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I know that this suggestion is a bit left of field, and I understand that such a feature would be waaaaay down the bottom of the dev's list (let alone on it), but whatever, this is just me being creative, so here it goes...

 

Considering that Squad is more or less based in reality, and given the advances in A.I. for Unreal Engine 4.8, I was thinking that the inclusion of civilian bots would truly make for a unique, (and more importantly "realistic") experience.

Given the nature of insurgency and guerrilla warfare, civilians are an integral part to the system.

 

Here's my own little list of reasons I think civilians would benefit Squad...

 

  • Makes the current Middle Eastern theatre feel more authentic 
  • Could help balance the discrepancy in advantage between Insurgent and U.S. forces via the following...
    • The U.S. could suffer a 5 ticket punishment/longer spawn time for killing a civilian. (This wouldn't apply to insurgents, and U.S. tickets can only be lost if killed by a U.S. member)
    • Insurgents can blend in with civilian crowd, giving them a sort of camouflage. The U.S. troops cannot do this
  • Could create different game modes (or just be its own game mode) such as...
    •  "U.N. Peacekeeping", where U.S. troops combat Insurgents whilst minimising civilian casualties (think along the lines of "Black Hawk Down" or todays current door-to-door operations in populated, urban environments).
    • Possible hostage-type game mode?
  • Civilans would add a more 'human?' (not sure if that's the right word, 'emotional depth' perhaps) element to the game. Rather than just shooting at each other... In other words, it'd make people (the U.S forces especially) a lot more careful when engaging targets.

 

 

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.

 

I imagine the number of bots could be from 10 to 100! Where it be small village communities, to crowded market places. I suppose it really depends on their necessity and limitations of the devs.

 

I have no idea if this would be feasible in terms of logistics, match balance, or engine performance (i'm no game developer, so excuse the ignorance). But just thought i'd add my 2 cents.

 

The game is looking amazing btw :)

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Waw, I never thought about that. This would be really, really awesome!
I don't know if it's possible to place 100 civilians without losing too much performance, maybe the Devs could answer us that.

As you said, this could be added after the game is good to play. But anyway, that's a damn nice Suggestion!


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As long as there is little effect on performance, I'm all for this. However, the civilian models would likely be very few, low poly and low texture to be viable.

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I doubt after they have added 50vs50 players, huge maps, a dozen FOBs in place and vehicles, they will have performance to spare, let alone AI. Also for the civilians to add any kind of immersion they would need to be very well done.

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In the future I think networking on UE4 will be legend-dairy, so my fingers are crossed on the 4.9 Update

But aswell, doesn't performance mostly rely on the server? 

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I doubt after they have added 50vs50 players, huge maps, a dozen FOBs in place and vehicles, they will have performance to spare, let alone AI. Also for the civilians to add any kind of immersion they would need to be very well done.

Yep, you're certainly right about that. However, your comment has led me to think of one solution to counter that, which solves two problems...

What if like in Co-Op multiplayer for vanilla Battlefield 2 (where you had both real and A.I. players), you instead have civilian bots take up the empty player slots on servers.

This solves...

  • Performance issues: Since the bots only fill empty slots, the player count will never go over 100 players (both real and A.I.)
  • Creates the illusion that servers are always populated (i.e. If no real players online, the server will just be made up 100% of civilian bots)

 

For example:

You and 4 mates are playing on a 50v50 server. This means that the server population is 5/100 players. Now as it stands in the current build, you and your friends would be the only players in the server. But what if a system (like BF2 Co-Op) was created where the remaining 95 player slots are filled by civilian bots? You could even make it a server type/option such as "Civilian Server".

You could almost think of the civilians as spectators (but with bodies).  

As more real players enter the server, the more bots get replaced.... here are more examples of a 50v50 "civilian" server to hit the message home.. 

 

U.S: 20

Insurgents: 20

Civilians: 60

 

U.S: 28

Insurgents: 28

Civilians: 44

 

U.S: 0

Insurgents: 0

Civilians: 100

 

The only problem with this is that when you get a full server with 50 U.S. and 50 insurgents, you get 0 civilians which kind of defeats the purpose...

(But then again, I suppose it makes sense for all the civilians to flee the server during a 50v50 match...I can't imagine too many civilians in real life would hang around whilst there's a full-scale battle raging down the road).    :lol:

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There's graphics performance, for things like terrain, statics, animations, effects and so on, which depends primarily on the client's hardware, and then there's network performance, where player actions and their consequences in game must be replicated to the server and then to all other players, so everyone is in sync to what is going on during a match. So A.I. would depend on both graphics and networking performance, which would be better spent on other things like vehicles, destructibles.

