, and again, there was an antagonist present. I don't see that AI should EVER do 150 damage with a melee when an antagonists is present.

Please, if anyone has noticed the same thing, please tell us here.

NOTE: When I play as antagonists and choose not to attack it is never my expectation to win, nor should I. I understand that I will lose and am fine with this. I shouldn't win the match against competent players if I am not attacking, this is horribly unfair to them. For those of you who are unaware, I don't attack as an antagonist so that I am not a hypocrite in my views of forced PvP. I can't say I hate PvP and then clobber a bunch of raiders the nest day for my benefit.

LordDraco3

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 10:29:25 PM
That's odd, but yes AI sometimes still seems to be going full-force regardless of antag, and I do get frustrated when I lose to the map knowing that the antagonist is a much worse player than anyone on my team. I once fought a Lycus that literally only used the grab button on us for In Shock. We eventually died when like 12 Hollow Ones spawned at once near the end. The antag was a non-issue since he ONLY grabbed. He did get some lucky kills in, but it felt like quite the shameful loss.

You know, you could have beat us last week on Fistful of Sand, when I randomly got curb-stomped by 4 Hades guys at once and died, the protector got mobbed and had only a couple of hits left before he died. If you had spawned at that point, you may have won for little effort ;)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 10:31:28 PM by LordDraco3 »

Level9Drow

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 10:41:55 PM
That's odd, but yes AI sometimes still seems to be going full-force regardless of antag, and I do get frustrated when I lose to the map knowing that the antagonist is a much worse player than anyone on my team. I once fought a Lycus that literally only used the grab button on us for In Shock. We eventually died when like 12 Hollow Ones spawned at once near the end. The antag was a non-issue since he ONLY grabbed. He did get some lucky kills in, but it felt like quite the shameful loss.

You know, you could have beat us last week on Fistful of Sand, when I randomly got curb-stomped by 4 Hades guys at once and died, the protector got mobbed and had only a couple of hits left before he died. If you had spawned at that point, you may have won for little effort ;)

Well to the first comment of yours, I agree. But I don't think it should be happening. It has to be a glitch or bad design. The AI should be scaled down to compensate for an antagonists. An antagonists should be a deciding factor, probably the main one, in their own victory. I was literally carried byt the mooks, not even the elites, man, the MOOKS, LOL.

To the second comment you made. There have been MANY games I could have won against the enemy team, I know, I watch them progress. But I abstain even then, because I'd be a hypocrite if I did. I have to stick to my values in this respect. I would be easily defeated philosophically by my opponents on the subject of PvP if they saw me online fighting them as antagonist. It's also out of respect for my opponents as well. I won't say these things on the forums and then clobber you online, even if I did have a chance. I want them to know that I have some honor in this debate.

TheBrentWoody

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 11:54:52 PM
We lost to you in IN SHOCK the other day when you didn't spawn in because Shae died.  Haha.  You just get a bad sequence of events and people not coordinating well and stuff happens.  But yeah, on some maps the map does not let up, and some maps it seems like there are only a handful of mooks with an antag.  No idea how they regulate this.  Even a single faction varies in HP from map to map.  On Weapon from the Past I can one shot a hollow one with a melee...on In Shock I can't.  At the same MMR.  No idea how they wrote it, but that's the way it goes. 

Level9Drow

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 12:10:10 AM
We lost to you in IN SHOCK the other day when you didn't spawn in because Shae died.  Haha.  You just get a bad sequence of events and people not coordinating well and stuff happens.  But yeah, on some maps the map does not let up, and some maps it seems like there are only a handful of mooks with an antag.  No idea how they regulate this.  Even a single faction varies in HP from map to map.  On Weapon from the Past I can one shot a hollow one with a melee...on In Shock I can't.  At the same MMR.  No idea how they wrote it, but that's the way it goes.

The one yesterday has SephirothAdell and one of my regular party members in it. They were getting one shotted with melees, though, Brent. In a game, mind you, with an antagonist. That's EXTREMELY unreasonable.

 I watched them try to get past the choke hold where you had to carry the computer thingy through that first interior room while Schneider was hacking further in. It's the room where Hedes Division AI control turrets and  have snipers posted and the berserker elites. What I noticed is as I was watching them is that they were getting pressured by the turrets, the snipers weren't a big deal really, the berzerkers they generally would handle well. What I notice the problem that was keeping them locked at the choke hold was the mooks. They would walk up and if ONE kicked or rifle butted they would be wounded instantly. There was about 6 to 8 mooks at any given moment. This guy holds the record for antagonist Stigmas man, he's no slouch at all. And my part mate wasn't a novice player wither. They lost because Schneider hacked the system, so time, and they couldn't make it past the choke.

