Bring On the Bots!Pappy-R
"You wan' a piece o' me?!" A look at the incredible
bot action of the new Q3:A demo.
With the introduction
of the Quake III: Arena Bots coming to us all in the recent Q3DemoTEST,
I thought I'd take a look at them and give my impressions. Let
me first explain to the newest of newbies what a "bot" is. It's
an automated opponent that the program supplies for you to play
against, and uses a set code routine for it's artificial intelligence
(AI). Now don't get all worried that the world is in danger from
the advanced AI in Quake 3. Although these bad boys (and nasty
girls) can rail you from across the map, they really have no interest
in removing us as a species. They just don't like us in their Arenas.
task in Quake 3 is to get the bots into the game with us, and
this couldn't be easier since the "single player" portion of the
game is you against bots, in specified arenas with a certain number
of these critters. To advance in the single player game (Tiers),
you don't get to decide on how many bots you take on per map,
but you can choose how lethal the bots are. So far we have 5 settings
that range from "I Can Win" to "Nightmare". Let me tell you that
the "nightmare" skill level is just that, a bad dream where you're
the only caring, feeling, piece of meat in the game. For the bots
to play in a multiplayer game, you must include them in the settings
before you begin or add them after, assuming you have left slots
for them to join. This is all done in a very easy-to-use interface
in the "multiplayer" setup and can be taken care of by clicking
the available slots.
and that toy are really getting on my nerves, Sarge."
Now that you
are in the game, be it single player or multiplayer, we'll assume
you have some bots to contend with. The Quake 3 bots are some
of the smartest players I've seen and can even work as a real
team in "teamplay" mode. I've seen these "walking talking pieces
of fun" try to take an area from me and discover they needed backup.
The next thing I know, the son of a *%@$# had placed the call
and his buddies showed up to show me just how bad my Rail wasn't.
Thanks for the lesson, boyz. As another example of tactics, that
sweetheart known as "Major", that will be your foe in the first
level of the single player action, will try each way in turn,
to get you out of the outdoor area and away from what she believes
is HER Rocket Launcher. If she gets one, you'll soon learn why
she likes it. Yup, dat's my head!
III: Arena bots all have different likes and dislikes built in.
The larger targets like Stripe and Grunt don't hop around too
much, but the fems, Major and Damia will hop skip and jump you
to death in a battle. Nice jump animations on the ladies, I might
add. A prime example of the weapons choice specifics, I think
would be Sarge in his defence of the Q3Tourney2 map in the single
player game. If you've played this guy in his map, I'm willing
to bet that the urge to shove that Shotgun somewhere in his bot
anatomy has crossed your mind more than once. He does you some
serious hurt without making it obvious he's computer controlled.
He's just damn good with that gun and has the overwhelming urge
to pepper your parts with pellets.
course I'll wait for you to finish that insult...NOT!"
I realize this is a DemoTEST, these bots are awesome opponents
and teammates. You can order them around in a team game or even
let them call the shots by making them "team leader". To get all
the commands, just refer to the included "Bots Commands.doc" in
Q3. If a bot is your leader you may be wise to listen up, since
they can keep track of how the team as a whole is doing, while
we as mere humans have to actually read all the info in the new
teamplay HUD. Yes, bots "chat" and they even insult or praise
you in matches. Here's a little piece of advice for you on the
new "manners" in Quake 3 with the arrival of the "typing" and
"disconnect" icons that appear over the head of an affected player.
Bots also have the "typing" icon appear when chatting, and while
it's considered rude to get a typing kill on a human, I'll nail
a chatting bot in a second. Hell, nail two if ya can.
The few failings
that I've noticed with the bots during play are far from major
issues. I have however seen bots ignore Quad that has immerged
from a fragged body. Thay have no problems going for quad in it's
designated spot, but when it's been dropped they can seem to not
want to touch it. Dropped weapons are the same as the bots seem
to ignore these, too. This is great if you really need that RL
but it takes away from the goal of trying to make the bots play
like people. A human player of the lowest caliber wouldn't ignore
a power up or gun that was easily in reach. Any other low points
I could mention would be nit-picking at this point, so I'll let
leave this piece on the idea that Quake III: Arena and it's computer-controlled
buttheads rule! Okay, the ones on my team aren't buttheads, but
that Sarge goof on nightmare skill level really bugs me. Bot meat,