An argument for bots on our servers

Discussion in 'Site Discussion' started by YM, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,745
    Don't dismiss this straight away with "BOTS ARE BAD LULZ" because I'm serious and have some solid things to say:

    I believe we should have the option of adding somewhere around 5 bots per side to our server.

    Why?

    1. When we have low playercouts in an impromptu test, we can flesh out the playercount and give it a more representative feel, 3v3 never represents an actual server but 8v8 does, even if the bots aren't playing well 8 players beats 3
    2. When we have midrange playercounts we can add those 4-5 per side to fill the server up to 24 players, again, even if the bots aren't playing particularly intelligently, it better emulates the more crowded feeling of a full server.
    3. It can't hurt those maps who don't have nav meshes, or those authors who don't want to add bots to their tests. As long as it's kept entirely optional, no one who doesn't want bots has to suffer their stupidity

    It doesn't take much to upload a nav mesh as well as a bsp, then authors can choose to add some bots in if they want a few more players.

    When I suggested this in chat I got some violent opposition for some pretty dumb reasons (bots suck is not a good reason, since I only want the option to add some bots not having bots on all the time, that would suck)

    Does anyone have any meaningful comments on why this shouldn't/can't be done? If no one does, can we get on this?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. Hanz

    aa Hanz Ravin' Rabbid

    Messages:
    844
    Positive Ratings:
    466
    I was first thinking like 'Err bots?' but it would actually be pretty handy. I think it wouldn't hurt anyone to have like 4 bots if necessary, you wouldn't even notice.
     
  3. Psy

    aa Psy The Imp Queen

    Messages:
    1,705
    Positive Ratings:
    1,468
    I have no problems with this. Like you said, having bots to just fill out the player count is much better than having a handful of human players.
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy L11: Posh Member

    Messages:
    829
    Positive Ratings:
    251
    People tend to judge bots based on how they play in casual gaming. They're actually very useful when it comes to mapping.
     
  5. Da_Man

    Da_Man L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    173
    Positive Ratings:
    38
    I don't have any problems with it. The problem I see is that no one will have .nav meshes for the bots when we implement it, but I will come gradually.
     
  6. LeSwordfish

    aa LeSwordfish semi-trained quasi-professional

    Messages:
    4,113
    Positive Ratings:
    6,077
    It would be cool if we could make "Build a navmesh" as simple and automatic as "build cubemaps"

    That'd be a point.Now that navmeshes are useful, what about asking valve if its possible to have them pack themselves into the .bsp like cubemaps.
     
  7. Prestige

    aa Prestige im not gay anymore

    Messages:
    1,774
    Positive Ratings:
    1,530
    this will probably make the servers die forever somehow.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  8. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

    Messages:
    5,035
    Positive Ratings:
    3,990
    I don't even want the option of having bots. Personally when I end up on a server that is using bots to fluff player count I tend to leave as quickly as I came. They aren't fun to fight with or against. I'd rather play the map slightly differently to account for low players in every situation than have to attempt to depend on a bot. It's just not worth it to me. I don't believe the work involved in creating a functioning nav mesh for the map is worth it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2011
  9. luxatile

    aa luxatile deer

    Messages:
    2,289
    Positive Ratings:
    1,349
    This could work for really low playercounts, like 6 players or something, but once you get to any sort of reasonable amount of human players, I (as a player on the server, not as a mapper), would probably be annoyed by them and I would feel like leaving straight away.

    If we're going to have bots as an option for higher amounts of players, at the very least we need to have a vote before turning them on. Every time.
     
  10. waxpax

    waxpax L5: Dapper Member

    Messages:
    240
    Positive Ratings:
    149
    Can't anyone with rcon add as many bots as they want? Like, tf_bot_add is the base command. You might need a plugin to take them off when people join, but you can just kick them too.
     
  11. theharribokid

    aa theharribokid

    Messages:
    867
    Positive Ratings:
    806
    When we were testing pl_manngrove on some server the author was running he had bots enabled to flesh out the player count, they were no fun to play against and no fun to play with. I don't think they contribute anything significant to play and would rather play with a smaller player count. If bots help test a map why not just create a listen server and spawn some bots and not player test at all.

    Even as a regular player on our server, I know I'd think twice about joining an improptu for lesser known maps were im just going to be playing with half the teams bots and half people.
     
  12. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

    Messages:
    5,035
    Positive Ratings:
    3,990
    a thousand times this
     
  13. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,745
    You guys are really that prejudiced against bots? You can't just pretend they're stupid players?