I guess I just wanted to point this out to the developers, and to see if others have been one shot by mook melee hits in an antagonist game, and if so, where. I've seen this so far twice on this level happen on both sides. I strongly believe this is some kind of glitch or bug. Again, it's commonly understood that the enemy AI should be scaled down to compensate for an enemy player.

Here's the ironic thing. We do this mission without an antagonist and the AI DOESN'T one punch man you. But an antag joins and BAM, all the mooks are super sayan.

Did the Hollow ones hit exceptionally hard in that game we had verses each other? If this is happening in more than one level maybe the devs should know.

TheBrentWoody

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 12:42:30 AM
I dont' recall one melee hit wounding, but Hollow Ones Shotguns do 180 and 40 Damage per bullet on rifles.  So when two or three (Out of the 7-9 that haunt that bridge) hits you its instantly down. 

Same with the six to twelve they drop during levers.  :D

In our case we do it a lot, it is just frusterating and not worth the effort to maintain the difficulty. 

So, another thing I want to point out is 5th Council characters can't run, but the hollow ones can.  The only way to really wholesale salughter the hollow ones are to melee...but they can roll one time and you go down before you can throw the next punch...

Maybe..its just me, but they're supposed to be less agile?  Maybe actually make them vulnerable to melee like their supposed to be and eliminate the rolls?  Then the number might make sense. Because they come at you in packs, and they knock you out of finishers anyway. 

(I also would like you to eliminate finishers, or to initiate the finisher ON the hit not after the hit that would bring them to 0)

TheBrentWoody

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 12:44:20 AM
But yeah.  Depends on the characters...I've been shotgunned and kicked by the same guy in the same motion several times...or during a roll.  It is frustrating.  Depends on who you play.  I usually play Locals...so I'm used to getting downed in 1 shot by mooks in melee.  Hah.  So...I don't recall, I know I've ran that mission against antags a lot, and don't remember anything extraordinarily different about it at any point.  The newer maps are just harder for raiders all over. 

Nemo

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 06:50:24 PM
Was in the aforementioned game with Drow. Done some more testing. To quickly summarise, it seems to me, that if you're in a 3 or 4 man squad, and an Antagonist invades, the AI enemies will become stronger than they normally are. My MMR was around 90%, and other players in the group were probably around 65-80 or so, so maybe the game was tipping the scales in favour of the Antagonist due to MMR differences. Not sure what Drow's MMR was/is. Usually playing matches with friends at around the 70-80% difficulty range. Whilst the enemies at that difficulty are fairly tough, they're not nearly as strong as the ones you go up against when you're in a squad versus an Antagonist.

Had another similar experience on Low Blow, with an AFK Antagonist, whilst being in a 4 man squad. The Hades troopers were doing around 200 damage in one melee Strike, a rifleman could down anyone that wasn't 5th Council in a short burst of fire, and they had around 800+ health or so. Friend playing Schleuder Ginebra was landing 500-600 damage ricochet shots and wasn't killing regular Hades troops in one shot. Even the engineers had over 400 health. Moreover, they were constantly spawning, so we couldn't make any headway and were pretty much trapped in spawn. Had to surrender.

Played a few matches against Antagonists in solo queue with random players, and the AI enemies in those situations were not as overpowered as the two above examples. However, I was usually paired up with lower level/lower skill Raiders, going up against a decent to strong Antagonist player. Probably MMR system trying to balance things out. Somewhat stressful.

Against skilled Antagonists (70-75% Antagonist skill), whilst playing in a squad, the AI enemies were still stronger than normal. Managed to win a few games despite this, but it was a huge slog, and the rewards were rather paltry. In most cases, the AI enemies are so strong that the Antagonist doesn't really need to do much to win. System seems to greatly overcompensate if a lower skilled Antagonist goes up against a higher skilled squad of Raiders. It's more expeditious to simply surrender, and queue for another game, in such situations. I don't really like to lose due to such factors outside of my control.

Seems like a recent change. I was playing in 4 man squads at the beginning of the Hades update, and never noticed the AI being this overpowered. Likewise, when playing Antagonist, the AI were not really winning the game by themselves for me. I might need to play Antagonist mode a little, and see how strong/weak the AI is, to see if it has any relation to my MMR.

Antagonist mode largely a waste of time. Raiders stand to gain very little and lose a lot; in time, XP gained, and rewards earnt. Antagonists don't really earn all that much, even on a win, when compared to just farming in a 4 man group with Bounty/Treasure Hunter weapons.

