The Division 2 Update 3 Issues With NPC and AI Detailed by Ubisoft

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As part of yesterday’s State of the Game for The Division 2, Ubisoft Massive has outlined The Division 2 update 3 issues that have arisen when it comes to AI and NPC in the looter shooter.

Thanks to Reddit user JokerUnique, you can check ’em out below, and as well as when players can expect them to be fixed.

NPC / AI issues that were introduced with TU3

Enemy AI Mechanics

  • The AI is still based on a behavior tree system where the NPC decides on conditions how they behave and what they do.
  • The Hunter AI of the Survival DLC was basically the foundation of the AI in The Division 2.
  • The Division 2 built on that and also had to incorporate better behaviors and a lot more Archetypes of the different factions.
  • These new hostile Archetypes also have new and unique abilities (like prone) that were not around in the first game and they also have alternative tactics. For example, when you destroy their main abilities, they attack in different ways and so on.

 

TU3 AI issues

There have been 2 major issues with the AI in TU3 that were interconnected and caused a lot of issues and fallouts.

  • NPC Aggressive Behavior (rushing behavior of NPCs)
    • The NPC basically lost track of the player when they started moving and that manifested itself by an NPC running past the player or running up to the player to start a melee attack.
    • But what the NPC actually wanted to do was to get behind the player. But since he lost track of the player, he basically got surprised when he found the player in his path and switched to his melee attack behavior.
    • This could happen more often in closed spaces than in open spaces, because there was less room to maneuver.
    • On top of that, since the whole AI algorithm is basically interconnected – when things like this happen, it can cause a lot of fallout and that should not be happen.
  • NPC Speed of Movement
    • Players reported that NPCs were moving too fast
    • The NPCs had a bug that they accelerated too fast and were x times faster as they should be for a brief period of time.
    • This could occur after a turn animation because there was a disagreement between server and client how fast the NPC was moving after the turn animation.
    • The other issue was broken animations because of a fix that NPCs would not clip with the environment when they were climbing stairs.
    • All that combined you had NPCs moving in unexpected ways and also had strange animations.
    • To fix that, they had to improve the communication between client and server, so that they don’t lose track of the NPC speed, introduce failsafe scenarios when problems arise and also fix the animations.

 

Lessons learned

  • A tactical shooter should stay tactical and there should not be a regression in AI and NPC behavior, only improvements. They are very proud of their work and don’t want to release issues like there were in TU3.
  • There was a lot of detective work to find out why the issues where introduced in TU3 and that they not happen again.

 

Fix Schedule

  • The vast majority of fixes will drop with TU3.1 and the second set of fixes in the patch after that.
  • So after TU3.1 the AI should be back to where it was before the issues of TU3 were introduced.

That’s quite a lot, no? There’s also a planned schedule period for tomorrow, and once it’s live, we’ll be sure to let people know.

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