Page MenuHomeFeedback Tracker

Make AI less likely to go prone
Reviewed, WishlistPublic


We're all very aware that AI are still terminator-like killing machines, but while we wait for things such as fatigue, etc to affect them, there is something we could do to partially remedy the problem.
Right now, AI have a bad habit of going prone all the time. Whatever the reason for this, it needs to stop. It causes all sorts of problems, including:

  1. Because the AI can see perfectly well through grass, going prone makes them all but invisible to the player, while they can see just fine, and proceed to kill player who know they're there but can't even see them.
  1. It makes them too hard to hit. Because the AI are so quick to kill, the only reproducible way to beat them in a 1 on 1 situation is to get the drop on them - start shooting before they can aim at you. Because they go prone, the player has a much harder time hitting the small target.
  1. It looks silly in general. In any scenario where an occupied town gets attacked, a run into the town reveals that upon hearing any sort of contact, their first instinct is to lie on the ground. When I run into a town, I want to see AI running around, not "playing dead," only to gun me down in a fraction of a second.
  1. It's straight up unrealistic. A player would almost never go prone in close quarters because it limits mobility too much, and the stability of prone is not required for shooting nearby targets.

So what can we do to fix this? Well, the main solution would be to make it so that the things that usually cause AI to prone would cause them to crouch instead. It's a much more natural reaction, allowing for mobility, stability, and being able to see through the grass properly (oh, wait). Obviously for shooting targets at range the AI should still use prone for what it's meant for. It's things like this that could allow for much more realism in contact with AI, and requires (I assume) much less tweaking than say, making AI's aim react realistically to fatigue.


Legacy ID
AI Pathfinding / Motion

Event Timeline

the_Demongod edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
the_Demongod set Category to AI Pathfinding / Motion.
the_Demongod set Reproducibility to N/A.
the_Demongod set Severity to None.
the_Demongod set Resolution to Open.
the_Demongod set Legacy ID to 1367969453.May 7 2016, 7:03 PM

This was assigned the instant I created it. Are all AI movement tickets auto-assigned to oukej or something?

Hey! Kju is right, I've had it made so.

Thanks for the suggestion. We'll see if we can do something about it.

Repro mission, where the AI goes prone reliably in an urban area (exposing itself, limiting its maneuverability) or somewhere in the open (while there are cover opportunities nearby could help. (sadly, many of the rocks on the map are not usable by the AI due to a mistake done in the earlier development. We are truly sorry about that :( )

I down-voted the ticket. I absolutely don't agree with the 1 and 2 points. I believe you have managed to put a very poor arguments in there.

  1. Is not true on Arma 3 islands and if true in some scenarios (therefore bug) it should be fixed by fixing the LOS system and not by nerfing the AI behaviour.
  1. Absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable reason you put there (sorry). We should fix the AI shooting skills itself so that they are less super-human and not making them more stupid in their position selection in order to make them easier to hit.

3 and 4 are relevant points and could be fixed by timeouts before going prone or making cities CQB zones for which AI would have special behaviour. This would be very difficult to do properly IMO because there will be inevitable situations when you would love to have AI going prone even in CQB.

It's not "nerfing" the AI behavior.
We're not making them "more stupid," we're merely changing their behavior to make them act more like humans.
Prone is a great stance for long range shooting, but it is inherently vulnerable, because movement is slow. Go play multiplayer, and tell me how often you see people go prone. They don't for two reasons: it makes you a static target, and you can't see shit through the grass (the AI can).
To be honest, going prone in these situations is what is fucking stupid on the AI's part.
Go into the editor. Place an OPFOR rifle squad. Place yourself a little ways away in a Pawnee.
Start strafing the OPFOR with your guns. What do they do? Do they run and hide like people would? No. They lie down in prone, waiting to get shot and die.

I can't understand for the life of me how you can disagree with me about the grass thing.
I can't tell you how many times I have died because an AI lies down in the small lumpy bushes and grass, and headshots me because they can see me, and I can't see them. You obviously haven't played this game very much.

thank you for the note oukej, I have updated the steps to reproduce with a simple example of the issue.