MMR system and uncontrollable difficulty levels just seem to be made to punish players that win consistently. I feel like I'm on a treadmill, and someone's constantly raising the incline. Game is already a huge grind without having to deal with queue times, ever tougher enemies, and Antagonist invasions, along with the stress of having to carry randoms and worrying about MMR loss. It's just so tiresome.

Would rather have PvE and PvP modes separated, and selectable difficulty levels in PvE with scaling rewards. Playing games with lower level players at 50-60% difficulty is such a cakewalk, and the rewards are pretty much the same as when beating maps at 70-80% difficulty.

PvP mode should have vastly inflated rewards for those who participate in it. Double, triple, or even quadruple than what it is now, for both Raiders and Antagonists. Should probably scale rewards for Raiders based on level completion, rather than through binary win/lose state. If they get through say, 50-66% of a level against an Antagonist and lose, their rewards should be about the same as if they had completed a level without an Antagonist. Antagonist rewards should probably be more weighted to kills and time delay, rather than outright winning or losing.

People should feel happy/excited spending time in 4v1 mode, win or lose. As it stands, mostly a waste of time, that people can't opt out of.

Hope developer reads. Not sure. Will await without expectation.

P.S. In Shock map seems overtuned at the moment. Played a 73% difficulty game there without an Antagonist, and 5th Council enemies had higher health and were dealing more damage than normal. Playing In Medias Res and Weapon from the Past at around 70% difficulty, the 5th Council enemies there were much easier to deal with. Not sure if it's some sort of bug/glitch. Don't recall In Shock being this difficult at beginning of Hades update.

Level9Drow

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 07:41:10 PM
Wow, man. That was perfectly said. I agree with everything you typed. Even better than what I could have, and have said, myself. The treadmill analogy perfectly reflects the what this game is set up, they seem to punish you for doing better. I always get the feeling of dread when we complete several missions in a row, it's like it's going to only get worse. You summed up all of my woes and are a man of my heart. Even your solutions hit the mark.

I hope the developers read this as well.

And for the record, I'm truly sorry you had to go through that in that game verses me. My MMR is about 50ish. A situation like that should NEVER happen.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 10:14:17 PM by Level9Drow »

LordDraco3

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 10:09:00 PM
Good post. There's a reason that Woody and I like to start reducing our MMR once we get in the 60-70 range. The rewards vs. stress of playing is just not worth it past that point.

I'm not sure if I ever really antag against players with a higher MMR than me, since *most* of the playerbase is lower, but they did have some patch notes stating that antag mode was adjusted based on MMR differences.

I can second that In Shock enemies are much stronger than the same hollow ones on Weapon from the Past or In Media Res. I play with Hooligan Lycus and can 1-punch hollow ones typically once I get rolling, but I cannot 1-punch In Shock troops.

And finally.... wow, 800 health enemies. Who thought that was a valid and fair way to "balance" player skill? No one likes fighting bullet sponges that 1-shot the players. Especially when you don't get rewarded any better for doing so. That is not fun, in any capacity.

THIS IS WHY CHARACTERS AND WEAPONS DO NOT NEED ANY NERFS, STOP ASKING FOR NERFS BASED ON PVP BECAUSE NOTHING WILL BE ABLE TO FIGHT 20 JUGGERNAUT HADES TROOPS AT MMR 90

Level9Drow

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #10 on: May 01, 2018, 10:26:01 PM
I think what's happening in the game is a sort of power creep/power balancing/adjustment issue. It's becoming too complex and is causing the system to create anomalous situations that's being described above.

I think the way to solve this is to simplify things to their lowest base value. This would mean getting rid of statistical bonuses for gaining levels, like Resistance, Armor, etc... but keep the level prerequisite for characters, cards and weapons. They should also take away the weapon forging system so that everyone's Smoking Daisy or Schleuder is the same and everyone knows what to expect and can balance around this. If they NEED to have stats on weapons to forge then there should be a sliding scale that would let you raise one stat of a weapon at the cot of others so as to keep them within balance.

Currently I feel that the weapon forging stats coupled with the character level stats and also affected by AI MMR adjustments is just too complex of a system to successfully balance without these terrible outlier situations.

TheBrentWoody

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #11 on: May 01, 2018, 11:09:05 PM
Power Creep is probably playing a part, but that is not the issue.  The issues lie in mooks being necessarily capable of more dps than any individual raider (with maybe one exception Konstantin).   The rest of the Raiders weapons are mostly burst...again with few exceptions that are good for single targets.  Kuzzman's DPS is unmatched on hordes, but Konstantin is -always- useful where damage is concerned. 