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It'd be a nice feature but the only way I can see it working realistically is a Hostage scenario, playable Civillians (like in PR) or some new Game-mode based around it. If you just had a Map full of AI NPC's, unless the server was very RP centric you'd probably just get people Shooting them on purpose. Programming AI that react's well and actually add's to the Game would probably be quite hard aswell, like if they just stand still and do nothing when a Battle erupt's around them it's going to achieve the opposite effect.

 

I could see it working if you had Hostage's and maybe some AI Civillian's in the vicinity (like getting Intel from them) then a Player having the ability to switch roles with the Hostage once found (like in ARMA where you can jump from character to character) as it'd be annoying if the Hostage got killed because they decided to just stand out in the open while the rescuers were all taking cover or something.

 

Actually, that'd make kind of a cool night Map  :D .

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You know, the first thing that pop's in my head when i hear "civi's" or "civilian like AI" in game, is GTA (really any version).  Now there can be (and probably are) many reasons why that specific series of games comes into my head, but the biggest one is killing civilians.

 

Now i feel that the Squad community is a bit more mature in the aspect of gaming; I.E. Most of us (especially on the US/BluFor side during this hypothetical match) would not go around gunning down civilians.  However, that still leaves it to the fact that i said, MOST of us.  That means there is still a small population of gamers that would do this act.  Now if this was to happen, and lets say the punishment was added from an above post, of like 5 ticket's per killed Civi, i can see one, or two jack asses really destroying a teams ticket's in not much time at all.  Unless the AI were spaced out.  But then, if we go into an urban environment, would we see like 2 random civi's just chilling on the block, then see a couple more 3 blocks later?  Yes, and maybe no.  It really depends, but that's not the point.

 

Now me personally, i love the idea.  I think it would be great, and add a new level of difficulty to the game, determining, a civilian, from an informant in a game like INS, or stuff like that.  But i just think that adding civi's in, would take up space, on something where the dev's focus could be put.

I do, like the idea, and do hope that it could be implemented later, but i don't think right now is a good time.

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It'd be a nice feature but the only way I can see it working realistically is a Hostage scenario, playable Civillians (like in PR) or some new Game-mode based around it. If you just had a Map full of AI NPC's, unless the server was very RP centric you'd probably just get people Shooting them on purpose. Programming AI that react's well and actually add's to the Game would probably be quite hard aswell, like if they just stand still and do nothing when a Battle erupt's around them it's going to achieve the opposite effect.

 

I could see it working if you had Hostage's and maybe some AI Civillian's in the vicinity (like getting Intel from them) then a Player having the ability to switch roles with the Hostage once found (like in ARMA where you can jump from character to character) as it'd be annoying if the Hostage got killed because they decided to just stand out in the open while the rescuers were all taking cover or something.

 

Actually, that'd make kind of a cool night Map  :D .

True, true... However, that is going a little further than I intended :)

 

I wasn't thinking of civilian NPCs as anything more than stationary/evading bots... and I certainly wasn't thinking about playable civilians. :lol:  

The only real interaction between the player and the bot would be if you shot and killed them (think GTA but the civilians don't fight back).

I was thinking more along the lines of having them just hide in huts/compounds and walk around aimlessly in the street (and run when a gun is fired close by).

I would say gathering intel and commanding civilians is going just a bit far.

More or less reallllly basic and simple A.I.

 

And like I said, the number of possible civilians would really be up to the devs and what they're capable of....personally i'd be fine if there were only 7 or 8 civvies walking around. It just adds that little bit more variety to the environment. 

 

I was essentially thinking of having civilians for decoration to give the maps some life (figuratively speaking), not so much as interactive assets. 

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You know, the first thing that pop's in my head when i hear "civi's" or "civilian like AI" in game, is GTA (really any version).  Now there can be (and probably are) many reasons why that specific series of games comes into my head, but the biggest one is killing civilians.

 

Now i feel that the Squad community is a bit more mature in the aspect of gaming; I.E. Most of us (especially on the US/BluFor side during this hypothetical match) would not go around gunning down civilians.  However, that still leaves it to the fact that i said, MOST of us.  That means there is still a small population of gamers that would do this act.  Now if this was to happen, and lets say the punishment was added from an above post, of like 5 ticket's per killed Civi, i can see one, or two jack asses really destroying a teams ticket's in not much time at all.  Unless the AI were spaced out.  But then, if we go into an urban environment, would we see like 2 random civi's just chilling on the block, then see a couple more 3 blocks later?  Yes, and maybe no.  It really depends, but that's not the point.

