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Combat AI



Details about the new Combat AI System!

UPDATE: The publish on Feb. 2nd, 2012 was only one step on the process to new and improved AI.
SPECIAL NOTE re: Thieves: Thieves are very different in this new AI system, they cannot be used to simply “sneak in and steal”. Instead they try to disarm traps, and then act as Melee DPS to any creatures they find on their path to the objective.

Combat is king in Dungeon Overlord™. Whether it’s simply defeating your Nemesis, Raiding Villages for Resources, or taking on another Overlord, you want your troops to return victorious!

AI Overview

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality of Dungeon Overlord has been updated. These changes have made for an improved experience, in all aspects of battle. Creatures have always had roles, special abilities, and resistances. Resistances are now displayed in Battle Playbacks similar to damage and healing results, truly coming into play, in a whole new way. The AI is not only more intelligent when it comes to moving Creatures through a Dungeon, but also during involved combat.

To give a brief, general overview, players will notice more traditional role-playing game style battles. Creatures will work together, using their individual talents; resulting in efficient attacks and defenses. For instance, Thieves should no longer attempt to disarm a Trap that is not an imminent obstacle. Orcs will step into the front of the battle; while Warlocks will fall back to fully utilize their ranged abilities. Overall, the Creatures will behave more intelligently.

Creature Classes

For a more in-depth explanation, Creatures are now categorized into the following classes.

    Protectors: (Traditionally referred to as a Tank.) Their primary focus is to become the target of enemy damage. They can also deal damage, but will rely on others to make a greater impact. Examples of Protectors are Orcs and Ogres.

    Damagers: (Traditionally referred to as Damage per Second or DPS). This Includes both melee and ranged units. Damager units, generally, are not equipped to withstand heavy damage, but they are the key to taking down enemy troops. While the Protector and Supporter classes have damage capabilities, they have other primary goals. The Damager class will focus exclusively on dealing damage. Examples of Damagers are Dark Elves and Balrogs

    Supporters: This class provides healing, buffs, and may have stealth abilities. Creatures that provide assistance in battle will focus on the Protectors. When possible, they will provide the benefits to other allies as well. Stealthing units will avoid the melee battle to disarm Traps, and work to Ambush enemies. Supporters also have the ability to do damage when needed. Examples of Supporters are Dark Elf Priestesses and Thieves.

NOTE: Thieves are no longer “sneak in and steal”.. instead they sneak in, disarm traps, and attack enemies…

Creature Behaviors

Now that general classes have been established, players will find behavior differences in battles. Threat plays a direct role in determining a Creature’s target. During a battle, Creatures will generate Threat for their enemies. Creatures will attack the enemy that has generated the greatest amount of Threat.

    Threat: Threat is a measure, of how much a Creature wants to engage another Creature. Threat is determined by attacking other Creatures, being attacked, or an enemy providing assistance to a current target Creature. The amount of Threat generated depends on how much damage is done, and the role of the Creatures involved. For example, when a Creature is attacked by a Protector, it will generate more Threat than if it is attacked by a Supporter. However, Supporters will generate a higher level Threat through their abilities. When assistance is provided to an ally, Threat towards the recipient will increase from the enemies targeting the Creature receiving the assistance.

Threat may lead a Creature to change Targets. Damager and Supporter Creatures will choose to attack the Creature they feel the most Threat from. They may change targets mid-battle, if they suddenly feel Threat from another Creature significantly more than their current target.

    Tanking: Protectors will follow this logic as well, if they have no one they currently want to protect. Usually, however, protectors will try to become the focus of enemies (tanking behavior). Protectors can taunt enemies to attack them. Damagers and Supporters have the ability to call for help. This will alert Protectors to come to their aid and start their tanking behavior. A Protector can cause their threat to increase against multiple targets (thus causing one or more attackers to target them). Different creature types have different limits to the number of creatures they can pull threat against at a given time.

In this image two Wraiths are engaging a Dark Elf. The Dark Elf calls for help. A nearby Ogre hears his call for help, and enters the battle exhibiting his tanking behavior. The Ogre generates a greater amount of Threat from the Wraiths, and they change their Target to the Ogre. This allows the Dark Elf to do damage, without being a target and getting killed quickly by the two wraiths.

    Stealthing: Stealthing Creatures will begin the battle hidden. If a Stealth unit is able to attack while hidden, it is considered an Ambush. An Ambush will deal an a larger amount of damage, to the target. After an Ambush attack, the creature will no longer be stealth-ed.

    Morale: An additional battle feature is Morale. A Creature’s Morale rating is affected by the percentage of Health they have left. If a Creature is under attack, and has low Morale, it will try to pull out of combat range. It will first move a few steps, rejoining combat if it is no longer being attacked. If Morale drops event lower, the Creature may Flee from combat completely. If the Creature successfully Flees, this can save its life as they will leave the dungeon and battle. The decision to withdraw or Flee, varies by Creature.

In the future, Happiness may also effect Morale, but this has not yet been implemented.

As you engage in battles, you will find the AI more predictable. Of course, variables for every battle will be different. Most likely the new AI system will require you to adjust your current approach to combat. The abilities, style, and preferences for each Creature will become apparent as you develop your personal strategies. Only the best army will rise to the top. Will it be yours? Take your place in Dungeon Overlord history!

We hope you find this blog informative and as always, we encourage you to check out our forums here: http://forum.dungeonoverlord.com and our Facebook Fanpage here: .

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