Operation Flashpoint - Dragon Rising AI

It’s interesting how a game with weaker AI survived in MilSim genre. I’m talking about Arma here. :wink:

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From what I remember dragon rising was actually really good, and the AI was a million times better. I never once got angry at the AI or questioned what it was doing like in Arma, but codemasters locked it down, you can’t play multiplayer, host servers, or do any modding. Leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I hate publishers.

Honestly, I’m not seeing it.

This is in the middle of the firefight where the enemy knows they are in the building :slight_smile:

On this topic, I would add that it nicely illustrates the importance of human-facing features.

Because I would call Arma 3 AI superior due to all of the factors it considers, from having 4 separate systems for adjusting target priorities (based on enemy unit role, rank, vehicle type vs available weaponry, etc.) to finding cover dynamically via raytracing. It’s just that most of these are not user-visible or enabled by default (see ASR AI enabling them).
On the other hand, you have ie. Dragon Rising AI which works much smoother from a player PoV, but how does it perform in the dark under various moonlight conditions? How does it perform in CAS jets? In defense/retreat scenarios? On custom maps? In water? With high-recoil weapons? How does accuracy scale over distance / wind / fog / etc.?

I’m trying to point out that making something nice and polished is great and Arma could really use some, but designing a sandbox with a programming/scripting interface in a moddable way is an order of magnitude harder. Ie. Dslyecxi’s mods are, in comparison to other games, insanely simplistic, few KBs of code that is portable and works everywhere. He could do the NVG mod because Arma 3 allows him to add custom UI overlays, post-processing effects, adjust visibility/fog, etc.

It’s not impossible to combine both, but given a finite amount of resources per a unit of time (the team of actual BI programmers is surprisingly small), you just have to (mostly) pick one or the other. It’s like Apple vs Linux distributions. :slight_smile: You can have an environment that has a limited scope/surface and thus can be well tested and polished, or an environment which is so extensible, modifiable and modular that stuff breaking is much more likely to occur, regardless of how much testing you put in.
Especially if you don’t have time / are not paid to restructure/redesign code, so you slap half-assed hacks on the huge pile of existing hacks. That’s how standing-up-from-prone, automatic-crouch-on-lowering-weapon-whle-looking-down, etc. happened on 1.62.

And that’s what Arma suffers from - insanely complex systems developed by seemingly independent people making duplicate APIs for the same thing (just read anything in ui_f.pbo vs functions_f.pbo vs 3den_f.pbo), creating backend for potentially amazing features and very realistic AI, but then never actually using it in a tangible way. It’s like making new shapes of lego bricks without actually building anything. And that’s sad. :frowning:

In my opinion, Arma AI is outdated (behavior trees anyone?) and below average AI engine (gamemasters could spend a lot of time retelling AI success stories). On top of that, it causes a myriad of performance issues related to vastness of Arma 3 operations. I can’t blame the AI engine for causing performance issues on missions designed without caching (or hot spawning) but Bohemia could definitely spend a lot more time documenting the performance guidelines to all mission makers.

It is what it is, I guess. In the next few missions GMed by me I’ll record the AI behavior so stay tuned…

Here it goes - recorded on development server.

This one is called "where did I put my keys".


Then this one - "Is it there? No. Is it there? No. Is it there? No."


It would be ok if this didn’t happen…


And golden one, AI telling me jokes in Chinese while repeating the animation.


I suspect some of this is not vanilla behavior but ASR AI is messing something up.

ASRAI released an update a month (IIRC) changing quite a lot of stuff, maybe it’s worth trying.

Some of the changes (ie. camouflage) will need an RHS update to work with RHS units, I imagine.

[user avatar=“https://assets-cloud.enjin.com/users/13633351/avatar/small.1434890353.jpeg” name=“Freghar”]13633351[/user] - I’ve tested the same mission with and without ASR AI and here is what I found (probably obvious):

  • when using ASR AI squads get in ‘hunting mode’ where they spill all over the map trying to hunt for last known enemy. They abandon their positions set in 3den and go for the kill but not as a unit, rather as parts of units. Meaning, one soldier will stay here while 2/3 of the squad go for the flank or something.

  • without ASR AI obviously they ignore the threat altogether and stay put. At least then GM has some control over them.

I’ve seen ASR AI can be disabled for a unit like _unit setVariable asr_ai_exclude", true];.

Wouldn’t it be better if we create a solution where a global AI commander is pulling the strings using units as a whole instead of partitioning them to pieces which are very easily defeated? Players noticed that AI after a while gets bogged down in 1-2 soldier skirmishes which are no match for CNTO squad.

