Current News
 News Archives
 Submit News

 Contact Us
 The Staff


 System Req.
 Missions Guide

 Play Online

Z & Z Expansion
 System Req.

FAQ - AI and Unit Behaviour

Q - The units are so dumb I can't play the game! Why is the unit AI so bad?
A - You're mistaken. Z:SS AI is good enough to make units fire anything that's within target *IF* the units are in aggressive mode and aren't "stand ground" units, like spies for example. Before patch 3, units had some kind of "aggressive range", which the behaviour settings could do nothing about. For example, if a unit got as close as 70% of the attack range of a psycho, it *would* attack, no matter what. Obviously this meant a psycho could generally be attacked without response. But you couldn't, for example, attack a tough without being fired back.
Toughs, mortar tanks and snipers, are some of the very "intelligent" units, that will react aggressively to any attack. Since Patch 3, the units in aggressive will simply react and pursue their attackers, unless they're stand ground units.

Q - When I have a group of units in place to defend something or whatever the comp will send one measly unit to stand off at range and pick off your units one by one EVEN THOUGH a majority of your units are in fact within range. Is the AI/LOS system broken?
A - This was meant to avoid units going suicidely pursue their attackers, sometimes where you didn't want them to. Since this was somewhat disturbing for newcomers, in patch 3 the Bitmaps pumped up the aggressiveness while in aggressive mode, and made units around the attacked one join it and pursue the attacker. Once this happen to you when a sniper is just trying to attract you force toward his mortars or defense, you'll quickly learn you need to use the defensive/neutral behaviour settings more often.

Q - Why is the Skirmish AI in Z:SS worse than the Z AI?
A - To be sincere, I think the AI in Z:SS is actually superior to the Z one, but it's severely detracted by two factors:
1 - The much greater number of units in the battlefield. In Z, the computer could easily build a bunch of 5 psychos and one tank and send them in a semi-intelligent fashion to attack you. In Z:SS the same happens, and the computer is even more devious doing it. The problem is that in Z:SS your groups are formed of 10+ units, so the computer is almost always at a numerical disadvantage. Appalingly, in the single player missions the computer will surprise you with attacks of 20-25 units. But then you'll just "upgrade" to 30-35 unit packs, and the computer will fall behind once again. In Z, you never had that much 'resources', your groups were always in the 5-10 limit, so the AI could easily measure up. The refinery in Z:SS makes things even worse for the AI, although it's a great element for multiplayer and adds a great production strategy element.
2 - Much more different units - Z was easier to master, and the game was overall much more predictable. Fewer unit types makes the AI much less prone to making mistakes. For example, the AI has the tendency of investing in costly units/structures, just to be "surprised" by tons of our cheap units. Try to lower the tech level and notice how much it improves its efficiency. I think some AI tweaks and more aggressiveness could severely improve it for skirmishes, specially if the AI were set to cheat in the hardest setting, with full LOS.





Mike Montgomery

Powered by

G a m e S p y
  GameSpy 3D
  GameSpy Arcade

G e n r e   S i t e s

S e r v i c e s