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MushroomBoogaloo

Bot Targeting

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A bit of a rant, but also an honest question at the end.

I'm aware this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find anything on it recently. How exactly do bots pick their targets? Has something been changed? I usually run with priority target, and most of the time as soon as I'm spotted, I'm targeted by most enemy ships in range. I'd understand if this happened when I was in a light cruiser or destroyer out in front, since some of the parameters people like to quote are health and armour and range, but this doesn't seem to actually be the case.

If I'm playing my Leander, trying to use battleships to draw attention away from me by hiding a ways behind them, once I'm spotted the number almost always jumps to however many ships can fire at me. It doesn't seem to matter how much farther away from the bots I am than allied ships, I get focused down in seconds. On the other end of the spectrum, I've been in situations where I've been moving up to support an allied destroyer or cruiser while playing Scharnhorst. Once I'm spotted, all bot ships stop firing at the much closer, more lightly armoured, and often damaged player ships and unload everything at me. I'll also lose a third of my health from a salvo catching my broadside. When I turn to see where it came from, I spot a Sinop 15km away with its guns aimed at me. Seconds after that, the Sinop is blown out of the water by a Nurnberg who launched torpedoes from 4km away.

So what's the deal? Is there some hidden method by which bots pick targets that has nothing to do with ship stats? It's starting to get frustrating now that my options in coop play are usually limited to either hanging back and watch as my teammates yolo into the bots for lots of xp and kills, or advancing with the rest of my team and getting pummeled into scrap metal as soon as the bots see me.

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Generally speaking, they will target the spotted ship with the fewest hit-points.  If multiple ships can focus fire on a single ship, that ship will become the object of their targeting.  Keep in mind that the bots will only target ships they have detected.  A ship in smoke will not be fired upon, however they may charge the smoke, and have recently started to blind-fire torps into smoke.  

In your Scharnhorst example, it may be that the Sinop only had firing angles on you (e.g. blocking terrain.)  If this was the case, the you may have been the object of focus fire.  We'd need to get a replay to see what actually transpired.

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He who has been spotted gets shot at, he who has low hp and gets spotted gets shot at. Bots concentrate fire better than random players. Bots have pretty good aim and are hard to hit from more than 3 kilometers with torps.

Edited by Sovereigndawg

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14 hours ago, Sovereigndawg said:

He who has been spotted gets shot at, he who has low hp and gets spotted gets shot at. Bots concentrate fire better than random players. Bots have pretty good aim and are hard to hit from more than 3 kilometers with torps.

If that's the case, how do you explain bots prioritizing my distant, near-full health battleship over a damaged light cruiser that's much closer, that they've been shooting at, and who is still shooting back? It just seems like there's more to how they select targets than what is common knowledge.

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2 minutes ago, MushroomBoogaloo said:

If that's the case, how do you explain bots prioritizing my distant, near-full health battleship over a damaged light cruiser that's much closer, that they've been shooting at, and who is still shooting back? It just seems like there's more to how they select targets than what is common knowledge.

Post the replay and people would be more able to explain. I can't say about what I haven't seen, I am just citing personal experience.

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I notice lately that if your the only real player in coop more chances you lose, twice I had bots die with 5 mins,  it's just me to take on 3 to 4 ship alone. And it's worse if your in cv and you can't cap bases. I don't mind waiting on more players to join, doing it alone is rough.

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On 12/1/2020 at 8:49 PM, MushroomBoogaloo said:

I usually run with priority target, and most of the time as soon as I'm spotted, I'm targeted by most enemy ships in range.

Your problem is that I am not in the match with you. If I was there the bots would all be targeting ME.

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On 12/1/2020 at 9:07 PM, HamptonRoads said:

and have recently started to blind-fire torps into smoke. 

Is that with the new patch (which I'm still loading, boy it is slow)? Haven't noticed it previously or but possibly assumed they were targeting ships behind me that they could see.

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19 hours ago, MushroomBoogaloo said:

If that's the case, how do you explain bots prioritizing my distant, near-full health battleship over a damaged light cruiser that's much closer, that they've been shooting at, and who is still shooting back? It just seems like there's more to how they select targets than what is common knowledge.

Could be there is some sort of randomizer that kicks in occasionally that alters normal target selection. One ship changes to the distant target and the rest follow to meet the "concentrate fire" directive. Keeps the bots from being absolutely predictable.

In my case I KNOW part of the bot algorithm is "IF potential_tgt name like "%Sabot_100%" then set tgt_priority + 10"

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14 minutes ago, Sabot_100 said:

Is that with the new patch (which I'm still loading, boy it is slow)? Haven't noticed it previously or but possibly assumed they were targeting ships behind me that they could see.

I started to notice this about 2 weeks ago.  It is possible that with the aiming bug (firing torps in random directions) this may be coincidental.

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Went out in my Woostah yesterday, I had the temerity to be the first to open fire on the red DD... 1.765 milliseconds later I had 8 ships targeting me (the 9th was a CV!) I managed to kill the DD but I was dead not too long afterwards.

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5 minutes ago, Efros said:

Went out in my Woostah yesterday, I had the temerity to be the first to open fire on the red DD... 1.765 milliseconds later I had 8 ships targeting me (the 9th was a CV!) I managed to kill the DD but I was dead not too long afterwards.

Have to remember the bots can "see" you even when they can't see you. Their guns are trained with leads calculated (they know your course and speed) waiting for you to be officially "detected" so they can pull the trigger. 

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Yer I know that, been at this for a while, but 8 targeting you is unusual.

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1 hour ago, Efros said:

Yer I know that, been at this for a while, but 8 targeting you is unusual.

They must have REALLLLY liked you. How far out in front of the fleet were you?

Of course after you sank the DD there were ONLY 7 targeting you:Smile-_tongue:

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1 hour ago, Sabot_100 said:

Have to remember the bots can "see" you even when they can't see you. Their guns are trained with leads calculated (they know your course and speed) waiting for you to be officially "detected" so they can pull the trigger. 

And have the correct ammo loaded ahead of time depending on the proximity of the nearest target!  Bot BB's will preload HE when you're near them in a DD and they haven't been engaging other targets / were unable to.  

Studying the bot behaviors to influence their decision making is actually a weird / fun little pastime for me, as most of my recent games are in coop.  The coding does seem to have been altered *fairly* recently, in the past few months, as far as their target prioritization.  Whereas previously the bots seemed hell-bent on focusing the lowest hp target (by percentage hp value) the numbers seem to have shifted to an absolute value.  

The other one is that the bots will now fire an additional salvo / 2 based on your last known location / spotted location if you smoke up in a destroyer, for instance.  

Their torpedo logic / firing is still only based on absolutes: if ship is in torpedo range, torpedoes are loaded, fire on predicted course.  The only way they'd torp at your smoke was if they had a prior prediction / solution on you at the time you were lit, or a teammate caused them to fire.  

That being said, the weird one I see a lot is if the bots swap targets as they fire, often the first set of shells will come out on this flat super fast arc, and just warp to the target.  It looks so weird, and it happens quite frequently, I'd say you see it potentially 1 or 2 times per game :D.  

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24 minutes ago, ToxicSymphony said:

And have the correct ammo loaded ahead of time depending on the proximity of the nearest target!  Bot BB's will preload HE when you're near them in a DD and they haven't been engaging other targets / were unable to.  

Studying the bot behaviors to influence their decision making is actually a weird / fun little pastime for me, as most of my recent games are in coop.  The coding does seem to have been altered *fairly* recently, in the past few months, as far as their target prioritization.  Whereas previously the bots seemed hell-bent on focusing the lowest hp target (by percentage hp value) the numbers seem to have shifted to an absolute value.  

The other one is that the bots will now fire an additional salvo / 2 based on your last known location / spotted location if you smoke up in a destroyer, for instance.  

Their torpedo logic / firing is still only based on absolutes: if ship is in torpedo range, torpedoes are loaded, fire on predicted course.  The only way they'd torp at your smoke was if they had a prior prediction / solution on you at the time you were lit, or a teammate caused them to fire.  

That being said, the weird one I see a lot is if the bots swap targets as they fire, often the first set of shells will come out on this flat super fast arc, and just warp to the target.  It looks so weird, and it happens quite frequently, I'd say you see it potentially 1 or 2 times per game :D.  

Yes, I've seen all of this.

