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AI oddities


CrimsonOne

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Playing in trainer's challenge today i have noticed a few oddities regarding the AI.

 

1.AI does not play a card during their turn thus effectively skipping their turn. I could possibly attribute this to the AI not having a card in its hand it can play.

2.AI makes questionable moves. One such move was putting a pokemon out in the active slot with no energy attached to it while i had one active with enough energy attached to faint it outright

3.AI stallling. This one is little hard to explain. The AI would draw a card (the size of their hand does not show this) and just sit there and ponder about what to do. at one point the AI had a choice of two cards in its hand to pick from. this in turn causes the game to come to a grinding halt and you cant forfeit the game. the game itself is not frozen as you can still look at your discard pile and the cards in your hand.

 

the last one may be a latency issue but it does happen every so often. i just figured i would bring this up.

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Hi CrimsonOne,

 

I'll submit this feedback to the Dev team for review. Regarding your last point, this may have been a situation of lag. If you experience this again, we encourage you to check your internet connection for any irregularities. If it's a common problem, I recommend removing any unnecessary background programs that could be interfering with your connection and running an antivirus/malware scan and getting back to us if this doesn't help.

 

Thanks for your input! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just want to point out some other AI issues:

 

-This has ocurred to me a lot of times, in the same turn, the AI retreats its Pokemon for another one (spending the requiered energy). Then, the AI plays a card to switch his active Pokemon from one of the Bench, and it switches into the one he was playing at the begining of its turn, but with less Energy (because it retreated the pokemon before). This AI bug is so extreme that I have played some matches where the AI couldn't attack me because it spended all its Energies retreating pokemon. :S

 

-In one match, the AI played "Hugh", a card that makes all the players to have 5 cards on hand (by drawing or discarding). I had 3 cards in my hand, the AI had 8 cards...

 

I write this just to inform, I know this game is in beta, and some bugs are expected :P

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I have also noticed that the AI controlling the NPC trainers is pretty basic (that really is the source of all the issues minus that stalling one), which is probably expected being in beta but is one major area of improvement that could be made to the game as most of a player's early experience is against NPCs and the challenges to them after the first couple get extremely boring as you are clearly not playing someone at their best. As someone with programming/game design experience, I thought I might be able to contribute a bit to the discussion.

 

From observation, it seems that the AI follows these basic rules:

 

1) If you can play a trainer/item card, regardless of utility, play it. - There seems to be no disadvantage/advantage calculation going into play and this rule seems to have priority over other actions as well. NPCs sometimes use a Switch then another Switch to change the pokemon out then back into play, Energy Retrieval to retrieve only one energy (not always a bad thing, but often less than optimal), using potions (30 HP) to heal 10 HP of damage on their active or benched pokemon, regardless of whether that heal would save them (removing just enough damage that my attack won't kill, or healing when I have 120 damage attack on a 90 HP target anyway), Professor Junipers to discard full hands before even playing the basics/energy/items contained in the hand - even to the point of decking themselves out.

 

2) When a pokemon is knocked out, substitute in the benched pokemon farthest to their left (first slot), regardless of having other pokemon able to use attacks available. I've won a few games simply by waiting for the AI to draw another basic to fill that slot rather than let them switch in their fully-powered finisher sitting in slot 2.

 

3) Occasionally continuing to apply energy to one powerful creature long past the point of having all energy needed for all of its attacks (even factoring in future evolved forms, moves discarding energy, and bonuses to having more energy of a type to power an attack). I've sometimes seen 10-12 energy on a single pokemon with a max of 3 cost attacks. Note, this was observed before the April 2014 update, so it may already be fixed.

 

4) Sometimes the AI will not attack at all. - This has happened a few times, the active pokemon has enough energy to kill my active pokemon, will not kill itself by attacking me (recoil/rocky helmet effects), and its simply doesn't attack and ends its turn.

 

5) The Difficulty levels don't seem to have any effect on the AI's behavior, though I have noticed that lately the harder difficulties simply have a "stack the deck against the player" effect. Higher difficulties seem to turn the coin from a 50/50 flip ratio to more of a 90 tails/10 heads frequency, seem to move all Stage 1 and Stage 2 cards to the bottom of the deck, regardless of number of times shuffled (I've had benches of nothing but basics until down to around 15 cards left in the deck more times than would happen by chance). A better way to set up AI difficulties would be to improve the AI to near human behavior (as best as the programmers can) using a standard points-value optimized list of move options (Attack and kill player: 100 points advantage, Switch pokemon to save it from dying: 80 points advantage, discard entire hand and switch active pokemon for unpowered basic: -100 points advantage), and have the odds of the AI selecting a option higher on the list be weighted on the difficulty. Hard would always use the best move available, Medium would have maybe 70/30 odds of doing the best action, and Easy would be maybe 50/50. This would add some challenge back into the Single player.

 

Now, stating all of these AI flaws and potential improvements, I think I should mention that it might become nearly impossible to win against some of the highly optimized NPCs decks with the terribly optimized Basic decks, so some custom deck use might be required in the Single Player to make it more interesting, and also add in the dynamic of improving your own decks as you gain experience against AIs.

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I second most of what Ghostwolf_ said.

 

His point 3) still happens. I've seen a lot of energy stacked on benchwarmers that don't need it.

 

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difficulty in the AI on Hard, and after about half of the Gold League, I didn't feel like I was being taught much (as a newish Pokemon TCG player). It definitely didn't prepare me for facing real players (especially since they get so much more utility out of Trainer cards). I've enjoyed the concept of a 'single player mode' for the game, but I'd love to feel a little challenged by my opponent, and not just wondering if my draws will be decent enough to win.

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Also, occasionally, I have seen opponents play a card that returns their only Pokémon back to their hand or deck on the first turn, ending the game.

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