Yeah, lots of titles over here! :D
Okay so I will elaborate on every single issue I have encountered with the AI so far. In general the AI hasn't changed much except they now spray bullets in the players general direction like maniacs. Seeing this is an Alpha I'm still neutral towards this and I do hope things get changed.
Moving on and starting off with the first, AI not able to fight in CQB:
Well this isn't a surprise for me and I did not expect much when doing this test, but it is much worse than expected. As AI has the ability to clip through walls this is worse in A3 than it was in A2.
In Arma 2, the AI was unable to move into a building on their own if the Squad Leader was a human player and the player did not order them to specific building positions. This is the same in Arma 3.
In Arma 2, AI didn't clip through walls and die when being told to regroup inside a building, they simply went outside and did their thing. In Arma 3, they walk outside, but through the wall. If they're in a 2 or 3 story building or even higher this results in them dying.
In Arma 2, the building positions (which can be assigned using buildingPos) were absolute bollocks and unusable because of the system. I'm completely honest here. buildingPos assigned 2 guys to stand right next to eachother, leaving them both at an ineffective state. In Arma 3, this isn't better. Building positions are still very very ineffective. I haven't done this test in many buildings and only with AI but I will see if I can conclude more tests with helper objects, which won't be obstructed by anything.
That actually concludes the CQB part.
AI unable to properly move around freely:
So I noticed this in my infiltration mission where the AI went nuts all of a sudden. So imagine you have this long corridor (in a more open environment, imagine a huge corridor leading in a base) and in that corridor you have a couple of hostile soldiers and atleast one hostile vehicle.
Thoughtprocess of AI:
"Oh yeah lets totally rush across this corridor shall we, we won't risk being hit at all!"
They all died horribly.
This is, again, very much the same as in ArmA2. They do find cover, but they go through suicide missions to do so. I have also noticed that they are extremely reluctant to properly following the player around, which is sort of a drawback from Arma 2, where they'd atleast find decent cover.
From my observations they seem to rely completely on player commands now and they don't seem to understand that they should have a brain too, if you get what I mean.
If you don't, let me give you an example:
In ArmA 2, once the AI had a shot in their general direction they'd get down and go into Danger Mode, searching for enemies (activating hacker vision if they need to). That was good.
In ArmA 3, it takes ATLEAST 1 man dead and 2 seconds for the AI to go into Danger Mode and search for enemies. They return fire properly (almost, I'd say) once done but that is really slow. They do not react to fire in their general direction or around them. They even happily stand up even if there's enemies around.
This does lead to my next part, the AI unresponsive:
As mentioned in the previous section, the AI does not respnd well to certain commands, and it seems to take a long time for them to process simple move commands (atleast sometimes, and especially in narrow areas). They also do not respond to suppression fire correctly and do not react to their environment as they should be. Changing Combatmodes should be automatic and not player dependent. I have not seen issues with firing at the enemy all too much, although it does take time for them to spot them.
And, onto the last part, the AI Pathfinding:
So here's when AI Pathfinding doesn't work:
- Inside buildings
- Narrow Areas
- When moving from cover to cover (not always but often)
Inside buildings has been taken up on the first section, CQB. They do not find positions in buildings themselves (although this would probably work. I honestly have no idea about AI stuff but from a scripting side of things it's possible to move them into a building via doMove, so advanced AI engineering sort of stuff shouldn't have an issue with it, but I don't know about that really) and they need a holding hand when it comes to these. Once they are told to regroup, they simply walk out of the walls to flee the building (in narrow buildings, because, who needs stairs? :)).
Narrow areas is the same as CQB (almost), and they have a hard time advancing, searching for cover and such. I've provided an example in section 2, about the AI being unable to move freely. Finding proper cover (means they don't necessarily choose a bush over a solid concrete wall anymore) doesn't seem to be a huge issue, but again the AI judgement is lacking. If they are moving past a solid wall which is about waist-height, they do not crouch unless told to. This will potentially ruin good running missions and stealth missions, however it has less to do with path finding, more reaction, awareness and judgement.
(Possible idea here: If there's something like a concrete wall within 5-10 m of the AI, check the height of the object, if it's below the height of the AI make the AU go either prone or crouch. Just an idea)
So this is all I had so far. Hope there's something useful inside it.