We have this variety of characters, that have answers to the AI, so when a certain character is brought on a mission that mission becomes -negligble-.  They then attempt to balance to make it difficult WITH that character in the mix, BUT a team without that character then becomes WAYYY incapable of doing the mission. 

This is what the issues are, imo.  Character variety has provided too many answers to maps we are on, and balancing with all these options is prohibitive on suboptimal characters.

And the Antag system will -never- be balanced.  There will always be something/someone who performs above/below the curve and will be getting too much or too little AI help.  There is no way to quantify individual capabilities to the degree necessary to balance the system. 

You might not be good at killing, but are good at counter-objective tactics.  You might not concern yourself with the map, but you can kill real nice.  Etc. Etc.

Level9Drow

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #12 on: May 01, 2018, 11:38:29 PM
The mooks should NEVER be doing more damage of the characters though, nor should they ever have more health than the faction they belong to. If they want to raise difficulty I think they should do so in more passive ways than just making the mooks individual mini-bosses.

Instead of a blanket health and damage boost for higher MMRs they could raise the number of mooks that spawn, or the objective goals could get harder (like more health on the drones on enemy Within, or more times you have to bplow up the extractor on Short fused as examples), another good one would be just to make the elites tougher. They follow the rules (for the most part) of CQC and so if anything THEY should be the ones that seem more like mini-bosses, not the mooks, I would feel it is in good taste to raise the elites damage and health, they're elites and they should be the first candidate for this, not the mooks.

OR, they could stop the automatic MMR and make difficulty a voluntary thing. If not they should make the MMR difficulty change slower and not so punitive. The sytem currently feels like they're punishing you for doing better. I found it funny that you said you eventually have to throw games to get the MMR back to a more manageable level, because that's what me and my group had to do a few times. The developers have to ask themselves, "Why should players feel they NEED to throw games to bring their MMR down? What are we doing wrong? What is it they're not liking?". Challenge is on thing, but an AFK antagonist sitting there WATCHING powered up mooks get his experience for him is so wrong on so many levels. The devs should look at this.

LordDraco3

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 12:19:19 AM
I actually really like the RPG elements of the Hades update (levels, stats, weapon customization, etc.) and it would not make sense for them to remove all of that work at this point. You are pretty much asking for a return to those days, since that's how weapons used to be. Everyone using a weapon could expect it to perform exactly the same. But so many characters were much weaker during that time... now I can tune and crank up my Hive's swarm damage and she instantly became viable! Many starting weapons can even outclass advanced ones now, like Hans' Rimbaud is a better fighting gun than K8 now.
The forge system lets us put weapons on a more even playing field now, where before someone with a base Konstantin gun was simply going to get wrecked by a Tsiklon, no questions asked.

I would actually love to see this system expanded, and allow us to change and put whatever upgrade types we want on whatever weapon. So we could have a Caliber, Lethal, Effective, Dynamic Rock & Roll, or we could have a Tsiklon with +gold, +blueprints, +faction, +crit chance. I think the current set stats are fairly balanced, but it would be cool to be able to make wacky combinations, or have a full team of pure farming gear.

But Raider damage is on a diminishing returns scale, and AI is on an exponential scale. Hades has 400 health at difficulty ~60's, but 800 health are ~80-90? They scale way higher, way faster, than players can. Our stats are gonna cap, but we will stop 1-shotting enemies (just an example, characters like Harec and Ginebra), and they will take 2, 3 shots with our 1-shot builds, which means enemies take 3 times *as much time* to die, while also spawning at a faster rate, causing even powerful and coordinated teams to get overrun. Low Blow is a good example, as I have been completely dominated by the AI in the first section before, and it fuckin' sucks. After passing that hurdle though, we almost always succeed, without an antag to distract us.

But back to the point, yes, all rewards need to be drastically improved for all PvP participants. The rewards are WOEFULLY inefficient to play antagonist mode very much, since even destroying a good team on In Shock and winning with Raider Progress at 1% I only got 4000 gold.... and I'm sure the Raiders also got like 1-3k each as well. 2-4x the rewards does sound like a good place to put rewards on both sides, when the 4v1 mechanic activates. But if antag leaves the boost either shouldn't happen, or they need to remove the auto-win mechanic.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 12:25:22 AM by LordDraco3 »

Shoggoth_Poot

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Re: AI Power in Antagonist Mode
Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 12:30:26 AM
If I may interject with off topic praise for everyone who has participated herein. This is a fantastic thread and I hope the developers read it, take notes, and "make it so". Thank you all for the input and seriously fantastic ideas. I heart you all.