 

Now me personally, i love the idea.  I think it would be great, and add a new level of difficulty to the game, determining, a civilian, from an informant in a game like INS, or stuff like that.  But i just think that adding civi's in, would take up space, on something where the dev's focus could be put.

I do, like the idea, and do hope that it could be implemented later, but i don't think right now is a good time.

Haha I will admit that I was waiting for this to be brought up, and I agree with you. It's inevitable that players would abuse this aspect of the game.

The only two (extreme) solutions I could think of to fix this would be...

 

  • Making the civilians invincible and have them purely as glorified set pieces that run and hide.

Or... 

  • After killing a certain amount of civilians you get kicked (much like team killing)... Personally i like this option, because it's an easy way to weed out the idiots who won't adhere to the server rules and game play.

But like you said, unlikely this will ever get implemented....but a man can dream.... :)

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As long as they are not headless chicken AI running into my MG fire as I shoot down a street.  ;)

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Perfect opportunity/project for a mod team to work on.

 

Imagine a mod that allows co-op and people to craft missions in Squad. 

 

That'd make a good thread.

 

Future mod ideas.

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Perfect opportunity/project for a mod team to work on.

 

Imagine a mod that allows co-op and people to craft missions in Squad. 

 

That'd make a good thread.

 

Future mod ideas.

I also think this would rather be a mod idea then for the "basic" game itself.

 

EDT: Wanted to give you a like, but you and ajax did eat every like i had today :(

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From technical side, I think it would be really hard to make.

 

In the gameplay side, it would be AWESOME! 

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I have wished bot civilians randomly walking/running around the urban areas of our maps could be added for ages. I just assumed that others felt the same but it hadn't been done because of performance/resource issues. Seems like it would make the gameplay so much more realistic/immersive.

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It would be cool to have a few minutes in the beginning of the match of civilian cars and footmobiles fleeing

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I was watching one of the Trailer's and it had a bit of ambience in the background (like Dog's barking) which could potentially add to the game (like Dog's/Goat's and Bird's randomly placed). if I remember correctly, don't bird's fly out of tree's in PR if you disturb certain Foliage or get within a certain distance? The same effect could be applied with other Ambient Animal's in the World.

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I was watching one of the Trailer's and it had a bit of ambience in the background (like Dog's barking) which could potentially add to the game (like Dog's/Goat's and Bird's randomly placed). if I remember correctly, don't bird's fly out of tree's in PR if you disturb certain Foliage or get within a certain distance? The same effect could be applied with other Ambient Animal's in the World.

If those other "Ambient Animal's in the World" could include humans, I'd be a happy man  :)

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I would love to see AI civilians (animals? dogs, goats) roaming the land and reacting to the action taking place. They don't need to be to clever. Distant gunfire and they flee and take cover in buildings. As the fighting gets closer they flee to the next village or compound.

Not sure if it's possible but it would be cool if the AI could have a mix of supporting different factions. A village may align with insurgent forces and would run away from US forces (perhaps yelling in their native voice) and pointing in the direction of advancing forces as they pass an insurgent squad. It could work the other way around with the village opposed to the insurgents also.

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Yes, of course this is what we all would like to see.

 

Puts it on a back burner and tip toes away...

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I was searching "Civilian" on the forums because I was watching this video.. it feels kinda strange the guy don't meet any civilans in the villages..

I said above, the IA have not to be very clever, just hide in buildings when the first shots are fired would be enough.. 

 

 

 
Would be nice to have a Dev point of view on this subject (even if that may not be in first line of their concerns for now ;)

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Could the AI civvies act as a combat indicator, moving out of an area/village when it becomes occupied by the Taliban? Like in real life.

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Could have insurgent warlords getting bonus for controlling or herding groups of civilians.  

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This is precisely the real life tactical advantage that insurgents have that I was referring to whenever a conversation is started about balancing the weapons between coalition forces and insurgent forces. Not being bound to warfare rules and conventions they can basically masquerade as civilians among other things. If this could be implemented in a fair manner I'm all for it rather than nerfing coalition equipment or buffing insurgent weapons in unrealistic ways.

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