For the Record: Wargaming to use NPC’s (bots) in Games
Hello everyone, I normally don’t post stuff about World of Warplanes, but this is quite interesting. In recent WoWp developer diaries video, WoWp developers mentioned a new mode, where the player will be competing against PVE element – NPC’s, also known as “bots”. What is even more interesting, Wargaming is even considering adding bots instead of regular players in random battles to even the teams (cca 1:20 of the game). There have been talks about NPC elements in the game even before the World of Warplanes was released. Some of you might remember the time when the physics was introduced into the game – at that point (and also, later on), there were rumours about introducing some “NPC elements” into World of Tanks (in the form of some sort of obstacle courses or perhaps in historical battles – this was before the HB release). This is a major change in Wargaming policy, because until now, bots could be encountered only in the form of illegal World of Tanks software. On the other hand, NPC’s would be very logical in certain existing/prepared game modes (historical battles for one, another obvious use are the Stronkhold turrets), but entirely new modes could be also implemented (coop – defense against waves of NPC’s). Furthermore, WoWp is not the only WG game considering bots by the way, remember how in the recent QA, a developer stated that there are two modes considered for World of Warships? Well, I have it from an inside source that one of these modes could be “convoy escort”, where, as the name suggests, players escort a bunch of NPC ships (with the other team trying to destroy them). Same escort mode was (very long time ago) considered for World of Tanks, it was dropped because “it would be too complicated for the players” – so apparently, the developers think future WoWs audience to be more skilled than random WoT pubbies :) But the real question is… Is it a good idea? As mentioned above, the developers are considering PvE modes for World of Warplanes as a “slower” version of regular random battles. On one hand, it sounds logical (players will get to try new things in battle without the murderous environment of the random battle), but it has two huge pitfalls: - first and foremost, what works on bots will not work on players, there is a danger that players will get used to tactics that will make them completely trashed in PvP - the tempo of the battle will be different (more relaxed), which means that players will also play more relaxed. If a player starts on this mode (why else would you want to fight bots than for training), if he switches to regular random battles, he’ll be in for a shock There is one more thing. Making bots for World of Warplanes is a lot easier than making them for World of Tanks, since there are no obstacles in the air (apart from other planes). There are other issues (ramming), but I think that they can be overcome. Creating a bot for World of Tanks is much more difficult (there are maps, cover etc.), but completely possible (unfortunately for us). It’s also possible that in time, we will see a new NPC mode as well. While this could be useful for the historical battles and such, I do not thing that “random with bots” is a good idea, for all the reasons posted above. Bots will never ever behave like true players and if I take the argument to the extreme, early NPC battles could be producing even more really bad players, who will scratch their heads, thinking “but this worked on bots”. But we’ll have to see.