So I just read a very interesting article, and it got the ol’ brain working. Maybe that’s a bad thing… you decide. This is not something I’m set on, it’s just a brain dump.
The article was on the potential for bots to benefit games. Not player bots, official bots.
I know that it has always been the stance that players should provide everything (it’s a sandbox afterall) but if we ever fall below that critical level of active players, the whole thing will crumble. Which is where bots come in, providing content. They don’t do what NPCs do, they do what players do. They artificially spice up the player count, making the game feel alive.
I’m talking about an AI expert (or group of experts) producing 10-15 different adaptive AIs (ANNs for example, recording everything and attempting to adapt to tactics used against them), running 1000 bots. Not just NPCs. These would be capsuleers in AI form.
They’d engage in SOV war, they’d engage in FW, they’d engage in hotdrops, they’d rat and they’d mine (isk getting evaporated, with the minerals producing the very ships that the AIs use to shoot you with and the structures they stage from). They’d have subcap doctrines, they’d have capital doctrines. They’d go exploring in wormholes, they’d camp gates. They’d do all the things that players do.
Their overall strategic objectives would be decided by CCP. For example, take sov. They engage in a sov campaign against a semi-randomly selected chunk of sov that would fit 1000 players.
Or FW… they’d go in solo, small gang, and run FW sites. Real ships, real modules. Literally identical to players as far as the game server is concerned (ie the AIs would be controlling game clients, not living on the server).
- Increased pvp (AI pvp ofc but never the less, if the AI is done right, it should be good enough to provide a stand-in)
- Increased industrial demand. AIs flying around blowing up players, and structures will create increased demand on the markets.
- Counter-bot activities (player bots). They will be able to tirelessly hunt for bots.
- Other stuff?