On Assortedness and AIs

Having nigh non-existent internet makes you ponder about things. It also infuriates you by teasing you with a possible internet connection, only to laugh in your face as it takes five minutes to load DuckDuckGo, and seven minutes to load Google. Loading the Daily SPUF to schedule and write articles has been a painful series of events. Seriously, this is what I have to contend with.

A note to all future torturers out there. If you really want to get information from someone, lock them in a room with my bad internet connection. They’ll be begging for release within half an hour.

But yes, back to the article. In the time I’ve had this bad internet, I’ve seen the new Star Wars film, as well as episodes 3, 4, 5 and 6, I’ve played a ton of music, fucked up Skyrim, broken Garry’s Mod several times, crashed Garry’s Mod by trying to create a navigation mesh for too big a map, attempted to play League of Legends at 3000 ping (three second delays!), spent three hours trying to verify the integrity of the game cache for Saints Row the Third, (hopefully) fixed my brother’s TF2 configs, rebuilt my six Toa and made them fight the Bohrok-Kal, and play lots of TF2 bot games. I’ve also not been sleeping properly.

These poor bastards have been keeping me company.
These poor bastards have been keeping me company.

I’ve essentially wasted my time. But I’ve spent a lot of time with the TF2 bots and I think I understand them now. Not in a Bot Documentary by TooManyMoths sort of way. But I feel their pain.

The good news? Medic bots seem vaguely more intelligent. They’ll heal one person at setup until they get 100% Ubercharge and there’s 3 seconds left on set up time, then share out overheals as everyone runs out to die. Of course they’re completely unaware of the changes to Ubercharge building rates during set up time, but since no one else moves during that time anyway, it doesn’t matter.

The bad news? Everything else.

I’ve noticed bots bumping into things more. They bump into each other and push one another out of the way, but they also bump into walls and get stuck in corners. And they have their little navigation mesh glitches. Tight corridors are the worst. Every bot on CP_Gorge will run from spawn, run partially up the right hand path then do a 180 and run through the main door that most people leave from. Why? I have no idea, but that’s been a thing for ages and it’ll probably never change. They also still can’t jump.

Their aim is also very random. The way their aim works is based on chance and difficulty, with them having a higher chance to land a shot with higher difficulties, but random chance means that even an easy bot will somehow manage to do a double airshot on another bot.

Engineer bots are the worst. Medic bots are stupider but they can still manage to do their job of healing, even if they never manage to build Uber. Engineer bots though have no idea, and still manage to do the impossible feat of standing inside their sentries. Not that they care about anything else though. Nothing else ever gets upgraded.

That being said though, attacking Engineers do at least try to place forward teleporters, until the first control point is captured. But then they turn into THOSE Engineers who just sit on a control point and don’t do anything. Nothing even happens anyway, since BLU Engineers on Attack/Defense build on uncapturable points.

And there’s still the issue of playing Spy around bots. They all know you’re a Spy. They know. They just wait patiently until you drop that disguise and mess up, which is always if you can’t get that first backstab with Your Eternal Reward.

Still, they do their job, more now than ever. The bots haven’t changed. Apart from fixes in Mann VS Machine, which uses almost the same AI (although with restrictions on switching weapons and a more straightforward goal). The player base is what has changed, with older players leaving and new people not staying long enough to become old players. So the things that bots do make for suitable replacements, at least while the internet doesn’t work.

That being said, both the bots AND our newer players could do with a tune up.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *