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dustman

NPCs: why don't they develop themselves?

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Just check few known chars at the end of the year: several skills in 7-10 range, mostly from classes, 2-3 subskills maxed, and maybe, just maybe, few attributes increased due to study mastery.

 

I've noticed that NPCs are using some locations, like Venalicium, but it's more of an artifact than a norm. And adventures? Nope. Even your clique members don't benefit from adventures you've run together...

 

Don't get me wrong: I love this game, I love adventures and NPC's stories, I even read Lore pieces once in awhile. But by the end of the year I seldom have less than one attribute above 10 (and much more if focusing on adventures), and skill selection is rather broad. Why can't NPCs use locations intelligently, and, even if they don't go adventuring, why do they never research?

 

To be stronger than Joana, more charming than Emilia and far more intelligent than Zoe and Milena combined by the end of first year is a bit insane...

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This has been my main problem with my mod. My NPCs are such idiots that I wonder how they even get out of bed in the morning.

 

I see there as being four main problems to their success and growth:

 

1) As you noted, they don't adventure. They don't get random events. Even completing their own adventure doesn't give them attribute points when you get them. The no adventures doesn't hurt them too badly- they're really not smart enough to complete adventures on their own- but the no random events does hurt. Those are tons of free skill ups, easily grabbed... and the NPCs get nothing.

2) They don't realize when they're capped. This is, I think, their biggest fault. Watch the logs, and you will constantly see them using Get Ready for (Class of Choice)- and failing. Why? Because their study level for class of choice is maxed. But they just aren't aware of it. In worse cases, they'll continue to use Get Ready for (Class of Choice) around ten more times, failing each time, before they realize 'oh, yeah, this isn't working anymore'. The greatest thing that could be done for NPCs is giving them the intelligence to realize when they've maxed study level and skills.

3) They waste time slots doing nothing. Watch them sometimes. There are days off when they will literally do one action, ignoring the other two. That's 1/3rd of what the PC is doing! School days will pass by when they do nothing but attend their classes. I don't know why they decide to just take days off, but it's driving me nuts, honestly. I can't make them stop doing it.

4) They use the AI random skills instead of training, and often thus do dumb results with it. Let's say their Conversation is 10, their Listen is 10, and their Temperance is 9. Nine times out of ten, rather then simply using Train Temperance, they will use Be A Better Friend which gives a random chance of one of those skills going up. Be a Better Friend will fail repeatedly, because of the Conversation and Listen being maxed, but they will keep doing it. The worst part is, once they finally hit Temperance to 10 using it, they'll be all like 'OH HAI THIS ACTION WORKS' and then as in step two, they will need to use the action fifteen more times before they're finally convinced that, no, actually, it doesn't work. This step is really bad when the NPC is set to try and learn a specific skill. I have Antonio told to learn Dance, but instead of just using Train Dance (or even better, the locations he can unlock where you get dance and something more), he will repeatedly use the skill that gives him a random Art subskill because he is a stupid idiot.

 

I seem to remember there's some stat governing how often they will try and repeatedly fail at something, but I can't remember what it is so I can reduce it on my NPCs. Bah.

 

There are other problems with them, too, but mostly minor issues. They tend to try and use the Befriend ability on people who are already cliqued, but they're getting one relationship point out of it, so that doesn't bother me too much. They tend to become obsessive over one action and repeat it over and over, but that's sort of covered under two. They never seem to move on from the Academic Success goal despite having all study levels mastered (again, sort of covered by two). They seem much happier to use the random AI Actions then use location spots where they can get more then one skill at a time. They'll never shop and get items to increase their attributes and skills. As long as a ability gives them some sort of 'success' (usually by informing them of a location) they think it's still working and will continue to use it repeatedly (see: Grapple for the Crowds, which reveals the location of two gyms, being spammed by low fitness/wrestling characters who aren't actually winning any rolls). They don't know that two months of the year, they learn absolutely nothing, which would be a great time for them to skip and gain some skills- they don't skip at all, really.

 

So yes, I have whines about NPCs stupidity.

 

But despite all that, I think a good job was done on them, overall. There's what, over 70 of them with distinct AI packages, and they still don't slow up the game during turns even as the game needs to keep track of what each one of them is doing every moment. A lot of work went in to them, and I'm constantly amazed by how distinct everyone's interests, personal, vendetta and so on tables are. Every student really does have their unique personality set by the game, and it's fascinating to watch how everyone reacts and performs.

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But despite all that, I think a good job was done on them, overall. There's what, over 70 of them with distinct AI packages, and they still don't slow up the game during turns even as the game needs to keep track of what each one of them is doing every moment. A lot of work went in to them, and I'm constantly amazed by how distinct everyone's interests, personal, vendetta and so on tables are. Every student really does have their unique personality set by the game, and it's fascinating to watch how everyone reacts and performs.

 

I agree with you. And it's so disappointing that great job went into the char development is wasted most of the time. How many of us ever see nice stories of something like 90% of NPCs? Now, with DLC 15, bugs with such quests pop-up once in awhile. Why? Nobody consider them worthy to spend time on. In my last game I for first time (!) heard of Vuillaume Eparvier, and really loved her story. But, the last step requires roll vs. 20 (!!!!!), or vs. 25 (even more insane) to succeed. Stories of Katja Quinnecht, Neso Ulleri, Llarina de Avuel and quite few other's were very interesting as well, but of them I was more or less familiar with Katja, who were in center of one of random events. So, most of the students don't even affect the game unless time is spent on them directly. Pity.

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In real life there are plenty of people who don't studdy as hard as our academagia students... Who are more like studdy holics..

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If I remember correctly, part of the reason why first year expulsions were removed was due to stupid AIs tending to get expelled before the year was out. That's why you can get any number of detentions without getting drummed out of the school.

 

I think the AI actions are similarly a hack to improve the AI without requiring their behavior logic to be overhauled.

 

Academagia has massive scope. Making AIs who behave correctly within what's available to the player is quite a challenge.

 

I really wish, at the very least, that AIs understood when their skills and study levels were capped out.

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89157Z;

 

"I really wish, at the very least, that AIs understood when their skills and study levels were capped out."

 

THIS. Addressed in Y2, though. :)

 

It's been ages since I was around these parts. It's good to see you're still active, and that Y2 is still a thing.

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It's addressed in year two? Yay! No more studying forever! Does that mean they'll actually move on in their goals?

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89157Z;

 

"I really wish, at the very least, that AIs understood when their skills and study levels were capped out."

 

THIS. Addressed in Y2, though. :)

I think it would be best if the NPC in Y2 get a set amount of minimum stats so the NPC that rolled really badly (or got horribly bullied) in Y1 won't be horrible ruined stat wise.

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Nyaa;

 

That was discussed, but ultimately it was decided to leave them to their fate. You can always intervene, if you feel strongly about it, but some Students inevitably will struggle. They are getting a little boost, as I understand it, to make up for the some of the shortcomings of Y1, though.

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