Yes, that’s one big disadvantage of ASR AI - it is very "aggressive" and basically unusable for defending a base (ie.). We were considering using just vanilla AI after the 1.64 (?) update as BI improved quite a lot of things, but decided not to as ASR AI is much better in CQB (throwing grenades, firing UGL, taking cover, etc.) whereas vanilla AI is basically useless in CQB.

If you want a more natural GM-less response, try the DAC framework - there were attempts to push for it so that we wouldn’t need GM-supervised missions all the time, but MMs were generally not enthusiastic for some reason. The test missions we had worked fine with ASR AI (as far as I remember), the enemy AI commander sent whole squads at us in trucks, etc.

I’m not sure about the setVariable to disable ASR AI - it worked 6 months ago on an older version, but the author then removed a lot of these tunables (so that it ie. cannot be turned off globally now).

ASR AI is patched in the repo, I will test it out asap if things behave better. Last night I’ve tried disabling ASR AI on some units and it still works fine (with setVariable). So in a sense, ASR AI should be left enabled only on AI quick reaction force groups which are supposed to be aggressive.

Really do try DAC V3.1 (Dynamic-AI-Creator) released - ARMA 3 - ADDONS & MODS: COMPLETE - Bohemia Interactive Forums , see the included video. There were some issues with modded groups not having some entry in some config (same problem as ALiVE would have), but that can be fixed rather easily if it’s even a problem.

This can be used without installing any more mods on the server or clients?

Yes, we had several missions with it some months ago. You might want to test how it works with / uses ASR AI (as I mentioned), last time we tried it, the enemy kept groups pretty well even in combat, but that might have been a coincidence.

I have to give props to the new ASR AI version, enemies (at least CSAT) seems to use grenades more, use UGLs when they see you in the open, but most importantly seem to suppress much more and are less afraid of buildings (they even take positions on balconies).

I’ve tried spawning one guy and giving him a waypoint with COMBAT behaviour, then linking 6 more guys under his command - he pulled back to regroup with the rest and then went on the WP from a flank (though it took him a while). When under fire, the group still spreads more than would be healthy, though.

As far as skill goes, they’re IMO a bit easy - I was able to clear 5 fireteams in MOUT under 100m without much effort, though I had to cleverly switch positions, not just peek from one corner (which they did suppress). Over medium distance, they do shoot accurately, though and given the lag in MP between hitting an enemy and the server registering their death, the CQB reaction is still challenging.

I got killed because some FT flanked me and entered my building through the back, with their MG unloading tons of rounds into my back from point blank range. Not saying that’s gonna happen every time, but it was pretty damn cool.

I need to bump this thread again. I was GM-ing last night and NPCs have been all over the place (again). Are you guys sure we gain anything from ASR AI as it seems players were very dominant against AI? Maybe reverting to vanilla is a better choice?

First issue with ASR AI is that it splits units in pieces that act independently. I believe it’s not realistic but also not very challenging for the players. It also makes teams leave the guarded area to attack the players which in turn makes them defeated piecemeal.

ASR AI 3 - Page 91 - ARMA 3 - ADDONS & MODS: COMPLETE - Bohemia Interactive Forums (response from the author on the next page). Feel free to explain the situation better in that thread, the author claims this is vanilla behavior. Yes, we have the latest v1.0.0.

Also see Forums - Carpe Noctem .

I’ve put several AI units this morning in vanilla and vanilla doesn’t split a unit that much, not even in combat mode. It does flank with 2-3 guys but in the end they are all in 50 x 50 m area. I have doubts that ASR AI is forcing squads in "RED" combat mode which by default breaks the formation (https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/ArmA:_AI_Combat_Modes#Engagement_rules). I didn’t test how vanilla AI behaves in that regard but will today.

With ASR AI, they can go few hundred meters apart, just like you brilliantly explained in that post (which I saw before :)). Also, regarding second link, I agree. Vanilla AI is more responsive, while ASR AI last night was showing me the middle finger even when firefight was long over. It was impossible to "control" them.

From my point of view, if we have GM who is controlling NPC movement, then we shouldn’t obstruct it with ASR AI. GM will definitely flank better, if he thinks flanking is a logical thing to do in the circumstances.

The problem is that the movement is only a small part of ASR AI - the rest are AI skills, lowering accuracy on suppression (or not shooting), reworked camouflage system based on gear, adjust AI rate of fire, using grenades, better usage of cover in close quarters, etc.

Do try to use the "AE - AI Features" / "AUTOCOMBAT disable" on groups you want to prevent from going to "RED". This makes them more likely to move / respond to your waypoints. To achieve the same effect but limit it to all active waypoints (so the group can go RED after the last waypoint ends), use "AE - AI" / "Force WP Behavior". This will actually "force" whatever is set on each (existing) waypoint on the group, so if you set GREEN, they will be green (which breaks somewhat combat).