Demongod, I really appreciate your tone. Very polite and constructive.

I have made an actual testing (that is results in actual numbers) about the grass thing and AI does not see through it. Have you made an exact testing or you just guess it based on your gameplay experience?

Put an exact repro-mission in the ticket. Then we will all see what is it about exactly. You might be right in some particular cases but until you deliver a proof this is just a speculation.

You cannot simply force AI going less prone "and that is it" because it will make them even more stupid and vulnerable. If you want to make them going less prone, you will have to change another parts of their behaviour in order to compensate for that (that is: make them take cover more efficiently, move more cleverly etc. - not very easy task to accomplish).

Also, the example with a Pawnee against AI infantry has nothing to do with AI going prone too much. It is all about AI not moving to cover. It has nothing to do about their stances. It is simply caused by a non-existent or not-triggered part of AI behaviour that would tell them to do so (that is, to move to a cover instead of just being static).

You seem to don't know much how the game works. Make some actual research and then come back because this is just cluttering of feedback tracker with a non-exact impressions about a general gameplay. Not very helpful.


Again, your repro-steps are totally irrelevant to the prone-position problem. You are mixing different problems into one.

You should have created separated tickets. For example: "AI is not taking cover when threaten by an enemy armor", "AI seeing through grass", "AI going prone in CQB too much" and "AI being too static in a combat".

You have to be very careful and precise while describing undesirable AI behaviour because it is a very complicated realm and each misinformation is not helping its development.

What type of grass are you trying this with? I am talking about the little round bushes that are all over the island.

I know you can't just change an "AIproneProbability = 0.7" value in the config or anything, and this ticket was meant not as a very specific fix, it was just to recognize a more general issue with AI behavior (I know BI is constantly working on AI behavior).

I am interested in how you got a number output in terms of the AI seeing you through grass, I would like to try this myself.

Believe me, I know very well how this game works (I have played this game for nearly 1000 hours, playing all sorts of roles), and I hardly think this ticket is "spam" compared to a lot of other tickets on this tracker.
And while I will admit that my field of expertise is centered mainly around aviation and aerial weapon systems, I know enough about AI to know that there is something wrong with a certain behavior.

I am not telling you that your ticket is a spam. It is simply wrongly defined. That is all.

Generally, all the clutter that is spawning on a ground (I am not talking about actual bushes as objects) on vanilla islands should give you concealment when prone and AI should not see you through it. It gets tricky, though, if a part of your body isn't concealed as AI seem to not get confused by clutter as we, humans, do.

Also, if you give away your position and go prone AI will nevertheless fire on that last known position quite heavily so it looks as if they actually see you while they actually not. If you are on a completely flat ground (try grassy patches on an airfield) and you move away from that position while being in a prone stance, you will find out that AI does not see or track your movement and still fire on the last known position with some amount of dispersion. However, it is often hard to stay alive long enough to actually spot this behaviour so "player EnableDamage False" is necessary to test it properly.

As I said, though, it is possible that some parts of clutter does not represent this concealment properly and you will get spotted (happened to me with ported Arma 2 islands that seems to be bugged in this way in some places).

Also, some clarification from the devs about how clutter actually works would be nice because there is a chance it is just a simple formula based on a terrain type and not on actual clutter and LOS (that would mean that laying on a road would not conceal you even if it was on its edge where high patch of grass is as you would simply be spotted on a certain terrain type that does not provide any concealment in actual numbers).

I will upload a mission where the script is used (the script is not written by me) so you can experiment with it and tell us your observations.

Ahhh that makes sense about the AI being able to automatically tell player from concealment.
I'm interested to see your repro mission.

It would be very useful for the devs to explain to us how the AI sees. We know how we see, and therefore how other humans see. But we don't understand how AI think, making it really hard to judge what is and isn't good concealment and stuff.

I will definitely test your theories and write back.

You should have a private message from me on the forums.

oukej: I think we would be satisfied even if the AI don't use rocks as cover for the first step in this issue.

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 7:03 PM

Maybe we could get a command to cancel prone position? Maybe, this allowProne false or something?