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AI Populated Servers + Match Finder/Builder


Tarvin
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I came up with this idea after reading TheOlsenTwins's topic.

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=74406

It is an alternative to Twin's suggestion as well as an alternative/addition my idea for a Match Finder/Builder System found here:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=74642

An alternative to the Lobby period while a server is being populated I noticed that the AI in RenegadeX is much improved over the AI from Renegade. Would it be possible to partially populate servers with Bots and replace them with people as more join the server?

The system would work like this: A server starts with mostly Bots but because there are more things to fight the match will be kept more interesting and will be more likely to retain players.

As people join they replace the bots according to the usual balance system. The only restrictions would be that players would only be able to replace bots when the Bots have either died or are currently in their own bases and are NOT in possession of a vehicle. This restriction would be critical to avoid people trying to abuse the system in order to get free tanks and to avoid Bots vanishing from the match when they are in the field or a part of a base attack.

When waiting in the que they would be in an observation mode that would allow them to switch between the views of the players on the team they are about to join. Ideally players could switch between who they want to watch by clicking on the names of who they want to observe. The names of Bot characters the player is in line to replace would be highlighted. People in this observation mode would be able to participate in Team Chat freely. They may be banned from open chat until they enter the match to prevent potential abuse.

Overall, I think the idea system for starting matches would be a combination of the Match Finder system grouping people together to start the game. The AI population would help to ensure matches can begin more quickly and the Match Finding/Building system would continue to populate games as they progress.

For this to work maps would be populated to about 8-10 people or more for larger maps before moving to auto-populate the next server. Players jumping into already populated maps would take things from there until all available servers have received their initial population and the Match Finding/Building system would go on to fill server populations evenly from there.

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Addendum after comments

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Server populations in servers would not be automatic. Server administrators would have the ability to turn AI Combatants on or off. They would also be able to set the maximum number of AIs that would be present in a match, and the player population at which AI combatants would be phased out of the match or if the administrator wants, the minimum population of AI players even when the server is populated. An administrator may choose to keep a certain number of AI players present for whatever reason and should be left with the option in my opinion.

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There's still issue with bot, such as not being able to solo a structure from inside (hell, they suicide in front of MCT. Part of programming I guess) and they tend to ignore the threat of AGT and Obi. Who the hell charges those structures on foot?

I'm kinda alright with it though. They ARE better that classic ren, but some people just hates them for their stupidity

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I have nothing against the idea but in my mind, a match with bots is not a match at all. I'd rather go 4v4 with only players and have no bots than have any amounts of bots ruin the match.

I have no idea what you go on about with the match finding system. This has no synergy whatsoever with it and I wouldn't want players split evenly between servers either. No way. Why in heavens would you fill servers to 10 players then move to the next. Thats a bad idea. We can barely sustain 2 servers to full capacity and you'd make a system that splits people up and populate stuff with bots. This is non-sense.

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The design of the match finding system would be to improve the number of people playing RenegadeX. In the age where most every multiplayer game of any kind has a simple Find Random Match function people are not used to waiting long periods of time for a single opening to appear in the server they want.

You would be likely to find people that would love playing the game but don't have patience for the wait. They simply leave and play games that will populate them quickly into matches even though, in my opinion, RenegadeX is superior to many of the AAA alternatives that people have paid money for.

It's that impatience that is the limiting factor on server populations building up. That's why the focus of these ideas are to remove the barriers and remove the waiting game involved with finding a server. The reason why the Match Finder would fill servers only to a certain point before moving on to populate them is because many seem to agree with the sentiment that about 10 people in a match is when it becomes fun and worth joining.

In a game where no one is being paid to upkeep servers if a server is never used it may be taken offline and the community as a whole will suffer. The rotation of players joining through the Match Finder would be ongoing to prevent this neglect and to help ensure a healthy server population.

An important distinction to make is that the Match Finder will NOT be the only method to join matches. The current server view would still be available and will allow people to choose whatever server they want to join which are all more likely to be at a players minimum 'join' population. This would not only decrease the time it takes for a desired server to populate but will allow people to more easily jump into servers running the maps they want to play.

I will concede, these ideas are not for the current population. They are for the population these ideas can help attract and are a means to an end rather than the end goal itself.

As for Bots, they are stupid but do launch occasional somewhat cohesive attacks that could act as cover for human attackers to rush enemy structures. Also, as an important note they are also somewhat competent base defenders. Are they perfect? No. Do they repair structures? No. Do they provide a screen of semi-useful meat shields in front of the enemy base? Yes.

The AI is just at the minimum threshold to be tolerable/somewhat useful at covering players' actions. The ideal setup would allow server administrators to turn Bot participation on and off, set the number of bots, and set the number at which bots will be eliminated entirely as players join the match.

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