Also, as a dd, I think that if you were not detected prior to hiding in smoke they will not torp you, but woe is you if you were (even for a split second). My sample size is not large so I could be wrong about this.

There are also some old favorites like: they'll shoot you with HE until you have a fire, but once you're burning they switch to AP. If you put out the fire they'll switch back to HE. If you have to show them broadside, put out the fire first!

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1 hour ago, Sabot_100 said:

They must have REALLLLY liked you. How far out in front of the fleet were you?

Of course after you sank the DD there were ONLY 7 targeting you:Smile-_tongue:

Actually after the first salvo I was heading away from them at a full speed jinking as I went, and I was behind most of the fleet but the only one targetable by everyone... bingo.

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10 hours ago, ToxicSymphony said:

And have the correct ammo loaded ahead of time depending on the proximity of the nearest target!  Bot BB's will preload HE when you're near them in a DD and they haven't been engaging other targets / were unable to.  

Studying the bot behaviors to influence their decision making is actually a weird / fun little pastime for me, as most of my recent games are in coop.  The coding does seem to have been altered *fairly* recently, in the past few months, as far as their target prioritization.  Whereas previously the bots seemed hell-bent on focusing the lowest hp target (by percentage hp value) the numbers seem to have shifted to an absolute value.  

The other one is that the bots will now fire an additional salvo / 2 based on your last known location / spotted location if you smoke up in a destroyer, for instance.  

Their torpedo logic / firing is still only based on absolutes: if ship is in torpedo range, torpedoes are loaded, fire on predicted course.  The only way they'd torp at your smoke was if they had a prior prediction / solution on you at the time you were lit, or a teammate caused them to fire.  

That being said, the weird one I see a lot is if the bots swap targets as they fire, often the first set of shells will come out on this flat super fast arc, and just warp to the target.  It looks so weird, and it happens quite frequently, I'd say you see it potentially 1 or 2 times per game :D.  

In the past I found figuring out bot behavior fairly entertaining as well. I come from Legends on console where I've got a lot of time played. The bots on there really do follow the behaviors everyone says. They target based on a mix of proximity, armour, health, and which enemies are attacking them. Destroyers are usually top of the list, but if a bot battleship is engaged in a brawl with a player battleship, and a destroyer is spotted near their max gun range, they'll still focus on the battleship.

I had this experience initially on PC, but within the last week I've noticed it's gradually changed to what I mentioned in the OP. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they choose targets anymore.

Edited by MushroomBoogaloo

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And remember, all bots (including CV planes) have RPF, 12km Hydro (often undetectable) and 0.002 nano-second reflexes when it comes to launching torps on you while aiming at another player 17km away on the other side of their ship.

Cardinal rule, never be the first to shoot on your team unless you want to be bot-loved.

That said, I've been finding bots rather entertaining lately. Far more than I did in the past and far less frustrating than CV populated randoms. And since I'm no longer in any rush to grind anything, I can just shoot things and have some fun there. Pretty soon I think my COOP count will exceed my Randoms. I have the CV rework to thank for that.

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8 hours ago, xamdam said:

Pretty soon I think my COOP count will exceed my Randoms. I have the CV rework to thank for that.

Yup. 

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On 12/2/2020 at 11:22 AM, MushroomBoogaloo said:

If that's the case, how do you explain bots prioritizing my distant, near-full health battleship over a damaged light cruiser that's much closer, that they've been shooting at, and who is still shooting back? It just seems like there's more to how they select targets than what is common knowledge.

I did some experimentation months ago, by letting my BBs in coop matches stay in the back of the pack and not fire, and I was focus fired and the bots ignored ships that were closer with far less HP than I.
This happens at the very start of matches at times. It doesn't matter whether it is a BB DD or CL etc, a person can be in the very back of the pack and get focused before firing a shot in any ship type.
Even when green cruisers well in front of me should have been spotted by red DDs, the red bots ignored them and kept firing at me.

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So I don't really understand how this happened, but uh. It did.  

 

Some fun bot-based magic I guess.  It wasn't til I fully capped the center cap on Ocean in a boat with nearly 16km detection did the bots even seem to notice me XD. 

shot-20.12.12_15.37.20-0621.jpg

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