    And I'm not suggesting at all that it should be most maps, most of the time, I suspect most people wont bother to make a nav mesh, so most maps wont even have the option. And of course if you don't want bots on your own map, you don't have to upload a nav mesh, so you can have botless tests.
     
  14. Doctor Paprika

    Doctor Paprika L4: Comfortable Member

    Messages:
    150
    Positive Ratings:
    50
    I don't mind playing against bots a lot of time (as long as they're a minority of the team, say 2 or 3 out of 12), but for custom map testing I sense nothing but problems. I think 4v4 with all humans capable of leaving feedback would be more productive than if there were an additional 8 bots in with them.
     
  15. Ravidge

    aa Ravidge Grand Vizier

    Messages:
    1,544
    Positive Ratings:
    2,495
    Last time I checked (a long long time ago) bots don't even know how to operate unclipped stairs. And jumping over a 32 unit fence for a 2000 unit shortcut? nope. They sure love walking.
    They're not even close to stupid players.

    I can't help to feel it would be a contributor to server issues too. I have a deep distrust for nav files by now. And how would they be uploaded anyway? I've seen maps with them packed just instagib the server without mercy, and forget manually doing it for each file (I'm not doing that at least).

    I just don't know. I personally don't want even more server duty work, and I don't think bots are good for much when it comes to testing either. You can use them to see where battles naturally occur when they both walk towards each other from spawnwaves. But that to me feels like something you do locally.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  16. English Mobster

    English Mobster L6: Sharp Member

    Messages:
    355
    Positive Ratings:
    225
    Bots have gotten somewhat smarter. They'll jump off ledges if said ledges are less than 256 units high (they're REALLY paranoid about fall damage, though), and they'll jump up ledges that they can jump up onto (no crouch or rocket jumps, though).

    I've found bots to be useful in a listen server to find trouble spots before I upload a build to TF2M, but they are no substitute for the real thing.

    Creating a navmesh is easy, though. Just type nav_generate in console. Don't need anything special, just give it a few minutes and it'll generate the mesh. While you can manually tell Snipers and whatnot which spots to go to, for the most part the game does a fairly good job of finding the best Sniper spots.
    Sentry spots can be a little... iffy at times, however. And by iffy I mean stupid.
     
  17. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden L7: Fancy Member

    Messages:
    491
    Positive Ratings:
    167
    Does RED even attack on 5 CP maps yet?
     
  18. Jeremy

    Jeremy L11: Posh Member

    Messages:
    829
    Positive Ratings:
    251
    Yes, they do. Bots are also able to capture intelligence and bring it back to their own base and Demoman bots place stickybomb traps on control points and around corners and such. Oh, and Spy bots actually cloak, disguise and backstab properly.

    They've come a pretty long way since they were first introduced. Next up: getting them to rocket jump, sticky jump and double jump.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  19. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

    Messages:
    7,099
    Positive Ratings:
    5,745
    They have come along way, the biggest problem on strata is they don't split the teams between defence and attacking, but then neither do TF2M players so it's pretty accurate I'd say.
    They have come a long way.

    @rav I doubt it'd be much more server work, an extra uploader added to the upload page for nav meshes since paked ones crash. then once an appropriate plugin is installed (admittedly counts as server work) just a single commant like most source mod, there may even BE some sourcemod stuff already.

    Those who have strong objections to the fact they're playing with/against bots, do you really object to having 2-3 bots per team if there are 8 real people per side? Would you honestly notice? I can't see that you would. Especially as on our servers we get people running into all the strangest places and jumping on all the strangest things and standing still for ages leaving feedback, I'd almost go so far as to say bots play better than some players here.
     
  20. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

    Messages:
    5,436
    Positive Ratings:
    3,570
    I guess it has the convinience that you can force a medic slot for your team if there isn't one already, but i'm also skeptical of what they'll actually add to gameplay beyond more accurately representing a battle of attrition by there simply just being an additional mass of HP and flakk present on the field.

    There's not really anything wrong with 8vs8 gameplay and you're just running an impromptu at a bad time if you're stuck with anything under 4vs4.

    Whilst having bots even as just an option seems harmless enough I also share Ravidge's concern about dealing with nav meshes with every map submission and the inherent server instability. If just one person gets it wrong it disrupts an entire event, impromptu or gameday, and we begin to lose actual players who get fed up of consistent disconnects.

    It feels to me that we'd be gambling real players and server stability for the sake of a couple phantom players whose positive impact may be considered questionable at best.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1